Category Archives: REFLECTIONS ON THIS AND THAT

CHRIST IN CONGREGATIONAL FORM

Something happens when we gather in one place ‘as the church’ (as Paul frequently expresses it).  In a way that happens nowhere else and at no other time the world is seen with GOD as the throbbing center and Lord over all that is. His Holy Son is proclaimed to be the gallant young Knight of God who fought with and conquered the predatory powers, Sin and Death and the rulers of the darkness that make themselves real and present through the nations and the Satan-serving power-wielders who are also the captives of these invisible powers. With one heart, mind and voice we announce this truth to one another: “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

It matters not that we don’t feel the pulsing truth of this each time we meet–it only matters that we genuinely believe it because we ‘Live’ by faith and not by sight, sound or feeling.

When Paul lived, suffered, wrote and preached to establish and mature ‘assemblies of Christ’ this is who he had in mind. He spoke, of course, to such congregations about the specific behaviors in mortal life that become “congregations of Christ” (that is, the indwelling Christ who takes congregational form, making Himself present in His People–Rom. 16:16). And when needed he confronted and exposed heresies and issues that created serious pastoral problems. Still, it is to the ‘People of God;’ God’s ‘nation’ that he writes. When Balam finally purposes to speak God’s identifying truth about Israel (Num. 23:8), this is what we hear of the tribes poised down in the valley of Moab:

From the top of the crags I see him

From the hills I gaze down on him

                                               Look! A nation that abides alone

                                               A people not numbered among the nations

It matters profoundly that those called by their Lord and Master to minister the Word of God to this ‘called- out-of-the ‘world’ nation “fully carry out their ministry.” This assembly that sits before the minister as he rises to speak or sits to write is not a number of free-standing persons that happens to share similar convictions. Paul (without malice or mockery) differentiates them from Jews and Greeks (non-Jews) and calls them ‘the Church of God’ (1 Cor. 1:2; 10:32). Once more this is a nation, the ‘end time’ people who in Christ—only in Christ and by faith in Him—are a new creation; a People ‘not of the world’ yet not taken out of it. In it because their Lord wants them in it as He was in it (John 17:14-19) to show forth the excellences of GOD, the ONLY GOD, the ONE TRUE GOD who created and called them.

It is these people to whom Paul writes 1 COR. 11; to an assembly where many were mired in and being conned by idolatry as were father and mother Adam and Eve. (More on that later, God enabling).
Paul, the personally chosen teacher for the Lord Jesus, writes to us who right now who watch or (for many who are experiencing) in unbelief the worship of the gods and goddesses; he vicious and wilderness-creating Sekhmet, the war-mongering Mars, the self-adoring Narcissus or Aesculapius, the god of healing. And given some relief we will go back to worshiping ourselves in whom these gods live and move and have their being.

jimmcguiggan

BOYS, GIRLS, MEN AND WOMEN AT THE DOOR

“Three men are at the door…”

“Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, the men sent…stood before the gate.. The Spirit said, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you’…to hear words by which they can be saved.’” Acts 10:17, 19; 11:14.

Truth never seems so sacred as when we begin to see its true uses and the poor souls that are robbed and kept in crippling ignorance never seem so well worth living for, as when we see how much they need His truth (Brooks).

Truth is for storing up within to prepare us, making us wise when the evil days with their lies, half-truths and misinformation masquerade as liberating friends and as angels of light when in fact they are ministers of confusion, gloom and then complete darkness.

Truth is for singing, praying, teaching and for doing! If it is hoarded for self-protection, self-aggrandizement and enrichment then ‘truth’ is not His truth and if it is not His truth it is not truth at all or at least, not worth gaining because it had bred maggots.

If it is ‘truth’ that is only for a few, for specialists who share it with other specialists who alone can grasp it and be able to repeat it to an elite academy then it is not His truth! Alasdair McIntyre, the highly esteemed Aristotelian academic who fervently believed in stern peer-review and in philosophy as a grand enterprise still maintained that any philosophy that is not linked to life, that doesn’t affect and enable life is not worth engaging in. 

