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What Piper said … really

February 3, 2012

The one post that I found to contain the most information on what John Piper said about Christianity having a “masculine feel”  is by a woman defending Piper. Peta took the time to post extensive excerpts from Piper’s recent series on masculinity and church leadership in her reply to Rachel Held Evans. Thank you, Peta. I recommend that anyone who wants to rebut Piper start here.

I have taken one of his lesser publicized passages to respond to. According to Peta, “In commenting specifically on the style of preaching involved in his ideal ministry Piper says again:”

Again the point is not that a woman is not able to speak this way. The point is that godly men know intuitively, by the masculine nature implanted by God, that turning the hearts of men and women to God with that kind of authoritative speaking is the responsibility of men. And where men handle it with humility and grace, godly women are glad.

My sense is that much of Piper’s argument is based on male intuition. He intuitively feels that authoritative speaking is the responsibility of men. Of course, women are glad when men handle authority with humility and grace. Of course! But is turning the hearts of men and women to God with authoritative speaking the responsibility of men? This is the role of the prophet and wise person in the scriptures. Who are these people?

First, the authors of written text are for the most part men. But if we dip into the narrative, women are represented. Authoritative speaking by female prophets include Deborah, Huldah, Anna, Mary, Philip’s daughters and any other true prophet who was a woman. But some say that authoritative speaking was the role of judge and leader, not prophet. That still leaves Deborah.

But we find another class of persons rarely refered to who speak from God and give advice that is to be followed. This is the wise man or wise woman. (It is very odd that in Biblegateway, there is a search title for “wise man” but not for “wise woman” although there are just as many wise women as wise men.) Here are the wise women. In 2 Samuel 14, Joab has a wise woman approach King David and intercede for Absolom. In 2 Samuel 20,  a wise woman demands to speak to Joab and gives advice to “all the people.”  The wise woman also features in Proverbs. Another woman who speaks with authority is Esther.

For men, among those refered to in the context of wise men, there is Joseph and Daniel. Solomon was wise but was seduced by women and riches. Moses and Aaron shared leadership, since neither one of them possessed the necessary attributes of authoritative leadership by themselves. We don’t know what role Miriam played, but she also seems to have been necessary to the maintenance of full leadership for Israel.

I find John Piper’s appeal to male intuition fascinating. I can’t even argue against it. It is what it is, a religion based on male intuition that Christianity ought to have a masculine feel. Put that against the often female-led Salvation Army, an organization of aggressive Christianity, a vehicle for Catherine Booth authoritatively addressing men regarding issues of vice and dishonour. She did not base her ministry on female intuition, but basic human need for women to be given protection and respect by other women and by the law, and on the scripture. My sense is that Catherine Booth would want to protect women from the “masculine feel.”

 

 

 

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2012 10:30 am

    Thanks for your post, Suzanne! “Male intuition” – LOL. And I love Booth’s conclusion (and wouldn’t she appreciate your blogging, Rachel’s blogging, and maybe even Peta’s blogging too?) -

    How are we to fight this evil? You must work, work—and I would say with reference to this movement as I do with the one with which I am more intimately connected—if you want to help us in the great strife against evil, in the hand to hand fight with the devil—spread information—scatter intelligence—be at the trouble to open the eyes of your neighbours and friends. Give your friends pamphlets and books. I can tell you some of them have astonished me. I read some paragraphs taken from the report of a debate in the House of Commons, which made me doubt my eyesight, with respect to the age at which female children should be answerable for their own ruin. I could not help the blood rushing to my temples with indignant shame. I could not help rubbing my eyes and reading again and saying, do my eyes deceive me? Could this ever have happened in the House of Commons in England? Oh! my God, are we come to this? I did not think we were so low as this—that one member should suggest that the age of these innocents should be heightened to 14, and that another suggested it should be not so high. Another that it should be reduced to 10, and oh! my God, pleaded that it was hard for a man—HARD—for a man!—having a charge brought against him, not to be able to plead the consent of a child like that. I would not tell what, but for the grace of God, I should feel like doing to the man who brought that argument to bear on my child.

    (Applause.)

    I have a sweet innocent little girl—many of you have also—of 14, as innocent as an infant of any such things—what, if a man should make an application of this doctrine to her. Well may the higher classes take such care of their little girls? Well may they be so careful never to let them go out without efficient protectors. But what is to become of the little girls of poor unprotected widows? Of the little girls of the working classes of this country? I do not know who these men were who discussed this matter of ages. It is a good thing I do not just now. But I think we ought to know. Still, I do not care who they were. I say I could not have believed that in this our country such a discussion amongst so‐called gentlemen could have taken place. I talk a good deal about the masses, and I know a good deal about them, but I am bound to say that I do not believe there could be found twelve roughs in any tap‐room in England who would be parties to, or tolerate such a discussion.

    (Loud Applause.)

    I think in view of such discussions and their consequences, it is time that we women had some kind of capacity bestowed upon us for looking after ourselves, and after our children!!

    (Applause.)

    Then, I say again, work, work, and spread information! Don’t think you will repeal these Acts by wishing them repealed. Don’t imagine you will repeal them by sentimentalising about them. Nor even by praying about them, unless you work too. It is one of the greatest mistakes that people pray their hypocritical prayers, and then sit down and do nothing. We of the Salvation Army believe in prayer—we spend whole nights at it often,—but we believe in work too. We believe God has conditioned his working on our working, and if we will use the power and influence, and talent, and spirit which God has given us, He will work with us, and God and man will combine to blot out these infamous laws for ever!

    Did you see this post by Paul, “The Radical Femininity of Christ”?

    But, as happens too often, we have neglected our history. American Christianity, no longer the faith of the outcast, is now the religion of the comfortable. Rather than attracting women and affirming their gifts, we are driving them away with gibberish about the “masculine feel” of Christianity.

  2. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 3, 2012 10:54 am

    Thanks for citing this! It is heart-breaking The age of consent was 10 years old until 1885. Women could not prosecute a husband for rape until 1982. It really breaks my heart that some people, both men and women, speak out against feminism. What damage to treat children, and finally married women as worthy victims of violence just because they are female. And isn’t this still the case in much of the world today. Isn’t it women who have stepped forward to demand that women be protected. And doesn’t this require speaking authoritatively.

  3. February 3, 2012 6:06 pm

    I had the experience of spending a season as the friend of a woman who had been raised under Middle Eastern patriarchy. Until that time I don’t think I really understood what it meant to destroy a person while leaving a biological human behind. I think Piper completely fails to understand what hell he threatens to unleash with his rash statements advocating patriarchy.

  4. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 4, 2012 10:07 am

    Thank you, Eric. I know exactly what you mean!

  5. February 5, 2012 8:53 am

    I think Piper is talking about Church leadership, as proscribed by Paul (ultimtely this is an exegetical dispute, and I’m very disappointed to see Rachel and many of her fans writing as if it’s all about cultural imposition – a charge that cuts both ways!). I think he’s also very careful to reject harmful kinds of masculinity, and cultural assumptions there-of. He also points out that the kind of male leadership will promote the flourishing of women and give the community a large ‘feminine feel’ and give men & women room to do ministry and for each to be both masculine AND feminine.

    Thanks for the link.

  6. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 5, 2012 10:44 am

    But he admits that he bases his views on intuition, male intuition. How do we know that these male intuitions are in God’s will? And why are they completely at odds with the history of the church, which includes women teaching and founding churches?

  7. February 5, 2012 10:48 am

    Even if he bases his view of what is “masculine” and “feminine” on intuition, he said that there ought to be room for men to be appropriately feminine and women to be appropriately masculine, so whatever his intuition, he expects both men and women to have these kind of traits (though I still think he bases them on Ephesians etc.)
    His view of church leadership, however, is based on his understanding of the NT passages such as 1 Tim. I don’t think he denies that women have ever been in leadership, it’s just he advocates a different model as being the one taught in the NT..
    It’s worth noting that he also asks his hearer to screen his words through scripture and to reject anything that is not in there…

  8. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 5, 2012 11:03 am

    Screening his words through scripture, I do not find any scripture to support his views that women are not to operate outside of the role of supporting and coming alonside men. This is Piper’s view of “appropriate femininity” and it has no base in scripture or history. Women have founded churches, baptized, taught, lead, and made decisions throughout scripture and history.

    I don’t accept Piper’s reading of 1 Tim. 2:12. I do not believe there is even the remotest possibility that the word autheteo meant “to lead in church” It means rather “to dominate, to usurp.”

    Apart from that one verse, which Piper may sincerely feel means a woman cannot lead if there is a capable man there, there is no scripture that says that a woman cannot go as a missionary alone to found a church and lead and teach. But Piper restricts women to roles of “supporting men, coming alongside men.” Some women don’t have men to support. The Bible does not tell women to find men to support. Paul doesn’t say this, Christ doesn’t say this, John Piper says this. It goes against the scriptural teaching for men and women to follow Christ’s command to go and preach the gospel. Piper is denying the words of scripture based on his male intuition.

  9. February 5, 2012 11:13 am

    While I see problems with the usual egal. treatment of 1 Tim, I don’t wish to get into an exegetical debate – we both have to go with our conscience on what we understand it to be teaching.
    I feel that you’re putting words in Piper’s mouth, at least in terms of what he said at the conference. I could be seeing through a ‘gentler’ lens, perhaps, or I could simply be ignorant of other things he’s said.. I’ve never seen him say that women cannot preach the gospel. If he has, I would disagree.

  10. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 5, 2012 11:53 am

    He says that women need to come alongside men. He does not say that women can and should also do all these things on their own.

    Regarding preaching the gospel, I believe it falls under the broad category of ministry. Piper and Grudem made up a very long and complicated list of those a woman can minister to. They include, other women and children, the mentally handicapped of both sexes, the lame, blind and handicapped of both sexes, drug addicts and the ill of both sexes.

    They do not include bishops. Hilda of Whitby taught 5 bishops. They do not include emperors. Saint Nino taught and baptised the emperor of Georgia. They do not include able-bodied and able-minded men, except for those in prison.

    This would have called a halt to half of the great missionary movement of the 19th century, if Piper had had his druthers. I don’t understand his view that women’s role is to come alongside men. The Bible does not say this.

  11. February 5, 2012 12:22 pm

    I don’t understand his view that women’s role is to come alongside men. The Bible does not say this.

    Out of interest, what do you make of Genesis 2:18 & 1 Corinthians 11:9 ?

  12. February 5, 2012 12:22 pm

    “I think he’s also very careful to reject harmful kinds of masculinity, and cultural assumptions there-of.”

    I actually see no indication that Piper has any real understanding of the issue of cultural masculinity. I don’t really understand how you can claim that he’s done this filtration when he’s simply grabbed some American stereotypes, cleaned the promiscuity and some of the violence off them, and run with them. Piper argues that God has implanted a basic masculine and feminine nature in humans of the appropriate biological sex. Because of this he rather naturally expects that there is a single base definition of masculinity across the world. I see no evidence that there is, and so Piper’s idea of what it means to be masculine is open to a number of challenges on the grounds of what it means to be masculine.

    Moreover, sections of Piper’s idea of what constitutes masculinity seem to me to be actively embracing sin, especially when it comes to controlling others. Do men lead in most cultures because that’s the way God made them, or because that’s the way the Fall made them – desiring to dominate others and strong enough to do so?

    Honestly, though, Piper’s focus on gender just seems weird. This isn’t a major concern of the Bible. it’s not a major concern of the church across history. It seems like a very modern add-on to the faith, no better than saying all Christians vote Republican or that all Christians need to follow Torah.

  13. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 5, 2012 12:32 pm

    Andrew,

    What about

    27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

    28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Luke 11:27-28

    An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. 1 Cor. 7

    There is a time and a place for a woman to come alongside a man. But it is NOT the role of a man to tell a woman when and where that is. Piper is out of line.

  14. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 5, 2012 12:33 pm

    The “word of God”, in the gospels, is to bind up the weak, and liberate the captives – it is not to get married and multiply.

