A general response to sin for Christian husbands and wives

I’ve seen a few topics come up on the Christian RP reddit on understanding the Bible on response to sin from a husband or wife.

The Christian husband and wife are each responsible for their Biblical marital roles and responsibilities. If one of them is a Christian and the other is not, 1 Corinthians 7 and 1 Peter 3 apply which is different. Within these there’s 6 different things (3 sets of 2 pairs) of general understanding and responsibility:

  1. A husband is responsible for his own sin.
  2. A wife is responsible for her own sin.
  3. A husband is responsible for influencing his wife
  4. A wife is responsible for influencing her husband
  5. A husband is responsible for how he responds to his wife’s sin
  6. A wife is responsible for how she responds to her husband’s sin

Let’s say a wife cheats (this can also be for the husband just replace the wife with the husband and vice versa).

  • The wife is responsible for her own cheating to God, but
  • a husband may have some culpability in influencing his wife to cheat if for instance he’s harsh with her constantly which can influence her to seek attention of other men or constantly denies her sex or things like these.
  • both the husband and wife are responsible in how they respond to the sin. The husband must call his wife to repent (fire and brimstone or kindly depending on the situation- whichever one helps her repent better), and the wife is responsible for repenting

There’s a lot of personal accountability and responsibility for the husband and wife, even though they are in different roles and positions of authority. The main thing is that they must be within the bounds of the Biblical marital roles and responsibilities. To paraphrase: For the husband headship, love, and honoring his wife, and for the wife respect and submission.

For the husband in responding to a wife’s sin it must be done in love and honor while for a wife responding to her husband’s sin it must be done with respect and submission.

One big thing you see in modern “Christianity” is that if a husband sins the wife suddenly “gets out of acting respectful and submitting to him” which is totally contrary to the Scriptures in 1 Peter 3. This is where a lot of the Church caves to culture. On the other hand, the reverse is true such as in the secular RP- the man bears 100% responsibility and the women have very little blame. In the Bible, God holds each person accountable to the role in which He has called them.

 

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The curses/punishments are disruptions to natural order

I was reviewing Genesis 1-4 over the past few weeks (starting with my read through of the Bible again), and some more interesting topics came up in relation to the temptations and sin of Adam and Eve. I covered some of these in not curses but punishments one and two..

God presents 4 different commands to Adam (and Eve) in the garden.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

  1. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth
  2. Take dominion/subdue the earth and everything in it
  3. Cultivate and keep the garden
  4. Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or you will die

The temptation of Eve by deception and Adam’s disobedience show us a couple things too.

Genesis 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

It’s the half truths that really shine through, IMO.

  1. You won’t die (sorta true. They didn’t “immediately die,” but they ended up with spiritual death and eventually a physical death)
  2. You will be like God, (the true temptation here)
  3. knowing good and evil (true, it is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil after all)

Thus, it is interesting to see the punishments.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

What you see in the punishments are a typical pattern of increase and see how they correlate directly to God’s commands:

  1. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth — Eve has increased pain in childbirthing (she already had some pain, but it is “greatly increased”)
  2. Take dominion/subdue the earth and everything in it — This command is originally fulfilled by Adam in Genesis 2 as he is naming the animals and does not need Eve (though God needs a suitable helper). By being tempted to be like God, Eve is tempted to subvert the natural order which Paul expounds on this in 1 Cor 11 with God > Jesus > man > woman. Eve’s temptation is thus: Woman = God > man. This is feminism 101. Women are “god.”
  3. Cultivate and keep the garden — The ground is cursed so that it bears thistles and thorns which make this command harder.
  4. Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or you will die — An increase in death, Adam and Eve died a spiritual and physical death.

There is also the correlation to “desire” in Genesis 4 where God says to Cain:

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

A wife that knows good (submission) versus a wife that knows evil and tries to usurp or disobey headship from her husband.

In other words, all of the punishments (including Eve’s) are increased temptation to sin which result in an increase in disruption of God’s natural order.

Greatly multiplied childbirthing pain tempts many women away from wanting to have children (which can easily be seen with contraception thereby decoupling sex from procreation — the descent into a hedonist society). Eve is tempted to be like God, and one of those consequences is to be tempted to usurp or disobey her husband’s headship. Adam’s work is made harder, which is why he is tempted to be lazy (big temptation for many men). And obviously death is another natural disorder from God’s creation.

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God’s Biblical marital roles and responsibilities are the bare minimum and why past America had such an appeal

One of the things that is interesting to me that I’ve been mulling over more recently (again) is the fact that most things in the Scriptures are the bare minimum.

For marriage, God commands the husband to be the head and love his wife while He commands the wife to submit and respect and be affectionate with her husband. He commands both of them to have sex with each other. If they separate, they must stay single or reconcile.

One of the things that I think exemplifies “perfection” in marriage is similar in nature to God’s provision:

Matthew 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God already knows our needs and will provide for them (our needs and not our wants). We just need to have faith and follow Him.

The anomalous post a few weeks ago showed that it’s not normal for any culture to follow God. Nova made some good points that our culture prior mimicked that to some extent, but ultimately diverted fast and hard once norms fell apart.

I generally agree, and this is where I think a great deal of the nostalgia for the US prior to, say, 1965, or August 1920 or what have you is misplaced.

What we had prior to the social revolution that began in the 1960s was a society that was “Christian” on its surface, but really only on its surface. There was a convergence of its own between the kind of values that fostered middle class life and Christian values, construed broadly, when relating to sexuality and marital and family life. That is, there was a broad overlap between the two, such that following Christian teaching about sex, marriage and family life not only didn’t interfere with the middle class life script — it actually “rhymed” with it, such that it did not really impede the middle class life script. So people followed along, and it was easy enough for them to seem Christian due to their following those customs, even if they didn’t have a deep faith, and were following them because they were also the social values and customs of the rising middle class, and everyone, at the time, who was “getting ahead” was following them as well and leading successful lives. So there was a meshing there that took place that blurred exactly how Christian and faithful people were.

My own take is that they were not, in fact, very faithful, because the same people, once conditions changed quickly, pretty much abandoned, en masse, the Christian teachings in these areas for the new middle class life script, with only a small minority sticking to the “old rules”. We know what led to the middle class script being changed — everything from cheap and legal birth control and abortion, to an economy that moved from industry to service (and then now to “knowledge”), to feminism as a social and political ideology whose strength itself was fed by these technological and economic changes. In the space of a generation, middle class parents shifted dramatically when it came to their daughters … MRS degree was out, career path for its own sake was in. That script, which became solidified in the culture in the 1980s and 90s, does not call for marriage until after the education/early career phase has been secured … an age which started in the mid 20s area and which has advanced higher every year. This, of course, implies that almost all of these will be fornicating along the way … and all the more as the average age of first marriage increases. There was, and likely always will be, a small group that refuses to do so – the faithful group — but it’s tiny even in Christian communities. It’s just taken as a given by middle class and upper middle Christians that their children are likely going to be fornicating, and this is tolerated because it is felt to be a necessary risk in order to facilitate the important middle class life script. It also leads to much more egalitarian marriages, because the changes in the economy meant that in many areas living without two incomes, unless one of them was sky high, was increasingly difficult, and involved the sacrifice of not living a middle class life — which was an unwanted sacrifice because, again, the whole point of the middle class life script is to live a middle class life to begin with! Of course egalitarian marriages aren’t what the Church had taught since time immemorial, either, but that, too, had to bend before the more important middle class life script, such that men and women were formed to fall into both fornication and later in life more egalitarian marriages due to the life script, and everyone just adapted.

I think one of the interesting things is that there was some “beauty” in how Western Civilization followed in these norms at the time. For instance, a lot of men have a very romanticized view of the 1950s in America was a man/husband has a hard day at work and comes home to his wife and kids and hot meal on the table.

This is a classic. Why is that a classic? It shows that his family, particularly his wife, was anticipating his needs after a long hard day at work. It’s a beautiful example yet one which those who hate God (feminists and their ilk) seek to ruin. They can’t stomach the underlying assumptions from the wife: anticipating a husband’s need, showing him respect, being kind, giving and generous with her time. God forbid she shows that she actually likes her husband or being a housewife (or other things of that nature).

It is a good example of understanding why many men wish to go back to such a time (even though 1950s America wasn’t anymore “Christian” than America is today). A wife and family that actually cared and respected them. This is not to say it cannot happen today either, but it is vastly more difficult to raise a family fighting against secular and even conservative or Church currents that may push against it.

In conclusion, first work on Biblical marital roles and responsibilities. They are the bare minimum. Then seek to go above and beyond by trying to anticipate your wife’s or your husband’s needs.

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“Losing the faith”

Along with Joshua Harris choosing apostasy, AR comments that Marty Sampson (of Hillsong) is leaving the faith.

Marty Sampson wrote many of the worship songs that were played in some of the Churches that I grew up in, so that is definitely sad to hear. His lyrics were theologically sound in most cases.

John Cooper (of the band Skillet) has a widely quoted thing that is going around Christian circles on Facebook that relates to this.

Ok I’m saying it. Because it’s too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once “faces” of the faith are falling away. And at the same time they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?)as they announce that they are leaving the faith. I’ll state my conclusion, then I’ll state some rebuttals to statements I’ve read by some of them. Firstly, I never judge people outside of my faith. Even if they hate religion or Christianity. That is not my place and I have many friends who disagree with my religion and that is 100% fine with me. However, when it comes to people within my faith, there must be a measure of loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God.

My conclusion for the church(all of us Christians): We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or “relevant” people the most influential people in Christendom. (And yes that includes people like me!) I’ve been saying for 20 years(and seemed probably quite judgmental to some of my peers) that we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word. I’m not being rude to my worship leader friends (many who would agree with me) in saying that singers and musicians are good at communicating emotion and feeling. We create a moment and a vehicle for God to speak. However, singers are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine. Sometimes we are too young, too ignorant of scripture, too unaware, or too unconcerned about the purity of scripture and the holiness of the God we are singing to. Have you ever considered the disrespect of singing songs to God that are untrue of His character?

I have a few specific thoughts and rebuttals to statements made by recently disavowed church influencers…first of all, I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, “I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.” I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?

My second thought is, why do people act like “being real” covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier. Have they considered the ramifications? As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying “I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.” So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.

Thirdly, there is a common thread running through these leaders/influencers that basically says that “no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.” This is just flatly false. I just read today in a renown worship leader’s statement, “How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.” As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

And lastly, and most shocking imo, as these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their “new insight/new truth” that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words?! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say “I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others”. Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature. No child is ever born and says “I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need”. Those are bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the ‘Kingdom of God’ standard. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus’s teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman. A lunatic who said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” He also said that he was alive before Abraham, and to see him was to see God because he was one with God. So why then would a disavowed christian leader promote that “generosity is good”? How would you know “what is good” without Jesus’s teachings? And will your ideas of what is “good” be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, poplular opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I’m amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.

It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.

Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Further and further they are sinking in the sea all the while shouting “now I’ve found the truth! Follow me!!” Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers…I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT. “The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8)

Very good insight overall. Emotionalism based on “how you feel in your relationship with God” that is so prevalent in modern Churchianity is not a good way to base your foundation on God.

These people have rose to the positions that they were in on virtue of their God-given talent, but their foundation was shaky. They knew a lot about God, but they didn’t know God. Their talents count carry them to the positions they were in, the popularity, success, and fame, but when push comes to shove with the world it was too easy to be seduced by the world because they did not have a foundation.

They were the seed that fell on the rocky soil.

Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

They sprang up quickly and brightly but withered without a root.

In fact, this is most people in the Church today as Christianity becomes more and more unpopular. This has been the trend in the Church for decades. I’m surprised it has taken this long for more high profile leaders to leave faith to be honest.

 

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Remember that Gillette commercial…

… that basically categorized all men as perpetuating weird masculine “norms.”

Mixed results.

(Reuters) – Procter & Gamble Co’s (PG.N) quarterly revenue and adjusted profit beat Wall Street expectations on Tuesday, sending shares to a record-high even as the world’s No.1 personal goods company took an $8 billion charge on its Gillette shaving business.

P&G reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette. For the same period last year, P&G’s net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.

P&G which owns Gillette lost 8 billion in their business, but their other businesses made up for it by beating their profit expectations.

Turns out tanking one business through boycotts is pretty easy, but making sure a diversified company feel it is pretty hard.

Also, haven’t had much time recently, but should be able to blog more soon.

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Joshua Harris divorces

As you may have heard, Joshua Harris of “I kissed dating goodbye” fame is divorcing his wife. Quote from the Instagram post.

My heart is full of gratitude. I wish you could see all the messages people sent me after the announcement of my divorce. They are expressions of love though they are saddened or even strongly disapprove of the decision.⁣⁣

⁣⁣I am learning that no group has the market cornered on grace. This week I’ve received grace from Christians, atheists, evangelicals, exvangelicals, straight people, LGBTQ people, and everyone in-between. Of course there have also been strong words of rebuke from religious people. While not always pleasant, I know they are seeking to love me. (There have also been spiteful, hateful comments that angered and hurt me.)⁣⁣

⁣⁣ The information that was left out of our announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is “deconstruction,” the biblical phrase is “falling away.” By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.⁣⁣

​Martin Luther said that the entire life of believers should be repentance. There’s beauty in that sentiment regardless of your view of God. I have lived in repentance for the past several years—repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few. But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.⁣⁣

​To my Christians friends, I am grateful for your prayers. Don’t take it personally if I don’t immediately return calls. I can’t join in your mourning. I don’t view this moment negatively. I feel very much alive, and awake, and surprisingly hopeful. I believe with my sister Julian that, “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

I am not too surprised here given I briefly looked at his work again a couple years ago when analyzing his book and his own statements about it again. He stepped down as a lead pastor a few years ago if I remember correctly to focus on his own social media company. It seemed to go in a secular direction too.

The writing was probably on the wall then, but it just took the “courage” to “divorce his wife” for it to finally come out.

I think the ironic thing is that his book and the criticism he got from it played at least somewhat of a role in having him departing from the faith. I’ve seen this with some other high profile pastors who seem to lock onto a supposed “right way” to do things and when it turns out to be unwise, bad or harmful advice they often self-flagellate or blame God instead of admitting their error and repenting.  If they get in a cycle of the former, they can go down the road of apostasy.

The most common example that we see is a pastor taking their own advice of “servant leadership” to try work and work and work to placate their wife’s feelings or emotions instead of being the head as God commands… and that can lead them down the road of divorce. Then they wonder where God was when they thought they were doing what God wanted, even though they were only doing their own idea of what God said rather than what He actually commands.

My last post Lysa’s divorce (and thankfully reconciliation) has tons of comments mainly from my criticism of her actions (and his actions too obviously), but this is a man so it’s pretty easy to just agree and blame him.

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Sex difference in evaluating attractiveness or no?

On Dalrock’s recent post, one thing stood out to me in Mandy Hale’s comment:

I never meet guys. Like…literally NEVER. A few years ago I felt like I could simply walk into a room and command the attention of the men in the room. I had no trouble meeting men. I got hit on regularly. But something changed along the way and that’s not my experience anymore. I suspect it was more an internal change than an external one, as I honestly think I physically look better now than I did ten years ago.

