Jojo Agot

Theology that Makes the Heart Sing

Wives, Submit. Husbands, Die!

Few sentences in the Bible generated as much controversy in our day as Ephesians 5:22. In it, Paul commanded Christian wives to submit to their husbands. Some writers say this verse was so controversial that it helped launch the women’s liberation movement of the 60’s. Never mind that the verse has more words attached to it. Never mind that there is a wider context to Paul’s words. Never mind that Paul actually had more to say to husbands. The word “submit” was just too much for many people. In their minds, the word is synonymous to oppression, subjugation, or dominance.

Assuming we can at least have a break from our shock and rage, today might be a good time to continue reading the rest of the chapter. No, I will not try to pacify you with Greek root words and different shades of meaning of the word “submit.” I just want to draw your attention to Paul’s command to husbands. In Ephesians 5:25 Paul commanded the husbands to love their wives to the point of death.

Shocking, I know.

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As Christ Loves the Church

Ephesians 5:22-33. Paul tied the love-relationship between husbands and wives to the greater theology of Christ’s relationship with the church. You can’t attack the institution of marriage without attacking the theology of the universal church of Christ. And you can’t claim to be a growing disciple of Christ in the church if your marriage do not bear the resemblance of the relationship between Christ and the church.

Trying Very Hard to be Good

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity:

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.

Why Looking at the Night Sky is the Cure to Our Pride

I preached on Psalm 8 last Sunday and the one question that automatically came to mind when I prepared the sermon was, “What’s the practical use of seeing the glory of God in nature?”

First off, it is good to keep in mind that not all parts of the Bible demand practical application. I know this can be a bit of a snag for some of us. We are, after all, trained to make personal applications whenever we hear or read something nice. We are that passionate about obedience. But notice that the biggest point of the entire Bible, the salvation of man through Jesus Christ, is not something you do or apply. It is something God does to you. So no, not all verses demand practical application.

I belabor to point that out because the glory of God is not something you practically apply to yourself. You can’t make a “to do list” out of it. No, the glory of God is something that overwhelms you, stirs up your sense of wonder, arrests your imagination, and leaves you speechless. In other words, there are probably no immediate practical uses to seeing the glory of God. It’s like watching the most beautiful sunset or watching a live performance of the most beautiful music you’ve ever heard. There’s no practical use to it but it leaves your heart full and satisfied and strangely warmed. It doesn’t drive you to action. It fulfills you in a way that you can’t even begin to describe.

That is glory. And we all need to feel that.

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Stop Chasing After Instagrammable Weddings

Few weeks ago I sat down with a couple who asked me to officiate their upcoming wedding. After talking about the ups and down of their love story, our discussion quickly turned to the rigors of wedding preparations. Since my fiancée and I are also getting married very soon, we felt like we are on the same boat facing the same sets of difficulties. We talked about the usual suspects: the challenge of coming up with a guest list, the drama of choosing the motif, the obvious gap between the dream wedding and the budget constraints, and the little things in between like fonts and chairs and table runners. Two hours into our conversation we just sat there stunned at the fact that weddings are far too complicated than we anticipated. We had to ask the obvious: what are the bare essentials of a wedding ceremony?

As far as I understand the Bible and the law of the land, a Christian wedding only needs five basic elements—the couple, a Bible, a marriage license, a solemnizing minister, and at least two witnesses. Everything else is extra. 

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