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What Is ‘Traditional Christianity,’ Anyway?

You will not be surprised to learn that I agree with Damon here. Nor will you be surprised to learn that I think this has been a process underway for quite some time; it’s just that now, the sh*t is getting real.

I think it’s worth asking, though, what we mean when we say “traditional Christianity.” I use the phrase too, interchangeably with “small-o orthodox Christianity,” or just “orthodox Christianity.” What I mean is Christians of whatever tradition who adhere to, um, tradition. You see the problem.

When I push further, I say, in a Kierkegaardian vein, “Well, it means Christians who think that religion deals in objective truths, subjectively appropriated. Christians who believe that truth is something that exists outside of ourselves, as opposed to being something we can bend to suit our time-bound desires.”

But this still doesn’t get us very far. I consider a faithful Southern Baptist, a conservative Anglican, an orthodox Roman Catholic, and an Orthodox Christian all to be “traditional Christians.” Still … whose tradition? What sense does it make to say that Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics are on the same side as “traditional”? From a Catholic perspective, the Baptists are so far gone theologically from tradition that it makes no sense to think of them as “traditional Christians.” And from a Baptist point of view, the Catholics may be “traditional,” but they lost their way when they began adding man-made things to the pure Gospel, like the early church had.

(I’m not trying to argue either side, just pointing out that the term “traditional Christians” is highly relative, and highly contextual.)

It seems to me that “traditional Christian” is political code for “Christians who adhere to traditional teaching about sex and sexuality.” After all, it is possible to be a traditional Christian and a socialist on economics. It is possible to be an archtraditionalist on liturgy and sacred music, but an archliberal on morals and politics — and vice versa. It is much more difficult to say that traditional Christians can believe in a Reformation ecclesiology or a Catholic/Orthodox ecclesiology, and both be paid-up traditionalists. But we certainly do. In fact, one of the core issues involving “traditional Christianity” is the source and nature of religious authority — does it reside in the Church, guided by Tradition and Scripture? Scripture alone? In the individual conscience? — but that concept never really comes up in our generally accepted use of the term. When I deploy the phrase “traditional Christians” in my writing, I’m not thinking about ecclesiology, sacramental theology, or any other thing that separates Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy.

change_me

What I’m thinking about — what we are all thinking about — is this: what separates “traditional Christians” from “modern Christians” (or “progressive Christians”) in our common discourse is their beliefs about sex. Nothing else, or at least nothing else meaningful. Think about it — for purposes of general discussion these days, what would you say separates those you would call “traditional Christians” from other kinds of Christians? Take sex out of the picture, and what do you have? If we’re not talking about sex, what are we talking about?

This is quite revealing, if you think of it. We’ve known for quite some time that our politics have been largely defined by attitudes toward sex, even if some people don’t want to think about it. Look back at Thomas Edsall’s 2001 piece in The Atlantic about how the “morality gap” is (was?) the key factor in American politics. Excerpt:

Early in the 1996 election campaign Dick Morris and Mark Penn, two of Bill Clinton’s advisers, discovered a polling technique that proved to be one of the best ways of determining whether a voter was more likely to choose Clinton or Bob Dole for President. Respondents were asked five questions, four of which tested attitudes toward sex: Do you believe homosexuality is morally wrong? Do you ever personally look at pornography? Would you look down on someone who had an affair while married? Do you believe sex before marriage is morally wrong? The fifth question was whether religion was very important in the voter’s life.

Respondents who took the “liberal” stand on three of the five questions supported Clinton over Dole by a two-to-one ratio; those who took a liberal stand on four or five questions were, not surprisingly, even more likely to support Clinton. The same was true in reverse for those who took a “conservative” stand on three or more of the questions. (Someone taking the liberal position, as pollsters define it, dismisses the idea that homosexuality is morally wrong, admits to looking at pornography, doesn’t look down on a married person having an affair, regards sex before marriage as morally acceptable, and views religion as not a very important part of daily life.) According to Morris and Penn, these questions were better vote predictors—and better indicators of partisan inclination—than anything else except party affiliation or the race of the voter (black voters are overwhelmingly Democratic).

