What Does The Bible Say About Women? (part 2)

Yesterday’s post listed many Bible passages that demonstrate the high view of women that is held by the scriptures. As expected, the comments seemed to ignore these many passages, and go straight to the few that are not popular in today’s culture. Today we will deal with the common passages that are cited as troublesome.

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“If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
25 “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, 27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.” (Deut. 22:23-27)

The idea here is that if a man rapes a women in the city, someone would have come to rescue her, but out in the country, they would not. Keep in mind that a city in those days had people piled into very close quarters, with no glass windows to block the sound. People literally ate and slept within a few feet of every neighbor; it would be difficult to even have a private conversation, let alone an attack happen in secret. (Neighbors often watched people eat. see Luke 7:36-37). A woman being raped could not be done without someone knowing.
Also keep in mind that the problems caused by sexual sins can literally destroy a society, and the consequences for such sins was severe, both for men and for women.

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“21 …submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.  22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”(Eph. 5:21-25)

First, note that v.21 comes before vs.22-25, and provides the outline for 22-25. We are told to submit one to another, then Paul expands on the concept, with instructions for both women and men. To take v.22 out of the context of vs.21-25 and build a case around it as if it were in isolation is to wrench it from its moorings and make it say something in which it does not say.
Verse 21 tells all Christians, wives and husbands included, to submit one to another. Paul then gets a bit more specific, saying to the wives to submit to their husbands, and the husbands to give their lives for their wives. Note that the passage is to wives to voluntarily submit, not for husbands to make their wives do anything. The husband is told to act as Christ did, who gave everything, including His life, for the benefit of others. The command to both husbands and wives are to be more interested in the other’s happiness than in themselves.

The same is true for Colossians 3:16-22, where we are first told to ‘admonish one another’, then Paul gives the same instructions to both wives and husbands.

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“Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless. ” Rev. 14:1-5)

The issue is with v.4, where it mentions ‘defiled themselves with women’. As always, the context here reveals the importance. Christians are repeatedly described as the bride of Christ (Rev. 19:7; 21:2, 9; 22:17). As such, a bride is to be pure and undefiled. Any bride who had had sex before marriage would not have been pure. This passage in Rev. 14 is merely saying that the bride was a virgin, pure and undefiled, without lying tongue, and blameless.

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“How then can man be in the right before God?
How can he who is born of woman be pure?” (Job 25:4)

Again, the context explains the issue. This statement is from Job’s unbiblical critic, Bildad (v.1), who was accusing Job of having sin which caused his troubles. Verse 4 says that no one can be right before God, no one born can be pure. The phrase ‘born of a women’ merely means anyone born, which is what Bildad was trying to say to Job.

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“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ” (1 Peter 3:7)

That women are physically weaker is no surprise. If you doubt this, merely check the weightlifing records. This says nothing about women being inferior. Of special note is the rest of the verse, which is a command to the husband to be honoring to the wife, and saying that both wives and husbands are joint heirs of God’s grace. It is amazing that a verse such as this, which shows equality of women under God even though they are physically weaker, and commands men to honor them, is twisted to somehow mean just the opposite. That such interpretations arise demonstrates the biases with which we approach the text.

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“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”(1 Cor. 11:1-3)

That there is a Biblical order to the church should be no surprise. We are all asked to recognize Christ as the head of the church, and this passage tells us there is a biblical head to the family. When balanced with the many passages that we have seen that command both husbands and wives to submit to one another, to admonish one another, to love one another, such an order is right and proper. Only by taking this verse in isolation does it come to mean some sort of domination by men, which it does not teach. Note that nowhere are men told to dominate women. This passage, in context, is a command to everyone in the church to recognize the biblical authority that Paul set up (v.2).

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“As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” (1 Cor. 14:33-35).

Chapters 12 to 14 of 1 Corinthians are a lengthy statement spoken against a particular church at Corinth who were doing their services wrong. They were all speaking at the same time in languages that visitors could not understand (14:23). Thus the context is instructions for doing church services in a respectful order. In those days, women were mostly not educated, and would have to ask their husbands to explain something the pastor said. Rather than ask during the church service, Paul instructs the women that if they need to learn something, to ask their husbands at home rather than be whispering during the service. Note the others, besides women, who are also told to be silent in v.28 and v.30.

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Since this post is already too long, I’ll stop here. I think it gives a good perspective if you take the passages listed here in context, and compare them to the many verses listed in the previous blog post. Many people are convinced that the Bible is prejudiced against women, and ignore the many passages listed in Part 1, and merely toss around the passages listed here, and do so without reading them in context or making an honest attempt to understand what they are saying.

In the end, the Bible is shown to have a high view of women, a viewpoint that has lifted them out of the poor positions they have had in almost every culture.

 

 

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About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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56 Responses to What Does The Bible Say About Women? (part 2)

  1. The Bible has a very high view of women. There are many instances in the new testament where women were placed amongst Jesus with the same respect as a man. It was two women ( Mary the mother and Mary Magdalene whom the Angel saw first to tell of the resurrection of Jesus.
    Also, it was to a woman, the Samaritan woman at the well whom Jesus spoke with to preach His message and act as a witness for Him to the Samaritan people.

  2. R.Ross says:

    Let’s be clear, the ‘high’ view of women supposedly found in the Bible exists only in the context of a patriarchal society a few thousand years ago. These ‘quotes’ when seen in a more enlightened world reflect only the misogyny of the times in which they were written.

    If Bible teachings have been instrumental in encouraging a ‘high’ view of women then why are women not given equality in all versions of Christianity? Why do not all versions of Christianity have female priests, female Popes, female leaders and why do some versions of Christianity still teach that the ‘male’ is head of the family and the house?

    As long as men get superior rights in a religion, as they clearly do, then the teachings of the religion have to be held accountable and it is demonstrably clear that the ‘high view of women’ which supposedly exists in the Bible has no real effect on the religions which are sourced in it.

