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Once You Pop, You Can't Stop?!? - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Once You Pop, You Can't Stop?!? [Feb. 10th, 2004|07:30 pm]
Sauce1977
[Special Music |Blue Öyster Cult - Veteran of The Psychic Wars]

cobaltbluetony, I was going to post in response, but it got so big that it wouldn't fit. :D

A quick note on me:

I'm one of the most understanding and open-minded people you can find.

I don't mind if people believe in different ideas. In fact, it surprises me when I have a different belief, and the differing person becomes intolerant.

That being said, I also know that I get these moments to expound when I'm most tired, as if it's almost a challenge for me to sound coherent. :D

Watchtower . . . Jehovah's Witnesses are an interesting set of believers.

They believe, from the Watchtower information, that they are commanded by God, and the specific "faithful and discreet slaves" are represented by their Governing Body.

It is a curious yet open religious faction under the many different religions in Christianity.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are generally seen as the extremists of Christianity, along with Scientologists at times.

Where Scientologists are more of a secretive group, the Jehovah's Witnesses are open, yet very segregate with regard to the non-Jehovah's and even the Jehovah's Witnesses in 'bad standing.'

They sure have a lot of rules . . .

Most interesting are their beliefs that when dead, the entire being dies, for the idea of 'soul' is actually the current body that lives.

Yet they are commanded directly by God, who uses the idea of a Holy Spirit as a way to communicate and interact with the world.

The dead stay unconscious and truly non-existant until the salvation of ressurection, where God re-creates the people from memory.

Forgive me, as I'm just writing this all out in an attempt to solidify my next points.

I find specific questions in the classic debate of predetermination versus free will.

Many people take the belief that it can be one or the other, and that destiny and no certain future cannot co-exist.

If there wasn't a little of reality in Column A and Column B, then it would seem much more of a paradox.

With regards to the Witnesses, it's a little of Column A and B with regards to spirituality.

In one turn, the Witnesses believe in God, who controls them directly. On the other hand, they believe a more atheistic approach on our existence, in that the living body is the soul, and when dead, it is totally ceases to exist, until God re-creates it in ressurection.

With regards to the comparison and contrast of Witnesses to extremist views and 'guidance' from the clerics, at least the Witnesses and their 'Governing Body' do not historically command their members to kill the non-believers.

As for predetermination, it's hard to imagine a finite, completely-fatalistic reality in light of free will.

I believe there's a little bit of both.

In one way, by genetic structure and by our learned behaviors, we are predetermined to have outcomes in a certain way with regard to certain outcomes.

Statistics show that smokers have a greater chance of death from cancer and heart disease.

By chemistry and biology, some people are more prone to addiction to certain chemicals like alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.

So it may seem that by the design, it is predetermined that some people may have a greater chance to become addicted to chemicals than others.

Yet, even the heaviest users can quit, even permanently, with the advance of counter-medicines and ultimately the choice of the individual.

I'm a pack-a-day smoker.

I'm more likely to be addicted to substances, and it would seem so because my father's a 'recovered alcoholic.' There is a history of substance abuse on my father's side of the family.

It seems predetermined that I'd probably have become addicted to some substance. Where my father took alcohol, I take nicotine.

However, my father quit drinking. He doesn't touch alcohol, and he hasn't for years. Before he stopped, he wasn't in the best health, yet he wasn't within days of death, with exception to his poor judgements while on massive quantities (half-gallon polishing). From quitting, making that choice, he's lived for many more years, and his health is relatively average with regards to the rest of the world for a man almost near 60.

I've quit smoking before, but I seem to always return to it. However, even though I'm very addicted to smoking, I've made the conscious decision to stop and stay away from smoking in the past. Before I started smoking at 18, I was a peak of physical health, a varsity member of track and field and cross country at my high school.

I also made the decision on a midnight whim to start smoking.

