The 20th century gave rise to one of the greatest and most distressing paradoxes of human history: that the greatest intolerance and violence of that century were practiced by those who believed that religion caused intolerance and violence.
A lot of women get mad when they read Ephesians 5:25, and if they were just reading that verse I can understand why.
A lot of people seem to think that this verse justifies bad behavior toward women. but as usual context is important. Read just two more verses and you will see that men are supposed to love their wives as much as Christ loves the church that he died for. Someone who loves you enough that he would be willing to die for you isn’t going to mistreat you.
Ephesians 5:22-25 English Standard Version (ESV)
Wives and Husbands
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
One of my goals this year is to become happier. I know that happiness isn’t the end all be all that some people make it out to be, but it sure would be nice to wear a smile more often.
Grouchy, miserable people make lousy witnesses. If your life doesn’t have enough smiles in it, give the link below a try.
10 Ways of Having a Happy Life – WomenKingdom.
Does Religion Cause War?
The charge that most of the wars in history were religiously motivated is a popular one, especially with the New Atheists and their followers. Sam Harris has written in his book The End of Faith that religion is “the most prolific source of violence in our history.”1 But a cursory review of the wars fought throughout history shows the opposite is true.
As Robin Schumacher reports “An interesting source of truth on the matter is Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%.”2
Jehovah’s Witnesses in good standing do not celebrate birthdays. They will not even let their children eat birthday cake when someone brings it to their child’s school. They believe that Birthdays are evil. Mostly because of two passages in the Bible.
The first one is in the Old Testament
Genesis 40:20-22 NIV
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.
While this is most certainly horrific to think of what happened to the baker, ask the Jehovah’s Witness is it the birthday or the Pharaoh that is to blame here? If they say it is his birthday that is to blame ask them if the Pharaoh was a good man for the rest of the year.
Then remind them that the cup bearer was forgiven and restored to his position on the Pharaoh’s Birthday, so the Pharaoh also did a good deed on his birthday. If an evil event makes the entire day evil, then would not a good event make the day good?
The other passage that they use is in the New Testament
Matthew 14:3-11 (NIV)
3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet. 6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother.
Once again something bad happens on a birthday, but it did not begin then. Herod wanted to murder John ever since he was arrested.
He didn’t do it right away, not because he a man who was sleeping with his brother’s wife suddenly got a conscience. He was afraid of the people. He knew the Jews hated him but loved John, and he was worried that John’s death would cause a riot, which would get him into trouble with Rome. Birthday or not he would have eventually have killed John. If this is a prohibition of anything it is a prohibition against making oaths, especially open-ended ones.
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
The birth of someone you love should be a special event, and birthdays are a way to make a person feel special in a way that would be impossible if you had to do it all year around. EXP. Most people can’t afford to buy their child an expensive gift every day of the year, nor should they, but they can afford to buy them a bike for their birthday.
Birthdays are not an essential part of our faith, so please don’t get into a big fight over this with them. Try not to fight at all, but if things get more heated then they should, it should be over bigger issues then birthdays.
I have had more then my fair share of tragedies in my life, both physical and emotional. Last night one of my pets died, and while it certainly not the worst tragedy in my life the thought that I will never get to hear my parrot Bo say “cracker” again is enough to bring me to tears.
The dark times, often make people question God, but others draw closer to him during those times. I am lucky enough that I was introduced to apologetics very early in my Christian walk. I never wonder if he is there not even in my worst of moments. I draw my strength from KNOWING that one day I will get to hear the love of my life say ” Well done, good and faithful servant.”. It isn’t easy, but as long as I focus on him I will have the strength to move on. My trials on Earth will not only make me stronger, and somehow even if I don’t yet see it some good will eventually come from it. These dark days will make me appreciate Heaven even more, because without back stabbers we would not know how special our true friends are, without discomfort we would not appreciate comfort, and without hunger we would not appreciate a wonderful meal.
I may be in physical and emotional pain right now, but thanks be to God I know that a brighter day is coming!