Faith, Hope, and Love

Abstract of Faith, Hope, and Love

The moral principles defined in Scripture are a reflection of something that resonates deep inside each of our souls. Yet, these are principles that are understood as practical on a natural level as well. Faith is a vision of what is not yet physical reality, yet trusted on as if it were. Hope is the endurance factor to is somewhat attached with imagination. Love is that deep absolute, and universally recognizable force creates, rather then destroys.

Zach Baldwin

Kingdom Society Research

January 12th, 2014

Faith, Hope, and Love: Ingredients of Life

The moral realm is held with less regard by mainstream culture then it once was. Man was once universally-spiritual. Spirituality was a given. Concepts of a moral construct inside a man’s being were understood. What has happened to the awareness of these concepts? Religion’s of men acknowledge them, although the diversity is great. But the development of “Atheism”, and “Agnosticism” is a tragic new development in the world. Development of an “evolutionary idea” of the origin of man began to emerge in subtly in Hellenistic thought. Their reasoning led them to “reason out” what is clear in Judeo-Christian Scripture, which is respected and admired, which the exception of a few groups here and there. Yet, while they intended to define the origin of their existence, It was the Greeks who gave us expression of the heights and depths of the human experience. Idea’s such as: Heroism, Courage, Mercy, Sacredness, Justice, Trust, Selflessness were held in high regard. It’s as though they were written somewhere deep in our hearts, and no “re-defining” could change what the hearts of man knew as true.

The moral realm is a real and present reality in terms of things that constitute our intrinsic, ontological makeup. Science has claimed to be mystified by the perimeters of “the mind”. What is it? The reality is, just as a word cannot be used in it’s own definition – reason cannot expect to succeed in ascertaining the origin, or peripheral elements that are apart of it. Modern science is limited to what can be Tasted, Touched, Seen, Smelled, and Heard. The elements of what science, (for lack of a better term) has labeled “Meta-physical”, is at best observable. While our “science” of psychology has conducted of studies observing the actions of man, what is seen the consistent, repeatable element nessasary for a theory to advance to fact. In this light, nothing the “social sciences” has told us is dependable. It is assumed. Yet so many trust these conclusions due to the work done in the field. The principles of the moral realm nevertheless continue to arise in the hearts, and minds of people in society. There could be several statements made on the moral realm from what Jews and Christians know the Judeo-Christian Scriptures to be as Divinely inspired by God. What I want to suggest is that there are temporal and eternal moral principles. The context I come to this from is 1 Corinthians 13. The final verse of the chapter is powerful:

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1st Corinthians 13:13

But the context of the chapter brings out more depth. Paul leaves three things that endure all the others. In some translations, these are called gifts, other passages define the gifts of the Spirit in more detail (ch 12). But verse 7 indicates the inferiority of both Faith, and Hope to Love. It actually states that Faith and Hope are expressions of Love. The verse advances perhaps only some of the great depth of what Love really is. Yet, the Eternal elements are stated: Faith, Hope, And Love.

Faith

Webster defines Faith as: a “…Belief; …The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another…”. The connotation in our western culture is typically associated with religion. But there is usage of the concept in our society that is subtly missed: “I have faith in my nation’s military”; “I have faith in number’s”; or “I have faith in this chair I’m sitting in.” It’s not a hard-and-fast spiritual concept, but a universal concept. It could be defined more generally as trust. The “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation” (FDIC) is a good example of faith on economic dimension. They ensure the depositor up to at $250,000 per bank. (www.fdic.gov) Established in 1933, and it’s five-member board of directors being appointed by the President, with a confirmation following from the Senate, the FDIC is able to offer the guarantee backing financial accounts in financial institutions around the country because of the small amount of taxes paid in by the depositors themselves.i The term “faith” in this context is blurred, since there is a recognizable source of the insurance of the funds that the organization presents as a means of secure funds. Outside of the invisible, ideological construct of morality, the term does not reach it’s full potential. Yet it is used in our modern language as a synonym for of trust in many ways. Andrew Wommack, in his article “The Reality of faith” clears up the confusion that often perplexes me as it compares with reason: True faith doesn’t deny physical truth; it just refuses to let physical truth dominate spiritual truth. True faith subdues physical truth to the reality of spiritual truth.” What if faith is a tool of confidence, just as archeology is a tool of observation? Things that presently functioning yet not empirically observable we have to take to another level of perception, a “spiritual sense”, if you will.

Hope

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

(Jer 29:11)

Webster’s diligent effort in the study of language authenticates him as a sturdy foundation for definition: “1) A desire for some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that is observable. 2) Confidence in a future event.” Frank Ryan makes this radical statement in his article: A Generation Losing Hope: The Shattering of the American Dream, “Before our very eyes, a generation of Americans is losing faith in the American dream and adopting attitudes and behaviors that emphasize living for the day, not planning to take care of their own futures.” (Ryan) Hope, it could be said, produced the nation we know today as the USA. The American Colonist of the 18th Century were heavily under the pressure of the world power of their day – England. Yet they longed for what is certainly in the heart of many people in the history of our world: FREEDOM. Though many were uncertain about an explicit TREASON to the British crown, a select, driven few were leading the patriotic charge in hope of what could one day be nation of liberty.

Dusty, (in the film To end all war’s, 2001) said this to a fellow POW in the Japanese Labor camp during WWII: “You know, a man can experience an incredible amount of pain and suffering if he has hope. When he loses his hope, that’s when he dies.” Hope compels us to move forward, to press on. Andrew Wommack associates it with the our imagination: “You can see things with your heart, and this is what I believe the imagination is.” He then goes on to explain the major function imagination play’s in our life: “Your imagination is how you think, how you meditate, how you understand, and how you remember things. You really can’t do anything without an imagination.” The capacity to create is wrapped up in our ability of imagination… Interwoven somewhere between our mind, and our will, this ability is a substantial factor in moving forward in life. Wommack makes this statement in conclusion: “Whether you know it or not, your imagination is dictating how your life goes.” It is like the Alexander the Great of our inner self. The inner artist of our personality. It inevitably has a plotted course attached to it. Hope implies a promised hoped for. It see’s something ahead, and either survives long enough to see the promise’s realization, or passionate fights to see the promise birth new offspring. Theoretically, hope does not have dark or light moral direction, but an optimistic seat is the primary position it takes. The other demented, pessimistic promise usually isn’t worth fighting or dying for by the sober mind.

Love

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

(John 15:13)

The Hallmark classic seat of the classics, the most enduring of all moral practices, Love reaches a deep place in our hearts. The Greeks defined love in six ways: Erotic, Phileo, Pragma, Agape, and Philautia.

Hollywood’s box-office secret has reached deep into the hearts of men and women almost as long as Hollywood’s existence. But there has been an opening into one of the expressions of love into most of mainstream film’s that is fairly new, it is the Exotic love. Surprisingly, (since we know the Greeks to be very paganistic), Roman Krzaric, in his article “The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love (And Why Knowing Them Can Change Your Life)”ii, proposes that Greeks had an actual fear Eros love: “Eros involved a loss of control that frightened the Greeks.” It is the kind of sexual intimacy we understand today, really distinguished in only that category.

The encounter of friendship in our culture today is not where it once was, in many respects. As people are molded into an economy-driven lifestyle, a friendship “without benefits” loses it’s appeal. Often, friendship spawns out of the gathering people in our officially-scheduled agenda. That agenda more-then-likely involves associating with several people, especially in a metropolitan area. Friendship develops often based on shared commonalities, being a good framework for on-going conversation. The Greeks called this kind of love Phileo. Krzaric makes the claim that the Greeks were more fond of this in comparison with Eros. He says this of PhileoIt was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them.” The deep appreciation for another person was a very real thing for them. It still exists today, but not at the same volume (and digital media does not help this).

Krzaric asserts a category of love that Greeks had that is little known in our modern culture, he says of it “…about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance.” There could be some questioning on the stable, moral framework that this would infringe upon in terms of “compromise” and “tolerance”, since laws are assigned for the proper function of a thing, and compromise is often considered going against established, stable laws. But nonetheless, Pragma is the Greek etymological origin of our modern-English Pragmatic term. It is our notion of doing things in a practical manner, or (in it’s philosophical theory) to understand the meaning of a thing by it’s practical usage, or output.

The “golden” head of the most-enduring” of the eternal moral principles is probably familiar to most everyone. It is often associated with religion, in that it is selfless, but this perception does not do it justice at all. It is Agape. One popular translation of it is: “Unconditional Love”. It reaches out regardless of a person’s need or merit for it. It goes above and beyond the norm. It doesn’t stay in the bounds of standard cause-and-effect physics-based norms. It is resolutely radical. This, Christianity knows as the “Love of God”. It’s really the foundation of Christianity, and a benchmark that holds men in check. It is truly revolutionary, in a literal sense. It revolves us back to be beginning of creation, where The triune Godhead acted in perfect Love. It is a fail-proof system, as it always looks out the the others in it’s view.

The Greeks had, incredibly, yet another idea. And within that, two directions it could take:

It is Philautia, the love of self. We have a basic concept of the two types still today. One was a Self-love, and the other is selfishness. One is obviously healthy, and the other not. This is ironically a very important variety. It implies the origin of the express of our love. How can one love, if he does not love himself? How can love be given, if one won’t internalize it himself? It is internally that love finds in meaning.

Love Languages

Gary Chapman wrote wonderful book that articulates the different kinds of love “formats” found in different people. It is called “The Five Love Languages”. The book exposes the fact that people receive love best in certain ways. He Lists five: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. The discovery is simply profound. It opens up a fullness of meaningfulness of relationship that was not there before. Chapman demonstrates the individuality of the person, and their unique format for receiving love. It is like he discovered the science of relationship! While the rules are helpful to know, the foundation of a shared fundamental mindset and worldview dramatically affects relationship. The rock solid consistency and dependability of unchanging Truth will ground individuals in a commonality that will unite them beyond their self-preformed actions. The acknowledgment of character in an individual is a good exercise, but character is the solidified habits a person has adopted – it does not root him in an absolute, stable foundation.

Conclusion

Morality could be viewed as a neutral construct. If time is simply the result of God acting, and time the resulting sequential resolute record, then morality is the innate law present in the Godhead, existing for all eternity. It is present in society, almost as a “corporate conscience”, dictating the ethics of man’s actions based on the virtues deposited into it. The virtues here though are much more universal, then those hopefully found in the conscience of an individual. These principles are the heartbeat of humanity, and indeed found in the very nature of God. They are laws that precede our physical law system. They give tenacity to the soul-bearing individual. They are interwoven elements of the package. They connect us with the deeper elements of reality, and lock it’s firm stability into place. They bring out the sensitive sentimentally and nostalgia elements in life. Morality is the genetic code present in the physical, natural laws of our observable universe.

References:

i“Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.” FDIC: Who Is the FDIC? FDIC, 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://www.fdic.gov/about/learn/symbol/&gt;.

iiKrzaric, Roman. “The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love (And Why Knowing Them Can Change Your Life).” YES! Magazine. Positive Futures Network, 27 Dec. 2013. Web. 12 Jan. 2014. <http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/the-ancient-greeks-6-words-for-love-and-why-knowing-them-can-change-your-life?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+yes%2Fhappiness+(Happiness%2FGood+Life+articles+from+YES!+magazine)&gt;.

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