Dear Sheri and Readers
We have much in common, you and I, though you are female, and I male. I also am unable to “work” because of my many medical conditions, but what I can do (from my home in Australia), I offer to God and to All, to make my life worthwhile. I am also an older person, and now called a “senior citizen” despite my decrepitude, and so probably have the grey hair and wrinkles to support my case, which is not so different to yours, in any case. I was interested in all that you had to say, and have selected snippets from your writing, which you and your readers should recognize easily enough when I post them, if they have done their “homework”.
I have put my questionings and doubts in “brackets” for the most part, and have tried to encapsulate what you have written in a progressive way. I have also attempted to make “more inclusive” and “universal” the quotes (“we instead of “you” etc). Anyway, here are our points of agreement, and my argument, “grouped” into paragraphs for easy, progressing digestion.
Do not have sexual intercourse with any of your father's wives (?!)(How many can one man have ? How many did Jesus have ?), for this would violate your father (?!).
God loves us and wants to see us (all of us !) doing well in all areas of our (own) lives. Do we love our neighbour(s) as ourselves ?
GOD IS LOVE !!! God is Peace ! God is Light ! Power (Good), Life, Divine Creator, Parent, Shepherd, Deliverer, Helper, Rock, Strength, Mercy, Pre-sent, Always…. God does love the sinner (all sinners !). God hates “the SIN” (many sins, actually), but loves the SINNER (do “we” ? All ?).
GOD NEVER TEMPTS US. God is not a mean God. Our faith will be tested, yes, but God is not in the business of tempting us. There is only one who tempts, and that is the devil. If you have a roof over your head, clothes to wear, food to eat and people who love you, then consider yourself much richer than many.
Remain pure (to your own self), regardless of your marital status (all people are sexual beings). For Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God. Homo-sexuality is “Sexual orientation to persons of the same sex” (a minority) (Hetero-sexuality is Sexual orientation to persons of the opposite sex – the majority). If you have family or friends that are closer than your natural birth family, you are rich in love.
It is a personal choice whether or not to pursue the act of masturbation (if in doubt, you may take a cold shower, or not !). Our (own) great (good) power is from God, not from ourselves.
There are (good) laws to abide by. They are not there to make life a hassle or to make life difficult. They are (should be) set in place to protect us from either ourselves or from others (how can a death sentence help the living ?).
The temptations that come into “our” lives are no different from what “others” experience (and we all succumb to many temptations – from eating more than we need, to admiring someone attractive). Those claiming to be wise, can become utter fools (in a new situation – more often than not).
Thou Shalt Not Be A Selfish Pig: Consider the needs of your (partner/)spouse before your own. Thou shalt say "I love you," daily in thought, word and deed.
We are rich if we have some form of shelter, some clothes to wear, some food to eat and friends or family that love us. Anything over and above these things are blessings from God (the God of Love )(and for which, we are accountable).
Those who cannot ask for help (It takes a humble heart to be willing to say, "I need help") and ask for it (or receive it, when it is freely given as an act of love) are too proud to admit they are having problems (also).
(Abuse and) Rape is “The crime of forcing another person to submit to (degrading) acts” – (against that person, which do not reflect well on the abuser)(Please Note: The one who has power over another is the one who has likely sinned). (Immorality is the sin of un-equal relationship – abusive power of the powerful, which – most likely – counts against the one holding that power – the one who has most likely abused it.) Sexual immorality is a sin (of un-equal sexual power of the powerful, which counts against the one holding that power, who abuses it).
(Share the) Good News of the Gospel of (Truth and Light)…. Be enthusiastic. Be joyful. Be brilliant…. (Try “Me” (God)…. and know my Good thoughts today.): The streets are (and have ever been) littered with prostitutes (why ?) selling their bodies for money (why ?). Homes are filled with incest (why ?) and child abuse (why ?). Watch any of the current talk shows and you will find out just how much sexual impurity there is out there (why ?). Sexual assault is on the rise (?), currently standing with 1 out of every 2 women being sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime (In any age, this is “the” disgrace ! Why ?).
The temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience.
When you are feeling tempted to do something you “KNOW” is wrong (for yourself and/or an “other”), “speak” (call upon) the name of “God” (to inspire you). (If you are not “saved” from “wrong” action by timely “inspiration”, make sure that your actions with kindness are made. And then you [and I] should be AOK, which is at least what we all want, including God, the Creator of All things, Great and Small, White and Black, Male and Female, etc. etc ad infinitum [and down to “you” and “I”].)
