A lot of us have heard the joke..”What’s black and white and red all over?” my response…No! not an ’embarrassed zebra‘!
For God is a God not of disorder but of peace.
As in all the congregations of the holy ones,
(1 Corinthians 14:33 —New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (2013 Revision))
(1 Corinthians 14:33–The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures)
for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
(1 Corinthians 14:33– American Standard Version)
*footnote: Lit. God is not of disorder Var. they are not of disorder
*Or but of peace, as in all the churches of God’s people.
for God is not a God of disorder but of peace.As in all meetings of God’s people,
(1 Corinthians 14:33–The Bible in Living English)
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
(1 Corinthians 14:33–King James Version)
Yahweh’s loving-orderly standards & example: excerpted readings:
Personal qualities revealed in creation. Certain facets of Jehovah’s personality are revealed by his creative works even prior to his creation of man. (Ro 1:20) The very act of creation reveals his love. This is because Jehovah is self-contained, lacking nothing. Hence, although he created hundreds of millions of spirit sons, not one could add anything to his knowledge or contribute some desirable quality of emotion or personality that He did not already possess in superior degree.—Da 7:9, 10; Heb 12:22; Isa 40:13, 14;Ro 11:33, 34.
This, of course, does not mean that Jehovah does not find pleasure in his creatures. Since man was made “in God’s image” (Ge 1:27), it follows that the joy a human father finds in his child, particularly one who shows filial love and acts with wisdom, reflects the joy that Jehovah finds in his intelligent creatures who love and wisely serve Him. (Pr 27:11; Mt 3:17; 12:18) This pleasure comes, not from any material or physical gain, but from seeing his creatures willingly hold to his righteous standards and show unselfishness and generosity. (1Ch 29:14-17; Ps 50:7-15; 147:10, 11; Heb 13:16) Contrariwise, those who take a wrong course and show contempt for Jehovah’s love, who bring reproach on his name and cruel suffering to others, cause Jehovah to ‘feel hurt at his heart.’—Ge 6:5-8; Ps 78:36-41; Heb 10:38.
Jehovah also finds pleasure in the exercise of his powers, whether in creation or otherwise, his works always having a real purpose and a good motive. (Ps 135:3-6; Isa 46:10, 11; 55:10, 11) As the Generous Giver of “every good gift and every perfect present,” he takes delight in rewarding his faithful sons and daughters with blessings. (Jas 1:5, 17;Ps 35:27; 84:11, 12; 149:4) Yet, though he is a God of warmth and feeling, his happiness is clearly not dependent upon his creatures, nor does he sacrifice righteous principles for sentimentality.
Jehovah also showed love in granting his first-created spirit Son the privilege of sharing with him in all further works of creation, both spirit and material, generously causing this fact to be made known with resultant honor to his Son. (Ge 1:26; Col 1:15-17) He thus did not weakly fear the possibility of competition but, rather, displayed complete confidence in his own rightful Sovereignty (Ex 15:11) as well as in his Son’s loyalty and devotion. He allows his spirit sons relative freedom in the discharge of their duties, on occasion even permitting them to offer their views on how they might carry out particular assignments.—1Ki 22:19-22.
As the apostle Paul pointed out, Jehovah’s invisible qualities are also revealed in his material creation. (Ro 1:19, 20) His vast power is staggering to the imagination, huge galaxies of billions of stars being but ‘the work of his fingers’ (Ps 8:1, 3, 4; 19:1), and the richness of his wisdom displayed is such that, even after thousands of years of research and study, the understanding that men have of the physical creation is but “a whisper” compared with mighty thunder. (Job 26:14; Ps 92:5; Ec 3:11) Jehovah’s creative activity toward the planet Earth was marked by logical orderliness, following a definite program (Ge 1:2-31), making the earth—as astronauts in the 20th century called it—a jewel in space.
