Monday, November 21, 2022

Misunderstandings about domestic abuse & domestic violence


Domestic abuse and domestic violence are rare. FALSE. According to the department of Justice. Three of every 100 American households is affected by domestic violence. 

According to the National Census Bureau, 3 of every 100 households adds up to approximately 37,000,000 Americans, primarily women, who are experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

What is domestic abuse? Simply put, domestic abuse is warfare. It turns the home, which should be a sanctuary of peace and safety into a battlefield filled with destruction and misery--with the abuser waging psychological warfare, and sometimes physical warfare, against his or her victim(s).

Only women are victims of domestic abuse and/or violence. FALSE. Department of Justice figures show that men comprise 5% of domestic violence murder victims.

Studies prove that women violently abuse just as much or more than men do. FALSE. Department of justice statistics do not back those studies. As one supporter of those studies succinctly put it, "With a U.S. population of 297 million, it's possible to cherry-pick a small, non-representative, sample to prove nearly anything."

Substance abuse is a major cause of domestic violence. FALSE. Treatment for substance abuse will not cure domestic abuse or violence. Although substance abuse is often used as an excuse for domestic violence and can certainly exacerbate and intensify incidences of abuse (and substance abusers do need to address the issue), it is not the cause of domestic abuse or domestic violence. Abuse and domestic violence are inflicted on victims by those who have an excessive need for control. In the case of men against women, the root cause of abuse often stems from a deeply rooted sense of male superiority over women. 

Anger management will prevent abusive behavior. FALSE. Anger management will not cure abusive behavior, because anger is not the root cause of spousal abuse or domestic violence. Although controlling anger is always helpful, it will not prevent recurrences of abuse if the core values of the abuser are not challenged and changed.

Submitting to the demands of an abuser will stop or prevent abuse. FALSE. Studies have shown that the more submissive a victim is, the more likely the abuser is to continue and even increase the abuse. It is not recommended, however, to directly challenge a violent abuser.

Finding a good couple's counselor will help resolve abuse issues in a relationship. FALSE. Couple's counseling will not prevent abuse. Abuse is a personal issue as well as a choice on the part of the abuser. Although abuse will cause problems in a relationship, abuse and/or domestic violence does not stem from problems within the relationship. When it comes to domestic abuse or domestic violence, the saying, “It Takes Two to Tango,” does not apply. One of the reasons couple's counseling is not recommended in the case of domestic violence, is that it increases the risk of physical violence and potential harm to the victim.

 The book, Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, is available free with Kindle Unlimited. Gifting print copies to  spiritual leaders and shelters is a great way to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness month in October. But why wait for October when three women will die today from DV, and another three tomorrow, and another three....   

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Southern Baptist Churches are Rejecting Male Leadership

Mike Law, a pastor in Arlington, Virginia, is concerned the complementarian paradigm of female submission to male headship is in jeopardy. So much so, he sent an open letter/petition (with 1,100 signatures to date) to The Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) Executive Committee requesting the Southern Baptist Constitution be amended to read that women may not be appointed as pastors of any kind. He even recommended that titles such as Women's Pastor and Children's Pastor be denied to women. 

These guys are running scared

As they should be. Complementarianism, the doctrine of female submission to male leadership in the church and home is unscriptural, and nothing less than religious extremism that endangers the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical welfare of women and children. 

Pastor and author, John Piper, says the practice of male headship should even extend into the secular workplace. He shames Christian men by saying that true biblical men could not tolerate subordinate positions to women. But if they will not or cannot change jobs, Piper offers advice on how men can keep the upper hand in such situations by perverting common courtesies. I write about this in my book.

In his open letter/petition, Law wrote that five SBC churches within a five-mile radius of his congregation had appointed women as pastors of various kinds, including Sr. Pastor. That means five out of six churches within his radius, are either egalitarian or possibly angling in that direction. And that has Law, along with at least 1,100 other SBC pastors terrified that God's created design of equality of the sexes and gender-autonomy might actually become the unofficial norm in Southern Baptist churches...which would eventually lead to an official change in doctrine/policy.

Law stated that he objects to women holding titles such as Co-Pastor, Worship Pastor, Discipleship Pastor, Women's Pastor, Children's Pastor, etc., as he considers it trading in the "Office of Pastor." He wrote that "Ushering women into the Pastoral Office in Southern Baptist Churches unsettles our Convention's unity."

The Convention's unity certainly needs to be unsettled, just as in the days when the Southern Baptists broke away from the Northern Baptists for the singular purpose of preserving chattel slavery in the south. The SBC was formed for that reason and that reason alone and preached from every pulpit that slavery was God's design. In the slaveholding south, the fight to protect that evil institution was called a "Glorious Cause." 

The female submission/male headship movement, headquartered with the SBC [and disseminated from there to almost every other denomination], calls female submission, "God's Glorious Design." Sound familiar? They even use the same language as their slave-holding predecessors. And as the SBC finally issued a public denouncement of and apology for their support of chattel slavery, it is time for them to denounce and apologize for the gender-based Christian Caste System enforced within their churches and homes and promoted in their Bible colleges and seminaries. 

