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Brian Stansell

I have given this some time to allow reflection.

When Jesus uses an illustration to make an analogous point even on a slightly different topic, it does not invalidate the standalone validity of the parallel illustration.  I am fully aware of the four gospels being synoptic and complementary showing the same historical accounts with different approaches and perspectives.  I often look for the correlated verse in each of the Gospels to get a sense of the details as that is like using more than one witness to any scene.
Like any incident witnessed by more than one person, one might notice certain details that another might not have retained or mentioned, but neither perspective invalidates who one witness states over the over as long as they a materially the same in essentials.  For instance, a person might notice that a tall person was present at the scene of an incident.  Another witness also present, might not remark upon that person’s height, but on the color and pattern of their shirt, while another might remember that the “tall person” was blonde.  Not of these collective observations invalidate the other, even though they are not exactly the same because of the difference in what the witnesses noticed and reported afterward.  In fact, bringing the three witnesses together to report their observations gives us a more detailed impression of the person they collectively observed as tall, blonde, with a blue oxford shirt and tan khakis.  This is the value of having the four gospels covering the same or similar events of Jesus’s life and words.  I never implied that Jesus said the same quote in four separate events, but rather that the essence was preserved and validated historically of what Jesus said to address the Pharisees who were trying to accuse Him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub.

I do understand that Jesus was making an analogous point related to spiritual warfare in the context of those verses appearing in each of the four gospels related to the same instance.

Can you guys and gals not see that if one asserts one principle to make an analogy to another broader concept, if that original principle is in error it undermines and implodes its usefulness to make the broader analogy?

Jesus asserts some true principles that anyone present should understand.  A house and kingdom divided against itself cannot stand and a household, like a kingdom, relies on an aware, alert, and physically capable occupant (ideally a man with some imposing presence) to secure itself against one who would steal or threaten the valuables and weaker occupants of a household.  To have a parallelism principle work in the syllogism to make the larger point, the components of the argument in principle should be accepted as generally and reasonably true.  If one is bringing legs together to assemble a stool to rest an argument upon, it does not make sense to weaken any of the legs of that stool to support the weight of an analogous principle.

So for each of you who have chided me on the statement, Jesus made as follows:

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. [Luke 11:21-22 KJV]

What part of that statement (which will in turn be used to illustrate an analogy related to spiritual warfare) is not true?  Hmmm?  🤔  I’ll wait while you flounder around under that implication.  Did Jesus unwisely choose that statement to make a further argument or was He selective about it?

Go ahead.  Fill me in if you REALLY believe that that leg of the argument is a weak point.
Let’s parse the word used for “strong man” in the original Greek, shall we?
It comes from the Greek word: ischyros  ἰσχυρός

I. strong, mighty

A.  of living beings

i. strong either in body or in mind

ii. of one who has strength of soul to sustain the attacks of Satan, strong and therefore exhibiting many excellencies

B.  on inanimate things

i. strong, violent, forcibly uttered, firm, sure

As I stated in my post of June 21:
“I think you are still misunderstanding the word strength.”

Strength is not limited to physical prowess alone, though it can include that, but the word extends its meaning to mental strength, and (in A.ii.) it focuses on a strength of the soul to be aware of a resist supernatural attacks.

So if a man is supposed to be the spiritual head of his household, the latter portion of that definition would fit squarely in his wheelhouse of responsibilities under God.

If a man is not present or not capable of performing that duty, by all means, a woman must stand in that gap and defend her household against the outside threat.  This succession does not disrupt God’s order but holds to the principle of defending a household by any and all means to protect those within.

It makes no sense to me why anyone would argue against the premise that generally speaking, to secure a household against the threat of a despoiler, it is good to have a man operate within the strengths of a sound body and a means and method of repelling the threat.  I am well aware that our modern world has moved away from the ideals that God set forth for families, households, and natural and mutually beneficial relationships between males and females.  But because there are less than ideal conditions, namely that many households do not have both parents participating in child-raising and living together with mutual love and respect for each other, does not invalidate that this was still what God intended.

Our foolish culture does not wait for marriage to engage in sexual activity, but does that mean what mankind actually does was God’s plan for human sexuality?  Do the libertine (and those with a lack of self-control) now define God’s standard?  God forbid!

