Compounding Cupidity

For at least two years I’ve had the same Gravatar: “Cupid Chastised”, by Bartolomeo Manfredi.[1] You can see it here. From the comments, some of my interpretation of the piece:

I believe is it Mars whipping Cupid, and Venus interfering. I think it’s natural to assume that Cupid must have shot someone that caused a complication for Mars–either stopping a war Mars didn’t want stopped, or starting a war of which Mars does not approve. I’ve always thought the doves flying away (doves are symbols of peace) actually encourages the latter interpretation. This is a war Mars does not want.

So, we have a picture of manliness whipping Cupid for interfering, and he’s using a cord of three braids to do it. I’m fairly knowledgable of tropes, and the most common trope of cords with three braids is the three-fold cord of marriage–which makes sense. Marriage is the whip of manly civilization that brings sexual energy to useful purpose.

What’s interesting to me about Venus is: 1) She doesn’t seem to be trying very hard to stop Mars. Maybe this has happened before? Maybe she’s assuming Cupid’s immortal state will spare him? Maybe she’s afraid if she’s too aggressive Mars will turn on her?

My money says those things in her hand are the key. Yes, she’s trying to spare Cupid, but her real concern is salvaging those arrows of Eros. Just as Mars came to represent general manliness and male energy, so Venus came to represent femininity and female energy. Why save the arrows? Hypergamy in corruption seems to be a pretty good explanation.

I go on later to talk about the symbolism of the three-fold cord.

The important point isn’t whether I’m reading Manfredi correctly, but that years ago I had deduced that the problem with Christian marriages concerns the involvement of the spirit of Eros; Cupid’s Greek name. Additionally, I have been writing a series of posts called “Doublethinking Lust” as a sort of spot-treatment guide to how Christians have idolized lust–Eros, Cupid–and keep it under the their skirts.

These years later, Social Pathologist (who is always interesting) too has decided that Christians really need to take a second look at Eros; that is: Cupid. SP’s take is wildly different: He thinks we need more reverence for the spirit of Eros.

I think the errors with that should be obvious, but if I have learned one thing in my time here in the Men’s Sphere it’s this: Most people don’t know what they are talking about. Because of that, they don’t know what others are talking about. This impairment is much more foundational than definitions of Game (conversations of which irritate some people, and even I find tiresome), but it remains that I am trying to have a discussion with people who don’t know what the word spirit means. They don’t know what the Gospel actually is.[2] So when I tell them that Game tinkers with spirits and stands against the implications of the Gospel they don’t know what in the world I’m talking about. I strike them as a different species. Presumably, that means as a subhuman oppressor.

They dismiss spirit as something that is not really real, but merely imaginary. It’s mere to such people because don’t know that imaginary things can be real things because they don’t understand that the word imaginary doesn’t actually mean pretend. These things are important to know for a person who is going to preach “Fake it ’til you make it.” Fake WHAT until you make WHAT?

“Fake it ’til you make it.” is a spiritual discipline (This is probably a good time to point out that the word discipline shares the same root as the word disciple, and that the practice of the previous results in the formation of the latter.) It is imagining (making and assuming the image of a spirit with your mind) until that spirit has conformed your form–your mind, your will, your heart, your spirit–to it. What does the Bible that God used His people to write, collect, and protect) say about this:

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

Look at what it says! The whole person of the Christian is to be transformed by the renewing of the mind; which is where the spirit works. Paul continues on to say what that renewing looks like:

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

There goes self-esteem. There goes self-confidence, and in its place keeping confidence (faith with) God. There (certainly!) goes irrational self-confidence; as irrational is not sober. There goes Demonstration of Higher Value. There goes pride. Lest anyone get confused: This is criticism of worldly Christians, and the merely worldly.

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without dissimulation.

No deceit allowed; not even to make someone feel better.

Abhor that which is evil

Stay away fornication, among other things.

cleave to that which is good.

Hooray for marriage! Hooray for what marriage represents!

10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Make it your business to show good men as successful

11 not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

No lounging poolside.

12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Keep morale high.

13 distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Be generous.

14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

No hating on non-Christians or other enemies, but hoping for their conversion.

15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.16 Be of the same mind one toward another.

Sympathize, and put your feelings to the side for the sake of others.

Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.

Don’t chase success, but make effort to make less fortunate men successful.

Be not wise in your own conceits.

See things from others’ perspectives, and don’t put too much trust in your own.

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil.

No paybacks. No revenge. No “mutually assured destruction”. No “go bags”. No plots of humiliation.

Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Be truthful and do not lay traps for others.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Make effort to not only avoid conflict, but to find common ground; though not at the expense of the what has been said above.

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. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Not only: No paybacks, no revenge, no mutually assured destruction, no go bags, no plots of humiliation; but do good to them. Sacrifice for them. Do not fight fire with fire. The answer to the Feminist who gets mad at your holding the door is to call her “ma’am”.

Please understand that this is in contrast not only to what worldly people say and do (PUAs, Oprah, Muslims, etc.) but in contrast to those Christians who sniff that the sort of men we have today aren’t the sort of men who could have stood with Constantine, Charles Martel, or any of the other so-called “heroes” of pre-Enlightenment Christendom. Anybody who believes the might of God and rightness of Christianity was proved by martial force, cultural dominance, or even accumulated traditions of worship is making the mistake that I’ve gone on about over and over:

Here in [The Book of Job] the question is really asked whether God invariably punishes vice with terrestrial punishment and rewards virtue with terrestrial prosperity. If the Jews had answered that question wrongly they might have lost all their after influence in human history. They might have sunk even down to the level of modern well-educated society. For when once people have begun to believe that prosperity is the reward of virtue, their next calamity is obvious. If prosperity is regarded as the reward of virtue it will be regarded as the symptom of virtue. Men will leave off the heavy task of making good men successful. He will adopt the easier task of making out successful men good. This, which has happened throughout modern commerce and journalism, is the ultimate Nemesis of the wicked optimism of the comforters of Job.

