Today we will conclude the conversation that I had with R.H. regarding the demand for an apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood. You may not agree with my answers, and I am sure many of you don’t. As you can guess, R.H. didn’t agree with me either.
It appears to me that instead of finding ways to justify why women should be held in submission, or subordination, and treated as second-class Christians, we would find any glimmer of hope in the scriptures and allow women to hear their calling from God. Instead, we have spent countless hours and meanderings on why WOMEN CAN’T. Surely our Creator is not pleased with these attempts to denigrate his creation that gives birth to all humans.
R. H. questioned my sentence “The Israelites/Jews knew better than anybody else that ruling authorities could be evil. They certainly lost their personhood under these authorities.”
R.H. What about the good kings such as King David?
Shirley: Well, some of them even lost their persons – particularly the man he had killed when he wanted Bathsheba.
R.H. You said that the new Christians did not have a ruler in Rome.” Paul said to obey the rulers so we know they had rulers.
Shirley: These were not rulers appointed and chosen by the Christian group. They were rulers who were already in place and had no identity as a specific ruler for these Christians. These Christians had no king, and no president.
R. H. Paul said to obey the rulers or we will incur judgment.
Shirley: We all incur judgment when we resist authorities, because authorities have the law that enforces obedience.
R.H. What do you mean that God does not deputize?
Shirley: Oh, boy. God does not give his authority to men to carry out his Godly dealings with humans. Even though the Pope may think he does, and even though complementarians think God gives men authority over their wives since the men are the representations of Jesus in a marriage.
R.H. Paul seems to say the exact opposite: God appointed civil rulers
Shirley: But they were not chosen by Christians to be their president or their king, or their leader – which is the point I made when I said they did not have a Christian ruler.
R.H. (He persists in the civil authority subject). It sounds as though Paul is teaching that the rulers who are in power are His appointed public servants, and Christians are to obey them. After all, why wouldn’t God’s people obey His public servants?
Shirley: Exactly. But they were not Christian authorities. We all know we must obey secular authorities. (some may have become Christians, but they were not designated as ‘Christian’ leaders to be leaders specifically over Christians. I don’t know how much clearer I can make this. And it is important because we know that Christians must have secular law, but we do not have to have Christian lawmakers over us – such as the Pope or our pastor, or a deacon.
And yes, we know that civil authorities did evil things to people, and also Christian leaders did evil things to people.
R.H. But where does the Bible teach that authority leads to the loss of personhood? It seems to me that, according to Rom. 13, failing to submit to God’s appointed authorities carries a far greater risk of “losing personhood” than submitting to them (see especially verse 5).
Shirley: Paul is not saying that men should have authority over their wives in these Scriptures. I was at the James River Assembly of God church in Springfield, Missouri, which is a mega church, and a visiting author of some women-submission book was preaching that day in the pastor’s place. He stood there and told 3,000 people that we women knew that our husbands had authority over us. Then he went on to use these same scriptures
Now, R.H., I have answered your questions. You have one advantage over me – well, maybe you have 2 if you count that you are a male and God’s favored gender.
You have the advantage of being an educated Bible scholar of some kind, and apparently you know some Greek or Hebrew. But you have never been persecuted because of your gender, and you never will be. You will never have to fight for a seat at the table with Christ, as women have to. You will never have to answer questions such as this from someone who may have a damaging agenda against you.
So I ask you – are you a Saul or are you a Paul?
R.H. If you are asking me whether or not I intend to publicly attack you for your position, the answer is an absolute “No!”
What was I asking R.H.? Certainly the main concern I had in the beginning of this conversation was whether or not he was going to publicly ridicule me, or even sick the dogs on me. But there was a deeper reason. This reason I hope R.H. will discover for himself as I did not answer his question.
My fervent desire is that men like R.H. will begin to see this attitude against women’s equality as evil. That this attitude is not Christ-like and each person will have to make their own decision as to how they treat women’s equality. They have the choice to continue persecuting women like Saul did, or they can choose to turn from their ways like Paul did.
Will you work with me to turn the Saul’s of this world into Paul’s?
Note: You might find this article interesting. The title is 10 Majors that are no longer male dominated. I received this from my blog contact page and make no recommendations as to its content. I read it and found it interesting. I hope Tim is a regular reader and continues to read this blog. As always, you be the judge.
