Monthly Archives: December 2014

Tradition Thursday- #2

In today’s post we continue to go through Saint Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians. I’ll begin where I left off last time. Once again, I’m only quoting from selections. The whole letter itself is too long to trek through in a reasonable way. Continuing on:

Chapter 14. We Should Obey God Rather Than the Authors of Sedition.

It is right and holy therefore, men and brethren, rather to obey God than to follow those who, through pride and sedition, have become the leaders of a detestable emulation. For we shall incur no slight injury, but rather great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the inclinations of men who aim at exciting strife and tumults, so as to draw us away from what is good. Let us be kind one to another after the pattern of the tender mercy and benignity of our Creator. For it is written, The kind-hearted shall inhabit the land, and the guiltless shall be left upon it, but transgressors shall be destroyed from off the face of it. Proverbs 2:21-22 And again [the Scripture] says, I saw the ungodly highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Lebanon: I passed by, and, behold, he was not; and I diligently sought his place, and could not find it. Preserve innocence, and look on equity: for there shall be a remnant to the peaceable man.

Chapter 15. We Must Adhere to Those Who Cultivate Peace, Not to Those Who Merely Pretend to Do So.

Let us cleave, therefore, to those who cultivate peace with godliness, and not to those who hypocritically profess to desire it. For [the Scripture] says in a certain place, This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And again: They bless with their mouth, but curse with their heart. And again it says, They loved Him with their month, and lied to Him with their tongue; but their heart was not right with Him, neither were they faithful in His covenant. Let the deceitful lips become silent, [and let the Lord destroy all the lying lips, ] and the boastful tongue of those who have said, Let us magnify our tongue: our lips are our own; who is lord over us? For the oppression of the poor, and for the sighing of the needy, will I now arise, says the Lord: I will place him in safety; I will deal confidently with him.

Chapter 21. Let Us Obey God, and Not the Authors of Sedition.

Take heed, beloved, lest His many kindnesses lead to the condemnation of us all. [For thus it must be] unless we walk worthy of Him, and with one mind do those things which are good and well-pleasing in His sight. For [the Scripture] says in a certain place, The Spirit of the Lord is a candle searching the secret parts of the belly. Proverbs 20:27 Let us reflect how near He is, and that none of the thoughts or reasonings in which we engage are hid from Him. It is right, therefore, that we should not leave the post which His will has assigned us. Let us rather offend those men who are foolish, and inconsiderate, and lifted up, and who glory in the pride of their speech, than [offend] God. Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us; let us esteem those who have the rule over us; let us honour the aged among us; let us train up the young men in the fear of God; let us direct our wives to that which is good. Let them exhibit the lovely habit of purity [in all their conduct]; let them show forth the sincere disposition of meekness; let them make manifest the command which they have of their tongue, by their manner of speaking; let them display their love, not by preferring one to another, but by showing equal affection to all that piously fear God. Let your children be partakers of true Christian training; let them learn of how great avail humility is with God— how much the spirit of pure affection can prevail with Him— how excellent and great His fear is, and how it saves all those who walk in it with a pure mind. For He is a Searcher of the thoughts and desires [of the heart]: His breath is in us; and when He pleases, He will take it away.

Chapter 22. These Exhortations are Confirmed by the Christian Faith, Which Proclaims the Misery of Sinful Conduct.

Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these [admonitions]. For He Himself by the Holy Ghost thus addresses us: Come, you children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desires life, and loves to see good days? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are [open] unto their prayers. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles. Many are the stripes [appointed for] the wicked; but mercy shall compass those about who hope in the Lord.

Chapter 23. Be Humble, and Believe that Christ Will Come Again.

The all-merciful and beneficent Father has bowels [of compassion] towards those that fear Him, and kindly and lovingly bestows His favours upon those who come to Him with a simple mind. Wherefore let us not be double-minded; neither let our soul be lifted up on account of His exceedingly great and glorious gifts. Far from us be that which is written, Wretched are they who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart; who say, These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened unto us; You foolish ones! compare yourselves to a tree; take [for instance] the vine. First of all, it sheds its leaves, then it buds, next it puts forth leaves, and then it flowers; after that comes the sour grape, and then follows the ripened fruit. You perceive how in a little time the fruit of a tree comes to maturity. Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, Speedily will He come, and will not tarry; and, The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom you look. Malachi 3:1

Chapter 24. God Continually Shows Us in Nature that There Will Be a Resurrection.

Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower Luke 8:5 goes forth, and casts it into the ground, and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.

Chapter 28. God Sees All Things: Therefore Let Us Avoid Transgression.

Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? For the Scripture says in a certain place, Whither shall I go, and where shall I be hid from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I go away even to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is Your right hand; if I make my bed in the abyss, there is Your Spirit. Whither, then, shall anyone go, or where shall he escape from Him who comprehends all things?

Chapter 32. We are Justified Not by Our Own Works, But by Faith.

Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. Romans 9:5 From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, inasmuch as God had promised, Your seed shall be as the stars of heaven. All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Chapter 33. But Let Us Not Give Up the Practice of Good Works and Love. God Himself is an Example to Us of Good Works.

What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work. For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For by His infinitely great power He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible wisdom He adorned them. He also divided the earth from the water which surrounds it, and fixed it upon the immovable foundation of His own will. The animals also which are upon it He commanded by His own word into existence. So likewise, when He had formed the sea, and the living creatures which are in it, He enclosed them [within their proper bounds] by His own power. Above all, with His holy and undefiled hands He formed man, the most excellent [of His creatures], and truly great through the understanding given him— the express likeness of His own image. For thus says God: Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27 Having thus finished all these things, He approved them, and blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply. Genesis 1:28 We see, then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength.

Chapter 34. Great is the Reward of Good Works with God. Joined Together in Harmony, Let Us Implore that Reward from Him.

The good servant receives the bread of his labour with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face. It is requisite, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of well-doing; for of Him are all things. And thus He forewarns us: Behold, the Lord [comes], and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work. He exhorts us, therefore, with our whole heart to attend to this, that we be not lazy or slothful in any good work. Let our boasting and our confidence be in Him. Let us submit ourselves to His will. Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels, how they stand ever ready to minister to His will. For the Scripture says, Ten thousand times ten thousand stood around Him, and thousands of thousands ministered unto Him, Daniel 7:10 and cried, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the Lord of Sabaoth; the whole creation is full of His glory. Isaiah 6:3 And let us therefore, conscientiously gathering together in harmony, cry to Him earnestly, as with one mouth, that we may be made partakers of His great and glorious promises. For [the Scripture] says, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which He has prepared for them that wait for Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Next week we will really get into the heart of the letter, what has been discussed thus far has been building towards it.

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Analyzing Attraction- Part 3

This is Part 3 of an ongoing series concerning sexual attraction. Part 1 can be found here, and part 2 here.

Subjective Considerations

In the last post on this subject, Elspeth sought clarification about the objectivity of attraction factors versus their subjectivity. I’ve attempted to cover such subjects before, but not to great success. So here is an attempt to try again.

My original argument was that the LAMPS factors are objective factors, in that each women’s evaluation of a man’s sexual attractiveness is controlled by them. However, a better way of describing them is that they are universal. They apply to all women, regardless of individual characteristics. In that sense it is objective. However, past that point there is a lot of subjectivity involved.

As a general rule, the PSALM model is the arrangement from the most to the least important attributes: Power, Status, Athleticism, Looks and Money. However, even there you will find some variation. Some women are much more focused on a man’s appearance, while others don’t really care much at all. So while generalizations are possible, they are not perfect. Subjectivity matters here.

Furthermore, inside the individual factors subjectivity can play a significant role. Looks and Athleticism are the most subjective of the 5 sets of attributes. Some women prefer men with dark hair, some with light hair. Eye color preferences vary. As do other features. However, there are still certain general masculine features in the Looks category which are almost universally preferred. This is especially the case with facial features. Height is an interesting twist to this. The general preference is for a taller man, however the exact height preferred can differ between women. The ideal range, from what I can tell, seems to be around 6’0 to 6’4. Athleticism also has some variation- some women prefer a man with a swimmer build, others prefer the lean look of a runner, while yet others prefer the bulk of a weight lifter. Yet even in this the overall preference is still towards the ideal of each particular build.

Status and Money are the most objective of the LAMPS factors. Here it is pretty safe to say that the more, the merrier. More money and a greater status are always more attractive. Status might leave more room for subjectivity, in that some positions might be seen as higher status than others for some women. But overall there tends to be a lot of conformity here.

