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any feminist christian mamas out there? - Page 3

post #41 of 53
Yeah! I'm so happy to find some like-minded mamas!

I just found out that the church we have been visiting (we're new to the area) does not believe in women in minisrty! It just makes me since this church is known for being forward thinking (featured on CNN). They are very in to the arts, the enviroment and social justice. How does chauvinism fit in with such a Post-Modern setting??? : It doesn't make any sense to me.
One of their reasons for this position is the Trinity! ??? Huh? God is genderless! Oh and of course the standard, God continually choose men to do his work. Umm, maybe the culture had something to do with that!... and umm...maybe they should look again at all the amazing women that were central to our faith.

It's just so stupid! My sons love the sunday school/nursery. It's top notch (safe, creative, friendly, etc.) but how can we keep going with such glaring dicrimination. Plus, there are tons of young familes and singles that attend (they attract a kind of alternitive crowd!) how can they mislead so many people this way! I know lots of churches teach the same thing, but I just didn't excpect it there. The only people we know are from this church too.

Thanks for the rant.
Glad to know I'm not on my own in my feminism!
post #42 of 53
: Euromom, I'm sorry you're going through this patriarchal stuff.

I once went to a church that taught the separate but equal (with the women always getting the crappy end of the stick.) It really hurt my relationship with dh and it wasn't surprising that their parenting dogma was pretty draconian as well. I had to get away from that horrible atmospeare.

If women aren't treates as equals I will have no part of a church. It seems as though the churches that teach egalitarian gender relations also teach more AP parenting philosophies (and the reverse is true.)
post #43 of 53
Oh I so hear you on this one!!! This is why I'm church hopping yet again. And honestly I'm about ready to quit church entirely. I am SOOOO sick of defending my position on things. I hate it. I hate being told that I haven't studied the Bible enough or submitted to God enough, WTF?!!! I just don't see how *anybody* could really dig into the Bible and read the New Testament and then study history and learn about Jewish culture back then and *not* see how forward thinking it was for that day! (Meaning no offense here, JMHO).

I just feel like I am constantly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Euromom View Post
Yeah! I'm so happy to find some like-minded mamas!

I just found out that the church we have been visiting (we're new to the area) does not believe in women in minisrty! It just makes me since this church is known for being forward thinking (featured on CNN). They are very in to the arts, the enviroment and social justice. How does chauvinism fit in with such a Post-Modern setting??? : It doesn't make any sense to me.
One of their reasons for this position is the Trinity! ??? Huh? God is genderless! Oh and of course the standard, God continually choose men to do his work. Umm, maybe the culture had something to do with that!... and umm...maybe they should look again at all the amazing women that were central to our faith.

It's just so stupid! My sons love the sunday school/nursery. It's top notch (safe, creative, friendly, etc.) but how can we keep going with such glaring dicrimination. Plus, there are tons of young familes and singles that attend (they attract a kind of alternitive crowd!) how can they mislead so many people this way! I know lots of churches teach the same thing, but I just didn't excpect it there. The only people we know are from this church too.

Thanks for the rant.
Glad to know I'm not on my own in my feminism!
post #44 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KariM View Post
Based on this clarifcation, I guess I would consider myself a feminist Christian. I believe that women have some biological reasons to perform some roles and do so better (breastfeeding, pregancy, childbirth, etc). I also believe that women and men should use their gifts to the glory of G-d! If a woman is gifted in a certain way and her child will be well cared for by others, then maybe should share that gift.

I really believe firmly that children have needs that must be met and those needs supersede the needs of adults. That doesn't mean that I would want to see a woman suffer to meet the needs of her child. I just believe that adults are better able to delay meeting their needs than children are able to delay having their needs met.
Kari, I'm glad you made this point. I agree that there are things that women have to offer their children that are unique. In my world, you can totally think that women are better than men at breastfeeding, and still be a feminist! I know many families who are able to work this out with the interests of the whole family in mind. It is for this very reason (the point you made) that I'm a feminist who is also a SAHM.

On a related note, I love to meditate on Christ's words at the last supper when I'm nursing: "This is my body which is given for you."
post #45 of 53
Thread Starter 
Euromom, I'm feeling your pain! I'm always bummed when a church that seems genuinely innovative turns out to be "traditional" in this area. Of all the lame "traditions" to hold onto, that has to be the worst! I'm not against tradition per-say, in fact I spent a number of years in the Episcopal church, which has managed to retain some wonderful ancient practices while still being open to Spirit-led changes.
post #46 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Libelle View Post
Hi Caren,

I did not read the other posts after I read the above because I am curious. I am actually a practicing Catholic, but have my beef with a number of things including Paul. It gets my hackles up and I would really like to study him without that emotional reaction. Do you have pointers of how to understand Paul and his attitude to women better? You say, what he wrote was liberating for women of his day! Any sources or recommended readings?

One thing that really helped me feel better about being a woman is better understanding the veneration of Mary (very strong in Catholicism) and also the transition to patriarchy (from early Christian to Roman-centred church etc.).
One site that has great resources on reading the Bible from an egalitarian perspective is Christians for Biblical Equality. They have great articles on a variety of subjects, including reading Paul, and they have an on-line bookstore as well. Libelle, I'll look for some specific readings to address your question when I have more time. (I'm in the middle of moving and I'm not supposed to be on the computer right now!!!: ) PM me for more info if I don't post here soon.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?
post #47 of 53
Christian feminist mama checking in!
post #48 of 53
I think it really helps to keep the whole context in mind. Knowing the historical/cultural context (how were women usually treated, educated, expected to act, etc?), like the pps mention, as well the literary context (what problem is he addressing?) is key to understanding Pauline text. Moreover, he was human, with prejudices and a cultural skew; he wasn't God.
My dh (a grad student of theology and ethics) and I have attended a few lectures pointing out the Church's preoccupation with Paul's writings over the words and actions of Jesus. It is an interesting observation, especially when it comes to effecting how the Church creates doctrine. Think about the Church's stand on war or women. There is a book called Kingdom Ethics by Glen Stassen (sp?) which deals with this. (In all honesty I have not read it but I have heard him speak. Very neat man.) I'm not trying to pick and choose scripture but I am saying we should look at all the scripture, especially the words and actions of Christ's.

