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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Discernment – 1 May 2006
By Mary T. Hoffman

Christians are urged to use “discernment,” the ability to distinguish between that which is true, or of God, and that which is false. They are also referred to as a “flock,” as in a “flock of sheep.” This metaphor is used in the well-known Psalm 23 of David, in which he calls the Lord his shepherd who leads him as a sheep would be led. We must realize that David was part of the herding culture of that time, and that the language and metaphors used in the Bible are a reflection of the way people lived back then, before the appearance of Christ.

The value and inerrancy of the Bible is found in the spiritual lessons that are timeless. Discernment from the Holy Spirit is meant to lead the believers (“sheep”) to spiritual truth that transcends the worldly traditions and rituals of any particular era.

Unfortunately, many of today’s Christians glorify those parts of the Bible that are peripheral to the spiritual message. How many times have we heard little boys being taught in glowing terms about David’s slaying of Goliath? Indeed, in his journey toward God’s truth David was responsible for the death of many people, and he later asked for God’s forgiveness for these transgressions. In addition, he sacrificed thousands of animals. We have to remember that this was before Christ, the final sacrifice. If we don’t put these actions in perspective, the spiritual lesson is diminished or overshadowed by visions of physical gore!

People who want to justify holding on to cruel, outdated lifestyles will find plenty of examples of animal sacrifices, slavery, concubines, multiple wives, etc. described in the historical accounts of the Bible. We have to realize that the people God deals with live in particular eras, and God has to deal with them during those specific times and occurrences.

Today, two thousand years after Christ’s resurrection, we have no excuse for continuing in ignorance. We are supposed to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says:

48. “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

We are not to return to our past sins or those of our ancestors. If there is a more compassionate way, if there is a more peaceful way – that is the path we are to follow.

Go on to: Humane? - 2 May 2006
Return to: “But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.” – 30 Apr 2006
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