Friday, April 14, 2017

day no. 14,053: permitted or pursued?

In re-reading this article, I did find a few things I'm not ready to embrace entirely.
The terminology and usage of "permit" is largely, if not solely, influenced by 1 Timothy 2, so when she says, " but it seems a shame to let one occurrence of a term dominate our language and practice," I disagree. It isn't a shame per se. It could be. It might be. or… it could be using the term the Bible provides us. Now, I understand Mrs. Wilkin is addressing the undertone that can permeate the usage of said word as one of restrictive, "I guess, if we have to"-tude, but nevertheless, baby and bathwater withstanding, we have to start with "permit" as that is the word and the tone Paul employs. And he's not wrong. Can we at least agree on that? That word and that tone are not an excuse for chauvinism - which is anti-Biblical because it claims men are superior. Which isn't true. I know lots of guys. We aren't the greatest. But we are still the head. So it's not because we won an arm-wrestling match or a battle of wits, but because God said so. And again, can we at least agree on that? God's "say-so's" overrule our "wish-was's."
Again, Mrs. Wilkin says, "It may be that permission vocabulary persists because of the unfortunate woman-as-usurper stereotype that sometimes underlies complementarian thought." It is unfortunate only in the sense that it is true.
Genesis 3:16
To the woman God said,
"I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
When Adam abdicated his role, it didn't make an OK way for Eve to swoop in and fulfill it. It made it understandable, but not excusable. I know why Eve did it, but I can't approve of her having done it. The direct result of this action is reflected in the curse itself. Eve, the glory of man, made from man, to serve man, and help him will now struggle with a desire to be "the man." The usurper motif is not one we created, it was a direct consequence -, a curse created and distributed clearly by God - in response to the sins in the garden.
All that said, I think we should strive to create and cultivate a culture of inviting women into greater capacities and opportunities. The problem I have here is not with the attitude of invitation, which I am for, but the attitude of inclusion, which I am opposed to. Everyone doesn't have to, and Biblically shouldn't, do everything. It's not good for a man to stay at home when he could work. It's not good for a woman to be drafted for war. It's not good for men to spend hours in front of a mirror. It's not good for women to spend zero time in front of a mirror. We reflect things differently, but in a complementary way. The more we make everyone the same, the less we actually reflect any kind of complement. If everyone is doing the same things, there is no distinct "vel" and "cro," so nothing quite sticks right.  If men stay men and women become men, who will be the glory of man? Who will be beautiful, feminine, helpmetes? Women are better than men at being women. Men are better than women at being men. There is overlap, but there is distinction and the less distinction there is, the less the complement.
All that to say, there is a serious, helpful point that Mrs. Wilkin is making here: male leaders must seek to equip and encourage women to utilize their time, talents, and treasures more and more and not consider them as an afterthought, but in their planning, strategy and intentionality. You don't "fix" your failure to pursue Eve by encouraging Eve to pursue something else. You fix it by pursuing her.

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