Thursday, September 21, 2017

Turning Thirteen Part III

My youngest will be a teenager tomorrow!!

You have filled this last chapter of parenting with music: singing yourself to sleep as a baby (you were over the lullabies before you could talk,) humming during circle time in preschool, teaching yourself piano songs before we found your beloved teacher. We've been given so many "concerts" throughout the years!! Now, on the last day of childhood, tallest in the family, developing your talents, I'm excited to see what adventures await!

My first teenager.
My second teenager.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Women's Ordination Debate "Pink and Blue"

I really think this needs to be spread far and wide!

"Despite the fact that the word for helper, Ezer, is most often used in the Bible to describe God as our helper (and never used to describe animals as our helpers), when Piper and Grudem read Genesis 2 and find the word helper applied to the woman, they toss out the sweeping human identity statement of Genesis 1 where woman, just like man, fully bears God’s image and is fully called to fruitfulness and rulership. Instead, they banish woman from the man’s side and place her alongside the animals. She loses her place among the rulers and must join the ruled."

You can read the rest here by downloading the PDF of Hermeneutics in pink and blue from CBE International. Here is their statement on equality: statement on men, women, and biblical equality !


Here's more of what caught my eye:

  • “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (N I V). Thus, even as they have adjusted the woman’s identity, they would have to adjust the man’s identity to fit this revelation of his inadequacy as the “not-good-one,” indeed, as the “help-less” one.
    The Grey Men of Austerity

  • The promise of salvation is not simply that we escape from the wrath of God, but that we receive empowerment and transformation for the present life. We are restored to our calling as Genesis 1 image-bearers. Hence, 1 Peter 2:9 defines the renewed identity of believers as “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” The Bible speaks of all this transformation and empowerment as offered to believers without any qualification by gender. Yet, for traditionalists, while a male’s renewal in Christ leads, at least potentially, to offices of authority within the church, renewal for females does not.
  • Parable of the talents: Under female subordinationism, the parable requires an implied footnote reminding women that under certain circumstances God would be offended by females who exercise their teaching and leadership talents. Only for a male audience can the parable stand as written.
    on the eve of her resignation... - _MG_9139

  • Is this what God had in mind when the oneness of Adam became the oneness of male and female? Is this what Paul had in mind when he wrote 1 Timothy 2:12? Are we truly not a single human race in two sexes, but rather two distinct human races?
  • The bedrock of our human identity is given to both males and females in Genesis 1. Nothing that follows in Scripture—neither specific behavioral directives such as 1 Timothy 2, nor regulations concerning existing social orders and structures such as slavery, polygamy, or patriarchy—redefines our original, God-given, human identity.
  • While the full humanity of Genesis 1 has been allowed to define maleness, tragically, it has been stripped away—systematically and relentlessly—from females. Under some theologies we are left with barely enough humanity to make a single rib.

Vater Adams Rippe 1901
Update: Found a list of articles shared in Facebook.  
I have not yet checked out all the links, but here's a quote from the article by Carl Cosaert of Walla Walla:
"A plain reading of the passage reveals that Paul is not speaking about church leadership and authority, or ordination. He is talking about the way women should relate to their husbands. The passage says nothing about the headship of all men over all women. If anything, the passages affirms not only the right of women to pray in public, but also to prophesy, which is a form of teaching."
The original post from Facebook: are some links I posted half a year ago. Lots of good resources there:
The worldwide study in the Adventist church of the theology of ordination and women as leaders and pastors has created a lot of discussions, and several people write to me asking for more resources.
There is now a preponderance of excellent Adventist material showing why God is calling both men and women as leaders and pastors. Here is a small selection:
My own paper for the Inter-American Division discusses Luke-Acts and shows how the current SDA practice of ordination is based on ecclesiastical needs at the time and does not flow directly from the New Testament:
Actually, our practice of ordination (particularly the way ordination is understood and argued by those against women's ordination) is more indebted to medieval Catholic theology than to Scripture, as Darius Jankiewicz of Andrews University demonstrated (a rather long video, but watch at least the first hour, you will not regret it):
The North-American Division has produced a great collection of exegetical and theological papers, all but one are in favor of women in leadership:
Carl Cosaert of Walla Walla summarized well some of the arguments in favor of women in ministry at the recent Annual Council:
Virtually all the professors of Andrews University, the leading theological institution of Adventism, have rejected the concept of "masculine headship" (a doctrine espoused by many who are against women in leadership):
Actually, the masculine headship concept is a new theology in Adventist circles, originating in the 80s with Bacchiocchi who was influenced by certain Calvinist headship-theologians. The history of the new headship concept in Adventism is summarized well by Gerry Chudleigh (Pacific Union Conference):
Jon Paulien, one of Adventism's leading New Testament scholars, explains why he rejects the male headship doctrine:
Ellen White and the Adventist pioneers had to deal with many of the arguments against women preachers a hundred years ago (since Ellen White was a female preacher and leader). Martin Hanna (Andrews University) and Cindy Tutsch (Ellen G. White Estate) have gathered many of Ellen White's statements, as well as important biblical passages in favor of women pastors in a useful book published by Pacific Press:
When all is said and done, God must be allowed to be God and have the prerogative to call whoever He wants to whatever ministry He chooses. This is not about "women's rights" as much as it is about God's rights, as Kessia Reyne Bennett reminds us:

