Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Burl

Yoga and Meditation Increase Narcissism

Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

Even Jesus says the time hasn't been revealed to him.  Too much is made of his "failure" as a prophet, in light of this.  He does prophesy the destruction of the temple and a calamity falling on Israel but that's far different from accurately predicting the end of our present cosmic order, something that the text does not necessarily suggest (but some more radical scholars, operating within a certain Christian paradigm in the background, do seem to presuppose as a necessary criterion for authenticity).

Good lord, you are beating a dead horse. Merely because the Kingdom was not established, it does not follow, given what a prophet is, that he was a failed prophet. Prophets didn't predict the future, we have OT books written well after the lifetime of a prophet when events have come to pass, and some of those now past events are put back on the lips of prophets of an earlier age. 

Again, Jesus did say he didn't know but also said it would come to pass 'soon.' 

As for the story of the prophesy of the destruction of the temple, see above about OT prophet 'prophesies.' Of course you didn't mention when the gospels were written, when Jerusalem and the Temple tumbled and how that 'plays' into 'new temple of God for Christians: the body, the person of Jesus.

Again, scholars? and now you're calling people names simply because you disagree: now they're radical scholars. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, possibility said:

I'm not talking about conscious fear - the kind of fear you might actually admit to - such as in extreme or life-or-death situations. I'm talking about subconscious fear hidden by structures. When we have internalised the structures of behaviour that our job requires, for instance, we would automatically never choose to do anything that may risk our job, thereby ensuring we never have to consciously fear for our job.

Sorry possibility but you are simply wrong. Some of us know ourselves and I could play amateur psychologist also and say you are projecting your conscious and unconscious fears. 

You really don't know me (nor would I expect any of us to know the other on this site) and you don't know the time this took place or the family and educational background I came from. There was no fear as you are suggesting and any behaviors that were internalized were not about a job or fear of losing a job. That was the farthest thing from my unconscious mind :+}

I will read more of your post later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, thormas said:

Good lord, you are beating a dead horse. Merely because the Kingdom was not established, it does not follow, given what a prophet is, that he was a failed prophet. Prophets didn't predict the future, we have OT books written well after the lifetime of a prophet when events have come to pass, and some of those now past events are put back on the lips of prophets of an earlier age. 

Again, Jesus did say he didn't know but also said it would come to pass 'soon.' 

As for the story of the prophesy of the destruction of the temple, see above about OT prophet 'prophesies.' Of course you didn't mention when the gospels were written, when Jerusalem and the Temple tumbled and how that 'plays' into 'new temple of God for Christians: the body, the person of Jesus.

Again, scholars? and now you're calling people names simply because you disagree: now they're radical scholars. 

I simply don't understand where your iconclasm is coming from.  I don't find the received tradition concerning Jesus all that problematic, nor do I find things like the Jesus Seminar all that persuasive.  If I did, I doubt I would be a Christian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, possibility said:

Most bullies I have encountered either had previously been bullied or were currently victims of bullying or oppression in a different environment (at home, previous school, bus, street, etc). Others were taught 'survival' strategies (ie. gaining the upper hand) by a parent, older sibling or 'mentor' who had been a victim of bullying, out of concern for their safety, or taught to fear or feel threatened by a certain type of person, attitude or behaviour, and to take steps to counter, control or eliminate that threat. Bullying starts with fear - it doesn't just happen because someone suddenly decides to be mean.

And I have the opposite e 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.

1 hour ago, possibility said:

Am I supposed to think that what I've been teaching my children may eventually get the snot beaten out of them or leave them at the mercy of bullies, unless I also teach them when it's 'justified' to either strike back or seek protection? My children are well aware these options are available - I don't need to tell them that. Fight or flight is an instinctual response. They've even taken the option at times - and copped a detention or two from school, but no reprimand from me in those situations. I'm not insisting they choose compassion over fighting back - I'm only making them aware of the bigger picture, so they understand they have a choice to seek an interaction without fear, violence, hatred or oppression on either side. This is about awareness. It's less about the action they choose than the choices they have available.

