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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Friday, August 6 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

First of the four basic
mind-food groups: God

Those who have chosen—or have been chosen by a power beyond themselves—to make God the subtext of their lives have undertaken the most difficult and the highest path: "many are called but few are chosen" is a recurring message of the Lord (Matt. 20:16, 22:14). Holiness, even "Godliness," are seldom used terms in our generation dominated by the user-friendly or seeker-friendly congregation and driven to and by the distractions of an ever-present cacophony of broadcast, recorded, print, and narrowcast media.

Most people want little to do with such a way of life, dismissing it as kookie or fanatical, yet the heart of the Gospel, as well as that of the Old Testament, as well as the core teachings of many other religious systems outside Judaism and Christianity, emphasize that it is the pure who see God and that the evidence of salvation is sanctification; without steady growth in the relationship with God and in purification or holiness one should seriously question whether he or she has ever entered into an authentic life with God.

Traditional Christianity (that of the first millenium and what is left of it today) has emphasized "fulltime" pursuit of Godliness as the monastic life; laying aside the cares of commercial life and retreating into the "desert" (it can be a lush forest or even surrounded by a city, but it is a desert of the hearts and minds of those dwelling in it, a place apart from workaday life, though that doesn't mean there is no physical labor involved in monasticism, only that such labor and all other activity are undertaken in and by prayers and meditations on God and His Word and words). The "desert" is the imitation of the 40-day retreat of Jesus from the multitudes to devote himself to fasting and prayer in preparation for the climactic suffering of the Cross.

The evangelical pietistic movements of Protestantism (of the 16th Century and in all the revivals, awakenings, and renewals ever since) advocated that all Christians must consider themselves "fulltime" disciples of Christ, and must learn how to reflect Him, and upon Him, in family life, secular jobs, political chores, and the whole panoply of normal life. So the "normal" Christian in the evangelical world is dedicated to celibacy outside marriage, uses no profane language or foul substances like alcohol (or only moderate, nonintoxicating amounts), "recreational" drugs, or tobacco; this was their way of bringing the monastic vowed life into the everyday lives of believers.

The point of the God subtext or background music of life is that it focuses on the fundamental purpose of life: to reflect the glory of the Creator and to imitate Him in the way of being icons or images of Him, created and re-created in His likeness.

All those who consider themselves "religious," regardless of what faith they embrace, have made at least a partial commitment to this pursuit of salvation. How can they succeed in it? That is the question.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Articles in this series, The Four Basic Mind-Food Groups:
     Introduction  |  Subtext God  |  Subtext Family  |  Subtext Self  |  Subtext Nihil

Only in America

...do we buy hot dogs in packages of 10 and buns in packages of eight.

Sent by Mike Harris  

Thought for today

The mind is like a parachute; it works much better when it's open.

Sent by Trudy Myers 

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