Russell and Duenes

A Paradise of Glory and a River of Pleasure

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The Gideons put a fantastic little preface at the beginning of their pocket New Testaments, giving the reader a primer on what the Bible is and what should be done with it. I won’t quote all of it, but this gives you a flavor: “It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.” Motivating and sobering words. The whole preface is worth pondering if you can get your hands on a Gideons Bible.

The Bible is replete with promises that God will carry, bear, uphold and lift up His people. What a great comfort!! God says, “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes…Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you…The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms…Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms…Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation….For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, so that you do not strike your foot against a stone…But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head…Be gracious to me, O Lord; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death…He delivers me from my enemies; Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me…He will lift me up on a rock…He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.”

Watching the Academy Awards the other night brought to my mind again a piece I’d read awhile back on The Public Discourse, entitled: “The Girl in the Tuxedo: Two Variations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” The author, Jean Lloyd, ponders the radically different way her struggles with sexual identity would have been treated had she been dealing with them now, in 2015, rather than in the 1980s when she actually was dealing with them. Today, resisting confusing transgender impulses in the teen years is not really considered an option, or at least not a respectable one. She concludes:

In 2015, sexual orientation redirection efforts are precluded from discussion, even if she explicitly asks for them. However, if she senses she is transgender, her right to redirection must be honored. If she wishes, she can quickly begin the process of “transitioning” to become a male. This path will involve intensive gender re-socialization, hormone therapy, and if she wants, irreversible amputative and reconstructive surgeries. This is an arduous and painful journey, with many risks and harms, irremediable loss and regret among them. But it is considered worth these risks and pain. She is, after all, only fifteen, and it would be unfair at such an age to limit the horizon of her possible identity paths and the options available to her. . . And at long last, she—become he—will have what she wanted. Or, if not exactly what she wanted, at least what those initial counselors, affirmations, and “freedoms” had left open to her younger self, in flagrant disregard of the long-term possibilities and options they had foreclosed.

You can read the whole piece here.


Written by Michael Duenes

February 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

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