    Can you categorically state that your version of Christianity does not advise men and women that the husband should be the ‘head’ of the family? This antiquated teaching no longer exists in Catholicism or Anglicanism and I should be delighted if you could confirm it no longer exists in Fundamental Christianity – at least your version of it.

    And do you support equality within the Christian church in general and your church in particular? In other words anything a man can and does do in the church a woman can do? Female priests, Popes, Archbishops etc.

    If you do support such equality then I am prepared to admit that your argument that the Bible supports equality – I presume by high you mean equality because equality is the only thing which matters- has some validity.

    If you do not support equality then why not? On what basis should women be relegated to inferior – for it is inferior- status within your version of Christianity or any other.

    • humblesmith says:

      “My version” of Christianity is nothing that should be of any importance, and my opinion is not of any consequence. What is critical is what the Bible teaches, and that is what I’ve been trying to stick to.

      If you’d like to know more, including an answer to many of your questions, see a little book titled “Different By Design” by John MacArthur. It matches the scriptures rather well.

      • R.Ross says:

        HM I had a look at this and found a paper by MacArthur. This sort of thing was preached from the pulpits a century ago when men considered women’s brains were too weak for too much study and that women’s emotional nature made them unfit for public office.
        I have to say though, I do find it fascinating, that such beliefs should still be held in the modern age. I mean, you can find the same sorts of beliefs strongly held, in most villages in rural India and Africa, less strongly held in the cities, and it is both surprising and interesting to find them held by clearly intelligent, educated, travelled -( although that is an assumption given that 80% of Americans do not possess a passport), -articulate, aware, concerned and no doubt compassionate people in the developed world.
        I do realise that Americans are more religious than any other developed nation and a lot of it – not sure of percentages – is sourced in what would be called Fundamentalist Christianity, but these sorts of beliefs are so at odds with a modern and more enlightened world that I can only wonder what it is that keeps them in place at a time when most people in the developed world, and certainly most women, would consider them to be utterly sexist if not misogynistic.
        I find the good Mr MacArthur, and I am sure he is good or works very hard to be good, a bit ‘out of touch’ with enlightened thinking and would call him disingenuous although I don’t think he is; I suspect he really believes what he is saying no matter how prejudiced and unjust it might be.
        In essence he sees the ‘divinely ordained role’ for women as that of wife and mother – how convenient for husbands and sons (you know that is no different to the position of women in India and Africa and much of the Third World) – and as ‘supporters’ for the Church (in other words doing all of the work with none of the power).
        He does do a quickstep though and here disingenuous is probably the right word – men and women are equal as spiritual beings but not in this material world. The argument for this is the old propaganda push that women are evil; snake, garden, temptation etc., that the Old Testament had women who were active, but not leaders.
        Gosh that is convenient. In the eyes of God we are spiritual equals but here in this world you as a woman are inferior and I, as a man, get to tell you what to do! No God worth believing in could come up with such injustice – only the mind of a man could concoct this sort of iniquity.
        And yes, Jesus did treat women better but heaven forbid they should take any leadership role. This bit is also patriarchal concoction. Then again there is no physical evidence that Jesus even existed and these teachings emanate from the more ancient Goddess religion so they have probably been ‘cut and pasted’ to fit the Saviour/Redeemer myth. Not that it did much for women.
        MacArthur’s paper, The Role of Women, is pure apologist propaganda for keeping women subservient to men not only in Church and Religion but in Society.
        What astonishes me is that anyone in this day and age could support this kind of backward thinking. For it is backward.
        I have no doubt that if you grow up being taught this sort of thing, with parents who believe this sort of thing, and you attend churches which teach this sort of thing, it may not seem unreasonable unless you are a very, very independent thinker. I grew up in the 60′s – admittedly in Australia where there is a lot less religion in general and little of the fundamentalist Christian variety – but I know without a doubt that if I showed this particular paper to any of my friends and family – ranging in ages from teens to seventies, some of whom are committed Catholics and Anglicans – most would find it laughable. As would most people in the developed world, men and women alike.
        I simply cannot understand how intelligent people can believe this sort of thing in this day and age. It runs counter not only to democratic principles but it runs counter to common sense and reason.
        Why if God really does see men and women as equal in their spiritual natures should women be discriminated against and subjugated in this material world? And here’s the other thing – it is a known fact that those nations which have the least gender equality also have the least development on all counts. In other words, those nations which have the greatest gender equality are the most successful – you only have to look at the Scandinavians to see the evidence for that. The more equality women have, the better the society works! And the more success is the nation.
        Given the prevalence of fundamentalist Christianity in the United States and no doubt the prevalence of such views, which limit the ability of women to function to their full ability and capacity, is there perhaps an argument that this sort of belief – has been a factor in creating the situation where the US, despite being the richest developed nation, has the worst quality of life for its average citizen than any other developed nation: with the highest levels of poverty, illiteracy, semi-illiteracy, crime, incarceration, murder, and fiscal inequality of any modern democratic nation. (And yes I do know that strictly speaking the US is not a democracy.)
        I don’t know percentages on how many Americans would hold views like this but I do know that the American political system is greatly influenced by Fundamentalist Christian lobby groups, and as I write this response, I make a connection which may of course of no validity but which may well have a great deal of validity. With all of its money and opportunities (even factoring in the trillions wasted on unnecessary wars) the US should offer its citizens the best, not the worst! There is a reason for everything and there has to be a reason for this. Perhaps this particular Christian teaching/s is what holds America back.
        Any nation which discriminates against women – in other words, any nation which does not have gender equality – will be impacted negatively in some way. There is no doubt that Scandinavians aside most developed nations have some way to go in creating true gender equality but there is also no doubt, given the influence of such Christian beliefs in the US, that other developed nations are in much better shape than America is.
        Anyway, just a thought. Preach male superiority in this material world but there will be a cost and the price may be much higher than those who do so, realise.

