Posts Tagged ‘brands’

Faith and Works

 

Today, reply is on giving while in the workplace. Giving without integrity is dead. Correctly practiced, giving for Christian believers always will be marked by such elements as balance, accountability, cheerfulness, dutifulness, gratitude, humility, impartiality, lovingkindness, peace of mind, respect, and restraint. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shared) posted the following:

 

Do you think it was wrong for my manager not to give the homeless man a meal?

A while ago a homeless guy stopped by the fast food place I worked at and asked for a meal. My manager said no and gave him the excuse that there are cameras watching our every move and he could get in trouble for giving away a meal.

All of the employees were talking about how he should’ve given the man some food because people still get away with doing things even though the cameras are watching. My manager told me that lately the management team has been getting in trouble for giving away too many free meals and he was afraid if getting in trouble.

I for one kind of agree with him. As an employee I don’t even get a free meal and I bend over backwards for this establishment. I don’t see why some random person off the street should get free food for doing nothing. He can take advantage of the local soup kitchen.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2: 18-19, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Use of Money? (01/07/2019); Commitment To The Brand? (06/07/2018); Giving, A Divine Discipline? (10/09/2017); The Answer From GOD (05/19/2017); It Comes With the Job? (01/11/2015); Religious Bosses? (07/08/2014); On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013); A Lid on Love? (09/27/2013)

 

Anonymous”, there are correct and wrong places, times and ways of displaying ones faith, applying truth from the Bible, and of giving to the poor. Managers in the hospitality industry and those they supervise must discharge a broad range of duties regarding the inventory, the reputation of their firm, and the materials used to present their goods to the public for income. Without a full payment for the goods, a report of pilfering (petty theft by an employee; violation of the contract and job description) should be filed, rather than a report of charitable giving. Those who want to use the organization they work for to provide gifts and support to others should use the opportunities, policies and programs of their firm intended to express goodwill and support to the community-at-large. Where the manager, or a worker wanted to share with an individual homeless person who came into their store, they would have had to deposit payment from their own wallet into the corporate cash register, or surrender the meal(s) they were to receive as an employee (e.g., breakfast/dinner/lunch).

For most of us, the workplace is not a setting for the full expression of our spiritual beliefs; there is an unwritten accord that preaching, proselytizing, or religious ceremonies, practices and rites are not to be carried out in the workplace. Developing Christian believers are in a relationship with divinity where all they possess, all they share, and much of what they do is directed primarily to GOD for the fulfillment of sacred commitment, eternal purpose, and expressing the sovereign will of GOD. In a similar way, believers are encouraged to acknowledge their employers as covenant partners with whom they are bound through personal accountability, legal agreements, ethical process, promises, and shared financial interests. Sinners who become “born again” are cautioned to avoid taking on the task of judging others, particularly with regard to giving, service, and worship. In addition to the risk of “jumping to conclusions,” those who judge encounter many subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning, quality and value) that must be assigned weight, and correctly examined for their influence and outcome.

Various unexpected events (e.g., transportation accidents, fires, flooding, mudslides, snow) may result in multiple deaths, and urgent demands for funding, gifts, medical supplies, and other support. Properly performed, giving to the church allows sharing through multiple carefully managed programs and mechanisms for distributing resources. Such giving should be regular and reliable; and, in the same way one disciplines, plans and uses restraint for their spending, giving also is best accomplished using a budget, formal order, and restraint. Here are further points believers reflect on that use language from the Bible:

1. Proverbs 16: 25, King James Version (KJV): 25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

2. Proverbs 20: 11, KJV: 11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

3. Proverbs 19: 17, KJV: 19 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

4. Proverbs 14: 31, KJV: 31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 5. Proverbs 22: 1-2, KJV: 22 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. 2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

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Acceptance, rejection and love among family are the focus, today.  Also, there is more on church as a brand, and what Christians may speak against other believers.  A writer posting at “Yahoo! Answers UK & Ireland” with the ID “ewan_whose_army” (Level 2 with 252 points, a member since 25 August 2013) shared the following:

Why do people let religion get inbetween themselves and those they should love?

Such as in those parents who kick their kids onto the streets if they turn out gay or don’t conform to whatever their religion requires.

