|Back in the day, I spent a lot of time on AOL discussing, among other things, various theological issues. The following is part of one such discussion. Even though there is a lot that I wrote back in 2001 that I would prefer to think I've since outgrown, I felt that this particular post might be worth repeating.|
[The quoted portions below are taken from the article "Ministers in Skirts" by Douglas Wilson. The article originally appeared in Credenda Agenda and I assume it can still be found at http://www.credenda.org]
>It explains why the masculine virtues of courage, initiative,
>responsibility, and strength are in such short supply.
This kind of stuff reminds me of a 3-year-old boy I used to know. He had the amusing habit of assigning gender to *everything*. For example, one day when I was visiting, he wanted to do some digging and asked for the "boy shubbil". He would only drink out of "boy cups". I could never quite fathom what made a shovel a "boy shubbil" and what made a cup a "boy cup".
Scripture doesn't stoop to this sort of immature silliness. When it tells us to be courageous, the Bible doesn't address just the men. Women aren't let off the hook when it comes to initiative, responsibility, and strength. "Be strong in the Lord!" isn't referring to having enough testosterone in order to build up male-sized muscles. There is nothing masculine about being godly, about obeying Scripture, and about being mighty in spirit.
>We have failed
>because we have forgotten what masculine piety even looks like. When it
>occasionally appears among us, we are entirely flumoxed by it. But God gave
>the pattern of feminine piety to complement, not to rule.
Contrary to what a number of both feminists and masculinists might think, true spirituality and piety is neither masculine or feminine. If it were, Scripture would clearly teach this. However, our spiritual journeys, our justification, our sanctification---these are not gender-specific. True piety, true spirituality, is an ongoing process of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as we are being transformed more and more into the image of Christ. This does not mean that we must all become masculine. It means we must all become holy. And holiness has no gender.
Having said all that, I have to say that I still believe that God has ordained different functions for men and women, within families and within the church.
To put Douglas Wilson's article in its theological context: Although, to my knowledge, he does not describe himself as a theonomist, his theology has, over the years, moved more and more into that direction. This article, in fact, is strongly reminiscent of one that appeared in Chalcedon Report (a theonomist magazine) titled "Girlie-Men in the Pulpit".
I think these articles are, in part, intended to be highly insulting to women. One of the worst epithets a theonomist can hurl at anyone or anything is that he/it has become "feminized" or "feminine".
When God created Eve, he did not make a mistake. He saw that she was good. Femininity is good. If pastors and churches are failing today, it is because of sin and disbelief, not because men are becoming "feminine". It's time to start calling a spade a spade and a shovel a shovel---and it's time to stop pretending that the spade is feminized.
copyright 2001 by Rebecca Prewett