        • C.Parker says:

          R. Ross – you are obviously an educated, articulate woman in search of some answers. If you would allow me the opportunity to share a little about myself and share my views as a woman, you might find them illuminating (or maybe not). I have been raised in the Christian church since the age of 8 ( I am now 50) and recently, due to my own ignorance, have questioned what my role is within the church. I understand my role in society, but questioned my role within the church, Biblically. This came about not because my church puts any constraints on my role within the church, but more out of my own lack of understanding of what the Bible actually says. Additionally, I have been married to the same man for 32 years and have raised three awesome children that I am very proud of (all adults now). I was a stay at home mom for about the first thirteen years of our marriage but I am now the Vice President of a multi-million dollar company. Through the study that I have done, Biblically, I have found, based on Ephesians 3:26-29, that God sees us all the same. The passage states as follows:
          You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
          With regard to the man being the head of the household (if you are married), I really have no problem with this. The reason being is that he is the one held ultimately responsible before God for our family. I am held responsible for my own actions but he is ultimately responsible not just for himself, but for the direction our family takes. Just as I have to answer to a boss at work, who is ultimately responsible (whether that boss is male or female) for the direction of the company. At work, if I disagree with my boss, I am very vocal about my point of view. If I can’t ultimately convince that person that my way is right or better or whatever, I have to submit to their authority and do it their way. It’s the same with my husband. I am very vocal about my opinions. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t. We make all decisions that affect the direction of our family together. But I have found that when I submit to his authority, even if I think he is wrong, there is extra protection for me from God, if he is indeed wrong, so I come out ok either way. As I understand it, it’s really just about the structure of authority. Someone always has to ultimately be the one the buck stops with.
          I am hopeful that I have been articulate enough to get my point across (but maybe not). In the eyes of God, we are all equal. However, there is an authority structure ordained by God, for our ultimate protection. I pray that you will find the true answers that you are looking for. If you are genuine in your search, call upon the Lord and he will guide you to the right answers. God Bless.

          • R.Ross says:

            C.Parker,

            Thankyou so much for taking the time to write as you did. One of the wonderful things about the internet is the ability to share with people one would never ordinary meet and to cross culture and country to get to know someone else and the ‘shoes in which they walk.’
            Yes, I am in search of answers but only in the sense that I see life as a continuing process of questions and answers as part of a journey of becoming and understanding.
            The questions and the answers relate more to the How than the What? I have my answer regarding is there a God or is there not and I choose to believe, because it makes sense to me, that there is and that this world exists as ‘intelligent design’ sourced in what I would call cosmic consciousness.
            I have also answered my question regarding religion and made the decision many years ago to stick with God and not bother with religion beyond seeing it as a possible resource which can link through realms of symbolic and metaphorical understanding with other resources – scientific, spiritual, religious, myth, symbol etc.
            I don’t know in which church you have been raised since the age of eight and that certainly makes a difference as to the role women can play and the questions women might ask. My church exposure was with Anglicanism between the ages of 11, when my father decided to be confirmed and took us along, and 16 when, despite having a lot of fun with young people and church activities, I decided there were more things I disliked about church than liked.
            And I feel and think we are sourced in very different understandings of Christianity, or are perhaps very different people – it would never have occurred to me to question my role within a religion Biblically. Even at the age of 11 one of the things I truly disliked about the church was the He, Him, Father, Son, Lord terminology which to me, even as a child, was sexist and unfair.
            I was born a rebel I suspect and in fact, as an adult I became an astrologer which explained even better why I saw things as I did.
            I have been married to the same man for 42 years, marrying very young and raising two wonderful human beings whom I both admire and like. Unlike you I was not a stay-at-home mum until my children were in their early teens and that is because at that time we moved to Antwerp, Belgium and I was not allowed to work. And neither have I achieved in a career sense what you have done – well done! But then it is not what I would choose for my path and I have and still enjoy my life as freelance manuscript editor, writer, poet and journalist.
            I do believe that what matters is that we do what works for us – staying at home as a mother is to my mind no more important but no less important than becoming the head of an huge corporation or the Prime Minister (in your case President) of the country. I believe that following our truth is what we are here to do and whether that is cleaning out drains or growing corporations, no job or achievement is greater than any other. All is a part of the process of becoming of world and individual.
            As to the Bible quotes, I don’t know how much of my discussions with Thomistic you have followed but I hold the view that the problem with Christianity is that the Bible is read literally and that in fact it is meant to be read also, if not more so, metaphorically and symbolically. So what a Christian – across the spectrum of the many versions which exist – would ‘see’ or find in the words, is not what I would find.

            For example this quote: You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

            I would interpet thusly – the ‘sons’ of good I would see as a patriarchal translation although it could also mean the ‘focussed consciousness’ which is the nature of the masculine energies which exist in all of us. We are both male and female in terms of qualities it is just that in the main, what we call woman expresses more of what we call feminine and vice-versa. However, there are many, many exceptions and some women express more of what we call masculine and vice-versa, hence the problem with trying to divide the world into male and female as absolutes and trying to dictate what men and women should do or be on the basis of what we believe masculine and feminine qualities are.

            For me ‘baptized in Christ’ means a surrendering to Christ consciousness – a quality which exists and is manifested in all saviour/redeemers in all religions and is not particular to Jesus. And yes, this means that all of us have a ‘Christ’ or spiritual nature and it has nothing to do with creed, sex or race. Belonging to Christ simply means recognising and expressing your spiritual nature. ‘Abraham’s seed is simply symbolic of the fact that we all come from the same source – really it should be Eve – anthropology has us all sourced in a ‘first woman’ not a first man- which makes much more sense.

            And this is the core premise on which my answers are based and in which my questions are sourced – it must make sense. So much religious teaching is not just unjust it does not make sense.

            You said: With regard to the man being the head of the household (if you are married), I really have no problem with this.