It may or may not - you are the one there but 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...........

1 hour ago, possibility said:

What you describe here is addressing fears first and compassion second. Nothing wrong with that, but let's be honest about what it is.

I disagree: it is preventing harm first - which is also compassionate.

1 hour ago, possibility said:

You talk about these situations as if you are viewing them objectively. From your position as a teacher, or as the one bullied, I understand that you did what you believed was most effective and most compassionate within what was required of and available to you in the situation as you saw it. And you are confident that the vast majority of human beings (including myself) would probably 'justify' your actions and would feel 'justified' in the same actions in those and similar situations. But that doesn't make it an objective view. 

I'm just having a discussion and not looking for someone else to justify my action - although, I know, from experience, that many would agree.

1 hour ago, possibility said:

There is frequently more to each situation than we choose to be aware of in the moment. The decisions we make to block that awareness are often so ingrained that they occur in our subconscious - like driving a car. They make it easier to choose instantly from the unlimited potentiality present in each moment by limiting our awareness of that potentiality. We position ourselves as teacher, as witnessing adult, responsible for the children involved as well as onlookers, answerable to parents, conscious of our limited capabilities in the moment. We can't afford to be as compassionate towards the bully as to the bullied, we don't have time to consider how they got to this point in their life, because we are obliged by our position in that moment to determine (judge) and then prioritise the 'innocent'. We seek to prevent pain, humiliation and loss (ie. to love) hierarchically because our position in time, space, society, etc prevents us from loving unconditionally.

 ok

1 hour ago, possibility said:

But I am not in that moment now, and I was never in that moment. It means that I'm in no position to 'judge' the actions or decisions of the individuals who were in that moment. The moment is in the past, and nothing I do or say now will ever change that moment. But it also means that I am free to view the situation without obligation: while everyone is driven by their position to protect the one being bullied, I am at liberty to feel compassion for the bully in my experience of interacting with the situation as described at this moment. 

No one said there was no compassion for the bully or the one who began the fight or simply the bigger of the two kids who could have done the most damage, taken all the blame and gotten suspended. But you are right, you weren't there and what you observe from a distance and your imagination is radically different from the lived moment. You see the 'moment' through your lens and give it your interpretation which obviously includes the conclusion that there was no love for the bully. How wrong you are.

1 hour ago, possibility said:

 But I won't be afraid to love the unloved.

Here is what interests me in this moment: given that the compassion I might express towards the position of 'bully' in my present interaction with a situation you experienced in the past cannot actually affect the situation or the past itself, do you believe it has an impact on your present interaction (or anyone else's present interaction, for that matter) with the same situation?

There was nobody unloved ......

I would hope I would act the same way and because I believe it was 'right' - given those circumstances and those people. And, if others had very similar circumstances and people, I would hope they would act in a similar way for the simple reason that it was a good and necessary thing to do - again in those circumstances. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FireDragon76 said:

I simply don't understand where your iconclasm is coming from.  I don't find the received tradition concerning Jesus all that problematic, nor do I find things like the Jesus Seminar all that persuasive.  If I did, I doubt I would be a Christian.

The one problem I see is that so many have fallen away, in part because Christianity makes no sense in their present world view. What was in the language of the 1st C and then was explained against the philosophical background and language of the various councils, has largely remained static down through the ages: it has to be explained anew for contemporary people. Seemingly, the (or the Lutheran) traditional explanation of Christianity speaks to you, it (and much of Christianity) does not for far more. So It is not heard and cannot be good news.

For example I believe that incarnation and trinity, say something extremely important about the human experience of God and Jesus but I suspect you couch it in a bygone worldview and philosophy that in literally non-sensical to most of our contemporaries. So mine is not on attack on cherished beliefs, it is because the subject of those beliefs (God, Christ, man) is so cherished that I (and other and not just the Jesus seminar folks) try to explain in our 'language' so, as Gabriel Moran said, decades ago, it is a Present Revelation. 

