Equality

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Equality

Postby PLCDreamcatcher14 » Fri May 15, 2015 10:11 am

Ok. Well, first let me just say that growing up, I never went to church. Never read the Bible. My parents are Christians but they didn't get into long biblical lessons (other than the basics) or theological discussions. I was raised to where I believed God created everything. Jesus is His Son who sacrificed Himself to save us and as long as we believe in Him He will save us. And to do good things because they're good to do. I also believed everyone to be equal. I was homeschooled by my parents with Christian textbooks and there were times I had to read Bible verses which often led me to reading passages out of the Bible on my own out of curiosity. That's when I learned about how 'wives must submit to their husbands'. I immediately felt angry because I'm kind of rebellious in nature anyway. The idea of submitting to God is one thing cause He's perfect and knows what He's doing. But 100% submitting to another person unquestioningly angered me. I (unfortunately) don't even obey my parents 100% especially if I feel any injustice from them. They actually like it too. They encourage me to have a mind of my own and to not just blindly follow orders and to speak up if I feel threatened. (They're pretty cool, huh? lol.) Anyway, I was mad. But then I felt guilty like this is what God wanted. Then there was all of this other stuff that I heard other Christians teaching like how women are weaker, women must dress super-conservatively even when it's really hot, women must stay home and care for the home and kids, men are the heads of their households, etc...And it made me feel guilty...shameful really, of being female. Like my existence was a sin, my female body, my female mind, everything. And than I had to live as the 'biblical' woman in order to atone for my sin. It even got so bad I had actually wished I had been born a man. That way I could dress however I wanted without 'causing anyone to lust', I could get any kind of job, I could make my voice heard, I wouldn't have to get married, I would be dominant, I could make decisions, and such. But then I thought, this is SO wrong. No one should have to feel this way. No one should have to feel so inherently 'inferior' that they wish they could have been born as someone else. Something more 'privileged'. This started to sound more like humans simply wanting to control other humans. Just like racism. And so many other inequalities. To try to feed one groups ego into thinking there are simply better by nature than others and that it is their 'God given right' to exercise authority over the 'lesser'. I think that the grouping of different people and them adhering to their assigned roles was necessary in the Old Testament because life in biblical times was a lot harder. I think God did that so everyone would stick to their jobs and make things a little easier for each other. In other words, He was trying to help us. Now it isn't necessary. Things run smoother now and it isn't necessary for people to act and live according to their birth. I think denying the person God created you to be and trying to live in accordance with society's rules for you is a greater insult to God. You're trying to please man rather than Him. Anyway, where I'm actually trying to go with this is...What do you think about equality (or the lack thereof)? How is equality handled in your area? Do you think God really wants us to be equal? I'm just curious about this is all. Thank you.

(P.S. I hope this isn't political. If it is, feel free to close it or delete it or whatever.)
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Re: Equality

Postby goldenspines » Fri May 15, 2015 11:55 am

Well, I will admit I'm worried, just because this is one of the longest running debates in Christianity. Right up there next to "was it actually 6 days of creation" and "what does keeping the sabbath holy mean?"
So, hopefully things will be okay in here.
I'll throw in my 2 cents, but please take it with a bucket of salt.

I've had trouble with this one for a long time too, but I think most of the misunderstanding comes with people trying to interpret it themselves in relation to society (the world)* instead of in relation to trusting in God.

Lest anyone get any ideas, the passage in question (Ephesians 5:21-33) is NOT talking about "women need to submit to men". There is nothing in the Bible that tells women they are any less than men in any way. The verses in question are talking about a marriage relationship. BUT, before that, the marriage relationship is simply used as an example for the more important point in verse 21.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. - Ephesians 5:21

