A Man’s Message

“It starts with understanding that as men, our value does not come from how much power we hold over women. Our value comes from being respected and being loved as we respect and love the people who matter to us.”

Inspired by Miley Cyrus

Women, Beauty, and Repackaging

action My daughter saw a youtube offering that impacted her greatly and she wanted us to watch it with her. So her brother and I sat down to our hdml hookup and watched a video that went over a perennial interest I have: women and the cultural view of beauty, social impact of those views, and how our baseline moral view articulates those aspects of social identity. It was from a political and cultural perspective very different from mine ( the usual hostility to Christians that is ingrained in the liberal/Democratic views) but imparting some very real concerns and truth for all that.

The video was “Miss Representation”, and you can watch it below. It moves quickly with a barrage of thoughts and images. If you really want to think about what is being presented to you, you must stop it often to process what is being said and what it means. Otherwise, the impact is to rile your emotions without giving a real context to what you should do with these emotions.

Warning there are sexually explicit images – if you are offended with this, better to not watch. There are other presentations of many of these issues, you can find and view those. The conversation remains the same.

Truths I Would Not Argue With

  • Women are objectified and over-sexualized in our society
  • Cultural opinions do matter, and they can be changed –are changed deliberately
  • Those with selfish agendas are promoting false and quite damaging ideas and revisionist “facts”
  • There is still a gender bias that disparages women and puts them at a disadvantage
One interesting thing about this documentary is the way it presents and dismisses the role that movements like the “Moral Majority” or the “Christian Right” had on raising consciousness on some of the cultural degradation of women and the loss of concern over “public interest” as it is expressed in media. Especially in television and movies from established, big business Media.

Also it lacks the will or the depth to connect the dots between the paradoxical conflicts inherent in the old arguments on the side of “legalizing prostitution”, and the growing concern over “human trafficking”. Think about these “two?” issues. Aren’t we using mere euphemism when we want to address the enslavement of women and children in prostitution as a problem, and obscure problems that women face whenever prostitution becomes prevalent and accepted? Maybe you don’t make the connection between the way we think of and represent women and the issue of human trafficking, or how allowing prostitution to be recognized as a legal and viable occupation might be relevant. This probably deserves its own essay and evaluation.

Things I question and take issue with

  • Use of the word “Media”. There is a conflation of old media and the new social media. It is not all one “media”, but a tool that reflects the people making it. To use the word generally is evasion of responsibility, basically. Always an “other”, bad guy, instead of things we promote and allow as people, individuals and as a group.
  • This image emphasis and objectification is only a problem for women. It is increasingly a problem for young men in our society. There is a disengagement from worth being related to character.
  • Disconnect between the human drives and how marketing or media presentation takes those things and uses them. Lack of realization that culturally we have lost a huge body of history about relationship to the whole of human experience. In the entertainment culture, we are reduced to a few basic drives expressed in their lowest common denominator. Why we are doing that should be discussed in terms of where we are morally, not in how men in the media choose to display this.

Just a few thoughts on religion

If I were going to convert to any religion I would probably choose Catholicism because it at least has female saints and the Virgin Mary.
~Margaret Atwood

Before you view the documentary to see what you think of it and the issues it raises, what about a couple thoughts on some of the bias and dismissive perspectives I noticed?

(1) American women have the most freedom of any women in the world. Yes, on the whole, if we look at the opportunity and the freedom to live as we choose (lifestyle, education, economic). No it isn’t paradise, but nothing on earth approaches that idea of paradise. We do and should keep striving for better conditions, preservation of our freedom, access to opportunity, but we also should not forget or diminish what we have.

(2) Christianity is a powerful voice for the oppressed and dispossessed. Historically, it has one of the best records of any force for the empowerment of women. Ask yourself – in what place and in what age did the rise of women’s rights gain the most momentum? And it wasn’t the 1960’s. That may have been when you heard the loudest shouts, but not when you saw the greatest momentum.

