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AFLAME WITH PASSION
“How do we avoid lust”?
It is a well documented fact that the De Greeks have a deep thirst for knowledge and in their search for this knowledge they leave no stone unturned. We seek high and low for that wisdom which is designed to raise Man above the level of the beasts and sometimes we succeed. The times we do not succeed do not count, as our soul craves the research as much as the wisdom.
I have been fortunate to come across a sermon unashamedly stating to be the creation of one Michael S. Cole, M.D. given on September 8, 1985 at the Church of Christ, Naples, Italy, under the heading of “AFLAME WITH PASSION”. One assumes that Michael is a Pastor of sorts.
Though as a rule the De Greeks have no shame as far as plagiarism is concerned, in this instance we must give credit where credit is due.
Michael is quite broad in his approach to his subject. He starts by expressing his suspicions as to the relationship between George Washington and Mrs. Sally Fairfax, though whether taking the name of a lady in vain can be considered to be a Christian thing to do, Michael, I do not know.
You DO say however that most historians have their doubts about the validity of this claim, so why repeat it, Michael? I can only refer you to Exodus 20:7 for guidance which, though it suggest that only God’s name should not be taken in vain, I am sure that if the Old Testament had been aware of Mrs. Fairfax, it would have been only too pleased to include her in this dictum in order to avoid aspersions on a lady's good name.
Cleverly, Michael connects this to Genesis 39:6-12, where we find that Potiphar's wife was sexually attracted to Joseph and attempted to entice him to sin, which connection, of course, does not speak well of the methods of Mrs. Fairfax (who is otherwise exonerated by historians).
The inspiration apparently came to Michael as a result of discussions with his wife:
“Today's sermon is based on a recent discussion with my wife. The subject is very personal -- we don't ever talk about these things”.
This is a position which we shall, of course, respect, pass over and move on.
“More is found in the Old Testament on this subject than in the New. The principles are unchanged over the centuries. There was little need to repeat God's advice on this subject for the New Testament”.
There, Michael, you puzzle us. Admittedly the De Greek brain does not always operate on all cylinders, but it appears to me that when God repeats advice in some instances and in others does not, God might cause eyebrows to be raised in confusion. Especially God’s position in Romans 1:31-32, as reported in the King James Version, is that “covenant breakers deserve to die”. Somewhat harsh, Michael, just for getting your leg over once? However, I cannot but like your spirit in doggedly going on with this, though.
Michael then proceeds to speak to those who are married, with some feeling (all bold lettering is mine but only phases preceded by the word “Note” do not belong to Michael)::
“When you are attracted to someone other than your wife or husband (and you will be):
· Never let the person you are attracted to know of your attraction; keep it to yourself.
(Note: Somewhat defeating the purpose, what?)
· Avoid daydreaming about anyone but your spouse.
(Note: Presumably for those who can’t wait till lunch time?)
· Avoid situations of contact as much as possible -- and NEVER be alone with this person.
(Note: Men of steel have been known to be alone with women they liked without succumbing to their base selves, Michael. What happened to the idea of manfully facing one’s demons?)
· If the attraction is especially strong, tell a friend.
(Note: Friend of the same, or opposite sex, Michael? This part is somewhat vague)
(I advise not telling your spouse, because it can raise doubts about faithfulness.)
(Note: Good advice there Michael. Anyone chump enough to tell his wife that he fancies another woman, deserves everything he gets).
· Remember it's WRONG to go beyond attraction to lust or adultery.
· Pray about it.
· Don't feel guilty about a fleeting thought.
· You should feel guilty if you permit attraction to evolve to lust”.
“Matthew 5:27-28, ".' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."…..
By the way, this verse is meant to apply to men and women. Though I believe it is more a problem of men, women also can be guilty of this sin”.
(Note: No kidding? With the exception of Potiphar's wife, I am loath to speak ill of the female sex, Michael, but it is no use trying to conceal the fact from you that I have come across some women who have lusted quite obviously after the De Greek body and at times had to be fought off and escaped form through the use of ingenious methods of subterfuge).
Let's talk more about how to avoid this sin. How do we avoid lust? We can find much practical information in Proverbs. Though this is written from a father to a son, it applies equally to women and how they, too, can avoid sexual immorality.
And here, Michael gives a long list of quotes form the Old Testament, designed to help those of his congregation to close their eyes in restful reflection. And he follows through with –
A fleeting sinful thought is not sin.
Lust is intense desire. It is mentally dwelling on sexual fantasies.
Time given to preoccupation with
where can we meet?
how can I attract attention? and
daydreaming about what we will do
can be perfectly innocent before getting married.
However, the same thoughts after marriage about someone other than your spouse cannot be innocent, because they invariably lead to sinful lust.
I have a rather disagreeable duty to perform, Michael – I would avoid it if I could – but regrettably I am forced to drain this goblet, as I owe it to my readers. You are full of OUCH!
Yes dear. I shall stop right now. Sorry Michael, Mrs De Greek is having lustful thoughts and I am required at HQ.
My thanks to: