Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood

Gina recently commented this on my blog:

…[T]here was for a time I couldn’t even read the bible because it gave me feelings of worthlessness. In the old testament temple, you had the holy of holies, only the High priest could enter, then the court for only men, then farther out one for women. Why did God like women less? (I thought) …

Oh, Gina. I cry over all the wrong messages that keep women (or men, or children) away from God. I think God does too. And as far as we can know today, God did not command a woman’s court. Read the rest of this entry »

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My best guess for explaining the passage

I think – but do not teach – that Paul was probably responding to things the Corinthians wrote to him here. (See 1 Cor. 7:1 for evidence Paul was speaking, in the latter part of 1 Corinthians, of some things they wrote to him about.)
He is probably quoting the contradictory views among them, views they probably argued (see “contentious” in vs. 16) about. And then, at the end of stating (mocking?) the way their views contradict each other, Paul gives this message: “Women should have authority on their own heads … Decide for yourself… I say this to anyone who wants to argue.”

In my view, Paul’s message (after quoting the Corinthians) is:

10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels.

Because all your contradictory arguments come to no conclusion, and believers will judge angels one day, sure women could decide for themselves what to wear on their heads. Read the rest of this entry »

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The chiasm: The best part is in the middle

In the world of Paul, people sometimes used a form of reasoning called a chiasm, where they put the most important part in the middle, with the other points sandwiched around it so that the first point is related to the last, the second to the second last, etc. 1 Cor. 11 contains such a chiasm. Read the rest of this entry »

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How the culture(s) of Corinth probably made head coverings a dilemma for women:

I read elsewhere that men had these 2 messages about head wear: Jewish men wore something on their heads when praying as a sign that their sin stands between them and God. The Christian message is about Jesus forgiving sin, nothing standing between us and God, so Christians should not follow their example for headgear under prayer. Male temple prostitutes in Corinth had long hair, and obviously Christians should show their religion is not like those religions. That made it pretty clear what men in that world should have on their heads when going to church: Short hair, no extra head wear. Anything else sent out the wrong message.

Women, on the other hand, allegedly got mixed messages in that multicultural society. One message said women are more respectable covered up. Read the rest of this entry »

A woman writes to a columnist at a Christian magazine, which hosts an advice column called Wisdom from the Word.

Dear Wisdom from the Word

I read in the Bible that women should cover their heads. I also read that the husband is the head of the wife. How should I live out this passage?

From Christian Wife

The columnist at Wisdom from the Word answers her: Read the rest of this entry »

(Note: These ideas are not floated to teach, but to think. If any believer can add to it – whether to contradict or to agree – feel welcome. If these ideas, or the comments on it, helps either your or my understanding to grow, praise the Lord.)

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Did you know that God never actually cursed Adam or Eve?1 Read the rest of this entry »

“Our Father” can have an anti-patriarchal, subversive tone to it. Like calling God “king,” it stakes out a claim for the believer with respect to which “powers” have ultimate authority. It can also be a very egalitarian and democratic claim, because it puts all people on the same level; all as equally loved and deserving of respect under the loving authority of God.” – Kyle Roberts

It is no coincidence that the “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy” from the highly woman-oppressing Vision Forum started this way:

God as Masculine

1. God reveals Himself as masculine, not feminine. God is the eternal Father and the eternal Son…

By, contrast, the classical Christian view states God is neither male nor female. God is spirit, having neither male nor female body parts, with both man and woman made in God’s image. If God is neither male nor female, what significant reason could he have for calling Himself a father? (Or, for that matter, “Him” and not “Her”)

In Bible times, “father” had both a literal and a figurative meaning. It is unlikely that Jesus will have a problem with someone admitting a biological or adopted relation, but Jesus nevertheless said:

Matthew 23:8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven… 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Read the rest of this entry »

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