Monday, May 26, 2014

A Christian’s Response to the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s Election

            Mr. Modi has been convincingly elected as the Prime Minister of India - the world’s largest democracy. BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party) majority numbers in the Indian Parliament offers it a fascinating advantage for independent governance despite having pre-poll alliances.

        The Indian National Congress, having ruled India for the last 10 years, has been unprecedentedly routed from even a simple dignity of being an opposition party (a party should win 10% of the total seats to be an opposition party). The recently concluded election in India is indeed a landmark election.

        In 1984, the Congress won 414 parliamentary constituencies (seats) whereas the BJP, established in 1980, won a mere 2, out of a total 533 seats. A very quick thirty years later, the BJP won 282 and the Congress won a mere 44 out of a possible 543 seats. The tables have indeed turned.

        Hinduism is the largest religion in India with 80.5% adherence, followed by Muslims (13.4%), Christians (2.3%), Sikh (1.9%), others (1.8%) and unspecified (0.1%).1 The BJP, a member of “Sangh Parivar” – a family of organizations, has a definite Hindu identity2 for it is nurtured by RSS (Rashtria Swyamsevak Sangh), an organization that seeks to protect the Hindu Dharma.3

        The RSS has been promoting Mr. Modi as the best man for the Prime Minister’s job, “time has come when Hindus need to unite, and that Modi is the man for the job,” said Mr. Harish Bhatia of the RSS. The Sangh Parivar believes Mr. Modi to be the best defender of Hindu rights, “they say the Sangh Parivar's vigorous participation is because Modi more than anyone in his party, is defender of Hindu rights.” 4 Therefore Mr. Modi has a definite Hindu / RSS identity.

        Wikipedia reports Mr. Modi as “a controversial figure both within India as well as internationally as his administration has been criticised for the incidents surrounding the 2002 Gujarat riots.”5 As a result, a certain uncertainty plagues the minds of the minority religious groups if whether Mr. Modi would be non-communal in his governance by protecting the minorities.

        Given this situation, I submit my response as a Christian and a citizen of India to the election of my new Prime Minister.

        First, here is a point on the entity that enslaves man.

        We gain knowledge on politics and everyday occurrences through popular media. So in a way, the media is our only source of knowledge. We tend to believe the source.

        When there are conflicting media reports, we believe the source that is more likely credible. Therefore, an objective occurrence becomes a subjective preference, especially under conflicting circumstances. But the fact remains that the media is the major source of information in politics and everyday occurrences.

        The media could either make or break a person. If the media decides to overrate a person, then it could depict an average as an excellent. On the contrary, if the media decides to wreck a person’s character, even a good person can be portrayed as a rank evil human being.

        Therefore, it would be profitable to have more than one source for our knowledge, and that preferably from the extremes of ‘for’ and ‘against.’ For instance, certain media agencies openly align themselves with certain politicians. So if our endeavor is to seek information about an individual or a political party, then we should gain that information from media sources that consistently speak for and against him/them. Thus one can gain balanced information in politics.

        Second, how did the Lord Jesus Christ respond to the Roman government in HIS time? Christ, a Jew in HIS incarnation, healed a Roman Centurion’s servant (Matthew 8: 5-13). Christ did not resist or ignore the plea of the Roman Centurion. This act of healing displays Christ’s loving kindness to the man in need and thus indirectly to the ruling Roman government. Therefore, Christians should exhibit loving kindness to the rulers and authorities.

        In another instance, the corrupt Pharisees sought to trap Christ when they questioned HIM about taxes (Matthew 22: 15-22). They tried to trap HIM into a conflict with the ruling Roman government.

        Christ then taught people to submit to the government in matters pertaining to the government and to submit to God in matters pertaining to God. In other words, pay the taxes to the government and offer our lives to God.

        Therefore, Christians ought to support the rulers and authorities in the government by being prompt and diligent with our taxes and our general support.

        Third, the Apostle Paul teaches similarly. But he emphasizes that all authorities in existence have been established by God (Romans 13: 1). So we ought to know that God ordained the election of Mr. Narendra Modi.

        Hence, Christians ought to be subject to the governing authorities. We ought to be right in our actions (Romans 13: 3c). This would be achieved when we remain as law abiding citizens of our country. This should be our constant endeavor.

        The Bible also mandates us to show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor (1 Peter 2: 17, NIV, Emphasis mine). Thus we are called to respect and honor those in power. The Christian mandate is always to do good and not evil. Respect and honor are godly deeds.

