A man of his time

A well-known New Testament scholar made this remark: “At least some of the calumnies down the years are unfair, even ridiculously incorrect.  For example, he was certainly no misogynist!  For one thing, his numerous positive references to women co-workers and leaders in his churches testify otherwise.  He was, to be sure, a man of his time, and so he seems to have held (with most others of the day) that a wife was bound to her husband.  But he also held, unusually for his time, that a husband was equally bound to his wife, including a sexual exclusivity that husbands as well as wives owed to their marriage partners (e.g., 1 Corinthians 7:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8).  This effectively challenged the “double standard” in sexual behaviour otherwise commonly approved in the Roman period.”

The “Conversion” of Paul

The disappointing aspect of this paragraph is in the remark that pertains to the sentiment of Paul being a man of his times and seems to have held that a wife is bound to her husband. The author of the blog is not speaking against Paul, it must be said. I am only troubled by the words used and what may be conveyed with the use of them.

That Paul was a man of his times is perfectly normal to understand, and even accept. We are people of our time also, struggling with the variety of opinions holding sway. So fluid are some of these opinions is almost boils down to what day of the week the opinion holds sway, and on that day some accept, but on other days not.

Yes, it is true that Paul was a man of his times, but that which he wrote was not as a man of his times, but by the authority of God (1 Corinthians 14:37). When Paul spoke favorably about women he did so, not as a man of his times, but by the authority of God. Whatever Paul thought about the role of women, to himself he kept it and allowed the authority of God to guide his pen and his teachings. I am confident, however, that God’s opinion became Paul’s.

Would it not be great if preachers did the same today?

#authority, #headship, #misogyny, #women

8-26-2015 Women’s Liberation

Eve’s sin brought this consequence upon all women: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16 NKJV). Paul endorsed this in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, 12 NKJV: “For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man…For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman.” It was through women fulfilling their God-made person that, Jesus Christ, Himself came to save us, for “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4 NKJV). Women are saved the same as men: faith plus baptism (Galatians 3:26-29). “Women’s Liberation” is NOT from marriage or Motherhood, but from sin, in Jesus Christ.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#birth, #eves-sin, #marriage, #women, #womens-liberation

(#208) The Proverbs of Solomon Proverbs 31:1-3-Listen to Your Mama About Women

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 31:1-3: “The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him: 2 What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.”

Verse 1: These have been the Proverbs of Solomon: for his son (Chapters 1-9); for his people (Chapters 10-24); for his legacy (Chapters 25-29); for his influence (Chapters 30-31). The Book of Proverbs began with a father instructing his son, and ends in this last chapter with the mother’s wise words, or “hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8).

Verse 2: Almost asking: “What can I say for the best benefit for my son, my flesh and blood?”

“Son of my womb” refers to the closeness of the mother-son bond, for she was his home before he was born.

“Son of my vows” can refer to the legitimate son born after marriage vows of his parents (Malachi 2:14), or to parental commitment to raise the child “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

In any case, these words should be regarded as precious to a beloved son.

Verse 3: Two serious warnings against ways that destroy every man’s life: disrespect for marriage and disregard for authority.

To not “give your strength to women” is a major theme in Proverbs (2:16-22; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 9:13-18). Examples of what not to do are found in Samson (Judges 13-16), David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12), and Solomon, himself (1 Kings 11). Sexual satisfaction (“strength”) should be reserved only for one’s own wife (Proverbs 5:15-20).

“That which destroys kings” refers to subversive and violent methods of destroying respect for civil authority, “For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1). Moses recognized this danger (Deuteronomy 31:26-27); King Saul (1 Samuel 15:22-24); Barabbas (Mark 15:7). Solomon had said: “An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him” (Proverbs 17:11), and Jesus said: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). It is never wrong to insist that rulers abide by God’s rules (the Bible) and the laws of the land (Constitution) which restricts their “authority” (as Libertarians insist), but it is wrong to advocate no authority (as Libertines claim)!

Men, listen to a godly mother!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #marriage, #mother, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rebellion, #wisdom, #women

WOMEN IN FIRST CORINTHIANS

The first article on women in Corinthians is here.

Later in this epistle, Paul plainly state that in the assembly the women are not to speak, but they are to keep silent (14:34-35). This has caused no small controversy in today’s environment. In fact, there are many men and women who reject outright what the Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul.

What are we to understand in the context?

First, starting in v. 26, Paul speaks with regard to them “coming together.” This is an occasion for the church in Corinth to assemble. Second, there is something relative to this assembly that allows the exercise of the supernatural gifts of God to be utilized (14:26-31). Third, the gifts of God can be controlled by the one (or the ones) who have them (14:32). Fourth, that which is done is to be done decently and in order (14:32-33). Fifth, in this context, the women are to keep silent, that is, they are not authorized by the Holy Spirit to teach. The next verse (14:35) is difficult, but I think the idea is along this line: since the assembly is gathered together, and there is teaching done, it might be that the wife/woman does not understand what is being said/taught. In this context, rather than disrupting the assembly (how this would be done is unstated), she is to speak with her husband about it at home.

