Monday, March 10, 2008

Daughters Who Claim Their Inheritance

There are three short, obscure stories within the Old Testament that give me hope for women being empowered to reclaim their full spiritual inheritance in The Kingdom of God. So certain people don't have an aneurysm, I am not claiming that this hope is the definitive meaning of these scriptures or that they necessarily "prove" anything. They are just tiny glimmers of comfort that God has used in my own journey because I personally struggle with much of the old testament.

Some of these instances don't seem like a big deal to those of us who live in our modern part of the world, where women possess far more rights and "worth," than they ever had in ancient Israel. These stories made it into scripture and I believe they exist for a reason: to foreshadow a time when women, too, would be redeemed from the curse and be able to reclaim an equal inheritance with their brothers in their Father's kingdom.

Zelophehad's five daughters; Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirza; who defied Israel's longstanding male-dominated tradition and approached Moses to grant them the full portion of their father's inheritance. Their father had no son and since women were considered unworthy to own anything, the inheritance would be distributed to far-off relatives while his daughters were left destitute. This was an ugly reality for families with no male heir. So, they waltzed up to Moses and said, "Why should our father's name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father's relatives." (Numbers 27:4).

This is a remarkable and revolutionary act for women in ancient Israel to risk. They are not only asking for the inheritance that a son would get, but are questioning the logic of Israel's law! Talk about assertive eh? Laws in theocratic Israel were different from the law of secular countries, they were equated with God's truth. So this is an incredibly ballsy move! Moses actually took these bold women seriously and inquired of the Lord about what to do.

God gives an amazing reply:

"So Moses brought their case before the LORD and the LORD said to him, 'What Zelophehad's daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father's relatives and turn their father's inheritance over to them. Further, you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. '"

J. Lee Grady expounds on this passage:

"In that moment, God contradicted centuries of prejudice and wrong-headed tradition. He made it clear that in His kingdom, women are not afterthoughts or domestic appendages...When God looks at redeemed mankind through the blood of Jesus Christ, He does not limit women from full participation in His kingdom."

So, God gives Zelophehad's daughters their inheritance, demonstrating His tender concerns for their well being and their due as human beings. God commands that Israel's legal code be changed as a result of Zelophehad's daughters, legislating that daughters were to receive the full inheritance, if the father had no sons. Not exactly what we would consider today to be full equality, but for a time when women weren't considered worthy to own anything, this was a miraculously liberating development. Their courage benefited many other women, who would have been "disowned" and left with nothing. If Moses is a picture of Christ, then him bringing these women's case before the Lord becomes all the more meaningful.

In Joshua 15:18-19, we meet Achsah, the daughter of Caleb. When Caleb acquires a lush portion of land in Judah, his daughter asks him for part of land. Again, in a time when women were traditionally not permitted to own anything, let alone property, this is shockingly bold. Caleb gives her the land of Negev. Achsah then asks for more: "Give me a blessing since you have given me the land of Negev, give me also springs of water." So Caleb gives her the "upper and lower springs." His daughter receives a triple portion, above and beyond what she asks for. She receives her own land, and two sets of springs. Having access to fresh water was considered a great luxury in ancient times. The story of Caleb and Achsah paints a beautiful picture of a father's love for his daughter, a love that empowers her.

And my favorite instance is found in Job 42: 12-15.

The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

Job, considered to be one of the most righteous men of all time, thought it best to bestow his inheritance upon both his sons and daughters, which was virtually unheard of in ancient times. If Job is a picture of Christ, the fact that he chose to empower all of his children with the same opportunities and resources, with a full inheritance, is significant, at least to me.

All these stories reveal the subtle theme of a father's love for his children and how that love takes shape. Jesus came to redeem us, to restore humanity to this beautiful parent/child relationship, to live out a full inheritance in His Kingdom. Let's empower all of God's children to rise up and take it, and let the Spirit determine how this inheritance takes shape, not our reproductive organs.

On To The New Testament...


Tonya said...

Beautiful stories:). God certainly values His daughters every bit as much as He does His sons and I think He is all for ladies being taken care of. He didn't want those girls to be destitute and I imagine He didn't want Israel propogating that sort of foolishness. He is the ultimate gentleman:):):). Any God fearing man should provide well for his children, daughters included, no matter what the culture.

One question though. How does being able to have spititual authority over men constitute a "full" spiritual inheritance? I was under the impression that our spiritual inheritance was Life and freedom from the power of sin and death. The gift to be able to rise above earthly circumstances and stand victorious and joyful before God in the middle of trials and hardships as well as in the midst of blessing and happiness. I may be mistaken, but I don't think a "full" spiritual inheritance has anything to do with our function here on earth. Equality has nothing to do with it either. Christian slaves, free men, women, ladies-in-waiting, queens, children, men, kings, princes, servants, prisoners...they all have the same spiritual inheritance. Right? Being oppressed should never stifle our spiritual inheritance because our spiritual inheritance can not be touched by anything that happens to us in this physical world. Does my spiritual inheretance have anything to do with whether or not I am "empowered" to do certain things or does it have to do with the fact that I was once dead and now I am ALIVE in Christ. That I once had no power over sin, but now I am free to live above it. That I was once destitute and doomed but now I am a daughter of GOD who will live in Heaven with Him for eternity and enjoy everything He owns since He shares it with me! I would say that is our spiritual inheritance. JMO?

If there are women out there who believe that they need to be
empowered to teach and hold spiritual authority over men in order to have their "full" spiritual inheritance, it is no wonder that egalitarianism is a popular teaching. Maybe we need to define "full spiritual inheritance" better. I have never considered myself under-inherited in any way, only an incredibly blessed and loved child of God.

Now if you mean that our full spiritual inheritance is going back to the time of creation and starting over there, it can't happen. Man still has to work for his food. It doesn't grow itself. Women still have contractions and do a lot of screaming during childbirth and we won't be walking bodily with God again until we get our new perfect bodies in heaven. I don't think that's what Jesus came to do. If He did, He failed miserably because I've birthed 4 babies in pain and tribulation and Landon has to go to work or we all starve. Jesus redeemed us from the law of sin and death. We are free, bought with His sacrifice and now made children of God, thus inheriting His kingdom (equally-although it won't look the same on Earth for most of us).

Terry said...

I somehow deleted my rather long comment and am not inclined to retype it. I am interested in your struggle with the OT, though. If you don't care to expound, no pressure.

One thing: when you read the OT and there are references to Abraham's wealth,that of his descendants, and also 3 John 1:2, you will find that many preachers use these verses to justify the position that God wants us all to be rich,and that anything less than that is some indication that we are lacking our full spiritual inheritance. How is the egalitarian assertion (sorry the label, Tonya!) that unless women are given equal authority as men in all areas despite the express written command of male headship any different fro the hyper prosperity brand of theology? They, too, have scriptures to back up their position.

Tonya said...

Terry, I use labels all the time in discussion:):):). I just don't like them personally because I feel like joining a "camp" separates us rather than promoting unity:).

