Many a Dead Horse

I am Jude; brother in Christ and I am writing to describe my creed and to allow my underlying beliefs to be scrutinized. Many, if not all, of these will likely be "Dead Horses". I will provide as cogent a reasoning as possible, from my own understanding of scripture and revelations granted me by our Lord. I will not quote scripture unless requested, so as to avoid any proof-texting.

The Apostles' Creed (Ecumenical version)
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Each morning I pray, through song, the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. This prayer describes perfectly what I strive to live every day of my life.

I believe that, when God sits in judgment of all mankind, He will judge all sins as equal; save one, that being the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which entails the denial of His power, the willful ignorance of His work in the lives of men (and women), or the intentional attribution of His power to something other than Him. I hold to this belief because I have personally witnessed, and had others witness to the power of our Lord to provide the sinner, no matter the sin, with unlimited forgiveness, peace with no end, and reconciliation with those who have been made victim of that sin. I also hold to this because I have seen what the separation of sins bears into the lives of those who subscribe to such. The prejudice, pre-judgments, judgments, derision, division, self-flagellation, and general air of better than thous that this belief brings with it would seem, in my humble opinion, to be contrary to all that Christ taught and stood for.

I believe in demonic possession and in widespread demonic activity in the world today. I would suggest that almost all, if not all, major diseases, disabilities, and addictions can be attributed to one of the above. Another cause in my opinion comes from the human mind itself. A person can disable, deform, sicken, or otherwise wreak havoc on their physical body simply by dwelling too intensely on things like personal tragedy, grief, hatred, etc. Then there are curses from God Himself. This one is widely spoken of biblically, especially in the OT, and I've encountered no reason why we should believe them no longer applicable. It takes discernment in the HS to determine which thing is the cause, which can only be gained through prayer and biblical study. Why do I believe these things? Aside from seeing prime examples in the bible itself I have personally encountered people who are plagued by each and have seen what God can and will do when the cause is dealt with correctly and in a spirit of humility and confidence in the redeeming power of our Lord. I do know that personal testimony and assertion is not seen as a reliable form of evidence scientifically but this is all I can offer and I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I believe that Christian action is the truest way in which we can emulate Christ. In my opinion 1,000 words on Christ are worth less than a single action done in for others in His love, grace, humility, and passion. When I look at the story of Jesus' life I see that almost every time He sought to spread the Good News He did so by first acting, and allowing the ripples of that action to spread and move whom they would. I have been blessed by God to find myself in a position to be able to devote my life to the sole purpose of helping those that He puts in my path to help.

I believe in one universal church. Dogma and religious ideals only serve to divorce us from our bridegroom. It is my belief that when we are called to account we will be judged not on who performed baptism or communion correctly but on how closely each of us walked with our Lord and obeyed His commands.

I believe that abortion is a sin, no matter the circumstances. To note I did not always advocate this. In fact I encouraged abortion with my first and third child, admittedly with much trepidation. A brief example, if you will, concerning my third son. Before he was born we, my ex wife and I, were informed that he had an 80% chance of death, and if he were to survive the birthing there was a 50/50 chance that he would suffer from the effects of a genetic disease called Myotubular Myopathy (for full details please feel free to look it up) and 100% chance he would be a carrier. If he suffered it would be from an inability to breathe alone, an inability to eat alone........suffice to say it deforms the muscle cells and causes extreme dysfunction in them. I agrred with my ex at first to abort but something made me change my mind, likely the desire to not suffer the death of yet a third son. He was born fully effected. They gave him a month to live, then a year, then 5, then 15. He is still here 5 years later. In my humble opinion, though my original motives were undeniably selfish, to abort a child is to deny God's plan for that child's life. No one except God can tell where that child will be in 15 years, who's lives he or she will effect, how they may bring glory to Him. Don't worry I'm prepared to be ripped apart for this but there it is.

I believe that homosexuality is a choice and a sin. Each homosexual person I've known can trace their desires back to prior instances and factors in their lives. The choice may be so buried that it has become subconscious but as far as I have seen it is there. Besides that if homosexuality weren't a sin why is God's Word so against it? Because it was written by bigoted man? Because God is a bigot? Some other reason?

I believe that the bible is literal, metaphorical, allegorical, living, and true all at one time. No reasoning here. I just feel it in my soul.

Last but not least I believe that as a Christian it is my duty and my blessing to walk in step with Christ. Where there is hate, I will combat it with love, where there is fear, with hope. All are my brothers and sisters. Will I weep for those lost in sin? Yes, at times uncontrollably. Will I judge them unworthy? No for how can I, when Christ could love one such as I? Will He punish those who choose the wide path? No, for they punish themselves, He only grants what is asked for.

I could go on but it has taken enough time to write this and I am tired.

Thanks for reading
Brother Jude

Comments

  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Brother Jude--

    --I'm sorry re your experiences with your sons.
    (votive)

    --AIUI, homosexuality is rarely mentioned in the Bible. Other things are condemned far more often.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited April 13
    Abortion isn't mentioned in the bible either, for that matter.
  • I am Jude; brother in Christ and I am writing to describe my creed and to allow my underlying beliefs to be scrutinized. Many, if not all, of these will likely be "Dead Horses". I will provide as cogent a reasoning as possible, from my own understanding of scripture and revelations granted me by our Lord. I will not quote scripture unless requested, so as to avoid any proof-texting.
    a) Why would your 'revelations granted me by our Lord' trump the revelations granted to, for example, me by our Lord ?
    I believe that, when God sits in judgment of all mankind, He will judge all sins as equal; save one, that being the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which entails the denial of His power, the willful ignorance of His work in the lives of men (and women), or the intentional attribution of His power to something other than Him.
    Which is not in the creed.
    I hold to this belief because I have personally witnessed, and had others witness to the power of our Lord to provide the sinner, no matter the sin, with unlimited forgiveness, peace with no end, and reconciliation with those who have been made victim of that sin. I also hold to this because I have seen what the separation of sins bears into the lives of those who subscribe to such. The prejudice, pre-judgments, judgments, derision, division, self-flagellation, and general air of better than thous that this belief brings with it would seem, in my humble opinion, to be contrary to all that Christ taught and stood for.

    How can you possibly know who is forgiven ? Or are you assuming forgiveness is evident solely from people's experience in this life ? Where does this leave the allegory of Job, or the mercy of god after death ?
    I believe in demonic possession and in widespread demonic activity in the world today. I would suggest that almost all, if not all, major diseases, disabilities, and addictions can be attributed to one of the above. Another cause in my opinion comes from the human mind itself. A person can disable, deform, sicken, or otherwise wreak havoc on their physical body simply by dwelling too intensely on things like personal tragedy, grief, hatred, etc. Then there are curses from God Himself. This one is widely spoken of biblically, especially in the OT, and I've encountered no reason why we should believe them no longer applicable.

    Because we have much better explanations of these phenomena that we can test empirically. (It is not logically possible to prove the absence of something, so no one will ever be able to prove to you that demonic activity is not occurring.) Rather I am suggesting, per occam's razor, there are better and simpler explanations.
    It takes discernment in the HS to determine which thing is the cause, which can only be gained through prayer and biblical study. Why do I believe these things? Aside from seeing prime examples in the bible itself I have personally encountered people who are plagued by each and have seen what God can and will do when the cause is dealt with correctly and in a spirit of humility and confidence in the redeeming power of our Lord. I do know that personal testimony and assertion is not seen as a reliable form of evidence scientifically but this is all I can offer and I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    This boils down to "this is my opinion and I think I'm right". All I can say to that is, consider it possible that you are mistaken, a great deal of harm has been done by those utterly convinced they are right.
    I believe that Christian action is the truest way in which we can emulate Christ. In my opinion 1,000 words on Christ are worth less than a single action done in for others in His love, grace, humility, and passion. When I look at the story of Jesus' life I see that almost every time He sought to spread the Good News He did so by first acting, and allowing the ripples of that action to spread and move whom they would. I have been blessed by God to find myself in a position to be able to devote my life to the sole purpose of helping those that He puts in my path to help.

    Writing is also an action, the bible didn't fall into your head. But broadly speaking I'd agree with that.
    I believe in one universal church. Dogma and religious ideals only serve to divorce us from our bridegroom. It is my belief that when we are called to account we will be judged not on who performed baptism or communion correctly but on how closely each of us walked with our Lord and obeyed His commands.

