The Woman Card used by all

This week, I had a craw full of women put-downs. Enough. This one was innocent enough. A local Christian woman (Church of Christ) has written a book on how women can resist listening to the devil and how older women are to teach younger women how to love and honor their husbands. She said that this was the neglected teaching in the church. I almost spit up my coffee when I read that at breakfast. It is the predominant teaching of her local church and all the churches in this area. I’ve met this woman. She has actually preached in some churches.

Last week on facebook someone sent the picture of the Christ Umbrella covering the Husband whose umbrella covered the wife whose tiny umbrella covered the kids and home. As soon as I made a comment about Jesus sharing his headship with a human male and wondering why, it popped off my facebook page. Not sure why. I hope it was because the person understood what I was saying. But after reading the comments of this person’s friends who agreed with the women’s tiny umbrella buffered by the Husband (the 4th man of the Trinity – isn’t that now a quartet?), I am afraid my comment was deleted because I am the radical and I played the Woman Card.

As a street evangelist I talk with young and old women in the most unlikely places about women’s equality in the church and in the home. The Woman Card is alive and present in all our lives. The Woman Card is used for those sweet-mushy talking against women such as Donald Trump and those who are for women such as Hillary Clinton.

You could call it the uni-sex card, because both men and women use it.

Denominations and churches both love us and hate us. They love our spirituality, our money, our time, and our kids. They hate when we want to be full citizens of our churches, causing them to blog, hold seminars, write books, and preach on Husband’s authority and women’s submission.

This week, my craw runneth over. I am a Woman. Not an afterthought of my Creator.

It is 2016. What Woman Card are you playing?

Read “Reports from the street evangelist” on my website

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Harriet Tubman and Christian values

Harriet Tubman never expected to be the face of the $20 bill. And neither did anybody else expect her to be. It is the right thing to do. Harriet was a spiritual woman and I would like to ask her if it was for Jesus that she set the captives free.

Don’t you wonder if it was because of the injustice of one man owning another human that caused her to risk her life and the life of others to escape the bondage of slavery? Did Christianity have anything to do with it?

I wonder because at this time – over 100 years since her death – we Christians are not prone to allow Christianity to color our words or our actions when it comes to our cherished beliefs.

  • We know it is not Christian to hold another man in slavery. But we have no such compunction against holding women in slavery to a husband.
  • We deny women the full expression of their faith even though it is now 2,000 years since Jesus set women free. We point to the Bible, and ignore the fact that Jesus would never have denied women a place at the table simply because they were women.
  • We are proud to be an American. Yet we preach against women having equality that our American laws provide for every woman, and not only do we set about squelching freedom for our American women, we go across the waters and tell other women they must submit to their husbands in everything.
  • We know it is not Christian to deny another person goods we have for sale. But we have no such compunction against withholding our goods and services to those who we deem to be in homosexual sin. We do not withhold those same goods and services to those who are in some other moral or sexual sin.

Harriet Tubman risked her life to set others free.

What will you do for the Christ that you love? For the wife you love? For the daughter you love? Will you stand up for freedom for Christian women?

It is not easy being a Christian and standing for Christian values. The hardest part of that is determining exactly what Christian values are. Can it be Christian values when you suppress one-half of God’s human creation to a lifestyle and culture of another age and time?

Is it Christian values when it is not something Jesus would do?

It is 2016. What are your Christian values?

 Reports from the street evangelist

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Report from the Street Evangelist

Report from the street evangelist. The a/c is out at work. Called the a/c man last week and he came out and said there was no power to the units and we had to call the electrician.  Long story short, neither the electrician nor the a/c man fixed the problem, but it was a good day anyway for a street evangelist. I gave my book to the owner of the electrical company and he said women should be equal in the home. He said he and his wife had been married 32 years and they were partners. They treat each other as equals. He said he would read my book and let me know what he thought about it. When I called the a/c repairman last week, I heard Christian music in the background and when I called again today for them to come back out, I mentioned to her that I had heard Christian music playing and that I am a Christian author and have written books for women’s equality. She said the music was the Church of Christ down the street singing. I explained that I belong to a group of Christians for Biblical Equality and we have many Church of Christ members who are working for women’s equality in the church. She offered to pay for the book, but I told her it was a gift and that when the a/c man came he could pick it up and take it to her. When he was about to leave, I told him about the book and he said, “Women ought to be equal.” He laughed when I showed him the cover of my Dethroning Male Headship, but I did not have my newest edition on top of my bookshelf because I had given it to the electrician. One electrician and a/c repairman at a time. This city may not have the most egalitarian servicemen, but I have met many who are. My two books are “Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition” and “Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source.” Available on Amazon – or from the street evangelist if you happen to see me.

Shirley Taylor,

Street Evangelist for women’s equality

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Resurrected! The new Adam greets the new Eve

He is Risen and now what? Let’s not be too hasty lest we pack Jesus away with the plastic Easter eggs. In my series Lent. Destination, the garden, we saw how Jesus went out of his way to tell women that he was the Messiah. As we will see, there was a reason for this.

Jesus has been called “the new Adam.” That first Adam has been the bane of all mankind and so has Eve. But the Resurrection changed everything. Here was the new Adam – a spirit that gives life.

“So it is also written, The first human, Adam, became a living person, and the last Adam became a spirit that gives life.” (1 Cor. 15:45 CEB).

Let’s look again at that garden.  There is Jesus and there is Mary Magdalene. Since Jesus is the new “Adam,” Mary is the new “Eve.” She is the first to witness this new Adam. He called her by her name, thus naming her. She is a freed woman, no longer to be cursed by manmade rules and restrictions. She is freed of the stigma placed upon her by mankind. But it won’t last. Because whenever humans can place a stigma, they will, and they did.

Just as it was not a coincidence that

  1. Jesus told the Jewish Mary of Bethany that she was welcomed into the presence of the Master’s teaching,
  2. Jesus told the gentile woman that he had also come to be Messiah of the gentiles which included her,
  3. Jesus told the woman at the well that he was the Messiah whom the Samaritans had been expecting (believing that they were the true faith).

it was not a coincidence that Mary Magdalene was in the garden to see the Resurrected Christ – the new Adam. Everything was leading up to this.

Genesis begins in a garden. And here we are again, in a garden where the Apostle Paul says

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor 5:17)

The new Adam and the new Eve. And just like the original Eve, this woman Mary Magdalene who was cleansed of all her sins, remained under the curse of man. Not God, but man. So do all of us women who have come after her.

It is 2016. There are no more gardens. It is up to us to get it right.

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Lent. Part 5. The garden

Chaos.  Everybody was running here and there. It is no wonder the stories got mixed up. Some thought they saw Peter and John go into the tomb, some thought they had not arrived yet. Some saw angels, or something that looked like angels. Some saw the guards lying facedown and scrambling up with worried looks and making hasty decisions of what to tell the authorities.

“Where is he?” You can hear the determination in her voice as Mary Magdalene confronts someone she thinks is the gardener. “Just tell me where he is and I WILL GO GET HIM!” This is not some weak woman speaking. She has come to the tomb prepared to roll away a heavy stone, but now all she sees is a gaping hole and the body of Jesus is gone. She is crying, yes, but these are tears of frustration and determination. She was going to make this right. Weak people say “help me” while strong people say “I will do it.”

“Tell me where he is! I will go get him!”

Chaos. So many different accounts of this one event. But there was one thing they all were clear on. It was a woman who Jesus first revealed himself to.

There were men around – the guards who were scared half to death – and possibly Peter and John. But they didn’t get the news. It was a woman. Like all of Jesus’ proclamations, male headship played no part in this resurrection story.

So we have finally arrived in the garden and the world has been turned upside down.  Where do we go from here?  Do we leave Mary and the other women beside an empty grave? Yes, we do. Not as Jesus did, but as pastors and preachers and other women have determined we should do. Mary Magdalene is mentioned 12 times in relation to Jesus’ death and resurrection. After that she is no longer mentioned. Why not? This woman to whom Jesus made a personal appearance – bypassing all the others around the tomb – is left there.

Today I was sitting in a doctor’s office while both men and women sat around me, using their iPhones or devices. Tears came into my eyes and I wanted to shout to all there “This is the 21st Century for both men and women! Why does the church work so hard to keep women in the 1st Century?” Because the Bible says so? Where?

Where does Jesus say that women must submit to their husbands? Where does Jesus say that women can’t be in authority over a man? It is not there, my friends. We are called Christians because we follow Christ and not some 1st century societal customs that empowered men over women.

We have come to the garden by way of Mary of Bethany who was a Jewish woman welcomed to sit and learn from the Master himself. We have come to the garden by way of the Gentile woman who learned that Jesus was the Messiah for gentiles which included her. We have come to the garden by way of the Samaritan woman who believed that hers was the true religion, and here was the Messiah just as they expected. We have come to the garden by way of Mary Magdalene who declared she would go herself and find Jesus until he said her name and she knew he was the resurrected Christ.

We are at the garden. Who is going to stop you from going and telling?

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Book review: black and white bible, black and blue wife

“Our little family was a complete mess” but that was not what the author said in her sit-down debate with Dr. John Piper in 1995 at Wheaton College during their debate of whether a marriage should be based on a model of mutual submission and equality or on a model of male headship.

Her husband was a pastor and he beat the hell out of her while quoting scripture “to defend his headship and to enforce my unconditional obligation to submit- from ‘the kitchen to the bedroom.’”

Ruth A. Tucker tells her story in her most recent book black and white bible, black and blue wife (Publisher Zondervan). This book is a must read for pastors and congregation. When reading her book, you will learn some valuable lessons: 1) don’t expect the truth to be told during counseling, or on a stage where people are looking at you and when you must not show weakness; 2) don’t expect women – even pastor’s wives – to admit to their husband’s abuse as it took Tucker over 40 years before she told the world about it; 3) you will learn that male headship means that he makes and enforces the rules.

