Little Hellions

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The great enemy of self-control is feeling. I do not refer to feeling as rightly ordered sentiment, which is an essential part of what it means to be human. Rather, I am referring to the modern and very pernicious habit of making feelings foundational to all arguments.

And by all arguments, I mean political arguments, family arguments, business arguments, and underneath it all, theological arguments.Exhort

One of the most obvious things about feelings is that they vary. They go up and down. They slide back and forth. They are rickety. If you build your life, your family, your business, your theological convictions on the wobbly surface of these feelings, what happens? When your feelings go up and down, absolutely everything goes up and down.

We see this problem in how moderns hold their wedding vows. They promised to be faithful, regardless of feelings, and they keep their promises . . . until their feelings change. Then they are in a whole new world, and the world applauds them for treachery, just so long as the feelings that led them into treachery were sincerely felt.

Your life should be built on fact. Theological fact first. The way the world actually is, second, meaning natural revelation. I would put math third. All such facts are just the way a foundation ought to be—hard, cold, rigid concrete. It doesn’t wobble. If you anchor your feelings to such facts, the end result is that your feelings will be disciplined by them, and you will finally be able to enjoy your feelings. Feelings are like children—when they are wild and undisciplined they are no fun at all. Little hellions is what they are. Nothing worse than chaotic feelings with runny noses.

Jesus is Lord whether or not you are grumpy this morning. Theological fact. Men are supposed to be attracted to women and vice versa, and not to a member of the same sex. Natural fact. Your checking account has less money in it than that shiny new toy costs. Math fact.

Feelings are therefore what needs to be disciplined. Feelings must never be made the taskmaster.

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"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

Proverbs 14:16

The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

I was in a graduate seminar many years ago, and a young man said to the professor, “Well, I feel that…” The professor said, “I am indifferent to what you feel; I want to know what you think.” This would probably send modern students off searching for their safe spaces.

Duells Quimby
Duells Quimby
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

That reminds me of listening to a Ben Shapiro talk where he prefaced his remarks by saying, “Just so you know, I don’t give a da*n about your feelings”

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The student was probably ignorant, but the professor certainly was. All the neurological research out there shows that it is our feelings that make our decisions, and the “thinking” is what we then use to justify them. While the professor might legitimately have been more interested in the justification of the decision than the decision itself, the student was probably more accurate than the professor in identifying where his position actually came from.

Graham Dennis
Graham Dennis
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, I’m not sure to what neurological research you’re referring. Neurological research demonstrates that consciousness is a profoundly complex collaborative activity. It’s not as though there’s something called a “feeling” part of the brain that provides info to the “thinking” part of the brain. In fact, most theories of consciousness (that are worth their salt) suggest that brain function is a holistic activity in which multiple brain functions/regions interact virtually simultaneously. But that’s hardly the point. The point is that we can consider multiple “feelings” and choose between them. This leads to a simple philosophical question: how can we choose… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Graham Dennis

Well, I was thinking of Damasio’s work as instigating it in large part, but there’s a wide body that’s followed up on him. And I agree on what you say about “brain function is a holistic activity”. If you look at the rest of this thread you’ll see that that is exactly what my argument is. It is Pastor Wilson who is subdividing the concepts a bit too much, as if we could build out life on “fact” without the feelings, and then just add the feelings in later. And how do we choose between different feelings? Via deeper, more… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago

“The great enemy of self-control is feeling. I do not refer to feeling as rightly ordered sentiment, which is an essential part of what it means to be human. Rather, I am referring to the modern and very pernicious habit of making feelings foundational to all arguments.” I have this debate all the time, with men mostly, and I have to say there is something very different about the genders going on. For men, feelings are much more likely to be perceived negatively, as leading to trouble, anger for instance. For women, feelings are a more positive moral influence. We… Read more »

Jamberry
Jamberry
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

There are many regulars to this blog who could disagree with you much more articulately than I can, so I’ll limit my comments to your example. If Eve could have stated the facts about what God actually said, without falling into the pit of doubt the serpent set up for her in the wording of his questions, she might have escaped acting on her feelings. Maybe. But she responded to the serpent’s meaning (that God was withholding something good from them), rather than what God said. “I don’t feel that God really meant EXACTLY what He said….”

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Jamberry

You articulate quite well. The thing is, Eve never said, “I don’t feel that God really meant EXACTLY what He said….” No, instead she rationalizes, she “sees,” “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof..” Wilson and many others try to set up a false dynamic that declares feelings work in opposition to reason and morality. So I mean this with all due respect, but I completely disagree with this false dichotomy,… Read more »

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

“Wilson and many others try to set up a false dynamic that declares feelings work in opposition to reason and moralitry”
I didn’t read this, rather feelings serve truth, not vice versa.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

Yes, this dynamic ME is describing is not found anywhere in what Wilson and those of us agreeing with him, are saying. ME is not reading what is being said. I won’t attempt to understand why not.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

The Pharisees’ theology was factually WRONG. Jesus said so. No one is advocating having lots of facts without regard to their content. That’s counter to the entire point.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

No, the pharisees theology was factually correct. What it was, was devoid of love, common sense, and feelings. The traps the pharisees tried to set for Christ were legalistically correct and factually true. That’s why they were such effective traps, that our Lord managed to miraculously evade.

Did the adulterous woman not commit adultery and deserve to be stoned? The law said so, the theology said so, the pharisees said so. Christ’s heart did not.

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

No, the Law said that both the adulterer and adulteress were to be put to death (Lev. 20:10). Last I checked (and I check often!) it takes two to tango; if the Pharisees were truly interested in justice, then it wouldn’t have taken any extra effort to bring her paramour before Jesus as well.

So, no: the Pharisees weren’t following the Law nor correct theology. What they did was unjust and essentially resulted in a mistrial.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

That is what I have been taught as well. If they caught her in the act, then they also caught the adulterer in the act as well. By taking her and letting him go, they broke the law and made their verdict of death on her unenforceable. But ME is right that it was a trap. If Jesus let them stone her, He would have been in trouble with the Romans. If He just let her go without any comment, He would have been accused of breaking the Mosaic law.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yes, she’s right that it was a trap.

Beyond that, you can’t read all the things that Jesus said to the Pharisees about both their beliefs and the practices and conclude that their theology was factually correct. He told them it wasn’t.

Even if their interpretation of the law had been correct, which it clearly was not, they did not believe the scripture concerning Jesus and ignored other large parts of it. To call that factually correct theology is absurd.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

And what explicitly did he tell them? “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And then, when speaking to the woman, “Does no one condemn you? Neither do I condemn you.” Shouldn’t any rational analysis of how the pharisees were wrong be based around Jesus’s words and not extra-Biblical judicial rules we make up on the fly?

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I’m sure that’s what you were taught, but it’s not rational. There’s no Biblical evidence for that teaching at all. Nowhere in the Bible is the command, “If he got away with it, you can get away with it too.” See above.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

That’s a ridiculous, extraBiblical explanation. There is NOTHING in the text about what happened to the adulterer. For all you know, the Pharisees might have already executed him. Or were waiting to bring him next. Or he had escaped, or had not been conclusively identified. The correct decision of justice for him has nothing to do with the correct decision of justice for her. You have a feeling (you want to justify Jesus while holding onto the original command as well) and therefore you make rational arguments that don’t actually have an objective basis, because they are in service of… Read more »

jon
jon
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Isn’t it kind of silly to argue about extraBiblical explanations when the text itself has been clearly understood to be an insertion into the original manuscript?

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  jon

It depends on your theologian views of Biblical legitimacy. I don’t believe in an imaginary “original version” of each book that unfortunately we don’t have access to now but would be really great if we did. And I don’t believe that there’s any theological validity is saying, “the oldest manuscript we can find today is the perfect one”. I believe the story is a legitimate story about Jesus, that was transmitted by oral tradition before it was placed into the text, but which was placed into the text with the approval of the Church because the Church agreed that it… Read more »

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, that’s an odd response. The spittle flecks are a nice touch, but for the sake of your electronics you might want to wipe those from your keyboard. Do you know what adultery is? The “correct decision of justice” would have been the same for both of them. The Law was clear about such matters and the Pharisees, contra to the Law, decided that it applied to the woman only: “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.” (John 8:5). Now, why do you suppose that is? I’d advise you take Logic 101 from your local community college,… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

