Monday, June 27, 2011

Destroying the Family: It Starts with the Children

When I logged into my Yahoo homepage today I was outraged to find a certain article.  Maybe some of you have read it: No ‘Him’ or ‘Her’; Preschool Fights Gender Bias.  The article features a particular preschool in Stockholm, Sweden—Egalia—which is seeking to breakdown gender roles in order to allow the children to be whoever they decide to be.  It also seeks to foster tolerance of the LGBT society. 

Some of you might have also read the article on an American baby named “Stormie” where the parents refuse to tell the gender of the child in order to remove societal pressure for it to be one thing or another.  Only the nuclear family members know what gender the child is.

It is so amazing to me that the LGBT society, Feminists, as well as its supporters, seem to think that removing the traditional, biblical identification of a thing that it frees the said thing to be what it will when, in fact, it simply confuses the thing in question as well as society about what it actually is.  I use the word “it” because I speak of more than children.  When certain societal minorities and crooked lawyers and legislators wanted to remove the idea of human life at conception, they argued that it was a fetus, a thing, an object, not a human being.  Thus, legalizing murder and giving careless, godless women throughout the nation the ability to legally murder their children at will.

When homosexual men and women wanted to openly defy God and legally live an alternative lifestyle, they attacked the institution of marriage stating that marriage was not a holy union between one man and one woman as the Bible describes it, but it was simply a commitment between two people—regardless of gender—who love each other.  Now, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Washington D.C., and New York have all legalized same-sex marriage. 

Now they are starting much younger with the children.  Storybooks that once held godly morals, healthy aspirations, and no confusion of family, gender, or the like are now relegated in many places to Heather has Two Mommies as well as the book mentioned in the article on Egalia Preschool which highlights “two male giraffes who are sad to be childless — until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg”.  And these are just 2 of the many stories written and produced for the advancement of the LGBT society. 

The school also eliminates the use of pronouns like “him” or “her” [“han” and “hon”] and instead uses words like “hen”, a non-existent word used loosely by some feminist and gay circles.  They inspire confusion in child play such as allowing multiple mommies when playing house.  The mere fact that the children understand that one mommy is normal justifies the fact that schools like Egalia are busy reprogramming, better yet brainwashing, the children to go against their innate bend towards a godly, traditional lifestyle and force them to accept and embrace a homosexual lifestyle. 

All of these situations mentioned, ability to abort human life before birth, ability for men to marry men and women to marry women, ability to shake gender identification and be what one has not been created to be are all paraded falsely under the freedom of choice.  And to that I will say this: God did, in fact create us with a free will.  However, this free will was not given us so that we might spit in the face of the One who created us to serve Him and bring Him glory.  It was given us so that we might choose freely to serve Him and to be what He has called us to be.  Moses, the Law-giver, served as the mouthpiece of God when He said “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).  Yes, we are given the freedom of choice, but God gives us the answer to the test: choose life! 

Homosexuality, bisexuality, confused sexuality, and feminism [rebellious, discontented women] all are a choice to us in the same way that we may choose to drive off of a cliff, or drink a bottle of poison, or shoot ourselves in the head.  Yes, we have the choice, but it is the difference between living a fulfilling life and living an eternity with God or death—an eternal separation from God filled with the worst imaginable torment.  Who in their right mind would choose the latter? 

Another issue this whole gender confusion produces is the breakdown of the position of men in the family and, in turn, society.  The position of man is the head, the leader of the family.  Now by saying this, I am not saying that women cannot be CEOs, politicians, attorneys, or even pastors [if under the proper covering by a spiritual authority and in perfect submission to their husbands].  What I am saying though is that God has set an order for us to follow and it is this: Christ is the head of the Church as well as Man; Man/Husband is the head of the home; Woman/Wife is the head of the children.  Each is to respect the spiritual covering over them.  In the spirit there is no distinction, but thanks to The Fall, there is an order for us to follow while we are yet in these earth-suits.  And as part of the curse of The Fall, women’s desire is against man.  It is not easy for us to submit and especially so for Black American women and understandably so.  However, if the women choose their husband with much prayer, wisdom, and common sense, she will have nothing to fear in submitting to her husband since she trusts him and understands that he trusts and listens to God who serves as his head.  Its really a quite simple concept.

However, society has twisted this order into an undesirable situation.  Ages of domineering men, emotionally and physically abusive men, absentee men [for whatever reason be it slavery, the gang lifestyle, or the workaholic], and more have given women a distaste for male leadership, in and out of the home.  Then you have your Jezebels who seek to rule over their husbands and manipulate their environments to their liking, the feminists who cry falsely that they do not need men or that they are equal in ability and make-up to men, and the lesbians who have completely spit upon the idea of husbands and fathers, eradicating them from their environment unless, of course to adopt them or give birth to them and completely emasculate them. 

