In Praise of Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray (pronounced “Ugh Nug Ah Wry”), and reflection on 1 Peter 4:8 — Love covers a multitude of sins — Center of Grace — or in the secular sense, forgive yourself for what is not in your power to do

 

 

 

great Christian mystic (intuitive revelation of the ascension of Christ  — the deeper touch from up above, ergo Christ ) Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray look-alike  —

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The landowner of the servants/minas  (like the prodigal son’s father) becomes an allegory of Christ, so that “his

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journey

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has become

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the ascension,

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his subsequent return … has become the Parousia  (Kingdom of God  — New Jerusalem),

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which ushers his own into the Messianic banquet.”

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_talents_or_minas#As_a_critique_of_religious_leaders

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Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray connects mystically with Christ, the Son of God —

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we are spared from the cosmic eternal torment of being born lost  –  by way of the revelation of the ascension of Christ  — John the Revelator also is well the willing martyr — martyr means to “witness to”  –  the most authentic  way to witness to Truth is to die for it when necessary  – John 18:37   obey God

http://www.bibleversestudy.com/johngospel/john18.htm   ).

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Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray’s dearest wife and fellow pastor, the lovely Darlina Agngaray look-alike   —

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Christian mystic Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray’s comforting solace and sanctuary/refuge of a ministry from “the world of self and the flesh” is his and his loving wife Darlina’s Hilo First Born Temple

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in the rear of the Hilo Shopping Center (main branch of First Hawaiian Bank) by where the expansive employee parking lot is  —

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at 181 Oio St. in the beautiful huge pitched roof open beam varnished pinewood ceiling tabernacle with ample comfortable seating.

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You can drive into the tabernacle parking lot by entering the shopping center employee parking area off Kekuanaoa St.  —

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or by entering Kohola St. where the 7-11 store is on Kilauea Ave.  — and then turn left onto Oio St. 300 ft. from the 7-11 store site.

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Pastor Wilfredo’s Lord’s Day reverence is every Friday at 7:00 p.m. (yes, at night, to accommodate those who cannot attend over the weekend). 

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 Pastor Darlina’s Lord’s Day reverence is every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

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New Testament mercy & grace are about love — one can disagree with a trespass/sin,

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yet still love the perpetrator, so to speak, via Christ’s ascension   —

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possibility of redemption for the perpetrator   —   hate the sin, love the sinner)

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(opt for spiritual truth and reality over fleshly egotism   –

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Fleshly love of self:  Nebuchadnezzar dreams of an enormous statue with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of copper, legs of iron, and feet of mixed iron and clay.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Nebuchadnezzar.27s_dream_of_four_kingdoms_.28chapter_2.29

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Spiritual Truth and Reality:   Daniel’s 4 beasts emblematic of Nebuchadnezzar’s depravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Vision_of_the_beasts_from_the_sea_and_the_Son_of_Man_.28chapter_7.29

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Respect and inclusion are the constants.

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There is a place for everyone.

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Essentially,  Nebuchadnezzar  exemplifies the prodigal son (and Jesus is the prodigal son’s father)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Prodigal_Son

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albeit 700 yrs. before Luke’s parable.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2015:11-32;&version=NIV

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Prefiguration (predictive relationship of Old Testament to New Testament)

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typology_(theology)

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and Daniel’s prophecy (in relation to Luke’s parable 700 yrs. later)

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intone Jesus’ throne of grace ergo that

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Jesus yokes equally  (not just the archetype believer/nonbeliever  conundrum)

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the trip trigger being exhortation to Jesus’ disciples to use their God-given gifts in the service of God,

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and to take risks for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

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The landowner’s parable of talents (minas) enunciates the same principles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_talents_or_minas#As_a_teaching_for_Christians

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Just the same, Nebuchadnezzar,  defiled as he was, still had God’s mercy and a chance to redeem himself with our Heavenly Father,

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though Nebuchadnezzar,

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like Red Badge of Courage soldier Henry Fleming,

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ends as he began:

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In self deception.

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Although Henry Fleming “progresses upwards toward manhood and moral triumph,”  as he begins to mature by taking leave of his previous “romantic notions,”  the education of the hero ends as it began: in self deception.   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Badge_of_Courage#Themes

      

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel#Themes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel#Genre

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Though not to the extent/degree of God’s mercy toward Nebuchadnezzar, if one posits Nimrod’s explicit motive of cultural and linguistic homogeneity  —

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God’s actions are not punishment for pride,

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but a positive etiology (origin of a custom) of cultural differences,

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presenting Babel

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not 

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as the cradle of civilization  —

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rather, God was concerned that humans had too much freedom to do as they wished, so God brought into existence multiple languages.  Thus, humans were divided into linguistic groups, unable to understand one another.

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http://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/genesis-1-11-and-work/god-works-to-keep-his-promise-genesis-9-11/noahs-descendants-and-the-tower-of-babel-genesis-101-1132/

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Thus, while it appears that God’s scattering of the peoples is a punishment,

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it actually might be a means/signature of redemption.

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From the beginning, God intended people to disperse across the world. “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

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By scattering people after the fall of the tower, God put people back on the path of filling the earth, ultimately resulting in the beautiful array of peoples and cultures that populate it today.

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If people had completed the tower under a singularity of malicious intent and social tyranny, with the result that “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (Gen. 11:6), we can only imagine the horrors they would have worked in their pride and strength of sin. The scale of evil worked by humanity in the 20th and 21st centuries gives a mere glimpse of what people might do if all things were possible without dependence on God. As Dostoevsky put it, “Without God and the future life, it means everything is permitted.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1880), Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, tr. (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990), 589.

Sometimes God will not give us our way because his mercy towards us is too great.

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With today’s Vatican’s/Pope’s call for “one world religion,” on the analogous footing of  Nimrod’s explicit motive of cultural and linguistic homogeneity  (e.g. masons/illuminati

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Order_(conspiracy_theory)#Illuminati  )  —

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one crystalizes the thought of a singularity of purpose with potentially disastrous consequences — the Pope as god).

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The Bible is all about love in endless abundance,

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coupled however,

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with innate principles of responsibility and faith.

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Wow, the Jews had 700 yrs. head start to figure out God’s mercy and grace before the advent of Luke, and we Gentiles had 2000 yrs. to figure out Jesus’ throne of grace and our ubiquitous mercy seat (extinguish flesh, distinguish spirit)   — and yet none of us “gets it,” so to speak.

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What do you have in abundance?

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Out of that abundance, to whom might you be called to seek out and practice abundant generosity?

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As Cliff Livermore’s great editor intones,  —

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Like both the accusers and the woman caught in adultery, none of us has righteousness apart from Christ based on our own terms.

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We are dealing with a holy God and must be dressed in HIS holiness to enter into the Holy of Holies.

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We are all sinners,

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but we get to choose whether we fall upon the Rock

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or whether the Rock falls upon us.

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Either way, we get a Rock.

 

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And like the older Biblical Jacob, Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray  —

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1)  shakes off the dust (does not react in the flesh or of the self) of “the world,” so to speak,

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2) and empathizes with adversaries, if there by any, by praying  for their healing (of any afflictions).

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Jacob’s ladder

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is the human soul and the angels are God’s logoi (messengers),

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1)  pulling up the soul in distress (release from suffering)  — “shake off the dust”  — don’t overreact —

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2)  and descending in compassion (empathize/pray for adversaries).

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#2 above is characterized as “praying down heaven” to earth.   Smith Wigglesworth was a man who knew how to “pray down” heaven. He understood the powers available from above and knew how to bring those powers into this realm.

 http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/praying-heaven-down-dan-anderson-sermon-on-prayer-adoration-96978.asp

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This thought comes from the Lords Prayer. When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He responded, “May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:10] Or basically, we are to pray in faith: As it is in heaven, may it be that way now – on earth!      

http://www.pastorericdykstra.com/eric_offstage/2013/05/praying-heaven-down-pastor-eric-dykstra-the-crossing-church-elk-river-mn.html

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If only You would tear the heavens open [and] come down, so that mountains would quake at Your presence…”     Isaiah 64:1-3

http://mountain-top-musings.blogspot.com/2012/07/praying-heaven-down.html

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_Ladder#Judaism

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Jacob’s Dream by William Blake (c. 1805, British Museum, London)

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And just as Jacob gave to his 2nd to youngest son Joseph the birthright of the 1st-born son, ergo 1) authority over family members   2) double portion of inheritance   3) succession in leadership from father Jacob  — and just as Jacob gave to Joseph’s 2nd-born son Ephraim the birthright over 1st-born choice of Joseph  — Manasseh — after  which Joseph overcame Joseph’s bitterness by lauding the sovereignty and mystery of God  — after all, Joseph was given the same birthright via “unfair” preference thru Jacob    —

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so do we as disciples of Jesus

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inherit the traditional birthright

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with the accompanying responsibilities of 

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fidelity/integrity to God  (vertical duty) (priestly) and

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fidelity/integrity to others  (horizontal duty  — fellow creatures of this world) (kingly).

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http://seekersofchrist.org/BIRTH/birthright.html

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Even for doubters (agnostics) and especially for nonbelievers (atheists)  –

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it simply is astonishing and mind-blowing that hypothetically  –

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we can devise an ethic –

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a super conscience –

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to keep us in check –

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and balance  –

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to ensure our survival as a species among nature’s creations

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(ecosystem equilibrium akin to hydrostatic equilibrium  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_equilibrium#Fluids  ).

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/22/atheist-ten-commandments_n_6198734.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

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The 10 “non-commandments” — the atheist’s irreducible statements of atheist and humanist belief  —

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I. The world is real, and our desire to understand the world is the basis for belief.
II. We can perceive the world only through our human senses.
III. We use rational thought and language as tools for understanding the world.
IV. All truth is proportional to the evidence.
V. There is no God.
VI. We all strive to live a happy life. We pursue things that make us happy and avoid things that do not.
VII. There is no universal moral truth. Our experiences and preferences shape our sense of how to behave.
VIII. We act morally when the happiness of others makes us happy.
IX. We benefit from living in, and supporting, an ethical society.
X. All our beliefs are subject to change in the face of new evidence, including these.

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Cry if you have to  —

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Let it out. It’s not normal to get an infection from a paper cut or celebrate a holiday alone.

I make peace with  loneliness by acknowledging the absurdity of it.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-gimeno/4-tips-on-celebrating-a-h_b_6222380.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

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Understandably, here is new ager pantheist Chopra’s ‘sure’ list  —

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/why-god-makes-more-sense-_b_6212042.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/how-richard-dawkins-lost-_b_6172040.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wray-herbert/hard-to-think-straight-pr_b_6200306.html?utm_hp_ref=science
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/22/pan-american-health-organ_n_6029402.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

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  1. Science isn’t by definition anti-religious.
  2. Atheists have a point when they accuse organized religion of a litany of gross failings, including crusades, jihads, and the Inquisition. But religions are human institutions prone to every human failing. Religious history is about us, not about whether God exists.
  3. God can be approached without resorting to the cultural mythology of a humanized Father and Mother watching over us from Heaven. Atheists largely attack this myth, but smashing a myth doesn’t mean you’ve smashed reality.
  4. There is a rich tradition, both East and West, of an impersonal God. This God is the source of consciousness and all that we associate with consciousness: self-awareness, intelligence, creativity, evolution, etc.
  5. The experience of God is found inside our own consciousness, not “out there” in a supernatural realm.

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  1. If all experience is subjective, going inward is a valid means of exploring reality.
  2. In this exploration, new levels of consciousness reveal themselves.
  3. At deeper levels of consciousness, perception changes radically.
  4. As perception changes, so does reality itself, since nothing is real for us beyond what we can perceive in some way.
  5. The conjunction of the individual mind with the source of consciousness is where God lives.

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Profound and inexplicable that we “first mold” (archetype typology) instinctively (internal drive)

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for some paradigm (pattern/creation)

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greater than the self

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as the only real (sane — fulfilling) path

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for finding a whole complete self.

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Jungian scholars posit that inside every human heart is a personal picture of the divine, be it a personal God or an uninvolved pantheistic entity.

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Agnostics/atheists posit that Jews have imago dei (image of God), whereas Christians have imago Christo (image of Christ).

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Symbols are the language of dreams. A symbol can invoke a feeling or an idea and often has a much more profound and deeper meaning than any one word can convey.

