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Evil might be over-rated. At least when it comes to intent.

I’m pondering what it means to: “do the devils work”. I believe innocent people can do evil things – just like evil can happen to good people.

Meanwhile, as most of you know I don’t lay claim to being a Christian. There are many good examples of those people in our world. But, there are likely an equal number of them that aren’t – just like any faith, and especially religion.. But, that’s all a matter of perspective, as well.

God likely dropped discernment in most of our DNA and allows that to help sort matters out.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I’m doing that very thing. My heart is open and I’m looking around myself and seeing a great deal of inspiration. So, ironically, I’ll include some effort from the Bible, here. Some call it the Word, others a rule book. For the most part I find that it covers a lot of common sense witnessed and reinforced by many generations of people that realize the worst mistakes your can make are the ones you repeat.

The point I’m trying to make, here is: A word of love can make a world of difference.

According to the Bible, God calls us to love one another, which requires living in a way that is for one another – because love apparently puts others first. Throughout the Bible, we are called to put others first, and live in a way that blesses other people.

For example, God calls us to be devoted to and honor one another (Romans 12:10); to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16); to love one another (Romans 13:8; 1 John 4:11; John 13:34-35); to accept one another (Romans 15:14); to care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25); to serve one another (Galatians 5:12); to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to one another (Ephesians 4:32); and to bear with one another (Colossians 3:13).

Putting another before yourself – that is, loving other people, can possibly  transform us because an act of love has the power to change lives.

I don’t know if Christ rose from the dead to make God’s point. But, I do know He set the stage for change and that message impacts us all daily, and only for the better. There’s the thinking of a Heterodox, for you.

I can’t find it, but I think the Bible offers some passages around the notion (wording?) that God “spoke” his word of love in the form of Jesus into the world. It was, thusly, transformed.

I’m listening  to John Lennon, today – and, his song: Love. I’ve done that before. I’ll do it again. And, I’ll share a video of that live effort for you as well (sorry about Yoko; so say we all):

I’ll trust you all to have a Happy Thanksgiving.

“Love is real. Real is Love”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

So…

It’s been nip-and-tuck on this Blog going on two days now over my last post: there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questions.

It’s particularly ferocious doings in the comments sections with my Christian brothers Drew, George and John game-fully wading in, hearts fully exposed (I am not, by definition, a Christian, but they are still my brothers).

However, under his own steam, the inestimable Aaron Masih (a warrior, in any light) has set forth his views on his Blog: A Life of Passion. The post is called: The Struggle Worth Having.

I’ll suggest you consider reading it, within it’s entirety.

Do it!

Just to wet your appetite – following was my own comment, under that worthy effort:

“I think I’m honored.

God issued me discernment. And, with it a keen desire to live my life in a way that glorifies everything that I can recognize around me. I used to refer to this as living my life like Christ. But, as time went by I felt like that was similar to wearing a medal I had not earned. There is, not so simply, a bar, some how set.

So, living by that code, while remaining uncertain about, how and where, I might end-up sometimes feels like standing on the ledge preparing to tower jump.

But, some how I think I’m going to make it – because it wasn’t me that created wind that can be used to offset gravity.”

And, I have such terrific friends, “good men in a storm”, to be sure, standing by to break my fall.

There is virtu, here. And, fortuna! Yes, Dr. Pappas, my worlds converge. My hunger naught but builds to not only learn, but to truly, I say, understand.

Readers of this Blog, rally to me – give me that word! …if it isn’t understanding.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Along the course of a recent and ferocious discussion with one of my executive coaching clients, we went from talking about virtu and crossing boundaries “using our power for good”, to the untidy topic of how people and families of greatly apparent faith seem to be sorely tested (sickness, tragedy, etc.), really, manifested itself.

Verily I say. We’ve already circulated this amongst those Prudent Gentlemen. It’s a barn-burner, to be sure. And, there is already a lot of pushing and shoving going on.

Things like that happen around me, often.

This may well be one of those taboo-level topics. But, what the hell (or, heaven – who knows yet?).

Come on, we all know Believers, obnoxious or not, that make us scratch our heads because, despite their faith (or, is it because of it), they get their butts kicked by life (or, God) – and, often.

Providing God cares about history books, what if you look at it from an Old Testament perspective… It seems as though God is more interested in testing character, than faith.

This is going to take some pondering on my part.

The trouble is that we’re likely looking at a solution from different sides of the same problem. I expound this because, it has only just now, this very moment, struck me that, and this is deliciously ironic, by leveraging His gift of discernment, God let us create multiple religions. In the very trenches of life and warfare, God set the stage for our greatest challenge – accepting that men must, often, face opposing paths to reach the same goals and objectives.

And, maybe there need be no solution because God remains long after we won’t. God tests character and man tempts faith. Now I wonder if I should revisit that mote in Gods eye.

