The Four Core Ideals of Upadaria As A Lifestyle Discipline
Discipline is not a word used much in Christian self-help these days. But read these words from Romans 12:1-2 and tell me that these words do not conjure the feeling that some sort of discipline is not involved here.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is you reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world (present world system- kosmos): but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
I notice three things:
1. That the key thing here is in fact discipline.
2. That the call is not for gain but to sacrifice.
3. That the promise is to prove God to others.
A lifestyle discipline does not make you succesful, rich, popular, or materially satisfied. Christian empowerment is not about your rights, your happiness, or your success. This doesn't mean you don't have rights, you can't be happy, or that you should not expect or want success. But those things are not the aim of a Christian lifestyle discipline, the objective of such a discipline is "that ye may prove", and prove what? That ye may prove...the will of God! The will of God for what? The will of God for individuals, for every type of human relationships, for every type of human institution ordained by God, and even for whole nations of people! And how do we "prove" God's will? By presenting ourselves a living sacrifice and by not being conformed to this world.
God has given us His Word, it contained everything we need for life. From His Word alone we can derive all truth and wisdom. A lifestyle discipline is a way of understanding and applying Biblical truth in specific ways and, just as in Romans 14 people with different personal convictions about meat, it can reveal some specific convictions that aren't necessary for salvation, but are proposed for Christian living.
The UPDR Ideals, as some will use them in a broader sense, are essentially "universal", and I'll describe that in this series of articles, but as they are uniquely applied to the vision of this Christian social network (based on the concept of a Christian nation) they are "The Four Core Ideals of Upadaria" and they have unique applicability to our 21st century and beyond reality. In fact, if you consider that every human civilization is based on one or more core ideals, you might agree that a future Christian civilization could indeed be based on the balanced and Biblically founded application of these four core ideals in its lifestyle and governance.
These ideals may not seem very revolutionary if you've heard them before, and no doubt most Americans have heard them. And yet, taken together and applied in a non-sectarian way to government and law, one would be justified if they considered their balanced application together as America's spiritual constitution.
So what makes the so revolutionary?
Four things makes them revlutionary:
1. They are to be applied TOGETHER, in harmony, so that any relationship, association, or governance model that fails to conform not to one but all of these ideals can be predicted to be likely to be problematic and unbalanced.
2. They are to be understood on the basis, first and foremost, of Scripture, then of nature, then of logic, and then of history and experience in order to be understood in a way that doesn't just sound good but that produces positive fruits.
3. They are to be applied in a way that takes into account the goal and purpose of the relationship or association to which they are applied and in connection with the stakeholders of and those affected by that relatonship or association.
4. The over-arching mechanism for carrying these ideals into daily practice is conditional authority rooted in earned merit as opposed to any kind of positional, inherited, or purchased authority and in a manner that is absolutely color blind, free of all forms of favoritism or bigotry.
When you understand these four core ideals in this light, you will see, I propose, that "the value of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Taken separately, outside of this understanding of their application, they are just well-worn but meaningless slogans. Taken together, and being utilized with these four applications in mind, these four core ideals form the basis of both a governance and lifestyle discipline that anyone, anywhere, can use with great benefit. In our case, the objective of our proposed lifestyle discipline is that we might prove the will of God to the world around us.
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