You Keep Using That Word?
Part 2 - Faith
If we are going to find a solution to our modern dilemma we are going to have to meet the challenge head on. That means the first thing we need to do is define our terms, and to do that properly we need to dig deep enough to get to the root of the problem. I won't trifle you with cliches like “this will hurt me more than it hurts you.” This is liable to hurt you far more than it hurt me when I first began to put the evidence together and discovered what I thought I knew was in fact, a lie.
The word “religion” has not always meant what religionists, non-religionists or even anti-religionists would like to think the word means today. In the last chapter of this series we demonstrated how the word religion has evolved or rather how it has been hijacked by lexicographers since the term was used within the text of the Constitution of the United States several hundred years ago.1
All the problems in our modern society stem in part from confusion about words like religion. We have all heard the advice that if we are to avert conflict in gatherings we should avoid mentioning Politics or Religion and keep our remarks limited to the weather, but things have become so permutated that even the weather is no longer a safe topic.
So “Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage.” Let us see how deep this rabbit hole goes and let us not shrink from controversy.2
Today, religion is defined as “a set of beliefs.” whereas a hundred years ago it was defined as an “outward act”. According to John Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary which was adapted to the Constitution of the United States, religion “in practice” consists of “the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men.”3
So what would those duties be?
Before we look into an answer to that question we must realize that changing the definition of words can change the thinking of society. Throughout man's history the definition of religion and other words has shifted back and forth, and with that shift man's individual liberty also rises and falls. As liberty declines and falls, so does society.
It is no coincidence that it is also at the time of America's greatest liberty and achievements as a society that men still believed that religion was the performance of their duty to God and their fellow men and not merely what we think about a superhuman creator.
There is a war going on in America and the world today. It is not a new battle, but our life and even our very soul will depend upon which side we choose. The question that I have pondered for nearly the last half century of my life was asked by Cecil B. DeMille when I was a young boy at the beginning of the movie the Ten Commandments, which I watched in the Santa Rosa theater in Houston Texas:
“Are men the property of the state? Or are they free souls under God?
This same battle continues throughout the world.”
An honest answer to this question may be painful to hear but the explanation will turn your world upside down. If you have accepted a lie as the truth, recovery will require humility and patience more than any other element of virtue but before we are done you will need every virtue known to man.
Many modern religionists will cling to their personal delusion that they are saved by what they think, by what they call faith. Unfortunately faith is another word that has been changed over time.
The Greek word for faith was not merely what you think nor believe but was the compelling conviction of the truth that controlled your actions, which means of course if your deeds, e.g. your fruits, are not what should be expected then that faith is not true faith.4
This of course was why Jesus was talking about doers rather than those who just say they believe and why He explains that many who think they are saved will be cast out because they are doers of iniquity5 rather than righteousness.
Two hundred years ago the English word faith was defined as “Probity; good faith is the very soul of contracts. Faith also signifies confidence, belief; as, full faith and credit ought to be given to the acts of a magistrate while acting within his jurisdiction. Vide Bona fide.” While we see that faith is defined as probity. Probity was defined as “Justice, honesty. A man of probity is one who loves justice and honesty, and who dislikes the contrary.”
To understand that religion and faith are simply the performance of duty to God and your fellow men, and not just what you think not only overturns many of the modern religious doctrines it also brings the nature of modern government and its politics into a new light and understanding.
Real faith controls what you do in matters of justice and honor compelling virtue.
Can we now understand what Paul's first verse in Hebrews 116 means? What is the evidence of faith?7 If we are to know them by their fruits and be known by our fruits or works then what is the fruit of faith? If faith used to be probity (justice and honor) then the fruit of faith is a life of justice and honor. It is a life of justice and honor which gives substance to our claim that we believe in Christ and confirms the integrity and uprightness of our faith in God.8 It is not a matter of earning salvation by works. Salvation is by faith. However, it is our performance of pure religion that verifies the truth validity of our faith or testifies of our delusion.
In any case the idea that Faith is “Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel”9 is the doctrine of devils and the adversary of the truth.
But how does modern government and its politics relate to religion and faith?
Today faith is defined in modern dictionaries as “confidence or trust in a person or thing”10 or a “belief that is not based on proof” or a “belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion [which has become simply what you think].” This major shift has been a long time coming and is perpetuated by the doctrines of the modern Church as much as by those against the modern versions of religion.
So, if the province of religion used to include the way in which we performed our duty to our fellow man, what would those duties be and are they not managed by modern government and its politics?
According to the law of Nature and Natures God “The first absolute duty of an individual toward others is to do injury to no man and, where this might have happened, to make good the damage.”11 All legal systems are presumed created within the jurisdiction of the Natural Law. Natural law is composed of moral obligation, called duty, and moral power called right. You cannot separate duty from right without doing an injustice.
“The lex fundamentalis of natural law is the duty of every man, so far as in him lies, to strive that the welfare of human society in general be secured and maintained”12 They include duties toward their Creator, toward themselves and toward other men who are entitled to the same rights and duties including the duty to our fellow-men to promote as far as possible the advantage of others.
This itemization is of the absolute duties of the individual to his equals. There are also conditional duties, which “arise from engagements or agreements, from the mere use of language, of oaths, of acquisition of ownership, and of bona fide ownerships; … to contracts, to the dissolution of obligations to which agreement has been made, and to the method of interpretation of agreements and laws. All these things, however, as stated, are treated only from the standpoint of the individual in his relation to other individuals or rather to society; of the state or even of the association of states we hear nothing.”13
None of these duties are associated with the state because our rights are endowed by nature and nature's God. The foundation of all liberty is established in a state of nature “status naturalis, wherein there was only a dependence upon God and society had not yet been constituted into a state.”14
Society and state are not the same thing. They may merge by those same elements that “arise from engagements or agreements...” imposing conditional duties but it begins through individual consent or acquiescent. Government is even a more general term. When the people are in a state of nature as God intended, their government is one of, for and by the people.15 When man entrusts his duties and obligations along with their correlative rights to others then you have government by the state. When individuals enter into civil society by membership through those engagements or agreements with the state there is a binding of the people into a social compact.
The “social contract, agreement, or covenant by which men are said to have abandoned the ‘state of nature’ to form the society in which they now live.... Assumes that men at first lived in a state of anarchy where there was no society, no government, and no organized coercion of the individual by the group… by the social contract men had surrendered their natural liberties in order to enjoy the order and safety of the organized state.” 16
This is done often at the cost of liberty. History has shown that as the rulers of an organized state seek more and more power, once they acquire a taste for it, the order promised commonly degenerates into chaos and what is done in the name of safety becomes a threat.
The state is a product of man, not of God. The government of men is the collective fruit of their souls. Evil men produce evil governments. Righteous men bear the fruit of a righteous government. The government of the Pharisees was to be taken from them because they did not bear fruit.17 The fruit was evident in the practices and performance of their government, specifically their system of Corban.18
Corban was a system of free will sacrifices that took care of the needy in their society. It had always been rooted in a system of charity. Herod had brought it into the province of his government and ran it as a part of a political tool of his popularity. What had once been the province of patience, charity and religion had become the pawn of politics and governments.
In this single element of society Christ and Christians came into conflict with governments of the world. This entrusting of obligation to our fellow men, called duty, and moral power to perform that duty called right was a shifting of the power of choice[liberty] out of the hands of the individual people into the hands of an authoritarian state. This was contrary to the way and path of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, John the Baptist and Christ and certainly the early Church.
Every time we ask men who exercise authority one over the other to provide the benefits of society through forced contribution we are snared and trapped19 into elements of bondage20 with the world.21 Here is where the battle is lost. If it becomes okay in your mind to take forced contributions from your neighbor to provide individual or general welfare then you legalize injury to your fellow man. Rights and obligation are correlative and if you give away or entrust one you will lose access to the other.
There has always been an element of society that wants to separate the obligations and duties from rights and authority. It is not that they want to have their cake and eat it too but they want to have their cake and eat yours. They have no moral compunction in eating out the substance of their neighbor for their own personal benefit. They are progressive and passive socialists.
The militant progressives may include extreme groups that bring containers of feces, urine and blood to a debate on third trimester abortion. They believe they have a personal right to choose to have an abortion but deny others the personal right to choose not to finance what they believe to be murder.
They consistently separate the duty and obligation from the right of how to meet it. They want a house, a paycheck, food and clothing, medical care with an endless list of comforts and benefits and they want someone else to carry the burden of paying for them. They want the right to decide for themselves but want to take away the right of others to decide. Their tactics are often rude, aggressive and even militant. They want the price of sin to be paid for by others.
The passive socialists are actually worse but appear innocent and righteous by their new standards of modern morality. They often are dedicated or at least participants in modern religion22 but still covet their neighbor's goods through the agency of governments they look to and trust as a matter of their personal public policies. They often want to claim the state was created by God rather than admit that it is a product of their own greed or apathy. They are complacent in their understanding of righteousness and unrighteousness,23 believing that they are saved by the power of their own thinking which is what faith has become to them. Will or can they change? Not without repentance which will require a willingness to admit they have been deceived and are wrong.
There is another group. It is small and scattered about society. They actually care about other people's rights as much as they care about their own. They care for their family, often home-schooling, are self-motivated, charitable, patient, and sometimes disappointed with the hypocrisy that is posing as religion. They are not self-absorbed and often feel something is wrong in the world today. They are looking for answers, willing to admit they do not have them all.
All of society can be divided into these three groups and between the two extremes the battle lines are drawn by nature and nature's God. Your only choice is between these two sides. One leads to bondage and the other to liberty. One is death, the other is life.
Listen to audio broadcasts associated with That Word Part 1.
That Word You Use- Part 1- Religion
What did the word Religion mean when it was written in the constitution?
That Word You Use - Part 2 - Faith
What did the word Faith mean before it became just what people think?
That Word You Use - Part 3 - Jury
What is a jury and are their different kinds of juries?
Religion, NN Video Series:9-10 4:27
The Opiate of Religion
The Corban of the Pharisees
It made the word of God to none effect.
Is our Corban making the word of God to none effect today?
The Nicolaitan who God hates?
Because they covet their neighbor's goods
Baptism, the Ritual and the Jurisdiction
Are Christians repenting and getting baptized or are they just all wet?
Not so Secure Socialism
Same old promise, Same old lie!
Appeared first on NewsWithViews 8-1-10
That Word You Use- Part 1- Religion
What did the word Religion mean when it was written in the constitution?