Most people–including most professing Christians, and across history–have answered wrongly. Social Pathologist, Novaseeker, Vox, and those like them say that the answers to what ails Christians is a dearth of Cupid, a disdain of Aristotle, a hunger of Machiavelli, and a lack of Neitzsche–all those thinkers and thoughts which we mean when we ask, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” They speak as non-Christians when they do. Not because Jerusalem cannot benefit from Athens, but because those who mistake success for righteousness do not understand Jerusalem at all, and so they do not know that while they may mean to add to Jerusalem, what they do in their ignorance is flood it with successful invaders and say it is good.

So it’s no bad thing to learn from Roissy’s dissections that the old saw is truer than you knew: “Beauty is old skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone.” Adapting Christian marriage and the Christian view of sex is the problem. Thomas Aquinas’ desire to learn from Aristotle and pass it on to Christians wasn’t his problem. The error was trying to create a philosophy of God that satisfied Aristotelian logic; along with assumptions that success meant good merely because it satisfied our desires to want success to be the reward of virtue. Christians (Jerusalem) can certainly benefit from non-Christian (Athens) thought. It happens all the time. However, it is profoundly unlikely to happen when the Christian making the Athenian argument earnestly likens marriage with prostitution; marriage with fornication; marriage with mathematics; and even marriage with operating a car.

We’re told what marriage is like: It’s like Christ’s relationship to the Church. It’s like farming. It’s like shepherding. It’s like work. We’re also told what sex is like:

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.

It’s like enjoying work. Let the married eat and be filled with the joy of sex and let it produce. It is a reward for the work. It draws the worker onward to more work and more reward. It is pleasurable even when not profitable with children, and reaps profits even when it’s not terribly pleasurable. Whoever is not treading out the grain should not eat, and whoever is treading out the grain should not be kept from eating. These things work together, and are self-evident.

As a general rule: If there’s something important for the Christian to know, it’s something that can be learned by even the commonest of men; like farmers, and shepherds. Simpletons can’t help but intuit the ox-and-grain truth about sex and marriage, but the educated hem and haw; harrumphing about that what we could really use here is some more Eros (from the Greeks; so famous for homosexuality that Greek is now a euphemism for sodomy) and Cupid (from the Romans who’s sexual achievements are orgies and egalitarian divorce laws).

The existence of these things among Christians is evidence of them having been poisoned with Cupidity; not a sign of its absence. We see a similar cupidity when the response to teen pregnancy is contraceptives, abortion, and college instead of marriage.

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

The Christian who wants to consume sex must tread marriage, and sex should not be withheld from the married.

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

[1] For a brief time, I changed it to a picture I took of a sign over an airport luggage carousel. It read: “Please Stay Off The Carousel”.

[2] The Gospel is the story of Jesus Christ: The good news that God became man, died on the cross to take away the sins of all who believe on Him and to reconcile and redeem sinners to God; hat He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven to rule. The Gospel is not lived, but told. Acceptance of the Gospel should and will inform how one lives, but it cannot be told in silence.

53 Responses to Compounding Cupidity

  1. Elspeth says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    You know this will roundly be interpreted as a dismissal of romantic love, even within in the context of marriage. I agree that we have largely put the cart before the horse (romance then marriage rather than the reverse), and I had to read this twice.

    They dismiss spirit as something that is not really real, but merely imaginary. It’s mere to such people because don’t know that imaginary things can be real things because they don’t understand that the word imaginary doesn’t actually mean pretend. These things are important to know for a person who is going to preach “Fake it ’til you make it.” Fake WHAT until you make WHAT?

    I don’t really see how anyone can imagine that spirits are unreal while simultaneously arguing that feelings of eros (which cannot be seen and quantified, and are fickle enough to change on a dime) are a solid and real foundation on which t build a marriage relationship.

    I just read a little book last night by James Dobson as I explore this. Dobson agreed very strongly with you on the role that eros has usurped in marriage to its detriment as an institution. He dates this disastrous change back to Shakespeare. There were some things I thought he was slightly off about, but his exploration of romantic love was quite good on the whole.

    The existence of these things among Christians is evidence of them having been poisoned with Cupidity; not a sign of its absence. We see a similar cupidity when the response to teen pregnancy is contraceptives, abortion, and college instead of marriage.

    Hmmm Marriage is not as easy to come by for the young marriage minded Christian as is often reported around these parts. Ir’s a much more difficult terrain than it was 30 years ago.

    Appreciate the indulgence as always, Mr. Caldo.

  2. Zippy says:

    It is mildly fascinating how radically you and I disagree about foundations (faith, scripture, tradition, reason, epistemology, science, etc) and yet still reach remarkably similar conclusions on this subject.

  3. Zippy says:

    (That was supposed to be addressed to Cane. The WordPress phone app
    is rather hateful).

  4. lauratheringmistress says:

    @Zippy, the @ sign is invaluable when using a mobile phone.

  5. Chad says:

    It seems to be a constant battle to tell the Christian to mind the Bible first, and all other teachers second. I know I fall to it, myself, fairly regularly. Other sources of ‘wisdom’ are often easier, make more immediate sense, and seem more practical. Plus, even among traditional circles I find many more people ready to have a good discussion about a philosopher or theologian than about scripture.

    So I see where it is easy to fall into the habit, because I regularly do so.

    Yet we should constantly battle against that pull away from scripture. Understanding any theologian’s words takes as much, if not more, work than understanding God’s word. Especially as you sort through what they’re wrong about and what they’re right, should you not have a full grasp of God’s word.

