Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Devil Always Has The Same Ruses in Nature.

“This Adam and Eve story, with the snake capable of speech and possessing of powers of deception if not seduction, what exactly is the theological interpretation from your denominational perspective?"
In my opinion, it was a real snake. If it wasn’t a real snake, the judgment for it to crawl on its stomach would not have had snakes crawling now for life. It is possible to doubt that snakes do not speak because snakes are not known to speak. However, donkeys do not speak either; meanwhile, we saw the donkey of Balaam speak (Num 22:21-38). With God, anything is possible.
Nonetheless, from the time of the divine punishment, its speech pattern is made to conform to its nature. Every presentation of the snake in the Bible theretofore becomes allegorical as supported by the use of the root word /nachash/ due to its hissing. That is the sound that snakes make. Figuratively, it shows someone who does not like what they are hearing. So, does the devil like hearing anything from God? Is that not why Lucifer fell from grace and is cast down as Satan? This draws us to the scenario between the serpent and Jesus in the wilderness (Mt 4:4-11; Lk 4: 1-13). He tried to reroute and derail the salvific plan from God through Jesus by using the very same techniques he used on Adam and Eve. 

1.      Adam and Eve (3:6)
A.    The tree was good for food.
B.     It was pleasant to the eyes.
C.     A tree to be desired to make one wise.

2.      In the Days of Jesus in the wilderness (Mt 4:3-10 )
A.    Command that these stones be made bread. (Good for food).
B.     If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down. (Pleasant to the eyes).
C.    All these things will I give thee(pride of life)

3.      In the Days of John and nowadays (I Jn 2:15-16).
A.    The lust of the flesh.
B.     The lust of the eyes.
C.     The pride of life

Nonetheless, the serpent is used as a metonym for Satan as the Apostle John underscores, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”   (Rev 12:9). The revelation is foreshadowed in the very first verse of its introduction in chapter three. It does not compare the Serpent with “any other” beast but simply any beast which creates a vacuum of physical existence. This anthropomorphic usage is for didactic purposes to enhance the Devil’s motif of rebellion.
It is mindful to remember that although Animal Farm is an allegory, it epitomizes the Russian Revolution. Consequently, the biographical tale about Adam, Eve and the Serpent in Genesis, even if allegorical, uses the characters in their primary forms of existence. Man has a body and so Adam and eve are presented in their bodies and the devil is primarily a spirit and so is presented in his form of hissing serpent.  

Until then, this is my position!

St Arrey of Ntenako

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

“Should Christian Women Too Be Sexy?”

Megan Good in an indecent sexy dress!

A friend of mine sent me this question a few months ago, but I did not have time to reply. However, I will quickly give a thought today. The problem why this word “sexy” may pose a problem is if it is used as “arousing sexual desire or interest” but if it is used as “highly appealing or interesting” then there is nothing bad. Even with the former definition, couples must make themselves sexy to their spouses while everyone should make himself or herself highly appealing or interesting to other people both physically and character wise. There is not a single man out there who does not like a sexy woman. The problem should not be if the woman is sexy but what does she do with her sexy swagger. It behooves to underline that being sexy does not infer lack of decorum. We will lay our argument using I Tim. 2:9 and Titus 1:15. If we are to talk about modesty per 1 Tim 2:9, then all the women wearing braided hair, jewelry and expensive clothing are immodest. However, although some people will always live to see sin everywhere because their minds are all messed up, we should not lead them to sin. There is plain immodesty as the case of Megan Good (pictured above) whose breasts were partially exposed. Modesty does not mean lack of swagger or being unsexy. Megan Good could have still won the same dress but cover up her breasts.
Those whose minds are messed up limit the term sexy to “Arousing or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest.” To those who are pure and to whom everything is pure, they use the slang meaning, “Highly appealing or interesting; attractive”. Saying that a Christian woman is sexy does not necessarily mean that she is sexually appealing. Boy, a woman will always be appealing no matter how she looks if not we are saying that an ugly woman can never be raped. Otherwise, how can an ugly woman arouse anyone? Many Christians think the word modest means lack of decency. Modest simply means well arranged, not being ostentatious, not too flashy or showy. Simply because a woman wears a tight fighting pair of pants that costs $5 and the other wears a lousy one that glitters and costs $300 does not mean the latter is modest than the former. Actually, the latter is more immodest than the former because she is more ostentatious than her counterpart.
Terry and Rebecca Crews with Mrs Crews in a sexy red dress.
Undoubtedly, God likes beauty that he ordered Aaron’s garments to be made “for beauty and for glory” (Ex 28:2). The Bible says we shall see the king in his beauty (Is 33:17). Why would God allow the redeemed to see the king in his beauty if beauty is bad? Res ipsa loquitur! Absalom was noted for his beauty (2 Sam 14:25). Esther got the attention of the king because they paraded her sexy beauty before him (Esther 1:11) just like we have the beauty pageants nowadays. Indeed, with this verse, we know that there are some women who are not fair to be looked upon. In other words; they are ugly. Take it or leave it: some people are ugly.
Take the comparison between Leah and Rachel. The Bible says Rachel was beautiful while Leah was tender eyed (Gen 29:17). There are some women that you look and then you look again because they are beautiful as if you missed them the first time. If God so hate beauty, why would he advice the Israelites to keep the beautiful women they captured in war (Deut 21:11)?
Christians have to know that the church cannot function out of the community. If God gave the Israelites ceremonial laws, which the community had to perform is because He wanted the community too. That is why, the way we live in the community should reflect what we profess in church. We cannot be saints in church and sinners in the neighborhood. Either we are saints, or we are sinners. We cannot be both!
Secondly, the competition of Esther that eventually led to her being made queen is a biblical example of God’s approval of pageantry and thus sexy beauty. It should be clear that it was her sex appeals and not her character that the king saw first.I am always baffled how this sexy debate is always waged mostly by overweight Christian women who cannot look sexy  in any dress they wear and those other women whom God has not blessed with the physical beauty.
Thirdly, there is no theological statement that was made in a vacuum. Take for instance, the cases of John the Baptist (Lk 3:10-14) and Jesus (Mt 5:38-45), both used language as a vehicle of the community. There is a Zeitgeist which is not conforming to mundanity. Is it a sin to be beautiful or handsome? If not then why would it be a problem to be sexy? Is it a sin to be intelligent? If not why would it be a problem entering into a competition if you can. Now, if we don’t have a problem with our kids writing exams to earn their living, playing sports to earn a living; why would it be a problem for anyone to do a beauty contest to earn her living or talk less of a woman appearing sexy? Contrarily, God wants dual beauty: in and out. Unfortunately, humans mostly look at the one without; the source of our failures.
The only issue would be if there was sin involved. Yet, as we all know, every area in our lives; school, office, home is sin oriented, and we fight that everyday. If we give in, we have fallen into temptation but if we don’t, we have overcome. Jesus said “I do not pray that You take them out of this world but protect them from evil because we are of the world (Jn 17:15-17).” Therefore, the problem should not be about being sexy but what you do with the attention garnered from being sexy. It is definite that “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled (Titus 1:15).” Simultaneously too, it is important we differentiate between decent and modest sexy and indecent and immodest sexy; although it will be based too on tastes and proclivities. We will never agree on what is sexy but at least we can agree on what is indecent and immodest according to  I Timothy 2:9 and Titus 1:15. Hypocrites form the basis of their purity from the outside; God sees from the inside. 

Until then, let everyone dresses for the glory of God according to the grace.

St Arrey of Ntenako

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Should Pastors Bless Children Conceived Out of Wedlock?

Sometimes it is difficult to condone or condemn the action of a pastor who refuses to bless a child conceived out of wedlock because it could imply that the pastor encourages premarital sex, or by refusing to bless a child conceived out of wedlock could also mean that the pastor holds the child responsible for the sin. Remember the mother brought the child to be blessed and not herself. It is no fault of the child that he was conceived out of wedlock. It is not that I disagree with the pastor and other pastors who do it, it is just that they are wrong. There are four reasons why they are wrong, and I will explain below. Firstly, blessing children is a biblical tradition. Secondly, Jesus came for the sinners and not for the righteousness. Thirdly,  Jesus himself indiscriminately blessed children and finally, God does not discriminate in his blessings.

