When ideology rules

Someone asked me the following:

One question: If God now allows a woman to be a pastor/elder, where is the new Scripture supporting that? Again, not personal preferences, prejudices, or tolerances, but new Scripture.

You don’t need new scripture. You just need to read the old scriptures and look to Jesus and see how he treated women. He told the woman at the well that he was the Messiah, and she became an evangelist. He revealed his risen Self to Mary at the tomb, and charged her with giving the men the good news. Nowhere did Jesus ever indicate that a woman could not preach the gospel – in fact, he gave the gospel to women first as you see in those two examples.

Examine your heart, and read what Jesus said, instead of trying to play gotcha with the scriptures to show women what they can’t do.

Think. Why would Jesus give the gospel to women if he didn’t intend for them to tell the world? And how can they tell? By preaching.

Think. Why do you discount what Jesus said and did? It’s His gospel, isn’t it?

You’ve made a gospel that was to free our souls, into a gospel that is to bind women into certain roles. 

You’ve bound women to the first century because you cannot conceive a God who loves his creation of men and women equally and gives to both men and women the gifts and ability He chooses to give.

You have chosen to believe in a restrictionist God.

You have chosen to believe that certain endowments are more valued than others – male physique, male voices, so-called masculinity, male’s way of understanding the world and male’s ways of behavior.  You have overlooked the negative aspects of all these and have made males the standard.  Women do not measure up to this standard, so you have chosen to give her lesser status before God, before her husband, and before her children, particularly her male children.

These are choices you have made.  You have chosen to believe in a God who would do this to a woman and validate your beliefs.  You have chosen to close your hearts and eyes to scriptures that give women equality before God.

One lady wrote me and told me that her husband rules their home and she said that men are to align themselves under God, and women are to align themselves under their husbands. I wrote this lady back and told her that there was only one time a woman was to align herself under her husband, and this wasn’t it.

You are men and women who have allowed ideology to rule in your life.

Will you join me in speaking out for the truths of the Bible for men and women to be equal in society, in the church and in the home?

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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45 Responses to When ideology rules

  1. Kristen says:

    Align themselves under their husbands! Can’t stop laughing!

    Really, they don’t need new Scriptures; they need to re-examine the old ones. No one’s forcing them to read Paul’s “I do not permit a woman” as “God says no woman must ever.” That’s their choice, and the choice of men in the church passed down through the generations, holding onto “he shall rule over you” to the bitter end.

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  2. Michelle says:

    While we’re dealing with an English translation here, I’d like to go ahead and add…
    I never understood where they got “he *should” from “he shall”! They don’t mean the same thing!

    😉 (Yes, I can grin about that now. Sometimes….)

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    • Michelle says:

      Ah, I forgot the closing asterisk for emphasis–

      I never understood how “he shall” (rule over you) became “he *should*” rule over you. “Shall” and “should” do not mean at all the same thing, so even in English, looking at the words there…I was a bit confused about what the church was trying to teach me.

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      • For you younger women who may not be aware, Baptists were not teaching anybody that husbands should rule over them when my husband and I got married. I never heard the word submission until the 1980s. It was not a factor, and I really thought we were moving along with the 20th century. Women prayed outloud from the congregation and while we didn’t have women deacons, I never heard anything against it, and I was involved in what was going on in church. But then the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention began and suddenly women became second-class. What I am seeing now is shocking to me. I feel the church is in sin, more than ever, because now we know better.

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  3. TL says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs that men are often chosen for leadership responsibilities for frivolous reasons. Social status, popularity, charisma, and pastoral support are valued more than spiritual anointing, knowledge of Scriptures, and true godly compassion. When a woman has the right qualities she is still passed over for recognition and not allowed to use her gifts while the less qualified are promoted and applauded and given decision ability. It’s no wonder our churches are messed up.

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    • I have become so convinced that our churches are in sin, and since the majority of the church has not repented, that God is moving and making a way for women’s equality. I thank all of you for teaching me, and allowing my voice to be added to your voice in this quest for justice.

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  4. mabel says:

    I have to thank Shirley for giving me the term “restrictionists” to describe the fake complementarians. I have completely switched to the term restrictionists. I call on all to do the same.

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    • Michelle says:

      🙂
      ‘Fraid I’m stuck on “hierarchical complementarians”. Old habits die hard. I know it’s a mouthful, but I like the way this term takes the word they broke (look “complementary” up in the dictionary, and you’ll see nothing about hierarchy in it), and pulled out the modifier that’s implied in, and a *key* component of, their term (complementarian).

