Fundamenten van het Geloof 5: De mens, geschapen naar Gods beeld en als Zijn gelijkenis

De mens, geschapen naar Gods beeld en als Zijn gelijkenis

De mens is voortdurend op zoek naar zijn identiteit:

‘Wie zijn wij en waar komen wij vandaan?’.

Voor wie niet gelooft in de Schepper is dit een nooit eindigende zoektocht. Maar in plaats van het wetenschappelijk bewijs voor onze oorsprong in de natuurwereld te zoeken, zou onderzoek naar de plaats van de mens, te midden van alle andere wezens, tot een ander resultaat kunnen leiden. Want het valt niet te ontkennen dat de mens uniek is in de natuurwereld.

De Bijbel vertelt dat wij hier niet toevallig zijn, als het product van een langzame ontwikkeling uit andere, primitievere wezens, maar dat God de mens naar Zijn plan heeft gemaakt:

“En God zei: Laat Ons mensen maken naar ons beeld, als onze gelijkenis, opdat zij heersen over de vissen in de zee en over het gevogelte aan de hemel en over het vee en over de gehele aarde en over al het kruipende gedierte dat op de aardbodem kruipt. En God schiep de mens naar zijn beeld; naar Gods beeld schiep Hij hem; man en vrouw schiep Hij hen”. (Genesis 1:26; vergelijk 9:6)

Dat dit geen primitief idee is, uit een ver verleden, toont het geloof van Jezus en de apostelen. Zij geloofden dat God verantwoordelijk is voor alle leven en dat alle mensen zijn voortgekomen uit dit eerste mensenpaar (Matth. 19:4; 1 Kor. 11 :7; Jac. 3:9). Maar wat wordt er bedoeld met:

‘naar ons beeld, als onze gelijkenis’?

De mens heeft in bepaalde opzichten een gelijkenis met zijn Schepper. Met de schepping van de mens heeft God iets van Zichzelf ‘gereproduceerd’ en er moet iets van God in de mens te herkennen zijn. Wanneer deze later zelf nageslacht voortbrengt, legt hij op zijn beurt zijn eigenschappen daarin; het zijn afdrukken van zijn wezen:

“Adam … verwekte (een zoon) naar zijn gelijkenis, als zijn beeld”. (Genesis 5:3)

Hiermee worden echter niet meer het beeld en gelijkenis van God bedoeld, maar de mens zoals Adam geworden is: zondig in het vlees, zodat hij de heerlijkheid van God niet in zich draagt. Wanneer dit voor altijd was voortgegaan, zou Gods scheppingswerk een hopeloze mislukking zijn. God zei echter dat het goed was wat Hij had geschapen. In zijn alwetendheid moet Hij gezien hebben dat er uiteindelijk wel mensen met de heerlijkheid van zijn beeld en gelijkenis zouden zijn:

“Want allen hebben gezondigd en derven (lopen mis) de heerlijkheid van God”.

“… juist om de rijkdom van zijn heerlijkheid bekend te maken over de voorwerpen van ontferming, die Hij tot heerlijkheid heeft voorbereid”. (Romeinen 9:23)

“Wij dan … hebben vrede met God door onze Here Jezus Christus, door wie wij ook de toegang hebben verkregen tot deze genade, waarin wij staan, en roemen in de hoop op de heerlijkheid van God”. (Romeinen 5:1-2)

Het natuurlijke nageslacht van Adam kan Gods heerlijkheid niet weerspiegelen. Dit is een voortdurend vraagpunt van gelovigen aan God. David vroeg zich in een Psalm af welke verklaring er is voor die hoge plaats van de mens in Gods onmetelijke heelal, en de schrijver van de brief aan de Hebreeën wijst op de vervulling van Gods plan met ons in Christus Jezus:

“Wat is de mens, dat U aan hem denkt, en het mensenkind, dat U naar hem omziet? Toch hebt U hem bijna goddelijk gemaakt, en hem met heerlijkheid en luister gekroond”. (Psalm 8:4-9)

“… maar wij zien Jezus … met heerlijkheid en eer gekroond”. (Hebreeën 2:6-9)

In de persoon van Jezus heeft God uit de mensheid een nieuwe mens verwekt, die deze heerlijkheid van God wel draagt en weerspiegelt. De apostelen getuigen in de evangelieverslagen en brieven van wat zij hebben gezien en ervaren van deze ‘zoon des mensen’, de mens bij uitnemendheid:

“Wij hebben zijn heerlijkheid aanschouwd, een heerlijkheid als van de eniggeborene van de Vader, vol van genade en waarheid”. (Johannes 1:14)

“Deze de afstraling van zijn heerlijkheid, en de afdruk van zijn wezen”(Hebreeën 1:3)

Zij hebben twee kanten van hem gezien: zijn gestalte als dienstknecht, die volmaakt de wil van God deed, en zijn verheerlijkte gestalte toen zij met hem op de berg waren (Luc. 9:29; 2 Petr. 1:16). Zijn verheerlijking was een voorproef van wat hij zou ontvangen, wanneer hij de wil van zijn Vader tot het laatst zou doen. Hierin is hij het voorbeeld voor wie in hem gelooft:

“Laat die gezindheid bij u zijn, welke ook in Christus Jezus was, die in de gestalte van God zijnde, het God gelijk zijn niet als een roof heeft geacht, maar de gestalte van een dienstknecht heeft aangenomen … heeft Hij zich vernederd en is gehoorzaam geworden tot de dood, ja tot de kruisdood. Daarom heeft God Hem ook uitermate verhoogd” (Filippenzen 2:5-9; vergelijk Romeinen 8:5-7).

Door verbondenheid met Christus Jezus, en in hun leven dezelfde gezindheid te tonen als hij, kunnen ook andere mensen deel krijgen aan dezelfde natuur en dezelfde heerlijkheid weerspiegelen als hij:

“Want het voegde Hem…dat Hij, om vele zonen tot heerlijkheid te brengen, de Leidsman van hun behoudenis door lijden zou volmaken”. (Hebreeën 2:10)

“Daartoe heeft Hij u ook door ons evangelie geroepen tot het verkrijgen van de heerlijkheid van onze Here Jezus Christus”. (2 Thess. 2:14; 1 Thess. 2:12;vergelijk 2 Timotheüs 2:10)

“En wij allen, die … de heerlijkheid van de Here weerspiegelen, veranderen naar hetzelfde beeld van heerlijkheid tot heerlijkheid …”. (2 Korintiërs 3:18)

Wanneer dit werkelijkheid is geworden, zal Gods doel met de schepping zijn bereikt. Dan zijn de mensen als Zijn zonen, dragen zij Zijn beeld en zal de aarde van Zijn heerlijkheid vol worden:

