TGIF

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17 Responses

  1. Pam says:

    Awww Chester – the things we learn from you and Miss Kitty…I hope! ?

  2. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Chester is not tied to a chain. He is free to go wherever he thinks it would be better to be. Sometimes it is the history of our own previous choice making that causes us to not trust. Accepting the best does not require trust, but relying on it does.

  3. Dallas says:

    I like where you make the point that you hope where you should trust. Who hopes for what he sees? I find the problem is that sometimes my eyes are closed.

  4. Owen says:

    Methinks that perhaps Chester has had to do a lot of fighting to eat, in his past…. old training dies hard.

    As for me, it amazes me what an Israelite I can be sometimes – forgetting all the past providence and still worrying.

  5. Em ... again says:

    this one’s easy… the cat has never known a peaceful meal and therefore feeding time = nervous time – he’s conditioned, “there’s food and therefore the sky is falling,- oh dear – oh joy – i must eat quick” maybe put him and his bowl in the bathroom and close the door? 🙂

    we trust and we hope and yet i often tell God that He is so far away, even though i fully subscribe to His omnipresence… He knows that my mind tells me He’s sitting on a Throne in Heaven and i haven’t a clue where Heaven is… i have to confess that to Him when i pray – i’m conditioned – God the Holy Spirit is patient with me as i’m still working on renewing my mind…

  6. Reuben says:

    The natural process of evolution is a hard thing to grasp. Much of what we animals are, including cats, is a learned response. One can only imagine what Chester has gone through, what experiences that shaped Chester’s response to various scenarios, what events altered those learned responses.

    The amazing thing is we get to watch all species evolve in ways that are impossible to predict, but effective in shaping a learned response. Thus, we hand down that wisdom, genetically, or surreptitiously, by quietly exchanged words in the shadows of fear, or boldly proclaiming injustice to as many as will listen.

    Cats and dogs teach us a great portion of how experiences shape outcomes. I suspect we would all like to believe that there is order to this process, but no two beings have experienced identical events, and no two beings are capable of processing events in like manner.

    So we watch, and learn, and react, and alter course.

    Reading this, I see that how you and I see the creatures we love in absolute solidarity is also how you and I are shaped in dramatically different responses to such observations. Chester means something different to me, but our compassion for Chester is parallel.

    I suspect this is why we see god so different.

    You unquestionably view god to be justice. I unquestionably view god to be injustice. The course of our lives, although we are the same species, has involved enormous similarity, and produced enormously different response.

    “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

    We have 5 cats, and they are on display to our small human family daily. I suppose you might vaguely remember a book by Gerald Robison called “Cat and Dog Theology”. In it, he humorously observes how the human reaction to soteriology varies, but fails to understand how varied that response can be. He boils down the responses to two categories:

    Cat says, “You love me, you pet me, you feed me, I must be god!”

    Dog says, “You love me, you pet me, you feed me, You must be god!”

    Failed as this comparison is, it does underscore a truth, that we desire to clarify experience, and make it a source of actual mathematics regarding our interactions with the unknown.

    Chester did this.

    To Chester, you are god, but experience dictates that god is different to Chester than Miss Kitty.

    Interesting. Something worth extrapolating.

  7. Em ... again says:

    hmmm… extrapolating into the unknowns 🙂
    the scientific method does leave something out of the equation… maybe that is why there is so much interest today in the possibilities of dimensions and alien beings and such – dunno

  8. Reuben says:

    Em, that is a disingenuous statement.

  9. Michael says:

    Rueben,

    To be more accurate, I believe that justice is an attribute of God.
    The difference we have is that I believe that His justice will not be fully realized during this age, but in the age to come.
    In the meanwhile those who represent His kingdom now should be the foremost advocates for justice.
    I am painfully aware that this is not always the case.

    Chester and Miss Kitty view their “god” differently…but in reality it is the same “god”… their observations having been colored by their life experiences.

    I do not hold their misunderstandings against them…in fact, it is increases my compassion towards them and undergirds my patience with them.

    I believe my God does the same for me…

  10. Reuben says:

    Michael,

    We are so close on so many things…

    Chester and Miss Kitty do not have any misunderstandings. No. They do have you. We agree that ultimately, that is what matters.

    I agree that justice can most certainly be an attribute of your god. I stand corrected. Your statement is correct. However, and as you stated, that justice is elusive. Nebulous even. It certainly has not been fully realized. When we read the scriptures, we see your god exacting that justice in many ways, and we see god’s people respond accordingly, in many ways. We both agree that how the responses are acted out is often unfortunate, and we also have to agree that we learned that from god.

    However, your god does not do the same for me. You maintain a better ability to exact justice than your god does. Miss Kitty and Chester have love, food, shelter, and some semblance of assurances in their known universe, and that, we know, is not the case for other cats. What then does that say of god?

  11. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    It would speak very poorly of God if this age were all that is and this is the only opportunity He has to demonstrate His love, justice, and other attributes.

    However, if He has an eternity in which to demonstrate these things and there is a new age to come, then we are called to patient endurance waiting for that time while working to bring His kingdom rule to this age that is passing away.

  12. Reuben says:

    What differentiates this age from ages prior is that humanity has seen, and learned that god is better relegated to myth. That is precisely how humanity has become more civilized than it has ever been before. We see social, political, economic, gender, and religious injustices. It is within our capacity to alter the course of those injustices, and we are increasing in awareness and power. As we become more godless, we become more self-aware. We increasingly no longer believe that the solutions to differences is no longer simply killing the opposition, burning their cities, raping their women, slaughtering their children.

    I would contend that it would speak very poorly of your god, much more so in fact, in ages past. Our thinking is evolving.

