Category Archives: Bible

Papyrus Fragment Claiming Christ had a Wife

Matthew was written A.D. 65-70, Mark was written A.D. 48-55, Luke was written A.D. 57-62, and John was written in A.D. 90, all of the authors were disciples of Christ or in the case of Luke, able to talk with eye witnesses about  the events of Christ’s life. This is the verified truth. Any document, especially one that comes several hundred years after Christ walked on the earth and does not line up with biblical record must be found wanting. Jesus talked about the Church being His bride, thus His wife, and perhaps this is where an error was made in this manuscript.  To believe that the inspired Word of God would leave out the fact that Jesus was married, when it covered every other aspect of His walk here on earth is absurd.

Papyrus Fragment Claiming Christ had a Wife

Karen L. King,  Hollis Professor of Divinity, a historian on early Christianity did caution that this fragment of papyrus, which according to the article in the New York Times is smaller than a business card and its origin unknown,

“should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married. The text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early, historically reliable Christian literature is silent on the question, she said.”

Her excitement hinges on her hope to show that marriage and sex, was part of Christ’s life and therefore a life of celibacy not a requirement to be a follower.  However, the translation of the text is lacking much context and similar to the Gnostic writings of Gospels of Thomas and Mary, and not included in the Canon of the Bible.

Somehow the idea of a tiny fragment, lacking clarity and context, hundreds of years after Christ walked the earth, and  upheld as the proof text that Jesus was married, seems reaching at best.  The documents most closely written to when Jesus walked on earth are  the Gospels found in the New Testament and these do not allude to such a life.   Because God  created marriage and does say much about it through out the Bible, it follows that had Jesus been married, He too, being God, would have spoken about His own married life and how to live and love successfully.  But the text of the Bible, not silent on marriage, but deathly silent on Jesus being married, makes suspect any text found that makes such claims, especially when it is so many years past the time of Christ.


Home Schooling Takes Perseverance

Home schooling is not for the faint of heart, though I have felt like fainting these past few weeks. One would think after successfully graduating a child, the next one would be easier. Yet, each student has challenges and talents that make for a brand new set of learning styles for me, the teacher! The beauty of home schooling is that the parent, a.k.a.: the teacher, becomes the student all over again and re-learns or at least attempts to re-learn all the things that were supposed to be understood in high school!

The past few weeks have been the final stretch of semester one. Geometry has hit points of long moments of struggle and tears when a proof just isn’t proving to be understandable! Student and teacher tears mingle together and an email to the tutor helps resolve the confusion, temporarily, but the pressure mounts as a mid-term looms next week.

The term paper that took two days of My weekend, may not get an award for most persuasive, but there is certainly a sense of accomplishment and pride, and of course I am talking about my daughter, not my own feelings of finishing strong.

The book, That Hideous Strength, was read and precised on Thursday this past week. It, or should I say, my daughter, kept us awake, me as official editor, until 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The word count never seemed to go down substantially. With each read through and deletion of un-necessary phrases, we finally chopped the paper down enough to reached the prescribed one thousand words. The clock on the wall kept reminding me that I wanted to be in bed. I began to feel like I was the one who had read That Hideous Strength and not my daughter.  And as if that was not enough, a mid-night geometry test and biology homework was also completed.

Again I say, home schooling is not for the faint at heart. I know one must be asking, why in heaven’s name, is the schooling happening in the middle of the night? Let me explain, no sum up. We are part of a wonderful program called Biola STAR Academics and Torrey Academy, to help me help my kids, get all they need academically, so they will excel in college. My oldest, my first graduate, is indeed living up to my prayers and expectations as a student of Biola University.  She is a journalism major, with plans to do a study abroad next semester in Washington D.C.  She is a writer for the The Chimes, the University newspaper, and her success at Biola has shown me that this home schooling choice has indeed been the correct one. So as we struggle through tenth grade again, (and I wouldn’t use the word struggle usually, it has just been a long week), I count my blessing for the right to school my kids at home. I thank God for programs like Torrey Academy and STAR that help me, help my children get a high caliber academic education that prepares them for life and college.

