In this post we are going to look at some quotes from the book Taking Back God by Leora Tanenbaum. We do not like the title of the book because it is a feminist work looking to distort God not support and humbly obeying God’s word. While we do not like the title, there are some good points raised that should be addressed and that is what we will do here. We are not attacking Ms. Tanenbaum but looking solely at the points raised.
#1. Moreover. a sexual double standard has always been prevalent in Christian societies, classifying girls as good and marriageable or bad and unmarriageable. Boys who can’t wait till they are married to engage in sexual behavior turn to ‘bad’ girls, whom they discard once it is time to get serious and marry a virginal ‘good’ girl (pg. 245)
We are not sure how she defines ‘Christian societies’ or how broad that definition is so we cannot speak to that aspect of this quote. What we can speak to are those men and teen-agers who call themselves Christian. This is not correct biblical behavior. Men need to set the example in living the Christian life and ignoring God’s teachings simply because one cannot wait is not the Christian example one sets or follows.
Basically the idea Ms. Tanenbaum is talking about, yet does not use the term, is sin and God does not like sin nor does he want his followers to participate in it no matter what the issue. Going to ‘bad’ girls for sexual encounters is not okay and Christian men need to learn how to live the Christian life even when their sexual desires act up.
God will ‘not understand’ as he expects his followers to resist temptation even in the area of sex. Jesus set the example of how to do that and that is the example men should follow so that their girlfriends and wives can have confidence in their mates and that the family can be strong. There is no justification to go to ‘bad’ girls before or even after marriage.
#2. James Dobson, the leader of the powerful evangelical organization Focus on the Family, which includes a network of internationally syndicated radio programs listened to by more than two hundred million people daily, demonizes intentionally childless couples who marry but choose not to have children. (pg. 246)
While we like Focus on the Family to some extent, we disagree with this attitude. First, childless couples are still a family and deserve to be treated as such. Second, it is the couples choice to have children or not, not the church’s or some para-church organizations. God’s word does not contain any exception clauses that excludes childless couples from receiving proper and correct Christian treatment.
We are not to judge these people but encourage and support their decision because they may want to focus more on serving God and that is not something to demonize. There is no biblical law or command that every couple reproduce and these couples are as much a part of the family of God as those who have children.
Dobson’s colleague Rev. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, calls the attitude ‘a willful rejection of God’s procreative purpose for marriage. he continues, Marriage, children and sex are part of one package.” (pg. 246)
This is far from the truth for the most part. It ignores the fact that God may have a purpose for that couple being childless or that he has called them to remain without children and it puts humans in the place of God who dictate how marriage should be conducted. They want everyone to practice marriage their way instead of allowing each person to make determinations for themselves and their lives.
If you and your mate decide to remain childless, there is nothing wrong with that and it is your choice, not some other person’s or organization’s. We need to be careful not to add our own personal preferences to scripture and those who say things like the above two quotes are doing just that–adding their personal views to God’s word.
#3. The head scarf became widespread among the Muslim elite in the fourteenth century, but it was understood as cultural practice, not one mandated by Islam. It was five hundred years later, when British colonists in the Ottoman Empire ‘discovered’ the practice of hijab that it became associated with Islam. (pg. 250)
I am not sure how true this is but I include it as food for thought in light of the recent actions of Ms. Hawkins formerly of Wheaton College. We need to be careful when it comes to false religions and their practices and there is NO command or instruction of God for his followers to be in solidarity with those of other religions. We need to understand the truth about those false faiths and learn how to reach those people without compromising our faith, God’s word or disobeying God.
#4. …but conservative Christian beliefs about sexuality affect every one of us in the United States. Many of our lawmakers are themselves conservative Christians who want to impose their beliefs on the private lives of all Americans. This is most stark in the area of reproductive rights. (pg. 262)
Christians are to warn others of what is right and wrong, moral and immoral, good and evil and some times there are people who go way too far in this communication…BUT…reproductive rights are not the sole territory of women. What most women do not understand is that since sex involves two people the reproductive rights cover two people not just one.
