#Sexy #Sex and #Christian #Worship

Posted this on Wednesday by mistake instead of Thursday but it’s all good 😄

Hellooooooooooo!

Now you know me and my juxtaposition of sexual activity and expressive worship. Well in my travels in academia doing my PhD in Womanist Theomusicology I came across something quite insightful that has really changed the way I worship. The idea came from a response to an interview question found in an ethnographic study by Travis Cooper (2011) Masters Thesis from Missouri State University: “Ecstasy and the Kinesthetic Body: An Ethnograhpic Study of Contemporary Pentecostal Worship”.

When analysing the responses Cooper received from the qualitative questionnaires regarding the worship techniques and ideas of Pentecostal Christians, Cooper found that one Pastor said something that really struck me. He related worshipping Jesus to a husband and wife having sex. Now, stay with me….!

The Pastor warned that when worshipping Jesus we should not perusing a good knees up with some songs that make us feel good. Instead, the pastor said we should be pursuing a relationship with Jesus. The same way a husband should not be having sex with his wife just for his own sexual gratification he should be having sex with his wife because he loves her.

The pastor said the following:

“…the ultimate goal for sexual relations between a husband and wife is not simply pleasure or childbearing, but facilitation of love between the two agents in the physical act of intercourse, so it is with worship.” (Cooper 2011, pp.182)

I learnt soo much about worship and love in that one profound sentence. There’s just so much I could say but I really think that sentence says it all. We should be thinking about Jesus when we are worshipping not looking to pleasure ourselves with little ditty’s that make us feel good.

So here’s how my worship practice has changed: Instead of sitting there singing/playing songs that make me feel good I think of Jesus more of a lover that I am pursuing. So I think well this should be about Jesus, what does Jesus want? How can I make Jesus happy? What can I do to make us closer?

Sometimes I just play the guitar to Jesus now because I think well, maybe Jesus just wants to listen to some music same as we humans do! Also, I try to improve my professional practice because I feel like Jesus wants me to improve.

When we worship and love our spouses it should be about the other person and getting to know them better not about ourselves.

Remember, pleasure should be a consequence of the pursuit not the other way around!

A Whistle-stop Tour Of #Ancient #Jewish #Worship #Music & Techniques

Hey!

Here’s a whistle stop tour of why Christians sing in church:

A History of Christian Worship

The early church was comprised of Jews who had accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah. Therefore, to understand what contemporary Christian worship is and why it is there, one must look at historical Jewish worship, as this is the foundation that modern Christian worship is based on.

The beginnings of Jewish music are not known, what is not shrouded in mystery is known by what the Bible tells us (Barton 2014, p.7). The book of Psalms is full of many musical directions of how to worship God, however, as there are no sound recordings or musical notation related to the musical directions in the psalms, we can only speculate as to how they would have sounded. The first mention in the Bible of music, a musical instrument and a musician is when a woman called Adah gives birth to her son whom she named Jubal, in Genesis 4:20-22:

“[20] Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents. [21] His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. [22] Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah.” (Genesis 4:20-22 NLT)

Here, we are introduced to three primary professions on earth, apart from tending the Garden of Eden, like Adam. Those who work with livestock (v.20), the musician (v.21) and the craftsman in bronze and iron (v.22) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The Hebrews, (as they were known before they arrived in Israel), were given instructions to worship God in the books of the Law, which, at the time, also involved animal sacrifice. They were told what to sacrifice and when but no specifics was given regarding worship (Williams 2018, Origins of Christian Worship).

There are a few examples describing how worship was lead in the Bible but again we do not know how it sounded. We read early on in the Bible that after leaving Egypt, Miriam, the sister of Moses, took a timbrel and led the other women, who also had timbrels and to praise God in Exodus 15; 20 and 21. In Leviticus, we are introduced to the Shofar, this is a Rams horn which was blown by a priest on feast days. The Shofar is still played today and sounds like a trumpet or horn. In Numbers 10:1-10, we are introduced to another kind of horn, the silver trumpet, like the Shofar, this is not strictly a musical instrument but is also only used by the priests who blew it to signal to the Hewbrew’s that they were moving the camp.

Fast-forward many generations to the book of Samuel we discover that there were prophets who were also musicians. Saul met them following an encounter with Samuel:

“When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. (1 Samuel 10:5 NLT)

Music was also used for therapeutic reasons, David played the harp for King Saul, conducted under what has become known as the Psalmist anointing, which is “…the power coming from God in the music to drive evil spirits away” (Barton 2014, p.9):

And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away. (1 Samuel 16:23 NLT).

Later, once David became king and he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem there was dancing; singing; they were playing lyres; harps; tambourines and other percussive instruments (2 Samuel 6:5) and Rams horn’s were played in 2 Samuel 6.15. David also assigned men from the Levite clans to sing and play music in worship to God in the tabernacle, (which at the time was a tent), 24 hours a day and they did so until his heir and son Solomon built a temple made of brick (1 Chronicles 6:31-32). In fact, the whole of 1 Chronicles 25 also shows us that David appointed entire families from the Levite clans to play music, this would have amounted to several thousand singers and musicians (Barton 2014, p.9). David also appointed a choir leader, who functioned, I imagine, much in the same way as a modern choir leader (1 Chronicles 15:16) (Nehemiah 12:46). When David established the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, he personally paid for musicians out of his treasury:

“[4] David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the LORD–to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel. [5] Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. [6] The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.” (1 Chronicles 16:4-6 NLT)

Before David’s Tabernacle (tent) was erected worship was quite solemn, as directed by Moses and involved animal sacrifice. In David’s Tabernacle worship livened up. This could have been because David was quite a creative and passionate person. The Bible tells us that he was a poet, harpist and singer, as well as a shepherd, King and warrior. The Bible also tells us that David also appeared to enjoy dancing as well, see 2 Samuel 16:14 (Barton 2014, p.15).

Once, Solomon, David’s son and heir had built the Temple of the Lord, he celebrated this with music, 120 priests playing trumpets and God responded to this by filling the Temple with His presence:

“[12] And the Levites who were musicians–Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers–were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. [13] The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the LORD with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. [14] The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:12-14 NLT) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The instruments used in the Temple worship in King Solomon’s times were:

Kinnor – A Harp or Lyre – a plucked string instrument probably with 12 strings. It is the national instrument of Israel still today.
Ugav – a flute or shawm – a wood instrument
Tof – a small tambourine-type instrument often played by women
Machalat – The nature of this instrument cannot be established

 

Non-musical instruments

Shofar – Ram’s horn
Pa’amon – Bells
Chatzotzerah – The Silver trumpet which God told Moses to make and used to signal the onward movement of the Hebrews in the wilderness and at other festival times – blown only by priests.
The tabret (or trimbrel) – was probably a small hand held percussion instrument (Rothmüller 1967) (Barton 2014, p. 16).

Following the destruction of this temple and the exile and return of the Israelites to Israel, worship changed slightly but the basic elements remained the same and there were still many musicians, Ezra records that 128 singers returned from exile with him (Ezra 2:41), later there were 200 women and men singers (Ezra 2:65). Nehemiah records in Nehemiah 7:67 that the singers were so numerous that they built villages around the capital to accommodate them and they were given a quota of food each day (Nehemiah 11:23) (Barton 2014, pp.17-18). What changed was the tone of worship during the exile of the Israelites from their own country to Babylon by the Babylonians. Singing in the synagogues was briefly banned, possibly due to the sorrow of exile as well as the rise of emphasis on the law by the Pharisee’s Some things were added, like the formalized order of public prayers, still used in Synagogues today, was established by the Great Assembly of Jewish leaders. This is known as the synagogue system (Barton 2014, p.19).

