Monday, July 25, 2016

In defense of Mary Kassian..

Who is Mary Kassian? I don’t really know, I just know she wrote a good blog post differentiating abuse from authority atGirlsGoneWise called, “Does a husband have the authority?” She says, “I believe that the Bible teaches that a husband’s position as head of the home does not give him the right to rule, but rather the responsibility to provide loving oversight. A husband is not imparted with privilege; he is entrusted with obligation—the obligation to love, cherish and shepherd, in emulation of Christ.”

Fabulous! She than proceeds to explain, “Culture upholds authority as the right to rule and lord it over others, but Scripture paints a radically different picture about the true nature of authority.”

That is one of my favorite issues, the way the world defines things (read lies), versus the way God defines things. God often defines things in a way that can feel very backwards, but that is only because we are so used to hanging upside down. So I see authority the way God does and I picture safety, protection, responsibility, power within. The world teaches us authority is about having external power over others, which can very quickly translate into abuse. One of my favorite sayings is,”he who is under authority, has authority.” That is because when you are under authority yourself, your power is internalized. Bullies who rely on power over others are actually weak, insecure, powerless people who must abuse others to feel significant.

So naturally Dalrock, who never met a Christian woman he didn’t want to attack and accuse, nor an abuse he didn’t want to attempt to twist scripture to defend, tries to mock and ridicule Mary Kassian in a post called, Who is she teaching?

Sigh. Dalrock knows perfectly well that the things Mary was declaring are not okay are some pretty obvious signs of abuse. Does a husband have the right to take his wife’s money, car keys, phone, personal possessions and lock her out of the house? Like duh, no, those are all the actions of a bully. That is abuse. That is the behavior of a weak and insecure man with issues around power and control. A bully that makes men look small minded and weak. Men are called to love their wives like Christ loved the church.

Dalrock doesn’t like the Deluth model of domestic violence, the power and control wheel, the continuum of violence. Here’s the deal however, until enough Christian men within the church lead on domestic violence issues, the secular world holds the moral upper hand and will continue to be the far superior approach for those seeking help. I would like to see that change. It won’t change however, until the Dalrockians are purged from our midst.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Of Meat and Prepackaged Miracles

“Mankind is so far removed from seeing the daily miracles in this thing called life, while asking for ‘proof’ of divinity that is seen in a thousand ways a minute, that it must be embarrassing to the peanut which isn’t quite as nutty.”-Colorstorm over at The Lion’s Den

I grew up with sustenance living, hunting, fishing, gathering. It’s somewhat amusing, today a big fad is learning how to live off the grid, how to produce your own food. I’ve spent an entire lifetime trying to figure out how to get back  ON the grid. I have an affection for hot running water and electricity. I’m also fond of mangoes in the midst of winter and fancy imported coffee.

“Mankind is so far removed from seeing the daily miracles in this thing called life,” Yes, precisely, and so we go to the grocery store and buy our prepackaged steak, wrapped in cellophane, completely removed from the animal it came from, the butcher that prepared it, or the Creator that made it. There is no God, our dinner just miraculously arrived on the shelf, having spontaneously sprung forth from nothingness after a random series of events that magically caused it to be wrapped in cellophane and prepared for us.

Something changes inside of you when you have to kill your own food, and awareness of life and death perhaps, a connection to the Source that gives us our being, a keen understanding that life itself is really quite miraculous, and fragile, too. Perhaps an awareness that life is not all there is, that even in our absence existence continues, it marches on without us. Reality is not defined by our awareness of it, it can exist outside of us, beyond our being.

I’ve slaughtered perhaps a thousand fish, a few dozen chickens and rabbits, and helped to dress deer and elk. Not to gross anyone out, but it takes about two seconds of observing the inner workings of animals to realize there is no way this creature just randomly evolved from nothingness. This is not just pointless coincidence going on internally, anatomically, this is elaborate, deliberate, and delicate, design.

If you have evidence of a design, you have evidence of a Designer. Contrary to what it feels like to us in the grocery store, nothing just spontaneously and magically arrived on those shelves for our good pleasure.

In the modern world, especially the West,  we can become very disconnected from seeing the daily miracles in this thing called life. I myself frequently turn on a hot water faucet and think, magic! But then I remind myself that hot running water in my life is  actually miraculous and that behind the scenes there is a whole slew of somewhat invisible labor that went into producing such a wonder. It would be very silly indeed, to become so entitled that we think hot water is natural, normal, devoid of a Creator, something that just appears when we turn on a faucet and yet that is precisely what most of us do. The same is true of electricity. I am deeply offended when I plug something in and nothing happens. Where’s my magic?

We are somewhat disconnected from our own biology here in the West, comfortable, insulated from the truth and reality of our existence. It can be very challenging to see the daily miracles in this thing called life. Whether you are directly connected to plants or animals as the source of your food, such awareness often changes your perceptions of things. There is life and death in living things, there is this whole plane of existence going on beyond ourselves and our ability to perceive it.

There are daily miracles to be found in this thing called life and where there is evidence of miracles there is also evidence of  a Miracle maker. He is strong meat, an unpackaged miracle, the Bread of Life. To not understand this truly would embarrass our nutty little peanut, if a peanut had the eyes to see and still refused to use them.

Vox Day, Zombies, and Buddhism

From the Department of Redundancy, I was going to title this post, “VD is wrong,” but some things are just such a given there really is no reason to repeat them. Never mind the man however, it is the subject matter of his post I wish to address because some of these concepts speak to a spirit in America that my patriotic little soul rejects vehemently.

The post is called What “Independence” Day  and begins, “I don’t celebrate the 4th of July. I don’t celebrate “Independence Day.” He proceeds to explain that the law is dead and America is a corpse. Allegedly one simply cannot resurrect a corpse.

He than proceeds to explain, “Tibetan religious tradition has it that when the Dalai Lama dies, the Buddha of Compassion leaves his body and incarnates in the body of a young child.”

Well, perhaps. He seems to have forgotten the part about the sky burial, where first we drag the body out to the farthest place in the wilderness and allow the carrion to pluck the flesh from its bones. Such a gentle phrase, “sky burial,”  a rather appalling and graphic  reality, but one that should please those who take their environmental issues and composting seriously.

Than he says, “For many years, conservatives and other freedom lovers have placed their trust in the Republican Party.”

Okay, so step one for  managing to locate America in the dark armed with nothing more than two hands and a flashlight,  America is not a corpse. She is alive and well in the spirit of her people, those who fight on amidst a great deal of abuse. Those who stand firm here on her soil. Those who are actually willing to engage with the culture.

Step two,  America in not a Tibetan monk. Nor is she a Buddhist at all. America is a Christian nation founded on Christian values. Yes, even the freedom to not believe is a Christian value. You cannot separate America from her Christian heritage and this is one of the issues that currently plagues us.

Step three, as a Christian nation, if we ever did place our hope and trust in the Republican party than we are fools indeed, because our eyes are always to be on Jesus Christ, our hope is to live in Him. I am not a member of the Republican kingdom, I am the daughter of a most high God, a heavenly kingdom, serving the King of Kings. The Republican party could implode, slide off the road,  and wind up in ditch, and it wouldn’t impact my values one bit.

Step four, the very heart and soul of Christian faith is all about Resurrection, life more abundant. “The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.-John 10:10

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. As Christians we have absolutely no business declaring our country dead. We have been handed a sacred trust, we have an obligation here. One does not simply wash their hands of sacred honor, of that which men have died for.

To his credit, Vox does manage to eventually conclude that, “America is dead. Let us go, then, and find her.

True indeed, but let us first make sure we are looking for her in the right place.

Always Learning?

I have to tell you, one of my pet peeves in the world is “Godly wife” marriage bloggers, red pill gals, and Proverbs 31 wives. Don’t get me wrong here,  I’m quite fond of Christian women in general, most of them anyway.  What I’m not so fond of is the  judgemental lady marriage bloggers who just have a special way of hissing and spitting their virtue all over you and getting it all wrong in the process. Religiosity, I don’t care for it much.

So, Lori Alexander at “Always Learning” has put a bee in my bonnet in a post called, “Should Women with No Children Be Keepers at Home?”

A woman without kids writes  to her wanting to quit her job and stay home, but hubby is not in agreement. In the course of the letter the lady also reveals, “My husband does almost ALL of the cooking, dishes, grocery shopping, and his own laundry. … He views it as helping me out and doesn’t understand my resentment and discontent. But I view it as he is taking over my job as the housewife (and neglecting his job of being provider)…. I can see so many ways he is not doing things (housework) efficiently. He wastes things; he doesn’t get them clean enough, he doesn’t organize things well…”

Okay, right off the bat I can recognize several issues, because I have them within me too!  First off hubby doesn’t agree with you about quitting your job, so let’s consult an expert blogger who knows better and will set him straight? That’s kind of funny, but it is not quite submission, or healthy communication, for that matter. Not really biblical either.

So why is submission so valuable, so helpful for wives? Because it provides us with focus. Freedom, not oppression. We submit to husbands, not to Lori Alexander, not to a Betty Crocker commercial, not to the opinions of our friends, not to other wives, not to a myriad of unrealistic expectations placed on women…..often by other women, or even by ourselves. Nobody’s expectations, opinions  matter here,  except your husband’s and your own. He’s the one you have to talk to.

So we have a hubby who is cooking, cleaning, doing laundry…and creating resentment and discontent. The existence of resentment and discontent speaks to the wife’s need for control, territorial issues, and competitiveness. Hubby is usurping her perceived authority. She then proceeds to run hubby down, he’s doing it all wrong. I could do it so much better. I so empathize there, “he’s doing it all wrong” is my line, but I always bite it back. That is all about me and my need for control. Anytime a husband is pitching in and you are feeling resentful, encroached upon, you are wrestling with control issues, self, ego. Rather than gratitude, appreciation, you’re mad. That’s pride.

Lori says none of these things. She says, “I encourage you to memorize 1 Peter 3:1-6. This is God’s prescription for women with disobedient husbands.”

Woah, hold up here! Disobedient husbands? Disobedient to whom? You can’t pig pile on a man you don’t even know, a man who is guilty of …doing the laundry! What the heck? In fact, you shouldn’t even be calling him disobedient, that’s not even your place. To make matters worse she says, “I believe all women should be keepers at home since there aren’t any career women in the Bible who left their homes all day long and God never commands women to be the providers.”

Lori, you seem to have forgotten about our Proverbs 31 wife or Lydia with the purple cloth. There are a myriad of women in the bible engaging in commerce. Paul, while building the early church is often meeting in women’s homes, women he met in the market place because they were merchants. The 1950’s western stereotype of the idle housewife is not representative of biblical times. Regardless, what YOU believe is completely irrelevant. What scripture says matters, what God says matters, and  what that woman’s husband believes matters.

You simply cannot lecture women about submission, fail to address the wife’s own pride issues that are causing  her distress,  while labeling her husband disobedient and than proceeding to insist you know better. Just no.

Here’s the key to one problem, “Plus with him waiting on me hand and foot, it makes me view him as less of a man.” All hubby is really guilty of in this case is helping to kill attraction, attraction built on a narrative that wives actually write ourselves. You view him as less of a man…..because you are viewing him as less of a man.