If it is ‘truth’ that leads only to other truths that lead to other truths that lead to endless questions rather than to a Person in whom ceaseless questioning can come to a holy, trust-filled contentment and life then it is not Christian truth, not His truth—HIS, who said of Himself, “I am the truth!” His truth that leads to Life now and beyond, ‘now’ to eternal LIFE that is more than life that lasts forever but to LIFE that is of such a nature that it is suited to going on beyond “life in the flesh” which ends with death. Eternal life that begins in fullness in relationship with God beyond this phase of mortal human existence. It is life that is brimful of life; life that is saturated with adventure, mystery, glory, joy, righteousness and where people are always saying ‘hello’ rather than ‘goodbye’. It is resurrection life in the Lord and Savior and doesn’t apologize for existing, that doesn’t timidly ask permission to exist.

What truth do we seek; an understanding of the teaching of Gadamer, Bultmann, Barth or Moltmann? Even if we shared that would it help the struggling individuals, congregations, the oppressed and blinded needy of the world?

What vision do we seek? Who is it for? When it reaches a wall it can’t climb, where has it brought us to?

Three men are at the gate, seeking us. What is it they want? Beyond what they want, what do they need? AND Who sent them?

The vision we have nurtured the information we have gathered, will it impress our hearers, our colleagues, our equally educated ‘competitors’? Do we now know more than they do? And as a teacher of people—which class of people? What has it made of us this truth? What have we made of it? Do we now see that the vision we longed for was the kind that showed God as more relentless in His loving and saving pursuit of more people, of people blinded by the gods of this world and in the direst need for light? And what have we done with that vision if it has been given to us? While we are dreaming on our housetop does there come the whisper?

“Three men seek you; to speak to you.”

Our child comes to us with some child’s joy and wants a rich explanation; some confused and troubled neighbor cries across to us, from her life to ours, and wants to know if we have any sense to make of this baffling and painful tangle of life, any hopeful response to it? And we, dreaming on a housetop or in a classroom or in our private study, are somehow wakened and find that:

“Three men are down at the door.”

But the vision is yours, it was given to you and it is pleasing, it fills your heart and mind with soft light that drives gloom and doubt from your life. So, stay, dream in the warmth that such a vision was meant to bring while:

“Three men are seeking to speak to you.”

Yes, but—others might have seen the vision or heard the whisper of truth—that you may not know but you know this: it was given to you! Clearly it was given to you to enjoy, for you to be enriched and empowered to live with more assurance and peace. Nevertheless:

“Three men are down at the door.”

No doubt true but I have my own needs that must be met, my own struggles that must be faced, my own weaknesses that must be overcome and new strength that must be gained and I must spend much time examining this exciting, promising and complex truth that I have now been blessed with. I must embrace the truths that urge me to: “Take heed to yourself…” (Acts 20:28), “Save yourself from his perverse generation.” (Acts 2:41) No doubt that’s true but this also is true:

“Three men are at the gate.”

While Peter thought about the vision the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them doubting nothing for I have sent them.’

The same Spirit that sent Peter the enriched vision of
God said:
‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore. Go down…doubt nothing for I have sent them.’ (Acts 10:19-20)

We who know that God is merciful because of the mercy He has shown and is showing to us will be further blessed and enriched when we allow Him to make our lives interpreters of His goodness to others—to those He has sent to us to speak to us and to hear from us “words by which they can be saved.” Will we not? Can it be otherwise? When we generously share our food and other material and social blessings to the poor souls in need, we know it is right and Christ-like but is it not more? Is it not a lift to our own hearts, does it not assure us that we are not as selfish as we sometimes fear we are? And might it not be a part of what Jesus meant when He said, “It is more blessed to give than receive”? And if we give vision as well as bread, truth as well as a job, the assured hope of eternal life in God as well as clothes to fight off the cold might we not someday in that better world meet a family that thanks us profusely for being the medium of the ultimate gift of the blessed Savior Jesus Christ?
Holy Father help us to show people a fine and upright life but remind us that a host that ignores our faith in the Lord Jesus live fine and morally upright lives. And energize and sustain us to SPEAK the truth about the incomparable and life-giving Lord Jesus. Help us to remember that people don’t LIVE by material bread alone. Convict us that we have been privileged with the Bread of LIFE and give us boldness and warmth that we might SPEAK. In Jesus’ lovely name, this prayer.

