Opinions on faith and life

Bible Dot Arrrgh!

2008-01-19

Who’d have guessed that “you are all one in Christ Jesus” could be considered “extreme”?

After I viewed the evil enslavement vows at bible.org (see “Vows and Wows”) I decided to take a look around to see how far gone they were on this topic. They didn’t disappoint my hunch that it went to the very depths of hell. I am referring specifically to an aptly-named series called “Biblical Gynecology” which begins at This Link.

I looked at part 1, especially the chart, and the opening line in this post was the first thing that stood out. We who take God at his Word and not try to add fine print to clear scriptures about our equality are called “extreme egalitarians”. The rest of the chart seems to assume that there are even such things as pulpit supply, asst. pastor, administering sacraments only by ’clergy’, etc., none of which is even hinted at in the NT. In other words, their chart provides a lot of useless data.

I also noticed the “grounded in creation” entries for MS* only, regarding “Biblical Basis”, while egals only have “implication”. And we should especially note that the Eternal Subordination heresy is only in the comp columns.

Now evangelicals can take their place beside Muslims, Jews (traditional rabbinical views), Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses in making women truly subhuman.

Now to part 2. (I’m so happy there’s only 2 parts; I don’t think I could stomach much more.)

In this part they look at Gal. 3:28 (where I got the opening statement for this post). They begin by trying to make the egal. view, which is actually a literal and contextual one, as a new invention. Just as MS are trying to make ES* the ’orthodox’ view even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary, they now want this clear scripture taken out of context and narrowed in scope to be the “historical” interpretation.

And in so doing, we see the same presumptuous view as that of the gay theologists: that “Paul couldn’t have had ______ [fill in the blank] in view when he wrote this”. That’s it, their proof of historical interpretation: an assertion. If they want to have this lame eisegesis as their “proof” then they’ll have to accept the same from the gay theologists. Quoting “church fathers” is worthless as well, since as we saw in another post here (“Misogyny’s War Against Egalitarianism”) how deeply they hated women (can they have been saved??). Funny how such historical quotes only keep the clamps on women, and not slaves and gentiles. They don’t even try to explain that.

Then they at least rightly downplay the “trajectory” theory, where Paul and Jesus didn’t give as much freedom as they could because of cultural restraints, as a way to excuse seemingly anti-women statements by citing Jesus’ overturning of culture. But they completely ignore how Jesus actually treated women: he had them as traveling companions, as students, as missionaries, and as his primary resurrection witnesses. He treated them just like the men, and sometimes on a higher plane. That’s in my Bible, even their NET Bible, and they completely ignored this vital point. Yes, as they say, “we need to adjust to him as the proper model, rather than make him adjust to our culture”. I only wish they’d heed their own advice.

Finally they reach Gal. 3:28. They presume first of all that egals say “it speaks about functional social roles more than ontological salvific roles, and thus the text which articulates so important a truth about salvataion (viz., that we all come to Christ by faith, that no one starts out better than anyone else) is evacuated of its meaning.” Not true at all. We think it says exactly and all of what it says, and very clearly: that we are all equal in every way. It is actually MS that wants a restricted interpretation which “evacuates it of its meaning”. If, as they say, “one of the surest signs we have that a viewpoint is wrong is when a great truth of scripture is twisted or destroyed for the sake of that lesser viewpoint”, then they should be very afraid for their own twisted and “lesser” viewpoint. They would dissect this short sentence to divide the Body of Christ in half, leaving intact the unity of only male Jews and Greeks, only male slaves and free. They further try to tell egals what our motives are by saying “only by twisting the text and by ignoring chronology (or rejecting the authenticity of the pastorals) is one able to make Gal 3:28 serviceable to the egalitarian cause.” That is a filthy lie. We hold scripture in higher regard than they do, because we don’t try to add or subtract from it as they do. They are the twisters and the ones bowing to culture, which anyone can prove has been misogynistic to the core. But I guess Jesus was okay with that, eh?

Now to the actual wording of the verse. But they come up with a very novel interpretation of their own to keep women behind them: that the verse must be limited to only salvation because only gentiles were formerly outside the Covenant. But they create a gaping hole of an unanswered question: why did Paul also mention two pairings that were already under the Covenant? If it was only about salvation, why put the Jew/Greek pairing in the same breath as slave/free and male/female? And they presume that egals ignore the salvation aspect; we don’t. We just don’t limit it to only salvation.

They look at the second pairing, slave/free, and finally admit the societal meaning must be included after all. But in so doing they actually argue in favor of God’s sanctioning of slavery! This is exactly what Christians were doing in the pre- Civil War south in America. But this is the corner they paint themselves into in order to justify keeping women in a place that even slaves have been freed from. They think Paul was “slow to acknowledge [hierarchical distinctions] with reference to slavery”, but where do they get this “slowness” from? He just said point blank that there is no hierarchical distinction! Amazingly, they actually start using the “trajectory” method to justify this. And why, pray tell, do they say “one could conceivably argue that in Paul we see the seeds of abolition, but certainly not the full flower” and yet deny the “full flower” to women? When does the silly thing ever bloom?

That’s where I stopped. The rest was pretty much an attempt through “many words” to keep justifying this ridiculous “hermeneutical gerrymandering”. I much prefer Paul’s simple statement in the context of freedom: “You are all one”.


* MS = Male Supremacists (or supremacism), a more honest term than the “complementariansim” coined by CBMW (the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)

*ES = Eternal Subordination (of Jesus to the Father)