True Power

True Power

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Names Of God Sufficeint for all our needs

Every once in a while I like to remind myself of all of the names of God. He has so many because He is all things, intimate and personal for us. Sometimes our prayers or as Israel used to do: our "cries" to the Lord need to be as specific as when Jesus called Lazarus to arise from the dead. If Jesus would have said "man come forth" the tomb would have emptied of all of its dead men. God said come boldly to His throne and we can also come specifically to his throne.

http://www.child-bible-lessons.com/names-of-God.html (source of the names of God)

Why do we have different names of God? When we pray or refer to God it is usually as the Lord, God or our Father. But did you know that God actually refers to Himself in the Bible with other titles? There are many Hebrew names that are linked to the specific circumstances of how God is revealing His power and glory to His people.

The Lord's name stands in for His purpose, reflecting His qualities,character and attributes. For instance, if we are praying for a healing we would use the title Jehovah-Rophe or Jehovah-Rapha,"the Lord God heals".(Psalm 147:3)God wants to heal not only our sicknesses and physical health but also our emotional health or even our 'land' can be healed.

'Rapha' means restoring something to it's normal state. Another of the names of God we call on is El Roi. We use this name if we are seeking God to open our eyes and reveal to us that even though men may not see our good deeds, God sees it all. El Roi or "the God of seeing" means God sees the afflictions or suffering of His people and if we humble ourselves and call on Him, He will come to our aid.(Hebrews 2:18)

God is also referred to as the Jehovah-Sabaoth or the Lord of Hosts which is the title of "the Commander to the Angelic Host and the Armies of God". We may call on Jehovah-Sabaoth if we have lost all hope and are defenseless and in trouble, feeling trapped like we have an army of enemies surrounding us on all sides.(Isaiah 36-37).

As you can see, we use the specific names quite frequently to help us in our current circumstances. If we are having difficulties making ends meet we would call on the Jehovah-Jireh or "the Lord will provide". Because God always provides for our needs at the appropriate time. Abraham named the place on the mountain where he was ready to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac "The Lord will Provide", because at the last moment God provided a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac.(Gen 22:1-19)

Here are some other Hebrew names of God that we can call on at the appropriate times:

El Shaddai- "God all sufficient" This could be used in unison with Jehovah-Jireh because God supplies all our needs at the prescribed time according to His riches and Glory in Christ.

Jehovah-Nissi- "The Lord our Banner" This often refers to the banner of God on the battlefield. His banner over us signifies His presence, His power and His provision. Remember Songs 2:4 which refers to His banner over me is love?

Jehovah-Shalom- "The Lord our Peace" The way we gain God's peace over our lives is by trusting Christ and obedience to His commands which results in a 'wholeness' in our relationship with God and with others. Sometimes this is called a 'peace that surpasses all understanding'.(Romans 5:1)

El Elyon- "The most high God" God is sovereign which means that God is in charge of the entire universe ALL the time. God is so in control of our lives that nothing can happen without His permission.(Psalm 57:2) No fortunes, evil dictator's plans or worldly circumstances can thwart His plans.

Continue to pray to God in thanksgiving and worship, but know you can also hide your troubles and fears in Him and have peace that He is able to meet the needs of His children.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Witchcraft and the Bible.

Well Saturday Night Live had to do it. The news reports that they spoofed Christine O'Donnell Witchcraft confession. Republicans say it is not fair for Democrats to use the past history of candidates, but isn't that the way politics are played. To be a politician, one must keep their lives clean from anything that can be used against them such as whether Bill Clinton inhaled or not. POLITICS seems to be the devil's playground these days.

What does the Bible have to say about all of this hocus pocus?

Exodus 22:18 explains in its section of public responsibility "thou should not suffer a witch to live" The Salem Witch Trials went overboard and did not suffer any woman to live and thus we lost valuable folk cures for ailments. Those tried and true home cures bit the dust or one could be seen as a witch able to cure people of sicknesses.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 under the section of detestable practices tells us "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire (child sacrifice), or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord; and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out before thee."

It is clear that witches were recognized as people not sanctioned by God. Whether they had real power or not did not matter. They were not the type of persons for God's people to hang around with. I always found the story of the Witch of Endor funny. Saul himself had put a prohibition (actually expelled them from Israel) on going to furtune tellers, but when he needed a wise word he went to a witch to help him to contact Samuel who was dead. He needed Saul's counsel in a matter bothering him. The Philistine Army had set up against Saul and he was frightened by their number, so he consulted the Witch of Endor. To me, when the witch was able to raise the spirit of Samuel from the dead, she seemed shocked herself. The spirit of Samuel spoke to Saul and told him "tomorrow you and your sons will be with me." 1 Samuel 28:1ff.

It is clear through the words of the Bible that there was a such thing as witches. 1 Samuel 15:23 states that "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king." This was Samuel speaking to Saul before Saul banned withcraft. Now we may know why he chose to do so.

We often state that the Old Testament is of a time so far removed until it cannot be used in the 21st century in the same way. Let's look at how witchcraft was viewed in the New Testament and see if it can be applied to life today.

In Galatians 5:16-21. a section of the chapter begins speaking about life by the Spirit. The people are told to live by the Spirit. Then a list follows telling the reader the acts of a sinful nature which are obvious: "sexual immorality (adultery), impurity and debauchery (fornication), idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy,murders, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

What does this word "witchcraft" really mean in Galatians? It is defined as pharmakeia from medication (pharmacy), by extension magic or sorcery. It signified the use of medicine, drugs, spells; then, poisoning, then witchcraft as in Galatians and Revelation 9:21 and 18:23. In socery the use of drugs whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc., professly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of devils, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the socerer.

So in essence the New Testament believed that witchcraft was used more or less for the sorcerer to be seen or held in high esteem by those seeking them out. The trick was "I can help you with MY powers" which of course was contrary to the fact that it is to God we look to for help.

There is a form of witchcraft practiced on others today. When people spend a majority of their time figuring out how to manipulate people into doing their bidding by hook or crook. They find ways to get you under their spell.

As Halloween approaches, many Christians will rail against the paganism associated (they believe is pagan. Do a study on the origin of Halloween [or maybe I will for you in another post]) of this time. One day of dress up for kids ususally allowing for play and imagination is seen as courting the devil. In truth, we do far more damage then the Halloween candy fest by our trying to make ourselves into gods each day and by disobeying His word which he likens to witchcraft.

Today, many people are turning to the 'religion' of Wiccan. It is one of the fastest growing religions of the 21st century. We must ask ourselves why would someone seek such a religion with a stigma. We are quick to say because they are 'evil' but many people will tell you that they are looking for a religion of peace, harmony and love. We must ask ourselves is this the face of Christianity today (peace, harmony, love)?

So today we have vampires, witches and socerers and Christians fighting in the political arena. Who is left to spread the Good News of God?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apostle Carolyn Hendrix Engledow's Interview

Praise God for another woman's voice regarding women called to be ministers. One thing is evident, women do have a stron voice of conviction for their calling and strongly feel the authority of God given to them. Hel support those out on the field for the Lord with prayer and if so led, monetarily. Enjoy this journey with Apostle Carolyn Hendrix Engledow

Are you for or against women in ministry? No.

How was your opinion formulated through Scripture, culture, or tradition?
It is not necessarily our opinion. Women have ministered for God since Moses sister, Prophetess Miriam. Exodus 15:20 Deborah was a minister and Judge over Israel. Judges 4-5 There were many women who ministered from the Old to the New Testament, including the harlot who cried at Jesus feet, anointed them with her alabaster box of ointment, and dried them with her hair.

God revealed my calling to me and then through various pastors, prophets, evangelists, and apostles spiritually. He began equipping me with the gifts of healings, demonic deliverance, the discerning of spirits, the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and prophecy. He ministers through me under the prophetic anointing of visions, trances, and dreams. I was licensed and ordained in the ministry by my current mentor and Covenant Pastor Rev. Solomon L. Armstrong. Lately, he opened the door to my apostleship and blessed me to license and ordain 28 apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and teachers in the USA, Africa, and The Philippines. Through God I established The Early Church House Ministries, USA, Africa, The Philippines, International in branches throughout Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, and Cagayan De Oro, The Philippines.

Have women been represented correctly throughout Christian history?
No! God, not Paul, has called many women into the ministry. Many women have failed to enter forth into their calling, because most men, who pastor churches and regard flesh, have rebelled against God’s spiritual calling of women in the ministry.

What are the pitfalls for women in positions of leadership within the church?
Women in the ministry have to avoid feminine pride, love and be respectful of everyone, especially men in leadership. We should learn how to cope with the stigma of being regarded as the weaker sex despite our ministry. We should not be weary of pressure from the opposite sex. I would like to think that all women ministers should marry or remain celibate to circumvent fornication and adultery.

Have you struggled with this particular issue of the power and position of women in religion?
Yes, when I first entered my calling, I was in a Baptist church that was still rocking and reeling from the calling forth of the other female minister sitting in the pulpit. Most of them were not happy, but they accepted us. Their love and respect for us blossomed. We grew in numbers there. Even as the founder of The Early Church House Ministries I still must reveal to the male ministers that I licensed and ordained under our ministry that I am a woman, Apostle, and a seer or Prophet. I hear from God. He has set me over this ministry. He would not have ordained it to be so if I was not equipped for evangelism, training and licensing ministers, and church planting. I have to remind them and others that I am not walking in my own wisdom, but I minister according to the Holy Scriptures and God’s divine will. Sometimes I have to take them to the scriptures to show them scriptural proof and cross references to confirm God’s instructions and revelations.

Are only feminists interested in this particular concern?
No, definitely no. Some denominations reject women in the ministry. Men, women, and male ministers still reject women in the ministry.

What is the ideal role of women in Christianity?
Let's talk. The ideal role of women in Christianity will never be found in any ministerial title. A woman’s role in Christianity is basically to be born again and compel others to come into the Kingdom of God. God set ministerial gifts in the body of Christ to edify the body of Christ, and equip and perfect the saints for the work of the ministry. But Jesus gave us the sole purpose of our ministry. It didn’t have anything to do with men and women were clergy collars or titles. Simplistically, he said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. His words provide a role for all Christians in the body of Christ. Amen.

The reminder of God's commission by Apostle Carolyn Hendrix Engledow still remains waiting for those to answer.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Linda Smith, Pastor: Interview

Well let's thank Linda Smith for being the first to grace us with her interview. She also sent us a picture, but I was not able to upload it. As you read her interview, keep her and her dedication to serving God in your prayers. The purpose of these interviews is for growth and encourgement. You can contact Linda at: www.powerhousechristiancenter.org

1. When did you realize God wanted you to serve in this capacity. How long have you been in the ministry?

In 1980. I have been in ministry since then but formal study and ordination began in 1982.

2. Does your denomination (if one) encourage women/you to be a presence in Christianity? Where was your source of encouragement?

I was not, at the time of my call, in a denomination. The mentors in my non-denominational church were my encouragement other than God. There were other women ministers there.

3. Have you met any opposition to your calling and how do you handle it i.e. prayer, teaching?

Of course, I have had opposition, not only due to gender, but just because I'm Christian. I handle it according to the word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit of God, whatever means that entails.

4. In one of my blogs I recounted a man saying all that sit under a woman's teaching will go to hell? How would you address a comment like this?

I wouldn't address it. He's wrong and my sense is he won't listen to a woman tell him differently. I'd say a prayer for him.

5. What is it you want people to know about you as a woman and servant of God?

Nothing. I want to exhalt my Lord Jesus, and if I do that well, all else will fall into place.

6. What would you say to a woman fearful of her calling?

I would tell her what scripture says, that God did not give her the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

7. **Your fashion sense as a woman.* We all dress in accordance to God's teaching (no exposed breasts, thighs, etc.), but do you wear the loud colors, patterns, boots?

I express my freedom in dress as long as it's decent and does not block others from hearing God's message.

Now tell me her interview was not powerful! This is what I have noticed many women called to the position of minister expressing; the Spirit of God and His kingdom. Many people who believe women are trying to be men, have not really dialogued with a woman pastor. God is thier first and foremost thought and spreading His word.

Linda was direct and to the point and I bet her ministry is just as direct and to the point: God. How wonderful that she emphasizes God and not self. I had shivers as I read her responses. It's all about God and when we lose that focus there will be turmoil. I say thank you for being a worker in the fields. The harvest will always be great but hopefully, more workers will be encouraged to labor for God.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

IN HER OWN WORDS

You all have been gracious enough to let me ask the question as to whether women should be ministers. You have read some pros and cons on the subject. But, if you know anything about me, then you know I believe you should ask or allow the one you are speaking about to have their say.

WHAT DO YOU THINK??

Should I go to the source and ask those brave women in the pulpit how do they feel about women as ministers?

I DO

So, it is off yet on another mad adventure. I will try to have interviews from real female ministers posted on this blog. Hopefully we can get them to tell us when and how did they know God wanted them to enter into the ministry, what kind of resistence or support they received? What is a strength or weakness of women ministers. Are male or female - younger or older members more receptive to having a female in the pulpit. And I know some of you may think my next area of interest is not that important to the struggle, but I want to know about the restraints of fashion if they face any right down to their choice of hair color and style.


As a researcher, I would rather use books for information, they are more cooperative. But I love hearing what people in the fight actually have to say.

If you know of any female ministers, tell me about them or tell them about me. I can be contacted at rizerfall@yahoo.com put (woman minister) in the subject line so I know it is not spam.

I am kind of excited about this. I guess the first thing I will find out is if female ministers are friendly and willing to give an interview.

Stay tuned for some good reading.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pastor Eddie Long Gone Wrong

No I have not become judge and jury, but I am tired of all of these ministers being accused of homosexual acts.

I can never stress enough if you follow man you will always end up disappointed. If you follow a man and a cause, you will be angry and disappointed.

We are to follow Jesus. I have sat in a many of a churches and heard deacons and other elders telling congregations no- swearing to congregations that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the pastor is a man of God and you are hell bound if you do not follow his every word. He spends all of his waking hours that we do not see him (the pastor) praying for the sheep. Intercessing to the point of death for the well being of the flock and we should make his life easier (the pastor) by immediately obeying whatever he says because it comes straight from God.

Needless to say, I become blinded by all types of red flags. The congregation has started worshipping the pastor instead of God. The minister usually adjusts himself in his seat in an act of agreement with humility. Dirty work done by those trying to get to heaven through following a pastor. SAD SAD SAD.

Once I challenged this assertation of my pastor receiving divine revelation about me while interceding for me daily: "Why don't the pastor ever tell me what God has said I am struggling with and the answer God has given to him about me." The other members of the congregation drew up and said he (the pastor) knows all about me and would tell me if God had instructed him to do so. Another time a member of 'my' church said a pastor can never be removed from the pulpit unless he steps down or dies. I asked "Where did that come from?" I eventually, after much Bible page flipping told from: 1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalms 105:15- "Do not touch my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm." Does anyone start at the beginning of a chapter or the beginning of a book of the Bible and read it in its entirety?

David had re-established a home for the Ark of the Ccovenant setting up men to do worship service before it. He did a dedication prayer and recounted how God raised up the nation of Israel protecting them from enemies. Of the leaders of the nation of Israel, God did not allow anyone he appointed and anointed (with an entire drenching of oil) to be removed unless he removed them. This was during a time when kings such as Saul and David reigned, a family line of priests existed and anyone else died in the duty, and prophets hand picked by God to go to warn a nation to repent for specific sins or suffer specific consequences such as overthrow and captivity existed. The coming of Jesus put this away. The new calling of shepherds is nothing like that of the old Testament Kings, Priests, and Prophets.

