Who owns your body?

My body is mine, no one’s but mine. That belief is at the heart of Western culture today.

It’s the heart of many culture clashes too:

  • Fair employment hinges on this issue. A slave driver says, ‘I own you, so you do as I say.” Unionized employees say, “I’ll present myself to work on condition of just pay, for agreed hours, in a safe setting.”
  • Abortion hinges on this issue. Pro-choice advocates say, “It’s my body; no one else decides.” Pro-life advocates say, “Not if you’re harming another life.”
  • Gay rights hinge on this issue. Is your body your own so you can do as you like? Or do you answer to an authority who decides what you can do with your body?
  • Gender identity hinges on this issue. Am I whatever I define myself to be? Or am I whatever body I was given?
  • Faith hinges on this issue. You will live differently if you believe “God owns my body” or “I own my body.” How you relate to God is at the heart of how you practice your faith.

So, this is a confronting claim:

1 Corinthians 6:19b–20 (NIV)
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.

That really needs some explanation.

Continue reading “Who owns your body?”

What the heart speaks (Matthew 15:15-20)

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth tweets. (@LPtrckBrwn)

I grew up in a family with rules to keep us safe. To keep us from addictions, we didn’t drink, smoke, or gamble. To keep us from sexual temptation, we didn’t dance or go to movies. We were to read our Bibles and pray every day, with no work or sport on Sundays. To be holy meant to be separate from “the world.”

To be honest, I didn’t feel I was missing out. It was a rural setting, already socially isolated. It was a happy home, with parents who genuinely loved God and lived that love in our family. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

But as I grew up, I began to understand that, for adults, our rules didn’t live up to what they advertised. The rules tried to shelter us from outside influences, when the problem is within.

This is how Jesus saw it: Continue reading “What the heart speaks (Matthew 15:15-20)”