Poverty and conservative role patterns

In the industrialised countries sometimes we can not help to get the impression that women are still more than once looked at as a lust-object.

Until the second half of the 20th century, women in most societies were denied some of the legal and political rights according to men. It has taken a very long time before women got the right to vote and to have their say in the house, community, village, city, country. In many industrialised countries the women got interesting positions but are not yet equally paid and do have to prove themselves twice as hard than the men. They may be allowed to share their thoughts and may have gained significant legal rights, we still can not neglect that women still do not have equality with men. This is evident at home, at their workplace, and in society in general.

In the 1890s when gender role reversals could ...

In the 1890s when gender role reversals could be caricaturized, the idea of an aggressive woman who also smoked was considered laughable. In 1929, Edward Bernays proved otherwise when he convinced women to smoke in public during an Easter parade in Manhattan as a show of defiance against male domination. The demonstrators were not aware that a tobacco company was behind the publicity stunt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The traditional role of man was to work and make money, which would be used by all in the household. The traditional role of the woman was to stay at home, take care of the children, clean the house, and cook. Because society has always associated money with power, the person bringing home the money had the power. The man often made the final decision on all household matters because he had the money. Women were treated like they were property of men, with no voice about their own fate.

In many countries there are still more job offers for men and is it still easier for a man to climb the social ladder. A man can have both a family and a successful career whereas women who want to fulfil themselves as professionals have to sacrifice their personal life in most cases or, if they choose to have a family as well, they are sometimes regarded as bad mothers because they do not allocate 24 hours a day to raising their children.

Our society takes it for granted that the woman should take care for the children. The woman is made to take care of her own personal life and as a mother, she also has to take care of her children´s life. Lots of man still want to keep up their ‘higher position’ and look down at women who want to step onto the ladder of progress and a better position in business. On the other hand others do find the women who stay at home are lazy and are not willing to contribute to the welfare of the family, where the man should be the one who has to decide everything and the wife only has to follow his will. but many  of the contemporary society do not see that the person wanting to stay at home to take care of the children and the household should not at all be idle. the important task of bringing up children looks to be one of the most neglected tasks of this age. Women will always be important to society because they bring a sense of love, and emotion, and for this reason at least, society should start considering their situation more carefully.

Lathe operator machining parts for transport p...

Lathe operator machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, USA (1942). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our society has to become more aware that there is no superior or inferior person. We are all the same, created in the image of God the Divine Creator, so to consider that women are not as good as men is very wrong. Only to give women lesser roles to play in our society is not showing the full respect the woman deserves. We also should teach children that women can not be inferior just because they’re not men. Typecasting also can be a very dangerous sport. Women can do whatever a man can do and parents should let male and female children swap duties and play with the toys they would like to play with. In case a boy wants to play with puppets or dresses they should allow them, but should never try to impose on those children that because they prefer to play with puppets, that they would be gay.

Lots of gender problems we encounter today are provided by the specific typecasting of women’s and men’s roles, in the previous years. It is our willingness how to look at women and men which is going to decide how  people are going to treat others, also those who have a gender complexity or gender questions. The role of women in our society may have changed significantly and positively in the past three decades, but we still may find that girls are pushed by their parents in certain fields of study. Though we must be honest, in countries like Belgium, women do receive many opportunities and are challenged in all sorts of fields which fifty years ago were considered male jobs. A minus point in Belgium is that for several jobs done by women, they are still paid less than men, and that should be corrected.

Child care arrangements for children under age...

Child care arrangements for children under age 5 with employed mothers (by income); low income is defined as below 200% of the federal poverty level; source of data: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/mchirc/chusa_04/pages/0310wm.htm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Women and girls may have many more opportunities and face different challenges today, but often men leave them behind with the children, creating very difficult situations to avoid poverty. When we consider 60% of the average national income and the inability to receive enough income to pay for rent and living costs to be the poverty line than we notice that 14.7% of Belgians live below the poverty line, and that 22% of the women face poverty. Today Belgian industry should shame itself that it is possible that bakeries can ask 2,65€ for a brown loaf of 600 grammes whilst the person is only receiving 822 euros per month for singles and 1,726 euros per month for a couple with two children. Who can live on such a low income when we have to face rents of 750€ to 1200€ for a small flat?
In Belgium, one in seven people have to do with less! Increased energy prices and rising rents and housing affect our purchasing power and especially people with low incomes are there to suffer.

