Friday, January 30, 2009

The Vicious Cycle of Idealizing Parents

A Christian perspective on forgiveness ~
From Dr. Stoop’s
“Making Peace with your Father”

From page 167:

The tendency to idealize a father is often passed on to us, often by our own father, who may have idealized his father.

Children who idealize Dad will vehemently express respect and admiration for him. Nevertheless, they are keeping Dad at a distance. They are not dealing with the real person, but with a character devised in their own imagination. They deny the existence of any negative or imperfect aspects of Dad’s character or personality and focus only on positive traits – which may be real or imagined. A good test of whether we are idealizing our father is to look at how we react when someone suggests Dad may have been inadequate in some way. An angry, defensive reaction is symptomatic of idealization.

One result of idealizing Dad is a sense of guilt over our own inadequacy. We measure ourselves against our picture of our father, and inevitably, we fall short. It then becomes a vicious cycle, because every time we fall short, we elevate Dad to an even higher pedestal.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jesus Loved Women by Adele

Another entry from Adele Hebert, Independent Scholar.

Jesus loved women so much!

Thank God no woman was made mute.
Thank God no woman decided to kill innocent baby boys.
Thank God no woman was ever rebuked harshly by Jesus.
Thank God no woman was ever called a name by Jesus.
Thank God no woman was ever silenced.
Thank God no woman ran away.
Thank God no woman denied knowing Jesus.
Thank God no woman
was ever predicted to be part of
the plot to murder Jesus.
Thank God no woman pronounced Jesus death sentence.
Thank God no woman was part of the beating, mocking,
whipping, or crucifixion.
Thank God no woman ever hurt Jesus in any way.

Jesus loved women so much!

Thank God one woman said, Yes! (Lk 1:38)
Thank God another woman said, No! (Lk 1:60)
Thank God a Mother named her son.
Thank God for women prophets, even an old woman,
not ready to die telling,
telling all those who wanted redemption
Thank God women told and retold and retold their stories;
they were given a voice.
Thank God for the caring, nurturing, generous women who followed,
fed those men three years.
Thank God for the timid, trembling woman who dared to touch his hem.
Thank God Jesus called women forward to receive healing,
then gave them a voice.
Thank God women few words are recorded.
Thank God for the bold woman who asked for crumbs, was then
commended for her great faith.
Thank God Jesus defended children, called them,
hugged them, blessed them.
Thank God for the nameless voiceless woman who kissed Jesus feet,
anointed them with costly ointment, wiped them with her hair.
Thank God Jesus offered a woman living water.
Thank God the woman told, told her whole village.
Thank God for the named raped women in the genealogy of Matthew.
Thank God we are now called daughters, sisters, and friends.
Thank God children shouted, Hosanna!
Thank God Jesus said not to worry about many things.
Thank God even tears were treasured and recorded.
Thank God women were encouraged to sit at Jesus feet.
Thank God Jesus touched women,
even those with blood, even a dead girl.
Thank God Jesus made us equal in marriage and divorce.
Thank God Jesus forgave women, even for adultery.
Thank God the Holy Spirit is feminine.
Thank God for the parallel stories about women.
Thank God for servant girls speaking, and pregnant women praising.
Thank God Jesus wept.
Thank God for the woman who dared to share her dream.
Thank God Jesus uplifted widows for what little they can give.
Thank God for the nameless, voiceless women, but not forgotten.
Thank God Jesus revealed his being the Messiah to a woman!!
And the Resurrection disclosed only to a woman!!
Thank God women were honored, uplifted, blessed, healed, and heard.
Thank God Jesus gave women a voice!
Thank God women and children were precious!
Thank God Jesus consoled, comforted women who wept.
Thank God for the faithful women who were there under that cross.
Thank God the women took note of the tomb,
and how Jesus body was laid,
Thank God for the women who bought spices to anoint him,
the only funeral he would have.
Thank God the women went to the tomb that early morning.
Thank God Jesus chose a woman/women to be the first
to see the RisenLord!!
Thank God Jesus chose not to reveal Himself to Peter
at the tomb ut to meet the men over there in Galilee.
Thank God Jesus chose a woman/women to go and Tell!
Thank God she/they ran and told and told and told!
Mary Magdalene Beloved Disciple!!
Mary Magdalene Apostle to the Apostles!!
Thank God women were there in the upper room.
Thank God women received the Holy Spirit!!
Thank God for the women who had the first churches, in their homes.
Thank God women were teachers, co-workers, and apostles even martyrs.
Thank God women are still hearing the voice of God.
Above all, Jesus gave women a voice!!

Thank you Adele!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jesus Was Angry

Guest Entry written by Adele Hebert

“Is it right for you to be angry?” God asked Jonah (4:4). Is it right for a Christian to be angry? Anger, if not controlled, is a very dangerous emotion and can lead to murder.

The first person to be angry in the Old Testament (Gen 4:5), “Cain was very angry and downcast.” God had accepted his brother’s sacrifice but not his. What did he do with his anger? “Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.”

The first person to be angry in the New Testament (Mt 2:17), “Herod was furious on realising that he had been fooled by the wise men.” What did he do with his anger? “In Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or less.”

Although we were told to love one another and to forgive our enemies, Jesus was often quite angry. Jesus got very frustrated with his disciples Mt 17:17, “Faithless and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you?” Jesus had righteous indignation at the sellers in the temple Jn 2:15,16, “Making a whip out of cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, sheep and cattle as well, scattered the money changers' coins, knocked their tables over and said to the dove sellers, 'Take all this out of here and stop using my Father's house as a market.” Mostly, Jesus was angry at the Pharisees Mk 3:1, “Then he looked angrily round at them, grieved to find them so obstinate, and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand. '”

Amazingly, Jesus never got angry with the women. There were 5 women who Jesus corrected; they were definitely not rebuked as some commentators / preachers have alleged. Jesus only rebuked the wind, sea, demons, unclean spirits, fever and men.

Jesus was more severe with his male disciples than anyone else: he rebuked Peter, calling him Satan Mt 16:23; he rebuked James and John for wanting to call down fire from heaven to burn up the Samaritan village Lk 9:55; and he rebuked the Eleven male disciples for not believing the women’s testimony Mk 16:14; but Jesus never rebuked women.

Let us examine the verses pertaining to women. Notice how Jesus leads them ever so gently, no names, and no harsh critical words. In fact, Jesus always uplifts them, guarding their honor, hearing them, blessing them.

Lk 2:48,49,They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, 'My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.' He replied, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?'”

Lk 11:27,28,It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, 'Blessed the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you!' But he replied, 'More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it!'”
Jn 2:3-5,And they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.' Jesus said, 'Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.' His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you… tasted the water, and it had turned into wine.'”

Lk 10:41,42,But the Lord answered, 'Martha, Martha,' he said, 'you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her.'”
Mt 15:24-28,He said in reply, 'I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.' But the woman had come up and was bowing low before him. 'Lord,' she said, 'help me.' He replied, 'It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to little dogs.' She retorted, 'Ah yes, Lord; but even little dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters' table.' Then Jesus answered her, 'Woman, you have great faith. Let your desire be granted.' And from that moment her daughter was well again.”
Mk 11:27-29, “And he said to her, 'The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to little dogs.' But she spoke up, 'Ah yes, sir,' she replied, 'but little dogs under the table eat the scraps from the children.' And he said to her, 'For saying this you may go home happy; the devil has gone out of your daughter.'”

Lk 11:39,Jesus said, 'Take the stone away.' Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, 'Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day since he died.' Jesus replied, 'Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?'”

Jn 20:17,Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

No matter how often and to what degree Jesus was angry, he never sinned; he was always in complete control. Anger only becomes a problem when it is not controlled, when is it not directed at the right cause, and when it is not appropriate. Jesus was angry as an expression of his zealous, holy devotion to God. His righteous anger had nothing to do with himself; it was always on account of others sinfulness or their lack of faith, both of which affected those around them, and those wanting to get into the kingdom of God. His reaction was also directed only at those he was angry at; he never took it out on anyone else; and his actions were also appropriate to the cause. Most importantly, Jesus’s anger was exclusively motivated by love, even to forgiving those who crucified him from his dying breath.

Jesus made it very clear that we were not to judge others; not even to call someone a fool, Mt 5:22, because names are destructive, demeaning, and abusive. A little further Jesus explains why, Mt 7:3 says, “Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother's eye.” Jesus was able to expose the Pharisees, Mt 23:17, calling them “Fools and blind!” because he was perfect. As long as you are without sin, you can cast stones.

Now, we will consider all the verses where Jesus is angry.

