Monday, December 1, 2014

Saved in Childbearing

“To censorious men it might appear absurd, for an Apostle of Christ not only to exhort women to give attention to the birth of offspring, but to press this work as religious and holy to such an extent as to represent it in the light of the means of procuring salvation…whatever hypocrites or wise men of the world may think of it, when a woman, considering to what she has been called, submits to the condition which God has assigned to her, and does not refuse to endure the pains, or rather the fearful anguish of parturition, or anxiety about her offspring, or anything else that belongs to her duty, God values this obedience more highly than if, in some other manner, she made a great display of heroic virtues, while she refused to obey the calling of God. To this must be added, that no consolation could be more appropriate or more efficacious than to shew that the very means (so to speak) of procuring salvation are found in the punishment itself.”
John Calvin’s Commentary

This is John Calvin commenting on the following verse:
 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety
1 Timothy 2:15

What, if anything, do modern evangelicals have to say about this verse? Does it mean anything at all, since they would protest that it can't possibly mean what it says?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Andrew Jackson On Bankers

Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, I will rout you out!
Andrew Jackson

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is An "Age of Accountability" Found In The Bible?

I was having a conversation with someone (O.k., it was my father-in-law) and he suggested that babies who die are saved because they have not yet reached the age of accountability. He was unable to define what that age was and he seemed really flummoxed by my next question which was, "Are you suggesting that there is more than one way to be saved?"

My reason in asking that question is that I believe there is but one way, and one way only, to be saved, and that is to be born again. Paul describes it like this in Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
In other words, God gives the gift of faith. That faith enables us to believe. We don't work up faith, it is given to the elect.  In fact, it is given at a time when we are
dead in trespasses and sins
Ephesians 2:1

Dead people don't believe anything. They have to be made alive first. And it can happen to babies. Even babies in the womb.  If it can't happen to babies in the womb, then how can they be saved?  If babies can't be born again, and the Bible doesn't describe any other way of being saved, then babies can't be saved and they go to hell if they die. 

This is Mark Dewey's explanation of the subject.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Law And The New Covenant

As it says at the top of my blog, I'm a theonomist. A practical definition of theonomy, which I will borrow from R.C. Sproul, Jr. is "the conviction that the civil law God gave to Israel in the Old Testament ought to be the law of the land in all nations everywhere." Either we have man's law, which is autonomy from God, or God's Law, which is theonomy. But the question always arises when one first hears of theonomy, "What? Are you saying we should be offering sacrifices and observing the feasts? Are you saying that we are obligated to keep the law of Moses in order to be saved?" No. I am saying, with David, that I love God's law and the answers to how we are to love God and love our neighbor are found within the Law. We ought to love God's law and obey His commands. Christ said the same thing in Matthew 5, blessed are those who do and teach them, for they shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I'm not going to give a treatise on theonomy here, that is already spelled out elsewhere in thousands of pages. I recommend Rushdoony to any that wish to get a grasp on the subject. What I am doing here is trying to figure out or understand the contrast between the relationship of God's people and the Law under the Old Covenant and the relationship of God's people and the Law in the New Covenant, and in particular, the point being made in the Letter to the Hebrews. Under both Covenants, the Law of God is the Law of God. It is one and the same Law. But there is this mystical transference of the Law from tables of stone to residence in our hearts. What does this mean to the Christian? How is this manifested in her life?

My thoughts on this matter were provoked by an article from Every Thought Captive which was posted on facebook this week. The article was written in 2007, but the content is of the type that never becomes dated.The author, Mark Dewey, points out that great thinkers like Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin struggled with Hebrews 8: 6-13, so we shouldn't be surprised if the whole meaning isn't obvious to us. Dewey is attempting to explain the relationship between the Old Covenant and the New. But what really stood out to me in this passage, and throughout the entire context of chapters 8, 9 and 10, was how the Law was stored, so to speak, under the Old Covenant vs. the New Covenant.

In verse 8 we are reminded of the prophecy of the coming New Covenant:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah
In the next verse we are told why God will make a new covenant, because of what happened with the old one:
... because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
As part of the old covenant, God had given them His Law, written on tablets of stone. But His plan for the new covenant is different, He isn't going to put the Law on tablets of stone:
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people
It is just as Jesus said, He didn't come to abolish the Law or the prophets. Not only is God not going to abolish the Law within the New Covenant, He plans to establish it by writing it on our hearts! Should the Law have less relevance to us than it did to Moses, or more?  In verse 11 of Hebrews chapter 8 we are told that God writing His Law on our hearts and into our minds will result in all of his people knowing Him.
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
What a great and loving God! He wants us to know Him, so He facilitates that by writing His Law on our hearts and mind. Knowing God's Law is essential to knowing HIM. And if it wasn't clear enough already, by chapter 10 we are told that this new covenant that is to come is, in fact, HERE. That is, it was established with Jesus' sacrifice of himself on the cross and witnessed to by the Holy Ghost. (Hebrews 10:10-17)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Cult of Statism

One of things that bothers me most about so many, many believers, at least in America, is the extent to which they worship the state without realizing they are doing it. Also, when I attempt to point out their idolatry, it is denied.

Rather than trying to explain what statism is, I'm just going to link to this video and ask you to watch it. Questions?  Let's talk about it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tolkien Instructs His Son on Women

I just love this bit of Tolkien posted over at Vox Day's Alpha Game Blog today. It makes me cringe to see otherwise godly young Christian men pursuing a route of chivalry in an attempt to attract a wife when the very roots of chivalry are based on ungodly courtship, promiscuity and adultery. For example, this blog. Instead of supplicating to women, I would see young men assuming that they will be leading, teaching and guiding a wife, rather than bowing down to her superior spirituality and ability to mulit-task. Hold yourself out, men, as one who will be needing a helpmeet, not one who will exalt his bride and put her on a pedestal.  Not attractive. Regardless of whether the mothers of the young women you know think you are fabulous and wish you were their son.

You can read all of Tolkien's letter to his son, Michael, over here. It is letter #43.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sexuality in Design vs. Churchianity

I've read a couple of strange articles on the web lately concerning Christian young women and chastity. One of them was by a woman lamenting that she had remained a (technical) virgin until marriage and the second was by a self-proclaimed Christian that had given up on chastity and decided that sex outside of marriage was not only ok, it was superior to chastity.

While both of these young women make ridiculous claims about both Christianity and sexuality, they also both are exposing something that I do believe is a genuine problem within the modern, western Church. That problem is a wrong, completely wrong view about human sexuality. And they both claim that they were taught this at church, which I believe. We are not excused from knowing and acting on the truth just because we were taught a falsehood at church, however. We, believers, have the Bible and Holy Spirit, so if we are ignorant, we are without excuse. As an older woman and as a mother, I would like to offer some counsel to younger woman about sexuality and God's design for it.

First, what is this wrong belief that is held by so many within churchianity? It is simply that sex is bad. Sex is icky. Sex is a necessary evil. Only bad girls want to have sex. Only men enjoy sex. Along with that goes the equally wrong belief that sexual desire is evidence of sin. It is time for Christians to acknowledge the obvious; all people are sexual beings. Sexuality is one of the characteristics that belongs to all people, particularly from the onset of puberty.

Why is it dangerous to ignore, or worse to deny, the sexuality of all humans? It causes us to do stupid things. It causes us to make bad decisions. It harms people. It destroys marriages. Pretty serious accusations, but I think I can defend them.

How does denying the sexuality of young men and women cause us to do stupid things? Primarily it causes us to push young women and men together while expecting them to behave as non-sexual beings. This is stupid. A better practice would be to embrace the sexuality of young people, to encourage them in it and to train them in how to use it properly while keeping men and women mostly separate. This is how most societies have dealt with sexuality throughout history and it has worked rather well. Men don't have women for friends. Men and women don't work together in offices or go on business trips together. They don't hang out together on the couches in the youth group meeting.

What we need to realize is that God actually designed women to respond in a sexual way to men. There are all sorts of hormones involved and possibly pheromones (although this has not yet been proven). There are certain frequencies of sound, certain smells, etc. that actually cause sexual arousal on varying levels in women. The same is true for men, of course, but I'm not talking about that here. The purpose is rather obvious, when a woman is given to a man to be his wife one of the first things that they are going to do is exercise their sexuality to the maximum by becoming one flesh. In order for that be pleasurable, as designed, both bodies must prepare physically for the act. These preparations are not limited to the time they spend in bed. Which is why it is stupid for men and women to be interacting closely outside of a marriage relationship. We don't WANT Susie getting all hot and bothered by Roger's arm brushing up against hers on the youth group couch. Susie may not want it and Roger may not want it, either. But we can't make it NOT happen. So the best thing to do is keep them apart.

