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Passions in Poetry

Turning The Other Cheek

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Stephanos
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25 posted 12-22-2007 11:01 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Grinch:
quote:
The example of a bar brawl I gave Stephen precludes premeditation, anything that stops someone cutting out your liver in a bar brawl doesnít constitute an act of evil in my book, itĎs just an act of self-defence.


But even here you make the distinction between a more passive self defense, and a premeditated act of vengeance.  You've conceded my point by recognizing the difference ... because vindictive retribution is still an option.

quote:
I know you have chosen philosophically to recognize a christian god (though I doubt you are able to do so practically speaking). It's still safe to say that since most people do not recognize him, the words of Jesus donít apply.


But most people do recognize him, and consider him to be good and wise.  Whether or not they recognize him as the Son of God is another question.  (though those familiar with the Bible recognize the difficulty of Jesus as a mere sage)  But either way, since Christianity has so much to do with morality and human choices, people of all kinds have found his words (more or less) applicable to life.


I'm not however conceding that your statement is comparable (really) to the one I made.  The fact that you don't believe in moral evil places you in a real minority, among both religious and non-religious people.  Whereas I might question whether the non-religious can give account for the moral categories that they hold, there is little question that most people think that moral blame or virtue is a real possibility.  

quote:
Do you want to reword your statement Stephen or do you want me to blow more holes in the existing one?


I think I'll just turn the other cheek.  

Admittedly, it was less of an argument, than a statement that you, by denying moral evil, are in the margin.  And so perhaps I would change my statement by adding "to them, and not to you", if I didn't suspect that you recognize more of moral evil than your philosophy allows.


Stephen
Stephanos
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26 posted 12-22-2007 11:30 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Mike:
quote:
Sorry, but I don't understand the "only live by treachery' part of that. Is that the only alternative?


Of course not.  But neither does "turn the other cheek" invariably mean to be run over.  It may also be viewed as an offensive defense, if that makes sense.  hmmmm ... or maybe a non-offensive offense?    

The mention of death simply concedes that this thread of truth may run all through life, in the big decisions and the small.  I don't doubt that there are dying situations which demand such choices of doing what's right.  But of course these situations are going to be exceptional.

quote:
I assume that the phrase "Like father, like son" doesn't apply to the Bible then.


Can you rightly say that the Old Testament is devoid of the Son, and the New Testament without "The Father"?  

I think the division is better along dispensational lines.  Humanity needed to see what a bright and terrible thing justice was, before the more congenial glow of mercy could come in fullness, and be appreciated for what it is.  That doesn't mean there is no mercy in the Old Testament, and no justice in the New.  Though God doesn't change, his approach has, because we do.

quote:
As far as the pharoah goes, please don't get me started. None of it was necessary. God toyed with him and inflicted heavy damage and death to many innocents in the process. Is that something that's supposed to be admired?


Too bad you weren't around to tell God what was necessary.

You can look at it in a number of ways.  But I would be slow to interpret it in such a way, seeing that many opportunities were given to Pharaoh (a man who was building his own kingdom on the backs and blood of slaves) to change and turn around.  God turned up the heat, no doubt, but he didn't start with an all consuming fire ... just a burning bush.  So there is mercy and patience even here.  But you're right, the aspect of God's stern justice, is more to be feared than admired.  The New Testament however reminds us that there is much more to be seen than God's anger ... thanks to someone who endured it on our behalf.  And that is something worthy of admiration.


Stephen  
Larry C
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27 posted 12-23-2007 12:44 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

I know I'm late to the dialogue but I want to interject that if, in anyway, our length of life some how is a measure of success than the fact the Jesus died so young would be a negative. My daughter died at 28. There are worse things than dying. Really.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.
Local Rebel
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28 posted 12-23-2007 12:50 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Me:

quote:

Small point Chris;

Turning the other cheek is widely interpreted as a pacifistic course of action but was more likely an act of defiance roughly equivalent to flipping someone off.  In a caste system a person of higher rank, say, a Roman Legion, would slap a person of lower rank with the back of their right hand, more as an act of putting someone in their place than an act of violence.  By turning the other cheek a person considered to be of low stature was actually confronting the abuser -- daring them to strike them with their open hand -- as an equal.  Jesus was a radical.

