Sunday, 29 January 2012
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
CREATION AND LIFE
Dr. ABRAHAM CHETTISSERY
THE MATTER CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CONTENTS
Chapter VII Christian Philosophy on Moral and Ethical Values
i. Christian philosophy
ii. Christian ideology
iii. Christian theology
iv. Theology and science
Chapter VIII Christian Philosophy on Immoral Acts
7. Biblical Law relating to marriage
8. Forbidden marriage
9. Bigamy and polygamy
12. Divinity of the Law regarding parents
13. Divine Law relating to children
14. Biblical Laws relating to widows and orphans
15. Divine Law of tithes
16. Christian philosophy regarding property
18. Divine Law relating to the handicapped
19. The Law regarding neighbours and strangers
20. On civil and criminal acts
21. Biblical Law relating to taxation
23. Christian philosophy on sectarianism
24. Christianity on the Law of murder
Chapter IX Philosophy of Health and Happiness
Chapter X Law of the Universe
1. Application of Divine Law to the universe
2. Fundamental constituents for the existence of the universe
3. The order of creation
4. Divine reality
Chapter XI Epistemology of Christian Philosophy
1. Theory of knowledge about God
2. Epistemological study and research
3. The Gospel of Christianity
4. Axiology of Christian philosophy
5. The Great Mission
6. The Great Vision
7. Idol worship
8. Cosmological love and fraternity
9. Equality and justice
10. Four-fold caste system
12. Non violence
13. Philanthropic and humanitarian vision
Chapter XII Body, Mind and Soul
1. Philosophical approach
i Social significance of soul
MEANING, PURPOSE AND GOAL OF THE WORLD
The holy Bible says that the world has a meaning, a purpose and a goal; and that there is a kind of inner harmony between the universe and the man, so the Scriptures reveal that the beasts go into dens and remain in their places, though nobody is there to keep and guide them. In Christian philosophy, teleological argument is very strong, and it is emphasized to prove the existence of God, for it is argued that the universe itself as a creation is a clear evidence to ascertain that it has been designed by an Ultimate Reality. According to Biblical doctrines, God is the Creator of all things and He has revealed the genuine account of His creative activity. It is argued that there is a divine purpose behind the creation of the universe and all living and non living things. According to the teleological argument, ‘purpose’ is the only answer to the question whether there is God or not. The Scripture says that the heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament is showing His handiwork(Psalms 19:1) The Bible says that every house is built by someone, but the Builder of all things is God (Hebrew 3:4). Christianity is more scientific, logic, reasonable and rational in faith and practice because there is no room for rituals, sacrifice, regionalism, idol worship, man-gods, caste system, and polytheism and so on.
The universe is a splendid and marvelous garden gifted to man for his peaceful and happy life, and his fellow men all over the world are created from the same blood and flesh to which he, as well, belongs. He is an integral part of the universe and inseparable from the countless creatures. The man is created not to be alone, so He created a life partner for him, and said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:”(Genesis 1:28) The man was created with his food that was revealed to him as: “Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, which is the tree of a fruit……” The world for its existence depends on the Law of God that is described as Divine Law.
Divine Law: All the moral principles and laws laid down for the mankind aim at liberating the human soul from the captivity of sin and immoral life that is the cause and reason for the degeneration of man. God is believed to be the Promulgator of all the Supreme Laws. The universe and everything in it function in agreement with His immutable Law. According to Christian faith and philosophy, the Old Testament is the manifestation of the Word of God revealed through Prophets on various occasions. The Ten Commandments revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai have enriched the Old Testament doctrines. It is the basic doctrines of Christian faith too. The New Testament is the embodiment of the teachings and preaching of Christ based on His vision directly related to the Word of God. Thereby Christ Jesus becomes the embodiment of metaphysical attributes of God and His Law, so it is believed that the disobedience to the teachings of Christ becomes transgression of the Divine Law. The Divine Law was manifested in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Certain laws are revealed to man from the beginning to regulate his activities and life, and everybody is expected to live, think, talk, and act accordingly.
The Law revealed to man can be divided into two: Instructive Law and Prohibitory Law. Instructive Law deals with the Word of God that instructs the human beings to do certain things while the Prohibitory Law prohibits man from doing certain other things. The Law is to restrict and control the activities between man and man, man and nature or universe, and man and the Reality. Man is absolutely in the hands of God according to the Bible: “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand” (Jeremiah 18:6). Hence everybody is asked to surrender all his desires and activities to the Will of God. Man’s activities and relation to the material world are also controlled. He is given full freedom, but he is not allowed to pollute the world nor is he permitted to disturb the existing arrangements and order of the world. It is thus his duty to protect, maintain, and preserve the environment from being damaged and polluted. He is given the right to live in the material world, and to enjoy everything created for him. It denotes that certain things are created not for his enjoyment, but for his life and existence. The Divine Law can again be classified into two as Implied Law and Expressed Law.
I. Implied Law: The creation itself constitutes Implied Law because it reveals the existence of God and His Power, and it demands what shall be done, and what shall not. As a rational being man has to think and act according to his reasoning power, but the Law does not instruct anything. The Implied Law reveals the purpose and aim of the universe, all kinds of interactions and mutual attractions between various living and non living things, rotation and revolution of the planets and their satellites, various events and uniformities, functions of plants and their organs etc.
ii. Expressed Law: It is an expressed and declared Law revealed to the mankind through saints, prophets and such other blessed men from the very beginning. According to Christian faith, the first Law was declared to Adam and Eve when they were created; God prohibited them from eating a fruit, but they violated the first Law, and received death as the reward for the sin.
Secondly, He proclaimed His Law to Moses at Mount Sinai which is called Ten Commandments or the Revealed Law for the spiritual emancipation of the whole mankind from every kind of impurities, inequities and immoralities. The Decalogue or the Ten Commandments revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai is the foundation and basis of all modern laws and judicial systems in the world. The Ten Commandments declared and revealed to Moses are believed to be the great principles of God’s Law that expresses His Love, Will, and the purposes with regard to human conduct, mode of life, and his relationship with God. The Decalogue also reveals His authority and dominion over the entire biosphere and the universe. The Decalogue that expresses his compassion to all the living beings, aims at preparing the entire humanity to lead saintly, sacred, happy, and spiritual life. The noble principles of the Divine Law are binding upon all peoples belonging to the whole world. Submission to the Will of God is an act of obedience to Him, the Supreme Reality. The Law of God is the manifestation of His plan to regulate the entire living world that describes the functions and duties of human beings to be discharged to their Creator. The Decalogue that reflects God’s character is both spiritual and comprehensive moral doctrines. The Ten Commandments declared to Moses at Mount Sinai were authoritative as well.
The first Commandment laid the foundation stone to develop the theory of monotheism that has been globally accepted as a great philosophy based on the faith in only One God; it is a system insisting that there is only one God. The second Commandment prohibits the mankind from making, worshipping, and selling idols, and it is deemed to be an act of disobedience to His Law. Further the Decalogue states “Honor thy father and mother.” It is obligatory from the part of every human being to honor his/her parents, and the failure to perform this duty is an act of disobedience to the Law. The sixth Commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill.” Murder is a serious and major offence according to criminal law. The modern criminal laws are basically derived from the moral and ethical principles and the doctrine of the Ten Commandments. The seventh Commandment pronounces. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”. The seventh Commandment enjoins purity; and safeguard holy marital relationship. The Bible once more clarifies, “anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has in his heart already committed adultery with her.”(Matthew 5:28). The eight Law says, “Thou shalt not steal.” It is a prohibitory injunction that prevents a person from committing theft. The lust for wealth and power leads to a sinful act; hence it is paramount duty of a man to keep aloof from all sorts of lust and greed for wealth and power in order to experience everlasting bliss and salvation offered by Him. The ninth Commandment exhorts, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” God wants every man to uphold truth, and be faithful to one another. Perjury is an output of temptation, so if anybody is, thus, tempted to bear false witness against his/her neighbour, he will be segregated from His fellowship because fleshly mindedness is hostile to God. And finally God proclaims His tenth Law, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, or his manservant, or his maid servant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbour’s.
