What is the value and purpose of having an ideal? What is the proper place of ideals?
Readership: All; Christians;
Quoted texts have been adapted below in an easy-to-read format.
We should have ideals, in the sense of something unreachable on this plane. Society needs something out of reach to which people aspire. People who give up because it is out of reach are wrong people; they need fixing or marginalizing so they don’t hurt the rest of us. We need a vision of what could be, in theory. The problem is we keep ginning up our own theories. Not only to do we ignore the image granted by the Creator of all things, but we see humanity fighting it tooth and nail. This is the part which makes it out of reach, makes it an aspiration.
We know humanity, granted a near perfect setting with all the proper intellectual background and cultural experience necessary to understand God’s Laws, will still turn away from it. Some nations do so more readily than others, and God’s prophets indicated Israel was probably the worst. They had the truth, exclusively granted by God Himself into their hands, and kept trying to bury it so they could ignore it. Even with all the best humanity could know and understand, forcing them to see it won’t change a thing. Truth by itself is simply not enough. It requires something mankind cannot obtain without divine help.
So we learn the prophets like Micah raised a standard literally beyond human reach in order to make it clear it has to come from God, not from us. Sure, we could approach it, and probably gain quite a bit, but we’ll never actually get there on this fallen plane. We have to obtain it on a different level. So the prophets promised this thing would surely come, but they knew better in their own hearts than to expect a literal fulfillment.
Still, the issue is not fixing problems, but building a proper norm. This is the second thing Micah raises. Man’s instinct is to wait until something comes up, then react. This is simply backwards, a perversion of what God revealed. We have to be proactive in grasping His Laws with our minds and hearts, then proactive in building a normal society as He defines it. Again, we know we will never actually arrive there on this earth, but we also know we can aim for it and keep trying. God promises to fill in the rest inasmuch as He demonstrated with Israel when they were faithful. All those grand miracles were part of His promises to any person or group who embraces His ways. ~ Ed Hurst 
“…we currently live in the world that is the final result of an all-out war on ideals, and scratching back to those will take effort.
The reason we have a war on ideals is because the concept of an ideal is an offensive anathema to most people around us. Having an ideal means that if you did not meet it, you are being judged. It hurts people’s feelings to be compared to an ideal that they did not obtain. But beyond that, even if we could stop the hemorrhaging of the beautiful, the ideal and sublime by simply getting our guttural society out of that mindset, we would not agree on WHAT those ideals are, and HOW to obtain them.
So, I continue to offer my ideals, my path to get back them. Readers can say it’s too slow, its making a deal with the devil, it’s moral relativism. Whatever…” ~ Scott 
Jack : “The war on ideals…” – This is basically what young people are up against. One’s focus should be on the mission that God outlines for one’s life, but we (as a culture) can’t get to that point because we don’t even know what to believe anymore. There needs to be a standard, a structure, an ideal, to serve as a foundation to launch from. For Christians, this should be the Word of God, but even though many Christians might subscribe to the Word as an ideal, the conditions on the ground are too messy to make any sense of its practical implementation.
Many large businesses have a habit of analyzing their core ideals for the sake of philosophical unity within the company culture. But have religious institutions ever done the same?
If a church ever took the effort to identify, not what they cognitively believe, but that which they believe in practice, they may find some room for improvement.
The same goes for the individual man. If you would ever keep a journal, or analyze your emotions, like anger, sadness, resentment, joy, etc., or meditate on your motivations, or study why things happen as they do (and not as you might expect), then you may discover that you are not the person you presume to be. If this is the case, then maybe you’re too far off the ideal, or maybe you’ve been clinging to the wrong ideal for someone of your particular personality and/or calling in life.
It’s time to go back to the basics and realign our reality into one in which it is at least possible to reach some semblance of the God-ordained ideal.
- Radix Fidem: Ideals and Norms in Micah (2012-8-5)
- From the discussion under Σ Frame: Sexual Compatibility is dependent on Sanctification (2020-3-2)
- Σ Frame: Fighting Fires (2020-3-20)