fb

Controversial Topics

Forums Fiction Themes Controversial Topics

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 105 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #135361
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    I might also add this “definition” of insanity, once thought attributed to Albert Einstein, but I think it actually came from literature in Al-Anon. 😉

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Advocates of these failed “social system” might want to re-think. 😀

    Russia had an “Iron Curtain” to hide behind while it tried its social experiment with Marx’s ideas.  Communism is just the result of frustrations with implementing “control” under Socialism.  At some point, force is brought to bear on those who “resist” their individual hopes being stripped away and laid on the altar of some ill-defined “collective good”.

    Both systems are inextricably linked to each other.  Just “socialism” disguises itself as an empath, whereas “communism” wears jack boots and doesn’t give a rat’s patootie what the “person to be adjusted” feels.

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

    #135386
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Neasa, sometimes my best illustrations come in story.
    (I’d be interested to see what you think of it too, Cathy.)
    See if you can spot the Communist tactics in this scene I wrote for my WIP.

    “The caravan stretched for miles upon end, over the brow of the horizon, down a declivity and then rose back up to a ridge upon which Xarm, a self-styled ruler of one of the many clans, rode ahead of the masses to get a first look at the new country and mountainous lands coming off the highland plains from the great sea.
    Xarm had come from a very different land many decades ago, but in this strange country, the years and the overhead sun were much kinder to aged men.  Still, in all, Xarm knew he was finally growing older and could feel the effects of the years piling upon his body, signifying that sometime soon he may need to think about his final rest and the legacy he would leave to his progeny.  He had been a cruel master, powerful in his day, and had ruled at times with an iron fist and at others with a velvet glove.
    Now it was finally time to begin the transfer of his rule to his designated next in line.  There were several of his offspring to choose from.  He had not been a virtuous man.  He had not thought enough about establishing a rightful lineage sanctioned by clerics, of whom he had no use for.
    His chosen favorite had died of a consuming disease, no doubt given him by some vile wench he had used while reveling.  Now he had only his second choice, and in his mind, the youth was a grave disappointment.  The young man needed affirmation too much.  A weakness for which he had been warned and chastised on numerous occasions.  He certainly was not fit to darken the shadow of his dead older brother.  The lad was full of bottled rage but unable to focus and make decisive use of it.
    The king and his son rode side by side towards the cliffside and then dismounted to approach the edge of the overlook.  Xarm had commanded his attendants and bodyguards to wait for them about a league back so that he could talk privately with the young man.
    The two approached the drop-off quietly, the king slightly ahead, the son dutifully following about a pace or two behind.
    The sun was beginning to set on the far horizon and shadows of the evening were stretching away and behind them.
    Upon the plains and valleys and lower intervening lands, various sized cities, towns, and hamlets were just beginning to light their evening fires.
    It was just how the scout said it would be.  A land full and fertile, shouldered by mountain ranges, watered by myriad lakes and rivers, tilled and cultivated by generations of people who had no knowledge of what was about to happen to them.
    Xarm took it all in studying it with a seasoned and calculated eye.  Measuring its natural strengths and weakness.  Its fortifications or lack thereof.  Its arrangement of towns in situ, its approximate number of residents based on size and observable boundaries.  Its roads and potential modalities of travel and food sources, and access to timber and stone.
    Seeing the young man, as if for the first time within the last half hour of travel, also standing there at his right shoulder observing the land below he quietly asked, “My son, how would you move into an established land such as this and subdue them all under your authority?”
    The young man glanced at his father to be sure he had spoken to him and then looked out again on the cities and thought for a moment, and then answered.
    “I would take some of my most powerful warriors.  Divide them up and put hundreds of my most brutal, and dangerous men under their command, and have them ride in and lay siege to the smaller towns on the fringe, cutting them off from help from the larger cities.  I would allow them full liberties to take over the towns, striking fear into them and cowing them into submission.  Once we had control of the town, I would move in with greater forces to take the mid-sized towns until we had so subdued and struck fear into the hearts of the citizens that they feared to resist us.”
    The monarch’s jaw tightened, and his eyes narrowed, as he let out an angry breath through clenched teeth.  He swiftly turned, grabbed his son by the shirt and backhanded him with a slap across his bearded cheek.
    “You are a fool.  I am ashamed to have brought such an idiot out of your mother’s loins.  There is too much of her in you.  Have I taught you nothing?  You would summarily be defeated, your forces spread thin, and your head severed from your foolish body and your guts fed to the dogs.”
    In disgust the monarch released his shirt and shoved the young man away from him, staring down at him with hot anger and frustration.  The prince flinched at the slaps he’d received more so from each of his father’s words than the harsh strikes.  His cheek was red and raw from the brutality of his father’s angry hand.  Though it stung and a welt was forming, he knew better than to reflexively raise his hand to his cheek showing any kind of weakness.  His father would surely break his arm for such a reactive gesture.  He’d thought to impress him but had only brought further shame upon himself and increased his father’s ire and rejection.
    “Listen carefully to me, you idiot.  I asked you how you would gain control of an established land which is already self-sufficient.  You regurgitated this tripe about conquest by force, which has its rightful place but not in the beginning.  That may work with a land divided by feuding clans, but it will not work in a land living peaceably with its neighbors and sharing trade and community.  You will quickly run out of powerful soldiers because you must maintain the outer cities under an iron hand.  You will rapidly deplete troop strength and will at best only take the mid-sized cities but never the largest ones and you will subject your kingdom into a series of endless battles and wars which will ultimately cost you everything to maintain until they subdue you and overrun you and trample you underfoot for all of the atrocities you have committed in rising to power.  You will destroy everything I’ve spent my life to build for you and your siblings.  Fear is the costliest route to conquest.  You would do well to always bear that in mind.  Brutality is useful only after you have gained mass control and then you may use it with impunity as much as you like.”
    The young man bowed his head, not daring to meet his father’s eye in challenge.  He knew his father was a brutal man, and that he thought little of killing subjects or using them as he wished, so his father’s reaction to his statements bewildered him.
    “How then would you do it, sire?”
    The king turned his gaze back upon the distant fields, glancing sidelong at his cowed offspring, “Here is how it must be done.  Listen closely.  These people do not know you.  Your reputation must not be known among them.  You must carefully control how they see you and come to know you and the people you lead.  It will cost you much at the beginning, but in the end, it will amass great fortunes into your kingdom coffers.  Send emissaries representing you into their towns and communities.  Live among them.  Meet with them, learn what their problems are.  Their concerns.  Their big plans for the future.  Listen especially to their suspicions.  Their complaints.  Sympathize with them.  Offer to help them.  Make them think you care about them personally.  Gain their trust through empathy.  Look for those who feel ostracized and outside of the community.  Befriend them.  Include them.  And learn what it is that causes them to feel marginalized.  Encourage them and others of like mind or circumstance to form groups defined by those differences.  Create sub-cultures and divide them by those definitions.  Fracture the community, by these self-defining groups.  Marginalize the older generation who built the society with labor and traditional values.  Make the younger generation distrust the older one, so they refuse to learn from them.  We cannot have those old ways carrying forward.”
    “Validate the angst of the youth.  Encourage them to resist and rebel against the old-fashioned ways.  Exchange the concept of fact-based structure to a feeling based structured society.  Feelings can be manipulated, facts cannot.  The more these groups make decisions based on feeling rather than fact, the better for you.  Use their passions and later you can use their aggressions and frustrations to serve you as well.”
    He gestured outward to the small twinkling lights in the more remote areas.
    “Those smaller towns will be your hardest people to subdue because they need the least from you.  They are perhaps the most self-sufficient of all that can be seen from this vista.  They are more agrarian.  They plant.  they harvest, they make do with what they themselves are able to produce by their own industry and hard work.  They have the most to lose where there is no external threat to their existence.  So, with them, you must either create some external threat which causes them to believe they need something from you, or you must subvert their self-sufficiency and lure them into dependency.  Only then will you have the leverage you need to rule them.  Understand?”
    The young man stared hard out in the direction the king indicated.
    “How do you make a self-sufficient people depend on you?”
    “With overly generous gifts.  You trick them into doing so.  You slowly lure them into wanting what you have to offer, rather than taking the time to produce it themselves.  You trade with them and take initial financial losses until they stop producing and start consuming more than they produce.  You make their life easier for a season until they lose their ability to do what generationally they have taught their children to do for themselves.  You wait until the time is right, to begin to slowly raise the cost of the wares you offer them.  You convince them that the honorable thing to do is bring together their dwindling produce into a communal storehouse and ration it back to them in fairness to all.  You secretly undermine their industry.  You buy out the trade of artisans who may become capable of producing superior products and avert competition.  You convince these promising young and naïve artisans to go to work for you and then you bury them in monotonous duties until they either lose initiative or you have a chance to discredit them in the eyes of their peers.”
    The young man’s brow furrowed, “That could take years.”
    The king smiled, “It can happen sooner than you think, but you are correct, it does take time to plan and orchestrate such a shift in thinking, but the rewards are immeasurable.  A quick rise to power is a fast fall out of it.  You must think progressively.  A slow eroding of old ways of thinking.  Eventually, your might will have been gained by those who become zealous for your rise to power.  In the beginning, promise them everything.  Be overly generous.  Gain their confidence.  If your fortunes are in risk of depleting before you reach your objective, secretly organize loyal brutes to maraud and steal what you have to from the unsuspecting to continue the cycle of generosity until they trust you implicitly.  Promise to deal with these vandals and marauders, which are secretly under your orders.  Recover and restore some of what was stolen to the people.  They will pay it amply back to you in power.  In the end, they will become your slaves to do with as you wish for their very lives and welfare will depend upon your benevolences and continued power.  The larger cities who are already sharing resources depend upon the outlying communities for food and clothing.  These will fall faster under your rule if you are widely seen as a beneficiary.  They volunteer their services and their very lives in exchange for what you offer them in the beginning.  Only when you gain control of all they produce; can you show the might and violence of your true power that they unwittingly yielded to you.”
    “Sounds like a very complex plan.  Can this actually work?”
    “It does every day, where I came from, my son.  Back in an entirely different world than this one.  It is working even now.  Create their need for them.  Give them what they want for a season, and these fools will surrender to you the keys to their kingdoms to secure for yourself an empire without end.”

