Category Archives: Response to Reader

Posts regarding correspondence or communication with readers, friends, visitors, or those that cross my path. (topics may very)

Soul, mind, and heart: Not understanding the Biblical text

Which one sounds wrong?

A. Do you have the guts?
B. Put your heart into it.
C. Make up your heart.

What is the heart?
The answer might surprise you.

In modern times, the “heart” has been called, “the feeling mind”. That sounds pretty good to me. What do you think?

A recent visitor responded to my post Is Chocolate Filling my God-shaped Hole? with the comment below (edited down). I think it would help to respond through a post, also. Now we can open up the whole thing to dialogue a bit more. Thanks for your contribution on this topic.

Visitor Response to Post–Submitted: on 2010/12/03 at 3:10 pm
The way I look at it, viewing the heart and mind as separate is extrabiblical; thus, in fact, “that thing that ‘falls in love’ or gets sentimental” *is* the mind. So the modern “follow your heart” does not connote the *opposite* of the biblical “heart,” but rather only *part* of it. Bottom line, I can’t trust my mind or my heart, or even my own spirit completely… only God is 100% trustworthy. As for filling our “voids” with things “besides” God, I try to remember that God gets the credit for all good things anyway…

My response:
I should have also pointed out [within that post] that the Hebrew equivalent of the emotions or passions (what many now consider the “heart”) were also referred to differently than the mind (i.e. set a different category, if you will–the bowels or “guts”).
The “guts” implied connection with those qualities of emotion, and so forth.

To sum up: In the Bible, (most especially in the Old Testament)…

1. What is translated as “heart” (in the KJV and others) is closer to what we now term as “the mind”. More specifically, the individual’s command center, or the place where decisions are made– which includes the will.

2. What we may think of as “the heart” that is, passions, desires, emotions, in the Hebrew language is connected with “the guts” or “bowels” of a person. For instance, “In his guts he loved her”. Yes, it sounds awkward, at best.

Even more controversy:
THE SOUL

There is a big dissimilarity in the Hebrew vs. English renditions of the word often translated in English as “soul”. In Hebrew, it refers to the whole being. The whole person (So, no. It does not mean a ghosty thing that floats to the clouds like in Warner Brother cartoons). We can understand it in our context more this way when we say, “30 souls were lost [died] in the shipwreck.”

Hey, everyone, please, weigh in.
This post is open to opinions, thoughts, comments, or if you’re of the particular stripe…exegesis.
(Yes. That’s the BIG word of the day.)

Exegesis (EGGs -eh- Jesus) is this definition hereIt’s not a variant, or French spelling of “Eggs and Cheeses” which we may be tempted to think at first blush, right? 

"Eggs and Cheeses" (Not Exegesis)

(click photo to find its source)

Tomorrow’s post–
“Does your Breakfast (and your deity) make you AWESOME?”

otium sanctum means…

(photo: Thomas Merton)

A friend’s comment spoke volumes to me, so I wanted to devote a post on the idea.

“The key to spiritual growth is otium sanctum, so hard to trust in our world that values efficiency and quick results.” -Doug Jackson (Excerpt of his comment on the previous post.)

On page 85 in his book, Spiritual Direction and Meditation, Thomas Merton explains otium sanctum:

Now the Fathers of the Church well understood the importance of a certain “holy leisure”  [or] “otium sanctum.” We cannot give ourselves to spiritual things if we are always swept off our feet by a multitude of external activities. Business is not the supreme virtue, and sanctity is not measured by the amount of work we accomplish. Perfection is found in the purity of our love for God, and there is plenty of  time for it to mature.

Otium Sanctum is part of the not doing– It’s the “hard work” of that. The notion is paradoxical certainly, but bluntly revelatory.

How do you “not do” in your life, or for God which brings you to greater maturity?

Do you think God does or does not function with otium sanctum?

If so, how?

Thanks for your participation on this one.