  6. Bobbye says:

    Enjoy reading you as always. I perceive that you use ‘spirit’ in the sense of John 6:63, Deut 8:3,.Marriage is traditionally understood in almost all nations of the earth as consisting of a coupling of a man and woman, production of many children, the woman caring for said children and household and the man being productive in work to provide for his household. If the woman does not have children, or many children, she is in danger of idleness. Societies who obey God’s prime directive,” be fruitful and multiply” tend to “fill the earth” while those societies who have few children ( less than replacement birth rate) tend to decline. The idea that most men or women cannot find someone for such a coupling is not believable. Look at the out of wedlock birth rate. A man and a woman was involved in every one of those. Men and women do not get married for many reasons, but lack of an available mate is seldom one of them. Yes, lack of a mate that meets your criteria is one, and every one is convinced their criteria is valid. Often there is not a boy good enough for Daddy’s girl, nor a girl good enough for Momma’s boy. Culture re-enforces the bias against a marriage with many children. When I became a Christian in 1982 I went to a Fundamental Bible Church. There were two or three couples with many children( 4-6) and when the wife became pregnant the comments were , ” Don’t they know where those come from” or ” that poor dear” I don’t think anything has changed since the eighties in regard to ‘many children’.

  7. Cane Caldo says:

    @Elspeth

    You know this will roundly be interpreted as a dismissal of romantic love

    That’s because they love the world and hate God.

    Now, that sounds really strong as if I think they are worse than myself, but if we believe the Bible (the knowledge of revelation that God has bequeathed to us through the Church) that is exactly the predicament in which we ought to expect to find ourselves. That includes me. Our task isn’t to pretend that isn’t our case, but to accept it, and pray for the salvation of ourselves and others.

    I don’t really see how anyone can imagine that spirits are unreal while simultaneously arguing that feelings of eros (which cannot be seen and quantified, and are fickle enough to change on a dime) are a solid and real foundation on which to build a marriage relationship.

    Hence: Doublethinking Lust!

    In the same way, we can’t uncritically watch a TV show, and then remark that we only watch it for entertainment so it’s no big deal. We don’t get to decide what the artists tell us; we only get to decide what we accept. If we do not work to discern what we are being told, but accept it all as “just entertainment”, then we’re still accepting the spirit. Downplaying the artist’s spirit–the motivator of his intent–is what we mean to do, but what we are actually doing is rejecting the work of discernment. That’s the doublethink.That’s bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.

    Hmmm Marriage is not as easy to come by for the young marriage minded Christian as is often reported around these parts. Ir’s a much more difficult terrain than it was 30 years ago.

    The success of the past is grossly exaggerated. Marriage was never easy to come by, Elspeth; not since Eden. For a long time we invested some small amount of spiritual capital into marriage, and for a few centuries, for a few communities, that small investment paid dividends. (Notice that money management, usury, sex, marriage, adultery, worship, and idolatry are often discussed side-by-side in the Bible)

    We have burned through those investments. I haven’t said it is easy. In fact, I have repeated what my dad said to me: “If you’re gonna be stupid, ya gotta be tough.” We have been stupid. This is the tough phase. The grace of God is that if we are willing to be tough–to be disciplined–He rewards the worker with joy.

    @Zippy

    It is mildly fascinating how radically you and I disagree about foundations (faith, scripture, tradition, reason, epistemology, science, etc) and yet still reach remarkably similar conclusions on this subject.

    (You are, I believe, more smarterer than I, and by IQ test I’m likely to be the smarterest of a 1,000 people chosen at random. My parents had me tested for all sorts of things when my grades plunged in junior high.) That is in addition to the wealth you have been blessed with, and the time (and quality of time!) wealth can buy: books, bulls, encyclicals, leadership positions, etc. You have been blessed with an abundance of resources and you seem to have spent them on what you love.

    Conversely, I have been poor or near-poor for most of my life; with a brief spurt of lower middle-class that has met its end on the guillotine of Obamacare. (My bank account was suspected of aristocratic sympathies, you see.) So I’ve had a lot of crappy and thoughtless jobs, and therefore a lot of time to think about what I love. Now I have multiple jobs, and so take advantage of all of them!

    So if what we love is Christ, then our differing emphasis and (doubtless) misunderstandings of how things work is no bar to the Truth. I have respected and liked you since I read you, and I take our rhyming as evidence of that Truth.

  8. Cane Caldo says:

    @Chad

    Yet we should constantly battle against that pull away from scripture. Understanding any theologian’s words takes as much, if not more, work than understanding God’s word. Especially as you sort through what they’re wrong about and what they’re right, should you not have a full grasp of God’s word.

    Well said. The same is true of Church; which birthed the Bible, and one of the most important ways we know the Bible is true.

    Even though it’s understandable, it’s always irritating to me when people hold forth that they don’t have to go to church because they’re full of Churchians, and Christ doesn’t need us to go to church; it’s not in the Bible; etc.

    If you actually read it, Christ’s ministry goes like this: “He walked into town, and went to the synagogue. Then He went to another town, and He entered the synagogue…” It’s often literally the first thing He does when He went somewhere.

    @Bobbye

    Enjoy reading you as always.

    You’re kind to say so.

    Yes, lack of a mate that meets your criteria is one, and every one is convinced their criteria is valid. Often there is not a boy good enough for Daddy’s girl, nor a girl good enough for Momma’s boy. Culture re-enforces the bias against a marriage with many children. When I became a Christian in 1982 I went to a Fundamental Bible Church. There were two or three couples with many children( 4-6) and when the wife became pregnant the comments were , ” Don’t they know where those come from” or ” that poor dear” I don’t think anything has changed since the eighties in regard to ‘many children’.

    Nailed it. We have four children. Everyone gawps at that, but I lament that we didn’t have more.

  9. Zippy says:

    Cane:

    That is in addition to the wealth you have been blessed with, and the time (and quality of time!) wealth can buy…

    That’s both true and not true; true-ish recently (though God has a way of matching need to resources) and very not-true during the decades that actually got me to where I am now. And I hope things go more your way, moving forward.

    But I wasn’t trying to get into autobiography (as you know that isn’t what I do); just the peculiarity of our quite radical foundational differences leading to basically the same conclusions. I think our only key disagreement on this subject is over the sufficiency of Scripture for understanding sexual psychology; and that isn’t surprising given that I’m a very unapologetic papist.

  10. Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    But I wasn’t trying to get into family history (as you know that isn’t what I do) [...] and that isn’t surprising given that I’m a very unapologetic fatherist.

    Now that is a very funny thing to say. Ha!

    I think our only key disagreement on this subject is over the sufficiency of Scripture for understanding sexual psychology

    Scripture is sufficient for understanding how to use sex (if the Church upholds it) Understanding the full psychology of sex is not necessary, and should not even be a goal. A husband is trying to understand his wife; not women.

    I don’t have to know a person’s Briggs-Myer results to discern how to treat him; I just have to spend time with him and pay attention. Family history helps, too. :D

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  12. Oscar says:

    Mr Caldo,

    I don’t understand your point. Is your point that…

    1. Erotic love is not important in marriage? Or…
    2. That modern Christians have elevated the importance of erotic love to a counter-Biblical level?

    If the answer is #2, what importance does the Bible actually place on erotic love in marriage?

    Thanks.

  13. Oscar says:

    Mr Caldo,

    After writing my comment I thought I should give a little background to avoid some of the confusion in other comment sections.

    My marriage is not a “game” to me, and I don’t care about anyone’s definition of an “Alpha male”. I have ultimate responsibility – and therefore ultimate authority – in my house. I desire to run my household in as Biblical a manner as I can in my fallen state. I attend church and read the scriptures regularly, but frankly, I’m not getting much help in that area. I’m open to any Biblical wisdom I haven’t gleaned from the scriptures on my own.

    Thanks again.

  14. Cane Caldo says:

    @Oscar

    2. That modern Christians have elevated the importance of erotic love to a counter-Biblical level?

    If the answer is #2, what importance does the Bible actually place on erotic love in marriage?

    I think I know what you’re asking, but bear with me, please:

    Pretend that you had never heard the word “erotic”. You still know what sex is, and what marriage is, but the terms “erotic” and “romantic” are utterly foreign. Now, how would you describe what transpires between a husband and a wife? What makes them husband and wife? What distinguishes a husband and wife from a man and a woman? As always, try to keep to the Biblical view.

  15. Peter Blood says:

    Most people don’t know what they are talking about

    I liked people a lot better before they became my friends on Facebook.

  16. Oscar says:

    Mr Caldo,

    I suppose the Biblical word would be “oneness”. Right? But the meaning is both physical AND spiritual, which is different than “becoming one with a harlot”. Is that what you mean?

  17. Cane Caldo says:

    @PB

    That is exactly why I got rid of my Facebook account.

    @Oscar

    Cane is fine, too, if you like.

    I suppose the Biblical word would be “oneness”. Right? But the meaning is both physical AND spiritual, which is different than “becoming one with a harlot”. Is that what you mean?

    This is exactly it. Humans are animal and spirit, and to separate them is a very bad idea; it is death. That’s what happens when you separate the spirit from the body. “One” is a pretty good answer. One of the perversions of physically becoming one with a harlot is that it’s not also spiritual. (which is a sort of death). It’s also a lie; a false witness born against each other. No one visiting a harlot has any intention of being one with her; nor she with him–that’s the nature of harlotry. This is all before we get to adultery, attempted homosexuality (trying to be one with someone who is one or trying to be one with another man); idolization (idolatry) of desire as a need over the need for obedience…it just goes on and on. Breaking the spirit and flesh into parts is just an all-around bad idea.

    SP’s criticism that some Christians at some times and in some places have not emphasized the importance of using the flesh is well-noted, and long before him. It’s even (hold your breath!) in the Bible. The congregation at Corinth was arguing over this. Paul corrects them. SP is now attempting to correct Paul’s correction, and say that “We actually need to separate flesh from that fuddy-duddy spirit business because, man, spirit is, like, a bummer and totally sounds like work.”

    If you hate work, you’re doing it wrong. Christians are to work joyfully, as to the Lord.

    His suggestion for doing this is to study Eros, and that’s actually a pretty smart idea for separating the spirit from flesh because pagan gods and their spirits excel at killing people. You might say it’s their job.

    “Know” is another good term. “Adam knew Eve, and she conceived a son”. “Lo, some patriarch went into her, and knew her”, etc. St. Peter says, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them [wives] according to knowledge“.

    The rest of his statement is important, too: “giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” The picture is pouring life and spirit from one vessel into another vessel, weaker but matched and sharing the grace (joys, sorrows, ecstasies, laughter, tears, orgasms, all that) of life together; as one; just like you said.

    Eros, in particular, is not only hedonist, but fatalist; it makes victims of people. Cupid shoots arrows, and the victim cannot be held accountable. “I just fell in love when I saw him.”, “He was just perfect for me.”, “I can’t control who I fall in love with.”, etc. Nearly all Western Christians are lousy with Eros (if you’ve ever said one of those things), but because they refuse to recognize it they interpret any attempt to exorcise it as an attack on the flesh itself.

    Modern people will contend that they don’t actually mean for others to worship Greek gods, but that just means they don’t know what “worship” means. “Worship” is done whenever we uphold something as “worthy”.

    So, Oscar, my answer to

    I don’t understand your point. Is your point that…

    1. Erotic love is not important in marriage? Or…
    2. That modern Christians have elevated the importance of erotic love to a counter-Biblical level?

    If the answer is #2, what importance does the Bible actually place on erotic love in marriage?

    3) None of the above. Christians should never have adopted the term “erotic” to mean desires of the flesh, or sex because sex is too important and central to Christian marriage; which is central to Christianity. At every opportunity, and some that seem odd at first glance, the Bible shows sex to be extremely important. It’s there from the beginning of men and women. It brings forth children. It encourages. It brings joy. It brings peace. There is a whole book in the Bible about it: Song of Solomon is a fundamentally sexual piece of art. Wherever you see instruction in the Bible on how we should live and how we should not live, the use of sex is addressed.

