Friday, June 13, 2008

Because I like a good theological conversation as much as the next person...

I present for you this unedited comment, posted in response to my rant on shopping at Whole Foods:

Anonymous said...

I become disgusted with anyone who drives an SUV or other gas-guzzling car, who does not reduce their consumption, etc. Unless you used cloth diapers, recycle just about everything, and grow, preserve, and cook most of your own food, YOU are NOT being a good steward of creation. Stewardship means caring for creation and NOT being wasteful and selfish. Having a huge family and being wasteful and consumptive is just pure selfishness. Oh, and as far as the quiverfulll reasons for having a large family, PLEASE! Who interpreted that part of the bible? I could interpret it in many different ways if I THOUGHT I was supposed to "interpret" it. ALso, you may want to read more of the gospel of Paul, especially where he writes that those who are Chrisitans are best to NOT marry and to NOT have children, as they are distractions from what is the righteous way to live (e.g., a Christ-like life of piety and prayer, whether one was a MAN or a WOMAN, there were NO admonishments that women were lesser than men). ONLY THOSE who were too weak to resist temptation were told that marriage would be an option, but clearly Paul indicated that being unmarried and childless was preferable. DO any of you people read those parts of the scripture???? NO, your kind only want to interpret those pieces that uphold your selfish, wasteful ways of life.

While I have a handful of comments I'd like to make in regards to the finer points of Paul's directives for living in a Christ-like manner, I'm most interested in what you all have to say. Yes, that means I want a novel out of you, Angi! I'll post my own thoughts later.


Mom Of Es said...

I am just speechless.

Whatever happened to not judging others?

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm just a lurker here and enjoy your blog. Now I know why bloggers protect their identities. Yikes.
Can't wait for the response.

EllaJac said...

I saw that comment and was amazed that someone could so easily spew such things at a person...

I should say that I am not exactly "Quiverfull" in the technical sense - I can see several sides of the issue - but I am pro-family. I won't really take on the theological points here.

FIRST OFF, I have a problem with the idea that using the resources God put here is somehow irresponsible. I think it is more irresponsible to fail to use them (or misuse them - which driving your family doesn't qualify for) to their potential. Oil included.

SECONDLY, the church, indeed humanity, would've been short-lived if Paul's admonishment (which he clarifies as his own opinion, I believe) was meant for every Christian. [God Himself had a son, and we are supposed to never follow in that way?] If this was followed completely and successfully in the Early Church, new converts would be the only church growth, until the world was converted (and therefore celibate and barren - and extinct), or part of the world refused, securing the future of mankind without Christ.

I don't know where the commenter was going with the concern about women being lesser than men. Was that part of your post somewhere?

And finally, regarding "wasteful" and "selfish," I have a thought... When I spend my creative energies and time preparing a delicious meal for my family, I delight in their eating it. I am pleased to have provided for their needs in a convenient (for them) and pleasant way - so they can spend time serving others as opposed to every minute consumed by efforts towards their next meal. Coversely, I find myself battling displeasure if they are late to the table, or indifferent towards mealtime. I don't know that any of that is a godly characteristic, but it seems to me that God would also delight in our grateful and responsible use of the resources he so nicely bestowed upon us... So that we can serve Him and others with the majority of time and talents (and energy) leftover.

anya* said...

The final sentence really made me wonder:

'NO, your kind only want to interpret those pieces that uphold your selfish, wasteful ways of life.'

So was that before or after your family chose to care for the weak, oppressed and fatherless?

I don't want to judge this anonymous commenter, but I do wonder what was being referred to in regards to wastefulness? What do they suggest for a car for a large family? I suppose we could ride bikes with attachments for baby carriers...although what equipment was used to make those bikes...And that portion of scripture that was mentioned- didn't Paul clarify that it was his own opinion, not necessarily Gods, that he was giving?

I am interested to read your response mary grace..

Paula said...

This person obviously has NO IDEA who you really are MG to call you selfish.

They can not have possibly read your other posts and must have simply stumbled upon your blog.

They obviously made a huge sweeping judgement based on one entry which I found to be light and funny BTW.

If this is a "typical" whole foods store shopper, I think I'll avoid the whole experience. Thanks for the warning MG!

Liz said...

yah, there are lots of THOSE people here in Austin. we have two whole foods too!

am so sorry you had to read that crap. YOU know what GOD has called You to do, this person knows nothing, and especially not GOD's heart. i say pray for him/her. He/she must be really hurting.

KH said...

Well, I'm not sure I'd call this a "good theological conversation"... more like a bunch of nonsense ranted by a person hiding behind anonymity.

Personally, I recommend you ignore the post and move on. Stewardship also means being a good steward of one's time and I'm not sure wrestling with this person would qualify. ;-)

However, if we must, we must... and so to your commenter I say... scripture, by its very nature, is to be interpreted. It has always been. It was a rabbi's role to interpret scripture and then teach those interpretations to the his followers. That was called the rabbi's "yoke". You cannot read scripture and not interpret it.

As for the words of Paul, this is a great example you chose that demonstrates just how scripture can be (and is) interpreted in many different ways. I recommend reading some good commentaries on this passage and you'll see how theologians interpret this passage in different ways.

And finally, it is obvious that you have a passion for caring for God's creation -- there is nothing wrong with that; indeed it can be a wonderful thing. However, I gently suggest that you reread your comment here and think about whether you could have stated your opinions in a more loving, Christ-like way. Your post seethes with hatred, judgment, and anger. While we could debate back and forth on whether Paul meant ALL people who wish to be Christ-followers should remain unmarried or not, I believe we both would agree that Paul believed that part of being a Christ-follower meant loving others as Jesus loved. Your comment lacks any hint of love -- and by nature of that, any hint of Christ-likeness. Surely, you would make greater gains in encouraging your fellow believers to strive to make good choices in their stewardship of God's creation if you spoke truth in and with love.

Anonymous said...

Someone has a lot of time on their hands, when they could be out picking up litter or planting new forests.

: )

Anonymous said...

No theology here. I'd love to be able to say "I can't believe the response you got!" but I've seen similar diatribes posted now and again on just about every blog of a mom of many that I read.

FWIW, not all Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are like that. I'm often the only woman with as many as two kids in ours, but my friend with five children up in MA regularly takes her whole brood to the one by her place and they love her dcs like crazy there. Even though they do arrive in an Explorer.

(I'm bowiemom from SL-land, BTW.)

Tamra said...

What a time to discover your blog for the first time! Haha! Well, you know you've hit the big time when you get your very own troll. So, yay for you.
But I'm a homeschooling, cloth diapering mom of 6 so your troll wouldn't like me either. Except I do play electric guitar...
Love your blog!

Gayle said...

Gee Whiz, Beav. It sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the environmentally friendly bed.

Jimmie said...

Coming a bit late to the discussion, but man oh man... what a doozy.

Is this comment coming from someone claiming to be a Christian or not? I wasn't quite sure.

Anyway, I'd like to offer that we're FREE in Christ -- man, woman, married, unmarried -- we are free.

Christian liberty is something this commenter needs to investigate. The matters he/she is mentioning (# of kids, car model -- give me a break) are all matters of conscience.

~ Angi :) said...

Well, it's been days comin', darlin' but {cracking my knuckles! HA!} here goes! LOLOL (um, do you want this in hermanutical format? I've been getting canned for my methods lately . . .LOL!)

I disagree with the poster on the definition of stewardship. Jesus brought forth the concept of living a simple life, not gaining unto excess by giving away the extra one has, thereby meeting the needs of those within the Body who are in need, and caring for the poor. Stewardship means, knowing that God owns 100% of what is in your care, and counting those belongings, spiritual, material or otherwise, as His wealth to be used for the benefit of others. (yes, your spoons ARE important people! LOL)

The op would have one believe that to care for creation means to

a. not waste by using products that simplify today's lifestyle and

b. limit family size.

I'm hard pressed to find Scripture to support either definition. We DO find that the Lord made humankind to take dominion over creation. That dominion has resulted in the ingenuity of craftsmanship that has produced pampers, SUV's, and yes, microwave ovens. Are we at fault for using these technologies? Particularly when we can use those items to bless others?

Am I at fault for buying a young single mom a bag of disposable diapers to bless her tight income? Or have I upheld a greater knowledge of the mind of Christ?

Does my microwave cook many a succulent item that blesses my neighbor? Then I've fulfilled my stewardship of that microwave.

My SUV? It carts my family to and fro in one vehicle instead of two, thereby saving the atmosphere emissions.

Yes, we have been commanded to be fruitful and multiply. That has not been rescinded.

So, may we raise our littles to love God, serve the widows and the homeless, the poor among us . . .and teach them that the extra they have can bless another, and open unto them the treasuries of heaven so that they will never lack for the Lord's provision.

The spirit of the law of life in Christ Jesus is so liberating.

Change that baby's [cloth]diaper, will ya, MG? :)

Brian & Rachel Davis said...

On the part about Paul saying it's better to be unmarried and childless - I believe he was not saying that. God is a Father and loves children and I believe he put that love and desire in us and wishes to fulfill the desire for intimacy and children in us. In other words, I believe it would be against God's character to say that marriage and children are generally a worse state than not.

I believe that Paul was saying that it is better to have self-control over your desires and passions than to HAVE to be married in order to "not burn." Does somebody want to share where Paul says it's better to not have kids?

I shall conclude with saying that it's true that many people live above their means (debt is a big issue in the US, right?) and that most of us live with some amount of excess. I enjoy my comforts. I do recycle some and I used to cloth diaper. I am at peace with this. I am continuing to learn things about how to be a better steward.

However, I'm not going to move under a bridge and nurse my kids until they're 14.