Spiritual Discipline: First Things First

Yes, at long last, the Liberate One online Bible study is here. It is called (as you can see above) Spiritual Discipline. No, that is not a title anyone suggested, but it is one I thought of after getting suggestions from a few readers. So thank you, readers. And since this is the first of (what I hope to be) many, I should start by explaining what this column is to be.

In case you did not know, I am a Christian. A sinner, yes, and sometimes one who uses dirty words, but a follower of the Christian faith nonetheless. The point being I will not be teaching some vague spirituality. If you are not comfortable with Christianity, then perhaps you should look for spiritual guidance elsewhere. Also, I am not an ordained minister. I have no investment in any Christian denomination. What I will teach in this column is merely Christianity as I understand it and believe it.

Why do I think I am qualified to talk about Christianity? Because I have studied it. I have had much teaching, and I have done my own investigations. I have knowledge and opinions, and that is what I am going to talk about.

If at any point you, O reader, do not agree with something I have to say here, please feel free to let me know. Or if you have questions about what I say here, by all means ask me. I have no problem with theological discussion. The goal here is not to tell you what you must think or believe. You must decide that for yourself.

That this will be a column about Christian theology does not mean there will be a ban on comments from those of other religions. Or those without religion. I have known atheists and Wiccans and Pagans, and gotten along with all of them. I am not here to make anyone think one particular way. I am not an evangelist.

So why am I doing this? Because my faith is a part of who I am. Because for me many of the ideas of libertarianism and D/s and Christianity are interwoven. My faith informs my libertarianism and my ideas about D/s. To talk about libertarianism and D/s without some account of the spiritual seems unbalanced and incomplete.

That does not mean every Spiritual Discipline column will relate directly to D/s or libertarianism. I am not going to force connections. Christianity is, obviously, not limited to supporting libertarianism and D/s, and I will not artificially confine it to those matters. But when appropriate I will mention libertarian ideas or D/s ideas, or both.

I will use various versions of scripture as I see fit. Mostly I will use the English Standard Version (ESV), the New King James Version (NKJV) and the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB). I will also on occasion use something I will call Xajow’s Amalgamated Version (XAV). What is the XAV? It is when I take several different versions and amalgamate them into a single version. Basically the XAV will be used because I seek to use a particular set of words for the purposes of flow or poetry or to make some specific point.

Also, I will generally follow the NKJV convention of capitalizing pronouns and titles that refer to God, even when using other versions. This is done as a sign of respect to God.

You may notice that generally I will leave out the verse numbers when quoting scripture. This is because I do not want the numbers to interfere with the flow of the words as you read, O reader. But I will use verse numbers when necessary.

So now let us take a look at some scripture.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the Light, that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but came to bear witness about the Light.

The true Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because He was before me.’”) For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, He has made Him known.

John 1:1–18 (ESV)

Jesus is and was God from the beginning. He came to earth to teach us and to be the blood sacrifice that provides atonement for sin. This is fundamental. I do not treat Christianity as just a philosophy or just one of many ways to some vague idea of “truth”. I say this not to proselytize, but to explain my faith. If you believe something else, that is between you and God. Or you and your gods. Or you and the universe. I am not telling you what to believe. I am merely telling you what I believe.

Some may wonder why I speak of talking about my opinions, or why do I not speak in terms of things the Spirit has revealed to me? Surely a Christian teacher should be lead by the Holy Spirit. Yes, and I believe I have been. But I am only a human, which means I am fallible. I am also not a prophet. I do not claim to speak for God. There is truth I believe the Spirit has led me to, but other people believe the Spirit has led them to truth with which I disagree. Who is right? Only God knows.

I speak what I know and believe. My spiritual journey is mine. Your spiritual journey is yours. My mistakes are my mistakes, not God’s. So I have no grounds to assume that the words and ideas I use to express my faith would ever be sufficient to fully express God. He is more than a human mind can comprehend. So obviously He cannot be contained by my very much finite knowledge. I merely hope to share what I believe I know of Him.

And so do we begin, O readers, what I hope will be a helpful part of Liberate One. As always, if you have questions for me, ask them. Never be afraid to ask me questions.

At this point, I am going to attempt to have a Spiritual Discipline post up at least once every two weeks. Eventually I will try to have one up once a week. But let’s kick the tires and drive her around the block a few times, and maybe make a few tweaks here and there before we settle into that schedule.

Be good, students.

2 Responses to “Spiritual Discipline: First Things First”

  1. Look forward to more of these posts.

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