Today was rough.
Sometimes I just get so frustrated with how the world works. Sometimes I just want things to be right again, to be the way God would want them to be, to be real. But I just feel like everyone is living in a haze, and I sometimes find myself stuck in the haze as well. But then I’m brought back to vivid reality, where there is a God, my Commander, I His soldier. I’m brought out of the void of technology and secularism and status quo. It’s weird how people sometimes accuse Christians of using God and faith as a crutch, of being caught up in a dreamland, when in reality, so many people depend on addictions, and people, and events, and all sorts of other things that are self-destructive. Hm.
I slept in too long this morning, tired from a long night. The term paper this semester is much more difficult than last semester, and while I’m sure of what he wants me to write, I’m not quite sure how to write it. I’m not sure how to communicate what he’s asking. We’re basically having to discuss, via the literature we’ve discussed in class, man v. nature, how the Enlightenment period brought about a different form of faith among the nations, how theological overlap and hard questions flipped society upside down…the way I see it, how humanity began to turn from fearfully following partial biblical truth (partially, because of the scandalous practices of the Catholic Church, namely the selling of indulgences, preaching salvation through works, the Crusades, etc.) to worshiping and seeking refuge in the creation as opposed to the Creator. And every time I go to work on it, my heart breaks, because I see how close humanity was to going forward to the Creator, and then how they veered off onto a completely different path, where they continued to settle for less.
This morning my Bible study was all about thought life. Beth Moore started out by saying “We win freedom on the battlefield. In this war, the battlefield is the mind.” I cannot stress how absolutely important it is to watch what you put into your brain. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen flat on my face because my mind was not steadfast in God’s love, strong in His plan, and passionate in His vision for the world. Philippians 4:8 (PHILIPPIANS 4:8), which I’ve referenced countless times because it’s so stinkin’ important it drives me nuts, says “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I only stress this because I know how much my own thought life effects my relationship with God, how it effects my relationships with others, how it effects my life and my love and my understanding of the world around me. God wants my thoughts set on Him, because He’s the One who gives life, love, laughter, peace, hope, understanding, self-control, excitement. I want Him in my head, not any nonsense that’s going to detract from Him…because He is the thing most worth thinking about.
After doing my Bible study I got dressed and headed to World Literature. It was over sixty degrees today and sunny. After World Literature (which has been passing by quickly as of late), we had Writer’s Forum. A homosexual/feminist author was reading today, and while I wanted to be respectful, what her introducers and she said shocked me.
“You are what is female, you shall be called Eve, and what is masculine shall be called God. And from your name Eve we shall draw the word evil, and from God’s, the word good. Now you understand patriarchal morality.”
So, patriarchy is defined as “a social system in which males are the primary authority figures central to social organization, occupying roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children.” Now, patriarchy is biblical, though it was never intended to be oppressive or abusive. Just as God is the head of the church, the man is supposed to be the head of the household, the congregation, the woman etc. But wait a minute. Just as God is the head, the man is the head. We have to know God’s character before understanding the role men are appointed in an earthly sense. God describes the church as His bride, a beautiful, pure, lovable, precious bride who has been preparing for her bridegroom her entire life, eagerly awaiting the day she can be enveloped in His arms.
Men, though they’ll never be God or be able to fully exemplify the depths and magnitude of His love, are supposed to act this way over women, the congregation, politics, whatever. Granted, throughout history, men have abused their positions and have used the Bible to wrongly justify their actions, but women, most times without the theology, have done the same. Over time, women began to use their sexuality as a means to get their way, to try and prove themselves superior to their male counterparts. And you can try and say who it originated with and say that women were oppressed first or that Eve was the one who gave into the serpent, but in reality, this distorted view of what womanhood is and how women should relate to men comes from one thing, and that is man and woman’s mutual agreement to rebel against God and do what they think is best.
This just shows that humans have no one to blame but themselves. Men can’t blame women. Women can’t blame men. Scientists can’t blame evolution. Poets can’t blame nature. Humans are just broken, lost, messed up, insane. And that’s why we need an omniscient, omnipotent, loving God who cares for us enough to save us from ourselves, to rescue women from thinking feminism and lesbianism is the only way to escape oppressive male authority, to show women that He has sons who understand their role as head of their wives and do it well, to challenge and encourage men to be those sons. Oh what a God.
Resisting the urge to leave the room as the author described her love for another woman, I sat and listened, trying to understand what everyone else was hearing, how it sounded in their ears, and it made me nervous. But I remembered God’s reality, how strong He is. I remembered God’s plan for everyone in that room, for everyone on earth. And I was okay 🙂
Critical Thinking & Writing passed by, and I was reminded of how many assignments (big assignments, big projects) I had going for me. Research paper, term paper, studying for finals, registering for classes, reading and reading and reading, essays. My head was spinning.
By the time I got to the Prattler, I had a headache, but thankfully it went away as I relaxed into Jesus, as I let myself be glad in Him, despite it all, as I remembered that even if I did go absolutely insane and fail all of my classes and whatever other irrational fears I had came true, He would still take care of me.
Before we really started class, we all talked about restaurants. I suddenly remembered that Chic Fil A was coming to The City, and I expressed my excitement to my classmates.
“Yeah, it’s too bad Chic Fil A are *bleeping* *bleeps*” someone said.
“Wait, what are you talking about?” I asked.
She then went on to bring up the statement given by the CEO of Chic Fil A concerning his view on homosexuality.
“He said he didn’t like gay people.”
“Wait, wait, wait a second,” I began. “Someone asked him what he thought and he said he didn’t agree with homosexuality, not that he didn’t like homosexuals.”
“Tell that to my friend who got fired from there for being gay,” someone else chimed in.
“Well then they’re doing what they say they believe in. They’re keeping with their testimony.”
The debate ended when the girl who originally spoke up voiced her opinion once again, and I saw that they had it set in their minds that whoever didn’t agree with homosexuality was automatically a homophobic, that sticking by your convictions, even if they weren’t what everyone thought they should be, was wrong. I yielded. My blood was boiling, but I knew if I went on the debate would become more about my being right than truth coming through. It wasn’t the right time.
I was just excited about chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, paired up with a tall glass of sweet tea…
The CEO hadn’t said “we will no longer serve homosexuals.” He didn’t even necessarily go out of his way to say that he didn’t agree with homosexuality, someone asked him and he gave them an honest answer. The chain contributed to organizations that opposed homosexual activism. Again, sticking to their convictions, not being wishy-washy. This really makes me nervous: again, why is it when people stand by their convictions, which go against the grain, they’re attacked and criticized? Isn’t our society all about being unconventional? What’s more unconventional than going in the exact opposite direction of the majority of society? It’s as if the moment someone doesn’t hear the answer they want, that person answering is a bigot, dogmatic, old-fashioned, and close-minded. Who’s really close-minded, I wonder?
After all of my classes, after I had gotten dinner, after I was relaxed, I skyped my mom and talked to her about my day. We had a great discussion and I realized how much I missed her. I also realized how many weeks are left of my freshman year of college, that I’m going to be a sophomore next year, already. Oh my goodness.
I’m finding it more and more difficult to be loving and to avoid simply being disputatious. I’m finding it harder to exemplify a spirit of grace and mercy. But God is greater than my heart, which too easily hardens at the sight of a challenge. I’m just so weak! I’m so glad He’s in control and I’m not. I remember a time in Sunday School back home, when I was still in teen class, my teacher had said, “It’s a good thing Hunter’s not God, otherwise she would smite everybody.” He was joking of course, but imagine if I was? Imagine if someone else was? Imagine what our human fickleness would do in that position of power? I’m so glad I’m not God. God does His thing perfectly, lovingly, masterfully, strongly, and He doesn’t need my help. He doesn’t need my anything: my love, my knowledge, my advice, my input. He has no need for me whatsoever…
But He loves me anyway…
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” —2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV