Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Want to See Your Face!

Let's get together. Let's meet face to face. Let's blend our voices outside the blogosphere. Plan to attend the Seneca Falls 2 Christian Conference. Register now. Reserve your room today. Who gets an Orlando, FL vacation for $69 a night? The conference itself is free.

For those who are not bloggers or speakers, one of the events at the Seneca Falls 2  Conference will be a time of interaction between conference attendees, the conference speakers, and a few other selected leaders via a panel discussion and Q & A session. Everyone will get a chance to actively participate in this conference.

Whether you are male or female, if you support equality for Christian Women, plan to attend this exciting event! Your presence will signal your solidarity with those who support the movement for change and will provide an opportunity to participate--in person--in the process.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Concerned Women for America is Not Concerned About Women

On May 5, 2010 Concerned Women for America (CWA) released a media advisory informing the public that their Executive Director and Senior Fellow, Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse,  provided written testimony to the Senate Committe on the Judiciary during their hearing on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Her testimony consisted of informing the committee that the issue of domestic violence is nothing but a feminist political ploy. She wrote that for the "past 15-20 years, the women's movement has used the issue of violence against women to increase their influence around the world."  

Crouse wrote that the numbers of actual violence are skewed. She's right. They are. The numbers do not even begin to reflect how many women are actually experiencing domestic abuse or violence. But that is not what she meant. She also wrote that "violence is...diluted when psychological and verbal abuse are thrown into the mix and differ in magnitude" from  physical abuse. 

Crouse, and Concerned Women for America are wrong. The magnitude of psychological and verbal abuse should not be underestimated. They are horrendous. Crouse wrote, "Physical violence is not to be tolerated, and VAWA needs to focus on ending those crimes rather than broadening the definition of violence to the point of meaninglessness." Meaninglessness? Domestic abuse is not meaningless. It is devastating, and it can be deadly. Women can and do commit suicide as a result of domestic abuse. The suicide of a verbally and psychologically abused woman is a domestic violence murder.

Suppose a verbally abused wife does not commit suicide? Does that make everything Ok? How many women who live under the strain of verbal and psychological abuse (in military settings it is called psychological warfare) experience significant deterioration in their physical and mental health, and live miserable, shortened lives as a result of the abuse? Abuse should not be a crime?

God help us.

"Dr. Crouse concluded, 'None of us likes to see anyone abused, and we all recoil at those situations where women and children are battered and assaulted. However, those who really want to help these women cannot continue to 'add on' to the list of abuses things that are regrettable and objectionable but not 'abusive'...'"  

Psychological warefare is not abusive? How can Christians continue to support these "non-profit" organizations? Stop sending them money

Crouse continued, "we must ensure that those programs that are funded really do help women, rather than merely increasing the federal bureaucracy and imposing further barriers between hurting women and those who are eager and qualified to help them." How does Concerned Women for America plan to support programs that help battered women? Do they fund any battered women shelters? If they do, it cannot be found on their website. They do not even deal with the issue of domestic violence on their website. It is not listed as either a "Core Issue" or  a peripheral "Miscellaneous" issue. It appears that wife beating and domestic psychological warfare are not "Issues" at all as far as CWA is concerned, except in opposing efforts to help women who are victimized by these crimes. CWA consistently attempts to erect judicial and economic barriers  between endangered women and those who have the authority and the qualifications to help them.  

One of the purposes behind CWA is protecting and supporting the "Biblical design of marriage." The Biblical design of marriage, according to them, is defined by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), and consists of male authority and submissive wives--period. How can a wife submit and leave an abusive husband at the same time? What is CWA doing to help abused women? What can they do when they issue media releases saying that verbal and psychological warfare is not abuse?

Little real help for battered and abused wives will be found within radical complementarian organizations like CWA. And CWA is a radical complementarian organization. Its founder, Beverly LaHaye, serves on the Board of Reference for the  CBMW, which is an organization committed to the absolute overthrow of the personal authonomy of all Christian women. In spite of the fact that Beverly LaHaye has been living a high profile life with CWA, and been busy in politics for quite some years, she and her husband, best selling author, Tim LaHaye, advise Christian husbands to practice economic abuse by controlling all monies earned by working wives in order to discourage female independence. Why in the world would they, or any organization connected with them, be concerned about domestic abuse? They promote it. It is part of their strategy for implementing what they call the "Biblical Design of Marriage."

Concerned Women for America may be the nation's largest public policy women's organization, but they certainly are not concerned about women.


"And they said Let us rise up and build So they strengthened their hands for this good work" 

Friday, May 07, 2010

My Apologies Everyone

The information I posted yesterday was incorrect. The subject matter is so relevant, though, that I have reposted it with the correct dates. My thanks to Shirley Taylor, of Baptist Women for Equality, for emailing me about the error.

