Friday, October 29, 2010

Politically incorrect….

The Bible is very clear about the roles of women and men, especially ‘in’ the church. Men are to rise to the challenge of being the ‘head of the household’. Men are called to be the teachers and overseers in the church. Sadly, many men do not rise to that challenge. You might call it a sin of omission. On the other hand, some women sin in the opposite way. In an act of disobedience, they decide to serve God by teaching, being overseers in the church, or ruling the household. In these cases, neither man nor woman is rising to the appropriate challenge. Serving God by being disobedient is not serving God, it’s serving oneself, and burying your talent in the sand, ignoring your responsibility, is laziness.

Ephesians 5:23…For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.

1 Timothy 2:12…I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

1 Corinthians 14:33-35…For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to enquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

1 Peter 3:1-7…Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

1 Tim 3:2-13…Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?). He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:6-9…An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

2 Tim 2: 24-26…And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Extremism…

If you are a Christian that:

“Love(s) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”…  (Mark 12:30)

…by the world’s standards, you would likely be labeled an extremist. Why? Well, for one, loving anything or anyone with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength would be considered extreme. You would have to be completely infatuated, completely immersed. Secondly, God tells us that loving Him equates to following His commands. If you actually follow and promote all of His commands, not just the ones you like or agree with or that are politically correct, once again you would certainly be considered extreme. Quite frankly, if you were verbal about your beliefs, you would likely be persecuted as well, and I’m speaking of ‘in’ the church at large.

Then we have the Muslim faith. The phrase ‘Muslim extremists’ has been getting a lot of air play, especially since 911. What makes them ‘extreme’, though? It seems to me that they are extreme because they follow their holy book more to the letter than those that aren’t labeled ‘extreme’. The extremists appear to be more zealous about following the commands in the Koran. Indeed, by following them they are more extreme.

I don’t see an easy fix for this. There will always be extremists in both religions. The primary difference that I see is that Jesus, the Prince of peace, promoted true peace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. Jesus told us to love one another, to put away our swords, to love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us. The Koran commands Muslims to kill the infidels. As near as I can tell, even a proclaiming Muslim that wasn’t extreme enough for the extreme Muslims, might also be targeted by the extreme Muslims. That, in itself, might prevent many Muslims from being vocal about being in disagreement with the extremists and the concept of killing the infidels. In voicing their disagreement, they would be undermining their own holy book.

Jesus is Lord.