Author Topic: Is Christianity Unnatural?  (Read 1545 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JamesR

  • Virginal Chicano Blood
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,638
  • 1951-2015 Memory Eternal Uncle Roy--40 Days of Mourning.
  • Faith: Misotheistic Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Is Christianity Unnatural?
« on: February 28, 2013, 05:01:28 PM »
To me, this is one of the greatest secular doubts to Christianity, and something I oftentimes struggle with. If humans were created in the image of God, then how come the life of the Church is so unnatural for our bodies? And how come we have to fight and resist pretty much every physical passion and/or desire that arises, even when so many of them are natural and have roots in biology?

For example, anger is very natural, along with selfishness. Both of which have roots in our evolutionary survival, or being told to totally suppress all of our sexual passions (even though they are biologically natural) via celebacy, or to limit them to only one person via the Sacrament of monogamous marriage. Or, to neglect our desire to eat via fasting, even though eating is natural. If everyone in the world lived fully by Orthodox principles and took the maximalist view in everything, then the human race would easily die out within a few generations, due to more people choosing monasticism, dying from health problems related to fasting and not birthing enough children because of our repressed sexuality.

The excuse I always hear is that we changed after the "Fall of Man"--but, that seems like a very vague answer with no real evidence as far as I could see. It also begs the question of what humans were like before the Fall occured, and so far I haven't seen an answer to that.

Thoughts?
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Arachne

  • Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
  • Section Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,047
  • In life as in art, grace glides on blistered feet.
  • Faith: Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 05:05:15 PM »
Yes, it is. Its aim is to take you above and beyond human nature and restore you to what God intended.
'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox

Offline Schultz

  • Christian. Guitarist. Scooterist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,541
  • Scion of the McKeesport Becks.
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 05:09:30 PM »
To me, this is one of the greatest secular doubts to Christianity, and something I oftentimes struggle with. If humans were created in the image of God, then how come the life of the Church is so unnatural for our bodies? And how come we have to fight and resist pretty much every physical passion and/or desire that arises, even when so many of them are natural and have roots in biology?

It's not natural.  It's supernatural.  That's the whole point of grace.

Quote
For example, anger is very natural, along with selfishness. Both of which have roots in our evolutionary survival, or being told to totally suppress all of our sexual passions (even though they are biologically natural) via celebacy, or to limit them to only one person via the Sacrament of monogamous marriage. Or, to neglect our desire to eat via fasting, even though eating is natural. If everyone in the world lived fully by Orthodox principles and took the maximalist view in everything, then the human race would easily die out within a few generations, due to more people choosing monasticism, dying from health problems related to fasting and not birthing enough children because of our repressed sexuality.

Why would we all choose monasticism?  There probably wouldn't be many December babies anymore, but that's about it. 

If one fasts according to the Church's guidance, why would there be health problems?  The Church specifically tells us that if you are endangering your bodily health, you should not be fasting.

Quote
Thoughts?

Get your head out of your rear end.
"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,023
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 05:13:09 PM »

I don't know....it comes rather naturally to me.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Shanghaiski

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,978
  • Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 05:16:40 PM »
What is natural?

Sin is not natural. Death is not natural. What is natural is that pertaining to the the original beauty, not the marred present state.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline JamesR

  • Virginal Chicano Blood
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,638
  • 1951-2015 Memory Eternal Uncle Roy--40 Days of Mourning.
  • Faith: Misotheistic Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 05:16:45 PM »
Its aim is to take you above and beyond human nature

If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

Quote
...and restore you to what God intended.

Then why did He allow us to become so "fallen" if He doesn't want us to be that way? I never asked to be "fallen"--I'm apparently fallen because our ancestors apparently did something bad. It's not our fault, so why do we have to make the effort and toil?
Why would we all choose monasticism?

Because as much as people will deny it, monasticism is the higher path that even Christ Himself says is a higher calling. If we all took the maximalist approach to life, then we would strive for monasticism opposed to marriage.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Nathanael

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 05:17:51 PM »
Quote
then the human race would easily die out within a few generations, due to more people choosing monasticism, dying from health problems related to fasting and not birthing enough children because of our repressed sexuality.
Nope. There shouldn't be health problems because of fasting. Even the strictest ascetic saints had often a long life. I know many pious orthodox families who have not less children than others.