    You say this and then the rest of the post is you asserting various dogma, do you see why this is internally inconsistent ?
    I believe that abortion is a sin, no matter the circumstances. To note I did not always advocate this. In fact I encouraged abortion with my first and third child, admittedly with much trepidation. A brief example, if you will, concerning my third son. Before he was born we, my ex wife and I, were informed that he had an 80% chance of death, and if he were to survive the birthing there was a 50/50 chance that he would suffer from the effects of a genetic disease called Myotubular Myopathy (for full details please feel free to look it up) and 100% chance he would be a carrier. If he suffered it would be from an inability to breathe alone, an inability to eat alone........suffice to say it deforms the muscle cells and causes extreme dysfunction in them. I agrred with my ex at first to abort but something made me change my mind, likely the desire to not suffer the death of yet a third son. He was born fully effected. They gave him a month to live, then a year, then 5, then 15. He is still here 5 years later. In my humble opinion, though my original motives were undeniably selfish, to abort a child is to deny God's plan for that child's life. No one except God can tell where that child will be in 15 years, who's lives he or she will effect, how they may bring glory to Him. Don't worry I'm prepared to be ripped apart for this but there it is.

    I am sorry for the difficulties you have lived with, I don't believe that disabled people shouldn't be born (eugenics is a whole issue).

    However, I believe the debate over abortion primarily centers on a) when potential life becomes a person and the balance of rights between the unborn and the mother - and you have addressed neither of these points. You instead seem to be asserting a kind of fatalism or predetermination philosophy based on I am not sure what.
    I believe that homosexuality is a choice and a sin. Each homosexual person I've known can trace their desires back to prior instances and factors in their lives. The choice may be so buried that it has become subconscious but as far as I have seen it is there. Besides that if homosexuality weren't a sin why is God's Word so against it? Because it was written by bigoted man? Because God is a bigot? Some other reason?

    Please explain why non-humans have same sex relationships, do you believe they have consiciousness and make this choice based on trauma ? Or that they weren't created by God ? Or what ?
    I believe that the bible is literal, metaphorical, allegorical, living, and true all at one time. No reasoning here. I just feel it in my soul.

    People say this about all sorts of things, like astrology, there is no reason why it would convince anyone else.
    Will I weep for those lost in sin? Yes, at times uncontrollably. Will I judge them unworthy? No for how can I, when Christ could love one such as I? Will He punish those who choose the wide path? No, for they punish themselves, He only grants what is asked for.

    Where you promote actions and views that cause people serious harms, your tears will be of little help.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I'm not quite sure what topic you want to debate here, Brother Jude, or if you just wanted to share various things you believe which might fall into the dead horses category, but I found it interesting that you believe the Bible is literal purely because of a feeling in your soul. Lots of people believe very different things because of a feeling in their soul. Do you have a way of discerning whether the feelings in your soul are from God? It's an interesting topic to me, because I've been reading about St Ignatius's thoughts and instructions on discerning spirits - the various things he thinks are signs of whether feelings are from God or from the devil.
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    Brother Jude--

    --I'm sorry re your experiences with your sons.
    (votive)

    --AIUI, homosexuality is rarely mentioned in the Bible. Other things are condemned far more often.

    Thank you to the former, to the later; I find six direct condemnations. Are you implying that it's being less often mentioned means we need not stress it as much?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited April 15
    I believe in demonic possession and in widespread demonic activity in the world today. I would suggest that almost all, if not all, major diseases, disabilities, and addictions can be attributed to one of the above.

    This kind of thing seems incredibly dangerous. For example, most modern thinking attributes cholera to contaminated drinking water, and vast amounts of effort has been expended to insure safe drinking water supplies in most places able to fund such projects. Your claim is that this is wasted effort and that cholera (and other diseases like polio and smallpox) is actually caused by demons, not microbes, so public sanitation and vaccination efforts are pointless.

    Just out of curiosity, what is your explanation for the apparent effectiveness of such measures?
    I believe that abortion is a sin, no matter the circumstances. To note I did not always advocate this. In fact I encouraged abortion with my first and third child, admittedly with much trepidation. A brief example, if you will, concerning my third son. Before he was born we, my ex wife and I, were informed that he had an 80% chance of death, and if he were to survive the birthing there was a 50/50 chance that he would suffer from the effects of a genetic disease called Myotubular Myopathy (for full details please feel free to look it up) and 100% chance he would be a carrier. If he suffered it would be from an inability to breathe alone, an inability to eat alone........suffice to say it deforms the muscle cells and causes extreme dysfunction in them. I agrred with my ex at first to abort but something made me change my mind, likely the desire to not suffer the death of yet a third son. He was born fully effected. They gave him a month to live, then a year, then 5, then 15. He is still here 5 years later. In my humble opinion, though my original motives were undeniably selfish, to abort a child is to deny God's plan for that child's life. No one except God can tell where that child will be in 15 years, who's lives he or she will effect, how they may bring glory to Him.

