Just when i thought I had exhausted all the variances possible in church life – up pop another two: “Misogyny” and “Complementarianism.”
That the second is an “ism” makes it clearly a religious issue (whilst the first is available to everyone).
I have no experience of either which may make me naive or fortunate (or both). Yet when so much time, energy and space is taken by proponents for and against something so obviously NOT treating each as sacred … it seems to me one more reason for the essence of the bible of (whatever) denomination and church to be trashed and devalued.
Someone gave me this a while ago: Religion says “I do the work, I get the credit and God accepts it (from me).” Christianity says “God does the work, God gets the credit and I accept it (on His behalf).”
More and more I see religion and Christianity as one and the same. A default position in making things manageable and controlled. Because if I disagree with the position and preaching of a particular position or preaching … ? Out comes the theology of qualified qualifications. Just as the legal system uses precedent – so too these godly discussions will often use the words of The Saved+ to defend/attack and “win” a position or preaching.
And when the “source document” is always the bible itself – then it is the same as a legal dispute: whose interpretation of case-law and precedent of the bible wins out?
(and the “self-trained and self-defended” generally back off from the “highly qualified biblical elite”)
Just as the phrase “Hearing God” (as used by those of the “biblical elite” against those who are not) is used to dismiss and belittle. Hello!!!!! What is so wrong about “hearing God” – that is what Christianity is all about for everyone.
Just as those who think themselves far more open-minded (and believe those who believe the bible is “inerrant and infallible” are a roadblock to Christ) … Have a conversation with “liberals” about the “fact” that Jesus might not be a historical figure who may not have been put to death on the cross and raised again on the third day …
I have found this “fact” is inerrant and infallible if I am to call myself a Christian.
Yet it is not a “fact”. Not as we would allow facts today. But every time I have ventured down that path of conversation then “management and control” kicks in. And my conclusion is that Christianity (as defined, managed and controlled) disallows those who do not agree the bible is inerrant and infallible (on the parts that are
managed and controlled agreed as inerrant and infallible).
Which makes me a Christian some days and not other days. Because I don’t know which I believe most days. But to stand in church and repeat parrot-fashion: “I believe in the … “ ascribes a certainty I do not have.
And I could (as some do) refrain from saying aloud those words of the creed. Just as I can refrain from taking the sacrament. Just as I can refrain from praying or reading the bible or singing hymns or putting anything in the plate … I can make all those choices and still be “accepted” because “all are welcome in this place“.
But being accepted is not the same as being heard (or being allowed to lead and preach and teach). Not having that certainty will result in my “false teaching” – and we all know what the (inerrant and infallible bit) of the bible says about that.
And if I refrain from so much (or so little) am I really accepted at all – because why else is it expected that “we all now stand and say together the words …”?
God disrupted the management and control of complacency. Jesus did the same in a far more personal and intimate way. And as I have journeyed I have less and less need to manage and control the (whatever sacred bits are currently deemed) “inerrant and infallible” in order to connect with something that I cannot define or control or manage.
And I know deep down in the very bones of my soul that the God of the bible and all sacred texts does not need that either.
Misogyny and complementarianism depress me. Just like the “theology of management and control” (of the very thing Christians say cannot be) depresses me – the management and control of God himself. Whilst that exists –
Getting rid of “misogyny and complementarianism” is unlikely to ever happen either.