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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.


    Have any of y’all done a word study of the Hebrew word Ezer?

    Noah Cochran


    Ezer refers to the woman as a ‘helper’ to the man, I believe. Helper meaning an essential hero and preserver of the man, not a servant.


    You, my good man, don’t say things in halves. xD I’ll make a few comments, starting at the end of your post.

    I believe you are conflating compromising/putting feelings over facts with speaking in love and being filled with charity. When I speak, I do not compromise. If I am shown truth through the bible, I change my mind, but I never compromise when it comes to biblical matters. No Christian should. Neither do I put feelings over facts. I will proclaim the truths of what a biblical man and biblical woman is my whole life, no matter what if people are offended or not. Nor will I ever, as you put it, use ‘soft and cuddly lies.’

    However that does not mean I will misconstrue verses and use them to quote ‘demolish’ other people’s beliefs. One can, and should speak in love and charity, without compromising or lying. If you believe that is not possible, then I must be candid with you: your mindset is badly askew. In 1 Cor. 13:1-4, it speaks of performing acts without charity. Those acts are proclaimed to be as noise making symbols, useless to the core. That is what inflammatory arguing is.

    You can state the truth in an uncompromising way without being gratuitously vehement and violent in your speech. I could take your exact points in this discussion (of which I agree with you in most aspects) and say it in a more loving, but no more compromising way.

    James 2:13 give those who have no mercy a warning:

    For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

    Mercy means we treat those who differ from us or may be misguided or ignorant with kindness. Yes, we speak the truth no matter what, but we do it in a kind way. What does do it in a kind way mean? If you truly don’t understand what that means, I’m sure there are many who would be willingly show you, but I think you do, because I have seen you speak in more kind ways several times before. I believe you, like me, just get fired up sometimes and become too vehement.

    As for 2 Cor. 10:5, the preserved version stemming from the Textus Receptus, states:

    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    This verse does indeed refer to removing false and corrupt beliefs and controlling one’s mind and thoughts to obey the word of God, but it does not mean that we are to go around quote ‘demolishing’ other people’s beliefs. That word entails that we rip them apart and hammer them with the bible–that is showing love. We can dismantle false arguments, but we can do it in a gentle, loving way.

    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.

    This is not wrong. However, I, again, would not have used those verse to make this point because there are far better verses to do so. And secondly, I believe you are putting far too much emphasis on strength of body. Yes, men are commanded to protect their families, and yes, they should take care of their bodies to the best of their ability, but no, that does not mean physical dominance over enemies is required. A single man can do little, no matter how strong, against a determined and united foe–without God. That is why humbleness and prayer are what make a true man.

    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.

    I’m sorry, but the verse about running the race is just not applicable. Paul is merely using a secular activity in order to illustrate his point, he is not teaching a dual lesson, one about physical and spiritual, as you seem to think he is. I am a proponent of physical fitness, don’t get me wrong, but Paul is by no means giving a secondary point about becoming fit. Toughness is an incredibly ambiguous term that has little biblical grounding, which is why I would have left it out of this conversation.

    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.

    Amen, brother. 🙂



    Right! And every single time Ezer appears in the Bible (outside of Genesis) it is used to describe either YHWH himself (17x), Isreal’s allies (1x), or Isreal as an ally (1x).

    God uses the same term that he gave to women (from the very start, in Eden) as a term for himself. If we are going to say women can be helpers/rescuers of men, but not spiritual leaders, why aren’t we applying the same logic to God? God is Ezer. Women are Ezer. In my opinion, there is more to this whole thing than just “God created woman for man and she is under him because that’s how things work best”.

    Don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying that women are gods or that God is a woman. I am merely pointing out the fact that God created women as rescuers, and strong ones at that. Strong to the point of God using Ezer to describe himself. So, would having a “strong woman” be so unbiblical? Can we have “strong men” and “strong women”?

    Brian Stansell

    Lona (@lonathecat),

    I deliberately wait several days between responding to this thread to ensure that I don’t just respond in the heat of an argument, but that I think through what I say and how to approach this topic.  It is planned pacing and there have been some very deliberate statements that I have made because I sensed where this conversation was going when you first decided to challenge every nuanced point I made with respect to the topic.  I have no hesitancy debating your perspective, but I am concerned that something has been lost in this discussion and that is that it has ceased to be merely a speculative debate of ideas, and has rather become a personal struggle with you.
    I feel that I must point out that a person’s perspective more often arises out of experience rather than out of immutable truth.  What I mean by that is a person who has suffered under some form of abuse, whether that be physical, mental or emotional can sometimes view their wider world from the perspective of the their own pain and scars, rather than from an objective viewpoint.  This is not to say that from another viewpoint there is any legitimacy in the evil actors who caused you to suffer.  Objectively all “evil” should be judged from God’s perspective and from His revealed Word and that is part of reverencing God and walking in what the Scriptures call the “fear of the Lord”.
    Here are a few verses referencing that:

    The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction. [Proverbs 1:7 KJV]
    The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. [Proverbs 8:13 KJV]
    The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding. [Proverbs 9:10 KJV]
    In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. [Proverbs 14:26-27 KJV]

    The point is reverence for God is paramount in all we do or think.

    We cannot get an accurate perspective even of our own sufferings if we rely on our own feelings and perspectives alone.  God’s viewpoint sees all things and what they will manifest to.  He knows what was meant for evil, can be turned for your good if you yield your pain and suffering back to Him to repair what in you was broken or treated with contempt.

    But when we double down in the pain of the past, and hold fiercely to our suffering experience as a means of trying to protect ourselves from future assaults on our personhood, or even our bodies, eventually that inner pain sheltered, will turn to bitterness and will cloud our judgment and leave us blind to ever finding God’s truth.

    Part of the temptation we have when holding that secret pain is to impugn God’s character, because we secretly believe, though we may never admit to it, that God wanted us to suffer and that He may not be as kind and loving as our religious leaders make Him out to be.

    Reading scripture through the tinted glasses of our secret fears, then causes us to couch our discussions through that filter.

    Some part of you may secretly believe that the idea of God referenced as He/Him/Father/Son means that He is aloof and distant and cannot understand your suffering as a female might.  So you look for references where the God you want to believe in might be misconstrued by those masculine labels, and you seek to associate His identity with something more suitable to your own.  Doing this replaces the God as He defines Himself to be by His revealed Word, into a form you wish Him to be.  Essentially, whether you are cognizant of this or not, you are trying to make God be in your image, rather than recognize that even as a female, you were created in His image even though you were formulated out of a man.  Resenting the abuse of men, you reject the association with men, when you are seeking to find your meaning, place, and purpose.
    This identity crisis is very common.  We grapple with the idea of how God can be the Sovereign of all and be equipped with full omnipotence, yet permit and allow evil to exist and even to be done to us.
    The ultimate questions, whether we acknowledge them or not, are: “Is God good?  Does He desire my good?  How can I know that God loves me if He lets bad things happen to me?”

    One of the things that reveal what we are truly thinking and grappling with is what manifests in our speech and attitude when we are presented with challenges and conflict.  I knew there was something deeper to the views you were expressing, but you were not fully being honest about them, and would only do so if you were faced with resistance, and not just gentle appeal.

    Typically men of this “modern age” will tip-toe through a conflict if a woman is involved.  They think they are being chivalrous, or simply they have become accustomed to the idea of “agreeing to disagree” as a means of disengaging and de-escalating a potential argument.  They think to avoid conflict is good, but I am not of that opinion.  Sometimes conflict is the very thing that will bring a matter out in the open.  Ironically, it also is revealing of the differences in the two sexes, for I believe that men and women approach conflict differently. (More on that later.)

