Opinions on faith and life

Deaf And Blind: An Analysis of Flesh-based Theology

2010-12-04

In the comedy Murder By Death one of the running gags was between a blind butler and a deaf maid. Even without seeing the movie you can imagine the mishaps. But tragically, this sort of thing is all too common in internet conversations, which I hesitate to call debates since they more resemble the blind and the deaf trying to communicate. Neither side realizes how poor their logic is or can exploit the errors of the other side. In the end, we are left with only the charred remains of all the straw men that have been burned.

To keep in mental shape I like to analyze such comedies of errors, and the object lesson I’ve chosen this time is from A Helper Suitable for Him, part 3 of a series (a series of what, I’ll leave to your imagination). I’ll identify the two sides as MS (male supremacy) and EQ (equality) instead of making you keep track of who is where. Please note that my focus is on poor logic and exegesis, not so much on covering every inch of the gender war, since I’ve done that already.

MS begins with an admission of the error of arguments used to condone slavery in America’s past. But the objection is not to using scripture to condone sin, but to a view very few ever even heard of: that blacks were the beasts of the field! This is an extreme and unrepresentative view of the pro-slavery argument and it is thus fallacious to use against the more widely-held view. Yet as we’ll see later, MS will deny EQ the use of what MS considers extreme and unrepresentative views. So from the start we are dealing with a double standard.

The offensive story had the purpose of setting up the cultural argument; that is, its purpose was to burn the straw man that EQ bows to culture. MS completely ignores the fact that the arguments used to prop up MS are identical to those used to prop up slavery, as I’ve already explained in my post Sound Familiar?. It was pro-slavery that bowed to culture then, and it is MS which bows to culture now. They deny this on the basis that the US and much of the west has finally recognized the equal humanity, intelligence, and spirituality of women, but since culture is somehow always bad, Christians must not bow to this. Yet historically, as MS admits when appealing to God’s order, culture has been patriarchal, not EQ. So who is really bowing to culture, and why isn’t it bowing when the culture is patriarchal? The fact is that MS wants the culture argument to be a chameleon that makes culture good for them but bad for EQ.

MS attempts to sidestep this problem by claiming that all historical forms of patriarchy that don’t meet its particular sensibilities are another extreme, which allows them to claim their own view as the middle. But as I’ve shown before in A False Dichotomy, and as one EQ points out in the comments, bad MS and good MS differ only in degree on one side of the fulcrum; the opposite bad extreme is not EQ but FS or female superiority. And yes, there are and have been societies that held to this. MS is hoping to get away with the fallacy of ignoring a large and significant portion of the debate so as to present its own side as the middle ground when it clearly is not.

The irony of this is that EQ, which by definition is the lack of extremity, is turned into something as bad as the blacks are the beasts of the field argument. This too is a fallacy, one of guilt by association or poisoning the well. Then MS asserts that hermeneutics follow cultural shifts, but misses yet another irony in that its own view can be charged with this as well. While the secular culture remains largely egalitarian, the church culture is being pushed back into MS and making up new exegesis to match it (e.g. the eternal subordination of the Son). As MS pointed out in the extreme example, this was not secular culture supporting slavery but the church culture, and the same is true of MS.

To drive the fallacies even deeper, MS portrays EQ as the modern feminist perspective to assign guilt by association with radical, anti-Christian feminism. And history is ignored here as well; it was mainly Christian women who pushed for equal rights, objecting to having no vote, no right to personal property, no justice against rape, enduring spousal abuse, etc.

The MS position then proceeds to the very fallacious but common equal in being, unequal in role assertion. As Rebecca Groothuis has argued many times, it is doublespeak to make hierarchy on the basis of ontology an equality of being. That is, if one group of people is assigned a permanent, involuntary, subservient role on the basis of race, sex, or any other genetic trait, that is not role playing but a statement of lesser worth as a person. Only in an Orwellian Newspeak dictionary can permanently lower rank be made into equality of being. Unlike the soldier who can rise in rank, the employee who can start their own business, the child who grows up, or the citizen who can move to another country, a woman cannot stop being a woman; femaleness is an aspect of being, an intrinsic quality. So to subjugate (regardless of the manner of subjugation) on that basis is to make woman of lesser worth or value. To claim otherwise is to redefine words to suit one’s prejudice. So platitudes about separate but equal are nothing better or different from the old pro-slavery arguments.

