Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

Chick-Fil-A support

Here are the signs we SHOULD be seeing even if these are photoshopped:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Marriage: Hate Crime of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A?

 

 
I didn’t intend to write this post, until I came across Todd Starnes’s commentary “Philadelphia to Consider  Resolution Condemning Chick-fil-A, which I quote below.

No sooner had I made what I believe to be propheticstatements about God’s judgment upon our nation, than the rabid homosexual advocates launched their vicious attack on–of all things–a fast food restaurant chain because of the owners’ personal religious and moral beliefs.

Is he advocating immorality [as his opponents are]? NO!

Had this man poisoned someone’s food? NO!

Had he told homosexuals that they could not eat in his stores? NEVER!! [He actually provides jobs for them.] The Chick-fil-A’s have an antidiscrimination policy.

Not so the cities of Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Chicago. No . . . they blatantly, publicly and unashamedly discriminate and their elected officials use their political positions of leadership to censor and pour out “hate” toward a Christian, family-owned business because its CEO and chain owners believe in the biblical view of marriage.

SO what had #ChickFilA founder and CEO, Dan Cathy, done to rile up these city leaders? He simply restated the teaching of the Holy Bible, the Word of God, that God’s intent was that marriage be between one man and one woman for life. WOW!! Cathy  went that far? To think that marriage is between a man and a woman? What a hateful, sick individual! Of all things to believe . . . where would he ever have gotten such a twisted idea? Marriage between a man and a woman? Come on, how far can we let such archaic views be tolerated. We should use our political power and vitriol to silence the God who created marriage and all his followers who espouse his view?

As the Scripture says of the origins of homosexuality in Romans 1:18–32 (ESV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Though we love these fallen people, why would we support their darkened behavior, the behavior of a debased mind and heart? No, we should speak truthfully to support what is right and true.

Cathy and those like him (including me and millions of Americans who have the courage to stand with our God and His Word) are being mocked, ignored, or silenced. This would not be such a blow to our nation if it did not signal a greater horror. A nation that turns its back on God is a nation doomed to live out its own sickness and force its disease upon all free people everywhere. I don’t want the government or special  interest groups bent on wickedness telling me that I can’t sell chicken in their city limits because I don’t hold their twisted, demonic views of men marrying men and women marrying women.

As the Holy Spirit makes clear, homosexuality is the final perversion of a society–a people who have turned from God. Down through history, this decadence preceded the downfall of the nation which accepted it as “normal” behavior. The best known examples include Sodom & Gomorrah and Rome.  Homosexuality is a spiritual and moral cancer infecting our nation and the world. God will not let it continue for long. One way or the other, the sick patient will die–either of the disease or of God’s judgment. And yes, AIDS did begin to show itself in the west in the homosexual community first. Don’t let all the white-washes and purges of history by homosexual groups and their vicious advocates fool you.

Now cities like San Francisco (surprise) and Chicago (who could have guessed, Obama’s home town) have blasted the company and threatened Chick-fil-A’s expansion there. All this because the owner supports a biblical definition of marriage–traditional marriage. From Todd Starnes’ commentary:

The Philadelphia City Council will consider a resolution condemning Chick-fil-A for what one city leader called “anti-American” attitudes that promote “hatred, bigotry and discrimination.”

City Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy telling him to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.”. . . [who’s intolerant?]

Kenney said individuals who do not support gay marriage should understand there are consequences to their belief. [and to his wickedness]

“If he [Dan Cathy] really, truly believes what he believes, that is his right to do so,” he told Fox News. “But there is often a price to pay for that.” [now in America, there’s a price to pay for believing that marriage is sacred before God, and that HE defines marriage, not people]

Mike Huckabee has launched a nationwide effort to show support for the besieged family-owned company – declaring August 1st as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

Pasted from <http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/philadelphia-to-consider-resolution-condemning-chick-fil-a.html>

So what’s wrong with a guy like Jim Kenney? See what God says is wrong:

Romans 1:28 (ESV)

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

What will it take to demonstrate to this nation’s infected leaders that THEY are the ones leading us to our demise (unless that’s their intent–don’t think that this is out of the realm of possibility). I have lived to see things that I would have never dreamed possible in the United States of American. People who have come form somewhere in outer space as far as their values and rejection of God.

I agree with Michelle Malkin:

“When an elected public official wields the club of government against a Christian business in the name of ‘tolerance,’ it’s not harmless kid stuff,” she wrote. “It’s chilling.”  –quoted in Starnes’s commentary.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

I propose that we send a message to Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and any other city or political body that holds to demonic teaching rather than the clear instruction of our God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. I call upon the citizens and churches, ministries,synagogues, and mosques of those cities who hold to a moral universe, cared for by a loving and holy God, to rise up and teach these politicians that they do not speak for the majority of mentally and spiritually healthy citizens.

I certainly don’t want the dictatorial, decadent and perverse thoughts of people like Jim Kenney and his ilk and whole cities who revel in their disgrace and sin to infect more of our nation with this demonic doctrine. The last days of our existence will be characterized by the increase of this kind of persons:

1 Timothy 4:1–2 (ESV)

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared . . .

They have seared their consciences and no longer know the difference between right and wrong. Can they be saved? With great difficulty, but I’m not sure because of this passage:

2 Thessalonians 2:9–12 (ESV)

9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We should pity such persons, but be sure we don’t agree with or support their doomed worldview.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

At the least, we should join with Mike Huckabee and his nationwide audience to show support for Dan Cathy and the “besieged family-owned company” on August 1st as we eat at the nearest #ChickFilA restaurant, even if we have to drive some distance to get there (I’ll be driving nearly an hour to get to the closest one to me). I’ve never eaten there, but I sure intend to now. That’s the ONE thing I suppose I can thank Jim Kenney for.

We can also pray that the Lord will grant us grace to survive the increasing wickedness and darkness as the American empire implodes and disintegrates.

Related articles

July 31, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Traditional Marriage: Hate Crime of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A

 

Traditional Marriage: Hate Crime of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A?

 

 
I didn’t intend to write this post, until I came across Todd Starnes’s commentary “Philadelphia to Consider  Resolution Condemning Chick-fil-A, which I quote below.

No sooner had I made what I believe to be propheticstatements about God’s judgment upon our nation, than the rabid homosexual advocates launched their vicious attack on–of all things–a fast food restaurant chain because of the owners’ personal religious and moral beliefs.

Is he advocating immorality [as his opponents are]? NO!

Had this man poisoned someone’s food? NO!

Had he told homosexuals that they could not eat in his stores? NEVER!! [He actually provides jobs for them.] The Chick-fil-A’s have an antidiscrimination policy.

Not so the cities of Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Chicago. No . . . they blatantly, publicly and unashamedly discriminate and their elected officials use their political positions of leadership to censor and pour out “hate” toward a Christian, family-owned business because its CEO and chain owners believe in the biblical view of marriage.

SO what had #ChickFilA founder and CEO, Dan Cathy, done to rile up these city leaders? He simply restated the teaching of the Holy Bible, the Word of God, that God’s intent was that marriage be between one man and one woman for life. WOW!! Cathy  went that far? To think that marriage is between a man and a woman? What a hateful, sick individual! Of all things to believe . . . where would he ever have gotten such a twisted idea? Marriage between a man and a woman? Come on, how far can we let such archaic views be tolerated. We should use our political power and vitriol to silence the God who created marriage and all his followers who espouse his view?

As the Scripture says of the origins of homosexuality in Romans 1:18–32 (ESV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Though we love these fallen people, why would we support their darkened behavior, the behavior of a debased mind and heart? No, we should speak truthfully to support what is right and true.

Cathy and those like him (including me and millions of Americans who have the courage to stand with our God and His Word) are being mocked, ignored, or silenced. This would not be such a blow to our nation if it did not signal a greater horror. A nation that turns its back on God is a nation doomed to live out its own sickness and force its disease upon all free people everywhere. I don’t want the government or special  interest groups bent on wickedness telling me that I can’t sell chicken in their city limits because I don’t hold their twisted, demonic views of men marrying men and women marrying women.

As the Holy Spirit makes clear, homosexuality is the final perversion of a society–a people who have turned from God. Down through history, this decadence preceded the downfall of the nation which accepted it as “normal” behavior. The best known examples include Sodom & Gomorrah and Rome.  Homosexuality is a spiritual and moral cancer infecting our nation and the world. God will not let it continue for long. One way or the other, the sick patient will die–either of the disease or of God’s judgment. And yes, AIDS did begin to show itself in the west in the homosexual community first. Don’t let all the white-washes and purges of history by homosexual groups and their vicious advocates fool you.

Now cities like San Francisco (surprise) and Chicago (who could have guessed, Obama’s home town) have blasted the company and threatened Chick-fil-A’s expansion there. All this because the owner supports a biblical definition of marriage–traditional marriage. From Todd Starnes’ commentary:

The Philadelphia City Council will consider a resolution condemning Chick-fil-A for what one city leader called “anti-American” attitudes that promote “hatred, bigotry and discrimination.”

City Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy telling him to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.”. . . [who’s intolerant?]

Kenney said individuals who do not support gay marriage should understand there are consequences to their belief. [and to his wickedness]

“If he [Dan Cathy] really, truly believes what he believes, that is his right to do so,” he told Fox News. “But there is often a price to pay for that.” [now in America, there’s a price to pay for believing that marriage is sacred before God, and that HE defines marriage, not people]

Mike Huckabee has launched a nationwide effort to show support for the besieged family-owned company – declaring August 1st as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

Pasted from <http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/philadelphia-to-consider-resolution-condemning-chick-fil-a.html>

So what’s wrong with a guy like Jim Kenney? See what God says is wrong:

Romans 1:28 (ESV)

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

What will it take to demonstrate to this nation’s infected leaders that THEY are the ones leading us to our demise (unless that’s their intent–don’t think that this is out of the realm of possibility). I have lived to see things that I would have never dreamed possible in the United States of American. People who have come form somewhere in outer space as far as their values and rejection of God.

I agree with Michelle Malkin:

“When an elected public official wields the club of government against a Christian business in the name of ‘tolerance,’ it’s not harmless kid stuff,” she wrote. “It’s chilling.”  –quoted in Starnes’s commentary.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

I propose that we send a message to Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and any other city or political body that holds to demonic teaching rather than the clear instruction of our God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. I call upon the citizens and churches, ministries,synagogues, and mosques of those cities who hold to a moral universe, cared for by a loving and holy God, to rise up and teach these politicians that they do not speak for the majority of mentally and spiritually healthy citizens.

I certainly don’t want the dictatorial, decadent and perverse thoughts of people like Jim Kenney and his ilk and whole cities who revel in their disgrace and sin to infect more of our nation with this demonic doctrine. The last days of our existence will be characterized by the increase of this kind of persons:

1 Timothy 4:1–2 (ESV)

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared . . .

They have seared their consciences and no longer know the difference between right and wrong. Can they be saved? With great difficulty, but I’m not sure because of this passage:

2 Thessalonians 2:9–12 (ESV)

9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We should pity such persons, but be sure we don’t agree with or support their doomed worldview.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

At the least, we should join with Mike Huckabee and his nationwide audience to show support for Dan Cathy and the “besieged family-owned company” on August 1st as we eat at the nearest #ChickFilA restaurant, even if we have to drive some distance to get there (I’ll be driving nearly an hour to get to the closest one to me). I’ve never eaten there, but I sure intend to now. That’s the ONE thing I suppose I can thank Jim Kenney for.

We can also pray that the Lord will grant us grace to survive the increasing wickedness and darkness as the American empire implodes and disintegrates.

Related articles

July 28, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Islam teaches about muslimas marrying nonmuslims

And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikun ** till they believe in Allah alone and verily a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik, even though he pleases you….[2:221] .
(** Al-Mushrikun=>Pagans, idolators, polytheist and disbelievers in
the oneness of allah and muhammad)

Islam considers the husband head-of-the-family. Thus a Muslima cannot marry a non-Muslim because she will be under the authority of a non-muslim husband. This is considered especially bad because as the head of the house, he may prevent her from carrying out her religious obligations which would be his right as the husband. But it is not the sole reason for imposing the restriction. Due to the very probable falling away from islam in this situation, it is considered to be very damaging for the woman who is considered to be unable to follow islam afterwards properly leading to apostacy. The children of this union are considered muslim as are all children born to a muslim parent of either sex, but they also are assumed to be taught less than full islam leading to apostacy. There are NO conditions (except stealth jihad) under which a Muslim woman IS allowed to get married or remain married to a non-Muslim husband after she has accepted Islam. Therefore, even if she has freedom to practise Islam after marriage, she is NOT allowed to enter into an inter-faith marriage. She is considered to be living in adultery because the marriage is not valid under islamic law.

 

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Monogamy Taught by Holy Bible

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
(SINGULAR) – 1 Cornthians 7:2

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach – 1 Timothy 3:2

A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. – 1 Timothy 3:12

FURTHER CLARIFICATION:

The clearest evidence that monogamy is God’s ideal is from Christ’s teaching on marriage in Matt. 19:3–6. In this passage, He cited the Genesis creation account, in particular Gen. 1:27 and 2:24, saying ‘the two will become one flesh’, not more than two.

Another important biblical teaching is the parallel of husband and wife with Christ and the Church in Eph. 5:22–33, which makes sense only with monogamy—Jesus will not have multiple brides.

The 10th Commandment ‘… You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife [singular] …’ (Exodus 20:17) also presupposes the ideal that there is only one wife. Polygamy is expressly forbidden for church elders (1 Tim. 3:2). And this is not just for elders, because Paul also wrote: ‘each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.’ Paul goes on to explain marital duties in terms that make sense only with one husband to one wife.

The example of godly people is also important. Isaac and Rebekah were monogamous—they are often used as a model in Jewish weddings today. Other examples were Joseph and Asenath, and Moses and Zipporah. And the only survivors of the Flood were four monogamous couples.

A schematic showing the monogamy relationship....

 

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

About the Song of Songs

The Aleppo Codex is a medieval manuscript of t...