 

Historical Liturgical Synagogue Worship

The following are institutionalised liturgical practices from the synagogue system:

The Cantor

The Cantor was the leader of chanting prayers, psalms and scriptures in the synagogue, which became the dominant form of music in the synagogues for many centuries, following the lifting of the ban on singing in the synagogues. The chant was a liturgical practice that involved a number of syllables being sung to each note of a short melodic line that is repeated throughout the passage being read/sung. The cantor would take contemporaneous melodic patters or compose his own melodies. Chanting of Psalms was often done antiphonally with two choirs groups to lead the congregation. Rabbis did not allow women to sing, so all music was male led by men and boys and chanting was monophonic. The scales differed depending on the spatio-temporal location of the synagogue as the local folk music culture often influenced the Cantor’s musical creations (Barton 2014, p.21).

 

Cantillation

In the Cantillation the cantor or leader singer of a synagogue sings the declamatory form of the weekly text of the Torah, and the Prophets (Nevi’im) using pre-existing musical phrases. The musical phrases are chosen according to the text and book of the Bible being cantillated. There is no rhythm as different musical motives are combined together. Although there is reason to believe that cantillation goes back as far as Ezra in the Bible times – about 2,500 years ago – most melodies used today are no older that about the 15th or 16th century (Rubin and Baron 2006, pp.67-69) (Barton 2014, pp.21-22).

 

Jewish Liturgical Modes

A set of musical modes are called ‘Nusach’ which can refer either to a set of modes, melodies and also a set text or prayer. These modes or melodies link the prayer to a time of year or day and also indicate what prayer is to be sing or recited. These melodies became standardized, as did the prayers associated with the melodies. The Three main modes are: Ahavah Rabbah, Magein Avot and Adonai Malach. Today they are improvised from time to time) (Barton 2014, p.22).

 

Synagogue Prayers

The prayers of the Synagogues were chanted usually led by a Cantor and a male choir (if available). The Cantors usually sang in a florid and melodious style that was either of their own devising (before the modes became formalized) or influence by the local culture’s melodic lines. After the formalizing of the prayers the following forms emerged and remain until this day in the modern synagogues:

Piyyut: – a Jewish liturgical poem that is sung, chanted or spoken. A lot of Piyytim are poetic in character and often follow the order of an acrostic poem using the Hebrew Alphabet in order at the beginning of each line.

Zemiros: Jewish Hymns sung in Hebrew, Aramaic, Yiddish or Ladino, sung at holidays, the Shabbat meal on Fridays or any other day.

Nigun: religious songs sung by groups that involve voice and with no formal words; syllables such as bim-bim-bam or ai-ai-ai are sung.

Pizmonim: Traditional Jewish songs associated with Middle Eastern Sephardic Jews – but are also among the North African and Mizrahi Jews. Texts may come from the Old Testament or by poets. They are composed to praise God and contain traditional teaching. They are often sung at religious rituals or festivities such as circumcisions, weddings Bar Mitzvahs or other ceremonies.

Baqashot: a collection of songs and prayers sung by Sephardic Jewish communities during Shabbat, but also may be recited during the long weeks of winter) (Barton 2014, pp.22-23).

That’s all folks!

Bibliography

Books

Barton, B. 2014. The Music of the Jews: An Overview. Fellowship Diploma dissertation. National College of Music, London.

Rothmüller, A. M. 1967. The Music of the Jews; an Historical Appreciation. South Brunswick: T. Yoseloff.

Rubin, E. and J. H. Baron. 2006. Music in Jewish History and Culture. Sterling Heights. MI: Harmonie Park.

 

Websites

Williams, B. ‘Origins of Christian Worship’ Academia Web site, at: <https://www.academia.edu/26562401/Origins_of_Christian_Worship > 15 October 2018

SPECIAL EARLY EDITION [Lecture gig alert] Hellooooo, here’s what’s happening | #PhD #PhDlife #phdforum #lecture #fun #friends |

Hey everyone,

I really need to give people more notice for these things lol.

So I am really tired for a number of reasons, firstly, you know when I did those two gig’s last month? Sorry the footage from the other one is coming. Well. I made a whole load of new friends from that and I’ve been busy hanging out with them LOL. Basically I’ve seen them at least once every week since we met lol and just got a phone call asking if I want to hang out this week with another bunch of people I met then as well. So that’s what I’m doing instead of gigging at the moment lol.

I will get back to gigging maybe end of the year or sometime next year lol. The other reason why I’m tired is just PhD related lol. Which is also another reason why I haven’t done anymore gigs for now.

Anyway, hope everyone is having a good week. I have an alternative gig tonight! I will be here, giving a seminar on my PhD research at 6pm tonight. Be there if you want to hear me talk about my research and ask me hard questions lol

Date: 13/12/18

Time – 18.00 – 20.30

Venue – B29 Malet Street which is basement of Birkbeck college main building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street, Bloomsbury
London WC1E 7HX

Fee – £0.00

For more info – http://www.bbk.ac.uk/maps/

If you need help getting there comment on this post and I’ll try and help direct you, well try at least lol!

Catherine x

Hey So Here’s How My #Gig Went! | #freelance #musician #harpist #harp #musicteacher #freelancemusician #ridethefaderproductions #pilgrimshall #brentwood #Christian #worship

Hey!

Just thought I would feedback from last weekend!

Yeah totally had a great and awesome time playing with everybody! If you are interested in me harping for you head to my other website: www.ridethefaderproductions.com and drop me an email at catherine@ridethefaderproductions.com

Back-story, my friend Sally Cranham (read about her project Feathers and Whirlwinds here) contacted me a month ago about something going on at Pilgrims Hall again. Sally invited me to play there before! Last time I played my Clarinet as well as my harp!

I took a picture of my feet!

I have an electro-acoustic harp, basically, it’s the same principle as an acoustic guitar, it’s an acoustic instrument that it has a pick-up in it. That means that it can be amplified the same as an acoustic guitar. That also means I can plug it into an effects pedal and I have!! Hehehehe.

Yeah it was totally awesome people were really into the music we played and most importantly we all worshipped God! It was the 50th anniversary celebration of Pilgrims Hall which is a Christian retreat and counselling/training centre.

The man who preached was bang on point with his theology I really enjoyed it! I must confess this is the first time I have ever restrung my harp before a gig by myself but Jesus helped me to do it. It’s not easy by the way…..

There is a nuance to playing the harp in a band. The clips will show you that I am not playing all the time. The reason for this is firstly, to play in an ensemble you have to understand arranging and not just your instrument but everyone else’s too. The harp occupies the same frequencies as the keyboard, guitar and bass but it is not as resonant (loud) and the timbre is soft (it doesn’t have a great deal of attack at all except for the top end). So I have to pick spaces where the music is quieter to play but I also have to be mindful that I am not doing what the piano can (harp and piano music is the same except harp chords are only 4 notes deep in each hand). Firstly because it’s not gracious to dominate the team! Secondly because the piano does what it does better than the harp (chords, string pads on a synthesiser, generally being loud lol ect). Even if the harp is loud, the timbre is so soft that it will either muddy the mix played too much or just make everything else seem loud by doubling everyone else’s notes. Less is more 🙂 So I have to play at times using techniques that everybody wants to hear when they see a harp that are idiosyncratic to the harp and or only the harp can do well, like a Glissando (which the harp does better than the piano) and occupy frequencies that are resonant in the harp (like the higher pitches), that others can’t or don’t have a directive to play when there are spaces in the music, (there’s no point me even bothering to play mid frequencies when the acoustic is playing, the harp gets lost in the mix it’s soo soft). Improvisational harping takes quite a lot of thinking:

My Harping History!!

I write songs for the harp, remember this from 2015!?

I’ve been making some experimental harp music!

https://soundcloud.com/hopelikeivers/sets/harp-songs

I’ve played the Harp for a wedding!