MS continues also to commit ad hominem against EQ by accusing it of being shaped more by cultural, feminist doctrine that[sic] by biblical exegesis and of being guilty of exegetical carelessness. Before EQ is even presented, it is tainted with the charge that it has a low view of scripture. MS assigns to only EQ the practice of making mountains out of molehills, but as anyone familiar with these teachings can see, that charge is at least as true of MS which typically builds enormous edifices from a few proof-texts. It is especially notorious for reading quite a lot between the lines in Genesis.

MS then appeals again to its own private definition for the various views, and wishes to retain the right to have subtleties while denying them to EQ (as when it lumps EQ with radical feminism). But the fact remains that there are exactly two extremes: MS and FS, with EQ being the true middle point. Either there is hierarchy or there is not; either there is a difference of intrinsic worth before God or there is not; either the flesh is of primary importance in the church or it is not. And while MS would surely cry false dilemma in all this, it cannot deny that some things really are black and white, such as male and female. Not every line can be blurred, which ironically is a charge often made by MS against EQ. This is another double standard: subtlety and nuance and shades of gray for me but not for you.

MS reiterates points from a previous post about Gen. 1, admitting that both male and female are made in the direct image of God. But the separate but equal ploy is inserted from the literal beginning, and here the charge is that without hierarchy there would be no difference between the two at all; that is, we blur the line between the sexes if we don’t embrace hierarchy between them. I pointed out the ridiculousness of such a view in my analysis of the Trinity debate.

At this point MS introduces the very familiar helper means less in rank argument. As EQ points out in the comments, God is a helper as well, and the Hebrew terms mean a strong ally coming to the aid of one who cannot stand alone. This is hardly a picture of a secretary or assistant in business, but more like the left and right hands. Can we say that our hands are indistinguishable because they both have 4 fingers and a thumb and one does not boss the other? We can if we follow the MS argument between male and female. True complementation is when the hands work together, such that the MS definition of the word is novel and Orwellian. God did design male and female to be complementary, but never put one over the other as a divine order, any more than He decreed that the right hand should always rule the left.

MS misinterprets Genesis by saying that Adam affirms that she is what he wants when Eve is made. Adam said no such thing, but only that she was bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Though the animals were made from the same soil as he, Adam recognized that Eve was not, but was in fact one in substance with him; she was his clone! Adam and Eve were both given authority over the other soil-formed creatures, such that the source of one’s genes could not be a statement of authority at all. And that Eve was made for Adam in no way signifies her inferiority since we know that it is the one needing help who could possibly be lacking or inferior in some way. If I need help from a doctor, is the doctor the one who is lacking? And if I pay the doctor, is he or she my underling? MS would whine about misrepresentation or extremes here, but the analogy applies perfectly: the one needing help is the one lacking something, and the one providing help is not the underling of the one receiving it.

In yet another glaring irony, MS cites the basis of marriage being that a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wive. Who does the leaving and joining to whom? Isn’t the one who has to give up his parents and join to the other the inferior? Why not? In our western culture, even today, women typically are the ones who are expected to give up their inherited surname and join to the man; is this not a direct violation against the clear command of God? And if she is the one doing what the man was supposed to do, then why is she seen as lower in rank? MS simply cannot make up its mind on exegesis; there is no consistency at all but only a double standard.

MS claims that the facts are not really in doubt in this passage but has already wildly misinterpreted them, as well as mistaking those interpretations for facts. As we’ve seen, the facts are that the man is supposed to give up his parents and join to his wife, both male and female rule over the creatures made from the same soil as Adam, Eve was Adam’s equal, and the helper is not lower in rank than the one needing help. Those are indisputable facts of scripture and plain sense. MS has ignored its double standard and wedged hierarchy between the lines, building facts from mere vapors.

And if man and woman complement each other then hierarchy cannot apply or it isn’t complementation at all. EQ would wholeheartedly agree that the gender wars were not part of God’s created intent, but this war has been waged on the basis of the poorest reading comprehension and logic in favor of male flesh, just as God predicted when He said to Eve, you will turn to your husband and he will rule over you. That, not feminism or culture, is the cause of the gender war.

