The Bondage Found in Unbridled Liberty

January 31, 2008

We live in a day and age when people think they should be able to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences. In fact, many times the consequences are ignored as people embark on the quest for the ultimate pleasure and fulfillment. Conscience is dismissed and guilt is explained away. There is an answer for every objection to such a way of life. But in the end, the person tends to be more frustrated in their question than when they began. Why is this?

Perhaps it is because moral boundaries exist for a reason, and breaking down such walls violates what is true and right. G.K. Chesterton said that we should never tear down a fence until we learn why it was put up in the first place. Tearing down moral boundaries does not excuse behavior. Saying something is okay does not make it so.

Eliminating an absolute standard of right and wrong only promotes rebellion and anarchy, not true freedom. Rewriting morality actually creates bondage because it builds up a wall of lies around unbridled behavior. The lies are that everything is permissible if it’s what you really want to do, you get to make up your own truth and any guilt you feel has been imposed on you by right-wing society, not by anything definite in the way of violating a moral law. So living without a standard binds the person in lies.

True freedom is found in living by what is true. Liberty can be found in nothing else but the truth.

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Re-Examining Feminism

January 29, 2008

This weekend I found a copy of Are Women Human by Dorothy Sayers. I don’t think I’ve read any feminist literature – mostly because I’m really not interested in the feminist movement, especially as it is stereotypically portrayed. But Dorothy Sayers sure was smart. She had me laughing out loud at a few spots, and I really appreciated her essays in the book (Are Women Human and The Human-Not-Quite-Human). Here I would like to relay her main point.

Sayers says that radical feminism does more harm than good, and is not a movement that she wants to be associated with. She says that it is meaningless and even ridiculous to say, “A woman is as good as a man.” She says that saying this is as meaningless as saying, “A racehorse is as good as a elephant” – meaningless until you qualify it with “at what?”. A racehorse may win the Derby, but be a lousy log-hauler, and an elephant may be a great log-hauler but lousy at racing in the Derby. Each one has its purpose, and it is ridiculous to insist each should be able to do the other’s task just as well. She uses this picture to illustrate that men and women do have their differences, and therefore we cannot say, “All women can do all the things men can.”

It is true that some women can be great mechanics, but the fact is that women tend to be less gifted in such a trade. If a woman is a great mechanic, she should be permitted to do the job. But we cannot say because she can be a mechanic all women should be able to be mechanics. I, for one, would probably mess up your car instead of helping to fix it. You may make a good mechanic, but I may not.

Sayers says that it is not so much an issue of gender so much as an issue of being human. Women are human too, and have talents and abilities just like men do. These things are part of being human, and both men and women are human. Each should be allowed to use the gifts and abilities they have, regardless of gender.

The danger is when a woman revolts against her husband and God, runs out of the house and says, “I can do anything he can do better,” when either she can’t or else she is not called by God to do so. I believe many women are called by God to stay at home. I also believe that some women are called to work, and do an excellent job in their respective occupations. It therefore is not a matter of gender, nor of pride, but a matter of calling.

So to take a lesson from Dorothy Sayers, don’t try to be an elephant if you’re really a racehorse, and vice-versa. There is no shame in being a woman and being designed to do different things than some men. But do not let that hinder your calling from God.


Proverbs, Wisdom and the Fear of the Lord

January 28, 2008

2 [Proverbs are] for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;

3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;

4 for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young-

5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance-

6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

(Proverbs 1:1-7)


Art Has Become a Vulgar Thing

January 25, 2008

This Chicago Tribune article relates a lawsuit a man filed after he claims a camera was shoved down his throat. The Blue Man Group claims that no such things was done, it being a slight-of-hand trick that was all part of the show. It seems that the group takes an unsuspecting member of the audience and pretends to put a camera down their throat, while a prerecorded medical video plays on the big screen. Apparently the “Esophagus Video” is one of the group’s “most popular theatrical devices.”

And this is called art?

Listen.

In the past art was seen as something sacred, something used to bring glory to God. Then the purpose was lost, and art became full of lewdness. Today someone can do something odd with a toilet and call it art.

Art has increasingly not a thing of beauty but a thing of vulgarity. Art, far from portraying something lovely, has become a mode of portraying the profane. Art has become “art for art’s sake” instead of something used to point to One greater than the artist.

Besides these types of things, vulgarity has also permeated the musical and literary art forms as well.

The purpose of art has become that of deliberate offensiveness, as if leaving a bad taste in someone’s mouth, so to speak, was the whole purpose of the work.

If these artists are today’s philosophers, what in the world is our culture learning? God help us.


Is the Cup Half Empty or Half Full?

January 25, 2008

My husband asked me this question and provoked a thought tonight. He asked me if I see the cup as half empty or half full. I told him it depends on the situation, but generally I see it as half full. He pointed out that it’s actually both half empty and half full. You cannot overlook that both are true.

Too often in our lives we get stuck looking at things a certain way. Call it disposition, or context, or preference, or whatever, or maybe even genuine conviction. But you look at something a certain way. The problem comes when you don’t have the ability, or else refuse to, step back and see if the way you are viewing things is actually true and in tune with reality.