It isn’t just the woman’s body that is involved here and the baby is not solely the product of a woman’s actions. Denying reproductive rights to men is not right,selfish, sinful, unjust and unfair. The baby belongs to two people not just one and sadly, this idea has been lost over the generations due to a false idea that women are better care givers than men. This is just not so.
God made reproduction the responsibility of two people not just one and both parents need to be involved with reproduction and raising the family not just one. if a woman gets pregnant on a one night stand or some other non-committal sexual act, outside of crime, the choice to continue the pregnancy is not outside of her realm and involves another person. Reproduction is not the monopoly of women and we need wisdom to handle this issue correctly instead of blindly yelling for rights as those reproductive demands by women ignore the rights of the unborn child and their wishes.
This issue is hypocritical at best and helps women be selfish not good care givers.
#5. Leading pediatricians are unequivocal in their opinions that teenagers need information about and access to birth control and emergency contraceptives. (pg. 263)
Pediatricians need to learn to mind their own business. How children are raised and taught is left up to the parents not opinionated doctors who try to force their views upon those who disagree with them. Biblical teaching about not listening to the unsaved applies to doctors and pediatricians as well as any other expert who rejects Jesus as their savior.
Their being an expert in medicine does not over-rule biblical teaching. Now with that said, parents need to get wisdom and understanding as well as knowledge so that they can raise their children the way God wants and in order for them to stop inflicting upon their children bad, distorted and uninformed ‘Christian’ views. Not listening to the ungodly does not mean that parents are excused from learning how to raise their children correctly or providing them faulty or really bad information.
Parents are to learn the truth about different issues and not just trust the ‘opinion’ of a pastor or Christian leader. Parents are charged by God to raise their children not other people. Children are also not scientific test subjects where parenting is an experiment. the Bible provides good parenting instruction, not just the verses talking about children,and parents would be wise to consult all the biblical verses to see how they should take care of their families. Going for the truth and learning how to apply it to their children goes further than listening to those who do not believe in God.
#6.In her eye-opening book Full Frontal Feminism, Jessica Valenti points out that more and more states are introducing ‘conscience clause laws’ allowing pharmacists, nurses, and other health-care professionals to refuse to distribute any medication that goes against their moral, ethical, or religious beliefs. (pg. 265)
This is one we have a hard time with because it is a difficult subjective issue. religious beliefs dictate to the person how they should act and at no time is there any biblical command to force one’s beliefs upon others. No one is telling these religious health-care professionals that they need to violate their beliefs and use these medications so in essence their moral, ethical and religious beliefs are not being violated.
On the other hand, we cannot be party to other people’s sins either:
What if every pharmacist in a woman’s neighborhood refuses to do his or her job? What if the pharmacist refuses to not only to fill her prescription but also to return the prescription to her? (pg. 265)
The first question is not hard to answer, the woman just has to keep trying until she finds one who will fill her prescription. The second is not that difficult either. The pharmacist has no right to keep the prescription. It is not his and he did not give it to the woman. Her doctor did and it belongs to the woman not the pharmacist. Some people go too far in their actions when opposing the decisions of others.
In 2005 Kmart pharmacist in Scottsdale Arizona, recommended to other pharmacists who, like himself, oppose emergency contraception, to lie to their customers. (pg. 265)
Christians are not to sin in their opposition to sin. Lying is a sin, no matter how white, gray or black it is. It is better to NOT stock the product than to lie. Right now we feel that Christian health-care professionals should be wise and meet the needs of their customers to a point. Their customers having a prescription is not the health-care’s permission to the customer to take contraceptives. That is done by someone else. They are simply doing their duty in filling the prescription
The health-care professional should not recommend abortion because then that is giving their permission to sin to others and that is not a biblically instructed duty. The problem in this issue is the lack of understanding Christian teaching, the distortions in Christian teaching and the subjective nature of life. We really need guidance from the Holy Spirit here in this issue not blanket refusals on spurious grounds since, pharmacists and other health-care professionals dispense other medications that would violate their religious, moral and ethical standards. Hypocrisy is not the solution here.