This is an interesting, reasoned argument for women in ordained ministry. The scholar is N. T. Wright.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Why are Men and Religions Afraid of Menstruation?The attached article concerning an India woman who was charged with a "deliberate and malicious" crime against religious people because she entered a temple to worship while she was menstruating, is a contemporary example of women's experience globally and generationally. The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures give us examples of this fear of menstruation. Leviticus 15: 19-30 prescribes the number of days a woman and anything she touches will be unclean because of menstruation or hemorrhage. The story of the Hemorrhaging Woman found in Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48 and Matthew 9:20-22 is the story of a woman who had been unclean and untouchable for twelve years. She reached out and touched Jesus making him unclean. He offered not rebuke but healing.
Why are girls taught to fear their own bodily functions?Fear producing colloquialisms like, "the curse"are used to name menstruation. It is simply appalling that a woman's natural, necessary bodily functions are negatively labeled and used to restrict her movement and actions. In Genesis 1:27 women and men are created in the image and likeness of God and in 1:28 they are told to multiply. Without menstruation there is no multiplication.
Religious fear of menstruation.
How do we change?If we are to change these attitudes we must teach girls and women to treasure their bodies, created in the image and likeness of divinity. A divinity, which in some wonderful way must be female. We must teach woman and girls that menstruation is not a curse, but a gift given to the female gender by the divine. A gift which allows woman to bring forth life from their bodies.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Biblical WomenI met a woman over the weekend who is a hospital chaplin. I asked her to look at my blog. Although she did not comment on the blog she sent me an email which said,"I don't get it. It appears to be a case against Christianity or faith altogether." I thanked her very kindly for her feedback.
I am not making a case against Christianity or faith. I consider myself a woman of faith, a Christian. The case I am making is against patriarchal interpretations of that faith. I read a comment today on the Woman's Ordination Conference Facebook page. The man who posted the comment encouraged the women who made the video, Ordain a Lady to go to confession. He also informed them that they were listening to the devil, God picked men except God picked a woman for a mother. For the full comment check out the Woman's Ordination Conference Facebook page.
Faith and Biblical Women
In my reply I asked the man to check out John 4:1-42. These verses record the story of a woman who believes in Jesus as the Messiah and "preaches" to her village. Many believed in Jesus as the Messiah based on the "preaching" of this women. Long before St. Paul went to the Gentiles this women was teaching the Samaritans about Jesus.
The most important moment in the Christian religion is the empty tomb. If we believe the Gospels, that most important message is in trusted to women. It was women whom Jesus picked to proclaim the good news of the resurrection, to teach the men who were in hiding.
My aim is not to make a case against faith or Christianity, but to encourage interpretations that do not limit the full participation of women in their faith communities. We are all created in the image and likeness of the Divine. God did not pick men. Men picked men.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
What Have We Been Taught About Biblical Women?I was having lunch with a friend on Saturday and she asked, "What do your want people to get out of your book?" I thought back to my experience at Liberty University, being told that I could not be ordained because, "God doesn't call women." "Well, I believe I am called" was my response. "Than you better discern who's call you are listening to." The implication being that there was something satanic about my belief that I had a genuine call to ordained ministry. I experience this same attitude in the Roman Catholic Church, which is why I am currently attending Pathfinder Church of the Risen Christ. A Catholic Community, not associated with Rome, where all are welcome.
I also thought about what I had been taught concerning biblical women over the years. In my Feminist Dr. on Ministry program I learned the word, conscientization. My interpretation of conscientization is that moment when my experience does not match what I have been taught. My ah ha moment came during a Sunday School lesson about the "temptress" Bathsheba although I did not recognize it at the time. I sat there thinking, "wait a minute, she was spied upon by a powerful man while she was taking a bath, (everyone knows that if a woman takes a bath in a movie something bad is going to happen to her) the spy finds out who her husband is but doesn't care, he sends other guys to take her from her home, he has sex with her, he send her back to her home, when he finds out she is pregnant he tries to pass the baby off as her husband's, when that doesn't work he has her husband killed. And she is the temptress and he is the man after God's own heart?
Understanding Biblical Women
The answer to my friends question is this. I would like my book to be a catalyst for reexamination of biblical interpretations that have been handed down to us. Interpretations which have been used to limit the full participation of women in the church. Interpretations which misrepresent biblical women as, bad, prostitutes, virgins or mothers when they are so much more. I would like my book to encourage readers to learn who wrote the books of the Bible, to whom they were written and when they were written.
Half the human experience of divinity is the female experience. Women who are created in the image and likeness of God. The Bible is so much more than proof texts, taken out of context to prove a point. I would like my book to encourage women to interpret biblical women using women's experience as we develop biblical literacy.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Today is Mother's Day
I looked through images of Mary mother of Jesus. In all the images she is very clean and saintly looking. Probably nothing like the historical person. As we celebrate mothers today remember it was through Mary's body, broken and bleeding in child birth, that the person Jesus came into this world.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
This picture showed up in my email the other day with a petition to Amazon to take the product off their web site. It is a practice shooting target called The Ex-girlfriend. The woman priest at my church, upon reading my blog about the Levite's Concubine, remarked that biblical desensitization to violence against women affects desensitization to violence against women today. In what way does this image of a shot, bleeding woman further desensitize people to violence? What does it reveal about those using this target? What if the target were a man of color or a child instead of a sexualized, woman? Would Amazon need to be petitioned to remove the image or the product?
Monday, May 6, 2013
Celebrating Women's Ordination
Yesterday was a memorable day for Pathfinders Community of the Risen Christ. The church was full as Deacon Joni Miller was ordained a priest in our community. It is a joy to be part of a church that is not a motherless home.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Modern day version of the Levite's Concubine
This is a story I was never taught in Sunday School. I was shocked the first time I heard it. It is perplexing that the Levite takes no responsibility for the death of his concubine. Judges 19:1-30 Rather, he arranges for the destruction of every man, woman, child and animal in the town.
Judges 20:48 "Meanwhile, the Israelites turned back against the Benjaminites,, and put them to the sword-the city, the people, the animals, and all that remained. Also the remaining towns the set on fire. "