As an American, I have always been curious about other cultures. Those people over on the other side of the world are so foreign to me, that it is sometimes impossible for me to reach any sort of understanding about what they are doing. I have made it a life-long practice to judge them for their primitive ways when the truth is, I have absolutely no context for analyzing what I was seeing. For example, I have seen photos or videos of groups of girls in other countries. I know they are not in America because of the dress of the girls. In some countries, those gals are really made up. They have jewelry or painted hair and brightly colored printed dresses, scarves or wraps of some sort. Sometimes they have their heads covered or even have veils on their faces. But what I notice is that they are not mixed with boys, and when boys pass by, or they are talking about a group of boys, the girls will giggle or laugh and blush and lift a veil across the lower face. These young women are very, very aware of their sexuality. And they seem to know that those boys in that group over there are going to become their future lovers and husbands. They are clearly excited about it, they seem to look forward to it without fear. But one thing is certain, they are kept absolutely apart from those young men until the time is right for all that sexuality to manifest itself.

In the past, I would have used my own experiences and attributed my own sort of feelings to those girls. I would have thought that they were like the group of wall flowers at a junior high dance, waiting and hoping that a boy would come ask them to dance. But the stakes for these girls is much higher than a dance. They are waiting for husbands. And they are not waiting in the sense of "I sure hope one of them picks me." They are waiting for the right time when the husband who has already been picked will be permitted to come get her. They wait with anticipation and with joy. Not with dread or fear.

How is this different from and really superior to the way we do it here? The typical church-raised girl in America will be doing very different things in her post-pubescent years. At the time when her sexuality is rising to its peak she will be thrown into mixed groups of other pubescent folk. She will be told to guard her own chastity and to suppress her sexuality. She will be told to "just be friends" with boys, the same as with girls. She will be forced to compete with her girl friends for the attentions of boys, because woe is the one who gets left behind in the marriage race. No one is making sure that she gets picked. No one is guarding her chastity for her. She will be permitted, like Jacob's daughter, Dinah, to go down to town to look around. She may or may not be warned that men will want to seduce her, but what good is a warning against the charms of a man? We are so incredibly stupid.

We will expect an American Christian young woman to carry on like this for a decade or more. From perhaps the age of 12 to the age of 20, 25 or even 30. We will expect her to date and spend time alone, in the dark, with men. But we don't want her to rush into marriage. Not when there are so many other important things she should be doing for Christ. Like getting her college education. Like getting settled in a career. Like setting up her own home. Like getting her first cat. Then when her best child-bearing years are behind her and she is losing the bloom of youth, we may permit her to entertain the idea of marriage, if there is a young man perfect enough for her.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that at the age of 28 she does find Mr. Perfect and he agrees to make her Mrs. Perfect. What does she have to look forward to now? Her sexuality is finally going to be let out of the bottle, but she has spent years and years beating it down. When it attempted to rise up, perhaps she gave in to fantasies or self-pleasuring, and then felt so much guilt for her in ability to contain. She shouldn't be having sexual desire outside of marriage! And she has learned to associate sexual desire with bad feelings, with guilty feelings. She is like Pavlov's dog. She thought an impure thought and WHAM! guilt. Now what happens when her husband approaches her? She recoils. It makes her feel dirty to accept, it makes her feel dirty to say, "That feels good.", so she doesn't. She let's him do what he needs to do, but she can't bring herself to enjoy it properly or to encourage him, so he feels rejected. Their marriage is not off to a good start.

Dear sisters, let us not so mistreat our own daughters. Let us not teach them to despise God's gifts. Let us not teach them to suppress their desires. Instead, let's encourage our husbands to find husbands for our daughters as soon as is practical. Don't make her wait until she has done X or Y or even Z. Don't reject suitors for being too immature. How mature was your husband at 19 or 20?

If they cannot contain, let them marry. So says Paul, and so say I.

And to any of you who do not enjoy the marriage bed to the fullest, contact me. I may be able to explain what you are doing wrong. Because you are definitely doing it wrong if it isn't fun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Divorce is Bad... mmmm kay?

Divorce is a terrible thing. I'm talking about what is called "putting away" in the King James Bible. Under the Law, there is no provision for a woman to "put away" her husband. Putting away, in the law, refers to a man deciding to no longer treat his wife as a wife. He denies her food, shelter or the marriage bed. Under those circumstances, the man must grant his wife a bill of divorce so that she is then free to live on her own, to return to her father's house or to marry another man without being charged with adultery.

Modernly, both men and women put away their spouses and we commonly refer to this as divorce, based upon the legal implications. I'll repeat my opening statement here: Divorce is a terrible thing. Divorce is putting asunder what God has joined and Jesus warned us not to do it. Unfortunately, it is pretty common today. This wouldn't be so distressing to me except that it occurs within the church nearly as often as it does outside the church. My dear brethen, this ought not to be.

I've seen the statistic that two-thirds of divorces in the U.S. are initiated by the wife. I don't have any reason to dispute that fact. What is even more disgusting than the fact so many women are willing to openly blow up their families and cause harm to the their children because they are not haaaaaaaapppy is there are even more women who are looking for the chance to do the same. There are women, even Christian women, who are privately hoping their husbands will have an affair so they can have an excuse to divorce them. And some do even more than merely hope, they scheme and behave in ways that will encourage a husband to have an affair. For example, withholding sex with the hopes that their husbands will either divorce them or have an affair.

I won't go into detail about it but I encourage you to read what Dalrock wrote about it here.

Interestingly, right after I read Dalrock's post I was directed to this article at the Huffington Post titled 5 Reasons You Should Have Sex With Your Husband Every Night. It was a perfectly reasonable admonition written for women who really want to have happy husbands and good marriages. The comments were somewhat predictable. There were the feminists who objected to the idea of a woman trying to make a husband happy. There were the naysayers pointing out that men were supportive in the comments because men are predictably all about sex.  What was a bit surprising to me were the number of women who admitted in the comments that they don't want to have sex with their husbands and don't intend to do it, no matter if it makes him miserable. And one of them said something like, "I've told my husband he isn't going to get it here, so he should just go have an affair and then come tell me about it."

Apparently women, themselves, admit they withhold sex and want their husbands to have affairs. What she didn't admit, but which is to be assumed, is if her husband actually followed her advice, she would be filing for divorce faster than a rabbit running from hoe-wielding gardener, on her way to collecting cash and prizes. And, of course, her husband gets to be the bad guy.

I know of a woman who claims to be a Christian that went so far as to press charges against her husband for raping her. After he went to prison, she was able to quickly get her divorce and sole custody. Who can be against a woman whose ex-husband is a convicted rapist, right? Never mind that the alleged "victim" lived with him, shared a bed with him and didn't bother to move out after the first so-called rape. She stayed until "it" happened 3 times. So, since they are one flesh, I guess he also raped himself? What is marriage if it isn't de facto consent to a sexual relationship? But she just couldn't bring herself to divorce him when she had decided not to have sex with him anymore? She had to wait until she had deprived him and provoked him to the point that he did something not approved by the state? She had to destroy his life to get what she wanted? Apparently, yes, because otherwise SHE would be held morally responsible for the divorce in the eyes of the church. This way, she is the victim. Too bad he didn't just go have an affair. It would have turned out better for him.

Lest anyone would believe that I always assume the woman is responsible in a divorce, that is not the case. It is the case more often than not, but it isn't always the case. In the same manner, I believe that divorced women tend to be pariahs in the church, but I know that isn't true with all of them. A divorced woman is usually a danger to be avoided by a man looking for a wife, but sometimes she is a gem.

I wish the church would do more to discipline those who frivorce. (frivolous divorce) their spouses. I wish that Christians would be more outspoken about the damage divorce causes to children. I wish that people would direct their outrage at those who spread the disease of divorce in the church rather than at those who express their disgust with divorcers. I was accused of being mean for referring to the child of an unwed mother as a "bastard", but was the mother accused of being mean for bringing a child into the world who doesn't get to have a father living in his house? Her choice is ok, but me pointing out her choice is mean? Which of us does more damage to the child? When she starts caring about the welfare of her spawn, I may care also. Until she does, don't direct your attacks at me. I'm just a by-stander who will probably be asked to contribute to the care of said child because compassion.

