Temptation

If you have an overwhelming urge to explore the weightier theological ideas, this is the place to seek fellow-travellers.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3386
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Temptation

Post by Ernest » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:40 am

I sometimes wonder how we control temptation?

We use the Lord's prayer daily, where we ask the Lord to "Lead us not into Temptation" directly after asking for forgiveness for our 'Trespasses'.

And we than ask the Lord to "Deliver us from Evil" and we than acknowledge that his Kingdom and His Power and Glory for ever.

I wonder how he could lead us into temptation? Surely he that is goodness and light wouldn't lead us into doing things that are wrong?

That Great Tempter the Devil is the one who takes advantage to our susceptibility to suggestion and leads us into that temptation? Surely the words in the Lords Prayer should ask for us to be armoured against that tendency, rather than seeming to blame the Lord for our humanity?

I am aware of the deep theological care that is needed to understand the simple prayer, given to us by Jesus himself in the New Testament. But on the surface, someone new to Christianity, would or could be really confused about the thought that the Lord might lead them into temptation?

Does anyone else wonder about this?
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Joyce
Posts: 1802
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:54 pm

Temptation

Post by Joyce » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:04 pm

It's just the way the original language worked - to put in a negative a) for emphasis, or b) when there wasn't a positive effective 'opposite' to use.

Think of the Ten Commandments, for example : 'Thou shalt not commit adultery' has more impact than ' Be faithful to your own spouse and keep your hands off somebody else's'. The same with 'Thou shalt not steal' and so on.

'Lead us not' means 'divert us from', 'distract us from', 'lead us away from' or 'protect us from' but we're fond of the traditional translation of earlier centuries and we keep it in, even when updating.

' Rescue us from bad things and the devil's doings rather than let us get led astray by things that look attractive on the surface' just doesn't have the same memorable rhythm as 'Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil' .

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 1037
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
Contact:

Temptation

Post by Joe Parrish » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:59 am

In both Matthew and Luke, Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit “to be tempted by the devil”. ... It is only two chapters later in Matthew when Jesus urges his followers to pray that they avoid the same situation, praying to God that he not lead them into temptation as Jesus was led.
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3386
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Temptation

Post by Ernest » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:53 am

Thanks for your thoughts.

I am sure that temptation is due to our free will as a gift from God, but the machinations of the Evil one, uses that to draw us away from God.

Obedience is a failing trait these days in many peoples lives, so when we are able to draw new people into the circle of God's light and word, it can be overcoming the choice that they have to exercise their free will.

I have had conversations with some, who are attracted by Jesus, but are unsure of their ability to resist the temptations put in their way. One said, "What harm am I doing If I sin", trying to explain the reality of separation from God's grace can be difficult to get across. And Repentance can be an alien word to them. Genuine contrition and a resolve not to sin again can be one step too far for them.

But thankfully, the majority are able to accept the logic of obedience to God's will if they want a genuine relationship with him and for him to be in their life.

And the concept of Hell as eternal separation from God is another one that doesn't resonate. Generations of Hell being depicted (due to biblical descriptions) as burning in eternal fire is how most people think of it.

But these are things we need to be able to explain clearly and simply and hope that faith can be built in time, albeit, some come to faith due to a revelation in their life, or a chance meeting with someone, living a Holy Christian life that inspires them to find out more. And the Church and people living Christian, Pure lives, seems to me to be the best way of building the Kingdom of God, here and now.
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

Post Reply