    So God's plan is for your son to suffer demonic possession? I have to say I'm troubled by your literal demonization of anyone with a disability or disease.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    I believe that homosexuality is a choice and a sin. Each homosexual person I've known can trace their desires back to prior instances and factors in their lives. The choice may be so buried that it has become subconscious but as far as I have seen it is there. Besides that if homosexuality weren't a sin why is God's Word so against it? Because it was written by bigoted man? Because God is a bigot? Some other reason?

    Please explain why non-humans have same sex relationships, do you believe they have consiciousness and make this choice based on trauma ? Or that they weren't created by God ? Or what ?

    That last explanation is possible. Perhaps they're like Steve the Uncreated:
    "Steve" has emerged as a central figure in American theology. He even played a significant role in the recent [ 2004 ] national elections. Yet despite his enormous influence, we know little about Steve aside from a single reference to him in our holy texts. This reference is, like the catechism, extra-canonical but considered authoritative:

    "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

    This oft-quoted text presents a mystery. If God did not make Steve, then where did this uncreature come from? How did Steve come to be?

    God did not make Steve, therefore we must also assume that Steve was never born. If Steve had been born, after all, then he would be "begotten, not made." Surely we are not meant to conclude that Steve is a little-known fourth member of the Trinity.

    Thus again we come to mystery. Steve was neither made nor begotten; yet Steve is.

    What can we do in the face of such mystery? It is beyond our ken. We cannot hope to understand, we can only drop to our knees to sing a bewildered hymn of praise to the Creator of all things except Steve.
  • I'm lost for words. Which may be a good thing.
  • Abortion isn't mentioned in the bible either, for that matter.

    Technically you are correct, however, if we search for passages related to the formation of and birth of a child we can paint a fairly convincing picture of God's idea on abortion.

    First let's look at Exodus 21: 22-25. In this passage we are introduced to a very specific scenario; that being, two people fighting who accidentally injure a pregnant woman and cause a miscarriage. If only the fetus is injured, there is a fine, thus equating the loss of the child to that of property. However, if the mother is also injured we see that equal injury must be dealt. As such we can conclude that under the law the child is not of equal status with the mother. At first glance we might, reasonably, deduce that such law also would apply to the case of abortion, by indicating the fetus as property. However, a why seems needed here. Why did God designate the unborn child as property? I would posit that it may have been the nature of injury to a fetus. One would have a much harder time determining the exact harm done to an unborn child than to an adult female. To get as clear a picture as possible I'll have to do some Talmudic legwork.

    That bit of legal interpretation aside there are several verses which would seem to indicate God having a plan for each of us, even from before conception. Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15, and Psalms 139:13-16 are just a few. Would God's plan include forced death? Given Psalms 127:3 I would say no, but yet again that's just my opinion.

    Then there are the matters of conception by rape and known deformities or disabilities. These are covered in Deuteronomy 24:16 and Exodus 4:11, Isaiah 45:9-11, and 1st Corinthians 1:27 respectively.

    You are certainly correct to state that the word abortion is not used biblically but as we can see the underlying concepts are.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Abortion isn't mentioned in the bible either, for that matter.

    Technically you are correct, . . .

    Not entirely. Numbers 5 offers instructions for how a priest is to perform an abortion in the tabernacle.
    First let's look at Exodus 21: 22-25. In this passage we are introduced to a very specific scenario; that being, two people fighting who accidentally injure a pregnant woman and cause a miscarriage. If only the fetus is injured, there is a fine, thus equating the loss of the child to that of property. However, if the mother is also injured we see that equal injury must be dealt. As such we can conclude that under the law the child is not of equal status with the mother. At first glance we might, reasonably, deduce that such law also would apply to the case of abortion, by indicating the fetus as property. However, a why seems needed here. Why did God designate the unborn child as property? I would posit that it may have been the nature of injury to a fetus. One would have a much harder time determining the exact harm done to an unborn child than to an adult female.

    Not really. If the woman miscarries the fetus is dead. That's pretty clear. What's interesting is that the very recent turn against abortion has altered the way some Protestants translate scripture.
    The New American Standard Bible is a popular English translation, a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901. It was completed in 1971 and then revised and updated in 1995. I want to highlight one major change in one passage of the NASB — a case in which the 1995 update alters — and is intended to reverse — the text of the 1971 NASB.

    Those dates are important in understanding the reason for this change.

    <snip>

    That brings us to the text I want to highlight here as another example of politicized distortion via translation: Exodus 21:22-25.