In conclusion, God hates divorce. God does not like the perpetuation of bastardy. God intends for sex and procreation to occur within the context of marriage and He intends for the marriages to be life-long. That is God's program. Please get with the program or stop saying you are a disciple of Christ.

Suicide is Sinful

I probably don't need to tell anyone that the Hollywood actor Robin Williams killed himself this week at the age of 63. We are told that he suffered from clinical depression. Many have rushed to announce that he is now "at peace" and "no longer in pain." I beg to differ.

In death he is not a celebrity. In death he stands in judgment, as we all will.

Depression does not cause suicide. Suicide is a choice. If he had killed another person (homicide) would we be blaming his "mental illness" and saying he couldn't help it? Of course not. The man who kills himself does not fear God. He does not fear the Law-giver who said, "Thou shalt not kill."

I do not pretend to know what Robin Williams is facing now, whether he is in paradise or whether he is burning in the fires of hell. But I do know this, his fate is not dependent upon his fame or wealth. His fate, like the rest of our fates, is entirely dependent upon whether his sins are covered by the blood of Christ.

My sympathies do not go to the murderer who took his own life. I'm sorry for the ones who suffer in the aftermath of his evil deed.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Foreskins For Sale

I am opposed to infant circumcision for a myriad of reasons. As a Christian, I don't believe there is a Biblical imperative to circumcise our sons. Baptism is the sign of the New Covenant as circumcision was the sign of the Old Covenant. See Galatians 5 and Colossians 2:11-12.

Even if you believe that God commands you to circumcise your son, modern medical circumcision is nothing like what was meant by the Hebrew word which we translate as "circumcise." If modern medical circumcision refers to any procedure different than what God commanded, then NO ONE is obligated to do that to his son, even if a man believes he is commanded to circumcise. Medical circumcision is a barbaric mutilation which changes the structure and function of the penis. It is no more "Biblical" than if the entire penis was removed. And when the medical community starts applying the word "circumcision" to a procedure which amputates the entire penis, will Christians still be paying doctors to do it to their sons? Honestly, if you are unfamiliar with how a circumcision is performed, don't bother getting into the discussion at all. You are unqualified to discuss it. Educate yourself before you start handing over your sons to people who don't care a wit about your faith or religious practice but are more than happy to take your money.

Speaking of money, did you ever wonder what happens to all of those foreskins? I didn't until a couple of days ago. I just assumed they were thrown out as medical waste. I am such a dupe! A commenter on another blog led me to this Google search result:  I did not know that foreskins are called "neonatal fibroblasts." Did you? I did not know that they are actually a commodity from which hospitals and medical technology corporations make money. While parents are forbidden by law from selling the foreskins of their sons, hospitals are not. These companies even have the audacity to refer to the baby boys as "donors." Seriously. This is disgusting.

What did I learn from going to some of the links listed in the above search results?  One company called ATCC will sell 1 ml of "fibroblasts" for $49. Life Technologies sells 1 vial of "Human Dermal Fibroblasts, neonatal" which is guaranteed to contain at least 500,000 cells for $371.00. Advanced BioMatrix sells a 1 ml vial for $295 and they guarantee 1.5 million viable cells per vial.  Life Map Discovery,  gave the following insight about the commercial use of human foreskins:
Human neonatal dermal fibroblasts are isolated from newborn foreskins (surgically discarded after circumcision). A single donor foreskin provides sufficient cells to produce 250,000 square feet of complete Dermagraft tissue.

Well, I'll be jiggered! A single "donor" foreskin contributes to 250,000 square feet of their product. The donors must be so proud... oh, wait, the "donors" had no idea they donated their body parts for someone else to sell.

Parents, please do not have your sons circumcised. If you believe they must be circumcised, do it yourself or have someone do it who is skilled with a knife. Don't let the medical establishment harvest body parts from your children. It is evil.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Normalize Open Breast Feeding

As with sex in marriage, Christians really ought to own the issue of breastfeeding. We should be the most informed, the most accepting, the most encouraging and we ought to have the least number of hang-ups about feeding a child at the breast than any other group of people on the planet. "Why," you ask? Because we know the Creator. We know the Designer. We know that everything He designed and created was very good. Breast feeding is not some embarrassing part of our family history that needs to be covered up and excused. We don't have to apologize for God having put the life-giving nutrients in the breasts of women which must needs be extracted by children by way of nipples. There, I said it. Nipples. I said it again. Does that make you uncomfortable? Would you prefer that I said "teets?" How about "tits?" Why, exactly, does this make us squirm?

Does it bother us just because it doesn't bother hippies and Hollywood types? I'll be the first to admit that if some Hollywood starlet is endorsing something, I pause to consider whether I'm on the right track if I happen to agree with her. Here is one example I saw this morning

As you can see, this comes from Glamour magazine. This woman (I never heard of her), Olivia Wilde, was photographed breast feeding her baby in a restaurant. It is a posed shot. She said that she wanted to include this in the magazine story about her because being a mother is such an important part of her identity. I say, "Good for her." Secretly, I hope that lots of women see this and will feel more confident about breast feeding their own children. Perhaps they will think, "See, she is sexy and famous, and she does it. I can, too." But beyond breast feeding, I have very little in common with this mother and I actively oppose the civilization-destroying beliefs that she espouses in the article. I don't want her to be the poster child for breast feeding, for mothering, or any other important aspect of Western Civilization.

How can a person be so right about one subject and be so wrong about everything else? I hate to say it, but even a blind hog finds a truffle once in awhile. Here is what she has to say about why she hasn't yet married her bastard child's father:

"We're engaged, but no specific plans yet — we just have to find the time to put it together," she said. "In many ways, a child is more of a commitment. We are fully committed and really happy as a family. And there's no definition of the 'normal family' anymore. Kids today are growing up with so many different definitions of family. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't feel any pressure to do it. But I think it will be really fun."

So, marriage is for when they "find the time to put it together" and she thinks "it will be really fun." I believe she has confused a wedding with a marriage. She exalts illegitimate parenthood to a position higher than marriage by saying that a "child is more of a commitment." Families are not built on the foundation of having children, any savage can pump out babies. Families are built upon the foundation of marriages, and families ARE the foundation of civilizations.  She is also extremely proud that she won't be sacrificing her career now that she is a mother. Of course not. What, with all those nannies and stuff, she is just like all of those other single moms out there working at McDonald's.  And besides, she had a great example in her own "badass working mother" who was "a writer and filmmaker who made documentaries for PBS's Frontline and was a Princeton journalism professor." This gem of a mom taught her daughter what was important. As Olivia puts it, "That inspired me when I was pregnant. I wasn't going to sacrifice myself because I was becoming a mother." Nope. Motherhood should certainly not involve sacrifice. You can have it all, sister!

You can read more about this person here, although I've probably told you all you need to know.

In spite of the immorality and anti-biblical family values of Hollywood starlets, there is nothing about breast feeding, even with a full breast exposed, that violates any recommendation in Scripture to be modest. This neo-Victorian prudishness about breast feeding that is currently reigning in the U.S. is not based upon the Bible. It is new in history. Even common sense will tell us that what we are asking of breast feeding mothers, that they don't feed their children in public, that they completely cover their upper bodies and the heads of their babies, would not only be impractical in most cultures and settings outside of the home, but completely impossible. Even the Victorians didn't treat public breast feeding with the horror feigned by modern Americans at the sight of a breast with a child attached. How do I know this? Well, I didn't appear on the scene of history until fairly recently, so I have to rely on resources such as art. That's right. Paintings, sculptures and drawings of everyday life throughout the past 1000 years have depicted breast feeding. Without covers. In public. The examples I'm going to share are beautiful, but if you find it distasteful, please look away.

This next one is especially interesting, as presumably the family portrait was being painted so that it could be displayed:

One person's interpretation of Jesus blessing the little children: 

 This is from a painting by Lucas Kranach, friend of Martin Luther. Apparently the women in this church all sit together, presumably the men are sitting on the other side of the room, not because of breast feeding, though.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. As photography started becoming more widespread in the late 1800's  breast feeding women were being included in snapshots as well as posed portraits.  Clearly our ancestors did not consider a breast exposed for the purpose of feeding a child to be inappropriate, immodest, or undesirable in any way.

What happened? I think what happened was formula feeding. Women, generations of them now, have grown up without any association between breasts and their function in feedings babies. These women only know breasts as objects of sexual pleasure. While there is nothing wrong with using breasts for pleasure, it is wrong to say that body parts which bring sexual pleasure must be hidden in public. Do we say that about our lips? It is a perversion of design to relegate nursing mothers and their babies to public toilets and secret closets. Let Christians lead the way in giving honor to the Creator for his magnificent design.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Keepers At Home

If those words sound familiar, you may be one who reads the Bible in the King James Version. Here is the passage from which it comes:

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.    Titus 2:3-5

We shouldn't be confused into thinking that the admonition for women to be "keepers at home" means that women should not work. Of course women should work. Everyone should work; men, women and children. Working is part of God's design for us to be fruitful and to take dominion over the earth. The aged women don't teach the young women NOT to work, they teach them to be workers or keepers at home. Or at the homestead, or within the household, or to work within the goals and requirements of the household. 

Sometimes non-believers can explain it better. Here is a game-blogger who is concerned about the destruction of western civilization who is explaining why women working outside of the home are contributing to that decline:

Within the church we seem to be oblivious to what creates sexual attraction in women while secular observers are not afraid to state what they see and to take note of what to avoid when trying to prevent divorce and adultery. From the above linked blog post:

What we have today is that same working-woman hypergamy now directed to powerful men who are not her husband. The modern wife leaves the world of her husband every morning to submit to sexy male rulers presiding over the parallel world she inhabits during the day. She still has a boss, but it’s no longer her husband. The temptation for her to cheat, either bodily or in mind, must be great. The male equivalent would be as if dutiful husbands were catered to on the job by a steady stream of swimsuit models. Even the firmest virtue will bend to perpetual succulent vice. 

When I was first married, I was working at a law office. My boss was a male lawyer. I only continued working to finish up some projects in which my contributions were important to the clients, then I quit. But my husband had this to say about those days when I was still working, "This is not what I felt about you working for X (name of lawyer), but another form of it was the inherent betrayal of loyalty to me.  You were required to act in the best interest of your boss, over and above your duty to act in my best interest. Which is an unavoidable reality." I was only working two mornings per week, for a total of 8 hours, but even this small amount made our entire household subject to the needs of my boss and his schedule. As my husband noted, it is an unavoidable reality of employment. An employer really needs the commitment and loyalty of his staff to his goals and responsibilities. Even Jesus commented that no one can serve two masters. 

Without second-guessing what Paul had in mind when he wrote the letter to Titus, we can identify at least two very practical reasons why women should not be working outside of the home. The first is the temptation she will feel towards a man who is exhibiting alpha qualities and the second is that the woman is subjecting herself to a master who is not her husband, and therefore her husband has to become subordinate to her boss in terms of her time and efforts. Is any amount of income a fair trade-off for these threats to the marriage? 

When we look at the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31, we don't see a woman who doesn't work. But we also don't see a woman who is the servant of another master, a master other than her husband. Her work originates in her husband's house and all of her work is for the enrichment and benefit of her husband's house. It isn't a separate, parallel world to the work of her husband. Her husband's heart safely trusts in her and her children will rise up and call her blessed.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

To Court or Not to Court?

Court - The primary sense and application are not perfectly obvious. Most probably the word is from a verb which signifies to go round, to collect.  American Dictionary Of The English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

There are many English uses of the word "court" as both a noun and verb, and as a root word of such terms as "courtship" and "courtesan." I am particularly concerned in this blog post with the verb usage described by Noah Webster as:

In a general sense, to flatter; to endeavor to please by civilities and address; 2. To woo; to solicit for marriage.

This definition is adequate for my rejection of courting as a legitimate method for procuring a wife. At least when it comes to my sons and daughters. Selecting a spouse is too serious and important a matter to be reduced to flattery, solicitation and seduction. It is not enough for a young man to be able to woo and win the heart of a young woman. I'm sure there are thousands of men out there who could succeed at that task concerning my daughter. I believe it is in the nature of young women to be impressionable and to respond to such appeals from men. Even Eve, probably the purest and most intelligent woman who ever lived was wooed into a conversation with the serpent in the garden. His manner of address and civilities toward her were enough to overcome what should have been her hesitance to speak with him.

And why should a young man have to put all of his hopes for a good wife upon his success at being wily? Why should he be addressing himself at all to an impressionable young lady? If she falls for him, does that assure him she will be a good and faithful wife? If she doesn't fall for him, does that mean they shouldn't marry? We are talking about a woman who can't make a long term decision about hair style or shoes and we are putting it into her hands to decide whether she should or should not marry this man? What other good decisions has this young lady made? Is she the most qualified to make this very important decision? Do not men need to guard their hearts and be protected from heartbreak and rejection as much as women? Why should a man put it all out there with the potential to be stomped? How many men are willing to face the gauntlet of fickle female emotion? It is little wonder that many Christian young men are skipping this challenge and choosing to remain single.

If he should be successful in the wooing, he still has to face a myriad of other potential gate-closers. See my post here about that challenge.

Another usage of the word "court" contributes to my dislike of it as a method for finding a spouse. In nations that have a monarchy or aristocracy, the court refers to both the place of residence of a king or sovereign prince as well as the persons who compose the retinue or council of a king or emperor. (Thank you again, Mr. Webster) It came to include the social circle of the king/queen as well. Those who were in that circle could be said to be appearing "at court." Within this world of the court in Europe, including in Great Britain, the persons who appeared at court would engage in an immoral yet socially acceptable practice called courtship. This is where men of the aristocracy (the titled and privileged land-owning upper classes) would take both wives and mistresses from among the women at court. A woman at court, upon marriage, was expected to remain exclusive and faithful to her husband until she had born a son and heir to him. After that, she could engage in courtship activities and become the mistress of another, usually higher status, man. This practice still exists today in the English court. The current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II has had many mistresses. After his marriage to Lady Diana Spencer he had two very prominent mistresses who were married to other men in the British aristocracy. Both of these women, Camilla Parker-Bowles and an Australian woman by the nickname of Kanga, took pauses in their relationships with the Prince while they bore children to their husbands, then resumed their affairs with Prince Charles.

My personal working definition of courtship is "a romantic/sexual relationship with a person to whom one is NOT married."

This definition describes the courtship practice of the British court as well as the practice of Christian dating which is also called courtship. I can already hear the argument, "But the Christians aren't having sex during courtship!" It doesn't matter to me. Romantic attraction IS sexual attraction and to stir up that sort of attachment is to stir up something which belongs exclusively to the realm of marriage. There is no practical or righteous reason to form romantic attachments outside of marriage. Romance belongs in sexual relationships, not platonic ones. To any given man all of the women he will meet will fall into one of two categories. Those categories are 1. Wife and 2. Not-the-Wife. If a woman is his wife, he should be free to engage her sexually and romantically. If a woman falls into the second category, Not-the-Wife, he MUST NOT engage her romantically or sexually. It doesn't matter if she is his mother, an elderly woman at church, the wife of his best friend or a single woman at the grocery store. All of those women fall into the same category. Would it be ok for the Pastor to place his hand on my leg while we sat next to each other in church? No? Why not? Because I am not his wife. Is it ok for a single young man to place his arm around a single young woman at church? No! Because she is not his wife. The Bible doesn't give any other categories such as "potential wife," "girl friend," "fiance'," etc. Therefore any practice which permits and encourages men to have romantic or sexual relations with women to whom they are not married is an immoral practice and I cannot support it.

In other countries the woman who serve as mistresses or concubines to the royalty are called courtesans, which comes from the same root word. A courtesan might be a paid prostitute or she might be accepting admission to the the world of the court as payment. In other cases she might be another member of the nobility.

I am advocating for parents to arrange marriages between their sons and daughters. Who has a deeper interest in the well-being, happiness and eternal soul of a person than his or her own father? Who in the family is most qualified to weigh the qualifications of a potential spouse in light of the character of his own son or daughter? A father can give a daughter in marriage thus relieving her of the burden of controlling and checking her own desires during a courtship. When the father gives her in marriage, she is completely free to give herself romantically and sexually to her husband without restraint. A son whose father finds him a wife is freed from the burden of supplicating to another father, or to multiple fathers to gain access to the opportunity to woo a daughter, only to suffer the humiliation of rejection. Once he is given a bride, he can be vulnerable to love her with his whole heart without fearing the pain of having his advances stopped by the woman, her parents, her pastor, her elders, her siblings or her girlfriends.

Another advantage to women having their fathers find them husbands is that they no longer have to live with the agonizing fear of "What if no one ever comes to court me?" "What if I don't get married?" Once her parents have determined that she will marry, they will make sure it happens. They don't have to sit at home waiting and hoping that Prince Charming will come, they can be out beating the bushes and looking for him. Perhaps we can end this shame of Christian women who want to marry but are still sitting at home waiting at the age of 30.

