Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sexism in God's Eyes

Originally, God made men and women to be equal. So the people who "always say 'man and woman' were created equal" are right. It is also correct that because of sin and imperfection, that is no longer the case. After sin, women were given two curses (according to Genesis 3:16):
  1. Pain with childbirth
  2. Superiority of husband
From that time onward, women have always had a slightly lower status because Eve proved that we can't be left alone (and whether we wish to believe that or not, it is true). 

However, we are all still equal in worth. God does not change His behavior based on the gender He is working with. Though we see that the majority of the Bible is focused on men due to culture, there were definitely women worth mentioning-- Rahab, Ruth, Esther, Phoebe, Chloe, Miriam, Zipporah, Lydia, the female followers of Jesus, etc. And I'm quite sure that God used women in other scenarios, too, who simply were not mentioned, just as there are some males who played active roles but were not mentioned.

Lastly, though in a marital relationship the husband has superiority, they are still both equal (difficult concept, yes, but entirely infallible because it's in God's Word).
  • Ephesians 5:22-29 shows that the superiority of the husband does not give way to abuse or arrogance, while explaining why wives should respect their husbands:
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the body is subject to Christ, so let the wives be [subject] to their own husbands in everything.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her... So husbands ought to loves their wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself."
  • 1 Corinthians 7:4 states the equality of married couples:
"The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does."
I will admit that as a race, humans have distorted God's plan-- both plan A and plan B. Now we have sexism, feminists movements, and so forth. If we would all just realize that both and female are made in the likeness of the Almighty, and that He has put into motion plans that will benefit us in the long run, we would be better off.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brief Biblical History on Dance

Dancing has a bit of a history. It is most often related to the worship of false gods, spiritualism (which is VERY different from spirituality), and, more commonly, sex (and yes, I said it). 

I do not believe that God had or has any issues with dancing, as there are several verses in HIS BOOK which point out that activity (Ecclesiastes 3:4; Psalm 30:11; Lamentations 5:15). By looking at these verses, and many more, dancing is a form of expressing great joy.
  • King David danced when the Ark of God was come back to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-16)
  • Miriam danced when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea unharmed (Exodus 15:20)
  • Jepthath's daughter danced when her father returned from war (Judges 11:34)
  • the father of the prodigal son held a party with "music and dancing" (Luke 15:25)
Joy. Inexpressible joy. Overflowing joy. 

However, we also have dance in the Bible in relation to idol worship-- which God has commanded against in Exodus 20:2-6-- and sensuality... 
  • The Israelites danced and sang before the golden calf which Aaron had made (Exodus 32:6, 17-19)
  • The prophets of Baal danced before their altar at the contest on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:25-26)
  • God gives a parable, in which He relates idolatry to prostitution and lewdness (Ezekiel 23:49)
  • The dancing of the daughter of Herodias "pleased" Herod (Matt. 14:6-7; Mark 6:21-22)
  • Balaam told the king of Moab to lead the Israelites into idolatry and fornication (Revelation 2:14; Numbers 25:1-2)
Paul points out in Hebrews 13:4 (by the way, I think Paul wrote Hebrews... just saying) that sexual activities (the marriage bed) should be kept pure-- in other words, only in the context of marriage. Seeing that dancing is often seen in connection to sex, it should only occur in the context of marriage, correct? I feel that most Adventists, and Christians in general, are against dancing because it can lead to sexual sin (unless you are careful; but sometimes our "careful mindset" turns off when in the presence of that special someone). Within marriage, dancing is fine. But outside of that, it can be dangerous.

Check out these resources and decide for yourself...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Love Versus Lust

One who holds the elements of true love (based on 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John 4) is:
  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Non-envious 
  • Humble
  • Couth (not obnoxious or obsessed)
  • Unselfish/Servile
  • Even-tempered
  • Pure-minded
  • Righteous-loving
  • Honest
  • Unfearing
  • Perfect (in God alone)
  • Eternal
  • God-- all good and perfect relationships of any sort include God
Lust, my friend, is the opposite of these characteristics: 
  • Impatience
  • Meanness
  • Envy/Competition
  • Arrogance
  • Obsession
  • Selfishness
  • Bad Temper
  • Lewd Mind
  • Love of Wrong-doing
  • Deceit
  • Fear
  • Imperfection/Self-consciousness
  • Temporary
  • No Divine Strength