Sunday, June 30, 2013


Irenaeus of Lyon
Iraeneus = Peace

Irenaeus argued for civil government. His argument against Gnosticism was against elitism. Elitism was the basis for economic inequity, imperial expansion with military conquest and cruelty in law enforcement.


Irenaeus was born around 125 CE. He heard the preaching of Polycarp when he was a young man in Smyrna (near Ephesus in what is now western Turkey). Polycarp had been a disciple of the Apostle John.
Irenaeus also studied with Justin the philosopher. He was to preserve the argument for Christianity as a legal religion and the link with the apostolic church with his writing.  Care for the poor was the standard by which government was to be judged.

He moved to Lugdunum in Gaul (now Lyon, France) as a young man. He was sent on a mission to Rome in 177 CE. A severe persecution broke out during his absence. Irenaeus was made bishop upon his return. 
He was a prolific writer against Gnosticism. He wrote the “Proof of the Apostolic Preaching” to preserve respect for Judaism and the Tanakh. He continued to proclaim Jesus as the Christ; the fulfillment of the prophecy expressed in the scripture.

Gnosticism viewed religion as a competition for imperial favor. The religion that was to win the emperor was to become the religion for the empire. This favor carried privilege. Other religions were not seen as official. People from the other religions were not given equal status with those who were.
This was one of the most radical aspects for Justin’s argument for Christianity as a legal religion. It was not an advocacy for singular status as the legal religion. It was an argument for allowing religions other than that of the emperor to have legal status.

The Tanakh preserves standards for leadership in civility. Careful reading of the scriptures shows that care for the poor, fairness in civil justice and defense in military leadership were the standards for civility in government.
It was imperial redaction and the standards for cruelty in punishment for the time that had promoted cruelty as the law and the law as the wrath of God.

Marcion was against the use of Jewish scriptures in Christian worship. Irenaeus argued for the preservation of the Tanakh. This debate took place at a time before the canon or rule for the Christian bible had been established.
Irenaeus listed 21 books that would eventually include 27 books in what had been called the New Testament.

The story of the Fall was not an argument for the establishment of a state religion. It was a persuasion for legal religion to teach morality for civility in government as evolution in civilization. Human kind is immature. We are human beings who are seeking maturity in social relations and individuality.
Adoption was an imperial policy that had been established during the short rule (7 months) of one of the most cruel of Roman emperors, Galba. It represented the potential for improvement.

The adoption of a son by the emperor was a form of selection that allowed the emperor to pick someone who was not from his family for succession. This came to be regarded as an innovation in Roman imperialism.

Galba (1st century CE): “As it is, I, who have been called to the throne by the unanimous consent of gods and men, am moved by your splendid endowments and by my own patriotism to offer to you, a man of peace, that power, for which our ancestors fought, and which I myself obtained by war.Augustus looked for a successor in his own family, I look for one in the state, not because I have no relatives or companions of my campaigns, but because it was not by any private favour that I myself received the imperial power.”
Irenaeus used the story of Adam and Eve to express the spirit of adoption in a monotheistic form that did not define human nature and the material world as evil. The world is not here to suffer perpetual war, violence and cruelty. The law is not here to promote violence by greater cruelty. (The wrath of God is a province for deity.)

When nature is defined as corrupt it develops skepticism, but it suffers from
the prediction of failure. It is not only self-fulfilling, it is repetitive. If we don’t believe that we can accomplish anything good, we won’t. If we believe that we are engaged in a dualistic struggle between good and evil, we eliminate goodness as a goal and settle for the lesser of evils.

His objective was not like that of imperial adoption. Imperial power
used weapons to force people into submission. He sought to establish peace, non-violent political or social problem solving, as the rule for law. He did not define divine or human nature as corrupt.

If leadership in monarchy and by extension imperialism had been established by military leadership in foreign and domestic arenas, then the prime value for the function was protection from foreign invasion.
It was felt that once a kingdom had become an empire and the empire had become large enough, expansion was not the issue. Defense for the development of civilization was the purpose for the military.

The Roman republic was distinguished from non-democratic kingdom insofar as the citizens of Rome had rights comparable to the monarchical democracy in Athens. The right to vote was a significant distinction.
The republic had elected officials. Rights were limited to rich male landowners however. This limitation transformed the republic into an imperial dictatorship. The struggle to control the dictatorship accounted for a great deal of the violence suffered by the leadership.

The principal work for Irenaeus was “Against Heresies” (translates as “Against Errors”). It was a defense of orthodox Christianity against Gnostic rivals.
Gnostics were using a story line that promoted the establishment of Gnostic Christianity as the state religion. Priests in the state religion were regarded as
having rights as advisors to the leadership.
Gnostics presented a variation of the story for creation in the Platonic
republic. It had a cosmocrator as well as a demiurge. 

