The Importance of The Christian Work

Posted in Philosophy, Theology on PMpWed, 05 Mar 2008 17:22:43 +000022Wednesday 10, 2007 by camcgoy
The idea of the Christian job in recent times has been vastly misunderstood, many people think that to do a Christian job one has to commit oneself to full time ministry in the Church, which is not a calling for every person. Though the Christian is called to live out a life of servitude to God our creator, which is a full time job, and to live in the world, which is also a full time job. These two lifestyles have to be reconcilable in some way, or else the Christian life can not be lived along side the life in the world. It should be thought that Christ would not call us to something that is impossible, and instead of calling us to two jobs, has only called us to one. The faithful disciple is not asked to live out two lifestyles, but to integrate them together into one cohesive job.

  Horace Bushnell starts of his writing on Every Man’s Life a Plan of God with John 12:27: “To this end was I born, and for this purpose came I into the world.” This testimony of Christ himself shows us that Jesus came into the world for one purpose and he lived that life out to fulfill that one purpose alone. The Christian cannot be asked to do any differently since he/she is expected to follow the example of Christ in every facet of life. Bushnell proposes a simple truth: “That God has a definite life-plan for every human person, girding him, visibly or invisibly, for some exact thing, which it will be the true significance and glory of his life to have accomplished.” Bushnell offers that God will give man a purpose in this life to fulfill. This may not be Christian service in full time mission work or being on the staff of a church, but wherever man applies himself, if with in the bounds morality, God will be able to bless the work and make it fruitful for His kingdom. 

  In Walter Rauschenbusch’s Christianity and the Social Crisis, he offers that, “A man’s work is not only the price he pays for the right to fill his stomach. In his work he expresses himself.” Rauschenbusch goes on to explain how the secular world has done a horrible job at motivating the common man to doing a good job at what he is working at, thus producing mediocre results. The job heads need to figure out a way to motivate every person to care about the work they are doing, if this could be achieved then products and ideas produced would be much better because the heart of the person is behind everything produced. This way of thinking should follow with the Christian lifestyle in every day life. Everything that the Christian does should be with passion overflowing with the attitude of Christ. On the job, in the home, and in free time; the mind of Christ should be seen wherever the Christian steps. The product of this type of lifestyle will be that those outside the Christian faith will not just think of Christians as people who live a special life on Sunday, but a people who overflow with this attitude that cannot be sustained within one day and has to flow into the rest of the week. This is a lifestyle that if looked upon from the outside cannot but help to bring others into it. 

Most everyone is asking why they are here and if they have a purpose. If the Christian ethic is lived out, man will have no choice but to respond and recognize that the Jesus professed by the Christians has something to offer, something to die for and even better, something to live for. 

The Importance of Play In Work

Posted in Philosophy, Theology on PMpWed, 05 Mar 2008 17:16:15 +000016Wednesday 10, 2007 by camcgoy
In the book In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity by Josef Pieper talks about Festivity and how it might join into the world of work. There seems to be an idea that a festival is something that is special and since work is something that has to be done, it could not be a part of festivity.   Though using a different word for fesvitity: play, it can be seen that even in the world of the work force, there should be a constant environment of play or festivity.

The main idea that that seems to exist behind Pieper’s thought of festivity is that it, “cannot be imagined as residing anywhere but in the realm of activity that is meaningful in itself.” It is an task that has no other reason than for what it does for that person doing it. Pieper then goes on to question if    festivity can be equated with the word play. He sees no reason why play would not be a part of festivity since it would clearly be needed in the idea of festivity, but does play make an action good in itself. It seems that play could  be used this way since it could be described as bringing about eudaimonia, a word used by Aristotle to describe the ultimate good. This is a happiness that transcends a certain situation and runs through the core of the person. Every person searches for this ability to go to work and find this purpose on the job, a reason that will justify doing the task at hand, not for another reason, but just for that task and the happiness it brings about. 

The idea of play essentially has meaning in relation with another individual. This brings about the idea that the true state of humanity is to be in relationship with another and what better relationship to have than one with God. In this God can provide things that no person can give and asks for nothing in return, all he asks is that His people seek Him out and love Him. This should be lived out in every moment of life, no moment should not be filled with relationship to God. In this sense the eudaimonia is to love God, which brings about a constant festivity where every moment is new. God transcends the idea that festivity could ever get boring, since He is an infinite being He can provide infinitely new things for every person to look upon. Each day is new, filled with things never seen or felt before, only He can provide this.

