Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 12, 2013 - 09:15am PT
John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#289287

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

...AMEN!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 12, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Michael Shermer,
An idea: Don't replace the Pope. End Catholicism. Close the Vatican. Sell all that art & give the money to all those pederasts' rape victims.

Hear, hear!

(Though I'd post this so Jingy would have less doubt about my theism, lack thereof.) :)

.....

A super enjoyable read...
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pura-vida/201302/emancipation-and-evolution-happy-b-day-abie-and-charlie
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 12, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Or...... the best one I heard so far is replace him (Ratshitslinger that is) with the Dalai Lama.


Can you imagine if someone started a petition to do just that and it got a couple of billion signatures? What statement would that make about the morality of the Vatican and its leadership?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 12, 2013 - 11:41am PT
That's fun to imagine!

(Oops, that's right-brain, multi-radiant, definitely "nonlinear" creative, isn't it? so I wonder how I imagined that? esp in all those sounds and colors!)
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 12, 2013 - 11:53am PT
Science
"Let me explain the problem science has with religion ."The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

'Absolutely '

'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'

'Yes'

'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. 'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'

'Er..yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one.. 'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?'

The student falters. 'From God'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'

'Yes'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything,then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'

'So who created them ?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him.'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'

'Yes'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist... What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies.. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat? '

' Yes.

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.' 'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.' 'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so... So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I Guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?' Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it Every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in The multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.

MH2

climber
Feb 12, 2013 - 11:59am PT
Science says we have no brain??
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 12, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
go-b's post, I think, illustrates perfectly how one can use religious reasoning and rhetoric to advance Abrahamic mythology down through the generations. Thank goodness it's the 21st century now, reasoning standards are higher, and people - most esp young college educated ones - can see through this under-developed "low-information" bs.

Nonetheless it gets credit: it's the only post I've read of his in last 200.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 12, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
...and perhaps he can also forgo modern medicine...

to me God is the reason for living this life and
I would not want to live forever without God!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 12, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
FYI,

(1) It's Darwin Day.

(2) Darwin has recently replaced Dickens on the British ten pound note.



Imagine...

(1) Darwin on a U.S. $10 bill. (I don't think gobe would support this.)

.....

P.S. There's also a push to put Alan Turing on the british note - (a) for his professional achievements also (b) for how he was treated (chemical castration) by the British gov regarding his sexuality (homosexuality was illegal at the time; he was prosecuted).

btw, to the naysayers and deniers, this is an example, one example of countless ones, of higher performance in living through increased education in how life works. "Knowing better is doing better."
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 12, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
while people may wish to have a life enriched by spiritual teaching, it is clear that the teachers could prey on the students... and with devastating effect when it contradicts the very teaching. It is the flip side of being "trusting" and having "faith."


Ed, you still have this wrong, at least in a way that reflects what active people are doing today per their spiritual practices.

You are still approaching the whole spirituality thing as if the point was to get information - i.e., "teaching," whereby a novice can get the "right" or "correct" information from an instructor, and this information, if true and backed up by "objective evidence" will enrich a person's life. This is really a version of Fruity's hypothesis by which spirituality is not an experience practice (which it is), but an exercise to amass the right stuff whereby you can achieve a better and predictable result. This turns being into an experiment, with a specific end or result or outcome in mind, when most viable spiritual practices work in the opposite directing, and bore into what is - with no agenda.

Also understand that most spiritual warriors that I know are more sceptical than most anyone on this list. Like I'm going to just accept at face value some guy claiming to be this or that. As it goes in scholastics, you judge on what as person is and has done. Spirituality is full of frauds and fools and drunks and so forth, and a huge part of spirituality reaching the west is in demythologising the whole thing and dumping all the cultural acretions and just doing the practice, keping one eye open for shysters and bullshitters.

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 12, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
This is really a version of Fruity's hypothesis

An example from which I just posted last page.

"Knowing better is doing better."

In rock climbing. In every art and trade. In life at large. How you can continue page after page on this thread to deny this is beyond understanding.

.....

most viable spiritual practices work in the opposite directing, and bore into what is - with no agenda.


Actually, this describes science . At least "basic science" or "pure science." (No wonder there is so much comm difficulty.)

.....

Food for thought:




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAD-ky3TYQk&feature=player_embedded

.....

We should all be able to agree that "spirituality" - like so much else - can mean one thing in one discipline and another in another.

In my field (field of interest, field of belief, field of work, whatever), "spirituality" (def #3) is decidedly normative, prescriptive. The goal or objective is swasti, well-being, life satisfaction.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 12, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
"Knowing better is doing better."

Knowing better doesn't mean you will do it!

