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

Posts tagged ‘Danvers’

Jocelyn Andersen responds to the Danvers statement

Jocelyn Andersen presented this response to the Danvers statement at the Seneca Falls 2 Christian Women’s Rights Convention held in Orlando, Florida on July 24, 2010. For the sake of those who need to compare them, I reproduced it here next to the Danvers statement.* (Danvers in brown, Jocelyn in black.) (more…)

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Smoke and mirrors: A review of the Danvers statement (Part 5)

8. In both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries (1 Tim 2:11-15, 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9). Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God’s will.

Since the question is BMaW and not a restriction or two on one gender, we should see if God’s Biblical criteria for ministry include that everybody of a certain gender should be involved in any of these tasks, with none of the other gender. With that in mind, we study these texts now:

1 Tim 2:11-15: Part 3 linked to other explanations of this contradictory passage, and  part 2 discussed the possible gender roles in :12-14. (To recap, the only thing in that text that may be just for one gender is teaching men – or perhaps teaching in general. But not all men are called to teach, so this is not a gender role meant for all men.)

As such, we will look for possible gender roles in :11 and :15.

:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

This woman – singular, the Greek manuscripts from which we translate our Bibles also has it as singular – should learn in silence and subjection. An individual that should do something does not make a gender role. And if it was a gender role, what is then the role of men? To see to it that they do not learn? To learn with noise and argumentation?

God certainly calls everyone to learn of him – male and female. We all should subject ourselves to truth. We all should reject error, and none of us should be so submissive to leaders that we accept false doctrines from them. 1Thes 5:20-22 says we (male and female) should listen respectfully to religious teaching, test if it is good, accept it if it is, and reject it if it seems not to be.

1Ti 2:15  Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Is being “saved in childbearing” a gender role? By one common understanding among scholars, it means she shall be saved in the childbirth (of Jesus). Being saved in Christ is not a gender role.

If it means that bearing children will have a significant meaning to women, then it is a gender role we do not need CBMW for. Women were having children long before CBMW penned the Danvers Statement. Men have never usurped the childbearing role. They cannot. While bearing them is a biological gender role,  both mothers and fathers are called to love and raise their children. If CBMW sees a non-biological gender role in here, they did not explain what it is. And it says nothing of the gender role of those women who have no children, of which I am one.

The second part of the sentence – faith and charity and sobriety – is obviously not a gender role.

1Tim 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 explain the requirements for elders and deacons. First things first: even if those are gender specific, it will only be a gender role – meant for the whole male gender – if God called all Christian men to be elders and deacons. If not, it is not a role for the whole male gender.

Once again, it has no corresponding, complementary female gender role. Submitting to the elders is not a gender role – Male and female church members should submit to elders.

With that in mind, we can study the text and see what evidence exists that these tasks are restricted to men. The gender-specific evidence in these texts comes down to this:

>     “The husband of one wife” (1 Tim 3:2; 3:12; Tit 1:6) is a saying that meant, in the Greek speech of the time, a faithful man or woman. Even some complementarians, like Douglas Moo and Thomas Schreiner, admit that this text does not clearly exclude women.

>     Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers…”(1Ti 3:11) has, in my KJV, a few words in gray to show they were inserted because translators thought they made sense of the text, not because the Greek say that. More literal translations say: “Likewise women should be …” Why suddenly speak of women in the middle of talking of deacon requirements? Probably because female deacons should, like mentioned before of deacons, be grave and not slanderers.

>     “he”, “a man“, etc. In several spots where Paul wrote gender-neutral Greek, our translations inserted “he” to make a coherent English sentence. For example:

“If a man desires the office of bishop, he desires a good work”

… means:

“If anyone desires overseership**, that person desires a good work”.

None of these “he”s and in some translations “a man”s actually  denote maleness, if you read Paul in the language he wrote in.

9. With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world (1 Cor 12:7-21).

True, but this is no statement about BMaW. In the same vein, it could be said that with the labourers so few and the need so big, limiting the potential workers in what they may do is detrimental to church health.