And I’ve played the harp as part of a worship band for various people many times:

I also like to play it for fun!

Well that’s all folks! If you are interested in me harping for you head to my other website: www.ridethefaderproductions.com and drop me an email at catherine@ridethefaderproductions.com

Catherine x

GIG ALERT: I’ve got a #gig this #Saturday in #Brentwood | #freelance #musician #harpist #musicteacher

Hey everybody,

I will be playing my harp at Pilgrims Hall on Saturday evening for their 50 Year Celebration. See their website for further details: https://www.pilgrimshall.co.uk/

Pop down this Saturday from 2pm if you want to see what’s going on or if you merely want to see me harp pop down just for the Evening Celebration which is at 7pm!

If you want to book me visit my other website www.ridethefaderproductions.com.

Be there or be square!

I Wrote A Song About #Sex for my #PhD | #phdlife #freelance #musician #soundcloud #music #feminism |

Hello Everyone!

So as we know I’m doing a PhD in Music, in the area of Theomusicology & Feminist Musicology and some other things, with a practical element to it. So one of the things I’m looking at is how women and sex is represented in music as my project is interested in sexual politics (in a metaphorical sense) but in a literal sense sexual politics is also about sex. In response to my findings I’m going to produce some songs on the topic. The practical portfolio will have songs on various topics relating to women and music and theology. It will make sense when you read my thesis. Here’s a paraphrased summary of what I’ve learned, the full academic essay will come later.

I chose the topic of marital sex as a context for my section on women, music and sex. My intended outcomes for this song are to present women/wives as strong, mutual/equal with men/husbands, sensual/emotional beings that enjoy sex and have their own opinions and sex drives and sexual desires that are just as important as the man’s within the context of marital sex. Furthermore, as I am a woman of colour, I am writing from the perspective of a woman of colour and I hope that my piece along with the values therein, will address the negative stereotypes about women of colour that perpetuate within Western contemporary songs about sex. In Western popular songs about sex, women of colour are usually represented in the most abased and course way. Furthermore, songwriters have an irritating habit if sexualizing the ways in which women of colour are often discriminated against, race, gender and class, by presenting them as the hot abused poor baby mamas *rolls eyes*, or one night stands, never anything good etc. Instead I, have written and performed a song, from the perspective of a woman of colour about being in a sexual relationship within the socio-economic status and security of being a wife, the lyrics talk about saying “I do” and rings etc. (you don’t have to be some guys baby mama, why are we always shown as the baby mama and not the wife?) and not a victim in sexual activity but a willing, consensual, active and committed participant. (N.B. I am not and have never been married this is just in the fictional narrative of the song).

As mentioned earlier, this song is about the joys of marital sex, as experienced by two fictional newly-weds. It follows the metaphor, imagery and form of ‘Song of Songs’ which is also called Song of Solomon, my favourite book of the Bible, (talking about gardens, fragrant spices, greenery, little foxes, having sex outside, it’s all in Song of Songs lol). Song of Songs is actually about the love between a dark skinned woman and King Solomon.

Song of Solomon 1:5 [NLT]
I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.

It also represents a counter-cultural approach to romantic relationships between men and women, as it is in fact the woman who pursues the man. I tried to reflect this in arranging it for a female singer and making the tone of the lyrics, that of someone who is a pursuer and initiator of physical intimacy. I also show the woman as initiator as well as mutual consenting participant, instead of a passive participant or victim. The lead vocal (the woman/bride) vocalises decisions about her own sexual desires and needs. You can find the woman in Song of Songs doing the same thing. The theomusicology comes in the narrative of the lyrics which implies that now they’re married they can have sex when and wherever they want to lol (within reason), which is a Christian theological standpoint (I’m a Christian btw). So it implies restraint and commitment before coitus, not after.

I also decided to make it walking pace because I found that most songs about sex and women, especially sex with or about or by women of colour, have quite a strong beat and lyrically emphasise the fun of sex with chauvinistic, misogynoir lyrics that often contextualise the woman and the act within the erotic, encouraging male brains to switch to autopilot, focussing entirely on the physicality and pleasure of sex, not the love. My piece is a response to these negative things I found. It is slow(ish) to be meditative, slow down the heart rate and give the listener space to clear their minds and think. The listener should not get carried away by eroticism but instead wrapped up in the sweetness, sensuality, thoughtfulness and intentional nature of the act of marital sex. Looking forward to adding this to the the final portfolio! So this is a sonic, feminist, womanist critique of pop music about women and sex, using the lived experience of a woman of colour as an analytical tool for reflection. I am trying to promote the knowledge of women by uncovering the lost narratives of our experience, like a Foucauldian genealogy.

Well done for reading, here’s the track! It’s called “I Hope The Neighbours Don’t See”

You can also listen on SoundCloud. Follow this link to play or play the embedded player below:

I have a playlist on YouTube. Follow this link to play or play in the embedded player below:

The Middle 8/Bridge is inspired by a conversation I had with a middle aged man who told me that when he first got married as a young man, he gave his wife a Hickey on her neck and someone from his church saw it and told him, “now you’re married you can do that where it don’t show” hah! lol

Lots of love

Catherine x

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#wedding #makeup

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Where does it say in the #Bible not to have #sex before #marriage? – #Jesus #Christian

Hello everybody,

First of all, this blog post is not intended to shame anyone but rather to inform. I’m human just like you and that makes me a sexual being, I find my faith in Jesus gives me the strength to wait 🙂 . I said something to that effect in this song I wrote Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Now to the blog!

So I’m a Christian and I read the Bible everyday and I was meditating on the biggie in Christianity about no sex before marriage. It got me thinking about the time I was dating this guy who wasn’t a Christian. He’s the reason why I stopped dating guys who weren’t Christians actually lol and the last guy I dated who was a Christian is why I’m now open to dating whoever LOL, (unmitigated disaster!) Hah hah moving on.

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. So he used to pressure me for sex and the one after that did as well (who wasn’t a Christian either) I never gave in of course. I made some colleagues laugh once when I said:

“I want to date a guy who is a Christian because every time I date guys who aren’t Christians they keep on trying to have sex with me” lol

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. Now this guy grew up in a Christian household, his brother was a Christian and his parents knew the Bible and I remember having a conversation with him once when I was having dinner at his parents house he was saying

“why can’t we have sex where does it say in the Bible you can’t have sex before marriage?”

At that point I remember realising that I actually didn’t know where it said it in the Bible, his mother told me it’s somewhere in Deuteronomy, I just accepted what she said but I never looked it up. THAT WAS BAD I WAS BEING A BAD CHRISTIAN AND AN IDIOT YOU DON’T JUST DECIDE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE ONE WAY JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD YOU TO THAT’S NOT FAITH IT’S RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM YOU SHOULD LOOK UP THINGS IN THE BIBLE YOURSELF *slaps own wrist*.

I’m muuuuuch older now and I’ve read the Bible cover to cover more than once and I really think people could benefit from some clarity on this one so here are the verses in the Old Testament that teach sexual purity as in not having sex before marriage, do look these up to see them in context:
You Sleep With It You Bought It! –

Exodus 22:16-17 [NLT] “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her. [17] But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin.”

Explanation: If a man has sex with a virgin he should marry her, if her father refuses to allow the marriage the man should still give compensate her father somehow.

Don’t Sleep Around –

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 [NLT] “Suppose a man marries a woman, but after sleeping with her, he turns against her [14] and publicly accuses her of shameful conduct, saying, ‘When I married this woman, I discovered she was not a virgin.’ [15] Then the woman’s father and mother must bring the proof of her virginity to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. [16] Her father must say to them, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, and now he has turned against her. [17] He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying, “I discovered that your daughter was not a virgin.” But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ Then they must spread her bed sheet before the elders. [18] The elders must then take the man and punish him. [19] They must also fine him 100 pieces of silver, which he must pay to the woman’s father because he publicly accused a virgin of Israel of shameful conduct. The woman will then remain the man’s wife, and he may never divorce her. [20] “But suppose the man’s accusations are true, and he can show that she was not a virgin. [21] The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.”

