Do You Believe the Scriptures?
If you are of a tradition that holds the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, then your problem may be that you do not believe that Symbiosis is a true doctrine. When presented with a claim of a "new doctrine", this is a very valid attitude to take, and both I and God applaud it.
Part of the problem is doubtless due to my approach, which is quite unlike the standard method that theologians, evangelists, pastors, and religious writers follow when writing or discussing biblical matters, in that it may appear that I am using scientific terminology and principles to slip a heresy into the Church. In light of this, I find it a bit amusing to think that I anticipate a violent reaction from scientists and science commentators who would doubltess view this website as peddling "scientism" as a means for slipping religion into science! It seems I cannot please everyone, but as long as I please the Lord and His Spirit within me, I believe I am doing the right thing in the right way.
I thus make no apology for the way that I approach the question of the nature of the Holy Spirit, although I do take responsiblity and apologize for the conceptual layout and choice of vocabulary and phrasing. I constantly worry about the level of the discussion and the limited target audience, but have been convinced by the Spirit to accept it as a temporary aid to be used to fully understand the process. While it stands to reason that someone with a two year degree in mathematics can teach high school math, someone with a four year degree could do a better job. A master's degree has a better chance of doing an even better job, while someone with a doctorate has the potential of doing the best job, though society currently considers doing that as educational overkill. While we know that an advanced degree does not guarantee educational competence, I have been reminded by God that I have shown good teaching skills in many different areas and to many age groups, and so should not worry about my abilities in that regard. I was also reminded of the fact that there is a natural order to things, that there is a time for everything and every purpose, and that discovery logically precedes education, which itself logically precedes application. When I still balked, I was counseled to take these essays as if they were a computer program, and that the popular exposition would be its documentation. Since I am uncommonly good at documenting software, I feel confident that a much better exposition is forthcoming, but only after these essays have been completed.
As for Symbiosis being a new doctrine, I remind you that many formal doctrines of the Church were adopted long after the death of the apostles and the closing of the New Testament Canon. The Diety of Jesus Christ is one. The formalization of the doctrines of Righteousness by faith was not done until the Reformation. The most recent one is that of the Rapture of the Church, developed in the United States in the 19th century, and about which there is still doubt and debate.
But I want to point out one thing about these doctrines: they did not add new Scripture the Canon, though the Reformer Martin Luther proposed the removal of the books of James and the Revelation. Rather, they took existing verses, organized them differently, added explanatory commentary, and presented them in a different order and a different viewpoint. What is radical about my approach is that it has unjustly acquired a "bad rap": Secular Materialism has dragooned Science into its service to discredit God, Christianity, and the Bible, so when I claim to look at the human situation through the lens of the Bible as well as Scientific and Engineering principles and concepts, red flags justifiably go up. That is, part of the resistance to this website's methodology from Christians is the fear that this is another website claiming to be scientific that will try to disprove the scriptures while paying lip-service to their moral teaching.
My defense is very simple: reread the introduction to my website more carefully and see what it says and what it does not say. As of July 30, 2008, it said:
Welcome to Logotech.org, a website dedicated to applying scientific and engineering methodologies, viewpoints, concepts, and approaches to solve problems of general concern to the Church Universal.
I did not say that I was applying SCIENCE to solve problems of general concern to the Church Universal. Secular Materialism, the media, and the education system have done a lot to encourage the view that Science, to be properly done, must be agnostic, if not atheistic. This is nonsense and patent falsehood, relying on the misconception that Science is what scientists do, so as to equate what scientists say with Science.
There is a vast difference between the scientific methodology and Science as it stands today. True Science rigorously applies a specific methodology to confirm beliefs about the universe. It starts by making a hypothesis about some phenomenon that is observable. A hypothesis is simply a guess about how the phenomenon is caused or comes about or behaves. However, while philosophers debate about the rationality of the hypothesis as an attempt to establish the truth, Scientists deliberately restrict their hypotheses to things that are both observable and manipulateable so that they can use the methodology. They construct experiments that attempt to manipulate the phenomenon in known ways, and they observe and record the results. They then compare the results against what the hypothesis said should have happened, noting any similarities and differences between the two. They then adjust the hypothesis and repeat the cycle. Engineers modify the cycle to the process of constructing artifacts with desired behaviors: they construct an artifact, operate it as intended, observe its performance, note the differences between actual and desired performance, adjust some aspects of the design of the artifacts, and repeat. Similiarities between the scientific investigative methodology, the engineering adaptive construction methodology, and the cyclic thought control process outlined in "Hack yer Mind" are not accidents, but arise from a deep similarity in the way that differences between the real and the desired are reduced given the fallibility, limits, and capabilies of human beings.
What I am doing here is what Theology would have done if it had chosen to follow the other sciences into using the scientific method: In reading the Bible, they would see that human behavior deviates from the biblical standard. They would form hypotheses based on why that deviation occurs. They would use those hypotheses, and further readings of the Bible, to come up with hypthetical methodologies and techniques to eliminate the deviations. They would then construct living experiments in which people would use the methodologies and techniques to reduce such deviations. They would observe the results, compare it against the Biblical standard, and adjust the methodologies, keep them, or scrap them and come up with something else. If Jesus was not proposing an observation-based method of judging the real-world impact of religious teaching when he said "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves. You will know them by their fruits." then what was he talking about?
Let's be explicit and honest: the problem you probably are having is not that you've tried to follow the methologies and found them wanting. It is not the case that you planted the seed, watched the tree grow, and either saw that it produced no fruit, or the fruit was evil, contributing to the production of evil thoughts. Rather, the problem is that you are reluctant to plant the seed to grow the tree to see what the fruit is, since you fear that the fruit might be evil.
The fix for this problem is relatively simple: go back and re-review the verses and the accompanying commentary, praying to God to help you understand it in light of the Scriptures in the same way that the Bereans examined the claims about Jesus Christ that Paul preached: they themselves became so fully convinced of the truth that the devil was forced to import busybodies and troublemakers to foment a riot against the apostles. Especially examine how I treat the scriptures: I don't think I'm twisting them or trying to force them to a conclusion that they do not support, although I do know that some of those conclusions contradict traditional interpretations of the texts. I admit that I may not cover all the texts that might apply, for the process of discovery is always ongoing so that verses that I previously thought were irrelevant may be seen as pivotal when later experience or insights come into play. However, I have not taken a text that is genuinely contradictory of my position and said "this doesn't apply" without any explanation whatsoever. I may say "trust me on this one" when it comes to advice on application, but I never say it when it comes to scriptures. I think I treat the scriptures better than theological feminists who scream "Paul was a sexist!" as their argument against his writings in order to mentally expunge them from any theological consideration.
Would it be too much to see that your biblical understanding might need improvement? To see that there may be a gap between where you are and where you need to be, and to ask God to reduce that gap? God forbid that I judge you for a lack of knowledge and understanding that prayer, some bible study, and meditation always provides, since I myself continue to grow in my understanding of the scripture and the application of Symbiosis to one's personal life. Pray and claim the promise of James 1:5-8, and you'll do fine.
I finally point out that the practical and applied aspects of the doctrine of Symbiosis deal with improving the way Christians live the Christian lifestyle, and have nothing to do with salvation. Thus, not believing it does not affect your standing as a Christian or your salvation, because salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ and his atoning work, totally apart from and having no reference whatsoever to any works of the law or service that we may do under the mistaken belief that they commend us to God in any way.
If you find a theological problem, then please e-mail me and tell me, for I don't want to mislead anyone or mis-interpret the scriptures. However, I do request that you cite scripture and reason from scripture: reasoning from tradition, not scripture, is what the Pharisees did and what the Roman Catholic church did during the Reformation, and that is not good enough. "We haven't believed it before." IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. "I don't understand it." IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. "You're wrong. Here are the scriptures, and here's my reasoning" is what I need, what I want, and what the Truth deserves.
However, I also want to urge you to e-mail me if you are convinced of the truth of Symbiosis, but continue to find that there is a continuing problem in applying it in your life.
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