Whether they will ever do that is doubtful. It is more likely another split will occur; it appears that many SBC churches are passively resisting, quietly disregarding their bigoted leaders, and appointing women to leadership positions anyway. And that's a good thing. 

Does God require us to give up our cultural identities when we come to Christ?

 When we come to Christ, does God require us to give up the cultural identity and heritage we were born into?

   Absolutely not!

   But everyone who comes to Christ should be willing to give up everything that will hinder the development of their new identity in, and service to, Jesus.

   When we surrender our lives to Christ, we no longer belong to ourselves, but to the God of Heaven. We belong to our Father and Lord (as in master) Jesus Christ, who purchased us with his own blood. We are not our own, for we have been bought with a great price –Isaiah 9:6, Acts 20:28 (kjv), 1 Corinthians 6:20.

   In the book of Genesis, Abraham was instructed to leave his country, his kindred, and his Father’s house to go to an unknown land that God would show him.

   That could not have been easy for Abraham. He lived in a culture where family ties and responsibilities meant a great deal. But, even so, he was obedient to his God in this command.

   Abraham was neither asked nor required to adopt the ways and trappings of another cultural Identity when he chose to follow God. But he was required to allow God to develop his life and lifestyle into something completely new.

   When we come to Christ, old things are passed away... and all things are become new. We become a completely new creation and are instructed to walk in newness of life.

   At some point in time, most of our ancestors followed an old way. When following the old way, if a new God or spirit were introduced, wasn’t the proper worship of, or way of relating to, that entity sought and adhered to?

   Why then, would we not be willing to do the same for our Redeemer and Creator, the One True God, Jesus Christ, THE ALMIGHTY?

   In Acts chapter 19:17-19, we read about people entering a new life in Christ with a healthy fear of God. They enthusiastically brought items which were used in “curious arts” i.e., occult and demon worship (the “old ways”) and burned them.

   These new followers of Christ had no desire to retain anything of the old ways or old traditions, that they finally understood had never been able to bring life.

   The same is true of behaviors and attitudes. 

   We would be wise to follow their example as we examine and carefully evaluate what we allow ourselves to come into contact with, identify with, and become influenced by, via our old life, activities, associations, possessions, and various forms of media we expose ourselves to.

   The cultural situation we are born into is a large part of who we are but being a New Creation in Christ supersedes even that.

   Absolutely everything in the life of a Christian is superseded by the new identity now possessed in Christ—regardless of what earthly culture one is born into or has adopted.

   Whether we are black, white, Jew, Gentile, Native American, Asian…, the list can go on and on, if we love tradition and the ways of our earthly cultures more than Jesus, if we choose to identify with our earthly cultures more than with Jesus...

   He tells us we are not worthy of him.

   If we love this world and the things it contains (including the cultural heritage we were born into) more than Jesus…

   Jesus says the love of the Father is not in us.

   Just as Joshua challenged the children of Israel before they crossed over into the Promised Land, the Spirit of the Living God challenges us today to, “Choose you this day...”

   Do you love your Savior enough to examine the things you may have held dear, even sacred, your entire life? Could you say like Peter, “Behold, we have forsaken all and followed thee…?”

   Are you willing to give up everything for Jesus?

   He gave up everything for you.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Rapture Theory has Kidnapped Christianity


Here is a snippet of an email I received: Quote: "The Rapture theory was developed in the 1830s by a young woman named Margaret McDonald, and now it has kidnapped Christianity. In no way does the Scripture ever say there is a rapture." End Quote

It saddens me to read such things. Margaret McDonald did not develop the idea of the rapture. But the propaganda has made such inroads into mainstream Christianity that the "No rapture" theory is fast becoming the norm within the Body of Christ. 

The Bible does teach a rapture. I write about it in my book, REDEMPTION: Bible Prophecy Simplified, A Study of HOPE. Download it for free: Jocelyn Andersen: Free E-book Bible Prophecy Simplified 

 Of course, the real opposition isn't to the fact that there is actually an event we call the rapture, taught in the Bible. The opposition is to belief in the pre-tribulational timing of the event. 

As to the theory that Margaret McDonald was the "mother of the rapture theory," that simply cannot be true for one very good reason--Margaret McDonald did not believe in or teach a pre-tribulational rapture. Todd Strandberg wrote an excellent article addressing that aspect of the debate:
These are the last days, and there is no doubt that Bible Prophecy--especially the biblical doctrine of the rapture--is on trial. It does matter what we believe. And it is important to know why we believe it. The lati-da attitude of "Oh well, we'll all find out one day," is not the attitude the Bible teaches us to have concerning the coming of our Lord. The Bible has much to say about it, Jesus had much to say about it. The rapture is that "Blessed Hope" the Bible speaks of. For those who would like to study this subject further, the book, "Redemption: Bible Prophecy Simplified," explores the subject in detail, using lots of scripture. 

Share a copy with your friends and loved ones. Buy a paperback print copy HERE.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Defining the Christian Caste System

 Male headship, male leadership, also known as complementarianism is a Christianized caste system. It is the doctrine of male leadership [also known as male-headship] which teaches that men and women are created equal but only in a spiritual, ethereal, non-tangible, essence but are not functionally equal. 

Instead, women and men are taught that they are created to fulfill certain roles. Male roles are fairly unlimited while female roles are severely limited. 

Complementarianism teaches that those born male are created to be served by those born female...from birth through-out eternity. 

Complementarianism further teaches that the idea of female autonomy [rebellion against the limited roles within the female caste] is rebellion against God Himself and is therefore sin. Some go as far as calling it a life and death issue, with the loss of female souls being what is at risk.

...Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System

   Traditional interpretations of scripture have adversely effected understanding of the Bible, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel, by forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders or deacons. This book chronicles the history of the women's rights movements (there have been more than one), as well as the role of church leadership in suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within those movements. 

   Through complementarianism (the male-leadership movement), many of the same arguments used to support institutionalized of slavery, are still used today in support of institutionalized female subordination to male headship. This book documents parallels and identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. It is a one-of-a-kind resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender [in]equality from a historical and Christian perspective. 

   The work traces history of women’s rights, much further back than usual, to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. Valuable historical insights, that are rarely included in Christian literature, are in this book along with rare glimpses into Christian initiatives in the various movements for women’s rights.

This book biblically refutes complementarianism [also called complementarity], which teaches that all men and women are born into a caste system that follows them from the moment they exit the womb throughout all eternity. Men are alleged to be born into the leadership caste and women into the “follower” caste.

   Complementarian doctrine suppresses the autonomy of adult Christian women and has been embraced, with few exceptions, by virtually every Christian denomination...despite unmistakable parallels between complementarian dogma [and the adverse effects of the paradigm on men, women, and children] and that of institutionalized slavery in previous centuries [caveat: lots of Black History, in this book, up through the Civil Rights Movement].

   Woman this is War! quotes well-known evangelical pastors who compare Christian marriage to a war of dominance between wives and husbands, a war they claim that husbands must win (hence, the book title).

   Gender-biased-English-translation-theology, along with male-centered Bible commentary and translation practices, are used in forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders and deacons in most churches. This hinders the work of the gospel. In most churches where women are not forbidden to preach, they are told to submit to their husbands at home. Gender-biased-English-translation-theology has interfered with understanding the scriptures, pitted men and women against each other, and eroded the happiness of women and men.

   The book provides rare insights into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s autonomy that have been excluded from Christian literature. They bring a new perspective, along with freedom and hope for both men and women. The doctrine of female submission to male headship in the church and home, is refuted by the scriptures which support equality between women and men. Woman this is WAR! is a treasure-trove of information on gender equality from biblical and historical perspectives.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Hypotasso also means arrayed "With" or "BESIDE"

 Hypotasso: Scholars Omit Two Crucial Definitions of the Word


 Two definitions of the Greek word "hypotassō," almost always translated as "submit" in the New Testament, would bring unity and healing to the Body of Christ by shedding the light of truth on a contentious and divisive subject... if they were included in Christian study resources
But these definitions though clearly seen within the context of scripture, are conspicuously absent from the scholarly record. 
   Hiearchical-English-translation-theology owns the field when it comes to the Greek word "hypo"--G5259 [pronounced hupo], from which the compound words hypotassō [Koine TR as seen in Strong's] and hupotassetai [as seen in Scrivner TR] are derived.  
   Both words are essentially the same and defined as arrayed "under" [hypo] by James Strong [G5293]. 
   Context reveals that "hypo"--G5259, can also mean over [2 Cor 2:11], or beside [Hebrews 1:3 ...and in Koine manuscripts, 2 Peter 2:5]. but it appears that Bible scholars and commentators do not want Christian laypeople to know this.
   The hierarchical applecart would certainly be upset if lay-Christians understood that the New Testament does not teach political or military-like hierarchy within the Body of Christ.
   James Strong, created an extraordinary work with his exhaustive concordance, but also exhibited extraordinary bias in some of his definitions, G5259-hypo being just one example. 
   Though we appreciate and use his work, we do this understanding his human frailties and biases. Strong's concordance erroneously perpetuates the unscriptural "clergy-over-laity" paradigm that, in Revelation 2:6, God says he hates. And one glaring example of this is his neglect to include the other two scriptural meanings of the word hypo-G5259, and this despite the fact he lists the scripture passages in which they are found. So we know he was aware of them.
   In this, whether intentional or not, James Strong has done a great dis-service to Bible scholars, students, and all Christians who depend heavily on his work for biblical understanding.

Hurricanes, High Prices, and Empty Grocery Shelves: What do we do?

In hurricane Ian, I lost a freezer full of food. Almost three years of building up stores against a rainy day, and one rainy day swept it all away. 

Is it any wonder Jesus said, "Don't worry about what you will eat or what you will wear. Unbelievers fret about these things, but your heavenly Father knows what you have need of."

As many of us learned during Ian, everything can be gone in one disaster. Then what do we do

O Taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed are the ones who trust in him. O fear the LORD you his righteous ones, for there is no lack to them who fear him, but they that seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. Jocelyn Andersen: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle