spirit2change

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  1. Pornography as grounds for divorce

    This morning I saw on Facebook how the governor of Utah is declaring pornography to be a public health hazard, then I was led to the following article, which has been a blessing, which I tend to agree with, about pornography being biblical grounds for divorce: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2015/10/08/porn-use-as-grounds-for-divorce-how-my-opinion-changed/ I especially think the following illustration and question are insightful: ----------- At what point in the following series of scenarios does someone cease to be guilty ofporneia? Scenario #1: A man openly, habitually, and unrepentantly frequents prostitutes to have sex with them (clearly porneia). Scenario #2: A man openly, habitually, and unrepentantly visits homes where prostitution is taking place, but instead of having sex with them, he immerses himself in the sex-saturated environment, watching the orgies, so he can masturbate in front of them. Scenario #3: A man openly, habitually, and unrepentantly connects to prostitutes online to watch live-streamvideos of them having sex with others while he masturbates. Scenario #4: A man openly, habitually, and unrepentantly watches recorded videos of prostitutes having sex with others while he masturbates. Scenario #5: A man openly, habitually, and unrepentantly watches the same videos as scenario #4, but the women don’t call themselves prostitutes. They call themselves “porn stars.†------------- I think all scenarios are porneia. The article concludes by suggesting the justification of divorce be determined by evaluating the husband's degree of repentance and the wife's willingness to forgive. A wife who is very forgiving, and a husband who is very unrepentant, would be considered justification for divorce. This wasn't in the article, but I've been thinking about the implications of this on dating. Wouldn't breaking up a dating relationship be more easily justified than getting a divorce? This makes me think single people ought to be completely free of porneia before they try to enter a dating relationship. The longer I've lived the more I've been convinced how spiritually tough men ought to be. The world tells a general and subtle lie that it's unreasonable to expect us to grow firm boundaries and exert them with fervor. The Lord says, "As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 We have a high calling. The substance is iron. Malleable to be sharpened, and firm and precise to hold an edge. Ephesians says we wrestle against spiritual forces. To don God as armor and take up the sword of the Spirit. Pornography is evil. Rid ourselves of it. ------------ Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 ------------ (The article was written by someone with Covenant Eyes, which is a faith-based pornography accountability software development company.) Josef
  2. Orthodox Christians?

    HeWhoWaits - my understanding is the Catholic and Orthodox churches are two groups that formed from a split in year 1054 known as the Great Schism of 1054. The Catholic and Orthodox churches are very similar. The Catholic church is centered in west Europe with about 1.25 billion adherents, and the Orthodox church is centered in east Europe with about 225-300 million adherents. They split because of disagreements on theology and who has authority. They both claim to be the "one true church". The Catholic church claims their pope has authority over everyone else. The Orthodox church has no office equivalent to pope, instead placing equal authority in bishops with separate jurisdictions, and holding councils. My own men's fellowship is people from various churches and we leave our denominations at the door when we meet. We just go by the bible. 1 Corinthians 3 talks about divisions although that's a separate topic. "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9
  3. Evolution of Faith...

    What are your neo-liberal religious views? It might help us understand if you give an example illustrating why it's hard to relate to fellow Christians. What theological topics is there disagreement on? I think a starting point in understanding this relationship is to examine your theology and your fellow Christian's to see how accurate each party is. I grew up in a home where my father studied Buddhism and Hinduism and I wasn't raised Christian. I had read from Buddhist, Hindu, pagan and atheist books but never even a chapter of the bible. I met Jesus in my late 20's and started learning the bible afterwards. So my history is a bit multi-religious too.
  4. I'll answer in two parts. These are my thoughts (being a Christian). Part one: it's not that hard to identify a potential match like that if one is Christian and mines OkCupid and ChristianMingle. I've met or seen a good number of women who are lifelong abstinent. They tend to be amazing daughters of God who are very family oriented and want children. Part two: once someone like that has been found, it can be a challenge to actually start a relationship, because the almighty God Himself would have to approve of her being a couple with anyone! It can be a challenge for a man to meet those standards although with God it is completely possible. Sometimes I think there might be a lot of single Christians because we are near end times. Although it's just a thought, I have no certainty about it! Outside the Christian community, I don't have knowledge to propose an answer.
  5. The power of praise

