I have heard it said that a woman’s brain could be likened to the interior of her hand bag. Mine then would be full of odd bits of paper with interesting things written on them that I hear people say or I read, a raspberry teabag, a safety pin, a jigsaw from a cracker, a puppet (good to pass to fidgety children in church), a notebook with ideas for talks/sermons with the odd shopping list, an order of service dating from Christmas and some empty spectacle cases (I forget to put the glasses in them.)
Over the past two days I have been having an interesting discussion via social media with two gentlemen on whether Genesis 1. 27 can be taken literally, whether men and women are equal before God and whether Junias in Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Ch.16:7) was really a woman. If this was so, and one of the Apostles was a woman, the whole concept of women Bishops etc. takes on a whole different ball game.One Gent was for us gals one was definitely against. It is all very interesting and to me it is like taking the lid off an interesting tin just to see what is inside. Does it matter? Not very much, because God will go on calling men and WOMEN to serve him whether men think He should or not. A wise man once told me many years ago “God might call you Jenni, but convincing man of that is another thing.” Nothing gets my hackles up though, than being told that I can’t do something, but that is just my personality. Unfortunately I am not so good at getting my thoughts in an orderly fashion to be able to get my point across succinctly. This thread was taking place on the page of my old Bible College, but not one woman came to my aid, they were probably too sensible to get involved or I hope that is what it was.
Whilst I was washing up I was thinking about it, the discussion, not the washing up, although one of the chaps might have been pleased to see me at the sink. What is it that frightens some men about women ? There relationship with their Mother, the views of their Fathers? Why are they so unwilling to share leadership in the church.Some blame Paul, but I don’t think he meant us to take his comments written to Churches of the day so literally. Yes, he needed the women to be a little more orderly but not to shut them up for all time.
I am reading C.S. Lewis’s book “The Allegory of Love”, it seems that old Aristotle and his peers didn’t do much for women and it wasn’t until the 11th century that love had anything to do with marriage at all. I’m still in the early chapters so I can’t tell you much more yet.
When I was in my late 20’s my Church ran a course to teach wives how to be submissive. I’m not sure that it would be very popular in the present day. Society has changed a great deal in the 60 years that I have been alive. I have become more confident in my own abilities because of the way I have been treated by men. My Father encouraged me to be adventurous, explore places and ideas ,and to question. My first husband took me to Bible College before his demise ,the second beat me up, the third found the concept of marriage too restricting and did not understand why he should support a family financially. Therefore I have a mixed view of men and cannot see why they should be considered more able to lead a church than a woman.
So ladies AND Gentlemen who kindly read this blog, what do you think? Does it matter at all what the gender of your Minister is, or any other leader ,come to that. Do you care whether Junias was male or female? One of the chaps I was speaking to, seemed to find it hard to grasp that God would call a woman? How were you “called”?, if you were. Just out of interest tell me your views and I’ll make them into a post.
I’m going to clear out my handbag.