13 November 2011
Rejecting both Patriarchy and Egalitarianism in the Church- Part 2
We always have to behave as Christians and sometimes that means in order to do that, we have to turn our backs on certain activities. Not because they are inherently unclean as a Pietist would argue, but because at the given time and place they are corrupted or structured in a way that we either have to violate Christian principles to do it or be deceitful and mislead those around us. Ignoring the prescribed rules and forms we force our Christianity on those around us.
Maybe as a Christian I cannot be a police officer, but when Christians enter into that office and then choose to ignore the enforcement of laws they don't like...they're breaking their oath (which they shouldn't have taken in the first place).
If I can’t be violent and prideful in my normal Christian life, then I can’t do it while I hide behind a vocation or office. If I can set aside my Christianity for the sake of office, then women certainly can as well.
You don't get to suspend your oath to Christ in order to do your job.
But then the Dominionist counters… how can we conquer that sphere? It's a false dilemma generated by a wrong set of questions.
The question of Christian women being politicians...the fact that we're even asking the question shows we're on the wrong track.
So if a woman can't lead in the Church am I saying that she can't lead outside the home? I don't want to be trapped by such a statement. There are always exceptions, but generally...yes. The shamefaced demeanour of the New Testament woman seems incompatible with power-aspirations. As Christians we don't want or desire any power, but sometimes Christian men have to lead, as a husband, father, or in a business. A widow might have to take over a husband's business to support her family. There are plenty of similar scenarios, but generally speaking the idea that a Christian woman would desire authority...seems problematic. That she should seek to be Caesar, waging war, signing death warrants and the rest...hardly belies a Biblical Worldview concerning womanhood.
Deborah and characters like her are hardly normative. First she was called by God in a covenantal context, analogous to the Church today, not a common nation. Second the narrative's interaction with Barak shows that Deborah's elevation was a shame to the covenant people. That casts no ill light on Deborah to be sure! Her faith is praised. But in terms of Redemptive-History, her leadership was not a result of the blessings of an obedient people. Isaiah 3 indicates that it is a shameful thing and a sign of reproach when men are led by women and children. Again the status is covenantal, but the thought that an Israelite Pilgrim woman would seek to lead Moab, Syria, or Babylon is beyond imagination.
The Christian Egalitarians want Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann to lead...they're vote getters, omnibus candidates in some ways. I reject their goals, reasoning and ideas of Christian womanhood. They could make a stronger case by employing widows or women that had never married. While I wouldn’t accept that either, it would at least make more sense. Aside from all the other issues, the main thing with Palin and Bachmann is that they’re abandoning the primary vocation they have already been clearly given…..that of wives and mothers. No president of the United States can be a wife and mother and fulfill the responsibilities, the hours, the travel, that come with that post.
The Patriarchal folks not only reject Palin and Bachmann but they don't want Angela Merkel to lead Germany, Segolene Royal to someday lead France, Aung San Suu Kyi to lead a future Burma or Indira Gandhi to have led India. That's where I differ. I don't care if these women lead their nations. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5, what do I have to do with judging those who are without? God will judge them.
Now if these women become Christians....we're dealing with a different standard. The covenant only applies to those who are within it, a key point of difference with Dominionists who insist the Holy Covenant applies to the whole world whether or not they've have been born anew and possess the Holy Spirit.
GO TO PART 3