Tag Archives: John

No Homosexual Lifestyle???

In August of last year, the darling of the progressive Christian world, John Pavlovitz, wrote a post titled Repeat After Me: “There is No Such Thing as a “Homosexual Lifestyle.”  What?!? No homosexual lifestyle? I find that hard to believe. I mean, if there’s no “homosexual lifestyle”, that means I’ve been an asshole for absolutely no reason whatsoever. That is a turn of events I just cannot accept.

Look, there are numerous places where the Bible plainly states homosexuality is a sin. Here are a few of those places:

  • In Leviticus 18:22, God told Moses that men shouldn’t lie with men as they do with women because that is an abomination. Of course, a few chapters earlier, God also told Moses that the people shouldn’t eat pork and shrimp. But, I love pork and shrimp, so I ignore that part. Thank you, God, for the miracle of proof-texting!
  • In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul said that “homosexuals” won’t “inherit the kingdom of God”. Yes, I know the word “homosexual” doesn’t appear in the Bible until the middle of the 20th century. But, the words that have been rendered as “homosexual” are slang terms and we really don’t know what they mean. But, hey, if we don’t know what Paul meant, what’s wrong with interpreting it in a way that benefits us “normal”, straight folks?
  • In Romans 1:26-28, Paul tells us that men and women gave up natural, God-ordained relations and defiled themselves with icky, same-sex shenanigans and were promptly punished for it. Sure, in the very next chapter, Paul tells us that God condemns the kind of judgement he just threw out, but that doesn’t help my case, so I’m ignoring it.

Seriously, is this man, this “pastor”, trying to tell me that my deeply held religious belief about the homosexuals, based on a Bible verses that have been few proof-texted and cherry-picked within an inch of their life, is wrong? Really?

According to Pavlovitz, “We all have a gender identity and a sexual orientation and these things all fall along a vast and complicated continuum. It is this specific combination of both how we see ourselves and who we are drawn to that form this essential part of who we are.” Oh, come on, “gender identity” and “sexual orientation”? Everyone knows God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And, Eve was always Eve, not Steve who decided he was Eve. No less an authority than the Southern Baptist Convention backs this up in their resolution “On Transgender Identity”. How could that many Baptists be wrong about something like this?

He also says that the Christians are holding onto “the prejudices and fears our faith inherited 3500 years ago when we didn’t know what we know now” and is “deliberately choosing to not know now; preferring religion to reality”. Well, of course we are. Otherwise we might have to change. And, if there’s one thing we don’t do very well, it’s change.

Look, the bottom line is that accepting homosexuality as innate and not a “lifestyle” is just another step onto the slippery slope that will ultimately lead Christians to live by the teachings of Jesus and start loving our neighbor and turning the other cheek. God only knows where that could lead.

Watching Deadpool is a One-way Ticket to Hell

deadpool-movie-posterThat’s the word on the evangelical street, y’all. You will not pass Go and you will not collect $200. You will, however, spend eternity in the bottomless pit and being tormented at Satan’s pleasure.  Now, you may be wondering why is watching “Deadpool” a one-way ticket to Hell? Because, people are nekkid in it, that’s why. I guess it’s okay to be violent as fuck, but you’re gonna burn if you so much as glance at naked boobies.

I stumbled onto this super-important bit of information last night when I was wasting time on Facebook researching a paper for my English class and found a link on the Stuff Christian Culture Likes page to an article from John Piper’s Desiring God website. While I don’t always agree with Stephanie (as in, “Drury”, the person behind SCCL), she does have a real knack for finding crazy Christian stuff; especially when it comes to “sexual purity”. And, this was no exception.

Apparently, “Christians” are wrestling with whether or not they should see “Deadpool”. I say, “apparently”, because I know a lot of Christians and not one of them has voiced any uncertainty in this matter; they cannot wait to see the movie (some already have and gave it rave reviews). Granted, the majority of my friends are huge nerds and would likely be considered apostates by Piper and his crowd, so they may not the best indicator of what’s going on in the evangelical/fundamentalist world. But, the author didn’t specify a certain group, so I’m rolling with it.

