Sour self-denial versus joyful penitence.

20h20 hours ago

Sheesh, thr religion is so stringent. Even St Paul wasn’t that much of dick over meat offered to idols.

20h20 hours ago

It’s sad and…grotesque to watch humans with no True symbols or icons try to construct some.

The picture is humorous, but I think KeepCalmAndDrawl has a point. Of course, there may be a few people who have severe chemical sensitivities – I know someone who does and she has to be very careful about chemical exposure – but overall the sign exemplifies a more-liberal-than-thou attempt at a worldly form of holiness that, as a former liberal Ann Arborite, I’m very familiar with.  I also wonder if some of this has to do with a perversion of the normal desire to be penitent, as Mrs. Laura Wood (the Thinking Housewife) noted in a recent post, Penitential Gear, Yesterday and Today.

What I’ve observed of people who are trying to create meaning out of this kind of symbolism is how much it sours their demeanor.  I’ve even experienced it firsthand; in college a friend and I went through a vegan stage until we noticed that a) many vegans were both painfully dogmatic and insufferably cranky and b) we were both becoming dogmatic and cranky.

Of course, the Bible makes it clear that God does not intend for us to be sour and cranky.  Consider how much the Bible has to say about how we should be joyful and rejoicing:

You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound. (Psalm 4:7)

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure. (Psalm 16:9)

The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy. (Psalm 126:3)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

In fact, in doing a keyword search for joy, I found 242 verses that mention it! Just reading the verses is joy-giving, don’t you think?  God gives people joy when they are penitent toward Him, but worldly self-denial without God just leaves everyone sour.


9 thoughts on “Sour self-denial versus joyful penitence.

  1. It’s like a purification ritual, isn’t it?

    Maybe it’s different in the USA, but I’ve seen plenty of people from all sides of politics act like this. To me it’s more about a certain type of personality.

    My favourite coffee shop has a sign outside saying: NO soy! NO skim milk! NO blah blah. There have a list of about five things, backed up by a couple of burly Italians who glower in an intimidating way. I think they’re trying to project that they’ll throw you into the street if you dare ask for special milk.


  2. It strikes me that, SHUDDER, the bakery’s MIXERS might accidentally be used for mixing the organic and “inorganic” product, and the bakery’s STOREROOM might accidentally store both organic and non-organic flour. Plus the BAKERS might ……or fer cryin’ out loud. The Pharisees didn’t parse things out this well.


  3. @Scott: “All Food is Organic”

    But not all food is “organic only”. Hence the use of the word “organic” as a marketing tool recently. We’re supposed to understand that “organic” as a food lable really means “organic only”, as contrasted with “organic, plus …”. No synthetic pesticides or fertilizer derived from chemicals; not “sterilized” with radiation; not cleaned with industrial solvents or “boosted” with synthetic food additives or hormones that will grow your 8-year-olds breasts.

    In thought, there is a distinction. In real life, how ya gonna tell whether you actually have organic only, or organic plus without personally running all kinds of tests on it? I guess we just have to trust the label. Whether we do trust the label probably comes down to personality types, as mentioned above.


    • To be honest, I am with the original tweet. SWPL problems. I can expect to live well into my 80s with the genetic longevity I have, eating somewhat healthy, exercising and not smoking. The obsession with eating perfectly clean food is a bizarre idol to me in a society where people live that long.


    • It’s worth noting that (a) there aren’t any peer reviewed statistical studies that demonstrate the superiority of organic food for most of us. On the flip side, (b) I personally know people who can eat grass fed beef that can’t eat corn fattened–we’re talking huge headaches and such. So the main statistics don’t seem to be catching the outliers.

      I personally suspect that if one wants to lower the “chemical load” in their food, the first step to take is to go “more organic” and “more grassfed” on meats, since chemicals often collect in fat. Not quite sure I see the point of organic produce, though, as you so often exchange chemicals for manure and bugs. One has not been proven to cause problems, the latter has.


  4. There is a lot going on here and it doesn’t have that much to do with food. I have some half formed ideas, so, I’ll hold off. However, could this be the ooposite of what is being considered?


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