Saturday, November 13, 2010

I wish I knew

I’m so confused and I don’t know how to believe. Why do we get to pick and choose what should be literal and what should only be realized through cultural context?
The Bible says women cannot have leadership over men. The Bible says wives submit to husbands. Bible also says Christians submit to each other. Bible also says there is neither male nor female, all are one in Christ. The Bible promotes equality and illustrates female leadership in churches and society and family. Why are these few verses taken literally, while the others have explanations? Why not the other way around? If a woman is not allowed leadership over a man, why is it okay for her to be a teacher or a CEO, but not a pastor? Is the excuse that she only can’t have leadership in the church? So does that mean that we are to live separate lives? The rules we abide by in church, we don’t have to abide by in the world? What about in the New Testament when women were church leaders? What about the women who financially supported Jesus’ ministry?
Women have been shown to be the backbone and the muscle of how religion is practiced. The Catholic Church remains adamant that the priesthood is not for women, yet the lack of male clergy forces female laity to conduct services and take care of all the day to day activities of the church in local settings. But to receive the ordination is never to happen. I do not believe God allowed for this exclusion.
As for roles in the home, I agree that men and women have separate responsibilities and innate abilities the other doesn’t have. I still don’t see the connection of the wife’s subordination to the husband always having final say. If he’s a Christian, why does he not also practice the command of Christians (referring to both male and female) to submit to each other? Shouldn’t it be 100% both ways? Then why does the submission issue even have to matter? Besides, if the wife stays home all day and basically runs it while the husband is out working, why is she not the “head of the household?” I’m so confused.
Why is it a big deal whether or not a woman wants to work? If a woman chooses what she wants to do, why does anyone else get a say in it? Why can’t I make my decision to stay home all day or to stay away from home all day and have everyone else not care? It’s none of your business.
Should I be addressing these issues because I’m simply not happy with them? Would God ordain things that make us feel oppressed? I certainly think so. But I don’t think that ends this issue. Why is it a problem for me to question? It’s not like I’ve been researching this for 40 years and still digging. It’s just that for the first time, I don’t want to accept something because somebody told me it was so.
I don’t believe that either gender is by design stronger, smarter, more spiritually gifted, better, weaker or more susceptible to frailty than the other. I believe the Bible needs to be reread, researched, and realized again.
I’m at a place where I’m unsure of where I stand on an issue, and I think God likes my questions, welcomes my questions, loves that I use the brain he gave me instead of being shaped my anyone who desires to do so. I know he can handle my questions. I hope you can to. For there will be more to come.