Saturday, June 27, 2015

What's the Big Deal about Marriage Anyway?

You would have to have been somewhere on a remote island to not have heard about the legalization of same sex marriage this week.  While many are rejoicing, many are grieved.  Christians are grieving and I am not sure they truly understand the reason why.  What is the big deal about marriage anyway?  

I have prayed fervently for a Word about this, and what follows is what God has lead me to write.  Let me warn you, if you do not believe in God nor find the Bible an important guide for life, you might not want to read any further…it will make no sense.  BUT if you are called by the name is Christ and believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, my points will be beneficial to you in knowing why you are so grieved.  This will also be a long post.  I cannot do justice to this in sound bites! Print it out and read it little by little.  Finally, this is NOT my opinion.  This is biblical research on marriage. 

This battle for marriage started long before the Garden of Eden.  It began before the world was even created and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Ezekiel gives us that beginning.

Ezekiel 28:12-17

This is what the Lord GOD says: [about satan]
You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every kind of precious stone covered you:
carnelian, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and emerald. Your mountings and settings were crafted in gold; they were prepared on the day you were created.
You were an anointed guardian cherub, for I had appointed you. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways until wickedness was found in you.
Through the abundance of your trade, you were filled with violence, and you sinned.
So I expelled you in disgrace from the mountain of God, and banished you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.
Your heart became proud because of your beauty; For the sake of your splendor
you corrupted your wisdom. So I threw you down to the earth;

And in Isaiah 14: 12-14

“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!   You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!
“But you said in your heart,   ‘I will ascend to heaven;  I will raise my throne above the stars of God,  And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.
‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;  I will make myself like the Most High.’ (empahsis mine.)

So, there is the beginning of the war between good and evil.  An angel of light became proud…decided he could be LIKE God and was thrown from God’s presence.  Where had he been?  In the Garden and was suppose to be the guardian to take care of God’s creation there.  But  after his fall his main objective was to destroy the very thing that God loved most…humans.  Blaise Pascal once said:  God is intolerant.  He is intolerant of anything that will hurt what He loves most.  God’s enemy was now on a mission to destroy that very thing.

You might ask what all that has to do with marriage?  Our very creation was symbolic of what we call marriage.  We were created and life was breathed into us by the very person of God.

Gen. 1: 27  So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

We continue reading in chapter two that God had created mates for all the animals in the Garden except for Adam.  God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and removed a rib from his side and created a woman from it.  Woman means “from man.” When God presented Adam with Eve, Adam said, 

“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.  Gen. 2:25

This began a relationship between Adam and Eve BUT it was much more.  It was symbolic of God’s relationship with man! Stay with me! From God man was created. From Adam, Eve was created.  God built within this first creation the exact relationship we would have with God.

This is further evidenced throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. This union symbolized the relationship God has with us. His children are called His bride and He is our Husband (for we come from Him).  God and humans are not the same.  We were made to be united with Him and only then are we fulfilled in this world.  Before Genesis chapter three, the relationship was perfect.  God walked with His creation and they walked with each other with no shame.

But remember who else was in Eden?  God’s enemy, the fallen angel, Lucifer.  Genesis 3 records his mission of destruction by his causing Eve first, and then Adam to doubt God and to believe something other than what He said. The enemy has not changed his tactics for it is still through the voice of doubt that he causes mankind to turn away from God’s perfect way.

Because they acted on this doubt, sin entered the world and paradise was lost.  satan thought he had won but God loved us even in our sin and prepared a way for the relationship to be restored.  First it was by animal sacrifices and the law.  The symbolism continued for throughout this time those who followed God were called His Bride! When they disobeyed, they were called, harlots, adulteress, prostitutes, and other names.  Unfaithful.  These are terms we use today for those unfaithful in a marriage.  The symbolism of marriage between God and Man is clearly stated throughout. 

God wanted to finally and forever repair this relationship and so He came down to live with us through His Son, Jesus Christ.   John’s Gospel records the word of John the Baptizer when he first saw Jesus:

"You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent ahead of Him.' "He who has the bride [those who belong to him] is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. "He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:28-30

John the Baptist, clearly saw Jesus as the bridegroom coming to save His Bride.  We later see that believers, the true church of God, are called the Bride.

Jesus also used this symbolism several times throughout His ministry but none more evident than in John 14.  We must understand that a Jewish wedding was different than our weddings of today.  The groom took care of all the details.  The bride only had to get herself ready.  The groom went back to his father’s house to begin building onto his father’s house so he and his wife would have a place to live.  When the father saw that it was a suitable place to live, he sent his son to get his bride and the marriage took place.  

In John 14 Jesus said,

“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going.”
Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Clearly, Jesus was using the Bridegroom reference to His followers.  This is yet another clear indication of the Bride/Bridegroom symbolism.

Paul in his letter to the Ephesians said this:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.  Eph. 5:31-32

Yes, because of sin, we have destroyed God’s perfect plan for marriage...divorce, infidelity and now same sex marriages. But it has never been about us.  It has always been spiritual… about God’s relationship with us…a union…becoming one with Him.  He used us as man and woman to symbolize this. 

We are different, God and Us.  Men and women are different and through the amazing construct of the body, we are able to become one with each other…to create new life.  Our spirits can also become one with God the Father.  (read John 17: 20-23)

There is a bigger thing here than just two people saying some words in front of an official.  It is more than getting benefits by our union and it is much more than sex.  It is a loving symbol of God’s love for His creation and the restoration of relationship. 

We cannot be the same as God but like Lucifer, we have said that we can be like God. We think we can control the earth, science, reshape bodies, make life and destroy life.  We think we can recreate in our own image, what God already created.  This is the lie of the enemy.   When two people who are alike marry, it is saying that we are also like God.  That is the very reason this sin is mentioned throughout the Bible as being an abomination…because it says, “we are just like God!”
When God created us, He created a boundary of protection around us because of His love.  When we go beyond His boundaries, we are no longer protected.  If we continue to stay out of those boundaries, He will give us over to our desires. (Romans 1)  It grieves Him to do this.  He never wants to lose anyone of us but if it is our own desires that keeps us there, He will not force us to come to Him.

Jesus is our boundary of protection.  Come to Him. It is being reunited in righteousness to our Bridegroom. We destroyed His perfect plan but He through His death and the formation of the church, His Bride, we can again be united with Him.  
These are the final words of our Bridegroom in the Revelation:  

In the Revelation 19:6-9 we read this: 

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean,was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 22:12-17

  “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
      Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
      “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
      The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

He is coming back for His Bride, the church.  Today, hear the truth and quit believing in the lie of the enemy of God.  He has again struck us with his lies about what marriage is so we will go further from the God who loves us.  No court in the world can undo what God set in the beginning.  

Jesus warned us in John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

This marriage thing is a big deal to God.  It is as much spiritual as physical.  It is more than just a ceremony…it is the very restoration of God to His people.

He who has ears, let him hear!

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Two Thoughts (cents) on Fifty Shades of Grey

It is out there.  The movie “everyone” has been waiting for.  Christian women as well as none Christian women have read the trilogy and are now waiting for the visual of this mommy porn!  (Heaven help our husbands or boyfriends if they want to watch porn but somehow it is ok for us!)Yay!! This week, women get to be “equal!”  I see confusion about what the conclusions this movie might bring about.  I am sad.  But I am not going to rehash the arguments already written against this movie (and books)  I do, however, want to point out a couple of my own observations I haven't seen this passed week:

1.  The female star of the movie sitting in front of 2,000 women waiting to see the premiere was asked, “Who do you want to see this movie?”  She looked at the interviewer with frightened eyes and said, “NOT my parents!”  She didn’t laugh.  She was serious.  She didn’t answer who she WANTED to see but who she DIDN’T want to see.  Those were her first words. She almost appeared afraid and ashamed that her parents might see it.  They were the ones who probably were most proud of her abilities while she was growing up. I believe she might have been having second thoughts. While filming she wasn't thinking of her parents but now that it is done, she is afraid they will see her do the things she has to do in order for this movie to be accurate.  So the first observation:  The star has some shame about what she has done.  What does this say to us?  There is shame involved with this movie. Satan will encourage many believers to go and see this, yet afterwards will load us down with shame that will be very hard to get rid of.  We can never un-see what will be seen.  Shame is his greatest tool and in my counseling of women the hardest thing to recover from.  My suggestion:  Don’t see it!

2.  The second observation as I watched those 2,000 women screaming with excitement to see the premiere of this movie was, what about the perverted guy who is watching the joy of these women? What might he be thinking? I think his thoughts were, “WOMEN LIKE PAIN!”   I am hoping that the numbers of rapes and violent crimes done to women do not increase because of this, but I will not be surprised if they do. I am hoping there won’t be more kidnapping of women and children for sex trafficking, but I won’t be surprised if there aren’t. We cannot say one thing and then become excited about another.  It doesn’t work.  This could very well be the worst message to those who want to harm women ever!

The bottom line:  This movie is sending a mixed message about how to treat women and how women really respond to things that are not wholesome.  Most of us long to be treasured and loved.  Most of us want to have relationships that go beyond sex.  Most of us like to be treated well. This movie doesn't teach any of that and its success might very well destroy those very things and bring about a “new normal” of relationships.  If this movie is successful, we will deserve what we get.