It is an axiom of American politics that people vote their pocketbooks, and for seventy years the key political divisions in the United States were indeed economic. The Democratic and Republican Parties were aligned, as a general rule, with different economic interests. Electoral fortunes rose and fell with economic cycles. But over the past several elections a new political configuration has begun to emerge—one that has transformed the composition of the parties and is beginning to alter their relative chances for ballot-box success. What is the force behind this transformation? In a word, sex.

Whereas elections once pitted the party of the working class against the party of Wall Street, they now pit voters who believe in a fixed and universal morality against those who see moral issues, especially sexual ones, as elastic and subject to personal choice.

It’s even more true today than it was 20 years ago, don’t you think? Look at what none other than Thomas Edsall wrote in the NYT the other day about what he terms “the coming Democratic schism” [5]: in short, that Millennials are much more Democratic, but make their voting decisions not so much on economic issues and racial equality issues, but on “social and cultural issues.” So, if racial equality isn’t a “social and cultural” issue, what is?

Answer: for the most part, sex. Dick Morris and Mark Penn nailed this nearly 20 years ago. If it’s true for our secular politics, it’s much more so for our religious politics.

Once again, I call you back to the piece I wrote for TAC titled, “Sex After Christianity,” [6]especially this passage:

This raises a critically important question: is sex the linchpin of Christian cultural order? Is it really the case that to cast off Christian teaching on sex and sexuality is to remove the factor that gives—or gave—Christianity its power as a social force?

Though he might not have put it quite that way, the eminent sociologist Philip Rieff would probably have said yes. Rieff’s landmark 1966 book The Triumph Of the Therapeutic analyzes what he calls the “deconversion” of the West from Christianity. Nearly everyone recognizes that this process has been underway since the Enlightenment, but Rieff showed that it had reached a more advanced stage than most people—least of all Christians—recognized.

Rieff, who died in 2006, was an unbeliever, but he understood that religion is the key to understanding any culture. For Rieff, the essence of any and every culture can be identified by what it forbids. Each imposes a series of moral demands on its members, for the sake of serving communal purposes, and helps them cope with these demands. A culture requires a cultus—a sense of sacred order, a cosmology that roots these moral demands within a metaphysical framework.

You don’t behave this way and not that way because it’s good for you; you do so because this moral vision is encoded in the nature of reality. This is the basis of natural-law theory, which has been at the heart of contemporary secular arguments against same-sex marriage (and which have persuaded no one).

Rieff, writing in the 1960s, identified the sexual revolution—though he did not use that term—as a leading indicator of Christianity’s death as a culturally determinative force. In classical Christian culture, he wrote, “the rejection of sexual individualism” was “very near the center of the symbolic that has not held.” He meant that renouncing the sexual autonomy and sensuality of pagan culture was at the core of Christian culture—a culture that, crucially, did not merely renounce but redirected the erotic instinct. That the West was rapidly re-paganizing around sensuality and sexual liberation was a powerful sign of Christianity’s demise.

Sexual autonomy is increasingly more important to contemporary Americans than religious liberty, which was one of the founding principles of our nation. What we call “traditional Christians” in our discourse refers to what 50 years ago would have simply been called “Christians,” given that there was no dramatic dissent among the various Christian sects and churches on sexual morality. So, when we say that we are living through the transformation of traditional Christianity from majority to minority status, what we’re really saying is that the Sexual Revolution has conquered Christianity in America, and that Christians who still believe about sex more or less what nearly all Christians for over 19 centuries believed are becoming a declining population that will be seen as as reactionary weirdos.

If we’re not saying that, well, what are we saying?

UPDATE:  Approving the comments is frustrating, because no small number of you seem to believe that I think that defining “traditional Christianity” is all about sex. I do not — not in a theological or philosophical sense. Please stop saying, “If Christianity is only about sex, no wonder it’s dying.” I agree that the theological and philosophical essence of the divide has to do with how we know what Truth is, how we know what Authority is, and how we know how to stand in relation to it. Put another way, it has to do with whether or not there is a telos to which we must submit, or whether we can do whatever we want because there’s no essential meaning to the body, or anything else. Where the answer to that question/those questions becomes relevant to the public square — which is to say, at which point the theological and philosophical express themselves in the sociological and political — is on matters of sex and sexuality. That’s where the conflict is in this place, and in this time. I bet that if you had a room full of people representing all the churches in North America, the quickest way to determine who was “traditional” and who was modern is not to ask them about the Creed or anything else, but to ask them who accepts homosexuality as normal and who does not. Once you divided them according to that issue, I’d guess that nine times out of 10 further questioning would find deeper philosophical commonalities among those who agree on homosexuality, because how you think about homosexuality comes out of deeper philosophical and theological commitments.

