Hate « Badly Drawn Bible

Hate « Badly Drawn Bible.

 

I love this blog.  So many reasons that I can’t list them all.  Here’s one for all the haters out there.

Theology Thursday: My Conversation With An Atheist

Theology Thursday: My Conversation With An Atheist.

 

So, first off, I read too many blogs.  Now that I’ve said that, here’s an interesting “conversation” (in quotes because usually I wouldn’t normally use the word conversation to mean a comments exchange) between a godly woman and an angry atheist.  Enjoy!

What does this really mean?

1 Corinthians 14:33-34 (AMP)–For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people), the women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says.

So, I have mentioned before how I did not grow up a Christian.  I was a pretty independent young woman with certain ideas about how the world worked (or how it should work).  I had a lot of feminist and liberal leanings, which I won’t go into detail on.  Suffice it to say that I thought that I was just as good, just as smart (usually smarter), just as capable as any man and I was never going to subject myself to anyone, but especially not a man.

I took this idea of not being “womanly” (read: weak) further than I should have.  I didn’t like girls.  I didn’t like doing the things that girls did (cooking, sewing, crafting, caring for children, etc.).  I wasn’t going to follow “the rules.”  I was never going to get married, have children, become domestic.

Well, I’ve obviously changed my mind about most of those things.  I am married with two children.  I am a stay-at-home mom.  I love to cook.  I own a sewing machine (although, I’m still working on learning how to use it).  I do lots of things that I never thought I would ever do and I am exceptionally happy doing them (most of them . . . cleaning house still isn’t one of my favorite things).

So, having said all of that, let’s talk about this passage in 1 Corinthians.  I accept that it is a part of the Bible and I submit to God’s Word.  I have no problem with the fact that it is there, but I do take issue with the way that a lot of people interpret it BECAUSE IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE WITH THE REST OF THE BIBLE.  Let me explain.

The Fundamentalist take on this passage: women shouldn’t have authority over men in any aspect of church life (and sometimes in other aspects of life).  They cannot be pastors, teachers (except to children or other women), leaders (prayer leaders, worship leaders, deacons or elders, ministry leaders that would place them in authority over men), and many other things.  Women can be leaders only when men are not involved.  Their husbands can be leaders and they can influence the church only through their husbands.  This is a very literal interpretation of this passage, which is the way that Fundamentalists interpret the Bible: literally.

The Liberal take on this passage: women can do anything in the church.  This passage applies specifically to the Corinthian church at that time and discusses cultural issues that arose in that specific church.  The part of this passage that still applies today is the part speaking about orderly worship (because that is the context).

[An aside: I have no problem with submitting to my husband.  I also don’t have a problem with women not being pastors or elders.  My issue is where people decide to draw the line between what is acceptable and unacceptable for women to do.  It just seems so arbitrary at times.  But, I digress.]

I think they both miss the mark.  I’m pretty moderate, so, naturally, my take on it is somewhere in between.  I’m not saying that I’m right (I’m no expert), but I think that in order to accept either of these extreme interpretations you have to ignore a lot of what the Bible says about the matter.

Where Fundamentalists miss the mark is in their failure to recognize the examples in the Old and New Testaments of women taking on these and other roles that they deny women today.  The Amplified Bible footnote for Judges 4:4 has this to say about the Judge and Prophet Deborah:

According to Num. 11:25, the prophetic gift has its source in the “Spirit of the Lord.” The prophet is a spokesman of God and for God. Miriam was the first prophetess who praised God before all the people (Exod. 15:20). Deborah was not like Miriam, the sister of such men as Moses and Aaron. The objective Spirit of her God elevates her above her people, above heroes before and after her. Not only the ecstasy of enthusiasm, but also the calm wisdom of that Spirit Who informs the law dwells in her. Of no judge until Samuel [the last of the major judges] is it expressly said that he was a “prophet.” Of none until him can it be said that he was possessed of the popular authority necessary for the office of judge. The position of Deborah in Israel is therefore a twofold testimony: it proves the relaxation of spiritual and manly energy, and, secondly, the undying might of divine truth, as delivered by Moses, comes brilliantly to view. History shows many instances where in times of distress, when men despaired, women arose and saved their nation; but in all such cases there must be an unextinguished spark of the old fire in the people themselves. Israel, formerly encouraged by the great exploit of a left-handed man–Ehud (Judg. 3:15), is now quickened by the glowing word of a noble woman (J.P. Lange, A Commentary).

If women in Biblical times could be prophetessess, deaconesses, doorkeepers, and hold other positions in the temple and the churches, I find it hard to accept that they cannot do the same today.  But, before you get too upset with me . . .

Where Liberals miss the mark is in their insistence that men and women are the same.  They were created different, a fact that we cannot ignore.  Even science can’t ignore the fact that men and women are different (recent studies including this one have shown sex specific differences in the brain transmitted through epigenetic mechanisms).  Women have never been priests or elders, which (I believe) translates to women not being pastors or elders in the modern church.

I don’t want to be accused of ignoring passages like 1 Corinthians 11:3-12 and 1 Timothy 2:11 that point out how men and women are different and should worship differently.  I acknowledge that men and women are different.  I fully accept that there are reasons for women not taking on the role of pastor or elder, but I cannot accept that God doesn’t want women to share the gifts that He gave us.  Some women are gifted musically, in teaching, leadership, administration, and many other areas.  They should use those gifts to edify the body of Christ.

There is a lot more that I could say on this topic, but I’ll just leave it there for now.  PLEASE, feel free to disagree with me.  Like I said before, I don’t have all the answers.

So, what do you think?

