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Switch to Forum Live View East/West views of the fall and state of humans
5 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2008 - 10:37AM #21
mfjfarrell
Posts: 236
Hey Lillian,

Nice to hear from you again!  Its always great to read the Journey the Lord is working in others here...

I appreciate the thoughtful responses you've given us here today.  Please allow me to pose some questions so I may understand them better.  In your post you stated something, "I think it is missing the mark of what a human ought to be. God isn't expecting us to be divine".  What do you think God is expecting?  If you give the typical response of 'fellowship', can we, in our humanity, have fellowship with divinity?  Is Lev. 11:44 (Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.) relevant here?

Are you familiar with C.S. Lewis's fiction works?  In one of his books in the 'Space Trilogy', 'Perelandra', I found a concept that might help explain the Celtic concept of 'bent'.  An earthling was visiting the planet Venus and was chatting with a resident of that place.  The topic of 'evil' came up from the earthling but the inhabitant had no idea of what he spoke!  So, the discussion of 'sin' came up as the source of all evil.  Finally the creature grasped the concept and responded simply, "oh! that one has a soul that is bent".  It was an epiphany for me!!

In the Celtic mind, Light is the Source of all Life, same as in the Scriptures.  Once, our souls resonated that Light, we were in harmony with its Source.  Choice of how we choose to live each day is inherent in our humanity.  Each day we choose whom it is we will serve with every choice the day brings.  As we choose to serve the Source of Life, the Light is free to radiate through us.  It is free to flow because we are no longer 'bent' by our selfishness.  Eventually, this becomes our lifestyle, still always a choice, but one we make freely and joyfully. 

In 1 Peter 3:15, we are admonished to live dedicated to Christ so that "others will SEE the hope that is in you....  Light, like sound, resonates in wavelengths.  When you are in the presence of someone who lives in the Light, something within your soul resonates as well!  This is the Celtic Way of Evangelism, BE Christ to all in your day.

Also,"...there are sins that are like you got careless... and sins that are like you were purposefully aiming away...".  All three branches of  Christianity call these 'sins of omission and commission'.  And Catholics tend to classify them further into 'mortal' and 'venial', greater and lesser value.  Should they be determined by their intent? or their consequences?

In your Rom 5 selection, I understand how you are reading it.  I was once an Evangelical (Pentecostal) as well.  I used to read with the same understand as you are using.  Let me encourage you to re-read that selection or any selection that focuses on 'sin' and in the place of the former understanding dealing with 'corruption' or 'evil', try applying a more Celtic understanding to the Scriptures.  You might occasionally substitute 'flawed, flaws',  'failings' or even 'humanity' which is more in line with its original intent of 'missing the mark'.  Maybe even 'goof ups'?  The Celts held Scriptures in the very highest regards but they would not be in agreement with the Fundamentalist interpretations of this modern age!  Perhaps that is the reason that it was the Celts who made Penance more 'restorative' rather than judgmental?

Thanks again for your participation and questions...  We have been sleeping too long here!

Slan,
Marty
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2008 - 11:22PM #22
Liriodendron
Posts: 36
Well, I'm trying to think through your questions and may yet have a better answer for them.  In the mean while, I'll say that what God expects is our best  -in contrast to an earlier comment you made in this thread: "Our humanity was designed to 'miss the mark'!!! We cannot share the same essence-tial goodness as God, so we will always 'fall short'. That's what it means to be human. Our best will still 'miss the mark'! Yet, God still made us 'good', just not the same as Him."  I think God expects us to be the 'good' that He made us.

Also from that post you said: "Seeing 'mankind as mixed up and messed up and with selfish tendencies' is more in line with our view as well. Having 'flaws' or 'faults' is ALOT different than being seen as basically 'corrupted'."
What is the difference between being corrupted and flawed or bent?  I see being corrupted as like a wood tool with a rotted spot or a flashlight with a bad connection at the battery because the battery leaked acid on it or a computer program that got it's commands out of order somewhere.


I love CS Lewis' Space Trilogy.  I was even vaguely thinking of starting a thread on it.  I remember how hard it was to explain to the Venician woman about sin. Also, in Out of a Silent Planet, the Martian Ostrya was talking about bent souls and how if one of his people became bent he would either fix him or un-body him if he was unfixable.

It's hard to imagine anyone is unfixable by the Son of God.  But what if a person likes his soul to be bent?  It could be a symptom of how messed up he is.  But what if the Son of God worked with him a while and he still liked his soul bent?

I think the main concept behind 'corruption' and 'the fall' is that man by himself no longer has the ability to straighten himself out and intervention on Christ's part is required.


About Romans 5:
Rom 5:12 "You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we're in - first a goof-up, then death, and no one exempt from either goof-ups or death."  -  hmm.  I guess I feel like death (separation from God) is a little harsh of a consequence for for a goof-up.  And there is the implication that if Adam had not "goofed-up", he would not have died and perhap neither would we (I'm not sure about that).


And about sins: "Should they be determined by their intent? or their consequences?"  I guess mostly intent, but if you are able the see that the consequences are really bad and do it anyway then it's hard to fall back on the plea that your intentions weren't bad.   I do realize that people engage in a lot of self-deception when they sin.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2008 - 10:12AM #23
mfjfarrell
Posts: 236
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Hey Lillian,

"I'm trying to think through your questions" - That's all we are here for!  The best answers come from the Lord as we ponder each other's words.
" I'll say that what God expects is our best -in contrast to an earlier comment you made in this thread" - actually, that's what I am saying!  We are in agreement about man's nature but at odds with those who would claim "there is no good thing" in mankind.  The Celts, like the East, see the Light of Christ in all.

"What is the difference between being corrupted and flawed or bent?"  - While I understand the analogy of your examples, that's not the historical context for the Roman/Calvinist doctrine of 'corruption' prevalent today.  As I mentioned before "there is no good thing" in mankind in their thinking.  It stems from a total worthlessness, in their eyes, of the natural condition of mankind.  They see nothing good.. nothing of Christ's Light in anyone!

"But what if the Son of God worked with him a while and he still liked his soul bent?" - One of the modern names for the Holy Spirit is the 'Hound of Heaven', who relentlessly, tirelessly pursues all men.  Yes, a bent soul is such a sad thing... but it does happen.  My experience though, is that if you live for Christ, loving all men as His children, people begin to feel His Presence within you.  They can reject 'religion' but I have not found anyone in my life yet who can reject love, care, concern when it is genuine.

"I guess I feel like death (separation from God) is a little harsh of a consequence for for a goof-up." - Death is not a punishment metered out by God, it is a consequence of a life style we choose to live.  Whether Adam and Eve were designed to be Eternal or not cannot be known in this realm.  Since them, the rest of us have finite bodies with Eternal souls  and spirits.  Personally, I see death as the doorway to further communion with our Source.

Thanks again for sharing your considerations.  I hope I haven't muddied the water for you...

Slan,
Marty
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2008 - 8:45PM #24
seekerdrd
Posts: 98
Just a quick thought before I go back to pondering. Regarding death (separation from God) being the result of a lifestyle choice and not a punishment, I couldn't agree more. The analogy I like to use is a crude one, but it gets the point across more or less. I am a parent. Let's say that one day I'm cooking, and my son comes into the kitchen. I tell him, "Don't touch the stove. It's hot and will hurt you." Before I can stop him, my son takes a quick look at me, then reaches out and touches the stove anyway, burning his hand as a result. Did I punish him by burning his hand, or was the burn a direct result of his choice to touch the stove despite my warning?

David
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