Thank God that we've such natural passions. Without passion there wouldn't be struggling and suffering and nobody would be saved. We need to struggle , we need the process of getting up and falling again, we need suffering, in order that we can acquire humility. Without humility we cannot have a place in our heart for the mercy of God.
The problem with passion is, that although it's natural, it fills our heart completely out, so that we cannot offer our heart to God any more. Instead to be "addicted" to God, we're addicted to wordly things.
A person who completely lives his passions out is worse than a demon.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 05:19:01 PM by Nathanael »
"Orthodoxy is the very nature of man" - Father Rafail Noica

Offline Nathanael

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 05:22:08 PM »
Quote
If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

There're two natures in us. One is created in God's image but the other not. I suppose.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 05:22:24 PM by Nathanael »
"Orthodoxy is the very nature of man" - Father Rafail Noica

Offline Jason.Wike

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,046
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 05:22:52 PM »
To me, this is one of the greatest secular doubts to Christianity, and something I oftentimes struggle with. If humans were created in the image of God, then how come the life of the Church is so unnatural for our bodies? And how come we have to fight and resist pretty much every physical passion and/or desire that arises, even when so many of them are natural and have roots in biology?

For example, anger is very natural, along with selfishness. Both of which have roots in our evolutionary survival, or being told to totally suppress all of our sexual passions (even though they are biologically natural) via celebacy, or to limit them to only one person via the Sacrament of monogamous marriage. Or, to neglect our desire to eat via fasting, even though eating is natural. If everyone in the world lived fully by Orthodox principles and took the maximalist view in everything, then the human race would easily die out within a few generations, due to more people choosing monasticism, dying from health problems related to fasting and not birthing enough children because of our repressed sexuality.

The excuse I always hear is that we changed after the "Fall of Man"--but, that seems like a very vague answer with no real evidence as far as I could see. It also begs the question of what humans were like before the Fall occured, and so far I haven't seen an answer to that.

Thoughts?

That all sounds like hog wash. Fasting is medically recognized as healthy and confers numerous health benefits (the only people it causes actual health issues for are those who have never controlled their eating in their life and have damaged their bodies, fasting is closer to the normal state of eating for practically everyone in human history up till the past century). Chastity is not 'repressed' sexuality but simply self controlled sexuality.

Offline Arachne

  • Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
  • Section Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,047
  • In life as in art, grace glides on blistered feet.
  • Faith: Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 05:24:19 PM »
If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

We're mortal, for one. You can take it from there yourself.

Then why did He allow us to become so "fallen" if He doesn't want us to be that way? I never asked to be "fallen"--I'm apparently fallen because our ancestors apparently did something bad. It's not our fault, so why do we have to make the effort and toil?

Funny, one Adam used that same argument once upon a time. Ever heard of him?

You fall every time you do something contrary to God's will. Quit with the responsibility shifting and get back to work. You're not in Kansas middle school anymore.
'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox

Offline Jason.Wike

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,046
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 05:25:45 PM »
Its aim is to take you above and beyond human nature

If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

I think Arachne is wrong. There is nothing about Christianity that is about transcending human nature. The original, normal human nature was exactly as God intended. Christ restores and perfects our humanity. Human nature is not the problem, broken human nature is.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 05:26:35 PM »
Nature is contrary to Christianity.

And a person's "nature" need not be transcended as it is always and forever transcendent.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline Nathanael

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 05:26:41 PM »
Quote
It's not our fault, so why do we have to make the effort and toil?
We're all in some way one.
"Orthodoxy is the very nature of man" - Father Rafail Noica

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 05:27:05 PM »
Its aim is to take you above and beyond human nature

If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

I think Arachne is wrong. There is nothing about Christianity that is about transcending human nature. The original, normal human nature was exactly as God intended. Christ restores and perfects our humanity. Human nature is not the problem, broken human nature is.

What is "human nature"?
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline Jason.Wike

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,046
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 05:28:26 PM »
Its aim is to take you above and beyond human nature

If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

I think Arachne is wrong. There is nothing about Christianity that is about transcending human nature. The original, normal human nature was exactly as God intended. Christ restores and perfects our humanity. Human nature is not the problem, broken human nature is.

What is "human nature"?

The way God made us originally (it is not the way average people are currently).