But, I understand the context in which you employed the example.



Chris:

quote:

Interesting tidbit, Reb. Seriously... I love tales of defiance... do you know how it turned into the commonly accepted representation of non-violence?



Me:

quote:

Cultural context.  If you pluck the written word out of the culture that generates it and try to understand in another place and time without having any reference to the original customs and practices of the writers then it is difficult to interpret accurately.  The authors would not, instinctively, think that they would need to explain every single detail because they would assume some information as common knowledge.

What would George Washington think if he read the words 'bling-bling' or 'foshizzle'?  



Hush:

quote:

I thought "fo shizzle" was two words.


http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/000996.html#10

Some other reading around the www
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=jesus+turn+other+cheek+back+hand+open+hand+ equal+defiance  

Particularly Wink's exposition: http://www.cres.org/star/_wink.htm
Grinch
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29 posted 12-23-2007 06:04 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Ron,

I still donít think weíre hopping in the same direction, Iíll try once more and cut out the bush beating.

Your statements seem to offer an incentive to anyone of a suicidal nature. If someone is told that something better is down the road and that their death is inconsequential, that even their murder wonít be seen as crucial then suicide starts to look like a very viable option.

quote:
There are worse things than dying. Really.


Somewhere a pubescent Goth is probably chanting the same mantra as he hitches the noose to the nearest tree.

I understand what you mean Larry, sometimes living seems like the dirty end of the stick but if your daughter was a pubescent Goth would you be saying the same thing?
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30 posted 12-23-2007 07:35 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Stephen,

quote:
But most people do recognize him, and consider him to be good and wise.


Thatís an invalid argument Stephen as I pointed out it doesnít matter how many people believe in god it doesnĎt prove his existence one way or the other. It definitely isnít proof that the words of Jesus apply.

God does not exist because lots of people donít believe in him
Therefore the words of Jesus do not apply

God does exist because lots of people believe in him
Therefore the words of Jesus apply

It's still safe to say that since most people do recognize it, the words of Jesus apply.


All three statements are based on invalid arguments.

quote:
I'm not however conceding that your statement is comparable (really) to the one I made.


Your statement is as wrong as the statement I made and for all the same reasons. Itís odd though that we can both recognise my example as wrong while you insist yours is right when the arguments are exactly the same.

quote:
The fact that you don't believe in moral evil places you in a real minority.


The fact that you donít understand my stance on moral evil places you in a weak position from which to draw conclusions.

For the record hereís my thoughts on moral codes and evil:

A single and universal moral code does not exist

Nobody has ever committed an act they recognise at the time to be evil

Evil is subjective not objective and does not exist as an independent entity


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31 posted 12-23-2007 09:47 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

the Old Testament makes it pretty clear we're not being graded on a curve. This is a pass/fail class, and no one knows how to pass.

hmmm...well, I'm not aware of where the Old Testament makes that clear but I certainly know how one passes. I've heard it enough times. All one has to do is accept Jesus Christ as one's savior...that's it. The murderer and the the pious man who never hurt a soul are equal in heaven by that one simple rule. Actually, I guess that supports your point that there is no curve. Close your mind and scream out "I believe!" and the pearly gates swing wide....such a deal.
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32 posted 12-23-2007 11:20 AM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Grinch,
"A single and universal moral code does not exist

Nobody has ever committed an act they recognize at the time to be evil

Evil is subjective not objective and does not exist as an independent entity"

You are totally wrong!!!!! absolutely wrong!!!!!!!!You are talking nonsense because if you open your eyes wide enough to watch the world and people around you, you will have another view.  If you are too young to have a decent life experience to drew any proper conclusion Then there are many history book you can read. And you might have found something worth thinking among those great philosophers. How pathetic of them to have pondered all their lives for a logic meaning of human but died with dead mind. It is like holding on a thin branch and then, dropped.
Grinch, you know that I am talking nonsense here Just to make you Angry

[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-24-2007 11:47 AM).]

Grinch
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33 posted 12-23-2007 12:13 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
You are totally wrong!!!!! absolutely wrong!!!!!!!!You are talking nonsense


Nicely constructed argument, have a nice thread and a happy new year.

Stephanos
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34 posted 12-23-2007 12:14 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Your statement is as wrong as the statement I made and for all the same reasons.


An argument which states that Jesus words are applicable because most people believe in evil, would not be refuted by your subjectivism.  Because according to you ALL moral questions fall into the category of the subjective.

But again, I wasn't appealing to numbers as an absolute proof of anything, just a provocative observation.

  
quote:
Itís odd though that we can both recognise my example as wrong while you insist yours is right when the arguments are exactly the same.



But they're not exactly the same, and I explained why above. Two syllogisms may be exactly the same in every way, and yet one may be wrong if the premise is wrong.  "Most people believe in moral evil" is a much truer statement than "Most people do not recognize Jesus".  

I'm not saying you have to agree with me here ... I'm just explaining to you how two similar arguments are not bound to be right or wrong together, based upon their logical form.  The correctness of premises and propositions is also determinate of whether an argument is sound.

    
quote:
The fact that you donít understand my stance on moral evil places you in a weak position from which to draw conclusions.


I think I do understand your stance on moral evil.  But, if you're suggesting that I'm ill fitted to draw conclusions because I don't agree with you, then no one should discuss anything about which they don't agree.  


Hey Grinch, I almost forgot to ask ...

How's the plan to steal Christmas coming along?

Stephen
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35 posted 12-23-2007 12:21 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Ha, ha ha ha,  (see how I got you!!!!, Grinch)
Grinch, you are a gentleman. I intentionally tease you into anger to let you know that If there were not common code of moral, we could not carry a single conversation because as bad as myself, i just could say something worse or if  I could, I would jail you for different opinions.    

Love ya and I was the one who was talking nonsense.
TM    
Stephanos
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36 posted 12-23-2007 12:22 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Grinch,

I almost forgot to mention that my "applicability" statement, and an argument for "existence" is not the same argument at all.  Whether something exists, or whether something is applicable or relevant, is bound to be argued differently.


Stephen
Stephanos
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37 posted 12-23-2007 01:02 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Grinch:
quote:
(To Ron) Your statements seem to offer an incentive to anyone of a suicidal nature. If someone is told that something better is down the road and that their death is inconsequential, that even their murder wonít be seen as crucial then suicide starts to look like a very viable option.


I know you addressed this to Ron.  Forgive my intrusion, if you see it as such.

But aren't you forgetting the whole structure of thought upon which the religious view is built, which negates the impetus of suicide?  

First of all, it has never been a Christian idea that the next life is Good, and this one is all bad.  The world-to-come gives meaning to this life, in addition to putting things into perspective.  

Secondly, there is the strongest moral disapprobation of suicide in the Christain worldview (though this doesn't rule out sympathy or compassion).  This is because life is viewed as sacred.  But because it is sacred, it is contingent.  And because it is contigent, there is more to be considered.


Chesterton explained it very well in his book "Orthodoxy":


"Let us follow for a moment the clue of the martyr and the suicide; and take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. "He that will lose his life, the same shall save it," is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice.

He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying.
"


Sometimes things which are vastly different will appear superficially the same.  Though I do concede that the encouragements to recognize something greater than this life, may be used by some as excuses to reject life altogether.  But considering the edifice upon which such advice hangs, I think this would be very rare.  Even so, the best things in life involve the risk of misuse don't they?


Stephen
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38 posted 12-23-2007 01:32 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Mike:
quote:
I certainly know how one passes. I've heard it enough times. All one has to do is accept Jesus Christ as one's savior...that's it. The murderer and the the pious man who never hurt a soul are equal in heaven by that one simple rule. Actually, I guess that supports your point that there is no curve. Close your mind and scream out "I believe!" and the pearly gates swing wide....such a deal.


Why would forgiveness and a change of heart require you to "close your mind"?  More like "change your mind".       

But I guess that's your way of saying it seems unreasonable to let murderers and theives into heaven, and let respectable people go to hell.  But two considerations might make this not as unreasonable as you make it out to be ... 1)  The most respectable people are not righteous, hiding things inside, not even living up to their own standards.  and 2) The Bible does not teach that wicked people will be in heaven, but that outward repentance is a necessary fruit of salvation.  

Seeing it this way may allow someone hope no matter what they've done, and yet give caution to someone no matter how good they think they've been.  But its never been an open door policy for sin, because to say "I believe" entails much more than intellectual assent.  Surely your church doesn't teach "Do anything you want and Jesus will forgive you"?  


And that's not a slap on the cheek ... Just something to consider.


Stephen  
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39 posted 12-23-2007 06:54 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

My church DOES teach that salvation comes to all who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior....as I believe all of Christianity does. The murderer on death row can go to heaven upon his execution if he accepts Him and, apparently will have as many rights as a Pope, unless there is a heirarchy in heaven. My response was to Ron's comment that we don't know how to pass the test. THAT seems to be the test. Why close one's mind? Because one cannot use logic and reason to explain the Bible's definition of Heaven, therefore those avenues must be disregarded and replaced by blind belief.

Why the stand against suicide? That's easy enough. The church DOES  paint heaven as a place free of pain and trouble where believers can live out eternity in peace and even be reunited with loved ones. Well, then, with a place like that waiting, why would many NOT want to leave this world behind to get there? The church HAD to make suicide against the rules to eliminate that avenue.

I do wonder, though, if a person sincerely accepted Jesus as his savior and still committed suicide, what then? Would he get in or not? I'll have to ask the pastor that one....
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40 posted 12-23-2007 07:29 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

oh, Sir balladeer, you have a church? I think your church is outside your church.'   How interesting to know.

"My church DOES teach that salvation comes to all who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior....as I believe all of Christianity does."

Why Jesus is significant here?
Savior of what? why we need savior if we all live such happy life? No, we don't need. It is the  soul crying to go back home.

"Why close one's mind? Because one cannot use logic and reason to explain the Bible's definition of Heaven, therefore those avenues must be disregarded and replaced by blind belief."

You'd better let Sir Ron explain pip again and again to you to get a rough idea. But be  aware that Sir Ron is not God.   You are an angel here, aren't you?

"Why the stand against suicide?"

It is murder.

"I do wonder, though, if a person sincerely accepted Jesus as his savior and still committed suicide, what then? Would he get in or not? I'll have to ask the pastor that one...."

Sincerely...yes. but is he sincere all the time? Evil like roaring lion looking for the spiritually  weak mind. That is why YOU have to go to church once a week, fellowship  twice a week, read Bible daily, and think God's words all the time. Seriously one shall do this. I spend too much time on PIP if not on my bad poem.  

[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-23-2007 08:49 PM).]

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quote:
I do wonder, though, if a person sincerely accepted Jesus as his savior and still committed suicide, what then? Would he get in or not?

Mike, that sounds like the kind of logic a stalker might pursue.

"If I sincerely loved you, would you love me back even if I killed you?"

We both know, of course, that the stalker has confused obsession with love. If he really loved his target the question would never need arise.

Accepting Christ isn't a ploy, Mike, and it shouldn't be confused with something it's not. It's a relationship and, like any relationship built on mutual love, it's probably going to have its ups and downs. It takes work, just as any relationship does. A big part of a healthy relationship, I think, is not doing anything to intentionally hurt the one you love. For example, my mom didn't like casual swearing. Out of love and respect for her, I tried really hard to not swear in her house. If I slipped it didn't mean she stopped loving me or immediately kicked me out of her life. It just meant I felt bad for letting her down again. I didn't much like letting her down.

I honestly don't think it's any more complicated than that.

BTW, Mike, the test I mentioned is delineated in the Ten Commandments and requires one hundred percent compliance. Jesus isn't the way to pass that test, though. It's more like you have to let him take it for you.

