Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is It Wrong To Be Right?

Is It Wrong To Be Right?


Before I answer this question I know many of you will already have judged what I am about to say. At least you might be partially right, yet will still be wrong. Yet, if your intention is to read this post and then set out to “get me” in some heretical view, or prove I am ‘wrong’, please don’t waste your time on this post. I am seeking genuine seekers who desire to go deeper into Christ… and not whiners or heretic hunters or accusers of the brethren to gather more fodder for their evil stew of judgmentalism and condemnation.

So, if your intention and motive is to judge me or anyone else STOP READING NOW! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Because this will cause the honest man to think and look at their own heart and judge themselves… looking at the plank in their own eye instead of focusing on the sliver in my eye or someone else’s.

So, if you keep reading, you will have to be honest with yourself





So is it wrong to be right… sometimes!

How can that be? Be patient as I try to unwind this in a way that gives it some clarity.

First, many think that PM/E/e ers do not believe in right and wrong or absolutes… it is true some may not, yet also true that many more do. In fact, there is often a misunderstanding of what we mean when we say we do not think in right/wrong, but think on doing what is good.

In doing good one will always default to doing what is truly right.

The best illustration comes from scripture with the story of the Good Samaritan…

In that, a man is beaten by a thief and left for dead on the side of the road, a priest and a rabbi, or the righteous of the story, see him yet think that to touch the man would make them unclean… so they pass him by. I often wonder as to why they did not at least send help after the man… maybe because the Jews of the day say the Samaritan as less than human, as they were half breed of gentile and Jew. Instead we have the most unlikely hero in Jewish literature… the Good Samaritan come to the rescue. To say ‘good’ before Samaritan is like saying a ‘good’ Nazi… at least to the mind of the Jew in that day… there was nothing good about a Samaritan. A Samaritan was not allowed in the temple in Jerusalem… and were considered equal with dogs.

Good Sam not only stopped and helped the guy, He set him up in a local motel and prepaid for the room until the man could recover… and assured that when he came back that he would pay any additional cost that could incur.

In other words, Sam did what was good.

I like to look at it this way… after we come to Christ; He has forgiven the wrong in our life and made it/us right in His Righteousness… so we are free to do what is good.

Now, take this story and think of the Jews in Nazi Germany. You have hidden them in your cellar and there is a knock at the door. You answer it to find it is the SS squad hunting down Jews… they ask you if you have seen any or know where any are at… being a Christian, under right and wrong thinking, you say, “ I have them in my cellar as I can’t lie, for I am a Christian.” The Jews are then taken and killed.

What is wrong with that picture? It is that there was a higher good and one was focused not on it, but on being right

Let’s break this down in Christianese to help some of you understand what I am saying…

To say I am right… is to say in Christianese, “I am righteous.” In that to say another is wrong is to say, “You are unrighteous.”

Do you catch that?
Suddenly we are focused on our righteousness over another’s… forgetting none of us are righteous except for Jesus… for none of us are perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. That is the standard Jesus set… not me. To say that you are righteous, is to say you are without sin… and as John says in 1 john 1… “If you say you are without sin, the truth is not in you.” So, if you can be perfect in all of your own righteousness, and not fail or hold one wrong view, then, yes, your doctrine will save you! Go ahead try… I dare you!

Now, if the Nazi’s knocked at the door I would hope you would have responded as Rahab did as she hid the Hebrew spies. She lied to those who were against the True God… in order to do the higher good and save the men of the True God. In that she was approved righteous to God.

I am not saying as some will try to say I am that we are free to lie willy nilly and do as we please, but rather to use wisdom and discernment… given to us by the Holy Spirit to look into a situation beyond just right and wrong.

Solomon had two women standing before him… both claimed to be a baby’s mother… Solomon ordered the baby to be cut in half… NOT ONLY NOT GOOD, BUT VERY WRONG TO MURDER!!!!! Only then one of the so called mothers called out in mercy that the baby be spared and that the other woman could have the baby… she was the real mother! Solomon in his wisdom knew the real mother would love beyond just letting the baby die. That is wisdom and discernment… versus being a judge of another.

