Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Thoughts on talking to non-Christian relatives and friends during the holidays

So, suppose you have a relative or friend who grew up as a Christian but now they’ve fallen away and they are in some sort of situation where they are in continuous rebellion against God – e.g. – regular hooking-up, cohabitation, same-sex lifestyle, etc.. Although you might not see this person regularly, you may see them during the holidays at family gatherings, so let’s take some time to define goals and develop a strategy for those encounters.

I want to focus on two parts:

  1. What are you trying to communicate to this person?
  2. How much should you invoke Christian concepts with a non-Christian?

Let’s take a look at the plan.

Respect your opponent’s dignity and value

So for the first topic, I think that you need to accept the person as a person made in the image of God and therefore valuable and deserving of being treated equally. That does not mean you have to agree with them and celebrate their views when you disagree. They have equal dignity to you, but you don’t have to agree that their ideas are equally correct. It means that they have value because God made them and because he cares about them and wants to be reconciled with them. Whatever you say and do cannot set back God’s goal of being reconciled with them. When you speak, you don’t want to push them away from God. When you act, you don’t want to push them away from God. So you are striking a balance between respecting their dignity, but also not affirming them in their views. You can’t affirm something that is immoral just because they will like you, because you have to think of what God wants you to say to that person. You are his ambassador and that means you do your job for him first and foremost.

Christians often talk about the slogan “hate the sin, but love the sinner”, and I think that can be overused. You are obligated to love your family and your relatives. But the problem is knowing what the definition of love is. Love doesn’t mean affirming whatever a person wants to do whether it is right or wrong. Love doesn’t mean standing by silent while people do things when their beliefs about what they are doing are all false. To love someone means to tell them the truth, gently. And it means to be present and engaged in building them up in their relationship with God, however that might look given what stage they are at with God. Loving the sinner means investing in the sinner, and not wrecking the relationship by being unnecessarily hurtful while we can still have an influence. It’s a good idea when you disagree with someone about what they are doing that you keep in mind all the ways that you have rebelled against God in the past, and continue to rebel now, and will continue to rebel. If you keep in mind your own struggles, it will be a lot easier for you to hit the right note when discussing lifestyle with someone else!

Don’t answer “demarcation questions”

I was listening to the Dennis Prager show recently and he was talking about how people on the left are not really good at rational discussion because they are not able to state the views of people who disagree with them in a way that is respectful. He cited Jewish traditions on debate and argued that real debate requires that each side is able to outline the position that the other side holds and the reasons why they hold to it. And not in an insulting, straw-man sort of way, but in a way that the person on the other side can assent and say “that is my view, and those are the reasons for my view”.

People on the secular left seem to like questions that are really more like ad-hominem arguments, so that they can shut down debate. Prager’s example was “you do believe the Earth is warming, don’t you?” This question is designed to stop the discussion of global warming socialism by labeling you a nutcase for denying something that the questioner thinks is obvious. This is despite the fact that the IPCC has now admitted that there has been no significant warming in 15 years. They don’t want to hear your evidence, they want to humiliate you and dismiss you.

The one I hear around my office is “you believe in evolution don’t you?” This is how secularists in my office try to quickly dismiss me because I am not in their “tribe”, so they can cut short any serious critical thinking about their presupposition of naturalism. Thinking about the progress of science and questioning their assumptions is too much work for them, which is why they resort to these “demarcation” questions. Dividing the world up into “sensible us” and “crazy them” is very important to secular leftists – they would rather be divisive, dismissive and condescending so they can keep on sinning. After all, if you’re a total cretin, then they don’t even have to consider whether they are mistaken or not. If you believe in a flat Earth, then they don’t want to have to listen to the evidence for the Big Bang or the fine-tuning or the protein sequencing or the Cambrian explosion. They want to separate the world into black and white so that debate becomes unnecessary. Don’t fall for it.