There is a line in the movie Casablanca “round up the usual suspects.” That is exactly what Ruth A Tucker does in this book. The book begins with Dr. John Piper and the debate over submission versus equality. Bruce Ware is quoted in this story, as is Russell D. Moore, Paige Patterson, and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

It is never easy reading about abuse but it necessary. It is necessary that the victims tell their story that could never be told while they were living in fear of their lives. When I was telling Ruth’s story to my husband, he said “That is an awful picture and I wish you had not told me.” It is awful to read, but it is something that many women go through every day. We owe it to them to read their story.

Ruth A Tucker tells her story interspersed with parallels from the scriptures. She is a bible scholar and teacher, but that does not get in the way, making this a very readable book and one that should be made available to churches, public libraries, and in Christian bookstores.

It will be interesting to see if Zondervan puts this book in Christian bookstores.

The book promo says “Through careful reflection on biblical, theological, historical, and contemporary issues surrounding domestic violence, black and white bible, black and blue wife offers hope for those caught in a cycle of domestic violence and suggests ways to overcome the devastation it leaves behind.”

It is 2016. Read this book and see what male headship can do to a family. Give this book to your pastor so he can see. Donate the book to your Friends of the Library to be sold so someone can find the book. In this way, you can help women who are suffering from abuse.

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Lent. Part 4. Destination, the garden

If the first thing you think of when you remember the woman at the well is “the man you are living with now is not your husband,” then you have missed the whole point of Jesus’ visit to this Samaritan woman.

The Danvers Statement Affirmation #9 says: “With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world.”

No matter what shape the world is in, the writers of The Danvers Statement would never have chosen the woman at the well to be the instrument God used to win lost people to Christ.

But Jesus did.

Everyone knows her story. In fact, hers is one of the longest detailed stories of an event in the New Testament. It was her story. She told it to everyone who would listen. This man she had just met at the well knew that she had had five husbands and was now living with a man who was not her husband.

Jesus was not judging her for that. He was offering her something that no man could offer a woman. He was offering her living water—from a well that would never run dry. And he told her that he was the source of this living water.

This was a woman experienced in the ways of men, and she knew this conversation was different from any she had ever had. She was certainly not the one who would be expected to announce the news that prophecy had been fulfilled and that the long-awaited Messiah had finally arrived. No one would even listen to a woman proclaiming this momentous event, would they? But for some reason, Jesus chose her to reveal his true identity.

She took that message and ran with it.

It was Jesus who brought up the subject of living water. He told her that if she drank from the water he gave, she would never be thirsty again.

She wanted that. She said she did not want to keep coming to the well to draw water. She was probably teasing him at that point as she had no idea what he was talking about. Then Jesus did something surprising. He told her to go call her husband, and then to come back.

Aha! Finally Jesus brings male headship into the conversation! “Go, call your husband and come back,” Jesus said.

The woman answered, “I have no husband.”

Was Jesus was surprised at this? Did he ask her to go call her husband just to embarrass her?  No, its significance is greater than her confession that she was not married to the man with whom she was living. She was worthy in her own right, as a woman, to be told directly by him that he was the Messiah. They engaged in a theological discussion. This woman was not learning in silence. And Jesus did not rebuke her for it. She talked back and told him that she could see that he was a prophet. She declared “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

And he did explain—right then and there—to the woman at the well, a woman who did not have a husband to tell her if what she was hearing was right or wrong. She heard, she accepted, she told.

This story of the woman at the well is found in John 4:4-42 and begins by saying, “Now he had to go through Samaria.” It is best translated that “he purposed in his mind” to go through Samaria, because the Jews had found a way, even though it was inconvenient, to avoid Samaria. They thought they were better than these poor cousins, the Samaritans, and for a Jew to deliberately go through Samaria was unusual.

There was something in Samaria that Jesus needed to do in order to complete his earthly work.

With this story of the Woman at the Well, we see how the picture of Jesus is coming together.

  • The Jewish woman, Mary of Bethany, who Jesus permitted to sit at his feet right beside the men, and learn at a time when learning scripture was forbidden to women
  • The Gentile woman to whom Jesus revealed that he was not sent only to Israel, but to all people, which included her
  • The Samaritan woman to whom Jesus revealed that he was the Messiah, who the Samaritans were also expecting, since they claimed theirs was the true religion of the ancient Israelites.

These are pivotal stories because they show that Jesus gives the voice of the gospel to women just as he gives the voice of the gospel to men. These stories also set the stage for the empty tomb where it was women who first encountered the resurrected Jesus and where the full gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus would unfold. So, yes, Jesus purposed in his mind to go through Samaria, because he had something to complete in Samaria.

The completion of this mission was so satisfying to him that he told his disciples, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The conversation he had with this woman had an effect on Jesus that was profoundly different from his other encounters with men or women. This is the only scripture passage in the Bible where Jesus said that what had just happened was so meaningful to him that he felt that he had been fed. In other words, mission accomplished.

Verse 42 says “…we no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” These men first heard the words of Jesus from a woman, and then they heard the same message from Jesus himself.

Jesus is headed to the garden tomb and the final meeting with a woman who steps into the Christian era with the news “He is risen!”

It is 2016. What will you do? 

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