Russell and Duenes

What Do Regulating Truckers and God’s Global Purposes Have To Do With Each Other?

with 6 comments

Good question. I’ve been thinking about possible answers.

I’ve joined the ranks of the legal profession, having taken a job as Litigation Counsel for Kansas’ public utilities commission. Currently, I deal with motor carrier and telecommunications regulation. This means I spend a good deal of my time reading, interpreting and drafting written materials having to do with transportation and telecommunications statutes and regulations. But a lot of it is boilerplate, and I also have to handle a good number of mundane practical and administrative tasks (read, paperwork and consulting with various people). I enjoy it, and am quite excited about my job, but all of it is fairly pedestrian, has no obvious or explicit connection to the transcendent realities of God’s kingdom purposes in our world, and consumes most of my mental energy.

Now I know, everything has to do with the realities of God’s kingdom. I truly believe this. I regularly remind myself that I am to do my work as an attorney “heartily, as unto the Lord, and not for men.” (Col. 3:22-23). I know and believe, deep down, that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” (Rom. 11:36). I believe that whether I eat or drink or whatever I do, I must do it to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31). But I do not spend my day meditating on these realities, my mind taken up as it is with “secular” matters. Therefore, even when I read these Scriptures or think about them, my work feels disconnected from them. I go to church on Sundays and I have a regular Bible study with some guys, but these spiritual activities feel like wholly separate ones, rather than a vital, overarching reality that suffuses all of my work during the week with spiritual connectedness and meaning.

I suspect I am not alone in this, and like many others, I am intent on Christ’s reality informing and connecting vitally with my work throughout the week. Yet when God feels relegated to the mental margins of my work days, then Sundays and my other devotional times seem not nearly enough to sustain a sense that what I am doing in my ordinary and mundane work really has centrally to do with God and His saving purposes in my community and among the nations.

The secular rhythm becomes like a favorite song, played over and over. It becomes the code that writes itself on the hard-drive of my mind and emotions. Without intending it, the pragmatic concerns of handling this person and that memo and this research make me feel like I’m just “getting things done,” rather than moving in the gracious, redemptive motions of what God is doing in my local context. This is a unique experience for me because up until now I have always worked in an explicitly Christian context. So now it feels like I’m in a kind of thick forest which I cannot see beyond to the wider vistas.

Thus, I am wrestling with all of these themes right now. One thing came to mind which I thought might be helpful in some way. If we are to feel ourselves a part of God’s redemptive work, we may profitably begin with a clearer consciousness each day of God’s overall  plot line. In other words, we tend to think of the gospel in discreet bits and bytes, rather than locating everything in the narrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. I think it might be helpful, therefore, to find ways, from the Scriptures and elsewhere, to remind myself of God’s narrative, of the fact that “from one man God made every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27). I’m not entirely clear on how to think of my work as an attorney in relation God’s overall redemptive narrative, but something tells me that I must find a way to understand my work in this context if I want to approach my work differently. 

I must see that my work relates to God’s creative work, and my role as a sub-creator under God. For I too am creating things. I need to grapple with the pervasiveness of our Fall into sin and judgment, and account for it in my own attitudes toward my work and the attitudes of those with whom I come in contact. Further, work is often frustrating and difficult because of God’s curse on our work as a result of sin. I must consider God’s work of redemption, understanding that God is redeeming not just individual souls, but cultures, nations, institutions and so forth. The more I consider what God has to say about salvation, writ large, the more I can see my own work as promoting this larger work. Finally, I must never lose sight of God’s promise of consummation, the New Heaven and New Earth, and the reality that my work is intended to point people to the “abundant life” in God’s eternal kingdom.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this topic, as it is at the forefront of my mind these days. I’d love any insights from others, particularly those who have spent a good deal more time in the secular workplace than I, and who have tried to wrestle with these issues themselves.

