Where to Draw the Line?

Copyright David Hayward – http://www.nakedpastor.com
Happy International Women’s Day!

The church that I attend has been going through a series entitled “Her Story” which details why it is so important to have women in leadership in the church.

The sessions are really worth watching (or listening to if that is your preference). Here is what we have covered so far:

1. Seeing the Big Picture: We discuss why it is so important to have gender equality in church leadership.

2. Jesus and the New Covenant: Karmyn Bokma teaches on how patriarchy in the Old Covenant was God’s accommodation for a season, yet Jesus restores the relationships between men and women in the New Covenant.

3. Marriages that Preach: Leanne Friesen teaches from Ephesians 5 on the New Covenant design for marriage.

4. Learning from Prohibitive Passages: We walk through 1 Timothy 2, the passage most commonly used to argue against women leading in the Church.

5. A Few Good Ezers: Jo Saxton teaches us how to empower women and explores the true meaning of the word helper in Genesis 2:18.

There was one element in the teaching that particularly struck me as something I disagreed with, and it came up in a conversation with a friend. Our teaching Pastor, Bruxy Cavey, said, and I am am paraphrasing here, “that we should be tolerant of those who hold different views to ourselves as they are also trying to follow the Bible as they understand it.”

My friend agreed with Bruxy. I asked my friend (who happened to be female), “So you think we should be tolerant of those who discriminate against women in leadership?”

“Yes”, she responded.

Something suddenly dawned on me, and I asked a followup question: “Do you think that we should be tolerant of those who discriminate on the basis of Race?”

“No”, she responded.

At that moment we both realized we had a problem. Why would we think it is acceptable to tolerate one and not the other?

For centuries, and even within the past century, Christians have not had an issue tolerating those who discriminated against those of a different race. They even practiced it themselves.

We can look at slavery in the Western Hemisphere, or Apartheid in South Africa (which Klasie will be discussing in a future post) to see Christians actively discriminating against those of a different race. (Apartheid had huge theological underpinnings.)

We have no problem now looking at those situations and calling out: “That was wrong. That was sin.”

Yet somehow those who discriminate against women using similar types of arguments are to be tolerated as misguided brothers and sisters?

I say “No!” We need to start calling out these attitudes as sin, and until we do so we will not have much of a witness to the world around us.

Next week I will cover what some well known church leaders have said historically about women. Trust me, it won’t be pretty.

As usual, your thoughts and comments are welcome.

68 thoughts on “Where to Draw the Line?

  1. “Trump autographs Bibles for Alabama tornado survivors during visit of disaster area”

    Did he sign them in Red Ink?


  2. Arriving and remaining on a one-to-one human scale, no matter how vast Deep Space or Deep Time.


  3. Particularly the inability to read the tone of the room/article/discussion & an insistence instead of repeating the same thing louder & louder in an attempt to….not sure what really.

    This is the same M.O. as an infamous motormouth fanboy in local fannish circles. The guy ended up a highly-annoying running joke to everyone except himself.

    As for “attempt to…not sure what really”, it’s obvious to me:
    Attempt To WIN at all costs.

    “Winning isn’t everything. Winning is The Only Thing.”
    — Vince Lombardi


  4. Maybe his ghostwriter was Jehovah — with a confidentiality clause in the contract, and of course the standard non-disclosure agreement.


  5. It is a disturbing interpretation, and if it happened to be correct, I’d bet money that Paul would have set Onesimus free.



  6. I know you don’t mean offense, or vendetta. I do note the many areas on which we agree, and I appreciate your comments. I’m not offended at all.

    Blessed Lent to you & your wife.


  7. I have no programmed response to your comments about Orthodoxy, Dana. I respond positively to your comments, and refer positively to your observations about the importance of interpretative tradition in reading the Bible, at least as often as I offer critical or questioning comments. In fact, I sometimes hold back from offering critical responses to your comments, because you seem to only be cognizant of them and not the positive responses. The Russian Orthodox Church forms a very big part of modern world Orthodoxy; in certain ways, it is the most influential and active center of Orthodoxy at the current time. I don’t think it’s fair to make positive generalizations about Orthodoxy and not expect the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russia’s deeply Orthodox-influenced culture, to be looked at for how they bear out in the world, or in history. No personal offense is meant, and I am on no vendetta against Orthodoxy.