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 12, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
go-b, was it wrong for Alan Turing to be prosecuted for his homosexuality two generations ago? just curious as to your opinion as a voter in a democracy. Was it a just punishment to set before him the choice of (a) chemical castration or (b) imprisonment? I would appreciate an expression of your opinion.

.....

Turtles celebrating Darwin Day...



Just look at em. No doubt favorably comparing their own mature self-knowledge to the frantic insecurities of their human companions.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 12, 2013 - 02:41pm PT
Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality
http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-449/homosexuality-and-the-campaign-for-immorality

Earlier in the service I read from the first chapter of Romans what is really a very, very shocking portion of Scripture. Just to remind you that Romans chapter 1, verses 18 to 32, describes the wrath of God that is unleashed in the world.

The wrath of God is divided into a number of elements. There is eschatological wrath. That is the wrath that will fall on the earth at the end of human history in a time called the time of Tribulation. There is sowing and reaping wrath. That is the wrath of God that comes consequent on sin--whatever a man sows, he reaps. There is cataclysmic wrath. That is the wrath of God that He sets on man from miraculous use of the natural order, such as the Flood, or any other massive disaster that catapults souls into eternity. So there is that wrath of God which is eschatological and which is consequential and which is cataclysmic. And then there is that wrath of God which is eternal wrath, and that would be the wrath of God unleashed on the ungodly forever in the punishments of eternal hell.

But the wrath that is being referred to in Romans 1 isn’t any of those. It is the wrath of abandonment. The wrath described here is the wrath that is executed when, according to verses 24, 26 and 28, God gives them over--gives them over, gives them over. In other words, it’s when God abandons a nation. It’s when God abandons a society and gives them over to the consequences of their behavior, which is escalating iniquity and disaster leading to judgment. This wrath of God is released from heaven, “revealed from heaven,” verse 18 says, “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth.” And he goes on to say they all have the truth; the truth is visible from creation.

You can know something of God and His nature and from the heart, Romans 2 says, the law of God is written in the heart. But when man abandons God, as revealed in creation, when man abandons God, as revealed in conscience, when man abandons God, as revealed in Holy Scripture, suppressing the truth, God judges that society. And though that society may consider itself to be wise, it is in reality the ultimate ship of fools. The heart becomes darkened when God is abandoned and then God abandons the darkened heart.

What you see in Romans chapter 1 is the sequence of what happens when God abandons a nation. First, verse 24 says, He gives them over to “the lust of their hearts to impurity,” sexual sin, the dishonoring of their bodies among them. When God abandons a society, the first thing that happens is it becomes pornographic. It becomes obsessed with sex, obsessed with fornication, adultery, every kind of sexual behavior. We have gone through that already in the sexual revolution a couple of decades ago.

The second thing that happens when God abandons a culture is found in verse 26, “God gave them over to degrading passions...their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural...in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” At the end of that verse, “Receiving in their persons the due penalty” is the diseases that come consequent to homosexual behavior. And as you know, they unleashed on the world the horror of AIDS.

But what it’s saying here is that when God abandons a nation or a culture under His wrath, there will be a sexual revolution followed by a homosexual revolution. And we are living in this very condition.

There’s a third step, verse 28, “God gave them over to a depraved mind,” that’s a mind that doesn’t function, that can’t think right. So life becomes filled with unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, and we talked about that last week, the massive murder of millions and millions of unborn infants in the womb that is carried on in our country and around the world.

Also characteristic of this depraved mind is they become haters of God, haters of God. We’re living in the outpouring of the wrath of God in the category of His abandoning a culture, and we’re living in the sequence that is here--a sexual revolution, a homosexual revolution, a reprobate mind that unleashes everything, including murder on a massive scale, and hate toward God.

It was shocking to me a few weeks ago, as I said last Sunday, to see that these very things that God hates and that bring down God’s judgment were affirmed as part of the Democratic Party platform. Open sex with government-provided contraception, murder of babies in wombs, God left out of the platform, and homosexual behavior even, advocating homosexual marriage--an oxymoron, since that’s impossible.

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm. What God punishes, they exalt. Shocking, really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party. By the way, there are seventy-two million registered Democrats in this country who have identified themselves with that party and maybe they need to rethink that identification.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. The Bible is not politics. This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live. It has nothing to do with politics. It’s not about personalities; it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is--sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

You say, “Well, our society cultivates tolerance and you’re giving hate speech.” What I’m saying is not hate speech. What the Democratic Party is saying is hate speech because they must hate the homosexuals if they will allow them to go the direction they’re going, affirm that knowing that it will take them to hell. That’s hate speech. This is love speech. You either warn them or you affirm them. And Romans 1 warns them and any faithful Christian warns this is dangerous, this is deadly. It’s better to warn them than to affirm them. You might be the nice guy to affirm them, but that’s not love speech, that’s hate speech.

