Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Driscoll Disciplines Delinquent Dads

I read the blog on a webzine called They posted this on Mark Driscoll on 1 Timothy 5:8, But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Driscoll says that if a man in his church doesn't provide for his family, that is, forsakes his role as the bread winner and is a stay at home Dad instead while his wife works full time, he's up for church discipline!

I gotta disagree with him there. I think it's taking 1 Timothy 5:8 out of context. Why is being the stay at home Dad worthy of calling a man worse than an unbeliever?? I think Discoll's taken it a bit too far. The reason why a man should provide for his family is explained in the verses before that:
3Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame.

It is so that people are not led into sin by his actions and failure to provide for them. Let's say the wife is more able to find a better job than her husband and so they agree that she will work instead of him because it's better at that time, then they are still providing for the family and they can still take care of widows in the family. The wife is meant to be the helper to the husband and that doesn't necessarily mean that she stays at home. In this case, it means that she's helping by working instead of him because she is more able and it is better financially.

If a man's actions are causing people to sin, no matter what his actions are - staying at home, working, going to the pub, whatever! Then he ought not do it. The reason why a man should provide for his family is so that those family members in need (in this case, widows) are not destitute and turn to prostitution. That is the reasoning. It isn't right to take this verse away from the others and apply it as a blanket rule over all family units and say that it's a matter of church discipline.

That's dumb. Taking verses out of context = bad. Sinning and causing others to sin = bad. Burdening people with more laws that are superfluous = bad, especially when it is in NO WAY a salvation issue. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ANE: Peace of Self

Chapter 2: The Peace of God

The peace of God that Tolle talks about goes something along the lines of this:
You realise your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with. That's the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.
What arrogance and conciet! The peace of God that Paul is talking about is that which comes by trusting in God. The trust that is shown when we entrust Him with the things that we are anxious about, because He is capable of acting upon our prayers and does so often. Though more often than not, in ways we cannot fathom.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ethnicity, Race and Aboriginal Education

I'm doing a Education for Social Justice unit and this random thought just came to me. My blog is a place to blog such random thoughts.

Maybe I resented the Aboriginal education in Primary school because I felt that I had to learn all about this culture that I had no part in, without learning about my own culture and ethnicity. And although I'm white, there's more to me than that. My grandparents were Scottish, Ukrainian and German. There's rich heritage in me that I never learnt, instead, I had to learn all about how the white people were responsible for Aborginal oppression and then I had to celebrate this culture that I was guilty of oppressing. Furthermore, these poor oppressed Aboriginal people were guilty of being social menaces. They wanted to beat me up after school, they broke into my house and stole my things, they would hang around in the park all drunk and leave litter in the bush when I was told again and again to pick it up. They wanted their own land but wouldn't even have taken care of it if they got it. Why did I have to learn about them? (from the perspective of me as a primary school student)

I'm fine learning about it now and I get it a lot more, but as a primary school kid and through out Australian history lessons in high school, I always resented learning about it. I didn't want to know.

So that's my thought. I don't know if it's accurate, but that's my thought. My readings are all toting the importance of integrating the varying abilities and cultures of myriad minority ethnic groups. But I only just realised that all my education on my own ethnicity has been self-motivated and in my own time now that I'm an adult: unlike those of minority groups that are embraced and taken the place of the majority of cultural education.

How can we draw a balance in this? How can I, as an educator, be inclusive of all ethnicities in my curriculm?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Open Letter to Godly Gals

So my time at Godly Gals is drawing to a close and the open letter that I wrote is here for those interested in reading it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ANE: Poor in Ownwership

Chapter 2: The Illusion of Ownership

"Blessed are the poor in spirit," Jesus said," for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven." What does "poor in spirit" mean? No inner baggage, no identifications. Not with things, nor with any mental concepts that have a sense of self in them. And what is the "kingdom of heaven"? The simple but profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and so become "poor in spirit."

This is a complete reversal of what Jesus is actually saying. What does poor in spirit mean? If I say to you, "gee, you look like you're poor in spirit" what would I mean? I have always understood poor in spirit to mean someone who has inner baggage, who is struggling and feeling lowly.

The other beatitudes are for the mourning, meek, hungry, thirsty, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers and those persecuted for righteousness' sake. These beatitudes cannot be paraphased as "blessed are those who have got it right, because they're terrific and don't need any further help." But this is how Tolle's first beatitude can be paraphrased! Jesus' beautitudes go more along the lines of "blessed are those who are suffering because of me, because in me they will find peace and justice."

This is a prime example of how Tolle regularly takes one verse and distorts it to fit his purpose, without looking at the context. But then, he has such a low opinion of it, given it's written by men who distorted the "truth" as they wrote. Given he places no authority in the Bible, why does he even quote it?

ANE: Giving Stuff is Selfish/less

Chapter 2: The Lost Ring

Up to this point, Tolle has been fleshing out the harm of materialism. To summarise, people get attached to their things and it becomes wrapped up in their identity and they don't realise that their true self is that meta-self-connected state of being that comes from being enlightened. This one woman that Tolle met regularly with lost a ring that held great sentimental value one day and Tolle helped her to deal with the possible lose of it. She had made the ring part of her identity and in separating herself from it, she could feel her "I Am-ness."

With that in mind, she then says,
"Now I understand something Jesus said that never made much sense to me before: 'If someone takes your shirt, let him have your coat as well.'"
"That's right," I said. "It doesn't mean you should never lock your door. All it means is that sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on."

I think she's referring to Matthew 5:40. However, she must not have read any further because it goes on to say
"you have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."
Right there we are given a reason for parting with our possessions. Jesus himself tells us that it is because we are to love our enemies and by doing so, we are proving to the world our relationship with the Father. It does not have anything much to do with discovering our I Am-ness, and our connectedness with everything else. Unless you believe that by being in that state of "Being," we are in tapped into the divine, which is what Jesus meant when he said "sons of your Father in heaven."

See, I thought Jesus meant being in a father-son/daughter relationship with the creator God, a powerful and mighty, yet personal being that is revealed in the very person of Jesus - not being connected with everything else around us.

It seems to me that much of the Bible is selfless. Give your enemy your tunic and cloak when he demands it because you love him. But this seems to be promoting an almost selfish way of giving. Give your enemy your tunic and cloak because by not being attached to your possessions, you're closer to becoming enlightened. Can you see how the focus is on yourself, rather than for the good of your enemy?

Where Have I Been?

It's been a while since I made a ANE post. I've been in exams, then prac, then a beach mission, then a Christian camp, now I'm half way through my last week of "holidays" before uni starts on the 4th. Since I've been through the main introductory chapter and it's taken me so damn long, I'm just going to look at the bits that make claims about Christianity and Jesus, instead of claims in general, :D.

So this is just letting you friendly readers know what's going on, why I haven't updated. I also hope to be doing a few other non-ANE entries in the future. I'll let you know how that goes. :D

Everyone should check out Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I can't stop watching it and singing along.