When it comes to the controversy over college grads wanting to stay home and have babies, I have had to laugh at some of the assertions made by the other side (that these women are not really saying what they said or can’t really mean it), and I have had to shake my head at some of the conclusions drawn by feminists…
When I see things like the survey of college coeds, I am encouraged to know that a generation of daycare babies and latchkey kids are deciding they won’t do the same thing to their children. I hope they stick to their guns in the face of feminist ridicule and increasing cultural rejection of the home as “invisible” and therefore unrewarding, unchallenging, and backwards.
Anyone who would assert such a thing has never lived in a busy household with five children of varying ages who adore reading, love to learn new things, and keep their parents constantly on their toes. Anyone who would claim the home is a stifling atmosphere where women wither on the vine has never grown up in a hospitable house where people are invited in constantly, cramming the place to the ceiling with lively conversation, heartfelt confession, real forgiveness, and constant opportunities for growth and learning.
Christ didn’t die to improve our self-esteem; he died to give us his. He didn’t come to build up our self-worth; he came to knock it down…
I heard a contemporary Christian song recently in which the singer poured out her gratitude for Christ’s death on the cross, but her lyrics reflected a wrong understanding of why Christ died: “What a price I was worth!” Christ didn’t go to the cross because she –or we– are worth it. He went to the cross to bring unworthy people to God. Praiseworthy is the fact that God determined to bring unworthy people unto eternal blessing. Thinking that Christ died because of our inherent worth or to improve our self-esteem, reveals impurity in our heart. A sincere and pure devotion to Christ sees him, not us, as everything.
My family lives in Kenya, and I can tell you from personal experience that the majority of people here still see children as an asset and a blessing. When we are out and about with our children, Kenyans greet us with high-fives, thumbs-up, and comments like, “You are so blessed!” The only sour remarks we have received are from (sadly) Westerners living in Africa. I’ve been stopped by Kenyan women who want to tell me about the constant pressure they receive to stop having children from UN health clinics and organizations like Marie Stopes (founded by a eugenicist who praised Hitler’s ideas in poetry). These women tell me children are their future and their hope, and they are hungry for affirmation of this, as the message from the West is that children cause poverty.
My two cents
This is so cool; it would be great to have a large family, and be greeted with high fives and things like that. And yes, what a sad indictment it is on westerners who carry their anti-natal (as opposed to antenatal) baggage into other countries that weren’t really looking for it to being with. This shows how the contraceptive mentality is a newfangled and relativistic notion.
If I were a filmmaker, I’d love to do a documentary on the African women and their experience in having the western contraceptive mentality imposed on them by the United Nations.
We must set our hope in God and think long term, and as we think about what’s good for the Kingdom of God, and not only what we think is good for us, we’ll abound in hope. Because in reality, if we’re part of the Kingdom, what’s good for the Kingdom is good for us.
My two cents
This is great, Andrea. The last sentence ties it all together.
It reminds me of two things, the first being those who mocked the Christ on the cross, and the second being certain political/court decisions in our current day. The players in these scenes were not thinking long term but fixated on the present.
I like the insight of interpreting and aligning every phenomenon in history against the Kingdom of God. I suppose this is part of the Biblical philosophy of history.
I think too many people want to separate themselves from the Kingdom of God (if not in heaven, then at least on earth). But I prefer the idea of seeking first the kingdom—and then holding onto it. This is an important principle to have and apply throughout life.
I’ll begin with some excerpts from Anna M.H. in a note to Jennie Chancey:
I was indeed happy to find a [site] that is against feminism. I am a stay at home mother, 21 years old with one daughter…I attended a catholic college, Christendom college, which is entirely faithful to the magesterial teachings of the Church, both in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, handed down [through] the apostles.
While at Christendom I took a class on Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body. This is a compilation of a series of Wednesday audiences that he gave in his papacy meditating on the first few [chapters] in Genesis as well as the beatitude “blessed are the pure of heart,” Paul’s meditations on the glorified body and numerous other biblical passages dealing with the human body, the marital act, men and women and redemption. The pope in his sermons has theorized that all the problems of immodesty, fornication, contraception, abortion, and divorce, can be traced to the problem of the human person not being accepted as a gift to the loved but as an object to be used…I appreciate your [site] and would encourage you to read the Pope’s theology of the body as it offers more of a “why” rather than a “how” for modest dress. Thanks again for a wonderful [site] and you are in my prayers.
