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 Copyright © May 2007

Understanding the Basics...Part 8

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.)

 
to the book

For we have not taken upon ourselves the whole mantle of Christ, but have allowed the Gospel of Christ to be turned into a smorgasbord of sorts, picking and choosing only those tenets that we selfishly find desirable and want, serving ourselves only parts of the truth, and never complaining about not getting the whole meal. 

As I have written over the past few months, and in both of my books, modern denominational Christianity has stayed far from the original teachings of Jesus Christ, increasingly offering the Gospel in piece-meal fashion, diluting the doctrine and obscuring the plainness of the original message.  This is a shame.  And it's not just the leaders of our many Christian denominations that are to blame for such backsliding.  It's all of us. 

For we have not taken upon ourselves the whole mantle of Christ, but have allowed the Gospel of Christ to be turned into a smorgasbord of sorts, picking and choosing only those tenets that we selfishly find desirable and want, serving ourselves only parts of the truth, and never complaining about not getting the whole meal. 

We've learned to settle for a bowl of porridge, when a banquet was in the offering.  We sold out, selling ourselves for a semblance of "religiousness," purporting the robes of counterfeits that were never of the Lord's treasures.  We have succumbed to the tyranny of appearances as the meter of our walk, feigning allegiance to a fickled audience, being overtaken in our minds by the pretensions of the world.

Subsequently, we have failed to embrace and stand up for the Gospel's Principles of Life that the Lord Himself has authored.  We have been unfaithful and unwise stewards in protecting our churches and synagogues from becoming depositories of anything that is popularized or trendy to the point of becoming washed-out and parsed..., salt that has lost its savor.   

I believe that our departure from the centrality of His Message is a reality, a deep sleep from which few will awaken, no matter the alarm.  A cacophony of imbalance has overtaken the good and fair proportions of the Gospel, egged on by the follies and pretensions of self-worship, i.e., self-absorption, in all its many colors.

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 recently reappeared as the drug-induced, liberally-laced epiphany of the 60's, which infamously re-coined the philosophy into the crude retread of: "Make Love --- Not War."  In turn, every effort was then to "repackage" Jesus as a fellow civilized peace-nic, propelling Him into an involuntary position of advocacy for the self-absorbed Liberal movement. 

 To name just one of many instances of this snare, for example, today's cultural direction of "Peace at all Costs" as a "politically sound" and intellectually astute doctrine doesn't stem from Bible principles.  Rather it comes from the self-absorbed bastions of collective cowardliness, reborn again and again throughout history as a trendy political position attempting to refashion itself as something socially acceptable. 

It recently reappeared as the drug-induced, liberally-laced epiphany of the 60's, which infamously re-coined its mantra into the crude retread of: "Make Love --- Not War."  In turn, every effort was then to "repackage" Jesus as a fellow sycophantic peace-nic, propelling Him into an involuntary position as advocate for the self-absorbed Liberal movement. 

Sadly at this time, this particular distortion of Christ's message and character found quick root and acceptance in the dwindling memberships of our national churches, whose leaders, already having lost their heavenly savor and public attractiveness, were desperate to try anything that would again fill their pews and keep their doors open.  This new remake of "Jesus" sold well..., and the rest is history.  The Gospel has ever since been increasingly modified to fit the view of its many self-centered claimants, rather than the other way around.

 Parenthetically, this complete subversion of reality-testing of "Make Love --- Not War" and its common corollary "Peace at all Costs" never answers the question of what to do when your enemy not only prefers, but demands war..., and brings it to your very door as the Islamofascists have today....

I would argue that this perversion of the Gospel message, and its many unfounded extrapolations among others, has metastasized into Christianity as a deadly cancer, watering down the Message until so diluted it's barely recognizable, least-wise capable of attracting the honest follower. 

Though Jesus Christ surely and rightly amplified the message of "Peace and Love" in His Gospel, it was not to be given or taken or bartered for "at all costs".... lest He would have surely found another means to make Himself a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind!  

Contrary to the many amongst us who believe otherwise, He promised us that "peace" was a result of embracing His Teachings, rather than "peace" being ipso facto responsible for bringing us to the Truth.   

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As it turns out, "Peace at all Costs" is a heartless doctrine, set to deviously misdirect and disinform, leaving one with the baggage of suspicion that there is no justification for violence..., that those that go to war or advocate war at a particular juncture, hate "Peace"..., which is a lie born in hell. 

In fact in direct opposition to this blatant and absurd misrepresentation, He chided:

Luke 12:51-53   51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

and likewise elsewhere:

Matthew 10:34-40  34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Contrary to others, this doesn't sound like a "love-fest" to me.  Rather, His Truth acts as a "sword" to divide one perspective from against another, to clarify and purify ones priorities, and draw the line in the sand.  His Gospel and the reconciliation He offered was never meant to compromise, dilute, or diminish His Will.

Clear enough.  Yet, interestingly, I rarely if ever hear these verses trumpeted from the our nation's pulpit.  They seem to be conveniently forgotten and pushed aside, marginalized as if this particular commentary were an embarrassment to their actions of skewing the Gospel for the inane benefit of the "Peace at all Costs" camp. 

No matter.  These verses, as well as others (Matthew 5:1-48), make it very plain that the notion of "Peace at all Costs" was not what the Lord had in mind when He spoke of "Peace."  Though "Peace" was a noble goal and undertaking, as is evidenced in the Sermon on the Mount (i.e., Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.) such an exercise would always need to subordinated to His "Truth."  Indeed, "Peace" could not be obtained until His Truth was fully embraced and lifted up..., upon the cross and within our hearts.

As it turns out, "Peace at all Costs" is a heartless doctrine, set to deviously misdirect and disinform, leaving one with the baggage of suspicion that there is no justification for violence..., that those that go to war or advocate war at a particular juncture, hate "Peace"..., which is a lie born in hell. 

Nonetheless, the many non-confrontational, non-divisive, placatory forms of "Peace at all Costs" is still an integral part of that which is practiced religiously within the Judeo-Christian community today.  It is a poison that lies in wait to not only disarm and cripple one's faith, but one's nation as well. 

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Hitchens reminds us of President Madison’s finest words thereafter declaring, "It is a settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute. The United States, while they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none."  

In a truly well crafted and written article found here, "Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates," Christopher Hitchens, though a self-professed secularist, has this inane and rash doctrine clearly in his sights. 

He notes that the Islamic Barbary States of North Africa which enslaved 1.5 million white Europeans and Americans for blood money for over a 250 year period (between 1530-1780) were fiercely fought by the Jefferson Administration and finally brought to submission under President Madison's office.  Hitchens reminds us of President Madison’s finest words thereafter declaring, "It is a settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute. The United States, while they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none."  

I agree with Hitchens' overture to Madison that no better words have since been spoken about the matter.  But then, to drive his point home more deeply, Hitchins further reminds us of still earlier words from Kipling, stating at the end of his article:

 

"I would close with a few staves of Kipling, whose poem “Dane-Geld” is a finer effort than anything managed by Francis Scott Key:

 

"It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation

To call upon a neighbor and to say:—

“We invaded you last night—we are quite prepared to fight,

Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,

And the people who ask it explain

That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld

And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!"

 

"Kipling runs briskly through the stages of humiliation undergone by any power that falls for this appeasement, and concludes:"

 

"It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,

For fear they should succumb and go astray;

So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,

You will find it better policy to say:—

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,

No matter how trifling the cost;

For the end of that game is oppression and shame,

And the nation that plays it is lost!"

 

Classic!  Well done, Mr. Hitchens!  Well done!  (His article is really a "must" read...)  Peace through appeasement is not wisdom's choice, and often ruins the nation.  Just to be clear..., it also ruins its people as well, striking at the very foundation of faith. 

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Though our religious affairs may not rise to the levels of national immediacy as does war and the shedding of blood, the course set by our religious institutions surely has influence over the direction our nation takes.  Those that believe in God in this country cannot help but influence the political process in Washington, though we render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

We face similar foes within our borders..., that is, those that would short-sightedly surrender principle and freedoms because of the disaffections and threats from others.  To be sure, we are both overly enamored with and hypersensitive to European opinion, while afraid to offend the Islamic militant.... 

Not only does our nation face this real evil at this time with Militant Islam, but our churches do as well from the choruses of liberalism now heard within its walls.  Tellingly, Church leaders now similarly craft spiritual forms of appeasement-dogma to fit the need-population of their respective congregations, as is found in the deplorable quick-fixes of superficial forgiveness and repentance.  It is an indubitable failing now endemic within the Judeo-Christian community.

