"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)Post Thanks / Like - 1 Thanks, 0 Laughing
"Because of our tendency towards legalism, which has been so deeply encoded into our collective religious culture, many in our church have given up true holiness for the outward likeness of it. I'm sure for many this legalism was rarely intentional, they just got confused. You see, there's the character of a person, and then there is the fruit of their character and sometimes it is easy to confuse the two. The Covenant of Christian Conduct is detrimental precisely because it's leads to more legalism because it focuses on the fruit a person bears rather than the character that yields the fruit in the first place." - Kevin Rector
Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
~ Stella Adler ~
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It takes a great deal of maturity to accept that trying to eliminate all risk eliminates life.
~ Susan Lapin ~
I find this thread very interesting, because I haven't really been on NN since... the PREVIOUS CENTURY!!! (Dun dun dun!) At that time it was a very welcoming place for a high school kid who was just finding footing in the world of theology, was about to head to a Nazarene institution to study for ministry, and who was really looking for some sense of community that would include a group of individuals that I aspired to be a peer with one day in ministry. In those days I found individuals like Scott Cundiff, Hans Deventer, Dave McClung, and others to be very loving, welcoming, and patient with this "kid."
I had returned for a very brief period in 2002-2003 (?) mostly lurking, only for a few days, and felt as though I had walked into a digital post-apocalyptic distopia. While those who had always shown me kindness were still seeking to offer some sense of civility it seemed as though the tenor of the board had changed. I've been reading closely lately and actually feel (after some extensive reading in some theology discussions that, evidently, I am not privy to post in yet) that there is a tense, but better, level of discourse than during my previous return. I am particularly impressed because I think the past 4 years have been some of the most terse in inter-Nazarene relations we, as a young denomination, have ever faced. I'm still maintaining hope for this forum, and the larger denomination from whom we borrowed some of our namesake, and I am working on developing something I'll post as a new thread in the next few days that I hope will continue to inspire better forms of conversation.
Now I have noticed that Hans seems a little saltier than I recall from over a decade ago. I'm going to place some of that matter on our shared heartbreak over the Dutch display at Euro2012. I have long been a fan of the "Orange Crush" over the rest of the European teams and this last showing was quite disappointing. While the national team looks for better tactics, perhaps we can collectively do the same.
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)
I doubt you'll see a single game of the tournament at this point unless they replay.
I've been very aware of the seismic shifts from those "concerned" and those dubbed "emergent" (or as your more recent forum probably better dubbed "post-traditional") and have had to deal with them personally, and collectively, with many peers who were trying to swim such rough waters. Doing this individually with the group of young ministers who chose to have me weigh through personal conversations has been interesting. Who knew friends cared what I thought these days? (HA!) But it was a major reason why I held back from returning to NN sooner. I share your pain. I think many feel as Isaiah- called to speak to those who have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear. I wish this wasn't true of the many sides- I can't say "both" because neither group is homogeneous, but rather ring with many distinctly individual voices- of the arguments. What I have observed is typically a matter of pride over Spirit, but if you can't brag about your self-perceived sanctification then what is there upon which to stake a claim? (Wow, that is pretty biting, I'll try to do better.)
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)
The tone of our conversations on NN reflects the troubled nature of the Church today. Really, today's Church is in crisis mode. I see various factions of people forming (Concerned, emerging, etc). The Church in North America is in decline. The future of our denomination is in the Southern Hemisphere where the population is growing and not declining. It remains to be seen if an established church of Holiness persuasion can redefine itself in the wake of the postmodern shift. The Brick n' mortar operation of the Church seems out of touch and lifeless to many. Christians speak a language that is foreign to the very people they are trying to reach. There are a lot of factors in play.
Phyliss Tickle calls today's upheaval the Great Emergence. She claims every 500 hundred years the Church has a huge rummage sale and we having one right now. It's worldwide and crosses all denominational lines because we are a global community brought closer together by the internet. Even the Chinese can't control the internet these days, at best they just try to contain it.
Len Sweet calls it the Church of the perfect storm. Call it what you wish, we're living in a time of great unrest. So, it does not surprise me we get at each others throat from time to time!
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool...."
