13 November 2011

Rejecting both Egalitarianism and Patriarchy in the Church Part 1

A follow up note to the post dealing with the 12 November 2011 Republican Debate.

This is hardly an exhaustive treatment of these issues but I wanted to elaborate on my comment regarding Christian female politicians. I believe they shouldn’t be running for political office, but in saying that I’m not arguing from the Patriarchal position. Let me explain.

I don’t care if pagan women run for office and seek positions of authority. The answer isn’t to pass laws that discriminate against them. You want them to behave like women…submit to their husbands and what not? Give them the gospel.

Michelle Bachmann who professes to be a Christian is to be treated differently. She does claim to be under the authority of the word of God and so in her case she is what Paul would call…a Shame. She’s acting like a man and is a disgrace to her husband, family, and the Church. Sure there’s nothing that explicitly forbids a woman from seeking public office. Why would there be? The New Testament doesn’t presuppose Christians would be seeking offices of power, but the portrait painted by the New Testament of a Christian woman……is the exact opposite of what women like Bachmann, Palin, Angle and others present to us. They are Jezebel’s at work in the church. They’re not encouraging fornication, but they are encouraging murder, lies, and a different kind of whoring….worshipping the beast.

At present there seems to be a lot of both misogyny and egalitarianism at work in the Church. I clearly want to reject both. But in this case, Evangelicalism’s embrace of women like Palin and Bachmann show just how sold out the Church is, how far it has syncretized with the culture. The Theonomic Patriarchal crowd also decries this female ascendancy in American politics, but I would argue it’s their doctrine which ultimately leads to this sort of thing. Sacralism’s rejection of Pilgrim status brings the Church into the cultural spheres but also puts out the red carpet for the cultural spheres and their issues to enter the Church. Since they have a stake in the cultural debates they can’t help but be formed in part by the cultural currents and politics. They think they are exempt, but it is clearly not the case. In many cases Conservatives are eager to put forth women or minority candidates because it is politically expedient. It’s no surprise if the Church shrugs and adopts an end justifies the means type attitude. Forced to return to the text to make their arguments regarding Patriarchy, they often find that they’re not quite there as clearly as they thought. So it’s been interesting to see the divergence. You have some Theonomists like Gary DeMar who have no problem with women candidates and others like Einwechter who decry it.

A conscious pilgrim identity allows the Church to function in the culture but maintain its identity. Like the Jewish exiles in Babylon, we're not a war with Babylon, but we're not trying to infiltrate Babylonian society and culture either. We live in Babylon being salt and light. When we wage war or seek to 'get into' their culture to change it...we're not pilgrims anymore.

 The answer to Gloria Steinem's feminism isn't Rushdoony's Jewish flavoured Patriarchy and even among those Christians who have rejected Patriarchy, the embrace of Anti-Pilgrim Dominionism and Sphere-thought has ironically led many to compartmentalize and treat Christian womanhood as one thing in the Church and something else outside. They accuse people like me of being Sunday-morning only Christians, Gnostics with a dualist ethic.....the very thing they do when they want Christian women to be one way on Sunday morning (and that is becoming increasingly rare) and another way the rest of the week.

According to them, the notion that certain cultural spheres are outside the interests and goals of the church is invalid. Because Christians don't have to behave as Christians when exercising magisterial offices (government, law enforcement, military) is it any surprise that Christian women don't have to be Christian women...the rules are suspended as it were...when they also operate in those spheres?

They don’t like it to be framed that way, but Sphere oriented Vocation has done just that… sometimes to fulfill your social and cultural Vocation you might have to do things that aren’t normally acceptable Christian conduct. You’re protected by the office. The office sanctifies what would otherwise be sinful activity.

Why would women abandoning their families and husbands to run for office be any different?


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