Archive for the ‘Pharisees in Skirts’ Category

UPDATE 10/8/08: Lady Lydia has removed the post we linked to in this blog.  She has left no explanation or reason for the removal of this post.  Quotes from that post appear below.  Please be assured that this post DID exist and that we have not fabricated these quotes.

Dear Lady Lydia,

I recently read your blog post entitled What If This and What If That. Reading it was a learning experience, to be sure. I was amazed by the total lack of empathy, compassion, insight, and logic, and really wanted to point out the major flaws in the piece. With total humility, of course, and a doily nearby, just in case.

The list [of what if’s] goes on and on, and as a young single girl, I can remember asking questions like this myself, just to sound very smart. Things change once your heart changes and you get married, and even those who have children and no husband, soon discover their minds changing about a lot of things. The presence of someone else dear to your life, will change your thinking in many ways. You are no longer thinking of “me” but of “we,” and that makes a big, big difference.

Lady Lydia, girls aren’t asking these questions just to be smart, but because they are legitimate queries. Your dismissal of them tells me a great deal about the strength of your argument. It is also due in large part to understanding ourselves as part of the “we” that makes us wonder how we are to care for our families should we find ourselves without our husband. Knowing that I’m responsible for seeing that my children have food makes a big, big difference.

I don’t care about what the slaves did in Egypt, and I don’t care about the women in the factories in Victorian times, or the women in the work houses in Edwardian times. What I care about is what the Bible teaches women about how to live.

That’s very nice, Lady lydia. But if the bible is the same Word of God for all people at all times, then those questions matter. Because if it was okay for Victorian women to work, then it’s okay for us to work. Again, I find the dismissal of these questions very telling.

All these scenes that everyone presents to me to trip me up, remind me of the Pharisees and their attempt to trap the words of Jesus. They were just trying to justify their actions and get out of doing what was right.

Are you kidding me? It’s not about tripping you up, but getting you to think through the implications of your teachings. You remind me of the person with their fingers in their ears saying “I’ve already got my mind made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

If a girl really truly wants to do what is right and will bring the greatest blessings on her, and is concerned about having a long marriage and a good home and good children, she will pay attention to what the scriptures teach women to do.

You’re right. But where we differ is in what we think the scriptures teach. Surely the need to be stewards of our gifts (like our children) is stronger than your perceived command not to work? If it’s not, I think you need to reconsider which one of us is being Pharisaical.

In a time when the non-believing women were loud and pushy and bossy and independent, the holy spirit told women to be busy at home. It was partly to make them different from the world and keep the word of God from being blasphemed, and partly because it is what is best for a woman’s make up. We live in a nervous world today and it has increased since women went to work enmasse and left the comforts of the home.

I could spend a lot of time refuting this, but she offers nothing to refute. She offers up opinion as fact and wants us to take her word for it. Why should we? There’s no evidence that the opinion presented is in fact, correct and to be followed.

It may have been true that some women worked in factories and let their children run in the streets or put them to work too, but there were, in every single era that has ever existed throughout time, women who followed the Biblical teachings.

Lady Lydia, you seem to not understand History. In the time that women were working in factories to make ends meet, to not do so would mean starvation. Even with these women working, and very often with their children working, they rarely had enough to maintain the low standard of poverty they were in. Your comments show a disdain for women who lacked the privilege you enjoy. How very Christian of you to assume that those who worked outside of the home were not following Biblical teachings by trying to insure that they had food to eat.

Yes, there were women who worked in saloons in the days of the wild, wild west, but there were Christian women who did not. There have always been women who managed pubs or worked every day in the market, but those who followed the scriptures knew that their place was in the home. Just because women working as harlots was mentioned in the Bible, does not give women the authority to do it. Christian women will always be different.

