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Saturday, December 31, 2011

12/31/11-Wrapping up- New Blog to start 1/1/12

I am starting a new blog for the 2012 year about faith hope and love. 
The three really go together.

Our world tends to be enthralled by post-modernism's call to "just get along" (aka Rodney King syndrome).   Often I hear that it really doesn't matter what you believe, and you can pick cafeteria style what you want to believe.  All of us do that to a certain extent (Christians differ on secondary things- like amillenialism, postmillenialism, premillenialism).  But the basics and essentials bring us together.
Believing in anything, it seems, is under attack today. 

But the secondary effect of not believing is not having ultimate meaning.  "Why are we here?" cannot truthfully and meaningfully be answered if we do not have a God who made us for a purpose.

Without purpose, we lose motivation for ethics.  If the only ethic is "not to get caught", then it puts a burden on the police to make more laws and send out more cameras and officers.  But all morality cannot be legislated either.  Being kind instead of selfish is hard to "catch." 

Maybe others say the ethic is to "do no harm."  But why?  If we are just a bunch of atoms thrown together by accident, what difference does it really make?  If some say, "We should do no harm lest others harm us", does this mean the only ethic is to avoid harm/pain/uncomfortableness?   If so, then the main reason for living is our comfort- which I find to be quite uncomfortable.  Such comfort can easily slide into another form of selfishness. 

But if we have a God who lovingly made us for a purpose- and calls us to be what we are made to be- people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- then we have a reason for behaving selflessly- with kindness (in short- love).

More than that- we can have hope.  It is hard to have hope for the future if we have no meaning in the present.  Faith and love foster hope- and hope in turn encourages us to have faith and not give up when pain/harm/discomfort comes.  Hope also encourages us to stick with love as the better way through the fights, misunderstandings, miscommunications, poverty, sickness, sorrow, or the pride that comes with riches/health, and temporary happiness. 

Without faith hope and love, the anti-trinity of fear superstition and selfishness grow.  As faith has decreased in our society- superstition and fear have increased. 

Faith hope and love are a trinity of sorts that encourage each other.  Hope without faith is optimism with no reason.  Love without faith is nice but misses the calling and accountability of God.  God calls us to love others- even when they are our enemies- or even to turn the other cheek in self-sacrifice.  This is hard (if not meaningless) without faith.  So in 2012 I will be writing a blog on faith- throwing in love and hope whenever possible.  I will start out using the Westminster Shorter Catechism as an outline, and will re-translate it in 2012 English.


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    Jack Hazut
    Photos from Israel and the world