Again, there’s no evidence at all that they applied it to the woman only, and there’s no legal precedent for the idea that if they did fail to prosecute that man, that somehow affected the correct legal decision on what to do with the woman. Most importantly, there is NO evidence of it in Jesus’s response. Jesus’s response deals with the question of whether the Pharisees (or any other sinful human) is qualified to make that judgment at all. If both people were brought to Jesus, or if the man had in fact already been killed, or if they had… Read more »

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, you’re dodging the question. Do you know what adultery is? As I said before, it takes two to tango. The fact that they didn’t bring the man before Jesus as well speaks volumes. Therefore, your speculations as to why they didn’t are irrelevant. You said, “…there’s no evidence at all that they applied it to the woman only…” No evidence, huh? “‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?'” (John 8:4). So apparently their own words aren’t evidence enough? Last I checked,… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

Your entire argument is an attempt to use a positive (accusations against the woman) to prove a negative (lack of accusations against the man). Logic doesn’t work that way.

Also, nothing that you say explains why Jesus wouldn’t be justified to condemn the woman himself. Yet he does not.

Otherwise, everyone is already addressed in what I say above.

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

No, Jonathan, what I have is the fact of the man’s absence and the fact that the Pharisees misrepresented the Law. If the man was there and the Pharisees had referred to the Law accurately, then it could be possible that Jesus would have allowed the execution. However, even if that criteria were met, there is also the possibility that the Pharisees were guilty of breaking the law against adultery, in which case they would have had to recuse themselves. News flash, Jonathan: Logic does work that way. In any case, this had the marks of a mistrial all over… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

1) There is absolutely no evidence that the lack of one of the co-conspirators in a crime means the other one should be set free. 2) There is absolutely no evidence that someone who is validly accused of a crime should be forgiven and set free because some of their accusers had poor motivations. 3) Jesus’s statement says, “He who is without sin”, not “He who is without this sin” or “He who is without negative motivations in this particular case”. 4) When there’s a mistrial, that means the verdict is invalid and the subject should be tried again under… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I have been following this discussion, and I feel sure there must be more to it than I am getting. Is your concern that additional meaning is being read into the passage, or are you making a point about the underlying message? Is your quarrel with the suggestion that Jesus saved the woman on some kind of legal technicality? Are you saying that Jesus would have turned away her accusers simply because He was merciful?

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Part of it is my bias in how I learned to read the Bible. When I was raised as a baby Christian in my late teens, I had it pounded into me over and over that my interpretations of the Bible had to be justified by the text. I didn’t have a denominational dogma to supplant over the text – while I spent my first two years as a Christian in a very strongly Reformed college youth group, virtually all my Bible study was mixed-group and extremely democratic, with the edict over and over “you have to prove it from… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thank you for explaining so clearly, and there is much that I agree with, especially the danger of extrapolating political policy (liberal as well as conservative) from parables. My denomination takes a different approach, I think, encouraging the fleshing out of broad outlines to make stories more comprehensible. This might have resulted from the long centuries of illiteracy. I find this harmless, as long as it does not alter doctrine. It was helpful to me to imagine that there might have been an actual gate that camels could not pass through. To me that fits with Jesus using very visual… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

This may be overly cynical but, I suggest not arguing with pot heads.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

I’m afraid I would be left talking only to myself and the cats.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

And us, I hope. :)

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

Always.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Those are denominations which refuse to use wine in communion and don’t believe Jesus would have done anything to make anyone drunk. However, there are enough stories in there about Jesus eating and drinking with sinners that I’m pretty sure he wasn’t just making the alcohol, but celebrating with it a bit too. And I say that despite the fact that I almost never drink myself. As far as your claim that the practice is usually harmless, I disagree. The practice is virtually always done in the same direction – to take a teaching which is threatening to the authorities… Read more »

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

That is just too sweeping and not true. At times the Pharasees are following a strict version of “part” of the law and at other times they are completely breaking it verbatim. I think you are arguing for being led by the Holy Ghost and that this happens through how you “feel” at times. I don’t think you and Wilson disagree here as I don’t think that you validate the actions brought about by just any feelings. The Holy Ghost leads us into all truth, and if you feel the same way He does, then your sentiments are rightly connected… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 In order to keep the letter of the law the pharisees added more letters to the law which broke… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago

That’s a really good point. If the pharisees left out the part about love, than they weren’t being factually correct, they were being selectively correct in their theology.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jamberry

You can’t escape acting on your feelings. Raw “reason” is an infinite loop because there’s never anything to actually act on. Look at where all the best supposed “rational” governments have gotten us….there lies the road to Pol Pot and company.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

I guess that Doug would categorise rationalisation (which is not the same as reasoning) as a variant of feelings. Eve wanted to eat the fruit; she desired to do so.