(After all, God is recorded as saying “I am that I am”. Who are we to doubt that “God” [both “he” and “she”] – at the very least also meant “I am what I am; I am where I am; I am who I am; I am how I am; I am why I am; I am because I am; I am therefore I am ? If God is Good, Spirit, Love, Life, Divine Creator, Parent, Shepherd, Deliverer, Helper, Rock, Strength, Mercy, Pre-sent, and Always [the Alpha to the Omega – the first to the last – all inclusive] – as previously mentioned – we will not doubt this “possibility” [at the very least] – and say an enthusiastic “Amen !” and “Amen !” to that !)
Yes, we should “Enjoy learning about our One True Loving God” (and about our own "selves" - not slaves, but - "Children of God", deserving of "repect" and "care" for who, or "what" we are - and have been "Uniquely Created to Be" - by God, the Creator of All Things).
Now this brings me to the “Five Fingered Prayer” previously mentioned by Sheri Liegh Adams:
Actually, there are ten of them; each hand mirrors the other (so this doubles the trouble we should go to get things “right”):
When you fold your hands for prayer, your thumb is closest to you. Therefore, pray for those who are closest to you. This could be family, your closest friends, co-workers, and so on. The Pointer Finger is next. This reminds us to prayer for those who are teachers, (religious leaders) and others who instruct and teach us. Anybody who teaches us something, including doctors, teachers, pastors, and others are included here.
The middle finger is often the tallest finger. This reminds us to pray for the leaders of our nations, the leaders of our (religious institutions) and any leaders that God may bring to your remeberances. Believe it or not, your ring finger is your weakest finger (yes, it is). When praying, use this finger to pray for those who are in need. This could include the sick, elderly, poor, widowed, orphans and so on. Lastly we have our Pinky finger. It is the smallest of our fingers. This is the time to pray for ourselves. We should always pray for our own needs, ONLY AFTER we have prayed for the needs of others....
Like the “Golden Rule of Love” which Jesus confirmed as the Rule upon which all others depend (The First and Paramount Rule – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and – Love your Neighbour as you love your [own] Self”), the so-called “Five Fingered Prayer” is probably just as important as the prayer attributed to Jesus, which can now easily be understood to mean (as one among the many translations):
God our Mother, God our Father, God of Earth and Heaven,
God among us and within us, You are Holy !
Continue Your reign in us, as in all creation.
Forgive us our failings and shortcomings, as we forgive others, too.
Lead us through our temptations, and strengthen us to contend with evil.
For all Love, Healing, and Life, are Yours, Now, and Forever.
So let it be. Praise God ! Amen ! (And Amen !)
Now I don’t know about you (Sheri Liegh Adams and readers), but I (with many a same understanding as yourselves) will not be the first one to caste a stone at those whose God-given sexuality is different to mine, nor to women. Lest you ill consider my motivations for saying so, I hasten to add that I write to support Biblical purity, and the lesson that Jesus himself taught to the craven would-be stone-throwers. None was without sin. As for the woman, Jesus said “I do not condemn you either. Go now, and sin no more”.
But what is sin ? A woman without options in that cruel world was then, as now, without sin. She perhaps (and quite likely) was a victim of cruel circumstance. It is the abuser in unequal power relationships who sins. It is an unfortunate fact for us mere men, that while men exclude women (50% of the population) from leadership on an equal basis, minorities too will face discrimination and persecution from craven majority mob mentality. It is time for this patriarchal sexist subjugation of women and minorities to be known for what it is: abuse of power. Abuse. This is the “abomination” ! Full Stop ! End of Story !
I am who I am. I do nothing by my own authority. I am telling you the Truth; whoever obeys my teaching will never die. I am the Light of the World. Thus spake Jesus, 2000 years ago, and we are still arguing ? This is beyond belief ! What is there to argue ? If we have no love (empathy, compassion, care), we are nothing. Nothing at all.
Marriage is not “The state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder” (husband). It never has been, and never will be. It is a relationship of equals, in partnership. Likewise, our lives, and the lives of “others”, from village to world.
Inequality kills; “inequality” should and must be roundly condemned, for it springs not from God (Love), but from the devil.
Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum – it has been demonstrated – Ο.Ε.Δ. – I.B.D. etc) – and I now Ieave “it” (Life-long Loving) up to “you” !