THE BATTLE AXE:  On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013)—The ministry of Jesus Christ that must appear through the life and substance of each Christian believer often is described as heavy with conflict and self-contradiction.  After all, the believer is to condemn sin, yet love and be reconciled to the sinner.  The believer must exist using carnal, material, and social devices, yet be totally in service as a spiritual being and an instrument of divinity.  The believer must go out to the world, yet remain sanctified, set apart and unspotted.  Rightly understood, the church is a new creation, and its process of truth is intrapersonal, not interpersonal.  All necessary balance, flexibility, fullness and stability, are achieved through operations of the Spirit from GOD.  Through the Spirit of Truth (also called the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy) the believer is a spokesperson for GOD having authority to comfort, edify, and exhort—not to accuse, condemn, label others, make merchandise of the gifts from GOD, or slander.  As those accountable and charged with duties of leadership, bishops, elders and others may use admonition, sharpness and warning within their congregations, and for the benefit to their faith community.  However, these may not rely upon competitiveness, peer pressure, and the products of emotional, mental and psychological states.  Spirit content from Christ replaces so-called critical thinking, logic, and reason.  Inseparable aspects of divine person are in effect such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, righteousness, truth, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Believers are to be alert and vigilant exercising restraint upon self-will, and discerning the difference between divine doctrine and personal opinion the same way they are to thoughtfully recognize the intent and motives from public statements about and against the church, and Jesus Christ as its head.  (See Galatians 5:  14-16 and 2nd Timothy 2:  14-16, Colossians 2:  1-9, KJV.)

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Neither give place to the devil.  Let him that stole steal no more:  but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  (Ephesians 4:  17-32, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Desire for Love? (07/05/2013); Feeling Loved By GOD? (06/16/2013); To Find a True Christian? (06/17/2013); A Family Affair? (04/01/2013); Emotional Appeal? (04/02/2013); The Love of GOD (03/03/2013); The Faith of Ones Parents? (11/18/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); Love in Christ (10/23/2012); Escape from Racism? (10/24/2012); Family and Romance (10/13/2012); Why Courage? (10/14/2012)

Here are a few points Christian believers a challenged to consider and keep in mind:

(1.)  Intimate relationships and the expression of love require special levels of balance, discipline, order, restraint, stability, and structure.  Created beings and living creatures may be driven by appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual cravings), sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching) and mind (e.g., fantasy, imagination, instinct, memory), we say, Flesh.  We also may be driven by spirit beings that oppose GOD (we say, the Devil), just as we may be under the influence of GOD.  Without being grounded and rooted, we self-destruct.  The aspects that are carnal, material, psychological, and social describe what may be called an animal nature for mankind.  To correctly experience the divine aspects of who we are, humans may not center their experience in a “rush”, “running on adrenalin,” or emotional and psychological extremes.

(2.)  Accountability, duty, and the pressures from specific goals necessarily generate barriers, limits, obstacles and silence among and within family relationships.  Often, these features seem to work like land mines, hidden and invisible weapons that distort and twist everything out of proportion.  The unspoken agreements that must be in place for any family to exist includes continually showing acceptance, acknowledgment, respect and trust.  Only by acts of kindness, dialog, giving, talking things out, and unselfishness that brings the hidden elements into clear view do the many different personalities of a family become an unbreakable unit.  Unfortunately, the hidden features also include dirt, filth and grime, the elements that otherwise appear through attacks, conflict and confrontation.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  For example, (3.)  Among Christians, some family members assume that others in the home and those of the extended family are under obligation to accept verbal abuse, denials of legitimate authority, disgrace, dishonor, insults, interference, opposition, and shame because all believers want to display “unconditional love.”  Those in error presume they know, take it for granted that they themselves have correctly answered, and repeatedly jump to conclusions about the feelings, needs and understandings of others.  Correction through Jesus Christ has shown us that the intent of divine acceptance and forgiveness through the family are the encouragement and support of sacrificial change (for the sake of others) that comes by growth, new learning, and where necessary “new birth”, the establishment of a new and godly spirit.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Recently, I was pressed to decide how (and whether) to respond to current media reports describing an interview with the Pope and policies of the Vatican.  Today, I share some comments (below) on what it means to make church a brand, and to market evangelical and spiritual events.  A believer’s privilege to speak by occasion is considered along with the duty to not speak (keep silence), and to speak only prophecy.  Also, there is more on whether Jesus appeared having a halo.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013)—While the Bible is written in plain language and describes sacred events using visual images common in human experience, believers are to understand that profound aspects of divinity are being portrayed.  Thus, one of the holiest sacred events, the transfiguration of Jesus, is depicted through change in his clothing and outward appearance, and an audible voice speaking from heaven.  The glistening and whiteness of his garment expresses acknowledgment of his purity, a change in his awareness, and a further endowment to the content of his inner spirit.  See 2nd Corinthians 4:  6, Hebrews 2:  9, John 1:  14 and Matthew 17:  1-9, King James Version.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.  I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.  And herein I give my advice:  for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.  Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.  For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.  (2nd Corinthians 8:  7-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Salvation for Atheists? (06/14/2013); Church is Good? (06/15/2013); On Titles and Respect (03/15/2013); On Producing Atheists (03/16/2013); My Sheep Hear My Voice (03/08/2013); Wanting To Have Our Way (03/09/2013)