I believe that men (or people for that matter) do hear what you are trying to tell them. It seems people have been taught to play these word games with people, so they don’t have to think to hard on this stuff. If some ‘authority’ told them this is the correct ‘answer’, and shows them how to use it? They don’t have to go outside their comfort zone. They don’t have to answer the hard questions. Sadly, this is what I call ‘soft theology’. They are not told to push themselves to wonder WHY something doesn’t add up. Something doesn’t feel right, etc. Instead, they hold the party line – and parrot the word games they are taught.
Everything seems ‘If you don’t accept A than you must own B’. It reminds me of all the fighting for media attention from the politicians over this debt deal on TV lately. Heck, not even lately – its been going on forever it seems. Like the commercial some group put on with sending Grandma in her wheelchair over the cliff because the opposing party of course doesn’t wish to deal with her and her medical expenses – so lets just kill her off. If you don’t accept things as we view them – you must own this extreme view of life as we described type of thing.
The church has taken on this way of doing business. I wonder if politicians learned this from the church, or did the church learn this from politicians? We are all so busy parroting what is taught from our side of the line – we stopped thinking for ourselves.
If people like RH seriously can’t see that? You have to wonder about their discernment skills, and question their position within the church. I’m not saying you have to agree okay? I’m saying stop playing the games. They don’t make you WIN! To me, its just being a sloth. They see no incentive to look for truth in what they teach. Why would they? They are top dog, and told that this is how it should be. Where is the incentive to look any deeper? As humans denial can be a powerful thing.
I don’t understand why he was so adamant about accepting authority. The only I reason that I can see is that they make it apply to women. Women are to accept graciously authority from their husbands, and somehow they have found Romans 13 which is about governmental authority, to make their case. But Romans 13 is about citizens recognizing civil government over them. Only Jesus has authority over us – both men and women.
Please tell him, Shirley, that we accept authority, but we do not accept the premise that authority is gender specific: i.e. only males can have authority. Roles and authority are based on qualification, ability, and in the case of christian ministry, calling and giftedness. The key words to argue over is:
the holy spirit’s calling and giftedness is N-O-T, repeat, N-0-T,
authority comes from God, not from men. Any “authoritative role” in any ministry is temporary, and switch between individuals and is never gender specific. Today’s sunday school student can be tomorrow’s sunday school teacher, today’s lay person can be tomorrow’s pastor, etc. etc. The key words, we need to stress this a million times, are: it should not be GENDER SPECIFIC> Case closed.
What complementarians don’t seem to understand is that egalitarians don’t object to authority per se. What we object to is “divine right.” Most modern Christians have rejected the notion of divine right in all areas but this one. We no longer agree with, “Because I was born royal, I have divine right to rule this country,” or “Because I was born an aristocrat, I have divine right to govern the peasants on my land.” We certainly don’t agree any more with “Because I am white, I have divine right to be served by those of other races.” We also reject the corollary, which is “keep your place.” “Because you were born a peasant, it is not your place to govern the land,” or “Because you are of the servant class (or of a “lesser race,”), it is not your place to take jobs outside the serving sphere.”
Most Christians now would agree that there is no such thing as “divine right” — that God has established earthly authorities, but no one can say, “Because of my birth, it’s my divine right to be one of those authorities.” Except in this area. Christians say, “Because I was born male, I have a right to be in authority over my wife in the home,” and “Because you were born female, it is not your place to take leadership beside your husband in the home, or to take leadership in the church over men [“over your betters” is implied here, although we don’t use that term anymore].”
I do agree that though God has established earthly authorities, God did not desire to do so in the church. Church leaders, yes– but not by “divine right.” Church authorities, no. Jesus said, “Not so among you.” I wish we would finally listen to Him.
Kristen, I would like to use this response and the added comment to Mabel as my blog on Friday. You have said this so well. Do you have a website that I can link it to? you will be the Guest writer, and all credit will go to you. Shirley
Shirley, I’m honored, and you certainly may use this. I don’t have a website– I keep thinking I might start a blog, but I have not done so yet. Just use my name: “Kristen, aka KR Wordgazer.” That’s how I’m known in most places.
Thanks. I won’t change the wording.
Kristen, you said it so well and so eloquently. Amen.
Thanks, Mabel. I might also add that in Paul’s day, the authority of the “pater familias” over his wife, children and slaves was one of the earthly authorities that had to be taken into account– and Paul’s words to the Ephesians reflect this understanding. That doesn’t mean that we, as 21st-century Christians, need to return to a husband-authority structure, especially when our own cultures have abandoned such structures; any more than we need to go back to serving a king or an emperor just because Paul said, “honor the king.”
Tell that to Focus on the Family. I just heard on their program today that husbands have a God given responsibility to be the leader in the family. That’s why I don’t want to listen to the radio stations that run their programs any more.
I check out church websites and when I see a link to Focus on the Family, I know immediately that they are fundamental. All they shine and glitter and technology doesn’t mean a thing. They are stuck in the past.
“God-given responsibility.” Yep. Just a euphemism for “divine right.” It also used to be called “the white man’s burden” and “noblesse oblige.”
Dress it up however you like, FoF. It’s still an assertion of the divine right of males.
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Kristen, now that you identify yourself as KR Wordgazer, I have come across your comments before, many times, but don’t remember where. THank you for writing. Thanks a billion for the link to Biblical Personhood. I LOVE that article and all the others in that blog. Thank you so so much for sharing that. I am saving it to share with others who are open minded to learning.
Mabel, I’m honored — but I think Shirley’s blog does “pingbacks” automatically if someone does a link to the blog here, on another blog. It certainly wasn’t me! *grin*
That said, Biblical Personhood is one of the blogs I do frequent; I agree, it’s great!
Good job, Shirley!
Shirley, Did you see this one?
Pedophiles are ok but no women preachers!
Thank you for sending this. I had not seen it. I went in on their website and found an email address and sent them an email to encourage them.
At least you had some moderately productive discussion.
I heard this from him:
You are accusing CBMW of equating egalitarians with Open Theists and Arminians, and treating them as unbelievers. Can you provide evidence for these charges?
I guess he never read Russel Moore’s JETS article which was reprinted EVERYWHERE practically. And I state that they treat me as an unbeliever why? Might it be because this is what their responses and comments about me personally have been? Hmm.
I never heard back from him after I sent him only a few links to these things. ???
So you’re way ahead of the game, but I don’t get why he would keep repeating that you had to submit to civil authorities as though you lived above the law or refused to pay your taxes or something. You don’t believe that Scripture teaches that you must submit to a spiritual intermediary or a male covering person, so that somehow means that you don’t follow the civil law? I don’t get it.
I didn’t get the constant harping on the civil law either. Except that complementarians like to use those authority scriptures to tell women that the men, too, have to obey somebody – and why don’t we women stop carping and complaining and accept it like it is. Maybe he didn’t think I would know what Open Theists and Arminians means. You have told me what they mean, but I would have to go look it up again. (LOL)
Oh, he knows what they mean which is why I was accused of making accusations which he let be known he didn’t believe. Maybe he didn’t know about the extra acerbic stuff they say, Shirley, but I didn’t have to look that hard to find it. In fact, it was the open theist issue and the fact that they claimed that I worshiped a false god that gave me cause to figure out if that’s what they were really saying. And they said it to the Evangelical Theological Society, not in some fly-by-night kind of venue.
There’s always a bigger fish, Shirley. Everyone knows that. You’re almost better near the bottom of the ranks because the consequences aren’t as dramatic as when you’re closer to the upper levels in the system sometimes. But even that doesn’t make much sense, since he seemed to be saying that you claimed that you didn’t ever have to submit to any kind of authority (comply with laws or contracts, etc.).
I just keep trying to imagine some illustration of what he thought you meant. Did he think that if a policeman pulled you over for a broken tail light that you would tell him you didn’t need a tail light and then proceed to get out of the car and kick him in the shin? Or if your husband asked you to make him a cup of coffee that you’d tell him to get his own because you don’t have to submit to his authority? His line of questioning to you seemed almost comical to me. (As opposed to what he wrote to me, indicating that he was clearly offended by what I stated. Go figure.)
I can understand having reservations about OpenTheism, but Arminianism is a long-standing viewpoint held by large sections of traditional Christianity. I’m an Arminian myself. In fact, the Are they really implying that unless you’re a Calvinist, you’re not really a Christian? Didn’t Paul say we should not say, “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos”?
(I have no personal quarrels with Open Theism either, but it’s a much newer idea.)
This is slightly off-topic, but I found this and thought that this post about an apology would be the best place to show it. I’ve always wondered if there is something spiritual (not in a good way) passing down through these churches and the people that support their views. I know from personal experience that deceiving spirits are so, SO easy to fall for. But gullibility is not limited to women, as you well know!
I found a repentance prayer: http://aslansplace.com/articles/?0000000077
Bear in mind the person who wrote it is repenting on behalf of his generational line. In the spirit world things still last for ten generations, despite God’s decree that he wouldn’t punish a son for his father’s sins. There is probably a snowball’s hope in hell that pastors of the SBC will pray this prayer, but I think it’s a good thing for people to do if they genuinely want to see women empowered. Clean their own slates first, just to make sure.