"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

"Headship" Is Either the Design of the Creator or a Description of the Curse and It's Really That Simple

Wade and Rachelle Burleson teaching on Sunday morning
The Bible is a collection of many books with one theme. 

Restoration. 

In Genesis, God brings Creation into a perfect existence.

But throughout history, beginning at the Fall, mankind corrupts Creation's order

In the Scriptures, God reveals His purpose to redeem man and to restore Creation to its original state (eg. Paradise Restored).

In Revelation, God finishes His restorative work by bringing mankind and Creation back to their original purpose (eg. redemption).

The way man and woman (Adam) was at Creation is the way man and woman (Adam) will be in the New Creation.

At the time of Creation, the Bible says:
So God created man (Hebrew: Adam) in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
"Male and Female" compose the biblical definition of "man" and together reflect the "image of our Creator" (Imago Dei).

What God designed for the male and the female in the Creation is what God intends eternally for the male and the female in Paradise Restored (Heaven). 

Patriarchalism


Some Christians believe God designed the male to be "head" over the female. The male's role is “protector, provider, and defender.” The female's role is "helper, encourager, and supporter."

The male should always have control and lead and the female should always be in submission and follow.

That's the way God designed it, they say, at Creation.

The female "usurped" God's design of male "headship" by "coming out from under the authority of the male" and listening to the Serpent herself (Genesis 3:1). 

That's why, they say, a female should "never teach men" or "be in authority over man" (I Timothy 2:11-12). 
Eve blew it, and anytime a woman acts like Eve by imitating “the God-created authority of a man,” then ladies (listen up, Beth Moore), you blow it like Eve.”


Co-Functionalism


Other biblical Christians, like I, believe that God designed the male and the female to both have authority over Creation (coregency) and gave to both males and females the equality of essence ("both together are Man”), and God made them both in His image.

So a person can only understand the full-orbed image of God when seeing both male and female together relating to each other in equality. 

Creation is about the equality of the male and female. 

Unlike biblical patriarchs or even secular feminists,  some Christians believe that the Bible teaches God designed co-functionalism between males and females and that the concept of "headship," "control," and "authority over" is a description of the curse after the Fall, not God's design at Creation. 

After the Fall, say these co-functionalists, men and women began fighting each other for control. 

Patriarchalism (men rule) is as sinful as matriarchalism (women rule); both want control over others. 

God intended at Creation for males and females to co-rule Creation and to serve one another. 

Christian adherents to "headship" and the co-functionalists both believe that God will restore Creation.


What God intends in Genesis, He restores in Revelation.

Notice the similarities between the first two chapters of the Bible ( (Genesis 1-2and the last two chapters of the Bible (Revelation 21-22) .


Genesis

  1. In the beginning (1:1)
  2. God created the heavens and the earth (1:1)
  3. Let there be light (1:3)
  4. The darkness He called “night” (1:5)
  5. The gathered waters He called “seas” (1:10)
  6. God made the two great lights (1:16)
  7. He also made the stars (1:16)
  8. Subdue [the earth]. Rule over (1:28)
  9. Tree of Life (2:9)
  10. A river watering the garden (2:10)
  11. You will surely die (2:17)
  12. Or you will die (3:3)
  13. A man will. . .be united to his wife (2:23-25)
  14. Shown a garden into which sin entered (3:6-7)
  15. Walk of God with man interrupted (3:8-10)
  16. Initial triumph of the Serpent (3:13)
  17. Cursed. . .cursed (3:14, 17)
  18. I will greatly multiply your pain (3:16-17)
  19. God banished him (3:23)
  20. He drove the man out of the garden (3:24)

Revelation

  1. I am. . .the Beginning and the End (21:6)
  2. I saw a new heaven and a new earth (21:1)
  3. God gives it light (21:23)
  4. There will be no night there (21:25)
  5. There was no longer any sea (21:1)
  6. Does not need the sun/moon (21:23)
  7. The Morning Star (22:16)
  8. And they will reign forever (22:5)
  9. Tree of Life (22:2)
  10. River of the Water of Life (22:1)
  11. The free gift of the Water of Life (22:17)
  12. No more death (21:4)
  13. The bride of the wife of the Lamb (21:9-10)
  14. Shown a city into which sin will never enter (21:27)
  15. Walk of God with man resumed (21:3)
  16. The ultimate triumph of the Lamb (20:10; 22:3)
  17. No longer. . .any curse (22:3)
  18. No more. . .pain (21:4)
  19. They will see His face (22:4)
  20. I saw the Holy City (21:2)

It's evident from the Bible that what God intends at Creation, He restores in the New Creation. Grace is God at work; He reverses the curse. What were men and women like before the curse of the Fall? 

For those who say God designed men "to rule over" women, to be "the head" of women, and to always lead women, I have three questions for you:

1. If at Creation God designed the man to be the “head over” the woman and to have “authority over” her, then is it God’s intention for men to be the “head over” women for all eternity and for men to have “authority over” women in heaven? If not, why not?
2. Jesus prayed, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." If you understand that those who believe the Bible teaches co-functionalism (co-regency) is God's design for males and females from the beginning, then you must accept that any attempt to bring equality to men and women (God's original intention) into the earth now, just as Jesus prayed, is an attempt to glorify God and live according to the pattern of the New Creation.
3. Jesus explicitly taught in Matthew 23:8-11 that His people are to reject the world's system of top-down governance by declaring, "It shall not be so among you" (Mark 10:43). "The greatest among you shall be your servant" (Matthew 23:11).  Which system of thought -  "headship" or co-functionalism - allows a Christian to be obedient to Christ's command of servanthood to all and to avoid the idea that one is to have rulership, control, or power over anyone else?

More to come... 

70 comments:

Joe Misek said...

The vision for humanity in the New Creation should really be in the backdrop of every conversation, but definitely in this one. We will be perfectly redeemed with resurrection bodies. No deficiencies. No more tears and presumably no more reasons for tears. No animosity, hostility, or conflict. Just perfect peace.

In light of all that, what would one gender lack that it would necessitate subordination to, and leadership from, the other gender? I don't see how hierarchy could possibly cohere with the New Creation. And as a result, the pre-Fall Creation too.

I think it's a game-changer argument, Wade. It makes all the quibbling about the minutiae of other aspects of the debate seem petty in comparison to our ultimate hope as believers.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Well stated.

Thank you.

Leslie said...

thank you, I'm sharing this in Australia.

annamma said...

I've been lurking on your blog often
and have been blessed. Thank you for this one, too! Just one comment. The definition or basic understanding of patriarchalism is certainly for men to control/ lead/ have power over women. However, the basic understanding of feminism is not control of women over men. It is about freedom and equal opportunity for women. So equating patriarchalism and feminism doesn't seem right. I suppose what you meant is a very extreme/ militant feminism?

RB Kuter said...

Not sure whether I am missing the point or simply the logic being used to make a point. It seems Wade is saying that we should be living today in the same manner that we will be living following God's final restoration of His creation.

I'm sure we all agree that we currently exist in a broken world and system that will not be heavenly until God restores it to what He intended it to be in its original state.

That being the case, we strive to live according to God's direction during this phase in which we find ourselves. Call it dispensation if you please, but there are phases of progression as we move through God's steps that lead us to that final chapter when this broken realm will be restored, no, even made more awesome than the original state prior to sin.

We, the people of God, strive to function in a manner that is consistent with how God intends given the circumstances/era/dispensation we find ourselves. There was The Law age prior to the Messianic age. The Law was superseded as God's method for exhibiting faithfulness to Him. God's people function as our Lord intends during the contemporary phase in a manner that pleases Him but which will eventually be superseded by alternative methods and behavior expected by God during successive stages.

For instance, husbands and wives function in a Godly relationship in this phase of God's progressive steps in a manner which will be superseded by more lofty behavior and perspective in that future, restored, heavenly realm. That does not portend that they are somehow out of synch with God's plan for this time nor are they sinful to live appropriately given today's circumstances and God-given parameters.

In particular, husbands and wives are sexually active today and that's as God intends and as it should be. When we move on into that final chapter/dispensation/totally-redeemed and glorified realm, sex will be of no consequence for us, of no interest, and of no value within the relationship. We will then function in relationships as God originally intended, but no doubt in an even higher, more elevated manner than then.

The point I am attempting to make (no doubt awkwardly or laboriously) is that just because we are not now what we will be does not necessarily mean that we are outside of God's plan or will at this time.


Wade Burleson said...

Annamma,

You make a good point. Were feminism defined as a belief in equality, then that is indeed biblical. My point - and I may have made it poorly - is that anyone, male or female, who desires to rule over others is violating Scripture. Most patriarchs I know desire to control. I don’t know as many feminists, but the “SECULAR” ones that I do know, seem to have a desire to control as well.

However, it’s all in the definitions.

Wade Burleson said...

RB Kuter,

I understand the logic, but not sure I agree with (though I do appreciate) the argument.

RB Kuter said...

Thank you for another very well done post, Wade. Makes me think.

Victorious said...

annamma...
However, the basic understanding of feminism is not control of women over men. It is about freedom and equal opportunity for women

Amen! Patriarchalists continually associate the word "feminism" with a negative definition that might better be described as "hyper-feminism." But a Christian feminist is called to advocate for the millions of women who are oppressed, abused, voiceless, living in fear and discriminated against. I gladly welcome the term "Christian feminist" for myself in that context.

Wade Burleson said...

Victorious,

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Thank you so much for these articles. I have a college aged daughter who is called to ministry. She is committed to the authority of Scripture and has a heart for evangelism. She serves on staff at a church. She isn't trying to prove anything. She just wants to serve God and fulfill her calling. Unfortunately, she is constantly having to defend her call. A year or so ago, we were talking about the challenges she faces, and she began to cry as she said, "Why can't people just let me help people know Jesus. Why do I have to constantly have these discussions and fight with them to serve God? Someday am I going to die and go to heaven, and Jesus will come up to me and punish me for trying to help people come to know Him?"

I wish those who write blogs discouraging young women from ministry realized how damaging their words are. When Southern Baptists criticize Beth Moore, they are pushing committed and called young women out of the Baptist world into denominations which often don't have a particularly high view of Scripture. Unfortunately, if they want to obey God, they are forced away from Southern Baptist churches. There is a reason Southern Baptists are waning in influence.

Anyway, thanks for writing about this. Few issues are more important to the future of Christianity in our country. Now is not the time to tell half of our young people not to consider a calling to full-time ministry in the local church, but it is what some are doing.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I agree that God created men and women equal with neither having control over the other.

I printed your post and it covered three pages. On the last page I’d written one “no”, on the second page two, and on the first page, seven.

I’ll explain the first “no” on page one. You wrote: “In Genesis, God brings Creation into a perfect existence.”

I believe the “perfect existence” will be heaven, but Genesis 2:15 NLT states:

“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to TEND and watch over it.”

That “TEND” reminds me of picking cotton. (Oh, my back!)

David said...

Wade,

I think this is in significant agreement with the body of Scripture.

I was reviewing the curse in Genesis 3 the other day, and it occurred to me that the structure looked kind of like a chiasmus, with the pivot on the woman's curse. It then occurred to me that the man's curse (unlike the serpent's) was able to be experientially mitigated/reversed through technology.

Looking again at the woman's curse, I wondered if, gramatically, it was separated into the permanent (awaiting the consummation) curse of pain in child-bearing, and the temporary relational curse of male domination.

My Hebrew is a little rusty, but I feel like any man not laboring with painful sweat inducing labor to grow his own food is in no position to try to argue for/enforce the second aspect of the woman's curse.

Thoughts?

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Good observations.

I would add the curse on woman includes "Your desire shall be for your husband" which is the same Hebrew phrase used later "sin is CROUCHING at your door." The idea of "desire" and "couching" is to "trap, overcome, rule."

So, just like the male, the curse for the female is a desire to control or rule.

Grace reverses the curse and turns rulers into servants.

Or, to be it another way, grace reverses the curse and restores co-regency and turns little kings into imitators of the King of Kings - Royal Regency with a servant's heart.

Victorious said...

Wade,

I would add the curse on woman includes "Your desire shall be for your husband"

The only failure attributed to Eve in scripture is that of being deceived.

The only curses in Genesis 3 are designated to the serpent Gen. 3:14)and the ground (Gen.3:17).

God's words to both are prophetic in that both Adam and Eve will experience "sorrow" as the result of leaving the garden.

Gen. 3:16 to the woman - "sorrow" (H6093)
Gen. 3:17 to the man - "sorrow" (H6093)

H6093
From H6087; worrisomeness, that is, labor or pain: - sorrow, toil.

I strongly disagree with the idea of "desire" (H6087) meaning to "trap, overcome, rule."

H8669

teshûqâh

From H7783 in the original sense of stretching out after; a longing: - desire.

The word is also used in the Song of Solomon (6:3) implying a strong love of one toward the other.

God's words to Eve are a warning that if she stretched out toward Adam, he would rule over her.

These prophetic words are evident throughout scripture with the abuse of women as they were taken as the spoils of war (Judges 5:30). The prevalence of polygamy among the Hebrews caused Moses to institute a "degree of divorcement" as a safety measure against women being stoned as an adultress in the event she remarried.

Abuse of women would have been prevented had the design of marriage been followed:

Gen. 2:24  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 

It was the man who would leave his parents and be joined to the wive and her family. They are her natural protectors and would have shielded her from abuse. Jesus, Himself, reiterated this law of marriage as the original design when the Pharisees were testing him about the practice of polygamy. (Matt 19:3-6) He also confirms the practice of a Bill of Divorce as the result of men's hard hearts. Jesus, Himself, follows the rule of the man leaving his father and mother to cleave to his wife. He left His heavenly Father to cleave to His bride. (Eph. 5:31) where Paul refers to the mystery of Christ and the church again quoting from Gen. 2:24.

I think we need to stop attributing God's prophetic words to Adam and Eve as a "curse" as His own words clearly curse only the serpent and the ground.

Anonymous said...

Victorious said:
"The only curses in Genesis 3 are designated to the serpent Gen. 3:14)and the ground (Gen.3:17)."

Exactly! There is no curse for either Adam or Eve. They are both told the results of their sin, but only the Nachash and the ground receive a "curse."

Anonymous said...

Except of course those really are not the only two choices. We see examples all the time of the scripture setting up legitimate authority.

If you are crossing your yard with your three year old, child out of reach, and spot a rattlesnake in its path, do you really want total equality where you have to take time to reason with the child about stopping and backing up, or would you rather it initially obey your legitimate authority and then once safe you can explain to the child why you bossed it around?

There really is that third option: God, in His mercy and as part of mitigating the effects of the fall, can set up lines of very legitimate authority. So we do obey the magistrate as long as they are not asking us to disobey God.....even if we feel we are more woke and disagree with said magistrate. We really can expect parents to obey God's authority in how they parent, and then expect children to obey. We really can expect men to lead the home in the way God has ordained, and then expect wives to submit to that. We really can expect children to obey their parents.

So you can if you choose think there are only two choices, full equality of function as well as value or else the curse. But I believe a more honest and scriptural view is that God, seeing the muck and mess we make post fall, did give rules to order a broken society so as to mitigate the damage of the fall FOR our benefit.

linda

Wade Burleson said...