And I ALMOST asked that very question about the health and wealthers but I thought my comment was already too long. I wondered about that too.

Tia Lynn said...

Im so glad you commented Tonya, because I think there is a misunderstanding of what egalitarianism is actually calling for. The goal of egalitarianism is not to grant women power or authority “over men,” it’s a call for women to exercise godly authority alongside of men. By having spiritual authority, I do not mean the right to rule over others, but acknowledging the validation from God for all his children to live out their callings and giftings in accordance to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to serve the church and reach the world. If a woman has a gift of teaching, preaching, or leading, egalitarianism says, let the woman do it and let both men and women glean and benefit from it. It’s not about “telling men what to do,” or getting power to control others, this is not godly or spiritual authority in the least, for either sex.

I agree that Christians are freed regardless of their circumstance, sex, social status, whether slave or free, male or female, black or white: all christians have the same gift of salvation that frees them from sin and death. However, the circumstances that oppress people are of the world. The church is God’s instrument on earth: a light to the world, a witness for Christ, an agent to change the world, to bring about the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven until Jesus returns. I agree that if there are christians oppressed, they are ABLE to experience God’s freeing grace despite their circumstances, BUT the church should not be the one oppressing christians! The Church should be the loudest voice for justice and equality. We would say that if we lived in a secular empire that embraced the institution of slavery, christian slaves have the same worth and status in God’s eyes, but surely we wouldn’t endorse THE CHURCH promoting slavery or other injustices and oppression. We would do everything within our power, to do away with this unjust institution, not emulate it within the church.

Egalitarians believe that to love God and each other as ourselves, we must treat each other equally, esteem each other higher than ourselves (regardless of sex), and not stifle believers to fully participate within the church by restricting certain giftings on the sole basis of gender. Egalitarians are not satisfied with “oneday will all be in heaven, so it’ll be perfect then.” They believed Jesus when he said “the kingdom is here now” in our midst. We want to start living that way now, restored in our relationship with God and each other. It’s not at all about getting power to rule others.

As I write this case for egalitarianism, I want to make it clear that I do not think all complementarians are horrible, injustice-loving oppressors or all complementarian churches are oppressing their women. The extreme model of complementarianism that does not even allow a woman to speak at church gatherings is completely disturbing and abhorrent to me. But I fully respect my complementarian brothers and sisters, I’m just trying to convey why egalitarians are so passionate about this issue and want to see it dealt with.

Tia Lynn said...

Hey Terry, I was typing my response to Tonya and hadn’t read yours yet.

I think the fundamental difference between the health and wealthers and egalitarianism is that health and wealthers are basically saying ALL true christians should be healthy and wealthy and anything otherwise means a person doesn’t have adequate faith or even salvation. Egalitarians are not saying ALL women SHOULD be leaders, teachers, preachers, prophets, career women, or whatever other “taboo” role for a woman is out there. They want it to be a valid option for men and women gifted in those areas. No one is saying that if you don’t teach, preach, lead, then you must not be a christian, or have enough faith, or aren't living in your full inheritance. There are people who are not health and wealthers, as in they don’t believe all christians MUST have wealth, but believe it’s permissable for the christians who do acquire wealth to have it. An issue for another day.

Yes, it's true. I definitely struggle with the OT. I don’t understand how genocide could ever be OK, even by the order of God. I don’t get why God would tell his people to slaughter women and children or the verse that says “blessed is he who smashes a baby’s head on a rock.” I don’t understand why one of the commandments is “Thou shalt not kill (or murder, depending on the translation) and then God turns around and commands his people to kill/murder. And don’t tell me it’s different. Killing babies and defenseless women IS murder. So, I don’t get it. Don’t pretend to. I don’t understand how it is justice to make a woman marry the man that raped her. These are just a few examples.

But, as I have said to God many a times, I see in part as though looking through a dim lit mirror. I still have faith that God is just and acts out of love and that all of us will gain full understanding when we finally see Christ. But for right now, I think God prefers honest doubt over pretend certainty. I’m not sure if we understand those scriptures correctly or fully. But the crux of my faith is in Jesus, the sole manifestation of God on earth. I have to look at the rest of the bible through that lens. But that’s my struggle with OT. Another topic for another day I suppose.

musicmommy3 said...

I still have faith that God is just and acts out of love and that all of us will gain full understanding when we finally see Christ. But for right now, I think God prefers honest doubt over pretend certainty.

You already know what I think about that comment. Right on!!

marcus said...

I must say, you always have the best pictures to go along with your posts. They visually support the point of your posts. I enjoy that about this blog.

Michelle said...

Tia, this is rich:
"But, as I have said to God many a times, I see in part as though looking through a dim lit mirror. I still have faith that God is just and acts out of love and that all of us will gain full understanding when we finally see Christ. But for right now, I think God prefers honest doubt over pretend certainty. I’m not sure if we understand those scriptures correctly or fully. But the crux of my faith is in Jesus, the sole manifestation of God on earth. I have to look at the rest of the bible through that lens. But that’s my struggle with OT. Another topic for another day I suppose."

wow... rich, I mean it. I have studied the Bible fervently since I was 14 years old, and I don't mean just sat under teachers, I mean reading it myself and pouring over it for over 20 years now (wow) and I myself am LESS certain how the OT and NT fit together, how God is revealed in them both and how all that is reconciled ... less "certain" than I've EVER been. HOWEVER... I rest in more peaceful trust and surrender in my God NOW, than I ever have! Truly, deep within, in a real way... Maybe part of brokenness and surrender, is surrendering the right to understand and have everything neatly categorized? and every question answered? I don't know... I don't mean to get off on a ramble; I just love how you worded that.

Michelle said...

Before you move on to the NT, my husband found a cool story while reading II Samuel 20, of a woman who was wise, shrewd, and took action when it was needed. Whether or not she was the official leader of this city would be speculation, but let's put it this way - she was the ACTING leader. :)

I LOVE this story because she speaks of how she values peace, but she's not afraid to cut a dude's head off to KEEP peace for the innocent....

here it is - Sheba was rebelling against David, so David had sent Joab and his armies out to get rid of him. Sheba had run clear across Israel and was held up in this city, Abel Beth Maacah. I picture Joab's army kind of like a scene from Lord of the Rings, surrounding it... then out walks this woman!

45 Joab's army arrived and laid siege to Sheba in Abel Beth Maacah. They built a siege-ramp up against the city's fortification. The plan was to knock down the wall.

16-17 But a shrewd woman called out from the city, "Listen, everybody! Please tell Joab to come close so I can talk to him." When he had come, the woman said, "Are you Joab?"

He said, "I am."

"Then," she said, "listen to what I have to say."

He said, "I'm listening."

18-19 "There's an old saying in these parts: 'If it's answers you want, come to Abel and get it straight.' We're a peaceful people here, and reliable. And here you are, trying to tear down one of Israel's mother cities. Why would you want to mess with God's legacy like that?"