HEAD COVERINGS & SHORT HAIR (3)

So how should we read 1 Cor. 11:1-16? 

Half a chapter is devoted to it so the problem isn’t trivial.

It’s written by the Paul the exalted apostle of Jesus Christ so it cannot be a trivial issue. 

It’s written to an assembly living in a hotbed of idolatry and where the most popular mother goddess in the Greco-Roman world was worshiped. Isis! She was originally from Egypt but worshiped everywhere in Paul’s day. She was worshiped in Corinth along with Aphrodite whose images now and then were male and female (Google).

It is written to a congregation where Isis (“the goddess of many names,” was worshiped with stories, stage-plays that told she raised her brother and husband, Osiris, from the dead and gave him immortality. This was Isis of whom the Oxyrhynchus Papyri said, “she made women equal to men” and empowered them.”

(See https://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=webmail-searchbox&q=isis%20goddess&s_qt=ac (accessed 2/1/2022)


1 Cor. 11:1–16 was written to a congregation where men attended idolatrous feasts and lay with the prostitutes there (1 Cor. 6).

It was written to an assembly that enjoyed the debate, sought the limelight and the flamboyant gifts and especially the miraculous gift of speaking various languages and did it even at the expense of the  assembled Christians (1 Cor. 14)..

It was written to an assembly greatly troubled with how Christians should live in relation to eating food that was left over after idolatrous feasts and sold to the city butchers—(Chapters 8–10). The entire 10th chapter is devoted to idolatry and the public engagement at temples that fostered the support of demons (junior gods) and then we chapter 11.

All this to say the Church (temple) of God lived in a city super-saturated by goddesses and Zeus worship. This situation was very like the situation in Ephesus (see Acts 19) where the mother goddess was Diana/Artemis and there too there was a problem in the congregation that included both women and men. There were men who enjoyed the debate, there was a problem with authority and there were widows who were abused by younger widows and Paul vigorously speaks on  behalf of the widows and has Timothy to see to the matter. Numerous other things needed to be set in order by appointed leaders. See Paul’s commission to Timothy in 1 Timothy!

It’s particularly interesting that Paul sends the Ephesian readers to the same text (Genesis 1-3) he sent the Corinthians to much earlier. 

I think the problem in Cor.11 is a problem involving idolatry and is nothing as trivial (of course) as an exhortation to women to abide by dress customs in Corinth in case they offended local customs. I think idolatry is seducing women as it was and had been seducing men; a glance through the entire book will show. I think the forsaking of head-coverings by women in public gatherings where they prophesied and led in prayer was an expression of a growing desire to align themselves with Isis and to reject the truth about GOD in the Genesis 1-3; truth about creation and humans seeking ‘godhood’ rather than living in the image of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:1; Gen. 1:26-27). This I believe is why Paul opens this chapter with 11:1-3 and makes use of the Holy Scriptures at Genesis 1-3. See what you think.

To be continued,  d.v.  

jim McGuiggan
holywoodjk@aol.com

GETHSEMANE REFLECTIONS

There was never a moment when Jesus trusted His Father more than in Gethsemane and the hours before the cross and yet He had to ask for relief to bear the suffocating weight of a killing sorrow (Matt. 26:38; Mark 14:34-36; Luke 22:41-43) and His Father gave it to him by sending an angel to strengthen Him. (Luke 22:43). These texts need to be read several times, carefully—Jesus never asked for exemption from the cross (see Matt. 16:23-24; John 12.27; Acts 2:24-28; Matt.16:22-24; 20:22-23 ). Anyone who opposed His speaking about His going to the Cross was satanic. See how He rebuked Satan in the wilderness.
“My soul is greatly troubled; shall I ask My Father to deliver me from the cross?” He won’t hear tell of it. “I came into the world for this hour,” He said. “Do you know why My Father loves Me?” He asks and answers (John 10:17-18). “Because I freely go to the cross. I go there to lay down my life that I might take it again!” He goes there to kick Satan out (John 12:21) and condemn Satan’s ‘world’. His crucifixion was purposed before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:19-20). It’s nonsense to have Jesus ask exemption from the crucifixion! Before Gethsemane He had occasion to rebuke Peter as satanic and after He had occasion to rebuke Peter for sword-wielding. “If I just asked my Father would deliver me from being crucified,” he said. “He would do it.”