Victorious,

I agree with you.

Thanks!

I didn't communicate well in the Title of my post - or the body of it.

When I say "curse" - I'm not speaking of the curse of God on man. I'm describing the curse of relational power struggles between males and females.

God didn't "curse" man - only the serpent.

So in terms of males and females, I use the word as a descriptor.


Victorious said...

Linda,

We really can expect men to lead the home in the way God has ordained...

Please provide scriptural evidence mandating men to lead the home and/or their wives.

He must manage his own household well...1Tim. 3:4

So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households ...1Tim. 5:14

I find no command for men or husbands to do anything to their wives except "agape" them. And that doesn't preclude wives from the same "agape" toward them. Eph. 5:21 admonishes a mutual submission. 1 Cor. 7 does speak of authority of the husband and wife equally but nowhere specifically for the husband alone to lead or exert authority.

Victorious said...

Thank you, Wade.

When I say "curse" - I'm not speaking of the curse of God on man. I'm describing the curse of relational power struggles between males and females.

It's really important that we stop using the word "curse" relative to anyone in Genesis and correctly attribute it only to the serpent and the ground. The reason for it's importance is that Eve has erroneously been blamed for tempting Adam, struggling with him for power, disobeying his "headship" etc. over the years in churches with absolutely no scriptural evidence. God told the serpent...."because you have done this..." and to Adam..."because you have done this". No such words were spoken to Eve as deception is not entered into purposely or deliberately. The nature of deception is that one thinks he/she is doing the right thing but is not. That's kinda like Paul's admitting he acted in ignorance in participating in the slaughter of thousands of Christians.

Again, nowhere is Eve accused of anything other than being deceived in scripture but Adam on the other hand, blamed both Eve and God for giving her to him. His sin of disobedience is clearly noted in scripture:

1Cor. 15:22  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 

Hos 6:7  But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me. 

Job 31:33  "Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom

Rom 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Christiane said...

I was thinking today about the effects of 'the Curse' on humankind, and how 'pride' works its poison. Recently, was a comment given by a man, a pastor, that told how openly about how he acted out paternalism in his marriage and how his wife was treated. He later removed that comment. That comment was searing to me.
But I had read it many times, trying to understand something that would not come into my reason because all I could think about was this:

that when the time comes and a hyper-paternalistic husband passes, I wondered if the part of his wife that 'fears a cage' would silently rejoice in her freedom, and the thought of this was heart-breaking to me, for what might have been, for her, for both of them, for the whole Church.

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

In quoting 1 Corinthians 15:22, you’ve ‘hit the nail on the head’.

“Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.” (NLT)

When Eve ate the forbidden fruit, she didn’t realize she and Adam were naked; only after he ate it, did that happen.

God said they would die if they ate it, but what WAS the death? That death was shown by them hiding from God. Their death was a spiritual separation from God.

If God said they would die physically, lets alter the verse above:

‘Just as everyone dies physical because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new physical life.’

If that version was true, all Christians would never die.

Christiane said...

Hey, REX RAY

you wrote,
"‘Just as everyone dies physical because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new physical life.’"

well, I would look to the sacred Scriptures that speak of our physical 'renewal' in strangely triumphant and very literal terms:

"I KNOW that my Redeemer liveth,
and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.
And though after my skin worms destroy this body,
yet in my flesh shall I see God:
whom I shall see for myself,
and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." (Job 19:25 - 27)



A Christian person is already living an eternal life, yes.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

I believe God made all living things (man, animals, trees, grass, life in the oceans to have a life span and die; to be replaced by their kind.

Otherwise, the earth would have to expand ever so often to make room for new life.

If Adam was to life forever, what purpose was the “Tree of Life”?

Do you agree the “death” that God referred to was a SPIRITUAL DEATH? (It happened as shown by them hiding from God.)

Victorious said...

Rex Ray,

God said they would die if they ate it, but what WAS the death? That death was shown by them hiding from God. Their death was a spiritual separation from God.

1 Cor. 15:22 is a contrast. It's contrasting death (of Adam) to life (in Christ). Now it's obvious that Adam died a physical death per Gen. 5:5 but 930 yrs. is in my opinion, a long, long life. This is much like Romans 5 where one man's disobedience is contrasted with the obedience of One.

I'm hesitant to say their death was spiritual separation from God since Gen. 4 tells us that God still interacted with the descendants of Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel. Likewise with Noah, Abraham, Sarah, etc.

I'm of the opinion it was God's desire that Adam and Eve live forever in the Garden of Eden and provided the means for that to happen. I also believe sin doesn't just happen on the spur of the moment, but is progressive and begins in one's heart as Jesus said....

"For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." Matt._15:19

With that in mind, I think (logical speculation perhaps?) that Adam was already beginning to harbor sin in his heart when he disobeyed God. One reason is that he was told to guard the garden and the serpent invaded it and plotted to deceive Eve. He was negligent in his responsibility. Also of interest is that in the narrative of creation, each creation is followed by "and God saw that it was good." But all of a sudden, something was not good. And that was God's observation that Adam was leaning toward sin. Strangely, immediately after God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, instead of creating Eve....he created the animals and watched to see what Adam would call them. As opposed to what some see as a vote of confidence in Adam, I think it was a test. And following that test and the naming of animals, God fashioned Eve as a Godly aid to Adam.

H5826
‛âzar
aw-zar'
A primitive root; to surround, that is, protect or aid: - help, succour.

In his condition, God did not want Adam to live forever and sent him out of the garden with no access to the Tree of Life.

Sooo....sorry for being so long-winded, but for these reasons I believe the death God warned of was physical.

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

“I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” (Luke 10:18 NLT)

I believe it was God’s plan for mankind to live on earth, die, and be raised in heaven HIGHER THAN THE ANGELS.

That made the ‘top angel’ (Satan) say ‘Not higher than me’, and his rebellion got him thrown from heaven.

I believe the devil was on earth before Adam and Eve.

Adam didn’t fail to keep the snake out, the devil could have tempted Eve through any of the animals, but he chose the snake.

My last comment said I believe God gave everything a lifespan otherwise the earth would have to keep expanding if nothing died. What do you think about that?

BTW, a friend just asked me did the devil have power where men were on the moon, or is his powers only on the earth. I told him I didn’t know.

Christiane said...

'spirit' :)

I like to think of a human person made in the image of God having a physical body, a God-given soul, and a human spirit:
all three as ONE PERSON

I liken the human 'spirit' to that special thing that enables people to go beyond their physical strength when needed:
like the mother who can lift a car off of her son who is working underneath it and the support slips bringing the car down on him . . . she has no 'strength' physically to do this, and yet she does . . . she lifts the car off of her child and saves him

or the wounded soldier who goes back into the line of fire to save another wounded brother-in-arms and carries him to safety . . . where does that 'strength' come from but the human spirit . . . 'courage', if you will . . . a kind of 'resolve' that won't give up and goes into hyper-drive in a time of great need?

Can we lose our 'spirit'? Can it be wounded? Can we be 'dis-heartedned'? I think we can be wounded, yes, but I also think we can rally and find our purpose to go on and keep trying, and if it is done out of love for others, we will succeed. For those seriously troubled, we must not judge, but care for them in their lashing-out and their anger, because they ARE wounded and therefore needing help, not contempt.

Did I answer your question? Probably not. I don't have all the answers, REX RAY, not even close. But I think the human 'spirit' is something from God, like the soul, and is a gift of his fore-sight that the time will come when we will need it in this life. It's part of God's loving-kindness towards us, to share this with us in how we are made in His image, yes.

Christiane said...

