Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thoughts on Biblical Masculinity

Confessions had a few posts on Bibilical Masculinity and Why Men Aren't in Church that pretty much confused me.

Despite their well-intended post, I can't get over the fact that they continue to reinforce out-moded gender roles. Their ideas that men are protectors and the supposed "head of the house" and women have feminized the church to irrelevence I can't handle. It's this Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus crap that we really need to transcend.

So what do i have to offer to this besides criticism? Well two things, Carl Jung and Tao philosophies.

Jung states that the process of socialization has distorted all of us into incomplete beings. He claims all psychological maladies are in some form or another related to this distortion. He argues that men are socialized to suppress those dimensions of their humanity that our culture assigns to women (and vice versa).

The ancient Tao philosophy of Ying and Yang adds to this. Yin is akin to the feminine traits and Yang are masculine. We can achieve holistic health when yin and yang are in perfect balance with each other.

Tony Campolo uses these Jungian gender theory and Yin/Yang philosophy to illustrate Perfect Balance Illustration in John 8:1-11: The Pharisees drag out an adulterus woman before Jesus and remind him that Moses' law would have the woman stoned to death for her sins. The Pharisees were testing Jesus to see how literal he took the scriptures or if compassion would win out.

Jesus stoops down and writes something in the dirt and says "Let one who is without sin throw the first stone." We have no idea what he could have written, but many scholars have suggested that it could be the names of those in the crowd who were guilty of the same sin (Campolo, Anderson, Trible). The group disperses and Jesus tells the stunned woman "Go and sin no more."

In this story Jesus perfectly balances the masculine yang concern of "Theology and abstract thinking" with the feminine yin concern of "social justice and defending the downtrodden."

So this scraps the idea of men at the head of the household in terms of a more democractic team. If I told my wife that I was the head, she'd laugh and then she'd prolly let me try to prove it and we'd be in debt in a month (love you babe! no need to prove it!).

Where in scripture can i support this since 1 Tim. 2:11-12 says for women to shut up and submit to men. First I'd throw out the standard Gal. 3:28 passages saying that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female as all are one in Christ Jesus." Then i would state that in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came down on all and that 1 Tim was written to a group of women that were drunk with their new found power to speak to a group and they were prolly airing dirty laundry about their husbands. Paul wants to remind them that ALL learners must remain silent in the ancient Jewish world and this rule still applies.

Tony states in his book "Speaking my Mind" states that those who want to lead are to be the servants (Mark 9:35) and Eph. 5:22-25 makes the ideal Christian marriage then looks like this: Wife to Husband, "Honey, my dreams and aspirations are not as important as yours. I'm willing to sacrifice all that I am to help you live out your dreams and full-fill God's calling in your life."

Husband to Wife, "Oh, no! It's the other way around!"

Thus they have their first fight. Wouldn't that be lovely? Tony rules! Get the book and balance your yin and yang!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why is Satan Evil?

I don't beleive in Satan... I believe in evil, but that evil is NOT Satan.

There WAS no satan in Hebrew cosmology until the PERSIANS came (as they have a good god/evil god thing going on, the Jews had ONE God from whom both good and evil came from: Job 2:9-10, Isaiah 45:7). however, satan isn’t bad…

i don’t see a belief relavent in jewish tradition to warrent such a poor reading of Ha Satan, the Accuser and tester of Mankind (in Job). God sends HA Satan in jewish tradition to test the faithfullness of man and help God judge accordingly. God is merciful and satan is like the prosecutor in a court room. this doesn’t make Satan inherently evil.

There is no biblical record of the “fall of Satan” in oral or written tradition. it took the Christian church 200 years to come about a doctrine of ‘Satan the devil.' Unless there's a apocryphal book that i'm unaware of, I'd say that this story is completely non-biblical.

There are a few references in the gospels, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” from Luke 10:17. I think what Jesus is saying here is people with a strong faith in God cannot fail and satan falls. however, there is no tradition or hebrew understanding as Satan being evil until this line. It’s like saying “that guy is an einstien” (title). then saying “no, really, that guy is Einstien!” (name). THEN saying “i saw Einstien falling like lighting” which makes no sense.

The other famous ones from Jesus' 40 days in the desert and telling Peter to "get behind him" all deal with temptation and that's in line with the current Jewish thought about ha-satan.

Believing in Satan as evil is rather unfounded. I just don’t support for it until the gospels, and even that scholars have been scratching their heads about the purpose and lead up for this… I think it’s just another example of a duelistic doctrine no one wants to question because it’s easy and convenient.

Rule of Three:

Book: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
Music: Walking on Air by Kerli
Movie: Wall*E by far the most christian movie you'll ever see this year (or ever!). Inherent laziness of humans, love conquers all, and salvation by the societal misfits. It RAWKS!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Is McCain Another Bush?

Thanks to the wife for the find and for the rallying cry of "Can I get a President that is smarter than me?!"

Read the FULL ARTICLE here, but for those of you who won't click it, here's a highlight:

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

After listening to Obama twice live, once at the engineering school here in Lancaster and once at the train station for the whistle stop, he's my man. It's not even a comparasion! Barack thinks on his feet and doesn't use teleprompters because he's speaking what he believes, not some ideological crap written by Karl Rove. America deserves better and the fact that McCain is even close to Obama in the polls is disturbing.

People say they're not voting for Obama because he's too popular or isn't ready to lead. The same thing was said of Lincoln and Kennedy by their older opponents. Age-ism works both ways. Older doesn't mean better as this NY Times article proves the sad state of McCain's leadership. Obama is not the Messiah, but he may cast out some demons in November.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unidactyl Creates the Marshmallow

I really despise magical thinking. I'm all into MYSTICAL thinking, but not magical. What is the difference?

I have no idea how the marshmallow was created. Not one idea. So when we, as humans, come to something where we don't know how it was created, what do we do? we make up a story about it! Just like the creation story in Genesis or the creation myths in every culture on this planet. We are a story-telling species that are unique to this planet and perhaps the universe as no other animal tells stories.

So I looked it up on Wiki how Marshmallows are created, and now I know that this story is not the literal truth. I have the facts... so what does this mean for those who have to have a literal bible?

In short, their wrong... As James McGrath put it in this post
In short, they deny that the Bible is what it is. To claim that the Bible is simple when it is complex, to claim that it is clear when it is not, to claim that it is uniform when it is diverse, to claim that it is monolithic when it is pluriform, to claim that it is flawless when it is characterized throughout by the limitations and failings of its human authors - what could possibly be more unbiblical than this?

Now if i persist in my claims that the Unidactyl ACTUALLY created marshmallows despite all the evidence to the contary, this is magical thinking. If i instead say, this is NOT the literal, factual truth, but an excellent symbol that still holds truth to how marshmallows are created (which is still a stretch), then that is mystical thinking. Now comes the most important question, and one i ask as often as possible, does this make any sense?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

45th Class Reunion

This past week Kate, the in-laws and I journeyed up to Menominee Michigan for my father-in-law's 45th reunion. It was great to get to know my father-in-law more. Hard to associate him with this remote U.P. town as I've only known him in the context of North Canton Ohio. Really neat town filled with nice people, good, cheap food, and a TON of packer fans. (Take that SVS and John T! PACK PACK PACK!)

My father-in-law is remembered as nice, smart, and funny in his own way. That's a great legacy to leave to your fellow classmates... one i hope to have coming up on my 10 year h.s. reunion.

We visited the town and local area, including Kitch-iti-kipi Springs, my FIL's old family home, and Alice. Alice is 92 and has lived 2 doors down from my FIL's old house. She's been there for a long time, her husband built the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired house and did all the work himself. Pretty cool

Talking to her was great. She's 92 and doesn't look a day over 65. She attributes this to the fact that she's Swedish and the Swedes age extremely well and have excellent skin. I'll take her word for it. She said (when she learn i am in seminary), "I have family members who are every type of Christian. We Swedes came in has Lutherans but became Methodists, Presyb., Catholics, J. Witnesses and Mormons! We have all types here and I'm 92 and I don't think it really matters what you believe, just that you believe." Wise Words.

She spoke of her biggest fear. Her fear isn't that we'll run out of oil, or elect the wrong person, or how to pay her bills. Her biggest fear is being forgotten.

So dear reader... will you remember the well-preserved Swedish woman from the U.P.?

