In relation to persuasion from Aristotle’s perspective with regards to Ethos, assuming Ethos may be represented by the Holy Spirit,

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”  –John 16:7-11

…before a person can have conviction in accordance with the Holy Spirit, he or she must have love for God.

It is this love that leads to an openness to doing His Will in all things.  Love will commensurate with obedience,

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  –John 14:23.

No longer can one ask why so many don’t seem to live in obedience to Him… they do not know Him.  If they knew Him, they would love Him, for no one in their right mind would resist perfect beauty.

A desire to love God with our whole strength, mind, body and soul doesn’t come until we appreciate creation and ourselves in relation to it.  This awareness is available to everyone, as St. Paul has stated,

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, that people are without excuse.”  –Romans 1:20

Furthermore, one must go against the current stream of “elite” thinking that indirectly worships a vague god-like sense of science as the solution and answer to every mystery of creation.  Does the person who beholds the beauty of a sunset attribute such beauty to a personal and transcendent Creator who made such beauty possible through life, the earth, the sun and the eye that can behold it or to the random arrangement of particles which seem to have created themselves out of nothing and arranged themselves without any exterior direction or guidance?  Similarly, in many of our institutions of higher learning, mention of a Creator as the source for life is absent, in spite of the many statements made by leaders in the scientific community, including one of the most esteemed geniuses Albert Einstein, who said, “God does not play dice with the Universe.”

Eventually, contemplation of Creation with acknowledgement of a Creator leads to conviction, in accordance with the Holy Spirit, over the whole range of issues that lead to holiness, love, obedience and devotion.  Furthermore, the gift of contemplation leads us to greater love for Him and from this, a desire to obey, bringing us closer to realizing the Kingdom of God while on earth, preparing us for Heaven and eternal bliss.

What are obstacles to contemplation?  Perhaps the most obvious are those self-seeking behaviors that place pleasure as the ultimate reward to living.  Are not the seven cardinal sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride), to a greater or lesser extent, obstacles to contemplation, vices that compete for our time and attention?

Likewise, without setting righteousness as a priority over pleasure, of our own happiness, we won’t grow deeper in contemplation of those things that lead us to a greater love for God –our eyes will remain closed and though we see we will be blind.

“Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” –John 9:41

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  –Romans 3:23

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  –Matt 7:14

Why would anyone who has found the path that leads to life, especially in light of the overwhelming evidence in favor of a Creator and the authenticity of the message He’s entrusted to his chosen people, not ‘shout it from the rooftop?’

“So don’t be afraid of your enemies. Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight. What is whispered in your ear, shout from the rooftops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  –Matt 10:26-28

Well friends, the answer to that question is a subject for another time.  Suffice it to know for now that our struggle is,

“…not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” –Ephesians 6:12