To whom
What He called them, what He did

8:26 Peter storm little faith
9:25 people ridiculed him turned them out
12:34 Pharisees 'chief of devils' Brood of vipers
12:39 Pharisees Sign Evil, adulterous generation
14:31 Peter Sinking Little faith
15:7 Pharisees/scribes Washing hands Hypocrites
16:4 Pharisees/
Sign Evil, unfaithful generation
16:8,9 disciples boat Yeast Little faith
16:23 Peter Rebuked Jesus Satan
17:17 disciples Could not cure Perverse generation
19:8 Pharisees Divorce Hard hearted
21:12,13 money changers Bandit's den Whip, upset tables, drove
22:18 Pharisee's disciples Taxes Hypocrites
23:3 crowds, Pharisees Do not practice Vain, hypocrites
23:13-37 scribes/
Shut up kingdom Hypocrites
Travel to evangelize Hypocrites
Swear by altar Blind guides
Swear by gold Fools and blind
Swear by both Blind men
Pay tithe Hypocrites
Straining gnats Blind guides
Clean outside of cup Blind guides
Leave inside full Hypocrites
Inside full corruption
whitewashed tombs
Look upright
Full of lawlessness,
Build sepulchres Hypocrites
Say you would never Children of murders
Escape hell Serpents, brood of vipers
You shed blood Murders, kill prophets

3:5 Pharisees Heal on Sabbath Grieved, obstinate, angry
4:40 disciples Storm No faith
5:40 people Ridiculed him Turned them out
7:6 Pharisees/scribes Washing hands Hypocrites
7:17 disciples Questioned him Non understanding
8:18 disciples Yeast Minds closed
8:21 disciples Do not remember Still do not realize
8:33 Peter Rebuked Jesus Satan
9:19 disciples Couldn't heal Faithless generation
11:15 sellers Bandit's den Drove out, upset tables
12:15 Pharisees/
Taxes Hypocrites
12:24 Sadducees Whose wife Doesn't understand scripture
12:27 Sadducees Rising again Very much mistaken
12:38 Pharisees Rob widow's houses Thieves, hypocrites
16:14 Eleven Refused to believe women Incredulity, obstancy

6:42 people On judging Hypocrites
8:25 disciples Storm No faith
9:41 disciples Couldn't heal Perverse generation
9:55 James, John Wanted to call fire Rebuked
11:29 crowds Sign Evil generation
11:39 Pharisees Wash cup Extortion, wickedness
11:40 Pharisees Wash cup Fools
11:42 Pharisees Tithe No justice, love of God
11:44 Pharisees Seats of honour Unmarked tombs
11:46 lawyers Load burdens Unendurable, do not touch
11:48 lawyers Build tombs Witness, approve killing
11:50 lawyers Send prophets Blood of Abel, Zechariah
11:52 lawyers Take away knowledge Prevent from going in
12:1 Pharisees Yeast Hypocrisy
12:28 disciples Worry So little faith
12:56 crowd Signs Hypocrites
13:15 ruler synagogue Healed on Sabbath Hypocrites
13:32 Herod Means to kill you Fox
12:34 Jerusalem Refused God Kill prophets
16:14 Pharisees Upright Loathesome for God
18:9 people Prided themselves Not justified
18:14 people High opinions humbled

The Fourth Gospel does not reveal an angry Jesus, although Judas is described indirectly twice.

To whom
What He called them, what He did

6:70 one disciple Jesus chose devil
12:6 Judas Not care about poor thief

Compare the amount of times Jesus got angry, and to whom, in the 3 synoptic gospels:

Number of Times Jesus Got Angry


Clearly, Jesus was not afraid, was even justified in calling the religious leaders names; he continuously exposed their wicked traditions, their motives, and their sins. No one knows what Jesus wrote on the ground in Jn 8:6, but all those men left, from the oldest to the youngest; and since he knew their hearts, he revealed enough to make them all leave.

Jesus got very angry with the religious leaders because they were keeping the people from the truth of God, Mt 23:13,14. The Pharisees were always trying to trap Jesus but he, in turn, exposed their evil, “these are the men who take advantage of widows and rob them of their homes,” Mk 12:40. Two verses later Jesus points to “the widow with two little copper coins, worth about a penny.” He was not praising her, he was admonishing the men for her poverty! She was a widow and women were not allowed to own property. Not only did she lose her husband but now her property was taken away from her as well. That is why it was so vital for women to have at least one son. Because the Pharisees were the only ones who could study the law and teach it; the people were at their mercy for legal matters and instruction, plus the rulers made many extra laws which the people could not keep. The ones who would have been affected the most were the women, since they could not study the scriptures themselves and they had no rights, no voice; that is why Jesus made sure Mary of Bethany stayed at his feet.

The most important message Jesus was telling us:
Righteous anger is good; it motivates us to do what is right;
Personal anger is bad; it motivates us to do what is wrong (sin).

The most significant finding in this study was that Jesus was never angry with the women; they were not his enemies; they followed him; they supported him financially; they had great faith; they listened; they worshipped him in truth; they loved Jesus.

~ Thank You, Adele Hebert for contributing this post. ~