Monday, September 20, 2004

Did You Know?

Voices of the Seven Thunders

Revelation 9:3 says, "and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices."

Have you ever wondered what are the seven thunders or what did John have in mind when he wrote this?

Psalm 29:3-9 says, "The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, And Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, 'Glory!'"

Notice the seven voices of the Lord in Psalm 29. The Apostle John probably had this Psalm of David in his mind when he was writing Revelation 10. It is a picture of a thunderstorm coming in from the Meditteranean Sea into the valley. The number seven is used because it is the perfect number of God exemplifying the perfect power of the LORD.

I thought the connection was cool.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Culture Shock!

Is a Women's Role in the Church Affected by the Culture We Live In?

1 Timothy 2:9-15 - Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper or women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.
1 Corinthians 11:3-11 - But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
Before we get to the crux of the matter, let's take a quick lesson on hermeneutics, the process by which we study the Bible. I believe our hermeneutic or process of study should be consistent from page one of the Bible to the last page. Genesis 1:1 says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." What does it say? This is what it means. God created the heavens and the earth. Now let's look at these culturally sensitive texts above.
1 Timothy 2 teaches that women are to learn in quiet submission and not teach or exercise authority over a man. Remember, I think it means what it says. 1 Corinthians 11 teaches that man is over a woman. The item to note in both passages of scripture is what I have bolded in the text. Paul refers back to the creation account in Genesis 1-3. This is paramount in our understanding of God's Word. Is it a culture shock to God to see the world today as opposed to the world in Paul's time or as it was first created in Adam's time. No, not at all. In fact, to believe that the principles of the Bible are predicated on the culture we live in would make God less Sovereign than He is. God has the knowledge of the expanse of time. When God instituted Adam as the authority in the male/female relationship, He did not put an asterick next to the verse to say that this does not apply in 4000 years or 6000 years. Paul points to creation because this shows God intent today as it did then.
Therefore, if we let the Word infect us by what it says, then women are not to teach or have authority over man in the church, and the man is to be the leader in the household. Incidentally, there are many Christians who have no problem with these texts because they believe as I do that the Bible means what it says. However, some of these same Christians are the ones who fail to follow the same principle when it comes to God's sovereign and electing love in choosing His people to salvation, which is also clearly presented in God's Word just by reading it.
What say you?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

A Christian's Moral Responsibility

It has been said that the Bible is silent on issues concerning moral responsibility in regards to homosexual partners receiving medical benefits or the institution of marriage by same-sex partners, but I believe the Bible does speak of a Christian's Moral Responsibility.
Ephesians 6:5-9 - Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
1 Peter 2:18-19 - Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
Upon your first readings of Ephesians 6 and 1 Peter 2, you might miss the general application of these texts. Paul and Peter, both Apostles, lived in a time in which slavery was rampant. It is believed that of the 7.5 million people who lived in Rome, 2.5 million people were slaves. In the course of history, slavery was removed on account of Christendom in England and here in the United States, but note that neither Paul nor Peter take a stance against slavery in their writings. What is their principle? God's Word is telling us that we are to do good to all people regardless of the circumstance we live in.
Looking at how homosexuality has infected our society and the supposed rights they have living together in their sin, makes me sick! Am I too preach against it? You bet I am! Am I to try to change our government institutions in the way they are going, which is their nature, sin? I don't think so. My moral responsibility is the same as the slave, to do good to all people so that those around us and over us may see our good works and glorify God upon Christ's second coming.
What say you?