20-21 Joab protested, "Believe me, you've got me all wrong. I'm not here to hurt anyone or destroy anything—not on your life! But a man from the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba son of Bicri by name, revolted against King David; hand him over, him only, and we'll get out of here."

The woman told Joab, "Sounds good. His head will be tossed to you from the wall."

22 The woman presented her strategy to the whole city and they did it: They cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and tossed it down to Joab. He then blew a blast on the ram's horn trumpet and the soldiers all went home. Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem.

Tonya said...

You said " By having spiritual authority, I do not mean the right to rule over others, but acknowledging the validation from God for all his children to live out their callings and giftings in accordance to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to serve the church and reach the world. "

Of COURSE God validates all of His children living out their callings and giftings. That is not even debatable. Why is it necessary for a woman to teach men in order to "live out her calling and gifting"? Can she not use her gift in teaching younger women and children (Titus 2)? Are there not enough men to do the job of teaching the general assembly?

It seems to me that E's feel that women are oppressed by the fact that the C's won't allow a woman to be the pastor of a church or to teach men. I don't see how this is oppressive in the slightest. There are SO many ways and places to use the gifts for the body. Being able to preach the sermon on Sunday does not constitute a teaching-gifted woman coming into her full spiritual inheritance. She can teach her children or the younger women in her congregation and use her gifting that way.

And I am baffled by the idea that justice and equality might be measured, not by who we are in Christ (male and female, save and free, old and young), but by the postion one is allowed to hold in the Church. No one is advocating abuse or oppression here. Just different roles; roles that seem to be clearly laid forth in the New Testament. It's not insult, or oppressive, to be told that women should not teach or hold authority over a man, or that a wife should submit to her husband (I haven't even touched on that one yet, have I). And a little humility may be in order for those who think that. God is God and He has the RIGHT to give us any directive that He pleases.

I could be wrong, but the bigger picture I get of the Egalitarian movement, the more it seems to be based in pride- a desire to find a way to be equal in the sight of man- and not humble acceptance of God's apparant instruction to His people. If you just want to live out your calling, there are plenty of ways to do it without having to get all iffy according to New Testament instruction to the church...right?

I'm interested in how you are going to build egalitarian theology from the NT.


Michelle said...

hmm... I'm seeing the whole thing this way... I want to live out my freedom in Christ, not second-guess things but follow the leading of the Spirit within me. As I desire to do that, to simply "live" freely, the life I now live being His life flowing through me... I would like to know, are there any lines I'm not supposed to cross? Well yes, of course, there are firm boundaries in scripture - I can't just divorce my husband to run off and be Mother Teresa to the world (I have no desire to do that). I also have no desire to be a pastor. But are there firm lines set in scripture for me as a woman, specifically, that I should be aware of and not just go off speaking/leading/sharing wherever I feel the spirit may lead? Most say yes. Those lines to me seem awfully grey, because so many well meaning, well read, God-fearing people come up with different places to lay them. But for me, this study is interesting because it highlights what other women in scripture have done as they followed the Lord's leading. Were they looked on as having sinned for crossing some boundary that was laid down for them, or were they praised for what they did in service to God? I'd want to know the facts, on both counts. And following that... where are the lines for us now, in this time, based on what scripture has to say? Where does that play in? Are we ever guilty of clinging tighter to cultural norms than we are to Him? I'm not saying we are or aren't, these are just the kinds of questions I ask.

wonder if that makes sense... and ya know, this is too good, cause I am SPOSED to be making lunch right now (I just said sposed) ha! :)

Micah said...

Yes, it makes perfect sense, Michelle:).

Our western cultural norms would certainly say that women have equal "rights" in all areas! At least around here. And other cultural norms would say that women are lesser human beings with few "rights".

One thing though. Just because so many God fearing people find different places to lay the lines doesn't mean that the theology is to be ditched and remade into something that is highly and easily debatable. It just means that different people hold different convictions as to how to apply specific scripture. The problem comes when "teachers" start to write specifics into the scripture that aren't there and begin enforcing them as if they are. Or when they take a passage and interpret it in a way that doesn't fit with the rest of the Bible, and then make a theology out of it. This is why teachers are held to such a high standard and the NT tells us that not many should presume to be teachers.

As Christians, we are to be set apart and led by the Holy Spirit, using the Bible as a guide to make sure that we aren't motivated by the flesh into doing something God would rather have us not do. I think that's why studying the Bible and discussing it honestly is so important. Many times, men and women have a thought of how things should look according to their flawed human perspective so things in the Bible don't sit right with us. That's where humility, faith and trust come in. Sort of like how Tia trusts God even though she doesn't quite see how the OT and NT gel.

BTW, Tia. I used to really struggle with this too until someone put everything in perspective for me. It was like a lightbulb came on in my mind and the whole Bible suddenly made so much more sense to me. It was nearly explosive. All these things that had never fit together suddenly fell into place. I won't post about it here. Very involved. But maybe sometime on my blog. It would be a good topic for a post.

Tonya said...

Oops. That was me. My 8 year old was blogging earlier and I forgot to change my identity before I posted my comment:).

musicmommy3 said...

OK pretty much everything Tonya said. No kidding. That's most of what I was thinking. Thanks for saving my fingers Tonya. :)

I just want to throw this out there for you to think about. I know you have a fabulous heart. You are all about justice, freedom, and equality. Those things come out of a heart of compassion. My question is this (and I'm NOT attacking here)...

If you had lived all your life in a unbelievable country where women had always been highly valued would your argument look the same to you? I mean this as gently as possible.
I think it is possible for people who desire justice and value for all humans to take that into their theology and it somehow skews things. Those compassionate believers start noticing perceived injustices that aren't injustices to God. God is a VERY just God. He wants us all to be free but He wants us to be free in the system that HE set up.

Say that I grew up in a household of abuse as a child and my opinions, thoughts, desires, were completely overlooked. I would go into my marriage and other relationships looking to be valued. Say I came to a church where they didn't let women teach from the pulpit. I might feel slighted. On the other hand if I had come from a good family where every member was valued no matter what their position in the family- I might just look at it like, "Oh I guess that's what men do here and not women. No biggie. I just need to find my place to serve."

One more example...Say I start to notice great leadership qualities in my oldest son. Say, around age 12,he feels like he is a great leader and we are squelching his giftings because we won't let him lead our family. Would it be right to turn the family leadership over to him? Would it not be better that he lead a small group of other kids? That way he could live out his gifting in a setting that is correct. He would not be being squelched. He would be fulfilling his call in the correct setting.

(Like Tonya was talking about when she mentioned the Scripture in Titus about older women teaching younger women.)

Don't get me wrong. I think the line is clear in the family but much more blurrier in the Body. I don't have all the answers. I have questions. I just don't want to throw out sound teaching for what "sounds right to me".

That said, I am enjoying learning even more about where you are coming from. I have held off on commenting (much)till now because I truly want to understand the difference in interpretation.

Love ya!
Angela :)
I'm looking forward to the NT stuff!

p.s. We, as believers SHOULD care about those women and children (and men) who are truly oppressed. I was in mo way saying that we shouldn't lest anyone get the wrong idea. :)

Peter said...

Tonya said: “I could be wrong, but the bigger picture I get of the Egalitarian movement, the more it seems to be based in pride- a desire to find a way to be equal in the sight of man- and not humble acceptance of God's apparant instruction to His people.”

Have you ever stopped to think that the complimentarian movement is infected with pride, since men cannot humble themselves to learn sound teaching from a woman? Or simply hear her read scripture or lead a prayer in their presence for that matter? If God gives a word, teaching, or vision, why shouldn’t a woman be able to share it with the entire body? It doesn’t sound like pride to you when a church must be all male-run (outside of Pentacostal complimentarianism), right down to the scripture readings, offered prayers, financial boards, and worship sessions?

Last I checked, humans made up each camp, so I suspect pride (along with other moral blemishes) can be identified within both. But to say that as a movement, egalitarianism is based in pride-when many of the leading egalitarian scholars are MEN, who want to uplift their sisters by giving them a voice and opportunity to use their gifts and talents in the midst of the entire body-is preposterous. The egalitarian case is one of equality, but more so, of unity, oneness, and mutual leadership and sacrifice, as lead by Holy Spirit.

Accusations of pride (as well as the Pauline scriptures) were launched by complimentarians throughout history as they vehemently opposed women’s suffrage, women’s admittance to college universities, and women gaining their own bank accounts and owning property. Women who fought for these things were written off as “place seekers” and “he-shes,” and any men who stood beside them were nothing more than “castrated enablers.” A movement based on including and empowering sixty percent of christians into all aspects of church life is not some frivolous, prideful pursuit of “titles” and “dominance,” it’s loving our sister-neighbors to the extent at which we love ourselves.

Will complimentarian men forever deny women that which they demand for themselves? This is not Christ’s example. All these men, who are so adamant about “leading,” should take a closer look at Christ’s example of leadership: which was based on servanthood and empowering others. He washed the feet of those he lead (traditionally a servant girl’s job!). It would do the complimentarian men a world of good to wash a dish or two after a church picnic and allow their women to participate in public service beyond singing in their pews.

The ideal egalitarian model of church life is for men and women to work together and to both participate in the “behind the scene functions” and the public functions; neither abandoning either sphere.

Tia Lynn said...

Angela! Please don’t ever hesitate to share your concerns! I am totally fine with disagreement. The only time it erks me is when criticism is steeped in judgment, stereotype, and “validity of faith” tones. :) None of which, you have ever done!

First, I COMPLETELY agree about what you said: about God wanting us to be free within the system HE set up. No argument there. The POV of E’s is not “we should be able to do this even though it is against God’s design because it seems right to us.” E’s advocate women’s leadership alongside men precisely because they are convinced THAT is the system God has set up. As we start to delve into why they are convinced of this with N. T. scripture, I’m sure some interesting conversation will arise.

Yes, people can find ways to serve in the face of restrictions or limitations in a church body. But the idea is to challenge the church to reflect God’s best: a closely united body where all God’s people are afforded the same opportunities and spiritual privledges based on training and giftedness.

musicmommy3 said...

I know you are fine with disagreement. I just know that sometimes I can come across as proud or self-righteous- and that would be harmful in an open discussion.

I want to understand your Scriptural viewpoint better. I don't want to "shut down" others who have different views than I do because then they would feel like it would be a waste of time to explain them to me.

That's why the careful wording. :)

bethany said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I truly love this post. I share your struggle with some Old Testament tales. These jems give me hope, too. Thank you for introducing me to them.

Tia Lynn said...

Peter, I just read your comment. I have a total intellectual crush on you. :)

I would also like to point out that the historic complementarian position didn’t mask their theology with an “equal, but different” tap-dancing, PC terminology. Right up until the 1970s, complementarians’ view on women in ministry and leadership was based on the belief that women ARE inferior, both mentally and spiritually. This was the teaching of church fathers from the time of Constantine, the reformers, right up until the twentieth century. All of whom made significant impacts on how westerners translate and interpret scripture. I hear a lot of complementarians say things like “scripture doesn’t need to be reinterpreted for today,” but “traditional” complementarianism’s own view of scripture was reinterpreted “for today” less than fifty years ago. “Equal in worth, different in function” is a new understanding of the sexes in the historic complementarian worldview.

Scripture should never be “reinterpreted” to jive with the current trends, but we mustn’t always assume that “traditional interpretations” are “original interpretations” or “most accurate interpretations” either. The church has a long and ugly history of holding onto ridiculous understandings of scripture for centuries at a time. For crying out loud, the church missed “saved by grace through faith alone” for nearly a millennia! And then of course came the crusades, colonization, slavery, racism, segregation, and so forth, all supported with very “biblical” arguments.

Tonya said...

Hi Peter,

Yes:) I have thought about the fact that extreme complementarianism is rooted in pride. EXTREME pride. I have seen it first hand in the nastiest way you can imagine. Blech. At first, egalitarianism doesn't seem to have as much of a root there but the more I study it, the more it appears to be really reaching to make a point (biblically) that is incredibly weak. This means that much re-interpretation, inference and even bad hermenutics is happening. When you have to do those things to make a point, you are holding your position higher than you hold the scriptures.

I don't consider myself a part of any camp. I am looking for the correct interpretation of the Bible, no matter how it looks to man.

And pride is one of the sneakiest of sins. It can manifest itself in a bazillion ways. Just because egalitarian men want equality doesn't mean that they are humble. True humility comes from accepting God's directives, laws and veiws without trying to change them to make them fit our human understanding of how things should be.

Man demanding, denying or giving rights is the height of pride. Rights are given or witheld by our sovereign Creator. They do not belong to the egalitarian to give or by the complementarian to take away. The truly humble person will look to God's Word with no agenda.

The NT is going to be key here because this is where the Church as we know it has it's roots.

I'll leave it there for now. Gotta go the grocery store:)

alyssa said...

"One more example...Say I start to notice great leadership qualities in my oldest son. Say, around age 12,he feels like he is a great leader and we are squelching his giftings because we won't let him lead our family. Would it be right to turn the family leadership over to him? Would it not be better that he lead a small group of other kids? That way he could live out his gifting in a setting that is correct. He would not be being squelched. He would be fulfilling his call in the correct setting."-Angela

Angela, are you really comparing the level of competence of a child in relation to his/her parents with that of women to men, or wives to husbands?

This is where the truth of complementarianism comes out: a woman’s “role” or "ability" is equated to that of a child’s. A full grown, wise, and capable woman cannot dare presume to teach or preach to a man because she is looked upon as a child, who by definition, is less mature, less experienced, less learned, less educated, and less capable than adults. So this comparison is basically reasoning that to the extent at which a child is incapable of leading or teaching their adult parents, so is a woman incapable of doing the same in midst of men. Just one more reason why egalitarians call bluff on complementarians’ insistance that they, too, believe in equality.

musicmommy3 said...


You ABSOLUTELY misunderstood me.

You should meet me. It would blow your mind. :) I am a very STRONG woman who believes that women are JUST an valuable and smart and capable as men.

Let me try to explain it better...

What I was referring to are ROLES that, I believe, are set up in Scripture.

For example: A child is obviously under their parents' authority. No question about it. How then can they use all that God has given appropriately? What if a child was smarter than his/her parents? They would still not allow them to lead or become primary decision maker for the home. That is the parents' job. They may ask his advice on certain things but he would not become an authority above his parents. How then, could he fulfill the giftings and callings inside using them in an appropriate context. That's all I was saying.

Some Cs may believe that women are inferior but there are LOTS of us who do not.

You said:
"This is where the truth of complementarianism comes out: a woman’s “role” or "ability" is equated to that of a child’s. A full grown, wise, and capable woman cannot dare presume to teach or preach to a man because she is looked upon as a child, who by definition, is less mature, less experienced, less learned, less educated, and less capable than adults"

That is not the truth of what ALL complementarians think. Some probably do. Not me.

Anonymous said...

Well, I didn't see any egalitarian male voices comenting on his blog, so I thought I would add my humble contribution to the debate as an egalitarian (Latino) male brother.

I would like to suggest William Webb's (Dallas Theological Seminary)book titled "Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals". It is a great work which gives a robust structure for interpreting scripture with a "redemptive movement hermeneutics" - his coinage - (as opposed to a "static" hermeneutics. He delineates several criteria to enable us to distinguish what is a "time locked" command vs what transcends culture and time. For example, a static hermeneutic would biblicaly justify slavery today if it came back today, and saddly some of our brethrem would be defend it, however a redemptive movement hermeneutic is taking us to an ultimate biblical ethics which is transforming societies/cultures world over; saddly we still have significant work to do on how we treat women.

Regarding authority, as my seminary graduate son would say, is the wrong question to ask, as it is ladden with "the lording it over" concept/idea; in his book, Webb highlights that time and time again, God and men bypassed convetions of the time in both the OT and NT, to put persons in leadership, male or female, that exhibit the qualities of having a heart after God, were of good character, and had the gift of leadership/teaching - nothing more.

Terry's interpretation/statement of "expressed command not to teach men" is an example of a time locked cultural command for the early church; typicaly women were uneducated, significantly younger than their husbands, and definetily with no training in leadership exept in some rare cases.

I'm obviously no doing justice to Webb and highly recommend a study of his book; you'll not regret it. If one of you reads it, than my comment here was worth it.



Tia Lynn said...

Welcome Carlos! Thank you for the recommendation. I agree that the concept of "spiritual authority" has been perverted by the world's idea of "authority." So when egalitarians speak of women having equal authority, images of women ruling, dominating, and controlling men start popping up. This is NOT what egalitarians mean in the least. Please come back and contribute to the conversation on the New Testament, as that should begin monday or tuesday! :)

Anonymous said...

Tia Lynn, will do. I think of another thread which can be pursued along this "authority" line which I recently read using Physics. Caleb Rosado, a professor at Eastern, in a paper titled "Quantum Phsics and Urban Transformation" at one point in the paper, discusses the differences of force vs. power when he talks about impacting change. We all have been taught and view gravity as a force; newer understanding (Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos) is that massive bodies change and bend space/time which a power to attract and keep smaller objects in their orbits around the larger bodies; in a way very similar to what happens in those mall devices where you drop a coin into the funnel and the coin goes round and round as it looses velocity due to friction and eventually falls into te whole. Some will say that mother Theresa had authority, however it is very clear to see that it was the Power of the Being being her Life that affected and transformed her world, and so it be with each of us.

I am excited to the changes that are taking place in the church and we need to keep challenging old expired paradigms humbly but firmly and look afresh, as N.T. Wright proposes, at the underlying spiritual truths of of the Scriptures.

This was supposed a short comment; sorry but I get carried away:-)

tio Carlos

Psalmist said...

God calls, equips, and chooses the place(s) of service for, each of us. God is sovereign in this.

Now the issue I see you at least trying to come to terms with, Tonya, is this: Why wouldn't a woman gifted to pastor and teach, be content to limit the exercise of these gifts to women only?

The answer is simple. God doesn't always conveniently cater to the sensibilities of people who believe women aren't allowed to pastor or teach men. Sometimes, God calls women to pastor entire congregations/communities, and to teach both women and men. A woman called to such ministries by God, will not be content to deny such a call by serving elsewhere and otherwise than God commands.

I can see that it would be baffling if you've never considered that God has the right to call women in this way. However, women who HAVE been called to pastoral and teaching ministries to entire churches, but whose churches deny God's sovereignty to do so, understand all too well the dilemma their churches put them in.

Perhaps people in such churches can't conceive of God doing such an outlandish thing, because any women whom God calls to congregational leadership have had to leave in order to obey God, or deny God and keep quiet about it in order to obey their church's rules.

DeeAnn said...

This totally does not relate to this current post, but I went back and read that old post that you told me about last night. I completely disagree with all 8 points, not just because I'm some Pearl follower or anything, I just don't think any of those statements are accurate. I tried to be open-minded, but I just don't agree.

Tonya said...

Psalmist, thanks for trying to help me grasp things.

I am not really trying to come to terms with egalitarian women's discontent though. That is nearly a non-issue if the Bible is clear that women should not be teaching men or leading in the church without male authority. What I am not clear on is how the Bible is being properly interpreted to overlook these very straightforward and specific NT scriptures since I think we are all looking for the stronger postition. If someone can explain this to me in a way that retains the full integrity of the Bible, I would really appreciate it. I'm sure it will come up in the study of the NT.

And I have known people who feel "called" to all sorts of unbiblical foolishness so a woman feeling "called" is not a valid arguement for me. Many times, our "callings" are simply our desires and we blame them on God in order to justify them. Our callings must line up with scripture and we should judge everything by it's light:).

Tia Lynn said...

Hey Tonya,

The verses in 1 Timonty, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians 5, etc. will all have their own separate posts (multiple for some). No one will be glossing over them. :)

Hey Deann, I’m not sure what you mean: do you mean you don’t believe that the 8 points are wrong teachings or that the 8 points don’t accurately portray the pearls teach? Don’t stop at the points, click the links and read the articles. There’s some ‘splaining...

Anonymous said...

Hey Tonya, how much reading and studying do you want to do? I don't think you will get a succint paragraph comment on this blog that will satisfy your question.

You could start with my suggestion in the above comments of Webb's book and then Sara Sumner's book "Men and Women in the Church -Building Consensus on Christian Leadership. These two books present a more rigorous study/theological framework than Gilbert Bilzekian's "Beyound Sex Roles".