Image via Wikipedia

About the Song of Songs

The Song of Songs is a poem about love. The main speakers are a man, and the woman whom he loves.

At the start, the couple are not yet engaged. The woman is not sure about the man. She twice sends him away. She does not want to share his life.

But in the end, she learns to trust him. They marry. She is ready to become a mother. And she is glad to work with him. Her attitudes have become mature.

About the man

The man is King Solomon. Solomon was a great king, but he was not a proud man. He sincerely wanted to help his people. He worked hard to make their lives better. In fact, he liked to describe himself as a shepherd. A shepherd is a man whose job is to look after sheep. Once, Solomon’s father, David, worked as a real shepherd. Solomon was never a real shepherd. As king, he looked after people instead of sheep.

Actually, Solomon was not a good model for a husband. He had many wives. He married these women for political reasons. For example, he wanted his country to be at peace with Egypt. So he married the daughter of the king of Egypt. We do not know whether Solomon really loved all these women. But the woman in the Song of Solomon was different from these other women. Solomon loved her deeply. She really was special to him.

The Song of Songs seems to describe the man as if he were a better husband than Solomon. In fact, the man in the Song seems perfect. This is not the only place in the Bible where there is such a description. Psalm 72 is also about Solomon. But the Psalm seems to describe a king who is a better king than Solomon. Both passages are poetry. And both have the same explanation. Although the passages speak about Solomon, they were really describing God.

God is like Solomon in many ways. God is the greatest king. God looks after his people. So God is also like a shepherd (Psalm 23). (A shepherd is a man who looks after sheep. God looks after his people, rather than sheep.) And God loves the people who obey him. Especially, God loves the people who trust him completely. And these people are glad to do his work. God’s love is perfect although our love for him is often weak. This is exactly like the man in Song of Songs.

Solomon was the greatest king that the people in Israel ever knew. He was richer than any other king. The country was at peace. He achieved many great things and he built impressive buildings. So, he seemed to be the right king to choose as a description of God. But Solomon was certainly not perfect. He made terrible mistakes. At the end of his life, he even served false gods because of his foreign wives. Other books in the Bible describe these errors. But the Song of Songs does not. Instead, it gladly remembers the happy days when Solomon was a young king. At that time, he was loyal to God. And so, Solomon’s love for a young woman reminded everyone about the love of God.

About the woman

We do not know the name of the woman whom Solomon loved. The Bible simply calls her ‘the Shulamite’. This probably means that she was from a town called Shulem. This town was in the north of Israel. It belonged to the family of Issachar.

Solomon’s intentions for the woman soon become clear. He wants her to be his wife. But she hesitates to join him.

Proverbs 31:10-31 is a poem from the same time as Song of Songs. This poem lists the duties of a perfect wife. Clearly, such a woman was working very hard. Although her husband was wealthy, she was never lazy. She made sure that her husband never needed to worry about anything. So, he was able to carry out his work as a judge. This woman looked after him and their children. She also helped poor people. She impressed everyone by her hard work.

The woman in Song of Songs seems to hesitate for various reasons. At the start of the Song, she does not seem mature enough. Her words sometimes seem selfish. She may be a little lazy. But perhaps she also fears failure. In other words, she thinks that she will never be perfect enough for Solomon. Perhaps she knew the poem about the perfect wife in Proverbs 31:10-31. And she was afraid that she would disappoint Solomon.

But in the end, this woman becomes mature. She accepts Solomon’s offer of marriage. She shares with him everything that she has. And she is glad to join him in his great work. Like this woman, we often hesitate about our love for God. Our reasons are often the same as hers. We may be glad to invite God into our lives. But perhaps we are afraid to obey him completely. We may be selfish or lazy. We may be unsure about the work that God wants us to do. Or we may be afraid that we will fail. But God is always encouraging us to trust him more. He wants us to become better Christians. He wants us to become mature (Hebrews 6:1).

About marriage

We know some marriage traditions that existed at the time of the Song. We are not sure how these traditions relate to the events in the Song.

Parents would often arrange for the couple to become engaged (Judges 14:2). The man’s parents might select a wife that the man had not met (Genesis 24:4).

The woman would receive gifts when she became engaged (Genesis 24:22). The man’s family would arrange a procession to show the man’s wealth (Genesis 24:10). There would be parties (Genesis 24:28-33). The couple were not yet married. They did not live together. And they did not have sex. But they promised to marry. So they were different from people who were neither married nor engaged (Deuteronomy 22:22-29).

The engaged couple had to wait for their wedding. For example, Jacob waited 7 years for his wedding (Genesis 29:20). The man had to pay a price for his bride (1 Samuel 18:23-25).

The wedding itself would a great event. At the wedding, the man would come with his friends to his bride’s home. The man would take his wife away and lead her to his own home. The couple would be a married couple from the first night of the wedding. But the parties continued for several days (Judges 14:10-18).

About love

Our ideas about love today are often different from ancient ideas about love. Today, we often think about love as a mere emotion. For example, films always seem to show love as an emotion. Clearly, the couple in Song of Songs felt this emotion. But they did not marry merely because of this emotion. In fact, the woman twice decided to send away the man.

In ancient times, people thought above love as a decision. This still happens in some societies today. The couple decide to marry. Sometimes they may not even feel love as an emotion. But their decision is a declaration of love. For the rest of their lives, they will give themselves to each other. They will look after each other. And they will work hard to help each other. This is real love. And in the end, the couple in the Song of Songs show such real love to each other.

The meaning of the Song of Songs

The Song of Songs is, of course, a poem. It describes wonderful plants and beautiful animals. It describes special places. And it describes processions, dances and gardens. But the Song also has a more important meaning.

Parables and allegories are different types of stories. Both parables and allegories have a meaning. But there is a difference. Parables are very simple. And they are easy to understand. But allegories are very complex. Every detail in an allegory is important. And words have secret meanings.

There are many parables in the Bible. Jesus often used parables to each the people. The meaning of these parables is never complex.

Allegories became popular many centuries after the time of the Bible. People used to read allegories for entertainment, like novels today. And many people thought that the Song of Songs was an allegory. They tried to find secret meanings in its words. They thought that its real meaning must be very complex. They tried to find new meaning in every sentence.

We think that the Song of Songs is more like a parable. In other words, its meaning is simple to understand. Its meaning is:

·     God loves us. His love does not change.

·    But we are not always loyal to him. Perhaps we are selfish. So we do not always want to obey him.

·    God wants us to trust him more. Then, in the end, we shall be glad to obey him. And we shall be perfect for him.

Chapter 1

v1 The most beautiful of songs, by Solomon.

Verse 1

Solomon collected songs and proverbs (wise words). In the end, he had 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. We still have over 600 proverbs that he collected. They are in the Book of Proverbs. Perhaps the songs in his collection included some Psalms. Or perhaps only one song from this collection still exists. This song is called the Song of Songs. And it was Solomon’s greatest song because it is about the love of God.

Love is a wonderful subject for a song. But the love of God is an even nobler subject.

The young woman and her hope for the future

The young woman

v2 Your lips give me many kisses.

Your love is better than wine.

v3 Your *perfume smells wonderful.

But your name is better than the best *perfume.

That is why the young women love you.

v4 Take me away with you, and we will run away.

Let the king bring me into his room.

Friends

          We are very happy for you.

We will say that your love is better than wine.

The young woman

                      How right the women are to love you!

v5 I am dark but lovely too, young women of Jerusalem.

I am dark like the tents of Kedar.

But I am beautiful as Solomon’s curtains.

v6 Do not stare at me because I am dark.

The sunshine has made me dark.

My brothers were angry with me.

They made me look after the *vineyards.

So I could not look after my own *vineyard.

v7      You are the only person that I love.

Tell me where you feed your sheep.

Tell me where you rest your sheep at midday.

Or I will be like a woman who *veils herself.

And I will sit among the *flocks of your friends.

Solomon

v8 You are such a beautiful woman!

Perhaps you do not know where to go.

Follow the tracks of the sheep.

Let your young goats eat by the *shepherd’s tents.

v9 Let me describe you, my *dear.

You are like a *mare of one of Pharaoh’s *chariots.

v10 Your hair is beautiful upon your cheeks.

So is your neck with its precious stones.

v11 We will make a chain of gold for you.

We will use silver to make you pretty.

Verses 2-4

This young woman likes Solomon very much. Her emotions feel very strong. In fact, she probably thinks that she loves him. But her attitudes are not yet mature. She wants the excitement of friendship with a very special man. But she will have great responsibility as his wife. And she is not yet thinking about this responsibility.

We do not think that the couple were actually kissing yet. The woman was probably imagining his kisses. She was very excited because of him.

When we become Christians, our attitudes are not mature. We know that God is wonderful. We want to thank him for his love. We are excited that he chose us to follow him. But perhaps we are not yet ready to serve him. His instructions seem like a problem instead of something wonderful. But God wants us to become more mature.

Verse 4

In this verse, the other women reply. They agree that Solomon is a wonderful man. Everybody seems to want his love.

Verses 5-6

The woman is aware that she is not perfect. She has two problems:

·     She thinks that her skin is too dark. She wants to marry the king. But she does not look like a princess. Instead, she looks like a young woman who works outside. So she is afraid that Solomon will not like her. But her fear is stupid. Solomon does not want a lazy wife who is pale! Instead, he wants a wife who will share his work. He wants a wife who will be responsible.

·     She has not looked after her own *vineyard. In other words, she has not done her own work. So she feels guilty. In the end, she will do this work (8:12). But she will not be working for herself. She will gladly give the profits to Solomon.

God does not want us to be lazy. God wants us to be responsible people. And God wants us to work for him. We do not work for God because we feel guilty. Instead, we gladly work for him because we love him (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Verse 7

The woman asks where she can meet Solomon. She does not want to follow him at a distance. She wants to be with him.

Her thought was a beautiful thought. Christians too should want to spend time with Jesus. There are other good things that we may enjoy. But the time that we spend in prayer is special time.

Verse 8

In his reply, Solomon tells the young woman about his work. Solomon pretends that he is looking after sheep. Really, Solomon is the king. His work is to look after people. So he invited the young woman to join him as he does his work.

Jesus also compared himself with a *shepherd (John 10:14). But really, Jesus is the greatest king (Revelation 19:16).

Verse 9

The horses that pulled *chariots were strong and brave. These were not lazy horses. They wanted to work hard. Pharaoh was the king of Egypt. He did not travel without a *chariot. His horses took him wherever he wanted to go.

Solomon seems to be discussing this woman’s attitudes. Perhaps she thinks that, as queen, she will have a life of leisure. But he is offering her worthwhile work as his queen. She will help him to rule the country.

Verses 10-11

The woman was not sure that she was beautiful enough for Solomon (1:6). But Solomon replies that she is very beautiful. And he will help her to be even more beautiful.

The special meal

The young woman

v12 The king is at his table.

The smell of my *perfume is in the air.

v13 My lover is like a collection of *perfumes.

This lies all night between my breasts.

v14 My lover is like a bundle of henna flowers.

These flowers are from Engedi.

It is where people make wine.

Solomon

v15 How beautiful you are, my *dear!

Oh! How beautiful!

You have eyes like *dove’s eyes.

The young woman

v16 You are so handsome, my *dear;

You are such a delight to me.

Our bed will be green.

v17 We can have wood from tall trees.

We can use it in our house.

We can use other types of wood for our ceiling.

Verses 12-14

Song of Songs 2:4 also seems to describe a special meal. Perhaps the meal begins at 1:12 and continues until 2:7.

Engedi is a place with many beautiful gardens. But its situation is unusual. It is in the middle of a desert. It would be difficult to get flowers from Engedi. So the flowers are a special gift.

The *perfumes also seem to be a special gift. And the woman will keep them next to her heart.

Verses 15-17

This is a very happy conversation. We think that, perhaps, the couple are using friendly humour.

Solomon says that the woman’s eyes are like doves (birds). Of course, doves live outside. So she jokes that the couple would need a green bed, like grass. Then the couple imagine the house. It could have tall trees for its walls. And its roof would be branches that spread out.

So the couple joke that they should not really be inside. She has already explained that she has to work outside (verse 6). And he replied that he wants her to join him in his outdoors work (verse 8).

Chapter 2

The young woman

v1      I am only a wild flower from Sharon,

a wild flower of the valleys.

Solomon

v2 You are like a wild flower,

a wild flower among *thorns.

You are my very *dear woman among women.

The young woman

v3 You are like an apple tree.

This tree is among the trees of the forest.

This is what you are like among young men.

I sit in your shade with great pleasure.

Your apples taste good. They are sweet.

v4 He has taken me to his house.

It is where he has special meals.

Everyone can see how much he loves me.

v5 He has made me strong again with his fruit.

I feel much better with his apples!

I am weak with love.

v6      His left hand is under my head.

And he touches me softly with his right hand.

v7 Women of Jerusalem, make a promise to me.

Think about the wild *gazelles and *deer as you make this promise.

Do not think about love until the right time.

Verses 1-3

The couple continue their happy conversation. But the subject changes. The couple talk about special plants that grow among wild plants. A beautiful wild flower could grow among *thorns. A fruit tree could grow in the forest. But we do not usually find such special plants among wild plants. It would be a rare and wonderful event.

Solomon and the young woman had discovered each other. So they were very excited.

When we discover God’s love, we are very excited. It is wonderful to know that God loves us. But God is also very pleased that we are starting to love him (Luke 15:4-7, Luke 15:21-24).

Verse 4

Many young women like Solomon (1:3; 2:2). But this young woman is very special. Solomon makes a party for her. And he wants everyone to know that he has chosen her.

Verse 5

But this young woman does not seem to appreciate Solomon’s attention. She is not still excited. Instead, she complains that she feels weak. Solomon has provided wonderful food to make her strong.

Verse 6

Perhaps this woman is so weak that she falls. Perhaps Solomon has to hold her so that she does not hurt herself. His touch is gentle.

She should be very excited that he is touching her. But instead, she seems afraid. Their love seems to be developing too quickly. She is not sure that she is ready for him yet.

Verse 7

So she asks the other women to make a promise. She reminds them about wild animals called gazelles and deer. These animals do not mate before the proper time of year. And, like them, she does not want to marry Solomon until she is ready.

This young woman is not yet ready to be Solomon’s wife. She loves him. But her attitudes are not yet mature enough.

As Christians, we often love God deeply. But our attitudes are not always mature. God invites us to serve him. But we hesitate. God wants us to work for him. But we have other ideas. So we do whatever we want to do. We are not always loyal to God. But God still loves us. And he will teach us to love him better, if we are ready to learn.

Solomon proposes to the young woman

The young woman

v8 Listen! My lover!

Look! Here he comes!

He is jumping across the mountains.

He is jumping over the hills.

v9 My lover is like a *gazelle.

Or, like a young *deer.

He is like an animal that can run fast.

Look at him, as he stands next to the wall.

He looks in through the window.

He looks through the wooden bars.

v10 My lover speaks to me.

Solomon

Come then, woman whom I love.

My *dearest, come with me.

v11 Look, the winter is over,

the rains have come and gone.

v12 Flowers appear in the country;

birds are singing.

In the fields, people can hear the song of *doves.

v13 Young *figs are growing on the *fig trees.

Smell the flowers on the*vines.

Get up, my *dear, my beautiful lady.

Come with me.

v14 You are like a *dove that hides in holes in the cliffs.

It is as if you are hiding in secret places in the cliffs.

Let me see your face.

Let me hear your voice.

Your voice is so pleasant,

and your face is so lovely.

v15 Catch the foxes for us.

These little foxes spoil the *vineyard.

There are flowers in our *vineyard now.

The young woman

v16 My lover is mine,

and I am his!

My lover eats among the *lotuses.

v17 Turn, my lover,

until the day begins.

And until the shadows go away.

You should be like a *gazelle,

or a young *deer on the mountains of Bether.

Verses 8-9

Solomon visits the woman. But he does not enter her room. He stands outside and he calls her.

His character reminds her of a shy animal. He seems to behave like the animals that she spoke about in verse 7.

We think that Solomon was simply behaving politely. He did not want to be alone with the young woman. He wanted to be fair to her. He did not want to force her to join him. He simply wanted to invite her. She could either agree to or refuse his invitation.

God is also very gentle with us. He does not force us to obey him. He wants us to obey him because we love him. So he allows us to choose what we shall do.

Verses 10-13

This is a beautiful invitation. It is a description of spring. Solomon starts with a description of the country at the end of winter. Then he describes the start of spring. And now it is the time when animals mate. In fact, it is the time when she expected to be ready for him (verse 7).

Verses 14-15

So he is now inviting her to join him. There is work for them to do together. She suggested that she wanted to look after her *vineyard (1:8). In springtime, the farmers need young workers to look after the *vineyards. They have to chase away the foxes.

Of course, Solomon was the king. So we do not really suppose that he had to chase the foxes. But the couple always used events in the country to describe their love. So perhaps Solomon really wanted her to help with other problems.

God is very great. He does not need our help to do his work. But he chooses to work with us. He gives us responsibilities. And this is a great honour for us (Matthew 25:34-40). God will reward us when we do his work (Matthew 25:21).

Verse 16

The young woman does not seem to think seriously about the invitation. She does not agree that the time is right. Solomon said that she was like a flower (2:2). But she said that he had plenty of flowers to look at. He was like a wild animal that lived among the flowers. In other words, she was saying that he had other women to look at. She was speaking as if she were as important as him. Or, as if his invitation did not matter to her.

Verse 17

So she told him to go away. If he was like a shy animal, then he should go back to the hills. She would not join him.

Her decision was stupid. But he respected her. He went away.

Sometimes we may refuse to allow God to work in our lives. God will allow us to do our own things. But he still loves us. He still encourages us to trust him.

And when we are ready, he will be waiting for us.

Chapter 3

The young woman looks for Solomon

The young woman

v1 At night, when I was on my bed, I looked for my man.

He is the man that my heart loves.

I looked for him, but I did not find him!

v2      I will get up now.

I will go round the city.

In the streets and squares,

I will search for the man that I love.

So I looked for him but I could not find him.

v3      The guards who go about the city found me.

I asked them, ‘Have you seen the man that I love?’

v4      As soon as I left the guards, I found my man.

I found the man that I love.

I held him, and I would not let him go.

Then I took him to my mother’s house.

It was the room where I was born.

v5      Women of Jerusalem, make a promise to me.

Think about the wild *gazelles and *deer as you make this promise.

Do not think about love until the right time.

Verse 1

After Solomon proposed to the young woman (2:12), she sent him away (2:17). Soon, she is sorry about her decision. She cannot sleep. She hopes that he will return to her. But she is afraid that she may never see him again.

Sometimes we may think that God has left us. Perhaps we do something wrong, so we feel guilty. But God still cares about us. He wants us to confess our wrong actions to him. Then he will gladly forgive us (1 John 1:9).

Verses 2-3

The woman got up very early in the morning. The time was so early that the guards were still working. Their job was to protect the city during the night. She is looking everywhere for Solomon. And she asks the guards to help her. She seems desperate.

Solomon could have waited at the door. But he did not. He went away from her. He did not go far. But he still left. So she had to look for him.

Sometimes it feels as if we must look for God. Perhaps we refuse to obey him. And then we are sorry. We pray. But perhaps we do not feel that we are close to God again. God wants us to be humble. When we apologise to God, we must be sincere. God is always kind. He will not refuse us if we are humble. But he will oppose us if we continue to be proud (James 4:6-10).

Verse 4

When the young woman finds Solomon, she is not still proud. She now realises that she needs him. And she wants to be his wife. Last night she sent him away. Her proud words were very foolish. But this morning she invites him into her home. She wants him to meet her mother. It was the tradition that parents would arrange for the couple to become engaged (Judges 14:2; 2 Samuel 13:13).

Verse 5

The woman repeats her words from 2:7. But the meaning seems slightly different. She agrees that now is the right time for her and Solomon to become engaged. Their love feels wonderful. And she now knows that she needs him.

The procession

The young woman

v6      Somebody is coming from the desert.

And men are coming with clouds of smoke.

They come with *myrrh and *incense.

They have a wonderful smell.

v7      Look! It is Solomon’s carriage!

Sixty (60) soldiers guard it.

They are the best soldiers in Israel.

v8      All of them are skilful with the sword.

People have trained them to fight.

Their swords are at their sides.

They are ready for any danger during the night.

v9      King Solomon made the carriage for himself.

The wood came from Lebanon.

v10    He made the poles from silver.

And it has a gold base.

A purple cloth covers the seat.

The women of Jerusalem made the beautiful inside of the carriage.

They made it with grace.

v11    Women of Zion, come out and see King Solomon.

Look at the crown that his mother put on him.

This is the crown for his wedding.

And he is so happy because of his wedding.

Verse 6

The people in Israel loved special processions (Judges 21:19-23; 2 Samuel chapter 6). And they would organise processions for many reasons. So we cannot be sure about the reason for this procession.

Perhaps the procession is because the king and the young woman are engaged. Or perhaps it is their actual marriage procession.

Whatever the purpose of the procession may be, it reminds us about Solomon’s importance. Often in the Song, he behaves like any ordinary young man. But Solomon was not merely an ordinary young man. He was the king. In fact, he was Israel’s greatest king.

So Solomon has his wonderful procession. The procession even smells wonderful. The couple often speak about *myrrh and *incense. Such beautiful smells seem to describe love well. Their love, like a beautiful smell, makes them happy. And their love, like a beautiful smell, brings joy into the lives of other people too.

Verses 7-8

An ordinary young man would ask his friends to lead him to his bride. But Solomon’s procession is much better. Israel’s best soldiers act as his guard. They are wearing their uniforms. They are carrying their swords. These soldiers impress everyone who sees them. Everyone will realise that this is an important procession.

Verses 9-10

The carriage is beautiful. Solomon designed it himself. He used the best materials. He wants the procession to be perfect. He wants to impress his young woman. And he wants everyone to know that they are engaged.

Everybody is glad because of their good news. So other women help Solomon to make the carriage beautiful. Perhaps they arranged the flowers in the carriage. Perhaps they made beautiful things for the carriage.

Verse 11

The smell is wonderful (verse 6). Perhaps people could smell the procession even before they saw it.

Then the people would see the soldiers. They are impressive (verses 7-8).

Then people would see the carriage. It is beautiful (verses 9-10).

At last, people would see Solomon himself. He is wearing a crown.

And it is a special crown (verse 11).

Chapter 4

Solomon’s beautiful words about the woman whom he loves

Solomon

v1      My *dear, you are so beautiful!

Oh, you are beautiful!

Your eyes are behind your *veil.

They are like *doves.

Your hair is like a group of goats.

They are coming down from the mountain called Gilead.

v2      Your teeth are white like sheep whose wool is clean and neat.

Each sheep has its *twin.

None of the young sheep is alone.

v3      Your lips are like a red ribbon.

They are so lovely when you speak.

Your cheeks are red behind your *veil.

They are like a *pomegranate.

v4      Your neck is like a strong building.

This building stands above the castle that David built.

Your neck is round and smooth.

A thousand *shields hang on it.

All these *shields belong to soldiers.

v5      Your breasts are like two young *gazelles.

A *gazelle can have *twins.

These *twins eat among the flowers.

Your breasts are like these *twins.

v6      I will go to the mountain of *myrrh.

I will go to the hill of *incense.

I will go there until the day begins.

I will go there until the shadows disappear.

v7      You are beautiful, my *dear!

How perfect you are!

Verses 1-3

The couple often use descriptions that seem strange to us today. But they are describing things that they considered beautiful.

For example, wild goats on a mountain may not seem beautiful to us. But people who have seen the goats may think differently.

We also need to realise that this is not the record of a conversation. The Song of Songs is a poem. So the poet could write words that the couple would be too modest to say. The poet was not merely trying to record their words. He was also trying to show their attitudes.

Verses 1 and 3 mention a *veil. Young women used to cover their faces when a young man was present. Perhaps they wanted to show that they were modest. Or perhaps they did not want the man to stare at them. After the wedding, they might remove the *veil. In Genesis 29:18-25, Jacob could not recognise Leah because of her *veil. In some countries, women still wear *veils today. Solomon cannot see her entire face because of the *veil. But he still thinks that she is very beautiful.

Verse 4

Solomon seems to be describing her collar. The materials seemed to shine. Or perhaps she had precious stones on a chain round her neck.

This sight reminded Solomon about part of David’s castle. When the soldiers did not need their *shields, they would hang them on the wall. Everybody who saw the *shields would be glad. They would know that the country was at peace.

Verse 5

In other words, she is still very young. Compare 8:10. In chapter 8, she will be a mature woman. And she will be a good mother.

Verse 6

Solomon reminds the woman about her words in 2:17. Then, she told him to go away to the mountains. But now she wants him. So he jokes that he will go to the mountains. But he is not going away from her. Instead, he chooses the wonderful places where there are lovely smells. These smells will remind him about their love.

Verse 7

In chapter 4, Solomon chooses nice words when he speaks to the woman. These words remind her that they are engaged. (Or perhaps, they are married.) He calls her:

·     My *dear (verse 7). This means, ‘the woman whom I love’.

·     My sister (verse 10). Of course, she was not really his sister. But he could speak to her as easily as he could speak to a family member. And he could relax when he was with her.

·     My bride (verse 10). This could mean that the couple were already married. Or perhaps Solomon was excited to think that they would soon be married. So he was already calling her ‘my bride’.

Solomon

v8      Come with me from Lebanon, my bride.

Come with me from Lebanon.

Come down from the top of Amana,

from the top of Senir, the top of Hermon.

Come from the lions’ cave.

And from where *leopards live in the mountains.

v9      I want to love you with all of my heart, my sister.

I want to love you, my bride.

You gave me one look with your eyes,

You showed me one stone of your *jewels.

v10    Your love is a delight, my sister, my bride!

Your love is so much better than wine!

Your *perfume smells better than any *spice.

v11    Your lips are sweet.

They are like honey, my bride.

Honey and milk are under your tongue.

Your clothes have the smell of Lebanon.

v12    My sister, my bride, you are like a garden.

This is a garden that someone has locked.

You are like a place where there is fresh water.

It is a private place.

You are like a fountain that someone has closed.

v13    These plants grow in your garden:

·     *pomegranates with the best fruit

·     bushes and flowers that have a beautiful smell

·     v14 *perfume bushes and other flowers

·     many *spices

·     trees with *incense

·     *myrrh and the best *spices.

v15    You are like a fountain in a garden.

You are like a well of fresh water.

This water comes down quickly from the Lebanon mountains.

The young woman

v16    Wake up, north wind!

Come, south wind!

Blow on my garden.

Then its smell can spread everywhere.

Let my lover come into his garden.

Then he can taste its pleasant fruit.

Verse 8

We do not really think that the woman lived in these places. These are wonderful places. But they are also dangerous places.

We think that Solomon was saying, ‘You are so beautiful. I am surprised that someone so beautiful has come from my own country. I would imagine that you have come from elsewhere. I would like to imagine that you are from Lebanon. There the mountains are high. And the plants have wonderful smells. But there are also many dangers in those mountains. So let me rescue you! You will be safe with me.’

Verses 9-11

Their love seems very special:

·     She glanced at him. So he loves her.

·     He saw the chain round her neck. And he wanted her to be his bride.

·     He prefers her love rather than the best wine.

·     He prefers her *perfume rather than any other smell.

·     Her words seem so sweet (pleasant). He jokes that they are sweeter than honey.

·     In the mountains of Lebanon, many plants have beautiful smells. See verses 6 and 8. She seems to come from such a place. When he is with her, he seems to be able to smell the air from the mountains.

We might think that we are not important to God. Or, that God does not really care about us. But the Bible teaches that such ideas are wrong. God really does love us. He loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us (John 3:16). God loves us, and he wants us to love him too (Mark 12:30).

Verses 12-15

In fact, the woman did not come from Lebanon. So Solomon uses another description. Solomon had great knowledge about plants (1 Kings 4:33). He knew about plants with beautiful smells from many countries.