I’ve had this conversation with my wife before about the attractiveness of some women we encounter. There’s been several times where she’ll say an older woman is very attractive, and I don’t see it at all compared to a younger woman. This is not taking into account physical body changes: if a woman was obese and then suddenly got in shape she’ll definitely become more attractive. However, objectively her youthfulness, fertility and facial attractiveness all decline as she ages.

A woman in her 30s can go from “unattractive” (overweight/obese) to “attractive for her age” (athletic/fit curvy), but she is not as objectively attractive as an average young non-obese young 20 something. Yes, she could be in greater physical shape and have better curves and maybe even better facial features, but she’s still not as attractive as the younger woman. Youthfulness is one of the things that is very attractive to men. This is a fact that is fairly apparent to the vast majority of men, but it seems to be the case that women don’t see it as readily as men do.

In women don’t really understand male attraction, it also seemed to the case that women don’t really understand the power of their own waist-to-hip ratio has on their overall attractiveness in conjunction with the clothes (hint: dresses and skirts) they wear. That’s why the girl who lost weight went from like a 2-4 range ish to a 7-9ish on most scales whereas most women would’ve said her lost weight only bumped her up to the 5-7 range at most. The sex appeal comes from the lost weight on the face and the curves that make a man go “wow.”

It seems to me that this would be potentially another sex difference that sabotages women’s efforts to land a man. Unless there is a more drastic physical change, no woman is more attractive with age (or even if she is then her face at least won’t show it for the most part). I suppose that some women “get it” when approaching the wall, but it seems that others do not.

I’d be curious to hear a weigh in from the men and women on if this is the case and why.

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Anomalous

The more you read the Bible and examine history, the more you understand that cultures that actually follow the LORD are anomalous.

The cultures that seem to emulate God’s design (male led families) tend to be very successful, at least at first. However, that success is short-lived when they start to stray from God’s design.

This is not a bug but a feature. All cultures will inevitably stray because humans don’t like to follow God. Just as did Israel and Judah eventually rebelled against God, even God’s Church has problems with obedience in Revelation 2 and 3. However, we are still called to be that people, not the culture.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

It is actually an anomaly if a culture sticks with God’s principles, though inadvertently, for a long time. Wide is the road that leads to destruction.

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Objectification is meaningless

A reader writes in:

Can you talk about the idea of objectification? I hear people use this word in regards to lust, porn, cat-calling, etc. but I’m not entirely sure I see sexual immorality as objectifying. Is objectification really the problem most men have in their views of women? If we ran through the gamut of sexual sin, do they all involve degrading a woman to an object? Is commitment the only thing that makes it not objectification. Maybe you get what I’m driving at? I just never understood that word and how exactly we objectify women in modern culture. For instance, to praise a women on her beauty is often considered objectification because it’s assuming she has no power of agency and is merely an object to be looked at.

You gotta go back to the basics to understand this.

If an attractive man (or celebrity) “cat calls” a woman and she recognizes him, she’s going to think it’s flattering. If an unattractive man (say a homeless man) does the same thing she’s going to think it’s creepy. Women love to get the attention of attractive men with their beauty but hate when unattractive men do the same thing. Cat calls are corny and crass, so I would not recommend Christians do them anyway. But the point remains.

The problem is not with “objectification” but rather the context of who is doing the objectifying. It’s a great thing for a husband and wife to objectify each other in that they’re sexually attracted to various traits and aspects of each other. If you burn with passion and want to marry, it’s a good thing to have that sexual attraction toward your wife. As with a wife, think she looks amazing or sexy? It’s fine to express it, as long as you’re not committing fornication or lacking self control with her (if not married).

Immorality of lust and porn are not sins because you’re objectifying in them. Lust (or rather coveting in the NT) is about desiring wife that isn’t yours (or woman if you’re married). Lack of self control and warring against the flesh. There is reason the idea that it creates unreasonable expectations just like romance novels do with women too.

Overall, I would ignore everything that “modern culture” says about any topic. You’ll always find that modern culture presents numerous double standards in behavior, usually in the favor of pedestalizing or idolizing women. The goal is to be conformed to Christ, and it’s clear that culture is almost always diametrically opposed to what Christ says.

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Johns Hopkins Research: No evidence people are born gay or transgender

This should not be a surprise, but I was surprised to see it in PJMedia. Although it is a couple years old.

Scholars at Johns Hopkins University released a new report on Monday which argues that there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that lesbian, gay, or transgender people are born with this sexual orientation or gender identity.

The three-part, 143-page report, which appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of The New Atlantis, also investigated other commonly accepted ideas about homosexuality and transgenderism. Mayer and his co-author Paul McHugh, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins, challenged the claim that discrimination and social stigma are the only reasons why homosexual and transgender people suffer higher rates of mental health problems and are more likely to commit suicide.

I think the weird part is they try to claim both sides:

  • People are born homosexual or transgender. We shouldn’t criticize them.
  • But if you come to identify as something else, you can claim whatever you want to be and people should accept that.

You can’t have it both ways.

The study breaks down in three parts: First, Mayer and McHugh examined whether homosexuality is an inherited trait, and concluded that people are not simply “born that way.” Second, they looked at the causes of the poor mental health associated with gay and transgender people, concluding that social stress does not explain all of it. Finally, they studied transgenderism, concluding that it is not innate and that transgender “treatments” are associated with negative outcomes.

The report found insufficient evidence to back up the idea that people are born with innate sexual attractions. Mayer and McHugh examined past studies which show a modest association between genetic factors and sexual orientation, but these studies have not been able to pinpoint particular genes responsible. Other hypothesized biological causes, such as prenatal development and hormones, have also been linked to sexual orientation, but that evidence is also limited.

“Studies of the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals have found some differences, but have not demonstrated that these differences are inborn rather than the result of environmental factors that influenced both psychological and neurobiological traits,” the report explained. “One environmental factor that appears to be correlated with non-heterosexuality is child sexual abuse victimization, which may also contribute to the higher rates.”

That last paragraph doesn’t sit well with most of the liberal crowd.

The report cited the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, which tracked the sexual orientation of children aged 7 to 12 in 1994-1995 and again in 2007-2008. Eighty percent of male respondents who had reported same-sex attraction and both-sex attraction in childhood later identified as exclusively heterosexual, while more than half of the females who reported both-sex attraction as children reported exclusive attraction to men as adults.

Mayer and McHugh also analyzed twins. They pointed to a 2010 study by psychiatric epidemiologist Niklas Långström which analyzed 3,826 identical and fraternal same-sex twin pairs. Both twins had at least one same-sex partner in only 18 percent of male identical twins, and 11 percent of male fraternal twins. For women, both twins had at least one homosexual partner in 22 percent of identical twins and 17 percent of fraternal twins.

“Summarizing the studies of twins, we can say that there is no reliable scientific evidence that sexual orientation is determined by a person’s genes,” the researchers wrote. “But there is evidence that genes play a role in influencing sexual orientation.”

The genetics part is the one that interests me the most. If homosexuality was “all” genetic, then you would expect that identical twins would have 100% rate of homosexuality if it was genetic. This is similar to inheritance of some diseases like Huntington’s where if you have the gene then you have it.

So homosexuality has some small to maybe moderate genetic influence at most based on the twin studies. Sometimes this occurs early on or sometimes later from the pushing of LGBT. This is a far cry from being born that way.

From a Christian perspective this is fairly consistent with how we interpret the fallen world. Since the fall, all humans have some predisposition (some genetic or otherwise) to certain sins. Since we are new creations in Christ, we don’t go along with what our flesh desires but the Spirit and conform it to Christ.

Of course, this is becoming “outdated” and “hate speech” even though the scientific consensus says otherwise.

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