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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Of Inerrancy & Lessons Learned

I am in the mood to do another post today and this commentary will look at two different articles posted by 2 different bloggers. First up is Peter Enns.

#1. Inerrancyhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/07/inerrancy-doesnt-describe-what-the-bible-does-some-comments-from-my-ets-talk/

So, the 15 minute presentation I gave at ETS is my attempt to go a bit more into my view on inerrancy from a slightly different angle to address some general issues that remained for me after the volume had been completed.

To be fair, I understand the limitations 15 minutes provides plus realize that his presentation is probably a snippet of what he believes. Yet one can also say a lot in 15 minutes.

1. Inerrancy prescribes the Bible–and God–too narrowly

Yet the Bible provides a very narrow description of both God and the Bible itself

Titus 1:2
in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,

It isn’t humans who define God and the Bible narrowly.  Enns errs here in thinking that the doctrine of inerrancy is human authored. God makes it loud and clear that he and his word are inerrant.

As I see it, inerrancy prescribes the boundaries of biblical interpretation in ways that creates conflict both inner-canonically and with respect to extra-biblical information. This is why “holding on to inerrancy” (as it is often put) seems to be such a high-maintenance activity, requiring vigilant and constant tending.

No, inerrancy sets the ground rules so that believers know when they stray from the truth.  Just because 2 different accounts on the same story may seem like they contradict, they do not. All it means is that the bible reader must be patient and wait for the answer when none is forthcoming immediately.

One is not to assume nor interpret but look to the Holy Spirit who guides all who want it, to the truth.  leaping to conclusions and interpreting means one is not providing others with God’s truth but their own ideas and that is not what Jesus taught anyone to do.

2. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy prescribes an unworkable model of Scripture

To tell you the truth I do not really care about the ‘chicago statement on biblical inerrancy.’  Maybe it is needed for some but I prefer listening to God’s word about God and feel we do not need a human authored statement to make the point.

First, it implies that those who critique inerrancy stand in opposition to God himself.

Well yes you are. If you say that God lied or allowed his authors to invent stories or doctrine then you are attacking God and his character. You are also undermining every teaching in the Bible including salvation. You are also saying God didn’t inspire the Bible contradicting clear biblical teaching.

Inerrancy isn’t the problem here. the problem lies with those who reject inerrancy because it means they have to give up their false doctrines if they want to see heaven.

3. Israel believed in many gods

Yes and no. There is only 1 God, just as there is today BUT that doesn’t mean that God’s people do not sin and turn to false gods. We know the people of Israel did so as the Bible tells us about those times. It also tells about the punishment for such sin.

Just because Israel believed in different gods does it mean the bible is errant. The logic is astoundedly bad for someone claiming to be a scholar. It is like saying baseball didn’t exist because Americans followed different sports. The choice made by people has no bearing on God, his word or inerrancy.

Or consider Deuteronomy 32:8, where the high god Elyon—known to us also from Ugaritic religion—apportions the nations to the lesser gods, one of whom is Yahweh, whose “portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share”—and so Kemosh gets Moab, Baal gets the Canaanites, and so forth.

If you look that passage up and read in context with the rest of the chapter you will see that Enns does not understand scripture.  That passage does not say what Enns is saying and Enns is reading into the passage what he wants it to say, not taking out what it actually does say.

Ugarit writings have no bearing upon biblical writings nor do they get to say there are more Gods than the Trinity. They are secular writings and will reflect the secular beliefs of the Ugaritic people not the truth about life and God.

There is only one Most High God and that is God of the Bible not some secular invention. Why Enns would import secular writings when there is no biblical instruction to do so is a grave error on his part.

4. Inerrancy doesn’t describe what the Bible does

Actually it does. Inerrancy sets the boundary so that all believers can see when false teachers are entering into their midst. The Bible sets boundaries for the believers so that they know what is the right path to walk. Inerrancy is part of those boundaries. Without it all the teaching of the Bible is suspect and vulnerable to change simply because one person doesn’t like what he or she reads.

Inerrancy also motivates us to wait for the Holy Spirit to help us get to the truth. We do not get to cherry pick what is true or false, we learn what is true and false. Enns wants to cherry pick instead of humbling himself and learning. Without that boundary, anarchy reigns and anything goes.

5. An “Incarnational Model” is more helpful

Why? Does that method allow for one to ignore the difficult passages of scripture? Or be more inclusive in the church where sin can enter and corrupt what God wants holy? Attacking inerrancy means one does not want to follow God but their own way.

I don’t think inerrancy is the right category for wrapping my arms around Scripture’s complex dynamic.

Of course he doesn’t. If he did then he would have to give up his false doctrines and learn the truth. He would have to let go of his false Adam and admit he was wrong. Why is it so hard for scholars to admit they are wrong and God is right? That is a question the scholar has to ask and answer themselves.

If you take away inerrancy then you take away belief in God.  If one doubts God’s word then they are not believers but doubters. Doubt leads to destruction not salvation.

#2. Lessons Learnedhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/a-few-things-ive-learned-as-a-christian-outsider/

The American Christian landscape in our current context seems to have a steady stream of people who feel like outsiders– out of place everywhere, at home nowhere. While many of the changes we’re seeing in American Christianity will be net positives in the end, the process of reforming and has left many exhausted, and on the margins of faith.

If the author of that article thinks there are Christian outsiders then he needs to ask why that is so.  He needs to ask if those supposed outsiders beliefs play a role in their exclusion from the Church. But to do so he would need to come to an understanding of what is the ultimate and only standard for belief to be included in Christ’s Church.

That is if he rejects the biblical standard provided by God and found in the Bible. If there are such a thing as Christian outsiders then it is because they do not believe God or his word and seek to import false teaching into the Church. Then one would have to doubt the claims of those outsiders when they label themselves as Christian.

Obviously I am not talking about new converts who need to learn God’s ways and replace their sinful ideologies with the truth of the Bible. They are not outsiders but immature believers who have a lot to learn.

Outsiders are usually those who have rejected some or all of the passages of the Bible and seek to replace them with secular or false ideas. Of course they would be on the outside because they do not believe and God has told us that fellowship between righteous and unrighteous is impossible.

But let’s look at his supposed lessons.

1. I’ve learned to get my identity from Jesus– not the tribe.

He is misguided here as every believers identity comes from their decision to repent of their sins and follow Christ. We are called Christians for a reason–we strive to be like Christ.

Since leaving fundamentalism/conservative evangelicalism, I’ve had to set out on a journey where I no longer had those labels to give my life the shape it once had. In those times, I’ve come to learn that my identity as a Jesus follower must come only from Jesus.

Labels are dangerous because they refuse to allow people to grow and change.  To be labeled as a follower of Jesus one has to actually follow Jesus not some altered version of him. Jesus didn’t encourage or support sin and called people to repent from them. the author of that article supports sin and calls for its inclusion in the church.

Jesus didn’t pursue his own agenda but the will of his father. The author of that article pursues his own agenda time and again. It is easy to claim one is a follower of Jesus but does that person’s fruits support the claim? In this case no they do not.

2. I’ve learned that the key to happiness is contentment.

We must ask the question–Content with what? here in Korea I have written about how unhappy other ESL teachers are because they are not content with what they receive with their contracts and that lack of contentment leads to many problems with their sojourn in this country. His explanation falls short

The experience of being a Christian outsider has been similar to a life chapter when I was in poverty and didn’t know where the next paycheck was coming from– it has forced me to learn to be content.

