Monday, December 15, 2008

Protestant / Catholic Preface to the Bible

In my many discussions with Protestants (and having been raised one) I have come to understand their official declaration relative to the Bible and its interpretation. The following represents it as it has been explained/taught to me (some don't share point 3 and/or point 19). This is the preface that the Protestants seem to feel belongs at the front of the Bible, but somehow was forgotten. (Most of these things are also agreed to by Catholicism).

While these 66 books are totally correct and don't require revelation to interpret, we must make the following clarifications. And while you can't add to or subtract from Scripture we do have to make the following additions to compensate for misunderstandings that do arise.

1. All the talk of God having body parts is not to be taken literally.
2. All talk of people seeing God and God claiming to have been seen is referring to an angel or cloud only.
3. All talk of Christ being separate from Heavenly Father isn't to be taken literally either.
4. Most talk of "Gods" in the Hebrew script has been altered to the word "God" in English for your convenience.
5. In spite of the enormous size of this collection of books God really doesn't want, nor expect, us to understand him at all, as he's not understandable.
6. It must be understood that all attempts God makes to explain himself are purely for his entertainment only.
7. Any comments God makes about having emotions are just to make some meaningless attempt to appease us, and we should know he doesn't mean it.
8. All talk of God being in one place in any way are just God's confusing way of speaking.
9. All statements referring to Heavenly Father as the father of spirits, change to say that he whipped up our spirits out of thin air.
10. Where it speaks of God creating things in the beginning, change that to "magically whipped up from nothing."
11. All reference to and quotes in the Bible from books no longer present are from books that have been removed for your safety.
12. Though Moses says not to add to his books (the first 5 books of the Old Testament)(Deut 4:2) all the other 61 books, that finally made it into the volume we have today, are fully authorised, but no more than 61 extra are allowed.
13. All talk of Jesus being resurrected with, eating with, being seen having and coming back for his 2nd coming with a body are to be ignored, as he doesn't have one, but just whips it up for appearance sake.
14. All talk of us being in "the image and likeness of God" are to be altered to say "we have some vague similarity to God."
15. Every place where it says that Jesus cried, was surprised or grew in knowledge or any other such statement demonstrating lack of previous knowledge or demonstrating emotion, must be ignored, as he doesn't have emotions and was omniscient (knew everything already).
16. All statements of prophets after Christ in the New Testament books must be disregarded, as no prophets existed after Christ.
17. All mention of priesthood and authority from God being necessary after Christ must be forgotten.
18. All doctrinal discussion Christ made is purely for entertainment only, and isn't really important.
19. God now accepts homosexuality, lesbianism, women ministers and all other modern trends, in spite of his ways being unchangeable.
20. In spite of 4 thousand years of him doing so being recorded in the Bible, and God stating that his ways don't change, God changed his ways some time not long after Christ's death, and is not going to appear to anyone or speak to anyone again.
21. Though God is omniscient (all knowing) he wasn't aware that Adam and Eve would eat the fruit in the garden of Eden or that he would have to flood the world at the time of Noah, when he made the world.

Any other additions to, subtractions from, alterations of words from or explanations of the Bible must be done by majority consent of Protestantism or the Pope (for Catholics), to be classified as 'authorised'."

Neither I nor God endorse this preface.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pedophilia (Paedophilia) - Why does it Happen? Part 2 (Final)

For those who haven't read Part 1 I'd strongly suggest doing so before reading this.

The Problem of Close Relatives
Owing to the pressure within society, as outlined in my last post, and desiring to be accepted as a woman, girl can tend to try out her sex appeal to see how she rates. She will tend to try this out on the male she feels safest with. This will often be a father or stepfather, uncle or close family friend _ or all, if not receiving a response. This can lead to serious problems if the male involved feels dissatisfied in his relationship, regards that the young person seems to know her own mind (and therefore he accepts her as a woman) and lust has a place in his life. The latter is the basis of what can happen from there. Yes, his wife will obviously have some problems too, but his lust problem is what will cause his actions.

False Allegations
A serious problem in our society today is the incredible ease with which an innocent person can be gaoled for rape, or sexual acts relative to children. Lots of noise is occurring about people (centred at men) not being found out. While all should be appalled if this be the case, this has created a mass hysteria about sex crime allegations. While someone accused of murder needs to be proven guilty, a man accused of sex crimes (particularly those involving children) must prove his innocence _ an incredibly difficult thing to do.

Twisted interpretations of phone conversations and innuendo become "evidence" in courtrooms that juries (also people in the same society) accept. Those convicted (particularly where bad "evidence" isn't exposed) feel that the government funded defence lawyers they were given were either amazingly inept or supporting the states case to convict, in spite of being there to defend _ some making the other side look good (I have witnessed one such case myself).

