Update/Apology (sort of)

Recently I received an email from a reader who, in essence, dropped a pebble in the well and asked, “Anybody there?” I know that I haven’t posted anything in over a month, and while not a full apology, I guess I need to at least account for myself, as I do see blogging as a responsibility now.

First off, I am one of the worst procrastinators on the planet. I know it, I admit it, I own it. It is easy for me to think to myself, “Work on a post or check out the news? News it is, then.” After all, as a confirmed curmudgeon and troglodyte, it is my duty to check on the latest depredations that the hordes of destruction have perpetrated in the last hour. As a result, that post I am struggling with? It gets pushed back, and for that I do apologize for that.

Second, about that post I’m struggling with… Yeah, there are one or two of those. I’m beginning to see my way clear on them, so don’t give up hope, I’m still alive and kicking. You know me; I’m definitely gonna kick.

Third, wife and I are both having a couple of health issues. Wife’s crippling fear of dentists (totally founded, I might add) kept her from telling me of dental pain until she could put it off no longer, and she has to have a root canal now. Also, I am having to go to physical therapy twice a week for a bad shoulder, and so the Maker’s planned obsolescence for mankind continues on apace.

Lastly and (at this time) most important to me is my recent reading. Material I have seen and read in the past couple of years has got me thinking that we Christians have really created our own religion, separate from the one that Christ practiced and instituted. Viewing Joel Hoffman’s TEDTalk on problems in bible translation started me down this road. I then read an online article about misunderstanding biblical idioms, which I referenced in this post. Truly enlightening to me were David Instone-Brewer’s books on divorce and remarriage, which showed how little we Christians know of the context of Paul and Christ’s teachings on the subject. (His books were the foundation for my Divorce: Scarlet Letter or Valid Option series.)

Now, I reading another book that continues in that vein, beyond the topic of marriage. Sitting At The Feet Of Rabbi Jesus is one of the few books that I’ve read in my life of which it can be said, “It changed my life.” (Seriously, folks, get this book!!) I am not kidding when I write that there is so much that the Church has lost by not connecting our faith with our Jewish roots. By ignoring what Christ was saying in the setting and time of His incarnation, by reading His teaching through our Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, etc. lenses, we have missed so much of what the Bible is saying to us.

I’m only half-way through Sitting… because I am reading each chapter twice (once for the “Wow!” and once to take notes), but I know that I will be writing on my other blog (which has been moribund) about what I’m learning. And I am going to have the task of integrating what I am learning into how I approach living out my faith. So some of my future blogging will be on CSL On The Bible.

(As a librarian and storyteller, let me pique your interest with this question. Hasn’t it always bothered you that the huge crowd that cheered Jesus on Palm Sunday chanted, “Crucify Him!” on Good Friday? What could turn public opinion so fast, that tens of thousands could flip that switch just like that? The answer is, …. THEY DIDN’T! Will address that one soon on the other blog. Stay tuned.)

So I am asking for your patience and prayers as I marshall my ideas and words and will.

CSL

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Bad Teaching: Women Rule, Men Drool, part 3

 

bad teachingThis is the last of a three-part series; here are the links to part 1 and part 2.

 

In my first post in this series, I presented the possibility (probability?) of a wide-spread acceptance in the Christian church of the idea that women are more godly, holy and spiritual than men, and included quotes from others who said that they have bumped up against the idea. I posited that this assumption might be a reason for the disconnect between men and the Church, and presented findings from a Pew Research study showing that, of all the world’s religions, Christianity is the only one with a greater female membership.

My second post explored material that showed that the presumption of a female-superiority teaching is actually quite possible and that there is a very good likelihood that this teaching is at the root of much of the dysfunction that troubles today’s church. Continue reading

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Bad Teaching: Women Rule, Men Drool, part 2

bad teaching

This is the second of a three-part series: here are the links to part 1 and part 3.

In my last post I presented the idea that, contrary to the teachings of the Bible, today’s church had somehow gotten hold of the idea that women were superior to men and without sin. I admit that it is a novel idea to articulate, but since it seems that this is held as truth by more than a few Christians (however tacitly), this seems like a good time to bring the teaching out into the light of day and examine it.

I cited several writers who have suggested that they have come across the concept in their interactions but didn’t give any particulars or examples, other than to comment that they have observed evidence that it is held by some Christians. While it might be difficult to find a teacher or preacher who openly avows support for such a belief, I did cite a study by the Pew Research group that might demonstrate the results of such a teaching being promulgated. In that first post, I included the Pew Research chart that showed that in all branches of Christianity (save the Orthodox branch) women outnumber men as adherents. The chart further showed that every other major religion has more male adherents than women, leaving Christianity as… Continue reading

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Bad Teaching: Women Rule, Men Drool, part 1

bad teaching

This is the first of a three-part series: here are the links to part 2 and part 3.