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

    #135388
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    *staggers into forum, scans through all the new posts* *whoa I is late lol XD,  better catch up!*

    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.

    Yes! The more I talk to people from different Christian religions the more it really is one Faith one Family after all “one flock and one Shepherd”. And He said when people who weren’t his disciples started casting out demons in His Name “those who are not against Me are for Me.” Really, the only important thing is to love and all faithful strive to love with their whole soul. It the devil that sows division between us and not God.
    It’s been great being here and being challenged to align more fully with scriptures and more articulately. I’ve learned so much talking to all of ya’ll.

    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!

    I’m very glad you corrected me! Especially since it might’ve been ambiguous to my bf reading my posts (if she still is? *glancing up quizzically*). And I definitely do have to be reminded to not use that type of vocabulary/thinking since I’ve been saturated with it against all better efforts. Thank you for sharpening and guiding me! <3

    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

    Whoa! Yay! You’re the first fellow Catholic I’ve meet here too! Who’s your favorite saint? Have you been confirmed yet? How did you find a spiritual director, if you don’t mind my asking? XD

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

    Oh I’m glad! I can’t wait to learn more and be sharpened by more discussion on all these topics <3

    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

    I’ve had so so much fun and I’ve made so many friends here too!!! Like this Covid year was actually pretty great on that point lol XD

    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!

    Lol, there’s no end to educating yourself it’s a lifetime sealed deathwish XD. I’ve never heard of Gulag Archipelago before, what’s it about?
    Yes, it is really har–*thinking about the “debate” I had with my bf over my earlier lgbtqia (intersexual is apparently a new one, I apologize for not including it before. Have not had time to research it yet.) post literally like the day before yesterday.
    And that I thought it was a good idea to revive this discussion thread earlier
    And that the first thing I do when I start to get to know someone is ask about their politics, religion etc
    And that I was always that “mean friend” who wouldn’t hesitate to give her insulting opinions up front and unnecessarily* Erhm…ok so I come from a fairly argumentative family and I don’t really have a problem getting into those debates. What is very hard for me is being honest throughout it, especially in the heat of the moment. I don’t really get offended by other people’s opinions there but I’ll notice when other people are starting to get hurt/offended and I usually struggle to not compromise what I say or like try to avoid it afterward to avoid conflict. Another thing is having the self-confidence to just admit I don’t know the answer and I’ll have to look into it and come back to the argument when I’m better informed.
    I think the big block is like putting your opinions out there to be judged and weighed like it’s a judgement of you. But that’s the wrong mindset to come at, if you argue like that people don’t even listen anyway. Opinions don’t change with arguments they change with questions and new facts. So the real thing, I want to be really interested in everyone’s opinions and really learn about them and the heart of the disagreement before I actually argue argue. For me arguing is a learning experience. I really shifted in my stance on lgbtqia as I started researching and debating it. I started off thinking it was a choice and learned more and more it’s just not that simple.
    I’d say the most important thing in getting into a discussion/debate like that is to want to grow and learn and be tried and to be real about not knowing the answers. Saying ‘I don’t know’ isn’t an admission that your argument is wrong or that you’ve changed your stance; it means you’re challenged to really articulate and sharpen your beliefs. So, I mean, argue to learn and just be real <3
    But it’s not just a matter of being authentic I guess, there’s also arguing with someone you love about very personal subjects. That one is very very difficult for me personally too. I don’t want to hurt anyone, I don’t want to lose a friendship I value so much. To start debating/discussing there I feel like my heart is ripped out of my soul, I can’t even find words for how much it hurts. But I can’t hide my opinions, I hate hate hate indirect accusations, or passive aggressiveness or underhandedness, I want everything in a relationship up front I want it to be us against a problem not me against you and all. I could avoid a lot of conflict if I’d just keep my piece but I don’t think I’d ever forgive myself for it.
    I lost a very close friend to the ideas I’m arguing against and I always sort’ve reassess everything I said and did and wonder if I’d given more if maybe there’d have been a chance of avoid this. Probably not, I did what I thought was best with the information I had but I certainly could’ve done better. I don’t think I’d ever have been able to forgive myself if I hadn’t argued these point before she rejected Christianity. And I’m glad we can still talk reasonably civilly about these topics and I’m still learning from her and discussing these topics.
    So the fear of conflict is nothing to the pain of letting someone drift away from the Truth. But I usually argue more long-distance, when things got heated over blm we started emailing each other instead to give space to answer logically and not reactively. We had to value friendship over the argument and it was hard not to get carried away, so that’s one thing.
    I hope that helps! I’m so glad I’ve gotten to meet you too! <3