As for the fundamental difference between male and female, nobody disputes the physical differences. What we dispute is the notion that the helper is beneath the helpee in some way, or that there are Biblical or mental/emotional differences between the sexes that essentially make them two different species. If a woman is by nature less capable than a man in spiritual or mental ability, then she is a lesser human. Unless a trait is without exception in a group of people, that trait cannot be intrinsic; unless ALL women without exception are less spiritually or mentally capable than ALL men, then there are no essential differences between them beyond physical strength and reproductive function, and even in the case of physical strength there are women who are stronger than men. MS typically (and according to that double standard again) appeals to culture here, citing secular pop psychology as normative and intrinsic, but above all, divinely mandated. MS cannot merely present its assertion to the contrary and expect it to be on a par with fact.

As for order of creation, EQ points out in the comments what a ridiculous argument this is. It is the fallacy of special pleading to make order only significant between male and female while ignoring it between man and animals. Order, in and of itself, is not only never stated in scripture as signifying authority, but God had a penchant for overturning that very claim whenever He did intervene in history: Abel over Cain, Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, David over 7 older brothers, and tiny Israel over much larger and stronger nations. If God is showing us anything in this, it is that cultural norms of first come, first served are NOT His divine order.

According to its double standard, MS admits that being a helper does not imply order in and of itself, in spite of having just made that very claim for creation order. But who would be offended by Eve being the helper? Shouldn’t MS be offended about this, since it was clearly only Adam who lacked something? MS arguing that EQ should be offended simply defies all reason, not to mention negating the point it’s trying to make about the helper not being intrinsically of less rank. If helper is a specifically feminine role in the Creation narrative, then it is Adam who is being presented as the lesser of the two, not Eve. MS even turns around yet again to say that worth has nothing to do with this, but that somehow it does make the woman inferior to the man in some way. MS cannot make up its mind or is incapable of grasping the self-contradictory nature of its argument.

Incredibly, after such a twisted contradictory argument, MS appeals to Ockham’s Razor (simplest solution is best). If, by making Eve the helper of Adam, God was making a statement of intrinsic difference between all men and all women, then the simplest interpretation is that the woman provides what the man lacks; he is in need of her but she is not in need of him. How any one-way subservient role got into this simple and obvious scripture passage is anybody’s guess. But it comes as no surprise that its motivation appeals to male flesh and makes what is essentially idolatry into God’s divine order. MS doesn’t like to hear that but it is the simple truth: for any human being to treat another human being as their spiritual intermediary or permanent authority based on nothing but the flesh is idolatry, pure and simple.

Of course it follows then that for MS the creation story fits perfectly with their system, based as it is on pitiful logic and adding to the text. The three facts are not in dispute when we use the normal meanings of words, but only when MS uses the doubspeak dictionary to make complementation into hierarchy, equal being into unequal rank, and the God who looks not on the outside but on the heart into a respecter of persons. And who defines what it means to behave as a man or a woman? Are women not to be courageous, bold, loyal, independent, or strong? Are men not to be loving, compassionate, nurturing, peaceful, self-controlled, or quiet? No such roles are found anywhere in scripture as divine mandates, as we see both men and women behaving in ways MS would deem sinful but God approved and commended. MS is promoting pop psychology, not divine mandate; it would freeze humanity in 1950s Ozzie and Harriette America, just as Islam would freeze humanity in 600s Arabia.

My Conclusion of course is that MS is a self-contradictory, flesh-based, twisted teaching that hobbles the Body of Christ by making one half report to the other instead of to its one and only Head. Indeed, who are we to believe that we can improve on God’s creation by imposing a masculinist, male-supremacist ethic which is contrary to the way that God made us? Let MS answer that question and stop pointing to the speck in EQ’s eye. MS has done more to emaciate the Body of Christ and turn the world against the gospel than perhaps any other false teaching ever invented. It can part with white supremacy or Jewish supremacy but will not let go of male supremacy, though IN CHRIST we are all to be ONE.

And as I’ve said before, the degree of MS is irrelevant; it is not Biblical or logical to turn NO lording over into KIND lording over, or to make Jesus’ example of the alleged servant leader only for half His followers. Jesus gave up His privilege as God to become one of us, not to be served but to serve, yet MS would refuse to follow that example or to humbly wash the feet of women, insisting instead to be the one that sits at the table and is served. Shame on them all!

(PS: I had originally intended to analyze the comments as well, but this is getting to be a long post so I’ll stop here.)

14 Comments

SaberTruth

Good analogy, Greg. Kind of a certain N. Korean dictator thing: "I’m not dead, I just smell funny!"

Greg Anderson

Patriarchy in American Protestantism is like an old tyrant in hospital and on life support. He and his devotees will stop at nothing to preserve their power, position, and prestige; even if it means suppressing and even falsifying ancient records & texts of Holy Writ. It reminds me of the first "Planet of the Apes" saga and how the religious Ape hierarchy scrambled to do damage control when the protagonist (Charlton Heston) exposed their religious system for the bunk that it was.

SaberTruth

Good analogy, Greg. Kind of a certain N. Korean dictator thing: "I’m not dead, I just smell funny!"

Lydia

"My concern here goes way beyond women’s issues. My concern is – how do we believe anyone at all. Either you look at the primary evidence yourself or you just don’t bother doing biblical scholarship.”

I don’t believe just anyone. I learned that the VERY HARD WAY. And I am teaching my children the same thing. They MUST study for themselves. they MUST know Jesus Christ personally because He lives within them!

Lydia

"Yep... like I keep saying, this isn’t supposed to be flesh-based"

This is KEY! The entire doctrine of comp/pat is flesh based. And consequently, a works based "religion".

"We are entering a new Dark Age of Christianity, where the powerful conceal with great ingenuity the beautiful truths of scripture, even if it means doing gender-benders on apostles and knowingly making up a koine Greek of their own."

I totally agree with this because I have seen it first hand. First they promote authority, then one cannot question the authority without being in sin. In the meantime, conflicting scholarship is buried, attacked, or labeled as sin. Different views are moderated or squealched with zeal.

This is not only the case with comp/pat doctrine but with ESS and Tithing. I have been astonished to see very well known "scholars" and pastors literally lie about sources, edit quotes, misuse sources, etc. I would not haev believed it unless I had done my own homework. But that takes time and most will not do it.

Remember, if one repeats a lie long enough, folks believe it. There are tons of people out there that believe if they "tithe" 10% to a building, they are being obedient to God. More works religion. They use the same blind belief with comp/pat doctrine, human authority in the body and ESS. Without thinking it through, they are going along with lessening the power and authority of our Savior. And that is blasphemy.

SaberTruth

We are entering a new Dark Age of Christianity, where the powerful conceal with great ingenuity the beautiful truths of scripture, even if it means doing gender-benders on apostles and knowingly making up a koine Greek of their own. We need to collect dictionaries and copies of ancient texts before they’re hidden and their existence denied. We also need to be ready for the inevitable claim that "those old dictionaries are out of date" when they support EQ, but "new scholarship is not to be trusted" when they support MS. And then, we need to ditch the whole Institution and its baggage, and simply follow Jesus without worrying about who is supposed to boss whom. People who want to know that have not grasped the first thing about Jesus.

SaberTruth

Check out this comment stream at Suzanne McCarthy’s blog:

Stephen C. Carlson said...Reuben J. Swanson’s edition of Romans lists over 60 medieval manuscripts with the paroxytone Ἰουνίαν (feminine) and none with the perispomenon Ἰουνιᾶν (masculine). There is one manuscript, 1837, that reads the properispomenon Ἰουνῖαν, which I interpret to be feminine as a case of the wrong accent on the right syllable because distinctions in the pitch accent and vowel length were lost in Byzantine times.4:58 PM Suzanne McCarthy said...Thank you very much for this confirmation. This is what I understood, but did not have a good reference.5:09 PM Don said...The translators of the ESV do not think a woman can be top church leader and Junia being an apostle puts a giant hole in their thesis.So they make translation choices that go along with their thesis. There are 3 basic ways to do this, all have been promoted by CBMW:1. Junian does not refer to a woman Junia.2. en does not mean within.3. apostolos does not mean apostle like the other apostles.The ESV went with 2, but that does not mean that CBMW denied the other 2, as the verse MUST not indicate Junia was an apostle for their thesis to hold.5:24 PM Jay said...I appreciate your tenacity. I am sad that some must insist on lowering themselves to the level of making personal insults in their discussions, such as we see over on BBB. I have never considered myself or called myself a feminist, even though it seems John is doing that over on BBB as he has done elsewhere. Yet, if I am given that title, I have no problem with it. However, I do think that the issue of titles is part of the problem. I made the comment about the translation of the word apostle on BBB knowing that there is a risk of being misunderstood. Since the misogynists can’t stand the idea of a woman being named by Paul as an apostle, I think we need to better understand Paul’s opinion on apostles. I think it is difficult to read Acts and Paul’s letters without understanding that there was a significant conflict in the early church about who were to be considered apostles. I would push the issue so far as to say that the Jerusalem church and the more conservative Jewish element of the Church wanted to emphasis the Twelve and reject those like Paul. Paul on the other hand is not willing to limit the function of the apostle to the Twelve, but sees it as one of the ministry gifts being distributed to the church beyond the Twelve. Paul uses the term deacon to refer generally to all servants/ministers, naming himself as one deacon. At least in the earlier and material that is accepted by most to be authentically Paul, there does not seem to be any hierarchy in the Church. The elders or overseers seem to be selected people to guide the local bodies in which there are in addition those who may not be named overseers, but are ministering according to their ministry gifts. (I don’t see any reason that Paul would oppose anyone according to gender to be named among the overseers either.) Apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers are all gifts given to members of the body to minister. We have no indication that Paul as any hesitation with women ministers, but on the contrary we see him calling a good number of women co-workers, minister, and yes, even apostle. The interpolation of 1 Cor 14:34 need not be considered, since even if accepted as original to the text, would have to be understood in light of the female prophesying(ministering with authority) and praying in the assembly spoken of in 1 Cor 11. So when we approach Rom. 16 with this understanding, we see Paul accepting these women co-workers, starting with Phoebe the minister to Junia the apostle without hesitation. Since Paul is not stuck on any titles but is emphasizing ministry function and gifting, we see a beautiful picture of not only women and men ministering together, but one lacking of institutional structures that have proven so often throughout history to limit peoples’ ministry opportunities especially pertaining to that of women. Nevertheless, if I am wrong about my view on Paul and the ministry positions and functions, and someone proves to me that an Apostle is indeed a very unique position high in the early church hierarchy, with great authority over other leaders, I have abosolutely no problem with Junia being that either.7:39 PM Ms. Jack said...I, too, am frustrated with that thread. I feel as though everything Sue and I were saying was in one ear and out the other. I’m also pretty baffled as to why my final comment there was deleted. It did not break any rules and was just a civil note to Sue.9:07 PM Jay said...My comments were edited/deleted by the moderator because I violated their posting rules. The problem with deleting my comments to that particular blog entry, is that the title of the BBB blog,"What drives a translation?" implies motive in itself. So I think it best they delete the whole entry in order to maintain their integrity. Sorry, Sue, I know this is not in direct line to this post, but since this post is in relation to the one on BBB, I think you understand my venting my frustration here.9:23 PM Suzanne McCarthy said...Ms. Jack,Thanks for coming here. I saw your comment in my email and was wondering how to answer it. I did have a look at your blog and I see that you have recently written on Junia. I have written a little too much on this topic, but if you have a specific question, I will try to look up my research on that. Regarding the thread on the BBB, I really think the moderator, I assume Iver, just did not know how to respond. Jay, I also noted the peculiarity of telling commenters not to mention motive, but attributing motive on wikipedia to p/c. I am stunned by the persistence among some people that Junia was accented as a male name. This is an urban legend which is difficult to bury.11:40 PM Don said...I just read the latest bleeped comments and the whole thing seems pretty funny.To ask "What drives ... ?" and then deny the ability to even point out what the translators claim denies the question itself.5:40 AM E said...What started out as a promising and interesting thread at BBB turned into a joke, esp. after the person who suffers from Suzanne Derangement Syndrome entered the conversation.I greatly appreciated what you had to share, Suzanne.5:50 AM Don said...The BBB posting guidelines are:Posting GuidelinesBlog posts and comments should focus on Bible translation issues, not theology, or personalities. 