But the biggest part about this is the word submit. It doesn't mean "let someone else tell you what to do", it means you don't actively say FIGHT ME whenever you disagree with someone and just butt heads until the cows come home.
In this case, though, using marriage as an example for this is actually a good one, really. In my own personal opinions, marriages should not be about power struggles, it should be about balance in different roles.
Husbands are generally seen as the "head" of the household in a marriage relationship (I think they make the comparison as Christ is the Head of the Church, so men are the head of their families). This doesn't mean that the husband can do whatever and boss people around to his heart's content. It means he has the most responsibility and takes the blame for everything by default. But, for example, if he stops loving his wife as he loves himself, the whole balance is upset and everything gets screwed (an example could be an abusive relationship). It's mostly up to him to keep the relationship balanced.
Now wives, if they submit to their husbands, it means they are okay with their husbands taking the responsibility and trusting them to handle things (even if you think they are making a dumb decision!). Naturally, if you have reservations, you should question them, discuss ideas, and keep communication open because that's important to any relationship. But when push does come to shove and your husband wants to move across the world with you and your kids to live in the forests of China (for example), you have to trust him enough for it, and trust God that He will deal with your husband (haaha) and submit to his idea. Even if you KNOW you are right. I think that's why marriage is such a strong relationship and not to be taken lightly. It's something that runs a lot deeper than just "being in love".

Lemme tell you, it's not easy to trust someone fully and completely like that. It's hard enough to trust God and He's perfect! Your husband will not be perfect (I'm sorry, he won't). So in that sense, while men may excel in the physical strength, women excel in emotional strength.
But it all balances out, so it's nice that way. If husbands love their wives as they love themselves and wives trust their husbands and submit to their decisions for their household, I think things work out.
Unless you somehow believe that you have to get married as a Christian to be "complete" (which, you don't. Not to be hypocritical, but I will definitely fight anyone on that), we don't need to worry about such things unless we choose to get married.

Also, other fun fact, "submit" and "obey" are NOT interchangeable and therefore not the same. So when you read the verse about "children, obey your parents", it's not remotely close to the same meaning as submitting to one another. Obeying is doing something without question, and submitting is trusting someone to take care of you.
AGAIN, since submitting is NOT obeying, it means that a husband is not in a position to tell their wife what to do without question (or vice versa). That's not the point and it shouldn't even have to be an issue.

Looping back around to verse 21 again. Christians are to submit to one another. Again, this is not based on male or female (or whatever), but on the fact that you are a Christian. In short, it's telling us not to quarrel or try to make things a power struggle (e.g. "Well, I'm a better Christian because of x, y, and z.") because that's not how God called us to live and it certainly doesn't show God's love to others when Christians can't even get along and we follow the same God! How would we expect to be able to love others who don't believe the same as us.

Inequality is an idea that's been around forever and I personally think it's a flawed human idea. Because humans see differences as a bad thing, but God sees them as wonderful things (that's why He made us all unique). Some may even say the idea of inequality it was part of the Curse (from the original fall of man), since beforehand in the garden, Adam and Eve were different, but still equals in God's eyes. God didn't love Adam over Eve or vice versa. He addressed them both directly, as equals. (in fact, if you look back in Genesis, even though God knew all the events that took place, He still started with asking Adam what happened, because Adam was supposed to be the one responsible for himself and his wife, Eve, but when Adam passed the blame, God spoke directly to Eve as well, not downgrading her). But that's a whole other thing for another thread. So I'll stop here.


tl;dr - Inequality is a society based idea. It's caused by a negative reaction to not everyone being the same (whether it be gender, skin color, etc). God uses everyone, regardless of gender (see Deborah, for example) based on their strengths and weaknesses, and He loves everyone differently (because everyone is different!), but equally, with an overflowing and infinite love.





*almost wrote "the world" as ZA WARUDO up there. Sorry not sorry.
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Re: Equality

Postby Nate » Fri May 15, 2015 5:30 pm

Equality rules and I am totally for it. Personally I feel Paul had some serious issues with women and thus when he says that women should "submit to their husbands" that it should be taken about as seriously as "women should never speak in church" and "women should never teach men," that is to say, not at all.

Many denominations have spent a long time shaming women and treating them as inferior and responsible for evil for too long, as you even said in your post, the idea that the way a woman dresses "causes men to lust" or is "tempting them" or even extremist cults like Quiverfull that basically view women as baby factories and state that women who work outside the home or don't devote every second of their life to raising children are sinful and wicked. It's garbage, pure garbage. Women are not somehow inherently more sinful than men are, and men are not somehow naturally better at being leaders. Marriage should be a partnership, with both people working together as equals, not one person acting as a dominant "head."

You can get any kind of job you want. You don't have to get married if you don't want to. You have the right to dress comfortably. And you also have the right to tell people that say you have to get married and have kids and submit to your husband and wear baggy sweaters in 100 degree weather to cram it.

Since I am probably one of maybe three people on this site to have this opinion, I thought I'd post my support for you and say that I think you're totally right, and most of what the bible says about women can be chalked up to antiquated views from people with a narrower view of the world than we have today. Don't let people make you feel bad about yourself or make you hate that you're a woman, because there's nothing wrong with it. :3
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Re: Equality

Postby Xeno » Fri May 15, 2015 8:25 pm

Nate wrote:Since I am probably one of maybe three people on this site to have this opinion

I'm number two, where is three?
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Re: Equality

Postby Ante Bellum » Fri May 15, 2015 9:41 pm

Right here, naturally.

(Nate's got it covered pretty well, so I'll just second his post.)
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Re: Equality

Postby DaughterOfZion » Fri May 15, 2015 10:47 pm

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Boom. Even number.

Anyways, typing up my view would probably just make me angry, and Nate said it well, so ditto that.

But I do want to point out that when it comes to the super-conservative, women should just wear cardboard boxes thinking, that it's never the man's "fault". His brain and his "bad" thoughts are his own responsibility, not a woman's. That may be over simplifying things a bit but there's too much to get into there for me.
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Re: Equality

Postby Midori » Sat May 16, 2015 2:51 am

I guess I'm mostly with Nate. My biggest difference is probably that I wouldn't classify Paul as having had issues with women, but just that he wanted to uphold some rules for orderly behavior in the culture he was writing to (and in that time, by the way, Christanity treated women much better than the surrounding culture). Those rules might not apply in our own culture. There are a lot of people who hold themselves to the very letter of Paul's rules literally, and yet they don't even know all of the rules in the Torah, let alone follow them. I don't understand that. I don't think Paul wanted us to elevate his words to the same level as Jesus's words.

The other thing I'd like to say is there may be other ways of understanding that verse about "the man should be the head of the household" could be simply practical advice rather than a spiritual rule. Marriage is an instantiation of duarchy, which has the problem that when both rulers disagree on what to do, they get into a stalemate. The only way to solve this if it happens is with some arbitrary external convention for deciding who breaks the tie. And the normal convention for marriage is that the husband breaks the tie. It's arbitrary, yes, but without an arbitrary rule you'd just end up with whoever is the strongest wins, and you really don't want that (and it'd probably be the man in most cases anyway). Mind you, if marriages end up in that sort of stalemate more often than very rarely, then you're probably doing marriage wrong. You ought to talk it out, gather information, pray, argue, consult friends and family, yell and carry on, etc. before declaring a stalemate.

Another way of looking at it is with the metaphor that the man is the head of the household just like Christ is the head of the body; that is, the husband plays the role of God. This is a good metaphor. The thing is there are lots of other metaphors too. In the story of the creation of humans in Genesis, the woman is created as the "helper" of the man; and if you only know English you may interpret that as an inferior position. But in the original Hebrew, that word for "helper" is the same as when king David says "the Lord is my helper". So there is a way in which the woman plays the role of God too.

At any rate, if you're being made to feel guilty or inferior simply for being a woman, there's obviously something wrong going on. No need to justify it when that's obviously not how God feels about you.

Also everything Goldy said.

EDIT: I removed part of this post that was kind of off-topic and not very helpful. Forgive me. This is probably the seventh edit I've made to this post. I shouldn't write this late at night.
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Re: Equality

Postby Nate » Sat May 16, 2015 11:56 am

Midori wrote:Another way of looking at it is with the metaphor that the man is the head of the household just like Christ is the head of the body; that is, the husband plays the role of God. This is a good metaphor.

I disagree, I think this is a horrible metaphor. When you put this kind of thinking into people's heads, that the husband is like God and the woman is like the church, then it absolutely can lead to abusive situations and is harmful to the woman. By using that metaphor, you are subtly putting in a woman's head "The church cannot tell God what to do, as God is clearly superior to the church, therefore I cannot tell my husband what to do." That is wrong, horribly wrong, and that kind of thinking is why OP got stressed out in the first place. Which is why I'm saying no, nobody is the "head" in the marriage. Both partners are equal. The church is not equal to God, so using it as a metaphor for marriage is awful. It may have worked fine in Paul's day, when women were viewed as lesser than men and didn't have as many rights, but it does not work in today's society.

I also don't know if I agree with the view that "Oh, Paul was just writing to the culture back then, he wasn't trying to make it apply to the modern day." This is the reasoning Paul gives for why women should not have any authority over men:

12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

Paul isn't appealing to the present culture. He's not saying "Women are generally uneducated" or "Some pagan women are trying to tempt you away from Christ." He's appealing to the past and stating that women's inferiority is based on the story of the Fall in Genesis, that Eve sinned first, and Adam didn't do anything wrong, so women are somehow inherently "worse" than men and that's why they shouldn't have authority over men. The only way I can see out of this is to believe that the story of Adam and Eve didn't actually happen (thus making Paul's reasoning invalid), but a lot of Christians have issues with that.
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Re: Equality

Postby Midori » Sat May 16, 2015 12:08 pm

This detail is definitely turning into a debate, so I won't argue. You have a good point. I just want to make sure that what I'm saying isn't misrepresented. If that's the only metaphor you think about, of course the woman is going to feel inferior; I'm saying there are other metaphors that can help and shouldn't be ignored.
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Re: Equality

Postby goldenspines » Sun May 17, 2015 8:53 am

@ Nate: It appears we are viewing things differently and that may be causing some confusion (even though we all agree on the same end, equality)...but, really, what's new in these threads. There's always many viewpoints.

I think the analogy is brilliant because it illustrates that Christ loves us so much that he gives up his dignity and his very life for us. That's the type of love a husband should have for his wife.
Viewing God as some scary patriarchal figure that you have to not question ever is rather silly anyway, in my elitist opinion.

Just in case people still need to be reminded, submitting is not obeying. In fact, even in the original Hebrew, the military word of "obey" (as in, obeying your commanding officer) is NEVER used in regards to wives towards their husbands. It is, however, used for children towards their parents.

For the rest of what you said is too tiresome to respond to since we are viewing things differently and you're taking things out of context. It would be pointless for me to respond and pointless to make you read whatever I typed (I have my suspicions that you don't actually read my posts anyway). XD

Since these types of threads in Christian Growth Q&A are not meant to be lengthy discussions or debates (simply to give your answer and leave. This is not a theology debate forum), you can feel free to PM me, but not pursue that in this thread.
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Re: Equality

Postby Kraavdran » Sun May 17, 2015 11:23 am

I should clarify a few things before I begin...
First, these are all my opinions. I, by no means, can say that this is accurate. This is just what I have come to understand in a way that makes sense to me. I hope that it also makes sense to you.
Second, please note that people will abuse passages in the Bible because people are crazy and will attach any belief they have to anything they can get ahold of that has authority. Just search youtube for "worst preacher ever" or, for the strong of heart, google pretty much any hot topic whose inflammatory discussions hurt people. Or look at any known christian-based cults. Bottomline, I come from the philosophy that the Bible is still true now and does not teach anything that is evil or wrong... but people have applied its teachings incorrectly.... typically out of fear/ignorance... but also out of desire for power/control. This is the basis for my thoughts and arguments.
Third, having read other people's responses, I will say some things that other have said... but I won't necessarily go the same route that they would. So, pardon the redundancy.
Fourth, I don't consider myself complementarian or egalitarian in terms of marriage. So don't expect me to align myself with either.

I'll address the view of women as a whole first, then finish by talking about the verse in Ephesians you mentioned about marriage.

So, the first thing that strikes me from your post is your view (or, perhaps appropriately put, struggle of the view) of women as a whole. It sounds like you have been in a culture that blames women for many things... of particular note is clothing choices resulting in lust of men. And, it seems, you are beginning to realize the toxicity of such a stigma. I think that Midori said it best, "At any rate, if you're being made to feel guilty or inferior simply for being a woman, there's obviously something wrong going on. No need to justify it when that's obviously not how God feels about you." Where to start? Going to a faith-based university, I had my share of this debate. It got heated and kinda hurtful, at times. So, I'd like to avoid that. But, here's my opinion: It is silly for men to blame women for problems of lust based on what they wear. Especially considering the sexual garbage that many people shove into their heads through media (television and movies, primarily). And, to be blunt, it won't help. The real responsibility is up to the guy. Generally, I view the argument for women wearing super-conservative clothing as an excuse for lust and/or a way to offset the blame so that the guys don't need to work on their own purity. At the same time, perhaps it is wise not to wear clothes for the purpose of getting [unhealthy] attention from guys... but I have a feeling that that isn't what you are talking about... after all, I think, the more important part is how you act, not what you wear. And, regardless, I think that it is the guy's responsibility to act in both love and wisdom. This doesn't include pointing fingers. So, now that all the responsibility for half of all Christians doesn't lie on your shoulders, perhaps I could encourage a healthier view of women. God created women. Women are a precious creation of God, just like men. I believe that God loves us all equally.... and He created a world in which both are required for the continuation of the human race (both are major players in His plan for the world). In this way, women, like men, are created in the Image of God and have equal favor with Him. And, to be honest, it is a shame more people don't recognize that fact.