    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.

    Oh oh! I started to read Atlas Shrugged (but my sister caught me and she and Mom agreed it was a little old for me. I think I went to Dracula after that XD). But I’ll never forget the vivid imagery, I only read like the first half of the first chapter but it painted so many vibrant thematic pictures. I can’t watch the movies or read the books probably because of her “virtues of selfishness” and atheistic overtones

    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

    *dramatic sigh as I pull out an excessive stack of economic/government books my mom made me learn for school* Allow me  to murder this argument piece by piece XD it may be a couple days this is a fairly busy week for me and I have joined way too many forums lol.

    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).

    Oooooh don’t get me started on American education and “hate speech laws”!
    Ok, so now there’s this “sex education” thing running rampant and this “find your gender/sexuality label as early as preschool” (which, to be fair, has helped some people struggling with lgbtqia under some circumstances) but a lot of Woke, New Age and quite frankly demonic studies are going across the board. It is at this point in time quite likely for the parents of a preschooler to get in a law suit if said preschooler says a prayer over her meal outloud–and horror worse still if she invites her friends to pray with her!
    Do you know, they have done a so-called “study” in to porn to establish that “it has no negative impact on a child. In fact it can even make some child viewers “happy””. Disgusting, just a step away from saying minors can consent to sex and then that minors should be able to legally become prostitutes.
    I don’t even know what excuse to a history class they give now. My sister was actually assigned the “Hamilton” Broadway musical for history (which, btw, only has cool choreography going for it; it’s historically inaccurate in every sense of the word, uses the f-word in every other song and frequently takes the Lord’s Name. As far as a drama, they managed to make the plot engaging but fanatically Leftist and did I mention it’s wildly inaccurate also?). It was a “fluff class” and irrelevant to her actual studies but I doubt the “real classes” are much better.

    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.

    What @obrian-of-the-surface-world said 😂.

    Neasa, sometimes my best illustrations come in story. (I’d be interested to see what you think of it too, Cathy.) See if you can spot the Communist tactics in this scene I wrote for my WIP.

    ooh I’ll have to take some time to unpack that before I reply (it should be very interesting 🥰)!

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

    #135600
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Whoa! Yay! You’re the first fellow Catholic I’ve meet here too! Who’s your favorite saint? Have you been confirmed yet? How did you find a spiritual director, if you don’t mind my asking? XD

    Really? Wow, I’m very privileged to be the first Catholic writer you interacted with here. I have always wanted to meet a fellow Catholic author and now that’s come true. Yay! May I ask, and I hope you don’t mind answering this but, are you looking at any particular publishers or agents? Because I know for sure that ones that are friendly towards Catholics and Christians are in a very small number. Apart from JRR Tolkien, I have not come across many mainstream Catholic authors, let alone publishers. So what are your plans? Are you considering self-publishing at all?

    Soo my patron saints are St Augustine of Hippo and St Clare of Assisi. They’re so cool, I aspire to be just like them 🙂 I love how St Augustine started off as someone addicted to sex and pleasure, and became one of the greatest Catholic theologians and writers in the world! And I also adore St Maria Goretti, St Cecilia, St Lucis of Syracuse and St Dymphna. You can google them yourself, they’re not hard to find, but yeah I’m a big fan of the saints XD And what about you? Who are your favourites?

    I actually got confirmed when I was twelve. In Ireland, all Catholic primary schools do confirmations in the final year. I think its bad in a way, because its lost its holiness. People use it as excuse to throw parties and to get drunk etc. How old were you when you got confirmed?

    As for my first spiritual director well, it’s an interesting story. I went to a Catholic high school (mind you its only Catholic in name 🙁 ) and he was employed by my school to teach my class religion. I just remember being incredibly intrigued by him, because he was a youngish married man who was also on fire with the faith. He had this joy that I couldn’t comprehend. I wasn’t religious at all before he came – he’s the reason I discovered my faith and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. He challenged me on my views and opinions (I’m embarrassed to say that I was almost indoctrinated by the feminist movement yikes) and he pushed me to go on youth retreats and pilgrimages. We climbed Croagh Patrick as a group, it was honestly the most stressful thing I ever endured. I literally crawled up and down the mountain on my bum, everyone was laughing at me haha XD.

    But honestly he’s just the greatest gift I ever received from God. My friend was a self-professed atheist and now she is super Catholic. He changed my life in so many ways, and I don’t know where I would be if God had not used him to bring me back to the faith! 🙂

    If you’re interested, he was actually interviewed by Matt Fradd on Pints with Aquinas a few weeks ago so he’s a bit of celeb now haha XD. He literally made me bawl my eyes out in this video, his story is just amazing. Here’s the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViQzgPr68rQ

    P.S. I have another spiritual director now, him and his wife are just lovely 🙂

    #135614
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @irishcelticredflowercrown


    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Cathy and Neasa,

    Did you not know Dean Koontz is Catholic? In fact, his novel in the Odd Thomas series called “Brother Odd” takes place entirely in a Catholic monastery.