"If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust from your feet when you leave that town. I will tell you it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:15-17). A true minister of God will never force or demand to be allowed to stay to preach to a group of people because he knows he is sent and that there are those who will not listen and God will deal with that. anyone strong arming you to follow them blindly should send up red flags and flares. No one person is the key to your salvation or the communicator for you to God.

I no longer go to that church. I refused to leave my salvation completely in the hands of another and I rejected the idea that I was going to hell if I did not obey the every word of the pastor. A pastor is in the position to serve God and the flock in their growth and understanding of how to live holy and to disciple others. His position is not to judge how obedient I am to him as a test of salvation. Questioning him(the pastor) is not equal to questioning God; even though the disciples following Christ did so all of the time and Jesus took the time to answer them. He did tell them that they saw what he did daily and still did not understand. Don't we know Jesus understands our questionings from time to time?

Back to the bishop. 25,000 member congregation. The shepherd knew his sheep intimatly in the Bible. Could the bishop know his congregation and they know him? I have heard his sermons but, saw him more on the telethons for money offerings. As much effort it took to get people to send in money-all of the angles used-Scriptural tie ins-monetary blessings in return- there were red flags.

I am never happy when people fall and can not imagine the pain and humiliation for it to be in the public spotlight. My book "The Politics of Prayer" addresses every aspect of this situation that seems to recur over and over with our leaders. MAN I WISH IT WAS READY FOR PURCHSE NOW!!! It would be such a blessing.

Everyone needs to be in prayer for his congregation and those watching the Christian community to get a glimpse of God. Rededicate yourselves to following God and to understand man has the potential to be a flawed creature where God is not. Pin all of your hope and faith in God. Man will always disappoint whether it is the bishop or the young men bringing the lawsuit.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Day Has Come

PEOPLE!!!!!!!! the wait is over and the countdown to 1,000 books sold begins.

"When Will Eve Be Forgiven?" can be purchased NOW!!!!!!!
http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/Search.aspx?kw=dorothy%20guyton&typ=Author
This book is a renewal of how Christianity views women. A m ust read for those seeking a closer relationship with God and a ministry of enlightenment. Be the first to read and fall in love again with the beauty and power of women.

Don't just buy a copy for yourself, give that woman or man you love a chance to learn and understand the true reason and essence of the creation of woman. Encourage that young lady in your life with this positive inspirational deconstruction of what it means to be a woman. allow her to hold her head high and revel in the wonder that is womanhood. A terrific future gift for that newborn wonder of womanhood born into the community of women.

Help to shine a light on Satan's greatest deception: pointing the finger of blame at woman for the sins of humanity ushered in by his cunning.

Stop the polarization of the sexes in religous duty and service to God. Allow this book to tear down the final curtain separating man-woman-God.

Post reviews on your blog to stimulate conversation about the silent history of woman's contribution to the development and substaining of Christian history and development.

TREAT YOURSELF TO THE TRUTH.

Be the first to purchase this mind renewing work.

this book will be available at a later date on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com

SEX: The Christian Marriage and the men who love it


I have taken many courses on Marriage Counseling from the secular and Christian perspective. Both agree that sex is an important component in marriage and can cause stress and strain on a marriage. Intimacy is held in high regard in both sectors of teaching on marriage. There is a major difference between the two camps of teaching on sex in marriage. The Christian aspect on marriage is that a wife can never decline to have sexual relations with her husband.

"The husband should fulfill his marital duties to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by MUTUAL CONSENT and for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I SAY THIS AS A CONCESSION, NOT AS A COMMAND." 1 Corinthians 7:3-6.

Without hesitation a Christian husband will say a Christian wife cannot deny a husband sex; it is her duty because her body does not belong to herself. I wrote the complete passage on the subject, but it seems that Christian men rather not read the entire passage.

One of my professors stated that when a Christian couple comes in for counseling due to infidelity on the husband's part, the first question he asks the woman is "Did you keep him sexually satiated?" I was stunned by this **it must be said that I was the only female in this class and my shock was singular* The instructor went on to explain that is why Paul instructed women not to deny their husband's sex, because Satan would tempt a sexually starved man to cheat and thus it is her shortcoming for her husband's sexual appetite not being fulfilled on demand by the wife. If the man was getting steak at home every night he could pass the enticing aroma of steak eminating from another house as he passed by on his way home each night. Shock was soon replaced by sadness.

On AFR radio I heard the host and a doctor of psychology discussing sex in the Christian marriage and how a wife is commanded by God not to deny her husband. A sexually satisfied man is able and freed to become the head of his household because sex destresses him and makes him feel more like a man; a duty of the wife.

The men went on to explain how women just do not get how important sex is to a man. The expert went on to recount an experience he had with his own wife on a Thursday night. He walked into the kitchen one night and saw his wife loading the dishwasher. As she bent over loading the dirty dishes he said "Do you know what I'm thinking?" She replied "Yes, I do and we were just together Tuesday, it's just Thursday."

The two men chuckled and went on to explain how flattering it should be to a wife to be desired at all times by her husband. ***My husband was with me listening to this radio pragram and wanted to turn the channel. I don't know if it was due to shame or because he knew I was beginning to get angry at what I was hearing.***

The men said a wife just does not understand how wonderful her husband would feel after working all day to support her and the family in the stressful job market to come home to a woman who had been waiting all day to have sex with him. After having served him a wonderful meal and ushered the kids to bed to have her smelling good and awaiting him in the bed would encourage him in his role as head of the household as God intended.

Another professor I had who actually did marriage counseling as a career stated, when a man entered into the session and began to list what the Bible states the duties of a Christian wife are, he stops him and tells the husband to tell him how HE fulfills his biblical duties as a husband and not discuss his wife's shortcomings. HORRAH for him. *He was may favorite Marriage and Family instructor.

I wanted to write a book telling women they have the right to do with their bodies as they please, but there is no misinterpretation of that Scripture. God intended for the couple not to with hold sex from each other. In Corinth adultry was rampant and Paul wanted to try to help the Christian marriage survive this influence, so he instructed them to fulfill sexual needs within the marriage. If the couple works together and discusses what works for them in the bedroom then of course this would create intimacy and respect for each other. Paul stated that this was a suggestion and not a command; which is the important part of the equation. God stated that a couple was to become as one, so the woman's body and the husband's body was not two separate entities but one. Somehow, they would have to manage the sexual aspect of marraige with respect and consideration not hurting and neglecting each other.

What if a man was told to eat when he was not hungry because it would make his wife feel more like a woman? Wouldn't that man soon develop an avesion to food? What if he was watching a football game and the woman just looked at him and said "I would like for you to eat this meal out of the blue? Would he think she was crazy? What indication had he given her that he was even hungry? What if her womanhood was wrapped up in whether he declined to eat? How about if the man is sick? Should a woman be pushing meals on him? When is a sexual request out of order for the man?

A young Christian married couple still newlyweds, marriage crumbled over sex. An amorous husband found his wife irresistable after she had dressed to go to a meeting. On her way out of the door, he wanted a quick sexual encounter. The wife promised to return as early as possible to come back to satisfy his husbandly urges. Knowing and having been taught a wife should not deny her husband sexually, he became upset and decided to go to a strip club.

This left the young bride with much turmoil. Her refusal to her Christian husband led him to seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere outside of the marriage. The pastor in which they saught counseling from accepted her repentence for her sin and said maybe she may need to leave her blossoming law career if it was going to cause conflict in her marriage. The couple divorced within the year. The young woman wrestled with her sin for 2 more years and the husband has married and divorced 2 more times since his marriage to her.

I said all of this to say: Christian husbands - you should hear what your wives say in whispered voices about their DUTY of having sex on demand to other women. Slavery demands its property to fulfill duties whether they want to or not. The punishment for not fulfilling sexual duties is to be told you are not a Christian wife. It is sad to know all other efforts at being a good Christian and a good Christian wife can be cancelled by just not wanting to have sex on demand. Depression ensues and aversion to the sex act grows. Practiced shows of intimacy and submission is the outcome. Anger finds root because the husband does not even recognize or do not care about the lack of enthusiasm the woman is showing about the sex act. All she is needed to do is to show up.

This is not the case in many Christian marriages, but horror stories exist. The test is if a man is saying: "It is the woman's duty" or "her body does not belong to herself" there may be a problem. When you are reminding someone "you must do this" you are going to have a problem.

I believe men and women should have more open conversations about sex in Christian marriage without the threat of being called "not a Christian." Women should start these groups and invite the men to hear "the real talk about sex in Christian marriages." God knows the heart of everyone. Hypocrisy is not one of His favorite traits. How can this divide be bridged. SEX is beautiful, can remain beautiful, and is God ordained. Christians should be leading the way in happy healthy sexual relationships.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Don't Look Down

WARNING!!!! This post is not for the faint of heart or those who cry easily at the mistreatment of animals. Viewer discretion advised.

I live in the country- I mean in the booneys. Each morning for the past 2 weeks I have started my day with exercise consisting of walking briskly outside in the dirt and gravel road that is a large part of my front yard. While walking I pray aloud and fellowship with God.

Exercise pros tell you that while walking, to hold up your head and tighten up your abs for a good work out. You would not believe how many people I have walked with can not hold the weight of their own head up or use their head for momentum in leaning forward cheating their legs out of a true workout.

So, you are suppose to hold up your head and not look down.

I on the other hand would be foolish not to glance down at the ground every once in a while due to the fact that in my country fresh air filled enviroment, there is always a threat of a snake-poisonous and non poisonous- just hanging out or crossing the road. One of my first posts for this year was on= while sitting on my front steps a black runner snake came within an inch of my left foot. Tuesday, my husband walked out of the front door to find a baby "rattlesnake pilot" within his third intended step. He stomped it viciously, happy in killing it far too much for my comfort level. But, snakes are a threat people, sorry death is the hoped for outcome.

Any hoo; today while glancing down for safety every so often, words cannot describe the carnage of nature I witnessed.

In the wee hours of the night, a medium sized frog met it's death as tire tracks in the sandy rocky road indicates. Smashed flat with ants attacking in the tire tracks was the frog, guts being enjoyed by an array of insects.

Larger than life as I walked on was the exoskeleton of a huge beetle. Shiny still, but lifeless. How its death came about I do not know.

Inching to and from was a mangerie of caterpillars, worms and other long multilegged creatures. Dodging them was impossible and as I circled my excercise loop I saw their squished bodies left motionless in my tennis shoe foot print.

Too my left I passed a well executed lump of dog poo. I hate this wandering hobo of a neighbor's dog who seems to delight in going to the bathroom in my yard in various mean spirited places. He urinates on all of my husband's tires. We do not like this dog and he seems to intend to keep it this way. I had to leave my exercise momentarily to get a shovel and cover the lovely dog's visitation with sand or I would have just heaved the non existent breakfast in my stomach.

Needless to say on my fourth loop I had become quite nauseaous. This was more like some weird nightmare than the beauty of nature and the joy of healthy exercise and living. My face was frowned and I knew I was suppose to love and marvel at God's creation but, I was just disgusted.

I told myself "just don't look down" but this was hard to do because I knew lurking just below was all of this ugliness.

I thought about people and their lives. Did I know anyone with such ugliness surrounding them that was just a part of their everyday life? Was this my life and "I was just refusing to look down?" Should we as people strive to "just not look" down so we won't see the ugliness of the world?

Did I want to be one of those people with their heads up in the air not acknowledging the poor innocent frog that met his death by the rolling crushing pressure of the well oiled machine. Did I want to ignore those that poo in my life for my eyes to see when they have a world of other options for pooing and peeing? What significance did covering it up play in my life? Was it moving on, living with it, or showing that it is not as significant as the poo'er thought it would be to me? And what about those that feed on those that are broken and beaten? Was this just a part of the circle of life. And finally, what about the injured and dead I left in my own footprint in my day to day activity?

I told you this was not for the weak. Wow, I will have a lot to meditate on won't I. But when I don't care anymore, when I stop asking myself the hard questions, then I know I will have joined that ecosystem that lives in the area of "Don't Look Down."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Civil War Revisited- Man versus Woman

Excerpts from my book "The Politics of Prayer"

“I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works. And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.”
Ken Burns

The argument of whether or not a woman should be a minister will go on forever. There are those who will point to certain Scripture that is against women ministers and then there are those who will point to Scripture believing the Bible does not condemn women as ministers. The above qoute can also apply to this debate. During the Civil War, both the North and the South used the Bible to validate their position. I used my book on politics and the need for prayer and wisdom to highlight the war waged against women as ministers.


Stanley Hauerwas reminds the Christian that there is a temptation, once the Christian becomes involved in politics, for leaders and people in general to convince one another that they alone are on God’s side, while those that disagree with them are completely evil. Christians can confuse political power with faithful witness.

Last year, while watching a program about the Civil War on the History Channel, I was amazed to realize both generals of the North and the South prayed to God for victory. Both of the generals were earnest and persistent in their religious request to be the victor of God for a cause they each believed in their souls. If God answered the prayers of the general of the South would that mean all of the participants of the opposition were evil and deserved to die? If God answered the prayers of the general of the North would that mean all of the participants of the opposition were evil and deserved death? Was one group Christian and the other group sinners? How could two groups with differing views on slavery both pray to God and both claim to be Christian?

In “The Bible and Slavery” (Religion and the American Civil War), Mark Noll asserts that the availability and widespread access and limitless use of the Bible in a society where each individual was concerned with their own growth and prosperity; framed by the conflict of slavery – ultimately led to war. Both North and South would turn to the Bible as the ultimate source in answering the dilemma of slavery, but in radically opposite manners. Northerners appealed to the spirit of the Bible (liberalism) in opposing slavery, whereas southerners appealed to the letter of the Bible (literalism) in defending slavery. These competing biblical claims helped shape public perceptions that led to secession and war.

When people begin to choose political sides and equate Christianity with those choices, there is the danger or temptation of turning a cause, as righteous as it may be, into a test of Christianity by man. God has given the criterion for who is and is not a Christian. Christianity can not be judged by deeds alone even though actions are good indicators of one’s religious belief. I have heard many Christians state “I am a die-hard-Republican” or “I am a die-hard-Democrat” or “I am a die-hard-Patriot.” It would be music to God’s ears if they would say “I am a die-hard-Christian.”

Reverend Jim Walls affirms the belief that God is for all of His creation. He is against sin, but he awaits every person turn or return to salvation. “God is not partisan: God is not a Republican or a Democrat. When either party tries to politicize God, or co-opt religious communities for their political agendas, they make a terrible mistake. The best contribution of religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable nor loyally partisan. Both parties, and the nation, must let the prophetic voice of religion be heard. Faith must be free to challenge both right and left from a consistent moral ground.”

In the same way, the value of women in service of God should be evaluated without any type of agenda. It is the heart of God that is revealed in Scripture and the heart of man will be revealed as he interprets and executes the word of God. No matter the sex of a person, corruption of God's word is a sin. Can a woman minister without corrupting God's word? Should this be what is the test of servitude? Who was right and who was wrong in the Civil War? Who was God for and who was God against? Who actually was standing for the word of God? Can the answer really be both?

God alone can answer these questions.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lipstick on a pig

The insult heard round the world.

Miss Piggy probably would have had a lot to say about this comment, but she would be the best example of what is meant by this statement.

Miss Piggy is gorgeous, a bit over the top, but non the less gorgeous. With curly blond hair jiggling with every snappy and demanding phrase, Miss Piggy will not be ignored and doesn't mind roughing it up with the best of them.

Dazzled by her beauty, she is able to capture and maintain the spotlight even though you know she is bound to misbehave. Tantrums are in her arsenal of "getting her way" at the expense of anyone standing in her way. She can go from velvety cooing to screeching tyraids in 2.2 seconds.

LIPSTICK ON A PIG?

Could anyone misinterpret what the meaning of the power packed sentence?

The Bible was the first to address this specific type of person. The gender may have switched but the sentiment remains the same. Matthew 23:13-29:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

Many of us pay close attention to the outside of ourselves, what people can see immediately even before we speak. Once we do open our mouths, we try to utter what the world deems as lovely and nice through painted on smiles of magenta or ruby red. But the heart is left unchanged. Dark and coniving it plots the downfall of many. Gangrenous green with envy and greed it seeks to destroy. No one is the wiser of what lurks beneath the ribs of a vulturous mind. We lay snares and traps and give it names like "street smart" "player" "real" all code for "lipstick on a pig."

Why give the pig such a bad name? A pig will devour anything it can without finesse or shame. Slobbering it chomps loudly and agressively. After feasting rolling in the mud with glee; belly satisfied.

LIPSTICK ON A PIG

Politics and religion have entered this animal realm. The heart does not matter anymore. Painted faces smile at you saying whatever is needed to get you to feed it. Truth does not matter, concern for human dignity has been tossed to the wind, greed-the ear mark of a pig snacks on the elderly the young with its sights set on the next mesmerized by the pretty package.

There is nothing new under the sun. There will always be those with the false outward display. It is not their fault. Many of us look for the packaging that shines and dazzles the most.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pastor Terry Jones Should Read This Book

WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE CHRISTIANS THINKING THESE DAYS?

They are running around foaming at the mouth about this issue and that issue: money, homosexuality, the anti-christ, abortion, medical care, socialism, taxes, etc. The list goes on and on. There seems to be no end to the things that they are saying outrages them and God. But, what if they were face to face with themselves while being the official spokesperson for God. What would they see? Would they be an image of God's grace, mercy, and love or only God's wrath? Vengence is mines says the Lord; leave room for me to pay (Hebrew 10:30) CHRISTIANS - GET OUT OF GOD'S WAY.

I could not have planned the release of my book "The Politics Of Prayer" at a more perfect time than now. This is a book needed for times and people like these. I'll allow you a glimpse of what my book contians.

BACK COVER:

In a time of governmental tyranny, persecution, and religious corruption in Jerusalem; a new religion was born. This new religion, Christianity, would change nations and individuals on a scale never seen before. Some called for the overthrow of government and religious leaders, but Jesus taught: "BEGIN WITH SELF."

"The Politics of Prayer" examines the power of prayer and wisdom in times of economic uncertainty, governmental chaos, and religious corruption. Through Scripture and various quotes,this book gives specific tools for the reader to use while dealing with the stresses of an ever changing nation much like that of Jesus' time. A must read for those involved in the political process.

EXCERPT FROM INTRODUCTION

When turmoil consumes a great nation and disagreements about the role of government abound, what is a Christian to do? Where does the faithful individual turn for guidance? Where can a reliable source for Christian conduct be found; the national media or the local church? Is there one moral leader for the Christian masses or many? What does God have to say about the separation of church and state? Does the separationof chaurch and state mean passive submission to government policy? Are we to believe Dietrich Bon Hoeffer, a German theologian when he says "politics are not the task of a Christian"? Are we to gladly render unto Caesar what is his, i.e. taxes, as Jesus said in Mark 12:17 "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."

Did I tell youor what? This book is right on time for what is happening now: the mixing of religion and politics. All any candidate have to say is that he is a Christian and the masses stand behind them. Sarah Palin is under the direction of God, Glenn Beck is under the direction of God, and yes, there are those on the liveral left saying what they believe God would want. Our President's religious beliefs are being scrutinized.

IF I HADN'T WRITTEN THIS BOOK MYSELF I WOULD BUY IT FROM WHO EVER DID!!!

This is not cockiness, but the shear happiness that I have written something that is 100% relevant at this time in history. Christianity is getting a black eye and it is about time someone spoke up to say "Wait. Is this truly the face of God you would like for people to see?"

I know there will be those who will hate my book, but I promise you it will make you think and that is my intent. For those who love the book, then I hope they will be doing the same thing and "think".

I will keep you informed on the release date. It should be somewhere around late October 2010. And by the way: BUY A COPY FOR PASTOR TERRY JONES. He needs to remember God is watching him and how he represents Him.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Kind Of Lover Are You?

MY FRIEND

I stand in Judgement now,
And feel that you are to blame somehow.
On earth I walked with you day by day,
And never did YOU point the way.
YOU knew the Lord in truth and glory,
But never did you tell ME the story.
My knowledge then was very SLIM,
YOU could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together on earth,
YOU never told me of the SECOND birth.
And now I stand this day condemned,
Because YOU failed to mention HIM.
YOU taught me many things, that's true,
I called YOU "friend" and trusted you.
But learn now that it's too late,
YOU could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night,
And yet YOU showed me not the Light.
YOU let me live, and love, and die,
YOU knew I'd never live on high.
Yes, I called you a "friend" in life,
And trusted YOU through joy and strife.
And yet on coming to the end,
I cannot, NOW, call YOU, "My Friend."

LOVE= unselfish, benevolent, concern for others (1Corinthians 13:4-7 charity). To love God supremely and others unselfishly are the 2 most important commands of Jesus (Matthew 22:37-40). Christ's death was the supreme expression of love (John 13:1 and 15:13).

AGAPE= A Greek word for selfless love, the type of love which characterizes God. If we are made in his own image, we should have his characteristics. Agape is primarily an ACT OF THE WILL rather than the EMOTIONS (John 3:16 and Romans 5:8). Agape love is the greatest and most enduring of ALL CHRISTIAN VIRTUES (1 Corinthians 13). Agape love for others is a badge of discipleship (John 13:34-35).

Notice God says there are outward signs of His people. Is a badge an outward sign? Does it speak to the world? Are we not His disciples, His children? Police wear badges. They have to show their badge so you will know they are who they say they are. They are given the authority to use their job description. Are you flashing your badge of authority, your job description of love?

Now that we have the definition of love, we now have the knowledge of love. What we are lacking at this point is the WISDOM of love. Wisdom is when you take the KNOWLEDGE you have and use it. So now we come to the question: "What kind of lover are you?" We should love God, ourselves, and others. there is no command to leave anyone out. FORGIVENESS helps us to accomplish this.

1. ARE YOU A STINGY LOVER? Do you designate how much you are willing to love someone? How long you are willing to love someone? Do you give yourself wholly to the love experience or are you half into it making the person work for your love? Do you pick who is or is not worthy of your love?

2. ARE YOU A PRIDEFUL LOVER? Do you pat yourself on your own back, praising yourself for how wonderful you are at showing love to others? Do you bother to check and see with the recipient of your love if they are being loved in the way they need to be loved? Your definition of love can be totally different from someone else.

3. ARE YOU AN ABUSIVE LOVER? Are you loving someone grudgingly? Are you giving love only when someone else is looking? Do you with-hold love to get people to behave the way you want them to? Do you neglect yourself or people closest to you, but have an abundance of love for a stranger? Do you hold grudges? Does someone have to ask or beg you for your love?

4. ARE YOU A WISHY-WASHY LOVER? Are people afraid t approach you because the don't know what they may run into day by day or hour by hour? Are some days easier for you to show love and other days difficult? God wants consistency, not double mindedness

WE SAY WE HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD IN US BUT.....

We have children we don't minister to or make disciples of Christ equipping them to lead others by sharing the gospel. We do not lay hands on them and pray for them. We leave prayer for our children to the school and then become angry when the institution fails to pray. We try to give our children everything their hearts desire except the gift of eternal life with God.

We love our sisters, brother, parents, and yet we don't invite them to church with us or live Godly examples of joy and peace so that they can see God through us. We tell them what we don't and can't do because we are Christians, not exampling Jesus among those who needed him most.

We love ourselves, yet do not do what is in our own best interest: pray, love, spread the gospel, have faith through deeds, read the word of God, study the word of God because it is life and light, and be obedient to His will.

We say we love God. to love God is to be obedient and to be holy as He is holy.

We need to pray and ask god to bring us to this level of agape love. It may not happen over night, but a willing heart accomplishes much through the grace of God. roman 13:8 "Owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the Law."

WHAT KIND OF LOVER ARE YOU?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Koran Burning and "The Politics Of Prayer."


Today we are faced with a preacher in Florida, Terry Jones, deciding it is time to take a stand against a particular religion which is not Christianity. The religion is seen by him as a violent religion, one that kills, terrorizes, and spouts hate for those outside of that particular religion.

At one time in history, Christianity forced people to become Christian under the threat of death. There was the dark period of the Inquisition in Christian history and even when Martin Luther was trying to get the church to allow lay members of the church to have access to the Bible, he was faced with imprisonment, we tend to forget. Now, I am not equating Christianity to any of the violent religions of today, but I am pointing out the fact that we are not blameless ourselves in our own religion.

Christians are encouraged to spread the word of the Gospel. We are not to lock horns with an opposing force in the way the Pator Jones is intending. When God sent out the Twelve in Luke 9:1-6 he told them "If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town as a testimony against them." Our confrontation of pagan religions is by exampling Christ and with wisdom and prayer.

Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who is planning a Koran-burning rally to protest the 9/11 terrorist attacks, plans to go through with the event despite warnings from the White House and the U.S. commander in Afghanistan that the protest could harm American soldiers. Politics and religion are becoming meshed together in all avenues of life. Christianity has stopped being Christian and has now become political.

*following exceprt from my soon to be released book: "The Politics Of Prayer."

The interchangeability of the word Christian and one’s political affiliation may be due also to the lack of understanding of the definition of the word Christian. The word Christian is used in Acts 9:13 and I Peter 4:16 and is defined as a disciple or follower of Christ. I particularly like the definition of a Christian in an anonymous quote I stumbled upon: “A Christian is one who makes it easier for other people to believe in God.”

Jesus left parting words as the standard for how a Christian is to behave in their personal and public life: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48). This is the standard for behavior when we deal with people and the Christian must always be cautious to separate people from issues. The word neighbor means fellow, as a man, countryman, Christian or friend. It was used in a very comprehensive scope in the passage.

Terrorism is a real threat to America and needs to be addressed with prayer, wisdom and all of the other strategies our defense department has instituted. But Christians have a different responsibility and that is to be ambassordors of God. Be the person that when people see you and witness your life they will want to come to God.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Women have inferior brains????

There will always be arguments for and against women in the pastoral role. Both sides of the argument should be heard and weighed. I present many pro reasons backing women, and I will also expose you to those opposing women pastors to familiarize you with their argument. This one does not stand with its belief in the difference in male and female brain capabilities.

On February 6, Doug Batchelor, senior pastor of the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in California and president of the international media ministry Amazing Facts preached a sermon entitled "Women Pastors: A Biblical Perspective." Batchelor's main point is to assert that women should not be pastors (or elders), as God designed women to be subservient to men, according to Batchelor. He states, "Sin came into our world as a result of man neglecting and women disregarding the husband’s leadership role." He presents his point of view as Biblical and therefore irrefutable by saying, "God's word is God's word."

Reactions have been pouring in to Adventist Today, as many feel Batchelor's conservative Biblical interpretations are being taken out of its historical and cultural context and his unrestrained remarks are offensive toward women.

Batchelor goes further, stressing the biological differences between the sexes. He states that "[M]en have more neurons in their brain, and some of that is because we have more mass and that may mean more nerve endings. But you should also know…and I know this isn’t gonna get me reelected. According to the British Journal of Psychology, [men] on an average score five points higher on an IQ test." He continues, "[I]t’s important to recognize that as we approach this subject that those who are clamoring and campaigning to say that there shouldn’t be any difference in the roles of men and women in the church - we are different. We are gifted differently and God has said there should be a different [sic]."

Batchelor's take on the "ordination versus commissioned" debate, he feels, is really just a play on words, as both male and female pastors are granted the same rights to perform their duties. Batchelor is not shy about his strong opposition of such rights for women pastors:

"I believe that we have been badgered and intimidated so that we are not really going by what does the Bible say. Matter of fact in the Seventh-day Adventist Church if you trace the history a little bit, I am sorry to say a lot of those changes and of course in North America, not so much in other parts of the world now, women are being ordained. They call it commissioned but it’s really the same thing as being ordained as pastors. And it’s… you know you can call it commissioned but in every other way it’s the same as ordination with all the rights, privileges. It’s like Abraham Lincoln used to say, ‘you can call a dog’s tail a leg, but it’s still a tail.’ And so just changing the label of something doesn’t change the definition of it. And what they have done is they have tried to pacify people who read the Bible and say only men should be ordained as pastors and say well we’re not ordaining women pastors - were commissioning them as pastors. That’s the same thing. And in every other way—the authority, they’re baptizing, they’re leading out in communion services, they’re fulfilling all the sacred offices that God originally said should be reserved for the man. And this is a dangerous subject for me to share. But you know I just figure someone's gotta say something and if I perish, I perish. I’ve been here a long time anyway. And I know it’s not very popular in our culture to say these things. Kind of like wearing a mink coat to a PETA convention. But someone needs to say it. Both male and female pastors."

The concern for many stems from the fact that thousands of Adventists, and even non-Adventists, look to Batchelor as a voice of Biblical authority and interpretation of scripture. Some are calling for responsible hermeneutics, and that other interpretations of Scripture be presented from the pulpits across North America to people of good faith.

Batchelor's church in Sacramento, CA, falls in the territory of the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Adventist Today reached the president of that conference—Jim Pedersen, for a response and received this official statement by e-mail:

"When I’m asked to respond to a sermon’s topic, I always want to preface my comments by stating I honor the right of pastors to speak from their biblical study in the context of the Seventh-day Adventist message. Pastor Doug Batchelor, in his sermon titled “Women Pastors: A Biblical Perspective,” articulated his viewpoint on this subject as part of the ongoing discussion worldwide about the role of women in pastoral ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, I also deeply respect the positions voted by the world church and the Northern California Conference. The NCC has a history of supporting women in pastoral ministry. The members in Northern California went on record at the 2002 Constituency Session in support of this issue by recommending women’s ordination to the General Conference. While I wish views on this topic were always completely compatible, I remain confident that the Lord will eventually lead us all to the unity that Christ desires for His people."

Adventist Today is also waiting for a statement from Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The Union's Executive Committee met last week, and, according to a close source at that meeting, Batchelor's sermon was brought up for discussion. Adventist Today will bring alerts to its readers of any subsequent action against Batchelor resulting from the Union meeting.

Adventist Today has also recently received the manuscript of the sermon. You can now download the entire 24-page sermon by clicking here. NOTE: The sermon was transcribed verbatim. The editing staff has streamlined the copy by eliminating only wordy redundancy and some "rambling" from the original sermon.

Finally, Adventist Today will be posting articles by thinking pastors, theologians and the laity in next few days. They will respond and challenge the Batchelor sermon in good taste and offer their own perspective of what the Word of God states on women and the church.

Please visit this site to view some of the very interesting comments made to this sermon. There is also a video to watch of the actual sermon against women pastors.
http://www.atoday.com/content/doug-batchelor-preaches-against-women-pastors

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chivalry is not dead. Man up for women

Ten Lies The Church Tells Women
FOR CENTURIES, A PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM OF CONTROL HAS KEPT WOMEN IN SPIRITUAL CAPTIVITY THROUGH DISTORTION OF THE SCRIPTURES. IT'S TIME TO DEBUNK THE MYTHS.

By J. Lee Grady

We live in the 21st century, but if we're honest we have to admit that in some ways the church is still in the Dark Ages--especially when we look at the way we treat women.

