Equality Bible Quotes

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Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen. And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.
Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible)
When I think of all the harm [the Bible] has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it.
Oscar Wilde
Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race? Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?
Robert G. Ingersoll (About The Holy Bible)
Nowhere in the Bible, however, do we find God distinguishing between levels of sin. God doesn't share our rating system. To him, all sin is equally evil, and all sinners are equally lovable.
Judah Smith (Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human)
It's fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history, and pizza.
Penn Jillette
But Anatole said suddenly, 'Don't expect God's protection in places beyond God's dominion. It will only make you feel punished. I'm warning you. When things go bad, you will blame yourself.' 'What are you telling me?' 'I am telling you what I'm telling you. Don't try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you are good, bad things can still happen. And if you are bad, you can still be lucky.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible, and What He Wants to Do with You)
The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments....We waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity, by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws.
Benjamin Rush
To say that everything in the bible is to be believed , simply because it is found in that volume, is equally absurd and pernicious... To discard a portion of scripture is not necessarily to reject the truth, but may be the highest evidence that one can give of his love of truth.
William Lloyd Garrison
At this crucial point, for the Roman Church to reach a compromise between this myth of Mithra and the Hellenistic Christianity of St. Paul, it was necessary to have a sudden change of events or an altered version of Jesus's life, and it was here that the Roman Church began to implement a psychological process known today as Cognitive Dissonance. In a few words, this happens when a group of people produce a false reconstruction of an event they want to continue to believe in, a literary strategy also known as the Reconstructive Hypothesis. This theological notion is equally known as Apotheosis or the glorification of a subject to divine level such as a human becoming a god. In the case of Jesus, this process was copied in its entirety from the religion of Mithra where their 'divinisations' were practically the same.
Anton Sammut (The Secret Gospel Of Jesus AD 0-78)
How a member of the church—one who had read the Good Lord’s bible—could sit so calmly and watch a man be led to his destruction frightened me.
Jay Grewal (A Slave to Want)
in Christ, and because of Christ, we are invited to participate in the Kingdom of God through redemptive movement—for both men and women—toward equality and freedom.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
I am telling you what I’m telling you. Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you are good, bad things can still happen. And if you are bad, you can still be lucky.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us to do as absolutes which are sinful- which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these things the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.
Francis A. Schaeffer (A Christian Manifesto)
I think of Krishna and his deep blue eyes. It is said, in the hidden scriptures in India, that to focus on the eyes of the Lord is the highest spiritual practice a human being can proform. It's suppose to be equal to the greatest act of charity, which Jesus describes in the Bible as sacrificing one's life to save the life of another. The Vedas, the Bible, it's true, they overlap a lot. Maybe gazing into Krishna's eyes... Pain...Pain...Pain... Is equal to Christ's sacrifice. I'm only suffering this pain to protect John. It doesn't matter that he won't see me. I still love him, I will always love him. And in this exquisitely agonizing moment, I realize he refused to see me because he wanted to force me to see him inside. Ah, that's the key! This practice of visualizing that I'm staring into Krishna's blue eyes, I've done it before. But this is the first time I see him staring back at me! The Agony comes, and it does not get transformed into bliss. If anything it is worse than before. Except for one thing. The pain does not obliterate my sense of "I." I'm still Sita, the last vampire.
Christopher Pike (The Eternal Dawn (Thirst, #3))
It is impossible to think of an ideal human life except as an alternation of individual and social life, as equally a belonging and an escape.
Northrop Frye (The Great Code: The Bible and Literature)
We should linger here for a moment, for it summarizes a main theme of Paul’s letters: God’s unexpected move—Jesus’s death and resurrection—places Jews and Gentiles on equal footing with God.
Peter Enns (The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It)
Barth was the first theologian to begin the criticism of religion...but he set in its place the positivist doctrine of revelation which says in effect, 'Take it or leave it': Virgin Birth, Trinity or anything else, everything which is an equally significant and necessary part of the whole, which latter has to be swallowed as a whole or not at all. That is not in accordance with the Bible. There are degrees of perception and degrees of significance, i.e. a secret discipline must be re-established whereby the mysteries of the Christian faith are preserved from profanation.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
Alaska was full of fringe-ists. People who believed in weirdo things and prayed to exclusionary Gods and filled their basements with equal measures of guns and Bibles. If you wanted to live in a place where no one told you what to do and didn’t care if you parked a trailer in your yard or had a fridge on your porch, Alaska was the state for you.
Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)
Feminism only means we champion the dignity, rights, responsibilities, and glories of women as equal in importance—not greater than, but certainly not less than—to those of men, and we refuse discrimination against women.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.
Harper Lee
You use your Bible like you were ordering from a restaurant menu. I call that Bible a la carte. You choose what parts of the Bible you wish to obey and what others to ignore.
Mark Segal (And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality)
Killing, raping and looting have been common practices in religious societies, and often carried out with clerical sanction. The catalogue of notorious barbarities – wars and massacres, acts of terrorism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the chopping off of thieves’ hands, the slicing off of clitorises and labia majora, the use of gang rape as punishment, and manifold other savageries committed in the name of one faith or another — attests to religion’s longstanding propensity to induce barbarity, or at the very least to give it free rein. The Bible and the Quran have served to justify these atrocities and more, with women and gay people suffering disproportionately. There is a reason the Middle Ages in Europe were long referred to as the Dark Ages; the millennium of theocratic rule that ended only with the Renaissance (that is, with Europe’s turn away from God toward humankind) was a violent time. Morality arises out of our innate desire for safety, stability and order, without which no society can function; basic moral precepts (that murder and theft are wrong, for example) antedated religion. Those who abstain from crime solely because they fear divine wrath, and not because they recognize the difference between right and wrong, are not to be lauded, much less trusted. Just which practices are moral at a given time must be a matter of rational debate. The 'master-slave' ethos – obligatory obeisance to a deity — pervading the revealed religions is inimical to such debate. We need to chart our moral course as equals, or there can be no justice.
Jeffrey Tayler
When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded work (like manhood, womanhood, politics, economics, marriage, and even equality), we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don't fit our tastes. In an attempt to simplify, we try to force the Bible's cacophony of voices into a single tone, to turn a complicated and at times troubling holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.
Rachel Held Evans (A Year of Biblical Womanhood)
Men and women, though equal in essence, were designed for different roles. Women are in no sense intellectually or spiritually inferior to men, but they were quite clearly created for a distinctive purpose. In the economy of church and family, the Bible says women should be subordinate to the authority of men. Yet scripture also recognizes that in a completely different sense, women are exalted above men--because they are the living and breathing manifestation of the glory of a race made in God's image.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Twelve Extraordinary Women : How God Shaped Women of the Bible and What He Wants to Do With You)
12:13  Purpose with resolve to treat strangers as saints; pursue and embrace them with fondness as friends on equal terms of fellowship. Make yourself useful in the most practical way possible. (Eph 3:18)
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
The Bible, Shakespeare, Milton, Melville—the masters of the King’s English all promoted the easy imagery of black as vile and white as purity and thereby fed a deep and potent racism that well served all who would enslave the black men of Africa.
Richard Kluger (Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality)
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Paul suggests that gentiles can practice a law written in their hearts, which will be seen as not only equal to but also above the written Torah…It should be remembered that in Paul’s day the only religious law for Paul was that of the Jewish Bible, in Hebrew… Though Torah and the New Testament, including Paul’s letters, will eventually shape church law, the New Testament’s books are not in themselves composed as law. They are not a self-consciously composed constitution. They contain no Ten Commandments in form or statement.
Willis Barnstone (The Restored New Testament: A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas)
Even if we change practices or behaviors, we are seeking transformed hearts. We must know in our bones God's heart for equality and wholeness in the Body of Christ then live our lives out of that truth, with invitation and joy, as living prophets of God's way of life.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
He loves us. On our own terms. He treats us as equals to the men around him; he listens; he does not belittle; he honors us; he challenges us; he teaches us; he includes us—calls us all beloved. Gloriously, this flies in the face of the cultural expectations of his time—and even our own time.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
I remember preaching on Jesus’s call to the practice of radical forgiveness and being challenged by a church member who said, “Yeah, but the Bible says, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’ ” I had to explain to him that a Christian can’t cite Moses to silence Jesus. When we try to embrace Biblicism by placing all authority in a flat reading of Scripture and giving the Old Testament equal authority with Christ, God thunders from heaven, “No! This is my beloved Son! Listen to him!
Brian Zahnd (Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News)
When we place the Bible on equal footing with God, we become paralyzed by how to deal with it--because any criticism of the Bible becomes criticism of God himself. The cure for the religion of Biblicism is the realization that Jesus is the inerrant Word of God, and the Bible is just a collection of inspired and useful writings that introduce us to him. Let me be clear: whenever we find tension between something Jesus taught and something taught elsewhere in the Bible, the tiebreaker always goes to Jesus. Always.
Benjamin L. Corey (Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith)
Whether our Master shall say, “Go” or “Stay,” let us be equally well pleased as long as He indulges us with His presence.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
It’s as if Satan were asking, What’s with the rules? Why have boundaries? Weren’t you made to be free? Can’t you see that God is afraid you will end up being equal with him?
Eric J. Bargerhuff (The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood)
The Bible stands as the supreme Constitution for all mankind, its laws applying equally to all who live under its domain, without exception or special interpretation.
Billy Graham (Billy graham in quotes)
There would be no racism if we saw each other as imagers of the same God; imagers estranged from God are still imagers. Injustice and abuse of power would find no place if we valued the fact that we all image God equally. All our relationships—personal, home, business, work, church—would be different if we consciously remembered our equal status as imagers of God.
Michael S. Heiser (Angels: What the Bible Really Says About God’s Heavenly Host)
People have gotten into the practice of following private religious hunches rather than learning of God from His Word; we have to try to help them unlearn the pride and, in some cases, the misconceptions about Scripture which gave rise to this attitude and to base there convictions henceforth not on what they feel but on what the Bible says…modern people think of all religions as equal and equivalent – they draw their ideas about God from pagan as well as Christian sources; we have to try to show people the uniqueness and finality of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s last word to man…people have ceased to recognize the reality of their own sinfulness, which imparts a degree of perversity and enmity against God to all that they think and do; it is our task to try to introduce people to this fact about themselves and so make them self-distrustful and open to correction by the Word of Christ…people today are in the habit of disassociating the thought of God’s goodness from that of His severity; we must seek to wean them from this habit, since nothing but misbelief is possible as long as that persists.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
According to our best understanding of the universe and equally according to the most ancient commentaries on the book of Genesis, there was only one physical creation. Science refers to it as the big bang. The Bible calls it the creation of the heavens and the earth. Every physical object in this vast universe, including our human bodies, is built of the light of creation.
Gerald Schroeder (God According to God: A Physicist Proves We've Been Wrong About God All Along)
Jesus is building his Church, not only by constitutions and codes, but by shaping hearts and minds to his way of life. We are a family, not a firm, scattered and yet gathered. Biblical equality is not the endgame; it is one of the means to God’s big ending: all things redeemed, all things restored. Jesus feminism is only one thread in God’s beautiful woven story of redemption. Begin here: right at the feet of Jesus. Look to Love, and yes, our Jesus—he will guide you in your steps, one after another, in these small ways until you come at last to love the whole world.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
The Church’s war against women occurred not under Christ—who by all accounts held women as equals to men—but through the writings of St Irenaeus and Tertullian, and that most cruel woman-hater of them all, St Paul, whose hostile views on women were unfortunately included in the Bible. But let me be clear, it is not only a Catholic problem; it is a Christian one: Martin Luther, the scourge of the old Church, shares its views on women. He once wrote: “Girls begin to talk and to stand on their feet sooner than boys because weeds always grow up more quickly than good crops.” Weeds! Weeds!
Matthew Reilly (The Tournament)
White ain't nothing.' Mama's grip did not lessen. 'It is something, Cassie. White is something just like black is something. Everybody born on this Earth is something, and nobody, no matter what color is better than anybody else.' 'Then how come Mr. Simms don't know that.' 'Because he's one of those people who has to believe that white people are better than black people to make himself feel big.' I stared questionably at Mama, not really understanding. Mama squeezed my hadn't and explained further, 'You see, Cassie, many years ago, when our people were fist brought from Africa in chains to work as slaves in this country--' 'Like Big Ma's Papa and Mama?' Mama nodded. "Yes, baby. Like Papa Luke and Mama Rachael. Except they were born right here is Mississippi, but their grandparents were born in Africa. And when they came, there was some white people who thought that is was wrong for any people to be slaves. So the people who needed slaves to work in their fields and the people who were making money bringing slaves from Africa preached that black people weren't really people like white people were, so slavery was all right. They also said that slavery was good for us because it thought us to be good Christians, like the white people.' She sighed deeply, her voice fading into a distant whisper, 'But they didn't teach us Christianity to save our souls, but to teach us obedience. They were afraid of slave revolts and they wanted us to learn the Bible's teachings about slaves being loyal to their masters. But even teaching Christianity didn't make us stop wanting to be free and many slaves ran away.
Mildred D. Taylor
The noted Bible commentator Matthew Henry wrote: “She was not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” Paul wrote that “the woman is the glory of man” (1 Cor. 11:7 NIV), for if man is the head (1 Cor. 11:1–16; Eph. 5:22–33), then woman is the crown that honors the head.
Warren W. Wiersbe (Be Basic (Genesis 1-11): Believing the Simple Truth of God's Word (The BE Series Commentary))
What the Ancient Liar did to Eve at the beginning of things he did to me. The Mother of All was a mighty woman. She thought to outface the Serpent. She thought to brazen it though as she were herself equal to evil.
Walter Wangerin Jr. (Jesus)
Paul, in speaking of equality as the very soul and essence of Christianity, said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (The Woman's Bible)
Gender complementarity is the belief that the Bible’s teachings on gender and gender roles is to be understood in terms of the fact that men and women are equally made in God’s image (status) but different in terms of assignment (roles).
R. Albert Mohler Jr. (God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines (Conversant))
It may have been the 32nd century, but the ladies still get a raw deal in the galaxy. Too many macho planets with macho races that were afraid their little dingles would fall off if the females of their species were allowed some equality.
Jake Bible (Salvage Merc One (Salvage Merc One #1))
10:30 — “I and the Father are one.” In this verse, Jesus proclaimed His unity of nature and equality in the Godhead (Deut. 6:4). Based on His assertion, we must make a decision: either we believe He really is God, or we must reject everything He says—there is no middle ground. As believers, we know that there is only one God and that He is three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also know that everything Jesus said is absolutely true because He is the truth (John 14:6).
Charles F. Stanley (NASB, The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible)
The Nephilim (Aldebaran’s extraterrestrials in Maria’s messages) who survived the great deluge returned to Phoenicia; the Bible made reference to their return. They lived with the Phoenicians for 33 years and 33 days in Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and Baalbeck. The number 33.33 represents the period of the Tana-wir or Tanwir, which means enlightenment. The number 33.33 became the most important and the most secret number in Phoenician occultism, architecture, and numerology, because it refers to their place of origin, Jabal Haramoun (Mt. Hermon in Lebanon) which is located exactly at 33.33° East and 33.33° North.)   The number 33 is equally important in the Masonic rite King Hiram created with the assistance of King Solomon. This number is closely related to the compass and square, which were given to the Phoenicians as a gift from the Anunnaki lords. This explains how and why the early Phoenicians excelled in building ships, navigation and land-seas maps making, and surpassed their neighbors in these fields, beyond belief! Worth mentioning here, that the Egyptian Sphinx was built some 11,000 years ago, before the Biblical Great Flood by the early Phoenicians, the Nephilim and an army of Djinns created by the Anunnaki.
Jean-Maximillien De La Croix de Lafayette (Volume I. UFOs: MARIA ORSIC, THE WOMAN WHO ORIGINATED AND CREATED EARTH'S FIRST UFOS (Extraterrestrial and Man-Made UFOs & Flying Saucers))
...here is, very simply, what I learned about Jesus and the ladies: he loves us. He loves us. On our own terms. He treats us as equals to the men around him; he listens; he does not belittle; he honors us; he challenges us; he teaches us; he includes us..
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that marriage is a sacrament,” Anne replies. “It was not God who joined us together. The priest says it was; but this is not true. This is the word of the church, not the Bible. Our wedding, like every wedding, was an act of man, not of God. It was not a holy sacrament. My father forced me into an agreement with Thomas, and when I was old enough and had understanding enough I revoked that agreement. I claim the right to be a free woman, with a soul equal to any man under God.
Philippa Gregory (The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #11))
Our hostility and indifference towards God did not reduce his love for us; he saw equal value in us when he exchanged the life of his son for ours. Now that the act of 1reconciliation is complete, his life in us saves us from the gutter-most to the uttermost.
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!" ... "Now, John, I don't know anything about politics, but I can read my Bible; and there I see that I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate; and that Bible I mean to follow.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
They teach children that all opinions are equally valid. But this is simply not true. When you work for someone, be they an employer or customer, your view is not as valid or important as theirs. Period. If your view is as valid as your bosses, why should you listen to them?
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
White ain't nothing.' Mama's grip did not lessen. 'It is something, Cassie. White is something just like black is something. Everybody born on this Earth is something, and nobody, no matter what color is better than anybody else.' 'Then how come Mr. Simms don't know that.' 'Because he's one of those people who has to believe that white people are better than black people to make himself feel big.' I stared questionably at Mama, not really understanding. Mama squeezed my hadn't and explained further, 'You see, Cassie, many years ago, when our people were fist brought from Africa in chains to work as slaves in this country--' 'Like Big Ma's Papa and Mama?' Mama nodded. "Yes, baby. Like Papa Luke and Mama Rachel. Except they were born right here is Mississippi, but their grandparents were born in Africa. And when they came, there was some white people who thought that is was wrong for any people to be slaves. So the people who needed slaves to work in their fields and the people who were making money bringing slaves from Africa preached that black people weren't really people like white people were, so slavery was all right. They also said that slavery was good for us because it thought us to be good Christians, like the white people.' She sighed deeply, her voice fading into a distant whisper, 'But they didn't teach us Christianity to save our souls, but to teach us obedience. They were afraid of slave revolts and they wanted us to learn the Bible's teachings about slaves being loyal to their masters. But even teaching Christianity didn't make us stop wanting to be free, and many slaves ran away.” ... She was silent for a moment, then went on. 'Well, after a while, slavery became so profitable to people who had slaves and even to those who didn't that most people started to believe that black people weren't really people like everybody else. And when the Civil War was fought, and Mama Rachel and Papa Luke and all the other slaves were freed, people continued to think that way. Even the Northeners who fought the war didn't really see us equal to white people. 'So, now, even though seventy years have passed since slavery, most white people still think of us as they did then, that we're not as good as they are. And people like Mr. Simms hold onto that belief harder than some other folks because they have little else to hold onto. For him to believe that he is better than we are makes him think that he's important, simply because he's white.
Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4))
This need not be the case. When Christians read the Bible through the lens of Jesus’ gracious life and ministry, they will be able to see lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as their sisters and brothers, faced with all the usual human problems, and loved equally by God.
Jack Rogers (Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church)
So I am the one who quietly takes stock, I suppose. Believing in all things equally. Believing fundamentally in the right of a plant or a virus to rule the earth. Mother says I have no heart for my own kind. She doesn't know. I have too much. I know what we have done, and what we deserve.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
truth, we haven’t got any evidence whatsoever that the Bible or the Quran or the Book of Mormon or the Vedas or any other holy book was composed by the force that determined that energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared, and that protons are 1,837 times more massive than electrons.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Former Director of Kew Gardens, Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, gives equally clear expression to his faith: ‘For many years I have believed that God is the great designer behind all nature… All my studies in science since then have confirmed my faith. I regard the Bible as my principal source of authority.
John C. Lennox (God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?)
15:58  For this reason you can afford to be absolutely settled and rock-solid in faith’s persuasion and always ready to go beyond where you would have gone before. Your doing now is inspired by your knowing that you are in him. If his resurrection is yours then his victory over sin and death is equally yours.
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
When we are too functional, we forget the point of hospitality in the home: fellowship, not entertainment. Don't let pride stop you from opening your home. Ignore the cat hair on the couch (or in the mac and cheese). It likely won't kill anyone as decisively as loneliness will. Add as much water to the pot to stretch the soup. If you run out of food, make pancakes, and put the kids in charge of making that meal. See how much fun that is. And know that someone is spared from another humiliating fall into internet pornography because he is instead walking with you and your kids and dogs, as you share the Lord's Day, one model of how the Lord gives you daily grace and a way of escape. Know that someone is spared the fear and darkness of depression because she is needed at your house, always on the Lord's Day, the day she is never alone, but instead safely in community, where her place at the table is needed and necessary and relied upon. Know that someone is drawn into Christ's love because the Bible reading and psalm singing that come at the close of the meal include everyone, and that it reminds us that no one is scapegoated in this Christ-bearing community. Know that host and guest are equally precious and fragile, and that you will play both roles throughout the course of this life. The doors here open wide. They must.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
This stance makes no distinction between (1) the pluralistic standpoint of making sure people have equal rights and (2) the act of co-dependently making sure not to hurt anyone’s feelings, however irrational they may be. We need to stop that nonsense. Getting your feelings hurt, quite frankly, is the price of living a in a free society.
Gudjon Bergmann (More Likely to Quote Star Wars than the Bible: Generation X and Our Frustrating Search for Rational Spirituality)
He had already authenticated his experience by telling me things he could not otherwise have known. But now I had to square his answer, “three minutes,” with all the rest. I stared down at my Bible, lying open on the kitchen table, and turned over the possibilities in my mind. Three minutes. It wasn’t possible that Colton could have seen and done everything he’d described so far in just three minutes. Of course, he wasn’t old enough to tell time yet, so maybe his sense of three actual minutes wasn’t the same as an adult’s. Like most parents, I was pretty sure Sonja and I weren’t helping that issue, promising to be off the phone, for example, or finished talking in the yard with a neighbor, or done in the garage in “five more minutes,” then wrapping it up twenty minutes later. It was also possible that time in heaven doesn’t track with time on earth. The Bible says that with the Lord, “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”1 Some interpret that as a literal exchange, as in, two days equals two thousand years. I’ve always taken it to mean that God operates outside of our understanding of time. Time on earth is keyed to a celestial clock, governed by the solar system. But the Bible says there is no sun in heaven because God is the light there. Maybe there is no time in heaven. At least not as we understand it.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
Look at a person's friends, and you can tell a lot about how secure a person is. Insecure people only get close to people to whom they feel superior in terms of looks, age, education, position, or financial status. Insecure people feel that they must have some kind of edge on others so that others will look up to them as a superior rather than looking at them as an equal eyeball to eyeball. Some people will not get close to you unless they can advise you, boss you, or run your business. Some people will dislike you and will feel threatened by you if in their shallow opinion you look as good as they do, know as much as they do, or speak, sing, cook, or dress as well as they can.
William D. Watley (The African Presence in the Bible: Gospel Sermons Rooted in History)
For it is not an enemy who taunts me—         then I could bear it;     it is not an adversary who  t deals insolently with me—         then I could hide from him. 13     u But it is you, a man, my equal,         my companion, my familiar friend. 14    We used to take sweet counsel together;         within God’s house we walked in  v the throng.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
I don’t read the Bible like a flat line. I don’t see all of the passages in the Bible sitting equally side by side so that you can pick one and then counter it with another and go back and forth endlessly, endlessly leading you to the barbaric and violent and random nature of life—and God. I read it looking for what the story is doing, what’s happening within it. What new perspective is emerging? What new idea is being presented? What sense is being heightened? The stories in the Bible—and the Bible itself—have an arc, a trajectory, a movement and momentum like all great stories have. There are earlier parts in the story, and there are later parts in the story. The story is headed somewhere.
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
Whatever you may know, you you cannot be truly efficient ministers if you are not "apt to teach." You know ministers who have mistaken their calling, and evidently have no gifts for it: make sure that none think the same of you. There are brethren in the ministry whose speech is intolerable; either they rouse you to wrath, or else they send you to sleep. No chloral can ever equal some discourses in sleep-giving properties; no human being, unless gifted with infinite patience, could long endure to listen to them, and nature does well to give the victim deliverance through sleep. I heard one say the other day that a certain preacher had no more gifts for the ministry than an oyster, and in my own judgment this was a slander on the oyster, for that worthy bivalve shows great discretion in his openings, and knows when to close. If some men were sentenced to hear their own sermons, it would be a righteous judgement upon them, and they would soon cry out with Cain, "My punishment is greater than I can bear." Let us not fall under the same condemnation.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
What you find in the Bible are stories accurately reflecting the dominant consciousness of the day, and yet right in among and sometimes even within those very same violent stories, you find radically new ideas about freedom, equality, justice, compassion, and love. New ideas sit side by side with old ideas. Vicious violence is right there next to new understandings of peace and justice. (Kind of like now.)
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
For example, the call for equal rights has perverted into “let’s all be the same.” Male and female biological differences are discounted, because “male” and “female” are considered “outdated social constructs,” and while that is partially true, the social construct stance becomes clear reductionism when it totally discounts clear differences in male and female biology (i.e., androgyny is not the same as equality).
Gudjon Bergmann (More Likely to Quote Star Wars than the Bible: Generation X and Our Frustrating Search for Rational Spirituality)
Those who have not learned to read the ancient classics in the language in which they were written must have a very imperfect knowledge of the history of the human race; for it is remarkable that no transcript of them has ever been made into any modern tongue, unless our civilization itself may be regarded as such a transcript. Homer has never yet been printed in English, nor Æschylus, nor Virgil even—works as refined, as solidly done, and as beautiful almost as the morning itself; for later writers, say what we will of their genius, have rarely, if ever, equalled the elaborate beauty and finish and the lifelong and heroic literary labors of the ancients. They only talk of forgetting them who never knew them. It will be soon enough to forget them when we have the learning and the genius which will enable us to attend to and appreciate them. That age will be rich indeed when those relics which we call Classics, and the still older and more than classic but even less known Scriptures of the nations, shall have still further accumulated, when the Vaticans shall be filled with Vedas and Zendavestas and Bibles, with Homers and Dantes and Shakespeares, and all the centuries to come shall have successively deposited their trophies in the forum of the world. By such a pile we may hope to scale heaven at last.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Note the significant fact that we always hear of the "fall of man," not the fall of woman, showing that the consensus of human thought has been more unerring than masculine interpretation. Reading this narrative carefully, it is amazing that any set of men ever claimed that the dogma of the inferiority of woman is here set forth. The conduct of Eve from the beginning to the end is so superior to that of Adam. The command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge was given to the man alone before woman was formed. Genesis ii, 17. Therefore the injunction was not brought to Eve with the impressive solemnity of a Divine Voice, but whispered to her by her husband and equal. It was a serpent supernaturally endowed, a seraphim as Scott and other commentators have claimed, who talked with Eve, and whose words might reasonably seem superior to the second-hand story of her
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (The Woman's Bible)
In the PC(USA) Book of Confessions, A Brief Statement of Faith made explicit the equality of all people: “In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equally in God’s image, male and female, of every race and people, to live as one community.”60 A Brief Statement of Faith also provided clear confessional warrant for the ordination of women, declaring that the Spirit “calls women and men to all the ministries of the Church.
Jack Rogers (Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church)
Fifield’s connection to his congregation extended to their views on religion and politics too. In the apt words of one observer, Fifield was “one of the most theologically liberal and at the same time politically conservative ministers” of his era. He had no patience for fundamentalists who insisted upon a literal reading of Scripture. “The men who chronicled and canonized the Bible were subject to human error and limitation,” he believed, and therefore the text needed to be sifted and interpreted. Reading the holy book should be “like eating fish—we take the bones out to enjoy the meat. All parts are not of equal value.” Accordingly, Fifield dismissed the many passages in the New Testament about wealth and poverty and instead worked tirelessly to reconcile Christianity and capitalism. In his view, both systems rested on a basic belief that individuals would succeed or fail on their own merit.
Kevin M. Kruse (One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America)
The author of IRR, who worshipped the King, said he had the valor of Hector, the magnanimity of Achilles, the liberality of Titus, the eloquence of Nestor, and the prudence of Ulysses; that he was the equal of Alexander and not inferior to Roland. But later historians tend to picture him rather as a remorseless, kindless villain. He was probably not a pleasant or a lovable character; none of the Plantagenets were. But a great soldier and a great commander he certainly was. He possessed that one quality without which nothing else in a commander counts: the determination to win. To this everything else—mercy, moderation, tact—was sacrificed. The avarice that so horrifies his critics was not simple greed: it was a quartermaster’s greed for his army. His massacre of the prisoners was not simple cruelty, but a deliberate reminder to Saladin to keep faith with the terms agreed to, which that great opponent understood and respected.
Barbara W. Tuchman (Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour)
Why do so many white people love the death penalty?” Portia asked. “It’s in the water. We grow up with it. We hear it at home, at church, at school, among friends. This is the Bible Belt, Portia, eye for an eye and all that.” “What about the New Testament and Jesus’s sermons on forgiveness?” “It’s not convenient. He also preached love first, tolerance, acceptance, equality. But most Christians I know are quite good at cherry-picking their way through the Holy Scriptures.
John Grisham (A Time for Mercy (Jake Brigance, #3))
Your competition's sales slide presentation is equally pathetic. Here is the secret solution: Convert the time you're currently wasting watching television re-runs in the evening and develop your own PowerPoint presentation that is 100% in terms of the customer's needs and desires, one that engages the prospective customer by asking questions and promoting dialogue, one that uses a little humor to keep the sales presentation alive, and one that supports every fact and claim with testimonials.