Wow. No in between, huh? Harlots and saloon workers or good Christian women working in the home. You know, Lady Lydia, in my bible, Jesus didn’t disdain prostitutes. He showed them mercy and kindness and won their hearts. Christian women can be different, even if they’re working. And notably, there is no direct biblical command for a woman to not work outside the home. The implication that there is such is extra-Biblical.

No matter what state we find ourselves in, the Bible teaches us that the woman’s greatest and most powerful role is as guard and guide of her home and family. That will never change, no matter what the economy does; no matter what the government does; no matter what the prevailing culture does.

I do all those things and hold down a part-time job to help my husband provide for our family. Working and being a keeper of my home are not jobs that are mutually exclusive.

It is still possible to be all those things that the Bible teaches. You can give me the weirdest scenario, and I will admit there are always exceptions. Sure, Deborah was a judge, so is that teaching us to become career judges?
Lydia was a seller of purple, so does that mean we all go door to door selling cloth? And yes, there were the slaves in Egypt. Does that mean we should all be slaves and go to work in other people’s houses for minimum wage?
Hearing that godly women did these things doesn’t mean that we should. It simply means that we can. You have to hold to your own logic, Lady Lydia. If biblical examples of women at home mean that we must be women at home, then how can you so disregard these other biblical examples of womanhood? If God didn’t condemn them for those things, how can you condemn women who do it now as not following the teachings of the Bible?
It is possible that even in the slave era in America, that many women stayed in their cabins having babies and fixing meals for their husbands in the cotton fields.
I can’t believe you had the temerity to post that. Did you study History at all? American slave-era women worked along side their husbands in the fields or in the house of the slave owner. They couldn’t marry, and so had to come up with their own marriage ceremony. Couples were lucky if they were allowed to stay together. Children could be sold off to others at very young ages, or worked hard themselves in the field or in the main house. In fact the scenario you present is not possible. Thus according to your standard, they weren’t following the bible.
Rahab ran a public house, and though she found favor with God for her heroic actions, it does not say that God approved of the way she lived, or that we should all become tavern keepers or harlots.

Sadly, I’m not surprised that you don’t see the real lesson of Rahab. Despite all those things that she did wrong, she turned to the Lord and found favor with Him. She is a great symbol of hope for all of us women who are sinners. No one is offering up Rahab as an example to strive for. Your argument is fallacious. Rahab is an example of how God can use anyone to fulfill His plans.

We can not say for certain that on every single plantation that every single woman and child worked in the cotton fields. Every one was different, and there were some Christian plantations where women were treated differently. But whatever happened, it does not matter, because Christians with conviction will follow the inspired word of God.

Lady Lydia, slaves were property. Bought to work and turn a profit. No one bought slaves so that they could be homemakers for their husbands. Your argument is simply not true. And you condemn these women? You think it’s more important that they be keepers at home than keep from being beaten or abused? Where is your compassion and understanding? And your idea that some plantations were Christian and treated their slaves that way would be laughable if it weren’t so horribly untrue and twisted. I would say the non-Christian slave owner was incredibly rare. And the vast majority of slave owners actually used the Bible as justification for their sinful practices.

The what-if’s you so carelessly brush off as meaningless are not so to many of us. For me, they are my reality. I live by faith, as you say, but I do so in the real world where faith doesn’t pay for the milk my children drink, or the mortgage on our house. In my world, my husband works hard, far more than forty hours a week, but simply can’t provide for our family with just his income. I’m following the Bible, trusting in the Providence of a God who has provided me with a flexible job that helps pay our bills.

It seems very easy that you sit in your ease passing judgment on women who are not fortunate to have the same circumstances that you do and pass judgment on their faith. But where is God in that?

Edited to add:

P.S. It’s hypocritical to say that others women are gossips in the same breath that you call myself and others silly women and offer a bible quote that says that said silly women are sinners who don’t have the truth. That’s gossip. Plain and simple. Own it. If you can’t see the difference between attacking you or your ideas or you can’t handle the heat, perhaps you need to get out of the blogging arena.


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