I want you to look at 1 Corinthians chapter 6, 1 Corinthians chapter 6. And what I’m going to do is just put you in touch with what the Word of God says so you’ll know the truth. The news is very bad, but the news can also be very good. Listen to this, 1 Corinthians 6:9, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” Do not be deceived by the propaganda by the media, by the films, the television programs--everything you’re exposed to--educators. “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators”...That’s people who engage in heterosexual sin...“nor idolaters”...And sexual sin and idolatry always historically have been connected...“nor adulterers”...That’s people who have relationships with other than their spouse...“nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the Kingdom of God.”

We exist as a church to proclaim the Kingdom of God, is that true? We have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God. Jesus declared that to His apostles: “I give you the keys to the kingdom of God.” Our responsibility is to tell people about the Kingdom of God and who can be in the Kingdom of God and who is excluded from the Kingdom of God. That’s the ministry of the church; that’s what we do; that’s what every preacher must do. And I’m not the one who makes the terms. I am only the one responsible to God to proclaim what God has revealed. And I’m here to tell you that if you advocate a life of sexual sin, adultery, fornication, effeminateness, or homosexuality, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. What that means is, you’re on your way to hell, not heaven. This is the spiritual kingdom of those who are in Christ. The church is made up of people who were like this. Please notice, here’s the good news, verse 11, “Such were some of you.”

That’s right, this is the church in Corinth. And what is the church made up of, all righteous people who have been righteous since they were born? No, there aren’t any--all sinners. The church is a collection of former fornicators, former idolaters, former adulterers, former effeminates, former thieves, former coveters, former extortioners, and former homosexuals. “Such were some of you.” That statement alone indicates this is not some genetic defect. You were this way. You aren’t anymore, any more than every other thing is to be genetically blamed. Do people fornicate because of some kind of genetic defect? Is that why they’re idolaters? Is that why they steal? Is that why they covet? Is that why they’re drunkards? Is that why they’re revilers and swindlers? If so, then we better have equal rights for all of them and let them all start lobby groups so that they can get us all to recognize that this is a genetic issue.

“Such were some of you; but”...This is key...“you were...sanctified.” You know what that means?--separated from that sin, separated from that sin. People say, “Well, you know, if you’re homosexual, you know, you can’t really ever be changed.” That’s not what Scripture says. You were like this, but you are sanctified, you are separated from that behavior. It doesn’t just say you were justified, that’s forensic. I’m glad it doesn’t just say you were justified ’cause then people would say, “Yes, I am forgiven; the righteousness of Christ is imputed to me; I’m justified, but I still have the same sort of tendency.”

No, you were justified, but you were also washed and sanctified, changed, separated in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that work is done by the Spirit of our God. This is the message that we want to give to the world: these are sins that send people to hell, and people who advocate these things and live these lifestyles will not inherit the Kingdom of God, and hell is forever. And we’re here in love to speak love speech and say you must escape the wrath to come by repenting and fleeing these sins, and you can be washed and transformed and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the years at Grace Church--and I’ve been here a long time, since 1969--this church has existed in a hotbed of homosexual activity in Southern California. And I’ve had my share of personal opportunity to meet people who have been washed and sanctified and justified. And some of them are sitting among you and you don’t even know that because they were saved from that, just as there are adulterers and swindlers and the rest that make up a redeemed congregation. I’ve had some incredible experiences. I can remember going down to a local hospital--a young man dying of AIDS; raised in a Christian family; rejected the gospel; lived twenty-plus years in a blatant, outrageous, homosexual lifestyle. The L.A. Police Department told me some years ago that the numbers of partners that active homosexuals have would be an average of about 500, some as many as a thousand--that kind of lifestyle.

This young man in his room was surrounded by these kinds of friends. He had called the church to say, “Could someone come?” He was dying and he was afraid to die. And he held my hand, and squeezed my hand, and I prayed that God would forgive him and save him, and he cried out to God and repented of his sin and pled with God to be merciful and gracious and save him. The same as David. And I prayed, and he was squeezing the life out of my hand.

And then when the prayer was over, he just looked still and he looked at the clock on the wall. And I said, “What are you looking at?”

He said, “I want to remember the time of my salvation.” And he lived for a few more weeks and all those people shunned him. I’ve seen that and not just once. And that’s why we’re here, to preach the message of deliverance to the people who are trapped in that horrible sin. I can’t imagine that somehow it could be illegal in the United States of America to speak in love to those people, and that some party in this country would adapt the tolerance of homosexuality as something they affirm. Unbelievable.