Explanation: This verse implies that a woman should be a virgin before getting married and if a man accuses her of not being a “maid” before marriage and this is not true he should compensate his wife, if it is true according to the laws of that time the woman should be put to death. (N.B. when it talks about spreading the bed sheet what they probably meant was the parents had to show her bed sheet that was probably stained with period blood, In those days, that was the only way to tell if you were a virgin or not. You menstruate when you’re not pregnant, you don’t when you are. There was no pill to stop you from getting pregnant if you had sex, so when a healthy young woman was in a sexual relationship she would have gotten pregnant, so you couldn’t hide it. The period thing was a good test.)

However, since Jesus died for our sins currently we just have to ask forgiveness for our sins and not stone people! See the following verse for an example of this:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

If you sleep with her expect a shotgun wedding –

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 [NLT] “Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered, [29] he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.”

Explanation: This is the same as the verse in Exodus but much stricter, the Exodus verse says if the Father does not allow the man to marry her he should still compensate the father but this one says you have to marry her and you can never divorce her. Also, I just noticed that the verse says apparently you violate a woman when you have sex with her before marriage! Other translations say he “humbled” her, the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Bible that our English translations are based on says he “ἐταπείνωσεν” her which according to the LSJ (an academic Greek dictionary) means: “lower, in point of height, reduce…of a plant, decrease in size…of a planet, suffer dejection…metaph., lessen, disparage, minimize, to be lowered or lessened, humble, abase, violate a woman…in moral sense, make lowly, humble, humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017) Middle Liddel (another academic Greek dictionary) says “…to lower…metaph. to lessen, to disparage, to humble, abasein moral sense, to make lowly, to humble, to humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017)

Capture those sexy thoughts and make sure you don’t act on them!

Song of Solomon 2:15 [NLT] Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!

Song of Solomon 2:7 [NLT] Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.”

Explanation: It’s natural to want to sleep with the person that you are with but you need to understand that you are human and therefore fallible. This sentiment is also echoed in Song of Solomon 3:5 & 8:4. Make sure if you are in a relationship with someone that you keep your passions for each other strictly to sex within marriage because this verse clearly states that you can ruin a good thing by sleeping with each other before the right time, which is after marriage.

As I said in the beginning, I wrote a song about being human and a sexual being but waiting even though it’s sexually frustrating, no one ever likes to talk about that part of abstaining from sex before marriage lol… It’s worth it though and even if you are sleeping with you gf or bf you can stop, ask forgiveness and move on:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

Here it is again! Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Paul does say, in the New Testament that if you’re really struggling to control yourself, you should get married! lol

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 [NLT] – “[8] So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows–it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. [9] But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.”

Some young Christians tend to wear something called a Purity Ring, to represent that they are staying “Pure” till marriage, meaning that they are not going to sleep with their bf/gf before marriage, which is cool if you want to do that, I have one:

P_20171228_115037_1_1.jpg

I tend not to wear it nowadays because it actually looks like an engagement ring which was fine when I was younger but now it’s counter productive as I’m single lol. You can get lots of different kinds. I quite like the ones that say “True Love Waits” I think that’s rather special! 🙂 There’s also this thing called a purity pledge, it’s more of an American thing, it’s not something that the Bible dictates it’s just a quirky American thing. The idea behind it is that youngster’s mainly teenagers go through some mentoring thing about no sex before marriage, they then sign this pledge/contract in front of the whole church promising that they will abstain from sex before marriage. We British would find that kind of thing far too awkward to bear… lol. Instead, we tend to encourage a silent commitment between you and God and if you need mentoring it is available.

Anyway, however you manage to abstain from sex before marriage make sure you don’t self medicate with porn, we all know that it doesn’t work. There’s enough info on it now to know that it’s not just spiritually bad for you but it’s medically not good for you either. See the playlist below where Pastor Mark Gungor discusses this, he’s REALLY funny lol, I don’t agree with everything he says e.g. the Condom thing, some women can’t take the pill because of high blood pressure etc. but he’s really funny! Follow this link or play using the embedded player below for more info:

If you want a secular view on this Russell Brand on his Trews show did a rather insightful piece on it, worth a watch, he really is a thinker, NOT FOR CHILDREN (doesn’t show anything bad but he swears 2 or 3 times. Obviously I don’t agree with the end bit where he says at the end do what you gotta do, obviously…) Follow this link to watch or watch using the embedded player below:

P.S. here’s two versus about what the Bible says about Homosexuality and Bestiality there are more but I think 2 will do…

Leviticus 18:22-23 [NLT] – “[22] “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. [23] “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.”

Love Catherine x

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Bibliography

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=e%29tapei%2Fnwsen&la=greek#lexicon (28 December 2017)

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis #Chapter 2 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus

Hello everybody this is Part 2 of the thing I’m doing on Genesis 1 & 2, If you missed Part 1 it’s worth a read 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading#Genesis #Chapter 1 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus #PhD (follow this link to read it here).

Secondly, I’ve been writing some more music not my usual stuff (follow this link to listen) or play in the embedded player below:

Now to the article!

1.) Recapitulation – The beginning of Genesis 2 summarises what happened in Genesis 1 adding how the 7th day is holy because God rested.

Genesis 2:1-3 [NLT] – “[1] So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. [2] On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. [3] And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”

2.) Genesis 2 has a different account of creation, the order is different and some new pieces of information are added like the springs that aren’t mentioned in Genesis 1, when were they created?

Genesis 2:4-6 [NLT] – “[4] This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, [5] neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. [6] Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.”

3.) Genesis 1 & 2 have differing/conflicting accounts of the creation order:
Gen 2 order: Heavens & Earth > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Man > Garden > Vegetation > Animals that primarily live on land > Birds > Woman and no mention of Fish etc
Gen 1 order: Heavens & Earth > Light > Atmosphere > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Vegetation > Stars > Sun & Moon (potentially) > Life in the sea then Birds > Animals that primarily live on land > Man & Woman

Genesis 2:7-9 NLT – “[7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. [8] Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. [9] The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground–trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

4.) More new information: we learn there were rivers and mineral deposits around the area that the Garden of Eden was, this has led to speculation that the Garden of Eden was in fact in Africa, potentially around Ethiopia. Read my previous blog for more on this (follow this link for more info).

Genesis 2:10-14 [NLT] – “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11] The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. [12] The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. [14] The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.”

5.) Humans were created to work! The first humans were Gardeners/Farmers. We also learn about a new special Tree that was in the Garden that humans were never supposed to eat from.

Genesis 2:15-17 [NLT] – “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. [16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

6.) HERE’S WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING!!!! Humans were created single (in terms of relationship status) but not designed to be totally alone. I’m not saying we should all get married but I am suggesting that according to Genesis 2 Humans are inherently social and it’s not good for us to be all alone. HOWEVER, let it be noted that God created friends & assistance for Adam in the form of animals first before He brought a woman into Adam’s life. How interesting. Friends first, then relationship next. That’s Gods formula.

I can only imagine that this animal interaction pre woman had to do with socialising Adam so that he was in the right state of mind and maturity in order to appreciate the woman that was to come.

There you go men, if you’re lonely, before going off and put a ring on the first thing that flutters it’s skanky little eyelids at you because you were thinking with your willy and not listening to God… get a dog. Then you will understand how to be friends with, appreciate and care for another sentient being other than your self. Also, a woman will be well impressed with how “responsible” you seem lol.