            But I do and most women who have had a chance to think about it also do. Why does a household need a head? It doesn’t. We have been married as I said for 42 years and we have moved across Australia and the world, setting up home some 32 times and we have only ever had a relationship of absolute equals. Any decision is made through discussion and compromise on both our parts. If we cannot agree then we do not do it. I refused to give up my surname when I married because he refused to give up his. We gave the children both surnames joined together and I have never been Mrs. anything. Let’s just say we have always managed to reach agreement.

            When we married he said: ‘Our house, our dirt.’ He still does all the ironing because he is better at it. We both do whatever needs to be done -cook, clean, garden, mow lawns, handyperson tasks, finances – all shared. Always.

            I will say, we both believe that to have a functioning family one person needs to take a major role in running the household and we talked about who it would be. We decided that I was more flexible and better at multi-tasking and would be better suited to that job combined with part-time work. So his career took precedence on condition that if he ever decided he wanted to end the marriage he would give me everything because I had made myself vulnerable by not pursueing my journalistic career and he would always earn more than I would.

            You said: The reason being is that he is the one held ultimately responsible before God for our family.

            You see, that makes no sense to me. If there is a God and I believe there is then we are all equal and our path to God is our own path. I don’t need another person, certainly not a man, or a church to be responsible for me. I am completely responsible for myself and I take the view that whatever happens to me is my responsibility – my fallback is what I call God but the relationship with God and me is mine alone.

            You said: I am held responsible for my own actions but he is ultimately responsible not just for himself, but for the direction our family takes.

            Why? Why can’t you both decide? We did and do. It isn’t hard, you sit down, discuss it and both decide what works best. We always took the view that our relationship was the most important thing – he puts me first before the children and I put him first before the children – on the basis that if we worked then the kids would be fine and they are.

            As a grown woman I would find it insulting to have my husband decide on the direction our family takes and as a grown man my husband would find it insulting if placed in the same position. In all truth, this view is a particularly religious view – Australia is a very different culture to America but I have many Christian friends, Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and none of them would subscribe to this view. They would consider it sexist and well, backward – old-fashioned, with no place in a world of gender equality.

            You said: Just as I have to answer to a boss at work, who is ultimately responsible (whether that boss is male or female) for the direction of the company.

            Your husband is not like a boss at work. You can leave a job anytime you like. Your boss employs you on certain conditions. Your husband doesn’t employ you and if there is love there can be no conditions. More to the point, the bosses I have had – and perhaps this is a cultural difference – use consultation and agreement as the basis for the relationship.

            You said: At work, if I disagree with my boss, I am very vocal about my point of view.

            And you can change jobs anytime you like. Do you take the same view that you can change husbands anytime you like if this is how you see it?

            You said: If I can’t ultimately convince that person that my way is right or better or whatever, I have to submit to their authority and do it their way.

            Well, I would not be looking to convince a boss my way was right or better. I would present my view, discuss it and because he or she is the boss, do what they decide. If I don’t like it I change jobs. But I have to say the mere thought of likening a husband to a boss and submitting to authority makes me shudder. This sort of attitude is common in the Third World where sexism is rife but has no place in a modern world.

            You said: It’s the same with my husband. I am very vocal about my opinions. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t. We make all decisions that affect the direction of our family together. But I have found that when I submit to his authority, even if I think he is wrong, there is extra protection for me from God, if he is indeed wrong, so I come out ok either way. As I understand it, it’s really just about the structure of authority. Someone always has to ultimately be the one the buck stops with.

            We have very different relationships. I don’t agree and would never agree that someone has to be the buckstop! To me that is copping out. That’s how my parents relationship was – patriarchal and unfair. My generation were freed from such bonds and we are better off because of it. I have little in common with my mother’s experience of marriage and much in common with my daughter. The Sixties were a seminal time when the developed world at least realised that discrimination against women in any form was backward.

            I am sorry to use the word backward but it is. I believe the world works far better – as studies show – when women and men are complete equals. Which brings me back to where I began – the problem with all religions is sexism and misogyny which is why I stick with God.

            This is lengthy but I felt it was important to read carefully what you said and reply carefully so you can have some understanding of why I say what I say and do what I do.

            Take care. I am glad your marriage and your relationship with God work for you. Mine work wonderfully well for me.
            I am hopeful that I have been articulate enough to get my point across (but maybe not). In the eyes of God, we are all equal. However, there is an authority structure ordained by God, for our ultimate protection. I pray that you will find the true answers that you are looking for. If you are genuine in your search, call upon the Lord and he will guide you to the right answers. God Bless.

    • I believe in God and I believe in His word. His word places man as the head and woman as the equal help meet suitable for man. God created us as equals, yet equipped with different abilities. God called man to be the head of the household as Christ is the head of the church. To lay down his life for his wife and to love her as Christ loved the church. This is not something I can argue with as a mere person who doesn’t understand the awe factor and great mighty power and intelligence of Lord God. He created this world to absolute perfection. One can assume under His mighty hand that He understood what He was saying when he called man to be the head of the household. We can either choose to listen or not. It’s always been our choice from the moment of the creation of Adam and Eve. God knows and understands what we are incapable of understanding. I do not follow religion , I follow God by His word.

      • R.Ross says:

        But according to scripture African races are also inferior. As an education, rational human being I doubt you would subscribe to such racism today, or even seek to defend it. And yet Christianity still seeks to defend the most blatant sexism.
        This ‘God’ who is bigoted against women in a way which is considered to be backward and unenlightened in this day and age, hardly seems like the sort of God a rational person would defend.
        And let’s be clear – you believe in a God, your God and the word you believe comes from this God – this is not the God in which most people in the world believe, thankfully, and not a God in which any human being could believe who believes in the equality of each and every human being regardless of race, creed or gender.
        Your God may place the man as the head and woman as helper and in fact such a God is very common in Third World, less developed cultures and fundamentalist, less developed religions. What is odd is finding this sort of God in the First World – the developed, modern, democratic, free world.
        Your God was common in Christianity a century or more ago but in a modern world which has developed enough reason to accept that males and females are full equals in this world on any count, this God is sadly out of date.

