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  #21  
Old 23rd March 2005, 06:18 PM
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a lot of people have said some good stuff here... i think that you should ask the guy to go out for a cup of coffee or something, but then let him kinda take it further. go out once, then maybe see if he asks you if you wanna go out again.

arrange to meet him at a nice coffee shop (for instance), and then pay your part of the bill. if he offers to pay say no, but if he offers a second time say yes (!! )
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  #22  
Old 23rd March 2005, 07:34 PM
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hunnie... dont sit back and wait for a guy to "pick up" on our singnals no matter how loud and clear we make them.... sometimes the guy just dosnt see them... and there is nothing wrong with a girl asking a guy to hang out to chill to go for a coffee movie walk jog work out... it dont matter if you want to be friends with him then go for it hun
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  #23  
Old 23rd March 2005, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDag
Hi Jon
Can you provide some verses to back up this claim of men being called to take the initiative and women responding as I can't think of anything that would support this view.
I personally believe God doesn't care who asks who out.
Hmm, you can't think of anything that would support this view? Perhaps you've been avoiding the evidence.

I'm going to borrow heavily from Elizabeth Elliot to put this into perspective. She does such a better job of it than I, after all. I strongly encourage you to read her book, Mark of a Man. It's only nine stinkin' dollars at Amazon. No reason not to get it

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

C.S. Lewis writes, "God is so masculine that all creation is feminine by comparison." Elliot talks about how the earth has always been seen as female: Mother Earth. The sun has been recognized as a masculine force. The sun acts upon the earth. The sun initiates life on earth with its rays. Without sunlight, there are no plants. Without plants, there is no ecosystem (as we know it, anyway). The very concept of masculinity is tied to initiation.

When we read of God, He is always described by masculine pronouns. His character and actions are clearly masculine. God is the initiator of everything. He is called, God the Father. Without God's invisible hand, nothing comes to be. Indeed, there would be nothing if God had not initiated it. Similarly, God equates His relationship to Him as the Bridegroom, and Israel as the bride. God said unto Israel that indeed He had chosen them, not the other way around. Paul took this illustration and applied it to Christ in the new covenant. Christ is the Bridegroom of the church, and the church is the bride. Paul further goes on to say that men are to be heads over their house, just as Christ is Head of the church.

Just as Christ said to His disciples, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you," so should it be true of men and women. Of course, just as we willing accept Christ, so must the woman willingly accept her husband. By the way, to husband literally means, "to take care of." Husbands tend over their wives, not the other way around. This is another example of how the man must take the initiative to care for his wife and his household.

The very phenomenon of our physical equipment is a perfect reflection of the correctness of masculine initiation. Men are equipped to initiate, women are equipped to respond. The historic tradition of males initiating courtship is built on an intrinsic understanding that to be masculine means to take initiative.
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  #24  
Old 23rd March 2005, 07:49 PM
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So what you're saying is, no, there's no specific biblical backing for your opinion... you've simply extrapolated a concept from various sources. I'm hoping you realise that practically any concept could be created using these methods - I'll see (later) what I can come up with as an example.

What I do appreciate, Jon, is that you've presented your opinion as just that - an opinion. If you'd presented it as 'this is the way you MUST do it' ... I wouldn't be impressed
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  #25  
Old 23rd March 2005, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon_
Just as Christ said to His disciples, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you," so should it be true of men and women. Of course, just as we willing accept Christ, so must the woman willingly accept her husband.

Here's an analogy:

We, as humans, are to "find" God. He gives us the desire to find Him (election). But we find Him.

The guy gives the girl the desire to be with him (attraction) and she lets him know if she is interested or not.

So either she can willfully decide to "go to church" or she can wait for God to ask her through a friend, for example. But it really does not matter how it is done... just as long as she finds a church.

That's my 2 cents worth.
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  #26  
Old 23rd March 2005, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by InTheFlame
So what you're saying is, no, there's no specific biblical backing for your opinion... you've simply extrapolated a concept from various sources. I'm hoping you realise that practically any concept could be created using these methods - I'll see (later) what I can come up with as an example.

