Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The church: An agent for transformation

The church: An agent for transformation Introduction With an overwhelming reality with regard to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in South Africa there is an urgent response needed to assist these children. According to various authors the local church does possess the potential and mandate to be a key role-player and catalyst in creating sustainable livelihoods. Such an involvement could assist in improving the quality of life for the communities and its children in question (Makoko, 2007; Mitchell, 2001; Singletary, 2007). According to the Bible (Matthew 28:18, 19; Matthew 22:37-39), the mission of the church is to declare and demonstrate the gospel to a sinful and a suffering world, with the primary aim to build the Kingdom of God. Perkins (1995:111) refers to a time when the church was the primary source of care and help for the needy of society and concludes that the church surrendered this role to government agencies and welfare programmes. He makes a profound statement by stating that Today, in many ways, the lost world does a better job of caring for the needy than the church does. (1995:111) Within this chapter, a theological perspective and foundation for the churchs mandate to be involved in the community and the lives of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) will be investigated. Secondly the churchs potential and call towards a holistic, integrated missional approach for effective community development will be explored. Thirdly, the churchs methodologies and approaches within their current praxis of community involvement as well as possible shortfalls will be considered. This investigation will be based on a literature study, primarily using the work of Kysar (1991) which is acknowledged as a relatively old source, but used due to the large extent of his work in both Old and New Testament literature relating to the mandate of the church for social ministry. Other authors such as Kumalo (2001), Liebenberg (1996), Mathole (2005), Myers (2004) and Myers (1999a) will be consulted and reflected in this chapter and used to evaluate Kysar (1991). Due to the limitation of this study, no exegesis will be done. The sources used in this study will be compared in order to identify similarities and contradictions in order to formulate a theological foundation. a theological perspective and foundation for the churchs mandate to be involved in the community and the lives of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) The churchs involvement in the community has been motivated from various authors viewpoints (August, 1999; Dreyer, 2004; Hessel, 1992; Kumalo, 2001; Liebenberg, 1996; Mathole, 2005; Myers, 1999b; Myers, 1999a; Mitchell, 2001 Perkins, 1995; Pierce, 2000; and Vilanculo, 1998). Various conclusions have been made, but primarily it has been stated that the church has a responsibility and not merely an option to be involved in the lives of the local community. The focus of this study is not the church as such, and therefore this chapter will be directed towards the role and mandate of the churchs involved in the marginalized and poor. The primary purpose of this discussion serves as an understanding of firstly, the revelation of Gods concern regarding the poor and marginalized and secondly the mandate and role of the church. Firstly, we need to explore the biblical imperatives for the involvement of the church in the lives of the poor, suffering people and marginalized of society with the aim to establish a perspective for a theology of development. This will be done by establishing a basic overview for understanding some of the biblical images and attributes of God as well as some of Jesus teachings in this regard. Secondly, biblical imperatives for the involvement of the church specifically towards orphans and children will be explored. Due to the limitation of this study, the overview and discussion provided within this section are by no means comprehensive and are primarily focussed on the attributes of God as revealed in both the Old and New Testament as a means to understand the divine concern relating to the reality of the poor (poverty). Various Old Testament attributes of God Kysar (1991:7) calls for phrases such as images of God and attributes of God to be understood as at best, a human perception of a reality that lies beyond the boundaries of language and conception. To Kysar, all the ways in which God is referred to, represent efforts to understand the absolute unknowable in terms of the known. The images of God in Scripture are mere metaphors as they attempt to speak of the divine reality parallel to the human reality. For Kysar (1991:8), Mathole (2005:70) and Van Til (2004:444) within the interpretations of the images and characteristics of God, there is a remarkably consistent theme of the biblical God who cares passionately about the total welfare of all human beings. These images of God will be shortly discussed and evaluated in light of other authors in order to establish a perspective for a theology of development for the individual Christian and the church in general. God the Creator Kysar (1991:8), Myers (1999a:25) and Van Til (2004:444) refer to Genesis 1 and 2 that endorse the image of the Creator God who forms reality through the power of divine word or act, or as explained by Myers (1999a:25) making something out of nothing. God is depicted as the Creator of this materialistic matter (creation) and included in it, is the human being that is created to the image of God (Befus Bauman, 2004; Gordon Evans, 2002:17; Kysar, 1991:8; Myers, 1999a:25, Van Til, 2004:444). Both Kysar and Myers (1999a:26) confirm the origin of the human reality as revealed in Genesis 1 and 2, as from the craftsmanship of God. They further consider the creation stories as honouring and celebrating the physical realm as a result of such a divine creative act. To them, the image of God portrayed in these stories of creation is that of a Creator who is in a continuing relationship with creation. Within this creation, human beings are placed in a system of relationships: with God, with sel f, community and the environment. God defines the physical dimension of life and existence for people in the calling to be fruitful and productive stewards of Gods creation (Myers, 1999a:25). God is presented as one who is concerned for the full range of human life including the physical welfare of all people (Kysar, 1991:8; Myers, 1999a:26). According to Kumalo (2001:133) at the centre of a theology for development lies the truth that every human being is made in the image of God. This