Think Carefully, My Fellow Christians

I am submerged in looking at theology that concerns a woman’s place in the world. It has forced my eyes open and jerked my mind awake. I don’t know if you who are reading this post read here often enough to know my stance on Islam; but if not, one the contentions I have is that we are in the midst of religious conflict and that evangelistic Christianity is the best, and only real way, to make a stand against the push of fundamental Islam, jihad, and Shari’a. One of the things that I most protest in Islamic countries is the view and treatment of women.

….. and then I get to these ideas within Christian theology on the subordination of women. These ideas are faulty in their articulation and their premises for the most part. That would put me in the egalitarian camp in the book of many. I am not in that camp, the theology of the egalitarians has its problems also.

I am in the camp of simple Christianity trying to find the principles that Christ taught us to live by.
I hope to post on that in a supported, explanitory way, but right now I want to bring together some things in contemporary news, and I really hope it will make you stop and think for a minute…or more.

You’ve heard of the latest inside look at fundamental Mormonism, right?

“I’ve seen a lot of polygamist families, and none of them are happy,” says Prunty. “Women are taught to suppress their emotions. Their glory in the next world comes from making their husbands happy in this one.”

In her view, it’s time to shed light on women who long to leave plural marriages but can’t break away with their children. Attention also needs to be paid to marital rape and incest that involves underage girls, Prunty says.

She’s glad that “Big Love” has shown a glimpse of that horror in the prophet Roman’s taking of a young girl as his bride.

Then there is this bombastic piece which gorges on god-words, and flings about fragments of scripture referencing phrases, but pretty much amounts to the wave of polygamy-promoting propaganda that was prophesied to come on the wings of gay marriage arguments and legal proceedings.
Salt Lake Tribune – Christianity, Inc.: A pox on all your houses
Christianity, Inc.: A pox on all your houses

Righto. Cursing is about all these groups are going to revert to.
And it all ends in some sort of oppression and ugliness.

That, my friends, is what we have to consider when we are advocating a view of women as something less than they are, than what God says they are.

I am truly fearful that Evangelistic conservatives are going down a road that aligns, if not unites them, with what is clearly the abusive and anti-Christian male and female relations we see in fundamentalist Mormonism and Shari’a that makes the news headlines.

And here is where I submit a challenge to those who adhere to the more conservative “complementarian” views: though “equal” is part of their statement of how they view women, how do they support that ideal after they have demolished the idea with a permanent view of women as subordinates? For whatever their reasonings. How do they preserve the word “equal” with any real meaning? That is what I would like to know, because the false view that equal means sameness of many egalitarians is plainly wrong, but if equal is not somehow and somewhere positional and secure, how can the complementarian claim that they view men and women as equal and different? I want to know the content of the word equal in that case. Not some empty term such as “essence” if essence doesn’t connote anything in the way we relate- in the real world sense, in other words. Sometimes we say things to sound good- like “equal in essence” when it holds only abstract meaning…. then we are left with concepts such as illusion, imaginary, etc. It isn’t just that we are made of the same substance, but that we are of real equal value. I think we need to express what this equal value is and how it is treated in the relations and situations we find ourselves in this world.

terms used:
CounterPoint – Debate on inclusive language
Definition of Positions

Traditional or Complementarian View. Men and women are equal in dignity and worth, though women are subordinate to their husbands and barred from holding offices in the church of leadership over men. The majority view of conservative evangelicals and Roman Catholics.

Egalitarian View. Men and women should be regarded as equals in authority in the home and given equal access to all positions of leadership in the church. Held by some evangelicals.

Developing Egalitarianism View. The Bible is heavily patriarchal in the Old Testament and contains traces of patriarchalism in the New Testament, but overall the Bible points to and moves toward an egalitarian view. Held by some neo-evangelical and neo-orthodox theologians.

One thought on “Think Carefully, My Fellow Christians”

  1. Ilona,

    I think that position #3 fits well with John Stackhouse’s book Finally Feminist. There are as many different shades of egalitarian as there are of complementarian.

    I really enjoy your reasoned position and hope to hear more of it. I am reading and blogging on the history of women in missions right now, and am surprised at what I have found. I am working towards a more informed position on the role of women in church and mission.

    I closed my post today with a remark that supports the idea of sameness, but oddly enough, on the mission field, that is what I have found more often than not. It contrasts with the idea of women’s roles today.

    I am glad to have found your blog. Thanks for good writing.

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