SSB Gathering – February 26, 2017

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

-by Kathi

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Acts 3: 11 – 26

While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

“Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’

“Indeed, all prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you buy turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

**If you are a victim or survivor of intimate partner violence, you may want to skip this reading of Esther. While Esther’s story of rising above her situation is incredible, this part of the story states legal acceptance and fosters the attitude of men ruling over the household. **

Esther 1: 10 – 22

On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him – Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carcas – to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.

Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in maters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times and were closest to the king – Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.

“According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”

Then Memucan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.

“Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memucan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, proclaiming in each people’s tongue that every man should be ruler over his own household.

Proverbs 15: 4

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

***


***

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

***

Photo credit: Kathi – Latte art

16 comments on “SSB Gathering – February 26, 2017

  1. Thanks, Kathi.

    The book of Esther (in Persian, her names means “star”) is a HUGE hit among “manly” Neo-Cals and for the very reason you’ve stated in red, Kathi. Sadly, many women of the same persuasion also love the book of Esther, because all “authority” (however corrupt, sinful, sick, immoral, pornographic, abusive, monstrous, evil, etc.) is from God, and so they take this tale to its illogical conclusion. Triple sigh and a burp. And sadness.

    Interesting to note too that the name of God is not found in the book of Esther (only as an acrostic here and there, in the original Hebrew).

    From “The Pretty and the Plain” (JJ Heller)

    “The first time that you saw me
    I was wrestling demons on my own
    You gave me my freedom
    And I will never be, never be alone.”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Boston Lady – Yes, it is sad that the story of Esther is taken to mean that husbands can rule over their wives. We’re talking about ancient culture here for goodness sake! I think they just don’t want to admit that young Esther was able to be a strong woman and used her position to save her people.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, that’s what happens when you lie and try to fit and force your man-made “theology” into the Bible and not the other way around, as it should be.
    That’s why, Kathi, many of our sisters in the Lord (and others too) walk around beaten black and blue because there’s a “verse” for it, whether taken out of every line of context and social background! And because the sovereign God (through the verse”) and his clones on earth have said so.

    The evils that are still going to be exposed, especially from that ONE particular man-made doctrine, are going to be gruesome indeed.

    Thanks for what you are doing. A peaceful Sunday!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. TW: misogyny

    Concerning the Esther passage, the late pastor of the church I grew up in loved to preach on Esther to preach on wives’ need to submit to their husbands (actually, a common sermon topic). He also mentioned that one wasn’t supposed to be sad in the king’s presence, and publicly rebuked a 30-something woman for coming to church sad that she’s still single.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: SSB Gathering – February 26, 2017 – GBFSV SPIRITUAL ABUSE VICTIMS' RECOVERY

  6. Seekeroftruthweb – Wow, how sad. I would think that men would be sickened by Xerxes’ demand of his wife. He was “high in spirits” after seven days of partying and demands that his wife parade herself among the men so that they can look at how beautiful she is. Would that pastor want to parade his wife around drunken men so they can look her over? How sick is that?! Although, there are pastors who like to comment on how “hot” their wife is on social media…essentially showing her off to the world. Are they expecting other men to say, “Yeah, brother. You got a hot wife there!”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for this post. Will there be a series on the book of Esther? When I read this I knew it would spark some good conversation. Let’s also remember, the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon at the time. Also, those “parodies” you posted on the Facebook page; now I wonder if there’s gonna be one on Vashti? Interesting. Blessings to all.

    Like

  8. JPU – I will add parts from the book of Esther to each Sunday Gathering post. I will write it out in order of the book. I don’t usually add “extra” discussion before a verse, but as I was reading, I recognized that it would be a verse that could be used in an abusive way.

    I love that today’s has garnered some good discussion. Hopefully we can continue it each week!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think they just don’t want to admit that young Esther was able to be a strong woman and used her position to save her people.

    Indeed. And Xerxes was a pagan king, not meant to be taken as a paragon!

    Kathi, did you listen to the series by the Pastor Liam Goligher on Esther? It was fantastic.

    publicly rebuked a 30-something woman for coming to church sad that she’s still single.

    That’d been the moment I publically walked out the door and went to brunch instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. @Lea:

    Indeed. And Xerxes was a pagan king, not meant to be taken as a paragon!

    “Xerxes, Padishah, Shahanshah, Shah of All Iran and All that is Not Iran…”
    — standard titles of a Persian king of the time

    Like

  11. @Kathi:

    Would that pastor want to parade his wife around drunken men so they can look her over? How sick is that?! Although, there are pastors who like to comment on how “hot” their wife is on social media…essentially showing her off to the world. Are they expecting other men to say, “Yeah, brother. You got a hot wife there!”

    That plus “See What Ive Got that You Can’t Have? HAW! HAW! HAW!”

    Like

  12. H.U.G.

    I had the pleasure/displeasure of hearing a celebrity musician at one of the singing fests attended, say on stage to his Christian/non-Christian audience as a picture of his wife and children adorned the big screen, amongst the hoots and whistling from the audience,

    “Yea, I have a hot wife, don’t I!” Wink. Wink.

    Didn’t need to walk over to his ‘table’ to purchase his jesus junk at that point, for the ‘show’ didn’t reflect Jesus in any way.

    Like

  13. Just saw a link on Twitter to a DG article about the awfulness of having close friends (with alist of warning signs).

    Included this little tidbit:

    Purpose and Mission. Shelby had been the women’s director at her church for several years, but as a thirty-something single, she sensed most of the younger women didn’t want to be mentored by her. Maybe they feared her prolonged singleness would rub off on them. So, when Ashley begged her to meet for coffee, she jumped at the opportunity. Eager to learn, Ashley ate up everything Shelby had to share. It was so nice to finally have someone who wanted to listen, who didn’t see her singleness as a disease. Ashley soon became her sidekick, her protégé, her little sister. But when Shelby was asked on a date, she realized something different was happening. For the first time, she hesitated to accept, not because of the character of the guy, but because she feared what this new relationship might mean for her and Ashley. She feared losing the friendship more than losing her singleness.

    I have so many thoughts about how everything here is wrong!!

    Like

  14. Walking out would have been unthinkable, as the pastor presented himself as an apostle/prophet and loved “Touch not my annointed, and do my prophets no harm.” He threatened those who dissed him with divine retribution. He has since passed away, but, from what I hear, people are still afraid of him.
    Anyway, this woman is still drinking the Kool-Aid; her youngest brother has moved on, and he has tried to talk to her, but she is really indoctrinated. (Probably afraid, possible learned helplessness.) However, her wedding is scheduled for this year.

    Like

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