REX RAY,

you will like these examples:

In 1982, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Tony Cavallo was repairing a 1964 Chevrolet Impala automobile from underneath. The vehicle was propped up with jacks, but it fell. Cavallo's mother, Mrs. Angela Cavallo, lifted the car high enough and long enough for two neighbours to replace the jacks and pull Tony from beneath the car.[4]
In 2006, Ivujivik, Quebec resident Lydia Angiyou saved several children by fighting a polar bear until a local hunter shot it.[5]
In 2006, in Tucson, Arizona, Tom Boyle watched as a Chevrolet Camaro hit 18-year-old Kyle Holtrust. The car pinned Holtrust, still alive, underneath. Boyle lifted the Camaro off the teenager, while the driver of the car pulled the teen to safety.[4][6]
In 2009, in Ottawa, Kansas, 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in), 84 kg (185 lb) Nick Harris lifted a Mercury sedan to help a 6-year-old girl pinned beneath.[7]
In 2009, in Newport, Wales, Donna McNamee, Abigail Sicolo, and Anthony McNamee lifted a 1.1 ton Renault Clio off of an 8 year old boy.[8]
In 2011, in Tampa, Florida, 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in), 134 kg (295 lb) University of South Florida college football player Danous Estenor lifted a 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) car off of a man who had been caught underneath. The man was a tow truck driver who had been pinned under the rear tire of a 1990 Cadillac Seville, which had lurched forward as he worked underneath it. The man suffered only minor injuries.[9]
In 2012, in Glen Allen, Virginia, 22-year-old Lauren Kornacki rescued her father, Alec Kornacki, after the jack used to prop up his BMW slipped, pinning him under it. Lauren lifted the car, then performed CPR on her father and saved his life.[10]
In 2013, in Oregon, teenage sisters Hanna (age 16) & Haylee (age 14) lifted a tractor to save their father pinned underneath.[11]
In 2015, in St. John's, Newfoundland, Nick Williams lifted a four-wheel-drive vehicle to save a young boy pinned beneath its tire.[12]
In 2015, in Vienna, Virginia, Charlotte Heffelmire lifted a GMC pick-up truck to free her father from underneath.[13]

REX RAY, some people think that 'adrenaline' is the real reason, but look how many times in the examples that a family member is trapped and someone who loves them saves them.
Scientists may say 'what's love got to do with it?' I would answer them 'Everything' :)
(and I was a science teacher who knows about noradrenalin)

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

A man named James was off work a week, and very weak from a bleeding ulcer. He drove up to an upside down tractor. A man was under a big wheel with a broken pelvis. James strained until he was exhausted and said, “I’ve got to get a jack”. He released the tractor which caused the man to scream. James lifted the tractor and the man pulled himself out.

James was my cousin. I broke my pelvis by falling from a tree fifty feet from where my father broke his. We were at the same age of 74.

In the hospital, I was very angry with my wife because I thought I was working on our church and she wouldn’t hold a board so I could saw it in two. Alarmed, she called the doctor. He asked me to tell him his name. Not knowing, I said, “You’re the best doctor in this hospital.” He walked away saying, “There’s nothing wrong with him.”

BTW, I’m applying two creams for my ankle, and advised to take Tylenol for pain. I’m taking a nerve pill with so many possible side effects, I’ll paraphrase them: Stop taking this medicine if you start dying. :)

Christiane said...

well REX RAY,

I'm happy to report that you are still alive and telling the best stories ever. Tylenol for pain is what everyone is being prescribed these days 'cause doctors don't want people to get addicted to opioids I guess. There has to be a better way to handle pain than Tylenol and addicting drugs, so that is something we can hope will soon be found.

personally, I think your doctor knew that a sense of humor (joy) is a sign of the Presence of the Holy Spirit, so I guess he thought you were in good Hands. . . . but your wife was right to call the doctor when you showed signs of confusion, as that is one symptom that needs attention right away

Keep a list of any side effects you see from that nerve pill . . . that's important. And report the side effects to your doctor. It is a big deal.

Back to Wade's topic: People and their pride trying to lord it over other people to the point that damage is done to both 'the perpetrator' and the 'victim', so opposite the servant-leadership model of Our Lord with His self-giving and His humility and compassion . . . . so very opposite . . . what did you think of my comment, this:

Christiane said...

"Christiane said...
I was thinking today about the effects of 'the Curse' on humankind, and how 'pride' works its poison. Recently, was a comment given by a man, a pastor, that told how openly about how he acted out paternalism in his marriage and how his wife was treated. He later removed that comment. That comment was searing to me.
But I had read it many times, trying to understand something that would not come into my reason because all I could think about was this:

that when the time comes and a hyper-paternalistic husband passes, I wondered if the part of his wife that 'fears a cage' would silently rejoice in her freedom, and the thought of this was heart-breaking to me, for what might have been, for her, for both of them, for the whole Church.


Wed Jun 19, 12:43:00 PM 2019 "

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,

My reference in the above comment to 'a cage' is from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings character Eowyn, this:

" “What do you fear, lady?" [Aragorn] asked.
"A cage," [Éowyn] said. "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

(J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King)

RB Kuter said...

Wade, hope I am not being redundant and asking what may have already been asked by someone, but let me ask anyway:

What do you think God meant when announcing His judgment upon the man and woman right after their sin when He announced judgment on the woman saying, "You desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you."? In particular, how do you translate that Hebrew word used for "rule", "mashal", apparently translated as having dominion, govern, reign, etc.?

Again, sorry if I'm asking something that perhaps you've already answered and I just didn't see.

Wade Burleson said...

RB Kuter,

"Your desire will be for your husband - and he will rule over you."

"Your desire will be" in Hebrew is the same as "sin crouching at the door" later in Genesis. It has the idea of 'springing upon to control.' So, both women and men after the fall have a desire to control one another, manipulate one another, and rule over one another.

Grace reverses this description of relationships and causes men and women to wish to serve one another and be submissive to one another.

Victorious said...

"Your desire will be" in Hebrew is the same as "sin crouching at the door" later in Genesis. It has the idea of 'springing upon to control.'

I see this as God's prophetic warning to Eve that if she "stretches toward" Adam, he will (not must) rule over her.

God gave the same warning to Cain in Gen. 4 and the consequences He ascribed to him are the very same given to Adam. Both were made to leave their dwelling place and both relegated to tilling/cultivating the cursed ground.

Just as Abel suffered the consequences of ignoring God's warning, so too do women as the result of Eve's "turning to/stretching out" toward her husband.

And just as God provided a safety measure for Cain as he wandered the earth, God provided laws for the protection of women as the result of abuse; i.e. Deut. 21 and 24.

And so far as I can see, grace has yet to reverse the desire of men to rule over women in whatever capacity they endeavor to participate and utilize their strengths, abilities, and gifts.

And the same word is used in the Song of Solomon 7:10 with a very different tone...one of mutual affection and love.

Christiane said...

I wonder how many grown men would accept the roll of being treated like a child by their wives when they married?

Our Lord didn't cancel out the Golden Rule, no. It still is a part of our faith if we determine to be obedient to Him:


" In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you.
For this is the essence of the Law and the prophets."

(from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 7)

Victorious said...

Wade made a beautiful contrast between Genesis and Revelation, but I'm hoping beyond hope that we won't have to wait until our lives in eternity to see the fruition of His original design. :)

I'm a firm believer that God warns His people of danger, adverse conditions, a negative consequences of making bad choices. He most often gives the reason for His warning so we/they will be able to ward off the negative circumstances He sees ahead in His ability to foresee the future.

