Monday, August 20, 2007

To be normal, or not to be normal: that is the question

Comments like these bring to mind once again the bizarre spectacle of a group of people who spend the majority of their public remarks opposing everyone else's concept of normality while at the same time expressing their concern that they be considered normal by everyone else.

Go figure.


Anonymous said...

I grant you chuztpah. You see the world through the Bible, and you question "normal?" I suppose you think women came from men (its the opposite). I bet you think penises come "cut" (that is male genital mutilation). I suppose angels screw Lot's daughter is "real." I suppose the sun standing still is "normal?" I suppose virgins birth children? I suppose dead rise from the graves? I suppose humans fly into heavens? YOU have the audacity to determine what is "normal?" Dude, thanks for revealing just how pathetic "normal" people believe they are.

Anonymous said...

And what makes you the arbiter of what is 'normal?' That's a hoot.

Martin Cothran said...

Of course I said nothing about what I thought was normal, as even a cursory reading of my short very post would make clear. The point is why are people who don't even believe in the concept of "normal" ("If there is a 'normal,' no one has 'found' it."--The Gay Species) demanding that everyone else consider them normal? I may be wrong when I say something is normal when its not, but at least I believe in the concept.

solarity said...

In an adult, the inability to distinguish between "normal" behavior and "aberrant" behavior is a cognitive deficit that most folks wouldn't wear as some sort of badge of honor.

Anonymous said...

No one I know "demands" that everyone else consider then "normal." Only dogmatists wrapped in Platonic essences and steeped in tribal mythologies would suggest there is a "normal." There are statistical means, where populations in a Bell Curve concentrate at the "top" of the distribution. There are also standard variations from the mean.

For example, the "mean" in America is "right-handed preference." But "left-handed" preference is a standard variation from the mean, which Christians once called "sinful." The word and concept of "normal" is not found in your scriptures, but then again, nor are ethics, virtue, human equality, fairness, and I suspect most people value these values.

Your scriptures approve of stoning rebellious sons to death. They approve of slavery. They approve of injustice, as "turn the other cheek" clearly illustrates. They approve of collectivism as any reader of Acts well knows. "To each according to need" originates not with Marx, but in Acts of the Apostles. Are you selling all your worldly goods, giving the proceeds to the apostles (or the heirs, bishops), so they can distribute "to each as each has need?" It says to in the Bible! (Acts 2 & 4).

Do you believe homoerotic love is "unnatural?" Your scriptures do. Yet, biologists -- those who look at the world from the modern SCIENTIFIC METHOD -- such as Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson, actually states that "homosexuality is biologically normal." So, who is accurate? Saul of Tarsus, who falls from a horse, has a "vision," and thinks he encounters the Risen Christ? Most people, I daresay, would consider such an individual "delusional." But apparently, he determines your standards of "normal." A modern scientific biologist VERSUS a Tribal Jewish fanatic who first persecuted Christians, who is "knocked-out," has visions, and he's your source of "normal?"

Is that why he approves of slavery? Is that why he insists women earn their salvation SILENTLY through child-birth? Is that why HE writes that the CHURCH of the living God is the pillar and bulwark of THE TRUTH, but not so of the scriptures (which he only knew as Hebrew, since "Christian" scriptures were not even determined until the 15th century. The TRUTH, you must have forgotten, "was MADE FLESH, full of grace and truth" (Jn 1:1-17). I guess you don't read the GOSPEL.

Perhaps human flesh pollutes the very clothes that we wear, as Jude insists, but how could a god like Jesus assume polluted flesh? Jude also believe the unnatural lusts of Sodom have already condemned man, but the angelic messengers who visited Sodom were handed Lot's daughters to rape, to protect MEN, from Rape. Those angels must have some unusual penises that angels could have used to RAPE women. How could Jesus be in the flesh if it is so polluted? Probably when it turns into SALT, like Lot's wife?

I suppose it is "normal" for you to mutilate male's genitals, because god messed-up and needs a sign of his covenant "cut" into male flesh, removing the sensitive foreskin, and living mutilated pleases god. (You don't find this primitively tribal?) So did Satan's torment of Job, at Yahweh's encouragement, visiting disease, disaster, destruction, in order to "prove" to Satan that Job will remain "faithful" through thick and thin make YOU a believer of a god who tortures? That gives YOU credence to determine "normal?" Have you read about the SIN OF PRIDE?

Ecclesiastes thinks "it's all vanity, just chasing the winds." He denies any afterlife. He doubts there's any justice. He repudiates wisdom. It's just vanity is Yahweh's perverse world. But Jesus raises from the dead and has an afterlife. Who changed the script? Was Yahweh deceiving Israel or was Jesus deceiving Palestinians?

When Judgment occurs, only 144,000 "elect" will be saved. Have you considered the chances that you'll not be one of them? All because you put YOUR faith in a tribal people's primitive superstitions? Of course, I am sure you follow the Levitical Code of Holiness, which demands not only that males that lie with other males be put to death, but ALSO: those who mix semen with menses? Or consume milk and meat? Pork? Why does god hate his own creation. You can't claim that "sin" makes pigs "bad." Pigs are pigs. They can't sin. Neither can shrimp, scallops, or clams. But god rejects these parts of his creation as "polluted." He also prohibits cotton-polyester fabrics. He is so obsessive he gives precise measurements and construction directions for housing the Ark of the Covenant in a Tabernacle, but he is "spiritual?" He sounds like a contractor-wanna-be.

What kind of god hates what he makes? What kind of god enjoys tormenting his faithful? What kind of god delights in denying Moses the "Promised Land," but permits the Calf-Worshipers entry? Is that FAIR? And you use these stories as your basis to determine what is "normal?" Do your really believe every two-by-two dinosaur actually road out the Flood aboard Noah's ark? Does the sun stand still or rotate around the earth? Is the earth flat? Does water become wine? In what world? The world in which Virgins have "births?" Where prostitutes are members of the Tribe?

I do agree with Saint Paul on one thing: He cannot do right. Some of us who can do right do not need to remind Paul he can't act right, he already admits he can't. HE'S DEPRAVED. So by THAT standard, I think some of might be able to determine "normal" just a tad bit more realistically that relying on a feeble mind damaged in that fall off a horse on the road to Damascus that thinks he's totally DEPRAVED.

But we KNOW Paul is FALSE. He claims to be an "apostle." Repeatedly. None of the actual apostles agree. You see, if your biblical stories are true, Jesus deliberately CHOSE TWELVE apostles to represent the TWELVE TRIBES of Israel in the Ark of the New Covenant, THE CHURCH (which Jesus mentions repeatedly). As you no doubt know, one of the original TWELVE apostles, Judas, betrays Jesus to the Romans, and then hangs himself in justified guilt. That leaves ELEVEN. But the FIRST thing that the ELEVEN apostles, gathered with Jesus' Mother Mary at Pentecost, DO, is SELECT Matthias by "lots" and the HOLY SPIRIT to replace Judas as the TWELFTH APOSTLE. Paul makes THIRTEEN. Thirteen in the occult is a DEMONIC number. Jesus did not chose THIRTEEN apostles, only TWELVE apostles. Paul insists he is an apostle. But, that makes THIRTEEN apostles. Maybe you don't believe in math, but 12 + 1 = 13, and it does not add up to TWELVE. Paul is NOT an apostle, even though HE repeatedly claims he is (with NO ONE else's confirmation).

EXPLAIN that away! Explain why you are not living in a commune, having sold all your possessions and given the proceeds to your bishops, so that your bishops (overseers) may distribute to "each as each has need." Where are your "overseers?" Your pastoral Shepherds? Your bishops? The ones mentioned throughout the NT? The ones who have been consecrated by succession from the Apostles (not Paul) to "keep watch over the flock, which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God" (Acts 20:25ff) It's right there in the Bible. Do you have a Bible? Or is it not part of YOUR bible?

I find it ODD that someone who arbitrates "normal" cannot even follow the "norms" of his own biblical authority. Are you continuing in the APOSTLES' teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and the prayers (Acts 2:42)? If not, your not in the apostolic tradition as constituted at Pentecost. Do you just make up your norms like all evangelicals? If the Bible is the literal and inerrant Word of God, which alone is sufficient for salvation, how come that maxim is nowhere to be found in the Bible? (It cannot be "sufficient," if you know any logic?) Do you not know that every reference to "scriptures" in the New Testament refers to HEBREW scriptures, including the Septuagint? So, without the Church having AUTHORED, ESTEEMED, AND APPROVED a set of writings, they would not be in YOUR Bible (which I bet excludes the deuterocanonicals). Do YOU determine scriptures? Or does God?

