The Spiritual Confusion of Clinging to the “Rules”

Rulz for thee, but not for mee!  Wheee!!!

Readership: Christians
Length: 2,200 words
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Introduction

I want readers to be aware of the spiritual confusion that is prevalent in the world today, and even appears among those who frequent this blog, including myself at times. Spiritual Confusion might not seem to fit into this month’s theme of The Christian Conundrum, but I believe it is directly responsible for it.

I posit that this confusion is a result of the society-wide prevalence of many negative factors which have been reviewed over the past month, including widespread sexual promiscuity, the effects of parental divorce, the demise of the Christian Life Script, and the fading of Archetypal myths.

All these factors have created a psychological disintegration which renders interaction with humanity difficult and experiencing God as evasive. Worse, these effects are hardly accessible to our conscious awareness. Many of us people can hardly even understand what “peace with God” means, because we never experienced the presence of God through our family of origin (as Scott described in the example of his friend’s parents).

This disintegration and defilement was described in two posts, On The Turning Away (2021 March 5), and The Demise of the Christian Life Script (2021 March 10).

Scott described this Turning Away when he said,

“Then, it’s as if in one generation, the wheels fell off the bus.”

NovaSeeker expounded on the resulting confusion.

“Because they did fall off the bus.

Those of us around this age (50ish, either way) lived through the transition from the old regime to the new one. That is — many of us grew up with relationship models that were of the “old regime” variety, but the world we were ourselves growing up and having relationships in eschewed these older models, and a new, emergent model was being birthed.”

“That emergent process has still not settled on a new model, and it’s possible that it never will, but the main point for us is that we grew up with one set of expectations based on the model we saw growing up, but that model simply did not apply to the new relationships of our own era. That disconnect led to lots and lots of failed marriages. Lots of them.

At the time people were saying it’s because men weren’t “catching up” and were “stuck in the old ways of looking at things” as compared with their progressive, heroic, pioneer wives who were trying to valiantly blaze a new trail in the emergent model of NewMarriage. But in reality, expectations for both sexes didn’t match the new realities, and this just created tensions that many people in our era were not equipped to resolve, at least not at those ages (in the 20s when many of us still married back then).

The exceptions to this were the people who had the personality profile type to thrive in a period of dramatic change — people who are above average in: adaptiveness, confidence, independence, resilience, positivity (always looking ahead), adventurousness, open-ness to novelty, and open-ness to change. People who were not high in these areas struggled, and people who were low in them, or had the polar opposite traits to them, were basically kicked off the horse, tout court.

I’m not saying we had it harder than the current young set — not at all. They are living in a Mad Max scenario for relationships. But our generation faced a different, yet equally problematic scenario because the rules were changing in real time and drastically, and many of us could not adapt quickly enough to manage to save our marriages.”

Yes, the rules changed! Now, there are practically no rules at all, and we don’t know what to do!

We have a Rules-Based Mindset

In The Christian Conundrum (2021 March 1), NovaSeeker and I put forth the idea that “following the rules” cannot guarantee a successful marriage. Another post, More on the Framework of Options (2021 March 22), emphasized how a focus on rules is a red herring from a Christian standpoint.

Even so, having a rules based mindset seems to be the default setting. We want to establish rules for everyone to play by. We want a formula that “works”. We think the confusion is because the rules have changed, when in fact, it’s not about rules at all. It’s about maintaining inner peace with God and pursuing our life purpose — that which brings glory to God.

To see what I mean, take a look at these comments with this in mind.

Actually, Jason makes a lot of sense with respect to the approach of “following the rules”. And we’ve seen that success in marriage has little to do with following the rules.

Here, I don’t mean to come down on anyone. I just want to point out how rules totally envelop our world view. In fact, the centrality of Law and Order is a foundational concept of Anglo culture, and as such, we are all guilty of it, including myself. Thinking that “the legality of the thing is what makes it right” is the default foundation of our mental processing.

As long as we’re searching for a rule-based formula, we’ll miss the grace of God.

A person who doesn’t have a Rule-Based approach is not understood!

Ed Hurst left this puzzling comment.

“The honest truth is that I ignored all of this and simply did what my convictions required, regardless of the outcome. Obedience to conviction is its own reward (AKA, Shalom, peace with God). I carefully evaluate whether anyone is inside or outside the same covenant of faith, and treat them accordingly. Had I not found a covenant woman, there would have been no interest in marriage. A good or bad marriage is not a reward; it is a condition in which we pursue the Lord. He gives the marriage, or not, as He sees fit. I’m tired of reading all the chatter that assumes there is a high degree of instrumentality, and never makes room for divine miracles. Carry on without me.”