I've made a note of several of those warnings and have included the one made to Adam, and the one (imho) He made to Eve. They may be others and some may disagree with my list, but on the other hand it may provide some evidence that in His loving kindness, He tries to protect us from harmful situations.

Gen. 2:16-17 to Adam
Gen. 3:16 to Eve
Gen. 4:7 to Cain
Gen. 31:29 to Laban
Gen. 6:13-14 to Noah
1 Sam. 8:10-11 to Samuel re: consequences of a king
Matt. 2:12 to the Magi
Mark 8:30 to the disciples
Matt 2:22 to Joseph
Heb. 11:7 to Noah

Some listened to the warning and escaped dire consequences and unfortunately, others did not.

RB Kuter said...

The Genesis account portrays God's judgment upon the world. Sin caused the world's system to be broken until the world is redeemed. God specified and described in detail much of what the consequences of sin would do to this world until He restores it to its intended order.

"God" Himself made a number of statements as to how things would be until the world order is restored to what He created it to be:
- Women would experience great pain in childbirth.
- The woman would long for the man in the sense of stretching out after him. You choose to
interpret that as you please, but God says that condition still exists.
- The man will have dominion over/rule over/govern, the woman. Again,no matter how you
choose to interpret that, the condition still exists.
- The earth would be cursed, resulting in man's toilsome labor to produce anything to eat
He would have to struggle with obstacles, like thorns and thistles, requiring hard labor
and sweat to be invested in order to eat anything from it; so says God.
- From the dust were you taken and to the dust you will return, says God.

The reality is, this is what God announced to be the conditions that would follow the fall of mankind until God Himself restores the system to His original intended order. We can say correctly that there will be no thorns in the "restored order" of the future, but that does not discount that there are thorns now.

But given the existence of those difficult conditions, we deal with it as the children of God should and in the manner our Father would intend. For instance, we don't throw our uprooted thorns and thistles on our neighbor's property. As the children of God, we may even help our neighbor clear out his thorns and thistles in a way that shows grace and God's love in us. The "judgment" condition still exists, but we glorify God by the manner in which we behave given the circumstances.

Another condition announced as God's judgment is that man is placed by God in a position of dominion, governance, or rule over the woman (or however you choose to interpret that Hebrew word. The word came from the mouth of God, not the man, Adam, and not men of today.) It is the "judgment" condition that God Himself set in place until the restoration of His restored order.

As with all the other "judgment"-conditions, the people of God are meant to function/behave within that order set in concrete by God in a manner that pleases God. That would, of course, be to show and behave with grace, love, and even selfless sacrifice for each other, holding the other person in greater esteem than yourself. But that "judgment"-condition still remains until God changes it.

At times, I begin to think we are all together on this until it seems to me that some say that this aspect of the relationship between men and women does not exist at all today. Apparently, the basis for that logic of not acknowledging the existence of that circumstance is that it will not exist when God restores things to His intended order. We can "not like it", and fight against it, and even deny that it exists, but like the continued existence of the thorns, thistles, mosquitoes and all the rest of the "curse"-circumstances, they are and will continue to be with us until "God" changes it.

Of course, God will judge any man who abuses the role God intends us to fill during this interim period when "judgment"-circumstances exist. He will judge the parent who kills their child, the father who beats his spouse or children, or the man who murders his neighbor or steals his crops. We, as children of God, must function as our Father intends.






Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

With your tender heart, this is what happened yesterday. Judy’s youngest brother called and said their oldest brother, Mervin, (91) was very sick in the hospital. We rushed to Dallas and met her brother, and we went to the hospital.

A nurse told us: “I told Mervin I would be back in a few minutes and for him not to anywhere. He laughed and said he wasn’t going anywhere, but he did go somewhere.” (He died 15 minutes before we got there.)

He never married and took care of his mother until she died. He was a Methodist. Later, we held hands and his pastor (a woman) said the first prayer of his Christian life. I was last, saying, weep not for those who live with the Lord.

Christiane said...

REX RAY,
sorry to hear of Judy's brother's passing, and I will pray for her this weekend, REX RAY

Mervin sounds like a good man who loved his mother and cared for her at the end of her life. I do think he is with the Lord and at peace. When my brother passes some day, if I'm still alive, I will weep although I know he will be 'with the Lord' . . . I think we weep for our own loss, because we are sad, and I think those tears are holy to the Lord, as it is a sign of how much we loved someone and will miss them;
but I liked your prayer, this: "weep not for those who live with the Lord" because it's true, that they are safe and at peace.

We weep for ourselves because we need to, because loss hurts us.

Beautiful, sad comment, REX RAY. Yes, I have an emotional reaction to people's losing someone. Once it's happened to you, you know how it can hurt those who suffer loss.

Hope you are doing okay, in spite of all the troubles. Please tell Judy I will pray for her and for the family. Sad news. God Bless you all.

Anonymous said...

". Churches that maintain patriarchal structures are a sign to the world of an old creation. Churches that—in Christ, we must stress—transcend the age old, sinful conflict between the “desire” of the woman for the man and the rule of the man over the woman are a sign to the world of new creation."

https://www.postost.net/2012/01/curse-patriarchy-hope-new-creation

Victorious said...

RB Kuter,

Another condition announced as God's judgment is that man is placed by God in a position of dominion, governance, or rule over the woman

The problem with this is....God forgot to tell the man! Nowhere is such a mandate to a man/husband recorded in scripture.

Women would experience great pain in childbirth.

The same "pain" ascribed to women in childbirth is the same "pain" ascribed to men in their agricultural work. This evidently only applies to married women eliminating this "judgement" from single women, those who choose to use birth control, those who are unable to conceive, or those who receive a pain-relieving solution during labor. And last but not least, married women are not "commanded" to have pain.

but like the continued existence of the thorns, thistles, mosquitoes and all the rest of the "curse"-circumstances, they are and will continue to be with us until "God" changes it.

Ahh...I don't know about you, but I've found a way to eliminate thorns and thistles from my garden. I use Round-Up successfully. All the lawn-maintenance services in my neck of the words do as well. And where did you find a reference to mosquitoes?

The earth would be cursed, resulting in man's toilsome labor to produce anything to eat

Since you are utilizing a literal sense to the "judgements" you should be careful to include sweat men should experience in the various operations in which men sweat, such as ploughing, sowing, reaping, threshing, winnowing, grinding, etc. That negates those career choices where air-conditioning is found. Are you a farmer? Just curious.

You see, we have successfully eliminated most of those pesky "judgements" that came as the result of life outside the garden of Eden. And thank God, we are still working on eliminating one in particular....the rule of a man over this wife. This is especially important since nowhere is a man commanded to do so.

Mercy & Truth said...

Great conversation everyone! Kudos for having it. I, for one, am enjoying hearing from both sides - no matter how "far out there" they may be :-)

As far as authority goes: ultimately -> Truth takes authority over error. Right takes authority over wrong. Scripture takes authority over man's reasoning. It doesn't matter the gender of either.

You're Welcome.
:-D

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

You’re saying “but like the continued existence of the thorns, thistles, mosquitoes and all the rest of the "curse"-circumstances, they are and will continue to be with us until "God" changes it”, reminded me of a battle I had with ‘fire ants’.

Google states: “Fire ant stings can cause intense, instantaneous pain.”

A wind had broken a large limb that left it hanging down. I wanted to cut it off. I used a truck bed and a 8 foot ladder that had four legs. There was a good limb running horizontal about chest high when I was standing near the top of the ladder sawing the limb.

Before I climb the ladder, I was in high grass and didn’t see I was standing on a fire ant bed. They swarmed all over one leg but I didn’t notice because I was wearing a compression sock up to my knee.

