Blog topics from 2009

Here is some of the topics I looked at in 2009:

January: Original Sin and emotional pain/healing

February: Issues of life’s changing paths

March: Anti-Semitism and Luther/2 become 1/Law and condemnation/Creation/Judging/Who is God?

April: Atonement/Non-Violence/Mistakes & Evil/Life and Faith

May: Faith is not a problem/Homosexuality/God’s provision/Marijuana

June: Greece/The ‘extra mile’ in faith/Church’s use in society/Faith as measurable/Psalm 51/Faith and relevance

July: Idolatry/Protestant Revolution/Christian history/Greece stuff

August: Fulfilling the law/God as man/’Gospel’ meaning/Hell meanings/Fear in Christianity/Actions as meaningful/Christian history

September: Yom Kippur/Behavior in Christian circles/Universalism/My Christian history

October: Marriage and divorce/Fruit meaning actions/Elaboration of texts/No atheism for me/Finding God/Faith in Jesus = various faiths/Baptism/God’s grace/God is dead/God as excuse/God being unfathomable and fathomable/Salvation calculation revisited

November: Why faith?/Trinity/Messiah/Heretics and division/Mark of the beast and tattoo’s/Teachings = life/Blaming God/Rapture/Suffering of the Christ/God is not a Being (but is)

December: Faith or not?/Final judgment/Christ defined/Motivation/Unity/Ambiguity in life/Propitiation/Justice

*it was kind of a wild year for me in all honesty…and as a writer this reflected a lot in my writings. I notice this year made me face some realities in a real world – which also made me take off the kid gloves…maybe the pain motivated me to not just sit idly by as something was being said. In the end, we all will answer for what we think and then do…sometimes we find grace and sometimes we don’t…and that’s as real is it gets.

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22 thoughts on “Blog topics from 2009

  1. CID: i hope to see more of you here and getting to know your perspective.

    Sabio: well, just look at his rubric, what we think AND THEN do. belief has some influence as to how we act. that’s my assumption anyway.

  2. @ Luke
    Certainly we don’t want to judge people for what they think. I don’t know about you, but all kinds of things cross my mind. Now Jesus said that to imagine adultery is as bad as doing adultery. I think Jesus was wrong.
    Sure, beliefs influence how we act, so let’s keep it simple, just people for their acts.
    We don’t need religion to be the thought police.

    Now, mind you, I think it is good to work on what we let our mind dwell on (my Buddhist side), but not out of FEAR for “…In the end, we will all answer …” JUDGEMENT !
    Ahhhhhh, help !

    Enough guilt, spooks, shame and scary apocalyptic stuff.

    Bad thoughts lead to unhappiness, let people understand it. Understanding of the connection is important, not fear of judgment, hell and damnation. The rhetoric is old and primitive.

    When we are young like children, we used that child talk. It is time to grow up !

    Now I imagine you agree with most of what I am saying, but maybe you want to let the phrasing go by. I guess I don’t because of all the baggage.

  3. Sabio: we agree! pretty much completely!

    yet i have a hard time NOT judging people for what they think. when i hear someone is a creationist, i judge them on what they believe. when i hear something like “do what thou wilt” i can’t help but think of the ethical implications. or when i hear someone spout off about the “free market” like it’s something objective and not a human construct, i get a little testy. as much as i don’t want to judge ppl for what they believe, we do it all the time.

    however, despite our judging this doesn’t cause you or i to exclude. speaking for myself, i in fact INVITE the dissent and other opinions. i can learn from those who think opposite, who put in different emphasis on things, who put in other considerations. the idea that the “truth is between us” helps me enter into dialogue with those who i’d rather avoid. of course, i expect a mutual and capable partner in these matters and must check myself when MY expectations aren’t met. so it goes… but i’ll keep trying and i thank you for your efforts as well!

  4. “Certainly we don’t want to judge people for what they think. I don’t know about you, but all kinds of things cross my mind. Now Jesus said that to imagine adultery is as bad as doing adultery. I think Jesus was wrong.” (Sabio)

    I think that is why I say what people believe and ‘do’…because I am not sure someone can be judged on their thoughts until they set in motion plans to act upon them. This is what I think the passage in Matthew is actually getting at…but the literalists will blast me for that interpretation. It just seems absolutely ludicrous someone would be judged for every thought they ever have.