“En gelijk wij het beeld van de stoffelijke (Adam) gedragen hebben, zo zullen wij het beeld van de hemelse (Christus) dragen”. (1 Korintiërs 15:49)

“… met reikhalzend verlangen wacht de schepping op het openbaar worden van de zonen van God … maar ook wij zelf…zuchten bij onszelf in de verwachting van het zoonschap… Want die Hij tevoren gekend heeft, heeft Hij ook tevoren bestemd tot gelijkvormigheid aan het beeld van zijn Zoon, opdat Hij de eerstgeborene zou zijn onder vele broederen”. (Romeinen 8:19-30)

“Ik zal hem een God zijn en hij zal Mij een zoon zijn”. (Openbaring 21:7)

“Geliefden, nu zijn wij kinderen van God, en het is nog niet geopenbaard wat wij zijn zullen; maar wij weten, dat, als Hij (Christus) zal geopenbaard zijn, wij Hem gelijk zullen wezen …”. (1 Johannes 3:2)

Psalm 8 en de heerlijkheid van de mens in Christus Jezus

De aandacht van gelovigen richt zich op Gods doel met de schepping van de mens, zoals geopenbaard in het boek Genesis (1:26). Koning David schreef in Psalm 8 een overdenking hiervan. Hij zag de heerlijkheid van de Hemelkoning (verzen 1-4), die de mens schiep om zijn onderkoning op aarde te zijn (vergelijk Genesis 41:40) en te regeren over alle wezens daarop (verzen 4-9). Omdat het hier om Adam ging, heeft David waarschijnlijk in eerste instantie een specifieke mens op het oog. In Psalm 21:6 beschouwt hij zijn eigen unieke positie als koning op Gods troon op aarde. In Psalm 72 spreekt hij over zijn zoon Salomo. Maar beide waren zij niet de eeuwige koning die God beloofde (zie 2 Samuël 7:11-29; Psalm 21:5 en 72:17). Genesis 1 en Psalm 8 vormen dan ook het begin van een rode draad in de openbaring van Gods doel met de mens, die ons leidt tot het Nieuwe Testament en de daarin geopenbaarde vervulling in Christus Jezus (Luc. 10:22; Ef. 1:21-22; 1 Kor. 15:25-27; Hebr. 1:1-4en 2:5-9; Kolos. 1:15-17) en doorgaat in allen die geloven (Hebr. 2:10; Rom. 8:17).

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Vraag ter overdenking:

Hoe kunt u worden tot een nieuwe mens, naar het beeld van Christus?

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Voorgaande

Al-Fatiha [De Opening] Surah 1: 4-7 Barmhartige Heer van de Schepping om ons de juiste weg te tonen

Fundamenten van het Geloof: De lankmoedigheid van God

Fundamenten van het Geloof 2: De levende en waarachtige God

Fundamenten van geloof 3: De Persoonlijkheid van God

Fundamenten van het Geloof 4: Engelen. Gods volmaakte dienaren

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Aansluitende lectuur

  1. De Schepper achter eerste levende wezens
  2. Bereshith 2:15-25 v 18-25 Een Hulp voor de man of een Vrouw in het vizier
  3. Betreft de Mens
  4. Betreffende het spirituele lichaam
  5. Begin van leven op aard: schepping of evolutie
  6. Fundamenten van het Geloof: De goedertierenheid van God
  7. Begrijpend Zingen: Psalm 8: Wat is de mens…?
  8. Begrijpend Zingen: Psalm 8: Heerschappij mens en luister
  9. Gebed na het lezen van Psalm 8
  10. De toorn van God
  11. De Verlosser 3 Zijn menselijke kant
  12. Schepping geschenk van God
  13. EO-directie: ‘Wij geloven in God als Schepper’

Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.

Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Leh...

Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Intelligent Design proponent. Lecture at DPC, University of Maine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest publication from the Discovery Institute (the organisation that promotes Intelligent Design theory) is somewhat of a departure from their previous coyness regarding religion. As the introduction by John West describes, “intelligent design focuses on whether the development of life was purposeful or blind” and not on common descent (p11); indeed many ID advocates accept common descent (e.g. Michael Behe). This book not only challenges the idea that humans and apes share a common ancestor but also explores whether there is evidence that all mankind is descended from an original couple (who are frequently labelled “Adam and Eve”). The motivation for this foray into common descent is the claims being made by theistic evolutionists, particularly the BioLogos Foundation, which, it is claimed, encourages Christians to revise “traditional Christian teachings” (pp9-10, 105-6).

In the debate over evolution it defenders and its critics often argue past each other. Evolutionists claim evolution did happen because of such things as the similarities in morphology and DNA, distribution of fossils, and apparent ancestral vestiges. Creationists claim evolution could not happen because of such things as irreducible complexity, symbiotic organisms, and the sheer improbability of invention by random mutation. Science & Human Origins fits within this mould, though it does cite some new evidence.

The first two chapters centre on an experiment conducted by Ann Gauger and Douglas Axe, in which they identified two proteins with similar morphology but different function and tried to estimate how one could evolve into the other by neo-darwinian processes. They concluded that it would require seven coordinated mutations to occur, something too improbable to have occurred within the history of the universe (p20). From this finding they argue that, firstly, unguided processes could not have produced the changes necessary to evolve humans from apes, and, secondly, similar morphology is not a reliable indicator common ancestry. This research is interesting and the sort of evidence that anti-evolutionists need to produce if they are to affect a shift from the current neo-Darwinian paradigm. But, at most, this kind of experiment demonstrates the ineffectiveness of random mutation; it does not, of itself, rule out common descent. And, as has often been pointed out, it is difficult to prove a negative. Maybe it didn’t happen this way; that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

The third chapter is an interesting review of the literature regarding the fossil record. It highlights the vast uncertainties about the earliest hominin fossils (4-7 million years ago). Then it presses the differences between the australopithecines (1-4 million years ago) and the homo genus (0-2 million years ago); the former are considered an extinct form of ape, the latter are considered part of the family of humans. The fourth chapter considers two genetic arguments for common descent, so-called “junk DNA” and chromosomal fusion. It was previously argued that large regions of non-coding DNA within the human genome made intelligent design unlikely. Recent research has demonstrated that much that was previously considered junk is now known to be functional. The more interesting argument is that the 23rd human chromosome-pair seems to be fusion of two ape chromosome-pairs (apes have 24 chromosome-pairs). Casey Luskin challenges this argument saying that at most it shows that a human ancestor had 24 chromosome-pairs, not that this ancestor was a common ancestor with apes; this response does not seem to be particularly strong. Luskin also suggests that the similarity between the 23rd human chromosome-pair and ape chromosome-pairs is not as compelling as it might appear; it is difficult for a non-scientist to judge.

