Thursday, August 2, 2012

Moral Checklist


How Do I Avoid Evil?    

      It has been awhile since I used to carry this around in my pocket. But it is a nice list of character building virtues that should be acquired by everyone. These are from early Christian writings: The Epistle of Barnabus and The Didache. The full writings may be found here. While this is not exhaustive, it is a good start. I used to read it everyday and I think I'm going to start doing it again. The reason for this is because when we get around a group of people, it isn't always good. We should have something available to help us remind ourselves how we are supposed to conduct ourselves. Religion is useless if it doesn't improve or set the standard of character a man's behavior. There is no substance to that religion because the moral structure has been weakened because of ignorance and neglect.  All I know is that these things have kept me out of a lot of trouble and I know that they work.
Walter Allen Thompson
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There are two ways of teaching and power; the one of light and the other of darkness, and there is a great difference between the two ways.  For on the one are stationed the light giving angels of God, on the other are the angels of Satan.  And the one is the Lord from all eternity and unto all eternity, whereas the other is the Lord of iniquity that now is.  This then is the way of light, if anyone desiring to travel on the way to his appointed place would be zealous in his works.  The knowledge then which is given to us whereby we may walk therein as follows:
Thou shalt love him that made thee,
Thou shalt fear him that created thee,
Thou shalt glorify him that redeemed thee from death,
Thou shalt be simple in heart and rich in spirit,
Thou shalt not cleave to those who walk in the way of death,
Thou shalt hate everything that is not pleasing to God,
Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy,
Thou shalt never forsake the commandments of the Lord,

Thou shalt not exalt thyself, but shat be lowly in all things,
Thou shalt not assume glory to thyself,
Thou shalt not entertain a wicked design against thy neighbor,
Thou shalt not admit boldness into thy soul.

Thou shalt not commit fornication, Thou shalt not commit adultery,
Thou shalt not corrupt boys. [This would apply to girls, but it's specific against child abuse.]
The word of God shall not come forth from thee where any are unclean.
Thou shalt not make a difference in a person to reprove him for a transgression.
Thou shalt be meek, Thou shalt be quiet, Thou shalt be fearing the words which thou has heard,
Thou shalt not bear a grudge against thy brother.
Thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be or not be.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. [Includes not swearing any oaths.][...you shall not swear, from the Didache.]
Thou shalt love they neighbor more than thine own soul.
Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion, nor again kill it before it is born.[Also found in the Book of Enoch.]
Thou shalt not withhold thy hand from thy son or daughter, but from their youth thou shalt teach them the fear of God.
Thou shalt not be found coveting thy neighbor's goods;
Thou shalt not be found greedy of gain.
Neither shalt thou cleave with thy soul to the lofty, but thou shalt walk with the humble and the righteous.
The accidents that befall thee thou shalt receive as good, knowing that nothing is done without God.
Thou shalt not be double-minded nor double-tongued.
Thou shalt be subject to thy masters as to a type of God in shame and fear.
Thou shalt not command in bitterness thy bondservant or thine handmaid who set their hope on the same God, lest haply, they should cease to fear the God who is over both of you; for he came not to call with respect of persons, but to call those whom the Spirit has prepared.
Thou shalt make thy neighbor partake in all things, and shalt not say anything is thine own.  For if ye are fellow partakers in that which is imperishable, how much rather shall ye be in the things which are perishable.
Thou shalt not be hasty with thine own tongue, for the mouth is the snare of death.
So far as thou art able, thou shat be pure for thy soul's sake.
Be not thou found of holding thy hands out to receive, and drawing them in to give.
Thou shalt love as the apple of thine eye everyone that speaketh unto thee the Word of the Lord.
Thou shalt remember the day of judgment night and day, and thou shalt seek out day by day the persons of the saints, either laboring by word and going to exhort them and meditating how thou mayest have souls by thy word, or thou shalt work with thy hands as a ransom for thy sins.
Thou shalt not hesitate to give, neither shalt thou murmur when giving, but thou shalt know who is the good paymaster of thy reward.
Thou shalt keep those things which thou has received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them.
Thou shalt utterly hate the Evil One.
Thou shalt judge righteously.
Thou shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify them that contend by bringing them together.
Thou shalt confess thy sins.
Thou shalt not betake thyself to prayer with an evil conscience.  This is the way of light.


The Shepherd of Hermas

I say to him, "Sir, these commandments are great and beautiful and glorious, (and are able to gladden the heart of the (man) who is able to observe them.  But I know not whether these commandments can be kept by a man, for they are very hard."  He answered and said unto me:  "If thou set it before thyself that they can be kept, thou wilt easily keep them, and they will not be hard; but if it once enter into thy heart that they cannot be kept by a man, thou wilt not keep them.  But now I say unto thee; if thou keep them not, but neglect them thou shalt not have salvation, neither thy children nor thy household, since thous hast already pronounced judgment against thyself that these commandments cannot be kept by a man."
Click Here for PDF Version

     By following these simple principles, I have been able to keep myself out of trouble.  But if I disobey any of these, life really turns sour.  I believe that we all get back what we put into our lives.
So since I don't want a crappy life, I feel it is worth my while to learn these and stick to them.
My book covers some of the early Christian writings and some reasons why they may have been removed by the early "church."  Anyone who takes the time to read this book will come away with a different view of Christianity.  In my case, I was more encouraged by the books that were left out of the bible than the ones that remained; but with a few exceptions.  The Grace of Repentance: Keeping God's Commandments is available at: http://www.graceofrepentance.com


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