Whether God commanded me, or I commanded myself, the cigs didn't materialize in my hand with a booming voice, "Smoke."

I chose to start. I've quit at times. I make these choices.

If clerics command their followers to kill, it still is their choice to do so. It's a convincing argument to be promised a great position in heaven with wealth and riches ungrasped in this existence in exchange for the sacrifice against the 'non-followers.'

Thankfully, the Witnesses don't show up unannounced at residential homes with C4 strapped to their dapper suits and Cadillacs.

Sources:

Jesus Told Me To Do It?!?


Watchtower: Jehovah's Witnesses Website. Note: Apologies on any misinterpretations of the Jehovah's Witnesses. I have actually had great conversations with the Witnesses back home, when they'd show up on my doorstep and try to get me to join. I thought, "Wow, they have Cadillacs and Lincoln Town Cars . . . Damn, maybe if I joined I could get one of them suits and a flossy ride too." Once you talk to them, they mark your house and return often. Well, they did, up until the day when my mother, a devout Catholic, was home at the time. She told them to leave, or she'd call the police. Apologies for any confusions with my friendly nature, and apologies for my mommy, who just really doesn't want to switch her local carrier.

My Mind.

cobaltbluetony's post.

cobaltbluetony, thanks for the post that inspired.

crash666, I tried to entertain this before, but I was more tired than I am this evening. So, sorry and stuff.



One of my favorite opinion articles.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: freys
2004-02-11 12:47 pm (UTC)
Well.. I don't believe in any particular god(s), so I dunno, but I totally agree with the way you describe the idea of choice. I also have trouble understanding people who can't get over the fact that we believe something different. LOL. That article is awesome. XD
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-11 01:57 pm (UTC)
One thing I like to remind people when they're being quite restrictive is the idea that even when we're doing absolutely nothing, remaining still . . . we're still making a choice.

In other words, even when we're not doing something, we're doing something.
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[User Picture]From: fruitpunch76
2004-02-11 02:03 pm (UTC)

Re:

I was very encouraged by the points you made. Thank you for being you! I went to sleep oh so early last night, I hope you got my message. I'm doing ok today. I know some more struggles will be coming. However, I know Who is in control, and I will choose to go where I need to go. Hope that made sense. I love you, and hope to talk to you soon!
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-11 02:11 pm (UTC)

Re:

I never realized FTD.com was like minimum 20 dollar purchases.

That's unbelieveable to this broke bloke. It must not be profitable to deliver a single rose.

I think I'll have to just own up to being dead broke. Maybe I will have to make a run to the card shop and send out the cards.

I love you.
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[User Picture]From: cobaltbluetony
2004-02-12 03:41 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed your free-flowing post here. You are pretty "fluent" in what Jehovah's Witnesses believe. To test it out as The Way, though, you would need to put it into practice to see that it really is the Truth. "You won't know until you try it." 6.4 million people in 230+ countries can't be wrong. ;-)

Some points to consider:

#1. Scientology is not a "Christian faith". Scientology claims to be compatible with any faith, but is considered by many to be a cult. Maybe you are thinking of Christian Scientists.

#2. As far as predetermination (you mean predestination, right?) goes, there are certain fates to have, but it is your choice which one you will have... good people will live forever, bad people will be destroyed and cease to exist. (Proverbs 37:10, 11)

#3. JW's believe that, no matter what genetics or past habits or upbringing may have conditioned as person to do or think, the transforming power of the Bible, as one applies it's principles in their life, and the healing power of prayer, can help one to turn their life around to be pleasing to God... one thought to back this up is that God is the personification of love, and He would not command His creatures to do something they could not do.

#4. JW's don't actually have clerics. The elders do hold some authority, but not over others' faith. Just over congregational administration. But the role of elder is one that must be filled by someone who meets stringent spiritual qualifications, and they also possess double culpability because of the influence they can wield.

