- Fellow members,Galatia was the province the occupied territory that is currently located in Turkey. Turkey and Israel are situated at the front of the controversy over the violence that was perpetuated in relation to the “humanitarian flotilla.”The apostle Paul wrote about issues that are relevant to a different political climate.Galatians 1:3,13Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever. Amen…You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism, I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it.---------------------------------------Paul was writing to the Galatians in order to counter a ‘false’ gospel. Essentially, Paul was not only warning against his former zeal, he was warning us about the dangers of sectarianism. While he proclaimed the good news of salvation by faith, he cautioned against too much zeal in promoting the faith.While it is good that Christians are dedicated to working with Israel and Judaism to defend freedom of religion, it is not good that the Judeo-Christian alliance has adopted an anti-Islamic position. Clearly the objection of the alliance is against that which is anti-Judaic and anti-Christian. This is the issue that underlies the claim that they do not recognize the right for Israel to exist. There is a tendency within Islam that does not acknowledge that Judaism and Christianity are viable religions. The Islamic objection to the Judeo-Christian alliance on the other hand is directed against that which is anti-Islamic.In short, it is sectarianism that lies at the root of the flotilla incident. Moreover, sectarianism underlies the more general issue of achieving progress in regards to the two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. If the belief that the people of a religion do not have the right to their faith is promoted by violent persecution, then the regression of Paul to Saul is affected regardless of whether the perpetrators are Christians, Jews or Muslims.While the problem is ancient in origin, the current situation is affected by changes in the political climate. The essential solution remains the same. Let people find their own way.The statement that God is not a respecter of persons means that salvation is not achieved by superficial claims to faith or devotion. It is conceivable and believable that the leaders of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions were inspired by noble truths. The inspiration however needs to be guided by the recognition that various religions originated at different times and were developed in relation to a variety of conditions as affected by political climate.Freedom of religion does not mean that “anything goes” in public. It means that people have the right to work out their faith in relation to the religion to which they belong in a way that does not promote harm against others.Steve K.
Cruelty in justice is supported by the disproportionate control of wealth. "Civilization" had been characterized by cruel punishment for millennia due to false interpretations of the role that disaster plays in nature. The threat of damage that comes with natural disaster challenges us to protect life during the time of danger and to manage resources before the event to prepare for repair after it happens.
Prosperity in managing providence is justified by service to society. Disproportion results when the charge for service is increased in relation to a decrease in the service. The disproportion destabilizes the economy. The unstable economy is associated with uncertainty and the uncertainty is used to promote inequity, inequality and cruelty in punishment. Respect for the human rights of the people is reduced to respect only for the rights of the privileged.
This inherent disrespect for most of the people results in different problems in different societies.
The US suffers from the tax shelter for the wealthy.
Yemen suffers from cruelty in punishment for protest. Other Islamic nations have this problem as well.
The following expression combines a number of sources to provide a theological perspective on the plan for providence as aligned with the rule of law in nature.
Explicit theocracy for the state is an offense to human rights. Implicit theocracy is a citizen's right. It is an expression of faith that there is a benign God who rules with love:
Grant us faith in providence
through Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit;
Seek the LORD while there is time.
I will extol you, my God and LORD.
Great is your name
and greatly to be praised.
Your greatness exceeds measure.
One generation will sing of your work to another.
and proclaim your mighty acts.
We call upon you while you are near.
Let the violent forsake their way
and the hateful their thoughts.
Let them return to love.
Be just in judgment.
Have mercy in punishment.
God will provide correction.
"Your thoughts are not my thoughts.
Your ways are not my ways.
Cruelty is not just.
Love is required."
says the LORD.
Let the hearts of those
who seek the LORD rejoice.
We seek your strength;
your presence continually.
We remember the wonderful things
you have done; your miracles
and your judgments.
I will meditate on your wonder;
on the splendor of your providence.
You gave offspring to the father;
children to the progeny of the offspring.
You brought the tribe out of the wilderness.
The families of the tribes came out together.
Tyranny was glad when they departed.
Dread of freedom had fallen upon them.
A cloud was spread for cover.
Fire gave light at night.
Food was given for hunger;
Manna from heaven for wonder.
A rock was opened.
Water gushed out.
It flowed like a river
to quench thirst
in the desert.
You remembered your promise
to our ancestor.
You brought your people out with joy;
your chosen ones with singing.
You gave them the heart of the nations.
They took possession of responsibility;
the wealth of the people;
that they might keep your laws
and observe your rule.
Praise the LORD.
They will celebrate with thanksgiving;
sing loud with abundant goodness.
The LORD is gracious;
slow to anger.
The LORD is merciful;
abounding in love.
The LORD is good;
provident in blessings.
Your compassion is for all that you have made.
All your works will give thanks to you;
your faithful will bless you.
They will speak of your glory
and tell of your power.
The eyes of all look to you.
You give them food in due season.
You open your hand;
satisfying the desire
of each living thing.
The LORD is just:
corrective in punishment.
You are near to all who call on you;
to all who call on you in truth.
You fulfill the desire of all who love you.
You hear our cry and save us.
My mouth will speak your praise.
Bless the LORD, O my soul.
All life will bless your holy name.
(Isa.55:6-9, Psalm 105, Psalm 145)
Just as faith based on merit is beneficial to prosperity, deception is detrimental. The song "Pretender" urges caution in relation to deception.
Cherri Bomb Pretender
Spinning infinity, boy!
The wheel is spinning me
It's never ending, never ending
Same old story.
What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays.
You're the pretender.
What if I say that I will never surrender.
While evil is not as powerful as good,
there are those who seek to make it stronger.
Resource management is good government.
"We were the kings and queens of promise.
We were the victims of ourselves;
Maybe the children of a lesser God
Between heaven and hell;
Heaven and hell"
We are the citizens of promise.