Well, you know, it’s being taught in public schools from the time children arrive there and through every form of media. Sinners coming together around a certain sin and demanding to have rights. I wonder why the murderers don’t do that, and the drug dealers, and the thieves, and the rapists. This kind of behavior is nothing more than the expression of sexual lust, twisted and uncontained. People who want to talk about why do people have this tendency and that. Simple--wretched heart, debased heart, evil heart taken down a path of destruction.

Best we can tell, there are about one percent of the population that are homosexual in their conduct. It’s not a genetic defect. But there are about one percent or maybe a little more who behave that way. You would think it was a lot more, wouldn’t you? There was a study of 518 mass murderers, mutilating kind of murderers--350 of them are homosexuals. One percent of the population and maybe seventy percent of those kinds of people--it unleashes a horrendous passion. It’s a deadly sin. And that’s just the physical part, to say nothing of the eternal reality. How could we not speak to this?

Go with me back now to 1 Corinthians 6 for just a minute. In 1 Corinthians 6 we see these words that I just want to draw to your attention. You know the word “fornicator.” That’s porneia, from which the word “pornography” comes--idolaters. Because sexual sin was connected to idolatry, all the idol temples had priestesses that were nothing but prostitutes, and it was all mingled together. And you know what adultery is, having sex with someone other than your spouse. But take the word “effeminate” there. That’s the word malakos, malakos in the Greek. And it’s a technical word for a passive partner in a homosexual relationship. Effeminate doesn’t mean that you walk funny. It means you’re the passive partner in a homosexual relationship. In fact, the lexicons--and by the way, homosexuality has been around since the start. I mean, Genesis 19, a whole city of people in this sin, that God incinerated, and I’ll get to that in a minute. So it’s been around a long time; so there’s plenty of words to deal with this in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Malakos is a technical term for the passive partner in homosexual relationships. It actually came to refer to the male prostitute who offered himself anonymously for homosexual vice. “Such were some of you,” but you’re washed, sanctified, justified.

The word “homosexual” is arsenokoites. Koites is the word for “bed”; arseno is a term for “man,” going to bed with a man. That’s what it means. It means going to bed with a man. People who do that don’t inherit the Kingdom of God. They do not. First Timothy 1:9, realizing the fact that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, ungodly sinners; unholy, profane people who kill their fathers or mothers--murderers, immoral men, and homosexuals. The law of God, the law of God, is made to expose the lawless, rebellious, ungodly sinners; unholy, profane killers of their parents; murderers, immoral men, and homosexuals--that’s not a nice group to belong to. And they will not inherit the Kingdom of God because you have to turn from your sin, repent, confess, and beg for mercy.

How perverse is it that the major denominations, so-called Christian denominations in our country, affirm homosexuality, ordain homosexuals, ordain lesbians, marry men to men, and women to women. Even the Quakers, and I quote, say, “Homosexuality is no more deplorable than left-handedness.” The Episcopalians have led the parade with a well-known bishop for the whole of the United States of America, who is a sodomite. A local Methodist church not far from here, the pastor says, “A homosexual is welcome in this congregation, and will have all the rights and privileges.” That’s hate speech. If you love that man, you’ll confront his sin and tell him about the gospel so his soul can be saved.

There’s strong lobby against this teaching of Scripture. In fact, liberal theologians have suggested that Paul himself was a repressed homosexual, struggling with his sexual yearnings that never were resolved. He was a kind of a self-hating guy, and there’s even a denomination called The Metropolitan Community Church. At one time there were a hundred and ten of them, it’s a homosexual denomination and the leader, the guy that started it, a man named Troy Perry. I know Troy Perry. Some years ago I was invited by a national magazine to do an interview and a debate with Troy Perry. We went to an office building down in the Los Angeles area, and I was there to confront him and to discuss the idea of whether or not you could be a Christian and a practicing advocate of homosexuality as he is.

We got into the room, it was a very heated kind of environment, you can image. He had a few of his associates with him. I had a great big huge lineman from the USC football team because I didn’t know what might happen. That’s the truth. And we sat across from each other, and he started to talk about being a devoted homosexual to one person that he loved, that God had brought in his life, and he was talking about the fact that you could be a holy homosexual in that sense. That, you know, you could be a Christian, and he was parading himself as if he was some pure person, and before he went I made sure that he heard the message of repentance and grace and forgiveness in Christ, which to my knowledge, even to this day, he has not believed.

The Metropolitan Community Church and the people who advocate this, teach that homosexuality is a gift from God, that Jesus was not hostile to lesbians and homosexuals. David and Jonathan were homosexuals. Ruth and Naomi were lesbians. Sodom was destroyed for a lack of hospitality. And the false church aids and abets all of this.

