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You Gotta Serve Somebody

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: mischief in the land

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 7, 2015 at 15:50

Shalom Waz

I appreciate your posts, because you have some honest and fresh insights. But be careful when reading my own posts, that you don't inject your own bias into them and end up thinking and saying things I never said. I said,

You've taken something of a logical leap there, one with murderous implications. I believe there is only one God; that He is Who He is, and He doesn't "tailor make" himself to satisfy the whims of humans.

...to which you said,

all I did was to point out the fallacy of your argument. If an imam said to you - "..there is no such thing in religious matters as "That may be right for YOU, but not for me." -wouldn't he be basically saying - 'you cannot disagree with what I believe, because what I believe is the truth?'

You then based your illogical conclusions not on what I said, nor indeed what I meant, but on what you thought I meant. This is undoubtedly the most prevalent logical fallacy in the world today.

I said nothing about whether or not people can disagree with what I believe.

Should I say that again? I'm afraid I must.

I said nothing about whether or not people can disagree with what I believe.

Here is the dangerous logical leap you took. By doing this, you were transforming me in your mind from an inquirer into truth, into a dangerous, murderous bigot. It's this sort of reasoning, I fear, that will turn billions of well-intentioned people into hateful killers of Jews and believing Chritsians in not too many years.

For the record, I am very much at ease with people not agreeing with me concerning the nature of God. In fact, I am equally at ease with knowing the fact that one day they will want to kill be because they thought that I thought that they thought something. I am a bit uneasy, though, with the thought that one of those people might turn out to be you. That's why I admonished you.

Let's put that away in the file cabinet, and move on to a clash of egos about egos -- namely, the exchange,

Great but you've left out arguably the most primary one - (1) Identity to self... MS: Rightly so. There is no such identity... to which you replied,

You don't have a self - or are just unable to recognse it?

I am all too aware that I HAVE a self; but I do not identify with it. Just think of it as a fighter pilot donning his flight suit, complete with his "magic helmet" that puts him into a world of virtual reality that mimics the world outside his aircraft. While flying the plane, the pilot no doubt identifies with his suit and helmet, and they act as one. Once he's back on the carrier deck, though, he understands that he is not his outfit and his outfit is not him, and he takes it off.

This is how it is with the believer, in contrast to lost humanity. Lost humanity identifies with the flesh, something Paul calls being "carnally minded":

Romans 8:
[5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
[6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
[7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
[8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

This is at the very heart of ...how shall I say this? "Born Again" Christian teaching and understanding: We are not our flesh; we HAVE flesh; but the day will come, as everyone knows, when we will put off that flesh. Then the day of judgment comes; when we will be judged according to what we DID while confined in our earthly bodies; but we will not continue in these bodies: If we are judged worthy, we will be given new, immortal, incorruptible bodies; and those spirits who are judged unworthy -- those who are not found in Jesus' "book", who have not taken part in the narrative he meant for us to live -- those spirits will also receive new bodies, bodies in which to experience eternal torment.

That is what it means, to believe in the hope of the resurrection, and the fear of God's righteous judgment. Concerning "self", then, in the sense of the accepted human understanding of "self" (somehing the Bible dismisses as "vanity"), this is not a worthy thing to identify with. Here, rather, is what the believer identifies with:

Ephesians 2:
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Believers, such as I, certainly have human bodies and a human nature -- a nature which, as Paul said in Romans 8, is at enmity with God and is unable to please God. I HAVE that nature, to the extent that I, through ingrained habit, allow it to dominate me; but I do not identify with it. Instead, I identify with my NEW nature as a love-slave of Christ, a nature that pleases God. This nature will last forever, long after I have put off my human body and all that pertains to it. Even in this present life that I live, as I identify with that nature, it insensibly begins to rule over my flesh; and I will not judge how successful I am at this, because I am no longer a free man: I am a servant of God and of His appointed Governor, my Lord, Jesus Christ: He, and He alone, is worthy to judge me.

So much for "self-idetity". I will add that what people think of as "self" is not "self" at all. Our being, including our "self-identification", is not in our hands: We are all merely servants, as Paul said,

Romans 6:
[16] Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

It's as Bob Dylan said, You Gotta Serve Somebody.

And if we are mere servants, we do not identify with our"selves": We identy with the lord we serve.

:-)

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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