    Jesus did not avoid controversy.  Neither did the disciples for the most part.  Jesus violently overthrew the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple.  He drove them out with a hand-fashioned whip.  He didn’t politely ask them to leave.  Jesus call the Pharisees who were deceiving the people by adding their own rules and skewed interpretations to the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible inclusive of the Torah) a brood of vipers and whited sepulchers full of dead men’s bones. The Apostle Paul dealt in vehement rebuke of those people who tried to introduce false doctrines into the churches and sow compromise into the lives of those he witnessed to on his missionary journeys.

    Here are a few choice phrases from Paul:
    For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. … This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. [Titus 1:10-11, 13-16 ESV]

    Doesn’t look like he is backing down from anything when it comes to the purity of the Scriptures, does it?

    If there is any censure that we as Christians must own and admit to as a bad trait in the modern church, these indictments must convict us:

    1. Christian have become conflict adverse, and as such, deal cowardly with world arguments against our faith, rather than boldly counter them and unmask them for the harmful deceit that lies at their core.
    2. We have compromised when it comes to the biblical doctrines and we seek to make emotional appeals to our culture rather than reasonable and logical and proven arguments that have stood the test of millennia. (Rev. 3:15-19)

    3. We have created “seeker-friendly” social clubs that pass as “churches” rather than doctrinal powerhouses and learning centers that hold forth and engage the culture and hold them accountable for the evil done under the guise of tolerance and equity. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

    4. We have failed to teach the younger generations how to counter the cultural river of evil that seeks to overwhelm and encapsulate Christianity and redefine it into a form that fits “modern” sensitivities.  (Ephesians 4:14-16, 1 Timothy 4:1-8)

    Now here’s to the test of toughness and some ideas that I must insist be understood.
    God is not a misogynist.
    Neither was the Apostle Paul in his inspired writings.  (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
    God does not demean women, even though He does not give them the same role as men.
    Every good and perfect gift comes from God, even His choice for your birth gender.  (James 1:7)
    God will not hold innocent those who abuse you.
    Telling you what the Scriptures say, even those things which you may disagree with or not be ready to hear yet, is NOT abuse.

    By presenting an unyielding front in my reasoning and assertions, I am in no way diminishing you as a person.  (You are not merely the sum of your views, but if you are in Christ, your identity and value is secured in Him and these are external to those present perspectives which will be reshaped as you come to know more about His character.)

    Here is a good article link on the term “Ezer” that you posed.
    Word Study: “Ezer” is a helper, nothing more, nothing less.

    When Adam was given a “helper” he was still sinless.  He had no need of being rescued or saved by his “helpmate”.  To suggest such is non-biblical.

    Helper is a role that God adopts as a title become we humans (male and female) are “helpless” without Him and are inadequate to save ourselves from our own faults and sins.

    In my opinion, there is more to this whole thing than just “God created woman for man and she is under him because that’s how things work best”.

    This statement is naive.  It doesn’t always work best, but it is important because God made this assignment.  It is His design to assign a greater consequence to the male and that is part of the role.  In the fall of Eden, God gives the male (Adam) the most severe consequence for his role in the Fall.  He failed to intervene when Eve was being lured into deception by the (nâchâsh /serpent-shining one-diviner).  Adam knew the command of God, and he was given it directly even before Eve was brought into being.  Most likely, Eve knew the prohibition because she was told it by Adam.  She adds something to the command, saying they weren’t even allowed to “touch it”.  Speculating here, but I wonder where that additional idea came from: Adam?

    Adam seems to be passive in Genesis 3, almost as if he is a spectator watching to see what would happen as a result of that exchange between Eve and Satan in disguise.  He is not deceived by Satan’s enticement, but he avoids the conflict and any intervention.  (Kind of like passive Christian men of our modern-day, who don’t want to “rock any boats”).

    Because of the leadership/protector role God placed Adam in during the perfection of the Garden, God’s judgment involves the cursing of everything (Non-human) under his provenance. (Genesis 3:17-19 & Romans 8:19-23)

    If a woman takes a God-appointed role from a man (excluding natural succession by death or absence) such as the headship or a family or church leadership over the entire congregation (eg. an elder “husband of one wife” Titus 1:5-11, overseer or deacon 1 Timothy 3:1-13), she is refusing the scriptural guidance and asserting her own definitions because she thinks she knows better than God about what should be.

    Could it be that a female taking these roles over a church has some hidden scorn for the Apostle Paul’s writings?  Perhaps she believes they are not to be considered as scripture, simply because they don’t fit her “modern sensibilities”.

    This ideology is what I am calling out and rebuking as a sign of distrust in God’s order, and an insinuation that He doesn’t know what He is doing and needs a woman to correct Him.

    I am also sure that such a sign of contempt is not limited to Paul’s writings alone, but would also extend into the Old Testament scriptures and would be very resentful of God’s template for both the Tent of Meeting and the eventual Temple constructed by Solomon.  It would seem she might be also willing to chastise Moses and Solomon both for their misogyny in daring to prevent women from serving in the priesthood, and daring to relegate them to a “Women’s Court”.  Such indictments of biblical writings would not be limited to these cases alone.  Surely at some point she might even try to insinuate that God has no business referring to Himself with gender pronouns.  Surely all writers of the biblical text must have been misogynists, so in the end, we can merely dispense with the entire bible because if it has made such egregious errors in these points, surely everything else contained within it must be suspect, and Gog must really despise females by daring to make them suffer on a planet populated and ruled by patriarchy.

    See how it all unravels when we question God’s decisions and assignments?

    God does not make the assignments so that He can authorize oppressive behavior, but so He can hold mankind accountable for their obedience or disobedience in the roles He assigns to them.  This is the point I felt it necessary to make.

    God needs make no accounting to us humans (male or female) for why He does things and assigns roles as He does:

    For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. [Isaiah 55:9 KJV]

    We are merely called to trust that He does all things well and has a good purpose for them.  That is what is missing.  Going down the gender discussion of who is less than or who is favored is as meaningless as the disciples arguing over who will be greatest in the coming Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-4).

    Jesus very clearly points out that being a humble child trusting in His parenting decisions is a position of Kingdom honor.

    Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 18:4 KJV]

    So the next time you find yourself lamenting over not having one of the roles biblically assigned to males, reconsider, that the position you are responsible for is a role of being obedient to Him and trusting in Him to raise you to a role of honor.  Don’t follow the valuation of the world’s standard.  Gain a kingdom focus, and trust that God designed you with good intention.  Your value is not in the role you are given, but in your conduct and relationship to Him.

    Strength is not limited to muscular might, but inclusive of several forms of endurance, awareness, teachable openness and your ability to trust in the One who holds tomorrow and has overcome the world present at your feet.

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33 NIV]

    I had to push you out of your reticence to engage fully, and bring you into a conflict with your own ideas being challenged.

    Do a biblical study yourself to see if what I am telling you is true.

    Consider your viewpoints in light of the scripture:

    For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. [James 1:23-25 NLT]

    This is tough love, I know, but it is honest, even if it had to be bluntly delivered.

    Your value is not in your gender, or your feelings, or how others perceive you.  God loves women.  He designed them not as a second thought to Adam’s creation, but as a deliberate act delayed to show Adam the importance of their being.  A gracious gift that showed God’s love and intention for humanity and human relations.   Eve was called “life-giver”.