I agree with N. T. Wright that we must go back and revisit Scriptures with the experiential, cultural, and historical aspects in mind vs some abstract orphaned truth.

In a way traditional evangelicalism must start shedding some of its obsolete paradigms and we must look afresh at escriptures; exegesis has not been exhausted and traditions must change and our interpretations fine tuned. (No matter how well developed one has, it is never perfect and needs fine tuning as new discoveries are made)

Go for it and start digging with the help of some of these great scholars...

Peace sister...


Tonya said...

Carlos, you are so kind!:).

I actually looked up the book you suggested (the one by Webb) during my free time last night to see if I could find an overveiw or good review since I had no access to the library or bookstore at the moment. I am going to try to find the actual book at the library this week. Thanks for suggesting it:)

What I have been doing to aid my comprehension is reading E theology online to understand the position and arguments for it. I have also been studying the greek and history on my own, and reading C rebuttals to E's and E rebuttals to C's. I have talked to my husband about his thoughts on the matter and I asked my bibilical-history-buff-and-greek-savvy pastor a few things yesterday and he explained them to me from the historical context using the greek.

One of the problems I am having is that the camps are both claiming history and original language as supportive to their position. And the most straightforward seems to be the stronger of the positions. I really do want to understand, mostly because I would love to see some sort of consensus where your average E's don't think of C's as oppressive/oppressed and your average C's don't think of E's as out in left field (grin), but I don't feel right about working the Bible in order to be able to throw my support behind something I don't see as the stronger of the positions biblically. I believe that God loves us and that He preserved His Word to us in order to help us walk worthy of the calling we have received. Paul told Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely (for very good reasons, according to Paul). And we are told not to be blown about by every new teaching. If I seem reluctant to capitulate to E theology, it is because I am not seeing the proof that a huge change in the traditional interpretation is either necessary or, more importantly, wise (biblically). I don't believe human opinion, nor the culture, should dictate the basic, straightforward interpretation of God's word. I know you probably disagree with that statement, but that's where I'm coming from, just so you know:).

And that said, I really appreciate your willingness to help me understand where YOU are coming from. I look forward to any insight you can give me or anything you want to throw out there during the NT discussion that challenges my present position. I may have missed something and be totally unaware of a flaw in my personal reasoning about this. And thanks again for being so kind. I actually teared up a little at the "peace sister". LOL! If we never meet on earth, I'll give you a hug in heaven for that:).

Peace back at ya, brother:)


Anonymous said...


Thanks for your response; it is good to start the day with such encouragement. Before I really get into my day's work, I'll continue the dialogue with one more post.

I don't think the idea is capitulation or one side winning over the other; the perspective or point of reference should be the passage in Pronverbs "as iron sharpens iron, so should we be with each other ..." or as what Paul said about the Bereans that "they were more noble" as they went to check if it were so on Paul's re-thing of his second temple Judaism and the Messiaship of Christ (by the way just finished N. T. Wright's book on Paul - simply brilliant). So the objective should be to have the the most accurate and coherent interpretation/understanting of the Essential Life in each of us.

The other preamble, which I did not expressed completely in my previous comment, is that "No matter how well developed an interpretation one has, it is never perfect, and always in need of fine tunning" -if someone comes in and tells me they have the perfect interpretation, sadly but I immediately know there won't be an opportunity or room for any dialogue; this blog doesn't seem to be the case and hopefully we are learning from and challenging each other :-)

I guess I've been in the E camp for the pas 20 os so years but just learned the term last year when my wife and I were resignd from leading a community group in a local church when, in the spirit of the two basis above, we posted in the member's forum a challenge to the pastor (and eldeerr's position) complementarian sermon on women's roles as to eldership and teaching. Another fact, 70-80% of members/attenders in this church is comprised of 20 and 30 something students (udergrad and grads) from SLU , WashU, and other colleges pursuing medical, law, Engr, and Bus degrees; in our CG of 15 there were 3 males. My wife and loveto mentor such young people and we were willing to submitt to elder's authority and respect their stance, however they chose to make it a close hand and required us to sign and agree to their stance on no women elders if we wanted to conntinue leading our group. Sadgly we could not, and it forced us into deepr study and prayer, ergo the books recommenttdations. It has been a fascinating journey in which God is teaching us even in our mature years.

Since then, there is a nagging question that has been nagging me constantly; what is it it that causes this exclusion? (by the way Miroslav Volfe's book "Exclusion and Embrace is also brilliant); is it fear? of what? Webb close his book with the Chapter titled "What if I'm Wrong?"

Even this morning, my wife and I were mulling this and she said that maybe it is our desire to be right that may be is blinding us; or maybe it is the years of ingrained evangelical paradigms which incapacitates us to change and grow. Mind you, she and I had a violent emotional argument when I was convinced of the more coherent(with facts from God's second book - The Book of Nature)view of the old earth and a localized flood, but this is another story and I digress.

On the possibility of being wrong, I'd rather err on the side that it recognizes God gifting women and allow them to exercise their gifts within the "gathering" and community of People of the Covenant rather than deny them. Granted, one could use the same argument from the other pespective, however, to use an analogy; at the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision, Justice Blackburn used the argument at that time, that we did not know for sure when a life begins and therefore opted for abortion; his decision would have been more noble decision had he opted otherwise as this thinking is similar to a hunter sitting in his perch waiting for the deer; he sees the bush moves, thinking it a deer shoots it only to find out it was another hunter coming up the ridge.

My apologies for this lengthy post but it is from the heart.

Peace again Sis....:-)


Tia Lynn said...

I just wanted to let everyone know that the last week has been insane. I’ve been working everyday, school things are due, and to top it off, I have two separate family crisises brewing back home. One parent is going through a divorce and the other parent is currently in jail (parents married to different people). Just one insight into my personal dysfunction junction. So, I’ve been preoccupied to say the least and haven’t been able to spruce up the N.T. posts yet. And since I know Tonya won’t let me slide, I gotta make sure they are in tip top condition! :)

Anonymous said...

tia lynn,

sorry about your crisis and we'll hold you up in our prayers; hang in there girl....


catrina said...