1. Support claims with evidence. 2. Do not question anyone’s intelligence, spirituality or motives. 3. Do not tell someone what they believe. Instead, ask them. 4. Avoid sarcasm.5. Comments should be concise and relate directly to post content. The moderator in this case is MISUNDERSTANDING #2. Apparently, he thinks that motives cannot be discussed, even when they are admitted. What it actually says is to not QUESTION another’s motives, which is an entirely different thing.6:36 AM Ms. Jack said...Sue, your blog is a powerhouse for responding to arguments for Christian patriarchy and I have been deeply grateful for it for a long time, even if I have not been commenting much. I am in awe of the research you have put into some of these topics, especially on Romans 16:7 and 1 Tim. 2:12.I don’t much enjoy arguing with complementarians online, and that thread is a pristine example of why. It just seems too often that they ignore devastating counter-arguments and plod along as though nothing has changed. If we applied the standards they’re using to try and salvage man-Junia to other areas of the New Testament, we’d never be able to say that things like the Johannine Comma and ending of the Gospel of Mark are suspect passages that probably weren’t original to the Gospel. We could also reverse the gender of dozens of New Testament names by positing an otherwise unattested abnormal hypocorism. It’s ridiculous. We weren’t supposed to talk about bias on that thread, but the history of the Junia debates is pretty much a textbook case of presuppositions leading to translation gymnastics.6:57 AMComment deletedThis post has been removed by the author.7:28 AM E said...I used to like BBB, but the latest thread has caused me to lose respect for those who manhandled (pun intended) the thread the way they did.I hope the egalitarians at BBB stand up to and rebuke the kind of sexist bullying and censorship that was exhibited and permitted in that ill-fated thread.7:29 AM J. K. Gayle said...[sorry to keep posting, but there seems to be a technoglitch for me]Thanks for allowing conversation here and for encouraging any and all to look at evidence.In contrast, there’s the silencing and the phallogocentricism that runs through history right up to now. It’s subtle power sometimes:(1) At BBB, the men there cannot or won’t practice what they preach. (2) John Hobbins makes claims he cannot or won’t warrant. (3) This is the very sort of thing that drives the erasure of Junia’s femaleness in the first place.8:44 AMComment deletedThis post has been removed by the author.8:45 AM J. K. Gayle said...(1) As you point out, BBB’s Ivers Larson wants to discuss "What drives" and suggests a motive for a wikipedia entry author; but then the hidden BBB moderator comes in to strike Jay’s allusions to likely misogyny and my use of the S-word (i.e., "sexism") when getting at what drives mistranslation of the Bible. It takes my pointing out that Hobbins has attacked feminists before the moderator even sees it.(2) Hobbins baits the conversation at first with his note of the "superior" ESV footnote, knowing full well how the male-only ESV team is not interested in gender-inclusive language. Hobbins also uses misquotes of Carolyn Osiek to form fallacious logic that Don gets trapped in: "If Osiek is right, then ’biblical egalitarians’ are wrong." Hobbins does suggest that Osiek is for some patriarchy of love (she’s not); but he won’t, as you pointed out, even say what he means by "biblical egalitarians." (Well, what he says that she says so "famously" is his excerpt from an online interview book-review where he makes her and Jesus and Christianity sound pro-patriarchy; for the record, Don, Osiek is actually just saying that the egalitarianisms before and around and after Jesus "were not directly inspired by Jesus." If Hobbins would read this whole interview -- http://www.vanderbilt.edu/divinity/carpenter/Osiek.htm -- and anything that Osiek has published related to Jesus and to egalitarianism in Christianity, I think he might see that.)8:46 AM J. K. Gayle said...(3) Suzanne, When you were at BBB as a contributor, you wrote something very profound: “My concern here goes way beyond women’s issues. My concern is – how do we believe anyone at all. Either you look at the primary evidence yourself or you just don’t bother doing biblical scholarship.” What drives the erasure of the femaleness of Junia is the subtle power for control of knowledge. This is why silence is really not an option; and the encouragement to individuals to do scholarship and to investigate for themselves is imperative.8:48 AM Don said...Thanks for the info.11:09 AM Suzanne McCarthy said...I notice in retrospect that the main thrust of Iver’s post was that the new BDAG entry was influenced by p/c motivation. He somehow had the impression that Junia was accented as a masculine name, when that is not true. So the question is how did Iver get this impression. There are certainly many sources of this information still around. The UBS Greek text of the NT up until recently gave this impression, for one.I really don’t know whether the mess made of the Greek language can ever be mopped up.6:22 PM

