• Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical by Ben Witherington

Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical by Ben Witherington

I would ask that you visit the Patheos blog post I am linking you to. It’s very long but a good read. I am only providing some excerpts from that page here on my blog.

Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical by Ben Witherington, June 2015, on Patheos

….Never mind that the Bible does not have categories like ‘senior pastor’ or ‘pulpit minister’, the NT has been used over and over again to justify the suppression of women in ministry— and as I was to discover through years of research and study, without Biblical justification.

…So in this post I am going to deal with the usual objections to women in ministry, one by one.

….1) Women can’t be ministers, because only males can be priests offering the sacrifice of the Mass etc.

The root problem with this argument is that the NT is perfectly clear that apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, elders, deacons ARE NOT PRIESTS IN THE NT.

There is no need for a separate order of priests in the NT because Christ’s sacrifice made obsolete the entire OT sacerdotal system of priests, temples and sacrifices.

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• Viking Warrior Discovered in Sweden Was a Woman, Researchers Confirm

Viking Warrior Discovered in Sweden Was a Woman, Researchers Confirm

Viking Warrior Discovered in Sweden Was a Woman, Researchers Confirm

by Emily Shugerman

Scientists had long assumed the skeleton belonged to a man

Swedish scientists have revealed that the body of a Vikingwarrior long presumed to be male is, in fact, female.

A team of researchers from Stockholm University conducted a DNA analysis of the skeleton and confirmed that it belonged to a woman. The 10th-century skeleton, the researchers concluded, is the first confirmed female high-ranking Viking warrior.

Scientists had long assumed that the skeleton was male – despite early indications that she may have been female – largely because of the status symbols buried alongside her.

Early archaeologists uncovered a sword, an axe, a spear, armour-piercing arrows, a battle knife, two shields, and two horses in the grave, signifying the buried individual’s status of as a “professional warrior”.

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• Gender Complementarian Trinitarian Analogies Do Not Work

Gender Complementarian Trinitarian Analogies Do Not Work

Blogger and author Scot McKnight made a series of posts about complementarianism and the Trinity this past week. I tweeted links to some of these blog posts earlier. The other night, blog Wartburg Watch made a post about these McKnight posts.

In that comment thread at TWW blog, I made a few comments, which I’ll get to in a moment.

For now, here are links to the McKnight posts (on his “Jesus Creed” blog):

Complementarianism’s Trinity: The Story Now Told – Aug 14

The Rise of the Complementarian Hypothesis of the Trinity – Aug 15

Civil War Among The Complementarians – Aug 16

Why Did It Take So Long? – Aug 17

The Trinity: Not from the Bible Alone – Aug 22

Some complementarians use a doctrine called E.S.S. (Eternal Subordination of the Son) to ground the subordination of wives to husbands in their very being (they use ESS as an ontological device).

They argue that because (in their view) that Jesus Christ is supposedly eternally subordinate to God the Father, in the same way, married women are subordinate to their husbands.

(I am unclear if the complementarians arguing ESS mean to say all women, regardless of marital status, are to be subordinate to all men or not. In all the cases I’ve seen of complementarians arguing ESS, it’s generally been on the basis of marital submission.)

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• Man Copes With the Death of His Wife By Hiking

 Man Copes With the Death of His Wife By Hiking

What may become my standard opener for posts about death and grief:

My mother died a little bit before the year 2010 (yes, I am being intentionally sketchy about specifics because I would like to remain anonymous).
I discovered the hard way after my mother’s passing, and I was shocked and deeply saddened and disappointed to find, that most Christians are terrible at helping someone who is in grief.
Many Christians do not even want to try to be there for someone who has experienced loss, whether out of laziness, selfishness, or feeling uncomfortable with open expressions of emotional pain.
Whatever the reason, most Christians do not want to weep with the one who weeps and therefore leaves them to cope with the loss completely alone, which I feel is terrible and insensitive.


I watched a Christian program that involved a man whose wife died of breast cancer. He started hiking to cope with the loss.

Before I get to the link and his story, I wanted to use his story as a reminder: conservative Christians keep offering this fairy tale story that marriage will solve all a person’s problems.

The conservative church portrays singleness after the age of 25 as being second class or merely a waiting period until one eventually marries (what if one never marries? they never address this possibility).

Getting married is not a solution to loneliness, financial problems, or about anything else problematic, as so many Christians like to portray it.

