1 Jan 2000

Do you not still hold to a hierarchy?

Submitted by theshovel
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...I think your insights and comments about the whole "male-female thing" are on target, but your comment about "male headship" leaves me wondering if you don't still see women as down the ladder in a hierarchy... Susan

Hello Susan!

Thanks for writing ... and sorry for the delay. I'm in the middle of lots of things so this will probably be brief.

As far as man being the head?

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:3

Hierarchy? Down the ladder? Surely you jest!! :) Maybe that thinking fits in with the travesty known as the church over the past centuries, but there is no such thing as that ladder of importance or inequality. Consider how that thinking has impacted every part of Paul's statement:

Christ is the head of every man. And so we have come to view ourselves as always less than Christ no matter how hard we try to be like him. He's up there, we're down here like worms.

the man is the head of a woman. And so of course a man is more important or higher up the ladder than a woman ... just as all men are so much lower than Christ.

God is the head of Christ. And so we have come to formulate a God made out of three parts so that even our triangle diagrams put Christ (and the HS) on the LOWER part ... down the ladder.

I say we have messed up it on all fronts! I think the statement describes the same connection between all. For from Christ has come the new man, from man has come woman, from God has come Christ. Origins. No intimations of importance or hierarchy or ladders ... those are man-made distinctions. I see headship as the reality that the one's very being is established in the other!

I suspect we have come to misunderstand each of these connections in direct proportion to one another. If we demand equality in one while demanding inequality in another we only contradict all ... for there is only union being described in this interconnection with the one another.

Now, I haven't really studied this particular passage in depth, but I have a feeling that Paul was establishing these living connections because in their practices (at least in view of their culturally-viable perceptions through what they were doing) they were totally disregarding or dishonoring the reality of their own interconnectedness with one another. While we may dismiss the connection of hair and head-coverings, etc as described in this passage we recognize that in our own current perceptions that sometimes a meticulously small gesture makes an incredibly huge statement against another (ie a socially recognized insult or form of dissing an individual or a whole group of individuals).

As far as having time to read those articles or that book, no, I don't have the time now. Believe it or not, I don't read as much as I write. LOL. Actually, I do read an awful lot, but sometimes just getting through email and posts on the Shack amounts to more than I can handle. Then, on top of that I'm re-creating the whole Shovel site on another server so that I'm involved in a lot of coding and design-work and individually transferring every bit of the old site over into the new one. I did take a quick look at the site you mentioned, but not long enough to get to any of the articles. I may take another look later. :)

Once again, thanks for writing. Any thoughts?

Jim :)

Thanks for getting back to me. Your exegesis of the passage is exactly how Bilezekian interpreted it--"head" = source or origin. One of the other things he points out that I had never read anywhere else was that the word for "helper" which is used to describe the woman is the same word used for God when he is described as our Helper. The woman was not some kind of "accessory" to the man who did all the real work, but a "helper" like God is our helper!! We wouldn't say that man does the real work while God is his "step and fetch-it"! Another great insight I got from him is that to submit to someone it is implied that you are equal. Christ submitted to God. We submit to one another ... So I guess the "function" then of the man as "head" that you referred to would be his function in creation as the source from which Eve was made. Do you think that function as source continues into everyday life? I have drawn much strength from the men in my life and I hope I have served as their capable "helper." Thanks for sharing what God has given you--it rings true to my understanding!! In Him, Susan

Hello Susan!

Sorry to take up so much of your time

Please don't think you are a bother to me in any way as I have enjoyed our exchange! :) I'm just a little caught up with some of the busy-work part of web site maintenance right now and actually appreciate the fact that an un-answered letter beckons me to another chance to share life together! :)

Do you think that function as source continues into everyday life?

Yes, I think it comes into play in many ways. For one, it has everything to do with a living perspective of respect between one another. Just to have that interconnection continually reaffirmed brings sanity back into the very meaning of life itself ... for we are members of one another.

I have raised 3 daughters who are all now in their 20's. I had always wanted boys, but never got one until the second time around (i.e. my grandson). I had begged and pleaded for sons, but it didn't happen. I can tell you this much, there is a richness to my life that is directly connected to having those 3 girls ... and I would not change it now for anything!

My oldest daughter, Christy, has often described certain movies as chick-flicks that guys wouldn't want to see. When I had reacted once by saying that I LOVED that movie, she just looked at me and smiled and then said, I know. But you're different, you're not afraid of expressing your emotions like most guys ... and you're not shallow.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that any man who has daughters would necessarily like those chick-flicks, or even that liking them is a sign of maturity or anything, but I can say that I appreciate that sense of fullness I experience that is often disregarded by many men. I also know that it's not just because I had daughters, but is primarily because of seeing Christ as my life, because this has removed that fear of being real. And then with that freedom I have learned to respect people as having been originally made in God's image. I see Him everywhere.

I know all my girls, including my wife, have found strength in me as both daddy and husband ... and I have found a richness to life through them that has probably brought more awareness to so many things all around me. I often think I got the much better deal! :)

I have witnessed many times during any gathering that when women and men who respect one another share the life of Christ together that there is an incredible depth to the exchange. I have a feeling many male dominated groups over the centuries (especially those where women are not considered an equal) have embedded the very idea into the religious mindset that the realm of God belongs to a man. But you know, if we respected one another as heirs together of this grace of life we would never think such silliness!

Well, anyhow, must get back to web site stuff! :)

Jim Minker

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