We have a problem in the church. It appears that nearly one-half of the church is made up of carnal, fleshly-minded people whose only thoughts are with satisfying their appetites, and have no desire nor ability to truly seek after God. They hide behind a facade of Christianity but, in fact, are incapable of self-control and are unable to submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit and pursue spiritual goals.

I can only be speaking, of course, about husbands, for it is well-known that wives are more spiritual, more holy and more godly than any ordinary man could possibly be. I know, I know; in the past, I’ve said that there are two sinners in every marriage, but today, I repent of such drollery. I have seen the error of my ways. Continue reading

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The Church and Porn, part 3

porn3

This is the last of a three-part series: here are the links to part 1 and part 2.

Okay, to summarize my two previous posts: Paul Byerly, of Generous Husband, started a discussion among CMBA bloggers about pornography and the efficacy of the Church’s response. This is something I’ve been thinking about, and so did my first post on making the main thing the main thing, and not wandering off on crusades. My second post was a brief (for me, anyway) look at some examples of how Christians have affected society in the past.

Today, I want to try to tie those two posts together in a suggestion/rant (take your pick.) Continue reading

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A Quick PSA

I don’t normally tell my readers about something that is for sale, but this calls for an exception. However, I just received notice in my inbox that an excellent marriage resource is available at a bargain price.

All too often, one of the partners in a marriage is occupying the place of a doormat for the other. Unable to say “No” and desiring to be “a witness for Christ,” they carry the burdens of the marriage in an unequal relationship. One of my recommendations for new readers is to join The Marriage Bed forum (see sidebar for link); one of the most recommended books on TMB is Boundaries, by Cloud and Townsend. It tells how to set proper boundaries in marriage in order to restore normalcy to relationships.

If you use either a Kindle reader or iBooks on an Apple device, the book is available from just $2.99. I am buying it for my iPad and I highly recommend readers get it, as well. 

One final note, I do not have any affiliate programs going, so this isn’t something that I do for support. (This post will stay up as long as the book is on sale.)

CSL

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The Church and Porn, part 2

porn2

This is the last of a three-part series: here are the links to part 1 and part 3.

Members of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Assn. are in the process of discussing the damaging effects of porn on marriage, and how the Church is responding to it. I have been thinking about the issue of porn and the Church’s response, and I’ve come to the conclusion that much of our response, while not necessarily ill-advised, is merely ineffective. In my previous post, I presented the idea that when we choose to come against a sin, we do two things: we approach the fight in our own strength and not in God’s spirit, and we change our identity from Christians to Crusaders.

My thought is that we need to “make the main thing the main thing” by downplaying what we are “agin” and emphasizing the evangelism of our society. In essence, as some might deride it, return to that old time religion. It’s worked in the past, so why do you think that mankind is too sophisticated for God’s good news? Continue reading

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The Church and Porn, part 1

porn1

This is the last of a three-part series: here are the links to part 2 and part 3.

This is going to be another departure from what I usually try to address on my blog, but I want to respond to something that Paul Byerly asked of the members of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Assn. Without giving the text, I will say that Paul B. wrote of his concern about the damage that pornography is doing to marriages in our country, and asked if the Church’s message and approach in responding to porn should be changed. Continue reading

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“It’s Y’ALL’S Sex Life”

Just a quick-hitter this week.

If you’ve read much of my blog, you will have come across the above title any number of times; it’s become one of my mantras. Just a few minutes ago, I read an article that came out last week from the Chicago Tribune, telling of a survey done by the Pew Research Center.

The take-away from the Pew study was supposed to be that shared chores was that the key to a happy marriage. The survey of 35,000 adults showed that 56% of the respondents said that “shared chores” were very important to a happy marriage. In fact, that was the headline of the Pew Center’s article. Continue reading

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Twain on Relationships, part 4

eve4

Here are the links to Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

This is my last post on Mark Twain’s Diaries of Adam and Eve, and while Eve’s observation about how it is preferable to be alone rather than unwanted was an eye-opener (Diary post #3), I love the way that Twain developed his two characters, and gives insight into masculine and feminine psyches. Yes, your cuddly Curmudgeon is a throw-back, and for that I make no apologies, so if someone wants to take me to task for not being grounded in the 21st century — oh well, and shuckydarn. Continue reading

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