“The Gender Agenda” by Lis Goddard & Clare Hendry.

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.

I Just Finished The Old Testament!

Why The Bible Is Dangerous & Why The Political Correctness Brigade Wants To Keep It Away From You.

The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.

 

“Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.

“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)

 

Spirituality & Archangels.

An interesting article to read:

https://www.thoughtco.com/meet-archangel-uriel-angel-of-wisdom-124717

More on spirituality:

https://thecommanderinchief.blog/2018/02/06/an-angel-saved-me-by-theresa-cheung/

https://thecommanderinchief.blog/2018/04/15/answers-from-heaven-by-theresa-cheung-claire-broad/

https://thecommanderinchief.blog/2018/03/29/lent-for-the-1st-time/

https://thecommanderinchief.blog/2018/04/25/why-the-bible-is-dangerous-why-the-political-correctness-brigade-wants-to-keep-it-away-from-you/

https://thecommanderinchief.blog/2018/04/27/chambers-ghosts-and-spirits/

And some interesting videos to watch:

I Just Finished The Old Testament!

It’s the 1st of July and I’m officially done with reading The Old Testament!

I’ve been working on a huge review of it and have plenty of notes since there is so much that can be addressed and contemplated when reading through these texts.

A lot of what is contained within these pages is as relevant today as it was back then, since human traits stay the same regardless of time. This is sadly the reason as to why people try to say that the Bible is outdated. God forbid you read this and draw parallels to our world today and realise, in your moments of private reflection, that our societies are ill and in need of healing. I don’t think you are supposed to see that or figure it out.

I’ve always been a quick reader, or I used to be when I was younger. It has taken me a very long time to read through this though, since The Holy Bible isn’t written to be a page turner. I therefore wandered off quite often, but finally managed to pull through it 🙂

I would recommend everyone to take the time to read it. It is regarded as the most influential piece of literature ever, and the longest reigning “bestseller” world-wide. Not to forget how it changed the filter through which generations before us perceived the world; delivering values upon which our ancestors modelled their societies.

This ideological spectrum also worked retroactively. When looking at “Viking texts” written by Monks, you can obviously sense how Christianity influenced how certain Viking stories were formulated and immortalised in the written form. How were these stories before Christianity? What is the whole truth?

Falsification due to propaganda and remodelling due to new standards is nothing new. It has happened before and we are witnessing it now, this time around, due to “political correctness.”

If you want to preserve your Holy Scriptures, or anything else of value, you ought to get some stone tablets. Who knows the extent of the cultural loss humanity has suffered whenever there’s been a moment of environmental “divine intervention?” Violent “climate change” has happened numerous times. It is actually quite frightening if you look into it. Carving things into stone increases your chances of keeping the flame of culture and faith alive.

Books and texts can in many ways be perceived as programming tools; the coding for various programs, internalised by our “human avatars” in order to interact and engage with this interactive, recyclable, organic, mortal world. The more dependent we become upon our technology the more vulnerable do we render our cultural inheritance. Especially since the art of storytelling is increasingly watered down by the dulling of our capacity for memorising extensive material.

My own spiritual journey has taken me from philosophy in my childhood, to flirting with intellectual Satanism and the occult in my teens, to meditation and mental training in adulthood and has now landed me in the Christian camp.

My approach to the spiritual was a quest for self-empowerment but ironically enough it wasn’t until I re-opened my heart to others through prayer that I found the inner peace that I had been yearning for. For many years I only found happiness if there was any good news regarding my music, after the 22nd of February this year I woke up again after 13 years in slumber. What an amazing experience! I do feel in many ways like I’ve come around full circle. I thank fate for bringing me to the empty church “in the middle of nowhere” that set me on the Christian path. I certainly understand now why people say that they’ve been “Born Again,” such an experience doesn’t have to involve drugs, crime or alcohol. It can be an emotional experience as well.

Prayer is greater than meditation since you direct your heart towards others.

That is where true peace is found, not in a self-focused spiritual quest.

 

Chambers “ghosts and spirits.”

An interesting alphabetical overview over various paranormal phenomena throughout the ages; displaying how far back these type of stories go, with a particular focus on England and the spiritualist movement during the Victorian era; not to forget the popularisation of “the medium.”

It is of interest that poltergeist activity, at this point in time, is largely considered to be a manifestation of psychic powers. Especially within young, teenage, individuals, who are conflicted when it comes to the handling of their own emotions.

A theory is presented to the reader that hauntings are simply recordings of past events; since humans cannot interfere and interact with these manifestations, but can simply stand by and observe.

Time glitches where people all of a sudden find themselves transported for a brief moment back in time, is mentioned in short.

The work also contains a story of a very famous psychic woman, who found herself imprisoned for life after allegedly murdering her own child in the U.S.A.; it made me think of a medium over in England who was arrested by the authorities during WW2 because she knew about dead soldiers and losses before the news hit the public. This led the government to suspect that she was guilty of espionage.