Power is hard to analyze here. There are a lot of subjective factors when personality is concerned, yet certain things (confidence, assurance, dominance) seem to be universally attractive. I’d be curious of folks’ thoughts on this.

Our Ideals Are Not Necessarily Ideal

The Daily Mail, not normally a news source of mine, had an interesting article recently. Essentially, a survey was conducted which asked questions related to sex and attraction. An interesting result of this was that when women were asked to name the ideal female “beauty”, they gave Cameron Diaz (presumably when she was younger). Men, on the other hand, listed Kate Upton. When men were asked to give the ideal male physique, they gave Hugh Jackman, while women listed Ryan Gosling.

What I found interesting about the choice of Diaz was the mention in the article of her “slim, boyish shape.” I’ve heard a few women I know, and attractive women at that, mention that they wish they were possessed of a thinner and taller profile or body shape. I am kind of curious why women would prefer this. While I have a few ideas of my own, I would like to hear what my readers think.

As for the men, I think I understand why men picked Hugh Jackman over Ryan Gosling. Since men are primarily driven by physical appearance, they selected a high-status man who seemed to best fit the peak masculine physical look. However, as the PSALM model points out, both Power and Status are of greater significance to a man’s sexual attractiveness than his Athleticism or Looks. Which makes me wonder if Gosling is considered higher Status right now. Or perhaps, if not necessarily purely higher status, if he is considerable more desirable by women right now. Which ties into my next point.

A Short-Cut To Status

Pre-selection is a feature of female behavior wherein women find men more attractive in relation to how many other women find that man attractive. The greater the number of women who seem to be attracted to a man, the more attractive he will tend to be in female eyes. This behavior is tied to Status  and is a “short-cut”, women use it to quickly and easily gauge a man’s position in the overall market.

It is a behavior that gets quite a lot of play in Game circles, as it can be truly potent in driving attraction. While I’m not really interested in their particular “trade”, the behavior has an impact in the Marriage Marketplace just as it does in the Sexual Marketplace. As more than a few Christians have attested to before in this particular section of the internet, if a man in church manages to “invoke” this female behavior it can almost completely shut out other men.

In his latest post Rollo quotes from an earlier piece by Heartiste explaining an “experiment” which relied on this phenomenon:

Basically, the guy had a few friends follow him around the mall, one guy filming him and the other two guys (I can’t tell if any of his hired guns were women) acting as his “groupies” or entourage. He goes around identifying himself as “Thomas Elliot” when people, mostly women, ask him his name. Eventually, he begins to pile up admiring and gawking female attention, which only snowballs into more female attention. Apparently, not one of these starstruck chicks thought to question if Thomas Elliot was a real celebrity. That’s the power of preselection and fame; so powerful, it can disengage a woman’s neural logic circuitry.

[For those who want the link to the original post, go to Rollo’s post- as a general rule I don’t linke to Heartiste.]

Rollo then comments on how pre-selection plays the dominant role in the insanity which we know as “teen idols”:

Preselection is a very powerful motivator of women’s hypergamous decision making process. Even the perception of fame (or even the potential for it) is a prime motivator and incentive to lock down a man who presents the hypergamous optimal ideal – a guy who satisfies the sexiness her Alpha F—s hypergamous needs require and the long term security of provisioning potential from status-confirmed Beta Bucks.

Whether this “famous” guy actually embodies this ideal is irrelevant to a woman’s Id-centric psyche. When women are younger, tweens and teens, this self-convincing is much easier since girls lack any real world experience to reference with respect to what the guy really represents. A capacity for abstract thinking is something that develops as we mature, but the desire to optimize hypergamy is a limbic, instinctual drive for girls and no amount of reasoning can compete with the fantasy of a pre-fabricated idealized Hypergamy.

They want to believe it.

[DG: I wonder if this might be the female counter-part to men pedestalizing women. Thoughts?]

Thus we have hordes of girls and young women willing to go to behavioral lengths they would never consider with the mundane men they’re familiar with in order to just brush with the possibility of  that hypergamous ideal. They will literally climb over one another to realize this.