    We remember where we came from. We cast off layers of hatred and bigotry. We question our motives. This painfully slow process is facilitated by god’s gradual receding from our species, not the other way around. I think this is one of the loudest proofs of evolution that anyone can view.

  13. Em ... again says:

    #8- disingenuous? … nah, ingenuous maybe … dunno … 🙂
    one thing that denying the existence of a real and in charge of everything God (big ‘g’) is that one doesn’t have to give any credence to the possibility of this world and its surrounds being created by a really big Genius (big ‘g’)… that was a genuous comment – lol

    i believe the key is God’s holiness and righteousness demand justice, but it will be on His terms and in His timing… He really is a very big God (there’s a bigger gap between our brains and His than there is between us and cats)… but for now we have an incredible planet on which to work out our salvation – by His grace and kindness…

    the ingenuous person that i am simply cannot imagine such a random, but orderly as all get out, environment just happening simply because nothing turned into something all by itself as the nothingness momentarily found itself aligned to do so – now that would be a miracle too big for me …i heard someone else say that somewhere … just sayin … again

    #12- the observation leaves one factor out and that, if true, it has been the Western world (nurtured by the Church’s influence) that has made these advances… if it is now seen spreading worldwide (there’s something to debate on that view), it has been the influence of the Western world (nurtured by the Church over the last 2,000 years)… spare me the burning of heretics and witches in the name of God – that was unregenerate man – those wolves in sheep’s clothing

  14. Steve Wright says:

    Looking only at the general revelation of nature (whether cats or anything else), can only give an impartial revelation of God. As MLD often says, God exists, He is powerful, and He is upset. Of course, most pagan religions have been about appeasing the gods, because they see the gods are constantly upset as the default position.

    The special revelation of Scripture gives us the fuller message, and specifically the special revelation of Jesus Christ and His cross. To see Jesus, is to see the Father.

    God is perfect justice, perfect love, perfect goodness, perfect righteousness. He is TRUTH. Not “a” truth. He is TRUTH itself. In Him there is no lie, no darkness, no error, no imperfection.

    In me there is plenty of all of that stuff.

    As Michael said, that does not and will not be fully demonstrated in this world – how do we know? The Bible says so.

    Reject the Scripture and look only at nature (or the beliefs of man apart from God), and one really has nowhere to turn for truth.

  15. Reuben says:

    Steve,

    I have to say that is a curious thing to hear from the other side. My response to that would be similar to Hawking, who said, “It is clear that we are just an advanced breed of primates, on a minor planet, orbiting around a very average star, on the outer suburbs of one of among a hundred billion galaxies. But, ever since the dawn of civilization, people have craved an understanding of the underlying order of the world. There ought to be something very special about the boundary conditions of the universe, and what can be more special than that there is no boundaries. And there should be no boundaries to human endeavor.”

    I feel rather liberated in the acomplishments and potential of science, mathematics, physics, social studies, and evolution. I simply don’t seek the kind of “truth” you speak of, and it does not seem to keep me in this despair we always believed would be inevitable. It haunted me for a time, and I feared that rejecting god would collapse my purpose in life. Admittedly, for a season, it was worse than anything I have ever experienced. I feel as though I am healing nicely. My outlook on life is changing, I believe, for the better.

    I no longer need to prove god is in my life. It is a burden I did not even realize I had, yet when it lifted, I could actually smell life.

  16. Reuben says:

    Em,

    Respectfully, I say it is a disingenuous statement because the scientific process does not leave out what you say it does. I think you know that, and probably even boast that. It is the common view of Christians to believe that science is held back by it’s endeavor to answer questions through tangible means. Science has the greatest potential for awe, wonder, and imagination.

    Aliens? Why not? Is there a reason why this universe can’t facilitate life elsewhere? The Multi-Verse Theory? Why not? Is there a reason why particle physics can’t pose theory to seeking minds?

    The greatest thing about testing theory based on observation is that you may be right, you may be wrong, but you eventually land on the truth.

    Lawrence Krauss has a mind boggling saying that he pulls out quite a bit when faced with people who view science to be counterproductive to belief systems, or people who think science is a means of deliberately destroying gods, lacking respect for “the creator”. I am going to butcher it, but it goes like this…

    “It is amazing to discover that you are wrong. It is liberating. It is not a threat. It is opening your mind.”

  17. Em ... again says:

    Reuben, yes, science must look at what is seen and search with wonder about what is not seen…
    and yes, it is logical as all get out to extrapolate that the vastness of the universe (and beyond 🙂 ) must indicate that there are other beings out there … and other dimensions? very intriguing and very probable, also… i don’t pretend to know who all is out there or what they are or what they are doing, but i do know some of them are traveling back and forth doing either God’s business … or … the devil’s – the aspect of a war going on that our eyes can’t see from our dimension-cage is intriguing … and scary

    i honestly don’t have much interest in outer space (weird? i know)… i figure i’ll travel there and beyond, tho… in God’s time… i hope it’s “beyond” as i don’t much like anyplace without trees and water and grass and such… Heaven will be an adjustment for me i guess… strange how our capacities affect our appreciations…

    for those of us who have found the God in charge of it all thru the ways He is messaging to us – in the ways you are aware of, there is no threat to Faith in scientific discovery… we may not be able to say amen to every theory, but IMV God gave us these wonderful brains and other capacities and it pleases Him to see us use them – but that capacity to think can also lead us to think 🙂 that we see more than we really do…

    thing of it is, i don’t think that we are smart enough to prove that there is no God, just as we cannot prove that there is one… it may be liberating to quit trying to make Him fit a mold that pleases our sense of what is right and just… but as i said up there somewhere in this thread, we aren’t smart enough to do that… so i guess we all choose what route to engage, eh? i think that is just as God planned it… someday, i’ll know why…

    the merry go round has stopped and i’m off getting now… may God keep

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