Should you marry, your spouse may turn out to be abusive (whether physically, emotionally, verbally, or financially), your spouse may announce one day that he’s not in love with you any longer and wants to divorce you to marry another; or, your spouse may come down with a mental health problem or get into a car wreck and become paralyzed.

And, of course, as this post shows, should you marry, your spouse may die from a physical cause.

Hiking Through – One Man’s Great Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

Snippets:

Each year thousands of people attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from start to finish. Only one in four completes it. When then 58-year-old Paul Stutzman took his first steps on the 2,176 mile journey, he wanted more than a great adventure. He was looking for an encounter with God.

Years before, Paul was busy living life. He was happily married, had three children and a great job managing a large restaurant in Ohio’s Amish country.  Then in 2002, doctors diagnosed his beloved wife Mary with breast cancer. Although they did everything they could and believed God would heal her, Mary passed away four years later.

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• Should You Stay In A Bad Church To Try to Fix It, or Leave It? 

Should You Stay In A Bad Church To Try to Fix It, or Leave It? 

I don’t know the person who tweeted this. I think her Tweet came through my timeline because I follow one of the people who left her a reply.

She said in her Tweet,

“Leaving bad churches is wrong. Change the church you’re in. If you don’t, it never changes & healing never comes. Don’t #EmptyThePews …”

Ohle also Tweeted that if you are in a bad church, you are obligated to stay in it to protect other members:

The majority of people who left her comments disagreed with her position.

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• The Death of a Child: Understanding the Grief Facing Charlie Gard’s Parents by Jessica Firger

The Death of a Child: Understanding the Grief Facing Charlie Gard’s Parents by Jessica Firger

I don’t think most people, Christians above all, have a handle on how to minister to someone who is in grief. It’s a topic I wish were covered more often on spiritual abuse type blogs.

The following editorial focuses on the loss of an infant, but I think a lot of the advice the expert gives is applicable to about anyone who has suffered loss, regardless of the age.

The Death of a Child: Understanding the Grief Facing Charlie Gard’s Parents

Snippets:

This week, Connie Yates and Chris Gard said goodbye to their son, Charlie Gard. On Thursday, a judge of the British High Court ruled the 11-month-old, who had been suffering from an extremely rare and untreatable genetic disorder known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, should be taken off life-support and moved into a hospice facility. He died the next day.

The story of the young boy has stirred up an international and contentious debate about the limits of hospice and end-of-life care.

Newsweek spoke with Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, a grief counselor whose area of expertise is traumatic death, particularly that of children. Cacciatore is professor of psychology at Arizona State University and founder of the MISS Foundation, a nonprofit that provides social support services to families grieving loss.

Although Cacciatore has published more than 60 papers on the subject of bereavement and traumatic death, her expertise is also firsthand. More than two decades ago, she lost her daughter, Cheyanne, at birth.

What makes grieving the loss of an infant different from grieving an older child?

The death of a child at any age and from any cause is life-changing for parents. It’s always extremely painful. What makes the death of a young baby different is that often the family grieves alone.

Very few people knew the child intimately other than the parents.

And because babies are, of course, highly dependent on the parent for care, such a death is different in some important and really painful ways. Many parents who experience the death of a baby feel a tremendous sense of responsibility for their baby’s death.

….Does the bereavement process become easier over time for parents that find themselves in these circumstances?

I’m not a fan of the idea of “recovery,” because I don’t think we ever recover from a catastrophic loss. But the grief can become lighter. I try to teach people how to carry it, how to turn toward it, and how to stay connected to the child who died. We need space and people to remember with us in nonjudgmental ways.

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• Complementarian Marketing To Men Doesn’t Work, but It Doesn’t Stop Comps From Blaming Women – Churches Are Not “Too Feminine”

Complementarian Marketing To Men Doesn’t Work, but It Doesn’t Stop Comps From Blaming Women – Churches Are Not ‘Too Feminine”

Gender complementarians have turned male leadership, masculinity, and the male biological sex into idols that they worship.

And this obsession and strategy has not worked to draw in men to churches or to keep them in church – and complementarians, most of them anyway, keep assuming it will work.

This fixation on masculinity and making churches more masculine in feel does not account for women who have begun dropping out of church in large numbers the last several years, either (The Resignation Of Eve).

Male hierarchy, and defending and promoting it, now takes precedence over about any thing else with complementarian Christians, and, at times, it causes them to do and say some very weird (and unbiblical) things.

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