Free expression of intelligent disagreement

My goal in dealing with an ex-Christian involved in a bad lifestyle is that I want to be their friend, but they must be aware of my view. That is a condition of me being their friend. And I want an opportunity to discuss these things should they come up naturally. I don’t want to be the initiator, but if the topic comes up, I want freedom to state my view, and respect to complete my thoughts and state my evidence. My goal with this person is not to give tacit approval to what they are doing by just acting like one of their normal friends and keeping my mouth shut so as not to offend them. My goal is to be present in their lives as someone who they know for sure disagrees with what they are doing and is intelligent and informed about his disagreement. In short, I am willing to trade spending time with them and doing activities with them (what they want) in order to get the freedom to intelligently and respectfully disagree with them about their lifestyle ( what God wants me to do with them, as his ambassador to them).

Moreover, if the opportunity never arises to state and defend my disagreement with their lifestyle, then I’m going to allocate less and less time to that relationship, since God is not being allowed into the relationship. I work for God, and I want him to be a factor in everything I do. In what I say, in how I spend my time and money, and so on. When I started my first job, the atheists used to offer to discuss spiritual things with me if I had a beer with them. I agreed to that, because they knew that I would only give them what they wanted – friendship – if I got what I wanted – the opportunity to be myself and be given time to explain my beliefs and my reasons for holding them without being interrupted or mocked. They were willing to let me do this, though, because they knew what I was talking about, so that’s on me to prepare to sound intelligent in order to deserve the opportunity to be heard. You have to decide if this person is going to allow you to be an ambassador. That is the criterion for deciding whether to have a relationship with them or not.

Should you bring up the Bible and sin?

It depends. I think if the person is claiming to be a Christian, and under the authority of the Bible on moral issues, then you should investigate how they square their views with the Bible. You might have to pull in Robert Gagnon or Scott Klusendorf or some other expert to make the case that their behavior is against the Bible. But in my view, their claiming of the Bible as support is likely to be a smokescreen. Sinful people choose their behavior first, and the Bible is not going to be relevant to their decision making once they are into the lifestyle of sin. Labeling their behavior as sin, citing Bible verses, citing Christian leaders… that’s all going to be as useful as you citing a Hindu or a Mormon to convince me of an eternal universe would be. I don’t care about religious opinions when it comes to the universe, because I have a prior commitment to science. A smart ambassador knows not to use authorities that are not accepted by their audience. People who are habitually sinning do not accept the Bible as an authority. You can clarify what the Bible says if they bring it up, but don’t rest on the Bible to make your case.

The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle

So what can you do to make your case? Well, your goal is to be allowed to express your disagreement and to state your reasons for disagreeing without being silenced or sanctioned. When they give you your opportunity to speak, you need to have prepared to sound as intelligent and relevant as possible. That means that you need to hit the books before you are asked, and find the reasons and the evidence for your view first. If the issue is binge-drinking and hooking up, you need to hit the books so you can find the peer-reviewed papers to deal with that. You might talk about oxytocin to counter casual sex, or you might talk about the cohabitation-instability link, or you might talk about how children are harmed by fatherlessness, etc. The point is that you want to have the perception among non-Christian peers that you are competent and informed apart from religion – which they don’t even accept. I find it amazing that Christians seem content to invoke their supposed righteousness in debates with people who don’t even accept the Bible. We need to not be so insulated in our own little Bible-cliques that we are no longer able to understand how to be persuasive to people who are outside the faith. You can’t invoke superior piety (alone) as an argument to someone who isn’t pious and doesn’t want to be pious.

Smoking is bad for your health

Basically, you want to make a case using mainstream sources that is equivalent to the case that you might make against their smoking, if they took up smoking. Your approach should be along the lines of “you don’t accept Christianity, and that’s fine, because I have a million non-Christian reasons why you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing, too”. You want to get to the point where you can show them that it’s not just a case of opinion against opinion, but a case of rebellion against evidence. Don’t be afraid to encourage them to look at the long-term effects of what they are doing either.

For example, if they are in a same-sex relationship and they want to have or adopt kids later on, have them defend why it is right for them to intentionally deprive a child of a mother or a father. If they are in a cohabitating relationship and have not yet gotten pregnant, have them defend having an abortion or raising a child fatherless. It’s amazing how people in these sorts of sinful lifestyles get blinded by their feelings and cannot think about what comes next. That’s your job – to be the sober analyst who asks “what comes next?”. And don’t forget to consider whether what they are doing is not only bad for them, but bad for people around them, and society as a whole. For example, if society has to pay increased health care costs for sexually transmitted diseases or for social programs to deal with the breakdown of the family and fatherlessness.