Writers about ancient history say this is one of the major contributors to the decline of the Roman Empire--that Nero, by the way, was emperor when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians--and Nero had a little boy that he had castrated and he had a full wedding and married this little boy and took him as his wife. The little boy’s name is Sporus. He was blatant. It was advocated. Paul’s world wasn’t any different than ours, and he confronted it as sin because that’s the only hope the homosexual has--to see the sin for what it is and to find grace in Christ.

Looking back into the Old Testament, go back to Deuteronomy 22, we just need to get the clear picture here of what God has said. And we’ll just try to cover a few things. Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” That would be called transvestitism in my day. In this modern day it’s called cross-dressing. It’s an abomination to God. And actually in the Hebrew, the statement would read this way, “A woman shall not use that which pertains to a man.” It’s a broad statement, “That which pertains to a man.” Clothing, obviously--style of life, implements, weapons, tools, anything that blurs the distinctiveness between a woman and a man. Some old preachers used to say, “This is why women shouldn’t wear pants.” That doesn’t work because the men didn’t wear pants in those days, they wore dresses. We know that. They all wore robes, so get over that. Just be masculine and be feminine, that’s the point. It’s an abomination to try to look like the opposite sex. It’s an abomination to try to act like the opposite sex. Satan wants to obliterate that.

The ancient writer Maimonides mentions that a man dressed in fancy women’s clothes would come and worship Venus and Ashtoreth, and women dressed in men’s armor would come to honor the god of war, Mars. This kind of crossing over has been going on in all of human history, and it’s all over the place in false mystery religions in ancient times.

Chapter 23 of Deuteronomy, verse 1, “No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” This is a transsexual, somebody who has surgical sex change. People say, “This releases me from being a captive in the wrong body. Let me tell you something, you’re in the right body, you might not like it, but it is the one God gave you.

By the way, the word “emasculated,” interesting word; it’s the word crushing. That’s scary. People would even go to that extreme to have that done. People were castrated for their deities. Parents would do it to boys at the age of ten. This is paganism, paganism.

Leviticus chapter 18, just further understanding of this, verse 22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it’s an abomination.” It’s an abomination to dress like the opposite sex. It’s an abomination to have some kind of sex change, altering of your body. It’s an abomination to have a relationship with someone of the same sex. “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” And it’s right alongside having intercourse with an animal, with an animal--bestiality. “Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is perversion.” That’s the level of this perversion. Just like a woman having a relationship with an animal. And the land, he says, will be defiled. Don’t defile yourself, verse 24. “For by all these the nations which I’m casting out before you have become defiled.” There’s Romans 1. That’s why that judgment comes, because of these kinds of perversions. God abandons and then judges nations.

I don’t know how much time America has left, I really don’t. But we’re on a course described here as God casting us out. The land has become defiled. “I’ve brought its punishment upon it,” verse 25, “so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.”

We get all caught up in the politics of this election. That isn’t the issue. There are things vastly more important than that, than personalities. It’s about whether this society exists in the future at all, as we know it. The land is so defiled, God will spew it out. First He abandons it, and then He destroys it.

Verse 30 ends this section, “You keep My charge,” keep My commands. “Don’t practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them.” Why? “I am the Lord,” and verse 2, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” He’s saying to His people, you have to stand against this. It’s a shocking thing when this becomes the agenda to support.

Chapter 20 of Leviticus, chapter 20 and verse 13, and there are just--this is a hard section to read because it talks about so many ugly things: incest, adultery, all kinds of horrible things. Verse 13, “If there’s a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” Remember, we said last week the murder of babies makes this land bloodguilty? Their blood cries out for punishment. Homosexuality makes this land bloodguilty. “Their blood guiltiness is on them.” They “have committed a detestable act; they surely shall be put to death.”

Well, you say, “That’s such a terrifying message.” And I say again, there’s still hope for them. Turn to Isaiah 56, and the only hope is in the Lord. Isaiah 56, verse 3, “Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely separate me from His people.’” In other words, I don’t have a chance. I’m an outsider. “Nor let the eunuch...the eunuch...say, ‘Behold, I’m a dry tree.’” In other words, I have no hope.

Listen to this, “For thus says the Lord, ‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial...a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.’”

What grace is that? This is the homosexual, who says--and maybe he’s even been castrated--“I’m a dry tree, I can’t ever have a future. I can’t have children.” Horrible. I don’t have a family. And the Lord says, “Hold My covenant fast, choose what pleases Me, and I’ll give you a place in My house, and in My walls I’ll raise a memorial to you and a name better than that of sons and daughters and give you an everlasting name which will never be cut off.” Play on words.

That’s the grace that God offers to those who turn from this sin. It’s important for you to know the dramatic account if you aren’t familiar with it already, in Genesis 19. So turn to it. God’s law is unchanging. God’s law is unchangeable. God’s attitude toward sin is the same. And if you want to see a picture of God’s attitude toward homosexuality and what’s going to happen when Romans 1 reaches its ultimate culmination and judgment comes, or when God does what He said He was going to do in the writings of Moses, to nations that are defiled, that He would bring about their spewing out, here’s an illustration.

Genesis 19, way back in the beginning of human history, there’s a city called Sodom. By then homosexuality has spread everywhere. It didn’t take long. You had the Fall in chapter 3, and then you have the story of sexual sin that just goes raging through the rest of the book of Genesis. You have adultery, incest, rape, prostitution, homosexuality, and it just comes like crazy early on. And by the time you get to the nineteenth chapter of Genesis, you’ve got a city, Sodom; another city, Gomorrah--cites of the plain that are basically, literally defined by homosexuality so that the word Sodomite means homosexual. It’s that fast that this sin has taken off.

Two angels come to Sodom in the evening in human form, which angels can do and did in the Old Testament frequently. And Lot is sitting at the gate of Sodom. Lot’s living there. He chose to live there. So these angels show up, he rose to meet them, bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house. Spend the night, wash your feet, then you may rise early and go on your way.” You’ve got to get in my house, get cleaned up, get up in the morning and get out of here.

“No, we shall spend the night in the square,” the angels say.” We’re just going to stay here in the square. “He urged them strongly,” verse 3, so they turned aside and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. They were real physical bodies that these angels had taken on, and he showed them this kindness. And he was really trying to protect them.

“Before they lay down,” verse 4 “the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter.” The whole place is caught up in sodomy--the whole place, young and old, from every part of town. They have just seen two beautiful men show up in town, and the word is going around town, and they’re ready for a mass rape. And they show up at Lot’s house. And they said, “Where,” verse 5, “are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.”

But they wanted to rape them, gang rape them. Lot went out to them at the doorway and shut the door behind him and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly”--“do not act wickedly.” And then he makes probably what he thought was a safe suggestion. “I have two daughters who haven’t had relationships with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, insomuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

This is kind of a stupid thing to do, but this is a kind of perversion that has no interest in what is normal. That’s how far it’s gone. Maybe he felt safe. It’s still a stupid thing to do. They said, “Stand aside”--out of the way. Furthermore they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” You get out of our way or we will do worse to you than we’re about to do to them.” Nice group.

“So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.” And the men, the angels “reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house...and shut the door.” Then “they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great.” They all went stone blind, supernaturally. And listen to this, “So they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.” What? If I had just gone blind, I think I’d be thinking about what happened? How did I get blind? I’d be running like a madman. They’re all blind, and it doesn’t change anything. In their blindness they’re wearying themselves to find the door.

Then the two men said to Lot, Well “whom else have you here? Your son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” That’s the message, folks. You live like this and God will send His destroying angels.

And you know the rest of the story. That is precisely what happened. Verse 24, “The Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities and what grew on the ground”--destroyed the whole thing. That’s an illustration of how God feels about a society that affirms homosexuality and people that conduct themselves this way.

From this time on, from Genesis 19 on, the word for homosexual is the word sodomy, sodomy, sodomy. A homosexual was a sodomite. It is the Old Testament term for homosexual used in 1 Kings 14:24, and also used in Deuteronomy 23:17 and 18. And there in Deuteronomy 23:17 and 18, it calls homosexuals sodomites and dogs, dogs. A very graphic description of their conduct. It is preposterous to call them gay. Homosexual is clinical. Sodomite is biblical. But sinner is theological. It’s a horrible thing, this thing, and it’s a horrible thing for people to advocate it as normal. Tragic, tragic.

Isaiah has another comment that I want to point you out to--point out to you--Isaiah 3. Here Isaiah is talking about God’s judgment coming. God’s judgment is coming and--on Judah, southern kingdom--and they’re very sinful. Verse 8 might be a place to start; well, verse 9; let’s start there, “The expression of their faces bears witness against them that they display their sin like Sodom.” In other words, they’re sinners and they’re blatantly sinners. Sodomites that assaulted Lot’s house were blatant in their sin. They do not even conceal it, he says, about Judah. It’s the same. Look at this nation, the same thing. “Woe to them! They brought evil on themselves. Say to the righteous...it will go well with them, for they’ll eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with them, for what he deserves will be done to him. O My people! Their oppressors are children.”

In other words, even a child could overpower you, you’re so weak. Why? “Women rule over them.” Women rule over them? In the culture of the Old Testament, it could well be a sodomite. Sodomites in the government, homosexuals in rule.

I read an article two days ago on the rapidly growing number of homosexuals--open homosexuals--populating the United States Supreme Court. Not the judges, but the surrounding masses of people. In a book called The Gay Invasion, the reports are that, of course, we’ve had homosexuals in every presidential cabinet since Franklin Roosevelt, but never to the degree we do now, and being appointed as judges. In some cities they are the majority of leaders, by the way.