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,717
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 05:28:59 PM »
Of course it's our fault. Who else made the decision to do something wrong?

And it's not just wrong or bad actions we're talking about - it's all those failures, large and small, to love each other.

For example, I don't hate my neighbor. I don't want to murder him or steal his stuff. On the contrary, I wish him well. But I wouldn't necessarily even inconvenience myself for him, much less love him as I love myself.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline Punch

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,801
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 05:31:26 PM »
If I am involved in it, it is probably unnatural on some level.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 05:31:42 PM »
Its aim is to take you above and beyond human nature

If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

I think Arachne is wrong. There is nothing about Christianity that is about transcending human nature. The original, normal human nature was exactly as God intended. Christ restores and perfects our humanity. Human nature is not the problem, broken human nature is.

What is "human nature"?

The way God made us originally (it is not the way average people are currently).

That is hardly an answer.

What way were "we" made originally?

(Sorry but you don't even seem to understand your own argument. You and I weren't made originally by God except in an ontological manner. And I doubt the method of God's creation is what you are referring to, so the "way" in which Adam was made ain't it either.)

If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 05:33:48 PM »
Of course it's our fault. Who else made the decision to do something wrong?

And it's not just wrong or bad actions we're talking about - it's all those failures, large and small, to love each other.

For example, I don't hate my neighbor. I don't want to murder him or steal his stuff. On the contrary, I wish him well. But I wouldn't necessarily even inconvenience myself for him, much less love him as I love myself.

To think that sin has something to do with decision necessarily is quite wrong.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline vamrat

  • Vamratoraptor
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,764
  • Faith: Serbian Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of New Gracanica
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 05:36:41 PM »
Christ is "the new Adam".  We can do what the old Adam did and expect the same consequences or we can try to be like the new Adam.  We are predisposed to be like the old one, so it is an effort to try and be like the new one.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 05:38:30 PM »
Christ is "the new Adam".  We can do what the old Adam did and expect the same consequences or we can try to be like the new Adam.  We are predisposed to be like the old one, so it is an effort to try and be like the new one.

We are also "predisposed" to be like the New Adam otherwise Christ would have never been possible in the first place, at least not within manner as the Incarnation ought to be properly understood.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 05:39:53 PM »
No one has offered an explicit definition of "human nature". And thus this whole discussion is based a lot of uncovered prejudices. Some of which have been exposed.

I would imagine it would take thousands of back and forths to get anywhere meaningful.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline OrthoNoob

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,157
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 05:42:21 PM »
Sex isn't necessarily bad. But there's a right place and a wrong place for it.

Eating isn't necessarily bad. But there's a right amount and a wrong amount.

Anger isn't necessarily bad. But there is a time to be angry and a time not to be.

All your desires must be restrained and directed toward the good. You seem to be demanding a world where you can live on pure disordered id with no negative consequences. You're not going to get that world. But you err if you think your natural desires are bad in themselves.

Water is good. I don't recommend you submerge yourself in it for extended periods of time without breathing equipment.

Food is good. I don't recommend you eat everything in sight.

Exercise is good. I don't recommend you lift weights till you pass out.

Get my point?
http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 05:43:25 PM »
You seem to be demanding a world where you can live on pure disordered id with no negative consequences.

. . .

Get my point?

You don't understand what id means?
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline OrthoNoob

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,157
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 05:46:02 PM »
You seem to be demanding a world where you can live on pure disordered id with no negative consequences.

. . .

Get my point?

You don't understand what id means?

Possibly not. I was working from this definition:

"the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends;" from Wikipedia.
http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 05:52:31 PM »
You seem to be demanding a world where you can live on pure disordered id with no negative consequences.

. . .

Get my point?

You don't understand what id means?

Possibly not. I was working from this definition:

"the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends;" from Wikipedia.

LOL! Thank you.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline quietmorning

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,434
  • St. Photini please pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2013, 06:10:35 PM »
There is a bacteria that causes simple acne. 

Once the bacteria is infected with a virus, but becomes diphtheria.

Which state is natural for the bacteria? 

We were once made in the Image of God - a true being of light and life.
We became infected with sin - becoming a corrupted being, much like the infected bacteria - a different creature all together with fruits of that corruption.

Diphtheria cannot act like the original bacteria until the infecting virus pops back out of its DNA. 