I’m not doing a point-by-point refutation of the article, today. Or ever, really. I mean, why bother? I’m pretty sure no one who reads this blog is all that torn up about a little nudity in a movie or puts much stock in what the nation’s premier Calvinist website has to say about it. So, why am I writing about this? Two reasons: 1) I am fascinated by their obsession with sex and 2) posts about sex and “purity” usually pull in pretty good numbers. Combine that with a topic that has the buzz of “Deadpool” and I’m thinking this post might just land in my top ten list. Yes, I’m a numbers whore. If you didn’t already know that, you obviously haven’t been around here very long. But, I digress.

I don’t get it. There are so many things in this movie that drive hardcore evangafundies over the edge and by focusing on the nudity, they’re missing out on so much outrage. There’s the film’s irreverence, its anti-establishment attitude and the profanity. It’s a trifecta of sin and they’re missing out! (I was going to mention “the lack of upstanding, virtuous plotline”, but that would violate the comedy “Rule of Three“, so…)

To be fair, Desiring God isn’t the only Christian website with a problem about “Deadpool”, they’re just the biggest. A Google search of “Deadpool and Christians” returns pages and pages of results and every one I looked at was…, let’s say, “less than complimentary”. Of the ones I read,  the recurring theme was “DON’T LOOK. NEKKID PEOPLE!!!” A couple did mention violence as a concern; one said there “should be a limit on how many decapitations there are in a movie that’s not called Highlander.” But, another thought the studio should’ve forgone the “raunchy” stuff and focused on the violence. That’s interesting when you consider Christians follow a man who forswore violence in everything he taught.

The most shocking thing of all is that One Million Moms has not yet called for a boycott of this film. How can that be??? It has almost everything they love to hate: sex and cussing and…, well, that’s about it, because the Moms don’t seem to get bent out of shape over gratuitous violence. It seems that frogs without pants, gay superheroes or a likable Satan are imminent dangers to the moral fabric of the country, but blood, gore and guts are cool.

So, as a Christian, do I think it’s okay to watch “Deadpool”? Hell, yes I do. In fact, I plan on seeing it myself as soon as possible. What’s that, aren’t I worried about going to Hell because I saw nude lady bits? According to the folks who believe that way, I’m already going there and I figure, “in for a penny, in for pound”. Might as well get my money’s worth.

Christians for Trump 2016!

 

Christians for TrumpI don’t know about anyone else, but I have been so underwhelmed by the choices in the upcoming presidential election. Until recently, I floundered around, looking for the true, evangelical Christian candidate, all to no avail. Ben Carson was looking good for a while, but then I realized he’s a Seventh-Day Adventist, and I just can’t hang with a such weird, semi-magical faith. Jeb Bush is a Catholic and, as we all know, the Pope is the Anti-Christ. So, he’s out. I had all but settled on Ted Cruz as the one, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I thought all was lost until, just a few days ago, the clouds parted, the trumpets sounded and the answer I was looking for was revealed.

You see, that’s when Jerry Falwell, Jr, president of Liberty University and son of Rev. Jerry Falwell, endorsed Donald J. Trump for President of the United States, calling Trump “a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.” Yes! Coming on the heels of Sister Sarah Palin’s declaration of support , it is clear that God wants Donald Trump to lead this country back to greatness.

We’ve had hints that Brother JJ might come out for the Donald. Since Trump, aka “the last great hope for this hell hole of a country”, stepped onto the pages of history by declaring his intent to run for president, Falwell has put some time into building a rapport with the man. In recent weeks, he has compared Trump to Falwell, Sr and stated, “In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the Great Commandment.”

And, the country is ready for this, beloved. As this sign at an Alabama rally for Trump back in August shows:

trump4

Of course, some wag is going to point to the Donald’s less-than-stellar knowledgee of the Bible or the fact that he can’t remember ever asking God’s forgiveness, questioning his evangelical bonfides. But, honestly, none of that really matters. What does matter? That Trump is the only person who can save us from the dreadful mismanagement that has characterized the Obama administration. I mean, seriously, how much more employment, peace and economic prosperity can this country take?

Mr. Trump is also the strong man we need to lead us against the forces that threaten to destroy the very fabric of our nation. Who else but Trump can go toe-to-toe with ISIS, Vladimir Putin and China? Sure, he backed out of the debate last night rather than face Megyn Kelly. But, after the way she went after him last time, who could blame him? Intelligent women who won’t put up with your crap are scary.