I hope so.

Her fear is my fear. Her fear is the fear we all keep but do not speak of.


Remember God.

Remember your neighbor.

They will in turn, remember you.

Who will you remember?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Recovering Catholics: Modern Implications Part IV

A Full Recovery?

My sister left a comment on the myspace version of this blog that she remembers
the craziest thing that happened in Mass one day that started my rebellious catapult out of religion all together.... remember when Fr. Engle said that people who got divorced were going straight to Hell? That was when you and I walked out of Mass. I was in 4th grade, so you would've been in 7th. I think I still get cold chills when I think about that...

The thing that surprised me is that I DON'T REMEMBER THIS! At least, not in detail nor without some prompting. I guess it could be that I was already starting to drift from the church, after all, my initial drift can be dated circa 5th grade. So this got me to thinking, have I made a full recovery?

You see, when I first heard the term “Recovering Catholic” seems a clever title for those who believed they had been scarred in some psychological, physical, or worse, some sexual way by nuns and/or priests. Or one could have just been really annoyed by the precepts of a restrictive dogma and/or structured society. The label was an allusion to the Twelve-Step movements whose adherents are committed to live free of destructive addictions one day at a time.

But the Catholic way of life is not a destructive addiction, well, not for me at least.

The term now strikes me as sort of smug, self-pitying kind of whine that arises from our society's current canonization of self-proclaimed victims. Too many of us too often blame a range of factors, including substances, parents, and/or institutions (in this case the Catholic Church), for our own bad behavior, irresponsibility, and dissatisfaction with life.

Perhaps it's time to declare a moratorium on the excuse of self-anointed victimhood and get on with life, as there is nothing more dangerous than a self-made victim. Let's leave that for those who deserve it. I am not a victim, I made myself one. My soul wasn't crushed, just restricted in unnatural ways; I was constantly reminded that no matter how hard i tried, i never fit perfectly into the Catholic box or the structured society. I was not welcomed, just tolerated. I'm free of this now and transcended my old annoyances and i'm starting to be able to enjoy the highlights of my old faith.

As we’ve seen here, that Catholics are just ONE way of doing things, and we have our own. And in the process, let's withhold judgment of the genuine faith of others, whether such faith is to our own liking or not.

So let us again be the full body of Christ and live out our “c”atholic faith and our UCC motto “That they all may be one”.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Recovering Catholics: Modern Implications Part III

Trinity’s Liturgy Compared with the Maryknoll Missal

The Call to Worship (from
This practice is actually a mix of Jewish and Pagan ritual. In Jewish theology, God dwelled only in the Holy of Holies in the temple and must be called out from the Holy of Holies or down from the Cosmos. This is called “Classic Theism” where there is a separation of the Sacred and the Profane. Invocation in Paganism is similar, but has varying aspects, the one we are modeled after is called the Supplication Prayer, when a person calls upon a god or goddess to ask for something (protection, a favor, his/her spiritual presence in a ceremony, etc.) or simply for worship, this can be done in a pre-established form or with the invoker's own words or actions. An example of a pre-established text for an invocation is the Lord's Prayer.

Other Invocations that are Pagan in origin yet Christians use include: Form of Possession (asking a spirit to possess and use you ala pentacostals), Command or conjuration (saying that Lord you MUST do this style of prayer), Self-identification with certain spirits (praying to the Saints).

The Confessional and The Assurance of Pardon (from the Maryknoll Missal)
Sin separates man from God, confession reunites man with God.: “The alter stands for Christ, the priest represents all mankind and begs pardon before the whole court of heaven and the jury of the earth. Everyone is confessing and begging pardon from God. Men and women of the Church Militant, battling against sin, ask the Church Suffering in Purgatory and the Church Triumphant in heaven to intercede from them. Taken alone, each person is helpless to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. ONLY UNITED to Christ and each other in the Mass and the Eucharist can do all things.”

The Gloria (from the Maryknoll Missal)
Thanksgiving for forgiveness. In it we also adore God in His sovereign Lordship and imply our nothingness before him.

Greeting (from the Maryknoll Missal)
Called THE LORD BE WITH YOU, courteous greeting throughout the Mass as an invitation to enter earnestly into action.

Reading and Sermon (from the Maryknoll Missal)
Doctrinal instructions related to the Gospel or the Feast of the Day. The Catholic church follows the Lectionary with no deviation as there must be a mass held at every hour throughout the world. From Wiki: Typically, a lectionary will go through the scriptures in a logical pattern, and also include selections which were chosen by the religious community for their appropriateness to particular occasions.
The use of pre-assigned, scheduled readings from the scriptures can be traced back to the early church. Not all of the Christian Church used the same lectionary, and throughout history, many varying lectionaries have been used in different parts of the Christian world. Trinity is NOT a lecationary church nor are we limited to just talking about Doctrine (which we don't have) Gospel or feast day.

Pastoral Prayer (From Wiki)
The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the General Intercessions or "Prayers of the Faithful." The priest speaks a general introduction, then a deacon or lay person addresses the congregation, presenting some intentions for prayer, to which the congregation responds with a short response such as: "Lord hear our prayer". The priest may conclude with a supplication; which is pagan in origin. A person asks a supernatural deity to provide something, either for the person who is praying or for someone else on whose behalf a prayer of supplication is being made.).

Communion (from the Maryknoll Missal and Wiki)
The Eucharistic Prayer, "the center and summit of the entire celebration" aka the WHOLE reason for this she-bang! Why do you go to church? I go cause I'm a sucker for a good sermon... One of the congregants says she goes for the music while another said he goes for the camaraderie. Why do you go to church or synagoge? Or, why don't you? i'm interested in all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Recovering Catholics: Modern Implications Part II

The liturgy of the many denominations ultimately derives from that of the western Catholic church, however most "post-Protestant" denominations (e.g. evangelicals, nondenominational, etc.) claim to have no need for liturgy, or else insist that their manner of worship is a full return to the days of the apostles. These claims have not been (or cannot be) substantiated by biblical or historical evidence.

What we do know about the worship of the early church were that the celebration of the eucharist, the rites of the sacraments, prayer in common, and the liturgical sermon (preaching on a biblical story). These are based on the example of Jesus, as Jesus did not originate these liturgical acts (save for the Last Supper), but took them over from the practice of late Judaism. If you go to a synagogue today, you would be quite comfortable and understand what’s going on. The original church considered themselves Jewish, so the liturgical customs were fashioned as such. Borrowings were later made from the practices of the Greco-Roman world.

I do miss the sacraments.. when I was little and I looked at the 7 sacraments, i saw my whole life. From birth (baptism) to death (last rites), my whole life was laid out and i was going to collect all 7. then i realized that you couldn't... a priest cannot be married AND ordained and I thought this was stupid (and still do). So protestants really need to see the sacraments for what they are, step-stones for life. I would like to see a return to the 7 sacrament system, what do you think? Which would you keep and which would you throw out?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Recovering Catholics: Modern Implications Part I

The last class was very heavy.. so i've split it up into four days... so please check back Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

A book called "Jacob the Baker" by Noah benShea really put ritual into perspective... here's a paraphrase of a chapter:

"Prayer is the path where there is none." said Jacob.

"Do you always pray the same way, Jacob?"

Jacob spoke slowly, "Ritual gives form to pasion. Passion without form consumes itself."

"But you said prayer is a path where there is none...?"

Jacob's eyes drew back their last curtain, "Yes, prayer is a path where there is none, and ritual is prayer's vehicle."

So what does the Church do? We do the LITURGY. The word comes from the Classical Greek word λειτουργία (leitourgia) meaning "public work".

Liturgy can be defined as the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to their particular traditions. liturgy is a communal response to the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication, or repentance. Ritualization may be associated with life events such as birth, coming of age, marriage, and death. It thus forms the basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, as well as with other participants in the liturgy.

Methods of dress, preparation of food, application of cosmetics or other hygienic practices are all considered liturgical activities. Repetitive formal rites, in some ways similar to liturgies, are natural and common in all human activities such as organized sports venues.

Baseball has a liturgy.. think about it.. the national anthem, throwing out the game ball, the ump yell'n play ball, the homefield advantage, the 7th inning stretch and singing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" etc. etc.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

How the T-Rex Arms Shrunk

a TOOTHFACE original

MORAL: Don't mess with the UNIDACTYL!

