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Leftists squeal over hearing Bible at prayer breakfast

Dr. Ben Carson’s prayer breakfast blast at the national debt, progressive taxation, and other leftist insanity has stolen the national stage temporarily. Newsmax reports,

Opening his remarks with quotations from the Old Testament books of Proverbs and Second Chronicles, the neurosurgeon blasted the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt, its cumbersome tax system — and its “inefficient” health care system.

Although Obama kept his cool at the moment, other leftists got fairly bent out of shape over the audacity of someone actually applying the Bible at a prayer breakfast. As Breitbart.com reports, Democrat Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky criticized the speech as “not appropriate.”

She said,

I think it’s really–not really an appropriate place to make this kind of political speech, and to invoke God as support for that kind of view. But I think of most of all the kind of message that he was giving shows a real empathy gap with where the American people are right now, and I think it’s reflective of where many of the Republicans and Tea Parties are right now, that we need to have an economy that works for everyone.

More:
http://americanvisionnews.com/5458/leftists-squeal-over-hear...

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Opinion-of-the-moment

>>"Any system of morality not based on God’s unchanging laws is merely someone’s opinion-of-the-moment."

Yes, that is your opinion. Your opinion is based on your religious belief. Anyone can say that of those who do not follow the particular religion they follow.

And since God's laws change, it's no less of an opnion-of-the-moment. Slavery, multiple wives, discrimination against the injured and deformed, executions for things like disobeying parents, infidelity, and gays. Laws strictly for a particular ethnicity (racism). Sexist laws. It's not a good book to base one's moral's on.

To me, beating a slave to death is immoral, regardless of time period. Please explain how you feel that it can be moral.

Do you teach your kids that girls are commanded by God to stay silent in church? It's New Testament. Do you have a daughter? I do. If you do, are you committed enough to the New Testament to tell her that?

>>"That’s easy enough to prove because Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

Again, circular reference.
"God does exist and you must have faith in Him!"
"How do you know?"
"Because the Bible says so."

Sorry, quoting the Bible is no proof. The whole concept of God and Christianity is based on the Bible. That's like quoting Hindu texts to prove that Hindu deities exist. Just doesn't fly in an intelligent debate.

Do you believe you can determine a wife's infidelity by making her drink holy water? That her belly will swell and her thigh will rot if she has been unfaithful?

GoodSamaritan's picture

This is 2013 Anno Domini

"And since God's laws change..." The meanings and purposes of those ancient laws have been explained and fulfilled in Christ. OT Israel is long gone. Jesus is the only measure now.

"To me, beating a slave to death is immoral" Yes, it is, and to God as well. That's why it was illegal and incurred the death penalty for murder.

"When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money." Ex 21:20-21

The text does not condone the beating of the slave at all. Rather, the text is describing what the punishment is *for* beating one’s slave to death. That is, the text actually *condemns* beating a slave to death. In the one case, the slave owner is punished by being put to death. In the other case, which is an unintentional death by beating, the slave owner is punished in terms of his own financial loss from having beaten his slave to death.

"Do you teach your kids that girls are commanded by God to stay silent in church? It's New Testament. Do you have a daughter? I do. If you do, are you committed enough to the New Testament to tell her that?" Since my daughter is an atheist, this argument is N/A. Even if my daughter attended church with me, the rule would be the same for her as with my wife - they are not to assume the duties and responsibilities appointed to men in the church. There is a chain-of-command that has nothing to do with "equality of the sexes" but with the conduct of worship services as outlined by the Apostle Paul.

>>"That’s easy enough to prove because Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

"Again, circular reference." Nope. I was showing that NT instructions are directed at believers only. Those instructions have nothing to do with you. Since followers of Jesus Christ accept the Bible as God's Word, your opinion as to whether or not we should follow them is irrelevant.

"Sorry, quoting the Bible is no proof. The whole concept of God and Christianity is based on the Bible. That's like quoting Hindu texts to prove that Hindu deities exist. Just doesn't fly in an intelligent debate." I reject your presuppositions. Proving God's existence by our senses is not possible. Just as proving that life comes from non-life, or information comes from non-information, is not possible. I believe God exists and has revealed Himself in the Bible. Apparently, you don't. This is a clash of worldviews that cannot be settled by science.

"Do you believe you can determine a wife's infidelity by making her drink holy water? That her belly will swell and her thigh will rot if she has been unfaithful?" No, I don't, because I don't live in ancient Israel where God worked very differently than He does today.