Again, I do believe in right and wrong, yet I do not depend on my own righteousness, but rather Christ’s Righteousness in my value structure. When I debate it is not to prove I am right and the other is wrong, yet rather to show that I could also be wrong… and find out later you could be right… or we are both right to a degree, or both plainly wrong altogether… and that is where humility comes into play. All parties must remember no one is right… only Christ Himself… and that if we are right it is only because He imputed His righteousness to us and that there is none of our own… so that we do not boast about being….. Right in ourselves… or rather self righteous. That is why I think of my blog or discussion group like sitting at a coffee shop with friends having coffee and a pleasant conversation, rather than one of those sickening political debates that only show both are as idiotic as can be… shaming both parties.

Modernistic thought does not grasp this… it seeks only to be right in its view at the expense that another is wrong. Just a slight glance over the Christian faith and history, on e can see this as many stand outside abortion clinics and calling names out to the woman such as “baby killers” and extreme  examples of shooting the Dr. and blowing up the clinics (real good). Most recently, the example would be how some pastors condone hatred and protest gay rights with signs that say. “God hates fags.”

True God does hate sin, any and all… so one with their logic would have to say, “God hate gossips”, “God hates gluttons”, “God hates liars”, and so on. This list would include any of your own personal pet sins… “God hates pornography lookers” … yet, I read in John 3: 16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.


How can a God so loving, be so hateful?

Again, it is sin that God hates not the people… He died for them so they would not perish…. Yet we gleefully send many to hell without a worry… with that I wonder which is the greater sin?

If you try to say I am justifying homosexuality you have missed the point completely so don’t even go there… you will only come across as a fool.



So am I right or am I right? LOL!  Really be careful and mindful the next time you are quick to judge another… is it out your own self righteousness or out of goodness that you are trying to reach that person… in doing good, you will be sharing the righteousness of Christ… and that will be more powerful than anything.

Blessings,
iggy

9 comments:

Dan said...

Hiya Iggy,

You've said a lot here. Before I begin, I hope that from our previous discussions you understand that any disagreements I have with this post are not stated with the intentions you described at the beginning of your post.
So let's begin.

it seems to me that you have found yourself in a popular camp these days. In light of the abuses perpetrated with certain ideas and words you have found yourself frustrated (as I would hope we all have at some point) and chosen to abandon them rather than restore them. Thus replacing what is "right" with what is "good." Ultimately, they are the same thing. You can say that people who have been doing what they claim is right were not doing what is good, but by its very dfinition then it was not in fact right either. Let us not be so quick to hand over the definition of what is right to mortal hands.Not to mention you will end up with the same problem of deciding what is GOOD and what is BAD. So you end up where you started.
I understand your point with the Nazi story, but I think that by saying that the person telling the truth is doing "right" but not "good" is painting God a bit flaccid. I will first say that there may be room to say that lying about the jews in your cellar is both right and good. But to say that it is good and telling the truth is not ultimately puts your faith in human intervention rather than God's. I think the most right response would be to tell the truth and say that you are hiding jews in your cellar and have faith that God would provide (in fact there are accounts of Christians doing just that and have Nazi's walk away and do nothing). This is similar to Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son in order to be right by God (and that worked out pretty well).

You said: "To say I am right… is to say in Christianese, “I am righteous.” In that to say another is wrong is to say, “You are unrighteous.”

I don't think this follows at all. I know plenty of people who seek what is right and do what is right without this sort of pride.

You also said: "Suddenly we are focused on our righteousness over another’s… forgetting none of us are righteous except for Jesus… for none of us are perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect."
This is really not true. The Bible tells us that Joseph was righteous, Abel was righteous, Elijah was righteous, and all who live by faith are righteous. In fact if you would finish your quote from 1 John you would read, "If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
What I think is your biggest problem is that you have fallen into the exact thing you are trying to avoid. In seeking to escape the "wrong/right" dichotomy you have simply embraced it with new titles (i.e. what is right v. what is good). You want to escape the judgemental and humanistic attitude of right v. wrong yet you fall into that very thing when you decided that it is better to lie and possibly prolong some people's mortal lives rather than telling the truth. Who are we to judge?

You also said: "How can a God so loving, be so hateful?

Again, it is sin that God hates not the people… He died for them so they would not perish…. Yet we gleefully send many to hell without a worry… with that I wonder which is the greater sin?"

COuld you clrify what your point is here, because I have no idea what you are trying to say.

Again, I want to respect your laid back coffee house chat motif here, but, i have to say, you are all over the place on this one.


Dan

iggy said...

Dan,

Maybe it is a late night for you after a long day? My wife thought this was one of the best and clearest posts I had done on this topic...

