Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Whose Time?

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A Facebook friend re-posted the following article

Boston Globe. July 27, 2014

Cited

"TOM KEANE

Millennials, reject timely marriage at your own risk'

Cited

'IT’S NOT ENOUGH that they want to upend the modern workplace. Now the millennials are out to upend marriage as well. Wedding planners and finger-wagging moralists are beside themselves. But maybe the kids are on to something — as long as it doesn’t go too far.'

Cited

'The millennials are the much-maligned generation born in the 1980s through the early 2000s, raised on Harry Potter and 9/11, tech-savvy children of doting parents now entering a work world shaking from the Great Recession. They are, supposedly, too focused on self-actualization and not enough on making money for others.'

Cited

'And now comes a new report from researchers at the Urban Institute: Millennials aren’t getting married either. The percentage who will be unmarried by the time they hit age 40 could be as high as 30 percent, predicts the study. Of course, that still means 70 percent will get married, but that figure is well below the marriage rates for early baby boomers (91 percent), late boomers (87 percent), and Gen Xers (82 percent). The Urban Institute researchers appropriately offer a caveat — these are forecasts, after all — and acknowledge that what might really be going on is that millennials are just postponing marriage rather than forswearing the institution altogether.'

Cited

'Let’s hope so. Not getting married at all could prove tragic.' Cited

'But we should worry if the postponement is permanent. The Urban Institute data suggest that, straight or gay, people continue to couple up; they just don’t get married. That’s a problem. It’s not only the legal benefits of marriage — such as better tax treatment, visitation rights, and inheritance. Marriage is also a shield against poverty; the married are economically more secure (even when it comes to divorce). Then too — and of great consequence — children thrive better when raised in stable households. Troubling too is that marriage rates — including for millennials — break along demographic lines. Better off and white individuals tend to get married far more frequently than those who are less well off or minorities. It’s a “marriage gap,” argues social observer Kay S. Hymowitz, creating a kind of matrimonial underclass “destined for separate and unequal futures.” The upshot: Millennials waiting for marriage is probably to the good. But they — and everyone else — will regret it if they wait too long.'

End citations

L.I. Granberg quotes Biblical theology on marriage when citing Genesis 2: 24:

Genesis 2:24

New American Standard Bible (NASB) 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. New American Standard Bible
(NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Biblical union is explained as the Biblical norm as it is considered not good for man to be alone. Granberg (1996: 694).

Granberg lists those who qualify for marriage as persons who have 'grown up', therefore not children, or the mentally impaired or those with serious psychological problems. Granberg (1996: 694).

He reasons Biblical marriage and union provides the idea of completeness. Granberg (1996: 694).

There is also theology of the Christian being complete in Christ and therefore the question is asked; would a single person not be complete?

Is this model superior? I prefer

God and Christ makes a person complete

In marriage a partner is a complement in Christ

The marriage union takes place within continued exclusiveness whereas illicit sexual relationships are established 'without proper accompanying intentions and commitments' Granberg (1996: 694).

I have noted previously in blog writing that most persons, and therefore most persons in the Church would struggle with sexual sin to some degree and I reasoned that Biblically this was supposed to be dealt with properly.

I have discussed Matthew 5: 27-30 in a previous post on September 10, 2012

France explains Jesus equates such a lustful attitude with 'implicit theft' (p. 121). If Jesus was more so concentrating on the greater sin of adultery as opposed to the lessor sin of fornication (where no married person is concerned) he was still in no way condoning the lessor sin. Ellison (1986: 1124: 1125). Jesus Christ was using metaphorical, figurative language concerning the eye and the hand in this context. France (1985: 121: 122). One eye and one hand should be metaphorically, figuratively eliminated from the human body if this led to the end of lust. France (1985: 121: 122). This 'self-mutilation is not to be taken literally' (p. 122).

The key here is an avoidance of temptation that will involve sacrifice, a changing philosophy, thought pattern and habits. Theologically and philosophically these concepts can be further connected to 1 Corinthians 7 where it is stated by the Apostle Paul in verse 2: 1 Corinthians 7: 2 English Standard Version 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. In Matthew 5 there are theologically and also philosophically concepts that can be related and avoidance of sinful practices that rightly need to be exercised from a Christian's life. However it can be reasoned from the Epistle that it would be Biblical to attempt via the Holy Spirit to find someone in Christ of spiritual, intellectual and physical compatibility, in modern terms of course. This must be done wisely with more of an appeal to spiritual concerns and overall compatibility as opposed to assuming social rules for example, although important in society, the family, and the Church, that may simply and likely solve the issue. This more comprehensive approach too would also serve as a counter to what is being discussed as sin in Matthew 5.