His comment was puzzling because it is hard for our rule-based minds to identify the specific rules that Ed lives by. We want to conclude that he is saying something like, “Marriage is something that God sends your way if he wants to, as you pursue him, and that if God hadn’t sent his wife his way, he would not have otherwise had any interest in marriage, per se.” But we cannot identify with this approach, because of daughters, because of testosterone, because of desire, because of libido, because of frustration, no specified course of action, no cause-effect, no rules… nothing for our rational minds to latch onto, chew on, and dissect. There’s only a very abstract Archetypal mythos that we are unfamiliar with and which is confusing to the mind.

We want to dismiss his comment because we don’t see how it relates to the Christian Conundrum or the Christian Marriage Dilemma. We can’t see how his stance helps guys who want to get married in order to deal with sexual temptation, have kids, or whatever else. As a gesture of philosophical generosity, we could agree that there can always be miracles, but from what we would consider to be a practical standpoint, it seems foolhardy to rely on a miracle, and not take a proactive approach. At worst, it seems like a case of putting our Lord to the test (although I suppose if one is truly neutral about being with a woman or not, one wouldn’t be doing that). In short, there is no transferrable knowledge, and the nearly impossible standard remains. All that is from our own perspective, yet we still fail to understand what Ed is driving at.

I have learned a lot from Ed since I started reading his blogs three years ago, and I experienced spiritual growth as a result of it. I understand that Ed is disappointed because there is something important missing from all the discussion. The thing that is missing is how one’s faith can lead one into new opportunities and life experiences. We haven’t really touched on this, and none of the commenters have either. What he means by “instrumentality” is that we’ve been hammering away at descriptions, models, and game theory, and although these have been insightful, there’s not much talk about Christian faith. This is a valid criticism. I have the mind that if we keep hammering away, then eventually people will realize the futility and resentment that is bound up in the rules-based approach, and begin to realize faith. I hope I’m not expecting too much.

At this point, it seems like legalism in the form of a rule-centric cognition is the biggest obstacle. People are operating out of their heads, and not their hearts. People are rather quick to judge, and that puts a damper on the forthcoming introspection and honesty.

It’s time for us to put the brain back in the skull and start paying more attention to the mysteries of the heart which are unfathomable to the limited faculties of the cognition.

The Rules of the World (and of Churchianity)

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You.  Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.  12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name.  Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.  14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.  16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  17 Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your word is truth.  18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

John 17:9-19 (NKJV)

The Greek “cosmos” translated as “world” in John 17 means society, culture, and especially the ideologies thereof. This also includes “an arrangement of rules in society”. In the world system (cosmos), the rules are created to enforce unity, conformance to the narrative, and the Herd mentality. This is the “Wide Road leading to destruction” (Matthew 7:13-14). There is an implied message that if one conforms to the world (cosmos), then one will find social acceptance and contentment. But this is the lie of Satan. Jesus calls us to come out of the world, i.e. not to follow the same rules of the world just to “fit in”.

I think this also includes many of the typical social norms in the microcosm of churchianity. Even within the church, there is an expectation that Christians should be following the rules. (As an exercise, try reading verses 14 and 16 in the passage above and substitute the word “rules” for the word “world”.) Of course in this context, the rules are moralized and spiritualized, but the deadening effect on the soul is the same.

Conclusions

Let’s look at the purpose of the rules as compared to faith.

Wallowing in the SMP is perceived as hedonism and will eventually bring a harvest of grief and despair. The overriding practical purpose of abstaining from sexual sin, divorce, etc., is so that one doesn’t become broken hearted and lose faith, and then become cynical, used up, and jaded, etc.

Strutting in the jackboots of the law is perceived as hypocrisy and will eventually produce a deadening of the soul. The overriding practical purpose of abstaining from legalistic rule-ology is so that one doesn’t become hard hearted and lose faith, and then become cynical, up tight, and resentful, etc.

Both of these two approaches bring loneliness and alienation from God and mankind. We have a clearly recognized rule for the former, but yet, whenever the rule for the latter is expressed, it is only offered as a defensive excuse for indulging in the former.