    Then the man–Adam–named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. [Genesis 3:20 NLT]

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

    Brian Stansell

    Here’s the (More on that later)

    I am probably about 30 years older than most of you guys and gals.  I was born during the Vietnam war, back when the modern perversities had not taken as much hold on American culture, though there were the drug culture elements beginning the moral decline.  Most of us still went to church and honored God’s day by not working and taking time for our families.  The Bible was taken seriously and not explained away by someone using metaphorical language fresh out of seminary and probably also fresh out of a clean set of diapers.  We usually said what we meant and people didn’t usually get all bent out of shape when we did it.  We could have what seemed like a passionate debate that might burn down a barn and end it with a friendly handshake and an offer to join us for Sunday dinner where we could go at it again between the dessert and coffee.  Political correctness was a stupid idea brought into the public vernacular by a couple of sleazy, sex-crazed, carpet-baggers from Arkansas, who read hippie literature and philosophies akin to those of the pagan dictators my dad had gone to war to help kill.  Men in their homes and communities actually stood for something.  Shacking up was shameful.  Kids grew up knowing their daddy.  We knew that evil existed in the world, not just from Scripture but saw its evidence in the brutality of madmen like Pol Pot and at the time the likes of Hitler were not a too far distant memory.

    My perspective comes from a lengthy study of God’s Word enough to know that my opinion is nothing, but God’s Word is everything.  Let God be true and everyone else be a liar, me included, I always say. (Romans 3:4)  I’ve seen more life than most of you and I have seen the changes that came with it, and not those for the better.  Sometimes I lose patience with the arrogance of those who think the minute and a half that they have lived really gives them the perspective to criticize my way of thinking, but that’s okay young one.  Life is a harder teacher than I can ever be.  You can give me a minute or give yourself a few years and if you are “teachable” you may come back around to say, maybe that old dude wasn’t so far off as we thought.

    I’ve been married to the same lovely woman for 23 years, so I have picked up a few things on the differences between the genders.  Yes, there are still ONLY two.  The same ones in Genesis 1:27.

    There is an important distinction between how males and females approach a conflict.

    You writers ought to already know this.

    If you really want to find out the nuances of a character you are writing, throw them into a conflict.  What is “in” them will emerge in the crucible.

    The same works with human nature, so this is an authentic approach to character study and, generally speaking, males and females will deal with conflict along different lines.

    A male might be quicker to respond physically.  This is not always a bad thing.

    A female might be more inclined to talk and make emotional appeals.  This is not always a bad thing.

    Here’s where each approach has a disadvantage.

    A woman might want to talk to a person who is fully controlled by evil and has violent intentions.  Talking can waste precious moments and distract her and put her in jeopardy if she fails to recognize that either flight or violence is the correct response soon enough.

    A male might resort to fisticuffs when he could have de-escalated the situation by finding out a little more about the opponent’s true intentions.

    A woman might not really believe that actual evil exists and try to make out that everyone just “misunderstands” the person they are trying to exonerate.  Not all women, but I’ve seen enough of them do this to be concerning.

    Some women doubt violence is ever warranted, and they would be wrong.

    Sometimes war is warranted.  Even Solomon in his wisdom recognized this:

    A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; … A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace. [Ecclesiastes 3:3, 8 NKJV]

    Each thing has a legitimate season and condition when warranted.  Evil people must sometimes be stopped from the commission of an evil act by meeting a violent end.

    <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Aversion to conflict</span>.

    Hostess Role:  Some women respond to their discomfort with conflict by playing the hostess role, trying to placate all those participating.

    Intermediator Role: Men may respond to conflict by turning on a person whom they perceive to be the aggressor, without first taking the time to find out the provocation and who may or may not be the instigator.

    If one walks in on a fight between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, for instance, a male might falsely assume Johnny was the provocateur.  Look how that turned out. 🤨

    Paternal Role: Some approach a conflict in a parenting mode, trying to get the “children” to just play nice with one another.  Playing nice with a rattlesnake might not be the best idea, mommy. 😜

    A male may sit dispassionately watching an exchange between two parties in conflict and might notice certain poker tells in the smug calm one, revealing that they have a truly sinister mindset, rather than emotionally responding to the person who seems to be flying off the handle and overreacting.

    These methods of conflict resolution have tendencies that split along gender lines more often than not.

    Failure to recognize the threat of evil is a liability that can cost a family their lives, so men tend to be more suited to home protection in both the physical sense and often in the spiritual sense.

    A woman can be scammed by her own child.  Children seem to have an innate skill for larceny when they want something badly enough.  A father might sense this and call the child out of their pretense.

    This is why God’s ideal order of a two-parent household makes sense.  Scamming both parents is not easy.  Daddy may not care so much about his daughter’s desire to be fashionable and popular that he lets her “go out” “showing rather than telling” her story if you get my meaning.

    I have seen too much evidence of women swooning over and excusing the “evil” of “pretty-face” criminals, to believe otherwise.

    I remember the “Menendez brothers (Lyle and Erik) case” where the two “handsome teenage boys” slaughtered their own parent in cold calculation, yet the “girls” were all a flutter ‘cause the boys were “cute”.  The boys shot their dad 6xs with a shot gun and their mom 10xs.  Both of these guys got married to women while they were in prison because the women thought they were just “misunderstood.”

    Another liability women too often have in the recognition of evil is when their own children are guilty of it.  They make millions of excuses for why their little hellion did what he did, but they cannot come to terms with the fact that what their “kid” did was abominable.

    The Uvalde school shooter is a good example.  Listen to what the mother said after hearing her little perv did, and I quote: “He is not a monster…[and he]…had his reasons…”

    17 children were murdered and the “mom” of the monster still does not recognize her own child’s crime in the slaughter of 17 innocent children.  I think she has the brain of a brick, but that’s just my opinion.

    What kind of maternal connection creates such a backend cloud that she cannot see through that fog?

    I have often heard the naïve statement made by “feminists” that if more women were in leadership roles this country would be a nicer, safer place.  That is utter nonsense.  As if gender makes a difference to mankind’s propensity to commit evil.  In fact, women are in more leadership roles and it makes no difference, because there are so many women as single mom’s being the leader, yet our prisons are disproportionately represented by males coming from “fatherless” home situations.  (around 85%)

    It was asked why men are given the spiritual role over their family.  Well, this is one reason.  Men will see and recognize evil sooner than a female trying to make sense of her feelings of why a person did what they did, or are about to do what she thinks is the “unthinkable”.

    It is the reason men are put into war behind guns.  Men, generally, have a more sober realization that “Evil” exists in our world.  They will recognize a threat faster without emotion getting in the way in the precious seconds where it makes a difference.  Men in war acknowledge that evil exists, and they are there to put it down physically.  The why does not matter.  The background of the present perpetrator is irrelevant.  This is also true when evil ideas are disguising themselves as “truth”.  Lies should be met with the boldness of truth.

    Women tend to be more reactive to “hurt feelings” rather than reactive to “sinister evil”.

    The sympathy card simply carries less weight in the mind of a male.

    There is the pernicious attitude becoming more prevalent in American society that feelings are more important that truth.  Feelings are in constant flux, so when they are held in greater importance than truth, societal breakdown ensues because it has lost its anchorage and can be tossed about whimsically by the prevailing sentiments of the day.

    I blame the abdication of males abandoning their God-given spiritual leadership roles, and their dereliction of duty as fathers and as moral role models principally for this outrageous result, and secondarily I blame women who encourage or enabling men to do this.  Both have lost their fear of God.