As revealed to man in Eden. As what kind of person did Jehovah reveal himself to his first human children? Certainly Adam in his perfection would have had to concur with the later words of the psalmist: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.” (Ps 139:14) From his own body—outstandingly versatile among earthly creatures—on outward to the things he found around him, the man had every reason to feel awesome respect for his Creator. Each new bird, animal, and fish; each different plant, flower, and tree; and every field, forest, hill, valley, and stream that the man saw would impress upon him the depth and breadth of his Father’s wisdom and the colorfulness of Jehovah’s personality as reflected in the grand variety of his creative works. (Ge 2:7-9; compare Ps 104:8-24.) All of man’s senses—sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch—would communicate to his receptive mind the evidence of a most generous and thoughtful Creator.
Nor were Adam’s intellectual needs, his need for conversation and companionship, forgotten, as his Father provided him with an intelligent feminine counterpart. (Ge 2:18-23) They both could well have sung to Jehovah, as did the psalmist: “Rejoicing to satisfaction is with your face; there is pleasantness at your right hand forever.” (Ps 16:8, 11) Having been the object of so much love, Adam and Eve should certainly have known that “God is love,” the source and supreme example of love.—1Jo 4:16, 19.
Most important, Jehovah God supplied man’s spiritual needs. Adam’s Father revealed himself to his human son, communicating with him, giving him divine assignments of service, the obedient performance of which would constitute a major part of man’s worship.—Ge 1:27-30; 2:15-17; compare Am 4:13.
A God of moral standards. Man early came to know Jehovah not merely as a wise and bountiful Provider but also as a God of morals, one holding to definite standards as to what is right and what is wrong in conduct and practice. If, as indicated, Adam knew the account of creation, then he also knew Jehovah had divine standards, for the account says of his creative works that Jehovah saw that “it was very good,” hence meeting his perfect standard.—Ge 1:3, 4, 12, 25, 31; compare De 32:3, 4.
Without standards there could be no means for determining or judging good and bad or for measuring and recognizing degrees of accuracy and excellence. In this regard, the following observations from the Encyclopædia Britannica (1959, Vol. 21, pp. 306, 307) are enlightening:
“Man’s accomplishments [in establishing standards] . . . pale into insignificance when compared with standards in nature. The constellations, the orbits of the planets, the changeless normal properties of conductivity, ductility, elasticity, hardness, permeability, refractivity, strength, or viscosity in the materials of nature, . . . or the structure of cells, are a few examples of the astounding standardization in nature.”
Showing the importance of such standardization in the material creation, the same work says: “Only through the standardization found in nature is it possible to recognize and classify . . . the many kinds of plants, fishes, birds or animals. Within these kinds, individuals resemble each other in minutest detail of structure, function and habits peculiar to each. [Compare Ge 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25.] If it were not for such standardization in the human body, physicians would not know whether an individual possessed certain organs, where to look for them . . . In fact, without nature’s standards there could be no organized society, no education and no physicians; each depends upon underlying, comparable similarities.”
Adam saw much stability in Jehovah’s creative works, the regular cycle of day and night, the steady downward course of the water in Eden’s river in response to the force of gravity, and countless other things that gave proof that Earth’s Creator is not a God of confusion but of order. (Ge 1:16-18; 2:10; Ec 1:5-7; Jer 31:35, 36; 1Co 14:33) Man surely found this helpful in carrying out his assigned work and activities (Ge 1:28; 2:15), being able to plan and work with confidence, free from anxious uncertainty.
In view of all of this, it should not have seemed strange to intelligent man that Jehovah should set standards governing man’s conduct and his relations with his Creator. Jehovah’s own splendid workmanship set the example for Adam in his cultivating and caring for Eden. (Ge 2:15; 1:31) Adam also learned God’s standard for marriage, that of monogamy, and of family relationship. (Ge 2:24) Especially stressed as essential for life itself was the standard of obedienceto God’s instructions. Since Adam was humanly perfect, perfect obedience was the standard Jehovah set for him. Jehovah gave his earthly son the opportunity to demonstrate love and devotion by obedience to His command to abstain from eating of one of the many fruit trees in Eden. (Ge 2:16, 17) It was a simple thing. But Adam’s circumstances then were simple, free from the complexities and confusion that have since developed. Jehovah’s wisdom in this simple test was emphasized by the words of Jesus Christ some 4,000 years later: “The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much.”—Lu 16:10.
This orderliness and the standards set would not detract from man’s enjoyment of life but would contribute to it. As the encyclopedia article on standards, mentioned earlier, observes regarding the material creation: “Yet with this overwhelming evidence of standards none charges nature with monotony. Although a narrow band of spectral wave lengths forms the foundation, the available variations and combinations of colour to delight the eye of the observer are virtually without limit. Similarly, all of the artistry of music comes to the ear through another small group of frequencies.” (Vol. 21, p. 307) Likewise, God’s requirements for the human pair allowed them all the freedom that a righteous heart could desire. There was no need to hem them in with a multitude of laws and regulations. The loving example set for them by their Creator and their respect and love for him would protect them from exceeding the proper bounds of their freedom.—Compare 1Ti 1:9, 10; Ro 6:15-18; 13:8-10; 2Co 3:17.
Jehovah God, therefore, by his very Person, his ways, and his words, was and is the Supreme Standard for all the universe, the definition and the sum of all goodness. For that reason his Son when on earth could say to a man: “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God.”—Mr 10:17, 18; also Mt 19:17; 5:48.
[excerpted readings: Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2 p. 15-16, Jehovah. (my highlights)]
Should so-called “Christians” and “Clergy” get involved in politics?! Is it a “correct” move for a ‘Christian?’
Politics has been defined as “the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate or conflict between individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.”—The New Oxford Dictionary of English.
Relevant excerpted reading: “Should the Clergy Preach Politics?” w ’04… (my highlights)
“INVOLVEMENT in politics can help the poor, a Canadian archbishop told pilgrims . . . Even if the political system does not seem to be according to God’s will, ‘we need to get involved so that we can bring justice to the poor.’”—Catholic News
Can preachers of Christianity clean up politics? Is preaching politics God’s way of achieving better government and a better world? Did Christianity start out as a new way to practice politics?
How Politics in Christ’s Name Began
In The Early Church, historian Henry Chadwick says that the early Christian congregation was known for its “indifference to the possession of power in this world.” It was a “non-political, quietist, and pacifist community.” A History of Christianity says: “There was a conviction widely held among Christians that none of their number should hold office under the state . . . As late as the beginning of the third century Hippolytus said that historic Christian custom required a civic magistrate to resign his office as a condition of joining the Church.” Gradually, though, men coveting power began taking the lead in many congregations, giving themselves high-sounding titles. (Acts 20:29, 30) Some wanted to be both religious leaders and politicians. A sudden change in Rome’s government gave such churchmen the opportunity they wanted.
In the year 312 C.E., the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine turned a friendly eye toward nominal Christianity. Astonishingly, the church bishops were content to compromise with the pagan emperor in exchange for the privileges he conferred on them. “The Church became more and more implicated in high political decisions,” wrote Henry Chadwick. What effect did involvement in politics have on churchmen?
How Politics Affected Preachers
The idea that God would use churchmen as politicians was promoted especially by Augustine, an influential fifth-century Catholic theologian. He envisioned the church ruling over the nations and bringing peace to mankind. But historian H. G. Wells wrote: “The history of Europe from the fifth century onward to the fifteenth is very largely the history of the failure of this great idea of a divine world government to realize itself in practice.” Christendom did not bring peace even to Europe, much less to the world. What had been thought of as being Christianity lost its standing in the eyes of many. What went wrong?
Many who claimed to preach Christianity were drawn into politics with good intentions, but then they found themselves participating in evil. Martin Luther, a preacher and a translator of the Bible, is famous for his efforts to reform the Catholic Church. However, his bold stand against church doctrines made him popular with those who had political motives for rebellion. Luther lost the respect of many when he too began to speak out on political issues. Initially he favored the peasants who were rebelling against oppressive nobles. Then, when the rebellion turned savage, he encouraged the nobles to crush the rebellion, which they did, butchering thousands. Not surprisingly, the peasants considered him a traitor. Luther also encouraged the nobles in their own rebellion against the Catholic emperor. In fact, Protestants, as Luther’s followers came to be known, formed a political movement from the beginning. How did power affect Luther? It corrupted him. For example, although he at first opposed coercing religious dissidents, he later encouraged his political friends to execute by burning those who opposed infant baptism.
John Calvin was a famous clergyman in Geneva, but he came to have enormous political influence as well. When Michael Servetus demonstrated that the Trinity has no basis in Scripture, Calvin used his political influence to support the execution of Servetus, who was burned at the stake. What a horrific departure from Jesus’ teachings!
Perhaps these men forgot what the Bible says at 1 John 5:19: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” Did they have a sincere desire to clean up the politics of their day, or was it the prospect of power and of having friends in high places that attracted them? In any case, they should have remembered the inspired words of Jesus’ disciple James: “Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4) James knew that Jesus had said of his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.”—John 17:14.
“Something better than politics”…(my highlights)
BEING a Christian embraces more than reading the Bible, praying, and singing hymns on Sundays. It involves doing things both for God and for people. The Bible says: “Let us love, neither in word nor with the tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18) Jesus had sincere concern for others, and Christians want to imitate him. The apostle Paul urged fellow believers always to have “plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) But what is the work of the Lord? Does it include trying to change government policy for the benefit of the poor and the oppressed? Is that what Jesus did?
Although Jesus was urged to intervene in political matters or take sides, he refused to do so. He turned down Satan’s offer of power over all the kingdoms of the world, he refused to be drawn into an argument over the paying of taxes, and he withdrew when a popular movement wanted to make him king. (Matthew 4:8-10; 22:17-21; John 6:15) But his neutrality did not prevent him from working for the benefit of others.
Jesus concentrated on what would bring lasting good to others. While his feeding the five thousand and curing the sick brought temporary relief for a few, his teaching made everlasting blessings available to all mankind. Jesus became known, not as an organizer of relief campaigns, but simply as “the Teacher.” (Matthew 26:18; Mark 5:35; John 11:28) He said: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.”—John 18:37.
Preaching Something Better Than Politics
The truth Jesus taught was not political theory. Rather, it centered on the Kingdom of which he himself would be King. (Luke 4:43) This Kingdom is a heavenly government, and it will replace all human administrations and bring permanent peace to mankind. (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 11:9; Daniel 2:44) It is, therefore, the only true hope for mankind. Is it not more loving to declare such a sure hope for the future than to encourage people to trust in men to provide a secure future? The Bible says: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish. Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God.” (Psalm 146:3-5) So rather than sending his disciples out to preach a better way of organizing governments, Jesus taught them to preach the “good news of the kingdom.”—Matthew 10:6, 7; 24:14.
This, then, is “the work of the Lord” that Christian preachers are commissioned to do. Because subjects of God’s Kingdom are required to love one another, the Kingdom will succeed in eliminating poverty by distributing mankind’s resources in a balanced way. (Psalm 72:8, 12, 13) This is good news and is certainly worth preaching.
[Excerpted: Does Neutrality Hinder Christian Love? w ’04]
2/26/19 @ 5:43 p.m.
Nope, i am NOT into flawed-human traditions and false-ritualistic religions.
Some reading for consideration…(my highlights)
Pharisees and scribes come to him from Jerusalem. Why do they make this trip? They are looking for grounds on which to accuse Jesus of a religious offense. They ask: “Why do your disciples overstep the tradition of the men of former times? For example, they do not wash their hands when about to eat a meal.” (Matthew 15:2) God never told his people to observe this ritual of ‘washing their hands up to the elbow.’ (Mark 7:3) Yet the Pharisees consider not doing so to be a serious offense.
Rather than answer their accusation directly, Jesus points to how they willfully break God’s Law. “Why do you overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition?” he asks them. “For example, God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Let the one who speaks abusively of his father or mother be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever I have that could benefit you is a gift dedicated to God,” he need not honor his father at all.’”—Matthew 15:3-6; Exodus 20:12; 21:17.
The Pharisees claim that money, property, or anything dedicated as a gift to God belongs to the temple, so it cannot be used for a different purpose. In reality, though, the person is still in possession of the dedicated gift. For example, a son might say that his money or property is “corban,” a gift dedicated to God or to the temple, as if the temple now has prior claim to the gift. The money or property is still the son’s to use, yet he claims that it cannot be used to help his aged and needy parents. He thereby evades his responsibility toward them.—Mark 7:11.
Jesus is rightly indignant at this twisting of God’s Law and says: “You have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition. You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you when he said: ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” The Pharisees have no response to Jesus’ strong criticism. So he calls the crowd to come near. “Listen and get the sense of it,” he says. “It is not what enters into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but it is what comes out of his mouth that defiles him.”—Matthew 15:6-11; Isaiah 29:13.
Careful about what comes out of my mouth;)
Later when in a house, the disciples ask Jesus: “Do you know that the Pharisees were stumbled at hearing what you said?” He replies: “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Let them be. Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”—Matthew 15:12-14.
Jesus seems surprised when, on behalf of the disciples, Peter asks for clarification about what defiles a man. Jesus responds: “Are you not aware that whatever enters into the mouth passes through the stomach and is discharged into the sewer? However, whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and those things defile a man. For example, out of the heart come wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man; but to take a meal with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”—Matthew 15:17-20.
Jesus is not discouraging normal hygiene, nor is he arguing that a person need not wash his hands before preparing food or eating a meal. Rather, he is condemning the hypocrisy of religious leaders who try to bypass God’s righteous laws by resorting to human traditions. The fact is, wicked deeds originating in the heart are what defile a man.
[excerpted reading: What Really Defiles a Person?Question for Reflection:Good-Healthy Heart–Good-Healthy Words?! 🙂
2/26/19 @ 3:47 p.m.
Pottery: vessels & The Great Potter Yahweh…
3 Describing Jehovah’s authority over individuals and nations in an illustrative way, Isaiah 64:8 states: “O Jehovah, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our Potter; and all of us are the work of your hand.” A potter has full authority to mold the clay into the type of vessel he wants to make. The clay has no control over the matter. So it is with man and God. The man cannot rightly dispute with God any more than the clay can with the potter whose hands are giving it a form.—Read Jeremiah 18:1-6.
A potter can make any sort of vessel he is capable of making from a lump of clay. Does Jehovah arbitrarily mold people or nations, making some good and others bad? The Bible’s answer is no. Jehovah has given mankind a very precious gift—the gift of free will. He does not exercise his sovereign authority in a way that nullifies his gift. Humans must choose to be molded by the Creator, Jehovah.—Read Jeremiah 18:7-10.
What if humans stubbornly refuse to be molded by the Great Potter? How, then, does he exercise his divine authority? Think about what happens to the clay if it becomes unsuited for the intended purpose. Why, the potter can make another type of vessel out of it or simply discard it! When the clay is useless, though, generally the potter is at fault. This is never the case with our Potter. (Deut. 32:4) When a person does not yield to Jehovah’s molding, the fault always lies with that person. Jehovah exercises his potterlike authority over humans by adjusting his dealings with them depending on their response to his molding. Those who respond properly are fashioned in a beneficial way. For example, anointed Christians are “vessels of mercy” who have been molded into ‘vessels for an honorable use.’ On the other hand, those who stubbornly oppose God end up as “vessels of wrath made fit for destruction.”—Rom. 9:19-23.
[excerpted reading: Let Jehovah’s Discipline Mold You w 2013]
Questions for Self-Reflection:
who is molding me?
do i accept Divine Counsel?