My main point is that doing "good" transcends just doing the "right" thing...

In that:

First off THANK YOU for being such a great guy!!!!!!!

I hoped to show that doing what is right is not always doing what is good. The point is as scripture points out in Romans 3.... I was going to cut and paste, yet I think it best you look it up and see the verses around verse 10. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11. there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. (NIV)

Paul is very clear about no one being righteous... so I think that really you and Paul are at odds and not you and me... (LOL! With a friendly smile to boot!)

In that about those you pointed out as "righteous"... it has always been by faith... that any man has been considered "right" in God's eyes.... OT and NT.

Now on painting God as flaccid, I did post on this sort of thing about 2 years ago on God not seeing black and white, but in techno color... meaning that as we see only shades of black/white/grey on the topic of sin, if one is in Christ, God can separate the shades into many other colors than us. In that Rahab is found to be acting in faith as she "lies" to her own people who do not serve the living True God.

I think that this issue of telling the Nazi's the truth then praying that God covers is a bit naive... Yes God can and most probably did cover and blind many Nazis from seeing yet, then that does no good for the story of Rahab... who scripture is very plainly saying that her actions in lying and protecting the spies... was an act of faith.

Now about the Christianeze... you seem to miss that the opposites would be just this... righteous/unrighteous, faithful/unfaithful and so on... wit that though, again, this is how myself and many others hear those who come at us with a self righteous attitude... you know like when someone says, "I am leaving for a while and will come back later and explain this to you." which really sounds like, "boy you are so stupid, I will have to come back and straighten you out!" In fact it is the metadialog behind the first statement, which is an attempt to "be nice" that really sets an emerging thought person's hackles up!

Now about 1 John 1:9... That is true, if one does confess then Jesus is faithful to forgive! Yet, it is in the manner that some behave, and that they still come at people with pride and hate such as the http://www.godhatesfags.com/main/index.html


Did you realize that this was being perpetrated in the name of Jesus?

Do you think that these people have caught on that they need to confess some sins like... hatred and self righteousness? I have trouble with the idea they have humbled themselves... sorry, that is my opinion. I want to be wrong on that, yet I just can't see this from God.

In that Paul struggled in not doing what was right in the famous chapter in Romans 7... he struggled with doing good...

To me good transcends being right... in that God works for the good of those who love Him in chapter 8...

We are called to cling to what is good... chapter 12....
With that overcome evil with good... also in chapter 12...

I see throughout scripture that it is out of goodness that we can do what is righteous. For in 1 Cor 12 that is why we have the manifestation of the Holy Spirit... for our common good.

Yet, both are out of the foundation of Grace... (Think back to 1 John 1:9 and 2 Cor 9)

So out of God's grace, we have goodness and out of that we can see out of Christ what is truly right.

In a way goodness and righteousness are the same... yet one can not be these things without humility and receiving grace... by asking truly to be forgiven... in that one must be able to see that they have not righteousness or goodness in them and need a savior. To me they intertwine, and in Christ they do become sort of one and the same… yet without Christ… being right is not a good thing as Proverbs 14:12 states: There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

And that is what I see happening all over… as I see many who call themselves Christian, yet have forsaken/mistaken God’s righteousness and replaced it with their own.

I know you are Lutheran… yet there are other traditions that teach some bad doctrine… such as progressive sanctification… which is the Wesleyan thought that one can become more and more holy and righteous as they walk with Jesus for years and years… there is some truth in that, yet again often it is confused as to it being Christ’s imputed righteousness, or being more righteous ourselves… ala self righteousness. I was under and part of that teaching for a time… it leads to legalism and being under the Law as one strives to be perfect as God. It is a hard and bitter place to be… the Law is a harsh schoolmaster as Galatians tells us.

Again, thanks Dan; as I hope to not have to moderate this blog soon… really I have let every comment through so far.
Blessings,
iggy

iggy said...

Dan,
Sorry, as I think I missed one of your questions.

When I say that God hates sin, but he loves the sinner... I mean, God hated sin so much that He sent His Son to die for us.

In that God loves mankind... and as a Christian, we must separate in this time of Grace, the person from the sin so they can be reached with the Good News... That Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 5:42 Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us. (John 3:17) In condemning the fellow sinner… or human, we are usurping the authority of Jesus who loved that person enough to die for them… we are nullifying the works of Christ.