    We are a society obsessed with the idea of being in love, but reject the One who defines it, and created its possibility.  There is no such thing as “your truth” or “my truth” that should ever be allowed into the conversation of a Christ follower.  There is the “truth” external to us and it matters more how we are oriented to its centrality.  We can only find true agreement in Christ, as we accept that we are His subjects and not vice versa.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to which all knees will one day bow.  The only way “Truth is Relative” IS if you accept Christ as your Savior and you are made a joint-heir with Christ.  Then you might say the One Who Says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” (John 14:6) TRUTH IS OUR RELATIVE since we are the grafts related to Him by the spirit of adoption.

    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [Romans 8:15 KJV]

    Women tend to try to excuse and understand & tolerate “gender fluidity” and homosexuality at a higher rate than males do.  (Gallup polls suggest that ratio is about 56% of women approving of it, than 30% of males approving of it.) Some have a problem calling it a reprehensible act of rebellion against God’s natural order.

    God is clear on transvestite behavior as well:

    “A woman must not put on men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing. Anyone who does this is detestable in the sight of the LORD your God. [Deuteronomy 22:5 NLT]

    Any of you guys or gals think a hairy ape in a dress coming to your 6-year-old’s school to do the “chicken dance” and read them a story is normal, ought to be get your head examined by a melon farmer.  Let him thump your noggin’ and listen for the echo to see if you have ripened yet.

    Some “female pastors” even praise the vicious act of abortion as a legitimate, daring to call the slaughter of an innocent, an alternative to pregnancy, and a woman’s choice.

    How did we ever reach a level where anyone of faith justifies infanticide?

    News Story

    God calls it sin and murder.  Period. Many women are motivated by their emotions over God’s truth, and will consent to unmarried sexual relations, and in fear will slink into a PP Clinic to “scrape” their shame away.

    “Why do you beautify your way to seek love? Therefore you have also taught The wicked women your ways. Also on your skirts is found The blood of the lives of the poor innocents. I have not found it by secret search, But plainly on all these things. [Jeremiah 2:33-34 NKJV]

    God does not equivocate on this matter.

    God calls men to certain roles to protect women from the abuses they may suffer from “real evil”.  Men often fail in these roles, but God is the account keeper and calls them to study the scriptures to show themselves an approved handler and discerner of truth.

    But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NLT]

    Women should help men in this God-ordained role, rather than spurn or discourage him.

    And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. [1 Corinthians 11:9 NLT]

    The is the rebellion that God predicted would be prevalent, and a woman would struggle with…

    Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” [Genesis 3:16 NLT]

    …the desire to control her husband and harboring a resentment toward his seeming rule over her.


    The man reverenced the Lord above all else.  He knew that to serve God He must be obedient to God’s expectations.

    What if the man loved his wife as Christ loves the church? (Ephesians 5:25) What if the man took care of the needs of his wife’s body, at least to the point that he takes care of his own physical needs? (Ephesians 5:28)

    What if the husband seeks to understand and honor his wife, and recognizes that in the oneness of the Spirit, she is his heir together for everything God has planned for the grace of their lives.  (1 Peter 3:7)

    What if he recognized that making provision for her is an outward sign of his faith in God, and a testimony to others of the way He honors God’s commands? (1 Timothy 5:8)

    That is what is expected of men who claim belief in Christ.

    Girls, your guy is never going to be perfect in this.  But if His heart is turned the right way, God will meet him where he’s at and make possible the impossible.

    Choose a man who believes it is more important to be God honoring than it is to be pleasing to the outside world.  Choose a man willing to stand alone for what he has studied to be right in God’s Word whether anyone chooses to stand with him or not.  If you are to be led, let it be a man led by God.  It is no shame to serve and support such a man.  God counts your yieldedness in such respects as a service to Him.

    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. [Ephesians 5:22 KJV]

    Don’t become partners with those who do not believe. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? [2 Corinthians 6:14-15 CSB]

    Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of [their] conduct. Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For [it is] good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. [Hebrews 13:7-9 NKJV]

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



    *Slow breath*.

    Let me get this straight. So far, you’ve:

    1.       Assumed I’ve been traumatized by a man.

    2.       Explained how my “trauma” has shaped my worldview.

    3.       Told me how to handle my “trauma”.

    4.       Accused me of secretly believing things that I explicitly said I did not.

    5.       Diagnosed me with an “identity crisis”.

    6.       Accused me of not being honest about my beliefs.

    7.       Cited a blog post written by an anonymous user as an authoritative guide on biblical interpretation.

    8.       Said that men received the greater consequence in the Fall when humanity is equally affected by sin.

    9.       Declared women in leadership unbiblical when we have examples of women deacons in the Bible.

    10.   Implied that I’m ready to do away with the Bible because some of its authors held sexist beliefs.

    11.   Insinuated that I have not thoroughly researched my own beliefs.

    12.   Said that political correctness, which is meant to make people feel more comfortable and accepted, is a “stupid idea brought into the public vernacular by a couple of sleazy, sex-crazed, carpet-baggers from Arkansas, who read hippie literature and philosophies akin to those of the pagan dictators my dad had gone to war to help kill.”

    13.   Claimed that men are more quickly able to recognize evil than women because women are carried away by their “emotions”.

    14.   Claimed that men are in war because they are more prepared to confront evil than women are.

    15.   Played the post-modernism card.

    16.   Took a shot at women pastors and their stance on abortion right after talking about war and how “there is a time to kill”.

    17.   Shamed women who get abortions when I can guarantee you yourself have never had to go through a pregnancy. (Unless you are a transman. In that case, maybe you have, and I apologize for speaking to soon.)

    18.    Gave me love advice on what my “ideal” man should be.

    19.   And overall, completely ignored my 11 sentences on Ezer to give me a lecture on how I’ve been traumatized, don’t know my own beliefs, and am risking losing my “fear of God” by encouraging women to take positions of leadership.


    Are you not hearing yourself?


    Just leaving this here

    Proverbs 3:13-18

    13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
    14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
    15 She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
    16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
    17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
    18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called blessed.

    *laughs as one fey*

    Brian Stansell

    Lona (@lonathecat)

    Here’s what makes me wonder about these things:

    Typically one who considers themselves to be “woke” or a political “progressive” has a victim mentality worldview where they believe anyone who disagrees with them is “persecuting” them.  This seems to be manifesting in you, so I wonder about the lens through which you view the world.

    My speculations are not accusations, but you seem to take them that way, so I must not be very far off the target.  You seemed to be poised to take offense at anything I say, and you miss the most important parts that are straight from Scripture.  Ultimately, my opinion about you does not matter, but you cannot blame me for merely being curious about the motivation behind your seeming offense at my point about God appointing men to be in the spiritual leadership roles in the church and a family.  You seem to resent this, but I did not give those standards, God did.  My pointing them out seems irksome to you, and I guess I am just low-hanging fruit that you can pick at because you have some frustration with the points I am making.

    I bear you no ill will, and if you want to play the victim here, that is strangely similar to the “victim card” play of most people who consider themselves to be on the political left.

    I do not know if you’ve been traumatized, but you seem to have some degree of animosity towards what you may consider to be the more misogynistic passages of the bible.

    For instance, when the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian church:

    Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings. Or do you think God’s word originated with you Corinthians? Are you the only ones to whom it was given? If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself. But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized. [1 Corinthians 14:34-38 NLT]

    How does that verse make you feel?  Are you outraged?  Do you immediately search for verses to show that Paul was off his nut, or can you admit this is also the writing inspired by the Holy Spirit that causes it to be included in the biblical cannon?

    What about this verse?

