Moving into the 21st century

We birth them, and now we are trying to kill them, if Mary Kassian is right.  You can read her speech at the 2012 True Woman conference here.

“We all know this, do we not? The men in our culture are falling. And the men in our relationships are falling. As we saw in the video, when we as women don’t have our acts together, we have the capacity to be influencers, to either breathe life into our men or to kill them. And woe to us for quenching the life out of our men.” Mary Kassian at True Woman 2012 Conference.
 

Mary Kassian has three sons.  I have sons, too. But, unlike Mary, it is not just my sons or your sons that I am concerned about. I am concerned about your daughters, your wife, and your mother.

Men are big enough and able enough to stand up for themselves. She would have you think that the Feminine Mystique written in 1963 caused women to emasculate men.  Not so. Men are stronger than that.  I am not sure where they get all this stuff about men being weak.  The men I know are not weak. A strong woman does not make a man weak.

She also seems to think that women are unhappy.  Some are. She apparently is.

So am I, but for exactly a different reason than she is.

I am unhappy because it is the 21st century and women like Ms. Kassian are still trying to keep women in the first century.

 Will you join me in bringing women into the 21st century in the church and in the home?

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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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28 Responses to Moving into the 21st century

  1. Michelle says:

    I’d like to suggest, since the “soft” patriarchal segment of the church in the US referred to as “complementarian” ignorantly insists that it that its stance that God meant for girls and women to be treated in a paternalistic manner is COUNTERculture, the alternate title of “Moving into Christ”.

    Girls and women around the world are being killed literally, Ms. Kassian. Buried alive. Married off as a child so as to no longer be a burden to their family, and to bring whatever bride price they can. We are killing our girls and women, very literally in some countries, and the religious perspective that females are worth less than males is contributing to this. Yes, contributing to sex-selective abortions regardless on how hard you fight abortion, and contributing to the sex trafficking of girls in the US and around the world.

    The organization “She is Safe” saves females in situations like these around the world, and helps them to heal, helps them to gain self-worth and helps their culture value females. The work it does is invaluable, and I am supporting it. I just wish the founder could understand that the place she walks into on Sunday contributes in some small way, by upholding the status quo prevalent on the Earth that females are of less value, to the horror that she dedicates the rest of her life to fighting.

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  2. Temperance says:

    Funny how they twist things around. It’s the women who are having the life sucked out of them. It’s certain men who kill emotionally/spiritually and then teach women to do it to themselves and other women. Manipulative people operate that way. They make it appear as if the other side is the one doing the very things they’re doing.

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    • It’s time we led the way and our voice becomes the voice of reason.

      > Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2012 14:35:01 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

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    • Michelle says:

      Agreed. It’s a part of their topsy-turvy world, where women are treated as though they’re less than human, but so long as we say they’re equal, then they are, and why don’t you believe us? And “complementarian” means essentially the same thing as “complementary”. And action “x” is leadership if a husband does it, but if a wife makes the same choice, then she’s “following” the husband’s leadership (this was about a story in which the husband and wife took turns moving with the other spouse in order to follow the spouse to an available educational or professional opportunity) .

      Telling men and women about the Gospel is a-okay for a woman to do if she’s talking to non-christians. But it’s wrong or even evil for a woman to tell women AND men about the gospel if they’re already christians, since christian men are some kind of higher or protected class than men who aren’t yet christians. (Calling men a “protected class” would get under the skin of a lot of male complementarians, don’t you think? But it’s accurate, I think.)

      There is no sound logic. It’s wholly bizarre and….my parents taught me the importance of thinking for one’s self. Inherent in that is an appreciation of *thinking*. Oy, the headaches I could get if I thought about this for too long…

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  3. Adele Hebert says:

    I think she is even more outdated than that, because women in the first century were very elevated. They were leaders of house churches, and every other role. Women were certainly not silent or submissive. And they didn’t hurt men. Paul uplifted them and strongly urged others to respect them and support them. Its hard to believe that women can be against women.

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  4. Michelle says:

    Because I can’t shut up in this thread, and because I glanced at the words in bold in Kassian’s speech. I would have read it, but really, I don’t need the high blood pressure, honestly.

    Okay, she says Chapter 1 of Isaiah points out problems:
    1. “First off, you are making bad choices.”
    Agreed. choosing to elevate the false doctrine of gender roles over the importance of every believer’s efforts to behave in ways that are more Christ-like, is a bad choice. So is making the the belief in and teaching of gender roles a test of orthodoxy.

    2.”Second thing, you are not thinking right. You are not thinking right, and you have lost your passion.”
    Agreed. See my comment above, re: the not thinking right. You twist language, redefining words to mean what you want them to mean, while men who have gifts that are labelled “feminine” and women who have gifts that you label “masculine” lack passion as they struggle in the “roles” they must fill, instead of doing what God has called them to do, by gifting them in the first place.

