The brave women of Iran

What do the women under the hijab, scarf, or chador know that the men do not?  I, having served in my several places of employment alongside Muslim women and men, I now want to know what differentiates Muslims in North America from those in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.  It is clear that Iran and Saudi Arabia want to impose some version of Islam in foreign lands.   Letting them get away with that is not surprising, but they are not doing it to say they respect plurality and are ready to reciprocate.  No.  Their lands are sanctuearies of holiness, a holiness than allows them to treat women as second class citizens and worse.  Thank God for the brave women of Iran who are now saying that they prefer death to living under a mullah’s heel.

Life is more than food, drink and clothing

Is it mere coincidence that the leader of an Islamic republic is being called a dictator alongside calls for his death by women as the government uses deadly force to silence protest over its insistence that it has a God-given  right to tell women what  to wear?  What we have to say if we ever have an honest conversation with Islamic women outside of Iran is going to set in stone the truth about how deeply falsehoods have permeated the public discourse.  The chant “God is great” seems to be a precursor to homicide.   Is that what divine greatness is all about? The protest is proof that freedom is not based on rules that people create. I wonder how can it be that the Quran does not have a comparable narrative to the creation of Eve, with the obvious distinction (neged to the man) and elevation of women. The best part of humanity is not to be hidden.

What ancient and honourable culture oppresses women and girls?

We Christians can be blinded by the brilliance of a single innovation in philanthropic practice and the same kind of experience can also obscure vital aspects of eternal life that are secure in their hidden configurations.  We Christians believe that mercy is a virtue that benefits us when we receive it and benefits others as we are courageous enough to give it.  Mercy is not just one of the most satisfying things that God has and gives to human beings.  There is no wisdom behind the treating woman differently from Men under religious law I suppose there is an Islamic version of the story of the creation of man and woman that allows them to put the women behind, beside or under men, but they have not printed it.

The prophets are wind and everybody needs a scapegoat

The Iranian government is not the first to think that it had its people under control because of a religious sentiment that permeates the society.  Since the ayatollah transfixed the world with his return to Iran from France many have thought that a realistic book might emerge from the shadows of a common heritage. Religious people are known to have consciences, and sooner or later they will act upon what their consciences dictate and not what men or women of any religious persuasion have imposed upon them, for however long those dictates have existed. One has to look way back into the bronze age to find women courageous enough to ask the gatekeepers of their society to change the oppression of women into rights and freedom. Those who are supposed to speak with authority- the prophets- have turned out to be yes-men for the current regime (2 Chronicles 18:12). They are wind fanning the flames of people consumption (Jeremiah 5:3), reckless and treacherous persons (Zephaniah 3:4) blaming foreign foes. Oh well!

Regressive and insurrectionist

People wearing the label conservative never fail to confirm how shallow, shady and shameful their ideals and lifestyle are. Confederates will never be successful because their solidarity is a mere convenience. Even when they use statistics to make their points, the quest for small government stands opposite the increase of crime and the growth of human needs for which government has to be responsible. Even two hundred years after a civil war American confederates still think that insurrection and regressive laws are viable civic solutions.

Canadian separatists and His Majesty’s opposition

Members of parliament are often bags of hot air because no conscientious Canadian votes to have someone sit in the hallowed halls as opposition. They fully expect all members of the house to work on behalf of all Canadians. The Bloc Quebecois and the Conservative leaders are sleepwalking mosquitoes, buzzing in Canadians’ ears and threatening daily to fatally sting the only government Canadians have. A divided house falls, and the eyes of His Majesty’s loyal opposition are incapable of seeing what is up ahead of the people. Their gaze is stuck on the ground, excepting the overthrow of the government. The Crown is so gracious as to allow opposition folly, but people know insurrection when its head appears, disguised as angry convoy or partisan rage and righteousness in question period.

The circumcision and the mutilation

But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses”.

Acts 15:5

Some men from  Judea, tried to paint the Church Jewish. In verse 5 it is the Pharisees who voice the madness of marginalizing Gentiles. Circumcision is now known to be be mere mutilation. It has no bearing on women and God’s acceptance of human beings.

Juvenile bodyworks vs reasonable service

They had the audacity to compare Moses to Messiah.  People are still doing it two thousand years after the Christ raised up his church as a separate entity, distinct from Abraham’s descendants, distince from the Aaronic legacy, distinct from the submission to Moses’ mediation.  Yeshua, creator and saviour of the world and Moses, prophet between Yahweh and the Hebrew people are not like figures. 