There’s no possibility that He asked to be given permission to walk away from the crucifixion. The shadow of the cross stretched all the way back to before time and the Hebrew writer said He endured the cross with its shame because of the joy laid out before Him (Heb. 12:2). Ah, yes, but He was human and He was buckling with fear. Knowing who He is and what he did and how He called on others to happily lay down their lives for Him—knowing that and then having Jesus so afraid that He didn’t want to go to death is almost obscene.
He never asked His father to keep Him from the cross but He asked for help with such a depth of sorrow and distress that He his perspiration was so profuse it was falling like heavy drops of blood though the night was cold ( John 18:18).
He knew what His nation was soon to do and the unending anguish and loss was to begin in His generation and continue until now. More than a million was soon to be crushed and His offfering Himself was the catalyst that led to its destruction. He sat and sobbed (Luke 19) over the nation annd lamented in Matthew 23 as a mother hen panics over her children when danger is on them. This unfathomable love began to affect His body and He felt like he would die and He asked His Father to help Him with it if that was possible. and He was heard. (Heb. 5:7?)

Thank you Lord God for coming to us in and as Jesus of Nazareth and bleeding for us (Acts 20:28)

To be continued, d.v.

jim mcGuiggan

GOD CANNOT LIE

“I fully accept that one reason why the world regards us as irrelevant and introverted is because of our morbid obsession with the state of the Church. Not only are we prone to judge the proximity of the Kingdom of God by our membership statistics—when we grow, it is at hand; when we are in decline, it tarries. But more seriously, we use the Church as a thermometer by which to measure the state of God’s health. To put it crudely, there are sincere church folk who appear quite convinced that should the last member of their church expire, God will disappear in a puff of purple smoke.” So said Colin Morris.

Will we ever get over that way of thinking?

Whatever we say in our pain or in our frustration about what God isn’t doing that he should be doing, or what God could do “if only we would help him”—whatever we say under those circumstances, however sensible it sounds and however understandable it is that we would say it, when we turn around in our high-strung state there stands Jesus.

The former and late atheist, Anthony Flew, remarked in his New Essays in Philosophical Theology that the entire religious question wouldn’t be worth bothering about, “if it were not for that one life lived”—he was referring to Jesus.

When the wise ones in the Enlightenment period had made up their minds to dissolve the Bible and everything in it in their critical acids Jesus stood stubbornly in their way. What were they to do with him? You simply can’t make sense of the Bible as a whole without Jesus and He won’t let you “explain” Him away in respectful speech or sideline Him with respectful nods. They shuffled off and Jesus remains—Bible and all.

The Lord Jesus not only saves people; he “saves” God. Since He is the image of the God we can’t see and the fullness of GOD is embodied in Him of you hear Him saying things like, “If you know Me you know the Father. If you see me you see the Father who sent Me.”

Say God doesn’t care about sin and then look at Jesus (Romans 3:23-25; John 2:13-17). Say God doesn’t care about people and then look at Jesus (John 3:16; Romans 8:31-32; ACTS 20:31 ). Say God is powerless in the face of corrupt powers and death-dealers and then look at Jesus (Acts 2:23; 4:24-31). Say God doesn’t keep his promises and then look at Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). Say God doesn’t know how to deal with the world and its satanic ways and then listen to Jesus (John 12:31; 16:33). Say God will grow tired of us and walk away from us and then look at Jesus (Hebrews 13:5-8).

Though I’ve had a life with comparatively little to complain about I think I know at times what it really means to be tired and down so I can guess in the right direction how it must be for people who know real trouble, day in and day out for years and with no hope for change. People for whom wise words settle nothing, whose nerves are frayed, whose spirits are close to broken and whose strength has all but ebbed completely away. They’re so troubled that even our wise and good words, kindly spoken—and they should be spoken—they don’t immediately help a lot. Sigh. But Paul spoke the right kind of truth to very anxious people: “Comfort one another with these words.”

