Monday, March 26, 2012

Why am I still so surprised?

                                    I was watching "Who do you think you are?" on Friday and Helen Hunt was the person they were researching. She had found out her great great grandmother had been a part of the Christian Women's Temperance movement and had a big reaction to it. In our Day being christian has become more about being against stuff than for things. The image and things said on a large scale in our nation we deserve that reaction. Today it made political news that Jimmy Carter left the Baptist church because of their view on women and what that view breeds in that church culture. I mourn that Christ the One who came to bring freedom and healing has been seen so much as the one who brings bondage and harm.

                                      Later in the show when Helen looked into what the organization stood for she was very proud of what it did. The Women's Christian Temperance movements were where women had a voice before they did, they stood at a time of rampant alcoholism from wounded men coming home alcoholics from being traumatized by war and all kinds of abuse against women and children. bringing light to dark hidden places saying it was wrong.  This movement turned into the suffrage movement gaining women the right to vote be counted as worthy of their opinion mattering, helping men overcome addictions and find healing and getting children out of factories. So why is it over one hundred years later Women in the church looked at with unequal eyes?

                                       Our culture has had to do the job of seeing women as worthy and abuse as wrong. I'm tired of strong smart christian women having to make apologies for their brains and positions they earned and are qualified for in the church. I have been reading Bio's on church pages of the male and female pastors both are qualified with the degrees but only one has felt the need to make the descriptions of themselves into but I cook and garden too. Trying to prove that even though they're competent and deserve their job but they are girly too. It's the equivalent of the smart pretty girl acting dumb so the boys will like them. "But I love to garden and cook. Oh and chocolate, lets not forget the chocolate, not that I eat to much of it have watch my girly figure". Pay no attention to the degrees competence and brain behind the curtain. Why are there no strong women held up from the Bible in the church? or if they are, their strengths are muted on  how God used them, they  are shushed. Where are the volumes about Deborah the judge who ruled and lead the armies into battle?, or even the Proverbs women actually being a savvy business women of her day not the parts held up for women to emulate or passages that declared our equality saying that we are neither slave nor free male or female.

                                       It is not just the men-women. It is time we stop apologizing for our strengths or accepting the negative words assigned to a strong women. Humility is not saying "I am a worm, I am a worm" It's standing in the truth of who we are, good and bad,  accepting our skills and talents and not making them seem more or less than they are. We are more than capable to run more than potlucks and child care. Women's groups can be dynamic places where we tackle life and get real with the grit of it. It is time for the women to stand and be equal,  Why is this such a threat? I will never know. The mousy women that holds her toughts and minds her place while being a chef in the kitchen, Really? Is that our ideal?

                                   Why is it that there are never sermons on men manning up and accepting their wives,  girlfriends and daughters that are being capable and intelligent women that need support love and encouraging to stand in the shoes God gave them? There is all this back story being thrown at men about all they need is the respect of a women, really? I know a few women that want to be disrespected, and I do not think God said anything about respecting men as his goal. God says He loves them, God says He is no respecter of men. I think it's crap. I think respect is built into love in the true from on the word the dictionary defines respect as esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment. I think esteeming a person's worth and other things is mandatory in love. 

                                        Even in the way we talk about abstinence it is all about the women, every christian movie has a dad standing up and fighting for his daughters purity. Where is the movie about the son?  Or teaching respect for women.  Why is there no strong mother fighting to teach her son to respect himself and women? Not saying it is not happening but Why is that not being held up as an ideal? Why is it in every christian blog the end is for their kids even though they were strong headed as young kids it prepared them to be a missionary? Why did it not position them to take on other jobs a lawyer a  crusader for the rights of people with AIDS? being bullied by the system because none stands up for them, a Police Officer fighting for our community every day, or a Physical Therapist who helps those hurt get back into action or just a Therapist who helps heal the mind. 

                                             I think it's high time we the church start living and reading what the Bible actually says within it's culture rather than letting people tell us what it says within our own. As modern people we look at the passages about slavery and can detach from that as a cultural reference for the time it was written. we do that with so many things written there but pick a few things out to  be outraged about.  Not many keep a Kosher home nowadays.  I am not sure this post has strung together anything more than my frustration in seeing women diminish themselves to secure their position without intimidating insecure men. We all are stronger and better people when we lift one another up. there is enough for everyone, Your gifts, even if they are similar to another; your gifts with your twist on them and your bent, no one else can do what you specifically can do. We are made to fit together not by making one less so you seem to stand out but by shinning in our love.


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