  18. lauratheringmistress says:

    Okay, so it is all too easy to make a god out of sexual desire, and to treat the demands made by the god as all important. That should be rejected. To some degree, even the Greeks recognized Eros was a destroyer of marriage. (They viewed what happened with Helen and Paris as a kind of destructive madness.) That was Hera’s purvue, not Aphrodite’s. It helps to remember that to pagans, the god were powerful. They were not necessarily good.

    What is not clear is whether sexual desire should be a factor in choosing a mate. Clearly it is a good thing for husband and wife to enjoy the duties of marriage and delight in one another. But we see that that happened as often in arranged marriages as “love matches”.

    Are we trying to eliminate an idolization of sexual desire as the kindling and fuel of marriage? The rule of emotional state as the justification to start, and end, relationships? And are we trying to establish what the ideal state is before dealing with practical realities of how to achieve it?

  19. Oscar says:

    Cane,

    Thanks for the thorough response. I think I understand now. Is it accurate to say your critics have confused your focus on “knowing” and “oneness” with Gnosticism?

    My wife and I started teaching some of the same concepts you mention to our kids (both sexes, eight total), but we’re definitely swimming upstream. For example, I keep hearing people (Christians included) say things like, “you can’t help who you fall in love with”.

    My oldest are 13-year-old twin girls. What would you say is the most important thing a father can do to protect his daughters from the snare of chasing after Eros?

  20. Cane Caldo says:

    @Oscar

    Is it accurate to say your critics have confused your focus on “knowing” and “oneness” with Gnosticism?

    Yes, I think that is a charge that gets leveled against me. I also think there are other, less savory, motives. People have a tendency to want to control others, and the idea of seduction–the idea that you can choose Cupid’s targets–is extremely appealing. There is a glamour about the idea of using tricks, formulas…magic…to get what you want. It’s not just that they’re slothful, but the idea that dark deeds are really powerful, and the darker the more powerful. Chesterton writes about it in The Everlasting Man:

    To start with, some impulse, perhaps a sort of desperate impulse, drove men to the darker powers when dealing with practical problems. There was a sort of secret and perverse feeling that the darker powers would really do things; that they had no nonsense about them. And indeed that popular phrase exactly expresses the point. The gods of mere mythology had a great deal of nonsense about them. They had a great deal of good nonsense about them; in the happy and hilarious sense in which we talk of the nonsense of Jabberwocky or the Land where the Jumblies live. But the man consulting a demon felt as many a man has felt in consulting a detective, especially a private detective; that it was dirty work but the work would really be done.

    [...]

    For most cannibalism is not a primitive or even a bestial habit. It is artificial and even artistic; a sort of art for art’s sake. Men do not do it because they do not think it horrible; but, on the contrary, because they do think it horrible. They wish, in the most literal sense, to sup on horrors. That is why it is often found that rude races like the Australian natives are not cannibals, while much more refined and intelligent races, like the New Zealand Maories, occasionally are. They are refined and intelligent enough to indulge sometimes in a self-conscious diabolism. But if we could understand their minds, or even really understand their language, we should probably find that they were not acting as ignorant, that is as innocent cannibals. They are not doing it because they do not think it wrong, but precisely because they do think it wrong. They are acting like a Parisian decadent at a Black Mass.

    That is the appeal of Game and seduction. It has the nitty-gritty feel that evil can really get things done; while good is too weak to be useful. Some recognize this, and realize that is bad, so they go on to the bigger mistake next: To attempt to justify the evil by calling it good (based on worldly success) and good as evil (for its lack of success).

    What would you say is the most important thing a father can do to protect his daughters from the snare of chasing after Eros?

    Talk with them about it whenever it comes up; in conversation, TV shows, songs, whatever and whenever. On occasion, I’ve made them print out the lyrics to songs, and then read them to me; making them repeat the parts they want to mumble out of embarrassment. Then I’ll ask them to tell me, in their own words, what the song means, or what message it is communicating. What I look and listen for with my daughters is when they say my criticisms before I do. That is a great feeling, but you don’t get it until after you move through the phase where they’re tired of hearing about how all the songs they like are encouraging them to sin.

    My wife and I also emphasize to them that what is awesome about our relationship is that we are married, and that mean taking up our roles as husband and wife; as opposed to “partners”. I tell them how their mom likes to be lead and provided for, and how good it makes me feel to do that for her.

    When they get into a habit of taking my or Mrs. Caldo’s provision for them granted, we make that an issue until the gratitude is restored.

    Anyways…there are lots of things, and it’s all about making disciples of them; about disciplining them in love and for their benefit.

    @LtRM

    I’m all tapped out tonight. I’ll try to get to your questions tomorrow.

  21. Oscar says:

    Cane,

    I really need to start reading Chesterton. I first learned of him through Ravi Zacharias, and have been awed by every one of his quotes.

    Thanks again for the through response, and practical and philosophical tips. I’m very confident training my sons, but not so with my daughters.

    What bothers me most about “married man game” is “dread game”. It seems to me that Biblical marriage is a man and a woman burning their ships and setting off to conquer new worlds together with the husband in the lead. Both have one option: us. If my wife dreads me leaving her or cheating on her then either…

    1. I lied when I told her I’d forsake all others ’till death do us part, or…
    2. I’m lying now by giving her the false impression that I’d cheat on or leave her.

    Either way that makes me a liar and therefore dishonorable. I strive to be honorable.

    I have a question about “fake it ’till you make it”.

    I took leadership of a combat platoon of war veterans in Iraq as a green butter bar with zero combat experience. I FELT zero confidence in my ability to lead them, but I BEHAVED confidently and decisively anyway, because – having been enlisted – I knew Soldiers eat insecure leaders alive. Iraq was my baptism by fire into leadership, and I quickly became competent and therefore confident, because my Soldiers’ lives – and mine – depended on it. I’ve always said I “faked it until I made it”.

    Did I “fake it until I made it”? If not; what did I do?

  22. @ Oscar

    You’re not the only one who sees dread game that way.

    I’ve been exploring godly (unselfish) masculinity vs. selfish masculinity (a lot of what game is) on my blog in context of how to change the mindsets of Christian men to be masculine around women.

  23. Cane Caldo says:

    @Oscar

    Thanks again for the through response, and practical and philosophical tips. I’m very confident training my sons, but not so with my daughters.

    You will probably need to make efforts to make sure you see your daughters clearly. Believe what you see, and not what they say.

    Women, even little girls, lie like a rug. That’s the flipside of being easily deceived; of the fact that the truth does not appeal to them the way it does to you and I. There has never been a woman who has strove to be honorable–that’s not their nature.

    What bothers me most about “married man game” is “dread game”.

    I think you’ve sussed it out. “Dread Game” is newspeak for “threaten”, and trying to control another by threats isn’t Christ-like.

    BUT it is perfectly loving (in the sense of doing them good) for another to warn about consequences. Dalrock’s example of the mother-in-law who warns her daughter: “If you don’t take care of my son-in-law, then another woman will.” is not threatening.

    Did I “fake it until I made it”? If not; what did I do?

    “Fake it ’til you make it” means “practice”. If I go to basketball practice, I am both attempting to play basketball, as well as actually playing basketball. It’s related to the phrase, “You play like you practice.” Practice is a continual process; not something you do when the results don’t appear to matter. It always matters. You’re always practicing.

    Your perception that you were “faking it” is another way of saying you did not have faith in the training that you had received, in the wisdom of your authorities to have vested their authority in you. Once you trusted they were right, you stopped feeling like you were faking, and started feeling like you were making. Because you know you learned things along the way that you did not know when you started, it feels like something changed, but part of the faith your authorities had in you was that you’d learn what you needed to learn.

    In the same way, before your kid actually swings a bat and hits a pitch, you know he will as long as he keeps practicing; though he may not believe it until he does. When he does, it is only confirmation of what you already knew. In his mind, he just stopped faking, and just started making.

    Make sense?

  24. Oscar says:

    Cane,

    “Make sense?”

    More than you possibly know.

    “Your perception that you were “faking it” is another way of saying you did not have faith in the training that you had received, in the wisdom of your authorities to have vested their authority in you. Once you trusted they were right, you stopped feeling like you were faking, and started feeling like you were making.”

    I’m amazed you wrote that. One night, after leading my men on two patrols, I sat with my company commander (one of the few men I can honestly say mentored me) and asked, “How do I lead my men when I don’t really know anything?” He looked me in the eye and sternly said; “That’s false. You know a lot more than you think.”

    On another night, we got hit with a car bomb. I thought my greatest fear came true; that my Soldiers died because of a decision I made (I was wrong, by the way). I froze. Later that night, my platoon sergeant asked, “What the hell happened to you out there.” I replied, “I froze.” The word “sternly” doesn’t begin to describe how he spoke to me. “Don’t you EVER do that again.”

    That was it. That was the turning point. From that night forward, I never hesitated again. I stopped “faking” and started “making”.

    Thanks, brother. You’ve helped me more than you know.

  25. Cane Caldo says:

    @Oscar

    Thanks, brother. You’ve helped me more than you know.

    It was my pleasure, and I only learned it by reading about men exactly like you. Thank you.

    5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority,

    The centurion’s confidence (his faith-with) was not in himself, but in his authorities, and the authority invested in him by them.

    having soldiers under me:and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

    He practiced what had been invested in him because he believed (had the faith of) what had been given to him, and believed those who had given it.

    10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

    Jesus didn’t praise self-confidence (self-faith-with, or self-esteem); He praised the practice of faith by the centurion in those who had been placed above the centurion, and the centurion’s faith in Jesus.

  26. @CC

    “You will probably need to make efforts to make sure you see your daughters clearly. Believe what you see, and not what they say.

    Women, even little girls, lie like a rug. That’s the flipside of being easily deceived; of the fact that the truth does not appeal to them the way it does to you and I. There has never been a woman who has strove to be honorable–that’s not their nature.

    Knowing their nature is vastly different from blaming or taking advantage of their nature (by manipulating them).

    The parts in bold: What about the women like Esther, Deborah and Ruth?

  27. Cane Caldo says:

    @CoRP

    What about the women like Esther, Deborah and Ruth?

    Can you ask a more specific question, please?

  28. Oscar says:

    @ Cane,

    Brother, I’ve read that passage a million times, and never seen it that way. Thanks!

    And you’re welcome. I serve with pleasure. My parents, siblings and I are immigrants, and our adopted country gave us opportunity and liberty our birth country never would have. We owed our adopted country a debt of gratitude, and as the oldest healthy son, I thought I should be the one to pay it.

  29. @CC

    In what ways were they not striving to be honourable?

  30. Elspeth says:

    Women, even little girls, lie like a rug. That’s the flipside of being easily deceived; of the fact that the truth does not appeal to them the way it does to you and I. There has never been a woman who has strove to be honorable–that’s not their nature.

    Whoa. That’s strong medicine. Have to contemplate it a bit. I have never given much thought to being “honorable”. I freely admit that. I have however, given lots of thought and prayer to being worthy. Worthy to be called a Christian, worthy to be the wife of my husband. There’s a reason why I post so often about the spiritual struggle to be good and not just look good.

    Are the two things vastly different, striving to be worthy and striving to be honorable? Actually I know the answer to that. My point however is that when you are striving to be worthy of something honorable, that is a step in the right direction.

    You are awfully hard on the womenfolk.

  31. Oscar says:

    @ Elspeth:

    I have to agree that women lie incessantly, if allowed to.

    For example, when a husband sees something is bothering his wife and asks her “what’s wrong?” What does she invariably say? “Nothing!” – in the most petulant manner possible.

    That’s a lie.

    I’ve seen a meme bouncing around Face Book that says, “When a woman tells you ‘do what you want’, DO NOT DO WHAT YOU WANT.” A Christian married friend of mine wrote, “I’ve been married long enough to know that ‘do what you want’ means ‘you better figure out what I want you to do and do that.’”