 

http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/

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Symbols (other persons/things)  often “mask” the actual person/thing  (of one’s deepest secrets and hidden feelings –

unresolved conflicts discoverable via transference, as an example

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalytic_dream_interpretation#Contemporary_psychoanalytic_approach

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(psychology)    )

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inasmuch the real person/thing emblematic of  immense suffering stretches oneself (e.g. the dreamer) into the vortex of vulnerability –

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a psychic well so deep that is not without grave cost    –

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perhaps in the extreme instance  –   to die as one lived –  as a person of self-determination and self-worth.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/02/brittany-maynard-death_n_6077482.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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Yet, in the depths of despair, absurdity, and indifference of life,

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one finds the deepest connectedness, the deepest continuity,

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with the primary humanity which defines you  –

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 the piety of being who you are because someone loved you.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-anderson/why-cornel-west-loves-jan_b_6140744.html?utm_hp_ref=books

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Similarly   –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Christianity#Parables

the parables of Jesus represent a major component of his teachings in the gospels, the approximately thirty parables forming about one third of his recorded teachings.   The parables may appear within longer sermons, as well as other places within the narrative.

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Jesus’ parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and each conveys a teaching which usually

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relates the physical world to the spiritual world.

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In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn stated that in the parables of Jesus, “the image borrowed from the visible world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible

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(spiritual)  world,”

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and that the parables of Jesus are not “mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world.”   Similarly, in the 20th century, calling a parable “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning,”  William Barclay states that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead others’ minds towards heavenly concepts. He suggests that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an “inward affinity between the natural and the spiritual order.”

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Also similarly  —

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amana_(Bible)

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Christological (study of Christ) inferences in the context of chapter four of the Song of Solomon suggest a kenotic (‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will) significance to Amana (perennial or as site of mountain ergo heaven). The husband (Christ) declares His love for His bride (the Church) throughout chapter four. He (Christ) sees no imperfection in His bride.

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This is only possible through the descent from heaven through the incarnation and the propitionary death on Calvary, establishing a typology with the Gospels.

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Amana and the other mountains are allegorical to heaven. The bride’s presence at the summit is possible through the acceptance of Christ resulting in as Paul later expressed it in Ephesians 2:6 being simultaneously “seated in the heavenlies” (figuratively) while walking in the world prior to glorification. The descent from Amana is through the dens of lions which are allegorical to the present dangers of the world and suggesting a typology with Christ’s Passion. The descent from Amana safely through the world (and by implication back to heaven [Amana]) is hand in hand with Christ.

Charles Spurgeon refers to Amana in his famous Morning and Evening devotional for September 18: “To the top of Amana, to the dens of lions, or to the hills of leopards, we will follow our Beloved.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenosis#New_Testament_usage

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The New Testament does not use the actual noun kenosis,  but the verb form kenóō occurs five times (Ro.4:14, 1Co.1:17, 9:15, 2Co.9:3, Phil.2:7). Of these five times it is Phil 2:7, in which Jesus is said to have “emptied himself,” which is the starting point of Christian ideas of kenosis.

John the Baptist displayed the attitude when he said of Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (Jn 3:30).

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The kenotic ethic is the ethic of Jesus, considered as the ethic of sacrifice. The Philippians passage urges believers to imitate Christ’s self-emptying. In this interpretation, Paul was not primarily putting forth a theory about God in this passage, rather he was using God’s humility exhibited in the incarnation event as a call for Christians to be similarly subservient to others.

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In Christian theology, kenosis is the concept of the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and the divine will. It is used both as an explanation of the Incarnation, and an indication of the nature of God’s activity and will. Mystical theologian John of the Cross‘ (1542-1591) work “Dark Night of the Soul” is a particularly lucid explanation of God’s process of transforming the believer into the icon or “likeness of Christ.”

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Another perspective is the idea that God is self-emptying. He poured out himself to create the cosmos and the universe, and everything within it. Therefore, it is our duty to pour out ourselves. (This is similar to C.S. Lewis’ statement in Mere Christianity, that a painter pours his ideas out in his work, and yet remains quite a distinct being from his painting)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego_death

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Gospels

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Gospels

Transfiguration of Jesus depicting him with Elijah, Moses and 3 apostles by Carracci, 1594

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The Christian scriptures, insofar as they are the founding narrative of the Christian church, provide many key stories and concepts that become important for Christian mystics in all later generations: practices such as the Eucharist, baptism and the Lord’s Prayer all become activities that take on importance for both their ritual and symbolic values. Other scriptural narratives present scenes that become the focus of meditation: the Crucifixion of Jesus and his appearances after his Resurrection are two of the most central to Christian theology; but Jesus’ conception, in which the Holy Spirit overshadows Mary, and his Transfiguration, in which he is briefly revealed in his heavenly glory, also become important images for meditation. Moreover, many of the Christian texts build on Jewish spiritual foundations, such as chokhmah, shekhinah.

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To say, as self-amplified and vainglorious  J.R Larson babbles,

http://www.amazon.it/The-Coming-Judgment-Prepare-English-ebook/dp/B00HYL8NJI

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that the Resurrection outdoes the Crucifixion,

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is to say

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that an airplane can fly on one wing  (Resurrection)

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instead of the necessary two wings  (including the Crucifixion)

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for completion/stability/balance.

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Thank you, intuitive Pastor Agngaray, for this mystical airplane allegory.

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But different writers present different images and ideas. The Synoptic Gospels (in spite of their many differences) introduce several important ideas, two of which are related to Greco-Judaic notions of knowledge/gnosis by virtue of being mental acts: purity of heart, in which we will to see in God’s light; and repentance, which involves allowing God to judge and then transform us. Another key idea presented by the Synoptics is the desert, which is used as a metaphor for the place where we meet God in the poverty of our spirit.

The Gospel of John focuses on God’s glory in his use of light imagery and in his presentation of the Cross as a moment of exaltation; he also sees the Cross as the example of agape love, a love which is not so much an emotion as a willingness to serve and care for others. But in stressing love, John shifts the goal of spiritual growth away from knowledge/gnosis, which he presents more in terms of Stoic ideas about the role of reason as being the underlying principle of the universe and as the spiritual principle within all people. Although John does not follow up on the Stoic notion that this principle makes union with the divine possible for humanity, it is an idea that later Christian writers develop. Later generations will also shift back and forth between whether to follow the Synoptics in stressing knowledge or John in stressing love.

In his letters, Paul also focuses on mental activities, but not in the same way as the Synoptics, which equate renewing the mind with repentance. Instead, Paul sees the renewal of our minds as happening as we contemplate what Jesus did on the Cross, which then opens us to grace and to the movement of the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Like John, Paul is less interested in knowledge, preferring to emphasize the hiddenness, the “mystery” of God’s plan as revealed through Christ. But Paul’s discussion of the Cross differs from John’s in being less about how it reveals God’s glory and more about how it becomes the stumbling block that turns our minds back to God. Paul also describes the Christian life as that of an athlete, demanding practice and training for the sake of the prize; later writers will see in this image a call to ascetical practices.

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Within theistic mysticism two broad tendencies can be identified. One is a tendency to understand God by asserting what He is not and the other by asserting what He is. The former leads to what is called apophatic theology and the latter to cataphatic theology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Types_of_meditation

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_mysticism#The_mystical_teachings_of_Paul

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My life has been a Griffin Dunne character in After Hours    

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Paul Hackett (Dunne) experiences a series of misadventures as he tries to make his way home  (mishaps produce laughter via cynicism, skepticism, & the irony of incurring wrath thru one’s desire of pleasure).

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This film is on the list of “Great Movies,” and it combines comedy, satire, and irony (irreducible truth) with unrelenting pressure and a sense of all-pervading paranoia/destruction.

Hopscotch to oblivion’, Barcelona, Spain

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtPI9jIx1kU

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_Hours_(film)

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Intuitive Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray’s venerated mother Bonifacia also participates in Lord’s Day reverence via testimony and resonant melody.

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The former Kea’au Assembly of the First Born Temple now located at the same Oio St. site here has able Pastor “Mo-D” Palilio with Pastor Modie’s services every Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typology_(theology)#Development_of_typology

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Coming of Christ in the Old Testament

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Christian typology begins in the New Testament itself, with Paul in Romans 5.14 calling Adam “a type [τύπος] of the one who was to come,”  i.e. a type of Christ. He contrasts Adam and Christ both in Romans 5 and in 1 Corinthians 15.

The early Christians, in considering the Old Testament, needed to decide what its role and purpose was for them, given that Christian revelation and the New Covenant might be considered to have superseded it, and many specific Old Testament rules and requirements in books such as Leviticus dealing with Expounding of the Law were no longer being followed.  

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One purpose of the Old Testament for Christians was to demonstrate that the Ministry of Jesus and Christ’s first coming had been prophesied and foreseen, and the Gospels indeed were seen to contain many quotations from the Old Testament which explicitly and implicitly link Jesus to Old Testament prophecies.

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Typology greatly extended the number of these links by adding to Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Christ others based on the mere similarity of Old Testament actions or situations to an aspect of Christ.

Typology is also a theory of history, seeing the whole story of the Jewish and Christian peoples as shaped by God, with events within the story acting as symbols for later events – in this role God is often compared to a writer, using actual events instead of fiction to shape his narrative

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Example of Jonah

The story of Jonah and the fish in the Old Testament offers an example of typology. In the Old Testament Book of Jonah, Jonah told his shipmates to sacrifice him by throwing him overboard. Jonah explained that due to his own death, God’s wrath would pass and that the sea would become calm. Subsequently Jonah then spent three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish before it spat him up onto dry land.

Typological interpretation of this story holds that it prefigures Christ’s burial, the stomach of the fish representing Christ’s tomb: as Jonah exited from the fish after three days and three nights, so did Christ rise from His tomb on the third day. In the New Testament, Jesus invokes Jonah in the manner of a type: “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, ‘This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.'” Luke 11:29–32 (see also Matthew 12:38–42, 16:1–4). Jonah called the belly of the fish “She’ol“, the land of the dead (translated as “the grave” in the NIV Bible).

Thus whenever one finds an allusion to Jonah in Medieval art or in Medieval literature, it usually represents an allegory for the burial and resurrection of Christ. Other common typological allegories entail the four major Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel prefiguring the four Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; or the twelve tribes of Israel foreshadowing the twelve apostles. Commentators could find countless numbers of analogies between stories of the Old Testament and the New; modern typologists prefer to limit themselves to considering typological relationships that they find sanctioned in the New Testament itself, as in the example of Jonah above.

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Other Old Testament examples

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Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant.   In the Sermon on the Mount he commented on the Law. Some scholars consider this to be an antitype of the proclamation of the Ten Commandments or Mosaic Covenant by Moses from mount Sinai.

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Sacrifice of Isaac

Genesis Chapter 22 brings us the story of the preempted sacrifice of Isaac. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to Him, cited as foreshadowing the crucifixion of Jesus. When a suspicious Isaac asks his father “where is the lamb for the burnt offering” Abraham prophesied “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And indeed a ram caught by its horns awaited them, which is also seen as a type for Christ, the lamb that God provides for sacrifice crowned by thorns.

Joseph

Genesis Chapters 37-50 has the story of Joseph in Egypt. Joseph is commonly cited as a Christ type in the story.   Joseph is a very special son to his father. From his father’s perspective Joseph dies and then comes back to life as the ruler of Egypt. Actually Joseph’s brothers deceive their father by dipping his coat in the blood of a sacrificed animal. Later Joseph’s father finds that not only is Joseph alive but he also is the ruler of Egypt that saves the world of his day from a great famine. Other parallels between Joseph and Jesus include, both are rejected by their own people, both became servants, both are betrayed for silver, both are falsely accused and face false witnesses. Additionally, both attain stations at the “right hand” of the respective thrones (Joseph at Pharaoh’s throne and Christ at the throne of God), and both provided for the salvation of gentiles (Joseph a physical salvation in preparing for the famine, while Christ provided the deeper spiritual salvation). Finally, Joseph married an Egyptian wife, bringing her into the Abrahamic lineage, whereas Christ’s relationship with the church is also described in marriage terms in the New Testament.

Moses

Moses, like Joseph and Jonah, undergoes a symbolic death and resurrection. Moses is placed in a basket and floated down the Nile river, and then is drawn out of the Nile to be adopted as a prince (floating the body down the Nile river was also part of an Egyptian funerary ritual for royalty).

While in the wilderness, Moses put a brazen serpent on a pole which would heal anyone bitten by a snake who looked at it (Numbers 21:8). Jesus proclaimed that the serpent was a type of Himself, since “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14) and “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Co 5:21)

In a battle with the Amalekites, Exodus 17:11 states that “as long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” Commentators interpret Moses’ raised hands as a type of Jesus’ raised hands upon the Cross, for when Jesus’ hands were raised as He died, a figurative battle with sin was waged, the end result being victory – that “all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)

Inanimate types

Other types were found in aspects of the Old Testament less tied to specific events. The Jewish holidays also have typological fulfillment in the life of Christ. The Last Supper was a Passover meal. Furthermore, many people see the Spring Feasts as types of what Christ will accomplish in his first advent and the Fall Feasts as types of what Christ will accomplish in his second advent.

