Monday, July 10, 2017

CS Lewis - Sexual Morality

I'm aware CS Lewis' theology is often called into question. And I'm not saying I agree with every word the man's ever said, but I do want to share the following excerpts from a text of his. A friend posted these, and I think these words are very important in today's world.

Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it: the Christian rule is, ‘Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner or else total abstinence.’ Now this is so difficult and so contrary to our instincts, that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong.

[. . .]
 
You can get a large audience together for a striptease act – that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?

[. . .]

[Y]ou and I, for the last twenty years, have been fed all day long on good solid lies about sex. We have been told, till one is sick of hearing it, that sexual desire is in the same state as any of our other natural desires and that if only we abandon the silly old Victorian idea of hushing it up, everything in the garden will be lovely. It is not true. The moment you look at the facts, and away from the propaganda, you see that it is not.

They tell you sex has become a mess because it was hushed up. But for the last twenty years it has not been. It has been chattered about all day long. Yet it is still in a mess. If hushing up had been the cause of the trouble, ventilation would have set it right. But it has not. I think it is the other way round. I think the human race originally hushed it up because it had become such a mess. Modern people are always saying, ‘Sex is nothing to be ashamed of.’ They may mean two things. They may mean `There is nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that the human race reproduces itself in a certain way, nor in the fact that it gives pleasure.’ If they mean that, they are right. Christianity says the same. It is not the thing, nor the pleasure, that is the trouble. The old Christian teachers said that if man had never fallen, sexual pleasure, instead of being less than it is now, would actually have been greater. I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity thought that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves. But they were wrong. Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body - which believes that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty, and our energy. Christianity has glorified marriage more than any other religion: and nearly all the greatest love poetry in the world has been produced by Christians. If anyone says that sex, in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once. But, of course, when people say, ‘Sex is nothing to be ashamed of,’ they may mean ‘the state into which the sexual instinct has now got is nothing to be ashamed of’.

If they mean that, I think they are wrong. I think it is everything to be ashamed of. There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips. I do not say you and I are individually responsible for the present situation. Our ancestors have handed over to us organisms which are warped in this respect: and we grow up surrounded by propaganda in favour of unchastity. There are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make money out of us. Because, of course, a man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales-resistance. God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Just Ranting / Calling Out the False Arguments of Sin

[This post gets more calm/rational as it goes. I know it starts out rough. Just bear with me.]

Sin often seems to come with this smug little sense of superiority, like someone's a special little world-changing revolutionary just because they like things their parents call "wrong". Guess what, that doesn't make you special or different or revolutionary! It just means you experience what almost literally every single human being throughout ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY has experienced! I can't name one person who has the same opinions as their parents (EVEN IF they share the same basic beliefs), or doesn't argue with their parents from time to time, etc. "Oh, but I can!" Good for you! Still doesn't make you a special case!

Did you know that sinners like to sin? GOLLY GEE WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED HAHA! I mean, me personally, I've always HATED to sin, I have no idea why I used to so it, and that's why one day I just randomly stopped doing it altogether and push my opinions onto other people all the time for fun hahahahaha! :))))))))))))) Oh wait, that's not the case at all! It seems like some people genuinely haven't considered that Christians also sin AND sometimes revel in it even though they/we shouldn't. Guess what, they/we do! Oh but wait, doesn't that make us hypocrites because we speak out against sin but still do it? NO! Because WE are not the ones who declare sin wrong, GOD IS THE ONE WHO DECIDES THAT. All we have done is acknowledge that sin is wrong and the negative effects it has in the world, etc and encourage others to seek the same truth. And although we sin and do not always immediately regret it, we are given Godly sorrow (2 Corinthains 7:10 and 11) thus God convicts us and teaches us right from wrong along the way.

I love when people say "Don't push your way of life onto me!" This statement proves the emotionally impulsive, and logic-deprived nature of sin. By telling me not to push "my way of life" (or whatever) onto you, guess what you're doing? Pushing YOUR way of life onto ME. If you really believed people should be able to do whatever they want as long as [insert vague individual rules here] then you should readily accept that I push "my way of life" onto people, because it's what I want to do. Even though "my way of life" is a misnomer since it's not my way of life it's God's way of life, but anyway. You should accept that this is what I want to do. Thus proving the logically bankrupt nature of this secularist way of thinking. It makes no sense. It's something that can only be applied based on personal subjective rules that come with so many conditions, they can't be applied in a universal context.

Oh, and "as long as it doesn't hurt anyone". Don't make me puke. Sin DOES hurt people. If nothing else, it hurts the person doing it. Do I even need to explain the medical implications of wrath? It puts stress on your body and mind / raises your blood pressure / etc. Same with jealousy. What about sloth or gluttony? Well, what about obesity? Not to talk about appearances - it doesn't matter what you look like, no, and to some obesity is even very physically attractive, but that doesn't change that obesity is still unhealthy regardless. With sloth, you don't exercise your muscles at all, and with gluttony, you run an increased risk of diabetes, and with both, an increased risk of heart problems. What about lust? Time and time again, just ask ANY person who has struggled with porn addiction (I HAVE MET MORE THAN ONE) and they will tell you about the depression, the tiredness, the feeling of just being weak and having extremely low self-esteem, the lack of motivation to do anything, the list goes on and on.

Overall the extreme and unmatched lack of self-awareness when it comes to sin is DISTURBING to me. We're not talking about some complex philosophy, we're not debating the finer points of soteriology or something like that, we're talking about facts that are in plain sight and can be observed and processed by almost any human being, yet this borderline frightening lack of self-awareness leads people to have these flawed, nonsensical, hypocritical, self-righteous, self-defeating, and frankly, SILLY thought processes that just anger and sadden me. PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF MORE THAN THIS! Why won't you see it?? ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT'S WRONG AND TURN TO JESUS. NOT EVEN "REPENT", BECAUSE GOD WILL HELP YOU REPENT. ALL YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW IS ASK. Is your reluctance to look at something besides sin, your reluctance to look at [historical] [facts] really worth all this???

Monday, July 3, 2017

Joseph

"And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly." Matthew 1:19

I thought of this verse last night. And I thought of how Joseph was a "righteous man" who planned to dismiss Mary quietly.*

If I had been in Joseph's position ... I don't think I would have dismissed her quietly. I think I would have made a public spectacle out of her because she had wronged me so greatly. I think a lot of us would respond that way. A lot of people do respond that way. And that's not right. As Jesus would later say, we should pray for our enemies, showing love to those who do us wrong instead of seeking to condemn them. Now, sure, I'm getting very very slightly better with my impatience / anger as I grow in God's ways, but I still have a LONG way to go with that. I don't actively seek condemnation like I used to, but then again, I've never been cheated on, and I think it's reasonable to assume that being cheated on hurts, badly. And I would most likely want to get back at the person who had done it. But we can learn something very valuable from the example set by Joseph here. For two reasons, now that I think about it. One reason is that Joseph had assumed she cheated, when she hadn't. We probably shouldn't just assume the worst about people. But the second, and most important reason, is that even when we're proven right about somebody's malicious intentions, and they have genuinely hurt us, even to our very core, we should still try to do the right thing. Not "right" by our own subjective, emotionally-driven impulses, but objectively right. Praying, remaining civil, showing love. The kind of peace required to decide to dismiss one's own (supposed) adulterer in a private and respectful way, actively not wanting to shame them in the public eye, is just admirable to me, and especially considering I just got done writing an admittedly very impatient comment to somebody online, provides something I really, truly think we should try to keep in mind in our lives -- especially given how tense the overall climate of society is right now. There are a bunch of extremely obnoxious people out there whose opinions differ from yours, and they will vocalize these disagreements in the noisiest, most irrational, mind-numbing ways possible. There are people out there who just don't care how you feel, and will mistreat you if they can benefit from it in some way. And I know, I know that of all people, I have no place to be talking about this given that I'm still not a very patient person, but it's a lesson I'm learning alongside all of you. God is patient with us, and God loved us when we lived in our old ways, and God still loves us today as we're learning to be righteous, and continue to mess up all the time and ask for forgiveness. Thus, this is also how we should try to be with others. Let's continue looking to God, and try to reach a point in our own lives where we could be deeply in love with someone, to the point we actually want to marry them and spend the rest of our lives with them, only to have that person go behind our backs and get pregnant with someone else ........... and then to stare directly into the eyes of that person, amid all the heartbreak they have caused us, and still have love for them, and use the situation as an opportunity to set a God-like example in the world.