        God exhorts HIS believers to “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4: 2, NIV). We ought to be alert in knowing all that’s happening around us, so that we know what to pray for. Therefore, we should keep ourselves constantly updated about the progress of the new government, and keep praying that the new government would bless India.

        Finally, fear and negativity should never be present in a Christian life. Fear and negativity destroy a Christian. Absolute trust in God is the stronghold of a Christian. Fear corrodes and negates Christians’ trust in God. When fear increases, trust in God decreases.  

        The omnipotent God of the Bible is superior and more powerful than everything and everyone. Moreover, God is in absolute control over all that happens. Therefore, a Christian need not fear under any circumstance.

        In conclusion, a Christian response to the new government is rather straightforward:

            (1) Possess balanced, not biased information.

            (2) Exhibit loving kindness to the ruling government.

            (3) Support the ruling government as much as we are able to.

            (4) Know that God ordained the election of Mr. Narendra Modi, and be a law abiding citizen of India.  

            (5) Respect and honor all rulers and authorities.

            (6) Pray that the new government would bless our glorious nation.

            (7) Never fear but always trust in God.

        May the blessings of the Triune God – The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit be upon Mr. Narendra Modi and his government so that they endeavor to bless India against all forces of evil and destruction. Amen.  

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5: 9, NIV)







Monday, May 19, 2014

Growth of Islam and Freedom of Man

                  My plea to Islam in my previous blog, “Is Islam the World’s FastestGrowing Religion?” was two-fold: (A) to offer Muslims the legitimate option to reject Islam (without any dangerous consequences - expressed or tacit), and (B) to remove all barriers - incarnational or digital - for a Muslim to explore any worldview. This naturally suggests removal of all legal barriers in countries subscribing to Islam to the proponents of conflicting worldviews.

            First, some clarity with respect to my previous blog:

            (1) Growth of any religion is not a matter of salvific or doctrinal significance for a believer unless he desires to indulge in religious trivia.

            (2) Islamic growth was used as a mere premise to propose a two-fold plea to Islam. Examining the veracity of the Islamic growth statistic was not an intent. Moreover, a subjective belief never denigrates an objective fact i.e. if I do not believe in the Islamic growth; the fact of the growth remains unassailed, as long as the statistic is truthful.

            (3) Condemning Islam was not even an implied intent.

            (4) The two-fold plea is predicated on “freedom.” Anyone should have the freedom to choose or reject Islam and all worldviews should be offered the freedom of vocalized presence in all Islamic countries. 

            (5) The intent is not to judge Muslims but it’s a complementary endeavor to desire for human freedom.

            Certain friendly comments objected my essay. For the sake of space restrictions, parts of their exact responses that reflect the entire theme of their response are shown below. My response to the objections received is as follows:

            Objection #1: “…For the mere fact being just as my India has its divisions n restriction in each district whereby a non Mahrashtran is forced to learn Marathi since they have no choice to reside in Mumbai to fit d Norms, and despise it totally. IT doesn't mean the citizen being Christian, hindu, muslim is being forced by their holy books to be hypocrites. my point here is that u have very conviniently pointed out the hypocrisy u saw n experienced but dint go deep in to ask d question Does Islam force you to do what you are doing?...”

            Response #1: Yes, the holy books should not encourage hypocrisy. In highly conservative Islamic societies, women are forced to go out in traditional Arabic attires only with their eyes exposed. Once again, my point is to offer freedom of attire (and religion), in this context. Of course, decency is mandatory – although it’s an individual’s moral responsibility.

            If people love their traditional attire, then they would prefer that attire when they venture out of their country. If they dislike their traditional attire, they would discard it at the earliest. This is a vital aspect of human freedom.

            I admire the Islamic societies where freedom for attire is offered, where those who do not adhere to the traditional attire are not condemned. 

            Islamic societies are ruled by the Sharia law, and the Sharia law receives its counsel from the Quran and Sunna. So it is reasonable to think that the force is indeed from a specific interpretation of Islamic texts.

            Objection #2: “…And one more thing, Islam has no restrictions, it has guidelines to meet salvation. if you follow it, GOOD FOR YOU N IF YOU NOT THE CONSEQUENCES ARE CLEARLY STATED. it for us to decide. its because of these clear guidelines n logic explanations I chose to convert and many more like me are. So dont doubt the statistics on petty observations, if you have it in you to state the falsehood in the holy Quran , GIVE IT A SHOT. For your satisfaction….”

            Response #2: Theological debate on salvation or other doctrines in Quran or Bible is not the intent. There are conversions in all worldviews, so that levels out in the long run. An undeniable fact is the existence of religious restriction in certain Islamic societies.

            So my question is, “Isn’t it religious restriction when Islam prohibits proclamation of another worldview in their country?” Bahrain and UAE are good case in point for the legal presence of other religions. The legal presence of other religions in Islamic societies is admirable.

            But there are documented instances of religious restriction or persecution of people in these countries - jailed or otherwise persecuted for having proclaimed their faith in the open.1 Restriction of other worldviews implies a lack of freedom.

            What’s wrong if a person offers his religious text, free of cost to those willing to take it? Lack of freedom is when a Muslim cannot explore another worldview or a member of another worldview cannot proclaim their faith in the open in an Islamic society.

            If there is no religious freedom, then there is a restriction. This is an undeniable fact.

            If religious persecution occurs in more progressive Islamic societies, one can only imagine the amount of religious persecution in conservative Islamic societies. Nine out of top ten countries where Christians are persecuted most are Islamic countries.2

            Objection #3: “…My suggestion for anyone who wishes to know what Islam is that you read and understand the Holy Quran rather than judge how the so called Islamic countries conduct their government and their laws or whatever...becuz at the end of the day, NOT a SINGLE person can ever claim to be the ultimate flagbearer of Islam or Christianity or Judaism or any other religion-not even the highest mullah,or reverend or rabbi….”

            Response #3: Couple of quotes from the Quran referring to man’s freewill was quoted by another reader, they are: “Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful” (Quran 76: 3) and “Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness, Even if he presents his excuses” (Quran 75: 14-15).

            If the Quran asserts man’s freewill, then Islam ought to practice it by offering religious freedom for man to exercise his freewill. Religious restriction in any form or size denies human freewill, and contradicts the Quranic assertion of human freewill.  

            Objection #4: “…Islam is the most righteous religion I hav ever seen .I'm in america. The most Christians here have broken all rules of morality. But did I blame your religion ??...”

            Response #4: Blaming Islam was and is not the intent. The only intent is a friendly and a civil discussion.

            Christianity may have the largest following in the USA, but America does not endorse any one particular religion as an official state-endorsed religion. America loves and embraces moral relativism. So any moral aberration in America is to be credited to moral relativism and the depravity of mankind.

            Objection #5: “…Islam from day 1 of its existence encouraged people to question nd seek knowledge...infact from my own personl experienc...d more i questiond d teachings of my religion...d more i learnt...nd dts wt made me respect and love islam more….”

            Response #5: While this may be true to an extent, what would happen to anyone who would step into an Islamic country and explicitly question the Islamic faith in both polite and impolite terms? Would the much acclaimed bulldog of atheism - Richard Dawkins, have the courage to question Islam in his own inimitable and impolite style as he questions the Christian faith? 3

            Would Islam tolerate higher and lower criticism of the Quran as how Christianity tolerates the criticism of the Bible? Is legitimate freedom offered whereby the Quran can be questioned for its credibility?

            When a fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie for “Satanic Verses,” did any other Islamic country offer him asylum? Even if they had offered him asylum would he have had the courage to take it up? Why was Islam unable to tolerate Rushdie’s thoughts? All these questions are predicated on basic human freedom that every human is entitled to and its infringement by Islam.

            Objection #6: “…The freedom that Islam grants is based on commitment and responsibility without which there can be no true freedom. Freedom without restraints leads only to nihilism, the consequence of which is the complete breakdown of the moral and social order. The irresponsible concept of freedom expounded by existentialism, democracy and modern theories of freedom of expression lead only to corruption and immorality since they are not tied to any concept higher moral values or self control. For Islam, freedom lies in commitment and responsibility. They form an integral part of each other and can in no way be separated. There is no freedom of choice without responsibility; no responsibility without freedom…”

            Response #6: True freedom should be free of all restraints. Permit me to respond through the Christian worldview.

            The God of the Bible allows man to freely choose or reject HIM. The God of the Bible does not restrict a Christian from sinning.

            The Christian voluntarily offers his life to God and subsequently continues to overcome his frailty with God’s help. Thereby he gains his true freedom, which remains subject to God’s sovereignty.

            So we agree that freedom does come with commitment and responsibility. But this is merely one aspect of freedom.

