Archive for the ‘The Family’ Category

Personal Life – Family (Colossians 3:20-21)

July 11, 2010 2 comments

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.  Colossians 3:20-21

Personal – Family

v     Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

  • The word for obey is hupakouo
    • Means to listen attentively
    • Not mind readers (kid outside, mom whispers in closet)
    • Not the normal problem
    • First act of obedience is hearing the command
    • “I didn’t hear you” is not a legitimate excuse
    • An obedient child is one that is eager to hear the instructions
    • Not hearing is the first act of disobedience
  • Obedience is not hard of hearing
    • Listens for the command and wants to hear it
    • Psalm 123:2
    • Deaf obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not forgetful
    • Command given Monday
    • Does not evaporate by Thursday
    • Lack of action by parents is not change in instructions or silent permission
    • Children should be told again if they need to, but the second reminder should come with discipline
    • Forgetful obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not piecemeal
    • Obey parents in all things
    • Saul and the Amalekites
    • Doing half the list is not obedience
    • Partial obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not postponed
    • Children cannot set their own schedule of when they will obey
    • Hebrews 3:7-8
    • Start cleaning the room, and begin to look at things and go on their own schedule of when the room will be clean
    • Delayed obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not subject to private interpretation
    • “I don’t have to do this because I’m older now”
    • This is called spin
    • Only Politicians and Justices can do this
    • Reinterpreted obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is not reluctant or sullen
    • If obedience is well-pleasing to God, then it is to be well-pleasing to children and parents
    • Related to first point of eager obedience
    • Someone could obey right away (out of fear), but not like it
    • Grumpy obedience is disobedience
  • Obedience is rendered to parents – both of them
  • All things – children and parents should know that the children are being brought up to maturity – living on their own
  • Well pleasing – young people should strive to see their life as an integrated whole
    • “Heart is right” and bedroom is a pit – Gnostic mysticism
    • Room is spotless and heart full of uncleanness – Pharisaical hypocrisy
    • Reject both of these – clean your room with a clean heart

v     Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

  • Fathers
  • Some think of the Bible as a clunky, rule book
  • The aroma of obedience in the Bible is love, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost
    • Some know the words, but not the tune (Mark Twain’s wife)  “My dear, you know all the words, but not the tune.”
    • Some Christians have rules, tests, standards, but no love, joy, or peace in the Holy Ghost
    • 3, 7, 10, or 12 steps to success; or paint by numbers solutions
    • Works righteousness
  • Scripture is not a mural, it is a window
  • Anger
  • Discouraged
  • Love sees with the highest degree of accuracy
    • Not critical
      • Accurate, but disproportionate
      • Bitterness
      • Caricature (line drawing)
      • Correction is not criticism
    • Not indulgent
      • No distinctions
      • Only constant is excuses
      • Water color
      • Smudging
      • Impressionistic
    • Love disciplines without harshness, calmly, for the sake of kid and shows mercy with wisdom
    • Love and Obedience – John 14:15, 23

Personal Life — Marriage (Colossians 3:18-19)

June 27, 2010 Comments off

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.  Colossians 3:18-19

Personal Life – Marriage

v     These verses introduce a new way of relational thinking

  • Christianity consists of reciprocal arrangements
    • Wives, husbands
    • Children, fathers
    • Servants, masters
  • This is because of Christ

v     God commands to our nature

  • The Bible is the first psychology book
    • God knows what human nature is like
    • Psychologists can study, but God knows
  • When God commands something, it is because that’s what we need to remember.
  • When things go badly, work on what you’ve been commanded, not on what’s easy.

v     Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

  • Ephesians tells us the husband IS the head of the wife.
    • Indicative, not imperative
    • Submit – as Sarah, who called Abraham lord
    • Own – women are not to be subject to all men, wives are to be subject to their own husbands
    • There are principles involved here, but the particulars are such.
    • As it is fit – marriage works this way.

v     Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

  • Love
    • Love as you love yourself
      • Illustrate by pointing out how hard it is to get gifts for men. Why? They’ve already taken care of themselves.
      • Look at what your wife does that’s loving, do that to love her.
  • Not bitter

v     Wives – submit, be lovable

v     Husbands – love, be respectable

The Relationships of the New Man (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

March 8, 2010 Comments off

Colossians 3:18-4:1 record the impact that biblical Christianity should have on the culture.  The new man is a new wife (3:18), a new husband (3:19), a new son or daughter (3:20), a new parent (3:21), a new employee (3:22-25), and a new employer (4:1).  As any one of these, the new man does what he does in the name of Jesus, letting the peace of God rule in his heart and the Word of Christ dwell in him richly.

These descriptions of the new man indicate the standard a Christian possesses in his relationships.  A saved wife will subject herself to her husband’s authority, a saved husband will love his wife, a saved child will obey his parents, a saved parent will raise his children in a scriptural way, a saved employee will work hard, and a saved employer will treat his employees with justice.  The change in relationships provides a great judgment of the genuineness of someone’s profession of faith.

The Pant-Skirt Issue for Dummies

Genesis 1:27 says:  ” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  God created two distinct genders or sexes, male and female, with two separate, unique roles.  Throughout Scripture we see that God expects men and women to keep the distinctions that He designed—the man the head, the woman the helpmeet (Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-33; Titus 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 14:29-35; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Psalm 127-128; Romans 1:26-27).   Man and woman have different roles, but are the same in essence (Gal 3:28).   God designed men and women different, gave them different roles, and out of respect for Him, wants them to honor His design.  To show agreement with His design, God gave this order in Deuteronomy 22:5.

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

The words are specific and easy to be understood.  The Hebrew and the English say the same thing.  There’s no problem with the translation here.  The verse prohibits certain activity.  You’ve got three parts—one for the woman, another for the man, and the consequence for not obeying the order.  The cultures who have cared about the Bible have understood and practiced this verse the same way for centuries.

You see what the verse says.  The verse doesn’t say:

The woman shall not wear the military gear of a warrior man.

The woman shall not put on ornaments that a man wears and use utensils that a man uses.

The woman shall try to look different than a man.

The woman shall not be a transvestite.

The woman shall not be a cross-dresser.

The woman shall not participate in Canaanite worship practices that require wearing a man’s clothes.

None of these have been how Christians have believed and practiced this verse.  The verse is not a euphemism for something else.  It isn’t idiomatic.  It is very straightforward.  And in the end, God says a man or woman who disobeys this prohibition is himself or herself an abomination to Him.

The woman is not to have on a male article.  The man is not to put on a woman’s clothing.  Both sides assume that a certain article or certain articles of clothing in a God-honoring culture have been designated exclusively male and  a certain article or certain articles of clothing in a God-honoring culture have been designated exclusively female.   It is obvious from the verse that God wants men and women distinguished from one another in appearance, but the verse says more than that.

I believe that in principle we are helped in understanding God’s will in this matter by looking at 1 Corinthians 11:3-16.  In 1 Corinthians 11:3, we are reminded of the point of the instruction about dress and appearance:  male headship and female submission.  Arguments are made for Christians to continue differentiating themselves in gender and role with their appearance, and in particular a symbol of submission and then male headship, the head-covering.   Despite women being equal in essence to men, God expected His designed role distinctions to be honored in appearance.  Why?  Creation order (1 Cor 11:7-9).  A testimony to angels (1 Cor 11:10).  To honor God (1 Cor 11:12).  To not be a shame but to be a glory (1 Cor 11:7, 13-15).

There is a reason why the problem today is women wearing a male article, not men wearing a female.  This is clear by seeing the problem in Corinth.  It is a headship and submission issue.  It is the woman wearing the pants, not men wearing the skirt.  Today men may hide behind a woman’s apron, but it started with women wearing the pants.

Obedience to Deuteronomy 22:5 and 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 is more than a testimony or stumbling block issue.  Obedience to these is a statement to God.  It is an act of worship to Him.  It is a deed of deferment to His greatness and goodness.  By obeying the prohibition, we are saying to Him, “You are wise.  You know what you are doing.  You know what’s best for us.”  Angels were there at the creation of male and female, so they were there to see what God had in mind.  I think there is more to it, but that isn’t as important.  For instance, I believe that we learn sexuality and gender and role by appearance.  This is a means by which children grow up and see the differences.  In other words, without the clear delineation in the roles by means of the symbols of male headship and female submission, we have role confusion.  This in part explains the rampant homosexuality.  Sexuality is in part learned and we haven’t taught it as a culture.

Deuteronomy 22:5 doesn’t mention pant-skirt.  It, however, assumes that God’s people would have such articles that were exclusive to each gender.  And it is true that we have had that in our culture and because of Deuteronomy 22:5 and 1 Corinthians 11:3-16.  What is it that in our culture has symbolized male headship, an article that was uniquely designated for the male, to be seen as a testimony to God and others of our agreement with Him in His design?  Let’s think about it.  Is it the hat?  Is it the shirt?  Is it underwear?  Is it shoes? Is it the cape?  Is it socks?  No and no and no and no and no.  Is it pants?  Yes.  Does history show this?  Yes.

So why did women start wearing pants?  It wasn’t out of conviction.  It wasn’t acceptable to Christians and not really accepted by anyone when our culture reflected more Judeo-Christian ethics.  Was it a group of godly people who got together to pray about being obedient to to God’s will?  Of course not.  It was in defiance of the idea of male authority.  It was women’s liberation.  It was convenience.  Today it is just normal.  Women don’t want to stick out, want to fit in.  So now it is worldliness, going along with the spirit of the age, and even in churches.   Here is a church that has that crazy skirts-only-on-women standard and the women wear pants in the other church—which one will I choose?

I’m not going to argue about whether it should be obeyed any longer because it is Old Testament law.  That is a johnny-come-lately argument that goes along with the licentiousness and antinomianism of our day.  Men use grace as an occasion to the flesh.  Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires.   As it applies to Deuteronomy 22:5, this argument wasn’t even around until women started wanting to wear pants.

You’ve got those who use the “they wore robes” argument.   Let’s jump right to their point.  They say that men wear men’s pants and women wear women’s pants.  Christians or this culture have never made that designation.  We have never stated the unique design of the woman’s pant.  What makes “women’s pants” to be “women’s pants?”   There isn’t any distinction.  Again, that’s just an argument after the fact.  The whole point of pants was to take away differences and distinctions.  Everyone knows this.  Every history says this.  The purpose of Deuteronomy 22:5 is distinction and difference.  The purpose of pants was sameness.  The robes argument doesn’t work because even if they were robes, which the passage doesn’t say, there would have been a unique male robe and a unique female robe.  We haven’t done the same thing with pants.

The biggest argument that I hear is that the whole conversation is just stupid, tiresome, or ridiculous.  The people that talk about it “have an infatuation with a different era and want everyone else to have the same.”   Or, “you legalists!”  The whole thing is actually about God and what he said.  Christians should care.  However, believers have decided to go along with the spirit of the age.  Sad, but true.

If it isn’t about how crazy this discussion is, then it is about how that instead of focusing in on such a minor doctrinal point, why don’t we spend our time on the grand, important issues, like justification and grace and the trinity and the love of Christ.  Or, “stop juding people’s external appearances and start looking at their heart and how much they love the Lord.”  Whoever says those things ought to think of this:  “abomination to God.”   The very fact that God put this in the Bible makes it important enough, but we know that there is more to it than only a dress and externals issue.  It does have to do with the heart.

The Patch Factor

August 29, 2008 31 comments

Before I begin my article, let me take just a moment to commend Kirk Brandenburg for his article.  It was well-written and well thought out, and demonstrated his father’s diligent teaching at home.  Kirk, you are a credit to your dad’s ministry, and I trust that you will continue to be.

That being said, throughout this month’s topic, we have alluded several times to the fact that some consider the piano to be an effeminate instrument.  With apologies to Kirk and others, I am one of those who think that a large number of piano-playing males are effeminate.  In this post, I intend to flesh that thought out a bit, so I hope you will “endure to the end.”

First, I do not believe that there is any such thing as an effeminate instrument.  Piano included.  For crying out loud, the piano is way too heavy to be effeminate.  But I digress.  I would also include the flute, the pennywhistle, the clarinet, and the harp in my list of instruments that are not effeminate.  I will admit that I don’t have a verse on this… my opinion results from a simple observation that I have made.  Instruments are gender neutral.  They are neither male nor female.  Neither masculine nor feminine.

That being said, although I can in no way claim to be a musician (I can’t even play an i-pod), I do think that some instruments are more suitable to women than men, and vice-versa.  But since that is a topic for those more expert in musical instruments than myself (starting with Kermit the Frog), I’ll leave that one alone.  I believe that any instrument can be played by a man (and no, I don’t believe that ‘like a man’ means either poorly or boorishly), and in a manly fashion, and I believe that the sooner we get that idea in our head, the better off we will be. Read more…

Got Skeels?

August 24, 2008 2 comments

Joey hasn’t been the same, ever since the band leader said it. His little feelies, all mangled and crushed, lie forlorn on the ground. His self-esteem, already needing a stool to mount the flat side of a piece of regular, college-ruled notepaper, now strains to straddle a spaghetti noodle of the angel hair variety. His brow, beaten and bruised, creased with care and worn with worry, resembles a swimming pool on a very windy day. Or perhaps, resembles his bed sheets. That is, before his mother gets around to making it for him.

What, might you ask, has caused Joey such trauma, such trepidation, such total cerebral torture? Well, that is a long story, as you might have guessed, and will take some time to unravel. Feelies are just that way.

In the meantime, Joey continues his daily self-therapy sessions, in his bedroom, alone, with his pillow behind his now nearly twelve-year-old back and his Wii within arm’s reach. His mother rarely disturbs her patient, other than with the ocassional glass of warm milk and plate of chocolate chip cookies. Father has yet to be made aware of his son’s (a.k.a. “my pride and joy”) condition. Joey’s mangled feelies have only been festering for a week so far. Hardly enough time for a man of Joey’s father’s experience to sit up and take note. Besides, he hardly ever visits that end of the house. The TV is clear down in the basement. Read more…

Sons Go Because the Son Was Sent

July 8, 2008 Comments off

I expect Kent to bump my post soon.  But only because I am so late in getting something up for Monday.  Wednesday is normally his day.

In the past few weeks we’ve had quite the discussion about how to find a life partner.  It actually got me to doing more than maintenance of the jackhammr.  Actually, it was my “drive-by” post that stirred the waters or fed the fire.  Now most of you have just sat by the fire watching the three jackhammrs spar with each other and put up with an occasional burst of ammunition from the “Soldier of War.”  I don’t mind that.

I said briefly in my post that sons go (I intend to also show that daughters are given).  This was first taken as an affront to Kent’s thorough exegesis and historical study.  In his best example, he has said that the Father chose the Bride for the Son.  This is true.  He says that in the model he follows, the father chooses and the son approves.  This is good; because no earthly father is going to know his choice is perfect like our heavenly Father would.

I’ll admit that I have not developed a “WAY” as Kent has, but this month has helped, and yet I still think sons go.  The reason is that even in Kent’s best example, the Son went.  The Father chose, but the Son was sent.  Because the Trinity is Divine, the arrangement worked out cleanly (although when the Son came, he was at first rejected–John 1:12).  When human nature is put into the equation, Kent puts the father and son into the choosing.  More fatherly input, but the son approves also.  In my mind the next step continues in the same manner, father and son.  Rather, son and father.  Because the Son actually was sent and the Father approved, we should follow this same pattern in finding a life partner.  Sons go because the Son was sent:

But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.  (Matthew 21:37)

Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.  (Mark 12:6)

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  (John 3:17)

That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him.  (John 5:23)

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.  (John 6:40)

Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  (John 10:36)

Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.  (Acts 3:26)

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  (Galatians 4:4)

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (1 John 4:9-10)

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.  (1 John 4:14)

The Father did not abdicate his responsibility by sending the Son; He had already chosen.  The Son could not have fulfilled His responsibility if He had not gone.  While the Father chose, he did not hand the prize to the Son on a platter.  The Son was sent from the comforts of Heaven to seek his Bride (Luke 19:10).  This reason, from the best of all examples, is why I believe sons go–the Son was sent.

Categories: Marriage, The Family, Voegtlin