Wonder Woman and Tidbits

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Gentle Reader,

A picture speaks a thousand words.

I think we ladies need to learn to see ourselves as Wonder Women instead of damsels in distress. No, I’m not saying that women don’t need men. I am saying that this world is a hard place and we’ve got to be tough. We’ve got to grow thick skins. We’ve got to get out there and engage. Can our toughness be expressed in different ways? Yes. One woman will cry over a sad plotline in a movie but be the first one to leap to the defense of a hurting child. Another will be largely reserved and quiet but burst forth with eloquence on a subject she’s passionate about. There are as many ways to be strong as there are women on the planet.

Fight. Not with each other. Not to earn the approval of men. Fight for what matters.

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The Southern Baptist Convention called on its members to discontinue use of the Confederate flag. Such a move comes extremely late in the game, but credit where credit is due. Job well done.

The California state legislature is in the middle of passing a law that “would allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students to sue religious educational institutions if they were denied married student housing, dorms, or bathrooms consistent with their gender identities, or otherwise subject to rules of conduct that singled out their sexuality or identity.” Why would one deliberately choose to attend a school that ascribes to a worldview and practices at odds with one’s own worldview and practices? Should schools of any religious affiliation really be required to make room for behaviors that run counter to their foundational principles? Does this law make sense?

Some say that this is in the same vein as the legislation that stopped racial segregation in schools. I disagree, for there is nothing in Scripture that allows for people of any skin color or racial background to be hostile to each other. There is no excuse for racism. (Or sexism, for that matter). There is, however, a distinct code of sexual ethics. (Of course the living out of that code does not entail avoiding or harassing or harming or feeling superior to those who operate outside of it). Non-Christian people live by whatever standards they hold to. Should Christians not be allowed to do the same?

I’m not whining. If my civil liberties fade away someday, that’s okay. Christ is worth the loss. I’m also not saying that everyone (on either side of these issues) has their panties in a bunch all the livelong day. I have many non-believing friends who are happy to operate in real tolerance with believing people. It’s beautiful when we allow each other the freedom to disagree. It just makes me sad to see the general decline in critical thinking skills.

Speaking of freedom, it is good to remember that the Christian’s freedom is never tied to a nation’s laws or interests. It is found in the Lord.

Finally, this beautiful passage from the Hiding Place, written by Corrie ten Boom:

I asked Father about a poem we had read at school the winter before. One line had described “a young man whose face was not shadowed by sex-sin.” I had been far too shy to ask the teacher what it meant, and Mama had blushed scarlet when I consulted her. In those days just after the turn of the century sex was never discussed, even at home.

So the line had stuck in my head. “Sex,” I was pretty sure, meant whether you were a boy or a girl, and “sin” made Tante (Aunt) Jans very angry, but what the two together meant I could not imagine. And so, seated next to Father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, “Father, what is sex-sin?”

He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor.

“Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said.

I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.

“It’s too heavy,” I said.

“Yes,’” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”

And I was satisfied. More than satisfied–wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions–for now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.

– p. 28-29

She wasn’t saying that children should never learn about sex, but rather communicating that parents should be sensitive to what their children are able to understand at any given point. I firmly believe in good, thorough education in all areas including sexuality, but parents, let your kids be kids. Let them be innocent and carefree for as long as possible. The burdens of knowledge come quickly enough.

My journey to faith. (15)

Trump Cards and Tidbits

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Gentle Reader,

James Dobson announced today that Donald Trump recently became a Christian.

Do I hope this is true? Of course. Do I think that we should pray for Donald Trump, regardless of what he believes or how he lives? Of course. Am I suspicious because this announcement arrives at a time when his campaign funds are low and he’s polling behind Clinton? Yes.

God can redeem anyone. There’s no doubt about that. But this news isn’t reason for Christians to jump uncritically onto the Trump train. Be watchful. Seek God’s wisdom. There are still a little over five months before the election.

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Now some things that have caught my attention over the last few weeks. Unfortunately time does not allow me to respond to each individually:

– Loving Carl Trueman’s takedown of the heretical doctrine Eternal Subordination of the Son (yes, he’s Reformed and complementarian, but he’s spot on) here. Jamin Hubner does an excellent job of dismantling the same here.

– It’s not always cool to be a hipster. Nearly everything about The Liturgists makes me want to throw things. Especially the line, “We see exceptional value in the life and teachings of Jesus.” Exceptional value?! Stop it. Just stop it.

– Finally caught up with the times and read something by Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery fame. Glad it was this. No thanks.

– Enjoying the Society of Evangelical Arminians. Good stuff over there.

– This piece by Kate Tietje, shaming parents for speaking out when their children become ill or even die from vaccine-preventable diseases, is eyeroll-inducing. It can be summed up in one sentence: “Don’t share anything I don’t like.” Appreciate the response from Dr. Amy Tuteur, the “Skeptical OB.”

 Jen Hatmaker says that Christians are complicit in the mass shooting in Orlando. I’m all for Christians admitting when we’re wrong and learning to do better, but I fail to see how believers had anything do with with a troubled man who aligned himself with radical Islam opening fire in a nightclub.

Finally, this is just fun.

My journey to faith. (15)

On Target

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com (1)

Gentle Reader,

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that the higher-ups at Target recently announced an “inclusive” bathroom and changing room policy, allowing transgendered individuals to use whatever facility they feel most comfortable with. You also know that there has been significant backlash. You have likely been exposed to the harsh, shrill rhetoric from all sides.

I’m puzzled by the whole thing.

First, the announcement from Target amounts to little more than political posturing. Chances are very good (I’d even say high) that transgendered individuals have already been using the bathroom or changing room of their choosing. I doubt most people have even noticed. I haven’t and I don’t think that this means I’ve never been in a public restroom with a transgendered person.

Second, what is boycotting supposed to accomplish? Don’t misread me; if you’re no longer comfortable shopping at Target, then don’t shop at Target. That’s your right as a consumer. I just wonder what Christians positioning ourselves as an oppressed minority is going to prove.

This isn’t a straightforward issue. Christians can argue morality all day long, but the world doesn’t live by the moral code set forth in Scripture. Should we stop purchasing from or doing business with every entity that supports causes or positions condemned by God? If we’re honest, we know that’s not possible. We would have to remove ourselves from public life and retreat to communes. At the same time, those in support of “inclusive” bathrooms and changing rooms can’t dismiss the fact that the new laws being introduced in state legislatures around the country leave wide loopholes that predators will be glad to take advantage of. (And no, I didn’t just say that all transgendered people are predators, so don’t even think about emailing me). They can’t ignore that parents are rightly concerned for their children.

It’s not easy to define precisely how this should work on a practical level. Whether you are pro- or anti- “inclusive” measures, how would you even go about enforcing your stance? Are we going to to have to start carrying around some card that explains what gender we are? Show our genitals to someone? Further, how would anyone police the thoughts or actions of those who disagree with whatever is decided? 

My take? Just use the bathroom if you need to and leave strangers alone.

Everyone is wrong on this one. Target didn’t need to make the statement and people don’t need to boycott.

I embrace and uphold the sexual ethic outlined in Scripture. I believe that God has a plan and that He doesn’t make mistakes. At the same time, I can’t live in fear of “the other.” That is my great struggle. If I were to give in, I’d never leave the house. I can’t worry about who is in the stall or changing room next to me. If I did, I’d see a threat under every door.

Ultimately, this not something that should divide the Body of Christ. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable shopping at Target, don’t. That’s fine. This isn’t a litmus test of how committed to the Lord anyone is, though. You aren’t a “better” Christian if you avoid the store.

God has placed us on this earth at this moment for a reason. This is the world we are called to engage. We must fight the temptation to be reactionary. The temptation to shift our focus from the eternal to today’s flash-in-the-pan battle. The temptation to think that our enemies are flesh-and-blood.

There are times for taking a stand. Times to boycott. Times to cry out against injustice.

This isn’t one of them.

My journey to faith. (15)

Darkness Shall Not Overcome Light

 

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com (1)

Gentle Reader,

A pastor in my area was shot yesterday.

Six times.

In the church parking lot.

The church he leads.

This man has been involved in helping others in the community for years. He heads up an addiction rehabilitation program. He preaches. He reaches out to the women at the shelter where I volunteer. By all accounts he’s a godly man. Not perfect (never that) but one who genuinely wants to please the Lord.

He was rushed to the nearby hospital and taken into surgery almost immediately. Miraculously, he is expected to make a full recovery, despite a collapsed lung, a torn up pelvis and bullet fragments in his head.

Nobody knows why he was shot. The suspect is still at large.

You would think that the universal response, whatever people do or don’t believe or like about God and Christianity, would be, “That’s terrible. I hope he’s okay. I hope the assailant is swiftly brought to justice.”

Instead, some non-Christians wish he had died because of what he does with his life.

Politics has somehow been dragged into this tragedy. Some – Christian and non-Christian – are callous enough to mourn his survival because of the presidential candidate he supports.

I don’t care who this offends – that’s vile. That’s disgusting. A man has been shot. His life has drastically changed. His entire family and congregation have been effected. It’s nothing short of deplorable to be upset that he’s alive. People making these comments should feel deeply ashamed. How dare anyone use this as a soapbox for ranting about religion or politics. (Because someone is going to ask, yes, I would feel the same level of anger if this were the leader of a mosque or a Buddhist monk or a rabbi or an atheist professor or whoever).

If you are able, please consider donating to the medical fund set up by one of the members of his congregation. Christians especially. We need to come together and support one of our own. Let us lay aside any doctrinal or political differences and surround this man and his family with love and kindness.

The darkness shall not overcome the light, no matter how hard it tries.

My journey to faith. (15)