  8. the irony would be funny indeed were it not for his lack of empathy . . . . . photo shoots meant for one purpose sometimes backfire on a politician, and this is one of those times


  9. Yes. There are instances everywhere of people who ignore the teachings of Christ and his Church. Many scenes in Dostoevsky’s “fiction” were lifted from the newspaper reports of his day, and he certainly knew how people lived and came face to face with desperate people in his years in prison, from simple hard luck cases to those who committed the worst crimes.

    There were also plenty of landowners who treated people well, so that when the Communists came to power those people took steps to blunt the damage the Communists were urging them to do to their former lords, including helping some of them escape the country. It’s arguable that the Communists did more in 70 years to destroy the Russian people than all the previous years of serfdom did (which, as you will recall, was outlawed in 1861).

    A book I found very interesting and helpful in understanding Russian culture and thought is “Echoes of a Native Land,” by Serge Schmemann. It’s the history of the author’s maternal family, with much insight into the culture of landowning Russians and their farm workers. My overall takeaway: Russians are not like Americans in some very interesting ways. You might pick it up at your library.

    I’m not going to deny the real examples and the real history you give, Robert. This last comment of mine was rather general. I find it interesting that you often refer to the particular shortcomings of Russians and Orthodoxy when talking with me, especially when I point out something advantageous about Eastern Christianity. I suppose I do the same at times, esp toward Evangelicalism/Protestantism. Nonetheless, the “what about Russia”from you is kind of predictable, my friend… I’m not going to defend the bad actions of professing Orthodox Christians. We’re a mess, and I signed up for it, yes I did. There were reasons.



  10. Not so. Research the theological underpinnings of Apartheid and you will see what I mean. The biblical arguments for only men being elders is much weaker.


  11. I had to laugh:

    “Trump autographs Bibles for Alabama tornado survivors during visit of disaster area”


  12. Yet the God who is outside of time and space has arrived within time, space, and culture, to regenerate and redeem human relationships and communities. He very much works with the tools we understand, because he wants us to understand.


  13. If discrimination means male-only elders, then it’s nothing like discriminating on the basis of race. A Bible readers can easily come to a good faith reading of the NT to justify that position, even if you think they’re wrong. Someone discriminating on the basis of race cannot.


  14. We agree with some of it. Why is it so often all-or-nothing with you? All-or-nothing is frequently a hallmark of extremism, and fanaticism — but I will give you this: though it is not so much Christian, all-or-nothingism is very American.


  15. My belief [ and the belief of many many Evangelicals ] God is outside of time and space – what he brought into written word over a 1500 year period thru various men – was good then, is good now.

    Liberal protestants do not agree.


  16. I do find it interesting that the same Paul that wrote Galatians 3:28 “…in Christ there is neither… male nor female…” also wrote 1 Cor. 11:14 about what nature teaches in the difference between men and women.
    Did he have brilliant insight one day, and was grumpy the next?
    Or was he toying with gnosticism one day, and snapped out of it the next?
    Was he talking about life under the Son vs. life under the sun?

    He seems to have a much more complex view than merely partiarchy vs. matriarchy.
    Moreover, though he definitely makes claim to having authority that flows from his calling in Christ, he does not seem very concerned with the acquisition of power. Paul claims to simultaneously free of social identities, but willingly takes on the burdens and limitations of them for the sake of higher goals (1 Cor 9:19).


  17. Robert, I think that Jesus (and later Paul) were somewhat selective in what hill they chose to die on (no pun intended). Jesus does challenge the value systems of his culture, notably honor and shame (the parable of the prodigal son is a direct attack on that – God is not concerned about his honor; he is concerned about people [and by extension, the kingdom does not operate on the basis of honor/shame either], as well as his teaching about turning the other cheek, etc.). He also includes women among his disciples, which was NOT acceptable among Jews at that time (which is what the Mary/Martha thing is about), and features them in his teaching in ways that would be considered radical. Given his vision of a new kind of society – the kingdom (and I don’t think it was entirely eschatalogical in the ‘future’ sense, but inaugurated in his ministry) – I think the issue of slavery was somewhat ‘subsumed’ under that new vision. Likewise Paul’s letters indicate a radical social agenda, but even he places restraints on how far to push the boundaries (thus the ‘household codes’ of Ephesians to remind Christians that they still have obligations to the social standards of their day, and instructions for women to have their heads covered). In other words I think the seeds were planted in this new vision but neither Jesus nor Paul directly challenge the issue of slavery. I think we do see in Paul’s letter to Philemon (which Dana mentions above) that he seems to have an unease about this issue. But again, it’s not time to tackle that one. Survival of the fledgling church is the first priority in his day. Unfortunately, it took the church centuries before it was tackled.


  18. Hello Stephen,

    ‘understanding’ unfolds in people, so that at eighty years of age, they can look back and see how it came about . . . . is this what ‘wisdom’ is, if it happens? I don’t know that.

    I do know that ‘understanding’ takes a whole lot longer to happen than does ‘mis-understanding’ and you can take that to the bank. 🙂

    The ‘All Shall Be Well, and All Shall Be Well, and All and All Shall Be Well’ is a vision into the Kingdom of Our Lord which exists in our midst unnoticed except by grace, and sometimes when we are at lowest ebb, comes from it that patience and a sense of peace to stay ‘with’ us for a time when it is most needed. ‘Worn thin’? I expect it was meant to work that way, but I can only say this now nearer to the age of eighty than in those days when I thought I ‘knew’ all the answers.


  19. I know that the purpose of this site is to help, lead people out of the evangelical “wilderness” and heal etc. I get it and know that is good for those who visit here and many benefit for it . However when a subject like this comes up and I guess the by default this conversation is aimed at the frustrating evangelicals who will not let women into many leadership roles, then is the automatic assumption is that it applies to the RCC, Islam and Orthodox churches. I would say the frustrating evangelicals for the most part are more inclusive and promoting of female leadership than the 3 major religious org. cited above. There are many evangelical women leaders with national impact.

    There is no opposition to women advancing in the secular world with no restrictions placed upon them, if women or men do not want to go to a church that limits the role of women, or those divorced, not married living together etc. that is a choice, do not go. If you are ok with it, then it is okay. In today’s world the frustrating evangelicals only have influence in their local churches. What major religion denies women a lesser role with lesser rights in secular society? Hint, it is one of the major religions listed above.
    Do not agree with a church that women should not be in leadership roles, do not attend that church. RCC and Islam faithful faith followers vs. evangelicals in world, who should this subject also be addressed to.

    As usual M. Bell a subject that does need to be addressed.

    Again thanks to C. Couch for the frustrating evangelical name tag description, it is better than dreaded, my old go to description.


  20. St. Mary Magdalene

    “since she was an eyewitness to the Risen Christ, she was also the first to testify before the apostles. She fulfils the mandate the Risen Christ gives her: ‘go to my brothers and say to them … Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
    “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her’. In this way she becomes, as is already known, an evangelist, or rather a messenger who announces the good news of the resurrection of the Lord;
    she is the ‘apostolorum apostola’, as she announces to the apostles what they in turn will announce to all the world. . . . .


  21. I think he just reminds some people (me, I am speaking for me) of many of the reasons we told evangelicalism goodbye. Particularly the inability to read the tone of the room/article/discussion & an insistence instead of repeating the same thing louder & louder in an attempt to….not sure what really.

    He has 2 topics – the inerrancy of Scripture, & how forgiving offenders is more important than caring about victims. That second one entirely wipes out any lingering doubts I could ever have that ‘inerrancy’ leads to the love Christ talked of.


  22. I expect Our Lord knew the truth that in the situation where any person belittled another person as a lesser being also lowered themselves in the process;

    Actually Our Lord teaches that it is those who selflessly serve others who are injured, sick, imprisoned, hungry, thirsty, and in need of clothing . . . . those ‘servants’ were to be considered the ‘greater ones’ among them all

    As for the proud who looked down on ‘the others’, we have the parable of how God rejected the vain Pharisee in his pride, and instead accepted the prayers of the humble publican who prayed ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner’

    But in any situation where people are brutalized, something in the perpetrator is also destroyed in the process, without doubt.

    You cannot have any true winners in a situation where the worth and dignity of one human being suffers at the hands of a ‘master’ because the ‘master’ will end up destroying his OWN humanity.

    It was important for Our Lord to have the transfiguration so that His own followers would know the He freely chose to go to Calvary and it was not imposed upon Him unwillingly. The ‘suffering servant’ of Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 53 was a WILLING servant Who ‘poured Himself out’

    Even today, in our own country, we look at how corporations and powerful entities are to treat those who work for them and we can see the results in places where the spirits of the workers have been nearly broken by abusive practices . . . their poverty, their health, their environments mutilated and polluted . . .and we ask what IS the acceptable moral humane treatment that should exist between a worker and a ‘master, owner, boss, corporate board, etc. etc. ‘

    and at what point ‘greed’ makes people merciless in how they are willing to treat those who must earn . . . . . and how it is that the lack of humanity is allowed to persist because it can UNLESS there is some intervention to halt the modern-day mis-use of laboring people

    some thoughts . . . (I could go on and on, but the theme is the same . . . it morphs . . . but evil and greed and a vicious spirit can pervade any ‘contract’ where some among the powerful will always abuse the less powerful ‘because they can’


  23. Women belong in ministry at every level as much as men. I won’t be member of a church where people are disallowed from any ministerial role on the basis of sex or gender. Simple as that.


  24. Yes, Christiane, Galatians 3:28 IS wildly misunderstood, because it’s not placed in its true context. Paul was a Jewish apocalypticist. He believed, not that in the eschatalogical Kingdom there would be equality between the sexes and classes and races, but that race and class and sex would disappear. The kingdom body had no gender or race or class. Paul was not prescribing the plan for a better world. He thought our world was about to pass away, soon, in his own lifetime.

    But the admonition to be patient, soon all will be set right, has worm thin over the millennia.


  25. Stuck record. One trick pony. How does every possible topic just become another vehicle to bang on about the same tired Evangelical argument about the Bible so may of us have moved on from?
    It’s like you have short term memory issues. Can we please, please hear something from you that doesn’t sound like it comes from the Idiots Guide to Attempting to Convert Everyone Back to Evangelicalism, or Damn Them as Non-Christians? It’s fine to hold that opinion, but trying to smother every conversation by bringing it back to the same old thing isn’t.


  26. Eeyore, that wasn’t really the subject of Mike’s post and my response now was it?

    Dana, I know a quite well regarded New Testament scholar who argues that what Paul is requesting of Philemon at the close of the letter is for Philemon to give Onesimus to Paul as his slave. I sincerely hope he’s mistaken but he makes an interesting case. Go back and read the letter in that light.


  27. Never mind, Mule. The light just came on and I understood the implication of your comment — duh. Although I still disagree with it, my reasons are not applicable to your comment. I’ll let Eeyore’s comment speak for me.


  28. But wasn’t serfdom, which continued in Orthodox Russia until the 19th century, in many ways a continuation of slavery, Dana? Dostoevsky’s fiction is full of depictions of the lives of serfs in which they seem to be completely at the mercy of their lords’ whims, for life and death, and he even speaks of serfs as slaves.


  29. Do you think slavery is okay? The New Testament writers did, and we assume they speak for God do we not?

    I sometimes wonder if Jesus, like most or perhaps all of his contemporaries, thought slavery was okay. The New Testament does not provide any evidence that he spoke against it; if he had, it would be the kind of thing that it seems to me would be hard to suppress or expunge from the Church’s memory-tradition. I confess that it bothers me to think that Jesus may never in his life have spoken of word of criticism against the institution of slavery. On one level I understand it as reflection of his total immersion in the humanity common to the people of his time; on another level it sets of cognitive dissonance for me to think that I may hold a more ethically right opinion (that institutional slavery is immoral) about something important than Jesus did.


  30. Paul enjoined Christians who owned slaves to treat them as their brothers; cf also the book of Philemon. As generations of people considered that, and listened to what Jesus had to say about treating others as you wish to be treated, slavery would begin to be undermined. It takes time for that large a societal change to happen. Though still legal, it was rare in the Christian East after the 600s. The earliest and pretty much the only voices raised against slavery were Christians – St Patrick’s letter on this is the first written account we have. Christians don’t have the greatest record in this area, but the east did better, and I don’t know of any people who actually tried to abolish it before about 1000 AD.



  31. But he clearly doesn’t say the same thing in 500 BC as he does in 2019 (or even AD 50) about everything. In 500 BC eating pork was not permitted (at least to Jews); in AD 50 eating pork was permitted (for Jewish Christians). If God being outside of time means he never changes what he commands, then we have a problem, because the Bible itself says he commanded one thing to the ancient Israelites and another to the early Christians. Unfortunately (as I have said before) your idea of what God SHOULD be (and what the Bible SHOULD be) don’t seem to correspond well with the God (or the Bible) we actually have. It sounds more like a god made to fit certain presuppositions (which, of course, is a danger we all face).


  32. He probably believes in a God bigger than the God you believe in. Yours is small and petty.


  33. Seneca, I believe in a big God, but I don’t think everything he commanded (assuming he did) to ancient peoples applies today (or at least in the same way). The Bible itself is a testimony to the fact that God speaks to his people ‘where they are’ and his message has changed over time (even within the Bible – e.g. the OT Law and Christians, the whole ‘Jesus event’). And God’s self-revelation continued after the close of the New Testament period – just study the history of the early church. Many things that the most conservative evangelicals believe are not clearly stated in the New Testament (e.g. the trinity, or the nature of Christ) but were worked out as God’s Spirit led his people in the first centuries of the church, and that continues today (even the canon!). I believe God is too big to confine his self-revelation to a book, particularly one that was written to speak to people in a far different place and time than ours. As Luke Timothy Johnson notes, God continues to reveal truth today, sometimes even truth that contradicts what he revealed to those ancient people (e.g. slavery, civil rights, women’s rights, etc.). He argues that God revealed his will (for example, in regards to slavery) ‘extra-biblically’ – he revealed (over time, his Spirit guiding his people) that slavery was wrong, even though the Bible, even the New Testament doesn’t condemn the practice. Do you think slavery is okay? The New Testament writers did, and we assume they speak for God do we not? To be a truly consistent ‘biblical Christian’ you must also believe it is okay – since the New Testament does. But the New Testament just assumes it is a given, like many other things we don’t necessarily agree with today. To be faithful biblical interpreters (and truly faithful Christians) we must wrestle with cultural issues and the Bible because IT WAS NOT WRITTEN TO US – it was written to the original hearers – the Corinthians, Philippians, etc. God didn’t even say the same things to the ancient Israelites that he did to the New Testament churches, so there is clearly a biblical precedent to the idea of God’s continuing self-revelation (often contradicting his earlier revelation, since circumstances change). Simply to say ‘the Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it’ does violence to the text (and the Spirit who inspired it), often misses the original meaning of the text (how the original readers would have understood it), and puts God in a very small box (regardless of how big we say he is). And a big God doesn’t fit in a small box.


  34. What mother would not want her son to surpass her in everything? Are you kidding? There are mother’s who strangle their own children, including boys, with their own hands, and some of this strangulation can take years. Your idealization of motherhood seems blithely unaware of the behavioral and attitudinal variability of human beings, in short, you seem naive about human nature.


  35. “Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:

    “Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go? Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?

    For now I see the true old times are dead,

    But now the whole Round Table is dissolv’d Which was an image of the mighty world.”

    And slowly answer’d Arthur from the barge:

    “The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways,

    Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”

    – Alfred, Lord Tennyson “The Passing of Arthur”


  36. If you’re married, I assume your wife wears a head covering to church every Sunday?

    And, I certainly hope you are not wearing clothing woven from two kinds of thread (Leviticuws 19:19, Deuteronomy 22:11),


  37. If you have/had a son, would you stone him to death if he was disobedient? If the answer is no, then you don’t believe what you have just written.


  38. My belief [ and the belief of many many Evangelicals ] God is outside of time and space – what he brought into written word over a 1500 year period thru various men – was good then, is good now.

    God has never been bound by time – whether it’s 500 BC or 2019 AD.

    [ By the way; was feminism in existence in the earliest periods of humanity? Yes – of course

    “There’s nothing new under the sun.” ]


  39. Is the ethical system that God gave to people living in a bronze-age, partriarchal, tribal culture his desire for all people for all time?

    Wahabi Islam says YES!
    And acts on it.


  40. ‘For centuries, and even within the past century, Christians have not had an issue tolerating those who discriminated against those of a different race.’

    I’d add that a lot still don’t have an issue with this. In most cases its not as overt as it used to be, but racial discrimination is still deeply ingrained in the structures of our culture and in white American evangelicalism.

    I won’t even get into how that’s manifested in politics other than to say it is.


  41. But even though Jesus told us those things, and to love our neighbor, and even our enemies, the New Testament still says it’s okay to OWN them. I guess one can love their neighbor (or even their Christian brother) and still own them as a slave. The NT (e.g. Paul) seems to have no problem with that. If one is going to take that ‘pesky Scripture’ as the basis for a timeless ethical system (or like seneca suggests, not even the ‘basis’ but the entire ethical system itself) one has to acknowledge that things like slavery are ‘biblical’ (not to mention all that OT stuff). Those who take that position should either be consistent or honest (preferably both).


  42. Again, the real question is: Is the ethical system that God gave to people living in a bronze-age, partriarchal, tribal culture his desire for all people for all time? Jesus himself argues against that (‘You have heard it said . . . but I say to you . . .). Given the immense differences in our societies and cultures (e.g. agrarian subsistence economy vs. technologically advanced free market economy, just to note one of many) does it make sense that MAYBE taking that ‘pesky Scripture’ at face value, without any attempt to contextualize it (either in its ancient context or our modern one) is not what God intended?


