Category: Blog

0

Morals and Values 10 – What and where they should come from?

Morals and Values for

Values. What and where they should come from.

ž They must take precedent above our culture –whatever culture that might be.

ž  They need to come from more than our upbringing or education.

ž The best place they should come from is from the heart of being a “follower of the way”.

ž Often times, issues that people say have “Christian’ values” do not. Often times people’s values have nothing to do with the Bible, or, more importantly, being a “follower of the way”, or of becoming like Christ.

ž Non-Religious Christianity removes any show or pretence from our seen value system and our inner personal value system. Our publicand private persona should be identical.

ž That our values should come from relationships is paramount. Jesus died to restore relationships. Relationship with God as well as people.

ž In building our paradigm of values, relationship with each other and the well-being of others is central.

ž It is vital to hold to a Christological interpretation of the Bible, i.e. that Christ is central to scripture. It is more than helpful if we work back from who He is.

ž To grow in Christ- likeness, a theology of Grace and freedom is foundational to thoughts and actions.

ž It is important to have a strong theology of issues such as: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female,” so that the leadership of females is not an issue, neither is race, colour, or earthly nationality. These issues are contemporary throughout the global village.

ž Choose a lifestyle that reflects the character of Jesus. Thereby we take on the mantle of Christ.

ž Adopt a world view that creates a mindset where we consider all our human relationships as bringing and giving meaning to the whole of life.

ž Know that Christ is central in the story of God’s creation, because He is in the process of restoring all things to perfection.

ž Know that Grace fulfils and then surpasses law and brings freedom.

ž Value the equality of all. Hold tight to a value system, where all people are identified in the cross of Christ.

It’s a good idea to think about the differences in Values between what we see as Hebraic and what was Greek thinking at the time of Christ

ž Have a look at what is the difference between the thinking that was Hebraic, and what is and was Greek thinking and value.

ž This would be another way of checking our real Values. And I think it would give you quite a surprise.  You will find a comparison analysis of these things in my book, “Jacob. A Fatherless Generation.”

Scripture says:

ž Romans 8:29.  Amplified Bible (AMP)   

 29For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be moulded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

ž  Romans 12:2 New Living Translation (NLT)        

 2 Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Adrian Hawkes

3 min talk for UCB

w. 442

0

What Mind?

Morals and Values .9.Put on the Mind of ChristScripture tells us to “put on the mind of Christ”. How do we do that?The story is told of a little boy who was coming home with his friends from school. The friends passed an apple orchard. The apples in th…

0

8. Morality and Values – What do we put into our Brains?

8. Morality and Values What do we put into our Brains?We talked last time about the fact that it is our thinking that changes us, or should I say can change us.  If we are to change, then what we think about is the key to that change. We have…

0

7. Morality and Values – Thinking Controls Everything

7. Morality and Values Thinking Controls everything.Well first of all:  Any answers to my question of last time? My question was: What is it that is used to change us and develop our consciences? Is it God? Or is it us?  Lots of answers …

0

6. Morals and Values – Laughing at Bad

6. Morals and Values Laughing at  BadI was leading a community of Jesus followers in the North of England, when I noticed that there was a particular parent who every time their child did something bad, they laughed at the child and noted how…

0

Morality and Values 1 – ETHOS

Ethos


Morality and Values  1.


This subject of “Morality and Values,” I observe presents such problems.


I was part of a government think tank in looking at OFSTED inspections of schools. One of the things they looked at is the moral dimension of the ethos of the state schools.  My problem was – and is: How does one get hold of and understand morals and morality?  In this small group, on the discussion  of “Moral teaching in Schools”, were Muslims, Catholics, Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Humanists.


All of us – apart from the humanist – agreed that morals has to come from some kind of law giver. And actually, in all of our thinking, we concluded that the law giver must be God – that is, apart from the humanist – who said “There isn’t a God! So morals must come from somewhere else”.

I went on to argue that in terms of generosity, in such things as tsunamis, famines, natural and man made disasters and the like, the UK Is actually quite generous in its giving. I put this down to the Judeo Christian influence in the historical background of the nation. The humanist said, “Now don’t be silly! It is due to the fact that we were once great colonists”.   Hmm! I thought that was all about greed, trade, and getting lots of power and things for ourselves?