The Jewish Tabernacle is commonly seen as a series of complex types of Jesus Christ: for example, Jesus describes himself as “the door” and the only “way” to God, represented in the single, wide gate to the tabernacle court; the various layers of coverings over the tabernacle represent Christ’s godliness (in the intricately woven inner covering) and his humanity (in the dull colouring of the outside covering)  The Showbread prepared in the Temple of Jerusalem is also seen as a type for Christ.

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Yes, as erudite Pastor Agngaray evokes, we all have the free will to choose between good and evil.

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Yet, inasmuch  the majority of Christians do nothing but “play church,” ergo “Entertainment Tonight   — Hollywood style gossip/celebrities in the world,”

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most Christians do not pose a danger to Satan,

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and neither  are they of any value to God!!

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Quip above attributed to Cliff Livermore

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic54opa0ESA     (Lucifer dethroned)

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http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/65549.Hostage_to_the_Devil_Reissue

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http://www.epm.org/blog/2011/Jun/22/francis-chans-erasing-hell      (e.g. YWAM’s self-deception in denying hell)

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Dorothy Sayers correctly chastens   —  “We cannot repudiate Hell without altogether repudiating Christ.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy#Lutheranism

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In Reformed Theology (esp. in Lutheran but also in Calvinist doctrine)

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efficacy (pronounced ˈefikəsē  )    (the ability to produce a desired or intended result)

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is an attribute of Scripture.

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The efficacy of Scripture means that it is united with the power of the Holy Spirit and with it, not only demands, but also creates the acceptance of its teaching,  and that this teaching produces faith and obedience.

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Efficacy further means that Holy Scripture is not a dead letter, but rather, the power of the Holy Spirit is inherent in it and that Scripture does not compel a mere intellectual assent to its doctrine, resting on logical argumentation, but more so it creates the living agreement of faith. 

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The Smalcald Articles affirm, “in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word.”   The Formula of Concord teaches that when humans reject the calling of the Holy Spirit, it is not a result of the Word being less efficacious. Instead, contempt for the means of grace is the result of “the perverse will of man, which rejects or perverts the means and instrument of the Holy Ghost, which God offers him through the call, and resists the Holy Ghost, who wishes to be efficacious, and works through the Word…”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination#Single_predestination

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On the spectrum of beliefs concerning predestination, Calvinism is the strongest form among Christians. It teaches that God’s predestining decision is based on the knowledge of His own will rather than foreknowledge, concerning every particular person and event; and, God continually acts with entire freedom, in order to bring about his will in completeness, but in such a way that the freedom of the creature is not violated, “but rather, established.”

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If we doubt our own predestination, we should look for it in the God who has revealed himself in the wounds of Christ on the cross and there see a God who loved us enough to die for us. For Lutherans, systematic treatment of predestination follows the Gospel (What God has done for us in Jesus Christ) rather than being a topic discussed prior to the Gospel. As such, the sole purpose of predestination is to reinforce “Justification by Grace through Faith solely on account of Christ.”

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http://religion.wikia.com/wiki/TULIP

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TULIP is an acronym used to remember the “Five Points of Calvinism,” which is specifically related to soteriology, or the doctrine of salvation. While the theological school of Calvinism is broader than the points of TULIP, it is commonly associated with its distinctives. The five points of TULIP are often referred to as the Calvinistic “Doctrines of Grace.”

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The Five Points of Calvinism in acrostic form

TTotal depravity
UUnconditional election
LLimited atonement
IIrresistible grace
PPerseverance of the saints

Background

The historic Five Points of Calvinism are customarily viewed as a summary of the Canons of Dort which were the judgment of the Synod of Dort (1618-1619), wherein the Reformed churches rejected the teaching of Arminianism.

There is no certainty regarding the origin of the acronym TULIP. However, the five points of Calvinism were discussed as such before the popular rise of this acronym, for example in R. L. Dabney’s work The Five Points of Calvinism, circa 1878. Dabney’s five headings were total depravity, effectual calling, election, particular redemption, and perseverance of the saints.

The earliest use of TULIP in this regard appears to be in 1905 by Rev. Cleland Boyd McAfee, in a lecture before the Presbyterian Union, Newark, NJ, as recorded by William H. Vail, writing in The New Outlook (1913).

The popular use of TULIP as a teaching device was stimulated by Loraine Boettner in The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination first published in 1932.

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Lose one’s salvation?

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Conditional Election states that election is conditional on the one who wills to have faith in God for salvation. Although God knows from the beginning of the world who will go where, the choice is still with the individual.

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Comparison between Protestants

This table summarizes the classical views of three different Protestant beliefs.

Topic Lutheranism Calvinism Arminianism
Election Unconditional election to salvation only Unconditional election to salvation only, with reprobation (passing over) Conditional election in view of foreseen faith or unbelief

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseverance_of_the_saints#Arminian_view

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Arminians say that believers can willingly repudiate their faith (either by a statement to that effect, or by continued sinful activity combined with an unwillingness to repent). Thus, their salvation is conditional on remaining faithful.   Christians can backslide or fall away —   not lose salvation being merely “carnal”  — but having fallen very far (apostasy) from the saving grace they once possessed — they lose their salvation.

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Comparison among Protestants

This table summarizes the views of three different Protestant beliefs.

Calvinism Lutheranism Arminianism
Perseverance of the saints: the eternally elect in Christ will certainly persevere in faith. Falling away is possible, but God gives assurance of perseverance. Preservation is conditional upon continued faith in Christ; with the possibility of a final apostasy.

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The Calvinist creed doesn’t mean that a person who is truly saved will never lose faith or backslide at any time. But that one will ultimately persevere in faith (in spite of failures) such as not to lose one’s salvation.

http://religion.wikia.com/wiki/Perseverance_of_the_saints

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http://www.christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-t006.html

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The Biblical doctrine that a person who has received Jesus Christ, been born into the family of God, and justified by faith, can never again be lost is sometimes called eternal security. Others speak of it as the perseverance of the saints. The latter expression might better be termed the perseverance of God in behalf of the saints, because the security of our salvation does not rest on us but on God—it is based on the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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“Salvation is from the LORD” (Jonah 2:9). It is both negative and positive (Colossians 1:13), for we are saved from a lost condition (our sins are forgiven), and we are brought into a saved condition that provides the believer with several dozen positive blessings the moment we trust Christ.

These blessings are very comprehensive, for our “salvation includes every divine undertaking for the believer from his deliverance out of the lost estate to his final presentation in glory conformed to the image of Christ.”  Paul declares that God has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

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Some of the principal blessings of salvation include:

 

Regeneration,

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which is an instantaneous work of the Holy Spirit in originating a new nature in the believing sinner so as to transform the believer from a state of spiritual death to spiritual life

(cf. John 3:5, 10:10,28; 1 John 5:11-12)

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Justification,

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by which God declares the believer righteous since clothed in the righteousness of Christ

(Romans 3:21-26)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regeneration_(theology)#Arminianism

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While the exact Greek noun “rebirth” or “regeneration” (Ancient Greek: παλιγγενεσία palingenesia) appears just twice in the New Testament (Matthew 19:28 and Titus 3:5),

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regeneration represents a wider theme of re-creation and spiritual rebirth.  Furthermore there is the sense in which regeneration includes the concept “being born again” (John 3:3-8 and 1 Peter 1:3).

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On regeneration (generally which precedes sanctification) Arminians differ from Calvinists in affirming that God’s grace is always resistible. When someone believes, it is not grace which makes one to differ from another person,

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but faith which is produced by grace in those who do not reject it.

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According to Classical Arminians if a person is saved this is due to the grace of God alone;

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if a person is rejected, this is due to that person alone.

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Prevenient grace (divine grace which precedes human decision) is appropriated or rejected before regeneration;

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those who do not reject it come into the light by grace in concert with their freed will operating synergistically.

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After a believer has under the influence of prevenient grace made the faithful decision to follow Christ, God regenerates them spiritually.

http://covenantofgracechurch.org/the-order-of-the-application-of-salvation

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Prevenient Grace    —

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevenient_grace#Comparison_among_Protestants

 

Topic Lutheranism Calvinism Arminianism
Conversion Through the means of grace, resistible Through Grace alone which enables faith alone apart from works, irresistible By Grace through Faith and is resistible

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone

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Book of Ephesians makes clear that Jesus is the cornerstone

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of a faith   (e.g. holy spirit in the process of regeneration, justification, consecration, sanctification, transformation, glorification)

http://www.gotquestions.org/ordo-salutis.html
http://fmcusa.org/uniquelyfm/doctrine/
http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/romans_new/8_28-30.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=WQqc-4E9lN4C&pg=PT849&lpg=PT849&dq=bible+what+is+the+sequence+for+regeneration+justification+consecration+in+salvation?&source=bl&ots=J0lepf9vZH&sig=c7PfXR3VxRWlUkd39j6xTZ338k8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ilR6VLGmLcHEiQK59IDgAg&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=bible%20what%20is%20the%20sequence%20for%20regeneration%20justification%20consecration%20in%20salvation%3F&f=false

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rather than  a building,

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referred to in the New Testament Ephesians 2:20.

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The origins of this tradition of the Cornerstone of Christianity are vague but its presence in Judeo-Christian countries can be associated with at least six quotations from the Old Testament (Job 38:6, Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 19:13, Isaiah 28:16, Jeremiah 51:26, Zechariah 10:4) and also six citations in the New Testament (Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Peter 2:7) and Isaiah 28:16 quoted by the writer of the Book of 1st Peter in chapter 2, verse 6 1 Peter.

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A cornerstone (Greek: Άκρογωνιεîς, Latin: Primarii Lapidis) will sometimes be referred to as a “foundation-stone,” and is symbolic of Christ, whom the Apostle Paul referred to as the “head of the corner” and is the “Chief Cornerstone of the Church” (Ephesians 2:20).

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http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-lose-salvation.html

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The 2 most frequent objections to the belief that a Christian cannot lose salvation are

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1) What about those who are Christians and continually live an immoral lifestyle?

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2) What about those who are Christians but later reject the faith and deny Christ?

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For Calvinists, the problem with these two objections is the phrase “who are Christians.” The Bible declares that a true Christian will not live a continually immoral lifestyle (1 John 3:6). The Bible also declares that anyone who departs the faith is demonstrating that he never truly was a Christian (1 John 2:19). Therefore, neither objection is valid. Christians do not continually live immoral lifestyles, nor do they reject the faith and deny Christ. Such actions are proof that they were never redeemed.

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http://religion.wikia.com/wiki/Unconditional_election

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In Christian theology, election refers to God’s choosing of individuals or peoples to be the objects of his grace or to otherwise fulfill his purposes. Most often God’s election is associated with his choice of individuals unto salvation. The Calvinist view of election (also known as unconditional election) teaches that in eternity God chose some individuals from the mass of fallen humanity unto salvation without regard to any merit or foreseen faith in them, but solely based on His sovereign intentions.

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Election and predestination are very similar concepts to the point that the terms can sometimes be used interchangeably. However, there is a difference in the emphasis of the two terms.

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Election primarily has in view God’s sovereign selection,

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whereas predestination accents the purpose or goal of His election.

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Three items in the Ark of the Covenant exemplify the Holy Spirit  —

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Besides the Tablets of Stone (predictive of the coming of Jesus

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Tablets of Stone – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throne#Christian_Bible

Gospel of Luke (1:32-33):  “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  )

 

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(The Epistle to the Hebrews recounts the description of the Ark, Holy of Holies, and mercy seat (seat of grace), and then goes on to portray the role of the mercy seat during Yom Kippur as a prefiguration of the Passion of Christ, which it argues was a greater atonement, and formed a New Covenant (Hebrews 9:3-15);

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the text continues by stating that the Yom Kippur ritual was merely a shadow of things to come (Hebrews 10:1).

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The continual sacrifice for sin became obsolete once Jesus had died. This is the whole thrust of Hebrews ch 10, but is especially clearly stated in v11-14. The Epistle to the Romans states that Jesus was sent by God as a propitiation (Romans 3:25), while, perhaps in a reflection on Ezekiel’s atonement ceremony, the Second Epistle to the Corinthians argues that Jesus had become a sin offering (2 Corinthians 5:21).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_seat#In_the_New_Testament   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propitiation#Propitiation_and_expiation  )
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the Ark of the Covenant contained   1)  Aaron’s rod,    2)  the first Torah scroll as written by Moses,  and  3)  a jar of manna.

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With our regeneration (& eventual transformation) in the Holy Spirit

(inseparable from the human spirit below, and the same as the raw spirit of the Holy in the Old Testament),

 

we have 1) conscience, 2) intuition, and 3) fellowship.

http://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THE-THREE-PARTS-OF-THE-SPIRIT-CONSCIENCE-FELLOWSHIP-AND-INTUITION.HTML
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Conscience, like Aaron’s rod (typology-prefiguration-predictive relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament — literal horizontal beam of the Cross  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron%27s_rod#Christian_use),  is for us to discern right from wrong, to justify or to condemn. Romans 9:1 compared with Romans 8:16 proves that the conscience is a part of our spirit   —      eternal security should never be presented merely as a matter of being once saved, always saved — with no regard for what you believe or do. The writer of Hebrews 12:14 states frankly that only those who continue living holy lives will enter the Lord’s presence.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._MacArthur#Soteriology

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Intuition, like the Torah scroll http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sefer_Torah,  means to have a direct sense or feeling in our spirit, regardless of reason or circumstance. First Corinthians 2:11 indicates that our spirit can know what our soul cannot. Our soul knows by reason or by circumstance, but our spirit can perceive without these. This is intuition, the direct sense in our spirit.  

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Fellowship, like manna http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manna#Gathering (not to be confused with opposite Pacifica pagan mana),  is for us to contact God and to commune with God. This is shown in John 4:24 and Romans 1:9.    Godman means that God gave us Jesus so that we could comprehend God thru our own “kind,” so to speak, flesh/blood Jesus.    After all, God’s eternal purpose for us is to be like God.   God finishes what God starts, so that our regenerated spirit perseveres to avert having us reject God and to avert having us intentionally engage in continuous sin, including “deadly” sin.   As erudite Pastor Kathy Poai Simmons intones, we are made in God’s image to be more than  indwelled with the Word of God (Scripture)  — that is, to pour out beyond in the Spirit of God by way of God’s holy spirit in us.   The significance of the Ark of the Covenant is not just to break us out of bondage,  but more so to enjoy Jesus’ throne of grace via Jesus’ mercy seat for us (our seat of grace)    — as we are touched deepest by the throne of the kingdom of God.        According to traditional teachings of Judaism in the Talmud, the tablets of stone (tablets of testimony)  were made of blue sapphire stone as a reminder of  God’s throne.     

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The earthly tabernacle was patterned after the one in heaven (Exodus 25:9, 40; 26:30; 27:8; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:11-12)

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Spiritual gifts, including the miraculous, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 12:27-31, Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:7-16 — impress (via the holy spirit) today, such as one sees with Cliff Livermore when Cliff is not in self (like repugnant former Simon Peter) but in Jesus.   Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons’ fruit of the Spirit (transformation & sanctification) manifests her spiritual character of love, not of her nor Cliff as a gifted (purified/holy) disciple, but of the glorious building up of the collective body of Christ. 
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God interfaces sinful man with Jesus at the Tabernacle’s Mercy Seat.    The Shekinah glory shows God’s presence between the cherubim over the Mercy Seat.    Sin separates man from God. A holy God shuts out sinful man from the Tabernacle by walls and the veils. Our sins shut out us from the presence of a thrice holy God.   When the sinner could not go to heaven because of his coming short of the glory of God, God in the person of His Son came from heaven to earth “that He might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) God issues an invitation for each of us eventually to “draw near with confidence to the Throne of Grace,” so that we may complete via mercy from Jesus and grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) Let’s “keep on drawing near(er)” with confidence to the places where God meets us in Christ.    We come now to the Mercy Seat (for eventual salvation), to draw nearer to Jesus’ Throne of Grace.   
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Essentially, Jesus’ Mercy Seat for us and Jesus’ Throne of Grace contrast God’s relationship with man in the Old and New Covenants. When God set up residence on earth, He called His throne the Mercy Seat (for us all).   After Calvary Jesus prompted man via the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ Throne of Grace.  
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God has revealed His heart to us by the name of His throne.  Man comes frighteningly to the Judgment Seat, and finds the Mercy Seat, though Judgment eventually awaits us all.
*Jesus’ Mercy Seat is a place we go and not be condemned. And this is wonderful. Yet God has so much more for us. By way of Jesus, God’s throne is now called the Throne of Grace!  Not only will He forgive (Mercy), or not give you what you deserve (destruction)  —  His intent is to bless, or give you what you do not deserve (Grace)!

 

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http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-233/What-is-Sin

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Psychologists reject sin because they want to exalt man, and they want to eliminate God.  So, because they reject sin, they have no explanation for why man is the way he is.  They misdiagnose him totally, so they offer really no help.  And what do we do?  We try to come up with harsher penalties, the, what is it, the three-strike law: three felonies in a row and you go to jail and they throw the key away.  We bring back the death penalty.  But nothing can end the reign of terror; nothing can end the reign of corruption.  You can’t do it with counseling.  You can’t do it with psychotherapy.  You can’t do it with Prozac.  You can’t do it, because the issue is sin.  The issue is: we’ve all inherited a corrupted nature.

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http://www.gotquestions.org/generational-curses.html

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“What does the Bible say about breaking generational curses?”

Answer: The Bible mentions “generational curses” in several places (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9). God warns that He is “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”

It sounds unfair for God to punish children for the sins of their fathers. However, there is more to it than that. The effects of sin are naturally passed down from one generation to the next. When a father has a sinful lifestyle, his children are likely to practice the same sinful lifestyle. Implied in the warning of Exodus 20:5 is the fact that the children will choose to repeat the sins of their fathers. A Jewish Targum specifies that this passage refers to “ungodly fathers” and “rebellious children.” So, it is not unjust for God to punish sin to the third or fourth generation – those generations are committing the same sins their ancestors did.

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There is a trend in the church today to try to blame every sin and problem on some sort of generational curse.

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This is not biblical. God’s warning to visit iniquity on future generations is part of the Old Testament Law. A generational curse was a consequence for a specific nation (Israel) for a specific sin (idolatry). The history books of the Old Testament (especially Judges) contain the record of this divine punishment meted out.

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The cure for a generational curse has always been repentance. When Israel turned from idols to serve the living God, the “curse” was broken and God saved them (Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:10-11). Yes, God promised to visit Israel’s sin upon the third and fourth generations, but in the very next verse He promised that He would show “love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6). In other words, God’s grace lasts a thousand times longer than His wrath.

For the Christian who is worried about a generational curse, the answer is salvation through Jesus Christ. A Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). How can a child of God still be under God’s curse (Romans 8:1)?

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The cure for a “generational curse” is repentance of the sin in question, faith in Christ, and a life consecrated to the Lord

(Romans 12:1-2).

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The only “external” New Testament impressions consist of 4  prompts:   1) baptism  2)  Lord’s table  3)  breaking bread at the Lord’s table  4) sipping wine at the Lord’s table.

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What??!!    You drink the poison to curse your enemy??   Why??   In praise of Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray    —

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Dig out  your root of bitterness    (tribute to Christian mystic Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray)    –

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Bitterness is a root!

Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

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Bitterness is hidden under the soil or surface. The same is true with bitterness in a person’s soul. It is a hidden element that lies under the surface, and out of it sprouts up anger and other negative emotions against others and against the circumstances around us. People who have a root of bitterness find it easy to get upset over things that others are doing around them. It’s like a volcano that lies beneath the surface, waiting to explode onto the surface.

Bitterness is a root, thereby making it harder to identify and expose than many surface issues, but none the less it’s a deadly poison that needs to be released.

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Why do you drink a poison brewed from the root of bitterness — in order to foment a curse on your adversary??”  rhetorically asks erudite sage Wilfredo Agngaray.

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If left alone, the root will grow and fester, and it has the ability to sprought up many surface issues such as irritability, anger, hatred, etc. Individuals who have a root of bitterness will often find it easy to become upset over little things that go on around them. It is easy for them to look at the circumstances around them as the source of their problems, rather than seeing how they are handling those circumstances. Instead of letting it go and forgiving, they let it get to them, and it devours them alive. This is a very common route by which demons enter people today.

Whether bitterness is manifest on the outside or not does not matter. Due to the nature of bottled up feelings and emotions, they are not always made noticeable on the surface, but that by no means discounts the fact that they are there. If there is a root of bitterness, it needs to be cut off at the root and removed from one’s soul. We need to make a choice to release all hurt and bottled up feelings inside our systems, and repent for holding that poison in our hearts. Turn from those feelings and forsake them, and allow the Lord’s love to minister to your soul!

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Bitterness is a deadly poison that needs to be brought into the light and addressed in order to bring many people out of spiritual, emotional and even physical bondage. Bitterness is a means for defilement and countless sickness and diseases are a result of bitterness.

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Power Over Bitterness

When resentment has been growing a long time, its removal is not always instantaneous. As children of God, however, we have the capacity to eliminate all bitterness from our lives.

  • What should motivate us to forgive others? (Luke 6:36-37)

Jesus didn’t mean that our heavenly Father will not forgive us if we haven’t pardoned others. Here, Jesus is talking about the forgiveness that affects fellowship within the family of God, not the forgiveness that leads to salvation. The point is that the community of believers is to be a forgiving community, showing mercy to others just as God has shown mercy to them. He wants us to be reconciled to one another.

When we fully comprehend God’s forgiveness toward us, we simply cannot justify holding anyone else accountable.

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  • Why are we able to forgive others? (Gal. 2:20)

Just as Jesus forgave all who crucified Him, His life within us makes it possible to forgive all kinds of hurts and abuse. Because we are children of God, it’s out of character for us to allow bitter roots to take hold. By faith, we can allow Christ to express mercy through us toward others.

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We have two choices: We can allow bitterness to destroy us, or we can allow God to develop us into the people He wants us to be and He meant for us to be. We must choose to view our circumstances as tools God uses to further develop our spiritual lives.   We can put in the effort as Jesus-nourished disciples   — no matter the outcome over which we have no authority or power to control/yoke   — or we can sprout anger and tragedy for ourselves.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the mercy You’ve graciously shown me. Please give me the ability to forgive those who have wronged me. I want to be completely free from bitterness and its devastating consequences. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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The steep price of unforgiveness
I have seen so many people in spiritual bondage due to unforgiveness. It is a common source of bondage and demonic harassment, as Jesus warns us about in Matthew 18:23-35.
Matthew 18:34-35, “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
That is nothing less than a strong literal warning that a person can fall into the hands of demonic spirits for torment and harassment if they are unforgiving and bitter inside. I have seen it again and again, it is not an uncommon scene to find a person harassed by demons because of bitterness in their heart. Bitterness is also known in the Bible as spiritual poison:
Acts 8:23, “For I perceive that thou art in the gall (poison) of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
Unforgiveness not only gives demons the right or ability to torment us, but it also prevents God from forgiving our own sins! Now this is serious, this means that when we cry out for God’s help, but have unforgiveness in our hearts, He looks down and our sins are before Him. It puts up a wall in our relationship with our heavenly Father. Jesus was very clear that if we are to be forgiven, we cannot be unforgiving towards others:
Matthew 6:15, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Beyond this, bitterness is also a very common means for a born again believer to become spiritually defiled, that is, polluted or unclean spiritually:
Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
Notice the word ‘many’ in the above verse… this is a very common means for people to become defiled and open themselves up for spiritual harassment from the enemy.
Give to God the things that belong to Him
Unforgiveness is actually taking something that belongs to God, and taking matters into our own hands. God’s Word tells us clearly that we should allow God to bring His wrath upon that person, and let Him have the room to repay those who wrong us:
Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
Those who have wronged us will reap what they sow. If you chose to forgive somebody, they may be off your hook, but that doesn’t mean they are off God’s. God’s Word tells us clearly that what we sow, we shall reap:
Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
What unforgiveness actually is
Unforgiveness is actually a form of hate against another person. If a person hates somebody, it is a sign that the person is lacking love in their heart. Why? They are not firmly rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, and Christ’s love is not flowing through them. As simple as that sounds, that’s how it works.
What somebody may have done against us is one thing, but if you take Satan’s bait of unforgiveness to heart, it will do much more harm than they did. Do you want to continue to allow their mess to trouble you even more? Have they not done enough damage? Allowing yourself to hang onto hard feelings and become bitter is only causing your wound to become even more infected spiritually. Honestly tell yourself, what good is it doing you to hold onto the hurt and bitterness that the enemy has tried to plant within you? It is doing nothing but harm, and is holding you in bondage spiritually. The only reason you are holding onto those feelings is because it feels good inside. Don’t let this fool you, bitterness is known in the Bible as spiritual poison:
Acts 8:23, “For I perceive that thou art in the gall (poison) of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
The reason Satan wants you to hold onto that bitterness is because it is poison to your soul. Jesus said that the devil came to steal, kill and destroy. Satan wants to do just that to you. Know wonder Satan makes unforgiveness ‘feel good’… he wants your soul to be poisoned!
Don’t let him do this to you… stop him dead in his tracks! Release yourself from those hurt feelings, and let them go… stop holding onto those feelings, and let that poison out of your soul!
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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/our-rising-happiness-can-lift-all-spirits

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A true mate is one who will, when necessary, walk into hell with me —  who has the courage to be my companion when I must walk in the darkness of loss, moral failure (or any kind of failure), fear, and the other assorted sufferings that are part of the human condition. And I’m not longing for anything I’m not willing to give. It’s an honor for me to walk with a loved one in suffering.     We owe the people who love us, and the ones we likewise love, the work of our own personal happiness.      Our happiness isn’t just about us.

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Defined thusly, love is always reciprocal. That is, it gives you back in spades exactly what you are giving. If I love you, then I revel in your happiness. You could say, then, there is a mercenary (vicarious)  element to love, because it makes me so darn happy to know that you are happy! And it makes me feel useful and good about myself to think I was a part of your happiness.

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Yes, life is difficult. Yes, life contains suffering — injustice, unfairness. And, yes, when suffering comes we must do the work of our suffering.

But we can’t tarry there. We can’t indefinitely indulge it. We can’t afford to habituate a “sad sack,” bitter, cynical view of life. Not merely because this would be a waste of our own existence, but more importantly because this way of life is a terrible burden to those who love us, exacting from them a terrible price.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/what-do-i-know-i-know-really-nothing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology#What_do_people_know.3F

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On epistemology (the study of knowledge) & runaway human emotions which impede measured deliberation and right outcomes

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Epistemology is my favorite philosophical study. Epistemology is wrapping your brain around how we can “know what we know.”

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Epistemology brings to the table a necessarily urgent humility — and restraint — about our relationship with knowledge.

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Simply put, epistemology cautions me to think before I start shooting my mouth off about, let alone violently acting upon, what’s true and what’s false.

And that’s a good thing.

When human emotions make thinking impossible, we talk as if we know things. And I, a guy whose emotions regularly make reasoned deliberation impossible, know that firsthand.

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In August 2014, police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown, a civilian, in Ferguson, Mo. On Monday afternoon, I was listening to sports talk radio when the grand jury’s decision not to criminally prosecute Wilson first came to my ears.

Sportscaster No. 1 simply read the national release. Sportscaster No. 2 said, “That’s a bunch of horse doogie. They executed that boy!”

And I thought to myself, “Here we go.”

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And so, Sportscaster No. 2, let me say that I understand the emotionality of your public radio remarks. But my understanding doesn’t make your remarks any less inexcusable. Or any less irresponsible.

Because you weren’t there. Neither was I. You know only what I know. That Michael Brown is dead. What the media reported. That the grand jury found no probable cause to prosecute Darren Wilson. You, like me, are free to read the 1,000 page grand jury testimony of some 60 witnesses, DNA, toxicology and ballistics experts. We are free to believe these reasoned conclusions or to disbelieve them. But in neither case will we “know that we know” anything.

You and I know that Ferguson, Mo., suffers from a long-standing mistrust between a largely white police force and a largely black citizenry. We know cases, nationally, that self-evidently confirm the mistrust and evoke righteous outrage for any true patriot. But neither you nor I can know if this case was one of those.

We know that America was founded on noble ideals and, from its inception, the blatant hypocrisy of those ideals (see slavery). We know that the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery, and then was immediately replaced by entrenched, egregious, often murderous racism, a moral stain that wasn’t made criminal until the ’60s brought us the Civil Rights Act.

And, if your worldview is Judeo-Christian like mine, then we both know the “sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” (Numbers 14:18)

“We are a nation built on the rule of law,” says my president, Barack Obama.

“There is no constitutional right to resist arrest,” says my friend, a federal law enforcement agent.

If a police officer approaches me, I’m not allowed to curse him or threaten him verbally. If the officer instructs me to back up, stop, freeze, put my hands up or behind my head on the hood of the squad car, get down on the ground, etc., I have to do it. If that officer is a sociopath, a sadist, a racist, a paranoid punk — then God help me. I’ll have to determine later what legal recourse, if any, I have. Or my survivors will.

It behooves me to follow the officer’s instructions. I think of arguing with a police officer pretty much like I think of times I tried arguing with a basketball referee. Except the police officer has handcuffs and a gun.

I understand how, when emotions collide with long-standing desperation, people shoot guns and set fire to cars and innocent business establishments. Or strap on a dynamite vest and go for a bus ride in Jerusalem. Or fly commercial planes into buildings deeply believing that God will reward you for doing so. Or make videos of beheadings.

I understand. But it doesn’t make it right. Nor is it helpful. Nor is it in any fashion part of a redemptive, reforming dialogue. It is a mere childish tantrum. Sometimes with deadly consequences.

Racism is real. And, although I take pride in the advances, the hope and healing I’ve seen wrought in my lifetime, the stain of racism — the psychic wound — still pingpongs through our life together as Americans.

But I don’t “know that I know” the death of Michael Brown was a case of this. Or was not.

I know only what the grand jury concluded. And that the city of Ferguson is suffering. And that my heart breaks for all of us.

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http://biblehub.com/1_peter/4-8.htm

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Love covers the sins of others; does not stir up strifes, as hatred does, but promotes concord by forgiving sins. This is apostle Peter’s meaning here: “Take care that your charity is intense, for only thus can you forgive as you are bidden to forgive, as you hope to be forgiven.”

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“Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

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Love manifested in converting others will cover their sins, and obtain God’s forgiveness for them.

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There are so many things amiss in all, that unless love covers, excuses, and forgives in others, the mistakes and faults for which every one needs the forbearance of others,

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Satan will prevail to stir up divisions and discords.

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One should not feel worthless for being forsaken by another –

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The words were a powerful intervention and hapless. Like stepping out in your front yard to shout down a tornado. The pathos of helplessness.

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To live well in our grief, we have to forgive ourselves for what was not in our power to do.

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“The luck of the draw.” — Steven Kalas

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/family/best-approach-help-some-addicts-step-away

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/relationship-important-part-of-effective-therapy-127085853.html

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The points are to establish love and emotional support as our idyllic commands, in a tragic and indifferent world.

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Needless suffering is of this world, stuck in this indifferent and tragic life.

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Indeed, true love endures. It’s just that people need to close the gestalt of being in love with the person who no longer loves you and get through their hurt, bitterness, disappointment and anger before what endures can be apprehended as the honored friend it is (self-respect) and not the cruel enemy it appears to be right after we’ve been dumped by the love of our life.

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True love endures. That’s a good thing.

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But true love is different from needless suffering for the rest of your life.

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At the end of the day, we have to grow a self-respect sufficient not to want someone who doesn’t want us.

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http://www.lvrj.com/view/love-can-endure-if-people-work-through-lost-relationships-144330465.html

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Søren Kierkegaard says that life is full of absurdity, and one must make his and her own values in an indifferent world. One can live meaningfully (free of despair and anxiety) in an unconditional commitment to something finite, and devotes that meaningful life to the commitment, despite the vulnerability inherent to doing so. As sage Steven Kalas says, we’re here to love and be loved. That’s it. Dying people revel in who they became in meaningful relationships (soulmates)! Every other dimension of life — job, money, golf game, emptying the kitchen trash — is only important as it serves the end of how and why you are related to another soul.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/what-is-not-in-our-power-to-do/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/forgive-yourself-for-what-is-not-in-your-power-to-do-love-yourself-no-matter-the-external-rejection-from-others/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/limerence-falling-in-love-is-a-powerful-spontaneous-projection-of-self-the-experience-is-cosmic-and-powerfully-bonding-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/im-here-to-love-and-be-loved/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/but-now-theres-nowhere-to-hide-since-you-pushed-my-love-aside-my-head-is-saying-fool-forget-her-my-heart-is-saying-dont-let-go-hold-on-to-the-end-thats-what-i-intend-to-do/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/human-beings-are-created-for-relationship-without-you-there-is-no-meaningful-me-how-i-experience-my-life-is-in-the-end-inseparable-from-how-i-experience-you-said-yet-another-way-were-h/

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Human beings are created for relationship. Without you, there is no meaningful me. How I experience my life is, in the end, inseparable from how I experience you. Said yet another way, we’re here to love and be loved. — sage Steven Kalas

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Sometimes the worst pain comes from feeling abandoned (estrangement) and unloved (alienation). That happened to me when my marriage of more than three decades ended. When my wife walked out on me, she took my sense of self-worth with her.

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Without her to validate me as a human being,

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I began to think I wasn’t worth anything at all.

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It is very hard to let go of your past. For years I held on to my old life, refusing to let go. I just couldn’t see any other life worth living. Letting go of your past is a long, hard process, and for me that process isn’t over yet. In some ways, it’s just beginning.

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But here is why it’s important that we put in that time and effort — because if we live in the past, we will never discover our destiny. Destiny, promise, potential, purpose — all of these are things that have to do with the future, not the past.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/antoinette-tuff/three-steps-to-turning-pain-purpose_b_4979660.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

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Yes, one who lives authentically and in the moment suffers persecution, taking a line from exemplar Christ. http://biblehub.com/2_timothy/3-12.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-davis-phd/saint-francis-and-pope-francis_b_4967289.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/life-advice_n_4979765.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul

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After all, metaphorically, we are poured out (blood on the cross) and broken (the body of redemption). http://www.jesus.org/following-jesus/communion/the-body-and-the-blood-of-christ.html

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Greatest New Testament prayer – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+17&version=NIV – and the rhema (partaking of Christ in each of us by the holy spirit ) — http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ephesians+3%3A14-16&version=NIV

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“For me, there’s hardly a gnat’s whisker of difference between the psychological idea of healthy individuation and the Christian idea of salvation. Both include the lifetime journey of authentic living.”

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Title quote from Steven Kalas http://www.lvrj.com/living/living-authentically-a-challenge-worth-embracing-89350462.html

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/the-choice-is-not-whether-to-have-or-not-have-a-worldview-in-which-you-place-faith-the-only-choice-is-whether-we-are-willing-to-choose-with-intention-clarity-commitment-sage-steven-kala/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/we-dont-need-to-belong-to-any-religion-to-hear-the-universal-invitation-what-would-happen-if-we-decided-to-live-more-expectantly-what-would-happen-if-we-suspended-our-deep-beliefs-about-the-way-th/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/by-putting-aside-our-selfish-interests-to-serve-someone-or-something-larger-than-ourselves-by-devoting-our-lives-to-giving-rather-than-taking/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/salve-to-our-crisis-of-meaning-repugnant-narcissism-bildungsroman-a-literary-genre-that-focuses-on-the-psychological-and-moral-growth-of-the-protagonist-from-youth-to-adulthood-coming-of-a/

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I stand incredulous before the sheer number of people reporting/experiencing symptoms of depression. I say again, I don’t believe our ancestors experienced the same proportion of depressive symptoms. Possible explanations for this phenomenon: Crisis of meaning, for example. An increasingly vacuous culture, with significant evidence of devolution. Or, perhaps depression/depressive episodes is in part provoked by the emotional self-absorption of moderns – the observable, inexplicable delay of real emotional conversance and maturity in modern people. — Steven Kalas

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/love-desire-and-thriving-connection-arent-mystical-gifts-given-and-withheld-by-a-genie-in-a-bottle-these-gifts-are-cultivated-every-day-by-life-partners-whose-wish-is-for-the-gifts-to-thr/

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Hope (as in salvation/inner joy-peace) beyond suffering is what moves us to suffer for the good of others.

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The spirit of fear (self-conscripted insecurity/ego defensiveness)(smallness ergo self-inflated importance to mask our insecurity) is selfishness, whereas as examples the fear (respect) of God & the Wrath of God have selfless-altruist outcomes.

