Monday, October 21, 2019

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Statue of Paul the Apostle in front of St Peter's Basilica on Piazza San Pietro, in Vatican City

Letter to Titus-What’s Next? 2 Timothy or Titus?

Lesson 18: “Surprise! I am taking the liberty to do a bit of canonical rearranging. We will study the letter to Titus next, and finish [our series on the Pastoral Epistles] with 2 Timothy. Why reverse the familiar order? Because 2 Timothy presents the Apostle Paul at the end of his life, it makes sense to include it last."
Golden Thread and Shuttles

Golden Thread

October 2019 Poetry Selection
Maybe I am just a golden thread
on God’s spindle,
tethered from within.
Detail from OtherWise Christian book cover

OtherWise Christian — A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation

"There is a lot to like in OtherWise Christian, like Chris’s enthusiasm about the way biblical interpretation will be enriched as people learn to read through liberated lenses. I like the emphasis on wisdom, which suggests the healing wisdom that ancient native people saw in their two-spirit leaders."

1 Timothy 6:3-21—Closing Advice for Church Leaders

Lesson 17: “Here we learn that opponents in the ongoing church fight believe their faith can help them get rich (1 Tim. 6:5,9). . . . The fact that the ‘prosperity gospel’ still thrives today indicates the persistence of such twisted theology. We can agree with our author that ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,’ because we see how it pervades our current capitalist, free-market economy.”
Girl in a classroom, afraid to speak.

The Collective Response of Males

"A collective response is different from a set response. A set response is when the teacher asks for questions from us, so we raise our hand, the microphone goes around, and one person at a time has the floor. The collective response is the teacher asking the entire class a question."
Slave market, Cairo ; on stone by J.C. Bourne from a drawing by O.B. Carter, the figures by H. Warren, image courtesy of the Wellcome Museum, https://wellcomecollection.org/works/jwvub5kk

1 Timothy 6:1-2—The Crushing Yoke of Slavery, Part 2

Lesson 16: "Our last lesson sought to accurately situate 1 Timothy 6:1-2 in its literary and historical context. When we read selected biblical texts like this passage as eternally relevant, they can cause great damage. For centuries, slaveholders in the American South used this text to justify chattel slavery, as if God intended some people to serve as the personal property of their supposed superiors."
Angry Sky, Rainbow, and a Crooked Church

UnUnited: LGBTQ Inclusion in the United Methodist Church

"The United Methodist Church’s legislative body, the General Conference, voted in 1972 to prohibit qualified LGBTQ individuals from being ordained pastors and prohibit United Methodist pastors from performing same-sex wedding ceremonies. Since 1972, these prohibitions have been subject to a contentious debate and efforts have been made to repeal them."
Laundry on the Line

Herstory: A Proverbs 31 Woman

September 2019 Poetry Selection
Burning the candle on both ends
she does not dream anymore
except of dishes and stitches so
it seems her work never ends...
Detail from Roman mosaic from Dougga, Tunisia (2nd century AD). Photo by Pascal Radigue. From Wikipedia.

1 Timothy 6:1-2—The Crushing Yoke of Slavery, Part 1

Lesson 15: "With no concept of democracy, the functioning of Roman society could be diagrammed as a pyramid, with the emperor at the top and everyone else below in descending and unequal patron-client relationships, down to the lowliest slave. People retained their social status by doing favors, or benefactions, for their socially inferior clients, who in turn affirmed their patron’s status by publicly showing their devotion to him or her. Clients in turn were patrons to clients beneath them."

Link of the Day

Christian Feminism in the News

September 5, 2019 As active readers of the Christian Feminism Today website the majority of us wouldn't be surprised to find out that feminists can...

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She Flies On: A White Southern Christian Debutante Wakes Up

Carter Heyward uses the brilliant tactic of discussing Trinitarian language to illustrate the effects of patriarchy on one individual female life and collective humanity.  God is defined throughout as “the Spirit moving within us with an impulse to connect.”

Christian Feminism To You - Christian Feminist Speakers

Christian Feminism To You
Speakers Bureau

Let our speakers bring the inclusive message of Christian feminism to you. Check out our available speakers and presentations here.

2018 Gathering Reflections

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Editor's Picks

Calling God “She” — It’s Just Another Pronoun!

To linguistically portray God as a father, or God as a woman giving birth, or an eagle, or a sacred wind, all of those things put a limiting image up to represent God. And, for that matter, so do the three letters, G-O-D. All the ways we choose to refer to God are images, all are limited representations, all are potentially idolatrous symbols. But all our metaphors and ways of referring to God are not necessarily idolatrous. Only potentially.

From Kingdom to Kin-dom—and Beyond

But in the larger context of the New Testament, both “kin-dom” and “kingdom” make sense. The Apostle Paul plants small house churches, and when he writes to them, he calls them adelphoi—sisters and brothers—united in a kin-group not by blood but in a common loyalty to the Lord Jesus, over against the Lord Caesar. To these tiny outposts, Paul promises the coming victory of God over all other empires, through the return of his representative, Jesus.

How to Help a Victim of Domestic Violence

If someone is being abused, they feel responsible for the abuse. Why this logical inconsistency? Because if everything is the victim's own fault, they have the power to change it. I would advise you not to take that sense of power away, but, instead, to model what it is like to not accept responsibility for what the abuser is doing.
Sandstone Church Image Compliation

No Longer Trapped: Insights on Spiritual Abuse Recovery

Survivors of spiritual abuse can feel justifiably averse to anything having to do with God or spirituality after emerging from the war zone of spiritual abuse. However, cutting off the aspects of oneself that are yearning for healthy, edifying connection to something other than the self—the essential definition of spiritual expression—can be equaling damaging.

When Evangelicals Were Open to Differing Views on Abortion

"There was a time in the not too distant past when the majority of Protestant Christians, including those who called themselves evangelical, did not consider the point at which a fertilized ovum or developing embryo or fetus becomes a human being to be clearly defined, indisputable, and settled for all time."

Latest Book Reviews

Precious God, Forgive Them, Because They KNOW What They’re Doing

With all the LGBTQ people courageously coming out in conservative Christian settings, with all the information available freely on the internet and through print and broadcast media, with our new host of educators and speakers (both LGBTQ people and allies) reaching out to conservative and evangelical Christians, it would be impossible for someone to miss the obvious wounding of our people.

There Is More than One Christian View on Homosexuality

"But when it comes to homosexuality, many people have the impression that there is only one religious or biblical view – only one way to consider the question of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. That view, in the minds of many, is that any and every same-sex sexual expression is sinful in the sight of God."

Bathroom Legislation: Unconstitutionality Is Only Part of the Story

In this article, I explain why HB2 is clearly unconstitutional. But I will also stress that constitutionality is always only one small part of understanding why legislators do what they do. A hostile feeling (or animus) toward transgender people becomes an important part of the legal discussion.

Gender Equality: Walking Away from Division and Anger into a Place...

Thanks to the tireless work of Tarana Burke and #MeToo, the conversation in our society has finally mutated from cowed acceptance of patriarchal systems to a demand for civility and equality for all persons. As the stories of abuse and sexual harassment are finally told, there is not a single profession left untouched.