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For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Reason therefore is given to men by God for us to better understand and powerfully apply truth. Reason, in its pure state, furthers religion to build a philosophy of life.

Reason, philosophy, law, and politics should therefore be aligned on the moral standard. Since God granted man the powers of reason, thought, self-government, and freewill, should we not continue to credit him for His good works through a life of moral excellence?

God's works are expressed clearly and extensively throughout the Bible. Thought, government, and life was governed by the very principle of the supremacy of morality above all else. A faith in God and a resulting unity among men allowed society to build itself to greatness; morality was the essence of all aspects of life. We are told again and again of the results of unfaithfulness and defiance toward God.

As the saying goes, History repeats its self. And throughout history we do in fact see select groups of individuals rise to power through a movement of reform, but whose institutions become corrupted themselves through misunderstanding and the lack of dedication to the original truth or purpose in their cause. We observe this clearly through the Roman Republic and the present nation of Israel; both cases where democracy, civil liberties, and reconciliation caused their inception, but all lead to defeat, terrorism, corruption, and deceit.

No mortal institution can withstand these forces as long as we reject the moral standard. Even today as the United States is seen as a moral lighthouse for the oppressed of the world, corruption and immorality reign through our elected officials as evil hides under a guise of special-interest and libertarian groups.

The Bible tells us not to use our liberty as a cloak for vice, yet we throw around phrases such as 'Its a free country!' almost daily. Freedom is misunderstood! Its not the lack of rule, where you can merely do "whatever you want," but the ability to choose how closely to follow a standard or to follow it period. This self-governing concept is given to mankind by God to provide us a basis to further our collective education of one another, allowing us to respectfully conclude our own beliefs.

But has this happened? No! Where did reason go? Or philosophy? Or the moral standard? God has given us the ability to think clearly, to teach one another in love, and to link them to be able to effectively understand the original truth of right and wrong. But in the abuse of these freedoms, the moral standard (and therefore the foundation of society) has been wrongfully replaced by a cornerstone of rationalism, liberalism, and the relativism and secularity of our increasingly scientific-oriented and technologically-advanced world.

We have forgotten God; placing His existence as myth, and His law as a healthy alternative, abused our liberty in God's creation and our salvation to destroy all that has been accomplished. God did not give us fear, but as we've ruled out our only hope--God Himself--we know what fear is: that we've destroyed God.

"Happiness and moral duty are inseparable." - George Washington


The following comments are for "The Death of Our Creator"
by flourishingcourage

good topic for discussion
I believe that this opinion column provides a great chance for the exchange of values and ideas. I think you have picked a great topic for discussion. I agree with you on the point of argument that we have killed God, but I feel that this is not the cause for recent events that are occuring in our society. My point is this. Human nature drives us to commit acts of evil regardless of religious or moral standards. The only reason it seems worst now is because we have the technology to destroy things on a large scale. Historically, people have always killed each other regardless of religious beliefs. I think that moral standards is NOT based on religion alone. As we can see from history, Christianity itself which claims to be rightious in moral standards, has caused the deaths of many innocents. The Crusades, the Salem Witch hunts, the whole logic behind the KKK, are based on Christianity. Moral standards are always changing in society, and I think we cannot simply say that if we all followed the standards of Christianity, we will be saved. Just think about this, historically, people who believed in God also believed that ownership of Africans was a totally moral thing. To me that idea is ridiculous since God teaches us to love and accept one another. Therefore, I believe that the death of religious values doesn't mean the end of the world. It simply means that things are changing. Either society will adapt to these changes, or we will all die terrible deaths from war, terrorism, nuclear holocaust, etc. Because of our free will, God cannot save us, only we can. I hope I don't burn in hell for saying all this. And if you are a good Christian, will you pray for me so I don't? Just kidding. Anyways, one last thing I wanted to say is that although I don't agree with your opinion, I respect you for having the courage to say it. I am interested in what other people have to say about this subject as well. Readers, please comment if you have an opinion on the subject.

( Posted by: pengster13 [Member] On: August 5, 2002 )

Reply to pengster13
To clear things up, the moral standard has often been compromised with politics to form a diluted and perverse version of religion in order to further agendas such as the organizations and events you've mentioned. My point is that we must remain dedicated to the Original Truth of the Bible in order to avoid such mistakes. Only when that Truth is preserved, and bibical authority understood and respected may man be found in the proper state of love, peace, liberty, and justice.

( Posted by: flourishingcourage [Member] On: August 5, 2002 )

A drop in the bucket
First off, I'm an agnostic, and I think that a) the first cause is irrelevant, and b) metaphysics and ethics are distinct from one another. My beliefs will all stem from those two maxims.

"Where did reason go? Or philosophy? Or the moral standard?"

