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Old 06-17-2005, 11:09 AM   #61
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Originally posted by Irvine511


i think God sets us up to sin.

That's interesting. That says a lot about how you see both your own human condition, and God. (Forgive me if I'm way off.) It seems you think that we were created to fail, to sin, to live in the consequences of selfish decisions that alienate us both from others and God (the immediate effects of Adam and Eve's decision in Genesis 3). It seems pretty clear though that God actually created us to experience all good things -- it's us who chose to do the one thing we were asked not to do. If you look at Genesis, Adam and Eve have the world literally at their fingertips -- instead, they choose to focus on the one tree God warns them about. And from that, brokenness comes.

I don't think you can say that God sets us up to sin, at least from scripture. What you can say is that He gives us the ability to choose to do right, or choose to do wrong. And when I use "right" and "wrong," I mean it in two ways -- one a moral judgment, the other as a healthy way of life. Most of the friends I have -- the majority of whom aren't Christians -- WANT to do the right thing. They don't want to steal each other's boyfriends/girlfriends. They don't want to lie to get ahead at work. They don't want to cheat their way through school. It's almost like they can't help themselves. It's human nature -- a nature that became that way after we made our first choices as human beings to go our own way, rather than follow the directions of a Loving Father Who only wanted the best for us...

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why don't you like songs about sex? i find "so cruel" and "mysterious ways" to be very sexual, but in a very mature, almost intellectual way. there's no "i'm gonna fuck you like an animal" lines on it ... but there are loads of lines that might come from the crotch, but they've gone through the head.
For me, "AB" is a powerful album of someone trapped -- with a head of heaven, but fingers in the mire. I think that without God that's an accurate representation of humanity; trying to do the right thing, trying to live a good life, trying to make good decisions, but frustrated at every turn by our own ability to miss the sun for the moon. There's no glorification of sex in that album; rather, it seems to be much more focused on the aftereffects of sex in the back of a Chevrolet, rather than the act itself. (Which fits with how Bono has repeatedly talked about how he likes to explore sexuality as a songwriter.)

The biggest effect of sexual sin -- in any context, be it hetero- or homo- -- is that it robs us of innocence, awe and wonder. It steals the most sacred act two human beings can share and reduces it to the basest of experiences. Sex becomes a weapon -- a tool -- a device for manipulation. The end result of relationships (and these days, the start). It brings people together in a powerful way, but it also tears at the soul when they leave each other. I think in our hyper-sexualized culture, where porn oozes through every pore, where Jenna Jameson is now a cultural icon and Paris Hilton has become a household name due primarily to her infamous video, I think we are doing a pretty good job of reducing sex to its basest components, and that to me may be the greatest loss of all...
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:12 AM   #62
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


I just don't like `em. But I don't see "mysterious ways" as sexual at all.


i think MW is about God and sex. and has some of my favorite Bono lyrics:

"one day you will look
back and you'll see
where you were held
how by this love
while you could stand there
and not move on this moment
follow this feeling"

one of the lines i love from the Flanagan book is when Bono talks about things that are supposed to be opposites -- irony and sincerity, plastic and soul, and, especially, God and sex -- might actually be opposite sides of the same coin. that through the exploration of one, we might find the other.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:13 AM   #63
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Originally posted by stammer476


(I'm not getting any work done today, either. So I'll briefly respond with what I can. Again, I hate message boards.)

One of the things about being in ministry that breaks my heart is the inability of people to accept grace. Through Jesus, God has poured out such immeasurable and astounding love, and all throughout my church I see people who simply can't understand that. I feel like I'm watching a starving man stumble around for nourishment, when he could be fed beyond his wildest dreams if he would just open his eyes to the feast in front of him. It's maddening and frustrating. Then I remember how much I refuse grace in my own life, and I realize we're all messed up in our own ways.

Christianity is not about rules and religion. It's such a simple idea that is so hard to understand. It's about a relationship with the God who loves you more than you could ever comprehend. A God who's willing to look past your mistakes and see the beauty inside. And so many Christians I know are running around in shackles, scared that they are going to break the rules and God isn't going to like them anymore. God loves you. He has chosen to love you. And that love is not based on who you are, but who He is. That's what grace is all about.

Where's sin in all of this? Making a muck of things, really. Sin pulls us away from God, damaging that relationship and hindering us from the love He so desperately wants to give us. God hates to see how sin hurts us, scars us, and stops us from being what He intended. But sin isn't going to change the way God feels about us. He'll love us, sin great or small. He'll accept us, no matter what we've done or will do in the future.

That's the difference Jesus makes. What we do with Him and who He is makes us a Christian, and bridges that gap between us and God.

Holy crap. Sorry about that. Don't mean to preach, just can't help it sometimes. I guess you hit a nerve.


if you were my minister, i'd consider going to church.

seriously.

that all makes so much emotional, and intellectual sense to me.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:14 AM   #64
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Originally posted by nathan1977


The biggest effect of sexual sin -- in any context, be it hetero- or homo- -- is that it robs us of innocence, awe and wonder. It steals the most sacred act two human beings can share and reduces it to the basest of experiences. Sex becomes a weapon -- a tool -- a device for manipulation. The end result of relationships (and these days, the start). It brings people together in a powerful way, but it also tears at the soul when they leave each other. I think in our hyper-sexualized culture, where porn oozes through every pore, where Jenna Jameson is now a cultural icon and Paris Hilton has become a household name due primarily to her infamous video, I think we are doing a pretty good job of reducing sex to its basest components, and that to me may be the greatest loss of all...
Whoa. Right on.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:18 AM   #65
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Originally posted by nathan1977


That's interesting. That says a lot about how you see both your own human condition, and God. (Forgive me if I'm way off.) It seems you think that we were created to fail, to sin, to live in the consequences of selfish decisions that alienate us both from others and God (the immediate effects of Adam and Eve's decision in Genesis 3). It seems pretty clear though that God actually created us to experience all good things -- it's us who chose to do the one thing we were asked not to do. If you look at Genesis, Adam and Eve have the world literally at their fingertips -- instead, they choose to focus on the one tree God warns them about. And from that, brokenness comes.

I don't think you can say that God sets us up to sin, at least from scripture. What you can say is that He gives us the ability to choose to do right, or choose to do wrong. And when I use "right" and "wrong," I mean it in two ways -- one a moral judgment, the other as a healthy way of life. Most of the friends I have -- the majority of whom aren't Christians -- WANT to do the right thing. They don't want to steal each other's boyfriends/girlfriends. They don't want to lie to get ahead at work. They don't want to cheat their way through school. It's almost like they can't help themselves. It's human nature -- a nature that became that way after we made our first choices as human beings to go our own way, rather than follow the directions of a Loving Father Who only wanted the best for us...



For me, "AB" is a powerful album of someone trapped -- with a head of heaven, but fingers in the mire. I think that without God that's an accurate representation of humanity; trying to do the right thing, trying to live a good life, trying to make good decisions, but frustrated at every turn by our own ability to miss the sun for the moon. There's no glorification of sex in that album; rather, it seems to be much more focused on the aftereffects of sex in the back of a Chevrolet, rather than the act itself. (Which fits with how Bono has repeatedly talked about how he likes to explore sexuality as a songwriter.)

The biggest effect of sexual sin -- in any context, be it hetero- or homo- -- is that it robs us of innocence, awe and wonder. It steals the most sacred act two human beings can share and reduces it to the basest of experiences. Sex becomes a weapon -- a tool -- a device for manipulation. The end result of relationships (and these days, the start). It brings people together in a powerful way, but it also tears at the soul when they leave each other. I think in our hyper-sexualized culture, where porn oozes through every pore, where Jenna Jameson is now a cultural icon and Paris Hilton has become a household name due primarily to her infamous video, I think we are doing a pretty good job of reducing sex to its basest components, and that to me may be the greatest loss of all...


very interesting post, but i just got an assignment and can't write.

