Lost girls

There is a report that Tony Campolo was preaching one day and said, “There are 120,000 children who die each day due to hunger” Campolo paused and nothing happened . “Bullshit!” There was a stunned silence. Then Campolo said, “You are shocked that I said “Bullshit” but when I said that 120,000 children died each day due to hunger, that did not move you.

We are stunned that 300 Nigerian girls were kidnapped.

But we are not stunned that around 3,000,000,000 girls and women are held hostage each day by religions that devalue them. These religions claim they honor and value women, but the restrictions placed these same women tell a different story.

Bullshit! Now I have your attention. What are you going to do about it?

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There is a movement for women’s equality

There is a movement for women’s equality.  God is working. Come to the table. Join in.

Listen to Jarrod at Pepperdine which is a Church of Christ seminary.  If you have little time, begin at 24.50 and listen to what he says. You will not be the same.

http://new.livestream.com/pepperdineuniversity/pbl14/videos/49670060

There is a movement for women’s equality. God is working. Will you join us?

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Something is about to happen!

The week after Resurrection Sunday finds non-liturgical churches back to normal. Easter has been put away. Women are silenced. Jesus is in heaven and it is business as usual. In liturgical churches, the week after Easter and leading up to the Ascension are very important times in the life of the church. Today let’s look back at the chain of events that brought us to this side of the cross and the expectation that it is not finished. Something is about to happen!

I am not sure what the Jews or the disciples expected of the Messiah, but it sure wasn’t this. Everybody is upset. One minute they are praising him, and the next minute they will be calling to crucify him.

His traveling companion and keeper of the funds is going to betray him.

Peter is going to deny him.

Around the table, they are trying to figure out which one of them Jesus is talking about when he made the startling announcement that one of them will betray him. They deny that they themselves would ever do such a thing.

Suddenly the argument escalates, and certain ones begin claiming that their love for Jesus is greater than the others.

“I’ll do anything for you! Even go to prison or be put to death!”

“You will deny me,” Jesus said.

In the garden of Gethsemane, he goes alone to pray, and when he returns to the place he had left his friends, he finds them all sleeping.

His acquaintances, and those women who accompanied him from Galilee, are standing there watching as he hangs on the cross. Then it is over. The women who had come with him out of Galilee are following as his body is taken away, and they see the tomb and how his body is being laid there. They go home and begin to prepare spices and perfumes.

The women arise at dawn on the first day of the week, and take their spices and walk to the tomb. They do not know how they are going to move the stone away from the opening, but they are going anyway.

The stone has been moved! What is happening? Suddenly two men appear! These dazzling men tell Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the other women, that “He has risen!”

They run to tell the others, but what they are saying is not believed, because the words appear to them as nonsense, and because the words are coming from the mouth of women.

When the disciples finally see Jesus, He says to them, “It is written that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high….” (Luke 22:45-24).

Forty days later, it is over. Jesus is going away again. They see him as he disappears into the sky (Acts 1:3).

They gather together and do what work needs to be done. The women cook, and they eat, and they take care of the kids, and they wait.

They wait.

Something is going to happen.

Like a rushing wind, it is upon them! It is here! They feel the Spirit! (Acts 2:1-21). Peter stands up and says, “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth of my spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.’”

What happened? What happened that both sons and daughters were to prophesy? And now it is only sons who can prophesy.

Something happened. The Son came out, and women were able to freely tell the Story. But something else happened also. The church put the Son under a cloud and silenced women. We wait.

(excerpt from my book Women Equal-No Buts: Powered by the same Source.

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From Easter to Easter

Where did Jesus go? Of course many people have wondered where Jesus was during the time his body lay in the tomb, but that is not what I am asking.

Where did Jesus go? He walked on the earth for many days after his resurrection. We do not know where he was when he was not with the disciples, but that is not what I am asking.

Where did Jesus go? A group of people saw him ascend into Heaven when he permanently left the earth in a physical body, but that is not what I am asking.

Where did Jesus go? On Easter Sunday in many congregations, people are met with, “He is risen!” Women turn to the men beside them and proclaim the risen Savior. Men turn to women and say the same thing. We are all in one accord, and, for a brief time, women open their mouths to tell men the good news. Waking up the morning after Easter, a hand is again clamped down upon women’s mouths. Of course nobody can stop women from telling anybody anything in their private lives, but the church can, and has, put a stop to what women can do, and what they can say, and how they can say it inside the church doors.

Where did Jesus go? I would like to ask pastors and congregations where Jesus goes when they block him from Easter to Easter. Because it was Jesus’ own words to the women at the tomb that women are now forbidden to tell. It is the actions of Jesus toward women that preachers will not acknowledge as being significant.

Where did Jesus go? Has he been bound between the pages of the Bible, as a story to be told—or is he Living in our Hearts Today as we sing so boldly each Easter?

If you wonder where Jesus went, join us as we speak out for women to be able to preach the message Jesus gave on Easter morning.

(from my new book “Women Equal-No Buts: Powered by the same Source.”)

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Love Returns

Today is Good Friday. The darkest day in Jesus’ life.  A day shrouded in black. We drape a black cloth to cover what is underneath, and we hold solemn Good Friday services.  But as Christians we know what is about to happen.  We know that the earth will not hold Jesus, and we have expectation of celebrating the resurrection on Easter morning. Our grief is play-acting, because we know the rest of the story.  However, the full story will not be told, until all people are set free. Christians should be leading the charge, but they, too, are still wrapped in black and will not allow the glory of Jesus to shine.

So, this Good Friday, we are going to peek under the black drapes.

Love returned on Easter morning.

Not as anyone expected. It did not happen that way. Early in the morning a group of women gathered their spices and went to anoint the body of Jesus, as was their custom. They thought he would still be lying in the tomb where he was placed before the Sabbath.

The men thought so, too. But there was a surprise in store for all of them.

Jesus was not there! He was gone! All that was left was the linen he had been wrapped in.

Mary saw him first but did not recognize him. Then he called her name, and she cried out, “Rabboni!” Teacher.

There is a song that describes Mary and Jesus’ reunion. If you are like me, you have sung this song many times. In popularity, it is next to “The Old Rugged Cross.” But if you are like me, you had no idea that this song was about Mary and Jesus on the morning of His resurrection.

Certainly it is not a song that you will hear on Easter morning. Easter morning seems to be a day of singing resurrection songs and shouting out praise. This song is a comforting, worshipful song but I doubt that it is ever sung on Easter morning. It begins this way:

“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.”

“In the Garden” was written in 1912 and is the story of when Love returned, and first made Himself known to a woman named Mary.

Love was lost for centuries in Christianity. We would like to think it has returned, but I do not think Christianity knows Love like it ought to.

Love is lost in what I found on the internet recently. It is the Bylaws of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas and explains their doctrine. The Southern Baptist Convention of Texas broke off from Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1998 and took many churches with it. Those churches chose to be more fundamental in nature and are some of the largest Baptist churches in Texas. Look at it. I’ve underlined what they say about women. You will notice that they equate being a woman with sin because their very next sentence (that is always glued to women in ministry) is about homosexuality, which they consider to be a vile sin:

Section 1 Affiliation Qualifications. Any affiliate church must agree with the foundational beliefs of the SBTC set forth in its Constitution and Bylaws. …Any church which has taken action affirming, approving, or endorsing the practice of female senior pastoral service shall not be considered for affiliation or continued affiliation with this convention. Also, the SBTC will not consider for affiliation or continued affiliation any church that has taken action affirming, approving, or endorsing the practice of homosexuality. (Notice that homosexuality has again been placed side by side with being female. The Bible does not connect the two, but they do).

We pray for the return of Love. We pray that Love will return to women, as he did the first time. Will you join me in praying for Love to return as we live out our Christianity on this earth?

