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  • #134922
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    I have a unique origin story in my WIP for a creature that lurked in the earlier of Greco-Roman mythologies of our present world.  He is called “The Pan”, and legends and lies have sprung up in ancient Surface World stories around this cursed half-man/half-beast creature.  In my tale, he once had a human name, before the ram he mocked the sacrifice to the Most High with, became half of what he is now.  [No, he is not “The Devil,” but he most certainly is in league with that ancient Accuser who knows his leash is short and his reckoning is soon to come.] May you have a blessed evening and may you celebrate your father along with Our Heavenly One that has no end to His Perfect Love.

    Ooh that sounds like a really interesting villain! Oh I forgot! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! Or late Father’s Day, lol…

    I have yet to read in Scripture where God councils us to be timid when He calls for obedience. To leave the outcome to Him.  That said, I do not expect a new Christian, until they have grown into a mature walk with the Lord and gained a greater understanding of God’s Word, to lead into these areas.  It does take a more mature faith and a loving sensitivity to the Spirit of the Lord in what to write or say to them.  But if God leads, do it. Don’t look to disqualify yourself or make excuses, follow The One in His Love Path to reach them.

    He says so often to be fearless that the world will try to destroy you but He overcame the world. He says don’t be afraid for every action, even in the Garden when He was so afraid He sweat blood but He loved more than He feared and died for us, each of us, even if we reject Him and choose to go to hell He still died for us without any reserve.
    So even if it’s useless we must love without any reserve.

    Thank you for the tag Cathy. <3 I’m actually writing… a small bit, about sexual trafficking right now. At least… it’s the inciting event. </3 Very hard.

    *hugs tightly!* Thanks for coming! I’d thought you’d have heavy themes <3 <3
    I do have an underlining thread of a theme on sexual trafficking too but the main focus there is the attitude. That it still counts, even if no one touches you, being seen that way is its own kind of assault. But I’m also writing themes about LGBTQA in a Christian light, so that too.
    One thing I’ve noticed though, most people don’t really address male sex trafficking victims. It’s a thought at least, they’re the kind of sins most people don’t want to really talk about. Murder is actually a more “accepted” sin in literature, perhaps because there’s a subconscious realization in everyone that losing the body is better than harming the soul so deeply.

    I think I heard that the APA used to classify homosexuality as a mental illness or disorder, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about it like you (Cathy) before. You seem to have some great insights. Do you have any resources you could share that have led you to those  conclusions?

    Oh thanks! I…I actually don’t have a lot of resources, I just kinda talked to a lot of different people and saw a lot of different perspectives. I mean, I live in a very devote Catholic family and my best friend all-out supports LGBTQA and rejected her parents’ Christianity for that just a couple months ago. So things happened in my life and I read through the Courage support group’s resources, I wanted to be able to explain–even before my friend adapted those beliefs–with logic and moral conviction to the point that I could give reasonable explanations to an atheist why this was wrong because I mean God never forbids anything arbitrarily.
    So I was already a bit of a psychology geek there and I just kinda starting entering LGBTQA character’s POVs and at first it was stiff and very Straw Man Fallacy-ish but the more normalized it was through media and the more invested I became in understanding it and treating my characters as people first like I do with all my neurodiverse characters (I really like writing about mental disorders and handicapped characters I guess it’s kinda my think XD)

    I don’t see any moral issue with asexuality, as long as you don’t desire a romantic partner of the same sex. I’ve heard Christians point to the verse in Matthew about some eunuchs being born eunuchs to justify asexuality. I personally think the verse is more in reference to people who are infertile, but it’s an interesting thought. Marriages for most of history have been based not on sexual attraction anyway (of course nobility would often have outside affairs, but that’s a different issue…)

    Yes, I’ve thought about that verse that way for a while now, especially as I’ve never experienced any physical attraction to people before, although that may very well just be my sheltered life so far, I’m cool either way 🙂
    I really don’t think it’s wrong to identify with LGBTQA either as accepting this as a particular temptation/mental state/a way to describe this difference to people who don’t experience it, the same way people can be bipolar or schizophrenic; the fact that it’s a wrong perception of reality doesn’t diminish the fact that schizophrenia hears voices and hallucinates, bipolar is swept with mania and depression and that’s simply not something they can stop experiencing even though it can “get better” and they’re still responsible for not willfully sinning.
    So one thing I’ve been trying, getting some of my LGBTQA character to just have that and still live Christian lives. It would give validation to the person more and a positive example that kinda gives people a chance to accept this as a condition and normalize coming to terms with that in a healthy way.