Invisible entities attacking people physically is also featured.

A theory is also presented suggesting that “mediumship” might be telepathy; meaning that you get access to people’s subconsciousness!

The book also describes how some people have negative NDEs, describing a hellish experience of the afterlife. I’ve heard rumours; but this is something that you never really see mentioned in popular new-age, non-religious, books about the spiritual world.

Chambers also have some other cool books about the unexplainable; needless to say there are countless other works mentioned within “ghosts and spirits,” since this book is more or less like some sort of “spirit dictionary.”

PS. The picture of the book is not very flattering 😮 It is obviously a very popular, well-read library book, so I guess I now need to get a serious disinfectant for myself! 😮

 

“Answers from Heaven” by Theresa Cheung & Claire Broad.

This book sees Cheung teaming up with a professional medium to further promote her case that the afterlife is real, and that Angels are active in our world, throughout our lives, at all times.

Prayer has incredible power and there have been scientific studies showing that patients who were prayed for had faster recovery times than those who were not” Considering that all matter (even our thoughts) consists of energy, it is entirely possible that this energy can be directed to achieve an outcome …” Amen to that!

In other words, the brain may act as a sophisticated receiver to express consciousness, but it may not be its primary creator.”

It was renewed physicist, inventor, futurist and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla who said, “If you want to understand the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.

The book makes for a good and easy read. My only two complaints is that certain stories are repeated from the other book I read from said author: “An Angel Saved Me” by Theresa Cheung. which I find slightly puzzling when the author writes this: “Thousands of people have sent me such reports …”. The two women are also promoting a one-dimensional spiritual narrative void of negative forces: “In each and every case the messages from the other side are ones of comfort, hope and love …

I also question why Cheung & Broad blindly believe the sincerity of the spirits that they get in touch with. If you believe that the world is made up of opposites then you’ll probably doubt their exclusively optimistic stance.

There are lots of reports and stories that go way back in time, documenting negatively charged “hauntings,” just to pick one supernatural phenomena. If one believes in the existence of Angels (as we’ve come to know them in pop-culture), then why not Demons?

Cheung & Broad presents a marketable narrative in line with The Map of Heaven – by Dr. Eben Alexander & Ptolemy Tompkins., a narrative that does not quite align with belief systems where you have to behave in order to please the supreme chieftain-Deity. The CEO of Celestial Inc. is nowhere to be found within current new-age literature, as you’ll be loved regardless of who you are and what you do. There is no hierarchical celestial order, so it is certainly very different from belief systems where you are supposed to try your absolute best to be a good person by internalizing certain values (or else!).

Thou shall not fear Celestial Inc.’s invisible enforcement agents; because all is light, and all is good – all the time! I wish I could believe in this friendly, open, tolerant, narrative – but I do not. Where there is light, there will be dark – that is what I believe anyway!

It can also be a possibility that “the force” disguises itself as “familiar” or “relatable” if it feels a desire or a need to intervene. This aligns with old myths, even Christianity, where an Avatar is needed (like an interface) to interact with humanity. If this technique is valid in real-life, then why not put on the mask of familiar individuals in the after-life as well? In theory it would make sense; but that of course hinges on whether you believe or not. And whether you believe that our creator can access his invention and design whenever “it” desires to do so.

I guess human beings have to believe that they are in the driver’s seat at all times. If this is what people want to believe, then I can certainly understand the appeal of books such as these, since there are no rules, nor spooky entities to enforce them!

Some selected quotes from the work:

It breaks my heart when people tell me that their early signs of psychic potential were laughed at or repressed by their family.” Yes, thank you Theresa for putting yourself out there promoting something that is not meant to be discussed in our enlightened high-tech age! ❤

Whenever love is strong between two people it can cross the veil of death,”

Something with an awareness of future events intervened to give her a warning.

…we are all connected. Science attests to this and there is also the theory that time isn’t linear and that there is no past, present or future, just our perception.

There is a possibility that our thoughts and feelings can cross the boundaries of time and space, life and death.

…many NDEs occur when a person has a flat EEG, meaning they are brain dead, but if they have enough brain activity to produce a hallucination it would be registered by the EEG. Also, a dying brain or delirium are not convincing explanations as these would not be recalled as a positive experience or a spiritual turning point.

There is no conclusive proof that OBEs originate in the brain – in my opinion, they, like NDEs and night visions and all afterlife encounters (including the next story), are evidence that a part of us exists separate from our body and mind and that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. All those who have been through such events say they are incredibly powerful and a rich source of spiritual awakening.”

…so the next time you wake up feeling tired for no reason, perhaps you will have been on a spiritual assignment in your sleep. Such a wonderful thought that when we are asleep we all have the potential to become angels.

