Friday, January 25, 2008

Grace Isn't Softness

I think that we mix these two concepts up too easily. Because of grace given to us, we think that God is a soft god. A god that easily forgives, that he has a "tak ada apa" attitude towards sin.

I've seen Christians and even admit that I have mixed these things up. Just because we are meant to be gracious, it doesn't mean that we cannot be strict.

When I saw the code of ethics from the Project Management Institute, I realized that the code involved both respect for the culture of the people that you're working with but yet, also maintaining the highest level of ethics. Just because a culture allows or even condones corruption does not mean that you have to adhere to it.

The code of ethics even prescribes doing something that the "I, me, and myself" mentality goes against. It describes doing good even if others don't reciprocate the same things. The Golden Rule also applies to business too: Item 3.2.4 "We conduct ourselves in a professional manner, even when it is not reciprocated."

The Project Management Institute's (PMI) code of ethics can be found here.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Garden of Eden

There is more to the story of the garden of Eden than just a literal one.

I'm beginning to think that it's also the story of the coming of responsibility upon man.

Prior to partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man may not have understood what is good and evil. He was innocent. He was sinless.

But when he partook of the fruit. He understood what was good and what was evil. He understood then that he was responsible.

And once we learn what responsibility is, we understand what shame is. If we don't understand responsibility is what is the concept of shame then?

When we finally understand what responsibility means, it is truly a heavy burden. We no longer live in innocence. We can no longer feign ignorance. We understand then that there are choices in life we have to make. We know (some only in the back of their minds) the consequences of our actions. And making choices, tough choices is hard work.

We can never return to that time of innocence. That way has been blocked forever. The angel with the flaming sword stands guard. We want to forget that we have only one life to live, and that what we do affects others. Some turn to the bottle, some turn to "work", some turn to gambling. The consequences of trying to return to innocence then are the blows of the angel's flaming sword.

The next step in handling responsibility is through the Law. Which is the next step in dealing with the burden of responsibility. But the evil of men's hearts show that the Law can be manipulated.

Finally Christ's changes it all around by saying that the suffering of responsibility is embraced, and that we must all be willing to live a life of suffering, so that we transcend from being mere men to being children of God.

Theologically, the question in the garden of Eden is why if God commanded us not to eat of the fruit did he leave it out in the open? If you don't want your children to play with guns, you would lock it up. Not leave it lying around.

Is it because it was God's plan to turn us into his children this way? Or was it in his prescience he would know we would sin but use our sin to turn is into his children this way? This is speculation and perhaps other learned thelogians can answer these questions better.