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Featured Is temptation, in and of itself, sin?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by public hermit, Apr 7, 2021 at 4:49 PM.

  1. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Okay, so you essentially agree with Calvin. How could Christ be tempted unless he, in some sense, desired the object of temptation? If there is no desire for the object of temptation, then there is no temptation ( in the subjective sense).
     
  2. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    I can understand that. What is temptation? Is it not a desire for the thing that tempts?
     
  3. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    It being a naturally good desire.
     
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  4. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Was Jesus God? If so, was he tempted?
     
  5. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    So temptations to sin arise from good desires, it's just that the circumstances if that desire were indulged would not be good? Can you say a little more, because I think I get what you're saying, but not sure.
     
  6. Hmm

    Hmm Rapture Threat Level: ORANGE

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    That makes sense to me too. Here's a story that I think illustrates the point well. They were Zen monks but could just as well have been Christian monks if that's a consideration to anyone:

    A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

    The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

    Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.

    The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

    Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

    The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”
     
  7. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    I love that story! Thank you for sharing it.

    Do you think Jesus ever felt the desire to sin? I take it some such desire must be in place to even be tempted. I think that was Calvin's point, desire to sin is sin.
     
  8. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    Generally, I would say that it is not a sin, but I have some caveats.

    I believe that it can be a sin to seek out temptation, intentionally; a "dancing on the edge," if you will.

    When temptation comes to us, God promises
    "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;
    but God is faithful,
    who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
    but with the temptation will also make the way of escape,
    that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV​

    That is not guaranteed for temptation that we would seek out deliberately.

    "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue
    • righteousness,
    • faith,
    • love,
    • peace
    with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." 2 Timothy 2:22 NKJV

    I thought there was a verse that said outright "Flee temptation," but I couldn't find it. Deliberately seeking out temptation, if not sin, is at best, reckless.
     
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  9. Hmm

    Hmm Rapture Threat Level: ORANGE

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    I think He must have felt the desire to sin because, as you say, it wouldn't make much sense to say that He was tempted if He hadn't. The way He dealt with temptation when he was being tempted in the wilderness was not to enter into a debate with Satan but to siimply quote a line of scripture such as "Man shall not live by bread alone". This is a very meditative approach: not letting yourself get caught up in desire and spinning a commentary about it but simply bringing your focus back.onto a object of meditation such as a Bible verse. The story of the temptation in the wilderness inspired the Desert Fathers to live in the desert in Egypt and practice meditation/contemplation in the third century.
     
  10. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    As this thread has gone on I've been thinking along similar lines. The idea of guarding our heart, and the emphasis on dispelling first thoughts, as is often emphasised in the Philokalia.

    @Pavel Mosko, the EO traditions on contemplative prayer come to mind as I think about this topic.
     
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  11. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Jesus' temptations came from desires that were naturally good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 7:28 PM
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  12. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    That wasn't really an extrapolation on your other post, but that's okay. So, Jesus was tempted by sex, which is in and of itself good. Jesus was tempted by hatred, which...how would one phrase that? Jesus was tempted by greed, which...

    What you are saying sounds good, but when I consider particulars it's not so easy to reconcile.
     
  13. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    No there is no sin associated in any way with Jesus.

    To say that is to misappropriate the infinite holiness of God.

    His temptation had its source in good natural desires. . .the desire to avoid excruciating pain, and continually overcoming that desire to remain in agreement with accepting it.
     
  14. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    Greed is the pathologized expression of thriving, being fruitful.
    Hatred may very well be the pathologized version of justice.
     
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  15. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    That's helpful. Thank you.
     
  16. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Precisely.

    Jesus said the same, desire for adultery is the sin of actual adultery, etc.

    Don't be shocked, the unregenerate are fallen sinners, that's why they sin.
     
  17. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    So, was Jesus ever tempted by adultery, and if so what did that temptation entail for him? It wasn't just the desire to have sex, simpliciter. It must have been the desire, however brief, to have sex with a particular, married woman, right? If so, was that sin?
     
  18. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    He had no disposition to sin.

    Why couldn't it have been the desire to have sex with an available virgin?
     
  19. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Then he wasn't tempted.
     
  20. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    You know better than that.

    Not all temptation is sin. Only temptation to sin is sin.

    My destiny is to be crucified in the most horrible excrutiating way, by consent.

    My natural desire to avoid the pain I have agreed to, and am free to reject, is temptation, which I'm sure I would have to continually overcome.

    I just bought a pair of new shoes. That beautiful flowing cool stream tempts me to walk in it over the jagged rocks in my new shoes. No sin is involved in the temptation, or in yielding to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 7:44 PM
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