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Reply To: Male characters question

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#151612
Lona
@lonathecat

Brain,  ( @obrian-of-the-surface-world )

First off, I am completely confident in my beliefs, and it doesn’t really bother me if you think I’m a lost soul. I was raised by two linguists who taught me good exegetical skills. My father supports egalitarianism and encourages me to stand up for myself when I am “put in my proper place” by a man. My mother wrote a paper (link) last year on Ephesians 5:23 that was published in an academic journal. (I will also note that my mother holds two master’s degrees relevant to the topic she discusses, she includes citations of respected theologians and linguists in her paper, and had her paper peer-reviewed. Unlike the anonymous user who wrote your Ezer blog article.) I will also add that my egalitarian beliefs are not radical or heretical. There are many different branches of Christianity that sprang from different interpretations of different passages. Although you may not agree with all of one branches’ practices, you can still learn from them. It was through talking with Catholic friends that I realized how little attention we (evangelical Christians) give to Mary mother of Jesus, outside of the virgin birth. I don’t revere Mary or pray to her. But I do think it’s interesting to think about why of all women, God chose Mary. If it hadn’t been for my Catholic friends, I don’t know if I would have gotten that perspective.

You cannot automatically dismiss Christians who hold different opinions about the Bible than you. You are not the only one who invests time and prayer into interpretation of the Bible. God has not made you the ultimate authority on His Word. Other Christians have thoughts. Other Christians can teach you. (Even women *gasp*.) Maybe give other Christians’ opinions a chance and stop saying that we’ve lost our fear of God. Because, if you think your Christianity is the one true way and there’s nothing you can learn from people who hold different opinions than you, then you’re the one who’s getting prideful. Ultimately, all Christians believe in the Trinity, the need for salvation from sin, the inspiration of scripture, the virgin birth, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the second coming. And that’s what matters.  So, if you honestly believe I am a lost soul because I insist on equal companionship in a marriage rather than having my husband over me, then you, sir, have your theological priorities in the wrong place.

 

You noted that I’ve been ignoring the scripture passages you’re pulling. This is true. I’ve been ignoring your verses because you’re completely ignoring the cultural context of those verses. Do we still kill magicians? No? Well, that’s a verse too. Do we tell youth to drink wine to help with their stomach pains? No? Well, that’s also a verse. Taking culture and context into account is important. In Paul’s day, women couldn’t even get a divorce. (While on the flip side, men could divorce their wives over something as little as burnt bread. They just had to give their wife written notice.) Are we still following that? Does it make sense that in a culture where women were treated like property they were barred from teaching? Does it make sense that we move away from that mindset now?

 

I repeat: I. Have. Not. Been. Traumatized. I am not trying to play the victim card. I am simply pointing out how some of your debate tactics are nothing but assaults on my character and beliefs. Or assaults on Christians in general who think differently than you. And well, I think that’s a poor strategy on multiple levels.

 

Point 8: When I said that humanity suffered equally from the Fall, I meant that all humans die. All of humanity is definitely suffering this consequence. Unless you want to argue that only men die?

 

Point 9: I know that Phoebe was a deacon and Paul respected her for her work.


@noah-cochran
 here’s your verse example:

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.  I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.” Romans 16: 1-2, NIV.

 

Point 10: Cherry-picking and discernment are different things, my friend. I am using discernment to understand what commands hold true for all time (love God and love your neighbor) and which were culturally relevant (women cover your heads when you pray).

 

Point 11: If you call reading actual Christian academia rather than blog posts that fit my pre-formed beliefs “not doing my research”, then yes. If you call contemplating the words of respected theologians and scholars such as George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller, N. T. Wright, Phillip Yancey, Beth Moore, and Kristin Kobes du Mez, “not doing my research”, then yes. If you call living 11 years on the mission field “not doing my research”, then yes. I suppose in that sense I wouldn’t have done my research.

Let’s note that I have not once called out any of your beliefs as “heretical” or “unbiblical”. I have not worried over your soul or over your fear of God.  However, I still strongly disagree with you. This is because I don’t think this is an issue of faith. It’s an issue of interpretation. Our interpretations will affect how we live our lives, but not our salvation.  It’s not the end of the world if we disagree. However, if you are going to insult my intelligence or claim that I don’t put in the effort to really understand the Bible and deepen my faith, then I will say that you are quite simply, wrong. 😊

 

Points 13 and 14: This is just going back to the “men are strong and want to be strong” idea you were arguing for. Again, I have male friends who are more emotional me. I also have male friends who are less emotional than me. Emotional levels are not tied to gender, and neither are decision making abilities. Please stop generalizing.

 

Point 15: Maybe the vocabulary is simply to demonstrate that I know what I’m talking about. But, it seems like that didn’t quite work. So, what will? What do I have to do to actually get you to take my interpretation seriously and not just see it as flagrant violation of Paul’s writings?

 

Points 16 and 17: Once again, you are marvelous at drawing conclusions about things I never said. I did not say abortion was good. I did not say women who got abortions are good. I pointed out that your response is shaming them. I don’t think shaming anyone should be the Christian response. The Christian response should always be love. Abortion is a very sad thing, and I am grieved by how many happen each year. I also realize that sometimes women feel like they have no other options and that an abortion is the only way forward. I don’t think you understand how utterly desperate some women are when they get an abortion. They may have been raped. The father may be out of the picture. They may have no means of providing for the child even if they wanted to. We do not need to add shame to the pain these women are already going through.

 

Point 18: Well, I give you the credit because it is your interpretation. I have also received scripture-based advice on love and marriage from my father, grandfather, and youth leaders. They have not said what you did. So, you get your own credit.

 

Point 19: Again, I appreciate your concern for my soul, but I am confident in my beliefs. Marriage dynamics are not a critical issue of faith. I don’t think it’s made me fear God less. In fact, I think it’s made me fear Him more. It’s made me realize that even though I live in a world where women are generally seen as less capable, dismissed as “too emotional”, and harassed for the pithiest reasons, God loves and respects women. He values me as I am. He has gifts he’s given me, and he will use them. He doesn’t expect me to live under my husband but work with him as an ally to further the Kingdom work.

One of the names of God that holds the most meaning for me is one given by Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant. Hagar called Him, “El-roi”.  The God who sees me. And knowing that I have a God who not only sees me, but who loves me, is just incredibly freeing. You can call it wokeism, or leftism, or liberalism, or whatever you like. It doesn’t really matter to me. I know that I have a God that wants the best for all his children irrespective of gender or gender roles. And again, if you want to dismiss all Christians who believe things differently than you, then okay. That’s your own issue.

 

As one last side note, you said that I may be unused to getting pushback because I hold some liberal political stances. On the contrary, I am very accustomed to explaining and defending my beliefs. (The majority of evangelicals are Republicans.) And put simply, I think most liberal stances allow us to love people better than the Republican ones do. So yes, I suppose I have succumbed to some aspects of liberal agenda 🙂

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