If I am misunderstanding you, please feel free to set the record straight but you use words like grace and I question if it communicates anything to anyone other that one who shares your particular Christian/Lutheran expression.

Even when asked for explanation of law and gospel, you give a quote (and follow up) that indicates no evidence of an in-depth understanding of these topics.  The law says, ‘do this,’ and it is never done. Grace says, ‘believe in this,’ and everything is already done.”   What does this mean, what could it possibly mean to a modern person? The law is never done? yet Jesus himself obeys (i.e. does) the law and fulfills it. Grace says believe in this and everything is already done? Did Judas know that? did Jesus' own disciples know that and do that when they walked with him? And what is it that is never done by the law and already done by grace? And how does the law, the commandments, the 2 great commandments threaten or accuse the conscience?  What does this statement mean: "the Gospel is whatever promises the forgiveness of sins and eternal life?"    What is it that promises, can't be Jesus since you then say, "Jesus' "turn the other cheek" is actually Law." So, Jesus gives grace which is good but he gives the law which is not?

Again, I ask, how does this possibly make sense to contemporary people? And there has got to be more than some quotes and calling respected scholars radical. Again, if I am misreading you, please show me how.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That video I showed you involving  the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, our presiding bishop, explained what it means to be Lutheran.  I don't see how the language was particularly obscure or arcane, or incomprehensible to modern people. 

Lutherans believe there are tensions within the Christian life, and we find those even within the Bible, principally in Law and Gospel.  These are not resolved through discursive reasoning but through living the Christian life in a community based on prayer and the sacraments.  Perhaps that is what is missing from this discussion. 

 

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

That video I showed you involving  the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, our presiding bishop, explained what it means to be Lutheran.  I don't see how the language was particularly obscure or arcane, or incomprehensible to modern people. 

Lutherans believe there are tensions within the Christian life, and we find those even within the Bible, principally in Law and Gospel.  These are not resolved through discursive reasoning but through living the Christian life in a community based on prayer and the sacraments.  Perhaps that is what is missing from this discussion. 

I will try to watch it but I have been asking for your explanation of your beliefs - anything? Also, I was referring to your language and you simply providing a deeper explanation for one who is not a Lutheran. I am not asking for a thoroughly researched, reasoned dissertation - only an explanation that goes beyond the quotes and catch words and addresses certain issue that have been mentioned.

There is a time for everything under the sun - this is the time for discussion and explanation, I don't pray or celebrate the sacraments on a website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, thormas said:

I will try to watch it but I have been asking for your explanation of your beliefs - anything? Also, I was referring to your language and you simply providing a deeper explanation for one who is not a Lutheran. I am not asking for a thoroughly researched, reasoned dissertation - only an explanation that goes beyond the quotes and catch words and addresses certain issue that have been mentioned.

There is a time for everything under the sun - this is the time for discussion and explanation, I don't pray or celebrate the sacraments on a website.

I am not a doctor of divinity or a preacher, and Lutheranism is difficult to explain to someone who is used to a more philosophical approach to the Christian faith.  All I know is that my own congregation's religion steeped in  "traditional theism" doesn't seem incomprehensible for the people that are sitting in the pews from different walks of life and education levels, from the very young to the very old.

 

That's one reason I prefer to refer you to videos to explain more difficult bits of our theology.

If you want a more detailed explanation of the distinction between Law and Gospel,  Rev. Jordan Cooper might be helpful.  He comes from a more conservative perspective than my own approach based on Gerhard Forde's theology, but it's still a good overview:

I actually came to be Lutheran because I felt that is where God called me to be and it involved a great deal of prayer and searching, including wandering through the Episcopal Church for about a year and a half.  Once I found a Lutheran church, it involved the better part of a year to actually understand Lutheran theology because I came from an approach based on theosis, similar to what you seem to believe is the authentic expression of the Christian faith.  I understood intuitively as an Orthodox Christian something of Luther's own plight as I struggled with spiritual abuse in that church, particularly their lack of respect for the bound conscience of Christians.

