the bastardization of terms: lust and sodomy

Let’s consider lust and sodomy in the context of Christian sexual morality.

The meanings of the above terms, lust and sodomy, have been stretched and distorted over the centuries.  Lust and sodomy are now catch-all terms that include thoughts, actions and behaviors that are not authentically lustful nor sodomitical.  Contemporary dictionary definitions of these words reflect the expansion and distortion from the original and more limited meanings.

Keep in mind the Gospels and what Jesus does and does not say about the married state in the Gospels.  He actually very rarely mentions marriage.  (I think there is a verse or two on marriage in Matthew.)  Jesus did not berate married persons for being married or for having sexual relations in their marriage.  You will not find an animosity towards sex within marriage in New Testament times.

 

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Chapel of The Holy Cross in Sedona

This Catholic chapel sits atop a butte on the outskirts of Sedona, Arizona and commands some good views of the surrounding landscape.  The chapel, completed in 1957 and now a famous landmark, is a very special, quiet, peaceful and inspiring place to visit.  Here are our images from our visit on Wednesday, 20 September, 2017.  We try to give the reader the full experience in photos.

 

 

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spirituality, asceticism, and sensuality

Alternatively, the above title could be something like: Can a person be spiritual and still be sensual within his/her marriage?

Questions that come to mind are:  Does attaining a spiritual level of consciousness require an ascetic renunciation of one’s sexuality?  Are spirituality and sensuality (within one’s marriage) mutually exclusive conditions or experiences?  Can the individual seeking, or aspiring to make progress in spirituality enjoy a certain degree of sense experience and gratification in his or her life?  Or, put in other words, is the moral (not illicit) enjoyment of the physical part of one’s being, enjoyment derived from or through the senses, an impediment to making spiritual progress?

Asceticism and renunciation are found in various forms in most religions.  In extreme forms, mortification of the flesh is seen as an aid to achieving a spiritual level of consciousness.  Lifelong celibacy is a form of asceticism.

Our featured image is of a work of sculpture that depicts a being sitting in a posture of meditation (photo taken in India in February, 2017 by our blog’s photographer).  We are not sure if the being is one of the incarnations of Vishnu, or is Shiva.

 

 

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critique of Protestantism part two: Christian Zionism and End Times (Rapture) prophecy

As noted in the previous post, Protestant Christianity differs significantly from Orthodox Christianity and from Catholicism.  There are aspects of Protestant Christianity not found in these other, older branches of Christendom.

Christian Zionism is a relatively recent phenomena among some Protestant denominations and among some non-denominational Christians.  For our purposes, Christians who unquestioningly support the modern state of Israel and who believe that Jews are still the “apple of God’s eye” and thus are worthy of their support in all matters can be considered Christian Zionists.  As well, these Christians do not believe they ought to attempt to evangelize Jews (both secular and religious Jews) as these “chosen” people are still governed by the Old Covenant.

 

 

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critique of Protestantism part one: faith alone is enough for salvation and Sola Scriptura

Protestant Christianity differs significantly from Orthodox Christianity and from Catholicism.  There are aspects of Protestant Christianity not found in these other, older branches of Christendom.

 

 

As to the Paulist teaching that Christians are saved, sanctified or justified by faith alone, consider Christ’s public ministry.  Read the Gospels.  Christ was not a lone hermit or sage living in a remote cave or deep in the forest or on a distant mountain top.  No, He was out among the people.  He performed many miracles and did many loving, charitable works in His time on Earth.  Think on this.

As Protestants look to Scripture, let me suggest you read the following verses from the letter of James, and think on them.

Read James, Chapter One, verses 22 – 23.  Read James, Chapter Two, verses 14 through 26.

 

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Nietzsche, Chesterton, and Christians

Today, we offer some constructive criticism to those self identifying as Christians.

G K Chesterton (died 1936) lamented that “Christianity had been found difficult and was left untried.”

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), 130 years ago, claimed that Christians lived their lives no differently than pagans.

There is a lesson here.

 

 

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thoughts on faith and literal Scripture interpretations

If some accounts or sections in the Bible were (are) allegorical or metaphorical in nature and not literally accurate, would that cause your faith to come crashing down like a house of cards?

While perusing other blogs, I came across a blogger who spends much time attempting to prove that the Earth was created in 6 days and also to disprove the accepted science that the Earth is billions of years old.  He disputes that there are mountain chains many millions of years old today on the planet.  Basically, this man is insisting on a literal interpretation to all that is in the Bible.

Our feature image is of low lying clouds over the bay seen from the Bay Bridge in early twilight.

 

 

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thoughts on free will and God’s foreknowledge

As to this idea of predestination in Protestant circles of mental speculation, we do not buy it.

Why?

Because it negates human free will.  You cannot have both free will and predestination.

Here is how we see it.  As Boethius (died circa 521 A.D.) wrote that God exists outside of time, it follows that He sees past, present and future all in one glance so to speak.  But God’s foreknowledge (remember we are taught to believe that God is all-knowing) of what we will choose does not condition or necessitate that choice.  God knows how we will freely choose, but His advance knowledge does not make us choose what we choose.

 

 

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