Practicing the Presence of God -Brother Lawrence

Many people have been interested in reading the short book that inspired this website.

Practicing the Presence of God -Brother Lawrence

To read it here for free click here.

Holidays-Thanksgiving and Advent November 26 & 29

I wish all of you a very special holiday season. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This has always been my favorite holiday.

The other holiday I will celebrate lasts four weeks. It is called Advent. I will be focusing on the features of expectancy, waiting, hope, and longing as a precursor to joy, which culminates in the Nativity of Jesus. I’ll be going reflecting on the passages in the bible with respect to these themes. I’ll be praying about these elements in my own life, and their meaning personally and spiritually, and societally. 

The new Tyndale publication called Holy Bible: Mosaic, is a New Living Translation Bible with weekly reflections, and verses for the whole Christian calendar year, starting this Sunday, November 29th. To follow the community moving through these reflections together, and encountering God and this season of Advent, return here again to read more, and check out the Tyndale Mosaic site.

It was great to read the new rave review today at Mary’s World.

The Rape of Dinah (help understanding a troubling bible passage)

One story in the Bible has be a source of inquiry, and much confusion. It is the story most often called “the rape of Dinah.”

Most English translations offer a poor rendering of the Hebrew. Here is the story in English and Hebrew, along with a write up of the passage by Jon Dorsey, Old Testament studies graduate student, and son of David Dorsey PhD a foremost Hebrew and Old Testament scholar. (you can wiki him here)

