…one pier that’s not really attached to anything!
Now the first two involve accents, all involve spelling error, but the last speaks of both inconsistency, as well as, absurdity, both of which are synonyms, among which nonsense, foolishness, and stupidity also appear. OK, you say, but what is your point and where are you going with this word study? Well, first of all, I got your attention, didn’t I?
Well, I do have a point, and if you will follow my “train” of thought, we’ll pull into the “station” of reason together when I’m finished.
I was listening to a debate on “talk radio” the other day while traveling home from another state. It kept me awake, so I followed the line of reasoning attempted by one guest who represented what was termed a “secularist” organization. (National Secular Society in Britain, by name.) In his attempt to explain his position regarding the separation between what he termed “religious” and “secular” life, he made the statement that his organization’s purpose was to help society to adopt a definite separation between the two in order that those who have a religious belief would not try to impose their belief upon those who did not. To him it was reasonable to assume that such was the answer to societal harmony.
When the talk show host, who is unapologetically a conservative Christian, asked him to explain why his organization was involved in attacking Christians for their faith, the obvious “bottom line” for the campaign which they were launching, he denied that as the goal, saying some might become too fanatic in the process. Given, however, their campaign was to encourage people to publicly “leave their faith” by signing a certificate of “debaptism” which the organization sends by email to those who respond. Now, as one Christian blogsite agreed, the campaign is fueled by what seems to be a growing disillusion among Catholics regarding their political clout in the world, particularly countries which are heavily Catholic, and so, the anti-faith push.
This particular campaign aside, though it is characteristic of the attempts to silence the witness of Christians by an atheistic world, the focus I want to address is the “paradox” of the mindset which often cries “INTOLERANCE” when describing the Christian faith and its witness regarding the growing immorality in our world. One paradox that blatantly stands out is the ‘INTOLERANCE” they have for what they identify as the Christian’s approach. I’m convinced that they believe in everyone’s freedom of speech and belief, AS LONG AS IT CONFORMS TO WHAT THEY SAY AND BELIEVE, or as in this case, DON’T BELIEVE! A true PARADOX!
Further, I agree with those who express “amusement” at the continuing battle waged by those who claim NO BELIEF IN GOD or DON’T KNOW WHAT GOD TO BELIEVE IN, against those who have a very active belief in THE GOD. Why? Because down deep in their hearts they’re not sure that they are correct about the whole matter. Their attempts to “put away” the faith of others is to use the tactics that are common to man, to put away that which disturbs the perceived “status quo” of their existence, which is shaky in its purpose if there is no hope beyond it. To admit to the existence of God is to have to respond to what the righteous demand of God is! The logical next step is, admitting that SIN is real and perhaps, too, that which has been adopted as legitimate to practice. NO GOD, NO SUCH MORAL CODE TO FOLLOW! Thus, no wonder their campaign to debunk and eradicate the Christian faith.
Now, let me come to the ultimate point of my opening line, “A PARADOX IS NOT… …a pier that’s not really attached to anything.” Tongue in cheek I use the term as one of my puns with meaning. If we say that something is “para” we refer to something that is related but only in the sense that it is “alongside” or “beside”, as in “parallel lines” which run alongside but are not connected to each other, separate.
When the head of the Secularist Society stated that society needed a separation between “secular” and “religious” life he was voicing their desire to have a definite break between the two, with perhaps the latter as far removed from sight as would be possible. Their feeling is that the religious should have no influence over or with the other. The only problem with their campaign for separation, under the guise of the freedom of all of speech and exercise… it does not take into account the fundamental basics of the Christian faith. The Christian faith is a belief and practice that sees the whole of a person’s life as dedicated and influenced by GOD so that the compartmentalizing of an individual is not a real option. By the same description, those who do not believe are governed by that conviction which influences their “secular” life, as well. Whether practicing faith or its lack of faith, one’s life is affected accordingly. A “para” life cannot exist. Man is a spiritual, physical living being that cannot be divided, except in death, in which case the spirit lives or dies ON, dependent on one’s preparation for it.
Herein is the lack of understanding on the part of those who express NO FAITH. Having no faith they interpret the human life as only a here-and-now existence. What is PARADOXICAL is their belief and practice of “spiritual” principles found in such intangibles as LOVE and HATE, COMPASSION and PASSIVITY, PEACE and DISCONTENT, HOPE AND DESPAIR. These are not grown but in gardens of the spirit, and their maturing is found in the kind of spiritual food, water and Sonlight that is given them. Like the evolutionist who decries a BIG BANG theory of CREATION, they have no answer to the questions, “WHAT EXPLODED?” or “WHO LIT THE FUSE?”
I must come to the point as a Christian witness of my faith, that I cannot hope to instill in the mind and heart of such a person an understanding of the “spirit’s” existence, mine or his, and its inseparable connection to all of life’s pursuits. Who I am, body, soul and spirit must be expressed in all I say and do. When the Scriptures record “we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength” (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37), it did not say PART, it said ALL! My Christian character and morality must govern me in all of life’s circumstances.
To say that I can leave my Christian faith at home and live a secular existence from 8 to 5 is, to use the synonyms, “foolish” and “stupid”. On a related note, to tell Christians they can worship and practice their faith freely, and yet call them INTOLERANT when their very faith’s exercise recognizes the Biblical mandate to consider some worldly practice as morally wrong, is truly the height of nonsense, also paradoxical. It is like a boss giving two options for an employee’s consideration, “work for me for no wages” or “you’re fired”. No choice, really.
Now, let me wrap this up with a word of compassion for those who do not understand what I have attempted to say. When all is said and done, we are given this information about the basic reason for the lack of understanding on the part of those who do not believe in God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit of God. Indeed, they who do not believe do not yet have the Spirit’s teaching lodged in their hearts, to reflect the true nature of God and man. Paul says it this way, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (I Corinthians 2:11-16)
…i.e., A PARADOX IS NOT…one pier, but a person who’s not really attached to anything!
Dear Christian friends, be encouraged for our Father is not a PARADOX to those who trust in Him.