March 13, 2008

Passion Is Bad

If you search for "passion" in the New Testament of the Bible, you find this list:

  1. Romans 7:5
    For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.
    Romans 7:4-6 (in Context) Romans 7 (Whole Chapter)
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:9
    But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
    1 Corinthians 7:8-10 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 7 (Whole Chapter)
  3. Galatians 5:24
    Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
    Galatians 5:23-25 (in Context) Galatians 5 (Whole Chapter)
  4. 1 Thessalonians 4:5
    not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
    1 Thessalonians 4:4-6 (in Context) 1 Thessalonians 4 (Whole Chapter)
  5. Titus 2:12
    It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
    Titus 2:11-13 (in Context) Titus 2 (Whole Chapter)
  6. Titus 3:3
    At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
    Titus 3:2-4 (in Context) Titus 3 (Whole Chapter)

    Search results courtesy of

It just jumped out to me today that every use is referring to a negative thing, a sinful thing, or a worldly thing, and never encouraged or idealized. And that seemed interesting enough to share.


Anonymous said...

that sucks since i often say my favorite quality about my husband is his passion.

Matthew said...

wow. thanks for that. I've always struggled with my lack of passion. lol. maybe i need to rethink my relationship with God, and how passion plays into that relationship.

Andreas said...

Passion in the Scriptures is the Greek pathos. In the ancient world, before Christianity spread, pathos was something that happened to you. Hence we speak of our Lord's Passion. It was inflicted on Him.

With the spread of Christianity pathos was internalized. It was no longer something you suffered from the outside, but became something you suffered on the inside.

Hence we speak of passions. Or, like an ancient father said: Christians are not taught to be body-killers; we are taught to be passions-killers. He said that in response to those who viewed the human body as something bad to be overcome.

In the Orthodox Church we still speak of passions. Our ascetical literature is full of that word, and has been, throughout the centuries.

Fellow blogger, father Stephen, wrote this post on passions.

It's very interesting.

He also wrote something on how passions affect our understanding of the Scriptures.

And Christopher Hall becomes more combative here.

Personally, I have no problem with the way language evolved, PROVIDED THAT we don't lose focus... The passions must be healed, and by acting as if we have no passions, we deprive ourselves from the opportunity to get healed.