How preparing my house for sale is NOT like coming to Christ

So, as I stated previously, we are moving out of Utah and, thus, are preparing to sell our house.  For those of you who have never gone through the process, it mostly involves packing a lot of stuff that isn’t necessary for everyday living and cleaning everything.  I see something interesting, though, in the process.

Sometimes our bodies and minds are compared with houses.  The analogy is that Jesus comes in and takes possession of the house and doesn’t just start redecorating; He starts remodeling.  He knocks out walls and makes additions until it is the place where He wants to live.  It’s a process, though, and He is the one who does it, not us.

I know a lot of people who operate under the incorrect mindset that they have to get things straightened out before they can come to Christ (or return to Him after a hiatus).  This is so wrong.  If I had to prepare everything for Christ to come and live in my “house” the way I do when I am trying to sell my actual house, then I would still not be ready.  I never would.

You see, that’s the thing about what Jesus did for me (and you) on the Cross.  While I was still a mess, He died for me.  While my “house” was falling apart and going to be condemned, He bought it (for a very great price).  He saw the potential in me when nobody else did (before I ever existed, in fact) and thought that I was worth the cost.

How awe-inspiring to think that the God of the universe thought that I (you) were worth the price.  Why do people say Jesus is their best friend?  It’s because He laid down His life for them (us).

So, the next time you think you have to get your life together before you can come to (or return to) Jesus, think again.  Remember what He said here:

Matthew 11:28-30

Amplified Bible (AMP)

28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

30For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

Note to self: remember the “with love” part

So, this is a post that I’ve been trying to write for a long time.  It has taken many forms and all have been trashed when they start moving in the wrong direction.  This one might get trashed, too, but I hope not because I really need to get this out there.  It is about something specific, but I’m going to try to avoid the details, for so many reasons I can’t even count them all.

The thing that has been weighing on my heart is this: what happens when you don’t follow God’s plan?  We know from Jeremiah 29:11 that God has plans for us (I fully accept that some people believe that this message was only meant for Israel, but it doesn’t change what I have to say, so I’l keep it).  Good plans.  I believe the “us” in that statement includes individuals, families, churches, organizations, communities, businesses, etc.  Sometimes He reveals those plans to us and sometimes He doesn’t, but there is always a plan.

Has He ever revealed part of His plan to you?  If God has given you a clear vision for what He wants to do through you, it is extremely empowering.  Maybe He wants you as an individual to share the Good News with somebody specific.  Maybe He wants your family to become missionaries in another country.  Maybe your church is supposed to minister to a specific community or start a specific ministry.  That is all great and I hope that we all desire to be used by God.  Sometimes He uses us in ways that He doesn’t reveal to us until afterward.  That’s great, too.

What happens, though, if God tells you a specific way that He wants to use you or your family, your church, organization, whatever, and you don’t do it?  What if you start moving in that direction, but you get distracted (possibly by something else that is also good, or possibly by sin)?  What if you are too afraid to even start?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but one passage from Revelation comes to mind:

Revelation 3:15-16–I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!

Yikes!  I don’t know about you, but I think vomit is pretty gross and I don’t want to be anyone’s vomit.  I especially don’t want to be God’s vomit because of what that means.  If you remember Jonah, and a lot of other prophets, you know that God gives you lots of chances to change your mind if you decide not to do what He wants.  I think this passage in Revelation, though, indicates that at a certain point He will just give up and look for somebody else to do what He asked you to do.

I think that God has been showing me this lately.  Is God not blessing your ministry (individually or as a body of believers working together)?  I’m not saying that you will always have blessings (because the Bible is pretty clear about the fact that we will have trials).  I’m also not trying to say that if you do what God asks you to do then you will instantly see the results (or ever see them), which I am aware can be disheartening.  What I am saying is this: if your ministry at whatever level is not experiencing blessings, do yourself a favor and make sure you are on track with what God wants from you.

Remember this: God will accomplish His will.  He will do what He sets out to do.  If He asks you to do something and you don’t, then He will just take the job and give it to somebody else.  That is what He has been showing me through all of this.  His will will be done, even if He has to use different tools to do it.

Life In Utah: Myths About Mormonism

Life In Utah: Myths About Mormonism.

Yet another post about the differences between Biblical Christianity and Mormonism.

One thing I really want to address (which it seems was added as an after thought) is this:

In addition, how many Utahns will vote for a Mormon candidate next year in the GOP primary because of his Mormonism? Romney didn’t win his party’s nomination, yet garnered an overwhelming 90 percent of the vote in Utah’s 2008 Republican primary.

It’s something I’ve been giving great thought to lately, but from a different angle.  The question that I’ve been pondering is would I vote for a candidate simply because he or she is a Christian?  The answer is no.  All power comes from God, so I truly believe that He can use anybody to accomplish His will.  I have never been a single issue voter and I don’t have any loyalty to any particular party, so I try to vote for the candidate that best represents my values.  It isn’t always easy and sometimes I get it wrong, but at least I try.

That being said, I don’t know if I could vote for a Mormon to be President (mostly because of the final “myth” addressed in this article), but I think it would depend on what he or she stands for.  I try not to get political here, but I have to say that next year’s Presidential election is not giving me much hope for change on the horizon.  Luckily, though, my hope comes from the Lord.

Missing the Point…and the Greatest Blessing « Captivated by Christ’s Blog – Linden Wolfe

Missing the Point…and the Greatest Blessing « Captivated by Christ’s Blog – Linden Wolfe.

 

This was actually so powerful that it brought tears to my eyes.  I think that we often forget what our greatest treasure should be.  Seek the kingdom first and you will receive the greatest blessing.

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