    Hallelujah! Praise God It reminds me how we used to sing in church, to music like this: Praise brings up gratitude in us, and in gratitude we find joy. Rejoice always. Rejoice in your sufferings!
  6. Inspiring quotes

    I like these a lot Geraldine! It's interesting for me to think that a woman might consider herself like a queen, but also a humble servant of the most high. It reminds me of the concept that all authority is delegated from above. I suppose women might think of themselves as queen like in relation to having children? It's fascinating, since I never thought of myself as a king, I feel better thinking of myself as a total nobody who God can use. I've never planned to have children either. Josef Have a nice day!
  7. I think my faith is wavering, please help

    I'll try to explain a bit about commitment levels. The idea of people having sex outside marriage, and the idea of people being abstinent till marriage, then forming a public and sacred covenant between them God, are two ideas that cannot coexist in harmony within society. Abstinence until marriage is sacred and it sustains healthy families and children. If people have sex based on commitment levels, they will feel a false sense of commitment based on their flesly lusts. After having sex the man will realize he isn't quite right for the woman after all. He felt she was the one because of his flesh, then afterwards the commitment evaporates because it is not of God. The woman is left broken hearted and possibly a single mother. Sex before marriage puts flesh above God, and makes us into something we're not meant to be. Something discordant to God's Kingdom. If you want to talk on the phone about it you can message me!
  8. Thanks for sharing this, Géraldine! I've read Shelley's book which is amazing, and I sometimes listen to the rap album she helped create. I'm hoping I get a chance to hear her speak in person if she does an event near me. I live near the "porn capital of the world". To all, when people watch porn, they are a slave to it, a slave to their flesh. Sin enslaves people. Now I know for a fact Jesus can set us free from those chains! Whatever sin a person has, if they lean on Jesus strength to break free, not their own, they will be set free. I think if a person has been caught up in sin for so long, they start to identify themselves with that sin. Then the notion of breaking free becomes entangled with the notion of losing their identity. But in Jesus we are a new creation! It's not so much staying our old self minus the porn, it's being born again of the Spirit! Remember, we're not some kind of 'animal' that requires an orgasm every several days. It's simply not true! If people find it challenging to get by, and feel like they're climbing the walls, well we ought to remember that's what we have Jesus for, by God! When God calls, He calls us to be His holy children! So instead of trying to do all that heavy lifting for ourselves, we should let Him do the heavy lifting! Just put trust in God! Repent and pray, it works! Say bye to the old, hi to the new. If Shelley and I can do it, so can others! Grace and peace, I love y'all
  9. When I was younger my grandma went to Heaven, and I love her so much, I just want to see her again. I almost cry when I think about her sometimes. I don't just want to see her, I want to watch her crochet things and plant a garden with her and all kind of things like we used to do. Your friend loves his brother so much and misses him so much, well that's exactly what we have God for, so we can be with our loved ones again in Heaven. Jesus Himself died and three days later rose and came back to life and was seen alive again by hundreds and hundreds of eyewitnesses. It's historic, all written down not long after it happened. Jesus is alive and PROVED God is real. After that, the early Christians went to their deaths SINGING as they were fed to the lions by Romans, because they had so much faith that Jesus had conquered death. And then even the Romans started to believe after seeing that kind of faith, hope and love. All your friend has to do is believe in Jesus, love him with everything he's got and put his faith in him, and he'll assuredly see his brother again some day, and give him a hug and spend good times together again. Your friend was praying to see his brother alive again? Well, he will see him alive again! God is your friend's HOPE of seeing him again. And I'm sure his bother wants more than anything for your friend to believe in Christ again. He loves his brother, so the thing to do is cowboy up, put faith in Jesus and we'll all be there together some day in Heaven! That is what I sincerely believe. Revelation 21:4 “ ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.†Josef
  10. I think my faith is wavering, please help

