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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spiritual Pollution

Recently discovered a blog called experimental theology which professor richard beck at abilene christian university owns. He is a very intelligent man and incredibly well-spoken, causing one to think.laugh and be angered all at once,quite a feat indeed!! I have been perusing his site since coming across it and found a post which sparked my interest for personal reasons. He posted a series based upon a paper he had one upon the topic of spiritual pollution and the related idea of disgust in relation to the physical body and body fluids in a social/moral context. One very funny remark was his sharing how a few of his lecture students became upset with him after he said that Jesus had diarrhea and probably vomited at some point as well. If Jesus truly was human in all ways as we are well then of course He experienced those things.

Professor Beck shares that he asked his class, he is a psych professor btw, 2 questions. First, how many believed that they spent too much many on themselves??? All hands went up. Second, how many were still virgins??? No hands go up, alot of worried faces though. He makes the point that alot of sins are viewed as performance-based. Ones which happen as a part of life and we all experience them, we all acknowledge them and accept that they happen and we seek to deal with them. Sexual sins are viewed from a purity standpoint and that we become *polluted* or contaminated by committing them, which causes deep self-disgust and shame, inside the one who committed it as well as within the social circle around them.

I found this very interesting due to my own experience. I have shared on here of my struggle with sex addiction and committing certain sins of that nature. I have found much grace and love and compassion on here in the sharing which has helped add to healing. The struggle has many dimensions. One is that I always had wanted to maintain a purity but because of physical appearnace which made me feel unattractive to females and left out of finding a romantic relationship where I could express my sexuality properly, I made rationalizations in my mind to feel these desires in a way that could happen though it violated my conscience and beliefs. The very nature of sexual expression became addictive, probably because i also had a deep love hunger due to other insecurities and emotional lack which made it easier to seek fulfillment in these fantasy ways. The guilt and shame were always in play after acting upon the impulses because of my conscience and beliefs as well as my commitment to being a spiritual leader which caused a lot of inner torment by my hating that i was so weak in an area i wanted self-control over.

I had to resign from a minstry position after engaging in a behavior which was discovered by the church leaders. I was in seminary at the time and while mostly only the semianry faculty knew of the incident, some word did go around and i felt very disconnected because of my sin being what it was. I have fought the addictive compulsions on and off, and the guilt and shane reman constant companions,again mainly due to the nature of the sin involving sex,even though it was fantasy and not actual physical involvement. The idea of feeling i polluted myself and ruined my purity really hit home in reading this post by professor beck and helpe me to turn myself over to God in a different light of understanding daily.

i wanted to share this as it hit me deeply and i want to still be vulnerable and open in case some may happen upon here who share my experiences, as well as recieve thoughts and encoureagment from whoever may stop by regardless of their own experiences. Exposing hidden things to the light brings freedom.


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