It's unnatural for us to reject God, to HAVE passions, to sin. 

It is natural for us to be children of light and life - but we are so infected and corrupt.  We seek what the parasitic disease of death in us seeks, just as a parasite infected brain seeks what it never really cares about in order to support the parasite.

Hope this helps.
In His Mercy,
BethAnna

Offline Shanghaiski

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,978
  • Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2013, 06:55:39 PM »
There is a bacteria that causes simple acne. 

Once the bacteria is infected with a virus, but becomes diphtheria.

Which state is natural for the bacteria? 

Diphtheria cannot act like the original bacteria until the infecting virus pops back out of its DNA. 

Hope this helps.

Yes. It means that teenagers potentially carry gross diseases on their oily faces and should be avoided at all costs.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,023
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2013, 07:01:43 PM »

But, what's so unnatural?

If we follow the "restrictions" set by the Church, we in fact, live how we ought to.

Fasting is healthy for us.  There's no better diet than vegetarian.  However, the Church allows us non-fasting, as well.  So, it's bonus.

Not fooling around, is also healthier than fooling around.  When one is in a committed relationship (aka marriage) than each partner is "safer"...both physically (less chance of contracting any kind of disease) and mentally/spiritually (less likely to be hurt by the other partner).

No addictions allowed.  That's great!  When someone is addicted to something, any thing....they are not themselves.  They crave only that one thing.  So, not being an alcoholic, drug addict, constant gamer, magazine reader, etc., is in fact, healthy - and natural.

Giving up our vices isn't easy.  However, once we make an effort, it gets easier....and in truth, we are so much happier and healthier as a result.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Online Iconodule

  • Uranopolitan
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,893
  • "My god is greater."
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2013, 07:22:39 PM »
Definition of Id:


Offline choy

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,316
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2013, 07:31:02 PM »
I actually find the teachings of Orthodoxy to be very natural.  It actually makes a lot of sense and would solve a lot of the world's problems if followed and understood.

Offline quietmorning

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,434
  • St. Photini please pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2013, 07:38:40 PM »
There is a bacteria that causes simple acne.  

Once the bacteria is infected with a virus, but becomes diphtheria.

Which state is natural for the bacteria?  

Diphtheria cannot act like the original bacteria until the infecting virus pops back out of its DNA.  

Hope this helps.

Yes. It means that teenagers potentially carry gross diseases on their oily faces and should be avoided at all costs.

*sigh*
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 07:39:06 PM by quietmorning »
In His Mercy,
BethAnna

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2013, 07:47:38 PM »

But, what's so unnatural?

If we follow the "restrictions" set by the Church, we in fact, live how we ought to.

Fasting is healthy for us.  There's no better diet than vegetarian.  However, the Church allows us non-fasting, as well.  So, it's bonus.

Not fooling around, is also healthier than fooling around.  When one is in a committed relationship (aka marriage) than each partner is "safer"...both physically (less chance of contracting any kind of disease) and mentally/spiritually (less likely to be hurt by the other partner).

No addictions allowed.  That's great!  When someone is addicted to something, any thing....they are not themselves.  They crave only that one thing.  So, not being an alcoholic, drug addict, constant gamer, magazine reader, etc., is in fact, healthy - and natural.

Giving up our vices isn't easy.  However, once we make an effort, it gets easier....and in truth, we are so much happier and healthier as a result.


How is being an addict not being oneself?

Really these questions should be addressed elsewhere.

The thread is predicated on what amounts to nonsense and any reaction which takes the nonsense seriously is going to be nonsense as well.

Folks who ain't engaged in serious research in such matters should scratch the word nature and all its variations. Follow up with essence, substance, being, identity and you might begin to engage in thought.

Then you might be able to revisit these former extremely loaded words and find how and why they've created many of their own problems.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 07:48:03 PM by orthonorm »
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline choy

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,316
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2013, 07:49:00 PM »
To me, this is one of the greatest secular doubts to Christianity, and something I oftentimes struggle with. If humans were created in the image of God, then how come the life of the Church is so unnatural for our bodies? And how come we have to fight and resist pretty much every physical passion and/or desire that arises, even when so many of them are natural and have roots in biology?