What if He does not care which religion you subscribe to? And, let’s be clear, I don’t buy it when people dip their toe into the fray with being “spiritual”. Judgment aside, my gut tells me that is wishy-washy bullshit. Under my current thinking, He might be more interested in what you do through your religion, as opposed to why you do it. By the way… Fear of the unknown (which might be were religion is actually spawned) might be part of the equation.

Meanwhile, many religions offer or require rules (commandments, tenants, etc.) that are similar. And, we have murdered one another for centuries in His name (but that seems more Darwinian, to me, than providence). Must we invoke religion, faith, conscience or discernment since it is always better to endure hardship and evil than to perpetrate them? Enduring hardship is certainly a Biblical standard.

It’s all already under my skin, and beneath my fingernails, and has me all itchy. So, look for further discussion investigation once I can come up with additional examples. But, by all means, please offer up a few of your own. Goad me along, please. Test me. God does is all the time. And, He created you possibly for that unique task.

I must admit that I am, and  truly, relishing this exercise. It’s seeking, as I recognize it, with a full heart and cup that would never be half empty.

The results can me memorable, although rarely tragic.

In closing, in the joyous event I still have you with me, consider Scorpion’s Wind of Change – this (get through the first minute) performed in Moscow:

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

________________________________


jesus strategyBy the way… I lifted some of my thinking from Daniel Florien (he apparently suffered unreasonable faith). There are some things that will never be new – and, this includes man’s evolutionary questioning of a higher power, and his ability to relate to any, or all, of it.


I studied science with an open-mind. I affirmed my belief in an old earth, and the validity of evolution. This required a process of removing layer after layer of propaganda that blinds Christians and makes them more part of the problem that an actual solution. Stubbornness, unreasonableness and defensive nature are not attractive, and those characteristics ironically weaken their testimony. I refuse to ignore dinosaur fossils and carbon dating. Satan did not create carbon dating; scientists armed with God given discernment created carbon dating. In fact, consider my prior post How Long is Seven Days where my daughter Haley Anne and I discuss this very thing around her home schooling.


I looked for evidence for many of the claims I thought I believed, and realized that there was no reputable evidence at all. Written things should be based on physical proof as backup – otherwise written testimony remains subjective and open to interpretation (that is what happens with the Bible). For example, I could believe Jesus was resurrected, or that Moses parted the Red Sea, but there was no evidence outside oral stories recorded by unknown biased authors many decades (or, as with Moses, many centuries) after the fact.


I learned to think critically and, with much trepidation, finally applied it to my views of religion. After a few years of struggling, I finally accepted that evangelical Christianity was a form of belief – almost a sect, if not a cult.


I learned about probability. Things I thought could not happen without divine intervention ended up being within the laws of probability. Coincidence does exist. God created life to reflect the beautiful game of soccer. That ball bounces in many crazy ways. A lot can happen. We just need to be fit and ready.

So… I feel great about there being a single God that may not have a singular focus on me. I am confident He gave me discernment, and will judge me best by the way I use and leverage it.

I genuinely like the idea of Jesus walking the earth as a historical Change Agent. He set a standard for mankind, and his influence reverbrates through all cultures and societies more and more each day.

I just don’t know for sure that Christ rose from the dead and closed the deal for mankind. Today I am unwilling to simply drop into a three-point-stance over the Bible. Readers of this Blog know that my thinking is that “leap of faith” might be the “easy button”. I am certainly open-minded (that is crucial for the Heterodox). I just don’t feel it yet. For the moment, God has me touting the position that striding purposefully through life evidencing Christ-like virtu, while not being certain there is a heavenly reward takes more courage than being a chest-thumping Christian that runs the risk of Hypocrisy.

Assuming your interest, here are some other Blog posts that I have put some thought into the last few years that generally support my thinking, and offer additional context and perspective:

Christian Ambiguity, and Christian Ambiguity: Part II.

It’s not about what you want to hear; it’s what you need to know.

God knows I really care.

By the way… Watch this video (I am NOT making fun of the Jesus element; this is merely for perspective):

“That’s my name, don’t wear it out….”

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Some times the exchanges that occur, in the trenches (comments), once a Blog post is aired become decidedly more rich and vibrant than the original posts themselves.

I found myself on Daniel Florien’s Unreasonable Faith and Nick Milne’s The Daily Kracken adding comments, and then embroiled in a rewarding repartee with other bloggers positing varying beliefs and theories involving such wide-ranging topics to include Rap music and Christianity.

Interestingly (to me any way) part of this dynamic communication ended-up migrating over to one of my own recent posts: open minds.

Today (if only in terms of writing and sharing) I will take it easy, and share this summary I offered a new acquaintance “John C (his real name might actually be Craig)” after he reached out to me, through this Blog, as the dust was settling:

Call me a Seeker.

