Hi, Noah (@kingdomfire7),
Many of you may think I am being hard on Lona. I figure she is tough enough to have a debate where she and I both have some passion without letting that debate sour into true animosity for one another. I have no such ill will toward Lona (@lonathecat), even though I may make her uncomfortable in my probing into her beliefs.
It makes no difference whether she and I agree at the end of the discussion. That is not the goal. I am not seeking to best her in an argument. I am only challenging the assumptions she appears to have and asking her to defend them with biblical truth.
She seems to appeal to both of her parents’ scholarship and academic affirmations, rather than really scrutinize the positions against the plain-spoken Words of Scripture. I cannot care a whit whether she agrees with me or not. But I do think that it is essential that she agrees with and yields to God’s Word, otherwise she will anchor herself in popularized opinions of our modern age, rather than in the timeless truths of God.
Our culture has let the world seep into “modern” churches, and doctrines and subtly push out God’s Word as the standard and instead reinterpret it through a “woke” filter. It is the “Overton Window” effect that subtly shifts viewpoints little by little until “church people” become comfortable with a “new norm” that contradicts the biblical source. Too many people are caught up in listening to dynamic, silver-tongued speakers and teachers, who think of themselves as enlightened enough to reinterpret the scriptures to fit their view over God’s.
God created males and females as complementary to each other and suited for one another under His plan for human relations, and His order.
For those who are so quick to toss out what the Apostle Paul says about Church authority and family headship for what they deem to be “sexist”, they might also realize that much of the New Testament affirms what Paul relays.
The equality that males and females have is in the spiritual aspect of us being “in Christ” together. It was Paul writing these words to the Galatian church, that affirms this unified bonding and blending:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:28 KJV]
This oneness does not obliterate the distinction of roles given to men and women, otherwise, Paul would be contradicting this assertion when he later writes his letters to Timothy and Titus.
Here is the problem with saying men and women were created equal. It diminishes the beauty of our differences. A male is not merely defined by his physical attributes, but it extends into his psyche as well. The same is true for females. There are psychological aspects to females that are not limited to their physical attributes either. This is why the current confusion over gender identity is so tragically flawed. One does not merely decide that they are male or female. Neither does a series of physical and hormonal surgeries ever truly change their birth imprints of being psychologically male and female in unison with the physical traits they were born with.
If a person goes through change surgeries, eventually, and tragically they will find out that they are not merely satisfied with appearing male or female. There will be the gender dysphoria mental crash of realizing that they have only masked their birth gender but still remain psychologically female or male.
Only God gives genders. We cannot change what God has ordained. What we need to find out is why those suffering from the mental condition of gender dysphoria feel like they need to redefine themselves as an “other” gender to find the contentment that eludes them.
The truth we as Christians should know and share is that the “contentment” and “identity” people suffering from this condition are seeking in their pursuit of redefinition or envy of another’s gender/role/position, can only be reconciled by finding themselves “in Christ”. There is peace and purpose in yielding to Jesus. we have to let His Inspired Word show us where our thinking is skewed, so that we can follow the attitude of this verse:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. [Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV]
To do that we must first acknowledge the way we measure the words we hear, and what view we have of The One Who inspires those Words to be written.
If God is the source of all good, as Scripture claims, then His commands are for our good, even if we may be tempted to judge the words under a “modern filter”.
If a woman identifies herself as a “militant feminist” who “feels” she has suffered under “the rule of men”, she may bristle at the verses that sound like “sexism” to her. The problem is not with the verses, but with the trouble, she has not realizing that the God who inspired those men to write them, is not trying to bring her to harm or belittling her value by having them be written.
If God tells wives to submit to their husbands, He has a good reason for doing so, If God inspired Paul to require women not to have spiritual headship over the adult men of the church, He also has a good reason for doing so.
There is no new context or new discovery that scholars can make or argue that changes God’s intention for inspiring those Words. God is not subject to the opinions of His creation, but we are most definitely subject to His.
God’s view should be accepted as the vision of our perfect good, because of Who He Is and as evidenced by the great lengths of what He has suffered and achieved for us.
Lona and the rest of you can disagree with me all day long, and that does not matter. But to disagree with God, that is something else entirely, and something that must not be just dismissed because pointing it out makes the room of observers uncomfortable. God is not interested in us becoming comfortable in our own opinions, because that leads us into self-deception.
God told the OT prophet Amos the following:
Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. [Amos 5:15 NKJV]
As I see the wicked deceptions in our world robbing my fellow Christ-followers of their joy, I hate those corrupting ideas, but not the ones holding them.
We are called to challenge the lies spoken and counter them with the truth.
I refuse the pernicious verbiage and concepts of “your truth” and “my truth” connected with the philosophy of “relativism”. Incidentally, “relativism” is the true source for the idea of “political correctness” because it seeks to make “the arbitrary social politeness of speech” be given greater importance than the “veracity of speech.” Truth will make some hearers uncomfortable, and will make some hearer hate those who speak it.