Please leave your comments about how you are dealing with ex-Christians in rebellion in the comments, and what you think of my approach, too.

UPDATE: I got some advice from a well-known Christian apologist. His point was that if all you have is the family meal, then it’s better to spend most of your time listening and just ask a few questions. That’s a good defensive strategy suited to the situation you are in at a family meal.

Is the gay lifestyle the same as the heterosexual lifestyle?

I am going to post this disturbing article from the radically left-wing New York Times about the latest new disease affecting the gay community in New York. (H/T ECM)

Here’s an excerpt:

At around 4 on a Saturday morning, a time when most of the gay bars in New York have closed and locked their doors, a steady stream of young and middle-aged men, almost all shirtless and some stripped down to their boxer briefs, have found their way down a dark stairwell and into a maze of basement rooms, where the décor can best be described as fallout-shelter chic.

They have come to Paddles, an after-hours sex club in Chelsea, not yet ready to end their evening. They prowl the long cinder-block hallway, exchanging knowing glances. A husky, bearded man in his 40s lounges on a corrugated black rubber bench, admiring a chorus line of smooth-chested 20-somethings, their flesh glowing under a pink neon sign and black lights. A man in a metal-studded black leather chest harness strides toward a back room, the hookup room, where a circle of men, skin glistening with sweat, hover around a swing, watching.

Then, in walks a skinny man in a black baseball cap, with soulful eyes and a nose that juts forward like the prow of a ship. He stops at a folding table set up between two video screens showing continuous reels of gay pornography. He strips off his black leather jacket, flexing toned biceps in a black muscle shirt. He sets up a red hazardous-waste bin as nonchalantly as if it were a plastic juice jug from Costco, arranges some Band-Aids and a bowl of lollipops next to it, and pulls out a syringe.

This is Demetre Daskalakis, a doctor and gay activist who has come to spread the message that a new health threat has emerged among the city’s gay population and that he is there to stop it.

“Have you been vaccinated?” he asks, smiling, his voice warm, as the half-naked men walk by.

A new, casually transmittable infection — a unique strain of bacterial meningitis — has cast a pall over the gay night life and dating scene, with men wondering whether this is AIDS, circa 1981, all over again. Seven men have died in New York City, about a third of diagnosed cases, since 2010. And in the last few months, the contagion seemed to be accelerating. It has targeted gay and bisexual men, and nobody knows exactly why.

The city’s best hope to curb the outbreak is to vaccinate as many at-risk men as possible, focusing on those most in danger: men who regularly hook up with other men whom they meet at parties, bars, clubs and through apps like Grindr. Dr. Don Weiss, the director of surveillance for the city’s Bureau of Communicable Disease, has called it “Russian roulette sex,” because “sooner or later, you are going to come across this organism and be exposed.”

In case anyone would like to understand the health effects of the gay lifestyle, here is an excellent resource which links to data from mainstream sources.

Here is an excerpt:

Hepatitis: A potentially fatal liver disease that increases the risk of liver cancer.

  • Hepatitis A: The Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report published by the CDC reports: “Outbreaks of hepatitis A among men who have sex with men are a recurring problem in many large cities in the industrialized world.”[20]
  • Hepatitis B: This is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people of all ages contract hepatitis B and close to 5,000 die of sickness caused by AIDS. The CDC reports that MSM are at increased risk for hepatitis B.[21]

And more:

HIV/AIDS Among Homosexuals. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is responsible for causing AIDS, for which there exists no cure.

  • Homosexual men are the largest risk category. The CDC reports that homosexuals comprise the single largest exposure category of the more than 600,000 males with AIDS in the United States. As of December 1999, “men who have sex with men” and “men who have sex with men and inject drugs” together accounted for 64 percent of the cumulative total of male AIDS cases.[39]

And more:

Homosexuals with STDs Are at an Increased Risk for HIV Infection. Studies of MSM treated in STD clinics show rates of infection as high as 36 percent in major cities.[46] A CDC study attributed the high infection rate to having high numbers of anonymous sex partners: “[S]yphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia apparently have been introduced into a population of MSM who have large numbers of anonymous partners, which can result in rapid and extensive transmission of STDs.”[47] The CDC report concluded: “Persons with STDs, including genital ulcer disease and nonulcerative STD, have a twofold to fivefold increased risk for HIV infection.”[48]

CDC means the government’s Center for Disease Control.