    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. [Colossians 3:18 NLT]

    Or its corollary verse:

    For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. [Ephesians 5:22-24 NLT]

    In what ways do you think those commands diminish women?  Do you think Paul was not inspired when he penned those verses?

    What filter or exception will you try to use to counter such straightforward verses?  Is the koine Greek ambiguous?  If I search through enough translations will I eventually get to the version that suits you and calms the offense you seem to hold toward these verses?

    There are many subversive undercurrents in modern churches which seem to avoid these “unpopular points” and relegate them to the “old ways of thought”.  But is God’s Word not timeless?  Is there any part of God’s world that we just shouldn’t read because it causes offense?

    Jesus was often in a position where He spoke some hard truths to a crowd that was not happy with what he told them.  In fact, in the following passage several of those who would have followed Him as disciples turned away because they did not like what He was saying.

    From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. [John 6:66-68 KJV]

    So I ask you point-blank, even as Jesus put this test to the disciples.

    Will you also turn away from God because the plain-spoken scriptures offend you?  Will you try to twist the words of the Holy Spirit-inspired scripture, because it does not justify your “modernistic mindset”?

    If you do, let’s be clear, you are choosing to define the God you serve on your own terms, rather than on His.

    When God chose you to be female, it was not to diminish you.  When He put partitions between roles, He did not do your gender a disservice.

    The God of the Bible sees all beginnings and all ends.  That is why prophecy is given.  It affirms that the God we serve sees what will be the outcome of the part in which we play, and the role He assigns to us.  We are myopic, but He is omniscient.

    When you get a clear and real view of the God who wants to reveal Himself to you, you can then trust Him to bring good into your journey.  Whatever some meant for evil, God can turn for your good.  Read the story of Joseph who had a hard time, but came to this same conclusion. (Genesis 50:20-21)

    What I’ve done is brought your positions out into the light and put them up next to scripture.  If you don’t like how the reflection looks in the “biblical mirror” the problem is not with what the scripture says, but with what you would rather walk away from and forget.

    Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works ​– ​this person will be blessed in what he does. [James 1:23-25 CSB]

    What I want for you is to see those areas where your opinions differ from what the Scripture says.  I want you to consider well the implications of choosing your own “opinions” over God’s Word.

    I want you to know deep down that the heart of the Heavenly Father is not to bring you harm but to free you from the bondage of the “modern chains” that harm you in your path to finding your purpose and identity in Him.

    The beginning of wisdom is coming humbly before God and releasing all of your preconceived notions or pet opinions and saying, “God, I want Your Truth and Yours alone.  I surrender my ways and the opinions offered me by the world around me.  Only You know what is right.  Help me to lean not to my own understanding, but to acknowledge You and seek You, so that my path direction comes from You alone.”

    This debate has brought to light what needs to be said.  Faith is not mustered or manufactured by our own efforts, but it is surrendering and trusting in God to be good, loving, and just and to keep His Word.  If God promises wrath to come, you have to take Him at His Word.  God hates the sin and lies that bind us.  He calls us to believe Him, and acknowledge Him in all our ways.

    Don’t flee into victimhood acting like everyone is persecuting you.  That is a coward’s path and I beg you not to take it to gain sympathy and set others against me because I am telling you the truth.  I really do care about you more than you know, but the points I am raising makes you uncomfortable.  don’t shoot the messenger.

    I can see indications that you do identify as a “progressive liberal” because of the enumerated points you take umbrage with.

    “Political correctness” has not made people more civil but has chilled free speech.  Honesty is more valuable to me than what you want me to think about you because you fear offending the prevailing “modernistic mindset”.

    If you hate me, own it.  If you don’t like my sex, color, national origin, or political position, don’t be a coward about it, say so, and I will applaud you for your honesty, rather than your pretense.  Then when we are both honest we can have a real and meaningful discussion about where our positions come from.

    That is what is lost in modern debate.  We care more about the audience than about what is really going on in our discussion.  I still hate political correctness.

    If you are not happy about being a woman that you feel the need to seek complete parity with men, then you do in fact have an identity crisis, but you do not see how you are telegraphing it.  A person happy and comfortable with their gender will not seek to envy that of another.  You should not resent masculine men, or ascribe them as “toxic” because it makes you uncomfortable.

    I do admire your spunk and for not running away from my challenges to you in this debate.  I hope you don’t fold and seek a safe space to boil and hurl curses at me, because I am not intimidated by your gender or the “present popularity” of your ideas as running counter to my “historical ones”.

    8.       Said that men received the greater consequence in the Fall when humanity is equally affected by sin.

    This is biblically and demonstrably wrong according to scripture.

    Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One. [Romans 5:14 CSB]

    Does this verse attribute Eve as the transgressor or Adam?

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

    Death comes in Adam’s seed, that is the point of why Jesus had to be born of a virgin.  This takes Him out from under Adam’s judgment and He is the prophesied fulfillment of the “seed of a woman” that crushes the head of the “seed of the serpent”.  All death, sickness, and illness come through being born with the seed of Adam in all generations.  You cannot argue that “death” is not the greater punishment over Eve’s childbirth pains.

    9.       Declared women in leadership unbiblical when we have examples of women deacons in the Bible.

    Women deacons were a ministry to women and not in teaching authority over men.  In biblical times there was no “gender confusion” or “gay marriage” so a “husband of one wife” criteria was still decided a “male” role.

    10.   Implied that I’m ready to do away with the Bible because some of its authors held sexist beliefs.

    If you are cherry-picking the parts of scripture you like and dismissing the parts you don’t you are demonstrating you really don’t believe the “All scripture” part of the following verse:

    All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, [2 Timothy 3:16 CSB]

    Instead, you are in the camp of the following:

    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV]

    11.   Insinuated that I have not thoroughly researched my own beliefs.

    The truth is you haven’t.  At least not using Scripture for I have easily shown you where your beliefs are running counter to the verses I have cited.  You may be seeking others to help you justify your “modernist” opinions, but those you are revealing now are certainly not biblically based.

    I have already addressed point 12 above.  No need to rehash it.  The Clintons championed the works of Saul Alinsky, whose books clearly cited praise for Satan himself.  They push “Communism” as if it is a new idea, which in all its precedents has been the cause of mass slaughter and oppressive control.  Read real history if you can still find it.  I actually lived through it.

    13.   Claimed that men are more quickly able to recognize evil than women because women are carried away by their “emotions”.

    Read American Sniper by Chris Kyle or watch the movie if you are so inclined.  In those seconds where it appears to be a nun walking a child down the street in Iraq, how swiftly do you think a male or a female would come to the decision to shoot them while processing all of the emotional turmoil that led up to the necessary kill shot when the “nun” reveals the rocket launcher under the folds of her dress and begins to raise it to kill all the American soldier hiding in the tower?  Feelings had to take a backseat to the logic that the evil imminent was masked under the cover of a woman of faith and an innocent child.  Chris Kyle’s shot saved a company of American men that day who were fathers and husbands far from home fighting to liberate a country from a brutal dictator who boiled people with a difference of opinion alive in oil drums and had rape rooms as part of his “effective” management of the country.  Men in war have to learn to dampen the temptation to follow the impulses of their emotions and operate on strict if/then military logic.  They have to decompress when they return from the war theater.  They suffer PTSD that takes years to overcome, so yes, if women have a tendency to be more in tune with their emotions, then men are the better fighter psychologically in enduring the real horrors of war.

    15.   Played the post-modernism card.

    Trying to go “academic” on me,  I see.  Well given the track record the “anti-God, anti-biblical stances” of modern public institutions of higher learning, I am not impressed.  Next…

    16.   Took a shot at women pastors and their stance on abortion right after talking about war and how “there is a time to kill”.