I know there are single mothers struggling to raise children on their own, but that fact is not ideal, and it definitely does not negate God’s ideal.

There is a part of every child that needs the positive influence of both male and female perspectives to give them a sense of balance as they try to understand the “otherness” of a gender not correlated to themselves.  Both boys and girls need positive role models of their own genders to learn godly patterns and perspectives from.

Women who think men can be dispensed with and are only valuable as a “sperm donor” are ignorant and are myopically self-referential, projecting their cynical feelings rather than humbly trying to understand human development as set forth by God’s standards.  Their resentment of their experience with “bad men” should not be extrapolated to the whole of that sex.

Neither can a father be everything a child needs and replace the lack of a motherly female influence in their child’s lives.  A man who resents women because of some context of ill-treatment from some, is not then justified to hold views of misogyny and teach his son to mimick that contempt for women by treating them inappropriately.

Humble parents finding themselves in a single-parent role should seek out a positive opposite gender influence to stand in for the child’s developmental need for what they would have learned from that missing parent.

God built the design of a family with both parents in mind.  It is only the presence of sin, death, and selfishness that separates and dissembles that ideal, but let not turn around and say that was never God’s purpose.  To do so twists the truth, and I cannot remain quiet witnessing such lies being offered up as God’s intention.

Men who so disrespect the bodies God has given them are not treating their “temple” in a God-honoring fashion.

If the male who should occupy the role of headship and spiritual leader abdicates that responsibility or assigns that role to his wife, he is disrespecting the One who ordained that that role was his.  He is in defiance of God, in the same way, a person hired for a position and assigned particular responsibilities would be if that lazy worker just assigned his work and duties to an underling while he went about doing what he wanted to do.  When the employee discovers what that lazy hireling did, the employer is fully justified in firing that person.

God does not give men permission to shirk what He has made them accountable for.  Adam tried that tack with God when both he and Eve sinned in the garden and its didn’t go over so well.  The whole earth was cursed because of Adam.  Death entered the human genome because of Adam’s sin.  Labor became difficult, survival became harder because of Adam.

For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. [1 Corinthians 15:22 CSB]

Now women who make excuses for why their “sweetums” is incapable of fulfilling the position to which God expects the male to occupy with a sober and a sound-mind under the responsibility and knowledge that God will hold them personally responsible for their conduct in that role, are not helping by enabling their men to be lazy and irresponsible.

A man will be held in scorn if those placed under his authority and care are suffering under his arrogance, brutality, neglect, emotional abandonment, or are impoverished because he refuses to make provision.  If a woman stands in the way or makes excuses for such a man, she is his enabler in continuing to do evil and is not helping him face his responsibilities under God.

Any man who hides behind a woman’s skirts and sends her out to make excuses for him, perhaps deserves the fate of Sisera at the hands of a woman like Jael in Judges 4:17-22.  In biblical times women used to scorn cowards, but now they make excuses for them.  If a gal’s selected “boy wonder” demonstrates such pathetic behavior, maybe she ought to suggest to him that they go buy a tent and have him “pegged” for the coward he is.

So here’s another bit of context:

When I said “Guys want to be tough” what I intended for you all to understand is that men have an innate desire to be proven worthy in a test of toughness.  To be tough, you must be put under trial and subject yourself to the difficulty of a task that is worthy of respect if completed successfully.
Paul addresses the Corinthian church comparing a physical test to a spiritual test.

Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown. So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1 Corinthians 9:25-27 CSB]

Seems like Paul is using an understandable physical comparator to make a spiritual point.  Is there anything untrue and without a solid principle in what Paul says is expected of an athlete in a competition?  No?  So that principle stands well enough to put a comparator on it.  So when Paul says we are to run our spiritual race in a similar fashion to how a serious athlete runs to win a perishable crown, we have no problem understanding the parallels made here.

Since the concept built upon the illustration is sound the leg of the illustration has value does it not?

Notice what Paul says in verse 27: “…I discipline my body…”
Does that sound like a person who treats their physical body with a poor diet or demonstrates gluttony when they sit down before people he is sharing the gospel with?  What is his point?  Read the last part: “so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”  His credibility is at stake as a witness, both in the way he conducts himself spiritually and in the way he conducts himself physically.  The two lines are reflective of each other both the physical principles and the spiritual principles.

So when each of you read the Scriptures, make sure you analyze the parts as well as the whole of the principles being made.  There is value in every brick comprising a wall that God builds, as His temple is erected both physically and spiritually.  God wastes nothing.

God made males and females with complementary differences and assigned them different roles which make up the whole part of his good plan.  Being envious of another’s assigned role, questions the judgment, fairness, and equity of the Role-Giver.

I do tend to take umbrage with any argument that impugned God’s character and judgment.  I think we have become to comfortable with avoiding “hurt feelings” so much that we are giving up on standing for the truth of God’s words and expectations.  I will not let myself be painted into such a corner by every “touchy-feely” whim that, if countered reasonably, might send someone fleeing into their safe space to weep about why no one gives credence or tolerance to their “self-delusions”.

Everyone tends to want to make sure no one gets upset or no feels like “their truth” is any less important than someone else’s “truth”, but I reject that heresy with the same revulsion that God does to the “lukewarmness” of middle ground placating.  Revelations 3:16.  It makes me want to upchuck.  Truth is true no matter how one of us might feel about it. or what our collective “yes-friends” might say about it.  Turht is often not politically correct, but that does not make it any less true.

It is not “loving” giving others a pass to believe what is untrue and merely acting like it is just okay to agree to disagree.  That is a pathetic argument and it is intellectual cowardess to raise the idea the “umm we can’t know what God really said” because if we cannot study the scriptures to know what God expects, then why did God waste His time having it written down.  Biblical scholarship has been authenticated by prophecy, history, artifacts, and even by those sources hostile to its faith message.  God’s Word endures and its messages, principles and truths are timeless and unchanging and just as valuable to us today as they were in the times and circumstances in which they were written.

God is not wishy-washy, nor does He vacillate and second-guess Himself.  he knows the end from the beginning.  He knows what works best and what doesn’t.  He is not impressed by men seeking to become women and women seeking to become men, for He designs with intention and doesn’t oversee a birth and think to Himself, “Whoops, well I made a mistake there when I knit that little together in their mother’s womb.  Better luck next time.”

He doesn’t think to Himself, “Well if men and women can’t get along, I should have just made them reproduce asexually so they wouldn’t need each other.  Scratch that trial as a failure!”

It is ludicrous for me to be saying such things, but this is what the implications seem to be in the minds of “self-described” progressives.

Here’s my final point.

Scripture says:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. [2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV]

“Demolishing arguments” is not merely polite dissent and I will quietly fade back into my private cloister to believe as I wish, but it is seeking to know the mind and will of God and subjecting myself to His opinion above my own and learning what I need to align with His way of thinking over my own.

To “demolish an argument” is to unpack it and test it by the refiner’s fire of God’s Word to see if it holds true or contradicts what God has revealed about the issue.  Then we are to challenge the assertion made, know that the person making the argument is valuable to God and God does not want them being made comfortable believing what is not true.

If I saw someone speeding towards a bridge that I knew was out, but I chose to let them pass me in the false assumption that the bridge ahead of them was traffic worthy, I would not be loving them by letting them pass me without a desperate warning attempt.  “No”, I could say to myself, “I just don’t want them to be upset about the broken bridge, I’ll just keep my mouth shut.  Not my problem.  My truth is my truth and theirs is theirs.  If they are comfortable thinking the bridge is good, who am I to make them uncomfortable?”

Not loving is it?  Sometimes the truth is hard to hear and it oftentimes disrupts our plans and slows our momentum as we perilously go our own way.

But to love someone enough to make them uncomfortable with the “soft cuddly lies” they tell themselves is necessary and tough.  It may make some mad at me, but that too is worth it, if the truth is to be treated with reverence.

I am not accountable for how people being told the truth feel about me.  Some will hate me for it.  That is just fine.  Life experience will bring them around and hopefully they will remember those who cared about them enough to make them uncomfortable for a little while by pointing them back to God’s truths.

Being a truth warrior is not easy or will make you a lot of friends.  Sometimes you have to be willing to stand alone against the current of modern thought and sensibilities and say, “No, I will not compromise with what God says is true.”

Sometimes a whole town will resist you:

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. [Matthew 10:14 NIV]

But that gives us no excuse to abrogate our responsibility to The One who calls us to stand against a tide of relativity, and truth shaped by feeling.

Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.

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