Thursday, August 30, 2012

Religious Virtues that Satan loves

Will-worship -- noble suffering, dying to self, submission rather than aiming in faith for the joy of life
legalism -- sticking to the letter of the law (as opposed to also trusting the spirit.)
repressed anger -- rather than speaking up against injustice
religious debates -- (it's okay to discuss one's faith but it's not men's wisdom that proves our religion: it's the power of God.)
Believing Everything is The Will of God -- This seems to be saying that God is omnipotent and sovereign, but it also blames God for stuff we or the devil or the world does.
Pity -- Pity will keep someone sick for ever.
Rationalism -- humans like to be praised for being good thinkers and for not being "emotional."
Denominationalism -- People like thinking they are on a good team.
Pious platitudes -- People think they are being wise and kindly when they say something holy-sounding. But they are often reinforcing some sentimental unthought-out unexplored bunch of hooey.

The reason he likes these virtues is because people think they are being good when they do them but sometimes are really falling into spiritual error and the devil's clutches.

Now, let's get into the seven deadly sins and the virtues.

The seven deadly sins are
gluttony -- enslavement to food (from overeating to only desiring a specific kind of food. A thin person who wants to eat only a specific kind of cracker or only a specific kind of beer is as much enslaved to gluttony as someone who overeats.)
sloth -- literal, intellectual, and spiritual laziness
lust -- enslavement to the desires of the flesh
anger/wrath -- enslavement to passion
envy -- enslavement to comparing one's self or one's earthly goods with others
pride -- enslavement to one's self
greed-- enslavement to the need to take everything the world has

The book of Proverbs definitely talks about these sins. Chapter 6:6-11 is good. The Book of Proverbs has 31 chapters. The best way to read it is to read the chapter for each day. On the 30th read chapter thirty, etc.

They are deadly because some sins are not sins unto death. But a deadly sin has the power to cut one's life short. Adultery, for instance, shortens life. (Did you know that less than 1% of people die while having sex but that of those who do die having sex, 87% or so were cheating on their spouse?) Gluttony also shortens life. As does sloth. And definitely pride. It goes before a fall. If someone becomes sick because of one of these sins, one may or may not pray for a full recovery because they have a sickness unto death caused by a deadly sin.

The Catholic church has a different interpretation of these sins..and I think (not sure) make them sins that even affect folks after their deaths. They have mortal (deadly) sins and then they have venial sins. The Catholic church also has it's list of virtues. Virtue can be something a person attains by working toward it. Or it can be something that grows in the person through the working of God.

The virtues depend on which list you're using. In the Bible James talks about a list of virtues, so does Paul, so does Peter in his "golden chain". 2 Peter 1:5 This leads to this which leads to that.

If you go to www.Biblegateway.com and do searches for these specific sins you can find a whole store of verses. They have a ton of Bible translations online. French, English, Czech, Spanish, etc.

The virtues are:
Temperance -- moderation to the point where an inner stillness prevents you from being pushed this way and that by the world, or by your own self
Faith -- the ability to hold on to God's truth in spite of what one's eyes or mind tempts one to believe.
Hope -- the ability to see a way through when there seems to be no way and to not despair. Hope also has a joy to it. This isn't just blindly trudging along but joyously advancing. It's combined with faith a lot. Because we have faith in God and in what God says we can hope joyfully.
Love or charity or Mercy -- kindness and understanding toward those who are weak, ignorant, or our enemies
Restraint or forbearance -- having the power to do a thing and yet to not do it because of the love one had for one's neighbor, the refusal to use one's power of speech, action, etc because God has a higher purpose than you merely succumbing to your desire to say or to do something.
Justice -- this is a toughie to describe.
Courage -- spiritual faith that does not falter when it is threatened.
Prudence -- the ability to think and weigh out a matter and to see the ramifications of one's choice instead of rushing headlong into trouble, also being aware that God has his own plans and our plans depend on him.

There are other virtues...virtues that are the opposite of the seven deadly sins, virtues from other traditions, etc. But for the moment, these are the ones worth pondering. -C
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