Finances are not the only item one needs to be content with. What about the teachings of the Bible he disagrees with? Why isn’t he content with God’s word as it is written? if he was content and happy he would not be looking to change God’s word and include unrepentant sinners in the Church.

Nor would he hide out in a congregation where he does not understand everything that is being said. (he has written on this before).  he is giving a partial idea of contentment not the real thing. Finances is not the only area one needs to be content in order to be happy. One needs to be content with their employment, their spouses, their children, their homes and much more in order to be actually happy.

3. I’ve learned who my friends are.

We all go through this especially when times get rough. But his explanation tells me that he wants people to defy God in order to be his friend.

It seems that there are still so many people that are so stuck on issue #1– getting their identity and meaning from tribe and labels– that they simply don’t know how to relate to someone who no longer in good conscience can hold to them

What he doesn’t get is that it isn’t the labels that turn people away from certain friendships. It is the lack of belief or the alternative beliefs that ruin friendships. he attacks the labels for his being put into the outsider category but he really should be honestly looking at what he believes first.

He should be asking himself the tough questions not blaming labels or others for his misfortune. In the last line in that quote he blames others for not relating to him when it is he who disagrees with their beliefs and calls them wrong. It looks like he doesn’t know how to relate to those he disagrees with not the other way around.

But as usual, he wants everyone to accept him and his unbelief while he rejects them and their beliefs. That thinking doesn’t make for good friendships. What he refuses to see is right and wrong and that he is on the wrong side. Instead he makes labels the scapegoat for his decisions.

4. I’ve learned to forgive– not out of desire, but necessity.

I may sound cynical here and harsh but  here goes. So he follows ONE biblical teaching, that act doesn’t make his acceptance of alternatives and false teaching correct or Christian. many cultists practice one or more real biblical teaching but that is meant to ensnare some unwary person not to actually follow Christ.

With all the loss I’ve experienced has come hurt. With hurt, comes anger. With anger– unchecked for long enough– comes bitterness. With bitterness, comes death. And here’s the deal: I don’t want to die– I want to live! This means that I’ve had to embrace a life of practicing quiet forgiveness. Sometimes I forgive people multiple times a day– it’s what I have to do to keep my sanity, and what best promotes health and well-being in my life.

It doesn’t sound like he is doing it to be biblical and to be a follower of Jesus but for different reasons.

5. I’ve learned that sometimes theology becomes more important than people, and that I don’t want to ever be on the wrong side of this equation again.

Being a true follower of Jesus mean one does not construct these smokescreens in order to import their false ideas into the church. One needs to believe the right things in order to do the right things for people.

One needs to know the will of God and do it humbly with the right spirit but one cannot do that if they toss out the right beliefs in favor of false ones. How does God get the glory when his supposed followers sin in the process of helping others?

Doing good does not justify false teaching or beliefs. Nor does it make them holy and of God. The Bible already tells us that the unbeliever knows how to give good things to their families and others. Tossing out the right belief and just doing good gets one nowhere  as salvation is not by works but by grace through faith less any man should boast.

The author of that post ignores passages of scriptures in order to feel good about his false doctrines and his life. He tries to worm his false teaching into the church and tries to distract people in order to succeed.

We obviously saw this with the World Vision implosion where thousands of Evangelicals abandoned their children they had committed to financially sponsoring over the issue of same sex marriage

And here is the evidence. A real follower of Jesus would not be spreading false stories about other believers. People did not abandon the children, they moved to a different organization that held the same beliefs as they do. This false story of abandonment has been championed by not only by the owner of that website but also Rachel Held Evans.

They make all sorts of false charges simply because christians did not want to support World Vision’s changes in their doctrine. They have the right to do so and cannot be held hostage just because children are involved.

I do not think either person knew the truth of the matter nor the whole story but jumped upon a statistic that fit their false thinking. But true believers do not do that, they seek the truth first then look to God on how to proceed.

I’ve seen theology trump real life people over and over again on this journey.

Yes and no. Some people make mistakes, others are misguided while others still use theology to escape situations they do not want to be a part of. Yet there are still those who use theology correctly and reject those who accept alternatives to biblical teaching because they are allowed to do so by God. Just because he doesn’t like it doesn’t mean God is wrong or the biblical instructions are in error.

His problem is that he refuses to repent of his sinful ways and decides to reject God and his ways instead of the sin and false ideology. The problem isn’t always with the true follower of Jesus but lies with those who can’t bring themselves to reject the alternatives.

This is something that escapes alternative holders. They do not realize or refuse to accept that they are the ones who are wrong and attack those who have admitted that they are wrong and God is right and made the correct decision for their lives.

They are the ones bringing the false accusations against God, his followers and labels not the true followers of Jesus. Labels are dangerous because they are tools to hurt others in the hands of those who do not believe. For true followers of Jesus we need only be content with one real label–true believer or true christian.

We believe and then we reject false teachings and false teachers. We do not include them into the church no matter how many posts they put up on the internet.

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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in academics, Bible, church

 

Are People Not Allowed To Change?

When do we let go of people’s past actions and let them mature and grow in Christ?  Right now Mark Driscoll is being raked over the coals for things he has done in the distant past and though I am not a fan, this current episode of attacks against him provide an interesting situation to think upon.

We all know what Jesus said to Peter when the latter asked him a question on forgiveness– we are to forgive 7 x 70 or in more modern terms we keep on forgiving.  But in today’s world forgiveness seems to be done more in word than in deed or it is tossed aside completely in order to dismiss what some person says.

A lot of times, the sins of a person’s past are held long over the heads hindering the ability of the guilty to find true redemption and healing. Many people subscribe to the old saying ‘a leopard cannot change their spots’ but that isn’t a biblical teaching and ignores Christ’s redemptive work.

Here are some links to some websites that continue to hold Mr. Driscoll’s past actions over his head:

http://matthewpaulturner.com/2014/07/29/mark-driscolls-pussified-nation/

Mark’s seemingly funny story about writing as William Wallace II might end up becoming his worst nightmare yet. Because Mark’s Internet ramblings as William Wallace II from 14 years ago have allegedly hit the Internet. Not just at my blog. But at lots of places. You can read the backstory about “William Wallace II” here.

If people are not allowed to change then what good is preaching the gospel to them?  If Jesus can’t change people then how can we love and follow him?   If a person repents and God does not remember their sins any more why do those who call themselves Christian continue to remember those sins and use them to deprive the new believer of the fullness of the Christian faith?

But that isn’t the only website (the last line of that quote is actually a link to others similar blogs. You just have to go to the link and find the active button)

Rachel Held Evans weighs in on the issue

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/driscoll-troubled-mind-william-wallace

In the past, I’ve been critical of his bullying tactics and his views on sex and gender, but lately it seems the influential Seattle mega-church pastor has made plenty of news on his own, as it was recently revealed he plagiarized, used church funds to buy a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and engaged in other alleged misappropriation of funds. 

I find it funny that someone who despises many different biblical teachings is criticizing another person for erring on biblical teaching. But not in a ha-ha funny way but in the sad shaking of the head way.  You will notice her mentioning of Driscoll’s bullying, views on sex and gender and so on yet what would Jesus say about her bullying and her views on sex and gender?