In that yes God hates homosexuality and gossip… even that some watch too much TV or speak in an angry tone to their spouse, yet if one is humble and is conscience of these actions, and humbly asks God to help… then God is faith and just to forgive… but more than that, to help us grow beyond that ‘sin’ and more into His Life.

Yet, many condemn others… often after having come out of some other sin yet not see that any sin leads to death… and that it is death, not sin that separates us from God.

Romans 6:23 23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

It is the wages that separate us from God… it is our payment for our sinful actions that will cause us to go to hell. So, it is not just receiving forgiveness, for that was taken care of with the sacrificial system, but rather it is in receiving the gift of Life that brings us into the Kingdom of God. So many stop at forgiveness and never move on to Life! I believe the Catholic Church has a better grasp on this concept than the Protestant church does. God hated sin so much He took it away so we would not have to receive the wages of death… in that many miss out that the point of the Christian life is not to stop sinning, but rather it is a life lived… and that being Christ in us, His eternal Life, our Hope of Glory.

With that I see all forgiven yet not all saved as I do not equate forgiveness with salvation. I see forgiveness as a given at the cross for all, yet salvation is received by Grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Clear as mud? LOL!

Blessings,
iggy

Dan said...

Iggy,

There's a lot to discuss here and a lot of it inter-mingles so I'm going to number stuff just so it is easier to keep track of.

1) Righteousness

So I checked with Paul and apparently me and him are on the same page because if you look at the context of Romans chapter 3 you will see that his quotation of Psalms ("There is no one righteous...") is talking about humanity before Christ and, more specifically, is describing that those under the law who try to be justified by their own deeds will be unsuccessful (v. 19). But then in a beautiful passage of hope he reveals that, through faith in Christ we can be declared righteous. He writes, "But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (v. 21-24). He very clearly states here that all who have faith in Christ are in fact righteous. Just do a simple word search of righteous or righteousness in the NT and you will see that the Bible reaffirms again and again that those who have faith in Christ are righteous. So it appears that Paul and me have no quarrels and I am again at odds with only you.

2) Iggy and the technicolor God

This is a nice idea Iggy, but unless you have something besides sentiment to back it up it remains just that, a nice idea. As far as Rahab is concerned, it is important that I point out that Rahab's lie was not ever called an act of faith. She is praised for "recieving the spies in peace," and "welcoming the strangers and sending them out by another road." Rahab is one of a long list of Old Testament figures who did great things in the sight of God but whose lives were still checkered by morally questionable acts. Again I will say that i leave a door open for lying in such an instance to be considered right, but I hardly think that such a vague account as that of Rahab is a good foundation for an ethical principal.

3) Nazi's at the door.

Would you really characterize it as naive to be obedient to God's command not to lie and to have faith "that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called to His purpose?" Especially since naivete is usually referring to an absence of experience and I know plenty of people (myself included) whose experience would dictate that God does work wonders for those who are obedient and have faith in Him.Most of my other points here were brought up in the previous remarks.

5) Christianeze

All the things you have said here are presumptions on your part. Perhaps you have had some bad dealings with people who have been demeaning to you, but I hardly think that justifies labeling everyone who sees things as right and wrong as being judgemental.

6) "Killing ing the Name"

I am well aware of the God-hates-fags folks and those like them. I can't say much of anything about their status with God excpet that He will be just in His dealings with them, and that is all we can know.

7) Right and Good

Goodness and righteousness are not the same in a way, they simply are the same. No matter what people may think is right, if it is not good, it is not right by its very definition. The proverbs verse you mention attests to this since it makes the point of saying not that what is right leads to death, but what seems right to man. What is truly right and of God is always right and good.
What I think your actual point here is that you are suggesting a shift in Christian ethics. What you call right would probably fall into the catagory of deontological ethics, whereas what is good (from some of your examples) seems to be a more utilitarian ethic. I'll leave that there for now for the sake of brevity.

8) Sanctification
Actually, most churches believe in some sort of "progressive" sanctification. What stands out in the Wesleyan tradition is the idea of total sanctification (that one can be completely holy in this life). This is where pride can step in. What Lutheran's believe is that sanctification is " the Holy Spirit's work by which he directs and empowers the believer to lead a godly life." We do not believe in total sanctification since, as human beings in this lif, we still possess the Old Adam that clings to us till death. We are at all times both sinner and saint. The best verse to clarify this is Phil. 3:12 where Paul writes, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." So sanctification is the Holy Spirit working through us to make us Holy. You tough upon this in your second post when you distinguish between accepting forgiveness and leading a Godly life. This is the difference between Justification (being declared righteous in the sight of God) and Sanctification (leading a righteous life). I talked about this in a post a couple weeks ago on my blog (I think it was on law and gospel).
Anyways, I'll stop there for now.


Dan

iggy said...

Dan,

I hope you at least can see that there are two types of righteousness, or being right in scripture… One is depending on the righteousness of Christ, or His righteousness imputed… in that the dependency on God was what made the righteous of the OT righteous also, their looking forward to Messiah, or at least walking in the Light that was revealed to them. In that their expression of faith was then credited to them as righteousness… still the sin issue had t be dealt with, and was with the sacrificial system.

In that the one last detail was to deal with death… which was by the Resurrection of Christ.

In that all I am trying to do though admittedly very feebly is differentiate between the two types of righteousness, or being right. In the story of Good Sam, the priests and rabbis do what is right according to the Law… for it would make them unclean for them to do their duties if they helped the man in trouble. In that they where placing being right over helping another… which is not good… though right. Remember this is Jesus’ story not mine, I am only sharing what I have gained from it, and also as it resonated with me when I read A New Kind Of Christian.

In that, if both being right and being good were the same, why wouldn’t Jesus called Sam, Right Sam… or Righteous Sam? I see that with Love in play we have a higher law, and that Law is of Goodness. And in Goodness we will always default to the higher sense of righteousness as opposed to our own self righteousness.

As area s Christianeze I am trying to point out this difference again. That there is two types of righteousness. And in judging another, one is in great danger if not careful, of being in the territory of self righteousness… that is not dependant on God by on one’s self being right in their own mind.

In a way I will say and have already that when one is in Christ and is dependant on Him and His goodness, then His righteousness is imputed to us, in that we are not seeking self, but rather letting Christ live His life in and through us. That is to me, being one with Christ as He prayed in John 17.



Again, I agree that most churches do teach and it is in Scripture that there is sort of a progressive sanctification… yet, to me, Sanctification means to be set apart. In that as one is in Christ, one is already set apart… yet also there is the renewing of the mind. In that there is the process. I have no problem with the process, yet I do with the notion that one can grow in one’s own self righteousness… while we area called to grow in Christ’s righteousness and many miss that point all together. I did for many years as a Christian.

It is funny to me that yes, in the Law, it says, “Do not lie. Do not deceive another” (Lev 19) yet many of those God called righteous lied quite a bit… yet is it that the lie is meant to do harm that is the type called into question?

Like if I sell you a car knowing that the brakes are bad, yet tell you they were replaced last week, just to get your money? Yet, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph who hid his true identity from his family for a time, all lied to a point or outright. I think it a greater lie to call oneself righteous yet be like the Pharisee and walk right past evil and not do something. In that being right is lowered to a lie in and of itself and can’t be considered good.

Also, I do fully understand what you say about my techno color God, yet since God is a higher being than us, I can’t see Him just seeing black and white. In fact I see techno color throughout scripture. God interplays with the Law He created, while at one point Jesus would have been disqualified from being the Messiah, God takes a twist and then Jesus is in the running again. This happens more than once… It would take me time to get the examples as some are a bit technical in how they work out.

In that also the whole idea of the incarnation is very colorful as we had the Law and sacrificial system to deal with sin and death… yet no one was righteous enough to be able to keep these without stumbling at some point. To throw in the incarnation was very colorful. To just come and live a perfect life, would have done nothing for us… other than show us it could be done. Yet, Jesus lived that perfect life and then died in our place on the cross… even that would not have been enough to free us from our fate. For Christ to live forever no earth while we still die in our sin, or for Him to die for our sin still would not have taken care of the death clause in the contract we had broke… He had to rise from the dead…. In that we receive His resurrected life!


That is my techno colored God… One who can think so far out of the box that we could never see then great things He has done or will do… and is doing at present.


I know I did not go number by number as you did. Unfortunately I have had to hammer this out rather hastily as I am heading out to work… I hope it at least give some light as to where I am coming from.

Really this is a very great example of:
1. A conversation… in that I thank you
2. How emerging thought people think differently from those who do not thin as we do… (Thought I will say not everyone in emerging thought would agree with my oversimplified thought process at times)
3. An example of two who do not agree, having respect for each other. Again with that, thank you.