This is the lifestyle that Jesus spoke of as the Kingdom of Heaven, it is definite that it is something achievable because of the way Jesus spoke the message. It had a future aspect, but was attainable in the present time. The major problem with this mindset is of how difficult it is to pull out of the culture that each person has been placed in. Americans are known to be workaholics who spend every waking moment working, trying to achieve something greater, when the greatest is right before their eyes waiting to be held. Humankind needs to find a way to escape the tedious type of job, where passion is lacking and desire for the end result is not there. Every one needs to look to God ask Him for their purpose and He will freely answer if given audience by the heart of people. God is deeply in love with people and wants to see them succeed, but true success is not easy to achieve in the world every person lives in. It is filled with lies, deceit, and an enemy that wants nothing more than to see every one run from the arms of the one who loves them. 

The Work To Get Where I Am

Posted in Philosophy, Random Stuff on PMpFri, 07 Dec 2007 18:07:56 +000007Friday 10, 2007 by camcgoy

I have done much work during the semester to work toward being humble. I have been able to make progress through some goals that I have set for myself as well as through other people that have pushed me toward my goal and have helped me make it to where I am now. the main goal I set for myself was to not refer to myself in a prideful manor even though a majority of the time I was joking. This type of talk still set a bad example for the people around me and needed to be worked on. If I was not able to totally correct this way of acting I at least needed to make it more clear that I was joking and make it less frequent. I have seen a reduction of prideful talk I have made about myself. I am not totally sure that the reduction is on account of pushing myself to be more humble or if it was on account of just not having a reason to be prideful, but the use of prideful talk has slowed down.A big factor in helping me become more humble was friends and family, in particular my mom and my friend Samantha.Upon telling my mom about the project she was quick to point out mistakes that I might need to correct and was also quick to encourage me. Usually my mom would point out what I was doing wrong, I would give her face saying that I was jokingly mad at her for pointing it out, and then trying to act accordingly. It was always hard to take criticism, even though that is what I knew I needed, critics are something that are in short supply in the world today. Samantha or Sam, lives in Washington, but was also (like me mom) very supportive of what I was doing and also quick to point out areas that I needed to work on. She wasn’t able to help me in the same way my mom was because of the distance between us, but she was always asking me how things were going with the project and because of that, kept me knowledgeable of of the goal I had set before myself.   

Stuggles With Humility

Posted in Philosophy, Random Stuff on AMpTue, 13 Nov 2007 00:05:31 +000005Tuesday 10, 2007 by camcgoy

I struggle with humility because it is something that goes against what I normally want to do. Many of my actions are not done out of opposition to humility, but come across that way. I many times make comments that make me sound prideful, but in most cases I am joking. Though I am joking this still has created a bad habit for me because it has made me think better of myself than I really should. I have realized that in many cases I have not been prideful, but it comes across that way to other people, which is bad. I do not want to come across in a bad light to other people, even if I am joking. I need to learn how to realize that I have a responsibility to be a example that other people can follow, this does not deny the ability to joke around, but it needs to be exceedingly clear that it is a joke, and it does not need to be done as frequently as I have done it.

Next something that I need to focus on foremost is humility concerning my knowledge. I am well known for making other people feel small because of my constant interjections of knowledge into a conversation that makes other people feel stupid. Something God has blessed me with is knowledge and the desire to learn, but I have learned recently that I also need to learn when to vocalize what I have learned. Again I do not feel that I am wrong because of what I am saying, but it is not for the best of the people around me because of what it seems to say about to me. It seems to say that I am prideful and that I am boasting my intelligence before other people. That is not the case though, my thought process is saying that I should not keep my intelligence in, but should share it with other people. That is not how it comes across to others though, other people think I am just sharing my knowledge to make myself feel intelligent. I have to learn only to share my knowledge in certain cases though so that I do not come across as being snooty. It is going to hard for me to stop this, but through practice it will be possible and since starting this project I have seen a difference in how I share my knowledge, I still have a lot to work on though.

Humility pertaining judgment

Posted in Philosophy, Random Stuff on PMpTue, 23 Oct 2007 19:52:00 +000052Tuesday 10, 2007 by camcgoy

Why is judging other people wrong?
Judging other people is wrong because I myself am no better than the person I am judging. I make the same kind of mistakes, if I judge that person I am being blind to my own faults and should take care of my own faults before I consider the faults of another. I need to realize in humility that God is good and just and will take care of the problem. Judging other people is not a part of my function, that is left up to God now or at the end of the age.

