This is the second week of the series on the Meaning of Life. In order to follow this week's discussion, I suggest reading last week's post. Scroll down or click here.
MONDAY - COMMUNITY
Profitability is completely dependent on uniqueness. If everyone valued everything exactly the same, there would be no way for people to become profitable. Profitability is the effect resulting from people exchanging value for value…but the individuals have to value things at different amounts in order for everyone to be profitable.
For instance, let’s say someone has an object they value at $5, while you value it at $15. If you buy it for $10, both parties actually become profitable by $5. However, if both parties valued it the same ($10), then they couldn’t be profitable.
The Creator built profitability into this world when unique beings were created. Trying to get people to value things the same goes against uniqueness and profitability. We need people to value things differently. While we need to agree on the objective (WHAT), profitability means sometimes we need people to disagree when it comes to the details (HOW).
With rewards, we saw that people can become profitable through Justice at the expense of others. Basically, someone had to lose value in order for someone else to gain value. However, eternity is going to be spent with everyone gaining. How is it possible for people to exchange value forever and everyone gain?
Uniqueness is the key! Uniqueness is the loophole!
In the above example, we saw that it is possible for two people to exchange value and both gain if they value things differently…if they are unique! The ultimate example of uniqueness is what I have been calling “the ARE”.
You can be perfect here and in eternity when you operate in your spiritual ARE. This is because God speaks to you through your spiritual ARE…it is your “God antenna”. Said another way, when you are operating as God created you to BE, obviously you would hear Him best.
God constantly speaks to you (grace) through your ARE. When you choose to let God flow through your ARE, you are perfect…you give a value that can’t be obtained anywhere else and it costs you approximately nothing because it is God doing it. When two people exchange value while both are in their ARE, it is the maximum possible profitability. God’s Plan depends on people acting in their ARE for eternity.
I look at it this way: Each of us is a unique gem and God is a strong light. When the strong light shines through the gem, a unique pattern of colors is visible. The source of the colors is the light (God). The uniqueness of the pattern is due to the gem (us)…who God created us to BE.
We defined community as “Three or more accomplishing SOMETHING more than they could individually”. The “something” defines the type of community.
If the “something” is “provide quick meals at a low price”, then the community could be a fast food restaurant. If the “something” is “provide coffee”, then the community could be a coffee shop.
The goal of the community is profitability (God’s metric). Profitability is achieved by exchanges between unique individuals. The profitability of a community can be determined by summing all the exchanges that occur in the community…that is, the value created or consumed from every exchange.
Marriage is a community: husband, wife, and God.
Church is a community: Wherever two or more are gathered, Jesus said He would be there to make the third member of community.
Church and marriage are God given communities. The purpose of community is to be profitable…to generate value.
Church and marriage are two methods God gave us to generate value in such a way that everyone gains spiritual value now!
Tomorrow we will look more closely at church.
TUESDAY - CHURCH
God gave us church as the ultimate community based on Fellowship…the one community all of us could be a part of…but it requires us to exchange value with others in our uniqueness. It requires us to operate in our spiritual ARE...to have God flow through us (grace).
What can a group of people accomplish on earth if they are "one"?
“And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Genesis 11:6)
This passage, showing the only community that occurred before the Law, proves we as the church can do anything we imagine if we are one, have one language, and imagine it together. The community In Genesis focused on the physical because they did it without God. Imagine what a community of believers can do if they are one and have God flowing through them.
What limits the profitability of the church? Lack of: Fellowship, uniqueness, freedom, knowing God’s Nature, understanding of who God made us to be, grace, understanding God’s Will and how it occurs, growth, contrastive thinking, non-contradiction,... basically, we embrace man-made tradition instead of God’s Word. However, we have gotten good at excuses...
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard someone say, “There are no perfect churches”. This is a fact. However, if the person states this in order to make us feel good about the way things currently are, then this is reinforcing IS.
The lack of perfect churches is a witness against us. If people could have perfect community on earth at the Tower of Babel, then it must also be possible for today’s church. Before you disagree, do you remember The Acts Church?
