Winning Words 5/23/13
“The law is not so much carved in stone as it is written in water, flowing in and out with the tide.” (Jeff Melvoin) The 10 Commandments are written in stone…or are they written in water? In his Catechism, after each commandment, Luther asks, “What does this mean?” Even his explanations need further interpretation. Circumstances change. It would be nice if all of life had black and white answers, with no cloudy gray. ;-) Jack.
FROM WALMART REV: It would be nice...so very thankful for His grace...I'd be very lost without it... ====JACK: Thankfully, there's not only the Law; there's also the Gospel.
FROM TS IN INDIANA: And what about Martin's first words in explaining "What does this mean"? " We should FEAR and love God ..."?====JACK: As I said, Martin's explanations also need interpretation. "Fear" can have more than one meaning. In this case, I think that it means to "respect" and "be in awe of" God, rather than to be "afraid" of God. But, even that probably needs more explanation.
FROM HONEST JOHN: If that is the case, the Ten Commandments are truly suggestions. You seem to have a great deal of trouble distinguishing between Truth and the discernment thereof. The only truth you seem to recognize is that everything is relative. And, of course, that is false if there is no truth.====JACK: Yes, that is my problem. Of course, my mind "sees" the Truth. But the ultimate Truth is beyond human comprehension. There's a Gospel song that puts it this way.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
====JOHN: There is a light in the parking lot at a nearby school....it shines there in the morning and is in the shape of a cross....when I look at that cross, I am face to face with the truth....I think we can confront the truth and even in part grasp it....we can't however, use it as a judgmental weapon nor can we ever shove it down anyone's throat....it is for us alone to sit in the light of that truth and enjoy....we can witness to it....that is the ultimate task of the Christian...."You shall be my witnesses"====JACK: Your comment reminds me of a hymn that Isaac Watts wrote. It even mentions the name of a congregation that you served.
When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I like the idea that scripture interprets scripture or something like that. A Jewish person once told me that there is law in the Hebrew scriptures that capital punishment is allowed. However, there are also all these other scriptures for them that say "before you kill the person, you have to make sure there were 3 witnesses or stuff like that" and actually it turns out that when you've read and tried to do all the scriptures you end up being merciful to most of the people and not executing them after all. And this reminds me of how I was conveying the law to my daughter when she was a young child--whenever she wanted to do something that I thought it was not wise for her to do, I distracted her and could usually get her to do something else that it was OK for her to do and she would forget doing the unwise action. Actually, I believe all truth is in the Bible and we need to study it constantly and God, through His scripture/Word just really treats us exactly as children.====JACK: Before God is a judge, he's a teacher. Life is a continual learning situation.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: The Ten Commandments were not suggestions. The truth is changing because people want it to change. You can't "change" Jesus' words about how to get into to Heaven for instance....some things are written in stone. God knows us and loves us but....there's always that "but" isn't there? ====JACK: Will Christians be the only ones in heaven?
FROM WATERFORD JAN: "Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists. During his homily at Wednesday Mass in Rome, Francis emphasized the importance of "doing good" as a principle that unites all humanity, and a "culture of encounter" to support peace. Using scripture from the Gospel of Mark, Francis explained how upset Jesus' disciples were that someone outside their group was doing good, according to a report from Vatican Radio."====JACK: A good example of the Law being written in water.
FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: We had to memorize the “what does this mean” part and I still recall some of them. I think the whole of scripture is fluid, but more like a river than in and out like a tide. We are being carried forward, from here…to eternity?====JACK: Many are comfortable with black and white. "What does this mean?" can put the Bible into Technicolor.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I read a quote once, "We do not see things as THEY are, We see things as WE are"...Seems to explain a lot about the diversity of "truth" in our lives! Situational ethics modify truths for us. But someday we will know in full, not in part, as God promised....Imagine there will be some big surprises for all of us!! Meanwhile we try to live lives of Integrity..====JACK: I wonder if God smiles or just shakes his head when he hears us babbling back and forth about religious stuff..
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: It used to be easier to be a parent and to teach your children the difference between right and wrong. Our parents' generation did a better job in providing a good environment and culture for families. It is rather sad to see what has happened to movies and tv and music these days.There are many families here who home school so that their children learn their values. I do think one has to be part of the world today and to try to improve it.====JACK: Each generation has its own set of problems. Easier is a relative term. Four of my grandchildren attended a high school which educated them for the "real" world...in more ways than one.
FROM RJP IN FLORIDA: Not sure I understand. Are you saying the commandments are fluid?? not absolute???? Subject to anyone's interpretation?????====JACK: Communication is all about interpretation. When you read the commandments, they cause you to ask, "What does this mean?" Your answers do not necessarily jibe with the answers of others. Who is right?
FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: Someone called us on the phone three weeks ago, and indicated that they would like to purchase our home. We talked to them and they seemed serious, so we spent a couple of weeks looking at ‘senior’ housing. Then they decided they wanted to sell their home first. So our plans are fluid, we located an ideal apartment, but now we don’t know what to do. The answer is not either black or white! Something like your WW today!=====JACK: Not to decide is to decide.