        You said: This is not something I can argue with as a mere person who doesn’t understand the awe factor and great mighty power and intelligence of Lord God.

        There is no point argueing. I don’t believe in arguments anyway. Your beliefs are right for you (and a minority of Christians) and mine are right for me. You have no idea what I understand or do not understand. I would humbly suggest that my sense of awe and wonder at this world and what I call God is more complete because I make no discriminations – everyone and everything is a sacred and equally valuable part of this world and therefore of God.

        You said: He created this world to absolute perfection.

        A genderised God is bigotry. Otherwise I agree with you that this world is created as perfection and remains so, just as everything in it, including us, is perfect in this moment.

        You said: One can assume under His mighty hand that He understood what He was saying when he called man to be the head of the household.

        Well of course no God would be so petty as to set one sex above the other. The only one’s saying that ‘man’ is head of the household are the patriarchal minds who wrote and re-wrote the Bible. This particular teaching is antiquated and no longer common in non-fundamentalist versions of Christianity – for very sound and sane reasons of course. While most versions of Christianity (the Anglicans are something of an exception) are still sexist if not misogynistic, even the Catholics would not dare to teach something as bigoted as the man being the head of a household.

        By the way, what happens to Christian women when their husband leaves them for another women and they have to raise their children alone? Is the departed husband still head of their household or do they have to find a surrogate ‘head man’ to step in – on the basis that as women they are incapable of looking after themselves and their household?

        And how do rationalise the fact that throughout history women as leaders, Queens, Prime Ministers, Presidents have shown themselves as capable, often more capable than men?

        You said: We can either choose to listen or not. It’s always been our choice from the moment of the creation of Adam and Eve. God knows and understands what we are incapable of understanding. I do not follow religion , I follow God by His word.

        What you follow is what you believe God to be and the words you believe that God spoke. What I follow is my heart, my reason, my common sense and my experience of this world, both spiritual and material, in reaching a belief that no God worth believing in would ever discriminate against anyone based on race, creed or gender.

        Such a God would be and is made in man’s – actually men’s image – for no God capable of being the source and purpose and substance of this amazing world could ever do something as ridiculous as demanding that men get to be the boss of the house. However, while your belief may suit you and your wife, the good news is that in the modern world such beliefs have been discarded and even in the Third World, where sexism and misogyny are still common – through ignorance and a lack of opportunity – women are breaking away from the chains of patriarchy and finding their way to freedom.

        You may or may not know but statistics clearly show that in the Third World, those cultures where women have the greatest freedom and indpendence are those cultures which are the most successful. Those cultures which are the most patriarchal – where men take precedence over women, are the least developed and the least successful.

        One can only wonder if the US, the richest nation on earth with the worst quality of life for its average citizens of any developed nation, is held back because of the high number of its population which hold to such patriarchal and sexist beliefs in the name of Christianity.

        • Ryan says:

          Where is it written in scripture that African races are inferior?

          • R.Ross says:

            The Sons of Ham are cursed –

            Old editions of the Talmuld still state that:
            “Cush, lineage of Ham, shall become black because of the curse (…)
            The crow and the Cushite will be black because of their wrongdoings”.

            In the book of Jeremiah, we can also read (Jeremiah ch.13 v.23):
            “Can a Kushite change his skin (…) Live and dwell on your land like the Kushites,
            like the elements of nature, you shall not cease belonging to me”.

            [ Modern versions goes as follow:
            “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?
            Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” ]

          • Ryan says:

            Jeremiah 13:23
            King James Version (KJV)
            reads:

            Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

            the Modern version you referred to seems to read slighly differently:

            “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?
            Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

            yet this has huge impact on the way the passage is understood.

            Certain translations lean on certain sources, some older than others.

            This is why I believe translations are so important.

            I found this useful: http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Bible/Translations-Chart-Diagram.pdf

          • Ryan says:

            Contextually the passage seems to be referring to Judah, to the Jewish people.

            ——————————————————————————–
            Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible -

            Can the Ethiopian change his skin?…. Or, “the Cushite”; either, as the Arabic version, the “Abyssine”, the inhabitant of the eastern Ethiopia; properly an Ethiopian, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it; or, the “Chusean Arabian”; the inhabitant of Arabia Chusea, which was nearer Judea than the other Ethiopia, and better known, and which were of a dark complexion. The Targum renders it, the Indian; and so does the Syriac version. In the Misna (i) mention is made of Indian garments, with which the high priest was clothed on the day of atonement; upon which the gloss (k) is, that they were of linen of the country of India; and which is the land of Cush (or Ethiopia), as Jonathan Ben Uzziel interprets Jeremiah 13:23.

            “can the Cushite, the Indian, change his skin?”

            and it is highly probable, that, in the time of Jeremiah, no other India was known by the Jews but Ethiopia, or Arabia Chusea, and no other black people but the inhabitants thereof, or any other than the Arabians; and, as Braunius (l) observes, it need not be wondered at, that with the Jews, in those times, Ethiopia and India should be reckoned the same country; when with the ancients, whatever was beyond the Mediterranean sea, as Arabia, Ethiopia, and even Judea itself, was called India; so Joppa, a city of Phoenicia, from whence Andromeda was fetched by Perseus, is by Ovid (m) said to be in India; so Bochart (n) interprets the words of the Saracens or Arabians, who are of a swarthy colour, and some black; and indeed have their name from the same word the raven has, which is black; and particularly the inhabitants of Kedar were black, one part of Arabia, to which the allusion is in Sol 1:5. Jarchi interprets the word here by “the moor”, the blackamoor, whose skin is naturally black, and cannot be changed by himself or others; hence to wash the blackamoor white is a proverbial expression for labour in vain, or attempting to do that which is not to be done:

            or the leopard his spots? a creature full of spots, and whose spots are natural to it; and therefore cannot be removed by any means. Some think a creature called “the ounce”, or “cat-a-mountain” is meant, whose spots are many, and of a blackish colour; but the description well agrees with the leopard, which is a creature full of spots, and has its name in the eastern languages, particularly the Chaldee and Arabic, from a word (o) which signifies “spotted”, “variegated”, as this creature is; so the female is called “varia” by Pliny (p), because, of its various spots; and these spots are black, as the Arabic writers in Bochart (q). The word here used signifies such marks as are made in a body beat and bruised, which we call black and blue; hence some render it “livid”, or black and blue spots (r); and these marks are in the skin and hair of this creature, and are natural to it, and cannot be changed; and it is usual with other writers (s) to call them spots, as well as the Scripture:

            then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil; signifying that they were naturally sinners, as blackness is natural to the Ethiopian, and spots to the leopard; and were from their birth and infancy such, and had been so long habituated to sin, by custom founded upon nature, that there was no hope of them; they were obstinate in sin, bent upon it, and incorrigible in it; and this is another reason given why the above calamities came upon them. The metaphors used in this text fitly express the state and condition of men by nature; they are like the Ethiopian or blackamoor; very black, both with original and actual sin; very guilty, and very uncomely; and their blackness is natural to them; they have it from their parents, and by birth; it is with them from their infancy, and youth upwards; and very hard and difficult to be removed; it cannot be washed off by ceremonial ablutions, moral duties, evangelical ordinances, or outward humiliations; yea, it is impossible to be removed but by the grace of God and blood of Christ. Their sins are aptly compared to the leopard’s spots, which are many and natural, and difficult to get clear off. What is figuratively expressed in the above metaphors is more plainly signified by being “accustomed” or “taught to do evil” (t); which denotes a series and course of sinning; a settled habit and custom in it, founded on nature, and arising from it; which a man learns and acquires naturally, and of himself, whereby he becomes void of fear and shame; and there is a good deal of difficulty, and indeed a moral impossibility, that such persons should “do good”: nothing short of the powerful and efficacious grace of God can put a man into a state and capacity of doing good aright, from right principles to right ends, and of continuing in it; for there is no good in such men; nor have they any true notion of doing good, nor inclination to it, nor any ability to perform it: in order to it, it is absolutely necessary that they should first be made good men by the grace of God; that they should be regenerated and quickened by the Spirit of God; that they should be created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and have faith in him; all which is by the grace of God, and not of themselves.

            http://bible.cc/jeremiah/13-23.htm

          • Ryan says:

            This is one Exposition of Jeremiah 13:23

          • Ryan says:

            I do not think this scripture refers to Africans as inferior. It is a illustration that includes examples, where the question is asked: can these features be altered?

            Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

          • R.Ross says:

            Gill’s exposition of course does what I do and recommend – interpretation of scripture metaphorically and symbolically. I have consistently made the point that the problem with scriptural interpretation is its literality.
            In times past Africans were certainly deemed to be an inferior race, where scripture as interpreted literally. No doubt because they are male as well as female, the various versions of Christianity have found it easier to switch to metaphor and symbol in order to do away with the blatant racism which was previously taught.
            I merely make the point they need to do the same thing in regard to the blatant sexism which is still taught in the particular, and in reading the Bible in general.

          • Ryan says:

            Like I said I understand what your saying, and I actually have been challanged by quite alot today, Ive been reading and viewing presentations on evolution and I have to say that I honestly have been finding it a very different perspective.

            I also found this link interesting: http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/translations.html

          • Ryan says:

            I have studied Gnostism, not every sect, but quite a number of different sects. I don’t feel inclined to read the Gnostic texts, since I have read about their teachings and I personally see their core beliefs deviating from the Bible. This may be over cautious on my part, but I am careful to what I open myself up to. I figure I should read the whole Bible first, and then see where that takes me.

        • Ryan says:

          But I can also see what you are saying. And yes, I’m not sure why this example was used, why not say, can a white person change his skin?

          • R.Ross says:

            I don’t think there is any doubt Ryan that in times past the Bible was used to defend discrimination against people of colour. There were many Christians who defended the slave trade with biblical ‘teachings,’ and the Mormon religion is sourced in biblical teachings and until the late 70′s men with black skin – (women are still not allowed), African negroes, were prevented from being baptised or becoming preachers because of their inferiority.

          • R.Ross says:

            Well, it simply reflects my position that it all comes down to interpretation and such scriptures were certainly interpreted to support a belief in African inferiority just as scriptures are still interpreted to support a belief in female inferiority. I no more believe that the interpretation once made about people with black skin is a true and reasonable interpretation than I believe the interpretations still made about God wanting women to be subjugated to men is a true and reasonable interpretation.
            The bigotry regarding the colour of skin and the bigotry regarding gender have nothing to do with God, certainly nothing to do with spirituality, and everything to do with the prejudices and ignorance of patriarchy and the times.

          • R.Ross says:

            Yes, I saw that you can see the point I tried to make. As to evolution, I see it as a part of the answer but in order to come up with answers I just feel it is so important to read all explanations across the board. I am reminded of the men with the elephant – they were ‘blind’ so they could not see the whole ‘picture’ they could just feel the bit they held in their hands and they were each convinced they had the whole truth.

          • R.Ross says:

            Thanks, that is a great link. Have you read any of the Gnostic writings and scripture?

          • R.Ross says:

            I think that makes sense Ryan. My reference to gnosticism was not so much in terms of the Gnostic sect but the Gnostic texts which reveal how the Bible has been re-written, re-translated and re-interpreted. They also offer insight into a more mystical version of early Christianity and other interpretations of scripture as well as writings which were considered too controversial for the Christian church over time and were rejected. But as you so sensibly say, you have more than enough on your plate making sense of the bible as it exists for some versions of Christianity in particular and the Bible in general.