May God bless all of us, and guide us according to His perfect will! In Jesus' name. Amen.








*For those who don't know the story of Jesus' birth, here's some quick context for this verse: Mary was the mother of Jesus. The prophets had said (hundreds of years earlier!) that Jesus, the Messiah, was supposed to be born from a virgin. So, God caused Mary to be pregnant without losing her virginity -- this was a miracle, and a sign that the Messiah was on the way. However Joseph had not been told that the baby was the Messiah yet, so when he saw Mary was pregnant, he just figured Mary had cheated on him. But instead of getting revenge on her for cheating, Joseph wanted to be as respectful as possible, and just planned to send her out quietly, without causing a public uproar. (Of course he was later told about the pregnancy being miraculous in nature, so he ended up staying with Mary.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Details

ALWAYS be cautious of teachings that change small details in your beliefs. If you can be convinced to accept one teaching that goes against scripture, the devil WILL use this to "kick his foot in the door", and try to feed you more false teachings. It WILL spiral out of control. I'm saying this as someone who has experienced it in the past. It never seems like a big deal at the time, but it is. If the devil can convince that say, it's "bad luck" to walk under a ladder, the devil will convince you that other things are "good/bad luck" as well, and "luck" isn't even an actual thing in the first place. God does not work in the world based on "luck". This is just one example, but you get the point. Always be on guard. Read God's word and always be cautious of things that seem to contradict it. Do some serious research on those things before you even consider them, and pray for guidance and discernment.

I just wanted to make a brief post about this.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Human Morals and an Omnipotent Deity

There are many who claim to be morally superior to God. Many of these people speak in a way that acknowledges God's existence, but they don't revere / respect Him.

God is omnipotent, right? If God, an all-powerful deity, had flaws that He didn't want you to notice, don't you think He would hide them from you instead of letting you argue them? If the Old Testament laws, that confuse many in our society, were truly immoral / wicked / what have you, don't you think God would hide that information from us so that we wouldn't see how "evil" He really was? Why then, would He allow it to be left in the Bible, a book that's central to understanding Him, that He encourages us to read, that's passed down through millennia? If He didn't want us to know how "evil" He was, why would He allow you to perceive a moral code that's superior to His? If He were some tyrannical, self-righteous (etc) maniac like many try to paint Him as, why would He, being all-powerful, allow you to reach an understanding that was supposedly greater than His own? Wouldn't He continually lead you away and distract you?

The fact is, God allows us to perceive both sides, but our perception is not perfect. We are like children with a parent - God is our creator, our understanding is not superior to His. I've used the example of a child wielding a knife. A child doesn't understand how dangerous knives are, and will be upset if a parent (who does understand) takes the knife away. Likewise, we think God is wrong for the things He does and says that we don't like; but the fact is, God knows what is best for us. Parents let their kids fall off of bikes so they learn how to ride bikes. God's teachings work in a similar way. He is omnipotent. Your conclusions may seem superior to you, but those conclusions are reached through a flawed perception. Again, like a child who wants a dangerous knife. But God has told you how dangerous the knife is. Over and over. If not directly from Him, then through the Bible, and if you haven't read that, then if nothing else, you have certainly heard it from apologists / evangelists spreading the Word. If you choose a path that goes against His word, that's not His fault at that point, that's your fault for choosing that path. And if you think that makes God a tyrant: again, if God were really a tyrant, He would not let you perceive what a tyrant He was. God is omnipotent. If God wanted us to be proper "slaves", as it were, He would not let you remain in your sin. That is, He would literally warp your mind to be exactly what He wanted it to be and not give you the ability to think outside that box, ever. He would not discourage sin, or institute rules forbidding it, but rather, He would literally take away your ability to perceive sin. But that's not how it works. You (as well as I) have the mental capacity to question and challenge God, and that is further proof that He is not a tyrant.