You will find reason in rationalism, philosophy in liberalism (which is often secular), and moral standards in civil rights. "Ethical Relativism" isn't a doctrine in itself, it is a way of observing that people's beliefs change according to their values.

What is the Original Truth of the Bible? I'm curious, and I confess, mostly ignorant of your religion. Are you referring to original sin...?

I'm not interested in parables about God or the Trinity or Jesus. I would like to know what the original moral truth is, as you interpret it.

( Posted by: lucidish [Member] On: August 5, 2002 )

I want to know too
I am interested to know that too. I've talked to many Christians. And it seems that everyone interprets the Bible in their own way. In fact, is there actually an Original Truth?

( Posted by: pengster13 [Member] On: August 5, 2002 )

More to say...
Well, I apologize to all for first misusing the term "rationalism." Rationalism, in my opinion (and due to what is said in the Bible on the "sound mind," quoted in the first sentence of my original statement) is a necessary part of the thought process, and in forming one's own's views on life. I MEANT to use the term "rationalization," where people twist facts to "rationalize" or justify their actions or feelings.

Secondly, I wish to add that civil rights reflect a moral standard only because the moral standard existed first, not the other way around. Civil rights is merely a practical application to the standard of compassion and respect for one another spoken of first and foremost in the Bible.

In response to your query on original sin, I find no where in the Bible to suggest that man is born as a sinner, only born INTO a sinful environment.

And lastly, you both asked if there was an "Original Truth." (And to clear up any misconceptions, this is not some sort of term coined by Chrisitans, but rather something I personally employ to best describe the message of God through the Bible.)

The Bible says in the book of II Timothy, chapter 3, verses 16 and 17:

"All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in righteousness, that the man of God may be COMPLETE, thoroughly equipped for EVERY good work."

These two verses are largely neglected by Christians now, as they have catered to the very ideas I brought up in my original statement. Christians are really at war with each other on these issues. Some believe that since Jesus was loving and compassionate that he somehow lost his sense of justice in that sinners won't be punished, or that He merely won't enforce the standard He set forth in the Bible. They fail to realize that Jesus is compassionate in his punishment; but that he focuses on neither punishment or reward (and love) more than the other.

Christians today fail to recognize there IS a standard, and one that commands following from those who claim to be doing so anyway. The Christians you've talked to ("the ones who should know better") represent those that fail to ackowledge the very standard they claim to follow.

And even earlier than that in John 16:13, scripture records Jesus as saying, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into ALL TRUTH..." The salvation-essential standard of morality, organization, and worship of Christians is clearly expressed in the Bible, but most people, including those Christians you've spoken to, don't bother looking into scripture for that purpose.

They prefer to see themselves completely capable of existing, living, and accomplishing their goals in life without looking to the source of all existence, life, and success for assistance.

( Posted by: flourishingcourage [Member] On: August 5, 2002 )

I get the jist of what you're saying. I think the word "justification" would sum up the sentiment you're describing best.

In my experience, that desire to justify one's actions and decisions even when they were crappy comes from a desire to avoid having pride hurt. Pride is something deeply intwined with the motives of compassion and respect. I believe that conscience is a form of rational compassion, and I can see the etymology of morals, but don't see what God has to do with them.

Original sin is an Augustine conclusion, I hear. Though I can see where he came up with that conclusion from the Genesis book, as Adam and Eve did have a parting of ways of sorts with God. And the cause of this fall was through knowledge of good and evil, which was a lesson that never sat quite right with me.

What's wrong with existing, living, and accomplishing goals in life without looking for any source of existence and life for success and assistance?

( Posted by: lucidish [Member] On: August 6, 2002 )

Yeah, I'm still here...
Yes, pride has an awful lot to do with it. Humility is preached on in the Bible thoroughly, and pride is listed specifically as something to avoid in many passages. The Bible says that man was created "in the image of God," this "image" of God, is the human conscience. This is God's way to imbed within us a natural sense of morality, but still allow us to choose for ourselves to follow him. So God has EVERYTHING to do with it.

Personally, I am ignorant on the "original sin" concept and therefore won't pretend to even discuss it intelligently.

To answer you're last inquiry...

The book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon (the son of David), another Israelite King and dubbed as the wisest man on Earth. There's a lot more of a history to that, but basically, even with his wisdom, he searched his entire life for happiness on earth, I'll leave you with his conclusion, which I think is self-explanatory:

"...Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man's all.
For God will bring every good work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil." Ecc. 12:13-14

( Posted by: flourishingcourage [Member] On: August 6, 2002 )

I don't think that pride is a sin, but a neutral part of the human psyche... it leads to stubbornness just as much as integrity.

As I've said, I disagree. I think God is irrelevant and that conscience is a rational sense of compassion. We'll have to leave it at that.

( Posted by: lucidish [Member] On: August 7, 2002 )

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