Seventh Anniversary of Mass Exodus From Southern Baptist Mission Board

The Seneca Falls 2 Christian Conference is an inter-denominational event, which should be of interest to all who believe the Bible teaches the priesthood of every believer. It should be of particular interest to Southern Baptists who, seven years ago today, witnessed the International Missions Board (IMB) lose 43 missionaries in one day due to pressure to sign the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message.

Why not sign?
“Don and Angie Finley of Brazil, are two of the missionaries whose resignations were accepted by the IMB on May 7, 2003. They declared they were ‘not resigning because we have a problem with grassroots Southern Baptists’ or ‘because we have done anything wrong or have something to hide. When a Baptist missionary sending agency demands doctrinal accountability on the basis of a man-made document rather than on the basis of Scripture, something is wrong…When unnamed critics are taken seriously when they make vague, generalized and unsubstantiated accusations against doctrinally sound and spiritually committed missionaries, something is wrong. When denominational politics takes precedence over mission priorities, and missionaries themselves are made pawns in a denominational political game, something is wrong.’

Rick Dill, a missionary who was fired along with his wife, Nancy, clarifies: "‘A small group of really vicious people are the ones who are making policy at the board,’ …The Dills outlined four concerns they have with the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message: Removal of the statement: ‘The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ,’ from the 1963 version. ‘The center of our faith is Jesus Christ--God who became man, born of a virgin, crucified as atonement for our sin, raised on the third day, ascended to the right hand of the Father…All Scripture comes from him and can only be understood through him,’ Use of the expression ‘priesthood of believers’ instead of ‘priesthood of the believer.’ ‘Each of us stands individually before God,’ Dill said. ‘We are called to be his priests; his Spirit works within us individually as well as corporately, and finally, we will be called to account for our lives as his servants. Loss of that concept, not liberalism, is what killed the Christian movement in Europe…The priesthood of the believer was denied and taken away, and the clergy decided what you believe, what you do and when you believe it. They took the experience with God, that the Bible insists upon, completely away. That's the most dangerous thing that is facing us as Southern Baptists.’

The Bottom Line
It is suspected that the “small group of really vicious people” making policy at the IMB were more concerned with female subordination than with anything else. Dill continues explaining why he and his wife could not sign the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message: “Insertion of language that a wife should ‘submit herself graciously’ to her husband, while ignoring ‘the injunction of Paul to submit to each other.’ Insertion of a statement that ‘the office of pastor is limited to men.’ In China, women pastor a majority of the churches,’ Dill said. ‘In Germany, we have a number of women who are Baptist pastors and do an exemplary job of service. ... Does this mean all of these women are serving out of God's will?’"

The Crux of the Matter?
If missionary wives did not agree to submit graciously to their husbands and forsake the priesthood of every believer in favor of a priesthood composed of only male believers, then missionary couples would no longer be supported by the Southern Baptist International Missions Board, and must either support themselves or come home.

On May 7, 2003, 30 missionaries resigned. 13 were fired. It was the “largest mass exodus in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board. ’We've never had anything close to this,’ said Alan Lefever, director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection.”

What happened at the IBM is an example of why Christians who support the priesthood of all believers –Vs- the priesthood of only some believers need to stand up and be counted. And we can do that by supporting the Seneca Falls 2 Christian Conference which will be held in Orlando, FL on July 24 of this year. Shirley Taylor, founder of Baptist Women for Equality, who says we’ve talked about it long enough, now it’s time to do something, has confirmed that she will be speaking at the conference.

After the resignations and firings, the IMB disclosed that the 98% of foreign missionaries who did sign the document were not all in agreement with it. Some missionaries admitted they signed under pressure in order to keep their ministries. "We've talked with numerous missionaries who basically said, 'God called me here, and I'll sign in order to keep doing my ministry.' Additionally, you have 'yes' responses ranging from 'This is a wonderful statement of faith' to 'I can live with it.' … ‘Of the many disappointments and frustrations since the so-called 'conservative resurgence,' the firing of God-called missionaries is far and away the saddest day of all.,"

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Seneca Falls 2 Conference: What It Is and Is Not

About the Name: The first women's conference was held in the United States on July 19-20, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York. Four of the five organizers of the conference were Christians and the conference was hosted at a Methodist Church. It was a predominantly Christian led event.

About the Conference: This is not a "Women's" Conference. There have been too many gender-segregated conferences. It is time to come together equally—as followers of Christ. This is a "Christian" Conference for both men and women.

The Purpose of the Conference: We are not coming together to define the problem, that has already been done. The purpose of Seneca Falls 2 is to offer solutions and to present a united front in favor of gender-equality for Christian women. We believe that by doing so, we can encourage those who presently remain silent to add their voices to ours. We believe we can see change.