But, then, I suspect you knew all that.


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42 posted 12-23-2007 10:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Darn it, Ron, I hate to lower your opinion of my mental capabilities but I did NOT know that.

The ten commandments are rules that everyone is supposed to try to follow but that no one can. They are not the test to get into heaven, else heaven would be devoid of anyone, since no one would be qualified.

I repeat...the test is accepting Jesus Christ. You can fracture every commandment (including the other ten that Mel Brooks dropped) and still travel down that faraway road if you accept HIM. According to the Bible Jesus DID take the test for you and, if you accept that - and HIM - you're in.

The flip side to that is that, even if you live your life in the best way you can, without violating the rights of anyone, and you do NOT accept HIM as your savior...it's sorry, Charlie. I have difficulty trusting an organization with rules like that.
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43 posted 12-23-2007 11:00 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Mike:
quote:
... one cannot use logic and reason to explain the Bible's definition of Heaven, therefore those avenues must be disregarded and replaced by blind belief.

Not at all.  There is of course much that has to accepted on authority, but what is accepted is not antithetical to reason.  The reward of righteousness, and the punishment of sin, are both reasonable concepts.  

If you're talking about rationalistic proof then no, logic and reason cannot prove anything.  Can logic and reason prove that love and hate exist, or even define them?  And yet, their existence is not contrary to reason or logic.

So if you're trying to imply that having religious faith means you must reject logic and reason, I think you're being unreasonable.          

quote:
My church DOES teach that salvation comes to all who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior....as I believe all of Christianity does.
  

But surely your church also teaches that repentance and good works are the necessary fruits of receiving that salvation, right?  The reason I'm asking, is that earlier, you seemed to describe (as a reductio ad absurdum) Heaven being filled with the wicked, and hell with decent people.  I'm just addressing that caricature, and proposing that it is not Biblical.  Sure the Bible says anyone may come, but in coming they must subsequently change in significant ways.  "Faith without works is dead".


quote:
even if you live your life in the best way you can, without violating the rights of anyone, and you do NOT accept HIM as your savior...it's sorry, Charlie. I have difficulty trusting an organization with rules like that.


"without violating the rights of anyone".  That's funny.  Not only does the Bible teach this is as fanciful, our experience does too, if we're honest with ourselves.  We can't live up to our own standards, much less God's.

And neither does the Bible teach "do anything despicable you want ... then get in free".  It does teach, "If you've done what is despicable, there is still hope for you".  There's a difference.  And the latter does not necessitate the former.  What you are describing is libertinism or anti-nomianism.  And there's plenty of scriptural weight against that interpretation.  

  
quote:
Why the stand against suicide? That's easy enough. The church DOES  paint heaven as a place free of pain and trouble where believers can live out eternity in peace and even be reunited with loved ones. Well, then, with a place like that waiting, why would many NOT want to leave this world behind to get there? The church HAD to make suicide against the rules to eliminate that avenue.


You should read "The Great Divorce".  In it Lewis helps us realize that Heaven is no escapist resort, but a place unbearable for those who are not made fit to be there.  In the book he describes a bus ride to eternity, and upon investigating the place called Heaven, many of them find various reasons for turning back and not going.  There, everything is more real, defined, sharp, and demanding.  These curious visitors find themselves like half naked ghosts, barely able to walk in such a beautifully terrible place without pain, challenge, and difficulty.  The beings who already dwell there assure them that these setbacks are temporary, and that in trusting and obeying the Lord of that country, they will be made more able to dwell there.  Still, many of them think that the easier path of short-term comfort is better than the humbling path of discipleship, and get back on the bus taking them back to the shadowlands.

The reason I bring this up, is to suggest that suicide could never rightly be seen as a path to the piercing light of Heaven.  If one rejects light here, how can one receive the light there?  If one does not respect life now, then how then?  If one abandons hope in the flatlands, how will one retain it in the mountainous terrain?


In light of what the Bible really says about the life to come, its hard to reasonably think that the denunciation of suicide by the Church was contrived as an antidote to desiring Heaven too much.  It makes more sense to take the Christian view of life as a whole (that it is sacred because it is a gift), as the explanation for why suicide was so opposed, and martyrdom understood.


Stephen
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44 posted 12-24-2007 12:05 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Stephan. Wikipedia describes The Great divorce as a work of fantasy by C.S. Lawrence. THAT is what you are referring to me to prove your point? You are suggesting that a fantasy helps prove your definition of reality? Shall I refer to Superman to bolster my contention that there are men out there who can fly? Hw does not "help us realize" anything. He writes of the fantasy he creates in the book.

C.S. Lewis is a great writer with an equally great imagination, shared by many who propound their own views of how Heaven works. That does not make their views accurate.

Btw, I challenge you to show anywhere I claimed that heaven was filled with the wicked and hell with the decent. There is a world of difference between saying that a murderer can get into heaven and heaven being filled with the wicked. The overexaggeration is unfounded here, I believe.
Stephanos
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45 posted 12-24-2007 12:34 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

C.S. Lewis, not Lawrence.


Fantasy or not, it communicates something in a provacative way, that the Bible also communicates ... that Heaven is not about laxity and escapism, but about fullest life, strenuous and real.


quote:
C.S. Lewis is a great writer with an equally great imagination, shared by many who propound their own views of how Heaven works. That does not make their views accurate.


No it doesn't.  What makes Lewis' views accurate, is that it comports with what scripture says about Heaven, much better than the "disembodied" view of Heaven.  I never said it is true merely because Lewis wrote it.  I did suggest you read it and see what you think about it.  It is not offered to you as a proof of Christian truth about Heaven, but as a very lucid communication of it.

quote:
He does not "help us realize" anything. He writes of the fantasy he creates in the book.


Lewis is well known for writing Christian allegory, which means that he uses the art of fictional prose to convey Christian truths.  Just as Orwell's "Animal Farm" was a critique of communism, so also "The Great Divorce" is a communicator of concepts beyond its own plot line.  Neither should be called pure fantasy ... probably more along the lines of "fictional commentary".  If you don't think fictional writing can communicate anything true, or beyond itself, why do you write poetry?  I'm not saying that you have to write poetry about anything more important than the color of your underwear.  But I think you'll concede the point that you could if you wished.      
      
quote:
Btw, I challenge you to show anywhere I claimed that heaven was filled with the wicked and hell with the decent. There is a world of difference between saying that a murderer can get into heaven and heaven being filled with the wicked. The overexaggeration is unfounded here, I believe.


Okay then, so all you're saying is that a murderer can be redeemed (which means to trust Christ and repent) and have Eternal Life.  Where's the criticism in this?


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46 posted 12-24-2007 08:43 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

What makes Lewis' views accurate, is that it comports with what scripture says about Heaven

Stephen, it doesn't make them accurate. It simply makes them in line with the scriptures.

which means that he uses the art of fictional prose to convey Christian truths

Actually, I think that Christian beliefs would be more accurate.

If you don't think fictional writing can communicate anything true, or beyond itself, why do you write poetry?

Good point. Fictional writing can indeed use something factual as it's base on which it expounds.....or it may not. I may write a poem about aliens landing from outer space. That doesn't mean they did,even though there is belief that Earth is inhabited with extra-terrestrial beings.

Stephan, you care calling a work of fiction accurate because it conforms to the teachings you believe, even though it was presented as, and is recognized as, a work of fiction. The greatest description of hell I have ever seen is in the movie "What Dreams May Come". If there is a hell, that's exactly how I would imagine it and it is also based on the view of what many people imagine hell to be, I believe. That doesn't make it so.

Okay then, so all you're saying is that a murderer can be redeemed (which means to trust Christ and repent) and have Eternal Life.  Where's the criticism in this?

I did not present that as criticism (although I could) but as proof that the doorway to the Christian heaven opens only when Christ is accepted as one's savior and there is no difference between even murderers and popes when that requirement is met.