How does this require humility?
I need to have a humble attitude be realizing that I am not better than any one. The sins I have committed are just as bad as any other person’s. Sin is sin, there is no difference. The only boasting I would have is if I were perfect, but no one is without sin. If I am equal to every other person I have no reason to look down upon them, but have every reason to help them. I don’t need to judge other people because I care about them and judgment is not helping them. It is belittling them if I can help a person out, then that is good because I am giving them what they need. That is not judgment though, that is service.

Why does this require humility?
My natural instinct is to look down on another person because I supposedly do not have their problem or what I think of as a problem. I quickly want to react on this thought and want to tell that person since I feel like I would be doing them a favor by telling them how they are doing something wrong. Though I need to look at them as an equal which is very hard when my natural instinct also pushes me toward dominating.

How can I become humble concerning judging other people?

I can stop and think about whether my actions are humble actions, if my actions are looking to serve. This will obviously take practice this since I will not naturally think to stop and be humble, but I will have to train myself over time to stop and consider what I am doing. Over time it should become second nature and I will no longer need to stop and think, but will go into a conversation and not look to judge them, but to be humble and serve.

Why have humility?

Posted in Philosophy, Theology on PMpTue, 09 Oct 2007 17:45:43 +000045Tuesday 10, 2007 by camcgoy

I am doing a project on humility in ethics class and am trying to figure out a good reason to have humility. First I need to define what humility is and since I am looking for humility from a Christian tradition, I should try to define it in that light. Humility is taking attention away from oneself and realizing that the praise ultimately belongs to God. It consists in going out of ones way and doing something that would normally not be done to help another person. A good example used in Christianity is Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of man. Man did not deserve for Christ to die for them, but Christ humbled himself to give humanity something they could not attain by themselves. Christ went out of his way to help man, He did not have to come and do what He did, but because of His love for us, He died for us.

Then the next question is, why have humility? How does humility make sense for a human to practice? Humility goes against everything a human seems to be about, man naturally seems to have this desire to conquer and dominate over others. Humility also does not follow with survival, because in some cases humility requires a person to lay down there life. God did give Adam dominion over the earth, but man does not have dominion over each other because of equality. Humility apart from knowing God’s purpose for man does not make sense. Once there is a realization of what man was made for, then humility makes much more sense.

A reason to have humility would be to foster community and help man realize that no one is better than any other person. If a person has humility, then a standard is set for how everyone else should act. This does not necessarily mean that everyone involved will react correctly. A person should have humility even though it may not be what other people are doing. Humility is never the easy response because it goes against the sinful nature of man. Community displays God’s purpose, man was built with this need to be with other people and to fellowship with them. God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” God could tell that Adam was alone at the beginning of creation, so God gave Adam a gift, Eve. Adam and Eve were to support each other and to care for each other, that seems to be a good definition of love: supporting and caring. Humans were made to love each other, not to be at odds with each other.

I am hoping I can expand on this as I work through this project. I am really looking forward to where I might be taken in my pursuit for humility.

Plea for Desire in Knowledge

Posted in Philosophy on AMpSat, 29 Sep 2007 03:20:14 +000020Saturday 10, 2007 by camcgoy

Sisters and Brothers,

I appeal to you as a friend, not as some one who is great, but some one who feels called by God. This does not make me better than any one else, I firmly believe God has called every man to ministry and to a purpose. I ask you to understand that I am no better, but that each of us are given different gifts.

I have a plea, it is that every one would have a greater desire for knowledge. A desire to understand what they are saying and why it is being said. To many, people speak of something as fact when the truth of their statement is unknown to them. In this case there needs to be an acknowledgement of the idea being presented as a theory. Once a statement can be proven then it is apt to call it factual. Though the next question to be asked is, when might a person know that their statement is fact? When a person can argue his case and be unchallenged by much argument, then a person is justified. Though there still needs to be a recognition that they will be unchallenged in the future, a person needs to be constantly studying their theories. This seems to state that very little can be claimed as fact. The best way to test a claim being made is to live out the idea and see how it works in practice. If an idea does not pass the testing or does not prove needed, then the theory needs to be given up. When a man sets out to do a task, it is hard to tell how to go about the task until working through different ways of going about the project. If testing of a theory is done, then much trouble can be saved for many people. It may take more time, but in the long run it should prove better for everyone involved.