promotes the task of a theology of development to restore and recover Gods image in humanity by helping each other to reflect human wholeness or image of God. For him, this human wholeness implies a concern for life that includes all aspects of human existence, the spiritual and physical dimensions. Kumalo (2001:134) defines a theology of development as the comprehensive progression and well-being of individual humans as well as of the whole of creation, to include the immanent needs for human survival and well-being, the transcendent needs of human beings (the right to existence and empowerment in order to find meaning in ones life); and a personal relationship with God. This is within the understanding that salvation presupposes human needs. With a holistic understanding of salvation it implies that the well-being of creation is central to a theology of development (Kumalo, 2001:134). God of the Exodus Both Kysar (1991:10) and Myers (1999a:31) refer to the course of history as altered by the intervention of God through the prophetic agent Moses. For Kysar, the ultimate revelation of the God of Israel is a historical one and it means that God attends to the historical conditions for humans. These historical realities of human existence are precisely where humans encounter God the material reality of time and space becomes the medium through which an encounter with God is experienced. According to Myers (1999a:30), the divine revelation experienced by Israel in the exodus is typical of the way in which God works in human life. To him, the exodus is more than a past event; it portrays a model for how God always and everywhere acts for human well-being on a multiple level. Firstly, on a spiritual level, God is revealing himself and demonstrating his power in order for Israel to have faith and be faithful. Secondly on a socio-political level, it is the moving from slavery to freedom, f rom injustice to a just society, from dependence to independence. Thirdly on an economic level, moving from land owned by somebody else, to freedom in their own land and fourthly on a psychological level it is about self understanding as enslaved people and discovering the inner understanding that with Gods help, they could be free people and become a nation (Myers, 1999a:31). With the understanding of the role of the church as an agent for change and transformation, a theology of development includes the church that understands and fulfils the realities of human existence. This would imply the active role of the church within the understanding that human well-being is enhanced through Gods involvement on a multiple level (spiritual, socio-political, economic and psychological level), through the dynamics of the churchs involvement. The Passionate God According to Kysar (1991:12) and Myers (1999a:31), Moses is called to the task of being the human agent in Gods liberation and the words and language of God. Kysar refers to Exodus 3:7 12 and 6:2 8 where we find attributes of God in human perception and emotions which portray an important image of the divine God. The verbs used are filled with sensitivity to the conditions of the people: observed, heard, known and come down and the implications of these verbs reveal a God that is moved by the plight of the people. To him these verbs also suggest Gods attentiveness to human welfare, and that God is moved by the physical, (social, economic and political) conditions of the people. Kysar (1991:12) refers to the Hebrew verb yadah used and interpreted as know in this text that means more than knowing in the sense of a cognitive perception. The Hebrew verb means to know in the sense of sharing in the reality of the known. In knowing the suffering of the people, God is quickened to declare that the divine reality participates in their life conditions. The image of God is not portrayed as a passive figure but of a God who is moved by the plight of people and He declares the intention to act on behalf of the people (Myers, 1999a:31; Kysar, 1991:12). The act of God to free Israel is designed with one purpose in mind, namely to change the conditions of the people. The mode of this action is through human agency when Moses is sent to execute Gods plan of action. The passionate God acts through humans who are commissioned to represent the divine will (Myers, 1999a:31; Kysar, 1991:12). With the understanding of the role of Moses as a human agent in Gods liberation, it affirms the vital role to which humans are enlisted for the liberation cause to assist others for the sake of their own liberation. A theology of development includes the awareness of Gods understanding of the plight of people and his declaration and intent to act on behalf of the people through humans who are commissioned to represent the divine will. Advocate of Justice Kysar (1991:18), Donahue (2006:1) and Van Til (2004:449) refer to the justice of God for human welfare as being evident in many ways in the Old Testament legal materials, but state that it is nowhere more radically portrayed than in the provision of the sabbatical and jubilee years. The sabbatical and jubilee years are related traditions in the Hebrew Scriptures to be found within the covenant code in Exodus 21 23 and in the Deuteronomic code (Deuteronomy 15). To Kysar, Donahue and Van Til, within the Sabbath year God is pictured as the monarch of the people and as their social liberator. There are a number of provisions within the legislation for the seventh year. Slaves are to be released along with their families (Exodus 21:2 6). The land is to be given a sabbatical rest by leaving the fields fallow and any spontaneous produce during this year could be harvested by the stranger or the poor as in Exodus 23:10 11. Within the Deuteronomic code there is provision for the care of th e poor (Deuteronomy 15:1 18) which includes the cancellation of all debts, lending to the poor and the freeing of Hebrew slaves (Kysar, 1991:18; Van Til, 2004:449). Van Til (2004:449) reflects on the covenant code and the laws, and concludes that one senses a special concern for those who experience the greatest need the widow, the orphan and the alien as a number of laws are enacted to provide for them. He refers to Deuteronomy 15:4 5 as evidence that if the commandments concerning the provision for the poor were kept, the absence of poverty would result. He also relates this as the mandate that Gods people must serve the neediest among them by keeping the laws that relate to the covenant legislations of the Pentateuch. These were provided as laws, and not as options for compassion. He also refer to Thethe keeping of these and other covenant stipulations that would result in blessings for the whole nation of Israel, including material prosperity and the failure to keep them would result in a series of curses (2004:452). While the means for these principles and responsibilities differ from society to society, they are still valid and ongoing as they demonstrate the just and merciful character of God (Van Til, 2004:452). The God of the law that stands in solidarity with the poor and insists on their rights and dignity is portrayed through the legislations of the Old Testament law (Van Til, 2004:452). God speaks in this legislation as one who identifies himself with the poor, the enslaved, and the dispossessed, as well as one who is concerned for the welfare of the natural environment. It can be interpreted as Gods way of indicating indebtedness and responsibility towards the poor and assistance that needs to be provided by the church to free them from poverty or to liberate (Kumalo, 2001:134). Within this understanding of Gods attribute, a theology of development should be people-centred, based on their needs and dependent on human resources. Within Gods concern for social justice, a responsibility and bias is implied towards the suffering, the marginalized and the poor; with the coexistent task of restoring their human wholeness. For Kumalo it is imperative to have a focus and bias towards the poor within a people-centred theology of development (2001:314). God of the Prophets Kysar (1991:20) and Donahue (2006:3) refer to the classical prophets concurrence through their insistence that Gods rule of Israel encompasses the social life of the people. Demands for the just treatment of the needy, the obligations of the leaders of the nation for justice, the interrelatedness of worship and social morality, and the inclusiveness of Gods care for humans are among the prominent themes of the prophets. According to Kysar and Donahue, the prophets offer us an image of a God whose rule extends to the social realm. They further refer to the importance of this social rule of God that the prophets are forthright in declaring that the violation of that rule can only result in the punishment of the people. Hence, the prophets of the eighth and sixth centuries understood that the exiles of both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah are the direct consequences of social injustice (Amos 3:1 2). To them, the violation of Gods will for social relatio nships is a matter of utmost significance. Its punishment arises from the very nature of God, for whom societal structures are of paramount concern. Kumalo (2001:135) emphasizes the role of the church as the voice of the poor and to speak on their behalf to government and society. He relates this to the role of the prophets, and it means that the church might at times be unpopular within the wider society or powerful, but it should not discourage, as a theology of development includes the voices of the poor to be echoed in public policy for justice and the responsibilities of government towards the poor and marginalized. God of the psalmists and Proverbs The social concern of the God of the Hebrew Scriptures is further confirmed by the informative nature of the wisdom literature, where it is clear that it is in worship that people give clearest expression to their image of God (Kyser 1991:23) How worship is done tells us something vital about peoples understanding of the one to whom worship is addressed (1991:23). For him, within the variety of themes and moods depicted in the Psalms there is a consistency in the portrayal of God, which in turn fits the pattern of the images mentioned above. He (1991:23) refers to the God addressed in the psalms as frequently represented as an advocate for and a rescuer of the poor. He emphasises passages such as God rising up the needy (107:41) and him being the saviour of the poor (34:6). Also, the afflicted are defended by God (140:12); he is present with the needy (109:31); he reverses the human conditions of want and deprivation (113:5 9) and he rescues the needy (149:5 9). According to him (1991:23) the psalmists who address God in these hymns repeatedly portray themselves as poor (9:9-10; 86:1 2, 7). The Psalms are the petitions of the afflicted (25:16), the needy (35:10), the lowly (147:6), the downtrodden (74:21), the orphans and widows (68:6), the children (116:6), and the barren woman (113:9). For Kysar, the impression one gains from this overview of the self-identification of the psalmists is that God is one who hear the cries of the needy and the oppressed (1991:23). Indeed, it is God of the exodus, who declares in Exodus 3:7 8: I have observed the misery of my peopleà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦and have heard their cryà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver themà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦ (NLT:1996). For Myers (1999a:33) the literature from the Proverbs and Psalms is also a summary of learnings and wisdom of Gods faithful people concerning right and just relationships and demonstrates these peoples experiences of Gods rule as the absolute. Social relationships reflected as Gods concern, surface throughout the Psalms and Proverbs. It demonstrates Gods interest in the everyday things of life such as eating, drinking, playing, crying and laughing. The human inability to see God as being active and interested in daily life is referred to by Myers (1999a:33) as a serious weakness, it is as if we believe that God is absent from or disinterested in this part of life. He further refers to this inability as a cause of a serious blind spot that is often reflected in the churchs practice and interpretation of development. For Kumalo (2001:136) a theology of development must generate a spirituality that encompasses the total human existence, which further brings hope, strength and power to the people and marginalized within the understanding that God is involved and interested in the everyday things of life. The attributes of God in the development of spirituality should stress issues such as freedom, love, holiness, dignity, power and creativity; as these elements are all part of human existence and should be the basis of all peoples lives (Kumalo, 2001:136). The attributes of God, revealed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ According to Kysar (1991:31), within the New Testament, the dynamics of the Old Testament attributes of God are enhanced by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus whole earthly existence echoed his and his Fathers love and care for the poor and needy, which included children. For Kysar, the attributes of God revealed through Jesus Christ teachings and primary concerns, directly relates to Gods concern for humanity. For Kysar, the nature of Jesus ministry, further relates to the nature of Gods mission in the world. Kysar (1991:32) reflects on the ministry of Jesus, as a revelation of the attributes of God and believes that when seen in its totality, it is a clear expression of Gods concern for the whole human existence. Both Kysar and Myers (1999a:35) reflect on Jesus actions and words which addressed every aspects of human life, which made it a holistic mission. Kysar primarily seeks to confirm three aspects within the New Testament. These aspects are firstly the God who cares for the whole person, secondly the God who cares for all persons and thirdly, the God who identifies with suffering humanity. Due to the inter-related nature of these aspects, they will not be separately discussed, but be referred to within an overview of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the attributes of God evident from it. A concern with humanitys physical welfare Jesus concern for the physical welfare of people is considered by Kysar (1991:32) and Mathole (2005:92) in light of the numerous healing stories, which dominate the Gospels both in number and strategic locations (Mark 1:21 2:12). These healings ranged from a fever (Mark 1:30 31) to the raising of the dead (John 11), which according to Kysar suggests that any physical affliction evoked the attention of Jesus. Further to the healing stories Kysar (1991:32) considers the accounts of Jesus feeding the multitudes, recorded by all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13 21, Matthew 15:32 37, Mark 6:30 44, Mark 8:1 10, Luke 9:10 17 and John 6:1 13). He acknowledges that these accounts have meaning beyond the satisfying of hunger, but appeals for the primary meaning not be lost and refers to these accounts as demonstrating Jesus care for the fulfilling of a basic human need (1991:33). To both Kysar (1991:35) and Mathole (2005:92) this reveals God as centrally concerned with the physical conditions of humans and further reveals Gods acting to reverse bodily suffering. A concern with humanitys emotional welfare Kysar (1991:35) relates Gods care for the emotionally afflicted to the several acts of forgiveness (Luke 7:36 50). According to him, the forgiveness of sin is addressing the emotional affliction of guilt (1991:36). He also considers Jesus acts of exorcism as emotional healing and interprets these as neurosis or psychosis (1991:36). He refers to the physical affliction demon possession could have, such as infliction of wounds (Mark 5:5), the loss of basic skills such as speech and hearing (Matthew 12:22), seizures and convulsions (Luke 4:35; 9:42), and multiple personalities (Mark 5:9). Due to the limitation of this study, Kysars interpretation of exorcism and demon possession will not be elaborated, but primarily considered in light of the pain and suffering demon possession entailed both physically and emotionally. Both Kysar (1991:36) and Mathole (2005:92) concludes that through Jesus acts of exorcism he expressed Gods concern for emotional health in the same way as he offered the message of the Kingdom of God to pitiful and hopeless people. It meant healing, forgiveness, acceptance and hope for people that were entrapped by their emotional conditions and societal standards. A concern with humanitys economic welfare For Kysar (1991:37) Jesus attention to the poor, relates to the expression of Gods care for afflictions that resulted from impoverishment. Both Kysar (1991:37) and Mathole (2005:75) mention that Jesus spent a lot of time among the common people of Palestine (Luke 6:17) which was according to Kysar, considered a land with vast numbers of poor residents. Secondly, Kysar considers that Jesus spent much of his time with the poor, as reflected in the way Jesus spoke of poverty through the parables. To him, these parables were very believable as they were realistic pictures of the common life and clearly understood by his audiences. Such parables would include the parable of the tenants (Matthew 21:33 43), the lost coin (Luke 15:8 9) and the figure of Lazarus as a common sight of such a pitiful creature (Luke 16:19 31). While Kysar (1991:38) acknowledges other teachings of Jesus that relate to poverty and health, both Donahue (2006:5) and Kysar emphasise Lukes presentation of Jesus. For them, Lukes account reflects Jesus extensive attention to questions such as the dangers of wealth (Luke 12:13 21), the proper use of riches (Luke 19:1 10) and the call to surrender possessions for the kingdom of God (Luke 18:18 -23). While acknowledging the controversial debate over Jesus own background of poverty, both Kysar (1991:38) and Mathole (2005:74) considers Jesus shared solidarity with the poor of his time, in light of his ministry as a ministry for the poor by the poor. They relate this to their understanding of Jesus and his followers lives of poverty during his time of ministry and promote them as a group that depended upon each other for shelter and sustenance (Luke 8:1 3). Kysar refers to Walter Pilgrim while Mathole refers to Padilla who considered Jesus and his disciples as belonging to a group in society that did not produce their own economic sustenance, but lived from the respect, gratitude and charity of others. Van Til (2004:452) does not consider Jesus and his disciples amongst the poorest, as he reflects on the fishermen of Galilee as business owners, and Jesus and his disciples giving alms, rather than receiving them. While no clear conclusion in this regard could be drawn, the primary m essage of all the authors considered, referred to Jesus total solidarity with the poor. In the work of Carillo (2008:n.p), he relates the ministry of Jesus to the ethos of the way in which Jesus lived his life. Carillo (2008:n.p) considers the poor the hallmark of his true identity as the healing, feeding, preaching to the poor was prophesied by Isaiah as evidence of Gods presence. For Kysar (1991:39) and Mathole (2005:91) the message of Jesus had a particular relevance to the poor. To both, the establishment of the Kingdom of God meant transformation and implied a time of prosperity and abundance as the reign of God in the world was believed to bring changes in society. The message of hope related to the poor as a change in their circumstances and was perceived as the good news for the poor (Luke 7:22). Kysar concludes that the attributes of God reflected in the ministry of Jesus are one who cares for the economic welfare of the people (1991:39). To Kysar, Mathole and Van Til (2004:452) the outpourings of Gods heart that feels the pain of entrapment of poverty is evident in Jesus words and deeds. A concern