The theological fact that her emotion overrode was, “You are not allowed to eat that fruit”.

Many feelings are rationalised, but that is still a way to excuse a desire.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Well, scripture says nothing of Eve’s feelings or emotions. We do not know if she desired to eat the fruit at all. From the language it seems to me as if she was deceived, told the fruit was good. The serpent assisted her reasoning, not her emotion.

I still say if Eve were listening to her feelings instead of the reasoning of the serpent, she wouldn’t have eaten the fruit.

This is kind of an important issue in modern times, because a woman’s ability to trust her feelings is often directly related to her own safety.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

“For women, feelings are a more positive moral influence.” I assume you mean “perceived as a more positive moral influence,” parallel to the previous sentence? But isn’t that a problem? If we are, in general (and I don’t know as I agree that we are), more apt to trust our emotions as a basis for moral judgment over the solid truth (the theological facts) of the Word of God or we filter the Word through our feeling rather than our feelings through the Word, isn’t that a serious, deep, and disastrous problem?

ME
ME
5 years ago

Well, I think God put a piece of Himself within us and if we are saved, than He lives in our heart. So our feelings, rather than being “dangerous hellions,” are actually a form of communication with Him. God actually doesn’t command us to theological facts, He calls us to love. That’s His greatest commandment and you just can’t love without feelings. Given the complementary nature of the genders it is always possible that men are called to be less feeling based, as you can see from this post, but that does not than translate into feelings are immoral and… Read more »

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Pastor Wilson didn’t say that feelings are dangerous hellions; he said that feelings are like children. They’re only hellions when they’re undisciplined. The unspoken alternative is well-trained feelings that are a delight just as well-trained children are.

“He calls us to love” <– THAT is a theological fact. Other theological facts are "He calls us to hate sin" and "He calls us to be honest," which includes the way we read what other people write.

ME
ME
5 years ago

“All such facts are just the way a foundation ought to be—hard, cold, rigid concrete. It doesn’t wobble.”

I read what he wrote just fine. Wilson clearly believes feelings are dangerous hellions, they wobble and they lead us astray. He would prefer a world that is hard, cold, concrete, and rigid.

Call me crazy if you like, but God is not “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid,” and we are not called to be so ether.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Feelings AS A FOUNDATION are dangerous. Kind of the way drywall is a really great building material for finishing the walls of your home in many useful, practical, and important ways — but it makes a terrible, dangerous foundation. Concrete is inferior to drywall for walls; drywall is inferior to concrete for foundations.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I realize that’s a popular line of thought and it sounds quite reasonable on the surface, but I believe it is quite deceptive. There has been great evil done by those who were clearly rational, devoid of feelings, “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid.” Eugenics, Nazi experiments, and assorted other atrocities, for example. One must be very clear here, if your foundation, your rock is Christ, than concrete, steadfast, and stable applies. If your foundation is going to be human reason devoid of feelings, you get a completely different outcome, one that can be exceedingly evil. Feelings are not just hellions… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Okay, if you think Valerie, Wilson, or I just advocated being devoid of feelings and being merely “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid” without any modification, you’re clearly not even trying to understand what’s being said.

