Discipleship versus Culture

I was advised by a young man who disagreed with me to listen to David Platt’s series on discipleship. 

David Platt is 29 years old and is the pastor of a megachurch, The Church at Brook Hills (a four-thousand member congregation in Birmingham, Alabama). He is described as being an humble, down to earth, funny, a devoted student of the Scriptures, and a gifted preacher by Kevin DeYoung, who goes on to say this about David Platt, “I’m glad David is one of the good guys because I expect the Lord will give him an increasingly large platform in the years ahead in his city, the Southern Baptist Convention, the broader evangelical world, and the global church that he loves so deeply.”

Humbleness in men obviously means something different than it does in a woman.  Humble women wouldn’t preach against the opposite gender like he does. He is full of his apostle John Piper’s dogma, and the CBMW stuff.  That might be what makes a great man in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Ok, now you know how I feel, I will tell how he was wrong.

His text was from the great Love chapter (by that, I mean loved by all who seek to use its words against women) 1 Timothy 2. His subject was discipleship.  Personally I find it a stretch to link women’s silence with discipleship, but I suspect he wanted to stress that aspect of it, and that is what he did. But first he had to get through those verses about women’s attire.

David Platt has a little bit of Muslim in his thinking when it comes to women’s attire. Here he got so confusing and so far off that the women in his congregation should have stood up and walked out.

He starts off by telling them that the scripture tells them not to braid their hair nor wear jewelry, but it doesn’t really apply to us today. That is the culture they were living in.  Notice how culture is convenient when we want it to be? He assured the women that they are not to worry –  there are no buckets for them to use to drop their bling in.  Oh, no.  The Bible says it, but it doesn’t mean it.  Just ignore that.  What Paul was really talking about was that the women were dressing inappropriately and wearing things that will call attention to them.

Then he proceeds to tell the women in the congregation that they, too, right now, are wearing inappropriate clothing.  He didn’t suggest they start peeling that off, either. 

He said that women should not wear anything that brought attention to themselves. That attention should constantly be on God, and when women appeared in certain clothing that the attention was drawn to them (meaning that men were looking at their bodies, and couldn’t keep their thoughts on God.) That is exactly what the Muslims think and that is why Muslim women have to wear scarves on their heads or full body garb. I kept waiting for the burqa order form at the end of the message. It is also what the Jews thought about a woman’s voice.

One of his favorite projects is the poor in foreign countries which he talks about in his book Radical.  He said that women in a country he named piled their hear on top of their heads (using dung and mud and stuff) because they had been doing it for thousands of years and that was their culture.  He said that it was ok for them to keep doing that today because they weren’t doing it because of a desire to be beautiful, which would call attention to themselves.

I have news for him. No woman puts dung in her hair if she doesn’t think it is beautiful, and just because a 29 year old white man doesn’t think a black woman is beautiful with dung in her hair, doesn’t mean that the men around her didn’t think it wasn’t beautiful.

According to Platt, a woman cannot do anything to make herself beautiful in church, either by her clothes or dress.  Oh, she can wear her gold.  What about beautiful women who go to church?  Don’t tell me that a beautiful woman doesn’t draw attention and cause men look at her. What is she to do, cover her body and face? Mar her face, put dung in her hair?

Excuses! Excuses!  Can’t men control themselves?  Can’t they take some responsibility for their thoughts and actions in church?  Where was the chastisement for the men who turn their thoughts away from God?

David Platt continues with the tired old subject of “women must be silent.” 

Good grief, Charlie Brown!

We will speak out and we will not be silent.  We will wear clothes that make us beautiful because God made us beautiful. If anybody can’t keep their thoughts on God, it is their fault, not ours. Will you join me in speaking out for women’s equality?

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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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55 Responses to Discipleship versus Culture

  1. Anne says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it’s incredibly difficult for a woman (or anyone) to even exist without someone gazing at them at some point in life. What should a woman do if her husband or boyfriend thinks she’s beautiful? Gain fifty pounds and never shave again?

    Now we’ve got some compy pastor telling women how they should look. Lovely.

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    • Anne says:

      P.S:: Wives making themselves ‘unattractive’ would probably clash with what their husbands want them to do. So if hubby’s wishes are first priority, yet “God” (Platt) wants her to NOT be pretty, that’s a neat little paradox there.

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    • Joseph Hamrick says:

      Ms. Taylor. When I see music minister’s wives wearing a dress that is so low her breasts almost literally pop out if she breathes in too much, then we’ve crossed the line. And you have no idea what “context” in the Bible means. In Ephesus, where Timothy was a preacher, there were temples to other gods and all of the other temples had their own temple prostitutes. Well when they were getting saved and coming to the church in Ephesus, they would be wearing the same “prostitute” attire they had always worn and were getting drunk and blabbering while Timothy was preaching. Paul caught wind of this and wrote to Timothy to tell them to quit wearing clothing like that and to put their trust in God, and not in external beauty. the Church building is a place to go and corporately worship the risen Savior, not a beauty contest, ma’am.

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      • Welcome! Thank you for joining us. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Read my post “Agreeing with the Apostle Paul” which I posted May 10, 2010. Women have a responsibility to dress appropriately. In fact, I heard the comment this week about a woman music director “she wears her pants too tight” and I know the lady and yes, she does. She ought to know better. No excuses.

        Please keep reading. Write again. I would love to hear from you again.

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      • Joseph Hamrick says:

        Please show me in Scripture, not culture, not some book you’ve read, but show me from the Word of God where you are correct. Show me where your viewpoint is backed up in the Bible.
        Show me the true meaning of this passage:
        Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”
        If it means anything other than what can be read word for word, then please show me. The Bible says that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. Is Christ the head of the church? Because if you believe that Christ is the head of the church, and Scripture cannot be broken, then you must inevitably believe that the man is the head of the wife in marriage. Because the Bible says so. If you do not believe that, then you do not believe in Biblical marriage. You cannot cherry pick the Bible.
        I do not see what I want to see. I do not follow culture norms which change from day to day. I follow the Bible. Many things in the Bible are hard to take. Jesus called us to forgive without limit. That is hard to follow. But I must. I am His.
        I follow Jesus.

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      • For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

        Just how literal do you want to be?

        If you believe in the literal translation of that scripture, then you should throw your bible away. Because this scripture takes away from One God, and makes over 3 billion god husbands living on the earth today. You can’t be the head of your wife like Christ is the head of the church and NOT be God.

        This scripture says that the husband is the savior of his wife. It also says that Christ is the savior of the wife because she is part of the church. How many saviors does a wife need? In your literal translation you have decided that this scripture makes the husband the head of the wife, and you are ignoring the saving grace of Jesus Christ to the church which is both men and women.

        Paul says that the only way he can think of describing this great mystery of how Christ loves the church both men and women, is to liken it to a marriage. Then he realizes that marriages aren’t perfect, so he sets about telling men to love their wives, and not to beat them.

        I am not picking out certain scriptures to hang you with, but you are picking out certain scriptures to demean me and all women with. Perhaps you don’t know what those scriptures actually mean.

        Look to the whole of God’s word. It tells of Gods redeeming love to both men and women. If God redeemed both men and women, then why aren’t women really redeemed? Why do you think women should be under the rule of a man when Jesus Christ Himself came to set all people free?

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      • krwordgazer says:

        Joseph,
        Do you believe women are saved by having babies? Do you believe that we should poke out our eye if it causes us to sin? If you don’t, then you believe that context, authorial intent and historical/cultural background can change the word-for-word meaning of a text.

        I would suggest that rather than coming here and telling us that if we don’t agree with you, we don’t follow the Bible or don’t believe in Biblical marriage, you do some actual study of why egalitarians believe what they believe. But unless you do this in a spirit of inquiry, not condemnation, with a heart open to being taught by the Holy Spirit.

        The proofs you are asking for cannot be given you in a paragraph or two in a comment to a blog post. You will need to read in-depth analyses of these passages. Are you willing to do this? If so, I can recommend a number of resources, some of which I’ve written myself. But if you’re not willing to look at it any other way than the way you’re viewing it now, there’s no point.

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      • krwordgazer says:

        Sorry– I meant to say, “But not unless you do this in a spirit of inquiry, not condemnation. . . “

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    • Joseph Hamrick says:

      One more thing, I see in the quotes people using Matthew 18:8 to justify not worrying if men lust after them when they wear revealing clothing. Are you forgetting what came just before that verse? Matthew 18:6 “but whoever causes one of these alittle ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Jesus just said it is better for you to die than to cause one of His little ones to sin. Are you ready to face the consequences for causing little boys to lust after you in church because you think you have the “freedom” to dress in any way you seem fit?
      1 Corinthians 8:13 “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
      Paul was ready to give up eating meat if it cause a little one around him to stumble. Are you ready to give up scantily clad clothing for the sake of your brothers in Christ?
      John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
      Do you love your brother enough to wear appropriate clothing?

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      • Joseph, let’s not get carried away here. It is not the little boys lusting after women that you need to be worried about. It is old men lusting after young girls that you need to be worried about. And let’s not forget – while women and girls have a responsbility to dress appropriately – men and boys have a responsibility not to give in to their lusts. They cannot blame women for their lack of control. In 2006 the Orthodox Jews wanted the women’s entrance to the wailing wall moved further down because the women distracted them from keeping their thoughts on God. To those Jews a woman’s voice is enticing. So women cannot speak in church, cannot get married in church (read my post about having to marry under a tent), and cannot sing in a mixed choir in the synagogue, and must not sit with the men. All because men can’t think about God if a woman is near. Do you fit that description? If you do, then you need to work on your self-control, and stop blaming the women. Shirley

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      • Joseph Hamrick says:

