Do You Believe (or Does Your Religion Teach) that God's Standards Change? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just was thinking a bit... and was wondering if you or your faith believes that God's standards change?

I mean, what was considered modest back in the 1st century or even early 20th century, is quite different from what is considered modest these days for most people.

Concern over gluttony and sloth seemed to be a thing of the past... as is gossip.

Women's rights in the Bible (and Qur'an) are quite different than those that most consider basic today. Sadly, many women in Muslim countries have less rights than given to them by the Qur'an, yet women in Christianity and Judaism seem to have more than those given in the Bible. Is that wrong? Does having more rights somehow take away the rights of men that God gave them? (Not sure I believe that, but just asking.)

I think, maybe half of the 10 commandments are pretty much adhered to... however, making graven images, not coveting, keeping the Sabbath holy, and honoring parents seem to have all lost their way. Heck, even adultery really isn't considered that much of a social stigma anymore.

Do you think God's standards are the same? Or do you think change/evolution is allowed? Who makes that decision? Is it a religious person, the group of believers, etc.?

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#2 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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Great question. I don't even believe in God as a personification, but I don't think the wisdom of those standards have changed even if we don't follow them as much.

I have wondered this question about other issues before, though.

I guess a question related to yours is: is humankind becoming more enlightened, less so, or ... ?

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#3 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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No, I don't think, nor does my religion, that God can change. For one thing, God is not in time, and change is a function of being in time. Also, God is completely actual, and so there is no possibility of change from that perspective either. So his standards don't change either.

However, we can change. What this means is that we can come to a greater understanding of God's standards, or (alas) a lesser one.

As well, the context in which we live can change. So while in modern Western culture a man marrying a 12 year old girl would be considered very offensive, in another time and place it wouldn't. And both these things are probably true, because the situation is quite different.

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#4 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 10:06 PM
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I believe in the God of the bible, and no. He does not change, and his standards do not change.
This can be confused because when Jesus came to die on the cross all the legalistics of the Old Testament were done away with. Everything that was sin before Jesus still is sin, and just as bad as it was then, but when we are "saved" we are made spiritually clean, and forgiven when we sin.
As far as all the rules given to the Jewish people, like eating kosher, etc, I think were given to keep them healthy/safe as well as set them apart from the other nations. It was sin then to not listen to God, as it is now, but the act of eating pork was not sin.

As far as rights that the bible allows women... I'm not entirely clear on what you're talking about. I know the women are supposed to submit to their husbands in a situation where there isn't an agreement, but likewise Christians are told to submit to one another... Ill find the actual verses, I don't know them off the top of my head.
Also, a wifes body belongs to the husband and the husbands to the wife. It seems to me like men and women are equal.
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#5 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Just was thinking a bit... and was wondering if you or your faith believes that God's standards change?

I mean, what was considered modest back in the 1st century or even early 20th century, is quite different from what is considered modest these days for most people.

Concern over gluttony and sloth seemed to be a thing of the past...
I don't believe concern with gluttony or sloth are a thing of the past. Eat less, move more is a cornerstone of a lot of large groups from diet companies, fitness clubs to governments. I think much of the "war on obesity" is related to moral issues regarding people who are seen as consuming more than their fair share, as is the whole lessening your carbon footprint, living lightly on the Earth. We still have standards of modesty, it's just how we perceive this has changed, in my opinion.

It does seem to me, though, that at one point in history, birth defects and congenital deformities, mental illnesses were seen as an outward manifestation of sin and God's judgment visited upon a person, or a mark of Satan, whereas physical beauty was seen as a sign of God's grace. I don't have anything really to back this up, it's just an attitude I've seen in writings from various periods. So if this is something that existed, I think we've moved away from that in some cultures, prizing human individuality and embracing our differences, which is not something I necessarily feel was promoted in many religious writings.

So maybe cultural shifts towards a more humanistic type of thinking has changed some of our attitudes about what we deserve and can have. But I think a lot of religions have a place for a religious guidance that is outside of the Scriptures, something that changes with the cultural mores of the time, and yet is still supposed to represent God's desires for us on Earth. And some might even believe that as everything comes from God, and God gives us what we have, that it would be anathema to deny these gifts.

My church takes what I consider a politically correct or culturally relevant attitude towards the issue of the less fortunate. Everything we have is from God, we mustn't fool ourselves that we have His power and that we get what we deserve because we are good, but if we are given much, much is required and we must choose to do the right thing. So promoting social justice is one of the great ends of the church in my faith, and the idea that people who have less are out of favor with God is seen as a false teaching (my words).
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#6 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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I, nor my religon, believe that Gods standards change. We adhear to all 10 of the commandments. Gluttony, sloth, gossip, immodesty, adultery, fornication - all still very serious sins that drag us away from the presence of God. And sin is something we are called to struggle against every day. I think people just believe less in God. care less about him. care less about his standards. care more about themselves and are more easily able to blow off God in their daily lives. they have created their own god in their own image and worship him along side money and lust and greed. all the while believeing they believe in the God and are following Him just because they believce he exists.

Womens rights...I really don;t see much in the Bible that holds women back. Certain gender specific roles - yes but nothing more or less opressive to women than men. granted a lot of people take things out of context and use them to margenlize and opress other but again this is not of God. this is a human problem. a sin problem.

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#7 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Do you believe that you women should not teach or exercise authority?

Do you believe that you are delivered/redeemed through childbirth?

Do you think God believes all of these things..or have the standards changed?

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.

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?

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?

If you're Christian and believe that Jesus's death covered all of the OT laws... does that negate the fact that God called for them anyways? Does that get you out of obeying the 10 Commandments... why or why not? Jesus himself references the Shema as the most important commandment along with to love your neighbor as itself..so it seems to me, that he didn't intent to negate the OT in any way.

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#8 of 27 Old 03-08-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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It doesn't get us out of obeying the 10 commandments. Jesus gave us 2. Love God with all your heart, mind, strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Those 2 encompass all 10. The other questions - I'm more of a mystic I suppose. I do believe that Christ negated the need for sacrifice of things/blood. The rest, I have more of the feeling that it isn't that black and white and in some cases not meant to be literal.
I don't believe God changes. God is all pure love. I believe it is our view of God that changes and the view we have of our human experience. Again, more mystical thought behind an explanation here.

What do those who have a literal interpretation of the entire Bible think? Those are really good questions.

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#9 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 12:31 AM
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I don't think Jesus was asking us to throw out the laws so much as rethink our approach to them.

He asked us to follow the heart of the law, not the letter of the law. People were getting so caught up in following the rules, competing for who was the most holy, that they lost sight of why the rules were there. He asked us to love one another and to follow and worship God. Period.

I think, as a people, we are now more culturally, globally, and emotionally aware. I think our understanding of God has changed to reflect that, but I do not think that God has changed.
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#10 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 05:04 AM
 
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Do you think God believes all of these things..or have the standards changed?
I believe that Paul believed those things would be good for the health of the church.
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#11 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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I don't feel qualified to answer these but I'm interested in the discussion.

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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
Will have to look at it, I'm not familiar with the passage.

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Do you believe it's wrong for you to braid your hair or wear pearls or gold?
Braiding my hair, I can't see anything wrong with. I assume this is a vanity thing? Braiding seems very practical to me. Pearls and gold, I would say that the world would certainly be a better place if we did not wear those, and maybe it should be considered a sin.

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Do you believe that you women should not teach or exercise authority?
No, though I have spent time trying to see from this point of view, I haven't been able to. At all.

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Do you believe that you are delivered/redeemed through childbirth?
Redeemed? No. Delivered? That's a very interesting word, that has many possible connotations. Childbirth is perhaps the most significant action we can take, and our species is literally delivered through it.

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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.

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?
No, I don't believe in any of this.

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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?
Now, pork I get. Keeping pigs (a temperate forest creature in need of a lot of water) in the desert is a gluttony of sorts. I think it can be said that eating pork in the wrong climate is sinful, because it's a waste. It can also be potentially argued that eating pork in the right climate is a waste too, since pigs eat roughly the same food as humans. Thus the act of keeping pigs will naturally increase your food waste (since you won't bother reducing it since you can throw it to the pigs). Well, just some thoughts about it.