with humanitys social welfare For Kysar (1991:40) and Mathole (2005:93), the social implications of sickness and demon possession, and the social integration as a result of Jesus healings and exorcisms, represented Gods concern for the marginalized of society. Both Kysar and Mathole refer to the practice where physically afflicted persons were removed from mainstream society which was due to legislation regarding holiness and cleanliness. Accounts reflecting Jesus acts of healing that resulted in social integration are the leper (Mark 1:40 44) and the woman with the flow of blood (Mark 5:25 34), to name but two. Both Kysar and Mathole conclude that Jesus healings besides being physical, also represented Gods concern for the marginalized of society and embodied Gods actions to liberate humans (Mathole, 2005:92). Kysar (1991:40) also considers the implications of Jesus persistent failure to observe social custom as he generally acted in ways that contradicted the social divisions of his society. Both Kysar and Mathole (2005:93) emphasise this by referring to accounts such as Jesus touching the leper (Mark 1:41) by which he violates the social and religious law regarding leprosy. Furthermore they refer to Jesus using a Samaritan as the hero of his parable (Luke 10:30 37) and Jesus conversation with a Samaritan woman (John 4: 26) which in essence challenged the hatred of the Jews and Samaritans of one another. To Kysar and Mathole Jesus brought down a social barrier by having dinner with people that were questionable in their religious purity which could endanger Jesus own purity (Mark 2:15 16), he treated women with dignity, respect and equality and included them among his disciples (Luke 8:1 3). Kysar (1991:46), Gordon and Evans (2002:7) reflect on the inclusive behaviour Jesus revealed by ministering to all and his affiliations with those that are excluded by society due to political, religious and social reasons. Kysar refers to Jesus being called a glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners because of his free associations with social outcasts (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34). In their understanding of this, Kysar, Gordon and Evans consider accounts that reflect Jesus spent a good deal of his time with the despised class of workers. These included Jesus calling such to take a place among his followers (Matthew 10:3), he associated himself with those labelled as sinners (Mark 2:15 17, Luke 7:38; 15:1) and with the tax collectors which was despised and hated in the first-century Palestine (Matthew 9:10 11; 10:3). Over and above this, Jesus advocated for a prostitute (Matthew 21:31) and accepted the love and gratitude of such (Luke 7:37 50). Kysar (1991:46) considers Jesus advocacy on behalf of women in Lukes account of Jesus rejection of the custom of divorce of his time (Luke 7:37 50) and Jesus protest against the inhumane treatment of women in the divorce process (Mark 10:2 9, Matthew 19:3 8). He considers this not just as a mere rejection of the common view of women, but as acts in protest against it. By no means are these a comprehensive overview, but they are considered sufficient accounts for Kysar (1991:50), Gordon and Evans (2002:7) to reveal the inclusive nature of Jesus ministry. For Kysar and Mathole (2005:93), the understanding of the inclusive nature of Jesus ministry relates to the nature of God, as a God who is concerned with all persons, regardless of their social, moral, religious, economic, or ethical standing. Through these accounts, Jesus demonstrated Gods divine solidarity with humanity and which also confirms Kysars aspect of a God who cares for all human beings. Kysar (1991:51) and Mathole (2005:93) also consider these same accounts as evidence of Jesus identification with the poor and a demonstration of his solidarity and identification with those he served. For Kysar and Mathole, Jesus illustrated with his own life what is meant by being a servant of others (Mark 10:42 45) which also confirms Kysars aspect of a God that identifies with the suffering of humanity. The metaphor father for God as used by Jesus, was according to Kysar (1991:41) considered as an assault on the authority and role of fathers in the structure of the household. He refers to Jesus statement in Matthew 23:9 And dont address anyone here on earth as Father, for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father (NLT:1996). For him, the attribute of God invoked by this statement was a direct denying of the absolute authoritative role and power of the father in the basic unit of a family. This held the promise of liberation for women and children and their oppression from an absolute patriarchal figure of their time. Kysar (1991:51) refers to this same metaphor of father in Jesus invitation to address God with this intimate term (Luke 11:2) as an indication of a God who identifies with human needs and therefore also relates to Kysars aspect of a God who identifies with the suffering of humanity. Kysar (1991:41) concludes Jesus role as social protester with many implications for Chri

Lily as the Goddess Diana in The House of Mirth Essay -- House Mirth E

Lily as the Goddess Diana in The House of Mirth      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   One of the tragedies in The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton is that Lily Bart is unable to marry Laurence Selden and thereby secure a safe position in society. Their relationship fluctuates from casual intimacy to outright love depending on how and where Selden perceives Lily. Selden sees a beautious quality in Lily Bart that is not present in any of the other women in the novel. This mysterious beauty that is so often alluded to, in addition to her attraction for the other men, is best understood when Lily is conceived of as the goddess Diana. As Diana, Lily Bart hunts for the perfect husband but cannot marry, remains separate from the "dinginess" of society, and finally is crushed by a remorseless rejection that can even destroy a goddess.    Diana, the goddess of the hunt and of maidenhood, perfectly combines the traits that Lily Bart exhibits. Although never explicitly connected with the goddess, Wharton's first description of Lily notes her "wild-wood grace" and "sylvan freedom":    "She paused before the mantelpiece, studying herself in the mirror while she adjusted her veil. The attitude revealed the long slope of her slender sides, which gave a kind of wild-wood grace to her outline, as though she were a captured dryad subdued to the conventions of the drawing-room; and Selden reflected that it was the same streak of sylvan freedom in her nature that lent such savour to her artificiality" (15).    