Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In corners of India, being born with leprosy is despised, so being cast to the side and ostracized is used; condemned to a life of solitude. In corners of the Middle East, being raped is a sin, so being murdered in an honor killing is used. In corners of America, being poor is a sin, so shame through tithing and offering is used. However, in corners of each of our hearts, if we are ever subject to these responses to sin we know them to be wrong.
It would be wrong to be cast off as untouchable and ostracized!
It would be wrong to perform an honor killing on my wife or daughter!
It would be wrong to perform some degree of shame on someone for being in a poverty-stricken state!
We know that it is not a sin to be raped or poor or born with skin disease, yet mankind has defined these as sinful. We DO know that rape and poverty and disease are wrong. But why then do we attack the victims of these crimes?
Why has mankind repeatedly developed and redeveloped what is considered sin? Why do we dwell on in, talk about it, and look for it in others? Why do we justify dishonorable and horrendous acts in response to these man-made institutions of sin?
Understanding that man is inherently sinful, I do not want to know what man considers sin. Understanding that I am wrong, I do not want to define sin for myself. Turning to God, what does He have to say about sin?
God has said that disease is wrong. But why then do we punish the diseased?
God has said that rape is wrong. But why then do we punish the raped?
God has said that poverty is wrong. But why then do we punish the poor?
God has said that the heart of man is wrong. But why then do we execute judgment on one another, when we are the ones indicted?!
The sin of man is not in his swearing or cursing.
The sin of man is not in his lusting or hurting others.
The sin of man is not him stumbling on any one of a list of particular rules.
These are the symptoms of a greater problem.
The sin of man is found in one act alone.
The sin of man is found in one sole infraction.
The sin of man is the simple act of manifesting anything other than Godliness.
By dogmatizing what is a sin, and the actions that follow that thinking, we manifest sinfulness. By accepting the victims of sin, and the actions that follow that thinking, we begin to manifest Godliness. When we welcome the diseased, the raped, and the poor, we manifest our Godliness.
We should strive to manifest our God-given nature. We should seek to lift-up the heads of those around us who are enduring not only the pain of these injustices, but the backlash of cultures that despises also the victim.
Why define sin? We know what sin is! We can smell it. We can taste it like the iron taste of blood in our mouth. We know what sin is! We need not clarify or define it or give it any more definable shape or respect in out lives.
Instead, let us define Godliness. Let us give shape and respect to our God-given nature. Let us dwell on, discuss, decide on and dedicate our lives to our godliness.
Our God-given nature is to give love.
Our God-given nature is to receive love.
Our God-given nature is to multiple.
Our God-given nature is to nurture.
Our God-given nature is to solve issues for the victims of sin.
Let us instead define, redefine and amplify our Godliness. Let people ponder and dwell on these acts throughout all the earth. Let Godliness, and not sin, be ever on our lips, and then we will be able to say, surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Why do so many men and women dedicate their lives to what is wrong with society? Why do we find so many people pointing out what is evil or wrong? So many individuals expel so much energy, they use so much of their creative power, to innovate what is wrong.
'Men can't be trusted. I don't like my neighbor.'
'Can you believe thus-and-so about this or that president?'
'Society here in America is tilted toward the rich. '
'What are we supposed to do; the economy is so bad.'
Why does this line of thinking glitch within me? Why does this line of thinking bother me so bad? Why do I turn off the television so fast when I hear reporters start in like this?
I tune this out because I already know! We already know that there are many things wrong out there! You and I know that there is something fundamentally wrong out there! And we know that it doesn't matter what shape or size it comes in!
We know what is wrong with the economy.
We know what is wrong with America.
We know what is wrong with the world leaders.
We know what is wrong with us.
It is the innate evil in mankind that is wrong. And there is a massive supply of evil and wrongdoing in the world. We know this.
There is very little Demand for more evil.
There is very little Demand for more knowledge of evil.
There is very little Demand to flush out and find more evil.
We have an over-supply, and no one is demanding any more evil.
We don't need it packaged it better. We don't need the creative mind of man to put itself to a task of understanding or uncovering the vast ways of evil. I tell you, we have too much supply of that in our cupboards and pantries already!
What we have little of, and is in great Demand, is more good; so much more good!
What we have a great need for are the rare points of view of people who are good-finders.
What we have a great need for are the savory words of decent people, who flush out, not the evil that we are so filled to the brim and overstuffed with, but the decency in every man. We demand for men and women who flush out the vision and love and greatness of one another.
We need those who flood the market with honesty, gentleness, goodness and kindness.
