Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church

What does 1 Corinthians 11 Really Mean? 0

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Alexander

A metaphorical look at praying with your head covered.

Understanding what is written in the Bible comes through context. Why is the writer writing in the first place? What is his point for writing the epistle? The latter half of 1 Corinthians is instruction on body ministry using spiritual gifts. Your verse comes from chapter 11 which is the beginning of the discussion on how the body comes together. Notice the latter part of chapter 11 is on the agape love feasts and communion with the Lord. Chapter 12 goes into the spiritual gifts, and the latter half is on how the body should use the spiritual gifts. Chapter 13 on love is sandwiched between 12 and 14 because Paul is showing that love should be your motivation for using any spiritual gift in the body. Fourteen is specifically on tongues and prophecy as a means to edify the body.

During the time of Paul’s writing Corinthians, the believers met in homes.  The Greeks did not copy the practice of the Jews, who met in synagogues, until the Greek orators who made their living talking became Christians and saw this as a way to generate personal revenue preaching the Gospel to the saints on a weekly basis. This meant that the hosts of the house churches were the natural authorities since it was their home people met in.  Naturally the husband should be the host, but, apparently some did not take the mantel, which fell upon the wives.

So getting back to chapter 11 he shows that the body first begins in marriage. He speaks of the divine order of authority in verse 3: God, Christ, man, then woman. In verses 8 and 9 he alludes to the order of creation: Adam, then Eve from the side of Adam, and that Eve was created for Adam, not Adam for Eve. Verse 4 gives the context of what the hair covering refers to: prayer and prophecy. Prayer, of course, is us speaking to God, whereas prophecy is God speaking to us through someone. In the creation of Adam and Eve, God had already spoken to Adam and it was Adam’s responsibility to say what God said to Adam then to Eve.

I usually take most of the Bible literally, but not all of it. In this case, I do not take the hair covering literally. The Jews have taken the statement in Leviticus not to seethe the kid in the mother’s milk literally. Personally I believe God was speaking metaphorically there in the same way we say, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. It is a common interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11 to say that the hair covering refers to the authority of the man over the woman, and I partly agree with this, but not in a blanket fashion. In this passage I think it refers only to who prays and who prophesies. If we may, let’s walk through verse by verse.

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I Hate Divorce 1

Posted on February 24, 2016 by Alexander

The Church has forgotten Malachi 2:16.

It grieves me to see how the Church has hardened its heart to the root of our societies problems. They complain about the obligatory homosexuals in every show who are portrayed as the wise counsellors of the show. I understand their complaint, for this grieves me as well. But we have become so hardened to the equal perversions of fornicators outside of marriage and the many characters who profess multiple marriages in these same shows. We have forgotten that Jesus said that he who marries another, apart from fornication, commits adultery (Matt. 19:19). We accept without question the serial polygamy of multiple marriages and unwed cohabitation that produces scores of bastards into our society. No one considers that the proliferation of lesbians and homosexuals trying to raise children has its root in divorce. Read the rest of this entry →

Why American Christians are Angry 0

Posted on December 09, 2012 by Alexander

Why are so many Christians angry?

The Foundation

I can not speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself.  I have been an angry Christian, and I have also walked in genuine peace and humility.   The first thing that needs to be understood is the emotion of anger, which I believe is misunderstood by many people.   Emotions are treated as some kind of independent part of our human nature as illustrated by the common definition of the soul – our mind, will and emotions.  This definition does a disservice to understanding our human nature, and I think (but do not know) that secular psychology is the cause of this misunderstanding.

The Mind

Emotions are the expressions of our thoughts, both in our mind and heart, or our conscience thoughts (mind) and sub-conscience thoughts (heart). In other words, our emotions are the result of what we think upon.  Film-makers and advertisers understand this and know how to create emotional roller coaster rides through their stories.  Emotions, therefore can be controlled by controlling our thoughts, which is the heart of true Christian discipleship. Consider these imperatives from Paul in 2 Corinthians.

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;   And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.  (2 Cor. 10:4-6 KJV)

In other words we are to watch our thought life and think on those thoughts that agree with God and to stop thinking those thoughts that oppose the way of Christ.  Paul gives us more specific instruction in Philippians.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Php 4:8 KJV)

If we keep our thoughts on positive things, our emotions will express this.  Anger is not an expression of positive thoughts.  This control of our thought life is the meaning of Romans 12:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:2 KJV) Read the rest of this entry →

Blending Families Increases Dysfunction 0

Posted on July 09, 2012 by Alexander

The Brady Bunch was a TV show that began the alternative family as an acceptable idea in America. This opened the door for living together without marriage, homosexual unions and any other arrangement that contradicted the divine plan of one man and one woman for life as acceptable. The father brought his sons, and the wife and her daughters to the blended marriage.

The first time I had heard the term, “blended families,” was in the 1990’s. It was from a father in a family at the congregation my wife and I were attending at that time. He was referring to his children and the children of his second wife living together.   At the time he was optimistic.  I had learned some 10 years later that they divorced and the families were split apart.

My parents divorced when I was 10 years old in 1964 when divorce was a rare thing.  As you may imagine my siblings and I felt like the “black sheep” of the neighborhood.  My mother did not remarry until we were all adults.  My father, however, married the woman of his affair and raised the two daughters of his second wife.   The two daughters were considered our step-sisters.   The man my mother married had 5 children of his own.  But they, too, were adults when we began “blending” our families through visits and short term living arrangements.  Since we were adults, my siblings and I appreciated and enjoyed our step-father’s children.  We also grew to love our step father.  But not so with my father’s wife and two daughters.  My siblings resented his wife, seeing her as the reason for our family split.   I had made the decision to accept her as my father’s wife, since it was really beyond my control and there was no sense in creating further angst.  I think the resentment for my siblings was increased due to their being children at the time. And as such, from my experience, it does not work with children.   My mother’s decision to wait for us kids to grow up before she remarried was a wise decision for it by passed the problems children experience with dealing with step siblings in a blended family union.  Blending children together in the new marriage exasperates the feelings that all children have that the divorce was somehow “their fault” and their longing that their parents somehow will still remarry. Read the rest of this entry →

A Father to the Fatherless 4

Posted on August 18, 2011 by Alexander

God is a Father to the fatherless

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (Matt 23:9 KJV)

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26 KJV)

God is my father.  I had no problem accepting His Fatherhood in my life when I came to saving faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  Yet, as I have come to know many believers over the last 25 years, I could not understand why so many have difficulty in embracing this truth in their own relationship with God.

For some it is the difficulty of knowing the fatherhood of God because their own fathers were such poor examples.  Their natural tendency is to superimpose the image of their earthly father onto their heavenly father.  For others it is a theological abstraction that blocks  their grasp of  the fatherhood of God.   For them, only Jesus is the Son of God, and we are merely adopted creatures.   To think we are actually the children of God is to imply  that we are divine, too, and that would be blasphemous to that theological frame of mind. Read the rest of this entry →

You’re a Christian? 1

Posted on August 10, 2009 by Alexander
Christ is not divided by labels

Christ is not divided by labels

Many of the believers who have left the paid clergy system for alternative gatherings in homes or other ways of walking with Christ express a snobbery regarding the epithet, “Christian,” preferring to call themselves, “Christ followers.” There are a series of clever YouTube skits parodying the PC vs Mac commercials on “Christian and Christ Follower” that make this point very well.  The Mac/Christ Follower is the cool guy while the PC/Christian is the uptight business guy.

The people who call themselves “Christ Followers” are trying to distance themselves from the rest of the body and to set themselves apart as the ones who are “really” walking with God.  This elitist attitude found in the emergent church circles and other such group is contrary to the Spirit of Christ, and is as old as the Protestant Reformation.

Cults thrive on elitist thinking.  The denominational divisions over doctrinal differences is no different than the division created by calling one self a Christ follower instead of a Christian. To make that distinction, even in one’s mind is carnal and soulish.  It appeals to pride.

Whether one calls one’s self a “Christian” or a “Christ follower” makes no difference to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  He is working with us all in our dying to self so that Christ may live through us instead.

Isaac Airfreight had a skit on denominational differences that applies today to the Christians who stay in the paid clergy system and those who have called themselves “Christ followers” and gather in homes or elsewhere instead.   The skit is 7 and a half minutes long.  For those who are reading this on Facebook, you have to click on the link that says, “view original post,” since the mp3 is not copied onto Facebook.

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