Welcome to Conflicting Love

Welcome to Conflicting Love – I’m using this title to represent the group of ladies and men in this project.  We are growing in love for one another as our ideas and opinions conflict.  If there is anything – but there are many – things I have learned from the fabulous author Jim Henderson, it is to hear others out and love them anyway.  Love them regardless.  Love them in spite…. and pray for the same grace.  Cause I know Jesus does the same!

I hope to hear from you!!  Have a beautiful day because of Christ!

Leigh Gray

Women Are Finding Hope from Resignation of Eve

I believe we all struggle with two basic fears

1. I’m alone (I’m the only one who thinks ____________ )

2. I’m stupid ( I’m not as smart, gifted or lucky as __________ )

I wrote Resignation of Eve hoping women would find some measure of relief from one or both of these fears. I’m happy to report that even though the book has been out less than two weeks we’re already hearing some good reports like these…

(it’s) “Giving words to my experience and helping me ‘care less’ what people think of my leading as a woman.”

“I loved reading the stories of women and entering into their experience – some very similar to mine, and some very different. But all of them made me think and consider what it would be like to be in their spot.”

“It’s my opinion that this feeling of resignation is what leads to resentment and ultimately women not wanting to be in a church. This is a very relevant book that I believe ministers need to read.”

“This book is a must read for every church leader. As a woman in ministry, I have felt the undercurrent of leaders using women to do the drudge work of ministry while making sure they have no position or authority and keeping them in “their place”. Even denominations who have traditionally allowed women more freedom in pursuing ministry and using their ministry gifts, like mine has, are being infiltrated by a mentality that says women have no place in the leadership of the church”

“What is sincere and earnest about this book is not the data and figures, but rather the personal stories of women and their relationship to the Church that Henderson has meticulously collected and organized. As a female pastor, I found the stories informational, eye-opening, and some even heart-wrenching.”

Its Painful to Watch Piper

In the same way the religious right “used” abortion and homosexuality to politicize Christians. Piper and Driscoll use sex to promote their muscle bound god. This has nothing to do with theology and everything to do with power. While these men desperately cling to might makes right the world shifts inexorably toward right makes might. Religious leaders like Piper and Driscoll hide behind theology the way bankers hide their money and politicians hide their motives. It’s painful to watch

You Are Not Alone! – How ROE is Inspiring Women

In a recent Facebook exchange Melody Harrison Hanson shared how The Resignation of Eve has helped her. In her comments she identifies some of the key experiences I was hoping women would have as they read the stories of other women in the book.

“It is not an easy read. So much pain. But if given the chance I believe/am praying that ROE will start some conversations between men and women. That’s a place to start. Also, hoping it will give women courage and stamina who are not-yet-resigned from the evangelical church or the faith, and are staying. It did that for me. I am beginning to see myself differently, perhaps as a voice in the wilderness, but not alone! And I feel extraordinary resolve, in some ways as a result of the book, to continue to speak out. I used to see myself as “insubordinate” for thinking differently than my church/pastors, but realizing you are a part of a larger wellspring of women and men who believe strongly, well it’s empowering! I now believe a large part of the lack of change/lack of women speaking up is simple ignorance. Time to start teaching them. It’s given me a new mindset for my blog and writing, to speak to those women who don’t know that there is another way to read the Story of the Bible as it relates to women — what did women do in the Bible? A lot!

Why I Interviewed Women Who Disagree With Me

Last week I have the privilege of talking with Randall Paul who is a Mormon and the founder  and president of The Foundation of Interreligious Diplomacy. Randall holds a Ph.D from The University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and an M.B.A from  Harvard University. When we spoke he was at the Sundance Film Festival pitching a very interesting movie for which he has writing credits called An Act Against All – The Kingdom of God on Earth.

His interreligious diplomacy project seeks to bring together people from different religious beliefs, backgrounds and convictions and train them “how to talk with each other”. They are disinterested in people who are so openminded they have no opinions or so mean they cant  stay in the room with difference. Randall believes (as do I)  that it’s our differences that make us interesting. He also believes that we ought to seek to persuade each other without resorting to the the usual tactics of dismissing, belittling or even threatening each other.

I place a high value on “staying in the room with difference” and “not comparing my best with your worst” so Randall’s project (which I think is very unique) really captured my attention. It’s also the reason why I specifically chose to interview women whom I knew would disagree with each other for The Resignation of Eve.

The founder of the spiritual movement to which I adhere instructed us to “love each other”  but said nothing about “agreeing with each other”. I hope that as the women whom I interviewed learn to “hear each other” they will discover that they “like” and perhaps even “respect” each other.

I really find it boring when everyone in the room already agrees about everything. How am I supposed to learn anything new from a group like that. How will I grow if that’s all I hear.

Church Lags Behind Hedonist Hollywood in Resignation Race

In my book I poke fun at the church for being in a race to the bottom with their hated enemy, Hollywood to see who can set up the most obstacles for women on their way to the top.

Looks like Hedonist Hollywood might be pulling out of that race. In this fascinating article about the Sundance Film Festival and women the writer acknowledges that Hollywood “of course, isn’t the only field where we see major pipeline issues for women—just look at law, medicine, and the sciences and engineering. But that doesn’t mean we will throw up our hands in resignation. We’re going to do something about it.

I found it interesting that the church or religion don’t even make the list of institutions they compare themselves with. Thats how little influence we currently have