Somewhere in between, there is another path to be taken, often referred to as “The Narrow Way”. The trick is to stay on this course, and not get stuck in either of the two ditches on either side of the road.

UPDATE — Ed Hurst responded in Radix Fidem: The Balance Point (2021 March 24).

Related

About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Churchianity, Discerning Lies and Deception, Discernment, Wisdom, Divorce, Enduring Suffering, Freedom, Personal Liberty, Glory, Introspection, Legalism, Love, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Models of Failure, Self-Concept, The Power of God. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to The Spiritual Confusion of Clinging to the “Rules”

  1. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    JACK,this is explanatory comment to my last comment ,last night!
    I’m trying to show everyone how ”evil,lazy,marriage-hating” mgtows,who would be the most likely men to get married, see the cosmos of churchians&even standard red pill!
    On one hand,your a good person if women like you&you fornicate!
    On the other hand,don’t do that&get sacred man-made&printed marriage lisence to marry my daughter!
    BLACKPILLP.S.Blackpill was first mentioned by white&nerdy as his new name after the blue&red pill stuff started up big-time by early 2011!
    I was reading his stuff as a counter balance to dal’ in ’12&’13!You have his site linked at ”freedom from the gynocracy” under red pill voices category!He agreed with another commenter that ”the only reason ”married christian gamers”(DALROCK)was still married was god,not their confedience or musculature!
    But most of the manosphere would think he was anti-marriage back then!
    Was he?Or being more truthful than most in any cosmos?
    DETI has the best marriage advice to give to any man with a average, ”today” type of woman!
    Can anyone give better marriage advice than deti?
    This is why I liked GBFMtm&boxer so much also,they knew the limits of the game, better than most too!
    Limits is what I have been telling you mainly about!I have what most call ”natural game” as I told you from my first comment on,from 7 weeks ago,tonight, right!?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SFC Ton says:

    My daughter and granddaughter are here because of the hand of God.

    Beyond that I have seen a serious lack of miracles go down state side. Which is how the Almighty wants it and beyond my level to question

    Setting up your life to require miracles or to expect miracles to save your marriage/ save you from your bad decisions seems unwise, ungodly and egotistical

    Liked by 8 people

    • professorGBFMtm2021 says:

      SFCTON
      I have never said count on miracles,miracles are usualy worked thru people’s actions not bolts of lightning,thats fairy tales for little kids as any can be assured of by just walking down certain inner city streets!
      I know from experience you must be non-humbly prepared for anything!Ever see me say otherwise in any direct way,I just said above go nuclear like deti is best for married men,is that a miracle or natural works,others were going heavy on works,so like I said, counter balance was/is needed!?
      A man, who has faced down a dozen snakes with nothing ,but a shovel over a 6 year period(Over 5 years ago!),dos’nt beleave in skillz?
      You know what my first memory is?
      Almost getting bit by a copperhead snake around spring’80!
      Anybody else had a ”wake-up” call like that to the mystical reality of life?
      I’am a prepper,I have been accumalating knowlege heavily since the 1990’s (For such as a time like the last 5 years)!Just not the standard one everybody usualy thinks of is all!
      All mgtows,like gamers are not the same!
      Just like ANONYMOUSAGE88-72 did more good for men with his activism&marriage counsling than most of the M.R.A.S from the ’20s thru to this day in places such as america&india!
      P.S.Life is’nt a balance between faith&works?
      Others say one or the other,I have never said one or the other!

      Like

  3. Novaseeker says:

    At least a part of the problem is the medium of the internet blog.

    The internet blog is a text-based medium where people read and write text and then discuss/debate the text as written. It’s mostly going to be “in the head”. Even if you write about a “heart” topic, it often doesn’t generate a lot of discussion, because text really isn’t ideal for that — it’s ideal for a more “objective” and “analytical” approach, and so that is what you tend to see in this medium. It’s one reason some people have gone to other media, like videos and the like, to express things that are harder to do effectively in text without triggering an almost unavoidable analytical/cerebral approach and response due to the fact that it is a text environment. Video doesn’t avoid this entirely, of course, because the internet in general is a very debate/antagonism/apologetics type of environment regardless of the chosen medium, but it triggers somewhat less textual argumentation in response, because it isn’t a text, and at the same time it can be a means for communicating things in a different way from the way text does. I do not personally like videos, due to the slowness of the consumption of them for me, but I get why people use them, quite apart from audience reach issues (which are also obviously a large reason).