The Scripture appears to acknowledge the need for the union and the danger of lust and sin and unless there is, as from 1 Corinthians 7, self-control (9) and (7) one gifted with singleness and celibacy as was the Apostle Paul, one should be seeking marriage.

I do however, have some philosophical issues with the concepts of 'delay' from a human perspective because it philosophically appears to assume that there is someone or more than one that is being delayed, primarily by human means. In other words, someone in being rejected by another on a permanent or temporary basis in regard to potential marriage.

This assumes much. For example, it assumes a culture where there is not a difficulty finding one of like world-view which one can relate to.

For myself, I have found it difficult, being a student from 1991-2010 living in the secular regions on Greater Vancouver and Greater Manchester to connect with nearly enough Christians, a small minority in the population. I have a few very good friends which includes females, and most were married by the time we became friends.

Greater Vancouver is also a Christian culture that is not very theologically orientated.

Working in a secular employment environment, for example, produces much more social interaction in a few months than does years in the Church or Christian academia environment.

In my case, there is no intentional delay. If another is involved in intentional delay in regard to me, that is between that person and God.

I would reason that intentional human delay seems primarily a secular concept and not Biblical. Not to state that union should be instant or near instant, but it appears Biblically that it is not something to be intentionally avoided unless one is following the guidelines of Paul in 1 Corinthians.

Yes, this smacks very much against secular culture and aspects of modern feminism.

There is a problem of evil and theodicy aspect present, as in my case when there is no intentional human delay, but because of cultural limitations and my academic background, limited opportunities.

Again many more opportunities in a secular culture.

Then I also must consider

God as primary cause of thoughts, actions and acts

Human beings as secondary cause (s) of thoughts, actions and acts

If one is single and not in union, it is still be willed and sanctioned by the infinite, omnipotent God, whether or not in his perfect or permissible will.

Human beings are finite and sinful and therefore are capable or error through lack of knowledge and disobedience. God deals with persons sometimes within permissible will and not perfect will.

Human causes alone do not delay timely union.

Human beings are secondary causes.

Therefore, God is the cause of the delay.

There are other potential premises involved other than simply whether or not I, or one, would intentionally delay union.

In my case I have not.

Daily Mail, July 30, 2014

Cited

'The Islamic State Killing Fields: Terror group releases horrifying video showing drive-by shootings, suicide bombings and dozens of other victims rounded up and executed' Cited 'In what should be a time of happiness when Muslims mark the end of Ramadan, Islamist militants in Iraq celebrated Eid by releasing a video showing scenes of them carrying out genocide. The slickly produced footage shows prisoners being rounded up and summarily executed, suicide bombers boasting before blowing up buildings and Iraqis being gunned down in drive-by shootings. In one of the most shocking passages, terrified prisoners are piled into the back of trucks, where they hold each other and huddle in fear before driven off to their deaths. The 36-minute film then cuts to dozens of prisoners lying face down on the ground, hands bound behind their backs, waiting to be executed.'

Cited

'The prisoners, believed to be Shi'ite Muslims, are then systematically executed by a small band of jihadists, thought to be Sunnis. It is understood the prisoners are referred to in the video description as rafidas, a derogatory term used by some Sunnis to describe Shi'ites who they believe have rejected Islamic authority.'

Cited

'One analyst likened the scenes to the killing fields of Cambodia, under the communist Khymer Rouge regime in the 1970s.'

Cited

'ISIS has become known for imposing strict Sharia law, mass summary executions and growing numbers of foreign fighters in its ranks.'

Cited

'In late June, the group announced it had changed its name to the Islamic State and had formed a caliphate across Syria and Iraq, under the leadership of its caliph, Ibrahim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Many Iraqi Christians have fled the Isis-held city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, following threats of execution if they did not convert to Islam. Isis has made considerable advancements in north-eastern Syria and Iraq, recently seizing a strategic military base near the ISIS stronghold city of Raqqa. The Sunni extremists celebrated their victory over the 17th division of the Syrian national army by beheading many of their prisoners and parading their severed heads around Raqqa. ISIS also briefly captured the Al-Shaar gas field in Homs province, killing at least 200 Syrian army soldiers before it was recaptured yesterday by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.'