David Livingstone knew what prolonged misery and hardship was lived much of the time on his knees and wrestling with loss, loneliness, hunger, fatigue and recurring disappointment. Faced with death and the thwarting of his purpose he wrote in his Journal one evening in January 1856, “Felt much turmoil of spirit in prospect of having all my plans for the welfare of this great region and this teeming population knocked on the head by savages tomorrow. But I read that Jesus said, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all the nations, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ It is the word of a gentleman of the most strict and sacred honour, so there’s the end of it!

That man Jesus doesn’t lie and He is God revealing Himself.So you, poor bruised soul, where does that leave you? If there is to be no change for you right now, trust HIM there’s a new world coming.
jmcg

HEAD COVERINGS & SHORT HAIR (2)

It was once believed that there was a serious problem facing the Corinthian church and that Paul addressed it in 1 Cor. 11:2-16. Now some scholars carried away by a ‘Liberation’ tide assure us the problem was not the Corinthian Church—the problem was PAUL!  

“How can you believe him,” one unbeliever said, “even the scholars that make a living teaching him don’t believe him!”  That’s an old and powerful argument that is successful with many people. See John 7:47-49.

The writer of 1 Corinthians 11

The writer of 1 Cor. 11 is Paul: the divinely chosen witness of and for the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus. He was personally chosen by the glorified Lord Jesus to be His teacher to the nations of the world to deliver them from the darkness of error and Satan and bring them into the light of life and forgiveness and hope (Acts 9, 22 & 26).
                 He is the one who established the Corinthian assembly and taught them for eighteen months (Acts 18) and knew all about what was going on at Corinth while modern students continue to work to know what he knew. He is the man who was taken up into heaven and shown things too wonderful to tell or things he was not permitted to tell (2 Cor:12). He was the chosen one who established congregations all over the Greco-Roman world, working miracles everywhere he went and in doing that vindicating his apostleship (2 Cor. 12:12) before those who spent a while reading his writings in schools of learning before publicly undermining his Spirit-superintended truth by pronouncing him “wrong, wrong” about sexual orientation, slavery and women!

He was he man who said, “If anyone thinks himself to be a ‘scholar’ or spiritual let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord (Jesus.) But if anyone is ignorant let him be ignorant.”  1 Cor. 14:37-38.

This was the Paul who could have pulled off his shirt and showed the whipping ‘brand marks’ that said he was a genuine and devoted servant of Jesus Christ who wouldn’t buckle under the theological and political power of an evil society and culture. He was the Spokesman of God who suffered humiliation and pain arranged by those who sat in comfortable conferences and synagogues studying and working up ‘the courage’ to undermine his authority and influence with believers and non-believers. (See Gal 6:17; 2 Cor. 6 & 11.)

Such people were afraid of losing their Church numbers (John 11:45-50) but the shrewder ones were afraid of their national Church being completely destroyed and their losing their exalted status so under pressure they “came out” and showed themselves. This kind of people, ‘religious politicians’ weren’t as much troubled by miracles as they were about preaching, speech, talk. They tried to beat the Church into silence. Note this especially in Acts 3–5). To get popular backing the scholars did to Paul’s Lord what was done to Paul then and now. They told lies about Him, accused Him of being a drunk, an  enemy of the True God, a false-teaching Samaritan and such.

It isn’t ‘convenient’ now to say evil things about Jesus but you can gouge the special servant that the glorified Jesus chose and empowered. Paul’s critics tell lies about him. They search (and search) for ‘suitable’ texts that can allow them to say he is a misogynist—woman hater. They call him a “half-liberated legalist (Samuel Terrien an influential professor of Brueggemann). But they don’t stop there—unable to explain away the obvious meaning of scriptures Paul used—boldly and in a flood they attack the Holy Scriptures. From there the GOD presented in Holy Scripture comes under attack. It still hasn’t dawned on a number of the ‘enlightened’ that if we attack the Holy Scriptures we’re attacking Jesus who read, used in His teaching and obeyed the same Holy Scriptures we read today and if we reject or malign the God of the OT that we are rejecting and maligning the God that Jesus revealed, loved, and trusted even as He died; the God He called His Father and His God (John 20:17).