Isaiah knew sodomy was all around them, a part of life in Assyria, a part of life in Babylon, a part of life in Egypt. In fact there was much about homosexuality among the pharaohs. It took a while, it took about 150 years, but all of this kind of seeped in and what destroyed Sodom would destroy Judah. And later it would destroy Greece, and later it would destroy Rome. This is always a deadly sin, and always a defining sin, and always a damning sin.

In 1881 it was Sigmund Freud who came along and said, “Well, I’ve studied homosexual behavior and I’ve concluded it’s a psychological disorder that comes from a domineering mother.” The 1930s there was a man named Harlock Ellis who published a manual on this, bringing sodomy into the open, and he said, “It is a genius gene.” In other words, it’s a genetic gift that homosexuals are uniquely geniuses. And then he had a whole litany of supposed homosexuals from Erasmus, the Dutch humanist; and Christopher Marlowe, the English poet; Michelangelo; Lord Byron; Francis Bacon; Oscar Wilde; Walt Whitman, on and on and on. So for him it was an elevated human being in another level of genius.

It was in the forties and the fifties, [Alfred] Kinsey came along and fabricated lies saying one out of ten people in America were genetically homosexual. American Psychiatric Association declassified sodomy as a sickness, and now it’s not only acceptable, but it’s advocated. This is where we are and this is on the brink of judgment. This is on the brink of judgment.

Now go back to Romans 1, verse 32, the end of all of this in this section is that although they know the ordinance of God--Is there anybody in doubt about what the Bible says? It’s clear. In this country we all know that, in the Western world. Although they know the ordinance of God that those who practice such things are worthy of death. I’ve just read that all to you, haven’t I? “They not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” That’s the issue, folks. Why am I doing this now? Because an entire party in the United States has given hearty approval (suneudokeo). Eudokeo means “to agree with, to consent to, to be well-pleased, to think it is good.” Sun means “together with others.” Collectively this group has decided that this is good and they give hearty approval. No wonder they didn’t want God in their original platform. We have to speak the truth to rescue the perishing.

Turn to Psalm 107, and I’m going to close there--Psalm 107. Some years ago I was standing here at the beginning of the service, and I got up to read the Scripture, and this is what I read, starting at verse 4, “They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; they didn’t find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty; their soul fainted within them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them also by a straight way, to ...an inhabited city. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains, because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; they stumbled there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death...broke their bands apart. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has shattered gates of bronze and cut bars of iron asunder.” I read that.

After the service was over, a handsome, tall man, 6’ 3” or so, walked up to me. He’d been sitting right back there. His name was Robert Logerstrum. He was one of the directors of the gay pride parade in Los Angeles, lived completely consumed in a world of homosexuals, and was dying of AIDS.

He said, “I have to talk to you; I have to talk to you.” I said, “Absolutely.” So we sat and talked and he said, “I just have to tell you, you preach a long time.” I said, “Well, why are you saying that?” He said, “Because when you read that Scripture, I knew I was in the right place, and I just wanted to get wherever I needed to get, to whoever I needed to talk to, to tell how the Lord could break the bands of iron and bondage that holds me. And then you kept talking, and talking, and talking, and talking.” Later when I talked to him on a couple occasions, he couldn’t remember the sermon. All he remembered was the Scripture.

But, he gave his life to Christ. He was dying of AIDS, and he went to some of his friends and he said, “I don’t want to die. I’m terrified to die. Where can I get help?” And the homosexual friends that he had said go to Grace Community Church. They sent him here. These are unconverted people who know the reputation of the church.

He came that one Sunday. He came, gave his life to Christ. I baptized him right here a few weeks later. He was totally transformed. He went back and the gay pride parade, went down Hollywood Boulevard, right by his apartment, and all his friends came by to see him in his dying days, and he gave the gospel to all of them. And he went to glory. And his baptism testimony was recorded and played at his funeral to the whole homosexual community.

That’s not politics. That’s the gospel at work and if you don’t have the right view of sin then you’re going to get caught up in aiding and abetting people’s destruction.

Now with that in mind, listen to the words of that psalm. “They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; they didn’t find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty; their soul fainted within them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.” I love this, “He led them also by a straight way.” They talk about going straight. “Let them give thanks....There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains....they cried out to the Lord and He saved them out of their distress.” These are tragic people--sad, sad, people. Profoundly guilty, empty. You can’t affirm them.