This post is an excerpt from the sequel to "Modeling God". In the third book, we will look more closely at how the church is supposed to do this and specifics on how today’s churches are following tradition. However, let’s return to the cause of the Acts church:
"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42)
All four areas are represented! Look at any earthly church and ask the following questions:
Doctrine (mental) – When is the last time the church improved its doctrine? (Grace?)
Fellowship (emotional) – When is the last time the church made it THROUGH an emotionally charged situation? (Remember, the word "relationship" is not in the Bible. Relationship is something much less than Fellowship.)
Breaking bread (physical) – When is the last time the church members shared a meal?
Prayers (spiritual) – When is the last time the church pushed into God?
I wonder how many churches help their members grow in all four areas simultaneously?
Currently, some people believe that Christianity IS always positive and comfortable. People believe if they are experiencing discomfort or division, then it can’t be from God. OUGHT church to be comfortable or uncomfortable?
Church OUGHT to be when the body assembles in order to have Fellowship with God...and the pastor is responsible for the body.
Pastors OUGHT to be pushing their congregation to grow mentally. This means actively looking for areas where the congregation has blemishes on its doctrine and removing these areas with the Word.
Pastors OUGHT to be pushing their congregation to grow in Fellowship. This means rewarding people who actively emotionally share their imperfections with each other and repairing with the Word.
Pastors OUGHT to be pushing their congregation to grow spiritually. This means showing people how to hear more clearly and more often from God through grace.
Pastors OUGHT to be pushing their congregation to grow in physical contact. This means incorporating significant time during the service for people to interact with each other in their uniqueness.
Instead, churches are set up to be one way...from the stage to the audience, whether it is singing, a sermon, a video, announcements, etc. Is this what the Bible defines as New Testament church? Is this the Acts Church?
Does a body work by having one cell direct all the other cells? Or does a body work by having all the cells interact with each other? If church is the body, then why doesn't it look like a body? Why does it seem to be about one cell...or all the other cells trying to occupy special positions held by a few cells? Which cells in your body are trying to migrate to special positions in your body?
Until we treat church like a body, church will continue to be IS…focused on appearance and tradition. When the church focuses on appearance during its interaction with God, it is the definition of fornication...giving of one's self to an image.
Tomorrow, we will look more closely at the doctrine of marriage...
WEDNESDAY - MARRIAGE
What is Marriage?
The sequel gives a much bigger answer... For this excerpt, we will look at part of the answer:
A covenant that generates spiritual value to excess (unlimited amount) to all of the persons in community (wife, husband, and God).
God intended marriage to be a benefit!
The difference between Fellowship and Marriage Covenant depends on profitability of sharing. Marriage OUGHT to be the profitable effect of sharing. Marriage OUGHT to be an effect of profitability at Fellowship. This excerpt will give us an overview of "Doctrine #1" in the sequel: God's doctrine of marriage ("OUGHT Marriage").
NOTE: If you are already married, you probably do not have OUGHT Marriage. During the discussion of Doctrine #3 in the sequel, the process of going from IS Marriage to OUGHT Marriage is covered. For now, look at the rest of the discussion of this doctrine of marriage without attempting to make drastic changes in your marriage. For those of you who aren't married yet, the rest of this discussion is really a question: Do you want OUGHT Marriage?
Imagine a spectrum where one end is “a man and a woman who want each other and only each other forever because they see each other as more excellent than themselves”.
This is the goal. This is OUGHT marriage. In this chapter we will see why EVERYTHING short of this will eventually run down and become unprofitable. Notice: In the beginning there was only a groom (Adam) and a bride (Eve).
Notice, the top of this spectrum is possible because of uniqueness. Without uniqueness, only one person could be more excellent than the other.
The spectrum looks like this:
-a man and a woman who want each other and only each other forever because they see each other as more excellent than themselves
-a man and a woman who want each other and only each other for a long time
-a man and a woman who want each other and only each other forever AND also may want others along the way
-a man and a woman who want each other and only each other now
-a man and a woman who want each other now AND also others
-a man or a woman who begs the other to be with him/her
-a man or a woman who acts differently (including men faking emotions) in order to convince someone to be with them
-a man or a woman who gets someone drunk in order to be with them
-a man or a woman who drugs someone in order to be with them
The bottom end of the scale is “beauty”. The top end of the scale is “attraction".
Each person starts somewhere on the spectrum when they meet someone. Their goal is to progress towards the top of the scale through becoming more excellent. No one begins the process at the top of the scale.
Fellowship requires you to give the other person an opportunity to be excellent. You are going to tell them something that will make them grow…but it is uncomfortable for both of you. This is done in an open, honest, and vulnerable manner. When they handle this encounter in an excellent fashion, both parties see the other as becoming more excellent. This results in both parties becoming more attractive…and move up the scale.
There are three steps to the process of becoming more excellent…they follow the repair model.
The goal is to drive attraction and the cause is handling situations with excellence.
This means that the marriage OUGHT to become more intense over time.
In fact, it seems the only way to drive attraction and excellence is to handle problems well. Luckily, we will always have problems! This is the opposite of appearance! This is just one of the reasons that Bible tells us to glory in tough times…they are an opportunity to increase profitability. If the person doesn’t handle tough times well, they will begin to slide down the Marriage Spectrum even though they didn’t do anything wrong. Staying at the top of the Marriage Spectrum requires the couple to continually do the excellent thing.
We can summarize OUGHT Marriage with a Model.
OUGHT MARRIAGE MODEL
1. Know your ARE…who God created you to BE.
2. Focus beyond appearance. (Go through the breaking process)
3. Fellowship with God. (Now we see the #1 want is to get to know God better…to deepen your “born again” experience.)
4. Fellowship with a person in Fellowship with God.
5. Profitable without touching.
6. See value the other person gives...realize you owe…love the other person...never attack the other person
7. God directs your #2 want to become to get to know your spouse more…
Worship is being towards God in everything. When you have Fellowship with God...God will direct you towards your spouse. When your #1 desire is to get to know God more, He will direct your #2 desire to get to know your spouse more.
CAUSE: Fellowship with God (First Command)
EFFECT: Fellowship with spouse (Second Command)
People who preach/teach to make yourself focus on your spouse or make yourself see your spouse as beautiful are preaching an effect and really encouraging a work. They are ignoring the First Command and committing idolatry. This will eventually wear you out.
Remember, when applying the OUGHT aspect of this doctrine should only be applied by people who are not married. Most people who are currently married have IS Marriage. We will deal with how to move from IS Marriage to OUGHT Marriage during the presentation of Doctrine #3.
There is an ongoing step (#8?) for OUGHT Marriage (and friendships).
The ongoing step (#8?) for OUGHT Marriage - to give your spouse the freedom to be who they were uniquely created to BE and DO, so that when they love you, you know it is their choice/desire.
This includes being available to others. Remember your spouse is an individual with a unique purpose and that may require them to interact with others to be a benefit to the Body. We saw in Acts 2 that the Bible says everyone OUGHT to be in Fellowship with everyone else. Anyone who hinders a believer, for any reason, from having Fellowship with another believer is actually opposing the Word and Will of God.
When someone says they have to spend time with their spouse…they are proving they don’t desire to spend time with their spouse. If they have OUGHT Marriage, they would tell you they can’t spend time with you because they want to spend time with their spouse…or they would say they could spend time with you if their spouse could also join you.
In order for marriage to be a benefit, sharing has to be driven continually! Everything short of the top end of the spectrum is going to become unprofitable. Driving sharing will prevent any person outside of the marriage from making the marriage unprofitable.
Think about that…The way to “prevent” your spouse from being tempted by others is not to limit them more or control them more. This actually drives your spouse away because it is a work…it ignores God’s Word and Will…this is idolatry.