What I do appreciate, Jon, is that you've presented your opinion as just that - an opinion. If you'd presented it as 'this is the way you MUST do it' ... I wouldn't be impressed
Various sources? I've used other sources for clarification, but the evidence all comes from the Bible. If you're looking for a passage that says,

"And God said unto man, 'Thou shalt ask out the women, and shalt not the woman ask thou out.'"

then you're not going to find one. What is Paul's reasoning behind the condemnation of those who do not accept Christ and never even heard the good news? Does he say, "Yeah, it's not fair because they haven't heard about Jesus"? No! He says that God has manifested Himself in all of creation, and that every man is born with a soul that needs Him. Every man is born with the inherent knowledge of His creator. In the same way are men and women born with the inherent knowledge of their roles. Unfortunately, society today is doing everything it can to blur those distinctions and ruin everything that God intended.

At any rate, at least I've put an argument forth, and a strong (if not valid) one at that. Sure, it's my opinion, and I admit that, but the argument that I put forth is the most convincing one I've heard, yet. I've never heard a good argument justify that men and women are equally responsible for the initiation of relationships. You certainly can't found that one in the Bible.

I can appreciate that you disagree with me, but at least put forth a counter-argument. Essentially, all you're offering is that I've extrapolated a concept from the Bible, and that you can reproduce the same effect. What does that prove? You're just creating a straw man. Address my argument if you think it's flawed. If you seriously want to have dialogue on this subject, then let's, but dialogue isn't the complete dismissal of all premises based on the fact that you don't agree with them, or could interpret the phenomenon differently.
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  #27  
Old 23rd March 2005, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by blueSKYpilot
Here's an analogy:

We, as humans, are to "find" God. He gives us the desire to find Him (election). But we find Him.

The guy gives the girl the desire to be with him (attraction) and she lets him know if she is interested or not.

So either she can willfully decide to "go to church" or she can wait for God to ask her through a friend, for example. But it really does not matter how it is done... just as long as she finds a church.

That's my 2 cents worth.
You've made a classical theological error in this analogy. We do not "find" God, He calls, or draws us:

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44 NIV).
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  #28  
Old 23rd March 2005, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon_
Hmm, you can't think of anything that would support this view? Perhaps you've been avoiding the evidence.
I think he was talking about specific verses and commands.

Originally Posted by Jon_
C.S. Lewis writes, "God is so masculine that all creation is feminine by comparison."
Hrmmm... in a fictional book, yes? I have read That Hideous Strength, but I can't remember the line (I looked it up on Google). Obviously not everything that a Lewis character says was actually Lewis' opinion - was this obviously his actual opinion?

Originally Posted by Jon_
Elliot talks about how the earth has always been seen as female: Mother Earth.
That really depends on the culture and religion(s) you're talking about. The ancient Egyptians had a god called Geb, who they regarded as representing the earth. The 'mother earth' concept really comes from Greek mythology - Gaia - which is quite understandable... much of our modern western thought, ideas and concepts are still based on ancient Greek modes of thought.

Originally Posted by Jon_
The sun has been recognized as a masculine force.
You're right. But again, not according to all people/religions. Certainly in Greek (and Egyptian too in this case) mythology, the god of the sun was male. But in Korea, for example, mythology pointed to a sun goddess.

Originally Posted by Jon_
The sun acts upon the earth.
True! Can't argue with that one

Originally Posted by Jon_
The sun initiates life on earth with its rays.
Nah... God does. The sun sustains life, I'd agree.

Originally Posted by Jon_
Without sunlight, there are no plants.
The analogy is kinda starting to break down here We could as easily comment that without water, or air, or earth, there are no plants.

Originally Posted by Jon_
Without plants, there is no ecosystem (as we know it, anyway).
mmmm....

Originally Posted by Jon_
The very concept of masculinity is tied to initiation.
See, I don't think the preceding comments actually prove that in any way. About all they really say is, 'according to the culture I grew up in, masculinity is heavily linked to initiation.

Originally Posted by Jon_
When we read of God, He is always described by masculine pronouns.
Hmmm... good point. However, Hebrew tended toward masculine pronouns.
It should also be noted that masculine plural is used for a mixed gender group. Even if there are ninety-nine women and only one man in the group, the masculine plural is used. The feminine plural is used only when the group is exclusively female.

Hence a God with some female and some male characteristics would be referred to as 'He' in Hebrew texts.

Originally Posted by Jon_
His character and actions are clearly masculine.
Only if you regard certain character qualities and actions as being masculine. Otherwise this sentence is meaningless.
Originally Posted by Jon_
God is the initiator of everything. He is called, God the Father. Without God's invisible hand, nothing comes to be. Indeed, there would be nothing if God had not initiated it.
True again. However, I don't see how that proves that initiation is a male characteristic. God is love, too. That's not regarded as a male-only characteristic. But I'm going to have a look at the names given God in the bible, and see what we can draw from them...

El Shaddai
El
is another name that is translated as "God" and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Another word much like Shaddai, and from which many believe it derived, is shad meaning "breast" in Hebrew (some other scholars believe that the name is derived from an Akkadian word adu, meaning "mountain," suggesting strength and power). This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our sustainer.
(likely to be referring to a 'feminine' characteristic, there)

El Elyon
Elyon literally means "Most High" and is used both adjectivally and substantivally throughout the Old Testament. It expresses the extreme sovereignty and majesty of God and His highest preeminence. When the two words are combined El Elyon it can be translated as "the most exalted God."(Psa 57:2)
(more of a masculine connotation there, in our culture. Although one could argue that Brits, with a female queen, might regard this as a female trait )

Adonai
Adonai
is the verbal parallel to Yahweh and Jehovah. Adonai is plural; the singular is adon. In reference to God the plural Adonai is used. When the singular adon is used, it usually refers to a human lord. Adon is used 215 times to refer to men. Occasionally in Scripture and predominantly in the Psalms, the singular adon is used to refer to God as well (cf. Exd 34:23). To avoid contravening the commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exd 20:7), sometimes Adonai was used as a substitute for Yahweh (YHWH). Adonai can be translated literally as, "my lords' " (both plural and possessive).
(sounds as though it's very much a male connotation there)

Yahweh or Jehovah
(seems fairly gender-neutral... it's simply God's name)

Jehovah Nissi
Nes
(ns), from which Nissi derived, means "banner" in Hebrew. In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel's banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point.
(also seems rather gender-neutral - although I'd tend toward a male connotation)

Jehovah-Raah
R'eh
from which Raah derived, means "shepherd" in Hebrew. A shepherd is one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Eze 34:11-15). An extend translation of this word, rea', is "friend" or "companion." This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people. When the two words are combined Jehovah Raah it can be translated as "The Lord my Friend."
(Shepherding wasn't a male-only occupation, in OT times. eg Rachel. So this one's a bit iffy too.)

Jehovah Rapha
Rapha (rp') means "to restore", "to heal" or "to make healthful" in Hebrew. When the two words are combined Jehovah Rapha it can be translated as "Jehovah Who Heals." (cf. Jer 30:17; Jer 3:22; Isa 30:26; Isa 61:1; Psa 103:3). Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people.
(Now this is very much seen, especially in our culture, as a female characteristic)

Jehovah Shammah
Shammah
is derived from the Hebrew word sham, which can be translated as "there." Jehovah Shammah is a symbolic name for the earthly Jerusalem. The name indicates that God has not abandoned Jerusalem, leaving it in ruins, but that there will be a restoration.
(hmmm... gender-neutral again I think)

Jehovah Tsidkenu
Tsedek (tseh'-dek), from which Tsidkenu derived, means "to be stiff," "to be straight," or "righteous" in Hebrew. When the two words are combined Jehovah Tsidkenu it can be translated as "The Lord Who is our Righteousness."
(again, fairly gender-neutral quality there)