Whatever your opinion of the Christian religion, it ought to be recognized for the beneficial influence on ideals of freedoms and rights. If you are willing to deny that, then I would question your ability to correct any of the injustices discussed in the film “Miss Representation” with real fundamental change. My guess is that the best you would be able to come up with is some reactionary and temporary “re-balancing”, which is only injustice inverted, not averted.

Finding Old Barbies in the Closet – why it is a mistake to aspire to Superwoman

Three things comprise the inspiration for this post:

  1. Super women– I mean Barbies
  2. Barbie Gets Ordained
  3. An online podcast conversation reference to “Women Who Want To “Have It All”

First Up: What Does Barbie Mean To YOU?

In the first essay, Alicia Cohn asked this question up front:

Why do women want to be represented by a plastic doll?

Since we are covering at least two generations here, I can’t speak for all of them, or for what the entire Barbie phenomenon might represent for our culture… but I can tell you my own story.

Revealing my age… I had one of the first Barbie dolls. When it first came out I wanted it so badly, and I was so happy when I finally got one. She had black hair tied in a sleek ponytail with that froufrou of bangs up front that look not unlike a poodle after a trip to the doggie salon. She had a black and white striped swimsuit covering a maturity evoking shape, with tiny high heels… another reference to the world of grownup women, and demure pearl earring studs. Her eyes were sophisticated almond shapes with catlike eyeliner. She was like your teen idol, your pets, and your future all rolled up into one little package that you could role play if you just had enough money for all the clothes and accessories. I didn’t, but I liked having Barbie around. I liked that she wasn’t at all like me… not remotely like me.

And perhaps that is telling both of me, and my generation. She was the dream girl; and that is where her role making starts. In packaged, plastic wrapped dreams.

Next: What Does Barbie Mean To US, Collectively?

But like all little girls I eventually grew up. and those old Barbies? They were played with, put in the toy box, and then found their way to my mother’s backyard garage sales. In time they became icons of a plastic and disdained world that women of my generation wanted desperately to throw away. We hippie mamas. Or did we?

Turns out that hippie mamas became infused with Yuppie enthusiams. Even the diehard ones… and as Superwomen and Super moms icons, roles, and images were given birth, along with our own kids… Barbie made more transformations than that icon of icons, Madonna. It was a whole new Age of Barbie for our daughters: Career Barbies and Celebrity Barbies. Barbies without Ken, ever younger Barbies, diversity Barbies… Barbie for the masses.

But still Barbie, and still plastic. Secretly, sometimes ashamedly, sometimes boldly, collected and displayed with renewed adulation.

Barbie and the Big Lie?

When doing some reflecting back in my thirties (I am fifty-something now), I drew a conclusion that each generation of women is given a form of “the Lie”. We see the past generations lie in a vague sort of way, and rebel against it. But that doesn’t inoculate us from our own generation’s “Lie”, and whenever we are given something of a mock up of the “Ideal Woman” as presented by our culture -and not from a historical view where it can be better considered- we might want to investigate how much of a lie is involved there. Hint… whenever a role model has little to do with ones humanity and lots to do with someone’s manufactured representation… you can bet there is some lying going on.

I liked what Alice Cohn had to say, and I laughed at the pictures of Rev. Barbie- the costume was extremely well done even if the theology is not concordant with mine.

Lies I Was Told

So finally we get to the MAIN POINT

The main point is to address the conversation about the marketing possibilities of gearing web content towards “women who want it all”.

It comes down to what you want to feed people. Real food that makes for healthier human beings? Or sugar laden pap that lards their insides and makes them feel all nice and full and “sugared up” while starving their souls and leaving them as prime candidates for debilitating disease later. Oh yeah, pass that mile high pie… and if you are religious you can just pray away the calories.

Like that will work.

Did women learn nothing during my generation? Probably not, because we are human and it is hard to choose the truth when it isn’t all lathered up with that whip cream topping over the plastic food-stylist presentation which is not real food. Much like Barbie never was, and never meant to be a real woman.

