More nonsense on what women can do

The Simple Pastor writes "What the Bible clearly says women can do" and sadly it is the usual mix of nonsense.

Two obvious general points.

  • A better title would have been "What a MAN thinks the Bible clearly says women can do".
  • If the line of logic followed in the post were applied more generally then nobody would drive a car or ride a bike (the Bible does not say we can). Of course as Simple Pastor is trying restrict women he only applies this logic to women and then is very selective about how he does it.

The detail is also based on very selectively presented arguments. They do not stand up to much scrutiny. The very first point illustrates this nicely

A helper – this is one that has been overplayed by both sides but Gen 2:18 & 20 calls women helpers. I’d say that this likely meant helping man in the increasing, subduing, ruling that God charged mankind with in Gen 1:26-28.

What of course Simple Pastor misses out is that God is also described as a "helper" using exactly the same word. So women are limited to being like God, seems a pretty limited limitation to me!

What Simple Pastor does is use every example he can find of God calling, liberating and working in women despite the patriarchial culture they lived in and then use them as reasons to restrict rather than free.

A typically sad and fearful male response to the power of God revealed in ordinary women and men.

10 thoughts on “More nonsense on what women can do

  1. Simplepastor

    I agree with your point about helper – but the text still refers to women as helping men (whether you like it or not) and I dealt with the question helping to do what. No hierarchy is implied there, at least not by me.
    I can’t see hierarchy in what I have written, so please point out where you see it. The same goes for restrictions, I can’t see where I’ve used any of the examples as restrictions or limits.
    Lastly I would say, I don’t think I made any arguments. I simply listed examples of women in the Bible and what they were doing. A couple of comments added some more I missed. So again I wasn’t making an argument which I said quite clearly at the start.

  2. Dave

    We have had a similar discussion in the past.
    Your writing will always be read in the knowledge that you write as a man in a Church that does not offer equality for women and which teaches that wives should submit to their husbands. In that culture you are writing from a position of power and authority which
    It appears there is a clear split between those who read what you have written as being positive (from their comments on your blog) and those who don’t (comments on your blog, on my facebook and here). I suspect that the split will be between those who teach or live under male headship and those who don’t.
    For those who reject male headship your title is a give away. When you title something “What the Bible clearly says women can do” then the clear implication is that these things are ok and others are not. That is where the restrictions start.
    Your restrictions are also revealed every time you choose to quote a version of the Bible that was created to stand against equality for women and men. Nobody uses the ESV to say to women you are equal.
    You then include one link only as “Adrian Warnock also recently posted his thoughts with plenty of crossover here.” but the post that you commend is a rambling, inaccurate attack on equality. Again it reveals an agenda.
    Without the reference to helper also being used as a description of God the image that comes to my mind when you say women are to be helpers is Robin as Batman’s “helper”. Without the reference to God only people who believe women are not equal will see this as a positive.

    “The same goes for restrictions, I can’t see where I’ve used any of the examples as restrictions or limits.”

    Dave Faulkner wrote on facebook “I’m sure my wife will be very pleased to know she can be a weaver. But then, auditing (her profession) is not mentioned in Genesis, so I guess she can’t do that again.”
    Your post is seen as restrictive whether you intended it or not.

  3. Simplepastor

    But you have to deal with what’s actualy written. It’s a list. So don’t talk about my church, talk about the list.
    Is it a fair list? If not, why not? What have I missed? Is a list of examples helpful or not, if not why not? Does it offer a starting point for agreement rather than disagreement, if not why not?
    I could change the translation if you like from ESV and the list would be the same, so not sure what that would achieve.
    As for the Batman & Robin image that says more about your mind than mine. Same goes for those seeing restrictions when none is intended, given, suggested or written.
    The weaver/auditor comment is a total red herring unless you or Dave Faulkener imply (which I do not) that means all women can do is weave. That’s a conclusion I haven’t drawn so why imply it is?
    All I did was include an example of where women were mentioned as using a skill, it happened to be weaving. I’m sure if the tabernacle had needed more auditors then they might have been mentioned instead – instead oddly they picked weaving. It was a skill, a profession and the women were great at it. What’s the problem?

  4. Sue

    I don’t have a problem with the weaving. Men were weavers too.
    But using the ESV does give you an unfair advantage against women because the female apostle has been deliberated edited out of it.
    I don’t believe men who claim to be protecting women, and major in diminishing their role in the Bible.

  5. Daisy

    Christians who believe in complementarian gender roles almost never discuss Christian women over the age of 30 who have never been married.
    They almost only address what they think married women can and cannot do, and are fixated about a woman’s role in correlation to her spouse.
    It’s sad and frustrating that segments of Christendom are not only discriminatory against Christian women in general terms, but in particular against never-married, “unchilded” ones.
    Anyone never married over the age of 35 is considered pretty non-existent in most churches and denominations.

  6. Dave

    Agreed. They hugely miss out.
    One of our Local Preachers has just retired after 50 years of service, she is a single lady.
    I had a minister some 15 years ago, also a single lady, who led a Church that had been deeply hurt through an amazing process of healing. I hear that she is still active, well into retirement, in supporting another Church through change and growth.

  7. J Sutcliffe

    If I remember correctly Jesus came specifically to bring freedom, healing and inclusion for all those on the edge, marginalised etc His commandments were to love God with all our minds, hearts and bodies, the second to love one another as ourselves ….. These scriptures alone call for a complete and whole inclusion – men and women, young and old, married and unmarried, the able and disabled – remember those who think they are first will find themselves last!!! Put the old, unmarried and female last and you may just find them sitting much closer to the throne enjoying blessings beyond those leaders or and men who made it clear that they had no place but to do as they are told or even worse just ignored.
    Often it is these wise, caring experienced women that can bring to a church such a richness and blessing. I should know as I have had the benefit of such women in my life and I could not have been the women, mother, wife, educationalist, researcher and activist that I am now. Yet I have known these women to be threatened, harangued, dismissed, ignored or even to told to be silent rather than embraced – me thinks that too many leaders/men are frightened to lose control of their power base – remember we are to be servants of each other no matter the gender or age – we are to ‘wash each other’s feet’ and to ‘give up one’s life in order to save another’ – such gifts and blessings go both ways. Jesus demonstrated his inculsivity of women through his acceptance of them – he broke so many protocols of his day and of the Jewish law/tradition that it is clear he was sending a strong message – we must work together as we (men and women) are the two halves of the same whole – we must work in harmony and wholeness ie unity – thereby demonstrating the message of Christ – oneness, wholeness of being like that of God. If Christian men and women were to live in love and harmony then all the world would know that we are of Christ – it is time to stop the argument and live in the unity of Christ not just across the sexes, but also across all other divides.
    This may also inspired young people to actually consider Christianity as a preferred counter culture providing dignity and love for those when no one else is bothered – many of those young people I meet see it as a place of sexist kill joys – time to move on I think and become less interested in the argument and more active in the loving and the doing.


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