We are just plain tired of it

The Women’s March may have little effect right now, but the tsunami has begun. The first wave has washed over. The second wave will come.

Many berated the women. Legislators, others face discipline for sexist remarks reported the Houston Chronicle. Fat women, too ugly for sexual assault and cartoons of women sprayed by pepper spray are only a few of the responses. Letters to editors and facebook brought on a slew of lewd comments about the Women’s March.

A former Girl Scout Troop leader came into my office and of course the conversation turned to the Women’s March. She was excited about it. She told me she knew many fundamentalist Christian women who believed their place was in the home, and were against this March.

I gave her a copy of my book Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source.

She reached over the desk and took my hand and said that she had heard so much on facebook by Christian women against the Women’s March that she was afraid she was losing her Christian faith.

Another woman told me her granddaughter was eager to do something now. I gave her their website for 10 Actions, 100 Days so her granddaughter, too, can make a difference.

Another woman’s granddaughter who lives in Virginia went to Washington DC and marched.

My letter in our local paper said,

We are tired of it. We are tired of letters to the editor demeaning women We are tired of governmental leaders surrounding themselves with religious leaders who preach male superiority (Rubio and Trump). We are tired of those religious leaders who are telling women they must submit to their husbands in the home, and to all males in the church and elsewhere. We are tired of hearing that women’s work is in the home. We are tired of radio preachers spewing out their misogyny over the air, and we are tired of it behind pulpits.  We are just plain tired of it.

It is 2017. If you are tired of it, too, join with us. Email me. Visit my website . Click on “Printable Postcard” and mail it to your pastor. The time is now. Be a part of the second wave. 

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How women are affected by male headship rules

It’s a good chance that you might know more than your pastor about how women are marginalized and treated by everyday living and society in general. This week I had my eyes opened further by a 30 year old woman regarding discrimination that women are still going through. I learned that men can have vasectomies at any age after 18, but that women are treated as if they are children when it comes to their birth control decisions.

This young woman said to me, “I keep hearing from women your age how you were discriminated against when you were young. But women are still being treated as if they are children by doctors and health clinics.”

There’s no legal requirement for spousal consent and no minimum age for vasectomy other than the minimum age of consent. But while it’s not necessary to have spousal consent, it’s a really good idea, and involving the spouse in the decision is encouraged. https://goodmenproject.com/newsroom/are-men-legally-required-to-ask-their-spouses-permission-for-a-vasectomy/

For women, it is a different story regarding tubal ligation and other surgical birth control procedures:

Despite federal court rulings against spousal consent laws, some hospitals still have policies against performing the procedure without the signed consent of both spouses. Publicly owned hospitals are not legally allowed to maintain such a policy, but private hospitals are. Despite the illegality of spousal consent policies at public hospitals, doctors may still refuse to perform the procedure, especially if the woman requesting it is young or has not yet had children. http://oureverydaylife.com/married-woman-need-her-husbands-consent-her-tubes-tied-29832.html

It is 2017. Join me as we explore other ways that women are affected by male headship rules.

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My blog is #45 in Top 50 Christian Women Blogs

My blog is in the Top 50 Christian Women Blogs Winners. Imagine my surprise to learn that I am #45 in the Top 50 Christian Women Blogs That Every Christian Woman Must Read. The notifying email was from Anuj Agarwal, Founder of Feedspot.

Top 50 Christian Women Blogs Winners

The Best Christian Women blogs from thousands of top Christian Women blogs in our index using search and social metrics. Data will be refreshed once a week. These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top Christian Women Blogs list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Christian Women blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. (Anuj Agarwal, founder)

We all want to know the company we keep, so I looked to see who was ahead of me in blogging. Judging by their blog’s description, I found three kinds of bloggers: Complementarian, Christian encouragement for women, and 2 (only 2) Egalitarian bloggers.

#44 is Ain’t I a Woman. The Ain’t I a Woman blog examines the many ways Christian culture lets women know exactly who they should be. We deconstruct those messages that we find troubling–and, in the process, construct a different message: one that allows Christian women to be all that God intended. (http://ifeveonlyknew.com/)

#45 is Baptist Women for Equality (bWe Baptist for Equality). Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women. (That’s me!)

