Chapter 4: The Silent (?) Women of Paul
Chapter 3 was such a great chapter. I actually started to get high hopes. But then
“People want black-and-white answers, but Scripture is rainbow arch across a stormy sky.”
She is asking us in this chapter to wrestle with the bible. I have been wrestling with it. It’s why I am rereading it. It’s why I am studying it again and reading this particular book as well. The thing is I don’t believe in God anymore, so what will my wrestling do for me? My end goal I feel is to better educate myself with what I was taught with what is actually written in the bible. This next line is very interesting.
“So, can you be a Jesus Feminist and still respect the bible for what it actually is instead of what you want it to be?”
There are two many contradictions within the bible for me to respect it. If God truly was as she describe I don’t believe that there would be this many contradictions. I am okay with having an Old testament God and a New testament God. But when you have God doing one thing one second and another two verses later I find it to hard to not see it as man contradicting themselves.
Prayer is an interesting concept. I believe in the power of belief. If you believe in something enough it usually means you are willing to do what it takes to make it happen. Praying is different from belief. People treat prayer like it removes them from any responsibility, including the responsibility to take action.
There is are always other interesting theories, take the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. How do you truly know it doesn’t exist? Just because you say it’s silly doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Is God really going to throw all the people in hell who believed in the Greek Gods and were never exposed to Christianity?
“Some evangelicals have turned Proverbs 31 into a women’s job description instead of what it actually is: the blessing and affirmation of valor for the lives of women, memorized by Jewish husbands for the purpose of honoring their wives at the family table. It is meant as a celebration for that everyday moments of valor for everyday women, not as an impossible exhausting standard.”
This quote is very interesting. I remember being taught Proverbs 31 and it was taught as a standard, like she mentioned - a job description. I was taught this before we moved to the farm. My Mom before the farm lived to the highest of this standard within our homeschool community. She was the one who did it all. When we moved to the farm, that all changed suddenly she didn’t match up on par to the women of the new church. I have no idea if it was subconsciously but I feel that is when life took a drastic turn. Things definitely weren’t perfect before, but after anger, resentment and religion took over our lives. I think it's because we could no longer met the standard.
She makes many good remarks that we need to take the context of things written before apply the book. Paul's letters were written to a specific group and was not meant for woman as a whole. But that’s my issue with the bible. It was slapped together by men without care for context. And it has affected the world.
Things that make me GRRRRRR “No, he’s pointing out Adam was there first, so he had something to teach Eve. She needed to learn. She wasn’t inferior; she was ignorant, lacking in knowledge” These three sentences are frustrating for a few reasons 1. Depends on which creation story you are going on. Genesis 1:27 has man and female created at the same time. Genesis 2 has man in verse 7 and female in verse 22. Either story you go off of, the difference of a few hours is not that much. 2. God created both as adults… did he create them with full adult brains? 3. If she is ignorant it’s because God held her back.
I find this quote by Loren Cunningham interesting
“So, should women be silent? Yes, just like the men. Should women be prepared to minister with “a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue of interpretation?” Yes, just like the men. Should women exercise self-control as they minister? Yes, just like the men. Should women seek to educate themselves so that they can better edify others when they minister? Yes, just like the men. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”
Discussion Questions and My Answers
Sarah defines theology as simply “what we think about God and then living that truth out in our right-now-life.” How do you understand and wrestle with theology in your own life? I am research with these project to understand and wrestle with theology. I hold discussions with people I trusted and seek out resources.
What baggage shows up on your emotional doorstep when you read scriptures about submission in marriage and to men? Does the context of Paul’s writings to early Christians help you grapple with those issues? Baggage is an interesting choice of word here. To be honest until the last few years I just didn’t care or pay attention. Now it’s part of the religious idiots. Harsh word absolutely but I have not seen much good come from religion so it’s hard to see otherwise. To answer the second part of this question. I feel as if the fact that Paul wrote those letters to a specific group is something most of the world likes to pretend isn’t a fact. Christians like to be able to use those verses to subdue and control women. Sure it put it into better context. But the bible does not come equipped with that knowledge and unless you are going to bible school or directly looking for that type of information, no one is going to figure that out. The book needs to be rewritten to show that context.
I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.