Thursday, July 03, 2008

Improve 'me'

It seems what I need is not a better and improved 'me'. The more I get older the more I come to the idea that what 'me' needs is not to be come better or improved.

It needs to repent.

It needs to repent from the idea of what it needs is to be improved or become better!

What 'me' needs is to die and be no more. It needs death and resurrection, not just death, it needs new life, not just an improved one.

Even other religions hint at this. I know in my study before becoming a 'Christian', Buddhism advocates some form of nothingness. What is the difference? In Buddhism it is self help - you have to do this for yourself.

In Christianity, it is done for you.

OK. Comparative religion is sometimes a luny exercise, but it shows to me that Christianity has the WHOLE TRUTH.

13 comments:

The Scylding said...

Makes me think of all those adds for whatever - quoting the "help you reach your full potential" cliche...

J. K. Jones said...

Good post.

Steve Newell said...

I have come to believe that many churches don't like Christ's words such as "deny oneself", "take up you cross", etc. These don't play well as ways to get people into church. Jesus never promised us a peaceful life or success but rejection by this world.

This does play well.

L P Cruz said...

Folks,

I am quite sick with anger with that stuff, it is so cunning and it is affecting our young people.

20+ years ago it was speaking in tongues, now it is not even that and it has moved on to something sinister and intoxicating - get what you can out of life and can it in.

It seems you are in another planet when you speak about carrying your cross as you follow Jesus. They can not figure why God might not give them the best of everything humanly speaking. It is a thinking that God is obligated to get into their program.

LPC
LPC

J. K. Jones said...

LP,

One modern researcher, Christian Smith, calls it "moralistic, therapeutic deism."

You can find his book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Searching-Religious-Spiritual-Teenagers/dp/019518095X


JK

Doorman-Priest said...

The older I get the more I realise I need to be the real me. I think that is probably the better me anyway.

Lucian said...

In Buddhism it is self help - you have to do this for yourself.

Precisely! That's why Buddhists fall prey to pride eventhough their faith teaches non-clinging. That's why in Orthodox asceticism, meakness (and not false humility) reigns supreme. (Matthew 11:29). Pride usually has its own wicked way of infiltrating itself near virtues, which other sins could barely do. (Job 1:6, 2:1).

L P Cruz said...

Self referential statements like - I am so thankful to God I am so humble, does not count as humility.

You do not have to be humble in as much as being truthful, why not say to yourself you are a no good darn sinner?

Lucian said...

That's what I've meant in my previous comment when talking about the difference between meekness and false humility. Achieving this state is very hard and is itself [the highest / most basic] part of asceticism. A simple glimpse through the Pateric would be very helpful in this respect. You might also want to read "On Delusion", by Ignatius Brianchaninov, which is a very "thin"/"sharp" book.

In any case, even for false or counterfeit humility to exist, one must know it to be a [fundamental] virtue ... but in the case of Buddhism, I don't see it playing a central part. (There were no false dollar bills in the barter-epoch).

All the Saints died painstakingly convinced of their own sinfulness. (St. Sisoe comes here to mind). That's the heart of our faith, and that why we shudder at the thought of "imputation" or "justification" (The way the West depicts God's relation to us and our relation to Him is repelling to us; and it's also illogical: we're supposed to be holy EVEN AS our Father Who is in Heaven is holy..neither "more", nor "in another way": that includes -as said- lack of pride, which is satanic [Isaiah 14] and meekness and humbleness, which is divine [Matthew 11:29] -- that's why to talk about God's hurt ego or pride or dignity or glory is blasphemic to say the least; the same goes for forgiving even our enemies -- to speak of God not being able to forgive is also blasphemic; if Christ spoke about the Law of the Talion that it should be changed, than to speak of God being bound or tied to it is also blasphemic). -- But I'm degressing.

Lucian said...

In any case, we abhore the thought of us being "justified", in the Western sense. We believe we will be JUSTified or STRAIGHTened in the beautiful sense in which God will make us upright or righteous or saints, just like a doctor heals the sick and infirm, just like he did to Abraham when he was old and barren (Romans 4). Abraham wasn't "declared" young and fruit-fulness wasn't "imputed" to him: he was in a deep sadness and God rescued him from his state. Just like He healed Abraham's body, He also made his soul just, holy (Romans 4). We're all indebted to God in this way ... especially since He's charge-free. :-) His Grace is truly free. The medicins of the doctors might cost, and so might consultations, but his medicine, prescriptions and consultations don't cost a thing. His Love don't cost a thing either. He's always there for us. Without Him, we can't do anything (John 15:5), except perhaps fail, and that miserably. :-( Actually, we wouldn't even be without Him. (Genesis 1 & 2; John 1). :-)

Lucian said...

In any case, we abhore the thought of us being "justified", in the Western sense. We believe we will be JUSTified or STRAIGHTened in the beautiful sense in which God will make us upright or righteous or saints, just like a doctor heals the sick and infirm, just like he did to Abraham when he was old and barren (Romans 4). Abraham wasn't "declared" young and fruit-fulness wasn't "imputed" to him: he was in a deep sadness and God rescued him from his state. Just like He healed Abraham's body, He also made his soul just, holy (Romans 4). We're all indebted to God in this way ... especially since He's charge-free. :-) His Grace is truly free. The medicins of the doctors might cost, and so might consultations, but his medicine, prescriptions and consultations don't cost a thing. His Love don't cost a thing either. He's always there for us. Without Him, we can't do anything (John 15:5), except perhaps fail, and that miserably. :-( Actually, we wouldn't even be without Him. (Genesis 1 & 2; John 1). :-)

L P Cruz said...

Lucian,

The Bible says we are sinners, either we believe that or not, either we are convinced of that or not.

You do not attain the realization you are a sinner, the Law of God found in the Scripture declares that you are.

When the HS comes, he will convict the world of sin. John 18:8.

re: imputation, yes I know you deny this in which case you are in agreement wit Western Rome of course. No doubts about that.

LPC

Lucian said...

L.P.,

from believing that God is right (which we pretty much all do) to actually realizing and really understanding how very much right he truly is, is a very big step. You come to understand it existentially, with Your whole being, not just some reduced corner of Your mind.

As for the Catholic view, it's strange to us. They seem to be the same as Protestants, speaking the same things. (Protestantism being the exacerbatedly rationalistic and non-ascetical outgrowth of Catholicism; even the way that the Catholics defend their faith is so based on things which when taken to their logical conclusion, would only end up in Protestantism).