Recession-proof Christian Life
3/28/12 at 03:17 AM 1 Comments

The Bible, Racism, Gender Equality and Modernism.

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In an earlier blog post, I wrote of a conversation on the Bible with former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with Al Mohler. Mr Carter speaks to several issues including that of race and inequality of the sexes offering his own thoughts.  I do recommend that we listen to the interview which was quite interesting and read the earlier post.  The word of God examines issues of race and gender – like indeed many other topics, from a perspective quite different from prevalent world-view.

The Old Testament foreshadows the new in singling out the children of Israel and treating them with obvious preference offering them a superior positioning compared to all other races. The New Testament and advent of Christianity presents the shadowed reality  -  the Church, the Bride ...the chosen generation of God.  The Bible demonstrates that God discriminates profusely between how He treats His chosen ones (whether Israel or the Church) ... in how they are cared for and the physical and spiritual advantages they enjoy.  Indeed where the Church seeks to blend with unbelievers they cannot possibly be aligned and when yoked there is a dangerous inequality.  It is for this reason of inequality that marriages between saints and unbelievers are not advised – as one simply drags down the other.  One is seated with Christ spiritually in heavenly places above principalities and powers while the other is below. There is a clear inequality, but not according to earthly racial dimensions/skin colour or physical geographical dimensions. 

Among believers, does God see all saints as the same?  Again, there are saints that stand out before God ... crowns and honours await some saints that others will not have.  There are Christ’s special friends like John exiled on the Island of Patmos who suffered more for the special love and deeper relationship with Christ ...who were entrusted and found faithful with kingdom assignments involving much greater risk and sacrifice. Let us not be deceived to expect that saints like the Apostle Paul will assume equality in eternity to the average believer.  May we be amongst those that have counted and paid the cost to seek and love God with a rare devotion.  Indeed there is a grace and spiritual enablement that manifests in a remarkable outpouring of the Spirit of God that produces a singular Christianity that will be uncommonly rewarded.  All Christians are not equal – from this perspective.

On gender, God created humanity as male and female – clearly different from the onset and most certainly not equivalent or interchangeable in role and destiny.  The uniqueness and beauty of distinctness and complementarity of gender is often lost – replaced either with a misguided macho, selfish and oppressive delusion that assumes and imposes disadvantage to the female gender or even worse with a deconstruction of the differences – and the incongruous claim that male and female are the same ... resulting in even more serious social confusion.

In both cases of race and gender, the problem is that our worldview proposes a different understanding of worth and inevitably proposes solutions on a platform of spiritual illiteracy.  For example, where the church is not spiritual, it will definitely be divided by race ... there will be black, Hispanic and white churches yet claiming to worship God who is a Spirit who can lift up whomsoever He chooses. These racial constructs are often necessary social inventions and not houses of worship.  In similar fashion, in a carnal gathering, we will observe women bickering for their rights and men perceived as oppressive.  God is God and cannot be bound to please His creation or He would not be God.  But in all He does, all is to the benefit of His chosen bride – the Church He is one day coming for and which will be found pure and spotless – ready for the heavenly Bridegroom.

To illustrate the superiority of the Godly reflect on the experience when the ark of God is taken and placed in the temple of Dagon and set by Dagon.   Dagon is found fallen upon his face, head and palms of his hands cut off...the hand of the Lord is heavy against the men of Ashdod who are destroyed and struck with emerods.

I Samuel 5[1]  And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. [2]  When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. [3]  And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. [4]  And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. [5]  Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.

[6]  But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.

An example of how genders must complement each other is seen when Benjamin is about to be named Benoni by Rachel.

Genesis 35[16]  And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. [17]  And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. [18]  And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

When our sense of worth is delivered from earthbound pictures of value and recognition ...we will be able to release our lives to be pleasing sacrifices to our God and maker.

Read Modern Bible Conversations with Former President Jimmy Carter

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