The clash of worldviews is nicely summarized by Dr. Patrick Johnson: http://rightremedy.org/booklets/47

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Punishment

It still says he won't be punished if the slave dies, as long as the slave survives a day or two. It's still beating a slave to the point of death (just that the slave will suffer a day or two before dying). It only talks about the slavemasters "money" which is a totally inhumane concern considering the slavemaster just killed a fellow human being. Money? Killing someone? No punishment at all for killing someone? Seems pretty clear. In a moral sense, what difference does it make if the person was a slave or not, it's still a fellow human being. Unless of course, a slave's life is not considered as important. Again, a terrible message (and your morality has you defending it).

So you follow that NT verse, and if your wife speaks in church you remind her not to say a thing? You give her a polite "shoosh"? If there are any women speaking at the podium at your church, you point out that it is against God? If you can answer this with a confident "yes" (without beating around any bush), then I will recognize your credibility and move on from that.

>>"Those instructions have nothing to do with you. Since followers of Jesus Christ accept the Bible as God's Word, your opinion as to whether or not we should follow them is irrelevant."

Exactly my point! They don't pertain to those of non-Christian beliefs or no religious beliefs. So using the Bible to justify laws that blanket all Americans, including non-Christians, would not contribute to liberty. With that in mind, it makes sense that our laws should be justified with logical and rational arguments. Nothing wrong with introducing a law that happens to be in accordance with your personal religious belief, but above all it should be supported by arguments that are secular.

>>"Proving God's existence by our senses is not possible. Just as proving that life comes from non-life, or information comes from non-information, is not possible. I believe God exists and has revealed Himself in the Bible. Apparently, you don't. This is a clash of worldviews that cannot be settled by science."

Agreed! Your opinion that the only correct moral code to follow is the Bible, is exactly that - an opinion. In your Christian-centric view, you might perceive it as the highest law, but as you said, they hold no divine weight to atheists or those of non-Christian religions.

>>"No, I don't, because I don't live in ancient Israel where God worked very differently than He does today."

Ok, then do you believe that in Israel, a husband can successfully perform the wife infidelity test? Or did God retract that ability (without ever mentioning it in the Bible)? It's not as if there are no cheating wives around in Israel anymore, correct? if we can throw that out as irrelevant today (without it ever being retracted in the Bible itself), then couldn't we rule anything in the Book as irrelevant? Who would be the authority deciding this?

GoodSamaritan's picture

I’m not defending the ancient Israeli judicial system

I'm just trying to explain some parts of it to you. It’s not my concern that they continually failed to follow God’s commands. His instruction to Moses in Leviticus 19:18 with regard to treatment of fellow humans was clear: "...you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord." Everyone was a neighbor to everyone else, including slaves, and they knew it. The Israelite’s near-constant disobedience of virtually every commandment God ever gave them resulted in fairly regular and severe punishment, including invasion, dispersion, plague, captivity, and finally the destruction of their unfaithful religious system and nation in 70AD.

"So you follow that NT verse, and if your wife speaks in church you remind her not to say a thing?" That passage is not talking about speaking in general. See my previous response.

"Nothing wrong with introducing a law that happens to be in accordance with your personal religious belief, but above all it should be supported by arguments that are secular." I would disagree about putting secular argumentation "above all", but I would say that it is very possible for Christians and non-Christians to agree on many fundamental rights, and laws to protect those rights.

"Ok, then do you believe that in Israel, a husband can successfully perform the wife infidelity test? Or did God retract that ability (without ever mentioning it in the Bible)?"

The OT ceremonial laws and feasts were fulfilled in Christ. See, for example, Matthew 5:16-18, Ephesians 2:14-16, Colossians 2:16-17, and Romans 8:1-4. Hebrews 8:8-13 and other passages in Hebrews go into more detail about the differences between Testaments.

I found an excellent summary of OT law with respect to Christians in the NT period: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articl... and another good summary here: http://www.redeemer.com/news_and_events/newsletter/?aid=363.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Slavery

With no punishment for beating a slave to death, it doesn't indicate a slave was considered a neighbor. When the reason given for no punishment is BECAUSE the slave was considered money (nothing about the slave being a fellow neighbor), that sends quite a clear message. Unless you argue that beating someone to death constitutes love?