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

Romans 12:1

Playing word games instead of mining the gold of God’s word

Billy Graham’s son appears in an ad on television labeling politicians as less than reliable when they make promises to the population and he introduces Jesus as completely reliable. He inadvertently makes Jesus a politician and makes American politics the same kind of venture. It is no wonder that American preachers are silent about the corruption of politics and the political scene is dominated by abject poverty of mind and unrestrained racism, lies, hypocrisy, the speech and actions of violence.

Might a catastrophic end be in America’s destiny?

“Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.”

Genesis 6:11-13, New American Standard Bible

Ripe for correct handling

So many verses in the Bible graphically display the need for correct handling that it boggles the mind why there is still so much false teaching and fig leaf solutions to the human problem. I suppose fear has overtaken love and Christian leaders lack the diligence to interpret the word of God because they do not see the need. Here are a couple of questions Moses put to the people in his care as Yahweh prepared them for their possession of the land of Canaan. The questions contained in the two verses are concerned with (a) what kind of God do people have and (b) what kind of governance that God provides for his people. The difference between the two is striking and the call for correct handling (rightly dividing or cutting straight) is seldom clearer.

“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” (Deuteronomy 4:7-8, NASB)

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NASB)

This verse contains another of the Greek words with ORTHO prefixed, but this one is the vector for a great deal of shenanigans, bogus instruction, gimmicks and elementary interpretation of the Scriptures.


I cut straight…

Orthotomeo, ορθοτομεω, has to be with reference to CHRIST, because noone else could be the measure or straightedge for confirming God’s will and testimony.

The close God and his gift of guidance

God gets no closer than living inside of human beings, and that is a fact established by the holy spirit being poured out and received by those who believe at Pentecost and every case thereafter where Christ gives his approval and acceptance to people who come to God through him. The image however of God giving statutes and judgments to the church to make it the distinct entity from the world has no basis in fact it is that very Holy Spirit who gives to the believers who God accepts the guidance into all truth and the delivery of the excellent things that are in Christ. It is not acceptable written rules and regulations such as were put before the Israelites in Moses’s day.

This is not my covenant

“Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets which were written on both sides; they were written on one side and the other.”

Exodus 32:15

Appreciation of God’s covenant cannot come without a page-turning.  The two-sided writing indicates that a change is necessary for anyone to be found in compliance with God’s will.

“For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.”

Hebrews 7:12, New American Standard Bible

Common and Corporate Chastening

“O Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the Lord, “For I am with you. For I will make a full end of all the nations Where I have driven you, Yet I will not make a full end of you; But I will correct you properly And by no means leave you unpunished.”

Jeremiah 46:28, New American Standard Bible

In view here: chastening without condemnation and punishment that excludes death (the usual consequence or sentence for sin). If Jacob (Israel) was not named in this consolation we would not be able to identify the means of the chastening (correction), and that agent is Babylon.   In the case of believers the agents of correction are those put in charge of us (pastor-teachers and other administrative officers), more precisely,  those whose oversight we accept. 

“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.”

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

Enduring lovingkindness

If God loves us we are going to be okay and the gospel is bigger than any person, practice or doctrine. Once we become part of the leadership our responsibilities (to God and our peers) have a new foundation which provides a new perspective.  That perspective is an accepted level of maturity. 

“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.”

(Hebrews 6:1-2, NASB)

“I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” (1 Corinthians 9:23, NASB)

Where else does the arms and legs of state get disconnected?

An excruciatingly long suspension of answers on demand punctuated the usual Texan pride in the mechanics of law and order.  When judges, safety officers, and heads of state try to excuse their lack of literacy by acting out against the vulnerable and defenseless we knew the day when the plug gets pulled on all of them could not be far. The Uvalde, Texas, police department, at least, should have been fired a long time ago.

Send more officers with spines

“More” is becoming a discredited response to recurring problems.  What government officials need is not more staff and more equipment.  We do need more critics, reports and commissions of inquiry. The world only needs more disciplined, energetic, fearless, generous, and honest officials.

It is too bad governors and military types are not always equipped with hearts and minds tuned to the people they are supposed to serve.  Increasingly the people in civilized society are getting more leaders who are woefully uninformed about what public service is. 

Murdering Mullahs and cowardly rangers

From the mullahs to the sherriffs in rural America there are fewer  discernible links between the safety people deserve and what they actually experience. We should not be surprised that violence is the answer to the cry of Iranian women for relief from the decrees of religious extremists, telling them what to wear and how to wear it. Thank God, the mullahs and their supporters can now conclude that the minds of the Iranian people are not the property of Islamic scholars and misogynist theoreticians.

Massacre with hundreds of safety officers on site

The world has seen what safety officers may have as their priority when prescribed actions are called for when a known massacre of preteen children in their classrooms at school is in progress a dozen or two steps away. We shall soon discover what the ruthless governor of Texas calls justice.