I'm going to repeat my working definition of courtship here and let the reader determine whether it is appropriate for Christians to support such a thing.

 A romantic/sexual relationship with a person to whom one is NOT married - Courtship

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Vitriol From Pro-vacs

It is common when there is an outbreak of so-called "vaccine preventable diseases" that there will be news articles attempting to shame those who choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children. Actually, they really only get upset with those who won't vaccinate their children because Nazis people just love to tell others how to raise their children or have the government force parents to do what the Nazis people want. Rarely do I see a call for adults to get themselves vaccinated because it violates the liberal mantra to interfere with the "choice" of an adult. Anyway, this article from The New York Times is a classic example. It was stimulated by the resent outbreak of measles in Ohio.

The text of the article itself is entirely predictable and not noteworthy. What was shocking to me were the comments. There are comments that stop just short of advocating violence against parents who don't vaccinate. The common theme is that unvaccinated children should live their entire lives under quarantine inside of their homes. The humorous comments are the ones that start out with, "I was vaccinated against X and still got X... " which then go on to talk about how all children should be forced to get vaccinated. Huh? And it seems as though big pharma has succeeded in convincing a great number of people that measles is deadly.

This is disturbing, of course. But what frustrates me more is that at the same time that these people are accusing anti-vacs like me of getting my information from Jenny McCarthy and not being able to do my own research and not knowing any facts about disease or vaccines, they remain blissfully (or in this case angrily) unaware that over a single 12 year period in the United States only 4 people died of measles. None of them were children. Nearly all of the "victims" of the current Ohio outbreak of measles are adults.

Predictably, there was one pro-vac commenter who stated that big pharma can't use double blind studies to prove the safety and efficacy of vaccines because it would unethical. I guess it is more ethical to simply start giving the vaccinations and use everyone as test subjects?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Against Disease

I want to continue the conversation started here about vaccinations. In that piece I mentioned that pro-vacs tend to mischaracterize what it is that anti-vacs actually believe and say. If I understand the terms of logic, this represents a straw man argument, where one party provides a counter-argument to an argument that was never even presented. It is like setting up a straw man and then knocking it down. Anyone can defeat a straw man. It is much more difficult to address the actual arguments being made.

Recently I was accused of believing that getting diseases is healthy and that I am hoping that my children contract all sorts of illness because I believe it benefits their immune systems. Let me be clear here -- disease is the opposite of health. When a child is experiencing a diseased state of the body it is always, in my estimation, not a good thing. I have no wish or desire for my children to get diseases. I do not think only in terms of healthy and unhealthy but rather whether my children exist in a general state of wellness.  Over the past year my children have been exposed to and some of them contracted both pertussis (whooping cough) and chicken pox. How do I feel about that?

Their short term discomfort from those illnesses caused me to sympathize with them for sure, but at no time did they become seriously ill or need a doctor's care. They certainly were never anywhere near death. And now they have a lifelong immunity to whooping cough and long-term immunity against chicken pox. In addition, the entire family received a varicella zoster booster, in the form of exposure to active chicken pox, which will hopefully help us keep shingles at bay. I don't view this as being "good for the immune system". The immune system is good on its own. The fact that no one dies in our home from their daily exposure to viruses and bacteria is a pretty good sign that their immune systems are functioning well.

On the other hand, I do believe that the lack of live chicken pox virus floating around the populous is resulting in an increasing rate of shingles and the appearance of shingles in younger and younger people. Let me explain. When I was growing up in the 1970's and 1980's, shingles was nearly unheard of. The general understanding was that after having chicken pox, usually as a child, that a person was then immune to the illness of chicken pox for life, however, the virus would remain dormant, possibly hiding within nerve cells, and inexplicably would occasionally manifest itself as shingles. When I say "occasionally," I mean rarely. I never knew anyone with a case of shingles while I was growing up. Today, shingles is practically common. It seems that we are always praying for someone at church who is suffering from a painful case of shingles.

Is there something different about today's elderly people that makes them more susceptible to shingles? Yes there is. They don't get regular "boosters" of exposure to live cases of chicken pox. Because of the use of chicken pox vaccination, there are fewer young children running around with chicken pox than there used to be. In addition, the elderly tend to spend less time surrounded by lots of children, choosing instead to live in isolated communities and homes with other elderly. If they do have grandchildren that visit them, it is probably only  one or two, rather than 10. In contrast, when I was a child, we were around our grandparents all the time. And children who had chicken pox did not isolate themselves because everyone older had already had chicken pox and everyone younger was bound to get it. It was not considered a serious illness, because it isn't. This means that nearly everyone in the population who had any contact with children, including in public places like stores, was getting continual re-exposure to the virus that causes chicken pox.  This probably stimulated their immune systems to keep the varicella virus in check within their bodies, protecting from an outbreak of shingles.

Once an elderly person withdrew from exposure to children, he also withdrew from re-exposure to chicken pox and so his chance of getting shingles increased. How long does a person have to be away from chicken pox before she becomes vulnerable to a shingles attack? I can't find this information anywhere, but from personal experience in our family I know it can be as soon as 10 years. How did I discover this? Because my oldest son, who had chicken pox when he was about 7 got shingles when he was not yet 15. My second daughter had chicken pox when she was around 5 and got shingles at 20. My second son had chicken pox at around 3 and had shingles at 18. The pharmaceutical industry's answer to the massive increase in shingles is just another vaccine, recommended for the elderly. The shingles vaccine contains 14 times the strength of the chicken pox vaccine.

Have you heard anything about shingles in younger and younger people. Probably not because people do not go to the doctor when they have a small shingles lesion.  People don't go to the doctor for shingles until they need help with the pain or develop a secondary infection. So shingles, like most disease, is under reported. Younger people don't develop complications from shingles at the same rate as the elderly. How long before shingles is no longer classified as a disease of the elderly? How long until the shingles vaccine is recommend for all adults every 5 or 10 years?  A problem created by the combination of lifestyle changes plus vaccines is "cured" by yet another vaccine.

So, I don't want my children to have the diseases for which there are vaccines. But at the same time, I don't fear those diseases either.

The Scientific Method Has Fallen Out Of Favor

Full disclosure -- I am not a scientist. I don't pretend to be a scientist and I don't play one on television. Some may describe me as an evangelical fundamentalist Bible-thumper and declare me to be, therefore, anti-science, but that is untrue: at least the "anti-science" part. I love science. I love discovery. I love how science has been used in the development of technologies that make my life better. I hate that under the guise of science certain entities have furthered their agendas and done damage to liberty, public and individual health and the reputation of true science. Of what do I speak, you ask? Vaccines.

If I have to hear one more accusation that I am brain-washed, that I only know one side of the debate or that I just don't "understand the science" I am going to scream. It is particularly irksome to hear these accusations from anyone who has never even read a single article, let alone an entire book, which questions the wisdom of vaccinations and cannot even reasonably state the objections against vaccines. These accusations almost always start with the straw man "I know you think vaccines cause autism, but this has been proven to be false." I have yet to tell a single person that I don't vaccinate my children because I am afraid the vaccines will give them autism. 

Besides being frustrated by the pro-vac crowd always telling me I'm ignorant and that my children live under a continual threat of death from the looming, evil chicken pox, I am also frustrated that almost no one in the anti-vac crowd confronts the underlying theory upon which the entire vaccine house-of-cards is built. I reject that theory and the vaccines that flow from it.

At the risk of having a bunch of scientists tell me I'm an ignoramus, I'm going to talk about the scientific method and why I admire it. I've taken several science classes in both high school and college. In most of those course I had to be able to demonstrate that I understand the basic concept of the method. It is called a method because it is a particular process, a series of steps, used to make discoveries. It isn't so much about proving things as it is about eliminating ideas that are not accurate. This is not how vaccine science works because the very foundation of this method is undermined. Using the scientific method any given hypothesis can be supported by testing or it can be eliminated  by testing. If the hypothesis is not tested (using the rules of the scientific method) or if testing is accepted as valid only when it validates the hypothesis, then whatever is being done is simply not science. It might be technical, it might involve scientific subjects, it might involve studies, but it is not science.