    Hmm.  Women pastors who are qualified to lead a mixed-gender church congregation in an office that biblically requires them to be the “husbands of one wife”.  How does that work out?  Are these lesbian pastors play the “husband” role to their “one wife”?  Good luck backing that up with the Bible.

    Let’s unpack the God who gave the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” [Exodus 20:13] and ask the obvious question of how that comports with Him sending the Israelites into battle to conquer and kill the Canaanite enemies.  Quite a lot of killing in a battle, I must say.  How about David klonking Goliath with a sling shot and then cutting off his head.  Do you reckon he killed Goliath, or was it just a flesh wound? (Perhaps Goliath was one of the “Knight who say Niii!” [inside Monty Python joke.]) Contradiction?  I think not.  An unfortunate English translation of the Hebrew Chaldean word rāṣaḥ (רָצַח) which means “to murder”.  Quite a big difference in any court of law, I must say.
    God instituted “capital punishment” in Genesis 9:6, and yes that made it into the New Testament as well in Romans 13:4 “bearing the sword in vain”.

    Evil should be resisted and yes sometimes righteously killed when done under a “just authorization”.  Enlisted soldiers are not going into a war theater to play “ping-pong” in case that was news to you.

    17.   Shamed women who get abortions when I can guarantee you yourself have never had to go through a pregnancy. (Unless you are a transman. In that case, maybe you have, and I apologize for speaking to soon.)

    Ahh, there we have it.  The justification of infanticide, and the audacity to call it a woman’s right.  Very revealing.  I don’t think you can make that argument biblically, but you are welcome to try.  I’m game if you are.  And you’ve brought in a “favorite Leftist plug” for transgenderism.  How nice.  In what afterthought of God did he also create space and tolerance for sexual perversion, I wonder?  Can you cite a passage for me?  No?  Bummer.  It sure would’ve helped your arguments.

    Saying a woman has a right to snuff a life is a hard sell to one who knows what the scriptures say on the subject of the shedding of innocent blood.  A woman’s womb should be the safest place for a child, but you want to allow in the forceps and canula to cut, eviscerate, liquify and the infant’s body parts, merely because it is inconvenient for a woman to carry that life to term.  A lot of very precious people would not be alive today if their mothers took that mindset.  Yours included.  Think that one through a little bit more.  Ask God His opinion if you still value it above your own feelings.

    18.    Gave me love advice on what my “ideal” man should be.

    That advice arises from the Scriptures cited, but thank you for giving me the credit as if it was my ideas.

    19.   And overall, completely ignored my 11 sentences on Ezer to give me a lecture on how I’ve been traumatized, don’t know my own beliefs, and am risking losing my “fear of God” by encouraging women to take positions of leadership.

    Fear of God is also recognizing His authority to define right and wrong is greater than your own.  If you assert your will over His revealed Word then the assessment is correct.  You fear being wrong more than God being right.

    You have to come to the place where His Word governs your thinking and you trust His rightness and His goodness by placing your complete faith in that.

    But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6 NKJV]

    You must choose to put your faith in Him or in your own way.  It is a crucial and binary choice.

    I am not asking you to adopt my opinions.  I am begging you to adopt His and to study the scriptures more and let God’s Holy Spirit guide you into the truth.

    My opinion is not worth the two cents to pitch it, but His word is enduring and from everlasting to everlasting.

    Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You [are] God. [Psalm 90:2 NKJV]

    The fear and reverence and prevalence of the Lord is where wisdom begins.

    Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. [Proverbs 4:7 KJV]

    Make it a desperate and primary search.

    Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths. They take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil. Their actions are crooked, and their ways are wrong. [Proverbs 2:2-15 NLT]

    Be willing to stand up and even make other people uncomfortable with your questions.  Even allow the conflict of a different opinion to draw others out of their “pious” cover and show what they really feel and think.  There is nothing wrong in that.  People need to be authentic and even question their own beliefs and let them be challenged.  If they survive, they are worth keeping.  If they don’t, unburden yourself and allow yourselves to find God’s insight.

    If you consider yourself to be on the political left, you may be unaccustomed to finding your views challenged.  That is an indictment on our Christian culture being cowed by the disapproval of the world, when we should be bold in our proclamations and know the biblical foundations upon which they are built and solid and stand up against the storms.

    In Matthew Jesus expounds on this:

    Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: [Matthew 7:24-28 KJV]

    As for choosing a life partner, I am grateful that I have a wife who also studies God’s Word and can keep me accountable to what the scripture says.  It keeps me sharp and focused.  It keeps me assured of God’s position as we read scripture together and discuss it, and find our oneness and harmony in the roles God has given us, knowing that we are accountable to God, in how we treat each other within those roles.  She sharpens me by challenging me to show her the answers to her sincere question in the scripture.  She loves God more than me and I love Him more than I love her and that is exactly what allows us to love each other in a better fashion than in our own strength and determination alone.

    Because I do care about you Lona, I will challenge you and not let you feel comfortable in beliefs that do not align with God’s Word.  You knowing the truth is of far greater importance than me just making you comfortable in the pretense of having a “kind” discussion.

    I would still encourage you to find a man who will challenge you and make you sharper and more focused on finding the will of God for your life and not let you compromise by leaning on your own understanding.  That man will care for you if he loves God enough to wash you in the water of The Word. even as Chrsit does this for His bride.

    Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. [Ephesians 5:25-28 KJV]

    God does not let us live in our own dirt, and neither should a husband let his wife believe in unscriptural lies.

    I pray you find wisdom, Lona.  I pray that you come to the place where you can fully live this verse:

    Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; [Proverbs 3:5 NKJV]

    God bless you in your seeking.


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

    Noah Cochran

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world and @lonathecat

    I’ll just give a couple quick thoughts.

    Lona, basing woman’s roles off a single word is not usually a wise thing. Words are defined in context, not by a single use. As I mentioned before, God is the head of the Son (Christ), as Man is the head of the Woman. Each are equally important and strong (biblical women are strong women), but each have different roles. To see women’s roles, I would recommend reading Proverbs 31 and Titus 2. They show a woman to be an industriast, shrewd, and strong person.

    Lona and Brian, nowhere in the bible does it insitute female deacons. Decaons and Elders/Bishops, accoridng to the bible, are positions to be held by men. If there is a verse that you thought spoke of female deacons, I’ll take a look at it for you if you want. Chole and the sellers of purple, for instance, were not deacons, they were merely a group of women who helped run what became a church.

    Finally, Brian, for crying out loud. You are accusing, or at least impling, a plethora of erroneous things about Lona. Woke? You’re calling her woke with a hard past just because her views are slightly askew? Really man? Take it down an octave if you will. xD You’re exploding this discussion way out of proportion, and accomplising nothing but confusion and tension by doing so.


    Amen. 🙂


    Brain,  ( @obrian-of-the-surface-world )

    First off, I am completely confident in my beliefs, and it doesn’t really bother me if you think I’m a lost soul. 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. Unlike the anonymous user who wrote your Ezer blog article.) I will also add that my egalitarian beliefs are not radical or heretical. 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. It was through talking with Catholic friends that I realized how little attention we (evangelical Christians) give to Mary mother of Jesus, outside of the virgin birth. I don’t revere Mary or pray to her. But I do think it’s interesting to think about why of all women, God chose Mary. If it hadn’t been for my Catholic friends, I don’t know if I would have gotten that perspective.