The truth is that sometimes we do look at things from a limited perspective. You may have a certain prejudice about something based on an experience, and you always look at that something in the light of your experience. But maybe that something doesn’t always work out that way, and you’re just stuck in that mode of thought based on experience.

I hear about this happening a lot with people who have been hurt by the church or by people claiming to be Christians. They have been hurt, and so they refuse to have anything to do with God, Christianity or the church. They have been so hurt that they can’t step back and see that the person or church was not actually representing Christ as the Bible says a Christian should. They only see their hurt, the existential experience, not the way things should be in perfection and truth. In such a case, the truth will never be seen until that person can step back and view Christ as he really is, not as he has been falsely represented or even half-heartedly portrayed.

How do you see the glass? Do you have the full picture?


Destructive Worldviews

January 23, 2008

“See to it that no one [educator, politician, musician, news anchor] takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [naturalism, materialism, existentialism, hedonism, pragmatism], according to the tradition of men [Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Wellhausen, Freud, Dewey, Fousault], according to the elementary principles of the world [socialism, naturalistic evolution, higher criticism, humanism, moral relativism, deconstructionism, collectivism], rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8, quoted in Issues 2000: Evangelical Faith and Cultural Trends in the New Millennium, edited by Mal Couch, pg. 9).


Homosexuality Revisted

January 22, 2008

Several months ago I wrote a series on homosexuality (linked below). Yesterday I received this comment:

I have always in my heart believed that to be homosexual in not a sin because I believe that homosexuality is genetic and can’t bring myself to understand why God would create something just to condemn it to hell. Lately I have been trying to find verses from the bible that don’t necessarily condemn homosexuality and I have found that any verse can be twisted into meaning what you want regardless of the context. As of now though I am still on the line about the whole argument, I don’t think I will ever be able to condemn these people to hell let alone tell them their feelings are wrong but I would love some verses to back me up if anyone happens to stumble across any in the near future!

First I would encourage this reader to go through the posts in the series, in which I address the issue at hand. Other than that, I have the following to say.

As I read this comment I see a lot of emotion – which is understandable because the issue of whether or not homosexuality is a sin is an emotional issue on both sides. I believe this comment epitomizes the world’s view on the issue. Unfortunately this is also becoming the epitome of the church’s view as well. I assume the commenter is a professing Christian, based on her name “mennonite-girl.” Because of this I am going to answer the comment from the Scriptures.

There are several problems with the above view. First, the comment talks a lot about heart feelings. Emotions may be involved, but feelings do not determine what is true. Ravi Zacharias comments tongue-in-cheek, “One culture loves their neighbor and the other eats them, both on the basis of feeling. Do you have a preference?” What we are after here is not what I would like to be, but what actually is true.

The world tries all sorts of tactics to discredit the Bible, or else to legitimize pieces while rejecting others. The latter is a self-contradiction, because if you cannot trust one part of the Bible the whole thing is discredited. You cannot say you accept one part as God’s Word and not another; it’s either all or none. (Elsewhere I have written on why I believe in the authority and authenticity of the Bible. You may be interested in checking that out as well.)

The commenter says she believes homosexuality is caused by genetics. Romans 1 says that homosexuality existing because of man’s sinful rebellion against God. God didn’t create something in order to condemn it. Homosexuality is not of God. The Bible says, “Whoever believes in him [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:18-19). The implication of this passage is for all, that whoever doesn’t believe is already condemned, not only the homosexual but everybody. All are born into the sinful nature, and all need to be born again in order to be saved (John 3:3). So on the topic of condemnation, it is not you who are condemning someone living in sin to hell, but God himself has said it is so.

It is true that any verse of Scripture can be twisted to suite anyone’s purposes, and that also includes “trying to find verses from the Bible that don’t necessarily condemn homosexuality.” You are still going off feeling, trying to find something that says what you want it to say, instead of looking at what God’s Word actually says. In the series I have taken a detailed look at many of the passages dealing with homosexuality and sexual sin and analyzed the different ways they are interpreted.

On the topic of telling someone their feelings are wrong, the Bible says that apart from Christ the emotions are corrupt. If the emotion is corrupt by the sinful nature, those feelings are not from God. “Each one is tempted when by his own evil desire [that’s an emotional desire] he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15). The previous verse says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13). No one can say the desire for a same-sex relationship comes from God, the same as any other sin.

In closing, I hope you will read the series on homosexuality in its entirety. It deals with a lot of other issues that will come to mind as you read this response. I appreciate this comment and the others we have received on the topic. The bottom line is that we are searching for what is true – at least I hope that is the pursuit of you the reader. I hope this helped.

Forum: The Bible and Homosexuality – Part 1
Forum: The Bible and Homosexuality – Part 2
Forum: The Bible and Homosexuality – Part 3
Forum: The Bible and Homosexuality – Part 4
Forum: The Bible and Homosexuality – Part 5


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