Jeffrey Gitomer (The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource)
The late Francis Schaeffer, one of the wisest and most influential Christian thinkers of the twentieth century, warned of this exact trend just a few months before his death in 1984. In his book The Great Evangelical Disaster he included a section called “The Feminist Subversion,” in which he wrote: There is one final area that I would mention where evangelicals have, with tragic results, accommodated to the world spirit of this age. This has to do with the whole area of marriage, family, sexual morality, feminism, homosexuality, and divorce. . . . The key to understanding extreme feminism centers around the idea of total equality, or more properly the idea of equality without distinction. . . . the world spirit in our day would have us aspire to autonomous absolute freedom in the area of male and female relationships—to throw off all form and boundaries in these relationships and especially those boundaries taught in the Scriptures. . . . Some evangelical leaders, in fact, have changed their views about inerrancy as a direct consequence of trying to come to terms with feminism. There is no other word for this than accommodation. It is a direct and deliberate bending of the Bible to conform to the world spirit of our age at the point where the modern spirit conflicts with what the Bible teaches.2 My argument in the following pages demonstrates that what Schaeffer predicted so clearly twenty-two years ago is increasingly coming true in evangelicalism today. It is a deeply troubling trend.
Wayne Grudem (Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism?)
Though we may say we make the Bible and culture equally authoritative, in the end we really are not doing so. If we state that what the Bible says here is true but what the Bible says over here is regressive and outdated, we have absolutized our culture and given it final authority over the Bible. Either the Bible has final authority and determines what in the culture is acceptable or unacceptable, or the culture has final authority over the Bible and determines what in the text is acceptable or unacceptable.
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
Rising above mediocrity never just happens; it’s always a result of faith combined with works. Faith without works is like gold within the earth. It is of no value until it is mined. A person who has faith but no actions is like a bird that has wings but no feet. The Bible says, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17 NKJV). Biblical principles multiplied by nothing equal nothing. Let’s be people who put our faith into action. One individual with faith and action constitutes a majority.
John Mason (An Enemy Called Average)
The Bible isn’t an answer book. It isn’t a self-help manual. It isn’t a flat, perspicuous list of rules and regulations that we can interpret objectively and apply unilaterally to our lives. The Bible is a sacred collection of letters and laws, poetry and proverbs, philosophy and prophecies, written and assembled over thousands of years in cultures and contexts very different from our own, that tells the complex, ever-unfolding story of God’s interaction with humanity. When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word (like manhood, womanhood, politics, economics, marriage, and even equality), we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t fit our tastes. In an attempt to simplify, we try to force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone, to turn a complicated and at times troubling holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says. So
Rachel Held Evans (A Year of Biblical Womanhood)
In truth, we don’t have any evidence whatsoever that the Bible or the Quran or the Book of Mormon or the Vedas or any other holy book was composed by the force that determined that energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared, and that protons are 1,837 times more massive than electrons. To the best of our scientific knowledge, all of these sacred texts were written by imaginative Homo sapiens. They are just stories invented by our ancestors in order to legitimize social norms and political structures.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
We struggle to interpret some difficult passages, not simply because we want to weasel out of the Bible's plain demands, but also because we know that sometimes Scripture corrects Scripture. Within the canon is an ongoing argument with itself over certain subjects. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus often pronounces, "You have heard it said [in Scripture], but I say to you . . ." Most scholars see the book of Job as an extended argument of the smug equation of good works equaling easy lives that occurs in some of the Wisdom Literature. Scripture interprets Scripture.
William H. Willimon (The Best of Will Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus' Name)
[Asked by an audience member at a public Q&A session] Considering that atheism cannot possibly have any sense of 'absolute morality', would it not then be an irrational leap of faith – which atheists themselves so harshly condemn – for an atheist to decide between right and wrong? [Dawkins] Absolute morality...the absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include, what, stoning people for adultery? Death for apostasy? [...] These are all things which are religiously-based absolute moralities. I don't think I want an absolute morality; I think I want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, argued, discussed, and based on – you could almost say intelligent design. [...] If you actually look at the moralities that are accepted among modern people – among 21st century people – we don't believe in slavery anymore; we believe in equality of women; we believe in being gentle; we believe in being kind to animals...these are all things which are entirely recent. They have very little basis in Biblical or Koranic scripture. They are things that have developed over historical time; through a consensus of reasoning, sober discussion, argument, legal theory, political and moral philosophy. These do not come from religion. To the extent that you can find the 'good bits' in religious scriptures, you have to cherry-pick. You search your way through the Bible or the Koran, and you find the occasional verse that is an acceptable profession of morality – and you say, look at that! That's religion!...and you leave out all the horrible bits. And you say, 'Oh, we don't believe that anymore, we've grown out of that.' Well, of course we've grown out of it. We've grown out of it because of secular moral philosophy and rational discussion.
Richard Dawkins
The temptation for a new generation, however, could be to see Baptist identity as a nuisance in the quest for converts. The effort to minimize an offensive "denominational brand name" will be counterproductive if we produce a generation of "anonymous Baptists," those whom we believe cannot handle the truth about Christ's design for His church. It will be tragic indeed if a future Broadman and Holman catalog includes a book titled, "Why I Am a Community Church (SBC) member." But it will be equally tragic if the volume is titled, "Why I Want to Be a Presbyterian, but the Bible Won't Let Me.
Russell D. Moore
To me it never made sense why a god would choose one people group for anything at all. Why would he or she not reveal the same message to everyone in all times and places? I have never heard a convincing answer for this. There is no way to get around the fact that millions of people across space and time have lived and died without hearing a word about Yahweh or Jesus. How can Christians possibly claim their God cares about everyone equally? However, when we realize the Bible was written by Israelites, it makes perfect sense why they would say Yahweh chose Israel. Every people group thinks they are special in some way, and the ancients were no exception.
Jonah David Conner (All That's Wrong with the Bible: Contradictions, Absurdities, and More)
Advaita, being the non-dual reality, necessarily points to the essential truth in all religions. Paula Marvelly points out that: 'All religions and faiths contain an esoteric heart, a mystical belief that I AM is in fact synonymous with God.' (Ref. 353) As Gandhi said: 'If the same divinity constitutes the core of all individuals, they cannot but be equal. Further, divinity in one person cannot in any way be unjust to the same divinity in another person.' (Ref. 215) Sayings from the bible such as those of God to Moses ('I am that I am' ) or of Christ ('The kingdom of heaven is within you') express the fundamental truth of Advaita, the non-dual reality of Brahman.
Dennis Waite (Back to the Truth: 5000 Years of Advaita)
The number 6 was the first perfect number, and the number of creation. The adjective "perfect" was attached that are precisely equal to the sum of all the smaller numbers that divide into them, as 6=1+2+3. The next such number, incidentally, is 28=1+2+4+7+14, followed by 496=1+2+4+8+16+31+62+124+248; by the time we reach the ninth perfect number, it contains thirty-seven digits. Six is also the product of the first female number, 2, and the first masculine number, 3. The Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus of Alexandria (ca. 20 B.C.-c.a. A.D. 40), whose work brought together Greek philosophy and Hebrew scriptures, suggested that God created the world in six days because six was a perfect number. The same idea was elaborated upon by St. Augustine (354-430) in The City of God: "Six is a number perfect in itself, and not because God created the world in six days; rather the contrary is true: God created the world in six days because this number is perfect, and it would remain perfect, even if the work of the six days did not exist." Some commentators of the Bible regarded 28 also as a basic number of the Supreme Architect, pointing to the 28 days of the lunar cycle. The fascination with perfect numbers penetrated even into Judaism, and their study was advocated in the twelfth century by Rabbi Yosef ben Yehudah Ankin in his book, Healing of the Souls.
Mario Livio (The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number)
become the New Testament than from the Old, even though they generally do not use citation formulas such as ‘it is written’ with New Testament material.13 Rather than seeing Jesus, known through the Gospels, as a reference point even more important than the Old Testament Scriptures, Christians after Irenaeus started to see the Gospels, the Letters and the Old Testament as all equally authoritative, parts of a unified Holy Bible. ‘Bible’ is in origin a plural – ta biblia in Greek, ‘the books’ – but a sense developed, certainly by the end of the third century, that the books were in reality a single one with many parts. This marked a departure from the earliest Christian perception.
John Barton (A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths)
Nonetheless, Augustine and Pusey are surely clear examples of fighting one’s battle on the wrong ground. They assume that if unbelievers mock and question God’s ability to do the marvelous, then the appropriate response must be to affirm God’s ability to do the marvelous and encourage a stance of reverence. Both elements of the response are indeed appropriate to believers—but this is surely not the place to invoke them. To put it in other terms, one must first consider the genre of Jonah and the literary conventions that it utilizes, and then consider how best to promote a right appreciation and understanding of the book,7 rather than meet flatfooted mockery with equally flatfooted piety.
R.W.L. Moberly (Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture)
Deuteronomy’s notion of tithes—that for two out of three years surplus is shared broadly with the disadvantaged, and in the third year is given to them outright—is sound economics when seen in light of conceptions of redistributive economics in primitive societies. In modern capitalist societies, surplus earnings are placed into savings, and insurance policies are taken out to hedge against various forms of adversity. The laws of tithing may be construed as another element in a program of primitive insurance. In a premodern society, A will give some of his surplus in a good year to B, who may have fallen on hard times in exchange for B’s commitment to reciprocate should their roles one day be reversed.
Joshua A. Berman (Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought)
God created man out of dust from the ground. At a basic level, the Creator picked up some dirt and threw Adam together. The Hebrew word for God forming man is yatsar,[11] which means “to form, as a potter.” A pot usually has but one function. Yet when God made a woman, He “made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man” (Genesis 2:22). He created her with His own hands. He took His time crafting and molding her into multifaceted brilliance. The Hebrew word used for making woman is banah, meaning to “build, as a house, a temple, a city, an altar.”[12] The complexity implied by the term banah is worth noting. God has given women a diverse makeup that enables them to carry out multiple functions well. Adam may be considered Human Prototype 1.0, while Eve was Human Prototype 2.0. Of high importance, though, is that Eve was fashioned laterally with Adam’s rib. It was not a top-down formation of dominance or a bottom-up formation of subservience. Rather, Eve was an equally esteemed member of the human race. After all, God spoke of the decision for their creation as one decision before we were ever even introduced to the process of their creation. The very first time we read about both Eve and Adam is when we read of the mandate of rulership given to both of them equally. We are introduced to both genders together, simultaneously. This comes in the first chapter of the Bible: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26–27) Both men and women have been created equally in the image of God. While within that equality lie distinct and different roles (we will look at that in chapter 10), there is no difference in equality of being, value, or dignity between the genders. Both bear the responsibility of honoring the image in which they have been made. A woman made in the image of God should never settle for being treated as anything less than an image-bearer of the one true King. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent in the world to be trodden on.”[13] Just as men, women were created to rule.
Tony Evans (Kingdom Woman: Embracing Your Purpose, Power, and Possibilities)
There is a similar system of discrimination, extending far beyond a small geographical region to the entire globe; it touches every nation, perpetuating and expanding the trafficking in human slaves, body mutilation, and even legitimized murder on a massive scale. This system is based on the presumption that men and boys are superior to women and girls, and it is supported by some male religious leaders who distort the Holy Bible, the Koran, and other sacred texts to perpetuate their claim that females are, in some basic ways, inferior to them, unqualified to serve God on equal terms. Many men disagree but remain quiet in order to enjoy the benefits of their dominant status. This false premise provides a justification for sexual discrimination in almost every realm of secular and religious life.
Jimmy Carter (A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power)
Easterners who embrace an authoritarian mindset need to be reminded that religious authorities are not all created equal; some are worth following, and some are not. If the credentials of the leaders are not scrutinized and their messages not weighed, how can one know which should be followed? The Bible encourages us to “test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21 ESV) and warns, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1 ESV). The question is, Will Easterners have the courage and tenacity to apply the needed tests? This can be challenging because, as Nabeel reminds us, “When authority is derived from position rather than reason, the act of questioning leadership is dangerous because it has the potential to upset the system. Dissension is reprimanded and obedience is rewarded.
Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity)
As a society we are only now getting close to where Dogen was eight hundred years ago. We are watching all our most basic assumptions about life, the universe, and everything come undone, just like Dogen saw his world fall apart when his parents died. Religions don’t seem to mean much anymore, except maybe to small groups of fanatics. You can hardly get a full-time job, and even if you do, there’s no stability. A college degree means very little. The Internet has leveled things so much that the opinions of the greatest scientists in the world about global climate change are presented as being equal to those of some dude who read part of the Bible and took it literally. The news industry has collapsed so that it’s hard to tell a fake headline from a real one. Money isn’t money anymore; it’s numbers stored in computers. Everything is changing so rapidly that none of us can hope to keep up. All this uncertainty has a lot of us scrambling for something certain to hang on to. But if you think I’m gonna tell you that Dogen provides us with that certainty, think again. He actually gives us something far more useful. Dogen gives us a way to be okay with uncertainty. This isn’t just something Buddhists need; it’s something we all need. We humans can be certainty junkies. We’ll believe in the most ridiculous nonsense to avoid the suffering that comes from not knowing something. It’s like part of our brain is dedicated to compulsive dot-connecting. I think we’re wired to want to be certain. You have to know if that’s a rope or a snake, if the guy with the chains all over his chest is a gangster or a fan of bad seventies movies. Being certain means being safe. The downfall is that we humans think about a lot of stuff that’s not actually real. We crave certainty in areas where there can never be any. That’s when we start in with believing the crazy stuff. Dogen is interesting because he tries to cut right to the heart of this. He gets into what is real and what is not. Probably the main reason he’s so difficult to read is that Dogen is trying to say things that can’t actually be said. So he has to bend language to the point where it almost breaks. He’s often using language itself to show the limitations of language. Even the very first readers of his writings must have found them difficult. Dogen understood both that words always ultimately fail to describe reality and that we human beings must rely on words anyway. So he tried to use words to write about that which is beyond words. This isn’t really a discrepancy. You use words, but you remain aware of their limitations. My teacher used to say, “People like explanations.” We do. They’re comforting. When the explanation is reasonably correct, it’s useful.
Brad Warner (It Came from Beyond Zen!: More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye))
Miss Ophelia felt the loss; but, in her good and honest heart, it bore fruit unto everlasting life. She was more softened, more gentle; and, though equally assiduous in every duty, it was with a chastened and quiet air, as one who communed with her own heart not in vain. She was more diligent in teaching Topsy,—taught her mainly from the Bible,—did not any longer shrink from her touch, or manifest an ill-repressed disgust, because she felt none. She viewed her now through the softened medium that Eva’s hand had first held before her eyes, and saw in her only an immortal creature, whom God had sent to be led by her to glory and virtue. Topsy did not become at once a saint; but the life and death of Eva did work a marked change in her. The callous indifference was gone; there was now sensibility, hope, desire, and the striving for good,—a strife irregular, interrupted, suspended oft, but yet renewed again.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe (Fictional Novel) "The New Annotated Classic Edition")
He says to the king, in the north they have contempt for the king’s peace, they want to administer their own murders. If Norfolk cannot subdue them they will fall into their old savagery, where each eye or limb or life itself is costed out, and all flesh has a price. In our forefathers’ time a nobleman’s life was worth six times that of a man who followed the plough. The rich man can slaughter as he pleases, if his pocket can bear the fines, but the poor man cannot afford one murder across his lifetime. We repudiate this, he tells the king: we say a man of violence cannot go free because his cousin is the judge, no more than a wealthy sinner can make up for his sins by founding a monastery. Before God and the law, all men are equal. It takes a generation, he says, to reconcile heads and hearts. Englishmen of every shire are wedded to what their nurses told them. They do not like to think too hard, or disturb the plan of the world that exists inside their heads, and they will not accept change unless it puts them in better ease. But new times are coming. Gregory’s children—and, he adds quickly, your Majesty’s children yet to be born—will never have known their country in thrall to an old fraud in Rome. They will not put their faith in the teeth and bones of the dead, or in holy water, ashes and wax. When they can read the Bible for themselves, they will be closer to God than to their own skin. They will speak His language, and He theirs. They will see that a prince exists not to sit a horse in a plumed helmet, but—as your Majesty always says—to care for his subjects, body and soul. The scriptures enjoin obedience to earthly powers, and so we stick by our prince through thick and thin. We do not reject part of his polity. We take him as a whole, consider him God’s anointed, and suppose God is keeping an eye on him.
