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 Copyright © June 2007

Understanding the Basics...Part 9

Things no longer taught in our Churches and Synagogues....

~written from the common sense perspective of The Winds of the Soul~

by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.)

 
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Indeed, Goodness is the Touchstone of Christianity.  One cannot profess a belief in Christ without knowing that He and His Father are Good, and that Goodness is the reason for our obedience to His Word. 

Though having a belief in the central figure of Jesus Christ is the first step in Christianity itself, one can proceed no further as a disciple of Christ's if we never understand that the core of His Divinity is Goodness itself. 

Indeed, Goodness is the Touchstone of Christianity.  One cannot profess a belief in Christ without knowing that He and His Father are Good, and that Goodness is the reason for our obedience to His Word.  Without that Cornerstone, there is no bridge stable enough to cross over, no reason to offer oblations, no hope or faith in something worthwhile.  Our service to God should then ever grow in being motivated by the sole purpose to want to do Good in all that we do and say.  As I have written previously, to be Good is an admonition that comes directly from the First Commandment.

In fact, Goodness is the only reason that we should be attracted to His teachings in the first place, for Goodness, Light and Truth are inseparably connected.  Where one is, the other two are also.  The divine attractiveness towards Goodness explains, in part, the successful mission of Jesus Christ.  For it was because of being convinced of His Father's Goodness that Christ knew to willingly lay down His Life for the sins of the world.  It was His Fathers Goodness which caused Him to be so obedient, so convicted to His Father's Will, so impassioned and in love with the Father's Ways, Means and Purposes.  It was precisely because of the Father's Goodness that Jesus carried and expressed such love He had for His Father, and indeed, loved us in turn.  

Copyright © 2006 Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.).  All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction, without the prior express and specific written content of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 

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It's good to know that all the powers of the Universe rest in One that is above all, "Good;"  that all His thoughts and actions are always faithfully governed by His sense of Goodness.  If that is not attractive and inviting to an honest heart, then I guess I don't understand what these words mean....

Jesus understood and witnessed this very Goodness constantly, being in the presence of His Spirit, in every moment He walked the earth.  But even before His earthly mission had begun, being with His Father from the Beginning, He witnessed the supernatural and divine epoch of His Father's Goodness, the power and superiority of the Ways of Goodness taught to Him by His Father's Hand. 

Jesus expressly knew His Father, and knew that His Father was so Good, so Perfectly and Eternally Good, that all other Godly attributes, such as justice and mercy, intelligence and patience, power and might, then safely and orderly flowed from this one primary characteristic.  Goodness was the heart of His Father.  In that, Jesus had complete understanding and trust.  He knew that His Father's Ways and Means would never change. Oh, that we would pray for such a vision of certainty! 

It's good to know that all the powers of the Universe rest in One that is above all, "Good;"  that all His thoughts and actions are always faithfully governed by His sense of Goodness.  If that is not attractive and inviting to an honest heart, then I guess I don't understand what these words mean.... So important and powerful is the idea of Goodness, that it is the source of Divinity itself.

Again this is no longer taught within our churches and synagogues.  Nor shared with many is that a portion of His Goodness is given to each of us as we come into the world.  In this manner, we should esteem His Goodness within us, rather than pridefully esteem ourselves or each other.  Although we are fallen, His Seed remains within us (because of His Grace that He extends to each of us) readied to save us if we would only repent and turn to Him again.  In that we should have hope, and have hope in each other's recognition of the same truth.

For indeed, His Seed of Goodness, the Seed-Pattern of Christ Himself, even "His Name," is placed within us with the sure and prepared promise that God's Goodness will unfold and grow within us if and when we willingly embrace the still and quiet Voice of His inspiration within us, that resonance of Spirit that is always persuading us to do Good, so that we may literally follow after His Name and follow in His Name. 

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Yet this fundamental lesson is no longer taught in our places of religious worship.  Rather, if you think about it, the preponderance of religious teachings today is mostly "bribe-like," offering us a reward if we do good, as one would induce a spoiled child to behave, attempting to motivate us to comport oneself and act correctly for a promised quirk. 

These are His instructions given to us on a very personal and individual basis..., with us every second of our presence on earth.  And we will ultimately and primarily be judged according to how much room we have given His Name (i.e., Christ's Seed-pattern) to grow within us, and for how much of His Goodness we were willing to give place within us.  All other judgments and concerns having to do with our life will pale in comparison.  

