Feminist Journey: Jesus Feminist Chapter 6
Chapter 6: Patron Saints, Spiritual Midwives and “Biblical Womanhood”
“I’m not quite sure when the Church decided that “biblical” was the perfect adjective for subjective roles and situations. I don't think it’s helped us. Usually when people use that phrase, they are thinking more about June Cleaver than the early church’s Lydia, described as being “diligent in business,” or perhaps a sanitized sitcom society that never actually existed instead of Deborah, the military strategist of Israel, let along Junia, a respected apostle alongside Paul.”
June Cleaver? Lydia? Junia? I’ve heard of Deborah, but Junia and an apostle? This will take some research.
I had to google her reference to the “You’ve got Mail” Bookstore. But as I was reading this paragraph about her perfect bookstore, I was thrilled to realize I had found one such thing! An adorable book store fill of women! Women author’s, women stories, women everything. You can read more about it in this post, The Winnipeg to Thunder Bay Adventure. There was, however no shelf of “Patron Saints” or “Spiritual Midwives”
There’s Eve, mother of us all, the first true partner, walking in the full equality God intended, the corresponding character, the other part of God’s image on earth alongside Adam.
Absolutely God created Eve alongside Adam. He also choose not see how Adam blamed the eating of the apple on her instead of taking partial responsibility (he was there when it happened). He also choose to punish her with painful childbirth and not just her but all future generations. I can not believe in a God or Jesus that will not see past a person’s mistakes.
She also goes to say “they were never God’s original intent; they are a consequence of sin”. If God is all knowing why didn’t he better prepare his ‘children’ with the knowledge of what would happen if they did, instead of just saying no. It’s like dealing with a two-year-old and they want to help you cook and whether you warn them or not, sometimes they still put their hand on the burner. You can’t punish a child for their lack of knowledge or understanding that is the fault of the parent.
There's also the tree they ate from it's called "The Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil." If God hasn’t shared that knowledge with them how would they know any better?
Women in the Old Testament!
All of whom I hope to do a search into!!
Ruth, who broke the rules but honored God. Rahad of Jericho, who hid the Israelite spies and saved her family during the siege. Esther, who saved the Jews. Abigail, who captured David’s heart. Hannah, who gave her son Samuel to God. Tamar who outsmarted dishonorable men to defend herself. Priscilla was one part of a power-house couple, beside her husband Aquila. Anna the prophetess, who was only mentioned once in scripture. Lydia was a respected and wealthy businesswoman, apparently independent, and a leader in the early Church. Mary, Martha, the woman with the issue of blood, the Samaritan woman, and Mary Madgalene. Ministry partners of Chloe’s household, and Tryphena, Persis, and Tryphosa, and Euodia, and Synyche who labored together with Paul. Phillip’s four daughters were all prophets. Junia was an apostle of the early Church.
She mentions all these women by name and asks you to find women like them in today's day. However she doesn't tell you what you are looking for or what is so awesome about these women other than being mentioned. She honestly, states nothing more substantial than “we practice works and live by faith.”
“the paradoxes of the Christian faith abound, and they used to drive me a bit crazy. Because, well, which one is it? We want to know because then we would have a new law and new mandate, and life would be so much easier. Life is tidier with myths and rules”
Let's repeat that
She goes on to ask “What would Love want to do here?”
And while this is my opinion, I have a hard time seeing love in such a violent book. Instead I see an abusive person throwing a temper tantrum. If you took it out of context changed the words a bit you would have no idea that you were reading the world of God, you would think you were reading a horror and hope it’s fiction. From personal experience when a selfish person twists verses to suit their needs, you’d think God would want to prevent that or help protect those in the way. Instead he does nothing.
Discussion Questions and My Answers
What women - from Sarah’s list or your own - stand out as “saints” and midwives in your spiritual journey? What interesting questions today brings. I can think of three women off the top of my head that drove me away from religion. And while I am not going to share their names, I would bet you a million bucks that two of them would be very surprised that they helped drive me away.
Where do you seek out and find women to shepherd you continually today? Oh goodness, there are some amazing groups out there. Blogging for one has helped and my old job brought around a particular person, who I love deeply. She is a strong feminist and I miss her internet presence very much (stupid tumblr). I also have childhood friends who have shared Facebook groups exposing me to people with similar backgrounds and choosing a new truth. I am so thankful for all these people!
How can you embrace who God says you are - and walk in freedom from the law? It’s silly to explain. But I walk freely because I have moved past religions hold. How can I believe in something so inconsistent and violent. My guilt comes from people who choose not to hear.