Religion journalist Terry Mattingly devised the “TMatt Trio”: three questions, the answer to which neatly summons the divide between traditional and modern Christians in America today:

1) Are biblical accounts of the resurrection of Jesus accurate? Did this event really happen?

(2) Is salvation found through Jesus Christ, alone? Was Jesus being literal when he said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)?

(3) Is sex outside of marriage a sin?

Only one of those has to do with sex — but only the sex question has to do with conflicts outside the realm of church circles. That is, only the sex question matters in the public square. Which was the whole point of this post. Please understand that before you comment.

 

 

275 Comments (Open | Close)

275 Comments To "What Is ‘Traditional Christianity,’ Anyway?"

#1 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On July 27, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

Jay said:

And the same is true about the differences between Christian denominations. It shouldn’t matter to me at all and the fact that it does is an imposition.

While I admire your chutzpah in denying reality and substituting your own, something like 77% of the US self identifies as Christian. They really can’t be ignored, and there’s an enormous and important difference between the UCC church around the corner from me, and the typical Southern Baptist church.

The UCC’s don’t care if we drink beer and the Southern Baptists are against it!

#2 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 27, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

Turmarion, I don’t think we disagree. We’re just starting from different angles. I personally believe there is a teleology to our universe, but aside from a few broad contours (some of which you mention) I don’t pretend to know in detail what that is. Others differ, and they may be right for all I know, but none of us have any ethical, moral, or constitutional right to impose on each other with teleological certainty as our foundation.

Jay doesn’t see the differences between Evangelicals and Russian Orthodox, therefore such differences are unimportant.

Wait a minute… these differences are REAL, but they are unimportant TO JAY. (Many of them are also unimportant to me.) Indeed one of them MAY be true. Or they may ALL be wrong, and God may be laughing at our petty quarrels.

The relevant question is not whether Shia Muslims are privileged in Pakistan, but whether Shia are Muslim. Shia and Sunni both derive from the teachings of Muhammad, therefore both are Muslim, however much they sometimes hate each other over the difference.

Why would it matter if the Christians in question are faithful to their own tradition, if their tradition happens (in your eyes) to be wrong?

We should all have the humility to distrust our own understanding. Not being committed to any denominational discipline, I have come to appreciate that the communities I have lived in are stronger and better because there are SOME within them who DO practice what they believe consistently, whether that be WELS Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Baptist (of several varieties), etc. etc. etc.

That doesn’t make any of them certainly right, and my doubts don’t make them certainly wrong. For now we see through a glass darkly… and don’t you ever forget it.

#3 Comment By JoeS54 On July 27, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

It comes down to whether or not you believe the Bible is the Word of God. The sex-related questions are only a side effect of people not really believing in the first place.

#4 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 28, 2014 @ 2:37 am

Siarlys,

Yes, but in context, the issue was about whether Orthodox Christians are ‘privileged’, and the point is that in America they’re not. I would first argue that Jews, in general, are *much* more of a privileged elite in America than any Christian group, so to even talk about ‘Christian privilege’ in America is sort of absurd. One could much better talk about Jewish privilege. Even in countries where there is a privileged Christian group- in Lebanon, for example- that doesn’t mean that *all* Christian groups are privileged. The traditional political order in Lebanon favoured one particular Catholic sect, at the expense of other Christians like the Orthodox (which is one reason Catholic vs. Orthodox mutual dislike and mistrust in Lebanon is almost as severe as the Christian vs. Muslim division).

On a similar note, Shia Muslims in Pakistan are *not* a privileged group, they’re in fact an oppressed one.

#5 Comment By RB On July 28, 2014 @ 5:56 am

My theological understanding of the condemnation of Lust that we see, versus the condemnation of Gluttony and Sloth that we don’t see, is that misuse of the procreative power is the next most grievous sin after murder.

Gluttony affects our own body/temple, but Lust affects our body, the body of our partner and the body of whatever offspring result from a lustful interaction. Not to mention their lives. My understanding is that God really cares about how we enter and leave mortality.