Risk factors for insecurity and poverty include divorce, economic dependence on a ( new ) partner, very low skills, long-term unemployment or weak employment situation, a debt mountain, old age. Retired persons are having it more difficult to cope and are not allowed to earn much extra or they loose their retirement premium. Because women are still living longer than men, they are the worst victim in that poverty range.

That there is still gender inequality we can see at the number of single mothers who take more than 80 % of single-parent families. Female heads of households are at high risk to be below the poverty threshold. After all, they accumulate the problems of struggling families where there is only one breadwinner with the weaker socio – economic position of women and the inefficiency of the social protection, such as inadequate protection of the unpaid care work and too limited compensation for the cost of children.

Married women staying at home form a larger and hidden group under the insecure women. Because of the generalization of the two-earner position the double income has become the average income welfare standard. The shrinking number of working women at home without income or benefit concentrates more and more among the low-skilled women with several children and by parents who made the choice that it is more important to have a spiritual upbringing than a material upbringing. For these women the benefits of a professional job outside the house do not outweigh by the accumulation of work and family responsibilities. Moreover, their lack of education and work experience and their economic dependence on a partner makes them a particularly vulnerable group .

Older single women are affected by the income -based pension. The wage gap against women in the labour market and by an incomplete career as a result of caring for children and relatives, many women receive in retirement hardly the statutory minimum. The fear of not going to receive any allotment making it possible to live properly when retired makes that many women do not want to take on house-duties, and prefer to have their children placed in childcare, while they can create a better and often a more than necessary income for the family.

The legal form that it is not necessary to have the marriage bond of man-woman, but that people can choose either to have a same gender matrimony or a looser living-together or cohabit contract, where people can more easily and legally swap partner, makes the position for the female person even weaker. We only can observe that in the end it seems in most cases the women are left with the children.

In the new-constituent families with the same sex parents, we can find similar questions coming up for whom is going to be the one who takes care for the behavioural education. They also will be looked at by others when one of the partners chooses to take care of the children and to give them special personal love and that extra education the schools are not providing any more.

Photo taken by me as an example of a stay at h...

An example of a stay at home dad and kids. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of stay-at-home dads began gradually increasing in the late 20th century, especially in developed Western nations. Though the role is subject to many stereotypes, and men may have difficulties accessing parenting benefits, communities, and services targeted at mothers, it became more socially acceptable by the 2000s, but now it starts loosing interest again because it becomes financially more difficult to survive when there is only one person working in the household.
There are now financial ramifications in deciding whether the mother or father should become the stay-at-home parent. In cases where the woman is the higher-paid parent, it makes more economic sense for her to continue to work while the man takes on the caregiver role.

With the growth of telecommuting, many men are also able to work from home. this made that either the woman or the man can work at home and be there for the children. Differences in parent‘s schedules can also account for some of the stay-at-home dads. Sometimes the father works odd work shifts while the mother has a typical nine-to-five work schedule.
Some retired males who marry a younger woman decide to become stay-at-home dads while their wives work because they want a “second chance” to watch a child grow up in a second or third marriage.

The choice of one of the partners, be it a man or a woman to stay some of the time or most of the time at home, is not looked favourably by the present generation. Those who make such a choice often have to face a very negative attitude from the society around them.

The patronizing attitude taken on by many, makes it difficult for many parents to choose for bringing up their children with the Law of God and getting them to know the Word of God.

Those families who do find it important that their children feel the warmth of a caring family, finding a parent at home when they return from school, receiving that extra information about the Higher Being, are confronted with the negative attitude of our contemporary society for the ancient ‘woman role’ of ‘housewife’, or the contemporary position of ‘houseman’.

It is true that, when we want to be a Christian family, we shall have to make the choice of diving our time between, work, school, leisure time and worship time. This will demand economical sacrifices, but there we should consider what would be the more valuable. Shall the ability to go twice or three times abroad on holiday, having the newest generation of i-phone or tablet, bring happiness?

