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Marriage & Relationship: Dorina’s Testimony & Baptism

For those who followed the Marriage & Relationship Series, you’ll remember my friend Dorina. She joined the #Zoom discussions from Madrid, Spain where she’s been living for the last few years. The discussions did not focus on our personal relationships by design. However, in this recorded YouTube livestream, she shares some of her story before her baptism. Take a listen. Each of the four testimonies shared are encouraging.

Feel free to wish Dorina well on her faith journey in the comments.

 

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Video MR Part 2.2: Rape of Dinah and Fallout

The first recorded discussion was for Part 2: Abraham/Sarah + Hosea/Gomer was about five hours (more segments to come). Somehow we got off the principle couples and dove into Dinah’s story for a good amount of time. It got a bit intense.

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun. ~ Ecclesiastes 1:9

During my studies, my best understanding has come from placing myself within the stories. Mostly as a witness, simply because I can’t see myself making many of the choices that are made by folks. However, there are times I can place myself in someone’s sandals and explore how I would respond. Dinah’s story is one I feel personally.

I think some people may have difficulty grasping core elements of Biblical stories because they read it as the “other” or “outsider” or something so old that it has no relevance to contemporary culture or concerns. Ergo it’s unrelatable.

Bible stories are human stories. Rape, incest, adultery, betrayal, disobedience, revenge – these actions and abuses weren’t left in ancient times. Hope, love, faith, courage, belief, obedience – these expected elements of a righteous life are not the sole domain of prophets.

In our contemporary, daily lives we have to cope with violence against us in some way. The violence could be emotional, verbal, physical, sexual or spiritual. It could be perpetuated by someone we love or care about, acquaintances, strangers, or ourselves. We can also be oppressed by government, societal, or cultural structures. No one is opposition-free in this world. The Bible explores all of this.

In this discussion, it is supposed that Dinah is seeking the world when she seeks out the women of Shechem. The underlying assumption is that young women didn’t go off on their own during Dinah’s time. That they had to be constantly watched by their men folks.

One of the through lines of my study is that the Bible is a self-referencing document. The best understanding or framing you can get for anything in the Bible is by cross-referencing it with another Biblical occurrence. In Dinah’s case, she went out alone to explore a city her family had camped next to. A prince of the region saw her, seized her and raped. Then he claimed he loved her and wanted to marry her. We can find hundreds of similar stories on TV and in the news today. None of this is unheard of. What’s interesting is that there are similar stories throughout the Bible.

Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Oprah and Ruth, traveled from Moab to Bethlehem by themselves without men to get to Naomi’s next of kin. Orpah, returned to her mother’s house on her own as Naomi’s urging. (Ruth 1)

Mary traveled alone from Nazareth to the Hills of Judea alone to visit Elizabeth (about 90 miles, a 34 hour walk). (Luke 1:39-56)

Women in the Bible weren’t as fragile and dependent as we like to think. They were what they needed to be, just like women today.

Noah’s wife was raped by their son as she slept next to her husband. You have to do additional cross-referencing to get clear picture of “saw his father’s nakedness,” but it’s there in the Bible. (Genesis 9, Leviticus 18) Lot offered his daughters to a mob to calm them down. The daughters later raped him while he slept because they thought he was the last man on earth and they had a duty to repopulate. (Genesis 19)

Genesis 34

The rape of Dinah and the culture surrounding her

Two other reference rapes: Noah’s wife by Ham, Lot’s rape by
his daughters

Shechem, rapist claims to love her and asks for her to be
his wife

Freedom of women to move around/travel in ancient times and
present day

Other examples of women traveling alone in the Bible: Mary,
Naomi and her daughters in law

Favoritism and the harm it caused

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TODAY: Marriage and Relationship Discussion, Part 5 Zoom Details

Part 5 of our series discussion will begin at 8:00am Mountain Time later today. The couples on deck are:

Topic: Marriage & Relationship: Modern Conflicts vs. Biblical Principles Series
Time: Dec 19, 2020 08:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/8744339581?pwd=NE9JRmx2Q1ZxOWRQZWN4ajZ1THBGdz09

Meeting ID: 874 433 9581
Passcode: gLZb2c

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Discussion Questions: Marriage & Relationship, Part 5

Marriage & Relationship: Modern Concepts vs. Biblical Principles, Part 5

Elizabeth/Zechariah and Mary/Joseph
Discussion Questions

Study Recap

Part 1:

  • Naomi, Ruth & Boaz (Book of Ruth)
  • Jacob, Leah, Rachel (Genesis 29-31, 34-35)

Part 2:

  • Abram/Abraham & Sarai/Sarah (Genesis 12-13, 15-18, 20-22)
  • Hosea & Gomer (Book of Hosea)

Part 3:

  • Adam/Adamah & Chavah/Eve (Genesis 1-5, Revelation 22)

Part 4:

  • Elkanah & Hannah (1 Samuel 1-3) 
  • Manoah & His Wife (Judges 13) 

Part 5:

  • Elizabeth and Zechariah (Luke 1)
  • Mary and Joseph (Matthew 1, Luke 1-3)

Part 5 Themes

  • Spiritual pregnancy and purpose
  • Favor
  • Lineage
  • Identity

Study Questions

  • How is faith represented in these stories?
  • What errors do the righteous make in the presence of God or with His messengers?
  • Disbelief is shared between genders as is immediate faith. Was Zechariah punished or given an opportunity? Why do you think he was sentenced to silenced for his question and Mary wasn’t? For that matter, neither were Abraham and Sarah. Why does Zechariah stand out in his disbelief? 
  • How are the prayers and prophesies of Hannah, Mary/Elizabeth and Zechariah similar?
  • What correlations do you see within the stories we’ve reviewed (re: couples, friends, family, community, relationship with God)?
  • The following women are not given origins in their narratives: Sarai, Manoah’s wife, Mary. What do you read into this or take away from it?
  • What is the role or importance of barrenness, children and adoption in the stories?
  • How does travel impact Mary and Elizabeth in their stories? What role does travel play in the other stories?
  • What are the similarities between the conception, pregnancies, instructions for and lives of Samson, Samuel, John and Jesus?
  • Where is God in the relationship and story?

The discussion for Part 5 will be on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 8:00am MT. All are welcome to join. Email BibleStudy@Harvest-Life.org for link.

Related Posts:

Related Sermons:

Some items I’ve read during my study:

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Video MR3.3: Culture of Subjugating Women

Why would God build a weak house for Himself? Would you build a weak, inferior house to establish your life and family? Would you raise your children with the sure knowledge that one is weaker than their siblings and therefore not as worthy in your sight? For many people the simple answers to these questions are No. Absolutely not. Hopefully not.

As much as people like to dismiss much of the Bible as being a product of its time, they don’t realize that it’s time is now. Whatever present you exist in, the Bible is relevant. You don’t need to be an ancient history scholar or a revisionist of ancient cultures to comprehend the basics. One such basic, is God did not create a “weaker vessel.”

MR Video Part 3.3

If you doubt, try a simple thought experiment. What we know:

  • God is a Builder and Creator. (Hebrews 3:4)
  • God breathed His Spirit (Life) only into Human Beings who were created for the purpose of fellowship with Him. (Genesis 2:7)
  • Our bodies are temples of the Living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
  • God views us as His – His Body, His Children, His Bride. We are a part of Him. (Hosea 1:10,Hosea 2:23)

What in this implies weakness?

The subjugation of women is a trigger for me. I get a bit hot under the collar during this portion of the discussion with Dorina and Glynis, who joins us long enough to drop the “weaker vessel” bomb into the conversation. Glynis is an Episcopal Minister who is steeped in traditional teachings. She’s been one of the main people I’ve gone to with my Biblical questions and spiritual dilemmas since high school. That doesn’t mean we see eye to eye on everything.

Take a listen.

Marriage & Relationship: Modern Concepts vs. Biblical Principles Series
Part 3: Adam/Adamah + Chavah/Eve Man + Woman Human + Spirit
Text: Genesis 1-5, Revelation 22

Part 3.3 Culture of Subjugating Women

  • Paul and Timothy cultural teachings subjugating women in the church
  • Lie of weaker vessel
  • Original intent of created beings
  • Longest war on Earth is between men and women = human and spirit

We meet bi-weekly. Join the conversation! Subscribe to Harvest-Life-org

Related posts:

Duality of Man: Strength and Vulnerability
Know whose you are.
Progressive Women in a Degenerating Society
Women in the Bible: WOMEN of FAITH
Women in the Teachings of Jesus

Related book:
I AM WOMAN: Expressions of Black Womanhood in America

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