            Every human being should possess true freedom – without any restraints whatsoever and at any point in time. True love is the supreme means by which God demonstrates HIS love for mankind. True love entails acceptance or rejection of that very love. Thus man should be allowed to accept or reject God at any time of his life.

            Yes, man could be irresponsible with his freedom. His freedom may lead to, as you accurately said, nihilism and all other evil-isms. But this is inevitable for it is the logical outworking of true love that grants true freedom, which consequently could lead to rejection of God.

            Conclusion: Most Islamic countries subscribe to the Sharia or the Islamic law. The Quran and the Sunna contribute primarily to the Sharia law.4

            Therefore, when Islamic nations force religious restrictions to restrict human freewill, which even the Quran asserts, then a reasonable conclusion is that the Islamic societies are either contradicting or affirming the Quran through an interpretation that logically contributes to the restriction of human freedom.

            The fact remains that religious freedom is largely nonexistent in Islamic countries. And as long as religious freedom is restricted, mankind is subjected to religious slavery - undesirable in any context.

            Whatever the case may be, man’s inherent freedom (heart’s disposition) cannot be eliminated. It may be confined for a period of time, but it can never be purged. The society may incarcerate man’s tangible freedom, but any society can never deny the freedom of his heart.  


3 “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” - Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Monday, May 12, 2014

Is Islam the World’s Fastest Growing Religion? (My Humble Plea to Islam) reports that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and so does Wikipedia.1 No doubt this indicates a trend. But how is this growth achieved?

Foreign attributes Islamic growth to its presence in the world’s fastest growing countries and the influx of Muslim immigrants into Europe, “The worlds [sic] largest Muslim populations are in fast-growing countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Egypt, and Iran. Islam also happens to be the fastest growing religion in Europe, where an influx of Muslim immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, and South Asia has sent shock waves into a mostly Christian and secular population whose birthrates have stagnated.” 1

I lived in Bahrain (Arabian Peninsula) for a good number of years. But I do not recollect anyone evangelizing me into Islam. Even when I walked into the office of “Discover Islam” in the Island, I was greeted politely and courteously, but not one word was uttered to convert me.

All I am asserting is that Islam does not seem to me as an actively evangelizing faith from a one-on-one standpoint. I have had people from “Jehovah’s witnesses” knock at my door to convert me, but not once did I encounter anyone trying to convert me into Islam in India as well.

If my limited personal experience is an indicator to the extent of Islamic evangelization, how then does Islam manage to grow at a hectic pace from within the absence of a focused personal one-on-one evangelization?

However, I do not deny the presence of active evangelization in any worldview, let alone Islam. Influx of Muslim immigrants and the subsequent growth of Islam in Europe do seem to indicate an active evangelization on the part of Islam.

This illustration would lead me into the first point I wish to present. During my stay in the Kingdom of Bahrain, I once encountered a young couple from a highly conservative Islamic State. They were dressed in their traditional Arabic attire.

We were travelling to an Island resort in a boat. As soon the couple settled in their seats, the man removed his headgear and the lady uncovered her face.

Upon reaching the Island resort, we went into the lobby of the hotel reserved for our stay. At the lobby, the lady was without her burka (she cannot venture out without her Burka in her country). Burka is generally worn over the most preferred attire of the individual. This lady was now in her jean and a swanky top.

Later, at the restaurant, the couple was in shorts and t-shirt – obviously more preferred than their traditional Arabic attire.

At the swimming pool, the woman was in her bikini. During the entire course of our stay in that tiny island resort, I never once saw them in their traditional Arabic gear. Obviously, when we left this island resort, they returned to their traditional Arabic attire.

This leads me to assert that if the woman was free to choose her attire in her own country, she would not have preferred the traditional Arabic attire that only exposes her eyes.

Bahrain is more tolerant towards attire, religion and even certain vices, such as alcohol. Visitors from neighboring Gulf States are a common sight in Bahrain during weekends and holidays. They arrive to indulge in alcohol and maybe even some multinational womanizing, which is strictly forbidden in much conservative Islamic countries.

This is an interesting practice - where people from authoritarian countries enter the more tolerant and inclusive society to freely and openly indulge in their desires. They may even indulge in certain vices in their own country, but in strict secrecy. They indulge at the cost of imprisonment or severe punishments, if caught.

Had the authorities been tolerant of any decent attire in the couple’s native country, they would have discarded the traditional Arabic attire for a preferred outfit. Had the authorities allowed liquor, Bahrain would not witness tourism to the extent that’s prevalent.

