Women and Ministry: What Have You Been Taught?

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29425471_10156304631053653_6369803088737673470_nDoes this 7-minute video match up with what you’ve been taught about women and ministry? In my church background, when the topic of women came up, it was about what they were supposed to do at home, raising children, and how to treat their husband.

 

When it came to ministry work, there were specific jobs women were encouraged to do. Here is the typical ministry work women could do in my church experience:


  • childcare
  • help in the kitchen or cleaning
  • music ministry
  • help in the church library
  • church greeter
  • prayer chain
  • coordinate meals for people who are sick or moms with new babies
  • lead children’s Sunday school classes
  • lead women’s Bible studies

In my current church, women can be ushers and collect the offering.

What is it like at your church (or former church)? What can women do or not do?

In this video, Dr. Ben Witherington talks about new teachings Jesus brought to the table regarding women, and how it changed women’s roles on what they could and could not do. He explains it in a way that makes much better sense when you take into consideration the culture and as it corresponds with the message presented in the New Testament.

 

I heard Dr. Witherington speak last summer. He knows his stuff. Check out his biography:

 

Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Witherington has written over fifty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Patheos website.

Let me know what you think! ~ja




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Women, Ministry, Dr. Ben Witherington

The Dynamics of Spiritual Abuse Within Domestic Abuse

Lori Alexander, Domestic Abuse, Spiritual Abuse

 

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Information from Beaverton Police Department Resource Guide

 

-by Kathi

I have the privilege of volunteering with a local police department as a victim advocate. I consider it an honor to work with the officers at this department because I find them to be kind and compassionate toward victims of domestic abuse. During my training, I was excited to see the above information that goes in our area resource guide given to victims on scene. This was the first time I had ever seen spiritual abuse acknowledged as a component in domestic abuse.

Why is it that a police department understands that spiritual abuse happens within domestic abuse, yet the church has a difficult time identifying this?

The above is an outside-the-church perspective of indicators of spiritual abuse within domestic violence. Those of us who have been on the inside of the church for years can likely identify other signs of spiritual abuse. How many stories have we heard where the abuser is believed over the victim? How many accounts have we heard where victims were compelled to stay with their abusers due to the influence of a church leader or another Christian? How many wives have been told that they need to submit more to their husbands? How many victims have been told they need to pray more and trust God to heal their relationship? Who has heard Bible verses referencing why one should stay married and that there is no room for divorce from an abuser?

On the last book review of Lori Alexander’s The Power of a Transformed Wife, I highlighted this comment on Lori’s blog from a reader, Trey, and Lori’s response:

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Comment and response on The Transformed Wife, 2/13/18

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Lori followed up with a second blog post, “Christian Women are Floundering,”  which is Trey’s full comment from the original post she wrote. (Extra notation added for reference.) The following is quoted material from Lori’s post:

This post was written by Trey from a comment on this post. Yes, there were women who were terribly angry and offended with Trey for writing this and wrote that it wasn’t biblical. I added scripture to everything he wrote to prove that what he wrote was scriptural.

Here is part of what I highlighted in the earlier screenshot, with additional notes and Biblical references:

She is to submit to, serve and obey her husband in everything, as long as he does not ask her to sin. She is to do this even if her husband is mean, unreasonable and cruel and it causes her unjust suffering. (Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 2:19-23; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5, 6; Titus 2:5; Colossians 3:18) “For what glory is it, if, when  ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable to God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:20, 21, 23)

Yes, Lori actually provides scripture to back up Trey’s response that a woman should stay with her husband who is mean, unreasonable, cruel, and causes unjust suffering. I cannot even begin to express how this has sat with me since I read her post. To think that Lori would “mentor” a woman who is experiencing domestic abuse by telling her that her suffering is acceptable to God leaves me heart-broken and angry.

The use of scripture to keep someone in an abusive relationship is spiritual abuse.

Not to mention the fact that she applies scripture out of context. The 1 Peter 2 verses are about slaves, not wives. 1 Peter 3 discusses suffering due to expressing belief in Christ. And, she doesn’t even bother to follow up Colossians 3:18 with Colossians 3:19 which says, “Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Her sole use of scripture that tells women to submit to their husbands leaves out the prior verse, Ephesians 5:21, “Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.”

When I read this post, which is filled with scripture validating Trey’s view of women, I immediately knew that this is why I have such a hard time with the Bible – it’s the use of God’s word to keep some in power and others in submission, no matter the cost. This sits heavy on my heart as I think about victims who believe that they must stay in abusive relationships because the Bible says they have no way out.

Once again, Lori proves that she does not care about women. She only cares about her beliefs. Thank goodness there are others who understand the dynamics of spiritual abuse within domestic abuse.

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Ken Alexander has the Final Word

The Power of a Transformed Wife: Lori Alexander, Submission, Control, Godly Marriage

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Comment and response on The Transformed Wife, 2/13/18

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7   Chapter 8 – Part 1   Chapter 8 – Part 2    Chapter 9  Chapter 10   Chapter 11  Chapter 12   Chapter 13   Chapter 14   Chapter 15   Chapter 16   Chapter 17

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Chapter 18 – A Way to a Man’s Heart… Continue reading

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – “Healthy,” One of Lori’s Favorite Buzz Words

The Power of a Transformed Wife: Lori Alexander, Healthy Living

 

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Owen, the Watch Dog, does not approve of this book.