Second, the ideals in marriage. Let me quote the full passage involving the "women submit" chapter...
Ephesians 5:22-33, NASB wrote: 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, [...] 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.


ok, so, I see that wives should "be subject." But what does that means? I don't want to read my patriarchal culture into this verse. The Greek verb used there can be kinda confusing. And, I don't see how it applies to men. It doesn't say "men, make sure your wives submit" or anything like that, right? So, let's keep reading. Verse 25, that is something that men should do. "Love your wives." But not just that, we should do so to the same extent that Christ did for us. Talk about a tall order, right? Jesus humbled himself to the point of dying a thieve's death and gave sacrificially. It almost sounds like the husband should submit his desires for the sake of his wife... Furthermore, (verse 28) husbands must love their wife as their own flesh. Wow. So, Paul is saying that the husband must love his wife as if she were him. Sounds like equality to me, if I ever heard it. Last I checked, people consider their own ideas and thoughts and wishes fairly highly. So, as a result, a husband should view his wife's ideas, thoughts, and wishes as equal... if not higher. If that plays out, that means that she has equal say as him, right? And, perhaps in some circumstances (looking at verse 25), he must sacrificially submit to her.
I hope that I didn't run through this too quickly, trying to make it short. Feel free to ask me to clarify. Bottomline? Men should listen to and sacrifice for their wives at times. Women should do the same. But, in all this, they should treat each other as equal to themselves. And, of course, in all things, they must love (active process, not infatuation) each other. In this way, I see their roles towards each other as identical. Now, I don't know how this would turn out in every situation. But, respecting each other and valuing each other's wishes/desires/personhood seems like a good step to me.

tl;dr - Men are more responsible for their individual thoughts (primarily, lust) than anyone else and should focus on what they can do in their fight against lust. Women are precious creations of God who should not feel inferior or responsible for things that they are not responsible for. Additionally, God loves them just as much as men. People can twist the words of the Bible to make it teach what they want. If you look at the "women must submit" chapter in Ephesians, there are aspects of mutual submitting (in healthy ways)... as well as a solid base to assume equality in worth/deed/authority. All this must be grounded in love for others, or else it is meaningless.
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Re: Equality

Postby Nate » Sun May 17, 2015 3:30 pm

goldenspines wrote:Viewing God as some scary patriarchal figure that you have to not question ever is rather silly anyway, in my elitist opinion.


I'm not saying that, though. The point I'm trying to make is, God is the head of the church, right? The church is not equal to God, it is below God. Thus, using the relationship of God and the church in reference to marriage absolutely is a message of inequality. Yes, I know. Christ loves the church, Christ gave his life for the church, he treats the church well...but he is still the head of the church. This therefore does push a patriarchal view of women being lesser than men when applied to marriage, which isn't equality. It may send a message of love, respect, and treating a woman well...but it does not send a message of women being equal to men.

In the days of Paul, when women were not seen as equals of men, this metaphor made sense. And I'm even willing to say sure, it was a radical view of how to treat women compared to the rest of the world. But it is a bad metaphor for the modern world and it should be ignored. Imagine if, two thousand years ago, someone said, I dunno, "Mankind's dreams of flight are equal to his dreams to grow gills." Not a great saying but it works for the purposes of my example. In that time, this metaphor would have made sense. Flight was far beyond their technological capabilities and thus flight would be as impossible as a man growing gills. But look at the world today. We have planes flying everywhere, heck, we've been to outer space! It's pretty clear that the metaphor, while it may have made sense at the time, is a worthless metaphor in the modern world.