 

I still saw problems at the particular Episcopal Church I ended up at, where there was still a great deal of moralism present, particularly towards homosexuals, whom I witnessed being treated in an ungracious manner  (they appeared to have problems baptizing a baby of a gay couple until it became a national story, and the church congregation reacted very defensively.)  Being a pro-LGBT Christian, I felt it was not a safe space for me.   Furthermore, arguments about the theology of baptism in the church that came out surrounding the issue, made me feel it was time to find a church that believed baptism conferred actual grace and was not merely a symbol of a covenant.

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FD76,

I see where you get the quotes and I don't have any major disagreement at first glance (a couple though). I accept that God is Grace, and that man can't save himself, I have said on this site that we cannot be human without God. But, as a former teacher of theology, I can hear kids, high school kids, who will shortly leave the nest, hearing this kind of lovely commercial or preaching in (all) church and tuning out, thinking, "here we go again."  Or asking, after studying about man's self determination and monumental achievements in other classes and his reach to other galaxies in science, bristling over the belief that man can't save himself; it sounds absurd given what they are learning every day.  And for many so does the idea (and the reality) of God - you must know this in your own experience. So, are the only options, to repeat it or simply say believe? Yet, they are already bored with the former and questioning he latter. 

And, we have the young adults who get weary of it all, put it away and then, finding themselves pregnant and perhaps with 'pressure' from others, "how are you going to raise them, are you raising them in your faith" go back to the faith they never understood and dismissed but now 'have to do something.' And another generation grows up without getting it and therefore without truly living it. 

So, how does grace work, how can we say it is God, how can man not be able to save himself, how do we get grace now that Jesus is 'in heaven' and for the truly enterprising, what if we have a Tarzan scenario, no human beings, no grasp of God, no revelation - is there still grace, how does it get to Tarzan?

Faith is reasonable (it's not that it has to be, it simply is) which should be obvious because it is a human experience and we can think, reflect and ponder on our experiences and thinking deeply on them, enter into them more deeply than before. Faith is not afraid of reason, it welcomes it and also realizes that much is (and remains) mystery, that language is limited (that's why we have poetry, myth and symbols) but it is open to the exploration and should assist in it. After all if God is Creator, God 'graced' us with reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

I am not a doctor of divinity or a preacher, and Lutheranism is difficult to explain to someone who is used to a more philosophical approach to the Christian faith.  All I know is that my own congregation's religion steeped in  "traditional theism" doesn't seem incomprehensible for the people that are sitting in the pews from different walks of life and education levels, from the very young to the very old.

That makes sense. I get this. 

I didn't always have a 'philosophical' approach and I learned how to 'explain' Christianity for the reason I gave in my last post. Catholicism too was so steeped and seemingly comprehensible for the people  - then I met the kids and boredom, questions, skepticism, anger, curiosity, hunger to understand - it was all there and had to be met where they were.

I had a philosophical background but the approach was the everyday, ordinary language and examples and sometimes the simple explanation was met by, "why didn't anyone ever tell us this before?" Why indeed.

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I pointed out, according to the Barna research group, the reason kids leave the church is bigotry, hypocrisy, and moralism.   Problems with perceived conflict between science and religion aren't the leading cause of kids disaffiliating with the Church.

 

Lutherans set low expectations so I don't see how we are going to be fairly accused of being hypocritical.  We have a realistic view of human life that values authenticity, and we aren't known for moralism.   If you want a philosophical approach to the Christian faith, there are much better choices but in my experience they all have tendencies that put principles and theory ahead of actual people.   One thing I value in my Lutheran tradition is how our ethics is humanistic and people-centered.  I think that's what Jesus was about, ultimately.