What you OUGHT to do is focus on getting to know God better and God will give you the desire and the revelation on how best to get to know your spouse better…which will cause your spouse to want to get to know God better. There is only one thing you can do for your spouse: encourage them to love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Buying them flowers, taking them on trips, even having sex is actually tricking your spouse if it is a cause. This leads to IS Marriage. All of these things OUGHT to be an effect of God flowing through the spouses.
OUGHT Marriage: Your desire is to get to know and love your spouse more as an effect of getting to know and loving God more.
Tomorrow, we will review God's Will...What is God's Will? and How does it occur?
THURSDAY - GOD'S WILL
Today we will deal with the most fundamental doctrine that affects everyone: both believer and non-believer: What is God’s Will?
Man-made tradition (John Calvin c.1500's) says that God can do whatever He wants...this is called "sovereign" and is made up of three attributes of God: omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. "Omnipotent" is defined by man as all powerful...God can do anything. The traditional definition of "sovereign" is an effect of this definition for "omnipotent".
Actually, these three attributes of God were identified by philosophers thousands of years ago...and proven to be contradictory thousands of years ago. Basically, philosophers have created a definition of God and spent the time since showing their contradictory definition proves God doesn't exist. John Calvin brought this man-made tradition into Christianity five hundred years ago.
The Bible actually defines "omnipotent" as "the all ruling". The word "sovereign" when it is used in some versions of the Bible is actually "realm" or "kingdom" in Hebrew and Greek. The actual definition of "sovereign" is "doesn't answer to anyone". God is definitely the all-ruling and He doesn't answer to anyone. This can be true without contradiction.
Man-made tradition uses the contradictory definition of "sovereign" to redefine "omnisicient". Omnisicient leads to God knowing exactly what everyone is going to do, and only what everyone is going to do, for every second of everyone's life. This is called "pre-destination". Some people say God is ahead in time.
Actually, the Bible shows that God is "omniscient" in that He has all the data and can determine all the possibilities before everyone expresses their will and makes a choice. These two definitions lead to two very different understandings of God's Will.
In the sequel, we show how these Bible definitions lead to us understanding that God has three types of Wills: individual, group, and universal.
We see that God has a specific Will for each individual. The Will is unique to the individual and at birth has a finite “perfect” value that is unique to the individual. The individual’s ability to achieve God’s perfect Will is dependent on how much direction (grace) they take from God.
When we make mistakes, it is possible to lose value and even create a situation that is unprofitable. However, the Bible says to those who love God and follow His purpose, it is possible to take unprofitable situations and make them profitable…however, the result will be less than the perfect result. Notice, it will also be less than if the individual had taken complete direction from God (grace).
At this point, God’s Will is something less than what was originally intended due to the individual…not due to God. God's Will for the individual is constantly being recalculated due to the actions of the individual and others. God's will for the individual is based on everyone following truth...however, we don't all follow truth. So when the individual doesn't follow truth in their actions, God's Will for the individual gets recalculated to something less.
Notice, this makes God more awesome than a God who can make anything happen. When people say the most awesome definition of God that can be imagined is a God that can do anything…this is basically saying that a God that can bend the rules is more awesome than a God who gets things done and plays by the rules.
Which card player is more awesome? The one who wins according to the rules or the one who has marked the cards and deals from the bottom of the deck? Declaring the cheating person more excellent than the one who plays by the rules and wins tells a lot about the individual and their heart…
When it comes to omniscient, which God is more awesome? The God who only knows what everyone is actually going to do before they do it or the God who knows all the possible choices everyone can make, sends out an influence to everyone in order to help everyone attain the maximum…and then recalculates everything for everyone moments later when He finds out for sure what everyone has chosen?
God is awesome in that He is constantly looking to help the individual to accomplish the most possible (perfect)…and recalculating and adjusting based on the actions of thee individual and others.
God also has a Will for a group of people who exist at the same time. (As opposed to the Universal Will which is the Will for the group of people who have ever existed…the Meaning of Life.) Whether it is a family, a church, a school, the Israelites in Egypt, or a football team...God has a plan for a group that can be attained if truth is followed and can be exceeded if the group handles adversity well that it didn't cause. Again, the value is attained through justice at the expense of others.
