Tuesday, 26 April 2011

the world hates women

In the circles I frequent, I hear lots of criticism of feminism - and plenty of it is deserved. However, it disturbs me that the blame for women not embracing their Scriptural role is laid solely on the door of feminism, i.e. other women. Now, of course feminism plays its part. However, why does feminism exist in the first place? I believe it is because countless men refuse to step up to the plate and value women.

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7)
Woah. Hold on there. 'So nothing will hinder your prayers'? YHVH considers the treatment of women so important that the prayers of men who do not honour their wives will be hindered. That is huge, huge stuff. Sadly, you don't have to look far to see examples of that not happening. Husbands who beat their wives, fathers who sell their daughters into sexual slavery, boyfriends who pressure girlfriends into having abortions, sons who talk disrespectfully to their mothers with their fathers not doing a thing to stop them. The way men treat women matters to YHVH, but it does not to the world. The Enemy knows this, and exploits this. He hates how precious women are in the sight of the Father! I believe, therefore, that feminism is a (misjudged) response to the way men throughout the world treat women in an unscriptural way. Yes, it misses the mark. Yes, it can be harmful. However, we need to look at the symptom and not the cause. Adam was right at Chava [Eve]'s side when she ate the fruit in the Garden, yet did he stop her? No! I in no way deny that women are responsible for their own actions, but if men want their (YHVH-given) right as leader then they also need to use their (again, YHVH-given) responsibilities. Love their wives sacrificially. Honour their mothers. Treasure their daughters. Respect their sisters in Messiah. Resist the world and the Enemy's call to treat women as servants, sexual objects and playthings, but as co-heirs of the Kingdom.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

My Leper Messiah

One of the traditional Hebraic titles applied to the Messiah seems strange at first - Leper Messiah. However, to me it is one of the most glorious. This week's Torah portion is called Metzorah, or leper. For those Jews who do not recognise Yeshua as their Messiah, this is simply Leviticus 14-15. Yes, we should all understand this part of Torah - but for those of us who are part of the Body of Messiah, the meaning goes deeper than that, wonderfully deeper! For our Messiah was a leper on behalf of all of us. As it says in Isaiah 53:4:

"Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted."

When Yeshua carried out His Earthly ministry, it often involved the healing of lepers - perhaps this is why, for He knew the burden he would carry for us all. The Master said that healing the sick and curing lepers was a sign of the Kingdom approaching (Matt. 10:8). When He healed lepers, He told them to go and offer sacrifices as instructed by Torah. Yet, He does not offer just physical healing, but spiritual too. It is for our sake that He was 'crushed for our iniquities'. Yeshua fulfilled the prophecies in Isaiah perfectly; He took up the uncleanness of our hearts in order to heal them. As we approach Pesach [Passover], let us remind ourselves of that perfect Pesach sacrifice - Yeshua HaMashyiach took on our impurity in order to make us pure, just as He healed the leper.