#assembly, #silence, #spiritual-gifts, #teaching, #women

Nancy Gibbs in Time Magazine wrote a summary…

Nancy Gibbs in Time Magazine wrote a summary of the data of the effects of the modern feminist’s movement on happiness among females. “Among the most confounding changes of all is the evidence, tracked by numerous surveys, that as women have gained more freedom, more education and more economic power, they have become less happy. No tidy theory explains the trend, notes University of Pennsylvania economist Justin Wolfers, a co-author of The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. “We looked across all sectors — young vs. old, kids or no kids, married or not married, education, no education, working or not working — and it stayed the same,” he says of the data. “But there are a few ways to look at it,” he adds. “As Susan Faludi said, the women’s movement wasn’t about happiness.” (copied)

#feminist, #happiness, #just-a-minute, #marriage, #women

Am I treading into dangerous territory ladies?

I read a story this morning on AOL news about a survey that “revealed” a difference in the way that men and women perceive beauty. According to the story, which originated in the UK as a psychology experiment, a certain number of women were given makeup to apply “as if they were about to go out” and then a “before and after” picture was taken and later shown to individual men and women who were asked to pick their “top 3” pictures based on these three criteria:

  • One that they personally thought was most attractive
  • One they thought most women would see as most attractive
  • One they thought most men would see as most attractive

The results according to the survey? All of the men picked pictures of women who were wearing less makeup, and not a single woman picked a picture of the participants who were wearing all of their makeup.

I for one am not surprised. I have never been a fan of lip balm (it tastes nasty) much less the idea of a woman turning her face into a canvas that can only be seen her when she looks into a mirror.

Is it because I’m “old-fashioned” as I’m sure some would say? Is it because I’m “misogynistic” as I’m sure some would say? Is it because I’m “a control freak” as I’m sure some would say? Is it because I’m “cheap” as I’m sure some would say? My answer to all of those would be, no! Well, maybe yes to the cheap part (the stuff is far from free), but absolutely not even close when it comes to the rest.

I for one believe, and I really wish you could hear my tone of voice when I say this, that women shouldn’t have to makeup their face to be something that it’s not to impress people who aren’t already impressed with who they are. Why would anyone want to impress someone else with something that is not a true representation of who they are? The makeup must come off, and if “they” can only appreciate a beauty that must be bought and applied then what exactly are they appreciating about you?

Am I treading into dangerous territory ladies? At least with my wife I don’t believe that I am. I have told her on numerous occasions that I love the way she looks without makeup ten times more than the way she looks with it, and I haven’t had to use any makeup to cover up a black eye yet.

I mean what woman doesn’t want to hear that she’s beautiful just the way the she is?! Am I really that far off base here?

Now before I leave what some may consider to be “no man’s land” let me say this: I understand that some men like makeup, and I don’t believe that makeup in and of itself is sinful, so if makeup can be used in a way that still promotes and proclaims modesty then by all means use it if it makes you and your husband happy.

But please, and this is especially for any younger ladies who may be reading, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that wearing makeup automatically makes you more valuable or attractive in the sight of men, or God, because it is simply not true.

in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

#attractiveness, #beauty, #makeup, #women

(#52) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:4-How To Crown A Husband

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:4: “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.”

“Excellent” shows this word means more than simply “virtuous, pure,” but also spirited, spiritual, conscientious, devoted to her husband and children, intelligent, ingenious. No clearer picture is drawn of such a woman than in Proverbs 31:10-31, which will be dealt with in detail in another study. When God made man, “the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him’” (Genesis 2:18). The entire created world cannot satisfy the loneliness a man was designed to have. To meet this innate need, God made woman, and Solomon describes her as a crowning addition to the man. There is no question to believers in God’s Word that: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22). Men should be looking to find “a wife,” not “women” in general! Men who disrespect the marriage commitment are men who disrespect women, and thus disrespect God! A “wife” (not any and every woman!) is “favor (grace) from the LORD,” and a “good thing” for a husband! Men who reject marriage with a wife are rejecting the grace of God! It is no wonder, then, that “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). It is sin to have physically intimate relationships outside of marriage, and God will hold all accountable who engage in the practice without the purity of a marriage. Forbidding marriage (celibacy) or ignoring marriage (playboy) are both observed and condemned by God. There is no substitute for “an excellent wife,” for she shows her husband is richly blessed by God more than any other inheritance a man could have. “Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD” (Proverbs 19:14).

“Rottenness in his bones” describes an untreatable condition, for it has sunk so deep into a man, it may never be cured. Spiritually speaking, “envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30), which means it takes away strength to faithfully stand. If a “good wife” is a “good thing,” then a “bad wife” is a “bad thing.” Young men should not on the prowl for animal gratification, but should be searching for “an excellent wife” with strength of character and spiritual conviction.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#adultery, #bible-study, #celibacy, #disrespect, #fornication, #husband, #love, #marriage, #marriage-commitment, #playboy, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rottenness, #sin, #wife, #women, #young-men