Women, if you want company or a baby so bad, don’t just sleep with the first mutant that is kind to you, shut you legs… and get a dog. You will see how much hard work it is to care for something that does not care about the fact that you want to sleep in, (I have two dogs), then after you have cleaned up it’s poo and wee for the umpteenth time, you will realise how stupid you were to try and run ahead and get pregnant with any old person, who might not be as dedicated to the idea as you are and you’ll wait a bit longer, (I literally had to stop writing this part way to deal with an, “accident”, *rolls eyes*). Eventually when you have waited for the right one who will marry you before he puts a baby in you, you will have some idea of the responsibility ahead 🙂 . N.B. A dog will also love you unconditionally, humans won’t always do that.

Genesis 2:18-20 [NLT] – “[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” [19] So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. [20] He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.”

Another thing to note, Adam interacted with whatever God asked him to before the woman, seeing different things, getting a wider perspective on life. This helped him to get to know himself and to understand his personality, to the point where he fully understood not only what he wanted but what he needed see v 20. That’s how he knew that the animals were just not the right kind of company. I think that’s really important to stress. Adam was a whole person, knowing himself and the world around him before he committed to a woman who God brought to him. How many people have not gone through that process of seeing life and getting to knew themselves and what kind of person is appropriate for them and ended up rushing ahead and getting married to someone they later realised wasn’t quite right for them?

Also we learn from v 15 ADAM HAD A JOB!!! BEFORE GOD GAVE HIM THE WOMAN! I just felt it necessary to make that point. He was cultivating the Garden etc as God told him to so the woman was able to come to a “nest” not a wreck and a “responsible human being” not a boy. No woman wants to marry a boy it’s totally against our survival instinct. In fact, I would go so far as to say that from Genesis 2, we can understand that women are in fact not created to be in a romantic relationship with an immature man child. God brought Eve to Adam when he was mature. Later, Adam’s subsequent immaturity actually led to the fall of man see Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-21.

7.) God brought the woman to the man when the man was least expecting it! Hehe. He literally fell asleep. Perhaps don’t freak out about wondering who, where and when you are going to meet the “one”?

Genesis 2:21-22 [NLT] – “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.”

8.) We don’t know how long Adam was asleep for or what Jesus said to Eve whilst Adam was asleep. This shows us that the “single time” for a man and a woman is important, it’s a time for learning, getting to know Jesus as well as yourself. I wrote about this in a previous blog post here (follow this link to find out more)

9.) The first marriage was monogamous. Adam and Eve, the relationship between the Song of Songs woman and her Lover, the relationship between Christ and the Church they all have one thing in common. THEY ARE MONOGAMOUS AND HETEROSEXUAL. Marriage as God instituted it and subsequently mirrored metaphorically later in the bible has and always was is between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. God did not encourage or institute Bigamy, Polygamy, Concubines, prostitution, sexual slavery, homosexuality or inequality between the sexes MAN DID THAT NOT GOD. You read later on in Genesis that this person and the other person had concubines but God didn’t institute that, humans (more than likely men…) did that allllllll by themselves.

Genesis 2:23-24 [NLT] – “[23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

In fact, God said that the Israelite Kings were to only have one wife and Paul said that about leaders in the new testament:

Deuteronomy 17:17 NLT – “[17] The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.”

1 Timothy 3:2 NLT – “[2] So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife [Bloggers note: other translations say the husband of one wife]. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 NLT – “[2] But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”

10.) The first humans were NAKED!

Genesis 2:25 [NLT] – “[25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

Well I hoped you learned something from those 10 things and if you missed the previous 10 things about Genesis 1 (follow this link to read them here!)

Have a great evening Gals & Guys!

Catherine x

The West’s Historical Relationship With The Black Woman’s Body #Church #BlackWoman #racism #Christianity #women #Jesus

Hello everybody,

Today I would like to discuss something close to my heart. The Black woman’s body. I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit as I am a woman of colour.

With the rise of the Alt Right in the States and the racist Evangelical “Christians” who voted in President Trump, them and their “white Jesus”, its got me thinking about how little Western society and the church values the body of the woman of colour.
The West’s Historical Relationship With The Black Woman’s Body

Historically, in slavery times, the Black woman was not treated like a woman at all, she was put in chains and forced to do men’s work, like lay tar on roads because the Black woman was not seen to be as delicate as the White woman. What slavery did was masculinized the Black woman and emasculated the Black man. Moreover, the Black woman instead of being a beautiful, sexual being, was seen as dirty, eroticized and often forced into sexual relationships, whether it be for the White slave owners own nasty sexual fantasies, for pimping out their African enslaved women to other White men, forcing them to have babies with other slaves or forcing them to have babies with slave owners to produce more slaves. As their babies were seen as the property of the slave owners the children were promptly sold off when they were weaned. PBS did an article which provides a starting overview to this (follow this link for more info). So what the slave trade did was to create and reinforce the idea that the Black woman’s body is there merely for the White man’s “use” and the Black man was unable to do or say anything about it. Black marriages weren’t even legal during slave times, they did get married but they weren’t recognized or respected and the husbands were sold without a second thought of their wives and children. It also wasn’t legal for the enslaved women to tell their children who their father was, partly because sometimes their father was the slave owner through coerced means, trying to make more slaves or just because he wanted the slave woman. Sometimes their father was another slave that was used as a stud to produce more slaves.

These things on top of the sexual abuse and misuse of the Black woman’s body by the White man, created the idea of the Black woman’s body as always someone’s “baby mama” and never someone’s wife, as she wasn’t allowed that status and as the Black man was so emasculated and their marriages weren’t recognized and it was illegal for the Black woman to tell her children who their father was, this meant that the Black people as a whole were kept in a perpetually barstardised state. You can then understand why the uptake of Christianity was so high among both Male and Female enslaved people’s because of the promise of God the Father being the only all loving, all caring, all knowing, omnibenevolent father figure they had, who happily sacrificed part of Himself (Jesus) for them John 3:16, instead of them always having to fight for themselves. You can also understand where the mentality of the Black woman always having some baby from some man and who knows who the father is type of thing comes from because that literally is the circumstance that was forced upon the Black woman’s body. It happened.

The “church”, which was supposed to be the bastion of White morality, the moral compass and the literal heart of WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) culture went along with it see this article here, it provides an overview (follow this link for more into). Can you imagine that?

Let me tell you what happened in my family history, my great great great great great maybe another great grandfather was actually a slave owner. He had a child with my great great great great great maybe another great grandmother. The child was fair and as a consequence allowed to live in the house and be free. In those times, the fairer you were the better. When she grew up, as she was fair, she married a Scottish man (a White man), their children were obviously free, they must have been fair and eventually a few centuries and more mixed marriages later, I was born. People often ask me which one of my parents is White lol. I often can’t be bothered to go into why and just say I have European ancestors.
Jesus would have been dark skinned

Now for all you racist “Christians” I would just like to say to all of those who are confused, Jesus was not White, He was a Jew! He WOULD NOT have been blonde, He would have had brown hair, brown eyes and brown skin, you know why? Jews from the Bible were mixed with the following groups of people:

  • North Africans partly from their time in Egypt, some Egyptians went with them Exodus 12:38;
  • Peoples we would have understood today as Arabs;
  • and Ethiopians and the Cushites who were also part Ethiopian, part Eastern African (follow this link for more info) (so the Kenyans etc.) and part Southern Egyptian, they were the descedents of Cush, son of Ham, Noah’s youngest son.
  • I’m probably fairer than they were lol.

Modern Jews today look more European due to increased social mobility and the various World Wars and persecution which forced them into Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi (follow this link for more info) Jews) and the Mediterranean (Sephardic (follow this link for more info) Jews). That’s why now you get some Jewish people who are blonde etc.
What does the Bible say about Black Women?

Moses married a Cushite woman and his sister Miriam was racist and didn’t like it. So God decided that if she liked white skin so much He would make her white by giving her Leprosy, to teach her not to be so judgemental again.

