Say What Can’t Be Said

I am trying to get serious and study today. I have done pretty well under the circumstances. But there is something weighing me down and making me want to freeze. I have been sitting with it and trying to listen to this feeling.
I listened to part of Jonathan Martin’s podcast with Glennon Doyle and she gave me some words to what is troubling my spirit. She said when she needs to try and figure something out she writes. using her words she finds the truth. This is true for me too.
Church History is revealing a lot to me. I see why we are where we are, and I feel like we need to talk about it. But before we get there, I want to talk about our worship.
I love Worship class, although I am completely lost. It isn’t my background, and doing it from home is furthering my confusion. But I think my problem is deeper than this. I feel like I am trying to learn something that never had women in mind to be full participants.
Catholics have done better with women because they actually do honor the faithfulness of Mary. She is highly revered in their tradition. They also have a few women saints, not many, but a few. But this isn’t saying much. Their whole birth control and abortion debate has been used to control women (and it is created b/c women are not trusted) – there is a reckoning to be had, and I am serious. Protestants and Baptists have gone along with it too. All in this together. I am trying to make a point that Protestants not only did not move women forward, but also backwards. Martin Luther masculinized Junia’s name in Romans. Paul, the apostle, lists her as an apostle- Luther changed her name to Junias (masculine name).
Glennon said to say what can’t be said.
I am in seminary because I love God with all of my heart. I think Jesus is the best person to ever live, and I believe he is fully God too-but there is something missing in our faith. The divinity of women. I feel this so strongly in my heart, and I believe this is why God wants me in seminary. Many of us know women are not treated as we should, but there is little by way of our worship to correct it. We have told a story for so long that women sinned first, are to remain silent, can’t be trusted, must have babies and be virgins (confusing- I don’t understand it), and we get honored when we can find a little story in the Bible to prove God loves us just as much-we aren’t an afterthought to the creation of man. I am so tired.
We either are presented as virgins or whores in the Bible and in society.
I am going to talk about Old Testament first. The Adam and Eve story is not the first creation story. It is a different story from the one right before it. The one that says male and female are created in the image of God, and created at the same time. This story reveals God of the cosmos. The second story is God walking with humanity. There is grappling with there being a Divine order and human freedom. Human freedom doesn’t always choose the way of God, and this story reveals it. The Adam and Eve story is our story. We make God into the angry judge that God never was. We blame women first. Pain in childbirth was already happening-that isn’t new with Adam and Eve. They are writing a story to make sense of their place and time. And it is written by a patriarchal man/men, but despite the horrendous use of this story on women – and the very flawed and harmful “Original Sin” theology that came LATER by theologians that did not understand the complexity and depth of Hebrew literature-there is still so much value in that story if read responsibly.
Also, the focus on birth in the Genesis story. This is a story written by oppressed people. When the world is trying to wipe you out, what do you want to do? Increase and multiply. I am going to get to Paul in a second post. This is just the beginning.
I told Jake Bruehl there must be a God that I am in a faith that often times fights against my own humanity. But God isn’t, and I know God loves me and this changes the story.
There is another creation story too. Lots of them in the Old Testament. Proverbs 8 is even better than the first two in Genesis. There is a focus on female divinity in that story.

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