How do we decide what is right or wrong?

Jehan Casinader wrote this – As a Christian, Israel Folau’s searing sermons from cyberspace make me angry –  in relation to religion, but can also apply to politics.

Surrendering to a higher power doesn’t make you a saint. Those who believe in God, including me, are just as broken, flawed and selfish as everyone else.

That’s why Folau – and those who have vilified him – have lost sight of the bigger picture. Judging others is easier than engaging in deeper conversations about faith, truth and morality.

If there is a God, what is he or she really like?

Where do we find meaning?

And how do we decide what is right and wrong?

Many people seem to treat politics based on beliefs and faith similar to religious beliefs. They believe politicians from their chosen party and politicians, they support them unquestioningly.

And they seem to fear opposing parties and positions to the point of vilifying them no matter what the merits of what they propose, do or say.

For some, politics is an extension of their religion

For others, politics seems to have become their religion.

If there is a political ideal, what is it really like?

Where do we find meaning?

And how do we decide what is right and wrong?

 

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29 Comments

  1. Patzcuaro

     /  15th April 2019

    To me empathy is at the heart of Christianity or do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You don’t need to read the bible or go to church, it is all about how you live your life. Searing sermons from the pulpit doesn’t make a Christian, Folau isn’t a Christian, he is a hater.

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  15th April 2019

      “And they seem to fear opposing parties and positions to the point of vilifying them no matter what the merits of what they propose, do or say.”

      As demonstrated perfectly by Patzcuaro , he has judged Folau to be a hater. Vilifying him for exercising free speech.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th April 2019

      I don’t think he’s necesarily a hater. I don’t think it’s quite that simple. I think he may genuinely see himself as motivated by love – something like a parent’s love for their children when they are naughty & they are warning them, reminding them of their past misdeeds that had painful (physical or emotional) consequences when they were disciplined.

      That is the approach taken strongly in the Bible. Humans are God’s children. If they don’t do as they are told, or they break their parents’s rules they must be punished. The rules are supposed to there for their own good because children have such limited knowledge of the world & limited capacity for reasoning & forseeing future outcomes that could be harmful or psinful.

      Izzy’s a cisgendered male. So, to take the admonition against homosexuality in particular, he has no concept at all of why someone is homosexual. He seems to believe it’s by choice.

      So he’s concerned that they won’t get to heaven unless they stop sinning & become cisgendered, like he understands God says they should be. He’s not necessarily being intolerant. He’s pointing out that The Bible says God is intolerant of homosexuals. For their own good – for their salvation from God’s wrath at the day of judgement they must stop sinning like this.

      I can see where he’s coming from, but it’s from a lack of understanding.

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  15th April 2019

        You learn something new each day, cisgender, I’d got as far as transgender. It sees to me a cisgender person is happy with the sex parts they were given, so a homosexual can actually be cisgender, provided they are happy with what they were given.
        Hater is probably going a bit far but I doubt Folau has much empathy, in my view he spends to much time reading the bible and believing it literally.

        Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  15th April 2019

        Did God not preach “judge not lest you be judged” Or words to that effect? Who are you to judge Folau right or wrong?

        Reply
        • Mother

           /  15th April 2019

          Here are some thoughts re being judgemental. (This issue was always big in my mind. I grew up through harsh judgements, yet when I tried to speak my mind re fair critique, I was swamped by ridicule. I was constantly swimming against a critical spirit.)

          1. We are supposed to judge all things. Berean type people are seeking God, and He likes that. Jesus helps and comforts those who desire to walk with Him.

          2. The above way of judging is different to passing judgement re what we erroneously/meanly/unthinkingly/mockingly might think another person deserves as punishment and/or discipline, or for applying labels publicly. This realm of judgement is for God alone to practise.

          3. We are not to judge people in the world (as per no.2) beyond deciding for ourselves between right and wrong for the purpose of clarity re our personal decision making.

          4. We are to judge each other. When believers love each other in the Body of Christ, they judge each other ie they gently state what is right and what is wrong, as per scripture. And they sometimes are required to warn of God’s judgement, as per scripture. Each situation is unique and calls for loving discernment. I think, mostly, people know the warnings themselves and I also think they detest hearing warnings from people whom they know are hypocrites.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  15th April 2019

            Is this gently stating what is right and wrong?

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th April 2019

            Food for thought & a well-explained individual Christian’s perspective. Thanks for that, Mother.

            Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  15th April 2019

            Mother in point 4 you are converging with my empathy, you can offer help, give it if asked, that is being human.
            Which begs the question is humanism more relevant than various religions.

            Reply
            • Mother

               /  15th April 2019

              NO.
              Humanism is a religion in its own right. It’s one of many, and individuals are free to choose.

              In my experience, Humanism is not for an individual who empathises with humanity.

