Wrong Side of History?

They warn us that we are on the “wrong side of history.” They insist that we will be judged by future generations the way we today judge those who championed racial injustice in the Jim Crow South. But history does not have sides. It is an impersonal and contingent sequence of events, events that are determined in decisive ways by human deliberation, judgment, choice, and action. The future of marriage and of countless human lives can and will be determined by our judgments and choices—our willingness or unwillingness to bear faithful witness, our acts of courage or cowardice. Nor is history, or future generations, a judge invested with god-like powers to decide, much less dictate, who was right and who was wrong. The idea of a “judgment of history” is secularism’s vain, meaningless, hopeless, and pathetic attempt to devise a substitute for what the great Abrahamic traditions of faith know is the final judgment of Almighty God. History is not God. God is God. History is not our judge. God is our judge.

One day we will give an account of all we have done and failed to do. Let no one suppose that we will make this accounting to some impersonal sequence of events possessing no more power to judge than a golden calf or a carved and painted totem pole. It is before God—the God of truth, the Lord of history—that we will stand. And as we tremble in His presence it will be no use for any of us to claim that we did everything in our power to put ourselves on “the right side of history.” ”  Robert P George

 

Also, here are three wise men also discussing the common trope of being on the wrong side of history:

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Male & Female Complementarity – a vital issue and a superb video

Man.  Woman.  Maleness.  Femaleness.  Marriage.  Family.  Gender.  Difference.

Anyone with ears open knows that these are important issues in today’s world.  And also that our culture is attempting to radically alter the fabric of these things.

Presently, there is an international colloquium taking place at the Vatican – Humanum.  It is concerning issues of gender, marriage, sexuality, and family.  It is a collaboration between Catholics, Evangelicals, and others to recommit to the basic foundation of our common humanity.

This is the first of a series of videos produced to help articulate the philosophical and theological basis for male/female complementarity.  This first one is superb.  And a Must-Watch.

May this project be blessed and glorify the One who created by dividing (Genesis 1)

 

re:  On Marriage and Temple Desecration, C C Pecknold, First Things

 

Christian Manhood or… Machismo

The late Randall M. Savage might be cool and all, but "macho" isn't in the Bible.

The late Randall M. Savage might be cool and all, but “macho” isn’t in the Bible.

There is a lot of appropriate talk about manhood, womanhood, and reflections on both given the reality of Christ.

But one thing has always made me…  uneasy?  queasy?  I’m uncertain about the right word.  But one thing I’m certain about is that machismo in the name of Christ ought to stop.

I’m a very traditional thinker in regards to gender, masculinity in the life of home and church.  But macho cultural accoutrements doesn’t help but rather hinders in that area.  Personally, I weight lift, I pound a heavy bag, I like sports, and I might even like MMA if I gave it a chance.  But none of those things are what Christ-centred masculinity is about.

So if you trying to link Biblical man-hood with some sort of chest-thumping machismo:  Stop it!  STAHP!

Here’s some wiser words than mine (both from Matthew Block):

CHRISTIAN MASCULINITY: THE MAN GOD HASN’T CALLED YOU TO BE – Converge Magazine, Matthew Block
UPROOTING THE CHRISTIAN MASCULINITY COMPLEX – First Things, Matthew Block

 

Gay Marriage? N T Wright Takes Us To School

When Tom Wright is asked about the challenges that the Church faces in light of legalized gay marriage his response is brilliant.  This is 5 minutes of your life that will NOT be wasted.

Notice his main couple points:

1)  You can’t just go around changing the meaning of words and things.  Just because some say something is so, don’t make it so.

2)  Christian and Biblical opposition to same-sex practice and marriage is not – and has never been – about 5 or 6 pesky verses.  It is coming out of the Grand Narrative, so to speak.  That means you can’t shrug this contemporary issue off and expect to keep the Christian faith coherently together.

 

Ol’ Brother Tom isn’t right (*ha!  a pun!) about everything I don’t think.  He’s admirably right about tons of stuff, though.  And he is super-duper right about this.

 

We’re All The Bride – or why both men and women are subject to a feminine biblical metaphor

 

Bride of Bethlehem by William Holman Hunt. A pretty good look at what ancient Jewish brides looked like.

Bride of Bethlehem by William Holman Hunt.
A pretty good look at what ancient Jewish brides looked like.

And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast…”  Matthew 9:15

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  Ephesians 5:25-27

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  Revelation 21:1-2

 

Even a quick look through the New Testament will show us that bride imagery for God’s people is a pretty big thing.  Yesterday, I wrote on how “son” – a thoroughly masculine image – applies to both men and women.  Not to be unfair or off-balance, the New Testament also has an image for relationship to God which is thoroughly feminine.  That’s right, guys!  You too are the Bride!

I once had a friend say that he didn’t like being “The Bride”.  He was a dude after all!  Whether it is right to decide which Biblical truths we like or don’t like aside, God’s people as “the Bride” isn’t going to go away.  Men and women both are subject to a feminine image.  Jesus (and God) are always the masculine, and the People are always the feminine without fail.

We are all feminine in the sense that we as God’s People – the  Church – are the objects of His desire.  We are the end of His great pursuit – Jesus came down from heaven for those whom he desired to be near to Him.  We also await something, a consummation at the end of all things where we will be with the Lord and He will be with us.  The intimacy of that can not be understated.  “Be with” like as in, you know, being with…  *wink*

That reality of love, desire, and future intimacy is something that all those who trust in God’s promises are a part of.  Whether male or female, we are “the Bride”.  If you’re a man, is that a little weird to think of a feminine image describing relating to God.  Well, weird or not, that is how He sees it.

We’re All Sons – or why both men and women are subject to a masculine biblical metaphor

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.  Galatians 4:6-7

detail of The Prodigal Son by Rembrandt

detail of The Prodigal Son by Rembrandt

So if we believe in Jesus we are adopted into God’s family and become His child.  That is a great and wonderful truth of the Gospel.  But why is it that we are all “sons”?  Is “son” just a placeholder term for “both sons and daughters” in the same way “mankind” kind of stands for both men and women?  Is it a holdover from a more sexist age?  Is it weird for Christian women to think of their relationship with God in terms of “sonship”?

Well, turns out that “son” means son.  When we place our trust in the promises of the Gospel, we become ‘sons’ – whether we are male of female.  Is that crazy?  Why not daughters too?  It turns out that “sonship” is a controlling image for the relationship between us and God that is completely masculine.  Whether we are men or women, when we believe we enter into sonship.  Why?  Why are  both men and women subject to a masculine biblical image?

This doesn’t mean that we’re not also sons and daughters.  But “sonship” means more than just being a child of God – it means that we are set to receive an inheritance.  It is in the future and we are destined to receive it.  The fullness of the Kingdom, the glory that is to be, everything that God has prepared for us – that is the inheritance of the sons of God.  In olden days, it was the sons who received inheritance.  Modern ears might not like that but that the way it was.  That is why both sons (male) and daughters (female) of God are in this sense “sons”.  Because the inheritance is for us all.

It may seem strange to think of yourself in terms of a masculine image if you are female.  *not being female I couldn’t tell you!*  But the relationship to God in which we are his sons is open to all.  It is a masculine image which both men and women are subject to.  But for those who place their trust in God and His promises, we are “sons”.

 

*before we cry out “Not Fair!” remember that there is also a feminine image for relationship with God that applies to both men and women.  I’ll be writing on that tomorrow.  Here’s a hint!