Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Chapter about Judging...

No..I am not done with the series on homosexuality.  Just like I am not done with the series on everyday mystics, Christ in you, the Third Eye, and probably a half dozen or so other series that I started but then got distracted.  I am coming back to all of them eventually.  I am a hopeless, perpetual digresser. 

I read Chapter 5 in Adam Hamilton's book, Seeing Gray last night before I went to sleep.  Finding the Sweet Spot. It is the chapter du jour today in Sunday School class. WAS the chapter we talked about in today's Sunday School class.  The first two paragraphs of this post were written early this morning.  This is now late afternoon...headed toward evening and hopefully I can finish it before all the to-ing and fro-ing of the next few hours. 

One of the original couples showed up today!  I was glad to see them there.  Jeff was out of town and the two college students (Josh and Brandy) who were absent last week were there this morning.  Matt was not.  So there were 6 of us.  Every couple of classes there is a video to watch.  Today was video day. 

I really like what Adam Hamilton has to say about this topic.  According to Hamilton, the sweet spot "spiritually speaking" is somewhere about midway between legalism and anything goes.  Keith and I sort of had this same discussion yesterday at Denny's.  How does one determine was is permissible...what is ethical...what is pleasing to God.  Not everything is okay, is it?  Keith quoted Paul...all things are lawful but not everything is expedient.  True.  So how do you decide what is okay?

Well...Keith told me long ago that he viewed the 10 Commandments more as the 10 Promises.  When Christ has been fully formed in you, there will be no need of a commandment that tells you not to steal from your neighbor, kill him, commit adultry with his wife because you will love him as you love yourself.  It will not be in your heart to do such things.  And will we need a commandment to tell us have no other Gods before us if we love God with all our heart, soul and strength?  When we reach the point where we love God with all our heart and we love our neighbor as we love ourselves, that is a pretty good backdrop from which to judge right and wrong etc.

In the video today, Hamilton listed the following four points to consider when we try to determine what is right in the situations we encounter in our day to day lives.  Some very serious...some not so serious. 

      • The first point is directly related to the love God part of the condensed version of the commandments ...from the lips of Jesus.  What would honor God in this situation?
      • The second point is a question I have heard phrased in various ways...What is the loving thing to do?
      • The third point is to consider the golden rule.  Sounds trite I know but putting ourselves in another's shoes can help us determine the right thing to do. 
      • The fourth point to consider is another tried and true cliche'...although a bit more modern than the Golden Rule.  WWJD.  What would Jesus do? 

He talked a bit about the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  Interesting perspective that I will perhaps discuss another day...

The book mentions the verses in Jeremiah 31...

I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the Lord," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord....

After Sunday School, during the praise and worship portion of the church service, the praise team sang a Hillsong tune...Till I See You.  One of the lines in the song captured my attention...

You are the whisper my heart that speaks to me

Perhaps, when trying to figure out cases of "situational ethics," right and wrong, how to handle the many circumstances we encounter every day that defy black and white solutions, we should strain our ears to hear the heart whisper...the still, small voice in which he speaks to each of us. 

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