About half way through the limb, the ants got higher than the sock. The shock cause me to drop the saw, grab the limb below, and the ladder kicked sideways against some limbs, leaving me hanging on the limb with the ants chewing away. No one was at home, and my sister lived too far to hear me. I finally inched along the limb and limbs to pull the ladder under me. Needless to say, I didn’t go in the house to take my britches off.

Anonymous said...

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/22/734923655/opinion-the-filthy-and-uncomfortable-circumstances-of-detained-migrant-children

Rex Ray said...

Today’s Newspaper Headlines: "Texas to deploy 1,000 troops to Border"

“Texas Governor, Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state will deploy 1,000 troops from the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexican border to aid the federal government with border security efforts.
There is an escalating crisis at the border - a crisis Congress is refusing to fix," said Abbott, who was flanked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, along with Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, the adjutant general of the Texas National Guard, during a news conference at the Texas Capitol.
Abbott said the troops will have two main roles: to help at temporary holding facilities for single adult migrants in the Rio Grande Valley and in El Paso, and to help Border Patrol units along ports of entry.
At the beginning of June, 133,000 were apprehended or surrendered to border agents along the southwest border in May. The vast majority are unaccompanied minors or families from Central America.
“Congress is a group of reprobates for not addressing a crisis on our border,” said Abbott.”

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, I might say that I am sorry to hear about Mervin moving into his eternal home, but that wouldn't sound very logical! Maybe better to say that I am sorry for his absence in this world in that it sounds like he did a lot to make it a better place.

RB Kuter said...

"You see, we have successfully eliminated most of those pesky "judgments" that came as the result of life outside the garden of Eden."

Pretty funny, Victorious. Guess we don't need Jesus to return to restore the world to its pre-sin state after all!

Ken F said...

Pretty funny, Victorious. Guess we don't need Jesus to return to restore the world to its pre-sin state after all!"

Hi RB,
This sounds like binary thinking. I don't know of anyone who suggests that men can only eat vegetables that they personally produce from the ground through painful labor, and that men can only eat bread while actively sweating from their faces. Nor do I hear people saying all consequences of the fall can be completely eliminated by human effort alone. There is a lot of middle ground between those extremes, and I did not interpret Victorious as pushing for either extreme. On this topic I have been leaning toward NT Wright's thoughts, that God does actually expect his followers to participatw with him in making this Earth a better place to live.

Victorious said...

RB Kuter,

Pretty funny, Victorious. Guess we don't need Jesus to return to restore the world to its pre-sin state after all!

It wasn't intended to be a joke, RB, but rather a reminder that we have eliminated many/most of those things which He warned Adam and Eve would be troublesome, adverse, and negative circumstances in the world outside of the garden.

In other words, God has given us all the wisdom, motivation, education, and purpose to advance beyond those things to arrive at a better, more just, less cumbersome, more productive lives. The advancements made over the years in the Bible are amazing; i.e. from tent dwellings to houses; implements of bronze and iron; Noah's ark & Solomon's Temple. From Sages copying manuscripts by hand to Paul's handwritten letters to the printing press to computers, etc. From advancements in engineering, education, medicine, transportation, etc. to Federal & Civil laws in government for the protection of the innocent and punishment for law breakers. We have laws that prohibit slavery, discrimination, intoxication, and polygamy for example. The one aspect of God's warnings we cling to and justify is that of male rule over female even though Jesus told us this should not be so with us.

All of that is to say, that should those verses in Genesis 3 actually be "judgements," we would still be encumbered unnecessarily by pain, sorrow, the intrusion of thorns and thistles in our gardens, sweat, archaic agricultural implements, and probably still be wearing animal skins for clothing.

We will die physically since we have no access to the Tree of Life but as the result of our belief in Jesus, we do have rivers of living water flowing from our innermost being.

But Jesus came to free us from condemnation and we are sanctified because He died once for all time. Our sins and lawless deeds He remembers no more. (Hebrews 10)

If you still believe, however, in the male authority, it seems only logical that you would be able to provide scripture where God commands this to men.

Jacque's Blog said...

Preach it! Victorious!

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Did you read, “At the beginning of June, 133,000 were apprehended or surrendered to border agents along the southwest border in May. The vast majority are UNACCOMPANIED MINORS or families from Central America.”

If that many came every month as in May, in less than a year the number would reach the population of Dallas, Texas (1.3 million).

Christiane, if you were in charge to solve this problem what would you do? Since the majority were families and unaccompanied minors, that could mean over half of them are children.

There’s a legal way to become a citizen, but ‘unprotected borders’ is a step that great nations commit ‘suicide’.

I believe there’s more unrest, more division, and more hatred in America than there was before the Civil War started.

Christiane said...

well said, VICTORIOUS!
" . .as the result of our belief in Jesus, we do have rivers of living water flowing from our innermost being"



"I hear from within me the murmur of living water,
saying 'Come, come to the Father"
(Ignatius of Antioch, circa 50 A.D. - 108 A.D.)

Christiane said...

Hello there REX RAY

fire ants? Honestly, I wonder how many guardian angels you have worn out in your lifetime.

Yikes!!!

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

In editing the fire ant story several times I made the mistake of deleting the purpose of my “sock”. It was a ‘compression sock’ that a doctor wanted me wear to help my bad ankle. It went from toe to knee.

I don’t have to explain why I was glad I wasn’t wearing the one that covered all my leg. :)

RB Kuter said...

"we have eliminated many/most of those things which He warned Adam and Eve would be troublesome, adverse, and negative circumstances in the world outside of the garden."

Sounds a bit like humanism: a philosophy that rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason.

We must be living in different worlds. The world I live in continues to regress and is at least "as", broken as it has ever been in history.
The world I live in suffers from a global pandemic of drug and alcohol addiction with the immeasurable number of victims, men, women, and children, whose lives are being utterly destroyed when a mere number of decades ago, "drugs" was only something a person found in a pharmacy
- sex between unmarried people has become as casual as a handshake and has become so normalized that it is offensive for anyone to propose it is sin.
- divorce, once considered to be an abnormality due to its infrequency, takes place more frequently than not. Pastors are so intimidated by the number of divorced people sitting in their congregation that one rarely hears mention of it in sermons as being a situation that is hated by God.
- the state-sanction murder of "yet to be delivered" boys and girls is a reality with millions of babies being slaughtered mercilessly by licensed physicians every year in our country. Infanticide is being championed by politicians elected by a majority of the population and the unrestrained practice of murdering infants has expanded to the point of actually pulling the baby partially out of the womb moments before it is to be delivered and torn apart as though his/her not being fully exposed to air means it is not a "human being".
- the world being a place where moral boundaries have been blown away and the only references to what is "right and wrong' is a matter of how "people" choose to define it.
- gender is a matter of what a person chooses theirs to be
- the practice of same-sex intercourse is portrayed as a natural, even celebratory, and acceptable lifestyle. Those challenging the practice as being outside of Biblical standards are the ones demonized and accused of being hateful, un-Godly and cruel.

And if we're talking about the organic, agricultural brokenness of the world being restored and "our" being responsible for its remedy:
- the world I live has fire ant mounds that are continually surfacing in my yard no matter how much poison I apply. There were no such thing as "fire ants" in this part of Georgia when I was growing up.
- The bee population being destroyed by the increasing application of Round-Up and the multitudes of insecticides being hopelessly used to resolve the weed and thorn infestation and undesired plants continue to overwhelm us.
- incidents of skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer have increased beyond anything seen in history.
- infections taking place which originate in supposedly sterile operating rooms and antibiotics which were effective years ago no longer are a remedy.
- immense increases in the number of psychological/emotional disorders in which our children are afflicted that were seldom the case a few decades ago
- the epidemic of addiction to electronic gadgets and social media taking place.