-D

 

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Written by Michael Duenes

November 8, 2014 at 11:41 am

Posted in Duenes, Work

6 Responses

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  1. I find it most interesting that you now interested in discussing the primary part of the very issue I wished to discuss over 2 years ago when I asked how you would deal with the inherent conflict between a Bar Lawyer and the Way of Christ. You were extremely adamant in your response, your mind was made up, no room for or interest in discussion! The fact is, it seems to require serving two masters, especially if only acting within corporate entities. But I think it is something you will have to figure out for yourself, and make your own choice about. It is necessary to read and understand the fine print in your contracts; need to know what a license, practice, codes, statutes, regulations, administrative procedures, plea, usufruct, etc. truly involves, and how the Court/Bar really functions in the system. Have always been fascinated in the legal difference between a retainer and a contract for services.
    Recently I also returned to university to obtain another Masters in new field, what I had been doing since the 1970’s basically died as a viable profession after 2008-09. Thought it was a good idea to learn something new and move forward. It has turned out to be an invigorating endeavor, generates many new ideas, and I am doing even better than previous educational experiences. But it is tough! I could have gone to law school, but would have only done that to be able to help other men and women by learning nuances and obtaining knowledge which is only shared if one is considered part of the team; and even then knowledge is only shared on a need to know basis. A relative who was a judge explained that very well.
    When thinking about the complexities, one should ask oneself why their assent is only required, rather than their consent? What is your status, or standing?
    When a judge asks a man how he will plea, what he is asking him to do?
    http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/plea
    Depending on the answer, what or who’s Law is brought into the court?
    I would be curious to know if the writings of Fred Rodell and John Adams (father & son) were included in your educational experience. Very helpful when considering one’s place for the choice between in and of the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Rodell
    “The difference, and the only difference, is in the legal wording of the pieces of paper that did give or might have given Max a right to Share in the profits. If he had held shares of stock he would have been nothing but a stockholder. But since he held trust certificates, he was, in legal language, a “cestui que trust.” And being a “cestui que trust” – which only means someone-who-trusts-someone-else-to-hold-property-for-him – Max Senior claimed he was, in a sense, the owner of some of the land that was being held for him. He claimed he was the owner of land despite the fact that he had no right whatsoever to build a fence on the land or to manage it, but only to collect some of the profits.”

    John Adams: Party of One
    by James Grant

    This is a valuable education in Law and history:
    John Adams, Revolutionary Writings 1755-1775, published by The Library of America

    John Quincy Adams:
    http://lonang.com/library/reference/jqadams-jubilee-constitution-1839/

    Jesus the Christ be with you in your search for wisdom

    james daniel

    November 12, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    • Daniel, I don’t remember our previous interaction in the same manner as you do. I remember engaging with you, and I also remember saying, then as now, that there is no inherent conflict between being a bar lawyer and the Way of Christ. I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying in your comment here, so there’s not much I can say in response. Thanks for your kind sentiment.

      -D

      russell and duenes

      November 15, 2014 at 10:58 am

  2. A simple question, actually a couple…
    Now that you are a lawyer and an officer of the Court, how would you bring the Law of God in to the Court?
    Remember, your allegiance and first responsibility is to the Court by license and contract, you are a legal officer of the Court.
    Can you legally come in to Court as an Ambassador of Christ to peacefully settle the matter?
    Why would you do that, how would you do it, and what could the results be?
    If you have to choose what is best for a “client”, or best for the Court, which will you choose?
    I know you have written about pro-life numerous times, and that you probably know about the move to provide legal “personhood” to the unborn. What legal reasons would there be to do such, and what would the results be, both positive and/or negative. Who would have legal title to the unborn?
    I would think that these subjects would have been covered in law school!
    If not, should be curious and ask why not?

    Thanks

    james daniel

    November 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

  3. Daniel, I would bring the law of God into the Court because I bring the Spirit of Christ into everything I do. How does one bring the law of God into eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger? How does one bring the law of God into changing a quart of oil on one’s car? How does one bring the law of God into doing a colonoscopy? And on and on.

    I am a legal officer of the Court, but that never necessitates my dishonoring Christ and His Word. When it does, when dishonoring Christ becomes an imperative for an officer of the Court, then I shall find myself another profession. But you have not shown, nor do I believe you can show, that this is the case.

    I am an ambassador for Christ everywhere I go, and I seek to apply His wisdom and gracious truth in all that I do.

    I do not understand what you mean by “legal title” to the unborn. We do not have “legal title” to persons under current U.S. law. Persons are not chattel or real property, and as such, one cannot have “title” to them.

    Law school failed to cover a good many things that should have been discussed. That is a great failing of law school. But it is also irrelevant to the issues you raise. I do not need a law school to teach me what I need to know about practicing law under Christ’s lordship. It can be learned elsewhere.