That quote from Isaiah came to mind as I was reading the most recent posts in this thread--especially the first 6 words (I realize that the context is such that the statement is between God and humans, but if God wants to reason with us, shouldn't we also reason with one another?).
The reality is that when people are dealing with spiritual matters that are close to their heart, people can get to be passionate about things. The difficulty is often that passion can lead to having a sense of righteousness, and that, in turn, can lead to judgmentalism against those who may not hold the same views. It can go like this:
"That person can't really be a Nazarene/Christian if he/she ___________________________." (fill in the blank).
I hope that I don't have that type of attitude. If I err, I hope I err on the side of grace.
I think Sunday afternoon naps are an ecumenical thing. Haven't been a Nazarene in years, but God, in mercy, allows this Congregationalist to nap for an hour or two on Sunday afternoon. Now if he would only see his way clear to allow said Congregationalist to sleep well Saturday night (when I kow I've gotta' rise and shine at 6:30 am Sunday) it would be real nice.
The Urban Dictionary comments on the epidemic of obesity in America. This is called Diabeting your kids:
When parents feed their young children, who do not know better or aren't given any healthy options, pure crap, resulting in juvenile onset diabetes. This should be considered child abuse.
Mom to already obese kid: Now what do you want for dinner? McDonald's, KFC, or Pizza Hut?
Obese Kid:We already had Pizza Hut for breakfast, and KFC for lunch, so let's go to McDonald's!
Mom to already obese kid: Ok, well get whatever you like sweetie!
Obese Kid: I want two double bacon cheese burgers, a large chocolate shake, and a large Coke.
Mom: Are you sure that's enough honey?
Obese Kid: Yeah....
Mom to Drive-Thru Attendant: He's going to need more than that, make that 4 double bacon cheeseburgers, and a large fry, large milkshake, and large Coke.
Drive-Thru Attendant: D___ lady! You should stop diabeating your kids!
In all seriousness though our respective denominations have the resources to do it..... we just need the will. At the same time it could be a great "outreach tool" to the community, for losing weight is not an easy process and people need help to do so. As to the legitimacy of such a programme, well I just see it as being part of the discipling process. It would certainly be more effective than just making more rules.
http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/a.../S26/91/22K07/A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
This type of issue might be one of local emphasis, service at the point of need. I do not think, however, that oour corporate leadership needs to make a statement on every issue you or I think is important. You have 7% body fat and that is wonderful. You can live by example and teach others to live healthy at their point of need. We don't need a corporate stance on it, however.
I think so far, the CoTN has done a good job so far of staying with the larger issues. Though this is a huge issue in America (pun intended), I do not believe it is a Nazarene Official Stance Issue. Now if you can convince your district that it is ...
Maybe the whole discussion makes an interesting point about the nationalistic myopia that is present within the US Nazarene delegation (that's not a slam on you, Bob, your questions are well worth asking). It really is the United States that has the horrendous obesity issue. However, almost all of the CCC has been formed based on American hot-topic issues over the years. Our Church Manual is, in this regard, one of our least missions applicable documents. While I know all materials need cultural adaptability it has been my understanding that there is zero adaptability for the Manual. Hmm.
I think the point to this debate is that many do not see answers in rules or laws or requirements. Rules in answer to a commandment given by God or by Jesus are an attempt on our part to clarify something so that we know how to make sure we follow it.
The primary concern should not be if we follow a rule or not, but whether we have totally given control of our heart to Jesus. If we have made Jesus the master of our heart then we will love our neighbors and God and we will behave in a manner that reveals that love.
However, just having a rule often creates a situation where people will follow the rule under their own power and ability and then use that against those who fail. Where is the love?
My most important concern? What is in a person's heart that is causing that behavior? This we need to speak to as a church. This is Holiness.
Some may have freedom where others do not. Are you willing to restrict your freedoms in some situations to show love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ just as our church father's did?
Consider how you might restrict your freedoms for me. I am overweight. I have a problem saying no to food. I am working with Jesus to gain the ability to be healthy and eat what I need to be healthy rather than just eating what makes me happy for that moment. If I come to your house, how could you adjust to help me? Would you serve extra large portions? Would you serve high calorie and high carb deserts?