Does it matter that he’s greedy, privileged, willing to use all the resources at his disposal to stroke his own ego while others suffer (often on account of what he’s said), and cares nothing for the consequences of his words and actions so long as they don’t affect him personally? Of course not! All good Christians should aspire to be like Mr. Trump; rich as Croesus and unashamedly politically incorrect. Because, really, isn’t that what the Gospel is all about?

It’s (Not) The End Of The World

End of the world

I have to admit I was a little bummed last week, when I missed the opportunity to write about yet another End Times “prediction”; aka, the blood moon. Well, as bummed as one can be while on vacation in the (sub)tropical paradise that is Florida’s Tampa Bay area. Early in the week, when this story was actually relevant, I was having some computer problems after “upgrading” to Windows 10 and by the time I got it all sorted out (which cost me $100. Thanks a lot, Microsoft), the iron really wasn’t hot enough to strike anymore. With more than a little sadness, I let it go; figuring I could use it for background sometime in the future. Imagine my elation when I read that someone else claims the world is going to end today, a little more than a week from the earlier prediction.

In a series of podcasts, online Christian broadcaster Chris McCann informed us that, “According to what the Bible is presenting it does appear that 7 October will be the day that God has spoken of: in which, the world will pass away.” McCann is basing his theory on an earlier prediction by Harold “Save the Date” Camping, who said The Rapture™ would occur on May 21, 2011. And, when that didn’t pan out, changed his prediction to say that the world would end 5 months later, on October 21. McCann, using what has to be some of the most impressive mental gymnastics ever, has decided that A) on May 21, 2011, God stopped saving people and B) October 7th marks the 1600th day since that happened, so it’s all going down today…, maybe. You see, McCann did learn something from Camping’s little boo-boo. Not “better understanding of the text” or anything else so mundane, of course. No, what Brother Chris seems to have gathered from the shitstorm that surrounded Camping’s failed attempt at prophecy is “hedge your bets”.

Everything I’m reading from this latest “the world is gonna end!” hysteria is filled with phrases such as “strong likelihood” and “it does appear that”. McCann even goes so far as to say that there is “an unlikely possibility” that we won’t have a hot time of it today (because God will burn all this shit up, per 2 Peter 3:10). Is it just me or is that some weak tea when it comes to an end-of-the-world prediction? I don’t know about you, but I prefer my End Times prophets to have a little more conviction than McCann is showing. I mean, shit, if you’re not sure you believe it, why should I?

As have others in the past, McCann’s divination has me wondering where all this…, “stuff”, came from. Because, after engaging in some bible study, I know that most of what they go on about isn’t even in the Bible. Of course, that brings up the question of why do people believe it if it’s not in there?  I think it’s because that nutjob Darby came up with a cracker jack story. You’ve got to admit that while futurism might be sucky theology, it does makes one hell of a science fiction/fantasy tale. In fact, it already has. I’m speaking of the Left Behind series, of course. And, maybe I’m reaching here, but an amazing story is the only way I can think of that explains the popularity of books whose writing makes “Twilight” and “Fifty Shades of Gray” come off like classical literature.

I know this is a bitter pill to swallow, but we must face facts: the historical interpretation of Revelation (e.g., it’s “the declaration that Jesus will return, justice will be granted to the oppressed, and all things will be made new“) is nowhere near as interesting as the craziness version that occurs in “Left Behind”. While we’re at it, we should also admit that, unless you’ve spent a lot of time studying it, the book of Revelation makes about as much sense as the space opera back story of Scientology. I mean, seriously, is there really that much difference between Lord Xenu loading several billion of his citizens onto Douglas DC-8’s and sending them to Earth, only to be killed by h-bombs exploding inside volcanoes (to steal a line from South Park, “This is what Scientologists actually believe”) and the fifth angel’s trumpet unleashing hordes of scorpion-locusts whose sting inflicts such terrible pain that people try to kill themselves, but can’t die or a skanky chick riding on 7-headed beast that’s covered in blasphemous names? They both sound like mushroom dreams; but only one of them is about “what happened when God got religion.”

Do you honestly think an appeal to reason is going to stand up against that kind of thing? Hell, we can’t even get conservatives to understand that the Planned Parenthood videos are full of shit when the evidence is right under their noses, so what makes anyone think  boring explanations about what Revelation actually means won’t fall flat? Part of me says we need to come up with a story that can compete with dispensationalism, but another part says that reinterpreting scripture to counter a reinterpretation of scripture makes about as much sense as saying the Beast of Revelation 13 is the Anti-Christ when that term doesn’t even appear in Revelation. (See what I did there?) But, right now, we’re pretty much fiddling while Rome burns (A Nero reference. Get it?) and we all know how that ended up.

First Church of Tax Exemption

satire def

After his tour de force as interim host on The Daily Show in 2013, John Oliver moved over to HBO to host his own program, “Last Week Tonight“. There, he takes a more in-depth look at various subjects like Sex Ed, prison sentences, transgender rights, the tobacco industry and nutritional supplements. If you haven’t watched any of those, I highly recommend that you do. Oliver’s satire is bitingly funny and incredibly informative. Sunday night, he turned that satire on this question: Should churches be tax exempt?

Oliver’s latest episode actually concentrated on televangelists who preach prosperity gospel. I thought I knew the depths to which these shysters would sink, but I was oh, so wrong; as bad as I thought it was, it’s worse. Watching these people brag about how God has “blessed” them and then beg for more money from people who can’t afford it made my skin crawl. But, the worst was when Gloria Copeland claimed that watching her god-damned TV show was a better way to be “healed” of cancer than actually seeking treatment. As a cancer survivor (who has been through the hell of chemotherapy not once, but twice), I almost became physically ill. I cannot believe that shit is legal.

What’s even more unbelievable is that these assholes take in tons of money and much of it tax exempt. Mega-mansions, jets that cost millions of dollars, garages full of expensive luxury cars and just about every bit is tax-free. Why? Why are these assholes able to live in a manner that would make Pharoah blush and pay no taxes while the people who fund their lifestyle aren’t much better off than the Israelites enslaved by Pharoah go broke taking up their slack with the IRS? It’s that pesky “separation of church and state” thing, of course. Sounds to me like some changes to the Constitution might be in order.

This is a real problem, people. And, isn’t just televangelists and mega-churches, it’s all churches. I mean, let’s face it, for every big, flashy house of worship pushing prosperity gospel on the public dime, there are thousands more small community-based churches out there getting over on us by feeding people, helping them find housing and clothing, assisting with employment related activities (resumes, applications, internet access, etc.), affordable pre/after-school care for working families and generally providing a support system for their communities. Even worse, some of them have the nerve to complain that removing their tax-exempt status would have a serious negative impact on their ability to continue providing those services. What? Can you believe the chutzpah of these moochers?

Look, it’s high time that churches and other religious organizations paid their fair share when it comes to taxes. Will that mean some small, local organizations that do the good work Oliver mentions in the beginning of his show go out of business? Yes, it does. Will removing churches tax exempt status mean that some people lose their job because their organization can’t afford to keep them or maybe even stay open? Yes, it does. And, if those organizations go out of business, does that mean that the people they help will be left high and dry since many of them fall between the cracks that are inevitable with government programs like TANF and SNAP? Yes, it does. Yeah, I know it sucks and I’m sorry about that, but you know what they say: You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Is my fault that I’m not one of those eggs?

No One Needs That Crap

stossel homelessEvery so often, we’re treated to yet another person playing pretend conducting a social experiment in an attempt to shore up their weak position understand something outside their experience. Most recently, it was libertarian douchebag FoxNews hack reporter John Stossel, who dressed up and spent (from what I can tell) a whole hour pretending to be homeless. Based on this experience, Stossel believes that he understands people in that situation. There are a lot of things wrong with the story that aired on Fox, but the idea that an hour on the street pretending to be a homeless beggar in any way qualifies you as an expert on the subject is ridiculous.

I suppose there are reasons for doing this that wouldn’t be so offensive to the people you’re imitating. Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin, did it to get a first-hand look at what people who are homeless in his town deal with. Johnson spent several days and nights sleeping in shelters, panhandling, eating at soup kitchens and asking for free food at restaurants. And, from what I can see, he doesn’t feel that qualifies him for expert status. Or, sainthood either, for that matter.

But, no matter how you do it or what your reasons are, don’t think because you spent a few hours, or even days, pretending to be homeless or gay or black or anything else that you have the slightest inkling of the reality these people live with. You don’t. If only because, at any point, you can walk away from your play-acting. That’s not an option for them and it makes a huge difference.

If you want to know what people who are homeless, people of color or people who are lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender go through, here’s a novel idea: ask one of those people. You’ll be surprised at the things you’ll learn. Mostly, what you’ll find is that these folks are no different than you. They love their families, they worry about their kids, they bust their ass to keep body and soul together. They might do it in a different way than you do, but they do it all the same.

I’m so tired “social experiments” like this, especially ones that end in gratuitous bashing of my friends by well-to-do people who seem to be looking for a way quell the cognitive dissonance caused by their hoarding of wealth, conspicuous consumption or religion-based discrimination. Like I said earlier, if you want to know what someone who is homeless, LGBTQ, of color or anything else is dealing with, find one of those people and ask them. But, if you’re after more fodder for the outrage machine, just go away. No one needs that crap.

Spiritual Bullying

Spiritual bullying…, not two words you expect to see together, but it happens. Probably the most visible aspect of spiritual bullying is that old chestnut, “Love sinner, hate the sin”, which is almost always applied to LGBT folks. Interesting note, that particular phrase doesn’t come from the Bible. The exact quote comes from Mohandas K. Gandhi’s autobiography. It may have been inspired by a quotation from St. Augustine of Hippo

“For this reason, the man who lives by God’s standards and not by man’s, must needs be a lover of the good, and it follows that he must hate what is evil. Further, since no one is evil by nature, but anyone who is evil is evil because of a perversion of nature, the man who lives by God’s standards has a duty of “perfect hatred” towards those who are evil; that is to say, he should not hate the person because of the fault, nor should he love the fault because of the person. He should hate the fault, but love the man. And when the fault has been cured there will remain only what he ought to love, nothing that he should hate”

Whether or not Gandhi paraphrased old St. Auggie, I couldn’t tell you. But, I do find it interesting that the line fundamentalist Christians use to justify their treatment has its origins in the writings  of a man they claim is in hell; while, in reality, Mohandas Gandhi was more Christlike than just about any Christian I’ve ever met. Funny how that works out.

It’s not just LGBT people who are bullied by some members of the church. Some folks slung a little mud at Rob Bell when he had the temerity to suggest in his last book, “Love Wins”, that hell as actual, physical place may not exist (John Piper tweeted “RIP Rob Bell). Unfortunately, it backfired on them and “Love Wins” debuted at number 2 on the New York Times best seller list. Damn, I could use a little publicity like that. If that’s not a good enough description of spiritual bullying, check this out: just after San Francisco’s Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s statement that sexually active LGBT Catholics are unworthy to receive Holy Communion, Newark’s Archbishop John Meyers doubled down on that sentiment, saying that Catholics who support marriage equality are  equally unfit to partake in the Lord’s Supper. Now, isn’t that just the picture of tolerance?

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t as lucky as Brother Rob and don’t get a boost from bullying; until you learn to tell bullies to kiss your ass (as lovingly and Christlike as possible), it can tear you down. Don’t believe me? Look at the suicide stats for LGBT youth. Or that 40% of homeless youth are gay and are on the street because their family kicked them out. How times have heard that you can’t be liberal and Christian? All too often in church, it’s my way or the highway. I hate to say it, but the church bears a good deal of responsibility for these things. Instead of being the bully, the church should be the place where someone who feels inferior, singled out, excluded and humiliated can seek refuge.  We should be the place where people come to feel equal, included and worthy of love.  We should be the place that tells them what the world thinks doesn’t mean anything because God them loves just the way they are.  We should be the place they come when their biological family disowns them. We should be the place where they know they are loved not just by God, but by living, breathing human beings regardless of who they are, what they have or what they’ve done.  We should be the place they come when they’ve screwed up because they know they’ll find forgiveness, not judgment.  And, we should do it because that’s what Jesus would do.

