Sunday, December 21, 2008

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.


Missy said...

I understand your rant, Karen. The frustration of trying to live in the freedom God has granted in the midst of those unable to see the freedom - and worse, actively working against that freedom - is... argghhh!

My rant usually begins when someone says exactly what you have, and I tell them I agree whole-heartedly. We see eye-to-eye. Then I confess that my husband IS my boss, hoping that maybe this one will understand and not give me a verbal beating for "enslaving myself."

These roles you've pointed out, that naturally rise to the top - I've learned to (submit) to that - not my husband per se. Sometimes I have been the boss, and that's ok. But right now, he is. I'm aware of my weaknesses - I need a boss. I trust him. I pray to God, both with gratitude and the persistent request for the ability to rise up to my full potential to lead hand-in-hand.

Freedom certainly is not understood in this fallen world. It truly is what God made us to be. In the end, we will all be free - isn't that what Revelations boils down to? Does that make me a universalist? :)

Kansas Bob said...

This was definitely worth the read Karen..

"most of today's preachers are disabled spiritually"

..loved that one.. speaking as a spiritually disabled man :)

When Ann and I were dating I told her that I was looking for a full partner and not a junior partner. That said I admit that I have to consistently seek out Ann's input because I have a strong opinionated personality that can go crazy with power if I let it.. and I sometimes do.

For me.. I am always trying to give away any "power" that I may have.. at my age I don't want it or need it.

karen said...

"These roles you've pointed out, that naturally rise to the top - I've learned to (submit) to that - not my husband per se. Sometimes I have been the boss, and that's ok. But right now, he is. I'm aware of my weaknesses - I need a boss. I trust him. I pray to God, both with gratitude and the persistent request for the ability to rise up to my full potential to lead hand-in-hand."
Missy, whatever works for you is the right thing to be doing (although I have a hard time thinking YOU need a boss)! Leadership is a fluctuating thing. It moves from person to person...for example, I have accountability're one of them...and sometimes I am the accountability person for someone else. THAT is true "submission" (argh....not what hupotasso means!) rather, it is wisdom and working together as Christians.

Universalist? lol...maybe!

Thanks, Bob. You are certainly not in that percentage of spiritually disabled preachers!! I love that--full partner, not junior partner. I seek my husband's opinion and he, mine. If a woman wants to be the "junior partner" in her relationship,that is fine, too. She is FREE to do that!

I had a vision of a father with a son and a daughter. How does he look upon both of them, with real love, and tell her that she is less than the boy?

Would Father tell His daughters that?

Kansas Bob said...

One other aspect in all this church leadership stuff Karen is the whole idea of "professional" (i.e. salaried) ministry. I sincerely wonder how much Complementarian teaching is centered around job security for pastors.

This stuff does not wash outside the church.. too bad it flourishes inside the church.. even with younger pastors like Mark Driscoll.

karen said...

You have a major point there, KB.

Women are just as bad...I've heard of women who are leaders in the secular world turn around and berate women who want to be senior pastors.
Lil' double standard there, hm.

Kansas Bob said...

Yeah.. I often say that if you are going to make rules then make them so that they apply across the kingdom not just in the church (a subset of the kingdom).. not that I am saying that we should make any new rules :)

karen said...

I thank God for you, Bob.

Missy said...

That's why I put "that word" in parathesis. :)

You are right, I guess I don't NEED a boss, but God has blessed me with one for now. I'm having problems with OCD issues and rely very much on my husband to establish "reality" for me. This is kinda what I mean about needing a "boss."

It's tough to have these kind of discussions when some terms used lightly by some have significant meaning to others. I get frustrated with the use of "submit" and "helper" by some because I know they use them in ways that grow into abuse - if not already abusively.

I use submit in describing a deferrment of my own pride to someone of better judgement or skill. I use helper to mean working with another toward a common or shared goal. Maybe I need to find other words?

karen said...

I knew what you meant! :-)
Submission worries me as a word because I have a visual of dogs flipping over on their backs or cowering. Not a healthy word.
"Defer" might be cool. I don't know.
My husband is my reality check, too, when I get very hard on myself.
I thank God for you, too, Missy.

Don said...

The "soapbox" suits you so well. Why? Because you've done your research. More than I can say for most leadership in today's average church. Preach on! It's OK by me. You know where I stand on the IC.

The Lead Heretic said...

Great post Karen! Came across your blog from a link on Kansas Bob. I was raised in an evangelical church and remember hearing all the male leaders of the church delivering these type of teachings.

Of course I can even remember numerous times that I overheard a group of women talking and one would be saying something about how she did the right and spiritual thing by submitting to her husband on an issue when he was without a doubt the one that was wrong.

Thankfully I never could reconcile that in my mind as a child.

Love the blog. Keep ranting and raving and I'll keep coming around to read it.

karen said...

Lead Heretic...gotta visit your blog if you have one! Thanks for commenting. I've been very lazy about blogging these past months...but I'm feeling the urge to get back to it.