Jehovah Mekoddishkem
Mekoddishkem derives from the Hebrew word qdash meaning "sanctify," "holy," or "dedicate." Sanctification is the separation of an object or person to the dedication of the Holy. When the two words are combined Jehovah Mekoddishkem it can be translated as "The Lord who sets you apart."
(again, gender-neutral)

El Olam
Olam
derives from the root word 'lm (which means "eternity"). Olam literally means "forever," "eternity," or "everlasting". When the two words are combined El Olam it can be translated as "The Eternal God."
(as with the last 2. Neither gender have ever really been seen as more 'eternal' as far as I know)

Elohim
Elohim is translated as "God." The derivation of the name Elohim is debatable to most scholars. Some believe it derived from 'l which, in turn, originates from the root word, 'wl (which means "strong"). Others think that Elohim is derived from another two roots: 'lh (which means "god") in conjunction with 'elah (which means "fear"). And still others presume that both 'l and Elohim come from 'eloah.
(not very conclusive no matter how you look at it...)

Qanna
Qanna is translated as "jealous," "zealous," or "envy." The fundamental meaning relates to a marriage relationship. God is depicted as Israel's husband; He is a jealous God, wanting all our praise for Himself and no one else.
(Definitely a male view of God there)

Jehovah Jireh
Jehovah-Jireh
is a symbolic name given to Mount Moriah by Abraham to memorialize the intercession of God in the sacrifice of Isaac by providing a substitute for the imminent sacrifice of his son.
(I can't get a gender-specific concept for this one)

Jehovah Shalom
Shalom is a derivative of shlm (which means "be complete" or "sound") Shalom is translated as "peace" or "absence from strife." Jehovah-Shalom is the name of an altar built by Gideon in Ophrah.
(peacefulness and absence of war/strife is commonly regarded as a female quality - men are generally seen as being more warlike. This spans many different cultures)

Jehovah Sabaoth
Sabaoth (se b't) means "armies" or "hosts." Jehovah Sabaoth can be translated as "The Lord of Armies" (1Sa 1:3). This name denotes His universal sovereignty over every army, both spiritual and earthly. The Lord of Hosts is the king of all heaven and earth.
(using the logic I used above, this would therefore have to be perceived as a predominantly male characteristic)

Now, my point in going through that long list is to point out that God is perceived to have many characteristics, some of which the OT Hebrew culture saw as male, some which they saw as female. So taking a characteristic of God and claiming that therefore this is a solely male characteristic, is rather dangerous ground.

Originally Posted by Jon_
Similarly, God equates His relationship to Him as the Bridegroom, and Israel as the bride. God said unto Israel that indeed He had chosen them, not the other way around. Paul took this illustration and applied it to Christ in the new covenant. Christ is the Bridegroom of the church, and the church is the bride.
Now... were these metaphors/similes used, in these contexts, to specify what marriages should be like, or to explain the concepts of God's relationship to his people in words that the audience addressed would understand?

Originally Posted by Jon_
Paul further goes on to say that men are to be heads over their house, just as Christ is Head of the church.
OK. Now I agree the context is absolutely right. So... what entails being head of a household? From Christ's example only please, not our culture. For example, Jesus calling his apostles comes to mind. However, did Jesus approach each of his apostles first, or did some of them approach him?

Originally Posted by Jon_
Just as Christ said to His disciples, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you," so should it be true of men and women.
Why?

Originally Posted by Jon_
Of course, just as we willing accept Christ, so must the woman willingly accept her husband. By the way, to husband literally means, "to take care of."
Interestingly, in modern Hebrew the word for husband is, apparently, 'Baal'.

Originally Posted by Jon_
Husbands tend over their wives, not the other way around. This is another example of how the man must take the initiative to care for his wife and his household.
Where do you get this from?

Originally Posted by Jon_
The very phenomenon of our physical equipment is a perfect reflection of the correctness of masculine initiation.
Errrr... 'men are designed to thrust, women to be thrusted'?
This is simply, again, a cultural thing. I could just as easily claim that a woman's physiology is a perfect reflection of the fact that a woman should enclose and surround a man. I've heard this logic before, and it strikes me as nonsensical unless viewed in a particular cultural context - the traditional western one!

Originally Posted by Jon_
Men are equipped to initiate, women are equipped to respond. The historic tradition of males initiating courtship is built on an intrinsic understanding that to be masculine means to take initiative.
Do you have any backup for this statement? Scientific studies? Anthropology? Psychology - eg. reports of male children suffering damage when discouraged from initiating things?
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  #29  
Old 24th March 2005, 10:04 AM
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You should ask him.
I've done it, because I'm really impatient. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't.
Just keep us updated and let us know how it is developing!

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Old 24th March 2005, 01:12 PM
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Bravo! Excellent reply, InTheFlame!

Hrmmm... in a fictional book, yes? I have read That Hideous Strength, but I can't remember the line (I looked it up on Google). Obviously not everything that a Lewis character says was actually Lewis' opinion - was this obviously his actual opinion?
The reference comes from Elliot. I'll look up which Lewis work it came from; however, despite the origin, the argument is a good one, even if he wasn't asserting it as his own personal opinion.

That really depends on the culture and religion(s) you're talking about. The ancient Egyptians had a god called Geb, who they regarded as representing the earth. The 'mother earth' concept really comes from Greek mythology - Gaia - which is quite understandable... much of our modern western thought, ideas and concepts are still based on ancient Greek modes of thought.
Mmm, true, but Egypt didn't believe in God, did they? This is an example of Satan and man twisting the true vision of creation and its Creator into a false religion.

You're right. But again, not according to all people/religions. Certainly in Greek (and Egyptian too in this case) mythology, the god of the sun was male. But in Korea, for example, mythology pointed to a sun goddess.
These are in the minority, to be sure. The argument is much more compelling for a masculine sun and a feminine earth, but individual cultures interpret them differently, especially when they do not profess faith in God. It's a distortion of their inherent knowledge of God and his creation.

Nah... God does. The sun sustains life, I'd agree.
God is the origin of life, yes. Without him, there would be no Sun; however, God created the universe in such a way that the Sun birthed life into the planet. It's much too detailed to get into here, but the precise shaping of the Solar System with the earth situated where it is in relation to the sun gave rise to life on earth. Without the sun, the earth would not be able to sustain itself, but even more, without the sun, life would have never came to be on earth. God created this system in this exact manner--that the sun should initiate life on earth.

God is surely the origin of life, though.

The analogy is kinda starting to break down here. We could as easily comment that without water, or air, or earth, there are no plants.
I suppose it is. That's the problem with illustrations, they all break down at some point...

See, I don't think the preceding comments actually prove that in any way. About all they really say is, 'according to the culture I grew up in, masculinity is heavily linked to initiation.
I would assert that according to God's creation and his revelation thereof, masculinity is linked to initiation.

Hmmm... good point. However, Hebrew tended toward masculine pronouns.

Hence a God with some female and some male characteristics would be referred to as 'He' in Hebrew texts.
Don't all men have some female characteristics, yet they are still regarded as men? What says that masculinity is the absence of femininity?

It should also be noted that masculine plural is used for a mixed gender group. Even if there are ninety-nine women and only one man in the group, the masculine plural is used. The feminine plural is used only when the group is exclusively female.


God is a singular being (with three distinct personages or personalities). The Hebrews certainly recognized him as one God. The plural pronoun explanation does not apply.

Only if you regard certain character qualities and actions as being masculine. Otherwise this sentence is meaningless.
True again. However, I don't see how that proves that initiation is a male characteristic. God is love, too. That's not regarded as a male-only characteristic. But I'm going to have a look at the names given God in the bible, and see what we can draw from them...
Is it erroneous to regard certain qualities as masculine or feminine? I'll get into this a little more after we take a look at God's names:

True again. However, I don't see how that proves that initiation is a male characteristic. God is love, too. That's not regarded as a male-only characteristic. But I'm going to have a look at the names given God in the bible, and see what we can draw from them...

