After I had written a blog post about Homelessness in England I received a very interesting article in the mail about how they have tackled homelessness in Finland. Some of these methods are now being tried out over here which is a good thing! I hope that it will work!
Here is an article that I came across about the increase in Christians in pop-music! Considering how Christianity is consistently ridiculed it is quite staggering to see how many major pop and rock artists considers themselves to be of the faith! I found this to be a very uplifting read indeed! Christianity in show-biz.
I’ve taken a break from reading the news but decided to feature these two articles since they have a positive vibe to them.
The issue at the heart of the negative news-cycle is money I’m sure. I saw a TED talk with Monica Lewinsky a while back where she said that she was one of the very first internet shaming victims. She claimed that everyone threw her under the bus in the name of “click-bait-articles” without any concern for her wellbeing or her future. It was a very interesting speech that I would highly recommend. Her parents were apparently on “suicide watch” since they were so worried about how she would handle all of the negative attention. She couldn’t get hired anywhere either.
You need stories that can sell regardless of whether or not this increases tension and even create conflict. Bad news & scandals sell, and if something sells then people who are “clever” tend to promote this for all that it is worth regardless of what the cultural impact might be or how many lives that are utterly destroyed.
I’m sure that this is one of the reasons as to why there is such an abundance of “fake news.”
Yesterday my sister & I were confirmed by The Bishop of Tewkesbury.
I really enjoyed the event and look forward to deepen my spirituality further in the coming years.
After a year of working my way through The Holy Bible this was a wonderful way to finalise this part of my spiritual journey. I’m so happy that I was joined by my sister! 🙂
It was a wonderful evening. ❤
This book came into my possession courtesy of our local vicar, who lent it to me after having read my review of “Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.
The work is a discussion between two Christian women regarding female leadership and involvement in the Church.
I can hardly think of a topic more relevant in this day and age where female priests seem to be the only vicars left, in addition to female bishops, even female lesbian bishops!
With the emphasis on LGBTQ and egalitarianism it is certainly surprising to read the actual Holy Bible and see how the texts contrast with our “modern values. ”
In my review of “Simply Christian” I wrote among other things this:
“I’m also questioning the presence of female priests and authority figures within Northern European churches when it is explicitly said in 1 Timothy 2 (12) : “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” I guess it can be counter-argued that women are keeping the faith alive and that it is better with female priests than no priests.”
That is probably a good place to start, because the Holy Bible does certainly not come across as a feminist manifesto, to put it that way, even though Lis Goddard seems to think so.
Her interpretation of The Holy Bible hinges on our Bibles being translated wrong … which means that both my copy of the Bible and Clare Hendry’s copy are faulty.
Lis Goddard zooms in on what could have been the intended or original meaning of certain words in the texts and she also seem to believe that Genesis depicts a gender-neutral Utopia of sorts, before the Fall….
Eve is created from Adam’s rib and God first turns to Adam when Eve has not only been disobedient but has brought her man into disobedience as well. A great deal of people will read this as follows: God created the man first, gave him a companion “of him,” and was upset with Adam when he failed in his leadership, punishing both parties (even the snake).
Lis Goddard and those who agree with her, would claim that there was no such thing as any leadership to begin with. That Adam and Eve were equals, that both were leaders in their own right, but that the Fall distorted this Utopia leading to gender-unbalance, which was finally corrected with the arrival of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom.
My impression after reading “The Gender Agenda” is that joining a Bible reading group might put you into a situation where after staring at certain passages in the Bible for a prolonged period of time, you’ll start seeing all sorts of strange things…Everything that is all of a sudden isn’t and everything that isn’t is.
In other words: if you analyse something long enough you’ll eventually get whatever you desire, seeing your own reflection after turning what you are reading into a mirror.
The same can be observed in a lot of modern journalism.
I’m not saying this to be rude, but the book certainly gives off this vibe and as I result I opened up my Bible again to read Genesis to see what I had missed.
The passage that Goddard and Hendry constantly fall back on doesn’t even occupy a full-page. It is a remarkably short section spanning from Genesis 2 (18) up until the Fall in Genesis 3. After reading this section again, a couple of times, I find it difficult to agree with Goddard’s interpretation.
A good point made by Hendry is that if a woman is supposed to listen to her husband, and he is the head of the household, then how does that work out if a woman is to be the head of a Church? This might be the reason as to why there were supposed to be male monarchs back in the day. Will a female Queen be “King enough”? Or will she be swayed by her husband as “the head,” in effect meaning that the man is ruling the territory rather than the actual Queen?
Yet with all of this said; it is written in the Bible that women should study, prophesy, and pray, not to forget that there are important female characters present in the Biblical texts which is something that anti-Christian critics wouldn’t acknowledge or downplay. Women are to have a role and be active, the question is how.
