Christianity the pressure group

We should all ban the “Jerry Springer – the Opera” because it is blasphemous.

We should ban gay marriage.

We should ban abortion.

We should all think the same things.

Everyone in the country should bend to our will.

I thought we were supposed to be building relationship with our loving personal father God, but it appears that we are actually a censorship pressure group.

The problem is I don’t agree with everything you think is right. For example, I think the media should be largely free to show what it wants, and I feel my opinion comes out of my Christian faith, just as much as you feel that a belief in censorship does. Who is right? I don’t know, but please don’t make me and people like me feel like outsiders just because we disagree with you. There are lots of us, but we don’t shout so loud.

We don’t live in a Christian society – there aren’t any Christian societies any more. So we have to re-evaluate how we approach things: we can’t over-rule the majority with these opinions just because God told us it was so. We need to persuade, not rule, and the most important thing we need to persuade people of is the fact that God exists and is worth listening to, not the specifics of what we think he says about these issues of personal morality and censorship. Just as Muslims or others living in former Christian countries have to accept the society in which they find themselves, so do we.

When I get these emails written as if the author’s point of view were so obviously correct (even though often the author hasn’t seen e.g. Jerry Springer – the Opera) I think of Amos 5:21-24:

I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

This is pointless, showy stuff, and there is so much we could be making a noise about that is really important: why are the governing rules of trade between rich and poor countries so unfair? Why do we step in to “humanitarian crises” in Europe but not Africa? Why are we wasting our time on “personal morality” issues when we could be spending it on situations that are just plain wrong? I think personal morality is for personal people, but injustice is a collective sin, and that is what, if we must be a pressure group, we should be pressuring about.

Anyway my main point is should we be a pressure group at all?

Apologies if you sent me one of these forwarded emails – this is a rant, and not one aimed at you.

Really, we should ban email, and then I’d get less annoyed generally.

Sons of God / daughters of men

Genesis 6:1-4 says:
‘When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.

They were the heroes of old, men of renown.’

It’s just before Noah builds the ark – does it mean that the men aren’t fully human but the girls are? Is it just a term that was used?

Does it mean something else entirely?

If so, why are the men Sons of God but the women are daughters of men? And why did their offspring become the heroes of legend? It sounds like the stuff of Greek mythology.

If I’ve read it before then I didn’t register it – and I was so surprised by it that I went to find the NIV to see if it said the same. (The one quoted above is NIV, so yes it did.) I’m reading through the Bilble chronologically in a year so this will probably be the first of many queries I have – what does it mean?

Any ideas?

Sex for 1

The issue I want to attempt to tackle is lust. Plain and simple

In my opinion this topic is all to do with DESIRES. Now that word to my mind had a bad reputation so allow me to at least speak of what I would call reasonable desires.

Nothing wrong in wanting food
Nothing wrong in smiling or being smiled at
Nothing wrong in wanting attention
Nothing wrong in keeping fit
Nothing wrong in having wine
Nothing wrong in admiring beauty
Nothing wrong in wanting to breath

From these and many more desires can be seen as not only helpful but essential to our well being. However is does also appear (to me) that when one or more of these desires takes a larger role than that appropriate, it starts to dominate and then this leads to problems.

O.k. so that is my overall thinking on the subject but when you have a problem what do you do?

My initial thought is to take away the problem at the root. However this appears to be equivalent to chopping off a limb – fairly stupid and I don’t go in for that sort of thing!

So which way to turn, I look left and see my desires and feel overwhelmed and I look right and see a life with no desires which looks even more unappealing.

Now the subject of lust makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed of who I am which is why I decided to write this article since I believe it is still a bit of a taboo. I mean we know about sex and how it should be inside marriage but that is only one part of it. Lust is a thought which for me takes very little time and happens in the quiet secrecy of my mind. This is a much harder foe to beat, especially when the more I look to see who the culprit is the more I think it is myself.

Now I do not wish people to psycho analyze myself or anyone else but more see the problem as a whole. I can’t say for women but I am fairly certain every man on this planet has had a lustful thought. I don’t think there is a magic button for when your married either, I’m fairly positive that it is equally possible to have a lustful thought before and after your married.
This whole topic is horrifically difficult to separate from being to personal and specific (hence never making any headway into the issue itself) and to general as to do no good other than to say it is bad and you shouldn’t do it.

SO on to the next piece of the puzzle What is a lustful thought and what is a loving thought and exactly how do those two cross?

Mix in a little friendship and romance and I’m certain I can make the line go gray. This is an area I’m deliberately leaving blank since I have not formed any definite opinions because I’m not sure you can since they appear to change depending on age and situation but I’m very willing to hear peoples views.

Just to recap
Desire – not a bad thing, except when they are out of correct proportion.
Lust a difficult topic to talk about.
What is lust?

Moving along to the next question which is: How do you adjust the desire to the appropriate level?

I’m sure praying, fasting and reading the bible are the right answers but they seem to have what appears minimal effect for me. But this leads to a whole different topic which goes along the lines of “Deserted by God or growing in faith?”

For me my method revolves around logic and reason. This is where I try and work out logically why I am doing something and see if it is reasonable. However if you apply logic and reason to much into your life you lose that emotion which seems to make life fun and not just a program which needs to be iterated until it is the most efficient, cost effective and sacrificial life pops out.

So logic and reason seem to be inherently floored by emotion which is exactly where lust sneaks in.

So where next, I would try and be accountable to someone but this is not always possible (rarely when needed) and it is one reason why I write this article, so that I can be accountable to those that read it and hopefully give some form of hope to those that may be fellow sufferers of this most frustrating of sins.

So I now give some more questions just in case the previous ones were not enough!

Is lust a desire – just out of proportion?
What exactly is lust?
Is giving or having one of those smiles which mean so much more good or bad?
Do you have any issues with lust?
Does it disappear after marriage?
Is masturbation sinful?
Is it o.k. to lust after your wife/future wife/girlfriend?
How do you stop a thought when your asleep?
When does emotion turn from good to bad? Or is it neutral?

All pearls of wisdom or general ranting gratefully received.