    3. The third thing, you are playing religious games.
    Self-explanatory.

    I could go on to address the other things in bold, but really, don’t want to do so unless it’s wanted. I will say that Kassian bashes the use of the mind, and bashes political correctness. Now, me? I think political correctness is often politeness. I agree that some of it can get a bit ridiculous, though. And some of it is just downright euphemistic, or a word selected expressly for the purpose of misleading people. Maybe I’m misunderstanding. If I’m correct, though, “complementarianism”, the word itself, is an example of political correctness of the worst kind.

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  5. Michelle says:

    Oh, sorry–Number three should be, “The third thing, you are playing religious games.”

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  6. tommy9999 says:

    So, Mary is trying to help women. Women would be much better of not listening to someone like her. She is part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

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  7. tommy9999 says:

    So, who are these women who lap up what she has to say. Are they Stepford wives?

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  8. Mabel Yin says:

    Michelle, OMG, I glanced at your link and could not believe the in your face barf inducing male supremacy I saw. The pandemic of unconditional, unquestioning acceptance of what male leaders made up is tragic. Too many do not think, nor ask the spirit of truth to lead them into the truth. All this is quite unChristlike.

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    • Michelle says:

      Actually, part of what I was trying to communicate (though my post was brief and posted quickly) is that these girls and women (and arguably the boys and men) are being abused. In that type of situation, the amount of energy it takes to believe that you are *worth* anything can be tremendous. And that, though they feed one another once someone who has been abused begins to speak up, I believe that believing in that you have value, that you have worth, initially precedes speaking out.

      In addition, I find this dreadfully detailed, particularly considering what it’s called: http://www.crossgatepca.org/basic-convictions

      Something I found in my experience in this denomination is the stress on the intellectual (ironic, with the lack of intellectual honesty, but I digress), including the importance of believers NOT BELIEVING IN THE WRONG WAY. Sorry for yelling, but it’s a big emphasis. I don’t recall it ever being quite clarified what the danger was, but the idea has been supported in the culture of the churches I attended.

      So you can see how the combination would make it tough. You “study” by reading books by people who believe the same things you do, in the same way that you do. You don’t dare question seriously what you’re taught–I’m not sure what the danger is of believing in the wrong way, but the fear level is pretty high. It seems really unnecessary for following and worshipping a God who asked who can be against us, when God is for us. “Tragic” is the perfect word, I think, to describe it. Even I was and am surprised at the extent to which the “male domination is ordained by God” justification thread is woven into the theology of at least this particular church (though I cannot imagine that it stands alone).

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  9. Mabel says:

    Michelle, unfortunately, not just this church is like that. Things should be better with the proliferation of information over the internet. It used to be much harder to get at the truth. Now even someone like me can make comments in patriarchy blogs and someone will read them. Don’t ever stop commenting, because someone is reading, someone who may not comment, but they are there. I think it is even more dangerous for the churches who are less hard lined, and appear benign, with their softened patriarchy: husbands serve the wife, etc etc. They do it with a smiley face, and they are equally dangerous because at the end of the day, it still is male supremacy.

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    • Michelle says:

      We certainly agree about subtle vs. overt. The churches in this denomination that I attended (by choice!) were like the ones you describe. Much more subtle. So more dangerous, for sure.
      When I have visited the church those links are from, actually, they’ve not been always/generally this obvious, not in the sermons.

      I believe moving away from the overt–sexism–to the covert–“complementarianism”–was a response to the feminist movement of the 1970s, and an attempt to sucker people in who would have (and would still, some of them) reject outright sexism. But soft words coupled with smiles? Add a veneer of “biblical” and the idea that ideas are dangerous, and we see the results.

      Of course somewhere in that church’s materials was the instruction that women are to be treated with respect or something like that. Same old same old, since of *course* it’s respectful to girls and women to gloss over the fact that God placed men in charge of everything since it’s obvious, instead of actually having open discussion about the text, without a foregone conclusion (ie intellectual honesty).

      Thanks for your encouragement! I can’t seem to stop commenting various places. It’s going on seven or eight years, now. It’s the in-person relating I find challenging.

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  10. Mabel says:

    Michelle: they won’t have “open discussion” with me anyway because they know they may not be adequately prepared to answer someone who has studied the issue. Then they duck with “it is not on our list of priority” ” you must have had a bad time in the past with your relationship, you should see a counselor” ” there are 2 sides to the issue (they think by not discussing they are not choosing sides, but they of course had chosen the status quo)” ” we don’t want to muddy the water” ” people are not interested” ” be patient, the time will come” ” why don’t you just leave the church” ” we all have our blind spot (translation: you have yours, you are blind)”, ” it will destroy unity” and I can go on probably, if I think hard enough. AND, this is from a church that is really progressive. not a single pastor is against ordaining women, but they don’t want to alarm the congregation, nor to educate some elders, who of course had been brainwashed and no-one wanted to detox them. They are supposed to be studying the issue. At least they say they are. I leave it up to God to change them. I pray for people like John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and the SBC big boys and big girls. God be the judge. May they be stopped. May they repent. May they stop hurting people. This comp doctrine is nasty.

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    • Michelle says:

      Thank you. Thank you for making me smile.

      Yes, everything you’ve said. The lack of empathy, and the fact that they don’t even…the lack of empathy in christians astounds me. It’s totally fine to treat someone else like a second-class citizen without studying materials or even talking with people who have a different point of view, rather than simply taking the words of what your experts claim the other view is. Prayer is good. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for the dialogue.
      “Detox” 🙂
      yes.

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  11. pnissila says:

    Good discussion. The more I learn of the patriarchy/complementarianism viewpoint, the more it seems rooted in fear. Are there any discussions out there on the topic of what, exactly, men fear about women teaching them? I would really like to hear the answer to that. I mean, they, like us when we listen to them, can utilize discernment and check to make sure that what is preached/taught aligns with Scripture. They surely have the same Holy Spirit guidance to rely on as we do. Makes you wonder if they believe that because we have female body parts we also have some sort of evil spell-casting powers or something that lets loose when we preach and teach–but only to them. And if what we teach is so fearful, aren’t they afraid for other women and especially children? Why do they “let” us teach anyone? Perhaps it’s back to Genesis 3:16. Are they perhaps afraid that whatever seduced Adam to disobedience might also catch them unawares if another “Eve” (woman) tries to influence them? What else besides fear would cause them to become angry at the sound of a woman’s voice preaching or teaching in their church? Or is it that they haven’t yet realized that Jesus took the curses for us all on the cross…not just men’s curse…?
    I mean, really. And what is with a woman laying such blame on other women? If women have so much power, doesn’t that undermine their whole premise?
    Phyllis

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    • Temperance says:

      Sometimes I wonder if some men’s fear is rooted in negative childhood experiences with women or in the attitudes of the men they grew up with. Or even negative experiences with significant others. Women’s fear could be rooted in the same thing. A childhood where love is based on performance gets carried into adulthood. Fear of losing love is a powerful thing. That cycle can be broken if a woman can be convinced of her own worth and strength. Sometimes she may need to hit rock bottom first before she will look for answers somewhere other than where she has been looking.

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    • Sonnet says:

      “What else besides fear would cause them to become angry at the sound of a woman’s voice preaching or teaching in their church?”
      Pride. Selfishness.

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      • Yes. Also — Law. “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” For women, it works like this: “Hey, I’ve followed the Law all my life, submitting to my husband and not aspiring to have any more voice in church than my church allows– so where does SHE get off?”

        For men, it’s, “Hey, I was raised to believe that as a male, I had automatic power and privilege. Seeing and hearing a woman up there at the front of the church makes me feel that I’m losing that– that they way things are meant to be, that has always favored me, is changing– and that I’m losing out. I don’t like it.”

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      • pnissila says:

        Sonnet. Yes, of course! In my earnest desire to dig to the root of such thinking, I by-passed pride and selfishness. I suppose it certainly might boost a man’s ego to think he’s got “the woman of his dreams” all to his own, and he can order her about, or however he’d like to put it (guide her in a manly manner; be her priest and prophet, enter the throne room for her to interceded for his perception of her needs, etc.) regardless of her equal inheritance in Christ Jesus; regardless of that temple curtain split from top down the day Christ died…regardless of that blood-stained cross…(I could go on and on).
        Blessings,
        Phyllis

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  12. Mabel says:

    Another perspective why men keep women down: Pride. “I believe the primary barrier to gender equality lies in the depravity of the human heart–in the widespread acceptance of male entitlement, in the desire to control, in the prideful love of power, even if that power over another person’s life is candy-coated and reframed as protection and provision. There’s nothing wrong (and a whole lot right) with protecting and providing for the people you love, but when that protection comes with a tax on the person’s dignity, free will, and development–well, the Mafia offers that, too!…Pride. Selfishness. Love of power. Human brokenness. The idolatry of un-Christ-like religious traditions, and desire for cultural affirmation.”- Jenny Armstrong
    http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com/2012/10/10/keeping-women-in-their-place-why-education-isnt-the-answer-to-gender-inequality/

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