Though our religious affairs may not rise to the levels of national immediacy as does war and the shedding of blood, the course set by our religious institutions surely has influence over the direction our nation takes.  Those that believe in God in this country cannot help but influence the political process in Washington, though we render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

To ignore this, is to believe that our Forefathers and our nations history were never influenced by the Judeo-Christian standard and remained entirely immune to its influence, instead of its being the Grand Template through which our civilization was originally baptized.

But today, many leaders attempt to disparage the same Gospel-based common sense upon which our Forefathers depended, not knowing that by tampering with such an instrument, all further calculation will inevitably become wrongly skewed. 

As in any journey, the success of the achievement relies fundamentally upon the accuracy of the compass,  map and tools used to direct us.  But if our instrumentation and application prove faulty, so will be any ensuing directions derived therefrom.

For "Believers," the Gospel is the signposted map by which we know how to direct the energies of our steps.  Ones faith in His Word, or lack thereof, is that which will influence the making of all subsequent decisions, up to and including the formulation of individual, familial, community and national policy.  But if the map becomes blurred and its markings illegible, then surely its promised accuracy and subsequent usefulness is called into question.   

Without the standards of the Gospel remaining bright and burnished, its value becomes diminished and less certain. Continuous erosion of Gospel Principles dulls the blade, and renders us unprepared, causing us to lose our bearings.  For we are rendered less able to act definitively or confidently, our steps becoming unsure and awkward, and as Paul has spoken, we then "see through the glass darkly"... 

Dangerously, the fulcrum has now shifted, giving rise to the powers of societal and cultural trends now heavily influencing our spiritual Judeo-Christian directions, definitions and inclinations...., rather than vice versa.  Attempts to graft the ways of the world into the Gospel are resulting in the Gospel's obfuscation, not in its clarification..., maliciously depicting Christ's Teachings as a hybrid, both ill-defined and ill-focused, leaving the certainty of our faith unprotected..., aiding and abetting our real enemies so as to invite further assault.

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You would think that we would have learned these lessons by now.  But apparently we haven't.  From the same Liberal enclaves of the 60's that spun the diatribe "Make Love --- Not War" into a pseudo "pop-truth," continues the current unrestrained penchant for self-absorption found in our liberal society today, further propelling today's cultural wars which now direct the nation politically.., and shamefully, spiritually. 

So it is, and so fundamental to our cognition, that when our religious and spiritual understanding has been so obscured and dumbed-down, unless corrected, any influence springing from its center will only compound the ongoing error.  Again, a faulty compass leads us astray on forsaken paths.  Thus, until corrected, leadership from within much of the Judeo-Christian community remains weak, perhaps even untrustworthy.

Point aside:  This is not to discourage those going to church and synagogue, but to encourage attendees' to become more active in their participation in defending the Gospel from further erosion in their respective congregations.  Intellectual and Spiritual activity rather than passivity is what should be emphasized here.

Otherwise, the various attempts to inculcate and legitimize cowardliness (through popularized" appeasement and placation strategies) into Christ's Gospel will only succeed the more, allowing the insularity of self-absorption and irresponsibility to find further intractable root.  These deluded notions have never caused "Peace" anywhere, be it in the individual or in the world.  Rather, they have been the reason for continued hurt and bloodshed the world-over, and moreover, are in direct conflict with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Again, you would think that we would have learned these lessons by now.  But apparently we haven't.  From the same Liberal enclaves of the 60's that spun the diatribe "Make Love --- Not War" into a pseudo "pop-truth," continues the current unrestrained penchant for self-absorption found in our liberal society today, further propelling today's cultural wars which now direct our nation politically.., and shamefully, spiritually. 

Hallmarked by the popularity of self-serving appeasement strategies, there remains the same constant tug between those interests which are irresponsibly self-indulgent and those that advocate more personal responsibility.., again in parallel to the line of liberal persuasion affecting and infecting the Judeo-Christian experience today.

Consequently, our public and religious policies remain increasingly more polarizing, not resolving..., governed by the notion that the principles of autonomy trumps all cards, that the individual "rules" and has dominance over everything, no matter how unrestrained and malignant an individual's desires may become.