Yet this fundamental lesson is no longer taught in our places of religious worship.  Rather, if you think about it, the preponderance of religious teachings today is mostly "bribe-like," offering us a reward if we do good, as one would induce a spoiled child to behave, attempting to motivate us to comport oneself and act correctly for a promised quirk. 

In this vein of common superficial teaching found within our religious institutions, a friend of mine recently observed that we are pedantically taught "sin-avoidance" rather than "sin-aversion," which the latter true repentance demands.  Though learning to avoid sin is of course needful and necessary, it is only a short-term solution, and doesn't mean that we should take a holiday from learning how to become "turned-off" by sin altogether. 

Eventually, sin-avoidance alone will not resolve the myriad of temptations that attempt to cripple us each day.  If we are not made wiser, the flood of life's temptations will overtake us in time.  Thus, sooner or later we must learn the specific means to overcome the world, not only able to turn from sin, but graduating to the wisdom of no longer desiring or seeking the sin itself, by seeing it for really what it is. 

In the process of this instruction, we will realize that those sins that continually tempt us, often do so only because of our ignorance (which is also often willful).  Yet, the Lord knows that once exposed and defrocked, all temptation becomes instantly recognized as a "lie," beneath which is beheld its true ugliness....something to which we will no longer be attracted once unmasked. 

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To be sure, once we see and understand temptations' true colors, we will spew it out of our mouths like sour milk.  Once stripped bare of its tyranny of appearances, the easiness of sin is no longer alluring nor appealing, no longer bewitching nor captivating, and pales in comparison to the Light and Strength of Goodness.

To be sure, once we see and understand temptations' true colors, we will spew it out of our mouths like sour milk.  Once stripped bare of its tyranny of appearances, the easiness of sin is no longer alluring nor appealing, no longer bewitching nor captivating, and pales in comparison to the Light and Strength of Goodness. 

To be sure, except for the possibility of mental illness, once evil is contrasted against His Goodness, there is no contest and the choice is clear.  Goodness always excels in the light of day, and banishes the ineptitude of darkness wherever it's found.  Unless this epiphany occurs, our repentance remains unfinished and we have not completed the journey....

Moreover, if we are delinquent in learning about the intricacies of Goodness, remaining woefully ignorant of its faith and exercise, its depth and breadth, then the contest between Good and Evil becomes an uneven match, a skewed event...  And so unaware, the odds are that we will not be well served, often unwittingly choosing evil before Good, darkness before light, bitter before sweet. 

For how can we expect to choose correctly if that which we are choosing between remains veiled and uncertain?  How can we see to know better, if the measure of His Goodness remains hidden and unavailable to us?  On what do our decisions become based but on the preponderance and availability of evil and the absence of the competition.  In this case, he who shouts loudest is heard, and wins by default.  Thus it is that after the still small Voice of the Lord is silenced, only the world can be heard.

If not educated properly and openly in the matters of Goodness, and if this specific encouragement is not always before us especially when other "religious concerns" are made to be ever more pressing, we will proceed vainly down the path of life conceitedly thinking that Heaven couldn't find a better, more obedient example of a people than us..., while in reality we remain most unworthy, quick to take offence for our shortcomings, woefully unprepared to see the contest before us, and ill-prepared for His Second coming though believing that we will be esteemed and embraced. 

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Isaiah chides those of us who think that sin no longer troubles us because of our past obedience, believing that we are men of strength who then may safely reach to mingle strong drink.  In other words, Isaiah points to that arrogance of confidence (eg., men of strength) within us that blindly directs us to take action about matters that we know so little about.

Believing that we are "believers" when in fact we are not, and clamoring for more doctrine when in fact we have yet accepted the Word already given us, then, what is prophesized in Isaiah will come to pass within our own households: 

Isaiah 5:18-25 18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: 19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Isaiah chides those of us who think that sin no longer troubles us because of our past obedience to things we have yet understood, which only whitewashes our hidden inappropriate intentions.  Thus, we promenade our whited sepulchers, believing that we are men of strength who then think ourselves safe to reach beyond His Mark to mingle strong drink.  In other words, Isaiah points to that arrogance of confidence (i.e., men of strength) within us that blindly directs us to take action about matters that we know so little about, often missing the point and purposes of God altogether. 