    The internet is not, of course, the entire problem. The issue of living in the head is widrespread throughout the culture — which is what one would expect in a culture which has as its public/shared epistemology a rather rigid/narrow form of empiricism which is enforced on a near dictatorial basis as the means of perceiving everything that is even worth considering. This mentality has seeped into churches as well, just as the rest of the culture has, and into the mindset of many (I would say most) Christians. In that context, it will always be an uphill battle to get people away from that dominant epistemic, and I think text-based discussions only serve to reinforce the predominant epistemic rather than challenge or broaden it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jack says:

      “At least a part of the problem is the medium of the internet blog.”

      This is why I like to include images, memes, songs, and videos in our writings here at Sigma Frame. The added media engages other parts of the brain and produces a more holistic and memorable reading experience. I don’t know how much of an impact it actually makes, but I know a couple people (FarmBoy and Scott) have been impressed. Readers are welcome to share their impressions.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Elspeth says:

    I actually appreciate and mostly agree with Ed Hurst’s comment. I have said repeatedly that the formula/checklist approach to this issue is an expedition in mining for fool’s gold. I am not as smart as Mr. Hurst, but I will presume to add to his comment as outlined here.

    One of the hallmarks of Western Christianity (for lack of a better phrase) is this emphasis on rules based morality. If you are a Christian, you don’t do A,B, C, or D. Let’s use stealing, illicit sex, drinking, and clubbing as examples of our variables. So with rules in hand, we qualified or disqualified people as Christians based on those rules. It fits in perfectly with our methodical, outcomes based, formulaic rules for success. Here’s the problem from a Christian standpoint.

    We are supposed to start from a place of heart-driven desire to please God and serving Him in humble gratitude. The outworking of that desire should result in sin being repulsive to us. I don’t believe that this is immediate, or that we never again struggle with temptation. However with each passing year, we should get stronger in this area and sin should become more and more distasteful to us. So we don’t commit certain sins, not out of a rules based approach in hopes of being rewarded for our good behavior (like the older, self-righteous brother). We do what’s right because it’s the least we can do for a Father who so graciously imputed undeserved grace and righteousness onto us. We want to live up to that! To walk worthy of our calling.

    There is a tension that is not lost on me in this. I like what Ed had to say because it speaks to something higher and better than we can conceive of. It’s why Scott’s blissful current marriage exists despite all of the stuff that blatantly ignored the laws of the red pill as it relates to past behavior being a definitive indicator of future results, while his first marriage, which checked all the red pill boxes, imploded.

    Ed is right, and I don’t think his comments mean to discount our individual responsibility. No rational person would ever deny that our present choices have an impact on our future outcomes. But that’s not all there is to it, at least not for the Christian.

    And thank God for that.

    Liked by 4 people

    • cameron232 says:

      @Elspeth

      “One of the hallmarks of Western Christianity (for lack of a better phrase) is this emphasis on rules based morality.
      …………………………..
      We are supposed to start from a place of heart-driven desire to please God and serving Him in humble gratitude. The outworking of that desire should result in sin being repulsive to us.”

      My guess is that institutional Christianity sought to bring the masses into the fold (why wouldn’t you want to save as many souls as possible?). The inevitable result (when Chrisitanity no longer consisted of nothing but hated and persecuted true believers) is lots of lukewarm Christians (like me). I suppose the rules-based approach works better for this type than the heart-driven desire. Does this save more souls? It depends on your theology/perspective. For Catholics, you are saved (with the very serious consequence of painful purgatory) if you are baptized and avoid moral sin or have sanctifying grace restored through confession. For Orthodox, it’s a mystery – they’ll know when they die. For Evangelicals, it’s true believers who will have the heart driven desire who are saved. As Nova has said, your theology makes a lot of difference in how these things are understood. Not that I have any problem with “heart” faith. I wish all people had that.

      Also, one has to agree on what is sin and what isn’t which requires some rules, right? Or at least authority. E.g. Can I put my wife away for this or that cause or for any cause?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elspeth says:

        “The rules” are very clearly laid out in Scripture. The same rules that we all assent to whether Catholic. Orthodox, or Protestant. See Exodus 20 and Galatians 5 for jumping off points.

        My intent was not imply that there are no rules. Rather, that the reasons for obeying them matters and even affect our ability to obey what are not just arbitrary rules. They are most accurately characterized as God’s Commandments.