If your rock is Christ, He’s not a feeling. He demonstrates and calls us to many virtues that inspire feelings in us, but that is not the same as the foundation being feelings itself. That’s kind of the whole point being made here.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

And if the virtues are real but do not inspire feelings, they are no less valid. One of the reasons I am very skeptical about the role of feelings is that I have personal knowledge of how easily they are created and manipulated. Give me an extra dose of Prozac and a beach view of a fiery sun sinking into a tranquil sea, and I will have lovely, peaceful feelings. Take away a couple of doses and give me a cat peeing on my bed while I try to meet a deadline, and my feelings will be extraordinarily unpleasant (though… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Nothing wrong with what you say jillybean, but you may also have noticed (especially on this blog) how easily rational arguments for whatever position can be created and manipulated. I can just about guarantee that at their root, the vast majority of what makes up your “core self” – those principles and beliefs and relationship with God – did not come about via your rational arguments made via some sort of first principles, but on very, very deep feelings.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I can accept that. My relationship with God was certainly not mediated by reading St. Augustine and having an epiphany (although I believe that has happened to some people). I had the good fortune to be raised by a Christian mother who taught me about God long before I was able to form a coherent argument. But unless we say that there is no difference between a thought and a feeling (as some biologists might do), we still have the problem of trying to establish values and principles that are not feeling-based (using feelings in the sense, not of unchanging… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

“Okay, if you think Valerie, Wilson, or I just advocated being devoid of feelings and being merely “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid” without any modification, you’re clearly not even trying to understand what’s being said.”

As usual, I understand your tone perfectly well. It is “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid, without any modification.”

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Wow. Didn’t know you were an aspiring mindreader. Keep working on it, though. Your skills aren’t quite up to snuff.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

It is frustrated. And you just accused me of lying, so we’re done, at least for the present.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

What’s really funny is that I think ME has provoked us both to responding based on our feelings, which she should think is just dandy, right? This should all be just beautiful now, right? Only instead of holding hands and singing Kumbaya, you and I are sitting on our hands, trying to restrain them from typing some things we’d like to type right about now.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Memi, as usual you and your discussion partners are both “right” so far as you go. As always, let’s look to the Word. Galatians 5 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

I’m sorry A-dad, scripture is always tried and true, but once again, “by their fruits you shall know them.” There can be no fruit of the spirit in an environment that insists on teaching that the foundation is to be “hard, cold, rigid, concrete.” The foundation is to be Christ and He is none of those things.

Blessed be the peace keepers however, so your efforts are worthy and duly noted. :)

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Memi, we are built on “the rock”, we are “babies”, we are “living stones”. From us “baby stones” our God desires “compassion, not sacrifice”. As “rocks” go Memi, your compassion comes through loud and clear. Our friends here also understand that as much as they imitate the Rock of Ages, they will seem offensive at times, because the world is offended, by that Rock. Simple Definition of compassion: a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc. Matthew 7 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Compassion is also reflected in a gentle and courteous tone. It tries to believe the best and not the worst about others. It does not condemn others for not feeling or believing or reacting as we do ourselves. It does not use words to wound.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“It does not use words to wound.” Bit of a problem there, because anytime I say something you or Dunsworth may disagree with, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with you, you all tend to take it personally. My tone is gentle and courteous, but when I try to speak the truth as I see it, you often accuse me of using “words to wound.” Or trying to “lead you into sin,” or some other such thing. The problem I see here are suppressed feelings, and the way women often engage in passive/aggressive conversation, not stemming from undisciplined… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

I cannot believe this. We are to take at face value that your tone is gentle and courteous when you say things like, “As usual, I understand your tone perfectly well. It is “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid, without any modification,” but when we react negatively to that kind of prejudiced judgment, it is “passive-aggressive” and “stemming from complete denial and repression of…feelings.”

That kind of psychoanalysis is not conducive to constructive discussion and it doesn’t remotely fit the definition of “courteous.”

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Well now, hold up! It was Wilson himself who declared that being “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid,” was desirable. I disagree with him. You appear to agree with him. but then when I allow you to wear that label, “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid,” you take offense and accuse me of making a prejudice judgment?

So, my question to you as a woman is, do you value perceiving yourself as “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid,” or do you prefer to identify yourself with a softer mode of being, one more along the lines of feelings,emotions, grace, mercy?

