Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Those who believe in the Son... Get it all!

In view of social problems in this world  today between people, no one can be unaware of the civil unrest (due to this sinful world we live in which has been followed by unwarranted outcome) in the great state of Missouri.  How can we be in agreement with one another, how can we get along? These questions are being asked. As Jesus said, "love your neighbor/brother as yourself". That means love your fellow Christian as you love yourself as a Christian. You love yourself because you have been saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ and you can love others (no matter what race/ethnicity/income) because you know that they like you have been saved. This is the knowledge/assurance that all will be made equal, all will be made right in paradise.  This is how God was able to give His only Son for our salvation, He was assured that through Him we would be made right and be able to be seated with Him the Father in His Heavenly Place. For those that accept Jesus Christ will be saved, they will get it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There was a wealthy man in Europe many years ago who was an art collector. He had an only son and when that son grew up he too had a talent for collecting art. Suddenly, war broke out in Europe and the son decided to enlist to defend his country. The father disagreed and worried about his son being in harms way. Wouldn't you know it, the son was killed in action. The father was deeply grieved. One day, a young solider appeared at the door of the man's very big house. He said that he was there when his son was killed because his son was saved his life. He apologized to the man that his only son took the bullet for him. He said that he had a picture to give him, a small pencil drawing that he had sketched of his son just before he was killed. The man was very happy to have this simple rendering of his son. He thanked the solider from the bottom of his heart.  He framed it and put it first among the many paintings he had in his collection. Soon thereafter, the man died. In his will, he requested that all his art collection be put on auction. Such an auction drew hundreds of people. The auctioneer declared that he was required by the man 'art collector' to start with a simple drawing... so the auctioneer did. No one was bidding, some people yelled out what is this??? Suddenly, a man from the back appeared and bid. It was the soldier that drew the picture... the picture of the man's son. He said "I would like to bid but I have only seventeen dollars and some cents." The auctioneer said "ok, going once, twice, three times... SOLD!" The picture of the man's son went to the artist who drew it for seventeen dollars and some cents. Then the auctioneer declared that the auction was over. Everyone yelled, "what is going on?... we came a long way for this." The auctioneer took out a piece of paper and read from it. "The person who takes my son, gets it all." 

Friday, August 15, 2014

From Where does Humanism Get its Doctrine

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity... mmm,mmm

 The above is taken from a humanist website, supposedly the above is the definition of humanism. How does such a definition come to be? Sounds pretty basic; in fact, I have read most of that in the Bible. As I write from the perspective of social imagination, it is always necessary to inform readers that the social imagination has its source as does any imagination and there is only one kind- social. Any human group on the face of the earth comes to be or recognize itself as a group through social interaction... imagining each other and each other's thought/ideas (there is no other kind of thought); because any thought/social imagination experienced by a group is from group participation and there is no other kind if you call yourself human. Hence social imagination though a result of social interaction has a beginning in a word (s) spoken and remembered and passed on. This original source of social encounter/acquisition of words that take on meaning provide a basis for continued social interaction/social imagination. Which over time can become a basis for grander ideas (stretches of the imagination) and thus produce a religious world view, in the meaning of that is how happened that we agree on that and we will continue that in this way only. Humanism has its source and can even be considered an innovation or deviation of an existing source - Christianity.

Point being, humanism is no less a religion that many religions. It cannot be without theism. Why, because most of our social imagination (in which humanism was born from) over the centuries has been the contemplation of creation and man's existence in a place. The social imagination is produced through social interaction in a place (information encountered/acquisition-ed 'acquired' ) and what comes of that social interactive experience can and most often does become a practiced custom, a tradition or institution because the social interaction (social interactive experience) n a place was successful for those people in that place. We get 'culture' in this way and we have lots of different cultures in the world, all arrived at through the process just describe. Humanist suppose that all people everywhere are the same in their place just because they are human.  And, that as you can now understand/grasp is not true. Yes, we can say that people are human but that does not mean that they share in the same 'humanness' of social interaction in a place as do others in different places. It appears that way to the American because in the United States there is a mix of people/cultures who seem to abide together regardless of differences... and that is not true either. Americans in their diversity appear to be held together not because of their humanness but because of social contract - laws which keep them from hurting each other because they do have different social interaction experiences/ cultures. The bigger question is where doe these laws come from? They come from someone's (group's) social imagination. Whose? Christians! Christianity respects the individual, as he/she is a potential virtuous person, an underdog, a hero willing to sacrifice for others. Make no mistake humanists who proclaim that  a special kind of thinking that puts humans first before him/herself...your views of selflessness are Christian. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Culture Shock - What is American Coming to...Self Gratification?

