Monday, July 19, 2010

PRIME RIB AND APPLE

By Jill Briscoe. Grand Rapids, Mi: Zondervan, 1976.

One of the main reasons why Eve yielded to the serpent’s temptation was because Adam wasn’t with her. He was off doing whatever and Eve was alone. One of the reasons she ate the fruit was because she didn’t have Adam there to back her up in resisting.

The Bible doesn’t say that Sarai was contentious. She laughed when she heard God was going to give her a son at 90 years old, but most people would find that impossible.

The Bible doesn’t say that Lot’s wife always had to keep up with the Joneses. She did look back at Sodom, though.

Job’s wife wanted Job to curse God, but she must have seen what happened in Job’s life (when God revealed Himself to Job and explained why Job was suffering) because they had ten more children together.

The Bible does indeed say that Hannah was bitter when she was weeping before the Lord at the temple. However, I don’t think her vow to give Samuel to the Lord was made out of rashness. Hannah was a very godly woman. She felt that if God gave her a son, then she would give him back to Him.

If there was ever a woman who could have ended up a bitter, mean, spiteful woman, it was Hannah. She had to live with a horrible woman, and a husband who does indeed sound insensitive. “Whatcha want a son for, babe? You got me.”

Hannah gave Samuel to the priest of God without complaint, and had five more children.

1 Samuel 25 37 says, “but it came to pass in the morning when the wine was gone out of Nabal and his wife had told him these things (that she had stopped David from coming to kill him) that his heart died within him and he became a stone”

“Oh man, this is really gonna make me look like a wuss in front of my buddies.”

I don’t know if Bathsheba was a godly woman or not. Was it normal for people to take baths on their roofs in those days?

I don’t think Elimelech and Naomi’s decision to leave Bethlehem was wrong. They were just moving to Moab temporarily until the famine was over. Likewise, I don’t think Orpah’s decision to leave Ruth and stay in Moab was wrong, either. She would have had trouble in Israel. She would have been austracised and looked down on. There also would have been a huge culture shock.

In Chapter 9, Jill Briscoe twists the whole issue of women preachers. She talks about prophetesses. Prophetesses saw into the future and told people about the vision the Lord had given them. They didn’t prophesy in the sense of teaching. Briscoe cites Mary Magdalen telling the disciples about the empty tomb as teaching. No, Mary Magdalen was just telling them what she had seen. She was relating an experience: not teaching.

Briscoe also talks about a woman giving advice. This is counselling one on one, not teaching in the usual sense of the word.

She mentions Phebe. Phebe had the gift of service. She wasn’t a preacher. She talks about Precilla “teaching” Apolos. Precilla didn’t stand in a pulpit and correct him on the doctrine he was wrong about. She talked to him: had a conversation with him. She didn’t “teach” Apolos or “preach” to him.

Briscoe also quotes a verse about letting women speak in the church which I can’t find and a verse about a teacher in Philipi which I also can’t find.

The chapter is supposed to centre around Miriam. Miriam did have courage, cleverness and a talent for persuasion. She also led singing. She was a prophetess, too, but this is defined as I defined it above: someone who received visions from the Lord about the future and told the people about them.

Briscoe quotes a verse about spiritual gifts and says this applies to both men and women, so therefore women are allowed to be teachers. Women can be teachers. In Titus they are commanded to teach the young women, but they aren’t to be preaching to the church body.

The verse in 1 Timothy says, “I suffer not a woman to teach or to usurp the authority of a man.” Briscoe twists this verse to mean that women aren’t allowed to teach only if it usurps a man in the church’s authority. It says, “to teach or to usurp the authority of a man.” “Or” implies Paul is talking about two different things.

Upon further study of this passage, it would seem there was a problem in Ephesus with certain women trying to didactically introduce false doctrines, including mother goddess worship, to the believers, thus usurping the authority of Paul and Timothy which they had received from Christ. Just as Eve was deceived  into thinking she knew better than Adam (who had received the truth about the fruit from God) even though Adam was formed first and had been on Earth longer, these women who had been brought to faith as a result of the ministry Paul and Timothy had done in Ephesus thought they knew better than Paul and Timothy about Christianity and its doctrines.

Thus, this passage does not prevent women from teaching as I had thought. Besides, church gatherings were more open in the early church. You didn't have either a woman or a man standing in a pulpit for 45 minutes, delivering a sermon, then dismissing the congregation. Different Christians who happened to be gathered together would bring sermonettes and other things as it says in 1 Corinthians 14, with other believers free to ask questions and make comments.

