We all use language to communicate. But, though many of us can use "words", we do not know how to communicate. What is Communication?
Communication means that one understands a context and the history that affects "meaning". This is how the "Christian" uses language "to fix" or "redeem" (this is their theoogical term) the world. Such language is useful to get "believers to agree" and co-operate "with God's purposes, as Goe's purposes are assumed to be "about the world". But, is it just manipulation of language for certain purposes? When in reality, what is desired is certain behavior for certain outcomes or goals of personal interests or concern to leadership? These goals are defined within contexts, themselves.
Groups like to scapegoat. The Christian scapegoats "God", all groups think that "justice" is "their view" in a particular context and God 'is on their side". This is how the Church theologized "Christ" as the unifier of the world. Christ was scapegoated for one group's sins against another group of people. Group reality is not 'human development", but one identification factor to a particlar indivdiual.
In reality, groups are formed and framed by social, legal, moral, and interests factors. These factors support individuals and their view of themself and "life". Groups can be "causes" or "interests", or "pursuits" or "goals". But, all formal groups are framed with certain unifying by-laws, written or un-written.
Communication between groups can be hard because interests, views, and commitments vary. And some of a group's assumptions about 'reality" are not readily understood. This is when diplomatic efforts are made to make for peaceful resolution. Resolutions are "peace treaties". Apart from negotiation, there is no "justice", and wars are made from such offenses/differences of values.
The West believes that the individual has a right to representation and trial by jury. One is not guilty until proven innocent. These protections allow the individual liberty of conscience, as to values and commitments. "Justice", in this regard, has to do with rights. And rights are what make for the "human"/humane environment of the West. The individual is not required to submit to speicifications about their life and its commitments. Group interests are to be negotiated with private individuals.
Christians like to define their group on the "language of theology", instead of understanding that Christianity itself is fraught with differences that are based on "language". What does "sin" mean? The definition will depend on how one understands "salvation", the Church, human/individual development, ulitmate purposes, practical realities, and contexts. This is where the "universalization of language" can be "defeating" to bringing "justice", because people understand terms differently. And such complexity makes it hard to bridge the communication gap.
People live within their understandings of the world. In the West, we believe that equality under law, protects the indivdual from hierarchal forms of co-ercion, but , religious groups understand that hierarchy 'honors God". Therefore, the individual is diminished and devalued, "in the light of God". During the Roman Empire Ceasars (or leaders over the government) were considered to be "gods". Christians were first thought to be atheists in this climate, because they resisted "earthly power". So, whether the Christian thinks that earthly government or 'spiritual governmant has primacy, it interferes with a universal view on government, as to "faith".
"Self-respect" and personal commitments are not values to many religious communities, because the individual is only 'a part" of the "whole" and the whole is more valuable. This view is a communal or societal view. Paul said this in his analogy of the Body of Christ and interdependence. While interdependence is a fact of life, dependence is when hierarchal views are held and diminish the indivdiual within the corporate. This is 'injustice", because "the heads" or the corporation pre-determine without considering the "parts" that are needed to carry out their "plans". Such behavior disrespects/dishonors the individuals, who are to be a part of the team, for each team member must be aware to the specifics of the "goal" and know the part they play to be able to commit and carry out the plan. And sometimes the member may not value the goal, and this is when the member is free to consider other options and the "heads" can find a replacement.
It is interesting that individuals all have an innate sense of justice, because we all want to be valued and respected, unless there has been an environment that did not develop proper boundaries in the child.. Self-respect is the first and foremost foundation of coming to terms in 'just relationships. Otherwise, "self" is seen as "selfishness", and run over by those that cease to understand their own selfishness! Self-interest is the basis of our capitalistic system, and "self-interests" supports the view of the Christian or the naturalists. Men are viewed as "fallen" or "fighting for survival". "Fallen" and Survival" also has many definitions, such definitions make for "life". How are we to understand 'life"?
The Christian likes to spiritualize terms, such as "life". Life is about "God:", instead of man. But, when these terms are united, the reality of "the god/man", we have a man fully developed. The Christian would term it 'in God's image". Such human development does not have to be "spiritual", as man is a physical entity. His brain responds to stimuli and interprets such stimuli in cerain ways. This is why communication is complex, because man's mind is different from his brain.
Minds can be "formed" by certain social conditioning. Such is the Christian's attempt to "condition" through "moral education". But, usually, the Church has certain "goals" that are limiting the definition of such "education of character", which is "Jesus" life, as revealed in Scriptures. Such a life was not respected, honored, or considered as in our Western concept of "justice". Should the West continue to promote such "education", as Christian character? Or should the Church cease in trying to use "language" to get humans to agree to "denying self-interest"? Should individuals allow the Chruch to abuse them under a hierarchal view of power? Is the Church justified in "making disciples", when the Church acts unjustly, according to our Constitutonal governent? Is the Church above the law, because "God is above the law"? Or is justice defined by the law, whether or not one uses The Church or God to 'sanction' or 'make it holy?
Since men are "fallen" or prone to compete for survival, how should we view "justice" in the Church? Justice in the Church is no more or less than justice in our Constitutional government, as without it, we do disservice to man (made in God's image,). Man made in "God" image" is not one form, but many forms, because beauty allows for diversity.
10. Run the Race (12:1-29)
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