The thing is, many older women can experience this behavior as well. They tend not to be as extreme about it, but I’ve seen it expressed before. SO it definitely seems to be an innate female behavior. Perhaps experience tempers it, as Rollo implies. Or maybe a woman’s drop in SMV, and her knowledge of his, makes her realize that she doesn’t have a real chance of pulling off this kind of “coup.”

Naturally, many Game practitioners and PUAs try to find ways to capitalize on pre-selection. I’ve heard of some hiring escorts to provide the appearance of female attention. Others will use female family members or co-workers for this purpose. It can be a huge card to play, and frankly any man looking to attract women should keep it in mind. If not for his own use, but to be wary of other men using it.

What I am curious about is how, or if, this could be ethically used by Christians within the confines of a church. Assuming that you cannot, or should not use it, what steps might be taken to counter-act its effects? Or is that even really possible? From what I’ve seen, the only thing that can surmount a man with pre-selection is another man with an even greater perception of pre-selection. I invite my readers to chime in with their thoughts on this subject, and all the others broached in this post.

 

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #53

Today’s post finds its focus on the New Testament.  First we begin with Acts:

15 In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. 18 (Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akel′dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms,

‘Let his habitation become desolate,
and let there be no one to live in it’;

and

‘His office let another take.’

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab′bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi′as. 24 And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi′as; and he was enrolled with the eleven…

(Acts 1:15-26)

That then brings us to the Letter to Titus:

This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you, if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate. For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it. 10 For there are many insubordinate men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially the circumcision party; 11 they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for base gain what they have no right to teach.

(Titus 1:5-11)

And finally we conclude with First Timothy:

If any one teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

(1 Timothy 6:3-5)

The choice of passages owes itself to my recent post on Sacred Tradition, or rather, the source material which it covers. These passages will make more sense when I continue with the Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians on Thursday. Authority, of various types, is at the core of it all.

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Saturday Saints- #45

For today’s saint we go back to the Dark Ages, and to France, in the person of Saint Remigius:

Saint Remigius, Remy or Remi, (French: Saint Rémi or Saint Rémy; Italian: Remigio; Spanish: Remigio; Occitan: Romieg; Polish: Remigiusz; and Breton: Remig), was Bishop of Reims and Apostle of the Franks, (c. 437 – January 13, 533). On 24 December 496 he baptised Clovis I, King of the Franks. This baptism, leading to the conversion of the entire Frankish people to Nicene Christianity, was a momentous success for the Catholic Church and a seminal event in European history.

Remigius occupies an interesting time in the history of the Church. Rome had fallen, Christianity has emerged as the main religion of the remnants of the Roman Empire, and most of the early Fathers of the Church had already come and gone. At this point in time the faith was expanding past Roman borders (which it had done in the east earlier).

More can be learned about St. Remigius at his wiki.

St. Remigius

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Tradition Thursday- #1

This post is the start of something new- a series devoted to the writings of the early Fathers of the Church. As you can see from the title, it will be (assuming I decide to keep it going, of course) a feature on Thursdays here on this blog. My hope is that this series will deepen my understanding of the history of the church and to help me develop my faith as well.

The first subject of this series will be the letter written by Saint Clement to the Corinthians. Saint Clement is recognized as a pope and successor to St. Peter (here is the wiki on him).  He wrote the letter in response to sedition and rebellion against religious authority by members of the church in Corinth. While his name is not on the letter, early Christian writers recognized his authorship. Clement uses the plural as he represents the Roman Church (or See)- probably relying on that for authority rather than his position. Given the probable date of composition of the letter- from 70 AD to 96AD, the Apostle John was still alive and some of the New Testament had yet to be written. It is a long letter, too long to quote in a single post.  I will only quote from parts of it, and what I do cover will be split among several posts in this series. As for formatting, I am possibly going to try several methods. In this post I will quote the letter in the original post and include my thoughts in the comments. Perhaps in others I will include them in the OP itself. I will keep the chapter designations of my source for ease of reading and responding. Without further ado:

Chapter 1. The Salutation. Praise of the Corinthians Before the Breaking Forth of Schism Among Them.

The church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the church of God sojourning at Corinth, to them that are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied.

Owing, dear brethren, to the sudden and successive calamitous events which have happened to ourselves, we feel that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the points respecting which you consulted us; and especially to that shameful and detestable sedition, utterly abhorrent to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-confident persons have kindled to such a pitch of frenzy, that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be universally loved, has suffered grievous injury. For who ever dwelt even for a short time among you, and did not find your faith to be as fruitful of virtue as it was firmly established? Who did not admire the sobriety and moderation of your godliness in Christ? Who did not proclaim the magnificence of your habitual hospitality? And who did not rejoice over your perfect and well-grounded knowledge? For you did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the commandments of God, being obedient to those who had the rule over you, and giving all fitting honour to the presbyters among you. You enjoined young men to be of a sober and serious mind, you instructed your wives to do all things with a blameless, becoming, and pure conscience, loving their husbands as in duty bound; and you taught them that, living in the rule of obedience, they should manage their household affairs becomingly, and be in every respect marked by discretion.

Chapter 2. Praise of the Corinthians Continued.

Moreover, you were all distinguished by humility, and were in no respect puffed up with pride, but yielded obedience rather than extorted it, and were more willing to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 Content with the provision which God had made for you, and carefully attending to His words, you were inwardly filled with His doctrine, and His sufferings were before your eyes. Thus a profound and abundant peace was given to you all, and you had an insatiable desire for doing good, while a full outpouring of the Holy Spirit was upon you all. Full of holy designs, you did, with true earnestness of mind and a godly confidence, stretch forth your hands to God Almighty, beseeching Him to be merciful unto you, if you had been guilty of any involuntary transgression. Day and night you were anxious for the whole brotherhood, 1 Peter 2:17 that the number of God’s elect might be saved with mercy and a good conscience. You were sincere and uncorrupted, and forgetful of injuries between one another. Every kind of faction and schism was abominable in your sight. You mourned over the transgressions of your neighbours: their deficiencies you deemed your own. You never grudged any act of kindness, being ready to every good work.Titus 3:1 Adorned by a thoroughly virtuous and religious life, you did all things in the fear of God. The commandments and ordinances of the Lord were written upon the tablets of your hearts. Proverbs 7:3

Chapter 3. The Sad State of the Corinthian Church After Sedition Arose in It from Envy and Emulation.

Every kind of honour and happiness was bestowed upon you, and then was fulfilled that which is written, My beloved ate and drank, and was enlarged and became fat, and kicked.Deuteronomy 32:15 Hence flowed emulation and envy, strife and sedition, persecution and disorder, war and captivity. So the worthless rose up against the honoured, those of no reputation against such as were renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against those advanced in years. For this reason righteousness and peace are now far departed from you, inasmuch as every one abandons the fear of God, and has become blind in His faith, neither walks in the ordinances of His appointment, nor acts a part becoming a Christian, but walks after his own wicked lusts, resuming the practice of an unrighteous and ungodly envy, by which death itself entered into the world. Wisdom 2:24

Chapter 5. No Less Evils Have Arisen from the Same Source in the Most Recent Times. The Martyrdom of Peter and Paul.

But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.

Chapter 9. Examples of the Saints.

Wherefore, let us yield obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labours and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions. Let us steadfastly contemplate those who have perfectly ministered to his excellent glory. Let us take (for instance) Enoch, who, being found righteous in obedience, was translated, and death was never known to happen to him. Noah, being found faithful, preached regeneration to the world through his ministry; and the Lord saved by him the animals which, with one accord, entered into the ark.

Chapter 10. Continuation of the Above.

Abraham, styled the friend, was found faithful, inasmuch as he rendered obedience to the words of God. He, in the exercise of obedience, went out from his own country, and from his kindred, and from his father’s house, in order that, by forsaking a small territory, and a weak family, and an insignificant house, he might inherit the promises of God. For God said to him, Get you out from your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, into the land which I shall show you. And I will make you a great nation, and will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be blessed. And I will bless them that bless you, and curse them that curse you; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.Genesis 12:1-3 And again, on his departing from Lot, God said to him, Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you now are, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed for ever. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, [so that] if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be numbered.Genesis 13:14-16 And again [the Scripture] says, God brought forth Abram, and spoke unto him, Look up now to heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them; so shall your seed be. And Abram believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. On account of his faith and hospitality, a son was given him in his old age; and in the exercise of obedience, he offered him as a sacrifice to God on one of the mountains which He showed him.

