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Burl

Yoga and Meditation Increase Narcissism

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3 hours ago, Burl said:

Thank you for your generous response, but I was not trying to poke you or Lutherans.  Rather I was attempting to use your post as a springboard and dive into the deeper waters of sin and forgiveness and wash off the sociopolitical dust from the issue.

I do believe the ECLA finds the ten commandments a binding document.  The questions to me revolve around 1) why do most churches seem to consider gblt related sin differently from heterosexualy related sin and 2) why does the church take its lead from the unchristian realm of politics and not from Scripture?  

I fully support the acceptance and baptism of gblt persons.  I have seen Doré's Biblical Illustrations and it seems obvious heaven has all the interior decorators :)   But working from politically constructed logical frameworks and not Scripture is really abandoning the gospel.


My understanding of the Christian tradition calls me to engage with those politically constructed logical frameworks for the purpose of sharing God's love with others.     The best way to help others is to have them teach us how to help them.  That means taking the actual lived-experience of gay people seriously, including their politics.  That doesn't mean uncritical affirmation, but the "burden of proof" is not on historically marginalized people, that's for sure.

 

 

Edited by FireDragon76

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49 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

That's unfortunate about your friend but from a Lutheran POV  that has more to do with not appreciating the sacramental nature of vocation and how God provides for us through creation.  It has less to do with belief in miracles as God's acts within history.

You should really read that article by Pr. Ed Knudson about George Tiller.  Individual moral agency is crucial to our sense of ethics.  As Dietrirch Bonhoeffer pointed out, there is really no such thing as a Christian or Lutheran ethics that is divorced from secular ethics.  

Our church's social statements are persuasive but they are not coercive, it's ultimately up to the individual in their relationship with God and their neighbor to judge matters of ethical importance.

The Lutheran doctrine of divinization is similar to Orthodoxy's (though from an Augustinian theological framework) but it's not the one thing that we talk about, unlike the Orthodox Church that makes it the only paradigm for talking about salvation.  The primary way we talk about salvation is in terms of justification and this is also the doctrine that shapes our particular approach to ethics as well.  

You miss the point about my friend: this was yet another Christian group that did not accept scientific/medical advances or help in lieu of the miraculous. You may pin it on vocation, but it is no different from the anti-gay church not accepting the science/psychology of sexual orientation and identity.

What you just wrote about God providing through creation is a belief statement and it is their (my friends group) belief that God provides in and through the miraculous. 

I have no problem with Christian ethics not being divorced from the secular but this belief is challenged and in conflict when/if a member of the Lutheran community 'judges' a ethical matter in a way that is at odds with Christian/Lutheran ethics and therefore (divorced) from secular ethics. Seemingly, the member is wrong, their conscience not properly formed or informed.

You do realize that 'divinization' is only possible thought the self-giving (Grace) of God. It is all about God and does not happen without God. So with divination (properly understood) we are made righteous, made right, justified by the power of God.................however if, as you say, justification shapes your approach to ethics, that divination/justification has a human component in that man lives it  (ethics).  

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9 hours ago, thormas said:

I am not familiar but how do they differ on hetero and homosexual related sin? 

Unless they have changed, Catholicism accept the homosexual individual but thought all homosexual sexual activity was wrong, not acceptable, or sin. So if a Church has such a blanket statement, do they need to delve into particulars or has it been covered? And don't most churches have pretty much a blanket statement against any sex outside of marriage - yet they might feel 'obliged' to delve into some of the particulars?

Does Jesus say anything about either orientation or sex only within marriage?

 

Catholicism has the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) and penance where people can non-judgmentally discuss their own sins in person and complete confidence.  

Luther quibbled about if sin was forgiven with or without an ordained priest, and this valuable tradition was unfortunately relegated to superstition. 

Jesus forgave the adulteress, but he also admonished her to "go and sin no more".

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8 hours ago, Burl said:

Catholicism has the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) and penance where people can non-judgmentally discuss their own sins in person and complete confidence.  

Luther quibbled about if sin was forgiven with or without an ordained priest, and this valuable tradition was unfortunately relegated to superstition. 

Jesus forgave the adulteress, but he also admonished her to "go and sin no more".