      There’s another blogger–and pastor, I think–out there who’s using the term “mutualist/mutuality” for his very soft hierarchical complementarianism. I tried to explain to him that there’s no hierarchy, no authority over, in mutuality. That’s actually the name of a publication by Christians for Biblical Equality, incidentally–“Mutuality”. But he doesn’t get that the word he’s using doesn’t describe the system he’s describing, and I’d take kindly to it if he’d stop inventing definitions for words that are contradictory to their actual meaning.

      It’s all sexism, and there’s a whole lot of linguistic tap dancing going on to avoid calling it what it is. I find it’s difficult to argue a point when the definitions of words keep being changed by the other side. Like the definition of “equal”…

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      • TL says:

        The changing of word meanings is frustrating to me also. Those who do it are not IMO seeking truth, but simply looking for ways to promote their restrictionist men’s club view of Christianity.

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      • Anne says:

        I’ve noticed that. When someone calls them out with a summary of what they mean (and that summary makes them sound bad), they go “No no no we don’t mean that!” Then they waffle for a bit before coming to a conclusion that is a softer version of the summary they’re trying to fight, sometimes exactly the same as the summary they’re trying to fight. Example on one of the pages on CBMW: they argue that they’re not saying that a woman has to obey her husband 100% fully all the time, then after a tangent they say that she SHOULD obey her husband 100% fully all the time. “She should give up her rights to him” are one of the phrases they use.

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  5. Mabel says:

    This word changing mainly started with Wayne Grudem of CBMW fame. Kevin Giles had complained that it is difficult to carry on an intelligent conversation with people who white wash their sexist position & impose new meanings to words. Complementarian means hierarchy, “role” means hierarchy, “submission” means hierarchy, “servanthood” means hierarchy, help me out with more. White outside, death inside.

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  6. Anne says:

    They’re favourite is to say that women are a creation made to serve and be subject to men. “That doesn’t mean she’s inferior” they cry. “You’re saying her value is dependent on what she does. She’s made to do less in the world, but that doesn’t mean what she does is of lesser value.”

    Maybe so. But to say that women are *made* to support and serve him instead of stand beside him is still a hurtful insult. It still says that we’re inferior in creation, despite OVERWHELMING evidence to the contrary AND the fact that the Bible never says so. The whole of the above theory is based on one word and one word only: ‘helper’. How very unscholarly.

    And then they hit a contradiction with that above theory when women are shown to have tremendous gifts, even of (gasp) leadership! Answer? “Suppress them so she can be a good wife and housekeeper. After all the home is her primary role, her God-given role, and should be her main focus in life. But we’re not saying she can’t have a job outside. And we’re not saying that she has to be 100% subject to her husband. But she should let him take charge and have the final say, as her leader and authority. But she doesn’t have to bow to everything he says – we’re not calling for male dominance here. But she does have to submit to him in everything with a quiet spirit.”

    Et cetera.

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    • I wonder how they spell ‘hypocrisy?’ They speak out of both sides of their mouth as you pointed out so well! Thanks for all these comments.

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      • Anne says:

        You’re welcome. I’m having a bit of a comment-fest here because this is a topic I’ve suddenly found myself interested in, and this blog is great for strengthening me in the truth. I’m also very verbal, get indignant over injustice and like to express myself, haha, I guess I wouldn’t fit in with their ‘ideal female’ very much.

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      • We are glad to have you join us. There are a lot of points that people believe that everyone does not believe or follow, as you find in the comments . But our central message is equality for women in the church and home. Keep reading! And keep reading the comments because I have found that the gospel has been preached over and over in the comments. Thank God for all of you as we work toward equality for all.

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  7. Anne says:

    Glad to be of support against such twisted doctrine. I’m not sure how much I can do in a practical way, because I live in the UK and the BFM 2000 and Danvers Statement et al does not exist over here. At least, not as far as I know. All the churches I’ve been to have never preached on ‘gender roles’ while I was at a service, and I know of a few in my area with women as senior pastors. But it’s not all cookies and sunshine – I’m pretty sure there are churches which abide by ‘ain’t no woman gonna preach’ though more likely, ‘ain’t no woman gonna be the head of this place.’ I also don’t want to make the claim that UK Christianity is completely free of the ‘authority/submission’ idea. I don’t know where it might exist and how strongly they emphasise it, and I suspect it’s a lot less manipulated and exaggerated than SBM do it, but I still can’t make the claim. After all, British history has been Christian and has also had oppression of women.

    The reason I’m attracted to a cause like this is for two reasons. 1) I’m furious that churches like SBM take the loving message of God and warp it, making Him sound like a pig and making people flee the church rather than flock to it. I love God too much to let people ruin His name. 2) Once we achieve the essence of pure love, equality and freedom in Christian marriage and gender ideas, then we can take this to fight the sexism that is still present in the world, AND attract people to Christ. Because the truth is that there are NO gender expectations in Jesus – Paul’s marriage commands are more guidance than law. If we Christians get this right then we can show that we’re the most free to just be ourselves.

    The best I can do is preach positive messages on my own blog, which I haven’t developed yet due to work and time pressures but it is not forgotten about, believe me. I don’t want to be an armchair warrior but I’m afraid there’s not much of a battle for me across the pond. I can and will however, speak against the remainder of sexism in UK church and culture.

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    • There is plenty you can do! I had an email from a Methodist minister in England and he told me that they watch what we do here in America and it is copied ove there and that the submission/authority belief was taking hold. This was a year ago. The Baptists in England were generally for women in leadership, but there was some blogs about that changing there, also. So what can you do across the pond. You can do the same thing there that we do here. You can blog, you can speak out, you can write letters to papers, you can attend conferences and meetings. Let me encourage you to join Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE). Go to their website http://www.cbeinternational.org and you can find lots of literature on the subject. You may find a CBE member close by. Keep commenting. We are glad to have you. By the way – have you read all my posts yet? I can see by the stats that you have read many of them. Thanks!

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  8. Terri Tippins says:

    So, really the patriarchal system depends on women being properly subservient. If women do not subject themselves then the men cannot have the peaceful patriarchal home, church and society that they desire. So, really it starts with the ladies fulfilling thier proper gender roles or thier house of cards comes tumbling down. See how important we women are to the patriarchal system!

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    • Well, Adam did blame Eve, didn’t he. Gotta find somebody to blame. They REALLY want to fulfill God’s ordination for them, but they can’t unless the women submit!

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      • Anne says:

        So: women are to submit at all times, even if their husbands are being abusive. After all, his bad behaviour doesn’t mean you should abandon your role. But if a wife isn’t being submissive, suddenly a husband’s ability to lead lovingly is hindered? Oh please. Double standards much? If a wife is to still submit to a man who hands out black eyes and knuckle sandwiches, the standard should be that a husband should still love his wife even if she is trying to do her own thing. Maybe he can’t ‘lead’ her per se, but Ephesians never says to lead, it says to love.

        Except it seems that a man can only love his wife if he is leading her at the same time. What does CBMW say he should do if she doesn’t submit, by the way? (I don’t expect the answer to be pleasant).

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      • Look at what John Piper says. Watch the youtube video. It is at the top of my blog.

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      • sunnysombrera says:

        You mean the one on enduring verbal abuse? I’ve seen that before, I’m not sure if it answers the question of what a husband should do if a wife doesn’t submit. Are you saying that he’s implying that it’s OK to mistreat your wife to make her submit? Forced subjugation are the words, I believe.

        This is starting to sound like a BDSM scenario nobody asked for.

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      • He doesn’t address what a man should do if the wife does not submit. I didn’t know if you had seen the clip before or not. However, you can read that into it – that it is ok to mistreat her, because he does not address the sin of the husband in hitting his wife in this clip. He only addresses the wife. He advises her to take it to the church. Just what does he think the church is going to do about the abuse? If you have read the Demand for An Apology from the CBMW, then you saw that one of the concerns that is listed is that the pastor will act in the favor of the husband because he has already decided that the wife must submit to the husband.

        His advise should be to call the cops. But Piper doesn’t say that. Betcha this is not the first time the man had hit his wife, and Piper knows that abusers hit more than once.

        I plead ignorance here. What is BDSM? Printable, of course.

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  9. Anne says:

    BDSM: Bondage Discipline Dominance Submission. You know, THAT fetish, the slave and master one. Forgive me for the crude comparison.

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  10. Michelle says:

    Not sure how “printable” this is, but the letter stand for:

    Bondage & Discipline (B&D)
    Sadism & Masochism (or Sadomasochism) (S&M)

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    • Anne says:

      Still had the wrong words. Ack, I’m too young for bad memory! 😛

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      • Michelle says:

        Wikipedia! It wasn’t meant as a correction–I think we were posting at the same time.
        And what you had works pretty well in terms of approximate meaning, anyway, from what very little I know….

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  11. Michelle says:

    It seems Piper takes verbal abuse less seriously than physical abuse. I see that when he talks about enduring verbal abuse “for a season” vs. getting assistance more quickly for physical abuse. That makes sense in a way, as I believe the general culture takes the same view.

    But verbal abuse is often emotional abuse, and it can (IMO, I am not a therapist, etc.) prepare the way for physical abuse. Tear her down and make her think she’s not worth anything, and she’ll be more likely to accepting of the physical abuse, because she will figure she is far from perfect and so deserves it. It’s insidious.

    She IS far from perfect: So am I, so are you, so is my husband. None of us deserves to be treated as less than human for it. Our lack of perfection is one of the defining factors of humanity, in a way. As is being created for more.