#5. I never owned a Cadillac, or other fancy car. Some JW's have money, most do not. As Jesus said, 'it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of God.' Seemingly impossible, but miracles do happen. ;-)

All of our beliefs are straight from the Bible. For example, Ezekiel 18:4 says, "The soul that is sinning, it itself will die." Therefore souls are mortal. And in Genesis, it says that Adam came to BE a living soul; he did not RECEIVE a soul. But God breathed the breath of life into him for that to happen. Most so-called Christian take their beliefs for centuries of pagan-infused ideas that long ago infiltrated the Church. Jehovah's Witnesses go further back in history for more accurate translations of the Scriptures, and examine through history what the very first Christians believed. Really, that would be the only way to get close to what Jesus was trying to teach.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-12 05:20 pm (UTC)
I believe in a lot of different views, and I'm going to have to re-read your response closely, since I'm kind of tired right now and can only expound without much new thought process . . . however, I'll expound. :D

One thing I know is my spirituality. I am deeply concerned with following that inner voice that tells me to do the right thing, even when I may have no idea what it's talking about, or possibly even want to do the opposite.

One thing I've noticed is that if I do goof up, this voice will cancel out the missed opportunity, and it will provide new options at the next juncture.

I make it clear internally that I want this good voice to continue its communication with me. I especially plead with it to keep me from making the wrong negative decisions, especially when my bright mind's working well enough to know that it's a wrong thing that seems so appealing to do.

Am I religious? Well, it's hard to belong to anything when every religion has such detailed rules. I'm working about a return to a more intimate relationship with regards to participation in a church.

I'd advocate at least seeking out and observing the entire realm of spirituality and the ideas of religions on spirituality, even to atheists. Atheists do not believe in the idea of God, so it sounds like I'm looking for a fight. :D

However, I'm not concerned with the idea of God in the eyes of all those who'd want to talk with me on it. I'm merely someone who'd tell anyone concerned to get involved with books or anything to do with spirituality and religions because within these institutions, the ideas and principles of morality and ethics are kept.

Morality and ethics are probably very high on my list of things to keep. Without these teachings, we run the risk of becoming complete mongrels with the dangerous ignorance of such concepts as the golden rule and many others.
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[User Picture]From: cobaltbluetony
2004-02-12 10:07 pm (UTC)
From the Bible's perspective, there are two resources that humans have: a conscience, and communication with God. A conscience is something inborn, but brcause we are imperfect, it is frought with inconsistencies. See, we also have a selfish side that wants to have its needs and wants met regardless of the ethics or consequences therein. Our figurative heart can mislead us, and indeed it has misled billions, including the terrorists who believe in the rightness of their cause. Human consciences need to be trained by their Creator. Paul stated, "The word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword; and pierces to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and their marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) With proper training by the accurate knowledge of God (John 17:3), humans can learn to discern how God views matters, and determine right and wrong based on the Creator's intentions.

With this, and with the free and open channel we have to God through prayer, we can find direction and purpose in our lives, and even enjoy blessings in our day to day activites. And in this we can come into an intimate relationship with God, accepting his direction in our lives and seeing his hand, as it were, in our successes. God did not intend for us to be imperfect, nor to be so alienated from Him. He has, however, provided a way for us to regain some of what was lost even in this wreckless, fickle and selfish world.

That, at least, is what you can learn from an unbiased examination of the message in the Bible.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-13 04:36 pm (UTC)

Re:

Very true.

I think the hardest task for humans as individuals is to develop themselves enough to include the ability to undertake the transformation of their lives.

In other words, when I was a kid, I wasn't capable of thinking on such a complex level. Some people through limited mental ability can never approach a higher level of thought.

However, there is a large group of folks who probably have the ability to think, and they could definitely enrich their lives and their understanding of themselves.

Yet, they do not, for many reasons.

Time plays a factor. However, one of the greatest inhibiting blocks is fear.