  43. Exactly. Is the ethical system that God gave to people living in a bronze-age, partriarchal, tribal culture his desire for all people for all time? Jesus himself argues against that (‘You have heard it said . . . but I say to you . . .).


  44. *reads Matthew 11:11-12*

    What possible train of thought can get a validation of male violence from that text?

    *reads Genesis 22:2*

    So this is an eternal typology of Male priesthood? I always understood it as a typology of Christ and the Father…


  45. The relationship between our Lord and His mother, once I became Orthodox, appeared to me to be a stroke of genius. If I were crafting a religion from scratch and wanted to mirror gender relationships, I think I too would have chosen a human mother and her divine Son, for what man would ever feel himself superior to his mother, and what mother would not want her son to surpass her in everything?

    This is probably about as close to the “mutual submission” ideal as can be found in the cislunar realm. Other than that, this is a place where the line has already been drawn in the sand, and I don’t think even nakedpastor’s Jesus can erase it. If I’m in sin for wanting to receive His body and His blood from hands belonging to the sex to which God apportioned violence and the taking of life [Genesis 22:2; Matthew 11:11-12] rather than the giving of it, so be it.

    But I’ll hear it from His mouth, thank you.


  46. –> “We need to start calling out these attitudes as sin…”

    Bingo. Attitudes get at what’s actually in a person’s heart, and are usually a great indicator of whether one is bearing fruit of the spirit or not.

    –> “…and until we do so we will not have much of a witness to the world around us.”

    Bingo. Many know us for our hypocrisy rather than our love.


  47. “He takes to Himself all that is human, except for sin. He was conceived by the Virgin Mary, who had been first prepared in soul and body by the Spirit; His coming to birth had to be treated with honor, virginity had to receive new honor. He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has taken, one being, made of two contrary elements, flesh and spirit. Spirit gave divinity, flesh received it.
    He who makes rich is made poor; He takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of His divinity. He who is full is made empty; He is emptied for a brief space of His glory, that I may share in His fullness. What is this wealth of goodness? What is this mystery that surrounds me? I received the likeness of God, but failed to keep it. He takes on my flesh, to bring salvation to the image, immortality to the flesh. He enters into a second union with us, a union far more wonderful than the first.
    Holiness had to be brought to man by the humanity assumed by One who was God, so that God might overcome the tyrant by force and so deliver us and lead us back to Himself through the mediation of His Son. The Son arranged this for the honor of the Father, to whom the Son is clearly obedient in all things.

    The Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep, came in search of the straying sheep to the mountains and hills on which you used to offer sacrifice. When He found it, he took it on the Shoulders that bore the wood of the cross, and led it back to the life of heaven.”

    (Gregory of Nazianzen, on the Mystery of the Incarnation)



  48. That question, like any biblical interpretation question, needs nuance. WHICH biblical writers? Using what methodology?


  49. “It gets ‘too much’ for those who cannot imagine that they are not ‘above those other sinners’, doesn’t it?”

    It also gets too much for those who cannot imagine Jesus did not come here to validate all our old “traditional” power structures.


  50. Like the one that says we should give freely to the poor and demand nothing in return? Or the one that says welcome the stranger and alien in our midst?


  51. Add to this Scripture the great insights of the Cappadocian Fathers on the mystery of the Incarnation and the understanding that when Our Lord ‘assumed’ our humanity, His embrace widened to include all humankind, the children of Adam and of Eve . . .

    It gets ‘too much’ for those who cannot imagine that they are not ‘above those other sinners’, doesn’t it?

    and at that point, the seeking out of ‘this verse’ and ‘that verse’ to use as mallets against ‘those other sinners’ becomes first a personal need, then a collective need, and finally leads to a culture war ad infinitum and the evil one who is THE DIVIDER wins the day for a time, but only for a time


  52. And THEN along comes Christ and we get THIS ‘pesky Scripture’ which WAY too many of His followers cannot yet understand:

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    (Galatians 3:28)


  53. I’m feeling frisky so may I offer the suggestion that maybe just maybe we should ask ourselves, “Why should we pay attention to what the writers of the Bible have to say about sexuality and marriage gender relations AT ALL?”

    Isn’t THAT the problem? The feeling that even the most “liberal” amongst us have to go back and somehow accommodate these ancient and frankly, barbaric views of human relations?


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