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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"But, is it correct for a woman to debate? Is it correct for a woman to involve herself in theological argumentation?": My journey on seeking a balanced complementarianism

 

A dear friend of mine asked me the above question; that is, " Is it correct for a woman to debate? Is it correct for a woman to involve herself in theological argumentation?" Well, as a Bible-believing complementarian (+headcovering) sister in Christ, this has been my question for quite a while and I was so grateful that she opened up the subject and invited me to ponder this issue. Here was her thought;

According to my understanding, those are men's jobs as the leaders of the church. That's partly why a woman covers her head, because she is not the head, the authority, the leader. It doesn't mean she can't read books on those subjects, and discuss them with her close acquaintances and family--it doesn't mean she shouldn't be knowledgeable;

it does mean that she lets the men take responsibility for leading the church in those matters. And when I say church, I mean the body of believers, not the church as an organizational structure or as a building.

And then I shared her view with readers on my Japanese blog and welcomed them to give me feedback. Praise God, it turned out to be a very edifying and educational dialogue for all of us and it truly urged me to re-think and go deeper into the essence of Biblical womanhood. It also gave me a precious opportunity to re-examine our complementarianism with a fresh and critical spirit.

And I joyfully invite you all to share your thought with me regarding this question. As for me, I came to a slightly different conclusion than my dear friend and now I will tell you why.

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Although the Bible clearly forbids women to teach nor rule over men (1 Timothy 2: 11-12. therefore we sisters are not to be pastors nor preachers.), it seems to me that it also did not explicitly forbid women to "discuss" the Bible topics in an informal setting. In such a case, it might be safe to make a certain room (meaning, no specific regulation) and to let the Spirit direct each individual as to whether she should engage in a particular Bible discussion (or theological dialogue) or not. c.f. Acts 18:24-26

And I am sure that as we grow more and more in "a meek and quiet spirit" (1 Pet.3:4), we will know the proper way and time to talk or to be silent in each particular circumstance.
 
 

The reason why I say this is not from my own interest / desire to engage in theological discussion but rather to seek how we can maintain our complementarianism in both "serious" and "dynamic" way. Serious in a sense that we should obey His clear commands as regards to our submission and obedience. We should submit our headship order without compromise. And I say, dynamic in a sense that we can "fly" freely as birds in the sky within the realm of His boundaries.
 
And I tell you honestly that the latter idea (="dynamic") was born out of my sincere and honest dialogue with some of my feminist Christian ladies. So you might be wondering; Oh, has Kinuko been influenced by feminism? Has she compromised? No. Not a bit.
 
However, over the years, I came to realize the pain of our feminist evangelical Christian friends as well. They are usually very talented, intelligent and full of passion for Christ and His Kingdom. Many of them were brought up in somewhat unbalanced complementarian church environment ("fence around the Torah" type of extra human regulations) and could not find their proper place in the Body of Christ.
 
As a result, they became reactionary and jumped across the other side of the river called; Evangelical Feminism. What a pity! They might have been able to remain in the realm of complementarianism if it was presented in a more balanced way?

So, dear ladies, what do you think? I welcome your feedback with open arms and heart!
 
 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thy Eyes

 
"The truth shall set you free."
Thus said the Lord.
 
 But Lord,
Thy truth is dreadful!
 
 It is a death sentence to all kinds of attachment in me.
And it delivers a fatal blow upon my fleeing flesh.
 
So, it is better that the truth
would be veiled moderately.
It is better that the Rugged Cross
would be covered reasonably.
 
So that
we need not face,
nor be hurt,
nor be torn down by it.
 
But alas, how could we ever run away from Thy eyes?
How could we ever reject them?
 
They are there
and gazing at me.
 
Lord Jesus, for me crucified,
Let not my footsteps from Thee slide.
For I would tread where Thou hast trod,
My spirit tender to the glory of God.
 
That glory which meant all to Thee,
Let it mean all, my Lord, to me.
So would I tread where Thou hast trod,
My spirit tender to the glory of God.
 
 
written by Kinuko

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ah, that I were as innocent as a lamb!

 
 

Ah, that I were as innocent
as a lamb:
 
so gentle,
so pure,
so simple,
and so patient!
 
Ah, that I could survey
Christ's image,
 
and, from my essence,
be entirely
changed!
 
 
-Gerhard Tersteegen
 
 
 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I am a pilgrim here

 
 
 
 
 
I am a pilgrim here
 
and that is why
 
I get nothing.
 
 
And all that I do
 
is as if done in a strange land
 
by someone else...
 
 
by Gerhard Tersteegen