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Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. It unites people as diverse in their political thinking and way of life as Oprah, the Koch brothers, George Soros, El Chapo, Vlad Putin… and hatred of it, renunciation of it, or contempt for those who have it important distinctions, admittedly unites Francis of Assisi, Karl Marx, Mother Theresa, and as Jen Sincero notes, your general hippie, hipster, and mousy academic type.

People want money. They want various of the things you can exchange money to obtain food, housing, pretty objects, fast objects, sexual favors…. Unsurprisingly, given that, they want money for the mere fact of having money, or rather, the emotions related to security and power that possessing money provides. Of course, to get by in modern society and do much of anything to help people, we need money. On the other hand, we all experience the temptation to spend money irresponsibly. We spend money on things that will not help others even in the indirect and completely real sense that we need to help ourselves in order to help others.

We spend money on things that are actually destructive: alcohol, strip clubs, access to crappy TV shows that we know are eating up our lives and giving nothing back, Lexus SUVs, a fifth set of power tools. We exalt this money thing to the position of Higher Power and guiding light for our lives, piling up ever more of that security and power far past any point of diminishing returns. We spend time thinking about and managing this money to the exclusion of living a real human life. Christianity warns us about all of that early and often.

What we then seem to have done, here in the West, is bend part of ourselves back too far in the other direction and try to carry on with an unrealistic set of expectations about not being one of those bad rich people, yet wanting all the things that money can buy.

The problem with the universalist view is, of course, one of practical psychology. Yet that hardly makes it not worthwhile to do what we can to make Jesus known and revered.

Susan Rice on Benghazi, motherhood, and new book "Tough Love"

Second, do you really think that there is no lasting value to doing more good in this life? That is the stuff of social conformity. Maybe the good and the evil that we do provide points of departure for other people to make their choices for or against goodness and God, but I have a hard time seeing how God would judge them for anything I did or failed to do.

Yet surely it is still worth while to spread the truth, and if the gospel is the truth, it is the best truth we can spread. I want to do as much good as I can.

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Will People Die During Christ’s Millennial Reign?

I believe I have laid out enough lemmas to proceed to my own solution to the issues surrounding the word "deserve":. As a Catholic, of course, I believe this Jesus of Nazareth is, was, and always will be central to this relationship between myself and God whereby I receive the grace necessary to live in an actual human manner. This grace is offered to everyone, whether or not they ever heard of Jesus Christ or even whether they lived before his time; because the Son of God is eternal, any action of his affects the entire history of the universe.

The New Testament alludes to this in several places. The Catechism of the Catholic Church para. But if your lens shrinks those down too far, you can miss this truth amid the many other references to the possibility of rejecting grace and carrying on into damnation.


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Interestingly, the CCC pulls some distillations of this teaching from two first millennium "semi-ecumenical" councils, the Council of Orange and the Council of Quiercy The English CCC quotes the latter as follows:. He did not suffer because he wanted you to feel guilty about it. He suffered for you because he knew it would save you and give you the strength to do good for others.

These meditations are here on That's So Second Millennium because they are an attempt to find maximum harmon y between different strands of psychology and spirituality as they are being explored and lived out in Western culture today.

Satan and the Millennium

It flows from a respect for people's reasons for doing what they do and thinking what they think. The modern world has generated no end of addicts: those of us who come to recognize ourselves to be unable to stop some kind of compulsive, destructive behavior no matter what we do, what books we read, or what promises we make to ourselves or others.

It seems most likely that this was always the case, and whether it is worse in the modern world or not is an interesting question to ponder but an impossible one to answer. In any case, in the twentieth century a remarkably countercultural movement began with a few handfuls of drunks in the eastern United States: the phenomenon of Twelve Step programs.

I say countercultural because the Twelve Steps put God quite squarely before the addict as his or her only hope of transitioning away from the lifestyle of active addiction:. In the early twentieth century, this was quite contrary to the trend of psychology at the time, enamored of Freud and Jung and their ideas of occult but certainly not divine forces at work in the human mind, and about to embark on the dehumanizing experiment of behaviorism.

The Alcoholics Anonymous book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions opens its commentary on Step 2 with the following summary bleat from the atheists and agnostics with which the world was already replete in the s:. You have convinced us that we are alcoholics and that our lives are unmanageable. Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession.

In order to "be all things to all men, to save at least some," it was not at all surprising that Alcoholics Anonymous chose to make the bar to entry as small as possible. Hence those phrases in Step 3 and Step 11, "God as we understood Him. Inevitably, people have become doctrinaire about the very non-doctrinaire-ness of the Twelve Steps. I don't know to what degree Twelve Step programs have played into the modern phenomenon of saying "I'm spiritual but not religious," but the Venn diagram of recovering addicts and people with that motto has a lot of overlap.


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People in Twelve Step programs can sometimes even speak as though it's a positive command from the Steps to freeze in whatever state of spiritual and religious belief they first took the Steps in. Now, I have it easy, or at least it seems to me that I have it easy. As a practicing Catholic, I have always seen the Steps as basically a distillation of Catholic spirituality honed and sharpened for my particular state as an addict. Fourth and Fifth Step?

Hey, I have admitted all my humiliating secrets before. The Ninth Step was more intimidating than all the penances I have ever been issued in all the confessionals I have ever entered, but it was still an extension of something with which I was familiar and, in fact, a step toward perfection of them that I had always longed for without always being able to name it.

1. The saints will leave Earth and all of the wicked will be slain at the Second Coming.

I sometimes now joke with my sponsor when I attend a penance service that I'm going to a "Tenth Step workshop. What's really interesting is that the phrase, "God as we understood Him" does not come up until the Third Step. I don't think that's a coincidence. The biggest foulup in my whole spiritual works was the fact that I was in perpetual conflict between thinking God loved me and thinking God was perpetually angry at me, disappointed with me, waiting for me to make a mistake, and ready to pounce on me and ram me into the ground.

The Second Step is there, in my case, to correct that situation and resolve that conflict. God loves me, knows my limitations, made me with limitations, and always intended for me to run off of His grace. With my understanding of God thus rectified , it's then safe for me to take the Third Step and commit myself to this Being who loves me and wants the best for me.

Changing patterns is hard but Wilbur Ellsworth will show you why you should change and how you can. His thoughts have deeply impacted my own preaching. He has the courage to address her need for correction and the tough love to do it superbly. Doreen Moore has done more than write a typical book on marriage. She has seen the impact of life itself upon real people who had real needs and real struggles. The result is a wonderful blend of biography and helpful insight into how God works in our marriages for his kingdom's advance through weak and unworthy servants.

If God is to stir the slumbering embers of Christian hearts in the West our passion for missions must be rekindled. Norman Mackay's straightforward, easy to read, and quite convincing work might well be used to awaken many to the real issues. He also understands that true revival usually comes when God's people pray for the gift of the Spirit biblically and passionately. This book should be commended to church leaders the world over. It is both clear headed and warm hearted. Moore's work as high-octane fuel, written by a man who loves the church of Jesus Christ and longs to see her full of his glory once again.

Here exegetical skill is employed with the practical day-to-day life of the believer always in plain focus.