Most simply, solutions stemming from the insularity of self-absorption have never worked, from neither an individual or national level.  Like a drug addict that continually shoots up only to end up destroying himself, all the while claiming he's on the stairway to Heaven, so do self-absorbed strategies speciously lead one away from resolution and peace. 

Let us never forget the many faces of "self-absorption," namely:  Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Totalitarianism, and modern day Liberalism.  These are all failures based on and directly derived from the narcissistic delinquencies and tenets of self-absorption, and other primordial, inanely self-centered distortions.  Though their various mutations all promise the utopia of peace and prosperity, each ends in selfishly abandoning the masses it surely promised to care for and satisfy.  Each is a proven failed social system of governing, both from the individual's view point and that of the community.  Not one of these similar systems has ever worked.  Not one.... 

But despite this indisputable track record of failure, the basic self-absorbed and self-centered tenets upon which they are founded have nonetheless found themselves becoming circuitously entwined within the Judeo-Christian community, counterfeiting the Gospel and ruining its fair and beautiful proportions.

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In fact, the Gospel's true and fair proportions are the only philosophical offering that bravely and clearly states that both "self" and "others" are equally important, and that only by recognizing the means to blend both concerns equitably, without discounting either side, can the whole ever be justly satisfied. 

We have forgotten that the "unabridged" Gospel of Christ remains the only "therapy" that will cure us of our cultural and individual ills.  Surely this suggests that the majority of us have never ever understood the big picture..., never been aware of the Gospels true potency, power and majesty, otherwise we should never have allowed this adulteration to occur. 

In its unalloyed form, the Gospel remains as the only foundation of social law that has had any measure of success in our world.  Perhaps most importantly, it is the only successful counter measure to self-absorption itself without annihilating the "self" altogether--- and that is surely only one of its lesser contributions to mankind. 

In fact, the Gospel's true and fair proportions are the only philosophical offering that bravely and clearly states that both "self" and "others" are equally viable and important, and that only by recognizing the means to blend both concerns equitably, without discounting either side, can the whole ever be justly satisfied. 

The balancing equation lies in the Second Greatest Commandment, "Love your neighbor as yourself," which then gave rise to the Golden Rule:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  

Here, within these simple admonitions lies the path of true harmony and justice.  No other philosophy or system of government has ever offered anything more clear, elegant, distinct and equitable, nor more self-empowering as a foundation for cultural and social intercourse.

It is only within the Gospel's unique solution does there exist a legitimate place for "self," but not to the overall exclusion of the rights and desires of "others."  And here too, through the admonition of the Second Commandment, there is a well-grounded place for "others," but never to the point of alienating, abandoning or annihilating the rights of "self." 

 But please note, the Lord has left to each of us to determine the critical ongoing balance of this equation every moment of our personal lives..., always in subordination to His First Commandment..., and we will be judged as how well we perform this duty accordingly.  

To be sure, within the understanding of this Commandment can be found the means to strike down the undo pretensions of narcissism and self-absorption, and the viperous ways and means which grow from such unruly perversions.  It, too, is the only means which nullifies the other extreme, namely, that self-denial should be the only right to be rigorously practiced, as proposed by some. 

Again, the equitable balancing powers of the Gospel's clear direction is rarely taught us anymore.... Though this message should be shouted from the rooftops, unfortunately, the social-powers of the Gospel are generally unheralded today.  Instead, most appear to prefer modern unreligious, secular solutions to those that happen to come from God..., though those same liberal secular solutions have generally failed in wider arenas, leaving their proponents scrambling for excuses while calling for further social experiments rather than answers. 

The truth is that the wisdom of Gospel principles are without precedent and remain in a league of their own.  They extend the width and breath of mankind's experiences.  Besides offering a sure salvation for any that choose to come unto Christ, Gospel Principles have proven, in their least measure, to be the basis of any successful society.  Indeed, with such a history, the self-governing directions and powers of the Gospel should be part and parcel with the forging and exercising of any new law within any kind of government.  This should be the litmus test of whether any new or old law is worthwhile. 

Sadly this is no longer the case.....Evidence once again that the social and psychological liberal dysfunctions of the 1960's are still with us, in part, because the powerfully clarifying counter arguments of the Gospel have never been truly articulated nor subsequently intellectually popularized by Judeo-Christians. 