And the funny thing about that which is good is that no matter how much more you serve it, no matter how much more you fill the market with it, no matter how much more you consume, develop, engineer, import or export it, the demand increases greater and greater!
This is because supply and demand are parts of the fundamental make-up of man. Men and women were made to give and supply something. Men and women are created to need and demand something.
That something is not the endless array of foodstuffs found in fast-food joints around the world.
That something is not distractions found in mass entertainment around the world.
That something is not news media emphasizing and serving up more and more and more evil!
That something is not what is wrong with the world!
That something is the Goodness that is above every man.
That something is the Goodness and rightstanding of our Creator.
That something is an eternal goodness that each and every woman crave and will never be full of.
That something fills my cup to overflowing by which I will never hunger or thirst again.
This is why no matter how much of it we produce, and share with one another, we can never over-supply the world with Goodness.
We can never produce and seek too much goodness.
We can never shut the door on seeking ways to multiply goodness in this earth.
Goodness is the Divine Demand of mankind. It is the true cry of men's hearts when they think need more of something.
They are not craving more evil. They are not craving to fill their souls with the vile evil that they so often do. Goodness is so rare, like a famine in the land, that man will stuff himself with anything he can find, and all he is being served is evil.
Man is craving to fill himself with the Divine! Man is craving to stuff himself to overflowing with the love and kindness of God. Man is crying desperately, "Abba, Father!" If a son asks for a fish, will you give him a stone! If he asks for bread will you give him a snake? And you and I being evil, knowing how to give good gifts, HOW MUCH MORE does your father who is in Heaven know how to give good gifts to each and every one of you?!!
So, flood the market to overflowing. Pour out Goodness in abundance. This is the only commodity that can never be used up, and the price for such is soaring into the sky! Fill us to overflowing with the Goodness of God!!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Is this accurate nomenclature for the Creator of all?
In the Greek books of the Bible, He is referred to as ‘theos.’ This theos is deity among other deities, among other theous (Gk – theos as a direct object). All other names are capitalized as proper nouns, as is Jesus and Christ (when referring to Jesus or the Anointed.) I have yet to find theos (in reference to the God of Christianity) capitalized.
And this is really where we get our American name for God.
The word is our root for ‘theory’ (from the Gk. theoria – to perceive, to contemplate or observe.) It is more obviously our root for ‘theology’ (the words, or study of, god. Gk – theos + logos.)
The only time that god is referred to as a proper noun is when Paul is speaking in the Aeropagus and talks about the Unknown god. I have written it like this because the author of Acts uses this particular formula.
The word for unknown (agnosto – Gk for unknown or forgotten) is the one that is capitalized. The word for god is lowercase (theow – the different ending is such because it is the dative, or indirect object, of the sentence.)
I find it fascinating that the only time Paul finds it fit to use a proper name for God is when he is referring to Him as Unknown. It truly seems the only fitting, accurate name for God.
He is ever unknown. He is ever forgotten.
We hear from Him. We see His effects and affects in the earth (Gk – kosmos.) We glorify Him and reach for Him. We labor to serve Him, and press as hard where we may, yet there is some aspect of Him which remains unknown, or forgotten, to us.
We know in part, but can we know all about Him, the agnostic God?
I say agnostic, and some may retaliate quite vigorously to this, but this is what Paul calls God. If you look at the root of agnostic (see Bibliography), you will find that it simply means one who does not believe it possible to gain ultimate knowledge.
Historically, it wasn’t one who discounted God, heaven or the spiritual. It was one who simply believed that we cannot have complete knowledge of Him. And can we honestly ever be bold enough to state that we believe we can know God fully in this life?
I know that my life is an ever unfolding revealing of Who He is. I pray that someday I understand my theos more, and know Him by Name.
--------~~~~ Bibliography ~~~~-----------
American Psychological Association (APA):
agnostic. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 21, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
agnostic. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic (accessed: September 21, 2007).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"agnostic." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 21 Sep. 2007.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Inforizon came up as a French word which meaning I still need to look up. I used inforizon to refer to the ever-expanding, infinitely reaching, and highly-unreachable destination of technological advancement. More specifically the internet which makes that unattainable destination tangible and felt.
Deopomorphism only brought up 1, count 'em, 1 result on a Google search. So, I am heretoforth claiming rights as the originator of the word deopomorphism. My personal first usage of this word was in the fall of 2006 in a theology class at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL. I used it while debating with my teacher about humanity trying to describe God in faulty ways by using anthropomorphisms. I expressed my dislike of man using anthropomorphisms to describe God, and then I stated, "are we not more like His deopomorphism of us?" That was it's origins.