1.      Biblical tradition.
According to Jewish tradition, every male child had to be taken to the temple in Jerusalem to be blessed and set apart by the priest on the eighth day of them being born. For that reason, Jesus was presented to Simeon (Lk 2:21-38). Simeon blessed the child and gave a word of prophecy for the child. Why didn’t the man of God just bless the child if he could not prophecy? That edict to bring the male children on their eighth day did not hinge on perfection or condition. They needed just to be males. God was going to take care of the redemptive and salvific part. If she was unwed and conceived, the pastor should still bless the child but rebuke the mother for living in sin so he may know that it is not right, rather than refuse to bless the child. By not blessing the child, the pastor was not even holding the woman accountable; he was holding the child accountable.
Taking your child to the pastor for blessings is not bringing your child to the wrong person. It is a biblical practice  because Jesus himself and John The Baptist were taken to the man of God in their days to be blessed (Lk 1:76-77 ).
It was the issue of membership that made the Catholic Church to start baptizing kids because by baptizing kids, they kept a future membership drive that they could not have when the kids were old and not baptized in church.

2.      Jesus Came for the Sinners and not the righteous (Lk 5:27-32).
Jesus although had no sin but came for the sinners. Some people argue that Jesus himself was conceived by an unwed mother. That is untrue! Mary was espoused to Joseph. Espoused is a synonym for bethrodal which was as binding as marriage (Deut 22:22-23-24). Take note of the usage, “betrothed unto an husband” (V. 23) and “because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife” (V. 24). She was not yet living with him, but she was his wife because since women were given out for marriage before they were waned, they had to live with their parents until they attained full puberty. Mary was a virgin, but she was not single.  Therefore, the comparison of Mary conceiving as a single mom is false. More so, her conception was immaculate.
Jesus did not come for the righteous; he came for the sinners. Lk 5:27-32. Jesus came for the sick and not those who are whole. Even if that child and her mom won the sinners prize, it was the place of the pastor to bless not only the child but the mom too. Jesus in several occasions showed that there was nothing inherently wrong with associating with sinners, talk less of blessing them. He lived with the Samaritans for two days (Jn 4: 40-43) at a time when the Jew did not want to catch the Samaritan. He accepted an invitation to Zacchaeus’ (a well hated tax collector) house wherein he partook in the meals in his honor. He accepted the treatment from Mary Magdalene: a well known prostitute.

3.      Jesus Himself indiscriminately blessed Children (Mt 10:13-14)
 In the scene where kids were brought for Jesus to bless them, there are three things we should note. Firstly, he rebuked those who were hindering the kids from coming. Secondly, he reinforced that their childlike nature was a prerequisite to receive the kingdom of God. Finally, He merely blessed them.
The truth about it is that nowadays Ecclesiastes 10:19 is as true as it was yesteryears because if that woman was wealthy, the same pastor would have gone to her home to bless the child. Did you all not see Tyler Perry blessing T D Jakes on TV? Could a poor man had crossed the 5.5 meter box of Rev Jakes, talk less of laying his hands on him? The church today is all about money and wealth!

4.      God does not discriminate in his blessings (Mt 5: 45).
He blesses both the wicked and the righteous. By stating this beatitude, Jesus established that we should do good to everyone, no matter their social or spiritual condition. Actually, it becomes a sin when the pastor refuses to do it because if you know how to do good and do not do it, it is a sin (James 4:17).  God showed it himself by allowing the rain to fall on the wicked and the righteousness too.  By showing love, it shows that we are the children of God who is love itself.  Refusing to bless the child lacked both love and kindness on the side of the man of God. I am always flabbergasted how the American pastors always say that they love God, but they hate human beings. How can you love God you do not see when you cannot love man you see? It is alleged that the pastor has a school. Does he admit only kids born out of a wedded family, or does he accept the kids from the unwed families too? If so, is holiness only in church or it is a process that encompasses our entire being in and out of the church?  
By insisting that until a couple is married their children would not be blessed, we imply that every child brought by a couple is really theirs. Why then do we have the words Sancho in Spanish and cuckold in English? Therefore, those who are turning these kids away due to the faults of their parents are against the bible because their fail to heed to  Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Until then, ministers are supposed to bless whoever wants to be blessed.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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