    Raymond Arroyo is also a Catholic author, besides being a journalist, and has written a YA adventure (Will Wilder) series on Catholic relics.

    Here is a link to Raymond interviewing Dean.
    Interview with Dean Koontz

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

    #135617
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @irishcelticredflowercrown


    @this-is-not-an-alien

    I don’t know if images still work in these forms, but I thought you both might enjoy a photo of the inside of the Basílica de la La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.  My wife and I visited it in 2017 during an international trademark convention.
    One side of the Cathedral stain glass reflects only the red spectrum side of the sunrise light, and the other reflects the blue spectrum of the sunset light.

    La Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona

    I can send a picture of the unique outside of it, if you wish.  We were able to climb the circular stair in one of the towers as well.  The organic Gothic architecture was done by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926).

    Wikepedia search “Sagrada Família” for more info.

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

    #135696
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    Thanks so much but I um can’t really watch videos with my Internet, if I watch anything over ten minutes in a month it crashes the Internet…sorry. I’m hoping when I can drive and have a laptop of my own I can go to those wifi hotspots to work among other things but that’ll probably still be a while…

    Really? Wow, I’m very privileged to be the first Catholic writer you interacted with here. I have always wanted to meet a fellow Catholic author and now that’s come true. Yay! May I ask, and I hope you don’t mind answering this but, are you looking at any particular publishers or agents? Because I know for sure that ones that are friendly towards Catholics and Christians are in a very small number. Apart from JRR Tolkien, I have not come across many mainstream Catholic authors, let alone publishers. So what are your plans? Are you considering self-publishing at all?

    I 100% plan to self publish, even if it weren’t for the lack of Catholic publishing companies. My dad and my grandfather both started their own businesses when they were pretty young and I plan to follow suit there (my great granddad was an active fighter against segregation in his day and so’s my grandfather and he learned how to fly before he could drive 🙂 )
    But I’ve been lowkey studying self-publishing since I finished my first draft when I was fourteen and fairly soon I plan to start a newsletter if everything works out and my parents are cool with it. It’ll give me a chance to have personal interaction with my audience and establish something solid plus plenty of freedom to keep my writing a passion and a growing tool and an outreach and a prayer.

    Soo my patron saints are St Augustine of Hippo and St Clare of Assisi. They’re so cool, I aspire to be just like them I love how St Augustine started off as someone addicted to sex and pleasure, and became one of the greatest Catholic theologians and writers in the world! And I also adore St Maria Goretti, St Cecilia, St Lucis of Syracuse and St Dymphna. You can google them yourself, they’re not hard to find, but yeah I’m a big fan of the saints XD And what about you? Who are your favourites?

    My patron saint is St Therese of Lisieux and I love St Catherine of Siena she was so spunky and St Francis of Assisi he was so simple and he loved animals! Oh it’s Maria Goretti’s day today! I remember Cecilia but I don’t think I’ve heard much about St Lucis and St Dymphna I’ll have to look them up! I also love Mother Angelica who’s on the way to being sainted, and Chesterton (can’t wait to be able to quote a saint in saying “don’t be so openminded your brains fall out”!)
    I was like fifteen or sixteen when I was confirmed. Lol when the bishop was coming my parish priests were like “everyone relax you’re fine you got this by the way sometimes the bishop quizzes confirmees on the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. But you guys got this just relax” (pure panic on the priests’ faces. First time I’d ever seen Father Alex nervous like that). And then my mom and my grandmother couldn’t agree on how I should wear my shawl and they’re both very strong-willed people so that was a game of jeopardy. Humans are such a strange species 😛
    I’m very lucky to be a in a parish very alive with the faith and my mom’s a lay Carmelite so like give up being intimidated by anything after that lol jk. But it’s been great being a part of a very faithful parish and being around so many people alive with Christ’s Love.

    He challenged me on my views and opinions (I’m embarrassed to say that I was almost indoctrinated by the feminist movement yikes) and he pushed me to go on youth retreats and pilgrimages. We climbed Croagh Patrick as a group, it was honestly the most stressful thing I ever endured. I literally crawled up and down the mountain on my bum, everyone was laughing at me haha XD. But honestly he’s just the greatest gift I ever received from God. My friend was a self-professed atheist and now she is super Catholic. He changed my life in so many ways, and I don’t know where I would be if God had not used him to bring me back to the faith!

    Eh I almost slipped into New Age philosophy so I mean I guess everybody’s got that thing… XD
    It’s amazing you’ve found spiritual directors and I’m glad for your friend!

    Did you not know Dean Koontz is Catholic? In fact, his novel in the Odd Thomas series called “Brother Odd” takes place entirely in a Catholic monastery. Raymond Arroyo is also a Catholic author, besides being a journalist, and has written a YA adventure (Will Wilder) series on Catholic relics.

    I don’t think I’ve read any Dean Koontz books before but my brother loves the Will Wilder series it’s like a Catholic kiddy Indian Jones!
    Oh, can I ask, do you believe in purgatory? I’ve heard most non-Catholic Christians don’t but maybe that’s just another misconception? XD

    I don’t know if images still work in these forms, but I thought you both might enjoy a photo of the inside of the Basílica de la La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.  My wife and I visited it in 2017 during an international trademark convention. One side of the Cathedral stain glass reflects only the red spectrum side of the sunrise light, and the other reflects the blue spectrum of the sunset light.

    Oooooh I love stain glass churches that’s so beautiful!! It looks GORGEOUS!!!

    I can send a picture of the unique outside of it, if you wish.  We were able to climb the circular stair in one of the towers as well.  The organic Gothic architecture was done by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926).

    Oh yes please please please! That must’ve been spectacular to see up in person!!!

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

    #135700
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @this-is-not-an-alien
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    Hi Cathy and Neasa,

    It’s been a busy day at work for me, so I am just catching up.

    I don’t think I’ve read any Dean Koontz books before but my brother loves the Will Wilder series it’s like a Catholic kiddy Indian Jones! Oh, can I ask, do you believe in purgatory? I’ve heard most non-Catholic Christians don’t but maybe that’s just another misconception? XD

    I cannot recommend all of Dean Koontz’s books, but some of them are quite marvelous.  I would recommend the Odd Thomas series, however, there are some serious dark moments in it, so I definitely would not recommend it for younger teens.

    Dean states in the interview that in every one of his novels, he always wants love to prevail.  He is never nihilistic and has both beautiful prose and some seriously funny moments woven into his stories, which sometimes annoy his publishers but they can’t argue with his success.  Four of my favorites of his are “Watchers”, “Lightning”, “One Door Away from Heaven” and “By The Light of The Moon”.  His characters are brilliant and endearing.  These latter four I highly recommend.