Child psychologist at University of California, Davis, Jay Belsky, states "The kind of things that boys like to do — run around and turn sticks into swords — will soon be disapproved of….So gender neutrality at its worst is emasculating maleness."  The identity of children, the leadership of the home, and more is locked up in man.  A woman cannot raise a man to be a man, try though she might.  Just as men are the gender which provides the embryo with the “x” or “y” gene which produces either a boy or a girl, the man names the child after its born.  It has been widely proven that boys who grow up without a father are prone to find themselves in trouble with the law or at the least be extremely troubled while we can all spot the girls who have “Daddy issues” either because he wasn’t there or because he abused her in some way or fashion.  As physically strong as a woman may be, she cannot protect herself or her family like a man would, try though she might.  Societies without men in leadership produce women who hate men and or try to replace men while they boys in their care grow up completely devoid of understanding what it is that makes them a man.  The society as a whole is ruined. 

The only thing I could possibly praise Egalia Preschool for is their use of dolls from different cultures and I am sorry for the threats they’ve received from ignorant bigots and racists.  But black dolls in a predominantly white school does not a good education make.  That may have worked 50 years ago in the racist South of America where all other values [save praying in school] seemed to be intact.  However, nowadays, it is simply not enough.  Children need clear boundaries as to what is right and what is wrong.  As aforementioned, they are born with an innate sense of fundamental understanding, but it is up to the parents and educators to teach our children right from wrong.  We must teach children, not what society thinks, but what God says.  We must give them the best advantages on the road to a long, happy, successful life in which God will be praised and pleased.  We must teach our children to choose life because after all, they are our future.  


A.W. Tozer said “Everything is safe which we commit to [God], and nothing is really safe which is not so committed”.  I whole-heartedly agree with Tozer save one point—everything already belongs to God.  The universe, the lights of the heavens, the earth and the fullness thereof are all His.  When God created Adam [and Eve] He gave us dominion over everything, but not ownership.  God made created us to be stewards.

Let me first begin by defining stewardship.  It is “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care” (Merriam-Webster).  It is what a governor does for a colony; what a nanny does for her employers’ child; what a limo driver does for the limo.  They are given something, but they do not own it.  And should the said professionals presume to own the thing they are hired to care for, they will be promptly removed from their position because they will have proven themselves unworthy.    

The concept of stewardship is one that has been lost on a people and a generation that feels the need to own everything.  We have our families, our finances, our belongings, our land, etc.  In our finite minds we seem to think that because we purchased something, were given something, or gave birth to something that it is ours and this is simply not true. 

Everything, no matter the way it comes to us is given us by God.  He either created it or gave man the ability and means to create it.  He owns the patent on all.  The confusion between owning a thing and holding a thing is very evident in societies near and far, developed and undeveloped.  People are really all the same.  The two areas wherein the issue of stewardship seems to be the most evident are family situations and finances.

I’ll first tackle the issue of confusion as it pertains to families.  How many of you have seen or met the stage moms who drive their daughters to excel on the stage or silver screen?  Or what about the dad’s who push their sons to apply to their alma mater, play a certain sport, or study a certain program?  Slim are the chances that the children unfortunately placed in these situations grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults.  And the aspirations need not be so glamourous, they could be more simple-the mother who wants her children to remain in the home or close by regardless of their age.  It could be any number of issues.  These people generally suffer major control issues and or self-esteem issues due to unfulfilled dreams and the misconceptions of parenthood.  The Bible refers to children as “a heritage from the Lord” and “a reward” (Psalm 127:3).  Not as a possession.  Parents and family members in general must understand that the people God places in our lives are a blessing to be enjoyed and cared for, not lorded over, controlled, or manipulated.  This is bound to tarnish and possibly even ruin the relationships that we hold so dear.  

The second and, I believe, more widespread issue is that of finances.  We work for “our money” and that makes us think we own it.  We couldn’t be more wrong.  Since it is God who created us, created the employers and companies we work for, gave us the ability to work the jobs, and the means to transport ourselves to the location(s) of our employment, it is God who provides the money; He is the Ultimate Source.  Everyone and everything else is just a resource.  Take a tree for example: it has branches that grow from its trunk which produce fruit, yet the branches do not claim the ability to produce or the possession of the fruit it yields.  It knows that there would be no fruit and no branches had there been no roots pulling the nutrients from the ground which produce the tree which in turn produce the fruit.  The credit is not its own and it is the same for us.  All the abilities we have to “get wealth”, however great or little, is due to God’s graciousness and allowance.  This is why we tithe.

And I know with uttering the “t-word” I’ve just turned half of my readers off with my “Old Testament” thinking.  But tithing is not an Old or New Testament concept, it’s a biblical concept; a godly concept.  It has no season, it has no time.  It has no context, distinction, or limitation.  It is for all.  And it is not a concept that stands by itself; it is paired with offering as well.  These two have been with us since the beginning of time.  Cain killed his brother Abel because he offered a more acceptable sacrifice than he himself had (Genesis 4:3-10).  Abraham is portrayed paying his tithe to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20).  The Jews in the Old Testament temple and Believer in the New Testament were both commanded to pay tithes and give.  Malachi even declares the refusal of tithe-paying “robbing God” (Malachi 3:8-10). 

Just to be clear, a tithe is 10 percent of all your increase.  An offering is independent of the tithe and has no particular figure except that which God—not man—lays upon your heart to give.  God gives us the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) and in return, only requires 10 percent of it consistently.  He could demand 30, 50, 75, or 90 percent, but instead, He chooses to let us deal with the 90 as we see fit.  And this is where the concept of stewardship comes in.  After giving God His due, we are now left with 90 percent to spend.  And how we spend it determines how we truly grasp the concept of stewardship. 

My boyfriend is an excellent private banker and frequently teaches on the handling of finances using simple, solid, biblical wisdom.  And as such, stewardship is the foundation of his teaching.  He believes that if people can truly understand and apply the concept of stewardship, then they can begin to correct and increase their financial situation.  Furthermore, once you have the concept of stewardship firmly in place as it concerns your finances, you’ll begin to notice the same concept showing up in other areas of your life (i.e. eating healthy, exercising, treatment of belongings and loved ones, etc.).  And what’s more is that as much as an adult can benefit from this type of teaching, imagine how much more a child would.  One could easily avoid a life plagued by bad credit, overdrawn accounts, and more if taught this concept.

The idea is that if you are given something to take care of that does not belong to you, you’ll most likely treat it better than if it was your own.  If my boyfriend went out of town and asked me to watch his home or keep his car, I would take excellent care to keep either of them clean, in good working condition, and whatever else might be necessary.  Why?  because they belong to him.  Because I wouldn’t want him to leave thinking his home or car was in good hands, and return finding them dirty, destroyed, improperly cared for and so on.  He entrusted them to me, so it is my obligation to return them to him as good as—and preferably better than—before.

Jesus was an avid preacher of stewardship; He used the concept in several of His parables.  Here are some listed below:

  • The Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servants (Luke 12:35-48)
  • The Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13)

And not only did Jesus speak of stewardship, but Paul and Peter reference it as well. 

  • The chapter entitled “Stewards of the Mysteries of God (I Corinthians 4)
  • We are “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10)

Stewardship is an important concept to be learned that every area of our lives can benefit from. 

If we acted as stewards, we would not live under a curse from lack of tithing.  If we acted as stewards, our finances would be blessed because of our godly benevolence.  If we acted as stewards, we would make wise financial decisions such as living within our means and making wise purchases.  If we acted as stewards, our children would be taught to be not what they want to be, or what we want them to be, but what God called them to be.  If we acted as stewards, our lives would be improved in so many ways only God could count them all.  We would avoid so much stress and drama that only wears at our strength and afflicts our mental and physical health.  We would be a wise, realistic people who God would be proud to call his own.  And when He returns, He would find our spiritual, emotional, mental, financial, and physical homes in order.  And as Tozer believed, we would find everything in our life that is attached to us safe, because we will have realized that it belongs to our great and capable God.

*Shameless plug: if you’d like my financially savvy boyfriend to speak at your business or ministerial gathering, please feel free to contact me! J

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Necessity of Sacrifice

When we hear the word “sacrifice” usually we think of the heathen pagans such as the Moabites that sacrificed their children to Molech, the barbarous Mayans who sacrificed their prisoners to the rain-god Chaac, or even Abraham readying himself to sacrifice his son Isaac to God on the altar on the Mount of Moriah.  It is a detestable, gruesome practice to most of us.  Yet if it is demanded of the gods, or I should say God, is it not then an honourable practice to be kept by all human beings?

Now, neither I, nor God approve of human sacrifice.  It is a horrible stench in the nostrils of God to kill something that He has created in His own image.  At one point, in the practice of Judaism, animal sacrifice—executed in a particular ceremonial fashion—was acceptable.  It is no longer necessary now since the true Messiah and Lamb of God has already come and sacrificed Himself for the world so that we might live eternally.  However, as most concepts translate from the Old Testament to New Testament living, the spirit behind the action of sacrifice is still required. 

