Advent Peace. What did the angels know?

Every year at Christmas we look at the world situation and wonder if the angels knew what they were proclaiming when they said “Peace on earth, goodwill among men.” We are not sure exactly what the angels did say as it is interpreted in many ways. The NIV version says, “Peace to those on whom his favor rests.” That sounds Calvinistic, but in the name of goodwill, today we will let that pass.

Since that is so, and because I am not a scholar, but an ordinary person reading the scriptures, I choose to read this meaning into those old familiar verses: The angels came to earth announcing the birth of a savior who is Christ the Lord. In proclaiming his birth, they were saying that God is Peace and has come willingly to the earth to be among men, and that he brings with him goodwill (that is to say, he does not bring harm to them.)

We usually take those scriptures to mean that there would be no more wars and strife and all would be joy now that Christ was born. The angels did not say that all would be rosy now. They called him Peace, and because of the great joy they have with the Father, they knew Who was arriving and they expected us to have the same great joy (Luke 2:10-11).

I think the angels may have given us more credit than we are due.

2016 is drawing to a close. But as we celebrate Advent again this year, we see a new beginning, a new year to get it right. A new year for peace in the church where both men and women are equal children of God.

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Advent Hope – Groundhog Day all over again

Each year the liturgical calendar gets reset and we begin again with where it began. We know what is going to happen to Jesus at Easter, but each November we begin by retelling the story from the beginning, all over again.  We get a new chance like Phil the weatherman did in the movie Groundhog Day. We hope this year we get it right.

Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn’t predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. After indulging in hedonism and committing suicide numerous times, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.

Like Phil, Christianity has been through its periods of hedonism and suicidal tendencies. In its hedonistic period, Christians have tried to force Christianity down the throats of others by the Crusades. Christians have murdered thousands during the Inquisitions,  witch hunts, slavery, and by preaching hell and brimstone revivals in the United States.

Today we are in Christianity’s suicidal period. We are killing the hearts and desires of Christians and non-Christians alike with our hate for our fellow man.  Right now many people are declaring they no longer want to be called an evangelical Christian because the very term indicates that we are a restrictive, non-loving Christian whose desires should rule our government and churches. A nation that has chosen for president a man who either assaults women or who speaks as an adolescent boy who brags of doing so and who has actually had assault charges filed against him by his wife and others; a man who chooses another such man to be his Chief of Staff.

In this suicidal period of Christianity, we have renewed our desire that women be controlled by husbands, men of the church, and all males. It is women who get the kids up for church each Sunday morning. It is women who will take their children to church and who do most of the Sunday school teaching in that church. It is women who are beginning to realize that their church does not love them as much as they love their church. When you kill off the ones who bring the children, you have committed religious suicide.

Such as our world has always been, it is now. But here we are. Beginning another Advent season where we are looking forward to the birth of a Baby who we will learn has come to turn the world upside down.  A Savior, the Christ, who will reveal to us that we are to love one another.

It is Advent – Groundhog Day all over again. We can hope.

It is 2016. What hope are you bringing to the church?

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Honeyed words and crazy theology

Last week, Dr. Kevin Giles (noted Australian Anglican priest) said to me “You’re hard on the Baptists, aren’t you?” That was after he had told me that my book had good points in it, and offered to give me feedback on it.

I gave that some thought and this is what I realized.  Nothing I have ever said is as harsh as “only men can be senior pastors” and “women must submit graciously to their husbands.” Those words, honeyed though they are, have damaged women and the church more than any words I can say.

Kevin Giles was in Houston before speaking on the stage with Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem at The Evangelical Theological Society conference in San Antonio where they would be discussing the Trinity.  This is the second time we had him speak to our Houston chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality. Kevin Giles has written many papers and books on the Trinity and he does not believe in the eternal submission of the Son.

From the report I heard of the ETS conference from a laywoman, Bruce Ware says he now believes in something called eternal generation of the Son. Ware is well-known for his stance on Eternal Submission of the Son which is what I thought he would be saying at that conference.  This person also said that Wayne Grudem said he had changed his mind on certain things. We can hope.

Oh, did you know that in those views, God is the Father, Jesus is the mother (holy Moses!), and the Holy Spirit is the child which emulates the earth-family structure? Ware and Grudem wouldn’t like it, but lets carry that Jesus is the Mother theory a little further. Most people I know pray in “Jesus’ name,” most people I know give praise and glory to Jesus, most people I know speak far more about Jesus than they do God or the Holy Spirit and that might be called worshipful of Jesus. Heh, heh, they are worshiping Jesus? THE MOTHER! Ware, Grudem, come down to earth! Your theology is crazy!

And of course you know that in this family structure, earth wives are supposed to submit to earth-husbands because Jesus is the Mother and submits to the Father God. Good Grief, these are the people who are teaching your pastor, your son or daughter who goes to seminary, and your youth pastors. Time to call them to account.

It is 2016. Why aren’t you hard on all those who want to keep women subjugated to men?

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When Texas Baptists meet in Waco

Next week at the annual meeting of Texas Baptists in Waco, Baptists will be celebrating the wonderful services Baptists offer to the community and the world. More than likely they will also be discussing Baylor, the church and LGBTs, the presidential election, racial reconciliation, feeding the hungry, sex trafficking, and most importantly, how to reach more people with the gospel in this era of dwindling church membership and participation. The discussions will be about everything but equality for women. Once again, women will be relegated to the backseat of social and racial inequities.

The LGBT question will override many discussions, making the one thing that will least likely be discussed is how Baptists can incorporate all members into all of the church fellowship. It is very doubtful that women – who make up more than one-half of church membership – will have anyone speak up for women’s equality in the church and home. No one will speak up for a woman’s privilege and obligation to serve the Lord in all ways she is called.

Will you make this year the year that women’s equality will be discussed among yourselves? In private discussions with your peers, will you stand up for women’s equality to help each person be complete in the churches you serve?

I call myself the Street Evangelist for women’s equality. For 14 ½ years I was an employee of BGCT (now Texas Baptists) and came to know and love this organization because of the people with whom I served.

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What do we really learn in church?

The tweet said far more about the man who tweeted it than it did about the victim. When a staffer, as claimed by the Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, sent out a nasty tweet about the first woman candidate for president, it said for more about Miller and his campaign than it did about Hillary Clinton. The tweet was pulled 10 minutes after it went out but the lasting result will be longer.

This attitude about women is pervasive. We see it in the male candidate for president and it should come as no surprise that lower down the chain, it comes out. We judge people on how they act, on what they do, and what they say. What else is there to judge them on?

Sid Miller is a member of a cowboy church, probably in Stephenville where he lives. Ron Nolen, former Baptist General Convention of Texas Consultant, had a big influence in starting Cowboy churches in Texas. Even though they claim no religious affiliation publicly, many are staffed and headed by Baptists.

“But as claimed below, cowboy churches also exist in the denominational context of baptist churches. The “no barriers” cowboy church model pioneered by Ron Nolen of the Baptist General Convention of Texas has been used by the AFCC (American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches) to plant more than two hundred denominational motivated cowboy churches in sixteen states.” (Wikipedia

Ron was a consultant during the time I worked for BGCT. Ron would never have said the things that Sid Miller (or his staffer) said about women. Which brings me to the question. What do we really learn in church?

Miller said his staffer tweeted that awful word about Mrs. Clinton, but something gave that staffer the idea that it would be all right to say such a thing using Sid Miller’s Twitter account.

This blog is not about who is best for president of the United States. I write advocating for full equality for women in the church and home. Therefore, I hold responsible those churches that deny women full equality. Attitudes that are taught in churches, bleeds out into society – and political tweets – and women suffer because of them.

This letter will be sent to Sid Miller. He has apologized, of course, but more is expected. A sincere change of heart in his staff is the right step. Needless to say, the staffer who took the fall, did not apologize. Perhaps because there was no such person.

It is 2016. What message about women are you sending from your church?

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The gender divide

It took almost a hundred years after women got the right to vote to bring about what men were afraid of. Women may decide the election outcome in 2016.

Southern Baptists did not support women suffrage and still hold to the reasons behind that lack of support. Those reasons are preached in Baptist and evangelical pulpits on Sundays.

“In spite of resistance from most men—and more than a few women—in the churches and from the pulpits, Protestant clergymen were the male group most likely by far to support women’s suffrage, except among Southern Baptists. 

The paragraph below sums it up quite nicely. It could have been written by a Baptist or other evangelical pastor today instead of a hundred years ago.

A Georgian Senator by the name of Joseph E. Brown showed how the views of the Southern Baptist church stretched into the political arena. In his argument against women’s suffrage he claimed that God had made the sexes different and that women had their husbands to speak for them: therefore, he concluded, women did not need political rights. Brown, like many opponents of women’s suffrage, believed that the man represented the woman. In a speech he made to the Senate, Brown stated:

The male sex is infinitely suited better than the female. In the family she is queen. She alone is fitted for the discharge of the sacred trust of wife and the endearing relation of mother. While the man is contending with the sterner duties of life, the whole time of the noble, affectionate and true woman is required in the discharge of the delicate and difficult duties assigned her in the family circle, in her church relations and in the society where her lot is cast.” (page 20)

What is striking about this election is that Christians are far more likely in the south to vote for Donald Trump than they are to vote for a woman. Never mind that he does nothing to espouse Christian values. Is part of this the fact that in the South, many still do not believe a woman should hold the highest place in government?

The polls show that among women voters, Clinton is in the lead by over 10 percent. It is highly doubtful that these women are from the south and more than likely they are not members of a Southern Baptist church.

It is 2016. Almost 100 years since women were allowed by their country to vote in a national election, do you still hold to these Baptist beliefs about women?

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Street Evangelist at a Craft Fair

People don’t attend a Collectibles and Craft Fair to purchase Christian books on women’s equality, do they? Probably not, but then they have never met the Street Evangelist for women’s equality!

I have sold books at all 3 of the Craft Fairs I have attended. So tomorrow I will be at a Craft Fair, talking with both men and women, and offering my books for sale!

raising-the-hood-9-2016 DMH Second Edition Women Equal no buts

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