Anyway! Having been one of those interviewed by Richard Dawkins for his, “Religion is the root of all evil” programmes, I find the stuff all over the internet, usually with many of “the learned” atheists – so called – poking fun at my opinions.  Funnily enough, I have read Richard’s book, “The God delusion”. One of the things that struck me from the volume is how often the base of “who we are” and “where we are”, comes down to “luck” and simple good fortune – at least according to Mr Dawkins’ book. 


God seems a better thesis to me.


And of course, both in the programme and on the net, as well as – defiantly – in Wikipedia, comes the discussion of morality.  I am sort of “amused” that in at least one article or comment, the fact that we live in a moral universe  – and one “without God” according to the “atheists” – is actually argued from the fact that some fish have a symbiotic relationship with cleaner fish and actually protect them. This, so they claim, is the logical grounds as to why we don’t go around on our streets killing each other. 

The fish story is used to suggest that violence and killing is – sort of – wiser not too.

One of the things that Richard Dawkins said to me in the interview for his programme, (which I have not seen on the TV repeats or YouTube, so I guess it’s on the cutting room floor), was; “I am more righteous than you”. I, of course, said “Oh! And how is that?” To which he replied, “I don’t go around pillaging and raping, and I don’t need a God to stop me. You, Adrian, need God to stop you.” 

To which I answered “Bully for you! You maybe ought to watch the international news every day!”


One Swallow does not a summer make.








Adrian Hawkes

For UCB

300417

W. 550

 Edited KL

But…

But…

Never take notice of what people are saying until they have said, “BUT!” The “but” can change everything.
I liked the article that Benjamin Sledge wrote on “The Irrelevance of Christianity”.  I even wish I had written it. I agree that we Jesus Followers should not be imposing our laws and values on others. We belong to another kingdom, and hold passports of another country. So we observe the laws, values and culture of that regime as top priority.  BUT, Jesus did say he was putting us into THIS world and not taking us out of it.  So we are here! I need to engage with this world and not put myself in a corner and become part of some ghetto.
That means to engage with the politics, the voting, the speaking and – if possible – pulling down handfuls of Kingdom into this time space world and persuading people to take on board Kingdom Values. Why?  Because it’s good for all of us, both the followers of Jesus and everyone else on the planet.
So, I believe in a God of Love. He is one that loves all of humanity. This means that the laws of the Kingdom of God, the values of the Kingdom of God, The Morals of the Kingdom of God, must be for our good. It must be for our benefit. By that I mean the benefit of all humanity not just those who have discovered a relationship with the God who is there.
Logically then, if I know this God of love and His values, and understand that His way is the best way to live, of course, I will want to share His love and these values, not out of a sense of superiority, or one of condemning my fellow human beings, but because I want the best for the lives’ of others as well as my own.  After all God does not make the sun to shine just on His followers, we all benefit from His goodness.
Now! That does not mean that, as Benjamin Sledge says, I hammer you with a book that you never read (i.e. The Bible). Looking at the history of Paul he did not do that. Of course, in His day he did not have the New Testament part of the Bible, he was still writing most of it.
What Paul did is very interesting. He wants good things for people. He wants people to get related to Jesus, the “risen from the dead” One. But he does not start there. In other words, what we might say is, he does not quote Bible to them, but rather he starts where people are.  We should not – really – do anything else.  So he starts on Mars Hill in Athens with that rather strange phrase, “Oh! I see you have an altar to the unknown God.” I know the unknown God. Let me introduce you to Him.  
Paul does not quote the Bible to them. No! Not even the Old Testament Bible. Rather, he quotes their own poets and draws them from there to a better value system, a better way, a knowing of the unknown God.
It would have been quite difficult for Paul to get involved in the politics of Rome. It wasn’t a democracy. Although he gently tried at one point of time when he says in one of his trials before King Agrippa; “I know I am chained up, but what I have is still the best. Apart from these chains, I would want you all to have what I have got”.
Sure, people thought he was mad, but maybe what he had was so good that he wanted others to have that kind of life quality.
We live in a democracy. I am a follower of Jesus. I know that the value system that He gives, when applied gives a better life. Not always easy. Not always nice. Not always happy, but with a source of Joy and purpose.  I guess I want to share that.
Surely I know that Morals can come from other sources. The Atheists are always telling me that. But what sort of morals?  What sort of values? Are they the values of generosity? Of loving your enemies? Of doing good to those who are bad to you?
Lots would like me to be quiet and to keep my values to myself. But I care too much for the well-being of others to do that.
AH
Edited KL
W. 724
adrianhawkes.blogspot.co.uk