Genesis Chapter 34 בְּרֵאשִׁית

א וַתֵּצֵא דִינָה בַּת-לֵאָה, אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב, לִרְאוֹת, בִּבְנוֹת הָאָרֶץ. 1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
ב וַיַּרְא אֹתָהּ שְׁכֶם בֶּן-חֲמוֹר, הַחִוִּי–נְשִׂיא הָאָרֶץ; וַיִּקַּח אֹתָהּ וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֹתָהּ, וַיְעַנֶּהָ. 2 And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her; and he took her, and lay with her, and humbled her.
ג וַתִּדְבַּק נַפְשׁוֹ, בְּדִינָה בַּת-יַעֲקֹב; וַיֶּאֱהַב, אֶת-הַנַּעֲרָ, וַיְדַבֵּר, עַל-לֵב הַנַּעֲרָ. 3 And his soul did cleave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spoke comfortingly unto the damsel.
ד וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁכֶם, אֶל-חֲמוֹר אָבִיו לֵאמֹר:  קַח-לִי אֶת-הַיַּלְדָּה הַזֹּאת, לְאִשָּׁה. 4 And Shechem spoke unto his father Hamor, saying: ‘Get me this damsel to wife.’
ה וְיַעֲקֹב שָׁמַע, כִּי טִמֵּא אֶת-דִּינָה בִתּוֹ, וּבָנָיו הָיוּ אֶת-מִקְנֵהוּ, בַּשָּׂדֶה; וְהֶחֱרִשׁ יַעֲקֹב, עַד-בֹּאָם. 5 Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; and his sons were with his cattle in the field; and Jacob held his peace until they came.
ו וַיֵּצֵא חֲמוֹר אֲבִי-שְׁכֶם, אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, לְדַבֵּר, אִתּוֹ. 6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to speak with him.
ז וּבְנֵי יַעֲקֹב בָּאוּ מִן-הַשָּׂדֶה, כְּשָׁמְעָם, וַיִּתְעַצְּבוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים, וַיִּחַר לָהֶם מְאֹד:  כִּי-נְבָלָה עָשָׂה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל, לִשְׁכַּב אֶת-בַּת-יַעֲקֹב, וְכֵן, לֹא יֵעָשֶׂה. 7 And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought a vile deed in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
ח וַיְדַבֵּר חֲמוֹר, אִתָּם לֵאמֹר:  שְׁכֶם בְּנִי, חָשְׁקָה נַפְשׁוֹ בְּבִתְּכֶם–תְּנוּ נָא אֹתָהּ לוֹ, לְאִשָּׁה. 8 And Hamor spoke with them, saying ‘The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter. I pray you give her unto him to wife.
ט וְהִתְחַתְּנוּ, אֹתָנוּ:  בְּנֹתֵיכֶם, תִּתְּנוּ-לָנוּ, וְאֶת-בְּנֹתֵינוּ, תִּקְחוּ לָכֶם. 9 And make ye marriages with us; give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
י וְאִתָּנוּ, תֵּשֵׁבוּ; וְהָאָרֶץ, תִּהְיֶה לִפְנֵיכֶם–שְׁבוּ וּסְחָרוּהָ, וְהֵאָחֲזוּ בָּהּ. 10 And ye shall dwell with us; and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.’
יא וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁכֶם אֶל-אָבִיהָ וְאֶל-אַחֶיהָ, אֶמְצָא-חֵן בְּעֵינֵיכֶם; וַאֲשֶׁר תֹּאמְרוּ אֵלַי, אֶתֵּן. 11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren: ‘Let me find favour in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
יב הַרְבּוּ עָלַי מְאֹד, מֹהַר וּמַתָּן, וְאֶתְּנָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר תֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָי; וּתְנוּ-לִי אֶת-הַנַּעֲרָ, לְאִשָּׁה. 12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me; but give me the damsel to wife.’
יג וַיַּעֲנוּ בְנֵי-יַעֲקֹב אֶת-שְׁכֶם וְאֶת-חֲמוֹר אָבִיו, בְּמִרְמָה–וַיְדַבֵּרוּ:  אֲשֶׁר טִמֵּא, אֵת דִּינָה אֲחֹתָם. 13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father with guile, and spoke, because he had defiled Dinah their sister,
יד וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵיהֶם, לֹא נוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה–לָתֵת אֶת-אֲחֹתֵנוּ, לְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ עָרְלָה:  כִּי-חֶרְפָּה הִוא, לָנוּ. 14 and said unto them: ‘We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us.
טו אַךְ-בְּזֹאת, נֵאוֹת לָכֶם:  אִם תִּהְיוּ כָמֹנוּ, לְהִמֹּל לָכֶם כָּל-זָכָר. 15 Only on this condition will we consent unto you: if ye will be as we are, that every male of you be circumcised;
טז וְנָתַנּוּ אֶת-בְּנֹתֵינוּ לָכֶם, וְאֶת-בְּנֹתֵיכֶם נִקַּח-לָנוּ; וְיָשַׁבְנוּ אִתְּכֶם, וְהָיִינוּ לְעַם אֶחָד. 16 then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
יז וְאִם-לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלֵינוּ, לְהִמּוֹל–וְלָקַחְנוּ אֶת-בִּתֵּנוּ, וְהָלָכְנוּ. 17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.’