  3. R.Ross says:

    My last para did not go through.
    yes, you have been articulate and I do understand what you are saying. I hope I have been able to convey why it does not make sense to me or suit my way of being in the world.

    I don’t and won’t believe in a God who says one thing and does another. Yes you are all equal as spiritual beings but not as material beings – men are superior to women as human beings although you are equal as spiritual beings just sounds nonsensical – because it is. Perhaps it is my editorial background – but I look at this and think, No, that bit is not God, serious edit by male mind re-writing the message.

    I prefer my God – the source of all, bringing forth, making manifest all that is – including you and me, the ant, the rock, the tree. All is sacred – an Ancient Goddess teaching as is all is connected. This God is with us and within us but we have free will as we experience being material beings as spiritual beings.

    There is no need for an authority structure and to have one anyway which makes either sex superior to the other is far too petty for any God which might exist.

    Yes, I am genuine because we all are – always – we follow our own truth in our own way and the answers do come, always, albeit often slowly, but the pieces of the picture which is me in this world fall beautifully and perfectly and delightfully, constantly into place.
    God bless you too – as God blesses all that is, each and every one of us at every moment and throughout all time. We are, as I see it, God made manifest in this material world through the experience of humanity. What an adventure!

  4. Ryan says:

    I consider texts can potentially contain powerful aspects. Same with music, I think the western world with its focus on the material can sometimes dismiss the power that is in different texts, music and even certain symbols. because of this I tend to be careful where I tread, I had experiences before in regards to music directing me in places that were not healthy for me. I know this mighyt sound a bit wierd.

    • Ryan says:

      I’ll repost this at the bottom :)

      I have studied Gnostism, not every sect, but quite a number of different sects. I don’t feel inclined to read the Gnostic texts, since I have read about their teachings and I personally see their core beliefs deviating from the Bible. This may be over cautious on my part, but I am careful to what I open myself up to. I figure I should read the whole Bible first, and then see where that takes me.

    • R.Ross says:

      Not the least bit weird. I agree with you completely. One reason why the Jewish Kabbalah, Muslim Sufis and Christian Gnosticism interest me is that these mystical approaches to religion touch upon such things much more clearly. Numerals have power; letters have power; musical notes have power; words have power – I also believe some people are more sensitive than others to such ‘energies’ or ‘vibrations.’

      • R.Ross says:

        And I would add so do Shamanistic practices; Alchemy; Hermeticism – the last two very much sourced in the goddess religion and ancient Egyptian religion, but taken up by the Greeks as the foundation of their esoteric spiritual beliefs within the Eleusinian Mystery religion.

      • Ryan says:

        I had been studying symbols in particular a few weeks ago. Many symbols, and the ancient meanings they hold are used in pop culture, medicine and television. Certain occult symbols are used in advertising, clothing brands, videogames, card games. Its actually really strange than some symbols are so common in society, yet many people don’t know the meaning(s) behind them. You see people waling around with symbols on their belts and shirts as a fashion statement, yet if they knew what the symbol actually represented I wonder if they would still wear it.

        • R.Ross says:

          I don’t hold with the conspiracy theory approach to the use of symbols – I see them more as archetypal expressions emanating from the subconscious, or as Carl Jung termed it, the collective unconscious.
          The other thing to remember is that there is symbolic meaning which is ancient and sourced in core archetypes and there are other symbolic meanings, such as those given by religions, which are often not at all what the original symbol meant, nor perhaps what it still means at a subconscious level.
          What is often called occult is that religions deems as evil, or pagan, or as ‘of the devil’ but in the more ancient religions, before the patriarchal age, these symbols held more balanced and constructive meaning.
          I do agree that the meaning of a symbol is important – and I always advise people in Africa who pick up masks willy nilly to find out what the meaning of the mask is – in other words if you are going to hang a death mask or a curse mask in your home (I wouldn’t actually but then I am quite sensitive) then don’t put it in the bedroom.
          And the other thing is that we apply cultural values to symbols which are particular to the culture – white for example is a colour of mourning in Hinduism but seen as an appropriate colour for marrige in the West where black is worn to signify mourning. It is a fascinating subject. I have heaps of books on symbolism and never tire of it.

          • Ryan says:

            I agree that we should be careful not to get caught in conspiracy patterns. It can really cause alot of obsession, since any evidence provided against a conspiracy theory is dismissed as just a “trick” or a cover up by “them” and hence can cause people not allow themselves to consider things objectively.

          • R.Ross says:

            well the trouble with the conspiracy theories is that in the main we cannot know and are not likely to know with any absolute certainty, so I take the view that I hold many of them as possibilities but invest no faith in them.
            And I weigh it all up to see if it makes sense. Conspiracy theories for instance about ‘mind control’ don’t make sense to me given how hard it is to influence the thinking of other people in the first place, unless they are fearful and trapped in say a hostage situation, or brainwashed as in a cult.
            I mean, if the conspiracy theory about a cabal looking to control us all had a shred of sense in it then things would not be as they are now – we would all be controlled and doing what the cabal supposedly wants.
            I think there is certainly propaganda at work and that is a form of control but its efficacy is diluted by the power of the world wide web where people can break out of their ignorance or their system and find out for themselves and make up their own minds. Information sharing makes it almost impossible for propaganda to work as it once did – the information is out there and most of us can access it.

          • Ryan says:

            The difficulty is that we can’t be truly objective as human beings, since we are “In” this life, and therfore a part of “living”. we are subjective alot of the time, and unless we are conciously in reflection, it can be hard to consider things from a different “window”of perspective. We can’t step out of life, so it is difficult to be purely objective. I actually think that pure objectivity is actually impossible for humanity to grasp, since life itself is lived moment to moment and wen never be “removed” from the current moment.