Also, Lust is a little different from Gluttony and Sloth in that eating food and sleeping are basic requirements for individual human survival. Having sex isn’t (though I know the zeitgeist disagrees with me on this a regards regular sex to be a basic human need).

#6 Comment By RB On July 28, 2014 @ 6:07 am

Oh, and, I should add that there really is condemnation if Gluttony.

I am female and have eyes and go online and to the gym, which puts me solidly in the market for the several articles every day on how to eat healthier, eat less, ignore hunger, defeat hunger, trick hunger, etc. There’s a legion of listicles out there trying to save me and other women like me from gluttony, to a degree that food apparently is The Enemy.

I pretty much never see listicles meant to support someone on cutting back on porn or sex and increasing personal discipline through chastity. Outside magazines my church publishes, anyway, and it publishes constant urgings towards self-improvement that include getting out of debt, improving relationships, etc.

Can you think of a secular/elite publication that has offered a chastity how-to guide similar to the constant antigluttony how-to’s that are out there? I would be fine with being wrong on this.

#7 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 28, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

Sure Hector, there is a tendency for people to cluster in affinity groups and shoot at other affinity groups. As long as we are clear that this has nothing to do with teleology, or the Will of God, but is just hanging onto religion as a convenient handle, we’re good.

#8 Comment By Joe A On July 28, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

I’ve read the Gospels many times, and Jesus only gave His followers two laws.

#9 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 28, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

Amen, Joe A. And since perfect adherence to either law, let along both, is beyond human ability, that’s quite enough to struggle with. Even by those two laws, we are all in dire need of grace, as well as mercy.

#10 Comment By Hcat On July 29, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

I’m not fond of fresh tomatoes, olives, capers, pickles, or avocado in my food – does that make me a glutton?

#11 Comment By Mhornbeam On July 29, 2014 @ 9:48 pm

Hector – The adulteress story is thought to be a forgery as it is only in John, not in any of the oldest manuscripts and is not in the New Testament until the 1500’s. It was declared a ‘divine truth’ by the Council of Trent in 1546 but considered a forgery until then. Bible scholars know much more than I, so I tend to look at this story with a grain of salt.

sdb – I don’t know what He meant there – many Bible translations say sin or stumble or offend instead of lust. His using an adultery example does not necessarily mean He was also saying that he agreed or disagreed with any immorality other than adultery.

As for the outcries against divorce and adultery, I do know they exist in some Christian communities, but Christians are not fighting to not have to hire divorced people or the right to refuse baking them a cake for a second wedding. Conservative Christians stand in line to vote for politicians who have committed adultery over and over (coughGingrichcough). Westboro Baptist is not protesting soldiers’ funerals because “Jesus Hates Adulterers”. Christians don’t protest divorce lawyers’ offices or kill divorce lawyers on principle like they do abortion doctors. State legislators do not put onerous burdens on adulterers. Christians may oppose divorce and adultery but they don’t fight it in the public square with the ferocity they fight gays or abortion or now contraception.

I was on a very conservative forum on election night in 2012 when a gay conservative was chased out by a Christian member saying “Get out of here, we would rather lose the election than have you vote with us”.

Traditional Christianity everybody, it’ll be here all century! Be sure to tip the waitstaff!

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 30, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

I love that line “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone…” Therefore, I accept the story as Gospel Truth.

As someone who is pro-choice, and does not believe an abortion up to the 20th week at least kills any human being at all, it is only fair to note that “Christians don’t protest divorce lawyers’ offices or kill divorce lawyers on principle like they do abortion doctors,” because no Christian doctrine even hints that divorce is an act of homicide.

Further, “State legislators do not put onerous burdens on adulterers,” because certain federal court rulings have basically denied state legislators the power to do so. There is some play in the joints in jurisprudence over abortion, and legislators who are motivated to do so play that for whatever it is worth.

Counter-point to MHornbeam’s anecdote about the gay conservative… Remember what a boon it was for TV comedians when the GW Bush administration had to figure out its response to a culturally conservative movement in Holland, with a chance of winning the government, led by an avowed gay man named Pim Fortyn?

