Hugh discussion going on over at Ragamuffinsoul about a McLaren comment about women in government and women in the church. Check it out here. It took me over an hour to get through all the comments because I visited a few other blogs and commented to other people individually. Obviously these topics–women in Church leadership, women in government, Brian McLaren, Bible interpretation–are hot buttoms for me. This is my comments from Los’ blog:
“WOW! What a discussion. The saddest part of this discussion for me is the number of comments that say, “Well if it’s in the Bible…[keep women in their place]“. Please, before you simply accept what you’ve been taught the Bible says, or what you read in your English translation, study out a topic. Go back to the Greek or Hebrew. Try to understand the context, culture, history, and the problems a lack of punctuation in the original language can create. Absolutely men and women are different from one another. Absolutely BOTH are created in his image. Think about that. We can actually understand more of God by trying to see something from the opposite gender’s point of view. Does it make sense that God would anoint/appoint Deborah but not desire her to actually do the job? Does it make sense that Paul would be saying that all women for all times cannot be leaders but then send his greeting to Junia (a woman) as an outstanding apostle? When the Bible we read presents these seeming conflicts it should cause us to ask whether or not there is another way to see the situation. In the past that question caused translators to change Junia’s name to its masculine version. Was that the correct response? I guess that’s between you and God.”
I own a lot to the blog Abandon Image. Tia has been going through the troublesome passages concerning women. You know the ones that conservative Christians use to limit women in the Church. Her hard work and study has helped me to see that I can read my Bible knowing that the BLACK AND WHITE English translation I happen to be comfortable with isn’t as BLACK AND WHITE as I have been lead to believe. I do not have to always come away from difficult passages asking the question: “What is wrong with me?” Sometimes what might be wrong is a mistranslated word, a culture I do not understand, a situation I have never experienced. Do I value the scripture less than I once did–ON THE CONTRARY! I am able to spend much more time with my Bible then I ever used to. For that I thank people like Tia, people who have done the hard work of studying out the scripture. Check out her blog here.
Regarding women in governmental leadership roles, I will only say I have no problems with women in any kind of leadership, including government. Since I have recently posted about Palin I will not repeat myself.
The last thing I have to say is about Brian McLaren. I have read two of his books. I have also read a couple of his comments in various places. That is all. I am not a follower. At one point not too long ago I was ready to throw the baby out with the bath water and never set foot in the Church or associate with anyone who had anything to do with Building-Based Christianity again. Then I read McClaren’s book, Generous Orthodoxy. His compassion, his willingness to see the good is a variety of expressions of the Church gave me hope. If Brian McLaren could see potential in the Church then I would try to see it too. Now, some of McLaren’s ideas, thoughts, questions may be outside God’s will. They certainly are beyond the comfort level and God-box most of traditional Christianity embraces. Personally, I do not believe he is out to destroy the Church or throw out scripture. Most of what I have read indicates quite the opposite. He seems more interest in challenging the traditions of Men and focusing on some of the passages traditional Christianity has been so willing to over look. You know, the ones like: feed my sheep, and take care of the widows and orphans, and love covers a multitude of sin, and when you give a drink to the least of these you give a drink to Me.