Sacrifice is a single concept to be applied—like all the Word—in all aspects of our life.  And no matter what area of our life we choose to practice it in, it is never easy.  Merriam-Webster defines it as the “act of offering to a deity something precious; especially: the killing of a victim on an alter; destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else”.  In short, we are giving up something dear to our hearts for the sake of the greater good.   But how should this be done?

Sacrifice should be done swiftly.  Otherwise, if an individual is left to ponder their decision and mull over it asking themselves if they are sacrificing the right thing or too much of a thing, they are likely to put it off inevitably and thus, miss out on the effect the sacrifice would have had in their lives.  In my experience, it is the same when God speaks to an individual.  The person should act immediately once the instructions are provided.  Had Abraham talked over God’s command to sacrifice his son to his wife, Sarah, or put it off, he never would have done it and would have missed out on the promise of fathering a multitude of people and, in fact, becoming the father of our faith had he not acted swiftly.  Had Jesus in His mortal state given sway to the voices and demons that spoke to him in the Garden of Gethsemane and put off His death, we might still be waiting on our redemption, missing Paradise and stuck in the Bosom of Abraham once we die.  Sacrifice is meant to be carried out immediately to prevent our paths and wills from swaying.

In The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer speaks of Abraham’s sacrifice and says this “God could have begun out on the margin of Abraham’s life and worked inward to the center; He chose rather to cut quickly to the heart and have it over in one sharp act of separation.  In dealing thus He practiced an economy of means and time.  It hurt cruelly, but it was effective.”  This brings another element of sacrifice into the picture: the swiftness of sacrifice prevents the waste of other things and resources in our lives.

An example of this in my own life was the wedding of my best friend and sister to my close friend and brother.  Resources what they were and are, wisdom kept me from attending since everything that I’ve spent my time working for would have been swept away in one 4-day celebration.  Wisdom said don’t, while my heart said go.  My foolish heart!  A year ago, no one could have paid me to believe that I would choose to miss this long-awaited wedding.  I cried when I came to the realization of it.  But the greater good was and is my transition back to not just a different physical location, but a different, more mature place in my life.  If I could just convince my heart of what my mind new was best, I knew I would reap the benefits thereof.  And I have.  Furthermore, having the beautiful friends that I have, they—although sad—understood my situations, forgave me my absence, and know that I’ll be there for them in the future.  Had I continued on in a way that is financially irresponsible, causing me to rely on and drain other people of their emotions toward me as well as their own financial resources, I would eventually risk damaging those precious relationships and everything I’ve been working for.  In fact, this entire season of my life has been one of sacrifice.  Would I happily choose to live in a place I despise and know no one accept my own father? Absolutely not.  But I have wisely chosen it.  And now, with the season here ending, I have the satisfaction of knowing that soon, I can reap the lovely benefits of the sacrifices I have made.

Another example that I—along with several other Americans—have experienced is the wondrous destruction of overspending.  Whether its spending all the money in your bank accounts or maxing out your credit cards to purchase items you think you need, overspending has become the bane of our American existence.  Just take a look at the national deficit.  Living with debt has become an accepted way of life for us, much to our demise.  Would it not be better to own the clothes in your closets, the cars in your garage, and live within your means in peace and serenity than to constantly spend until you’re in the red and sink even further once we start to charge every little thing to our Visa cards, Discovery Cards, and American Express cards?  This, as we well know, causes us to dodge the daily phone calls from creditors tormenting us until we can come up with the funds with which to pay.  Ordering us to borrow money from our aging parents, unresponsible significant others, and overly-kind friends.  The irony of volunteering ones self to go further into debt in order to pay off debt is almost laughable.  If you’d like a hilarious illustration of this, just watch or read The Confessions of a Shopaholic.  This is no way to live!  And what happens if an expensive emergency or bout of unemployment hits us?  We have nothing and soon, we will have even less.  We will have proven Solomon’s words “the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).

Sacrifice can take on many forms.  I’ve had to sacrifice relationships, living situations/preferences, shopping trips, theologies and mentalities and more.  Every single sacrifice has been painful, but worth it.  I like to say that it “hurts so good”.  The man that labours in the weight room, placing his body under subjection to reach his weight goal and desired muscle mass knows it.  The woman who gives up alcohol, coffee, a size 2, and comfort to bring life into the world knows it.  Like the minister who gives up the career and life they wanted, in order to pursue the higher calling of God full-time knows it.  They’re all forms of sacrifice.  And when the person who’s sacrificed reaches the end of their life, they’ll be able to look back with a clear conscious and see the fruits of their labours in life and it will all be worth it. 

Sacrifice is a thing demanded of us all.  Give in to it when it is necessary.  Kill the thing or desire swiftly in order to assure the completion of the order, thenn you too will enjoy the fruits of your sacrificial labour.