And this could contradict other things they said. If, for example, a woman with grown children want to be involved in a fulfilling ministry, but her husband orders her to stay at home 24/7, should she submit to his headship (Danvers statement, points 3-6), or should she get involved in a fulfilling ministry? (Don’t answer here that home-keeping for the man is a fullfilling ministry. I am responding to a passage that does not include “with the stresses and miseries of unmade beds and non-home-cooked meals” in the subjects that need to be adressed in fulfilling ministry.)

If men have the role of leadership, and a spiritually immature man who came to Christ recently nevertheless wants to be involved in a fulfilling ministry, should we make an immature man the leader of some ministry (the Bible speaks against it), or should he take a church task which is not a Biblical manhood gender role?

10. We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.

They are convinced that denying/ neglecting BMaW will have dire consequences. And some people are convinced that they have been abducted by aliens. I don’t care one whit what CBMW are convinced of – unless they also convince me.

What did the Danvers statement give evidence for?

>    It gives no evidence for all the dire consequences (unraveling marriages, uncertainty and confusion, ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood and vocational homemaking, illicit or perverse sexual relationships, pornography, abuse in the family, threats to Biblical authority, etc.) which, according to their rationale, will follow if people do not live BMaW.

>   As far as roles at church go, these male roles was defended:

1) Teaching,

2) being an elder and perhaps a deacon, depending on how they interpret 1 Tim 3.

These 2 tasks are not for all men: All men are not spiritually mature enough to teach or oversee. Scripture even warn that all should not try to teach, because teachers will be judged more strictly.(James 3:1) In a congregation of 200+ people, all 100+ men cannot teach.

There was one bit of evidence (1 Timothy 2:11-15) given for women not teaching in church, but none for a gender role that women, but not men, actually do have at church.  (The Bible passages quoted, not the Danvers statement itself, may add a female role of either wearing something on your head to church, or deciding for yourself if you want to do so; and a male role of not covering your literal head.)

>    When it comes to roles in the home, one role is given for married women: They have to submit to their husbands. That does not cover how they should treat any other person, beside the husband. They also defended a husband’s headship of his wife.  (Yes, some people understand the Bible in ways that disagree with said evidence. But the dissenting views are not the topic right now.) Nothing showed the man having a kind of authority over his children that the wife does not, or over any other kind of family member. Nothing showed Biblical home gender roles for singles living alone, young adults living with parents, boarders living in someone else’s home, individuals living in communes or boarding houses, etc.

> In the broader community, no gender roles were defended. It may have been asserted that leading is a general role for all males, but it was not proven from any Bible texts.

These applications are so limited that half of all adults really have no gender role under it. No teenage or child believer (except for a few who married in their late teens) have a Biblical gender role.

Conclusion:

The Danvers statement uses 10 passages in an attempt to prove gender roles.* Of these 10 passages, only 2 (1 Tim 3 and Titus 1:5-9) was aways used in a way that can arguably be justified from the texts. The other 8 were used, at least once, to say something that is simply not in there. That is notoriously bad eisegesis!

But even if all the scripture actually supported the confessions they made, there is still not evidence that gender roles are meant for all. The Danvers statement defended Biblical wife-hood and husband-hood in a way I understand, even if I do not agree. But I saw no scriptural defense of Biblical womanhood and manhood.

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Note

* The 10 passages are: Parts of Gen 2:16-24 -5 times; Parts of Gen 3:1-16  – twice; Parts of 1 Cor 11:2-16 -3 times; Eph 5 – twice; Col 3:18-19 – twice; Parts of 1 Tim 2:11-15 -4 times; and 1 Tim 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9; Tit 2:3-5 and 1 Pet 3:1-7 once each.)

At least 2 of those 10 are also among the most seemingly contradictory passages in the New Testament – 1 Cor 11 and 1 Tim 2. Proof texting from these is not wise.

The Danvers Statement also use 6 other passages besides these(Gen 1:26-27; Dan 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29; 1 Cor 12:7-21; Gal 3:28; 1 Pet 3:1-2), but these six were used to show points like equality, avoiding sin, and having a fulfilling ministry.

** See the first comment for why this change was made.

Smoke and mirrors: A review of the Danvers statement (Part 4)

6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.

It does, but the Danvers statement did not biblically back up their assertions on what distortions was caused by the curse, except for one part: The curse caused male domination. (See the discussion under point 4, in part 3.) I do not expect to see a solution in the Bible for “problems” not taught in the Bible, and as such, any solutions offered here for “removing the distortions introduced by the curse” has to be for problems mentioned in the Bible .

·     In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership (Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7).

Husbands should forsake harsh leadership. In fact, nothing teaches that they should lead at all. It say they are – not should be – the head of wives. (Eph 5:23; also see 1 Cor 11:3 which the Danvers statement did not handle up to this point.) As such, even the most hen-pecked man is “the head” in some way, but no  command is given to men to lead. And even if the two male headship verses and the Genesis prediction is turned to commands, no text would show men should rule families.

As for “wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority”, Eph 5 could be understood that way, if  “head” means authority. Otherwise, she is asked to submit without him having authority. Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7 do not mention his authority either. The only text in the whole New Testament which speak of the man’s authority is 1 Cor 7:4, which in some translations uses the word authority, and in Greek has the Greek word for authority. That text say that spouses, male and female, both have authority over each other’s bodies.

This wifely submission (and perhaps husbandly lead, if you think that is in the text), if you refrain from adding to scripture – is a marriage role or two. It is not gender roles. It say nothing of the still-singles, the divorced or the widowed, who make up a very great percentage of adults. It makes no distinction between children, the girls and boys who want to follow God.

Titus 2:3-5 tells older women to teach submission to younger women. It does not command wives to submit.  Having to teach something, and having to keep on doing it is not synonymous. Nor does it give husbands leadership.

1 Peter 3 also speak of wives submitting, but it does not call men leaders either. In fact, the reason for submitting to unbelieving men is so the men could perhaps be led – to God.(:1) And husbands should do “likewise (:7)”. Likewise to what? Likewise to what was said before to wives, we may presume.

Joyfull submission? None of the texts tell women to submit “willing(ly)” or “joyful(ly).” Joyful submission to husbands, which is certainly not commanded in the Bible, is even harder than submission. Submission goes like this:

Husband: I won’t spend money on the heating for the home where you and the eight children live full time this winter, nor on our youngest who suffers from failure to thrive. I want to spend money on my tractor collection instead.”

Wife: Yes, dear. I won’t protest your decision.

Joyful submission goes like this:

Wife: Yahoo! My husband is getting an extra tractor for his collection! Rather than crying about my children who are suffering, I will rejoice in my non-farming husband’s extra tractor!

This example is not fictitious. There really is an ex-very-submissive wife whose non-farming husband bought an extra tractor while her house had no heating and her baby failed to thrive. Joyful submission is not only unbiblical, but a crazy requirement.

·     In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15).

Something is strange about the Danvers wording here: If men and women have equal share in the blessings of salvation, but some governing and teaching roles are restricted to men, are those roles not part of the blessings of salvation? Is having a teaching/ governing role in church not a blessing, or not for the saved?

If some governing and teaching gifts at church is a blessing for only males among the saved, then females do not share equally in the blessings of salvation.

Gal 3:28

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:28 say men and women have an equal share in “the blessings of salvation.” I believe we should not define these blessings too narrowly.

There is neither male nor female, and then the Bible gives a reason why this is so: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. The plain meaning is that in some sense there is no male or female, and “for ye are one” gives the reason why this is true. “One in Jesus” does not limit the prior part. It does not give us the only way in which this is true.

