Saturday, August 4, 2007

Intellect & Obedience

Someone once asked me "Which do you think is smarter, a dog, because he can be taught to obey, or a cat because he can't be taught to obey?"

This person, because he was a cat lover, went on to argue the cat was smarter because no authority was able to dictate their desires to him. I said the dog that can be trained is smarter. Most of my dogs I've had I've been able to train to stay safely in the yard, while half the cats I've owned I have found somewhere else dead or crippled as they have rejected the authority of home & master.

Many people likewise look down on Christianity & esteem personal freedom because they reckon themselves smarter as they maintain sole authority over their destiny. But who's smarter? The one who recognizes & subjects himself to his stronger & more intelligent Master? Or the "strong, independent individual" who lives only for himself & therefore can receive no guidance or protection? Both receive common grace as they live out their lives- the basic necessities of life; but the one who humbles himself to his Master receives special grace & love- he is the one who obediently comes when called. The ear of the supposedly more intelligent is deaf to his Master’s voice except when he is in temporal need & he consequently misses the Master’s real ministry of eternal life. The proudly independent individual does not recognize his inability to truly control his destiny, nor his Master’s benevolence to save him from a tragic ending to his life.

At least in the cat’s case, his misery has ended when he’s found dead on the side of the road. But God’s Word clearly warns that the headstrong human who will not receive the mastery & ministry of Jesus Christ has an eternity to suffer:

“And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'” Mark 9:43-48

"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” Luke 12:4-5

"There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house- for I have five brothers--so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'" Luke 16:19-31

“The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Meditation. Selah.
The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah” Psalms 9:16-20


Zoarean's Purse said...

This blog is going to the dogs right from the start!

Even So... said...

I like it, I like it...

paul said...

I believe in this instance I choose to be the dog.
I heard you talk about it a couple times, I'm glad you decided to post, Steve.

paul said...

Hey, Steve, was just checking to see if you had written any other Posts and couldn't help but notice that the picture of the cat you have here is... how shall I say... a little sad looking? Just teasing Steve, love you brother. See you Sunday as God directs.

Zoarean's Purse said...

Paul, thanks for your comments. Yeah, I'll be posting again on Monday & at least weekly from there on out.