"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Face of a Reformed Calvinist


Today I heard the end of a sermon from a popular mega pastor in the DFW area in which he attacked Reformed theology.  I use the word attacked because he literally did that.  My favorite points centered around his saying that Calvinism was 'sexy' and we all wore skinny jeans.  Those were almost laughable, but really the whole thing was just not laughable.  I don't know what happened to cause this man to be so angry, but I think its awfully sad.  Sad because there are thousands upon thousands who follow him.  And he is attacking fellow Christians.

Ephesians 4:2-6- As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called ; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.


I am not going to pretend that I agree with all Christians out there.  There are a wide variety of interpretations on various doctrinal things out there.  Do I believe whole heartedly in reformed theology and Calvinism- yes I definitely do.  Do I think that people who don't are ineffective Christians- absolutely not.  God in his amazing grace manages to use us all, because we all need grace to cover a whole plethura of sins on a minute by minute basis.  The important thing is that we are ALL claiming that Jesus is the way to the Father because He paid the ultimate sacrifice.  That He loved us enough to die for us and take our sins and our place.  It's important that we believe that, that we are growing in our faith and being effective and sharing the gospel. That is the ONE body and the ONE spirit.  We don't have to agree on everything, but we do have to make every effort to keep the Spirit of unity.  If we as Christians are divided against each other, how on earth can we make a difference in a world thats constantly watching to see if we fall?  If we are ridiculing each other, how can we expect the world to not ridicule us?  Hate has no place in the church, especially hate against each other.  The house divided cannot stand.






** In case you would like to see what the Bible has to say about things like predestination and election and freewill, here are some verses**


Predestine/predestined/predestination:
** Romans 8-11 are the basis of a lot of it.  Specifically you see the word predestined in 8:29-30.  Chapter 9 literally goes into God's sovereign choice.  It's extremely specific on reformed theology.  To the point I fail to understand how anyone makes an argument against it.
** Ephesians 1- also pretty darn specific, with actually using the word predestined in vs 5 and 11

Elect:
** Romans 9- specifically vs 11
** 2 Peter 1- specifically vs 10

Free will:
** this term is not found in scripture.  In fact, most of the time free is used, it has nothing to do with choice.  It has to do with freedom in Christ.

Choice/Choose/Chosen
**John 15
**Psalm 33
** 2 Thessalonians 2
** Isaiah 41
** Matthew 22
**1 Peter 2
**Phillipians 2
**John 6
**Acts 13
**Ephesians 4- called


Honestly, there are tons.  I came to this understanding sometime after becoming a Christian in college.  I am constantly amazed by God's sovereignty over all things every time I read my Bible in the morning.  And all I do is read through the Bible- not like I'm following some calvinist study plan.  The Bible is just full of how God is the one choosing, calling, and equipping his saints.  It's there- Calvinism- for anyone who wants to read and open their heart to what the Spirit is saying.  That being said, if you never side with me on that, I would still be happy to work with you as long as I'm on this earth in reaching the world for Christ.  One body, one spirit, one faith to the end.

I'll be the one in my skinny jeans ;)



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Restatement

A couple of months ago I wrote this post.  Yet this week I returned from a trip to see my brother to a stupid comment from some anonymous person.  So whoever you were go back and read that blog.  I'm not interested in your opinions.

Friday, June 1, 2012

On attachment parenting



Many of you have seen the time article featuring the mom nursing her 3 year old.  I'm not going to get in to whether or not that shot was appropriate.  It was marketing.  It sells.

Regardless, I am going to take a minute and talk about attachment parenting and why for some people, it works.  I would say that my own style is moderately attachment based.  I never set out to be an attachment parent.  I can't even say I researched parenting styles- ever.  It's just what worked for me, it worked for Jude, and that's good enough for me.  As time has gone on though, I've realized 'oh I guess thats me' since so many of the attachment things I did.

The most controversial of attachment beliefs is the breastfeeding.  And this is the one thing I'm the most passionate about.  Not because there are so many formula fed babies out there.  Just because there are so many moms who are completely ignorant of how to prepare your body to nurse, what it takes to sustain nursing, and why nursing and formula are not comparable.  If you research breastfeeding vs formula and still decide to formula feed, I can respect that decision.  But if you formula feed without researching what you're doing, I'm sorry, I think you should rethink that.  It's just like politics.  Don't pick a side until you've researched it.  So with that in mind, how many people turned up their noses at the idea of breastfeeding a toddler had actually researched extended breastfeeding.  Probably not many.

I'm not going to tell you why I believe in extended breastfeeding right now.  Or why I am proud of the fact I breastfed Jude for 17 months (while dealing with being a single mom and going through a pretty gruesome divorce and working 40+ hours a week and still being in charge of the house and dinner and laundry.  Don't ever tell me you're too busy to nurse.  I won't buy it.)  But I am going to hook you up with some sweet research.

* The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively until 6 months, while still breastfeeding along with solids until 2 years old. 
---- http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

* The American Pediatric Association recommends breastfeeding a minimum of 1 year.  Which means we can infer going longer is preferable.
---- http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/

* Notice the bottom that says the longer you breastfeed the lower your risk of breast cancer.  Get on that platform Susan G. Komen....
--- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12133652

* The best way to prevent food and skin allergies is to breastfeed
---- http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080107/breast-feeding-seems-to-protect-against-some-allergies.htm

* Formula leads to diabetes risk
---- http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/48/7/1389




That can get you started.  I was trying to find one I read about an enzyme that appears in breastmilk around 6 months that coats the baby's intestines with this protective film.  They think this helps prevent food allergies.  I mean God designed this perfectly for the baby.  Perfectly.  Only he knew that they would need this at the time solids are introduced.  Sovereign.  There are countless articles on how perfectly designed breast milk is for a baby.  It's beyond me why people don't realize that God made us a certain way for a reason.

And finally, my other soapbox.  Now there is no support scientifically for breastfeeding a 3 year old and I get that.  However, I'm not going to make judgements on what works for them.  I will say this though.  We need to stop being so uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding.  It's not gross.  It's beautiful.  It was designed by the Creator.  There is something beautiful about a mom continuously selflessly giving of herself to her child.  And isn't that what Christ did for us.  Here is my body broken for you that you may have life.  That's what breastfeeding moms do every day- many times a day.  That's true, godly love the way it was designed to be.  Women who are breastfeeding shouldn't have to feel they need to hide under a blanket or in a corner.  It's something beautiful and something to admire and something to be proud of.  Motherhood is an amazing testament to sacrificial love.  Instead of judging and being uncomfortable, respect it.  That mom is doing a selfless, beautiful thing.