Thursday, June 29, 2006

Get back in the kitchen and what are you doing with shoes on?

Adrian Warnock is taking time off from blogging, but before he did, he found this amazing quote:
". . . if we deny the basic Biblical tenets that we were made equal but distinct as male and female, with differing God-intended roles in the church and home, then homosexuality is the logical conclusion."

That comes from Mark Discoll's blog, where he argues that the election of a female bishop in Nevada is just another example of the glaring weakness of liberal American Protestantism.

On the surface, it might appear that Mr. Discoll is arguing for orthodoxy, but actually what he is arguing for is a patriarchal Christianity that doesn't allow for women to express their talents. Mr. Discoll may want a church full of Katharinas, but that doesn't benefit the Body of Christ in anyway.

Let's start with Mr. Discoll's argument that there exists "differing God-intended roles in the church and home." I wonder what exactly he would mean by that? I can only take from the negative tone he has about the appointment of Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori, that he means woman aren't made to teach or lead. Maybe he is right. Maybe Teresa of Ávila or Mother Teresa were sinning when they taught us to love God ecstatically or serve Him completely. If they weren't sinning, they must have been exercising some sort of non-God-intended role and the world must be a worse place for it.

I continue to wonder what exactly the role is that Mr. Discoll is so sure is a woman's. Is it that women should stay home and look after the children and let the man be the bread winner? I hope he tells the "Wife of Noble Character" in Proverbs 31 quick before she embarrasses herself. I mean, she only "considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard." and "She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." Looks like she has a trade, earns money, and invests it wisely. Stupid woman! Don't do that. God wants you at home, not out making money. Isn't that as plain to you as it is to Mr. Discoll?

Maybe I'm being too harsh. After all, Mr. Discoll never said that woman shouldn't work. He simply implied that a woman shouldn't be a bishop. I mean, a woman, in charge of a church? Are you crazy? They can't handle it. Women just aren't made that way.

I know. Just look at how these woman in the New Testament did with the early church. First, Tabitha is addressed as a disciple. Next, there is Lydia who ran a home church. Phoebe is addressed as a deaconess and Paul instructs the church in Rome to help her because "she has been a great help to many people, including me." Finally, don't forget Euodia and Syntyche in Philipi. Paul pleads with these woman to agree with each other and asks the Church to help "these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel." Boy, do you think that if they disagreed it might be over some direction of the church or a theological matter? Would Paul have have inserted that into his letter if it was just a question of next year's fashion?

Mr. Discoll wants to scare his readers into thinking that woman as leaders will be the beginning of the end of Christianity. Of course, he is right. Woman know nothing about love, forgiveness, grace, sin or eternity. Luckily, we've got Mr. Discoll to set us straight.

I'm not the only one that would disagree with Mr. Discoll's 1950s view of woman. Christians for Biblical Equality have a very strong statement on Men, Women and Biblical Equality with plenty of scripture references and quite a few signatories at the bottom. I find it very persuasive.

If you are interested in taking this further, may I direct to Wikipedia's entries: Biblical argument for equal roles and Biblical argument for separate but equal gender roles?