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Which is why deepest thinker/soulful pilgrim Steven Kalas intones that authentic Christianity/Christian mysticism are incompatible with today’s “hip” New Age outcomes of narcissism/me-me-me mentality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Biblical_influences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Modern_era

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age#Late_20th_century

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Do you know that theologian Martin Luther’s tabletalk (intimate heartfelt dialogues with others) helped inspire Luther’s deep comprehension of Scripture (selfless sacrifice for the good of others)? http://www.ccel.org/ccel/luther/tabletalk.html

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And that mysterious and mystical exemplar Christ’s tabletalk with diverse/divergent ones from atheists to believers — inspire our deepest connection with compassion for others??

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Platonism (the mystical) was considered authoritative in the Middle Ages, and many Platonic notions are now permanent elements of Christianity. Platonism also influenced both Eastern and Western mysticism.

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While Aristotle became more influential than Plato in the 13th century via Aquinas, St. Thomas Aquinas‘ philosophy was still in certain respects fundamentally Platonic (mystical).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonism#Christianity_and_Platonism

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Aquinas placed more emphasis on reason and argumentation, and was one of the first to use the new translation of Aristotle’s metaphysical and epistemological writing.

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This was a significant departure from the Neoplatonic and Augustinian thinking (the mystical) that had dominated much of early scholasticism (early church fathers).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism#High_Scholasticism

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/augustinian-mystic-martin-luther-aquinas-cognition-john-calvin-and-yet-bertrand-russell-apostle-john-are-augustinian-plato-logos-analytical-acolytes-huli-au-upside-down/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/augustine-acolyte-original-sin-john-wycliffe-1320-1384-was-the-impetus-to-luthers-protestant-reformation-a-century-later-for-this-reason-wycliffe-is-called-the-morning-star-of-the-reformatio/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/in-praise-of-pastors-calisto-violet-mateo-of-our-god-reigns-ministry-at-1289-kilauea-ave-hilo-suite-h-phone-808-961-6540/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/ouvre-nearly-half-a-century-of-deepest-passion-i-can-see-it-in-your-eyes-that-you-despise-the-same-old-lines-you-heard-the-night-before-and-though-its-just-a-line-to-you-for-me-its-true-a/

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlgregg/2014/03/the-life-tradition-versus-the-death-tradition-in-christianity/

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/measuring-character-not-status-treating-all-dignity

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote one of my childhood books, “The Jungle Book,” the gripping tales of the feral child Mowgli and his animal friends Bagheera, the leopard; Baloo, the bear; Kaa, the python; and Mowgli’s deadly rival Shere Khan, the tiger.

Decades later, and now trained in a psychoanalytic view of the world, I finally saw the bitter irony reflected in Kipling’s story. Born in India, his parents sent him at age 6 back to England to get an English education. He lived with a foster family, where he was savagely abused by a foster mother until age 11.

Turns out Rudyard Kipling is Mowgli, a boy who is better off being raised by wolves than by human beings.

For all my childhood wonder in “The Jungle Book,” I didn’t appreciate Kipling’s poetry, though, until much later in life. My favorite is one I’m using in a book project about recovering rites of passage turning boys into men. The poem is simply called “If.”

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.

Balance marries the high road. That’s what men strive to be and do. A man can trust himself and not be conscripted by others’ doubts and yet still hold a space to listen and appreciate the reasoned doubts and critical feedback from trustworthy people. A man can feel the unpleasant weight of lies and hate without mobilizing lies and hate. A man has no time for pretense and airs. For what is there to prove to others?

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;

If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools.

 I forget the greatest dreams and the keenest thoughts are not enough. A man must act! He must penetrate the world with productivity.

Then the couplet that sends chills: to treat both triumph and disaster the same — as impostors. But … but … I revel in triumph. And I’m terrified of disaster. Impostors? I could spend my life ruminating on this. And I will.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

Let us begin again. And again and again — “Start again at your beginnings.” Or, in the words of Kipling’s kinsman Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Never, ever, ever give up.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son.

Whether you are royalty or homeless, famous or anonymous, brilliant or simple, rich or poor, the mark of a man is that he treats all with the same human dignity. He measures character, not status. He lays his bias at the feet of each new greeting, willing to meet each individual with hope, welcome and respect. All men count with him. But none too much. For all men, too, are flawed.

And now I see another Englishman, the late Sir John Gielgud as the butler in the movie “Arthur.” In my favorite scene, the butler slaps the insolent brat and says, “Grow up, Arthur. You’d make a wonderful adult.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_resilience

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiff_upper_lip

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If%E2%80%94

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/11/what-would-the-apostle-paul-think-about-evangelicals-and-the-conflict-in-Palestine/

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict  —  “biblical” approach–not one that rests on proof texting or resurrecting ancient tribal conflicts, but that places the gospel at the center of transcending and redefining our expectations of what God is doing in the world.

After all, this Messiah will, according to Psalm 72: 4, “defend the cause of the poor . . . , give deliverance to the needy.”

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So Paul’s passing comment about God promising Abraham “the world” was hardly a slip of the pen. When God promised “the land,” he had something much bigger in view—it really was the cosmos, creation itself.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/14/kurt-vonnegut-xavier-letter_n_4964532.html?utm_hp_ref=books

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Acclaimed author Kurt Vonnegut Once Sent This Amazing Letter To A High School –

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Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/it-hurts-to-be-treated-as-a-means-to-an-end-the-hurt-is-a-sign-of-our-health-our-self-respect-not-a-sign-that-anything-about-us-needs-to-be-fixed-from-sage-steven-kalas/

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An overprideful person “swallows one’s own stomach.” Such nature entails endless self-aggrandizement and vanity, and ensures incomprehensibility at the moment it compels authenticity/truth.

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It is true, the strength behind the leader is the person who mystifies me, the so-called unspoken one, like baby brother Andrew was to Peter [Bible].

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God has no use for pride, such that the meekest of the meek went on to lead, like Moses/Gideon.

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Look at King David. Lowly Nathan chastened shell-shocked David. Look at Joshua/etc. All unheralded/unsung heroes. Tremendous symbolism of “never judge a book by its cover.”

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/writing-and-eventually-dying-a-good-death-expressing-sharing-love-to-the-end/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+of+a+writer+in+deep+thought&qpvt=images+of+a+writer+in+deep+thought&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=FC4083F995FD47F1E3C39EAC4D1A970867E60C12&selectedIndex=89

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/i-write-to-live-authentically-having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-per-great-sage-viktor-frankl/

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I write to live authentically — “having been” is the surest kind of being, per great sage Viktor Frankl

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Usually, to be sure, man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness [the “now”]

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and

overlooks

the full granaries of the past [reflective lookback] –

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wherein he had salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys

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and also his sufferings.

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Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.

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[for example, I dream of being loved & wanted in the most beautiful way, & even if this dream is not reality, such thought/”unction” comprises my strength & “positive/right” attitude, even in the starkest moment of despair/seemingly hopeless predicament/state of nonexistence-nonbeing closest to death itself, having been forsaken all the way around —

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which is why Jewish Viktor Frankl’s dream amid the Holocaust even when facing down the death chamber/firing squad was “the angels are in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.” Ohh, so true!!]

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I should say ”having been” is the surest kind of being.

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2782.Viktor_E_Frankl?page=2

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‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved –

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but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ “

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From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay” Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

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The reality of life is the luck or unluck of the draw [a crapshoot] —

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“fair” & “unfair” are nonexistent in life’s vocabulary —

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life “just is.”

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Thence, how I deal with setbacks is the key to existence, not the external factual triggers [to despair/hopelessness of predicament].

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/54285947.html

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In this gaping hole of despair & hopelessness of one’s predicament is a crushing emptiness and an aloneness that can make you lose your mind and a sadness that can make your heart question the wisdom and the relevance of continuing to beat — a sadness no person thinks one can bear alone.

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On some days, very much to wish it would stop beating.

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To die of unrequited love. Van Gogh didn’t shoot himself in the head. He shot himself in the heart. He saw reality so deeply and clearly, yet could not ultimately disconnect his heart [“be not of this world” — self-respect despite this indifferent and tragic sentient life] from this reality or the other people in it.

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Van Gogh died because, in the end, he could not differentiate himself [self-respect] from the Collective Unconscious [our indifferent & tragic lack of empathy/compassion in our broken/flawed sentient nature] into which he was compelled to wander.

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My own epiphany, but I always was a wanderlust, dreaming of beautiful landscapes and never-seen places. Last night I dreamed that my long ago deceased uncle from Kona [symbolizes the love which my ohana/kazuko progeny Minnie/Donna still have for me] showed me a breathtaking vista of a mountainscape ahead of us as we gazed from the seashore toward the distant horizon. This “awesome dream come true” despite my 3 other Hilo family members having ignored me yesterday at McDonald’s in Hilo. I could’ve unconsciously nightmared over forsaken-ness, but such did not manifest. Wow!

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/sharing-grief-puts-a-healing-distance-between-us-and-the-pain-this-is-why-storytelling-matters/

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sharing grief puts a healing distance between us and the pain — this is why storytelling matters

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Share the suffering. The opportunity to tell the story of our suffering to a compassionate and skillful listener is helpful beyond measure. Simply in the telling and retelling, we begin to shift perspective, to put a healing distance between us and the pain.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/10174701.html

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Great journeys in emotional maturity are walked alone

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When another man’s life forces you to behold your own smallness, all you have to do is retro-narrate pathologized stories about him. Just like that, your world is a safer, happier place.

Your friends who are simply gone? You force me to behold, J.K., something I hate to think about:

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All great journeys in emotional maturity are ultimately walked alone.

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The archetypal picture here is probably Jesus, whose friends agreed to accompany him into the garden of Gethsemane that night to pray. Jesus is scared. Anxious. Asking God if there isn’t some other way. He looks to his friends for support and encouragement.

And they are sound asleep. And Jesus asks a rhetorical question into the silent night air: “Will no one stay awake with me?”

As a matter of fact, no. Tonight Jesus will suffer, and he will suffer alone.

How to maintain some sense of respect and optimism for humanity? I can only tell you what I do.

When I’m feeling low, when I’ve lost track of why I keep putting one foot in front of the other, when I am sick and tired of paying the price for living out values about which no one else appears to have much if any investment, when I can no longer argue with Protestant theologian John Calvin who used the word “depraved” to describe the essential nature of human beings …

… well, J.K., that’s when I think of people like you [who suffers alone in ennobled integrated fashion to care for his incapacitated wife].

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/9380491.html

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Mystery surrounds deep connections we make with others [making friends with “Alone”]

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An old friend writes from far away. Oh, not that old. She’s 48. I mean we’ve been friends a long, long time.

There’s this bond between us. A connection. I felt it the first time we spoke, which is funny because the first thing she ever communicated to me was disdain. I was 23, so I reached into my repertoire for managing repartee with beautiful women and selected “boyish cockiness” for my retort.

When you’re 23 and male, boyish cockiness is pretty much the extent of your repertoire.

But that was it for us — bonded. A connection that has survived time together, protracted times apart, even years of no communication whatsoever. The friendship has survived love affairs — not with each other — marriages and becoming parents. We’ve been drunk together. And sober. It occurs to me that I’ve never seen her cry.

She was 20 when I met her. Once, on a whim, she sent me a picture of herself at age 5. I smiled. Somewhere inside myself I knew her then, too. Recognized her. In some alternative past, she and I played together in a sandbox (until she made me cry because she was so bossy). Like the bond between us contains secret passages that defy time and space.

She writes to me: “I get you, Steven Kalas.”

Her words strike me like thunder. Truly awestruck, like the way you fall into a spectacular sunset, or the way you stop breathing when you’re standing in a barn at 2 a.m. watching the birth of a calf. I’m focused in a point of time, staring at my monitor. It’s like she’s right here. Right now. I have a friend who gets me. She sees me. I jumble a few words and she says, “Oh yeah.” She not only understands, but understands why and how things matter to me.

Amen.

Then I have this other friend. Or did. Or thought I did. Could’ve sworn we were friends. Soul mates. Years we were friends. Across passion and victory and folly and failure. Across celebration and loss. This friend knows me. And doesn’t know me at all.

We’re not connected anymore.

And I know as much about why we’re no longer connected as I do why I’m still connected to the other friend. Which is to say I don’t know anything at all. And I’ve been railing against the disconnection, like, if I protest loudly and long enough, my erstwhile friend will snap out of it and be connected to me again.

I’ve decided to stop railing. Sad, yes. Probably sad forever. But pounding on it serves all the purpose of pounding on a grave. Why would I look for the living among the dead?

See, both connections and disconnections deserve the same responses. Awe. Respect for the mystery. Even I, a man who believes his gifts and his calling to be teaching people how to be in relationship — well, I can’t tell you much of anything about why some connections happen and some connections don’t happen and still others disintegrate.

The most terrible thing my therapist ever said to me was also the most important: “Steven, we’re alone. No one has anyone.”

Yikes-oi. (Sorry. This sort of thing happens when a GoyBoy tries to express himself forcefully in Yiddish.)

I hated what she said. Railed against it. Argued with it. She had thrown existential sand into the gas tank of my fine-tuned DeLorean of delusion. And my pricey car would go not one mile farther.

My therapist was right. And, as with every other time when she is right, it’s time for me to grow up. We’re alone. No one has anyone.

Strangely, this new truth, while initially a scalpel slashed across my chest without anesthetic, did not burden and depress me for long. Surrender to separateness and aloneness quickly began to create a new space in me. A space for … for …

… relief. A kind of peace. And, most precious, gratitude and humility. Relationship is a grace. A kind of miracle. Human communion emerges as a gift. An unmerited joy. Yes, there are ways of living more conducive to forging and maintaining lasting relationships than other ways of living. I’m not saying there’s nothing we can do. Just that, in the end, I no longer think I have earned or deserved the people who stand in the inner circle of my life.

I just give thanks.

We’re alone. No one has anyone.

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Human beings cannot be possessed. They cannot be apprehended. They can only be respected and enjoyed. Or respected and bid farewell. Relationship is mystery.

Who really sees you? Who gets you? If you need more than one hand to count those people, you are rich beyond your dreams.

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Individualism as ego overpride is not the solitary reflection of an authentic life –

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http://www.lvrj.com/view/steven-kalas-we-are-individuals-in-consequential-relationships-162688016.html

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/culture-s-approach-to-suffering-only-prolongs-pain-129608658.html

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And, for those kinds of sufferings/losses that can never be entirely healed, to bear it. To find meaning in it. To turn that suffering into some transformative work in the world.

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And the truth is this: The human journey includes suffering. No one comes to ask for help who isn’t suffering.

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But, here’s another truth: In any given time in your life, the number of people who actually, really, honestly want and

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are willing to grant you an engaged and healing audience for your suffering/loss is …

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small!! Or nonexistent!!

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Even people who sincerely love and adore you might find themselves ambivalent about really engaging and listening to the part of you that suffers. See, the people around us have egos, too. Their egos mobilize to protect them just like your ego does. “Cheer up … get over it … God has a plan … everybody is doing the best he or she can … don’t cry” — the felt motive for these messages is to help you.

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But each of these messages also contains the anxiety of the messenger:

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Please stop bothering and disturbing me by suffering.

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And that’s what most modern people do. They try to stop suffering. They “get over it.” They build layer upon layer of pretense and persona over their wounds, because it’s, well, the sociable thing to do. Most of us, then, suffer unconsciously. Because that’s the way we’ve been taught to suffer.

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/9146411.html

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Lots of people don’t want to be present to sadness — their own or anyone else’s.

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Other people would like to be present to their bereaved friends and family, but don’t know how.

We live in a culture where grief is treated as a disease to be “cured,” or a weakness cursed of shame or self-loathing.

Contrarily, grief is the holiest of human journeys.

One of my favorite Friedrich Nietzsche quotes is, “Everything holy requires a veil.” Now, modern Americans might think he means that we should keep things covered up because those things are shameful. Nope. He means that some things are so beautiful, so huge, so powerful, so naked, so intimate, that to gaze casually upon them would be injurious to their meaning and value. Injurious ultimately to us.

Grief is such a thing.

I concur with your observation that people around us are largely inept at befriending us in grief. Yet I also encourage people like you to remember to veil (protect and value) their grief. Keep the circle of confidants small. Pick two and no more than five people who will hear the depths of your pain.

There are two ways to read your question at the end. Literally you ask how you might numb the heartache. But I’m guessing you aren’t being literal. In fact, it’s not a question at all, is it? It reads more like an indignation. Like, how dare anyone ask you to numb the heartache! How dare the medical community suggest drugging your bereavement!

See, J.R., you know how precious your sadness is. A breathless, crushing burden, yes. But precious.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/alienation-i-dont-belong-and-estrangement-getting-dumped-because-i-dont-belong/

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alienation [I don’t belong] and estrangement [getting dumped because I don’t belong]

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Alienation & estrangement – the results of Loss [e.g. getting dumped] by your beloved [lifemate/soulmate]

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http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/kalas/_Retirement_leaves_time_for_pondering_self_relationships.html

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Question: What do all people seeking release from personal despair have in common?

Answer: They are suffering some combination of alienation and estrangement.

Alienation means a crisis of belonging. We are alien. We don’t belong.

Estrangement means the painful disruption of the bonds of relationship. Interpersonal injuries and injustices. To become estranged is to become a stranger to the one we love and by whom we are loved.

I’m saying your use of the word “misfit” sounds like a crisis of alienation and estrangement.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/western-religion-breeding-ground-neurosis

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When it comes to the question of the usefulness of guilt in shaping and inspiring a thriving human identity, I would say Western religion is, at once, beautiful, nutty and (potentially) pathological. Healthy religion knows these dangers. And psychologically healthy pilgrims embrace what is beautiful while keeping a keen watch on what is nutty or pathological.

Guilt is beautiful, holy, vital and important when it is healthy guilt. And healthy guilt is nothing more or less than the name of the grief we feel when we abandon our own values. The grief of estrangement and alienation. Healthy guilt, however miserable it feels, contains within itself a holy longing for reconciliation. (One prayer during the rosary, for example, is asking God to “give me a contrite heart.” Meaning, “Please give me the courage to let my heart break over the ways I have hurt others, etc.”) Catholicism — its rites, rituals and symbols — bears much beauty into the world to facilitate the blessings of healthy guilt, healthy shame.

The nutty or potentially pathological side of guilt happens when people, families or institutions (especially the church) peddle guilt to us with darker, perhaps unconscious motives. If you, for example, are threatened by another’s genius, gifts and “light” (envy!), then one way to dodge the threat is to instill in that person a grave, crippling self-doubt. An anxious, paralyzing self-consciousness forcing a default posture of apology to the world for daring to be him/herself.

Or, people/institutions instill guilt because they are projecting sadism. That is, they are reveling in the humiliation of sinners. Yes, some of our accusers are having a grand time!

Control, humiliation, hierarchy, authority, power — when discussions of guilt bear these darker motives, run away quick!

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Irony about Darwin is that though Darwin ended once and for all the “scientific” notion of racial white superiority over blacks/global slavery    http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2014/07/saint-darwin.html    — nonetheless imperialist Whites/social darwinists/eugenicists incorrectly cited Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” to advance White “master race” tyranny.   This is why supposed antagonist Bryan railed vs. Scopes/Darrow in the “trial of the century” in that “evolution” ergo Darwinism propounded by Darrow trumped of/gloated racial White superiority over folks of color, something Scopes was naive about.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopes_Trial

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species#Publication_outside_Great_Britain

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism

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http://theutopianlife.com/2015/10/17/8-unusual-habits-from-geniuses-that-will-make-you-smarter/

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Eight unusual positive habits     —

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There’s a fascinating link between geniuses and eccentric behavior. Einstein picked cigarette butts off the street and used the tobacco for his pipe; Benjamin Franklin took “air baths” every morning — he’d sit naked in front of a window and let the air circulate over his body.

Their eccentricity isn’t completely without explanation; there are mental benefits behind some of their madness. Here are eight quirky habits from geniuses that will make you smarter:

1. Don’t season your food. Yet.

Thomas Edison had a rigorous interview process for any potential employees. Besides requiring they are well-versed in random subjects, Edison gave them “The Salt Test.” He’d invite them to have a bowl of soup, but anyone adding salt without first tasting the soup failed the test. Salting before tasting was a clear sign of making decisions based on unfounded assumptions.

Intelligent minds are critical minds. Never jump in without testing the water; or in this case, testing the soup.

2. Surround yourself with 24-karat gold.

Every night, Dr. Yoshiko Nakamatsu, who patented more than 3,300 inventions including the floppy disk, would retire to his “Calm Room” — a bathroom tiled in 24-karat gold. He explained “The gold blocks out radio waves and television signals that are harmful to the imagination.”

He’s onto something. While the link between radio waves and cancer is still debated, the cognitive effects of overexposure are undeniable.  You probably can’t surround yourself with 24-karat gold, but you can step away from the “smog” of radio waves we live in — computers, wi-fi, cell phones, bluetooth headsets.

To boost your mental performance, give your mind a reprieve from the technological buzz — take a walk in nature, meditate, schedule daily time to mentally disconnect and recharge.

3. The Chill Factor. 

Benjamin Franklin went for daily swims in London’s chilly river Thames; Theodore Roosevelt went skinny-dipping in the cold waters of the Potomac River in Washington D.C. every winter.

Being submerged into waters of various temperatures for physical and mental benefits is an ancient practice. The Greek sage Hippocrates said that water therapy “allays lassitude” (physical or mental weakness).

When you take a cold shower or swim, the shock causes your blood to move to the core of your body; and bathes your brain and vital organs in fresh blood.

Finish your showers with turning the temperature as cold as possible to give your brain an invigorating boost. If you’re brave, you can try an ice bath.

4. Make love. A lot. 

Emilie du Châtelet went unrecognized for her pioneering scientific work but was notorious for her active sex life. The latter may have been responsible for the former; researchers at Konkuk University in Seoul noted that sexual activity improves cognitive function and promotes neurogenesis (the production of new neurons) through the suppression of chronic stress.

If you need another reason to have more sex, you’re welcome.

5. A Hunger Strike. 

Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, would systematically starve himself for 40 day periods. His strict water-only fast was taught to his disciples; believing that it boosted mental perception and creativity.

Modern studies have shown that fasting increases your Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which aids in memory functioning and can stimulate the growth of new brain cells. The acute stress caused by fasting also causes the brain to release endorphins, which leads to feelings of well-being and euphoria.

There are three major forms of fasting you can try: 1) Intermittent Fasting, also known as alternate day fasting. This is where you abstain from food every other day for a period of time. 2) Therapeutic Fasting: consuming only 200-500 calories per day for a period of 2 days to a few weeks, usually in the form of fruit or easily digested carbohydrates like rice. 3) Calorie Restriction: consuming 30-40% less calories than usual everyday for an extended period of time.

6. Cry me a river.

If you want to be as creative as Steve Jobs, start letting your tears flow. Jobs’ authorized biography reveals that he cried incessantly — when he was frustrated and didn’t get his way, and happy tears when he had experiences he described as “purity of spirit.”

Crying reduces stress. Tears remove stress-causing hormones and lowers your manganese levels — which regulates your mood. The emotional release of crying also leads to a mental balance; a sense of calm after the storm.

Rather than suppress the wave of emotions that triggers off the tears, let them flow. The catharsis will lead to mental clarity.

7. Be a dropout. 

Being a dropout doesn’t mean you despise eduction, rather, you have a thirst for knowledge that is hindered because your goals don’t align with your institution.

The list of notable dropouts is endless: Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, the youngest female billionaire Elizabeth Holmes. They all reveal three key lessons: 1) being autodidactic (a self-learner); 2) identifying patterns and making successful predictions; 3) making bold decisions.

It’s a big risk to leave any commitment, not only college. Being a successful dropout means you’re constantly training your mind to look for patterns; to see the trajectory of multiple paths, and then shift to the one that aligns most with your goals.

8. Don’t write anything down.

For the first few hours of a good idea, that is.

JK Rowling’s billion-dollar Harry Potter series came to her as she sat on a train; she was too embarrassed to ask anyone for a pen, so she just let her mind wander for hours. Instead of drawing premature conclusions on her characters, she gave her ideas time to marinate, develop, and evolve.

What she unknowingly engaged her mind in, was the creative stage called “incubation.” It’s where your unconscious mind synthesizes all the information you encountered through your conscious work. The mental detachment and “mindless wandering” allows all your knowledge to steep, leading to the “light-bulb” moment.

Let your ideas sit and marinate before taking any major action or make any final decisions.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/when-your-spouse-unhappy-ask-why

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When your loved one is unhappy, support this person

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Antagonism toward our spouse is only sometimes a direct and logical reaction to him or her being disrespectful, unjust, unfair, pissy, snarky or just plain mean.

But’s it’s also possible to feel the exact same antagonism because we have … misunderstood. Not to mention that, if you’re a human being, then you are also capable of mobilizing antagonism toward your spouse that has nothing whatsoever to do with your spouse and everything to do with your own emotional memories.

In psychology, we call it “transference,” wherein you spontaneously and unwittingly begin to react to your spouse as if he or she was responsible for emotional injuries from your past.

So, when at all possible, the first thing you want to do when you have an unhappy experience of your mate is breathe, examine and ask questions — not react as judge, jury and executioner, all in one ugly comment.

Is this about me? Is this about you? If you live in a healthy marriage, you can invite your mate into this dialogue by saying, simply, “I’m struggling with something in our relationship.”

See? It’s not a complaint … yet. It’s a request for assistance sorting through an unhappy feeling.

Now, if you’re on the receiving end of “I’m struggling … ,” you’ll probably be a little anxious. For some personalities given to anxiety and narcissistic vulnerability, “I’m struggling …” is all it takes to launch themselves into their own preemptive strike of defensiveness: “Oh, here it comes,” etc.

This is not a useful marital habit. Don’t do it. The answer to “I’m struggling …” is “What’s up, sweetie?”

So, let’s say your spouse then describes an unhappy experience. For example …

“I feel like you dominate this relationship.”

Now, in rare cases, you might immediately say, “I know exactly what you mean, and that’s not OK. I can change that, and I will.”

But, in most cases you’re response will be “Huh?”

Or, worse, you’re response will be very dominating: “Like hell I do! What are you talking about!

Or perhaps you’ll shrug and say, “I don’t feel dominating.” Or the tried-and-true “It is not my intention to dominate. I guess that clears that up.”

It never works, but it feels like it ought to work. Why can’t I simply protest the utter innocence of my intentions and make my mate’s unhappy experience of me disappear?

Because it’s dismissive, that’s why, even if it’s true.

Nope. When your mate is brave enough to report an unhappy experience of you, and does so without attacking you but owns the experience, then neither defensiveness nor dismissal is appropriate.

What works is … curiosity.

Be curious. Become an incredulous investigator. If you do this and your unhappy mate joins you, lots of things can happen. And all the outcomes are good. Inside you, it sounds like this …

“Hmm. My mate experiences me as “dominating.” I’m thinking it would feel lousy to feel dominated. On the other hand, I am not aware of any motive inside me to want to dominate. Which doesn’t mean I’m not dominating my beloved, it just means that, if I am, I don’t know that I am.”

The investigation begins. When did it happen most recently? What does it look like? Sound like? Is it specific words? Tones? Something I do with my body language? Facial expressions? Specific behavior?

Do this together, and you will arrive happily at one of the following outcomes:

• The “blinders” will sudden fall from your eyes and you will see that, indeed, you are dominating the relationship. This will surprise and startle you, because, until you saw it, you didn’t see it. But now that you see it, you can immediately take steps to change it.

• Together you will see that your mate is truly misinterpreting you. That in no way are you dominating him or her. Then, together, you will agree on the meaning of words, tone, behavior, etc., and establish a shared understanding that renders null the unhappy experience.

• Your mate will suddenly see his or her unhappy experience has much more to do with unfinished psychic debris from his or her own past. Your mate might nonetheless still ask for your help to remediate those experiences as you interact day to day.

• You will, ultimately, disagree with and reject your mate’s conclusions about you dominating. You might even forever think of his or her conclusion as odd. But, because you love, you will (within reason) be more than happy to learn new words, new tones and new behaviors that make less likely his or her unhappy experience.

• Be curious. Investigate. It’s way better than fighting.

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Puffed up Cliff Livermore, humble Christian mystic Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray

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Cliff said  –

“Please share my healing prayer requests as Liz Bishaw, Violet & Calisto Mateo, & Curt have all witnessed Christ’s healing power (including Cliff’s healing 50 yr. old Chinese woman Hae-bee’s broken arm witnessed by Curt) and deeply love Christ.  Also,  they have a deep burden for true revival in these islands — manifestations of our Lord’s healing Grace and power here on the Big Island.  As you know, Louisa stands in faith in Lord God.”    (End of statement)

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Book of Esther (4:14)  —    Mordecai reminds Esther:   If you’re not willing or able to be used for good by God, God will pick someone else who shall do God’s work.

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Help includes standing in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30), so to speak, however absurd & tragic it appears (reckless risk of raising false hope/expectation).

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 There’s a big difference between carrying a cross (Luke 9:23) and being crucified on one  — namely,  nails.

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Being crucified with Christ means to nail thru one’s soul to the point of death (of sinful self).

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Spirituality is meant to explore all the unattractive inner realities as well as to recommend glittering ideals.    

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The unattractive inner realities apply to us all, includingglittering” Cliff.

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Spirituality is not  meant to provide uplift to confirm people’s prior ideological assumptions.

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Spirituality says “Think!    Feel!”  —  not  “You’re right”  as repugnant Cliff Livermore demands that we say to Cliff.

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Thank you, Pastor Wilfredo,  for exposing our unlovely reality — and offering a right option  — lest we disregard the foretell of the Inferno (end days).

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The point is we are to move beyond feeding milk to the lambs  —  to feeding solid food to the sheep.

Heb. 5:12-14 & 6:1-3  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
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Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, 
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…  the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
What then is solid food?  It is training in righteousness so that the sheep can be fully equipped, able to stand in the day of testing.
2 Tim. 3:16-17  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
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Pop psychology and worldly methodology do not feed sheep.  They must be fed on the written Word of God (responsibilities) as it is exegeted properly and applied by the Holy Spirit.  

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 Extinguishing distinction  — the self — applies to us all, including distinctive Cliff.

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http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/agoodshepherd.html

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Like Apostle Paul (completing –the Word of God — ministry), Pastor Wilfredo does not play church, so to speak  — but instead avoids “natural thinking” presumptions (fleshly overpride/vanity/envy/jealousy) by stepping out (as Jesus did) in the world and taking risks of harm (by saving lost souls and those possessed of the spirit of unbelief) as the tests which need to be met in our authentic walk in Christ.

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being human   — honest frailty is inherent in our DNA

Cliff emboldens on being everyone’s Exhibit A of redemption.    Cliff does not want to be everyone’s pagan fairy tale  — where miracles manifest, then belief in the superhuman takes hold.   Drama’s correct endpoint is love forevermore springwelled by faith (Jesus’ blood of our new creation/Jesus’ living water of God’s holy spirit e.g. 1 Cor. 15:10).   Faith, then signs.   Not the other way around — not signs, then faith (idolatry).

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Universal appealing narrative is about us  — it illuminates our own lives.  Narrative also discloses truths that shape or misshape our psyche.

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As such, Cliff Livermore’s narrative details the unconscious desire and dilemma to be liberated in self, as

Cliff falls into the bondage of self

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The bondage of self has no redemption.  

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Liberation in self gets out of the self and into Jesus. 

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Therein redemption abounds.

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When the human ego conscripts the language, the work and the mantle of self-respect, you start to feel really good and right about discarding people from your life.

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And then you can know that you were right, because you don’t have any friends at all.

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Self-respect and self-importance — not the same at all. But they can feel the same.

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Why can’t I be like you or in sync with you?

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Because then there would be no need for a me, just you. 

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Cliff Livermore  reeks of excessive self-absorption and blowhard excretion.   Biblical Simon here fits Cliff’s description.

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http://www.lawofliberty.com/sermons/Resources/01-fromsimontopeter.pdf

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Cliff’s book editor lovingly chuckles     –

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Exactly!!

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I also have compared Cliff to Simon Peter.    We have to reel in Cliff, but Cliff is very good to repent and start over.  (how many times do we tolerate Cliff’s puffiness??)

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I am glad you are Cliff’s good friend!

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Also that you question assumptions and ask us to see things through another lens.

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Cliff’s response is predictable    –

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1.  I don’t give a rat’s ass (to whom you liken me in Scripture — ergo Simon Peter)!!

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2.  I don’t have an identity problem!!!!    (I belong to Jesus!!)

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Cliff’s mind-blowing couplet (pair of sentences)  a la the great Alexander Pope really is the story of Cliff’s life.    Sad but true.

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/11/does-an-inerrantist-culture-do-good-or-do-harm/

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In Mark 3:4, Jesus poses a very interesting question to the man with the withered hand: “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?”

Why ask a question like this? Because, as Mark writes, the witnesses in the synagogue were waiting to see whether Jesus would heal on the sabbath, and thus be able to accuse him as being a sabbath-breaker.

This leads to another question: what was the point behind observing the sabbath in the first place? What religio-cultural benefit was it seen as providing? Whatever it may have been, did it have something to do with God instituting a sabbath to prevent people from doing good? Did it have anything to do with trying to prevent someone from moving to save a life?

To ask this question is already to answer it. The institution of the sabbath did not originally have any of these things in view, and Jesus’s point seems to be that over time keeping the sabbath had come to have the effect of stopping people from doing good.

According to Jesus, God would never want to do anything to stop people from doing good, from saving a life, from carrying out from the heart his two main commandments: loving God with all our hearts and loving neighbor as ourselves.

After all, what kind of God would make commandments that effectively prevent people from doing good? What kind of God would make commandments that get in the way of people from loving each other, that might keep them from saving lives?

Not Jesus’s God. In fact, throughout Mark 2 and 3, Jesus explains that what he does is what God’s followers should be doing, making sure that the commandments—including sabbath-keeping—are carried out in ways that promote love, in ways that lead to good.

The Markan evangelist continues his story, “But they were silent. He (Jesus) looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart.” The faithful, religious people of Jesus’s time (identified here and in Matthew 12 as Pharisees) were so concerned to keep the sabbath properly that their singular focus on doing so blinded them to the greater good of restoring and healing.

In Jesus’s view, this signified a “hardness of heart,” desiring the opposite of what God desires by setting the commandment that God gave to his people against the love that God has for his people. His expectation for us is that we love one another. In fact, he commands us to do so.

So whenever God’s people set one command against another, the net result had better be love. Otherwise, the net effect is killing the commandments, which spiritually deprives God’s people of his provision of love, which is exactly what’s needed to save souls. (Thus the saying, “The letter kills.”)

In Rehabilitating Inerrancy in a Culture of Fear, I drew a parallel between Jesus healing on the sabbath and the American evangelical inerrantist mindset.

There was a religious ethos among Pharisees during Jesus’s time where the sabbath, a symbol of socio-religious identity, had become spiritually paralyzing if not suffocating. My contention for years now has been that there is a socio-religious symbol in American evangelicalism that has become equally paralyzing and created a spiritually destructive underside that breeds a culture of fear.

One concern I have is that, for various reasons, a number of inerrantist scholars are failing to grasp just how debilitating it is to spiritual formation to foreground inerrancy as a central and permanent fixture for American evangelical identity. They fail to see how, culturally and institutionally, this mindset can keep evangelical teachers from doing good, from providing healing for searching Christians both in evangelical churches and in classrooms.

A recent review of my second book, for example, observes that although my objections to inerrancy might have been relevant “some years ago,” by now evangelicalism has moved beyond inerrancy as a problem, understanding better that scripture contains different genres and was written within various historical contexts.

But drawing attention to how evangelical scholarship has become more sophisticated, though always a welcome development, simply sidesteps the problem temporarily.

Defining inerrancy according to genre, for example, does not go far enough because inerrantists still feel the same pressure, just delayed for a moment: only genre designations that are not “errant” are allowed, which helps explain why myth and legend in Genesis, for example, are not typically admitted as legitimate genre designations by inerrantist writers.

But such designations are routinely—even universally—accepted outside of inerrantist scholarship. Guarding against “errant” genres in scripture looks like special pleading and a needless spiritual distraction.

Further, as I argue in my book, segments of inerrantist evangelical culture have developed in ways that are sustaining a culture of fear. There is a sizable number of wavering believers who desperately need to be healed from its damaging effects, which includes institutional and personal maltreatment. (I have been dared many times by inerrantist believers, “Why don’t I just get it over with and give up profession of faith?”)

The problem is that, given where we are in the history of evangelicalism, a very important part of the healing process for some believers requires turning a critical eye toward, and probably eventually turning away from, inerrancy of any form.

More and more within evangelicalism are questioning the value of an inerrantist paradigm. How will evangelical leaders handle this? Will they cheer on this healing that is taking place or will they grumble in their hearts because the healing supplants a higher “sabbath law?”

In the same way that the apostle Paul explains that he counts all things as ”dung” in order to know Christ (Phil 3.8), I think it’s time for some inerrantist evangelicals to consider whether the esteem with which they hold inerrantist doctrine is so high it is keeping them from doing good to others, from saving a person’s faith, from loving those members of Christ’s church who are looking to be healed from a culture of fear.

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11 Responses to In Praise of Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray (pronounced “Ugh Nug Ah Wry”), and reflection on 1 Peter 4:8 — Love covers a multitude of sins — Center of Grace — or in the secular sense, forgive yourself for what is not in your power to do

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