One nice idea about God is that as an idea, He knows no fear. The power of such an entity is so absolute that it is for all but the entity that experiences fear, which has a root in emotions over the idea of the unknown.

Since such an entity knows all, it wouldn't fear, but people most definitely do fear, and it is a hard-wired part of our brains, most primitive and base, that helps us and hurts us with this function of life.

For instance, when I saw these words yesterday, I was under great amounts of sleeplessness . . . over 20 hours without a wink. I saw the words, and it was like "Oh, words words . . . man I can't think what this means right now. Nuts."

And then, fear set in . . . and then I swatted it away with a "Go away, fucker!" and decided to respond at a time where I wouldn't get all sloppy with words and ideas.

A conscience is something inborn, but brcause we are imperfect, it is frought with inconsistencies.

A small amusement, in bold, as enforcing as possible of the sentence above. :D
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-13 03:53 pm (UTC)

Re: Finally.

Now my head isn't crazy with exhaustion.

#1. Scientology is not a "Christian faith". Scientology claims to be compatible with any faith, but is considered by many to be a cult. Maybe you are thinking of Christian Scientists.

Agreed, it's a business of sorts. It seems to work very well for spokespeople like John Travolta.

#2. As far as predetermination (you mean predestination, right?) goes, there are certain fates to have, but it is your choice which one you will have... good people will live forever, bad people will be destroyed and cease to exist. (Proverbs 37:10, 11)

Yes, I do mean that. As stated, the fates are the outcomes from actions, consequences, and such. I did catch that on the site about the ceasing to exist when dead and having lived a rotten, poor life.

#3. JW's believe that, no matter what genetics or past habits or upbringing may have conditioned as person to do or think, the transforming power of the Bible, as one applies it's principles in their life, and the healing power of prayer, can help one to turn their life around to be pleasing to God... one thought to back this up is that God is the personification of love, and He would not command His creatures to do something they could not do.

Very true. There are great parts of the entire work, and anyone completely skeptical of it probably should have at least read it.

That's a foundation of Christianity, the ability to do the right and good things, to live a sound, loving, and good life . . .

On God not commanding His creatures to do something they can't . . .

People tend to get this confused a lot. Humans have the power on their own to do great good or evil. It's not a question of "Would God allow us to kill each other?"

We can kill if we want to, and that's our decision. In a sense, God wouldn't command us to turn water into wine with the touch of our finger, if we didn't possess that ability. He, under this premise, would and could possibly command someone who was poor to start up and found a giant company that does good for the masses, even if they didn't have money and couldn't do it immediately . . . time is a huge factor in this idea.

I think that people aren't aware of what they can and can't do, on a grand scale. A common fault of human existence is the individual's lack of awareness of the other.

I have a feeling this is getting a tad long, almost too long to post in response . . . I'll post another one shortly.
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[User Picture]From: cobaltbluetony
2004-02-13 04:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Finally.

No, I actually do appreciate the thought and effort that goes into your comments!
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-13 04:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Finally.

No problem!

Since it's one of the first times that someone's got me onto this realm of conversation on LJ, I'm more apt to respond with large sums of words, lol.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-13 04:06 pm (UTC)

Re:

#4. JW's don't actually have clerics. The elders do hold some authority, but not over others' faith. Just over congregational administration. But the role of elder is one that must be filled by someone who meets stringent spiritual qualifications, and they also possess double culpability because of the influence they can wield.

Not being familiar directly with the Witnesses, it seems from the teaching that the people mentioned in the passages on Watchtower are similar to clerics, but without any of the grand authority and influence they seem to have over the Muslim followers.

It did look from the words that they are just Witness admins, in a way.

Elders are like CEOs, like the Pope is a CEO to the Catholic faith, in a way.

The ideal elder/Pope/CEO would have the best of the best tendencies and demonstrated abilities to perform his or her duty. As we know from private sector experience, often directors of anything are not quite as dynamic as they should be.

#5. I never owned a Cadillac, or other fancy car. Some JW's have money, most do not. As Jesus said, 'it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of God.' Seemingly impossible, but miracles do happen. ;-)

Very true on wealth. Blessed are the meek. The meek shall inherit the earth.

One of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes is "Night of the Meek," an Xmas show where a drunkard in a Santa suit is given a special sack that gives gifts that people could really use, just like the idea of Santa Claus.

Rod Serling was a great man, and he had a worse addiction to nicotine than I do.

In fact, I visited his grave in backwoods New York, in a little stain on the road called Interlochen, in the finger lakes area.

I struggled with this idea of wealth and the consequences of it, for years.

I think it has everything to do with just how you use your worldly gains that has everything to do with how it is seen with regards to whether they were used in enough ways for salvation from just the un-saved, wicked masses, from the ideas.

Merely having wealth would seemingly be a condemnation in the eyes of some, but that seems absurd that a God would automatically condemn the wealthy for having a mass of possessions, financially, or otherwise. In that case, many children from 'wealthy' homes would be automatically condemned, even though they did nothing to obtain that position.

I think it has everything to do with how the individual reacts to the mass of what is termed 'wealth.'

In the United States, 'wealth' is associated with material and financial sums. I like to think of wealth as how developed and grounded one is in actions and thoughts.

I'll cut this again just to be safe. I hate losing large amounts of data.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-13 04:27 pm (UTC)

Re:

All of our beliefs are straight from the Bible. For example, Ezekiel 18:4 says, "The soul that is sinning, it itself will die." Therefore souls are mortal. And in Genesis, it says that Adam came to BE a living soul; he did not RECEIVE a soul. But God breathed the breath of life into him for that to happen. Most so-called Christian take their beliefs for centuries of pagan-infused ideas that long ago infiltrated the Church. Jehovah's Witnesses go further back in history for more accurate translations of the Scriptures, and examine through history what the very first Christians believed. Really, that would be the only way to get close to what Jesus was trying to teach.

Good observations.

One of the concepts I've grappled with is the fact that the English-translations of the Bible just literally don't do full justice.

The principle of the communication around a circle comes to mind.

For instance, if you have a circle of people, and you whisper a sentence like "God is gracious, no one should be remiss of His light," if you took a random group of people, through their own limitations, the translation from this random group of English-speaking strangers could end up in the last person uttering the message, "Dogs fucked the Pope, no fault of mine."

In other words, it's very difficult to preserve the message originally transcribed from a source in another language to another language. Languages of humanity have different sentence structures and rules.

One could treat the idea of what would be the case of humanity's limited ability to communicate and express, and then think of a God who is omnipotent and has created everything in this reality.

Such an entity would be far more complex than the average human, given the ideas of God's breathing the life into Adam, not only that, but then thinking of the existence created and all its complexities that we don't have a firm grasp on to begin.

Given that omnipotent, complex, and dynamic entity, such an entity would probably try to communicate with its creations, and the idea of God's word as Bible would be permissable, since it does have such great wealth of morality and ethics as transcribed in the body of the text.

The idea of the circle, however, tends to bring ill to this concept, since God could communicate with its people, yet the people themselves have to transcribe this, and then it is copied into different languages and copied over and over so that all can read.

What if the person transcribing made an error in writing a word? What if the original transcriber in human form made an error? Such errored words and thoughts could give disturbing consequences.

I don't freak out about it, however. I don't use it as a condemnation of the Bible or of any text. It just adds a challenge for people to really get down to the meanings and have to use their noggins to find the base ideas as laid out in the text.

Thankfully, people as a whole are dumb, but they're not that dumb.