        Oh no, I do not fit that description. I am 24 and I am tired of seeing young women coming to church wearing short shorts and claiming that since God gave them their body, they’re gonna use it. I am tired of seeing Christian women wearing very low cut shirts and very high cut shorts to work, all while complaining that they are being objectified by men. If you don’t want to be objectified by men, then don’t dress where there’s almost nothing left to the imagination. Your body is meant to be cherished and enjoyed by your husband, not to satisfy 12 year old boys’ thoughts.
        I did not know about the orthodox Jews article. That would fall on the men for not having any self control and that falls strictly on them. You are correct in that.
        I do not blame women for being beautiful. But there is a respectable way of showing beauty, i.e. Audrey Hepburn, and then there’s the Megan Fox way…
        That is why I loved the David Platt Sermon on Song of Solomon. He said that yes, sex is good and beautiful and created by God for us to enjoy. But it is meant for the married couple. Anything outside of that makes it ugly and degrades the high value it should be placed at. In Song of Solomon, the virgin is described as a “garden locked up” only to be “opened” by her bridegroom. The imagery in that book is beautiful and it should be read to single men and women to see how good sex is and how important it is to keep it where God created it to be.
        Men no doubt have a huge responsibility to treat their sisters in Christ with great honor and dignity, but please make it easier for us by not wearing shorts so short, shirts so low and skirts so tight that you can’t even walk or bend over without having to worry about your front or back exposure.
        Thank you for responding to my post.

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      • Joseph, I am delighted to be discussing this with you. I value your comments. I am also including a story from the Jerusalem Post in July 2010 about Orthodoc Jewish law prohibiting men from hearing a woman sing on modesty grounds. It is at the bottom of this email. I never thought I would be discussing the goodness of sex with a 24 year old young man, but here goes. In your version of the Song of Solomon, the woman is not valued for who she is. The value is being placed on the sex. That is exactly how they felt at that time, and how David Platt would like for you to feel today. A bridegroom does not own the woman’s body. That is a Muslim belief. They believe that a girl’s body belongs to the father, then to the husband. Honor killings abound because of this belief that the woman’s body belongs to a man. I would not look to the Song of Solomon to find out about true love. According to 1 Kings 11:3, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines: ” Here is the article about women: Former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has called on religious IDF soldiers to choose imprisonment over hearing a woman singing during military events and ceremonies, an Israeli paper revealed on Tuesday.

        Former Sephardi chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. Photo: Courtesy SLIDESHOW: Israel & Region | World The dominant national-religious rabbi said that he was asked by soldiers what they should to do when their commanders order them to stay at an event in which a woman was singing. Orthodox Jewish law prohibits men from hearing a woman sing on modesty grounds. “I told them – what should you do? The Talmud tells you It is better you go to jail, disregard your commander and don’t hear the voice of a woman singing,” Eliyahu said in a recorded sermon broadcast Monday night and carried by the newspaper Ma’ariv. IDF’s Chief of Staff’s Office recently issued a prohibition on observant soldiers walking out of military assemblies to avoid hearing women singing. Chief education officer Brig. Gen. Eli Shermeister said that incidents of religious soldiers walking out of ceremonies to avoid the religious transgression were a “worrisome phenomenon,” as they were liable to weaken group cohesion.

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      • Joseph Hamrick says:

        Oh no, I value the woman for who she is. If a marriage is grounded in sex, no matter how good it is lol, it will not last for more than a few years at best. Paul writes that the woman’s body is not her own when she is married, and neither is the man’s. They are both to give each other their conjugal rights. The woman in Song of Solomon is described as being beautiful or elegant. The bridegroom is in love with her as a person. That’s the beauty of marriage. Two shall become one. There is no “individualism” in marriage. That is why people say Mr. and Mrs. (Lastname) because they are one flesh. In the Old Testament when sex is mentioned it is used as he knew her. It is the most intimate form of communication. It is meant for the married man and wife. They both own each other. I look to the Song of Solomon for true love because I believe 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”

        When you discredit Solomon on the grounds that he had many wives and concubines, you are committing an argumentative fallacy. You are attacking the man, not the argument. The argument in Song of Solomon is that sex and the woman are to be treated with such dignity and respect by the men, that how they treat them is honoring to God. And that women are not to “stir up love before its time.” Solomon may have had many flaws, but Song of Solomon is Scripture. God said David was a man after His own heart, and yet David slept with another man’s wife and had her husband killed.

        The point is that God uses utterly sinful people to show His glory. It is all through Scripture. Solomon may have written it but it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Song of Solomon is profitable for us today because sex is so prevalent in society and is treated with such frivolity that we need to have a standard for how to treat women and sex to live by.
        I agree with you on the Orthodox Jews, and the “honor killings” in Islam. Both of those are extreme and wrong. I just want women to place their hope in God, and not in men or outward beauty. The most beautiful woman in the world is described in Proverbs 31. Her husband rejoices and praises her. She owns her own business. She does all of these wonderful things for her family, and yet it never mentions her outward beauty.
        Proverbs 31:30-31 “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
        A beautiful woman is one that is concerned with pleasing the Lord, and does not make men or her outward beauty an idol. Just as a man should not make a woman or his outward strength an idol. They are both to put their hope in God. If you put a human or anything else in the place of God, it will only end in bitterness and despair. God will share His glory with no one, because He is the only one who is worth giving glory to. That is why Paul wrote “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Give glory to God by treating your husband or wife how God designed it to be. That is worship, and it is pleasing in the sight of God.
        Thank you again.

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      • Joseph, let’s not kid ourselves. David Platt and others like him that teach complementarianism believe that the husband owns his wife – she is to complement him, she is to help him, she is to be under his authority. There is nothing beautiful in that. Equality is the true beauty of a marriage.

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      • Joseph Hamrick says:

        I am sorry, Ms. Taylor, but True Beauty in marriage is that it is a symbolism for Christ and the church. The man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. He is to love her and her alone, unconditionally pouring out his love for her. Jesus was a servant leader here on earth, and that is how a man is to treat his wife.

        My Pastor’s wife will whole heartedly disagree with you on this issue. So will my Elder’s wives. One of them is a doctor, and has been since she graduated college. She feels equal to her husband, but she of course does not feel identical to him. She is a wonderfully smart woman who is completely happy with who she is.

        The beginning of the following text Paul calls the man and wife to be subject to one another.

        Ephesians 5:21-32 “21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.”

        I think you and I have a different view of the meaning of the word “equal.” it seems that you think it means identical. It doesn’t. It means of the same value. A man and a woman are equal in the sight of God. Are they identical? No. Any two year old can tell you that men and women are different than each other. They are not identical. They are equal. Each have their own roles to play. Jesus is equal to God the Father, but is He identical to Him? No. We believe in the Trinity. One God, three persons. Each has a role to play. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all EQUALLY God, but they are not identical.

        Men and women are equal to each other, but not identical. Each has a role to play in following the great commission.

        1 Corinthians 12:12-31 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

        For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

        The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

        Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

        And I will show you a still more excellent way.”

        Do not be jealous of men, because this the role that God has ordained for men to play. Be comfortable and embrace the role God has given you as equally valuable, equally important to the other. We serve in different roles, but that doesn’t mean we are not equal. We are one in Christ.

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      • Joseph, I want you to read “The Lost Apostle: searching for the truth about Junia” by Rena Pederson, 2006. Wiley Publishers. You wil see why I look at you as being in the dark ages when it comes to theology about women. Men have an awful lot to apologize for in regards to their treatment of women, and you are perpetuating that mis-treatment and abusing scripture to do so. The New Testament is about A New Creation. A New Tradition which includes men and women in God’s church.

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      • krwordgazer says:

        A few things: What Jesus said in the original Greek text was that if a man looks on a woman in order to lust after her, it was adultery in his heart. The text there does not refer to feelings of attraction or admiration, but deliberate, wilful lust. Jesus also placed responsibilty for this squarely on the shoulders of the one doing the lusting. Paul tells women to dress modestly, yes, but he doesn’t claim they are responsible for someone else’s sin of lust.

        The Song of Solomon is actually an elevation of women in married love. The Song is called Solomon’s, and Solomon is mentioned a few times in the text, but it is only literary convention that equates him with the Lover. I don’t think the Lover is Solomon, and I don’t think there’s any intention to glorify polygamy in the text. It’s very clearly about the love of one man and one woman, whom he calls “My sister, my bride” — a Middle Eastern idiom for equality of status.

        Finally, to say that Shirley thinks equal means identical, is a complete misunderstanding of what she’s saying. Egalitarians don’t believe women are identical to men. And I agree with you about the mutual submission– but if you want to then go on and say, “But men are the leaders and women the followers in the church and home,” that’s where we must disagree.

        “Equal” cannot mean, “one is designed for permanent authority over the other, and the other is designed to permanently be under authority,” which is what complementarians claim it means. “Role” also does not mean “permanent position of being under someone else’s authority,” which is the way complementarians have redefined it. “Role” means a particular part you play at certain times of your life and not others. What complementarians are actually talking about is called “castes.”

        Jesus placed Himself under the Father’s authority while He walked on earth as a man. Before that, according to Philippians 2, he was equal in status with the Father, and there was no indication that the Father was in authority over the Son in eternity past. And now the Father has highly exalted the Son and given the Son the name above every name, and placed all authority in Jesus’ hands. There is no permanent subordination of the Son. Nor should the inter-relationships of the Trinity be held up to women as a justification for their permanent subordination in the first place.

        “Equal” means equal– not identical, but having the same status as brothers and sisters, with Jesus as the Firstborn leader of the other equal siblings, and one Father of all. “Equal but” is not equal. “Equal but” is a sugar-coating for “I get to be the boss of you.” And we’re calling it out for what it is.

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      • Joseph, if women are glorified by all the beauty of being second to her husband, why aren’t you jealous of me as a woman? You know why, my friend, because you know that all that so-called ‘beauty’ is a bunch of crap.

        You’ve dressed up servititude, loss of personhood, inferior to be called by God for greater service, and sprinkled perfumed Bible verses on it and then tell me that I am jealous because you are a man, God-favored, with headship over his wife, called by God.

        Let’s call it what it is. It demeans God’s creation – both men and women.

        Why would I be jealous of you as a man? Don’t you see what the David Platt’s have led you to do? They have led you to believe that you are better, and favored by God simply because you were born male – not because of your service, your gifts, or by any grace. Biological.