When we want to be a Christian family should we keep to conservative role patterns? No, Christians also should evolve with time and should be aware of the possibilities they can get to work together as equal partners creating a safe home-ground for their children. They also may look at the Old and New testament examples of how women and men divided their task between each other.

The conservative Christians who do find that women do not have to play any part in decision making and/or in teaching the Word of God, should look better at the many examples given in the Holy Scriptures where women proved a very good asset in the upbringing of children and teaching them the Word of God.

Because that Word of God does not receive enough attention any more in our regions we as parents shall have to make choices and shall have to divide the duties at home to create enough opportunities for both partners to develop professionally well, and to develop as partner and parent, trying to create a place where the Word of God can receive the appropriate place. To succeed in such matter, financial sacrifices shall have to be made, as well as the making of the choice who will spend time at home with the children when. The father as well as the mother should each take some duties in the household and man also shall have to accept that the woman also shall work at the spiritual well-being of the child.

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Previous articles:

European Parliament stands for human dignity

Dignified role for the woman

Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

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Related:

About the poverty our world is facing now you may find:

  1. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #2 First two decennia of 21st century
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  4. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  5. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #7 Education
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  7. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  8. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #11 Participation
  10. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  11. European Year for combating poverty spurred mobilisation and commitment
  12. Capitalism downfall
  13. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  14. Nearly 50 milion poor North Americans
  15. To Work Longer or Die Younger
  16. Demonizing families in poverty and misleading actions
  17. Jerez not an exception of poverty in Spain
  18. Poverty a European Issue
  19. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  20. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  21. Bible Guidelines for a happy marriage
  22. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  23. Being religious has benefits even in this life

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  • Census Says: Women Are Still Getting the Short End of the Stick (US) (feimineach.com)
    In 2012, women were statistically much poorer than men. And women that were already poor in 2011 stayed that way.
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    one in seven women live in poverty. One in seven. That’s almost 17.8 million women – or 14.5% of the female population. For men, this percentage is lower, at 11%.
  • Recalibrating the poverty line (blogforarizona.com)
    Our definition of poverty, Schwarz says, was calibrated in the 1960s and it’s in need of recalibration. Then, food was a third of an average family’s budget, and the poverty threshold was set at 3 times the cost of an adequate food diet. Today, food is one-sixth of an average family’s budget, but the poverty line is still set at three times the cost of buying food for a family.The poverty line is set at $23,500 for a family of four. According to Schwarz, it should be closer to $41,000.
  • Who’s Job Is It Anyway? (transnationalplanning.wordpress.com)
    how much women were able to thrive in an environment where the men were somewhat “absent”, that is to say, they were not engaged in the affairs that these women were tackling for whatever reasons. Patel & Mitlin stated: “Most of the most powerful women leaders came from among the lower-income and most socially disadvantaged neighborhoods, in part because in these areas the man had given up.” It was amazing to see the role that these women were playing in their communities. Without them, who knows how much worse things would be for their families.
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    Perhaps what we need is not a clear demarcation of what each respective gender should be capable of doing but rather the unhindered opportunity for anyone to be able to address a need. This needs to be an approach accepted by both men and women. In a symbiotic relationship, each member does what is necessary because all will benefit from it. No one stands on ceremony and debates or dictates roles. It just gets done.
  • The disease of poverty is a doctor’s business everywhere (janeparry.wordpress.com)One fifth of Hong Kong’s population lives below the official poverty line. This was set for the first time in September 2013, at 50% of median monthly household income before tax and welfare transfers.Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia and ranks 11th globally, yet its Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, indicates it has the worst income disparity in the developed world. The announcement of the poverty line and that there are 1.3 million people living below it has been big news in Hong Kong, but it hasn’t generated the sense of righteous outrage that such a statistic should.
  • The Shocking New Study On American Children In Poverty (davidmixner.com)
    In America, 22.5% of our children live below the poverty line. That is also one out of every four children! That comes to 16,400,000 children living without their basic needs of food, shelter, clothes, education, etc being met by our society.
  • Women, Indigenous Australians identified in poverty report (abc.net.au)A 10-year study has found Australia’s most disadvantaged are more likely to be women, Indigenous, and have health problems.To coincide with national poverty week, researchers at the University of Canberra have released a study which tracked 900 people for a decade, who were identified as marginalised in 2001.

