A basic rule of sound hermeneutics requires that no biblical term or concept be infused with meanings foreign to it. For this reason, the meaning of head in the New Testament must be defined from within the New Testament itself. It cannot be assumed that the value of head in the English language as authority, leader or master carries over automatically into the New Testament's use of the same word head...it must be determined whether the word head, when used to describe Christ's relationship to the church, carries the same meaning of lordship or whether it is invested with a different value. The glib assumption may not be made that, because head denotes authority in English, it also does so in the language of the New Testament.-Gilbert Bilezikian
Can you think of a word that evokes more emotion with regard to men and women, marriage and the leadership of the church than the word HEAD?

My aim on this blog is not to write treatises or theses on the topics that I choose. Rather, my goal is to present thoughts that provoke our thinking and hopefully challenge some of the assumptions that seem to cloud our view on the 'role' of men and women. There are traditional interpretations of the Bible that can tolerate a review of their hermeneutics without challenging the authority or truth of the Scripture.

In my opinion, the use of the word head as it is denoted in English, rather than in the context of the New Testament, is one interpretation that needs to be reviewed and revised.



"...there is the novel post-1970s interpretation of a se-
lected number of biblical texts on women that is now
adopted almost word for word by all contemporary 
hierarchists and rejected by all egalitarians. This says
men and women are equal, yet role-differentiated, 
which, when unpacked in plain speech, means that
 women are permanently subordinated to male 
authority. Women’s subordination, it is added, is
not a consequence of sin or a reflection of cultural 
values, but is predicated on a hierarchical social 
order established before the fall. It is the ideal that is
pleasing to God and, as such, is unchangeable."
Kevin Giles, Author
This 'novel interpretation' is actually the definition of "Complementarianism." It sounds really good when it states that men and women are equal. But don't fall for it. It is not egalitarian! The whole concept rises and falls with the word 'role.' It is interesting to note that the term 'role' is a not a biblical term. It is a sociological term and the use of this meaning of the word came into our vocabulary in the 1970's. So beware when you hear the term 'complementarianism.' it does not lead to the support of Women in Ministry. It actually serves to keep women out of the pulpit!


Ordination interview

Well, I survived my Ordination interview. It is my last interview with the DBMD (District Board of Ministerial Development) before my actual Ordination this summer at District Conference. They are the ones with whom I have interviewed at least once a year for the last couple of years. I must say I was quite nervous, but as with most things, once I got started I felt better.

What did I learn that I can pass on? Well, make sure you are prepared! I studied The Wesleyan Discipline which defines our positions on the various doctrines of the church. It felt good to be able to reference what the Discipline says while at the same time give my explanation of what I think it means. I am more of a conceptual person, so I had to work really hard to remember the Scriptural references related to the theology. What are some of the questions? They ask questions about the Atonement, Justification, Regeneration and Sanctification, of course.

One interesting part of the interview was that my husband sat next to me as my spouse. That was really different given that I stood with him at his ordination many years ago. He normally sits as a member on the DBMD, but for this time he sat next to me and had to answer the spousal questions of whether he could support me. You will be glad to know he did! It felt really good to hear him speak of me the way he did.

So, I have one more class this spring and then onto Ordination. I am praying that my 91 year old pastor-father will live until then so he can pray over me. I asked him to promise he would live until July, 2009. Even though his health is failing and he is on dialysis 3 times a week, he promised he would try. You can't ask for more than that!


Holy leadership

"I eagerly await the day when the church is able to stop asking whether or not women ought to be in church leadership and begin asking questions about how all our leadership, male and female, may be made more holy." -'Gifted for Leadership, a Community of Christian Women'
This idea of what a Christian, holy leader looks like is really very relevant to the discussion of women in leadership in the church. If the only leadership model available for women is to be the 'iron lady,' the tough, assertive female who is trying to be like a man, then the church will never accept women as their pastor/leader. The quote above comes from a blog sponsored by Christianity Today. The blog discussion of what a Christ-like leader looks like is worth reading. One of the commentators on the blog describes Christ-like, holy behavior. I think this holy behavior really looks good on both men and women leaders. Fortunately, leaders, both female and male, are called to the same standard of leadership set by Christ. We can all learn about holy leadership from the Head of the Church!


Imagine my dismay...

I grew up in England with a queen on the throne and was educated at an all-girls’ school and women’s college in Cambridge by gifted females (and led to Christ by a female medical professional). So after becoming a Christian, imagine my dismay when I first joined a church where women weren’t allowed to do any of the things in which I knew they excelled!"-Jill Briscoe
Fortunately, Jill had the opportunity to actually see women in leadership. It has been my experience that when people see a woman in a pastoral/leadership position; a woman demonstrating her spiritual gifts and calling, then they are better able to recognize that God might just have called her into that position.