“...wisdom is “downloaded” into the mind of the medium and then written down or spoken, just in the same way you would if following dictation.”

The language of the spirit is universal and therefore there are no language  barriers with mediumship.

In my experience, problems with grief arise when people get stuck in it.

Holding emotional grief inside of you undealt with only leads to health problems further down the line…

Thoughts  are energy, and when we attend to and direct them decisively, they have the power to create our future, promote healing, shape our world and travel deep within the universe.

Many people have lost faith in the power of prayer because they’re either turned off by the religious connotations or feel their prayers go unanswered. The likely reason for this is that the very act of asking for something you want or need draws the experience of wanting or needing to you. Your words and the power behind your words – your intentions – matter. A more effective prayer should create the experience of having and being, but many people struggle to achieve this.

 

The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.

Since I’m working my way through the Old Testament and this is taking some time, I decided to read a children’s book about The New Testament.

The message was very interesting, as the Old Testament describes the one battle after the other between various different tribes/ethnic groups in the Middle East area, whereas Jesus believes in reaching out to members of some of these groups, which certainly must have raised some eye brows. Especially the idea of praying for ones enemies.

The message of enduring, selfless love; especially that the faith is not ethnocentric, but for all, is very inspiring and a major contrast to what comes before it, where the Old Testament God is quite frankly depicted as a scary and merciless entity. He will engage in genocidal activity and sanctify it to punish those who live in a way he finds to be degenerate, prophets manage to soften his heart to a certain degree, but only so that one faithful believer can survive, in some cases. A spectacularly dangerous and frightening otherworldly deity is the image that you’re left with; you better do what you’re told, or else!

An aspect of Jesus’s message is;” …Go, but do not sin again,” which contrasts with the modern perception that anything goes or the old-fashioned idea that “if you sin then you’re damned.” Jesus reached out to those who were ostracised and focused on saving those who needed it the most. Which is very touching.

Section 26; speaking of A Kingdom of Equals, might make individualists and people who acknowledges differences wonder, but it is rather the idea that all lives matter, and the more responsibility a person has the more important it is to remember this: “If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, he must be the slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.Mark 10:43-45

Jesus fights against corruption, which obviously doesn’t make him very popular with the establishment, he performs miracles (which in his opinion shouldn’t be necessary to convince people to listen to him), gratitude or how people seem to lack in this is also mentioned.

In other words, this book describes how Jesus was trying to teach people how to co-exist and be nice to one another, humans are described as being faulty, but Jesus tries to  put people on the right path. This eventually cost him his life. This act interestingly enough marks  the end of blood sacrifice as practised in the old Testament, since Jesus was the ultimate sacrificial act; he died on the cross for our sins.

Jesus’s take on materialism is also of interest, as I’ve seen for myself how paranoid certain successful people are; arguing with all and everyone about nothing, being stuck up for no reason (not that there ever is one) and never helping anyone.

If you make your money illegally and you know that lots of people are after you, then how can you sleep well at night? Even individuals who’ve made their money legally, might face troubles internally when looking back on their life and how they had to walk over others to reach their objective.

It is also interesting that heaven is not described as a place for all, but for the few, since most will fail when it comes to living their lives in accordance with Jesu’s teachings. It can also be argued that Christianity is stricter in certain respects, since Jesus preaches that it is not just the act of killing a person that is wrong, even the thought should be avoided.  So it is not enough to abstain from sin, you should purify your thoughts as well.

A very good quote is this one, displaying some self-doubt from Paul: “ And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is a delusion and you are still lost in your sin… If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.1 Corinthians 15:14-19

He then goes on to write: “Death is destroyed: victory is complete!” 1 Corinthians 15:54

It is very interesting how Jesus was cheered on when he rode into Jerusalem, only to be betrayed by the crowd later, when he was chosen to be executed rather than the guilty criminal standing next to him. Pilate knew that he did the wrong thing.

The story of the lost sheep as recounted in this book is quite cute actually. I wrote about individualism previously here on my blog, but the idea of Jesus the shepherd is a bit different from what I previously thought. It is rather the idea that humans are flawed and that God/Jesus is a parent looking after his sheep/children, and how we all naturally fall into this category, since humans need help to stay on the right path. In this context the idea is not one of contempt and arrogance, but one of care and concern, something that is much-needed if one thinks of petty arguments between neighbours, just to pick an everyday example. All of the conflicts we have in this world from small to big, could easily be avoided if people just behaved, the problem is that people don’t and therein lays the problem.

What makes the Holy Bible a relevant read even today, is that it doesn’t paint an unrealistic picture of humans, rather it serves the purpose of trying to help, a role that increasingly falls on government programs in our day and age.

This was a good read for sure. I would recommend kids and adults alike to read about the inspiring message and work of Christ.