    The study found 60 per cent of those identified by the study as marginalised in 2001 had escaped those conditions by 2010.

  • New Book Shows How to Curb Intergenerational Poverty (prweb.com)A new book, Parent Power: The Key to America’s Prosperity, by Dr. Jack Westman reveals the power parents have to create America’s productive citizens. They also have the power to create social problems in the context of intergenerational poverty.Dr. Westman calls attention to the fact that one-third of children and youth in the United States are failing in some aspect of their lives. The United States is at the top of the list of developed nations in child abuse and neglect and the bottom in educational achievement.

    Five children die every day from abuse in the United States. Three million referrals are made to child protective services every year.

  • When gender inequality is good economics (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com)
    While we know that individuals, economies and societies would benefit from gender parity in the long term, gender inequality is often a perfectly rational choice for individuals in the short term.
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    Gender imbalances, and their resulting economic consequences, are still startlingly visible everywhere, from the developed world to emerging markets.

Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive

Many Evangelical Christians today claim that we ought to defer to the tradition of the Church when faced with difficult matters such as the status of homosexuals in the community of faith or the nature of the atonement. We can see a lot of changes in the position of the public against homo couples. In the polls worldwide we can see attitudes have shifted over time. In 1988, the two-thirds of white Americans for example, believed that “sexual relations between two adults of the same sex” was “always wrong,” including 85 percent of born-again Christians. By 2010, both groups began to accept same-sex relationships. Born-again Christians still opposed homosexuality, but they answered the questions the same way non-believers answered in the 1980s. In 2010, two-thirds of evangelicals believed that homosexuality is “always wrong,” compared to just 30 percent of others.

John Piper's church. Also see here

John Piper’s church. Also see here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Evangelicals may also differ on the role of the women in their community. Most of them affirm male headship in ordain­ing men only to pastoral ministry, but they also practice male headship in the way that they carry out the other dis­cipleship and teaching ministries of the church. So male headship characterizes both ordained and non-ordained minis­tries in the church.

In the catholic and Protestant religions we do find that many are convinced that only qualified men are ordained to the pastoral office (hierarchy in principle), and women do not teach Christian doctrine to men (hierarchy in practice). John Piper‘s position:

“Men should bear primary responsibility for Christlike headship and teaching in the church. So it is un­biblical . . . and therefore detrimental, for women to assume this role” (John Piper and Wayne Grudem, “An Overview of Central Concerns: Questions and Answers,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 60-61).

This hierarchy in both principle and practice reflects a certain interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:12, an interpretation that Douglas Moo ad­vocates in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood:

“We think 1 Timothy 2:8-15 imposes two restrictions on the ministry of women: they are not to teach Christian doctrine to men and they are not to exercise authority directly over men in the church.” {Moo, “What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men?,” 180.}

While most of the young reformed evangelicals are closing ranks around traditional, conservative views of biblical inspiration and author­ity, some in the emerging church are re­vising and moving away from the same. One can hardly envision reconciliation on the gender question as long as the two groups continue on these radically divergent trajectories.

John Piper describes practices of Pas­tor Mark Driscoll who allows women to teach and lead men within the minis­tries of Mars Hill Church, as “detrimental” to the life of the church. {John Piper and Wayne Grudem, “An Overview of Central Concerns: Questions and Answers,” 61.} Nevertheless, these two men in particu­lar share a basic commitment to comple­mentarian principles and have enough common ground in their shared vision of the gospel to cooperate in endeavors such as “The Gospel Coalition,” a gos­pel renewal movement that confesses a strong complementarian position.

Priscilla Shirer who’s marriage appears to be just the sort of enlightened partnership that would make feminists cheer, avoids using words like “feminist” or “career woman” to describe herself. She is an evangelical Bible teacher who makes her living by guiding thousands of women through the study of Scripture in her books, videos and weekend conferences — in which she stresses that in a biblical home and church, the man is the head and the woman must submit.
She steers women away from the “feminist activists” who tell women to do their own thing. does a woman has to go out of the house and find a ‘proper’ job to bring more money in the family till? Can the woman make up her own decisions or is tit that she let a man “slow her down,” as she puts it?