Even though the Scriptures never portray women as secondary to men, our male-dominated religious system still promotes a warped view of female inferiority. Women are tired of this, and as a man, so am I--because such demeaning attitudes don't reflect God's heart.

Jesus challenged gender prejudice at its core when He directed so much of His ministry toward women. In a Middle Eastern culture that considered women mere property, He healed women, discipled them and commissioned them to minister. Yet today we spend much of our energy denying them opportunities--and using the Bible to defend our prohibitions.

I've identified 10 erroneous views about women that for too long have been circulated in the church, preached from pulpits and written in the study notes of popular Bible translations. I believe we must debunk these lies if we want to see the church fully released to fulfill the Great Commission.

LIE #1. GOD'S ULTIMATE PLAN FOR WOMEN IS THAT THEY SERVE THEIR HUSBANDS.

How sad that so many Christian men view women from a selfish perspective. This view is often promoted by misreading the account of Eve's creation in Genesis 2:18-25, in which Adam is provided a "helpmate." The Hebrew word used here often is translated "companion," denoting intimacy and partnership. But through the centuries it has been used to imply that Eve was some type of domestic appendage.

We men have assumed that God gave Eve to fulfill Adam's sexual needs as well as to serve as his cook, laundress and maid. But the Genesis account does not say this.

After Eve's creation, God did not tell her: "You are Adam's helper; I command you to serve him well." She was not created for servitude; she was fashioned to be a co-laborer with Adam so that they might rule together over creation as God commissioned them to do (see Gen. 1:28).

LIE #2. WOMEN CAN'T BE FULFILLED OR SPIRITUALLY EFFECTIVE WITHOUT A HUSBAND.

From the time she was released from a German death camp in 1944 until her death in 1983, Corrie Ten Boom taught the world about a Savior who could forgive the cruelest Nazi. Yet she never married. Did the fact that she did not have a husband make her less "complete"? Some Christians would say yes.

We have spent so much energy defending the concept of the biblical family that we are guilty of idolizing it. We've preached that a woman's primary responsibility is to find a godly husband, have lots of babies and stay home to raise them for Christ.

But marital status is not a qualifier for ministry. The Bible does not even state whether certain key followers of Jesus, such as the 12 disciples, were married or not.

The highest calling of all believers--married or unmarried--is to develop a relationship with Jesus. Any other earthly relationship is secondary, and Christ Himself warned us never to allow people we love to become idols that distract us from Him.

LIE #3. WOMEN SHOULDN'T WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME.

Many evangelical churches have preached that women who work outside the home are breaking a scriptural commandment, but this conclusion can be reached only by distorting the biblical record. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is often used to bolster a traditional view of the June Cleaver-style matron who spends her day baking casseroles while her husband is at the office. But a careful reading reveals that the Proverbs 31 woman, in her ancient Middle Eastern context, functioned as a real estate agent and ran a textile business.

Titus 2:5 instructs women to "take care of their homes" (New Living Translation). But most scholars would agree that this passage simply exhorts married women not to forsake their children.

It is true that, because of ambition or materialism, some Christian women neglect their children even though the Holy Spirit has urged them to put their career objectives on hold. But rather than placing a legalistic burden on women by telling them that having a career is ungodly, we should tell both men and women to submit their career plans to the Holy Spirit's direction.

LIE #4. WOMEN MUST OBEDIENTLY SUBMIT TO THEIR HUSBANDS IN ALL SITUATIONS.

A distraught Christian woman who was regularly beaten by her husband finally gained the courage to seek counsel from her pastor. After she told him about her husband's fits of rage, the pastor responded, "If your husband kills you, it will be to the glory of God."

The pastor reached this irresponsible conclusion because of a distorted view of "male headship." We often portray marriage as a hierarchy, with husbands on the throne and wives at the footstool, and we use Scripture to justify this view: "Wives...submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord" (Eph. 5:22).

We assume this verse means women have no say in family matters or that their opinion is second-rate. In extreme cases, women have been told to submit to abuse in order to honor male headship. But this is not a Christian view.

Paul also told the Ephesians, "submit to one another" (5:21, emphasis added). I have heard teachings by male clergy on the subject of male headship, but I've never heard a pastor encourage men to submit to their wives! Yet in a loving marriage, a man and woman will defer to one another as they make decisions.

In my 16 years of marriage, my wife and I have had plenty of disagreements. But when we reach an impasse, I don't announce, "I am the head of this house, so what I say goes." Rather, Deborah and I either agree to pray about the matter, or we choose to defer to one another.

The point is never who is in charge. I view my wife as an equal. I am not "over her." We function as one.

LIE #5. A MAN NEEDS TO "COVER" A WOMAN IN HER MINISTRY ACTIVITIES.

This idea came from a distorted interpretation of the apostle Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 11:3, "the head of woman is man" (NKJV). People have used these words to bolster the idea that women are subservient to men or that they cannot approach God without a male authority figure in their lives.

Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 11 about head coverings is a difficult passage, and Bible scholars don't agree on its meaning. However, most teach that Paul is addressing specific cultural concerns in first-century Corinth and that he is calling for propriety and order in a society where immorality and paganism had blurred gender distinctions.

Paul was not placing men in a position of generic rulership over women. Because there is "no male or female in Christ" (see Gal. 3:28), women can pray, worship, study the Bible or minister without a man present. How silly to think that a man, because of his gender, could add credibility to prayer or Spirit-empowered ministry! To believe this would be to trust in the flesh.

LIE #6. A WOMAN SHOULD VIEW HER HUSBAND AS THE "PRIEST OF THE HOME."

Search your concordance. Scripture never describes men as "priests of the home." This man-made concept was popularized in evangelical churches in the last century. We have one priest, Jesus Christ, whose blood atoned for our sins. It is a mockery of the gospel to suggest that any human being needs an additional priest apart from the Son of God.

The Bible says all believers are priests (see 1 Pet. 2:9, Rev. 1:6); there is no gender restriction. Husbands function as priests when they pray for their families or when they minister the Word of God to them, and wives also function in this role.

My experience in marriage has been that God speaks both to me and to my wife. He doesn't say to me, "Since you are the head of this house, I'll tell you my plans for your family, and you can tell the others what I said." Often God has revealed His plans to my wife before I heard anything!

Christian men need to stop being defensive and recognize that God has called us to function in unity with our wives. We need to listen to their counsel, consider their opinions, and pray together for the mind of the Lord rather than putting our foot down and shouting, "I am the leader of this family, and what I say goes!"

LIE #7. WOMEN ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO ASSUME LEADERSHIP ROLES.

The most common mistake we make in biblical interpretation occurs when we take one isolated verse and build a doctrine around it--even if the verse seems to contradict other passages. This is often what we do with 1 Tim. 2:12, "I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man" (NASB).

Most theologians believe that this passage was addressing an isolated situation in Ephesus. They came to this conclusion after studying the myriad of references in the Bible to women in spiritual authority. The Old Testament records that Deborah was a judge over Israel--and God blessed her leadership in battle (see Judg. 4-5). Other women who held authority over men include Miriam, Huldah and Noadiah.

Jesus issued His first gospel commission to women (see Matt. 28:1-10), and both men and women were empowered to preach on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Priscilla, Chloe and Phoebe were leaders in the early church, and one woman, Junia, is called an apostle by Paul (Rom. 16:7).

The promise of the prophet Joel was that "sons and daughters" would prophesy after the Holy Spirit was given to the church (Joel 2:28, emphasis added). Yet we have taken one misunderstood verse from Paul's writings and used it to negate hundreds of other passages that support the full release of women into ministry.

LIE #8: WOMEN MUST NOT TEACH OR PREACH TO MEN IN A CHURCH SETTING.

Since 1 Timothy 2:12 obviously contradicts the overall biblical endorsement of women in authority, how are we to understand it? What is Paul actually saying in this passage?