For example, anger is very natural, along with selfishness. Both of which have roots in our evolutionary survival, or being told to totally suppress all of our sexual passions (even though they are biologically natural) via celebacy, or to limit them to only one person via the Sacrament of monogamous marriage. Or, to neglect our desire to eat via fasting, even though eating is natural. If everyone in the world lived fully by Orthodox principles and took the maximalist view in everything, then the human race would easily die out within a few generations, due to more people choosing monasticism, dying from health problems related to fasting and not birthing enough children because of our repressed sexuality.

The excuse I always hear is that we changed after the "Fall of Man"--but, that seems like a very vague answer with no real evidence as far as I could see. It also begs the question of what humans were like before the Fall occured, and so far I haven't seen an answer to that.

Thoughts?

But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.  They say if you are angry, "its normal and good to express it", and some studies even say swearing is good for you.  Okay, but how would that affect your relationships?  A lot of these studies are short sighted.  I can start dropping the F-bomb at work everytime I am frustrated.  Sure, my tension is released, but my coworkers will hate me and I might even get fired.  So overall, how is that good for me?  Now I am more stressed because I have a mortgage, car payments, and a family to feed.  Often these "scientific studies" don't look in the large scale or long term.  At least in Christianity I can see the synergy of the commandments of Christ to affect everything in our lives.

Look at it this way, these secular claims are the "get rich quick" schemes, while Christianity offers the true solutions.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2013, 08:01:27 PM »
But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 08:01:36 PM by orthonorm »
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline Kerdy

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,813
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2013, 08:25:10 PM »
Its aim is to take you above and beyond human nature

If humans are created in God's image, then what is so wrong with human nature that we have to transcend beyond it?

I think Arachne is wrong. There is nothing about Christianity that is about transcending human nature. The original, normal human nature was exactly as God intended. Christ restores and perfects our humanity. Human nature is not the problem, broken human nature is.
Agreed.  Christianity leads us toward our original, natural state as God created us.  Without it, we live in a deep un-natural state.

Offline yeshuaisiam

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,697
  • A pulling horse cannot kick.
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2013, 08:46:41 PM »
To me, this is one of the greatest secular doubts to Christianity, and something I oftentimes struggle with. If humans were created in the image of God, then how come the life of the Church is so unnatural for our bodies? And how come we have to fight and resist pretty much every physical passion and/or desire that arises, even when so many of them are natural and have roots in biology?

For example, anger is very natural, along with selfishness. Both of which have roots in our evolutionary survival, or being told to totally suppress all of our sexual passions (even though they are biologically natural) via celebacy, or to limit them to only one person via the Sacrament of monogamous marriage. Or, to neglect our desire to eat via fasting, even though eating is natural. If everyone in the world lived fully by Orthodox principles and took the maximalist view in everything, then the human race would easily die out within a few generations, due to more people choosing monasticism, dying from health problems related to fasting and not birthing enough children because of our repressed sexuality.

The excuse I always hear is that we changed after the "Fall of Man"--but, that seems like a very vague answer with no real evidence as far as I could see. It also begs the question of what humans were like before the Fall occured, and so far I haven't seen an answer to that.

Thoughts?

James, I could write you a book on this.  I'll try to keep this very short though.

They have convinced you of evolution.  They have convinced you that people don't want a monogamous relationships.  They have convinced you that anger is a natural response.  They have convinced you that monasticism & celibacy is "far superior".   They have convinced me as well, or had me convinced, or I am coming out of being convinced. (emphasis on the last)

There is a life outside of this.  Life where you love a wife and only desire her.  Life where you believe that God created man in his image and there was nothing evolutionary about it.   A life when responding in kindness versus anger will make you feel better.  A life where contentedness will bring you happiness.  A life where a man and women can have children, and live good Christian lives that are very wholesome.
I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com

Offline WPM

  • Revolutionary Writer
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,176
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2013, 09:01:44 PM »
Quote
Is Christianity Unnatural?

No.

There may be some kind of merge of the natural with the supernatural.

I think you're supposed to used Bible Study and Church Ministry to learn how to be a Christian.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 09:02:32 PM by WPM »

Offline podkarpatska

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,465
  • Pokrov
    • ACROD (home)
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2013, 10:04:39 PM »
To me, this is one of the greatest secular doubts to Christianity, and something I oftentimes struggle with. If humans were created in the image of God, then how come the life of the Church is so unnatural for our bodies? And how come we have to fight and resist pretty much every physical passion and/or desire that arises, even when so many of them are natural and have roots in biology?

