New Testament pop music mix

Bobby McFerrin, U2

BeatitudesHere’s a continuation of a list of songs I found in my record collection after my last full readthrough of the Bible back in 1996/1997. I was in a Bible study at the home of my then-former girlfriend. Two years later, I lived at that home for a year.

These are references to New Testament scripture.

Home by Another Way -James Taylor. Matthew 2:12. A reference to the Three Wise Guys.
Blessed – Simon and Garfunkel. The Beatitudes in Matthew 5.
Touch The Hem Of His Garment – Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers. Matthew 9:26.
Alas for You – Godspell. Matthew 23:13+. This is a bit of a cheat.

The Word – the Beatles. John 1:1.
The Cross – Prince. The crucifixion story appears in all four Gospels, and is referred to throughout the New Testament.
Jesus Christ – U2. From a Woody Guthrie/Leadbelly tribute album.
When Love Comes to Town – U2 and BB King. Mark 15:24, John 19:16, among other verses.

Hold On – Pete Seeger. Acts 16, which also, BTW, is where we found our daughter’s name.
Good Shepherd – Jefferson Airplane. A reference to Jesus in the Gospel and elsewhere. Paul and Silas travel together in the book of Acts.
By and By – Leadbelly. 1 Corinthians 13:12.
Discipline – Bobby McFerrin, featuring Robert McFerrin, Sr. Hebrews 12:11.
Oh, What a Beautiful City – Sonny Terry. Revelation 21:9+.


These are inspirational songs. All but the first is from an album honoring Rosa Parks.

Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder –
The Captain of My Ship – Oleta Adams
No Fear · Daryl Coley
Help Us Lord – The Chosen
Faith – Richard Smallwood

Finally, these are yer basic miscellaneous pop religious songs.

When God Dips His Love in My Heart – Alison Krauss and the Cox Family
Oh Happy Day – Edwin Hawkins Singers.
Jesus Is Just Alright – the Doobie Brothers
Spirit In The Sky – Doctor And The Medics. (Do I have the Norman Greenbaum original?)

Amen – Elton John and Sounds of Blackness – Amen. On a Curtis Mayfield tribute album.
Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet – Gavin Bryars and Tom Waits.
Thanks (Prayer) – En Vogue.
Our Prayer -Beach Boys.

Submission, women, the Bible: 1 Timothy 2

“There are those who believe this text is making a blanket statement about the role of women in the church. “

religious-inclusion01There was this picture on Facebook of a guy holding a sign that women “should be quiet, submissive to husband, cooking, ironing, silent in church”. It specifically cites 1 Timothy 2.

I came across this article by Jenna Daniels, who was, at least as of the publication date was associate pastor at Awaken Community Covenant Church, St. Paul, MN. The piece was undated but was posted at least two years ago.

Rev. Daniels pulls our verses 11-15:

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.”

She notes, correctly, that “There are those who believe this text is making a blanket statement about the role of women in the church. There are other passages that seem to say this same thing, where women are to remain silent, or that they are the glory of man, they are to submit, they can’t lead.”

So what is she doing preaching? She sees Paul’s writing in this and other cases as a contextual prohibition. Specifically, the apostle may have been referring to the culture in Ephesus and the worship of Artemis, the goddess of fertility, for example.

Paul “is addressing a group of women who were false teachers influenced by the Artemis cult in which female supremacy was the norm. When [he] talks about the authority these women are exercising, he uses a word that is used nowhere in the entire New Testament: authentein, translated as ‘exercise authority.’ Other times when Paul is referring to authority, he uses [the generic] exousia

“But authentein carries a sense of abusing power and acting on your own authority. These women are teaching things that aren’t true, and doing it in an abusive way, so Paul tells them to be silent. Interestingly, he still tells them to learn.”

In this vein, here are Six Things Submission Is Not by John Piper, coincidentally also a Minnesota pastor. My broader point is that it is easy to cherry-pick scripture to support oppression; American slavery was justified in that manner.

As Rev. Daniels notes, “I believe the Enemy’s greatest and strongest work is to cause us to misunderstand God’s Word in a way that binds up and constricts and prevents where God’s intent is freedom and life in Christ for all people.”

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