Friday, November 27, 2015

God will use anyone. Just ask Jesus.

God will use anyone.

The problems start when we underestimate God. We may believe that our past will keep God from using us. We may believe that our struggles will keep God from using us. We may believe that our imperfections will keep God from using us.

But the Bible tells a different story. God’s Word is full of imperfect people that have done all sorts of terrible things, yet God uses them. As we look forward to this Christmas season, we need not look further than Jesus Himself to prove this.

In Matthew 1, Matthew lays out the genealogy of Jesus. Since Matthew writes to a Jewish audience, it was important to do so, especially since Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, was of royal blood.

So these had to be some pretty great people to bring our Savior into the world, right?

Sort of.

Abraham (v. 2) is the father of the Jews and a great man in scripture. He did originally doubt God about having a child in his old age. He also took matters into his own hands by having a child with his wife’s maid, who became the father of the Arabs, who have fought the Jews for centuries.

Jacob (v. 2) was a deceiver in a number of ways and played favorites with his children. Most of them became thugs to some degree.

Judah (v. 3) made a woman wait, as was custom, to marry his third son because the first two were killed by God. After his daughter-in-law, Tamar, waited for years, Judah didn’t honor his word. So Tamar dressed up like a prostitute and had sex with Judah, who, after he impregnated her, wanted to have her killed for adultery. After proving Judah was the father, they had the child, Perez, who is in the lineage of Christ.

Rahab (v. 5) was a prostitute in Jericho when Joshua’s spies showed up. Though a disgraced citizen due to her profession, she realized that the God of Israel is the true God. Thus, she housed the spies and was later saved during the invasion. She married Salmon and became the mother of Boaz.

Enter the second woman in this genealogy. An entire book of the Bible is devoted to her. Ruth (v. 5) was a godly woman, but an outsider. In fact, she was a Moabitess. Moab was a child from an incestual relationship between a drunken Lot and his older daughter after the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19). Hence, they were not highly looked upon by the Israelites. Make no mistake, God used women in a great way along with men. Christianity is hardly oppressive. Different roles do not indicate inequality.

David (v. 6) was “a man after God’s own heart”, but even he had some faults, such as the one mentioned in Matthew 1. He had a child through “Uriah’s wife”, Bathsheba, and murdered her husband. After their adultery, they were married and had Solomon (v. 7). Solomon too had problems with lust, as in he had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

Then, of course, there were a number of kings of Judah that “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” Their brief mention in Matthew 1 (vv. 7-11) would have to be supplemented with their many chapters in II Kings.

So why? Why did, why could, God use all of these individuals? The question is easily answered when we look at the power source. God did not use these people because of their merits. He used them in spite of their imperfection. It is not at all the attributes of man. It is all the adequacy of God. All these people were merely vessels through which God worked.

See, it’s like this. Salvation is through faith for a reason. We simply aren’t good enough to do things on our own. It’s why God told Gideon to whittle down his army to only 300 to face an army numbering around 100,000. In no way would God let people think that Gideon had done it on his own. God made sure to show that HE won the battle.

So if we aren’t adequate enough to earn Heaven, how can we be adequate enough to fight our battles on Earth?

We can’t. That’s the point.

God chose to show His might by taking a bunch of misfits that were guilty of just about anything bad imaginable and using them to bring His Son into the world. Through that He’s clearly sent a message: He will use anyone.

Since it isn’t our power anyway, it doesn’t matter what we’ve done. All that matters is what God does in us and through us.

There was one common denominator between the forefathers of Jesus: obedience. They all were willing to be used by God. That’s enough.

So don’t be left thinking you’re inadequate to be used by God. Know that you are! And that’s a great relief, because that puts all the pressure on God to perform what He wants done.

I think He can handle it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Free The Nipple: The Delusional Campaign

The latest trend in the feminist fight to victimize themselves to gain an advantage over men involves the attempt to desexualize a woman’s breasts, in the campaign they call “Free the Nipple”. The campaign describes its goals on its website, which is hard to see over the background of women taking their shirts off:

Free The Nipple is a film, an equality movement, and a mission to empower women across the world. We stand against female oppression and censorship, both in the United States and around the globe. Today, in the USA it is effectively ILLEGAL for a woman to be topless, breastfeeding included, in 35 states. In less tolerant places like Louisiana, an exposed nipple can take a woman to jail for up to three years and cost $2,500 in fines. Even in New York City, which legalized public toplessness in 1992, the NYPD continues to arrest women. We’re working to change these inequalities through film, social media, and a grassroots campaign.

Could it even be a liberal campaign without use of the word “tolerant”?

Twitter too has been abuzz with the use of “#freethenippple”:

Why is it that a females body has somehow become taboo?! No it's beautiful and a women can do what she wants with it!!🌺 #freethenippple

Personally offended that my nipples are considered more offensive than a mans and I can't tan topless. #freethenippple

Because I have nipples and so does everybody else. Stop sexualizing our bodies. #freethenippple

#freethenippple not because i want to walk around shirtless but because its important that i could if i wanted to

Perhaps Free the Nipple should start with a grammar lesson for its supporters.

A principle that has been in civilized societies for thousands of years is suddenly a problem for feminists. It is so oppressive that a campaign must be launched to do something about.
I never heard Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton talk about how they need to walk around topless to desensitize society. That would seem to be quite unbecoming of them. Then again, there are few things that these women would agree with in today’s feminism.

Why has this never been an issue before? One hundred years ago, even fifty years ago there were no activists walking around topless with tape x-ing out their nipples. We must be more enlightened nowadays.

Women’s breasts serve a functional purpose. Men’s do not. Men don’t really have breasts, just chests. When they do, it is considered a condition, an abnormality. There are obvious differences between the function and appearance of a woman’s nipple and chest versus a man’s.

So are those facts a big deal? Not necessarily. Modesty is important, I believe, and this is where everyone, men and women, are lacking. Immodesty is everywhere we look. There is no care about it. No innocence. Children at a young age are introduced to more than they should be.

This particular movement is as much a laughingstock as feminism as a whole is. They are honestly parading around topless, making films, and using hashtags on Twitter all so they can have the right to expose themselves further in public. They aren’t simply going topless, they are calling specific attention to their breasts. They are trying to desexualize their bodies by sexualizing their bodies. Any given man walking down the street of New York City may be at risk of seeing feminists walking down the street with nothing covering their breasts except possibly an x. The first thought of that man will not be, “I’ve been waiting for women to finally be equal in their right to expose themselves; I’m so glad it’s happening.” The first response will likely be sexual. Fifty years ago it wasn’t even an issue, as no one would want to boil themselves down to a sexual object. That is exactly what this campaign accomplishes. When a man or woman walks around in revealing clothing there will be less of a focus on who they are and more of a focus on what they look like and what they can do for another person. If you want your bodies to be desexualized then stop walking around in clothing that sexualizes you. (This works both ways; it is akin to a man parading in a speedo, announcing that he should have the full right to do so and calling specific attention to his body parts, then being angry that he is being sexualized by the women around him.) You will gain more respect and have more of a focus on your personality if you would just cover up what should be covered up. Men and women.

Another issue with the movement is the obvious discrimination. Yes, that’s right. If you happen to run across any photos from the movement’s demonstrations in New York, you will find that all the women fit into a certain body type. So much for body positivity. All the women are young, pretty thin and at least somewhat attractive. So what exactly are they fighting for? You can go around and show off your breasts – as long as you are young and pretty. You can’t be too fat. Or too old. Or too ugly. You have to fit in with us. These words are spoken through the actions of the Free the Nipple campaign because they have yet to have someone different from themselves and their body types in the movement.

I am still waiting for the Free the Nipple campaign to roll into a place where showing their nipples is illegal. Perhaps they have and I’ve just missed it. But everything I’ve seen was in New York City, where it is already legal. Yeah, let’s have a demonstration complaining about how showing our nipples is illegal in a place where it is legal. Swell. People who cared deeply about their movement were willing to break laws they felt were unjust. The Underground Railroad harbored escaped slaves. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s took part in sit-ins in all-white establishments. The Pro-Life Movement blocked the doors of abortion facilities. Where is the risk? If this is so oppressive, where is the risk of arrest to prove that the laws are unjust?

They know the answer that many of us have long figured out. Their movement is meaningless. Feminism is unnecessary today. There is no wage gap. There is no rape culture. There is no oppression. A female friend of mine had this to say on Facebook about the Free the Nipple campaign:

…meanwhile around the world young girls have their genitals mutilated for chastity, are shot in the head for going to school, are forced into child marriages, abused, exploited, and trafficked in the millions but by all means, let’s focus on the important issues …Btw women in Saudi Arabia are legally banned from driving or entering libraries… Just saying

I think she nailed it. American feminists have no legitimate claims to inequality. There might still be more male CEOs, but there are plenty of solid female CEOs because they decided to work hard and compete with the men and other women instead of wasting their time running around a city with no shirt on and claiming they are oppressed. It’s no secret that when someone pulls himself or herself up by their bootstraps, stops making excuses and works hard, they can be successful. Feminism in America does not want to have their demands met because they would have to find something else to whine about. They already stretch the truth enough as is to act like a victim of patriarchy. Meanwhile we have women in the highest company positions, women in Congress, the presidential cabinet, the Supreme Court, and running for president. The glass ceiling was broken long ago. Stop crying in the corner and start climbing.

There is a stark and profound comparison when we look at other countries. Five years ago Time Magazine had a picture of a woman in Afghanistan that had her nose and ears cut off while trying to escape from her abusive husband. Girls attempting to go to school have been attacked with acid. Women in Saudi Arabia cannot go anywhere without a male chaperone, wear anything that “shows off their beauty”, drive, vote, swim, try on clothes in stores, or compete in sports.[1] Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are systematically raped to inflict terror on citizens. In Nepal, they are married off young or trafficked as sex slaves. One in twenty-four women die in childbirth. The number is one in ten in Mali, where genital mutilation is the norm. They face domestic violence, rape and the second-highest HIV rate in Guatemala. In Pakistan, any woman attempting to run for office and anyone helping oppressed women, including human rights workers, are the targets of honor killings. They are also gang-raped as punishment for a man’s crime. In anarchic Somalia, women are subjected to daily rapes and are attacked by armed gangs.[2]

I am sure these women would express their deepest gratitude that you care about them enough to fight for their right to parade around topless. Doubtless they think it is the biggest oppression they face as well.

Unspeakable atrocities as America has never known are part of the daily lives of women in other countries. To the American feminists, the most important thing right now is being able to show their nipples in public. That has to be a greater priority than gang-rapes, genital mutilation and sex trafficking.

There are problems in the U.S. as well. An estimated 100,000 child sex slaves are believed to be in the United States every year with another 293,000 at risk. Worldwide, there are between 20 and 30 million sex slaves. By age 50, one in three American women have had an abortion, with many regretting theirs. They become more likely to develop breast cancer, have psychiatric problems, and commit suicide. Around 40% felt pressured into their abortion and wanted to keep their child. Some are forced into one. It enables both sex trafficking and pornography, which are also oppressive to women. Undoubtedly, half of the 2900 daily victims of abortion are female. Yet radical feminism supports abortion and somehow thinks it is legitimate in its opposition to sex trafficking and pornography.

There are fights to be had. But instead of fighting for what matters, feminism clings to inaccurate statistics and aims to be as obscene as possible. Burning bras, walking around topless, becoming lesbians, and using eight year-olds spewing foul language to get your lies and propaganda across will not earn you respect or change anything. It will only show you to be the illegitimate movement you are. It will keep you in the spotlight, keep you in the conversation. Some people might even buy it. If you are that tenacious, you could be a valuable asset in a movement that is worth something. But I don’t think you are. Playing the victim is cowardly. You are afraid to do anything that might take the lights off of you and place them on victims. Selfish people do not take part in selfless acts.

You might be able to convince some like you that your actions actually matter, but I won’t buy it. There are too many oppressions in our own borders and across the world to waste my time on letting you flaunt your bodies to somehow prove that you are a victim. Help victims for a change instead of creating them.

[1] “Twelve Things Women in Saudi Arabia can’t Do”, The Week
[2] “Ten Worst Countries for Women”, Olivia Ward