Principle in choice

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by agedman, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    This is not meant to be a political question, rather one of everyday choice and the principle(s) used.

    When I first started my journey as a believer, a Godly elderly man kept directing my mind two view the Scriptures not as a rule book, but a book of principles to live by. Over the years, I have seen that he was correct. Generally, those who look to steer their ship of living by specific rules they find in the Bible, and by and attempting to conform their life to some set of rules they may find, eventually shipwreck.

    A Scripture that I might use to demonstrate the difference in the view of living by law in contrast to living by principlemight be that found in 1 Corinthian 10:
    23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.​

    Now, please, I understand the context of this passage, but I am not writing about the specific theme but the general thought of conducting one's life by principle and not by law or some set of rules.

    Some years ago, the popular phrase was, "What would Jesus do?"
    In the above passage, Paul might say, "What brings profit to the neighbor?"

    Here are two examples of how "profit to the neighbor" is lived:
    I care for (or now have my yard cared for) not for my own showmanship or to puff up my own value, but so that I do not detract from the value of the neighbor and neighborhood. That is the principle.
    When I go out in public, I do not look to put myself first in line, to grab all I can get, to be the most important person in the group... I constantly allow others before me, I look for those who may need some assistance, I conduct myself in such a way as to not detract from my life partner nor from the high calling of God. That is the principle.​

    In speaking with a friend about politics, not many days ago, I was faced with the coming choice (now made) of which candidate for office to choose and how I chose.

    In that conversation, I expressed that I had little understanding how one would choose someone for public service who was not merely a casual believer, but one that recognized even in the public eye as a believer.

    I consider such thinking follows the principle(s) of the Scriptures about the righteous leaders. For example, the statements of Proverbs 28 shows contrasts between the ungodly and the righteous leadership:
    1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
    But the righteous are bold as a lion.
    2 By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
    But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.
    5 Evil men do not understand justice,
    But those who seek the LORD understand all things.
    15 Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear
    Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
    16 A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding,
    But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.​

    This thread is dedicated to principles to live by and not politics, though no one can separate the political aspects when discussing principles. Please don't limit your contribution to that topic.

    Perhaps you have some that you would like to share some insight in how you look at this matter. If you live by principle, please give some Scripture basis for the principle(s), and perhaps a bit of anecdote of how the principle(s) is(are) working in your living.

    What are some of the guiding principles for:
    Your prayer life?
    Your Scripture rendering and meditation?
    Your conduct?
    Your treatment of others?
    Your choices in life?

    ...
     
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  2. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Started to read, but lost interest.
     
  3. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    And you thought the rest of the Forum would want to know this because...?


    God bless.
     
  4. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Have to disagree with this. The importance of Sound Doctrine is just a basic Bible Principle, and would be one of the "rules" we should live by.

    Spoke to a man yesterday that spoke of "the authority of the believer," and went on to say he had been "commanding Michael the Arch-Angel for several years."

    He told me God spoke to him, when he asked, "God is it okay if I command Michael?"

    The "Lord's response?"

    "I have already given you the Kingdom, why are you bothering to ask?"

    In my view a functional Christianity is orderly, logical, and not to be disputed. That doesn't mean I view it as a rote ritual performed as we see pictured in those who sought to fulfill the Law in rote fashion. But, what I do mean is that when we divorce our walk from what is given to us in clear terms of, basically, "Do this/Don't do that," and this on numerous issues, then we have to allow that Christianity...has rules.

    I have yet to meet a person who has made shipwreck of their faith in diligent pursuit of both understanding God's Word, or seeking to practice that which we are instructed in. We do not, on the other hand, neglect the eternal element on our walk, which is God's work in our lives either. If we do not balance these, we end up in one extreme or the other, either ritualistic, or "let go let God."

    I haven't yet gotten through all of it, so if I have misunderstood I apologize.


    God bless.
     
  5. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Did you man to say "...but I am not writing about?"

    I think Paul's point is similar to the general basis of the thread. He is saying, basically, "Just because you have liberty to do something, doesn't mean doing it will bring good results."

    A good example of this would be the Levites that passed by the man laid upon by rogues. They followed the Law according to ritual, but they missed the point of the Law that would have made them stop and give the man aid.

    In view is the opposite almost, where it is what we can do that can cause problems if we do them. Eating a pork chop in front of a Jewish believer, for example.


    God bless.
     
  6. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Stepping on my toes here, brother. My yard needs quite a bit of work, lol.

    I do agree, though.


    God bless.
     
  7. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    You are actually following a "rule" expressed in Scripture. Christ taught this. Paul taught this. James taught this.

    None of them offered them up as suggestions.


    God bless.
     
  8. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I am a little confused as to what you mean here.

    In regards to the topic itself, I think we have the President we have now because many refused to vote because the candidates were not Christians in their view.

    We aren't voting in a new Pastor, or Deacon. It's a secular office. Being a Christian is not mandatory for the Office.