For her it is clear that it is an evil demon, called “Satan” who “will do everything in his power to get us to take the lead in our home.” She forgets to see that satan just means any adversary or evil within, and according to the Bible is not a sort of monster which shall bring people into his realm were people shall be tortured for ever.

Molly Worthen writes

Shirer and many conservative Christians believe that the Bible defines gender as a divinely ordained set of desires and duties inherent in each man and woman since the Garden of Eden. Gender is not an act or a choice, but a nonnegotiable gift. To these Christians, the story of Adam and Eve’s creation granted man authority over woman, and they understand the New Testament teachings of Paul and his comrades — in particular, that wives should submit to their husbands — not as cultural relics of the first century but as universal teachings that Christians apply today.

Cover of "Women in Ministry: Four Views"

Cover of Women in Ministry: Four Views

In the industrialised countries we see sexual liberation has saturated the general culture and brought most citizens away from the church-institutions, but also away from the Holy Scriptures. Many people took the attitudes and sayings of churches as actions of men of God. They took their conclusions when they saw so many wrong goings by the clergy. In the meantime mainline churches are ordaining women and homosexuals, conservative evangelicals are escalating their counter-offensive.

To critics, “complementarian” is code for sexist patriarchy, a license to keep women muzzled and homebound. Yet spending even five minutes with Priscilla Shirer and her husband suggests that reality is far more complicated — not only at home but also in the new “separate sphere” that this theology has spawned: a subculture of Bible studies, conferences, ministries, religious retreats and literature ranging from Christian fitness books to Christian romance novels, all produced by and for evangelical women.

Molly Worthen writes in the New York times Magazine article Housewives of God.

Those who think the woman may not teach about the Word of God should look at those persons who opened their houses and got people in to listen to them. There we found in the first home-churches active women who not only taught their children but also their servants. The woman of the household was the  person teaching becoming the authority. Since the parent is already the authority, as God intended it to be from creation, there should be no problem in women teaching doctrine to their own children. but they had to remember that the husband would always be the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, but he is also subject to his Father, the Only One God. Like Jesus follows his Father, man and woman who say they are followers of Christ Jesus the Messiah, should follow Jesus.

The wives when they are in subjection to their own husbands should not have to bow to every other man and have to follow what they say. those wives also had to follow first the Word of God, like for every body it should be the Law of God which has to be followed in the first instance and than the laws of men as long as they contradict not the Law of God. It is by the right attitude the subjective woman can gain the man. Namely that, if any obey not God’s Word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.

MInistry in Contemporary Culture - Does Evange...

MInistry in Contemporary Culture – Does Evangelicalism have a Future? (Photo credit: George Fox Evangelical Seminary)

Those discussing the role of the woman in culture and in the church often also claim tradition as a source of authority. But why then do those Christians not take literal translations from the original Scriptures? Should English speaking people not be translating their English Bibles from the LXX since that is what the early church (not to mention the writers of the NT!) considered inspired?

Some of these same Evangelicals boldly proclaim that every book that we have in our canon as Protestants (and onlythe set that we have in our canon) is without error. Again, where does that leave our sisters and brothers from the early Church (or the Eastern Orthodox tradition which uses the LXX)?

writes Garret Menges in Rethinking Scripture.

A brief survey of the history of the LXX raises some questions about the way we view Scripture today. For example, is the LXX inspired Scripture even though it’s a translation of a more original textual tradition? If not, then are the fragments that have made it into our NT inspired? Were the scribes who translated Isaiah, for example, quickly taken up in the Spirit while contemplating how to translate the Hebrew word for “young woman” only to have the Spirit leave them shortly after the translation of that single verse?

