Church life

CHRISTIAN=HOMOPHOBE? II

homo 2

Sometimes, when I discuss with some people who advocate [using the bible] that LGBTQQs are sub-human and a threat to civilization, family life and all deserving to be exterminated, I smile.

I wonder at how cleverly many of us rationalise or are silent on “heterosexual” immorality, because God understands. We turn around to crucify people in homosexual relationships.

When we focus a lot of our energies preaching on a “particular very deadly sin”, without meaning to, we:

  1. look like people with “great confidence in our own righteousness”. We become so “righteous” that we scorn everyone else, and treat “sinners” with contempt.
  2. allow our “righteous anger” turn into rabid hate for people who don’t measure up to our standard of holiness.
  3. begin to excuse our failings, by thinking we are better than those we consider abominable. Remember the “Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers.” 

Understand me, I’m not trying to justify any form of sinful behaviour, I’m only urging us to preach Christ crucified. We as believers draw our identity from Christ not our sexuality.

Why should I shout from the rooftops and say I’m gay, accept me the way I am, I don’t want to change, I’m LGBT first, Christian second?

The truth is that every one of us has impulses. Some people are inclined to having multiple sex partners. Others want to overindulge in food. For some we are envious, full of hate, sexually attracted to kids; and feel nudges to kill those we have grudges with.

You see these impulses are what make fallen humans. And before you go blaming “God” and “Christianity” for filling the world with guilt and shame, understand that if everyone acts on their impulses and desires, there’ll be utter chaos.

In fact, in many cases to be true to myself, is mostly conflicting to be crucified with, and becoming like Christ. When I’m hurt, naturally I want to be unforgiving and exact revenge. This is my true self, but as Jesus’ disciple I want to be like Him—I forgive.

Simple! I’m not going into any debate as the “godliness” of LGBT and all that. Rather I seek to maintain, not that humans are not free to live in ways that suits us, for we are blood bought, and called to be like Christ.

We are to conform to His image, and not the other way around.

It is when Christ is not lord in our lives that we can do what is right in our eyes. As we read in Judges 17:6 AMP, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

My concern is, since, we know [ as Christians] what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade [not judge or dehumanise] others to repent and believe the gospel.

True Disciples of Christ are homophobes*—not.

*persons who hates or fears homosexual people.

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Christian marriage · spirituality

WOMEN SUBMIT IN THE NAME OF GOD

With October being the Domestic Violence Month, I’ve been working on understanding the power and control issues that propel abusers.
One major hit I have gotten so far borders on the headship-authority over wives, wife submit to husband thingy.
So I decided to read wide, and stumbled on a blog post of Lori Alexander where she made the following statements:
“If older women are to only teach other women what is in Titus 2:4, 5, they would absolutely have to teach some of the Bible.
I have to use Bible verses to teach what good, modest, chaste, and sober are according to the Word.
I teach them what a meek and quiet spirit. I teach them everything that the Word teaches women to be. For great theology, I try to point them to godly male preachers who have studied the Word for years.”
I wondered to myself if Lori knows that she has to point the women she teaches to godly male preachers for great theology. Why doesn’t she keep quiet and leave the blogosphere?
By her admission, women shouldn’t teach Scriptures, But she feels that to teach women to be good wives, she needs to teach some verses of the bible.
She admits she doesn’t have great theology, why then does she persist in teaching not-so-great theology in her blog she set up to teach women?
Does this mean I’m precluded from reasoning or explaining the bible?
I find it pretty amazing that a woman will believe that somehow she is precluded to teach the bible that contains the words of other women.
That is not the point of my thoughts today.
I read something more disturbing, at Jess Connell’s blog , where in explaining Ephesians 5:22-30, she says:

 

To use the action words directly from the text, MEN, like Christ, are to:

  • love
  • give himself for his wife
  • sanctify her with the Word
  • present her to himself pure
  • love his wife as his own body
  • nourish
  • cherish
  • leave his father and mother
  • hold fast to his wife
  • become one flesh with her
  • love his wife as himself
 
Growing up, I saw some “Christians” beat their wives.
 
Those who didn’t beat used demeaning words to their wives.
 
Those who didn’t verbally abuse maintained that they were the final decision makers.
 
That way you couldn’t be certain of any decision until the man of the house vetoed it.
 
I’ve seen wives put up with abuse, even goes as far as shielding their husband’s abuse on other people.
 
All these men justified their actions and omissions of their God um! I’m sorry self-given mandate to lead, direct, control and discipline their wives as contained in scriptures.
 
The women told me their acts were in obedience to God’s word to women.
 
Now, when you add these scenarios to the fact that we Christians believe in God’s power to change people,the idea that God hates divorce, we get a fertile ground for domestic violence.
Women  like Lori and Jess like all other women’s meetings teach us to please husbands and be good wives.
 
Everytime a leader,pastor or church worker demeaned and beat his wife; she was advised to be patient, pray harder, be more submissive so that her abuser would be won over by her conduct.
 
Never did I see leaders call out the abuser and lead the victim to safety.
Fellow women were quick to dispense advice on how her “talking/behaving anyhow” led to her abuse.
 
 
Understand where I’m coming from, I TOTALLY believe in obedience, love, submission, are mandates given to believers in Christ.
 
God is also not an author of confusion.
 
I only wondered where the hierarchy in marital relations taught in churches come from?
 
Ephesians 5:21-33 is often cited as a proof text to endorse hierarchy in the home.
 
For some husbands, they wield this verse to shut down any dissenting view, control the purse strings in the family. Any wife disagreeing with the husband is rebellious, most times even demon-possessed for resisting the authority God has put over her.
 
In this text, used to explain obligations in a Christian marriage by Jess Connell, wives are instructed to submit to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Pretty clear, right?
 
Wives submit as to the lord, husbands love as Christ loved and gave himself up.
 
The practical question to be asked now : how did Christ give himself up?
 
Simple. He died on the cross.
 
Therefore, any Christian husband physically alive contravenes this scripture.
 
I can hear you now saying: “ah no! That is not the meaning”
 
The meaning is plain enough. Jesus physically died.
 
For husbands to claim they love the way they ought, they have to die on a cross.
 
When they resurrect, they may be able to sanctify their wives, present her holy to themselves.
 
Following that scripture plainly, the way it is hammered everyday; “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord” may indicate that we have totally ripped those verses out of their context to say that husbands are their wife’s saviour or God which is idolatry.
beautiful asian woman praying, isolated on white
 
Can we boldly say that husbands save their wives from sin, make them righteous, and that wives should submit to their husbands in absolutely everything?
 
Ask any pastor about this and he/she will begin to make exceptions.
 
For me, I’ve never heard a message on the core point of Ephesians 5. What is Paul’s main point there?
 
MAIN POINT OF EPHESIANS 5
Apostle Paul mentions wives and husbands as an illustration (a chiasm )to draw attention to his main point. Which is not about marriage; but about Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:27, 32).
 
The point he is highlighting is that Jesus wants to sanctify the Church and present to himself the Church in all her glory.
 
This remarkable message has been lost because we have projected our cultural expectations of gender roles in marriage in interpreting this passage.
 
Which is why verses 32&33 says:
“This mystery is profound, but I am speaking about Christ and the church. NEVERTHELESS, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband
So, LOVE and RESPECT.
Do unto others, as you would have them do to you.
Using the bible to be demeaning, autocratic is totally wrong.
Domestic violence in any form-physical, emotional, spiritual is wrong.
It is ridiculous to demand respect with your fists or insults.
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Woman and man in God’s design: My response to JOY magazine

Biblical Personhood

“He commanded that I give up my car, my tv, my guitar, etc, I complied with only a whimper of protest. I didn’t have the rights to own things anymore. I was a wife now, and my husband was my spiritual authority. …So later, when my husband gave me lists for what I had to clean to perfection before being allowed to go to bed at night, etc, I submitted because I thought that was what God wanted. In fact, if there was anybody who was in sin, I was positive it was ME for feeling so humiliated at being given these long lists. I thought my reaction was what was sinful, not my husband treating me like a child. According to the teachings of this camp, the only time a wife has the right to say no to her husband is when he’s asking her to sin. And giving…

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Christian marriage

DO GENESIS 3:16, 1 PETER 3, AND 1 CORINTHIANS 11 CONFER MALE HEADSHIP?

 

Genesis 3:16

“To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

THE NLT reads: “…you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

The word translated as desire in English versions is actually the Hebrew word תְּשׁ֣וּקָתֵ֔ךְ teshuqah, for turning. The word appears in the Hebrew Old Testament only three times: here in Genesis 3:16, in Genesis 4:7 and in Song of Songs 7:10 .

Genesis 3:16 was a warning to Eve that she was turning away from God to her husband and it would result in her husband dominating her. It was not a command, blessing, or promotion in status for the man. This was a prediction of cursed behaviour directly resulting from sin. But people who would be Godly should not embrace cursed behaviour as divine

The mutuality and unity between the first couple was spoiled by sin. Yet this is not the end of the story. Thankfully, Jesus came to deal with sin, and redeem us from the curse of the fall.

Our relationships today can potentially be as mutual and harmonious as it was in Eden before the Fall (Gen. 2:21-25).  Restored relationships between men and women is part of the good news of Jesus.

 

A single organism does not have a hierarchy. My Lord tells me that I and my husband would be one being—one flesh.

ON 1 PETER 3:1

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands…”

We read, I wonder: what same way is being referred to here?

This is where we back-track to the previous chapter 2(understand chapters and verses in scriptures are for convenience they don’t mean a break of thought process)

In  passages that refer to women submitting to and/or respecting their husbands the writer starts by calling all believers to submit(cf. Ephesians 5:21) love and humility.

For instance, in 1 Peter 2:13, we are told to ‘submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution….’.

Verse 18, ‘servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect….’.

1 Peter 3;1, IN THE SAME WAY, you wives…..’.

Then, in verse 7 of chapter 3, ‘YOU HUSBANDS, IN THE SAME WAY….’

We are ALL called to the same behaviour of love and submission.

There is not one behaviour for women, and a different one for men.

How is it that most believers pull out the verses about women but don’t see the ones written to the men,that they are to act with THE VERY SAME attitude, love, respect and humility as women are called to?

1 CORINTHIANS 11

One common misunderstanding is that the Greek word kephalē  translated as head means “authority”.

Rather than “authority”, kephalē is used as part of a head–body metaphor symbolising unity in verses such as Ephesians 5:23 and 1 Corinthians 11:3.

Jesus left his glory, took the form of a servant, died and became the head of the church, and we became joint-heirs with Christ, since he is the first born from the dead.

Same with a man leaving his father and mother, cleaving to his wife to become one flesh—unity.

This is how the man is the head of his wife.

In other NT verses kephalē is used with the metaphorical sense of “fullness”.

Why do I sound different?

It’s simply because we are familiar with church hierarchy that we have displaced the model of Christ.

There are no leaders like Moses today, there are only people submitting one to another.

Any “leader” in Christ Jesus understands that they are to be the least and the last, back of the line, a servant of all. Any semblance of scriptural human authority is not coercive. Any leader knows that they have no status above anyone else, all of us being co-priests and heirs, there being neither male nor female in Christ.

So tell me where does a man get authority to chastise, discipline or control his wife from? I’ll tell you in my next post…

Thank you for reading…

Create awareness DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is wrong

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Manliness and Femininity: the lies of “Biblical Gender Roles”

Tim's Blog - Just One Train Wreck After Another

They say there’s an exception to every rule, which makes me wonder:

Exceptional ruleAnd what happens when there are so many exceptions they end up swallowing the rule altogether?

Exceptional women?

For those who teach that the Bible requires certain roles and functions for men while women are prohibited from taking on those roles and functions – what some call biblical gender roles – any biblical examples of women moving in on men’s territory are merely exceptions to a rule. Yet it soon becomes clear their rule on roles is non-existent in the first place. While the Bible has a lot of examples of godly women* and men, none of them are definitional as to which roles are manly and which are womanly.

Biblical Gender RolesThe exceptions aren’t limited to women doing what a patriarchal society would say is men’s work, such as Deborah leading Israel (Judges 4-5) and Huldah prophesying for the Lord…

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Get on the Field—A Little Consistency Goes a Long Way

This in so many ways says “stand up for Jesus”. Not literally like standing when the National Anthem is sung, but living out our faith wherever we are.

Bareknuckle Bible

If who you’re with determines who you are, then you’re more of a chameleon than a sheep.  It might be time to consider a major life tweak.   

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This Isn’t My First Metaphysical Rodeo — Tim’s Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

In my first year of law school I lived in the grad student dorms. Another resident was a Canadian medical student doing a year in California as part of her medical program at McGill University. Susan was from one of the western provinces of Canada and said she missed the riding and rodeos of her […]

via This Isn’t My First Metaphysical Rodeo — Tim’s Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another