I was listening to a broadcast on Moody radio today, and they were speaking to the author Carolyn Custis James. Her book I pictured here today is called, ‘Half the Church’. She was speaking to the women ministry in the church. I uploaded the program if you are interested in listening.
Carolyn Custis James starts with Genesis, and how it seems to her that the genders are to work together. (6:15) I like how she called us God’s A-Team as far as image bearers!
I will summarize some of it for you, but I’m sure I missed TONS!
Half The Church Moody Program upload link!
How decisions and discussions are richer once you use the prospective of both men and women. When men and women come together, and value what each brings to the table then decisions tend to be better (7:50). Its not a matter of whom is better or worse. Its not the competition that we seem to be taught, and yet I realize that isn’t what they would call it. Women see things differently, and their insights and views can open a whole new prospective.
(9:18) They speak of the lack of women’s opinion at times, because of the doors that shut to women in ministry. Its not about how high up the ladder the woman goes, and people that use that avenue of opinion tend to miss the point.
Some of the fears of men and women working together?
(19:45) One pastor raised a question that if we work to closely with women won’t we be tempted? I suppose one of the realities of living in fallen world is temptation. We are called to be a body, and to work together. How there seems to be a fear there. The bible’s message is not for women to be seen only as a temptress, but to be redemptive. Why is the church’s message at times is that women are a hazard and they are dangerous. It seems to be a very small view of women when you have things like your computer or other types of things that don’t get talked about as much as the fear of women. (think goodness I know plenty of men that don’t fit that description)
Immaturity seems to be key here. I have had good relationships with Christian Brothers – as the women on the show mentioned as well – I would hate to be not allowed that due to some immature fear of women. How we are to be models for the world, and them asking themselves, ‘what is it they have and can I get some of that!’ It would be modeled by our respect and love of not only each other, but of God.
We get so focused on fear of gender, not doing our roles, etc that we miss what we ought to be doing. We seem to be looking at what we are afraid of.
(20:20) God didn’t divide men and women – this is the sphere for men and this is the sphere for women. We are to be working together as a team to fulfill God’s purpose. We are God’s A Team, and we need to come together and respect the prospective from each gender.
(26:20) They got an email from a man that stated, “Men aren’t afraid of women, but they are more afraid of themselves”. They were not able to give him a follow up question, but wondered for one: They don’t trust themselves to be alone with a women if they are attracted to her? This is the type of fear they need to take to God, and have him help with it.
(33:20) When our voices are heard people just assume we are only talking about women, and not the church as a whole. A women commented, ‘When I have brought up a concern in our churches small groups, about how we should have a time to be able to share on a more personal level instead of the ‘prescribed’ format? I was told it was a great idea, and something that needed to be the ‘women’s ministry’ for further exploration. They seemed to think that was a good idea for women, but didn’t feel look at the fact I was talking about the small groups overall. Sometimes I feel our brothers only feel we are answering question for our gender. ‘
(34:30) This is where we need to have more communication, because when things are said like that? Women feel slammed, whether it was meant that way or not. What would be a better follow up to bring it back to point.
(38:10) They speak of the curtain between the genders during the biblical days. It would be seen as similar to what we see today in the middle east. How the genders did not, and would not work together as we see in other parts of the world today. It shows how radical Jesus was towards women in that day. How at times items like dress still today are still laid upon the women, and how they make them responsible just as the men do in the middle east today. I’m sure they were speaking of attitudes more than extremes.
(39:10) How women are put to death for being pregnant out of wedlock, because it is dishonoring to the men in their families. The men are the position of power. The men are in the position of authority, and yet God is raising women up.
In the case of Mary and Joseph? Joseph is written about as a ‘righteous man’. If we think about what Joseph did in that culture? Heck even before then angel came to tell him to go ahead and wed Mary? He was full of grace and compassion towards Mary. She could have been put to death as well. Joseph was ‘disgraced’ in the eyes of the culture at the time, and yet he was going to choose to ‘divorce’ her privately. No exposure, no punishing of her, no revenge upon her. Joseph is a true man of the bible.
(48:15) Esther and Mordecai worked together to save their people. Their goal for the bigger good, and Esther stepped out of her role.
Men and Women should be able to work together, and to met together, and not have the fear of each other. When you are involved in a cause that is bigger than yourself..then you are willing to do what needs to be done. You are not to be worried about if I have enough authority, or am I looked up as equal.
With both the Mary and Joseph - Esther and Mordecai stories big things were at stake. They were bigger than the people within. When men and women aren’t willing to partner together, unwilling to work together that means that the Kingdom of God suffers. Its not a light matter, because so do we as the body of Christ.
(50:00) Mary’s baby will save the world, and Esther’s King is going to save her people. The gospel doesn’t call for us to fight for our rights, but asks us to lay our lifes down. As the body of Christ we should be looking out for each other. Today we are to ‘us’ focused – biblical roles for one – and yet we are to consider others more important than ourselves. Mordecai is cheering Esther on, and encouraging her to step out! Mary is at risk due to her pregnancy, and Joseph is standing behind her and shutting down his carpenter’s shop so that she can do what she was called to do.
(51:40) What you see at the end is mutual flourishing. They are all four flourishing as God’s image bearers. Real life examples? When the Elder meetings start the door shuts for the women. It doesn’t matter if they are equipped to help in that role. There are many men that feel ‘entitled’ to make all the decisions, without the need to even consult women. They feel they should serve only in nurturing roles only.
It definitely was a program that gets you thinking. Check out the facebook comments on the show. Here and Here.
Half The Church looks like an interesting book, and I think I will purchase it! Here is a Google preview for Half The Church for you to check out.
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