Peter Grendorf

How can we remain faithful?

Thoughts concerning the sixth commandment

 

1. In how many ways can we commit fornication? When we have to speak about our sins, we very easily switch to a language that we believe washes those sins sin-free. I bring three examples for this "re-contextualization", which is extremely dangerous. I show on the Biblical example of the rape of Tamar that fornication is an unfortunately good example of that the fall in most of the cases happens step by step when stages follow each other very easily. Devil slinks away fast if he encounters a closed door. Though it is getting easier to him if we have already made the first, the second or the umpteenth "careless" step towards sin. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How can we remain faithful? Fornication is interpreted by the Bible much more extensively than sexuality. Fornication (in an extended sense) is an opposition to the harmony of the created order of God. The real essence of fornication is not betraying our spouse or our previous date but betraying God. To avoid fornication (sexually or generally) our only chance is if we let the Holy Trinity’s love community spread on us. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Purity as a state of life. Purity is cleanness, i.e. it is not the inverse of getting impure but the measure of the closeness to God. Escaping from fornication is not a result of a continuous fight against the evil but accepting the good. Fornication cannot step into the neighborhood of God. The one who already knows the Totality of God’s love will not desire anything better or more. He will realize that Totality is total: there is no bigger totality than Totality. There is no bigger love than God’s love. It is impossible that someone commits fornication who has already been lost in the love of God. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

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How a word becomes a Word of God?

End-of-year thoughts about the power of God’s Word

 

1. In how many ways the words of the Bible can be interpreted? Hermeneutics that examines the interpretations of a text is a quite diverse field of science. All of us carry the imprints of our own previous experiences and interpret everything we come across in this "life experience context". All these are incredibly honorable efforts to reveal the hidden correlations of a text and the billion versions of its interpretations. However if we apply these methods only in a "sterile" way, we would miss the Essence of understanding the Bible. Only our minds have been working, not our hearts. We have not become shaken. Jesus has been missed from the text – thus the conversation with God has also been missed. (For further details, please read my last essay before the summer break here.)

 

2. What helps to recognize the Word of God? We take the Bible either literally or seriously. I prefer old texts because these provide us much more to think about due to their "incomprehensibility" than today’s "ready-made" translations giving obvious interpretations. If we read the Biblical texts in their original languages, in Hebrew and in ancient Greek, we may realize that all these antique languages offer a wide range of possible interpretations. All this pulls us out of that interpretation frame which sticks our understanding to our own "life experience contexts". If we do not read or listen to the Word being open to the surprisingly new Vision of God then our souls remain closed for the truth. (For further details, please read my last essay before the summer break here.)

 

3. How a word becomes a Word of God? If we would like to accept the lines of the Bible not as a text but as a Word of God then we have to get ourselves out of our comfort zones. Most of the time God does not want to take us where we are just going. A word becomes a Word of God only if we are not alone when we accept it. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit and the presence and mercy of Jesus we do not get to recognize the will of the Father during reading the Bible. The act of studying the Bible in a community becomes important here. Preaching is not simply another one of the many interpretations, because the Word of God is not proclaimed by the minister but by the Holy Spirit through the minister. Preaching, songs and prayers of the sermon are the Silence of the Spirit in which the Word of God is revealed. "The Word will do what it states" (Péter Grendorf, my minister has recently said). Yes, the Word will be still working days and years after it was said. This is how the working of the Holy Spirit forms the image of Christ in us and shows us the Kingdom of God already in our lives on earth. (For further details, please read my last essay before the summer break here.)

 

 

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Why and how has forgiveness enormous strength?

Forgiveness as the crucial step of our salvation and rebirth

1. Forgiveness rebuilds our damaged love-relations. Judgments, unforgiveness and revenge destroy love-relations around us and isolate us. Forgiveness releases us from the captivity of our egos and makes us able to find and create relationships with more and more new values and contents. Forgiveness restores the love-relation between the injurer, the aggrieved and the Father. With this forgiveness gives salvation and rebirth. (If you want to know, how forgiveness to ourselves relates to this, please read the post here.)

 

2. Forgiveness has enormous strength. Forgiveness is like a ticking bomb that we have placed in the center of the person’s conscience who had hurt us. It is only a question of time when it will blow up and repair him. A lot of people think that forgiveness disarms us and makes us defenseless. On the contrary: forgiveness surrounds us with the flow and armor of love and makes us invulnerable. (If you want to know how, please read the post here.)

 

3. Forgiveness as both the prerequisite and consequence of Christ's three virtues, humility, purity and poorness. All these virtues can be developed after we have forgiven to others. However, these virtues make any further forgiveness unnecessary, since they protect us from harm. (If you want to know how, please read the post here.)

 

 

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Why is purity more than the inverse of getting impure?

Openness to right is a much stronger power than the avoidance of wrong

 

 

1. Purity as the inverse of getting impure. Today’s consumer associates purity mostly with washing powder advertisements. Purity has become a generally available category that can be gained back quickly and cheaply in case we have lost it. However, we deal with remorse and self-cleaning a lot, even if we ignore doing so. (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here.) But sin-centric life is a dead end. Openness to right is a much stronger power than the avoidance of wrong.

 

 

2. Purity as cleanness leading to Totality. Sin cannot get close to the totality and purity of God’s Silence, since it perishes there. Thus purity is not the inverse of getting impure but the measure of the closeness to God. (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here.)

 

 

3. Purity as a source of love. Purity is the second stage after humility when the most intensive love of Totality start to shine in our souls and washes off everything that has accumulated there as the impurity of human life. Purity not only avoids sin but provides openness and radiates unrestricted love. Purity does not build walls but makes a community of us all – with the power of love. (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here.)

 

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