If you’ve got some time to burn, check out the Mystery of Iniquity Blog — the link points to a post in which the author comments on my post (and critique) of Mark Driscoll’s “Jesus wasn’t a hippie in a dress” video. The conversations in response constitute a microcosmic example of just how hard it is for gender-traditionalists and feminists/post-patriarchalists to discuss the core issues that divide us. Here is an enlightening glimpse into the values rift that is at the heart of both our cultural and our ecclesial paralysis.
What’s at the heart of this particular conversation? The Bible and how we interpret it. Basically, the traditionalist position is “The Bible is God’s word, and God is not sexist/misogynistic, therefore the Bible is not sexist/misogynistic.” The post-patriarchal position runs more along the lines of “The Bible is sexist/misogynistic, which means either it fails as God’s word, or it implies that God is also sexist/misogynistic, or at the very least it points to how far we have evolved in both our understanding of God and of ethics; in any case, the Bible remains relevant only to the extent that we can honestly criticize it.”
Similar rifts divide those who argue for and against the acceptance of gay and lesbian persons in church and society; those who argue for and against the morality of legally available abortion, and those who argue for and against the acceptance of religious diversity and interfaith respect.
My friends, we who both love the Christian faith and identify with post-patriarchal, post-homophobic, post-modern ethics, have quite a task before us. We must find ways for the trads and the posties to talk to each other. Not past each other, but to each other. This will be a slow, painful process. But I am convinced that God will have it no other way.