Sunday, 3 April 2011

Augustine vs. Messianics

"The trouble was that I knew nothing else; I did not recognize the other, true reality. I was being subtly maneuvered into accepting the views of those stupid deceivers by the questions they constantly asked me about the origins of evil, and whether God was confined to material form with hair and nails, and whether people who practiced polygamy. killed human beings, and offered animal sacrifices could be counted as righteous. Being ignorant of these matters I was very disturbed by the questions, and supposed that I was approaching the truth when in fact I was moving away from it. I did not know that evil is the diminishment of good to the point where nothing at all is left. How could I see that, I whose power of sight was restricted to seeing material shapes with my eyes and imaginary forms with my mind?...." (This is exactly what Messianic are do through their proselytization, except in reverse, because they call into question Christian liberty through the application of the Law of Moses.)

"... I did not know either that true inward righteousness takes as its criterion not customs but the most righteous law of God, by which the morality of countries and times was formed as appropriate to those countries and times, while God's law itself has remained unchanged everywhere and always, not one thing in one place and something different elsewhere. By this norm Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and all those of whom God spoke approvingly were indeed righteous; they are accounted guilt only by persons of limited experience who judge by some day of human reckoning and measure the conduct of the human race at large by the standard that befits their own. They are like someone who knows nothing about armor, or which piece belongs where, and tries to cover his head with the greaves and his feet with the helmet, and then grumbles because they do not fit properly. Or again, they are like a man who on a certain day which is appointed a public holiday from noon onward is indignant because he is not allowed to set out his goods for sale in the afternoon, although this was allowed in the morning; or like a person who in one and the same house sees something being handled by one servant which another one, who serves drinks, is not allowed to touch, or something being done behind the stables which is not properly done at table, and gets angry about this, complaining because, while there is one house and one staff of servants, the same actions are not permitted to everybody in all places." (This is the great disconnect between Messianics and the rest of Christendom. They struggle with reconciling the vicissitude (changing) of laws, rules, and statutes throughout the ages with the constancy of God's nature. They are missing the philosophical and theological links)

"Equally foolish are people who grow indignant on hearing that some practice was allowed to righteous people in earlier ages which is forbidden to the righteous of our own day, and that God laid down one rule for the former and a different one for the latter, as the difference between the two periods of time demands; whereas in fact both sets of people have been subject to the same norm of righteousness. This attitude is just as stupid as being upset because, with regard to a single man or a single day or a single house, one perceives different pieces of armour to be designed for different limbs, and an activity to be lawful to a certain hour but not afterward, and something to be permitted or even ordered in a corner but forbidden and punished elsewhere. Does this mean that justice is fickle and changeable? No, but the epochs over which she rules do not all unfold in the same way, precisely because times change. Human beings live on earth for a brief span only, and they lack the discernment to bring the conditions of earlier ages, of which they have no experience, into the same frame of reference with those they know well; but they can easily perceive in one body or one day or one house what is appropriate for each limb, each time, and all persons and places. Thus while they may be scandalized by the one, they readily submit to the other." (This is exactly what the Messianics are doing, only in reverse, because they are trying to live in the past.)   

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

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