Monday, January 20, 2014

To My Dear Atheist Friends & My Dear Christian Friends

To my dear Atheist friends,
I don't believe in that god either.

 To my dear Christian friends,
Do you?
I hear of a god
who is in control
who laid out rules for a righteous life
who warns us to
and pray
lest we should stray away
and end in
one day
where we'll repent of all
our wicked ways
but it will be
too late
to escape
a fiery fate
of torment
without end!
I hear of a god 
who is in control
of blessings that 
he will bestow
you pay your tithe
and say your prayers
and dress the way
the leaders say
and teach your children
with whom to play
and claim your promises
A car?
Of course!
A house?
You must!
A boat? 
God wants your happiness,
so yes!
And those that live in poverty?
They obviously live in sin
harboring some evil 
deep within.
If only they would change their wicked ways 
they'd live in 
the rest of their days! 
I hear of a god
who is in control 
and chooses sides
a god who sends out 
troops to war.
The soldiers
hold their weapons,
say a prayer
then meet 
on land
or sea
or air
while leaders claim
god's enterprise
then slaughter those 
on the 
other side
where ever 
they may be: 
 I cannot trust
a god who
is in control
of all the horrors
this world holds!
I believe!

I believe that
divided energy
by a constant

atoms flew
and gasses grew
and strings
so infinitesimally small
began to
of molecules
and gravity
the gathering
of galaxies
and mountains
from the seas
and tidal pools
and a gentle breeze...

But I believe 
a challenger
"I know a better,
stronger way!
and strength survive and thrive
while weakness filters out and dies:
let power beget power...
The circle of life!"
I believe
that in this world,
so full of strife,
a spark of love
was kept alive
and wove its way
through centuries
and one day
 faced the enemy
who offered
to release control
of his whole earthly realm
if only love
would bend
it's knee
the usuper's
Love was not
so easily bought
and though I cannot truly
how death 
could bring life
in the end
yet, oh, how bold
to tell us that
the last
shall one day
be the first
meekness triumph
in the end.
 I believe that
Love is patient
Love is kind
God IS Love!
Which means that:
God is patient
God is kind
God does not envy
 God is not proud
 God is not
easily angered
and keeps
no record
of wrongs.
God never ends,
but prophesies
and knowledge
will pass away!*

I believe
this challenges
theology that tells
us that most
mystery is gone
and we've
deciphered prophecy
and formulated
the way to be.
we dimly see
through darkened glass
but hear repeatedly:
"Fear not!
Be not afraid.
Love your neighbor
your enemy,
in the end,
to Me!" 
 ~Heather Alarcon

Although I haven't blogged in a VERY long time, this is the first part of a series of blogs I hope to write that are partially in response to Ryan Bell's foray into Atheism and were partly brought on by a news item similarly to my first post.  I will explain more details on point later, but when I started writing down ideas my prose turned into poetry and it became what it is. ^_^

*I  first heard of substituting God for Love in 1 Corinthians 13 from someone who heard it at the Spangle, WA Camp-meeting 2013.  I believe it is a beautiful and meaningful exercise.