Saturday, March 26, 2016


“It is always immoral to lower moral standards.”
–a philosophy professor’s words to me last fall

First, do you agree with this statement? Second, read the following verses from 1John 3 and evaluate yourself without making an immoral judgment, and then do the same for your favorite Christian. If no Christian honestly passes the test then either the translation is faulty, the text has been corrupted, the apostle John was confused, or you are reading his words in a confused way.
4. "Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
5. "You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin."
6. "Everyone who remains in Him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen Him or known Him."
7. "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."
8. "He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
9. "Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his nature remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
10. "In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn't do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn't love his brother."

Behavior or Identity?

The Apostle John is declaring that all people can and should be evaluated by the words in this passage. I suggest that the John was very insightful about truth and wrote this letter with both the full knowledge of its meaning and the expectation that the Christian reader could understand it. Did you read the passage as about behavior? If so, did you pass the test? If you passed the test, did you do so without compromising the absolute statements in the text? I read this passage as about identity, and read it through the lens of continuous moral perfection. Therefore it is not difficult to evaluate who is of God and who is of the devil. But, you may ask, if one doesn't evaluate identity via behavior then how does one do it? It is by evaluation of words spoken from the heart. One simply has to figure out what the words mean. 

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