    I really do want to touch on LGBT in my writing. So many Christians are so hateful toward these people. I want to give a balanced, loving but true perspective. When I think about my own tendencies, I am convinced that had I not grown up in a Christian home, I would be declaring myself trans or genderfluid. I don’t suffer from gender dysphoria, but right now in our culture, queerness is trendy and I believe many teens and young adults have jumped on LGBT’s trendiness. It’s cool. There’s the attraction to declare your own identity. And don’t all we humans want to declare our identity apart from God?

    See yes! It’s like all other sins we can love the sinner but this sin is our spiritual leper. And we all know how well Jesus social-distanced :P. But we still want them to stay away and shout ‘unclean’.
    I certainly would’ve experimented with gender and sexuality if I weren’t raised Catholic, yes.

     

    I must get back to Communism tomorrow with all my excessive economics/sociological studies it’s getting near my bedtime curse human constrains of time and bodily needs!!! We don’t even stay charged as long as drained AA batteries!!!!

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #134970
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    I’ve given thought to how what I’m writing could get me in trouble someday. But I do not regret it. My parents are a bit wary, about what I’m writing, because of that. But… I do not regret it.

    Lol, my parents are more concerned for my mental health than wary of the flack I’ll get for writing XD.

    My family too fled a Communist nation, all they had was a fake telegram to get them over the border. It’s only by the grace of God that they succeeded, otherwise I would have never existed. My story makes a jab at Communism and Fascism, the government in it promotes ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ and ‘peace for all’, all the while censoring media and promoting themselves as living gods to be worshipped.

    That must’ve been a really harsh experience, I’m so glad your family made it out!

    it literally breaks my heart seeing it get promoted everywhere. A family member (who by the way is alive because their family escaped Communism) once said to me ‘Gosh you know what Neasa! There’s no such thing as Communists anymore! They’re all GONE!’ Umm then what are China, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba then HMMM? And what are People Before Profit aka the party of young Irish wannabe Socialists whinging about people owning their own houses and land, while at the same time living, thriving and surviving because of the free market and capitalism??? Jeepers I just can’t with people sometimes :'(

    Right! And what about the self-proclaimed Marxist Black Lives Matter mobs and the New Left? Everything about Marxism undermines morality, democracy, pretty much every aspect of the American Constitution is torn apart by this belief. And China and North Korea don’t even get me started on those. But look at the key beliefs systematically it’s Satanic;
    1. “People are not responsible for their own actions in society because they are trapped by a society that creates our “roles” and forces us into stereotypes.”
    The belief that people shouldn’t own up to their problems and sins negates all sense of objective morality and especially any form of consensual or less consensual sex crimes because “as long as everybody’s fine with it what’s the problem?” There are already so-called “studies” that “affirm” “children are not harmed by porn and may even feel happy after looking at it”. Illegal porn is merely defined as a “photo of a real child” so dirty pictures are still legal, and rape is hardly even taken seriously anymore as if “he/she asked for it” or did something to incite it.
    Any religion is at odds with this belief in “societal roles we must free ourselves from”. Any morality or personal responsibility hinders that “ideal” that there’s no right or wrong just groups of people against other groups and this nebulous “societal constraint”. After religion, family blocks their goals since most parents would at least try to teach children to do good and avoid bad but if everything’s “society’s fault” the mere thought that children should rein themselves in at all is tyrannical and destructive in a world where it’s not their fault just societal inhibitions. To quote actual Black Lives Matter statement;
    “A. We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered
    B. We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
    C. We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
    D. We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
    E. We foster a queer-affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”
    Notice how all of those are comparative and assume that “everyone” other than their audience practices hate and discrimination. It precisely it exclusive of male, heterosexual or “Western” (read American founding principles). A Begins “defending” black women by attacking men. B Empathy defined “connect with their contexts”; identify with their situation and file them into a happy little group divided from the rest. Note it’s “their contexts” not their person, their identity, their beliefs anything. Just their experience. And “comrades”; implicitly excluding people who don’t agree with them. That ain’t empathy last I checked.
    C again relies on dissing men and “fully participate with their children”? Not “spend more time with” or “raise their children” no; the idea is to treat children as a separate subgroup in this essentially to separate them from parents into “villages” so that the majority molds their beliefs and continue to foster a sense of dependence by forcing adults and children into the same set of rules. D very clearly states division, “disrupting” the family structure to “collectively” care for one another to the degree that “mothers, parents, and children are comfortable” note mothers get stated but not fathers and to the degree children are comfortable essentially means the government seizes the role of parent whenever they don’t like parents. And of course E pits LGBTQA against anyone who disagrees.
    (I have a particular bone to pick with blm, I’m sure nobody would’ve guessed 😛 )
    Oh! I never read the book but I have seen Animal Farm; it really demonstrated the consequences of Marxism persuasively.
    …what was I talking about?
    2. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
    This rewards selfishness and laziness; there is no incentive to work and everything is carried on the backs of a couple people who actually work at best. It drags down the skilled the moral the frugal you don’t get the effort you put in you just get whatever the people in power give you. That negates all risk/reward factors and exponentially reduces input, creativity and individual talents. But the biggest dehumanizing effect this has is it completely overrides individual choices so that there’s only a mass nobody in power cares about, nobody in power sees people just cattle. In fact, the Covid virus originating in Communist China specifically targets the elderly and those with breathing disabilities; in essence targeting their weakest members to save money on welfare. This is exactly how insurance works and in fact any government agency.
    Instead of equal pay for wildly different jobs, the American Constitution promotes “equal opportunity” so that anybody can go into business for themselves and try their own talents. Even though every person isn’t delegated equal resources the same set of laws apply to everyone (at least when American law isn’t ignored or degraded by political factions–which Washington was afraid of and specifically requested America not have different political parties…if I remember correctly). People have more of a chance to pull themselves out of poverty in a free economy without government inference except in absolutely necessary exceptions.
    3. “Economic democracy”
    If no people are in economic power but instead we follow the “one person, one vote” rule here it’s…quite frankly the height of human stupidity like asking a babysitter to make an executive choice on a multifaceted complex legal issue. For instance, if every person is able to vote on whether to provide doctors with–insert hyper specialized equipment here–or whether resources should provide specialized farming equipment instead, how many people will know