            • Gezza

               /  15th April 2019

              I disagree with both of those views, Mother.

              Firstly I don’t think it’s a religion so much as a way of interpreting our nature & behaviours in ways that don’t need the Bible’s God to explain. It’s like Christianity insofar as people who might be lumped in together by Christians (and even, for some, themselves) as Humanists agree on some things and not others.

              In my experience, and watching debates & “sermons” from some self-described Humanists, Humanism is driven hugely by empathy.

          • Blazer

             /  15th April 2019

            ‘ I also think they detest hearing warnings from people whom they know are hypocrites.’

            absolutely!🎯

            Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  15th April 2019

          If you go down the judging path, who is Folau to judge whose going to hell?

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  15th April 2019

            Perhaps he has never stolen so much as a MacIntosh toffee from the Pick & Mix bin.

            Or said that he didn’t eat the last gingernut.

            It has to be said that many soi-disant Christians display unedifying hypocrisy; do that which I say, not that which I do. Their lack of charity to someone in distress is disgusting. I experienced this at the worst time in my life, and discovered who the sheep and goats were. Talk about ‘Alas for the rarity/Of Christian charity/Under the sun.’

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  15th April 2019

              Israel Folau is making the old, supposedly irrefutable, claim that he’s doing what God wants him to do….ergo, anyone opposing it is opposing God’s will. Rather presumptuous of Mr Folau (and anyone else who uses this argument to defend their judgementalism or other non-Christian behaviour)

              If he was called Foleu, his name would be an anagram of Le Fou. What a shame.

              He appears not to have read Leviticus XIX; 28, which forbids tattoos but not using that word, of course. It forbids cutting the flesh and making designs on it.

            • Gezza

               /  15th April 2019

              That’s not really a problem for Christians. The Bible is rich with options for deciding individually or by sect or church that various parts of the Old Testament still apply, & other parts do not, because many things reportedly said by Jesus in the gospels, & by the apostles & letter writers, are open to various interpretations as times change.

  2. Gezza

     /  15th April 2019

    I’m not downticking anybody in this discussion & I’m upticking anyone who states a view and why they hold it. Whether I agree with them or not. Just saying.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th April 2019

    If you want to be valued, make value judgements and don’t blow with the wind.

    Make them by following your heart after you have deployed empathy towards all the options and used your intellect to analyze them and look for bits you have overlooked.

    That’s all folks.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  15th April 2019

      or join the Values Party and then dispense with them when you accept money as your only…God.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th April 2019

      If you want to be valued, make value judgements and don’t blow with the wind.
      Make them by following your heart after you have deployed empathy towards all the options and used your intellect to analyze them and look for bits you have overlooked.
      That’s all folks.

      That’s all for you, but that template doesn’t work for everyone because not everyone is like you, Al. Some people need at least a core set of rules to make sense of good and bad. Empathy & analysis are not sufficient for because they don’t have particularly incisive minds & can’t identify all the relevant factors. They want certainty that everyone is operating to the same rules & guidelines. They seem to think the Bible gives everyone that. Of course it doesn’t – far from it – but they are CONVINCED it does.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th April 2019

        *are not sufficient for them

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th April 2019

          Probably depressingly true, G. I see people stuffing up their lives and others too with terrible judgments all the time.

          Some today. Dispensed hugs and reassurances we would be here for them if needed.

          Reply
  4. duperez

     /  15th April 2019

    How do we decide what is right or wrong? We listen to someone. There are plenty ready to tell us. I could turn into one of that type, telling people they’re wrong.

    Like the person who said, “But in Ezekiel, chapter 33, verse 11, it says that ‘God has no pleasure in the person that’s living in sin’ … He’s a loving God and he wants people to turn away from what they’re living in and he’ll give them life.”

    In reply I could tell Israel Folau he’s going to Hell for saying the God’s a woman. As it says in duperez, chapter 666, verse 007, ”God has no pleasure in the person that says that I am a man and when they cark it they’re going straight to Hell.”

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th April 2019

      Duperez bloody Christ ! Chapter 666 ? How many pages is your Good Book ? And is it available in Whitcoulls?

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  15th April 2019

        Bloody Christ? She menstrual too? You’d thunk she’d have got that sorted, eh?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th April 2019

          Did you see the item on 1news. He’s got 2 days to appeal against his dismissal. If I remember right he indicated if he lost his professional occupation he’ll accept that – that his religion was more important to him than anything else.

          I believe him too. The Bible tells him being persecuted for his faith & holding fast to it anyway is virtuous & will stand him in good stead with God & Jesus. I doubt he’ll be reduced to poverty but even if he is Jesus conveys the very strong impression that being poor is virtuous in the eyes of God & he would probably see this as giving everything away & following Jesus, bringing him even closer to God.

          Reply

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