Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Second of five

You dudes rocked in your responses and in being patient with my absence -- thank you!

#2 -- Credit and Blame

In church last Sunday the sermon was about how God is the only source of good things, and we can take no credit for anything good we might do in our lives. It is all God. The scripture was Luke 18:19:

"Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone."

Then later in bible class, the lesson was about how the devil is an easy scapegoat but we are actually the cause of all bad things in our lives, and cannot cast away the blame on Satan. It is all us. The scripture was James 1:14:

"each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and

Which made me wonder -- why do we take none of the credit for the good, yet all of the blame for the bad? Is it possible that our actual contribution to the universe has some of both?


Bob said...

Hate to use a cliche, but you hit the nail on the head.

Andrew said...

Welcome back Red!

This topic has always intrigued and bothered me. So often, this line of thinking is used by Christians to balance the scales in terms of their own lack of ethical behavior. The reality is that someone of another religion (or no religion) having superior ethical, empathetic, and behavior in their lives doesn't cause some Christians pause, because none of that really matters anyway. I heard a slant of that recently in church. Christians talk about good and bad as if it matter - a lot... until someone outside the faith is obviously superior... then we shift into relativistic mode, and suddenly good and bad don't really mean anything anymore.

I think our yes should be yes and our no, no. If something is good, it is good; if bad then bad. I think all of this double speak has caused a lot Christianity to lose its way.

Debby said...


*wanders off thinking*

Redlefty said...

I think I see what you're saying, Andrew. So not even our "bad" really matters, because for Christians it's covered by grace and for others they're already doomed no matter how good they might be.

Sorta like selective universalism. :)

Paula said...

Crud Red, you reminded me I still need to finish that book I found at Half Price books when we had dinner together that last time.

I think we can take responsiblity for some of the bad in our lives (no one can force you to eat too much nor not to be careful with the finances). However, I believe there is bad that we don't have control over (e.g. I'm in a car and I get tboned by another driver and get hurt even though I had the green light). I don't think I brought that on myself.

I went and looked at my Amplified Bible for Luke 18:19 and they have it spelled out in terms of morality: "Essentially and perfectly morally] Good.

I don't think we are perfectly good or perfectly bad. I do think there's shades of grey.

Andrew said...

I agree Paula. People are referred to as being "good" in the bible all the time. I think sometimes folks take a usage of hyperbole in the bible, and then build a whole doctrine around it.