On the Balance Board

We are at a time in our battle for women that we are apt to lose all we have gained. There comes a time when just being against something  – such as complementarianism – or for something – such as egalitarianism is not enough.

We have heard the voices. We have spoken. We have made ourselves known.

But unless we take the next step, we will lose the battle.

“Atara wanted to quiet the singing; she wanted to speak up, loud, so that all the girls would hear; she wanted to share with them that in the library in Paris, she had read that the Nazis could have been defeated much earlier if forces had united, but religious leaders, fearing assimilation, chose to organize against the Bolsheviks who were fighting the Nazis, chose not to unite with less religious or secular Jews. (I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits; page 125-126).

Unless we unite with each other in this war, we will lose.  Baptists tend to believe that only other Baptists can be their voice, but Baptists are not the only ones who listen to only their religious denomination.  I certainly don’t agree with all denominations, but I have learned to listen to what they are saying about women’s equality. 

I want you to do something for me.

  • Please send me the names of the publishers of your Sunday school publishers.  The ones who publish the literature for your children and for the adults.  They may not be the same. Tell me what you find in their books and literature.
  • Then I want you to look at what these publishers are putting in their Sunday school books regarding girls and women.  Look for women in leadership positions.  Look how women are portrayed.  Who are the leaders the children see in their Sunday school literature?
  • Look at the adults Sunday school literature.  How are women treated?  Does your Sunday school literature teach that women are submissive? Do you find any strong women that you yourself can look up to?
  • Send this information to me. I want to know what is being taught to our children and to our women in church. I want to know what you are finding in your children’s Bible story books.

If we don’t speak up, we will lose the war. Unless we join together, and put aside our inability to work together for this cause, we will lose. We are on the balance board.  It can go either way, but it will not remain balanced.  It will take you and your voice and ACTIONS to bring one side down, and hold it down.

It is easy to write, and complain, and find a sympathetic ear. What is hard is to do something about it.  Will you join me in doing something about it?

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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16 Responses to On the Balance Board

  1. KR Wordgazer says:

    I will have to check on who our Sunday school materials provider is. I hardly ever get a chance to see those anymore, but I remember picking up one last year and being enfuriated. It was supposed to be a picture of Priscilla and Aquila teaching Apollos. But what the picture actually depicted was Aquila and Apollos sitting at a table, with Aquila gesturing as he teaches and Apollos listening– and Priscilla standing to one side, eyes demurely downcast, as she silently arranges a bowl of flowers!

    You’re right– someone needs to call out these publishers on stuff like this. It’s absolutely contradictory to the Biblical narrative.

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  2. tommy9999 says:

    Shirely:

    Maybe I am off topic but one of the biggest obstacles in Southern Baptist Churches is something called Doctrinal Uniformity. “Almost the opposite view was asserted in February 1988 by four SBC presidents who had been elected by the Takeover movement from 1979 to 1987. In a formal statement, they declared their commitment to “doctrinal unity in functional diversity.”[5] In a strong break from the past, they placed strict doctrinal uniformity ahead of cooperation in the mission.”

    Certainly for the SBC 1 Timothy 2:12–the first part of the verse is considered to be a must belief or you are in violation of Doctrinal Uniformity.

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    • That is a good point, Tommy. I was really thinking about cooperating with other demoninations in this fight against patriarchy. Such as working with Christians for Biblical Equality (www.cbeinternational.org) as a group to combine our strengths. Baptists have joined together with Presbyterians (conservative) and other denominations in the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, but then most Baptists are not aware that they have this connection with non-Baptists. Baptists generally think we do not. I wasn’t thinking about sharing literature, but I know many Baptist churches use other Children’s literature beside LifeWay. Or at least we used to when I was Sunday School Director. Baptists and others, I suppose, are very ignorant about the workings of the denomination. Most people who go to a Baptist church don’t even know they are in a Baptist church. But the pastor knows and sticks to what he wants to stick to. Thanks!

      > Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 18:33:15 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

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      • Temperance says:

        I agree about all denominations working together. SBC holds a large influence over what other denominations are taught. Much of the same materials are used.

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  3. Michelle says:

    Wow, this is a really great idea! Thank you. I will see whether I can pick up any of those materials next time we visit my in-laws’ church, or maybe I can find something they aren’t using anymore at one of their houses.

    I’ll also keep my ears open.

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    • We have got to do something. It appears that our leaders can’t do it. I was just asking God why he makes me believe that I can help bring this about when He apparently can’t! It’s too big for us! But my answer to that question was realizing that I don’t have to bring it about. All I have to do is what I can. It is the cummulative effort of all of us who will make a difference. Thank you.

      > Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 01:46:37 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

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  4. Temperance says:

    Would you be interested in materials in a non-denominational church? Our sun school format is usually the teacher giving a lecture based on whatever materials he is studying, and I don’t know what that would be. But I do have an idea what materials are used in small groups and classes offered throughout the week. Would you be interested in those?

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  5. Sonnet says:

    At the previous non-denominational church I attended (I left because of their prejudice against women), I helped out in the children’s ministry for about 3 years. I don’t remember any gender discrimination being taught at that level. But for the adults…

    The senior pastor REALLY liked Eggerich’s book, *Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs*. He liked this book soooo much that he repeatedly encouraged all married couples to attend a small group book study on it or to at least read it on their own. The men’s group read Eldredge’s book, *Wild at Heart*. My husband, who wasn’t even an egalitarian at that time, hated that book. He often voiced his dissent in the group about some of the material in that book. I don’t remember their book choice after that, but my husband decided not to bother attending any more. It looked like it would be more of the same kind of stuff. I think most of the woman’s Bible studies used material from Beth Moore.

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    • Temperance says:

      These are the same ones used at my church. I haven’t attended a class for a long time because I can no longer stomach any of it.

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    • Thanks for this info. Beth Moore is very popular with so many women who don’t seem to realize that she represents Baptist thinking about being submissive. In fact she says she can teach under the umbrella of her husband and/or pastor. I can’t seem to find that scripture, though.

      > Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 19:04:27 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

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      • tommy9999 says:

        I have often wondered as a man can I sit in on Beth Moore’s Classes. In my part of the world a Simulcast was held this past Saturday at the local Southern Baptist church. It was a ticketed event. I was tempted to call and see as a man could I attend.

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      • I have read that she worried about this, too. Then decided that she couldn’t turn men away. So she claims that she can teach men under the umbrella of her husband and her pastor. (Her pastor is Greg Matte, FBC Houston, who is a very big women-submission person). Where she gets that scripture about the umbrella, I have no idea. But many denominations use it. I first came across it when a husband of a Pentecostal woman bought a televisiion set. It was a sin, but since it was under the unbrella of her husband, she could watch it and it not be a sin. The woman I know kept the TV after the husband died. Also Dr. C.A. Criswell of FBC Dallas kept right on teaching her huge mixed Sunday school class after her husband died. I guess umbrellas extend far beyond the grave. So – why don’t you try it? Go and see what happens!

        > Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 11:17:12 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

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  6. Temperance says:

    Here is what I have read from our church library:
    “Happiness is a Choice” by Meier and Minirith-blames women for being abused by their husbands
    “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldman that says things like wives are not to question their husbands judgement and that they must keep themselves looking attractive.
    “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian- same kind of stuff as above
    “Lies Women Believe” by Nancy Leigh Demoss-only read the table of contents and that was enough to turn me away.

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    • Women are fed this stuff, and churches are guilty of putting out any garbage “for them to make up their own minds” as my pastor said. Well, guess what. You don’t do that on Sunday mornings, do you? You present and you tell them what to think. If a church has these kinds of books in their library, then the members will think the church endorses it. That is natural. And it is probably the truth. The church probaby does endorse it. Thank you so much.

      > Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 12:00:43 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

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      • Michelle says:

        Agreed. If it were actually for you to make up your own mind, both (or all) sides of an issue would be present/ed. Or you’d at least be encouraged to learn about other perspectives. Ugh.

        “I’ve read egalitarian materials and they lack nuance” was how the pastor of my former church blew off what I had to say. It was a few years ago, now, and I was not as bold as I have become (at times, at least 😉 ). Let’s not kid ourselves: This is not an intellectual exercise at most churches.

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