Thursday 6 October 2016

The Girl on the Train: a Christian perspective on domestic violence

I wish I held off the release of a previous article on the subject of marriage, This movie had a profound effect on me when it had finished.

I had used Back to the Future Part 2 as an illustration of how marriage should and should not be conducted. See the article for more information:

I have said the following in the paper itself

"Paul exhorts men to do the following in Ephesians 5:
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendour,without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Here, marriage is to be honoured and kept pure in honour of the Lord, How can this be done when the husband doesn't love his wife? If there is no love, the wife will either submit begrudgingly or be rebellious. There is no sanctification in the sight of the Lords if this is the attitude that is been demonstrated.

Christ is not abusive, it is hypocritical to abuse your spouse when your Lord and Saviour doesn't treat you that way, you can't have it both ways."

There will be spoilers of the film in this article so if you have NOT seen the film, go see it first before reading, but be warned, the movie itself has squeamish moments.

Anyway, I'll give a quick rundown of the film.

Rachel Watson, our protagonist (Played very well by Emily Blunt) is divorced and an alcoholic. She commutes on a train to New York every day and passes by a house, observing that a woman named Megan is cheating on her husband Scott (Whom we learn has been abusive to her). Rachel awakens from a drunken stupor one day with blood on her face and believes that Megan has been killed by her, but can't remember and whenever she was drunk, her husband would fill in the blanks (or so he claimed).

Events unfold showing us that Megan has accepted her abuse as a norm but seeks sexual pleasure from her therapist to compensate for the fact she is unloved. 

Tom Watson, Rachel's ex husband, has marriage another woman named Anna who has had a child with him.

To cut a long story short, Rachel discovers that she is not the violent callous or insane woman she was made out to be, Her ex husband Tom had abused her and drove her to alcoholism and lied to her in order to control her and won't allow her to be trusted by Anna and not only that, Megan was killed by Tom. We also learn that Tom loves sleeping around and was fired from his job (His claim that Rachel was the one who got him fired when it was actually his fault he lost the job. 

Her divorce stemmed from the fact that she couldn't have a child and Rachel at one point, not hurting Anna's child, but actually wanted to just hold Anna's child to feel like a mother.

She has had her marital life torn from her, no baby, no husband, no means of supporting herself (She often stared out of the train to see a perfect couple, her desire to be part of a marriage again).

Tom is killed, both Anna and Rachel are arrested and Rachel is free at the end, presumably with a new job and a new lease on life.

The film never shies away from the horrors of domestic violence and treats the subject matter with respect, as it is a serious issue that plagues many marriages.

With Rachel and Megan, we have both women damaged and ruined by their husband's wicked behavior towards them. I am aware that domestic abuse can happen to men too, but the film nevertheless demonstrates very effectively why domestic abuse is wrong.

Domestic violence can destroy a person's mind, it causes them to turn to drink to dull the pain or become desensitized to the violence that is done to them, so much so that they accept the pain as a part of their life.

It even shows a person seeking love from another source, even if it means engaging in an affair with another person in light of their spouse not loving them.

While the fall has caused women to try and dominate their husbands and be their head, the fall has caused men to be violent or cruel to subdue the women to retain control, the opposite extreme.

Husbands loving their wives and wives submitting to their husbands is the biblical norm that God established and The Girl on the Train gives us examples of what happens when the husband becomes manipulative (Tom) or paranoid (Scott) and becomes cruel towards their spouse, it leads to a spiral in which the wife becomes disillusioned, afraid and broken.

In some cases, it may cause the person in question never to trust someone of the opposite gender again or see marriage is a horrible existence to never be experienced.

Domestic violence is something God hates and the husband will be accountable for the way he treats his family, both his wife and kids. May the Christian men who are married to Christian women be the protectors and leaders of the household but NEVER the dictators of the household. 

As long has the man acknowledges that his head Christ is not abusive, the wife can rest assured that her husband is the head who would never seek to ruin her intentionally.

Answering Judaism.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Response to Jory Micah

There was an individual named Jory Micah whom caught my attention earlier today on Facebook and in light of the fact that at the time this article is penned, I have another article on the roles of women in the church, whether they can get a job or not or other issues that isn't finished yet, it would be pertinent to comment on this teacher and some of her comments in light of the subject matter.

This would have been part of the article but it's better to have this response as it's own self contained article. These things that have been said are rather concerning at best and disturbing at worst.

Let us take a look shall we?

"I believe that the Holy Scriptures are truth, inspired by the Spirit of God but I don't believe that God is confined to the Bible. God is much bigger than what is revealed to us in the Bible."

While God is bigger than scripture and us, I don't really see what she is getting at. The scriptures inspired by God are the church's sole infallible rule of faith. The scriptures determine what is true and what isn't. If there is information presented to us that is contrary to the scriptures, Why must we accept it at all? God can reveal himself to us, but he will not leave us in the dark or mislead us. He gives the church the Holy Spirit and the scriptures to lead us onto the right path.

"Feminism is the radical idea that women are human beings, thus deserving of the same opporunities as men, in the home, society and Church."

Men and Women have equal dignity and value in God's sight but have different roles and responsiblities. Putting aside the debate of whether or not women can go out to work, let's operate on the basis they can. There are jobs out there that would not be open to women and I am positive there are roles men cannot take up. While it is commendable to fight for women's rights, it is wrong to place them in a position that would violate their womanhood. There are jobs out there that would not and should not be open to women, the army being one example among many.

"If I, as a woman made in the image of God, then God must not only be a father, but a "mother" as well."
God is a father, not a mother. You could say that he birthed the people of Israel, you can say a man birthed a project, be it a movie, a program, a swimming pool. Men can give birth in that sense, they give birth to a project, but that doesn't make them a mother. Likewise, God birthed the Earth and Adam and created Eve from his side, but that doesn't make God himself a mother.

""God is described as Father by Jesus"

Yes, true, but this may be because Jesus was living in an extreme patriachal culture in which "Father" was the best metaphor available to describe God (and probably still is in much of the world), so humans can understand.

The father, in Jesus' day, was the protector, provider, and really the source of all livelihood in the home.

But remember, Mary was the source that God chose to use, to birth Jesus. No man was needed.

God is called, El Shaddai which means, "many breasted one." Our God is also a Mother-she births and nutures life. (Though God does not have a literal gender)."

If calling God Father was because of Jesus living in a patriachal culture and it was the best metaphor, then why would Jesus change that based on culture. This isn't like whether or not a woman could have braided hair where the hair in one culture carries a particular connotation that another culture would not recognize it in that way or let's say a word is innocent in one country and offensive in another (The word spunky in America does not carry a sexual connotation that it does in Austrialia or England.) This is talking about the roles of men and women from the beginning established by God, that the man is the one who is the provider for the family, not the woman.

Having said that, there are plenty of jobs for women that they could take up. In a marital context, the woman's priority is to look after the home while her husband's priority is the one to work.

See the following article on El Shaddai:

If Jory Micah is reading this, I have this to say. Repent and turn back to Jesus, you are teaching rebellion against him and his Father in heaven. Reconsider what you are teaching, do not teach over mixed congregations and be obedient to the word.

Anything else that the Lord wants me to comment on, I'll do it if he so wills.

Answering Judaism.