It is a blight on our society that a cheesed-off ex-wife can send an innocent man to gaol for 15 years, at public expense, and (just to add insult to injury) be compensated with tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Some argue (relative to child claims) that, "children don't lie, particularly about these things." Having had 7 children myself I can assure you that children can be convinced of anything very easily. My oldest son went through a time at one stage (for about 6 months, after a particular trauma), when about 6-years-old where he would lie about anything and be quite convinced it was true. It was so bad that he would lie saying that something plainly in his hand wasn't there. Children certainly DO lie. And in divorce situations Mommy can convince the children eventually that Daddy is a bad person. What's worse is that children can easily be made to believe that something occurred which didn't. They only need to be told often enough, particularly if tired _ they start to visualise it in their head and it becomes real. This is particularly easy when it is loosely based on an actual (harmless) event.

I remember sitting down with my children (the oldest was about 12 years old at the time) and in about 10 minutes I convinced them that we definitely NEEDED a yacht, and that all our problems would be solved if we had one. The purpose of this was to demonstrate that we can convince ourselves that we need anything, but we should be sensible and realise that we don't need it at all. But the point is that it only took 10 minutes to convince them of such a ridiculous claim.
We are on the one hand saying that they are children, and therefore not capable of making an informed decision about sex. Yet on the other hand saying that they are all-knowing when giving testimony against the proposed offender. This is a contradiction.

No one would sensibly propose that allegations aren't looked into. But it must be treated as any other allegation; where good evidence must be presented to convict. Those lawyers there to defend must do so with genuine earnestness. If a case doesn't have such evidence it's time to accept that most probably it's because the person actually didn't do it, and the proposed crime didn't occur at all. If you think that the law is that bad that all those accused who aren't convicted are guilty, then by the same logic you would have to conclude that all convicted are innocent. By focusing your thoughts on only one side (ie. he did it and got away with it) thinking becomes twisted and true justice lost.

Who's Responsable?
While some civilisations and peoples get married at younger ages, people in our society are thinking in child mode through early teens, and not given serious, adult responsibility. The whole society presents this, even at school. Thus people in early teens act according to what they are told they are _ on their way to being adults, but it's a long way off yet. They don't think like an adult. Even at 18 the idea of marriage is a fantasy. They aren't prepared for the reality, or seriousness of marriage and life's' problems (generally speaking): Many haven't even learnt to cook meals for a family, or use a washing machine. As mentioned before, however, they are bombarded with sex, and the concept that they have to fit in with this "ALL IMPORTANT" thing. So in spite of not being of legal marriageable age, the temptation is to see what this thing is all about, and what's true and what isn't. Questions arise in the young mind and doubts, as to how well they will fit in with this.

A young person may then demonstrate sexual interest to an adult. Things then transpire, leaving the youth very confused in the end of it all, and sometimes the older person equally so. It sometimes happens that the youth takes to it like a duck to water. The youth may also conduct sexual relationships with other youth _ no better (in fact it could be argued that two youths are then being sexually abused rather than just one).

So how much is the youth/victim responsible in sex related cases? The only person who truly knows the full extent of the physical and emotional agreement and desire for the act to have occurred is the victim. The only person who knows just how much the person made an informed decision is also the victim.

This raises the obvious question as to whom, but God, KNOWS everything? The usual thinking of people is that 100% of the blame must be shared between the two involved and to place it all on the older person.

However the first flaw (of many) in this is that it is doubtful that either the perpetrator or the victim are really that well informed, or the crime wouldn't have taken place. So can we accept the concept of a partly ignorant, totally evil perpetrator? Common sense and fairness say that you can’t - That is the very point being made about children.

Also society itself must take part of the blame for accepting sex as so important, and for allowing and promoting sexual misconduct. Wasn't the perpetrator brought up in the society? I often hear people talk about how dishonest politicians are, but if people in society were all honest so would the politicians be, as they come from the society. Sex offenders are being created by the society.

On the other side of the point, we must remember that we are free to make our own decisions, and only we are responsible for what we do. That may seem a contradiction, but it isn't. A crime (such as a bank robbery) may be committed by several people, but each person is 100% responsible individually for their actions relative to their understanding. Crimes aren't one thing where we must delegate 100% of the blame to the contributors in some distribution. To explain that better if we had 3 people rob a bank we can't say that each is 33.3% responsible. Yet because 3 are involved, each isn't 100% to blame (morally) for all that may go on. And then there are motives and ignorance to consider. Equally a person committing a sex crime is only 100% responsible for his/her actions relative to his/her understanding.

The victim is in exactly the same position, and to deny them a right to correct their lives (if they were actively involved in it's occurrence to any degree) is a crime in itself. A concerned victim should prayerfully examine the situation, and with God's (for He knows the heart and judges correctly) help sort out what happened and why. This can be a difficult and drawn out process that requires LOTS of prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit. It also requires LOTS of honest self-examination. But without this process the doubts, anger and uncertainty just go on.

Those involved with the victim such as family, friends, some counsellors etc are referred to as "secondary victims". These will have good intensions, but often give bad advice in ignorance. The first thing they are eager to do is remove any thought of examining personal involvement, by assuring the person they had nothing to do with it. This can actually serve to create a victim feeling that may not have otherwise existed, or deepen the feeling.

