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Too spiritual for earthly good...

Discussion in 'Word of Faith' started by ABlessedMan, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    We've all heard the saying: "So spiritual that you are no earthly good."

    Any truth to this?
    Genesis 2:7
    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
    God breathed life into man and man became a living soul. This is a spiritual action: we are spirit/soul/body. God formed man's (’adam -- and you thought it was his name) body of the dust of the ground (’adamah). This is physical: it is our bodies. And God breathed (neshâmâh -- a puff, a wind, soul, spirit) life (chay). This is spiritual.

    So in Word/Faith there is a saying: We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body.
    Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    So we were made in God's likeness and image. And we were given dominion over all life in this earth, and over all the earth.
    Hebrews 2:6-8
    “What is man, that You remember him?
    Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him?
    7 “You have made him for a little while lower than the angels;
    You have crowned him with glory and honor,
    And have appointed him over the works of Your hands;
    8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
    Man was put here and appointed over the works of God's hands -- what are the works of God's hands? It is the creation: the living animals, the plants, etc. The only thing that is not mentioned as being in sujection to us is our fellow man.

    So we are made a spirit, in a physical (earthly) body. Our relationship and our interaction with God is spiritual. But why are we here? For what purpose did God place man in this world?

    To preach the Gospel?? Do you think?

    Here's Adam (and soon Eve) and he is placed in this world: to preach the Gospel?? I don't think so. Once the fall occurred and man began to become wicked, there was a need for the Gospel message to be preached. But that is not the original reason we are here.

    We are then given dominion in this earth. We are told to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. We are told to be, well, physical (as oppposed to spiritual, which Adam and Eve already were in their relationship with God).

    So I'm going to stop here, with this introduction. Man is a spirit, but he was placed in a physical world to take dominion and be physical here. Nowhere are we told that we are to eschew the physical, just that it is not our primary being.

    So, can you be so spiritual that you are no earthly good? Who cares if we are? And is that bad? What if we simply focused 100% of our being on our spiritual side and ignored this earth and what is in it? Would that please God? Perhaps that's how we got to where we are today. Hmm?
     
    PastorMike likes this.
  2. PastorMike

    PastorMike Newry Christian Centre

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    I have never agreed with that statement, I believe the more spiritual we are (not obnoxious with it) it will be attractive to people and they will be drawn to us and we will be of more earthly good...

    I sometimes think this statement is a cop out for carnality, I need to be a little carnal or I am no earthly good...
     
  3. hhodgson

    hhodgson Semper-fi

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    Well said, PastorMike... That statement does float around Christian circles some... Another similar statement that I hear from time to time is that: "So rapture minded that you are no earthly good."


    Greater works...
    _____________
    Harry
     
  4. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    Ok, let's go with this...

    To the point that I see you are making herein, I agree.

    Now here you've touched on what I want to discuss, but clearly you have made a caveat or a "border" for it. In other words, can we really be so spiritual that we become obnoxious? Or is that state "something else?" If we define spiritual as "likeness and image of God" then absolutely we will be mre attractive to people (and some of them won't even know why!).

    Ahh. But we are back to earthly good. Which is my main point, now isn't it?

    Hmm. Ok, now we need to define carnal as well....for this mixes it into earthly good (or are they the same? Hint: no!)

    So that all are on the same page, let's define...
    (1) Spiritual;
    (2) Carnal;
    (3) Earthly Good.
     
  5. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    Yes, I've heard that one. I know someone who is very close to that; has been expecting the imminent rapture for about 25 years now and sometimes slips into a mode of not caring to do any "earthly good" because we will all be out of here tomorrow.

    So come on, Harry....where's the balance? Or is "balance" even the right term to use?
     
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    What about considering the ways people speak of the Kingdom of God and yet ignore how that plays out practically in the lives of others? Dr. Martin Luther King often noted it during the era he lived in and how others often spoke of Christ/His Kingdom and yet it didn't seem to go outside the 4 walls...or be powerful enough to cause others to take dominion outside the church in the world. In his views, "a minister cannot preach the glories of a spiritual heaven and ignore the realities that cause men to have an earthly hell."
     
  7. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    This is part of what I want to get at. Dr. King was a man who lived his faith for the "earthly good." And I'd like to pull out of it just what "earthly good" encompasses. Is it just feeding the poor and taking care of orphans and widows, or does it extend to where we shop, what we buy; does it (and how does it) extend past the walls of our church?

    And what about if you own a business, does it relate to who you hire or what other businesses you do business with? If you work for a business, does it relate to who you choose to work for? (Example: if you are a church would you hire an atheist as, say, the maintenance man if he can do the job and won't proselytize his atheism?)
     
  8. hhodgson

    hhodgson Semper-fi

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    Could it be a balance between what is considered false spiritually/true spiritually..? In general, true spiritually can make people more "earthly good" and not less... The closer we get to God, the more we love our fellow man and are motivated to serve others, where a false spiritually would do the opposite and be no earthly good... and as you say... Is balance even the right term..? :confused:

    We will follow you and see where you are heading with this...


    Greater works...
    _____________
    Harry
     
  9. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Seeing what Dr.King often saw firsthand, it is no surprise to see the ways that he often went against what others deemed to be "normal" interaction. When he spoke against the Vietnam War and began his Campain against Poverty, many felt he was going too far...but he felt it was the only way for him to be consistent.






    Martin Luther King said it best when noting that all life is interrelated. There's an excellent article on the issue entitled All Life is Interrelated.

    As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his sermon “Where Do We Go From Here”:
    “All men are interdependent. Every nation is an heir of a vast treasury of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead of all nations have contributed. …We are everlasting debtors to known and unknown men and women. When we arise in the morning, we go into the bathroom where we reach for a sponge which is provided for us by a Pacific islander. We reach for a soap that is created by a European. Then at the table we drink coffee which is provided for us by a South American, or tea by a Chinese or cocoa by a west African. Before we leave for our jobs we are already beholden to more than half the world….We are inevitably our brother’s keeper, because we are our brother’s brother. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”
    Often, we as believers are not really concerned with seeing this in action and addressing this properly even when we're aware of it.

    And for examples, how often do you hear of believers saying they'r concerned about giving up jeans once realizing that they're made on the backs of slavery/sweat-shops in China? How often will you hear of the majority of believers in the U.S choosing to not equate consumeristic cultures with "prosperity" and not being flippant with what they do with all of the waste that comes afterward? As much as taking care of widows/orphans is a big deal, it often seems things like that are done as a pat on the back so they can avoid where injustice is still being done to others in other ways. We think it's good when we take care of widows on our block but say nothing when it comes to orphans/widows and neighbors globally.....and we think nothing of how we often import much of our waste to other nations as if it's their responsibility to handle our junk.




    For another example, in reading the book "Everyday Justice", I was surprised to see the demands we often put on produce/veggies creates conditions even in the U.S akin to what one would expect in the days of SLAVERY/plantations. In 2010, I went with my best bud to Florida..and its still shocking to consider how many tomato farms limit others to slave-like conditions, with no fair wages and inhumane treatement of workers when it comes to chemicals they have to work with without protection to produce the tomatoes we enjoy. The US government has repeatedly uncovered slavery rings among farms in Florida, and in 2008, five farm owners were prosecuted for beating tomato harvesters ...with many cases of sexual harrassment on the women, who were migrant workers and forced into silence.

    Taco Bell, which is one of the leading industries demanding tomatoes, was implicated in many cases for their working with these same farms---knowingly allowing it to continue as long as they got their produce on time. It was exposed recently..and only of late have they begun to try addressing the problem. But for many, if you tell them about it, what's the response? No one cares really​


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    For more info, one can go online and look up an article under the name of the following:


    The same thing goes for things like Coffee, as much of America is addicted to it and has no idea of how they often support slavery whenever they get it due to fair wages not being paid to the farmers who make coffee for us. The issue goes beyond vegetables/agricultural foods of course....for whether it be it agriculturally made or domestically raised animals, much is recieved through corrupt means...and not many are concerned for that.

    . After coming back from a Mission trip to Michigan last July and working at the migrant farms there...seeing how many are abandoned and people often complaining on "government being too big" don't care about the ways government ALLOWS them to benefit from corrupt markets if they get products they want at any cost.....I'm sorry, but that makes me SICK. Being there working with other WOF ministries who did work there, I was thankful for being able to work with them....and yet I was sadden to consider the ways people discussed the need for intervention/Kingdom and yet won't work in places where the Kingdom is least seen.


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    I would think that a buisness following Kingdom principles would be focused on how to hire fairly and what would be the best way of presenting Christ to others. The same goes for treating others the way Christ was.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  10. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The original post presents a Greek influenced physical/spiritual dualism. Man is a unity, an incarnational being, created from the dust of the earth, signifying our intrinsic relationship with creation. We will have a resurrected body for us to live well in the renewed creation at the end of our time.

    Jesus is the complete denial of that dualism. His divinity was not diminished by his becoming fully human. He was, and still is, the one true Son of Man who is restoring to us our own full humanity. Humanity was created as God's regents administering His creation in full and open relationship with each other.

    John
    NZ
     
  11. Optimax

    Optimax Senior Veteran

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    Seems like when i was at Rhema, maybe after that Doctor Hagin said the opposite.

    A person that was to earthly was no spiritual good!.

    As usual!

    I agreed with him.
     
  12. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    Not sure what you mean by "Greek influenced." The Bible is the infallible Word of God, and He wrote that adam (man) was taken from adamah (ground). He tells us in Genesis 3:19 that we "are dust, and to dust you shall return."

