Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Recently Published

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."

Kol Isha from a Whisper to a Song: The Voice of a Jewish Woman

Our tradition encourages, even requires, us to examine things from different angles, to question, and to make sense of ideas in the context of our own time and place.
Replica of scripture on parchment from Nazareth Village

1 Timothy 5:17-25 — Instructions for Male Elders

Lesson 14: "Verse 5:23 has stumped many readers. especially teetotalers. Why should Timothy take wine instead of only water? There are both health and religious reasons for this. City water usually flowed through lead pipes or was otherwise contaminated, so stomach problems in the ancient world were common."
A Lamb's Exodus

A Lamb’s Exodus: Overcoming Religious Fundamentalism, Sexism, Racism, Fatphobia, and Conversion Therapy

With remarkable openness about her own faults, misunderstandings, agonies, and willingness to grow, Mary Lokers has told her own story.  She reveals what life is like for a lesbian of non-binary gender who has been trapped in the legalism, judgmentalism, and terror of fundamentalist religion.
Pink and white Hollyhock flower

Behind the Scenes Theodicy: Three Stories of Why It Happened

August 2019 Poetry Selection
I. The angels stood guard like the hollyhocks
In my garden: swaying in the wind, yet
Immobile. A portal had opened, how they knew not...
Photo from Nazareth Village

1 Timothy 5:16 and Acts 9:36-43 — A “Believing Woman” with Widows?

Lesson 13: "As widows, these unattached women needed to make a living. Most likely, Tabitha had a house and enough resources to supply the tools of the trade, so the women could work together as an economic collective. That is why her death was so catastrophic for these widows, and why Peter made the effort to walk all the way to her house and pray for her resuscitation."

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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The “Dirty F-Word” and Its Consequences in My Life

That empowerment of choice allowed me to let go of the resentment I had towards what are traditionally considered domestic tasks or “women’s work,” to support women’s engagement in them when it was their choice, not a role imposed on them, and to seek to learn to love those who did not act in love towards me—even those who refused to accept the “dirty f- word.”

Christian Feminism To You - Christian Feminist Speakers

Christian Feminism To You
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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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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

My First Gay Pride Parade— #ResistMarch

My Episcopal church participated, as did many other churches. Quite a few signs were carried by people coming from a specifically Christian perspective. “This is the gay that the Lord hath made” was my favorite, carried by a young man.

Equality as a Multiple Choice Test

I'd like it if everyone was very well aware that equal is equal, that anything else is greater than or less than. Because I want to believe that in my life I will experience at least a little time in which I am equal, not less than. But actually, how things are? Equality is more like a multiple choice test. And some people will circle every single answer, and some people will, miraculously, manage to circle one or two.

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.

From Sentence of Death to Androgynous Rebuttal—John 5:17-29

Lesson 12 - Jacobs-Malina says that “Jesus’ primary role was to create and maintain the household of God on earth.” In this way, he acts most like “the wife of the absent husband” (p 2). If we read John 5:19-29, this is exactly what we see. Using “Son” rather than “wife/mother” to this audience, Jesus insists that he can do nothing on his own except what he sees the Father doing. At the same time, the absent husband/father grants him enormous power, even raising the dead and judging all people.