Truthfully, I would like to see a man roast in hell for murdering my daughter instead of being told  he found a place in heaven by accepting Christ before he was executed. I realize that's not very Christian of me but we are what we are.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Stephen
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47 posted 12-24-2007 09:54 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Mike, first of all, I return your "Merry Christmas".  Just because we don't see eye to eye, doesn't mean that we can't enjoy goodwill!

But I would like to address a couple of other points before we go into Christmas hibernation.  (I'll be out of town a few days)

quote:
Me: What makes Lewis' views accurate, is that it comports with what scripture says about Heaven

Mike: it doesn't make them accurate. It simply makes them in line with the scriptures.


If you'll look back, I was simply responding to your protest of using a fictional work to communicate something.  That communication was in a larger context of argument I have been making all along, which was to argue that what scripture says about Heaven and Hell is not unreasonable (or unjust) and worthy of more consideration by you.  

quote:
The greatest description of hell I have ever seen is in the movie "What Dreams May Come". If there is a hell, that's exactly how I would imagine it and it is also based on the view of what many people imagine hell to be, I believe. That doesn't make it so.


Its status of fiction doesn't make it altogether untrue either.  And that was my point.  I haven't seen "What Dreams ...".  And for that reason I'm unable to comment on it.  But since you've never read "The Great Divorce", maybe you should give it a read before you dismiss it as altogether unreasonable.

quote:
and there is no difference between even murderers and popes when that requirement is met.


It seems you are viewing this as a mere formality (like presenting a ticket) instead of a spiritual transformation.  The doctrine of regeneration, or re-birth, is important in relation to salvation.  Because the redeemed in the New Testament are not described as murderers, thieves, and adulterers any longer.  Not that they are perfected in a moment, but the Bible seems to indicate the possibility of a real change of heart.  How much of that change takes place here and now, is debated, but the change is still part of redemption.

quote:
Truthfully, I would like to see a man roast in hell for murdering my daughter instead of being told  he found a place in heaven by accepting Christ before he was executed. I realize that's not very Christian of me but we are what we are.


I'm not trying to be insensitive to anyone, but have you explored the idea that wishing someone to hell may be at least as bad as murder?  We are what we are, but does that make it right?  I promise, you and I and murderers alike will want mercy on that day.

  
Stephen
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quote:
and there is no difference between even murderers and popes

Nor can there be, Mike, in a fully binary system. It's pass/fail, remember. By themselves, both the murderer and the pope have failed. There is no "more" failed or "almost" succeeded. It's just failed.

It makes more sense, at least to me, when I stop thinking of heaven and hell in terms of reward and punishment. Instead, imagine the greatest love you've ever known and think of heaven as acceptance and hell as rejection. "I want to be with you forever," your greatest love says. That is heaven, even here on this mortal coil. "Get out! Leave me alone," your greatest love says. Anyone who has faced that ultimate pain knows something of Hell, I suspect. And, yea, acceptance/rejection is a necessarily binary condition. "Let's just be friends" was never really an option.

Is rejection fair? Let's flip the perspective a bit.

How much betrayal are you willing to accept from the one you love before you put her aside? Can she sleep with one man? Is ten too many? Can she sleep with other men as long as she doesn't get pregnant? Where would you personally draw the line between acceptance and rejection? Honestly, I don't see any way to make it not a binary condition.

Want to make it both more and less complicated? Imagine that your prenup specifically spelled out what constituted cheating and what would happen if your new wife did it. And imagine, further, that you always do exactly what you say you're going to do. In this instance, the line is already drawn and it becomes less a matter of forgiveness than one of justice. You must keep your word.

The Bible, I think, will always ultimately make sense. It doesn't even require belief. Either we are a reflection of God or God is a reflection of us, and in either case understanding, however partial, is attainable. We can condemn the acceptance/rejection motif of Christianity, perhaps, but with every single one of us doing it in our own lives, I think it's a bit hard to claim we can't understand it.


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49 posted 12-24-2007 11:19 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

Your Christian apologetic is always different than mine, but I find it insightful.  But is it possible that the "punishment / reward" and the "acceptance / rejection" paradigms are not necessarily contrary, just different descriptions of the same?

Stephen  
 
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