Lutherans still practice private confession, though use  is much lower today (as it is among Catholics as well).  My pastor grew up in an LCMS church in rural New Jersey and people went to confession monthly.  Luther considered it a sacrament, though modern Lutherans differ on whether it is still considered one (some scholastics said since there is no "matter" in the rite, it cannot be a sacrament).

I believe the "go and sin no more" is often abused, especially by people that demand other people live according to their standards of biblical morality.  It's often a way of having the Law be the last word.  And, given our theology, it's a bit problematic to say "don't ever sin again" as an absolute requirement, because sin isn't just outward behaviors but permeates our being.  I've always simply understood this as Jesus saying "stay out of trouble" to the woman that was caught.

Edited by FireDragon76

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12 hours ago, Burl said:

Catholicism has the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) and penance where people can non-judgmentally discuss their own sins in person and complete confidence.  

Luther quibbled about if sin was forgiven with or without an ordained priest, and this valuable tradition was unfortunately relegated to superstition. 

Jesus forgave the adulteress, but he also admonished her to "go and sin no more".

So...........basically he answer is no.

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4 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

Lutherans still practice private confession, though use  is much lower today (as it is among Catholics as well).  My pastor grew up in an LCMS church in rural New Jersey and people went to confession monthly.  Luther considered it a sacrament, though modern Lutherans differ on whether it is still considered one (some scholastics said since there is no "matter" in the rite, it cannot be a sacrament).

I believe the "go and sin no more" is often abused, especially by people that demand other people live according to their standards of biblical morality.  It's often a way of having the Law be the last word.  And, given our theology, it's a bit problematic to say "don't ever sin again" as an absolute requirement, because sin isn't just outward behaviors but permeates our being.  I've always simply understood this as Jesus saying "stay out of trouble" to the woman that was caught.

Now the Lutherans are taking Jesus on (it is the standard of Jesus or God, not "people")?  Don't you allow that Jesus knows that sin isn't just outward behaviors (yet he still said, "sin no more."  

"Stay out of trouble"   - does that mean his advise is "go for it, just don't get caught and cause all this trouble again" - now that is an emphasis on merely outward behavior. 

It is not don't sin, rather it is sin no more: the former is coercive, that latter, persuasive. 

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I don't think Jesus expects us to live a sinless life and that isn't what we understand the Christian life as primarily being about: moral purity. 

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13 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

I don't think Jesus expects us to live a sinless life and that isn't what we understand the Christian life as primarily being about: moral purity. 

Yet, I didn't say that

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2 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

I don't think Jesus expects us to live a sinless life and that isn't what we understand the Christian life as primarily being about: moral purity. 

We are to attempt to live as sinlessly as we can, and certainly not capitulate to narcissism and our animal desires.  The idea that God cannot abide if the level of impurity rises too high is a consistent theme.  Moral purity not everything, but it is the foundation on which our spiritual connection with God rests.

Christianity is not a political party or social movement.  It is a means of making a more vibrant connection with the Divine.

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Thormas

I realise this thread has changed direction again, but if you'll indulge me a little longer...

I have the opposite experience: that once the victim of bullying, one would never stoop to that behavior. It is not merely the experience of being bullied (which is never in a vacuum), it is our prior experiences, the security and love of family and friends (and the resulting sense of self) before, during and after being bullied. Again, my experience is different. It also doesn't just happen because you are bullied.

I agree - I said it was one of several possible outcomes, based on my understanding of those who bully. You said you have not seen it happen, based on your understanding of victims of bullying. I don't see this as an opposite experience of the same thing at all. 

But when you say 'that behaviour', your words seem to potentially limit what you mean by bullying to a particular behaviour. I recognise that may not be so in all cases, and that, as you say, it comes down to the surrounding experiences. Yes, they would never stoop to that behaviour, but often they may also resolve to never finding themselves in a position of diminished power or helplessness again. The strategies one might employ to avoid that position amount to maintaining control or gaining the upper hand in some situations, while actively avoiding others.

So a kid who changes school as a result of bullying can actively avoid a bullying situation at his new school by, for instance, surrounding himself with 'friends' over whom he feels he has an advantage. This can even carry on peacefully and without incident as long as everyone understands their place. But if one of these 'friends' threatens his sense of security (by disagreeing with him or being friends with someone else he doesn't like, for instance), he may often employ bullying tactics (different to those he experienced, of course) to try and restore his advantage and therefore his sense of security. He won't see it as bullying, though - it is self-protection because he is the one who feels threatened. But if he cannot admit to feeling threatened (which would mean admitting fear), he may project his fear outward, blaming the other kid for being the cause of the rift. This may not always happen - but it does happen.

...to teach them also to seek help or protect themselves seems right (and self-protection in a continuum from the joking back to the aforementioned lawyer). But why does your kid get a detention if they are actively trying to avoid a bullying situation? I agree on the bigger picture but if the bully doesn't see it...........

The self-protection continuum you mention are tactics to either actively avoid bullying situations or regain the upper hand. But it seems to me that you have to position the one employing these tactics as a victim of bullying in order for many of them (not all) to not be seen as 'bullying' tactics in themselves.

In the same way, I've had discussions with parents who insist that their child's repeated physical humiliation of my son is categorically not bullying, but the normal 'rough and tumble' behaviour of 'friends'. The fact that my son is at a physical disadvantage by being much smaller apparently does not make their son a 'bully'. So I have to position my son as inherently inferior and therefore a 'victim' in order for the action to be recognised as bullying.

And the detention I mentioned was in reference to my son taking the option of striking back, not avoidance - when a much bigger kid the same age is sitting on top of you 'just for a joke', there are limited options available to make it stop (particularly when you have a speech impediment that makes it difficult to use words in stressful situations). He chose an effective self-protection tactic, and copped a detention (along with the other kid) for 'fighting'. He was nine at the time. That kid stopped, but it was far from the first or the last incident.

I have taught my son, now thirteen, to understand that these bullying incidents are less about his size than about the fears we all experience and the desire to feel secure and in control of the situation, often by any means available. You may not agree with me here, and that's fine. We have also discussed other bullying-type incidents he's witnessed (between kids as well as between adults) in the same way, although I have not labelled any of them 'bullying'.

My son knows he is small, but he knows that his smallness is not the cause of the bullying he experiences, just as another kid's sexual orientation is not the cause of him being bullied: to think that way is to invite self-hatred, and then suicide can become a real risk. But he also understands that the other kid is not the cause, either. If my son thinks he has to actively avoid every kid who might decide to pick him up, hold him down or throw him around 'for a laugh', then his potential will be limited by fear. If he sees every incident as a vicious and unprovoked attack by a 'bully', then he will learn to see himself as a 'victim', and process his feelings of humiliation and fear by directing them outwards in search of someone to blame.

But if he recognises humiliation and fear as natural reactions that everyone experiences, then he can consciously choose to avoid, absorb or otherwise respond to the humiliation without positioning himself as a 'victim' or the other kid as a 'bully'. From my position as a protective parent, and from the point of view of the teachers who look out for him and actively try to 'protect' him, he still gets 'bullied', sometimes to the point of tears. But if you talk to him about it, he doesn't see it that way. These incidents are isolated moments that appear to have no lasting impact on his 'sense of self'. He doesn't take it personally, and has forgotten about it within moments. He is often genuinely surprised that any of us think it warrants discussion after the fact. 

So no, I'm not forcing him to be a martyr or a counsellor. I would not dream of limiting his choices in these situations any more than they already are in his mind. My aim is to teach him that there are more choices in every situation, not less.

Thanks for the discussion. I have learnt so much.

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4 hours ago, possibility said:

The self-protection continuum you mention are tactics to either actively avoid bullying situations or regain the upper hand.

You seem to, but I don't, see the self-protection used to gain the upper hand as bad in itself. It is a tool and can be used wisely (influenced by basic disposition and family experience): it can be used to 'push back' but it doesn't follow that one becomes a bully. Can it happen, obviously, still 'push back' works. 

4 hours ago, possibility said:

In the same way, I've had discussions with parents who insist that their child's repeated physical humiliation of my son is categorically not bullying, but the normal 'rough and tumble' behaviour of 'friends'. The fact that my son is at a physical disadvantage by being much smaller apparently does not make their son a 'bully'. So I have to position my son as inherently inferior and therefore a 'victim' in order for the action to be recognised as bullying.