 

As those who make visible the ministry of Jesus Christ, obedient believers are not permitted to gainsay Pope Francis I, or other prominent clergy.  Believers may not add to what the Pontiff speaks, stand in judgment of his public prayers, his praise and service, or seek to “have the last word” after the Pontiff has made a public statement.  To “gainsay” is to challenge, foster schism, and promote believers being opinionated within the body of Christ in the place of uttering prophecy with service as spokespersons of GOD and his Christ.  Even though I publish a sacred writings blog, this means I must “speak” like every other believer throughout the kingdom of GOD.  With such a rule in effect, I am not allowed to “second guess” the secular head of the Church of England, those who are Messianic and Jewish believers, or leaders for the many denominations that include the A. M. E. (African Methodist Episcopal), the Amish, the Baptist, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Latter Day Saints, the Seventh Day Adventists, or The United House of Prayer for All People.  Rightly understood, however, I absolutely must declare my own faith. (See 1st Corinthians 1:  21 and 24, Titus 1:  7-9, Acts 10:  25-29, Jude 10-13, KJV).

Attackers who seek occasion against, provoke, and repeatedly make malicious thrusts against the Pope may not be spoken of as true servants of the Lord, or agents and defenders of the church of Jesus Christ.  Questionable journalists in the media want to catch the Pope in an unguarded moment.  Like the paparazzi, they go about to embarrass, entangle and entrap leaders of the church within their own statements, and words.  Casual remarks and personal responses are made to appear as official declarations of policy, and the overturning of scriptural truth.  The critical speakers and writers distort true dialog, should be understood as dangerous disrupters, and are a serious distraction from the  genuine focus for the true work of the church. Believers today should all agree that, as surely as Jesus cast out devils, fed the hungry, forgave sin, and healed the sick, Christ cautioned the money-changers, the Pharisees, Rome (through Pontius Pilate), the Sadducees, and others.  Many hoped to condemn the Savior using his own public statements against him.  Even so, fulfillment of the Gospel was always the primary focus of his ministry upon the earth, including the sacred events of his death, burial, and resurrection.

More disturbing than the misguided media is the fact that, while representatives of our institutional churches share messages that exhort personal commitment, dialog, and encounter, in many instances those who seek the Lord only experience being challenged to respond to a “brand”.  Typically, there is a prominent person (like the Pope), who captures the hearts and minds of believers, whom believers will never have opportunity to share personal relationship with in this lifetime.  At best, believers are approached and encouraged by an apparatus calling itself/themselves “partners”, “the laity,” “the faithful,” “the team,” “assistant pastor,” “junior pastor,” “pastor’s wife,” “pastor’s staff,” “pastor’s dog,” “pastor’s cat,” etc.  It is very likely that the widespread apostasy, disenchantment, and disengagement we see in the church today is a direct result of the faith being advertised, media hyped, merchandised, and promoted like just another brand.  There is an overall air of dishonesty, rather than the fragrance of Jesus.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  These ideas are at best a beginning.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer