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

Archive for the ‘Response’ Category

Egalitarianism – it is not about being like men

I just encountered an absurd new definition of egalitarianism. I do not know what group teaches it, but I do know members of that group will read my blog and completely misunderstand it. A commenter on this blog claimed:


“…egalitarianism places women’s equality and worth on our ability to function sexually and socially as males. The term to function sexually-socially here should be treated as a whole-not two separate entities.
Let me explain using simple biology: male sexuality itself is free from pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and raising children and this biological reality has always enabled men to be the ones to go outside of the home and have a career-even if it is plowing [sic] the fields. Once our society changed its primary desire of child raising for a desire for sensuality and materialism then the males ability to exchange child free sexual pleasure which allowed them to have a career and earn money was highly desired by both sexes. Therefore, a woman needs to absolutely sterilize herself during her childbearing years once she is sexually active in order to gain and have the same equality and functionality of a male which liberates her from children and the home.”

There are several strange assumptions in that quote:


Assumption 1: Being free from childbirth, pregnancy, and raising children is acting like men.
(more…)

The paradox of measuring happiness: Why you cannot take Yiannopoulos seriously if you have half a brain or more (Part 1)

 

In the communistic Soviet Union era, a Frenchman and a Russian talked about the meaning of true happiness.

“True happiness,” mused the Frenchman, “is enjoying good cuisine with your loved one, followed by great love-making.”

“No,” replied the Russian. “True happiness is when the KGB knocks on your door at 2 am in the morning, waking you up, shouting: ‘Ivan Ivanovich, open the door!’ And then being able to shout back: ‘Ivan Ivanovich lives next door!’ ” (Old joke)

 

Not everyone define “happiness” in the same way. That, in itself, is enough reason to be sceptical of this kind of claims by sexists:

“Every study shows the same thing: as women become freer, richer, better educated and have more choices, they get progressively more miserable,” – Milo Yiannopoulos

(more…)

The good news: Do I really believe it?

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 audience, 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 make 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…)

No, Focus on the Family, I do not want to civilize a barbarian

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…)

Teaching egalitarianism to teens: Ideas

Someone in the Facebook group Biblical Christian Egalitarians asked this question:

Hi friends. In a few weeks, I’m going to be the guest leader at a youth group, and I’ve been asked to present a biblical defense for women in all forms of ministry. I can give that lecture or preach that sermon, but I am ardently against just “talking at” adolescents. With that in mind, I am looking for some varied, creative methods for this session… I’m pondering some kind of ice breaker that requires group/teamwork, but where half of them aren’t allowed to speak or contribute to their team to demonstrate how silencing half of the church is counter-productive to our mission. Any ideas are welcome, especially if you’ve done them before with your own groups!

 

This got me brainstorming a few ideas for active learning to introduce egal topics to teens. Here are what my little brain came up with:

 

What happens when women have to be silent, when over half the church cannot give their knowledge to the rest? (An intro for an egalitarian lesson that include discussion of 1 Cor. 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:)

a) Hide something, with some students seeing and some not. The seeing students may not say a word, or move from their chairs to lead the others to where the hidden thing is. They should try to indirectly influence the team nonetheless.

Even better if it is in two teams, looking for the same object. You try to influence your own team’s people to find it first.

(Not giving the chance to whisper may mean a rule that the looking-for-it people should stay a meter or more from the knowers, by a line you draw in the room. But work out such logistics by the nature of your room and situation)

Then discuss how it is not good for some in the church to be silent, showing that even the “women keep silent” are in a passage that repeatedly say all should bring speaking gifts to church, and it is good if all prophesy.

b) Another commenter to the question suggested charades, but the first person (a girl) to get a turn has to play the normal way, while the second (a boy) can just say the answer. Once again, the point is that if some cannot talk, their wisdom is hardly as likely to get passed on. It is a starting point for discussing the importance of using female gifts.

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An intro for discussing the impracticality of gender roles:

Mark off different areas on a floor with curvy (not straight) lines. Play a form of soccer* or hockey* where, for the first point or two, everyone of a certain team has to stay in their “assigned role” area marked on the floor, but the other team not. That is very impractical. Then let them play another point or two the normal way.