    Thank you for writing about your struggle! In that situation I think I'd PRAY about it! Pray hard and get on my knees if that felt right! I might pray like this, God, help me be holy. I want to be holy like You Lord God. Please take away my temptations of lust. Deliver me from evil. Lord rebuke thee Satan. It is written, resist the devil and he will flee. I resist you, now go! Lord Jesus make me holy and deliver me from evil. I have fought these battles many times and Jesus will win them for both of us! God's word tells us people who unrepentantly have sex before marriage will not enter the kingdom of God: 1 Corinthians 7 1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.†2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (ESV) Above God's word explains that sexual relations outside marriage is sexual immorality. Marriage is given as a solution to the temptation of sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV) And here above God's word tells us to not be deceived, that sexually immoral people will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. These both are from the New Testament and reflect Jesus teachings. Galatians 5 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (ESV) Walk by the Spirit! Crucify the flesh! Again God's word tells us above that people who practice sex before marriage (sexual immorality) will not inherent the kingdom of God. The world in its evil tries to make us envy and desire sex before marriage, but the Holy Spirit with you can overcome evil with good! Maybe pray4 self control, too! Jesus will win this battle for you! Cling to Him! Grace, peace and love!
  11. Has your faith ever been tested?

    Wow, just wanted to update since my views have changed so much. I posted above quite a while back and at the time I was very new to Christianity. Authors who considered that some of the creation stories like Adam and Eve in the bible didn't literally happpen were approachable to me, because I learned about evolution as a child. Now I have come to believe in the bible much more literally. We all come from two great plus grandparents, Adam and Eve. I would no longer recommend Rachael Held Evans blog and views that the world's history is anything short of dramatically miraculous and the bible's events are literally true. What has kept my faith during times of test are a number of different things. The supernatural signs God has shown me and others. The transformative power of the gospel. How spiritually tangible God feels. God answers prayer! Prayer works. And also how God is the most logical explanation for the existence of the universe. There's also the prophetic schema of the bible. The historical evidence of Jesus and miracles. The knowledge God has given me. Other things too... Faith is a growing thing
  12. Martin Luther King Jr.

    In America today we remember preacher Martin Luther King Jr. who did some work for Jesus. He spoke about people seeing beyond the color of another's skin. He talks about a personal moment of faith in the latter half of this recording: His words continue to offer encouragement, truth, faith, hope and love.
  13. There has been so much tension in the world lately with the struggle surrounding Jerusalem and terrorist attacks that I just want to say I love you whether you are a Jew a Muslim or anything else. The people in ISIS and terrorists of other affiliations I love you and hope we walk the way of peace together. We can have tea and sing together some time. I think we all have done evil things, we need to forgive then give our extra belongings away and serve whoever needs help the most. Peace & love from someone who has sinned in America
  14. Prepare for death...it's serious

    Thank you Geraldine, this gives me help with the website I want to build. Confronting death can help people grow spiritually, and we must always keep an eternal perspective on how we live our lives!
  15. Ask a Seventh Day Adventist

    Josh88 check it she says "He has thought to change the greatest commandment in the *decalogue*..." The decalogue means the 10 commandments. She is only claiming it is the greatest commandment of the 10, not of all the commandments. So she doesn't contradict Jesus answer about the greatest commandment.
  16. What Single Sisters Should Learn From Ruth Part 2

    The past two weeks we were just talking about Ruth at a church I go to! 7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! 9 He said, “Who are you?†And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.†Ruth 3 She uncovered his feet at night and lay down beside him...awwww
  17. To christian guys

    I would accept someone like that. When someone has sadness I want to show them love
  18. A question for Christians

    I have friends who identify as gay and I love them so much, I want us to be together in Heaven singing songs for eternity. I grew up learning that same-sex marriage is OK for people then I found Jesus, saw miracles, signs and was healed, and started to take the bible seriously. So now I hope they all remain celibate or marry the opposite gender because the bible is clear about it, and I don't want anyone to risk their eternity! I want us all to make it to Heaven. I have been abstinent my whole life too.
  19. what are your favourite Christian preachers?

