The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

Monday, July 29, 2013

Because Culture

Inevitably when bringing up what the Bible says about gender roles, whether in regards to the church or to marriage, some one will say that due to differences in the culture at the time the New Testament was written and now we can ignore what the Bible teaches.

And of course comment #3 on the last post made just that case.
This is similar to the argument slave owners in America had. The Bible condones slavery and even has teachings on how slaves should obey their masters. I am assuming you don't slavery. It seems to me you are skipping any cultural and historical context. If you are following the Bible literally, please explain how we are to pick and choose which teachings to follow. Why not have slaves? Is it too uncomfortable for you? Or do you value a person's life as a child of God? 6 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare[a] of their slavesOh and that scripture is also from Timothy, 1 Timothy 6:1-2

So the arguemnt is that
1. Everyone knows slavery is wrong.
2. 1 Timothy 6:1-2 supports slavery.
3. There must be some sort of difference in the institution of slavery in the culture of Rome during Paul's time and our time, so it's not the same thing.
4. Gender roles are not the same thing! I can be a feminist!

Of course the main problem with this argument is that 1 Timothy 6:1-2 most certainly does not endorse slavery, out of context reading or otherwise. On the contrary 1 Timothy 1:10 out right decries the act of enslaving anyone, listing it as a sin on par with fornication, homosexuality, lying, and perjury.

Instead 1 Timothy 6:1-2 is not aimed at those who own slaves, but at the slaves themselves, telling them to respect the worldly authority that they find themselves under in the tradition of David under King Saul, which one would assume was as true in America when slavery was legal as it was in the days of St. Paul. David's deference to King Saul did not mean that King Saul was a good king, nor does the admonishment of slaves to respect their masters mean that slavery is a good institution.

The real alarming thing about Jessica's way of viewing how the Bible handles slavery is that it means that from a Biblical standpoint that there is nothing inherently wrong with slavery. If we were to return as a culture to the times of Rome, one could dabble in slavery without fear of sinning.

But whether it’s slavery or some other passage, the point isn’t to gain the best and most honest understanding of the Bible, it’s to develop a tool for dismissing the parts of the Bible that they disagree with.

The Bible’s views homosexuality?  Doesn’t apply today because culture.
The Bible’s views on premarital sex?  Doesn’t apply today because culture.
The Bible’s views on abortion?  Doesn’t apply today because culture.
The Bible’s views on gender roles?  Doesn’t apply today because culture.

Inevitably people who do this resort to bait and switch tactics because the cultural case things like tattoos and head coverings is actually somewhat strong.  But you don’t often see the cultural case made for the items listed above, with the exception of perhaps aspie atheists spouting one liners, for the very good reason that the direct cultural cases are absurd.  They simply don’t fit what’s in the text.  Jessica accused me of leaving out context, yet if you look at the passages that I quoted, you’ll note that I always included multiple verses. I didn't stop with the verses that made my point, but also included verses that had the rationale behind the point.  And the rational is not culture.

The doctrine of “because culture” is a prime example of churchianity: a doctrine that does not come from the Bible and is used to avoid conflict with modern culture.  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Churchianity at its finest

Definition of churchianity: when a Christian body creates a set of beliefs or doctrines that do not come from the Bible, but rather from a desire to avoid conflict with modern culture.

I recently was sent a link to a local pastors endorsement of a feminist blog post.

It'd be best if you read the whole thing, but the crux of it is this: 
i don’t think much about the fact that i’m a woman.i just think of myself as a person.
This is of course is in the middle of an article that anyone with any sort of red pill knowledge could easily identify as being written by a woman based purely on tone and structure. The way that the article is void of abstract logic or evidence, but instead is a flowing narrative about how she feels about herself, and is personally outraged at any thought that is not in line with how she feels about herself, is a fine example of how men and women think differently.
But of course the fact that men and women clearly have very different thought patterns (which is not even part of Christian theology, it's well documented and easily observable to those who don't slavishly adhere to the worldly doctrine of equality) is aside from the point. She doesn't think of herself as a women. She thinks of herself as a person.
To further demonstrate this point that she's not a woman but a person, who does not filter her thoughts through her gender, she goes on to share this story.
i remember a man once saying to me:"zena, you’re really funny. no. really. you’re actually funny.”and what i think he meant was that i was smart. i think he meant that i could call events into question and have thoughtful, reasoned positions and even share them in an articulate, humorous way.shocking, i know.i was confused by his “compliment.” and then i remembered. oh right. i have boobs.
Conspicuously lacking from this post is any reference to the Bible. With good reason. The Word of God stands in direct opposition to her view.
1 Timothy 2:12-14: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
maybe that makes me odd. no, it probably does. it’s definitely made for some awkward that one where i openly questioned a pastor about his preaching technique.awkward.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
or the one where i spoke my mind in opposition to my husband at a church outing.awkward.
1 Peter 3:1-4Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
the point is, i didn’t stop to think about it because i consider myself a human being. a person with a mind and opinions that I can share if I so choose.radical.
But of course the entity of what the Bible has to say on gender roles doesn't actually matter, because she doesn't think of herself as a woman. She thinks of herself as a person.
Now I understand that some of the verses above might make some readers uncomfortable. In fact, trying to live and openly teach said verses could reasonably be expected to make you hated by a significant portion of our society. It's not at all in tune with the idea that all people groups, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, are pretty much equally suited for all things.

But if that is just too much, well you're free to stop thinking of men and women as men and women, and simply think of them as people. It might not be Biblical, but I bet it makes you a lot more comfortable.