|Posted by God Loves Women on November 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM||comments (1)|
I clicked on this link provided by the wonderful Rev. Pam Smith just now and found Susie Leafe, a female member of the General Synod, sharing on 4OD about how women should not be Bishops.
She suggests that “women look to men for some of the most important decisions of their lives” and “what we [women] tend to do is what happened in the Garden of Eden: Adam stood back and did nothing; Eve made a bit of a bad decision and the world got into a bit of trouble.”
I’m really glad that Susie has explained this. I mean I had been wondering why all the single women across the UK have been wandering around the streets of their towns and cities, disoriented and lost. Only the other day I past at least 15 of these poor souls, lost and without guidance. If only they had a man to help them make their decisions! Perhaps they would be able to have a life that included a job, a home, a social life! But alas, it is not to be, they are condemned to a life of disoriented wandering.
I don’t just say this as a married woman, I say it as someone who was a single mum, yes I know, you’re wondering how I coped! Well clearly I didn’t, in fact what Susie shared has really helped me to make sense of what happened when I no longer had a man to guide me. I just stood in the street, with my children for two years and didn’t move. I mean, how would I have? Without the guidance of one of these males? Truly it was impossible!
I’m just grateful a man did eventually find me and tell me I should get married to him (clearly without him telling me to do it, I would never have known it was a good thing to do, being a mere woman).
I especially like how she describes what Eve did as a “bit of a bad decision” and got the world into “a bit of trouble”. It really helps me to make sense of why everything I’ve ever done until I was married to a man had failed, but now I see clearly. That is what God made me like. Destined to fail, without a man to guide me…
Thank you Susie, for clearing up why my entire life only make sense if I am led by a man. However Susie, I came across a verse the other day and I wonder if you could clear up what they mean, in light of your insight?
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)
I’m clearly reading this wrong Susie, but it seems to be suggesting Adam brought sin into the world, obviously this can’t be correct, I’d appreciate your thoughts…
|Posted by God Loves Women on January 8, 2012 at 2:50 PM||comments (0)|
I had a twitter conversation with someone recently about whether God’s model for humanity involves hierarchy and whether his model for marriage involves headship. My view was that hierarchy and headship are not from God, his was that they are God’s constructs. This is how it ended
Them: “Yes, it's clear from both of you that men have abused their position. However, just because they have does not make almost all of the arguments you're offering. If you are saved, then you simply cannot ignore scripture, or reduce it to fit your needs or argument. I say this not because I'm a bloke, but because it's God's word!”
Me: “But perhaps in part you can say that because you haven’t been abused by those Scriptures.”
Them: “..and THATS the issue.”
The person I was conversing with then left Twitter and I was left trying to deduce what he meant by his statement. Although afterwards I said I didn’t understand what he meant, he has not clarified his meaning and so I am left wondering.
The conclusion I have come to about his comment was that he somehow thinks that my having been abused through the use of headship and hierarchy puts me in a less capable position to be able to see how God views these things. That somehow his privilege at not knowing first hand the damage hierarchy and patriarchy does means he is in a better position to understand the Scriptures. Perhaps that I am too emotionally involved with this issue to really “get” what God is saying.
[Of course, this may not be what he was saying, and if I’ve misinterpreted his view, I apologise, but I shall continue with this blog as I believe even if this man doesn’t believe this stuff, there are plenty of people who do.]
Firstly I would like address the idea that being emotionally involved with an issue means we are less able to have a suitable perspective on it. God came to earth as a human baby, how much more emotionally involved does it get than that? Jesus lived, died and was resurrected in a state of complete vulnerability. Throughout the Bible we see God relating to Israel as an emotionally involved Father. Jesus calls us to love sacrificially; he calls us blessed when we mourn and when we are merciful. Being emotionally involved is not only an asset when making theological decisions, it is essential.
It is only as we see the true consequences of the theology we hold, that we can make decisions as to whether it is God’s heart or mans understanding. Just as the Pharisees spent their lives running around trying to obey rules that they had missed the heart of, so many of us Christians are busy trying to stay true to teachings that we don’t understand, blaming God’s sovereignty on perpetuating teaching that abuse, damage or undermine people’s humanity.
I understand people’s reluctance at picking and choosing Scripture, but have we learnt nothing from Jesus’ response to the religious leaders? Blaming it on the rules isn’t good enough! Jesus came into the place and time He did and blasted apart the religious views of the time. He advocated a radical third way, in which the heart is more significant than the letter could ever be; in which the least became the greatest and the most sinful more capable of redemption.
I resist anybody who tries to tell me that the fact I have experienced abuse at the hands of my ex-husband, or having listened to the horrific stories of many Christian women, who have been abused by their “Christian” husbands makes me less able to understand what God is saying. God has truly healed me from the abuse and trauma caused to me, and yet my heart is broken for the abuse and hurt in this beautiful world. It is broken for the women and children that suffer, for the men who destroy lives, for a society that accepts abuse and for a Church that perpetuates it with teaching of hierarchy and headship. This does not make me less able to understand theology. This is theology.
|Posted by God Loves Women on January 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM||comments (2)|
I’ve been having a few conversations with people recently about the inerrancy of the Bible; that it is God’s Word and therefore cannot be wrong. Anything that we do not understand is down to the Sovereignty of God and we must therefore accept it. Their views are widely informed by 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I understand this view and having grown up in the Church and with a Christian family; I have to some extent held the view myself. I would say though that more recently my view on this has changed. Rather than focussing on why my view has changed, I would rather examine the idea of inerrancy and why I don’t agree with it.
Firstly let us clarify that the original Greek wording of “God breathed” or “God inspired” is the word theopneustos which literally does mean “God-breathed.”
From this many Christians say that as Scripture is God-breathed this means it cannot be wrong. However, no matter how much we are convinced of this view, the reality is that “God-breathed” in no language translates as infallible/unable to be argued with/inerrant.
God breathed into Adam and Eve in order that they would have life, this did not make either of them infallible or inerrant, in fact as we all very well know; they failed quite miserably…
When Paul wrote this to Timothy, had he considered his letters as “Scripture”? Probably not, so how can we be sure that the New Testament is relevant to these verses anyway.
If we believe in free will, as many of those who believe Scripture is inerrant do, how do we reconcile this free will with the idea that the authors of the Bible books are supposed to have written with complete inerrancy? They were not robot people who wrote letters/poetry/historical records etc. with glazed over eyes while God took hold of their hands and wrote the words He wanted to be written. Truly, that is not our God! One of the glorious things about our God is that is not what He does. He meets us in our own place and time and uses us, with our flaws, failings and the gifts He has given us.
Jesus did not say that He would leave us with the Scriptures; or with writings from His disciples and others to enable us to know how to follow Him and what do to. He said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
Where does this leave us in relation to the Bible? As someone I was talking about this with on Twitter said, “So should we just get rid of the bits we don’t like?” I don’t believe this is about picking and choosing what is and isn’t inerrant in Scripture, but rather recognise that the Bible is written by men (and potentially one woman, if those rumours about Hebrews are true…) with the breath of God throughout it. Rather than being legalistic about it being “all or nothing”, perhaps we should be guided by the Holy Spirit, and look to the only human being who has ever lived an inerrant life, and let that inform the way we live and the theology we hold.
I found a very interesting article to follow on from my thoughts which you can read here
What do you think? Am I wrong to question the inerrancy of Scripture?
Is it possible to uphold Scripture as God breathed and yet accept it can be wrong?