Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

It’s funny you know, sometimes I receive messages from people telling me that I see what I want to see when I look at ancient texts and manuscripts of the Bible.

I can guarantee that when I went to a local seminary library to begin studying “women in the church,” I did not “want” to see that my Bible translation, my church, my pastor, my denomination were all badly mistaken. I was not at all prepared for the overt misogyny of some of our most influential theologians.

I was staggered to see how women have been treated throughout history by the church.

I’ll never forget the moment it suddenly occurred to me that the church has been oppressing, silencing and abusing women for centuries. I felt like I was having a heart-attack: dizzy, hot, searing chest pain that made me drop to my knees in the middle of the library aisle. I began to weep openly and beg God for mercy.

Seeing what I wanted to see?

No, I don’t think so.

– Quoted from Facebook.

When I found egalitarianism, I was confused between the soft complementarianism I always knew and the extreme patriarchy which I was finding on the Internet, and I prayed:

God, please show me the truth. I may have been wasting my life this far, teaching (other people’s) children about you as a single woman. You may want me to take a husband even though I know of no man I am interested in, and sleep with him whenever he say so and let him be my authority and raise his children. Tell me if that is your will for me. If I wasted my life this far, if your plan for me is very different, please tell me.

What God showed me when I started searching was much better than the soft complementarianism that I knew. It was also incomparably more exciting, just, logical and Christ-exalting than the drab legalistic patriarchy that I would have accepted if God told me to do so.

When you found egalitarianism, was it what you wanted to see? Please tell me in the comments!

Comments on: "Quotable quotes: Bob Edwards on seeing what you want to see" (4)

  1. I had been a complementarian for many years and a fan of Piper and Mohler, etc. I had also been exposed to patriarchy but had found some of the non-gender related aspects of it too bizarre to give it credence. After my wife was spiritually abused repeatedly by the false pastor of our church I began to research his patriarchial ideas. When I began to learn about Biblical equality, it shocked me, and the idea that I had been so wrong for so long was literally frightening. I was scared to admit my sin. I thank God for His mercy,

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Michelle said:

    Yes, it’s really odd. I was told once by a “complementarian” that I was seeing what I wanted to see in scripture. I’m not fast on my feet with words, unfortunately, because–
    “Interesting, since I am not the one who’s saying the Bible put me in charge of other people,” or something similar, would have been a good response.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought egalitarians were some rebel group who wanted to be lawless and should be treated with caution. Curiosity to see what it really was about rather than just assume before hearing it out first drew me though. I was not looking for any particular end or had any goal other than that. It hurt. It hurt to find out the abuses done by the church out of such a mind set, it hurt to read quotes from people I’d thought were admirable like Martin Luther degrading women as less than human. Then to find out about atrocities ALL OVER THE WORLD on women for no reason other than that they are not seen as valuable or as worthy of the same amount of respect. A women in india who choked 8 of her daughters to death after birth until she got a son. Acid attacks, human trafficking, honor killings, ect. Of course some of these things happen to boys too and should not be treated as any less serious but the numbers are way higher for girls. But it’s not just the extreme cases that got me. Personal ones; of a dear friend of mine who did not work outside the house because her husband didn’t want her too, then her husband ran off with a younger woman after clearing the bank leaving her destitute. My grandmother never learning how to drive because my grandpa didn’t want her too and then she could not get to the hospital to visit him in his last days before dying because it was too far away to walk. Women who are looked over for job positions because they “might” become pregnant, or because they have children when these single moms are the ones who most desperately need it, and yet men can be single parents too! Some of these things maybe small, but this idea of inequality is what abuse grows out of. What I approached with caution and suspicion has become a passion for justice and healing for both sides. I want to see everyone treating others the way I truly do think Jesus would want. With dignity, mutual respect and love, doing unto others as we would want them to do unto us. That is all. It is not a desire to control men or to be wild and lawless but for all to be treated with the same dignity and respect.


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