The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Struggling with my faith lately

I appreciate that, and return the compliment. But beauty is often in the eye of the beholder, and you and I in the midst of differences are both non-evangelical skeptics who share a mix of conservative and liberal tendencies. It’s harder for me to find someone open or not bull headed who represents a more consistent form of opposition to most of my best inclinations and values.

AG, maybe I’m misunderstanding you. To me, what you seem to be saying here is that women are not really emotional creatures.It’s only a lie made true by the culture we are raised in. The truth, according to your post, is that women are basically sexual creatures with insatiable sex drives, your proof being the rise in porn use among women. You go on to claim that what women as a whole REALLY want is someone like the rock, but sadly, we have to settle for less. I think this is a false assumption on your part.

I may be wrong, but from my experience, most men who are physically good looking seem to be lacking on the inside. This may be because they rely too much on their physical appearance in order to attract the opposite sex. Whereas men who don’t have it on the outside have more to offer on the inside. The writers of the NT mention the fact that Jesus was not all that physically attractive. There must have been a reason for noting this.

P.S. As for my comment about the romance novels, there are different kinds. Most women I know and talk to don’t like smutty stories that go too much into detail.

What if I told you (and everyone here)? I have fantasies, about attractive, unmarried female zombies? :blush:

Hopefully, not at the same time. :rofl:

Gee. I must have missed that. Do you have some bible verses, to “enlighten” me? :wink:

Come to think of it. When the zombies from Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) finally arrive…they might have a great self-image…and think they are handsome and beautiful! :wink:

Well, when in Rome - do what the Romans do! :wink:

Jesus famously said that anyone who looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery in his heart. I’ve read some people on here say the word for “woman” and “wife” in ancient Greek was the same, and that it’s impossible to commit adultery with an unmarried person, therefore in the sermon on the mount Jesus only condemned fantasising about married people. That may be true, but if “fornication” is condemned elsewhere in scripture, I would think fantasising about unmarried people is a sin too.

Then, let’s not do that!

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Well, when the Bible is a rulebook, it’s good to try to piece all these hints together :wink:

Yes, having emphasized to you that I don’t think porneia specifically even means premarital sex, and that the Bible’s emphasis is on protecting marriage, it’s probably correct that the sermon on the mount is emphasizing improper pursuits of married women.

My personal reasoning is that pursuing something in our mind toward any woman that we believe improper is problematic. For I take Jesus’ point to be that we shouldn’t condemn adulterers so badly when we do share in their inclination to do it (and maybe just haven’t had the right opportunity).

I.e. I think the problem Jesus is getting at, is that the fantasies we entertain in our mind matter, because what we often end up doing, is what we dwell upon at the mental level. You may know Luther’s classic take about the fantasies in this text, is to compare them with birds that are bound to get in your hair, but to urge that we (take a cold shower or masturbate?) and not let them build a whole nest (so that we end up doing what David did with Bathsheba, and Uriah?). Of course, easier said than done.

I.e. to repeat, while our inner attitudes and mind play an important role in our life and decisions, I interpret the Bible’s overriding priority to be love defined mostly by what we actually choose to do concerning our fellow humans, do we act with consideration for their real needs. Thus I try to focus more on what will help me end up doing the things I believe are loving and good, and less on my guilt complexes.

HF, my mistake.
As Isaiah 53:2 says “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”

God’s word is not dead and neither are romantics as long as there are people who still see the joining of two physical bodies for what it truly is and was intended to be; an expression of love between two people who love each other. I for one, would not settle for anything less.

This has been a bitter-sweet topic for me to follow and I have avoided making any comment or trying to provide insights on the subject. I’ll attempt to correct that.

Alida, my wife of 52 years, passed on to glory 20 months ago now. Never a day goes by without me thinking about her. I have related, in another post, how her spirit appeared to me in a vision just a few weeks ago and how she looked lovelier than ever, were that possible, appearing as she did in the prime of her life. I believe the Lord sent her spirit to me that day to confirm that she is alive and well and that one day we will be together again.

I think it was Bob who stated earlier in this thread that he had only had sex with one woman in his life. I can make the same claim despite having ample opportunity to deny it. Gen. 4:1 “And Adam knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived”. The word translated ’know” in the Septuagint is “ginosko” which implies a deep, intimate love for or knowledge of another, the kind of love reserved exclusively for a husband and wife.