Just as we would consider our behavior around our brothers who struggle with alcohol, we should also consider our behavior around everyone who has a struggle with a temptation.
Let us as a church state that we stand ready to restrict our freedoms as necessary to assist our brothers and sisters in Christ as they seek healing from temptations.
BTW. I'm up to 8% body fat, my trainer wants me up to 10%. (I have some metabolism issues that make is so... I'm not bragging, just trying to do the best I can with this busted carcass of mine).
With regard to addictions, there are habitual and chemical addictions. I like that the CCC has focused on the chemical addictions (which are actually both chemical and habitual). Poor eating habits are habitual, high fructose corn syrup does not create a chemical dependence. That is why I like our comments regarding drug usage to include alcohol but do not think we need an official stance regarding diet and exercise. I have no issues with the CCC as it now stands. I think we have addressed what we need to address.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0000698 How can this not be chemical? It alters our body chemistry and many studies are saying it causes some cancers!
If you think CCC is okay, then you are certainly entitled to that opinion, but I respectfully disagree and I have not proposed eliminating the CCC (as some have). I believe it needs to be revised to reflect a more holistic life-outlook. It needs address some neglected issues. We need to bring it into the 21st Century. I would retain stiff warnings on alcohol consumption without disqualifying members who consume in moderation. But there is no way on earth Nazarenes will let it happen, so I recommend we don't touch that issue right now.
Bob, I did not say it doesn't cause chemical reactions, I stated that the addiction is not a chemical addiction. It could be psychological, habitual, or some other descriptor having to do with the brain, but the addiction is not chemically based.
Caffeine addiction is chemically based but it is a mild chemical reaction that can be broken by most people in three days. Endure a couple of rebound headaches and your done. Cocaine, not so much, one would need help to get down from the chemical portion of that addiction.
Yes, I've heard of sugar cravings, its not the same thing, not even close. In your defense, the nurse sitting next to me tells me that sugar addiction is individualized. So it can be physiological for some, and just as hard a habit to break as anything else. And in my defense, cocaine on the other hand is physiological for everyone, has immediate and universal negative effects, whereas sugar, is neither universal nor always has a negative outcome.
And though we might agree that a generalized statement on honoring God's temple (our bodies) might be good, we do seem to disagree that comments on things like illegal drugs need to be much more specific than comments about diet.
Additional note: Nurse says soda is the primary damaging element whether sugared or sugar free, there is no positive outcome for soda or pop for those of you who speak differently.
My friend Tim is a software developer. Each afternoon he craves a pop and somehow he finds a way to obtain a soda. I think it goes beyond a psychological addiction. It's a sugar-caffeine high. If it causes chemical reactions and a person craves it, then it sounds to me like it meets the basic criteria of an addiction.I did not say it doesn't cause chemical reactions, I stated that the addiction is not a chemical addiction. It could be psychological, habitual, or some other descriptor having to do with the brain, but the addiction is not chemically based.
. Absolutely 100% not true. It took me over three weeks to come off of caffeine. I literally craved the stimulation for a month it seemed. I had shakes, cravings and just couldn't cope without my daily dose of caffeine. I was not a pretty picture. But yes, caffeine is much easier to eliminate that a hard drug. And actually, caffeine has some beneficial elements. I just think we over consume. Today's coffee is much more potent than the Denny's coffee I grew up on. I may also mention, I had a pastoral ministry student that recently blacked out while driving. He couldn't figure out what might have caused this event. I asked him how much coffee he consumed that day and he claimed he drank a 12 cup pot. He simply got dehydrated and temporarily blacked out. Nazarenes love their caffeine and not all of it is bad for us. Medical opinion is not against caffeine consumption. It's over consumption that hurts. I would say the same is true of alcohol consumption. The Bible is not against alcohol consumption, it's over consumption leading to drunkeness--and we should strongly warn against it.Caffeine addiction is chemically based but it is a mild chemical reaction that can be broken by most people in three days
I have an outlier response to caffeine that is exactly opposite of yours. It has absolutely no affect on me regardless of dose. I neither black out nor can be kept awake by caffeine. On the other hand, I am one of those people who cannot manage their migraines without the caffeine helper contained in such meds as Excedrine. The prescription migraine meds do not work. Well, one might have worked but it knocked me out for 12 hours, so that was a no-go. With excedrine off the market, I have had to resort to prescription medicines again, in this case, Fioricet which in addition to caffeine and acetomenophin, contains a mild barbituate. I don't like taking barbituates (makes me dizzy) but the side effect is better than the migraine.