  15. February 5, 2012 12:38 pm

    I actually see no indication…

    Eric, did you watch the Q&A? http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/speaker-panel-john-piper-crawford-loritts-darrin-patrick-doug-wilson-ramez-atallah#/watch/full

    Piper argues that God has implanted a basic masculine and feminine nature in humans of the appropriate biological sex. Because of this he rather naturally expects that there is a single base definition of masculinity across the world.

    I disagree. He said that done right, there is room for men to feminine and women to be masculine as well. He explicitly argues against the cultural stereotype.

    sections of Piper’s idea of what constitutes masculinity seem to me to be actively embracing sin, especially when it comes to controlling others.

    Could you please be specific (quote) with where Piper encourages embracing sin or controlling others?

    Do men lead in most cultures because that’s the way God made them, or because that’s the way the Fall made them – desiring to dominate others and strong enough to do so?

    Piper is not advocating domination. He seems to agree that this is a distortion (yes, of the fall) – he advocates sacrificial leadership, not domination, and that distinction needs to be made. According to Genesis (and I would say, Paul) the responsibilities of leader and helper are given pre-fall. It is the distortive, destructive, domination and resistance of this that happens at the fall.

    it’s not a major concern of the church across history.

    Well, quite.. it’s post-feminist. Interestingly, I read that Ephesus, where Timothy is, was known for educated women.

    I’m not American, so I’ll leave the US politics alone ;)

  16. February 5, 2012 12:41 pm

    Andrew,
    What about
    … 11:27-28
    … 1 Cor. 7

    What about them? I’m not sure what that has to do with what Piper said at the conference..

    The “word of God”, in the gospels, is to bind up the weak, and liberate the captives – it is not to get married and multiply.

    Again.. what does that have to do with what Piper said at the conference? I didn’t hear him say that it was… and if he did, then I would disagree with him.

  17. February 5, 2012 3:10 pm

    “Eric, did you watch the Q&A? http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/speaker-panel-john-piper-crawford-loritts-darrin-patrick-doug-wilson-ramez-atallah#/watch/full

    No. I did, however, only recently leave a church where Piper’s comments on masculinity were deeply revered. To understand what Piper thinks masculinity is you need more than his conference comments, you need some sense of what he’s been advocating for years.

    “I disagree. He said that done right, there is room for men to feminine and women to be masculine as well. He explicitly argues against the cultural stereotype.”

    As long as women being masculine doesn’t mean that they take on any of the roles that he has blocked out as exclusively for men. And while Piper may explicitly deride the stereotype there are large elements he implicitly accepts. Many people know enough to SAY they reject a particular concept that’s seen as bad even while advocating for it. Some of these people are con-men who do this deliberately. Some (and I think Piper falls in this category) just don’t really take enough care when it comes to filtering out their subconscious biases. However, the end result is that whatever Piper says about letting people cross categories and stereotypes when you go through what he actually thinks people should be doing it sounds very stereotypical and there is little meaningful flexibility.

    “Could you please be specific (quote) with where Piper encourages embracing sin or controlling others?”

    No. In fact, that’s an extremely weird question to ask. Are you under the impression that I am claiming that Piper has said, “Sin is awesome, and you should dominate others”? What Piper has done is created a situation in which men are leaders over women even when the men really aren’t qualified. Moreover, Piper has handed off so much control to men (especially in the area of marriage) that there are no safety rails. In a perfect world Piper’s ideas would not feed sin or domination. In the real world, giving men the right to run women’s lives (for their benefit, of course…) inevitably passes ammunition to some really unpleasant ways of life.

    “Piper is not advocating domination. He seems to agree that this is a distortion (yes, of the fall) – he advocates sacrificial leadership, not domination, and that distinction needs to be made. According to Genesis (and I would say, Paul) the responsibilities of leader and helper are given pre-fall. It is the distortive, destructive, domination and resistance of this that happens at the fall.”

    Separating “leader” and “helper” is something that makes sense only in the English rendering of the relevant Genesis passage.

    However, exegesis aside (a weird thing to say in any discussion of the Christian life) Piper’s issue still remains: he can say “sacrificial leadership” but as long as he empowers men to override the wishes of women “for their own good” that’s not what he’ll get. I don’t actually remember whether it’s Piper or Grudem who said that a woman who was being asked to do something against her conscience by a male leader should limit themselves to asking for better leading but was not justified in disobedience. However, this is the inevitable result of placing men in the position of both doing what is best for their wives and of determining what that is. There is nothing left to combat any drift towards domination and Piper and I both agree that the inclination of men’s hearts is naturally towards evil.

    (Of course, part of this is that I disagree with Piper about the nature of authority, which is probably rooted more deeply in our disagreement about such issues as predestination and how God’s sovereignty is realized.)

    “Well, quite.. it’s post-feminist. Interestingly, I read that Ephesus, where Timothy is, was known for educated women.”

    Ephesus seems also to have been known for unpleasant female-led cults.

    You’re exactly right that this is a post-feminist concern. However, if it were as important as Piper says it is it shouldn’t have been. Medieval nunneries and monasteries should have looked very different, each catering to the different natures contained within. Male and female saints (including the Protestant varieties, the great missionaries and witnesses we talk about) should each show the unique flowering of their innate masculinity or femininity that brings them closer to their eventual completely-sanctified self. But that’s not what we see. What we actually see is that the holy men and women who have walked among us look less different – they all look more like Christ, and the divisions which Piper speaks of (and Paul dismisses in Galatians) begin to fade from view.

    This issue is post-feminist because the theologically-conservative church is generally socially-conservative and has picked up a banner that belongs to a secular culture-war.

  18. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 5, 2012 5:28 pm

    Andrew,

    “he advocates sacrificial leadership, not domination, and that distinction needs to be made. According to Genesis (and I would say, Paul) the responsibilities of leader and helper are given pre-fall.”

    The Bible nowhere says men are leaders and women are helpers. That just isn’t in the Bible at all.

    First, Gen. 2:18

    Ezer and in Greek Boethos

    Ezer refers to the role of God vis a vis humanity. It is to be a succour, a stronger than the other person refuge in time of need. That is what women are. They are strong because they are created with all the leadership potential of men.

    Boethos is the word used by the early church to address Christ and is translated as defender and champion.

    So, the woman is defender and champion, the succour of man. Either that , OR we consider that for human beings, we cannot be alone, because each one of us needs another. We all need someone to be our champion and defender, our succourer in time of need. That is what I believe.

    I do not read in the scripture that “leader and helper” are obligatory male/female roles. I also believe that it is destructive to the female growing up, be taught that she cannot be a leader.

    There were clearly women leaders in the early church. Paul preached to leading Greek women. They did not simply take a back seat as Christians. There is Lydia, first convert in Europe, Phoebe, Chloe, Junia, Nympha.. Although fewer than the men, those women of sufficient stature in their own society carried that stature with them into their Christian lives. God does not ask women of leadership potential to offer this to the world, and offer the subordinate and less capable part of their personality to the church.

    On this blog, we do not categorize male and female as “leader and helper” nor do we believe that the scripture does this. But I accept that Piper thinks this, and I respectfully disagree.

  19. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 5, 2012 5:42 pm

    What I am trying to say is that one can’t assume that “leader/helper” is a role division that all Christians accept or see as being biblical.

  20. Deb W. permalink
    February 7, 2012 12:59 pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    Thank you so much for the links and for standing up for women, over against John Piper’s typical overzealousness for the cause of masculinity.

    I once attended a church where the lead pastor was this same type of hyper-masculinity proponent and he would say things like, “a time is coming when the Man churches will prevail” or “be the only ones left standing” …. that so of thing. It always made me recoil, because scriptural allusions and analogies almost always portray the Church as the Bride of Christ, a Mother, the daughter of Zion, the wife of God… I can’t for the life of me understand how, even as a complementarian who believes in male elders, anyone can remotely characterize the Church or Christianity as male over against female attributes.
    While I understand Piper’s defenders, like Peta, really believe they are working to hold the line on traditional roles, they are also willingly overlooking some truly awful eisegesis being perpetrated on behalf of an overly “intuited” agenda.
    Very sad.

