Marriage – 1

Marriage is a union of a man and a woman becoming one.

In Ephesians 5, there is much on the Church with the relationship between a husband and a wife as an illustration of what it should be like in terms of leadership.

The word ‘submission’ used in many translations has a very bad press and is a source of much disagreement between Christians.

These verses in Ephesians say that Jesus is ‘head of the body’. A ‘head’ seeks to serve the ‘body’ in making sure it functions properly. And for the ‘body’ to work together, it needs the ‘head’ to provide it with the information it needs. Therefore the husband should take the lead in bringing out the best in their relationships and the wife should allow him to do so. All this is based on love, not control.

Hence, the use of the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ are two sides of the same coin. It is more about working together, rather than who is in charge. Jesus came to serve, not control. For elsewhere in Scripture, it says we are all equal under God, and we are His children. To me, that means a woman can be a leader in the Church, as much as a man. For we all can receive the Gifts of the Spirit. Our hang-up is because of the non-biblical division of priest and laity, and also over who can give communion. There is nothing in the New Testament limiting as to who can or cannot do things. It is all about character.

And that character should be reflected in a marriage. As we see from above, marriage is about bringing out the best in each other in the context of a loving relationship. But, it is also for the purpose of naturally creating children, and only a man and woman can do that within a loving, permanent relationship, sealed before God in a covenant before His people. Therefore, I don’t believe we can re-define marriage to include any other form of relationship. Children need to understand their sexuality and the limits of when sex can take place ie within a marriage of a man and a woman, for them to grow up as reasonably balanced adults.

Holidays – 1

Public Holidays

In 1834, ‘Bank Holidays’ were first introduced on a nationwide basis.

‘Under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, bank holidays are proclaimed each year by the legal device of a royal proclamation. Royal proclamation is also used to move bank holidays that would otherwise fall on a weekend. In this way, public holidays are not ‘lost’ in years when they coincide with weekends. These deferred bank holiday days are termed a ‘bank holiday in lieu’ of the typical anniversary date. In the legislation they are known as ‘substitute days’. (Wikipedia)

As you can see from the above, ‘bank holidays’ came about because of the banks. And now they have basically become days to spend your money on retail therapy and thus a lot of people have to work, which benefits the banks, because we use our credit cards more often!

So why not abolish them and instead just make sure that Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are truly days off, so Christians can properly celebrate the three most important days of the year? Both Christmas Day and Easter Day should be all day celebrations, and Good Friday, a day of true reflection on what Jesus did on the Cross. Such events could become a public declaration of who Jesus is and bring together Christians from many different traditions out of their ‘closets’ and declare their faith demonstrating the joy of being a disciple.

This is a call to Christians to set aside those days to truly focus on God instead of simply using it for a time for family and friends – that is what Sundays are for.