The purpose of the tenth Commandment is to establish a spiritual relationship between man and man. It is to be noted that the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is Judge Himself. The Decalogue is the only source for the enactment of modern criminal and civil procedure code The Ten Commandments, in a nutshell, purifies human soul, mind and body; it also hallows individual and family life for having an everlasting salvation. God is perfect and Pure; and His Perfection, Purity, and Holiness can well be perceived through His Law and the Creation. His Law is sacred and just, so it is described: “all Thy Commandments are Truth.” (Psalms 119:151). No doubt “all Your Commandments are fair.”(Psalms 119:172). God’s Law is, as believed by all, immutable. As a moral Law, it enables a person to strengthen his relationship with his Creator. The Law also teaches everyone to love each other. The authenticity of His Law is best understood as seen through the Creation. Those who study the order of nature, the arrangement of the material world, and the existence of the universe can never question the Divine Reality that has caused to all these wonders and miracles, for everything that exists and happens has a cause and a purpose. Materialists may call them as phenomena or natural law.
Thirdly, He expressed, declared and revealed His Law through Jesus Christ, Who is the embodiment of God’s Law, and thereby the Law was again divided into the Old and New Testaments, and according to the New Testament Law, Jesus preached and exhorted the whole world as: “I am come not to destroy, but to fulfill….love your enemies; bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…..if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you…”. Christ had never been armed against anybody, since His purpose to come into this world was not to destroy enemies, but to preach the mankind to love enemies. He destroyed enmity, but not enemies. Enemies were conquered with love and compassion, and not with any destructive weapons such as sword and arrows. He wanted everyone to forgive others instead of taking revenge. Again He taught the whole world, “Thou salt not kill,” since it is a sinful act; even the enemies are to be loved and forgiven. Further He exhorted the human beings, “Thou shalt not commit adultery…..whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Whosoever shall put away his wife causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Christ was an embodiment of all virtues and morals. Christianity is the only religion in the world that prohibits divorce and remarriage when his or her spouse is alive, hence no person is allowed to abandon or give up his wife or her husband and remarry another, and if he or she does it so, that amounts to adultery, for Christianity is the manifestation of absolute morality and ethics. So also Christ Jesus asserted, “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” The great doctrine of non-violence and tolerance is reflected in this teaching that makes Christianity a unique religion in the world, and, furthermore, He taught the humanity, “Give to him that asketh thee.” Jesus Christ is the only Sacred Being in the universe in Whom Divinity, Lordship and Historicity is manifested.
The Decalogue is the fundamental Law of Christian faith that has been subsequently adopted and absorbed by political scientists and lawyers in the modern society to constitute penal and criminal procedure codes for judiciary. The doctrine of Christianity is the fundamental principle of modern judicial system. In the modern society, those who violate civil or criminal laws are punished according to penal code. The civil or criminal law does not forgive those who break such laws, because the words, “forgive” and “excuse,” are not used in the penal code because it is based on the maxim: “ignorantia juris non excusat.” The law passed in legislature and enforceable by court of law is to try and punish wrong doers, and there is no provision to acquit them.
