Why the anguish?

14 Dec

Something to help understand the anguish of women in the LCA.

from Arise: I. Howard Marshall | Jesus Creed.

Much anguish is felt by women whose God-given talents have been denied expression. This is due to:

1. The inability of complementarians (K+M: anti women’s ordination) to provide any coherent and persuasive reasons for denying women these positions in church—women are asked to accept a scriptural command simply because it is God’s will even if they cannot understand why it is so.

2. The irrationality of the traditional position. It is difficult, if not impossible, to see how the patriarchal/complementarian position glorifies God or fulfils his moral and spiritual purposes for his children.

3. The arbitrariness of the way in which the ruling is put into effect, with all the going beyond what Scripture actually says and the casuistry that is employed regarding the limits of what women may and may not do.

4. The lack of any positive remedy in terms of alternative types of behavior and action that can be taken up by women in the church, since no clear complementarian tasks that women should do but men should not do are proposed.

Is this anguish a legitimate stimulus for asking whether we have interpreted Scripture wrongly? Anguish itself is not necessarily a reason for change but an important symptom that something deeper may be needing attention for good theological and practical reasons.

Our problem is how to understand Scripture in the context of this anguish as people who place ourselves under its authority, and who are perplexed if being scriptural makes us not only unhappy but also irrational in terms of the godly use of our minds.

Go to via Arise: I. Howard Marshall | Jesus Creed to read the rest of the article and a series of comments from different perspectives.


Posted by on December 14, 2010 in sociology, theology


Tags: , ,

3 responses to “Why the anguish?

  1. Jacaranda

    December 15, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I can’t actually relate to the article. No persuasive argument could take away my reality that God has constantly called me to ministry in the church. So my anguish is not about the logic or otherwise of the discussion, but about not being able to respond when God calls.

  2. Shirley Taylor

    January 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    My anguish is daily. I want to be able to walk into my church and not feel that my church holds it against me that I am a woman. I’ve not been called to preach, nor to be a deacon. I am just a woman serving the Lord. My church wants my tithe, my time, and my kids, but restricts me from full service just because I was born a woman. My husband is entitled to serve fully just because he was born a man. I join with, my Christian sisters, in promoting equality for women. I demanded an apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood for their teaching of this complementarian view.

  3. Katie and Martin

    March 12, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Shirley, thanks for your comment. I know it’s not been easy for you.

    I don’t think it’s a tension between women and men. I think it’s between progressivism and conservatism. We could discuss witch trials, slavery, universal suffrage and more.

    In the LCA, there is enormous support for women’s ordination. The roadblocks come from the Chair of General Synod: our President, who autonomously decreed from the chair that delegates must vote against the motion if they have the slightest reservation about Church unity, and creates extra hurdles in between Synods.

    Your comment, “My church wants my tithe, my time, and my kids, but restricts me from full service just because I was born a woman,” is very telling. Perhaps the time may come when the tithe may be directed, as opposed to supporting a self-interested institution.


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