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Posts Tagged ‘civilization’

parents standing w childrenHere’s something that we all need to hear.  At the 2012 Sydney Writers Festival in Australia, four gay writers on a public panel were asked, “Why get married when you could be happy?”  There was a consensus that gays did not want to be married.  ABC Radio recorded the discussion which you can hear by going to Mercatornet and their Conjugality page.

Here is an excerpt from Masha Gessen, a Russian-American dual citizen and author.  She was married to a lesbian partner in Massachuetts and then divorced.  Now she has three children who have five different parents.  She would like to see the institution of marriage abolished.  Here is an excerpt from her remarks as a panelist:

It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist . . . Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.  The institution is going to change and it should change.  The institution of marriage should not exist.  I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life.  That’s not what I had in mind when I came out 30 years ago.  I have three kids who have five parents more or less.  I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally.  I don’t see why we should choose two of those parents and make them into a sanctioned couple.

To know what the gay (and determined to be at odds with their Creator) community wants, please listen to the first eight or ten minutes of the panel discussion.  We all — who care about children and civilization — need to know what those who seek to redefine marriage really want.

My appreciation to Michael Cook and Mercatornet

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bride & groom in countryMarriage is what it is.  Define it any other way and it is not.  Those who want to experiment with a different kind of arrangement should come up with a new word.  “Marriage” is already taken.

Marriage is defined by the One who created it.  That would be God.

Marriage is time-honored for a reason.  It benefits men, women, children and civilization itself.

Marriage, reasoned the Greeks, was upheld for the good of the state.

Proponents of homosexuality often point to ancient Greece as a culture that embraced men with men and women with women.   But Robert R. Reilly, writing for MercatorNet (3-11-13), has helped me understand that the great classical philosophers would have regarded such pairings as destructive for society.  Socrates and Plato condemned homosexual acts as “unnatural.”  The notion that someone was a “homosexual” for life — or found his identity in this behavior — would have struck them as quite odd.  The practice of sodomy was accepted between an adult male and a young boy, but only temporarily because the youth was expected to get married and start a family as soon as he reached maturity.

Plato called the act of men with men “contrary to nature” and “due to unbridled lust.”  Socrates loathed sodomy, noting that it is the practice of one enslaved to his passions rather than one who seeks the good of others.  “The lesson,” writes Reilly, “is clear.  Once Eros is released from the bonds of family . . . passions can possess the soul.  Giving in to them is a form of madness because erotic desire is not directed toward any end that can satisfy it.  It is insatiable.”

“That which causes evil in the soul,” said Plato, will ultimately result in political disorder.   Plato understood the unbridled practice of sodomy to cause such evil and, thus, bring chaos to a nation built on order and logic.

It is for this reason that Greek philosophers spoke of the virtues of chastity and procreation within marriage.  Aristotle described man and woman together in family without which the rest of society cannot exist.

Reilly explains, “Without family, there are no villages, which are associations of families, and without villages, there is no polis.  ‘Every state is [primarily] composed of households,’ Aristotle asserts.  In other words, without households – meaning husbands and wives together in families – there is no state.  In this sense, the family is the pre-political institution.  The state does not make marriage possible; marriage makes the state possible.  Homosexual marriage would have struck Aristotle as an absurdity since you could not found a polity on its necessarily sterile relations.  This is why the state has a legitimate interest in marriage, because, without it, it has no future.”

The Greeks understood the importance of marriage which is, as they saw it, the pairing of male and female as husband and wife.  With that in mind, Reilly explains, “then chastity becomes the indispensable political principle because it is the virtue which regulates and makes possible the family – the cornerstone unit of the polis.  Without the practice of this virtue, the family becomes inconceivable.  Without it, the family disintegrates.”

“Homosexual” marriage, to Aristotle, would have been a self-contradiction.  Perhaps that is why the word “homosexuality” did not exist in Greek, or any other language, until the late 19th century.  Why would it?  Truth dictates that “homosexual” is an oxymoron.

Jesus is Truth.  He is also Love and Life.  He instituted the agape love of marriage so that life might abound.  He mourns the consequences of sinful choices.  He does not rejoice in the pain that comes from confusion and slavery to selfish passion.  But, He is faithful to the repentant who call upon His name.

Sin deceives.  It distorts the meaning of love and alters relationships.  But, the wisdom of Truth prevails.

The Greeks might not have acknowledged the source of truth, but they saw the wisdom of it.

Appreciation to Robert R. Reilly, MercatorNet, 3-11-2013

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woman soldier with gunDeborah was a judge and prophetess.  To this, many of my gender quickly add, “Deborah was also a courageous military leader in battle.”  But, what does God’s Word tell us?

