The blaming of Joseph: Many loves to blamed Joseph. But was that wrong? According to Tong, (in the new non-translated expository series of John #141), they just don't dare to blame it on God, so they blamed others. Of course, this is not to say that the parents should be so foolish as to not realize that their children need to be satisfied by impartial parents. 你们要了解我等许久才一个约瑟跑出来啊!你们这些都是我不等自己跑出来的,我怎么可以把你跟他同样看待呢?但是这些人不能明白这个事情,这个主观的感情不是客观的人可能完全解释的。所以孩子们对父母的要求不是你要漂亮、不是你要英俊、你要有钱、你要有学问,他们要的就是你对待他们的公平。当孩子认为父母对他们公平的时候,他们心理的发展就一定比较正常。而作父母的应当从这些故事得到教训。虽然有许多的时候,我们不能够照着我们应当知道的道理去施行出来,结果呢,悲剧就在他的家里产生出来了。Excerpt from Tong - 让信心穿越永恒 唐崇荣 《希伯来书》十一:22

During Sunday School 8/14, on WCF 15.6 we talked about Forgiving those who do not repent, pastor's response was to "let it go" - not "technically" forgiving them, which would be different from treating those who do repent, which is forgiveness. At least the pastor did say "You tell me if I'm wrong", @26:50. The pastor's view was that if they do not repent, they have yet to attain salvation. I later, too much later @36:30 (after Tom @29:10 brought up Matthew 18:15-22, which I believe also was an attempt to debunk the pastor's "let it go" by using the theme of love, and also warned against fake sorry - [band aids don't fix bullet holes, you said sorry just for how - Taylor Swift]), spoke up to allude indirectly, implying that we must still forgive nonetheless, by using Stephen's example, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." Acts 7:60, (Stephen was possibly referring to Jesus, v.59). which was modeled after Jesus' own "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing" Luke 23:34. The pastor's response was "he's essentially saying that Lord I hand them over to you, I'm not holding a grudge here". However, I realized later that my point was not how the pastor took it, I should have added that you cannot truly say what Stephen and Jesus said, without already forgiven them in your heart. "I don't forgive them, YOU forgive them first". Though it's not a competition with God to forgive others, we are not to be so passive here. Matthew 6:14-15. On not able to forgive others - It's also important to check oneself, perhaps it's one's own pride that's preventing forgiving.

On the side note: @34:30 Frank confused (myself too and apparently almost everyone - The pastor remembered better apparently but was probably confused by Frank as well) Matthew 5:23-24 with 1Corinthians 11:27-29

On studying this, it also led me to discover the differences between two words used in Matthew 7, on judging. κρίμα (krima) and κρίνω (krino): κρίνω, which is judging or discernment, results in κρίμα, the judgment, which can be closer, just closer, to what the pastor interpret the entire passage (in error, I believe) as condemnation. Bottom line, though judgment can sometimes mean condemnation, but not quite in the case of Matthew 7, because there are two different words.

Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF): Chapter 16.2, the troubling and seemingly contradictory phrase in the last part "believers...created in Christ for good works, so that, bearing fruit unto holiness, they may attain the outcome, which is eternal life" was brought up by Bill during Sunday School 8/14. I'm not thinking about how we justify this at face value based on the main principle, that is, not by works. My concern is how we interpret the language used. Why not just say so that bearing fruit unto holiness AND attain the outcome, eternal life. The other WFC version uses "that" instead of "so that", "they may have the end" instead of "they may attain the outcome", which would sound more like fruit AND eternal life. But one can take it this way: That eternal life is attained by those who bears good fruit, which is the only possible product of faithful believers after the unconditional election of God.

Gene & Elizabeth's Wedding: Today (Sunday) after service, we attended their wedding. At events like this, when there is temptation for the worldly tendency to dwell in the in worldliness, the foolishness of some is seen. I'm not talking about dancing, I'm not talking about fundamental enjoyment of celebration, being merry, cheering. In fact those are quite enlightening in many good ways. I'm talking about Nadia, my wife, who's easily carried away by worldliness. By grandeur of weddings (not this one), by jealousies, by vain things. When asked, where did you find these TV series to watch, she would gladly reveal that I downloaded them, without much discernment, or perhaps with some yet the vain brag is too much for her not to watch her tongue. Because vain desires of the foolish knows no bound. Knows no fear of the Lord, knows no wisdom. What to do with such a woman? Patience? Yes. Forgiveness? Indeed. Long suffering of teaching like a mother would. Some secrets she need not know. May God help me. Also may God help me in calling out her childishness, that my own childishness be rebuked as well be it worse or better than hers.

As to the wisdom in revealing video downloads, for especially someone like me who has no regret on it, for I do not see intellectual property as a thing, but only will submit to local rule when need be, it is wiser to say "just google", or "youtube" for watching shows like The Big Bang Theory. This also, primarily about eating or not eating food for idols. The weaker faith. Also, in Nadia's case, there was no need to mention The Big Bang Theory in the first place, just to talk about having the green drink from the bar (Rajesh Koothrapoli's Grasshopper drink). Like I said: Foolishness in vain things.

Soul Sleep: Was discussed in GCC's Thursday Bible Study 8/4/2022. While the reformed doctrine of death of believers is that we immediately end up with Christ in spirits in paradise upon death, there is no such thing as soul sleep. All references to such sleep (1The 4:13-17, 1Cor 15:51) is simply bodily death. Not soul sleep. The the rising of these bodies would be referring to resurrection of our body, new bodies, for eternity, for the new heaven and new earth, physical. A good answer would be here. Puritanboard has good resources on this: Basically referring to WCF 32. That pretty much sums it up. There's suggestion to look up Luther's view on Soul Sleep - apparently unique view, look up Christian Mortalism.

True Volunteers: If we are talking about volunteering without asking for anything in return, I think this could only come out of Christianity or Buddhism. Not Jews, not Muslims. There maybe those who claim neither Christians nor Buddhists, but I would say they are in some way influenced by either of the two. The Buddhists or Taoists are doing this for mankind, the Christians are doing this for God. The Jews can't really do it - What is in it for me? The Muslims cannot do it either - Why do it for people we don't know, are you stupid?

What is art?

Beautiful works of man, a continuum of creation, an ongoing legacy of our feeble efforts to touch God. Paraphrased from the Pillars of the Earth: "A Cathedral is...a continuum of creation, beautiful work, that pray God will never end".

Who rides on horse dead in battle to boost morale?

I know of two, in legends:
1. Zhuge Liang: 五丈原之战
2. El Cid

These appear to be told from a perspective of literature to emphasize the power of their heroes in striking fear in their enemies' heart. Zhang Fei was known for similar effect - sleeping with open eyes (though it turns out this is not too uncommon a phenomena), scaring guts out of enemy with one yell, etc. I would like to know a true account of such in history.

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