Hilary Mantel (The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3))
Later on, however, I actually did read an unabridged Bible and researched more verses using online topical Bible resources, only to find out that Stanton might have been right. The Bible definitely left room for the relegation of women’s status in all respects. Women appeared to have been held accountable for every sinful act that’s committed because of a single woman who lived in the Garden of Eden, hence appearing to make them required to be silent in church. Women were supposed to be mothers and wives, which are noble pursuits, but it appeared as if men had a wider range of opportunities: they could be fathers and husbands… along with apostles, pastors, political leaders, polyglots, AND leaders of municipal congregations! The pursuits other than being a father and husband were considered to be noble pursuits for men, but if a woman pursued any of that, even if she had the capabilities and the good intentions, it would be considered blasphemous, at least from what I understood
Lucy Carter (Feminism and Biblical Hermeneutics)
Jonathan Trumbull, as Governor of Connecticut, in official proclamation: 'The examples of holy men teach us that we should seek Him with fasting and prayer, with penitent confession of our sins, and hope in His mercy through Jesus Christ the Great Redeemer.” Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 9, 1774' Samuel Chase, while Chief Justice of Maryland,1799 (Runkel v Winemiller) wrote: 'By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion...' The Pennsylvania Supreme court held (Updegraph v The Commonwealth), 1824: 'Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law...not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men...' In Massachusetts, the Constitution reads: 'Any every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.' Samuel Adams, as Governor of Massachusetts in a Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, 1793: 'we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.' Judge Nathaniel Freeman, 1802. Instructed Massachusetts Grand Juries as follows: "The laws of the Christian system, as embraced by the Bible, must be respected as of high authority in all our courts... . [Our government] originating in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion, it may be considered, not as republic Rome was, a Pagan, but a Christian republic." Josiah Bartlett, Governor of New Hampshire, in an official proclamation, urged: 'to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . [t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord.' Chief Justice James Kent of New York, held in 1811 (People v Ruggles): '...whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government... We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity... Christianity in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is part and parcel of the law of the land...
Samuel Adams
Papa always said that in the beginning men and women roamed the world together, equal in strength - like lions and tigers -" "And giraffes?" interpolated Colonel Race slyly. I laughed. Everyone makes fun of that giraffe. "And giraffes. They were nomadic, you see. It wasn't till they settled down in communities, and women did one kind of thing and men another, that women got weak. And of course, underneath, one is still the same - one feels the same, I mean - and that is why women worship physical strength in men - it's what they once had and have lost." "Almost ancestor worship, in fact?" "Something of the kind." "And you really think that's true? That women worship strength, I mean?" "I think it's quite true - if one's honest. You think you admire moral qualities,but when you fall in love, you revert to the primitive where the physical is all that counts. But I don't think that's the end, if you lived in primitive conditions it would be all right, but you don't - and so, in the end, the other thing wins after all. It's the things that are apparently conquered that always do win, isn't it? They win in the only way that counts. Like what the Bible says about losing your life and finding it.”. “In the end," said Colonel Race thoughtfully, "you fall in love - and you fall out of it, is that what you mean?" "Not exactly, but you can put it that way if you like.
Agatha Christie (The Man in the Brown Suit)
Apricot and chocolate muffins Muffins are a great way to introduce new fruits to your child’s diet. Once they have enjoyed apricots in a muffin, you can serve the ‘real thing’, saying it’s what they have for breakfast. Or you can put some fresh versions of the fruit on the same plate. Other fruits to try in muffins include blueberries and raspberries. A word of warning: the muffins don’t taste massively sweet so may seem a bit underwhelming to the adult palette. We tend to have them with a glass of milk-based, homemade fruit smoothie, spreading them with ricotta cheese to make them more substantial. 250g plain wholemeal flour 2 tsp baking powder 30g granulated fruit sugar 1 egg 30ml vegetable oil 150ml whole milk 180g ripe apricots, de-stoned and chopped 20g milk chocolate, cut into chips Put muffin cases into a muffin tray (this makes about 8–10 small muffins). Heat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Put the flour and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Next add the sugar and mix again. Make a ‘well’ in the middle of the mixture. Crack the egg into another bowl and add the oil and milk. Whisk well, then pour into the ‘well’ in the mixture in the other bowl. Stir it briskly and, once well mixed, stir in the apricot and the chocolate chips. Spoon equal amounts into the muffin cases and bake. Check after 25 minutes. If ready, a sharp knife will go in and out with no mixture attached. If you need another 5 minutes, return to the oven until done. Cool and serve. Makes 10 mini- or 4 regular-sized muffins. Great because:  The chocolate is only present in a tiny amount but is enough to make the muffins feel a bit special while the apricots provide a little fruit. If you have them with a milk-based smoothie and ricotta it means that you boost the protein content of the meal to make it more filling.
Amanda Ursell (Amanda Ursell’s Baby and Toddler Food Bible)
The call for justice was a protest as fierce as those of the biblical prophets and of Jesus, and the similarity of the call was no coincidence. As with early Judaism and early Christianity, early Islam would be rooted in opposition to a corrupt status quo. Its protest of inequity would be an integral part of the demand for inclusiveness, for unity and equality under the umbrella of the one god regardless of lineage, wealth, age, or gender. This is what would make it so appealing to the disenfranchised, those who didn't matter in the grand Meccan scheme of things, like slaves and freedmen, widows and orphans, all those cut out of the elite by birth or circumstance. And it spoke equally to the young and idealistic, those who had not yet learned to knuckle under to the way things were and who responded to the deeply egalitarian strain of the verses. All were equal before God, the thirteen-year-old Ali as important as the most respected graybeard, the daughter as much as the son, the African slave as much as the highborn noble. It was a potent and potentially radical re-envisioning of society. This was a matter of politics as much as of faith. The scriptures of all three of the great monotheisms show that they began similarly as popular movements in protest against the privilege and arrogance of power, whether that of kings as in the Hebrew bible, or the Roman Empire as in the Gospels, or a tribal elite as in the Quran. All three, that is, were originally driven by ideals of justice and egalitarianism, rejecting the inequities of human power in favor of a higher and more just one. No matter how far they might have strayed from their origins as they became institutionalized over time, the historical record clearly indicates that what we now call the drive for social justice was the idealistic underpinning of monotheistic faith.
Lesley Hazleton (The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad)
Never, perhaps, since Paul wrote has there been more need to labor this point than there is today. Modern muddle-headedness and confusion as to the meaning of faith in God are almost beyond description. People say they believe in God, but they have no idea who it is that they believe in, or what difference believing in him may make. Christians who want to help their floundering fellows into what a famous old tract used to call “safety, certainty and enjoyment” are constantly bewildered as to where to begin: the fantastic hodgepodge of fancies about God quite takes their breath away. How on earth have people got into such a muddle? What lies at the root of their confusion? And where is the starting point for setting them straight? To these questions there are several complementary sets of answers. One is that people have gotten into the practice of following private religious hunches rather than learning of God from his own Word, we have to try to help them unlearn the pride and, in some cases, the misconceptions about Scripture which gave rise to this attitude and to base their convictions henceforth not on what they feel but on what the Bible says. A second answer is that modern people think of all religions as equal and equivalent-they draw their ideas about God from pagan as well as Christian sources; we have to try to show people the uniqueness and finality of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s last word to man. A third answer is that people have ceased to recognize the reality of their own sinfulness, which imparts a degree of perversity and enmity against God to all that they think and do; it is our task to try to introduce people to this fact about themselves and so make them self-distrustful and open to correction by the word of Christ. A fourth answer, no less basic than the three already given, is that people today are in the habit of disassociating the thought of God’s goodness from that of his severity; we must seek to wean them from this habit, since nothing but misbelief is possible as long as it persists.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
The lack of attention to Moses’s sons here and elsewhere in the Torah—essentially nothing is said about them—needs to be explained. And the explanation is probably this: They did not amount to much. This raises the interesting issue of the difficulty many children of great people face in leading successful and satisfying lives. In a book about Moses, ‘Overcoming Life’s Disappointments’, Rabbi Harold Kushner writes about this: Sometimes the father casts so large a shadow that he makes it hard for his children to find the sunshine they need to grow and flourish. Sometimes, the father’s achievements are so intimidating that the child just gives up any hope of equaling him. But mostly, I suspect, it takes so much of a man’s [the father’s] time and energy to be a great man—great in some ways but not in all—that he has too little time left to be a father. As the South African leader Nelson Mandela’s daughter was quoted as saying to him, ‘You are the father of all our people but you never had time to be a father to me.’ Kushner relates a remarkable story he read in a magazine geared toward clergy, a fictional account of a pastor in a mid-sized church who had a dream one night in which a voice said to him, ‘There are fifty teenagers in your church, and you have the ability to lead forty-nine of them to God and lose out on only one.’ Energized by the dream, the minister throws all his energy into youth work, organizing special classes and trips for the church’s teens. He eventually develops a national reputation in his denomination for his work with young people. ‘And then one night he discovers his sixteen-year-old son has been arrested for dealing drugs. The boy turned bitterly against the church and its teachings, resenting his father for having had time for every sixteen-year-old in town except him, and the father never noticed. His son was the fiftieth teenager, the one who got away.’ Of course, this was not necessarily true of Moses’s children, but the silence of the Torah concerning his children (which is not the case with the children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Aaron) serves as an important reminder to parents who have achieved success to be sure to make time for their children. They need to try to ensure their children feel they occupy a special place in their parents’ hearts and no matter how pressing the parent’s responsibilities he or she will always find time for them.
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Exodus)
Life within a Templar house was designed where possible to resemble that of a Cistercian monastery. Meals were communal and to be eaten in near silence, while a reading was given from the Bible. The rule accepted that the elaborate sign language monks used to ask for necessities while eating might not be known to Templar recruits, in which case "quietly and privately you should ask for what you need at table, with all humility and submission." Equal rations of food and wine were to be given to each brother and leftovers would be distributed to the poor. The numerous fast days of the Church calendar were to be observed, but allowances would be made for the needs of fighting men: meat was to be served three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Should the schedule of annual fast days interrupt this rhythm, rations would be increased to make up for lost sustenance as soon as the fasting period was over. It was recognized that the Templars were killers. "This armed company of knights may kill the enemies of the cross without stated the rule, neatly summing up the conclusion of centuries of experimental Christian philosophy, which had concluded that slaying humans who happened to be "unbelieving pagans" and "the enemies of the son of the Virgin Mary" was an act worthy of divine praise and not damnation. Otherwise, the Templars were expected to live in pious self-denial. Three horses were permitted to each knight, along with one squire whom "the brother shall not beat." Hunting with hawks—a favorite pastime of warriors throughout Christendom—was forbidden, as was hunting with dogs. only beasts Templars were permitted to kill were the mountain lions of the Holy Land. They were forbidden even to be in the company of hunting men, for the reason that "it is fitting for every religious man to go simply and humbly without laughing or talking too much." Banned, too, was the company of women, which the rule scorned as "a dangerous thing, for by it the old devil has led man from the straight path to paradise the flower of chastity is always [to be] maintained among you.... For this reason none Of you may presume to kiss a woman' be it widow, young girl, mother, sister, aunt or any other.... The Knighthood of Christ should avoid at all costs the embraces of women, by which men have perished many times." Although married men were permitted to join the order, they were not allowed to wear the white cloak and wives were not supposed to join their husbands in Templar houses.
Dan Jones (The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors)
Skiddy Cottontail—that was his name—and he defended LGBT equality. He was a flamboyant, colorful striped rabbit, with a headdress of a rainbow crown on his forehead. The radiance of his energy was violet, scarlet, and turquoise; as it represented his love for everyone. In the infancy years of his existence, he was abandoned—alone—unwanted—unloved; rejected by a world that disdains him. His father wished him deceased, his family exiled him from the warren, he was physically mistreated and preyed on by homophobic mobs in the surrounding community by Elephants—Hyenas—rats. They splashed spit at his face, advising him that God condemns homosexuality—as Christ did not. They would slam him on the pavement with their Bibles, strike him in the stomach with their feet, throw boulders of stone at his body: imploring—abusing—condemning him to a tyrannical sentence. Skiddy Cottontail thought that his existence would end with this case of cruelty—violence—assault that was perpetrated against him. He wanted to cease to exist— he wanted to commit the ultimate murder on himself—he no more desired to go on living— he realized hope is already deceased. He yearned to have the courage to emerge, to discover his bravery that would sever this spiral of sensations of oppression. Being a victim made him a slave to his opponent—as his adversaries have full leverage against him. Life has become a thread of light, which he longed to be liberated from its shackles. His demon—a voice that keeps blaming him for his crimes in the back of his mind—a glass that continually cracks in his heart—will keep breaking him if he does not devise a way out of this crisis. He was conscious by his innermost conviction that there was candlelight with a key that had the potential to illuminate a new chapter that will erase this trail of obscurity behind him. He sees a new horizon with greater comprehension, a journey that can give him the roses of affection than a handful of dead birds that his adversaries handed him along the way. The stunning blossoming trees did have a forest—beautiful greenery that was colorful like the rainbow in the Heavens. This home will embrace him with a warm embrace of open arms, where cruelty is forbidden; where adoration can forever abound. Dawn will know him when he arrives. No more hurricanes or strife will be here—no crying of a sad humanity are here—only a gift of harmony and devotion, beyond all explanation, will abide in the heart of Skiddy Cottontail—when he finds his way out from this opponent world for a beautiful existence that is called liberation. Skiddy Cottontail has found a happiness that can only bring him contentment like nothing in this hurtful world can. Find your own sense of balance like him, Skiddy Cottontail, and you will experience serenity as much as him.
Be Daring like Skiddy Cottontail by D.L. Lewis
Jesus himself remains an enigma. There have been interesting attempts to uncover the figure of the ‘historical’ Jesus, a project that has become something of a scholarly industry. But the fact remains that the only Jesus we really know is the Jesus described in the New Testament, which was not interested in scientifically objective history. There are no other contemporary accounts of his mission and death. We cannot even be certain why he was crucified. The gospel accounts indicate that he was thought to be the king of the Jews. He was said to have predicted the imminent arrival of the kingdom of heaven, but also made it clear that it was not of this world. In the literature of the Late Second Temple period, there had been hints that a few people were expecting a righteous king of the House of David to establish an eternal kingdom, and this idea seems to have become more popular during the tense years leading up to the war. Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius all note the importance of revolutionary religiosity, both before and after the rebellion.2 There was now keen expectation in some circles of a meshiah (in Greek, christos), an ‘anointed’ king of the House of David, who would redeem Israel. We do not know whether Jesus claimed to be this messiah – the gospels are ambiguous on this point.3 Other people rather than Jesus himself may have made this claim on his behalf.4 But after his death some of his followers had seen him in visions that convinced them that he had been raised from the tomb – an event that heralded the general resurrection of all the righteous when God would inaugurate his rule on earth.5 Jesus and his disciples came from Galilee in northern Palestine. After his death they moved to Jerusalem, probably to be on hand when the kingdom arrived, since all the prophecies declared that the temple would be the pivot of the new world order.6 The leaders of their movement were known as ‘the Twelve’: in the kingdom, they would rule the twelve tribes of the reconstituted Israel.7 The members of the Jesus movement worshipped together every day in the temple,8 but they also met for communal meals, in which they affirmed their faith in the kingdom’s imminent arrival.9 They continued to live as devout, orthodox Jews. Like the Essenes, they had no private property, shared their goods equally, and dedicated their lives to the last days.10 It seems that Jesus had recommended voluntary poverty and special care for the poor; that loyalty to the group was to be valued more than family ties; and that evil should be met with non-violence and love.11 Christians should pay their taxes, respect the Roman authorities, and must not even contemplate armed struggle.12 Jesus’s followers continued to revere the Torah,13 keep the Sabbath,14 and the observance of the dietary laws was a matter of extreme importance to them.15 Like the great Pharisee Hillel, Jesus’s older contemporary, they taught a version of the Golden Rule, which they believed to be the bedrock of the Jewish faith: ‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the message of the Law and the Prophets.
Karen Armstrong (The Bible: A Biography (Books That Changed the World))
The centre of the conception of wisdom in the Bible is the Book of Ecclesiastes, whose author, or rather, chief editor, is sometimes called Koheleth, the teacher or preacher. Koheleth transforms the conservatism of popular wisdom into a program of continuous mental energy. Those who have unconsciously identified a religious attitude either with illusion or with mental indolence are not safe guides to this book, although their tradition is a long one. Some editor with a “you’d better watch out” attitude seems to have tacked a few verses on the end suggesting that God trusts only the anti-intellectual, but the main author’s courage and honesty are not to be defused in this way. He is “disillusioned” only in the sense that he has realized that an illusion is a self-constructed prison. He is not a weary pessimist tired of life: he is a vigorous realist determined to smash his way through every locked door of repression in his mind. Being tired of life is in fact the only mental handicap for which he has no remedy to suggest. Like other wise men, he is a collector of proverbs, but he applies to all of them his touchstone and key word, translated in the AV [the Authorized Version] as “vanity.” This word (hebel) has a metaphorical kernel of fog, mist, or vapour, a metaphor that recurs in the New Testament (James 4:14). It this acquires a derived sense of “emptiness,” the root meaning of the Vulgate’s vanitas. To put Koheleth’s central intuition into the form of its essential paradox: all things are full of emptiness. We should not apply a ready-made disapproving moral ambience to this word “vanity,” much less associate it with conceit. It is a conception more like the shunyata or “void” of Buddhist though: the world as everything within nothingness. As nothing is certain or permanent in the world, nothing either real or unreal, the secret of wisdom is detachment without withdrawal. All goals and aims may cheat us, but if we run away from them we shall find ourselves bumping into them. We may feel that saint is a “better” man than a sinner, and that all of our religious and moral standards would crumble into dust if we did not think so; but the saint himself is most unlikely to take such a view. Similarly Koheleth went through a stage in which he saw that wisdom was “better” than folly, then a stage in which he saw that there was really no difference between them as death lies in wait for both and finally realized that both views were equally “vanity”. As soon as we renounce the expectation of reward, in however, refined a guise, for virtue or wisdom, we relax and our real energies begin to flow into the soul. Even the great elegy at the end over the failing bodily powers of old age ceases to become “pessimistic” when we see it as part of the detachment with which the wise man sees his life in the context of vanity. We take what comes: there is no choice in the matter, hence no point in saying “we should take what comes.” We soon realize by doing so that there is a cyclical rhythm in nature. But, like other wheels, this is a machine to be understood and used by man. If it is true that the sun, the seasons, the waters, and human life itself go in cycles, the inference is that “there is a time for all things,” something different to be done at each stage of the cycle. The statement “There is nothing new under the sun” applies to wisdom but not to experience , to theory but not to practice. Only when we realize that nothing is new can we live with an intensity in which everything becomes new.
Northrop Frye (The Great Code: The Bible and Literature)
Despite what some may try to tell themselves. In the new testament there is no case for equality in the bible.
Gillian Dance (The Ultimate Religion)
Good question. You have studied your history, and you know that slaves were property, not human beings, so they were objects instead of subjects to the government. To view another human being as property—objects instead of human beings—would not be biblical, because a slavemaster would kind of be acting like God–ruling over others and trying to use them for their own desires. That is not right, because the Bible says that no one is like God, and they shouldn’t act like a God over other people, because there is only one God, as one of the Ten Commandments mentioned. “Also, even if human beings were allowed to act like God, the way those types of people rule over their slaves is unbiblical, because they do not follow the commandments about love. The New Testament says that we should love, forgive, and help others the same way Jesus did, but if people are going to objectify each other and view each other as property, slave masters' intentions to love, forgive, and help others would be reduced, if not unfulfilled. “You also mentioned the New Testament’s commandments. You are correct, there are verses about slaves. Titus 2:9-10 says, ‘Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.’ By law, a slave would have to obedient to his or her master, so Paul was sent to show that God acknowledges the existence of this law, but even though this law was used, notice how slaves are required to not argue and steal, and they are required to be trustworthy. Those are values that were taught to freed believers! Titus 3:9 talks about preventing quarrels, Exodus 20:15 literally says, “Do not steal,” and Proverbs 11:13 condemns slanderers and praises trustworthy people, so even though slaves were still expected to follow the law, they, like other believers, had the opportunity to uphold biblical values and become strong Christians. Colossians 4:1 also says, ‘Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.’ This verse actually ensures the welfares of slaves. The laws that the government enforced at that time probably did spread the notion that slaves are property, and so, by law, slaves were still property, but by Christ, they were quite equal to the status of a freed believer. Their was care for slaves’ welfares, which, under Christ, raised them to a greater status than just property. They were property by law, but children of Christ through God.
Lucy Carter (The Reformation)
One recent example of my fear of ambiguity was the instance with the beaten slave. Completely aware I was bluffing, I insisted that Ken Lar misinterpreted the Bible verse he quoted, but again, I was bluffing. I thought that that Bible verse was ambiguous. It could have actually been used to justify slavery, but I always thought that God was a pacifist, so I tried to comfort myself with the theory that God was forced to accommodate slavery because the world had gone corrupt, but then again, that verse described slaves’ submission as a way that helps them “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior,” so there is still a possibility that God would actually approve slavery. But still, the passage describes slaves to be faithful and to not steal and argue, which have been commands for Paul’s followers, who were not slaves. The passage could have been encouraging slaves to try to follow the path of God the way free people do. Still, if I recall correctly, in Leviticus it mentioned that the Israelites, right after being released from slavery in Egypt, were allowed to buy slaves from nations surrounding them, and it even said that the slaves could be the Israelites’ PROPERTY!!!! But then, I have heard of many African American pastors who use the Bible to support equality. But could it all be a scam? Who knows? That was ambiguity in its biblical form. There was even more ambiguity associated with that incident, because after thinking about that controversial passage, I wondered whether or not I was screwing my chances in Heaven for thinking like that. The Bible says that you shouldn’t lie, and by thinking like that, I was being honest with myself, but people died for blaspheming God, and if thinking those thoughts was considered blaspheming God, then who knows?
Lucy Carter (The Reformation)
—Thomas, I did not think you some miracle bestowed upon me. You were born and I was happy to have you. And I don’t think you thought of me as some miracle, either. We were, or should have been, partners. I was happy you existed and wanted you to thrive. My hope was that you were happy to exist and that you yourself would endeavor to thrive. But instead you were aggrieved by your existence and my role in it. I think that’s why you were so drawn to Christ. —I wasn’t drawn to Christ. What does that mean? —You used to draw the crucifix on your notebooks. Other kids were drawing spaceships or Grateful Dead skulls or penises, but you were drawing crucifixes. You thought that was you, suffering on the cross. I considered you a partner and an equal but you wanted to be beneath me and a martyr. —You’re the one who brought me to church. —I brought you once. You know how I hate Christianity and all that wretched iconography. You know what? You see pictures of Buddha and he’s sitting, reclining, at peace. The Hindus have their twelve-armed elephant god, who also seems so content but not powerless. But leave it to the Christians to have a dead and bloody man nailed to a cross. You walk into a church and you see a helpless man bleeding all over himself—how can we come away hopeful after such a sight? People bring their children to mass and have them stare for two hours at a man hammered to a beam and picked at by crows. How is that elevating? It’s all about accountability for them. —What is? —The Christians, the Bible. It’s all about who’s at fault. A whole religion based on accountability. Who’s to blame? What’s the judgment? Who gets punished? Who gets jailed, banished, killed, drowned, decimated. You want to know the main takeaway most people got from Jesus’s death? Not sacrifice, nothing like that. The takeaway, after all that Old Testament judgment, is that the Jews did it. —Incredible. —You loved it, though. Especially as a teenager. Young men love martyrdom. You get to be the victim and the hero at the same time.
Dave Eggers (Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?)
On November 29, 1860, Thanksgiving, Benjamin Morgan Palmer, one of the most influential Southern preachers, gave one of the most polemic proslavery secession sermons ever, which became one a Confederate propaganda tools: “Some 50,000 copies of that sermon were printed in pamphlet form and circulated throughout the South. That pamphlet became a most powerful part of Southern propaganda.”5 Palmer thundered against abolitionists, particularly Northern ministers, equating them to atheists and French Revolution radicals: Last of all, in this great struggle, we defend the cause of God and religion. The abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic. The demon which erected its throne upon the guillotine in the days of Robespierre and Marat, which abolished the Sabbath and worshipped reason in the person of a harlot, yet survives to work other horrors, of which those of the French Revolution are but the type. Among a people so generally religious as the American, a disguise must be worn; but it is the same old threadbare disguise of the advocacy of human rights. . . . These self- constituted reformers must quicken the activity of Jehovah or compel his abdication. . . . This spirit of atheism, which knows no God who tolerates evil, no Bible which sanctions law, and no conscience that can be bound by oaths and covenants, has selected us for its victims, and slavery for its issue. Its banner- cry rings out already upon the air— “liberty, equality, fraternity,” which simply interpreted mean bondage, confiscation and massacre. . . . To the South the high position is assigned of defending, before all nations, the cause of all religion and of all truth.
Steven Dundas
On November 29, 1860, Thanksgiving, Benjamin Morgan Palmer, one of the most influential Southern preachers, gave one of the most polemic proslavery secession sermons ever, which became one a Confederate propaganda tool: “Some 50,000 copies of that sermon were printed in pamphlet form and circulated throughout the South. That pamphlet became a most powerful part of Southern propaganda.” Palmer thundered against abolitionists, particularly Northern ministers, equating them to atheists and French Revolution radicals: Last of all, in this great struggle, we defend the cause of God and religion. The abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic. The demon which erected its throne upon the guillotine in the days of Robespierre and Marat, which abolished the Sabbath and worshipped reason in the person of a harlot, yet survives to work other horrors, of which those of the French Revolution are but the type. Among a people so generally religious as the American, a disguise must be worn; but it is the same old threadbare disguise of the advocacy of human rights. . . . These self- constituted reformers must quicken the activity of Jehovah or compel his abdication. . . . This spirit of atheism, which knows no God who tolerates evil, no Bible which sanctions law, and no conscience that can be bound by oaths and covenants, has selected us for its victims, and slavery for its issue. Its banner- cry rings out already upon the air— “liberty, equality, fraternity,” which simply interpreted mean bondage, confiscation and massacre. . . . To the South the high position is assigned of defending, before all nations, the cause of all religion and of all truth.
Steven Dundas
Feminism only means we champion the dignity, rights, responsibilities, and glories of women as equal in importance—not greater than, but certainly not less than—to those of men,
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible (NASB))
I have studied this passage myself — it is equally confusing in the Quechua translation. English-speakers frequently forget that the ancient texts were initially written, not in English, but a combination of ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic. Those languages can convey subtle meanings for which English lacks an adequate translation. Ancient cultural contexts are also lost on modern readers. This is not a deficiency in the Bible but in our ability to understand it. “The Genesis passage you cited is better understood in the original Hebrew text. As I recall, the Hebrew verb for the second “entered” in verse 13 is pluperfect, which can be more closely translated as “had come.” This would imply that they “had entered” or “had finished entering” on the day that the flood began.
D.I. Hennessey (Niergel Chronicles - Quest)
Just as no two people are exactly the same in their choice of diet or have the same capacity for the consumption of food, sexual tastes and appetites vary from person to person. No person or society has the right to set limitations on the sexual standard or the frequency of sexual activity of another. Proper sexual conduct can only be judged within the context of each individual situation. Therefore, what one person considers sexually correct and moral may be frustrating to another. The reverse is also true; one person may have great sexual prowess, but it is unjust for him to belittle another whose sexual capacity may not equal his own, and inconsiderate for him to impose himself upon the other person, i.e., the man who has a voracious sexual appetite, but who wife's sexual needs to not match his own. It is unfair for him to expect her to enthusiastically respond to his overtures; but she must display the same degree of thoughtfulness. In the instances when she does not feel great passion, she should either passively, but pleasantly, accept him sexually, or raise no complaint if he chooses to find his needed release elsewhere - including auto-erotic practices.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
I have often summarized the doctrine of justification by saying that God intends to put the whole world right in the end, and having launched that project in Jesus he puts people right in the present so that they can be models and agents of his putting-right project for the world. You could equally say that God intends to renew the whole creation and fill it with his loving presence, and that having launched that project in Jesus he fills people with his spirit in the present, not so that they can escape the world but so that they can be models and agents of God’s plan for all creation.
N.T. Wright (Interpreting Scripture: Essays on the Bible and Hermeneutics (Collected Essays of N. T. Wright Book 1))
Actually, it isn’t a secret at all. It was first promulgated by some of the earliest wise men, and it appears again and again throughout the Bible. But very few people have learned it or understand it. That’s why it’s strange, and why for some equally strange reason it virtually remains a secret.
Earl Nightingale (The Strangest Secret)
Although political megalomaniacs are the most conspicuous end products of this reasoning, they are not necessarily the most characteristic. Atheistic nihilism transforms the “bourgeois” and highly moral individualism of the American Revolution into something entirely different. That older individualism was based on the idea of unalienable rights endowed by man’s Creator. Such rights were not unconditional. They were to be exercised only in accordance with the laws of nature and of nature’s God, which were moral laws. Rights and duties were in a reciprocal relationship. But the nature revealed by modern science—the unconditional basis of the belief in Progress—was that of mindless matter, a source of power to be commanded, not a source of morality to be obeyed. From here on, “rights” would be understood as the unconditional empowerment of the individual to do as he pleased. Self-realization became the code word for the new morality. The human self, however, was no longer understood to be made in the image of God, since God was dead. Self-realization was in fact only the correlate of the new atheism. As there could no longer be any distinction between man and God, which distinction is as fundamental to the Declaration of Independence as to the Bible, there could be no distinction between base and noble desires. All desires were understood to be created equal, since all desires were seen as originating in that highest of all authorities, the self-creating self. Each human being was to be his own God, obeying only those restrictions that were enforced upon him by the fact that he was not yet himself the universal tyrant. In time, however, Science would enable everyone to act as if he were the universal tyrant.
Harry V. Jaffa (A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War (with New Foreword))
For the first time, I felt that I had found something really better than myself, and was happy,” Mead later remembered. At Barnard she had friends by choice rather than by chance, a circle of ten or so young women who included the future U.S. poet laureate Léonie Adams. Each year they would adopt a derogatory name as a badge of honor, perhaps something hurled at them by West Side townies or by a professor outraged at some boneheaded behavior or radical political pose. The one that really stuck was the Ash Can Cats, a good label for a group of freethinking, adventurous women, disheveled but intellectually fashionable, half of them Jewish, and all equally acquainted with Bolshevism and the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay—bluestockings with bobs. The group apartment on West 116th Street was abuzz with impromptu aphorisms, the tinkle of overturned gin bottles, and campus gossip about affairs with older men and, sometimes, older women. By the summer of 1921, Mead informed the Philadelphia Daily Vacation Bible School that she would no longer be able to serve as director for Bible studies during the long vacation.
Charles King (Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century)
THE COLOR LINE FOUND NECESSARY' ...As attendance of the colored people would increase, proportionately the number of the whites would decrease; for explain it how we will, a majority of whites prefer not to intermingle closely with other races. Recognizing that it meant either the success of the failure of the enterprise of the Drama as respects the whites, we have been compelled to assign the colored friends to the gallery, which, however, is just as good for seeing and hearing as any other part of The Temple. Some were offended at this arrangement. We have received numerous letters from the colored friends, some claiming that it is not right to make a difference, other indignantly and bitterly denouncing us as enemies of the colored people. Some, confident that Brother Russell had never sanctioned such discrimination, told that they believe it would be duty to stand up for equal rights and always help the oppressed, etc. ... We again suggested that if a suitable place could be found in which the Drama could be presented for the benefit of the colored people alone, we would be glad to make such arrangements, or to co-operate with any others in doing so. Our explanations were apparently entirely satisfactory to all of the fully consecrated. To these we explained that it is a question of putting either the interests of God's cause first, or else the interests of the race first. We believe it is our duty to put God first and the truth first--at any cost to others or to ourselves! ... it is only a question of whether our giving to them in one way would entirely deprive us of giving the truth to others. ... In answer to the query as to how our course of conduct squared with the Golden Rule, we replied that it squares exactly. We would wish others to put God first. ... We reminded one dear sister that the Lord enjoins humility...If nature favors the colored brethren and sisters in the exercise of humility it is that much to their advantage, if they are rightly exercised by it. ... A little while, and the Millennial kingdom will be inaugurated, which will bring restitution to all mankind--restitution to the perfection of mind and body, feature and color, to the grand original standard, which God declared 'very good,' and which was lost for a time through sin, but which is soon to be restored by the powerful kingdom of Messiah.
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (1914 Watch Tower)
Some people ridicule the Protestant Reformers but relish the notion of human equality. They do not know that the Reformers paid with their lives to make the biblical idea of equality a foundational principle of the modern world. Today, we take it for granted that uplifting the downtrodden is a noble virtue. In
Vishal Mangalwadi (The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization)
Well, imagine a movie—a vast production with kings, fools, knights, ladies, peasants, preachers, prostitutes—every sort of person you find in the world. When the actors take off their costumes, they’re all equal. So it is with life. When death strips us of our roles, we’re all equals in the grave.
Sam Torode (The Dirty Parts of the Bible)
I am prone to prefer people who are like me-- in color, culture, heritage and history..the creation of man and woman in the image of God with equal dignity before God..this means that no human being is more or less human that another..for in the process of discussing our diversity in terms of different "races," we are undercutting our unity in the human race..instead of being strictly tied to biology, ethnicity is much more fluid, factoring in social, cultural, lingual, historical, and even religious characteristics..The pages of the Bible and human history are thus filled with an evil affinity for ethnic animosity..God promises to bless these ethnic Israelites, but the purpose of his blessing extends far beyond them..[it is] his desire for all nations to behold his greatness and experience his grace..When Jesus comes to the earth in the New Testament, we are quickly introduced to him as an immigrant..he nevertheless reaches beyond national boundaries at critical moments to love, serve, teach, heal, and save Canaanites and Samaritans, Greeks and Romans..he came as Savior and Lord over all..Though Gentiles were finally accepted into the church, they felt at best like second-class Christians..the Bible doesn't deny the obvious ethnic, cultural, and historical differences that distinguish us from one another..diversifies humanity according to clans and lands as a creative reflection of his grace and glory in distinct groups of people. In highlighting the beauty of such diversity, the gospel thus counters the mistaken cultural illusion that the path to unity is paved by minimizing what makes us unique. Instead, the gospel compels us to celebrate our ethnic distinctions, value our cultural differences, and acknowledge our historical diversity..(In reference to Galations 3:28) some people might misconstrue this verse..to say that our differences don't matter. But they do..It is not my aim here to stereotype migrant workers..It is also not my aim to oversimplify either the plight of immigrants in our country or the predicament of how to provide for them..Consequently, followers of Christ must see immigrants not as problems to be solved but as people to be loved. The gospel compels us in our culture to decry any and all forms of oppression, exploitation, bigotry, or harassment of immigrants..[we] will stand as one redeemed race to give glory to the Father who calls us not sojourners or exiles, but sons and daughters.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Abortion (Counter Culture Booklets))
A wonderful mystery surrounds this passage as Jesus revealed an order of authority in the Trinity. The order of authority in no way postulates a hierarchy of divinity and power within the Trinity. Each member of the Trinity is consubstantial, equal in divinity and power, very God of very God. The Bible, however, also presents us with the mystery of the triune God, a glorious mystery in which all in Christ will glory forever and ever. In these verses from John, Jesus revealed that the Spirit will come and not bear witness of himself, but of Christ.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. (The Apostles' Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits)
All this is based, of course, on the resurrection. If death is the ultimate weapon of the tyrant, then resurrection is the reassertion that the creator God rules over the world which the tyrants claim as their own. To speak only of ‘atonement’ in the dehistoricized and depoliticized sense of ‘Christ dying for my sins’ as a kind of private transaction, while in itself highlighting one of the majestic truths at the heart of the Christian faith (‘the son of God loved me and gave himself for me’8), is to run the risk of colluding with empire, implying that the redemption that I enjoy will enable me to escape the world where imperial powers continue to behave as they always do. Equally, of course, to imagine that we can reduce Matthew, Mark, Luke, John or Paul to terms simply of ‘politics’, as though their political stance is not non-negotiably rooted in their theology of creation, atonement and new creation, is to reduce them to echoes of our own largely impotent political posturing.
N.T. Wright (Interpreting Scripture: Essays on the Bible and Hermeneutics (Collected Essays of N. T. Wright Book 1))
1. Africans are savages because Africa is hot, and extreme weather made them that way. 2. Africans are savages because they were cursed through Ham, in the Bible. 3. Africans are savages because they were created as an entirely different species. 4. Africans are savages because there is a natural human hierarchy and they are at the bottom. 5. Africans are savages because dark equals dumb and evil, and light equals smart and… White. 6. Africans are savages because slavery made them so. 7. Africans are savages. Note: You will see these ideas repeated over and over again throughout this book. But that’s not a good enough reason for you to stop reading. So… don’t even try it. CHAPTER 7 Time In AFRICANS ARE NOT SAVAGES. CHAPTER 8 Jefferson’s Notes I KNOW YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS, BUT SOMETIMES IT’S important
Jason Reynolds (Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You)
For the first time, though only in private, he began incrementally revealing the considerable divide between the Bible-based religion he still preached and his true beliefs. Jones talked about reincarnation—not only his faith in it, but his conviction that “Jim Jones” was simply the latest physical manifestation of a spirit previously occupying the earthly bodies of other great men, all of them dedicated to equality and justice.
Jeff Guinn (The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple)
O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
Anonymous (Holy Bible Text Edition NLT: New Living Translation)
Christ’s incarnation challenges us to give up our rights in order to love God and others. Philippians 2:6-7 says, “who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself...” Christ did not hold onto his rights and privileges as deity but relinquished them in order to better love God and others.
Gregory Brown (Christology: Knowing Jesus Christ (The Bible Teacher's Guide Book 27))
Jesus told his disciples, 'I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth' (Matthew 28:18). He confers a derived authority on his male and female image bearers as his coregents--not to rule over each other, but to rule the earth to ensure both welfare and flourishing. Equality is a foundational truth that extends to every human being and is rooted firmly in our image-bearer identity. The Bible doesn't nuance or debate equality, but sets it in stone. Equality distinguishes the kingdom of God from kingdoms of this world that rank, rate, discriminate, and privilege some human beings over others. No second class rating, no marginalization, oppression, or mistreatment can alter this rock solid truth, for it is grounded in our unchanging God. Both concepts were distorted by the fall, along with everything else. God's image bearers turned authority and ruling on one another instead of jointly pursuing God's glory for the benefit of all creation. Equality went missing from human relationships as the human race plunged into self-seeking, murder, violence, power, and oppression. Evidence of how far the human race has fallen is rampant in the appalling oppression and violence perpetrated against women throughout the world. The New Testament restores authority and equality in the teachings of Jesus and the writings of Paul in ways that are truly 'not of this world.' Jesus did not come to affirm or make slight alterations to the world's way of doing things. He came to rebuild both load-bearing walls--to reconnect a lost and fallen humanity to our Creator and to reestablish the Blessed Alliance between men and women. His construction methods take us down a different, countercultural path.
Carolyn Custis James (Half the Church: Recapturing God's Global Vision for Women)
In addition, the Bible actually states that people (men and women alike) are to be sanctified through Jesus and the truth of his word. Hebrews 13:12 states, “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate, to sanctify his people by his own blood.” The phrase “his people” refers to all people that are his, not just the men that are his, and by dying for the people’s sins, they were sanctified, or freed from sin and able to access a path to Christ.
Lucy Carter (Feminism and Biblical Hermeneutics)
Many white Westerners feel that the worst thing they could be called is a racist. We know deep down that we're not supposed to make value distinctions between people of different ethnicities, as if it's better to be white or Black or whatever. Because we're hesitant to make value distinctions, and rightfully so, we're often slow to make any distinctions at all. Thus it goes without being said for many that to be truly equal everyone must be the same. This is what we mean by being colorblind—the belief that ethnic differences don't matter. Of course it would be fine if what we meant was that everyone should be treated with equal dignity or enjoy the same rights. But we suspect what is commonly meant is that everyone should be treated as if they were the same, and by same, what is frequently meant is majority culture. Consequently, we are trained to assume that ethnicity is unimportant, and that prejudice on the basis of ethnicity is an impossible motivation for behavior. We avoid making an issue a race issue unless there's no way around it, because we have convinced ourselves that ethnicity is no longer a factor in social situations. This leaves us somewhat schizophrenic, because we all know that we carry latent prejudices privately, while we are trained to pretend publicly that we don't.
Brandon J. O'Brien (Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible)
The shotgun and the Bible have never been separated by the Caucasian … It is not the Christianity that makes the Negro forgiving, it is two hundred and fifty years of forced coercion, cowardice and damaging instructions to play into the favor of the white man. Better get a gun for Christmas. Insure your lives Negroes, and then you are in line of equality.
David Zucchino (Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy)
Considering all the scriptures about God and Jesus together leads to no better conclusion than that, the son is neither same nor equal with the Father. Though the scriptures mention they being one, that is so in only one acceptable sense; a united sense.
Mannas Eli
18 Love is your reservoir of super human 1strength which 2causes you to see everyone equally sanctified in the context of the limitless extent of love’s breadth and length and the extremities of its dimensions in depth and height.
François Du Toit (Mirror Study Bible)
Evidence that the statement, "I and the Father are one”, points not to equality but to unity is found within scripture, not from any external source or private interpretation. Therefrom, there exists no other acceptable interpretation than that, the son and the Father are one, in only one true sense; that of unity, not equality. Any other external knowledge or human interpretation deviating from this, seeks to pervert the Holy Scriptures.
Mannas Eli
Political leaders often talk as if their side is for all that is good and true, and the other side is for death and destruction. But civic decisions become too easy when we as Christians pretend politics is simply a battle between angels and demons. The implication is that we don’t have to parse the details of their proposals or weigh the alternatives, we just need to know what position the “right side” is taking. This makes for a simple and powerful narrative, but in a broken world, neither side is completely good. There weren’t any perfect groups of people in the Bible (Romans 3:23), and there is only one perfect human, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:9). That fact still stands today. That isn’t to say that both sides of any given issue are equal or that one side can’t be clearly wrong, but a quick look at the record of any party or tribe will dispel all misconceptions about their infallibility. Indeed, sometimes political opponents are plainly misguided or even ill intended, and we as Christians would be remiss not to correct them. However, we must be able to disagree and work against those with opposing beliefs without dehumanizing them. When we label other groups evil, stupid, or irredeemable—or deny their pain—we strip them of their human dignity and make ourselves and others less likely to show them concern and compassion.
Justin Giboney (Compassion (&) Conviction: The AND Campaign's Guide to Faithful Civic Engagement)
All religions are not equal in their capacity to mete out violence and genocidal hate. To say otherwise is to be hopelessly misguided or profoundly duplicitous. Two other popular deflections are 'But what about the crusades?' and 'But the Bible also has violent passages.' The crusades were a response to hundreds of years of Islamic aggression, and they took place within a very restricted time and place, nearly a millennium ago. As for the Bible, you can count on one hand the number of individuals who have used violent passages from Deuteronomy to justify act of terrorism in the twenty-first century. On the other hand, innumerable Jihadis around the world use Islamic doctrines to justify their violent actions. Scale matters. Another classic ploy used by apologists is the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy. This argues that entire Islamic countries, Islamic governments, and leading Islamic scholars are "fake" representations of the true faith. If you point to sharia law in Saudi Arabia, the retort is that this does not represent True Islam. Similarly, Iran's mullahs apparently do not represent True Islam. Osama Bin Laden was a "fake" Muslim. Other "fake" Muslims include Amin al-Husseini (the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who was on friendly terms with Adolf Hitler), Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (arguably the leading Sunni theologian today), and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the late leader of ISIS).
Gad Saad (The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense)
Paul is boldly declaring that women (who were usually treated very poorly in the first century) are given status equal to men in God’s kingdom—a beautiful statement that only makes sense if sex differences are real.25
Preston M. Sprinkle (Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say)
9. The God introduced by the Torah began the long journey to belief in human equality—solely as a result of the Torah statement that each of us is created in God’s image. Slavery was abolished on a wide scale first in the Western world—by Christians who were rooted in the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible and who specifically cited the Torah doctrine that all humans are created in God’s image. 10.
