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Thursday: Character and Community — 11 Comments

  1. One of the computer projects I worked on in research was based on the notion that computers should be considered independent and collaborative. In other words, a computer should be able to work on its own and yet collaborate with other independent computers in such a way that they can understand one another and cooperate to their advantage. My particular area of research was the mechanisms for concurrency control so that two computers could work on the same set of data without interfering with one another.
    Nowadays, most computers have multiple processors on one chip but the problem is essentially the same: how to ensure that the individual processors work together without interfering with one another.

    And in life, the problem is essentially the same as the computer concurrency problem. I have mentioned before the highway rebuilding project that took place near here recently. Hundreds of people were employed to essentially dig up the old highway and create a new bigger one while the traffic (50,000 vehicles a day) was still flowing over it. It was an enormous logistical problem and a demonstration of what could be achieved by individuals doing their own job, yet collaborating and communicating with one another when needed.

    John Donne, a sixteenth-century poet, wrote this:

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man
    is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
    is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
    well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
    own were; any man's death diminishes me,
    because I am involved in mankind.
    And therefore never send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
    Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
    John Donne

    In a spiritual sense, we are individuals, responsible for choosing our own salvation, yet as part of that, we are also charged with the commission to interact with others (concurrency) to share the good news of salvation.

    Jesus' words on collaborative concurrency control are something that I take very seriously:

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35 KJV

  2. Just being a community or part of a community does not automatically guarantee that genuine benefit will result. It is the nature and character of that community that will determine the resultant impact. How many 'secular' people have observed Christian community as, for example, "hypocritical"?

    Yes, being part of community is potentially beneficial, for we were designed by a Divine community (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to also be community (Genesis 2:18; Psalm 133:1) - but only when that community is characterised by other-centred love in action (John 13:35; 1 John 3:18).

  3. 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

    Last verse...
    4 For whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not acting like mere humans!

    Unfortunately, That's the smorgasbord we have today..

    We will either be in a denomination of our physical birth, or friends and workmates that influence us, or seek a denomination that we see is closer to God's word as we #currently# understand it. !

    If we have genuine godly motivation and read the WORD, and make it a personal conviction to follow Christ, the Spirit of Christ will leads us where he wants us to grow or share our gifts he gives us, through his Spirit in us !

    Shalom in his peace, that surpasses all understandings, that can flow like a stream from him, through you, to all in its course/way.

  4. Talking about being a community that witnesses for God, by their actions and words. A man was asked if he was a Christian, and he replied I don't know go ask my neighbor. Go ask the community surrounding your church if your church is a Christian church. Do I say I represent Christ or do my neighbors know I represent Christ because they see him in me?

  5. so God loved the world ,that he sent is only begotten son, that whoever so loved him shall not perish .This verse shows God belong to community .He is father ,is uncle, is our friend and all in all is our everything

  6. The Truth of God(doctrine) is important! Not to be compromised.
    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
    Matthew 7:21‭-‬23 KJV


    and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
    2 Timothy 3:15‭-‬17 KJV


  7. Wow, a Simon & Garfunkel quote. That's something different.

    But the first paragraph also reminds me of a discussion elsewhere this week. The participants made a fair, but unfortunate, point -- many of our members (and sometimes entire congregations) have a fear-oriented, conspiracy-heavy theology.

    There's also a group who loves to argue. There's not much love in any of their discussions, but they sure do like to be "right," and tell you exactly how wrong you are in the most dismissive fashion possible.

    I've been surrounded by folks like this much of my life, and I'll be honest: I don't want to discuss religion with them either. Who would? It's not uplifting, it's toxic and a constant beatdown.

    I guess my question/comment is: What can we, either individually or as a larger community, do about this? What causes this mindset, and how do we address it? I think they mean well, but it isn't glorifying God, it's magnifying Satan. And I ask because I suspect there are many more who either avoid discussions, or have walked away entirely.

  8. Deuteronomy 4:29-10 words of Moses, after the 40 years of wandering and after God's people's failure to enter Canaan the first time, that they would still fail to show God's love to the world and God would disperse them throughout all the nations as a result but if from there "The latter days," they would seek God with their whole mind, heart, and soul they would find Him. So when did the "latter days" have their beginning since now we seem to be at the very end of these "latter days?"


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