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Balanced Blend - A second cup

Balance - it is the key to all aspects of the Christian life. Too much of any one thing will set you off course and eventual ruin your chance of reaching the destination.

It is recommended that you read "Balanced Blend" before going on with this continuation of it, but either way, there is something here to think about.

This is a study of the false balance between men and women. You've heard the expression, "It's a man's world." Well, it is so because of the false balance that the devil introduced so long ago. There is no way that this minute article can change the course of this evil route, but maybe after reading it you might treat your wife differently, or your daughter, or if you are a woman, you might just feel a bit better about yourself, and after all, that's what this coffee shop is here for...to encourage you, to help you, to stimulate your mind, and strengthen your heart.

In the previous study, I was quoting famous people who have influenced religion. They have done so to the point of current movements taking certain scripture out of cultural context and making rules over women that should not be so. The most glaring is that "women should keep silence in the church." Anyone who has studied this verse and the church it was written to, and the time period, knows why it was written. Spouses at the time this book of the Bible was written, sat on opposite sides of the church. Since women weren't allowed to read for themselves, and weren't granted the right to education, they would find themselves with the need to ask questions quite a bit during a service. Consequently, their questions, across the aisle to their husbands, was causing a disruption in the service. Do we still need to follow this verse as Paul wrote it then? Can women read the Bible for themselves? Are they educated? Do spouses still sit on the opposite side of the church? Should this verse be considered culturally and not in another attempt by men to control women, make their ministries confined, and keep them silent?

Many organizations quote the work of Tertullian of Carthage quite often and even print his philosophies on holiness standards in their publications. This is his view of women: "Do you not know that you are an Eve? God's verdict on the sex still holds good and the sex's guilt must still hold also?" Is this to say that Jesus can forgive all manner of sin but He cannot forgive the sin of being a woman? Tert also stated, "You are the devil's gateway. You are the avenue to the forbidden tree." He continues, "You are the first deserter from the Law divine. It was you who persuaded him (Adam), whom the devil himself had not strength to assail. So lightly did you esteem God's image in your deceit, for to pay the debt thereof, the very Son of God had to perish." According to this, who is responsible for Jesus' death? Women.

In 250 BC, a book entitled Ecclesiasticus, the Wisdom of Ben Seran, whose work is included in the Jewish versions of the Bible, and in some of ours as well, was written. It gives the first reference of Eve as, "the source of all evil." "From a woman - a beginning of sin, and because of her - all die."

It is an absolute shame how these teachings permeated our thinking, even to this modern age, causing there to be a gross inequality between men and women, especially as respects spirtual matters.

Consider these questions. Is there any reason why a woman could not hold a leadership position in a church? Why shouldn't a woman be able to speak in church? Do women have fewer leadership qualities than men? Are women told that they can't be effective in these roles anywhere in Scripture? Are men more qualified to do the work of the Lord? Are men more spiritual than women? Did God specify which sex He preferred to do His work? Can you see in society, in all areas, that women are treated differently than men? Why? Could it be that the men who influenced religion so mightily, that we still quote often, have caused us to think this way? Keep in mind that 50 to 100 years ago, most every family went to church of some kind on the weekend. That concept that separated the value of men and women flooded the minds of all church-goers. You don't have to look back very far in history to see how trampled-down women are. And yet today, although we have progressed, we still have so far to go.

It would perhaps be in your best interest to look at women differently. Start first with those closest to you. Cut them some slack, a lot of slack, and watch what they can do. You will find that they will come up beside you and equally meet the task, and then how effective will both of you be? We were both made in the image of God and neither of us is any better than the other. I have been trying to treat my wife the way the Bible teaches and this includes treating her as an equal and encouraging her to use her God-given abilities to their full potential. Women, be encouraged...times are changing. This is a better time to live than ever before. Rest assured that God is no respector of persons, or sexes, and you are so valuable to Him, and to the rest of us.

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