Numbers 12:1-15 [NLT]

“[1] While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman (authors own note: Cushite = a black woman). [2] They said, “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the LORD heard them. [3] (Now Moses was very humble-more humble than any other person on earth.) [4] So immediately the LORD called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle. [5] Then the LORD descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. [6] And the LORD said to them, “Now listen to what I say: “If there were prophets among you, I, the LORD, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. [7] But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. [8] I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” [9] The LORD was very angry with them, and he departed. [10] As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her, [11] he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. [12] Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.” [13] So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!” [14] But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.” [15] So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.”

Basically, God said there if He God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords accepts Moses with his BLACK WIFE to the extent that He God speaks to him face to face, in a way that God didn’t do with anyone else in that day, who are you to be discriminating and complaining? If there was something wrong with marrying a Black woman God wouldn’t have been so close with Moses, if it’s good enough for God it’s good enough for you!

The church is also presented as a Black woman, in Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon) the love interest bucks the social trend in the West of beauty being primarily White by presenting the love interest as a Black woman. I wrote a song about Song of Songs

As we know, the imagery of the young woman and her lover seen in Song of Songs represents a young woman and King Soloman, as well as Wives and Husbands, as well as The Church which is always represented as a woman and Jesus Christ.

Song of Solomon 1:5-6 [NLT]

“[5] I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents. [6] Don’t stare at me because I am dark- the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they forced me to care for their vineyards, so I couldn’t care for myself-my own vineyard.”

Poor thing was forced to work out in the sun the same way White slavers used to make Black women work in the sun. Looks like she was already dark and then got a tan which made her darker – yes Black people tan – see below

Me before I went to Barbados

Me when I came back!

In Song of Songs, the lover who is the man also representative of King Solomon and Jesus is also represented by a Black man or at least someone who is dark look:

Song of Solomon 5:10-11 [NLT]

“[10] My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others! [11] His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven.”

The Bible represents Black people as beautiful, it’s just been brushed over in some “Whitespiracy”. Yes, there are verses which talk about slaves must obey their masters. I admit that they are there and it will take another blog post to write an apologetic for that. However, those people who used the Bible to justify slavery and the way the Black woman’s body was treated never read:

Colossians 3:11-12 [NLT] “[11] In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. [12] Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Galatians 3:28 [NLT] “[28] There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 23:8-12 [NLT] “[8] “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. [9] And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. [10] And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. [11] The greatest among you must be a servant. [12] But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 6:40 [NLT] “[40] Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”

1 Peter 3:7 [NLT] “[7] In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”

Clearly White supremacy, racism and chauvinism of any kind is not a Biblical world-view and must be exorcised from Anglo-American/European Christianity.
My personal experience: how the “church” has treated my Black female body

I personally have experienced discrimination at the hands of White “Christian” guys who were COWARDS, too scared to marry me because their mother didn’t appreciate that I wasn’t Caucasian and so our children would be half Black.

I’ve also had scenarios where White “Christian” guys were COWARDS again, they were too afraid of their White friends laughing at them, saying not nice things about me to the guy who was interested in me behind my back because he was interested in a black girl. Saying that I was ugly, just because I was black, in an attempt to try and put him off. Newsflash IDIOT they were jealous…. and racist and annoyed at themselves because they were jealous and couldn’t find any reasonable reason to try to get him to not date me.

I’ve met some really nice White guys. I’m constantly bumping into White guys who are a fan of women of colour. It’s not actually hard to find them, they tend to seek you out if they are that way inclined anyway, also I live in England, I think African/Caribbean people are only 5% of the population here. They aren’t all bad, I’m just giving examples that need shaming although I shan’t do any naming. It’s nothing as bad as America here. Many of my friends are in mixed ethnicity relationships, many of them are happily married with children, cute little children at that!

The fastest growing ethnicity in England and Wales is actually the Mixed Race ethnicity, the BBC did a whole thing on it (follow this link for more info). I myself am mixed, as I said at the beginning, also my grandfather on one side was half African-Caribbean, half Caucasian. On another side I have a great grandfather that was French. So I’m part African, Caribbean, French, Scottish and Anglo-Saxon of some description.
Who misses out when we don’t respect the Black woman’s body?

Now I’ve been thinking, who looses in this battle between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black woman? To answer this question lets look at the facts, lets combine Science and Theology:

Science says:

Christian Theology/The Bible says:

  • Humans reproduce through sexual reproduction
    • Genesis 3:16,20 [NLT] “[16] Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. “… “[20] Then the man-Adam-named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.”;
    • Genesis 4:1 [NLT] “Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD’s help, I have produced a man!”
  • It is impossible for humans to reproduce without a female –
    • 1 Corinthians 11:12 [NLT] “For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.”
  • Humans were created –
    • Genesis 1:26-28 [NLT] “[26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. [28] Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
  • The first humans were situated in a garden, Eden which was around what we consider in contemporary times to be around Africa-ish (don’t quote me on this at all lol), (yes I know the world used to be one land mass Pangea then plate tectonics etc now we have continents the point is that the Bible situates/associates Eden in/around an area known to have Black people).
    • We know this because Genesis 2:10-11,13 says that “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11]… [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush.” As we know Cush is considered by Biblical scholars to be Ethiopia so this could have been an ancient Ethiopia perhaps?

The science does back up the Biblical account of humanity, apart from Evolution, however, look if the evidence is that humanity developed mainly in Africa then it’s only common sense to assume then that the ONLY place the Garden of Eden could have been was Africa if the first people, who we know were African’s, lived and developed in Africa then that’s where the Garden of Eden was. If they find a few more bones that are older, somewhere else, I’ll repent of my theories. Also, the Gold deposits and so on that are described as being there, you’ve got to look at where those could have been and Africa is one of the locations that could have been where the Garden of Eden was.

Ok, so the first people were Africans, the scientists and Theologians agree on that. Africans are black (brown). God is orderly,

1 Corinthians 14:33 [NLT] “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”

Evolution is something that happens where sensible changes occur due to environment/food. An organism that is suited to the environment will flourish and pass on it’s genes and one that is not suitable, the theory assumes, will not flourish and maybe die out. The theory assumes that changes that aren’t useful aren’t sustained through natural selection because they aren’t useful. Again this is all GCSE Evolution stuff http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/evolutiontheories/theoriesofevolutionrev4.shtml.

This explains why Black people have more melanin in their skin, better protection from the sun (we still burn though, everybody needs to stay out of the sun see this article for more on melanin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671032/), they tend to have either the sickle cell trait (like me) or the full blown thing, that provides protection from malaria, these are physical adaptations that suit the hot environments that Black people tend to live in this article goes in to that and other ethnicities which may have an even better immunity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269803/. Whereas areas that tend not to be populated by Black people are not as sunny and you get lots of White people, this article explains about the amount of UV radiation an area gets and how that correlates to skin colour, basically, the sunnier the area, the darker the skin to protect from the sun, the less sunny a place is the lighter the skin to absorb as much sunlight as possible for making Vit D https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/3/text_pop/l_073_04.html, TBH the whole making Vitamin D thing is probably why humans were originally naked in the first place. Keeps you cool as well!

God is not disorderly, He is sensible, all knowing and just and things don’t happen in evolution that are not useful to the organism or are not suitable for the environment/longevity for the organism.