This is not some obscure pastor with no platform. He’s not a random internet troller who is best left ignored.  (Ibid)

I find the second line very illuminating as ‘internet troll’ is a label given to many who disagree with people like Miss Evans.  It is a name used to attack and hurt those who disagree with another person, it is also bullying– if you want to stick to the strict use of the word.

Not everyone is going to agree with everything you say but to label them a troll for having a different opinion is not right but demeaning and dehumanizing. So her criticism of Driscoll is hypocritical at best and shows that Miss Evans cannot forgive 7 x 70 but holds people’s sins over their head when they say things she doesn’t like or agree with.

 Believe me. But it makes me even more sick to consider what will happen if we don’t, if his leadership goes unchallenged and he continues to hurt people with his teachings (Ibid)

These words precede the previous quote and my reaction is– really?  What about your false teaching Miss Evans?  How harmful is it and what damage will you do if you go unchallenged?

I am sure Miss Evans would be very angry if her past words were held over her head and used to try to destroy her especially if she has truly repented of her evil ways. She would not be alone in that protest as others who repent and started a new life would find their growth hindered by others using their past hatefilled words against them.

So why are they doing it to Mark Driscoll?

Notice that Jesus did not hold the sins of Zachias against him when he repented but forgave his sins and let him begin to grow in the faith. We read countless stories of similar behavior in the Bible yet in the modern world, the trend is to ignore what the Bible teaches and do what humans think is best.

We must ask the question: Where would we be if God held up our past sins against us and used them over and over to beat us down? People mocked the Yankees for giving Steve Howe many chances to straighten out yet where would we be if God did not give us chances over and over?

This is one of the most powerful and influential pastors in evangelical Christianity. 

But he doesn’t have to remain so. (Ibid)

Is it right for an outsider to call for another person’s job and end their career?  I do not think Miss Evans would appreciate it if outsiders called for her removal from the internet or have her career as a public speaker ended so why is she doing it to Mark Driscoll?

Jesus said, ye who are without sin cast the first stone.  That verse doesn’t just apply to men who accuse women of sins but applies to all those who seek to destroy another person because they do not like him or her.

The removal of Mark Driscoll from his position is up to the congregation of mars Hill church. It is not within the authority of outsiders like Miss Evans, Jim West and others. who have taken a dislike to the guy. to call for his removal or ruin his career.

Yes we can point out his errors and warns others if Mr. Driscoll has been led astray into false teaching but we do not have the right to call for his firing. We are not without sin and if we cast the first stone we should be prepared to find stones cast back at us.

This is one reason why I oppose the continual hunting and accusing of old axis soldiers. I also oppose their being put on trial for crimes committed long ago. The war on old men needs to stop , for WW2 needs to end and forgiveness needs to reign. we return good for evil not evil for evil and putting old men on trial for things they may not have done is wrong.

Forgiveness helps us clear our eyes of the beams which blind us and allows us to proceed with justice, mercy and compassion. No such men may not deserve such treatment but then, where would we be if God did not act with grace, forgiveness, justice and so on to us, when we reoent for our past crimes and ask for mercy, love and compassion?

The old Nazis need forgiveness as much as any criminal or new believer needs.  So does Mark Driscoll. How will they change or seek true repentance if we do not act like Jesus taught and wants?

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Bible, church, General Life, Justice

 

In The News

When unbelievers say something, Christians do not always have to respond.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/28/neil-degrasse-tyson-ken-ham-aliens_n_5627239.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Ham, the president and CEO of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., said in a July 20 blog post that humans should stop searching for extraterrestrial life because aliens likely don’t exist. Even if aliens do exist, he added, they would almost certainly go to Hell.

This comment provides an excellent example of why we need to be careful in what we say in public. Ham is correct but he only presents part of the picture, according to that quote. If aliens existed, wouldn’t God provide a way of salvation for them as well?  So why the assumption that they would automatically go to hell?  Why would God only limit salvation to earthlings? Such an oversight makes God look unjust, unfair and petty.

Mr. Ham seems to misrepresent God in this blog of his and paint a poor picture of whom God is.  People really need to choose their words more carefully and instead of trying to be dramatic and shock people, believers should weigh their words and make sure they are not leaving important details out of their message. Let’s look at more of Mr. Ham’s words for a moment

I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel,” Ham wrote. “You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation.”

I have to agree with Tyson’s remark that that is messed up. Aliens are affected by the sin of one man yet can’t have salvation because they are not humans? That makes no sense at all. When addressing topics of this nature, Christians really need to watch what they say and think things through before saying them.  This comment makes God look sinful. Here he is punishing innocent aliens for no reason at all yet the Bible tells us not to do such a thing.

I was going to talk about the unbelievers’ reactions to Mr. Ham’s comments but now after reading them I understand why they reacted the way they did. mr. ham made God look inconsistent, sinister, and evil not the God who wants all men to be saved.

It also makes God look like a being who plays favorites. Aliens could only exist if God created them so why would humans be favored over extra-terrestrial creatures? Again, that makes no sense and makes God out to be sinful not holy.

Before we speak on different topics, we need to see how our words make God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Christianity look before commenting. Our remarks may seem to be innocent but in reality they are not and can be misunderstood or as we see here, presenting something untrue about God and the Christian faith.

I think that Mr. Ham has made the mistake in assuming he is the only one who speaks for Christians, God and the Christian faith and this misguiding assumption has led him to make  grave errors in judgement.

But he is not the only one to make this error as over the years many famous pastors have gone too far in their authority to speak about the Bible and God and have greatly embarrassed themselves and Christianity.  These embarrassments have also raised stumbling blocks to Christ in unbelievers.

We need to be careful that our God-given authority doesn’t take us too far and cause us to say something we will regret. Evil looks for such people who let down their guard and opens up the opportunities to be influenced to make such mistakes. Believers always have to be careful for it isn’t always jihadist , sexual perverts, or courtrooms, etc., that bring damage to the Christian faith and Jesus. Sometimes it is our own mouths that do that damage and the book of James speaks about the damage the tongue can do.

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (ch 3 NASB)

The book of James also speaks against favortism which would apply to how God looks if he withheld salvation from aliens.  The tongue is not something that should be left untrained or unguarded. Believers need help from God to see when they are going too far and learn how to avoid such traps.

As you can see by the reactions of the unbelievers, they do see the bad description of God that Mr. Ham provided.  As for the rest of the article

I think in the next 20 years we will find out we are not alone in the universe,” NASA astronomer Kevin Hand said during the discussion.

In his 2007 book Death By Black Hole, Tyson wrote that it would be “inexcusably bigheaded“ of humans to assume that Earth is the only place in the universe with life on it.

I think the unbelieving scientists are being ‘big-headed’ by assuming that we are not alone and waste so many resources in searching for beings that do not exist.  You should notice that the Bible does not give instructions to search for aliens in the universe. It does tell us to meet the needs and solve the problems of this world and its inhabitants.

Believers should not be worried about extra-terrestrials as they do not exist in the forms created by unbelievers. we have spiritual extra-terrestrials and they need to be dealt with in a spiritual manner not an unbelieving earthly way.

Believers need to dismiss talk of alien invasions, etc., and focus on helping those in need; for those physical and spiritual needs really do exist and real humans are constantly praying for God to send relief.  They do not get it because many believers do not respond to God’s direction to go and help.