יח וַיִּיטְבוּ דִבְרֵיהֶם, בְּעֵינֵי חֲמוֹר, וּבְעֵינֵי, שְׁכֶם בֶּן-חֲמוֹר. 18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son.
יט וְלֹא-אֵחַר הַנַּעַר לַעֲשׂוֹת הַדָּבָר, כִּי חָפֵץ בְּבַת-יַעֲקֹב; וְהוּא נִכְבָּד, מִכֹּל בֵּית אָבִיו. 19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter. And he was honoured above all the house of his father.
כ וַיָּבֹא חֲמוֹר וּשְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ, אֶל-שַׁעַר עִירָם; וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֶל-אַנְשֵׁי עִירָם, לֵאמֹר. 20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and spoke with the men of their city, saying:
כא הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה שְׁלֵמִים הֵם אִתָּנוּ, וְיֵשְׁבוּ בָאָרֶץ וְיִסְחֲרוּ אֹתָהּ, וְהָאָרֶץ הִנֵּה רַחֲבַת-יָדַיִם, לִפְנֵיהֶם; אֶת-בְּנֹתָם נִקַּח-לָנוּ לְנָשִׁים, וְאֶת-בְּנֹתֵינוּ נִתֵּן לָהֶם. 21 ‘These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for, behold, the land is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
כב אַךְ-בְּזֹאת יֵאֹתוּ לָנוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים, לָשֶׁבֶת אִתָּנוּ–לִהְיוֹת, לְעַם אֶחָד:  בְּהִמּוֹל לָנוּ כָּל-זָכָר, כַּאֲשֶׁר הֵם נִמֹּלִים. 22 Only on this condition will the men consent unto us to dwell with us, to become one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
כג מִקְנֵהֶם וְקִנְיָנָם וְכָל-בְּהֶמְתָּם, הֲלוֹא לָנוּ הֵם; אַךְ נֵאוֹתָה לָהֶם, וְיֵשְׁבוּ אִתָּנוּ. 23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and all their beasts be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.’
כד וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל-חֲמוֹר וְאֶל-שְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ, כָּל-יֹצְאֵי שַׁעַר עִירוֹ; וַיִּמֹּלוּ, כָּל-זָכָר–כָּל-יֹצְאֵי, שַׁעַר עִירוֹ. 24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
כה וַיְהִי בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בִּהְיוֹתָם כֹּאֲבִים, וַיִּקְחוּ שְׁנֵי-בְנֵי-יַעֲקֹב שִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי אֲחֵי דִינָה אִישׁ חַרְבּוֹ, וַיָּבֹאוּ עַל-הָעִיר, בֶּטַח; וַיַּהַרְגוּ, כָּל-זָכָר. 25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city unawares, and slew all the males.
כו וְאֶת-חֲמוֹר וְאֶת-שְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ, הָרְגוּ לְפִי-חָרֶב; וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת-דִּינָה מִבֵּית שְׁכֶם, וַיֵּצֵאוּ. 26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went forth.
כז בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב, בָּאוּ עַל-הַחֲלָלִים, וַיָּבֹזּוּ, הָעִיר–אֲשֶׁר טִמְּאוּ, אֲחוֹתָם. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
כח אֶת-צֹאנָם וְאֶת-בְּקָרָם, וְאֶת-חֲמֹרֵיהֶם, וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר-בָּעִיר וְאֶת-אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה, לָקָחוּ. 28 They took their flocks and their herds and their asses, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field;
כט וְאֶת-כָּל-חֵילָם וְאֶת-כָּל-טַפָּם וְאֶת-נְשֵׁיהֶם, שָׁבוּ וַיָּבֹזּוּ; וְאֵת, כָּל-אֲשֶׁר בַּבָּיִת. 29 and all their wealth, and all their little ones and their wives, took they captive and spoiled, even all that was in the house.
ל וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל-שִׁמְעוֹן וְאֶל-לֵוִי, עֲכַרְתֶּם אֹתִי, לְהַבְאִישֵׁנִי בְּיֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ, בַּכְּנַעֲנִי וּבַפְּרִזִּי; וַאֲנִי, מְתֵי מִסְפָּר, וְנֶאֶסְפוּ עָלַי וְהִכּוּנִי, וְנִשְׁמַדְתִּי אֲנִי וּבֵיתִי. 30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi: ‘Ye have troubled me, to make me odious unto the inhabitants of the land, even unto the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and, I being few in number, they will gather themselves together against me and smite me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.’
לא וַיֹּאמְרוּ:  הַכְזוֹנָה, יַעֲשֶׂה אֶת-אֲחוֹתֵנוּ.  {פ} 31 And they said: ‘Should one deal with our sister as with a harlot?’ {P} (text obtain here)

