Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ponderings: women in authority

I was thinking the other day about the idea of women pastors.  Or really, women in authority.  Anywhere.
It seems that, biblically, a Proverbs 31 woman has some major sway in her household - not letting her candle go out at night (v18), considers a field and buys it (v16), etc; she clearly not only has influence and responsibilities, but some authority.

This seems to contrast her authority mentioned in other ways; the most obvious is in Numbers 3:2-18 which deals with women in two classes: a girl/wife, and a widow.  It deals predominantly with oaths (which, to be clear, I'm entirely certain of a definition - is this ANY promise or a promise in writing or some clear line in between) and whether or not they are binding.  If the female is not widowed, then they have someone in authority over them; the girl has a father (or family, presumably) and the wife has a husband.  This authority figure may, within a "reasonable" amount of time, negate any oaths that were made.

The root question I am hinting around is simply: Should women be given authority over people?

In addition, secular authority and have spiritual authority are not easily separated - it is rare that one is present without the other, and so it might more easily be asked:

Should a woman be given spiritual authority over others?

It would logically seem that the biblical example of Deborah is a healthy response here. She was given a position of authority in being a judge (ref); however, she is an anomaly, both being a woman in authority and because she judged from a palm tree.  She was also a prophetess; perhaps this was part of the reason she was a judge; perhaps, as a prophetess, her authority was acknowledged as that of God.

The one proposition that I've not been able to address directly is simply the mention of the "Creation Order".  The proposition seems to go like this - God created man first, then woman.  In Genesis 2, we a model of how man and woman act - woman reacts (and sins by leading), man acts (and sins by blaming and avoiding the leadership role).  So perhaps this is the resolution and the basis for the perspective.

It just seems excessive to take this observation - that all leadership is the role of a man - and apply it to every area of life; that may be my own sin talking and it may be wise reluctance.

Perhaps the proper role of women in our society would be more obvious if men were trained to consider things biblically.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pre-Cursor to Single Book Perusals

I haven't been posting lately; this is chiefly because other matters have drawn me away.

But of all the various means of documenting my thoughts, this has always been the one I intend to have the most positive impact - at the very least the one that has the least amount of muck / apathy / emptiness.

Here is my new goal.

I intend to read a single book of the Bible a day.

I'll post questions/thoughts here.
This will both be for tracking what God has quickened in my heart but also (hopefully) to help me appreciate what God has shown me over time.  Certainly I find it very, very easy to forget.

How can I expect the children of Israel to have an even higher standard, over multiple generations?

Today's target Book: 2 Kings

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Apoligetica ad finitum

The title feels right, though, it is likely wrong in some way.  If you have a superior post title, please leave it in the comments or email it to me: I'll likely update/change it.

I've been thinking on something ... recently a blog post on some random blog reminded me that there are a huge number of people who believe homosexuals were born that way.  This is fascinating to me - I believe something rather different; but, I realize that without some strong evidence to the contrary, it is easy to "know" or assume that, indeed, homosexual people were indeed born that way.

Which led to: This is one of those topics, among so many others, whereby if you have a biblical basis for your paradigm, you likely pull from one group of opinions and, if you are in the world, you likely pull from another rather different group of opinions.

I added to this that it is easy to draw wrong conclusions: From logic, I have learned that you can have all the right thinking in the world and come up with wonderful and astonishing results; but, if your initial premises are wrong or your evidence is incomplete, you will necessarily draw conclusions and reach results that are either too shallow (and so don't include later evidence) or too deep (do include later evidence but assume inaccurate propositions).  And anyone, regardless of paradigm, without an objective standard by which to judge the results, will necessarily fall to one of these sides.

Certainly, it is easier to prove something true if you already believe it.  Your perceptions, your paradigm, and all your base assumptions, will be brought to bear on what you see - whether you're aware of it or not:
•    Is it plausible that someone who studies geology can look at the evidence and would reasonably conclude something that he might then find corroborated in scripture?
•    Is it plausible that someone who studies genetics can look at the evidence and would reasonably conclude something that is identical to what is found in scripture?
•    Or is it necessary for someone to have studied the bible first, then studied these topics, and *THEN* find that the evidence corroborates the statements in scripture?
•    Is it the case that only the inclusion of scripture will allow for results in a God-honoring conclusion, ever?

  Regardless it is a reminder that
... I live in a world with a paradigm far different than my own.
... paradigms always shift
... I must be mindful of my paradigm
... I must guard against slipping into agreement with the world's.