I guess I am preaching to the choir here, though.

Well it's back to church shopping again. I hate this. I just want to find my community. Has anyone ever heard of a liberal Orthodox church, don't laugh.
my dh and I think that would be really cool. We love the Orthodox church, besides of course, the "we're right and you're not" stand and no women in ministry, but other than that it is a beautiful faith. We love the services, the rituals and the whole metality. It very is different than western church. Has anyone ever been apart of one?

Gosh Carenswan. Utah? That would be hard. Have you ever tried a Foursquare Church? I don't know if you are interested in a Charismatic church (they are usually pretty mainstream, family centerd) but the denomination was started by a woman in the 1900s so you know they have to believe in women, at least on paper.

Well I hope you find something soon. Don't give up. And I'll keep you all posted on where we end up.
post #49 of 53
Quote:
One site that has great resources on reading the Bible from an egalitarian perspective is Christians for Biblical Equality. They have great articles on a variety of subjects, including reading Paul, and they have an on-line bookstore as well. Libelle, I'll look for some specific readings to address your question when I have more time. (I'm in the middle of moving and I'm not supposed to be on the computer right now!!! ) PM me for more info if I don't post here soon.
Oh, thank you very much. I just read one article by Gordon Fee (?) on Roman family structure and how the letter of Paul to the Ephesians applied to it. I am so happy and believe I can come to love Paul after all. :
The man (Mr. Fee) makes sense, especially since I have studied the classics and Latin (in school) and know that he interprets totally correctly. And it makes soo much sense, that Paul who is said to be filled with the holy spirit, talks/writes the way he does. And how the same words are so easily misinterpreted today.

I just cannot understand why the priests in my church do not teach the cultural context. I know they study this stuff and are confronted with all of it during their years of study. Why do they allow for the misunderstandings in interpretation to persist? There is no need for it as Catholics do not believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible anyway, but have used the cultural context in many other instances. Maybe they think, it is not important? I will tell my sister and husband about this, so we can finally be at peace with Paul.
post #50 of 53
Thread Starter 
Libelle, I'm so happy that you can make some peace with Paul. There is a lot in the scriptures that can be pretty hard to swallow at face value. Personally, I don't feel the need to have it all explained by culture... As Euromom said, I'm fine with accepting Paul as a sinner like myself, and while I do believe that scripture is the inspired word of God, I don't think that means it's free from any kind of error. And Euromom, I'm SO with you on the over-focus on Paul! My dh and I go nuts about that! Like you, I'm not saying we should pick and choose, but I firmly belive that the life and teachings of Christ should be the lens through which we read the rest of scripture. Thanks for preaching to the choir!
post #51 of 53
Yes, it is true. Christ is the beginning and the end.

Understanding Paul better saves me from having to pick and choose. Just considering Paul as a sinner (which he was of course), was not good enough for me to explain his letters, as they seemed so far removed from what I have come to believe. So thank you again.

I like to take into account the cultural context, because there is no such thing as taking something literal without cultural context. People are just not aware that they are interpreting through 21st century glasses. The default cultural context is always the current one, i.e. here and today the Western worldview including scientific understanding, focus on timelines, facts, the individual etc.
post #52 of 53
I'm so sorry Carenswan and Kangaroo_mom for mixing you guys up . I just saw that. I was up way too late, sorry.

Anyway, you are welcome Carenswan. It is so nice to have a place to discuss these issues! Have you read Dr. Stassen? I'd bet you'd like him.
post #53 of 53
Oh you're fine, Euromom. I have attended a Foursquare church and it was very literal and kind of country. They're remodeling the place and the kids room is in the basement with all the construction. That didn't fly with me. Then I attended an Assembly of God church which was very charismatic and very free in its worship style. Women helped with the offering, which was the first I'd seen in a Christian church. But they too are hard-core literalists and when I had asked for a prayer regarding my marriage, since my husband is still mormon and it causes a lot of stress, they referred me to Paul's scripture and admonished me to submit to my husband more. The pastor at the last church I went to told me that as well. Yeah, when in doubt submit. : It just made me mad. All the people around here that I've worshiped with and prayed with have told me the same stuff. Basically to be little miss Suzie Homemaker, baking my husband's favorite cookies and ironing his shirts and well giving him whatever he wants to show him Christian love so he'll want to go to church with me. I don't think so. Luckily my husband is not an egotist so that helps. But still some of those pastors and deacons I just wanted to I told them I wasn't going to submit anymore than any other woman at church was going to cover her head. : But seriously, here in Southern Utah we seem to attract the hard core fundamentalists. You have the polygamists about 30 minutes away, then you have the mainstream LDS and then many many Christian fundamentalists/traditionalists. They're all good people in their own right, I just don't fit in with their way of thinking. Or parenting. I wish I could move but so far I'm stuck. All my family is moving up to Oregon and I want to go with them but my hubby hates the rain.
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