The Anniversary of my Death

July 27, 2013 at 8:56 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

18thCenturyGraveStone2Nine years ago today, I died. It was July 27, 2004.

I realized that I had been trying to add God to my life. (I know, that sounds like a good thing, and it certainly is better than not knowing Him at all. But I realized that adding God to my life is missing the point. He created me in His image, for perfect unity with Him.)

Jesus referred to himself often as the groom, saying that the church is to be the bride of Christ. Just as the Bible says that in marriage the man and woman shall become one flesh, we shouldn’t expect only to add God to our already established lives. No more than we would expect to get married to someone and then continue living life on our own. God, the Creator, offers to make His residence in us, as the bride of Christ, not beside us or above us, but within us.

Hosea 2:16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.

Yet the human nature of sin is strong. We cannot serve two masters. Like a faithful husband, God is jealous for our devotion. I choose either me or Him, I can’t have both. God gave us the authority to break our bondage with sin through Christ’s death. We can choose to die with him, and then live — not through our own sinful nature any longer, but Him living through us.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This is the death I died that day. I chose to crucify my own strength, my hopes, and my dreams with Christ, in exchange for God’s design for me. I no longer want to chase after my dreams on my own strength. I ask God to replace my desires with His, then grant me the strength to go after them.

1 Cor 15:36 What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

(We can also reflect back to Hosea 2:23 “and I will sow her for myself in the land.” And Hosea 6:6 “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”)

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24 Comments

  1. Anon said,

    @haymaker: Absolutely, I can explain secular morality comes. (I would have replied directly in the thread, but am unable to.) Others have already covered it well, so I hope that you don’t mind a link or two.

    In video: http://youtu.be/mjdVTDC303A?t=11m45s
    Alternatively, in text: http://bit.ly/YiBy

    • Anon said,

      *where secular morality comes from 😛

    • haymaker said,

      Hmmm…
      I see some contradictory reasoning in the text link, and the guy in the vid just seemed really angry about religion rather than intent on a solid explanation. (And the “we say” vs “I say” approach -from the vid- doesn’t really work for the same reason he says the “absolute morality vs relative morality” doesn’t work… If all religions believe that God is the source of morality, then it is also “we say” vs “we say,” isn’t it?)
      Thanks for sharing, though.

      • Anon said,

        Thanks for taking the time. However, you may have been paying more attention to the anger than the concrete reasons he gave for it: morality derived from religion has been simplistic, outdated, causing significant harm, “[controlling] the conversation,” etc. I don’t understand your other concern in the parentheses.

      • Anon said,

        (To be more specific, by “causing significant harm,” I mean direct justification for the subjugation of minorities like gays and women, retarding scientific progress, refusing medical treatment for children who commonly die as a result, slavery, etc. etc.)

      • haymaker said,

        Well, firstly, I agree that morality should not come from religion. It should come directly from the source: God. People tend to claim “new revelations” and screw things up over and over. God never changes.

        Secondly, what I was trying to sum up was this: The vid guy was saying that religion makes morality a “because *I* said so” topic, when it should be a “we say so” to be credible. This was his argument for using “logic and science” for morality. The problem with that argument is that there are tons of people in each religion, so it is still “we say so” because they all agree that morality should come from the big I, just like many secularists would agree that morality should come from science or deduction.

      • Anon said,

        Still, I believe that the same criticisms apply to absolute morality deriving from God, with the addition now of an argument from authority logical fallacy. What little evidence there is of his stances on absolute morality, which have been equally simplistic, outdated, and objectively harmful, does not obligate us to accept moral values independent of everyone’s evaluation.

        This also speaks to the restating of your concern: just because tons of people agree to an “I say so” argument from authority does not make it a “we say so” argument by the participants, and by the way, as Matt pointed out, disagreement among the religious on this supposed clear absolute morality is the norm.

      • haymaker said,

        What do you mean “what little evidence there is?” I don’t follow.

      • Anon said,

        I mean sacred texts like the Bible or Qur’an that religious groups cite, which are also tripley inadequate: they lack as credible and internally consistent sources (a separate topic of debate), are unable to comprehensively address new topics in morality (something that Matt argues can only come from critical thinking in secular morality), and vague enough to cause myriad of interpretations.

      • haymaker said,

        I can’t speak for the Koran, but if you would permit me to point you to a few links, I think they might change your view about evidence.