We approach things differently. I simply would not accept the other parents' denials. I would raise 'holy hell' - gently at first, then through various stages and keep escalating it until it stopped. Again, if it takes place with any and I do mean any connection to a school , activities, sports - I would eventually take it to the principal and press relentlessly. I think there is a difference in stating the fact that your son is smaller (which, as you know is not inferior) but isn't he a victim? 

4 hours ago, possibility said:

And the detention I mentioned was in reference to my son taking the option of striking back, not avoidance - when a much bigger kid the same age is sitting on top of you 'just for a joke', there are limited options available to make it stop (particularly when you have a speech impediment that makes it difficult to use words in stressful situations). He chose an effective self-protection tactic, and copped a detention (along with the other kid) for 'fighting'. He was nine at the time. That kid stopped, but it was far from the first or the last incident.

Mu god, possibility, if you son has a speech impediment and is being mocked or physically abused - you must realize what this opens up for you in terms of stopping the bullying. Do I understand correctly that he fought back? But if he did it was self-defense (bigger kid, physical restraint, physical handicap): you could 'threaten' the teacher, the principal, the school, the school system - everybody given these circumstances. What am I missing here? 

I respect your teaching your son what you think is right. I simply think, if it were me, that there is another piece to the equation

5 hours ago, possibility said:

But he also understands that the other kid is not the cause, either. If my son thinks he has to actively avoid every kid who might decide to pick him up, hold him down or throw him around 'for a laugh', then his potential will be limited by fear. If he sees every incident as a vicious and unprovoked attack by a 'bully', then he will learn to see himself as a 'victim', and process his feelings of humiliation and fear by directing them outwards in search of someone to blame.

The other kid, the bully, is not the cause? If that's what you mean, we both allow for the reasons that some might bully others, but the immediate reality is the other kid is the cause and it should not have to be tolerated. You don't want your son to actively avoid everybody who might be a threat but some are real threats -  right?? 

Given what you describe of kids who might: "pick him up, hold him down or throw him around 'for a laugh'" - this is not acceptable and it calls for more than discussions with your child or being ignored by other parents. 

5 hours ago, possibility said:

But if he recognises humiliation and fear as natural reactions that everyone experiences, then he can consciously choose to avoid, absorb or otherwise respond to the humiliation without positioning himself as a 'victim' or the other kid as a 'bully'

The recognition I get, the 'absorb' the humiliation - simply no. How can this be healthy..............and, the other kid is a bully.

5 hours ago, possibility said:

Teachers who look out for him and actively try to 'protect' him, he still gets 'bullied', sometimes to the point of tears. But if you talk to him about it, he doesn't see it that way. He doesn't take it personally.

I'm not forcing him to be a martyr or a counsellor. I would not dream of limiting his choices ........... My aim is to teach him that there are more choices in every situation, not less.

I mean I know it's possible, but then again, how the hell is this still possible......bullied to the point of tears? If your son has trusted teachers to go to, even if they don't see the bullying, those teachers can still go to the bully and deal with him: call the parents, enlist other teachers, 'warn' the bully - there are a million things to do. My daughter, a teacher, wouldn't tolerate this happening to 'one of her kids."  

But, shouldn't he take it personally, is it really forgotten - especially if he is held down or thrown around?

I know this is extremely personal for you and I know it is not easy.  However, none of it seems right; it simply is not something one should have to go through (and could there be a long term impact?).

There are more choices and I think they should be taken. You might not like it but there are even self-defense classes. 

Best of luck.

 

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My son has many trusted teachers to go to, plus his father is a teacher at the school, and I also work there. We are monitoring this very closely - believe me - and we're continually surprised when teachers mention that bullying has occurred. My son has no poker face - if he's upset, afraid or angry, he will show it. But he genuinely loves being at school, has friends and does well in all his classes.

There is no particular kid who is tormenting him, either. There was a few years ago (his parent was the one I mentioned) but we quickly put a stop to that. 

His father was also very small in his early teens, and was bullied - he coped by joking back or picking fights, and was prepared to take a beating for it, although he caused enough damage that eventually they grew wary of him. But he knows his son will not choose that path. As a teacher, too, he knows what's available in the form of help or 'protection', where these options lead and what they will teach his son long term. I know he will 'raise holy hell' if he ever catches a kid in the act, but he's confident there has been no lasting negative impact on his son.