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#12 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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I can't interpret humankind's passing fancies as reflections on god himself.
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#13 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 01:22 PM
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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?

Do you believe that you women should not teach or exercise authority?

Do you believe that you are delivered/redeemed through childbirth?

Do you think God believes all of these things..or have the standards changed?

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.

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?

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?

If you're Christian and believe that Jesus's death covered all of the OT laws... does that negate the fact that God called for them anyways? Does that get you out of obeying the 10 Commandments... why or why not? Jesus himself references the Shema as the most important commandment along with to love your neighbor as itself..so it seems to me, that he didn intent to negate the OT in any way.
I don't know if this will help answer your questions, it's just what came to mind... hope it does help...
Luke 6:1-11
Mark 7:1-23 .... Matthew 15:1-20 (these two are the same story)
Above: Jesus confronting the Pharisees law, traditions

Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says.."Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets, I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them...." ... "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."
(read the rest, Im only paraphrasing!)

And in Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus talks about the "greatest comandment".

Your statement about Jesus being a "good Jewish guy" is true in some ways and humourously erred in other ways. If you read through the gosples (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) you will see that all through Jesus' ministry he was infuriating the Pharisees and teachers of the law. They were the ones that had him crucified.


The laws/rules givein to the Jewish people in Duetoronomy are not for us. They were given to the specific people of that specific time, probably for many, many reasons. Some of them being; to set them apart from other nations as the people of God, to keep their bodies clean/pure. The inheritance thing; there was a lot of emphasis on the "firstborn son" in the OT. When Moses was "convincing" the Pharoah of Egypt to let the Jews leave, the last plagues was the death of the firstborn sons of all who didn't trust in God's way to avoid that. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his firstborn son (even though he didn't actually have to go through with it).

But I think the point is that there is an underlying law that is from God, that gives us different regulations at different times.

1 Timothy ....
firstly, you have to take in context. It was written by Paul, to an early church, in order to help it establish itself, and work.
The introduction to this book in my bible says basically, that we are not "solo instruments", Jesus made the analogy of being different parts of the body of Christ, and that we are called to work together. This book "summarized guidelines for running a church, offering practical help to believers in their relationships with each other, with churh leaders and with the world around them."

vs 9-10... if this is talking about while they are in the church worshiping, then maybe the pearls, gold, etc were distracting to the other worshipers. If it is saying in general, "do not wear pearls, etc" then it could be in reference to the proverb that talks about beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be... something, commended or prized.
vs 11, 12... in that day it worked beter for the church for women to not teach. Christian women had more rights than other women and it was a matter I guess of not making too great a leap at one time.
vs....13-14... I will think about this more, but off the top of my head; I know my own experience is that if I just state what I think is correct without thinking too much, I often regret it, and change my opinion after sometime to think. When I submit momentarily to my husband, and take sometime to think about it, I can come back with my well thought out thoughts and we can come to an agreement, usually requiring a little compromise for each of us.
vs 15.... I have something I want to quote from my bible but my kids are getting ansy...
I will think more about this and post again later

Sorry if this got rambly... didn't mean for it to be so long!!
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#14 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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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:
Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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).

Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.
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I can't interpret humankind's passing fancies as reflections on god himself.


That.

(Delightfully phrased, Liquesce. )
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#16 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by umsami View Post
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?

Do you believe that you women should not teach or exercise authority?

Do you believe that you are delivered/redeemed through childbirth?

Do you think God believes all of these things..or have the standards changed?

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.

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?

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?

If you're Christian and believe that Jesus's death covered all of the OT laws... does that negate the fact that God called for them anyways? Does that get you out of obeying the 10 Commandments... why or why not? Jesus himself references the Shema as the most important commandment along with to love your neighbor as itself..so it seems to me, that he didn't intent to negate the OT in any way.
Thanks, I was coming in here to say something similar.
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#17 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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As religious authorities, yes I do believe that [women should not teach or be in authority]. 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.
I've heard this opinion before, but it has never really make sense to me. Because if one believes that there is a reason for God to restrict women from teaching or being in authority in a church setting, then that same reason would apply to secular settings as well. Most often I hear people say that men are just better suited to wield authority in the church, it is the way God designed them and fulfills their deepest nature (and being the helpmeet does the same for the woman). Well if that is the case, then men are clearly better suited to lead in every other setting as well. I don't see how you can possibly say that once one steps outside the church men and women magically become equally able to lead, whereas inside the church they are not. The only other logical alternative to understand it, as far as I can see, is to say that God's rules don't have a reason, they are just arbitrary, so you could say that women and men are equally capable/designed to/etc lead and teach, but God arbitrarily bans women from doing so inside the church.

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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."
I get what you are saying, and agree with you that the commandments in Deuteronomy were probably a "gentler and kinder" way than the existing cultural norm, but... it still doesn't really make sense to me why God would be absolutely clear on some things and mushy on others. When God transmitted the 10 commandments, He didn't say "Thou shalt have no other god before me, but if you are going to worship idols, at least don't burn your own children to them for heavens sake". He just flat out said DON'T DO IT. Why wouldn't God do the same re: rape in war, marrying captive women, or (if you read a littler further down in that same passage) stoning your rebellious son? Maybe there is a difference in the status of these commandments? I'm sure there are Jewish posters who could answer this.

It makes the most sense to me to say that God may not have changed, but human understanding of God has certainly changed. Of course, this viewpoint holds that the scriptures are not literally infallible.
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#18 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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God's standard for humanity has always been holiness and perfection. His laws for humanity take into account the fact that we will not achieve those standards. His civil laws for the specific theocratic society of Israel were never meant to apply to non-Jews living in different societies, so it makes no sense to say His standards have "changed" when He gives different laws to a different group of people.

One of the major themes of the NT is the importance of conscience and the freedom of believers from didatic rules. Morality in the NT is principle based. That's why I don't believe braiding hair is a sin per se, but vanity - which could be braiding hair for one person, wearing dreadlocs for another or sporting a peroxide pixie cut for some else, depending on the state of their heats - is and always has been a sin. Immodesty is also a sin, but I believe what constitutes immodesty is culturally and situationally dependent, and involves concepts like function and intent. For instance, I think wearing a bathing suit around town could be immodest while wearing one at the pool may not be - if the latter is within the standards of acceptable, expected dress for such a circumstance and it is being worn for the practical reason of ease of swimming, not to draw attention to the body. That's not to say "Christians can wear bathing suits" as a blanket statement - that would be unbiblical, just as the statement "Christians cannot wear bathing suits" would be. Christians should examine their biblically-informed consciences and act with purity of heart and consideration for others - and other Christians should not judge them for coming to different conclusions.

According to one story Spurgeon was on a train with a bunch of theology students when one of them lit up. Spurgeon looked over his book and said mildly "Do you have the freedom to smoke that cigarette?" The man looked abashed, muttered something and put it out. A few minutes later Spurgeon took out his pipe and started smoking. The man watched for a while and then blurted out "Do you have the freedom to smoke that pipe?" Spurgeon simply said "Yes" and carried on reading. He was making the point I'm making above about freedom of conscience. Does that make sense?

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#19 of 27 Old 03-09-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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He just flat out said DON'T DO IT. Why wouldn't God do the same re: rape in war, marrying captive women, or (if you read a littler further down in that same passage) stoning your rebellious son? Maybe there is a difference in the status of these commandments? I'm sure there are Jewish posters who could answer this.
I would be interested in the Jewish perspective, too.