To make matters even more complicated, the earliest copies of the Hebrew text we have are those of the Masoretes from the 7th to 11th centuries CE. The Masoretes, being faithful preservers of the oral tradition of the Scriptures that were passed on from generation to generation, decided that it was time their tradition be put on paper and so they transcribed the documents that we use today for the translation of our own English Bibles. The fact that we consider the Masoretic Hebrew text to be the authoritative version of the OT is based on the (not small) assumption that the Hebrew oral tradition was indeed successfully passed down from generation to generation completely untarnished. In fact, modern Christian translators are so committed to this assumption that we overlook the fact that the LXX predates the Masoretic Text (MT) by over 1,000 years! Could it not be argued that even though the LXX is a translation of a more original textual tradition it nevertheless ought to be considered more reliable than the MT simply because of its much earlier date of composition?

Men and women should look into that matter and get to know what the Holy Scriptures can tell them about their positions they do have to take.
They should get to remember where the words came from in what sort of language and how that language was used. Getting to know the proverbs of that language they should get a fluid and organic understanding of what Scripture is to begin with. Many may think lots of fallible and errant human beings were involved in “making up what some consider to be an infallible and/or inerrant group of texts.”

Though we should trust the Higher Being who let His Words to be written down for future generations so that they could learn from it. We should look at Jesus who kept to the Words of his Father and considered Them to be set apart (holy) and inspired, bearing witness to the God many believe was fully revealed in the person of Jesus. but those who take Jesus to be God look over the Words of the Father who calls that Jewish man His son and not Himself. It are doctrines like the Holy Trinity, twisting of the Words of God, church teachings of flat earth a.o. things people did have to believe which undermined the credibility of the Holy Scriptures.

To say it is authoritative means that as a body of believers we are committed to reading the text and rereading it, both devotionally and liturgically, wrestling with it, discussing it over a meal, and maybe even at times disagreeing with it but never, despite all the frustrations it may cause us, doing away with it. In other words, the authority of the Bible is not something it inherently holds but is something we grant it as the Church. The Bible is authoritative because we say it’s authoritative and we need no reason beyond that. And none of this has anything to do with whether or not there are any mistakes in the Bible or if it’s scientifically or historically accurate or if the virgin birth was based on a mistranslation.

Mistranslation or not, people should always go and look what is behind the words, written in black and white,or some also in colour ink. then they would find out that the Bible is not as difficult to read and understand as they first thought. When willingness is there to take the words for what they say, everything shall become clear, and than people will see that the Bible always told the truth and brings a message to believe in, giving us enough indication what to do with our life, how us to behave and which roles we do have to take.

Man can find solutions and guidance for their position and should be aware of the role the Creator had for each of us, men and women.

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Please do find:

  1. Younger Evangelicals and Women in Ministry: A Sketch of the Spectrum of Opinion
  2. Housewives of God
  3. How Evangelicals Have Shifted in Public Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage
  4. What The Bible Says About The Role of Women
  5. Rethinking Scripture