1 Cor 11:2-16 limits no teaching or governing roles to men. Read for yourself: The one task reserved for men is the role of not having anything on the head while praying. Two verses probably weakly defend the notion of men and women having an equal share in the blessings of salvation: verses 11 and 12. But the rest of 1 Cor 11:2-16 seemingly has no relevance to this point.

If you take 1 Timothy 2:11-15 on face value, it does say that a woman (singular, in the Greek and in at least one translations) should not teach or usurp authority over a man. Since Jesus said clearly that believers should not exercise authority over other believers (Mat 20:25, Mar 10:42, Luk 22:25), you do not have to read that as a gender role. Still, it is possible, if you ignore or explain away a myriad of other things in the Bible, to get to the conclusion that this verse limits some church roles of teaching and authority to men.

Note that this will not be a gender role either: The majority of men at church are not leaders or teachers. Is following the leaders a female gender role? No. Everyone in church – leaders and teachers and men and women – should be eager to learn and to follow good church leading, so that is no gender role either.

7. In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission-domestic, religious, or civil-ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin (Dan 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29; 1 Pet 3:1-2).

True, but not a defence of BMaW (different gender roles). This is also more problematic than it sounds at first glance. To show one problem, here is a quick story:

Cindy came to God from an unbelieving background, shortly prior to marrying a church-going man. Their church, like the Danvers statement and the Council of Biblical manhood and womanhood, emphasizes female submission and never emphasize how each woman and man have the responsibility to read the Bible for themselves. Her husband say she should sleep with his friends too. She have heard at church that she should not commit sexual sin, without sexual sin being specified, but she believe her husband is her authority, and he commands this. She can easily conclude that the real sin is the one directly preached against – disobeying her husband.

If some kinds of authority and teaching only belong to men, then the authority from men to do [x] will obviously count more than the idea, unconfirmed by men, that [x] is sin.

On the other hand, there is also a way of reasoning which could use this idea – submit short of sin – to negate submission almost completely, unless you know your husband just spoken the will of God. But an egalitarian wife who knows that her husband just spoken the will of God will also submit, and  a Christian husband also has to submit when he knows his wife just spoken God’s will. This way of thinking probably makes complementarianism in marriage meaningless.

And submitting, without following into sin, could also leave women like this out in the cold:

Annie has an abusive husband who spends his money on alcohol rather than food for his family. Annie say she submits short of sin – if he abuse their children, she does not join in doing so. She would not take money from him on payday to ensure her children gets fed – he is the head of the family and his choices for the family is law. She does not protect her children from abuse by him, for the same reason.

Of course, the way of understanding that I link to would solve that. But how much room would that leave for complementarian submission?

[To be continued in part 5]

Smoke and mirrors: A review of the Danvers statement (Part 3)

3. Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin (Gen 2:16-18, 21-24, 3:1-13; 1 Cor 11:7-9).

There is no headship given to Adam in any of these Genesis verses. None of them call Adam the head, or the leader, or anything close to that in meaning.

Nor is Adam called the head in 1 Cor 11:7-9, which was also discussed. The only head in 1 Cor 11:7-9 is a literal body part above a neck. And men, by that text, do not even have enough leadership rights to decide if that head should wear a hat to church or not. It also says woman is the glory of man, which does not make man the leader either. It merely makes her something he finds glory in.

4. The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Gen 3:1-7, 12, 16).

Yes, the fall did that. But is the Danvers Statement Biblical on what those distortions entailed? Look at the following two quotes, and then decide:

In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife’s intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.

Neither Genesis 3 not any other text given up unto this point supports the idea that husband should give headship of any kind, nor that husbands will get passive. Verse 16 predicts male domination: “He will rule …” A prediction is not a command – the words is “he will rule” not “he should rule.”

Genesis 3 does not claim wives would usurp anything, or be servile.

In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.

None of the texts which were given thus far supports these premises. Except that 1 Tim. 2:12-14 could, on face value, defend that women should not have a teaching role, and thus women resist limitations when they do. In a sense, this is another mirror: These words assumes that male church roles, and female limits, is already believed by the reader, and the Danvers Statement does not have to defend the truth of it.

5. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18; Gal 3:28).

Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his ownimage, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

If we scrap the words ”the roles of”, the statement would be true: God attached equal value and dignity to both men and women. Also, both were made to have dominion, that is, rulership, over the earth.

Roles? The texts do not mention roles – this wording is smoke obfuscating the clear meaning of the text.

Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community (Gen 2:18; Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; 1 Tim 2:11-15).

Let us see if the texts mention male headship in the family and church. Remember that even if it does, it says nothing of how unmarried men and women with no desire to lead in church will have to live their gender roles:

Gen 2:18  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

The term “help meet” means a strong ally on the same level as the man. It does not denote headship. The same word translated help here is usually used for God – if it was related to leadership, it would have made woman the leader.

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

This says submission is fitting for everyone, including wives.

It also proves that submission is not the one side of a coin with headship on the other side – if I should submit to everyone, you included, and you and they should all submit to one another and me, it does not make me and you and everyone heads.

23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the saviour of the body.

This teaches that the man is head of his own wife. It does not teach headship of the family – a family is very likely to include children, and may even include parents or other family members living with the couple.

Also note that it does not say he is supposed to be the head, or that God calls him to the task of being the head. It states that he is the head in the same way Jesus is the head.

(There is a difference of opinion among scholars on the meaning of the word “head” here. The Greek word that we translate it from mostly refers to the literal body part above the neck. The makers of the Danvers Statement claim that Greek word means leader in this text. Others claim they never saw it meaning “leader” in untranslated Greek. They prefer either “source/ origin,” or seeing head as half a metaphor with the wife called the body (flesh in the KJV) in :29. The head-body metaphor would not imply male decision-making, as decisions were made “in the heart” in the speech of the era Ephesians was written in.)

If head means leadership here, the text would suggest that abusive men, uncaring men, and weak men who never leads – they all lead the same way Jesus leads the church. Personally, that is one of the things that make me think the head-as-source or head-as-half-a-metaphor people are probably right.

This may, depending on the meaning of head, defend male headship of the wife – not the family – but it does not defend male leadership in church.

Personally, I think the head-body metaphor or the source metaphor makes sense of the text, while reading that every man – the abusive, the weak and uncaring included – are leaders in the same way Jesus is a leader – makes no sense at all.)

24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Those who believe head means leader (the view of those at CBMW) in vs. 23, can find no further evidence of headship in the rest of this passage: Men are told to love and nourish, not to lead.  Submission, as already demonstrated, does not make the other party the leader. Those who believe head is half of a metaphor that makes man the “head” and the woman the “body” (a metaphor that does not imply leadership) can find evidence for husbands (not all men) being heads in vs. 24-33. Those who think head mean source can also find more evidence of husbands being heads (sources) in the passage.

Col 3:18  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

If party A is asked to submit, does that make party B the head? I suggest that by Eph 5:21, we should conclude this is not so. But if it does, this defends male headship of – once again – the man’s wife, not his family. We still have no headship role – or any gender role – for the unmarried man or woman.

1Ti 2:11-15  Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

This is regarded as a very hard passage to understand. But face value is what I will use for now. Remember that the point the Danvers Statement tries to defend with this verse is “male headship in the family and covenant community.”

If women should learn in silence, it does not affirm male headship – men may have to learn in silence too, or the mere reason why men were not asked to learn in silence could be because this  is about women getting the opportunity to learn without men in class, while men either (I think I know the right answer, but  it is not part of the face value meaning) already had the opportunity to learn in that society, or was not allowed the higher learning that women got in those classes.

If a woman should not teach or usurp authority over a man, nothing says men should teach or usurp authority over women. Nobody should usurp authority over anyone. Once again, males are not called the heads or leaders.

If Adam was not deceived (he sinned deliberately, then) but Eve was deceived, it does not say the deliberate sinner is called to “headship in the family and covenant community”.

If “the woman shall be saved in childbirth if they live with faith and charity and sobriety,” it still does not say the man should lead.

Up until here, they continually tried to prove a male responsibility of headship. Except for two verses with no ought in it, their texts do not back it up:

>Gen 3:16 predicts male rule without approving of it

> Eph 5:23 may assume men are leaders (Always, in every society? In the first century world?), depending on the meaning of head, but does not command men to lead, or even say God prefers it when they do.

[To be continued in part 4]

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Postscript, added 26 Sept: A list of ideas Bible scholars have when they study 1 Tim. 2:11-15 are here:

https://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/different-ways-in-which-let-the-woman-learn-in-silence-i-suffer-not-a-woman-to-teach-are-understood-part-1/

https://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/different-ways-in-which-let-the-woman-learn-in-silence-i-suffer-not-a-woman-to-teach-are-understood-part-2/

https://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/different-ways-in-which-let-the-woman-learn-in-silence-i-suffer-not-a-woman-to-teach-are-understood-part-3/

The purpose of this post (not the ones linked to in the postscript) was to demonstrate that the text does not say what CBMW tries to show, even taking it on face value as they claim to. Therefore, I did not mention, in the post itself, other ways in which it could be understood. But a text like “she shall be saved in childbirth” should obviously not be taken on face value.

Smoke and mirrors: A review of the Danvers statement (Part 2)

(Keep on reading, and you will see how this photo of Pope John Paul ties in with complementarian gender roles. It does.) 

The same question I asked at the start of the review is still the one I want to ask in the affirmations: Is this a good reason for Biblical manhood and womanhood? What gender roles does it give that Christian men should be and do but not women, or vice versa?

Note, dear reader, that this set of posts won’t try to convince you in any way on wifely submission to her husband, or a man’s headship of his wife. Marital submission and headship is about how a married husband and wife should treat each other. It says nothing of how the married man or woman should treat the 7 billion people they are not married to, or even just their own children. Marital headship or submission says nothing whatsoever of the activities or demeanor of the unmarried or widowed. Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, on the other hand, claim that all men – married or unmarried – should play a role that does not belong to women, and all women – married or unmarried – have a role men do not. The “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” crowd claim these differences are part of Christianity.

Likewise, I will not discuss here if women could preach or be elders. Even if they cannot, the majority of men who call themselves Christians do not want to be preachers or elders either. BMaW say that even those men and women who do not want to lead in church (men cannot all be leaders in church, and most are not) have different roles God expects of them – a manhood role if male, and a womanhood role if female.

And please bear with me if I get really pedantic about “the plain meaning of the text“. You see, the Danvers Statement’s makers claim that the plain meaning of texts are on their side:

We have been moved in our purpose by … the increasing prevalence and acceptance of hermeneutical oddities devised to reinterpret apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts; the consequent threat to Biblical authority as the clarity of Scripture is jeopardized and the accessibility of its meaning to ordinary people is withdrawn into the restricted realm of technical ingenuity;

Personally, I don’t think everything in the Bible could be taken on face value – some things contradict each other that way. But the Danvers Statement’s makers are measured by their own measure here. (Matt 7:2) (more…)

Smoke and mirrors: A review of the Danvers statement (Part 1: The Rationale)

The result that the Danvers Statement wants to create, is to make us believe in “Biblical manhood and womanhood” – the idea that certain things are male roles and others are female roles. So, when evaluating the Danvers statement, I kept this question central: Is this a good reason for Biblical manhood and womanhood? What gender roles does it give that Christian men should be and do but not women, or vice versa? (Biblical Manhood and Womanhood will be called BMaW from this point onwards. The words of the Danvers Statement will be rendered in red, mine in black.)

Core Beliefs: The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (more…)

Why I hate the word “feminist”

See if you can answer this quiz. Then scroll down for the answers.

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

3) The Canary Islands are named after what animal?

4) What was King George VI’s first name?

5) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? (more…)

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