Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slippery slopes...

It never fails to happen. When we become enlightened, or have an epiphany about something, we want to share it with the world.
Not surprising. And mostly a good thing to share.
A trend that I've seen, though, is to start shoving it down everyone's throat. For example, the entire meaning of life for atheists is to prove that God doesn't exist; that people who believe in God are non-thinking trodlodytes. There is no real celebration or purpose in being an athiest unless it's making a case against non-atheists!
I can be guilty of this as well...I'm rabid about women in leadership positions should they be called. However, I am just protecting my rights, and standing up for the rights of others. If I'm in a place that is bigoted and teaching the wrong biblical stuff, though, I just leave. I might say something if asked, but otherwise, shake the dust off.
What I'm getting at is this: There is such a wide variety of "believing" in the world today among Christians. Variety about the nature of God, the difference in denominations. People write books to knock down the way others think about who God is. Why? Doesn't denying someone's belief about God just make Him really small? I told my friend that sometimes God is that Dad figure that I can snuggle up to and rest against. Sometimes, He is the Warrior walking beside me, giving me the right words to say and standing with me. Is this all in my head? Hardly. God doesn't fit in ANYONE'S box! He can do anything, be anything to anyone...He knows OUR need!

Just write about who YOU think God is, and it may speak to many people. But, trying to destroy the belief system of others makes us no different than the people who we think are closed-minded.
Why can't we just agree on the basics? We believe in God. How's that for a start? Does it matter if I think God is everywhere and you think God is a deity off there somewhere in the ether? Does it matter if you think Jesus looks like all those long-haired pictures that are everywhere, and I think He had shorter, curly hair, and hazel eyes?
It really doesn't, does it?
Let's build up. Let's stop being so pompous in thinking that we've "transcended" all other beliefs. Let's stop trying to stomp on others' beliefs and concentrate on what WE believe. You never know. Relating your personal story can have a lot more impact than throwing out a Perry Mason line of attack on someone else's thoughts.
If we have common ground to maintain relationship and can accept each others' differences, isn't that what God really wants? And isn't that what being a true Christian is all about?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Each needs the other. . . .

You may have to click on this. I wrote this 3 years ago, but it speaks to the man/woman issue.

Enough already!!

Righteous Ranting Warning. . .

Haven't churches done enough damage? I posted here a little bit ago about women in ministry. Sorry...I meant LEADERSHIP in ministry--not just being allowed to work in some smaller phase of the church. Women following their callings....whatever they may be! I found a great little denomination that is ALL for women planting and leading churches, but they have a little disclaimer.....yeah, the man is STILL THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE, because "scripture" says so. I have literally HAD it with ignorant, arrogant, "powers that be" who still cling to that "man is the head of woman" nonsense. These PTB insist that "head" means "boss" because they refuse to understand that nuances of the English language CANNOT be applied to the Greek! "Head' means just that....physical head or source, like that of a river. Had the scripture meant that men were to rule over women, the word "archon" would have been used. Kephale means, literally, head or source; Paul was teaching against the pagan thought that Eve or women somehow came first and man was beget from woman. And, don't even try the "wives submit to your husbands" stuff on me. For one thing the word "submit" is mistranslated; second, it was poked in there by misogynistic translators lusting after cultural control--it was added. Isn't there something in scripture about the dangers of adding to the Word? ;-)

Sadly, most of today's preachers are disabled spiritually by their lack of continuing education--and sometimes by their hard and egotistic hearts. I have many resources of PhD's in the Greek and ancient languages who have moved forward and discovered the true meanings and GREEK nuances of what was being told. I trust them implicitly; they are using newly discovered papers that are contemporary to Biblical times. Why do people not realize there is a LARGE percentage of un-translated words in the King James--that words were insinuated and tucked in there?

Having a pastor who does not keep up with new discoveries is like having a doctor who only practices what he or she was originally taught in medical school. That's dangerous, yes? And so it is with churches today. Untold damage, untold bondage, and defiance to God, disrespect of Jesus' death on the Cross and the torn curtain, and ignoring Jesus and Paul's utilization of women in ALL phases of ministry. Leading, anointing, blessing, evangelizing.

There is only Freedom in Christ! Ephesians tells us to attach to and support one another (NOT submit!). How much bigger is it to allow the gifts and supporting to flow like heavenly breathing among us? Have you ever noticed how, when no one is 'trying' to be the boss, or 'appointed' to be the boss, that a natural leader emerges? And, how, most of the people around that leader recognize them as a leader--and that it fluctuates according to ability? The only ones who do not accept these natural leaders, or battle that leadership, are the ones who are more interested in themselves...not the good outcome of the project.

I know men who tell me that their wives are the spiritual leaders of the home. I know women who tell me their husbands are. I know men and women who tell me their spouse is the financial whiz in the home. Women who are the "handyman" of the home because the husband is all thumbs with power tools. What is wrong with that?

Why put the pressure on one person in a marriage, when clearly God gave both dominion over the earth? That God pulled woman from the 'adam' (human) making each fully one sex when they were both sexes in the beginning? That God wanted an "ezer kenegdo" for the man, meaning ‘one who is the same as the other and who surrounds, protects, aids, helps, supports.’ Kenegdo means "suitable or parallel." Ezer means "help;" the very same word David uses to refer to God. Are we to assume that God was David's subordinate? Don't think so.

My point here is that church as we know is dying. The mega-churches are flourishing, though. Why do you think that might be? I submit (as in present :-}) that it's because of small groups...groups where women are finding a way to follow their giftings, to pastor, to serve, to love, the members of their groups--much like Nympha or Chloe--and I suspect most of their husbands are letting them--because they know in their hearts that it's godly to do what is needed by God.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Does it, really?

Okay, I'm going to try not to name names in this post. I'm going to (try) to take an 'aside' stance. Recently, on a buddy's blog, there was, shall we say, some disagreement that has come to a head....some that has been going on for some time now. My buddy isn't the instigator, just another part of an ongoing backlash.
Division, actually. Division between a whole bunch of folks who all love Jesus. They all believe in different things, according to the way they have interpreted scripture. The word "heretic" has been bandied about, so you KNOW I love to slip around in that mud puddle.
So, here is my question:

Does the Gospel really need defense?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mutuality Magazine

I have no idea how I got it, but a magazine came in the mail to me some time ago. It was Mutuality-the voice of Christians for Biblical Equality.

It was certainly a breath of fresh air.

There was an article by one of my favorite egalitarian Christians, Gilbert Bilezikian. He shoots the 'headship' thing right out of the ring. He points out the traditionally quoted passages in 1 Timothy that supposedly exclude women from ministries--also exclude single men, childless married men, men with one child, men with disobedient and disrespectful children. I guess that would clear out a lot of pastors, wouldn't it? has a few articles by Bilezikian if you are interested. He is a charter member and elder at Willow Creek Community Church, a church that blossomed with the freedom of women in all phases of its ministries.

There was an interview by CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality) of Women's Advocate and SBC Pastor Wade Burleson, who is a champion for the just treatment of women in his denomination. He has a blog, and one of the posts that has been most read is about The Sheri Klouda saga .

There is an article by Dr. Jason Eden, (what a great name!) a history professor at Saint Cloud University. He says:
"My journey toward egalitarianism has been long and fruitful. The tools of a historian, properly employed, unlock clues regarding God's character differently than the tools of a linguist or theologian. In addition, although I recognize the important work of theologians and linguists, my journey shows that egalitarianism does not depend solely upon the linguistic analysis of specific passages. One need not have advanced theological or linguistic training to study the Bible and find evidence for the egalitarian position. Indeed, this is true even if we use translations of the Bible that reflect the biases of patriarchal scribes."
I've found this to be so very true.

Although I'm not in any "churches" now, (the ones with the walls around them) I mentioned to my dear friend Pat in my last post that I think "church" will become more like our Father intended it to be only when women are able to move fully in their spiritual gifts. As it is now, "church" is a mere shadow of what it could be. It will never flourish, never be "all that it can be" until all of His people are truly free.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rerun post from TSSO

I had trouble sleeping last night because I came across a webpage by an acquaintance. She persists in shunning women who are called to leadership--and has insulted me in my own home--even though she pushes her husband around--and builds the "case" on that one scripture (incorrectly translated) that tells wimmin' folk to shut up in church--while ignoring Junia, Nympha, Chloe, Priscilla, and Phoebe, among others.
My journey in Christianity has led me to some interesting places, and I'm at a point where the Bigness of God just makes my head spin. Church seems so very small right now, and I know some of you have great churches, I wish I could find one, or come with you. We visited a new one last week and my husband waited patiently while I calmed myself in the parking lot; all the frustrations coming back. It was friendly enough, but no women in leadership, so there you are. The communication card offered coffee, childcare, and parking as places to serve. There was no place to check ministering, or caring for people.
Not that we need to check a box for that. We're going back, though, and I'll have to suck it up because my husband doesn't have "church" every day with folks like you, like I do. I'll just have to Trust.
The bottom line is, I want the Really Good News out there.
Anyway, rather than rewrite, I thought I'd re-cycle, even though it's a little testy:

I really don't have anything intellectual to say about this subject right now. It's all from my gut.You know how I feel about the subject of women in just seems that the devil is throwing all these blogs, comments, and websites at me that espouse limits of the calling of women to pastor over a congregation. I'm not just talking about men here.First...I'm out of church, but women in ministry was never an issue with me personally. I was ordained as an elder...and the RCA considers that once an elder always an elder with them. Eldership means serving the Body. That's it, and that's the only way that I would allow myself to answer that call--in that manner. I always consider myself to be a servant. Kneeling before a congregation to be "ordained" meant that I made a public promise to do's unbelievable to me that in this day and age, with all the information available, that there are still Neanderthals among us who lie through their teeth when they say "women and men are equal. They just have different 'roles.'" The Q'uran says something similar. It says that women and men are equal, but men are 'more' equal than women.Hmmmm.Who of us has the right to say what anyone's role is? If God calls you to minister, to serve, you GO! If someone tries to stop you, just who exactly are they working for?Third...the powers that be, the ones who are keeping their chosen Bible translations in your hands, and the information away that they DON'T want you to see, are the ones we should be keeping an eye on. They want to confuse you by saying that these new translations are gender inclusive. That's a lie. The truth is they are gender ACCURATE. There's a huge difference. Be proactive....go to the interlinears and some websites (I'll help ya) and see how many words have been inserted that were never there. Do a little Google sleuthing. Don't be spoon-fed.Fourth...Jesus had no trouble using women in ministry, why should anyone else? When Paul's words are really looked at, he had no trouble with women either. I used to think so, but not anymore. And quit throwing those horrible translations of the "women" scriptures at me. And stop with the rules that aren't even in scripture! Only priests can anoint? Jesus had no problem being anointed by a woman before his death! He chastised her criticizers. What would he say to you?What can I say? That's where I am. If you don't think women should pastor over a church, don't go to that church.There's a battle out there, and this is the time that God is calling His daughters to rise up and take up the sword with His sons against the enemy! The Truth is here. I can't imagine any real soldier who is intent on fighting and winning a battle that would refuse help from another warrior!There's work to be done. If you can't get over it...then get out of the way.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some random questions

What is your favorite book in the Bible, and why?

What is your favorite book besides the Bible, that deals with faith, and why?

Have you ever heard the audible voice of God, (or maybe even an angel or two)?

Have you ever SEEN in life or dream, the face of God/Jesus?
(please don't quote me scripture about not seeing God's face, etc.)

Do you have a miracle story(ies) to tell?

I'm interested because of some of the last comments on my "Is this the God we serve" post. It's interesting how Christians believe in the supernatural events of the bible, but scoff at those things happening today--making, I believe, people keep those experiences to themselves.

Brian said:
"As I've gotten older and learned more about the context of how the Bible came to be, my view has changed from the "Word of God" to an inspired word from God- through men. And, given that I think God is still speaking, I take it seriously. But, I don't think the book was closed or ever will be. I have no doubt that Paul's words are inspired as are the words of authors we still have with us today."

Do you believe that things of biblical proportion have happened since the Bible was written, and are happening today?