Help me, why is it so?

Help me why is it so?


Talking to my friends in the USA who know these things, and also to people in the UK parliament they tell me that the rudest letters, the most vitriolic complaints almost always come from those who say they are Christians.  Why is that so?


Talking with a Christian Journalist friend, he tells me that the worst letters of complaint the most condemning and nastiest come to him from Christian readers, why is that so?


I know that when people find their way to Jesus, they are often not nice people, usually they know that and that is why they come to Christ for help, for change, for a new right life.  I have often had people say to me you need to love me as I am God does,  my often thought with such people is, that’s very hard because you are horrible, you are just not nice.

I do know that God loves us as we are, there would be no hope, or grace if He did not as a Muslim friend once said to me, if God does not show us Grace there is no hope for any of us.  However it is very clear that the plan for those who follow Jesus is that we should not remain as we are Horrible if you will, but the plan is to change us, make us more and more like Jesus.  So his values become our values.


I constantly find that people who call themselves Christians do not seem to haves the values of Jesus and although they claim to be following him their actions really give me a problem.  Yet I find some who make no claim to be a follower of Jesus, having values, actions, grace and concern for others in a Christ like way.  They may even call themselves atheists or people without faith.


 Even Paul had those who were Asiarchs in Ephesus who did not share the ‘Jesus-bit’ but were ardent defenders of him even when their own future status and comforts were greatly under threat. 


A friend of mine said The tension comes when we view evangelicals as ‘brothers and sisters’. I don’t think my discernment is simply cultural – I think I discern it in the Spirit. But working together with a number of them is all-but impossible, or, there is a small uncomfortable area where we can work together.  Then, with those who are not believers, I do not discern that bond, but find where they share the values of Jesus we can go a long way forward.


Let me tell you a personal story, I was part of a church group, working with them I bought a house they provided the deposit however from then on I paid all cost mortgage, repairs everything.  Then they fell out with me; silly me had put the whole property in the name of the group, it seemed spiritual at the time!

It did not seem so good when they issued an order ejecting me from the property, a life on the streets with wife and three young children did not seem a good idea. Fortunately God was there and I was able to buy back the property I had paid for, at a very inflated cost, my brothers and sisters in Christ making a goodly profit out of my distress.

So reason for this story, well at the same time as all this happened I had entered into a seven year contract to rent a shop, we were about three years in.  I read the contract carefully, should have done that when I signed it. I realised that I had signed away a lot and given the landlord great power over me.  What to do,

I went to see them, one Muslim one Hindu owing the shop.  I showed them my contract saying I realise you have lots of power to take me for everything.  They both read it carefully, yes they said we have defiantly got you, however we are also in business, so we think we should be kind to you, you are released, and they ripped up the contract.  I was happy but disappointed too; I was puzzle as to who was Christ like, who really were my brothers and sisters, who had the Jesus value.


So now can you help me understand?  Maybe C.S. Lewis had it right in his last battle.

Emeth, one of Rishda’s men and a devout follower of Tash, insists on seeing his god. Rishda tries to dissuade him, but Emeth enters the stable, and the dead body of another soldier, who was stationed in the stable to murder the rebellious Narnians, is thrown out instead.  Aslan invites him into His world, Emeth says he cannot come as he has never severed Aslan, always Tash, Aslan say all you did was for me even though you thought you were serving Tash.



Adrian Hawkes

adrianhawkes.blogspot.com

W. 834