End citations

'The 36-minute film then cuts to dozens of prisoners lying face down on the ground, hands bound behind their backs, waiting to be executed.' '

This is very much a foreign type of event for someone like myself that has been blessed to live in democratic Canada and British Columbia.

I would need to learn how to react within a certain situation I admit. My professional security training would assist as would my many years of martial arts and weapons training.

I reason that Biblically, martyrdom is an option and is sometimes what God requires, but in general, I think Christians in Islamic countries need to be very wise to avoid such situations, if even possible.

My personal reaction is to outside of what would appear to be God-willed martyrdom, not to simply lay down life, but to resist. However, most of the resistance must take place, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in spirit and mind to simply be wise enough to read political situations to if at all possible, avoid being victims of execution or prison. This allows one to live in order to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ.

ELLISON, H.L. (1986) ‘Matthew’, in F.F. Bruce (ed.), The International Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Zondervan.

FRANCE, R.T. (1985) Matthew, Grand Rapids, IVP, Eerdmans.

GRANBERG, L. I.(1996) 'Marriage, Theology Of', in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Work Ethic (Brief)

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Pushing your mgr's car (after work) across a main street against traffic @ night in the dark, now that is security...

Browning...

Work is natural for humankind from the beginning (Genesis 2) and not as punishment.

It became associated with sin in Genesis 3.

Work can be used in a positive context as in the gaining of wealth from Proverbs but refusing to work is deemed as 'reprehensible'. Browning 1997: 398.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 is cited

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

I reason this is in the context of those that can work and refuse to do so, not those that cannot work for legitimate reasons.

Blackburn mentions and lists the 'Protestant Work Ethic' and the entry states that 'we fulfil our duty to God by diligence, hard work, and restrained expenditure of goods acting as a treasuring sign (although not a cause since the outcome is predestined) of eventual salvation.' Blackburn (1996: 308). This ties into Christian spiritual discipline.

It does read as reasonable, although I am not certain I want to take it as dogmatic theology. 'Treasuring sign' is quite strong language but the concepts seem correct.

I admit that in my first twenty years of life that because of some parental issues and some self-esteem and self-image issues, my work ethic at school and in other areas of life was lacking.

My work ethic began to turn slightly for the better in my late teens at my last two years of secondary school and then slightly again when I earned my Insurance license; but my current very serious work ethic was developed with God's help when I started at Bible School and continued through my academic studies, and continues today.

But is it the Protestant Work Ethic?

My work ethic is more likely a result of me being in Christ as opposed to being a sign, but I admit that they are similar concepts.

At each level of academia from Christian BA to Christian MTS, to United Kingdom MPhil to United Kingdom PhD my work ethic had to increase, to a near perfection level by the time the PhD was reached.

Especially with the British-European PhD, there was very little room for technical and philosophical error and the amount of work was massive.

The work ethic required was intense.

But of course as I am a finite, imperfect being, perfection was not reached, but the required level of success was by God's grace.

Working now at corporate security I find now that some co-workers need employer motivation to follow standards, whereas when I completed my degrees, especially the last two theses only degrees, I had to be very self-motivated.

But I still give 100%. Even when some need to be constantly reminded of standards with memos etc...

I follow the standards if I am aware of them.

I am the least experienced officer at work with less than a year of experience and I am already the de facto supervisor for my shift on forty percent of the days I work, (I work with my good friend the very experienced and comical Mr. S. the other days) basically supervising people with years of experience. This is because of work ethic, PhD English skills with Canadian and British English and proficient computer skills.

I reason that whether I stay in corporate security or not the only reasonable course of action is to do the best work possible in order to build up my Resume and CV for employment or career change if and when it occurs. Even if my next employment takes place in the fields of theology and philosophy. I currently work on the site of likely a fortune fifty company and therefore it would be valuable to receive a positive reference.

My work ethic honours God and myself.

BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 

BROWNING, W.R.F. (1997) Dictionary of the Bible, Oxford, Oxford University Press.