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Tag Archives: women

A Better Reference Point for Modesty

I’m writing this post as part of the #ModestyRules Synchroblog. (Image source)

So many voices, so little clarity, so much needless hurt

Modesty is, and always has been, important to me. Perhaps it’s because of my cautious nature and reserved personality. Perhaps we could find a more spiritual cause. In any case, as young as two and three years old, I was averse to showing my belly button. When I became a teenager, and a whole new world of clothing options opened to me, I was petrified of ending up in something indecent. As an adult, I now minister in contexts that regularly put me on a stage, in front of a class, or even in front of cameras — all of which require a conservative dress code.

I say this to affirm: I like dressing modestly. It’s my default. I find no “freedom” in the idea of wearing skimpier, flashier things.

Yet even so, as I think back over the messages I was taught about modesty in my teens, and the sort of messages that get blogged and reblogged today, I’m troubled. Any teaching about modesty must, of course, first define what it is. When you strip away all the lists of rules, the hemlines, the necklines, and the spaghetti straps, what exactly is modesty, and why do we care about it?

The answer to that question, almost universally, has been this: Modesty means adequately covering up your body so that you don’t cause your brothers to stumble.

I would suggest — in fact, I would insist — that this definition is a problem. A big one. There’s a lot that could be said about this, but for the sake of time, I want to focus on four reasons we need to change our reference point:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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1 Corinthians 14 – “Let Your Women Keep Silent”

Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

This is one of the passages that is used as a deal-clincher in the debate about women in ministry. As we see, Paul clearly is saying that women should not be the speakers in church.

Or at least, that’s what he is “clearly saying” if we only read one verse and stop. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Role Modeling Made Easy

Recently, while researching different viewpoints about women in ministry (a subject I have not abandoned, by the way), I ran across a certain preacher who was taking potshots at Wonder Woman. He was decrying her as an invention of the feminist movement, which she is. But he especially took offense at how she acts too much “like a man”. Now, admittedly, I’ve never read the comics, but I would seriously doubt that to be the case. If her costume is any indication, I’d say “butch” is not exactly what the comic creator was going for.

I was discussing this with my mom the other day, and we got to talking about role models for girls in the media. The course of conversation brought up another fictitious fighter, Xena the Warrior Princess (who also received a derogatory mention from the above preacher). She’s another example of the entertainment industry’s attempt to offer girls an alternative role model to delicate wallflowers and fainting damsels in distress such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and the like.

The secular media loves these superheroes, because when it comes to role models, it means girls no longer have to choose between being a princess and kicking tail.  In the past, in movies and stories, girls have generally been cast in the roles of: cute, boring, basically useless sidekick who gets captured and needs rescuing; delicate, lovely princess who needs rescuing (or at least has the handsome princes falling all over themselves to woo her); or — if she’s useful and has the ability to hold her own — the plain, spunky tomboy who nobody falls in love with but everyone likes to keep around anyway, because she’s just “one of the guys”. The message was fairly clear. Dainty and delicate was the way to go if you wanted to be an attractive, successful woman.

From a purely secular standpoint, Wonder Woman and Xena seem a little refreshing after that kind of stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2009 in Knowledge of God

 

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Blame: The Game Where Everyone Loses

The Blame Game

The Blame Game

People have been blaming each other for as long as there has been something worth blaming someone else for. Clear back in the Garden of Eden, we see the first man and woman, coming off of the first sin, already explaining why their sin was not entirely their fault. Adam blamed his sin on his wife and on the God who put her on earth with him. Eve blamed her sin on the serpent. Both were seeking to justify their actions based on the actions of others around them.

Neither excuse held any water before the Lord.

Their claims even had some merit on a surface level. Would Adam have eaten the fruit if Eve didn’t do it first? Would Eve had even considered trying it had the serpent not come along?

Maybe, and maybe not. We don’t know for sure. But God did not look at the logical chain and go, “Oh, so it’s all the serpent’s fault then.” He dealt with Adam and Eve individually for the real choice they each had to make before taking a bite. The serpent could not “make” Eve try the fruit. She chose to do so. Eve could not “make” Adam partake with her. He chose to do so. Each were responsible for their own sin.

Most of us are pretty familiar with this concept. But I’ve been considering this lately as it pertains to two pretty touchy areas: body image and lust. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2009 in My Two Cents

 

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Unintentional Clarity

So have you ever had one of those times where the Lord highlighted something to you totally out of the blue? You know… you’re minding your own business, tending to some task, and then something pops out at you in that task which answers a question you have, but weren’t even actively asking.

I’m probably not making sense. ANYWAY, the point is that I think I had one of those moments tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Approaching Gender and Leadership – Part 2

In the previous post, we looked at how our Greek mindset affects the way we view gender. In this post, I want to look at how it affects our view of leadership. We don’t even have to look at the history of Greece to get an idea of what the Greeks thought about it — Jesus told us. “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them” (Mark 10:42). When we do look at history, though, it completely agrees with this witness. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2008 in Women in Ministry

 

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Approaching Gender and Leadership – Part 1

When approaching the issues of gender and leadership, we have to use caution with what sort of baggage we bring to the discussion. Namely, we tend to approach this from a very Western, very Greek mindset. While there are a lot of beneficial things that have worked into our culture from the logical, analytical thinking of the Greeks, there are a whole lot of off-the-wall things as well.

First, there’s just the fundamental issue of male and female. Or, perhaps more accurately, male versus female, which is part of the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2008 in Women in Ministry

 

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