There is no right or wrong here. What a kid should have to go through is not set in stone anywhere, as far as I can see. You may think these other choices are ones that should be taken, but I am not so sure they will benefit him long term. 

Why do you consider it 'unhealthy' to absorb humiliation if you agree it's a natural reaction that everyone experiences? I would never insist that anyone absorb humiliation or pain, but why must we try to avoid feeling what is natural? We are motivated to avoid or otherwise respond to pain, humiliation and loss as if we are somehow entitled to live our lives free of them. As humans we are more than capable of withstanding all three to a much higher degree than we often choose to. I think Jesus showed us that as much as he taught us anything else about what it means to be human. But when we place him on a pedestal and focus on his divinity, I think we fail to understand what taking up the cross and following him really means. Or perhaps we don't want to.

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28 minutes ago, possibility said:

There is no right or wrong here. What a kid should have to go through is not set in stone anywhere, as far as I can see. You may think these other choices are ones that should be taken, but I am not so sure they will benefit him long term. 

Well I wish you well but on this line we disagree: doesn't have to be set in stone for there to be right and wrong. When dealing with the future and how the present impacts it, is a crap shoot and we do the best we can. 

It seems 'natural' that many people would feel fear (and perhaps humiliation) when bullied or threatened physically - however that doesn't make it right and the degree of humiliation that you indicated your son absorbs seems to be too much for a kid and, possibly, unhealthy. You seem to be saying your son is feeling what is natural (which I take as a 'moment' or short span of time) but is also absorbing that feeling (which seems to be long term); the former is natural, the latter shouldn't be.

All we know ofJesus (including when he 'took up the cross') is when he was a grown man who chose his path in life, we have no idea what his childhood was like, whether he was ever intimated, fought, was mocked, etc. Interestingly, as a man we see Jesus in anger, going after Scribes and Pharisees (snakes, brood of vipers) whose words, actions and demands 'hurt' the people. I'm all for teaching the example of Jesus and following it but I'm also on the side of the anger (doing something) when he saw others being hurt or being made to feel sinful (fear and humiliation) because of some guys interpretation of the law. Your son is not a grown man. 

A fall, cuts, broken bones, broken hearts because of love, illness, disease - these are things we would like to avoid but throughout life deal with, avoid or respond to as best we can. Violence and degradation at the hands of others are different and the first response should not be "withstanding them to a much higher degree than we often choose to." A slight from the girl (or boy) that doesn't respond as you would hope, a joke at your expense, not always being included and similar rebuffs by others is one thing, physical abuse, taunting another to destroy them and the like is not. Perhaps it is not as bad as I first thought when I read your last post but if it is (and I appreciate the tough situation of a parents in the same school), your husband had an answer - he pushed back (there are degree of pushing back but sometimes it seems, he fought). 

Even Jesus didn't take the full weight of the cross; he had help carrying it.

 

 

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On 8/6/2018 at 12:29 PM, Burl said:

We are to attempt to live as sinlessly as we can, and certainly not capitulate to narcissism and our animal desires.  The idea that God cannot abide if the level of impurity rises too high is a consistent theme.  Moral purity not everything, but it is the foundation on which our spiritual connection with God rests.

 

I really don't see Jesus articulating an ethic based on moral purity.  That was more what his opponents thought was important.

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8 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

 

I really don't see Jesus articulating an ethic based on moral purity.  That was more what his opponents thought was important.

Purity was the basis of Hebrew sacrficial worship, a practice in which Jesus participated.  Remember "I came not to change the law, but to fufill it"?  Remember Jesus preaching against adultery, divorce, prostitution and fornication?  

Morality is overstressed in many churches, but it was an essential part of Jesus' message.

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6 minutes ago, Burl said:

Purity was the basis of Hebrew sacrficial worship, a practice in which Jesus participated.  Remember "I came not to change the law, but to fufill it"?  Remember Jesus preaching against adultery, divorce, prostitution and fornication?  

Morality is overstressed in many churches, but it was an essential part of Jesus' message.

The sacrificial role has been fulfilled in Christ.

When did Jesus actually preach against prostitution?  He speaks about sexual morality only in the vaguest terms.   And his preaching concerning divorce doesn't preclude it altogether as a realistic possibility.

If Jesus Christ was concerned about moral purity, he would not have hanged out with tax collectors and prostitutes.

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7 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

The sacrificial role has been fulfilled in Christ.

When did Jesus actually preach against prostitution?  He speaks about sexual morality only in the vaguest terms.   And his preaching concerning divorce doesn't preclude it altogether as a realistic possibility.

If Jesus Christ was concerned about moral purity, he would not have hanged out with tax collectors and prostitutes.

Mark 7:21-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Jesus did not 'hang out' with sinners because he thought sin was acceptable.  That is a very silly idea.

 

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

Mark 7:21-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Jesus did not 'hang out' with sinners because he thought sin was acceptable.  That is a very silly idea.

 

Jesus accepted people. 

Some Christians want to have hierarchies of sinners, or a certain invariant standard for who is and is not properly repentant, and that's just not how how my church generally does things.

Edited by FireDragon76

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26 minutes ago, Burl said:

Jesus did not 'hang out' with sinners because he thought sin was acceptable.  That is a very silly idea.

Agreed.

And, as previously said, it seems obvious that Jesus knew that sin isn't just outward behaviors.

And, FD76, there is no serious biblical scholar who interprets "sin no more: as stay out of trouble"   - the latter is something your grandmother might have said to you as a little kid, the equivalent of "be a good boy." Jesus appears to be about something more. Actually, if Jesus expected the Kingdom to come 'soon' he might have been (probably was) calling for moral purity, properly understood (there was no time for anything else, no time could be wasted, one must repent, change, be different - because the Kingdom was to begin and one must chose a side).  Seemingly, moral purity was seen in this Beatitude: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.  This is not a 'law'  it is the way to be, it is the way of living.

9 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

I really don't see Jesus articulating an ethic based on moral purity.  That was more what his opponents thought was important.

You're mincing words: the 'ethic' of Jesus is the Way of God; it is was articulated in the two great commandments, the ethic was Love. Is this not the ethic - the way of being, living and behaving he articulated? This was was both more and less than what his opponents thought was important.

1 hour ago, FireDragon76 said:

When did Jesus actually preach against prostitution?  He speaks about sexual morality only in the vaguest terms.   And his preaching concerning divorce doesn't preclude it altogether as a realistic possibility.

If Jesus Christ was concerned about moral purity, he would not have hanged out with tax collectors and prostitutes.

Are you actually suggesting that because Jesus didn't preach a lecture specifically on prostitution, that the commandment of Love doesn't cover it? If prostitution is the use of another human being, as a thing, for one's own pleasure (and allowing yourself to be used as a thing) - where is the love of neighbor, where is the love of God? And, as he didn't come to abolish the law, he accepted Jewish law and seemingly there was no need to hit every possible 'sin' because he knew he was talking to Jews: therefore he emphasizes the true heart of the law, or better, the true heart of God. As to sexual morality - see the above, isn't everything covered by the great commandments? Therefore the dictum: love........and do what you will (for what the one who loves wills - is love).

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14 minutes ago, thormas said:

Agreed.

And, as previously said, it seems obvious that Jesus knew that sin isn't just outward behaviors.

And, FD76, there is no serious biblical scholar who interprets "sin no more: as stay out of trouble"   - the latter is something your grandmother might have said to you as a little kid, the equivalent of "be a good boy." Jesus appears to be about something more. Actually, if Jesus expected the Kingdom to come 'soon' he might have been (probably was) calling for moral purity, properly understood (there was no time for anything else, no time could be wasted, one must repent, change, be different - because the Kingdom was to begin and one must chose a side).  Seemingly, moral purity was seen in this Beatitude: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.  This is not a 'law'  it is the way to be, it is the way of living.

You're mincing words: the 'ethic' of Jesus is the Way of God; it is was articulated in the two great commandments, the ethic was Love. Is this not the ethic - the way of being, living and behaving he articulated? This was was both more and less than what his opponents thought was important.

Are you actually suggesting that because Jesus didn't preach a lecture specifically on prostitution, that the commandment of Love doesn't cover it? If prostitution is the use of another human being, as a thing, for one's own pleasure (and allowing yourself to be used as a thing) - where is the love of neighbor, where is the love of God? And, as he didn't come to abolish the law, he accepted Jewish law and seemingly there was no need to hit every possible 'sin' because he knew he was talking to Jews: therefore he emphasizes the true heart of the law, or better, the true heart of God. As to sexual morality - see the above, isn't everything covered by the great commandments? Therefore the dictum: love........and do what you will (for what the one who loves wills - is love).

Prostitution is selling sex for money.  I was focusing on the prostitutes themselves, not the people that utilize their services.  There are many reasons why someone would turn to prostitution and it seems to me overly judgmental to say these people are excluded from God's kingdom, in the same way that saying just because somebody is a man married to another man, they are excluded as well.   I don't think that's the point of Jesus teaching, I think its abusive in fact and misses the humanistic emphasis on his ethic, which is that good ethics is determined within concrete human relationships with actual persons (the Levite and pharisees are on potentially good legal grounds, from a Jewish religious standpoint, to avoid the beaten man in the parable of the good Samaritan, to avoid becoming impure themselves, but Jesus condemns them anyways because of their lack of compassion).

Edited by FireDragon76

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12 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

Jesus accepted people. 

Some Christians want to have hierarchies of sinners, or a certain invariant standard for who is and is not properly repentant, and that's just not how how my church generally does things.

This is like dodge ball. 

That he accepted people is not the issue: that is accepted. That he called and admonished those people to repent, to not sin, to love (and was rather pissed at some people like the Scribes and Pharisees) is the point.

Isn't there a hierarchy is everyday human life? Or do you equate the child who copied homework to the man who rapes children? Is the teenage mother, with no high school education, abandoned by her christian family, the only support for her child who makes good money as an escort not different than the pimp who waits for teenagers getting off buses in NYC bus terminal, gets them hooked on drugs, rapes them and forces them into prostitution (sometimes beating, continually raping and even killing some of his workers)? Good god, there is a hierarchy that exists both in the world and within each of us: some sins are small, while others put us, put our humanity in mortal danger. And what is proper repentance? What are you talking about? Seemingly, Jesus recognized a 'hierarchy' in that he was much harder on the Scribes and Pharisees than on the tax collector, more demanding of the rich man than of the adulteress.

Is it that 'we want' or that we recognize that there is a hierarchy of sin: that there are levels and depths of selfishness/sin in the world, in human beings? 

Not how your church does things? But it is you, representing your church, who has continually dismissed and disparaged other christian communities. Unless your church is free from sin, by your words, you judge the sins of other churches to be greater (higher on the hierarchy).

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40 minutes ago, thormas said:

This is like dodge ball. 

That he accepted people is not the issue: that is accepted. That he called and admonished those people to repent, to not sin, to love (and was rather pissed at some people like the Scribes and Pharisees) is the point.

Isn't there a hierarchy is everyday human life? Or do you equate the child who copied homework to the man who rapes children? Is the teenage mother, with no high school education, abandoned by her christian family, the only support for her child who makes good money as an escort not different than the pimp who waits for teenagers getting off buses in NYC bus terminal, gets them hooked on drugs, rapes them and forces them into prostitution (sometimes beating, continually raping and even killing some of his workers)? Good god, there is a hierarchy that exists both in the world and within each of us: some sins are small, while others put us, put our humanity in mortal danger. And what is proper repentance? What are you talking about? Seemingly, Jesus recognized a 'hierarchy' in that he was much harder on the Scribes and Pharisees than on the tax collector, more demanding of the rich man than of the adulteress.

Is it that 'we want' or that we recognize that there is a hierarchy of sin: that there are levels and depths of selfishness/sin in the world, in human beings? 

Not how your church does things? But it is you, representing your church, who has continually dismissed and disparaged other christian communities. Unless your church is free from sin, by your words, you judge the sins of other churches to be greater (higher on the hierarchy).

Even though I doubt this person is Lutheran (or even necessarily a Christian), I agree with him that Jesus is focusing ethics outside of divine command, and instead focusing on human-centered compassion.  My church would be in agreement on this point.  Moralism and legalism are insufficient as genuinely Christ-like ethics.  Loving actions are grounded in our concrete relationships with finite others. 