There is no “my truth” or “your truth”, but only “The Truth” that is external to how we feel about or view it. The elephant in the room is still an elephant even though the four blind interpreters around it are perceiving only the aspect of the elephant they feel.
I do not assume the worst about Lona, but I do specifically challenge certain statements she has made which reveal the ideas she has.
Some of these ideas will bring Lona some emotional harm in the future if she does not reconcile them with God’s Word, and the ideas which bring harm to her, I should despise, as any caring person should.
If Lona resists that the counsel of orderly worship has distinctive roles assigned to men and women differently as ordained by God, then that is tantamount to the belief that the Apostle Paul was not inspired by God when he wrote those clear statements. It is essentially questioning the “good” motives of God, if she believes that God did inspire Paul to say them, or it is sectioning out parts of Paul’s words and scrutinizing what she will accept, and what she won’t accept from Paul. The latter parses the scripture apart based on her own preferences and feelings about them, and that is not yielding to the Word, it is preference sifting, and cherry-picking what she will and won’t obey. Both of these practices are dangerous. Questioning God’s good intentions for what He says and restricts is what got Eve in trouble by listening to the serpent.
If I were to go along with or do not challenge the idea that organs and chromosomes are the only differences between males and females, I would have to concede to the idea that if surgeries could change those physical attributes, then the person suffering from gender dysphoria going to those extremes really could change their gender, because I had already given up the position that there are psychological differences in the personalities of men and women.
If you have not had the opportunity to watch Matt Walsh’s documentary “What is a Woman?” on Daily Wire, perhaps you should.
In the documentary, you will learn of the tragic story of a woman who thought by surgically altering her body alone she could in fact become a man. What she tragically learned after all of the harm she had done to herself, was that she could never be a man, but had only trapped herself in the semblance of a male’s body. The psychological trauma of doing so, is what she struggles with day in and day out. Many of the people who have tried to change their genders through these methods suffer extreme regret and trauma when they learn the truth later. Many commit suicide. Many never feel whole again, and live bristling in a cage of their own making and self-deception.
This, my friends, is a tragedy. We cannot let these lies spread and continue to harm any more of those we love. We cannot affirm mental illness as a valid alternate lifestyle, any more than we can continue to humor and placate someone who believes they are a persona that they are not. We have to call the problem what it honestly is, and that is deception and delusion.
It is not nice to let someone plunge headlong into a path of destruction without challenging the direction they are taking. The sooner we stop allowing “political correctness” to stop silencing us from speaking out the truth the better.
Jonah did not want to warn Nineveh because he suspected God would turn His wrath away. He wanted the Ninevites to be judged because he hated them and saw them as wicked and vile people. That is why he has a pity party after the Ninevites repented after hearing the message he delivered.
True hatred is being silent so that the person in their erroneous belief will not hear the warning. But God does not approve of “silent watchmen”. (Ezekiel 33:8-9)
Feelings often deceive us, but God’s Word never will. That is why we must decide to give our feelings a backseat to the Truth and let God drive, trusting that where He leads us will be a good destination, even if we cannot follow the map of our own reasoning.
We have to be careful how much of the world’s reasoning we allow into our own personal doctrines. Even a little poison can weaken us and sow division in our many members of the one body, and as Jesus said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Lona thinks I do not read her posts, but I do.
I was raised by two linguists who taught me good exegetical skills. My father supports egalitarianism and encourages me to stand up for myself when I am “put in my proper place” by a man. My mother wrote a paper (link) last year on Ephesians 5:23 that was published in an academic journal. (I will also note that my mother holds two master’s degrees relevant to the topic she discusses, she includes citations of respected theologians and linguists in her paper, and had her paper peer-reviewed.
In the passage above she appeals to academic recognition and scholarship as reasons why her positions are more astute than mine.
I need not remind her that the Apostle Paul was the highest scholar among the apostles of Christ, yet it was not his place in the Pharisetical counsel, nor his studies under Gamaliel that led him to the recognition of Christ as Messiah, nor prevented him from hunting down and persecuting Christians before his Damascus Road encounter. Paul was humbled by that encounter, and his zealous and sincere belief in the “rightness” of his actions did not garner him any praise for his prior opinions.
In point of fact, God took the “unlearned men” and gave them the boldness to proclaim the gospel correctly.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13 KJV]
So the appeal to scholarship and academic recognition is, frankly, a moot point
Egalitarianism is a philosophy that seeks human equality across divisions, especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs. Sounds all good on the surface, except that was also the goal of Marxism as well, which gave the world Socialism and (Socialism with the force of a jackboot) aka Communism.
Equality of reward or of outcome is not a good goal with regard to the idea of “human equity” because it fails to recognize the inequality of contribution, sweat equity, risk, and the human need to achieve.
People who take the greater risk or invest more effort into a work project should receive the greater benefit commensurate with what they contributed.