One of Paul’s daily burdens was his worry about the churches he established (2 Cor. 11:28 and read carefully 1 Thess. 2:13—3:14.) In writing to Corinth and Ephesus (see 1 Timothy)  where he spent three years (Acts 19) he was writing to two cities super-saturated with gods and goddesses. In liberating these new churches in those two cities from idolatry and the goddesses he sends them both to the same Genesis section which shows how glorious womankind is as GOD’s creation; a section that shows how they were being robbed by the lies of the ‘god of this world’ (Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 4; John 8), the prince of demons and the true father of of all the gods including Isis, Aphrodite and Diana (Artemis)—‘mother goddesses’ of Corinth & Ephesus.

If there was ever an age when we men and women needed to be delivered from the worship of the gods and goddesses this one needs deliverance from Mars/Ares, Bacchus/Dionysus, Isis and Aphrodite+++  

God enabling I will work with the text of 1 Cor. 11:2-16.

jim mcguiggan

I AM LAZARUS

For my purpose I’m making use of the second stanza of G.K. Chesterton’s poem THE CONVERT. Chesterton had in mind his conversion from atheism to faith in God.

To my mind the poem creates the picture of a man who is enjoying a pleasant evening walk and comes across a group of wise men, experienced in life and serious in their conversation. They’re discussing the possibility not only of life after death but the possibility of resurrection from death to renewed life. The walker stops and listens intently to the various arguments made by these wise men. By and by they reach a consensus: there is no life after death and there is no possibility of resurrection from the dead. Their arguments prove it with mathematical certainty. The walker smiles, thanks the sages for allowing him to listen in and moves on saying to himself:

 The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.


And that of course leads me to imagine a group of Sadducees proving to one another with mathematical precision and logic that there is no life after death and certainly no resurrection much less resurrection to immortality. And wouldn’t you know who (incognito) is out for a pleasant evening walk and walks off smiling.

Be ready always with an ‘Answer’ 1 Peter 1:3-5; 3:15
“There’s nothing more stubborn than a fact.”

jim mcguiggan

A BAG OF CHEMICALS MEETS JENNIFER

A critic of Jesus Christ, the Man in and through and as God has revealed Himself to humankind says to Jennifer, a Christian woman who is wrestling with a fierce cancer, “So what’s your explanation of this; How do you explain this cancer experience if God loves you?”
“I don’t explain it,” she said with a steady gaze at her well-educated critic, “I don’t feel the need to ‘explain’ it so I don’t attempt it. In any case people like you are never satisfied with an explanation. Next there’s your: ‘But what about ..’ “You ask an endless string of questions. There’s no end.”

“So you don’t have an answer for this awful pain you and countless others endure?”

“You don’t listen well, do you,” Jennifer a Christian woman said. “I didn’t say I didn’t have an answer. I have an answer. I didn’t even say I have no ‘explanation’. I said I didn’t feel the need to ‘explain’ so I don’t waste my time ‘explaining,’ to an uncaring enemy who would have no time for an ‘explanation’ even if I offered one.”

“I’m not your enemy and I do care for you.” the well-educated man began to say before she interrupted him. “Of course you are my enemy! I have more respect for Hitchens who insisted he was an enemy of believers in Jesus Christ. You can’t take my life from me but you would take from me what gives my living meaning and inner assurance and peace. You would do it to me and countless others; to the young and old, the living and the dying, the bereaved and those who have just begun to build a life of love together in marriage that will produce much-loved children. You  deny justice to multiplied millions in generations gone who died in misery beyond belief at the hands of depraved and heartless tryrants.” You say there’s no justice for them.

“I’m not your enemy and I do care. I’m just offering you truth.”

And why would I believe you? Why would I believe you are a lover of truth? What if I believe you adore yourself as a bold thinker who while you might use ‘logic’ well at times your aim is to gain a name for yourself? I might believe it isn’t truth you love but what ‘truth’ (knowledge) might gain for you—a reputation and praise. Why would I think you are a lover of truth when you openly make yourself an enemy of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who was and is the embodiment of Truth?”