Who started the rumor that she was?

I don’t know, but it might be the sames ones who like the Super Mom-Super Women so well, and are cheerleading her comeback.

I can hear the retorts now… well just because you are a loser with sour grapes attitude doesn’t mean it isn’t possible and laudable to encourage women to be all that they can be.

But you know… I’m not saying women should not be all that they can be. They should aspire to that. In fact I applaud, and cheer, and desire to support, a realistic and healthy vision of what that might be. It is the plastic Barbie version that keeps giving me nightmares at night.

So… the main point of all this might be the last question that Ms. Cohn put forward:

so I wonder: How do intangible qualities such as faithfulness and wisdom connect with girlhood dreams of being a grown-up woman?

Quoted: True and False Politeness

True and False Politeness
[by F.E.W. Harper]

False politeness can cast a glamour over fashionable follies and popular vices and shrink from uttering unpalatable truths, when truth is needed more than flattery.

True politeness, tender as love and faithful as truth, values intrinsic worth more than artificial surroundings. It will stem the current of the world’s disfavor, rather than float ignobly on the tide of popular favor, with the implied disrespect to our common human nature, that it is a flaccid thing to be won by sophistry, and satisfied with shams.

False politeness is an outgrowth from the surface of life. True politeness is the fair outflowing of a kind and thoughtful life, the sweet ripe fruit of a religion which gives to life its best expression and to humanity its crowning glory.

True politeness is broadly inclusive; false politeness narrowly exclusive. …

True politeness has no scornful epithets for classes or races, who, if not organically inferior, have been born under, or environed by inferior conditions. Humanity is God’s child, and to fail in true kindness and respect to the least of His “little ones” is to fail in allegiance to Him.

Contemptuous injustice to man is treason to God, and one of the worst forms of infidelity is to praise Christ with our lips and trample on the least of His brethren with our feet,-to talk sweetly of His love, and embitter the lives of others by cold contempt, and cruel scorn.

Beyond the narrow limitations of social lines are humanity’s broader interests…

If today you believe that your faith is simple and vision clearer than that of other forms of belief, should not the clasp of your hand be warmer, the earnestness of your soul greater, and the throbbings of your heart quicker to clasp the world in your arms and bring it nearer to the great heart of God and His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ?

…via Collecting My Thoughts

Get a Righteous Massage

It was an eye-opening experience.
Kristie Vosper:

“I looked around the place, and I just got more and more angry.
It felt dark and evil, and I hadn’t wanted to believe my intuition was correct because the prospect of a 20 dollar 1 hour massage sounded like a great new routine for me. Convenient, affordable, relaxing. It can’t be these things if it means we are contributing to the treatment of immigrants. Whether legal or illegal, we each should treat every human being with dignity.

I closed the door firmly and walked out to my car thinking of who I knew and who I would contact today that is involved in investigative reporting. I know the issues are complex but I think the first thing we need to do is expose these horrible practices that many of us are not aware of.

I thought inside, “this is righteous anger. I will not be able to ignore this.””

Is There Righteous Anger?

Is there? and if there is, where is it, and how ought it appear?

There is much that parades as righteous anger that is nothing more than an excuse to perpetrate evil. Do you want a test you can use for righteous anger? Here is a verse from the Bible to consider:

Song of Solomon 8
6 …for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.

7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.

Isn’t the Song of Solomon a love song? what can that have to do with righteous anger?

Everything, friend. Everything.

The test of whether you are facing an anger of righteousness, an anger that has a mandate to raise up and act, is whether it finds itself rooted in love for another, for one’s fellow man. Not over them, but for them, a love which acts in the best interest of the person.

All human rights activities are, or ought to be, sourced from within a true love for humanity, for it’s well-being and dignity. I believe all God’s righteous anger is from this love, all righteous anger within brave men and women arises from this same love that becomes incensed at the wrong done to the weak, the innocent, the powerless.

So, I say this:
Who is righteous in their anger in this scenario-

Ramzan Kadyrov said the women, whose bodies were found dumped by the roadside, had “loose morals” and were rightfully shot by male relatives in honor killings.
…. Kadyrov’s bluster shows how confident he is of his position. “No one can tell us not to be Muslims,” he said outside the mosque. “If anyone says I cannot be a Muslim, he is my enemy.”

Few dare to challenge Kadyrov’s rule in this southern Russian region of more than a million people, which is only now emerging from the devastation of two wars in the past 15 years. The fighting between Islamic separatists and Russian troops, compounded by atrocities on both sides, claimed tens of thousands of lives and terrorized civilians.

Kadyrov describes women as the property of their husbands and says their main role is to bear children. He encourages men to take more than one wife, even though polygamy is illegal in Russia. Women and girls are now required to wear headscarves in all schools, universities and government offices.

Honor killings… are they at all honorable? Are they at all righteous?
Is defense of one’s religion, or one’s promotion of issues, or anything that raises the fist of oppression against one’s fellow man… in this case women made helpless within their system, is this righteous anger?

Do we slam with the fist? Is this the way righteousness is done?

And now, “Prize-winning Russian human rights activist Natalya Estemirova was on Wednesday found dead in Ingushetia after being abducted earlier in the neighbouring region of Chechnya, news agencies reported.

Her corpse, which showed signs of a violent death, was found at 5:20 pm (1320 GMT) near Ingushetia’s main city Nazran, ITAR-TASS news agency said, citing the regional interior ministry.

The Interfax news agency quoted security sources as saying she had been murdered.

Her organisation, Memorial, had said that Estemirova was kidnapped earlieron Wednesday in the Chechen capital Grozny. ”

Such human rights activists have been protesting honor killings, and other violations of human rights.

In our lives are we asking ourselves,”what would love do?” “What does love look like?”. Exercising our discernment and our hearts and minds in what loving our neighbor really looks like is the only antidote for the rising wave of rage, that under its cloak of righteous protestations is committing such atrocities. Nothing like what is real to unmask the counterfeit.

Does it make you angry to see women oppressed and herded into cultural corners where they are easy targets, beaten, shot, and marred beyond recognition? It makes me angry. and that anger makes me want to have nothing to do with “solutions” that harm others. Whether it is killing a “Tiller” or a “Natalya Estemirova “. It isn’t about them. It is about us. Are we righteous and acting in the best interests of humankind? Our neighbor.

Love is stronger than death, and looks death in the eye. Are we as jealous over women’s conditions and rights in other countries as we are over our own? Jealousy of that sort is more unyielding than the grave.

There are things we ought not yield to.

A Woman’s Place

This was originally published on Intellectuelle

Part 1, in the Church

I don’t know of a more hot-button topic for both the churched and unchurched than this one. For that reason, we should probably try to take a fresh new look at threading out the various views on just what a woman’s place in society consists of.

It seems as if there are more presumptions on what the Christian scriptures say than there are authoritative doctrines. And of the authoritative doctrines, few are widely agreed upon as to how they work in the modern world. I’d like to look at that. In fact, I’d like to look at that with one of the more curious variations of recent memory: that blogging is a questionably womanly pursuit.

But first, what are some of the controversies? Women themselves are not agreed on what woman’s freedom, rights, and dignities are or ought to be. And this has lead to some confusion about what the reaction of re-instituting traditional roles should look like. An example: Feminists of today would eschew the mid-twentieth century persona of “June Cleaver”, TV mother. Neo-traditionalists seem to view those scenes with scentimental nostalgia. But what are we really looking at when we review mid-twentieth century female roles and lifestyle? Aren’t we seeing the Feminine Mystique generation? The women who oftentimes threw off the homemaker’s mantle and went into the workplace in hordes, who sometimes left home to ” find themselves”? Or had to make new lives for themselves as divorce rates skyrocketed? I know my mother had ‘Feminine Mystique’ on her bookshelf, had to become a breadwinner, and lived a very different life from the Donna Reed Show, et al. This is why I don’t think it is in looking backward culturally that we may find the defining roles of women.