Culture Shock

What is America coming to? We accept sexual explicit television, commercials, movies and behavior. Family is no longer cherished. What is cherished? Self gratification. Everyone knows that sex sells.  Many people simply think that life is about indulging in pleasure. Why? Because, it is immoral and this is a fallen world.

Bible teacher and pastor Chip Ingram helps us navigate the cultural issues that divide us. Gay marriage, abortion—is there a way to discuss these issues with people who disagree with us? Can we present truth and not be perceived as hateful? The Bible tells us that sexual immorality is a sin. There is no greater or lesser. Homosexuality is as much a sin as is adultery or fornication. It is not a born in trait. It is a choice as is the choice to commit any other kind of sexual sin or sin...

Some time back, if you care to check, I wrote on how, from my perspective as a doctor of Social Psychology, homosexuality is a behavior that is socially embedded. I refrain from saying learned unless the child lives with homosexual parents. It is a behavior that is socially embedded through social interaction. Firstly, social interaction with parents as their expectations for gender preferences in their child/children are not met. Second, is disappointment in the opposite spouse not meeting expectations. From there, social information, now corrupted by unfair or unmet expectations, is embedded in the child. I wrote extensively on this and if you care to read it, just refer to that earlier post.
For now, I simply want to impress on readers that homosexuality is a behavior that is prohibited by God.
Today I heard the best and most practical argument from pastor Chip Ingram. Chip Ingram is the senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, Calif., and teaching pastor and CEO of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over 30 years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. Chip is author of many books, including God: As He Longs for You to See Him; The Invisible War; and Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and nine grandchildren and live in California.

The best argument being that we can all have behavior problems socially implanted/embedded that stem from this fallen world/sinful nature which we acquired from Adam and Eve. However, we have been atoned for our sin through the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ. Knowing that when God looks at us, He sees His Son, we no longer have the desire to sin. Are there Christians we continue to sin knowing this? Yes, because we are in this fallen world. What is important is to recognize our sin and run toward God not away from Him. The more we do this, acknowledge our sin, run to the Lord- to His Love, the less we will sin/want to sin.
Asking people around us to accept our sin as normal behavior is wrong. We need to ask for their help, their prayers and mostly to remember that God forgives and loves us.
Pastor Ingram tells us, in summary, that by asking people to accept our sin, we involve them in our sin. For example, by asking someone to help us steal something makes them an accessory.

What is the way forward for homosexuality, which is no more than 1% of the population given that most stats that show 10% come from an older report? The way forward for Christians is to stop sinning by knowing that homosexuality is immoral and is a sin.
For those who are not Christian and Christians as well who wish to change their behavior, they should seek counseling which advocates healthy social and sexual interaction with people of the opposite sex.

The Biggest Social Problem Today - Husband and Wife and Family Relationships

In the Bible in Ephesians we read to be obedient to God for it is our good that he is after. The way toward our good is to refrain for sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed or obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking...

Wives and husbands... more than any other problem in the world today, I see a grave deterioration in the relationships between husbands and wives. There are women who either think that they alone can save themselves or only a rich man/a rich husband can come to their rescue. Husbands today think that only money can save them so they work hard and long hours away from their wives and children. When they come home, having success or not in the work place, look at their wives/children as reflections of either their success or failure or worse see them as not deserving of their success, not good enough to be seen with them not that 'they have made it'.

Ephesians tells us that "wives submit to their husbands for he is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church... too many women interpret this as enslavement when it is not. It is the good way that God has prepared for the wife. Husbands are not let off the hook with God's hierarchy. They must love their wives just as Christ loved the church and give themselves up for/to her to make her holy cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church...husbands should love their wives as their own body. For this is God's way forward for husbands."

Ephesians 6 - "Children obey your parents iin the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise that it may go will with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.  Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
I have said it before, God's Social hierarchy is the best for any family to live under.
So, pray as a couple, and as a family. Let the Lord be the head of your household and live under an open heaven!