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

As I pointed out, according to the Barna research group, the reason kids leave the church is bigotry, hypocrisy, and moralism.   Problems with perceived conflict between science and religion aren't the leading cause of kids disaffiliating with the Church.

Lutherans set low expectations so I don't see how we are going to be fairly accused of being hypocritical.  We have a realistic view of human life that values authenticity, and we aren't known for moralism.   If you want a philosophical approach to the Christian faith, there are much better choices but in my experience they all have tendencies that put principles and theory ahead of actual people.   One thing I value in my Lutheran tradition is how our ethics is humanistic and people-centered.  I think that's what Jesus was about, ultimately.

There is Barna and there is personal experience gained over 12 years and hundreds upon hundreds of kids - and also the ongoing decline of Christianity and some Churches looking like old age homes. Bigotry and hypocrisy are one think and might be the straw that breaks the back but the lack of true understanding is the weakness that lays the groundwork. Plus bigotry and hypocrisy are the coin of the realm in secular society, so it is much wider than the church.

Moralism, really? How many adults not to mention kids have any idea what that actually means? 

I wasn't looking for a philosophical approach to Christianity (it's called theology and I have it); I was merely looking for you, who professes and writes about his faith (and, who seemingly 'understands' enough to dismiss some scholars and other expressions of Christianity) to simply give some real, considered explanation and insight about your faith - that goes beyond the quotes and the catch-phrase. I previously was willing to accept that Lutheranism might be 'difficult to explain' for you - but seemingly you don't find it difficult to explain why you dismiss other Christian churches.

It would be interesting to have you name a few that wouldn't say the same things (realistic view, values authenticity, values people over theory, humanistic and people centered) about their expressions as you do about yours and also think that's what Jesus was about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, thormas said:

It would be interesting to have you name a few that wouldn't say the same things (realistic view, values authenticity, values people over theory, humanistic and people centered) about their expressions as you do about yours and also think that's what Jesus was about.

I've never heard an Orthodox Christian say anything good about humanism, that's for sure.   Sure, hints of it can be found in Dostoyevsky, or the atypical St. Maria of Paris, but in practice the Orthodox Church looks upon ordinary human concerns as problematic, favoring a spiritual life of detachment and contemplation.

 

I don't think moralism is such a difficult concept to understand.  It's not unique to Lutheranism, even if it is something we generally frown upon.

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FireDragon76 said:

I've never heard an Orthodox Christian say anything good about humanism, that's for sure.   Sure, hints of it can be found in Dostoyevsky, or the atypical St. Maria of Paris, but in practice the Orthodox Church looks upon ordinary human concerns as problematic, favoring a spiritual life of detachment and contemplation.

I don't think moralism is such a difficult concept to understand.  It's not unique to Lutheranism, even if it is something we generally frown upon.

"....they all have tendencies that put principles and theory ahead of actual people."

So we have one? Do you mean a particular church or are you including all the Eastern churches and all their people? How many Orthodox Christians have you heard? You're saying they aren't humanistic and people-centersd? Odd, I taught with an Orthodox Priest (went to school with others) and not only his faith but he was a model for a 'people centered' or humanistic life. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, thormas said:

"....they all have tendencies that put principles and theory ahead of actual people."

So we have one? Do you mean a particular church or are you including all the Eastern churches and all their people? How many Orthodox Christians have you heard? You're saying they aren't humanistic and people-centersd? Odd, I taught with an Orthodox Priest (went to school with others) and not only his faith but he was a model for a 'people centered' or humanistic life. 

 

I'm speaking in generalities of course.   But on the whole, what I said is true, especially considering the Church's attitude towards sexual minorities.  It's anti-humanistic, worse than Roman Catholicism in that regard.    Putting principles above people is exactly what that entails.

 

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

I'm speaking in generalities of course.   But on the whole, what I said is true, especially considering the Church's attitude towards sexual minorities.  It's anti-humanistic, worse than Roman Catholicism in that regard.    Putting principles above people is exactly what that entails.

I agree that all churches (all religions, all people) should accept LGBTQ people but it is also true that many truly believe(d) they were being faithful. I believe they are wrong, or to be more kind, still on their way, but it seems neither fair nor accurate to call all such people or imply that all the activities of such churches are anti-humanistic.

So, the reality is you are speaking in generalities and, at the same time, it is (seemingly) true in the specifics for certain churches regarding their acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ people.

There may indeed be instances, too many instances, of principles above people but it is questionable whether this fully defines such churches as you charge.

But it still seems to be not "they all" but one according to what you have written.

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, thormas said:

I agree that all churches (all religions, all people) should accept LGBTQ people but it is also true that many truly believe(d) they were being faithful. I believe they are wrong, or to be more kind, still on their way, but it seems neither fair nor accurate to call all such people or imply that all the activities of such churches are anti-humanistic.

So, the reality is you are speaking in generalities and, at the same time, it is (seemingly) true in the specifics for certain churches regarding their acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ people.

There may indeed be instances, too many instances, of principles above people but it is questionable whether this fully defines such churches as you charge.

But it still seems to be not "they all" but one according to what you have written.

I don't know what else to call it when people are confronted by scientific evidence about sexual orientation but they still choose to treat gay people as problematic, instead of accepting them.  That seems the very definition of anti-humanistic.

Being holy and divinized also means you never have to say you are sorry to groups you have hurt, because you never have to question your own assumptions since they are "holy".  That's one reason the doctrine of theosis is not unproblematic.

 

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, FireDragon76 said:

I don't know what else to call it when people are confronted by scientific evidence about sexual orientation but they still choose to treat gay people as problematic, instead of accepting them.  That seems the very definition of anti-humanistic.

Being holy and divinized also means you never have to say you are sorry to groups you have hurt, because you never have to question your assumptions.  That's one reason I wish you'ld realize the doctrine of theosis is not unproblematic.

Again, this is the baby with the bathwater scenario: you have identified a blind spot (that is indeed wrong) but it doesn't mean every last person or every Orthodox church is anti humanistic in all they do. Hopefully, they will catch up, not merely with science but, regardless of science, the love of others for themselves.

However, you do realize the whole 'confronted by scientific evidence' could be applied to those who believe men can predict future events, work 'miracles.' resurrect from the dead, and on and on. So, it is possible for a church who is anti LGBTQ to simply 'profess their faith' and disregard scientific evidence. Now I for one would still disagree with such a church on this issue as I would also ask those of other churches to explain what they mean and how they can seemingly disregard science. We have to allow for the goose and the gander.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, thormas said:

Again, this is the baby with the bathwater scenario: you have identified a blind spot (that is indeed wrong) but it doesn't mean every last person or every Orthodox church is anti humanistic in all they do. Hopefully, they will catch up, not merely with science but, regardless of science, the love of others for themselves.

However, you do realize the whole 'confronted by scientific evidence' could be applied to those who believe men can predict future events, work 'miracles.' resurrect from the dead, and on and on. So, it is possible for a church who is anti LGBTQ to simply 'profess their faith' and disregard scientific evidence. Now I for one would still disagree with such a church on this issue as I would also ask those of other churches to explain what they mean and how they can seemingly disregard science. We have to allow for the goose and the gander.

 

The difference is that belief in miracles does not harm my neighbor (and in the case of the resurrection, it's arguable it's essential to the faith, at least as my church understands it), but anti-LGBT attitudes have a proven track record in doing so.   As a Lutheran, I don't believe anti-homosexual teachings are essential to my faith, since we separate theology from ethics.   And our church agrees on this point, since we recognize that individuals' consciences can be bound on this issue in different ways according to their understanding of God's Word, and that must be respected.   But in Orthodoxy, there is no respect for a pro-LGBT conscience.