Carlos I aprreciate the spirit in which you have approached this debate. There are many problems with Webbs book that you referenced earlier. He does rightly assume that we must interpret scriptures with a view to their redemptive movement so that we discern the spirit of the text, but he misses the mark when it comes to redemptive history. The life, death, ministry and resurrection are the climax and fulfillment of the scriptures. Most of the cultural examples can easily be disparged when you can grasp redemptive histroy. Sacrifices, clothing, tatoos, menustration restrictions, food laws and many more are no longer relevant because of the epochal shifts between the OT and NT. It is vital to see how this changes your view of the OT. The OT points to Christ and then is fulfilled by him. The NT is the fulfillment of the OT. In Jude our faith has been given to us once and for all. In Hebrews 1 it states that "God in various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by prophets, and in these last days have spoken to us by his Son," "who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of God." It is all over, the NT is the final and definitive word that speaks to every practical issue for all time. I don't think Webb or maybe even you see clearly that when God sent his son, born of a woman under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might be sons and not slaves to the law, that takes care of the examples of culture in the OT. It is a done deal and no longer can be used to say that we need further word or instruction to understand how to apply scripture. Webb does provide some help in application of some of these difficult issues, like tithing, sabbath, etc., but redemptive history is not given it's proper place in the discussion. We have to interpret scripture in light of the fulfillment of Jesus. All scripture has to be related through Jesus. That is why you can't take isolated words or texts and make a doctrine out of them, like so many do to justify slavery or any other madness one desires. It is imperative to apply Biblical theology before applying the text. We shouldn't confine ourselves to the words on the page, we have to think about how to apply redemptive history before we can apply them to todays world. To proclaim equality from Gal 3 does not rule out the differences in roles in Eph 5. Just because women function in the role of prophet does not mean that they can teach and hold authority over men in the church, teaching, and prophecy are distinctive. I will leave it here for now, and save some for the NT study. I can't strongly emphasize enough how important it is to interpret the Bible with the Bible. A man, Webb or any other is not a unbiased source, and while you can glean valuable insight from them you can NOT build doctrine and theology around it. I appreciate your willingness to engage.

catrina said...

I just posted a novel and realized that you posted again. It is interesting to me that you said you would rather err on the side of caution regading women.(I paraphase) I want to ask a stupid ?. If you had no other books or resources and you were just given a Bible in your language, what position would have the strongest support from the Bible in your hand?, taking into account that the NT is a fulfillment of the OT and we are no longer under law? This is always where I am scoffed at by people that lean in your direction. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

catrina said...

Tia, sorry for all the mess around you right now. Take your time, we will still be waiting for you. lol Seriously though, we will continue to lift up your family in prayer. Love you!

Terry said...

Tia Lynn,
praying that you find peace, strength and guidance during this challenging time. Though we are enjoying your thought-provoking series, your real life takes precedence over your cyber-life and we'll be here when you get back. Hang in there!

Tonya said...

Good grief, I am so weepy. I am so sorry about your parents, Tia. I thought things were going better with you mom and her hubby! I am so sorry:(. If there is anything I can do besides pray, let me know. And you're off the hook on putting up those NT posts as far as I'm concerned. Take care of what needs to be taken care of and don't worry about this stuff at all until life is less bumpy. I'll see you at church on Sunday? We'll be in Ga for the weekend.

Carlos, you continue to make me smile happily:). I feel like I can relate to your way of thinking about things even though I don't necessarily agree with everything you are saying. I love your wife too even though I have never met her either:):):). I want to post more on what you said sometime, at least I hope to, but right now I have a kitchen full of children (not all mine) and a house full of company to prepare for tonight so this will have to go on the back burner until I have a moment:).

Christy Fritz said...

praying for you too tia...:)

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here trying to think how best to articulate my response(I'm on my lunch time - CST) with gentleness and openess as I do not want you to feel scoffed (I apologise for the brothers and sisters that did that to you) or attacked; my purpose is for us to journey and learn together as we keep looking into the face of the Father.

To begin with, I hope you've read Webb's book because I didn't see him missing the redemptive work of Christ. Webb's book is not exhaustive as no work is and I again bring up my previous statement which agrees with you that there are problems with all interpretations as they are not, no matter how well developed, perfect; your "Sola Scriptura" statement (letting the bible interpret itself (paraphrase)is true and the Spirit does illuminate truths to those who seek after God; however if one pushes it to its logical conclusion, then I really should not be listening to what you have to say or read any exegetical work - by the way exegisis has not been exhausted and we are not lefft only with traditions; I don't think you mean this as I think you'll agree that God has given us a world wide community of people of the covenant so we can feast togetther and learn from each other as we to do works of the Kingdom together.

I would also question you statements that culminate with "the NT is the final and definitive word that speaks to every practical issue for all time" and we do not need the OT(my paraphrase) - that's pretty bold albeit a bit naive in my opinion as there is an infinitude of truths we can glean from the OT about the Father and his love and relationship to humanity and the role Israel was supposed to play yet became part of the problem.

George MacDonald, the late 1800 Scotish writer has an interesting take on the rich young ruler and keeping the law (Unspoken Sermons chapters on The Way and The Hardness of the Way) as to what the purpose of the law was, which was to find God, the "Life Essential" (his coinage - and please don't call me a heretic because I read him :-)).

What does the Father desire? I will not quote the verses as you well know them and only say that, I can can assure you, it is NOT our rightness and having the correct interpretation about local church governance; I think He couldn't care less as He didn't care about the young ruler's money, but desired his heart.

Regarding your last question, as my seminary graduate son would say, it is not the right question to ask, however I will humor you and answer.

Both from the OT and NT we can glean that criteria for leadership and teaching, three characteristics stand out: having a heart after God, the person's (regardless of gender) character, and the ability to lead and teach.

I apologise if I've been too direct, but I am as intense as you are in wanting to know the Father and His truths. If I ever come to the point and say that I've arrived and have the perfect interpretation, this is the day you have my permission to hit me across the eye with a beiseball bat, because it will be the day I shut my heart from God and His people.

Sorry for the epistle :-)



musicmommy3 said...

Hey Tia,

Take care of the important stuff first. (Your family of course.)

Love, ADL

musicmommy3 said...

I am appreciating your thoughts too. I appreciate the graciousness you have in stating your view of what Scripture says. This is refreshing. Thanks!

Angela :)

Tia Lynn said...

Thanks everyone for the well wishes. There’s still some hope on my mom’s end and jimbo (dad/sperm donor) going to jail is a blessing in disguise, so his wife will finally be motivated to get away from him once and for all. Prayers are appreciated!!

Catrina, I think egalitarians argue “redemptive history,” just as much, if not more. Part of the redemption is the restoration made possible in human relationships. I gotta run to work, so I don’t have time to elaborate now, but later! Or in another post! :)

Tonya said...

Child napping and all others outside. I probably have about 2 seconds:):):)

Carlos, I know Catrina personally and I know that she does not believe that we do not need the OT. I think her point was that we are no longer reqired to apply the law. I personally have been asked by an E "if you want to interpret the Bible literally, why are you wearing clothing woven of two types of material" and other such questions. I was amazed that she even thought to ask that question as I find it very clear in the NT that we are no longer bound by the Law and that Jesus was the fulfillment of it. He is our righteousness. I have known Cat for nearly 20 years and I know that she believes this also and finds great value in the OT. I think her point was that the NT can be interpreted as God's word to the church, founded on the redemption and the OT as God's word pointing to Christ His character.

If we interpret NT with that in mind, what does it say to us as the Body? And can egalitarian, or complementaraian, theology fit without using the proverbial scissors?

Okay, that was way more than 2 seconds worth. Gotta run:).

catrina said...

Hey Carlos,
1. You can NEVER be too direct with me, somehow the Lord gave me Rhino skin so not a whole lot pierces me.

