Tolerating Jezebel

The congregation at Thyatira in Revelation 2:19 seems to be doing everything right according to Jesus.

“I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.” (Revelation 2:19, ESV)

There was apparently nothing to fault in their faith and service. However, the one glaring problem was that they tolerated a woman called Jezebel.

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.(Revelation 2:20, ESV)

There might’ve been an actual woman whose actual name was Jezebel. More probably, it was a woman like Jezebel. Jesus was most likely calling her out by her actions, which were in keeping with the original Jezebel. Queen Jezebel was the wife of Ahab king of Israel, daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians. The Sidonians were one of the nations left by God to test Israel (Judges 3), but Israel failed time and again by marrying the daughters of these nations, following after their gods instead of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jezebel’s claim to fame was in using the usual tools of her Canaanite people to recruit followers for Baal notably sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage as God designed it, divorce, homosexuality, sex with animals, sex with close relatives, prostitution, and so on). Elijah had a famous battle with her priests and prophets (1 Kings 18) and wiped them out.

This woman in Thyatira was using similar methods to move people away from the worship of God alone. An interesting part of the charges by Jesus against Thyatira was that Jezebel allowed or encouraged “eating food offered to idols.” How could this be a bad thing when all the “ceremonial” laws were eliminated (according to the modern church)? The answer is obviously that all of the Laws were in fact still in effect.

So Thyatira was doing everything right, except they tolerated Jezebel’s teaching that sexual immorality was okay. Anybody see where we are doing the same thing today? The church wants to be “tolerant” of sexual immorality by “loving” homosexuals and transgenders and God knows what else. Love has been redefined to allow sexual immorality. The church is teaching that we should tolerate it. They allow unrepentant sexually immoral persons into their congregations. The more things change the more they remain the same.

The congregation at Thyatira is no longer with us. The followers of Jezebel were given time to repent, but apparently did not. Jezebel was thrown onto a sickbed, and those who committed adultery with her were thrown into great tribulation and were killed. It seems obvious to me that Jesus was not really talking to just that particular congregation at that particular time. He was talking to all of those who claim His name (“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the congregations” Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22). If we have ears, and hear, we will repent of the same things that others were told to abandon. We shouldn’t be embracing these unrepentant sexually immoral people. We shouldn’t be tolerating the woman Jezebel in our midst. Cast her out, disavow her teachings, cast her children out of our congregations and hold fast what we have until He comes. Otherwise we will suffer the fate Jesus warned would come upon all those who tolerate those same teachings. Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus.


Gay Marriage Debate Reframed

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the gay marriage thing. Well, I can’t hardly NOT think about it since it’s being shoved in my face every day in a variety of ways.

My basic attitude is one of “live your life like you want, just keep it to yourself.” I know that sounds a little different than the standard Christian approach of beating people over the head with the Bible (or more usually selected texts of the Bible). I’ll tell you what is right, and what the Bible says. But I really don’t care if you want to be homosexual or whatever. I don’t care either that you want to live with someone of the same gender and call it marriage. What I object to is being forced to recognize anything you are doing as good or acceptable. I object to using government to force recognition of your perversion. Go ahead and pervert all you want, but keep me and society at large out of it.

To reframe the debate over gay marriage I propose defining marriage properly. Definitions like a “commitment to one another” or a civil union or even “one man and one woman” miss the boat as far as I’m concerned. Marriage should be defined according to its nature, that is, monogamy. Marriage is actually a sexual commitment. One sex partner, indefinitely. Adultery then is still defined as straying outside of that commitment, and worthy of divorce. This not only hits at the heart of the subject, it also hits at the nature of homosexuality without really trying.

Why? The entire homosexual lifestyle promotes serial adultery. Monogamy is anathema to them. Homosexual authors, writing about homosexual marriage, stress that a homosexual marriage is only healthy if there is no “sexual ownership of each other.” Each partner must be free to engage in sex with as many partners as they wish. And they do. The average homosexual has anywhere from a little over one hundred partners to as many as 1,000 in a lifetime. The average is estimated at about three or four hundred.

So if we properly define marriage as sexual fidelity that would probably make most homosexuals shut up about marriage. If they want marriage, let ’em have it. They just have to stay dedicated to one sex partner indefinitely. Equally, like everyone else.


Opposite Day

I was thinking about what to call today. For pagans, it’s Easter Sunday. I know that’ll get me in trouble. I know I’m not supposed to actually connect people’s behavior directly with something that is not biblical. I usually don’t; I try to teach the truth and let people make up their own minds. But it’s tough in some cases to be neutral. Some people just make themselves an easy target.

So I was thinking we could call today “Ham Sunday.” But then we’d have to call Christmas, Ham (whatever day it falls on), but this might cause some confusion. Then I was thinking we could call it pagan Day but there isn’t enough discrimination there between days. All the other so-called Christian holidays are also pagan. We generally say “Merry Pagan Holiday” which is pretty good, but lacks a little oomph. Naw, I needed something more fitting. Something more descriptive. Something more flexible. Because after all that is the name of the Christian game they are playing. After considering several other names, I settled on Opposite Day.

Opposite Day is where we do whatever is opposite of what God wants. Does He want us to stay away from unclean meat? Well, let’s make it part of our tradition. Does He want us not to have images that might lead people to worship gods other than Him? No problem. We just use our freedom in Christ as well as the cosmic eraser of Christ to sanctify unholy things.

I know that the name Opposite Day is not particularly discriminating. All the standard Christian holidays, heck, every day, is Opposite Day when you have freedom in Christ to rub God’s face in our disobedience. But I capitalize the term so that we know that today is a SPECIAL opposite day where we deliberately pick opposites of God’s desires. Then we coat them in sentiment and tradition which we call “love” but are the opposite of God’s love, and comfort ourselves that our “intentions” are good though opposite of God’s. As long as we “think” it’s okay and as long as we don’t “intend” to do opposite, we can coat our perversions with the opposite of God’s intent and still call it good.

We do it all the time anyway. Immorality takes many different forms, but we can use the techniques we learn in Opposite Day to cover all the other opposites we do too. Sexual immorality becomes an alternate lifestyle. Marriage vows become marriage promises. Sentiment is substituted for love. We’ll just wash some feet to make up for all the theft, adultery, and other opposites we’ve accepted and confirmed.

Happy Opposite Day.


Book Review: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands

I usually don’t go for books like this. But I was given a set of CD’s and decided to take a stab at listening while I was working in my shop a while ago. It first came out in 2006 and I think I listened to her read it and explain it in about 2008, but it is on the money even now. While listening I was blown away by how exactly Dr. Laura Schlessinger put her finger on the problem with a lot of marriages. Even if you don’t think there is anything wrong with your marriage you will want to read the book or get a set of CD’s and listen. It will really help any way you look at it.

The basic idea in the author’s mind is that men treat their wives like queens, but women do not treat their husbands like kings. Men are naturally geared toward caring and providing for, and protecting our wives. Women have, to some extent, accepted at least some of the modern feminist thinking about men and marriages. This includes ideas such as “men and women can do the same things,” (different than equality) “women can have it all” (career, home, husband, kids) and “you don’t need a man to complete you.” Men put their wives up on a pedestal, and all too often women use the position to lord it over the husband. (I was actually thinking of a different picture involving bathroom humor, but this will suffice.) In accepting the modern thinking women are by and large contributing a great deal to divorce or a marriage that isn’t very happy.

I was stunned as I was listening, because I have become so used to women who write books about marriage and blame men. We do our share of wrong, on the whole, but I get so tired of hearing how men should be more sensitive, get in touch with their “feminine sides,” and help with the housework. And before you get on my case I helped a lot with housework. Women want control over their own lives, and they want control over the men’s. Frequently, they want this control without responsibility. Husbands don’t get the credit for what we do, yet in order for women to do what they want men have to provide the environment for it. What I mean is, women have gotten a lot more independent now that men have tamed the wilderness and built cities and houses. It’s a little harder to be “self-realized” when you’re running from the local carnivores or defending yourself from outlaws.

A lot of times men just go along with the poor treatment. Right up until they get a different sort of attention from another female. Then, kaboom goes the marriage. Dr. Laura is not saying that husbands are without faults. Lots of men do lots of wrong things. Lots of women are doing lots of right and good things too. But she is saying that if a husband is treated like a king by his wife, she will generally find that her man responds and does what is natural for him. The message from the world is beating us men down on a daily basis. The message from our wives should be an “adorning (of) the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). It is precious in our sight too.

Sarah called her husband “lord” (Genesis 18:12), submitted to him and obeyed him. I know that message just goes all over the modern woman, which explains the high rate of divorce. Men also have a big responsibility to “live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel” as Peter says (1 Peter 3:5). Dr. Laura’s point is that if a women takes care of her end, it is very likely that the husband will respond as she wants. The wife is torpedoing the result she wants by getting wrapped up in her “self realization.” Try the book, and you’ll find that most of what she says is in The Book.


Daughter’s Wedding

Watching a little bit of my daughter’s wedding video as I transfer it from tape to a computer file. It was a happy occasion, but I was a little sad in the watching. We couldn’t afford a huge wedding ceremony or reception, so it was pretty simple. Just a quick exchange of vows in the base chapel (he was a Marine at the time) and a “reception” at the local buffet. One set of their friends, and my wife’s side of the family were all that could make it. My brother-in-law (Dan) earned a great deal of my respect then because he made sure that his family was there, and the others followed.


But the sadness is only a tiny bit. I take solace in the fact that while the wedding was simple a lot of times those are more lasting than the multi-thousand dollar ones. My own wedding was not much fancier, but we’ve been married over 30 years. I’m very happy my daughter and son-in-law are going on 12 years with four beautiful children. The start might’ve been no-frills, plain, and lacking in an ostentatious display of wealth (like mine), but the marriage has been strong and will get stronger. I remember I told them at the beginning, “It’s not the wedding that counts. You will forget a bunch of that over time. It’s the marriage that counts. Commit to God and each other, and all the rest will work itself out.” If I had to depart this physical plane this would contribute to my peace, knowing they are established on a good foundation. Even if it is a simple one.

Judging with Righteous Judgment Pt. 2 – Canaanite Marriage

Judging with righteous judgment in the area of marriage can be tough. Especially in modern times when the only requirement is that you “love” the other person. Modern love however is lacking in righteous judgment almost completely. The main consideration is strong sentiment or romance only, which we get from the Greeks. Some are even so stupid as to think they should be “sexually compatible” so they jump in the sack before marriage. I don’t think you can get much dumber than that, because of course we are all “sexually compatible.” God made it that way.


But what God wants is almost never a consideration. Then later people want you to “pray” for their marriage. Really? Ignore God and do what you want, then pray for God to get your ass out of a sling of your own making? Sorry, baby. You poured the wine, you drink the cup.


In several places in the Law believers are instructed to avoid marriage with Canaanites. This law seems to have been in place long before Sinai. Isaac was directed not to marry a Canaanite (Genesis 24:3), and Isaac in turn charged Jacob with the same prohibition (Genesis 28:1). Some of Jacob’s sons didn’t pay attention, so Judah had trouble with sons from a Canaanite woman (Genesis 38).


God formally charged His people not to intermarry with Canaanites (Deuteronomy 7 for instance) because they would turn the hearts of Israel away from God. Solomon proved this (and many others did too) with his 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11).


Okay, so what’s a Canaanite? We don’t know for sure today who is and isn’t one, because there is no country or tribe called Canaan anymore. Some think that a Canaanite has dark skin. This is wrong, because the Bible doesn’t mention skin color in connection with it. Besides, the Canaanites had the same father as everyone else – Noah. Skin color was never an issue. According to creation ministries such as Answers in Genesis and Creation Today Adam and Eve very likely were dark brown, and not just from running around naked in the Garden either. Jesus was probably dark brown. Recently there was a story in the news about a black couple in England who had a white baby (and it has happened before too) and there are white couples who had black babies from what I understand. There is only one race – human. Skin color is a consideration, not because it is wrong but because the prejudice of other people will make things more difficult. But God never said not to intermarry with people of different skin colors.


God’s concern was intermarriage with people who followed their own hearts. Pagans. Idolaters. Unclean. One of the hallmarks of Canaanites, besides idolatry, was sexual immorality. The father of Canaan was Ham son of Noah, who was the one that “saw the nakedness of his father” while he was drunk (Genesis 9). This gives us a clearer picture of the identity of modern Canaanites, even if there is no tribal or geographic area attached to them. They are the ones who don’t follow God. They have no heart for Him at all. They’re everywhere. They might even be in the church. Ezra says they are impure with their practice of abominations that have filled the land end to end with uncleanness (Ezra 9). Paul tells us not to be “unequally yoked” in a partnership between righteousness and lawlessness (2 Corinthians 6:14). He doesn’t mention skin color, though some want to twist the meaning of light and darkness into merely skin color. He references the temple of God and idols instead.


So the application of the Law about intermarriage is to make sure the possible partner has a heart after God’s. This is a much greater consideration than idiotic romantic love. I’ve always told my kids that almost any two people can make a good marriage if they are committed to God and to each other. There are other considerations too, but this is the most important. If your prospective mate does not have the same faith as the one approved by God, it is more likely they will pull your heart down to the pit rather than helping lift you up to heaven. And no amount of prayer will change that.