Your sister in Christ,
Anna M. H
The response from Chancey:
What a beautiful, thoughtful note! Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Your comments are so completely on target and reflect exactly what we are trying to get across in the Modesty section [of the LAF website]. Our postmodern (and post-Christian) culture is so intent upon “de-constructing” truth, art, beauty, and all things sacred that they are tearing the human body limb from limb–both literally (abortion) and figuratively (in clothing and movies)…
Your points are very timely and very helpful. I am a Protestant and do believe that Scripture gives us beautiful guidelines from beginning to end for our health, wholeness, and happiness, but I can still appreciate Pope John Paul II’s reflections on the created order and the beatitudes. Lovely!…With Christ as our focus, all other things fall away into insignificance.
Blessings in Christ,
Mrs. Jennie Chancey
My two cents
When talking about Catholic-Protestant relations, it tends to carry baggage. Putting the baggage aside, I really like the exchange that happened here.
With the first quote, I’ve sometimes blogged about the theology of the state, but I am glad to see there’s also a theology of the body. Come to think of it, perhaps there should be a theology of every concept, rather than just a philosophy of every concept.
Second, I like how Catholics use the term “the marital act”. Maybe there are Protestants who use that term as well, but it’s great how the term makes an inescapable link with the context of matrimony, rather than just a purely naturalistic or physical process.
Third, it was good to see a reference to deconstructionism and how it’s affecting our society. When most people come across a word like that, they might gloss over, but for those who don’t, they’ll understand why it’s important to know of its meaning, especially in a Christian context.
Why do we think having a compromising Republican president in office will make things better than having a die-hard Democrat? Both candidates want to drive over the cliff (state-mandated schooling, abortion funding, civil unions, welfare, etc.); one just wants to go over at 55 mph, while the other wants to go at 85. What’s the real difference? We shouldn’t want to go over the cliff at all! And Christians need to communicate that message loud and clear to those running for office by voting only for men who meet God’s requirements for civil rulers…
My two cents
Before reading this quote a few years back, I hadn’t thought of candidate selection in that way, but I’ve agreed with it ever since. I love the idea of not having to compromise when it comes to the ballot box. After being given no direction, and then later being discouraged on political involvement, I managed to shed that and I’m glad I did. I think that’s one thing that appeals to me about Reformed theology in particular; it recognises the applicability of God’s word in all areas of life (rather than just salvation and a limited number of other, usually personal or emotional matters).
The archives at LAF are a gold mine for understanding the total applicability of the Word.
We’ve all heard the tired old arguments about how it’s impossible for a godly third-party candidate to win, so we’d better not “waste” our vote on one. After all, putting a “lesser” evil into office is better than a “greater” evil, right? But this lesser and greater evils argument is nowhere found in scripture, either directly or by principle. God doesn’t require us to vote for evil at all. If we had a choice between Hitler and Stalin, after all, wouldn’t it be far better to abstain or to write in a godly candidate? An earthly victory isn’t the point; only obedience to God matters…
If Christians are willing to support “lesser” evils, we are going to get what we ask for (evil).
My two cents
Hooray for LAF’s 10th birthday! (Am I the first blogger to acknowledge this?) I can’t believe how quickly four years have passed since I wrote about their sixth birthday on my old blog (I was a year too late for the fifth). Back then I cited a few other quotes from their site, so I’ll keep that quinquennial website birthday custom going…
As for the quote itself, it is from 2004 but it has stuck with me for a long time. There are two reasons for that: first, it’s because of people in my family who are content – bordering on defensive – with accepting the lesser of two evils. Second, it’s the rejection of pragmatism and overturning of arguments from (Biblical) silence. The quoted reasoning is far more convincing to me, and I like its religious overtones trumping the relativistic mindset.