MEN AND WOMEN or WOMEN AND MEN – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN
While looking for something in what was once Wilma Cullum’s desk, I saw a folder flat on the bottom of the large middle drawer. In it I found a bulletin article by Mike Brown from 1995 and what seems to be part of a bulletin introducing the Elders. As to the date, Jenni Cullum was 8, Alan Hawkins was 7, and Melanie Brown was 3. Any other Elders were on the missing pages.
What caught my eye was part of an article which concluded with this: “Nowhere does the Bible teach that women are to be kept in a subservient role and treated like second-class citizens of the Kingdom of God. Certainly stereotyping and dehumanization of women, and treating them as mere sex objects are attributes that must be rejected. Male and female are one in Christ (Gal.3:28). Both are of equal worth and dignity to the Creator in whose image they were made. And the man-woman relationship will begin to be what God wants it to be only when each can recognize the others’ worth, live in mutual love and submission being aware of their mutual dependence, and grant to each other full personhood. “ Roger Coffman
In 1987 the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood said, the proper role of a woman in marriage is “willing submission” to her husband. Men and women are supposed to be different; and one difference is that the men should lead and the women follow much in the same way that Jesus led his flock and his flock followed. “Sin inclines women to resist limitations on their roles.” So let’s talk about Biblical women
It is often stated that the Bible was written about men for men. All the big names are men, Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, etc.. But there is also Ruth and Esther. Stand alone books. The Ten Commandments put mothers and fathers on equal footing. Lev. 19:3 says, “Mothers and fathers are to be revered”
In Numbers 27 there is a refutation of a common idea about Jewish women and inheritance. Five daughter’s of Zelophehad (he had no sons) came to Moses and the priest and said, “Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”
Before we get to the answer, the question implies that up until that time the answer to that question was clearly: No. Why else would Moses have to bring it “before the Lord”? Verse 8-11 sets a new precedent. Granted it is not complete equality with men, but neither is it an exclusion of women.
In the story of Samson his mother’s name is never mentioned. His father is Manoah, and his wife is childless. An angel appears to the wife and tells her she will have a son and instructs her how to raise him. She tells her husband and he prays to God to give him the information firsthand. So much for trusting your wife!
The man (angel) appears again to the wife while she is in the field. (Take that Manoah!) She runs to get Manoah and he follows her back to the field. He asks the angel if he’s really the one who talked to his wife. When he gets his assurance he asks how to raise the boy. (The wife has already told him!) Notice how it says (vs. 13) “Your wife must do all I have told her.”
Manoah invites he angel to stay for supper but he refuses and tells him to offer a sacrifice instead. The angel ascended in the flame of the sacrifice. Manoah now recognizes he has been in the presence of an angel of the Lord. “We are doomed to die! We have seen God!” His wife said, (“Dummy) if the Lord was going to kill us why would he have accepted the burnt offering and told us all he did!” In the story Manoah is a numbskull. The wife is the hero. She is entrusted with the upbringing of Samson. And while she has no name, the meaning may be that a name had nothing to do with ones worth.
Regardless of assumptions concerning the value and mental agility of women, the Bible has several places where the women is smarter and wiser than a man. Deborah, a married woman, leads Israel. (Judges 4:4) In her story is Jael, who kills an enemy commander named Sisera while he hides in her tent.
In David’s story, Abigail gets her foot-in-mouth husband, Nabal out of trouble as much as she can, until he is killed.
In contrast to that, Lev 27 seems to place less value on females than males. Men twenty to sixty are valued at 50 shekels, women 10. Boys younger than five but older than one month are valued at 5 shekels, girls 3. After age sixty, men are worth 15 shekels and women 10. Er’s a question” Why aren’t children under one month worth anything? In fact, they are not counted in the census in Num. 3:14-15.
As to the different values of men and women may be based on the fact that men can do heavier physical work than a woman. A twenty-to-sixty-year-old woman was worth 30 shekels, twice the value of a sixty year old man.
On the other hand, the length of purification rituals between men and women are sexist. Also, in Num. 30:1-5 a man must keep his vow. However, if a daughter makes a vow the father doesn’t like, he can appose it and she will be released. And one would assume that if the father did not hear of the vow, she would have to keep it.
So, what about the NT? Is the CBMW right? They have scripture to back up their claims. Or do they? On the surface it seems so. But those who have studied and dug deeply into the background of the Greco-Roman world to which most of the NT epistles were written, say such scriptures must be understood within the social and cultural environment of that time. A good example would be the NT view of slavery. That is not a view that the insightful Christian holds today. Therefore, why the need to hold views on marriage from the same time frame different than ours? After all, Biblical marriage allowed polygamy.
CONCERNS: Betty Billings is in Raleigh Court HRC, room 106. She is receiving hospice care. Gary Overstreet is in Springtree HRC, but hopes to be home soon. Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell is having serious health issues Keep the following in your prayers: Deanna McRoy, Teryn Gaynor’s mother and step-father. Leena Bolin’s friend who is struggling with stress. Ray and Debbie Reiss’ son-in-law. The parents of Joni and Alan Beach, Del Bolin’s mother, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder
We were saddened to learn of the death of Susan Phlegar’s sister-in law. Susan went to Texas for her funeral.
Today is Super Sunday. The fellowship meal will be served in the annex following the morning service. Please stay.
THE STEERING COMMITTEE
If there is a need the steering committee will meet in the library after the meal.
LADIES DAY AT DALE RIDGE
The Dale Ridge congregation is having a Ladies Day on Saturday, September 15 which includes breakfast and
lunch. Among the speakers is Angela Tanksley from Knoxville, TN.
A flyer is on the table in the foyer.
THE ANNUAL LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR-B-QUE
A sign-up sheet for the Bar-B-Que is on the foyer table. It will be on Saturday, September 1. Moore details later.
Today’s service has been arraigned by Wayne Flora with Alan Beach leading the singing.
Thanks to those who cooked at the Ronald McDonald House and those who picked up the Panera bread.
The Sunday morning class is studying the book of Acts. On Wednesday evening the study is from the gospel of John.