The cosmocrator was equated with the devil as the ruler for the world. It was a dualistic system that posited a great struggle between good and evil in order to make the choice of lesser evils the rule for law. This was the means by which rights for the elite citizens were promoted as superior to the rights for ordinary citizens.

The explanation for the existence of evil served as a justification for wars of
aggression for expansion of the empire. The second century witnessed the largest expansion for the Roman empire in the first quarter; the defense of the expansion in the remainder.

“Against Heresies”
Bk.1 Ch.5 P.4
“They further teach that the spirits of wickedness derived their origin from grief. Hence the devil, whom they also call Cosmocrator (the ruler of the world), and the demons and the angels, and every wicked spiritual being that exists, found the source of their existence. They represent the Demiurge as being the son of that mother of theirs (Achamoth), and Cosmocrator as the creature of the Demiurge. Cosmocrator has knowledge of what is above himself, because he is a spirit of wickedness; but the Demiurge is ignorant of such things, inasmuch as he is merely animal.”

Adoption had added choice to imperial power. How nature is defined affects
how that choice was to be used. The ability to choose a successor from outside the family allowed for negotiation to stop the never ending expansion of empire by war and the unlimited perpetuation of violence by investment in cruelty for domestic security.  

The argument for Christianity as a legal religion prepared a way for freedom of religion as a provision in constitutional government. There is not to be just one legal religion, but legal religion is to provide social purpose for civil government. Religion teaches morality and promotes action for social welfare.

Teaching morality may sound provincial and limited in scope, but it has important applications. Consider application in the justice system. When lawmakers make laws that show concession to elitism, religious leadership can protest the error.

Florida has seen the legislation of the Stand Your Ground (SYG) law. This
allows for the legal use of lethal force in life threatening situations.

The problem is that claims to self defense have increased dramatically since the law was first enacted. These claims don’t allow the deceased to present his or her side of the story since he or she is no longer with us.

Skepticism regarding the claim has become a necessity. If self-defense is being claimed in the use of lethal force, then the burden of proof for self-defense by the person making the claim becomes the issue.

The new law shifts the burden for proof from past precedent. Making the state
prove that killing was murder is not the only point for contention. The killer has to prove that he or she acted in self-defense, because the individual assumes a greater authority than a judge, jury or state in the act of making the choice to kill. If acquittal is granted because the state did not prove murder, then gun owners are given an unfair advantage.

Another person can be shot without provocation by a gun owner and the
shooter can claim self-defense based on the lack of testimony to contradict
the claim.

This is insanity. It is not valid law. It is a flawed law. It is ‘legal sleeze’ for
saying that gun owners can get away with murder. Judgment is being assaulted by incidental concerns. Membership in the majority population is not the rule for law in a court of justice.

When court proceedings are reduced to a popularity contest, then justice is
pushed out of the courtroom to favor circus displays to sway public opinion. When membership in the majority population is used to decide if killing was murder, the abuse of majority authority corrupts liberty and justice in the law.

The following piece expresses hope that the death of Trayvon Martin will not
be used to promote travesty in justice for the state, the nation or the world.
Ps16 Ps77

Your darkness provided protection.
Love’s labor had not been lost.
Work had been worn like a garment.
Sporting contest bore witness
to winners and losers;
one win and one loss
had been tallied for the record.

We had watched as one
with that which had been worthy
in the witnessing as wonderful.

Others were watching to win
conflict by ending competition.
They wished only to win public perception
by deception. Rights were reduced
to the one with a gun.
Shades in the shadows
dance beyond sight.
Feet quicken
without taking flight.

Supplies are for celebration
or commiseration after the game.
When we celebrate accomplishment
we join those with fame.
LEADERSHIP is my portion and my cup;
Your judgment will support me.

Our property is pleasant.
I have a good home.
I have set goodness as my goal;
Fairness resides in liberty with justice.

I bless counsel from the COUNSELOR;
my heart teaches me to listen.
My heart is glad. My spirit rejoices.
My body rests in hope.

I will not fail faith.
I will not seek destruction.
You show me the path of life;
There is fullness of joy in your presence.

When trouble came,
I took flight.
When pursuit caught me,
I did not fight.

When anger struck,
I cried for help.
The skies did not cry.
Fire consumed my breath.

There was no rain.
There was no thunder.
Lightning did not reveal
a whirlwind.
Now the skies are crying.
The earth cries out for justice.

Murder will not be sanctioned
with a false claim.
Lethal force with a deadly weapon
is not self defense
in a fist fight.
LEADERSHIP is my portion and my cup;
Your judgment will support me.

Happiness will rule
in the pursuit of providence
with liberty and justice for all.

The skies are crying now.

Rhianna – Umbrella

Now that it's raining more than eva
Know that we'll still have each otha
You can stand under my umbrella

Read more:

LetsSingIt - Your favorite Music Community

Stand together under the umbrella
that justice in the law provides.

Steve K.

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