My point is this. People are forced into doing things that they really do not want to do.

My question now is this, how many would voluntarily embrace Islam if the strict yoke of religious enforcement is removed by Islam? Religious conversion of Muslims is forbidden by Islam.

Many countries offer their citizens the much required freedom to pursue what they want to do. This is good. A free society is the most desirable society. By freedom, I am not advocating lawlessness, but I am advocating for the individual’s freedom to choose the attire he wants to wear and the religion he wants to subscribe to.

Progressive mindsets of Islamic states such as Bahrain ought to be praised and encouraged.  

My first humble plea to conservative Islam is this. Please offer freedom to your people to either freely choose or reject Islam.

I love the God of the Bible for this very precise reason. HE has given us the freedom to either freely choose or reject HIM. This is love in its purest form. There is no slavery in this form of love.

Man should freely love God. If man is unable to love God for whatever reason, then it’s upon the Almighty God to do all that’s possible (in love and justice) for man to love HIM. But if God has done everything for man to love HIM and if man still rejects God, the ball is certainly in man’s court. It’s definitely not in God’s court.

In this context, when man rejects God, God cannot be blamed for man’s failure to love HIM, especially when God has done all that it takes for man to love HIM. No one loves being a slave to anything they don’t love. I am not saying that no one loves being a slave to anything they hate. But no one loves being a slave to anything they do not love.

I am not implying that all Muslims hate Islam. I am only asserting a good possibility that Muslims’ adherence to Islam, in many cases and contexts, is forced. They are forced to subscribe to Islam since they are forbidden to reject Islam. They are forbidden to question Islam.

So when I see a statistic proclaiming that Islam is the fastest growing religion, I find it very uncomfortable to believe knowing that the yoke of religious bondage is upon many who profess faith in the Islamic worldview. 

If growth of Islam in Europe is the result of Muslim immigrant influx, then evangelization by Muslims is probably the greatest reason for Islamic growth in Europe. So my second humble plea to Islam is to encourage other worldviews to proclaim their tenets to anyone who may want to explore the other worldviews.  

In other words, just as Europe does not restrict the presence of Islam and its evangelization, Islam should not restrict other worldviews to establish their legal presence in countries under Islamic governance. Moreover, Islam should offer freedom to other worldviews to proclaim their tenets to anyone who may want to explore these worldviews.   

To summarize, my plea to Islam is two-fold:

1. Please offer Muslims the total freedom to choose or reject Islam.

2. Just as Muslims take advantage of the freedom for evangelization offered by other countries, please offer similar freedom to other worldviews to proclaim their faith in your countries.

I will definitely believe in the stupendous growth of Islam, if religious freedom is available to all Muslims and if all worldviews are free to proclaim their faith in all Islamic countries. Until this happens, I am forced by Islam to not take the growth statistic seriously.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Sexual Deprivation In Marital Rape

Within a presupposition that man rapes a woman (not the vice versa), we could theoretically speculate if there is an acceptable situation within a Christian marriage where a Christian husband be probably excused for raping his wife.

Marital rape (spousal rape) is criminalized in many countries, and rightfully so. Rape by definition is non-consensual, so anything non-consensual is offensive in a human relationship. Even if marital rape is not criminalized by the country concerned, we should initially concede that it is incorrect and should not be permitted – theologically and by the judiciary.

What could be the causes of marital rape? How would God view marital rape?

The broad causes could be depravity and deprivation. While depravity is totally unjustified, deprivation should be examined more closely.

In a respectable marriage, the demand of excessive or inappropriate sex by a spouse manifests the depravity of his mind. In this context, the rapist-husband is depraved, and also the primary cause of the rape, while the raped-wife is the victim. The rapist-husband is wrong while the other is not wrong (the raped wife, who is the victim).

In contrast, when sex is intentionally and vengefully deprived in a marriage, depravity manifests primarily through the spouse who primarily deprives the partner of sex. In this instance, it is possible for the deprived husband to seek sexual favors from outside the marriage. This is sin, since adultery, under any setting, is sin. Hence let us assume that the deprived husband does not stray outside the marriage.

But out of sheer desperation, if the sexually deprived husband rapes his wife, shouldn’t the deprivation of sex be seriously considered before meting out punishment to the rapist husband? The fact remains that in the event of a rape in this marriage, the primary cause for the rape is the wife who deprived her husband of sex.