#13 Comment By Andyra On July 30, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

Mhornbeam- The story of the woman taken in adultery is much older than your post indicates. Here’s Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th century: “Certain persons of little faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord’s act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if he who had said, Sin no more, had granted permission to sin.” The earliest manuscript that includes it is Codex Bezae in the early 5th century, but some of the earlier manuscripts have marks at the spot that indicate that the authors were familiar with an alternate version.

RD- As a liberal Christian, I’d have to say that for me the issue isn’t sex, but the infallibility of scripture. Specifically, St. Paul’s admonition “wives, submit yourselves to your husbands” played out disastrously during my childhood- my father was at least somewhat mentally ill, my mother, based on what she regarded as a biblical command, accepted by father’s crazy stuff as valid, and the result was years of extremely serious child abuse. I cannot, I absolutely cannot, believe that wives should obey in all circumstances, so I cannot believe in textual inerrancy.

#14 Comment By Mhornbeam On July 30, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

Siarlys – I like that line too.

My overall point was that we don’t seek to create laws discriminating against people who divorce or commit adultery even though that is what Jesus actually forbids doing.

This is what I don’t understand, Jesus ate and ministered with the sinners of His day. Today Christians act like some sinners must be seen and not heard and surely not be anywhere respectable people congregate.

#15 Comment By Mark On July 30, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

There is a Telos to which we must submit, but I would suggest that limiting the understanding of that Telos to little more than a trio of “TMatt” questions is what is killing Christianity, and making it a shallow, twisted version of its former self.

#16 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 31, 2014 @ 12:34 am

MHornbeam,

Almost every claim you make about the Pericope de Adultera is either wrong or illogical.

To start out with, your ‘1500’ date is over a thousand years off. The Codex Bezae from the late 4th century includes the story , and several sources from the 4th century quote the story, as does (maybe) Papias.

At the level of logic, you’re relying on two premises (that the original autographs of the Gospels are the most truthful, and that the earliest manuscripts we currently posess are a good guide to the original autographs ). I’d dispute both claims, on the grounds that 1) if the Holy Ghost inspired the original writers, he could just as easily have inspired subsequent scribes and editors, and 2) I don’t see any particular reason to believe that the oldest manuscripts, rather than the most widely copied ones, are the most faithful guide to the original.

#17 Comment By Mhornbeam On July 31, 2014 @ 2:50 am

There is disagreement in Biblical circles about this so let’s just agree to disagree. I am not interested in hijacking the thread.

My point still stands; Jesus still only talking about adultery or divorce in all His talking about sex.

#18 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 31, 2014 @ 9:48 am

MHornbeam,

Fair enough, I don’t really agree with you on he rest.

It’s worth noting that when Jesus had the opportunity to say something about nonmarital sexual partnerships (the Samaritan woman at the well), he didn’t (that is to say, he remarks on her living arrangements but without an explicit condemnation). Some gay advocates think the story of the Roman centurion and his ‘slave’ (lit. ‘boy’) implies a sexual relationship too, but I don’t know Greek and so can’t comment on that.

#19 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 31, 2014 @ 9:49 am

Of course, an argument from silence isn’t particularly decisive here.

#20 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 31, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

MHornbeam, my recurrent point is that marriage laws do not discriminate. They singled out a particular human relationship, implicitly declared that THIS specific relationship is vital to society and therefore needs to be licensed, regulated and taxed. Any individual man or woman may enter into this, according to an equitable set of standards that apply to all.

Nothing in the Fourteenth Amendment states that if the law regulates one thing, it must regulate any other thing any given person or persons fervently desires. Marriage laws do not even reference the existence of “homosexuals” or single them out for disfavor. Unlike people of allegedly inferior racial designation, who had to be stamped with a label in order to discriminate against them, gays had to stamp themselves with a label and proclaim “we are different” in order to make a colorable claim of discrimination.

The law is not constitutionally required to treat alike things that are in fact different. Now whether, having been apprised that certain couples of two men or two women want to be licensed, regulated, and taxed, we the people wish to accede to that request, is another matter entirely.

#21 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 3, 2014 @ 7:14 pm

“(3) Is sex outside of marriage a sin?
Yes, but low on the totem pole of sins.”

I am unclear how you get to that conclusion. Of all the sins Christ notes a particular unique attribute to relational behavior outside of marriage.

“It is the only sin that occurs inside the body”

While I could not argue without any doubt that he means degree. it does single it out in some unique fashion that probably should not be discounted.