In the final chapter Gauger challenges an argument from population genetics put forward by Francisco Ayala, which implies that there was never a bottle-neck of a single human couple in our ancestry (Ayala assumes common descent with apes). This chapter is quite technical, but in brief, Gauger reveals the hidden assumptions in Ayala’s argument, cites other studies that focused on other parts of the gene, and concludes that it is possible that there was such a bottleneck. Gauger then goes further and considers the possibility that humans and apes did not have a common ancestor, citing some examples that would not be expected on current evolutionary models (e.g. regions of the human genome that are closer to gorilla than ape sequences).

This is an interesting book and, at very least, sketches the relevant issues in the ongoing debate over common descent. Its inadequacy, and the inadequacy of much of ID research, is that it does not present a unified alternative to the current evolutionary narrative. Reading between the lines, there is equivocation over the whether to just reject unguided neo-Darwinian processes or to also propose an act of special creation as an alternative to common descent. (This equivocation is probably representative of the equivocation within the ID community). It seems incumbent on those who would reject common descent to propose an alternative narrative for the distribution of fossils and the variation with the human genome. It seems the authors are sorely tempted to say that God created Adam and Eve as a distinct genus (including Home erectus and Home neanderthalensis, as well as Homo sapiens) and that some evolutionary process is responsible for the variation found within the genus, but this is never stated explicitly (nor is it likely to be).

Those who believe in the special creation of a single human couple from whom all humanity descends are likely to take comfort from these scientific challenges to the current neo-darwinian paradigm, but this is not the book that will cause a paradigm shift.

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  • How to Test for Intelligent Design (str.typepad.com)
    Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute writes an interesting article in response to a scientist’s statement that “the Intelligent Design hypothesis is untestable by science, exactly because we can never empirically know or understand the actions of God or any other Intelligent Designer.”Luskin points out that, on the contrary, we can understand when actions are being taken by intelligent designers (such as human beings), and from that, make testable predictions.
  • Genes (slideshare.net)
    Each cell in the human body contains about 25,000 to 35,000 genes. Genes carry information that determines your traits.
  • The Discovery Institute gets terminally desperate: considers evolutionary rebuttals of creationist arguments as “condemning religion” (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    The Discovery Institute, losing its battle for Intelligent Design (ID) on all fronts (they can’t even get it taught in a Texas community college!) has resorted to a desperation move: attacking the characters of evolutionary biologists.  How this will give evidence for ID is beyond me: perhaps they think that if they show character flaws in evolutionists they thereby discredit our discipline. But whatever happened to their promise to that “scientific” evidence for ID was “right around the corner”? They seem to have forgotten that one.And they should be mindful of the beam in their own eye: despite their claim that ID isn’t religiously motivated, virtually everyone at the Discovery Institute is religious, and some of them (like Paul Nelson and William Dembski) unwisely proclaim their religious motivations when they think they’re out of earshot.
  • Casey Luskin’s latest take on junk DNA – is he lying or is he stupid? (sandwalk.blogspot.com)
    The issue of junk DNA is a case in point. We’ve been trying to explain the facts to people like Casey Luskin. I know he’s listening because he comments on Sandwalk from time to time. Surely it can’t be that hard? All they have to do is acknowledge that “Darwinians” are opposed to junk DNA because they think that natural selection is very powerful and would have selected against junk DNA. All we’re asking is that they refer to “evolutionary biologists” when they talk about junk DNA proponents.
  • Discovery Institute’s Triumph #5 for 2013 (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)
    The Discoveroids were proclaiming the good news of a book — Discovering Intelligent Design — published by their in-house vanity press, the Discovery Institute Press, and written by “home school educators Gary and Hallie Kemper [of whom no one ever heard], and Discovery Institute research coordinator Casey Luskin.”
  • Discovery Institute Embraces Martyrdom (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)
    Some of you may not have been around back in 2010 when your compassionate Curmudgeon honored him — see Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow. Most of his long post today is just a copy of what he posted a few weeks ago, about which we wrote Discoveroids Suffer a Crushing Defeat.Yes, Casey is claiming that the Discoveroids’ defeat at Amarillo College, a state-run, two-year community college in Amarillo, Texas, is one of their big highlights of the year. They were apparently embarked on a stealth campaign to infiltrate two-year community colleges with their kind of creationist course, using their books, thinking that no one would notice. But their plans were thwarted when the non-credit course was cancelled.
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Science, belief, denial and visibility 1

In the previous article we talked about doubt which can be around the believer and non-believer. We have seen in the previous articles that many people have questions about life and surrounding. They wonder if knowledge of science would stand in the way of their belief. Sometimes people may find themselves dangling at the edge of belief not able to take the plunge.

In case you are feeling like that know that “you are not alone”. If  you are ashamed to ask questions or have reservations that seem insurmountable, “you are not alone”.

Some may consider religion “like a merchant selling its own knockoff of the real thing”.  They prefer to look at it as a “similar imitation, but not the authentic product”.

As recognises in 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us is that it are human beings who made a concoction of religion. He writes:

the problem with religion: it is manmade and lacks the integrity of the real thing. Religion offers the “good enough” instead of the “best.”

But the right religion shall always present the best of what is available at that moment and shall never be satisfied with just offering something which might be “good enough”. In case that is so you are probably looking at the wrong religion.

Churches nearby or far away from home

Percentage of state populations that identify ...

Percentage of state populations that identify with a religion rather than “no religion”, 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those Americans who live in the Bible Belt where most people go to a church in their neighbourhoods may be called lucky that they are able to find a church very near by. In certain countries people have to go far for their service in a church. For example our ecclesia its services make that people have to travel between 40 and 360 km to come to the Breaking of the Bread, having our services taking place in Nivelles/Nijvel, HeverleeLeuven, Mons and Paris. This also makes that we do not have many people wanting to join, or to come regularly, because everybody just wants to have their church at the doorstep.

In Belgium the Catholic church shall have to face the distance problem also from now, because most Catholic churches shall become closed from 2014 because there are not enough priests and not enough churchgoers. Five to ten parishes shall be concentrated to one place from now on. We wonder if those Catholics shall travel such one way of 20 km to go to mass. In protestant circles this has not been strange over the years, so they are used to cover some distance to go to church.

The 26 years old, student, writer, sceptic and worshipper (of … ?) says:

Many people are walking away from God.

Faith and religions are some of those things people get confused with. Also the matter if it has something to do with a god or the True God. Strangely enough several people are searching the internet to get something to know about what “religion is.” The young writer finds that our look at religion and its painful presentation of God may be outdated. He writes:

The truth is, religion missed the bus into the 21st Century and now we are faced with an unpopular decision: starting over or being left behind.

and he has good reason to think so. Many churches did not see how time passed but also how times changed. God, Who is One, does not change, but they wanted to create their own pictures of their god how they wanted to see him fitting their age and time and making up their church according to their denominational construction. Most churches do not want to follow the way church has to be formed according to God, but do want to fit it in according their idea of how church should look like. And that is where church went on the wrong track or got on the line of deviations and delays.

