Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Biblical marriage

I recently used that phrase on FaceBook, and was disappointed at the response it evoked.  Advocates for redefining "marriage" to include homosexual relationships don't react well to the phrase "biblical marriage".  In fact it quickly becomes apparent that there is an angry rebellion against anything "biblical".

But the interesting response I am thinking about just now is the one that makes snide references to David and Solomon et al. who had multiple wives.  David is even spoken of by God as the man "after my own heart."  This is supposed to prove that biblical marriage can be bigamy and have God's blessing.  So what's so problematic about gay marriage?

Such reasoning, of course, comes from a source that is not the least interested in what the bible teaches, unless (of course) that teaching can be shown to be silly or embarrassing.  It comes under the category of a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Now it doesn't require a Masters degree in logic to understand the point I am about to make.  Any fair minded approach to the bible (or any didactic literature) must ask the question, "What is this document trying to say?"  That there are examples of multiple wives taken by those who are even heroes of the faith does not prove that this is biblical marriage.  It only proves that the bible is honest about the sinful lives of even the best of men.  It records such as historical fact.

Rather the question is "What is the kind of marriage that the bible prescribes as ideal and proper."  Does the bible say that men should have many wives?  When Jesus was accosted by bible teachers who wished to justify divorce, Jesus went back to basics.  He said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.'?" (Mat. 19:4-5)

Whatever one reads in the bible, he should ask himself, "Is this a normative text?"  That is to say, is this what the bible is telling me how I should conduct my life?  Or is it another instance of recording the hard truth about people?

In any case, dear reader, you must realize that the bible is at heart a message of the love and grace of God.  It tells us how God is very holy, and we are not.  If we are desirous of living in God's presence in heaven, our sinful record needs to be erased and our sinful hearts need to be changed.  Jesus, God's one and only Son, can make those changes, but he will only do it for those who recognize their sin and ask Him for salvation.

Please don't ever make the mistake of thinking the bible presents us with some sort of moralistic ladder by which we climb our way to heaven.  There are high moral standards presented for sure.  These are intended to make us realize we are sinful and cannot save ourselves.  These moral teachings are also there to help those who already have been forgiven and changed to understand what kind of living pleases God.  One of the sure signs that one's heart has been changed is that he now wants to keep God's commandments, especially to love God and others.

And only one of those moral standards is that marriage is a lifetime relationship between one man and one woman.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When half of you is in pain

I was dramatically reminded that I am only half a person without my sweet wife.  She fell and broke her hip April 3.  She is repairing in rehab now, but I know what guys mean when they refer to the wife as "my better half".  It's not really surprising.  Scripture clearly teaches that the man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and the two become one flesh.  When that half is in pain, you are also in pain.  That pain is not as sharp, that's true, but it is severe discomfort nevertheless.

We were coming out of the nail salon following our pedicures.  Since I refuse to have my toenails painted, I am always the first one finished.  I waited in the car.  When she emerged from the shop she suddenly tripped over something and fell to the pavement.  I jumped out of the car and offered her my hand to get her to her feet, but she begged off, saying she wanted to wait until the pain subsided.  It didn't.  I offered again, and when she declined again I began to entertain the idea of a broken hip.  I tried to push it out of my mind, but there it was.

Many times when I was still a kid I remember hearing of some old geezer who broke her/his hip.  It wasn't much later that I heard of the passing of this geezer.  A broken hip seemed like a death sentence for anyone who qualifies as an old geezer.  But things in the medical field have improved a great deal since I was a kid.  Cruelly as it seems to be, they get you out of bed and walking right away.  The pain, though more than unpleasant, is not fatal.  Inactivity, however, is fatal.  Bed sores, pneumonia, locked joints, shut down organs et al. settle into your body and it's all over.

All this to say Barbara is my heroine for gritting her teeth and walking what looked to me like home plate to first base (90 feet).  She hopes to be home by Saturday.

When all the nail salon people came rushing outside, someone said they would call for 911.  But Barbara cried out, "No, no, no...they will only charge us a lot of money and they won't take me where I want to go."  So here she was, lying on the cement with a crowd around her, and no one quite knowing what to do.  So the girl who had just finished working on Barbara ran back inside and came out with the bottle of polish and began to repair her sullied toenails.  Get the picture?  Here is this lady, lying on the sidewalk, probably with a broken hip, and the girl was busy touching up her nails.  It seemed like a rather ludicrous option of priorities.

Next to arrive were two girls who worked at the Subway shop two doors down from the salon.  They were sweet and solicitous, expressing great concern.  Well it turns out that they were as strong as they were sweet.  Someone brought out of the salon one of the chairs with wheels.  These two girls lifted Barbara right up off the pavement and into the chair.  They wheeled the chair to the car, and then lifted Barbara out of the chair and into the car.  From there I knew what to do.   Barbara wants to find those girls as soon as she is able, and shower them with all the Avon they want (and more) as a "thank you" for their efforts and their sweet concern.

I drove to Kaiser's Emergency Room, went inside and told them that my wife may have a broken hip and I can't get her out of the car.  I let them take it from there.  They did seem a bit puzzled as to how she got into the car in her condition, but no one pressed the issue.