Sunday, August 26, 2007

On Men and Women

92 years ago, today, the 19th amendment passed, giving women the right to vote. Since that day women, not necessarily at large, but a select few, have continued to fight for women's rights in various areas. The following is some observations I have made concerning their philosophy and attack method.

In America women fought for the right to vote. They won. Since that victory women have continued to fight for equality with man in every aspect. Are men and women equal? Yes, they are, but how far is too far? In the workplace women strive for equal pay, equal opportunity, and equal position. If women decide to enter the workplace they should not be discriminated against.

Are the claims that men and women are totally equal in every way valid? Many women would be offended at the suggestion "men are just as physically attractive as women" and, as a whole, this statement is false. Many men would take offense at the idea of women being as physically strong as men. For, as a whole, men are stronger than women. So it is shown that men and women are not completely equal in every way. Just a quick look at the way males and females are designed should show this clearly. Men are not made to mother children, just as women are not made to father children. It's a fact of life.

Many time, after claiming equality with males, women go on to claim superiority. If we are equally equal in every way this should not be the case. However, it is almost like women have developed the concept:

We are all equal.
But some of us are more equal than others.

If this is the end goal, then why do women even claim to be equal to something considered to be their inferior? It is absurd. But this turns into a different discussion.

Men and women are created equal and they are equally valuable. Women should have the same job opportunities, salary increase opportunities, &c as men do. Who is hired should not be based on a ratio of female to male employees but on who is more qualified for the applicant position. The same concept should apply at educational facilities.

But what of husband and wife? Do the same principles apply at home as in the workplace? Yes. and No. Men and women still retain their equality and their differences once married. The man, however, is in a superior position. The man, however, should not make decisions based on his knowledge alone. He should consult his counterpart, his wife. They should work as a team, for the two become one flesh. The wife should serve her husband with joy and gladness, bringing good to him all the days of his life. The husband too should care, protect, and defend his wife willingly. He should be willing to sacrifice everything for her.

Men and women are equal, but different. They are not equally equal in every way. That is not and should not be a problem. Men and women compliment each other, the roles each play are the roles the opposite sex cannot play. Men and women are different, but that should be cause for rejoicing. Men and women are different, but still equal, and the differences ought not be frowned upon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Distance from the Head to the Heart... filled with twists and turns.

It takes a lot longer for information to travel that short distance than it should. For example, two days ago I was asked the question:

Do you love God with all your heart?

Of course. Yeah.

Do you follow all of His commandments?

No. Duh.

I just asked you the same thing.


God said If you love me you will what? keep my commandments.

Huhmm interesting, good point.

Didn't think anything else about it.

Until today.

I was sitting around, taking a break from everything going on, when all a sudden it hit me -

I must not love God.

I do not keep His commandments. In fact, I couldn't even tell you all of His commandments. That's a problem. How am I supposed to serve my King and follow His orders if I don't know what they are?

Maybe you are the same way. Maybe you would say "yeah, I love God" but you don't keep his commandments. Maybe you don't know where to start.

I'm going to start in His Word. I can sit down and read a "pleasure" book for hours upon end. Sometimes I'll spend 30 minutes to an hour reading the Bible. But hours upon end? Nope. I am going to try to read the Bible instead of a pleasure book. Instead of picking up any ol' book and reading when I have a spare moment here and there, I resolve to pick up the Bible.

Oh, something else that was said to me that day.

We like to sentimentalize our love for God in the church today. Oh, yes, of course, we all love Jesus, but we don't follow His commands. We commit High Treason against our King and we say we love Him. I don't think so.

Will you join me in trying to keep the commandments of God? Will you join me in learning to love the King?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How "Free" is Our Will?

I hear a lot about Arminianism vs Calvinism*, Free Will vs Predestination, and so forth.
For those who think we have a totally free will, let me pose a senario to you.

You are standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon with a straight shot down - no ledges to catch yourself or any other conveniences of the type. A madman with a gun is shooting everyone in sight, and you're next. Can you will the bullet to stop and not hit you? Can you will to jump straight up into the air and not fall? No! Why not? Because we are not free from the laws of physics and gravity. So there is some restraint on our will. I can will to fly all I want, but aside from airplanes and the like, it isn't going to happen. Freedom within bounds.

Now I seriously don't think that most people take freedom to that degree, but some do. So the question becomes - how restrained is our will? and If God foreknows the future, are you really free to make the choices you will make tomorrow or is it predetermined?

Church - wake up! While we sit back in our sanctuary's (sheltering us from the world) people are dying and going to hell! Instead of debating how people become saved, let's go out there and tell people about Jesus so they can be saved. It doesn't really matter how the saving process works as long as people are being snatched from the fires of hell and brought into communion with God. So stop debating theology and get out into the world and start sharing Jesus!

Don't think I'm good at doing this either. It's much easier for me to debate Arminianism and Calvinism and other points in which Christian theology varies here and there than for me to go out to the local mall and tell someone about Jesus. But I'm to the point now where I want to scream and pull my hair when people sit around discussing free will, etc. I honestly don't care how it works! Sure, I have my theory, but it's just that - a theory. Why don't we start living like Jesus and being salt and light instead of tearing down our brothers and sisters in Christ?

This world is going to hell in a handbasket. If big events would have saved the world (or at least America) - it would have been saved by now. If cheesy T-shirts and logos and bumper stickers would do the job - the job would be done. If preachers alone would reach the world - it would have been reached. But it doesn't work that way. We need individuals who haven't gotten over their salvation. We need people who aren't ashamed to talk about Jesus and back their words up with their life. We need people to simply bring Jesus to your neighbor, my coworker, your family, my friend - and no one, no one is better equipped to do that than you and me.

This is my resolution - to talk to those I can about Jesus - in the mall, in the grocery store, at the bank. Will you join me?

 * Idle question: why is it always "Calvinism vs. Arminianism"? Why not reverse the two? Tradition? Preference of theology? It's not important, just something I noticed.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On Ontological Status


For, we are, and we know that we are, and we love to be and to know that we are. And in this trinity of being, knowledge, and love there is not a shadow of illusion to disturb us. For we do not reach these inner realities with our bodily senses as we do external objects, as, for example, color by seeing, sound by hearing, odor by smelling, favor by tasting, hard or soft objects by touching. In the case of such sensible things, the best we can do is to form very close and immaterial images which help which help us to turn them over in our minds, to hole them in our memory, and thus to keep our love for them alive. But without any illusion of image, fancy, or phantasm, I am certain that I am, that I know that I am, and the I love to be and to know.

In the fact of these truths, the quibbles of the skeptics lose their force. If they say; "What if you are mistaken?" - well, if I am mistaken, I am. For is one does not exist, he can by no means be mistaken. Therefore, I am, if I am mistaken. Because, therefore, I am, if I am mistaken, how can I be mistaken that I am, since it is certain that I am, if I am mistaken? And because, if I could be mistaken, I would have to be the one who is mistaken, therefore, I am most certainly not mistaken in knowing that I am. Nor, as a consequence, am I mistaken in knowing that I know. For, just as I know that I am, I also know that I know. And when I love both to be and to know, then I add to the things I know a third and equally important knowledge, the fact that I love.

Nor am I mistaken that I love, since I am not mistaken concerning the objects of my love. For, even though these objects were false, it would still be true that I loved illusions. For, if this were not true, how could I be reproved and prohibited from loving illusions? But, since these objects are true and certain, who can doubt that, when they are loved, the loving of them is also true and certain/ Further, just as there is no one who does not wish to be happy, so there is no one who does not wish to exist. For, how can anyone be happy if he does not exist?

Part Three, Book XI, Chapter 26 of Augustine's City of God.

original image source

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Friday, August 10, 2007

1 John 1:9

I memorized this verse as a very young child.

If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I knew what it meant - we were no longer held accountable for our sins.
But last night it hit me.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (em)

And just? That puzzled me for a second.
Then it hit me.

It was just for Him to do this because Jesus paid our penalty for us, we were just accepting the fact that the price had been paid. It would be unjust to require a double payment. He was just in accepting only one payment; the payment of Jesus.

But he wasn't only

just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

He was

faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all righteousness.

He would not fail to be just in clearing the record of debt against us. IF we would confess our sins. Our wrong-doings. Our trespasses.

Praise be unto God!

If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But wait - He doesn't just

forgive us our sins

He also

cleanses us from all unrighteousness

! As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Hallelujah! I marvel at the faithfulness and justness of God: my LORD, my Saviour, my King.

original picture source

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Pride & Prejudice (2005) {Movie Review}

A delightful movie indeed. One of the few "romantic" movies I can actually and enjoy without feeling sick (but honestly, I'd rather read the book or watch one of the longer versions!). Those who characterize Pride and Prejudice as purely romantic are missing the larger point of the work, which admittedly does not translate as well as I would like into this version of the movie.

Pride and Prejudice is not a novel about the love lives of the Bennett girls. Pride and Prejudice is a story about the pride and prejudice of two people, and how that plays out in the world. The characterization of Jane Austen's characters is fascinating, though, once more, rather rushed in this version. For those who "do not have time" to watch one of the 5 hour versions, and are too lazy to pick up the book to read will find the gist of the plot in this movie. And it is done rather well, all things considered.

I think the casting is excellent ... aside from Kiera Knightly who really just rubs me the wrong way as Lizzie. Just realize that if you do not supplement this version with the longer one, or with the book, you are missing out on so much of what Austen filled her book with: character analysis and real people, not a sappy romance.

1.5 out of 5 stars.

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