        Certainly it makes me angry. It makes me angry that you have bought into this stuff. It makes me angry that you will teach others to believe that all males are better than all females. It makes me angry that you have seen fit to demean God by making him a respector of males over females. It makes me angry because you will seek to subdue your wife – you have to in order to be a leader in your family. It makes me angry because you don’t know better.

        It does not make me jealous that I am not a man.

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      • Joseph Hamrick says:

        I do believe an accurate reading of the Bible does not support equal say for men and women within the confines of marriage, nor in the realm of the church. And because Paul grounds this inequality in the mystery of Christ and the Church as well as in the creation and the fall, and because Peter looks for a supporting example in the relationship between Abraham and Sarah, it is clear that this arrangement between men and women as spelled out in the New Testament is not merely cultural within the narrow confines of first-century Mediterranean life.

        Assuming Paul and Peter are correct in their rationale, then, the moral issue is not whether to allow women equal say in marriage or the church, but rather to remind men that they must exercise their authority with gentleness, meekness, and service. Abuses will not be tolerated and should be condemned and men who lord it over others disciplined. Lording it over others is not in the example or the teaching of Christ or the apostles. This is old-fashioned, yes, but it seems correct by sound hermeneutics.

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      • Sonnet says:

        “… the moral issue is not whether to [abolish slavery] , but rather to remind [masters] that they must exercise their authority with gentleness, meekness, and service.”
        Joseph, do you see the connection?

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      • Joseph sees what he wants to see. Just as the slave owners in our great South did. He also listens to those he wants to listen to, such as David Platte, who is a mega church pastor and preaches on wifely submission and man’s authority over women.

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      • Sonnet says:

        Joseph,
        “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” 1 Corinthians 7:4. –No mention here about husbands having special authority over their wives.

        “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman [Eve] is man [Adam], and the head of Christ [his human physical body] is God” 1 Cor. 11:3 and a few verses later… “For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God” [referring again to source, origin in this context] 1 Cor. 11:12.

        If “head” in these verses is interpreted to mean authority, then you end up with God the Father having more authority than God the Son. If one has more authority than the other, then how can they be equal in their being?

        In Ephesians 5, the context appears to be about a head and body working together as one… becoming one flesh, with mutual support/submission/cooperation.

        To choose to interpret “head” as God giving men/husbands the divine right to have authority over women/their wives creates all kinds of contradictions in the Bible:

        “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” John 13:14.
        “…serve one another humbly in love” Gal. 5:13
        “Honor one another above yourselves” Romans 12:10b.
        “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not think you are superior” Romans 12:16.
        “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” Eph. 5:21.
        “Do to others as you would have them do to you” Luke 6:31.
        “Love your neighbor as yourself” – 2nd greatest commandment
        “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.” 1 Peter 5:5
        “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another” 1 John 3:16.

        Patriarchy and slavery are inherently opposed to all of the “one another” verses.

        Like

      • Sonnet says:

        Many biblical scholars believe that the word “head” in 1 Cor. 11:3 is correctly interpreted to mean source, origin or beginning like the head waters of a river.

        Like

  2. Mabel says:

    Matthew 5:29: If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
    Jesus did not tell the women to not look pretty, he told the men to gouge out their eyes!
    Need I say more?

    Like

    • Michelle says:

      🙂
      I would add that verse 28 squarely puts the responsibility for lust on the person who is lusting, with NO guilt placed on the target of the lust: 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NIV, via biblegateway.com).

      But yes–I’ve been wondering what happened to THESE verses in the hearts and minds of these folks who push their standards of “modesty” on women!

      Like

      • HippieGramma says:

        What happens is men still view women as property, as part of themselves — so if THEIR woman is causing them to sin, they will spiritually and emotionally gouge her out and throw her away.

        Sad.

        Like

      • Welcome! We are so glad to have you join us. We are going to have to change the world view of women. It is time for woment to start speaking out. Thanks for your comment.

        Like

  3. Terri Tippins says:

    Isn’t it Driscoll who blames women for being to ‘unattractive’ if a husband strays? What to believe……what to believe………

    Like

  4. Kristen says:

    Here’s the actual rule: No matter what a man does that he shouldn’t, it’s a woman’s fault.

    Like

    • Michelle says:

      Yes. Wow. Funny how he (whomever “he” is, individually) is the leader, yet the woman is actually the more responsible party.

      Like

      • Terri Tippins says:

        The reality is that these guys are allowed to flip-flop on this issue. A wife has to be super model beautiful to keep him interested (Driscoll) or she has to play down her looks to keep roving eyes from checking her out. I bet Driscoll would probably feel real sorry for the husband who has to walk around with a ‘plain jane’ . But, I am sure that there is a cure for the public sacrifice that the husband has to make. He can allow and even encourage free sexual inhibitions of the wife in the bedroom (as comps believe this is the only place where women can be free to express themselves totally 😉 I think the saying goes something like this, “A Kitten in the living room, a Magician in the kitchen and a Tiger in the bedroom.”

        Like

      • That makes us sex objects, doesn’t it? I told my pastor once that the church makes women sex objects. He didn’t say if he agreed with me or not.

        Like

      • TL says:

        Even more than sex objects, these beliefs of comps make women to be sexual beings for the pleasure of male enjoyment. Different class of being slightly less than human. Only males being in the direct image of God, with females being indirectly (through the male) in God’s image, and supposedly created ‘for’ the male, the woman is a different and lessor type of human. That is what comps believe.

        Like

      • TL says:

        let me grace just a tad. Not all comps think that even though they spout the dogma. Its rather like supporting a campaign they have not researched the belief system of, but just told that is the one they should support. There are lots of hierarchalist comps who talk the talk of hieralchalist complementarians, but walk the walk of non-hierarchalist complementarians (egalitarians!).

        Like

      • I thik they would all object to being told that is what they believe, even though when you analyze it, you hit the nail on the head.

        Like

  5. TL says:

    LOL, Kristen. That about sums it all up for the male dominant viewpoints. 🙂

    Like

  6. Marg says:

    Reading this post and the comments (which I enjoyed) has inspired me to write a post about what (I think) Paul really meant by “modesty” in 1 Timothy 2:9.

    http://newlife.id.au/christian-living/pauls-instructions-for-modest-dress/

    Like

  7. Terri Tippins says:

    Being raised in the Holiness/Pentecostal Tradition, the proper dress for women seemed to be a top priority. No makeup, No shorts, No Jewlery, No Pants, Long Hair. That seemed to be how the spiritual temperature of a church was taken, by looking at the women. If the women looked right, then the men must be doing thier jobs (keeping them in line). I was fortunate enough to hear a woman evangelist preach from time to time, and also was exposed to women teaching mixed classes. So, in that respect I guess I never really considered the fact that women could not preach, I had seen them do it. It just seems to me that ALL religions lay this sort of stuff on thier women. That second class, less than human title. Women are the ones who need to be controlled for the benefit of themselves and the world.

    Like

    • Women are the standard bearers for their denomination. My neice is Pentecostal. Long hair, no pants, no makeup. Her husband is a Pentecostal pastor. I see her at the family reunion each year. So on facebook there was her comment about long hair. She said it was biblical. I butted in and said it wasn’t. One thing led to another and she gave me some scriptures to explain. I ignored them and wrote a general comment. Her next comment was “why oh why won’t you answer the scriptures I gave you?” I said, “Do you really want me to?” The first one was that a woman must be silent in church. Now you know that Pentecostal women are not silent. I told that this meant that she couldn’t speak in tongues, or sing, or pray out loud at the altar. Oh, an another thing. I told her that her daughter who got married Friday, should get married under a tent because to be silent in church means that girls have to marry under a tent, like our Jewish sisters. I didn’t hear from her again. I am not sure she has gotten up off the floor yet. Hope she made it to the church on time. (LOL) She is as radical as I am, only on different sides.

      Like

      • Terri Tippins says:

        I know that as a pentecostal believer, women are definately NOT quiet! 🙂 My Mother and my Aunt would prophesy in services. I was accustomed to women giving out messages, interpreting messages, teaching, preaching, singing. So, I was really bum fuddled when they would not let women sit in on church meetings (scratching my head). It sounds like there might be more lively converstations between you and your neice in the future! 🙂

        Like

  8. Kristen says:

    With regards to the self-contradictions in female-restrictionist readings of Scripture, here is my newest blog post:

    http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-galatians-328-cannot-mean.html

    BTW, Shirley, you mentioned that you’d put it up on your blog list at some point. There’s lots of pro-equality posts up there now. 🙂

    Like

  9. Mabel says:

    TL says: “There are lots of hierarchalist comps who talk the talk of hieralchalist complementarians, but walk the walk of non-hierarchalist complementarians (egalitarians!).” This may be true in their families, but it’s not true in their churches. All hierarchalist comp churches restrict women in one way or the other. THe best of them do not restrict women in any ministries, just bar them from getting the same titles as men, e.g. a woman is a minister but she is not “ordained”, while a man performing the same functions will be “ordained” as “pastors”. ALL hierarchalists play the title giving game. THey are oblivious to the fact that their non-ordained, non-titled women are doing exactly the same thing as their “ordained” and “titles” men. My pastor’s wife is doing what any elder would do, plus more, but of course people may be horrified if I were to suggest she should be elected as “Elder”. It is not necessarily hypocrisy, but it is definitely inconsistency and favoritism.

    Like

    • TL says:

      Very good point Mabel. All comps will stop short at the door of ordination and recognition in ministry. A man may preach, but the women must only be sharing. It’s a fine line to walk. And, it prohibits the women from fully using their gifts.

      Like

  10. Pingback: » Discipleship versus Culture | bWe Baptist Women for Equality's Blog Church Leadership

  11. Brandon says:

    Did you even read what Joseph posted? He’s showing on what basis Paul and Peter make claims for the place of men and women in the home and church. He has pointed accurately to those authors’ justifications.

    I’d like to ask the Baptist Women for Equality their view of the Bible’s authority. Joseph, it seems to me, is spot-on in his reading of what the text *says*. 1 Timothy 2 does say that the place of the man depends on the order of creation and then the fall. That is undeniable. The question is what one is to *do* with that justification. Is that justification itself a product of the culture, a taking up of Old Testament text into a first-century cultural paradigm merely? Or, is it correctly a supra-cultural, indeed God-ordained foundation for the way men and women exercise roles in the church? If it’s the latter, then I must ask by what standard a *professing Christian* sets this justification aside? Same for Ephesians 5.

    (Conjunctions such as “for” — as in “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ as head of the Church” and “For Adam was formed first, and then Eve” — are important. If you don’t know what those words mean, you need to learn how to follow an argument.)

    Now, if you’ve kept your head about you, I’ll now reveal that I speak as a non-believer. I know what the Bible says: it’s quite clear. And I reject its authority. It seems professing Christians who deny this authority because they believe it mandates enslavement for a woman in marriage are the ones with the real problem. When has the Bible ever admitted the convenience of the wife and her self-actualization as reasons not to accept her husband’s authority?

    As a non-believer, I find it incredible that people can profess to be Christians but have such huge problems with what the Bible plainly says. What’s the difference, then, really, between you and me? What do you have that I don’t? More to the point, what do you have that I need?

    Now I would move to ask if you of the Baptist Women for Equality believe hierarchy to be intrinsically evil (or, I am tempted to ask, just the ones that put you at the bottom with clear divine warrant)?

    And Joseph was correct earlier to call you out on your fallacy. You have committed another in implying that a megachurch pastor, apparently by virtue of his being a megachurch pastor, is incorrect in his reading of the Bible. Your loaded language does nothing to make your case.

    Please provide me with one compelling reason why the authority of this biblical writer can be set aside and you can be committed to biblical authority.

    Like

    • Welcome! I thank you for joining in this. I’ve kept my senses, even though you have tried to befuddle me.

      Most people are non-believers, so you are not unique in that. There are others like you who think they know what the Bible plainly says. But if you have read any of the comments of this blog, you know that the Bible is nowhere near plain in what it says. There are books and books, and blogs, and countless sermons on what the Bible says, and few agree.

      Sorry to disappoint you, but it is the Bible’s authority that I accept, but not everybody’s interpretation of what the Bible says. I reject Joseph’s interpretation. It does not make sense to me that God made every man superior to every woman. If you want to see that in the Bible, go right ahead. But to accept Joseph’s (and complementarians) views, you must accept the fact that God made little gods out of these husbands – in other words, he farmed out the women to the men. I personally don’t believe in that kind of God. If I thought were true, then I would gladly join you in being a non-believer.

      Like

    • krwordgazer says:

      Brandon, the word “for” in “For the husband is head of the wife” and the word “for” in “For Adam was formed first” are actually two different words in the original Greek text. A reader in the ancient Greek would pick up a slightly different connotation or nuance from the two different words. Since you didn’t know this, isn’t it possible that there are other factors related to language, history or culture that you’re missing out on? Are you absolutely certain that the ancient authors, separated from us by thousands of years and half the globe, really meant exactly what you think they said? And that the translators in every case have found the exact correct meaning, without any misunderstanding or bias– and have managed to convey that perfectly to you?

      I have noticed that non-Christians often read the Bible very literalistically, and as if it were written in English for American audiences in modern times. I agree that reading it this way makes it easier to reject it. But there just might be some things you’re missing. And given that, I find your insistence that what it “plainly” says to you has to be the only possible correct meaning of the text, to be rather uncompelling.

      In any event, not all Christians treat the Bible as if it were the center of their faith. I believe Jesus is the center of my faith, and that the Bible is there to point us to Jesus, not the other way around. As such, the whole must interpret the parts. The fundamental nature of the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached is about people laying down their status and their earthly privileges and entering as little children (lowly and without status). If a text about how Christians are to live, appears to contradict that principle– if it appears to turn the Kingdom of God into a thing of status, hierarchy and privilege enjoyed by some over others– then this cannot be a correct understanding of the text. Paul makes it clear in many places that the kingdom is not about power and status– that in the New Creation we “no longer view one another according to the flesh” — and even if you don’t believe he was inspired, he was at least an educated man who knew how to put together a coherent philosophy. But your way of reading has him contradicting himself practically from one sentence to another. Read him that way if you like; but I choose to look a little deeper.

      We do not say the megachurch pastor is incorrect merely because he’s a megachurch pastor. We say the megachurch pastor is incorrect because he elevates two or three scriptures above the whole message of the Kingdom, and then twists that message to fit those two or three scriptures, rather than interpreting those scriptures in light of the whole message.

      Like

      • Joseph Hamrick says:

        So you can elevate one passage of Scripture over another, but he can’t?
        “f a text about how Christians are to live, appears to contradict that principle– if it appears to turn the Kingdom of God into a thing of status, hierarchy and privilege enjoyed by some over others– then this cannot be a correct understanding of the text.”
        You just said that if a text does not fit your view and understanding of it, then it MUST be an incorrect view and therefore can be tossed aside.
        Are businesses wrong because they have hierarchy? Should pastors no longer lead because to have any authority or hierarchy is wrong?
        The word Head in Greek means to have prominence over.
        Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
        Paul uses “even as”, which is a comparative phrase, like many of the other phrases he used when comparing Christ as the head of the church and man as the head of the wife. “As unto” “even as” “therefore” “so”. These are all used to compare how a wife is to treat her husband.
        The argument that the Bible was written thousands of years ago, and that the translators may have altered the meaning is a tired one that was defeated many years ago. The Dead Sea Scrolls and many other documents prove that the original text is still the same as it was all those years ago.
        The “for” in “for Adam was formed first” means “for” or “therefore” it is used in conjunction with what was previously said. In this case it was 1 Timothy 2:12, which actually goes in favor of his argument and wholly against yours.
        The “for” in “for the husband is head of the wife” means “because” or “since”. It is something that is understood. That form is a conjunction joining Ephesians 5:22 where Paul called the wife to submit to the husband. Paul is giving his reason for calling the wife to submit.

        Like

      • krwordgazer says:

        Joseph said: “You just said that if a text does not fit your view and understanding of it, then it MUST be an incorrect view and therefore can be tossed aside.”

        I said nothing of the sort. But the number of verses that describe the Kingdom of God, (the New Creation, the spiritual brotherhood of the believers) as a place of lowliness and esteeming others better than ourselves, a place of level ground where no one has higher status than anyone else– is vast. The number of verses that talk about male-female relations are miniscule by comparison, and being so few, are much easier to misinterpret. And I don’t just “toss them aside.” When a verse appears contradictory, I examine it more closely, taking into account the language and historical use of the original words, the historical context, the literary context, and the various cultural assumptions that they took as read back then, but we are largely unaware of. When these things are considered, the author’s intended meaning can look very different from what a face-value reading appears to mean. Paul did not intend to make the male authority of his culture into a divine, eternal mandate for male hierarchy– any more than he intended to make the slavery of his culture into a divine, eternal mandate for the institution of slavery. This business of “grounding” texts as divine, eternal mandates by referring to Old Testament stories is not borne out by other texts. Paul used Old Testament references frequently without any intention of “grounding” them in this way. See 2 Cor 11:3 and 1 Cor 10:6-11.

        The word “for” in the 1 Tim 2 text is a word of affirmation, according to the lexicons, often meaning “by way of support or example.” Paul could certainly be using the Adam and Eve reference in that verse as support or illustration for the point he’s trying to make, addressing (as the context seems to indicate) a problem in one particular church, without any intention of “grounding” his point as a universal prohibition for all time and in every church. In fact, if that was his intention, why didn’t he write it to the Roman women whom he praised for their leadership in Romans 16? Why didn’t he rebuke them for teaching and exercising authority over men? — for, if read without bias, the Romans 16 text certainly supports the idea that they were doing this kind of leading and teaching.

        Yes, the word “for” in the Ephesians text means “for the reason that” — but there is an issue there of what Paul is actually saying about the word “head.” Based on the usage immediately prior to the Ephesians 5 use– the use in Ephesians 4:15-16– “head” when used in terms of its relationship to a “body” means “source of nourishment and provision.” The rest of the context of the words to husbands in Eph 5 bears this out, “For no one ever hated his own body, but nourishes and protects it.” And so on.

        Finally, I’m not saying translators have altered the original text. I’m saying there’s such a thing as translator bias. For instance, the word translated “helper” or “servant” when it refers to Phoebe is translated as “minister” when it refers to Paul or another male. Why? Paul used the same word for both.

        Given all the things that you’re reading into my words, it seems likely that you could be reading things into the Bible texts as well, that may not have been what the authors originally intended to say. No, I’m not exempt from this either– but I do try to be aware of it and to be more careful with the texts because of this human trait. We ALL need to do this and to be open to the possibility that someone we disagree with may have a valid point or two. Are you willing?

        Like

  12. Michelle says:

    The word “head” in US English commonly means to have prominence over: nowadays, that is, since that has not necessarily always been the case, since the meanings of words change over time. But it also has other meanings, including “source” and the body part located at the top of the spine, in other contexts.

    The word “kephale” (in Greek) has a few different meanings, also. Meaning cannot be determined without analysis in context. This means the immediate context, and since translation of ancient texts is involved in this case, also the context of other documents from the time period.

    Of course businesses have hierarchy. Neither the church nor marriages are supposed to be a business.

    Pastors teach, and that is fine. Some of them actually pastor–that is, care for the flock, and that is fine. However, my only authority in spiritual terms is Jesus. The pastor’s authority over me is tied to the earthly organization known as a “denomination”. So it’s organizational in nature.

    I do not subscribe to the idea that originated in, I believe it was Greek philosophy, that the body and soul are separate. I do not believe that is a Christian concept.
    1 Corinthians 7:4
    The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

    The meaning of the word here translated “authority” is not, unlike “kephale” in dispute. The authority the husband is given over the wife is the same authority the wife is given over the husband.

    Like

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