Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Grid Blog for International Women's Day: Fear

When the idea came up to write on smashing patriarchy I was a little hesitant. Why? Because in certain traditions of the Christian church you open Pandora’s Box when you talk out loud about this topic…so your choice is to remain silent on an issue that causes injustice. I can’t do that anymore. Not when it comes to the issue of power.

I have a few simple thoughts regarding “big voices” such as mega churches that especially emphasize patriarchy or as stated below, “control by men of a disproportionately large share of power…

Someone said or I read recently in regards to women in leadership, that nothing can be truly human that excludes one half of humanity…

Good, smart Christian thinkers disagree on women in leadership or more specific ordination of women. When smart people study out the Scripture and see opposite results I wonder why one would not error on the side of freedom rather than oppression of people? It doesn’t make sense to me. Jesus was inclusive of all. He made room for women…here is a website if you are interested in studying equality.

What do we do with women like Jackie Pullinger or Mother Teresa? Do we say they were out of biblical order because they taught men? How arrogant…how condescending…how conceited…how haughty…how egotistical…how bigheaded…how proud, wait don’t these words describe the people you know or hear that espouse patriarchy?

I recently read a book, Divided by Faith, in it the author explains that in the late 19th Century Christians, good Christians, smart Christians published why slavery is biblically sound, socially sound, etc, etc, etc…

After all we have learned about oppression in so many ways why wouldn’t we want to follow the way of Jesus? The way of sharing power, restraining power and including everyone?

I wonder if fear is an underlying driver to not accept women leaders? Please don’t respond with biblical arguments, as I stated before, smart people have studied the Scripture thoroughly and land at an egalitarian view of women and men leading. I am more wondering if it isn’t fear that causes men and women to buy in to patriarchy? I wonder what would happen if men and women found a way to co-lead as they did in the garden?


anj said...

Rose - I was in a church that decided to not allow women to be leaders. In a very honest and heart felt discussion, the pastor of this church told me that in his opinion the whole issue was about power. That broke my heart.I am thankful it did not break my faith.

Nuno Barreto said...

It's sad that things are the way they are. The church should set an example.

Pam Hogeweide said...

HI Rose (from Pam in Portland, OR)

You messed me up last month at the David Ruis conf your church hosted when you said, "I consider the issue of women not a theological issue but an issue of justice." This one statement affected a shift in my thinking in regards to women and the church. For all these years I have kept quiet and nice because I did not want to be divisive about a
"non-essential" doctrine. Oh man, thank God people were not thinking like this about slavery or women's right to vote or the civil rights movement for blacks in the 60's.

I am not sure where to go from here, except to speak up and write about it when I can - that God does not limit women because of gender - women and men limit women, and perhaps it is because of fear as you wrote about.

Fear and insecurity. Does a man seem less a man if a woman is leading? I don't think so.

It is my hope that this mindset will change in our lifetime and will one day be considered archaic. Perhaps our daughters and sons will lead side by side and the kingdom of darkness will tremble at the sight.

unmuzzled said...

i love what you say. and there is sound biblical proof. but you prefer not to discuse that here. and i dont really blame you. is it fear? maybe. but for sure it is because of the curse. because of sin.