    To answer your question about purgatory, I always refer to the Scriptures for any discussion.  Basically, it does not matter what my opinion is, I always want to align it with what the Scriptures tell me.

    There are some important passages that I go to.

    Prior to the coming of the Messiah, it was believed by Jewish rabbis (Pharisees, not Sadducees) that the soul of man descended into the lower parts of the earth into a two-part compartment separated by a great gulf barrier.  Those who held faith in the promises of Abraham and the coming Messiah went into a place called “The Bosom of Abraham” and those who lived pagan lives and did not respond to the measure of faith given to them went into a place of torment called Gehenna.  Collectively this place was often referred to as Sheol which simply translates to “The Grave”.  These souls were awaiting the revealing of Jesus as Messiah to be born and reveal Himself as God come in the flesh.

    When Jesus (Matthew 27:50) yielded His spirit’s release from His body on the cross, immediately we read of some strange occurrences in the following verses.

    [Mat 27:52-53 KJV] 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

    The Saviour who had given Himself up to death, was suddenly opening graves.  Sheol was being ripped open and those in “The Bosom of Abraham” were released.  The words of the prophet Isaiah in 26:18-21, and Hosea 13:14 were being fulfilled.

    [Isa 26:19-21 KJV] 19 Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

    The saints of old were each given a measure of faith, prior to the fulfillment of Christ and Hebrews Chapter 11, upon that future promise, their faith was credited to them as righteousness.

    Another verse refers to what happened:

    Ephesians 4:7-10 refers to Christ descending into the “lower parts of the earth” to set captives free, before He ascended into Heaven.

    Jesus’s crucifixion dealt with the eternal penalty for unbelief and reconciled us to Himself, by becoming our singular door to The Father.  That is why Jesus refers to Himself in this way in John 10:7-8 and in John 14:6.

    [Jhn 14:6 NKJV] 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

    Jesus does not allow for “many paths” but is singular in His message.

    [Jhn 6:37-40 NKJV] 37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    Now since Jesus did in fact, as the Scriptures say, set those captives free, as prophesied, I have trouble believing that there are “new captives” after the resurrection.

    The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, writes:

    [2Co 5:4-10 KJV] 4 For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing [is] God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, , and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.

    Verse 8 is why I have difficulty believing in a purgatory, post-resurrection.  Death has been swallowed up in Christ’s completed victory at Golgotha.  When He said, “It is finished.” I believe it was.  Jesus Christ claimed the keys of death and hell.

    For believers, I refer to this passage in verse 8: “To be absent from the body, [is] to be present with the Lord.”
    That is why I believe, as John saw in the account of the Book of Revelations, that the “saints” are in Heaven and present with the Lord, even as Paul states it.

    Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesies the same thing:

    [Jde 1:14-16 KJV] 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

    The saints are coming with Jesus when He returns not as the former Lamb, but as The Lion of the Tribe of Judah to bring the wrath against those who refused Him the first time, and choose rebellion over Mercy.

    Does that answer your question?

     

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

    #135716
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Hi Cathy,

    They are correct….

    I started to read Atlas Shrugged (but my sister caught me and she and Mom agreed it was a little old for me. I think I went to Dracula after that

    Atlas Shrugged does have an inappropriate relationship in it. There are others of her works that do not. “Anthem” is a short novel and maybe a more appropriate read starting out with Rand.  Remember she was still an atheist, so she may not have had the moral values we hold to.

    As far as George Orwell’s works, I would recommend “Animal Farm” before I would recommend “1984” simply because the concepts are clearer and it involves no sensual scenes.

    Many of Koontz’s earlier works I cannot recommend for the same reasons, and some of the language, though Koontz does not use profanity as prolifically as any of the other secular writers.  Oftentimes, he will use a euphemism, where others like Stephen King would just blurt out a bad word.  I can’t read King too much, rarely these days, because his writing does not move me enough out of the dark places into which he takes his readers.  Koontz always does, and that is why I always prefer him when I am in the mood for reading a thriller.

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

    #135742
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world
    Thank you for replying! I’ll probably take a few days to go through everything carefully before I give a real reply. But I do hope there’s a purgatory at least, so we can become perfect like Jesus said “as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (man I can never remember the actual chapter and verse XD). I know He loves us regardless and just as deeply no matter how perfect or imperfect but it would be very nice if could do that one thing for Him <3
    Oh well, I still have to reply about communism “never done right” (I literally have an actual stack of books staring at me right now on my desk mocking me because there’s so much and so many angles to go at and maybe I should start a blog mini series debunking communism and that’s a stupid idea cos I can barely keep up with my other projects as is and I’m probably gonna do it anyway) and your excerpt, let me read up on those Scriptures and pray and study on it before I reply more. Thanks again!

    I cannot recommend all of Dean Koontz’s books, but some of them are quite marvelous.  I would recommend the Odd Thomas series, however, there are some serious dark moments in it, so I definitely would not recommend it for younger teens. Dean states in the interview that in every one of his novels, he always wants love to prevail.  He is never nihilistic and has both beautiful prose and some seriously funny moments woven into his stories, which sometimes annoy his publishers but they can’t argue with his success.  Four of my favorites of his are “Watchers”, “Lightning”, “One Door Away from Heaven” and “By The Light of The Moon”.  His characters are brilliant and endearing.  These latter four I highly recommend.

    Oh it’s hard to find a good wholesome thriller nowadays! Thank you so much for the recommendations! (honestly if I buy a book that cusses I’ll mark out every single foul word with a pen. It’s very therapeutic :D)

    tlas Shrugged does have an inappropriate relationship in it. There are others of her works that do not. “Anthem” is a short novel and maybe a more appropriate read starting out with Rand.  Remember she was still an atheist, so she may not have had the moral values we hold to.

    Haha yeah, I don’t think I was much older than thirteen so that would not have been a great book for me to read then XD. I’ll have to look to see if there’s like a free pdf of audiobook or something for one of them at least!

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

    #135762
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Hi Cathy,

    Your quote:

    (honestly if I buy a book that cusses I’ll mark out every single foul word with a pen. It’s very therapeutic :D)

    I do that exact thing. My Tom Clancy novels were always “sanitized” by the time I read through them. You know, I found out that I did not miss a single thing EVER when I re-read through every sentence and omitted the blacked-out word. It is total pointless to be profane.  Every emotion can be rendered without resorting to gutter talk.

    Could either of these verses be what you were thinking of?
    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [Ephesians 4:12 KJV]
    1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. [2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV]

    One question I would have about purgatory is this.