Never Gonna Give You Up

“Never gonna give you up, Never gonna let you down, Never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry, Never gonna say goodbye, Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you”. Yes, those are the words to one the 80’s most pervasively annoying songs, Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley (admit it, you’ve been “Rickrolled” at least once). Annoying as it is, it’s also hard not to like; you just can’t be angry while you listen to it. And, the Lent Demotivator? That just made it better. About the same time I saw that, I saw this picture:

Aside from the theological error of referring to God as a person, this is very nice sentiment and one that I agree with wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of Christendom doesn’t. Oh, they say they believe God never gives up on us, then turn around and tell you if you don’t say the right prayer, believe the right things and follow the right doctrine, God will send you to Hell to burn for all eternity. If you ask me, that’s pretty much the epitome of giving up on someone. Worse yet, if you have the temerity to suggest that things might possibly be different, you’re branded a heretic (or a universalist, same thing). But, if you believe in a truly loving and benevolent God, one that never gives up on us, then universalism only makes sense. Listen to what Bart Campolo says here:

[youtube zSoCu3JmVNg]

I showed you this video because of one particular bit:

“All He (God) can do is keep loving people and try to win them and woo them into loving each other. And, the idea is that the Kingdom of God happens when everybody surrenders their will freely and begins to do the will of God, not because he’s making them but because they embrace it. And, the only question you have to ask yourself is do you think that, given an infinite amount of time and infinite amount of love that eventually it wins everybody over?”

You can sift through the Bible and find scriptures that both support and condemn the idea of universal reconciliation; God knows it’s been done enough times. But, even though I’m on the outs with Methodist Church these days, it’s where I cut my theological teeth and when I have questions about these kinds of issues, I turn to certain things I learned there. One of those is the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, a term coined to describe how John Wesley dealt with the  same kind of issues. When he was in a quandary, Wesley considered four things:

  1. Scripture _ What does the Bible say on the matter?
  2. Tradition _ What has been the church’s historical position?
  3. Reason _ What does rational thinking and sensible interpretation tell us about the subject?
  4. Experience _ What have I, personally, found to be true about things?

Those four sources tell me that the answer to the question is yes, it does. That’s the kind of God that will never give up on you.

Really, John?

Yesterday, we heard John Piper believes that Christianity should have a “masculine feel”. According to the good doctor (yes, he has a PhD.), “God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as king not queen; father not mother”. He goes to point out many other examples of masculine language in the Bible as proof of this idea. And, he’s right, language in the Bible is overwhelmingly masculine. But, my question is does it mean that, because of the way the Bible is written, Christianity is supposed to have a masculine character? Or, could it be that Biblical messages are heavily patriarchal because that was the view of society at the time? I tend to go with the latter explanation; otherwise, Jesus’ message isn’t nearly as inculsive as we thought.

The Gospel relates many encounters between Jesus and women, and in none of them is He dismissive or condescending. He transcended the barriers of established religion and society where women were concerned with His teachings and the esteem and respect He held for women. In first century Palestine, women were barely a step above slaves, with little to no property rights and they could be divorced for the flimsiest reason. If that happened, they could find themselves homeless and destitute. Jesus challenged all that, bringing a message that was radically egalitarian. Rich or poor, Jew or Gentile, slave or master, male or female, everyone was of equal value in Jesus’ eyes. But, because the main characters in Biblical stories are men, Piper would have us believe that it is the natural order for men to be in charge and for women to serve only in a support role. I can’t buy that. Piper’s view of masculinity in the Bible and Christianity requires some mental gymnastics; not the least of which is assuming that if it isn’t written there, it didn’t happen. If that’s true, then Jesus’ father, Joseph, never died because his death isn’t mentioned in the Bible. Yes, I realize that’s an absurd example; but it’s no more absurd than to say female apostles didn’t exist because they’re not mentioned in the text.

Jesus, Paul and the early church were all heavily dependent on woman for their survival. It’s telling that, at the end of Romans, the deacon whom Paul introduces to the believers in Rome is Phoebe, a woman. And, that the list of people he goes to thank is weighted heavily with women. People were attracted to the Gospel because it was a message of hope to those who were being oppressed, downtrodden and pushed aside by the ruling, patriarchal class. And, women were certainly in that group. If that message had been overtly patriarchal, as Jewish society of the time was, it’s doubtful they would’ve been attracted to it in the same manner.

The Christianity that Piper and compatriots espouse is one of radical exclusion. . This attitude is diametrically opposed to the message of Jesus, whose ministry was one of radical inclusion. Piper’s message is “You’re a woman? Then, you’re obviously unfit to lead men; so sit on the sidelines, honey, and cheer us on”. Somehow, I just can’t see those words coming out of Jesus’ mouth.