Monday, July 07, 2008

Rebecca Merrill Groothuis

Rebecca Groothuis, one of the editors of Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy, has started a blog recently. I highly recommend this recent post, The Basics of Biblical Equality: Belief & Practice.

Here is how she interprets the "submission texts."
    The submission texts do not speak of the authority of male over female as a timeless creational mandate, but rather of the biblical principle—emphasized especially in Christ’s teaching and the letters of Paul and Peter—that all believers should be submissive to one another rather than seeking to rule others, and should, as well, submit to the civil laws and cultural standards of the day to the extent that they do not require disobedience to God’s law. Thus women in the New Testament church, who were in many ways culturally and legally subordinate to men, were instructed to comply with their social role in a manner that brings glory to God—yet with the understanding that within the Body of Christ there will be a mutual sharing and edification through gifts and callings as determined by the Spirit and not by gender or race or any such old covenant classification.
This is her chapter in Discovering Biblical Equality. Browse her site for articles.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Biblical equality still much needed in Bremen Germany it would seem.
Thanks for your amazing commitment to the egalitarian cause - it's fascinating reading
Tehre isn't a link I can send for this so here it is in full:

German Protestant parish criticised for clamp on women pastor

By Frauke Brauns
Bielefeld, Germany, 8 July (ENI)--The Protestant parish church of St Martin's in the northern Germany city of Bremen is facing criticism after it prohibited a woman pastor from preaching from the pulpit or wearing clerical robes for a funeral service.

"Women have been ordained for 60 years by the Bremen Evangelical Church. But in 2008, St Martin's parish has forbidden a female pastor from entering the pulpit, despite the wishes of a family in mourning," said Simone Röttger, secretary for women's affairs of the Bremen Evangelical Church, one of the 23 regional churches that make up the country's main Protestant body, the Evangelical Church in Germany.

The policy prohibiting women from preaching from the pulpit or from wearing clerical robes has been in place in the parish since 2000, but became widely known in June after the Rev. Sabine Kurth recounted her earlier experiences. She had been asked by the family of a US Baptist who worked for a Bremen shipping company to conduct his funeral at the church.

Media reports said that Kurth was told by the head of the congregational council, Eberhard Hagemann, that she must not preach from the pulpit or wear clerical robes. Kurth agreed to the request so as to be able to conduct the service.

Bremen's commissioner for women's affairs, Ulrike Hauffe, described the prohibition as a "scandal", the German protestant news agency epd reported.

St Martin's parish regulations, agreed in 2000, refer to a Bible verse (1 Timothy 2:12), that states, "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent."

An article posted on the congregation's Web site rejects claims that it discriminated against women, and states that the legality of the congregational regulations has been recognised by the Bremen Evangelical Church.

"Bremen Protestant parishes are able to establish their congregational systems on the basis of freedom of faith, conscience and doctrine," Sabine Hatscher, the spokesperson for the regional church, told Ecumenical News International. "Unlike other regional churches in
Germany, the Bremen Evangelical Church does not interfere with the parishes because it supports the principle of grassroots democracy."

Hatscher said, however, the matter was likely to be discussed at the November synod of the Bremen regional church. [367 words]

ENI News Headlines and Featured Articles are now available by RSS feed.
All articles (c) Ecumenical News International
Reproduction permitted only by media subscribers and
provided ENI is acknowledged as the source.