    “but not out of FEAR for “…In the end, we will all answer …” JUDGEMENT !” (Sabio)

    Judgement may be seen as a fear tactic – to each their own personal perspective on what that word brings forth…but it is true. We will all pay for what we do to others – in some surreal way – here and now. I think it’s basically saying ‘we cannot do whatever we want unless we want people to condemn us for some of it’. This is real life and this is how it works.

    i cannot very well cheat someone out of their money and expect them to ‘trust’ me – or even want to know me. I cannot cheat on my wife and expect the next day to be the same as the last…their are reprecussions. I assert, if we as humans see this and do nothing to alleviate out behaviors to others – how shall we ever escape the wrath we deserve?

  5. I find it interesting that people say they wouldnt want to “judge” people on their thoughts. Im not sure about you guys, but when some guys are looking my wife’s way. I sure as sheit will be judging their thoughts. 😉

  6. Funny. In Asia, I have had “karma” discussions innumerable times. The term is often misused to say that when someone suffers, they deserve it (or at least should not whine about it) because it is due past behaviors or thoughts.

    Any idea can be abused, eh?

    My son (9 years old) woke yesterday feeling guilty for “marrying” one of his girl classmates in his dream. I have to tell him that we are not responsible for what pops into our heads (our thoughts), but for what we act on. Also, I am trying to show him that what pops into our heads is different from what we nurture in our heads. Both are thoughts but the later is what we willfully valued highly. (ouch, sorry, was that too dense? smile)

  7. Also, I am trying to show him that what pops into our heads is different from what we nurture in our heads.(Sabio)

    Im curious how you are able to make the distinction from the two? Dont many of the pop ups come from thoughts that may have been nurtured at an earlier date. I for one know that some of mine come from early life experiences. I would imagine the same to be true for most people. I find it hard to believe in this “scientific” world that things just happen. Afterall there must be some sort of process that determines our popups.

  8. “Also, I am trying to show him that what pops into our heads is different from what we nurture in our heads. Both are thoughts but the later is what we willfully valued highly.” (Sabio)

    I agree. Many passing thoughts go through my head (especially when John’s wife walks by – kidding)…but ony the ones I nurture and build plans upon are the one’s that stick. I have found my brain is quite an imaginative little piece of work – and not every thought means much – and this includes dreams. So I have to say ‘what one does is what defines the person’.

    “I find it hard to believe in this “scientific” world that things just happen. Afterall there must be some sort of process that determines our popups.” (John)

    I am not sure about this – the mind is a very creative thing. I think we see and hear things all the time in a variety of situations – in a variety of places…we are bombarded with messages to our brain everywhere we look…so maybe there is some basis for each little pop-up.

    However, even if this is the case – we determine which pop-up’s will stay and we will chew upon for a while. In some cases, the pop-up brings about new ideas and creativity – based loosely upon something we heard or saw. We are the filters of a world with many directions and ideas.

    I don’t think the problem is having many diverse thoughts – since this is a pretty diverse experience on this planet we are all having. I think any real problems stem from people building ideas upon ideas they heard that seem ‘dangerous’ (ie: using jihad as an idea for war wherever and whenever and on whomever).

    As for people that look at your wife, I would say that is kind of complimentary really…people just seem to be admitting something about her…she’s pretty.

  9. “have to tell him that we are not responsible for what pops into our heads (our thoughts), but for what we act on. Also, I am trying to show him that what pops into our heads is different from what we nurture in our heads.” -Sabio

    exactly right! i can’t blame the dude who stares at my wife… i know she’s a hottie. but when he starts planning ways to get her alone, dates, facebook messages, or ways to kill me, that’s when the change happens. what pops into our heads is largely natural, i’d say. it’s the nurturing.. you’re right on there dawg.

  10. exactly right! i can’t blame the dude who stares at my wife(Luke)

    Ok, change the object of the pop up and make it your young daughter. Would we dismiss that random thought as easily? Who draws the line? Or do we just say that any perverse thought is ok if it is not acted upon? I deal with people all the time in close proximity and many times I dont need to know what they are thinking to know that it is not very nice. Some things are projected with little discernible action.

  11. @ T4T
    Are we making this too difficult?
    Imagine these cases:
    a) A thought arises – I ignore it
    b) A thought arises – it grabs some anchors and more thoughts come before I can ignore it
    c) A thought arises — I entertain it in a fiction sort of way and then let it go without acting
    d) A thought arises — I culture it, nourish it, but don’t act on it.
    e) A thought arises — I act on it immediately
    f) A thought arises — I intentionally nurture it and act on it.

    Assume the thought is undesirable. I think A & B are the preferable situation.
    C is potential dangerous and taking pre-emptive action may be advisable.
    E and F are bad.

    I think all would agree to these.
    Perhaps some would be more strict.
    In Buddhism this notion of thoughts arising are key to understanding mind. This dialogue has inspired me to write something on the “monkey mind”

  12. John,

    there’s a psychological phenom called “leakage” meaning that our thoughts and emotions run across our face. try as we might, our face muscles are tied directly into our brains. check out radiolab’s deception podcast for more fun on this…

    what i’m saying is that these thoughts occur.. it sux. i wish they wouldn’t. but the key here is not to dwell or act on them. that’s where i draw the line. i can see ppl thinking these thoughts due to leakage but the dwelling and acting is where i draw the line.. others will draw the line on just the acting.. others on even THINKING it. for me… it’s the dwelling.

  13. Are we making this too difficult?(Sabio)

    I am not trying to be difficult. I am actually intrigued by how you seem to dismiss random thoughts, yet are so analytical about most other things. I tend to believe that there isnt anything random and that we can actually learn much about ourselves and others by what things just “pop” up. I would imagine that if we analyzed many of our pop ups we may find them tied to our emotional states. It may not be easy to do this but it could lead to more emotional understanding of our thought patterns. It could be that “pop ups” are similar to dreams in that they help us work out emotional states. I wonder if it is possible to derive important information about we humans by these “pop ups”. If we dont judge any of our own “pop ups” or those of other people, could we potentially be overlooking some vital information about what some further actions may be?

    Sabio, I am just as curious about life and its mechanisms even though I may articulate it differently than you.

  14. “If we dont judge any of our own “pop ups” or those of other people, could we potentially be overlooking some vital information about what some further actions may be?” (John)

    Good point (I must say). I guess one could say what ‘pop’s up’ in our mind does reveal a lot about the way we think – and the things we think on. Could be good for introspection? As for others little ‘pop-ups’ – I wouldn’t make a claim to what they were thinking – since we really don’t know – we can make an assumption (and may even be correct a lot of the time)…but it’s a stretch also in some ways.

  15. I had a little more to add about what John is saying – it’s really introspective and I can see some validity.

    It’s like the analogy of the tree. One will see the fruit the tree produces – from the branch – connected to the tree – firmly established in roots in the ground. Science can get to the core of why the tree produces such fruit – by examining it’s sources of water and nutrients from the soil – or even held within the tree’s body. Maybe we function kind of the same?

    Maybe a lot of the stuff that does ‘pop-up’ reveals something about inner-selves, good and bad, that we don’t want to look at all the time…and can help us control our thinking. That all being said, I still wouldn’t judge someone on their possible ‘pop-ups’ – since I know I don’t know what those are.

    “A thought arises — I act on it immediately” (Sabio)

    I have thought about this for a day…and I don’t think humans act upon impulse as much as we might think. I think the ideas for that seeming impulse reaction have been building over time and this time when the ‘signal’ came for action – we took it.

    A lot of people claim certain murders of passion work this way (ie: catching your wife cheating or something). I don’t believe that myself. Murder, or anger, or violence was obviously something this person nurtured in some form until it exploded at that incident…and resulted in murder. Was it something they planned…not really. Was it ‘spur of the moment’…not really.

  16. I am kind of with you Sabio – I think we agree on a lot and John is taking it a further depth on the ‘pop-up thinking’ ideas…which may be warranted.

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