    -D

    russell and duenes

    November 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    • I understand exactly what you are saying, but since you have agreed to be under the jurisdiction of the court as such… whose faith is in the Lady or Lord of Justice (look that up), I believe you will have difficulties at some point in time. Let me know what happens when you go into court as a lawyer and clearly state that you are speaking for the man rather than a legal person… and Really Mean it! I do not think that will be well received at all, and the consequences….
      And to believe that because you bring the Spirit of Christ into court with “yourself” means that such will be honored or even given notice to by a court without changing the nature of the court is unfortunately useless in practice. You will not be heard.
      As long as you are working in corporate gas and oil, you are simply dealing with matters of commerce.
      But if one really understands the actual use of “usufruct” as it relates to that area of administration of shared resources, one might develop second thoughts about what is being done with the resources. It is one of those Catch 22 things for which I do not think there is a definitive answer.
      Perhaps I should have written “custodian” of the person. One is not conveyed by presumption of assent a certificate of a title for use in commerce without reason. You are correct that technically the person is not chattel or real property, but something more useful, otherwise international law and slavery would come into play. All was written very carefully such that a claim of slavery can never be used today, but other methods which can be even better are allowed to be used.
      Nor can you have title to it… you did not make it.
      I do not think you need use of the Law of God to eat, be a mechanic, or to perform surgery, except to do no harm. But I do not think a restaurant, garage, or hospital is considered to be a temple is it!
      Do you need permission to enter them?
      Do you need to swear an oath, a license, or permission to speak in them?

      Your legal and lawful description/explanation of what “personhood” would mean for the unborn could be very enlightening. Do not think I ever seen one, and I did ask… only silence.

      Thanks

      james daniel

      November 21, 2014 at 7:36 am

  4. A friend’s thoughts…
    He is always coming up with a different viewpoint for discussion! Never short of words either.
    Seems everyone wants to be war, rather than peace.

    *******************************************************************************************************

    +++ WAAAHH, THEIR TAKING AWAY YOUR RIGHTS! +++++
    +++++ WAAAHH, NO THEY ARE NOT IGNORANT ONE! +++++

    The only rights that you do not have, as many are foolishly claiming that they are being, “Taken away,” … are the one’s that YOU HAVE CONTRACTED AWAY. No one, not even the Babylonian System administrated by and through Agents of Caesar, (ROME d.b.a. the U.S.) is taking away your rights. If you think that what I say here is in error, then you are not wise enough to see that you are the one that is actually giving them up for nothing more than a bowl of soup (Esau), or should I say pottage.

    Nevertheless, until you come into the wisdom of this knowledge and learn how this works, and why it works the way that it does, you shall never walk on water as Yehoshuah did. That very act and deed on one level IS symbolic of being master of one’s own vessel on the waters of the commercial world administrated by Caesar, whereas currently right now, you are totally and completely under the control of Caesar by virtue of the vessel that you are using that was created by Caesar (The SS Name and Number denotes a vessel on the high seas of the commercial world – YOU did not create it, so you do not control it. Therefore, by the mere use of it, you are bound into service and servitude unto its creator. MARK MY WORDS on this matter, for this revelation has both material and especially spiritual ramifications.) So then, now you know why I have written over and over again in my postings, “No man can serve two masters,” and a, “Double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Many of my previous posts have been trying to drop very serious hints as to how this all plays out in the very world that you are living in right at this current moment. But still, many do not see how even the Babylonian System administrated by Caesar is actually being used for the good of the saints. They still choose to be AT WAR rather than learn how to go to peace.

    The Babylonian System is authorized by the Creator himself (Romans 13:1-7). Therefore, even one seditious claim and/or statement made against it and/or its agents is rebellion. Do you think that rebellion pleases your Creator? In the Creators great wisdom He determined the purpose for this current age, (The Age that IS) and He authorized every single form of government; good as well as evil. What many do not get and will have an extremely hard time dealing with is the fact that The Creator is using evil to sort and separate the sheep from the goats. If the Creator can see Job through even worse, what makes you think that he can not see you through your current situation and/or circumstances?

    The purpose of the Babylonian System administrated by and through Caesar is designed for the testing of one’s faith. For it is only through darkness that one will come to see what the light truly is. So then, regardless of how evil, wrong or diabolical you perceive the governments of THIS WORLD to be, they are doing what they were designed and purposed to do, for those entities are of the FIRE that is being used to remove all the dross from your soul and character. Resistance to this is tantamount to rebellion.