>>"See my previous response." [in regard to women being silent in the church]

If you don't mind, please explain how your previous response answered my question. Women keeping silent in the church is quite a direct law God commanded down, and it's in the New Testament. He even says it is a "shame" for them to speak in church. My question was a simple 'yes' or 'no' question. I get the feeling you're beating around the bush on this one. My question again: Do you "shoosh" your wife when she speaks in church? Do you personally agree with God's command on this, that it is a shame for women specifically to speak in church? If you can't answer that directly, it indicates something, wouldn't you agree?

>>"The OT ceremonial laws and feasts were fulfilled in Christ."

The unfaithful wife test isn't a ceremony, it's a method. It's not a law. Unfaithful wives were not specific to Israel, that's clear just by reading the Bible.

GoodSamaritan's picture

Old Testament law

was often interpreted very narrowly in order to prevent its interference in cultural norms. Jesus confronted this practice on many occasions. Matthew records a number of instances in which Jesus interpreted the real meaning of passages in the OT. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the true meaning of God’s prohibition of murder (Matt 5:21-22), adultery (Matt 5:27-30), divorce (Matt 5:31-32), and many other teachings. In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus explained to a Jewish lawyer what God meant when He said in Leviticus to "love your neighbor as yourself." This is where you find the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you understood how unclean and worthless the Israelites considered Samaritans – they looked on them as no better than dogs or swine – you would see that God intended for Israel to treat everyone as neighbors. Being a slave in Israel was to be no harsher than any other type of labor. The master was responsible for taking care of a slave's needs like any other employee, except that the slave was property who could be bought and sold. This was not supposed to be the U.S. variety of slavery.

Israelites were to release indentured slaves in the 7th year, yet there is no evidence they did. Israelites were to release all slaves in the Year of Jubilee, yet there is no evidence they did. Israelites were to treat all people with love, yet they routinely ignored this command from God. As I said before, Israel paid dearly for its ongoing disobedience in this and many other areas. God eventually destroyed them. I don’t know how to make this any clearer. You are mistaken if you think God approved of how OT Israel treated slaves and foreigners.

As for women being silent in church, I told you in my previous response that the passage in question concerns women attempting to take responsibilities that were given to the men. The Corinthian church was in chaos and Paul was addressing problems in that congregation. The context of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 is talking about interpreting and understanding the gifts of tongues and prophecy (see v. 26-32). Therefore, 1 Corinthians 14:34 is not commanding women to be silent in the church all the time. It is only saying that women should not participate when tongues and/or prophecy is being interpreted and tested (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; 1 John 4:1). This agrees with 1 Timothy 2:11-12, which says that women should not teach or have authority over men in the church. Therefore, Paul tells women to be silent when tongues and prophecy are being interpreted so that they will not be disobeying God’s Word.

"The unfaithful wife test isn't a ceremony, it's a method. It's not a law. Unfaithful wives were not specific to Israel, that's clear just by reading the Bible."

Numbers 5:11-31 is a ceremonial law that was given to the Israelites for the purpose of exposing the guilty and protecting the innocent with regard to marriage fidelity. In the larger purpose, this is one among many passages that were shadows of aspects to the relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church. Exodus 20:14 warned husbands and wives that they must never be unfaithful to each other. The punishment for this crime was death but there had to be evidence. The husband had to prove that his wife was guilty. If the husband had no evidence, he could follow the instructions in this passage and then God would act as the judge. It is likely that many innocent women carried out this ritual. Because they were innocent, they would not be afraid to follow it. God would protect them. But if a woman was guilty, she would be very afraid of God’s judgment. So probably she would admit guilt to her husband and hope that he would forgive her. Or she might run away.

However, if a woman was not guilty of adultery, this ritual provided proof to her husband and everyone else. Her husband would not be able to punish her. He had to take her back to live with him as his wife again. So, this ceremony (ritual law from God to Moses, v. 11) provided God’s protection for innocent women.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

>>"was often interpreted very

>>"was often interpreted very narrowly in order to prevent its interference in cultural norms."

God bending his morality rules to cultural norms? All human are born into sin, culture reflects humans, God basing his rules on man's cultural norms. That appears to be a very weak defense of absolute morality.

When gay marriage becomes law accross our country, when it becomes a cultural norm, perhaps God will bend his morality once again?

>>"Being a slave in Israel was to be no harsher than any other type of labor."