An interesting point made in “The Gender Agenda” is that Paul was writing to different Churches, helping them with whatever issues that they were facing. It was also mentioned that women and men were probably seated according to their gender, just like in the synagogues, which can explain why Paul says that women need to be quiet in Church. No gossiping and chit-chat in other words. Here is an interesting quote from 1 Corinthians 9 (22):
“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
That quote might shed some light on Paul’s letters. It is also of interest to note that disagreements was a factor from the very beginning of the establishment of the various Churches:
“I appeal to you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’e’s people that there is quarrelling among you, my brethren.” 1 Corinthians 1 (10)
I would recommend reading Goddard & Hendry’s book as it is extremely relevant in today’s Church environment. If you’ve attended any Church services in Scandinavia or the U.K., then you’ll know what I mean.
Reading the Old & New Testament will instantly put you in a situation where you’ll be worried that you’re supporting heresy, which is probably why young people turn to Islam or Orthodox Christianity.
Pluralism and political correctness is hurting Northern churches, who would probably gain more by proclaiming God as the God and the Holy Bible as the Truth. If you start doubting yourself, then others will do as well and in today’s political and spiritual environment, I don’t know if that’s the best way forward.
To conclude; it is certainly at odds with everything in our modern pop-culture to be a practising Christian, especially if you are a woman, since being: argumentative, loud, not modestly dressed and especially having authority over men are all characteristics that are currently being celebrated, in addition to abortion. Nothing gains wider praise than women involved with the military, ministry or politics. So if you are looking at the Bible and Christianity through a conservative lens you’ll probably think that you’ve woken up in Hell, or at least in a world that is in a state of absolute chaos.
“Nobody was expecting anyone, least of all a Messiah, to rise from the dead. A crucified Messiah was a failed Messiah. When Simeon ben Kosiba was killed by the Romans in AD 135, nobody went around afterwards saying he really was the Messiah after all,…” (p.96)
This book was lent to me by my local priest who recommended it when I told him that I was reading the Holy Bible.
After I was done reading the scriptures in its entirety (which took me over a year), I ventured into Wright’s work, which is a very straightforward and easy read.
The book is very enjoyable and explains Christianity and what it really is and what it really means.
Nothing beats having the source material though and it is vital to always keep in mind that the Bible is the number one “document” or more fittingly “Testament,” to which believers are to stay true.
“Once we glimpse this vision of the Holy Spirit coming to live within human beings, …” (p.111)
I therefore recommend people who are either turning to Christianity or becoming practising Christians to actually read the Holy Bible rather than not reading at all, or only reading Church approved interpretations of the Holy works.
It is not an easy undertaking reading the scriptures, because a lot of the Old Testament make for repetitive reading, but it is worth it due to those parts that aren’t, and especially since it exposes you to all of that which is normally excluded from pop-culture and mainstream Church services. It is quite staggering how much that has been left out and how limited modern Christianity is when it comes to what it quotes….
I’ve written before that I was going to review the New and Old Testament, and that I’m working on a very long entry for the Old, this is all true, but I wanted to read what our priest had recommended first.
I’m glad that I did because there were certain aspects of the Christian faith that I hadn’t quite figured out, such as “God-time,” meaning that the past, present and future isn’t linear when dealing with God.
“Somehow, God’s dimension and our dimension, heaven and earth, overlap and interlock.” (p.110)
I choose to start my Testament reviews with “Simply Christian” so that others too can read and enjoy this work, hopefully avoiding misconceptions and confusion. My reviews of the Old and the New Testament are based on my reading of the uncensored source text and is not based on politically correct, modern-Church approved, filtered, interpretations. I intend to address: slavery, the role of women, the fact that you should not rebel against your government, the early persecution of Christians, and the divisiveness that Jesus’ presence brings into this world, all of which is based on the Holy texts themselves, but aspects that modern-churchians and pop-culture never mention.
On that note it might be fitting to reveal that Wright’s work is not particularly politically correct, and that I was somewhat surprised that my local vicar would recommend something that must surely stand opposed to a great deal of what is being promoted within Church communities today.
“But setting it out in this way feels a bit like trying to describe my best friend by offering a biochemical analysis of his genetic makeup. It is important. Indeed, if he didn’t have that makeup he wouldn’t be the same person.” (p.154)
It was a relief that the book wasn’t filled with post-modernist falsities, yet there were some conclusions that Wright arrived at that puzzled me, and his digestible promotion of Christianity appears very mild, if re-visiting the New Testament after having read “Simply Christian.”
Wright concludes that global economic justice must be one of the many goals of Christians today but the Holy Bible itself states that: “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5 (8)
I’m also questioning the presence of female priests and authority figures within Northern European churches when it is explicitly said in 1 Timothy 2 (12) : “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” I guess it can be counter-argued that women are keeping the faith alive and that it is better with female priests than no priests.
I also think it is important to quote James 2 (17) & (26) since it is written that: “So faith by itself, if it has no works; is dead.” “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”
“You become like what you worship.” (p.127)
“How many times have I been grateful, faced with nightfalls both metaphorical and literal, for the old Anglican Collect which runs:
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord;
and by thy great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of thy only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.” (p.142)
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (p.144)