It's as if those who..., despite not knowing the chemistry of elements around us nor in how their joining can create adverse reactions (i.e., the mingling of strong drink) hurting others and ourselves..., still thoughtlessly and carelessly run to make hay while the sun shines

We see this amongst us everyday from experts in all fields.  Just how many times have we've been disappointed by the so-called experts in our life, those claiming that their conclusions were completely correct when in fact we discover, only too late at times, that they were woefully unconsidered. 

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According to Isaiah, these "draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope...."   In other words, their positions are directed and governed by their own opportunistic vanities, not in the pleasures of Goodness nor in coming to the truth about a matter.  Thus, they arrive at inane conclusions (eg. drawing iniquity) which are merit-less and ill-considered, unjust and habitually unwise.  Yet they consider themselves "wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight"

And how many times have we witnessed those "...Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!"  Meaning, how often do we see evil rewarded instead of good, while good is ridiculed and denounced, to the point of turning away others from the path of His Righteousness from within themselves.

According to Isaiah, these "draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope...."   In other words, their positions are directed and governed by their own opportunistic vanities, agendas not founded in the pleasures of Goodness nor in coming to the truth about a matter.  Thus, they arrive at inane conclusions (i.e., drawing iniquity up from their dark waters of their sordid intentions) which are merit-less and ill-considered, unjust and habitually unwise.  Yet they consider themselves "wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight."

And why have these done this?  Let Isaiah's answer find place within our hearts:  "... because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel."

In still other words, we have consistently cast away, diminished, and denigrated the personal and individual instruction given to us by the Lord Himself..., the Name and Law of God place first within our hearts....  By forsaking His very Metric within us, we summarily abandon the lessons and teachings of Goodness that He has blessed us with ever since our beginning.  It seems that we have grown accustomed to telling Him that there is no longer room at the Inn....

Moreover, we have now formalized this dismissal by eradicating the teaching of the Ten Commandments (which is the rudimentary behavioral manifestation and admonition of Goodness) within our schools, our Universities, our legal and business establishments, and within the government itself.  A complete purging of the Word of God has taken place within the last 50 years without any great uproar from our churches and synagogues themselves.  No one seems unduly perplexed by this, except for the occasional editorial.  It seems that no one truly understands how the bedrock of our civilization has been so threatened.  And the liberal beat goes on..., undeterred and unmolested in its quest to completely banish God from our society.

And even though such an impoverishment of His Word has rendered us unfit to make judgments of all sorts (making one mistake after another without ever understanding that our mistakes are really mistakes!) we instead proudly think ourselves to be nonetheless "intellectually equipped" because we have become "sophisticated" in the process.  What with our pretentious Emperor's new clothes, we think ourselves admirably fashionable and in fashion.... 

Oh, the vanity of it all!  How self-diluted!  We are incubated by our own willful ignorance, having allowed ourselves to become insulated and estranged from the meter of His Word (i.e. the measure of His Goodness within us).  And in turn, we then spew forth great obscenities while thinking that we speak in profound and beautiful poetics! 

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In fact the value of the reward is generally the deciding factor behind whether we choose between what is Right and what is easy, what is Good and what is evil.  Look closely.  Except for the appearance and pretence of social-show and the need to dress up the windows, the independent measure of Goodness is rarely ever considered anymore.

Truly, we haven't a clue....We have cowardly traded the Word of the Lord resonating from within us for the lure and deception of worldly sophistication.  Now, I ask you, who got the better of that deal?

Behaving just like spoiled unconscionable children, we must be continually enticed into doing "right," for the cause of "right and Good" by itself has become muted within us.  Now, so superficial and narcissistic, our motivations rest wholly in what we think we'll get of it.... It's all in the anticipated reward, rather than in the joy of discovery in being Good. 

In fact, the perceived worldly value of the reward is generally the deciding factor behind whether we choose between what is Right and what is easy, what is Good and what is evil.  Look closely.  Except for the appearance and pretence of social-show and the need to dress up the windows, the independent measure of Goodness is rarely ever considered anymore.  

But I ask you..., shouldn't we instead find joy and happiness in just doing "Right and Good" for Goodness' sake?  Shouldn't we be taught to find pleasure in simply doing what is right, instead of looking for some extra dividend, plum or guerdon in the process?  Shouldn't this deeper teaching be found in abundance in our churches and synagogues? 

Is there no longer value in simply being "Good" and doing the right thing.  Should not our self-esteem become more worthy and stable when based on this tenet, rather than the self-absorbed, non-performance, "because-you're-so-special," entitlement-notions of self-esteem now sycophantically taught without responsibility within every school setting?  Can we not see that the one will make us grow straight and true, while the other only results in a weak twisted stature not fit to stand?

Surely, though the promise of reward from Heaven may indeed be true, the blessings are simply not given because of our performance or exercise of obedience, or simple because "you show up".  Rather, Heaven bequeaths its treasures upon us because of the purity of our intentions to do Good, followed by the natural exercise of those intentions as they then personally evolve into becoming "good works."  And, isn't that the missing directive now absent in so many churches and synagogues today?

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About the Author:  Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Neuroscientist, Physicist, and Clinical Psychologist, having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in practice and research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us books  &  The Winds of Forgiveness~Heaven's Healing Promises, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.

 

 

 

 

Warning and Disclaimer: Although the author and publisher have made every effort in the preparation to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information given in this eNewsletter and the books, The Winds of the Soul & The Winds of Forgiveness, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions of any kind. The information provided is offered entirely on an “as is“ basis and is simply the point of view of its author. Moreover, the information in this eNewsletter as well as the book is offered without warranty, claim of fitness, or therapeutic effectiveness and appropriateness, either express or implied, nor does it claim or seek to offer any form of diagnosis or treatment for any form of disease or dysfunction. Any individual requiring psychological intervention, diagnosis and/or treatment should always seek the professional services of a responsible and licensed Psychologist or Psychiatrist. Neither the author or Davidic Publishing will be liable or responsible for any damages whatsoever or however defined, caused or alleged to be caused directly, indirectly, incidentally, or consequentially by the information contained in the eNewsletter and the books, The Winds of the Soul & The Winds of Forgiveness.

We should be about these matters before us in our everyday lives.... Namely, we should be learning to love Goodness, and how to love Goodness faithfully, learning to do what is right instead of what is easy, what is Good instead of what is evil, solely because our hearts are correctly directed and without thought of "what's in it for me." 

Our emulation of Jesus Christ is only consequential when we love the Father's Commandments as He does, finding the attraction and trust within the inherent Goodness of them as He does.  This means that we should be striving to understand Goodness in as many ways as it's possible, looking to embrace its path within our lives because we have become convinced that His Goodness is the most attractive and desirable thing that we know..., apart from it being the smartest, the most intelligent, the most inspired thing that we could do above all else.  

If such learning about Goodness is not part of our daily curriculum, then I venture to say that Judeo-Christians we are most certainly not.  Though we may profess otherwise, the emulation of Goodness is the only way and means to follow Jesus Christ.  Only by learning to love Goodness as does Jesus, will we ever be able to follow His Father's commandments, and follow them correctly, become again like a little child and enter His Father's Kingdom.  Only then can we ever hope to filled with His Love, even the Charity of Heaven. 

And in this we may realize the great truth that the heart of Christ's Love (i.e., Charity) is Goodness itself.  That is why the apostle Paul exhorted that without Charity, no matter how blessed we may think we are and no matter how we may think that we are a pleasure to Heaven's eyes, we are in fact nothing.... becoming as "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." (1 Corinthians 13:1) 

Indeed, the hope of Goodness is that which gives Charity its staying power, its foundation in reality, to:

 

1 Corinthians 13:7-10 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

 

Without Goodness being the compass and rudder of our ships, we are not fit to be upon the waters.  Goodness is that which guides Love's actions to safe harbors.  It is the most esteemed attribute of Heaven that we are given the privilege to know.  It is Goodness that makes perfect, "Perfection."

But our commitment to His Goodness doesn't come from a casual desire, a flirtation with His Gospel Way because of some promise to us down the road.  Rather, this kind of commitment becomes a positive obsession..., even a magnificent obsession..., something that we just don't want to stop doing..., something that we want to do forever, because it feels good to us within our hearts, captivating everything about us while directing us towards the prize of Goodness itself, even Eternal Life.  

Yet these matters are rarely elucidated within religious climes, allowing the instructions of the world to have more sway and space than need be.  Are we then so surprised that a multitude of sin has now crossed over into the realm of religious respectability, such as adultery, homosexuality, false witnessing, envy, and others? 

Is it any wonder that without Goodness as the central curriculum of the Gospel, we were bound to become lost?  Is it any wonder at all that without the central teachings of Goodness from the unabridged Gospel of Jesus Christ, briers and thorns and other abominations shall surely flourish? 

Paraphrasing the lyrics of Bob Dylan:

  

"Come [Christian Leaders]
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'."


 

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