    how to make an executive decision on that; you’d have to be a specialist in every field to even begin.
    People tend not the see government money as finite because it spends and spend with absolute abandon as it steals through taxes, fees and inflation to maintain its delusions of grandeur. Individuals who have a price limit are gonna make better money decisions because they are vested in saving while increasing standard of living whereas government is completely unaffected by its spending but is vested in getting more money to increase personal paychecks.
    So free enterprise promotes better spending while government interference provides the worst services it can get away with with the highest prices it can get away with. Communism completely destroys free enterprise so there are no competitors to government service so they can price as high as they want and continue to self-serve without providing anything.
    4. “No capital should exist”
    So all the money, private property, lives all belong to the government because capital does not cease to exist simply because no one dares assert ownership. The absolutely most common weapon Communist governments use–second perhaps to concentration camps–is famine. Because if no individual owns anything the government owns everything. And what, you think the government is this loving mom. Please, even real parents who love you can’t make your decisions for you constantly and still maintain your humanity as you grow.
    So Communism gone, please. It’s one of the devil’s most seditious lies, the same way he tries to convince people he doesn’t exist.

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Yes, I agree completely, I can’t even think of anything to add you said it so well! Also your wife sounds incredible and I love that explanation of socialism, communism, fascism, nazism, anarchism and capitalism I’ve read that before on Pinterest lol!

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #134976
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Amen, Cathy!

    BLM is insidious and does more to exploit the “populations” it purports to help than any of the worst “KKK” groups.

    Racism is wrong no matter who does it.  God chose the races that came about, and anyone having a problem with that has an issue first with their Maker.

    We humankind are all made in God’s image as a threnody shadow of Him. Not as a perfect duplicate, but as an image that shares the similar 3 parts as one.

    It is God only that perfectly balances the value of the whole and the value of the individual without diminishing either.  He also is the only one who perfectly balances Justice and Mercy without compromise. Mankind was intended to live in community with God Himself which is what was before the Garden Fall.  The fact that mankind still has yearnings for these “good things” is evidence of their need to reconnect with the Source of All Goodness.

    17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. [James 1:17 KJV]

    Mankind’s “human constructs” to approximate earthside good values are always imperfect because they are administered by flawed and self-centered human beings.  I am reminded of the words of George Washington when he, as our first president said:
    “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

    When the leadership of institutions charged to defend a society’s values ceases to recognize God, the values that sustain a society erode for lack of true direction. Leaders must retain the conviction that God holds all to the account of how their treat their fellowmen.  Jesus essentially states these charges as the summary of all commandments in these two:

    29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” [Mark 12:29-31 NLT]

     

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135062
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Exactly! America was built on Christian principles, it is inalienably and explicitly integral to the Constitution. But those same principles written to protect religion has been twisted and warped to attack what it was meant to defend. Media has hyper-sensitized us to race issues which just perpetuates the problem. Hate breeds hate and fighting back just increases the hate. The only way to “solve” as racism problem is with Love. Instead of inflicting every aspect of the problem so people can’t breath without feeling confined to arbitrary “nondiscriminatory” rules, why aren’t we celebrating the positives of each race, sect, class, religion. With all this talk about diversity I’m not seeing a lot of people actually celebrate diversity unless it’s to spite some other group.
    God taught us to love and we and we attack each other over how he meant it. And like Jesus said, you can’t have love without Him. You have to love God before you can even try to love anyone else. Without Love at the center of all our actions even the best government system in the world crumbles under petty and selfish interests.