I also prefer the non-prescrition solution because when I wake up, it has to be instant, and I need to know exactly where I am and what woke me up. I can't afford the time to fight off a drug to wake up.
Added: You mentioned excess, which I think is the main issue. When I was talking to one of the nurses about this thread, excess came up a lot and I think that is the key to healthy living, moderation. I remember buying coke in 6 oz bottles. My memory seems to think that it was refreshing at that dose. 20 oz of coke does not feel good to me when I consume that much at once.
My daily dose of coffee on work days is 20 oz (Newman's own, extra bold), my daily dose of coffee on non work days is Zero, hardly ever soda either. My total coffee intake for July 1-10 was one Starbucks coffee for the entire time. I'm an outlier too, just in the opposite direction from you.
Since this thread is evidently about addiction now (?) it should be pointed out that the bifurcated notion that addiction can be psychological and not chemical (don't forget that there are chemicals in the human body) is a little misguided. Even addictions such a pornography begin to change the chemical make-up of the brain, which in fact creates a chemical dependency for the same stimuli. This means that it isn't a matter of just "walking away" because the body has a deep seated chemical desire for what the stimuli produces. Relevant Magazine and xxxchurch.com have both posted some incredibly worthwhile information about these matters.
Similarly, nicotine (which does create an even greater draw than caffeine, which is pretty harsh to come off of) in cigarettes can be more addictive in a chemical-psychological combination than breaking a cocaine addiction. I have been around numerous (and I mean dozens) of people that have been hooked on either cocaine, heroin, or some combination thereof which are having far worse struggles letting go of smoking. Smoking became what they did when they were nervous, mad, tired, sad, cold, hungry, stressed, or even just stepping outside because it was second nature. I know that plenty of documents are written up to act as though psychological and chemical addictions are not connected, but the field of addiction study is beginning to work past that as neurologists, psychologists and other experts are starting to work together. A lot of the old research was limited in addressing all aspects of addiction because it was done by those studying chemical effects and seeing the ramifications of addiction as strictly chemical or those studying the psychology of addiction and seeing it as a psychological phenomena.
Should we be willing to accept that many forms of addiction have an effect on the mind mentally and brain chemically then we're getting closer to grasping that what we need is a life of holistic cleanliness and grace. Perhaps the CCC should reflect something along those lines- that exposures and over-exposures are different, but that the latter rarely happens without being preceded by the former. Err, sorry, you guys were saying something about coffee? (Gross.)
Last edited by Nate Pruitt; July 13th, 2012 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Because I evidently only proofread the first and third paragraph like this was a hymn
As long as we don't pronounce a denomination wide boycott of Disney. I'm not saying there aren't reasons- I'm just saying I knew a lot of Nazarenes who went to movie theaters when that was unapproved. Sometimes people just don't get what the big deal is...
Out of curiosity, I know a few people who have had drinks while Nazarene members (facebook makes it easy enough to keep up, too) yet haven't met one person that I know to have their membership revoked. Has anyone seen this happen or needed to participate in the revocation as a minister or church leader?
1. Legal vs Illegal
2. Agreed to vs not agreed to.
3. Outcome as a result if behavior modification due to the influence of the stimulant.
1. Spice and bath salts might be legal in your local jurisdiction, for military, using either is a felony crime.
2. For Nazarenes, its our agreed position is abstinance with regards to alcohol. For the UMC the position is abstinance among clergy and encouraging abstinance among laypeople.
3. With regard to sugar and/or caffeine highs/lows and alcohol and/or other drugs (legal or illegal) how often do any of the following happen with regard to these stimulants:
-Eating someones face
-unplanned sexual encounters
- Fatalities when combining stimulants with
--"Hey! Watch this!"
I'm sure these things might happen and maybe have happened. What I'm saying is there are stimulants that create large amounts of adverse situations in addition to personal health issues. These are things that cause public danger. After all the redneck famous last words aren't "Here, hold my Soda!"