  5. Ryan says:

    Certain practices themselves are directly focused on symbols, drawing of symbols and using “will”. Personally fromn what Ive studies there are certain symbols, where the “source” of certain symbols are quite disturbing.

    • R.Ross says:

      Symbols have power there is no doubt about that but they will have more power if you believe in it. And there are ways to protect yourself from such ‘energies.’ The Chinese system of Feng Shui is about doing that and about channeling constructive or positive energies where they need to go in a building and ushering out destructive or negative energies.
      Symbols don’t frighten me but I don’t take them lightly either. I find their appearance in dreams and synchronicities as wonderful guides or sources of insight. Seeing symbolically, is I believe an important skill to be learned on the spiritual path. Symbols are messengers – holders of information and energy – and there are ways of negating that may have a negative impact. But you have to believe in the negativity for it to have any impact.
      For instance, many of the symbolic representations for the Devil have been drawn from older ‘gods’ or archetypal figures – Pan is one example – the source also of Pantheism – cloven feet, horns etc., and yet Pan was revered as a creative force, not feared as a destructive one.

      • Ryan says:

        I know we have different understandings of the Bible:

        The Bible states in 1 John 4
        King James Version (KJV)

        1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

        2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

        3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

        4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

        5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

        6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

        7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

        8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

        9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

        10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

        11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

        12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

        13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

        14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

        15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

        16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

        17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

        18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

        19We love him, because he first loved us.

        20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

        21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

        • Ryan says:

          I find this both confronting and profound. Confronting because it is so challanging. Profound in its explanation of love and God.

          • Ryan says:

            To be honest I am challanged by the “us” and “them”. Its Bible versus like this that make me uncomfortable, yet they also make me think.

          • R.Ross says:

            Confronting and profound sounds a good place to be. And yes, we do read and ‘hear’ differently.

            From my understanding a lot of ‘warnings’ in the bible about false spirits etc., is propaganda written in at a time when the church was ‘fighting’ against what remained of the old goddess religion which they saw as competition – which it was – and which they then deemed pagan and evil.
            And as you know, I take references to a need or demand to believe in Christ as meaning there is a need to believe in the Christ energy, our Christ selves, rather than any literal Christ of scripture.
            And the ‘love stuff’ speaks for itself – and you know, a lot of it can be found in other spiritual writings and religious writings, often older than the Bible. But it is so sensible that it has to be found everywhere.

            As you said, confronting and profound.

          • R.Ross says:

            Well it was the ‘us’ and ‘them’ which challenged me for I could no more conceive of a God who divided than I could fly to the moon. I see the ‘separation’ as something in the mind of man, not the mind of God.

    • R.Ross says:

      I agree that pure objectivity is not possible but what is possible is a mindfullness, or awareness which allows us to be as objective as possible or at least less subjective. Experience also enables this – the more we are exposed to different cultures and different people the more experience we have and the easier it is to be more objective. The less exposed we are to other cultures, beliefs and systems then the harder it is for us to be objective about ourselves and therefore objective about others.
      And while we cannot be always aware or mindfull, we can be more aware, more conscious and more mindfull more often than many people are.

  6. Ryan says:

    Does love involve division? for example if a husband and wife love each other, they are therefore joined to one another. This functioning health of this relationship makes division inevitable, since in order for both partners to be commited to one another there has to be a divide between the possability of other love partners for either person, for this would cause jelousy. Of course this might break down when Polygamy is involved.

    • R.Ross says:

      Well it doesn’t to me because I have come to believe that what we call Love or the Love we associate with God is actually connectedness – and connectedness, as physicists are now finding, is what this universe is all about.
      So for me real love is unconditional – that means no separation and judgements are a separation – parents love their children unconditionally (at best) and relationships at best are about unconditional love – in other words, you love someone not because of what they do or say or even are, you just love them as they are, all of them.
      It is certainly possible to love more than one person at the same time but the dangers lie, I believe, in having a sexual relationship with more than one person at the same time. I do believe that in the main, there are always exceptions, the most balanced relationships are monygamous.
      A major reason why I cannot relate to a judgemental or judging God is that this involves separation.

      • Ryan says:

        Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it that you take the time to consider and share :)

        • R.Ross says:

          Well you know I spend a lot of time pondering such things and have since I was a small child – it’s nice chatting with you, always. :)

        • Ryan says:

          In future, I think we should probably move the conversation to facebook or another format, since we have taken up alot of space on Glenn’s blog ;)

          • R.Ross says:

            Yes, I was thinking the same thing. WordPress is actually quite good for ongoing conversation and I do have a site but have not used it much. FB works though.
            And thanks to Glenn for being so patient and gracious. :)

          • Ryan says:

            Yeah I agree, thanks Glenn

  7. Ryan says:

    I’ve decided to trust Christ. however simplistic this may seem, when the big things happen in life, all rationalising, arguing and discussion falls away.

  8. Ryan says:

    I’ve decided to trust God in this. there are still many, many things I don’t understand regarding biblical translations. But I have to move forward, I can’t keep myself floating in speculation.

    I’ve been going to a Baptist church for a number of years now. We do have Bible studies there.

  9. Ryan says:

    There is a place for deconstruction in ideas and assumptions. But there limitations to deconstruction.

    We can’t deconstruct God, well we can try, but I think doing this just changes our focus from God to a god.

    I’m not planning to close my eyes to reason, I am deciding to trust Christ.

    I know many people might see this as the same thing. Whatever decisions we make in this life, there will always be people who disagree.

    I’m still going to study and ask questions, but I am going to do this deciding to trust that the accounts and teachings of Christ are true, In doing this I also accept The Bible is true.

    Which translation? How is it to be understood? But why the God of the Bible? How do I know? Where’s the evidence?

    I don’t know all the answers. But I still trust God. thats where I think I should start.

  10. Pingback: The Gospel of Thomas vs. The Bible | Thomistic Bent

  11. Pingback: The Gospel of Thomas vs. The Bible | A disciple's study

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