        Seeing them as “just rules” is what leads to people saying things like, “These rules don’t work anymore. We should tweak them.”

        It’s not a new idea. It’s the basis of Christo-feminism; an emphasis on happiness over holiness.

        Liked by 2 people

      • cameron232 says:

        Yes about your main point. Understood.

        ““The rules” are very clearly laid out in Scripture. The same rules that we all assent to whether Catholic. Orthodox, or Protestant.”

        Can I put my wife away? Can I put my wife away and marry another? If yes, under what circumstances? If scripture is clear, how come different groups of Christians (I mean mainstream not obscure kook-cults) have different rules about this? Can I be a penitent permanent-adulterer the way the EO seem to allow for?

        What is marriage? Luther said it was a civil institution not a heavenly one. Is he right or are the Catholics and Orthodox right? My heart doesn’t show me the answers. Nor does scripture.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Elspeth says:

        Actually I believe Scripture is pretty clear. We just don’t like what it says, 😉.

        Unless your wife has “let another man in” or walked off and left you in in an unambiguous abandonment of faith and family, you’re bound, to use Paul’s word.

        Of course “abandonment” is like “rape” now; it means whatever any one person (usually the woman) needs it to mean in any given situation. So here we all are.

        And yeah. I know this is just one Protestant’s take among many, but it’s a pretty easy to glean conclusion reading from Scripture. And it doesn’t make for easy divorce.

        It also means people in some really crappy situations are stuck. They can separate for safety and sanity, but unless their spouse takes up with someone else, their lot is to go it alone. The bright side for those folks, if it can be called that, is that those kinds of spouses will just go find someo e else, breaking the covenant for them.

        Liked by 3 people

      • cameron232 says:

        I believe scripture says you can’t ever remarry. Ever. For any circumstance. She can be a complete harlot who “cucks” you every day and you still can’t remarry. You can only put away (for harlotry). As far as I can tell, all the early Church fathers taught this (except one – and he was merely giving a concession based on the idea not allowing this would lead to ever worse sin). Yeah, I know this won’t be popular with all the bad @ss true believers in the manosphere. Oh well. You participate in Christ’s divinity when you suffer in obedience to him. Truth is truth, as you say, whether we like it or not. My wife is my wife until I die or she dies, whether she’s the most saintly women in the world or a harlot.

        Scripture is not clear on this. Scriptural authority isn’t my interpretation of a translation written 1600 years after Christ.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Lexet Blog says:

        The ultra permanence position is predicated on one NT verse taken out of context and in conflict with everything else in scripture.

        That said the justification for divorce is limited to adultery and abandonment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lexet Blog says:

        Also, it takes the “putting away” from the OT and ignores the fact that under the law adultery= mandatory death penalty. Then there was a jealousy offering if you were suspicious. So ie the putting away was for another reason

        Liked by 1 person

      • cameron232 says:

        Divorce (what we call “separation”) but not remarriage. You can’t be married (in God’s eyes) to two women at once. Under the evangelical law, Christ’s restoration, marriage lasts until death of one of the spouses.

        The only controversy I’m aware of among early Christians was whether or not a husband HAD TO separate from an adulterous wife.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sharkly says:

        “You can’t be married (in God’s eyes) to two women at once.”

        Did you just make that up?
        What about all the patriarchs? Like David, the man after God’s own heart?
        That was once men’s threat-point, that they’ll mostly ignore you to focus on a new wife who treats them better, if you get too annoying to deal with. I don’t believe the Bible ever forbids polygyny except possibly for certain church leaders. Correct me if I’m wrong.(using scripture)

        The law said:
        Exodus 21:10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.
        God did not say to not take another wife or two. Don’t get me wrong, polygynist families are usually quite dysfunctional, but that’s probably just because you’ve got more defilers, and still only one man to rule over them all. And you never get rid of the bad wives, they just get demoted from most favored wife status.

        Liked by 3 people

      • cameron232 says:

        Christ restored God’s original intent – one man, one woman, one-flesh for life. Old Testament marriages were natural not Christian/sacramental marriages – marriage had not yet been restored by Christ.

        Like

      • cameron232 says:

        “That was once men’s threat-point, that they’ll mostly ignore you to focus on a new wife who treats them better, if you get too annoying to deal with.”

        God didn’t create marriage (it’s nature, characteristics, essence) with men’s threat points in mind.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sharkly says:

        “God didn’t create marriage (it’s nature, characteristics, essence) with men’s threat points in mind.”