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About the Author:  Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Neuroscientist, Physicist, and Clinical Psychologist and 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.

For example, the attractions and notions of "collective responsibility" and its self-serving agenda evaporate as a fog when examined within the Gospel's dispelling  framework, pointing out that personal responsibility cannot be conveniently erased or forgotten in a just world.... Yet, without the clear counter from Gospel Principles, more and more government programs, though troublingly invasive and uninvited, inefficient and costly, are still enlisted to take care of us on the guise that it someone else's responsibility.... So self-centered have we become, we cowardly and selfishly vote ourselves personal subsidies....

One-sided "Pro-Choice" arguments would also quickly be nullified and ridiculed as well, defrocked because of the imbalanced self-centered and self-serving perspective they hide, and thereafter being correctly redirected to at least the foundations of Natural Law for redress where all life is found sacred and cannot be so easily parsed or dismissed.  Similarly, all such notions can be exhausted by and through the unabridged directions offered by the Gospel.

Moreover, the Gospel calls for the active pursuit of a life which is intelligently balanced, accurately queried, and reality tested.  It calls us to be rational, open-minded and fair-minded, impressionably accepting and patient, but nonetheless critical of those offerings inconsistent with common sense...., much like a scientist should be today, but rarely is. 

It specifically speaks and warns us against the slothful exercise of pigeon-holing things we nonetheless don't understand, or engage in group-think-rigidly-polarizing positions such as those prescribed to by the scribes and Pharisees of old and those with us still today. 

The Gospel is truly "freeing" on many levels of examination.  It compels us to look deeper into things before making judgments.  It shuns prejudice and superficiality of all forms and specifically warns us against and forbids "piling-on," gossiping, coveting, baring false witness, and stealing in all its varieties including adultery. 

It alone demands that we become responsible for our own thoughts, words and actions, and condemns pride and egocentrism in any form.  Unlike populist-secular theory, it does not reward the unrepentant and those refusing to admit and turn from their sins and mistakes. 

It encourages industry of mind, body and spirit, and every kind of "good work, shunning instead all types of mediocrity, inactivity and slothfulness.  It encourages us to hope in our futures, believe in the reason for our existence, and take up the responsibilities of our respective lives.

 It is the only philosophical vehicle that can work for us socially, balancing the needs of justice with the warmth of mercy, being the foundation of a free society, wherein the rights and privileges of us all can be protected and exercised at the same time.  Its set of principles justly and fairly serves and compensates both the individual and the group, without contradiction and with a sublime wisdom that is as beautiful to behold as is an ocean sunset. 

Of course, it needs to be said that besides these lesser individual and societal benefits that it delivers, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest and only instruction under Heaven that offers us the saving path to redemption because of the eternal Sacrifice of Jesus Christ..., who has paid for the sins of all mankind. 

Fundamentally then, it is the Gospel of Christ alone that not only saves us from damnation in the world to come, but because of the inherent wisdom in its saving tenets, it prescribes a way of life in the here and now which saves us from much grief as well....  It teaches, by His Grace, how we can embrace His Goodness and find His Happiness in this life, and the life to come. 

There has never been better direction available to us.  And its the only prescription authored and recommended for the totality of the human condition by God Himself, who should know a thing or two about His Creation and how it works....

 Always a disappointment for the demanding self-absorbed who generally live to force their will upon others, there are no justifications for usurping the innocent rights and freedoms of others, no matter the imperfections and mistakes others may make, and no matter the cause they claim to serve.

There are no real or workable solutions contained within the incestuous family of cowardly self-absorbed ideologies, no micro-managerial recipes possible that will save their day.  No law for each and every circumstance.  No absolute program that will tell us what to do in every circumstance.  No liberally defined rule-book, no specifically written tax code, no rigid means to successfully traverse life and all its inherent problems. 

Instead, through an understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are given over-arching directions and prescriptions, ones that we are asked to faithfully apply and apply with judicial balance, and therein figure out what we should do in each and every circumstance in which we find ourselves.  The governing mandate is clear, the responsibilities our own. 

In following these "freeing" directions, we are to become an actual working part of the Second Commandment's equation, and therefore involved in the actual making of prescriptions, not separate and apart from them, as would preen the secularist.  Much to the dismay of many, our personal input counts and is not to be disqualified, for it will be an integral part of our personal assessment in the end. 

 

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