    When Jesus told the thief that asked for mercy on the cross next to Him in Luke 23:43, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” do you think Jesus meant Purgatory?  How can that be reconciled? Is Jesus in Purgatory? Was He mistaken. I’m sorry, I just cannot find a basis for a post-crucifixion holding area for the redeemed who belief by faith in Jesus and accept Him as savior.

    The righteousness that we receive is imputed by Christ completion of the payment for it.  If we accept Him we get His payment applied to our sin debt for all of our past, present and future sins, and in exchange He awakens our Spirit from spiritual death and allows us to commune directly with Him and His Holy Spirit dwells within us to guide us into taking back territories in our heart where sin once had a stronghold.  It is the Lordship walk and the working out of our salvation that Paul refers to in Philippians 2:12.  The war for our specific soul is over, but in victory the declaration must be declared to the regions that still need to be surrendered to that affirmative claim of Christ’s victory.  This is why Paul admits to his personal internal struggle of yielding all things under Christ’s authority.  (Romans 7:23-25)

    We who are the redeemed are covered in Christ’s righteousness as Romans 3 says:

    25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, , at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [Romans 3:25-26 KJV]

    We are made perfect in Him, which is why He says to Abide in Him.  The Lordship walk is yielding to Him.

     

     

    That

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

    #135781
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Could either of these verses be what you were thinking of? 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [Ephesians 4:12 KJV] 1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. [2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV]

    No, I was reading through the contexts of all the verses you quoted. Then looking through the verses most Catholics cite for purgatory. Then looking at them side by side, then all together the whole of both Christian and Catholic teaching and the whole of the Bible 😉
    To answer your first question about the thief who stole Paradise I need to get to the heart of what Catholics believe about purgatory. One common misconception even in Catholic circles is that EVERYONE must go through purgatory to reach Heaven. This is not so. Rather it is in the measure that one failed to love and to believe in Christ that one must be purified either in this life or the next. One is saved once and for all in Jesus Christ if one believes in Him and turns to Him in their heart. But we don’t turn to Him completely, we’re always rejecting Him with sin and coming back again but not completely. Now God said the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains but He also said faith without works is dead (James 1: 5-8, James 2: 14-26).
    He also says the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects (James 5:16), but I don’t understand why He would say that if all prayer has the same power and all faith is equal. But if someone can pray without being righteous, but only the righteous are in Heaven, then is it enough to accept without accepting truly? But if one doesn’t accept truly is he damned?
    Christ offered once and for all, yet we are His Body and shouldn’t His Body be perfect? If we can’t believe perfectly are we not saved? But imperfect belief is better than none at all still. But Christ said to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
    I’d like to start with the verses you used before I cite my own:
    1. Isaiah 26:18-21; I started reading carefully through the whole thing, along with each of the verses you set up, this morning. I understand the verse to refer both to Christ’s Death and Resurrection as well as the Day of Judgement and this was fulfilled and will be.
    But at the same time 1 Timothy 2:12-13 says “if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny use; if we are faithless, He remains faithful–for He cannot deny Himself.” Then there is an imperfection which Christ forgives even without that faith. If He had His Son die for us, for our sins rather than waving His Hand and forgiving us, and He says we are saved through faith, then faithlessness must be punished? Yet in His Mercy He won’t allow it to be forever, but even if we die with imperfect faith, turning but not reaching, He will accept us. But wouldn’t His Justice require in the same manner that soul to be perfected, if not in this life then the next?
    In Colossians 1:24, Paul says “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His Body, that is, the Church,”. In Baptism we believe God takes away the Original Sin of Adam and Eve and clearly there can’t be anything “lacking” in Christ’s afflictions. So, it seems to me to mean that individuals must still reconcile themselves to Christ by faith, faith show through works.
    In the same we believe in confessing our sins in the Sacrament of Confession because Matthew 16:18-19 and John 20:21-23 seem to indicate Christ gave His Apostles the power and authority to forgive sins in His Name. It just doesn’t seem to make sense for His commands there to be necessary if once one is saved one is always saved and nothing can prevent it. If we are either good or bad there’s no need for sins to be forgiven, if in faith we become perfect then why do we still sin and repent of our sins if not that our faith is imperfect and must be purified?
    2. Hosea 13:14; That verse I’d heard in 1 Corinthians 15 too so I went to see the New Testament interpretation. One verse that really struck me there was 15:50 “I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” Now the context was Paul explaining the resurrection of the body, that all must die to be raised and the string of death is sin and the power of sin is the law but God gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Earlier, all of chapter 13 there, he talks about what love is and “when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.”
    Back to Hosea it really speaks of punishment “Samar’ia shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed into pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open” (…*trying not to compare that to uh…yeah, modern times* nevermind XD). But then Hosea 14 is very forgiving after punishment.
    But afterwards. Paul said that faith and hope would pass away love only would remain. Now “passing away” sounds gentle but Hosea screams violence first and if love only remains, shouldn’t we be purified of what isn’t love? If “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” we as Christians are transformed by God’s grace but “in the measure you sow shall it be given back to you.”
    Yet God tells us to “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. In Matthew 5:25-26 He says “Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.” The word for “prison” (phulake) here is the same word used when Christ descended to the dead and raised them. And He says you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
    Faith without works is dead (James 5-8, James 2: 14-26) thus if you believe in Christ–have faith–you must because of this faith be perfect because your faith is shown in works. In Mathew 5: 17-18 Jesus says “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    So I believe imperfect faith must be purified, and if our faith is imperfect here it must be made perfect either in this life or the next.

    Ugh! I don’t have time today to finish answering, I’m sorry for the delay. I should’ve spoken more clearly when I said I needed time I must’ve sounded like I was dismissing you because I couldn’t answer, I’m sorry. Thank you so much for challenging me, it forces me to articulate my thoughts and look at my beliefs from a fresh perspective and really motivates me to search and study more and to not just take things for what I’ve been told all my life. It really makes me feel alive to argue and exchange ideas and learn.
    Please don’t let me get so into it I frustrate you! I really don’t get frustrated arguing and I can’t gauge well how my words effect people. I learn things best when I’m arguing them and…well, I do want to learn more and grow.

    I do that exact thing. My Tom Clancy novels were always “sanitized” by the time I read through them. You know, I found out that I did not miss a single thing EVER when I re-read through every sentence and omitted the blacked-out word. It is total pointless to be profane.  Every emotion can be rendered without resorting to gutter talk.

    Oh I read a Tom Clancy before, it was like the Briefcase or something. (unless I’m confusing my authors again 😆) Weren’t half bad but yeah the language adds nothing to the emotional depth, just wastes ink.

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

    #135783
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Dear Cathy,

    I am by no means feeling any discomfort in us talking out these aspects of faith. I do so very much appreciate that you are thinking and seeking out what the Scriptures say, for in the end opinions do not matter, only what God says for He sees the end from the beginning.  I pray that I am not making you uncomfortable in our discussion of this topic.  If ever you feel I have stepped out of line, please let me know and we can change subjects.  You do not need me to lead you, only God speaking to you.

    Scripture says in Romans 3:4, Let God be true and every man a liar. That’s what I want, even if I am proven wrong or shown to be wrong. I can take it. That is why I study the scripture.  Paul told Timothy:

    16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [2 Timothy 3:16 KJV]

    If I need to be corrected, that is a good thing, and I must humbly adapt my thoughts and align them to His thoughts as revealed in His Word.  James 1:23-25 says that I should read the Word to reflect on the mirror image it shows me about myself and where my life does not measure up. Then take that reflection to heart and amend my actions accordingly.

    Here is my point.  Christ’s sacrifice finishes the job and provides a covering of righteousness for all who abide in Him and accept Him as Savior.  What is done is done. Scriptures say that it is by Faith alone that we are enjoined into the payment applied to our account for sin.  All of it.

    Paul writes to the Ephesian believers this:

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV]

    And to the believers at Philippi this:

    12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. [Philippians 2:12 KJV]

    The idea of “working out your own salvation” seems contradictory to the prior statement on the face of it, but if you think about the latter statement as if you were a potter rolling out clay and working out all of the air bubbles in it.  God does the working out of His perfection into our lives the more we yield to Him in Lordship.  We are young in the faith, but we mature through the tests and trials God permits us to go through so that we will stop always relying on our own strength and let Him lead and direct us.
    Paul who was most assuredly contrite and as righteous as any man could be in his own determination and strength reveals that he struggled with warring natures.  The old nature, which was dead, and his new nature which Christ had awakened in him to seek God’s will over his own. (See Romans 7:13-25)

    Remember the story Jesus told of the prodigal son? Tell me what kind of robe, did the father put on his son, when he finally returned home?  A dirty one or a clean one? That is what Jesus’s sacrifice and blood did for us. It cloaked us in His righteousness and made us stand in His gift of perfection, even though we were as soiled as the pig-wallowing prodigal underneath.  But that new nature, imparted to us, struggles against the last vestiges of the old nature that is being purged from our life, even while we stand justified under Christ’s robe of righteousness.

    Look at the form of the verb “perfecting” in this verse:

    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: [Ephesians 4:12-13 KJV]

    It is an infinitive which means it is an ongoing process of refinement.  God is doing a work in us as we live and learn to walk in the new nature and depart from the entrapments of the old one.  That is making Him Lord over all of the areas He reveals to us need changing.  We surrender to Him as the change agent.  The one thing we must do is yield/surrender to Him and He empowers us to gain maturity through that.

    Paul even refers to the distinction of infant Christians to maturing Christians. See Hebrews 5:12-14.  Peter also mentions this in 1 Peter 2:1-3 showing the struggles of believers still contending with their former fleshly natures.

    God grows us up as we walk with Him in obedience.  Jesus is perfect, but He has to wash his bride and put His righteousness on her. Ephesians 5:26
    Grace and Mercy are not earned. They are gifts that are either accepted or rejected.  God is very clear. Anyone who rejects His Son rejects Him and gets what they chose if they die in that position, eternal separation from Him.  Jesus spoke more on the reality of hell. There is no earning Heaven. If man could have done it without God, then why would God subject Himself to being killed by His own creation if He knew there was another way?

    2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the [spirit] of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world.

    Therefore they speak [as] of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. [1 John 4:2-6 NKJV]

    It is true that corruptible flesh cannot see God, so we who are In Christ are transformed when either we die or are part of the rapture.  Pay particular attention to verse 53. We are given new incorruptible bodies when we enter into Heaven, by passing through death.  The old flesh returns to dust, just as God promised Adam it would.

    50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” [1 Corinthians 15:50-54 NKJV]

    If any of this bothers you, please, tell me and we can find other areas of agreement. I honestly wish to communicate in the spirit of love and kindness to you, and do not feel that anything you have said was ever any different in intention.  Let God lead you. You don’t need me to tell you what you should believe. I believe He speaks to you just fine without my help. ❤

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

    #135784
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @this-is-not-an-alien

     

    Good morning Cathy,

     

    I am so very impressed with you! I wish more believers were just like you in going to the Scriptures to seek and study and sift through all that is being said.  I applaud and commend you.

     

    You wrote:

    No, I was reading through the contexts of all the verses you quoted. Then looking through the verses most Catholics cite for purgatory. Then looking at them side by side, then all together the whole of both Christian and Catholic teaching and the whole of the Bible

     

    You may already know this, but what you are doing by that practice is called “Biblical Hermeneutics”.  It is the very thing that the Apostle Paul charges Timothy to do, when in 2 Timothy 2:15, he charges him to “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    The learned Apostle Paul was even scrutinized in his own teaching by the “more noble Bereans” in Acts 17:11, which showed great character in that they prioritized and sifted everything they heard through the interpretations of man by the Word of God, which was God-Breathed and Inspired by Him, using imperfect men across thousands of years and regions as His instruments. Only God could make such order and design out of this improbable clay and bring us this Living Word that speaks to us today and reveals Him and His plan for mankind generally and specifically.

    Saint Peter gives us this charge in 1 Peter 3:15 – 22 of being “ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

    In those same verses, Peter makes mention in verse 19 of Christ going to preach “unto the spirits in prison” which is what I referred to both in the prophesy of it (Isaiah 26:19-21) and Christ’s fulfillment of it (Matthew 27:50-53 & Ephesians 4:7-10). Verse 22 tells us exactly where the bodily resurrected Christ is presently after His ascension. John 3:13 confirms this, Jesus says it Himself in John 20:17.  Luke writes of it in Acts 2:31-36. But look carefully at Acts 2:31.

    Here it is translated in the KJV.  (Remember the NT was written originally in Koine Greek which is a “dead” language, in the sense that is no longer spoken conversationally in the modern world.  The same is true with the original Hebrew/Chaldean in which the OT was written.)

    [Act 2:31 KJV] 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

    Look at those words “left in hell”.  The koine Greek word there is [hades] ᾅδης which is synonymous with the Hebrew word “Sheol” translate as the general “grave” and place of departed souls.  The Latin is ᾅδης [Hades].  This is the compartment of which many think of as purgatory, so yes, I do believe there was a purgatory, but we already see what the scriptures say Christ did in the verses above. His spirit did descend into it and preached Himself as the fulfillment of all the prophesied promises to the “captives” in Abraham’s bosom who believed in the measure of faith they were given in the times before Christ was born as The Messiah they had waited for.  Those believing were let out of their graves (Sheoul) and celebrated Jesus.  Jesus also used the OT scriptures to clarify His mission to the two men on the post-resurrection walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-23).