Learn from the mistakes of others and strive to do better. Rebuke Mr. Ham but do not judge nor condemn him; but get him back on the humble path in order that he doe snot make this mistake again. Do the same to other believers who go too far in their statements and help stop the painting of the false pictures of God and embarrassing Christ and the Christian faith.

Then see who your neighbor is and what help God wants you to provide.  We do not need to be concerned about aliens. They are a figment of the unbelievers’ imagination. We believers know who the real aliens are and God has instructed us to fight the evil ones while helping our fellow human see Christ.

{you can read Mr. Ham’s complete article here:  http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2014/07/20/well-find-a-new-earth-within-20-years/

in reading the whole article I stand by my words above as there are many points Mr. Ham got wrong}

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in academics, astronomy, science, theology

 

Feminism-2

The other day the defining of feminism was the topic. In that article I tried to show how the roots of feminism are not found in any Christian teaching but in evil.  I did not use a lot of scripture because I felt that my readers already know the passages of scripture that define christian womanhood and how women are to act towards themselves and others.

There are a host of examples from Sarah, to Ruth to Esther, to Mary the mother of Jesus etc., that women can use as role models for their daily lives. Modern culture does not make these women’s examples obsolete because they faced the same issues, the same problems as modern women do today.

Don’t let anyone fool you, the ancient world was not much different from modern society.  Sure technological advances may be different but technology does not bring with it a new standard of good and evil, right or wrong nor does it change the definitions of morality. Instead technology is governed by the same rules of governed ancient life.

God’s definitions of good and evil, right and wrong, morality and immorality were already established by the time of Cain and the ancient people had the same right to choose to obey God’s rules or disobey them. The decisions made by men affected women greatly and those women also had the right to freely choose to obey God or not, with the same result.

Were there feminists in ancient times? Of course there were as Solomon reminds us in the book of Ecc. that nothing is new under the sun. You might call the Queen of Sheba a feminist, it is possible that she was.

Unfortunately, too many people tend to mis-apply the woman’s role in biblical records as they look for certain words to exploit in their haste to justify their faulty theological thinking. Priscilla of Acts is one such example as she is used to justify women being pastors or church leaders yet the book of Acts does not say she was such a person.

She was recorded as just one person taking a new believer under their wings and instructing him in the ways of God. Such efforts and lack of information does not justify a modern use to support promoting women to positions they are not entitled to have.

You can read about her in Acts 18 but as you read, try to be honest and see that there is nothing in that chapter that implies anything other than Priscilla was a wife and a strong, knowledgeable  believer in God.

Women have a role in God’s church and Priscilla is a good example of that role But it was not as some people have said.  Being denied leadership roles in the church does not deprive women of spiritual gifts, talents or opportunities to use those gifts from God.

Women have to find the spot God wants them to be in and then stay within God’s rules, teachings and commands to fully impact their circle of influence. BUT the spot for married women does not over-rule their main mandate of being a helper to their husbands. Sometimes women get caught up in doing God’s work that they forget that God’s work includes being there for their husbands and helping him with his needs.

Feminism can be attractive to certain women because it tells a lot of women what they want to hear. It is easy to ignore the actual message of feminism when one is being given something they want. In the jungle wild animals prey on the weak and vulnerable in order to survive, the same happens in the human world

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who [c]enter into households and captivate [d]weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the [e]knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim 3 NASB)

Finding weak and vulnerable women is their goal because as salesmen say, ‘once you get the wife you get the husband’ and it is not hard to manipulate the man via the wife. Christian women have to be careful and they are to put on the full armor of God just like men have to. Women have to grow in and mature in Christ just like men do, just like Priscilla did.

Women get salvation the same way men do–through belief in jesus, repenting of their sins and being born again.  You see there is no inequality in God’s kingdom just different roles. as paul taught in 1 Cor 12

14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason [k]any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason [l]any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? (NASB)

Having a different role does not make a person inferior to another.  Christians are often told that we are in a spiritual war so how would that war go if everyone were generals? Or if everyone were enlisted men?  Not everyone can have the same role, some one has to lead and someone has to submit to that leadership. In God’s kingdom men have the leadership in the church and the family but they are not superior to the woman. They are still equal.

Ideally, men should treat women better than they do but since evil still exists and all people have a sin nature many husbands and men will make bad decisions and mistreat women. But this error in their thinking does not grant women permission to disobey God. How can men see the error of their ways if their women disobey the very God they claim to believe and follow?

Abdicating the commands and teachings of Jesus is a sure-fire way of adding fuel to the fire yet this is what feminism teaches women to do. They want Christian women to follow their deceived secular thinking and ignore what God says to do. That is not the way to solve problems or keep a family together.

I am going to turn to Rachel held Evan’s website once again for a couple of quotes to illustrate the deception that is involved in the feminist movement:

My feminism will always live at the intersection of race. It recognizes the Divine within all black women, all women of color, all women, all people. It doesn’t erase me from the Bible or make me the scourge of it. (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/sunday-superlatives-72714)

As we saw in the previous post, there is NOTHING divine in feminism thus it cannot help any women see the Divine in someone else. 

Feminism gives me permission to fully engage in the “as myself” part of  “loving my neighbor as myself.” Because of feminism I can stop trying to make myself smaller and more attractive and more modest and more conformative and instead celebrate my body as an image of God. (Ibid)

But loving others doesn’t come from feminism it comes from obeying God and following the Holy Spirit.  Is it love to encourage someone else to have an abortion? Is it love to encourage people to remain in and continue to practice sin?

Feminists and people seem to be confused about what exactly the image of God really is.  They also seem to be confused between cultural pressure and spiritual teachings about how one is to look.  Part of the image of God is for the person to be holy and free from sin for God is holy and sinless. Feminism doesn’t teach that but encourages people to be unholy and sinful.

As the great granddaughter of a slave woman who loved God and believed in abundant life for all people, faith and feminism are intertwined for me. (Ibid)

Yet the Bible teaches that there is no compatibility between righteousness and unrighteousness. The two cannot exist together and feminism does not have any of God’s righteousness within its boundaries. Soon the woman has to choose which master she is going to serve–God or feminism.  She can’t have both. God’s rules for women are in opposition to the feminist movement’s desire and goals for women.

Christian women need to learn how to discern between true and false teaching, spurning the latter even though it sounds very attractive and inviting. There is harm in opening the door to what seems to be harmless thinking or ideology.  Equal pay for equal work is the smoke screen of feminism. That type of ideology gets their foot in the door and allows them to spread their false, sinful ideas to those who believe, eventually or possibly ruining another Christian and their family.

You can be a Christian who supports equal pay for equal work, for that would be a just idea BUT you cannot be a feminist and a Christian. The former is from evil and the latter is not.

I need Feminism because I’m tired of men being hurt by a culture that tells them their self-worth is bolstered by their conquests of women, their power, their domination, and whose sense of self is so small because they are taught that sharing authority with a woman is a humiliation.” (Ibid)

If men think that way then they are buying listening to false teaching and women should think twice about  dating or marrying them. But it isn’t only the man’s fault  and women have issues that compel them to date, marry & put up with inferior thinking men.

The last part is just justifying a power grab by certain women. Women who refuse to be the helper and desire more think this way. The responsibility of leadership is great and it is not limited to being concerned about only one segment of society. Men have to think of everyone while women have the luxury of eliminating members of society while focusing on their families.