    Here is how Exodus 21:22-25 read in the New American Standard Bible’s 1977 revision of its 1971 original translation:
    And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is not further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

    You can see how this fits in the context of the chapter. Here is another category of victim for which another set of punishments for violence is given. If a pregnant woman gets struck “so that she has a miscarriage,” but is not herself injured, then the man who struck her must pay a fine. But if the woman herself is injured, then the same rules and punishments for striking any other (non-slave) person apply — “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, etc.”

    But here’s the same passage in 1995 in the updated current version of the NASB:
    If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

    “So that she has a miscarriage” has been replaced with “so that she gives birth prematurely.”

    That’s new. That’s not at all how this passage was translated for centuries.

    <snip>

    The New American Standard Bible translated this passage that same way up until 1977. But something changed between 1977 and 1995 — something that had nothing to do with scholarship, language, accuracy, fidelity or readability.

    American politics had changed between 1977 and 1995. It had polarized and radicalized millions of American Protestants, rallying them around a single issue and thus, as intended, rallying them behind a single political party.

    In 1977, the sort of American Protestants who purchased most Bibles couldn’t be summed up in a single word. But by 1995, they could be: “abortion.”

    And for anti-abortion American evangelicals, Exodus 21:12-27 was unacceptable. It suggested that striking and killing an unborn fetus was in a separate category from striking and killing a “person.” Strike and kill a free person, you get the death penalty. Strike and kill an unborn fetus, you get a fine.

    And so in 1995, like those earlier translators who invented and inserted “Junias,” the translators of the NASB reshaped this passage. “She has a miscarriage, yet there is not further injury” would, in consideration of the changes in American politics since 1977, henceforth be transformed into “she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury.”

    Politics — specifically, the political desire to control women — shaped the translation of that text. The translators changed the words of the Bible to make it seem like it supported their political agenda. They changed the words of the Bible so that others reading it would not be able to see that its actual words challenged and contradicted their political agenda.

    I hope your "Talmudic legwork" includes taking into account politically motivated translations.
    That bit of legal interpretation aside there are several verses which would seem to indicate God having a plan for each of us, even from before conception. Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15, and Psalms 139:13-16 are just a few. Would God's plan include forced death? Given Psalms 127:3 I would say no, but yet again that's just my opinion.

    Given the way God is willing to deal out death (the flood in Genesis, the earth swallowing Korah and his followers, etc.) the God of the Bible seems to have no problem with forced death.
    Then there are the matters of conception by rape and known deformities or disabilities. These are covered in Deuteronomy 24:16 and Exodus 4:11, Isaiah 45:9-11, and 1st Corinthians 1:27 respectively.

    There's also the case where the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. The fact that you consider a woman saving her own life to be sinful also speaks against a general prohibition against "forced death".
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    I didn't think I could experience any more cognitive dissonance from descaling of my eyes!
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    And isn't it funny how in a patriarchal polygamous society there is no prohibition against female-female eroticism?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    By the way @Brother Jude in Christ, most courageous of you.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Brother Jude, have you got anything you would like to discuss aside from your questions of ethics? Would you like to talk about St Francis of Assisi or something that interests you in the Bible?
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    edited April 17
    Hosting
    Please don't encourage other posters to stray from the Dead Horse topics on the Dead Horse board. If you check the Guidelines pinned thread, the permitted topics are: biblical inerrancy, homosexuality, the role of women in church and Christian households, creation and evolution, abortion, closed communion and bitching about church music.

    This is not a board for chatting about what someone believes in general.

    Thanks,
    Louise
    Dead Horses Host
    Hosting off
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Having churned through much (though not all) of the Croesos-linked translation about miscarrying women, I'll just note that in none of the cases does the woman receive the fine; it's her husband or master who gets compensated, as though the fetus-"property" belongs exclusively to him.

    As a result, I'm dubious about how helpful this "fetus-as-property-not-person" notion is to our contemporary abortion debate, as it leaves the status of the woman herself unclear.
    Does she have any agency whatever? Is she a person or is she property? Note that elsewhere in the OT, married women are expected to engage in business on their husbands' behalf.

  • How people latch onto dead horsey things is a topic unto itself. Me suspecting troubles within the mind and spirit of the person. Foreclosing on any lucid discussion, the mind being set and the spirit being ready to fight.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Why was this dead dog resurrected? Doesn't the world have enough troubles?
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    Hosting

    Since the poster who started this thread personalised it so much and is no longer responding, I think it's best if this thread is closed. Please move any discussion of abortion to one of the open threads on that topic.

    Thanks
    Louise
    Dead Horses Host
    hosting off
This discussion has been closed.