Huldah the Prophet

A short but significant account of a female prophet occurs in 2 Chronicles 34. In this chapter, King Josiah of Judah makes the decision to restore the temple of the LORD. In making repairs to the temple, the high priest Hilkiah comes across “the Book of the Law of the LORD”—probably all or at least part of the book of Deuteronomy.  When the book was read to King Josiah, he “tore his robes.” Apparently the people of Judah were unaware of the Law and had not been following the commands contained therein. King Josiah then orders Hilkiah and four other top-ranking Judean officials to “Go and inquire of the Lord” on behalf of himself and all of Israel and Judah concerning the teachings found in the Law of the Lord.

Hilkiah and the other officials seek out the prophet Huldah, who tells them, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people—all the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all that their hands have made, my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.’” (NIV) She then adds as a message to King Josiah, “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. Now I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.” (v. 24-25, 27-28)

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Why Egalitarian

A wall painting (c. 5th century) depicting a scene from the "Acts of Paul and Thecla" wherein Paul and Thecla's mother, Theocleia are both exhorting Thecla, their hands raised in a teaching gesture. Theocleia's eyes and hand have been vandalized.
A wall painting (c. 5th century) depicting a scene from the “Acts of Paul and Thecla” wherein Paul and Thecla’s mother, Theocleia, are exhorting Thecla, their hands raised in a teaching gesture. Theocleia’s eyes and hand have been vandalized. [1]
(Part 1 of 4)

I am a Christian egalitarian. I believe that God calls women as pastors, elders and deacons so that we should be ordained as such, and I believe that leadership of a Christian household should be shared between husband and wife with neither having final authority over the other and Christ being regarded as the head of the household. My position stands in contrast to Christian hierarchist [2] positions which restrict women from certain church leadership and teaching roles (usually pastor, elder, and sometimes deacon) and teach that the husband possesses some kind of final authority or leadership role in the home.

I arrived at this position through years of prayer, study, and personal experience. Here are 12 reasons why I am a Christian egalitarian today:

(1) Because the Creation narrative teaches that, before the Fall, men and women were created equal.

In the first Creation narrative in Genesis 1, both the man and the woman were created in the image of God (1:26-27). Both were commanded to have “dominion” over the earth (1:28). There is no trace of hierarchy in the text here. The man and the woman are equals in paradise, and God calls it “very good”  (1:31).

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Finding God’s call for your life when you’re a struggling single parent

I attended a women’s theology conference in February 2014. The theme of the conference was “purpose,” and the other women at my table were chatting excitedly about figuring out God’s calling in their lives.

I didn’t feel like I could join them. I’d had my son on September 29th of the previous year and asked for a divorce exactly one month later. As I sat at that table, my car was in the shop, undergoing expensive repairs. I didn’t have a job. My estranged husband was looking into apartments so that he could move out, and I had no idea how I was ever going to care for my children. I wasn’t chatting excitedly about mission or ministry; I was thinking of those two human beings whose lives depended on me and how I was going to feed them.

When it came my turn to talk about what I believed was God’s purpose for my life, through my tears, I told the other women at my table my fears and concerns. I said that I really wasn’t sure what God had for me in terms of mission or ministry anymore because I was just struggling to survive.

And one of them said, “Right now, God’s mission for you is to take care of those children. Don’t you worry about anything else for the time being.”

It was like a great weight lifted from my chest.

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Tell Your Representative to Vote “Yes” on SB 1229 Veto Override

Support_State_WorkersI don’t normally use Weighted Glory to discuss local Illinois politics, but this is a matter that affects me and my family personally.

I am a Republican and a person who voted for Bruce Rauner for Governor. I have voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every presidential race since I turned 18 in 2000, and unless Donald Trump is the GOP nominee, I will be voting Republican in the next presidential race. I have faithfully served the Illinois GOP as a Republican election judge and administrative election judge in four elections since 2012.

I bring this up because it may seem at odds with what I am asking now: I am asking my friends and family in Illinois to please call their local state representative and urge him/her to vote in favor of overriding Governor Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1229.

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Hack Reveals: Out of 37 Million Users, Only Josh Duggar was Using Ashley Madison to Have Affairs

Photo: US Magazine
Photo: US Magazine

By Bridget Jack Jeffries
Disassociated Press
contact the reporter

TONTITOWN, ARKANSAS — A Wednesday afternoon bout of “Dark Web” dumpster-diving through leaked Ashley Madison user files yielded the timely revelation that disgraced fundamentalist reality show personality, Josh Duggar, was the likely owner of multiple AM accounts.

“I am shocked and appalled that a man who could molest his sisters and then go on to become a family values spokesman could do something so hypocritical as cheating on his wife as a family values spokesman,” wrote one distressed commentator. “Josh Duggar has lowered the high standards we’ve come to expect from creepy patriarchal southern fundamentalist Bible-thumpers everywhere.”

In the wake of Tuesday night’s Ashley Madison leak, comments across the Web had just about proven conclusively that not a single one of the 37 million users registered at AM–whose business motto is “life is short, have an affair”–was actually on the site with the intention of having an affair. Blogs, Twitter, and news articles erupted with comments from users who had joined Ashley Madison for something other than the site’s well-advertised main purpose.

“I’m a single woman and I was on the site to meet single men, because in spite of the site’s reputation, it is a DATING site,” wrote one woman. When queried as to how she knew for certain that the men she met were also single, she replied, “Why would a guy like that lie?”

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The Fall of the House of Sidef***s

Upon waking to the news that the Ashley Madison hackers had made good on their threat to release their stash of stolen personal information, my reaction was pretty much:

What_A_Lovely_Day

For those of us who had our lives ripped apart by affairs, it’s hard to not smile at the sight of Team Sidef***  getting some much-needed comeuppance. It’s hard not to chuckle at the spectacle of people who were lying to and betraying others being lied to and betrayed by Ashley Madison. (more…)

A Single Parent’s Dreams

I was barely into the second trimester of my pregnancy when I first told my then-husband that I was separating from him. I had not held a full-time job in 7 years. Our rent history, credit history, and low income had kept us out of large, amenities-laden apartment complexes and forced us to utilize dishonest landlords who took advantage of their tenants. Our then-landlord was a source of enormous stress to me and I wanted no more of it.

My dreams were simple:

  • A job with good benefits. Any job, just so long as it had good benefits.
  • A two-bedroom apartment in a nice complex for me and my children. I would share the master bedroom with the baby, and my daughter would have the second bedroom.
  • I would paint the walls of my room deep forest green because I found it soothing, and the baby would have a nice, sturdy crib that could be changed into a toddler bed when s/he got older. [1]
  • No more borrowing money from friends, no more “please send money” pleas to family.

It may sound pathetic, but at the time it was all I wanted—a decent roof over my children’s heads free from the stress of bad landlords, a way to provide for my family, and personal space that was entirely mine. But it didn’t matter how simple it was. Pregnant and unemployed, it was entirely out of my reach; any apartment complex I applied to me would have denied me based on lack of income alone.

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Of Courtesans & Christianity

(Part 1 of 2)

Some number of years ago, I viewed a film called Dangerous Beauty (1998), it having been recommended on a list of films every feminist should view. The film was a loose biography of Veronica Franco, a 16th century courtesan from Venice. It presents Franco as an adventurous, wild-hearted young woman faced with the choice of either becoming a courtesan or entering a convent because her family lacks the money to provide her with a decent dowry. She is initially repulsed by the proposal, but later accepts it as a Faustian bargain when she learns that becoming a courtesan would give her access to libraries, education, and study of the Renaissance arts. She comes to embrace and excel at her new profession, becoming both a hero to the people of Italy and the target of envious men, eventually leading to her being called before the Inquisition on charges of witchcraft.

Dangerous_Beauty
The movie left me with a lot of questions about Franco and other courtesans like her whose profession allowed them, as women, access to education and engagement in the public sphere. I decided to do a paper on them for my Renaissance class at Trinity. Yes, that’s right, I thought writing a paper on people who f*** for a living would make for a fine and dandy topic at a conservative Christian school! Though, in retrospect, the subject matter was considerably cleaner than one of Mark Driscoll’s sermons.

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The Real Pro-Life

Constantine_BWUnless you recently dropped your smart phone into a toilet and took off to live in a cave (in which case–how are you reading this blog post?!), you’ve probably heard by now that Planned Parenthood just had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. The viral sting video featuring a top PP doctor sipping wine and eating a gourmet salad while cavalierly discussing the wee babies she “crushes” has moved the abortion debate back into the public eye.

This post isn’t about the video though, or even about the abortion debate per se. It’s about what it means to be pro-life.

Many seem to think that being pro-life means wanting abortion to be illegal. While I applaud those who value human life enough to fight for legal protections for the most vulnerable of humanity, I’m here to tell you that’s not enough. That alone does not make you pro-life; it just makes you pro-laws.

If you think you are pro-life…

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Religious Freedom Changed My Mind on Gay Marriage… Please Protect It.

Be this...
Be this…

Friday’s SCOTUS decision on gay marriage sent powerful reverberations through the evangelical Christian and Republican communities. Evangelical leader Franklin Graham prayed that God would spare America after the ruling. GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee vowed to not “acquiesce to an imperial court.” Social media lit up with cheers from the Left and cries of disappointment and concern from the Right. I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing, to some extent, with both sides.

I am an evangelical Christian and a Republican. I affirm what the Bible teaches about homosexual relationships being a sin [1] … and I’ve been in favor of the legalization of same-sex marriage for at least six years now.

Yes, that’s right, this right-wing nut-job was pro-SSM years before the much-vaunted harbinger of Hope ‘n’ Change. He “evolved” on the subject in 2012. I beat him to it.

Once upon a time, I did stand arm-in-arm with the bulk of my conservative religious peers (and the Clintons) in opposing same-sex marriage. I admit that I voted against it when I was living in Utah in 2004. I admit that, when Proposition 8 passed, I believed the voters of California had made the right call.

Yet today I am relieved that the federal government now offers recognition of binding, life-long unions to all consenting adult couples in every state in our nation. How did I come to hold such seemingly disparate beliefs? What caused me to reverse my political position on SSM six years ago, even as I’ve stood firm in my religious convictions?

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