        I think He did. God made men the stronger vessel, and women the “weaker vessel”(1 Peter 3:7) assuring that men (by nature characteristics, and essence) could maintain their God-ordained dominion over their wives. Men have always generally been recognized to be stronger, Physically, Rationally, Constitutionally, and Emotionally. Aristotle wrote, “as regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject”. Even those apart from God can see this by nature, when they are not willfully ignoring it. God built the threat point into the man and woman and even commands the wife that she should see to it that she fear/reverence her husband.(Ephesians 5:33) The same Greek word for “fear” is used there as is translated elsewhere as fear in the phrase “the fear of the Lord”. And that is quite fitting, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God, but she is the glory of man.(1 Corinthians 11:7) By fearing her husband she thereby honors his Lord Christ, who honors His Father, thereby cascading all honor glory and dominion up from wives, through husbands who are the images/sons of God/Christ, to the only begotten Son of God the firstborn of many brethren, and then unto the Father of all, in the ultimate ordered holy divine patriarchy.
        Don’t fight it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Elspeth says:

    One more thing, by the way. This is in response to the ongoing debate about relaxing “the rules” because the current state of distress. (The Eric/Oscar debate).

    Even if sinning gets you what you want (a long shot bet), it can set you up for a very long term battle with cognitive dissonance. SAM and I have often noted that we did our time in sackcloth and ashes, and we have. But you know what? All it takes a trigger of a weekend we spent away pre-marriage, a song that played in the background of our time together pre-marriage. You name it, and a fond memory of a sinful moment means you get to deck out in your sackcloth and ashes again and remind yourself that despite your pleasurable memory of that moment, it wasn’t right.

    You do eventually get past that, by why even put yourself in that position? Peace with God is much more preferable.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lance says:

    This is only valid if you think of the “rules” as the “rules” of the world. God gives rules and those are what should be the “map in our brain” (as per the picture you posted). Specifically,

    1) He blesses us with rules that align with how he created the world and are optimized for living within it.

    2) He defines love for him as obedience to those rules; we can tell we don’t love God enough when we break his rules.

    3) We can’t follow his rules on our own; our attempt to just humbles us and shows us that we need the Holy Spirit and Christ; every Christian eventually learns that there is some sin he can’t overcome and that he needs to yield to the Spirit. We aren’t saved because of the rules; we obey the rules because we are saved (given faith).

    4) We are called to judge all things based on the rules; wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eric Francis Silk says:

      So what do you do when the rules no longer align with the world as it currently is and are no longer optimized for living in it?

      You’re left holding an old version of the rulebook. The game has already changed and it won’t change no matter how many times you point to the old rules. There’s a disconnect between the rules and reality. The Church should do what it can to change reality but that will have limited success. The individual can do even less in that arena. But the rules? Those can be more easily changed.
      You have to realign the rules with reality somehow.

      Like

      • Lance says:

        Biblical rules transcend culture. The problem is when people misinterpret those rules through the lens of culture. We have to exegete the scriptures. God will reveal what is true. We then apply those principles to the culture. A lot of the modern church has that backwards, so their rules don’t really work.

        Liked by 3 people

      • lastholdout says:

        @EFS

        “So what do you do when the rules no longer align with the world as it currently is and are no longer optimized for living in it?”

        You have it flipped around. In reality, it is: ‘So what do you do when the world as it currently is no longer aligns with the rules?’ The rules transcend the world. Not the other way around.

        Since the fall, the world has NOT aligned with the rules. That’s the whole point of the rules and, eventually, a Savior to intervene.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oscar says:

        @ Eric

        So what do you do when the rules no longer align with the world as it currently is and are no longer optimized for living in it?

        God’s laws haven’t “align[ed] with the world as it is currently” since Genesis 3. Welcome to reality.

        Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

        If you’d rather conform yourself to this world, no one will stop you. But God will judge for failing to render your reasonable service.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Joe2 says:

    What is marriage? Luther said it was a civil institution not a heavenly one. Is he right or are the Catholics and Orthodox right?

    In his later years, Luther became an anti-semite and expressed downright hated for the Jews. Certainly that view wasn’t in accord with Galatians 5:20 or was it? If Luther was wrong and his being an anti-semite was sinful, are there other areas where he may be wrong? I don’t know.

    Other examples.

