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Christian Relationships

People seem to be obsessed with beauty in all the wrong ways. I easily find beauty in nature—in sunrises, changing leaves, and rain. Most people can see beauty in that. Yet when it comes to ourselves or other human beings we are ready to give harsh critique. I wonder why we do this especially in light of the creation story. On days one through five, God created the beautiful things that surround us and saw that it was good. Yet on day six, God created humans and saw that it was very good. How can we look at ourselves and others and call God’s most beautiful creation “not good enough?” When God knit us together in our mothers’ womb, he didn’t make mistakes. God knew what we’d look like, and God sees something very good, which should be abundantly go... Read more
Something has just resonated with me that may relate to other husbands within egalitarian marriages so I will put it out there for your interest and comment. Within complementarian marriages it is expected that men should take the lead, in both the family and church, because they believe that they are biblically mandated to do so. This can lead to many women within that ordered environment becoming passive and retreating from the active development of their own spiritual walk with God. Even though complementarians believe that men should lead, many of the books that encourage such leadership spend a great deal of time speaking to women about how to help release their men into taking up the mantle of responsibility. This is more evident in some of the dating books where prospective bride... Read more
“Sometimes silence is golden. Sometimes, it’s just plain yella’.” That one-liner is one of my summary takeaways from Christians for Biblical Equality's conference in Houston. The gathering was a multifaceted engagement with God’s calling of women into all ministries of the church: there was teaching, digging into scripture, and, perhaps most importantly, a lot of storytelling. Women in many parts of the church are told, through word and deed, that they are not needed for the church’s work. Not only are they in denominations that will not ordain them, they are in worship services where women will never be able to read scripture or preside at the table or, in some places, take the offering. Dear everyone: this destroys women. Listen to t... Read more
Recently Liz and I visited one of our sons (who is the senior pastor of a beachside resort town church) and his family for a weekend. The last time we were there, about 2 months ago, we heard him begin a series on foundations in Genesis where he touched on men and women as God created them and some of the myths and erroneous marriage practices that arise out of incorrectly interpreting this passage of Scripture. He did the introductory message very well but we were unable to be there for the next instalment so we ordered a CD of the next message which we only listened to on our return, journey. It was while listening to that message on the CD that I asked Liz to pause it for a moment, I had just had an 'aha' moment of something that really struck me while Lee (our son) was expou... Read more
Recently both egalitarians and complementarians have been having conversations centred around the ‘masculinity’ and/or the ‘femininity’ of God.  Remarks by respected theologian John Piper and the movie “Courageous” have helped fuel both sides of the discussion.  My purpose here is not to further comment on John Piper’s remarks (which I have read) or the movie (which I have not seen). Both have been well covered elsewhere. My purpose is rather to open up this whole issue of ‘courage’ and ask questions such as: What is courage in the Biblical sense?  Is there really a difference between ‘masculine courage’ and ‘female courage’ and what does feminine courage look like Biblically? As a femal... Read more
At our local church the pastor has been preaching his way thematically through the Gospel of Matthew and just recently touched on some verses that sparked an idea for a post. While he didn't spend a lot of time on the Transfiguration, somehow, as he was speaking about this and directing our thoughts forward to the Great Commission, this idea came to mind. I'd like to believe it was prompted by the Holy Spirit. For me, one of the most significant things about the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) as Jesus is standing, talking together with Moses and Elijah is God's voice from the shining cloud, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" Peter had just expressed how great it would be to enshrine these three most notable biblical charac... Read more
March is the time when America remembers the huge contribution of women over their long history. As past of the celebration, CBE is holding  prayer walk on March 28th. They intend praying at 'women's shelters, churches, schools or other places within communities where women are being restored' Also at places where 'women are still denied an equal place of dignity and value beside men' If you would like to do something similar in your area, contact Jenny Dunham at CBE ( for helpful resources and ideas for getting a walk started. Check out the CBE website for more information and weekly reports of influential women who made a huge difference to their world and ours. Also, don't forget to click on the Arise icon on the r/h side o... Read more
Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father;  but go to My brethren and say to them, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.” John  20:17 (NASB) On the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed." (Deu. 19:15)  So said the Mosaic Law, but in Israel at the time of Jesus’ birth, Jewish tradition declared that women, along with slaves and minors, could not be called as legal witnesses. According to rabbinical consensus, the testimony of women was valueless. God, no respecter of human traditions, obviously had another opinion. As Joseph and Mary, in accordance with the Law, presented their forty day old Son, Jesus, at the temple, the Holy Spirit had... Read more
To what extent does Christ's completed work on Calvary redeem all of life, and all of our relationships? If, as Scripture teaches, knowing Christ changes everything, should we expect and anticipate the power of the cross to renew our relationships as Christians? The early evangelicals asked similar questions—questions they answered with a high view of the cross. The early evangelicals were the most cross-centered Christians in all of history, and they were also the first to develop a biblical basis for the emancipation of women and slaves. They believed that Christ's work on the cross gave rise to a newness of life exhibited through unity and reconciliation between people. Consider Penn-Lewis (1861-1927) an evangelical who believed that the ... Read more
A new article on The Christian Post talks about beliefs that God is male centered, that God prefers males more than females and that God wants Christianity to have a “masculine feel”, whatever that is. Apparently, at a conference for pastors at the Minneapolis Convention Center on January 31, 2012, a well-known complementarian pastor stated that repeatedly God has chosen the masculine over the feminine.  The speaker said " God's intention for Christianity is for it to have a masculine feel."       You can view it here.          Is his statement really true? Acts 2:14-21 quotes the prophet Joel who prophesies that God will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh. 1 Cor. 12 does not segregate in any fashion the anointing... Read more