Let’s Think About It

Q: Deborah was a prophetess.  A prophet or prophetess speaks on behalf of another but, as far as I can determine, not as a public speaker for God during a congregational gathering.  A prophetess might give counsel, settle disputes, or offer thankfulness and praise to God.  Deborah was also a judge.  What was the condition of Israel in the years prior to her leadership (Judges 2:13, 16-17; 3:7, 13; 4:1-4)?

A: Martin Luther took note of the service of Deborah and other women as rulers.  He said that they “have been very good at management.”  He suggested that women’s leadership in other areas of life might motivate men to properly fulfill their responsibility.  It is important to note that Deborah became a judge after the people of Israel repeatedly “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  Evil, in every way, opposes God’s created order for men, women, and the benefit of a thriving society.

Q: We may think that Deborah was sent by God into combat against Israel’s enemy.  But, is this the case? 

A: A careful read of Judges 4:4-15 reveals that God did not ask Deborah to carry the sword in combat.  He asked Barak through Deborah.  Victory was promised to Barak if only he would obey, but he chose not to.  Barak said he would do the Lord’s bidding only if Deborah went with him into battle.  Deborah told Barak that the glory in battle would not be his because the enemy Sisera would be delivered “into the hand of a woman” (v. 9).  The woman Deborah refers to in this verse is not herself, but Jael.  Dr. Vogel explains: “Deborah accompanied Barak to Mount Tabor, but no further.  Consistent with Deuteronomy, she donned no battle gear nor engaged in the conflict.   Barak (unaccompanied by Deborah) led 10,000 men into the valley to a resounding victory. The rebuke for Barak’s recalcitrance was rendered when a heroic woman, Jael, was given the opportunity to slay the fleeing enemy commander, Sisera.  She did this in her own tent, with household equipment [a tent peg], not as a warrior on a battlefield.”  (“Women in Combat: Two Views,” The Lutheran Witness, May 2003, p. 16-20)

Q: Deborah served as a judge and prophetess.  She counseled Barak as the leader of Israel’s troops.  Yet, how did she sum up her role in Judges 5:7?

A:  Deborah was praised for her leadership, yet she does not sing about being raised up as a warrior.  She sings of being a “mother in Israel.”  Though no biological children of Deborah are mentioned, she is an encourager and helper for her people.  Scripture, like much of human culture, consistently distinguishes the roles of men and women.

Q: Specialist Hollie Vallence, quoted in Part 1 of this series, was asked by her country to sacrifice home and family.  In doing so, she explained that she had to build an “ice wall around her heart.”  Is this consistent with God’s design?  What are the consequences for women, men, and children if a mother hardens her heart?

A: Luther noted that a woman is merciful by nature because she is born to show mercy and to cherish just as a man is born to protect.  This is why, Luther says, no living creature has more mercy than a woman, particularly in respect for her infant.  Men are known to focus on one project, putting all others aside, until it is finished.  In times of war, this allows them to leave their home and family for periods of time in order to “do their duty.”  It is not that they always feel brave and fearless, but perhaps their vocation of steward and protector allows them to do what they need to do for wives, sons and daughters; indeed, for future generations.  They are free to accomplish what is necessary, knowing that their children are in the capable and loving care of mothers.  Here, then, is the woman partnering with her husband and serving her country by guarding hearth and home while he is doing battle with the enemy of that home.  In war, as in work, men understand other men.  When a country is serious about winning victory over its enemy, it brings well-trained men together, with no distractions, to focus on the job at hand.  These men may return home “changed,” but most can resume life as usual.  Mothers, as explained by Hollie Vallence, are not programmed to put distance between themselves and young children.  Dr. Vogel offers wisdom: “If God is indifferent to the woman-warrior concept and a woman chooses to serve in a noncombatant role, God is not offended.  If, however, God is not indifferent to the woman warrior concept, and a woman seeks service as a combatant, does she not become a victim of her own will and disobedient to that of God?”  Is there a problem with women in the military?  No, but as in any workplace, there will certainly be a changed environment and cautions to heed.

Q: Will God bless a people or a nation whose men send women to the front lines of battle?  Will He bless the men (defenders of life) who send women (bearers of life) to meet the enemy?  To be shot at, brutalized, or sacrificed in the name of “equality” or “rights?”

A: God was not pleased with the man who used Deborah as a kind of “human shield.”  That is because the Groom of the Church does not stand behind his Bride.  He stands in front of her.  Small tribes and great countries who honor the human rule of chivalry understand that great sacrifice may be necessary in order to protect mothers of children for they are a people’s future.

Conclusion

It is not that God wants men to die, but that He entrusts to them the noble role of protector and defender.  As the Man of Sacrifice, Jesus led the way into battle.  He did not send others.  Jesus faced the greatest weapon of mass destruction – the anger of God upon sinful people.  He did not stand behind “human shields,” letting you and me die so that He might avoid pain and death.  In the battle for the life of His Bride, Jesus “took the bullet.”  He died so that we might live.

Jesus is both a model and Savior for men and women.  He wants us to follow Him and imitate His behavior.  Sinful as we are, we will want to test the boundaries.  We will put ourselves in God’s place, but such pride can put others at risk.  Is all hopeless?  No!  The One who faced our enemy – and won the eternal victory – reaches to us with nail-pierced hands, saying: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that you may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).  I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (14:6).

“Bearers and Defenders of Life” is Lesson 11 of
Men, Women, and Relationships, first published in 1999 and revised in 2004.
(Lutherans For Life, Concordia Publishing House)

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Tonight, as I prepare for a Titus 2 Retreat, I read from my grandmother’s book, What A Young Woman Ought to Know.  The book, by Mary Wood-Allen, M.D., is but one in her Purity and Truth series authored in 1898.  If anyone wants to say to me: Hmm.  That’s quite dated, isn’t it?  I will respond: Truth is never dated.

Dr. Wood-Allen writes:

We seldom think of the fact that upon sex depend all the sweet ties of home and family.  It is because of sex that we are fathers, mothers, and children; that we have the dear family life, with its anniversaries of weddings and birthdays.  It is through sex that the ‘desolate of the earth are set in families,’ and love and generosity have sway instead of selfishness.  For this reason we ought to regard sex with reverent thought, to hold it sacred to the highest purposes, to speak of it ever with purest delicacy, and never with jesting  . . .  .”

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I’m the mom of two sons.  Aunt of twelve nephews.  Grandmother of four grandsons. Men matter to me.

I’ve lived in the presence of faithful men.  These men — my grandfathers, dad, husband, brother, brother-in-laws, friends — are all aware of their inadequacies.  They know they frustrate.  Disappoint.  Fail.  But, they also seek wisdom in God’s Word.  They find strength in the humility and servanthood of Christ.  Because of this, I trust these men with my life.

There are other men.  Abusive, undisciplined, selfish men.  Men who have never been taught God’s Word for their life or rejected it.  These men have no concept of chivalry.  Instead, they dominate.  Worship self.  Fall to evil rather than good.  I could not trust them.  The women in their lives don’t.

A Biblical man stands in contrast.   The man who knows God as the Creator of male and female persons appreciates woman as his helper, not his possession.   The man who knows that God came to walk among us recognizes Jesus’ high regard for women.   A man familiar with the Word knows he was not made in the image of animals, but in the image of God.  Though fallen from that perfect image, he has attributes and characteristics of his Maker.  He is capable of thinking out his actions, weighing the consequences, and controlling his behavior for the benefit of family and society.

A godly man recognizes the leadership style of Christ.  Jesus laid down His life for His bride, the Church (Eph. 5:25).  He accepted responsibility.  On earth, Jesus was tempted.  The devil came to Him.  Tried to play with His mind.  Tease the flesh.  Even quoted Scripture.  The devil went away, then returned to tempt again.  But, Jesus stood firm.  The Christian man knows he, too, will be tempted.  Over and over again.  There is struggle in this world.  Knowing the battle is for the souls of his children, a father holds tight the Sword of Truth.  He wields its Law and Gospel with proper discernment.  This is a man of hope.

The man who wants to make a positive difference helps reconnect earthly fatherhood with the heavenly model.  The Heavenly Father is neither passive nor preoccupied.  He does not abandon His creation, but is involved with and committed to His children.  The Heavenly Father brings order out of chaos.  Sees male and female as equals, but delights in their differences.  Does not mentor girls in the same way as boys.   Sets boundaries for the protection of those He loves.  Explains the consequences of every choice — good or bad.  Pursues the lost.  Knows the desperate.  Welcomes all to lay the burden of every sin at the foot of His Son’s Cross.  Forgives.  His mercy in Jesus Christ is new every morning.

So, on Father’s Day — and with appreciation for faithful men — I promise my help.  My encouragement.  My supporting role as a rib.  Faithful men are needed by women.  Wives.  Sons.  Daughters.  Civilization itself.

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Twisted feminism is foolish.  It puts civilization in harm’s way.

It is foolish to believe that a woman can have freedom only if her child is aborted.  It is foolish to believe that men and women are the same.  It is foolish to fantasize women warriors.

“The ancient tradition against the use of women in combat embodies the deepest wisdom of the human race.  It expresses the most basic imperatives of group survival: a nation or tribe that allows the loss of large numbers of its young women runs the risk of becoming permanently depopulated,” writes George Gilder in Men and Marriage.

“Beyond this general imperative is the related need of every society to insure that male physical strength and aggressiveness are not directed against women . . . All civilized societies train their men to protect and defend women.  When these restraints break down . . . the group tends to disintegrate completely and even to become extinct.”

What about the so-called successful use of women in today’s military?  It, writes Gilder, “depends on men overcoming their natural impulse to treat women differently and more considerately.  The consequence of this latest demand for equality would be nothing more or less than a move toward barbarism.”

I like George Gilder.  Again and again I return to “Men and Marriage” because, from a purely sociological and economic perspective, Gilder explains how the foolishness of women competing with men ravages family and destroys harmony.  If my sources are correct, Gilder became a Christian later in life.  (What God has created is naturally revealed unless our eyes are shut and minds are closed.)

“Women in combat” is one of the “hot button issues” discussed during a Titus 2 Retreat.   The topic stirs mixed feelings.  Some believe women don’t belong in combat because they don’t have the physical capacity to endure the rigorous standards of training or the hardships of war.  Some believe it’s a woman’s “right” to defend her country and that she can do so as well as a man.  Others note that “modern” warfare is more technological than “front-line.”

Generally speaking, there is significant difference between male and female bone and muscle structure.  This reality has undermined the rigors of basic training and is why Stephanie Gutmann titled her book A Kinder, Gentler Military.  Of course, the physical strength argument can be countered with examples of women who have developed body strength and can keep up with men.

There is also sexual attraction between men and women.  Putting men and women together for training and in combat creates an environment in which each are vulnerable to sexual misconduct and abuse.  But, this argument can be countered with the practice of self-control.

So, for me, the question isn’t, “Can women be in combat?”  The question is, “Should women be in combat?”  I enter this discussion from my vocation or role of “helper” (Hebrew: ezer).  That’s what God created woman to be.  I am a helper for man and, therefore, for all that man is called by God to do.  Will I help for good, or for harm?  Away from temptation, or into?  With focus on others, or self?  Nurture life, or put it at risk?

I pause to let you ponder.  But, there’s much more to consider… in another post.

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There are a lot of us who are afraid to speak up about “social experiments” gone bad.  Part of the reason is because we believe the lie that faith should be kept in a corner off by itself never to interact with science, psychology or real life.  But, separating faith from everyday life places civilization at risk.

Rather than letting “social experiments” — unnatural choices and behaviors — rule the day, it seems to me that we should be taking every opportunity to enter into sane and civil conversation.  In doing so, we shouldn’t be afraid of using the Word and Wisdom of the Creator.

I learned a powerful lesson last week.  A Christian who goes public with Word and Wisdom may discover that even non-believers come to many of the same conclusions as believers.  The old phrase “don’t tamper with mother nature,” while not Biblical, is logical and sensible.

God created men and women to be equal, but  not the same.  Nature agrees.  Biology agrees.  Psychology agrees.  So, whether we’re talking about girls who want to wrestle boys or two men/two women who want to marry, we’re talking about a “social experiment.”  A social experiment breaks away from what is natural.  Healthy.  Hopeful.  A social experiment may scream “equality,” but it denies the complimentary differences of male and female and, in so doing, leads civilization to destruction.

Christians are given ample opportunity right now to engage others in sane and civil conversation.  If we don’t, our children and grandchildren may suffer greatly.  Focus, for a moment, on the institution of marriage.  Marriage predates any known human government.  But, the U.S. government (specifically, the President and Department of Justice) have announced they will no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA defines marriage in all federal laws as the union of a man and woman, and protects the ability of states to not recognize same-sex marriages from other states.  But, DOMA has been attacked by the very government that is supposed to protect this constitutional law.

I hope to post some sane and reasonable, but also civil and respectful, comments about marriage in the coming weeks.  Countless people out there — much smarter than me — have already offered “talking points” for those of us who want to engage our family, neighbors and co-workers in uncompromising yet gentle conversation.

For now, consider this: The social experiment of “gay marriage” goes against life itself.  I encourage you to do some research of your own.  Visit the web sites of Exodus International, Regeneration Ministries, The Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and Focus on the Family.

Then, remember.  Sane and civil conversation — using science, psychology and God’s Word — salted with kindness and respect for others is always a good thing.

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