And where has the Church been in all this? Pretty much where the rest of the culture has been: experimenting and floundering around to define women and understand how society should work. The Church hasn’t had a voice of consensus. And I think it is out of laziness and self-protection that it hasn’t yet produced clarity for even women in the Church, let alone a view of women in the Culture.

Further, the responsibility for this has lain with the Protestants. The ones who lay claim to Sola Scriptura, and studying to show oneself approved. But instead we are tangled up with reiterations of traditions and slipshod adoption of the culture’s lead on this. The Worldly culture. We are the ones who ought to be able to work at rightly applying how the Bible’s directives appear in our culture.

The Churches View

So first, what do the scriptures teach? Undoubtedly, the Bible gives a view of order and hierarchy. This is underlined in nature, but doesn’t have to be to give it moral force. The hierarchy of the Bible is: God, the man, the woman. Before I lose you modern souls, here, I ask the question: does this mean in all ways and at all times? If it did, there would not be so many permutations of leadership roles, and the reason I would give for this is contained in the word,”delegate”. Hierarchy is only the basic structure and not the immutable law of how all the players interact. But it is how responsibility is divvied up, and it is also the authority structure. Everything in life operates with authority structure of some sort:”You Gotta Serve Somebody” as Bob Dylan put it.

I heard a teaching long ago that made alot of sense to me. It was this: that in the Genesis curse the paths of success and downfall for men and women, respectively, was stated. Men would gladly give up the mantle of authority if they could also divest themselves the burden of responsibility, women will gladly shoulder the most onerus amounts of responsibility if they can only be in charge. That was the reasoning given on how the famous curse helped outline where people go awry in their gender roles.

To move on to a specific instance of scripture, let’s look at one chosen by so many raise controversy:

1 Timothy 2

11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived,
but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

That seems quite clearcut until you add Paul’s epistle to Titus:
Titus 2:3-4: 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children…

Apparently, there is a place where women can teach.Then you have examples such as Priscilla, in the company of Aquilla:”when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately” -Acts 18:26

John MacArthur points out:”In Romans 16:1, Paul indicates that women possibly serve or minister as Deacons (Diakonon) in the church. Then in I Timothy he sets forth the qualifications for a Deaconess.”

If we understood that there are times when women are delegated place in the Church to minister in such ways we wouldn’t have foolish contentions about whether women may say things of substance in blogging, etc. If it were sin to blog it would be sin to write, and all women-authored books should be rejected on that basis. That is how I see the logical progression of such thinking. Yet, I don’t believe we see any such idea like that from the scriptures. I do think that the final authority in spiritual matters is given to men, but not just any men. Again, the hierarchy is that God calls and ordains who He wills, and this is the outline given for the Church.

Is it an abrogation of hierarchy for women to produce something intellectual just because some man somewhere might view it and thus “be taught”? In the light of day that sounds a bit silly, but when a respected teacher throws out such an idea it stirs up doubts and confusion. I call it as I see it: such are irresponsible teachers who are sloppy when they ought to take the admonition of James,

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

This sloppiness gives occasion for misunderstanding to a listening world. More circumspection and less retraction in important doctrines and controversial views becomes the more necessary when hostility and high rhetoric are rampant on a topic.

But the counterbalance for women who minister through preaching and teaching should be:”What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” Our Churches and society as a whole welcomes and gives a place to women, but in the economy of God the truth is not in any one persons personal possession. If there is not a position given to a woman within a Church that does not mean that there is no avenue for teaching, simply that there is no officially ordained position within that group. No Christian ought to strive for pride of position, and it is disappointing to see so many women disdain opportunity unless it comes with a full set of perks and prestige.
I think the example of Deborah in the Old Testament is one of the most telling on this subject.

The Christian Opportunity

Should the Church abide by these standards enough to have a body of evidence for the culture to view, I think the high esteem for women, and their opportunities for fulfilling their potential could be seen plainly. In fact, I think this is what we see in the the way Western culture has grown to give Women the place they enjoy today. Unfortunately, the extrapolations of those high views under the secular watch seems to be leaving women highly vulnerable to harm. This is seen in too many ways to go into with proper depth here. Everything from increased vulnerability from easy divorce to the emerging picture of exploitation due to ideas of “sexual freedom”. This is all hotly debated even within the feminist camp. Not just between Christian traditionalists and Feminists.
Some of the examples are enumerated by Melanie Phillips, arguing in books such as “The Sex-Change Society Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male” that “feminism has distorted its own agenda of equality by replacing it with sameness”, “women are being encouraged to work at all times, whether they want to or not” . (I cite this book because it articulates some of the conflicts and issues. It makes some accusations that I am not prepared to defend. )

Is this the pattern the Church wants to emulate? One which has not and will not work? Or ought we return to looking at what our own guidelines and mandates say? And figure out which is which?

I’m not sure we can do that if we forget Christ’s example of Lordship was also one of humility and service, and think that men in authority means that women’s voices are silenced. In all cases, if God gives us words to speak, how can we not speak them?

When qualms such as these are brought up, I ask myself, what is the actual articulated fear here? Is it blogging and accidental teaching?
Is it the idea that women must have a restricted place in the church ministry? I do not think this is what is actually being verbalized. I think the actual fear is the breakdown of accountability, and that is something that doesn’t get addressed in the calls to shut women away from the internet or to stop blogging or writing books. It is a different problem that has symptoms and poor outcomes in some of these areas. Putting a band-aid on the gushing hemorrhage, or cutting the rest of the hand off, isn’t the solution. The solution is to strengthen the Churches structure to function properly. And just as there are times a husband should listen to his wife, there are times when men in the church should give ear to women. Not in exchanging authority roles but in the mutual respect and honor that Christ teaches and Paul explained.

If we restored such accountability in the essence of Christian brotherhood, we would make inroads against other problems such as pornography use, that is eating many men alive. Men in the Church. Accountability would strengthen them and help them to grow into the husbands and fathers that watch over the welfare of those in their care. I think this is the needed emphasis and that the squabbling over women somehow wandering into conflict with biblical wisdom is a red herring. The reason Deborah was called to lead, (Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.) may well have been due to a dearth of men vigorous enough in the service of God. But perhaps I am wrong about that, perhaps there are times that God shows His sovereignty in working through those whom He chooses.

Please do not take this as a doctrinal statement on the idea of women leading the Church, the only expression given us is that women have callings and gifts, and that these should be used. I have no ambitions for women in specific roles, and I think there are many ways to serve God, some of the best without titles. Best because they are the more free, and I would conclude my thoughts here with the idea that our expression, as Christians, about the place of women in society is that they should be free to fulfill their potentials, and that we all appear before our maker without designations of gender or nationality or prestige. We ought to value that freedom and use it to its fullest in the service of God and mankind. It isn’t the licentiousness of the worlds version of women, it isn’t the subdued version of domination from the power hungry, either. What it is, is a respectful and responsible form of what best expresses woman in the full version of her humanity, and spiritual heritage.

“What of the future? We live in a day that is fast-moving. The United States is moving at great speed toward totally humanistic orientation in society and state. Do you think this will leave our own little projects, our own church, and our own lives untouched? Don’t be silly. The warnings are on every side. ”
-Francis Schaeffer.

A Woman’s Place, in the Culture, what might that look like? What does it look like now? Who’s going to draw the template?

The Draw of McCain-Palin

If women flock to McCain-Palin, it may not be because Palin has a uterus but because they vote Republican, know we’re at war, and aren’t into the silly girls’ games the Left likes to play.-Kathryn Jean Lopez

Gender: questions about theology, doctrine, practice

A Woman’s Place

I don’t know of a more hot-button topic for both the churched and unchurched than this one. For that reason, we should probably try to take a fresh new look at threading out the various views on just what a woman’s place in society consists of.

