Modern thought about women

This is an email I received from a SBC pastor.  He was trying to set me straight about 1 Tim 2.

Did you know the very first appearance of exegesis that attempted to relegate 1 Tim 2 to cultural situation and allowing for women pastors wasn’t until 1969?   You think that 1,936 years of church history was wrong?

His argument was that for over 1900 years Christians had believed that women should be second-class and here I was trying to say they didn’t know what they were talking about.

This is my reply to his flawed reasoning.

 The Pharisees certainly had longevity of the law on their side.  But Jesus told them that they had made the law so cumbersome that even they could not follow it.  In Matthew 23 he lays out the case against the Pharisees.  Their interpretation of the law had become more important to them than the people.  They sought to kill Jesus because they were afraid of what he was teaching and what it would do to their established beliefs about God. Today the Jews still hold to their Law and we are in danger of doing the very same thing. 

For over 1100 years, the Roman Catholics were the church.  Martin Luther became so convinced that salvation did not come by indulgences but only by faith in Christ alone, that he was willing to go against over a thousand years of religious knowledge and belief. Today almost half of all Christians on earth are non-Catholics. 

You say that the modern thought about women came about in 1969.  Maybe it did.  It was in 1964 that women finally had Civil Rights in the United States.  

You can’t turn back that clock.  We will not put on burkas and quit driving our cars.  But you can go forward. You can allow women the full freedom to answer the call of God in her life.  You can allow her to serve a cup of juice and a piece of bread.  

I am not claiming to be Jesus or Martin Luther.  I am a woman.  A woman made just as surely as you were made, in the image of God.  Just as the Pharisees had corrupted the Law, we Christians have picked out passages of Scriptures aimed solely at keeping women in a submissive role, both at home and in church. 

Let’s go back to the old days.  Let’s go all the way back to Christ.  Let’s treat women the way Christ did.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Do Baptists Really Believe That?, Scriptures explained and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Modern thought about women

  1. chaidrinkingfool says:

    Great post! I love how you wrap it all up.

    Funny how tradition becomes “church history” when folks in some denominations decide they want to cite something that’s a tradition–since they can’t actually use that word. 😉

    I have not gotten this far with the book, so I don’t know that she uses the argument(s) cited by that pastor, but certainly Katharine Bushnell’s “God’s Word to Women” was published in 1921. The SBC pastor mentioned in this post needs to check it out, and the good thing is, it’s free and he can do so while sitting in front of his computer:


  2. Kristen says:

    Hah. Bushnell won’t count with him because she wasn’t a man.

    But don’t the Southern Baptists remember their own history? Don’t they realize that the first Baptists were going againt the weight of church history in teaching that infants should not be baptized?

    Yes– thousands of years of history of a Christianity dominated by men, perpetuating their own power through self-serving doctrines, translating the Scriptures in ways that upheld those doctrines, leaning on the traditions they themselves established, for their support in the oppression of women– yes, thousands of years of history written by males, for males, can certainly be wrong!


  3. chaidrinkingfool says:

    That is a great point, Kristen! I believe that the information on Bushnell is useful for literal-minded folks to be aware of and helpful for anyone who wants to study the issue from a pre-second-wave feminism perspective.

    It does mean that I need to do research on who said this in 1969…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.