“Well, so you don’t have an answer for why God allows you to suffer this way if he loves you.”

She had some difficulty breathing but no difficulty believing in God and so she said, “Listen to yourself; you ‘truly’ care for me but when you’re in the right company you sneer and jeer at what I have believed and lived by all my life; you sneer and jeer at what has given me strength and peace through many difficult times and losses and you gloat at how you can ask questions that silence Christians or at least make them fumble for adequate responses to your brilliant logic. You do all this and more to me and a numberless host but you ‘truly care’ for me.”
The enemy said, “But surely it’s better to accept truth than nonsense or at least ‘unprovable’ stories and dogmas.”

“You mean it’s better to accept your ‘truth’ though it ends with: ‘All is pointless. Humans exist as a result of chance and they must accept the ‘truth’ that humankind will perish as pointlessly as they appeared. They are each a bag of reacting bio-chemicals whose ‘highest thoughts are nothing but chemical reactions’ (Weinberg, Wolf Singer, pathetic Sam Harris and co.). That’s the ‘truth’ you say humankind would be better with?”

The enemy sighed and rose to end the meeting, “I’ve been totally insensitive; I’ve taken advantage of you in your illness, expecting you to be able to give me an answer under the circumstances and off the cuff. I need to go, I have a lecture to deliver at an acclaimed academic gathering.”

Jennifer, a Christian woman, managed something of a chuckle and said, “You really are ignorant aren’t you despite your education! You think you have taken me unprepared for people like you? People like you have been jeering and sneering at us for two thousand years and one of our brothers, Peter, speaking by the Spirit of Christ, said, “Always be ready to give an answer to those that ask you a reason for the hope that is in you in Jesus Christ…”
People like me have been ready to deal with enemies like you from the beginning. Everything you people say ends up wrecked on the Rock that we know to be Jesus of Nazareth, the now resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Big-hitters’ like you asked Peter questions about the truth (Acts 4:1-13) and while a once-crippled ‘Bo Jangles’ danced in the temple, they gave an answer that was: “the risen Jesus Christ.”
Often we waste our time trying to show you that your ‘truths’ are shallow as well as illogical and self-contradictory. But in our wisest and happiest moments, together we reflect on Him and hope in Him. Our answer, in the end, can be summarized with Paul’s, “Now is Jesus Christ Risen!” or with Peter’s’, “You slew Jesus but God raised Him from the dead…because it  was not possible for Death to hold Him.”
And to his fellow-believers he said: “You have been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, to an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled and unfading, reserved in  heaven for you…”

I don’t know why we spend time speaking one to another about all this. Your ‘truth’ is: we are just two bags of bio-chemicals. So, off you go now and parrot words you learned from those before you who parroted words they heard from those before them who  parroted words…….sigh.

We credit you as more than you call yourselves but at best you’re an ‘amateur’ as the firm believer GB Caird remarked. Everyone is an amateur.

But you! Your faith is that you are a bag of mindless reacting and chemicals yet you strut as if you weren’t. You’re not a ‘thinker’—your faith is, “I am a bag of reacting chemicals.” ‘Thought’ is nothing but a chemical reaction. There is no “I” that thinks—there is only a chemical reaction that reacting chemicals call “thinking”. So go to your acclaimed Academic meeting and ‘react’ there the chemical reaction that other chemical reactions trigger in you.

Our answer to you when we have the good sense and time to talk to you is one name: JESUS OF NAZARETH! ‘Explain or react that truth truthfully to yourself.”

JimMcGuiggan Jennifer the Apologist

EVE SAID, “HE’S A LYING RASCAL.”

A woman is not a man’s idea! A woman is not a woman’s idea! A woman is God’s idea! Unless a man agrees with God about a woman, he is wrong about a woman! Unless a woman agrees with God about a woman she is wrong about a woman. Unless society agrees with God about a woman it is wrong about a woman. Unless the CHURCH agrees with God about a woman it is wrong about a woman.