I was a Christian of unreasoned faith. “All hat and no cattle”, if you will. I was very passionate. But, not very learned.

I think I should feel it, to have it.

So, I stepped back and began to evaluate how, and what, I think and feel in terms of faith. I believe in one God. It’s true; and, the conviction runs deep. However, I struggle with the Christ element of the Christian faith. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. God will know the difference – right?

Admittedly, I enjoy this evaluative process. I am learning whom my friends are, and making new friends all the time. I started reading Florien’s Unreasonable Faith, more because a contrarian view is healthy and interesting if you take a heterodoxal position (and, I do). I also stumbled upon (or, was possibly led to) Nick Milne’s The Daily Kracken. But, Nick draws us (me any way) to him because he is so interesting and ernest (and educated and striving for more) – and, that means he reflects and represents what I believe I am looking for. This is a central theme (as is Natural Selection, Thomas Jefferson and Family) of my own Blogging efforts.

Cork

On a different comment thread, involving yet another post, I concluded:

Okay Colm … The lack of italics aside, my daughter agrees with you. Quite dismissive of Black Eyed Peas in fact. She did, however, offer Akon for consideration. So, I will sally forth and reconsider. There is no soccer this weekend due to Spring Break. So, I will indulge myself with investigating a history of Rap and Hip Hop. A facilitator for some good long runs, to be sure.

Syzygus … Your words are like apple butter on hot homemade bread. Wow. I wish I could write with such clear articulation. I struggle with that. I was practically illiterate when I graduated from High School. I could run like the wind and was passed through each grade. I only got into college because I could run and had a great SAT score. It’s been a long road. But, writers like you and Nick (and Brian V.) inspire me.

I am still drawn to Rap and Hip Hop, however. I feel and relate to the passion those forms inspire – even as I try to represent and reflect other things and influences. It has a lot to do with being a Dad (deeply flawed, but determined to be a good example).

Cork

I understand a lack of context might be confusing. However, a little research and digging could bear some fruit that will drop much of this into perspective.

Or not.

However, in summary, that is all me today, looking forward towards tomorrow.

…Transparency. Open-mindedness. Today’s truth.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Aaron Masih sent me this link to a story written by Gene Edward Veith called Salty dogma where:

“Bono gives an explicit confession of being saved by Grace, not Karma.”

The article, itself, is a bit contrived. The author (is likely a Christian – so, like many Christians, she is giddy over some form of affirmation around Grace).

And, Bono’s position on faith is not recent news.  But, it remains refreshing, nonetheless, how clearly he articulates it.

However, it would be interesting to learn if Bono’s faith was the result of “feeling” it, or arguing himself to a logical conclusion.

As it turns out, I agree with everything he says.

But, did Christ rise from the dead to seal the deal?  Does that matter?

Can He be our saviour even if we don’t know He is risen?

If He did not rise, did it lessen everything else He has accomplished for the benefit of mankind over the last 2000 years?

It does not matter to me (at least not for the moment). Christ clearly changed the world. Because of what He taught and accomplished, the world continues to evolve in a better way (my opinion). I am grateful for His sacrifice (possibly eternally so). But, ironically, I believe the Christians would have Him leave me behind because I don’t know (or, at least just say I do in order to hedge my bet – like a lot of Christians).

For the moment I only have my faith in God, and hope.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Even though God is in my life (what choice do I have?), I don’t know for sure that Christ rose from the dead. However, I can see that he changes the world every day.

The inspiration; the challenge; the secret is living your life like Christ. Its such an ambition, if you will, that can rally and unite men of all faiths – be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim.

For background, and the sake of this post, let’s assume that Christ was a real person.  

Though nobody knows when He was born (and the exact date is not important – especially given the “spirit” of this post) … the fact that He brought light and good news into the world during a time when the world was under the oppressive yoke of the Roman empire and other oppressive foibles of religion – both Jewish (NOTE: I feel my Jewish Brothers) and pagan. How strange must have been this good news – wise men, Magi, and kings bowing down to an infant they were compelled to believe radiated divinity. What an inversion of man’s power to rule! The world was turned right side up on that night. For no flags were unfurled when GOD – as He is understood today – crept into the world, from the arms of a little girl (that would be Mary).

It’s the world’s best known secret.

You might also consider:

“Defending Belief” – https://briancork.wordpress.com/2008/09/25/brian-cork-defending-belief/

“Jesus Christ and Santa Claus Smackdown” – https://briancork.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/jesus-christ-and-santa-claus-smackdown/

“Image” – https://briancork.wordpress.com/2005/03/14/image/

I am listening to “You’re So True” (go to iTunes) and “You’ve Been Loved” by Joseph Arthur.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________________

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.