    He’s right. And – guess what? – that’s a lie.

    But he also explains why women lie incessantly – because men let them get away with it. Because most men – most Christian men, who should know better – don’t have the stones to look a woman in the eye and say, “You just lied to me, and that is unacceptable”.

    I do. And my wife doesn’t do those things anymore.

  32. Elspeth says:

    @ Oscar:

    My husband does what he wants for the most part. (I’m not talking about extreme things and sin here). If I say “do what you want” when he asks me what I think, I’d better mean it because he does not play those games and he is not going to jump through a bunch of hoops to placate me if I’m not honest about what is going on with me when he has asked me directly. I have posted much on this kind of thing. Case in point:

    http://lovingintheruins.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/if-mama-aint-happy-thats-her-problem/

    I feel a great responsibility to the younger women who come to me asking for advice about things like this, even though I rarely walk it out perfectly. And the truth is that if I didn’t have a husband who holds me to strict account for my behavior, I’d probably be a worse mess than I am, unfit to advise anyone.

  33. @ Oscar

    I’ve seen a meme bouncing around Face Book that says, “When a woman tells you ‘do what you want’, DO NOT DO WHAT YOU WANT.” A Christian married friend of mine wrote, “I’ve been married long enough to know that ‘do what you want’ means ‘you better figure out what I want you to do and do that.’”

    He’s right. And – guess what? – that’s a lie.

    But he also explains why women lie incessantly – because men let them get away with it. Because most men – most Christian men, who should know better – don’t have the stones to look a woman in the eye and say, “You just lied to me, and that is unacceptable”.

    I do. And my wife doesn’t do those things anymore.

    The better thing is to actually do what you want and then when she complains about it then tell her in an amused voice,

    “you’re upset at me because you lied to me? You better get your act together and apologize to God and me for lying.”

    And then ignore any bad behavior and don’t let it affect you until she apologizes. Then tell her “Don’t do it again.”

    Calling her out right away while effectively doesn’t teach her a lesson, especially because women pull this stunt on other men and women all the time. It takes consequences for most people to learn not to do things.

  34. @ Elspeth

    Think of it this way:

    When do women ever do something for honor? If you put in another context, when do women ever do anything for respect (since honor is about respect)?

    Women do most things because they want to be loved. It is the husbands they are to respect, and they themselves don’t want to be respected but rather loved. Thus, they are not motivated by honor or respect but rather act to be loved.

  35. Oscar says:

    @ Elspeth

    Your husband can run his household how he wants, obviously, but I don’t allow my wife to say “nothing” when SOMETHING is clearly bothering her because it’s an obvious lie.

    That lie is, first and foremost, a sin. Second, it insults my intelligence and is therefore disrespectful.

    If, what she means to say is, “I’m upset, but I’d rather not talk about it”, then she must say, “I’m upset, but I’d rather not talk about it”, because that is the truth, God commands us to speak the truth, and – as her husband – I deserve the truth. If she is honest with me, I leave it at that, but I don’t put up with her lying to me.

    Life is far simpler when people say what they mean and mean what they say. Why women can’t figure that out on their own is beyond me.

  36. Oscar says:

    @ Deep Strength

    “Calling her out right away while effectively doesn’t teach her a lesson, especially because women pull this stunt on other men and women all the time. It takes consequences for most people to learn not to do things.”

    Maybe your method would have worked better. I don’t know. What I do know is that my wife doesn’t lie to me anymore, which means my method worked.

  37. @ Oscar

    Maybe your method would have worked better. I don’t know. What I do know is that my wife doesn’t lie to me anymore, which means my method worked.

    Excellent to hear that it did.

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  39. Cane Caldo says:

    @Elspeth & CoRP

    Whoa. That’s strong medicine. Have to contemplate it a bit. I have never given much thought to being “honorable”. I freely admit that. I have however, given lots of thought and prayer to being worthy.

    Yes, but honor is not the path to worth that women naturally pursue, and they only pursue it when someone holds them to it; when someone walks the path of honor with them; when someone loves them. In other words: Women don’t strive for honor for its own sake.[1] This isn’t always a bad thing (though lying is).

    DS’s comment rhymes with mine.

    @Oscar & DS

    If, what she means to say is, “I’m upset, but I’d rather not talk about it”, then she must say, “I’m upset, but I’d rather not talk about it”, because that is the truth, God commands us to speak the truth, and – as her husband – I deserve the truth. If she is honest with me, I leave it at that, but I don’t put up with her lying to me.

    We can say that’s true if we know the truth is: “She’s upset, but she’d rather not talk about it.”

    What if–as is sometimes the case with Mrs. Caldo–the truth is actually: “I am mad at you, and because you’re too stupid to figure it out I don’t think you’re worth the effort of telling you. I shouldn’t have to put up with this crap because…well, I don’t know why, but I know I don’t want to, and if you were actually so smart, Mr. Smarty-pants, you’d figure it out and fix it while I silently sacrifice by ignoring your ineptitude. You’re welcome.”

    The truth wouldn’t really be “I don’t want to talk about it.”

    Personally, I went through both the tactics you and DS prescribe, but what I find the best answer is: “Ok, I will hold you to it. Now, you’ve got work to do. Get busy.” If she doesn’t actually have work to do I will make some up, but if you have kids then there’s always work for a wife to do.

    Bad attitudes and braying are ignored as long as the work is being done, and done well. “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain.”, and, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The bad attitudes can be addressed later, if need be, but many times the work exorcises them. In the meantime, I model joyful work; not letting her bad attitude determine whether I crack jokes, smile, or enjoy her.

    [1]Most men don’t either, but that’s not what we’re talking right here and now. Here and now, we’re talking about women.

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  41. Elspeth says:

    “Ok, I will hold you to it. Now, you’ve got work to do. Get busy.” If she doesn’t actually have work to do I will make some up,

    LOL. It’s uncanny sometimes…

  42. lauratheringmistress says:

    I’m rather confused about the honorable thing. Are you saying that a woman can act honorably but that her motivation isn’t honor itself, but the lovabilty that comes from acting honorably?