So the answer to What is God’s Will? is:
God’s Will is made up of three general Wills: Universal Will (Meaning of Life), Individual Will, and Group Will. God has a Will in each area that can be attained if truth is followed. These three Wills don’t contradict each other.
Notice God's Will for the individual and for the group can grow...His original Universal Will (that all are saved) is always running down...He will never achieve His perfect Will because people chose not to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Also, whether God's Individual and Group Will’s occur is up to us. It is our fault if God's Individual and/or Group Will's are not realized.
God’s Universal Will (the Meaning of Life...the end of the Bible) definitely occurs but we determine when and at what cost. We could help it occur sooner with less pain. We could delay it and cause greater pain.
"Sovereignty" and "predestination" people rightly state that God's Will (Universal) will occur...and then they state this means that God's Will (group and individual) must also occur...which means, to these tradition-minded people, when the group and/or individual are unprofitable it must have been what God wanted. This belief contradicts the Bible and ultimately relies on our inability to explain it in order to live with this belief.
How does God’s Will occur?
This is probably the biggest doctrinal issue that everybody deals with whether they are a believer or not. People tend to think God knows exactly what is going to happen and only what is going to happen down to every detail before it happens. They will say that God is outside of time and therefore He can go ahead in time.
Unbelievers use this belief to say that God is ultimately wrong and unjust because God knows evil will occur, can stop it, and chooses not to help us. Believers use this doctrine to say we can’t or aren’t supposed to understand God, so there is no reason to even try.
Actually, God being outside of time means that God is not bound like us in having to experience each consecutive moment at the same interval. God's next moment (to Him) may be like a thousand years to us because He is going to experience enough events that it would take a thousand years for us to experience them.
To say that God can go forward in time would mean the future has already occurred...
Which means we don't really have a choice...
Which means we aren't responsible for our actions; neither salvation nor rewards...
Which means it is all God's fault.
That is not a conclusion I want to be associated with!
What is the proof that the future has already happened?
People would say the Bible says so, but I would ask for a specific passage where it says the future has already happened. I actually believed this myself within the last two years. I wanted a simple answer to how God can predict the future. However, when I tried to put together a lesson explaining this to Wayne Swokowski (the person who knows the Bible better than anyone else I know), I quickly found massive holes in my explanation.
What would you say if I told you I know what a friend of mine's reaction is going to be when he finds out his wife lost the keys to the car? Furthermore, suppose I told you, then you watched him give the reaction I explained, and then you asked me how I knew...what would you say if I answered, "I am like God and am outside of time!"?
You would say I was wrong. You may say that I had seen his reaction before from her losing the keys (experience). You may say that I knew my friend and how he handles certain situations (understanding). Basically, you would say in this specific case I had enough information through experience and understanding to be able to accurately predict (model) the results ahead of time.
The same could be said for God in every Bible passage that you use to try and prove God is outside of time!!!!
Then there are the passages which prove that if God is going ahead in time and/or the future has already happened then He is a liar or wrong or not Just...again, that is not a conclusion I would be comfortable teaching people about God while I was getting paid for it!
If you need to see this for yourself, then click on the four key passages below and reach a non-contradictory doctrine on God’s ability to see the future in order to understand how God’s Will occurs. Each section will build and end with some questions. Take some time to think about the questions before moving on...
Clearly the future hasn't already happened yet, otherwise God is wrong and/or a liar. People who hold to this view regardless of the long and complicated explanation they give are stating their will that they think God is wrong and/or a liar. “Predestination” fails and needs to be discarded.
The only non-contradictory explanation that is consistent with the entire Bible is that God has a Will for each of us that changes depending on our response. This would make it impossible for God to be wrong because all the responsibility is on us.
These four Bible passages show that God's Will happens through people who have enough value.
Tomorrow, we will look at the 100-word answer to "How does the Bible end?" (What is the Meaning of Life?)