Time to revisit an old idea

Right now Hurricane Irene is headed for North Carolina and will do damage all up and down the coast. This has been an awful year for natural disasters.  Earthquakes, and devastation from water and wind all around us.   More tornadoes have been on the ground this year than in most years and did much damage in Alabama, Missouri and Oklahoma.  Our son was in Oklahoma City last May when the tornado slammed that city.   Parents worry about their kids no matter how old they are and we were very concerned as we watched the news about the tornado that was touching down where he was. 

We tried to call his cell phone but got no answer and that added to our worries. We could imagine all kinds of things happening.

About 7:00 p.m. we saw a note on facebook that he had survived the storm.  He said the day was bright and sunny when he went to work, and when he left at 3:00, everything still looked good and he had had no communication that a storm was brewing or that he might be in danger.  I thought of him working in that huge empty store, oblivious to the outside world that was fast becoming frantic and making preparations for their safety as schools closed early and businesses let their employees go home early.

Lots of us go through life not knowing what is swirling around us, or the dangers we might be faced with.  Sometimes what we don’t know can hurt us.  

That is the case today with women’s equality.

Women sitting in our local churches are oblivious to the storm brewing all around them.  They have no idea that they themselves are the object of that storm.  Will the tornado suck them up into the vortex of its immensity? Or will they see the danger heading their way and try to escape the damage that will be done as patriarchy swoops down upon them.

Right now they don’t see it.

They welcome words like “loving leadership” and don’t understand that it takes away their personhood by having to have a leader.  They know in their heart that all men are not capable of giving that kind of leadership, but since the Bible says so, then the women themselves must be the reason their husbands do not provide loving leadership. 

When I began my ministry, I went to the Director of Missions in our local Baptist Association to tell him that I wanted to go on record as being one person who wanted things to change.  He told me that Pastors has already fought that battle within themselves and had already made their decision.

It is time for these pastors to re-visit this old idea. It is time for these pastors to see the harm it causes to over half of their congregation.

Will you help me get the message out to pastors and to women that a storm is sweeping over our country and it is women who are being damaged?

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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3 Responses to Time to revisit an old idea

  1. Anne says:

    You’re right that husbands can’t provide the ‘loving leadership’ that those churches demand of them (for the record, the Bible doesn’t command for husbands to lead, just to love). It’s such a bad idea to place so much power into the hands of someone who CAN NOT live up to the high standard, and silence the voice of the wife so she can’t argue if he behaves in a way that hurts her, or wants something that will make her unhappy.

    A massive mistake by some of the more extreme restrictionists is to liken the husband with Jesus himself. This is one of the places where they get their ‘leadership and submission’ idea, especially since the church is to submit to Christ at all times. But the reason why? Because neither God not Christ will do us harm and both are Holy and Almighty. Husbands on the other hand, will do harm and are NOT Almighty. They’re human. They can not act like Jesus, no matter the emphasis placed on doing so. Their fallibility means that giving them Christ-like authority over their wives is a terrible idea, because with that authority they can hurt her, control her and expect her to deal with it, even if they’re not aware they’re doing it. Satan will take every chance he can to manipulate weaknesses and Christians aren’t exempt. Take away his wife’s right to ‘regulate’ her husband (Christians are supposed to guide each other) and his authority can turn sour, either sometimes or all the time. Placing the husband in Jesus’ shoes also takes away the authority of Jesus himself. HE is the ultimate master of the wife, NOT her man.

    I believe the authority/submission in marriage is so, so much more subtle than the restrictionists dictate and is based on love, not laws. And it IS mutual and equal, just to be done in different ways. A husband loves by taking care of his wife, serving her needs and putting her first like Christ did for the church. Taking responsibility in taking care. THIS IS HIS ONLY AUTHORITY and the Bible doesn’t say he is to be in command. It doesn’t say he should have lordship or leadership over her. He does not have the authority to dictate. A wife submits to her husbands position of being the caretaker (like you would do with a nurse or something) and tends to his needs and requests like he does for hers. Mutual submission and compromise. These things are not heirarchal, are not based on roles, but rather are based on the natural behaviour of men and women – hence no need for restrictionist law. Without meaning to generalise, I think it’s fair to say that women want to be loved. Most will have a knight-in-shining-armour fantasy of some kind. It’s nice to be taken care of by a man. This doesn’t mean we have an inferior role, can’t do what they can or have to submit to them wholly, personally and in everything they say. It’s simply what we prefer. Men, on the other hand, like to have that knight-in-armour feeling. A good guy will want to look after his wife and family. If we just tend to these things and listen to the Spirit, who plants the Word in our hearts anyway, then the massive exaggeration of a few verses becomes redundant. We don’t need the doctrine, and we don’t need it to be so strict. So much of it is not based on the Bible but what they THINK is in the Bible. I say scrap it all and start again, but this time with love and with God in control.

    They’re right when they say that different doesn’t mean inferior. We’re not inferior or subject in any way and the Bible never says so. But when women are told to act inferior (and told that it’s God’s natural will, which is a lie), that is oppression.

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    • Excellent points. We all know men who need a wife to lead because the husand is incapable, even though he works and is a good father and good husband, some men simply do not have the ability to make decisions for the good of the family.

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      • Michelle says:

        I think whatever works for the couple is good, pretty much. All of the stuff in the comments still sounds odd or like milder stereotyping to me. I’ve been a champion for justice all my life, and I’d like to have my husband standing beside me, fighting injustice as well. It’s just beginning to happen (we’ve been married not yet seven years). He’s fighting in his own ways, and in his own social circles (ours overlap: some are primarily his, some are primary mine).

        I believe that stereotypes *create* people in more subtle ways than most people realize. So there are aspects of our personalities (women and men) that we credit as being “natural”, when really, that’s quite arguable. We’re treated differently from, well, probably before the moment our mothers give birth (since we can know the sex of a child before it is born) and we’re swaddled in blue or pink cloth (in the US, at least–but the expectations of easily defined differences predominate in most places, I’ll wager, regardless of blanket colors…). How could lifelong different treatment, based on different expectations of what girls and what boys will be like, NOT affect us?

        Oh–and re: decisions, as this is what inspired me to comment. I find that both of our decisions are better, that our strengths and weaknesses and individuals are more balanced, when we come *together* to make decisions for the good of the family. We’re both a bit lopsided in opposite directions, and so tend to balance one another out there.

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