It's not natural.  It's supernatural.  That's the whole point of grace.

Quote
For example, anger is very natural, along with selfishness. Both of which have roots in our evolutionary survival, or being told to totally suppress all of our sexual passions (even though they are biologically natural) via celebacy, or to limit them to only one person via the Sacrament of monogamous marriage. Or, to neglect our desire to eat via fasting, even though eating is natural. If everyone in the world lived fully by Orthodox principles and took the maximalist view in everything, then the human race would easily die out within a few generations, due to more people choosing monasticism, dying from health problems related to fasting and not birthing enough children because of our repressed sexuality.

Why would we all choose monasticism?  There probably wouldn't be many December babies anymore, but that's about it. 

If one fasts according to the Church's guidance, why would there be health problems?  The Church specifically tells us that if you are endangering your bodily health, you should not be fasting.

Quote
Thoughts?

Get your head out of your rear end.


 QFT

Offline Shiny

  • Site Supporter
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,267
  • Paint It Red
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2013, 10:47:05 PM »
The more we become like Christ, the more human we become. Makes plenty of sense to me.

I have my passions, but just because I have them does not mean I am justified in thinking they are natural.

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline Nicene

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 630
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2013, 12:20:02 PM »
in that we do are not supposed to comply with this natural world, that while society changes the faith should be kept and not altered. But Natural in that Christianity is what is good and what we were intended for.
Thank you.

Offline choy

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,316
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2013, 01:26:56 PM »
But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.

Offline Papist

  • Patriarch of Pontification
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,286
  • An Ideal to Strive Towards
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2013, 01:30:51 PM »
But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.
Don't worry, he will give you many opportunities to thank him. It must be difficult form him to live in a world where everyone else is so far beneath him.
My posts no longer forum here.

Offline NicholasMyra

  • Avowed denominationalist
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,520
  • Nepsis or Sepsis™
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian+Greek
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2013, 01:53:41 PM »
James, for the last time, later hominids are not harem-based.
Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

http://hyperdoxherman.tumblr.com/

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2013, 02:18:59 PM »
But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.

Rather than address the critique you continue with your personal barbs.

Your notion that "secular" psychologists don't focus or take into consideration relationships is just flat and absolutely false.

The more subtle point that critiquing individualism while hailing relationalism without knowing one relies upon the other is poor thinking.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,300
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #45 on: March 01, 2013, 02:20:48 PM »
But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.
Don't worry, he will give you many opportunities to thank him. It must be difficult form him to live in a world where everyone else is so far beneath him.

Believe it or not, you nor choy are representative of most of the folks I encounter in the world. It is sorta a bit of hubris to think that the lazy thinking you two engage in is the measure of the rest of our fellow men. Well it is a measure, I suppose, one that is surpassed.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline Hiwot

  • Christ is Risen!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,959
  • Job 19:25-27
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2013, 02:40:06 PM »
James, for the last time, later hominids are not harem-based.

hahahaha! oh gosh, this killed me.
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline Hiwot

  • Christ is Risen!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,959
  • Job 19:25-27
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #47 on: March 01, 2013, 02:42:26 PM »
If I am involved in it, it is probably unnatural on some level.

hahaha, punch good one!
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline Papist

  • Patriarch of Pontification
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,286
  • An Ideal to Strive Towards
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #48 on: March 01, 2013, 03:03:23 PM »
But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.
Don't worry, he will give you many opportunities to thank him. It must be difficult form him to live in a world where everyone else is so far beneath him.

Believe it or not, you nor choy are representative of most of the folks I encounter in the world. It is sorta a bit of hubris to think that the lazy thinking you two engage in is the measure of the rest of our fellow men. Well it is a measure, I suppose, one that is surpassed.
Q.E.D
My posts no longer forum here.

Offline Punch

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,801
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #49 on: March 01, 2013, 04:29:12 PM »
Gee, which two people in the world have you encountered?  Papist and Choy are intellectual giants compared to most of the people that I have to deal with, and I work in a Nuclear Power Plant. 

But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.
Don't worry, he will give you many opportunities to thank him. It must be difficult form him to live in a world where everyone else is so far beneath him.

