Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Thursday, April 18, 2013

3 Lies Porn Tells You

April 18, 2013
Justin and Trisha are bloggers, authors, speakers and founders of RefineUs Ministries. Sharing their story of pain, loss and redemption, RefineUs is igniting a movement to build healthy marriages and families. They are the co-authors of their first book, Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough, published by Tyndale House Publishers.
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Three years into our marriage, my wife, Trisha, woke up in the middle of the night and realized I wasn’t in bed. She walked out into the living room and as soon as she looked at the TV, I quickly changed the channel.
She began to question me about what I was watching, why I wasn’t in bed, and why I would immediately change the channel. Then came the repeated question: Do you struggle with lust and pornography? The more she asked the more intense the conversation became.
So I denied everything. I told her I was just channel surfing. I argued with her about what she saw. I convinced her that I didn’t struggle with porn or lust. She had nothing to worry about. I was lying.
For the amount of people who struggle with this, we don’t talk about it near enough.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that night was the first of many opportunities I had over the first 10 years of our marriage to be honest about my porn addiction. I was a pastor and pastors don’t struggle with lust or porn. At least, no other pastor I knew struggled with it, I felt all alone.
The truth was, I wasn’t alone. I had friends I could have talked to. I had accountability partners I lied to. I had other pastors I blew off when asked about sexual sins and struggles.
In my mind, my intentions were good—I was trying to protect my marriage. The reality is, porn was telling me lies and I was buying right into them.
For the amount of people who struggle with this, we don’t talk about it near enough. We don’t talk about it in our families. We don’t talk about it in our churches. We think avoiding it will make it go away. Statistically speaking, over 50 percent of the men reading this post have had exposure to pornography recently. And it’s not just a “man’s problem,” either. About 30 percent of porn users online are women. It isn’t going away.
Here are the three lies porn told me and will tell you as well.
1. That was the last time.
No matter how many times you’ve looked at pornography, that was your last time. Because you truly believe it is your last time buying the magazine, going to the web site, downloading that movie—you don’t need to confess it, because it was the last time. Until tomorrow or next week or next month. It is the last time—until the next time. If porn can convince you that “this time is the last time,” you’ll never tell anyone.
2. You can stop anytime you want.
You know what pornography has done to other marriages, to other friends, to other families, to other church leaders…but you aren’t really “addicted” to pornography. You can stop anytime you want. Besides it doesn’t have the same effect on you that it does on other people. It won’t hurt your life, your marriage, your kids, your church, your ministry like it has other people. You are in control of porn, it doesn’t control you.
Freedom costs something upfront, but not as much as bondage costs over time.
3. Confessing your struggle with cost you too much.
Porn wants you to live in secret. Porn causes us to weigh the cost of confessing against the cost of hiding and convinces us that hiding will be less painful. You think you are helping yourself and your marriage by hiding your porn addiction. Your wife—or husband—won’t understand. Your marriage won’t recover. Your credibility won’t be able to be rebuilt.
Something I’ve learned the hard way: Hiding sin never provides us with the power
to overcome it. The freedom you long for is found in confession. Freedom costs
something upfront, but not as much as bondage costs over time.
Believing these lies will never give you the power to overcome them. Trying to quit will not give you the power to quit. But freedom is possible.
Here is what I believe with all of my heart: If you struggle with pornography, God isn’t disappointed in you; He is fighting for you. He died and conquered sin and death so you can have victory in this area of your life.
Where do we begin? How can we overcome something that grips our heart and keeps us living in shame and guilt? The first place I suggest everyone that struggles with pornography start is with a Christian counselor. Both my wife and I needed someone with greater perspective and wisdom than we had to help us overcome this struggle in my life.
Beyond that, I want to share one principle with you that I believe has power to bring freedom, hope and healing to your heart. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Healing comes through confession and prayer. I know that sounds very churchy, but take a look at this Scripture: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
The type of confession that James is talking about isn’t a confession for forgiveness; it is confession for healing. There is a healing that comes to our heart as we confess our sins with one another.
Most of us have the “forgiveness” part of confession down. We know that in order to get forgiveness from God, we have to confess our sins. Maybe you grew up confessing to a priest, maybe it is something that you do in your quiet time with God, maybe it is something that you do after you’ve made a huge mistake. Most of us know that forgiveness from God comes through confession.
We don’t talk about the “healing” type of confession in the Church very often. In fact, we have built a religious system that tries to find healing through hiding our sins, not confessing them. The sins we do confess are “safe” sins: bitterness, jealousy, materialism, anger and selfishness.
I was the master at this. I appeared “authentic” for confessing socially acceptable sins while I lived as a prisoner to sins I wasn’t willing to confess. For years, I forfeited the healing that God longed to bring to my heart not because I didn’t confess my sins to Him; but because I refused to confess them to anyone else.
But here’s 3 truths porn will never tell you:
  • Temptation loses its power when we confess.
  • Sin loses its ability to keep us fractured when we confess.
  • Addictions lose the control they have in our lives when we confess.
The secret sin you keep only has power as it remains a secret. The Light will always overcome darkness. The difficult decision we face is allow that Light into the darkest, most embarrassing parts of our heart. God can’t heal the parts of our heart we refuse to bring into the Light. But when we do, we can be healed.