So in answer to my question, in the war between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black Woman, the biggest looser is actually the White Alpha-Male. I think this because clearly thinking about God being sensible/orderly and Evolution being sensible and orderly we can assume that the Black woman would never have developed or been created if she was not the most useful, appropriate and evolutionarily/theologically sound, emotionally gratifying, intellectually satisfying and sexually compatible companion for the male Homo Sapien. It’s from the Black woman that all these other ethnicities came from, the genes that were able to adapt so well to the colder environments producing Caucasian people came from Black people! To this day the Black woman’s body STILL thrives, even after everything that the White man has thrown at her, she still continues, still unbroken. With that in mind, with the resilience of the Black woman’s body and mind, if she had been able to thrive culturally, what kind of place would the world have been today? What kind of contribution, genetically, emotionally, physically, spiritually could the Black woman have made if she was given a voice, respect, dignity?
RECAP: Let’s do a non-racist re-read of the Genesis account

Think, the first woman, Eve, had to be Black, even scientists corroborate that. It’s well known that the first people were Africans. With that in mind, lets do a non-racist look at Genesis again:

Genesis 1:26-27 [NLT]

“[26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

So in the beginning, God made the first humans, as we know from the Bible and science that the first humans lived in Africa. So when God said “let’s make humans in our image”, HE MADE TWO BLACK PEOPLE haha! You racist Evangelical “Christians” can stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!! The first humans, as the scientists said came from Africa! Which means that when God thought about making a people in His own image a Black person was the first thing that came to mind and when God looked over it He Himself said it was good! HAH!

Genesis 1:31 [NLT] “[31] Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”

God said the people He had just made, the Black people, were good, how dare you say otherwise? Who are you? Have you actually read your Bible? If’ you’re racist or you allow other people to influence your choices based on racist ideology and you call yourself a Christian you have not read your Bible at all, it’s an un-scriptural thought process and scientifically/evolutionarily unsound thought process. Remember, if Moses’ Black wife was good enough for God, then Black people today should be good enough for you.

What else does Genesis say?

Genesis 2:18,21-25 [NLT]

“[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”… “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. [25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

Oh look at that, when God saw that it wasn’t good for the man to be alone, He made the perfect companion for the man, woman who Adam called “Woman” and then called her “Eve” after the fall, as we know the first humans were Africans so EVE WAS BLACK, God thought that the perfect companion for the man was A BLACK WOMAN this just keeps on getting better!

You know the thing that warms the cockles of my heart the most? ADAM GAZED UPON EVE’S NAKED BODY, OBSERVED THE WAY THE LIGHT FLICKERED OF HER BEAUTIFUL BROWN CURVES AND ADAM LIKED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha! =P

Genesis 2:22-24 [NLT]

“[22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

Yes, Adam would have been Black himself and yes a case could be made that he was more likely to want a woman his colour, however, what I will say to that is what this story illustrates is that when man first saw woman he liked her and she was Black. I’m just pointing out yet again another lost narrative promoting and affirming the beauty and desirability of the Black woman.
Other reasons racism makes you miss out

When you just date within your race as a rule of thumb you basically become inbred and miss out on what is called Hybrid-Rigidity (it goes by other names as well), in a nutshell, that means that illnesses common to one family are cancelled out by the new genes from another family. There was an interesting study done on this, apparently people who have a mixed ethnicity are perceived to be more attractive because of this hybrid-rigidity thing, you can read a about it here (succinct summary) (wider summary) (the actual study). I’m not saying that one ethnicity is more attractive than an other, I can’t and I outright refuse to. How can one possibly quantify attractiveness? Really? I’m just pointing out that research has been done in the area.
Racism vs Sexual preference

I really think I need to put this in here. There is a MASSIVE difference between racist ideology and sexual preference. Sexual preference always supersedes racist ideology psychologically but racist ideology will always influence the sexual preferences a person will ultimately express. Let me explain, you can’t help who you are attracted to, if you’re attracted to a Black woman, no matter how hard you try you will always be attracted to that woman but because you are racist or a coward, you won’t ever follow through on your feelings and will forever internalise your affection for that woman.

However, if a man is attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, he’s attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, these are normally found on White women, so he’s going to end up with a White woman because that is his sexual preference, not necessarily because he thinks Black women are ugly, he just likes the look of biological attributes that are primarily attributed to White women. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What would be considered racism is the idea that ONLY White women or women of a certain ethnicity CAN be attractive and no other ethnicity is capable of producing attractive women. With a thought process like that a man then departs from the justification of sexual preference and enters the realms of racist ideology.
The best bit

At this point you must be thinking, so where is Catherine going with this? Well I’m saving the best bit till last! As we all came from Africans it means everyone is actually Black anyway, some are just a lighter shade of brown, Black people and White people are compatible because we are both humans, we are related. There is one human race and many ethnicities just like there are lots of different shaped and coloured flowers!

The Black woman’s body needs to be respected and loved and our minds need to be respected as well. The Black woman’s body needs to be seen as beautiful and associated with beauty not eroticism. The black woman’s body needs to be seen as the source of diversity if all people came from Africa. I’m not saying that Black women are the most attractive women in the world. I am saying that everything that you look at a woman and think is attractive came from the genes of a Black woman. I’m not saying that they are better companions for men than any other race but I just think that we need to recognise that Eve was Black and do away with any kind of notions of supremacy until they find some more bones somewhere else.

The church and society needs to view the body of the Black woman the same way God does, beautiful, resourceful and an asset to the man who loves and cares for her. The church/theologians have a lot to answer for and I’m angry because it only take a simple Google search to find many of the answers to the things that I’ve been discussing yet the mainstream Theologians will not dedicate enough time to this dialogue. The church needs to re-read the Bible without the Racist-Eurocentric-White-Alpha-Male-phillic goggles and reassess the status of the Black woman’s body within the Bible and honestly someone should apologize to the Black community for the church’s involvement in slavery and keeping the Black woman down. (It might have already been done, I didn’t look it up, I assume it hasn’t because it would come up every Black History Month if it did but I could be wrong).

I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus and I also believe in proper research, thinking things through. Other people will try and gloss over things to not bring embarrassment to the church but I hope people reading this will believe me, someone who has your best interests at heart will point out things that are wrong even if they will hurt the institution that they belong to. Even though I am a Christian, I believe what has gone on in the church is wrong, yes the African’s did sell each other into slavery and the slavers as well as the African’s should apologise to the African-American and Caribbean diaspora descendents of those slaves BUT the church and theologians are responsible for what happened later to the Black woman’s body, whilst the White man was in loci parentis after they left Africa, not just to us but the church has treated the Jews badly too. If the main popular leaders and theologians dedicated more time and publicity to the topic things would be different but they are too scared. What White Male Pastor of a mega-church in America is ever going to say “When God decided to make humans in His own image He made two Black people” ? -_- Jesus didn’t create organized religion, Humans did. Christianity has been politicized heavily. We need to live a Holy God centred life not a religious one, we need to follow Jesus not tradition and we need to read the Bible and say what it says not what we think or want it to say and do so with integrity. How can we expect people to believe in Jesus if we CONSTANTLY MISREPRESENT HIM? Jesus is for every colour. There were racial tensions in Jesus’ day too an when non-Jews talked to him He talked with them – John4:4-30 ; healed them -Matthew 8:5-11; and even defended them as we see in the story of Moses’ wife Numbers 12:1-15 and also the story of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37 (the Samaritans and the Jews did not like each other).

The Black woman needs to be seen as beautiful because we are and the Bible corroborates that, God doesn’t mind the mixed relationships because God knows that we are all the same. Quit the dismissal of the Black woman just quit it right now, anyone who tries to get you not to date a Black woman based solely on her race is a nit-wit, don’t date her because she doesn’t share your values or she’s too young for you or she lives too far away or you can’t stand her cooking lol but not because she isn’t your colour! Remember, you are just as African as she is, you just forgot.