Not only the description invokes the image of Diana, but also Lily's name. The lily-of-the-valley is Diana's flower. Lily Bart later chooses to wear a plain white dress for her part in the Reynold's painting, thereby choosing the color of Diana. ... ...Wharton brilliantly interprets through Lily's downfall. Selden's unrealized love for Lily Bart hinges on his realization that it is her Diana-like qualities that set her apart; yet it is this same distinct quality that will bring about her demise. Lily's inability to resurrect her reputation and use the letters against Bertha Dorset is intimately tied to her inability to marry; her pattern of running away from each man that proposes to her plunges her into a downward spiral from which she cannot recover. It is not morals, but rather her qualities as the virgin goddess that ultimately doom her. By making Lily into a form of Diana, Wharton is able to condemn her society even more fiercely. She shows us that the society Lily lives in has the ability to destroy even a goddess.    Works Cited Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth. Signet Classic: New York. 1964.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Internet Censorship Essay - The ACLU and the Child Online Protection Act :: Argumentative Persuasive Topics

The ACLU and the Child Online Protection Act The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) was approved by Congress on August 16, 1998. It is the purpose of this essay to demonstrate how the ACLU destroyed this family-oriented act. Immediately after COPA was signed by the President, the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of groups representing publishers, Internet Service Providers, journalists, and the technology industry challenged the law in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Federal District Court Judge Lowell A. Reed, Jr. issued a temporary restraining order blocking the government from enforcing COPA. On January 11, 1999 both sides filed briefs to argue the constitutionality of the law.(ACLU) Congress's intention in enacting COPA was to protect minor children from access to free erotic "teaser" pictures available at commercial pornography sites on the World Wide Web. In order to accomplish this governmental interest, the law specifically requires commercial pornography sellers to take a credit card or adult PIN or access number in order to insure that visiting children or teenagers will not be able to see graphic sex pictures on the front pages of commercial pornography WWW. sites. COPA provides punishment of up to six months in jail and a $50,000 fine for each violation. Plaintiffs alleged in their brief that COPA violates the First Amendment because: (1) It creates an effective ban on constitutionally protected speech by and to adults, and is not the least restrictive means of accomplishing any governmental purpose, and therefore is substantially overbroad; (2) It interferes with the rights of minors to access and view material that is not harmful to them by prohibiting the dissemination of any material with sexual content that is "harmful to minors" of any age, despite the fact that the material will not be "harmful" to all minors; (3) It inhibits an individual's right to communicate and access information anonymously; and (4) It is unconstitutionally vague. The government argued that COPA is carefully limited in scope to deal only with the problem of "teaser" images that exist on the World Wide Web (meaning the law excludes other Internet, Usenet, e-mail, BBS, chat and online services) and further the government maintained that the law is directed solely at commercial sellers of pornography which is deemed to be "obscene to minors" or "harmful to minors"(meaning all non-commercial, non-profit, educational, governmental and private communications are excluded).

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Heritage as an Idea of Oneself in Bless Me Ultima and The Lone Ranger a

Heritage as an Idea of Oneself in Bless Me Ultima and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven  Ã‚        Ã‚  Ã‚   Traveling through humanity is a never-ending story.   Traveling through ethnicity is an ever changing journey.   Is race or culture a matter of color?   Is it a way of life;   or a decision an individual makes?   Is it an idea one has of themselves?   In the novels, Bless Me Ultima (Anaya 1972) and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Alexie 1993), two different minority characters, Tony and Victor, give voice to their journey of growing up and finding their place in the world in regards to their heritage. The characters, in Anaya's and Alexie's novels, relate to a dominant culture, pursue balance in their life by searching traditions of the past, and attempt to blend their heritage into the present allowing them passage to the future.   Their journeys differ in respect to heritage and family situation.   Their journeys parallel considering that they are both male, belong to a minority, seek individual identity, and search for their place on the planet.   Each seeks peace within and without.   Although, their journeys are different, they are the same. The characters in the two novels, belong to two different cultures.   In Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me Ultima, the young, Mexican-American Anthony Juan Marez y Luna (Tony) struggles between two ways of being a Spanish-Mexican-American while also dealing with the dominant white culture.  Ã‚   Tony's mother and father, although both born in New Mexico, come from two different cultures.   His father, a Marez, comes from a long line of Spanish "conquistadores, men as restless as the seas they sailed and as free as the land they conquered" (Anaya 6).   Tony's mother, a Luna, comes fr... ... America, 1982.   80-167. Meacham, Jon. "Redefining Race in America."   Newsweek September 2000:   38-41. Mitchell, Carol. "Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima:   Folk Culture in Literature." Critique:   Studies in Modern Fiction. 17.1 1980, 55-64. Smoke Signals.   Dir. Chris Eyre.   With Adam Beach and Evan Adams. Miramax/Shadowcatcher.   Prod. Larry Estes and Scott Rosenfelt. 1997. Tonn, Horst.   "Bless Me, Ultima:   A Fictional Response to Times of Transition." Aztlan, 18.1 1987, 59-68. White, Craig.   "American Minority Literature."   Handout.   University of Houston-Clear Lake.   Houston. 24 August 2000. - - - - - "American Minority Literature."   Notes.   27 September 2000. Yancey, William L.   Ericksen, Eugene P.; and Juliani, Richard N.   "Emergent Ethnicity:   A Review and Reformulation." American Sociological Review 41.3 1976: 391-403.      