It seems as if there are more presumptions on what the Christian scriptures say than there are authoritative doctrines. And of the authoritative doctrines, few are widely agreed upon as to how they work in the modern world. I’d like to look at that. In fact, I’d like to look at that with one of the more curious variations of recent memory: that blogging is a questionably womanly pursuit.

But first, what are some of the controversies? Women themselves are not agreed on what woman’s freedom, rights and dignities are or ought to be. And this has lead to some confusion about what the reaction of re-instituting traditional roles should look like. An example: Feminists of today would eschew the mid-twentieth century persona of “June Cleaver”, TV mother. Neo-traditionalists seem to view those scenes with scentimental nostalgia. But what are we really looking at when we review mid-twentieth century female roles and lifestyle? Aren’t we seeing the Feminine Mystique generation? The women who oftentimes threw off the homemaker’s mantle and went into the workplace in hordes, who sometimes left home to ” find themselves”? Or had to make new lives for themselves as divorce rates skyrocketed? I know my mother had ‘Feminine Mystique’ on her bookshelf, had to become a breadwinner, and lived a very different life from the Donna Reed Show,et al. This is why I don’t think it is in looking backward that we may find the defining roles of women.

And where has the Church been in all this? Pretty much where the rest of the culture has been: experimenting and floundering around to define women and understand how society should work. The Church hasn’t had a voice of consensus. And I think it is out of laziness and self-protection that it hasn’t yet produced clarity for even women in the Church, let alone a view of women in the Culture.

Further, the responsibility for this has lain with the Protestants. The ones who lay claim to Sola Scriptura, and studying to show oneself approved. But instead we are tangled up with reiterations of traditions and slipshod adoption of the culture’s lead on this. The Worldly culture. We are the ones who ought to be able to work at rightly applying how the Bible’s directives appear in our culture.
Continue reading Gender: questions about theology, doctrine, practice

Lies We Live and Die By

keelthepot blog writes Dean’s Divorce Proceedings was a really good read. The writer quotes Jen Abbas’ Generation Ex:

I’m still, at 31, working on being happy with myself. Sociologists, psychiatrists, and academics can downplay it all they want. Divorce affects us. Watching a parent walk out the door on your mother and on you is something traumatic. In the 80’s, parents who divorced used to talk about how the parent “left the other parent, but not the kids.” Taurus Feces. You leave the wife, you break the family. They also used to say that people shouldn’t stay together “for the kids.” Ditto. All you tell your children when you walk out is, “you are not important enough for me to stay.”
This sounds like I blame my father. I do. I also blame my mother. Neither one of them put the kind of work, love, and sacrifice into their marriage that they should have. Unkind? Maybe. I’m sure I didn’t know everything about their marriage since I was only there for six years of it. But I’m also certain that if they had asked for help, gone to some kind of therapy, and really died to self the way that Christ asks of us, they would still be together today. And I would be a very different person.

It is very hard to find honesty about the effects of divorce and other such cultural issues. A few years ago, I might not have said that… I might have held out hope that we are facing these things and looking at the consequences and outcomes that are now obvious. But we aren’t. Science isn’t- at least not in a way that gets reported in the media. And so…. it is in the shadows… in the secret places where people confess their weakness and their hurts that we see glimpses of the truth.

We are helping to weave the lies of the present generation- we are passing on and we are lending our support to lies that will unravel our children and grandchildren, that will strangle their hopes for happiness… because they will have believed it until it turns and devours what they hold most dear and runs away laughing, mocking, and leaving them shattered.

Didn’t we feel enough pain from our own shattering under the weight of the lies that we had embraced. Didn’t we? Or are we only pimps and madams who lure them into our own web of immorality and degradation? Our own sins seeming to be forgiven if only we shut our eyes to the fact that they exist? Continuing to make merchandise of their lives that we might comfortable continue in our sins untroubled.

No it isn’t easy to sort out. I know that. But exchanging lies will never bring the wholeness to humanity that is so needed.