God created out of love (Psalm 136) and though the first phase of His creative work was material (universe) and mortal (humankind) that was only the first phase of His completed purpose. “Before time began,” that is, before God created time as part of the material universe he purposed ‘eternal life’—immortal and incorruptible humans (Titus 1:2) . 
God created all things in, by and unto (for) Jesus Christ. (Col. 1:15). Humans as mortals were not His ‘end game.’ Glorified, immortal and incorruptible humans reigning over a glorified creation as God’s companions was the purpose of The Living God in whom alone is  immortality (1 Tim. 6::13-16). In and as the mortal, resurrected and glorified Jesus of Nazareth God revealed Himself and His creation purpose for the ‘new creation humans. Jesus modeled it all.

The first mortal pair, male AND female, the parents of mortal humankind were created male & female to be the image of God and have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1) but stupidly and sinfully we grasped to be God or His rival and created a cosmic wreck (Genesis 3).
Jesus of Nazareth, the man God is being was (and is) the true image of God. God created Him from a woman and not a man and a woman—just a woman (Luke 1:26-35; Gal. 4:4; “made” of a woman” rather than “born” of a woman.”) This is precisely in contrast with Gen. 2 where the woman was made from the man so that the two were one flesh (Matt. 19:4). In the man Jesus who is now the glorified Lord of all we have a new creation, a new image of God and in Him in a day of God’s appointing, dominion will come to all humankind embraced in God’s redeeming work. The dominion that humankind rejected by spurning GOD and welcoming evil into human experience and did not gain and still don’t have (Heb. 2:5-8) is to be regained in Jesus Christ who for a while was made lower than angels (that is, a mortal human—see Psalm 8:5) so He could to die with and from and for humanity. We see HIM (Heb. 2:9). He who in Himself represents the embodiment of glorified male and female!

Those believers who insist that women are degraded if they aren’t permitted to exercise some places of ‘authority’ (a now despised word) in Christian general assemblies) have folded under the pressure of a truly strident feminism and robbing themselves of the true glory of womankind that the Creator and Redeemer has given them in the Lord Jesus, even now.
“I will be truly honored and acknowledged as glorious if I am permitted to speak at a general assembly now and then and seen as a man’s equal in every way by being allowed to do all that a male can do.” Sigh. Schussler Fiorenza doesn’t want ‘permission’ or ‘agreement’—she wants a woman’s ‘world’ and a woman’s ‘Church.’ She says so!

When a woman does not accept her already existing glory as woman it’s only because she has been conned as was Eve. “You are being robbed of glory. If you only knew more you’d go for more and more.” The great news about Eve was, with just a few words with God she immediately turned on the Satan and denounced him for the liar that he was and is (John 8:44).

To be continued, d.v.

Jim mcguiggan

HAIR CUTS & HEAD-COVERINGS

All around us women are marrying women, men are marrying men and for social reasons both are swapping genders and blind senseless (and some of them heartless) parents are doing it to children. By and by a citizen in a democracy will be given the ‘legal’ right to marry their son or daughter or father or mother or sister or brother (the ancients did it).

Ben Guertzel, (a leading light in strong A1 and the robotics business) said that before long we will have to allow humans the legal right to become machines if they choose to. I don’t doubt that before long someone will sue for the legal right to marry his/her pet. What’s to stop them?

All that and Paul takes half a chapter in 1 Cor. 11 to talk about men’s hair length and women’s head coverings?

You think that’s what he was talking about?

Some nuance that and tell us he is teaching women to wear a covering and men to shorten their hair to keep from offending the social habits of Corinth.

The social habits of CORINTH? Of Sin City where gods and goddesses (Aphrodite & Isis ++) were celebrated in stage- plays and worshiped up on the ROCK? And children in school were taught history via mythological stories about Tantalus and Sisyphus?

 CORINTH? where Church members were lying with temple prostitutes and sniggering at open and crass immorality by their members (1 Cor. 5 & 6 & 10)? All that and Paul is saying women should wear a head covering when leading in prayer or prophesying, and men should shorten their hair to keep from socially offending?

That’s his point and that’s why he argues from Genesis about the way God created humankind and what that means?

That’s why he opens the entire section with 11:1-2?

(To be continued, D.V.

jimmcguiggan