You CITE logic books, but obviously have your ONTOLOGIES REVERSED. The CHRISTIAN scriptures were written between 60-120 -- AFTER Jesus lived by writers who never KNEW Jesus personally. So where did they get these stories? Did they fall from the sky, like the Qu'ran? What these writers, except Paul, are writing is ALREADY the CHURCH's narrative as having ALREADY living. PENTECOST occurred before anyone wrote anything. Without PENTECOST, who gives AUTHORITY to do anything? Much less SHARE an EXISTING narrative in writing already ONTOLOGICALLY and HISTORICALLY antecedent to their writing.

These writings even INSIST the CHURCH, not the scriptures, are the pillar and bulwark of the TRUTH, because it takes the CHURCH's EXISTENCE to have the shared narratives that they can SHARE at each Sunday's Eucharist (how did Sunday come into play? It's not in the Bible). Oh, it's right there in Justin Martyr's writings of 120 A.D. HE EXPLAINS why SUNDAY, the Day of the Lord, is the Day to commemorate the RESURRECTION, by breaking bread together (EUCHARIST) after sharing the writings of the "apostle's memoirs." Not "scriptures." "Memoirs." All very LOGICAL with Justin's writings.

Ignatius of Antioch explains how the BISHOP is the embodiment of the APOSTLE as steward and overseer of the CHRIST in the Church. Even Clement of Rome, the third successor in Rome to Saint Peter's See, explains how PROCESSIONISM is ONTOLOGICAL order of SENDING. Let's see if you can follow the logic:

"As the Father SENT the Son, so the Father and Son SENT the Holy Spirit, and at Pentecost they SENT the Apostles who Jesus had CHOSEN and COMMISSIONED and the Spirit INSPIRED and SEALED to evangelize the good news to all nations till the end of time. As the Apostles aged they chose heirs, laid their hands on them, and SENT the bishops to CONTINUE the ministry of Christ's CHURCH. AUTHORITY, by the way, conferred by Jesus (Mt 16, Jn 20) and confirmed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1 -3). That Ministry is to be in an unbroken succession as the LINK and GUARANTOR of authentic ministry throughout history. It only continues in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, which are in SCHISM. A fair number of lesser schismatics are distributed throughout the world, but they are still in UNBROKEN SUCCESSION, orthodox, catholic, and the CHURCH.

Oh, by the way, it was BISHOPS who determined which writings were scriptural and which ones were not, but not UNTIL the Reformation decided a different authority on THEIR OWN AUTHORITY, not God's authority.

But AUTHORITY is important, is it not? Who or what is YOUR authority to speak for God? Did the Holy Spirit appoint you personally? Of did the Spirit work as the scriptures say the Spirit worked? I'll take the scripture's word over YOUR word.

The Spirit governs the Church through its inspiration of its episcopal collegiality (bishops of the church in holy and sacred convocation, also known as Councils, just like the Council of Jerusalem in most bibles at Acts 15, over which James presides).

The BIBLE claims that you are not "connected" with this ONTOLOGICALLY and HISTORICALLY ANTECEDENT DIVINELY-INSTITUTED SPIRITUALLY-SEALED unbroken line of succession of overseers. You are not part of Christ's Church UNLESS you are LINKED to the Ark of the New Covenant through the DIVINE Ministries.

ONLY the CHURCH offers "you access in one Spirit to the Father. So THEN you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD, built upon the foundation of the APOSTLES and prophets, with Christ himself as the chief cornerstone" (Eph 2:17-21).