The prophecies given by Jesus Christ are that this world will only get worse and "man", including the church, will not restore it to its unbroken state. The best we can do as the "salt and light" in this world is to save as many souls as possible and to minister to the pain and suffering of those victimized by the consequences of sin. The world will remain the realm of Satan with his inflicting plagues, death, disease until King Jesus chooses to bring Satan's reign to an end.

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,

I think about the people coming to our country as 'refugees', like the Holy Family who were received into Egypt for asylum until the angel told them they could come home again after Herod died.

I guess I would want these people well-treated, in honor of Our Lord Who Himself was once a refugee from persecution, yes.

As for the children who are now being neglected in custody, I think that they need 'triage' right away, to screen for medical problems (they say some are ill) and they need sanitary facilities, dental care, and clean clothing, and they need decent food. I say this for the love of God. I say this because this kindness to innocent children IS 'who we are' as a nation. The using of these poor innocents as 'pawns' in some political agenda is NOT 'who we are' and I believe immediate intervention for the sake of these children needs to happen and the 'hell' with the politics and the lawyers' excuses. We, as a country, are now caring for innocent children. These children, by all accounts are suffering neglect and deprivation.
We need to do what is right, for the love of God. Those innocent children belong to Christ. If we don't help them, who do WE belong to? (?)

Caring properly for those children is a moral issue, not a political one, REX RAY.

We are not running 'camps' where children go without basics in THIS country, and still be able to hold our heads up, no. We MUST help these childre. Now. Yesterday.

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,

you wrote, this

"I believe there’s more unrest, more division, and more hatred in America than there was before the Civil War started."

I don't.

I think that a lot of 'division' has been attempted. One of the culprits is another country, an old adversary, stirring the pot using our social media. There are a lot of decent people in this country, and they will not be 'confused' for long, no. I trust this country to come together over what IS the right thing to do in the end, and we may struggle for a while, and there may have to be more 'dialogue' between our diverse population, sure;
but there is an old saying, tried and true, this:

'you can fool some of the people some of the time, and
you can fool some of the people all of the time, but
you can't fool all of the people all of the time.'

Good country, this. We ARE in trouble now, but it work itself out because we have a core of decent, honorable people who are the backbone of this country. In the end, I think we will survive and be the stronger for it. People ARE communicating. They DO care. And what's even better, people have begun to LISTEN to one another, really listen.

It might get worse before it gets better, but we will work it out as a country in time.
The 'division': watch out for who is stirring it up, and how they will benefit from stirring up hatred, and then, in time, watch how such people are going to be rejected.

Don't worry. Pray instead. :) 'all shall be well'

Victorious said...

Sounds a bit like humanism: a philosophy that rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason.

RB, maybe you overlooked it, but I specifically said..."God has given us all the wisdom, motivation, education, and purpose to advance beyond those things to arrive at a better, more just, less cumbersome, more productive lives."

Those challenging the practice as being outside of Biblical standards are the ones demonized and accused of being hateful, un-Godly and cruel.

I agree! But if we project a "fire and brimstone" sermon, it will often turn unbelievers away from hearing what we had hoped they would be receptive to. That's why we are told to love them and share the Good News that Jesus loves them and will fill them with love, joy, peace, rest for their souls, and abundant life. Like anything else, the manner of presentation makes all the difference.

The best we can do as the "salt and light" in this world is to save as many souls as possible and to minister to the pain and suffering of those victimized by the consequences of sin.

Agreed! That comment is not only positive but compassionate. The focus (positive or negative in nature) makes the difference

We were forewarned by Jesus that the world would have tribulation, but He told us so we would have in the midst of it because He has overcome the world.

" "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

and "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith." 1Jn 5:4

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

Your comment about terrible sins being accepted as a way of life made me think you’re in the most sinful part of the world.

Have you considered Jesus’s parable of the farmer scattering seed as a location to preaching his word?

I mean, it sounds like you have all the bad soil rolled up into one.

At one time, I discouraged my son and wife being ‘called’ to Israel as Southern Baptists missionaries. I told them Jews have been rejecting Christ 2,000 years. After four years, they switch to Muslims. They lived with them four years. They had five sons. The closest a Muslim ever came to accept Christ, was one that said, “I’d be a Christian if I knew God would give me five sons.”

Oh, they may have ‘planted some seeds’, but not one convert in seven years! Discouraged, they resigned as missionaries.

On the other hand, my sister and husband, (retired school teachers) were encouraged to go on a mission trip to Hungary by a missionary that came from there while here on furlough. They took him up on it. Other couples went also. They spoke through interpreters. My sister and husband are there now on their fourth trip. They came back from their last trip with the group ‘walking on air’. Reported that over a thousand had accepted Jesus.

I believe they’ve found fertile-soil.

Rex Ray said...

Our song leader, Liviu, was born in Romaina. He was among the one hundred “Singing Men of Texas” that went from Texas to Romaina this month.

They sang and there was preaching in many towns. They passed out a paper if people wanted to reply to it. The paper said, “Have you trusted the Lord tonight for the forgiveness of your sins?

Over thirty nine hundred papers said “Yes”.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, I feel for your son and your wife who invested so much of their ministry working with the Jewish and Muslim people for years while seeing such a meager "visible" harvest. Indeed, it is so discouraging and we tend to assess it as being our failure when, of course, it is the work and timing of the Holy Spirit that stirs the hearts, or changes the soil, of those receiving the seeds of the Gospel.

Another tough aspect of work like your son and his wife were doing, in addition to the meager harvest, is that they may have been in situations like those in which my wife and I usually found ourselves; without many nearby co-workers to encourage and provide support and fellowship. Admittedly, in our case, we chose those types of ministry areas where there we no other missionaries, but it was still a challenge. We did have annual meetings with gatherings of colleagues that were hugely encouraging, though.

You know RR, speaking of this post's primary topic, women ministers, and serving in tough places, I believe I've shared with you before that the Kingdom workers we knew who chose to work in the most remote, isolated, challenging places were single women. What an inspiration they were to me. I would sometimes belly-ache and have pity-parties about my miseries until their circumstances came to mind and realized that I always had my wife and son with me but they had nobody but their national friends with them for support. Some paid the ultimate price and were martyred. Some sacrificed, at least to our mind it was a sacrifice, refusing to consider proposals by men suitors very interested in beginning a life together with them because it might cause them to compromise their sacred assignments.

All of that to say, I am sure your son and his wife were considered great successes in the Kingdom and their Father, the heavenly One, was very proud of them. They went so far beyond where others have even considered going for the purpose of carrying His Gospel message. I know they will never regret having done that and that you are very proud of them too.

RB Kuter said...

Victorious wrote, "I agree! But if we project a "fire and brimstone" sermon, it will often turn unbelievers away from hearing what we had hoped they would be receptive to."

That is another truth. Our method and sensitivity to the listener and situation as we inject the Gospel message deals with quite a paradigm. On one hand, we try to be sensitive to that line that exists and if we cross it while being too aggressive and passionate about communicating their desperate need to receive Christ before it is too late we lose them and perhaps drive them further from the voice of God's Holy Spirit. But if we are too polite and timid due to our not wanting to risk offending them and figure they have plenty of time to decide, we may also lose them for eternity.

Saturday I accepted an invitation to join some other local believers at a new Indian market that had just opened. We were there for the purpose of handing out invitations to our perspective churches and seeing if perhaps we might have spiritual conversations with the Asian shoppers. One very passionate young man in the church group would greet these people from India coming to shop by approaching them and saying, "What do you know about Jesus? Did you know Jesus died on a cross to pay the penalty for your sins?! Have you ever heard about Jesus?!"

It was not well received and the store owner came out and asked us to leave. I felt the entire event was very counter-productive and burned a lot of bridges. The young man's intentions were surely Godly, but his training and sensitivities and sense of empathizing were lacking.

So your point is well taken. I continue to feel that we are more often too timid rather than being overly-aggressive though, but like most things, we must seek to identify where that "line" is and stop just short of crossing it.

Victorious said...

RB Kuter,

Hello again. You said...

But if we are too polite and timid due to our not wanting to risk offending them and figure they have plenty of time to decide, we may also lose them for eternity.

I agree with your comments about the concern about being either too aggressive or too timid.

I don't believe there's a "one-size fits all" way to share the gospel. But I might be labeled a heretic for what I'm about to say regarding worrying about losing them for eternity. Do you think that the guilt for that is truly ours to bear? I ask because I don't. I believe that Jesus loves everyone far more than I am capable of loving them. If I fail for whatever the reason, He isn't deterred by my failure. He will arrange for another vessel to go to that individual.

I personally rejected several people who tried to witness to me, for a variety of reasons. And even spent an entire year and a half searching to find out whether there really was a God or not. Long story short, one day I found a copy of "The Cross and the Switchblade" in my mailbox and read it. I don't know who put it there. But I was so annoyed when David Wilkerson kept saying "God said to me...." that I threw the book and it landed behind the sofa. Months later when I was cleaning, I found it there. I thought to myself, "what could it hurt? I waited until my husband and children were in bed. I knelt down in front of the sofa (and I confess I actually felt a bit stupid;) and opened the book to the last page and read the prayer. I said, "God, if there is a God....this book says if I read that prayer you will come to me." He did. And the transformation was so instantaneous that the next day my husband asked, "what in the world has happened to you?"

I'll stop there, but you see? God knows how to reach each person whose heart has been prepared to meet Him. But I don't believe those who tried to witness to me before should feel the guilt of failure. It's His time and His way to reach us.

On the same topic, I've often wondered why God waited so long to confront Paul since he was instrumental in the death of so many Christians. Maybe some day I'll have the answer.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with me and so graciously hearing mine.

RB Kuter said...

Victorious wrote: "Do you think that the guilt for that is truly ours to bear?"

Absolutely. Over and over again we are charged with assuming the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel, be the messengers, plead with the lost to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. It is the motivation behind so many martyrs who died acknowledging that they were charged with being the instruments used by God to announce God's exclusive plan for the redemption of individuals.

Most pointedly, Ezekiel Chapter 33 makes it undeniable that we will indeed be held accountable for "not" being obedient to this highest priority in the lives of the followers of Jesus.

As I mentioned and you make reference to, if we are not sensitive to God's Spirit guiding us as to how to be effective communicators, we can make a mess of things. At the same time, to not actively seek opportunities and initiate conversations for the purpose of sharing God's salvation through Christ is the cruelest act we can perform in our daily lives.

We cannot assume the roles of convicting the lost of their sin and fill the role of God's Holy Spirit. We must assume the role of recognizing that the most important assignment that all followers of Jesus Christ have in this lifetime is to pray and seek opportunities to lead even casual conversations into spiritual discussions with the aim of communicating the hopelessness of all people who are without the security of an eternal relationship with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It must be the purpose for our living on this planet. It is what followers of Jesus Christ do.

Christiane said...

2 Timothy 1:7

"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."


this Christian 'fear' thing . . . how does it connect up to a lack of faith in God's mercy

RB Kuter said...

"this Christian 'fear' thing . . . how does it connect up to a lack of faith in God's mercy"

Romans 1: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. :17 For in it [the] righteousness of God is revealed 8 from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS [man] SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness: 19 because that which is known about God is evident 11 within them; for God made it evident to them.

Only a fool would not be afraid of standing before a wrathful God without having acquired the security provided by Him by His taking such drastic measures to provide it.

Imagine, God, going through all of those measures over thousands of years to first build a nation identified as the one nation in the world that worships the one, true, Creator God for the purpose of establishing the birthplace of the Lamb of God, His own Son. Then that perfect Son dying cruelly on the cross and coming back from the dead to prove that He is God's ONLY way.

Then imagine someone rejecting God's measure of such infinite love because...because....because..of anything! Whew! Anyone who would not be terrified of facing Him in that condition surely must be crazy.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

You said you felt sorry for my son (Joe) and his wife (Beth). Yes, I think that living 15 miles from Beersheba, Israel was like living on another planet the way people acted.

One day Beth was going to have a ‘heart to heart talk’ with their neighbor; a mother whose sons kept throwing rocks at their boys. She got half way there but turned around and came back because the mother was throwing rocks at her boys.

All Muslim children went to the same school, but they obeyed a crazy rule that girls were not to associate with any boys unless they were in the same ‘tribe’.

Three weeks before Joe and Beth arrived, it was reported to a father that his 13-year-old daughter was seen talking to a boy not in her tribe after school on the street. When she got home, her father locked her in a small shed and burned it.

You see, in doing that he restored honor to his family. DUH

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, at the same time, do you think that everyone in that neighborhood was not aware of the presence of your son and his family? Do you think that all neighbors were not aware that they were followers of Jesus the Messiah? Do you think that everyone in the neighborhood was not watching and observing your son and daughter-in-law to see how they behaved, interacted with each other and how they were bringing up their children? Can you imagine the impact of the message of mutual respect, devotion, love and sacrifice being portrayed by your son and his wife and the way they related to their children?!

I bet that your son's family was discussed in many, many homes, at the dinner table, at the Mosque councils, among the gathering of Muslim women in the area and beyond. I bet there were many, many women who dreamed of what it would be like to have a household like theirs.

One dear friend who was martyred following her loving on Muslim women and devoting her life to teaching them and helping them was probably never aware of the impact she was having until she was killed. The men killed her because they feared her. They feared the message that she was proclaiming to their Muslim women, not so much through her "telling" or "saying" anything, as it was the love, respect and commitment she was portraying to them, solely for their sake. They feared because their Muslim women were beginning to think differently, have a different perspective on the world and their own lives.

Following her death, hundreds and hundreds of Muslim women boldly protested outside the place where she had been meeting with them. They did indeed love her and appreciate her. The same thing happened in Yemen some years ago when our medical people were murdered. Thousands of Muslim mourners lined the roadside as the vehicles carried away their bodies.

No, a Jesus follower cannot live in the situation that your son and his wife and their children lived in with the purpose and intent they had and not have a huge, supernatural, life-altering difference upon those in their environment, even though they may not be made aware of their affect upon them and how God is working in their hearts, even today.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

In years past, Muslims lived in tents roaming the land with their sheep etc. Before Joe and Beth arrived, Muslims authorities told their people, they would be given land if they would build a house on it. Due to inflation, money in the bank was never worth what it was the year before. So, this man built two houses; one for him and one for his 15 year-old son. Joe and Beth rented the son’s house.

On a visit with them, we all were invited to eat at the man’s house. We were given silverware, but they ate with their hands. I was shocked when his wife tore off meat with her hands for our plates. Another shock was when the man said to Joe, “It’s obvious you and your father have plenty of money, why don’t you have two wives?” (He had divorced one of his wives.)

We got ‘looks’ (from you know who) that said, ‘DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.’

We wondered why the man’s wife wore all her jewelry that was very pretty. Found out later if her husband told her, “I divorce you”, she would have to leave with whatever she had on.

Once I was riding with Joe, and a woman held her thumb up for a ride. (He drove a vehicle that looked like their buses.) After Joe didn’t stop, I scolded him.

He said, “Daddy, if she had gotten in and then realized who we were, she would have jumped out regardless how fast I was driving.”