Discuss: If God’s team limit people to certain boxes, regardless of where they actually will be able to use their talents, then we are not very effective in the fight against the darkness (the other team).

(*Since the point of such games is never about the difference between people who played a sport for years and those who never do, try to make it different from normal sport by different equipment: Hockey with pool noodles and a rolled-up ball of socks, or soccer with the inflated empty foil packet from boxed fruit juice/ boxed cheap wine is an example.)

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An intro for a lesson on how the Bible could be misused.

Divide into the green team and the red team. (They don’t have to go anywhere for this one – they could just be the left and right half of your audience.) Tell each team that you will give them a clue to interpret the sentences you will give them. They should not show their clue to the other team. To the Reds, give a piece of paper: Red team should rule the world. To the greens, pass a paper saying: Green team should rule the world. (They read this and pass it among their team, but not to the other team.)

Give the statement:

1) Reds should help Greens.

Ask them if it means:

a) Reds should do the dirty work, Greens should tell them what to do.

b) Reds should help Greens by leading them to the truth.

2) Greens, raise children with love but be strict too.

a) Greens are the real authority figures over children – what they tell children count more than what Reds say.

b) Greens should stay at home looking after children while Reds make decisions over other things.

3) Everyone should work along with one another. Reds, work along with Greens. Greens, be willing to give things up for Reds.

a) Reds should work along by obeying, Green should be nice while telling Reds what to do.

b) Reds should consider Greens, but they are in charge and could tell Greens what to give up.

 

Red team will consistently choose b), and Green team a). Discuss why: It happened because of the paper that gave them a preconcieved notion of how to read the messages. There are similar messages in the Bible (Genesis 2:18,20 is similar to statement 1; Eph 6:4 is similar to statement 2); Eph 5:21-30 is similar to statement 3). In a world that believed – and still in many ways believe – the Green team notion (Greens/ men should rule) people have read the Bible and saw it as an excuse for male rule.

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Other thoughts:

My experience is in teaching children, with some knowledge of what kind of curriculum Sunday School teachers for teens like. But teaching 13- or 15-year olds cannot be completely different from teaching 10- or 12-year olds. As such, take this from whom it comes:
Remember that teens have a short concentration span. When you have one large time block, two hours for example, I suggest several “sessions” of certainly no longer than 40 minutes each – and that is already long. Break it up between sessions by at least inserting things like a lesson-related game in between/ A new chance to move, a new attention-getter/ intro into the topic. Plus let them participate by asking them questions and letting them look up things in the Bible, letting them discuss in groups and report back…

Since we are on the topic of teaching teens egalitarianism, I will mention that CBE has teen curriculum, named “Called Out”. You may be interested.

male female paper strip

 

Is Doug Wilson afraid to take Nate Sparks head-on?

Nate Sparks recently published an open letter to The Gospel Coalition, listing the troublesome, often abuse-condoning, things said and done by many members of TGC. Among others he discusses Doug Wilson, a preacher who officiated at the wedding of one of his students, a guy he knew to be a pedophile, to a young woman. (This pedophile has now been forbidden almost all contact with his own baby from said marriage, due to worries about the child’s safety.) Wilson also made troubling claims on slavery and on sexual violence.

Rachel Held Evans linked on Twitter to this letter, and made a claim which goes somewhat further than what DW actually said:

Doug Wilson says unsubmissive women deserve to be raped. Why do @TGC & @JohnPiper continue to support him?

Wilson responded by showing that he did not say what Evans claimed: (more…)

Reader question: Are there apologetics scholars in egalitarianism?

This letter comes from a reader:

For a long time, I’ve been a reader of Christian Apologetics websites. Since more recently, I’ve been a (male) reader of Christian anti-Fundamentalist and anti-Neopatriarchy websites like Recovering Grace. I used to read some websites that promoted these ideas, but my knowledge of Apologetics made me just uneasy enough about those sites to never fully commit, and my discovery of the active Christian web community that opposed these ideas helped me fully realize what a cesspool the Neopatriarchal movement is. (more…)

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