Also, deacon means basically what Phebe was doing as recorded in the first verses of Romans 16, distributing money for the work of the church. You didn't have Deacon Jones throwing his weight around like he does today: an office was a role of service, not a worldly position of privilege.

In Chapter 10, Jill Briscoe totally distorts the story of Elisha and the widow.

Chapter 11 is about Esther. Most people’s interpretation of Esther is totally different from the true interpretation.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

MATHEW 8 1-13

Matthew 8 1-13

In verse 2, a leper says to Jesus, “lord if thou art willing thou canst make me clean” Leprosy made you ceremonially unclean. Being ceremonially unclean meant you were unclean before God. Only God could make someone clean who was ceremonially unclean. This leper had great faith and recognized that Jesus was God.

In verse 9, a Roman centurion says to Jesus, “for I am a man under authority having soldiers under me and I say to this go and he goeth and to another come and he cometh and to my servant do this and he doeth”

What the Roman centurion was saying was, “I tell this man “Go” and he goes, and I tell another man “Come” and he does, because I have authority over them. You are the God of the universe, so you have authority over this sickness. If you tell it to go, it will go.”

Jesus answered in part, “and I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”

In church last Sunday, our pastor tried to tie this passage into how we’ll be perfect in the kingdom of heaven and how far short we now fall of this. However, there are times when we’re experiencing times of great faith and we’re thinking, “This is what it will be like when we get to Heaven. There won’t be any doubts or anybody trying to put up arguments to destroy our faith. We’ll just have faith in God, period, without anything else.”

There are other times when we’re having fellowship with other Christians and we think, “This is a small fraction of what it’ll be like when Jesus returns. There won’t be any conflicts or tensions or evil desires towards other people. We’ll live in perfect accord with one another, like we’re having good fellowship with each other right now.”

As we grow in our walk with God, hopefully we sin less and we have more of these kinds of glimpses of what eternity will be like for us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

LIFE 100.3 RESPONDS TO SCHOOLBOARD'S STANCE

My comments are in parenthesis.

LIFE 100.3’s new billboards are stopping traffic in Barrie. In the wake of the Simcoe County District School Board’s decision to remove references to Judeo-Christian
values from its moral code, LIFE 100.3 wanted to respond. (Nothing can be Judeo-Christian. It’s kind of like talking about a virgin whore.)

LIFE 100.3 bought six billboard locations throughout Barrie with the message “No Jesus in Barrie Public Schools? We have Jesus on the Radio.” (Yes, get some shameless self-promotion in there.) LIFE 100.3’s
Breakfast Club hosted a call in show and was flooded with calls from listeners with their response to the decision.

Morning show host Ben Davy said, “With all the challenges that students and teachers already face in our public schools, to think that the Simcoe County
District School Board would take the initiative to remove references to Judeo-Christian values from it's moral code is a shock. (Why would it be a shock? Remove the values, the situation at the schools gets worse, the schoolboard gets to put in more rules and throw more of its weight around, which is what it wanted all along.) It's not about forcing
a religion on people. (Why shouldn’t we force our religion on people, you wimp? This is our country, founded on Christian principles. If people don’t like that, they can leave.) When we look at the teachings of Christ, we see 'Love your neighbour as yourself, turn the other cheek, forgive and you will be forgiven'...Are
these not values we want to install in all of our children - religious or otherwise? (First of all, that should be instill. Second, you and many parents may want to INSTILL these values in your children, but did you ever think that maybe the schoolboard doesn’t?) These are values that are not exclusive to Christianity - they are
consistent with nearly every faith group, and even among the many who hold no religious views at all." (How do you know that? Have you studied other religions. Haven’t you figured out that it’s not about what you or any of the parents want? It’s about what the people in control want. If they can remove references to Christian moral values, then they will be able to bring order out of the chaos that ensues.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

REPLY AWL

The May 10 issue of Maclean's has an article about white people being evicted from the Kanawake reserve. This is typical. The Natives like to talk about how loving and tolerant they are, then they do something like this.

In the same issue, there is an article about children with really low vision not being taught braille in school. All children who are going to lose their remaining vision by adulthood should be taught braille. Without it, they will be totally illiterate.

The May 24 issue of Maclean's has an article about a drug shortage in Saskatchewan due to regulations. I wonder how many fewer deaths from prescription drugs there has been since the drug shortage began.