“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – NO. 21&22 – LEADING OR NOT?
A sad commentary on Christianity is the fact that it has too often come in near the bottom on issues of human rights. Especially when it uses the Bible in a literal way and allows the cultural understanding of the time of the writing to interpret the scripture for today.
I thought about this as I watched the unfolding story of Elliot Rodgers, the well-healed, mentally disturbed young man in California, who wanted to kill as many women as possible because, in his mind, they had refused to be sexually what he wanted.
It doesn’t take an expert to see something terribly wrong with men seeing women as inferior beings, worthless except to be used as sexual objects for their twisted pleasure; and then be blamed when they are so treated.
In a related story, Rodgers was a frequent contributor to web sites which degraded women to the lowest level of humanity. The little the story revealed from such sites was sickening.
Rodgers was mentally ill. But what about those men who are not mentally ill? Or should we say all men, all people, who reduce another human being to an object of abuse and scorn are mentally ill? Of course that begs the question of what mental illness is and is not. Is the line crossed when the person’s twisted thoughts become public and there is the threat of action? That seems to be the case. How well it works is debatable.
As I heard the statistics of rape and other forms of sexual abuse of women on college campus’s I couldn’t help but wonder how it got so bad. Neither am I so naive as to believe there has not always been sex on campus, even Christian college campuses. But this is about abuse, degradation, rape.
If I were an anthropologist I might take a stab at explaining why, throughout history as we know it, women have been generally seen as inferior. With some rare exceptions, all societies during the time of the Old Testament, viewed women about the same as did the Old Testament writers. Women were inferior to men.
It is sad, but true, that among all the advances made in science, human science has been the slowest. The fact that education for girls and young women is seen as a threat by certain men in today’s world is more than unconscionable. Recently a man said he was not going to educate his daughter. He wanted her to become a wife and mother. As if you can’t do both. Oh, I forget, not too many years ago in the 50s and 60s, that was what was being preached in our pulpits
The problem with demeaning women is certainly deeper than religion. It exists in all ideologies. It is now seen in almost epidemic forms around the world.
The Church has too often said most of the fault in rape is the woman’s. While there are situations which are more conducive to the danger of being raped, rape is always an act of violence against the victim. It is the same if it were an eighty year old woman, beaten and raped in her home, or a girl or woman raped anywhere. Anyone, Christian or otherwise, who blames the unwilling victim contributes to the problem.
Dare I say that what children see at home they will take into the world, both the good and the bad? Is there a psychology to the possible actions of a boy who grows up with an abusive and could care less mother? Would the same also be true for the girl and her father? Studies would say so. Of course, there is the problem of mental illness. But as Christians we should not only be showing gender equality in the home and in the church, but also the cause for equality among all persons. The record for much of Christianity, whether it be slavery, women’s rights, integration, or other forms of human indignity and inequality, has identified us too much as those who arrive after the fact and not as leaders bringing needed change.
CONCERNS: Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, also Martha Foy asks that we remember Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick; had knee replacement surgery on Tuesday. Susan and Wayne Phlegar; Hannah, Garrett Lee’s friend is doing much better after treatment for leukemia. Kim Hall’s friend, Mary; Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, the Overstreet’s, Walker Slusher, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, and Del’s friend, Sharon. Also Helen Nicklas, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder and Mary Smith. Marie Barnett’s mother, Mildred Horne, and for Marie and her family as they deal with their mother’s declining health. Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner (on dialysis) Mrs. Matara and Brenda, a friend of Melisha Scruggs..
OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 2-7
Monday: I Peter 1:1-11
Tuesday: Luke 2:1-10
Wednesday: Proverbs 2:1-15
Thursday: Romans 15:1-11
Friday: I Thessalonians 5:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 115:1-18
OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 9-14
Monday: John 15:12-27
Tuesday: I Corinthians 13:1-13
Wednesday: John 6:35-51
Thursday: Matthew 17:14-23
Friday: I Peter 5:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 125:1-5
The remolded, handicapped accessible upstairs rest room is about half done. Take a peek and see how its going to look
You may also notice some changes in the last few pews on the handicapped entrance side of the auditorium. This change is necessary due to the requirements for wheelchair accessibility. The missing pew, as well as one moved out of line, will be shortened and placed back where they were.
The project should be done by next Sunday.
STARTING JULY FIRST
Beginning on the first Sunday in July the communion service will be before the sermon. There are good reasons for both ways, and the change by the steering committee was done, among other discussed things, to enable those who may have to leave before the service is over, and therefore missing communion.
PANERA BREAD PICKUP
More folks are needed to pick up the bread Panera Bread at Tanglewood on Tuesday evenings. From there it is taken to the Rescue Mission on Friday or Saturday. See Erma Williams or Susan Jordan if you would be willing to help.
Last Tuesday, lightening struck Kirsten and Philip Pierce’s house. No one was home at the time but the quick response by the fire department the structure was not damaged. However, there was damage where it was struck and the line the lightening followed on the house. They will be staying with Rich and Connie for awhile until the damage from the strike, as well as water damage, etc. can be repaired. Keep them in your prayers, especially the boys, as they get things back together.
If you look around the outside of the building you will notice the work folks did at last Saturday’s workday. Thanks to them for coming out. Also, thanks to those in the congregation who were able to contribute to the discussion about the DVD showing concerning end of life decisions. All of them were quite impressive. And finally, thanks to those who went to the Ronald McDonald House last Sunday evening to prepare the meal for those families who stay there.