Your morals are not superior to God's.
Our morals are not superior to God's.

May God bless you all and guide you according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Few Things (Miscellaneous)

I have a few thoughts / rants / etc that I wrote, but don't really have anything to do with them, so I figured I'll post them here.

_______

10 Nov 2016
I suppose one of my main aspirations in all this is to at least reach a point where I am not overwhelmed by the concept of perfection. For Moses said to the Israelites, "This is not too much for you to handle", and it may not have been for them, though they sinned willingly anyway, yet every time my mind even begins to understand a perfect following of our calling, my mind is disoriented by the magnitude of what I realize. A perfect willingness to stand in complete and unwavering defiance of the world while simultaneously showing it due love. To reject all heresy and not permit it to influence our thoughts. To put away fear that any earthly force causes us. To analyze every slight thing we do to ensure it is in line with a divine calling. But from the beginning, God's will has been mercy. From the beginning, repentance took precedence over perfection. From the beginning, God wanted to guide us back to truth, and knew our shortcomings, and spoke to us on our level. Perfect is our calling, not our requirement. Truly we have a merciful God.

_______

15 Nov 2016
I think a difference between Christians and demons, is that demons may lose, but they don't give up. We Christians don't lose (see Revelation), but we often give up. Are we stronger than demons?

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26 Dec 2016
(Written during a rough/confusing point in my life, thought it might help those who are depressed)
And so I'm here again. Walking through solitude, seeking solutions. It's rare that I feel my life has any worth. Disease cuts through my heart and breaks me physically and mentally and spiritually. Let me stand here. In this isolation. I want to go back. But I also want to just stay here. And ride out the storm. Yet I wonder, even here, if it will pass. I'm listening, God, and for once I almost feel alright. But how long? How long will it last this time? I can't do this again. I don't have it in me. I'm nearly broken already. Don't let me. Don't make me. Please heal me. And guide me. Just don't let me give into myself. You didn't die for this. Surely You bothered with me and rescued me for some kind of purpose?

_______

27 Dec 2016
It's been nearly three years since I walked here, and I still remember the sentiment that led me to it. Of all the influences that negatively impacted me, I think the one that did the most damage was paganism. Some borderline nihilistic view of the natural cycle mixed with a skewed idealization of it. An exaggeration of the mundane and a refusal to connect it to the power of the HIGHEST DIVINITY, mixed with an imagined element of fantasy, some form of "magick" that becomes self-destructive to those attempting to wield it. And how can it not, in the context of praising a perception of ferocity that is seen as utterly indifferent to the human condition? What other way could this so-called "magick" interact with its user? In reality, what they call magick is nothing more than demonic influence cloaked by a disguise of brightly-colored wonder and escapism. Twisting the concept of seeking the primordial, by not only moving the goalposts, but painting them entirely different colors. Thus, a skewed and damaging view of the world. We often assume that the beginning was the origin of truth and uprightness - a bold assumption for those who don't know the very truths they seek, but a correct assumption nonetheless. However, with an already fatally flawed interpretation of nature, the damage becomes two-fold: first, making nature the measuring stick for truth instead of true divinity, and second, misrepresenting the already incorrect measuring stick that it does provide. Frustration. Confusion. Spiritual illiteracy falsely justified by the fatal "logic" of the sin nature inside of us.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Do We Need to Follow Mosaic Law to Obtain Salvation?

No, as the Bible clearly explains in Acts 15. Click [HERE] to read the full chapter.

Important excerpt:

. . . For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.