Hey, tell that slacker Levi to get on the blog again… I hope his daughter’s finger is doing better… what an ordeal!

Blessings,
iggy

Dan said...

Iggy,

You said, "hope you at least can see that there are two types of righteousness, or being right in scripture… One is depending on the righteousness of Christ, or His righteousness imputed..."

I don't know if I want to go as far as to say that there are two types of righteousness, perhaps that the way OT figures were declared righteous is different than how it is done in the NT but I would still probably say that righteousness was, is, and always be the same (I'm assuming that is what the 2 types of righteousness are, since you don't really say). Also, I can't tell, are you acknowledging that Christians are declared righteous through Christ?
Looking at your example of the good Samaritan, it's importnant to note that no one said that the priests were right. In fact that's the whole point is that a man who one would have expected to help did not. This whole "right not good" treatment of the story also doesn't take into account that a priest is very unlikely to have been travelling alone and could have had a servent or other member of his party help the man. Christ shows again and again that the selfish ways in which people misinterpret the law are in fact not right even by their own standards (i.e. healing on the Sabbath).
You said, " why wouldn’t Jesus called Sam, Right Sam… or Righteous Sam?"

Jesus never called him a good samaritan either. He just calls him a samaritan.

You said, "still the sin issue had [to] be dealt with, and was with the sacrificial system."

I think you are missing something both with this remark and also later when you say, "yet no one was righteous enough to be able to keep these without stumbling at some point. To throw in the incarnation was very colorful." You make it sound like God tried out the sacrificial system and when that didn't work he switched stuff up by sending Christ. But Christ was the plan all along! The law and sacrifices ordained by God were meant to make people fail. They prepared the way for the messiah by making people realize that they were helpless without a redeemer. Either way this again doesn't at all lead to the notion of God seeing in technicolor when it comes to ethics.

You said, "in judging another, one is in great danger if not careful, of being in the territory of self righteousness… that is not dependant on God by on one’s self being right in their own mind."

This may be true, but with your system of doing good rather than doing what is "right" it is even worse. Let me explain. With doing what is right the focus is on the action. You are being obedient to what God has commanded at all cost and trusting that the result will be what is best because God has promised that it will be. With doing good your focus is on the result. You are to be obedient to the commands of God only so far as they serve the ultimate good. You can call it serving a higher law but this sounds shockingly similar to what is known as a teleological suspension of the ethical (where God supersedes His law in order to fullfill his purpose). God can do this because he is in fact greater than the law. He is above it since He created it. We do not have this same authority to alter the universe to suit our purposes and to propose such an idea makes us into God's and leaves a lot more room for pride than the obedience of doing what is right. It becomes a Machievellian Christianity that seeks good regardless of the means.
This is in fact the type of logic that the God-hates-fags people and others like them prescribe to. They see a "good" that needs to be accomplished and they bypass what is right (loving your neighbor, etc) in order to accomplish it. I don't know about you, but I don't want the authority to bypass what is "right" in the hands of humanity and these groups are a good example of why.

You said, "It is funny to me that yes, in the Law, it says, “Do not lie. Do not deceive another” (Lev 19) yet many of those God called righteous lied quite a bit…"

Yes there are a lot of sinners that are called righteous. Not just liars but murderers, adulterers, and all kinds of other questionable people. But God has never declared any of these acts as righteous and i hardly think that calling someone righteous gives us carte blanche to do anything that they have done and call it just.

You said, "I think it a greater lie to call oneself righteous yet be like the Pharisee and walk right past evil and not do something. In that being right is lowered to a lie in and of itself and can’t be considered good."

Iggy, I don't know how else to say this, if something isn't good then it can't be right by its definition!!! If anywhere in the Bible the Pharisees or whoever were brought up were said to be right but not good then you would have a case. But Christ not only went around telling people that what they did was not good but that it wasn't right either. You will never find a place in the Bible where something is said to be right but not good, or vice versa.

Just for fun let me present an ethical problem and tell me how you would deal with it through this frame of thinking. You are an American conservationist on a research assignment in Central America. You are driving through the forest when you come across a small village. In the village you see several soldiers standing in a line with rifles pointed at a scared crowd of who you would assume are the villagers. A man in a clean uniform walks up to you and tells you that his soldiers killed several rebels from this village and that now he would have to execute the villagers to dissuade any future rebellion. But in honor of your work with the government, he offers you the opportunity to kill one menber of the village. If you refuse, all 40 will be killed. What do you do?

