Sunday, October 16, 2016

October 17, 2016

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

An extremely important issue to be considered as you choose candidates to support is their position on marriage. Any clear thinking adult knows that marriage is the most basic foundation upon which a culture is built. In Chapter Eight of "Well Versed" Dr. Jim Garlow offers the following Biblical insights into the sanctity of marriage.

This chapter alone is worth the price of the book. It is available on Amazon and I strongly recommend you order it. 

Pastor Garlow is both a Hebrew and Greek scholar. Here are his insights on the origins of man, woman and marriage!

"God is neither male or female. The Old Testament writers use gender specific metaphors to describe the indescribable.

Sometimes, the words used to describe God are distinctly masculine, most obviously the usage of "Father" or "He." At other times the phrases used to depict God are feminine - terms like birth (Deut. 32:18), in labor (Isaiah 42:14), breast-feeding, nursing mother (Psalms 131:2; Isaiah 49:15), or a mother hen (Matthew 23:37).

It is clear God is neither a he nor a she. Nor, is God some androgynous middle ground. In Genesis 17:1 God's name is the Hebrew phrase "El Shaddai." It is believed "el" means mighty like a mountain, thus the strength of masculinity. "Shaddai" likely comes from the nurturing feminine characteristics of God. That single name for God includes the full spectrum of masculinity and femininity.

You and I are made in His image. However, male alone cannot fully represent all of the descriptors of the image of God. For example, a male, by himself, cannot manifest the full spectrum of God's features historically associated with femininity (tenderness). Thus, no husband can represent the full image of God. At the same time, a female, alone, cannot do justice to His image either, due to a lack of classic masculine strength.

In spite of the fact that we are created by God individually, we express the fullest image of God only when the two halves of humanity complement each other and become one!

Let's go deeper in the Hebrew language of Genesis. The traditional view of human creation is that God created Adam, put him to sleep, took a rib, and created Eve. But the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, not English. Is the Hebrew text saying that God created Adam a male, and then created Eve, a female, from Adam's rib? I think there is something much more profound expressed in the Hebrew Old Testament that reveals a deeper understanding of the Genesis account.

In the beginning, God created not Adam the male, but "adam", that is mankind. Don't picture Adam the male. The word "adam", pronounced "awh-DBAHM," means mankind or personhood. It is later that Adam is the name of a male. But initially God created "adam" - small a - that is, humankind.

After creating humankind, God said, "It is not good that "adam" - humankind - is alone." This was not a case of God creating a male and then saying, "It is not good that a male is alone, so I will make a female." That is not what happened.

I suggest a more correct reading of the Hebrew would be "It is not good for humankind to be at one." Let's not miss the point. God made humankind. He then said, "It is not good for humankind to be at one or one - or to live in solitude."

Here we have the "splitting of the 'adam', so to speak, as "adam" or humankind, gets split apart. We end up with male and female.

But what about the proverbial rib? The word "rib" does not appear in the ancient Hebrew text. The word here is "tsela". What is that the significance of that word? It can be translated as "half" or "side". Don't miss the significance of the next sentence. Instead of God creating Adam and taking his rib to create Eve, the text says that God created humankind, observed it was not good for humankind to be one , or alone, and then took a side or a half of humankind and created a female (Eve). What remained was male (Adam). In other words, the whole (humanity) that was created in the full image of God (with both the strength of masculinity and the tenderness of femininity: male and female.

When the two complimentary halves of humanity unite - physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and psychologically - the image of God, containing both tenderness and strength, is manifested. Male and female are created anatomically, emotionally, and spiritually for oneness.

These are some of the reasons the Bible does not affirm homosexual marriage not the homosexual act. Nowhere. Not overtly. Not covertly.