 

I don't view it as a bathwater scenario, and I think that sort of rhetoric trivializes the harm that the Church as an alleged divine institution has caused to marginalized groups throughout the ages.

 

Lutherans do have a doctrine of divinization of sorts but it is understood in terms of mystical union through participation in the ordinary sacramental life of the Church gathered around the Word, and it is very much secondary to justification.  

 

 

 

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

 

The difference is that belief in miracles does not harm my neighbor (and in the case of the resurrection, it's arguable it's essential to the faith, at least as my church understands it), but anti-LGBT attitudes have a proven track record in doing so.   As a Lutheran, I don't believe anti-homosexual teachings are essential to my faith, since we separate theology from ethics.   And our church agrees on this point, since we recognize that individuals' consciences can be bound on this issue in different ways according to their understanding of God's Word, and that must be respected.   But in Orthodoxy, there is no respect for a pro-LGBT conscience.

 

I don't view it as a bathwater scenario, and I think that sort of rhetoric trivializes the harm that the Church as an alleged divine institution has caused to marginalized groups throughout the ages.

 

Lutherans do have a doctrine of divinization of sorts but it is understood in terms of mystical union through participation in the ordinary sacramental life of the Church gathered around the Word, and it is very much secondary to justification.  

 

 

 

What is the Lutheran doctrine on fornication, pre-marital sex, adultery, prostitution and coveting thy neighbor's partner?  Is it identical for any sexual orientation, or is what poses as gblt acceptance simply a distraction from sexual licentiousness?  Do gblt get a special dispensation?

Turning control of any basic instinctual drive state to an empty ethos where the ends justify the means is sinful.  Lust, gluttony, pride etc. are all cardinal vices.  People sin regularly, and people are forgiven regularly.  This is a basic function of Christianity.  It is entirely reasonable to accept gblt behavior without approving of it.  That is the heart of forgiveness.

But sinning "with a high hand", as he KJV poetically translates parading sin as righteousness, is not Christian.  Certainly gblt persons should be accepted equally but the end result - in pro and anti gblt churches - is ignoring heterosexual immorality, which is almost 100% of the real concern. 

In almost any Christian church, save the Metropolitan, gblt attendance is negligable.  Often 0%. The sin issue is with the overwhelming heterosexual majority but pastors are not going anywhere near that subject because the pews would empty out like a dump truck. They keep the focus on gblt folks who quit the church decades ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Burl said:

In almost any Christian church, save the Metropolitan, gblt attendance is negligable.  Often 0%. The sin issue is with the overwhelming heterosexual majority but pastors are not going anywhere near that subject because the pews would empty out like a dump truck. They keep the focus on gblt folks who quit the church decades ago.

 

In my congregation there are several people that I know that are gay that serve in our ministries.  I don't think that's uncommon in many mainline churches.  We, as a Lutheran congregation in the ELCA, seem to be slightly more conservative than average and have no particular ties to LGBT-advocacy ministries. 

 

Lutherans have never been a tradition defined by particular ethical stances.  We really have no juridically binding documents on sexual ethics.  We don't exactly approve of premarital sex but we don't define ourselves as taking a particular stand against it.  Many of us are concerned about how traditional approaches to sexuality among Christians harms the sense of moral agency of younger people and distorts sexuality in ways that are unhelpful.

 

 

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

 

In my congregation there are several people that I know that are gay that serve in our ministries.  I don't think that's uncommon in many mainline churches.  We, as a Lutheran congregation in the ELCA, seem to be slightly more conservative than average and have no particular ties to LGBT-advocacy ministries. 

 

Lutherans have never been a tradition defined by particular ethical stances.  We really have no juridically binding documents on sexual ethics.  We don't exactly approve of premarital sex but we don't define ourselves as taking a particular stand against it.  Many of us are concerned about how traditional approaches to sexuality among Christians harms the sense of moral agency of younger people and distorts sexuality in ways that are unhelpful.

