The Bible narrative of man's relationship with God begins with the story of his first disobedience and all of Christian theology is summed up in verse 19 of the fifth chapter of Romans:
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Obedience is the theme of most Bible stories—Noah, Job, Abraham and Isaac—but few believers understand the degree of obedience demanded by Christianity. Oswald Chambers, who wrote the devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, put it this way:
Are you prepared to let God take you into total oneness with Himself, paying no more attention to what you call the great things of life? Are you prepared to surrender totally and let go? The true test of abandonment or surrender is in refusing to say, “Well, what about this?” Beware of your own ideas and speculations. The moment you allow yourself to think, “What about this?” you show that you have not surrendered and that you do not really trust God. But once you do surrender, you will no longer think about what God is going to do. Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions.
I don't believe I have met many Christians who go that far, but I did know one. When I was a teenager working the soda fountain in a drug store, the owner of the photography shop next door became intoxicated with Roman Catholicism. He began to display religious pictures and statues along with cameras and photographic equipment. Gradually the religious items displaced the merchandise and customers became fewer, but he persisted in his delusion despite the pleas of his friends and family until his business was utterly ruined.
Does anyone else know of examples of this type of total devotion?
»My experience has persuaded me that they are closeted tyrants.«
That is an interesting insight. In imposing what they denote as 'God's will' they are able to take control into their own hands without assuming responsibility for the outcomes.
That they are tyrants, closeted or not, should be intuitively obvious. Their pronouncements and encyclicals, supposedly declaring their deity's intentions for this world, are less about their god than they are their own desire to exercise power and influence. It is as Bill Maher said at the end of Religulous:
... since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas.
Perhaps worst of all, their god provides them with the perfect, untouchable scapegoat. "Oh, this isn't what *I* want; it's what GOD wants."
...without assuming responsibility for the outcomes.
This is an interesting addition and it describes well what happened.
Hey, did you know my father, Tom?
Is his first name Edmond?
no but your description was really striking - still get nausea when I think of that ------------.
I am still profoundly disgusted by the xtian system of education: learning long lists of uninteresting things and being forbidden to draw conclusions or ask questions. Stifling!
Joan. That excellent was meant for your Plato post. I often forget that things will sometimes hit the board out of order and remarks meant for one person will show up under another. As one did yesterday when I was questioning a statistic ME gave and it seemed I was questioning yours.
The above idea seems wise, but he expressed other views too.
1. The early church adopted his "Only forms matter; the real is unimportant."
2. A view attributed to him: No one should consider not having a leader to obey.
3. One critic said that in his Republic his requirements for a philosopher king excluded everyone but him.
Tom, I agree with your statement. My ethics professor at Gonzaga U. required that we read and analyze 12 philosophers, all male, Plato being one. I requested, in writing, to write about women philosophers. He denied my request stating there were no women philosophers worthy of being read. So I wrote on each male philosopher and his positions on women.
Plato is not a person I would go to for counsel. He didn't perceive women as equal to men. Why? because women didn't have physical strength of men and women nurture, men protect. There were other points, but he defined with too wide a brush for my liking. Some women have more physical strength than some men, some women protect better than some men. He believed women had no role in civil society, but only in the domestic domain. Ah ha! poor deluded man.
For me to pick one sentence out the man's repertoire is as foolish as panting him with too broad a brush. However, I am all in favor of smorgasbord if it suits my purpose.