Romans 1 ends this way in verse 32, “although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do them, but they give hearty approval to those who practice them.” Really? You’re gonna give “hearty approval” to that. “Hearty approval,” suneudokeo in the Greek, suneudokeo. The word eudokeo means “to be pleased with, to think something is good, to give consent to,” and suneudokeo means “to give collective consent.” It’s an intense word, to join in being well-pleased. Unimaginable that American leadership and people would join together in giving hearty approval to the destructive, deadly, damning sin of homosexuality. May the Lord help us to bring the gospel to thousands of people like Robert and see them delivered by its power.

Father, we are so grateful that You have not left us in doubt about these things which are part of life for us. I pray that You’ll use us to bring the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to people in these horrible chains of homosexual behavior, who have no future, no family, no hope, who live with massive guilt, pain, agony, driving unleashed passions. That You would come powerfully through the instrumentation of Your people to bring the gospel--it alone can save them. Be glorified, Lord. Turn the tide with Your truth and with Your gospel. Save people caught in not only this sin, but in all kinds of sins that are so popular in this culture. Give the gospel a fresh hearing, we ask for Your glory, in Christ’s name. Amen.


One will have to answer to God for themself...

Matthew 7:3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Feb 12, 2013 - 02:42pm PT


Always a clear line or two from Mr. Carlin
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 12, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
True fructose, the really great scientists and mathemeticians used/use both halves of their brain. That's why they're great instead of merely competent

I personally don't see referring to someone as competent as an insult? Sorry if it was perceived that way

You are saying they are great because they use both sides of their brains, with the implication the merely competent don't. I am saying all of us foot soldiers in the scientific ranks use both sides of our brains . . . just not as effectively as the great ones!

From your description of your exposure to math I can see how you might think this. Unfortunate. Modern physics and perhaps some other scientific disciplines are becoming more and more mathematical and the math employed is pretty sophisticated stuff . . . much of it at an abstract level using concepts generalized from 18th and 19th century material.

In my own area, "soft" analysis (modern) vs "hard" analysis (old). These descriptors do not imply that "soft" is easy to comprehend, just the opposite in fact. "Hard" refers to the nitty-gritty kinds of things the masters of yesteryears toiled over - sometimes very complicated stuff in the spirit of traditional calculus. Although I studied SA years ago, my research interests (very minor topics) have been along the lines of the older hard-core stuff using traditional convergence/divergence criteria.

I don't feel competent to discuss the social sciences, but I do enjoy your contributions when they coincide with your academic interests. Quite illuminating.

;>)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 12, 2013 - 06:54pm PT
Modern physics and perhaps some other scientific disciplines are becoming more and more mathematical and the math employed is pretty sophisticated stuff .

Hey, I have a feeling you kick ass in laplace transforms. I'm embarrassed that I only know 5%, if that, of what I used to know of them where they are a staple in my former professsion of systems control engineering. Those were the days, 25 years ago!

But systems was my bridge between control in electromechanical systems and control in bioengineering systems (e.g., neuroscience and endocrinology) so for this I'll always have respect for sc engineering. Laplace Transforms, too!

.....

Would you believe (a) Lawrence Krauss at Davos (!!) and (b) the title of this forum. (!!)



The wind of change.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ejQyPFDUUg
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 12, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
go-B, WOW!

That was a wonderful last post!!

I read ALL of your posts. Your use of the scriptures to answer questions is excellent!
Your always spot on!

Keep up the good work!

Jus Praz'in
BB


Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
That's it Goobers, you're cut off

No more Cut and pastes

if you type in every word, like Jesus wants
then it's ok
for as long of a post as you want.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 12, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
it is not unusual for people to become students to teachers in order to learn something... I don't see how that is wrong. if I want to learn meditation or yoga or physics, I go to a place where there are people who do that and I start to figure it out... there may be formal teaching or informal teaching, but there is a dichotomy setup between novices and experts and a hierarchy which defines the scale from novice to expert.
--


This is precisely where the practice meets the road, as in rubber meets the road. In many practices or walks of life a paradox is seen as a default position or a weigh station till you can get the next crucial bit of information or teaching. In spiritual practices, what you "learn" is to give up striving after something you need to or have to learn. Otherwise it becomes a mental exercise of acquiring this or that and you never get out of the loop. Spirituality is an exercise in being, where things gets progressively clear as your evaluating mind gets less and less engaged in "learning" or grasping after what it thinks that it needs.

For instance, Fruity believes that if he can program and orient himself with the best data, inputting just the right shizzle just so - said shizzle being information - his behavior will necessarily conform and evolve in accordance with said knowledge. What's he's not understanding is that behavior is mostly driven by much more primitive drivers than neocortex content (ideas, beliefs, etc). You have to get down to the level of feelings and instincts to change big time, and you do that most effectively by way of contrary actions, by taking actions that might go against what you feel and how you feel. Your inner stat and understanding will follow. Working the in the other direction bears little fruit.

JL
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