Monday, December 22, 2008

Now I Know Why They Fear US

In the past, I have always been mystified by the near panic exhibited by the left when the so called, "Christian Right" gained a little influence within government or within a political party. I would laugh at their claims that if the Christians gain control of the country, all will be lost. There will be no liberty. Everyone will be forced to be a Christian.

My experience within Christendom has always led me to believe that not only can you not force any one to be a Christian, but that all Christians share this belief with me. My mistake was in believing that other Christians shared my understanding that pagans behave like pagans and that forcing them to behave as if they were Christians would be futile at best and counterproductive at worst. How could I have been so silly to have been convinced that those set at liberty, by the Author of liberty, would love and embrace liberty, including freedom of conscience, for all? But silly I was. And terribly mistaken.

Very recently, on a website containing discussion forums, I encountered a disturbing dose of reality about the agenda of many who call themselves Christians. The website was created by Christians and is maintained by Christians. While they don't exclude non-believers from joining the discussion forums, for the most part the participants are born again and claim to be conservative, affirming the Bible to be God's Word and authoritative. The administrators of the forums have an odd way of policing. They have some sort of secret committee that arbitrarily bans participants for alleged infractions of the posting rules. This is done without communication to the "offender" and with no opportunity for the "offender" to challenge the decision. No announcement is made to the other participants about the ban and if the other participants attempt to discuss the banning, those posts are deleted and the participants themselves fall into the danger zone of being banned.

Someone close to me was banned from these forums. One day he attempted to log into his account and found that it was locked. After an email to the admins and a wait of nearly 10 days, he got an apology along the lines of "sorry for the inconvenience", with no explanation of the locked account. Services were restored, but then a few days later he received a notice that his account had been terminated and deleted for the nebulous cause of "trolling".

For those who don't know, trolling usually refers to the act of browsing or reading threads and occasionally posting for the main purpose of stirring up trouble and offense. My friend had never engaged in any such activity. In the threads in which he participated, he attempted to make salient points, on topic, based upon principles gleaned from the Scriptures. He regularly challenged other posters to back up their opinions with Scripture as well. For this, he was hated, particularly by certain of the women who disliked his references to verses dealing with husband/wife relationships as defined and explained in the Word.

After he was banned, an on-line acquaintance created a blog post on the same website, lamenting the ban and some rule changes which were announced at the same time as the ban. Rules which seem to have been created particularly for the purpose of banning individuals who didn't share the common brain cell and opinions of the masses on the forums.

My awakening occurred while reading the responses to this blog post. Several people commented that they were glad that my friend had been banned. Here is an example, "I have been embarrassed, upset and sometimes even a bit shocked at some of (insert name here)'s posts. He had good thoughts and he was a good debater... but if you can't show respect towards others in your language, you shouldn't be posting on this kind of forum."

I see. He should be silenced because he said something that caused her to be "embarrassed", "upset" and, God forbid! "shocked"! He didn't "respect" others.? What does that mean? No one got less "respect" on that forum than my friend. We was accused of being a child molester, a wife beater, and a slew of other nasty things.

Here was another comment, "but anybody willing to defend the position that molested children should stay with their molestor (sic) needs to be dispensed with. " This was a complete mischaracterization of an entire discussion focused on whether Child Protective Services do more harm than good, whether the existence of such agencies violate the Constitution, and whether government social workers violate Biblical spheres of authority along with legal principles of long standing in our culture.

Basically, these "Christians" don't want to be bothered with people of differing opinions. These "Christians" don't feel that they should have their senses bombarded with ideas they don't like. (mind you - no one was forced to read his posts or respond, it was strictly voluntary). The new rules state that there can be no posts which advocate "immoral or illegal activity". Huh? If Christians can't even discuss WHAT constitutes moral behavior (which was the substance of many of my friend's posts) then what is left? The weather? No advocating illegal activity? Regardless of whether it conflicts with Biblical commands? It is illegal to homeschool in Germany, so anyone advocating that would be banned. It is illegal in Canada to speak against sodomy or to characterize it as immoral. Anyone doing that should be banned, even if they only posted Scripture verses?

