Friday, May 25, 2012

1 Peter 3:1-7: Wives & Husbands, Especially Wives “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external -braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” Peter now concludes this section of his epistle on submission, hupotasso, now with the marital relationship of husbands and wives. But why does he spend 6 verses on the wives, and only one on husbands? Also from observation, see how he is initially speaking to believing wives who may or may not have unbelieving husbands. Why do you think this was so common? In the Roman Empire, women did not have a high social status. The men ran everything. Roman men had a “trophy wife” and several mistresses on the side. It was considered to be normal and no big deal. But with the introduction of Christianity the status of women began to dramatically change. There is an equality of status before God when you are “in Christ”. All class, race and gender issues are swept away. All have sinned, all our righteousness is as filthy rags, all are citizens of heaven and all are co-heirs with Christ. It was for freedom that Christ has set us all free. As the status of women changed, it made it necessary for Peter to provide God’s word to them for teaching and instruction in their conduct and behavior to adjust to this new found equality. Responsibility of the wife: The order to be submissive: The command is in such a tense as it means continuously, not occasionally. The word is for military order with the idea of a definite leader and definite subordinates. The limit on subjection: “to your own husbands”, showing that it does not extend to any other man. So it’s not a male-female relationship in view but husband-wife relationship. This follows as we have seen that it is God’s plan in all the institutions He created to have someone at the head or lead. So, the husbands lead role in the marriage is based on God’s plan, not male superiority. The goal of subjection: The Greek word, hina, translated “so that” is a first class conditional (if and it is). So this means that the author assumes it is true that some of the husbands are unbelievers (disobedient to the word). It doesn’t mean they all were unbelievers, but it was true for some of the believing wives. Perhaps they thought “since my husband is an unbeliever, I don’t need to submit to him”. Peter addresses this with the little word “even” before the word “if” (which is not in the KJV, but is in the Greek). And these husbands are said to be disobedient to the word. Apeitheo, means to refuse be persuaded, or to withhold belief. So they had been exposed to the word of God, but some rejected it. These unbelieving husbands would each day observe the behavior of their wives. So they may be won by the conduct of their wives, and all this without a word. So it is not what the wife says or argues about with her husband, but her chaste and respectful behavior. This is truly lifestyle evangelism. The KJV provides a bit of confusion here since it says “they may without the word be won”. But there is no definite article in the Greek for word. It is not referring to the Word of God, but to the words (speech) of his believing wife. The details of subjection: The details are in two categories. 1. The wife is to live a pure (chaste) life. Her conduct or behavior looks at the way she conducts her manner of life. Agnos means “to excite reverence, to be pure and immaculate”. 2. The wife is to possess inner beauty. a. Outer beauty is not prohibited but is made secondary to inner beauty. i. Braiding of hair: Roman women used hairstyles to compete with each other. They went to extremes regarding hairstyles, often braiding jewels and ornaments into their hair. Their reputation was at stake because of their hairstyle. Women would sleep “with terror”. ii. Wearing of gold jewelry: Again, Roman women would compete with each other by wearing lavish gold jewelry. An enormous display of gold jewelry was considered as important to their appearance. iii. Putting on dresses: Peter says not to focus on clothing fashion. But notice that Peter is not prohibiting hairstyling, jewelry or clothing fashion. That was the emphasis of the Roman woman. And we still see the emphasis on fashion, hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, perfumes, etc today as well. b. Inner beauty is of primary importance. The hidden person of the heart refers to who you really are on the inside. As with all externals, clothes wear out, hair must be restyled often, jewelry gets lost or out of fashion. But inner beauty does not fade but shines brighter with time. This inner beauty is the work of the Holy Spirit. i. Gentle spirit: Praeos means meek or to be considerate and gentle. ii. Quiet spirit: Hasuchios means to be silent. Real beauty then is gentle, courteous, tranquil, and quiet in the inner person. Do you know women like these? Precious in the sight of God: So far in 1 Peter he has used the word precious. What things does Peter consider precious? Our faith (1:7), the Blood of Christ (1:19), we as living stones (2:4), Christ as the cornerstone (2:6), and now the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit (3:4). The pattern for subjection: Peter uses the example of Sarah the wife of Abraham as an example of the type of woman he is talking about. So this principle goes way back in time and Sarah was in subjection to her husband Abraham evidenced by her calling him lord. This is a term of respect and shows Abraham’s leadership and headship in her marriage. Genesis 18:9-12, “Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "There, in the tent." He said, "I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" Now in verse 7, Peter discusses the responsibilities of the husband toward his wife. And he discusses the relationship in 4 areas: i. Physical. “Live with your wives” means to dwell with them. But this implies much more that sharing the same address. Marriage is fundamentally a physical relationship. Ephesians 5:31, “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.” A husband must make time to be with his wife. The male tendency is to be wrapped up in his job or other role and neglect spending time with his wife. Christian workers who devote themselves to ministry often neglect their spouses and children. ii. Intellectual. “In an understanding way” meaning the husband needs to know his wife and her moods, feelings, fears, hopes and needs. He must not focus on himself and his needs but those of his wife’s. Good communication is the key to understanding. Speaking the truth in love is the answer to communication problems (Ephesians 4:15). Honesty is the only policy for good communications. But it takes truth and love! People can live together for years and not really know each other! Divorce rates are 50% + due in part to bad communications and a lack of understanding on the part of the husband. Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. iii. Emotional. “Show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life” means he is to treat her honorably as a co-equal heir of the family of God during the marriage. Peter’s reference to women as “weaker” does not refer to weakness or inferiority in mentality, morality or spirituality. He is generally referring to the physical fact of the gender of women as weaker than men. But this is not always the case. Husbands are to treat their wives as a person of great and precious value and as someone who is to be treasured. Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” iv. Spiritual. “So that your prayers are not hindered” shows us that husbands and wives should pray together. It is true that unbelieving husbands and wives are happy without prayer, just think how much happier the home is with a believing couple who does pray! This is a reminder that our vertical relationship with God is paramount to our horizontal relationships with others. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cook County Police State

The cop in this picture is supposedly going after a protester who had just broken a board over the head of another officer who is obscured in the background. I wonder why this officer wasn't in full military gear like the ones in the background? Anyway, it looks like he is enjoying himself.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Were Our Founding Fathers Liberals or Conservatives?

My guess is a bit of both.

But they did not look at the political spectrum in that paradigm; liberal versus conservative, left versus right. Having been under the oppressive and far removed government of England and King George they saw things as they have always been. It's the tyrants on one end of the policital spectrum and the anarchists at the other end. They chose liberty over tyranny, somewhere just before anarchy. Have you wondered why under the current paradigm, it makes no difference whether you are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, but the same things continue on, the only difference being the scale and magnitude of change? I think that is because liberal versus conservative is a false paradigm. The real argument is tyranny versus liberty. Give me liberty!