Biding Our Time

A heavy rain pattern stands over the land where I live, so there won’t be any bike rides and pictures. Instead, I’m trying to be a good steward of the day and work on revising one of my Bible study books on the General Letters. To be honest, some of what I wrote then still grabs me. In regards to 1 Peter 4:

Eternity is always a mere step away from us. Starting with the Day of Ascension, it has always been just a step away, in a certain sense, and it remains so. Thus, he encourages his readers to live with the expectation that their time here will end right in the middle of faithful service. No particular task itself is so sacred that it has to be finished before the Lord takes us away, literally or figuratively. Rather, the calling is sacred, and we should walk in that sacrificial love of the Cross, as it will bury all our sins and help us not to suffer from sins of others.

Peter was teaching the Hebrew Christians to reclaim their ancient heritage of otherworldly focus, something the Pharisees threw in the trash in favor of legalism. Goals that satisfy our reason and our worldly sense of timing will blind us to God’s perspective on time. Ripeness is in the Fruit of the Spirit, not the fruits of our labors, so the harvest can be discerned only from the moral realm.

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About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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8 Responses to Biding Our Time

  1. Mr. T. says:

    I’ll quote from Buhner’s “Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm” again since this (at 71 %) seems to fit:

    “What is at risk, from our human point of view, is not the planet but our civilization. It is entirely dependent on resource extraction, a resource extraction that cannot be maintained. We have already exceeded the human carrying capacity of Earth. We are, at this point, burning the house to keep warm in the winter. And while the climate may alter so much that human life can no longer survive here, the chances are much more likely that human life will continue on, at least for a while, most probably for a very long while. The important thing, however, is not that we die—or even that our species dies—for that is inevitable for all of us.

    everything returns to the Ocean of Being eventually

    What is more important is how we live.

    We can live the life that is meant for us—just as every bird, microbe, white blood cell, and plant does. And in the process we can love the sparrow and the hawk. We can do the work that Gaia has set before us. In the end that is all any of us has. If there is any greater joy than the touch of my beloved’s hands I know not what it is. If there is any greater satisfaction than doing the work that is mine to do, and doing it well, I know not what it is.

    And that joy, that satisfaction, can be found whether automobiles exist or not, whether skyscrapers exist or not, whether physicists exist or not—as it has always been. Our ancestors did not live diminished lives just because they did not know of Ph.D.s or cappuccinos or airplanes or Mozart or nonlinearity.”

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  2. Ed Hurst says:

    He cites a pagan deity, but I agree with the moral approach.

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  3. Christine says:

    I find no conflict between the notion of the planet as a living being – referred to as Gaia by Buhner and others – and our heart-led understanding of Creation as alive and responsive. The Gaia concept is a good ‘in between’ for atheists and materialistic Christians alike to catch their first glimpses of the moral fabric woven into this place by God’s hand.

    Mr T – although I just read the book over the course of the winter I am already re-reading it and just as fascinated as I was on the first go-through. I actually avoided reading Buhner for years. I knew of his work and that it was similar to my own explorations with plant intelligence. But I was working “on the ground” so to speak, with the plants and trees that live all around me; I didn’t want to read Buhner because I was afraid of the possibility that his writing would work its way into my intellect and colour my experiences. I needed the plants to teach me, in their own voices, through my own heart, first.

    So now I can tell you that the instructions he gives for learning to use the ‘feeling’ sense (slightly different from feelings, ie emotions), and what he calls following golden threads are as close to what I understand as the heart-led existence as I’ve yet seen. For anyone struggling to make that shift in awareness, looking for something that isn’t loaded with New Agey distractions or pummelling the reader with guilt, this is a good how-to.

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  4. Ed Hurst says:

    Quite so, Christine. When the name “Gaia” is used as a symbol rather than actual idolatry, it’s a good way of helping people across the boundaries of thought.

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  5. Mr. T. says:

    Pagan and Earth religions are — or have been — apparently making some sort of a come back, however.