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Again, you are misreading. He did not say that being “hard, cold, concrete, and rigid,” was, without qualification, desirable. He said that it’s the good and necessary nature of facts and therefore desirable for foundations.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

ME, I find your tone gentle and courteous up to the point that you experience serious disagreement with something one of us says. Then the tone changes dramatically. I have no desire to hurt your feelings and I am trying to put this as gently as I can. If it were only I who had ever felt the sting of your words, I would be willing to believe the problem was my own over-sensitivity or whatever. But it is not just me. I think that when more than one person is taking comments personally, it is worth looking at whether… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Okay Jilly, I have clearly spammed Pastor Wilsons blog and I don’t mean to be disrespectful there so I have taken my objections to my own blog.

https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/so-so-many-feelings/

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

You must do as you think best, but I hope you realize that I have never suggested that you are spamming this blog. I think it would be good if we could frankly discuss our differences and why we seem to get across each other. But that is sometimes painful and difficult work, and it is not something I have a right to ask of anyone.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

I think there is a popular false dicotomy between rationality and feelings, at some point being without feelings is irrational.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

I think there is often a lack of clarity about which is which. I can’t always distinguish between the two, and I think it would be a very weird person who invariably could. I can start brooding about somebody’s perceived offenses against me, and begin to feel aggrieved. To me, the feeling is important only in that it might alert me to something I should pay attention to. Is my feeling telling me that there is something wrong in an important relationship? Or is my feeling merely the product of having had a tough day and a headache? What I… Read more »

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Feelings and reason are categorically different. They’re not opposites. Opposites are sound reasoning versus unsound reasoning or righteous feelings versus unrighteous feelings. The only way we can distinguish between the righteous and unrighteous feelings is by sound reasoning, i.e., reasoning based on reality (natural, theological, mathematical, etc.). Is my anger righteous? Maybe, maybe not. Is my attraction to that person righteous? Maybe, maybe not. Is my bitterness righteous? Nope nopity nope. Is my joy in the Lord righteous? Yep yeppity yep.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I’m picturing the house in “Up,” only with the balloons underneath and the house sort of bobbling along on top.

I’m also picturing (and it doesn’t take much imagination…our culture is rife with examples) a home where the children rule. Such a home is always chaotic, and the children are always miserable.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

When feelings run the show, it is like driving a car without brakes. I can’t count on my feelings being the same from one moment to the next. The act of charity I must do that fills me with delight one day may seem the most appallingly boring task the next. Cooking dinner is fun one day; it is a monstrous obligation the next. Even with reference to God my feelings are fluid. I take comfort from the example of both Saints Teresa (Avila and Calcutta) who went through long periods without feeling any consciousness of God in their daily… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

I forgot to add that, as we are called to love, that love must surely be an act of the will. When we promise to love in marriage, we are clearly not promising that we will always have loving feelings. We are promising to use our will to act lovingly regardless of any momentary feeling.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Memi, if the book of Romans was around in the garden, Eve might have obeyed this verse:

Romans 12:
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Hate (righteous hate) is a feeling. Sometimes when we are being tempted, godly feelings, that come from childlike faith, are the thing that gets us through!

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago

A theological fact? That’s like a zoological rock. Get some sleep Douglas.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

And ethics proceeding from random mutations is what?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago

Ethics. (Don’t forget about the natural selection part JFK)

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

If you could see my neighbor’s dog you’d give up on that.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago

Yes I would as dogs have been ARTIFICIALLY selected for by breeders from a common ancestor closely similar to wolves. Human guided evolution. An excellent distinction JFK, thank you!

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Seriously though, I thought you were objecting to incoherence, but then; well; oh nevermind.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

Nice job on the back and forth with randi mr. president! Randi is nothing if not consistant! We have to give him that. ; – ) Just touching on the ethics that may or may not come from random mutations, as randi and I have discussed before, according to evolution, everything evolved from “rocks”, or the other various forms of matter, prior to becoming biological matter. I only mention this because almost all of the rocks I have met, have been pretty ethical! They typically just sit there and mind their own business, unless of course, Jesus commands them to… Read more »

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

It gets even more interesting when considering the origin of the rock. If the conclusion of carbon based life, is that the earth gave birth to it, then what is it that gave birth to the earth? Is matter self existent, or did “nothing” give birth to something? It seems to me that the latter of these two is what non-theological living carbon forms must eventually conclude. If that is the case, then “nothing” must be the mother of everything; including ethics. It is understandable, though, that when living carbon forms like Randman are reasoning from not-God, that they somehow… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

Now you are starting to sound like a “rockist”! ????
(Even though my rocks are better than your rocks!)

