Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Family Values in the Bible

The Evangelicals are right. We need a return to good family values. What better place to look than to the Bible for guidance, as they would certainly agree. Here is a sample:

1. Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. One of them murdered the other. Gen. 4:8

2. Women on earth messed around with some strange mighty men of old, men of renown, (sons of God) and had babies with them. Gen. 6:1-4

3. After the flood Noah took to the wine got drunk and lay naked. One of his sons (Ham) did something forbidden (incest?) and Noah cursed his descendants. (Gen. 9:2-27

4. Sarah had produced no heir for Abraham, so he had a child with Sarah's servant Hagar. Gen. 16:1ff.

5. Lot offered his two virgin daughters to the men of Sodom and told them to do what they wanted. He did this to satisfy them when they demanded to have sex with his male guests, a great act of hospitality in the eyes of all. Gen. 19:4-8

6. Lot lived in a cave with his two daughters. Fearing they could not find a husband, they got their father drunk and had sex with him, and both got pregnant. Gen. 19:30-36

7. Abraham was prepared to stick a knife through his son's heart and set him on fire, i. e., sacrifice his son on the altar, to show his loyalty to God, who had prepared this nifty little way of testing the patriarch's faith. Gen. 22:1-14

Noting that several of these ancient heroes had more than one wife, let us move on to family values in other parts of the Bible.

8. Fathers are authorized to sell their daughters into slavery. Ex. 21:7

9. If you curse or strike your mother or father, you are to be killed. Ex. 21:15, 17

10. If you worship the wrong god or have sex with an animal, you are to be killed. Ex. 22:19-20

11. Stubborn sons are to be stoned to death. Deut. 21:18-21

12. Adulterers are to be put to death, so are people who commit incest and males who have sex with each other. Lev. 20:10-16

13. By now we are getting the picture, so let us move rapidly to David, the Warrior King, who arranged to have a man killed in battle so he could take his wife Bathsheba, with whom he had been intimate, as his wife. II Sam. 10: 11:1-27

14. Solomon, a very wise man, had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. I Kings 11:3

15. Jesus allows men to divorce their wives on the grounds of adultery but not because of cruelty, violence, abandonment, or voting for Republicans. Matt. 5:31
16. Oops, it seems that Jesus allows no divorce at all, not even for cruelty, violence, abandonment, or voting for Republicans. Mark 10:1-12

17. Women are told to keep quiet in church and ask their husbands later what happened. I Cor. 14:34-36

18. Wives are told as the weaker sex to submit to their husbands, to be subject to them in everything. Ephes. 5:22,24; Col 3:18; I Peter 3:1

19. In these same passages husbands are urged to love their wives and treat them gently, loving them as they love their own bodies. This is good.

20. Households are assumed to have slaves, who are also to be obedient to their masters.

21. Eve was deceived in the garden of Eden, not Adam. Women are not to teach men or have authority over them. They should learn in silence with all submissiveness. I Tim. 2:11-15

With these examples as our guides, we can surely figure the rest out and adapt these ancient teachings to modern conditions. Surely we will be better off if we do so. I am with the Evangelicals on this point.

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