The husband, who was deprived of sex, chose rape, which is the sinful route to quench his desire for sex. This is sin. But the wife who caused depravity is also equally, if not more, in sin. Therefore in this instance, one person’s depravity activates the depravity of the other.

In countries where spousal rape is criminalized, we can be sure that the rapist-husband would be punished by the law. We can also be reasonably confident that the wife who deprived her husband of sex, and thereby activated him to rape her, would probably go unpunished.

While one sinner receives punishment for his sin, the other sinner remains a victim to receive compassion from all concerned. This is unjust.

God, the just judge, does not permit injustice. God takes all sins into account. In God’s eyes both would be sinners.   

The Bible teaches sacrifice in marriage so to prevent adultery and rape. Please read these verses, “…But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command (1 Corinthians 7: 1-6, NIV, Emphasis Mine).      

Importantly, and in a nutshell, the Bible teaches that, as much as possible, the husband and the wife should not intentionally and vengefully deprive each other sexually. But the sexually deprived spouse does not have any right, whatsoever, to rape the partner. The Bible is emphatic about this as well.

Because all men and women are sinners by nature, some Christian husbands/ wives can intentionally and vengefully deprive their spouses of sexual relationship. This is possible even in a Christian marriage. How then should the deprived spouse overcome this situation without sinning against God?

Remaining in Christ is the only option. If we remain in Christ, we will bear fruit, one such fruit is the fruit of “self-control” (Galatians 5: 23; cf. 2 Peter 1: 6; Acts 24: 25). The husband, who is deprived of sex from his wife, requires ‘self-control’ to remain clean. The fruit of self-control is only possible when the individual constantly remains in Christ. Self-control keeps the marriage bed pure. 

What about the wife who intentionally and vengefully deprives her husband of sex in the marriage? Obviously, this wife is spiritually immature especially when her unholy intention and revenge of sexually depriving her husband extends over a period of days and weeks. Without proper Christian counseling, this marriage is a recipe for disaster.

Importantly, a sincere doubt could be raised as to whether a vengeful person is a Christian to begin with.

First, revenge is an act of hatred, which is the opposite of love. Second, the one who takes revenge on his/her own spouse and that for a prolonged time period exhibits a ruthless and severe poverty of love. Third, when neighborly love lacks in a Christian, his/her love for God can seriously be questioned. The same thought process can be applied to the husband who [continually] rapes his wife.

There is another tangent to this. Those subscribing to postmodern and relativistic worldviews could argue for the spousal freedom - that the individual [in a Christian marriage] should be free to decide whether or not to sexually relate with the spouse.

This thought mocks the biblical teaching found in 1 Corinthians 7. This even mocks all the teaching on sacrificial love.

The love the relativists subscribe to is ‘self-love.’ This love cares only about the self. This love does not care about others.

If the relativists advocate spousal freedom to the wife, by the same token, would they advocate spousal freedom to the husband to seek sexual favors from outside the marriage? Some hardcore relativists would say yes! When spousal freedom is granted without any boundaries the outcome would be nothing but chaos. 

Normatively, the relativists and postmoderns are consistently inconsistent. While in some instances they will recommend subjectivism, they will also innately and intentionally contradict their own relativistic worldview in other instances.

For instance, those relativists and postmoderns who argue for spousal freedom to not participate sexually in a marriage would not tolerate chaos on the road (where every man can drive the way they want and at the speed they want without regarding traffic rules). On one hand they would covet chaos in a marriage but on the other hand they would not covet chaos on the road they travel in. Such is their hypocrisy. In other words, they would subscribe to relativism in marriage but would subscribe to objectivism on roads for traffic regulation.

What about the spouse who is raped? This person should seek Christian counseling, all the while hoping and praying that the counselor would deal with the situation in a godly manner. This person too should remain in the Lord, for only the Lord can heal the pain in body and in mind.

To conclude, depravity of any form or size is sin. Deprivation of sex in a marriage is a sin. A true Christian spouse would not submit her husband to such humiliation. The husband who has been deprived of sex should primarily derive strength from the Lord to remain pure by remaining close to the Lord always. The wife raped by her Christian husband should seek Christian counseling and more importantly seek the Lord for healing and restoration.

Moreover, in case of an unrepentant continuance of the sin of marital rape or deprivation of sex, a temporary separation could be advised by the Christian counselor, after analyzing the marriage with godly wisdom.

But our overriding prayer is for every marriage to glorify God through sacrificial love and mutual respect. Amen.