Static Law & Dynamic Relationship

Ridget Dynamic Law Relationships.pngWorking in the public transportation industry for the past few weeks, It has been very evident to me the bureaucratic boundaries required to improve safety and efficiency.  It is innately an externally-controlled system.  Pulling back from public transportation through, The very nature of law has historically always been for the purpose of protection, and service for those abiding by it.  At times, law can seem very trivial, restrictive, and even frustrating.  The reality though is encroaching laws are the result of relational boundaries that have been breached.  As soon as murders started happening, laws had to be set up to assess them.  As soon as telephones came into existence, with ever-increasing traffic, there was need to control traffic for the efficiency of the whole system.  As soon as airplanes began taking to the skies, there was need for Air Traffic control towers to instruct them.

Our culture is governed by laws that are for our good.  It is a proportional system that is based on a preventative diagnosis.  Laws need not be created to deal with problems that don’t exist.  We were designed first with an order of internal government to govern ourselves according to truth, and to appropriately interact with other people and things around us.  As individuals lose sight of that internal standard of judgment (morally objective truth from God), they begin to look to their own well-being (or the well-being of their tribal “in-group”).  As people focus more on abiding by the laws that benefit them directly, others feel the effect of laws that are indirectly discarded by a supposed irrelevance.  There is a great example here in the digital music industry.  Back in the 90’s, there was an explosion of music available on the internet with peer-to-peer sharing software like Kazaa, Napster, Morpheus, and Limewire.  People would put their music up for download and others would download it, with more seeds meant greater download speeds.  It was an awesome trend for music lovers, but what about the music creators?

Music fans now could go and get their favorite music for free rather than pay for the physical cds they wanted (and save a trip to music store simultaneously).  This led to laws restricting music sharing on the internet, not because the law always needed to be there, but because the economic freedom had been abused.  This kind of trend is specific to individual business’s, landlord-tenant agreements, or software licensing agreements.  Usually, legal agreements are prepared in order to prevent loss and protect those  products or services.  These agreements, or boundaries are the direct result of people failing maintain internal character-relevant boundaries.  Individuals begin to look to the external legal atmosphere (which is originated in the poor-interactions of individuals and objects in society).

It is was a sad day when our world saw the United States Government slowly began to become the world’s largest corporation, with it’s military maintaining bases as many bases on foreign soil as on domestic.  To maintain our way of life (which is sadly depreciating), we had to set specific boundaries, because the commonly understood ones had disappeared.

Just as in the Bible, laws were established to establish what was already boundaries to keep us safe, keep us healthy, and keep us morally conscience.  Laws were never meant to be explicitly defined.  It took people going against their design to necessitate articulation of what the boundaries were.  In an externally-governed world, relationship is merely defined on paper contractually.  But in an internally-governed world, relationships are intuitive, there is greater flexibility that is properly balanced against truth.  In this way, relationships between people and things are allowed to go much deeper into covenantal status, and trust is more often established.  People reach out much more when moral laws are more commonly known and followed.  From my standpoint, this was God’s intent when He created this universe – flexible, intuitively-growing structures that are focused ultimately on love of Creator, and subsequently His creation.  What has happened though, cannot be blamed on the Creator God.  Our present pain, tragedy, and turmoil are the result of our own decisions – and it has been our Creator God who has promised to walk with any who will let Him.  Our nature is dynamically relational rather than statically logistical.  We were meant for grand adventures, and instead we have settled for survival.

There is still opportunity to connect with people in this day in age, but the right procedure is not one that adheres to external laws, although they are hopefully not working against authentic, deep and rejuvenating relationship.  It is easily to shell-up and hold people at a distance, depending our federal or local restrictions or entitlements, but it is harder to open up and build an enduring relationship with someone that transcends are present cultural predicament.  My hope is people have lost the desire to still build those kinds of intimate relationships with their fellow man.  Those are the best memories I have had in my life – I would bet they have been yours too…

Rhema and Logos Word of God

Intro_banner.pngThere has been no shortage of reference in the last six months, for a frame of temporal reference, as to the amount of times I have heard the Bible, or written word, called “The Word of God”.  And I try as often as I can to insert all of the caveats that go along with the exclusivity of the Written, or “Logos” word being God’s Word alone.  Continue reading

The Gathering Place

Intro_bannerIn our twenty-first century world, people connect as much over text and Facebook messages as face-to-face, or even phone calls. Even email has become “last decade”. But whatever the technological caliber our society as ascended to, one thing has not changed: our need to connect intimately. But often times, this happens only when we let it happen. Facebook has become a quick update place, and forum boards lack the kind of open-ended relational purpose a person longs for in discussion.

But could there be a place online where people can gather together, with quiet, secure rooms for more sensitive discussion, while having a lobby with more general? The difficulty here is these kinds of websites usually don’t catch in the way certain social media giants of the past have. Friendster, Myspace, Facebook, ICQ, have all connected people in ways other internet tools never could. They made communication easy. This is great, but there are topics (and levels of intimacy) that won’t naturally be hit in these atmospheres.

 

The tendency is to reserve these kinds of discussions for over-the-phone or face-to-face discussion. But there may actually be some benefits to putting a virtual gathering site online.

  • Ease of Access

 

It has been my experience that going out to interact with good friends is important, but I have actually just been wiped out after a long day of work, and don’t have the energy to change clothes, and shift into social mode physically. A place to meet virtually would remove the intimidating commute, without losing the same level of connection.

 

  • On-Going

One of the beautiful things about forum threads is they stay where they are put.  Of course, that certainly may not be ideal for some discussions, and should be backed up locally, but for many, there is a place to pick up a previous discussion.

