Thursday, August 2, 2018

Equal "But...!"

   
The Bible teaches liberty and perfect functional equality of the sexes. God calls and empowers his daughters as well as his sons to pursue happiness, strive for excellence in both the home and the workplace, and to serve HIM in whatever capacity HE  calls them--without gender role restrictions.   
   But a pulpit war is being waged so effectively, that many Christians believe human interpretations and even changes to scripture are scripture. 
   Dire warnings are issued, that to deviate from the misinformation about gender-roles flooding the Christian world [through the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood --CBMW], is to rebel against God Himself.
   Disagreements abound between denominations. But differences are set aside and arms linked in the common goal of exalting the male sex by suppressing women in the home, church, and workplace [indeed, that is the only way it can be done].
       This blog, and book that inspired it, is all about uniting Christians in love by exposing the ugly (No, that is not an oxymoron), tearing down misconceptions and deliberate falsehoods, and proclaiming the truth of equality (no "Equal Buts...!") that Jesus promised would set us all, FREE.




 Author and speaker, Jocelyn Andersen, is a domestic violence survivor. She is pro-life and outspoken for women’s rights—especially Christian women’s rights.




    Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System, examines Bible commentary and translation practices which have historically been androcentric (male centered) and even misogynistic (anti-woman). 
   These have adversely effected understanding of the scriptures, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel, by forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders or deacons. The book chronicles the early history of the women's rights movements, as well as the role of church leadership in aggressively suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within the movements. 
   Through the complementarian movement, many of the same arguments used to support the institution of slavery, are still used today in suppressing the rights of Christian women. This book documents identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both movements and is an unparalleled resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender equality from a historical and Christian perspective. 
   This book traces history of women’s rights, much further than usual, to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. This work, provides valuable historical insight into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s rights, that are rarely included in Christian literature.

Surveys Prove Fathers are more Important than Mothers

   Complementarianism, teaches that fathers have a greater impact (either positive or negative) on children than mothers. Some surveys appear to validate this theory and are cited by complementarians to prove their paradigm of male leadership. 
   What is generally not clarified, is that these surveys do not use variables to explain why the influence of fathers seems to have more impact than the influence of mothers. 
   Those who cite these surveys, disregard the well established fact that it is generally the power person in a family that wields the most influence over the children, whether or not that person is the father. It could be a mother, father, grandmother, aunt, uncle, or brother.  
   Whoever holds the purse-strings (either makes the most money or controls the money) is often the power-person in a family. An independently wealthy grandmother, for instance, could be an unchallenged matriarch. That would make a mother or grandmother the power person, and as such, she would wield the most influence, and not a father or grandfather. 
   It has always been understood, that it is not gender that determines who will effect the lion's share of psychological impact upon a child...but power
   Even up to the present day, men are generally considered the power focus in most families, and though gender contributes to the father's influence due to the why's and wherefore's of physical and cultural dynamics, the reasons for this, go beyond simply gender. 
   Father's are usually bigger and stronger than mothers. Fathers typically have deeper voices than mothers. So, even if a father is gentle and soft spoken, He would appear to a small child as more intimidating [whether implied or inferred] than a mother. 
   We see then, that from babyhood [in the eyes of a child], how an immediate dynamic of hierarchy is created, based on nothing more than physical size, strength, and the male feature of a deeper voice. 
   It is easy to see how, from the very beginning of a child's life, a father's influence could be greater than a mother's, based on physical characteristics alone. 
   Father's often produce a larger share of family finances than do mothers [and up until relatively recent times, fathers produced 100% of the family finances, which made mothers as dependent on fathers as babies were on their mothers. This regulated mothers to the status of little higher than an elder sibling in the family hierarchy]. Fathers have historically held, and even today hold, a higher place in the financial hierarchy of a family, which translates into power--which translates into influence.
   Tradition is on the side of fathers, so there is an assumptive family hierarchy that favors fathers. To a large degree, within contemporary families, that dynamic is very much still in play.
   All of the above, and more, work together to elevate fathers above mothers as the central power figures in many families. As such, fathers would naturally exercise the most influence over children...for either good or bad.
   In the Greek culture of the New Testament, it was the male members of the family who wielded the power. In that culture, male always trumped female and Greek always trumped Jew. So, it is significant that Timothy, who was half Jew and half Greek, chose the influence of his Jewish mother and grandmother [devout Jews who became believers] over the influence of his Greek father and other male members of the Greek side of his family.

2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I am persuaded that in you also[1]






[1] Timothy’s mother and grandmother were Jewish believers, whose influence on Timothy was profound. Nothing is said about his Greek father, except that he was Greek (Acts 16:1), which meant he was a follower of one or more of the pantheon of Greek gods available to Roman citizens. 

Timothy would have been raised in the Father Cult tradition of the Greeks, where the father was priest of his household, offering sacrifices to whichever patron god[s] he chose and training Timothy to do the same [once he was grown and became master over his own household]. 

It is noteworthy, that by the time Timothy reached adulthood, it was the influence of his mother and grandmother that prevailed--not that of his father or male members of his Greek family. 

In the Greek culture of the Roman Empire, women’s names were not, as a rule, mentioned publicly (not even in court trials, unless they were notorious) and women received little to no commendation (one female hero in Roman history was a woman who committed suicide after she was raped rather than live with the shame of it. It is this writer's opinion that she did not commit suicide at all. A likely scenario, is that she was murdered by her husband so that he would not have to live with the shame of it, and he passed off as a suicide). 

Women were consistently painted as silly creatures with the basest of instincts, so it is remarkable that Paul makes a point of commending women by name in his letters to the churches. 

   It is positively astounding that a man raised in the Jewish and Greek cultures, cultures that gave absolutely no credence to women, would credit the influence of a mother over the influence of a father. 



 Author and speaker, Jocelyn Andersen, is a domestic violence survivor. She is pro-life and outspoken for women’s rights—especially for Christian women’s rights.


Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System, examines Bible commentary and translation practices which have historically been androcentric (male centered) and even misogynistic (anti-woman). 
   These have adversely effected understanding of the scriptures, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel, by forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders or deacons. The book chronicles the early history of the women's rights movements, as well as the role of church leadership in aggressively suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within the movements. 
   Through the complementarian movement, many of the same arguments used to support the institution of slavery, are still used today in suppressing the rights of Christian women. This book documents identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both movements and is an unparalleled resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender equality from a historical and Christian perspective. 
   This book traces history of women’s rights, much further than usual, to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. This work, provides valuable historical insight into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s rights, that are rarely included in Christian literature.