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #135074
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    I very much agree!

    One “trite phrase” that always bugs me when I hear those who identify with “the far left” use it is this:

    “Our strength is in our diversity.”

    I disagree with this “PC phrase” because it omits too much and fails.

    “Strength is in unity.  A unity that celebrates our God-given differences and blends them into balance and a harmonious symphony of shared and unified purposes.”

    I don’t celebrate differences for difference’s sake alone.  God assembles a body of many unique parts, but they work best when they complement the entire needs of the body.

    You are so right in this statement, and it reveals so much.

    With all this talk about diversity I’m not seeing a lot of people actually celebrate diversity unless it’s to spite some other group.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135083
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Very well said Cathy! If you don’t mind, I might save the info you wrote there on a word doc just because its so informative. I’ll need to to be prepared when doing debates with communist sympathisers 🙂

    That must’ve been a really harsh experience, I’m so glad your family made it out!

    Thank you so much, that’s very sweet of you 🙂 I literally bawled my eyes out when I fully realised how easily they could have been caught by the Stasi. I knew in that moment that it was God who protected them, in doing so He made sure I was born. It’s a miracle really.

    Right! And what about the self-proclaimed Marxist Black Lives Matter mobs and the New Left? Everything about Marxism undermines morality, democracy, pretty much every aspect of the American Constitution is torn apart by this belief. And China and North Korea don’t even get me started on those. But look at the key beliefs systematically it’s Satanic

    Yeah its so sad honestly that people think that organisation is morally right and should be supported. My spiritual director says most people who donate and go to protests for socialist organisations genuinely mean well and think they’re doing a good thing, they have just been duped by the media. Just pray for them, that’s all we can do. I am the only religious and non-leftie leaning person in my family. I do not trust the media AT ALL. The main broadcasters and media outlets in Ireland are a joke. I have one philosophy – Trust nothing and question everything. I wish I could shout ‘think for yourself’! It’s so simple and yet most people think that’s just for conspiracy theorists 🙁

    #135097
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Dear Neasa,

    Thank you for bearing your precious, tender heart.  You never stand alone.  God never loses track of you, and He knew you before you even knew yourself.  You were planned by Him.  God knew where you would be and when you would be, and He has planted you as a precious seed in His Garden and in His family.  Trouble is like manure.  To everyone else, it seems to repulse them, but God often grows the deeper roots of His precious flowers in the midst of it.  It fertilizes us and makes us stronger so that we endure hardship as the testing of our faith and hold on to His promises.  We can thrive even in the midst of persecution, if we remember that Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.  If God is for you, who can possibly be against you, Mighty one!

    You have very correctly stated the following:

    Yeah its so sad honestly that people think that organisation is morally right and should be supported. My spiritual director says most people who donate and go to protests for socialist organisations genuinely mean well and think they’re doing a good thing, they have just been duped by the media. Just pray for them, that’s all we can do. I am the only religious and non-leftie leaning person in my family. I do not trust the media AT ALL. The main broadcasters and media outlets in Ireland are a joke. I have one philosophy – Trust nothing and question everything.

    Here is a verse that unpacks that.

    And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. [2 Corinthians 11:14-15 NIV]

    The agents of darkness rarely present themselves as “baddies”.  They, rather, operate with subtle shifts and twists of God’s Word.  They seem “good” and “well-meaning” and even “sympathetic”, but they will make will ties you in mental knots as soon as they can.  They operate under the guise of “good intention”, but they do not stay consistent in it.  If pressed or observed over enough time, they will reveal their true agenda.

    Scriptures say:
    “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” [Proverbs 4:23 NIV]

    Let consistency, and genuine kindness have a season of testing, before trusting too much.

    Marx got it wrong. Mankind is not basically good.  All authentic good comes from God.

    Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. [James 1:17 NIV]

    God will unite you with true friends and the support you need, but let Him lead you to them.  Don’t let your wanting get in the way.  Guard your heart.  You are precious in His sight and have beautiful gifts to share with your family as a vital part of Christ’s body of believers.  There are none like you. You are the puzzle piece we all need to complete us.

    May you have a very blessed and joyful day.  So glad you are here, sharing your voice.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135145
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    “Our strength is in our diversity.” I disagree with this “PC phrase” because it omits too much and fails. “Strength is in unity.  A unity that celebrates our God-given differences and blends them into balance and a harmonious symphony of shared and unified purposes.” I don’t celebrate differences for difference’s sake alone.  God assembles a body of many unique parts, but they work best when they complement the entire needs of the body.

    Amen @obrian-of-the-surface-world!
    God made us different the way I use different colors in a painting to accent and compliment each other. We were made to strength each other and bring out each others talents and gifts, we’re different so we can appreciate God’s graces with the contrast of appearance and personality. But one thing’s always the same in each of us; we need Love, we need to love and to be loved and everything else is just extra.

    Very well said Cathy! If you don’t mind, I might save the info you wrote there on a word doc just because its so informative. I’ll need to to be prepared when doing debates with communist sympathisers

    Oh thank you! And absolutely, I want to spread His Truth not patent it lol.

    Thank you so much, that’s very sweet of you I literally bawled my eyes out when I fully realised how easily they could have been caught by the Stasi. I knew in that moment that it was God who protected them, in doing so He made sure I was born. It’s a miracle really.

    *squeezes you into a hug!* It is a miracle, life and its preservation alone is a miracle. And He knew what He was doing when He made you and placed you exactly where you are <3. I’m very blessed to meet you here, and everyone else on StoryEmbers, I’ve never felt so at Home somewhere.

    Yeah its so sad honestly that people think that organisation is morally right and should be supported. My spiritual director says most people who donate and go to protests for socialist organisations genuinely mean well and think they’re doing a good thing, they have just been duped by the media. Just pray for them, that’s all we can do. I am the only religious and non-leftie leaning person in my family. I do not trust the media AT ALL. The main broadcasters and media outlets in Ireland are a joke. I have one philosophy – Trust nothing and question everything. I wish I could shout ‘think for yourself’! It’s so simple and yet most people think that’s just for conspiracy theorists

    Hah yeah I can tell you that. The reason I know this all about blm is because I was in an argument with my bf shortly after the George Floyd murder so I had to investigate it. But arguing is good for me it forces me to look into and question my beliefs which makes me more rooted in God.
    And ikr! Like the most obvious answer has been so beaten out of media it’s considered a conspiracy theory. It must be really tough being unable to fully share your Faith and beliefs with your family, I certainly couldn’t live without talking about God and it hurts so much when people can’t feel His Love for them and I can’t explain it or share it. I love you Neasa, and I guess the only thing we can do is pray for each other throughout the world <3

    Marx got it wrong. Mankind is not basically good.  All authentic good comes from God. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. [James 1:17 NIV]

    God did create mankind good though, and He didn’t revoke it. We’ve broken ourselves but He made us good and we are even if He allows us to sink into evil. I don’t know if Protestants believe this(?) but we Catholics call it concupiscence that after the Fall of Adam and Eve our wills and our passions were set loose against each other with the loss of Grace so that we are prone to sin.
    I do believe mankind is basically good but only God Is and the more we fall away from Him we Aren’t. Satan is literally nothing as far as he is from Yahweh. As we were fractured by the Original Sin of Adam and Eve we don’t exist in the order God created us but the human person fully alive is in Love and humanity itself is basically good, He never revoked those words when He “saw that we were good” the same way He said “I am the Vine you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” The Vine can’t say the branches are bad if the Vine Itself is good. In the same way, I believe mankind is good but given the capacity to become evil and the propensity to consent to evil.
    That’s why the greatest evil is division and lies. If we’re separated the devil takes us, and lies were once truths but pulled, twisted and fractured to no long correspond with reality and sin is consequence of a lack of goodness so evil is nothing but a lack of good. And in politics especially one becomes so distracted by personal interest and pet interests/problems it twists away from the Whole and our nature is so prone to division with the fracture within us from the Original Sin that we break into evil constantly and Marx set up his philosophy trying to pretend that reality of weakness and sinful within us didn’t exist.

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #135203
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Hi Cathy,

    I think we are saying the same thing, but I did not really clarify what I meant about “basic good”.

    I do believe mankind is basically good but only God Is and the more we fall away from Him we Aren’t. Satan is literally nothing as far as he is from Yahweh. As we were fractured by the Original Sin of Adam and Eve we don’t exist in the order God created us but the human person fully alive is in Love and humanity itself is basically good, He never revoked those words when He “saw that we were good” the same way He said “I am the Vine you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” The Vine can’t say the branches are bad if the Vine Itself is good. In the same way, I believe mankind is good but given the capacity to become evil and the propensity to consent to evil. That’s why the greatest evil is division and lies. If we’re separated the devil takes us, and lies were once truths but pulled, twisted and fractured to no long correspond with reality and sin is consequence of a lack of goodness so evil is nothing but a lack of good.

    When I say “Basic”, what I am referring to is the present natural state of mankind, BEFORE their lives are given to and grafted into The Vine.

    I am speaking of the “fallen condition” when I say “basic”, and since Marx was an atheist, and mocked faith by declaring that “religion is the opiate of the masses”, Marx’s referential idea of “basic human condition” does comport with what we know is “the fallen condition in the flesh”. (Romans 3:9-24)

    You are absolutely correct. God’s declaratory statements on His creation are that they are good.  But the evil done to mankind by mankind’s choice to sin is not good, which is why we needed a Redeemer.  One who was not born under the curse of Adam, which is why the virgin birth was necessary to arise not through the “seed of man”, but in the Holy Spirit’s comingling with “the seed of woman”, who had been deceived by Satan’s guile.  Not so, the man.  Adam committed a series of sins that led to him receiving the greater curse.

    For one, he was specifically given the charge concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet rather than avoid it, he took Eve over there and hung out by it.

    6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. [Genesis 3:6 NLT]

    One wonders where Eve got the notion that they weren’t even supposed to “touch the tree”, for that was not in the pre-Eve command that God gave Adam that appears in Genesis 2:16-17.

    Looks suspiciously like Adam added to God’s Words, and relayed this to Eve. He received the direct communication from God, but he failed to faithfully deliver it to Eve and, since he knew eating from the tree was against God’s singular command, he should have protected his wife and counseled her to stay away from it.  Instead, he waited to see what if anything would happen to Eve when she was tempted by the fruit and the words of the serpent. Why didn’t he intervene and speak up, because he was with Eve when she was being lured.  The man was silent, and that is disturbing. He watched the whole thing transpire, and only after she had eaten the fruit, did he take part in it.  1 Timothy 2:13-14 affirms this.

    The Apostle Paul warns of allowing any teaching that separates alignment with Christ as the source of all truth and good.

    But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NLT]

    Even the learned Apostle Paul, who had extensive scholarship had his words “rightly” scrutinized by the Bereans, because they diligently searched the Scripture to see if what he proclaimed aligned with The Truth. (Acts 17:11)

    Jesus, Himself, challenges the rich young man/religious leader when he addressed him with the assumptive term of “good”, saying in both Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19:
    “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. [Mark 10:18 NLT]

    Since Jesus is God, He had a full and legitimate claim to the descriptor, but why would Jesus say that, if not to warn that we should not be too assumptive with the term “good” before knowledge and understanding and context is learned.  That is what I was getting at, but was not as clear in the context as I should have been.

    God’s declaration of “Good” sees both mankind’s original created state, for every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17), and He sees the perfected state of making that become reconciled to Him through faith in Jesus as Savior. (Ephesians 4:12-13)

    Those reconciled to Him, are covered in His imbued righteousness and are seen by His as “good”.  (Romans 3:23-28)

    One of the many things I’ve observed, especially when I traveled briefly among “academic” circles, is this disturbing uprising of the idea of “relative truth”.  That notion is anathema to me. Repugnant. This idea of “possessive” (~my, your, his, her, their) truth being equally true disturbs me.  Jesus was very specific about where “The Truth” was found.  (John 14:6, John 8:44, 1 John 2:3-4)

    When we abide in Him, walk in fellowship with Him, there is no distance from Him. (Romans 8:35-38)

    My personal responsibility is to look into God’s mirror, (as James 1:22-27 so poignantly puts it), and see if the condition of my life aligns to His empowering Word, and then yield to Him to make me more like His reflection so that ours will be encouraged by HIm through me.

    Many blessings, my dear Sister!  Have a joy-filled day!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135208
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    I am speaking of the “fallen condition” when I say “basic”, and since Marx was an atheist, and mocked faith by declaring that “religion is the opiate of the masses”, Marx’s referential idea of “basic human condition” does comport with what we know is “the fallen condition in the flesh”. (Romans 3:9-24)

    Oh yes! Then I agree completely, thank you for clarifying <3. I’d just always been taught most non-Catholic Christians believed humanity was essentially bad and I wasn’t sure if that was true or just a misconception, I probably wouldn’t have been bothered by the phrase if I hadn’t had that idea in the back of my mind XD.

    But the evil done to mankind by mankind’s choice to sin is not good, which is why we needed a Redeemer.  One who was not born under the curse of Adam, which is why the virgin birth was necessary to arise not through the “seed of man”, but in the Holy Spirit’s comingling with “the seed of woman”, who had been deceived by Satan’s guile.  Not so, the man.  Adam committed a series of sins that led to him receiving the greater curse. For one, he was specifically given the charge concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet rather than avoid it, he took Eve over there and hung out by it.

    Yes, I’d hear that before that while Eve was the first one to eat the apple Adam sinned before that by failing to protect her the same way priests have the duty to protect their flock from false teachings and in the same way Catholics have a duty to teach the Faith to others.