    Take George Whitefield who advocated for slavery in Georgia (and was successful). It seems to me he “tweaked the rules” due to extraordinary circumstances at that time. Yet, he was instrumental in the first Great Awakening of America.

    Take the Jim Crow laws in the South. How were they in any way, shape or form in accord with Galatians 5:14?

    It seems that the rules are not clear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lexet Blog says:

      People will always twist scripture to suit their means. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with clear rules

      Whitefield instituted race based slavery “lest his orphanage go bankrupt”. That man was insane, and the only way his methods make sense is with a puritanical belief system that still held to a belief that there were lesser tribes and that the Christian man was the chosen tribe of his era. Whitefield was a Calvinist (Puritan), and the majority of them believe in supersessionism/replacement theology.

      As per the other q, far more nuanced answer than most like.

      The replacement theologians believe the church has completely replaced Israel and inherited their unfulfilled promises. The result of this theology is believing the church has a land grant, that priests are an extension of ot priesthood that is supposed to continue, etc.

      The opposite, which is what I believe: They are a group being preserved for the purpose of prophecy. That does not mean they are saved and will go to heaven. They are under a period of hardening/punishment. (They are being put away until a future reconciliation, an analogy that has 0 bearing on marriage)
      The church being grafted in is not a replacement (that would make the grafting analogy an incorrect analogy)

      If revelation is taken literally, one would have to believe that the Jews are being preserved so that a remnant will be able to enter the millennial kingdom.

      Back in the day such a position would have resulted in your execution by the Catholic Church, which had a stake in reclaiming jerusalem, and would have perceived a future Israel ruled by Jews a threat. They also couldn’t conceive that they would all be gathered back together in their own lands.

      That’s why 1948 is an important year – it was necessary for other prophecy to eventually come true.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lance says:

        Wow, so much wrong in this post I won’t try to address it completely. For those who come along, the Puritan’s did not believe in replacement theology (or tribalism), they were mostly postmillennialists, and postmillennialism is not replacement theology. There has always been one elect based on those who have been given faith. Most of the elect pre-Christ were of the nation of Israel and God made a covenant with that nation and used them to show his light and ultimately bring Christ the redeemer to the world, now the elect are the Church under a new covenant (though based on the old covenants).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lexet Blog says:

        Postmillennialism and replacement theology are close ideological allies.

        Like

      • Lexet Blog says:

        Replacement theology/supersessionism includes the belief that the moral law still stands. Covenant theology 101.

        Reformed theology/Calvinism (which includes Puritanism) has been mostly amil. A few Puritan writers were vocally postmill, yes, but the reformed world has been predominantly amil for the last 500 years

        Like

      • Lexet Blog says:

        There is a reason Douglas Wilson and John piper really really like Jonathan edwards.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Sharkly says:

    Husbands have systematically had their marital threat-points removed while wives have been given more and more threat/control points, inverting what God intended in order to assure that wives submit to their husbands.

    American husbands could once overpower and restrain a wife, discipline a wife, forcibly take his wife, marry additional wives, publicly shame his wife, control his wife’s access to his money, and much more. Wives were best off to comply with their husbands. Now all of that is considered abusive or even criminal. While instead wives have now been given many threat/control points over their husbands, resulting in family anarchy or matriarchy and the rapid societal decay that inevitably comes from that.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. SFC Ton says:

    Most people are way more culturally progressive then they are Christian, a lot of that being on display right now

    Liked by 4 people

    • feeriker says:

      Culturally progressive and ethnocentric/nationalist. Those two things take far greater priority in the lives most people than does genuine faith in Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SFC Ton says:

        Worrying about/opposing ethno-nationalism is woke as woke gets

        Liked by 2 people

      • cameron232 says:

        Ethnocentric/nationalist is a priority in the lives of a tiny number of people on the internet – culturally progressive a priority in the lives of most Americans. No comparision – at least numerically.

        Like

      • Scott says:

        Cameron

        Correct. I didn’t care about my ethnicity until the dominant religion forced me to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SFC Ton says:

        And that’s why we’re being replaced, on our way to be a hated minority in the land of our forefathers.