Dan

P.S. I could tell Levi to post more, but I think his time is taken up with shutting doors very slowly.

iggy said...

Dan,

I do love this about you... though it can be a bit frustrating at times... that is not a criticism or slam as I confess my own inadequacies to express my thoughts more clearly.

The two types of “Righteous” in the Bible is:

1. The Righteous in Christ or those who depend on Christ for their righteousness.
2. The Self righteous like the Pharisees who would follow the Law perfectly, then set a substandard version for those they taught. Of those Jesus said, “You make others twice as fit for hell as you are yourself.”

#2 is the deception, and perversion I am speaking against. While #1 is the true righteousness that I hear you saying is spoken of in the scriptures. In that I see you have only half the picture as this is Man’s righteousness versus God’s Righteousness.

In that sense the Rabbi, a righteous teacher of the day, and a priest the righteous one who would represent the people while given sacrifice where said to be, wrong in how they passed by the robbed man… Meanwhile an unholy dog, not deemed even to be a person called a Samaritan is called “Good”… which seems to play higher than being righteous or in this sense “self righteous”.

In this sense yes we agree those who deem themselves righteous…. Such as the Priest and Rabbi, turned right into wrong…

Yet, notice this is the story of the Righteous Samaritan… It could be called the compassionate Samaritan… in which I agree that the one thing that is missing is love or compassion.

Really I see that we are going the same place, maybe from the back door or front. I hope to reach those who:

1. Deem themselves as righteous yet show no love.
2. Reach those who have suffered as I have from these self righteous.
3. Reach those who are seeking as desire more than just black and white speech as they can not relate to that. As I have trouble also… as I see much damage being done by those who are out to do right, but are doing more hurt and evil than good.



Blessings,
iggy

Dan said...

OK, that makes more sense. This is what I suspected you were meaning in my first response where I said:

"In light of the abuses perpetrated with certain ideas and words you have found yourself frustrated (as I would hope we all have at some point) and chosen to abandon them rather than restore them. Thus replacing what is "right" with what is "good."

I think a better response to the self righteous behavior of certain groups (biblical or contemporary) would be to to point out that it is in fact not right at all. Being right is an important aspect of being a Christian and I think that it is not onyl confusing to abandon the idea but also presumptuous in some ways. What I mean by calling it presumptuous is that it is not ours to give up. Righteousness is an idea given to us by God through His Word and (though it is an incredible pain in the ass at times thank to so many people who abuse it) it is our job to preserve it and keep it pure.
The truth is, Biblically speaking, there is only one righteousness (the first one you speak of). The term "self righteous" never appears in the Bible and Christ never refers to anyone as right or righteous other than those who fit its true meaning.
I understand your intent here and would agree with it in some ways, but ultimately I think this type of language is more confusing than enlightening. When we play this type of liguistic musical chairs, we will eventually ultimately find ourselves without a seat in a room full of comfortably seated deceivers.
I also would like to comment on the third group that you desire to reach with this idea. It's not really a critique as much as just a few thoughts, but I think that things being black and white isn't a bad way of desribing how God sees things. The way I see it, its the world that wishes to color things (and I mean that in several ways). We muddle things with shades and and hues until everything is just a muddled and incoherent blob. In God we see the colors united to create something pure and white (looking more at the light spectrum here than the color spectrum since white light is all color). In God we see clearly light and darkness; black and white. But what I am really trying to get at is both my way of looking at it and yours are metaphors and nothing more so we should be careful not to hold to them to closely since they are merely dingy reflections of what it true.
So in closing, I would advise you to fight the good fight and do not let those who pervert God's teachings take away what is rightfully ours.

Dan

iggy said...

Dan,

About not going after those who pervert God's teachings...

AHHHH you taking away all the fun...

Really, you have a point as lately I have been reactive... but man some of these guys just seem to get more of a kick poking fun of what they don't even understand without even trying to grasp what is said.

Also, like I said, I hope to reach those who are abused and i beleive as I have been email privatly that God is using much of what i have said.

In that, I agree wholeheartedly that these are just metaphors and such that they are not able to capture what is truly on my heart and what to say. Yet, even in that my prayer is that God uses my illustrations to speak to hearts to draw closer to God.

Blessings,
iggy