Boundaries – Part 3

It is not just in the church that women are unequal.  It has it roots in religion, but whose religion?  Complementarians don’t see the connection between what they teach and how women are treated across the world.  Somehow saying “the Bible says so” makes their boundaries okay.  But Christian boundaries are just as demeaning to women as the boundaries non-Christians have set for females.

Take travel, for instance. Look at these places where women can’t travel to or do:

Mount Athos, Greece – a centuries old belief is that the presence of females inhibits the spiritual enlightenment paths of monks living there.

Saudia Arabia – women traveling alone cannot visit Saudia Arabia.  If by any chance a woman does travel there, she must be accompanied by a male relative.

Haji Ali Dargah Shrine, Mumbai, India – the most sacred area, called the sanctum sanctorum, is barred to women. Authorities claim it is un-Islamic under Sharia Law for women to visit graves.

Hindu temples in India and Bali, Indonesia bans women during a woman’s time of the month.  How they know is anybody’s guess. They actually post signs saying that menstruating women cannot enter to worship. Of course this is also the reason that the early day Catholics decided women could not serve the bread during communion. 

Mont Omine, Japine –  women are not allowed to visit because women pose a distraction for the religious pilgrims who should be engaged in strict self-denial while on this mountain. (They not only deny themselves, but deny women).

Galaxy water park, Bavaria, Germany – they banned women because the high-speed slides were determined to cause “intimate injuries.”  However, there is no medical condition other than pregnancy that should prevent women from using such a slide.

Let’s add one more to this list of places where women are not welcome:

Wooden pulpit inside a church closed to women – except to vacuum behind, of course.  Ergun Caner* was the  dean at the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School of Liberty University when he was asked:  “Dr. Caner, do you believe in women behind the pulpit? My answer is well, yeah, of course, how are they going to vacuum back there unless they get behind it….[laughter, and hoots and hollers]…..and that’s going to be in half of your pulpits next Sunday. FEEL FREE!!! I LOVE THAT LINE!! But you know one line like that shuts it all up, ’cause they’re not going to talk about it, and they’re not going to talk to you for a while, which is good, which is good.”  

*Caner was let go from Liberty because of the controversy about the truth of his Muslim past (it became apparent he was lying) and not because of his views on women.  He is now professor of religion at Arlington Bible College.

If you are tired of women being bound by here they cannot go, especially where they cannot go in church, will you join us?  We need and welcome your voice.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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19 Responses to Boundaries – Part 3

  1. Katia says:

    I’ve vacuumed behind a pulpit before…at a church where the pastor (five months younger than I) was a firm believer that women should be “under authority”. I did not do that job for long-it became too much with my crazy life at the time.
    That comment by Ergun Caner is very sad. He wrote a great book with his brother about Muslim women. Even sadder that his own Muslim past was a lie.


  2. ‘Unequal’ Women
    Being tired of women being ‘bound’ by where they cannot go?

    In response to 2013-01-12, Boundaries 3; Blog by “bWe Baptist Women for Equality”.

    Whilst I am from a different ‘denominational’ and hence ‘theological’ background, I do have some thoughts and beliefs that resonate with those of the writer of this blog, this is not, nor has this been a secret to the authoress and perhaps some of her readers.

    First and foremost, my wife and I are diametrically opposed to the un-equality in pay for male and female employees who are working under the exactly the same conditions in the same occupation/profession. We firmly believe that equal work should be renumerated by equal pay. Furthermore we believe that in the secular world women and men ~ where physically able ~ should have the right to choose and practice their occupation; one of my daughters is a “Venue Manager” in a traditional establishment ~formerly held by males ~, another daughter is a fully qualified carpenter with full support from her parents. We cannot see any reason for any need for this to be any other way. Under the rules of the world, if you are doing the same, you should be paid the same.

    Mount Athos, Greece – no females where monks live; yes I agree, but I would ~ to serve equality ~ complement this with; “No males where Sisters (nuns) live (Cloisters and Nun’s Houses).

    Saudi Arabia – No females to travel alone, in today’s dangerous world we do not like any female member of our family to travel ~ after dark ~ by herself without her husband, partner, or escort either. Not a religious requirement, but one based on the safety of the female.

    Hindu temples’ visits, many people still believe that a woman is unclean during her days of discomfort. But with today’s hygiene aids available how can one tell? A Hindu requirement – NOT a Christian one, if it was a Christian one how could a woman during the days of her discomfort receive Holy Communion?

    Galaxy water park, Bavaria, Germany, local rule by some poorly informed local persons, not related to religion!

    Having addressed your fine examples from elsewhere, allow me to add some secular examples of my own:
    Why are ~ in sport, etc. ~ men and women competing in different groups; some women can swim faster than many men, and vice versa? Why in a “Fun Run” are the times of women made known in their own group, no doubt many women can run faster than the majority of men? Would not ‘equality’ demand that these times should be listed inclusively, since they were achieved by individual ability and effort?

    I’d like to know ‘where’ it says that; “the early days Catholics decided that women could not serve the bread during communion”? Did you mean in your blog of 2013-01-12, that this may have been during her days of discomfort? Or do I read your blog to say that the service of bread by women during Holy Communion was permitted in the early Catholic Church?



    • Hi Barney! Welcome back. Haven’t heard from you in a while and am always glad to get your opinion. Equal is a funny word and probably doesn’t really describe what I want for women. But there is no other accepted word that most people would recognize which describes the relationship between males and females. So I use the word “equal” knowing full well that it is subject to misuse.

      For instance, swimming and other sports. Men and women cannot be equal there. You and I both know that. But women should have the chance to have swim teams and have them funded if men’s sports are funded by the public. Women’s sports were not funded years ago.

      But, Barney, you also know that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about men being the standard whereby women will always be inferior because we are not men. We are talking about restrictions being placed upon us simply because we are female. We are actually talking about a relationship with God. Men such as yourself have decided that women cannot have the same kind of relationship with God because we are not one of the fellas. Even if one Fella is superior to the earth fella.

      These travel restrictions were not made for safety reasons and you know that.

      I heard about the communion bread and the Catholics at our Christians for Biblical Equality Houston Chapter meeting in September. It was a Church of Christ minister who told us that. She had just read it. I am sorry that I did not get chapter and page and book because I would have liked to have had it myself because I am sure there was a whole bunch more against women in that book that I would have been interested in learning about. Sorry. You can discount it if you wish. Or you can do a study yourself and find out.

      It was good to hear from you again, Barney. You make us think. I hope we make you think, also.


  3. Mabel says:

    Christian P.J. Bahnerth PhD: Maybe mutual is a better word, Scot McKnight seems to think so. (The Bllue Parakeet, worth reading if you have not done so already.) Anyway, I have seen before the argument that men and women use different bathrooms, men and women compete in different teams, etc. but I faill to see the connection to therefor men are the default leaders in the church and home. I fail to see how women can be leaders in the “secular world” but not in “the church” or “the Christian home”. If God had intended men to be the default leaders, then no women should lead men under any circumstances. Women should not be supervisors, policeman, teachers, even give direction to men ( John Piper said she can do it as long as she is feminine about it and said it in a way so as not to threaten the man’s manhood ). And how do you separate secular from “sacred”? Not every man can swim faster than every woman, and if men cannot give birth to babies ( I heard that one a lot), women cannot impregnate themselves either. It is a physical difference, not a spiritual one: as in only men can have so-called spiritual authority. If women should not go out in the dark without the protection of men, it has nothing to do with who can be pastors and who can preach in “the church” “behind the pulpit” with “pastoral authority”, etc.
    Dr. Bahnerth, thank you for commenting. The internet has leveled the playing field a lot in this who has “spiritual authority to teach” whom debate. As Rachel Held Evans said: she is not allowed to preach in the church down the street she grew up in because she is a woman, but more people visit her blog in a day than attend that church in 2 years.


  4. Mabel says:

    One more example: Wayne Grudem was caught reading a theological book written by a woman. When asked why he can allow a woman to teach him through a book but not through “a sermon”, he said: I think of reading a book by a woman as having a chat with her over a cup of coffee. I think it is quite ridiculous that no comp ever can figure out what this “God made men and women equal but give them different ‘role’ ” means in real life practice. Some say women can be pastors but not senior pastor, some say women can be everything except elder since elders are husbands (as if Paul should tell wives in his day to have only one husband), some say women cannot even be deacons (even tho’ Phoebe was a deacon). I have read all the arguments against women in ministry. It alll boils down to this: no comp can agree on where the line should be drawn in the sand. If it is such a “clear” bible teaching, why the confusion? Wayne Grudem resorts to listing 83 things according to a sliding scale of “authority”. Good grief!!!!!


    • You are right, Mabel. You know, nobody ever tells us why we don’t measure up. Just that God said we don’t and that settles it. I wonder if those people – people like Barney – wonder why God would choose men over women? Surely men know that they, too, don’t measure up. Why do they think God would do that? And better yet, why do they think that we would love and worship a God who prefers men over women?

      > Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 01:59:47 +0000 > To: >


  5. Mabel says:

    SHirley, I found nothing that comps say ever make sense, things like :
    men and women are equal but have different roles: if I am always the leader and you are always the follower, no, we are not equal, no matter how solemnly you swear we are. You are delusional.
    men and women have different roles: not according to your definition. If your role is always leader and my role is always submission, we are in different castes. Roles change. Your definition of “role” is really rank. You lie.
    women are just as smart if not smarter than men, but God only calls men to be leaders: really? go read the bible.
    the office of pastor: I found no office in early church, only gifts and ministries
    ordination: could not find it in the bible either
    and many more, I can go all day long on this, but I will check out for now.


    • I so agree with everything you just said Mabel. Great points all the way around. The Bible is filled with numerous examples of how women teach, prophesy, and serve in many capacities, yet comps continuously ignore all of these examples by twisting a few Scriptures to their point of view. Their arguments are ridiculous and make no sense to anyone who has basic common sense.


      • But people still used the excuse “the Bible says” women can’t. When what the bible says is that women can. And Jesus certainly included women in the gospel, but somehow that is not enough. Pastors know better and should teach their congregations what the Bible is all about. It certainly is not about females being restricted from serving in the church. I would like for some woman to ask her pastor point blank “Why?” Why are women excluded? Why would God do that to women? If it is because of hormones and wrong decisions, women certainly don’t have the lock on hormones determining what they do, and are not the only ones who make wrong decisions. The “why” question has no answer.

        > Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 17:50:25 +0000 > To: >


    • Sophie says:

      “I found nothing that comps say ever make sense, things like :
      men and women are equal but have different roles: if I am always the leader and you are always the follower, no, we are not equal, no matter how solemnly you swear we are. You are delusional.”

      This is exactly right.


  6. EricW says:

    Galaxy water park, Bavaria, Germany – they banned women because the high-speed slides were determined to cause “intimate injuries.” However, there is no medical condition other than pregnancy that should prevent women from using such a slide.

    A similar injury happened to a young girl at the Water Works Park in Denton in 2007:
    Water Works Park

    On August 5, 2007, an unidentified 10-year-old girl suffered severe internal injuries while riding the speed slide at the Denton, Texas park. The accident report filed by the on-duty lifeguards stated that the injuries were caused by the victim’s failure to follow park rules while riding the slide to keep her legs crossed at the ankles.[49] The park rule regarding crossing ankles on a water slide is common in the industry, and is one method, along with wearing a wet suit, used to prevent water slide injuries such as the “water ski douche injury” or the “straddle injury.”[50]

    49 “Girl’s injuries at Denton water park could prompt legal action”. Denton Record-Chronicle. 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2007-08-27. (link no longer available)
    50 Kuensting, Laura L. MSN(R), RN, CPNP (April 2007). “Water Park Injuries: A Literature Review”. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal 29 (2): 151–157. doi:10.1097/01.TME.0000270338.11756.08. Retrieved 2007-08-27.

    Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal:
    April/June 2007 – Volume 29 – Issue 2 – p 151-157
    doi: 10.1097/01.TME.0000270338.11756.08
    Cases of Note
    Water Park Injuries: A Literature Review

    Kuensting, Laura L. MSN(R), RN, CPNP
    Collapse Box

    Water parks have become popular in North America in the last 30 years. Emergency departments are experiencing new challenges with injuries sustained from this form of entertainment as parks compete with new attractions containing high-velocity excitement. This review reveals some patterns of injury becoming common, particularly in premenarchal and parous women. These include what was known as the water ski douche injury, and a new straddle injury. Prevention includes keeping legs adducted, use of a wet suit, and avoidance of tampon use. Safety features on water slides and pool operations are discussed. Further recommendations for safety are mentioned.


  7. Mabel says:

    Eric: thanks for the education.
    Shirley: LOL~


  8. jee frasier says:

    Women are not equal to men, period, even in God’s eye, no pun intended. He never said it and it ain’t so!!


    • Mara says:

      How easy it is for men to decide how God sees things. How easy it is for them to believe that they have some sort of direct link to the mind of God when all they are really spouting is their own prejudices with a “Thus saith the Lord” stamped on it for good measure to try to kowtow them wimin into submission.

      Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
      9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways
      And My thoughts than your thoughts.
      10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
      And do not return there without watering the earth
      And making it bear and sprout,
      And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

      I used to get disgusted with such men who claim to know what’s going on in God’s eyes. Now I’m just amused.
      Though I must admit, a part of me is still concerned that such men are breaking the third commandment to presume so much thus bringing judgement upon themselves.


    • Well, thank God for that! That makes man the standard and God never said man was the standard. He never said it and it ain’t so!

      > Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 00:30:10 +0000 > To: >


  9. Mabel says:

    Matthew 7:6


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