Opinions on faith and life

Drive-By Theology

2010-07-18

Many of us are aware of the term “drive-by media”, a description of the shallowness typical of the big news bureaus today. They can manipulate public opinion with only snippets of information, keeping people distracted with trifles or gossip while “Rome burns”. The schools likewise do not teach depth; no classes on real un-rewritten history, nothing on logic, very limited and controlled discussions of philosophy, etc. And as many of us know, it is virtually impossible to reason with the products of such relentless and lifelong mind control.

In the same way, Christianity has been “dumbed-down” and manipulated with “bread and circuses”, pop-psychology “Bible” studies, and seminaries that carefully omit data and historical arguments that would change how the trusting students think. It’s all too easy to guarantee people’s “choices” when the choices are limited artificially and arbitrarily. And here again it is virtually impossible to reason with these people once the indoctrination is complete.

I say all that as a backdrop to the issue of the ongoing debate over women in Christianity. Recently I’ve been in yet another cage match with the indoctrinated, who just keep chanting “God made me the boss of you!” instead of engaging in a study of whether that claim is true. I had changed tactics in the past year to focus more on the essential tenets of the faith, instead of getting mired in minutiae that depend upon outdated dictionaries and popular but biased authors and teachers. But the indoctrinated cannot go there; they cannot hear the cognitive dissonance between “me first because God said so” and “not so among you”.

No progress is ever made, and it’s extremely frustrating. Even the women are conditioned to cannibalize their own, backing up the men who, they have been told all their lives, represent them to God. But the poisonous teachings have reached Life-threatening levels. For example,

What’s to admire about a passive man who has no desire to ensure that his spouse ends up in Heaven? (source)
Wow... here’s an average man claiming Christ, who thinks he is the determining factor of whether his wife will enter heaven. And as a look at that thread will show, such men see no connection between this statement and the meaning of the word “idolatry”. They are defensive and understandably so, because their privileged place is being threatened... and not by subtle arguments over Greek grammar, but the very heart and soul of the teachings of Jesus and the apostles.

But they want sound-bite, drive-by answers, because that’s how they got their own ideas in the first place. It never comes from a deep and patient study of scripture, but from sermons thundering male pride, from men’s programs reinforcing their natural superiority, and repeated lessons emphasizing their special standing with God simply due to their reproductive organs. They want “plain reading” and appeals to tradition and culture-- but only when it suits them.

My question for you is this: do you see a way to cut through this fog? If not even appeals to the foundation of our faith-- love, service, humility, spirit over flesh-- will budge the colossus of male supremacism, is there a tactic or method that would? We can argue grammar and context till free enterprise becomes fashionable in Washington and it still won’t make a difference. But can there be any hope in Christianity when half the Body refuses to follow Jesus’ example?

12 Comments

Lin

It IS idolatry. And for that reason... the answer to cut through the fog?

Get out. Get away. Run from them. There is nothing to discuss. It will take a road to Damascus conversion to change them because it is also a form of self idolatry. I say this with TONS of experience of trying to interact on an adult level. I have come to the conclusion it is a waste of time.

Perhaps they will end up bedridden with their wives changing their diapers and making ALL the decisions of not only his care but their financial ones, too. How will be get her to heaven then?

Or even worse for them, his wife might decide that theology is for women, too, and change her mind about her personal standing before Christ.

Paula Fether

Good words, Lin. Drop the seeds and run.

I supposed they’d try to make some other man a "backup" in case wifey needs emergency "covering".

territippins

Well Paula, I think you have ruined your chances for small talk over a coffee with that fella! Comps really don’t understand the depths of thier hypocrisy.

Paula Fether

:-D No doubt.

Joyce

Paula, for several months now I have been following a handful of blogs that preach wives are to submit to their husbands. Most of these blogs are run by women and usually young, impressive women. Some of the comments are absolutely horrid. I had no idea that women could be hated with such intensity by both men and women. That women could be so severely degraded and devalued.

Occasionally I will leave a comment just to get my foot in the door so to speak, but I say little that stirs up trouble for me. I do not know how to approach these people. As soon as you try to reason with them as others have done, they shut you out sometimes literally kicking you off the blog. Surely there is a way to shake up their thinking or the thinking of some of their readers. We need to remember that there is an audience of readers that one might reach.

Paula Fether

Hi Joyce, and welcome! :-)

It really is a tough call. Nobody ever said standing on principle would be easy or cost us nothing, but often it seems more harm is done than good. We go to such places to witness or help in some way, and are chased off by an angry mob. But yeah, the personal hatred... I can’t imagine how such people can go to church, much less sleep at night.

Lin

"I supposed they’d try to make some other man a “backup” in case wifey needs emergency “covering”."

Seriously, they teach this stuff and the widow is left alone to sort it out with little experience making big decisions.

I can remember my dad being so upset about this. It made him downright mad. He worked with several women in the church whose husbands died and they did not even know where he kept the insurance policy! Back then accounts were frozen for a time and most women could not evn get money outof the bank for a certain time period. (There was a legal way around this but most women did not know and insist they be part owners of the account). Believe it or not, many laws have changed since the 1970’s that protect wives. Now we have churches encouraging this ignorance.

But these women were lost. He could not understand why they would want to be so ignorant of basics. Or allow it.

Sonnet

"Wow… here’s an average man claiming Christ, who thinks he is the determining factor of whether his wife will enter heaven."

This sounds somewhat like Mormonism. I’ve been told that they believe a woman cannot enter heaven unless a man, like her husband or dad, allows her in. It sounds like a great way to ensure that wives *work* their way into heaven by willingly enslaving themselves to their husbands. A wife must strive to constantly please her husband less he decide not to reward her with eternal life. Where is the grace??

How to cut through the fog? Shake off "the dust" from those encounters. Move on. There are others who are ready to hear that women have also been fully redeemed like men.

Paula Fether

That’s exactly right, Sonnet. It really is Mormonism.

I have already stopped posting in that thread, but the silver lining is that some of the people there have learned something new: that "feminism" is a label like any other, and you can’t presume a whole package of attributes by one of them. Now they know there really is a Christian egalitarian position that doesn’t compromise scripture or lack discernment. Their own beliefs have also been exposed as hypocritical and unscriptural, and one unbeliever has seen that not all Christians are bent on turning back the clock to "the good old days", just as Islam would do.

Hit and run seems to be all we can do in cases like this.

Sonnet

That’s cool--the silver lining!

Greg Anderson

I don’t think there’s a quick and easy way to cut through the fog. Attitudes about gender and the church are changing slowly, but they are changing. The internet has contributed immensely to this change much in the same way that Gutenberg’s movable type and printing press helped to break the stranglehold of the Roman Catholic Church over the minds of Europeans long ago. Keep up the good work Paula, you and others are helping to bring this change about!

Paula Fether

Tanx Greg! :-)

I hope you’re right... most of what I’ve seen so far is "shut up, Jezebel" and "touch not God’s anointed". Of course, after watching the latest Jones video, it’s likely that none of this will matter for long. But the important thing is to try, and to be found working when Jesus returns.

Today would be nice. ;-)