The article that I linked above has nearly 80 footnotes to respected sources of evidence. It’s very important to know the facts when discussing this issue so that we tell people the truth and then let them make good decisions. At the very least we should be telling them what we tell our friends who smoke: “it’s not good for your health”.

Why do some people disagree with the gay lifestyle?

Here’s an article from the liberal New York Times that explains one practical reason why social conservatives disagree with the gay lifestyle and prefer not to celebrate it. (H/T Neil)

Here’s the set up:

BOB BERGERON was so relentlessly cheery that people sometimes found it off-putting. If you ran into him at the David Barton Gym on West 23rd Street, where he worked out nearly ever morning at 7, and you complained about the rain, he would smile and say you’d be better off focusing on a problem you could fix.

That’s how Mr. Bergeron was as a therapist as well, always upbeat, somewhat less focused on getting to the root of his clients’ feelings than altering behavior patterns that were detrimental to them: therapy from the outside-in.

Over the last decade, he built a thriving private practice, treating well-to-do gay men for everything from anxiety to coping with H.I.V. Mr. Bergeron had also begun work as a motivational speaker, giving talks at gay and lesbian centers in Los Angeles and Chicago. In February, Magnus Books, a publisher specializing in gay literature, was scheduled to print a self-help guide he had written, “The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond.”

It was a topic he knew something about. Having come out as gay in the mid-1980s, Mr. Bergeron, 49, had witnessed the worst years of the AIDS epidemic and emerged on the other side. He had also seen how few public examples there were of gay men growing older gracefully.

He resolved to rewrite the script, and provide a toolbox for better living.

“I’ve got a concise picture of what being over 40 is about and it’s a great perspective filled with happiness, feeling sexy, possessing comfort relating to other men and taking good care of ourselves,” Mr. Bergeron said on his Web site.  “This picture will get you results that flourish long-term.”

But right around New Year’s Eve, something went horribly wrong. On Jan. 5, Mr. Bergeron was found dead in his apartment, the result of a suicide that has left his family, his friends and his clients shocked and heartbroken as they attempt to figure out how he could have been so helpful to others and so unable to find help himself.

Look:

To his friends, Mr. Bergeron maintained a positive tone. He went on vacation, dated some, visited museums.

Still, he privately expressed misgivings about what the future held. Olivier Van Doorne, a patient of Mr. Bergeron and the creative director of SelectNY, a fashion advertising firm, recalled Mr. Bergeron telling him that every gay man peaks at one point in his life.

“He said a number of times: ‘I peaked when I was 30 or 35. I was super-successful, everyone looked at me, and I felt extremely cool in my sexuality.’ ”

Mr. Siegel, the therapist who supervised Mr. Bergeron in the early days of his career, said: “Bob was a very beautiful younger man, and we talked a lot about how that shapes and creates a life. The thesis of his book is based very much on his own personal experience with that. And the book also emphasized what to do when you’re not attractive or you no longer have the appeal you once had. The idea was to transcend that and expand your sexual possibilities.”

And:

With the book about to be printed, Mr. Bergeron became convinced that he’d written too much about the shame and isolation involved with hooking up online; that people weren’t even really doing that anymore, now that phone apps like Grindr and Scruff had come along.

His book, he felt, had become antiquated before it even came out.

[…]Though some of his friends, Mr. Rappaport among them, wondered whether drugs were involved, leading to a crash Mr. Bergeron did not anticipate, the suicide seemed to have been carried out with methodical precision. On an island in the kitchen, Mr. Bergeron had meticulously laid out his papers. There was a pile of folders with detailed instructions on top about whom to call regarding his finances and his mortgage. Across from that he placed the title page of his book, on which he also wrote his suicide note. In it he told Mr. Sackheim and Mr. Rappaport that he loved them and his family, but that he was “done.”

As his father remembered it, Mr. Bergeron also wrote, “It’s a lie based on bad information.”