When a hypothesis is presented, a true scientist does not become so invested in the hypothesis being correct that he is unable to design or unwilling to use tests which will lead to the destruction of the hypothesis. For example, I will describe in very simple language the hypothesis behind why vaccines prevent disease. It goes something like this: In nature, if a person is exposed to a disease pathogen such as a bacteria (pertussis, for example) or a virus (chicken pox, for example), this exposure and subsequent disease process in the body cause the body to develop a resistance so that future exposure to the pathogen does not result in illness in that individual. The individual is said to be "immune." A vaccination is a process whereby the disease organism is introduced into the body in a manner that does not cause illness but stimulates the body to create the same or similar immune response as if it had contracted the illness, resulting in the individual becoming immune.

The hypothesis does not need to attempt to describe how the body creates an immune response or what the factors are within the body in order for the hypothesis to be tested. In the case of vaccines, another related hypothesis was developed which says, roughly, that the way the body exercises immunity is by creating antibodies which recognize and attack the disease organism if it should present itself to the body after the original exposure and that the existence of these antibodies is a legitimate test of immunity.  This hypothesis has already been disproved,  although support and belief in this hypothesis remains high within the pro-vac community.

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has posted an article this month dealing with the measles and the measles vaccine which shines a light on what happens when your hypothesis isn't testing out to be true and you persist in using it as a basis for dealing with disease. The information shared in this article has been around for over 50 years, that is, it is dealing with vaccine events that happened as far back as 1963 when the measles vaccine was first introduced in the United States. Reading this article just strengthened my suspicions that the whole vaccine theory is flawed.

My basic objection to the theory behind all vaccines is that the mechanism behind immunity is not fully understood by medical science nor can it be. As the above article points out, even children who have a disorder whereby they cannot produce antibodies are able to become immune to measles (and other diseases) by being naturally exposed to the virus and experiencing some level of illness from the disease, even though they did not produce antibodies against the virus that allegedly causes measles. Without knowing fully the cause of disease or the mechanism of immunity development, how can pharmaceutical companies justify creating and injecting potentially harmful chemicals and disease causing organisms into humans in the attempt to create immunity?  Additionally and also pointed out in the article is the fact that any immunity created through the use of vaccines does not mimic natural immunity and is short-lived at best and non-existent at worst. To date, not a single vaccine has been tested and shown to be as effective in creating immunity as natural exposure and none have been shown to create a life-long immunity as originally promised and as continues to be promised in the case of some vaccines.

Pro-vac folks tell me that double blind studies on humans would be unethical and that is why they are not done. But doesn't that make all humans test subjects who submit to the vaccine? In the case of measles vaccine, we see that a killed measles vaccine was introduced into the U.S. and was used for several years until it became obvious that it didn't work and was dangerous, or rather until another vaccine could be approved for use. That is the way of the vaccine market. Untested products are used on real human subjects until they are shown to be dangerous AND there is a replacement waiting in the wings. We saw the same thing with the live polio virus in the U.S. I was telling my doctor that I didn't want my children to have it because they would be shedding live polio virus for months and I was poo-pooed. 15 years later, it fell out of favor in the U.S. for that very reason, but not until a replacement was ready. If I knew about the dangers in the days before the internet, the medical community knew about it, too. But the agenda said to keep going regardless of what the science says.

So this is my beef, the theory behind vaccinations doesn't pass scientific muster. The hypothesis that injecting pathogenic organisms into humans causes an immune response that is similar to or identical to the natural immune response to actually contracting the disease is flawed. It has not been proven through scientific testing using the scientific method. There is no scientific evidence that vaccines reduce the rates of disease or the rates of death from disease.

This is enough for me. Even if I didn't have genuine concerns about the safety of injecting poisonous chemicals and dangerous disease organisms along with foreign proteins into human bodies and even if I didn't have genuine concerns about the damage these vaccines cause to the immune system and the contributions they make to auto-immune disorders, I wouldn't vaccinate my children because I have no confidence that they do any good whatsoever. Our bodies were not designed to learn to resist disease that enters our bodies by injection, which is not the normal path of infection with the possible exception of tetanus.

The theory behind vaccines also relies heavily on the questionable "germ theory" which states that exposure to pathogenic organisms is the primary mechanism behind disease rather than the theory that the state of the body, its health and vitality, determine whether a body will become diseased and the extent to which it will resist and recover from disease. There is also no consideration in the vaccine industry about whether there is any disease for which the risk of death is so low that the risks of the vaccine are greater than any benefit that could come from avoiding the disease. This is most obvious to those of us who grew up in an age where everyone we knew had the chicken pox with no apparent danger to life and limb. But as the above article documents, this was also true for measles at the time the vaccine was introduced. Not only did very, very few people die or even need to be hospitalized for measles, modern medicine had discovered very effective vitamin treatments which completely cured measles in a matter of days.

I am always open to discussion of this issue as long as there are no ad hominem attacks. I am not afraid of any facts. Scare tactics don't work on me, so keep those to yourself. There are so many more aspects of this issue that are not discussed. Please surprise me with an argument I haven't yet heard.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Does Physical Contact Lead to Sex?

This is the second in a two-part series addressing the claims of Lily Dunn that the Church taught her lies about sex. In my first post I agreed with two of her claims and gave my own solution for how the Church or her parents could have done it better. This time I'm going to disagree with her assertion that the Church (it is Churchianity really, not the orthodox teachings of the Church that come from Scripture) was wrong to teach her that "Any and all physical contact is like a gateway drug to sex."

I'm going to quote a paragraph here where she sums up her idea on this issue and sets up a straw man:

If you are committed to waiting until you’re married to have sex, there are many valid reasons to set boundaries on your physical relationship, but the fear of accidentally having sex shouldn’t be one of them.

The straw man in the above paragraph is the use of the word "accidentally." In her own analysis of the issue she accurately describes, I believe, the things she was being told. One of them was that kissing and petting become a "slippery slope" to more sexual activity, including intercourse. I am not sure why she would characterize this warning as her teachers saying that holding hands would lead to accidentally engaging in intercourse. I'm pretty sure, as a matter of fact I'm positive, that her teacher meant that a girl who engages in small sexual behaviors is more likely to choose to do more. Sex isn't something that happens to a woman, it is something she does. A dog bites a child. But a woman is a participant in sex. 

While Lily accuses her teachers of saying that "(g)irls don't care about sex" (Her point number 3), what they were very clearly saying in teaching her to avoid physical contact is that women care very much about sex. They care about it as much as men. At no point did she accuse her teachers of telling her to avoid physical contact because a man might misunderstand her willingness and thus force himself upon her. They were saying that when you want to bake bread, you first heat up the oven. If you have absolutely no intention of baking bread, why are you heating the oven?  I wonder if Lily expects her husband to preheat her oven before having sex with her? Does she not consider that when he is petting her and kissing her that he is hoping or wanting to move on to intercourse? This is not craziness and it is not a concept that only Christians believe. The difference between Christians and the world on this issue is not whether sexual contact begets more sexual contact, it is whether sexual contact between non-marrieds is appropriate. The world says it is ok, as long as the woman wants to do it, so naturally they aren't going to be saying, "don't hold hands" or "don't kiss."

This opens up her whole blog post to the criticism that while she may have believed the wrong things about sex, it was not because of what she was told but because of how she interpreted what she heard. Her teachers said that some sexual contact (physical touch) leads to more, she heard, "you might accidentally have sex." That is as ridiculous as it sounds, and it isn't what they said. She heard, "girls don't care about sex," but what they said was "you young women care about sex and will do it if you get aroused."

Here might be an appropriate place to discuss what IS a permitted amount of physical touch or romantic involvement between an unmarried man and woman. Lily certainly gave no guidelines as to what the Church should have taught her or whether the Scriptures address this issue. She seems to be saying that each woman should be free to decide that for herself because she knows herself and will make good decisions. Of course, all of history would be against that idea and all women, even old ones, need to have good boundaries to keep them from sin. We flee temptation, not revel in it to see how close we can come to sin without really doing it.

There is no Scripture saying how much physical contact non-marrieds can have. Perhaps the Word is arguing from its silence on the subject? After all, this is a very modern question. The answer to our ancestors was apparently obvious. I shall endeavor to address it by asking a question. What level of physical contact is acceptable between me, a married woman and a man who is not my husband? Would it be acceptable for me to sit in the back pew at church and hold hands with a man? Why not? What about kissing another man? What about letting him fondle me over my clothing? Put his arm around me while we walk on the beach? What is the reason that we cringe when we read those things? What is wrong with them? I am not talking about having sex with him, right?