Solomon imagines that the woman has collected these plants. He imagines that she has a wonderful garden. But the garden is a secret garden. Its gate has a lock. Nobody can enter the garden to smell its plants.

Such a garden would need a good supply of water. Israel is often a dry country. And these plants would need plenty of water. So Solomon imagines a fountain in the garden. If the woman is not from Lebanon, then perhaps her water comes from Lebanon!

Of course, this garden does not really exist. Solomon is using his imagination. Really, Solomon is saying, ‘You are very special. I love to be in gardens. I love to smell the beautiful plants. I love to see plants from distant countries. But I feel happier with you than I have felt in any garden. Unusual plants interest me. But you interest me more. Beautiful smells make me happy. But when I smell your *perfume, I am even happier. I am happier, because you are near to me.’

Solomon’s words about the water mean, ‘A garden can become dry. Then its plants will die. And everyone will leave the garden in despair. But I shall never leave you. I always feel delight when I meet you. You always surprise me. I am always excited because of your love.’ Jesus used a similar description in John 7:37-39.

Verse 16

Solomon’s words are wonderful. But the young woman’s reply is also wonderful. She is pleased with Solomon’s words. She wants him to share her life. So she pretends to invite Solomon into her garden. And she tells him to enjoy the fruit.

But the young woman is not selfish. She wants everyone to be happy because of their love. She did not think that a beautiful garden should be secret. She wants everyone to smell the beautiful smells.

Solomon is pleased because of her reply. Her attitudes are the same as his. He is the king. And he believes that he should work hard. Then all the people will benefit. And she is starting to have the same ideas.

Chapter 5

Solomon

v1      I have come into my garden, my special young woman, my bride.

I have gathered my *myrrh and *spice.

I have eaten my honey.

I have eaten where the *bees store honey.

I have drunk my wine and milk.

Friends

          Friends, eat and drink!

Drink until you are full of love!

Verse 1

In 4:12-15, Solomon said that the young woman was like a beautiful garden. He described such a garden. It had beautiful fruit. And the plants smelled wonderful.

In 4:16, the woman pretended that she had such a garden. She invited Solomon into the garden. And she told him to taste the fruit.

Probably this garden did not really exist. The couple were merely pretending. This idea of a garden seemed a wonderful description of their love. In 5:1, they continue with this description.

Solomon says that he is now in the garden. She does not disappoint him. And her garden does not disappoint him. He says that he has found *myrrh and *spices. These plants smell wonderful. He has found honey, wine and milk. Solomon would be very happy in such a garden. Of course, he really means that he is very glad to be with this young woman.

And the couple’s friends encourage them. The friends can see that the couple are in love. And the friends are happy because of Solomon’s love for the young woman.

Solomon invites the young woman for the second time

When Solomon first proposed to the young woman, she refused him (Song 2:17 to Song 3:4). She soon felt sorry. She was sure that she had made a terrible mistake. So she searched for him. And the couple were engaged.

We think that perhaps Solomon now wants her to become his wife. He visits her again. But again, she is not ready for him.

The young woman

v2      I slept but, in a dream, I awoke.

Listen! My lover is knocking.

‘Open to me, my special young woman, my *dear,

my *dove, my perfect young woman.

My head is wet with *dew.

My hair is damp because of the night.’

v3      I have taken off my dress,

I do not want to put it on again.

I have washed my feet.

I do not want to make them dirty.

v4      My lover put his hand through the opening.

I was excited because he was near.

v5      I got up to open (the door) for my lover.

*Myrrh was falling off my hands.

Liquid *myrrh was falling from my fingers.

It fell onto the handles of the lock.

v6      I opened for my lover.

But my lover had left. He had gone.

I was so sad because he had gone.

I looked for him but I could not find him.

I called for him but he did not answer.

v7      The guards found me as they walked round the city.

They hit me and they bruised me.

There were guards on the wall.

They took away my coat.

v8      Make a promise to me, women of Jerusalem.

If you find my lover,

Tell him that I am weak.

I am weak because of love.

Verse 2

Perhaps the young woman has gone to bed early. This fact may seem unimportant. But the perfect wife in Proverbs 31:10-31 did not go to bed early. The perfect wife was still working even by night. And the perfect wife was never lazy.

But this young woman is already sleeping when Solomon visits. So the author of the Song shows us that she is not yet mature.

Solomon knocks at her door. The passage is like Revelation 3:20. In Revelation, Jesus asks us to invite him into our lives. Jesus is like someone who knocks at a door. And our lives are like that door. We have a choice. We can invite Jesus into our lives. Or we can refuse his love.

Solomon does not order the woman to open the door. Instead, he gently appeals to her. He reminds her about their love. He speaks beautiful words to her. He calls her ‘my *dear’. He calls her ‘my *dove’. And he calls her ‘my perfect young woman’.

Verse 3

We hear the woman’s reply. And we can hardly believe her to be the same young woman whom Solomon loves. She seems not to care about him. She is only thinking about herself.

Her excuses seem very unimportant. She does not want to put on her dress. And she does not want her feet to touch the ground. She has no proper reason to send Solomon away.

There are never any proper reasons to refuse God’s love. We may tell God to go away because we are lazy. We may refuse to spend time with him because we have other plans. But such explanations are merely poor excuses.

Verse 4

Solomon tries to open the door. But there is a lock on the door. He cannot enter. In 4:12, he said that she was like a garden. But there was a lock on the gate. She replied (4:16) that she wanted him to enter. And she wanted everyone to smell her beautiful plants.

These thoughts were wonderful. But they were merely ideas. The real test was in verse 2, when he actually came to her door. But she has a lock, so he cannot enter. She had said the right things. But the reality was different.

We may make wonderful promises to God. And at church, we may speak words of love to God. But the real test happens when we have troubles. Perhaps we are at home or we are working. Our behaviour then should show our love for God.

The young woman is excited when she briefly sees Solomon’s hand. Her attitudes change quickly. But she has already sent him away. She has already failed her test.

Verses 5-6

The woman does not hesitate now. Her excuses do not matter now. She rushes to prepare to see Solomon. She puts *myrrh, which has a beautiful smell, on her hands. And she opens the door. But nobody is there. She is too late.

Jesus told a story like this in Matthew 25:1-12. We must be careful not to miss the opportunities that God gives us. We should always be ready to do the things that God wants.

So the young woman is alone. She wanders round the city. She walks through the streets. There would not be any lights in the streets. So the city is dangerous at night. It is especially dangerous for a young woman who is alone.

Verse 7

This is a very sad verse. The guards are very cruel. Their behaviour is terrible. They laugh at the young woman. They hurt her. They hit her. They even take away her dress, so that she is ashamed.

The guards thought that the woman was very stupid to be out during the night. Only bad women would be outside during the night (Proverbs 7:9-10). Only evil people had a reason to be outside (Job 24:13-16).

Perhaps the guards do not believe that the woman is looking for Solomon.

Perhaps they think that she has spent the night with another man.

Perhaps they imagine that she deserves punishment.

As we become more mature Christians, our responsibilities increase (James 3:1).

And the devil may oppose us more (1 Peter 5:8-9).

New Christians make many mistakes. They do not need to worry about their errors. We simply teach them to confess their evil deeds to God. Then God forgives them, and they can learn to do the right things. It is as if God is waiting for them to trust him again (3:4).

Mature Christians should not make the same mistakes as new Christians. God will still forgive a mature Christian when that person confesses his errors. But the results of these errors may be more severe. God is training that person to be more responsible.

When Peter met Jesus, Peter was afraid. He told Jesus to go away. But Jesus was not angry. He simply told Peter not to be afraid (Luke 5:8-10). Later, Peter tried to tell Jesus that he was wrong. Jesus was stricter. He warned Peter that Peter’s ideas came from the devil (Mark 8:32-33). After the soldiers arrested Jesus, Peter was afraid. Three times, he denied that he knew Jesus (Mark 15:66-72). John’s behaviour was much more mature (John 19:26-27). So Peter was afraid when Jesus died. After Jesus became alive again, Jesus called Peter to serve him for a second time (John chapter 21).

Verse 8

In 2:5, the young woman was also weak because of love. Then Solomon’s love seemed too great for her. She was with the man whom she loves. And she was afraid.

Now she is weak again because of love. But Solomon is not with her. She is again afraid. She worries that she has lost him. And she is afraid that she will never be with him again.

In 2:7, she asked the women of Jerusalem to make a promise. She did not feel ready for love. She repeated these words in 3:5. But then she wanted his love. She was glad to be engaged to Solomon.

Now she asks the women of Jerusalem to make another promise. This promise seems very sad. She does not dare to ask for Solomon’s love again. She merely asks the other women to remind him about her. She simply asks them to tell him about her sad state. She seems to have hardly any hope.

Sometimes there can seem to be an interruption in our love for God. The fault is always ours. God’s love is always perfect. But if we do not confess our errors, the interruption may continue for years. In fact, the interruption may seem permanent. We might believe that we are not still real Christians. Or, that we shall never again love God as we used to. But God is very kind. He does not forget us. He still wants us to trust him again. He still wants us to know his love. He still wants to forgive us. So we should confess any evil deeds. And we should trust him again. God is waiting for us to return to him. He will not refuse us.

The young woman describes Solomon

The women of Jerusalem

v9      Beautiful woman, how is your lover different from other men?

Is your lover better than other lovers?

Is that why you ask us to make this promise?

The young woman

v10    My lover is fair and red.

He is noticeable among ten thousand men.

v11    His head is like the purest gold.

His hair has curves.

It is black like a *raven.

v12    His eyes are like *doves.

The *doves are by a stream.

The white part of his eyes is like milk.

It is as if someone has set his eyes like *jewels.

v13    His cheeks are like *spices in a garden.

Their flowers give a *perfume.

His lips are like *lotuses.

Liquid *myrrh seems to fall from his lips.

v14    His arms have a good shape.

They are like gold.

*Jewels cover his arms.

His stomach is like smooth *ivory.

He has covered it with *jewels.

v15    His legs are like *marble columns.

Someone has set them on a gold base.

He stands tall.

He is like the finest *cedar tree in Lebanon.

v16    Yes, women of Jerusalem, this is what my lover is like.

He has the sweetest mouth.

Everything about him is lovely.

Verse 9

The poet who wrote the Song is very clever. While the woman is still thinking about herself, she cannot find Solomon. She feels very unhappy, because she sent him away. But the poet wants her to think about Solomon. When she praises Solomon, she will find him.

When we think about ourselves, our thoughts are often selfish. But selfish thoughts are not the right attitudes for a person who loves.

Sometimes we can only think about our own troubles. We may blame other people. Or we may blame ourselves. Such thoughts are, in fact, selfish, because we only want to think about our own situation. Instead, we ought to pray, or, we ought to praise God (James 5:13).

The other women seem to have doubts about Solomon. They do not love him like the young woman. They suppose that he is actually like any other man. They make her explain why he is special to her.

But their words of doubt seem to encourage her to trust Solomon again. Because of their doubts, she begins to praise him again. And she again speaks the words of a woman who is in love.

Other people are often doubtful about our love for God. Their doubts can upset us. But their doubts can make us more confident to speak about God. If we concentrate on their doubts, we shall be sad. But if we think about God, we shall be more confident.

Verses 11-16

The woman describes Solomon to her friends. Her description may seem strange to us. But she is describing things that people thought to be very beautiful. Or, things that were very special.

Some of her descriptions sound like gardens. There are trees and flowers. There are beautiful smells. There are birds. And there are streams of water.

Other descriptions sound like a building. And the building contains the most expensive materials. There are gold and *jewels. There are *ivory and *marble. There are bases and columns.

Solomon was a very rich king. His workmen built great palaces and other buildings in Jerusalem. He used wood from Lebanon. The workmen cut flower shapes into the wood. And he used much gold (1 Kings chapters 6-7). So perhaps the woman was describing an actual building in Jerusalem. Or perhaps she was describing the gardens near the great buildings (Ecclesiastes 2:4-6).

‘Everything about him is lovely’ (verse 16). These are good words for Christians to use when they praise God. God is perfect. He deserves our honour. Nobody is like him. He is really wonderful. We should always praise him.

Chapter 6

The young woman meets Solomon again

The women of Jerusalem

v1      Where has your lover gone,

most beautiful among women?

Tell us which way your lover went.

Then we can help you to look for him.

The young woman

v2      My lover has gone down to his garden,

to the places where *spices grow.

He will eat food from the garden.

He will gather flowers there.

v3      I belong to my lover

and my lover belongs to me.

It is he who eats near the flowers.

Verse 1

The women of Jerusalem have heard the young woman’s description of Solomon. But they still do not realise why he is special. He seems to them like any other man (5:9). They do not love him, as the young woman does. But they are willing to help her. The man that she loves seems to have gone away. And the women of Jerusalem think that they can find him.

People who do not love God cannot explain our attitudes. They do not know why we love God. Perhaps they admire our sincere behaviour. Perhaps they would even like to be like us. But unless they themselves trust God, they will never really know God’s love. Until then, they will never know how anyone could be in love with God. Even the idea will seem strange to them.

Verses 2-3

The women were kind when they offered to help. But the young woman does not need their help. She remembered Solomon’s character. So she already knew where Solomon would be.

Jesus spoke about Christians as if they were sheep. At that time, a man would look after a small group of sheep. The man would lead the sheep into the fields. The sheep knew the man’s character. And they could even recognise his voice (John 10:2-5). So Jesus said, ‘My sheep (people) listen to my voice. I know them. And they follow me’ (John 10:27). As Christians, we learn God’s character. We learn how to trust him. And we learn to obey him.

The woman is right about the place where she can find Solomon. He is not angry with her. Instead, he speaks kind words to her again. He still loves her deeply.

Solomon’s kind words to the young woman

Solomon

v4      You are beautiful, my special young woman.

You are as beautiful as Tirzah,

as lovely as Jerusalem.

You are as wonderful as those great cities.

v5      Turn your eyes away from me.

They excite me too much!

Your hair is long.