An arrow pointed up to the name of the book.

The inference was clear. As Mr. Bergeron saw it at the end of his life, the only right side of 40 was the side that came before it.

What’s the problem?

I think that the problem is that in the gay lifestyle, you have a typically male emphasis on physical appearance, sex and pleasure. There is none of the moderating influence of women, which tends to push men into commitments, responsibility and stability.

According to the research, the gay lifestyle is very different than the traditional heterosexual courting approach:

The 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census surveyed the lifestyles of 7,862 homosexuals. Of those involved in a “current relationship,” only 15 percent describe their current relationship as having lasted twelve years or longer, with five percent lasting more than twenty years.[4]

A study of homosexual men in the Netherlands published in the journal AIDS found that the “duration of steady partnerships” was 1.5 years.[6]

In his study of male homosexuality in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, Pollak found that “few homosexual relationships last longer than two years, with many men reporting hundreds of lifetime partners.”[7]

And:

The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.[12]

In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[14]

A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than one hundred sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than one thousand sexual partners.[15]

And:

Even in those homosexual relationships in which the partners consider themselves to be in a committed relationship, the meaning of “committed” or “monogamous” typically means something radically different than in heterosexual marriage.

A Canadian study of homosexual men who had been in committed relationships lasting longer than one year found that only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous.” According to study author Barry Adam, “Gay culture allows men to explore different…forms of relationships besides the monogamy coveted by heterosexuals.”[16]

[…]In their Journal of Sex Research study of the sexual practices of older homosexual men, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that only 2.7 percent of older homosexuals had only one sexual partner in their lifetime.[19]

In the gay lifestyle, men seem to have the most value when they are younger and more good-looking. The whole thing seems to be very much about appearance and sex – having as much sex as possible with as many different men as possible. (See, for example, the popular Grindr application on the iPhone, which allows gays to find other gays for anonymous hook-up sex)

This is really sad, because it means that as the gay men get older and their looks fade, they lose value in the area that counts the most to many of them: sexuality. This is different than in a traditional heterosexual marriage, where the man retains his value longer since he can perform his traditional male roles as a husband and father even after he gets older and loses his looks. In fact, his ability to protect, provide and lead on moral and spiritual issues can actually get better as he gets older – so his self-esteem goes up. Now it’s true that he can get depressed when he retires, but by then he’s probably around 65! And at least he will have a wife there to take care of them, and probably children to support, too. My Dad, for example, does lots of things to help me even though he is retired.

I think this NYT article sheds light on why people with traditional values tend to disagree with homosexuality and also to refrain from celebrating and affirming the gay lifestyle. We treat the gay lifestyle as if it were similar to smoking. It’s permissible, but not to be encouraged. We are not trying to make anyone feel badly just for the sake of being mean to them. If a certain lifestyle is not fulfilling, then it is a good thing to say to people “you should think twice about getting involved in this”. It’s not loving to tell people that harmful things are not really harmful. Telling someone that something unfulfilling or unhealthy is actually good for them doesn’t help them any. It’s not loving to tell a child that touching a hot stove won’t burn them – the loving thing to do is to tell the truth and then let them choose.

Here’s my previous post outlining a secular case against gay marriage.

What does God want Christians to accomplish in this life?

Your choices today are part of an ongoing relationship with God
Your choices today are part of an ongoing relationship with God

Melissa writes a post about it on her Hard-Core Christianity blog. I heartily endorse this post, and it represents my experience learning from C.S. Lewis’ writings as well.

Intro:

Over the past year I’ve thought a great deal about the brevity of life when it is considered in the context of eternity. I’ve pondered this so often, in fact, I’ve begun thinking of my current mental preoccupation as a sort of mid-life crisis. I’ve felt God impressing this idea–of our temporal life being a precious drop in the bucket of time–upon me more and more, and I haven’t known quite what to do with the emotions and the thoughts that have surfaced. I wouldn’t call them negative or depressing; I’d describe them as mysterious, pulsing, non-yet-solidified. I suppose I should have realized before now that God was indeed taking me somewhere in the heavy yet gentle way only He operates.