    The hypostatic union does not seem to be a denial of "that dualism" (if by dualism you mean physical/spiritual).
    Phillipians 2:5-7
    5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
    Jesus is God. Coming to earth He laid aside certain divine attributes, while remaining Divine. He became human.

    Saying that He is restoring us to "our own full humanity": you would have to define that. Jesus is restoring the relationship between man and God that was broken when man made a choice to disobey. God called, and by accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and through the resurrection we have been justified. He was made to be sin so that we could be made the righteous of God through Him. We are being sanctified so that we can be made righteous.

    But, yes, we as humans have been created to have dominion over this earth, over all of God's creation. And the OP question is that since we were created spirit, soul and body what is the proper relationship between our spirituality and our earthly duty. Can we take on such an attitude of spirituality that we become no good on earth? Does it matter? Is that really spirituality (as God would want it)?
     
  13. PastorMike

    PastorMike Newry Christian Centre

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    That's a good one...
     
  14. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    But it is the definition of these terms that becomes important. What do you (or Hagin) mean to be earthly. And yes, if one is too earthly then the balance has tipped in a bad way.
     
  15. Optimax

    Optimax Senior Veteran

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    Carnal
     
  16. PastorMike

    PastorMike Newry Christian Centre

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    I suppose this really is the question, what is true spirituality, there is a lot that passes for spirituality but is really just man's attempt in the flesh to be more spiritual, like dress codes, keeping laws, rules and regulations which are all just man's attempt to be spiritual... (All these things can be present when someone is truly spiritual but in themselves they don't make us spiritual)

    I believe truly spiritual people are just simply people who are in tune with God... they hear from God, they have an ability at all times to know how to bring God into a situation or minister God to others via a word, a prophecy an exhortation or sometimes even a rebuke but all done in the Spirit and not in the flesh..
     
  17. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  18. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    Hmm. But carnal (to me) has a bad connotation. For instance, God put us into this earth to have dominion; in this we are earthly. We can do this without leaving our spiritual nature and the guidance of the Spirit.

    Carnal (to me) implies that I'm chasing the flesh at the expense of the spirit.
    Romans 7:14-20
    For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
    Paul here speaks of the juxtaposition of the flesh (carnality) and the spirit. There is a war. We should be doing things according to the spirit, but we find ourselves seeking carnality.

    Now, with the definition you give, then yes, I agree. Being too carnal (or ANY carnal for that matter) diminishes (or removes) our ability to walk in the spirit. We can't have both.

    But back to the OP, when I say "earthly good" I'm talking more about our interactions here in the earth, our dominion. What are we PHYSICALLY here for? Obviously God didn't create us as the angels; no, He made us and breathed His Life into us, and He placed us in this physical world.

    We always have "what if" games, one of which says "What if... Adam didn't sin?" This is the world God put us in. So unless one argues that it was God's INTENT that we sin...but that isn't scriptural; another could argue that He KNEW we would sin, and His INTENT was to redeem us. Not sure if Adam not sinning is the same as our redemptive person. Scripture doesn't compare the two as far as I know, at least not directly.

    James tells us in a couple verses:
    James 2:17, 26
    17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

    26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
    What are our works? They certainly are not spiritual in substance: they are "earthly good."

    Faith is certainly spiritual. But v17 tells us that faith alone, being by itself, is dead. So here we have a look at the balance out of whack. Too much spirituality and no earthly good, then our faith is dead.

    Carnality is the opposite. If the balance whacks out the other way, then we are carnal and walking a cursed path.

    So the OP question is where is the balance?
     
  19. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Teacher of the Word

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    I do agree with you here.

    I want to pull out this concept of "earthly good." Here is a response I made to Optimax that relates. I wish to separate "earthly good" from carnal/flesh in as much as it makes sense to the discussion.

    So here you said words like: "situation" and "exhortation." Even "rebuke," while you mention that they are "all done in the Spirit" they are very physical concepts: a situation is a set of actions that one is performing, whether correctly or incorrectly; exhortation is a strong appeal to someone to change what they are doing/thinking; rebuke is a criticism meant to change someone. Each of these, I argue, are trying to change someone so that they are "earthly good."

    Ok. I read my Bible. I pray to God. I intercede for people from my rocking chair at home. I listen to good Word on CD/Internet to strengthen my understanding.

    But I don't volunteer at church. I don't help at the homeless shelter, the soup kitchen, the prisons, the <name a place to help>; I didn't comfort the widow down the block when I had a chance (if I would have stepped out of my house, that is); I did nothing about the orphans in my area (ah, but I'm too old to adopt an orphan...what?....my monetary help could assist a younger couple to adopt?).

    How spiritual am I? How earthly good am I?

    This is what I'm getting at (at least initially), rather than spirit vs carnal.
     
  20. PastorMike

    PastorMike Newry Christian Centre

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    Ahhh! gotcha... now I know where you are going...
     
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