And so it is with Paul's metaphor of marriage being the same as Christ and the church. Probably pretty progressive at the time, but antiquated and worthless in our modern world. Just how I see it.

you're taking things out of context


Don't see how I'm doing that, but in the interest of keeping this thread free of any more debate, I'll just let it be.
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Re: Equality

Postby PLCDreamcatcher14 » Mon May 18, 2015 9:46 am

Wow. Thank you guys. First, let me just say that at the time that I started this thread I was sort of on a rant. Secondly, I no longer feel inferior anyway. I just did when I was younger. Even though I had developed more recently a desire to not ever get married ever just so I wouldn't have to submit. Thirdly, this really did help a lot. I've actually started reading things on progressive Christian blogs recently and have seen just how much the English language doesn't translate the Bible well. I totally understand why churches teach so many things that don't feel right. It's because they don't know the true Bible!

The whole mutual 'submitting' thing actually reminds me of something my mom said. There's a couple who lives next door who have a complementarian view. The woman has frequent bouts of depression and stays at home a lot. One day she found out a local Belk store was hiring and she really wanted to work for it would make her very happy. What did her husband say? No. That she wasn't allowed. They argued about it and he just asserted his being head of household and that what he says goes. The end. She went back to being depressed. My mom who's a bit of a feminist said that though it may say in the Bible for women to 'submit' to their husbands, what most men don't realize is that if you treat a woman with love and respect and try to make her happy, she will do all that she can to make you happy. If not, then everyone's miserable. Like them.

And about the lust thing, thank you. I've always dressed in a way that feels right but seeing other people talk about needing to dress super modestly made me feel bad about some things that I wear. (even though my mom makes fun of how I dress saying I dress like a schoolmarm anyway).

You know, my sudden interest in theology over these last few months makes me wonder if God wants me to clarify things like this to other people. Perhaps I should learn Hebrew. Hee, hee.

Anyway, I really thank you guys a lot. God Bless! :angel:
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Re: Equality

Postby Nate » Mon May 18, 2015 1:21 pm

PLCDreamcatcher14 wrote:I've always dressed in a way that feels right but seeing other people talk about needing to dress super modestly made me feel bad about some things that I wear.

The funny thing is that in the context it's used in the verse, "modest" is talking about not wearing expensive and fancy clothing, like in the sentence "They live by modest means" meaning not spending a lot of money.

The "modest dressing" thing has always bothered me hugely because it unfairly blames women for men sinning, it actually is very reminiscent of Adam's excuse in Eden, "It was the woman who gave me the fruit," trying to shift the blame to her for his actions. Women should be able to wear what's comfortable to them without feeling responsible for what men think. Although I would hope most women would also respect how guys feel, like maybe wearing a tank top with no bra to a youth group meeting is not the best idea. Not that she can't still do it if she wants to, because it's her right to wear what's comfortable for her, but it might not go over well with the group.
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Re: Equality

Postby PLCDreamcatcher14 » Fri May 22, 2015 5:35 pm

Nate wrote:
PLCDreamcatcher14 wrote:I've always dressed in a way that feels right but seeing other people talk about needing to dress super modestly made me feel bad about some things that I wear.

The funny thing is that in the context it's used in the verse, "modest" is talking about not wearing expensive and fancy clothing, like in the sentence "They live by modest means" meaning not spending a lot of money.


I never thought about it that way. That actually makes sense too.

The "modest dressing" thing has always bothered me hugely because it unfairly blames women for men sinning, it actually is very reminiscent of Adam's excuse in Eden, "It was the woman who gave me the fruit," trying to shift the blame to her for his actions. Women should be able to wear what's comfortable to them without feeling responsible for what men think. Although I would hope most women would also respect how guys feel, like maybe wearing a tank top with no bra to a youth group meeting is not the best idea. Not that she can't still do it if she wants to, because it's her right to wear what's comfortable for her, but it might not go over well with the group.


True.
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Re: Equality

Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Tue May 26, 2015 6:14 am

Contextually, I think there are some issues with Paul and his regards for women. I mean his stuff was meant for a very patriarchal audience, during very patriarchal times. It's by no means meant to be taken as an essential and absolute truth.
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Re: Equality

Postby Anirac » Thu May 28, 2015 2:59 pm

From my own, short experience as a wife (a year and a half), I find that yielding works quite well. I yield because I love him. I yield because I trust him. In yielding I learned humility. In humility I learned compassion. In compassion I'm starting to understand love.

A man's heart can be fragile. I shape the hearts of the men around me with gentleness. Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove, they say ;)
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Re: Equality

Postby Makachop^^128 » Thu May 28, 2015 6:59 pm

I have dealt with this issue myself. After a lot of prayer and reading I think I have come to some conclusion for myself.

"21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church."- Ephesians 5:21-32

If you just focus on "Wives submit to your husbands" it really does sound bad. If you look at the whole picture we can see more of what God is wanting.
"This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church."
When we talk about marriage it is a picture of God and the church more than anything else. The problem we have with submission is how the world has warped it. We see husbands that treat their wives as servants. Husbands are to love their wives in the same way Christ loves the church. Christ was a servant to his disciples, washing their feet. Christ died on the cross for his church. The church is to love and accept in submission to this love. If the husband is acting out this verse as well, they would be a leader as well as a servant, loving their wife as their own body. When I think of submission keeping all of this in mind its submitting to love. I don't know about you guys but I would be totally alright submitting to love.

The world has twisted this verse. It's really sad. To me now after many years praying about it I see it as beautiful.
Francis Chans' sermons on marriage really helped me with a lot of this I recommend them Here ya go :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihRmM0aVADU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gankzqrIipQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3YNawuuizM

When it comes to some other verses like "women should not speak in church," Its important to remember the time. Women were not educated at this point, it makes sense that they would need their husbands permission about what they would say in church. There are also other verses in the new testament speaking about equality.
" 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 "
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."-Galatians 3:28
In Gods eyes we are equal, he has a order he wants things to show his love to the world but it is out of love.

Anyway sorry if this isn't very well written out haha I hope it helps somewhat.
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Re: Equality

Postby Jonathan » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:30 am

I believe that Paul was only talking about the Ephesian Women who at the time were not properly educated. I do not believe it applies to today because women are very educated now.
So I view women as equal.
Also I know there is a bible verse which says women shouldn't dress like men but men didn't wear tuxes or shirts with pants back then, they would wear robes.
So again it does not apply to today imho.
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"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."-John 14:28
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Re: Equality

Postby Kraavdran » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:48 am

Jonathan wrote:I believe that Paul was only talking about the Ephesian Women who at the time were not properly educated. I do not believe it applies to today because women are very educated now.
So I view women as equal.
Also I know there is a bible verse which says women shouldn't dress like men but men didn't wear tuxes or shirts with pants back then, they would wear robes.
So again it does not apply to today imho.


Just to add along with that, when Paul talks about clothing and "fancy apparel", I've read that he is actually actually saying something more like "don't be the type of people who dress like this." One example that I've heard is in regards to the verse that talks about men with long hair. Contextually, it appears, men with long hair served as prostitutes. And, thus, Paul is simply telling people not to allow prostitution within the church. I can't remember, but I believe that there are similar answers for other verses talking about women and clothing. Context is very important.

Speaking of context, I forgot to mention my experience with the thing about women speaking in church. I actually visited a church that did not allow women to speak in church. Now, in their defense, they were earnestly trying to follow the Bible. They were just not well informed and erred on the fear-based side of things. Anyway, I actually visited a few times before finally recognizing that the enforcement of not letting women speak in their church service (which was a more involved service to begin with) felt very wrong. Oppressive, fearful, and generally not healthy. It made me feel quite sick, to be honest... even though I am a man. This is not biblical evidence for why women should be allowed to speak in church, but "by their fruit you will recognize them" really makes sense here. It is my belief that doctrine that results in such a toxic vibe to a church can not be correct. Forcing those who do not know much to be silent seems to also fit in that category of toxic vibes... although I've never encountered a church that had that as their doctrinal law.

I've heard a few different explanations of why it is ok for the women to speak in the church... most involve looking at the verses' context and the cultural context. But, to be honest, I can't really accept the whole "women were not properly educated" theory. After all, we are not talking about a time where everyone (including males) were educated... or a time where knowledge was easily assessable. So why wouldn't Paul mention flat out that "uneducated people shouldn't speak in church." Additionally, why should the uneducated speak in church? Isn't that one of the purposes of going to church? Looking at the context further, 1 Corinthians 11:5, we see that Paul is actually ok with women praying (or prophesying). Rather, one source said, Paul is actually talking about the order of worship in this section of Corinthians (based on overall context, see 1 Corinthians 14:33). 1 Corinthians was a letter to a specific region, remember. It is likely that Paul was referring to a specific group of people in that region who, for whatever reason, were praying/prophesying at incorrect times during a service (look at the immediate context in verse 33: "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace").

Sorry for rambling.
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