    In Revelations 1:18 Jesus declares that He now holds “the keys of hell and of death.”  His humanity He retains for ever, and that is why when we see Him face to face, we will still be able to see his stigmata as evidence of what He did for us to redeem us for all eternity.  He was the perfect man, tempted in every way as we are, yet never sinned. (See Hebrews 4:15) Verse 14-16 of that same passage says Jesus IS our high priest and that we can, in Him, approach in our newborn again spirit (vs. 16) “…God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

    God secures us in Himself, just as it says in John 6:39.

    Jesus writes His seal on the hearts of those who accept Him as savior.  He co-signs for the debt for all of our sins past, present and future with His own blood and marks it “Paid in Full” when we accept Him as Savior.

    We are justified by His death and resurrection and not by our own self-effort works.  We are made free in Him.  Look at John 8:32-38.  Look at verse 36.

    36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. [John 8:36 NKJV]

    [Gal 5:1 KJV] 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    So, then you may ask, if this is so, why are we still tempted to sin, and why do we confess?

    We confess anything we do that break the harmony of fellowship with Him in our spirit. We recognize where we act not in accordance with our new nature, but allow the old nature to attempt to defeat us and make it so we are ashamed.  God desires harmony with our heart and mind.  We ask forgiveness for it and recognize what we do according to the old nature was wrong and God lifts the burden of it from our shoulders and reminds us of His forgiveness, just as a parent would by forgiving a repentant child who disobeyed what they knew their parent told them not to do.  Fellowship between parent and child is restored in that moment, but the naughty child, even in their disobedience, did not cease being the parent’s child. Romans 8:15 &23 (also in Galatians 4:5 & Ephesians 1:5) speaks of our being an adopted child. An adopted child is chosen by their prospective parents. In ancient law, an adopted child could never be disowned, even though a natural born child could be.

    Deuteronomy 8:5 says “You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, [so] the LORD your God chastens you.”

    God convicts us of sin, even after we are saved by our faith and His Grace.

    Paul says [1Co 9:27 NKJV] “But I discipline my body and bring [it] into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

    We must present a consistent message to the outside world.

    James 1:12 says “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

    Hebrews 12:7-11 sums this up:

    7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined–and everyone undergoes discipline–then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

    This is the working out of our salvation. Our learning curve as we are parented into the perfecting of our faith.

    This is my belief and why I believe it.  I would very much love to hear your thoughts and perspectives even if we may disagree on it.  I will respectfully and patiently hear you out, and never hold a disagreement as the same as being disagreeable. What we are doing here is “reasoning together”. (Isaiah 1:18)

    This is me lovingly sharing with you what I am told to do in 1 Peter 3:15.

    Are we still friends? 😉❤ [Hugs]

    We do agree on many things, and most importantly we agree on Jesus!

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

    #135799
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    *bowls over with a hug!* Oh yes! Of course we’re still friends! Even closer friends now with everything we’re able to still discuss!
    I think at the heart of it we simply disagree on the manner in which we’re perfected by faith and the duration of the existent of purgatory. I agree with your interpretation of Ephesians 2: 8-9 and Philippians 2:12; we are perfected in the measure that we love, and love is God’s grace He is Love, therefore we are saved only by accepting His Grace in our lives, and that our human nature, like the prodigal son, struggles with Christ’s Life in our souls.
    I believe once in Heaven there is no more struggle and chancing and refinement because He has completed His creation then; we either reject or accept God. Obviously there’s no earning Grace and Mercy, only accepting and rejecting it.
    So only on earth may we be refined? The old must pass away to the new incorruptible bodies and return to dust and in accepting Christ He perfects us. Yet because of our freewill He gave us and did not revoke, He will not force us to accept more than we do, but draws us to accept more and more each day so that He may perfect us more.
    But when we’re in Heaven we’ll be finished and completely His. So either we die when we are completely perfected or we die imperfect and are transformed into perfection? Yet, if we don’t accept fully how can He mold us? Yet, if we die we cannot be molded further, it is finished? It seems to me there must be a place to be finished before we enter Heaven if we have not allowed Him to fully perfect us through our lack of submission to His Grace and Mercy.

    You may already know this, but what you are doing by that practice is called “Biblical Hermeneutics”.  It is the very thing that the Apostle Paul charges Timothy to do, when in 2 Timothy 2:15, he charges him to “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    Oh I didn’t know it had a name! It’s just something I started doing whenever I discussed my Faith with someone and didn’t have all the answers to their questions (read every single discussion). I’m so glad that’s an actual method!

    In those same verses, Peter makes mention in verse 19 of Christ going to preach “unto the spirits in prison” which is what I referred to both in the prophesy of it (Isaiah 26:19-21) and Christ’s fulfillment of it (Matthew 27:50-53 & Ephesians 4:7-10). Verse 22 tells us exactly where the bodily resurrected Christ is presently after His ascension. John 3:13 confirms this, Jesus says it Himself in John 20:17.

    Why did He preach to them? If they were either damned or saved what was the need to exhort them to accept Christ? Wouldn’t He console them or condemn them instead?
    I agree with your words on Revelations, that we are saved by Christ only because of His Sacrifice and no self-effort works.

    We confess anything we do that break the harmony of fellowship with Him in our spirit. We recognize where we act not in accordance with our new nature, but allow the old nature to attempt to defeat us and make it so we are ashamed.  God desires harmony with our heart and mind.  We ask forgiveness for it and recognize what we do according to the old nature was wrong and God lifts the burden of it from our shoulders and reminds us of His forgiveness, just as a parent would by forgiving a repentant child who disobeyed what they knew their parent told them not to do.  Fellowship between parent and child is restored in that moment, but the naughty child, even in their disobedience, did not cease being the parent’s child. Romans 8:15 &23 (also in Galatians 4:5 & Ephesians 1:5) speaks of our being an adopted child. An adopted child is chosen by their prospective parents. In ancient law, an adopted child could never be disowned, even though a natural born child could be.

    I agree wholeheartedly, even when the child is admonished for disobeying and must be disciplined by the parent, such a child would never cease to be the parent’s own regardless of any disobedience and strife they cause.
    I didn’t know ancient law an adopted child could never be disowned even it a natural born one could, that’s so beautiful how Christ used that to demonstrate His Love for us that’s amazing!
    Thank you for reasoning together with me, it always makes me so happy when I find someone who challenges me and disagrees without taking offense at the disagreement. And truly the only thing we need agree on is Jesus Christ <3

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

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 105 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Pin It on Pinterest