The foundation stone of God’s Law was laid prior to the creation, since the creation was in accordance with His Law. Though man is given the enjoyment of full freedom, it consists in dependence, not in independence. The unconditional freedom enjoyed by the man for his selfishness and to exercise his autonomous power had been misused against the Divine Law of God. It must be noted that the idea of civil or criminal laws is not the doctrine of the Divine Law, since both are different in their cause, purpose and application. All crimes are sins, but all sins may not be crimes according to civil and criminal codes. The transgression of the Divine Law is not always punishable, for the sinner is forgiven and excused by God if he admits, repents and confesses his sin as taught by Christ Jesus. He has shown and proved it in His ministry, and it had been widely accepted and recognized by the people of His time. If His teachings and preaching were rejected, the history would not be divided into B.C. and A.D. In other words, Christ is, no doubt, a universal Divine Truth. But in other religions, no one is as such forgiven and excused for the violation of the Divine Law; on the contrary, he is punished and destroyed. The great epic ‘Mahabharata’, the war between the Pandavas and Kouravas on the advice of Krishna, was thus caused. The modern civil and criminal laws do not, likewise, excuse and forgive the wrong doers for their crimes.
The Divine Law is first of all the gift of God that is bestowed to the entire humanity. God’s Law is very concrete, obvious, pure, sacred and immutable because the authority of His Law is established directly, and not passively. Christ is incarnated as the embodiment of God’s Laws, and with the coming of Jesus into the earth a new Covenant with the man and God was established. It is called New Testament Laws based on complete tolerance, non-violence, universal brotherhood and love. The Divine Laws are manifested in Jesus Christ, and according to Christian doctrines, His Laws are the wrathful answer of God to the sinful life of man, so obedience to the Divine Commandment is essential and mandatory to experience His Grace and to attain everlasting salvation. But those who infringe His Laws will be under the curse of His Laws and are lost forever. According to Christian philosophy, the God of the Old Testament revelation is the God of the Covenant, and His revelation is the revelation of a covenant that was made between God and the man. The God of revelation is the true, loving and merciful God Who is revealed in Christ as a God of the Covenant, and His crucifixion was the fulfillment of the Covenant that can be summed up as: “obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people.” God’s Covenant is the realization of the relationship between God and the man. Both the Old and New Testaments of the holy Bible reveal the Covenant established between God and the man. The creation of the universe and of the man is the doctrine of such Covenant. A covenant in the civil society is an agreement between two parties, and the consent and free will of both the parties are essential for a valid covenant, but in the case of the Divine Covenant, the Will of God is the first and final, and no consent of the man is necessary for such a Covenant, since God is the supreme Authority and the man is inferior and submissive to the Covenant.
God, the Creator established His first Covenant at Eden for Adam, the first man, and Eve, and it dealt with moral obligations and duties to be performed by them towards God, and with the Covenant He established an institution for marriage and family life too. But the man broke the Covenant, became a sinner, and lost the paradise forever.
The second Covenant was established at Mount Sinai in order to regulate human life; the Ten Commandments revealed to Moses are the terms and conditions of the Covenant by which man is bound to do certain things for his permanent bliss and salvation, but subsequently he broke the second Covenant as well. The Covenant made at Mount Sinai aimed at establishing:
(i) a sacred relationship between God and the man
(ii) a holy relationship between man and his fellow beings
And thirdly God, the Lord made a new Covenant with the crucifixion of Christ Jesus for the redemption of the entire world, but still the man prefers sin and sinful life for trifling and worthless things and momentary happiness. History and philosophy ascertain that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all laws, and all the virtues and moral as well as ethical laws are manifested in Him. It can be understood that the first man, Adam was under the direct control and guidance of God, the Creator, instead of being under His Law. Adam and Eve lived in the divine presence of God, and when they committed a sin against the Commandment of God they came under His Law and consequently they were punished. . Divine Laws apply to all the three faculties- body, mind and soul. Physical actions and desires are controlled, or instigated by the mind, since body is always dominated by the mind, and thus both are co-related that ultimately leads the soul to doom or everlasting salvation The philosophy of this Covenant has been globally accepted as the mode of human life, and it is observed in every religion as well.
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BIBLICAL LAWS AND LEGISLATION and others as included in the Contents shall be published if you desire to see it. Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org