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7   Chapter 8 – Part 1   Chapter 8 – Part 2    Chapter 9  Chapter 10   Chapter 11  Chapter 12   Chapter 13   Chapter 14   Chapter 15   Chapter 16

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Chapter 17 – Serving Healthy Foods Means Healthy Families

We’re getting to the point in the book where I’m wondering why some of these chapters are even in here. I’m beginning to feel like they’re merely pages to fill up a book. The last chapter was about decluttering your home, and this one is about healthy food and DIY household cleaners. Which leads me to question:

What does this have to do with being a “transformed wife?” Continue reading

Lori Alexander Refuses to Talk About Abuse

Lori Alexander, Domestic Violence, Biblical Submission

Lori Alexander, domestic violence, abuse

Images used on The Transformed Wife blog posts. Left: “Married to Angry Men” on 9/9/17. Right: “Too Many Angry Wives” on 7/20/17

-by Kathi

There is nothing new under Lori Alexander’s sun. She still writes about submission, and I’m sure she always will. Every once in a while she will write a post that gives us an extra glimpse about how her teachings may keep women in abusive relationships. In “Sweating Bullets While Teaching Submission,” Lori tells us why she does not write about abuse.

Lori will write about submission and never mentions abuse because:

If you read other biblical marriage blogs, you will see that most of them have warnings all over them about abuse and what submission doesn’t mean. If you notice, my blog doesn’t have this. I have written many posts about submission and never even mentioned the word abuse on most of them. I do this purposefully because abuse and submission don’t go together as many today try to do by twisting and perverting the beauty of submission. (Yes,  I have a post on my side bar for those who are in marital crisis but it has nothing whatsoever to do with submission since even wives who aren’t submissive are physically abused.)

On purpose, Lori will not discuss abuse because she believes that “biblical submission” is not abusive. Continue reading

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Repeat Five Times: Yoga Pants Are Not Modest!

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Modesty

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The only thing anyone should be lusting over is being able to do that fantastic yoga pose. Oh, how I would love to be that flexible!

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7   Chapter 8 – Part 1   Chapter 8 – Part 2    Chapter 9  Chapter 10   Chapter 11  Chapter 12


Chapter 13 – How are You Dressing?

We have finally come to the chapter in which women are temptresses in their yoga pants and swimsuits. Yes, I admit to having read some of this chapter whilst wearing tight-fitting exercise pants. In order to not offend some readers, I shall wear loose-fitted pajama pants while writing this out.

Let’s start with the very first paragraph: Continue reading

Domestic Violence: A Call to the Church – Reevaluate Your Beliefs

Domestic Violence, Church Response, Beliefs

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-by Kathi


I am pausing our Sunday Gatherings for the rest of October. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and I would like to take this time to talk about how the church can effectively respond to domestic violence.

 

The church can be incredibly helpful to victims of domestic violence, or, it can be incredibly damaging to victims. The way in which a church responds to a victim depends upon the beliefs that the church has about domestic violence. This is an open challenge to the church to re-evaluate a few beliefs which may keep victims within abusive relationships. Continue reading

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Birth Control and a “Funny Story”

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Birth Control, Submission

Continue reading

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Parents Rule, Children Drool

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Child Training, Submission

Continue reading

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Shhhh…Be Very, Very Quiet

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Submission


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-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7


Chapter 8 – Part 1 – Win Him Without a Word

Due to the length and so much wrong happening, this chapter will be broken into two parts. Remember how the last chapter ended questioning whether or not wives didn’t have any words because they were too busy having sex? Oh, there’s so much more to winning over your husband.

Lori (ever so humbly) reminds readers again that she helps women who come to her complaining about their husbands. Lori’s “prescription” to winning over a husband is:

You can win him without a word by your grace-filled, godly behavior because a woman’s most potent voice is not the words that she speaks but the life she lives in front of her husband and children. This approach is reminiscent of the saying, ‘Preach the gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words.’

Continue reading

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Wives Give Sex. All the Time.

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Sex in Marriage, Submission


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Screenshot from The Transformed Wife Facebook Page – 6/15/17

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6

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Chapter 7 – This Thing Called Sex

Oh, goody…the sex chapter! Before I started reading this chapter I thought to myself: “Self, I wonder what wise words Lori will give women about sex? Let me guess…It will be about how husbands want sex all the time, and how wives are to give it to them anytime.”

Lori’s opening sentence:

Men like sex…a lot.

Oh, self, I am not disappointed in you. P.S. Lori, women like sex…a lot…too! Continue reading

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Don’t Argue. It’s That Easy.

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Marriage, Submission


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-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5

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Chapter 6 – Easy Conflict Resolution Continue reading

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Lori’s All About Submission and Ken’s All About Control

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Control, Submission


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-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4

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Chapter 5 – What Submission Looks Like Continue reading

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Lori Has a Habit of Contradicting Herself

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Control, Submission


-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3

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“Trey’s” review of The Power of a Transformed Wife on Amazon

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Chapter 4 – Allow Him to Lead

I have been warned about the poor editing job of this book. It is starting to show in this chapter. Lori jumps around from topic to topic which starts to make this book seem more like a mismatch of ideas. The reality is, there are no new ideas from Lori in this book. You can read either of her blogs, or Debi Pearl’s book, and find the same ideas. That being said, I’ll try to keep to the main points and not drag you through the rabbit trail. Continue reading

How Lori Alexander’s Teaching May Keep Women in Abusive Relationships

Lori Alexander, Emotional Abuse, Headship, Submission

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-by Kathi

I’ve been reading Lori Alexander’s blogs for quite a while now. Just when I think her writing is the same old boring rhetoric she always blathers on about, she ups her game. Her recent post, “How Not to Get Married” is one that actually should be titled, “Five Easy Steps to Ensure You Stay In an Abusive Relationship.” Continue reading