Excerpt:

HERE’S WHAT I AM COMING TO UNDERSTAND…

This is not just a life to be tolerated until we reach our eternal resting place. This is our single, fleeting opportunity to prepare ourselves for the day when we step out of these Shadowlands and into direct fellowship with God; everything we allow Him to build and nurture within us here will come to ultimate fruition and purposefulness in Heaven. A sobering thought, is it not?

My favorite analogy is that of a soldier being honed by battle after battle with the Enemy. Lewis says,

Christianity is the story of how the rightful King has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage…He wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.

Through temporal life, the soldier is consciously and intentionally growing wiser and more competent; when he finally presents himself to his beloved King, he will be sublimely outfitted for a purposeful place in the eternal Kingdom. Lewis continues:

…it is quite true that there will probably be no occasion for just or courageous acts in the next world, but there will be every occasion for being the sort of people that we can become only as the result of doing such acts here.

We live at a very special point in man’s history. We can stand on the shoulders of great Christian men and women who have much to teach us if we will but read and study their legacy. God has raised up great theologians, apologists, philosophers, writers, and artists to steer and inspire us, if we will only take notice. It boils down to how we choose to dedicate our time and energy.

I implore you, as my brothers and sisters in Christ: Learn about our faith. Understand the history of Christianity, the essential doctrines, and the historical and scientific support for the reliability of our Scripture. Open your mind and heart to what the Spirit wants to teach you. Use these lessons to recruit and help train fellow soldiers. We are preparing for the Kingdom to come!

Read the whole thing!

And when you’re done with that, read this excerpt from Mere Christianity, entitled “The Obstinate Toy Soldiers”.

Excerpt:

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God… And the present state of things is this. The two kinds of life are now not only different (they would always have been that) but actually opposed.

The natural life in each of us is something self-centred, something that wants to be petted and admired, to take advantage of other lives, to exploit  the whole universe. And especially it wants to be left to itself: to keep well away from anything better or stronger or higher than it, anything that  might make it feel small. It is afraid of the light and air of the spiritual world, just as people who have been brought up to be dirty are afraid of a bath. And in a sense it is quite right It knows that if the spiritual life gets hold of it, all its self-centredness and self-will are going to be  killed and it is ready to fight tooth and nail to avoid that.

Did you ever think, when you were a child, what fun it would be if your toys could come to life? Well suppose you could really have brought them to life. Imagine turning a tin soldier into a real little man. It would involve turning the tin into flesh. And suppose the tin soldier did not like it He is not interested in flesh; all he sees is that the tin is being spoilt He thinks you are killing him. He will do everything he can to prevent you. He will not be made into a man if he can help it.

What you would have done about that tin soldier I do not know. But what God did about us was this. The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man-a real man of a particular  height, with hair of a particular colour, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby,  and before that a foetus inside a Woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.

The result of this was that you now had one man who really was what all men were intended to be: one man in whom the created life, derived from his Mother, allowed itself to be completely and perfectly turned into the begotten life. The natural human creature in Him was taken up fully into the divine Son. Thus in one instance humanity had, so to speak, arrived: had passed into the life of Christ. And because the whole difficulty for us is that the natural life has to be, in a sense, “killed,” He chose an earthly career which involved the killing of His human desires at every turn-poverty, misunderstanding from His own family, betrayal by one of His intimate friends, being jeered at and manhandled by the Police, and execution by torture. And then, after being thus killed-killed every day in a sense-the human creature in Him, because it was united to the divine Son, came to life again. The Man in Christ rose again: not only the God. That is the whole point For the first time we saw a real man. One tin soldier-real tin, just like the rest-had come fully and splendidly alive.

I think there are two ways to work at not being a tin soldier. 1) Reading apologetics books in order to be able to be a friend to God by telling people the truth about him, with evidence. Those shared experiences of you speaking up for your friend because you know what you are talking about get you out of your own desires and build a self-sacrificial friendship with him. And 2) Studying public square issues like abortion, divorce, marriage and so forth in order to articulate intelligent reasons why the Bible is correct in what it asserts about moral questions. The experience of talking to other people about economics, politics and foreign policy builds the relationship with God. And the more you know, the less freedom you have to make bad decisions – learning the truth about things is how you make doing evil unthinkable.

