February 26, 2016

Self-Serving

I overheard a speaker admitting to his friend that portions of his presentation were self-serving. I chuckled to myself because he wasn’t revealing anything that the audience hadn’t already picked up on. In the church we are to be on alert to those who are self-serving. Paul said, “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” (Ro 16:17-18 NIV).

3 comments:

Steve Corey said...

Gail;

-----I’ve heard it proposed that since Adam and Eve did not physically die immediately upon eating the forbidden fruit, the death “in the day you eat of it” surely was not physical, but merely a separation from God. Else if physical death were meant, the snake’s proposition of God’s spoofing about it would have been affirmed by the lack of such death that day. This is proposed, I suppose, to realize the possibility that physical death operated the mechanics of evolution before Adam and Eve were, without making God’s Word an outright lie, since it blames man for death’s existence.
-----I’ve been told we must communicate by writing with the greatest of caution, because text is truncated from most non-verbal expressions. Moreover, text quarantines its author from the reader’s questions. So, I’ve always believed that writing, above any other form of communication, excepting signs and wonders, leads to the best demonstration of its receiver’s integrity by how the reader might respond in the face of such quarantine. The reader can serve himself in the spaces of ambiguities. Or he can forego conclusions until later clarification can be had. In regards to the “die in the day you eat of it” thing, the proposal is to slice and dice a word the Author did not certainly slice and dice within His own Text. This is not at all an error until it begs its conclusion to be received as a certainty, rather than a remote possibility. In a recondite sense, slicing a word the Bible itself has not sliced is to go beyond what is written (I Cor 4:6.)
-----So, let us allow the Bible to use the whole of death’s concept to propose a different possibility of what might have happened “in the day they ate of it”. When exploring an obscure or ambiguous concept, to discover a good mark for a starting point, I’ve found it useful to observe the concept’s given opposite, if one is given. In this case, God’s Word gives death an opposite: Life. So, let’s put our arms around life to better understand death. It is Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. Observing life’s attachment to these other two concepts should cause curiosity about whether death might have similar attachment to their opposites: wrong way and deceit. Does this help clarify what might have befallen Adam and on that day? Was not eating the wrong fruit the wrong way? Was eating it not an entry into deceit? Gee. I think there’s more here than just a slice. So what might lay in their newly entered wrong way?
-----Satan stood himself up to seek the highest seat. Christ laid Himself down in gaining the highest seat. There’s two opposites worth contemplating. In eating, Adam and Eve veered off the way into chaos, yet Christ continued to uphold the universe for them by the word of His power. That is other serving, especially since they chose to engage Satan’s principle of self-service. Other-service passes life around, engaging giving processes of life. Self-service sucks life from around, shackling others to diminishments leading to physical death (any resemblance to Lifesource, the movie, is only pictorial.) The second law of thermodynamics, everything seeking its lowest state, is death; it is everything drifting ever so faintly towards chaos, rather than building towards the way -eternally functioning, infinitely meaningful orderliness in other servicing, and of diminishing self in order to build up others. Whatever the opposite of the second law of thermodynamics might be called, I call it love. That other law will work again unto eternal life, as it was working before the bitten apple when all things were very good in God‘s estimation.
(continued...)

Steve Corey said...

(...continued)
-----The moment Eve’s teeth broke the apple’s skin, her and Adam’s bodies ceased their biological processes of eternal, physical life. Physical death entered the world. Although it was not apparent in that moment, it became apparent soon enough. God’s involvement in their lives through the processes of everything in His creation naturally serving everything else in it stopped. Their lives were no longer involved in that natural, others-service of physical needs. They were no longer other-serving tillers of the Garden. They now had to serve themselves. They had to lift the meat from their plates to their own mouths themselves. They had to dress themselves. They had to build their own shelters. They had to dodge killer animals. Their lives became consumed by the necessity of taking care of themselves lest they immediately die of hunger, exposure to the elements or teeth of beasts. They began living death. They totally died, physically died, spiritually died, and the universe was subjected to decay the moment the skin of that apple broke. With the second law of thermodynamics constraining all physical creation to temporality, they certainly died physically in that moment of constraint since eternality was no longer engaging their biological processes. It can truly be said that the process of death begins at the moment of conception, because the life conceived is certainly temporal. Satan indeed was lying. Indeed they died that very moment, even physically. The way of self-service had just not yet manifested itself into the eventual bodily decay which would soon serve their life’s force to worms. Yet they were as physically dead at that moment as we who know Christ are dead to sin at the moment of our confession, although we must continue serving ourselves to physically live.

Love you all,
Steve Corey

Gail Marvel said...

(...continued)
-----The moment Eve’s teeth broke the apple’s skin, her and Adam’s bodies ceased their biological processes of eternal, physical life. Physical death entered the world. Although it was not apparent in that moment, it became apparent soon enough. God’s involvement in their lives through the processes of everything in His creation naturally serving everything else in it stopped. Their lives were no longer involved in that natural, others-service of physical needs. They were no longer other-serving tillers of the Garden. They now had to serve themselves. They had to lift the meat from their plates to their own mouths themselves. They had to dress themselves. They had to build their own shelters. They had to dodge killer animals. Their lives became consumed by the necessity of taking care of themselves lest they immediately die of hunger, exposure to the elements or teeth of beasts. They began living death. They totally died, physically died, spiritually died, and the universe was subjected to decay the moment the skin of that apple broke. With the second law of thermodynamics constraining all physical creation to temporality, they certainly died physically in that moment of constraint since eternality was no longer engaging their biological processes. It can truly be said that the process of death begins at the moment of conception, because the life conceived is certainly temporal. Satan indeed was lying. Indeed they died that very moment, even physically. The way of self-service had just not yet manifested itself into the eventual bodily decay which would soon serve their life’s force to worms. Yet they were as physically dead at that moment as we who know Christ are dead to sin at the moment of our confession, although we must continue serving ourselves to physically live.

Love you all,
Steve Corey

Steve, for some reason I couldn't publish the second part of your comment, so I did a cut and paste and added it.
Gail