June 29, 2011

The Bible: Quality Control & Continuous Improvement


I posit that, among other things, the Bible is a quality control manual for holiness and sanctification. For all the people out there that are part of an organization that is quality certified, has a process in place for quality and continuous improvement and or those that understand the concept of corporate quality.

Part I

Quality
By definition a comparative study (biblical comparisons in parenthesis)

Mission Statement: (Repeated multiple times for good measure)

For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. ~Leviticus 11:44

For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. ~Leviticus 11:45

"Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. ~Leviticus 19:2

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." ~1 Peter 1:15-16

The quality (holiness) of something can be determined by comparing a set of inherent characteristics (sin, morals, conscience) with a set of requirements (the Bible, the Law). If those inherent characteristics meet all requirements (God's exacting standards), high or excellent quality is achieved (sanctification, glorification). If those characteristics do not meet all requirements (sin, unrepentant, depravity), a low or poor level of quality is achieved (corruption, sinner, condemnation).

Quality is, therefore, a question of degree (of sanctification). As a result, the central quality question is: How well does this set of inherent characteristics (sin, lack of sin, morals, conscience) comply with this set of requirements (the Bible, the Law)? In short, the quality of something depends on a set of inherent characteristics and a set of requirements and how well the former complies with the latter.

According to this definition, quality is a relative (to God) concept. Quality is always relative to a set of requirements (God & The Bible).

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Part II

Now that I've drawn the parallels, now read some further definitions and concepts.

Quality is not something that just "gets done". It requires a change to mindset of not only the individual but the corporation as a whole. Corporate is another word for community or a collective body. The idea of quality is to be built right into the culture so that it becomes part of life or the practice of doing things normally. It is a continuous process that continually improves upon the last attempt...unless of course there is backslide.


A Quality Plan
A quality plan is a document that is used to specify the procedures and resources that will be needed to carry out a project, perform a process, realize a product, or manage a contract. Quality plans also specify who will do what and when.

Sound familiar? Sacrifice, atonement, specific times of the year, high priest, adult males, resources: heifers, lamb, grain, bread, blood, wave offerings, etc. Contract? Contract is another word for a covenant or agreement. Specify who does what when. Sounds a lot like a Suzerain Treaties & Vassal Covenant (God & Israel, Gentiles & Christ). God specifies, man obeys. Thou Shalt, Thou Shall...All of these are imperatives or absolutely necessary requirements. hence the reason for word "Shall" not "Should". Either meet the requirements or you are not high quality (holy), you are low quality (sinful and corrupt). The fact that you even get a chance to correct yourself is leeway that's built into the system. In the Bible it is called mercy and grace. He gives us feedback and we try again...and again...and again.

The quality control requirements for holiness and sanctification are all over the Bible...Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Romans, Ephesians, just to name a few of the more prominent.

Some people do better when they have an example to follow. In quality control jargon this is called a benchmark. They are sought as examples for us to emulate and model our behavior after. In the case of the Bible we model our holiness after certain people in the Bible and we all know their names. Jesus Christ was the perfect benchmark but He was the exception in that He was the God man and no other man will ever be perfect like Him but we are encouraged to try (Leviticus 11:44). There are other people that God thought well enough of that they were included in the Bible as examples. Were they perfect? No way! They were human! Abraham, Moses, David, The Apostles, Esther, Ruth, Paul...

The bottom-line is that Bible shows us how to get back to God. It then tells us how to maintain this high level of quality and integrity through a morally based sanctifying Christian life that leads to our eventual glorification in Christ.

A process for continuous improvement is built right into the system also to continually try to improve the quality. The system also gets checked at intervals to see if it is out of whack. If there is a catastrophic failure the systems are stopped immediately and things are fixed. If there are not catastrophic failures the controller continues to work with subjects or materials to try and continue to tweak the system until the subjects get as close to perfect as possible which is also called zero defects (repentance, sanctification & glorification).

BTW...Do you know what they usually do in a quality control system when something doesn't meet requirements and can't be fixed? It gets inspected (judged) and tossed (condemned) because it is a non-conformity. Separated from the good ones and trashed. The only thing it is good for is to serve as a bad example. Hmmmm? The final inspection and judgement on whether you met the quality standards for being holy comes after you die. You don't get a second chance. You end up on the scrap heap...Gehenna or Ge Hinnom the dump for Jerusalem. Gehenna...another name for HELL.

All these corporate types believe they have stumbled onto something in the last fifty years when they instituted procedures for assuring these practices. I have news for them, God beat them to the punch with His idea embedded in Torah and the Law that it was to lead His people in a corporate and indiviudual sanctification. A process that would later be perfected in the Holy Spirit. His idea was actually vastly more perfect since what God was striving for in the demands of this system was holiness and trying to shape his people to be like Him.

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