That limitation does not make for good leadership. It does lead to originating simmering resentment and other anger issue problems which end up ruining a family. But that is the strategy evil. Get the women where they are not supposed to be and use the friction to destroy what God wants in this world.

The Christian woman and the Church should not allow this to happen and they should stand strong on biblical teaching for that preserves the family.  Feminism is not about obeying God but usurping authority and altering what God wants.

Christian women and men should flee its teaching and seek God’s way to solve modern society’s problems. God’s way is just, fair and maintains the proper order so that society can function and survive.

The Bible talks a lot about how to survive long and fruitfully but it also talks about how societies are destroyed for their disobedience. Feminism is disobedience to God’s way and it should be dismissed.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Bible, church, family, General Life

 

Feminism

Yesterday I wrote about feminism and made some pretty strong statements about that ideology. One such statement

Feminism is sourced in sin not God’s word.

is very explicit in its meaning and this article is not about bashing women or feminists, it is more about demonstrating the truthfulness of that statement. You do not find the specific word ‘feminism’ in the Bible but again, the Bible does not always use the specific words we want to see. Sometimes God speaks in ways that do not specific target that ideology but rest assured that way of thinking is addressed very clearly.

Before we get into what some feminists believe let’s get a dictionary definition or two help direct our thinking

#1. the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

: organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism)

#2.

the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
 

( sometimes initial capital letter ) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/feminism)

The dictionaries seem to have come to a consensus that feminism means that women want to be ‘equal’ to men. They want access to the same jobs, the same pay the same benefits as men get and if that is all it was then I think men would have little problem with that desire. Except when it comes to leadership roles.

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [o]suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the [p]sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the [q]sky, and to every beast of the field, but for [r]Adam there was not found a helper [s]suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God [t]fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
[u]She shall be called [v]Woman,
Because [w]she was taken out of [x]Man.”

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Gen. 2 NASB)

If you look at the words closely you will see that though they were created equal, they were assigned different roles in life. Also, if you look at verse 24 you will see that man and woman are to become one with each other. You cannot become one with someone who is not human. So the question of equality then does not really apply to a woman’s status for she has been equal to man in terms of humanity.

Because God has an order to life someone has to be boss but that designation that placed man over the woman did not remove her humanness nor demote her to inferior status.  It just meant that someone had to lead and someone had to follow. If someone thinks that they are superior to others because of this designation or societal standing then they are sinning and that sin is called pride and arrogance. It is not called inequality.

Then we have to look at the words ‘women rights’.  What exactly does that mean? I looked at one feminist website and they said

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) was created to develop bold, new strategies and programs to advance women’s equality, non-violence, economic development, and, most importantly, empowerment of women and girls in all sectors of society. All programs of the FMF endeavor to include a global perspective and activities to promote leadership development, especially among young women. Along with reproductive rights and access to reproductive technology, the FMF’s programs have focused on the empowerment of women in law, business, medicine, academia, sports, and the Internet. (http://feminist.org/welcome/mandp.asp)

Their idea of women’s rights means they usurp the authority of the man and take over. In its basic form that is what they are implying though they still allow for men in come leadership roles. But let’s be honest, feminists do not want men to lead and would be happy if the all the world’s leadership positions were occupied by women.

That is not what God had in mind when he created women.  They were not to be men but the helper to their man. Not all men. In other words, women when you are married but have a male boss, your husband’s direction takes precedence over your boss. Your husband is over you not your boss. Notice God’s word after the fall

Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3 NASB)

So women, when you enter the workplace, you must be careful or you are going to cause a lot of problems for your family.

We see in that quote the word ’empowerment’ and what does that actually mean? It is a word that is bandied about a lot these days and used to deceive women into thinking that stripping naked actually empowers them? It doesn’t, it just means the woman or man has given into the lusts of others and displayed their goods for all to see. It makes them look foolish not powerful.

Immorality seems to be the foundation for this empowerment. Yet women have never been without power they just had other avenues at their disposal  which feminists did not like. The feminist leaders simply got greedy and wanted more.  Greed is a deadly sin which tells you that God is not behind this ’empowerment’ trend.

The words ‘women’s rights’ has been a battle cry for decades now but really what rights have they been denied?  The option to play male sports? Women have the right to form their own teams and leagues so they were not denied anything but being omitted from participation in male sport leagues.

So they were not really denied any right just participation. Some women need to learn that men have the right to have their own male only organizations just like women enjoy. So if you are going to talk about women’s rights then you need to make room and allow for male rights as well.

Denying male rights simply brings everyone back to the starting point of inequality. What this tells us is that the secular world is misguided in its idea of what ‘rights’ are. To be equal men and women would not be allowed to have any private facilities, equal access to all facilities and organizations but feminists do not like that idea. They only like it when men give up their rights to appease them.

So we can see by this brief discussion that God is not in the feminist movement but there is more:

  • FMF promotes equality between women and men and girls and boys, and supports constitutional and statutory measures to gain full equality locally, statewide, nationally, and globally.
  • FMF supports safe, legal and accessible abortion, contraception, and family planning, including Medicaid funding and access for minors.
  • FMF is dedicated to achieving civil rights for all people, including affirmative action programs for women and people of color.
  • FMF supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
  • FMF does not permit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, ethnicity, age, marital status, national origin, or disability.
  • FMF promotes non-violence and works to eliminate violence against women.
  • FMF encourages programs directed at the preservation of the environment, clean air and water, the elimination of smog, toxic and hazardous waste, chemical and nuclear weaponry.
  • FMF supports workers’ collective bargaining, pay equity, and the end of sweatshops.

Read through those carefully. They sound good in parts but on other parts they are quite dangerous. In their quest for equal rights, they advocate denying rights to some people, they advocate killing innocent people and they support and call sin good.

God is not in the feminist movement. I put one word in bold and there is a reason for that. In their haste to grant equal rights to some, the feminist must deny religious rights to others.  We see that in the homosexual movement today as religious people are being attacked financially and in other ways because they had the courage to say ‘no’ to participating in an activity they consider wrong.

In this world, you cannot give equal rights to all. Someone is going to suffer and right now it is those who oppose the support of very sinful activities, including feminism.  Christian women, you have nothing to gain from being  feminist except God’s anger or displeasure.

The Bible does not deprive a woman of anything except sinful behavior. Denying women the office of pastor or head of the family, etc., is not denying a woman any rights. Women still can influence their husbands who occupy those positions, they can give good counsel to them, they can help keep their husbands from sinning and so on.

Women are not powerless but they need to follow God’s rules to accomplish that fulfillment of their rights and empowerment. Feminism is against God and his rules. It is a secular ideology and group that has no desire to obey God nor follow his order for human life.

Feminism robs women of their humanity by encouraging women to sin against God and their husbands. It may look good and it may use wonderful adjectives to describe their mission but underneath it all the source and foundation for the feminist movement is evil.

There is nothing of God in feminism and women like Rachel held Evans do a great injustice to Christian women everywhere by importing its ideology into women’s groups and the church.