 

There has been a recognized trend these days to do more moving then in generations passed. It has been called “Urbanization”. It proposes that more people are moving into cities than ever before. While this appears to be very exciting, it actually seems to have had the opposite effect. People are not “geographically closer together, but socially further apart. It takes something external to bind us into any kind of relationship, but work, for example, tends to be an external requirement more then a joy anymore. The tendency towards what returning to what happens outside of work is much more clear: Television, Video games, or externally structured events like a church youth group or Bible study group. But in all of these situations, there is not really the kind of openness for any great level of intimacy between people. The “informal” moments have to be “caught” intentionally. What if there were a place where people could gather for just these “informal relational moments, from the convenience of a web browser?

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As a means of keeping this place safe, only those who have entered into the Lobby will know who is specifically present. Certain terms will have to be agreed to in order to keep people safe.

Once in the Lobby, people will be able jump right into conversation with people who have real faces next to their text! There would be no automated responses, but communication ought to come from real people. Certain individuals would need to be present to moderate the general structure of the lobby.

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Those in the Lobby would be able to connect with several individuals for more intimate conversation. They would disappear from the roster on the Front entrance completely, and only their corner would be acknowledged in the Lobby. These kinds of conversations require a large amount of trust to bear the deep information of life. The greatest of online security would be utilized here to ensure that people are protected, and feel safe.

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There is a intrinsic need in our lives to “bear our souls”. There is now no reason not to be releasing those things on your heart and be free of the pressure.

Wearing Hats

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In our present society, very distinct personalities are essential. There is the necessity for retailers, who sell items. There are teachers, who convey information and inspire others. There are police who keep the peace, and legislators who consider the ramifications of the laws that law enforcement actually enforces. Continue reading

Eternity and Infinity

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This round of speculation on the topic of time picked up at one most iconic places for applicational theology discussion – the dinner table. It took some mathematical articulation of terms to categorize what our perspective is, and what Gods perspective my include. Of course, as with any contemplation of the nature of God, it is tragically a semi one-sided, limited perspective of something beyond our comprehension. We, as evangelical Judeo-Christian theists, claim finite eternity (having a starting point with no end), while claiming God as infinitely eternal (having no beginning nor end). It is from here we drop into the chasm from rational consistency into irrational speculation. So the question arose, “why does this need to be solved, or even addressed?”

The answer, of course, is different for every person, and subject to their circumstances in life. I considered that the majority of our existence will be spend beyond our present space-time plane. Simply applying certain terms, I am allowed to reach over to the astrophysics table to consider ideas, so long as they do not contradict Gods character in Scripture, and to some extent, in experience. But before digging into elements of astrophysics, I submit that theology, and empirical science can appear irrelevant in comparison to our relationship with God and others. God, because He is eternal, and others, because they are also eternal. Our experience with God in eternity may contemplate Gods infinity, as He will possibly be able to reveal greater elements of existence then was ever possible before in our physical bodies.

But I am ever aware of the relational dimension in theology, and thus – trusting the written word of God through in light of empirical discoveries is of significance to me. The question on the table was (and still is), did time exist before God initiated creation? Does relationship among the trinity legitimately compose a sequential elapse of events, which is a simplistic definition of time?

Of course, this period wouldn’t have been able to be measured by the life of stars, the orbital cycles of planets, or the rotational laws about their axis’. But certainly, there was time elapsed, according to the previously-stated definition. Such discussion is obviously not new: theologians have considered many possible theories – I will attempt to summarize. One includes God exists in an “eternal now”. This means He sees all events (for us) past, present, future, as if they are happening now. It would mean He would have to know our choices ahead of us (chosen or not) in order to see them. Another includes a “timeless God”. God exists outside the constraints of time. He knows not the transpiring of events as we do, but still is able to interact with us who do exist in time.

These discussions of the philosophical dimensions of the spiritual realm seem trivial to us, who may still cling to a simple relationship with God inside of a “walled-in” perspective of eternity. And yes, there is some gateway yet ahead for all of us. But if we are believers in Christ, eternity gleams in a very real future; one that may not include this present, physical experience in the presently-understood universe. So philosophical discussion seems pertinent to me, as it is the setting of our eternity, and certain absolutes, we understand, won’t change in it. God won’t change. But if God “can’t experience”, being an “eternal-now God”, who are we spending eternity with, has He a history of non-temporal experiences that would come up in conversation? Our perspective of God ought be what our lives are characterized by. Who are we working with? Of course, we can ask Him now, but His answers will be wise encapsulations of the spiritual reality into our finite, physical minds…

“Every subject touches every other subject” was a statement brought up during the dinner-table contemplations. It was a statement not new to me, but it was spun with a different finger, so-to-speak. Discussions of time eventually reaches to discussion of free-will, decisions, and relationship. I am beginning to conceive of abstract nouns, such as “love”, “faithfulness”, and “relationship” as as real, (if not more-so) then concrete nouns like “people”, “rice”, or “meatballs”. “The spiritual realm is more real then the physical realm” is a philosophy I have adopted now for about four years.

Thus, interpreting Scripture in light of the more important “why” elements, and less of the “how” elements leaves critical doctrines unscathed, and simultaneously allows empirical discoveries to effectively explain the physical creation around us. Of course, science has made some false conclusions, just have Scripture has had some erroneous conclusions. It is a wise balance to consider a reasonable assessment of what is around us, but to simply remember it’s source, and consider the simplistic philosophical implications, though they will continue to make more sense as we reason in the context of our relationship with God, following His counsel to follow the inspiration that He has ignited in our hearts.