    “A replica of the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria, was erected in London’s Trafalgar Square today. It was part of the Great Colonnade, a Roman street that linked the Temple of Bel (Ba’al) to the city’s western gate. Did Christians make too much fuss over the original plan to recreate the gate to the Temple of Bel?

    Award-winning screenwriter Brian Godawa, author of ‘God Against the Gods’, discusses the entity called Ba’al and how he/it still influences the world today.”

    Brian Godawa – Yahweh vs. Ba’al: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTxGF91Fta0

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  6. Ed Hurst says:

    Bel or Baal (typically pronounced “BAY-el”) is a common Semitic word meaning “lord.” During an early period of Israel’s history, a woman would call her own husband “baal” as a normal protocol in Eastern feudalism. So you could find places in some texts where “Baal” refers to Jehovah, particularly where His Hebrew ritual name is unknown; “Yahweh” is more a title than a personal proper noun. Some of the rituals God required in Leviticus are very similar to rituals already in use in Baal worship, so it was very easy to slip into Baal worship, but Palestinian Baal worship always scooped up worship of Astarte.

    Brian Godawa is confused. He gets some of it right and bunch of it wrong, and his mistakes are typical of a trend that arose from a bunch of scholars lacking the “old school” Antiquities coursework. They prefer the trendy and popular nonsense of today. It takes too seriously the pagan revival, itself a movement loaded with inaccuracies. It would take a short book to unwind the silly stuff that comes out of that video. For example, Godawa keeps using the phrase “earth worship” religion, almost like an obsession.

    In the Bible, Baal worship refers to the peculiar branch that appears among Canaanite nations. This was a mixed bag of tribal nations with a similar language and tribal culture. When Abraham left his Sumerian home and devoted himself specifically to the one God he knew mostly as “El” (pronounced “Ale”), his calling demanded that he adapt to the nomadic Amorite (tent-dwelling goat herders) way of life. It was a shocking cultural shift from his urban existence. You’ll notice he found an ally in Melchizedek. However, Abraham’s descendants didn’t stay long and moved to Egypt. During that sojourn in Egypt, the Baal-Astarte cults rose dramatically alongside the cult of Molech. The latter we all recognize as a repulsive worship that demanded child sacrifice, tossing them alive into the arms of a bronze deity formed over a blazing hot oven.

    Here’s the thing that requires a subtle awareness: The issue for Israel was not reverencing a deity with a label like “Baal.” The name was not the problem. It was a particular kind of Baal that always came with a detestable worship of Astarte, a fertility goddess. The worship of Astarte typically included ritual prostitution, and the most degrading sex acts. This is nothing like our secularized “fooling around” for fun. The Greeks and Romans considered the Canaanites especially depraved in their ritual sex; it was that nasty. The whole package was hideously immoral, and included other forms of moral degradation, things that anyone with an active heart-mind knows instinctively is just wrong. That’s where the demonic angle arises. It’s not from “black magic” and astral projection or other oddball stuff, it’s the dehumanizing, degrading and depraved ritual requirements that deeply damage souls.

    This is why Scripture in some places seems to suggest that pagan worship can be relatively harmless, a mere mistake common to fallen humanity. In other places, as with Sodom and Gomorrah, it raises major moral reservations about it. The difference is in the context. I think Godawa would be surprised at the large number of “pagan” religions that were not so degrading, and you’ll find in the context that Biblical figures paid little attention to them, saving the denunciation for the nasty stuff.

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  7. Mr. T. says:

    Thanks, that was very informative! Comparatively I know nothing about anything.

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  8. Ed Hurst says:

    Mr. T: Thanks, that was very informative!

    Thanks. Most of this came at the baccalaureate level of Bible education at a Baptist college from the 1970s. At the same time, what I shared is echoed in older textbooks used at the college level that you can find in many religious libraries. In other words, I have to wonder where it all went since those days, because that video represents a younger generational view that arose since 2000. What I shared also has little to do with liberal versus conservative biblical scholarship; it was common in commentaries from both sides. The only thing I added to that background was the awareness of the heart-mind.

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