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Archive for July 15th, 2008

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I’ve studied calvinism a bit and am very interested in learning more. I think there are people who have questions or misunderstandings about the basics of Calvinism and we have such amazingly knowledgeable readers, I wanted to bring the discussion into it’s own post. So, I’m going to start by posting the basic TULIP and ask readers to post comments and questions.

May we all approach this with the focus on finding the true will of God as expressed in His Holy Word and with humility and respect for one another as His children and as our brothers and sisters in Christ.

T ~ Total Depravity
U ~ Unconditional Election
L ~ Limited Atonement
I ~ Irresistable Grace
P ~ Perserverance of the Saints

*edited to add: White Washed Feminists is not a Calvinist blog. We embrace our sisters and brothers in Christ from multiple theological backgrounds and believe that all who can affirm the basic doctrines of Christianity to be part of the universal body of Christ. This post is just to examine one set of beliefs that we might understand each other better.  Also edited to clarify the purpose of the post. *

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When I write, I can only relate my personal experiences and my personal thoughts.  Sure, I can research all I want and give you flowy, good words on things I’ve read about.  I can say things that other people believe, or print fact, but it may or may not be my own personal perspective.  At the end of the day, all I have to hold true is my personal belief system.  I don’t expect mine to be the same as yours, and if we’re all mature about it, the converse is true, too.  You don’t have to believe my opinion on things, either.

Setting that little disclaimer aside, I’d like to ask you, women especially:  WHO WAS THE BIBLE WRITTEN FOR?

If you believe that the Bible is the Word of God, sent from Him, then who did God send it for?  Was it just for the early church?  Or does it still speak to us today?  Was it just for one period of time, or for all times?

I believe that the Bible was written for all mankind in all times, cultures, and generations.  I believe that God’s word was written for each of us.  Not just the pampered wealthy sitting in the pews on Sunday mornings, but also for the single mom in a third-world country who has never even seen a real Bible for herself.

And why do I believe this?  If I believe that God’s Word was for all mankind, I must include all mankind.  Not just “my kind.”

I believe that God is constant.  I also believe that God is organic.  How can that be?  How can a God-who-does-not-change….well….change?  God’s principles themselves do not change, God can still speak to all people in all times.

Some Christians would have you believe that it is flat-out unbiblical for a woman to work outside the home in any capacity.  They like to cling to a few verses, in particular to maintain that position:

Titus 2:4-5, “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

1 Timothy 5:14, “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”

Well that makes it all clear, right?  Well, yes and no.  I see a teaching that women should marry and have children and manage their homes, and love their husbands.  But, for the life of me, I do not see how on earth it says a woman is NOT ALLOWED to work outside the home.  These can’t be the only verses in the Bible that pertain to women!  (and what about single sisters in the Lord?  Surely God is not leaving them out completely!)

In my Bible, I see several examples of “working women.”  Lydia and Deborah anyone?  Deborah was a judge, not hardly some odd job!  And then she led an army!  To think—a woman practically in the armed forces at the time!  Of course, we’ll be told by the ultra-conservatives and patriocentrists that these women simply cannot be used as examples, and therefore are “non-normative.”  And the discussion would end there if it were up to them.

But here, at WWF it isn’t up to them.  (Hallelujah for that!)   So was the Bible written for the Lydias and Deborahs of our time?  If you truly believe that the Bible clearly says women should NOT work in any capacity for pay in or outside of the home, then tell me—-does THAT speak to all women in all cultures in all times?  I don’t believe there is a BIBLICAL MANDATE (note: not the same thing as a personal conviction!) THAT SAYS WOMEN CAN OR CANNOT WORK, ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

So, WWF women….who do you think the Bible was written for?  All of us?  Some of us?  Only moms-at-home?  Working moms?  How do we handle those pesky non-normative loopholes like working women, and single women?  Or are they loopholes at all?

My theology is relatively simple.  I keep it simple ON PURPOSE.  I think of Jesus on the cross.  When he spoke to the thief (Luke 23) he simply said “Today you will be with me in paradise.”  Was the thief married?  Did he have a family?  Did he have a respectable, Christian job?  Did he have a so-called good wife?  We don’t know.  What we do know is that the thief was probably not normative in any way!  He wasn’t baptized, didn’t take the Eucharist, didn’t perform good works, never memorized scripture and catachism, and certainly was no poster-child for humanity.  Yet—Jesus commanded him, the thief, to simple BELIEVE in Him and be saved.

We make it so much more complicated, don’t we?  I think the Bible was written for the thieves of the world as it was for the working mom and at-home mom.  When we really get down to it, the whole working mom/SAHM thing is a very small drop in the ocean of humanity we call life.  Surely there are more important things to God?

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