I beleive we should work out our salvation in fear and trembling, because our lives matter. We should not get distracted. We should do the work of God, which is to obey three commands.
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength
- Love your neighbour as you love yourself
- Love your brothers in the church as Christ did, putting his life on the line for them
All else hangs on these. Last night Kea and I had a long talk about false religion and wokedom. We came to the conclusion that being woke is the modern version of the self righteous prig who no one wants to talk to, because they gossip, and gain satisfaction in denouncing the sins of others. These people are loved by the progressive cadre, for they will praise what they are commanded to praise and damn what they are commanded to damn. And many spiritual leaders love them, for they will follow them down various rabbit holes of error. Bruce Charlton has sampled more errors than I have, and writes:
This came to mind when I was reading an excellent summary and analysis of Rudolf Steiner's ideas about relationship with the 'so-called' dead during our mortal lives. And then, I realized that Steiner's followers were (with his encouragement; during his life and since) spending as much as possible of their own lives studying Steiner's works, often in Steiner's prescribed order; doing Steiner's meditations and exercises; learning Steiner-facts and Steiner-interpretations...
This reminded me then of how so many Christian denominations urge their converts in the same direction... "OK, you've joined our church... Here is a program of study, prayer and good works that will occupy (as much as possible of) your life for the next several decades"...
This is like a recreation of at least one conception of the monastic life - where all is prescribed for every moment of every day, according to a program stretching ahead without end...
There is a sense in which all attention, all thought is being prescribed, at least as an ideal.
And then, in contrast, a little remark by William Arkle at his wisest; when he reflected that God does not want us to be 'thinking about God' all the time - but wants us 'to live in the way God wants us to live'; which mostly means Not thinking about God, but thinking about other people and things... Attending to what we are doing that ought to be done.
I think Arkle is correct. We need to concentrate on doing what needs to be done. Meditation on the words of God is worthwhile, and scripture will correct us and guide us, but it is important to work on that which is true, and beautiful, and good. This will vary. Do not look at the rhetoric: look at the results.
15 For this is what the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said:
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,
16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses!”
Therefore you shall flee!
“And we will ride on swift horses!”
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one man;
You will flee at the threat of five,
Until you are left like a signal post on a mountain top,
And like a flag on a hill.
God Is Gracious and Just
18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.
4 Therefore, we must fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also did; but the word they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united with those who listened with faith. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
“As I swore in My anger,
They certainly shall not enter My rest,”
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this passage, “They certainly shall not enter My rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who previously had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again sets a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 Consequently, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let’s make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.
God is the only being who is fully aware of your sins and debasement, and he sent is only son to die for that sin and debasement. We should not be proud of the evil we have done to ourselves. Instead we should repent. Repentence is hard.
We’ve seen what genuine conversion looks like, for example Roosh V. He had a “what am I doing?” epiphany, dropped out of the fast lane for a time, unpublished his racy books and cleaned up his act before rebooting into primetime at a reduced level. True repentance in midlife is punishingly difficult and often involves the loss of friends, wealth and prestige.
When we speak of revival, I am trained, from my childhood in the Presbyterian Church, to add "beginning with me". But most of us don't want this. We are fat, happy, and quite content to slide off to hell if we keep our vices. We all have vices to lose. We all have to work at this.
It is not the theory. It is the practice.
And in this, we need to acknowledge the word of God, not live in our lies, and again pray that God will keep us from temptation.