Also, on pagan-infused ideas:

The holidays as celebrated en masse are traditional days of pagan worship, and I am sure from no real study as such that this was probably done as a way of making it more likely that a pagan would convert to a Christian faith. After all, people are creatures of habit, and if a pagan was used to celebrating a holiday on a certain day, then it's easier for them to convert and celebrate a Christian faith if it is as similar as having same-day holidays.
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[User Picture]From: cobaltbluetony
2004-02-13 09:14 pm (UTC)

Re:

What if the person transcribing made an error in writing a word? What if the original transcriber in human form made an error? Such errored words and thoughts could give disturbing consequences.

This is in fact quite a fascinating study in itself. Combine the infusion of pagan ideas into nominal Christianity, with the probability of errors in translation from one generation to the next, and you have an astoundingly clear picture of how various sects came to their signature doctrines.

One fact about the Bible stands out as remarkable, though. Scholars have done extensive studies of exhaustive translations, such as the Greek Septuagint, have revealed that, with a few exceptions, the Bible has been accurately passed down with unparalelled accuracy. The Jewish copyists (the Sopherim and Masoretes) held to a practice of counting letters and words, noting the count in the margins of their copies. When a spelling or grammar change was made in the next series of copies, the copyist making the change would explain his reasons for the change in the margins, subject to his supervisor's approval. And there are instances wherein one copyist reversed the change of as previous copyist because the change was found to be without merit or erroneous. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls reaffirmed large portions of the currently used Hebrew texts as being nearly identical to the ancient ones. The consistency of the accuracy gave researchers the ability to express confidence in the accuracy of the entire Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament.

The Greek Scriptures (or, New Testament) were written within 2,000 years of our time and have many more verifiable sources for accuracy. Some ancient copies come within 20 years of the estimated date of the origianl, and one reportedly predates the destruction of Jerusalem.

In short, the Bible is by far the most accurately translated ancient text in human history, superceding Hammurabi's Code and Indo-Chinese texts of the Buddhist and Hindu faiths. Such unparalleled accuracy gives one cause to conclude that God has had a hand in protecting the integrity of his word, using the most sincere, diligent and faithful to accomplish this task.

it's easier for them to convert and celebrate a Christian faith if it is as similar as having same-day holidays

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 declares this: "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God's temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: "I shall reside among them and walk among [them], and I shall be their God, and they will be my people." "'Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,' says Jehovah, 'and quit touching the unclean thing'"; "'and I will take you in.'" "'And I shall be a father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me,' says Jehovah the Almighty."

Clearly, God's directives are to remain undefiled by erroneous ideas, many of which are inspired by Satan do obfuscate the truth clearly recorded in the Bible.

Thankfully, people as a whole are dumb, but they're not that dumb.

They may not be dumb, but most will persist in believing certain ideas because they want their world to be as they imagine it to be, and not what it really is. Many, when confronted with irrefutable evidence from the Bible that their own belief(s) is inconsistent, will make excuses to maintain their assertations. Some even declare the Bible irrelevant when it contradicts their own dogmas.
*end*
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-13 09:26 pm (UTC)

Re:

Absolutely!

If I had a dogma that was contested by the words of the Bible, I'd discount the Bible too. It's common human tactics in place when someone does as such, be it the Bible or lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Good stuff can always be found, and observed, without 'yoking' oneself to it. I understand the symbolism of the particular words:

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 declares this: "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God's temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: "I shall reside among them and walk among [them], and I shall be their God, and they will be my people." "'Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,' says Jehovah, 'and quit touching the unclean thing'"; "'and I will take you in.'" "'And I shall be a father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me,' says Jehovah the Almighty."

It is tempation that helps to 'yoke' ourselves to anything, including cigs, booze, and food, people, holidays, bad memories, bad jobs, anything particularly rotten. Yet, the enticement of such things makes it less than clear-cut on what exactly is the 'good' and what exactly is the 'evil,' when trying to decide such things.

I believe that most of the common world has great difficulty with the full recognition of consequences from actions. It is a common affliction of the masses of humanity, and not everyone can see as clear as to what may be fine to keep, and what may not be fine, what is . . . 'yoking.'


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