Believe it or not, you nor choy are representative of most of the folks I encounter in the world. It is sorta a bit of hubris to think that the lazy thinking you two engage in is the measure of the rest of our fellow men. Well it is a measure, I suppose, one that is surpassed.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,523
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2013, 04:33:43 PM »
If humans were created in the image of God, then how come the life of the Church is so unnatural for our bodies?

James--You are too intelligent to ask a question like this. If God created us to be as we have been and are, there would not have been the need for Him to set some standards for humanity through His chosen people and, when that did not work, to send His Son so that we can have an example, a leaders than we can follow out of our "natural" state. Here I am using the word "natural" as a description only.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 04:34:12 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

Offline OrthoNoob

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,157
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2013, 05:09:34 PM »
Orthonorm's schtick is tiresome and not terribly convincing.

Gee, which two people in the world have you encountered?  Papist and Choy are intellectual giants compared to most of the people that I have to deal with, and I work in a Nuclear Power Plant. 

But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.
Don't worry, he will give you many opportunities to thank him. It must be difficult form him to live in a world where everyone else is so far beneath him.

Believe it or not, you nor choy are representative of most of the folks I encounter in the world. It is sorta a bit of hubris to think that the lazy thinking you two engage in is the measure of the rest of our fellow men. Well it is a measure, I suppose, one that is surpassed.
http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Hoplitarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,314
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2013, 05:19:39 PM »
It is not easy to resist temptation. We have many helps. This is in fact why the church asks so much of us. It's like spiritual push-ups. Prayer and fasting are hard when you start out. The first few days of the fast, I can't think of anything but sandwiches. And I want to punch somebody. But the days go on, and in the second week or so, I start to relax. Not a big deal. "Okay, I'll have noodles and salad tonight... I think I'll read for a while, maybe see if there's Vespers at church..." That kind of thing. Keep trying. If you quit, you'll be worse for wear but if you keep going, you can retain something of value spiritually.

Offline J Michael

  • Older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy ;-)
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,712
  • Lord, have mercy! I live under a rock. Alleluia!
  • Faith: Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Eparchy of Passaic
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2013, 05:35:02 PM »
  \/ This.

Orthonorm's schtick is tiresome and not terribly convincing.

Gee, which two people in the world have you encountered?  Papist and Choy are intellectual giants compared to most of the people that I have to deal with, and I work in a Nuclear Power Plant.  

But the secular psychologists only look at individual persons, not their relationships with others.  We become so individualistic.

The obvious error of the first sentence nearly caused me to stop reading, but I am glad I didn't, cause your second sentence gave me a chuckle.

How can we "so individualistic" without recourse to the notion of being in relation?

Individuals relate. Persons commune.

Thank you for your correction, I am humbled by your intellectual superiority.
Don't worry, he will give you many opportunities to thank him. It must be difficult form him to live in a world where everyone else is so far beneath him.

Believe it or not, you nor choy are representative of most of the folks I encounter in the world. It is sorta a bit of hubris to think that the lazy thinking you two engage in is the measure of the rest of our fellow men. Well it is a measure, I suppose, one that is surpassed.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 05:35:54 PM by J Michael »
"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Offline JamesR

  • Virginal Chicano Blood
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,638
  • 1951-2015 Memory Eternal Uncle Roy--40 Days of Mourning.
  • Faith: Misotheistic Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #54 on: March 01, 2013, 05:35:21 PM »
It is not easy to resist temptation. We have many helps. This is in fact why the church asks so much of us. It's like spiritual push-ups. Prayer and fasting are hard when you start out. The first few days of the fast, I can't think of anything but sandwiches. And I want to punch somebody. But the days go on, and in the second week or so, I start to relax. Not a big deal. "Okay, I'll have noodles and salad tonight... I think I'll read for a while, maybe see if there's Vespers at church..." That kind of thing. Keep trying. If you quit, you'll be worse for wear but if you keep going, you can retain something of value spiritually.

Wow that was surprisingly helpful!--thanks Biro!
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Hoplitarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,314
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2013, 05:37:21 PM »
You're welcome. I've gotten mad at some of your posts... sorry... I know you're growing up, and I should try to remember it isn't always a walk in the park. Good luck.