    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*.) Maybe give other Christians’ opinions a chance and stop saying that we’ve lost our fear of God. Because, if you think your Christianity is the one true way and there’s nothing you can learn from people who hold different opinions than you, then you’re the one who’s getting prideful. Ultimately, all Christians believe in the Trinity, the need for salvation from sin, the inspiration of scripture, the virgin birth, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the second coming. And that’s what matters.  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.


    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?


    I repeat: I. Have. Not. Been. Traumatized. I am not trying to play the victim card. I am simply pointing out how some of your debate tactics are nothing but assaults on my character and beliefs. Or assaults on Christians in general who think differently than you. And well, I think that’s a poor strategy on multiple levels.


    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?


    Point 9: I know that Phoebe was a deacon and Paul respected her for her work.

     here’s your verse example:

    “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.  I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.” Romans 16: 1-2, NIV.


    Point 10: Cherry-picking and discernment are different things, my friend. I am using discernment to understand what commands hold true for all time (love God and love your neighbor) and which were culturally relevant (women cover your heads when you pray).


    Point 11: If you call reading actual Christian academia rather than blog posts that fit my pre-formed beliefs “not doing my research”, then yes. If you call contemplating the words of respected theologians and scholars such as George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller, N. T. Wright, Phillip Yancey, Beth Moore, and Kristin Kobes du Mez, “not doing my research”, then yes. If you call living 11 years on the mission field “not doing my research”, then yes. I suppose in that sense I wouldn’t have done my research.

    Let’s note that I have not once called out any of your beliefs as “heretical” or “unbiblical”. I have not worried over your soul or over your fear of God.  However, I still strongly disagree with you. This is because I don’t think this is an issue of faith. It’s an issue of interpretation. Our interpretations will affect how we live our lives, but not our salvation.  It’s not the end of the world if we disagree. However, if you are going to insult my intelligence or claim that I don’t put in the effort to really understand the Bible and deepen my faith, then I will say that you are quite simply, wrong. 😊


    Points 13 and 14: This is just going back to the “men are strong and want to be strong” idea you were arguing for. Again, I have male friends who are more emotional me. I also have male friends who are less emotional than me. Emotional levels are not tied to gender, and neither are decision making abilities. Please stop generalizing.


    Point 15: Maybe the vocabulary is simply to demonstrate that I know what I’m talking about. But, it seems like that didn’t quite work. So, what will? What do I have to do to actually get you to take my interpretation seriously and not just see it as flagrant violation of Paul’s writings?


    Points 16 and 17: Once again, you are marvelous at drawing conclusions about things I never said. I did not say abortion was good. I did not say women who got abortions are good. I pointed out that your response is shaming them. I don’t think shaming anyone should be the Christian response. The Christian response should always be love. Abortion is a very sad thing, and I am grieved by how many happen each year. I also realize that sometimes women feel like they have no other options and that an abortion is the only way forward. I don’t think you understand how utterly desperate some women are when they get an abortion. They may have been raped. The father may be out of the picture. They may have no means of providing for the child even if they wanted to. We do not need to add shame to the pain these women are already going through.


    Point 18: Well, I give you the credit because it is your interpretation. I have also received scripture-based advice on love and marriage from my father, grandfather, and youth leaders. They have not said what you did. So, you get your own credit.


    Point 19: Again, I appreciate your concern for my soul, but I am confident in my beliefs. Marriage dynamics are not a critical issue of faith. I don’t think it’s made me fear God less. In fact, I think it’s made me fear Him more. It’s made me realize that even though I live in a world where women are generally seen as less capable, dismissed as “too emotional”, and harassed for the pithiest reasons, God loves and respects women. He values me as I am. He has gifts he’s given me, and he will use them. He doesn’t expect me to live under my husband but work with him as an ally to further the Kingdom work.

    One of the names of God that holds the most meaning for me is one given by Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant. Hagar called Him, “El-roi”.  The God who sees me. And knowing that I have a God who not only sees me, but who loves me, is just incredibly freeing. You can call it wokeism, or leftism, or liberalism, or whatever you like. It doesn’t really matter to me. I know that I have a God that wants the best for all his children irrespective of gender or gender roles. And again, if you want to dismiss all Christians who believe things differently than you, then okay. That’s your own issue.


    As one last side note, you said that I may be unused to getting pushback because I hold some liberal political stances. On the contrary, I am very accustomed to explaining and defending my beliefs. (The majority of evangelicals are Republicans.) And put simply, I think most liberal stances allow us to love people better than the Republican ones do. So yes, I suppose I have succumbed to some aspects of liberal agenda 🙂

    Brian Stansell

    Good morning Noah (@noah-cochran),

    Here is the passage containing an example of a deaconess:

    I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cen’chre-ae, that you may receive her in the Lord as befits the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a helper of many and of myself as well. [Romans 16:1-2 RSV]

    The word deacon/deaconess comes from the Greek διάκονος (diakonos) which means “servant”.

    In the early church, there were deaconesses, however, they were not in positions of leadership over men, but rather rendered service as an expression of their ministry.

    That aside, I have not specifically addressed your questions, because I was focused on what I sensed was going on behind Lona’s challenges.  I knew if I pressed her a little she would feel the need to own up to it.  This is not a physical conflict, but merely a confrontation of ideas, and it is okay if it heats up a little.

    That is what bringing the “Refiner’s fire” does.  It burns away the dross and reveals the silver.  Too often the “sensitivity of the world” makes this process seem unkind, but I assure you it is not.  This is something that Jesus did, as well as the disciples.  They exposed the lies others believed by bringing them into the light of Scripture.  What one does with that exposure is up to them.  Jesus did not chase down the “rich young ruler”, when he went away sorrowfully in Matthew 19:22, and alter what He had told him to make him stay.  Neither did He apologize to the scribes and Pharisees when He called them children of the devil or any of the other titles He ascribe to them when they tried to deceive to crowds to keep power over the people.  Yet Jesus knew He would die for their sins as well, for His death was for the sins of the world, applied to each one’s life debt by a pure and honest faith in Him as Savior.

    Perhaps you have forgotten that even the unpopular things that Jesus did (as viewed by the outside world) are still a model and example for those of us who believe in Him.

    Tough love often seems to be “unkind” by those who pass by and observe it in action.

    How do you think Paul’s ascension and speech on Mar’s hill was taken by those who worshipped in the edifices to pagan deities that surrounded it?

    Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. [Acts 17:22 KJV]

    Talk about stirring up a crowd.

    Or when Elijah threw down this challenge:

    And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word. … And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he [is] a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, [or] peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. [1 Kings 18:21, 27 KJV]

    Often times a provocation to debate and a heated exchange can bring to light those things that were hidden in a person’s heart.

    Heat softens a hardened vegetable and sometimes we are more hard-headed than that and God has to bring the heat.

    James explains it this way:

    Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. [James 1:2-4 CSB]

    If a heated debate is all that Lona suffers under to bring her to face bad ideas honestly in the light of Scripture, that is a good thing.  There are must greater and more severe tests ahead for those in the faith who choose to be obstinate when shown the truth.

    Let this play out, even though it may make you uncomfortable as a spectator of it.  I do not subscribe to the definition of “Mercy” which lets a fellow member of Christ believe in a lie and gleefully watch the result by not issuing a warning, uncomfortable as that process might be.

    Have often have you regretted not speaking up to warn your friends of their lost condition when you later learned of their passing?  I have known that pain too often, to let another one of my friends find out the hard way the end of their skewed thinking.

