Probably due to my living condition (staying alone), I can allocate time to think about various things in church, society and family. This thing, if done in moderation, is a good thing as long as you do not try to be too strict or judgmental in order to be perfect.
These viewpoints can be right and wrong and I am open about it. However, I do not presuppose these things are true in the beginning and find some arguments to rationalize it and hence in general I think these viewpoints are thoughtful. I decided to share some of my insights for the readers here.
1) Most of the theological arguments are just dispute about definition of keywords
In the church seminar I attended last week, they talked about predestination and human’s free will, whether there is any contradiction between these two concepts and to address some of difficult questions to this topic. After I watched the seminar, I start to think that if we cannot even agree to the basic keywords we use such as ‘responsible’, ‘plan’, ‘permit’ ‘freedom’, and so on, it is useless to attend such metaphysical debate. I am thinking that probably the only reasons why theologians are interested in these topics is that they can publish a lot of books with their names on it and become famous speaker on the community of believers.
Take for example the classical question: Is God omnipotent? Well, that also depends on what is your definition of omnipotent. God is not omnipotent (able to do all things) if you include all things such as lying and sadistically torture believers as it contradicts His character.
We can similarly apply the same thing to word ‘responsibility’. Is God responsible for the damnation of unbeliever as He is allegedly omniscience but still creating them, even when He foreknew that they will rebel against Him? We can play around with definition ‘responsibility’. The unbeliever will still be ‘responsible’ because they are ‘freely’ choose to sin. They are ‘free’ to choose only sin. Of course, the definition of ‘freedom’ here contradicts our common standard definition of freedom. Can freedom be properly called freedom if it only has one choice?
I believe you can get my point. I have retired to this debate because it is not edifying nor building fellowship with fellow believers.
2) The inherent injustice in modern financial system
After the seminar, I and my friend went together for dinner and we discussed again about the usury and its application in modern financial system. He proposed that people are mainly borrowing money not for daily living but for start-up business which can reasonably generate profit and hence interest is acceptable in this case.
My main objection is because in this system, no matter for what purpose the money is borrowed, the lender carries virtually no risk whereas the borrower carries all risks. When the borrower failed, the lender has the collateral and do not suffer loss. When the borrower succeed, the lender also take part of his profit. I view the transaction where only one party is guaranteed to obtain profit inherently exploitative and unjust, in contrast to normal trade transactions (buying goods and services) which is mutually beneficial to both parties.
Of course, this extends to other financial schemes as well like gambling, insurance and multi-level marketing. In those schemes, one party is guaranteed profit whereas all others may get profit or loss. This also includes rent to goods such as housing, vehicle, etc. The landlord will always receive rent even if the tenant is unemployed or out of business and rent will continue to rise even if the wage is not.
Due to this principle, I have previously rejected any job offers from financial institutions (banks) and also would not accept spouse who is working in financial sector unless she quit her job.
3) Income is largely determined by economic sector and not individual capability, job difficulty or gender
I have read some articles such as this where it said now a lot of women out-earn their husbands and it affects dynamics of the relationship in the family. The traditional assumption that husband should be head of the household because of paycheck seems no longer valid. The article suggested that this thing can cause strain on relationship.
I would suggest that we approach this problem with different perspective. Worldly people will always translate the prestige with the amount of money you can earn every year. Having prestigious job means you are alpha, the leader of the herds. However, from my observation, the amount of paycheck does not correlate much with the difficulty or intellectual capacity required for the job or even the values the job generates for the society.
The most well-paid economic sectors are engineering, business administration and finance whereas religion, early education and social work typically belong to the least paid. So, if the husband is a pastor and the wife is a banker, it would be normal if the wife can out-earn his husband (It does not mean that the pastor is less important than the banker. On the contrary, it is the most important one!) Of course, even with this rationalization, typically many people (in older generation) still cannot accept or content with this fact.
However, differ from the author, I do think that if the wife is the breadwinner, she should be head of the household. It is true that the Bible laid out the guideline that the wife should submit to her husband (Ephesians 5: 22). However, it has implicit assumption that wife is weaker partner than her husband (1 Peter 3: 7) as said by apostle Peter. This assumption is obviously general guideline and not applied to all cases. Some wives are really more educated, out-earns, more mature and even physically taller than their husband.
Of course, in ideal situation, it would be preferable that all husbands are stronger than their wives. Unfortunately, this is not ideal world. Instead of thinking about the negative, I am trying to think the positive side. I believe it is the command of God for all believers to marry (Genesis 1: 28) for procreation and hence if we insist to follow that guideline, many alpha woman and gamma man would not marry and it will be biological dead-end. However, if they do marry, I think that they should agree that the wife will be the head of household from the beginning and assume her all duties as provider and vice versa.