June 11, 2015

Christianity and Binge Drinking

Posted in Good reads tagged , , , at 12:00 am by sanguinemare

This is a topic that is often on my mind, since college and after.  I admit I have a tendency to be perhaps too Pharisee-like in how much I dislike drinking in general, but I thought this was a pretty good, balanced and Biblical article on the topic that addresses the problem and yet not going too far off the other end like I might in some situations.  I do think the consequences of drinking, especially in today’s society, is pretty dangerous, and something that people don’t think about enough in this culture.  And I think something one of the commenters brings up is also a main issue – that in addition to making excuses for poor behavior, as the article touches upon, drinking is often also due to some deep-seated pain (loneliness, fear, self-loathing) that has no other outlet and is not addressed.  I hope we as a Christian community can become safe havens for people in that situation – that true love and acceptance can conquer the need to drown one’s sorrows or numb one’s feelings through drugs of any sort (and yes, that includes alcohol).

(accidentally published this on the wrong blog… oops… so the original post date of this post was actually 8/26/2014 at 9:54pm)

March 12, 2015

From Lesbianism to Complementarianism

Posted in Random Interesting Facts tagged , at 1:59 am by sanguinemare

A great, personal article and testimony from someone whose life was touched by the Gospel and changed.

September 3, 2014

“Romance” novels

Posted in Good reads, Random Interesting Facts tagged , , , , , at 3:32 pm by sanguinemare

I ran across this article on my facebook newsfeed today, titled “Fifty Shades, Twilight, and Teaching Young Women To Desire Abusers“.  The article makes the point that those who read Fifty Shades seemed to have more adverse health behaviors and were more likely to have partners with violent or abusive/unwanted behavioral tendencies.  I would have to say that the study is far from robust, and as it mentions itself, there is no temporal connection – meaning, there’s no way to tell whether it’s because people who are already like that are more drawn to the books, or whether people who read these books are more likely to fall into those behaviors.

Having ready the Twilight series (somewhat out of boredom) in my college years since they were a quick read and my housemate owned them, I don’t think the books are necessarily as bad as the article is portraying.  It’s a bit like how people cry “Stockholm Syndrome” with Disney’s (and theoretically all other versions…) Beauty and the Beast.  I think people are reading much more into it than is there, and is not what the consumers actually get out of the stories.  Although I will gladly eat my words if someone shows me a well-done study showing that kids or young girls have actually been psychologically damaged in looking for partners after consuming those products.

On the other hand, Fifty Shades of Grey is something else all together.  Out of curiosity, I did peruse a couple pages of the book at a bookstore once since it was everywhere for a good year or so… and I literally had to shut the book because I felt like my IQ points were dropping.  As the article mentions, it was basically pornography in written form – no substance, just random (and bolded!  What kind of literary book bolds and italicizes random moans/thoughts??  Which I guess answers the question… it’s not literary fiction at all) words and events thrown together with no rhyme or reason.  And it is almost not surprising then, that consumers of this type of work would gain a false perception of the world, much like the visuals of pornography does.

One of the comments there, written by Amy, said the following:

“Thank you so much for writing this. It breaks my heart to see so many women ensnared by this pornographic trash disguised as literature. As a teenager, I read this sort of garbage and it was incredible damaging and though it has been over a decade since I filled my mind with this disgusting stuff, it nonetheless followed me into my marriage and resulted in issues with my husband and me.

I would also encourage young women to be very discerning regarding romantic movies and even so-called Christian romantic fiction as it is blatantly emotionally pornographic and can be quite damaging as well. The unrealistic expectations, obsessive infatuations portrayed as romantic heroism, etc. are extremely unhealthy to ingest. You are what you read, so read well.”

I really liked what she said.  As someone who also reads fanfiction (not always of mature content) and has read romance novels, I know that I also probably have a somewhat warped view of the world.  Men are not all romantic, there is not necessarily someone who we are destined to be with and who will always be faithful, and of course, there is the depictions of intimacy that probably aren’t what most people experience (at least, not without a lot of practice and working together).  “Emotionally pornographic” is an apt description of the experience. So as Amy said, you are what you read.  So read well.

July 9, 2014

The story of Mindy

Posted in Random Interesting Facts tagged , , , , , at 3:40 pm by sanguinemare

Another struggle that was shared during the retreat was the subject of lust, and how he did not want to look at or think of his sisters in Christ that way.  The frustration and shame were so tangible, and I think it resonated with a lot of the people, especially guys, there.  I thought he was very brave for standing in front of not just one church, but multiple churches in the area, speaking out about his struggles, and Praise the Lord that he felt he had to confess that to everyone, because getting it out and admitting it is the first step to healing.

So when I stumbled upon this article yesterday, it reminded me of this struggle that many people have to deal with, and it shows just how easy it is to manipulate a young girl to think that she would like to be part of that kind of lifestyle.  This is what can happen when our lives are not God-centered – we covet things and want to try things to fill a void within us.  It’s in our nature.  And I’m not judging here – I myself have seen how much I can fall without God as my center.  But anyway, I hope this article can also serve as a reminder that the people in these videos are real people, who are really affected by what they’re doing in their lives outside of the industry.  And the struggles follow them for the rest of their lives.  So instead of consuming what the industry provides, let’s pray for all of those involved, that they would come to know Christ as the only nurturer of our souls and the only thing we need.

April 18, 2014

The Cross and Christian Sexuality

Posted in Good reads tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:35 am by sanguinemare

Well, it’s certainly been a while since I posted here.  Haven’t had as much time as I would like to review sermons or growth group sessions and write them on here.  I did watch this yesterday/today though – it’s by a pastor who leads at a church that my current church was a church plant of (lots of “church” in that sentence haha).  I think this is a really good sermon for people who wonder about what Christianity and the Bible say about sexuality.  Have you ever wondered how far can you go with your partner who is not yet a husband or wife?  What about pornography?  Masturbation?  How far is too far?  To anyone who is struggling with this, has struggled with this, or has suffered because someone else is struggling because of this, I point you to this great sermon by David Platt.