I will be completing high school two more times and I am sure I will be much smarter when I graduate my last student. But I will be saddened that the days of whining and roses will be complete. I love to school my kids. I love the fact that this Country allows parents the right to school in this manner. I am grateful that I have my fingers in the mix and that I can see their accomplishments first hand and watch the struggles create in them a perseverance that will last a life time. I have always compared home schooling to watching one’s child take their first step or say their first word. There is so much joy and anticipation in those events and with home schooling, I get to see my child read his first word, figure out his first Algebra problem and most importantly, I get to be the one who trains them up in the admonition of the Lord and watch Him transform them into His image. Truly a most enviable task in life.  And by the way, I get to re-do high school four times! Isn’t that the American dream: to go back to high school?


To Be A Politically Active Christian, Or Not To Be

Recently I responded to a Facebook status that said,

 

“I am really getting tired of people who believe our salvation is somehow tied to our government.”

On the surface it could have been a fairly benign comment based on the reality that government should not be seen as the great savior of all Americans, and to put one’s hope in a government or man is foolish. The following is the conversation that ensued and I would like to invite you to join the conversation. What are your thoughts on the the above statement?

I responded to the above mentioned status, “I agree….if my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves…..It starts on our knees in humility….”

She responded, “We aren’t going to get saved through politics. Jesus didn’t come to save us politically.”

Again, I responded, “No, you are right, if politics is seen as salvation, it is our damnation. But I do think we must, as Christians make noise that will affect change in the powers that be, whether that is politically, pop culture, or the kid next door. I think that we have to go into all our world and preach the Gospel, which means telling those in office and all we come in contact with, that they are sinners, going to hell, in need of a Savior (who loves them and desires to offer them forgiveness and eternal life). It won’t change the direction of the country politically, but perhaps it will change the hearts of the direction makers in the country.”

Another gal popped into the thread stating, “Are you saying that telling people in public office that they are sinners and are going to hell will change their hearts? I do think we should vote our morals, but all Jesus said about government is to respect it and pay our taxes, and during His time they had one of the most ungodly and blasphemous leaders possible. Their mission was not to Christianize the government. Jesus’ strategy was never to condemn, it was to love, and to shine a light that draws people toward you instead of wanting to get away from you. I agree with (the original author’s name), as Christians our focus should be showing God’s love and light to people we meet.”

My friend responded, “If it means sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with elected officials, yes, just as we would with anyone else. And if they accept the grace of Christ, that is great. But we have to realize that this kingdom really doesn’t matter in the long run. I realize that this world is temporal. We are strangers and aliens on this earth. So yes, I vote my conscience, but political change is not our job, spiritual change is. Actually spiritual change isn’t even our job, it’s God’s work. We are to go to the ends of the earth and share the Gospel; but it is God who reaches down into the market place of sin and pulls us out of the mire. We cannot even lift our finger out of it. God has to come and find us. (Romans 9:16). It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire but on God’s mercy. When we receive that mercy that He gives to us, then our lives are changed. We have confidence in the finished work of Christ that our salvation is a sure thing. We do not need to keep striving to earn that salvation. This leads to us wanting to Please God and, hence, obeying His commands. I John 3:23 says, “And this is His command; to believe in the name of His son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” and that love requires us to tell others the Gospel. Why would we want to keep this Good News to ourselves. So yes, we should tell anyone, even an individual elected official. But government as a concept is not redeemable. It is a worldly institution and will perish.

At this point, my mind was wrestling with all these truths that I too agreed with, yet I couldn’t agree completely with the final conclusion. I responded, “I was thinking very much about this conversation. If we are to be salt and light in every area that God leads us; work, mothering, shopping, etc., then by virtue of the fact that He in His Providence has placed us in a nation that is run by “We the People”, we should in fact, as Christians, be salt and light in the democratic system in which we have been blessed to live. I know that we are to be living in the Kingdom of God, but I think that we as a church have been apathetic to our responsibility to keep the stewardship of this great Nation in line with Biblical Principles. I agree that God is the Lord of the Harvest. The Holy Spirit is the power of ultimate salvation, redemption, and eternal change in the hearts of man, to believe otherwise puts one on the level of Savior, and that is insanity; however, going into all the world means taking the Light that indwells us and going into the circumstances in which God has placed us to share this light. To ignore the God given government He has blessed us to live under and not be a “light sharer” within, would be missing part of the world He has sent us into. Salt hurts those who are wounded by sin and death and light blinds, so I submit that our government and the people who are currently running it are in dire need of these two elements.”

My reason for chronicling this dialogue is for the purpose of brain picking and hearing from you the reader. I am curious to see if we should be dis-engaged because government is not redeemable and therefore our focus is misplaced. Is voting one’s conscience all that we as believers should be doing? What do you believe the role of the Christian is in regard to government and politics.

Would there be any reason to think that America would exist as a Nation if the Founders felt that the institution of government was not redeemable and that their struggle for independence from Britain was not a Biblical perspective and therefore the job for a Christian?

Please feel free to speak your mind. Iron sharpens iron and I believe we all need to be sharp in every area of our lives.


George Washington v. Barack Obama, the Jury is Out

Obama

The life that counts must toil and fight,

Must hate the wrong and love the right:

Must stand for truth, by day, by night-

This is the life that counts.  – Anonymous

There are two phrases repetitively used in regard to the kings of the nation Isreal as found in the Biblical records.  It is black and white when dealing with their morality and character.  “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” or “He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  The narrative included the king’s acts and political decisions as they lined up with his obedience to the law of God.  What the king did affected the nation and the people followed his lead.  Good kings encouraged moral behavior in the people and evil kings lead the people in the ways of the heathen nations surrounding them.

I was reading a section in II Chronicles 24:17-20 this morning, causing me to reflect on the kings of Israel and the “kings” of America.

After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king and he listened to them.  They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherrah poles and idols.  Because of their guilt, God’s anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem.  Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen.  Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest.  He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands?  You will not prosper.  Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.'”.

I realize that this was specifically written about this kingdom and this specific king, yet does not history repeat itself and shouldn’t we learn what we can from the mistakes of those who lived before?

I wonder what the God of Israel would say about the “kings” of America?  How would He label each man that has “ruled” from the Oval Office?  Should George Washington be the archetype for all successive Presidents as King David was for the kings of Israel?  And if so, how should we rate the leaders of the past 200 years?  Is is too offensive today, too intolerant, to say that a leader does “right” or “evil” in the eyes of the Lord?  Or perhaps, we will just remove the eyes of the Lord all together and pretend He doesn’t exist.

to-kill-a-mockingbird-first-editionAtticus Finch, the lawyer in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird lived in a small town in the segregated South during the 1930’s. He takes on a case to represents an innocent black man against two deceitful white men.  Finch knew he would face hate and prejudice from the community as well as the jury, but he was compelled to speak and act on this man’s behalf because it was the moral thing to do.  He spoke the truth boldly in the face of opposition.

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. – spoken by Atticus Finch, by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

In our Nation’s history, many have been like Finch and have spoken the truth in the face of opposition.  As I write this post, I think about the courageous prophets mentioned in the Bible who spoke out against immorality and called the kings of Israel to repentance.  I ponder whether my pen is mighty enough to effect change in my country and if my courage will waver should the “king and his officials” come against my freedom of conscience and speech.

The direction that America is heading is far more complicated than just liberal and conservative politics.  Political thought stems from a deeper understanding of right and wrong, truth and evil.  Proverbs 27:19 says, “As  water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”  One’s political thought reflects what is in one’s heart.  If the basis of our Nation’s political thought has been guided by hearts that are far from the Truth of the Bible, and I submit that it is, then our Nation is in no better shape than Judah and Jerusalem was in the Scripture. “You will not prosper.  Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.” II Chronicles 24:20

My fellow bloggers, why do you blog?  Is is to make a name for yourself in the vast community of type and thought?  Is it to push to elect a different man or woman?  Or is there a passion to spark a fire of real repentance and change in America?  It begins with us, the individuals, to be willing to be what we require our leaders to be and to hold them accountable to a standard that has been placed so low, that anyone can slither their way into political office if they have enough money and power behind them.  Is this the America we want, or do we demand an America that requires its leaders to lead wearing the same honest shoes that George Washington wore?  Our first President, the archetype to what a President should be said,  “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” His honesty however wasn’t based on a human standard, for one person’s white lie is another man’s vice; but his standard was the Bible.   We as individuals should live by that standard of honesty and in doing so, require our leaders, from the PTA to the President of the United States to live and lead by such a virtue.

It is better to declare the truth and be rejected, than to withhold the truth just to be accepted.

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