 

http://zimmer.fresnostate.edu/~afiala/documents/FialaGoodSam.pdf

 

 

Edited by FireDragon76

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4 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

Prostitution is selling sex for money.  I was focusing on the prostitutes themselves, not the people that utilize their services.  There are many reasons why someone would turn to prostitution and it seems to me overly judgmental to say these people are excluded from God's kingdom, in the same way that saying just because somebody is a man married to another man, they are excluded as well.   I don't think that's the point of Jesus teaching, I think its abusive in fact and misses the humanistic emphasis on his ethic, which is that good ethics is determined within concrete human relationships with actual persons (the Levite and pharisees are on potentially good legal grounds, from a Jewish religious standpoint, to avoid the beaten man in the parable of the good Samaritan, to avoid becoming impure themselves, but Jesus condemns them anyways because of their lack of compassion).

I was talking about both: prostitution involves the prostitute and the one who pays for the 'services.'

There are many reasons for both parties, no one is denying that - but who is saying they are excluded from God's kingdom? My point was that merely because there is no lecture by Jesus on prostitution (or prostitutes) does not mean that the great commandments do not cover it. You appear to be saying just that: he didn't preach about it so...........He also didn't preach about tax evasion...........so what? 

Further, the discussion is not on homosexuality but no one is saying those in a gay marriage are excluded from God or his Kingdom. However, if a man is involved in gay prostitution, again for many possible reasons, and we recognize there is no preaching from Jesus about it  - are you saying it isn't covered by the commandment of love? 

You are totally missing the point(s) of the discussion. Your example of those who pass up the man in the tale of the Good Samaritan makes the point that Jesus made: the law was/is made for man and the heart of that law is to love. If I remember correctly (because this is something, since I am not Jewish, I have no real interest in) there is the Law of God and then there are the laws of men which have the good intention of protecting the Law and making sure, that the Jews don't break it - even accidentally. This is where Jesus said, enough. It is not these man made laws he came to fulfill; the only Law that truly counts, the Law he fulfills (meaning, it is realized, it lived in him) is (the Commandments of God reduced to just two) Love. 

I have no problem agreeing that, in the history of Christianity, 'the point of Jesus' has been missed and some interpretations in his name have been abusive and inhuman. However, that is not what is going on here. However, Lutheranism, at least as you are presenting it, seems to go in the opposite direction: that "it's ultimately up to the individual in their relationship with God and their neighbor to judge matters of ethical importance." Well, no that is not the point of Jesus either. The Pharisees and Scribes, the Levite  and the pharisees (who pass by the man), the rich man, those who are ready to stone the woman, the good son who in the Prodigal and on and on, are 'judging matter of ethical importance" based on their relationship with, their understanding of God and man -  and they are wrong! There is a 'standard of biblical morality' and it is, as Jesus preached, Love. All these biblical instances, were men and women whose judgment of ethical importance were found wanting and they were called on it: their actions were judged to be off and either directly or in his overall preaching, they were called to love. 

The challenge for Christianity (for all religions, for all people) and the hard part is that it now falls on us. What is right, how ought we to live, when it come to the prostitute, gay marriage, Catholicism's prohibition agains women as priests, divorce, fornication, tax evasion, bullying, and on and on. And the answer is based on the only ethic preached and incarnated in Jesus: love. So, what is love in each of these examples and all such examples? When we know and live that - then the Kingdom is both present and closer to fulfillment.

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Lutherans aren't opposed to  love.  I think you have misunderstood what I am saying if that is what you have taken away from our conversation.

Prostitution may not measure up to some peoples ideals but many people marry for more ignoble reasons than a prostitute has for selling her body.  So really, who are we to judge?

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31 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

Jesus is focusing ethics outside of divine command, and instead focusing on human-centered compassion.  My church would be in agreement on this point.  Moralism and legalism are insufficient as genuinely Christ-like ethics.  Loving actions are grounded in our concrete relationships with finite others. 

What does this even mean? Do you know? Why do you see a difference between divine 'command' and human compassion?

Again with the moralism and legalism, catch words - but no attempt to respond from the heart. There is no moralism or legalism in my words, nor is there anything but love grounded in relationships with others (if not concrete what are they?).

 

I have no issue with you or anyone not being, as you indicated earlier, a PhD in religion (there are probably none here) but I did expect someone who willingly came to this (or any such) site and presented opinion in a debate and dialogue section, to be able to elaborate on that opinion or belief to some degree and not simply trot out the same catch words again and again and again. 

 

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