That was it. If you want to feel submissive, and feel good, read their blogs. If you want to get stirred up, and want to do something good about equality, read #44 and #45.

Only 2 more days in 2016. Still time to do something before the year is over. What will you do?

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Another year lost for women

The birth of the greatest human rights activist, Jesus, is a good time to take stock of what Christians have become. Looking inward, will the church recognize when it is out of touch with the people it serves? When will the church recognize that it is out of touch with the Jesus it serves? “That’s medieval,” a man told me when I said that most of the churches around our city restricts what women can do. It may be medieval, but it is also 21st century Christian America.

Jesus told the Jewish leaders in Matthew 23 that they were out of touch with the people they served.  He called them vipers and snakes because in their intent on following their interpretation of the letter of the law they were deadly to the people’s spirit.

Jesus was always about people. He told us to ‘do good unto others,’ and to ‘love one another.’ He told us not to boast of how religious we are in comparison to others who love God, and he told us not to Lord it over others.

Churches are emptying out across America and the younger generation cannot be bothered with church.  We must listen when they say “It’s medieval” when the church seeks to withhold service and responsibility from women just because they were born female. We must listen when we are told that our Christian practices seek to do harm. We must listen when our laws become vipers and snakes that destroy Christians who desire a closer relationship with our Lord.

It is 2016. A new year is on the horizon. Take stock of who you are and what you believe in the light of the greatest human rights activist who ever lived. It is Christmas. Do your actions reflect Hope, Peace, Joy and Love?

I am #45 on the list of the Top 50 Christian Women Blogs. Click to read.

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Advent Love – It’s personal

Franklin Graham has it wrong. God did not intervene in the selection of this president. Jesus was not concerned about  governments, either Jewish or Roman. Jesus was concerned about the heart of the people. As we know from history, the heart of the people can be very hard and unforgiving, lacking justice and mercy. It is doubtful that God would have given this as a Christmas present to us.

We are one week before we celebrate the birth of Jesus. At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Jews were looking for a Messiah who would bring the kingdom of God to earth.

The great hope of Israel centered in the kingdom of God which would change the course of history by inaugurating the period of justice, peace and prosperity announced by the prophets, the more strenuously since the bitter experience of the deportation to Babylon. (The Jewish world at the time of Christ)

They wanted justice, peace and properity. Who doesn’t want that? The problem with wanting justice and peace is twofold: 1) we want to determine what justice is; 2) we want to determine what peace is.

When I think of justice, I immediately think of women’s equality and how women have been mistreated, marginalized, abused, and discounted by government and by religion, and how that continues today. I think of homosexuals who have also suffered greatly and still do. So it is with trepidation that I look at our newly evangelically-voted for government. The people chosen to represent the nation have a history of misogyny against women and hatred against homosexuals. Justice?  I see no way to justice.

When I think of peace, I think of living peacefully in our own country. My children were born during the great Civil Rights demonstrations and conflict. I was fearful for my children being born in such an unsettling time. As a mother, I desire peace. Sure, there are times I would like to get even, strike back, and win above all. But as a mother whose son has gone into a battleground in Iraq, I don’t want to see other mothers suffer during wars. So, yes, I desire peace.

Jesus did not come to change Jewish government or Roman government. He came to change the hearts of people. Through love. He said it himself “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Love – it’s personal.

2016 is coming to an end. What did you do this year to promote love towards people? Did your heart change in thinking about women’s equality or gay rights? The two are tied together, you know. Because when we feel we can hate one group because the Bible says so, then we can restrict the other group because “the Bible says so.”

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Advent Joy – Bringing joy

It is nearing Christmas Day and the bundle of joy – the Babe in the manger – will be making His appearance. All month long we have decorated our churches and our homes, our cities and offices in joyful celebration. We have gone caroling, listened to cantatas and hummed Christmas songs in our cars.

But it is not all joy. When Mary was told that she would give birth, this young unwed mother surely endured sneers, teasing and cruelty at the hands of the religious folk. I fear we have not changed as much as we would like to say we have.

“A woman’s greatest calling is in being a wife and mother” a young Christian woman was near tears when telling me what her women friends at church said to her.

There was no joy in her voice as she related those words to me. She was married but could not have children. Unlike Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth, there would be no bundle of joy from a barren womb.

But here she was, in this 21st Century being told that she was missing out on God’s call to be a mother and by inference, was an incomplete woman. Just like religious women have been made to feel for centuries.

Jesus was born into a world much like ours today. Wars, turbulence, anger, helplessness, sickness, poverty and greedy governmental control. Yet we hear the proclamation “Joy to the World! The Lord has come!”

We are Christians and it high time we began acting like it. This Babe came to tell us “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Do good to those who hurt you. Don’t be the one who is hurting others. Don’t destroy their joy but bring joy to them.

2016 is almost over. What joy have you brought to the world? Have you told a woman that her worth is in giving birth? Have you stepped on women in order to elevate men? Or have you told women that they themselves are joy, made complete by their Creator, the Lord God!

Note:

“The Last King of Israel: Lessons From Jesus’s Final Ten Days” by Michael Chung would make an excellent Christmas gift. 30% off & FREE media mail SHIPPING in U.S. Use code ‘JOLLY’ at checkout http://wipfandstock.com/the-last-king-of-israel.html. “As death draws near, life will be lived differently. The Last King of Israel explores how the king of kings chose to live his final ten days culminating in the resurrection. Lessons like spending time with loved ones, dealing with difficult people, handling criticism, resting despite enormous stress, and handling affliction are some of the areas addressed as Jesus faces imminent death. Easter is one of the world’s most revered holiday seasons; this book will enhance understanding of this truly holy week. Including the two days before Palm Sunday and continuing through the evening of his resurrection, The Last King of Israel takes the reader on Jesus’s epic final ten-day journey as his mission on earth comes to an end. Seeing how he died will teach all of us how to live. Challenging both the heart and the mind, The Last King of Israel is a must-read for those who desire a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and the life he lived.” Give the gift of Easter for Christmas and landing page: http://wipfandstock.com/the-last-king-of-israel.html . Also available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Last-King-Israel-Lesso…/…/ref=sr_1_1…. Share this book with a pastor and let them know there are accompanying sermon outlines if interested.

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Advent Peace. What did the angels know?

Every year at Christmas we look at the world situation and wonder if the angels knew what they were proclaiming when they said “Peace on earth, goodwill among men.” We are not sure exactly what the angels did say as it is interpreted in many ways. The NIV version says, “Peace to those on whom his favor rests.” That sounds Calvinistic, but in the name of goodwill, today we will let that pass.

Since that is so, and because I am not a scholar, but an ordinary person reading the scriptures, I choose to read this meaning into those old familiar verses: The angels came to earth announcing the birth of a savior who is Christ the Lord. In proclaiming his birth, they were saying that God is Peace and has come willingly to the earth to be among men, and that he brings with him goodwill (that is to say, he does not bring harm to them.)

We usually take those scriptures to mean that there would be no more wars and strife and all would be joy now that Christ was born. The angels did not say that all would be rosy now. They called him Peace, and because of the great joy they have with the Father, they knew Who was arriving and they expected us to have the same great joy (Luke 2:10-11).

I think the angels may have given us more credit than we are due.

2016 is drawing to a close. But as we celebrate Advent again this year, we see a new beginning, a new year to get it right. A new year for peace in the church where both men and women are equal children of God.

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Advent Hope – Groundhog Day all over again

Each year the liturgical calendar gets reset and we begin again with where it began. We know what is going to happen to Jesus at Easter, but each November we begin by retelling the story from the beginning, all over again.  We get a new chance like Phil the weatherman did in the movie Groundhog Day. We hope this year we get it right.

Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn’t predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. After indulging in hedonism and committing suicide numerous times, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.

Like Phil, Christianity has been through its periods of hedonism and suicidal tendencies. In its hedonistic period, Christians have tried to force Christianity down the throats of others by the Crusades. Christians have murdered thousands during the Inquisitions,  witch hunts, slavery, and by preaching hell and brimstone revivals in the United States.

Today we are in Christianity’s suicidal period. We are killing the hearts and desires of Christians and non-Christians alike with our hate for our fellow man.  Right now many people are declaring they no longer want to be called an evangelical Christian because the very term indicates that we are a restrictive, non-loving Christian whose desires should rule our government and churches. A nation that has chosen for president a man who either assaults women or who speaks as an adolescent boy who brags of doing so and who has actually had assault charges filed against him by his wife and others; a man who chooses another such man to be his Chief of Staff.

In this suicidal period of Christianity, we have renewed our desire that women be controlled by husbands, men of the church, and all males. It is women who get the kids up for church each Sunday morning. It is women who will take their children to church and who do most of the Sunday school teaching in that church. It is women who are beginning to realize that their church does not love them as much as they love their church. When you kill off the ones who bring the children, you have committed religious suicide.

Such as our world has always been, it is now. But here we are. Beginning another Advent season where we are looking forward to the birth of a Baby who we will learn has come to turn the world upside down.  A Savior, the Christ, who will reveal to us that we are to love one another.

It is Advent – Groundhog Day all over again. We can hope.

It is 2016. What hope are you bringing to the church?

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Honeyed words and crazy theology

Last week, Dr. Kevin Giles (noted Australian Anglican priest) said to me “You’re hard on the Baptists, aren’t you?” That was after he had told me that my book had good points in it, and offered to give me feedback on it.

I gave that some thought and this is what I realized.  Nothing I have ever said is as harsh as “only men can be senior pastors” and “women must submit graciously to their husbands.” Those words, honeyed though they are, have damaged women and the church more than any words I can say.

Kevin Giles was in Houston before speaking on the stage with Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem at The Evangelical Theological Society conference in San Antonio where they would be discussing the Trinity.  This is the second time we had him speak to our Houston chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality. Kevin Giles has written many papers and books on the Trinity and he does not believe in the eternal submission of the Son.

From the report I heard of the ETS conference from a laywoman, Bruce Ware says he now believes in something called eternal generation of the Son. Ware is well-known for his stance on Eternal Submission of the Son which is what I thought he would be saying at that conference.  This person also said that Wayne Grudem said he had changed his mind on certain things. We can hope.

Oh, did you know that in those views, God is the Father, Jesus is the mother (holy Moses!), and the Holy Spirit is the child which emulates the earth-family structure? Ware and Grudem wouldn’t like it, but lets carry that Jesus is the Mother theory a little further. Most people I know pray in “Jesus’ name,” most people I know give praise and glory to Jesus, most people I know speak far more about Jesus than they do God or the Holy Spirit and that might be called worshipful of Jesus. Heh, heh, they are worshiping Jesus? THE MOTHER! Ware, Grudem, come down to earth! Your theology is crazy!

And of course you know that in this family structure, earth wives are supposed to submit to earth-husbands because Jesus is the Mother and submits to the Father God. Good Grief, these are the people who are teaching your pastor, your son or daughter who goes to seminary, and your youth pastors. Time to call them to account.

It is 2016. Why aren’t you hard on all those who want to keep women subjugated to men?

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When Texas Baptists meet in Waco

Next week at the annual meeting of Texas Baptists in Waco, Baptists will be celebrating the wonderful services Baptists offer to the community and the world. More than likely they will also be discussing Baylor, the church and LGBTs, the presidential election, racial reconciliation, feeding the hungry, sex trafficking, and most importantly, how to reach more people with the gospel in this era of dwindling church membership and participation. The discussions will be about everything but equality for women. Once again, women will be relegated to the backseat of social and racial inequities.

The LGBT question will override many discussions, making the one thing that will least likely be discussed is how Baptists can incorporate all members into all of the church fellowship. It is very doubtful that women – who make up more than one-half of church membership – will have anyone speak up for women’s equality in the church and home. No one will speak up for a woman’s privilege and obligation to serve the Lord in all ways she is called.

Will you make this year the year that women’s equality will be discussed among yourselves? In private discussions with your peers, will you stand up for women’s equality to help each person be complete in the churches you serve?

I call myself the Street Evangelist for women’s equality. For 14 ½ years I was an employee of BGCT (now Texas Baptists) and came to know and love this organization because of the people with whom I served.

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