It is like a *flock of goats that are coming down from Gilead.

v6      Your teeth are like a *flock of sheep.

Their wool is clean.

Each sheep has its *twin.

None of the sheep is alone.

v7      Your cheeks are red behind your *veil.

They are like the halves of a *pomegranate.

v8      There might be 60 queens.

There might be 80 women who live in the palace.

There might be too many *virgins to count.

v9      But my *dove, my perfect young woman, is special.

She is the only daughter of her mother.

Her mother prefers her to any other person.

The young women see her and they praise her.

There are queens and women in the palace.

They praise her too.

Verses 4-7

Solomon was speaking to the young woman who had just sent him away. But you would never guess this fact from his words. He speaks as if she has always obeyed him. He has many kind words to say to her. He repeats some phrases from chapter 4. He loves her as deeply as he used to love her. They had been apart. But their love was still the same.

Some couples always remind each other about their past mistakes. But God does not behave like this. He really forgives us.

Verses 8-9

In the end, Solomon would have 700 wives. And 300 other women lived with him in the palace (1 Kings 11:3). So we can see that Solomon is still a young man in this Song.

Solomon married these women for political reasons. They came from many countries. Solomon married all these women so that his country would be at peace. For example, he married the daughter of the king of Egypt. So Solomon’s country was at peace with Egypt. We do not think that this was a good plan. But this was how Solomon behaved.

So Solomon had many wives. These women lived in his palace. They were important women. But they probably did not really love Solomon. And he probably did not love them. But the young woman in Song of Solomon was different from these other women. Solomon really loved her. Everyone in the palace realised this fact. Even the other queens approved of Solomon’s love for this woman. They all knew that she really was special.

Many Christians behave rather like Solomon’s other wives. Such Christians like to be Christians. And they are glad to receive God’s good gifts. But they do not love God deeply. They do not try always to please God. They will never become mature Christians. In fact, they do not even want to be mature Christians.

We should be like the young woman who really loved Solomon. We should want to obey God. We should try to become mature Christians. We should learn the lessons that God teaches us.

Jesus taught us to love God with all our heart. And with all our mind. And with all our strength. Jesus said that this is God’s most important command (Mark 12:28-29).

The young woman’s beauty

The women of Jerusalem

v10    Who is this woman?

She seems to shine like the dawn.

She seems as beautiful as the moon.

She seems as bright as the sun.

She is as wonderful as the stars.

Verse 10

Solomon may be the speaker. But we think that this verse is probably the words of the other women. Solomon said in verse 9 that they were praising the young woman. She impresses them. And they seem curious about her.

At the start of the book, only Solomon could see the young woman’s beauty. The other women did not seem to think that she was beautiful. People might stare at her because her skin was dark (1:6). Even the young woman herself did not seem sure that she was beautiful.

But at the start of the book, the young woman was still a girl. Now she is older. And she is more mature. She has spent time with the king. And she has learned how to make herself beautiful.

Now other women can see her beauty too. They do not still complain that her skin is too dark. Instead, she is so beautiful that they compare her with the brightest lights.

The young woman becomes Solomon’s bride

The young woman

v11    I went down to the group of nut trees.

I went to see the young plants in the valley.

I went to see if the *vines were beginning to flower.

Or the *pomegranates were beginning to flower.

v12    Then my hope came true.

I was next to my prince.

We were in a *chariot.

The *chariots belonged to the king.

I was with people that I knew.

This happened before I realised it.

The women of Jerusalem

v13    Come back, come back, *Shulamite.

Come back, come back. Then we can stare at you.

Solomon

          Do not stare at the *Shulamite!

Do not stare as she dances the Mahanaim dance!

Verse 11

Solomon wants to check whether it is spring again. The couple often considered that spring would be the right time for their marriage (2:7, 2:10-13). Solomon often used *pomegranates as a description of the young woman’s face (4:3, 13; 6:7). Now he wants to see if she is ready for love.

Verse 12

Solomon is in a carriage again. There seems to be a procession. Everybody is very happy for the king. He had waited for a long time to be with the woman that he loves. But now she is ready for him. Now, she wants to go with him.

At a wedding, the tradition was that the bridegroom would go to the bride’s home. Then he would take the bride to his own home. And everyone would be very glad.

Verse 13

The other women do not want her to leave. They still want to enjoy her beauty. They ask her to stay with them. But perhaps they are merely pretending to ask her to stay. They know that she is now Solomon’s bride. So they must expect her to go with him.

Solomon replies. She is his bride. So now, he himself will look at her. He wants to enjoy her beauty.

The woman may be called the Shulamite because she comes from a town called Shulem. King David was Solomon’s father. When David was very old, his servants chose a woman called Abishag to live with him. Abishag was also a beautiful young woman. It seems that she came from the same town (1 Kings 1:1-4).

However, the word Shulamite is similar to the name Solomon. The couple are now married. So perhaps she now uses her husband’s name. In many countries today, women use their husband’s surname after marriage.

We do not know anything about the Mahanaim dance. But perhaps it was like the dance of the girls of Shiloh (Judges 21:21). As the girls danced there, the men chose their wives.

Chapter 7

Solomon describes the young woman, who has become his bride

Solomon

v1      You have *sandals on your feet.

Your feet are as beautiful as the feet of a prince’s daughter!

The curves of your legs are like *jewels.

They are like the work of a skilled worker.

v2      Your stomach is like a round cup.

It shall never have a lack of wine.

Your *waist is a heap of wheat.

Flowers are in a circle round it.

v3      Your breasts are like two young *gazelles.

A *gazelle can have *twins.

Your breasts are like these young*twins.

v4      Your neck is like a high, round building.

Someone has made the building with *ivory.

Your eyes are like the pools of Heshbon.

These pools are next to the gate of Bath Rabbim.

Your nose is like a high round building.

This building is in Lebanon.

It points towards Damascus.

v5      Your head is better than a crown.

It is like the mountain called Carmel.

Your hair is like silk.

It is long and smooth.

Although I am the king, I am excited to see it.

v6      You are so beautiful!

And you are so pleasant!

My special young woman, you are a delightful young woman!

v7      You are tall,

as tall as a *palm tree.

And your breasts are like its plentiful fruit.

v8      I said, ‘I will climb the *palm tree.

I will hold its fruit.’

I would like your breasts to be like groups of *grapes.

I would like your breath to smell like apples.

Verse 1

Solomon describes his beautiful bride. Perhaps he begins with her feet because she is dancing (6:13). Her movements are very graceful.

Verse 2

He associates her *waist with wine and wheat. People make wine from the fruit called grapes. Fruit and grain were the most important crops in ancient Israel. Solomon speaks about plentiful wine and wheat. So, he was describing a good harvest.

This verse is like 5:1. The woman does not disappoint Solomon. She is able to provide everything that he needs. She will work hard to supply everything for their family. But she is not merely a servant of her husband. All her actions show grace and love. She is like someone who arranges flowers round the wheat harvest.

Our work for God should not be merely a duty. We work for God because we love God. Every action should be an expression of our love (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Verse 3

This young woman is almost perfect for Solomon. But there is one problem. She is still very young. Solomon needed a son, who would be the king after him. But Solomon’s bride is not yet ready to become a mother. Solomon waited eagerly (verse 8).

In the Song, Solomon often has to wait. He needed to be patient twice when she sent him away. Now he must be patient again while he waits for her to become a mother.

God is very patient with us. He wants us to learn many new qualities (2 Peter 1:5-8). He wants us to be mature Christians (Hebrews 6:1). In the end, we shall be perfect for him (1 Corinthians 13:9-13).

Verses 4-6

This woman reminded Solomon about the country that he ruled. Solomon was a good king. He felt as if he belonged to his country. This woman was now his bride. And Solomon felt as if he belonged to her, also. But Solomon’s duty to his country did not oppose his duties to his bride. Because of his bride, Solomon would love his country better. She would help him as he ruled his country.

When he saw his bride, he also thought about his country.

And God does not love us less because he also loves other people. God wants us all to receive everything that he has for us. So we should be glad when other people trust God (Romans 11:11-12). God cares about people from many nations (John 10:16). We should be glad when God sends us to work for him. We should even be glad to go to people whom we may not like (Acts 1:8; John 4:9).

Verses 7-8

The woman’s problem is that she is not yet ready to become a mother (verse 3). But Solomon knows that the woman’s body will soon become mature. He speaks about the *palm tree. The fruit on the *palm tree is plentiful. He says that she will be like the *vine. The *vine also has plentiful fruit. So he is confident that she will have children.

The fruit on a tree is very small before it is ripe. But the fruit develops quickly. It becomes much bigger. The young woman was not yet ready to be a mother. Her breasts were not yet ready to feed a baby. But Solomon was confident that they would not have to wait long.

The young woman’s new attitudes as Solomon’s wife

The young woman

v9      I would like your mouth to smell like the best wine.

I hope that the wine goes straight to my lover.

I hope that it flows gently over his lips and teeth.

v10    I belong to my lover,

and he desires me.

v11    Come, my lover, let us go to the country.

Let us spend the night in the villages.

v12    Let us go early to the *vineyards.

We will see if the *vine has begun to flower.

Perhaps the *vines have flowers.

We will see if the *pomegranate trees have begun to flower.

There I will give you my love.

v13    You can smell the *mandrakes.

And you can smell all the special fruits that are near us.

Yes, I have saved many pleasant things for you, my lover.

There are both old and new things.

Verse 9

The young woman wants Solomon to receive everything that she can give to him. She does not want to keep anything for herself.

Verse 10

This verse shows how much her attitudes have changed:

·     In 2:16, she spoke as if her opinions were as important as his opinions. So, she had the right to send him away. She was glad that she impressed this noble young man. But her feelings about him were not mature.

·     In 6:3, her ideas are similar. But she does not speak as if she is so important. Solomon’s attitudes seems much more important to her than her own attitudes.

·     In 7:10, her attitudes are mature. She is not still thinking about herself. Her own feelings do not seem important. Solomon’s love for her seems more important than anything else. She does not even mention her own emotions.

When we first become Christians, our attitudes are not mature. We are glad that God loves us. But perhaps we do not really want to give him an important place in our lives. We may care more about our own feelings than we care about God.

As we become mature Christians, our attitudes change. We do not still care about our own feelings. Our only desire is to serve God. And our most important emotion is that we appreciate God’s great love.

Verses 11-12

The young woman is now showing the attitudes of a good wife. Like him, she wants to look at the plants. Like him, she wants to work in the country. Like him, she wants to know the state of the fruit plants. These are the attitudes of the perfect wife in Proverbs 31:10-31.

Of course, Solomon was not really a farmer. He was a king. But to Solomon, a king’s work seemed like a farmer’s work. Both kings and farmers look after the land. Of course, they do this in different ways. Farmers look after the soil and the plants. Kings look after the people who live on the land. And kings look after the borders of the country.

So perhaps the woman really means that they should make a royal visit to the country. They can see whether the people have problems. If so, the king may be able to help them. Christians look after other people because God loves us. We show our love to him by helping other people (Matthew 25:34-45).

Verse 13

The mandrake was a special plant. People used it to help women to have babies (Genesis 30:14-16). So we can see that Solomon’s bride now wants to become a mother.

She adds that she has many beautiful things to share with Solomon.

Jesus seems to refer to this verse in Matthew 13:52. He speaks about a man who has studied the Bible. This man has learned about God’s law. So he has learned to obey God. But this man has now learned from Jesus. The man has heard about God’s rule in heaven. And the man has gladly believed Jesus. Jesus said that such a man has many good things. They are both old and new things. It is as if the man has a store room. And the room is full of good things.

We should not merely obey God. We should also love God. Then we too will have many beautiful things for his delight.

Chapter 8

The young woman’s pleasure in her work for Solomon

The young woman

v1      I wish that you were like my brother.

My mother fed him at her breasts.

Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you.

Nobody would say that it was wrong!

v2      I would lead you to my mother’s house.

She is the person who taught me.

I would give you wine with *spices.

And you could drink wine from my *pomegranates.

v3      Your left arm is under my head.

And your right arm holds me.

v4      Women of Jerusalem, make a promise to me.

Do not think about love until the right time.

Verse 1

Solomon said that the young woman was like a sister to him (5:1). In chapter 8, she copies this idea. She pretends that he is her brother. But her words may surprise us. She pretends that she is a young girl. And that Solomon is her little brother. She pretends that Solomon is younger than her.

At the time of the Bible, parents wanted to have very large families. For example, King David had 7 brothers. But the parents would not look after all the children constantly. Instead, they taught the older children to look after the younger children (1:6). So a little girl would look after a younger brother. This young woman has become Solomon’s wife. She believes that she must work hard in order to look after Solomon (Proverbs 31:10-31). But her many duties do not upset her. In fact, she is very happy. She is so happy that her work seems like a game. She speaks as if she is merely playing, like a little girl with her brother.

Her pleasure is immense. A little girl may kiss her younger brother as she plays. And so the young woman kisses Solomon. She is working hard. But whenever she has a spare moment, she expresses her love to Solomon.

In the book of Philippians, Paul had been working hard for God. Paul even called himself ‘a servant of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:1). Now he was in prison because he was a Christian (Philippians 1:7). But Paul was not sad. He was still working for God continuously (Philippians 1:12-13). And he felt great joy (Philippians 1:4, Philippians 1:18, Philippians 2:2, Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:4). He trusted God completely (Philippians 4:12-13). He loved God deeply (Philippians 3:8-11). He prayed often. And he always prayed with joy (Philippians 1:3-4).

Verses 2-3

The young woman continues to speak as if she is Solomon’s older sister. She would take her little brother back to her mother. This is a clever description. The young woman is reminding Solomon about 3:4. Then, she took Solomon to her mother. We think that the couple became engaged then.

The young woman prepares a beautiful drink for Solomon. Pomegranates are a special fruit. Solomon spoke often about his love of pomegranates (6:7, 7:12). The juice of pomegranates smells very beautiful.

In verse 3, the young woman repeats 2:6. Then he held her because she was too weak. Now she is strong. And she is working hard. But there is still time for their love. In fact, their love seems better than in chapter 2. Then she was not sure about him. And now she really enjoys his love.