only thing i will say about the sexual sin part: yes, sex is reduced and degraded by our culture. but i think there is something to be said for straying, sexually, for going on sexual adventures and misadventures. if you've never had bad sex, if you've never felt the emptiness in the morning, if you've never had regret, if it's never been bad, then just how will you know when it is at it's best? of course you try to minimize bad experiences (as i do, as i've gotten older and am less impulsive), but they inevitably happen, but those bad experiences make me long for sex within the context of a loving relationship (which has only happened once for me). by straying a bit out of the light, i can now see how bright that light is, and it makes me want to return. because i've had one night stands, because i've made some bad decisions, i now know that what i want is the "sacred act" you wrote about.

but i wouldn't have believed it, unless i had strayed.

and, also, if we're going by biblical definitions (as some would argue), then all the sex i've had since my junior year of college has been sinful.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:20 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




if you were my minister, i'd consider going to church.

seriously.

that all makes so much emotional, and intellectual sense to me.
I wish I was. Next time you're in the Detroit area . . .

It's a philosophy, that mini-sermon. And it does have nuts-and-bolts consequences that follow. Unfortunately, that's often times what keeps people from God. I pray that won't be the case in your life.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:33 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i think MW is about God and sex. and has some of my favorite Bono lyrics:

"one day you will look
back and you'll see
where you were held
how by this love
while you could stand there
and not move on this moment
follow this feeling"

one of the lines i love from the Flanagan book is when Bono talks about things that are supposed to be opposites -- irony and sincerity, plastic and soul, and, especially, God and sex -- might actually be opposite sides of the same coin. that through the exploration of one, we might find the other.
Personally, I don't see any lines in Mysterious Ways that strike me as being about sex.

While I respect your opinion and Bono's, I don't agree that God can be found through the exploration of sex, or vice-versa.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:41 AM   #68
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Personally, I don't see any lines in Mysterious Ways that strike me as being about sex.

While I respect your opinion and Bono's, I don't agree that God can be found through the exploration of sex, or vice-versa.


what about the belly dancer?

and it's got Adam's best bass line ever -- Bono says rhythm is the sex of music.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:45 AM   #69
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Stammer, if you don't mind my asking, what kind of minister are you? I want to find a church with a minister like you near where I live.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:02 PM   #70
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Originally posted by pax
Stammer, if you don't mind my asking, what kind of minister are you? I want to find a church with a minister like you near where I live.
I'm a minister at a non-denominational Christian church. To make a long story short, our churches decided that all of this denominational stuff was senseless and wanted to go back to how the original church was organized in its infancy. Basically, we're a relationship of independent churches who do their best to "simplify" Christianity without all of its religious hindrances. (Edited to add: U2democrat's church and my church share this hertiage, though we have some doctrinal differences.)

A motto we like is, "In the essentials, unity. In the non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love." Basically stating that, if an issue is not dependant on your eternal salvation, learn to agree to disagree. But no matter what, love each other.

We're techincally called the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ of the Restoration Movement, but 99% of our church members wouldn't have a clue about that.

And while I'm humbled at your comments, both you Pax and Irvine, what I've said has nothing to do with a church or a minister. This is the message of Christ. If you can find that in a church, it doesn't matter what their denomination or who their minister is.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:16 PM   #71
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Personally, I don't see any lines in Mysterious Ways that strike me as being about sex.

While I respect your opinion and Bono's, I don't agree that God can be found through the exploration of sex, or vice-versa.

Even when I was 14 years old I felt that song was about God and sex.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:21 PM   #72
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Irvine, I forgot to mention this earlier. I'd strongly recommend reading the book, "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning. My absolute favorite book ever (Bible excluded, naturally). It really helped me understand so much of what I've said today. I don't like this phrase so I don't use it often, but it literally changed my life.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:23 PM   #73
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The song has always struck me as being about the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:24 PM   #74
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Irvine, I forgot to mention this earlier. I'd strongly recommend reading the book, "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning. My absolute favorite book ever (Bible excluded, naturally). It really helped me understand so much of what I've said today. I don't like this phrase so I don't use it often, but it literally changed my life.


i just might check it out.

thanks.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:50 PM   #75
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Stammer's right. Excellent read.
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