    This verse must be taken seriously by those “watchmen” who find it more “comfortable” to simply not engage:

    “If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked one, you will surely die,’ but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. [Ezekiel 33:8 CSB]

    In the Branch and Vine relationship, too many churches have allowed the “little foxes” of seemingly innocuous modern thought to enter into their teachings.

    Catch the foxes for us — the little foxes that ruin the vineyards — for our vineyards are in bloom. [Song of Songs 2:15 CSB]

    I see so many Christ-professing church leaders who are promoting non-biblical views and it is deceiving many.  I fear Lona may be one of them and God does not want her to be deceived.  Look carefully at her list that would not have come out had I not provoked her to respond.  Think carefully about it.  Look at how she lured you into defining a word and then employed it to mischaracterize scripture and counter clear biblical teachings.

    I am gladdened to see your response above for this tells me you didn’t fall for the trap she unwittingly laid.

    I have cited many verses of how severely the Apostle Paul dealt with peddlers of false doctrines who attempted to twist the gospel in the churches on his missionary journeys.

    My challenges to Lona are so far less severe than that because I do not believe Lona is deliberately trying to deceive others.

    As writers we deal in concepts as well as in characters and plots, but there needs to be a solid and uncompromising grounding behind what we write for we are also creating a theater that models workable and non-workable philosophies.

    If we come onto that stage without a humble reverence for the Word of God such that we are willing to defend it at all cost, we are already ceding the battlefield to the ideologies that oppose our pure faith and sure doctrine revealed by Scripture.

    We are in an age that abounds with deception because those called by Christ’s name have forgotten that we are in the midst of spiritual warfare, and are charged with not merely countering false doctrines but demolishing them.

    We do this with the “Sword of the Spirit” which is the Word of God, and its Author is the One Who Defines Himself as Love.  Scripture will offend those who have compromised and adopted a worldly mindset.  It must.  A sword has no use if it cannot cut, and the Sword of the Spirit cuts through concepts that are untrue.

    The problem is too often people become so enamored with their sinful mindset that they come to the place of allowing it to become part of their identity.

    This is why it is so difficult to witness to the homosexual.  They have erroneously believed that they ARE their sin and that their sinful urges are part of who they were born to be.  Does a person who steals one small seemingly low-value item willingly and proudly identify themselves to the world as a thief?  Do we have a whole month dedicated to “Thief Pride”?  How ridiculous would that be?

    It is easier to witness to a thief than it is to a homosexual because the thief, at least in the early stages, refrains from identifying their one action as part of their identity.  A thief may agree that theft is wrong and harmful to society.  If a thief has something stolen from them, they are more inclined to admit theft is wrong in principle.

    The political left has tried to insinuate that in disagreeing with them “speech is violence”.  The reason is they know their ridiculous ideas do not stand up in a debate or in scrutiny, so they attempt to shame people away from challenging them.  Don’t let “trying to be nice” paint you into a corner where you cannot engage passionately in a debate with them.  Don’t vacate the battlefield, to avoid contentious discussions.  Hold your ground and be assured in your diligent study of Scripture, and know that contending for the truth is a righteous act.

    Allowing others to drive headlong toward a broken bridge while you sit in silence is not kind.  Speak up.  Engage. Challenge.  Keep your motives pure and don’t let others redefine what loving a person means by a definition that does not align with God’s definition.

    Listen to Jude’s appeal:

    Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. [Jude 1:3 CSB]

    In the garden deception, Satan offered Eve a chance to be “like God” and in the process impugned God’s character as withholding and unloving.  He offered her another route to becoming like God, that God had supposedly hidden from her.

    On the surface, Eve’s desire to become more like God seems a good thing.  Aren’t we called to be more “Christ-like”?  The problem was the method that excluded God’s authorization and went against His prohibition.

    We can seek a good thing, but if we choose to get it by theft, it defeats the goodness of the yearning.

    When people have bad ideas become part of their belief system, they are like leeches that attach themselves to their host and cut into them and feed off of their lifeblood.  One knows that a friend cannot simply watch the leech grow fat on their friend’s face, they must call attention to it.  The friend cannot merely tug the leech by its slippery tail, because the head of the vile thing will separate from its body and leave its jaws in the wound it inflicted, opening that person up to infection.  One must apply fire to the leech’s tail to get it to open its jaw in pain and come off of its victim.  This is the same thing that must happen to bad ideas.  You have to put fire to them.  Jesus will one day come back to this earth to judge it and from His mouth will come fiery words, that repel all deceit from the face of this fallen world.  By that time, repentance is over and the earth will be cleansed by Holy Fire.

    By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. [2 Peter 3:7 NIV]

    If I put scriptural fire to the leech that is bleeding Lona, it is an act of kindness.

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

    Noah Cochran


    here’s your verse example:

    “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.  I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.” Romans 16: 1-2, NIV.

    Ah, I figured this would be the case. 🙂 Brian also used the NIV, an unpreserved translation not derived from the textus receptus. The word there is not deacon, it is ‘servant,’ and is referring to a woman who serves a particular church and who has helped Paul in his ministry–a very admirable task for a woman. While deacon does essentially mean ‘servant,’ Deacon in a church setting is also a position.

    Deacons were made to help the poor particularly, but all members of the church should be doing the things that deacons do, men and women. Phoebe is a prime example of this. And no, the Greek/Hebrew does not make that word ‘servant’ into meaning the position of Deacon. xD

    Anyways, both you and Brian probably don’t think much of the whole corrupt translations vs textus receptus and preserved and inspired word of God thing, so I shall take my leave. But I would recommend looking into it if you get the chance. If given a little thought and research, one will see that what translation one uses is of paramount importance.

    Show love and be friendly! 🙂

    Noah Cochran


    We commented at nearly the same time, so I didn’t see your response until I posted mine to Lona. Thus, in regard to the deacon thing, I believe I aptly responded to all of your points in my comment to Lona above. I would highly recommend you compare several translations and see how being open to many different version like the NIV shows their corruption. Then I would look into the textus receptus and the King James Version. I would hope that it would be enlightening to you. 🙂

    God bless y’all! 🙂

    Brian Stansell

    Hi Noah (@noah-cochran),

    I do compare versions regularly.  Check out the online Blue Letter Bible which has a selector giving access to all versions including the Textus Receptus and KJV.

    Each verse has a Bibles link that shows a linear comparison of verses in each of the prominent translations.  There is also an Interlinear which is correlated to the KJV and Strong’s lexicon.  Also, there are audio commentaries of passages of scripture from biblical expositors such as the late J. Vernon McGee, Chuck Smith, etc.

    It is a wonderful resource.

    Typically what happens, having studied the Scripture for many years, the Lord brings to my mind Scriptures I have read and studied and listened to sermons on.

    But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. [John 14:26 KJV]

    The verses arise when I am in a discussion and I go back to them often and re-read them gaining more insight as I compare them with other verses.

    God Word moves to accomplish God’s will, even when we may not recognize it or have the best motives when we deliver it.  Jonah certainly did not want Ninevah to repent, but when he preached God’s judgment, the city repented.

    For as the rain comes down and the snow from the sky, and doesn’t return there, but waters the eretz, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. [Isaiah 55:10-11 HNV]

    Here is the basic truth.  I cannot be accountable for how Lona responds to the truth.  God is the One who must draw her to Himself.  He is the Lord of the Harvest and the only One that can cause her to see what has been put before her even in the form of a challenge.  In the theater of ideas, I believe Lona is tough enough to handle the idea challenges I have planted in the field before her.  I hope you can join me in the watering of those seeds, but we must let Lona choose what she will do about them.

    So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. [1 Corinthians 3:7 KJV]

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

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