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Oxford Guide to British and American Culture Essay

I would like to talk about the culture dictionary, more specifically about the Oxford Guide to British and American Culture. The importance of such dictionaries became unquestionable when the culturological approach to the study of languages appeared. This approach means the unity of the language and culture. To acquire a language, a person should have the knowledge of special features of communication, behavior, people’s mind, habits, values, traditions in the country which language he/she learns. Surely, the history and specific features of the particular country are embodied in its language. A language is a part of a culture. So the more you know culture of a particular country, the more you understand its language. In the most of dictionaries you can find cultural information and culture words. For example, â€Å"Whitehall† and â€Å"fly-fishing† in the Macmillan Dictionary and Thesaurus online, â€Å"Big Ben† in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English online. КÐ °Ã'€Ã'‚Ð ¸Ã ½Ã ºÃ ¸ Ð ºÃ °Ã'€Ã'‚Ð ¸Ã ½Ã ºÃ ¸Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.. But if we compare these words with the same words in the Oxford Guide to British and American Culture, we will see that the second dictionary gives us more information and explanations about particular words and even gives us a lot of illustrations. So I would like to talk about this dictionary. It is published by the Oxford university press. This is the most up-to-date Guide to British and American culture that gives us an insight into what’s important in both countries today, what’s popular, and what people feel strongly about. It’s written for learners of English, in language that’s easy to understand. This Guide includes 10 000 entries of such areas as history, monuments, legends, festivals, music, food, shopping, literature and so on. It also includes special entries with extra vocabulary on topics such as advertising, football, beer and soap operas. This vocabulary is highlighted in dark type. So let’s look at entries of this dictionary and find out what information we can find there. Entry words or phrases are in dark type. Almost Each entry has grammar information. ( a part of speech, if it is a noun (countable or uncountable, plural or single, if it is a verb, transitive or intransitive), information about the usage of this word or phrase. Many words have the derivatives section which is marked by the special symbol. Many words have a transcription and in some entries we can see both British and American pronunciation. And we can see the information bout a stress. Many words have subject, regional or stylistic labels. If we look at some entries we can see the number in round brackets. It indicates what sense this meaning refers to. For example, the word Manhattan in this entry has the number one. It means that this word is given in the first sense. Many entries have words that are marked by the special symbol ( a star). It indicates an item with its own entry. In this dictionary there are special notes that can help to find out not only the meaning of a particular word but also offer the vocabulary on this topic. The vocabulary is highlighted in dark type. Above some head words we can see numbers. They distinguish separate entries for people, places, etc with the same name. In entries that give the information about people we can see numbers in round brackets that indicate birth and death dates or birth of a living person. In this dictionary there are a lot of â€Å"dummy† entries referring to main entries elsewhere. It can help to find a particular word if you know only its abbreviation. Also the entry gives information about an abbreviation. In some entries there are variants of head words (entry words) and explanations of uncommon words used in entry. There are a lot of examples of their usage in italic type. Many words have many senses. So in entries we can see separate numbered parts. In entries there are cross-references to contrasted entries and related entries. Also this dictionary is very good because it has a lot of illustrations and well-known quotations associated with a character or a person and extracts of famous poems. In this Guide there are boxes with additional information. In entries we can see cultural connotations. Inside front cover we can find information about abbreviations, symbols and labels used in the Guide. Inside back cover there is information about pronunciation and phonetic symbols. In this Guide there are colour pages on history and institutions of Britain and the USA (Maps, history, political parties, education, the Legal System and so on) Using this Guide you can get ideas of what to read. You can choose from lists of books that won the Booker and other prizes plus suggestions for further reading. In conclusion, Id like to say that the Oxford Guide to British and American Culture is a great choice for people who want to find out as much as possible about the culture of Great Britain and the USA without visiting these countries.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Principles of Maintaining Stationary Stock Essay

1)1.1 – Explain the purpose of making sure stationary stock is maintained and controlled? A good level of stationary stock should always be maintained and controlled because it makes processing easier and saves wasting time. Usually a company will have one person in charge of the stock and that person will have the duties of maintaining any stock. Smaller companies are easier to maintain than larger ones. Large companies can have much more of a hard-hitting task as they will need a lot more stock or stationary. Also within a larger company there will be more departments so it will be made a little harder. The person responsible has to bare in mind any budgets the employer/manager had put in place. There are different ways of which you can control the levels of the stock but these are yet again different with each and every company. A weekly or fortnightly check on stock is usually the most effective way. Checking stock levels will also help to notice what stationary is used more within their company. This will show what is more relevant in buying. If the stock is not checked or maintained then the levels can drop. This can result into the company spending more money to get the equipment/stock they need from a high street shop and this can then frustrate many workers/managers. 