For me, what Smokering said makes sense in the context of my faith as a Christian.
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I didn't get to finish my first response and wanted to add....thought this was applicable.
1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 talks about the freedom we have as believers, from lawful binds, and also the responsibility we have to be considerate of what other need, for their own conscience and/or their ability to progress in faith.
As a believer I apply this to physical appearance. I like to wear tank tops and wrap skirts which show off my figure, and last summer (new believer) I wore this to church on several occasions. While I don't think there's anything wrong with my body, or wearing clothing that flatters it (on certain occasions), I realized that by wearing it to church I was potentially distracting people from getting their hearts straight with God.
(BTW I don't have the best figure, plus I was 4-5 month post pardum, but sometimes men are easily.... you know what I'm saying)

And the "thought for consideration" offered in my bible, refering to women "saved through chilbirth" says:
1.can be taken to mean through the birth of Christ that redemption and salvation will come
2. that women would be less susceptible to false teaching/ers if they were involved in caring for families.

Personally, I think the first explanation fits nicely since the two verses before this are talking about Adam, and sin entering the world. Although both are probably true.

I know it can seem like a "catch all" to just say, they were talking about Jesus when language is unclear. But.... Jesus is the cornerstone, and a lot of the time, it is about Him.
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#21 of 27 Old 03-12-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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I believe the Bible was written by men - some inspired, some not, not by God and not by women. As such I think it is reflective of the time in which those people lived, what they were concerned with around them and the political scene at the time. I also think that human nature in many senses remains unchanged, so some of their concerns (Gluttony, sloth, murder, for example) are as valid today as they were 2000-5000 years ago.

I don't identify with "humanoid" kind of God with standards, so I'm not sure how to answer that question. I do think the nature of the divine is influenced by the consciousness of all things on earth - so in that sense, I think the divine force is changeable - especially as people have come to understand the world and themselves.

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#22 of 27 Old 03-13-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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As a Christian, I follow the path of Christ. To me, that means that I follow Christ's teachings. I believe that the Old Testement and the writings of Paul in the new testement can be beneficial as historical documents deepening the context of the pre- and early church but I am not bound by the laws of the old testement. Everything Jesus spoke about in the new testement covers the heart of what is important.

Also, why the heck would someone (in this century esspecially) follow the "laws" of Paul. Those weren't Jesus's teachings or laws, they were one man's interpretation of them. If Jesus said not to braid my hair, I wouldn't do it but Paul has no holding over me. Paul is not my saviour.
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#23 of 27 Old 03-13-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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Also, why the heck would someone (in this century esspecially) follow the "laws" of Paul. Those weren't Jesus's teachings or laws, they were one man's interpretation of them. If Jesus said not to braid my hair, I wouldn't do it but Paul has no holding over me. Paul is not my saviour.
Some believe that the Epistles are also part of the inspired Word of God, and that what is contained is also God's direction to us. That is why.

It's not all about braiding hair. A major theme is commands that we should all be willing to follow--loving others, cultivating joyful living, thankfulness to God, a contented spirit, etc.
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#24 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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If you're Christian and believe that Jesus's death covered all of the OT laws... does that negate the fact that God called for them anyways? Does that get you out of obeying the 10 Commandments... why or why not? Jesus himself references the Shema as the most important commandment along with to love your neighbor as itself..so it seems to me, that he didn't intent to negate the OT in any way.
The OT is full of types and pictures of Christ. Christ is the fulfillment of all of the types and pictures in the OT. These pictures and types help us to see who Christ is in the NT. Example: If I show you a picture of my mom and I tell you all about her, you may have a good understanding of who she is. However, if I take you to meet her, and you spend time with her, then you will really know her. You will really love her.

The law of God is God's word. As such, the law is God's testimony, God's expression, a revelation of God to His people. The law of God reveals God's attributes, showing that He is jealous, holy, loving, righteous, truthful, and pure. As the word of God and the testimony, the expression of God, the law is a type of Christ as God's Word and God's testimony, God's expression.

Matthew 5:17
17 Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill.


Since all people sin and fall short of God's standard (the Law), we need Christ to live inside of us and be the Law within us. In a sense, Jesus was a walking Ten Commandments. If you ask Jesus to come and make His home in your heart, you will have the Ten Commandments inside of you and no longer outside. The church, which is the body of Christ on earth, is for the expression of Christ on the earth.

In a sense, the standard in the NT is even higher than the OT. Not only can we not murder, but if we are angry with someone it is like committing murder. Not only can we not commit adultery, but if we even look and lust it is like committing adultery.