        I don’t want to waste your time, so I admit this is a long vid, but it really helped me understand the evidence that exists. There are some interruptions, so if you’re short on time I’d suggest skipping to this part until it breaks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HRemWMIy2IY&t=87

        Then skipping to this part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HRemWMIy2IY&t=403

        Then this part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HRemWMIy2IY&t=866

        Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HRemWMIy2IY&t=1695

        And here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HRemWMIy2IY&t=2021

        Lastly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HRemWMIy2IY&t=2707

        Alternatively, in text: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_New_Evidence_that_Demands_a_Verdict.html?id=65qYPwAACAAJ

      • Anon said,

        I’ll watch this and might get back to you. Thanks for the extensive bookmarks.

  2. Anon said,

    That sounds depressing to me… Is becoming a God-robot a necessary moral act? I see how this can be at odds with philosophies like individualism.

    • Anon 2 :P said,

      Dear “anon”,

      I don’t actually recall seeing her use the term “God-robot” anywhere to describe the relationship she was talking about. Maybe you should read the article again. Robots do not have free will, yet what she is describing is a clear choice to willingly unite with the one we love. It is a choice that must be affirmed daily, constantly renewed. That is not robotic, thoughtless obedience. That is trust.

      And yes, there are some differences between this and individualism, but I think they are differences for the better. I personally find individualism to be far more depressing philosophy than faith. It must be lonely, not having anyone to turn to, and exhausting, not having a source of strength outside yourself.

      I hope you find what you are looking for!

      • haymaker said,

        May I ask where you get your morality from?

    • Andun said,

      Individualism isn’t really a “philosophy,” as it would have no basis as such. If we each of us created our own morality, purpose, and identity (the values touched on by this blog post), then we’d effectively live in parallel universes. We’d have no means of relating to each other and no means of obtaining anything that could conceivably be called “knowledge,” as knowledge itself would be relative. And, at that point, we’d have no means of knowing whether anything we believed was actually true. The very concept of “reality” itself would have become nothing more than a convincing illusion.

      The hilarious thing about the notion that there aren’t any moral absolutes is that it’s predicated upon an absolute statement (“there aren’t any moral absolutes!”). It’s logically impossible to live in a universe in which morality is relative.

      Therefore, since morality is either absolute or nonexistent (as an intellectually honest naturalist would assert), and since you seem to believe that morality exists, the trillion-dollar question becomes, “Whence comes morality?” Obviously, absolute morality could only have originated from an absolute source. And, since it’s impossible for there to exist a source more absolute than the being which created everything else in existence, the answer to the trillion-dollar question is “God.”

      Therefore, since morality begins and ends with God, it’s impossible to accomplish a moral act without being in alignment with God’s priorities (however briefly). It’s also impossible to judge God by holding Him up to some abstract moral standard, since God Himself is the standard.

      What this line of reasoning boils down to is the fact that a “God-robot” (i.e. someone whose priorities are perfectly aligned with God’s priorities, someone who only does what God wants him or her to do) would be the most moral person on the face of the earth. And that doesn’t sound depressing to me at all.

      • Anon said,

        Oh dear, you think that atheism leads to moral relativism and solipsism. Incorrect, sir.

      • Anon said,

        I linked this to Kay just now, and would like your take on it as well.

      • Andun said,

        Anon,

        Speaking for myself, I have neither time nor inclination to argue with some third party pontificating in a half-hour video. If you want me to consider the validity of your worldview, do me the courtesy of presenting it in your own words.

      • Anon said,

        What a scaredy cat. To be fair, it’s a 14-minute video because I linked to the relevant part. Why transcribe and reword something that’s already been said well?

        Oh well, I accept your cowardice.

      • Anon said,

        Ah, that’s odd. The skip to 11:45 worked last night, but doesn’t work now. Anyway, that’s where you should start.

      • Andun said,

        Anon,

        Whatever. At least I’m capable of articulating my own worldview. You have yet to demonstrate any such capacity. Your YouTube-link-in-lieu-of-argument approach may not necessarily constitute cowardice in the strictest sense, but it’s certainly both lazy and inconsiderate.

        And the very fact that you recognize “courage” as a universal virtue is compelling evidence of God’s existence.

      • Anon said,

        Sure.

    • haywireproductions said,

      Oh, Anon:
      You missed it! I didn’t do this because it was “morally right.” I did this because I know without a doubt that the God of the Universe created me and has a better plan for my life than I could dream up for myself. It’s about trusting Him.
      ~Kay

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