Origamiphism was a word I made up that has a Google search result of 0 as of today's date. It was used in a description I used to contrast the relationship of the origami-man and me, and compare that to and me and God. See my blog on Describing God for the details.
A man ever fails at describing God.
He may worship God. She may say what God is similar to. He may say what God may or may not do.
Despite the endless array of material that tirelessly works around the topic, a person will ever fail at describing God.
She can ponder God. She can ask the questions that should be asked. She cannot, regrettably, honestly answer those questions definitively for herself.
Should an origami-man that I create by folding paper back and forth try to describe me?
“Grant is funny,” it may say.
How can it know? It does not have ears. It does not have an ear canal or take advantage of bone induction. It does not have a brain of electronic dendrites that communicate with memories to resolve a though.
What if I were to draw ears with blue ink on that little origami-man?
What if the origami-man exclaimed, “Oh! I have ears!”?
Would he be any more qualified to hear me or understand when I make a joke?
We are that origami-race of men and women who lack ears to hear or brains to understand our Maker. “Oh!” we exclaim. “I have ears!”
Yes, but not the same ears as our Maker. We do not have the mind of our Maker. Everything we hear is with blue-ink ears. Everything we think with our brain was folded and weaved into our being when we were created.
Any conclusion we come up with would be an origami-conclusion; a paper thing readily torn.
And origami-conclusions cannot ever compare to flesh and blood truths.
Origami-conclusions are not the real thing.
They are an effigy. They are symbols of it. They remind us of it.
But they do not describe God. They simply compare Him to us.
I just used the word ‘Him’, as if that were even accurate.
Does He (pardon my anthropomorphism) even qualify as a ‘him?’
Is He not so far out of the realm of ‘Him-ness’ that he no longer qualifies as ‘Him?’
The feminine traits of God are becoming more and more real, so how can we call Him ‘Him?’
An anthropomorphism is used when we describe an inanimate object with human traits. For example, if I were to say,
“This article is silly,”
I would be using an anthropomorphism. Likewise, the origami-man with blue-ink ears is an anthropomorphism of us. It is an inanimate object with human traits.
Are we not God’s deopomorphism of Himself (pardon my anthropomorphism)? Are we not trying to describe an non-human object with human traits?
How silly it would be for the origami-man to say of me, “my! How origamic you are!”
That would not be right!
I would quickly reply, “No, my dear origami-man! How human you are.” He is my anthropomorphism. I am not is origamiphism.
Likewise, we are God’s deopomorphism. He (pardon my anthropomorphism) is not our anthropomorphism.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
The enlightenment happens when one reads a word in Greek, sees its meaning, then learns of the application in English. This gives the English word a new dimension that far surpasses previous understanding.
Just one such word is the English word 'thesaurus.'
Why is this word so stinking cool? I am glad that you asked!
This word comes from the Greek word 'θησαυρος'. Transliterated that is pronounced "thay-sore-oss." Or, more closely 'thesaurus.'
What it means is cool, though. It means "treasure."
A modern thesaurus is not a desk reference, but a "treasury of words."
How much more poetic can it get? How cool is that?!
It makes one begin to look at the English language and inquire: what else in American language and culture borrows itself from ancient cultures AND has much more significance than we give it?
Oh so much! The more I study Greek, the more I find.
Another example is the English word "eccentric." It can be traced to a compound word "εκσευτρικ" (my best guess; I don't have my reference in front of me), which broken down is 'εκ-' meaning "from, away from" and '-σευτρικ' (pronounced "centric") which means "center."
"Off centered." How funny is that?!
Other words of interest (and there are so many):
- galactic (word for milk in Greek; think Milky Way!)
- philosophy (love + wisdom; the love of wisdom)
- philanthropy (love + man; the love of man)
- and on!
(For example, learn why we are not and do not want to be a democracy, but are a republic! Words are VERY powerful.)
I could go on, and would love to share more as I learn more. I DO encourage anyone interested pick up the most powerful educational tool on Greek here. Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day
Learning other languages opens a "thesaurus" of words that can open the world around so much more. Take the time to understand the words you use. Expand your understanding of the world you live in.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Only 17% of Americans read after college!!!
Can you believe that stuff?
I heard it (or read it??) in the last day or so, and was astounded. So, I figured I would ask you!!
I have put together a quick 5 or 6 question survey to get your feed back. What do you think?
Here it is: Opulent Reading Survey
Just click that and enter your answers. I will be extremely grateful!
I hope that all is going extraordinarily well, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
In case you haven't yet, you can sign up formy free monthly newsletter. You will get to download a free e-book byThomas Troward called "The Spirit of Opulence" if you do! Just go to my home page at IamOpulent.com.
Have a great day, and thanks again!