    We aren't really going to have Christian Leadership in truth until the Millennial Kingdom, so in the meantime my suggestion is to vote for the person that is not the opposite...anti-biblical.

    We have a President that publicly stated he is okay with killing his grandchildren.

    Romney would have been a better choice, but many couldn't get past the fact he was a Mormon. I'd rather have someone who at least publicly professes there is a God in Heaven and does not endorse and implement policy contrary to Christian values, than a man that professes to be a Christian yet endorses a liberal view, homosexuality, and abortion.

    Again...it's a secular Office, and we can expect that sometimes the candidates are not going to be Christians.


    God bless.
     
  9. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I'm just having a hard time seeing the distinction.

    Let me ask you this, what do people call the biblical principle of loving your neighbor?


    God bless.
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I have a very simple approach: I speak to God most of the day, and try to do everything according to my understanding of Him and His Word. I do not spend long periods in dedicated prayer, though I know some do. I don't think I have to keep reminding God of something I have already spoken with Him about, He is God after all, and doesn't forget what I have come to Him for, so repetition in prayer for others is more for the benefit of those who may be joining me in prayer, rather than the thought that if I keep bugging Him about something, it will change the decision already made the first time.

    The principle in Luke 11:5-8 would, in my view (and it is open to discussion/debate), establish God's character in regards to His children. If men will respond to a request if we bug them to death, how much more will God grant that which we request of Him.

    I like to think I approach Scripture with effort to bring out of the text what is actually there, rather than imposing into the text that which is not (that too is open for discussion/debate, lol). The Exposition does not precede the Exegesis, that is a concrete rule I try, try, try to live by. Doesn't mean I don't spout off about something once in a while, lol.

    Meditation? Nonstop. Particularly when I am engaged with a Forum. The difference in meditating on God's Word when I am engaged and when I am not is significant. So, knowing that forum interaction helps me to keep the Word of God prominent in my life, I try to stay busy.

    There is no better way to accelerate growth than actively challenging and being challenged on doctrinal issues. Christianity has as a foundation the Word of God (and I am not replacing Christ as The Foundation, this is from a temporal perspective, not an eternal). If the Doctrine is in error, the Christianity of the adherent is not the Christianity of the Bible.

    It varies. I am no different than anyone else, and subject to emotional response at times. This is more likely to occur in a face to face situation than on the forums, but both can happen.

    And sometimes...we need to get angry.

    Generally speaking, though, I like to think I have finally learned that rule taught all of us when we were kids: stick and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.

    It varies. I think that is true for all of us. But, if we are on a path which has growth as a goal, and we understand that how we interact with our "neighbor" is listed as second on the list of Commandments by Christ Himself, I think most of us will grow in that area.

    The problem we face, though, can be like that faced by the child. Sometimes how we treat others, or others treat us, has the best interest of that person in mind. There are a variety of ways we interact with each other, and not one way The Way, so to speak, because sometimes situations demand an approach that might not be well received by the other person.



    Again, most things in my life hinge around the principles learned from Scripture. Doesn't mean I'm always successful, but, few things I do are not impacted by the instruction found in Scripture.

    Think about the word "rule." What does it mean? Where is the separation between a "rule" and that which "rules." I try to implement the "rule" of the principles in my life, meaning that instruction demands no other course of action can be taken.

    And I would also ask you to consider the "rules" found in the Law. Which of them were not given to support that which is summed up in the Ten Commandments, or were not beneficial to the one effecting their "rule" in their lives.

    The Law was not abrogated based on failure in itself, but because of the failure of men to adhere to those principles. Paul taught...


    Galatians 3:21

    King James Version (KJV)

    21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.



    So when we consider rote ritual in observance of the Word of God, we shouldn't consider the failure of man to understand the principles with the beneficial aspects of God's Will for man's life. In other words, nothing wrong with rules, we actually need them. The Law was added because of transgression, which helped to point out to man that he was not at liberty to make up his own rule-book, lol.

    God bless.
     
    #10 Darrell C, Mar 9, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  11. Zaac

    Zaac
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    I've said the same thing for decades. I would however add an ALSO after the but.

    There are undergirding principles to Scripture that are timeless truths by which Christ expects His people to live. At the core are the principles found in the two greatest commandments.

    If you get those two foundational truths wrong, the obedience to the "rules" is moot.
     
  12. HAMel

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    What did folks do many, many years ago when most couldn't read and many didn't have Bibles? A circuit riding preacher came to the community once a month. No concordances; no commentaries by Wycliffe. No radio preachers. No mailings soliciting a "blessed" prayer cloth for the small sum of $15.95. How did they make it? How did they live moral lives? Did they all die and go to hell because they didn't walk the isle? Or follow the mandates issued by the local church family?

    I have to agree with agedman! The Bible is a book of principles to live by and yes, there are some rules we need to follow. Otherwise, how can any one legalize faith? What about that one thief on the cross with Jesus back when the Bible didn't even exist?
     
  13. Zaac

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    When you think about it, the thief properly grasped the principles behind the two greatest commandments.
     

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