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? www.godswordtowomen.org 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.

4 comments:

Another Voice said...

I agree, Karen. And I don't think that women are the only group denied the opportunities (by humanity) to live out their spiritual gifts. People of all ages, sexes, races - and yes, sinful-preferences, are asked to fit in boxes they are not shaped for. They must shape up or ship out. That is the hell behind "organization." Man seems to need to define and decree what is good and bad, label it as such and move on - and then form a group to continue the effort. Although this happens in many forums, it is certainly what we do with church. I am hopeful because I do see change over the long-haul - but it so often seems hopeless as slow as it goes.

It's going to happen, someday. Problem is, even though you and I don't want it for ourselves, we see too many people's spirits crushed to always keep mindful of that hope. We should fight for equality! I just get scared to because of the many bitter soldiers I see everyday that lost hope - or forgot the compassion which got them started. I don't want to become that. It makes me lukewarm. Yuck. What do you do about that?

Missy

karen said...

"We should fight for equality! I just get scared to because of the many bitter soldiers I see everyday that lost hope - or forgot the compassion which got them started. I don't want to become that. It makes me lukewarm. Yuck. What do you do about that?"

We SHOULD fight...for everyone. You're right...I've gotten lukewarm on this subject. I don't want to do that.
Getting information out, speaking the truth, encouraging gifts in everyone. My last line was:
"It will never flourish, never be 'all that it can be' until all of His people are truly free."

ALL. Ephesians tells us to "huppotasso" one another. That word doesn't mean "submit to"; it means support, hold up. Until the church as a whole actually starts living this, I'm not sure what will happen.
Just keep getting the Word out, I guess.

Don said...

The way I view it is: if bias, mistranslation, and scribal error has determined traditional Christian beliefs about God's eternal punishment of "unrepentant" sinners, then why shouldn't bias, mistranslation, and scribal error determine the role of women in the traditional church. Karen, you rightfully raise these issues and your continued pursuit of change is admirable. The naysayers here are, up to this point, notably silent. A good thing!

karen said...

LOL, Don, good point, and well put. There are other issues as well, that have been mistranslated as well, I'm sure.
Thanks!