2. Tonya was 100% correct in her assesment of my value of the OT. When I have had these discussions with people that lean more "E", they tend to rub the OT in my face like that trumps the NT. I love the OT, to me I see a jealous God pursuing his bride to the extent of violence and I find it awe inspiring.

3. Your son is right. I always ask the most inappropriate ?'s, but it is something that weighs heavy on my mind. What is the scriptures guidelines for gender roles that require the least wiggle room to fit the position. Can the word be trusted 100% and is applicable for the span of the ages. My flesh would love to seek revenge on my enemies,(I don't really have any personally,but I make a point) even though some OT stories look like that was permissable, the whole of scripture would suggest otherwise. So this is not a personal vendetta to keep women down or inferior. I personally don't take issue with this topic in particular, it is the interpretation of scripture, doctrine and biblical theology that interest me with the Emergent movement. I have read on several blogs out of Emergent village, emergent women and some others that suggest homosexuality is not a sin if it is in a committed relationship. Webb was able to state that the OT and NT don't support that line of thinking.

4. No I do not believe that exegesis of the scripture has been exhausted in the way that we apply it to our modern world, however I'm not sure if I think that new doctrine and theology can come from it. Afterall God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and it is man who is always trying to change. By no means I am suggesting that I have it all figured out and have arrived, I would be greatly sorrowful if that is the feeling I am giving off. That kind of attitude only sows discord among the brethern.

5. No, I have not read the book completely. I saw that you referenced it on another persons blog and I looked at some of its reviews from an E viewpoint (someone at Dallas seminary but I am at a loss too whom.) I also found chapter excerpts online. I love reading people that don't always tickle my own ears. Our dear host Tia lends me all her leftovers. I am reading Mclaren now, and a book that 16 emergents comprised on together. I will read Webb because even the stricter fundamentalist review said it was the best book on the topic and there was lots of valuable insights.

6. I agree with you that the heart is what matters most. I don't think that just because there are stories in the OT of women doing great things that that is God's ideal. Because of the NT we know Gods heart for marriage, unlike that guy (Solomon) who must not of had a clue. (wink!) We are only accountable for the knowledge we have been given.

If I have left anything out that is important, please let me know. I think this conversation is so important to have for the sake of unity. God asks us to be ready to give an answer to all who ask. I am pleased to participate in this discussion with a gracious Equalitarian man as yourself.

Carlao said...

hey Catrina, I did draft a reponse but just lst it and I'm totaly bummed out...So sorry.

David said...

Amen sista!

Anonymous said...

I will try again this morning and hopefully will not send it to never never land or suspend it in purgatory:-)

Angela, thanks and Tonya, Strasdviutie (sp) and Dobroe Dien - my parents were from Byeloruss (White Russia) - your fam looks wonderfull; belated congrats on your daughter. I got 3 sons and one daughter(youngest and graduating in May from SLU w/a nursing degree - she is smart enough to be a Doctor).

Anyway, Catrina, thanks for your response; ( Tonya, thanks for standing by her - I knew that and was just trying to make a point that if I took her words "literally" I would be gravely mistaken about her and what she is saying).

Catrina, point by point (you must be left brained :-))

1. I'm glad, however a caveat; my wife's motto during her college years was a line from Simon-Garfunkel song "I'm a rock, I am an Island; no one touches me" - you could shut people and God out.

2. See my comment above to Tonya. As for the Law, (see my G. Macdonald comment on 5) Sunday night we discusseed 2 chapters in McDonald's book that dealt with the rich young ruler that came to Christ and kept the whole law. Was was the ppurpose of the law? to bring people to GOD and so they could get the Life Essential (MacDonald's coinage). Interesting the main idea we all have been ingrained with is that it is hard if you rich, but MacDonald does an excellent job to point out tha it is hard for anyone period, as I can attest and evidence daily as I try to do works of the Kingdom.

3. Iteresting your translation of my "right" to your "inappropriate" question; I think the questions entirely appropriate, however tthe meaning of the right, has more do to of it being wrrong, from the wrong perspective, angle, or the "old wine skin" perspective in need to be queried from a different angle and point of reference; I'm probably just confusing you but reflect on it :-); thought it interesting as well you calling my erring "cautious" - I would think it bold and agressive stand vs the status quo...

4. Good so there are new discoveries that result from exegesis, therefore and as such they will change and adjust theological and doctrinal constructs of men (generic of course - should use women just to be bold).

5. Thanks for your honesty and it is ok if you don't want to read Webb; I probably will not read Piper or Grueden as I want to use my limitted time with my preferred authors/mentors. Have not read McClaren but heard a lot about him/his writings. Got severall books on my night stand waiting to be read; my present community group (strongest ever and longest lasting) is a C.S.Lewis book club - an eclectic group from several different churches; read a lot of his works, presently going through some of George MacDonald (he heavily influenced Lewis) unspoken sermons, and we do some of the other inklings as well; we do branch out sometime and did some of D. Willard's Divine Conspiracy while on a walking tour in Scotland - brillinat book.

6. Yes the Father desires our heart. I think Solomonn got it in the end, (from the end of Eclesiastes); As a grade school kid in my Sunday School class in Brazil, I was so impreseed with and his choice for wisdom instead of anything else, that at that time I sort of made the same request of the Father, and I think He, to some extent ( as I had made some stupid decisions in my life), has honored it.

Hey, thanks to you, Tonya, Angela and the rest for being so gracious with me and not summerily dismissing me. I enjoyed the dialogue immensely and looking forward to Tia's NT post.

Have a great day and God Bless....


catrina said...

You have to take it easy on me, I am not as smart as I sound. lol! I had to look up Caveat and I only meant by "rhino skin" is that I am not easily offended. I like directness and am not often wounded from criticism.

I am left handed so does that make me left brained? (see my ignorance again)I am a horrible writer and my thoughts never seem to match the written word, that is why I # everything.

thought it interesting as well you calling my erring "cautious" - I would think it bold and agressive stand vs the status quo...

I can't find where I said this.

I will think about all you said and have reread the comments several times already to grasp what each person is trying to say. I think that I can state fairly honestly that I don't have an agenda to prove this theroy wrong. My agenda is to gain understanding and then filter it through the Holy spirit that lives in me, and be a good steward of the knowledge that he has given me and act accordingly.

We would never dismiss you on this blog. We (Tonya, Tia, myself, Angela, Christy, Deeann) know each other in real life. We are seekers mainly, not that we don't have strong OPINIONS but that is what they are. Look forward to seeing you on the NT.

I will read Webb, because I am truly interested. HOwever it won't be in time for this discussion.

Have a good day at work.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your post and if there is any comfort, I'm not smart either; I'm embarrassed to say but my undergrad GPA was 2.3 out of 4.

But you got it right, let the H.S. instruct you and you'll be surpriseed He will also make you smart :-).

Got to run so soory forr the brevity; maybe we'll come down to Goergia and meet up with y'all.