Still, God allowed a slave master to beat his slave to death as long as the slave survived a day or two. Would you disagree, that's a very harsh beating? Due to your Christian-centric bias, you already agree that it was ok no matter what, but when I look at it objectively, I see it as immoral. I would be dishonest if I denied that. That's with no atheist bias at all as I can fully agree with some of God's other rules of morality (regarding murdering, stealing, lying, etc.).

Regarding women being silent in the church: There is nothing that indicates 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 refers strictly to tongues and/or prophecy. It doesn't refer at all to the verses in Thessalonians and John.

>>"Exodus 20:14 warned husbands and wives that they must never be unfaithful to each other. The punishment for this crime was death but there had to be evidence."

Why didn't the test apply to men? And what verse indicates it was retracted?

GoodSamaritan's picture

God does not change - James 1:17

"God bending his morality rules to cultural norms?" Where do you see God changed His laws to fit Israel's preferences? Just because God was often incredibly patient with that nation doesn't mean He didn't hold them accountable if they failed to repent.

"Still, God allowed a slave master to beat his slave to death as long as the slave survived a day or two." I'm not going to repeat myself. So, read through the entire OT and take note of every disaster God brought on Israel because of their continued disregard of His laws. Then read the eyewitness account of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Israel by the first century historian, Titus Flavius Josephus, to see what God thought of Israel when His patience with them finally ran out for good.

As for Corinthians, you need to read those verses in context - start at verse 20. I gave you the verses in Thessalonians and John to show other Scriptures supporting the teaching in Corinthians that any supposed signs from God were to be tested and not assumed authentic.

The test for unfaithfulness didn't apply to men for several reasons. I'll give you one, the simplest - a woman could not divorce her husband even if he was unfaithful, nor could she have him put to death. On the other hand, the men sometimes wrote bills of divorce for trivial reasons. Here is another case where Jesus explained to the Jewish leaders that they had misinterpreted God in the matter of divorce to satisfy their selfish desires (see Matthew 19:1-9).

I already gave you a list of verses that prove all ceremonial laws were fulfilled in Christ. There was no need to explicitly say, "this ceremony is retracted."

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

God Changing Morality

Morality was changed when they were fulfilled in Christ. God and Christ are one. You seem to be pointing that out yourself. At one time it was ok to execute unruly kids, gays, people who worked on Saturdays, etc. Now it is not. That's a change in morality. You defend as moral God allowing a slave master to beat a slave to death. Could you defend it applying to anyone at all today?

>>"Then read the eyewitness account of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Israel by the first century historian, Titus Flavius Josephus, to see what God thought of Israel when His patience with them finally ran out for good."

The slave master beating thing was an immorality against the slaves, not the common people of Israel. In fact, it gave them more freedom to be cruel to their slaves. Rather than "No, beating someone to death, slave or not, is immoral," it's "Yes, you can beat your slave to death."

>>"The test for unfaithfulness didn't apply to men for several reasons. I'll give you one, the simplest - a woman could not divorce her husband even if he was unfaithful, nor could she have him put to death."

Exactly, sexism. Another morality that you can defend as moral at one time but will refuse to defend applying today. Again, change in morality.

>>"As for Corinthians, you need to read those verses in context - start at verse 20."

I've studied context. The verse says that women are to be silent, they are not even permitted to ask a question (nothing about asking a question in tongue), they are forbidden from speaking in the church and must wait until getting home to ask the husband a question. It's consistent with the Bible's sexism.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, saying, if a woman have conceived seed, and born a boy child, then she shall be unclean seven days, but if she bare a girl child, then she shall be unclean two weeks" (Leviticus 12:1-5).

GoodSamaritan's picture

There are good reasons

why Christian seminaries and churches don't hire non-believers to teach. I'm not being rude, just saying that the Bible is a deep library that requires intense research for a solid understanding. I've been studying it for 50 years and have read through it many times. Still, I'm just a lay Bible teacher and not a college professor with a degree in hermeneutics or any of the numerous other specialties related to Scripture.

No morality was changed between the Old and New Covenants. Nothing. Nada. Nichts. The Law was fulfilled - not changed. Jesus Himself said so in Matthew 5:17. God deals with His people individually now instead of as a nation. One result of that - we are judged under Grace (unearned favor or mercy) and not God's national laws for ancient Israel. We can look at the OT and see that, even given nearly 1500 years, it was an impossible task for Israel to please God by trying to keep His laws. It was an epic fail. The NT is a new agreement between God and His people. God's laws were fulfilled in Christ - the only person who could keep them perfectly - and so therefore we only need saving faith in Him and what He accomplished.