    John Calvin (not known to be exactly a pro-woman theologian) acknowledges that the Church is Mother of us all, quoting and commenting on Galatians 4:
    “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” – Gal. 4:26-31

    Some of Calvin’s own words ought to convict Piper, imo:
    “This is why Paul speaks here of the heavenly Jerusalem as our mother. Yes, it is true that those who contort the natural meaning of Scripture are not true children of God, and are liars and hypocrites when they address God as their Father. Yet, because they appear to be believers, Paul tells us that we may discern them by their mother, and thus know whether they are truly the legitimate children of God and acceptable to him. For the word ‘church’ is often used lightly.”… “God bestows great honour upon the church here, when he calls her the mother of all believers.”

  21. Trinity permalink
    February 7, 2012 1:18 pm

    Some guys, writers associated with Piper and his related ministries, wrote a “parable”, as they called it, retelling how terribly they felt they were treated recently within their community of influence. They called it “The Mugging: A Parable”.

    To this I responded: “Now you know how it feels to be treated like a woman in the Evangelical church in the USA.” Hope they got the point.

    Tell me if you don’t think this parable fits equally as an analogy of how women are often treated in highly “masculine” churches.
    http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2012/02/mugging-parable.html

  22. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 8, 2012 1:28 am

    Thank you for your comments. I have tried to provide a few more details in my post today on andreia, – courage. I don’t think I would know where to start with reading and commenting on a post by Team Pyro, Trinity. I never have figured those guys out!

  23. February 12, 2012 9:33 am

    The Bible nowhere says men are leaders and women are helpers. That just isn’t in the Bible at all.

    The archetypal couple are described thus, and Paul grounds his arguments in that archetype.

    Ezer refers to the role of God vis a vis humanity. It is to be a succour, a stronger than the other person refuge in time of need. That is what women are.

    Lest we fall foul of the ‘word study’ exegetical fallacy, we need to realise that we simply can’t infer that. ‘ezer’ has a range of usages, and sometimes it refers to superiors helping, and sometimes it refers to inferiors helping.. we simply can’t take that word and say ‘it means superior / inferior’. Besides, as the word is used for God, surely then if wives are God-ordained ‘helpers’ in his image, that is an inherently valuable and dignified role that God himself takes, is it not? (besides, 1 Cor 12:12-31 shows that in the church, there are many different roles, and none is more or less valuable)

    There were clearly women leaders in the early church. Paul preached to leading Greek women. They did not simply take a back seat as Christians.

    I don’t thin anyone is telling anyone to take a back seat, nor do I think that the examples of women in leadership in the early church are counter to the NT teaching that certain roles within the church are for men. I think it’s wrong to equate leadership and ministry solely with a pulpit, and as I said, 1 Cor 12 says it’s wrong to equate being in the pulpit with superiority or more worth.

    Ultimately, it’s an exegetical disagreement, and as you say, one on which we can respectfully disagree.

  24. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    February 12, 2012 4:37 pm

    Andrew,

    The first couple are described as human and “helper alongside”. But there is nothing at all in the word “helper” which says that the male is the doer and the female is the supporter. That is simply not there. As you note there is no indication that the helper is inferior, but complementarians restrict women from many things on the basis of being the “helper.” The fact that women are restricted in ways that men are not, necessarily puts women in the lesser role. This is a simple corrollary of the restrictions imposed on women. Please do not argue that the more restricted position is equal to the less restricted position. It is not!

    And do we likewise restrict God, and Christ because they are called our helper? On what basis are women restricted because they are called “helper?”

    Why are women restricted at all? Why are women denied a public voice? So they cannot ask for equality within marriage? So they could not get the vote? So they could not own property? What is the reason that for thousands of years women have not been considered, and are still not considered, worthy of having a public voice in the congregation, equal representation in decision-making, and ultimate responsibility?

    If Catherine Booth had not addressed men in British parliament would little girls of 10 years old not still be of the age to consent to sexual congress, and still used legally as prostitutes? Is not the safety of little girls alone in and of itself, an overriding argument for giving women equal voice and equal responsibility and equal representation in ALL forms of decision-making? Is not this one example enough? What would be enough?

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