It’s Always Personal

Academics like to make you think that they arrived at their point of view “objectively” as if they had no “axe to grind”. Thats a lie. Everything is personal. We “see” what we need to see. We view balance as being wherever we are and those to the left and right of us as holding “extreme” or outside the box views. When we disagree with someones view we explain it as being the result of good judgment (on our part) when they disagree with ours we call them ignorant (behind their back of course).

The Resignation of Eve (ROE going forward – its too long to type out every time) was a labor of love. It was inspired by watching my mom suffer lack of opportunity due to unfair systems which are largely in place to help men hold power). Being A Christian I transferred my interest to the church system, which turns out to be in worse shape than the world/secular system when it comes to sharing power.

Church men have maintained this position largely by focusing the conversation on Paul’s teachings. I find Paul’s teachings and the centuries old arguments that have continued around them uninteresting and unconvincing. I don’t care what you believe about what Paul did or didn’t say (or mean to say), he was a B team player.

What I care about is how Jesus treated women. Since He alone is the Alpha and Omega, the perfect expression of the image of God, and God incarnate I don’t need to know anything other than what he did and how he did it. And if push comes to shove (and with Christians it always does) you need to know that for me, context (the movie/actions) always trumps text (the script/words). Using that as my standard it’s clear to me that women were Jesus favorite group of Outsiders.

Check out the video to the left of this post for more on this and welcome to the party.



It’s Always Personal — 5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Really? A chapter in a book? « agapesantos

  2. “Paul is a B list player.” -This statement, made without any support or rationale, is part of the reason that valid assertions will be written off by Bible believing people. Can you tell us whether you believe in a graded canon, as some Anabaptists do? -I cannot agree with a graded canon, but at least it would help me to understand this radical and easily dismissed statement.

    Another reason is that, having been in groups of women who have discussed women’s roles in church, i.e. with Pam H., I have heard various women sharing burdens with the group, but many have not asked what the Bible says, which would be a great help in discovering both our role(s) and discovering how to go about addressing the problems with our roles in the church. As it is, after these discussions, in some ways I leave more confused than when I arrived. -Women (and men) are scarce who can articulate a non western biblical defense for women’s role in the church. I am getting closer, but not with the help of the majority of Christian explanations. Maybe this will change.

    There can also be a strong sense that if one is unsure of the biblically acceptable views of womens’ roles, it is not all that safe (i.e. you may not be accepted) to talk about your questions: you likely should not bring up the subject of men who are highly respectful of women and make attempts to elevate us. Really? Can we give credit where credit is due?

    At times when a man shares a quasi-feminist view, he seems apologetic, it would seem, for being a male in the church. This both saddens me and makes me wonder if we are going about asserting biblical truths in some sort of way that sends a negative message about men, or our feelings toward them. I wonder if some of these (overly?) conscientious men have false guilt or feel that they must show a sorry demeanor. With this in mind, I have wanted to tell these sweet but overly-sorry souls to be proud of their strength, intelligence, and talents and not apologize for offensive counterparts. Really? Apologizing for other men? *If* we women are coming across angrily, let’s pray for strength to support these men. Society is very hard on them, too: woe to them if they are hurt and show tears or anger. The world is a hard place to live… for all of us.

  3. leeann Thanks for your questions. You are obviously thinking seriously about this issue.

    Having been a pastor/Bible student/Bible teacher for 25 years and my first pastor (from age 21-30) having been a very strong woman I’ve been exposed to virtually every argument known to (I was going to say man but they often aren’t listening :-)) to curious people about the pros and cons of Paul. His stuff has been carved up and spit out by everyone. They often use the same verses AND GREEK WORDS. Leaving all us little people to fight over the scraps. They live in certainty and we live in confusion.

    Given that background I decided about 20 years ago to “give Jesus the final word.” I decided to give the words and more importantly the LIFE and ACTIONS of Jesus that are recorded in the bible prominence over every disputable passage. Thats why I say Paul is the B Team and I really, really mean it.

    All scripture may be profitable but all scripture is not equal and anyone who says it is is lying and certainly unable to “prove” their assertion without cherry-picking the Bible to do it!

    So, yes, The Jesus Movie trumps the Jesus Words which both trump the rest of the entire Bible. Since I dont care if Biblialotrists like me or agree with me I dont need to parse my words or follow their misguided rules. Of course this is easier for me to say being a White Man and I certainly understand why many thoughtful women will disagree with me and I will support their efforts- I just wont participate in them.

    Thanks for asking.

  4. I came across an interesting paper yesterday written by a woman pastor regarding the “teachings” of Paul regarding women in the church. For those us us who don’t want to entirely write off the authority of Paul’s teachings, this view may shed some light. Was is possible that Paul was referring to a specific group of pagan wives in the church who were causing problems? I like to think that Paul was addressing specific problems in the local church (context and audience are everything) rather than the so called fact that Paul was issuing a blueprint for every church body everywhere in the future.

  5. I’m with you Diana. I think the patriarchal filter that permeated culture then (and now) colors the original intention of his messages. Paul, in my opinion, is one of the most misunderstood and maligned writers of the Bible. If Paul truly had a view of women to remain in subservient roles, then he wasn’t very good about making that clear in how he treated women. We all know that he held women like Priscilla and Phoebe in high regard, and he affirms women in so many ways, Galatians 3 being the most quoted example, as well as a verse that some describe as being the defining words of Paul’s gospel, in that Christ is the great equalizer.

    I didn’t read the link you provide (sorry, too pressed for time!!) but I did want to chime in and say yes, I think there is ample scholarship that shows that Paul was addressing a specific circumstance unique to his context. I do not think it was ever meant to be a universal, timeless truth for all women everywhere to Be Silent and to Submit to male authority whilst being excluded from Teaching men.

    I don’t see God that way and I go to great lengths to explain myself in my new book, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church. Check it out on Amazon (free sample chapter…! sorry, don’t mean to pitch my book, but it is relevant to this discussion and I do address some of the Pauline problems. Just to FYI ya !!)

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