Guys, I love you. But even those of you who are deeply aware of women’s issues in the wider culture (and my friends all are, they have hearts the size of a whole continent), sometimes seem to be unaware of what it’s like to be a woman in a conservative Bible-believing faith community.
Which is as it should be, to some extent, I suppose, since you’re men.
But, my beloved friends, you have a charge to keep. I hope you’ll bear with me, and find some encouragement for your great responsibilities, and hold me accountable without dismissing my thoughts, and listen deeply.
Being the Majority
When I’m the white North American woman at the evangelical publishing conference, I’m oblivious to the challenges being experienced by the male minority. I’m oblivious to the challenges being experienced by the black and Asian female minority. I have only the slightest understanding, as a Canadian, of the challenges being experienced by the attendees from overseas cultures that operate very differently than the American business culture.
And the same goes for gender doctrines. But there’s more at work here than the wrong tools for a job; there’s the pressure and presuppositions unique to North American society’s social liberty and its economics.
Let us proceed with some anecdotes. This is not an analytical post, just a collection of personal experiences for context.
As a new Christian, it was easy to embrace a theological teaching that men and women are inherently different. I was fresh from an upbringing where, in the abstract at least, gender was considered largely an environmental construct, and from a family where I saw the women ruling the roosts, often to the detriment of their daily relationships. Somewhere along the way, I came to an unspoken decision that I wouldn’t ever marry a man I could rule–because I knew I simply wouldn’t be able to respect a pushover.
That wasn’t about gender ideology. It was about how human relationships function.
Mike is an author and discusser of thinky things (my favourite!) who lives over here on the internet, at a lovely place called DeCompose. We recently engaged in a thought-filled ramble through the wildernesses of postmodernism, Christianity, postmodern Christianity, art, life, and gender issues. Also hideous soul-eating angels.
Yes. Lighthearted fun was had by all.
Most of the conversation will be appearing in the “People” column of SciendaQ Summer 2012. Lord willing and the internet crickets don’t chirp, that issue will be available online next week. (And we give it away free for the first week or so on our Facebook page, so come on by.) But for now, here’s a blog-sized excerpt.
Although we were initially going to alternate posts to deal with the questions of Christ, the Atonement, and salvation, there is enough material which needs clarity and care that for this week, Dave continues as planned; next week, we’ll do a back-and-forth dialogue between us to wrap up our look at Christ’s person. Dave is currently working a more-than-full-time job, and just came off a set of night shifts that included little sleep, so we’ll take our time and do this well, rather than in a careless rush.
Teachings on the Person of Christ
To quote Cat from last week, “The specific underlying context must also be examined. Commonality of language is useful only when assigned word meanings are in agreement.”
As I read NGJ quotes, the picture that comes to mind is a house built without floor joists — looks good, same materials, you walk in and fall through because there’s no support. Similar are the words describing the person and actions of Christ in the Mormon doctrines, with a few obvious differences. The point here is the differences in meanings while using the same “Christian” jargon. Continue reading →
Lately, the question of being real rather than religious is very much on my mind. Whether from a sinner’s background or a saint’s, there are trends out there to make you feel wrong about it.
There are two kinds of fake religion: One that says you must never show your sinful side, because the world must see your best appearance or Jesus will be shamed and ashamed. You dirty rotten sinner, you. Continue reading →