Silencing those with whom we disagree can never be acceptable to genuine lovers of the truth. We are told in Scripture to testify of the Truth. We are never told to waste our time suppressing lies. It is impossible to suppress every lie and isn't even necessary. It's like trying to suppress darkness instead of just lighting a lamp. Light automatically dispels darkness. It's the same with lies and truth. All that needs to happen for truth to prevail is for the truth to NOT be suppressed. One of the dangers with those attempting to suppress lies is that they make themselves the arbiters of truth and end up suppressing truth about which they weren't yet aware.

As believers, if we ever do get in positions of government control, we must remember that we don't need to waste our time censoring books, magazines and the internet. We don't need to add even one more law to the volumes and volumes already existing. We do not need to create a system whereby everyone spies and tattles on his neighbors and family in order to expose and punish their evil.

The only thing we need to do is good. Do good. Do right. Proclaim the truth. When speech is truly free, then both truth and lies will be spoken. But truth, by its very nature, prevails. There is only one authority on truth. Those of us who would promote ourselves to the "under keepers" of the truth do a disservice to the Truth. Truth is self existent. As individuals we are to seek after it. Not to sit on the pile of it that we have, pointing fingers at others who aren't sitting on the same pile.

If you believe you have truth, then be prepared to give an answer for it. Don't count on being able to always silence those who challenge you.

Oh, and you who would silence others... please don' t be surprised when you are the one silenced. If you embrace, in principle, that those in leadership or even the majority have the right to silence the rest, you have just made a bed that isn't going to be comfortable for you when you are the target.

Am I upset about this attitude? YES! Because ideas have consequences. And the consequences of the censors will be the death (literally) of my children and grandchildren. When proclaiming that "Jesus is LORD!" becomes illegal...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Is Thinking An Art? Can It Be Taught?

I don't like the feeling of anger rising up within me. I don't like sitting at the computer, reading something which makes me feel like my blood pressure is literally rising as I sit. It is a very uncomfortable feeling and one which I should take care to avoid.

Today it happened like this. I read a statement from a man saying that sexual relations are the most important and distinguishing activity of a marriage. In other words, sexual relations are the only activities which can be performed exclusively for a husband by his wife. (Please, no comments about how sex isn't a performance, I know that and it isn't the point here. You know what I mean.) He was also making the argument that it was created by God to be so, even before the fall.

Well, the next thing I see are about 10 comments from 10 different buffoons complaining that he said "The only thing a wife is good for is sex."

The original poster never said any such thing. Nothing even remotely like it. But these people saw what they wanted to see. Then they bash the guy, not for what he actually said, but for something he didn't say and probably doesn't even believe. How can a person defend statements or beliefs that he never said or doesn't hold?

The same series of posts had a woman lambasting the King James Version for saying that Eve was "an help meet" for Adam. Her complaint? In English (according to this genius) an adjective must precede the noun. Since "help" is a noun and "meet" is an adjective, the men who translated the King James Bible were grammatical idiots and therefore we should never refer to the role of a woman as a "help meet" for her husband.

My head was nigh on exploding over that one. It makes me think that if I was a man I would be tempted to ask, "Are all women this stupid?" But I didn't ask that question, being a woman myself. I guess she would prefer "a meet help for him"? Her main complaint was that the Bible doesn't make it clear that a woman is just a "bloke" a "mate" for her man. She helps him out. She isn't "corresponding to him" in any physical way. God didn't even notice that all of the other animals had a partner with which to breed when He said that it was not good for Adam to be alone. Fellowship with God and command of the entire earth and its inhabitants was not good because Adam didn't have a woman to tell him to pick up his socks and belittle him in front of God and everybody. Sex never even entered into the picture until after the fall, right? I mean, they were naked in the garden and never noticed that they were different from each other. They only looked at each other in the face. After all, they weren't sinful, so they didn't have sex drives. That was invented by the devil, later.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Triangle - or NOT!

I converted to Christianity in 1985. I don't know the exact date, but sometime towards the end of the year, perhaps November. It was the dry season in Panama, which sort of corresponds to winter in the United States. So, I've been a believer for over 22 years.