The leader of a victims of crime organisation once told me that the greatest hurdle to victims getting over their problem is secondary victims.

For example a 14-year-old girl who has had a sexual relationship with an older guy may only feel confused by the experience. By the time the well meaning mother, siblings, counsellors, teachers, friends and particularly police have finished, she could feel she was greatly abused and is depressed. They have created a victim. What is worse is that they keep her there by constant reminders.

I have actually seen a woman of 20 become almost suicidal by such "help." Two years before, when the problem came out, she was just prepared to move on, and quite content. Her teacher noted that she had been "happy and generally pleasant." But after about 6 months of family, counsellors etc "helping" her, he noted that she had changed her mood and was now "unhappy."

So those really wanting to help these people must first learn positive moving forward, not negative looking backward. Even though some initial looking back can help to some degree, the session should end with positive thoughts in regard to it (eg. "it is good that steps can be taken to ensure it doesn't happen again" - I'll explain this soon). Other than initial unwinding, the main purpose for looking backward should only be for self-evaluation by the victim.

If a victim feels that they were partly to blame (no matter how small) it requires a repentance process. Again, listening to the Holy Spirit to assist in this and lots of prayer, Scripture reading and service to others (eg. visiting the sick) all help in creating a new person that you can feel proud of. Asking Heavenly Father to forgive you is also important in this process. Doing these things will also help you see it all in a much clearer light, as God is closer to you and the Holy Ghost inspires with truth.

Giving Power Back to Victims
Don't become a problem to a victim moving on if you are a secondary victim. It is so easy to go into gripe sessions about the perpetrator. That is the LAST thing the victim needs: Dwelling on the crime is just re-living it.

A total victim (someone who has had no input to the crime) and those who had little input, feels violated. They feel self-doubt and fear of it happening again. What they need most is to feel that they can control whether it happens to them again. Therefore it is important to give them reasons why it happened that they can do something about. Saying it was all the other person's fault and they had no input, leaves them helpless to stop it happening again - this is the worst thing to do (whether you, personally, want to believe it to be true or not isn't the point).

To empower the victim requires an examination of the things God has said in this regard. In Gen 3:16-19 God outlines the relationship between sin and consequences. Also God told Israel (including the Nephites) that if they did what he said they would have protection by their living. He told them that if they did wrong things, that enemies would come upon them, famine would occur etc. We all put out feelings, whether we notice it or not. We also receive the feelings of the society around us. I used to notice that when I went to a local beach resort that I could feel the relaxed atmosphere while still miles/kilometres away. On the way back it became the opposite on returning to the city.

So we can change people's reactions to us by changing ourselves inside. You may feel that the victim was a nice person. Just being a relatively nice person won't save them from the bad consequences of the evil within the society. You have to become exceptional. This should be the challenge given to the victim.

This, then, gives them hope and something to do in regard to it. They NEED this.

For those concerned that they have a problem in this area I would suggest making a list of High Risk Situations that you'd be best to avoid, if possible. If you can't avoid them (and even if you can), also create a list of responses that you will do if you start to consider doing something that's not right.

Some things to avoid include drugs, alcohol, being tired, brooding, getting angry, making quick decisions, blocking yourself off from people or hurting people.

Some things to look at doing include thinking about your thinking, fasting and praying for God's help (but remember the actions come from you), talking to someone about your problems (a bishop / minister would be strongly advisable), express your feelings and work out a plan for your life etc. I know you feel embarrassed about going to someone to talk about it, but it is vital that you do. You must end the secrecy problem.

A person who has had trouble in regard to sex with children would need to make some out-of-bounds areas and some things to avoid. The following are some ideas: -

Don't be in the presence of children alone: Have another adult with you (preferably one who is aware of the problem).
Don't use cameras (including video cameras).
Avoid living near or going to parks, schools, play areas or any other place where children gather.
When at church, avoid the areas where the children will be (as best as possible).
Try to avoid friendships with people who have children: This would need to include possible marriage partners (if you are unmarried).

This list may present things that are impractical; particularly if you are married and have children or a school teacher etc. It is a guide only, and to give you an idea as to the sorts of things to have. You need to look at the areas that you feel pose a risk for you. But this is in no way a substitute for the real answer: And that is to change yourself inside.

The best idea is to have a mental block against it. You need to visualise yourself not doing it _ remember that your mind and your hands are yours. Keep that focus _ DON'T LET GO OF IT.

Consider the justifications you've used before and after the wrong. Think about these justifications and pray to God about them, and listen to the spirit. Create a good set of answers to these justifications to prove them wrong _ which with Gods' help, and trust in Him you will be able to do.

It is important to go through what you have done and what you should have done instead. The best idea is to write down what you did in blue or black pen, and then writing what you should have done in another colour (perhaps red). Then keep the list with you.

If you are desirous to make change this is a wonderful thing. I would recommend an entire change of your perspective of the whole situation. This will completely resolve your problem and improve your life in marvellous ways. I'd suggest studying the following links Lust Problems and Masturbation Problems