God was/is merciful and patient in both Testaments. Why do you expect (demand?) that God should have been less patient with Israel than He is with anyone today? You seem to be hung up on Israel's sins as if they condemn God rather than the people who committed them. God allowed Cain to murder Abel long before He made a covenant with Abram, the father of Israel. Is that God's fault? I suggest Cain is the guilty one. God has allowed a lot of sin since the Fall of our first parents. He could have wiped them out and then you and I wouldn't be having this discussion. Instead, He created a plan of salvation that took thousands of years to unfold. In the mean time, people sin and He is very tolerant, though not infinitely tolerant.

Again, God's laws did not change. The covenant God had with Israel is gone. The ceremonies are gone. The Priesthood is gone. The Prophets are gone. The Temple is gone. Everything that was a shadow or type of Christ and His Church is gone and has been replaced with a New Covenant in which all people - not just one nation - can hear the Gospel (Good News) and be made acceptable to God through faith in the Messiah He provided.

The instructions Paul gave the church in Corinth addressed specific problems they were having, including some women attempting to usurp roles given to their men. There were roles given to men and to women for the orderly conduct of church in the NT period. Some roles and spiritual gifts that were given before the last book (Revelation) was completed in the late 60s AD were temporary and are no longer applicable. For example, there are no more Apostles and no one is raising the dead since the Bible was finished.

My wife has been a faithful and studious Christian for about 30 years. She, along with every other Christian woman we know or have known, would probably laugh at the suggestion that God is sexist or they're somehow repressed by His Word. No one did more to free women than Jesus. And, yes, I believe that Jesus is God in human form.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Re: There are good reasons

>>"...why Christian seminaries and churches don't hire non-believers to teach. I'm not being rude, just saying that the Bible is a deep library that requires intense research for a solid understanding."

I never took you as being rude. Just defending your belief.

>>"No morality was changed between the Old and New Covenants. Nothing. Nada. Nichts. The Law was fulfilled - not changed."

It's just semantics. It's still changed morality. If at one time it was ok to beat a slave to death, or execute gays, unruly kids, and people who work on Saturdays, but now it would be considered immoral, that is a change in morality. You can explain why the morality was changed (fulfillment), but that never touches the fact that morality has changed.

At one time, it was moral for some to kill babies and small children of a conquered kingdom, now it is immoral. That's a change. It was not merciful to a little three-year-old horrified by a soldier coming at him with a sword. It was not merciful when God wiped out all the first born kids of a kingdom that irked Him. Coming down on an entire kingdom is akin to racism. It's not setting a good example.

Countries with less religion experience the most gender equality. Looking back at our own country's history, many of the defenders of slavery, gender inequality, upholding interracial marriage laws, segregation, were the Bible Belt types. I believe religions (not just Christianity) slow the progress in regards to gender equality. Iceland, the country with the most gender equality, is also one of the most irreligious.

And understandably so. The Bible is rife with a mentality of female inferiority. And it's not just the Christian religion. What I see is religion reflecting man, not all-moral deities.

Other countries have had gays serving openly in their militaries for years without problems. Other countries recognize gay marriage without infringing on the rights of straight marriages. What holds our country back from progressing on this?

GoodSamaritan's picture

Not just semantics

For some reason we're still disconnecting on Law v. Grace, OT v. NT.

The laws of God have not changed. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23. That means everything God considers sin is still worthy of death, physical and spiritual. No exceptions. Dishonor father or mother --> death penalty. Use God's name in vain --> death penalty. Homosexuality --> death penalty. Steal a paper clip from your employer --> death penalty, etc. What you are viewing as a change in morality is nothing of the sort - it's a change in Covenant (agreement between God and Man) that changes the way He deals with us and our sins.

God is not letting sin slide...Judgment Day comes to everyone. As the Creator, He has every right to deal with His creatures as He sees fit. However, out of His mercy and patience He gives some people time enough to repent and turn to His free offer of salvation. "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.

You're still occasionally mixing how ancient Israel lived versus how God commanded them to live. At no time did God ever approve of beating slaves. When God ordered the merciless destruction of other groups or kingdoms, it was payment for sins. OTOH, read the story of Ninevah in Jonah chapter 3. God gave that city a chance to repent and they did after the prophet Jonah warned them.

As for gender equality, it was God Who made both men and women in His image. That means absolute moral equality in His sight (see Genesis 1:26-28, 2:23, 5:1-2; I Corinthians 11:11-12; Galatians 3:13, 3:28, 5:1). However, God is not "politically correct" in the sense that He designed men and women to be equal physically and mentally in every way. Thus He gave different roles to men and women. How human beings play that out is a different story. Also, read 1 Corinthians 12, or at least 12:12-31, that directly addresses different roles and abilities given to followers of Christ.

It's a shame that many Christians do not act very Christlike. I have been guilty of that myself on many occasions. We are sinners just like everyone else. The standard is Jesus. If you see someone who claims to be a Christian but does not try to act like Jesus, he is a hypocrite. Jesus did not mistreat anyone and often taught and ate with the "scum" of Israel who were rejected by others and ignored or oppressed by the religious leaders (see Mark 2:13-17, for example).

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Death

>>"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23.

"For the living are conscious that they will die, but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

No burning Hell, just nothing.

I don't think you're understanding my point. You're saying morality has not changed because God still does not let sin slide. Whether God let's sin slide or not is irrelevant to whether there was a change in morality. If at one time it was ok to beat a slave to death, but now it is not, that's a change in morality.

For instance, we can change a rule in a game of football, let's say now a wide receiver can forward pass a ball to another player after catching a pass from the quarterback. That is a change in the rules. What you're claiming is something like this: "No, the rules have NOT changed because the referees will still not allow you to break the rules." Totally irrelevant to the fact that there indeed was a rule change.

Regarding gender equality, the sexism I'm pointing out has nothing to do with men and women generally being different. The sexism has to do with the generalizing. Only women have to remain silent in the church and only women are not allowed to teach the men. Some women could be more knowledgeable than some of the men. Some of them could be much better teachers than some of the men.

A woman who gave birth is unclean for seven days if the child is a boy, but she is unclean for twice as long if the child is a girl, according to Leviticus 12:1-5. That is sexist. There is no logical non-sexist reason why this is.

"But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given her for a covering." (1 Corinthians 11:15)

Specifically a woman? And it's talking about physical appearance. Why would something so superficial be such a concern?

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." (1 Timothy 2:9)

And men?

GoodSamaritan's picture

Good questions

Ecclesiastes 9:5 is part of a wisdom commentary and lament by Solomon as to the common experiences and outcomes shared by both good and evil people. His remark that, "they are conscious of nothing at all", refers to the fact that the dead have no part in the world of the living. They don't know what is happening on earth after they die. Similarly, "they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten", points to the end of their participation on earth. None of this passage has to do with their eternal state.

God's morality is unchanging. He never approved of slaves being abused. Again you are blaming God for the evil behavior of ancient Israelites. God never changed His rules. The Israelites sometimes obeyed and more often did not. They were punished repeatedly until they were finally destroyed. If God approved of their evil He would not have wiped them out. If you want to say that the Israelites made up their own rules - fine. They did, and paid the price for doing so when they conflicted with God's laws.

The genders were given roles that reflect the spiritual chain-of-command (1 Cor 11:3) in a home and church. When I was an Army Officer I had some commanders over me (including a woman) who were not as proficient as I was in certain areas. Should I have told them how to do their jobs? Or insist that I be the one in charge in certain circumstances? Obviously not. I had to follow the chain-of-command regardless of skill. It doesn't mean that one of us was more important or a more valuable human than the other.

Leviticus 12 has nothing to do with sexism. Just because you don't understand the role of blood in atonement, the reasons behind the particular curses given to Adam and Eve for their responsibility in the Fall of Man, the symbolism of circumcision, clean and unclean emissions and their relationship to purification and worship, etc., doesn't mean "there is no logical non-sexist reason" for the laws concerning childbirth in ancient Israel. Unfortunately, this area is too complex for a simple answer. I found a study that goes into some detail if you care to take the time: http://bible.org/seriespage/offending-god-clean-and-unclean%....

The subject of women covering their heads in worship is another area that requires some significant exegesis. The covering in this case is symbolic of her own spiritual authority and is not related to culture or fashion. Here is a lengthy but excellent exposition of 1 Cor 11:2-16: http://www.ovc.edu/terry/articles/headcovr.htm

"In like manner also..." from 1 Tim 2:9 clearly indicates that both men and women received similar instructions for propriety of worship. No anger, no disputing, no disruptive clothing or jewelry. The focus of worship should be on prayer, good works, and so forth, and not outward appearance or inappropriate behavior.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father