Fruit of the Spirit Book Report

Pages: 10 (3025 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
The church of Jesus Christ is called to stand against injustice against people. The call is to stand against political, religious and social injustice and to help make the world a better place in which to live" (createdgay.com). Essentially, it would be far too easy to make the argument that Trask and Goodall do not care to fulfill their Christian calling in that respect as they make no effort to defend or protect the members of society who are more defenseless.

While Trask and Goodall aren't being bold about the way in which they're being homophobic, as they're not damning all gay people to hell, nor are they cursing their names, there is still a subtle and pervasive dismissal of gay people and the lives they lead. This is so dangerous because it teaches essentially that gay people aren't deserving of salvation and as if homosexuals are beyond the grace of God. This is an incredibly hazardous slope and one which teaches intolerance and discrimination, things that the church has a responsibility to lobby against.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Book Report on Fruit of the Spirit Assignment

"When churches explicitly or implicitly teach gay people cannot be saved, they engage in theological and emotional terrorism. Gay church members and adherents are spiritually and emotionally terrorized from pulpits and Sunday school podiums and in church publications in far too many churches" (createdgay.com). Fundamentally, this type of homophobia is founded in a shoddy understanding of the gospel and a lack of a desire to embrace all of the teachings of the Bible which are inclusive and loving of all people. One of the other compelling reasons why this is so damaging is that it undermines some of the more loving lessons that the authors attempt to transmit. For instance, each chapter of the book describes a different fruit from Galatians 5:22: this allows the reader to have a more systematic approach to the ideologies conveyed and it breaks down the concepts into more bite-size pieces for the reader. For instance, the book discusses the importance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This is such an issue because there is real meaning and benefit in the average reading learning the lessons of cultivating such attributes within themselves. It's just harder for them to do so when they reader has to wade through paragraphs riddled with homophobia.

Another aspect of the book which provides mixed feelings is the fact that the authors really drive home the fruit analogy -- almost more than is necessary. The book discusses "people fruit" and "giving fruit" and "praise fruit" which means that the reader has constantly focus in on this ultimate metaphor about creating a deeper relationship with Christ. The authors believe that it will offer more succinct guidance for anyone who wants the enlightening experience of deeper and more powerful Christian spirituality. This is definitely possible, but the danger is also that the metaphor becomes too repetitive. This creates the danger of certain readers tuning out or getting bored. On the other hand, there is also the argument, and a valid one, that some readers will enjoy the continuity this creates and come to rely upon the fundamental analogy as it creates a strong sense of consistency.

One of the weaknesses of the book is that it is unable to adequately address some of the more controversial topics which emerge. Sometimes the authors are able to succinctly address them, by disparaging the evil and the horrible behaviors which occur as a result of the evils of the world, or as a result of greed or an unhealthy thirst for power and prestige. Other times the book will bring up truly complex topics and not be able to deal with them with any degree of thoroughness, and treat them as purely black and white subjects when in reality there are large pools of gray.

For example, the book brings up abortion, which is a highly complex topic and treat abortion as simple murder: however, educated people understand that abortion is far more complex than that. "Our generation teaches that before birth a being in its mother's womb is only a fetus, therefore, because it is not a person, it can be destroyed if the mother desires. Because of this opinion, over a million babies are murdered in America every year" (Trask & Goodall, 118). What his opinion doesn't take into consideration are all the children that are born in America to parents that don't want them and that can't afford to take care of them. There are so many children who lead horrible lives and are abused or abandoned and have to struggle their entire lives: they're not given enough to eat, or they're raped or they have to live through a hellish foster care system. Many of the babies lead such terrible lives because from the very start their parents didn't want to have them, however they were forced into having these kids from either not being able to have an abortion because of price or because of religious and familial beliefs.

The research stands behind this and demonstrates that when it comes to things like abortion, it's is incredibly uneducated to simply stamp abortion as murder and then walk away. Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco engaged in a study to explore the possible social and economic implications of preventing women from access to a legal abortion. "And after documenting the experiences of the women who seek to terminate a pregnancy but are turned away from abortion services, the UCSF researchers found that those women were three times more likely than the women who successfully obtained abortions to fall below the poverty line within the subsequent two years" (Culp-Ressler, 2012). The research demonstrated that the strain put on these women who were denied their rights fell into poverty just 12 months later, and were more likely to be living on public assistance with 67% of these women living below the poverty line (Culp-Ressler, 2012). "When a woman is denied the abortion she wants, she is statistically more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance, and below the poverty line. Another conclusion we could draw is that denying women abortions places more burden on the state because of these new mothers' increased reliance on public assistance programs"(Culp-Ressler, 2012). Given these findings, the opinions of Trask and Goodall show both a lack of education and a lack of understanding about this issue.

The issue of abortion is far more complex than simple murder. It's obviously about women having a right to their own bodies and a right to chart the course of their own futures. The fact that Trask and Goodall are so willing to gloss over the issue in such broad strokes shows a certain level of cavalierness about the health and safety all parties involved. This ignorance only succeeds in undermining all of the points they make.

Another quantitative study found that the reasons women cited for wanting a baby were reasons like the child would interfere with future plans for work or study, or that the woman was unable to afford a baby, or a desire to not be a single mother (Finer et al., 2005). These are all valid reasons and to dismiss them as unimportant or to dismiss abortion as murder means that there's a general lack of understanding and a disregard for the complexity of the world at large.

Despite these short-comings, the book is still full of lots of pearls of wisdom and tips for better living. The authors still remind us that life's trials can be some of the most important times in our lives because they allow us to build character and to build strength and fortitude. Trask and Goodall remind us that the Bible teaches one to rejoice in one's suffering because this allows one to develop perseverance, character and hope. Finally the book ends by urging all readers to begin today and to take up the intensive journey of living one's like as a fruit of the spirit through a closer bond with Jesus. In this sense, the book ends on a strong note, even acknowledging that some readers might be intimidated by all this, but that is to be expected. The authors end by acknowledging the work that is ahead, and how demanding it is, but that it's all worth it.

Ultimately, "Fruit of the Spirit" is filled with pillars of wisdom for living the best Christian life and for developing a stronger bond with Jesus. However, the book does abound with certain amounts of intolerance and ignorance for other people (such as homosexuals) and for certain situations (such as the need for abortion). In that sense the authors undermine the validity of their previous arguments by showcasing such bigotry or lack of understanding.

Works Cited

Createdgay.com. Christianity and Homophobia. 2013. web. 2014.

Culp-Ressler, T. Denying Women Abortion Access Increases Their… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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