    Ravi Zacharias https://youtu.be/nvOQuthyI74 And a few others
  20. The Saint That is Just Me

    That is deep and raw I don't know many songs that deep, except maybe Oceans
  21. Church and state

    I think the only way for religion not to influence politics would be if religious people were forbidden to vote and become politicians. That's because if a person has a religious worldview it is inevitably going to influence their political choices. I think good theological ideas should influence political choices. I know this quote will be considered controversial on these forums but it is something to ponder and talk about in a civil way. Here is Chesterton: "The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." G.K. Chesterton I think he's relating to the idea that without God, morality becomes relative, and the value of particular human lives becomes a personal preference. But with God, people have divine origin and people have intrinsic worth as God's children. They have worth even if they're unborn babies, for example. I think important political ideas come from religion based thinking. But I don't think I'd like to see churches endorsing particular candidates, or running political campaigns. Unless their endorsement is accompanied by miracles and signs. I see religious institutions as being there to help people get connected to God on a personal and intimate level. Although this is still something I ponder. So I think the following quote is important to bear in mind when considering how directly and to what degree a religious institution should be involved with politics: "But you know, General, Jesus never came to establish a government upon the people by force. He did not even talk about political systems. He came to rule in the hearts of people, and not by the establishment of political power. He asks to live in you, not to control your state." Ravi Zacharias
  22. Religious Freedom Restoration Act

    I'd like to ask a question. Christian bookstores are allowed to sell only books with Christian messages. Should a Christian bakery similarly be allowed to sell only cakes with Christian messages? Suppose the messages were predetermined and the bakery offered ten different Christian quotes with no customization. The bakery is Christian themed and sells pretzels and unleavened bread and other traditional items.
  23. March Against Monsanto

    Today (May 23rd) is the launching date for March Against Monsanto, when thousands across the globe protest the huge Monsanto corporation, over claims its GMO crops are toxic and its herbacide Roundup is carcinogenic. I was curious what people's thoughts were about Monsanto and GMO foods. Do you buy GMOs or try to avoid them? Do you think they're safe? Do you think laws should require GMO foods to be labeled in grocery stores so people know if the food they're buying contains GMOs or not?
  24. "How Secular Family Values Stack Up"

    Hi Matthew, The basis for believing that following God's morality will be more beneficial to people includes these things: God is all knowing God is all powerful God created us God loves us God gives us eternal life Just looking at two of these, we could say that a moral leader acts out of love and knowledge. A human and God may both act out of love but a human has limited knowledge while God has unlimited knowledge, so God knows better than any human what the best choice is. Also, following God's moral laws coincides with living a life that God may grant eternal life in Heaven. If people don't follow God's moral laws they have a risk of not going to Heaven. And shouldn't a moral framework for living on earth take into account what happens to people in the span of eternity? We can say God is good by definition because God is a word and within a system of theology it is defined according to thought. So we can say two of God's properties are He is creator, He is loving. Then we can say good means having affinity with a loving creator. Because the highest morality is achieved through living in harmony with a loving creator who wants us to love Him back. Christian theology uses reason and the empirical to conclude that the God written about in the bible exists and is God in accordance with this fledgling definition. To characterize Christian morality, I would recommend looking at its two greatest commandments as told in Matthew 22:36-40, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Another characteristic belief is that Jesus said we are to love our enemies, not hate them. And Galations 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." The story of Abraham not sacrificing Isaac, I can talk about in a separate post. The world is a more complicated place than it needs to be, because people through free will disobeyed God. Thanks for reading!
  25. Going to Rome...

    How exciting! Have a great time, we will miss having you on this site!