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Sexual Sin and Marriage

Posted by Remy on May 7, 2013

“What good Christians don’t realize is that sexual sin is not recreational sex gone overboard. Sexual sin is predatory. It won’t be ‘healed’  by redeeming the context or the genders. Sexual sin must simply be killed. What is left of your sexuality after this annihilation is up to God. But healing, to the sexual sinner, is death; nothing more and nothing less. I told me audience that I think too many young Christian fornicators plan that marriage will redeem their sin. Too many young Christian masturbators plan that marriage will redeem their  patterns.. Too many young Christian internet pornographers think that having legitimate sex will take away the desire to have illicit sex. They’re wrong. And the marriages that result from this line of thinking are dangerous places. . . . Marriage does not redeem sin. Only Jesus Himself can do that”

-Rosario Butterfield

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Wallace Stegner on Profanity

Posted by Remy on May 25, 2012

“Words are not obscene: naming things is a legitimate verbal act. And “frank” does not mean “vulgar,” any more than “improper” means “dirty.” What vulgar does mean is “common”; what improper means is “unsuitable.” Under the right circumstances, any word is proper. But when any sort of word, especially a word hitherto taboo and therefore noticeable, is scattered across a page like chocolate chips through a tollhouse cookie, a real impropriety occurs. The sin is not the use of an “obscene” word; it is the use of a loaded word in the wrong place or in the wrong quantity.”

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Samwise Gamgee

Posted by Remy on January 14, 2011

“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

-JRR Tolkien, Return of the King

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Marilynne Robinson on Total Depravity

Posted by Remy on September 16, 2010

CT : Over against the popular science writers, you write, “I believe it is only prudent to make a very high estimate of human nature, first of all in order to contain the worst impulses of human nature, and then to liberate its best impulses.” How do you reconcile this belief with what Calvin’s followers have called total depravity (“No one is righteous, no one understands, no one seeks God,” Ps. 14)?

MR : I am happy to welcome the psalmist to the ranks of Calvinism. “Total depravity” means that the effects of the Fall are felt through the whole person and that this is always true. It is a rejection of the pre-Reformation teaching that after baptism, sin is localized in the lower functions of the body, in “concupiscence.” The effects of Calvin’s teaching are to remove the special opprobrium that attached to the flesh and to draw attention to the complexities and fallibilities of consciousness.

Calvin celebrates the brilliance of mind and body, as any reader of The Institutes is aware. Over against this is his insistence on our tendency toward error, toward sin. So human life is full of the potential manifest in the gifts God has given us, and full of our inevitable falling short. This is a very dynamic understanding of the self. I find no difficulty in accepting both of its terms as true. Pressed for evidence, I would point to the history of civilization and the present state of the world. Calvin offered human brilliance as proof of divinity in humankind. If we accepted this, there would be a great enhancement of respect for ourselves, and, crucially, respect for others, that could only make us better citizens of earth.

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St. Teresa

Posted by Remy on July 31, 2010

“The devil will try to upset you by accusing you of being unworthy of the blessings that you have received. Simply remain cheerful and do your best to ignore the devil’s nagging. If need be even laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Satan, the epitome of sin itself, accuses you of unworthiness! When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!”

– St. Teresa of Avila

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Introspection : CS Lewis

Posted by Remy on February 2, 2010

The attempt to discover by introspective analysis our own spiritual condition is to me a horrible thing which reveals, at best, not the secrets of God’s spirit and ours, but their transpositions in intellect, emotion, and imagination, and which at worst may be the quickest road to presumption or despair.

-CS Lewis

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My Third Favorite Prayer Ever

Posted by Remy on October 9, 2009

O God, our heavenly Father; We thank Thee for all things beautiful and good which Thou has made. We praise Thee for all the joy and happiness of our lives; For the land of our birth; For the homes in which we live; And for our friends. We praise Thee that Thou didst send to us the Lord Jesus Christ; That He gave us an example of how we ought to live; That He died for us upon the cross; That He rose again from the dead, and ever prays for us. Help us to remember all that Thou hast given to us; And to love Thee with all our heart; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord; To whom, with Thee and the Holy Spirit, be the glory and the praise, for evermore. Amen.

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On Offense

Posted by Remy on May 8, 2009

Be offended not, that you be not offensive. For by the standard you are offended, you will be offensive: and what you measure inoffensive, that will be measured to you again.

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Taking God’s Name

Posted by Remy on April 27, 2009

We don’t take God’s name enough. We’ve come to think that the 3rd commandment means to not take God’s name at all. We’re are so superstitious that we’ve expanded this command to His title. Exclaiming “God” is not taking His name in vain, it might be taking His title in vain, which isn’t wise, but it isn’t the same as His name. But the sin is “in vain” not the “taking”.

The Vatican last year banished the name Yahweh from their worship, which should be no surprise since both Romanists and Constantinians ar rife with Old World thinking. I would expect the Constantinians to make the same announcement except making any changes to their liturgy might mean knocking some of the dust off. But on the name Yahweh the Vatican says:

“As an expression of the infinite greatness and majesty of God, it was held to be unpronounceable and hence was replaced during the reading of sacred Scripture by means of the use of an alternate name: ‘Adonai,’ which means ‘Lord.'”

Meaning, using Yahweh is disrespectful. Hopefully this daft thinking won’t spread to the use of Jesus.

This thinking is so backwards. Jesus likes to hear His name, we are commanded to pray in His name. I remember listening to adults pray concluding with “in our Lord’s name” or “in the name of the Savior” and I thought that using “in Jesus name amen”  (which is what I was taught) was somehow a childish way to pray. Adults are so full of crap pietistic add ons that continue to drag us from a rich understanding of Jesus.

Jesus is Lord, yes, but Jesus is also our friend, Jesus the buddy. Jesus is also our brother, Big Brother Jesus. It is important that we speak of Jesus in these familial terms, because He presents Himself almost entirely in these terms. But we think we know better. We think it’s insulting to act like Jesus is really our friend, we think it’s disrespectful to call Jesus by His name, we think it’s rude to call Jesus our brother. This is a satanic impulse that keeps us from Jesus.

Jesus, Jehovah, Yahweh : these are His names, He draws near when we use them. So use them.

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Worthless Experience

Posted by Remy on April 1, 2009

As children of the enlightenment we have swallowed empiricism and pushed it into all corners. The idea that knowledge arises from experience, that our epistemology is rationally based, leads to some pretty insipid ideas. One of the more dangerous is the view that experiencing a sin gives us knowledge unattainable anywhere else.

For example, let’s say someone falls into the sin of drug abuse. He repents, cleans himself up, and goes on to become a drug counsellor. Another man feels called to drug counsellor as well, he spends time studying the issue, speaking with addicts, counselling addicts, and is every bit as qualified as the once addicted drug counsellor. In this scenario we tend to think that the one who has experienced drug-addiction is better equipped to counsel. We are wrong to think this and it is a problem for several reasons.

The primary reason is that this disqualifies Christ Jesus as a model. No doubt the first objection to this is “Jesus isn’t fair”. Of course this could be stated in every situation where Jesus is presented as our model. If Jesus is our model and the experience of a sin gives knowledge that cannot be gotten any other way then we are put in the absurd position of admitting that Christ is inadequate. 

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