<names snipped>
Thanks very much for the clarification of God's names; however, as previously stated, masculinity is not the absence of femininity. Men have feminine moments as well. Child-rearing is something that has been appropriately endowed to women. Men, generally speaking, are less well equipped to care for children than women, yet does this men that men are incapable of raising children? No, it means that men have to work harder at it because child-rearing is not as strong of a personality component for them as it is in women.

Is the man any less masculine because of this application of femininity? Not at all. Such is the case with God.

Let's take the stance that God is gender-neutral, though. We'll say that he is neither male nor female (which is true in our understanding of the sexes). Nevertheless, he has created us in his image. To the man he has bestowed masculinity, to the woman he has bestowed femininity. God has shown in his revelation in Scripture that masculine qualities are qualities of action--of initiation--whereas feminine qualities are those of reaction--of response. Being then created in God's image, we should delight in this division of responsibilities, instead of seeking to avoid it.

Now... were these metaphors/similes used, in these contexts, to specify what marriages should be like, or to explain the concepts of God's relationship to his people in words that the audience addressed would understand?
It could certainly be interpreted that way; however, I think that interpretation does injustice to the Scriptures. I believe that God's Word is sufficient. If these illustrations were intended only for the audience that were originally granted them, then that would make the Scripture insufficient. For example, in a matriarchical society, these verses would be completely meaningless and non-applicable, unless seen as instruction for the correct way to conduct the home, i.e. with the man at the head, just as Christ is Head of the church.

It does violence to God's Word to say that a passage like this is not applicable today because it speaks only metaphorically to its original audience. If that is true, then it contradicts 2 Tim. 3:14-17 and 2 Peter 1:20, 21, for it relies on the interpretation of man, instead of the revelation of God.

Why?
Um, because... I said so? Ha.

I'm just kidding. This isn't the best example--I kinda winged this one. I'll try and form a better illustration when I get home.

OK. Now I agree the context is absolutely right. So... what entails being head of a household? From Christ's example only please, not our culture. For example, Jesus calling his apostles comes to mind. However, did Jesus approach each of his apostles first, or did some of them approach him?
Ick. I should know this, but I don't, and I don't have a Bible (I'm at work). I'll have to respond to this one later... unless it was a rhetorical question? (That is, you already know the answer is no.)

Interestingly, in modern Hebrew the word for husband is, apparently, 'Baal'.
Ha! That is very interesting.

Errrr... 'men are designed to thrust, women to be thrusted'?
This is simply, again, a cultural thing. I could just as easily claim that a woman's physiology is a perfect reflection of the fact that a woman should enclose and surround a man. I've heard this logic before, and it strikes me as nonsensical unless viewed in a particular cultural context - the traditional western one!
You mean they don't have sex in other cultures? Man, I'm glad I live in this one, then!

I don't understand how this logical strikes you as nonsensical. Is it perhaps because you have no valid argument in response to it? I'm talking about an irrefutable physical phenomenon ordained by God. He equipped the sexes for his specific purpose. Men are endowed to initiate sex. Unless the man is aroused, sex (in the traditional connotation of intercourse) does not happen. Man can't receive sex unless he is aroused, and thereby implied "willing." Women are equipped to receive it, regardless of the circumstances. A woman cannot force sex upon an unwilling man--he has to initiate it.

Do you have any backup for this statement? Scientific studies? Anthropology? Psychology - eg. reports of male children suffering damage when discouraged from initiating things?
This is an interesting position to take considering you've been blasting my own appeals to culture and tradition. Do you not consider anthropology and psychology to be cultural? They most certainly are. They are based only upon the understanding of the times. Science consistently disproves science. The only constant is God's Word, which provides solid support for the initiative qualities of masculinity.

I thought you response was very good! I appreciate you taking the time to actually think it through. It seems like you spent some time on it, and I'm honored by that.
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