Verse 4

She has said similar words before, in 2:7 and 3:5. But now her meaning seems different. Then she was not ready for Solomon. But now she knows his love. Perhaps she is advising the other women. They must not let emotions control their behaviour. They should decide carefully about marriage.

When we choose to love God, we are making a very important decision. God asks us to give our whole lives to him (Luke 14:25-30). Buy many people allow their emotions to guide them. Sometimes they are for God. And sometimes they are against God (Revelation 3:15-16). God wants us to trust him completely. So we must decide carefully. God promises wonderful things to the people who love him (1 John 5:2-5). But if we only want to satisfy our own desires, we do not really love God (Galatians 5:19-21).

Love and reality

The women of Jerusalem

v5      Who is this coming from the desert?

She is leaning on her lover.

The young woman

          I woke you under the apple tree.

It was the place where you were born.

It was the time when your mother struggled at your birth.

v6      Keep me near you like a *seal.

Keep the *seal on your arm

because love is as strong as death.

Strong love is as strong as death.

It quickly becomes like a flame.

And that flame becomes a great fire!

v7      If love were like fire, then even plentiful water could not put it out.

A river can be powerful.

But nothing can stop our love.

A man might offer all his wealth for love.

But someone else would not want this offer.

Verse 5

The young woman is joking that Solomon is like her younger brother. But the other women can see the reality. Really, she depends on Solomon. She has to lean on him. He is strong, and he supports her.

We have the same experience as we work for God. We may work very hard. But we are not working alone. We can only do God’s work because he supports us. We depend completely on him.

The couple are coming from the desert. They have been visiting the country that Solomon rules (7:11). They have seen the beautiful places (7:12). But now they are also visiting places where there are serious problems.

As we become mature Christians, God may prepare more difficult tasks for us (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). But God never sends us alone to do his work. God is always with us (Matthew 28:20).

The young woman continues her story about the children. But now her story seems more serious. She speaks about the struggle when a baby is born. Now she is not merely playing. Sometimes a girl must work hard when she looks after her baby brother. Sometimes the mother is too weak to help the girl. So the girl cannot play. She must stay with her younger brother continuously. The two must always be together.

The young woman needs to be with Solomon continuously. They must not leave each other. Their work is difficult. She depends on him.

Verse 6

People used a *seal instead of an envelope. The *seal would attach the papers firmly. The sender would place his own mark on the *seal. Nobody else would use the same mark. Solomon was the king. So his mark was very important. Solomon would place a *seal on each new law that he made. People knew that the law was genuine because of Solomon’s mark.

The young woman wants to be like a *seal. It is as if she wants to have Solomon’s mark.

The Bible also expresses such ideas elsewhere. It is as if God places a mark on his people (Galatians 6:17; Revelation 7:3-4). But it is as if the devil also places a mark on his own people (Revelation 13:16-17).

In Ephesians 1:13-14, God’s *seal means the gift of the Holy Spirit. God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us to know him better (Ephesians 1:17). God’s Holy Spirit will protect us through this life (Ephesians 6:10-18). The Holy Spirit helps Christians to love each other (Ephesians 4:3). The Holy Spirit teaches the Bible to us (Ephesians 6:17) and he helps us to pray (Ephesians 6:18).

Verse 6 becomes very serious. The young woman has been very happy with Solomon. But her attitudes are now mature. She realises that she will not always be happy. They may suffer terrible troubles. She cannot depend on her feelings. Her love for Solomon is not a mere emotion. She has decided to be his wife. Whatever happens, she will still love him. Nothing can ever change her mind.

Love is like death because her decision to marry was permanent. A dead person cannot return to life. And she can never return to the same state that she had before her marriage.

Love is like fire because love is very powerful. Her love for Solomon will not reduce because each day she will work to increase their love for each other. Her happy feelings will not last. But she realises that love is not merely happy feelings. Love is the decision that they made to look after each other. And even if they have troubles, that decision will become stronger. In fact, their troubles might even make their love stronger.

Our decision to love God should not be merely an emotion. Instead, we should make a firm decision always to trust him (James 1:6-8). We cannot forget him if we have problems. Instead, we should trust him more because of our troubles.

Verse 7

Water can put out a fire. But nothing can stop real love.

‘Nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. Trouble cannot separate us from Christ’s love. Pain cannot. People who oppose us cannot. Hunger cannot. Even if we are naked, there is no difference. Even danger and war cannot separate us from Christ’s love’ (Romans 8:35).

God loves us deeply (John 3:16). Jesus died for us because of his love for us (1 John 4:10). And we must trust God’s love (1 John 4:16).

Love is precious. It is more valuable than anything that we can own. But nobody can buy love. And nobody can buy God’s gifts (Acts 8:18-22). God’s love is a free gift (Isaiah 55:1-3).

A young sister

Friends

v8      We have a young sister.

And her breasts are still small.

A man might ask her to marry him.

But we will not know what to do.

v9      If she becomes like a wall,

we shall build her a silver *parapet.

If she becomes like a door,

we shall put *cedar boards round her.

Verses 8-9

This young sister is still a child. Once, Solomon’s wife was like this girl. Solomon’s wife was not always a mature woman (4:5). But now she is mature. And she has become the queen. So she is the model for this young girl. The girl’s relatives hope that the girl will also marry well. They want to work out how the girl can become a beautiful woman. Then perhaps she will be able to marry a great man like Solomon.

So the relatives have a plan for the girl. They will make her more beautiful. And they will improve her until she is perfect for marriage.

Silver is an expensive metal. And *cedar is an expensive wood. People did not use such materials in ordinary buildings. But they might use such precious materials for a palace.

God does not want Christians to be selfish. He offers his love to everyone. As Christians, we should tell everyone about God’s invitation (Revelation 22:17). And we should teach newer Christians how they can love God more.

Solomon’s wife makes him content

The young woman

v10    I am like a wall.

And my breasts have grown strong.

They are like the buildings that defend a wall.

I have made my husband content.

v11    Solomon had a *vineyard in Baal Hamon.

Men rented his *vineyard from him.

And each man brought fruit to him.

This fruit was worth 1000 pieces of silver.

v12    But my own *vineyard is mine to give.

The 1000 pieces of silver are for you, Solomon.

And 200 pieces of silver can pay the workers who look after the *vineyard.

Verse 10

At the start, perhaps we were not sure whether the young woman would ever become the queen. She was very young. Her attitudes were not mature.

But now we can see that she is a mature woman. And she is also a mother. Her husband is content because she has provided a child for him. The Bible does not actually mention the child. But we know about people’s attitudes at the time of Solomon. Solomon needed a son who would be the king after him. So, when the boy was born, Solomon would be content.

As our love for God increases, we do not want to satisfy our own desires. Instead, we gladly do whatever God wants us to do. We forget our own plans. His plans are much more important.

Verses 11-12

Many people produced fruit for Solomon. His palaces were large and he needed plenty of fruit. For most people, the production of fruit was just a business. They were working for the king. But they did not love the king.

The queen’s own *vineyard also produces fruit for Solomon. So she too is working for Solomon. But there is an important difference. She works for Solomon because she loves him. So she does not ask for any money. She gladly gives everything that she has to him.

The queen’s *vineyard is better than the other *vineyards. Their fruit is only worth 1000 pieces of silver. But the fruit from her *vineyard is worth 1200 pieces of silver. Her *vineyard is more successful because of her love. And she is generous with her workers.

Many people know God, but they do not really love him. Some people work for God merely in order to earn money. Perhaps they are selfish. Or perhaps they are not yet mature Christians (Philippians 1:15-17).

But people who really love God are glad to work for him. They do not care about money (Philippians 4:12). They only care about God’s plans.

A final word

Solomon

v13    Let me hear your voice from the garden, my *dear.

My friends are waiting to hear you speak.

The young woman

v14    Come with me, my lover.

Be like a *gazelle

or a young *deer on the mountains of *spice.

Verse 13

Solomon asked his queen to end the Song. Her words were special to him. And God also wants to hear our prayers (Luke 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Revelation 5:8).

Verse 14

The queen reminds Solomon about her earlier words in 2:17. At that time, she told him to go way. But now she invites him to join her.

Together, they will be like strong, graceful animals. They will climb the most wonderful mountains (4:8). They will enjoy the smells of beautiful plants (4:13-16). They will explore the country that Solomon rules (7:11). And they will learn to love each other even more deeply.

Jesus said, ‘Love God. Love him with all your heart. Love him with all your spirit. Love him with all your mind. Love him with all your strength… And love other people as much as you love yourself. No other laws are as important as these laws’ (Mark 12:30-31).

Word List

bee ~ a type of insect.

cedar ~ a type of tall tree, or wood from the cedar tree.

chariot ~ a vehicle with two wheels. A horse pulls it.

dear ~ someone that you love in a special way.

deer ~ an animal.

dew ~ small amounts of water that appear on the ground during the night.

dove ~ a bird.

fig ~ a fruit.

flock ~ a group of sheep, goats or other animals.

fragrance ~ a smell, usually good.

gazelle ~ an animal.

grape ~ a small soft fruit.

incense ~ a *spice that produces a sweet smell.

ivory ~ part of an elephant (called the ‘tusk’). It is hard and white. People use ivory to make beautiful things.

jewel ~ a precious stone.

leopard ~ a dangerous animal.

lotus ~ a flower.

mandrakes ~ a plant with white flowers; part of the plant can look like a person.

marble ~ a very hard material; it is similar to stone; it can have colours.

mare ~ a female horse.

myrrh ~ something that comes from trees; people use it in *incense.

necklace ~ precious stones that people wear round their neck.

palm ~ a tree.

parapet ~ a low wall at the edge of a roof.

perfume ~ a sweet smell.

pomegranate ~ a fruit which is the size of an orange.

raven ~ a black bird.

sandal ~ a shoe that is open at the top.

seal ~ a material, usually with a design. People use it to make an envelope, or something similar, safe.

Shulamite ~ the woman may be called the Shulamite because she comes from a town called Shulem.

shepherd ~ someone who looks after sheep.

shield ~ a piece of metal that a soldier uses to protect himself.

spice ~ a special plant that has a strong smell and taste. People use spices to make *incense and *perfume.

symbol ~ something that represents something else; a sign of an object; something that actually means something else.

testament ~ collection of books in the Bible.

thorns ~ plants with sharp points that can hurt.

twin ~ one of a pair – both come from one mother in one birth.

veil ~ a piece of cloth; a woman wears it over her face; it is possible to see through it.

vine ~ a plant with fruit; grapes (a small, soft fruit) grow on them.

vineyards ~ a place where *vines grow.

virgin ~ a woman who has never had sex.

waist ~ the middle part of the body.

watchman ~ someone who guards a city or town. He looks for thieves.

Book List

Christ in all the Scriptures by A.M. Hodgkin

Various writings and sermons by C.H. Spurgeon, J. Wesley, G. Whitefield and other important writers

Various articles from The Temple Bible Dictionary edited by Ewing & Thomson

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

Young’s Analytical Concordance

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by B. Davidson

Bibles – NIV, KJV, TEV, RSV, occasional use of Hebrew text, and other translations

January 29, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Muslim Prostitution

An example of Allāh written in simple Arabic c...

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Temporary Marriage

Question:
Does Islam have a loophole for sex-on-demand called ‘temporary marriage’?

Summary Answer:
It is called Nikah Mut’ah, a fixed-time arrangement between a man and a woman that dissolves once the duration expires.

The Qur’an:
Qur’an (4:24) – “And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done)”

Qur’an (5:87) – “O you who believe! do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits” Surprisingly the context for this verse (which is found in Bukhari (60:139) is temporary marriage, in this case trading an article of clothing for a few days of access to a woman’s body. By calling this a “good thing,” Muhammad really stood traditional morality on its ear.

From the Hadith:

Muslim (8:3252) – Muhammad clearly allowed his men to use temporary marriage as a sanctioned form of prostitution. (To be fair, the end of the hadith also seems to suggest that the practice was later forbidden. Islamic scholars disagree as to the historical context, and whether or not it is enough to supersede verse 4:24 of the Qur’an).

Additional Notes:

Since temporary marriage is a euphemism for prostitution, the Sunnis believe that it should only be practiced in certain times (such as the lifetime of Muhammad… oddly enough). The Shias take a more liberal position and freely allow the practice.

January 15, 2012 Posted by | Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How To Deal With A Difficult Mother In Law

anonymous illustration of Jesus healing Peter'...

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Question: “Dealing with a mother-in-law…how do I respond to the problem of a mother-in-law who is overbearing, controlling, and meddling?”

Answer: A mother-in-law who is demanding, controlling, and intrusive into the lives of her son/daughter and son/daughter-in-law is what the Bible calls a “busybody” (1 Timothy 5:13). The meaning of the Greek word that is translated “busybody” in the 1 Peter passage means, “a self appointed overseer in other men’s matters.” That describes what some mothers-in-law are engaged in, or at least accused of. This kind of behavior is annoying, very frustrating, and it is obviously contrary to God’s viewpoint.

Obviously, the dynamics in such a situation are frustrating. Some mothers-in-law do these things because no one else in the family has given them boundaries. Therefore, she becomes an overbearing “bully.” Perhaps she does not even realize how intrusive and controlling she is. To her it may just be “loving.” If that is the case, perhaps a heart to heart talk will clear the air. If she does understand what she is doing and does it on purpose even after she has been asked to stop, then there is nothing that you are going to be able to do to alter that. At any rate, it is not your place to stop your mother-in-law from her interfering; it is your spouse’s.

Regardless of which side of the family the interference comes from, it is an assault upon the sanctity of the marriage and violates the “leave and cleave” of God’s order for marriage (Genesis 2:23-24). A man and woman leave their birth families and begin a new family, and they are to love and protect each other. A husband who allows his mother to interfere with his marriage is not living up to the commandment given to husbands in Ephesians 5:25-33. The same can be said if it is the wife’s mother that is interfering. Boundaries need to be set and then held regardless of the “feelings” of one’s family. The reality is that people treat us the way we allow them to treat us. If we permit them to trample the sanctity of our family, then that is what they will do. No one, not even our extended family, has the right to invade the privacy of our home. So if your mother-in-law is interfering in your lives, your spouse is allowing it.

What can we do personally about a woman who acts in the way a meddling mother-in-law does? We can make a choice not to allow her to take away our peace of mind. We may not be able to change the way others behave, but how we respond to their behavior is our choice. We can allow the actions of other people to get to us, or we can choose to give it over to God and allow Him to use this to strengthen us spiritually. If our own response to this type of situation that fuels our frustration. Only we can stop wearing ourselves out emotionally by allowing a interfering mother-in-law’s actions to be the arbiter of our own peace. Her behavior is not our responsibility, our response is.

Your mother-in-law is going to continue to be the way she is until she makes a choice to stop, or her family makes it so uncomfortable for her that she must stop, or God stops her. I can understand that right now you are probably angry, frustrated and at the end of your emotional rope. However, this is not a problem that an outsider can solve for you. If this woman habitually behaves in this way, your spouse and family have facilitated this woman’s behavior by tolerating it.

You can be gracious to her, but you do not have to facilitate her. Treat her with respect and love, but do not allow your emotions to entangle you in frustration at what you see as her obnoxious behavior. The best way to disengage an enemy is to make them an ally. Do not respond in kind, but with a kind response. You may disarm her, or at the very least make her wonder what you are up to. The only thing you are responsible for is your own heart and your own motives.

You can continue to allow this woman to have power over you or you can choose to give her what she has not given you. What is that? Grace! You can give her the grace of forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32). It may not stop her interfering, but it will be a source of strength and peace for you to stand in (Ephesians 6:11-17). The only place to find true peace of heart is in a personal relationship with God through Christ. I pray you will deal with your own heart need and concentrate upon responding by resting in His peace.

October 28, 2011 Posted by | Christianity / God, In-Laws | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Marriage

Marriage is a Covenant Between a Man And Woman That is Biblically Based, Holy and God Ordained! Do you have questions about divorce, gender roles and sexual immorality?

These doctrines of Jesus, which are written in the Holy Bible, have the true answer!

1 Corinthians 7:2 …because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

Proverbs 31:10-30 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: “ Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.

Genesis 2:18 …the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…

Mark 10:7-8 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Malachi 2:15 … And why one? He seeks godly offspring…

Mark 10:9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 …A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

Malachi 2:16 “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”

Matthew 5:32 …whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

1Corinthians 11:3 …I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

1 Peter 3:1-5 … that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands…

Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

Ephesians 5:28-29 …husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

1 Corinthians 7:3-4 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

Proverbs 5:18-19 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.

Titus 2:2-5 …older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Have you violated God’s word by marrying a non-believer?

1 Corinthians 7:12-16 …I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

January 16, 2011 Posted by | Societal / Cultural Issues | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Religious Leaders Voice Shared Commitment to Protect Marriage

Religious Leaders Voice Shared Commitment to Protect Marriage

WASHINGTON—Leaders of some of the largest religious communities in the United States have come together to express their commitment toward the protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In an open letter released today, entitled “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment,” leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United States affirmed the importance of preserving marriage’s unique meaning.

Letter

Dear Friends,

Marriage is the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman. As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family. Marriage is an institution fundamental to the well-being of all of society, not just religious communities.

As religious leaders across different faith communities, we join together and affirm our shared commitment to promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We honor the unique love between husbands and wives; the indispensible place of fathers and mothers; and the corresponding rights and dignity of all children.

Marriage thus defined is a great good in itself, and it also serves the good of others and society in innumerable ways. The preservation of the unique meaning of marriage is not a special or limited interest but serves the good of all. Therefore, we invite and encourage all people, both within and beyond our faith communities, to stand with us in promoting and protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Sincerely yours,

Leith Anderson
President
National Association of Evangelicals

Dr. Thomas E. Armiger
Dr. Jo Anne Lyon
Dr. Jerry G. Pence
The Board of General Superintendents
The Wesleyan Church

Dr. Gary M. Benedict
President
The Christian and Missionary Alliance

Glenn C. Burris Jr.
President
The Foursquare Church

Bishop H. David Burton
Presiding Bishop
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Dr. Ronald W. Carpenter, Sr.
Presiding Bishop
International Pentecostal Holiness Church Ministries

Nathan Diament
Director, Institute for Public Affairs
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Most Rev. Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Most Rev. Robert Duncan
Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh

Rev. Jim Eschenbrenner
Executive Pastor
Christian Union

Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Gammon
Conference Minister
Conservative Congregational Conference

Rev. Matthew C. Harrison
President
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

John Hopler
Director
Great Commission Churches

Dr. Clyde M. Hughes
Bishop
International Pentecostal Church of Christ

Ken Hunn
Executive Director
The Brethren Church

Bishop Harry Jackson
Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church
Bishop, Fellowship of International Churches

The Most Blessed Jonah
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Orthodox Church in America

Dr. Richard Land
President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Rev. Frederick J. Moury Jr.
National Conference Chair
Evangelical Congregational Church

Dr. James Murray
Interim Executive Director
General Association of General Baptists

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Manmohan Singh
Secretary General
World Sikh Council – America Region

The Rev. Paull E. Spring
Bishop
North American Lutheran Church

Dr. Joseph Tkach
President
Grace Communion International

Rev. Phil Whipple
Bishop
Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA

Dr. George O. Wood
General Superintendent
Assemblies of God

December 22, 2010 Posted by | Christianity / God, Mormon Christianity, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharia = Sedition

Consider this a tutorial on why the active and purposeful pursuit of Shariah in the U.S. has implications for the federal criminal law of sedition (notably Title 18, Section 2385 of the U.S. Code) and why Jewish law and Christian dogma or Catholic canon do not. Specifically, I present here a brief discussion of whether such application of federal criminal law to Shariah would have an impact on the practice of Jews who observe Jewish law and the private adjudication of religious and commercial matters before a bais din or Jewish court of law (or, for that matter, Christians or Catholics submitting arbitral matters before private ecclesiastical boards or panels).

To begin, by Shariah we mean the authoritative and authoritarian corpus juris of Islamic law as it has been articulated by the recognized Shariah authorities over more than a millennium. The term Shariah as used herein, therefore, does not refer to a personal, subjective, pietistic understanding of the word or concept of Shariah. This latter understanding of the word Shariah is closer to its literal meaning in Arabic without any of the legalistic connotations it has developed as an authoritative institution in Islamic history; as it is currently practiced in such countries as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan; and as it is meant when referred to in the various laws and constitutions of most Muslim countries.

I have written extensively on the question of the practice or advocacy of Shariah by Shariah authorities as a violation of the primary federal sedition statute (i.e., 18 U.S.C. § 2385) on the grounds that throughout the long 1200-year history of the development of Shariah, and across all five major schools of Shariah jurisprudence, five salient facts are embedded in a deep consensus among all authoritative Shariah authorities:

1. The telos or purpose of Shariah is submission. Shariah seeks to establish that Allah is the divine lawgiver and that no other law may properly exist but Allah’s law.
2. Shariah seeks to achieve this goal through persuasion and other non- violent means. But when necessary and under certain prescribed circumstances the use of force and even full-scale war to achieve the dominance of Shariah worldwide is not only permissible, but obligatory. The use of force or war is termed Jihad.
3. The goal of Shariah is to achieve submission to Allah’s law by converting or conquering the entire world and the methodology to achieve this end (by persuasion, by force and subjugation, or by murder) is extant doctrine and valid law by virtue of a universal consensus among the authoritative Shariah scholars throughout Islamic history.
4. The doctrine of Jihad is foundational because it is based upon explicit verses in the Qur’an and the most authentic of canonical Sunna and it is considered a cornerstone of justice: until the infidels and polytheists are converted, subjugated, or murdered, their mischief and domination will continue to harm the Muslim nation. And,
5. Jihad is conducted primarily through kinetic warfare but it includes other modalities such as propaganda and psychological warfare.

Much of my work in this area has drawn upon original Shariah-based works and the academic scholarship relating to that body of work, but also includes the scholarship of others. I especially owe much to Stephen Coughlin (Major U.S. Army Reserves, military intelligence) and his work for the Joint Chiefs while assigned to USCENTCOM.

Because Jihad necessarily advocates violence and the destruction of our representative, constitution- based government, the advocacy of Jihad by a Shariah authority presents a real and present danger. This is sedition when advocated from within our borders; an act of war when directed at us from foreign soil.

This is especially true because a Shariah authority commands the absolute allegiance of the Shariah faithful Jihadist. As Professors Frank Vogel and Samuel Hayes explain, both distinguished professors at Harvard University and proponents of Shariah-compliant finance, Shariah is not some personalized, subjective, pietistic approach to Islam but an institutionalized legal-political-normative doctrine and system:

Islamic legal rules encompass both ethics and law, this world and the next, church and state. The law does not separate rules enforced by individual conscience from rules enforced by a judge or by the state. Since scholars alone are capable of knowing the law directly from revelation, laypeople are expected to seek an opinion (fatwa) from a qualified scholar on any point in doubt; if they follow that opinion sincerely, they are blameless even if the opinion is in error.[1] (Emphasis added.)

Shariah, as it is described on its own terms, is fundamentally and critically unlike Jewish law and any form of Christian canon or ecclesiastical law. Specifically, because neither Jewish law (halacha) nor Christian canon or ecclesiastical law obligates the Jew or Christian, respectively, to violently impose theo-political tenets in lieu of the Constitution, there is simply no basis to apply the laws of sedition to the application of Jewish law or Christian dogma within private religious or commercial contexts. While Jews and Christians may advocate and petition their government for laws that reflect their moral and theological worldview (as may Muslims or atheists), neither Jewish law nor Christian dogma permits the forceful imposition of a theocracy in lieu of representative government or the replacement of our constitution with theocratic legislation.

The contrast between Jewish law and Shariah makes this point vividly. After the fall of the Jewish Commonwealth and the dispersion of the Jews into lands ruled by non-Jews following the Roman destruction of the Second Holy Temple (the current Exile, which includes the modern State of Israel), Talmudic and Jewish legal authorities developed several fundamental principles of Jewish law. The first is dina d’malchuta dina – or, the law of the land in commercial matters is the law (see, e.g., BABYLONIAN TALMUD, Baba Kama 113a, Baba Basra 54b, Gittin 10b, and Nedarim 28a). In other words, the sovereign’s secular commercial laws control Jewish law.

The second post-Exilic legal ruling which separates Jewish law from traditional and still quite contemporary Shariah is that Jewish law on its own terms no longer grants jurisdiction over criminal matters or any form of civil or administrative penalty to a Jewish bais din or court. At best, a Jewish court established by the community may render decisions about money judgments for actual damages as a kind of private arbitration (see, Rabbi Joseph Caro, SHULCHAN ARUCH, Choshen Mishpat, Chapter 1:1-2.) Thus, Jewish law does not allow a bais din, even in modern Israel, to issue a ruling that could have any penal or even compensatory function for non-money damages – such as embarrassment or shame.

It is also worth noting that there is no Jewish legal or normative doctrine for taking lives – others’ or one’s own – as a martyr in fulfilling Jewish law. Specifically, Jewish law requires a Jew to violate Jewish law and to follow the law of the land rather than suffer death except in three cases[2]: (i) if the local law requires a Jew to murder someone (fighting and killing in a legal war of the nation is of course not murder so Jews have no basis for resisting a military draft); (ii) if the local law requires the Jew to engage in some sexual perversion (incest, rape, or homosexuality); and (iii) if the local law requires the Jew to worship idols. But even in these three cases, a Jew must simply allow himself to be punished or martyred by the authorities for his refusal to violate one of these fundamental sins. That is, Jewish martyrdom is a passive act of resistance. There is no concept of a Jewish martyr who dies murdering his enemy.

Shariah turns the Jewish legal doctrine of martyrdom on its head. As noted above, Shariah demands that its law dominate and it is a fundamental crime under Shariah for a Muslim to adhere to a secular law that does not make clear that Shariah is the “highest law of the land”. If a Muslim adheres to a secular constitution deemed the “highest law of the land”, even if the secular constitution and the laws of the land allow for Shariah adherence, the Muslim is considered a Mushrik or polytheist – subject to capital punishment because he has implicitly acknowledged a law giver higher than Allah.[3] Moreover, according to Shariah, a Muslim is a martyr when he dies killing/murdering the infidel. There is nothing passive about the act which awards the Jihadist this appellation.

And, returning to the Jewish legal concept of “the law of the land is the law”, this Jewish legal doctrine is true according to most authorities precisely because a legitimate sovereign acting as a representative of its people passing laws for just and peaceful relations is participating itself in the divine plan for human existence. Jewish law recognizes this divinity and does not seek to deligitimatize secular or foreign law by rendering it, as Shariah does, an affront and illegal challenge to supreme divine law and punishable by death.

Further, the only method available to the contemporary bais din to enforce its rulings is by the imposition of a kind of communal excommunication (i.e., herem, niddui, or nezifah).[4] As a practical matter, because the post-Exilic Jewish legal structure is not hierarchical, no bais din can force its ruling on any other and this leaves even this enforcement action as little more than local, voluntary censure.

To a Shariah-adherent Muslim, however, contemporary Shariah has lost none of its political clout and continues to have the power of state action. Thus,

Since Islamic law reflects the will of [Allah] rather than the will of a human lawmaker, it covers all areas of life and not simply those which are of interest to a secular state or society. It is not limited to questions of belief and religious practice, but also deals with criminal and constitution (sic) matters, as well as many other fields which in other societies would be regarded as the concern of the secular authorities. In an Islamic context there is no such thing as a separate secular authority and secular law, since religion and state are one. Essentially, the Islamic state as conceived by orthodox Muslims is a religious entity established under divine law.[5]

To conclude, it should be clear with but a cursory analysis, because Shariah calls for the destruction of our constitutional republic and for our conversion, subjugation, or murder it is criminal. There simply is no basis to suggest that either Judaism or Christianity, or in fact any other well-known religious dogma or doctrine, falls within the statutory coverage of our extant laws criminalizing sedition.

December 10, 2010 Posted by | Christianity / God, Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honor Killings USA

‘Honor killings’ in USA raise concerns

Muslim immigrant men have been accused of six “honor killings” in the United States in the past two years, prompting concerns that the Muslim community and police need to do more to stop such crimes.

“There is broad support and acceptance of this idea in Islam, and we’re going to see it more and more in the United States,” says Robert Spencer, who has trained FBI and military authorities on Islam and founded Jihad Watch, which monitors radical Islam.

Honor killings are generally defined as murders of women by relatives who claim the victim brought shame to the family.

Thousands of such killings have occurred in Muslim countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Palestinian territories, according to the World Health Organization.

Some clerics and even lawmakers in these countries have said families have the right to commit honor killings as a way of maintaining values, according to an analysis by Yotam Feldner in the journal Middle East Quarterly.

In the USA, police allege the latest “honor killing” was that of Noor Almaleki, 20, who died Nov. 2 after she and her boyfriend’s mother were run over in a Peoria, Ariz., parking lot. Prosecutors charged Almaleki’s father, Faleh Almaleki, with murder, saying the Iraqi immigrant was upset that his daughter rejected a husband she married in Iraq and moved in with an American.

“By his own admission, this was an intentional act, and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame on him and his family,” says Maricopa County prosecutor Stephanie Low, according to The Arizona Republic.

Many Muslim leaders in the USA say that Islam does not promote honor killings and that the practice stems from sexism and tribal behavior that predates the religion.

“You’re always going to get problems with chauvinism and suppressing vulnerable populations and gender discrimination,” says Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Not all agree. Zuhdi Jasser says some Muslim communities have failed to spell out how Islam deals with issues that can lead to violence.

“How should young adult women be treated who want to assimilate more than their parents want them to assimilate?” asks Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, which advocates a separation of mosque and state. “How does an imam treat a woman who comes in and says she wants a divorce … or how to deal with your daughter that got pregnant, and she’s in high school?”

Phyllis Chesler, who wrote about honor killings in her book Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, says police need to focus on the crimes’ co-conspirators if they wish to reverse the trend. Before 2008, there were six honor killings in the USA in the previous 18 years, according to her research.

“It’s usually the father, brother or first male cousin who is charged with the actual shooting or stabbing, (but not) the mother who lures the girl home,” Chesler says. “The religion has failed to address this as a problem and failed to seriously work to abolish it as un-Islamic.”

Jasser says his community needs to address how to treat young women who want to assimilate. “Until we have women’s liberation … we’re going to see these things increase.”

December 7, 2010 Posted by | Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Petition for Protection From Sharia

December 4, 2010 Posted by | Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sign Petition to Insure Religious Freedom

December 4, 2010 Posted by | Christianity / God, Constitutional Issues, Mormon Christianity, Pending Classification, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does a large Muslim presence in the United States equal terrorism?

a large Muslim presence in the United States unnecessarily increases the danger of terrorist attacks on American soil or on American airplanes.

It should not really be necessary to talk about this, nor should we have to document it at length. Please, do not waste our time with talk of Timothy McVeigh. Muslim attacks have taken place or have been intercepted before taking place time and time again in recent years against American citizens on American soil or airplanes, from 9/11 to Nidal Hasan to the Christmas underwear bomber to the plot against the fuel lines at JFK to a plot to bomb the subways in D.C. to the New Jersey Muslims planning to train abroad to commit terrorism at home–the list goes on and on and on. The most recent as of this writing is, of course, Somali immigrant Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the would-be Christmas tree bomber, but he won’t be anywhere near the last. Jihad Watch, with typical dark humor, refers to such terrorists as “misunderstanders of Islam,” and googling that phrase at Jihad Watch turns up a huge number of highly informative posts, a compendium of the acts and plans of those “misunderstanders” of the Religion of Peace here and abroad.

It is folly to try to tell us that this has nothing to do with Islam. This is not a matter of abstract argument. Tell it to the perpetrators, and let us know how that’s working out for you after a few more plots and attacks. And tell it to all the air travelers and victims who have paid the price for multiculturalism in loss of time, loss of privacy, and loss of freedom, not to mention loss of life.

Really, point I is almost too easy to substantiate. It is so easy to substantiate that the really religiously committed multiculturalist tacitly acknowledges it when, as in the case of General Casey, he implies that the deaths of Americans really don’t matter all that much, that non-discrimination is more important than saving lives. We should be willing to die for the religion of non-discrimination–no airport profiling, no sacrificing of diversity in the military, no matter what the cost. One blogger has said as much, calling on the people of the West to be “brave” by refusing profiling on airlines, because “it is more important to you to preserve an open and tolerant society than to survive this trip.”

II. We should disinvite Islam because too many Muslims in the West stubbornly refuse to assimilate or to assimilate fully and, by their refusal, succeed in changing and interrupting Western life in unacceptable ways.

The only difficulty in discussing this point is one of organization of the wealth of material available. First, there are the many relatively small incidents of assimilation refusal and Muslim bullying, but those relatively small incidents may not be small to those directly affected. They also add up.

–A Muslim woman brings a complaint against a gymnasium for not taking her side when she was interrupted in prayer by another woman trying to get past her to a locker.

–Somali meat packing workers have caused enormous problems by demanding that they all receive the same time off for prayer day after day, resulting in unfair treatment of other workers and interruption of the plant’s work.

–At George Mason University, Muslims have taken over the supposedly non-denominational “prayer room” and on one occasion refused to allow a Christian to pray the rosary there.

–Muslims have received the privilege of special religious footbaths, installed in state facilities, so that they can wash for prayer.

Under “miscellaneous and disturbing” we can file…

–A Muslim woman refuses to allow her face to be seen when she testifies in court, challenging the centuries-old Anglo legal principle that seeing the face is important for evaluating testimony. She sued over the judge’s refusal to allow her to testify with her face covered.

–A Muslim woman demands that the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, make an exception for Muslim women to its standing security policy requiring that faces not be covered when traveling on public transportation. Grand Rapids caves and rescinds the rule.

–Muslim taxi drivers refuse to accept blind people with dogs.

–Muslim husbands in Western countries have put medical workers in intolerable positions by refusing to allow treatment of their wives by male doctors, even in emergency situations.

Under “serious problems” we can file…

–Medical workers demand that they be allowed to wear long sleeves, despite public health concerns.

–Muslims take over Paris streets during certain hours. A similar problem appears to be beginning in New York City now. Reportedly, the mayor of New York City has ordered that those clogging the streets with illegally parked vehicles for prayer not be ticketed.

–Attacks on Christian missionaries, preventing Christian missions work, that involve the police of a heavily Muslim town.

–Honor killings in the West (too many to list)

–Female genital mutilation in the West (many incidents)

–A fatwa against American citizen Molly Norris for angering Muslims, together with the presence of people in the U.S. who might carry it out, forcing her to go into hiding.

Americans have legitimate reasons not to want a population that brings these problems with it. There is nothing wrong with not wanting our streets clogged week after week with praying (not to mention belligerent) Muslims and their vehicles. There is nothing wrong with wanting Western rules of hygiene observed in hospitals. There is nothing wrong with wanting our factories to be able to continue to operate even when it is sundown during Ramadan. And there is certainly nothing wrong with not wanting our citizens forced into hiding by a murderous immigrant population.

Moreover, it is entirely legitimate for us to say that we simply do not want our police forces and our social workers to have to deal with problems so horrific and so alien as female genital mutilation and with cultural groups that carry out these mutilations in secret. Honor killings, too, ought to be something that “does not happen here.” The notion that our country should have a distinctive cultural quality and should be a haven from such practices is a good one and one of which we should not be ashamed.

But there is more than that. Last summer one author (Lydia) caused a great deal of shock by relating the issue of Muslim immigration to Christian parental rights. That post has been repeatedly denounced and even misunderstood. The point was not that liberals will come to like conservative Christians if we gang up on Muslims. The point was simply this: When one group of people abuses its freedoms, those freedoms become tenuous for other people. In our present, increasingly anti-Christian culture, the upside-down truth is that the people most likely to suffer are not those who are actually guilty of, say, threatening, abusing, and murdering their children for religious reasons but rather those who are entirely innocent, who adhere to a completely different religion that does not support such abuses, but who will be targets of opportunity for social workers once it becomes acceptable to say that our country has a growing problem with “religious fundamentalist” child abuse. Just as the refusal to profile in airlines and even ethnic quotas on stopping passengers mean that people who are extremely unlikely to be terrorists must submit tamely to humiliating and inappropriate pat-downs, body scans, and searches, so an increased awareness of Muslim abuse of parental authority, combined with a refusal actually to admit that Muslims are a special problem, is likely to result in increased persecution of innocent Christian families. The Melissa Busekros case in Germany illustrates this point quite well; German authorities specifically cited their interest in preventing the rise of “parallel societies” (a clear allusion to concerns about immigrant groups) as a reason for outlawing home schooling for everyone and for persecuting the completely German and mainstream Busekros family. Americans have a legitimate interest in not importing populations whose members are especially likely to abuse the freedoms that America offers. Doing so places those freedoms at risk.

The third type of objection to our importing these problems should be discussed as a partially independent point:

III. We should disinvite Islam because of the real danger that we will assimilate to Islam and change important things in our country that must not be changed. This will, among other things, make it difficult if not impossible to do any good for those who wish to leave Islam in the United States or who are victims within Muslim groups and families in the United States.

–I have already discussed above, as a very disturbing consequence of the development of unassimilated Muslim groups, the dangers to Christian freedom to evangelize. But it is especially important to emphasize the way in which the Dearborn police and mayor have become complicit in this problem. They have so internalized the norms of the Muslim populace that they consider the missionaries who simply engaged in peaceful conversations to be the problem, and they considered them to be the problem because the Muslims did not like their behavior. This means that, in effect, the City of Dearborn has assimilated to Islam in this area, not the other way around. What that means, in turn, is that it is now harder than it would otherwise be to evangelize the Muslims that do reside in Dearborn. Insofar as Muslim values are adopted by Western jurisdictions, our ability to help Muslims to (for example) leave Islam, understand the problems with Islam, and learn about Christianity is compromised. This is a point that too many Christians, concerned merely with reaching out to Muslims, do not understand. When too many Muslims are present, concentrated, and not well assimilated, you cannot help them. You will be stopped from doing so. Those who want to witness to or change Muslims have, therefore, an interest in limiting their numbers.

–This problem is particularly noticeable in the United Kingdom, where reports have surfaced of Muslims in the social work professions who betray women attempting to flee their abusive families. In a related and specific story, UK social workers attempted explicitly to dissuade a teenage girl from converting to Christianity, forbidding her to attend Christian activities, firing her Christian foster mother, and urging her to reconsider on the grounds of the danger to her from Muslims for converting. So much for the “helping professions.” It is obvious that the UK is losing its ability to help the victims of Islam in its midst and that it is losing this ability precisely because there are already so many Muslims in its midst! When you invite Muslims to your country and treat Islam as just another religion, this is an entirely natural and predictable result.

Repeatedly, in ostensibly Western countries, courts have either been asked or, even more disturbing, have agreed, to consider “cultural” excuses for outrageous Muslim behavior.

–In Canada, defense attorneys for a brother who murdered his sister and her fiance literally argued “provocation” in mitigation of his crime, attempting to reduce the crime to manslaughter. What was the provocation? The daughter’s bringing “dishonor” on the family by becoming engaged without the consent of her own male relatives and moving in with the family of her fiance. So the Western lawyers for a murderer in a Western country have deliberately attempted to get honor killings treated as mere manslaughter because they are honor killings.

–In Italy, a daughter was beaten by her parents and brother, but the sentence was struck down by the high court for “cultural” reasons on the grounds that the parents’ motivation had been for her own good and not out of anger.

–A German judge, later removed from the case, expressly relied on the Koran’s permission to beat wives in her denial of a fast-track divorce to an abused wife. It was the husband’s culture, you see, that he was permitted to beat his wife, and his wife was supposed to have taken that into account when she married him.

–In New Jersey, a judge refused to consider a husband guilty of spousal rape in a protective order case because his religion (Islam) teaches that he should have sexual access to his wife at all times. While the decision was struck down by a higher court, it is extremely disturbing that it should have been made at all.

Some would try to say that these courts or judges are just being “bad judges” or “jerks” or “insensitive to domestic violence,” and are not really enforcing sharia, as though it is illicit for Islam critics to mention sharia in these contexts at all. But these decisions expressly cite the religious beliefs of the Muslims involved, which are, like it or not, beliefs fostered by sharia. By deferring to these cultural beliefs and expectations, the courts are deferring to sharia whether they call it that or not. In America, it is entirely unacceptable that this should happen in any shape or form. It should not even need to be said, but laws against raping and beating wives and beating daughters, much less killing sisters, are good laws, and it should not make the slightest difference in a legal context to charges, sentencing, or other legal matters such as protective orders or divorce law if someone’s “culture” tells him that such behaviors are permitted. Western laws should not budge on these matters, yet they are budging.

The very existence of large populations or heavy concentrations that hold these cultural views exerts a tacit pressure on the legal system of a region to accommodate it. The mechanisms for this pressure are multiple. There is, of course, sheer fear and intimidation, but that is only the beginning. Mayors, police, prosecutors, judges, and social workers want to be perceived as culturally sensitive. Those tasked with enforcing laws rejected by a resistant immigrant population are likely to suffer from sheer fatigue and frustration. And ultimately, democracy takes over. Today’s immigrants are tomorrow’s citizens, and their children, born on American soil, are today’s citizens.

Muslim populations that do not assimilate produce members of the voting public who elect people who represent or at least defer to their values and who will appoint others who do the same. Where those values are destructive of important aspects of the American way of life, the result is disastrous.

This quoted summary is neither my opinion, nor do I necessarily agree wit all points OR the author’s proposed “solution”, but it does list a very accurate set of examples of Islam’s implementation of Sharia Law in the US and the West.

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Escape from Darkness (Islam)

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Christianity / God, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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