Since 1985 I have heard countless sermons, retreat talks, women's fellowship group talks, seminar classes, etc. in which a marriage between two Christians is described or illustrated by an equilateral triangle. Do my readers immediately recall the same visual? You know what I'm talking about, don't you? For the sake of those who might not, I will explain it. That will also make it easier for me to destroy the idea once you've come to understand it. *grins*

Before I begin, as I'm turning over a new leaf today, let me just say that my purpose in sharing this pet peeve of mine is not just to be crass or snooty. I'm not trying to prove that I understand God better than others. I say this out of genuine concern for believing women. It has been my experience that an incorrect view of marriage results in marital misery for women. (And I don’t know if “misery” is a strong enough word for what their husbands must endure) In the spirit of Titus 2:3-5, I want to instruct the younger women in both how to love their husbands and how to be obedient to their husbands. This must start, I believe with a proper understanding of the husband/wife relationship.
Now, on to the triangle! Picture in your mind (or draw it out on paper) a triangle. It doesn’t matter how long the base is, but the other two sides are the same length and meet at the top, directly above center of the base. Just to the outside of the bottom, right-hand corner, we write “wife”. Then we write “husband” just to the outside of the bottom left-hand corner. At the top of the triangle, we write “God”.

Here is an example:

The “triangle non-sense”, as I like to call it, goes like this: As the wife draws closer to God (picture a dot starting at her corner and moving along the leg of the triangle towards the top), and her husband simultaneously draws closer to God (picture a dot starting at his corner and moving along the leg of the triangle towards the top), the husband and wife will be automatically drawing closer to each other. As you can see on your diagram, if you drew it, the dots representing the husband and wife are closer together than they were when they were at the starting points at the base of the triangle. Proof that the only way to grow closer to your husband is to grow closer to God! Or is it?
What does the Bible say?
Is the “triangle non-sense” supportable by Scripture? Does the Bible give us any notion of a geometric type configuration including husbands, wives and God? I believe it does. I will quote the Scriptures, then describe how I think it would look if it were drawn on a piece of paper. Then I will explain how that is important for women wanting a harmonious, happy marriage.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3
So, in attempting to draw that verse, I would draw a vertical line on my paper, right down the center. Then I would write “God” at the top. Passing down the line an inch or two, I would write “Christ”. A litter farther down, I would write “Man” (or “husband”), and under that, a bit farther down the line, I would write “woman” (or “wife”).
Now we have a vertical line instead of a triangle. Please permit me to explain what I believe are the flaws of the unbiblical “triangle non-sense” and extol the virtues of the “vertical line.”
Firstly, under the “triangle non-sense”, it is absolutely impossible for the wife to draw close to her husband completely on her own without forsaking her relationship with God. If she moves toward her husband along the base line, she is never growing closer to God. If her husband remains in his corner, and she draws nigh unto God, she is moving farther away from her husband! Even if they both are drawing closer to God, unless her husband and she draw closer at the same exact rate, they remain far apart for most of their lives. And even if they draw closer to God at the same rate, the couple will not be CLOSE until they reach God. If the husband is not a Christian, the wife is doomed to a life of distance from her husband or from her God.
But what about the “vertical line” theory? Here, if the woman attempts to draw closer to Christ, she can’t help but draw closer to her husband, because her husband is on the line between the woman and Christ. If the woman attempts to grow closer to her husband, she also grows closer to Christ! Without even trying! How does that happen? Why should that be?
In the words of my husband, “Could it be that the entire duty of a woman before God is to be a joyfully submitted help meet for her husband?”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Does the Bible call for men and women to reserve intimate relations exclusively for their spouse? What Scriptures command or allude to such an idea? Are the requirements the same for women as they are for men? Why or why not?

Is harlotry (whether paid or unpaid) forbidden under God's law?

What of polygamy?

I discovered a fascinating website wherein the author attempts to answer these questions and many more. I wish I could say that I wrote it, but I didn't!

Biblical Polygyny, part 1