A beautiful and empowered woman is one who obeys God. When God is one a person’s side one is not powerless nor deprived of any rights. Rights mean nothing in God’s kingdom, obedience is the key and women need to obey God’s word just like the men do. That makes them equal to man as God’s word is for them as well and they have equal access to its teaching. Christian women need to follow God not those people who reject God’s way. Those people who support feminism are rejecting God’s way.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2014 in Bible, family, General Life

 

Much To Talk About-52

When you cannot be consistent in your posting, it becomes hard to decide where to begin. When you have to use a foreign computer, not your own personal one, and in a location that is not conducive to addressing the issues raised in the many different articles one can make mistakes. So please bear with me.

#1. Educationhttp://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/signs-of-the-times-35/

Jim West posted a photo of a sign talking about funding for education. The person who wrote that sign is making a very good point but if one takes a look at the bigger picture one could say that the sign author is being misled about funding different aspects of life.

The argument could be made that if the government did not fund its military then there would be no education to fund because the country would be so weak that it would be a prime target for conquest by its enemies.

Obviously there has to be a balance somewhere but what bothers me about this appeal to the federal government to fund education is that parents seem to be abdicating their God-given duty to teach their children and handing that responsibility over to the secular world.

There is no law barring parents rom educating their own children nor is their one stopping them from spending money on books and other sources of information in order to ensure their children are educated. Two passages of scripture which can be used to support this point are Proverbs 22:6 & Deut. 4:10

Instead of wasting time protesting about how the government spends its money, parents could use that time and energy to make sure their children learn what they need to know. providing for one’s child does not stop at giving them food, clothing and a place to sleep. Wisely educating them is providing for them as well.

People need to stop looking to the government to solve their problems, especially educational ones, and start looking to God on how to raise their own children. The government and schools are using secular thinking not spiritual thus it would be wise for Christian parents to provide better alternatives not only for their children but for their neighbors’ as well.

#2. Make Sure You are Correcthttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/support-marriage-equality-youre-part-of-satans-church-says-macarthur/

They have no allegiance to the Bible,” he said. “You go back to every one of those seminaries … for a century [they] have been deniers of biblical authority, they have no relationship to scripture, they are the apostate church, they are Satan’s church.”

When you say things like this. Don’t preach to the choir what they want to hear but seek out the truth , make sure it is the truth and then present it in the correct spiritual way. 

What’s ironic about this statement, is that in his previous statement we’re told to turn gay children over to Satan… and now he says churches that support marriage equality are Satan’s church. So, I guess MacArthur wants us to turn them over to these inclusive churches… which really isn’t a bad idea, actually.

In this case I think MacArthur is on the right track but I do feel we need to exhaust other redemptive spiritual options first before we wash our hands of the members of those churches or shake the dust off our sandals.

We do not support those churches in their quest to include sinners but we are to give them warning and wise counsel before going to the ultimate punishment.  We really need spiritual restraint before going off half-cocked because we may be in error when implementing this advice. We also really need to be following God’s leading in this matter because we do not persecute to get God’s approval. We follow his instructions correctly with the right attitude and spirit then we will get his approval.

First MacArthur went after the charismatics to essentially declare them outside of the Christian church, and now it’s the affirming churches. I wonder who is next? Perhaps the list will go on and on until his church is the only one not on the list– because that’s pretty much how this game works.

This is one of the problems when you start ‘turning people over…’ because it is a slippery slope that can be manipulated and misused. Where does one stop and draw the line? Is it God’s line or our own personal one?

I am not agreeing with the owner of Formerly Fundie, I am simply using his article to issue a warning on how we are to react to such support of sin. In Macarthur’s haste to achieve purity in the church I feel he may be ignoring important biblical steps which allow for people making these mistakes to see the error of their ways and repent from them.

If you are a church that supports marriage equality, you are still the church of Jesus even if you hold a different theological opinion than these other guys.

This is where the owner of Formerly Fundie is wrong. he says that we are not the gatekeepers yet this quote is making him a gatekeeper as he tells people that their defiance to God’s ways doesn’t disqualify them from being part of God’s church.

He doesn’t like it when true believers say certain false teachers are not part of the church, yet here he is doing the very thing he hates–being a gatekeeper and declaring someone a part of God’s church even though they disobey God.

He does so because he desperately wants to be part of God’s church even though he has rejected much of God’s teaching and has disobeyed God by calling evil good. The church cannot include sinful practices into its midst. God calls all people to be holy and one cannot be holy if they are supporting and including sin.

Being holy also means we must be careful when ‘turning someone over…’ That action has to be holy, just, and correct not done in haste, or for some human objective. Make sure the other person is beyond the point of no return before turning them over and then still treat them as Jesus would want them to be treated.

We do not stop being Christian to those we turn over. We are not allowed to sin even in this action.

#3. Dying For Someonehttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/the-potential-beauty-that-could-come-from-dying-for-an-enemy/

As I’ve said before: there’s nothing more offensive in the teachings of Christ than the simple phrase “love your enemies”. It’s a phrase that defies common sense to the point that even most Christians I know, or talk to online, don’t functionally believe it should be followed– even if they do claim to believe the inspiration or inerrancy of scripture.

I really dislike it when people who do not understand the Bible, or have rejected true biblical teaching and pursued false teaching, try to teach from biblical passages.  it is clear from this quote that the author of that piece does not understand what ‘love your enemy’ really means.

Loving your enemies doe snot mean you approve of their attitudes, behavior or actions nor does it mean you give blind encouragement to them and their endeavors. loving your enemy does mean that we can warn them of their wrong doing; punish them for their sinful behavior; discourage their attitudes and wrongful thoughts and even withhold encouragement.

And, I get it. The idea of dying for one’s enemies is crazy

No it is not crazy but it is not done haphazardly either.  One doesn’t just sacrifice their lives for the sake of sacrificing their lives. Yet the author doesn’t go into any real spiritual specifics to support his point. he sticks to generalities that turn around and bite his thinking in the rear:

1. The first (central) purpose of my life is to follow Jesus, whatever that looks like.

Well if this is true, then why does he support sin? Jesus didn’t. he destroys his point with this first declaration. Jesus died for everyone BUT he made a condition– to get salvation you have to give up your sins.

Jesus didn’t die for the sake of dying and he didn’t die just to look Christian. So the author of that article misses the point. His logic also doesn’t make sense:

Let’s say an intruder broke into my house to steal my television or raid my medicine cabinet. I accidentally walk in on what’s happening and end up getting attacked. Instead of reaching for something that could be used as a weapon, I pass on all opportunities to kill my “enemy”.

He confuses defending, overcoming with killing and doesn’t grasp the difference between them. Loving one’s enemies doesn’t mean one does not defend what is his. But this is why I do not lie such people attempting to use the Bible to support their false ideologies. They do not understand what believers are allowed to  or not to do.

They want to force their ideas upon others instead of looking to find how God wants them to act. They may not like violence but that doesn’t mean everyone else is banned from using some sort of force to stop trouble.

God killed Ananias and Sapphira for their lies to the Holy Spirit. Does this mean we kill everyone who lies? Of course not BUT it also doesn’t mean we let everyone get away with lying to us. This is why I do not like such people using scripture to support their point. They usually ignore many other passages which provide better clarity in order to get their personal views accepted by church members.

The author of that article missed so many passages which define what ‘loving your enemies’ mean and distorts one passage for his own purpose.

#4. Another ‘a-ha’ momenthttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/07/aha-moments-biblical-scholars-tell-their-stories-11-christopher-keith/

First, I quite simply couldn’t buy their readings of Scripture

So it isn’t scripture that was responsible for the ‘a-ha’ moment bur that he disagreed with some human’s reading of scripture. This is not a smart avenue to take. Why toss out scripture because you disagree with someone?

I couldn’t help but feel they were not fully honest with me

Maybe they were but he didn’t recognize that they weren’t lying but simply relating what they believe to be correct. There is a difference between actually lying and speaking some misinformed information that is believed to be true.

I think that author wasn’t honest because he didn’t take the time to clarify the stance of the other person and instead leapt to an unsupportive conclusion.

At the time, and still now, I had/have to believe that if there’s any truth in Christianity, it includes the idea that Christians should be honest.

Whose definition of honesty is he going to use? he certainly didn’t use God’s honesty.  His standard of honesty is obviously different from God’s and he is using this word as an excuse to not believe. the answer wasn’t what he wanted to hear so he accuses people of being dishonest without proof.

You will notice in that ‘a-ha’ moment he does not provide the honest answer to his question. This is the troubling thing in this whole ‘a-ha’ series. Not one of the scholars sought the truth but immediately went to  total rejection of Scripture, except for the parts they liked.

So the problem is not with God or the Bible but with the people experiencing these ‘a-ha’ moments. Instead of hanging in there, they accuse God of crime she did not commit and bailed as soon as he could.  That isn’t being honest with God. God provides an answer, the person doesn’t like it so it is God who is at fault and not the person doing the rejecting.

Notice he doesn’t take time to delve into the possibility of being deceived and taking steps to rectify that problem? None of the scholars in this series make any mention of this type of reaction. They all go to rejection of God, the Bible and large portions of scripture.

Beyond this, however, my “aha moments” included watching the actions of some of those who patrol the borders of reading communities that affirm concepts like “inerrancy.” 

Notice he is watching humans and making his decisions based upon their lives and words. Jesus said, ‘follow me’ he did not say ‘look at others and go by their lives.’ The error isn’t with scripture but the failure to follow biblical teaching.

Each story has this common theme running through them. Thus it is not God at fault but the scholar or biblical leader who has failed to obey. The Bible tells us that satan goes around like a rioaring lion seeking whom he may devour and we can see that verse in action through these ‘a-ha’ moments.

#5. Feminismhttp://rachelheldevans.com/blog/we-need-feminism

We need feminism…

Because feminism is the radical notion that women are human. 

Really? So the bible and biblical instruction teaches us that women are just things?  Not so. What gives people like Miss Evans that idea is deceived teaching on what the Bible says.  Feminism doesn’t teach that women are human. It teaches sinful ideas which ruin the home, the family and turns people from Christ.

having been alive since Gloria Steinem made feminism a popular movement in the 60s or early 70s I can say that that ideology has done nothing constructive for women.  To blame God or the Bible for human’s misguided thinking on biblical texts concerning women and the family is wrong and importing crimes into the text God did not approve of or instruct his creation to do.

We need to stop blaming God and his word for the sins of humans. just because sinful women do not like what the Bible teaches does not mean God is wrong. We have to ask ‘who are these people who think they are greater than God and know better than him?’

Why are their feministic ways better than God’s way of submission, humility and obedience? Miss Evans lists many crimes against women and children in that article but those crimes are the result of the sin nature not the hierarchy God established.

Miss Evans does a grave dis-service to all people by her distortion and ignorance of biblical things. God made women human but he gave them a different role  in life than he gave men. That different role does not make them less than human, but too many disobedient and sinful people refuse to see this.

They desire what men were given which is a violation of the commandment about lusting after what others possess. Feminism is sourced in sin not God’s word. God has an order to society and the family and feminism seeks to disrupt and change that order. It does not seek to help women but to implement sinful desires that ruin a lot of people.

Feminism does not oppose homemaking, marriage, and motherhood, but acknowledges them as among the many vocations of which women are capable. 

The Bible does that as well as Deborah was both a prophetess and a judge of Israel. The Bible tells us of many accomplishments of women but they operated within God’s rules and did not discard them. Women, like Jezebel, who disobeyed God’s rules and order were also shown to be punished for their sins.

Women can do a lot but their pursuit of different employment is between them and their husbands not a group of sinful women who refuse to obey God’s word. Women were placed under the authority of their husbands, this does not make them unequal but provides order and freedom from anarchy in the home.

God is not responsible when men refuse to handle their authority correctly. His order is not undermined by the sins of men who choose to disobey his instructions on how men are to treat women.

Feminism seeks to get women to disobey God not obey him and that hurts the family.

(one thing needs to be mentioned about Miss Evans lists of crimes against women. She conveniently leaves out the fact that many women participate in those crimes against women just like the men do. Why do you think many of the owners of whorehouses were called ‘madam’)

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in archaeology, Bible, church, family, General Life, history, homosexuality

 

Chronology: Issues and Problems

I have a 4 volume set of articles called Civilizations of the Ancient Near East edited by Jack M. Sasson. It is a great informative set of articles written by many different scholars on a variety of topics. On pg. 651 (the beginning of volume 2) is the article named in the title section above. It is written by Frederick H. Cryer who records problems scholars have with the historical record uncovered so far.

This article illustrates the lack of information scholars work with when constructing a history of the ancient past. I hope that the quotes I put here help you to understand that the historical chronology of the ancient civilizations are more on shaky ground than actually written in stone.

#1.There are two types of chronologies, absolute and relative, though in a strict sense all chronologies are relative ones. (pg.651)

#2. In contrast with modern chronologers, the chronologers of antiquity…measured time solely in terms of some arbitrarily chosen, fixed point in the past…(pg. 652)

#3. All such attempts at chronographic writing are accordingly relative to their respective baseline dates and it is possible for the modern chronographer to make sense of them only to the extent that they can be brought into line wityh an already existing and well-proven chronographic tradition…(pg. 652)

#4. Thus to the extent that the societies in question have bequeathed to us a chronographic tradition, and if we possess sufficient ‘collateral information’ to demonstrate the validity of the information contained in the tradition, it should be possible to connect any ancient chronology with our absolute chronology and so extend the range of the latter. (pg. 652)

#5. On some occasions our sources may not permit us to plot events with any useful degree of precision…whereas they may nevertheless permit us to arrange the various events described in themin sequence with respect to each other…. Such a sequence, which may be termed a floatng chronology,…is naturally also a relative chronology. Although it does not permit us to present a detailed characterization of the period in question, floating chronology is frequentloy the best we can do given the state of the evidence. (pg. 652)

#6. There is…a consequence all too few chronologers are willing to acknowledge— namely, that the kinglist, series of royal inscriptions, or other source the original chronology was based may in fact contain faulty data and if it contains one error it may contain more. In actual fact, whenever we possess duplicate versions of any ancient chronology , they invariably disagree with one another at numerous points. (pg. 653)

#7. Recognition of which scale is appropriate for the evaluation of certain kinds of historical evidence has not always been readily forthcoming among historians of the Ancient Near East. (pg. 654)

#8. Techniques of Chronology— Stratigraphy; Carbon 14; Thermoluminescent studies; Archaeomagnetological studies; Artifact Typologies;; and Dendrochronology (pg. 654)