Written by a Black woman, who is also a woman of faith, a musician and an academic

Catherine

Foolish Things?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

I’ve been thinking about gender issues again, that’s what my PhD is about I’m looking at attitudes towards women worship leaders and that involves looking at intersectionality, that is basically describing looking at overlapping (intersecting) systems of oppression. For example, a person, man or woman, might dislike a women leader because of her ethnicity, class, education status, financial status or even her accent? So there are many reasons why a person might dislike a woman leader and none of them might have anything to do with her sex, the woman thing is just a more socially acceptable reason for them to dislike her and they jump on that bandwagon with their own hidden agenda…

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about lol… I’ve been thinking about sex again. I’m not married and I don’t have a boyfriend (not that that would matter either because as a Christian I wouldn’t be sleeping with my boyfriend anyway) so all I can do is philosophize on the matter, it is relevant to my PhD with the whole gender issues thing. I was thinking about this scripture:

[1Cor 12:12-26 NLT]

[12] The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. [13] Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. [14] Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. [15] If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. [16] And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? [17] If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? [18] But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. [19] How strange a body would be if it had only one part! [20] Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. [21] The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
[22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. [23] And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, [24] while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

[25] This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. [26] If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

I isolated v 22-24 because those are the ones that I’m going to talk about.

I was thinking about men and women’s anatomy, which parts we “…clothe with the greatest care” (1Cor 12:23). For men, it is socially acceptable across most cultures for them to walk around with no tops on or trousers but they must have their penis and testicles covered at all times! For women it is socially acceptable in Anglo-American society for them to walk around with not much on but we must have our breasts covered and have pants on! Even in cultures where they live in the forests, in fact, I’ve actually noticed watching documentaries on the BBC that in many of those cultures that still live in forests the women are at least wearing some kind of covering over their lower half like a grass skirt. In Anglo-American culture any other forms of undress for men and women are considered to be inappropriate and quite right too.

Now… it’s it interesting that the afore mentioned parts that we always keep hidden are really soft, squishy and delicate but oh so necessary for life? Like Paul said in 1Cor 12:22:

[22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

Our genitals are amongst our weakest points of our bodies but regardless of whether you get a baby by IVF/adoption etc you still at one point need a man’s genitals and a woman’s genitals to create a baby. They are also used for sex to bond a couple together, I guess creating “life” within a marriage.

A man might be attracted to a woman’s face and kiss it but yet the most intimate way he can physically express his love to her is through a very humble part of his body that has “…less dignity...” (1Cor 12:24) than his face. Think about it, our genitals have a nasty job, they handle urine, sweat, semen, menstrual blood (if you’re a woman), discharge, a baby (if you’re a woman), there is also certain bacteria which is down there which is fine if it’s down there but causes problems if its anywhere else. They also handle the pressure of being sat on all day as well (if you’re a woman). Furthermore, lets just be realistic and adult about this, there is going to be some excrement on them as well, due to their proximity to our anus. Moreover, between you and me if I could choose whether or not to look at a man’s face or his penis all day I’d choose his face… A penis looks like a big worm that lives in the guys pants all day, next to his sweaty hairy balls. A vagina looks like something from outer space.

Our faces on the other hand look sooooo beautiful in comparison and they have all the nice jobs like singing, speaking, eating, laughing, smiling and kissing! Our faces don’t do the nasty jobs, in fact, some of the things our faces do we don’t even need them to do to survive, it’s just extra things like smiling that make life much more fun! Our genitals on the other hand, everything they do is 100% necessary for us to survive, they seem the “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22) but “…are actually the most necessary” (1Cor 12:22). They’re super useful but much more delicate than our faces. You can take a punch in the face but not in the groin! Also, we hide them because of what they look like and what they do.

Now, why does God use the parts with “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24) to be vessels he uses to facilitate life and love? God does things like that so no one can ever boast.

[1Co 1:26-31 NLT] [26] Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.
[27] Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. [28] God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

[29] As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. [30] God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. [31] Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”

Yeah the world does consider genitals to be shameful, “…foolish...”, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), they aren’t really talked about because of the private and humble functions they perform and are always hidden (which isn’t a bad thing, I don’t personally believe that Naturism is compatible with Christianity unless you are unclothed in front of your spouse/doctor/close family member/parent/guardian (basically a person you have a reason to be naked in front of or a person who isn’t going to hurt you and you’re just close and have that kind of relationship with them but outside of that those examples it’s not a good idea).

It seems as though God is for raising up the disenfranchised and for humility. Jesus Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in a stable and He had humility and servant heartedness and God elevated Him higher than anything or anyone in forever as it says in Philippians:

[Phl 2:5-11 NLT] [5] You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. [6] Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. [7] Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, [8] he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. [9] Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, [10] that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We can see other examples of what Paul was talking about in 1Cor 12:22-24 and 1Cor 1:27-28 in the Genesis story. Humans, the most exciting part of God’s creation were made from what Genesis describes as “…dust...” (Gen 2:7).

[Gen 2:7 NLT] [7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

You would have thought that God would have used something more exciting but no, just dust and God reminds us that we are made of dust when He cursed Adam:

[Gen 3:19 NLT] [19] By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”

and when we speak to God and try and reason with Him it seems as though a good way is to remind God that we are dust like Abraham, Job and David did:

[Gen 18:27-28 NLT] [27] Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. [28] Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And the LORD said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”

Job:

[Job 10:9 NLT] [9] Remember that you made me from dust–will you turn me back to dust so soon?

David: Also see the whole of Psalm 90 & 103:

[Psa 30:9-10 NLT] [9] “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? [10] Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.”

God consistently uses the seemingly weak things and promotes them, look at the story of Jacob and Esau, the older brother ended up serving the younger brother Gen 25, the Parable of the Landowner Mat 20:1-16 where Jesus famously said:

[Mat 20:16 NLT] [16] “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

and Jesus reiterated this sentiment again in Mark:

[Mar 9:35 NLT] [35] He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

Conclusion

So we have learned that God uses the parts that have “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24), the things that are “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22), “…foolish…“, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), “…dust…” (Gen 2:7) and the “…last…” (Matt 20:16) (which would make you a loser) for great things!. That means that we can assume that whatever it is in your life that is you consider “…least important…” (1Cor 12:22) or “…less honourable…” (1Cor 12:23) or maybe it’s something that you are embarrassed about physically/emotionally/something in your past or maybe you’re not the most popular person, you’re last all the time, a loser, you have an injury, a learning difficulty like me, Autism like me or a disease then you’re in prime place to be used by God. That very thing that you think disqualifies you for success is the thing that God is going to use to make you shine! Extra care will be given to those things, as it says in 1Cor 12:24, “…extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity“. God knows the things that you are embarrassed about, He will take care of you.

For some, learning difficulties are a source of shame. For me my learning difficulties are the things that actually help me to make money because of the creativity and focus that coexists with them. The Autism makes me prefer my own company to crowds, which helps me with my career because making music/arrangements/planning lessons etc is a lonely process and if you need people around you all the time it’s not for you lol. My preference for my own company also means that I spend a lot of time alone with Jesus which is good and the intense focus that accompanies ASD means I meditate on the Bible and philosophize intensely, which helps my walk with Christ and has helped me to be currently working on my third degree lol.

If God can take something humble like our genitals, the parts of our bodies that are not even polite to have on show, the parts that literally handle: filth, bacteria, bodily fluids, sweat and smelliness and use them to produce actual life and be facilitators of sex, something so overwhelmingly beautiful and a deep physical expression of pleasure and love, He can use you and because He used you despite your disadvantages you will never be able to boast about doing it yourself. You will gain a deeper understanding of His power and magnificence, worship Him like you should and your faith will increase! I think Paul’s statement below sums up my hopes for you:

[Eph 3:14-21 NLT] [14] When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, [15] the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. [16] I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. [17] Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. [18] And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. [19] May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. [20] Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. [21] Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

You can do it! God believes in you! Below is a picture with me with no make-up on, showing hyper-pigmentation on my body, something that happened to me a number of years ago and I’m very embarrassed/mortified about it but Jesus can use it somehow for His glory.

Catherine x