Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Apostle’s Creed, #19, Redux

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** Church,
the communion of saints,

   the forgiveness of sins,

After my rant in my last Creed post, about how society is trying to do away with the concept of sin, I knew that I would need to revisit this line of the Creed and write about it.

To begin, this is the only line in the Creed that speaks to the reason for the Creed at all. Go back over the Creed, above, and you will see that there is nothing that speaks to why Christ came: all the “born”, “suffered”, “crucified”, “ascended” statements are declarative sentences of “what” He did, and don’t point to the “why” that motivated the “what.”

We know, however, that the “why” is so that we “should not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16) God sent Jesus to save the world. (Jn. 3:17) And this line is the only line of the Creed that speaks to our need, salvation. Those who hate Christianity are wont to speak of Christianity as a “joyless religion”. However, when I survey the world around me, I don’t find joy there; merely desperation. It seems to me that those who aren’t living a subsistence-level life, but actually have time to think about the world and themselves are trying to find as many ways as possible to keep from thinking about their joylessness. We fill our lives with amusements, which, in the Greek, literally means ways to avoid thought.

But when we Christians think of our sin, and the reconciliation that Christ’s sacrifice provides, joys wells up as our guilt is removed, and we enter into the fellowship with God that was intended from Creation. The world is joyless; the Christian lives this verse:

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isa. 12:3

CSL

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“A Wife’s Heart”: Colloquy #4

colloquy

This is the fourth in a series of posts in which Chris Taylor (of Forgiven Wife) and I dialogue about ideas and issues brought up in her post, A Wife’s Heart. (Here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 3 part 5, part 6, part 7 and part 8.) Chris and I have chosen colors to help with reading clarity in trying to incorporate our comments into her original text; my comments are in blue and Chris’s in purple.

In this, the fourth chapter of our discussion, Chris and I start discussing her recommendations for helping a wife in the process of healing her heart. In her article, Chris presented eight “action steps” for husbands who want to work on their marriages. In today’s colloquy, we discuss the first four. (Chris had them highlighted with bold text.) Continue reading

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Bad Teaching: “As Christ Loved The Church”

bad teaching

I think that we can all agree that Marriage, as an institution, is in a pretty sorry state, these days. With the number of shack-ups on the rise (ooh, did he say “shack-up”?), with the anti-God push to change the make-up and definition of marriage, and with the unintentional assistance of the Church, marriage is pretty much circling the bowl, in our modern society.

Assistance of the Church“, you say? Yes, I do say. I’ve made the point before that the Church, wanting to protect and establish the foundation of marriage, has committed the same error as the Pharisees. The Pharisees, with their additions and traditions, added to the Law of God in order to keep the people from transgressing the actual Law, and it was hoped that these additions would keep the people “holy.” We’ve done the same thing by adding to our teachings about marriage. We want to keep it holy, we want people to live up to their roles in marriage, and so we add to the Word, in our explications and expandings, and create burdens that God did not intend. Continue reading

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Monday Matinee: Arsenic and Old Lace #2

curtains

Why am I writing about Arsenic and Old Lace a second time? It’s just that good, and I love it! It is one of my all-time favorite films ever made. The American Film Institute has its different Top 100 lists of films, and pretty much everybody, when asked, would be able to say what their favorite movie is. I would be hard-pressed to make up a list of CSL’s Top 100 Movies Ever Made, but if I did, Arsenic and Old Lace would be one of them.

As I wrote last week, the movie was adapted from the wildly successful Broadway play. The play was not only a hit in the early 40’s, but has been a staple of theater throughout the country, on every level, whether it may be college, community theater or high school.

Which brings me to my connection. Back in high school, I was in three plays, including Arsenic and Old Lace. I had the delightful task of playing Teddy Brewster, the lunatic uncle who thought he was Theodore Roosevelt. It was a wonderfully fun part to play, including runs up the stairs shouting “Charge!” at the top of my lungs. (Every time Teddy went upstairs, he was charging up San Juan Hill.)

I will never forget my delight the first time I watched Arsenic and Old Lace on VSH tape, as an adult. I was lost, of course, in the story of the dotty old murdering aunts and Mortimer’s attempt to manage the situation, but I also delighted in watching John Alexander play Teddy. You see, he created the role on Broadway, and brought the character to film, so I got to see and compare myself to the original Teddy.

While you can’t see my performance, enjoy John Alexander’s Teddy in this TMC clip, which includes a charge up San Juan Hill.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/917274/Arsenic-And-Old-Lace-Movie-Clip-Nothing-To-Report.html

CSL

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Apostle’s Creed, #19

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** Church,
the communion of saints,

   the forgiveness of sins,

Of all the words in the Creed, I believe “sins” to be the most hated.

The world hates the very concept of sin; even contemplating the reality of sin would mean that right and wrong exist, and of course, nothing is ever wrong, today! I take that back. There is one thing that is a complete and total offense to today’s sensibilities: a belief in right and wrong, and possessing the cojones to say so.

Okay, rant time. Back in the 70’s, there was a popular psychobabbling self-help book entitled, I’m Okay, You’re Okay. That title gave me the fillip I needed, years ago, to delineate the “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” Social Compact™. Sociologists define “social compact” as the contracts that peoples agree to abide by, in order to normalize social interaction in a community. If you smile, shake hands, and pat one another on the back, you’re abiding by the compact, and are accepted by the group. If you gibber maniacally and fling dung, you aren’t living by the compact, and quite likely will be sanctioned for your violation of the compact. Possibly locked up, or receive a rock upside the head; who knows. But violate the Social Compact and you will be sanctioned by the group.

The way that the “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” Social Compact™ works is that different groups, (identity groups, political groups, what-have-you) agree that all the other groups are okay. “If you will say that I’m okay, I will ay that you’re okay. And we will band together and stomp the pudding out of anyone who upsets our applecart.”