    Piper disarms women who are being verbally/emotionally abused. They have no proper response other than to submit to that abuse. What are they permitted to say that doesn’t threaten their husband’s masculinity (as Piper understands it)?

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    • Anne says:

      Something that sounds like grovelling, I expect. When he said that wives should say to their husbands, when refusing to participate in sin, “Oh I would love to follow you and it would be sweet to me if I could follow” etc, my reaction was something like: YICK! Worse, language like that, even though she’s refusing to sin, reinforces his belief that he is her leader and she has to ‘naturally’ follow at all times.

      Verbal abuse can be and is just as bad as physical. Jesus himself talked about the damage that can be done by the tongue. Words kill. They do it more slowly and painfully than a fatal beating. Piper is suggesting that the wife goes to the church only after her man has smacked her. What if he never does? What if the ‘season’ doesn’t have a clear end? What if he continues to demean and berate her until she hurts or kills HERSELF?

      This is why I made the comparison to BDSM, except it’s more like the 24/7 type. Also: sorry to Shirley if any of my responses weren’t very print worthy.

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      • Michelle says:

        I don’t know Shirley’s thoughts on it, yet I want to say that I think the comparison you make is apt.

        Often the church is not supportive of women in any sort of situation like this. The catch 22 here is that men were created to protect women, so since they were created to protect women, they would never hurt a woman. Um, then from whom is it that a lot of women could use assistance protecting themselves?

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      • Great insight! It pretty much taxes my ability to come up with the blog 3 times a week (I am not a big talker), so I try to keep my comments short. I love hearing from all of you and have learned so much. I read every word. Since we are all individuals and come to this place from various places and from many different experiences, we have differing views that we bring to the table. I find that makes a very interesting discussion. Thank you all.

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      • Anne says:

        Oh snap, girl. 😛

        For the record, I found out on another blog (see below for URL) that Piper’s initial beliefs about authority/submission did not come from the Bible but the culture he grew up in. Before he decided to contribute to CBMW he ALREADY believed that a person’s gender, along with gender differences, goes to the root of their character. He stated himself that with CBMW he had the aim of ‘defining those differences as God wills them to be according to the Bible.’

        In short, he did not get his idea of ‘roles’ from the Bible. He got them from the world. He then proceeded to try and describe those roles with scripture (or to put it more accurately, describe scripture with those roles).

        http://www.gentlewisdom.org/434/complementarianism-according-to-john-piper/

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  12. Michelle says:

    Thanks for posting that, Anne–I’m a reader of that blog, but I’d forgotten about that.

    Yes, growing up in Greenville, SC (I also live in the Southern US), I don’t doubt that he was steeped in traditional gender roles. I’m a bit younger than him, and my parents made different choices than his did, so fortunately I did not feel my options and abilities were limited by my gender, despite growing up here. But I *often* wonder what culture the evangelical churches here are claiming to be counter to, in their views that God limits the way people’s gifts may be used by sex. The surrounding culture has been seamless integrated, and when I realized that…I find it difficult to express my disappointment–I’d hoped for much better in the church–followed by utter disgust.

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  13. TL says:

    Piper wrote:
    “Her demeanor-the tone and style and disposition and discourse of her ranking position-can signal clearly her affirmation of the unique role that men should play in relationship to women owing to their sense of responsibility to protect and lead.”

    Clearly, Piper views women as a class that is beneath men with his words “ranking position”. As well the concept that men in general have a responsibility in general to lead women is a ranking of superiority of the men. And it is not outlined or suggested in Scripture.

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    • Anne says:

      I don’t think a manager would be very effective if she makes her male employees feel they have authority over her, especially if she’s trying to discipline them for something.

      “With all due respect, I want to say that I’ve noticed you coming in late for the past month and instead of finishing your part of the projects you’ve leaving them for other people, is that right? Anyway, and this is not to make you feel bad, I’m sorry if I do, but I personally think these things need to stop. I don’t mean to criticise your abilities as a man, let me say that. But would you mind considering the needs of me and the other employees and maybe change your behaviour? Thanks for listening.”

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  14. TL says:

    Anne, and this is why gender hierarchalists claim that women cannot be bosses. They believe, though they may not say it like this, that women are inherently in a class beneath men. Thus men cannot be led, directed, or taught effectively by a woman.

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    • Anne says:

      I had a feeling someone would make that response. Piper himself is against women having positions of authority in any form. Even female bus drivers, apparently – it’s ‘unbiblical’ for women to drive (read; ‘lead and direct’) men in a vehicle. Does that mean it’s unbiblical for me to drive if I’m taking my future husband somewhere he doesn’t know the location of? (Saudi Arabia, anyone?).

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      • TL says:

        The question becomes, how can one hold any idea of equality in their mind with this kind of thinking? Honestly, they cannot. But they can pretend to in order to placate others into accepting these class distinctions.

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