These are the good insights in C.S. Lewis books that help people who would like to become Christians to know how they are supposed to go about doing that. I have had non-Christian friends read them in order to understand at a practical level what Christianity is all about. These books are excellent to read when you are in high school and college. My favorites are “Mere Christianity”, “The Problem of Pain”, “God In the Dock”, “The Abolition of Man”, “The Great Divorce”, “The Four Loves”, “Miracles”, “Christian Reflections”, etc . I have never read the Narnia books, though. I also recommend that non-Christians all read the gospel of John as a snapshot of what Christianity is all about. You can read it in a few hours.

I would really recommend this lecture (MP3) by Walter Bradley as well, which is the best thing I have ever encountered about the Christian life. If you are not training hard, learning new things, and having people ask you questions about your faith every day, then you are doing it wrong – you need to get a intellectual/professional mentor and get moving forward. The normal Christian life is full of dangers and adventures! If you don’t look in the mirror every morning and see a heroic knight going out to try to slay dragons, then you are doing Christianity wrong.

By the way, if you are a Christian woman and you want to impress a Christian man, you need to talk about your Christian life to the man like Melissa does – with reference to books. Melissa is a particularly good example of how to behave because she is heavily into science apologetics. She is also fiscally conservative.

British Medical Association opposes therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction

Here’s an article from the Sydney Morning Herald written by Polly Vernon, talks about Grindr, which is an iPhone application that facilitates anonymous sex between strangers in the gay community. (H/T Secondhand Smoke via ECM) I want to talk about Grindr first, in order to set up the news story below.

Excerpt:

Ever heard of Grindr? If you have, I’m going to guess that you are male and gay; or male, technically straight and somewhat curious; or the straight friend of a gay man. If not, allow me to enlighten you.

Grindr (pronounced “grinder”) is a free downloadable iPhone app which, it promises, will help you “Find gay, bi, curious guys for free near you!” Grindr harnesses GPS, allowing you to establish who else in your direct vicinity is also using Grindr. It shows you — on a gridded display — who these men are and what they look like; it will tell you how far away from you they are standing; and it will allow you to “chat” them, if they take your fancy.

[…]Grindr was launched on March 25, 2009; now more than 700,000 (and counting) men in 162 countries are using it to phenomenal effect, if J, W, Kevin and the other gay men I’ve asked are any kind of a guide. “I’ve never, ever had so much sex in my life!” R told me gleefully. “I’ve probably had as much in the past eight months of Grinding as I have over the 20 years since I came out. Maybe more.”

[…]Others condemn it more directly. “Grindr’s addictive,” writes one man — the ex-boyfriend of a close friend — by email. “A lot of gay men have addiction issues . . . Things like Grindr . . . enable that sort of sex, sex which is compulsive and which dehumanises you; and means you in turn dehumanise the people you are having sex with.”

He puts me in touch with G, a man he met while seeking treatment for sex addiction. “I’ve lost entire weekends to sex,” writes G. “Downloading porn, going on Grindr, meeting men whose names I don’t find out, having sex; downloading more porn.”

“Low self-esteem,” says Todd. “I see it a lot in gay men – it’s inevitable after years of repression and shame. And what’s better for self-esteem than someone having sex with you?”

I noticed, in a Life Site News story, that people in Britain who would like to get therapy for their unwanted same-sex attractions may soon be blocked from doing so.

Excerpt:

The British Medical Association (BMA) has passed a motion asserting that therapy meant to treat unwanted same-sex attraction is harmful, calling on the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other professional bodies to repudiate such treatments and forbid them in their codes of practice.

More than two-thirds of the doctors who voted supported the motion. They also said that alleged cases of conversion therapy funded by Britain’s National Health Service should be investigated.

[…]The case echoes a similar suppression of therapies meant to help treat SSA in Spain. The Catalan government said in June that it would fine the clinic Policlinica Tibidabo if it was confirmed that it was carrying out such treatments.

Be sure and check out Wesley J. Smith’s ideas on how this will impact the culture as a whole.

See below for some research showing the differences between heterosexual relationships and same-sex relationships.

Comments to this post will be strictly monitored in accordance with Obama’s hate crime law.

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