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Exodus)
Like karma, the theory of evolution explains self-evident inequality. Therefore, it cannot be the philosophical foundation for faith in human equality. 46
Vishal Mangalwadi (This Book Changed Everything: The Bible’s Amazing Impact on Our World)
To the Reformation thinkers, authority was not divided between the Bible and the church. The church was under the teaching of the Bible—not above it and not equal to it. It was Sola Scriptura, the Scriptures only. This stood in contrast to the humanism that had infiltrated the church after the first centuries of Christianity. At its core, therefore, the Reformation was the removing of the humanistic distortions which had entered the church.
Francis A. Schaeffer (How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture)
Believers will also worship the Lord Jesus for His conquests in them, since the arrows of their natural hatred are snapped, and the weapons of their rebellion are broken. What victories grace has won in our evil hearts! How glorious is Jesus when the will is subdued and sin dethroned! As for our remaining corruptions, they will sustain an equally sure defeat, and every temptation and doubt and fear will be completely destroyed.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
no matter how hard she tried to love them equally and for themselves, as Jesus loved all the little children, was now not the favorite. She thought of a phrase from the Bible—where, she did not know—“In all that has happened to
Jane Smiley (Some Luck)
In the Bible, one often confronts real antinomies (equal but opposing truths). But in life one never does and always has options in difficult situations ...however uncomfortable may be their consequences. Satisfice in the circumstances and get on with your life! ~ © gfp '42™
Gary Patton
White encouraged Updike’s equally scrupulous commitment. They bonded over dashes, colons, and commas—most amazingly in an exchange of letters in the last two months of 1954 concerning two poems, “The Sunflower” and “The Clan.” She wanted to make his punctuation consistent; he wanted to make his light verse flow in a manner pleasing to the ear and the eye. When he suggested changes to the proof of “Sunflower”—literally begging for a colon rather than a dash at the end of a particular line (“A colon is compact, firm, and balanced: a dash is sprawling, wishy-washy, and gawky. The colon suggests the Bible: the dash letters and memoirs of fashionable ladies”)—she replied with a three-page “treatise on punctuation” and a transcription of the relevant paragraph from H. W. Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (the standard reference at The New Yorker, thanks to Harold Ross, who always kept a copy handy). She urged him to “try to feel more kindly toward the dash”—and closed with characteristic graciousness: “I want to add that I am delighted to find anyone who cares as much as this about punctuation and who is as careful as you are about your verse. . . . And I thank you for a very interesting and amusing letter.
Adam Begley (Updike)
Matthew 20:1-16 New International Version (NIV) The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard 20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
Being a holy people included seeking justice. The Sabbath and Jubilee Year practices gave everyone equal rights, freedom, and second chances. Slaves would be freed, and land would be restored to the family that originally owned it. Unfortunately, rich landowners eventually claimed the land, and this plan for equality was forgotten. This injustice is one reason that the nation of Israel did not last. Even today God calls his people to seek justice and mercy for everyone.
Doris Rikkers (The Wayfinding Bible NLT)
Tradition is never said to be “God-breathed”[6] and is never exalted to a place of equality with (or supremacy over) the Scriptures.
James R. White (Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity)
The Bible explains that Satan is real, nurses a serious grudge and has impressive power. But having been created, he has limitations. He can never be equal to God in anything."--Kristine McGuire, An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare, Chapter 3, "Know Your Enemy.
Kristine McGuire (An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare: 20 Battle Tested Strategies from Behind Enemy Lines)
When once the question has been asked, “Why should a woman submit to a man?” when once the answers derived from tradition and the Bible have ceased to satisfy, there is no longer any possibility of maintaining the old subordination. To every man who has the power of thinking impersonally and freely, it is obvious, as soon as the question is asked, that the rights of women are precisely the same as the rights of men. Whatever dangers and difficulties, whatever temporary chaos, may be incurred in the transition to equality, the claims of reason are so insistent and so clear that no opposition to them can hope to be long successful.
some general principles in the holy books of all religions that teach love, charity, liberty, justice and equality for all the human family, there are many grand and beautiful passages, the golden rule has been echoed and re-echoed around the world. There are lofty examples of good and true men and women, all worthy our acceptance and imitation whose lustre cannot be dimmed by the false sentiments and vicious characters bound up in the same volume. The Bible cannot be accepted or rejected as a whole, its teachings are varied and its lessons differ widely from each other. In criticising the peccadilloes of Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel, we would not shadow the virtues of Deborah, Huldah and Vashti. In criticising the Mosaic code, we would not question
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (The Woman's Bible)
In the Bible, Rephaim were Anakim giants, descendants of the Nephilim (Deut. 2:11; Num. 13:33), who were so significant they even had a valley named after them (“Valley of the Rephaim,” Josh. 15:8). But there is more to the Rephaim than that. Og, king of Bashan, was a Rephaim giant, and all his portion of the land of Bashan was called “the land of the Rephaim” (Deut. 3:13), an ambiguous wording that could equally be translated as “the ‘hell’ of the Rephaim.”[51] Bashan was a deeply significant spiritual location to the Canaanites and the Hebrews. And as the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible puts it, Biblical geographical tradition agrees with the mythological and cultic data of the Canaanites of Ugarit that “the Bashan region, or a part of it, clearly represented ‘Hell’, the celestial and infernal abode of their deified dead kings,” the Rephaim.[52]
Brian Godawa (Noah Primeval (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 1))
The idea of identifying and valuing two entities as equals is a biblical concept. For two people in covenant, to harm one was to harm the other (1 Samuel 18:1–4). And to disregard a person’s word was to disparage the person himself (Luke 6:46).Therefore, how we value the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ, is a good indicator of how we value the written Word of God, the Bible. What conclusions would someone draw about your love for the Savior after observing your relationship to the Scriptures for a few weeks? Since both the Bible and Jesus Christ are the Word of God, it’s impossible to value one and not the other. A proven way to grow closer to God is to grow closer to God’s Word.
David Jeremiah (Sanctuary: Finding Moments of Refuge in the Presence of God)
At the same time, I recognize that equally godly scholars who are equally committed to the inerrancy of the Bible come to different conclusions because of the complexity of the data.
James R. Beck (Two Views on Women in Ministry (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology Book 12))
The true method of theology is . . . the inductive, which assumes that the Bible contains all the facts or truths which form the contents of theology, just as the facts of nature are the contents of the natural sciences. It is also assumed that the relation of these Biblical facts to each other, the principles involved in them, the laws which determine them, are in the facts themselves, and are to be deduced from them, just as the laws of nature are deduced from the facts of nature. In neither case are the principles derived from the mind and imposed upon the facts, but equally in both departments, the principles or laws are deduced from the facts and recognized by the mind.56
David K. Clark (To Know and Love God: Method for Theology (Foundations of Evangelical Theology))
D’Souza’s claim that the Bible points toward equality is especially nonsensical in light of the fact that slaves remained slaves for eighteen more centuries, and women remained little more than property for nineteen more centuries in Christian countries around the world. Clearly, even if Paul’s message were interpreted to mean that we’re all equal, absolutely no one took it seriously. But what Paul’s passage really meant was that anyone can go to heaven by accepting Jesus as the Christ (as instructed in John 3:16), and that’s the message of universalism—not equal treatment in this world, but in the next world.
Michael Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science Makes Us Better People)
Forty of Paracelsus's theological manuscripts still survive, as well as sixteen Bible commentaries, twenty sermons, twenty works on the Eucharist, and seven on the Virgin Mary. Half of these have never been properly edited, let alone printed in modern form. There is no question that Paracelsus thought long and hard about Christianity, and by styling himself a professor of theology (without, it seems, any official academic sanction) he implies that he regarded this component of his output to be the equal of his medical and chemical theories. That his role in the history of science and medicine has received far more attention than his theological oeuvre is, however, understandable and probably apt, for it cannot be said that he had much influence even on the religious debates of his day. In theology he never aspired to be a Luther, and that would in any case have been a futile aspiration for one so lacking in political acumen or the ability to foster disciples.
Philip Ball (The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science)
Calling God “Mother” is changing God’s own description of himself in the Bible. It is calling God by a name that he has not taken for himself. Therefore it is changing the way the Bible teaches us to think of God. It is thus changing our doctrine of God. Calling God “Mother” is the next step on the path to liberalism, and Christians for Biblical Equality and several evangelical feminist leaders are now promoting that step toward liberalism. Liberal Protestants have traveled this route before, during the 1970s. Mary Kassian, in her book The Feminist Mistake,16 points out how the three stages on the road traveled by secular feminists were (1) renaming themselves, (2) renaming the world, and (3) renaming God. The last stage includes “The Feminization of God,” and that took place in liberal Protestant thinking and writing in the 1970s.17
Wayne Grudem (Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism?)
During that time, “Hurry up or we’ll be late” was commonly heard, either yelled from the kitchen or hissed while we scurried into the back row at church. There was too much to do in too little time. Life was a blur. And I thought everyone lived like this. That was until I read about “hurry sickness” in The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg. My heart was skewered when I read that one of its symptoms is a diminished capacity to love. My children could have told you I had a problem. Only it wasn’t hurry sickness, it was hurry addiction. God dealt with my addiction to overload and hurry by taking it all away in a cross-country move. He made me go cold turkey as I said good-bye to working at my job, directing the children’s ministry, coleading the women’s ministry, being on the praise team, having my small group, leading Vacation Bible Study each summer, and more. God moved us 2,100 miles away—so far that I couldn’t even sneak back to lead a women’s event. I had no job, no church, and no friends, just lots of time. Since two of the boys were in school and the youngest had just started preschool, I had plenty of time to think and pray. And while there were lots of tears, I also experienced God in a new way. Very quickly, God connected me with Proverbs 31 Ministries. I started to learn that God had a better plan for my life than I did, and that I should look to Him for direction on my daily activities. I also learned that my first line of ministry was inside my home. I wasn’t completely cured of my hurry addiction yet, so I decided I would become the Best Homemaker Ever. And then I picked up a book called No Ordinary Home by Carol Brazo. And right in the beginning of the book I read something that brought about the biggest change in my life: If there were one biblical truth I wish I could give my children and lay hold of in my own deepest parts, it would be this one thing. He created me, He loves me, He will always love me. Nothing I do will change who I am. Being versus doing. The error was finally outlined in bold. I was always worried about what I was doing. . . . God’s only concern was and is what I am being—a child of His, forgiven, justified by the work of His Son, His Heir.[2] You know when you feel like an author has peeked into your living room window and knows exactly who you are? That’s what reading this was like for me. God wired me to be highly productive, but I hadn’t undergirded that with an understanding of my true identity. So in order to feel worthwhile and valued and confident, I was driven to take on more. More accomplishments equaled more worth. But it was never enough.
Glynnis Whitwer (Taming the To-Do List)
The Framework of Life Deuteronomy 6:2 “Thus for the sake of Christ and his coming, natural life must be lived within the framework of certain definite rights and certain definite duties.” —ETHICS The Christian’s concern should never only be for the church and for God’s future kingdom, but also for natural life and the world. Our concerns should include good government, equal opportunity, justice, values that ennoble the human person, as well as concerns for our environment and the world’s resources. These concerns are not secular. Rather they are deeply spiritual, for without a sustainable world and cultural values based on freedom and justice, the message of God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ would fall into a vacuum. Thought The God of the Bible is Creator as well as Redeemer. He is concerned about this life as much as He is concerned about eternal life.
Charles R. Ringma (Seize the Day -- with Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A 365 Day Devotional (Designed for Influence))
PHi2.5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  PHi2.6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  PHi2.7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  PHi2.8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. PHi2.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  PHi2.10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  PHi2.11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE with VerseSearch)
6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.* 7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
Anonymous (Holy Bible Text Edition NLT: New Living Translation)
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
Anonymous (The One Year Bible, NLT)
We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the church is subordinate to that of Scripture. We deny that church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
R.C. Sproul (Can I Trust The Bible? (Crucial Questions, #2))
Baptism pictures how we were co-buried together with Christ in his death; then it powerfully illustrates how in God’s mind we were co-raised with Christ into a new lifestyle. (Hos 6:2) 6:5  We were like seeds planted together in the same soil, to be co-quickened to life. If we were included in his death we are equally included in his resurrection.
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
Before bed each night, I reread my notes and studied the Bible, savoring its rich lessons. Right there in bold print, for anyone to read, was the message of love. God treasured all his children equally, regardless of gender. For the first time in my life, I was truly content simply being a person, not a wife, not a mother, not a woman. A person.
The result of our investigations then, is that, for ages before the time of Christ Jesus or Christianity, God was worshiped in the form of a Triad, and that this doctrine was extensively diffused through all nations. That it was established in regions as far distant as China and Mexico, and immemorially acknowledged through the whole extent of Egypt and India. That it flourished with equal vigor among the snowy mountains of Thibet, and the vast deserts of Siberia.
Thomas William Doane (Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations ... Considering also their Origin and Meaning)
Understanding the Relational Purpose of the Bible Jesus explained the true purpose of Scripture when he answered a question posed to him by an expert in religious law: “‘Which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36–39). Jesus first quotes from Deuteronomy 6:5, which was part of the Shema, a liturgical prayer recited by the religious leaders at the beginning and close of every day: “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NASB). Then he combines the commandment to love God found in Deuteronomy 6 with a command from Leviticus 19:18 to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus told this inquiring Pharisee that the greatest, most important commandments are to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He followed up with a most profound statement: “The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40). In other words, all right teaching and all right living hang on the commandments to love God and love one another. Jesus told this religious expert—and all of us—that Scripture was given to lead us into a deeper love relationship with the One who wrote the book, and then also with everyone around us. The Pharisees and other religious leaders seemingly grasped the doctrinal and behavioral purposes of Scripture. What they failed to understand was the connection between right beliefs, right behavior, and right relationships. From what I’ve observed, many people in our day fail to see that connection as well.
Josh McDowell (God-Breathed: The Undeniable Power and Reliability of Scripture)
We view men’s gifts as vital to the church. In contrast, we caution women to exercise their gifts discreetly to avoid causing problems or trespassing some invisible line — which changes location from church to church, sometimes even within the same denomination.
Carolyn Custis James (Lost Women of the Bible: Finding Strength & Significance through Their Stories)
One leitmotif in the biblical law codes is an attempt to restructure society in such a way that the exploitative role of tribute paid to a political elite is eliminated.
Joshua A. Berman (Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought)
You killed a Christian? Fine. But if the victim had been a Muslim. . . The rules for restitution for wrongful death are also illuminating for Infidels. The Koran (2:178) establishes a law of retaliation (qisas) for murder: equal recompense must be given for the life of the victim, which can take the form of blood money (diyah): a payment to compensate for the loss suffered. In Islamic law (Sharia), the amount of compensation varies depending on the identity of the victim. ‘Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), a Sharia manual that Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar University certifies as conforming to the “practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” says that the payment for killing a woman is half that to be paid for killing a man. Likewise, the penalty for killing a Jew or Christian is one-third that paid for killing a male Muslim.1 The Iranian Sufi Sheikh Sultanhussein Tabandeh, one of the architects of the legal codes of the Islamic Republic of Iran, explains that punishments in Iran for other crimes differ as well, depending on whether the perpetrator is a Muslim. If a Muslim “commits adultery,” Tabandeh explains, “his punishment is 100 lashes, the shaving of his head, and one year of banishment.” (He is referring, of course, to a Muslim male; a Muslim female would in all likelihood be sentenced to be stoned to death.) “But if the man is not a Muslim,” Tabandeh continues, “and commits adultery with a Muslim woman his penalty is execution.”   Bible vs. Koran “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” —Koran 48:29 “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” —Matthew 7:12 Furthermore, if a Muslim kills a Muslim, he is to be executed, but if he kills a non-Muslim, he incurs a lesser penalty: “If a Muslim deliberately murders another Muslim he falls under the law of retaliation and must by law be put to death by the next of kin. But if a non-Muslim who dies at the hand of a Muslim has by lifelong habit been a non-Muslim, the penalty of death is not valid. Instead the Muslim murderer must pay a fine and be punished with the lash.
Robert Spencer (The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran (Complete Infidel's Guides))
What we will see time and again is the way preexisting concepts and institutions in ancient Near Eastern culture are reworked according to a new agenda that advocates the attenuation of the socioeconomic hierarchy.
Joshua A. Berman (Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought)
Generally, three approaches to the law codes of the ancient Near East are adduced. Some scholars see them as idyllic collections of judicial problems and solutions. Others see them as thematic guides meant to serve judges, as juridical training texts. Yet others see them as the king’s statements of self-justification to posterity or to the gods concerning the just character of his reign.9 Whether these putative “laws” indeed served a statutory purpose or, as is more commonly accepted, were statements of juridical philosophy, we may legitimately see them as reflections of wider systems of thought and ideology. When we read a particular “law,” it does not stand on its own, available for immediate interpretation, but must be understood as just one element of the culture in which it is embedded.10 Turning
Joshua A. Berman (Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought)
So then, we must not read Lamentations without the rest of the Bible. But equally, we should not read the rest of the Bible without Lamentations (as Christians have habitually tended to do).
Christopher J.H. Wright (The Message of Lamentations (The Bible Speaks Today Series))
Jesus Christ is proof of God’s grace gift; he redeemed the glory of God in human life; mankind condemned is now mankind justified because of the ransom paid by Christ Jesus! (He proved that God did not make a mistake when he made man in his image and likeness! Sadly the evangelical world proclaimed verse 23 completely out of context! There is no good news in verse 23, the gospel is in verse 24! All fell short because of Adam; the same ‘all’ are equally declared innocent because of Christ! The law reveals what happened to man in Adam; grace reveals what happened to the same man in Christ.)   3:25  Jesus exhibits God’s mercy. His blood propitiation persuades humankind that God has dealt with the historic record of their sin. 
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
Here is an example of what I mean. One of my professors was far more enlightened than I in his consistent opposition to racial and gender discrimination, and yet this man was quite prepared to worship a God who, on the basis of little more than divine whim, divides all people into the elect and the non-elect; he was quite prepared, in other words, to worship the worst discriminator of all. His response to the obvious moral objections was simply to dismiss them as instances of fallible human reasoning. Again, this professor’s understanding of revelation was far more flexible and sophisticated than my own; he was quite capable, for example, of either setting aside or reinterpreting Bible texts that seem to place women in a subordinate position to men. But he rejected as unbiblical any suggestion that all men and women are equal objects of God’s redemptive love. At first I found such a combination of views utterly mystifying; but over time, I simply lost interest in them and became bored. If God himself discriminates against specific individuals (the non-elect) in the more important matter of salvation , why get excited about the lesser forms of discrimination, or even the racial bigotry, to which we human beings are prone?
Thomas Talbott (The Inescapable Love of God)
Consider the Lord’s prophetic promise to Abraham and then Isaac was that God Himself would increase them (Genesis 13:16,12 22:17,13 26:414; Exodus 1:715; Deuteronomy 1:1016) — and this came true. God is the one responsible for multiplying Abraham’s descendants, and this exceeding increase came to Israel. The Egyptians recognized this and wanted to do something about this population explosion occurring with the Israelites — hence enslaving them and trying to kill their baby boys in an effort to control them! So this was an exceptional growth rate discussed in the Bible, but this would yield a population (if ~equal male to female) just over 1.2 million people and their children in these ten generations. This almost sets an extreme upper limit, as the Lord was not increasing the people before the Flood, as He did with the Israelites. Thus, we tentatively suggest the pre-Flood population was far less than this at its peak — perhaps just a few hundred thousand. Allow us to elaborate.
Ken Ham (A Flood of Evidence: 40 Reasons Noah and the Ark Still Matter)
The Swiss theologian John Calvin, in his commentaries on the Hebrew prophets, says that God so identifies with the poor that their cries express divine pain. The Bible teaches us that our treatment of them equals our treatment of God.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
This moving story of a small group of people, driven by a passionate belief in the strict purity of their devotion to the word of God and an equally passionate rejection of worldly authority in favour of a divinely sanctioned life, scarcely registered on the consciousness of England.
Adam Nicolson (God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible)
I’d rather not write my own story, for in doing so I have assumed that I possess a writing ability equal to that of God. And that assumption will result in a story that is certain to have a bad ending.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
And Jesus said unto them, The sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Anonymous (The Gospel according to Luke (The Holy Bible #42) NIVUK)
And Jesus said unto them, "The sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Anonymous (The Gospel according to Luke (The Holy Bible #42) NIVUK)
She thought of the story of Ruth in the Bible: “Whither thou goest, I will go.” Their sons would be taught to treat women as equals, and their daughters would grow up independent and strong-willed. Perhaps they would eventually settle in a town house in Berlin, so that their children could go to good German schools. At
Ken Follett (Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy #1))
Anti-slavery activism, of course, preceded the Republican Party, although it finally found its most effective expression in that party. The earliest opponents of slavery in America were Christians, mostly Quakers and evangelical Christians. They took seriously the biblical idea that we are all equal in the eyes of God, and interpreted it to mean that no person has the right to rule another person without his consent. Remarkably, Christians discovered political equality through a theological interpretation of the Bible. For them, human equality is based not on an equality of human characteristics or achievements but on how we are equally loved by God. Moreover, the argument against slavery and the argument for democracy both rested on the same foundation, a foundation based on human equality and individual consent. The American Anti-Slavery Society was founded in 1833. A few years later, the Liberty Party was founded to pursue emancipation. In 1848, the Liberty Party, anti-slavery Whigs, and Democrats who opposed the extension of slavery merged to form the Free Soil Party. Abolitionism, which sought the immediate end of slavery, had been present since the founding but grew in political strength during the middle part of the nineteenth century. With the passage of the Kansas Nebraska Act—repealing the Missouri Compromise which curtailed the spread of slavery beyond the designated 36-30 latitude—Free Soilers, former Whigs, and abolitionists joined together and created the Republican Party.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen...
LEGALISM Legalism is the opposite heresy of antinomianism. Whereas antinomianism denies the significance of law, legalism exalts law above grace. The legalists of Jesus’ day were the Pharisees, and Jesus reserved His strongest criticism for them. The fundamental distortion of legalism is the belief that one can earn one’s way into the kingdom of heaven. The Pharisees believed that due to their status as children of Abraham, and to their scrupulous adherence to the law, they were the children of God. At the core, this was a denial of the gospel. A corollary article of legalism is the adherence to the letter of the law to the exclusion of the spirit of the law. In order for the Pharisees to believe that they could keep the law, they first had to reduce it to its most narrow and wooden interpretation. The story of the rich young ruler illustrates this point. The rich young ruler asked Jesus how he could inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to “keep the commandments.” The young man believed that he had kept them all. But Jesus decisively revealed the one “god” that he served before the true God—riches. “Go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21). The rich young ruler went on his way saddened. The Pharisees were guilty of another form of legalism. They added their own laws to the law of God. Their “traditions” were raised to a status equal to the law of God. They robbed people of their liberty and put chains on them where God had left them free. That kind of legalism did not end with the Pharisees. It has also plagued the church in every generation. Legalism often arises as an overreaction against antinomianism. To make sure we do not allow ourselves or others to slip into the moral laxity of antinomianism, we tend to make rules more strict than God Himself does. When this occurs, legalism introduces a tyranny over the people of God. Likewise, forms of antinomianism often arise as an overreaction to legalism. Its rallying cry is usually one of freedom from all oppression. It is the quest for moral liberty run amok. Christians, in guarding their liberty, must be careful not to confuse liberty with libertinism. Another form of legalism is majoring on the minors. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for omitting the weightier matters of the law while they were scrupulous in obeying minor points (Matthew 23:23-24). This tendency remains a constant threat to the church. We have a tendency to exalt to the supreme level of godliness whatever virtues we possess and downplay our vices as insignificant points. For example, I may view refraining from dancing as a great spiritual strength while considering my covetousness a minor matter. The only antidote to either legalism or antinomianism is a serious study of the Word of God. Only then will we be properly instructed in what is pleasing and displeasing to God.
Anonymous (Reformation Study Bible, ESV)
For the question of abortion, perhaps the most significant passage of all is found in the specific laws God gave Moses for the people of Israel during the time of the Mosaic covenant. One particular law spoke of the penalties to be imposed in case the life or health of a pregnant woman or her preborn child was endangered or harmed: When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exod. 21:22–25).1 This law concerns a situation when men are fighting and one of them accidentally hits a pregnant woman. Neither one of them intended to do this, but as they fought they were not careful enough to avoid hitting her. If that happens, there are two possibilities: 1. If this causes a premature birth but there is no harm to the pregnant woman or her preborn child, there is still a penalty: “The one who hit her shall surely be fined” (v. 22). The penalty was for carelessly endangering the life or health of the pregnant woman and her child. We have similar laws in modern society, such as when a person is fined for drunken driving, even though he has hit no one with his car. He recklessly endangered human life and health, and he deserved a fine or other penalty. 2. But “if there is harm” to either the pregnant woman or her child, then the penalties are quite severe: “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth …” (vv. 23–24). This means that both the mother and the preborn child are given equal legal protection. The penalty for harming the preborn child is just as great as for harming the mother. Both are treated as persons, and both deserve the full protection of the law.2
Wayne Grudem (Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture)
This law is even more significant when we put it in the context of other laws in the Mosaic covenant. In other cases in the Mosaic law where someone accidentally caused the death of another person, there was no requirement to give “life for life,” no capital punishment. Rather, the person who accidentally caused someone else’s death was required to flee to one of the “cities of refuge” until the death of the high priest (see Num. 35:9–15, 22–29). This was a kind of “house arrest,” although the person had to stay within a city rather than within a house for a limited period of time. It was a far lesser punishment than “life for life.” This means that God established for Israel a law code that placed a higher value on protecting the life of a pregnant woman and her preborn child than the life of anyone else in Israelite society. Far from treating the death of a preborn child as less significant than the death of others in society, this law treats the death of a preborn child or its mother as more significant and worthy of more severe punishment. And the law does not place any restriction on the number of months the woman was pregnant. Presumably it would apply from a very early stage in pregnancy, whenever it could be known that a miscarriage had occurred and her child or children had died as a result. Moreover, this law applies to a case of accidental killing of a preborn child. But if accidental killing of a preborn child is so serious in God’s eyes, then surely intentional killing of a preborn child must be an even worse crime. The conclusion from all of these verses is that the Bible teaches that we should think of the preborn child as a person from the moment of conception, and we should give to the preborn child legal protection at least equal to that of others in the society. Additional note: It is likely that many people reading this evidence from the Bible, perhaps for the first time, will already have had an abortion. Others reading this will have encouraged someone else to have an abortion. I cannot minimize or deny the moral wrong involved in this action, but I can point to the repeated offer of the Bible that God will give forgiveness of sins to those who repent of their sin and trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Although such sin, like all other sin, deserves God’s wrath, Jesus Christ took that wrath on himself as a substitute for all who would believe in him: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). b. Scientific
Wayne Grudem (Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture)
Augustine altered this in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. In reaction against a popular view that lives are determined by either a good god or an evil god who are equal or nearly equal in power (Manichaeism), Augustine insisted that things occur in accordance with the will of one God alone: the Creator God of the Bible. Augustine’s views have been extremely influential throughout church history. Some theologians pushed his view of providence so far that they denied that humans are free (e.g., Gottshalk in the ninth century), but most continued to affirm human freedom while also insisting that God controls all things. This position is called compatibilism, for it insists that belief in human freedom is compatible with the belief that God controls everything. The
Gregory A. Boyd (Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology)
On the other hand, it is possible for a Christian to so major on the minor theme, emphasizing the lostness of man and the abnormality of the universe, that he is equally unbiblical.
Francis A. Schaeffer (Art and the Bible)
No one can rationally believe doing God’s will guarantees one will, for example, never develop cancer or die in an earthquake. If that were the case, we would have to draw the irrational and cruel conclusion that anyone who dies prematurely was being punished by God—or the equally irrational conclusion that all those who live long and healthy lives have lived God-centered lives.
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Exodus)
Before, there had been competing philosophical schools, all equally valid, all equally arguable. Now, for the first time, there was right—and there was wrong. Now, there was what the Bible said—and there was everything else. And from now on any belief that was “wrong” could, in the right circumstances, put you in grave danger.
Catherine Nixey (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World)
Obedience ALWAYS equals Blessing
Marta E. Greenman
In the American Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson translated this idea into the famous words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” What is interesting about this sentence is that “these truths” are anything but self-evident. They would have been regarded as subversive by Plato, who held that humanity is divided into people of gold, silver and bronze and that hierarchy is written into the structure of society.[7] They would have been incomprehensible to Aristotle who believed that some were born to rule and others to be ruled.[8] They are “self-evident” only to one steeped in the Bible.
Jonathan Sacks (Exodus: The Book of Redemption (Covenant & Conversation 2))
the yetzer hatov also must be reined in. Much of the evil of the twentieth century was caused by ideologies that appealed to the yetzer hatov. Communism—in its insistence on “equality” and that the state should own all the means of production and use that ownership to eliminate poverty—is the best example. It resulted in about 100 million dead innocents (non-combatants) and more than a billion people deprived of elementary human rights. (The other great twentieth-century evil, Nazism, was rooted in racism, and therefore primarily appealed to the yetzer harah.)
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Genesis)
What is “HOLINESS”? 1 Peter 1: 15 -16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Holiness is an experience that we go through after salvation. I also like to think of holiness as a person, the trinity all three equally working together for are best interest. Yes, holiness is a doctrine that is well documented in the Holy Bible both in the New and Old Testament. Holiness is reserved for the saints who are growing daily to please God. A separated or peculiar people. Holiness is a closer accountable interaction with Jesus through and through. To those who are sanctified another word meaning holiness. Early Methodist named it dying out, the death route, both are great words to describe that holiness is, a departure from the old man or women we used to be. A sacrificial time as we aspire to set aside those things that hinder our spiritual progress. For when we move higher in our daily walk with God we draw closer to our final departure to heaven a permanent holy place. Bought for us at the hand of Jesus Christ our mighty Lord. The architect of all that is HOLY! This is a quote that is going to be in the upcoming devotional. (Reflecting Jesus Devotional), on Amazon in a couple months.
Bryan Guras