In the tradition of the Naked Pastor, I will be doing poorly drawn cartoons, let me know what you think of this crap!

On an unrelated note: how do you eat your food? I think this article sums up most of my snack-attacks (I eat raptor style, mainly because I I just want the screaming to stop).

Also we'll be heading out on vacation to the great state of Michigan. This means that my Myspace readers will have to check the main site for the conclusion of the Recovering Catholics Series.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Spot the Irony

This was too good to stick at the end of a long post... figured it needed it's own post!

Here's a sign we saw on the way to Rehoboth Beach. Can you spot the irony?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Recovering Catholics: PROTEST!

Part 3 in the series RECOVERING CATHOLICS at Trinity Reformed UCC.

What we will be talking about today are systems. So when we critique a system, we’re not saying “Their God is wrong.” We’re comparing their frame of viewing God to our own. I LOVE systems, however, systems can be just as easily dehumanizing as they can be helpful and efficient. Systems that require prerequisites in terms of gender, sexual orientation, or race are flawed. Those type of systems show that ultimately we fit in NO boxes completely as there are always exceptions. Some respond to this by cutting off those limbs that stick outside the box, or lying, or making concessions, or realizing that there is no box. The box is constructed by us for us to keep us safe from the CHAOS of the natural world. Those of us to see order in the natural world are less in need of boxes.

On October 31, 1517, in Saxony (in what is now Germany), Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, which served as a notice board for university-related announcements. These were points for debate that criticized the Church and the Pope. Luther's spiritual predecessors were men such as John Wycliffe and Jan Hus. Other radicals, such as Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, soon followed Luther's lead. Church beliefs and practices under attack by Protestant reformers included Purgatory, particular judgment, devotion to Mary (Mariology), the intercession of and devotion to the saints, most of the sacraments, the mandatory celibacy requirement of its clergy (including monasticism), and the authority of the Pope.

The Theses sparked a theological debate that would result in the Reformation and the birth of the Lutheran, Reformed, and Anabaptist traditions within Christianity. Today we shall compare and contrast the theological views between Catholic and Trinity's ancestor, the Reformed Tradition. This is a historical overview and in no way represents the current belief system at Trinity Reformed now.

Roman Catholic (RC) View of God: God is not limited by time or space... holds the following ideals: the infinity, unity or unicity, and simplicity of God, as well as the personality of God. More can be found in this Catholic Encyclopedia Article

Reformed (R'ed) View of God: God is sovereign, perfect, and holds all righteousness and power. Created all things and sustains them. Not limited by creation.

RC Revelation: Bible, including the Apocrypha, is authoritative source of revelation as well as tradition and church teaching. The pope when speaking ex cathedra (From the chair) and is immune from error. Church is the mother, guardian, and interpreter of the canon.

R'ed Revelation: Sola Sciptura (scripture alone). Bible is God's word and remains without error in every aspect and guides all of church life and teaching.

RC Salvation: Saving grace is found through the sacraments, the highest being Communion. Church administers sacraments, ergo there is NO salvation outside the church. This is an internal catholic struggle as recent teaching has recognized that grace can be received outside the church.

R'ed Salvation: Christ saves the chosen. The elect can never resist the work of the Spirit or fall after receiving salvation. Salvation is found in the 5 points of Calvinism: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints.

RC Church: The apex of the church is the Pope and the qualities of a true church are unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity.

R'ed Church: Church is composed of God's elect who have recieved salvation. Hold only sacraments as Baptism (that symbolizes entry to the body of church and can be renounced) and Communion (which the Holy Spirit works with them to make them spiritual participants in the original supper). Elders are elected to teach and oversee the local church body. Unity of church must be grounded in doctrinal agreement.

What are your thoughts? What are your views concerning God, Revelation (how God is or isn't revealed in today's world), Salvation (what saves someone from sin, or is there even a need for it?), and the Church? If you had to pick one or the other, which would you pick?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Leviathan Speaks

My personal Leviathan spoke today in a facebook note, which led me to draw this cartoon. Have you had that experience where you just ask a simple question and your friend just blows your mind? I get that a lot here at seminary... here's what M3 had to say:

I say I am Mary, and you wonder if I am the virgin or the whore...
I say I am neither—I’m a composite, conflation, combination that the past has melted into one person…from the many of yesterday…if I’m Magdalene, I’m a whore, if I’m Mother I’m a virgin. What if I’m neither? What if I’m both? What of Mary of Bethany—sister of Martha and Lazarus? Of Mary Salome? The nameless sinful woman Luke portrays? One of the authors of the Gospel of Mary? My voice is the chorus of many; my melody is a harmony of multitudes. I have become the preaching and teaching woman in the early church. The only woman given voice of proclamation in all four gospels—“I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18).

But there were many of us…women teachers and preachers. You can hear our whispers through the stories in the Gospels and the letters of Paul. Our words echo through the Apocryphal Gospel. I speak of an empty tomb and announce the miracle of the resurrection to Peter and the other twelve.

Can’t you see that I am a disciple of Jesus? Don’t you know that it is I who stood at the foot of the cross; it is I who cleansed and anointed his body; it is I who first saw the resurrected Savior? That I am the one to proclaim of his return to Peter and the others—where were the men when Jesus died on the cross? Where were they to help anoint his body? What has become Peter’s proclamation was mine. Did you know there’s a gospel written in my name? The women’s stories and voices continued after me, and I have heard them through the centuries in the book written not by me but about me. In fragments you uncovered the remnants of a tradition, of a story…a story of the resurrected Christ. A story that affirms the value of all people and the temporal nature of gender. It shows that he knew me, loved me, valued me…listened to my voice and taught me to teach and to preach.

In the story, I am the teacher, the preacher, the healer. When the others are distressed, I assure them…I remind them not to “weep and be distressed nor let their hearts be irresolute. For his grace will be with you all and will shelter you.” In this story, I hold teachings from the Savior…teachings about the soul and spiritual maturity. Stories of death and resurrection. Stories of sin and redemption. But Peter rebukes me and disputes my teachings. “Did he then speak with a woman in private without our know it? Are we to turn around and listen to her? Did he chose her over us.” In the tale, Levi speaks in my defense and reminds all that “we should clothe ourselves with the perfect Human, acquire it for ourselves as he commanded us, and announce the good news, not laying down any other rule or law that differs from what the Savior said.”

But your art, your music, your literature, your poetry have bent and soldered me into the rigid lines of your patriarchal institution…I am branded with many labels…whore, penitent, weeper, hermit, preacher, midwife, miracle worker. I have become a paradox that you’ve wrapped in issues of sexuality and sin. A Jezebel who only claims to be a disciple—the apostle to the apostles and nothing more.

What if I chose singlehood and celibacy and never knew a man? If I embraced the power of having freedom over my body? They suspected any of us who claimed that right. Said that we were defying the empire, not fulfilling our duty. If we married, we were merely property—objects to be used or abused at will. Is it any wonder we would choose celibacy? Through chastity we could transcend our flesh and loose the reigns of gender. For this choice we are remembered as whores. For this and our prophecy, our voices were lost to what you call the Greco-Roman society.

To prophecy is to break the unwritten law of culture, the code the expectation. We cannot preach as we were seen as the ones who brought sin into the world, who broke the divine order. For these reasons, we were to deny adornment and were hidden away. Our place was in doors…our place was of the home. Dare you venture to speak in public to preach and teach, you became Jezebel, a woman who “claimed to be prophetesses, who by her teaching lures my servants into fornication and into eating food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her fornication” (Revelation 2:20-22). Seen as whore merely for preaching the Gospel, for believing in the Spirit, for desiring to baptize and break bread. Our heritage bought and sold for the price of the state. You label me the prostitute. But who did the selling?

Yes, I kept company with Jesus. And my sisters offered lodging to Paul. Did you miss the names of Prisca, Lydia, Rhoda, Phoebe, Junia? The lineage of our leading is long and harkens to mothers of the synagogue. Are you not convinced that I am the voice of many…that your memory of me is an amalgam of more? Though they not be Mary of Magdalene, did they not speak?

What others have to say about gender from the Blogroll:
Confesssions of a Seminarian: Men, Few in the Pews

DeConversion: I found out what is wrong with Christianity: It’s been Feminized!