Announcement: Your votes are in! The January 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month is The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt.

Introduction

This message board is for one-on-one discussions and interviews. Anyone can read them but you need to be part of the one-on-one to post.
Locked
Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » September 7th, 2009, 10:09 pm

Hi Lilly and happy Labor Day. You wrote:
In my view, no. That's because I believe we are all self centered at heart as a part of our sinful nature. When we receive Christ he imparts to us the Spirit of God to lead us into righteousness, including convicting us of egotism. In other words, we don't clean ourselves up in order to receive God's Spirit. We receive God's Spirit so he can clean us up. If we are egotistical and emotional, the Spirit will help us with that. For our part we must follow the leading of the Spirit so we don't fulfill the lusts of the flesh. When we follow the leading of God's Spirit to do what is right, we become the sons of God.
I'd like to clarify this. It appears as if we don't have a responsibilty to aid in receiving the spirit other then believing and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh.

What does it mean to fulfill the lust of the flesh as opposed to just doing what is natural? Is sex for example considered such a lust or does sexual lust refer to something else.

Also, how do you interpret the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:
1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'

7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'

9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'

10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'

12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
We would agree that this is deep psychology. Do you believe we have a responsibilty to psychologically provide this oil or does it come automatically? What does oil represent? If we have no responsibility, what do you see as the essential difference between the wise and foolish virgins?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

User avatar
Lilly
Posts: 94
Joined: August 26th, 2009, 11:47 am

Post by Lilly » September 8th, 2009, 9:47 pm

Nick_A wrote:Hi Lilly and happy Labor Day.
Thanks. :)
You wrote:
In my view, no. That's because I believe we are all self centered at heart as a part of our sinful nature. When we receive Christ he imparts to us the Spirit of God to lead us into righteousness, including convicting us of egotism. In other words, we don't clean ourselves up in order to receive God's Spirit. We receive God's Spirit so he can clean us up. If we are egotistical and emotional, the Spirit will help us with that. For our part we must follow the leading of the Spirit so we don't fulfill the lusts of the flesh. When we follow the leading of God's Spirit to do what is right, we become the sons of God.
I'd like to clarify this. It appears as if we don't have a responsibilty to aid in receiving the spirit other then believing and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh.
The only way to receive the Spirit, imo, is by faith in Jesus. We receive God's provision of salvation through faith in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Then we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us to live for God.

The Gospel of John says this: "Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive."

Receiving the Spirit of God is a part of the salvation God has provided for mankind. We receive the gift of the Spirit when we put our faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. We are then to follow the leading of the Spirit in our lives. This is all the work of God in us. For our part we receive it all by faith. We cannot earn it since it is by God's grace.

Many criticize this and say we mean you simply believe in Jesus for salvation and then go live like the devil. But that's not true, because the salvation God provides through faith is righteousness. The Spirit leads us into righteousness. When a man is righteous in heart, which is what God has provided and we received by faith, then his actions will reflect his righteousness and he will live for God.
What does it mean to fulfill the lust of the flesh as opposed to just doing what is natural? Is sex for example considered such a lust or does sexual lust refer to something else.
The lusts of the flesh is another way of saying the sinful nature. When we're lead by the Spirit we live according to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Jesus taught that it's no longer enough not to murder, you must not even become angry with your brother. He said it wasn't enough not to commit adultery, you must not even lust after another woman. The point is that he takes it beyond behavior and into the heart. If you love your brother, you don't become angry with him. If you love your neighbor, you don't lust after his wife. Those are the lust of the sinful nature, but the way of the Spirit is love. When you live by love, you do not harm your brother/sister.
Also, how do you interpret the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:
1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'

7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'

9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'

10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'

12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
We would agree that this is deep psychology. Do you believe we have a responsibilty to psychologically provide this oil or does it come automatically? What does oil represent? If we have no responsibility, what do you see as the essential difference between the wise and foolish virgins?
I may view this parable quite differently than you. I view it in the context of the end times. When Jesus says, "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like..." he's talking about a specific time. He's talking about his return. When he returns, you must already be ready to enter the kingdom. There will be no time to prepare at that point. He has just said, "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants of his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns."

As Christians, we must always be looking for Christ's return and doing his work. We must be living by the Spirit according to the grace of God. The foolish virgins were not prepared and when the Bridegroom came he didn't know them. At the end of the parable Jesus says again, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." We do not know the day or the hour our Lord will return.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » September 9th, 2009, 12:15 pm

"It is what Christians do."

I hope this interview has served to question the legitimacy of this assertion as well as the legitimacy of stereotyping and classification. You've expressed your beliefs in a fashion that doesn't threaten anyone. If the worst sin you have is the desire to live by the golden rule, it doesn't make you a bad person even though to some you would be considered one of those "fundamentalists" and you know what they do.

Society admits the danger of stereotyping with select groups. If I were to say for example "It is what blacks do," I'd never hear the end of it. Yet it is acceptable for certain groups such as this mysterious category "Christians."

Above all you are an individual and cannot be considered the same as anyone else because of stereotyping. I'm simply respecting our differences rather than denying them.

What would you say is the future for the fundamentalist influence in an increasingly secular society? Will it lessen or become more attractive if as I believe the psychological results of secularism become more obvious?

How do you like this idea of interviews? I believe that getting to know you and your beliefs through expanded conversation provides advantages over brief criticisms and ridicule all too common for Internet sites and inviting more respectful and meaningful dialogue. Questions for example as to the belief in the devil wouldn't have to be coated in ridicule after reading an interview. I believe as a whole interviews can be beneficial for an Internet site. Do you agree?

The next interview I hope to have is with an exponent of Theosophy which has a profound philosophy. Some people calling themselves fundamentalists would accuse it of being demonic.

My great great grand uncle was an archbishop in the Armenian church and friendly with Helena Blavatsky the founder of Theosophy. While researching him I read this excerpt from the sister of Madam Blavatsky unrelated to my ancestor yet food for thought:
H.P. recalled this epoch in later years with terror and contempt of her helpless and uncontrollable mediumism. After several years she completely subordinated to her will these powers, the pernicious nature and evil origin of which she explained in her works, with full confidence in her judgment, but possibly being wrong.[5]

Next year Blavatsky went to Tiflis. On her way, at a church service at Sadonsk, she was recognized by the Most Reverend Isidor, former Exarch of Georgia, and later Metropolitan of St. Petersburg, who came to Sadonsk on his way from Kiev. He had known Blavatsky in her youth in Tiflis and he sent a servant to her with an invitation to visit him. Isidor enquired how and where she had traveled, where she was going now, etc. He very soon noticed the phenomena which surrounded her and was deeply interested in them; he questioned her about them, put mental questions, and, after receiving sensible A answers, was still more surprised. When saying good-bye, he blessed her and said words regarding her exceptional gifts, words which always remained very dear to her, as the opinion on her gift of a high priest of the Orthodox Church. He said: "Every power comes from God, you need not feel dismayed if you do not abuse this power given to you. There are many undiscovered powers in nature. Many of them are not known to man, but it is not forbidden to discover and to use them. Man will gradually obtain control over these powers and will be able to apply them usefully for humanity. God bless you in all your kind and good deeds.
I believe that there isn't any essential conflict. In reality the value of such talents is determined by their use and if they deny the Spirit in favor of glorified egotism. IMO that could be a good discussion but requires more than brief platitudes or condemnations. My gut feeling is that interviews require us to be open to another. Otherwise it isn't an interview but rather a "trial." Would you agree?

Some people may get the idea that an interview is elitist but it isn't so. It simply is a way to allow you or anyone being interviewed to elaborate so as to be better understood as a person rather than a group stereotype benefiting dialogue in general.

Introduce yourself on the introductions board so some members can say hi to you?

I've appreciated the opportunity to explore your beliefs in this interview. I hope you've appreciated the opportunity to clarify your attraction to Fundamentalism as well.

All the best

Nick
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

User avatar
Lilly
Posts: 94
Joined: August 26th, 2009, 11:47 am

Post by Lilly » September 10th, 2009, 4:35 pm

Thank you, Nick, for the opportunity to express my beliefs. I've enjoyed it. I also realize that others will believe differently than I do, and some of my beliefs about God and the world may be offensive to them. So I do want to stress that they are my beliefs, but I am not the one, nor is any other Christian in my view, who has been given the power to judge or force my view of things on any one else. I leave all that up to God. I may share my views, but that's as far as I can go.
What would you say is the future for the fundamentalist influence in an increasingly secular society? Will it lessen or become more attractive if as I believe the psychological results of secularism become more obvious?
I guess that remains to be seen. I believe Christianity as literally expressed in Scripture will become more intolerable to an increasingly secular society. I don't think people will return to Christianity, but perhaps move on to other beliefs. That will leave the fundamental Christian in a position where his views of morality will more likely be judged as immoral. Who is the Christian to say what sexual immorality is, for example. Or who is the Christian to say witchcraft is ungodly?
How do you like this idea of interviews?
I like it, and look forward to reading, but not participating in your next interview. That will force me to simply read and try to understand rather than jump into the conversation to express my own views.
I believe that getting to know you and your beliefs through expanded conversation provides advantages over brief criticisms and ridicule all too common for Internet sites and inviting more respectful and meaningful dialogue. Questions for example as to the belief in the devil wouldn't have to be coated in ridicule after reading an interview. I believe as a whole interviews can be beneficial for an Internet site. Do you agree?
I do.
The next interview I hope to have is with an exponent of Theosophy which has a profound philosophy. Some people calling themselves fundamentalists would accuse it of being demonic.
I'll have to look up Theosophy. :)
I've appreciated the opportunity to explore your beliefs in this interview. I hope you've appreciated the opportunity to clarify your attraction to Fundamentalism as well.

All the best

Nick
I have, and thank you again,

Lilly

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A » September 11th, 2009, 12:13 am

Hi Lilly

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think this board could be built on interviews and one on one discussions which could present people in a new light. The key is to stick with the game plan and not allow an exchange to devolve into attack and defense.

You may want to invite someone here with sincere beliefs and the disposition to be interviewed. Then you could check with Scott. Anyone can do the same. It requires the mindset to interview with the idea of clarifying the ideas of another rather then attacking them. Present a good meaningful interview to Scott and I believe he would allow it.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Locked