SaberTruth

Yep... like I keep saying, this isn’t supposed to be flesh-based. And it isn’t rocket science to grasp "not so among you". And for something so very vital to Christian life, you would think God would spell it out and say "No woman can ever teach a man, and every woman must be under some male’s authority, even if it’s her own son."

Truthseeker

Very interesting, Paula! The problem with comp theory is that is just has too many illogical premises and creates some very real problems when it comes to application. I know they don’t tend to see it that way since they don’t really grasp the inconsistencies. Lydia really hit on a good point with the last sentence in your post-if women are to be Christlike, and He was ’male’ in role here on earth, we are left with no role model. Like I say, where does it say the fruit of the Spirit is gender-specific or related to roles? So then why all the intensity about maintaining roles based on gender? It has to be for reasons that lack righteousness and ’biblical’ support.

SaberTruth

I saw this and need to point out something that escapes MS, being subtle and all:

You said: “It’s clear that these women were leaders in the church.”This is ABSOLUTELY false. Where in this text does it say these women were elders, teachers, or held authority?
I don’t take examples from later history as authoritative, so let’s check how leaders were identified in the NT. 1 Cor. 12 has 4 words translated as "follow" for 4 different people, one of whom is Christ. That word is... NOTHING! It says "of-____" where the "of" is derived solely from the genitive case of each name; there is NO word for "follow" in that verse, yet no one disputes the meaning. Curiously, and not insignificantly, the previous verse has another "of-_____" and it’s even emphasized with "under": "under of-Chloe". That is, the people who are reporting the factions to Paul are UNDER CHLOE, and her followers!So let the MS side tell us why, and without "special pleading", Chloe is not a clear, "plain reading" leader of a church. PS: the word "household" is nowhere to be found there. But again, curiously, it IS found in vs. 16 regarding Stephanos. Hmm...

HoppyTheToad

Thanks for this great post. I, too, have had men tell me that I shouldn’t be using logic "because it’s Greek" to try and reconcile all the different passages that are related to the issue of women’s equality in marriage and in the church.

SaberTruth

You’re very welcome, Hoppy! (great handle) They do love to pride themselves on being intellectual and sounding edjamakated, but women doing the same thing somehow sounds uppity and cultural to their ears. It’s called hypocrisy (or more accurately, a double standard).

SaberTruth

Yes, they see logic as "bowing to culture", but of course only when they want to see it that way. If logic helps their cause it’s logic, but if not, it’s bowing to culture. (Or instead of bowing to culture, they’ll call it "the wisdom of man") And I’ve watched them twist in the wind when trying to answer the other questions you mentioned as well, mostly with dismissals of you as being somehow more biased than they, or "feminist theology" (whatever that is), etc. Yes, if being Christ-like means being male, we wimminz is toast.

Lydia

My favorite response to all of this is from the macuslinist that tells us we cannot apply logic to the scriptures. Is he speaking of the pure wisdom that comes from above? God is not to make any sense at all?

There is NO prohitibion to women teaching or leading men in the OT so I cannot see that a logically conclude that there wouldn’t be a NEW more legal law AFTER the cross? So, perhaps we have our interpretations wrong? And then we study to make sure? So, we do and find lots of problems with the translations CONCERNING the women question. And we find contradictions. This is simply the fault of translators who were male, btw.

But the most glaring illogic of their position is that of this focus on specific non biological gender roles. This leads us to the conclusion that being in your specific gender role (whatever that is after having babies) every day is what makes one holy. If this is the case, women are in HUGE trouble.

My Savior came as a male. Who is my rolemodel for my specific gender roles? How can I be "Christlike" since Christ came as a male?