In their book I Suffer Not a Woman, Richard and Catherine Clark Kroeger explain that certain cultic worship practices involving female priestesses of Diana had invaded the first-century church. These priestesses promoted blasphemous ideas about sex and spirituality, and they sometimes performed rituals in which they pronounced curses on men and declared female superiority.

What Paul was most likely saying to the Ephesians was this: "I do not allow a woman to teach these cultic heresies, nor do I allow them to usurp authority from men by performing pagan rituals." He was not saying, as some Christians have assumed, "I do not allow godly Christian women to teach the Bible." In his day, Paul would have been thrilled to have had more skilled women who could teach the truth!

LIE #9. WOMEN ARE MORE EASILY DECEIVED THAN MEN.

This idea has been taught by twisting the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:14, which says, "It was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression" (NLT). Some have suggested that because Eve was tricked by the devil, women have a stronger propensity toward deception. Others have gone so far as to insist that women are to blame for all the evil in the world and are therefore under a greater curse than men.

No respectable Bible scholar in the church today would promote such a view. The Bible clearly states that Adam and Eve were both held guilty by God for their disobedience, and they were both punished. In 1 Timothy, Paul cited the creation account not to place extra blame on Eve but to refute a bizarre teaching that was circulating in Asia Minor.

In the first century, Gnostic heretics were mixing Christianity with paganism. One of their teachings stated that Eve actually liberated the world when she disobeyed God and gained secret knowledge from the devil.

Paul was not teaching that women are more prone to deception. He was explaining that what Eve did was not right, and that the Christian view of the creation was that Adam and Eve sinned when they listened to the serpent.

Women are certainly capable of spreading deception because they have a fallen nature as men do, but there is no evidence that they have greater gullibility. That view is rooted in demeaning stereotypes and prejudice.

LIE #10: WOMEN WHO EXHIBIT STRONG LEADERSHIP QUALITIES HAVE A "SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL."

Once I was listening to Bible teacher Cindy Jacobs speak at a prayer conference in Colorado. When she approached the pulpit, two men who were sitting in front of me turned to each other and began to pray softly.

"Lord, we bind the power of the devil from bewitching this audience," one man said, adding, "We bind the power of Jezebel in the name of Jesus." These men believed that the crowd would automatically come under a spirit of deception when Jacobs taught them--simply because she was a woman.

How absurd! Was Barak "deceived" when he took orders from Deborah? (See Judg. 4:14.) Did baby Jesus come under a harmful influence when Anna prophesied over Him? (See Luke 2:36-38.) Was Apollos spiritually emasculated when he submitted to the teaching of Priscilla? (See Acts 18:26.) Of course not!

To associate godly women with Jezebel, a wicked Old Testament despot, is unfair and offensive, yet men in the church today often pin Jezebel's label on strong, anointed women because they feel threatened by them.

Let's stop the insults. If a woman is using manipulation to usurp authority or if she is spreading heresies, then she certainly deserves the Jezebel label--as do men who do such things. But women who walk in spiritual integrity and preach the Word of God with power deserve our respect.

________________________
J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine, has enlarged on this topic in his book, Ten Lies the Church Tells Women. It is excellent.

J. Lee Grady is editor of "Charisma Magazine" and an outspoken advocate for women in ministry. His new book, 25 Tough Questions About Women and the Church (Charisma House), was released in April. This article is reprinted with the gracious permission of J. Lee Grady and the magazine "Spirit Led Woman" published by Strang Communications. For subscription information to this excellent magazine click www.spiritledwoman.com.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Facts about women in ministry

Here are some facts about women in ministry and some resources for you to learn more on the subject.

Q: Are more women enrolling in seminary?
A: Women make up about a third of all seminary students, according to data from the Association of Theological Schools. That’s a big jump from 30 years ago when women made up less than a fifth of seminary students. Hartford Seminary Sociologist Adair Lummis suggests there are several reasons the increasing numbers of women. Social attitudes have changed and women are increasingly accepted in all the professions. In addition, several mainline denominations changed their rules to allow women to be ordained. Still, seminary remains by and large a male profession. Twice as many men as women completed the Masters in Divinity degree, the most popular of the programs, in 2005, according to ATS figures.
Want to know more? Clergy Women: An Uphill Calling, by Barbara Brown Zikmund, Adair Lummis, and Patricia Mei Yin Chang, (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998) or see http://hirr.hartsem.edu/bookshelf/bookshelf_book_excerpts.html#women. Also, consult the website for the Association of Theological Schools, http://www.ats.edu. Click on the 2005/06 Annual Data Tables.

Q: Are more women serving in churches today?
A: Yes, but just how many is hard to say. Some denominations, such as the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church USA keep accurate tabs on the number of women clergy. Others denominations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, which officially does not permit women to serve as senior pastors, do not, (even though there are small numbers of women pastors in the SBC). Not surprisingly, the United Methodist Church, the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination, had the largest number of clergywomen, 9,749, or 22 percent of its ordained clergy in 2006. But sociologist Jackson Carroll said women make up a disproportionately large percentage of associate pastors, and may face unequal access to higher profile positions.
Want to know more? Read Clergy Women: An Uphill Calling, by Barbara Brown Zikmund, Adair Lummis, and Patricia Mei Yin Chang, (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998) or see http://hirr.hartsem.edu/bookshelf/bookshelf_book_excerpts.html#women. Also, consult chapter 3 in Jackson Carroll’s God’s Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations, (W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006). Also see What percentage of pastors are female?

Number and Percentage of Clergywomen 1977 & 2000
Faith Group 1977 & 2000

American Baptist Church
1977=157 (3%) 2000=1,032 (13%)

Disciples of Christ
1977=388 (9%) 2000=1,564 (22%)

Episcopal Church
1977=94 (1%) 2000=3,482 (20%)

Evangelical Lutheran Church Am.
1977 ..... 2000=2,358 (13%)

Presbyterian Church USA
1977=350 (3%) 2000=3,715 (18%)

United Methodist Church
1977=319 (2%) 2000=4,370 (17%)

Conserv. Judaism
1977=0 2000=127 (9%)

Reformed Judaism
1977=3 (.2%) 2000=346 (14%)
(From chart in Olson et. al. Women with a Mission. (U of Alabama Press 2005.) p.8

Q: Why are women dropping out of seminary, or ministry?
A: Schools and denominations don’t keep records on dropouts so it’s impossible to say with any accuracy how many women quit school or ministry. But Barbara Finlay, a sociologist at Texas A&M University, suggests some women opt out of ministry during their last year of school, realizing they will face uphill challenges to better-paying positions.
Want to know more? Read Facing the Stained Glass Ceiling: Gender in a Protestant Seminary by Barbara Finlay (University Press of America, 2003, and Pastors in Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Ministry by Dean Hoge and Jacqueline Wegner (W.B. Eerdmans, 2005). Also see Are more or less women entering seminaries today?

Q: Is there a salary gap between men and women clergy?
A: The salary gap that once existed between men and women clergy is narrowing. Whereas in 1991, women clergy earned on average 91 percent of men’s salaries in the same position, 10 years later that disparity had all but disappeared. Still, women face unequal access to senior pastor positions, which pay more. Sociologist Jackson Carroll found that among mainline clergy in their second decade of ministry, 70 percent of men were serving medium or large churches, compared to 37 percent of women.
Want to know more? Read Clergy Women: An Uphill Calling, by Barbara Brown Zikmund, Adair Lummis, and Patricia Mei Yin Chang Also consult, chapter 3 in Jackson Carroll’s God’s Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations, (W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006).

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event
Author And Public Speaker

NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT?

Do you have an upcoming gardening, church, or women's event planned and need a speaker? Contact me. I can speak on various topics such as:

1. Detangling Ancient Mythology From Christianity
2. The Female Presence In The History Of Christianity
3. Superstitions and Gardening In The 21st Century
4. The Politics Of Prayer: The Bible Speaks
5. African American Geneaology: Pride From The Grave


Contact me at rizerfall@yahoo.com for booking arrangements

Book Reviews

I review for BookSneeze