1.2 – Describe factors that may affect the future level of demand for stationary stock. Their will be many factors that may affect the future level of stationary stock. One of these is the cost of the stationary itself. All, if not most, companies are making cut in their spending and this is one department that may feel the cut more than others. Employees will be asked to use less stock whilst working and requesting orders for stock. These may become declined if the person in charge thinks that the company will not need the stationary or it is not required. Also another factor is the use of technology. Technology is forever increasing and becoming a bigger part in everyone’s lives. This means more organisations will be using the internet a lot more. Emailing more to cut the cost of paper and it is a quicker way to send messages or to communicate and run their business. Letters are becoming a less frequent way of communicating. This will make each company cut down on the quality of paper, ink, envelopes and stamps that are used. 1.3 – Explain the purpose of making sure value of money is obtained when ordering stock. The purpose of making sure value of money is obtained when ordering stock is essential. Each company needs to ensure that they are not wasting any unnecessary money and that the stock you are ordering is actually needed. The person in charge of ordering needs to think about the delivery costs, quality and quantity costs. They also need to think about applying minimum orders but can still cover everything that will be needed. The value of money is most important because no company wants to be wasting money on products that cant be afforded or on stationary the wont be used. The person who is responsible for all this needs to have a good think about what really needs to be ordered and if it is necessary in the environment. Also to know if it is environmentally friendly before just ordering anything and everything they want to. 2)2.1 – Describe how to order, receive, store and dispose stationary stock items. Ordering; before you even begin to order you need to know who your suppliers are. If you don’t already have a supplier then you need to find one. You will need to find a supplier that is suitable to you and your company. When choosing a company you will need to consider these things; Are there any delivery charges? Do I have to place a minimum order? Do they sell all the stock we need? Are their prices competitive or very expensive? How long does it take for an order to come through? You may find it easier to write a list of the stationary (inventory) you will need so you can pick a supplier that fits your needs. Once you have found the supplier you will be using then you will need to go through the catalogue or online and order what you need. Also the person responsible for this will need to be aware of their budget and that they do not go over. Receive; When you do receive the stock, it is better to check the delivery notes against what has been delivered to ensure that all the stock you need or ordered is their. You will need to check the receipt and check everything they say is there is actually there and is not faulty. You will need to identify straight away if there are any problems or any stationary missing. Lastly you will need to send the receipt up the finance so they can check it against the invoice and make sure all the prices add up and no ones is being over charged or under charged. Store; when storing the stationary you should rotate it so it is the oldest first. Storage should be in a nice neat order and organised so you can see what you have and what you don’t have. Rotating stationary isn’t the most important thing to do but it is still advisable so that pens and Tipex do not dry out and the paper doesn’t get creased or even wet. When storing stationary it is best to keep all things the same together and take count to see how many there is so you know for next time when it comes to ordering how much you should order. Dispose; when disposing stationary you need to first work out what can be recycled, or if it is environmentally friendly and what just needs to be put in a normal bin. Most companies now like a business with an environmentally friendly supplier. They will look at the way they package the products so it makes it easier to dispose of the packaging. How close a company is to their business is important to cut down on the transporting costs.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Human Pathophysiology Essay

A 45-year-old grocery sales clerk has been suffering from bouts of severe pain in his left flank region. He blamed it on prolonged standing for 8 hours straight while working. He was taking over-the-counter pain medications for his pain. One day, he found fresh blood in his urine. He went to a doctor who performed urine tests, CT scans, and x-rays. He was diagnosed with urinary calculi. †¢Discuss possible factors that may have been responsible for the development of the stone and use this case to show how the patient’s diet and water intake can help analyze the composition of the calculi. Factors responsible for the development can include his family or personal history, being over 40, his gender, his diet, weight, over the counter medications, and possible dehydration. He will need to drink plenty of water, avoid excess caffeine, black tea, grapefruit and apple juices. He should also avoid foods high in oxalates, limit his sodium Intake, limit his animal protein and avoi d mega-doses of vitamin C. By following this dietary and water intake method it should help analyze if the calculi composition is Calcium oxalate, Calcium phosphate, Cystine, Magnesium ammonium phosphate, or Uric acid. †¢What would be the test results of his white blood cells, blood calcium levels, CT scan, and x-ray? Urinalysis will be positive for nitrite, leukocyte esterase, and blood. The white blood cell (WBC) count will be elevated, with a left shift. Creatinine level will also be elevated in outlet obstruction. CT scan will demonstrate bladder calculi if the test is performed without IV contrast material. The unenhanced spiral CT is sensitive but yet specific in diagnosing calculi along the urinary tract and even pure urate calculi can be detected this way. KUB detects radiopaque stones because pure uric acid and ammonium urate stones are radiolucent and can be coated with a layer of opaque calcium sediment. The sonogram will show a classic hyperechoic object with posterior shadowing, and it is effective in identifying both radiolucent and radiopaque stones. (Basler, 2014) †¢Suggest the best treatment for the patient and a plan to prevent recurrence post-treatment. Treatment is with analgesics, antibiotics for infection, medical expulsive therapy, and, sometimes, shock wave lithotripsy or endoscopic procedures. †¢Facilitate calculus passage with ÃŽ ±-receptor blockers such as tamsulosin. †¢For persistent or infection-causing calculi,  complete removal using primarily endoscopic techniques. (Preminger, 2014) Prevention Drink plenty of water, get the proper amount of calcium according to your age, reduce sodium , limit animal protein such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood , and avoid stone-forming foods such as beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, most nuts rich in oxalate, and colas rich in phosphate. References: Preminger,G. (2014, July). Urinary Calculi. Merck Manuals. Retrieved from: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/urinary_calculi/urinary_calculi.html Pendick, D. (2013, Oct). 5 steps for Preventing Kidney Stones. Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/5-steps-for-preventing-kidney-stones-201310046721 Basler, J. (2014). Bladder Stones Workup. WEbMd. Retrieved from: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2120102-workup#showall