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  • Wayne’s World Without Women Pastors (bltnotjustasandwich.com)
    Wayne Grudem’s and Barry Asmus’s book may fall into the hands of women who are church leaders, even pastors, in poor nations.
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    As we move out from the church and the home we move further from what is fairly clear and explicit to what is more ambiguous and inferential…. When it comes to all the thousands of occupations and professions, with their endlessly varied structures of management, God has chosen not to be specific about which roles men and women should fill…. For this reason we focus (within some limits) on how these roles are carried out rather than which ones are appropriate.
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    The godly women portrayed in the Old Testament are always seen as submissive to the leadership of their husbands. In fact Peter sees a pattern in their behavior that Christian wives should imitate, for he says, “For … Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord….”
  • Dear White Christian Leaders, Don’t Do It. (davidswanson.wordpress.com)
    Last week brought disheartening news from white-evangelical-church-world. A well-publicized men’s conference was reported to have used both women and gay people as punchlines to jokes told from the stage. And, in An Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church, a group of influential Asian American Christians pointed out a bunch of instances of racial stereotyping by different evangelical conferences, publishing houses, and pastors. For those paying attention – and/or on the receiving end of these offensive and marginalizing stereotypes – it seems impossible that these things keep happening. How is it that many Christian leaders of the evangelical-ish variety are continuing with language, images, and assumptions that are so unloving? It’s crazy, right?
  • Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love, Part 1 by John Piper (davidandleahweathers.wordpress.com)
    what it means for a Married couple to Truly be “One Flesh”, as God commands Marrieds to be in Several places in the Bible, starting in Genesis 2:24. Becoming One Flesh is what we Strive for in our own Marriage. But while we hear lip service paid to it, the high divorce rates, as well as the way we see Marrieds treat each other– even among professing Christian couples – suggest that it is indeed lip service only. Finding an example of a True “One Flesh” union is nearly impossible!
  • Responding to the Gay Agenda (rethinkingtheology.com)
    The first thing you may want to do is to familiarize yourself with the details of the “gay agenda” (click HERE). Then think carefully about the components of it and ask yourself if the society envisioned by the homosexual apologists is the kind of society you want for yourself, for your children and for your grandchildren. Do you want your children and grandchildren to be indoctrinated and recruited into an abnormal, unnatural, immoral lifestyle that is inherently harmful to their health and will not produce grandchildren and great grandchildren for you to enjoy and love? Do you want our churches to be infiltrated by their heretical and damning theology and filthy morals? Do you want to be punished legally for merely disagreeing with them?
  • New controversies in Evangelical theology (patheos.com)
    Evangelicals today are being torn by some major theological controversies.  The debate between Calvinists and Wesleyans is getting more and more heated.  Then there is a related debate between “Traditionists,” who believe Christians should hold onto the traditions of the historic church (particularly the decisions of the early church councils0 and the “Meliorists,” who reject holding onto traditions and believe the church can get better and better.  The Calvinists tend to be Traditionists (who themselves can be divided between “Biblicists” and “Paleo-Conservatives”) and the Wesleyans tend to be Meliorists.
  • Church History (daltonmoore116.wordpress.com)
    The body of Christ suffers when believers are not accountable to each other and when they are not saturated in the Word of God, both inside the church and outside the church. I feel this way because in my opinion so many of the problems that the church faced throughout history, specifically in theology, could have been avoided or handled better if believers were accountable in their walks. Now whether or not this was truly the case I am not sure, but one thing I do know is that time spent in the Word and accountability are crucial in the walk of a Christian and without them problems are inevitable.
  • “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Redesign): A Response to Evangelical Feminism” (graceandphysics.wordpress.com)
    “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Redesign): A Response to Evangelical Feminism”

    This studies the role of the man and woman in a biblical manner: more complementarian, and therefore hierarchical, or egalitarian? I really want to read this book… I have no idea what it will say or what God will show me through it, but yeah. I really want to read this book.

  • Qumran Pt 2: Why do the Dead Sea Scrolls Matter? (glanier.wordpress.com)
    Though scholarship is still unfolding even today regarding the Scrolls’ origins, interpretation, history, etc., we at least have the benefit of over sixty years of perspective to evaluate the findings. That said, the Scrolls can be a bit of a hot-button issue (both in the scholarly world and the church), so I will try to be as balanced and critically sensitive as possible. I will cover three main topics and my standard concluding set of implications:
  • How the Early Church Sought to Resolve Textual Variants (str.typepad.com)
    Dan Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts has an interesting article offering evidence that the transmission of the New Testament text wasn’t merely linear—that is, it wasn’t like a child’s game of “Telephone” (or “Chinese Whispers,” for our European friends), where one person tells the next person, and he tells the next, and so on.
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    By the middle of the second century, when canon conscientiousness was on the rise, the Christian community regarded the autographs, or at least the earliest copies of the New Testament documents, as important witnesses. They were concerned about the purity of the text with regard to select textual variants. Most likely, this implies that the copying of the manuscripts in the early decades of the Christian faith was not that of strictly linear descent (one copy of another copy of another copy). Rather, there would be times when at least a few scribes would want to check behind their exemplar and look at its exemplar. This would especially occur whenever a disputed reading cropped up. So, there seems to have been a bit of a check on the quality of the transmission of the text from very early on.
  • Men and Women: Equal yet Different (hillsbiblechurch.org)
    Gender is important because God created male and female (Gen. 1:27).
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    Some men have either become domineering or passive, whereas some women have become usurping and bought into the lie of a false sense of liberation. The truth is, only the Word of God provides a right understanding of gender. Such an understanding will provide true liberation as men and women function as God designed.