English: A map showing the Norwegian Bible Bel...

A map showing the Norwegian Bible Belt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several churches, certainly in the United States wanted to make science the enemy of religion. In Holland several churches got blinded by the American Mega churches and having more than three hundred television channels to choose from, most home-stayers got pulled away by reality shows, series and some by those television preachers which promise all the gold you can think of. In Belgium, just a few, but also too many, found their way to those television churches, which make it easy to sit at home and say you watched a service, so you have done your Sunday duty.

The fight between science and religion.

We have all the seen the ugly fight between science and religion. Whether it has been in a classroom, a courtroom, or a Sunday morning sermon, we all have heard why one is right and the other is wrong.

continues the writer of 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us, where he suggests this is just not the case and says he does not believe science is the enemy. He has good reason to believe that science and faith can co-exist and even work together.

In America it is possible, like in Holland to go to schools where they do not want to accept the world evolved. the author of the above mentioned article also was taught in high school that evolution was silly because of all the “missing links.” but did they get deeper into the subject of how the world could have been going on for millions of years? He does not tell. But we can see here at the European continent that more fundamentalist Christian churches and Christian schools want to give their youngsters an idea of the evolution of the world which is not according the real Bible teaching nor according to findings many scientists and archaeologists made.

Also at the television churches they mock with all scientific findings and ridicule archaeologists and other scientists.

Luckily the young writer who graduated in 2006 has seen new discoveries.

He came to understand that science can teach us where we came from and how the world as well as humans are evolving.

But I also believe that there is a certain point where science (logic and reason) are limited and this is the place faith takes over. Science cannot and will not explain everything, but neither can religion.

It has never been the aim of Christian religion to do this. It is wrong to think that the Bible would or should have to be a scientific explanation book and scientific instruction book. God provided a Guide for everybody whatever schooling they might have had or even also for those who did not get the chance to get an education.

God His Word had to be available and understandable for everybody. You do not have to be a theological scholar to understand God’s Word; That is one of the biggest misunderstandings and the biggest cause of having ‘religious institutions’ having deformed God His Words and having them made dogma‘s many people just took over, because they believed they had to believe what those theologians said, because they could not understands such ‘godly and divine matters’. Lots of people also wanted to have religion co-inside with their traditions and as such found it acceptable to have a three headed god for example. The Trinity made it also possible to have something mystic or something special ‘attractive’ because incomprehensible. It also made that they continue to worship pictures and have many saints or people where they could pray to. Otherwise they only had to count on One Something, Who was not a man but a Spirit, and could not be seen or pictured, because the God of Abraham can not be seen and may not be pictured.

So What Now?

One of the greatest tragedies in life is when people hold on to something when they know it has failed. The denial of carrying a corpse around can be a tremendous burden.

The problem with getting people to come and see about the different ways of religion and how the God of the Bible wants to have people around Him, is that people do not want to break with the past, with the attitudes of their ancestors and with the traditions of the region where they are living. It often takes a move to an other country before people would take over … some other traditions …

Or are people willing to come to the facts? Or do they only want to have faith in something they can grasp?

Spirit or person, reality or tradition

To get people to decide for their own, taking the words for what they are and how they are written down in the Bible is very difficult. When we do our preaching and read parts from the Bible, lots of people continue to bring into it always their background of their trinitarian teaching. when there is written “this person” does this or that, they consider that there is also said that “that person” does this or that, instead of willing to take the “this” person where is written “this” and the “that” person where is written “that”. And as such they keep mixing figures but keep also not seeing clear.
That way we also do find Christian denominations which say God is a woman because God is Wisdom and the Bible talks about “her” and “she”. Also others say God is a woman because God is Love and love is feminine and the Scriptures talk about “She” when it describes that love. Others say God is a man because He is a warrior, or something else which is masculine. But God is none of them because He is a Spirit.

” (24)  “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

People should try to accept that there can be a Supreme Being that is not like them or does not fit their images. God can not be pictured, except that we know He has some elements of us because we are created in His image. Because nobody has ever been able to see God, we also can have no real picture of Him in our mind and we may not make a picture of Him in our life.

” (1)  And Elohim spoke all these Words, saying,  (2)  “I am יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.  (3)  “You have no other mighty ones against My face.  (4)  “You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth,  (5)  you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  (6)  but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.” (Exodus 20:1-6 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (19)  And He said, “I shall cause all My goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of יהוה {Jehovah} before you. And I shall favour him whom I favour, and shall have compassion on him whom I have compassion.”  (20)  But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:19-20 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (17)  Now to the Sovereign of the ages, incorruptible, invisible, to Elohim who alone is wise, be respect and esteem forever and ever. Amĕn.” (1Ti 1:17 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (16)  who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or is able to see, to whom be respect and everlasting might. Amĕn.” (1Ti 6:16 The Scriptures 1998+)

Visible or invisible

How many people are wiling to accept that God the Immortal King of the King of kings is and was invisible? In case Jesus was God than nobody could have seen him and stayed alive. Many people saw Jesus of whom the Father in heaven declared that it was His son. In case God twisted His words and the above verses would not be true, nor that what God said from heaven was totally true than people could and should consider God a liar. But God does not tell lies. Though many churches of the Christian Faith made Him one who was not telling the truth or not keeping His words. Those who think Jesus is God should question if Jesus told the truth when he was asked if they could sit next to him or when he would return or when the end times would come. Every time Jesus told them it was not given to him to decide who was to be seated where or when he would come back. He told them he did not know such things. But God does know everything, so those who do not accept Jesus as the son of God but make him the god son are making God into a liar. He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony or witness in himself; he who does not believe God, has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony or record that Jehovah the God of heaven and earth has given concerning His son.

” (10)  The one who believes in the Son of Elohim has the witness in himself, the one who does not believe Elohim has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the witness that Elohim has given concerning His Son.” (1 John 5:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

Denial

Religion Stencil

Religion Stencil (Photo credit: murdelta)

Atheism brings the denial of the existence of God or gods, but those who have faith in the Creator should know that the God of gods exists and that man still make many gods today.

It is narrow-minded to reduce a naturalist’s worldview down to its negative component of atheism, just as it is narrow minded for a Muslim to consider a Christian anti-Muhhamad.

Theo • philogue writes in Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

Such reductionist labeling can feed into prejudices and hinder mutual respect and productive dialogue.  On the other hand, … I don’t necessarily think the argument Baggini advances in order to accomplish his redefinition of the word “atheism” is sound.

