Saturday, January 29, 2011

for the Bible tells me so...

(originally written in 2009 – see yesterday’s post for explanation. *warning* much of this post may sound like incoherent rambling, which is probably why I never published it to the blog, but I figured if I still get what I was trying to say a year and a half later, maybe you will, too. Perhaps I'll more fully flesh these ideas out in a future post, but for now I'll just let my ranting stand alone.)

I want to ask a favor.

I’m even willing to give a concession:

I’ll wear heels and pearls if you’ll till the land.

Allow me to explain…

One of the hardest things for me to stomach is the degradation of my brothers who are loving and serving other people. Maybe they’re serving their wives, maybe the poor, maybe complete strangers, but they are out there loving and serving and showing mercy. These guys are parenting their children, loving their wives, serving their communities, and trying to figure out what the Body of Christ looks like in practice. They are caring for the earth, for the oppressed, for the orphan and the widow and the alien and the stranger.

And what do they get in return?

They get called weak.

They get called feminine (as if that’s a curse word).

Rachel Held Evans and Michael Spencer have both hosted conversations on Mark Driscoll recently, and it just got all of my frustrations stirred up again.

If we’re going to cling to how women were treated in Biblical times, I would at the very least like to make a plea: if you’re going to overlook the raping of women, can you please not overlook the raping of the land? Don’t pick and choose which traditional beliefs and practices you are going to insist upon, have enough cojones to be consistent. Don’t insist that by the sheer power of your dual status of “male” and “chosen” that you can misuse and abuse anything that comes between you and your desires.

If we’re going to say “This is the way male/female relationships existed back then, therefore it is the way they should continue to exist today,” then let’s not limit your justification to principles that provide you with power. Let’s go ahead and cease with the operations and medications that unnaturally preserve life. While we’re at it, you should really cease all online communication, whether it be blogging or social networking, seeing as it is not the natural form of communication we were designed to use. And what’s with all this Democracy and Capitalism crap? Progress be damned.

You see, I know lots of guys who are secure enough in their manhood to be sensitive, and women who are secure enough in their womanhood to be strong. They know that things like sensitivity and strength are not gender specific, and they refuse to be defined by categories rather than Christ.

On second thought, screw the heels and I’ll till alongside you.

What if we sell that new John Deere
And then we’ll work these crops with sweat and tears
You’ll be the mule, I’ll be the plow
Come harvest time we’ll work it out
There’s still a lotta love, here in these troubled fields
~ Nanci Griffith


erniebufflo said...

I like this post! A lot! But of course, gender is kind of my thing, and I was just discussing with my strong sensitive husband the other day the exciting possibilities we see in more widespread gay marriage for showing us all what a true egalitarian relationship, free of the trappings of confining gender roles, could look like. The possibility that such a relationship of equals might actually look more like the Trinity than relationships in which one partner does all the leading and the other partner does all the serving. And then I start getting giddy over words like perichoretic and phrases like "mutual self-giving love." ;)

(I also love that Nanci Griffith song. It reminds me of my mom.)

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to me!

That's why I had to stop listening to Mark Driscoll's sermons . . . he's way too patriarchal for me. I've been to churches that don't ordain women, but they don't always talk about it the way Mark does.

I wonder if Mark knows that to be a leader, you have to make yourself a humble servant first.

Newly and Forever, Tamantha said...

I don't know anything about Mark Driscoll, but I hate that most conversations regarding men and women, especially in marraige, automatically go to the topic of "roles" and knowing the "role" you are supposed to play as a "godly" man or woman, husband or wife. These conversations make me tired. We are made to reflect God's image at the core of who we are, regardless of behavior...both in masculinity and femininity...I'm seeking Him, He will show me how to life out my idenity, however He wants to display that in my feminity.