    In which case, what about women called to remain virgins? Do they act honorably so that God may love them? While a man does so just becausem I’ve always felt that you did the right thing because it was right, even if it earned you scorn. Was this simply because I had already internalized that if such actions pleased no one else they pleased God?

    (And no, I may no claims to sanctity here. I do plenty of stupid things because I don’t want to make myself a burden to others…which naturally makes me more of a burden in the long run than if I did the right thing and voiced my complaints civilly.)

  43. Bobbye says:

    One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was to never say never. Was not Deborah honorable(Judges 4)? Was not the daughter of Jephthah honorable(Judges 11:30-40)? Was not Ruth honorable toward God and Naomi? This war between men and women, as if they were different species with different natures is not consistent with God or His Scripture.

  44. Cane Caldo says:

    @LtRM

    I’m not sure I fully understand your question because of the misspelling after “While a man does so just…”

    I’ve always felt that you did the right thing because it was right, even if it earned you scorn. Was this simply because I had already internalized that if such actions pleased no one else they pleased God?

    Well, I don’t know. Only you can answer, and you’re a liar so….

    Seriously, that is probably how you were instructed, and so you did as you were instructed. That is honorable. I would maintain that the chances are you did what you did because you loved your instructors, and they loved you.

    Are you saying that a woman can act honorably but that her motivation isn’t honor itself, but the lovabilty that comes from acting honorably?

    Yes, and also her desire to love, and her love of beauty (which should coexist with beauty). There are surely more reasons.

    The fact that women don’t pursue honor for honor’s sake is not a slam. That’s the way you were made. Women were made to be the glory of man. When women really try to pursue honor for its own sake, they inevitably end up attempting to supplant men. That’s not actually honorable.

    If this idea hurts a woman, I’d say that’s because she desires to be a man.

  45. Cane Caldo says:

    @Bobbye

    One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was to never say never. Was not Deborah honorable(Judges 4)? Was not the daughter of Jephthah honorable(Judges 11:30-40)? Was not Ruth honorable toward God and Naomi? This war between men and women, as if they were different species with different natures is not consistent with God or His Scripture.

    We have miscommunicated. I said, “women don’t puruse honor for honor’s sake.” I did not say women cannot be honorable, or that we should not honor them. In fact I said they could.

    I haven’t even said that pursuing honor for honor’s sake is the best or always right thing to do (it’s not), or that men do it all the time, or even most of the time. I said women don’t, that causes them to lie almost uncontrollably (in their sin state), and to expect it (“it” being “the pursuit of honor for its own sake”) of them is foolish because that’s not what they were made to do.

  46. lauratheringmistress says:

    The misspelling was meant to read “because?” M is the same key as ? on my mobile phone.

    The discussion of motivation has been up front lately for myself and many of my homeschooling friends because one of the challenges is moving a student from doing his or her work out of fear of punishment and desire to please authority to doing it for the sake of the work itself. In other words, because it is the right thing to do. Various prizes, accolades, and privileges might be the starting carrot, but the end goal is the virtue of studiousness.

    Which is why I think that men and women can both attain the virtue of honor, but the carrot that drives them to doing the right thing for its own sake is different according to their sex. A girl might initially be motivated by a desire to please her parent or teacher. A boy might be motivated to do so out of a desire to achieve standing with his peers. But if in the end they are capable of acting honorably, they are honorable. Judith was worthy of respect even if she did not seek it.

    And if I may pull in a Byzantine prayer, the Virgin Mary is praised as “more honorable than the cherubim”. I’m inclined to go with the wisdom of the ages on this one.

  47. lauratheringmistress says:

    Just saw you reply to Bobbye. That clarifies much.

  48. Oscar says:

    @ Cane

    “We can say that’s true if we know the truth is: ‘She’s upset, but she’d rather not talk about it’.”

    I suppose at that point I figure I can’t know if that statement is false, so I just leave her alone and go build something in the garage. We have eight children, so I never need to make work for her. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, but since our youngest is in the womb, the bridge is far in the future.

  49. Cane Caldo says:

    @Oscar

    I suppose at that point I figure I can’t know if that statement is false, so I just leave her alone and go build something in the garage. We have eight children, so I never need to make work for her. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, but since our youngest is in the womb, the bridge is far in the future.

    I dig that response.

  50. Bobbye says:

    @ Cane: I think I understand where you’re coming from; speaking of the ‘natural man and woman’ and not the ‘spiritual’. Honor is a judgement; if one is honorable, it is in the judgement of others. If one honors another, that indicates one’s judgement of the other.It can be, and often is, neither right nor wrong.
    @lauratheringmistress:”And if I may pull in a Byzantine prayer, the Virgin Mary is praised as “more honorable than the cherubim”. I’m inclined to go with the wisdom of the ages on this one.”
    When the second century church sought to be more acceptable to the Hellenized Roman world they fell to the seduction of the Greek philosophers and so placed Mary on that pedestal that Athena sat on in the center of religious ceremony of Hellenized society. The bias written into the translations of the Scriptures since has led the church to this feminized reality in which females are spiritually superior to men. Jesus, who by virtue of being God, is superior, is happy to be friend, brother son to all men/fathers, women/mothers who do the will of God. The Eternal Virgin Mary, the Mother of God will always be Mother.

  51. theasdgamer says:

    “The Gospel is the story of Jesus Christ: The good news that God became man, died on the cross to take away the sins of all who believe on Him and to reconcile and redeem sinners to God; hat He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven to rule.”

    I spent a couple of decades studying what the Bible has to say about the gospel of salvation. Your definition of the gospel is inaccurate. Go to 1 Cor. 15:1-11 to get an accurate definition. It takes careful reading/analysis of the passage to avoid misreading due to preconceived ideas.

    1 Cor. 15: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15&version=ESV

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