(Quoted from my new book “Women Equal-No Buts: Powered by the same Source.” Available on Kindle and Amazon.)

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Easter is when hate prevailed

Each year as we move toward Good Friday and Easter, let us remember that Jesus valued women. The last week of Jesus’ life we find him heading toward Calvary where He will lay down his life for men and for women. That sacrifice is equal toward all. Equal sacrifice for men and women means that we are equally responsible and equally privileged to serve our Savior.

Easter is when hate prevailed. From Thursday to Friday, evil had its way. But it did not start then, and it did not end then. It started earlier, when Jesus touched a raw nerve. He told them that only the meek and humble would be able to receive him. That shoe certainly did not fit. So in the middle of his sermon in the synagogue, some jumped up, and others followed, and they dragged Jesus out to throw him off a cliff.

“They got up, and drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff” (Luke 4:29).

Well, it did not work that time. That was just a practice run. They would get smarter and better organized, and it would work the next time.

But Jesus would not be quiet. He preached that they were too full of themselves and not full enough of the love of God, or love for their neighbor.

Hate prevailed at Easter. The killing of Jesus did not end their hate. Saul continued with the hate when he persecuted both men and women who became followers of the Risen Christ.

There is still a battle of hate. This time it is Christians who choose to hate others (cloaked in the words “hate the sin, love the sinner”).

Those Jewish leaders would not have described their emotions and actions as hatred. They would have said they hated the sin and not the sinner. But you see, Jesus was the sin to them. And to get rid of him, they killed “the sinner.”

Hate prevailed. But the story is not over yet. There is more to come.

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Hanging theology on the One Thing

Manhood. The One Thing. The only thing that counts when it comes to leadership, according to this Manhood generation.

It is not new as we will see. But I can guarantee you that 50 years ago, people would have whispered the words “manhood” much as they whispered pg for pregnancy, and tp for toilet paper.

“Greek men developed a rather curious custom. Upon meeting another man, they clasped each other’s right lower arms and touched their own testicles with their left hands. This was probably a symbol of honesty. In fact, the word testify is derived from testicle. In prebiblical times, men swore not on the Bible, but on their manhood (that is, their testicles). (from Modern Manners. Tools to take you to the top by Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler 2013, page 15)

It was 1947 before scientists began to understand male and female chromosomes. Before that time, all it took was one look.  That one look saw the One Thing that made men and women different, and they hung their whole theology on that One Thing.

The new Christians kept bringing up circumcision.  Paul got so tired of it he exclaimed, “I wish they would just go ahead and cut the whole thing off!”  (Galatians 5:12).

Well, frankly, Paul is more radical than I choose to be.  I have a husband and sons and would not want that to happen. But my frustration is as intense.  We are still looking at the One Thing and hanging our theology on it.

A lady wrote on our CBE Houston facebook page: “Repeatedly, I’ve dealt with counseling couples, whether together or as individuals, who believe the man is to be the sole source of provision. In some cases, it’s the extreme…the man must handle all the finances, including budgeting and the financial decisions of the family. I was asked, ‘what scriptures are there for support that a woman can provide and make financial decisions in the family.’

Well, there are not any scriptures saying that women can handle finances in their One Thing Rulebook. But those who subscribe to the One Thing rule pulls out their manhood and declare that their manhood gives them this leadership right.

The Bible gives us a rule that trumps their manhood rule.  Jesus Himself gives us this rule. “Love God with all your heart is the greatest commandment. The second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. “ With this rule, no other One Thing is important.

Women, it is time you spoke up for your sons, as well as for your daughters. You know that within families, not all boys or men, lead with their manhood. Don’t let these religious bullies determine your sons’ futures.  Not all men were born with a financial leadership gene.  You do realize, don’t you, that mothers have often been a daughter’s worst enemy when she murders her little girl babies? Don’t be that kind of mother, that you would destroy either your sons or your daughters.

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