You are, therefore, not even a CHRISTIAN. Only members of GOD'S HOUSEHOLD, under the oversight of Jesus APOSTLES, hold citizenship and membership in Christ's CHURCH, the very CHURCH which authored your scriptures, validates them, and proclaims them as an "inspired" PART of God's Word and Revelation. It ALONE can make this claim, because it ALONE "is the pillar and bulwark of the TRUTH (1 Tim 3:15), right there in scripture, right after silencing women to obtain salvation through childbirth. CAN you even read your own "authority?" Or are you just making it all up in as you go along. Are you part of the Prophets for Profit in the Gospel of Evangelical Prosperity? Because you sure ain't a part of Christ's Church.

Finally, just because I can read the Bible more accurately and fully than you, does not mean I believe any of its nonsense. It's all tribal myth of a primitive people always in rebellion with a persecution and messianic complex. The "same" tribal folk who has given us Marx, Freud, Zionism, Communism, Irrational Psychology, and most CONFLICTS. You further the conflict, which PROVES you are a tribal lemming or chieftan, but still not a Christian. For there is no salvation OUTSIDE the CHURCH. Or, is "Church" just a metaphor in your otherwise LITERAL AND INERRANT world? Inconsistency is a LOGICAL problem that INFECTS all evangelicals. You are part of the epidemic, not part of the cure.

David Charlton said...

RE: the gay species -

There's quite a bit to deal with in your post, but there are some inaccuracies among your points that I would like to point out. For example, the number of 12 apostles - there is really nothing in violation of Jesus when Matthias was selected to replace Judas Iscariot. A reading of the gospels finds there were many "disciples," which simply means someone who is a learner or follower. "Apostles," as the 12 became known to the early church, probably did have some significance in terms of the 12 tribes of Israel, but there was no absolute rule that was laid down by Jesus that the number had to be 12. Paul, for his part, certainly faced people who questioned whether or not he was an apostle, but it was a designation he accepted for himself because of his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. Whether you choose to believe this or simply see it as a case of "a feeble mind damaged in that fall off a horse", in Paul's mind he was qualified to be an apostle and the far majority of the early church eventually recognized him as such. None of this in any way makes him "false" as you claim.

As to the 144,000, which comes from the book of Revelation, the Jehovah's Witnesses hold to the belief that 144,000 will reside in heaven, while the rest of the elect will reside in a heaven-like earth. This is not, and never has been, a Christian belief. Revelation, as you probably know, is apocalyptic literature and as such is highly symbolic. You don't have to accept or like anything that it says to simply understand the nature of apocalyptic language. For that matter, there is a great variety of language throughout the Bible. Liking it or not is not the only matter here. Oral tradition was the mode of transmitting many of these stories and, contrary to what many people believe, oral transmission was a highly accurate way of passing on information. There is irony, parables, hyperbole and many other forms of language in the Bible; it is certainly not "flat" in language.

And as for "Do you just make up your norms like all evangelicals?", this is such a sweeping - and I might add, inaccurate generalization - that cannot be supported. Everybody uses some basis by which they develop their own norms.

Your paragraphs leading up to the claim "You are, therefore, not even a CHRISTIAN. Only members of GOD'S HOUSEHOLD, under the oversight of Jesus APOSTLES, hold citizenship and membership in Christ's CHURCH, the very CHURCH which authored your scriptures, validates them, and proclaims them as an "inspired" PART of God's Word and Revelation" is rather convoluted and relies upon a great many assumptions about the Catholic Church, all of which could be debated at length.

Finally, when you write "THE CHURCH (which Jesus mentions repeatedly)" you certainly make an incorrect statement. Jesus, in fact, only used the word church a few times.

Anonymous said...

Re: solarity: Look up the term "arbiter" and get back to me. Let's use it in a sentence. "And what makes you the arbiter of what is 'aberrant'?"

Anonymous said...

Seriously? You do NOT know the difference between "apostle" and "disciple?" Are you suggesting "Acts of the Apostles" could have been the "Acts of Disciples?" The Evangelical Deficit is revealed in simply this inanity. The "Twelve" is "disciples? Do you even look in a dictionary? Or is that disapproved, too?

I'm glad to see you EQUIVOCATE with abandon. You see, no one prior to Calvin thought the bible "literal." Indeed, Augustine, Aquinas, Catherine of Siena -- CHRISTIANS, unlike you, knew of polysemy, because THEY were educated. The fourfold-hermeneutic sense of the historical, moral, allegorical, and anagogical were articulate by the EARLIEST Church Fathers -- yes, they exist, even if it's not in your bible. Aquinas summarizes the hermeneutic in half a page, and YOU don't even know what I'm talking about. As Catherine of Siena wrote before YOU could make a fool of yourself, she identifies YOU. You won't find her in your PURGED bible, but she wrote:

"Every light that comes from the Holy Scripture comes from the light of grace. THIS IS WHY THE FOOLISH, PROUD AND LEARNED PEOPLE ARE BLIND EVEN IN THE LIGHT, because the light is CLOUDED by THEIR OWN PRIDE AND SELFISH LOVE

THEY READ THE SCRIPTURE LITERALLY, not with UNDERSTANDING. THEY have let go of the light by which the SCRIPTURE WAS FORMED AND PROCLAIMED." Sound familiar? But SHE is a woman, which YOUR BIBLE demands KEEP SILENT. And, no, she did not spread her legs to get salvation through childbirth AS YOUR BIBLE DEMANDS.

AND YOU PROVE how ridiculous you are. Jesus does not mention the TRINITY, although it would be IMPOSSIBLE to read the N.T. and miss CHRISTIANITY'S central TRUTH. Perhaps, the WORD that became flesh was cryllic that turned into a human, but I bet you will find "word" in GREEK means REASON, because the N.T. was written in GREEK, while Jesus spoke Aramaic. He did not even speak HEBREW. So you won't find TRINITY, INCARNATION, EPIPHANY, in YOUR bible, because it was NOT needed -- IF YOU WERE A CHRISTIAN.

Oh, and "CHURCH" is used 116 TIMES in the New Testament. But it's a "metaphor?" Not according to JESUS:

And I tell you, you are Peter,* and on this rock* I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it

If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector.

But WHO is Jesus? YOU DON'T know. You think "apostles" and "disciples" are NO different. SO, why does Paul always CALL HIMSELF an APOSTLE? NO ONE ELSE DID?

And if you think Saul's delusional visions of the "RISEN CHRIST" are the truth, THEN the REAL FLESH-APPEARING Jesus NEVER EXISTED. It might explain why PAUL HATES ALL FLESH. Or why he's psychotic. But if you want to EQUIVOCATE OVER EPHESIANS, and make APOSTLE into DISCIPLE, EXPLAIN MATTHEW 28!

YOU ARE ONE OF SATAN'S DUPES, and you're too illiterate to know it. PRAISE PROPHET BUSH AND HIS TERROR. He's YOUR Hitler!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I hate to point out the obvious: The Church of Rome and of Constantinople are THE CHURCH. So, it's hardly surprising that the authors of scripture, who were members of THIS CHURCH, thought other than it as the one Church. Even Emperor Constantine, for heaven's sake, not a Christian, knew who was the chief of the apostles (primus inter pares), and established Constantinople as a "backup" to the See of Rome. You know, with bishops, like the ones in Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome and the Sees established by APOSTLES. Yes, you're right. Paul did not have a "See." He was not an apostle. Only Apostles have "Sees." Only the apostles heirs and successors have "Sees," and Paul has no heirs, no successors, because he had no See, because he was not an APOSTLE.

Of course, Paul claimed he was an apostle, just as Lonnie Frisbee thought he was. But we can PROVE Paul was not an apostle. Yes, PROOF. Every bishop in historically-based Christianity can trace his succession back to the one of the TWELVE. But none can trace their genealogy back to PAUL. But of what use are genealogies, other than the Gospel uses them. But you don't follow the Gospel. You follow Paul, unless you follow yourself. That's why you are not a Christian. I don't doubt you are quite sincere in your mistaken superficial beliefs, just as Lonnie Frisbee was sincere in his. As Haggard in his.

The ONLY difference is AUTHORITY, which for YOU is YOU. For Christians, it is God through Jesus Christ and HIS CHURCH, which wrote some scriptures, but knows it's only one way God choses to reveal himself. After all, flesh and paper are different, as are burning bushes. But you stick to the paper. To your tissues of papyrus that was not even possible until Guttenberg. So what did Christians do for 15 centuries, without a Bible in their hand? Well, they knew god was not paper.