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

LOL! Well Rand, I have to agree with you about the “zoological rocks.” However, I have to say, scripture is tried and true, but our so called “theological facts?” Often flimsy at best and totally subjective. I could link to some people right now biblically debating about how monogamy is unnatural and the bible condones polygamy. People can easily take words out of context, can ignore culture, can deliberately bend scripture to make it say what they want it to say. I have never seen Wilson do that, never, but my non monogamous, dreaming of polygamy people sure are.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

ME, you are always cheerful and I appreciate it. However the term ‘theological fact’ is ridiculous. Very sloppy of the usually slippery Wilson. If ever a feeling there was…

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Is “there is no God” a fact in your estimation? If so, it is a theological fact.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Theology is the study of god and religious beliefs. Nary a fact in sight. Lots of feelings though.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Well Rand, I rather unabashedly believe God actually exists in the spiritual, so the realm of emotions, feelings, and thoughts. If I thought God existed based on our human capacity to deliver hard, cold, concrete, theological facts, I would have resisted Him outright myself.

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

But evolutionists actually believe in the facts of zoological rocks…life sprung from non-life. Random elements crashing together over eons eventually gave rise to proteins, amoeba, and whales. You snark, but you have unwittingly encapsulated your entire belief system quite well. Zoological rocks…INDEED!

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

RandMan’s thought must not be far removed from its alleged rocky origins. He is overcome with a feeling that Wilson should get some sleep, but it is a very minerally sort of emotion, sort of like rust.

How does RandMan get prescription and moral imperative from rocks? He won’t say.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Well, after a rocky start, rocky humor seems to be evolving nicely!
????????

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Evolution is the process by which different kinds of organisms develop and diversify from earlier forms. Zoology is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom. The rock in your specious gotcha would be classified under geology.

Luke Pride
5 years ago

I’ve come across many who assume everything they feel is the deepest insight into what is true or not.

doug sayers
doug sayers
5 years ago

I often consider how all this applies to the assurance of salvation. In reading the testimony of David Brainerd I was surprised to see how large of a role feelings played in his assurance.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
5 years ago
Reply to  doug sayers

Read about Cowper, too. Feelings played a dreadful role in his lack of assurance. He was unable to look beyond his wildly vascilating emotions to trust the rock solid security of Christ’s mercy. Feelings are not a suitable ground for assurance because they are not an effective ground for salvation.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

My faith teaches that if you focus on your feelings about salvation, you will inevitably be led to presumption or despair. Poor old Cowper.

Tony
5 years ago

Short but very sweet. Thank you for the article Mr Wilson.

JamesBradshaw
5 years ago

“Feelings are like treasures …. so bury them!” – Varla Jean Merman

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago

“Feelings are like children—when they are wild and undisciplined they are no fun at all.”

So true. Was talking with twenty-something year old daughter recently about how owning a dog makes me see that his lack of discipline reflects my own and that we would both be much happier if we trusted and obeyed our respective masters better. I mentioned that children provide a similar lesson to parents and she commented that she often wondered at kids who are so stupidly rebellious that they can’t see that they’re wasting effort just to make themselves miserable. She somehow survived my parenting–S.D.G.!

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago

“Feelings are therefore what needs to be disciplined. Feelings must never be made the taskmaster.” There’s some vague truth to what Pastor Wilson is saying here, but the statement as strictly worded is at odds with how he and every other human being operates. “Emotion” is ALWAYS the taskmaster. We can list facts for as long as we want, but facts never make a decision. Facts simply present the options between which we will decide. It is our feelings about the options, our emotions, which actually make the decision itself. This has been shown by Antonio Damasio in his famous… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I agree with almost all of this. I also believe that part of the Christian duty of self-examination is becoming aware of our feelings, especially the nasty ones. When I was a teacher, I was much more likely to be patient and kind with a difficult student if I admitted to myself that I didn’t much like them. As a mother, I have found that telling myself “She is driving me crazy and it looks like a short ride” makes it easier for me to behave decently to my daughter. But feelings are constantly changing. If my feelings are all… Read more »

Chrissy
Chrissy
5 years ago

Great post.