Here is the answer. As far as we know from Scripture, romantic or sexual contact is only permitted between married people. A woman is to reserve her romantic and sexual behaviors (and they are the same thing) for her husband exclusively. If she is not married, she has no one upon whom she can bestow these behaviors. They are no more appropriate to shower upon on a man who is not her husband before she gets married than after she gets married. Sex is for married people, don't we all agree? It is wrong to include only intercourse in the definition of "sex". If so, fellatio is in the same category as hand holding. That is the "not sex" category. No serious person can say, "I can hold hands with this young man because the Bible doesn't prohibit it" unless she is also willing to say, "I can suck on the penis of this man because the Bible doesn't prohibit it." But then, maybe that is her argument to which I throw up my hands and say, "I get it, you won't have your behaviors restricted by anyone." The feminist imperative at work.

Churchianity's Teachings on Marital Sex

On facebook the other day I came across this blog post, 4 Lies The Church Taught Me About Sex , and it made me feel sad. Call me idealistic, but sex is wonderful and Christians should be enjoying it to a higher degree than any one else on the planet. Only Christians can immerse themselves fully, body, soul and spirit in what it means to be married, to be one flesh, to be living out the picture of eternal union with Christ. Amen?  I don't mean that every time a husband and wife come together it should turn into worship (that's pagan) or that it should be a transcendent spiritual episode, but simply that we should be absolutely free to abandon ourselves to the physical pleasure that is sex. It should be triumphant, not guilt ridden. So what went wrong?

I'm going to skip over her point number 1 completely for right now. I don't agree with her and I want to author another post addressing her complaint that she was taught "Any and all physical contact is like a gateway drug to sex."

So we move on to point number 2, "If you wait until you are married to have sex, God will reward you with mind-blowing sex and a magical wedding night." There is so much wrong with this idea, especially the part that follows "God will reward you." God (or nature) WILL reward you for keeping your sex life exclusive to your husband. In the same way that a woman who doesn't do this has the opposite of reward, which may manifest itself as guilt, regret, disease, emotional distress or some other negative issue.  But who or what would tell young women that marriage night sex is "mind-blowing" or "magical"? Assuming the authoress of this post was actually taught that and that she herself didn't teach it to herself, this is just irresponsible and downright cruel.

Here is the big rub for me. Truth. Truth. Truth. What do Christians and especially Churchians have against truth? What do we fear? Do we secretly believe that premarital sex is fun and exciting and that if we let young women know that they will all run off and start fornicating? So we feel compelled to build some sand castles in the sky for them about marital sex that will only come true if they abstain before? Nothing in the Christian walk is an incantation or spell. We don't do or say the right things and therefore obligate God to give us prizes. The reason that woman should reserve sex for marriage is because it is the only context in which God gives us permission to exercise that joy. It is obedience. The fact that there are consequences for not doing it is only secondary, because frankly, in a practical sense, there may very well be benefits that come from disobeying. Can premarital sex be fun? Of course. Can premarital sex give us a deep sense of bonding with a partner? Of course. Can premarital sex cause a partner to stay with us when he would have otherwise moved on? Of course. Do all of those benefits justify the transgression of God's law? Nope.

Now, to the credit of this young woman's teachers, she was told some accurate things about the first marital sex experience. She was told that honeymoon sex is not going to the best sex. She was told it might be uncomfortable. She was told it takes work. I think what was really lacking were the specifics, the mechanics. She claims that her body was "locked up tighter than Maid Marian's chastity belt." No one warned her about that. Or did they? Perhaps that is what her teachers were trying to convey with their veiled language about "not the best," "hard work," and "uncomfortable." But her teachers were too vague. I think the actual problem was not with her body or inexperience at all, but with her brain.

I believe that her problems on her wedding night actually stem from what she reveals about herself in her point number 4, "When you get married you will immediately be able to fully express yourself sexually without guilt or shame."  This should be true. This is a teaching, however, which can't come in as one sentence at a youth conference. Unfortunately, this truth is only going to true for a specific woman if she has not spent her childhood being taught that anything at all about sex acts is dirty, evil, gross, sinful, shameful, bad, naughty, etc. The shamefulness of sex is never based upon the act itself, which is neutral, but upon the context in which it occurs.

Examining the law of God we see that there are no prohibited sex acts. God never says, don't do this thing or that thing. In the New Testament Paul says that the marriage bed is undefiled. This was not a new teaching. He was giving us a commentary on the Old Testament teaching about sex, which is that it is always appropriate in marriage and whatever/however it occurs in marriage it is good and right. So what DOES God condemn in the area of sex? Not acts, but rather certain relationships. Regardless of how they do it, if a woman has sex with an animal they are both to be put to death. If a man has sex with another man, that is a shameful, sinful, dirty, naughty. Not because of the nature of the act, but because it is the wrong context for that act. A penis is a sex organ. It has other purposes, of course, but it is completely normal and within the design for it to be used for sex. It is not a perversion to use a penis for sex even though it is also used for urinating. Urinating is no more perverted than sex. But sex with a wife. It isn't the penis that sins in homosexual sodomy, it is the man.

A man is prohibited from having sex with his mother. Does that make sex bad? Does that make his penis evil? Nope. Sex is not shameful. Sex is not bad. Sex is not evil. Marriage is, at its very core a sexual relationship. Sex is what makes marriage different from other relationships. Anyone can cook for your husband or clean for him. Anyone can care for his children. But if anyone who does those things for him is not his wife, and she has sex with him, she sins. Not because of the act, but because of the context.

This is the same reason that Christian woman have hysterics about a woman breastfeeding her child in public. The use of the breast for feeding a child is perfectly normal use of the breast. The mother is not having sex with her child, she is feeding her. Breasts are multifunctional. They are sensual during sex, for sure. Even the Bible endorses enjoying a woman's breasts during sex. ALL of the uses for the breast are equally valid. Breasts are not evil. Women are not evil for having breasts. A breast that is exposed for the purpose of feeding a baby is not scandalous. This is an historical truth. But when we teach that sex is evil and shameful, we start piling on to that wrong teaching and we begin to teach that breasts are shameful, a penis is shameful, the vulva is shameful. We must not look at these shameful things or touch them, even on accident, or talk about them! If we do, we might be tempted to use them, and they are NAUGHTY!  Do we see how ridiculous that is?

I beg you, fellow Christian mothers, do not instill a sense of shame into your daughters (or sons, although they don't necessary buy into this delusion so easily) about sex! If anything, you should be getting them interested and excited about the day they get to let it all hang loose!  You will have to tell them that sex can be messy and they should not see that as disgusting. "It is sort of gross when your baby brother poops all over your lap, but don't ever associate that with your husband sharing his seed with you." Sorry to be so graphic, but there it is and her husband will thank you. A husband needs a wife to be not only "not grossed out", but he wants her to be welcoming and eager to take what he offers. She should look forward to it and desire it.

In her closing paragraph she says this:

If our reason for saving sex until marriage is because we believe it will make sex better or easier for us, we’re not only setting ourselves up for disappointment, but we’re missing the point entirely. 
And I couldn't agree more. There are good and right reasons for abstaining until marriage. But a young woman shouldn't be spending years and years "keeping their sex drives in check." Particularly when having that sex drive is seen as a sin itself. The apostle Paul said that if young people can't contain, let them marry. Let's teach our daughters that the presence of their sex drive is sign that they are ready for marriage and we will get Daddy to work finding a husband right away. 
Stop teaching your daughters that their body parts are naughty. Stop teaching them that sex is sinful. Tell them the truth. And if you don't know the truth, get your Bible out and actually read it. Stop listening to the lies of Churchianity, which has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof.

Sophie's Choice - Why Can't She Choose Her Own Husband?

I have been doing some more reading over at In this post, a young woman by the name of Sophie is arguing in the comments that she should not be prohibited from choosing her own husband. She claims that she isn't insisting on doing the choosing, but rather should simply have the veto if her father wants her to marry a man that she doesn't "like." In other words, as long as her father picks a man that she chooses, she will obey her father and marry him. That reminds me of a woman who obeys her husband in everything, as long as she agrees with him.

The heart of her issue, which she herself doesn't even realize, is that she is as solipsistic as the typical woman. She is the measure of all things. Absolutely no one, no man and not even God, are going to put any limits on her. They are not going to limit her sexuality, for sure. This is the essence of  feminism. A woman can do anything she pleases without limitation and without guidance and it is the duty of others, including her God-given authorities to embrace her choices and to finance them. I'm sure that Sophie would deny being a feminist, but she is believing and practicing the core principles of feminism, therefore she is a feminist, even if she would protest.