Chapter 11. Continuation. Lot.

On account of his hospitality and godliness, Lot was saved out of Sodom when all the country round was punished by means of fire and brimstone, the Lord thus making it manifest that He does not forsake those that hope in Him, but gives up such as depart from Him to punishment and torture. Genesis xix; cf. 2 Peter 2:6-9 For Lot’s wife, who went forth with him, being of a different mind from himself, and not continuing in agreement with him [as to the command which had been given them], was made an example of, so as to be a pillar of salt unto this day. This was done that all might know that those who are of a double mind, and who distrust the power of God, bring down judgment on themselves and become a sign to all succeeding generations.

Chapter 12. The Rewards of Faith and Hospitality. Rahab.

On account of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved. For when spies were sent by Joshua, the son of Nun, to Jericho, the king of the country ascertained that they had come to spy out their land, and sent men to seize them, in order that, when taken, they might be put to death. But the hospitable Rahab receiving them, concealed them on the roof of her house under some stalks of flax. And when the men sent by the king arrived and said, There came men unto you who are to spy out our land; bring them forth, for so the king commands, she answered them, The two men whom you seek came unto me, but quickly departed again and are gone, thus not discovering the spies to them. Then she said to the men, I know assuredly that the Lord your God has given you this city, for the fear and dread of you have fallen on its inhabitants. When therefore you shall have taken it, keep ye me and the house of my father in safety. And they said to her, It shall be as you have spoken to us. As soon, therefore, as you know that we are at hand, you shall gather all your family under your roof, and they shall be preserved, but all that are found outside of your dwelling shall perish. Moreover, they gave her a sign to this effect, that she should hang forth from her house a scarlet thread. And thus they made it manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all them that believe and hope in God. You see, beloved, that there was not only faith, but prophecy, in this woman.

Chapter 13. An Exhortation to Humility.

Let us therefore, brethren, be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings; and let us act according to that which is written (for the Holy Spirit says, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, neither let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glories glory in the Lord, in diligently seeking Him, and doing judgment and righteousness ), being especially mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus which He spoke teaching us meekness and long-suffering. For thus He spoke: Be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven to you; as you do, so shall it be done unto you; as you judge, so shall you be judged; as you are kind, so shall kindness be shown to you; with what measure ye mete, with the same it shall be measured to you. By this precept and by these rules let us establish ourselves, that we walk with all humility in obedience to His holy words. For the holy word says, On whom shall I look, but on him that is meek and peaceable, and that trembles at my words?Isaiah 66:2

[Source]

My comments to follow.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #52

Today’s post marks a full year that I have been running this series. I’ve enjoyed it, and will continue it for the foreseeable future. As for today’s post, the selection is heavily influenced by this post over at Elsepth’s blog. In the comments of that post a discussion emerged over why the priesthood was a vocation only for men (a Catholic approach), or otherwise universally stated, why women aren’t supposed to lead the church or preach. There are several passages from Scripture that touch on this. Here are two:

34 the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. 35 If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36 What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached?

(1 Corinthians 14:34-36)

and…

11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

(1 Timothy 2: 11-15)

One matter that was disputed was whether female proclivity to self-deception is a factor in this. While I cannot be certain (it isn’t laid out clearly in scripture, and I am still unlearned enough to know what Tradition has to say), I do think it must be considered. St. Paul didn’t include mention of Eve’s deception for the heck of it. Given their proximity, a female weakness with regards to deception is a logical reason to separate women from that particular duty. Also, women think differently than men, and it stands to reason that this difference might be enough to render them unsuited for the role of leadership in the Church.

St. Paul also mentions this vulnerability to deception in his Second Letter to Timothy:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people. For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

(2 Timothy 3:1-7)

I should also mention that women, just as men, can fight and resist their sinful tendencies. But just because women can resist this proclivity, doesn’t meant that they will necessarily do so. God, in His wisdom, deigned to keep the priesthood male, and we should trust Him that He did so for good reason. And I would argue that we can learn from this fact, and draw wisdom from it ourselves, to understand more about men and women.

For those who disagree, and/or have a different view of the matter, feel free to voice you opinion in the comments. This blog could use a good debate at the moment.

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