According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Monday, February 6, 2012

What I want to say to my daughter someday...

If I become the father of a daughter someday this is what I want her to know...

by Brian LePort
Posted on February 2, 2012
My beautiful, intelligent, strong wife
and I in front of Notre-Dame de Paris.

For many men our earliest interactions with women are from our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins, along with peers at school. Some of these relationships include being nurtured for a time, but eventually we go through the process of finding our own identity as adolescents. Our mother’s kisses cause us to blush in front of our friends. Other relationships are competitive like sisters and peers at school. Some day we will compete with them for scholarships, jobs, raises, and the like. Even our relationship with our wives can be quite complex. We are nurtured, we nurture, and there is always the day-to-day challenge of learning to live with each other. Some men assert that they are the final authority in the home and that may make things easier on them but it often is not received well by their wives. Others work to share authority and responsibility in the home, seeking to understand our roles in relation to each other, not in relation to the predetermined standards of our society.

When it comes to the role of women in the church of God many men bring the experiences of these relationships to the discussion. I’ve heard men say they can’t imagine a woman as their pastor. Often they think of the woman as being “overbearing” like their mother, “competitive” like their sister, or the uniqueness of their relationship with their wife is projected onto said woman pastor.

I wonder if we men would be better at this discussion if we asked, “What would I want for my daughter in this world?” Sometimes we men do not realize that we are playing games for power with our spouses, yet there is something in us that creates a different posture toward a daughter. I say this as a man without children, but I imagine that if I become the father of a daughter someday this is what I want her to know: you can be anything and do anything a man can do in society.

Now I hear some complimentarians chirping about how women and men are different biologically, emotionally, this and that. I am not denying that we are not the same. I am denying that these characteristics mean a woman can’t be a CEO, or a senator, or the pastor of my local church.

When I realize that I want this for my future daughter it forces me to rethink how I treat my wife who is another man’s daughter. Do I want her to be everything she can be? Yes! My wife is intelligent, she is talented, she is charismatic and personable. I want her to know that her gender doesn’t prohibit her from being fully human. (She knows this already; she is strong!) If I had a sister I’d want her to be everything God has called her to be.

If I have a daughter and she tells me, “Dad, I think I am called to be a pastor,” and someone with their Bible in hand tell her that she cannot follow that calling, let me tell you it will be a bad day for that person. I won’t stand for men using their Bibles to tell a daughter or wife of mine that she can’t be what they can be for the simple reasons that she is a woman. When Scripture was written it was written in a patrilineal society. I won’t allow someone to tell my future children who will be part Latino that their race prevents them from being what they want to be. I wouldn’t allow someone to use Scripture to tell a victim of human trafficking that “you should obey your master like Scripture says.” I know people have their portions of Scripture to quote, but this is where it is essential to stand against misguided biblicism.

If I become the father of a daughter someday I want her to know she is equal to me. She is fully human. She is loved by God. She is called by Christ. She is a vessel of the Holy Spirit. I want to be the type of man that Philip must have been to cultivate not one daughter who was a prophetess, but several!

So dear Christian pastor, scholar, theologian–if a few decades from now I have a daughter who says she is called to the pastorate you can give her your opinion, but tread lightly, she’ll have a father whose been telling her for years to follow God’s calling no matter where it leads.

Continued: Part 1 - Christianity began in a patrilineal society...

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