This lecture examines the twelve pillars most often adduced as biblical support for male hierarchy in the church and in the home. It shows that statements in the Bible adduced for this do not, in fact, support male hierarchy. To the contrary, they rather provide evidence for the equal standing and authority of man and woman. It surveys the exegetical, theological, and practical foundations for the equal standing of men and women in the church and in marriage.
Hidden behind much patriarchal thinking is a pervasive patrilineal worldview. The belief that the family line is a male line and that males own and inherit the resources, has colored nearly all our cultures in the past and still accounts for much oppression and sidelining of women. Beulah will speak from her experience in south Asian culture, recognizing that, within families, women often become the perpetrators of discrimination against females. Does that happen to some extent near all of us? The Bible culture too is patrilineal. How shall we view that?
Cultures of hierarchy maintain authority by claiming ontological distinction. The power and dominance inherent in hierarchy, which directly conflict with ontological equality, perpetuates abuse. This session will examine the abuse that results from hierarchical human relationships and the biblical response to dominance.
If the way things are will never change until Christ returns, those experiencing oppression and marginality today struggle to believe that the gospel is truly Good News for all. Christ calls us to live today as a preview of what will be true for all eternity.