Response from
Jonathan Dorsey
November 10 at 10:36am

We recently talked about this in class. The clincher for seduction lies in a Hebrew word study, and a little knowledge of how Hebrew is used. The key to the word study lies in Deut. 23 – 28. The word translated “rape” or “sleep with” in each case – (Deut. & Genesis) are all the word shacav, which does not mean rape all by itself, but simply “to lie down (with)”. David and Bathsheba “shacav”ed…

Gen 34:2 Shechem took her, shacav’s her, and anah’d (violated) her.

Deut 22:23 – Man meets betrothed girl and shacav’s her and anah’d (violated) her in town – both die – man because he anah’d (violated) her, and the women because she did not scream out for help (meaning she wanted to shacav).

Deut 22:25 – Man meets betrothed girl in country – shacav’s her – she screams out for help, he hazak’s (overpowers) her.

Deut 22:28 – Man meets non-betrothed girl – shacav’s her anah’d (violated) her – they should marry. [He should pay the bride price to her family, to compensate them for their loss of a daughter, (who would now not be desired as a wife, traditionally) and he must care for her financially always.]

Like Hebrew in general, one is forced to look at the context of the verse to determine the the exact variation of a word that has multiple uses. It looks like the Dinah story matches with the cases of Deut.23 and 28. Because similar words to describe the events are used: the man shacav’s her, and anah’d (violates) her. The context in these three cases do not suggest force – In the case of Deut. 28, they are supposed to marry. This would be SICK if it were not a case of clear seduction. So if a women is shacav’d, and anah’d (violated), and no other word in the context suggest violence, force, or coercion, we are left with a Hebrew word phrasing that means seduction.

However, we see that Deut. 25 stands apart – we have a new word introduced – hazak (overpowers), and the fact that she screams for help – these are all context clues that the shacav-ing was clearly not consensual, and the man will die as if he committed murder.

The Dinah seduction has plenty of context clues in the wording to point to the fact that she was not raped. Shechem spoke tenderly to her, he asked her father for her as a wife, etc. In addition to our word study, we can see these statements as we are supposed to see them – as a man who has fallen in love with Dinah. His actions were wrong / dubious though – sleeping with her and not being married is a violation, and keeping her with him while they asked Jacob for his blessing for their marriage, etc.

Even though Dinah’s thoughts are never shared with the reader, it would be assumed that the writer would put something in to make it clear to the audience if it was not consensual (such as was done in Deut. 22:25). This is required for the Hebrew audience when the words used are ambiguous – such as shacav, which needs additional context clues to tell the reader what kind of shacav it was. He would have used the word hazak or the fact that she screamed or something. The author would not leave the audience with an ambiguous situation and not clarify if it was rape or seduction – the same word (shacav) is always used for both. With the context clues we have, and the fact the the same guy wrote both Deut. and Genesis and clearly drew apart stories/cases that showed the difference between rape and seduction, it seems fairly certain that Dinah is a case of seduction.

Sorry I messed up my references – Look in Deut 22:23-28!! Deut. 22:25 is the one that clearly is rape. Deut. 22:23 and 22:28 are talking about seduction.

Also, the word for “take” – lach – does in NO way suggest violence when Shechem “lached” Dinah. If it did, the author would need to reinforce that notion with some adverb or other wording in the sentence to make that clear. Since he does not, we are left to see this as simply “spirited away” or “stole away with her” or “took her to his crib” or something. 🙂 A Hebrew word study of using the verb “lach” in with a person as the verb receiver would be useful. I did so, and in every case I reviewd (the first 10) , it is not forced or done by overpowering. Abraham “lached” his wife and left to go to the land of Canaan. Lamach “lached” for himself two wives.

-Jon Dorsey

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Please leave any comments you have.

Reader Responds with quote (i.e. Lust: an Opportunity)

Karen Moret Harrison wrote:

 “If there is an Enemy of Souls, one thing he cannot abide is the desire for purity. Hence a man’s or woman’s passions become his battleground. The Love of Souls does not prevent this. I was perplexed because it seemed to me He should prevent it, but He doesn’t. He wants us to learn to use our weapons.” ~Elisabeth Elliot

En garde!

