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Thread: Well-behaved women won't change the church

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Well-behaved women won't change the church

    I didn't know if this belonged here or in the Theology forum. This blog looks good - Well-behaved women won't change the church.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18a


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    Senior Member Jim Franklin's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    If the "church" is the "Body of Christ," does it need changing or is it the humans who make up this "Body" who need change? Those who seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit will change as they are obedient to the Spirit's guidance. Can well behaved women of leadership provoke this change? Yes, as the Spirit guides their leadership in the Body. Is Kathy calling for a revolution, perhaps, based on "spurring" one another to good works and a closer walk and obedience to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In His divine way Jesus was a revolutionary, the Pharisees and Saducees were revolted by His ministry that undercut there power.
    Last edited by Jim Franklin; April 23rd, 2012 at 11:43 PM.
    Thanks Susan Unger - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    I never really resonated with the “Well behaved women never make history,” because it never reflected my goals. Some ministers are more comfortable with a more prophetic, lightening rod identity. That’s not my model of ministry. I don’t value fame, I value respect. I’m not looking for prestige, I’m looking for depth. I want people to feel like they can trust me with their milestones, their weddings, funerals and baptisms. I want the privilege of being involved in people’s lives. My primary identity is pastoral, and a certain amount of peacemaking is necessary for that role.

    And I’m functioning in the church, the setting most people take the greatest pains to behave in, especially women. But that leads me to my real place here as a woman in ministry. Maybe by ordaining me, the church is setting me into a position of disruption, not for my own name in history, but to define this moment in the church’s history. And when service to my people, especially the poor, disenfranchised or powerless requires me break some social norms, I think I ought to do that.

    When I challenge the idea of being “well behaved,” I’m not thinking about buying lottery tickets and a pack of smokes. I’m talking about contradicting bad policies and speaking up for those who are disempowered. Perhaps going along with the way things have always been done, when those ways are destructive or ineffective or wasteful is not so much “well behaved” as cowardly.

    In that way, I have begun ‘misbehaving’ more than I used to, but I am still relatively young and still establishing credibility and confidence in ministry. I think this article almost needs to be read with a companion piece for young women that you have to earn the right to start misbehaving.

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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Well - it is interesting that we are talking about this at the same time that the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is trying to reign in their own "bad" girls, the Catholic Sisters. http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/04/24/hav..._CDfZw.twitter
    "Fully embracing the Gospel, fully engaging the world"
    Thanks Susan Unger, Melissa DeBono, Marissa Lynn Coblentz - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Diane Likens's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Great blog, Susan. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.
    Thanks Susan Unger - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    Well - it is interesting that we are talking about this at the same time that the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is trying to reign in their own "bad" girls, the Catholic Sisters. http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/04/24/hav..._CDfZw.twitter
    I liked this
    Their approach however is to support low-income women, which actually reduces abortion, instead of mostly legislative strategies that could just push abortions into back alleys. And perhaps the sisters would also rather minister to gay and lesbian people with the love of Christ instead of just telling them they are wrong and unacceptable.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18a


    Become an organ donor ~ donatelife.net ~ www.organdonor.gov

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    Senior Member Steven Burton's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Unger View Post
    I liked this
    SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! don't spread that around it might catch on. And we all know that politicians don't want you to learn this fact.
    "Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek."
    Laughing Susan Unger, Diane Likens - thanks for this funny post

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    Senior Member Todd Erickson's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Ruth wasn't particularly well behaved, but we uphold her a major example in the bible. Not to mention Tamar and Rahab...
    Thanks Susan Unger, Steven Burton - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Interesting piece Susan. While I agree with Melissa that the definition of "well-behaved" would help I find it interesting that we don't discuss well-behaved men. Is that because we assume they are poorly behaved?

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi Anderson View Post
    Interesting piece Susan. While I agree with Melissa that the definition of "well-behaved" would help I find it interesting that we don't discuss well-behaved men. Is that because we assume they are poorly behaved?
    hmm...I would say that it is because men are usually not expected to be meek, mild and stay in their place?
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18a


    Become an organ donor ~ donatelife.net ~ www.organdonor.gov

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    Senior Member Bob Hunter's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    I really liked the article and resonated with much of it. We need more women who are not afraid to rock the boat, I think the author may have put her finger on a possible reason why women have a hard time leading men in the Church. Is male chauvinism to blame? Not always. The unstoppable woman is force to be reckoned with and many of them have changed the face of Christianity. We could greatly benefit from women like Rev. Amy Ritcher who placed second in a body building contest. Not that being a body builder makes one a fruitful and effective pastor, but you have to love the courage and boldness. A woman who kicks butt in the weight room, is going to get someone's attention!

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/fellowship...e-of-them.html

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa DeBono View Post
    And I’m functioning in the church, the setting most people take the greatest pains to behave in, especially women. But that leads me to my real place here as a woman in ministry. Maybe by ordaining me, the church is setting me into a position of disruption, not for my own name in history, but to define this moment in the church’s history. And when service to my people, especially the poor, disenfranchised or powerless requires me break some social norms, I think I ought to do that.

    When I challenge the idea of being “well behaved,” I’m not thinking about buying lottery tickets and a pack of smokes. I’m talking about contradicting bad policies and speaking up for those who are disempowered. Perhaps going along with the way things have always been done, when those ways are destructive or ineffective or wasteful is not so much “well behaved” as cowardly.
    I am not familiar with the person who wrote the blog so I can't state how she is viewing well-behaved. For me, I see this article as a reminder that I do have a voice and can use it, and should use it when it is easier to be a coward [as you put it]. In a sense I see that as being prophetic but I think my definition isn't the same as others.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18a


    Become an organ donor ~ donatelife.net ~ www.organdonor.gov
    Thanks Marissa Lynn Coblentz, Melissa DeBono - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Well-behaved women won't change the church

    Susan,
    I am not familiar with the author either, but from the cues in the text, I am assuming that her definition of 'well-behaved' is similar to mine. I was clarifying such a definition to ensure that we holiness folk not miss the point regarding the social roles of women because we are caught up on "good behavior."

    My caveat regarding young women can translate to young men as well. There is a certain degree of seasoning and credibility that has to accompany the risk taking of "bad" behavior.
    Thanks Heidi Anderson, Susan Unger - "thanks" for this post

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