Let me start with this….
“the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.
First of all… the facts of this article are just enough to pass as truth… but aren’t truth entirely. The few carefully selected verses aren’t stated so I can’t comment on them specifically BUT in my church I know that ive been taught that yes, Chronologically, Eve was created second. But Adam named her “Woman” because she was taken from man. Not because she was made subject to man. I have never been taught that Eve was responsible for the original sin. In fact, it was Adam who sinned. Eve was deceived. It’s not a sin to be deceived…ADAM knew where the fruit came from and what the rules were and he ate it anyway. God did not say that women must be subservient to their husbands but did say “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you” to me this meant that he would take charge whether it was his to take or not…. And don’t you know… he did.
Now, as for other stuff in the article,
According to http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=72521 “The Navy was the first service in the Department of Defense to commission a female chaplain, Lt. j.g. Dianna Pohlman, in July 1973. The Air Force and Army followed suit later that same year.” So the military has been letting women serve as chaplains for more than 40 years.
This statement is awfully all inclusive
“This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.”
Except for Abortion, I can’t name one thing that as a Christian, Southern Baptist I am restricted from where health care is concerned. Including birth control as long as it doesn’t end life once it has begun. There are several women in our congregation who have made that choice in their past and regret it… but they are not shunned. Some of them hold places of leadership and mentoring.
Now, as for slavery, that’s what separated the Northern Baptists from the Southern Baptists during the Civil War times but today, that’s not a determining factor at all, in fact, there are historically black Southern Baptist churches throughout the United States even in the south. I would dare say that in Jimmy Carter’s Georgia there weren’t many desegregated southern baptist churches in 1956 (60 years ago) in fact, segregation didn’t completely disappear until the late 1960’s or 1970’s…. and he’s just now leaving the southern baptist church because of it’s supposed stance on women? Silliness!
“In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West.”
The latter part of this broad statement is not only offensive, it’s downright wrong!
In 48 states women make .70 on the dollar compared to men and in 24 states it’s .80 or more. In Washington DC it’s .90%. (According to http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/ )
Is this gap due solely to discrimination? Or is it because by-in-large women stay home or take time off to be with sick kids, take care of extended family members or stop working at an earlier age than men? It’s often not being a woman that leads to the equality gap, it’s being a mother or a family member. Taking time off to do these things isn’t wrong but it’s not conducive to profitability in a fortune 500 company when late hours and weekends are what’s in demand if a profit is going to be made in business. All of these factors should be considered. But it doesn’t work for the Jimmy Carter narrative.
As for women in office in the West…. 212 women serve in either the house of representatives, congress, or the senate out of 535. Out of the 323 seats filled by men how many races didn’t have a woman to choose from or in how many cases was a woman just not the right choice for the job? Not voted against because she was a woman, but because she was a poor choice.
Now, as for the “carefully selected passages of scripture” which are not stated, one has to determine which statements are of the Old covenant (old testament) and the New Covenant (new testament). Without getting into a huge bible study, basically once Jesus Christ came, he fulfilled what the old testament’s laws required (like sacrificing animals for example) and set up a new covenant stating that the greatest commandments are these, that you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. These words are found, spoken by Jesus, in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Mark 12:33, and Luke 10:27. And by Moses in Deuteronomy 4:29, 10:12 and 11:1 just to name a few.
As for the statement
“I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures [None of which are sighted] in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets”
These women that he described were in these positions and many Southern Baptist Churches ordain Deaconess’ or place women in positions of leadership. However, not typically as head Pastor.
In my opinion, It’s not that women are incapable of the leadership role but that it might be difficult for men to subjugate themselves to a woman in that type of authority. A pastor is one who might have the authority in a church to tell someone that how or what they are doing is not biblical or they are acting in a way that is contrary to what the Bible requires of Christians (remember, this is dealing with someone who admits that the Bible is THEIR authority. Not someone who is not a Christian) and by putting yourself under Biblical authority, you are then under the authority of your Pastor. How hard would it be for men (and most women) in our current world (or any year prior to this) to put themselves under the authority of a woman? Not me… Not my husband… not most people I know.
Coming from a biblical perspective of women being subject to the authority of her husband. Look at your own situation. Brett is your husband. He doesn’t rule over you, however, you’ve put yourself willingly under his protection. Your love for him makes that an easy thing to do and he has proven himself worthy. He has his role in your family and you have yours. Not that either of you “can’t” do what the other does but you’re not made to do what he can do, you’re made to do what he can’t. Thereby making each other complete. That’s what the Bible meant by “The two shall become one flesh”
Last, this statement is troubling to me…
“The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”
So, I understand that justifying the discrimination against women on grounds of religion is unacceptable but what happens when they decide that other things decided on the grounds of religion are unacceptable? What then? Are we to then fall in line with that too? It’s a slippery slope. One which presupposes that the ones making the argument are well versed in the tenants or scriptures that they are opposing. Know how I know that this is untrue? How I know that “The Elders” who are self-proclaimed “eminent global leaders” are working from assumptions and second hand information?
Because of the telling statement
“This [the subjugation of women] is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.”
In what teaching by the prophet Muhammad is the subjugation of women disputed? It’s not, as a matter of fact, if you look at the Quran it does speak as to how women are to be treated “Men are in charge of women, because God has made some excel some of the others [4:34]. 2. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them [2:228].” But honestly, I’m no Quran expert so if there are teachings to the contrary of those I’ve sighted. I don’t know that they exist… nor do lots of Muslims who condone honor killings and burkas (just an observation) and what other great religion founders outline women specifically? Again, I’m no expert on world religions so I’m not indicting other’s religions by any means.
I do believe however that women have a place. Like I said before they are to complete what men aren’t or can’t be. It’s like that in the animal kingdom as well. We all know that girl lions have a different job in the pride than the boy lions. Not because of some mystic text they once read but because that’s just how it works. The same goes with birds, gorillas, dogs, cats and ducks. Boy mallard ducks aren’t prettier because of some weird subjugation of girl ducks… that’s just the way they were made.
So, my thought are; 1. that this article promotes the disdain of what many have found to be their comfort and their strength. 2. That this article twists facts to prove a point. And 3. Well…. I’ll keep that to myself because my momma (and yours) taught me if I can say something nice about someone to not say anything at all.
So…there it is 🙂 Love you!