Alida could say very little during the last year of her life. She never complained. She was aware that she would soon pass from this world into the next. Jaki, the Filipina who God gave me to help take care of her, helped me keep her as comfortable as possible. One day, out of the blue, she said to me “let’s make love”, just as she had thousands of times before in younger, happier days, resulting in the Lord giving us four daughters and five sons. How blessed a man I was! How much I regret the occasions when we had our falling outs over silly, inconsequential matters. Will I be able to make things right in heaven? I hope so.

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Great post! :grin:

That sounds nice, but it can take a long time before someone develops love for someone and is in turn loved by the person he/she loves (when we’re defining “love” as being sure one wants to spend the rest of one’s life with another). Bludgeoning oneself with guilt for lust until one finds that person is not healthy. I’m so tired of doing it my faith is in shambles.

What is the one you’re “trying out” is harmed by your lustful activity with her? What if it spoils her chance of finding a loving Christian husband with whom she could spend the rest of her life in mutual love?

First of all, lustful thoughts couldn’t do that. Second, even if lust turned into intercourse, that’s why typically people obtain consent before the act. People have sex for pleasure. This includes women. Can you explain how a woman would be harmed by fornication?

May I chime in here? Because that’s well said and this has been a big issue for me also.

Before I was saved I had a number of relationships that lasted between 2 and 7 years. My concept was that if you’re not sexually compatible, how’s everything else going to fit together? I tell you, that is dead wrong, it’s putting the cart before the horse and sets you on a hiding to nothing, the road to perdition, that way be dragons etc.

The Invernessian had the right idea, and what a depth of God’s gifts he clearly shared with his wife, which blessed him with plenty of fruit!

But I find myself now in a similar situation to you, as Hamlet said ‘crawling between heaven and earth’.

We need to be careful of what attracts us to a woman. And it’s easy to deceive ourselves when we desire something. But if we can’t overcome the lustful spirit (early in a relationship) with a true passion - ie a burgeoning desire to give, nurture, protect, share, sacrifice, be intimate, trust, build up and encourage etc, then from my experience the relationship cannot and will not last.

So when pursuing a female we’ve got to try and stay focused on the bigger picture, the longer-range view, things above, and keep the faith, despite the apparent ‘zugswang’ position in which we might find ourselves. I try to develop a line of questions (not interrogatories) to allow me to discern both her and my true motives (beware the Jezebel spirit, cleave to the excellent woman of Pro 31:10-31).

Still, what self-respecting woman would go for Christian universalist who goes against the grain on just about every basic tenet of modern polite society! See, you’re already ahead.

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qaz, there has been plenty of testimony given as to the validity of God’s word, not only by the things you see in the world around you, but by people of the past and present( including many on this forum)who through experience have told you the way. However, you still have neither eyes to see nor ears to hear. It’s the same old story as told in Genesis, “Did God really say that?”
Your excuses don’t cut it.
“Well, it can take a long time…”
" A loving God wouldn’t deny me my every desire."
“Well, if two people consent then that makes it okay.”
“People have sex for pleasure.”
Then there AG’s statements. “This is the way of the world.” and “Women in antiquity were known to be very sexual and have insatiable sex drives.”

None of the above is going to change God’s word. It is what it is. There are lots of things people do for their OWN pleasure that are not pleasing to God.
But as Paul says in Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen and understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so they are without excuse.”
I think Bob and Dave have given you good advice. If you don’t believe, then go your own way and see what kind of fruit it produces. Maybe then your eyes will be opened.

When we were discussing male / female relationships, this song keep coming to mind - for some strange reason! :wink:

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qaz, if you meet a person you love, all doubts will go away. The upside of being with this person far out weighs the down side of ‘what if’, but it does take something from you, to be willing to co exist with someone is a very back and forth thing. It will never be perfect, but it can be fulfilling as others here have witnessed to.

And every relationship has bumps. My wife and I know at this point that each of us would die for the other…

When you get to that point, life is good. You have found your soul mate.

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Just like these two have done! :smile:

But they might have a hard time, “dying for each other”! :rofl:

You are interesting. Randy.

If I am fueding with my wife, there is no way I am going to enter into that.

:laughing:

Hey qaz… I’ve been a little MIA of late as I’ve been on a motorbike tour in Vietnam, but on return your thought below has caught my eye…

Sometimes our questions are the wrong questions. You might find this latest contribution by Andrew Perriman of interest where he deals with faith-shaking questions and whether these are really where it’s at; consider…