    Now, if you perceive the system to be evil, which many of you do, then how are you not the evil that you claim, see and perceive in another? Have you ever noticed that every single capital city has a REFLECTING POOL in it? That pool is a symbol that symbolized that the government that one has is a direct reflection of the people they govern. So then, if you do not like what you see in your reflection, are you going to change the reflection, or the source of the reflection? Furthermore, if one judges another disparagingly, then how does one plan to escape the judgment of their own words? Are you seeing what I am saying, or are you bereft of the spirit of these proceedings, still?

    If you desire is to be recognized to be a peacemaker so that the Father and Creator of ALL things causes, “Even your enemies to be at peace with you,” and thereby allowing for, “Greater thing,” to be done and manifested through you, then . . . if you are posturing yourself against what the Creator and Father has ordained and allowed to be in place for the testing of your faith, how shall by this adversarial posture will the work that the starts in you be finished?

    The Babylonian System administrated through Caesar is put into place for a good and great purpose. If you can master the system and not be mastered by the system, then you will indeed have evidence of a faith with works. Otherwise, the faith that you claim will be dead not having any works. If you can overcome the world of the Babylonian System administrated by Caesar then the Creator and Father WILL know that YOU KNOW how to Live by His Law. Yes, Caesar’s system is more complex and appears harsh and hard. But, one does have to ask themselves, if it were easy and a pleasant trip would you learn anything from it? I think the answer to that question is revealed in what happened in the first age, which has brought about the need for this current second age.

    But, what do you think? Do you think that mastering the system requires that one conform unto it? Do you think that you cannot learn what you need to know to master the system because it is so complex? Do you think that any thing Casear does is to be ignored and dismissed because it is being done by Caesar? What about the admonishment to, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s,” not to mention that Caesar’s form of government is authorized by the Creator and Father himself as pointed out in Romans 13:1-7?

    Indeed, for those of you that believe that “The SYSTEM,” is evil and you have done everything to avoid learning how to walk on the waters of THE SYSTEM, how exactly do you plan on overcoming the world and becoming recognized to be an overcome if you refuse to master the God ordained SYSTEM authorized and purposed for the testing of your faith? Just claim the name of JESUS and it will all work out the best for you, eh? Please, do not be so silly and naive.

    So then, why do you complain about your rights being taken away when you have through your own ignorance CONTRACTED them away? Do you not know the purpose of Article 10 of the Constitution? The Masters of the SYSTEM already know that they must protect your rights and believe it or not, will do so, when you show that you are competent. BUT, if you show that you are ignorant by entering into contracts that SELL YOUR RIGHTS FOR NO MORE THAN A BOWL OF SOUP, then you clearly demonstrated your ignorance, and they do not have protect your rights at all because YOU sold them just like Easu did! Now, what are you going to do to get them back? Hopefully, you do not hate your birthright, because if you do, then you are really up a creek without a paddle. Most of you do not hate your birthright. Most of you are just plain ignorant of the knowledge necessary to reclaim your estate, title and securities, ergo your birthright. So then, why are you complaining about your rights when you have sold them for nothing? Why are you disparaging a system that has nothing to do with your willful acts and deeds of ignorance? Are you going to be stubborn and persist with your judgement and thus be judged by your own words? Do not be so foolish!

    It is well past time for many of you to start taking another look around you. But, this time you must look differently rather than through the vain imaginations and manipulations of those that are angry and upset with what God has ordained. The question is will you? Will you be encouraged by this admonishment, or will you be angered by it, or will you just shrug your shoulders and blow it off? Remember, if you choose to ignorant and do not chose to seek out true knowledge, then you most certainly do deserve the results and/or consequences you receive from seeds that you either have planted, or have not planted. The SYSTEM is there for the good work of testing your faith to aid in your overcoming the world. When you accomplish this you will experience the same results that I have for, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) This is of the peace that surpasses all understandings and many do seek this, but just as the path to the narrow gate is not easily found, so it is also true that many . . . unfortunately, will not see what it is that I have written of herein, as well as within my other writings. Nevertheless, for those of you who are intelligent enough to recognize that you are with your rights all the time and no one can take them away from you, BUT YOU, then I do indeed stand and applaud you. Perhaps one day we shall sit and break bread together and discuss the weather.

    james daniel

    November 25, 2014 at 10:22 am


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