The lazy or, put another way, the person incurring no risk in the success or failure of a venture, should not receive an equal reward if the project succeeds. This stifles incentive and instead promotes mediocrity.
If equality is the sole aim, egalitarianism is not an ideology that promotes virtue.
There are many different branches of Christianity that sprang from different interpretations of different passages. Although you may not agree with all of one branches’ practices, you can still learn from them.
On the surface talking with people about their beliefs is good, however, there is an external Truth Source that a responsible Christian must use to benchmark and evaluate the sincerely held belief of other faiths different than their own.
This is why the Berean Christians were counted as more noble than others hearers of Paul’s preaching, because they “studied the Scriptures” to verify what they heard.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. [Acts 17:11 KJV]
Why didn’t they just rely on the credentials of Paul, because he certainly had them, as well as the endorsement of the other Apostles? The point here is that the Scriptures appropriately too precedence over both personality and celebrity, as they still should to every hearer of the Word.
You cannot automatically dismiss Christians who hold different opinions about the Bible than you. You are not the only one who invests time and prayer into interpretation of the Bible. God has not made you the ultimate authority on His Word. Other Christians have thoughts. Other Christians can teach you. (Even women *gasp*.)
This is not what I am doing. People are not the arbiters of truth, the Holy Spirit is. There are not several different versions of the truth though there may be several blind people with their hands outstretched observing the “same elephant.”
The Holy Spirit clearly is the only One that can lead us to the external fact of “the elephant”.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. [John 16:13 KJV]
The notable words here are “guide you into all truth”. Not partial truths. God does not give us contradictory truths, for He is not the author of confusion.
Where human understandings diverge, it should be us humbly considering that we might be in error, rather than God.
I have repeatedly pointed to the verse:
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. [Romans 3:4 KJV]
And including myself among the liars, when judged against the Word of God. So the condescension is unwarranted.
I have not said you are a “lost soul” but I have said that there are signs of “modernism” in your positions and I have cautioned you on those points using Scripture.
So, if you honestly believe I am a lost soul because I insist on equal companionship in a marriage rather than having my husband over me, then you, sir, have your theological priorities in the wrong place.
That is not the point. Your salvation does not hinge on that, and neither have I asserted that it does.
The apparent rejection of what the Scripture clearly says is the point. because it is revealing about what you think about God’s order.
You noted that I’ve been ignoring the scripture passages you’re pulling. This is true. I’ve been ignoring your verses because you’re completely ignoring the cultural context of those verses. Do we still kill magicians? No? Well, that’s a verse too. Do we tell youth to drink wine to help with their stomach pains? No? Well, that’s also a verse. Taking culture and context into account is important. In Paul’s day, women couldn’t even get a divorce. (While on the flip side, men could divorce their wives over something as little as burnt bread. They just had to give their wife written notice.) Are we still following that? Does it make sense that in a culture where women were treated like property they were barred from teaching? Does it make sense that we move away from that mindset now?
Here you are straining at gnats while swallowing whole camels. (Matthew 23:24)
If you follow this line of thinking, you can swallow a whole lot more worldly philosophies, by picking at a few threads.
The Scriptures are not subject to popular opinions and this is where you seem to want to open the door on a submerged submarine and act all surprised when the water rushes in.
There is no context where the conduct of worship services or spiritual family leadership was suspended. You forget that we serve a God that sees past, present, and future and does not waiver in His commands until HE specifically rescinds them IN SCRIPTURE.
Since you refrain from showing the scriptures where the charges of Paul were dismissed, I will assume you either have not studied them enough or that you are offended by what they say and would rather ignore them as unpleasant and sexist.
I am simply pointing out how some of your debate tactics are nothing but assaults on my character and beliefs.
I admit I cannot fully ascertain your character, however, your words do reveal some of your perceptions and beliefs and I am merely responding to those with scripture.
Point 8: When I said that humanity suffered equally from the Fall, I meant that all humans die. All of humanity is definitely suffering this consequence. Unless you want to argue that only men die?
The reason death entered the human race was because of Adam’s sin. I have already cited that verse, and it goes to the necessity of Christ being born of a virgin. Eve had been formed by God from Adam’s “side” so she had Adam’s flesh. Also, she gave birth to Adam’s seed, and I should not have to elaborate on that. Death entered Eve because of Adam. Name me one other person in history, besides Jesus, that was born without the involvement of male seed.
Please lets let this one lie. Death came through Adam, and in Adam, all humankind die. Jesus had to surrender and release His Spirit on the Cross. It was merely the trauma of crucifixion that could do it. He had to give up His Spirit, because He was made sin for us and that sin in Him had to die.
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV]
My appeal to Lona has always been to make her case using Scripture, which she has avoided.
I do recognize the authority of Scripture. I leave that in her court.
I am not, nor have I been angry at Lona, but I am angry at whatever deceptions might harm her if no one is willing to challenge those beliefs in light of Scripture.
Will no one else warn her? Am I the only one here who truly cares enough to speak up?
Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.