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This-essay is a9707152.htm which is available at the web-site See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN MORALITY 970715 See the preceding essays for background information. These statements are descriptive; not prescriptive or proscriptive. Their ordering signifies very little. Their relative importances depend upon readers and their contexts. Their meanings are interdependent upon each other and the readers' experiences. It will be tragically misleading to focus exclusively on any few of these statements. Personal and communal integrity depend upon balanced consideration of the truths pointed to by these statements; rather than upon attempts to use any such truths (1) to get people to conform to any demands or expectations; or (2) to claim that some people are better than other people. These statements point to fundamental truths, but are not themselves those truths, and do not contain or hold captive those truths. Readers must seek to discern the truths pointed to here. Some of the truths to which these statements point are likely to be paradoxical to some readers and/or listeners; i.e., apparently contradictory. In such instances it will be more helpful to seek to discern the truth in what the statements point, than to focus upon apparent contradictions. It will be tragically misleading to interpret or react to these statements in ways which systematically engender alienation through: exclusivity, condemnations, excommunications, self-righteousness, unbalanced power distribution, coercion, controls, and/or violent conflicts. Readers will do well to keep in mind the truths to which these statements point --- while evaluating each others' responses to those truths. People whose responds to these truths are defensive, dishonest, coercive or violent --- will thereby threaten personal and communal integrity. Readers will also do well to be alert to the possibility that some of these statements may be inaccurate and/or misleading to some readers. God's ways are often mysterious and beyond our knowledge, understanding, and control. We are pretentious and alienative when we claim that we can or should know, understand, predict or control God's ways. 1. Christian morality flows from God's Love as revealed through the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. 2. Jesus calls us to love God above all else; and to love our neighbors as children of God --- as God loves them, and as we love ourselves --- to be together in God's Love. 2. Our primary moral dilemmas flow from our relationships of alienation from: God, others and self. Alienative relationships engender immoral behaviors which aggravate alienation. This vicious and often violent cycle can be transcended only th through the healing power of God's Love --- in which we can participate if we are willing to do so in keeping with God's Love. 3. God's Love works to extend and deepen both personal and communal integrity without doing violence to personal or communal uniqueness, creativity, or desires. So also can our love work. 3. Personal and communal integrity are interdependent; neither can be sacrifices to promote the other. To lose them is to lose all which is of real value. 4. Healthy spirituality and intimacy are impossible in the absence of true security enjoyed as the freedom to be safely vulnerable in open and honest dialogue about our most meaningful and cherished personal experiences, and about our most difficult, destructive and persistent conflicts. 5. True security is a wonderful gift freely given and accepted; not something achieved, purchased, or acquired at others' expense. 5. True security flows from being accepted into and sustained within an open and honest community of interdependent and complementary unique people who are engaged in meaningful dialogue. Only to the extent that all members of a community enjoy true security --- do the members of the community (and the community as a whole) enjoy peace and integrity. 6. Exclusive people cannot enjoy true security because they can not: (1) let others enjoy true security, (2) deal honestly with paradoxical truths, (3) transcend either/or issues, or (4) deal openly and honestly with rainbows of good alternatives to set wise priorities. Inclusive people can enjoy true security because they can do each of the above four things which exclusive people cannot do. 7. The work of God's Love includes: (a) Liberation of people from many kinds of prisons. (b) The (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================
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This-essay is a9707152.htm which is available at the web-site These 5 lines echo top lines. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One