        Which won’t go well for our childern and their childern

        He’ll 8t didn’t go well in Detroit, Baltimore and where have you. Imagine how that will play out on a national level

        Liked by 1 person

  10. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    LEXET
    What about john hagee’s ”jews need not jesus” theology,based on jesus,supposedly never telling the jews ,he was the messiah,even though he mysteriously said ”I told you& you beleved not!”Thats from ”the mysterious mystical reality” of the GOSPEL OF JOHNchapter:10!You know hagee has gotten into trouble with this even from ”jews for jesus”,right?

    Like

  11. redpillboomer says:

    Wow, a lot in these comments about modern day Christianity. For me, I go to what I consider a theologically sound church in that the worship, preaching and the people in general there seem to be people of faith, aka true believers. When I ever think of visiting another church in town, and I have on a couple of occasions, I run into the same general theme in each place I’ve visited: the worship, preaching and people seem to be genuine believers irregardless of the denomination. One thing I’ve learned over the many years of faith, is that the local church, irregardless of the denomination, can only do just so much for me. Everything beyond that is up to me in terms of my devotional/prayer time and my studying the Word. The church can’t do that part for me. So where does that leave me? Seemingly far advanced beyond the average church attendee, not because I’m anything special, but because I do, or endeavor to do, the deeper work I need to do to grow in my faith and deal with me (my flesh). Why? Because I want to honor God with my life, The bonus is when I find other believers that are like minded like many on this blog seem to be, i.e. they want to grow in their faith, learn from one another and become increasingly sanctified, i.e. more like Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

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  16. elspeth says:

    @ Cameron (and maybe Nova):

    Thought you might find this interesting to read.

    https://www.circeinstitute.org/blog/keeping-ecumenical-project-becoming-generic-and-gutless

    Liked by 1 person

    • cameron232 says:

      @Elspeth, people keep trying to recommend something called classical conversations to us – I haven’t spent time looking into what this is – not sure if it’s an ecumenical approach.

      Liked by 1 person

      • elspeth says:

        I know a little about Classical Conversations because we looked into it when we first entered the homeschooling arena 10 years ago. I actually visited classes and had meetings with directors two consecutive spring semesters trying to decide whether to enroll our kids in it.

        At the end of all the reconnaissance, we decided against it for a couple of reasons. The main one being that while the younger of our two homeschooled kids (now 13) might have done fine with it, the older of the two (now 14) wouldn’t excel in such a rigid educational structure.
        It is ecumenical, but it’s also classical. Meaning, no overtly Protestant books; at least not back when I was researching it. They wouldn’t be classical.

        CC is more corporate and its communities are less independent, so I don’t know what that looks like in practice since we opted not to enroll, but they are something of a behemoth in scope and structure. For instance, whatever the students in a Florida CC are studying this week, so are CC kids everywhere else in the U.S. If you packed up and moved the state tomorrow, went to Michigan, and joined another CC group, your kids would be able to integrate academically very seamlessly.

        We were very fortunate to find a community that encompasses the best of classical without as much of the rigidity of CC. The thing about a truly classical education is that everything is old and…classic. For instance, this year in our classical school (not CC), populated mostly with Protestant families, the upper grades read Aquinas. They read Canterbury Tales, medieval literature and poetry, etc.

        Classical mostly avoids the pitfalls commonly associated with ecumenism through the rejection of modernity as an educational backdrop. At least, that’s the case at our classical school, and I think it’s probably the case at Gibbs’ classical school as well.

        At the end of all the reconnaissance, we decided against CC for a couple of reasons. The main one being that while the younger of our two homeschooled kids (now 13) might have done fine with it, the older of the two (now 14) wouldn’t excel in such a rigid educational structure.

        That said, CC was my introduction to Christian classical education, and they get some things right, especially in the younger grades. The Trivium is important and they do that well. I actually ordered a few of their curriculum items to use at home with our (then much younger) kids on my own at home, and loved it. My kids still remember songs that solidified important historical dates in their heads.

        Liked by 2 people

  17. elspeth says:

    I should mention that in my kids’ history classes, they do bump up against the issues of the modern era. But because fully 90% of the history is pulled from original sources. In American history for instance they read The Constitution, The Federalist Papers, Wealth of Nations, the actual letters written by Adams, Hamilton, even Frederick Douglass. So again, you once again avoid the pitfalls of a 21st Century spin on history. The events and people are presented within the context of the era and climate in which they lived. Hard issues, sin, and corruption are not whitewashed, but they are dealt with honestly and in context.

    Of course, whether this is viewed as good or bad depends largely on one’s aims, understanding, and stated purposes of education.

    Liked by 1 person

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