Offline JamesR

  • Virginal Chicano Blood
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,638
  • 1951-2015 Memory Eternal Uncle Roy--40 Days of Mourning.
  • Faith: Misotheistic Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2013, 05:47:24 PM »
Well, I was thinking about this more last night, and I had some thoughts. First, maybe the reason treatment feels so unnatural to us is simply because we're not used to it and are so accustomed to living sinfully. Kind of like when trying to give up an addiction or bad habit, you feel troubled, discomfort and miserable at first, because you are readjusting your body back to functioning the way it was meant to function, without the bad habit holding it down. Maybe God's treatment is somewhat similar; the discomfort we feel when trying to return back to our natural state and give up something bad. Then that brings up another thought; I think that there is an important distinction that needs to be made between "suffering" and "evil." The two--while oftentimes synonomous--aren't exactly the same. Evilness is death and sin--and everything related to those. Suffering is merely a matter of perspective--how we perceive something. For the Christian, we initially experience suffering as we grow closer to God and leave our wickedness behind, but usually, after we grow closer, our suffering ends, as our selfish will is obliterated, and we become unaffected by the world, and see every evil event that arises as an opportunity to glorify God.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Romaios

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,933
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2013, 06:49:01 PM »
Well, I was thinking about this more last night, and I had some thoughts. First, maybe the reason treatment feels so unnatural to us is simply because we're not used to it and are so accustomed to living sinfully. Kind of like when trying to give up an addiction or bad habit, you feel troubled, discomfort and miserable at first, because you are readjusting your body back to functioning the way it was meant to function, without the bad habit holding it down. Maybe God's treatment is somewhat similar; the discomfort we feel when trying to return back to our natural state and give up something bad. Then that brings up another thought; I think that there is an important distinction that needs to be made between "suffering" and "evil." The two--while oftentimes synonymous--aren't exactly the same. Evilness is death and sin--and everything related to those. Suffering is merely a matter of perspective--how we perceive something. For the Christian, we initially experience suffering as we grow closer to God and leave our wickedness behind, but usually, after we grow closer, our suffering ends, as our selfish will is obliterated, and we become unaffected by the world, and see every evil event that arises as an opportunity to glorify God.

I think you're on to something, James.  :)

Only suffering doesn't ever end down here for Saints either - it probably becomes easier to bear.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 06:49:34 PM by Romaios »

Offline yeshuaisiam

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,697
  • A pulling horse cannot kick.
Re: Is Christianity Unnatural?
« Reply #58 on: March 02, 2013, 12:26:28 AM »
Well, I was thinking about this more last night, and I had some thoughts. First, maybe the reason treatment feels so unnatural to us is simply because we're not used to it and are so accustomed to living sinfully. Kind of like when trying to give up an addiction or bad habit, you feel troubled, discomfort and miserable at first, because you are readjusting your body back to functioning the way it was meant to function, without the bad habit holding it down. Maybe God's treatment is somewhat similar; the discomfort we feel when trying to return back to our natural state and give up something bad. Then that brings up another thought; I think that there is an important distinction that needs to be made between "suffering" and "evil." The two--while oftentimes synonomous--aren't exactly the same. Evilness is death and sin--and everything related to those. Suffering is merely a matter of perspective--how we perceive something. For the Christian, we initially experience suffering as we grow closer to God and leave our wickedness behind, but usually, after we grow closer, our suffering ends, as our selfish will is obliterated, and we become unaffected by the world, and see every evil event that arises as an opportunity to glorify God.

James, so you know it is not always this way though.

Consider when you follow God's commands when observing the way he created us, the "natural state" becomes a state of reward.

Many men for instance believe that "our carnal sinful desires" are to go out and have physical relations with as many women as possible.  But I don't agree that it is a "carnal sinful desire"....  I believe it is the inability of some people to recognize the consequences of their actions. In this case, it would lead to emptyness, fatherless children, abortions, jealousy, and without stability.   When we follow the commands of God and are married and have physical relations with a wife through love we gain the blessing of children, could not think of abortion, are fulfilled and closer, embrace further love, wholesomeness instead of jealousy, and with stability.

I do not believe suffering always occurs when we embrace God.   God even died for your sins in love, and was feeling love for you even while carrying his cross.   Through some suffering is love, through some sacrifice is love and wholesomeness, and ALSO through good things comes more good things.

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com