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Marriage and Family

What an amazing week. Because of a week-long synchroblog called Faith Feminisms, the Christian blogosphere has exploded with posts about biblical gender equality. Can faith and feminism coexist? The resounding answer: YES! Not only coexist, but feminism comes out of our faith in a Lord who breaks down the walls that divide us and limit us along gender lines. There is no hierarchy in the kingdom of God. I'll highlight some posts here, but if you want to immerse yourself in the bounty of these writings, please go to FaithFeminisms.com to check out the entire list. Here are a few of our favorites: RECORDING: Faith Without Feminism, by Emily Rice (Thirty Seconds or Less) I need feminism in my faith to challenge those lies and to remind me that all are made in the... Read more
The culture of patriarchy stems from the tenets discussed in Part 1, but there are two subtle deceptions that have created unhealthy homeschool environments. God's command to "be fruitful and multiply" still applies to married couples. Christian parents must provide their children with a thoroughly Christian education, one that teaches the Bible and a biblical view of God and the world. They are worth some commentary: That mandate to "be fruitful and multiply" bothers me, personally. Here's why. My wife, Wendy, and I are proud parents of sixteen children. The biblical admonition to have children clouds the patriarchy issue, often confusing it with another problematic ideology called "quiverfull." In fact, my wife and I have made it... Read more
I'm reading N.T. Wright's latest popular installment entitled Surprised by Scripture and chapter 4, "The Biblical Case for Ordaining Women", caught my attention. Having previously read his stance, I expected not to be "surprised." Though I wasn't "shocked, amazed, stupefied, or bewildered" (all synonyms of "surprise"), I did get another picture, of sorts, about Galatians 3:28 (from which my blog's theme takes it's name, by the way). This text likely means so much more than a prima facia reading suggests. For starters, "this verse is often mistranslated" (p 66). Here's Wright's take on it: "Neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female.... Read more
While growing up in the 1960s, I heard women in our neighborhood complain about being called housewives. “I am not married to a house!” they would say. Of course the term typically meant that they were wives who spent their time caring for a house and those in it. But still, it offended these women who, by the way, didn’t even consider themselves feminists or egalitarians. Being called housewives simply assigned them a label they thought was inaccurate and, frankly, a bit demeaning. As I made my way through high school and college in the 1970s and early 80s, I saw women who spent their time caring for their houses and those in it (notice, I didn’t say housewives) bristle when someone asked if they worked. “Of course I work” they’d cry “wha... Read more
We homeschoolers have been rattled by the sex scandals of Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, two of the homeschooling movement's most notable advocates of the past twenty-five years. I consider myself a proponent of home education, too. I own and operate a publishing business for homeschool debate curriculum, so naturally I support homeschooling's healthy expansion. The number-one tenet in the mind of a patriarchal believer is that God is male in nature. The idea that fathers have a God-given authority in every facet of life, especially the family, stems from the first of Phillips' seven tenets, and probably the most important in his mind. I propose that this is a point of theological error that should not be part of a framework of a Christian worldview. To me, the gender... Read more
Some readers of The CBE Scroll will be surprised to learn of the variety of strongly-held opinions regarding who has the right of way when hiking. Hikers with an opinion are evenly divided between two primary points of view. First, many believe that when two hikers meet, the person hiking uphill has the right of way. Why? Because the uphill hiker shouldn’t have to lose and then regain momentum. Others believe the opposite, that the descending hiker has the right of way. Why? Because the huffing and puffing ascender would presumably appreciate a break! Throw in various complicating factors—lone hiker meets large group, woman meets man, walker meets runner, day hiker meets backpacker—and you’ve got fuel for a lengthy campfire discussion. My practice is si... Read more
From time to time we hear of the responsibilities outlined in Ephesians 5 verses 22 - 33 concerning husbands and wives respectively. Often the language gets reduced to a catch phrase like, "women want to be loved and men need respect." It is as if this phrase defines all women and all men for all time. It is as if this phrase sums up all that is required by all women and all men. It is assumed that for men, love is not an issue, all that they require to be completed as men is respect. Equally, for women it is suggested that love, of the emotional, 'touchy feely' variety is all that women crave. While this may be true for some men and women it does not hold that it is true for all, as many writers would have us believe. Indeed most writers who claim such are of the opini... Read more
There are so many great posts around the web proclaiming biblical equality. Here are some we noticed: 5 Ways Married Men Can Act Like Adults Around Women (Single or Not), by Luke Harms (Living the Tension) It is possible to maintain eye contact without being skeezy. If you lack the self-control to do so, it’s because you sir, are a creeper. But what’s more, you have so devalued women in your own mind that they don’t exist outside of the parts of their body that you find attractive. The Many Female Followers of Jesus, by Marg Mowczko (The Junia Project) Many women were dedicated followers of Jesus during his ministry on earth.  Many of these women seem to have been independent of fathers and husbands, and some were independently wealthy.... Read more
Margaret Mowczko
This post originally appeared on Margaret Mowczko's blog "newlife" on June 21, 2014: newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/how-to-keep-friends-and-influence-people/. I’ve been asked several times for advice about how to maintain good relationships with Christian family and friends who hold to different and even opposing views on so-called “gender roles”.  This is a real concern for some.  Here are a few things I’ve learnt through having many discussions with people, in real life and online, on the sometimes sensitive issues surrounding the “roles” of men and women in Christian marriage and ministry. Family  My family (mother, husband, two sons, and, more recently, my daughter-in-law) have simply come with me... Read more
“What pushes someone toward becoming a workaholic?” “What do we get out of spending too much time at work at the expense of our families?” These are the questions we pondered recently in a Sunday School class I attend. Answers ranged from the desire to provide for a family to employment insecurities to a desire to contribute to creative, meaningful work. What stood out to me, however, was even though the group was comprised of equal numbers of men and women, each person who offered a personal anecdote was male. The females of the group turned our heads in sync with each other toward the various commentators, occasionally making appropriate sympathy noises. But otherwise we were uninvolved in the discussion. The topic eventually shifted and the class moved on.... Read more

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