No one should miss this post over at Vox Day's Alpha Game Blog. It sums up the solipsism of women very concisely.  And why should women read this and understand it? Because if we don't understand the evil residing in our nature, we are bound to either excuse and dismiss it or outright embrace it. Don't be put off by the strong language. It won't hurt you.

What follows is my response to Sophie and the other commentors over at True Love Doesn't Wait. I wanted to save it here for future reference, you know, for that book I'm going to write someday. It deals with the arguments which say that betrothal is not a command or that any way of getting a wife is ok. On the contrary, I believe that betrothal or an outright purchase are the only ways of getting a wife that conform to what is taught about marriage in the Scriptures. I also wanted to point out that while I agree with much of  what Vaughn Ohlman (the writer/owner of True Love Doesn't Wait) says about betrothal, I also have very serious differences of opinion with him. I do not accept his definitions of either betrothal or marriage, for example, which are pretty big differences.  Ok, my comment follows:

I don't think that Sophie really does have (or that she should have) choices. I think the Bible shows us that a woman does not have the authority over her own sexuality. Her father is the guardian of it until she marries, and he decides to whom and when she will be given in marriage. Once she is married the authority and control over her sexuality passes to her husband.

While there is no single passage of Scripture where this is explained and set forth, it is revealed all throughout the Scriptures. Obviously Vaughn has already written two books on the subject, and even in those he wasn't able to cover every verse where these principles are either mentioned or implied. When we say "show me the verse....!" we are demanding something we don't demand of other principles. For example, where is the verse in the law of God which commands parents to feed and clothe their children? What? There is no such command? But we see parents doing it. Is that just cultural?

In the case of betrothal, we not only see that it is implied as the natural and normal way of doing things, we also see that God, in his law, gives remedies to fathers and husbands when other men, or even the daughter/wife herself decide to exercise their sexuality outside their authority. We see a law wherein a man who suspects his wife of being adulterous can have the priest test her for it. If she is guilty, either by admission or by failing the test, she ends up dead. There is no such test for husbands. A husband's sexuality is not under the control or authority of his wife. He has a duty to her sexually, but it is not exclusive to her. God calls this "just". Is that cultural?

But the real convincer for me came after I became reformed. When I came to understand that the grace of God is irresistible to me. The father chose me for Christ and neither Christ nor I have any choice in the matter. God, Himself, uses betrothal for His Son. And then He created the institution of marriage as a picture of the marriage of Christ and His bride. Every aspect of the marriage, including the betrothal is pictured in how men take wives. The way we do this speaks the gospel. When we ignore betrothal we lie. We are hiding the gospel. When Christians let women choose or not choose their husbands we are using a picture of marriage that lies about the gospel.

There is nothing about marriage from its institution in the Garden until today that is cultural. It was created for the purpose of illustrating the gospel. Not the other way around. God didn't look around the earth and try to find some earthly thing that would help him explain what He is doing, instead, He invented marriage and gave us marriage as an aid to our understanding. When we accept the analogy as created we see that election is from the beginning, we see that betrothal is from the beginning. It is a vital part of the message of the gospel and therefore should not be excluded from the manner in which God's people express marriage.

Perhaps Sophie believes that she chose Christ? Or that she at least had the option to reject Him if she didn't like him? The Scriptures don't teach this. We are to love the God who first loved us, not just say "no" if He doesn't get our motor running. In the same way, we are to love our husbands and if we don't, the older women can teach us how. We don't "marry the one we love", we "love the one we marry". Huge difference. We have no business loving men who are not our husbands.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Advice From a Seasoned Home Schooling Mother

I have always disliked the term "home school" because it contains the word "school". We do not now, nor have we ever, attempted to set up a school in our home. We don't attempt to school our children. For the past 24 years we have been educating them. It isn't semantics, educating and schooling are not the same thing. I used "home schooling mother" in my title because people understand that I mean my children don't attend school. They are educated at home.

Looking back at over two decades of educating my own children, it is almost difficult for me to remember those first days. Education at home is now as natural and normal for us as indoor plumbing. We have long ago ceased to marvel that we are doing something so amazing and novel. But I do remember some things about getting started. I remember my commitment. I was never the type to say, "We'll try this for a year and if it doesn't work out, we'll do something else with the children." No, I was committed to at least a complete high-school level education right at home. I also remember that I sought out the wisdom of those I respected who were already doing it. That was definitely something I did right. Support was something I thought I needed, so I sought it out and found it.

During a recent visit with a friend from back in the day, when we were both starting out in home education and our oldest children were very young, I expressed my reasons for no longer being involved in a home school support group. The group of which the two of us (my friend and I) had been a part was specifically formed as a support group for the parents. It offered little or nothing in the way of activities for the children. We met once per month at a church building that had a gymnasium and the children were permitted to play, supervised, while the adults (primarily mothers) met to discuss challenges, compare curricula and encourage one another. Once per year we held a meeting in the evening so that working fathers could attend the meetings. But all of the current home school groups I know of are all about the children. They either have co-op classes or offer enrichment activities or are geared toward providing opportunities for the children to socialize with other children. This last goal is directly opposed to some of my reasons for not sending my children to school. The parents tend to have everything under control. They get advice from the internet and curricula from the internet. They look at me like a strange dinosaur rather than a resource. These women have nothing to offer me and they don't feel I have anything to offer them. So I don't waste our family's time or resources to cavort with other home schoolers just to say that we do it. If something isn't contributing to our goals as a family, we probably don't have time for it.

My solipsism, however, continues to tell me that I must have something to offer on the basis of all of my experience as a home educator. So I will give my unsolicited advice. My target audience is the parent who isn't already surrounded by experienced home educators and still has those nagging fears and unanswered questions about whether or not they should keep their children at home. I offer this as encouragement as much as advice.

1. You can't ruin your child in a year.  This is sort of a motto with me. No matter how badly you mess up the first year of home education, your child will NOT be ruined. It is likely that your child will not be harmed in the slightest. You don't have to commit for life, like I did, you can just say to yourself, "We will try this for one year, and then at the end of that year, we will evaluate what happened and where we want to go from there." Even if your child doesn't finish a single lesson in math, or doesn't advance one bit in reading, it doesn't mean that all of you haven't learned things. There is nothing that a child is supposed to learn at age 5 that can't also be learned at age 6 instead. There are no rules for when things need to be taught. Children are resilient. It will be o.k.  This is even more true of older children, even high school aged children, because they are even more capable of making up lost time. We all know people that have graduated from high school a year early by simply doubling up on classes. It can be done.

2. Focus on character building first and academics second.  If your children are not obedient, if you don't like your children, if you can't even get them to take out the garbage or feed the dog, don't even think about trying to force them to do school work. You will be setting yourself up for serious conflict. It is hard enough when you have a great relationship with a joyfully obedient child to always get through a difficult math lesson without tears. Not having well-behaved children is NOT a reason to avoid home education, but rather a sign that you need it more than ever. If you don't know how to go about training your children in righteousness, seek help. There are some great resources out there, including books. And don't be afraid to get tips from older folks in your church who have adult children you think have turned out well. Despite being controversial, I don't think there is a better book for restoring order in the home than Michael and Debi Pearl's To Train Up A Child. If you don't enjoy the company of your children, it is your fault. If you don't enjoy them, then probably no one else does either and you aren't doing your job. You owe it to them, and yourself, to rectify the situation. The home should be a place where family members live together in harmony. Make that happen first, then turn your attention to book learnin'. A special note here about starting home education with children who are older, you might need an entire year just to get used to living that way. You may need time to get to know one another, to create chore schedules and organize the home so that it functions well having lots of people in it all day long, every day. Don't be afraid to take as much time as it takes to deal with this first.

3. Develop your own home educating philosophy and set goals in line with that philosophy.  Families choose home education for many different reasons. Don't pattern your home education after a family that has different goals. There are many styles and flavors of programs, curricula, methods, and you want to find one that matches the way you think and believe. This means that you will have to do a little bit of research. What is classical learning? What is unschooling? What is the Charlotte Mason method? What are unit studies? Do we want to accelerate their education? Do I want to teach all of my children together or have separate products and programs for all of them? Do we want them to be prepared to go off to college, or do we have other ideas for what they will do after high school? In the alternative, you can just purchase a packaged curriculum or some workbooks, or just go light on academics the first year while you form you own philosophies and goals.In any case, don't be surprised if whatever you choose to do the first year is not what you choose to do in subsequent years. It happens to all of us.

If you take my advice, at the very least you should end your first year of home education saying, "That was fun. That was exciting. We learned a lot."