Two weeks ago, I reached a small milestone: The ripe old age of 45. When I was 10, I thought 45 is old! Then again, it was older than my parents were at the time. Maybe 45 qualifies me as an “older woman”, maybe it does not.
From Getty Images
However, I think it is finally time to teach a text in which the Bible calls older women to teach (urge, in this particular translation) younger ones:
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. – Titus 2:3-5
What this passage does not teach:
Many women were taught an interpretation of this text which is not in there. So, we will start with what it does not say. For that, compare these two quotes, and then see if you agree with me which one is like verse 4 : (more…)
This is a meme on the “creation order” argument. You are welcome to share this on social media if you want. (more…)
“As a child, I my father told me that bees make honey from flowers, but spiders make poison from those same flowers. We can do the same with how we handle the Bible.”
Rev. Rethie van Niekerk, paraphrased.
It is a memory I buried for more than a quarter of a century. (more…)
I’ve been hearing amazing things all day at the CBE “Truth be Told” conference. I have heard that women can be mighty, that we can preach to mixed-sex audiences, that unseen women matter, that women do not need to hide away, that women can … And in my heart, I said: “Amen, preach it, sister!”
I have been so overwhelmed that I stood up to give a standing ovation (Dr. Miranda Pillay). I’ve been so overwhelmed that I could not remember to clap my hands, my whole mind was still on the message I heard (Pastor Janice Kaufmann-Chafunya). When I heard of how humanitarian rights tie in with the basic Bible message I could not take notes fast enough. When I heard of how to spread the message to children (I teach children’s church) I missed even more potential notes: there were moments when my mind wandered because I started to think up ideas of how to implement this with children…
In short, I enthusiastically believe all of this! But… do I really? (more…)
I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. – Unknown, sometimes attributed to Harriet Tubman
Please, do not come after me with pitchforks. Or knives, clubs, or handguns, or any other weapons. This article will mention prostitutes and respected church women who try to please God side by side. Before any church women get offended: I am not comparing your sexual lives. Before any prostitutes get offended (you have most likely got some condemnation from religious types along the way): I am not comparing your personalities. I am only discussing a type of argument that has been made about many women.
I was in a training session today where CBE hoped to influence leaders in an egalitarian direction. Someone asked:
What if a woman chooses to do something objectifying, like having a sugar daddy? I don’t think we can tell her anything without taking away her agency. Is that still objectification?
Similar questions are asked about other choices women make:
What if a woman chooses to be completely submissive to her husband?
What if a woman chooses to stay with a partner that controls and hits her?
What if a woman chooses to allow a partner to control and hit her? (BDSM)
What if a woman chooses to be a prostitute/ porn actress?
In short, how do we treat these equals before God, when they make choices that do not display their equal status? (more…)
Focus on the Family recently suggested something that seems, at first glance, to flatter women. I did not feel flattered at all. They suggested women are the number one way to change men for the better:
… the most fundamental social problem every community must solve is the unattached male. If his sexual, physical, and emotional energies are not governed and directed in a pro-social, domesticated manner, he will become the village’s most malignant cancer. Wives and children, in that order, are the only successful remedy ever found. – Glenn T. Stanton
This is highly problematic, to say the least.
From the theological perspective :
Have Focus On The Family never heard of Jesus and being born again? Surely Jesus is better at changing humans – even the alleged “malignant cancer” called unattached males – from the inside than any woman is? How could a Christian™ organization say that women, not Jesus, is the only remedy for men’s bad tendencies?
Stanton also says: (more…)
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. (more…)