 

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

The difference is that belief in miracles does not harm my neighbor (and in the case of the resurrection, it's arguable it's essential to the faith, at least as my church understands it), but anti-LGBT attitudes have a proven track record in doing so.   As a Lutheran, I don't believe anti-homosexual teachings are essential to my faith, since we separate theology from ethics.   And our church agrees on this point, since we recognize that individuals' consciences can be bound on this issue in different ways according to their understanding of God's Word, and that must be respected.   But in Orthodoxy, there is no respect for a pro-LGBT conscience.

I don't view it as a bathwater scenario, and I think that sort of rhetoric trivializes the harm that the Church as an alleged divine institution has caused to marginalized groups throughout the ages.

Lutherans do have a doctrine of divinization of sorts but it is understood in terms of mystical union through participation in the ordinary sacramental life of the Church gathered around the Word, and it is very much secondary to justification.  

Well, belief in miracles might indeed harm others: I had a great friend from college who, when she got a bit older, got in with a religious group that refused doctors and any medical 'intervention' relying instead on God (i.e. miracles):she died of cancer. I would think in the history of Christianity, in the history of religion, we have many examples of people relying on miraculous interventions - all for naught to their harm, be it greater or lesser in degree. 

Plus, although I disagree with any ethic that denies basic human respect to any individual or group, your position is a bit convenient as some of these other folks might be just as passionate, in their denial of scientific evidence, when they believe they were dealing with sin - as you are with your belief in miracles. Both are at odds with your appeal to scientific evidence. 

"As a Lutheran, I don't believe anti-homosexual teachings are essential to my faith, since we separate theology from ethics." Are you serious? How much can we chip away at Lutheran Christian ethics before it impacts theology?  

I have no idea what you mean when you say, "individuals' consciences can be bound on this issue in different ways according to their understanding of God's Word, and that must be respected." So are you saying the individual understanding trumps Christian ethics?    And it sounds, a bit like Orthodoxy: that Lutherans would accept an anti--LGBT conscience? 

Of course you don't view it as throwing the baby out but you are dismissing an entire expression of Christianity for an anti-gay conscience while you accept the same from individual Lutherans conscience? 

 

"Lutherans do have a doctrine of divinization of sorts but it is understood in terms of mystical union through participation in the ordinary sacramental life of the Church gathered around the Word, and it is very much secondary to justification." Well this is wordy, can you explain it? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Burl said:

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 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?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, thormas said:

Well, belief in miracles might indeed harm others: I had a great friend from college who, when she got a bit older, got in with a religious group that refused doctors and any medical 'intervention' relying instead on God (i.e. miracles):she died of cancer. I would think in the history of Christianity, in the history of religion, we have many examples of people relying on miraculous interventions - all for naught to their harm, be it greater or lesser in degree. 

Plus, although I disagree with any ethic that denies basic human respect to any individual or group, your position is a bit convenient as some of these other folks might be just as passionate, in their denial of scientific evidence, when they believe they were dealing with sin - as you are with your belief in miracles. Both are at odds with your appeal to scientific evidence. 

"As a Lutheran, I don't believe anti-homosexual teachings are essential to my faith, since we separate theology from ethics." Are you serious? How much can we chip away at Lutheran Christian ethics before it impacts theology?  

I have no idea what you mean when you say, "individuals' consciences can be bound on this issue in different ways according to their understanding of God's Word, and that must be respected." So are you saying the individual understanding trumps Christian ethics?    And it sounds, a bit like Orthodoxy: that Lutherans would accept an anti--LGBT conscience? 

Of course you don't view it as throwing the baby out but you are dismissing an entire expression of Christianity for an anti-gay conscience while you accept the same from individual Lutherans conscience? 

 

"Lutherans do have a doctrine of divinization of sorts but it is understood in terms of mystical union through participation in the ordinary sacramental life of the Church gathered around the Word, and it is very much secondary to justification." Well this is wordy, can you explain it? 

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.  

 

 

 

Edited by FireDragon76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...