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Are you a 'Willing Worker' or a 'Wage Earner'

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Are you a 'Willing Worker' or a 'Wage Earner'
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the greatest sins of humankind are 'Deliberate Ignorance' and 'Self-righteousness'.

They seem to me to be the character traits primarily responsible for most of the human inflicted suffering in the world.

Deliberate ignorance is epitomised or typified by a wilful and deliberate refusal to learn or to accept the fact of one’s own lack of understanding.

Shakespeare put it thus:'The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.’ (As You Like It).

Deliberate ignorance, (foolishness), contains within itself elements of self-righteousness but true 'Self-righteousness' takes foolishness to a different and higher level of wickedness.

'Self-righteousness' is exemplified by the attitude of the Pharisees, religious leaders of the time of Jesus Christ, who opposed His teaching wherever it differed from their own. Theirs was an attitude of ‘Deliberate Ignorance’ reinforced by an implacably impervious conviction of their own righteousness.

The real danger to humankind of this kind of self-satisfied sense of moral superiority is the way, (particularly when combined with Deliberate Ignorance), that it can self-exonerate the perpetrator of their own despicably immoral acts.

There are many ‘rule based’ religions and philosophies, but they all lead to the same conclusion. Islam is only ONE of them, but it is growing in importance as its influence spreads and increases.

Since the religion of Islam is soundly based upon presumed ‘righteous’ moral precepts within a reward and punishment ethos, it’s adherents, (like most law based religionists and moralists), are inevitably driven toward seeing Islam as the ultimate answer to the moral depravity of ‘The World’. The danger therefore is that some Islamic believers may be tempted simplistically to believe ‘The end justifies the means’, and so sympathize with Islamist ideals on the grounds that the World obviously urgently NEEDS more moral regulation. They would naturally assume such regulation to be the eventual worldwide imposition of Sharia Law without ever questioning the morality or justice of Sharia.

The Islamic faith’s general reluctance, indeed utter intransigent opposition to any re-evaluation of any tenet of Sharia Law is a case of ‘Deliberate Ignorance’ and religious ‘Self-righteousness’.

Be that as it may, it is clear that the characteristics of ‘Deliberate Ignorance’ and ‘Self-righteousness’ are not confined to Islam alone. It is a common human trait. The self-righteous Pharisees derived their closely reasoned religious rules from Judaism and its Holy Scriptures. The various denominations and sects which fall under the umbrella of ‘Christendom’, by some degree each see themselves as the answer to the moral decay surrounding them on all sides and many would dearly like to impose their own Religious Rules, in their quest to make the world a better place. What sane righteous person would deny the need to control and resist lawlessness. Even Atheists may see themselves as the pioneers of a movement which will dispel religious superstition and ignorance and usher in a new millennium of peace, under a benign rule of ‘Rational Thought’ and ‘Humanist Ideals’.

But there is a clear difference between any rule of law and 'The Kingdom of Heaven'. We all hope for our prayers to be finally answered when we pray 'Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven'. When and where ever that happens, there we experience 'The Kingdom of God'.

The only antidote to the ‘poison’ of self-righteousness and deliberate ignorance is Self Examination and Humility. This necessarily has to happen at the level of the individual. This is the way the Kingdom of God grows on earth. This is the ESSENCE of the teaching of Jesus Christ. Those willing to subject themselves to being ‘Searched’ inwardly by The Holy Spirit, to have their inmost wickedness's revealed to them, then express a personal willingness to ‘Walk humbly with their God’, and ‘Love their neighbour as they themselves are loved and forgiven by God’, will ALL have the same reward. A reward based upon the generosity of God, not the effort of ‘Religious Observance’ or unfailing and unquestioning obedience to ‘The Law’.

Moral 'Righteousness' to God's standards, is unquestionably desirable but in God's scheme of salvation it is commended but not prerequisite. If true 'righteousness' to God's standards were a requirement and qualification for salvation then none could be saved, all would fall short in one point or many.

The teaching of Jesus of Nazareth revolved around entirely different principles than normal human reasoning. His was not a ‘Reward and Punishment’ ethos. His was not an imposed moralistic ‘Rule of Law’. As much as some ‘Christian’ Denominations and sects would like to see ‘Christian Morality’ imposed on all in Christian countries and supported by State Legislation, just as Sharia Law is imposed in some Muslim Countries.

Controversially the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth was characterized by GRACE. His teaching was aimed at ‘Releasing Captives’ and ‘The Truth making one FREE’. The very idea of anyone EARNING or DESERVING their place in the Kingdom of Heaven was an alien notion to Him.

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”. Matt. 20:1-16.

In His teaching on the nature of The Kingdom of Heaven, (a term used by Jesus to describe how we should behave towards each other ON EARTH, Luke 17:21), there are four classes of ‘hired worker’ mentioned.

First: The Early Morning Workers. They agreed on ‘the usual daily wage’, and the owner sent them into his vineyard.

Second: The Nine o’clock Workers. They also agreed to accept what was ‘right’, so they ‘went’.

Third: The Noon and Three o’clock Workers. They agree to accept what was ‘right’, so they also ‘went’.

Fourth: The Idle at the end of the day ‘Workers’. On being questioned on their idleness the reason for their lack of gainful employment was ‘Because no one has hired us’. i.e. no fault of their own, they did not lack enthusiasm, they were not unwilling, they merely lacked an employer. When offered employment they did not bargain for a wage, they expected very little and felt personally deserving of even less at that late hour.

When all the workers were called together to receive their ‘Kingdom of Heaven Wages’, they ALL got a surprise.

The ‘Idle at the end of the day ‘Workers’’ were astonished at their wages. They received a great deal more than they had expected, since they had not bargained an actual wage but simply believed the owner to be ‘fair’. (These equate to those of us who do not try to bargain with God but simply accept that, no matter how it may seem, He has our best interests at heart and is impartially fair. Matt. 5:45-48. They are not ‘religious’ in the sense that they try to gain favour with God by doing good deeds in the hope of reward. They are simply willing to cooperate with God by naturally behaving in ‘loving ways’, when ever they have opportunity.)

The Noon and Three o’clock Workers were mildly surprised. They received ‘what was right’, but somewhat more than they expected. (These equate to nominally religious people, there is an element of ‘God has answered my prayers, so I will serve Him’ about them. The downside of that attitude is that there is also a bit of ‘God has not answered my prayers so why should I serve Him?’ in them also. There may be a bit of ‘Why should the undeserving have good fortune’ about them too.

The Nine o’clock Workers were only a little surprised at their wages. They received ‘what was right’, but a little more than they expected. (These equate to religiously transactional people, ‘We are doing what is expected of us by God and expect to get support and preferential treatment from Him as His part of the ‘bargain’. If it appears to them that the ‘bargain’ between them and God is not being honored by Him, then they complain at what they see as injustice).

The Early Morning Workers were not at all surprised at their wages. It was exactly what they were owed. (These equate to those of us who are naturally Law Abiding and confident that we will be rewarded appropriately for our lifelong, devotion and service to God. That was the ‘bargain’ we struck and are satisfied with the ‘deal’ we have always had with God. UNTIL we see others who we don’t think DESERVE to get the same ‘Kingdom Reward’ of God’s undeserved favour. i.e. Gracious inclusion into God’s scheme of World Redemption, in spite of perhaps being of questionable morality or lacking any obvious ‘usefulness’ or ‘righteousness’ in terms of religious or moral rule keeping.

HOWEVER the workers ‘EXPECTATION of REWARD’ was not the ‘bargain’ they had agreed upon at the start of the day. Reward expectancy is not, and never has been, a principle of ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’. The BIG surprise was that they ALL got the same wages regardless of their personal EFFORT.

A workers dispute ensued in which the generosity of the landowner was impugned by the disgruntled Early Morning, Nine o’clock, Noon and Three o’clock Workers. Only the ‘Idle at the end of the day ‘Workers’’ were grateful for what they had received. The rest were disgruntled.

Only ‘The Idle at the end of the day Workers’ were appreciative of the generosity of the land owner. All the others held a different opinion and accused him of meanness and ingratitude for the work they had put in, in the heat of the day. Even when it was THEY who had agreed their wage with Him at the outset.

And the moral of this parable is:

The Kingdom of Heaven is not about lifelong rule keeping, ‘Reward and Punishment’ or ‘what is right’ according to our individual judgment or our particular ‘set of religious rules’. It is about being as UNREASONABLY generous to our fellow human beings as God has been to US.

Now: Whether we are Atheist, Islamist, Baptist, Communist, or whatever kind of person, the principles of The Kingdom of Heaven apply to US ALL.

These principles can only be appreciated by Humble people willing to Learn how to behave as God does. For Christians that means learning to behave as Jesus of Nazareth did. For Muslims that means learning to behave as Jesus of Nazareth did. For Atheists it means learning to behave as Jesus of Nazareth did. For Communists it means learning to behave as Jesus of Nazareth did. Whoever you are, it means learning to behave as Jesus of Nazareth did.

Read and understand the Parables of Jesus of Nazareth and you can enter ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ here and now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_k771zhwfs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJnbylpdS1U

Regards Chris.
Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: May 21, 2017, 12:06 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Are you a 'Willing Worker' or a 'Wage Earner' In reply to
CHRIS, A VERY GOOD JOB ON THIS. I PERSONALLY, WITH THE LORD, WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE ON THE RIGHTEOUS OF GOD THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN ME ANSD IDENTIFIES ME. WITH THE LORD.








M7TH
SHARING JESUS LOVE WITH THE WORDL

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praizeop2: May 15, 2017, 8:01 PM
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Re: [m7thprophet] Are you a 'Willing Worker' or a 'Wage Earner' In reply to
m7thprophet: Hi and thanks.

WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE ON THE RIGHTEOUS[ness?] OF GOD THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN ME AND IDENTIFIES ME WITH THE LORD.

God is abundantly gracious and is astoundingly forgiving but that is no excuse for anyone to abuse His undeserved favour by deliberately being unrighteous and sinful according to The Law but yet presumptuously demand God's approval of our wickedness.

God knows our imperfections, failures and faults and loves us just the same. He also knows that our sin hurts US and OTHERS that he also loves. That is why God approves of every effort WE put into trying to become as loving of others as He is of US. It is better for US, better for them and better for Him.

It is just that God does not demand Effort before He extends His Grace. God’s Grace toward even, as yet, unrepentant sinners, is hopefully their incentive to put in more effort BECAUSE they willingly WANT To, out of genuine LOVE for Him who first loves US. Not out of compulsion, under duress or expecting reward but out of GRATITUDE.


Where The Holy Spirit is, there is FREEDOM.
Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.


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rdrcofe: May 16, 2017, 1:37 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Are you a 'Willing Worker' or a 'Wage Earner' In reply to
Chris, you have expressed Abba beautifully here! We so often look to Him expecting rather than appreciating. Your posts awesomely explain what an amazing Father He is to us all. I hope you will write more threads like this. He owes us nothing. Even if Jesus had never done anything for us, Abba would still owe us nothing. How blessed we are just to have them in our lives, now and forever!
Blessings ~ Sarah