#9. Despite the implied precision of these scientific methods, they all have uncertainties and cannot by themselves yield exact dates for archaeological materials or established precise correspondence with historical/political events (pg. 655)

#10. Carbon 14 …has a very wide margin of uncertainty for the ancient periods…and requires calibration…Tree ring dating is in the first instance only applicable to the first use of the sample, this results in complications, as wood was often re-used in antiquity. (pg. 655)

#11. In dealing with the chronology of the Ancient Near East, it is frequently the case that ancient astronomers have bequeathed to us detailed astronomical knowledge of heavenly phenomena during a given period. This allows modern astronomers to recalculate the Julian dates of these phenomena with great precision. However, for periods where such information is lacking, , the only precise evidence is the lengths of kings’ reigns as stated in kinglists…Such lists automatically pose the problem of the calendar for it cannot be assumed…that the ancient calendars presupposed a year of a length corresponding with our own. (pg. 655)

#12. There is no law requiring king A to employ the same calendrical reckoning as King B, even within the same culture or society; nor is there any that requires one and the same society to employ the same calendar for all purposes. (pg. 655)

#13. In this connection, it is important to know that a given technology may have had a skower development in one region than in another. Hence what was the Early Iron Age in Jerusalem may still have been the Late Bronze Age in Beth She’an… (pg. 656)

#14. Some historians have linked the results of archaeological investigations to historical reconstruction based upon documentary sources. Such a conflation of two mutually incompatible time scales…ignores the differences between the two types of evidence. (pg. 656)

#15. Mesopotamia Chronology: In Babylonia…daily records were kept and summarized on a semiannual basis by astronomers who observed heavenly phenomena often linking them with such occurrences as the height of the waters of the Euphrates, fluctuation sin market prices and unusual births. Occasionally, these celestial observations were juxtaposed with important political events…(pg. 656)

Assyro-Babylonian dates arising from the Babylonian Chronicles…are probably reliable in Julian terms…[but]…the last year of one king and the first of his successor invariably overlapped and on such occasions it is often quite difficult to decide how the overlapp was treated in the ancient traditions. (pg. 657)

Assyrian dates of the first millennium are based on the so-called eponym lists. The eponyms were high Assyrian officials, including kings, whose names were chosen…to characterize individual years. (pg. 657)

There are also fragmentary lists of eponyms stretching back into the second millennium but they contain so many lacunae (gaps)—not to mention we lack collateral information about Assyria in this period to confirm them— that these numerous floating chronologies are useless for dating purposes. (pg. 657)

The beginning of the first millennium and the transition from the second millennium is very unclear in all our extant sources as far as Mesopotamia is concerned. (pg. 657)

There was extensive diplomatic corresspondance between the Hittite monarchs and their ocunterparts…in the second millenium. This fact would lead us to expect that we might possess sufficient synchronisms for dating purposes but in fact the Hittite chronographic tradition is even more lacunar than those of the Hittite kingdom’s neighbors. Rarely, if ever, can we assign an event to a particular year to a Hittite king’s reign, thus making it almost impossible to establish a synchronism with foreign powers. (pg. 658)

#16. Egyptian Chronology: That leaves the Egyptian tradition as the only significant chronographical tradition available to us. To start with, the chronological framework of Egyptian history has been preserved only in very late excerpts from a so-called epitome of the Aegyptiaca of the Egyptian priest Manetho…(pg. 659)

(Manetho’s original was altered by Jewish chronographers in pre-Christian times so as to remove the embarrassment of an Egyptian Pharaoh, Menes, apparently ruling before the creation of Adam) (pg. 659)

Since the nineteenth century, Egyptologists invariably following Manetho along with some fragmentary surviving kinglists (none of which is later than the time of Ramesse II) have subdivided Egyptian history…(pg. 659)

Not to put too fine a point on the matter, if the Sothic dating systems is unreliable, then the whole of Egyptian second millennium chronology floats by as much as two hundred years. (pg. 662)

I would like to make a few comments on this information starting with the alleged editing by Jewish historians.

(Manetho’s original was altered by Jewish chronographers in pre-Christian times so as to remove the embarrassment of an Egyptian Pharaoh, Menes, apparently ruling before the creation of Adam) (pg. 659)

How does the author know this? We do not have any original writings or copied manuscripts of Manetho’s works.

http://africanhistory.about.com/od/egyptology/a/Manetho.htm

Then we must ask, why do modern scholars assume that the ancient writers did not lie and told the exact truth? Since Manetho was not a follower of God, that we can tell, what stops him from altering Egyptian history and make it seem like it trumps biblical records?

No one can be sure who did the editing or if any editing was actually done. For all we know, Manetho edited his own work to bring it back in line with true history. By the way, there is no embarrassment to see Egyptian records written by Egyptians ore-dating biblical events.

The people who should be embarrassed would be the Egyptian authors for making such an obvious error in order to make Egyptians seem superior to everyone else. RK Harrison, in his book Old Testament Times, records the fact that Egyptians used to erase their actual history and alter it to make successive generations think their ancestors were greater than they actually were.

So we really cannot take Manetho at face value especially since his original work is lost. We also know very little about the man, his character and integrity thus it is a grave mistake to grant his words infallible status. There are many reasons why Manetho may have written the way he did, and one possibility is that he was trying to save his life by appeasing an angry Pharaoh. We cannot assume that he wrote like a very honest Christian.

The other thing that needs to be asked is—Why did this article get written? What was the purpose of these quotes? The answer is simple. Believers need to see that the sources and records used by both secular and believing scholars are very imperfect and unreliable as the golden standard for historical chronologies.

These human constructed chronologies are error filled and cannot be used to judge biblical events and when they took place. Scholars ignore the primary spiritual tenets that influence unbelievers and their work. They then render distorted opinions about the past elevating inferior and fallible works above the holy and infallible Bible.

In other words, secular scholars are giving God-like qualities to sinful ancient humans. We do not have to accept ancient writings as fact just because the author was an ancient writer and whose work was quite possibly the only survivor from the ravages of time.

There is too much information missing to blindly accept these works as they are written. Now this will not apply to all ancient writings but keep in mind that original ancient manuscripts are all long gone so we do not have anything to compare the copies with in order to see what changes were made to the original work.

This is why Christians are to trust the Bible even though we do not have the original manuscripts. We know God promised to preserve his word and we have a paper trail centuries long verifying this promise. We do not have that with most ancient manuscripts.

Also we know that God does not lie thus the biblical record is not the one in error. We know that ancient human authors can and do lie thus we cannot view their work without suspicion. Also we know why God wrote the Bible—to reveal himself, what he had done, and will do and lead us to salvation. We do not know the motivations and purpose behind the works of the ancient authors. Nor do we know the influences that may have pressured them to write as they did.

For believers we need to look at the whole picture surrounding ancient works and modern scholars ideas and see how they pale in comparison to the biblical record. We do not let the words ‘scholar’, ‘expert’ or some other similar identification stop us from finding the truth about the past and how it relates to the Bible.

We must examine all the information, like RK Harrison has mentioned, and look at all the facts, like God does not lie, before coming to any conclusions. Just because a scholar concludes something doesn’t mean he is correct. Remember that old adage, ‘history is in the eye of the historian’? That adage applies to ancient civilizations as well.

 
Comments Off on Chronology: Issues and Problems

Posted by on July 23, 2014 in academics, archaeology, history

 
 
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