Part 2. Destination, the Garden

Jesus is headed to the garden, this time to the garden tomb of Lazarus, where something very important is about to happen. There is to be a resurrection, a small demonstration of what is to come.

It is a familiar story. You know it well. You know Lazarus died, Jesus wept, Lazarus came forth from the tomb. And you know that Martha and Mary had at one time been at odds with each other because Martha needed help in the kitchen and Mary was sitting down and not helping.

“Just the facts, ma’am.” But every story has a back story and that story is most often ignored because the significance does not fit with today’s male headship teaching.

Mary and Martha are the sisters of Lazarus. Apparently they live together. But it is not Lazarus who appears to be the head of the household, it is Martha. The stories in the Gospels do not attribute one word spoken by Lazarus, either before his death or afterwards. He does nothing to indicate he is the “head” of this family. Jesus speaks and interacts with Mary and Martha, and even this resurrection of Lazarus is overshadowed by Jesus’ talking with Martha, and his special notice of Mary.

Most of the people Jesus comes into contact with have only one story recorded in the Gospels. But Mary and Martha have at least four stories about their encounter with Jesus. When we first find Mary and Martha, Mary is at the feet of Jesus and Martha is fussing in the kitchen.

Mary was learning from the Teacher himself which was an enormously big deal in that time. It was said that for women to be taught the scriptures from men was similar to teaching them about sex – it just was not done. But here Mary is sitting at the Master’s feet alongside the men.

She is also the same Mary who, six days after the resurrection of her brother Lazarus, pours expensive alabaster oil on Jesus’ feet and dries his feet with her hair. Jesus rebukes those who seek to stop her by saying she is wasting the oil that could be sold to help feed the poor. He tells them “For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”(Matthew 26:11-13).

Mary and Martha send for Jesus, but he waits until Lazarus is completely dead (it was believed by some Jews that the spirit hung around for three to seven days after death). It is Martha who runs to Jesus when he arrives after Lazarus’ death. If he had only gotten there earlier, Lazarus would have been healed but here he was dead and in the tomb and stinking for four days.

The Bible makes the point that “when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary remained in the house.” Mary remained at the house with the neighbors who came to comfort her. We know that Lazarus’ death and resurrection is one illustration Jesus wants to make, and we are going to see that there is one more connection to be made.

Here it is:

“After she said this, she went and spoke privately to her sister Mary, “The teacher is here and he’s calling for you.” Jesus was headed to the tomb where Lazarus lay but it was important that Mary, who had a hungering for the Scriptures and the things to come, be there when he brought Lazarus forth from the tomb. Thus, he said six days later, “she has prepared me for my burial.”

Just the facts, ma’am. Women had gone every step of the way with Jesus. They did not abandon him at the time of his trial; they did not deny him. Jesus is headed toward the tomb where several Marys will be the first to see him after his resurrection.

From my book: Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood. Availabe on Amazon in print and Kindle.

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Part 1. Destination – the Garden

You see, it began with the Garden of Eden and it culminated in the Garden of the Tomb and with the resurrection. That is no coincidence. And it is no coincidence that a woman was the one who was there when the Lord was revealed.

It was all leading up to that, of course, but they didn’t see it and I can bet your pastor does not see it either. The scriptures pointing the way have been used for other illustrations if they are mentioned at all. Rarely will you hear a sermon on the four women Jesus chose to lead the way. Remember these four women as we tell the story which you have already heard so many times in this book. This is important. Look at it. Jesus cannot get to the Garden Tomb until he has told these four women that he is the Messiah. On the following pages as you read again their stories, see how it all leads to the final story of Jesus and Mary at the resurrection.

But first, we must go back to that first Garden. This is a story the Jewish leaders and every household knew very well, just as we Christians know it and teach our children.

Man and woman were banned from the Garden. The man was to till the soil and the woman was to give life. Her name was now Eve which means “life” or “life-giving, or “mother of all who have life.”

Tears come into my eyes for all the Eves of the world. Eve wanted knowledge. She would be the one giving birth to future generations, but those same sons and daughters would curse her. God did not curse her. He cursed the snake and the ground that would be tilled, but he did not curse the man or the woman.

In “Destination, the Garden” we will see how Jesus, the “second Adam” demonstrates redemption to the woman. And we will learn that yet, again, those sons and daughters still curse the woman who gave them life. Are you still cursing the woman who gave you life?

From my book Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood. Available in print and Kindle on Amazon.

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The Powerful Message of 1 Peter 3:1-6

Male headship is dethroned when Peter told Christian women that they will be like Sarah, mothers of a nation of believers. The beautiful promise of this passage is not that women would be Sarah’s children if they are submissive, but that they would become mothers like Sarah because they themselves would be founding a new nation of believers, not by giving birth in the physical sense, but by spreading the gospel message so people can be born again by the spirit.

To emphasize, Peter does NOT tell wives they are Sarah’s daughters if they submit to their husbands like Sarah did. What he DOES say was startling, and raised the hairs on their heads by its audacity. 

Peter tells these women that “like mother, like daughter” and just as their mother Sarah birthed a new nation, they, too, are birthing a new nation of believers.

We can interpret Peter’s words something like this, “That was the way it was done back in Sarah’s day, but things have changed. We are now under grace by faith, not under the law. You have done what is right in becoming Christ-followers, and are Sarah’s daughters—children of the freed woman—if you do not fear as you keep following Christ, and, like Sarah, you will birth this new nation of God’s people.” 

Again, Paul says the same thing: “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.

“These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother (Sarah)….Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman,” Galatians 4:21-26, 31.

1 Peter 3 contains a powerful promise of building a nation of believers that is for all time.

Twenty-first century Christian women are also children of the free woman, but some still choose to cling to Hagar by holding to a master/slave relationship with their husbands, and pastors still enforce this type of submission, even when they know it is wrong.

Sarah is mentioned four times in the New Testament, three of which are specifically about her becoming the mother of a nation. 1 Peter 3:6 is too, but the greater truth of it has been neglected.

By passionately claiming the first part of the scripture that says wives must submit to their husbands, the promise it held for New Testament wives has been ignored.

This particular reference to Sarah in 1 Peter 3:6 emphasizes the new covenant and has those new Christian women actively participating in the ministry of the gospel by birthing a nation of believers (1 Peter 3:6; Hebrews 11:11; Romans 4:19; Galatians 4:2-26, 31).

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When “I” does not mean God

1 Timothy 2:12 is most likely misinterpreted to mean what we want it to say. The Apostle Paul said “I do not permit.”  He didn’t say that God said it and he didn’t claim to be speaking for God when he said “I.” 

But we are like the Pharisees who Jesus condemns in Matthew 23.  We have chosen what part of “authority” we will not allow.  Some SBC churches will not allow women to teach men in Sunday school, while others do.  Some do not allow women to teach the youth because a boy might be a “man” but other churches do.  I have been on a Pastor search committee, building committees and finance committees.  Those are deciding committees in a church, and women were allowed to make those decisions.  I have attended a Baptist church for 60 years and I do not see anything that men pastors do that a woman could not do in regards to pastoring the flock.

Try enforcing a woman to be silent in a Baptist church today and you may as well close the doors.

In Paul’s day a woman was not permitted to speak in the synagogue at all.  In fact, she could not even be in sight of the men.  This is because a woman’s voice is “enticing” and the men cannot control themselves enough to be close to a woman. When they said silent, they didn’t mean fudging like SBC Christians do.  They meant no singing, no announcements, no wedding vows, no professions of faith.  If we are going to be silent like Paul said, then we must obey the whole meaning.  

When I was in Jerusalem at the Wailing Wall, women had a separate entrance because the men would be distracted to hear a woman praying.  Is this what you want for Christian women?  Didn’t Jesus come to free both men and women from the letter of the law? Go back and read Matthew 23.  See how Jesus became angry because they put their strict interpretation of the law before people.  And see also how they managed to get around their own strict interpretation of those laws.  That is hypocritical and Jesus called them on it.

Complementarians and male headship churches are trying to fit a first century woman into this 21st century.  It won’t work.  We educate our women today.  Women are not pregnant most of their adult life, with 8 kids lined up on a row.

Jesus tried to show us the worth of a woman.  He commissioned the first evangelist (the woman at the well). He allowed Mary to learn at his feet and praised her for it (Luke 10:42) at a time when women were to be seen and not heard and certainly not in among the men learning from the master. He gave the gospel to a woman when he arose from the grave by telling her to go and tell the men where they could find him.

Whatever Paul meant, we do not know.  What we do know is that men have used this scripture to keep women from being deacons and pastors when all the other words of Paul and his actions speak to the fact that he knew the woman apostle Junia and other women deacons.

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Playing Twister with the Scripture

I love to answer email questions from pastors. More than likely they tell me things they would not admit to their church members. Most use anonymity and hide behind that cover. This Pastor, like other pastors, seeks to set me straight on 1Timothy 2:15. This Pastor quotes well-known John MacArthur, mega-church pastor of Grace Community Church in California, when he says:

Paul teaches here that although a woman precipitated the Fall and women bear that responsibility, yet they may be preserved from that stigma through childbearing. The rescue, the delivery, the freeing of women from that stigma of having led the race into sin happens when they bring up righteous children. Women are far from being second class citizens because they have the primary responsibility for rearing godly children.

Huh? To those who wonder what this pastor just said, let me explain. He said that women caused the Fall and women will always be responsible for it, but God prepared a way out of that sin for women by allowing them to give birth to the next generation and by raising godly children.

He continues:

Paul teaches here that although a woman precipitated the Fall and women bear that responsibility, yet they may be preserved from that stigma through childbearing. The rescue, the delivery, the freeing of women from that stigma of having led the race into sin happens when they bring up righteous children. Women are far from being second class citizens because they have the primary responsibility for rearing godly children.

Mothers spend far more time with their children than do their fathers, and thus have the greater influence. Paul’s point here is that while a woman may have led the race into sin, women have the privilege of leading that race out of sin into godliness.

That does not mean God wants all women to bear children; some He doesn’t even want married (1st Cor. 7:25-40). Paul speaks in general terms. The pain associated with childbirth was the punishment for the woman’s sin, but the joy and privilege of child rearing delivers women from the stigma of that sin.

In this passage we can see how God has perfectly balanced the roles of the sexes. Men are to be the leaders in the church and the family. Women are kept from any accusation of inferiority through the godly influence they have in the lives of their children. For the church to depart from this divine order is to perpetuate the disaster of the Fall.

This pastor’s response was to quote John MacArthur. Parts of what he said comes straight from John MacArthur in a sermon in 1989. MacArthur says“They (women) are delivered from being thought of as permanently weak and deceivable and insubordinate.” I would like to ask MacArthur that if women have been delivered of this sin, then why is he and this Pastor still talking about it? And why am I writing a book to counter this unholy teaching? I personally would love to be delivered from their interpretations of women’s roles.

Now, back to the Pastor and his response. I wish I knew which Bible this pastor is reading because I do not think he is reading the one I have. 1 Corinthians 7:25-40 is referencing Jesus’ imminent return, with Paul telling men and women not to marry at all unless they cannot help themselves and not have sex. In fact, 1 Corinthians 7:29 advises men that if they have a wife, they should live as if they have none (celibate). Now, pastor, what kind of leadership is that? You see from this example that you must check out every scripture that anyone gives you to convince you of male headship because, in truth, there are none.

My response: Ah, Pastor, untwist yourself. You have played Twister with those Scriptures. What about the blood of Jesus delivering us from all sin, even the stigma of the Fall? You are telling me that Jesus does not have the power of Himself to free me, a woman, from that? How on earth could giving birth to a baby free a woman?

Pastor, your explanation does not make one bit of sense. It gives men far more power than God or Paul ever intended. Because you see, that makes our whole salvation dependent upon an earthly male to make us whole. And it also depends upon our ability to raise righteous children. My salvation cannot be based upon whether or not my children are Christians, just as their salvation is not based upon whether or not this poor mother was a Christian.

Do you know how you sound with that “joy and privilege of childrearing delivers women from the stigma of that sin?” Those who teach that women are inferior have not erased that stigma from me, and I have given birth to two sons. Once I have a child, then, from your reasoning, I should be free of the stigma. Does the fact that I had pain killers during childbirth change that? Do I get a certificate saying that I am now “preserved” from that stigma?

Pastor, one day you will realize just how ridiculous your explanation is, or, which is more likely, others will wake up and realize how ridiculous your explanation is.

Repost from July 2010

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We know our places

Before 1960, Southern whites and blacks knew their places. Stepping into a bus and choosing a seat depended upon what color your skin was. Bus drivers were known to stop and tell blacks to go further back into the bus.

Black women could take white children to their breasts, but could not sleep under the same roof as white people. Blacks could work as maids and change bed linens, but could not sleep in the beds they made up. They could work as bellhops, and they could cook in hotel kitchens, but they could not eat in the dining rooms. Black people boarding passenger trains in Illinois could sit anywhere on the train, but before they got to Mississippi, all the blacks had to get up, gather their families and their belongings, and go to a separate train car, leaving only whites in their section of the train.

These laws were made by white Southerners in the Bible Belt. Many of those politicians went to church on Sunday and found justification for their discrimination from the pulpit and in the Bible.

The Southern Baptist Convention was born because Baptist Southerners wanted to keep their slaves, and they used the Scriptures to justify slavery. After the war, the Southern Baptist Convention, and other fundamentalist Christian groups, had to admit they were wrong about slavery, but they did not submit graciously. In fact, after the Civil War—which the South lost—these men were determined to enforce black and white segregation and enacted the segregation (Jim Crow) laws that lasted until the 1960s.

“We now look back on it as a form of social insanity, but it felt normal at the time. It felt normal to whites and to most blacks. The African Americans who fought to overthrow this were a tiny minority and really revolutionary and didn’t get the support of the general black public until it was pretty clear they were going to win.” (Diane McWorther “Carry Me Home”).

This was the South, baby! We all knew our places then, just as women know their places today.

We are told women can do some things in church. For instance, in some churches women can stand behind the pulpit while singing in the choir, but in other churches they cannot. A choir director told me that she could direct the choir as long as her back was to the pulpit, but that she could not turn around facing the pulpit and the congregation. Now, where is that in the Bible?

Women can walk to the pulpit to make an announcement, but must surrender the pulpit to a man when it comes time to preach the gospel. Women are told they can accept communion only from a male deacon. Well, to be exact, they do let women pass the bread and juice to the next person sitting in their row, but they cannot pass the plate of bread and juice to people behind them.

We know our places. But some of us are tired of those places. Some of us are telling our leaders that they are wrong. Some of us are holding them accountable for their segregationist attitude.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 which gave black men and women equal rights under the law also is the Act that gave all women equal rights under the law. It came about because blacks were demanding their rights under the law. Women were the beneficiaries. Blacks made up around 14 percent of the population in 1964 (included are black women). This Civil Rights Act originally was intended for blacks only but would have given black women more rights than white women. Apparently someone realized that and included “sex” meaning gender in the Civil Rights Act, today giving 50.8 percent of the population the same rights men already had.

Will you join us? Will you tell your pastor that men and women are created equal and that you will tolerate no other teaching in the church you attend?

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Letter to Denny Burk

In August 2016 I wrote a letter to the new president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Rev. Denny Burk. The letter is relevant today, just as it was five years ago. The CBMW is still fiercely protecting their male headship. Maybe they need to put on the Armor of God, and their delicate male headship would be safe!

Oh, well. Here is the letter I wrote to Denny Burk.

Dear Denny,

I have just read “My vision for the future of the CBMW.” Your dedication and desire are so aptly described. I see a burning flame in your vision and I know you will do everything in your power to bring this to pass.

Denny, may I call you Saul? You remind me so much of the biblical Saul before the Damascus Road.

“But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples”…

Saul produced resources, conferences, etc. in order to equip religious leaders and organizations to put a stop to these Jesus followers. Rabbis were told to focus on getting rid of these people.

But a new day had arrived.  Pleasing God had gone in a new direction.  Jesus told them to love those who persecuted them and to love each other. And none of Jesus’ 46 parables were about women submitting to their husbands and the dire consequences if they did not.

These followers of The Way were not trying to hurt anybody, but Saul was going for destruction.

Denny, after reading your vision for the future of the CBMW, I think you are still guarding the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen. It is not too late to stop this persecution of women.

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CBMW v Beth Allison Barr

Denny Burk, president of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and his minions have virtually and literally burned Beth Allison Barr at the stake.

Beth Allison Barr wrote a book. The hottest book in Christian literature right now. It is The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth.

Beth is a Professor at Baylor University. According to their website:

Professor Beth Barrfocuses on women and gender identity in medieval and early modern English sermons, drawing evidence especially from comparative analyses of biblical women, narrative women, gendered language, and the gendered nature of biblical text included within sermons. She is interested in how the advent of Protestantism affected women in Christianity as well as how and why medieval attitudes towards women in sermons both changed and stayed the same across the Reformation era.”

Denny Burk, et al, took exception to an illustration in her book.

 In her book, Beth gave the story of a medieval woman who loved God so much that she abandoned her children to go serve God. From this, Denny Burk, et al, decried Beth as a woman who advocates that women abandon their children.

Let’s look at the CBMW website, and you will see that they are really very much interested in medieval history – particularly in witches.

You are not going to believe this until you see it in writing. It is on their website CBMW.org. I will be blunt. The Danvers Statement birthed by the CBMW, and the BF&M 2000 are modern day tools equivalent to those used by the religious men during the Inquisition in which women were accused of being witches, heretics, and were burned at the stake.

Women consorting with the devil was a strong belief in the Middle Ages, and is still a factor according to some pastors, and the statement by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. If a woman becomes too strong, usurping the authority of the husband, she is guilty of inviting the devil into the home. Baptists and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood believe that when wives submit themselves to their husbands, this enables families to withstand the devil’s temptations and the onslaughts of the world.

Heavily influenced by, and comprised of Southern Baptist leaders, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood equates women to witches (listens to the devil) on their website (Missions and Vision #2).

“If families do not structure their homes properly, in disobedience to the teachings of Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, and Colossians 3, (submissive wives) then they will not have the proper foundation from which to withstand the temptations of the devil and the various onslaughts of the world. This hinders the sanctification of married couples and also introduces confusion about basic parenting issues such as raising masculine sons and feminine daughters.” (CBMW.org)

Shockingly, this is the same language found in the Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hunter’s Bible). Wikipedia quotes Michael Bailey (Battling Demons, 2003, University Press):

“The text argues that women are more susceptible to demonic temptations through the manifold weaknesses of their gender. It was believed that they were weaker in faith and more carnal than men. Michael Bailey claims that most of the women accused as witches had strong personalities and were known to defy convention by overstepping the lines of proper female decorum.” (Such as ‘feminine daughters’ from CBMW referenced above.)

Wayne Grudem said this regarding women’s submissive role: “I still believe it will happen. Jesus Christ is building and purifying his church that he might present it to himself without spot or wrinkle. But on this issue Christ’s purification process is taking much longer than I expected.” Grudem is specifically calling for the purification of the church by eliminating women leaders. Burning at the stake is illegal, but destroying women is still the goal, just as it was during the Inquisition. Claiming that it is Jesus’ desire. I wondered how those priests who burned women could sleep at night. I wonder how we can sleep at night with the same desire.

Some thought they were right, some knew they were wrong, but all thought it was for the good of the Roman Catholic Church.

Baptists teach that women are consorting with the devil when they do not submit to their husbands. For over 300 years, thousands of women died when they were accused of being witches (consorting with the devil), and today, thousands of women suffer by that same accusation by Christian leaders, under the guise of complementarianism.

Denny Burk, et al, at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood believe that women are to be submissive to males, to their husbands of course, but also to all men in leadership. That is the foundational belief of the CBMW. Denny Burk could never have obtained the position he has if he did not believe and promote male headship.

However, it will take women such as Beth Allison Bar to open the hearts of those who cling to the tenets of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Somehow they need to hear that their cherished beliefs may not honor Christ. The fact they call women witches is one reason to reexamine those beliefs.

Christianity should be viewed in light of God’s word and in light of how both men and woman can be a Great Commission people. Demeaning and attacking Beth Allison Barr is not beneficial to Christianity nor to the Gospel of Christ.

Denny Burk has a responsibility. He knows that. His heart knows that, but his actions and his heart are defined by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. (www.cbmw.org). And that organization is in the sole business of demeaning God’s creation – women – and elevating males over every woman on earth. And burning at the stake? – yes, virtually and literally.

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One Wife for Seven Brothers

A story with seven brothers dying after marrying the same woman has to have some answer, so we will attempt to resurrect a situation to accommodate the Sadducees question: “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers…. At the resurrection whose wife will she be (Mark 12:19-23 NIV).”

Which husband is going to stand up and be accountable for her? Good question. Let’s ask those who think husbands are going to stand up and account for their wives.

To understand this story we must have seven husbands dying, with the widow being married off to her brothers-in-law after each death, according to the Levirate Law so she could give her dead husband heirs. It is unlikely that the remaining six brothers were unmarried, so now we have the widow marrying several men who were already married and had a passel of kids.

This is how an improbable illustration goes, with each husband accounting for his wife for the short time she was his wife. For the story’s sake, the husbands make their accounting as soon as they arrive in Heaven.

The first husband stands before God to account for his widow: “She was so pretty, a little flighty, not given to good sense. In fact it was she who made me fall into the water. You see, I told her I could step out of the boat and walk on water, and, being a woman, she told me that I couldn’t. I stepped out just to show her that I could. She made me do it. I would not have done such a thing if she hadn’t told me I couldn’t.”

The second brother husband: “Well, you know I had to marry her because my fool brother went and got himself drowned because of her. She didn’t have any kids yet, and she wanted a boy to carry on my brother’s name. She got real sassy and burned the biscuits, and I had to teach her a lesson or two. Things were going along pretty good until I stepped out in front of that donkey I bought her to help her do her chores.”

The third brother husband: “I knew it wasn’t going to work almost as soon as I married her. She and Josephine and Zaphora didn’t get along. She never tried to fit in. She was always causing some kind of ruckus in the household. One day I came in and Josephine and Zaphora were chasing her out of the kitchen with a knife. I came between them and the knife hit me instead of her. Just one wrong move, and I got here first.”

The fourth brother husband: “The law said I had to do it, so I took her and Josephine in since neither of them had children. Zaphora ran off with the butcher, so I didn’t have her to worry about. But this wife! She made me pick up my own clothes, which is women’s work. But I tried to pacify her. I gave her a little spending money, not as much as I gave Josephine, because I had a fondness for Josephine, and she was special to me. Mr. Nice Guy, that’s me. In fact, I was being nice to her that day when she was walking because Josephine was pregnant and needed to ride. I was trying to help her after she accidentally slipped and fell into the ditch and grabbed onto me, but she pulled me down with her, and I hit my head on that rock and woke up here.”

The fifth one: “The little witch! Now they expected me to marry her. Oh, she was still pretty. But she had a mind of her own. Wouldn’t do a thing I told her to do. I already had seven children, and I thought my wife could use a little help around the house, so, like the law said, I married her and took her in. I couldn’t help it if the wife and kids did not like her. She was in the shed for only a few days. I was trying to teach her a lesson, but she was stubborn, just about tore the dang shed down, and when I ran inside to get her, the roof fell in on my head.”

Number six: “Look, it came down to this. I married her. She would not do anything right. She even wanted me to do all the work. Told me that I had to stay home at least two nights a week or she would never get with child. I couldn’t give up my friends. But, boy that woman sure could cook. Started making the best pies and fried eggs you ever ate. I had to set her straight every now and then, but making up was pure joy. Date cakes and puddings and eggs like they were going out of style. Guess I overdid it a little on the sweets, and here I am.”

The seventh, and last, brother stands before God to account for his wife: “I can’t really tell you much about her. We married one day, and I left for Egypt the next. You know, what with the other brothers and their untimely deaths and all. Last I heard she had taken up with some group that was following an itinerant preacher who was filling her head with some nonsense about her being equal.”

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Denigrating Jesus

The denigration of Jesus is subtle. Those who do it are seemingly unaware that they are belittling Christ himself, when what they really seek to accomplish is the denigration of women.

“Rabbi, we have brought food. Eat something.”

“I am not hungry.”

It had been a long day of walking and now they were in Samaria, near Jacob’s Well. The disciples were hungry and had left Jesus by the well while they went into the shops to purchase food. But now he would not eat. They had hurried back with a bag of food so they could feed their teacher. They were surprised to find him still at the well talking to a Samaritan woman, but they knew enough by now not to comment on it. He had often engaged in conversation with women. By this time they were used to it, and even a Samaritan woman did not cause them consternation. What they did comment about was that Jesus was not hungry. (John 4:1-26)

“I’m not hungry.”

“Did someone bring you food? We were starving and you must be, too.”

“I have food to eat that you know nothing about. My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

The conversation Jesus had with this woman at the well had an effect on Jesus that all the preaching the disciples had done failed to accomplish.

Jesus had given the word to a woman and now look at her. There she goes! She is telling all, just as he had commissioned the male disciples to do. Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” This woman was harvesting!

A man wrote me and said that the Samaritan woman’s preaching was not effective, and to prove it, he quoted Acts 8:1-6: “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them and the people with one accord gave heed unto the things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.” That man then asked me: Does this not indicate that the “ministry” of the ‘Woman at the Well’ was not effective? It also indicates that it was a male, an appointed Deacon, who preached to the Samarians and baptized many.”

His comments denigrate Jesus even though his intent was to denigrate the woman at the well by belittling the effectiveness of her preaching.

In Luke 10, Jesus tells them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” A woman was sent out, and a woman harvested, and now men seek to take that away from her, and by taking it away from her, they seek to deny all women the right to harvest.

I wish I could say, “God forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But I do not believe that. They do know what they are doing. They claim to be Bible scholars, and to have the Word of Truth. Yet they deny the Person who is the Word of Truth because it doesn’t fit into their way of thinking. They are unwilling to let Jesus himself speak to them.

Will you call out the men who are false teachers, and men who seek to denigrate women, and who use any means to do so?

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