Morning Musing: Mark 2:6-8

“When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before him. And he cried out with a loud voice, ‘What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you before God, don’t torment me!’ For he had told him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Everybody has somebody they respect. We all have heroes. We all have people to whom we look up with admiration and imitation. We all have people whose authority we acknowledge. Now, some folks are genuine egoists who truly don’t do any of that, but those are the exceptions to the rule. For most of us, though, we have people under whose authority we are comfortable sitting. The thing is, though, that’s a personal designation. My recognized authorities aren’t the same as yours. But there are some people in positions whose authority is pretty much universally acknowledged; people who command respect from everybody. Jesus is one of those people. And His authority isn’t simply recognized by every person, but by all of creation. That’s a very good thing and Mark gives us a reason why here.

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Getting in Line

What do we do when we are facing leaders we don’t want to follow issuing orders we don’t want to keep? The response by most people throughout history has been either passive acceptance or else violent rebellion. As followers of Jesus, though, there is another option. As we continue our series, Being Good Kingdom Citizens, this week, thinking together about how we need to respond to the current political climate as followers of Jesus, we are going to join the apostle Paul as he lays out what this third way is. Thanks for being a part of the conversation.

Getting in Line

Have you ever been faced with a rule you didn’t want to follow? I suspect so. I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, and we took the standardized science tests for the state at the end of the year. I remember thinking the whole test was a joke in terms of covering ideas and topics we hadn’t touched on at all in the previous nine months, but the question that took the cake for me was this: Draw a picture of the universe and mark the approximate location of the earth. By this time, I was beyond frustrated with the content. We had never even come close to talking about the shape of the universe. I was a science geek and didn’t know the shape of the universe. Modern astrophysicists only have guesses about it (incredibly educated guess, yes, but guesses all the same). The rule was, though, that you had to answer all the questions. So, I sat there and for five continuous minutes put dots all over the page with my pencil, added a random X, and then moved on to the next question. I’ll confess that it was not one of my finer moments in academia.

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Dirty Words

This week, in part four of our series, I Do, we dealt with one of the dirtiest words in our culture. Want to know what it is? Submission. The idea of one person submitting themselves to another is anathema in the mind of the culture. And yet, when guys like Paul and Peter talked about marriage in their New Testament letters, they consistently used the word. That means we need to figure out what kind of a role it is supposed to have. Keep reading and wrestle with me with what this should look like.

Dirty Words

My boys enjoy Legos. A lot. In addition to having two of them on Lego Robotics teams at school, I think we are on a good approach for having every Lego set known to man before they graduate from high school. Over the years of accumulating various cool sets, though, some have gotten disassembled after being played with for a while. On occasion, they’ll want to play with a set from the past they know now resides in pieces in the playroom. Fortunately, the Lego website has the instructions and parts list for pretty much every set they’ve ever produced available to download. It’s just a simple matter of printing out the parts list, finding the right pieces, and then pulling up the instructions on some kind of a computer so they can rebuild it. Simple, right?

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Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

If Paul’s words to wives were tough here, his words to husbands are even more challenging.  Wives are called to submit to their husbands as a function of their prior and larger submission to Christ.  Husbands are called to love their wives after the pattern of Christ’s love for the church.  That, of course, prompts a question: How did Christ loved the church?  Answer: He died for her.  He committed Himself to the last breath to seeing her become fully who God created her to be.  Everything he did was for her benefit.  Every single decision He made was filtered through the lens of whether or not it was going to be to her advantage.  For husbands, this is our standard. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 5:22-24

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Here it is at last.  The gleaming evidence, lit up by a flashing neon sign, pointing to the fact that Paul is now finally letting out his true colors.  He hates women.  He uses the dreaded “S-word” here.  He thinks women should be submitted, subjected, subordinated to men.  He is convinced, just like everybody else in his day, that they are of less value to society than men.  He was laying a foundation of oppression and injustice here that has persisted in the church until today.  Women should be silent and seated at the feet of their men, catering to their every whim, and treating them as if they were the god of the home.  Disgusting!  Why else would he write something like this? Read the rest…