    But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NLT]

    Then I see things as good too liberally? I am prone to getting so caught up in others’ emotions and ideas I forget the objective facts. And I am quite gullible; seeing new things and new people as good first and being wary only afterward. I see your point I think; that I sympathize so much I forget how to objectively discern the Truth and I should be unequivocal and firm both in my Faith and in explaining it to others. That we should be “as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves”
    I didn’t mean “His Truth” like a relative point I just wanted to emphasize anything true I said wasn’t mine to keep or claim because He gave it to me and He’s the only Truth. I shouldn’t have said it like that I completely forgot how close that sounded to the “subjective reality” bug going around and I should’ve been much more clear XD. Thank you for correcting me, that would’ve been a really bad thing for me to say around someone who could’ve been convinced by it. And I should be careful not only to speak clearly but to think clearly and not let myself get caught up in ideas like that, thank you for reminding me to keep focused on God, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only One.
    Thank you and God bless, my big brother! <3

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #135211
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Hi Cathy,

    You have correctly guessed that I am an Evangelical Christian, but you may be surprised to learn that we are not as different as one viewing from outside of our faith might suppose.  We do agree on much and most of the essentials, and we do serve the God of the Bible, and believe that Jesus was God come in the flesh as 1 John 4:2-3 states is the declaratory “litmus test” of authentic faith.

    I highly suspect that once we no longer “see through the glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12) many of the labels that seem to divide us will fall away as we are unified in Jesus.  I know there are many Protestants that make assumptions about Catholics and vice versa, but I know that often it keeps us from finding the delight of our common purpose.  To shine His light into the world together.

    I consider you my sister-in-Christ, not because of any earthly label our clergy ascribes to us, but because we share the same Father in Heaven.

    I am certain I can and will learn from you and as the scripture affirms in Proverbs 27:17 I will most certainly be sharpened by the experience.

    Thank you for sharing your passion for Truth.  Thank you for challenging me to communicate with more clarity.

    I welcome your input and your admonishments to keep me on track and aligned with scripture and not my own “thinking”.

    I tend to be self-referential sometimes when I read or hear something.  Often times I am coming from having read or heard something else in “media” and need to unpack to perceive without my own filter.

    May the Lord Bless You for Reminding Me Too!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135278
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Thank you for bearing your precious, tender heart.  You never stand alone.  God never loses track of you, and He knew you before you even knew yourself.  You were planned by Him.  God knew where you would be and when you would be, and He has planted you as a precious seed in His Garden and in His family.

    Thank you Brian, your message was so lovely and heartwarming. You clearly are well versed in scripture, I admire that, I’m still learning unfortunately😂 I’m so happy I have found fellow writers who have similar views and beliefs to mine.

    And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. [2 Corinthians 11:14-15 NIV]

    That verse definitely describes the state of the world today. Actions are carried out because they are believed to be acts of virtue. I was asked to give my testimony sometime soon, my spiritual director advised me to talk about what communism really is. So yours and Cathy’s facts will definitely help me out big time XD

    May you have a very blessed and joyful day.  So glad you are here, sharing your voice.

    Thank you very much! I hope you have a good day too, God bless🙏


    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Hi Cathy, I’m actually a Roman Catholic too 🙂 its so nice to meet another fellow Catholic on a writers forum! XD you’re the first lol

    Oh thank you! And absolutely, I want to spread His Truth not patent it lol.

    Glad to hear it! I will hopefully use some of your info to educate some teens in my youth group 🙂

    *squeezes you into a hug!* It is a miracle, life and its preservation alone is a miracle. And He knew what He was doing when He made you and placed you exactly where you are <3. I’m very blessed to meet you here, and everyone else on StoryEmbers, I’ve never felt so at Home somewhere.

    Aw thank you for your sweet message. Thats definitely something I need to keep reminding myself of, God doesn’t make mistakes❤️ I feel the same, I‘m having an absolute blast with you guys on Story Embers! Its so much fun😊

    Hah yeah I can tell you that. The reason I know this all about blm is because I was in an argument with my bf shortly after the George Floyd murder so I had to investigate it. But arguing is good for me it forces me to look into and question my beliefs which makes me more rooted in God.
    And ikr! Like the most obvious answer has been so beaten out of media it’s considered a conspiracy theory. It must be really tough being unable to fully share your Faith and beliefs with your family, I certainly couldn’t live without talking about God and it hurts so much when people can’t feel His Love for them and I can’t explain it or share it. I love you Neasa, and I guess the only thing we can do is pray for each other throughout the world <3

    Thats good that you informed yourself on these things. I‘m still educating myself, I‘m reading the gulag archipelago at the moment, its so very eye opening. Is it difficult to get into discussions and debates with people around you? I find that very hard personally.
    Thanks Cathy that means a lot💛 and I love you too, I‘m delighted to have met you!

    #135279
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    Good morning Neasa!

    Did I mention that my wife is Russian, now a full American citizen?

    I saw you’re reading “The Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  Very good book.  Very eye-opening.

    I‘m still educating myself, I‘m reading the gulag archipelago at the moment, its so very eye opening.

    I would also recommend George Orwell’s books “Animal Farm” and “1984” if you haven’t already read them.

    I had a book called “The Liberation of One” by Romuald Spasowski, but it was lost in a house move and I never got to read it.
    Here is the synopsis of it though:
    “The life story of the Polish ambassador to the United States who defected in December 1981. It is an enthralling story, full of tension, tragedy, self-doubt and self-revelation, of one man’s career of service to a communist regime, in full awareness of what it was doing to his country, his friends and his family. Spasowski, apparently, is blessed with a prodigious memory.”

    Ayn Rand was a Russian immigrant who staunchly spoke out against Communism and most of her major works dealt with how awful that ideology was. (“Anthem”, “The FountainHead”, “We The Living”, “Atlas Shrugged”, etc.)

    While I understand and enjoy Ayn Rand, I could not embrace her polar opposite philosophy of the “virtues of selfishness” nor her atheism.  But I do recommend reading “We The Living” if you would like to get a sense of post-Revolution Russia and the devastation it caused.  That is a very atmospheric and powerfully emotional work, and Ayn does a stellar job of giving you a sense of it.

    People forget what hard times actually were. Few people actually study real history, but I have been there and seen its dark insidious eyes gleaming under its seemingly benign covers.  Russian communism was sold to the outside world as a better alternative to capitalism and democracy, but it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a means to gaining power for the elites, and stripping away human dignity and individual liberty “for the sake of the collective good”.

    That is why I feel so compelled to expose it.  To take up the mantle of George Orwell and expose its lies to this present generation and point them to Jesus as the One Truth that gives balanced and value to an individual and to us as family and communities of Faith.  Christ is The Anchor that Holds.

    God Bless!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135354
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world @this-is-not-an-alien

    I actually have a question seeing as you’re well informed. How do you respond to someone who says that ‘oh communism is a great idea, it’s just never been done right.’ I’m getting that a lot, and I just really want an answer that will shut people up to be honest lol

    Did I mention that my wife is Russian, now a full American citizen?

    Wow that’s really cool. What part of Russia is she from? I actually have a friend in Russia. She didn’t know what a gulag was until she was like 22. Beforehand, she thought it was a person. Unbelievable right?

    I saw you’re reading “The Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  Very good book.  Very eye-opening.

    I would also recommend George Orwell’s books “Animal Farm” and “1984” if you haven’t already read them.

    Yeah it’s shocking but very interesting. I hope I get to encourage others to read it :). And yes I plan on reading those soon, I have a copy of 1984 because my sister studied it in English class.

    The liberation of one sounds really good, I’ll put it on my to-read list 🙂

    People forget what hard times actually were. Few people actually study real history, but I have been there and seen its dark insidious eyes gleaming under its seemingly benign covers.  Russian communism was sold to the outside world as a better alternative to capitalism and democracy, but it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a means to gaining power for the elites, and stripping away human dignity and individual liberty “for the sake of the collective good”.

    Yeah its interesting because back then when the five year plans was being implemented, the whole world saw it as revolutionary and praiseworthy. But behind the scenes was collectivisation and the Holodomar. I’ve honestly had so many conversations with people where they say ‘oh Russian communism and marx’s socialism are not the same thing.’ People really need to wake up, but I fear its already too late. Apparently here in Ireland the government are going to introduce ‘hate speech laws’ meaning at some point in the future, the Bible will be banned. I actually can’t believe it’s happening before my eyes and there’s nothing I can do about it!

    What’s the education system like in America? History classes in my school actually taught us about Soviet Russia as well as Fascism. Now history in schools is now a choice, people don’t have to take it after first year in high school (I think).

     

    #135358
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @irishcelticredflowercrown


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Hi Neasa,

    You wrote:

    I actually have a question seeing as you’re well informed. How do you respond to someone who says that ‘oh communism is a great idea, it’s just never been done right.’ I’m getting that a lot, and I just really want an answer that will shut people up to be honest lol

    Here is an…impassioned…response to them. [Loving given, I might add. 😉 ]
    What arrogance one must have to think that all of the other people in all of the other countries who have tried “Socialism” and “Communism” that ALWAYS led to great suffering, the crushing of the human spirit, and naively deals with the realities of “human nature” did not “try” it correctly and they only have to look to “us” (not you) to model for them how it should have been done “correctly”.  We cannot even get some of the basic things in our lives straight and consistent. What makes anyone who has a half-functioning brain cell, look to the most power-hungry and incompetent bureaucrat, who personally demonstrates such elitism in their own lives and think that these are truly going to make it a better world for those they only want votes from.  I would highly recommend that you check out some PragerU videos online with people who lived under some of these “ideas” in real life, and fled them and are vocally speaking out against where these philosophies (human religions) lead.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

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