It would seem that we must take up armor against attacks that target our weak points, yet use the attacks themselves as God’s inescapable challenges to strengthen ourselves, enrich our dependence on Him, and I dare say,  hone our passions for our best interests, and God’s work.

Thank you for writing, friend! “Allez!”

How about you? Leave your  thoughts and comments, please. 🙂

1st Ethics Paper covers, so to speak, Nipple-gate

I am taking Christian Ethics with Dr. Miller at ETS

Our first assignment due this coming Monday was detailed thus: “Write a brief essay explaining his/her understanding of the relationship between the study of Ethics and ministry. ” 

I’ll include an excerpt of my paper, and how I kept my ethics class abreast of what has come to be known around here as “Nipple-gate”:

 

The entire episode (now termed “Nipplegate,” by some) reflects the ethical dilemma of my vocation. I have a role to play as a writer with a Christian worldview, and I am attempting to minister to Christians and non-Christians. Not everyone will be happy all of the time with what is authored and portrayed at my blog. This is an obvious impossibility. Predilections, doctrines, and convictions vary a great deal within my viewing audience. However, I have an undeniable ethical responsibility to my readership to well-reflect the standards of the God I love and serve. The questions become–what is truly suitable to allow at my site; and where and how must I draw the line that distinguishes personal preferences from God’s standards?

Thus far, I have come to a resolution to make all reasonable efforts to conduct the affairs of my site in excellence, with the hopes that in so doing, it will not make others stumble. (This has always been my philosophy, but in this case, it was botched as I let an aspect of the site remain out of exceptionally close oversight.) My overall method is not foolproof for avoiding every glitch, but it is a deliberate vision for my work.

A bit of perspective is in order too. Not just for the way I think about my work, and the way I offer it up to readers, but for promoting the worldview I believe–in, and of, itself. Yes, each decision we make counts in the big picture, but how much better to see the big picture first, and then zoom in from a bigger view, down, into ordinary life. God, perfect and holy, is our guiding Light. God’s laws and rules do not just give us a guide; they mirror the character of God himself. His perfection is the standard and starting point for our choices. Seen this way, we are better able to make wise and ethical decisions.

That being said, it is the overarching decisions that carry the most import. So when Jesus sums up all the law and the prophets into the Great Commandment2, this is not an annulment of the law, but an encompassing of it. Sometimes in and among the nitpicking decisions and details of our conduct choices– even during our attempts to be righteous–we miss the Great Command altogether. God is marginalized by the rules themselves, and neighbors are trampled more than anything. It seems if the Spirit of the command is upheld, much of the rest can sorted out more easily.

When we attempt to deal in microcosms of various everyday ethical situations, we must not miss the point of the greater good, as God defines it. God defines it in the essence of who he truly is. His nature and character are the basis for our decisions that we must work out in practical and contextual ways. As we bump up against perfection, with our solutions, we come up as less-than-perfect. We inevitably do not meet the standard. Thus, we prove our need for God’s grace and forgiveness, and the grace and forgiveness of those around us. It is failed ethics balanced by applied grace that sustains, and saves us from the ethical ideals we can never attain, but must continually aim for, as they are reflections of Reality itself.

It will be my approach to apply the Great Commandment as the ethical plan in my ministry. As a foundation for my will, thoughts, motives, and deeds, my hope is to strive to keep these things fully loyal to God, the author and finisher of my faith; and to keep his human creation honored. This loyalty will mean laying aside self, and selfish ambition, but not just for the greater good. In reality, I will be attempting to set my life toward the world as is truly is, with God as the source of good, and goodness. This way will also be a light, enacted with those to whom I minister, as it reveals my core beliefs, Christian worldview, and the truth of God as revealed in Scripture.

 



2 Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

 

 

 

 

 I’d love to hear your reflections on the topic of ethics in ministry, or any related topic I’ve discussed here. Thank you for reading.

-Lisa