God's standards? No.
Human understanding of those standards? Yep. Cultural application of those standards? Yes indeed.
Bluegoat stole the post I was going to write after just reading your OP.
But answering your other questions:
|DD just woke up, so I can't post as much as I want... but for example, re: women's rights... just look at 1st Timothy....2:9-15
Do you believe it's wrong for you to braid your hair or wear pearls or gold?
I have friends who take a wooden literal view of that and indeed do not braid their hair or wear any kind of jewelry, not even wedding rings.
To me, in the context of the passage and the whole NT, it seems fairly obvious that it isn't about a particlar style but a whole attitude of modesty vs. attention-seeking adornment. And truthfully, again in the context of the rest of it, that applies to men as well.
And I wear wedding rings, but no jewelry for "adornment" purposes. So I'm not looking for a reason to excuse wearing fancy expensive jewelry, just ftr.
|Do you believe that you women should not teach or exercise authority?
As religious authorities, yes I do believe that. It's very specifically about church structure, though, and not anything else. I don't think there's any reason to believe that precludes me from teaching my children, or my friend from being a college professor.
|Do you believe that you are delivered/redeemed through childbirth?
I don't think the passage in context
says or implies a salvation type of redemption. But the possibilities of what it does say are really interesting to consider.
|Do you think God believes all of these things..or have the standards changed?
I don't think God's standards deal with minutia, but with overriding principals. The minutia differs in different ages and cultures because he created humanity with the tendency to diversify.
The principal of modesty and discreetness never changes. As secular society changes, or if we move from one culture to another, how that standard is applied may be different. I wear a headcovering because that is a standard that has not changed, IMO. But what type of headcovering I wear and how much it covers is not laid out Biblically. In America, the tiniest covering might suffice because nobody really cares about women covering anyway. But in another country I'd probably go for more coverage because less would not be seen as modest or discreet by the people around me.
|Do you really think that a man should either pay somebody for raping a woman or marry her? (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) I suppose one could argue that perhaps back then he was somehow saving her from the shame of being unmarried or "spoiled"... but still... it doesn't sit right with me.
I think rapists should pay the most stringent social consequences of the era in which they live. This one gives a woman a chance in a culture where "violation" was a horrendous shame and remaining unmarried was too. I don't see it as an excusing of rape by any means (a man who destroyed a woman's chance to marry a man she was already pledged to was to die, after all).
|Do you really think it's OK for soldiers to marry (presumably by force) women they meet in the course of war? (Deut 21:10-14) If that was O.K. then, why not now? When did God say that it wasn't O.K. anymore?
The Bible says that the eldest son should get a double inheritance (yes Deut 21). Is that how you guys plan to structure your wills?
I went back and read in context and both of these are pretty interesting.
They don't fit our Western, modern sensibilities, but they aren't quite captured in a single sentance.
In both cases the feel is definitely "If you are going to do this kind of thing, here is how you will do it in the least stupid/awful way possible."
Soldiers taking wives from conquered peoples were not allowed (and certainly not commanded) to rape them on the battlefield. The actual instruction is that if he takes her home, he's to stay away from her while she mourns her family for a period of time, and if he decides she's not wife material, he is not allowed to profit from her capture by selling her or making her a personal slave. Either she's a wife and honored and protected as such, or she's free to go.
Modern times still see "war brides" marrying soldiers of either allies or enemy forces. If it's done in a way that respects and protects the woman according to societal standards of the day I don't think it's an inherently evil situation.
Sons and inheritance--my dh doesn't have two wives
, so there is no rivalry between children and no need to make sure the son of an unloved wife is treated fairly according to cultural inheritance laws. Again, not so much about the particular (rights of the firstborn) as it is about the wrong attitudes to the people involved.
|Jesus never ate pork. It's pretty much clear if you read the NT, that he was a good Jewish guy, who did his best to follow the laws of the OT. So, why is it all of a sudden O.K. for Christians to eat pork and shellfish just because Peter had a dream in Acts 10?
Because God's standards of holiness, cleanliness, and being "set apart" have not changed but the particulars did shift with Jesus. This particular dietary law issue was directly related to Peter's sneering at Gentile believers, and is representative of a new direction in God's plan for humanity (not that God "changed his mind" but it was the time which he had planned from the beginning for this shift to take place). This change did not make it a sin to keep kosher. It was part of the whole shift from a focus on God's Chosen People and the law's role in showing our human frailty and need for forgiveness, to salvation of the world and redemption from our inability to keep the law perfectly.