2017-12-07 20:38:00 UTC
There is also the claim that religion is for the weak. In fact the strongest people out there are religious. Even if you start out being weak when you turn to God, in many cases you become much stronger as a result. If you believe that you are on the side of the greatest power in the universe, then you are more likely to act with genuine courage than if you do not. Many people want to see people find strength in themselves; but I find strength in God to work better. A person who is strong only in themselves is less likely to be courageous and less likely to be willing to do hard things. Whereas a person who is strong in God is more likely to be able to do that.
I have written about four modalities: Intellect, common sense, wisdom and faith. All of these have merit. I see faith as the most important one of these and one least likely to cause harm. Intellect can lose touch with reality and ethics. Common sense can become oppressive and mean. Wisdom tends to become arrogant and self-satisfied. All of these can be used for wrong. But faith is reliance on the wisdom of someone higher and wiser than ourselves – wisdom that He choose to reveal to those He would reveal it and for purposes that suit Him. There is a need for all these modalities; but faith appears to be the superior one of these.
When you are on a walk with Jesus, sometimes He would reveal to you His reasons and sometimes He would not. You may not be ready to hear the reason. You may disagree with the reason. The reason may not make sense to you. You end up finding out the reason later. And in many such situations you become grateful that the reason had been kept hidden, and if you had known it at your level of understanding you would not have followed through.
Now certainly there is a need for intellect, common sense and wisdom. We benefit from science and mathematics. We benefit from business and technology. We benefit from politics and philosophy. However belief in God and reliance on the wisdom of God achieves more perfect results and with less capacity for error – indeed, in case of correct faith, with no such capacity. Even if you youtself are lacking in intellect or common sense, you can rely on Christ to help make better choices. So that any number of people who've struggled or floundered in bad upbringing, drugs or worse have become happy, productive and honorable citizens after they accepted Christ. The best results toward that effect that I have seen were done by Salvation Army, which started with a man who had a vision. They were able to get people off of drugs and on a good path without using any taxpayer money; and I recommend that more such efforts take place in the world.
In my case, the learning has been vast. I started out as someone whom most people saw as a bad person and became someone whom most people see as a good person. I have been learning:
and, the hardest one for me,
I was told at one point that my only chance is to take responsibility for my life. If I had taken responsibility for my life before I had lived it, I would have been bound all my life to some uninformed plan that I would have made as a youngster and without adequate experience or knowledge of the world. Instead I traveled many paths and found my home in Jesus Christ. Is God using me for one or another purpose? I think that He is. Maybe I'm meant to use my skills to explain to people what they need to know about God. If the process I've been put through rigorous physical discipline, doing over 1000 pushups a day, holding my breath and taking cold showers.
Then there have been some situations in which God appears to have intervened. And when God intervenes, it appears that He would accomplish two things. One is correct whatever is wrong with the parties involved and put them on a rightful path. And the other is bring them to have compassion and kindness toward one another and lead them toward better solutions. This, being done for free, far exceeds the efforts of armies of lawyers, psychologists and social workers.
With psychology, a claim thats is made by some is that some people are sociopaths or narcissists and that such people can never be good. This contradicts most basic reason. If people are responsible for their actions, then anyone can choose to act rightfully; and if some people cannot act rightfully whatever they do, then people are not responsible for their actions. This mentality is irrational, it is cruel and it is wrong. The wisdom of the world is indeed foolishness in the eyes of God; and this way of thinking should also be seen as foolishness in the eyes of the world. Once again, it is completely irrational. Anything capable of choice can be righteous.
Many of the world psychologies are exceptionally cruel. Something went wrong when you were 15, you are a loser for life. You have borderline disorder, you cannot have a loving relationship. You had a trauma that disconnects you from empathy, you are a parasite and a criminal for life even if you are not committing any crime. There is something wrong with your brain, you can never be a good person. You fall in love, you want your mommy. You are kind to your men, you are a codependent. You are not good at one thing, you are inadequate even if you are more than adequate at any number of other things. The cruelty with which these theories are held and practiced approach, and in some cases exceed, what they see as sociopathy and narcissism. This is Soviet psychologizing. It is irrational, it is cruel, and it is wrong.
Christ gives a chance at a life even to these unfortunates. He will accept them, then He will teach them what they need to learn. He will not always be nice; in some cases He would get angry at you if you are doing or thinking something wrong. In my situation, He has been getting me to overcome various defects of character as well as doubts and bad thoughts as well as to do lots of excercise. He has been teaching me the things that under other circumstances would have required me going to jail in order to learn. I am no longer afraid of going to jail. Some think that religion is for the weak. Even if you are weak when you adopt a religion, you become stronger as you follow it.
I used to have involvements in the occult, and I decided that the powers are too risky for me and probably for anyone else. Some of what can be done with such things is scary. If you have those powers and you get a bad thought, it is dangerous. Not only are these, once again, dangerous, but they appear to be against God. Better rely on the guidance of Jesus and let Him take to whatever places He wants me to be. That way if what you want is right you get it, and if it is not then you do not.
I have known many people messing up themselves and others with magic; and I have come to the opinion that such powers do not belong legitimately to anyone except God. Once again, Christ is wiser than you are. If you invite Him into your life, He will guide you toward rightful places. If you feel powerless and think that magic is the only way to power, turn your life over to Christ.
The people – especially ones involved in the occult - who identify Christianity with bigotry or brainwashing or stupidity are dead wrong. Some people are Christian because they were raised Christian; but that can happen under any ideology. Early Christians were not bigots. They were radicals fighting a powerful empire – empire that had lots of knowledge, including lots of knowledge of magic. There must have been a very good reason why they became Christians, and it is not because they were bigoted or stupid.
With things such as will and consciousness, the correct response is dealing with them for what they are. If your will, or your consciousness, can influence people on the other side of the planet, then we cannot be merely evolving matter. We have to come from divine intelligence. The will, by itself, seeks freedom and self-assertion. That is its nature. However the will has not created the universe and, if left to its own devices, seeks to take over and do wrong. As for everything being consciousness or everything being mind, if that was true there would not be in the universe stars of which we do not know and which are not a part of our consciousness. What are the implications of any kind of occult things working? It is that there are non-material powers. And that means the existence of the greatest non-material power in the Universe – God.
Russia's greatest poet Alexander Pushkin wrote a poem about a fisherman whom God asked to decide to have what he wanted. He kept wanting more and more, and God kept giving him more and more. Then he decided that he wanted to be God; at which point God took away from him everything that He had given him. This is absolutely correct. God will give us quite a lot; but He would never tolerate us challenging Him. Nor should He. When people act as if they are God, they turn into Hitlers and Kim Jong Uns. They try to replace someone who will always be wiser than ourselves and, predictably, do a terrible job even if they are brilliant people. However cruel the priests were during the Inquisition – and in this I do not believe them to have been inspired by Christ – they could not begin to approach Stalin's atrocities.
Magic and the occult appears to be a way to have godlike powers. And, once again, this appears to be the single thing that God may not tolerate at all. Once again, our will – and our consciousness – have not created the universe. Nor can we re-create the universe. Both will and consciousness are there by the will of God, and both are there to serve God. They are not there to serve Stalin or Hitler or Kim Jong Un or occultist feminism or personality psychology or anything of the sort. If people get possession of these things, they can do very wrong things with them. And many of the people who have come into such powers have in fact done very wrong things.
I, too, used to think that religious people are stupid. I discovered that many of them were wiser than me. These people have availed themselves of wisdom that we do not see in the merely logical. They have received their instruction from someone who could walk on water and who, even though He had the power to do anything, died on the cross for us. I was once told by one of these people that sometimes intelligence leads to a closed-mindedness, as you could refute what people said and learn nothing from them. That is certainly correct. It is possible to dismiss the Bible for statements such as “the clouds are the dust of His feet” and “there is nothing new under the Sun,” but doing this discounts a vast body of wisdom that can be helpful in any aspect of our lives.
Now the evidence for God is, to me, irrefutable, and I would like to influence people who have been involved in such things as occultism to come to Him.