My own personal stance against religious hypocrisy - both my own, and any others who seek to hurt people in the name of God.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sermon - 1001

I'm not doing a very good job at raising the awareness of women's issues. Maybe I'll improve. Maybe I should just call it day and let someone else do it. But isn't the "let someone else do it" thinking the kind of thinking which acts as a breeding ground for further abuses?

Found this website about Muslim Women. The site begins with the following:

The issue of women in Islam is highly controversial. Any materials on this subject, whether in print or online, should be used with caution because of the lack of objectivity.

So many (if not all) of the issues "Muslim" women have to deal with are the same issues "Christian" women have to deal with, and "Jewish", and any other identifier you care to pick.

"Christians don't have to wear burkas," you say. And perhaps you can rattle off a host of other things that pertain specifically to Islam and think Christianity and the other faiths are "off the hook". I disagree.

To me, it isn't the specific ways that control is administered that is the issue. It is the issue that control is being administered. And if you think Christianity and the other faiths don't attempt to control women then you are not thinking.

This has nothing to do with God, by the way. If you read God's word you will find none of what he tells us is specific to women or men, with the following exceptions:

To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it', cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistle it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of you face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Genesis 3:16-19 Revised Standard Version

Now, before you get all up in arms, or think that someone the Bible condones women as slaves and property, let us continue. What else does God say? Remember, we must consider all he says before we go running off half-cocked. And while I won't post all God says, I will show there is balance.

(All bold hi-lighting is mine - to emphasize a point - and not in the Scripture itself.)

Be subject to one another out of reverence to Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands hsould love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let th wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:21-33 Revised Standard Version

I realize many people - women in particular - have come to hate these verses. But that's because so many idiots, fools, and control freaks have used them to purport something they do not say. For one thing, what does Jesus say about being "in charge"?

But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve; and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28 Revised Standard Version

To be the "head of the household" is the SERVE the household, not boss it around. Not slap up the members because you are angry. Not to be angry all the time.

And they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelves; and he said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me." Mark 9:33-37 Revised Standard Version

If you take in the whole Scripture you will quickly see the pattern. Those in charge are SERVANTS, not tyrants. Jesus came to SERVE the Church. Marriage refers to Christ and the Church. That means Husbands are to serve their Wives, not dominate them. Jesus did not boss his disciples around. Husbands are not to boss their wives around. Jesus did not slap his disciples because they acted outside his desire. Husbands are to do likewise.

Follow the example! Stop reading single verses of Scripture and using that to justify hateful and violent behavior. Don't you realize you have gone against God when you behave that way? There is only one reason to hit anyone, and that is as an act of protection - for oneself or for another who is under physical threat. Anger is no reason to hit anyone. That is a child's behavior, and we strive to teach it out of them, showing them better ways to handle frustration.

God has a special place in his heart for women. He has a special place in his heart for men. Don't go attacking the special places of God's heart.

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