#22 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 3, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

“As someone who is pro-choice, and does not believe an abortion up to the 20th week at least kills any human being at all, it is only fair to note that “Christians don’t protest divorce lawyers’ offices or kill divorce lawyers on principle like they do abortion doctors,” because no Christian doctrine even hints that divorce is an act of homicide.”

Lots of Christians chagrin divorce and the age of no fault divorce (easy divorce).

While I would have obvious disagreements with you on when a human life begins, part of the issue is that in the above notices you make, they involve people who have choices. A Child in the womb has no one but a human being outside the womb to advocate for its life — hence those of us with a voice, so protest.

And few of those who advocate for children in the womb would kill an abortionist. However, the logic does follow. O)ne who does so is protecting a human being unable to protect itself.

#23 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 4, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

I add my redundant refrain, liberals should be banned from reading scripture.

“As for the outcries against divorce and adultery, I do know they exist in some Christian communities, but Christians are not fighting to not have to hire divorced people or the right to refuse baking them a cake for a second wedding. Conservative Christians stand in line to vote for politicians who have committed adultery over and over (coughGingrichcough). Westboro Baptist is not protesting soldiers’ funerals because “Jesus Hates Adulterers”. Christians don’t protest divorce lawyers’ offices or kill divorce lawyers on principle like they do abortion doctors. State legislators do not put onerous burdens on adulterers. Christians may oppose divorce and adultery but they don’t fight it in the public square with the ferocity they fight gays or abortion or now contraception.”

First, divorce is permissible. Some narrowness exists, but it is not terminal, even if one does so outside the parameters — one can be forgiven.

Second, Jesus doesn’t seem to hate anyone. Despite being splayed on wood for death, he was incredibly generous, “Forgive them . . .” Far more generous than I am now about liars, thieves and saboteurs, expressed in deeply colorful language.

Third, homosexual choice of expression is completely and utterly verboten. There is no narrow window, no circumstances as with adultery, premarital relations — it is a clear and simple: “No.”

Fourth, I empathize that sometimes people who believe in our desire to admonish, shame people into correct behavior twist what Christ says. “God hates divorce,” is not the same as “God hates those who divorce.” And I agree such comments are not in line with Christ. For God is according to what we know of him forgives all sins, but one. “Grieving the Holy Spirit.” Forgive the overzealousness.

As for how we respond to politicians — they are not pastors. And while some may so vote, few of the variety you mention vote for advocates who condone behavior acknowledge a, “no, no” by God and there lies all the difference.

There’s a far cry from a person who errs a thousand times acknowledges each as err and the person ho errs but once and calls it “good” and no err at all.

#24 Comment By N.D. On August 5, 2014 @ 8:16 am

Every element of truth will complement the fullness of the truth. God’s intention for Sexual Love complements God’s intention for Marriage and The Family.
A Christian is one who desires to follow The Word of God Made Flesh, as He Has Revealed Himself to His Church in the trinitarian relationship of Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and The Teaching of The Magisterium.
There Is only One Word of God, thus there can only be One Spirit of Love Between The Father and The Son in the ordered, complementary, Communion of Perfect Love that Is The Blessed Trinity.
The Sacrifice of The Cross, Is The Sacrifice of The Most Holy, “For God so Loved us that He sent His only Son…”
At the end of the Day, it is still a Great Mystery, but it is no mystery that we exist because Love exists.

#25 Comment By N.D. On August 5, 2014 @ 8:48 am

From the moment of conception, nothing is added to or subtracted from the DNA of a human individual; every son or daughter of a human person, from the moment of conception is wholly a human person, a son, or a daughter. From the moment of conception, you have been you, and I have been me; from the moment of conception, our life has been a continuum.
One cannot be following The Christ if one condones the destruction of the life of the son or daughter residing in their mother’s womb, and/or if one desires to identify oneself or someone else as an object of sexual desire/orientation, in direct violation of God’s Commandment regarding lust and the sin of adultery.
We are, and have always been, from the moment of our conception, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, called to live our lives in Loving relationship with one another, in communion with God.
Love exists in relationship. There is an order to Love; a man does not Love his wife, in the same manner as he Loves his daughter, or his son, or his mother, or his father, or a friend. Any act that does not respect the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, is not an act of Love.