Saturday, March 10, 2007

We've got to carry each other

[One, Mary J Blige, featuring U2]

I know you all probably think I'm dead.

At least that I don't love you anymore...

Neither is true. As usual, I've just been mega busy. Currently on the list of To Do's (it's capitalized because To Do lists dominate my life) is... planning a wedding. Barring any act of God to the contrary, Jason is proposing when he comes to see me in April. I'm not sure how or when, but I pray it's soon after his arrival because I can't wait to have his ring on my finger, officially showing that I am his, and his alone. He is my beloved, and I am his.

Ok, 'nuff gushing. One serious thing to tackle... I don't have loads o' time to do it, but I do want to address my beliefs in response to some recent replies to my blog posts (ok, let's be honest... to say "recent" is a DIRTY LIE. I haven't written since before the millennium, or so it seems).

I believe that God's Word is absolute Truth. The entire thing. Many people get mixed messages about the verity of God's Word, but I believe that God's Word itself addresses the idea that the Bible is partial-truth intermingled with fallacies and the opinions of man. This may take a moment, but read the entire chapter of II Timothy 3 below; if you're not feeling reading the entire thing, at least pay attention to the parts I make bold.

1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,

4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

9But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes's and Jambres's folly was also.

10Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,

11persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!

12Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

13But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

For me, it's simple: God inspired all scripture, yes. Not just gave a magic touch to some man to write it, but actually breathed His Word through the human man sitting down to write it. Over the years the Bible has been translated time and time again, but I believe that the same God who could split the Red Sea in two, and who could walk on water, restore sight to the blind, raise the dead, and make me an entirely new creation, Yahweh Himself, can protect His Word and ensure that His Truth is preserved.

Also, to be fair, there is a movement to pick and choose what parts of the Word have been "tainted" and which ones haven't. Now, it's not a new movement- Thomas Jefferson (yes, as in Sir Monticello and our nation's third President) was a deist and believed that any miracles in the Word weren't real. He tore out pages with any "fallacies" leaving the New Testament at a mere 34-or some odd pages. Nonetheless, this idea that we can pick and choose what parts are Truth is a very slippery slope. Who can say what is and what isn't? Is this just up to the individual? Because I know that if the determination of Truth were left up to me, my human tendencies to self-preserve and protect would throw out things like that I shouldn't gossip, or that I should love EVERY human the way I love myself. And yet it would be a rare person to deny that God probably really did say that we should love each other, and that we should guard our tongues from being critical of others. A lot of people are willing to throw out the parts of the Bible that refer to homosexuality- to be more to the point, the parts that say it's sin (and thus shouldn't be done).

I never want to get ugly, but in a spirit of love I have to say that Truth is Truth. One such Truth is that a man is only ever intended to think about and to have the most intimate of relations (including but not limited to sexual) with one person-- his wife. An actual woman. Not a man who believes he is a woman trapped in a man's body, nor a man who is a homosexual man who prefers to be called a she, but an actual woman. And, of course, it is the same for a woman- her husband alone is to know her in that way.

Now, for scripural support of this (having already stated that I believe God's Word is ultimate Truth I should say that I also believe the Bible is the supreme authority on all matters- His opinion counts, not mine):

8On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.

9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. [I Corinthians 6:8-10]

*** The "kingdom of God" is not referring to Heaven, PS... but that's just a topic I don't have time to get into... another day!

9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers

10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [I Timothy 1:9-11]

I believe that anything reinforced in the New Testament upholds anything from the Old Testament. You'll notice that the NT says nothing about sending women away from everyone else during their periods. It also says nothing about the multitude of laws given for Jews to follow in terms of all the little things like how far you can walk on the Sabbath and what you can eat, other than to say that even in eating we are to do it for the glory of God.

So that's that. As for patriarchal traditions in society... I do think it's heavily abused. That said, I can appreciate a certain beauty in a man stepping up and making a decision and sticking to it. That isn't to say he's to disregard (or even disrespect) the opinions of women. Rather, the goal is for a man and woman (particularly in the marriage setting) to operate in harmony.

I feel that Jason is the perfect model of this in my life-- he always desires to seek my heart on any subject matter, and to honor my thoughts and desires before making decisions- whether they directly impact me or not. He values my opinion, and often what I have to say is in harmony with what he thought; when it's not he always takes it into account and often sees wisdom in what I said (which frequently alters what he thought). At the end of the day, though, I want him to make decisions and stick to them and embrace his masculinity.

I love that! I want him to be strong and courageous and manly and confident in his role as the one I choose to submit to. I feel a glorious feminine strength in trusting Jason, and I love the times when I keep my mouth closed and just pray for him to arrive at God's will... and then he does! It's wonderful :) I love Jason, I love us, and I love how Christ knit us together so perfectly!

Ok, enough rambling- we're having people over tonight, they're getting here in the next 20 minutes, and I need to get all prettified... part of that includes showering, since the sweat residue is lingering from my workout earlier. Gross, I know.

Hasta-- and leave some love!!