You see? It is a matter of what is in our heart. In the OT, God was outside of us, and the law was outside of us. In the NT, if a person has asked Jesus to live inside of them, then once God comes in, the Laws are inside of them.

Still, I fail! Even with God as Jesus Christ living in me, I fail everyday. That doesn't mean that I don't try. It means that I am a fallen sinner. When I fail, I repent and ask the Lord, and/or person I offended, to forgive me. I confess to the Lord Jesus that I am a failure and oh how much I need Him!

Also, when we are born again, we are like little babes in Christ. We don't necessary 'know' the Bible in order to be born again Christians. I didn't know a thing when Jesus came into my heart. I was the OPPOSITE of modest. As Christ grows in me and He shines more of His divine light in me, I am becoming more and more modest. So, I don't look at other Christians who are showing a lot of skin and think badly of them. It might just mean that they are still babes in the Lord or that they haven't had a specific touch from the Lord to cover that particular area of their body. It's just where they are in their walk. Christians are all in a process of becoming glorified (expressing God). Some are further a long and it's okay.

If I come along, all modest and such, and tell a young Christian, don't show any cleavage and your shorts must be to your knees, this is an outward law that I am placing on her. She doesn't have to go to the Lord and even ask Him what He thinks because I've already TOLD her what to do. So, I am cheating her out of an experience of praying and conversing with the Lord about her clothing. In fact, my telling her how to dress may completely turn her away from the Lord and the church. Every person has to go to the Lord and converse and pray about the details of their living.

Sorry, I got so long winded.

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#25 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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I don't think that God's standards change. I think that man's "interpretation" changes to suit whatever group is in power.
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#26 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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I don't think that God's standards change. I think that man's "interpretation" changes to suit whatever group is in power.

 
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#27 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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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?
I want to address something regarding Acts 10. All of those animals, clean and unclean, represent people. Because the OT laws required Jews to be separated from Gentiles, who were considered unclean, there was some confusion in the early church about how Jewish believers were to conduct themselves with Gentile believers.
Yes, in the beginning of the chapter it seems like it is about eating, but by the end of Acts 10, it is about believers coming together.

Cornelius, a gentile (unclean), is visited by an angel of God and told to send for Peter, who was Jewish (clean). While Cornelius' soldiers were traveling to find Peter, Peter goes into a trance and sees this vision with clean and unclean animals. In the vision, Peter is told to rise, slay and eat. Peter argues and says, I've never eaten anything common and unclean. Three times the voice in the vision tells Peter, IT'S OKAY.

Peter is confused about the vision and pondering over it when Cornelius' men come to his door. The Spirit tells Peter to go with these men, doubting nothing because I have sent them.

Peter, with some brothers from Joppa, go with the Gentile men to Cornelius' house. Cornelius falls at Peter's feet to worship Peter. Peter says, no, I am a man as you are. Then Peter says this in v. 28.

28 And he said to them, You understand that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew to join himself to or come near one of another race; yet God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

It turns out that Cornelius had gathered his friends and relatives to hear Peter speak a word to them. Thus, the fellowship among the believers was flowing regardless of one being a Jew or a Gentile.

Key verses in Acts 10

14 But Peter said, By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything common and unclean.

15 And a voice came to him again a second time: The things that God has cleansed, do not make common.

16 And this occurred three times; and immediately the vessel was taken up into heaven.

17 Now as Peter was utterly perplexed in himself as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made diligent inquiry for Simon's house, stood at the gate.

18 And they called out and inquired whether Simon, who is surnamed Peter, was lodging there.

19 And while Peter was pondering over the vision, the Spirit said to him, Behold, there are three men seeking you.

20 But rise up, go down and go with them, doubting nothing, because I have sent them.


When Christ was crucified on the cross, the Jew/Gentile ordinance along with all of the ordinances were abolished, creating the two (Jews and Gentiles) into one new man, which is the body of Christ, the church.

Ephesians 2:15-18

15 Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

16 And might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.

17 And coming, He announced peace as the gospel to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near,

18 For through Him we both have access in one Spirit unto the Father.

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