And then come Christians with their Creed, who, by believing that sin is real and is a violation of God’s laws, violate the “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” Social Compact™, and so must be attacked, shouted down and silenced. But here’s the thing: If one is a true Christian, God’s word and will matter than desire for societal approval or fear of societal opprobrium. God is real. So is sin. All we need to do is to look around us to see the truth of that.

*deep cleansing breath**   Okay, rant over.

CSL

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“The Shot Across The Bow” Reloaded

Shot Rethought

Back in April, I wrote a post which contained a piece that is known as The Shot Across The Bow. Written by a husband who was explaining how he addressed the sexual refusal situation that had developed in his marriage, I presented it as an example, a model, for husbands to use in confronting the gatekeeping/refusal issue in their marriage.

My good internet friend and fellow blogger, Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, told me that she has always had a negative reaction to the piece, and in the course of our colloquy, she explained why it affected her so. In yesterday’s post, she went into painful examination of her reasoning, and her reasoning was more than reasonable, and is the reason for this post. (Doncha just love English?)

I need to re-address Job29Man’s Shot Across The Bow, (naturally, with my customary tact and equanimity), so here goes. If you are a husband in a sexless marriage and are thinking of using something akin to Job’s Shot, then be sure to…. Continue reading

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A Wife’s Heart: Colloquy #3

colloquy

This is the third post in a series in which Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, and I dialogue about ideas and issues brought up in her post, A Wife’s Heart(Here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7 and part 8.) Chris and I have chosen colors to help with reading clarity in trying to incorporate our comments into her original text; my comments are in blue and Chris’s in purple.

At the end of our last discussion, I said something that gave Chris this vibe. We shall see. Mwahahahaha!


Healing a Hurting Heart

I didn’t know how to open up sexually when I felt like my husband didn’t love me. My heart needed to be healed before I could even hear what he was expressing about his desire for the intimacy that came only through sex.

As I’ve read CSL’s series, I’ve thought how reasonable it all sounds: the talk, the shot across the bow, the end of normal life, withdrawing romance, withdrawing affection, sleeping in separate bedrooms, removing the wedding ring, etc.

Those are all logical suggestions. When the problem is that your wife needs to change her thinking or is generally just too overwhelmed by life, they may work very well.

Here’s the thing: a hurting heart will not be healed by logic.

Not a single one of these suggestions would have touched my heartache. In fact, some of them might well have compounded the hurt I was already feeling.

Continue reading

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Matinee Monday: Arsenic and Old Lace

curtains

And now I get to discuss one of my favorite movies of all time, Arsenic and Old Lace. I have a special love for this delightful film, and consider it one of the best films ever made. You don’t have to take my word for it; the American Film Institute ranks it 30th in their list of the top 100 comedies of all time.

G. Florence, writing for bigpond.com, writes this summary:

For the clan known as Brewster insanity runs in the family. Two sweet old aunts take it upon themselves to poison lonely old men with nothing to live for, as an act of charity. Their nephew Mortimer has just got married, and is trying to negotiate his way around the shenanigans of the house, while trying to keep his new bride from fleeing. Shady brother John returns from a world adventure involving using corpses to change his appearance [“He looks like Boris Karloff” is a running gag] to allude capture. The merry mayhem continues with bugle-blowing brother Teddy [who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt] who is charged with burial duties.

Filmed in 1941 and released in 1944 (Warner was contractually required to wait until Arsenic and Old Lace finally closed on Broadway), it is a delightfully macabre comedy, which is surprising, as it was directed by the great Frank Capra, known for his heart-warming “Capra-corn” films (think It’s A Wonderful Life.) After all, two sweet little old ladies poisoning people hardly screams “family entertainment”, does it?

Here is the scene where Mortimer’s head and world begin to spin out of control. Enjoy:

I’ll write more about this film next week. CSL

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“A Wife’s Heart” Colloquy #2

colloquy

This is the second of a series of posts in which Chris Taylor (of Forgiven Wife) and I dialogue about ideas and issues brought up in her post, A Wife’s Heart. (Here are the links to part 1, part 3, part 4,, part 5, part 6, part 7 and part 8). Chris and I have chosen colors to help with reading clarity in trying to incorporate our comments into her original text; my comments are in blue and Chris’s in purple. This second post should be short, as there was only one paragraph in this section that triggered a response in me. Here is that paragraph:

If your wife is resisting sexual intimacy because she is hurt, she is wrong as well. (If you’re a real jerk and are sinning against her, then that statement does not apply. It also doesn’t apply if your wife is carrying trauma such as childhood sexual assault.)

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“A Wife’s Heart” Colloquy #1

colloquy

This is the first of a series of posts in which Chris Taylor (of Forgiven Wife) and I dialogue about ideas and issues brought up in her post, A Wife’s Heart. (Here are the links to part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7 and part 8.) Chris and i have chosen colors to help with reading clarity in trying to incorporate our comments into her original text; my comments are in blue and Chris’s in purple. In this section, Chris presented the basic (classic?) difference in how she and her husband communicate:

The Heart of My Refusal

My heart issues began with some baggage I brought into my marriage. The heart of my refusal, however, lay in relational hurt.

I am married to a good man—one whose love for me and commitment to our marriage has modeled Christ for me in a way nothing else has. The poor guy just didn’t know what to do with a wife who lived everything through her emotions—and he made a lot of mistakes.

My biggest hurt was the lack of emotional connection in our marriage. (I’ve written about it here.) The only feeling he ever communicated to me was, “I’m horny.” When I tried to share my own emotions with him, his usual response was either “Get to the point,” or “I don’t need to know that. Just tell me what I asked.”

Continue reading

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