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Pandora's box

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Loyal
I don't know how many people know the story of Pandora's box. It isn't in the Bible, it's from
classical mythology. But the story says that Pandora (the first woman of earth) had a box that
had all of the evils of the world in it. She opened it and let all of the evil out, the only thing left
in the box when she shut it.. was hope.

Some versions of this story continue on to tell how how the evil was put back into the box.

This story has been compared to Adam and Eve and other stories in the Bible, but that really isn't
my purpose here. (Nothing can replace the Bible)

What I have been thinking about is how the government of this world seems to have opened Pandora's
box. Evil has been here for a long time, but it seems some of it was somewhat controlled up to a point.
At least for a while. maybe this was just God holding it back.

In yesterdays's news we have we have a transgender (boy) winning a girls state wrestling match in
Texas. We used to call males beating up females domestic violence, or bullying. But I guess it's
OK now as long as you think you are a girl.

It turns out one of the leading Democratic party leaders claimed she was native American in order to receive some benefits. But it turns out she is not native American at all.

Then we have a lady who was born as a Caucasian/white/European descent who "relates" as being a
black African American. In fact she was able to fool many of them into thinking she was black and
was the leading official of the NAACP.

Of course these people believe you can become a different sex or different race simply by believing it.
Some even believe it is "a fluid thing". I can be a white male today, but I can be a black female tomorrow
depending on how I feel. -- hypothetically I could beat my wife as a man today, then become a woman
tomorrow before I have to face the police and the judge, then they can't prosecute me as a man, because I'm relating myself as a woman. I'm not exactly sure how this empowers anyone, or even how this is
progress,

How far do we take this fantasy belief? I'm 7 feet tall because I believe it? I'm a millionaire because I believe it? I'm an adult or a child because I believe it?

It seems that many people who were originally OK with this "fluid" race and gender thing are becoming less and less OK with it. It seems the current government in the US is trying to put "some" of the evil back in Pandora's box. For example, transgender bathrooms are no longer a federal mandate.
Yes, they could do a lot more, but sometimes the evil that we let out of the box is hard to catch.
It seems the many people who were born as Black Americans, resent that a white person would call themselves "black". It also seems that many males resent a female who calls herself a male.
I can't speak as a female, but I suspect many of the girls in the wrestling competition in Texas resent
the fact that a boy won the competition.

I typically put many scriptures in my threads, but none really come to mind right now. Yes God is still in control, no doubts about that. But I wonder if He is letting us see the consequences of our choices?
 
Loyal
I have mixed feeling about allowing refuges into this country (United States). This has become a sore subject for many.
It has even divided some churches. The subject of walls has become very divisive.

On one hand, this country is made up of refugees from other countries. It is true that immigrants made America great.
But the immigrants of those generations came here to become Americans. They wanted to learn the language, learn the culture, get jobs, and contribute to the community. Many of us are English, but some are French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Irish, Jewish, Polish, etc...
They learned English, they got jobs, they taught their children American culture, American beliefs (often Christian) and when the time came to
fight, they fought for America. Even against England (in the case of the Revolutionary war) or against Germany and Italy (in the case of the
World wars). They were willing to fight for this country and stand up for this country, and even die for this country. many thousands did.
Many of these were immigrants from England, Italy and Germany (and many other countries).

Many immigrants of today do not really want to learn English, they don't really want to learn our culture. This isn't all of them to be sure.
But there is a certain segment of immigrants that make it clear, they are not here to become Americans. They burn our flags,
break our laws, disrespect our leaders, government and police and start riots. Some even wave the flags of their countries as they are
doing this. Most of them has said they will never fight for this country. In fact if a Muslim country ever attacks America, they will fight
for them.

This isn't just in America, I understand Paris, Switzerland and other countries are having the same issues.
On one hand we should accept the oppressed, the hungry, and those looking for help. But on the other hand, we are obligated to
protect our families, our beliefs, our values, and yes... even our country.

It is hard raising children in America today. So many influences from so many directions. Hardly any of these influences are good.
Parents are working, and churches are overwhelmed. (Many of these churches are bad influences themselves).
Society and educational institutions are pushing gender "fluidity" and diversity, and truth based on "how I feel today".
and now we as a nation have become more and more accepting of other religions. (Islam and others). Sometimes there gets to
be a point where we have to say "stop" for a while. Enough is enough. Let us get our feet back on the ground before we starting
fighting another battle.

Yes God will fight for us. Yes the victory is in Jesus. But at some point, we need to quit giving what we have been fighting for away.
 
Active
HI @BAC

I can't comment specifically on the situation in the US as I am writing from the UK. But we are having the same kinds of debates about immigration and sexuality. We also have an increasingly polarised media, and it's hard not to be drawn into hearing voices from one political standpoint only - a media echo chamber where we are exposed only to opinions we already agree with.

It is more important than ever to be secure in what we mean when we say 'Christian values'. What does God say so us through the Bible and through the life of Jesus about such issues as refugees, immigration, race and gender?

And once we have a grasp of the Bible's teaching we can judge the messages of the media by it. How do they match up to true Christian values?

I say this because it seems that we are at a dangerous point: the cacophany of voices telling us what to think is growing ever more shrill and divisive. We need to secure ourselves in the word of God and thoughtfully, prayerfully engage with the influence of the world from there.
 
Loyal
@Herkuran,
I can see your heart in that reply and that's always a good start :smile:

As far as sexuality, I think the Bible covers it pretty plainly. Especially homosexuality and transgender.
I don't see how anyone who confesses to be a Christian can go along with with any of that. There are
many verses and passages where God makes it clear how He feels about this.

Immigration is more difficult, at least for me. How can we witness to these people if we don't let them in?
How can we feed, clothe and shelter the needy if we don't let them in?

All through the old testament the Israelites were told not to inter-marry with people of other religions
(over 30 verses about this). Some did this anyway and lost their relationship with God. Solomon comes to mind here,
but there were a few others. We are supposed to be the salt and light, but I wonder if many haven't "lost their saltiness" ( Matt 5:13; )
Some take the verses about inter-marriage as racist, but I don't think so. This isn't about race, it's about faith and religious beliefs.
I don't think it's interracial marriage God is against, I think it's interFAITH marriages God is against (I know there is an organization
called "Interfaith" that is specifically promoting this). ( 2 Cor 6:15; )

I saw a video on facebook yesterday (Anything on facebook is taken with a grain of salt) it showed a Methodist church allowing
Muslims in to worship with them. They were all saying they worship the same God. Some (of the "Christians") were even bowing
towards Mecca. It seems the Muslims had the stronger "light" and "salt" in this case.

In the time of Jesus very little of the world was "saved". Virtually none of the world had heard about Jesus.
In less than 100 years there were thousands of Christian churches all over modern day Greece and Turkey. Even many
churches in Africa, and apparently even some in Rome. (as Paul writes to the church in Rome).

once we have a grasp of the Bible's teaching we can judge the messages of the media by it. How do they match up to true Christian values?
Here in the US we had the Academy awards this week, Hollywood's pick for the best movie of the year was about a gay black teenager.
It didn't make the most money (it didn't even come close) but it made the biggest statement about what they believe.

Most movies here in the US for quite some time are about fornication, adultery, drugs, alcohol, being rebellious towards the law,
being rebellious towards teachers and parents, ( a recent move called "Fist Fight" make teachers look pathetic ), shooting and killing
just for the sake of 'gore', zombies, gangsters, and people in general.

Hollywood's whole economy is built on movies that make sin look good. Many stars and celebrities are caught up in these things,
how many have had affairs in real life? How many are divorced? How many have died from drugs and alcohol? Virtually none
of them have political experience, or political science degrees, yet for some reason many people are fascinated by their opinions
and political views. We even have some celebrities running for political office, and people vote for them simply because they are
celebrities.

As I said God is in control, but not the way many people think. He lets us make our own choices, in the case of the people of
Israel, they made the wrong choices and followed the wrong people all too often. God was always faithful to Israel, but he
let each generation suffer the consequences of their choices. Many were killed by God, some by His angels, He let other nations
conquer them and even put them in bondage and slavery in some cases. Just because God is in control doesn't mean He
lets us choose whatever we want with no consequences.
 
Active
I agree with a lot of what you say here - though I sense that if we pushed we'd soon find plenty of things to disagree about.

One way forward might be to focus on what we can celebrate in modern culture. Rather than spending our energy on fighting the things we are against, we could divert our attention to that is good and to find ways to support and strengthen it. (whatever is good, whatever is noble, whatever is pure...). It may mean that as God's people we are both far less fretful and anxious, and more effective in mission.

Another thought is about the wisdom of which fights to pick. For me, I would choose to make an issue such as separate bathrooms for transgender people a line in the sand. If installing extra facilities means that transgender people will feel able to attend church, let's build them.

On the other hand racism and nationalism have at their heart the belief that one group of people is superior to others - denying that all of us are created in the image of God. This goes to the heart of who we are, and to the heart of God's creative work, so an issue where Christians ought to resist compromise.
 
Loyal
though I sense that if we pushed we'd soon find plenty of things to disagree about.
It's always something :smile:

Putting in more bathrooms doesn't really fix the issue, for one thing opposing sexes could still be in that bathroom at the same time.
But the bigger issue is the hypocrisy of the church. We preach against transgender and homosexuality, but then we legitimize it but
having a bathroom that supports it. What is the message sent to the people? Well they say they're against it, but in reality they
support it. When what you say, and what you do, don't line up. What you do says more.

racism and nationalism have at their heart the belief that one group of people is superior to others - denying that all of us are created in the image of God.
All of us are created in His image, but not all of us are conformed to His image. There is a difference. I'm not sure "superior" is the correct word,
but obedient to the truth can make us "better" in a sense.
 
Active
Surely its a wider and deeper hypocrisy for churches to claim that they embody and point to the good news of the kingdom of God for the whole world, and then stand on their principles to exclude sections of society by refusing to adjust their plumbing arrangements. With people Jesus always led with grace and followed with teaching about behaviour. (Zaccheus, the Samaritan at the well or the woman caught in adultery)

The church I belong to has had to face up to the issue of 'do we offer blessings or infant baptism to the children of same-sex couples?' And the answer is: yes. First, we want to offer a welcome to everybody regardless of their familiy arrangements, and second, we dare not turn back anyone that takes a step toward Jesus.
 
Loyal
This situation would never happen in my church.

My church does not believe in infant baptism. They believe salvation is an individual choice, not a choice your parents
make for you before you are old enough to decide for yourself.

We do believe in infant dedication, this is more for the parents than the child. It is a promise by the parents to bring
up the child in the teachings of the Bible/God/Jesus Christ. However you have to be saved in order to do that.
If you are choosing to live in a homosexual relationship, you are not saved. So would not have a dedication service
for these people.
 
Active
And that illustrates the difference between our choice of priorities very clearly.
 
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