But he also warns:

It seems to me that evangelicals who hold to exclusivists positions ideologically (i.e. that only Christianity is true and all other religions false) have no choice but to admit with Baggini that human beings in general are not good at interpreting their experiences — especially religious experiences.  How can Muslims be so skeptical about the religious experiences of Christians (or vice versa), but be so confident in their own?

Scientific understanding having more continuity globally than religious understanding

According to the Bible when people die they are just death and can do nothing or think anything. But there are religious people who think their soul is some extra element in their body which shall go out of it. In such an instance, when there would be a soul leaving the body, able to think and do things, this ‘soul’ should remain fully conscious after death. When this would the case you should wonder why the soul does not retain memories for those with brain disease, dementia , Alzheimer, etc..

Here it seems that views of consciousness after death are problematic in light of the dependency relationship established by science between consciousness and brain activity.  This area of science is forcing some evangelicals, for example, to rethink their interpretation of biblical language about souls to accommodate the scientific data. {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

Several people say there is strong evidence for consciousness after death by the “testimony of mediums, supposed appearances of ghosts, and near-death experiences.” First of all they forget the near death experience is an experience the person had when he or she was not death but alive. It is an experience of a ‘living soul’, being the ‘being’ of a person.

Psyche and Amor, also known as Psyche Receiving Cupid’s First Kiss (1798), by François Gérard: a symbolic butterfly hovers over Psyche in a moment of innocence poised before sexual awakening.

In the Bibletranslations we do find the Hebrew ne′phesh and the Greek psy·khe′ in certain languages being translated as “soul” and “psyche”. It is not about Psyche (/ˈsk/, Greek: Ψυχή, “Soul” or “Breath of Life”) or Eros the mythical figure which fell in love with Cupid or Amor. It is about the Psyche (psychology) which is the totality of the human mind, conscious, and unconscious.

When we look at the different texts in the Holy Scriptures we can see that it was God Who placed His Breath in the first human beings, plus in the animals,  and as such the person or animal came into a living being. When spoken about a soul, this person or animal was meant. The soul is the life that a person or an animal enjoys and it does not mean an immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. The Bible tells us that when God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life that after that action man became a living soul.

“(7)  And יהוה {Jehovah} Elohim formed the man out of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life. And the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 The Scriptures 1998+)

It does not say that man was given a soul but that he became a soul, a living person.

“(5)  “But only your blood for your lives I require, from the hand of every beast I require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I require the life of man.” (Genesis 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)

The “blood of your lives” or the blood of your souls” is not the blood of something different than the normal body we can see. When we see the same word in the original text we should translate it the same or when we use once ‘soul’ and the other time ‘live’ or ‘body’ in the same translation we should know that it is all speaking about the same thing ‘the corps’ the being of something or someone’. The Greek word translated in 1 Corinthians 15:45 for “soul” in many translations is the accusative case of psy·khe′. KJ, AS, Dy, JB, NAB, and Kx also read “soul.” RS, NE, and TEV say “being.”

” (45)  And so it has been written, “The first man Aḏam became a living being,” the last Aḏam a life-giving Spirit.  (46)  The spiritual, however, was not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  (47)  The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Master from heaven.  (48)  As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.  (49)  And as we have borne the likeness of the earthy, we shall also bear the likeness of the heavenly.  (50)  And this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood is unable to inherit the reign of Elohim, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-50 The Scriptures 1998+)

When something happens with people the Bible says this or that happened with the souls.

“who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” (1 Peter 3:20 HNV) (NHBESY, NKJV, RNKJV, RV,Sawyer, WORNT,
“eight, souls were brought safely through water.” (WPNT); “eight souls, were delivered through water” (NET)
eight souls, were saved by water (RHB)
“wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (KJV, BRG, LEB, LITV, a.o..)
“Those who in the past were disobedient; and in the days of Noah, when the Spirit of God had patience, he commanded an ark to be made in the hope of their repentance, but only eight souls entered into it, and were saved by it floating upon the water.” (1 Peter 3:20 Lamsa NT ) “which were formerly disobedient, in the days of Noah, when the long suffering of Alaha commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it, and were kept alive in the waters.” (1 Peter 3:20 Re. Murdock);  “a few folks” (JMNT)
“those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah, when YHVH in extreme patience, commanded an ark to be made, hoping that they would amend their ways, but only eight people entered it and survived the water during the flood.” (1 Peter 3:20 ToY+ )

In several places, like in Joshua 11:11 we can find that those “souls” could be “stricken” or “killed” or could fall under the edge of the sword.Theo Philo writes:

It seems impossible to contest that the traditional Christian anthropology of body-soul dualism is problematic because it requires one to believe that “non-material thinking souls exist along side brains and somehow interact with them, and that, further, the dependency of consciousness on brain activity miraculously disappears at death, when the soul lives on without the body”

But according to the Bible there is no body-soul dualism at all and when people fall asleep, leaving the world of the living they shall be death and will not be able to do anything with what they collected in their life nor shall they be able to think something or do something, except having their body decaying or to dust or in the incinerator coming to ashes. When life comes to an end it is the breath of the person which goes out the person but not to live somewhere else. The breath is the transfer of air caused by breathing or by being alive.

” (2)  While I live I praise יהוה {Jehovah}; I sing praises to my Elohim while I exist.  (3)  Do not put your trust in princes, In a son of man, in whom is no deliverance.  (4)  His spirit goes out, he returns to his earth; In that day his plans perish.” (Psalm 146:2-4 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (5)  For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know naught, nor do they have any more reward, for their remembrance is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (9)  See life with the wife whom you love all the days of your futile life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of futility. For that is your share in life, and in your toil which you have laboured under the sun.  (10)  All that your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (14)  I know that whatever Elohim does is forever. There is no adding to it, and there is no taking from it. Elohim does it, that men should fear before Him.  (15)  Whatever is has already been, and what shall be has been before. But Elohim seeks out what has been pursued.  (16)  Then again I saw under the sun: In the place of right-ruling, wrongness was there. And in the place of righteousness, wrongness was there.  (17)  I said in my heart, “Elohim judges the righteous and the wrong, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”  (18)  I said in my heart, “Concerning the matter of the sons of men, Elohim selects them, so as to see that they themselves are beasts.”  (19)  For the event of the sons of men is also the event of beasts – one event befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Indeed, they all have one breath – man has no advantage over beasts. For all is futile.  (20)  All are going to one place – all came from the dust, and all return to dust.  (21)  Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the beast, which goes down to the earth?  (22)  So I saw that man could do no better but to rejoice in his own works, for that is his portion. For who would bring him to see what shall be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:14-22 The Scriptures 1998+)

For us will happen the same as the animals. Our penalty for the sins we have done shall be paid by our death, where we shall end up breathing, thinking, speaking or being able to do anything. For that which happens to us happens also to animals. Even one thing happens to both of us, man and animal alike. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity. There is no evidence at all for life after death and the Holy Scriptures tells us what is going to happen to our body (our souls). We shall all return to dust. Decay shall come over human beings as it comes over plants and animals. We better believe in the stronger evidence for human mortality than in evidence for immortality of human ‘souls’ being some extra spiritual being in man.It is the philosophical ideas of the early writers and of later fantasts which made people dream of adventures lives in some strange after-life worlds or underground-worlds, or several heaven-levels (be it 8 or 12 heavens according some worldly writers).We can not see any different soul than the souls running around on this planet, the masculine and feminine beings, called man and animal. No scientific X-rays or special screening could prove there would be some alternative ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’ in the human beings. What is scientifically proven is the aura or a sort of temperature change around each living being. The aura appears by humans but also by animals and plants. so that also does not proof any existence of an extra spirit in the human beings which would be an other ‘soul’ than the ‘soul’ spoken of in the many books of the Bible where it is meant the persons.

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Next: Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. Faith
  2. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  3. The Trinity – the Truth
  4. Idolatry or idol worship
  5. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. #1 Creator and His Prophets
  6. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  7. Edward Wightman
  8. Dying or not
  9. What happens when we die?
  10. The Soul confronted with Death
  11. Dead and after
  12. Destination of righteous
  13. Destination of the earth
  14. Sheol or the grave
  15. Soul
  16. The Soul not a ghost
  17. Is there an Immortal soul
  18. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  19. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  20. How are the dead?
  21. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  22. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  23. We will all be changed

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Also of interest:

  1. 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us
  2. Direct Faith & Belief
  3. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

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  • No religion ‘is the new establishment’ (christiantoday.com)
    Two surveys conducted by YouGov reveal that out of 8,455 British adults polled, 38 per cent – 3,199 in total – said they have ‘no religion’.

    This is most notable in younger generations, with almost half (48 per cent) of those under 30 identifying themselves as having no religion, while only 27 per cent of over 60s said the same.

    Furthermore, for the first time ever, ‘no religion’ has become the identity of the absolute majority of those aged 18 and 19.

    It is important to note that ‘no religion’ is not synonymous with ‘atheist’.

  • UK Supreme Court: Religion Does Not Require God (clrforum.org)
    Last week, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom–since 2009, the highest court in the UK–handed down what looks to be a significant decision on the meaning of “religion” in English law. The decision suggests that, for legal purposes, religion does not require a belief in God.
    +
    Lord Toulson made clear he was not announcing a categorical test for all circumstances–Scientology qualifies as a religion. The court ordered the government to certify the couple’s church as a place where valid marriages could take place.
    +
    Religion is inherently communal, and some of the most important benefits the state derives from religion–for example, greater civic participation–depend on religion’s being a group activity. In America, some people have begun to argue for a very individualistic definition of religion, one in which a sole practitioner, following her own inner voice, can qualify as a religion for legal purposes. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court rejected this view, and there are good reasons to do so. I’ll have more to say about all this is a forthcoming paper, to be published next month by the European University Institute. I’ll post more on this subject then.
  • New Statistics: the religious make-up of America (skeptical-science.com)
    The Washington Post has published a rather detailed breakdown of religion in the US … alas statistics, so yes it can indeed be potentially quite dull stuff, I’ll skip a lot of details and cut to the chase of what it is of interest – non-belief is rapidly increasing.
    +
    40 per cent of people in Boston have no religion at all, and it’s more than half in many counties. As for the 47 per cent of Bostonians who are Catholic “participants” – well, there isn’t much participation going on come Sunday morning. We’re talking about 17 per cent Mass attendance these days –and it was only 20 per cent before the clergy scandals broke. The story is the same in many other supposedly Catholic cities – fewer than one in five Catholics go to church regularly. Compare that to the 70 per cent in the 1950s
  • Ask an Atheist: The Usual Questions (csgroome.wordpress.com)
    I am not 100% certain. I am certain beyond reasonable doubt, enough to state that I see no reason to think supernatural beings exist. Any academic and self respecting atheist who embraces science and reasoning would always leave their opinions open for change and new evidence. This is where Atheism differs from religion, because we are not certain and would change our views if given evidence, but we are convinced by the lack of evidence and by all rational argument, that appealing to myths from intellectually dark parts of human history can not even begin to give us answers to any questions, even moral or epistemological ones.
  • Haunting the chapel: my thoughts on heavy metal and religion. (seanmunger.com)
    Is heavy metal inherently anti-religious? Having been virtually a lifelong metalhead, I can say from experience that many people, both within and without the scene, believe that it is, or should be. Critique of organized religion or aspects of it has been a common lyrical and thematic element in metal for decades.
    +
    Even without analyzing the long history of Satanic themes in metal, the music itself has always celebrated nonconformity. Its heavy and dissonant tones, developing beginning in the 1950s, by their nature challenge the normal, the usual and the mainstream. Religion, especially orthodox or fundamentalist religion, is the ultimate conformity. It certainly didn’t help that some religious organizations and people, especially evangelical Americans, made metal music a target in the 1970s and 1980s, blaming it for causing suicides, school shootings or indoctrinating kids with Satanism. Against this background, the heavy-handed anti-religiosity of figures like Glen Benton (Deicide) seems more like retaliation than provocation.
  • Visible Religion: Beliefs permeate life in Indonesia (indonesiaful.com)
    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Indonesia has six accepted religions: Islam, Catholicism, Christianity (which really means Protestantism), Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It is not acceptable, however, to be atheist, agnostic, or Jewish. The first pillar of pancasila, Indonesia’s guiding political policy, is “belief in one God,” which has enough room in it to accept Indonesian versions of Hinduism and Buddhism, but definitely not the lack of any God at all.

    As a result of “knowing” that everyone has more or less similar beliefs, religion takes a highly visible role in everyday society here. My school’s flag ceremony alternates every other week with school-wide prayer, which is separate for Muslims, Christians, and Catholics. There are different uniforms for Muslim girls (long skirts and sleeves for girls, with headscarf) and Christian girls (short sleeves and knee-length skirts). All students take classes in their own religions, and each school has rooms for each religion.

  • Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation? (collectionofclancy.wordpress.com)
    I know of many relatives, friends and people I’ve met in general who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t judge them for it. However what kills me is that their status gives me the feeling that they are the smarter and more enlightened people. But on the other side, the church gives me the feeling that because I have more liberal beliefs means I cannot truly be as good as the devout. A rock/hard place moment.
  • Does Religion Shape a Person? (meesh14102.wordpress.com)
    My Catholic education and religious family background influenced me to be a devout Catholic; no doubt about it. I attended Church every Sunday, received the sacraments, prayed every night, etc. I was a firm believer in God, heaven, and hell. However, as I matured in my college years, I began to have a few doubts about my religion. There was no traumatic life event or epiphany to lead me to these doubts, I just simply began to question. I began researching different religions, asking people of different beliefs their opinions on God (or lack there of) and finally I read a book. I was assigned to read, “God No!” by author Penn Jillette during my Communication Ethics course.
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    I don’t need a God to influence a good and honest behavior. My mom told me to never speak of my new belief (or lack  there of) ever again and to Never tell my father. I respected these wishes and continue to keep my thoughts about God and religion to myself. I believe a persons’ inner self shapes their character. I do not believe religion is what influences a good or bad character.
  • Religion? (lordmontello.wordpress.com)
    The cause and effect of religion leads to nothing but groups of different beliefs that have waged war on each other for not accepting their beliefs. Without religion their would be no blood shed by religious cults and will prevent mass war between other civilizations belifs.
  • The False Compatibility Of Religion And Science (amitoben.com)
    Religious counterparts will often point out that many scientists are religious, and that most, if not all, scientists in the past were religious as well. This claim is often propped up by such big names as Kepler, Galileo and Newton, and is commonly capped off with a challenge to nonbelievers that takes the form of “Who are you to claim to be smarter than those great religious scientists?”.
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Dignified role for the woman

The dignity of the office of housewife is today by many forgotten. Many men are not conscious what a work it demands to keep the household running properly. there are men who wanted their wives to work outside the house, but who are not willing to take on themselves the jobs in the house. Instead many married men do expect to have the woman working to bring in extra money plus doing all the household tasks.

If we want to see gender equality we do have to find the household jobs being done by men and women, both sharing in equal tasks.

English: Equality (film), a short film produce...

Equality (film), a short film produced and directed by Al Sutton, MD in 2010, that documents the largest gender equality strike in U.S. History, The Women’s Strike for Equality of 1970. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we look at creation, the first woman, Eve, was provided as Adam’s complement, or counterpart, by the Creator. She was not created as a minor to the first man Adam. the divine Maker of all things, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God assigned to the mannin or first woman an honourable role in the family arrangement. She was to be a part of God’s purpose for them to produce children and care for them as well as to take care of the earth and its animals. She would provide the intellectual stimulus and support of a true companion.

26 And God* went on to say: “Let us+ make* man* in our image,*+ according to our likeness,+ and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.”+ 27 And God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him;+ male and female he created them.+ 28 Further, God blessed+ them and God said to them: “Be fruitful+ and become many and fill the earth and subdue+ it, and have in subjection+ the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving* upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

23 Then the man said: “This is at last bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh.+ This one will be called Woman,* Because from man* this one was taken.”+ (Genesis 2:23.)

Today we have become a society where mothers are commonly made to feel that being a homemaker and caring for children is a second-class occupation. Women are made feeling guilty when they would prefer to look for the children. The world does not mind to see the children dropped at the crèche or childcare early in the morning, and to get them at the end of the day just to put them back into bed. Though they do not want that the childminders interfere with upbringing or that the educators at school give an education in ethical behaviour. Because of that we do have already three generations where we can find no guided social behaviour, creating several problems in social behaviour and finding ways to live together with others. Resulting in anti-social behaviour.

Some men and women feel that a woman needs a career outside the home in order to realize her full potential.

Through history we can see that the Divine Creator established guidelines for what women could do and as to how they were to be treated. For example, Israelite mothers were to be shown honor and not to be treated with contempt. If a son ‘called down evil upon his father and his mother,’ he would be subject to the death penalty. Christian youths were urged to be “obedient to [their] parents.”

3 “‘YOU should fear each one his mother and his father,*+ and my sabbaths YOU should keep.+ I am Jehovah YOUR God. (Leviticus 19:3)

9 “‘In case there should be any man who calls down evil upon his father and his mother,+ he should be put to death without fail.+ It is his father and his mother upon whom he has called down evil. His own blood* is upon him.+ (Leviticus; 20:9)

Children in the early times learned to be obedient to their parents and to those who got guidance over them, like their teachers. This does not seem to be appropriate any more today, and that iw why so much is going wrong in our society.

6 Children, be obedient* to YOUR parents+ in union+ with [the] Lord,* for this is righteous:+ (Ephesians 6:1)

16 “‘Honor your father and your mother,+ just as Jehovah your God has commanded you; in order that your days may prove long and it may go well with you+ on the ground that Jehovah your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

16 “‘Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.’+ (And all the people must say, ‘Amen!’) (Deuteronomy 27:16)

17 The eye that holds a father in derision and that despises obedience to a mother+—the ravens of the torrent valley will pick it out and the sons of the eagle will eat it up. (Proverbs 30:17.)

People sitting on mats on the floor, reading b...

Men and women sitting on mats on the floor, reading books to edify themselves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Father an mother were placed on the same level, and children did not have to honour their father more than their mother. Under the husband’s direction, the mother was to be the educator of both daughters and sons. A son was commanded ‘not to forsake the law of his mother.’

20 Observe, O my son, the commandment of your father,+ and do not forsake the law of your mother.+ (Proverbs 6:20)

Also, Proverbs chapter 31 provides “the weighty message that [King Lemuel’s] mother gave to him in correction.” She wisely directed her son to avoid improper use of alcoholic beverages, saying: “It is not for kings to drink wine or for high officials to say: ‘Where is intoxicating liquor?’ that one may not drink and forget what is decreed and pervert the cause of any of the sons of affliction.”(Proverbs 31:1, 4, 5.)

The apostle Paul let his brethren know he also listened to his mother and grandmother and demanded that they also did that. (2 Timothy 1:5) It is from childhood that the basics of faith and the way of life should be given, to the babe, the teen, the adolescent, so that the young adult can remember how his or her parents and teachers brought wisdom to them. From infancy the children should have to learn about the way they do have to continue in their life. From infancy they have to known the Holy Scriptures, that are able to make them wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

15 and that from infancy+ you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation+ through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus.+ (2 Timothy 3:15)

In our society of men and women some may think it does not matter any more if men or going to live together with other men or women with other women. In the provision for manhood is foreseen that young man would find young woman and would contemplate going to live together under a bond called marriage. Considering such a bond the young man would be wise to consider the description of “a capable wife” that was given by King Lemuel’s mother, who said: “Her value is far more than that of corals.” Then, after describing the important contribution that such a wife makes to a household, the king’s mother said: “Charm may be false, and prettiness may be vain; but the woman that fears Jehovah is the one that procures praise for herself.” (Proverbs 31:10-31) Clearly, our Creator made women to occupy a position of honour and responsibility in the family.

In cultures where men received an education centred on the man, we can observe the mistreatment of and lack of respect for women. In places where it is accepted that the woman has to offer something very valuable to the community, people look at those women with respect.

We learn so much from mothers — habits that stand us in good stead throughout life, good manners so essential for good relationships, and in many cases a moral and spiritual upbringing that keeps youths on course.

Women should be proud and show their kids and husbands their reason for making our world a righteous place where every person can be treated equally respectful. The should find joy in loving their husbands, loving their children, and should be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonoured.  (Titus 2:4-5)

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"Mother and Child" by Henriette Brow...

“Mother and Child” by Henriette Browne; Wollstonecraft envisioned motherhood as a liberating role for women. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Francis Frangipane: A Special Word to the Women of God (soundofheavenblog.wordpress.com)
    When the Lord created humankind, He placed unique graces in man and separate but equally unique graces in woman. He told Adam to name the species of life on earth “and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name” (Genesis 2:19).
    +
    Within the genetics of this original man, there also existed the powerful, but dormant, qualities of the woman. While Adam slept the Spirit took from the man a rib. Fashioning it into a woman, the Lord created for Adam a companion. Not only was she suitable for him, but she powerfully expanded man’s creative capacities. Indeed, the woman brought many new graces into Adam’s world that did not formerly exist – the foremost of which was the power to conceive and give birth.
    +
    The term woman was a delineation used by Adam, identifying her as a unique variation in the species of man. My wife says, “Think of her as the upgrade.” In some ways, she is right, for the nature of the woman was twice refined. Adam was created of earth; the woman emerged not from the earth but from the man. She is both more complex and emotionally sophisticated.
    +
    Eve enlivened Adam in ways no other creature on earth could. Adam could build a house; Eve made it a home. When Adam named Eve “Life,” he was not only speaking prophetically of the first mother, but he was speaking out of his own experience: Eve brought life into the structure of Adam’s world.
  • Polygenism is Problematic – A Catholic Caution on another Aspect of Evolutionary Theory (adw.org)
    Polygenism is a theory of human origins positing that the human race descended from a pool of early human couples, indeterminate in number. Hence, this theory, Adam and Eve are merely symbols of Mankind. Rather than being an historical couple, they represent the human race as it emerges from the hominids that gave rise to them as they become homo sapiens, properly speaking.This is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity in Adam and Eve. In this understanding, Adam and Eve are historical figures who actually existed and from them alone the whole of the human race is descended.
  • Genesis 3:15 (biblebeastswheatweeds.com)
    More than 4,000 years after Jehovah’s original prophecy, the promised Seed appeared. It was Jesus. (Galatians 3:16) As a perfect man, Jesus kept his integrity to the death and thus proved that Satan’s accusations were lies. In addition, since Jesus was sinless, his death was a sacrifice of great value. By means of it, Jesus provided deliverance from sin and death for faithful descendants of Adam and Eve. Jesus’ death on the torture stake was the ‘bruising in the heel’ of the promised Seed.—Hebrews 9:11-14.
  • When Family Matters Most (r16sixteen.wordpress.com)
    He created a perpetual (until the return of the Savior) renewing of family. The family structure is important. It is a beautiful union of lives meant to love, care for and support one another. Without family suitable companionship cannot be found.
    +
    If companionship were suitable outside of marriage and the extension family, then God would not have needed to create the woman to be with the man. But God knew that man needed to be joined together in a companionship which leads to family.
    +
    The Home and Family
    We need to define our family as God’s word defines it.  We need to constantly be evaluating ourselves within a marriage to see if we are fulfilling our roles properly.  We need to be watchful for attacks against our home and family.  In fact, we need to be holding God’s word up to ourselves constantly as a father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, or whatever to see how we are measuring up and how we need to improve.
  • Roles of men and woman (knowandmakeknown.wordpress.com)
    Men and woman have equal but very different roles. Our culture has a skewed look on relationships and the gender roles within them. It has become common in our culture for the woman to be the leader or initiator. It is common for woman to try and manipulate situations to get a guy to like or pursue her. It is normal for woman to initiate contact with man first. It is common for men to get by with being lazy or coward. It is common for men to be aggressive and abusive. I so easily forget where I cam from, where mankind came from. In the Garden of Eden we see the roles of man and woman and the consequences of not fulfilling those roles.
  • We Are Equal. (cutedollars.wordpress.com)
    nowhere in all the creation accounts – from Biblical accounts to Greek stories of human creation to Charles Darwin’s theory of human evolution – was woman said to be inferior to the man.
    By Biblical accounts, when God created Adam and Eve, he made them one. Not one then half, but one as a whole, signifying equality.
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    To understand gender inequality and its inherent dangers, let’s take a look at the meaning of gender inequality.
    Gender inequality is the unequal treatment or discrimination of individuals based on their gender.
    The problems with gender inequality stem primarily from traditional gender role playing. Girls do house chores; boys do not cook; boys construct and build; girls internally decorate and beautify.
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    Psychological and financial dependence on others are the bedrock upon which domestic violence thrive. The importance of a career or means of livelihood for the woman, single or married, cannot be overemphasized.
  • Women Othered in Genesis (genderandsexualitycore.wordpress.com)
    though she was created to be “his partner” she is instructed that he is the superior human being, and that her “desire shall be for [her] husband, and he shall rule over [her]” (2:7-18; 3:16).
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    Eve can be construed as wiser than Adam for eating from the tree but it is also important to note that the default human being is male and that God is referred to throughout Genesis with male or gender neutral pronouns and never female pronouns. Most of the passages detailing genealogy focus on or only mention male names and Adam and Eve as a couple are often defined by the male in the relationship, referred to as “the man and his wife” rather than “the man and the woman” or “the woman and her husband.”
  • “Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” -George Carlin (muggleinconverse.wordpress.com)
    UN Women’s new ad campaign came to my attention several days ago. It made me sick to my stomach, disappointed, sad, and angry. Let’s see how it makes you feel.
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    Centuries of religious and societal standards have told us that women are less than men. Women are starting to show up in leadership positions, but they still feel the sting of patriarchy.
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  • Urmila Home Manager – Dignifying Domestic Work (saath.wordpress.com)
    According to National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), In 2009-10, estimated total number of domestic worker in India is around 2.52 million out of this 2/3 reside in urban areas and 57% of them are women. So in the last 10 years there is almost 75% increase in domestic workers mostly accounted for by women. Domestic work has historically been viewed as the realm of the woman with crucial household chores continuing to be either being unpaid (if performed by a household’s women) or underpaid (if outsourced to a domestic worker). Though Gujarat as a State is booming economically, the informal sector and amongst these, domestic work is still a sector where there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Their situation remains the same as for many across India – no bargaining power, no leave, no legal access, sexual harassment, over worked, and underpaid. Moreover there is no platform through which these women can come together to demand their rights.