Welcome to De-Commissioned, a place for former members of the Great Commission movement (aka GCM, GCC, GCAC, GCI, the Blitz) to discuss problems they've experienced in the association's practices and theology.

You may read and post, but some features are restricted to registered members. Please consider registering to gain full access! Registration is free and only takes a few moments to complete.
De-Commissioned Forum
September 21, 2017, 02:25:28 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home   Forum   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Women and GC  (Read 63627 times)
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2007, 09:10:03 pm »

Genevieve’s husband:

I have to disagree that the “classic man provider,” woman nurturer relationship is shameful on its own merits.

I think it CAN be shameful if women aren’t “allowed” to set their own priorities, relationships or occupational paths. AND I think it can be shameful if there is no recognition that men as fathers and husbands can play an incredibly nuturing role.

The new wave of feminism is recognizing that perhaps modern day feminism has minimized the biological differences between men and women and actually deprived women of something their bodies were truly designed to do. To bear and nurse children. To ignore this is to ignore the basic fundamental right of women… to give birth to young, and care for it properly.

So society doesn’t have it right yet and GC doesn’t have it right yet.

As a stay at home mom, I am proud of my decision and I think it is wonderful that so many GC women choose to stay at home with their kids. What bothers me is that this responsibility falls mostly on the women while the men stay busy with meetings at church, leadership activities, conferences, and other church related activities. Men need to be raising their children too. Men need to be nurturing, feeding, loving, and caring for their children too.

So I have to disagree that the choice of classic man provider and woman as nurturer is a bad one inherently or even often or even EVER. I have never been happier in my life. I eagerly wake up every day… this has not always been the case, mind you. There have been months in the past where I dreaded getting out of bed because the task of caring for my children was too daunting. That was also when I felt like my life was worthless as a stay at home mom, and when I went to a GC church. It was there I felt trapped, alone, and “lesser” than a man.

Now that I am out, it is absolutely completely different. Lots of women make this choice all of the time… I didn’t know that. I really only thought it was Christian women that chose to stay at home. When I left GC I realized that the “big bad world” of my imagination where people scoff at stay at home moms didn’t exist. Out of five families with kids on my street, four of them stay at home with their kids. The one who works is the only other one besides me that goes to church.

I think a wonderful thing is happening in our society as more and more women realize that you can have it all, just not at the same time. And there is something so soul honoring, outside of any religion at all, to bear and care for children. It’s such an optimistic path to take.

It’s not the “roles” that people choose to take that is bad.

1. It’s how they got there… was it forced?
2. It’s why they’re there… do they want to be?
3. It’s how they live those roles… in “submission” or in an almost hedonistic fulfillment. I am all for having and raising kids for hedonistic fulfillment, by the way. There is nothing like it in all the world, and I take pleasure in my kids. I think God takes pleasure in us too… so I don’t think that’s bad.
4. It’s how those roles are honored… is the nurturing role honored? Both radical feminists (I mean really radical) and radical fundamentalists seem to fall on the same side of not honoring these roles. Both seem to elevate the traditional male roles of provider, supporter and trailblazer as the only life worth anything.

Quite frankly, someone has to raise the next generation, and there is no way in hell I am letting someone else raise mine. Period. So I have no problem at all when women or men wish to stay at home with their kids foregoing career opportunities.
Logged

Glad to be free.
A brother
Guest

« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2007, 09:10:40 pm »

There is a lot of stuff being mixed into the thread.



A) On women speaking at HSLT, Faithwalkers, etc. Almost exclusively (maybe even 100 percent) the speakers at the national conferences are pastors. Since GC practices men-only pastorates, it stands to reason that the speakers are men-only. However, I would point out that at last year’s Pastor’s Conference, women led small group discussions for other women.



B) One women being servant leaders in their local church. Where I’m at, women are extremely involved. We have one who is a deaconess and is heavily involved in counseling. Other women are active in leading ministries. In the areas in which they lead, they give announcements on Sunday morning. The participate in ushering, worship, and teaching Sunday School.



C) On submission. I have understood suring the 16 years I’ve known my wife (13 years married) that I am to love my wife and she is to respect me. If I love her and sacrifice for her, she will desire to respect me. If she respects me, she will submit to my leadership for our family. Pretty simple. Even if I do not love my wife as I should, it does not negate the Biblical principle that she is to respect me.



D) Women and Paul. I don’t know exactly what to do with Paul’s writing about women being silent. Even churches who practice male authority do not really practice women being silent (women sing during worship, for example). But I do know this from personal experience … when we have church meetings and there are 20 men and 20 women, its the women who seem to desire to do the most talking. They respond to each other and can quickly dominate the conversation, while men tend to sit back and listen. Perhaps this is one reason why Paul taught what he did about about women remaining silent — I think women are “wired” to be more conversational/verbal. As a consequence, I think women are more prone to the sin of gossip. These are my opinions only — certainly it isnt a universal truth, as we all know quiet, thoughtful women and loose-cannon men who run at the mouth.



D) Women and the church. I don’t think GC is different than most any other conservative, evangelical group. Progressive, intelligent women in Baptist, Church of Christ, Brethren, and independent Bible churches all feel unappreciated by “The Man.”
Logged
G_Prince
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 303



« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2007, 09:10:55 pm »

Quote
As a stay at home mom, I am proud of my decision and I think it is wonderful that so many GC women choose to stay at home with their kids. What bothers me is that this responsibility falls mostly on the women while the men stay busy with meetings at church, leadership activities, conferences, and other church related activities. Men need to be raising their children too. Men need to be nurturing, feeding, loving, and caring for their children too.

______________________________

This is exactly what I was talking about, and I’m sorry I didn’t clarify. I feel like many GCM women are pressured into this role instead of choosing it and that is what is shamefull.

Women should be able to choose whatever they want whether it is a career as a lawyer or a stay at home mom. The church should have no place in decideing what a women should do, yet GCM seems to have a designed role for women who are “truly following God.” My problem is with their controlling guilt tactics. I’m also sure many women in GCM really wanted to be stay at home mom’s and never experianced the pressure.

I also think there is a differance between the GCM stay at home and the non GCM stay at home. I really can’t describe what it is but there is a big differance between your family and the way I was raised. I always felt my mom was “stressed, forced, and frazzled, and deep down at some level wasn’t enjoying mothering. Parenting was a chore and a duty not the fun and joyfull existance that you have.
Logged

Here's an easy way to find out if you're in a cult. If you find yourself asking the question, "am I in a cult?" the answer is yes. -Stephen Colbert
terryd's wife
Guest

« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2007, 09:12:04 pm »

I believe that the Bible teaches that men should be the pastors and teachers.



I believe that the husband should provide for the wife.



Although, I guess I work outside the home since I do the books and taxes for my husband’s business. We’re in this thing together!



And, I believe that the Bible teaches that the wife should submit to her husband.



Having said all that, here is a tidbit from C. S. Lewis that my husband (of all people!) shared with me. It’s from The Four Loves.



Christian writers (notably Milton) have sometimes spoken of the husband’s headship with a complacency to make the blood run cold. We must go back to our Bibles. The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the chruch. He is to love her as Christ loved the church–read on–and give his life for her (Eph. V, 25) this headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is ,most unworthy of him, is–in her own mere nature least lovable…The sternest feminist need not grudge my sex the crown offered to it either in the Pagan or in the Christian mystery. For the one is of paper and the other of thorns. The real danger is not that husband’s may grasp the latter too eagerly; but that they will allow or compel their wives to usurp it.



That last line is worth repeating in all caps.



THE REAL DANGER IS NOT THAT HUSBAND’S MAY GRASP THE LATTER (the crown of thorns part) TOO EAGERLY; BUT THAT THEY WILL ALLOW OR COMPEL THEIR WIVES TO USURP IT.



If anything, the wife shouldn’t sacrifice for the husband. The husband should sacrifice for the wife. (Of course, in reality, both should sacrifice for each other out of love).
Logged
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2007, 09:26:50 pm »

Gene,

You said:

“I also think there is a differance between the GCM stay at home and the non GCM stay at home. I really can’t describe what it is but there is a big differance between your family and the way I was raised. I always felt my mom was “stressed, forced, and frazzled, and deep down at some level wasn’t enjoying mothering. Parenting was a chore and a duty not the fun and joyfull existance that you have.”

Yes! I agree with you. Having parented while attending a GC church and having parented while not at a GC church, it is interesting to see how my perspective changed.

While at a GC church I felt incredible, overwhelming pressure to raise children who would follow “the mission” and would help me “build bridges” to the unsaved by how well behaved our family was, how hospitable we were, etc. Still today, I absolutely cannot let myself read any GC literature on parenting because on those days that I do, I head right back there. I am harsher with my kids, less enjoying the moments, and basically feel trapped. I found my GC self embracing the idea of punishment as the only way to really love your kids and raise them to be the perfect godly GC kids.

Then I left and a year later I found myself reading books on Christian attachement parenting which is far more like our relationship with God. We love because he loved us first. We follow because we trust that God loves us and has our best interests at heart. I am becoming a “baby wearing, marsupial mom” who feels that the relationship and the individuality of my kids is how to reach their little hearts. Not with spanking (although it can have it’s place), constant scolding, time outs all the time, etc. (I would like to say I still do all this stuff but less and calmer). Am I the perfect parent… Of course!!!! (not).

Gene I agree. GC stay at home parenting can be different than non GC stay at home momming. It was for me, and I never want to go back there. My GC friends all believed that this was what they had to do. Not in a life’s mission type of way, but in a mandatory way.
Logged

Glad to be free.
G_Prince
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 303



« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2007, 09:27:06 pm »

Dear Brother,

Isn’t point three a litle archaic? What about women covering their heads or slaves submiting to their masters? What about greating each other with the kiss of peace. Why arn’t these “commands” followed. It seems pretty pick and choose.

Are you scared of a woman with an idependent mind? It certainly sounds like you don’t appreaciate their chatter. If they weren’t checked they would probelby gossip the church to the gates of hell right? Who knows what else they might do!
Logged

Here's an easy way to find out if you're in a cult. If you find yourself asking the question, "am I in a cult?" the answer is yes. -Stephen Colbert
exshep
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 260



WWW
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2007, 09:27:17 pm »

I am not too sure what to do with the stats regarding women and faithwalkers. I went to last years Faithwalker mp3s and found only one presentation by a women Mary Knox. Does lead credence to the underrepresentation of women.

Curiously the GC church I attend has several women in leadership roles. I know the counseling department is headed by a woman. Celebrate Recovery is co-chaired by both a man and a woman. We have three female admistrators, one who frequently teaches coed classes and leads planning meetings. The welcome team have two services headed by women. My wife and I report to women for directions on the evening or morning services. The campus bookstore is headed operated by several fine ladies.

I must confess the variances are rather interesting.
Logged

Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
exshep
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 260



WWW
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2007, 09:28:00 pm »

I have a question. Where does a single woman fit in the mainstream GC scheme of things? I will explain later. I just want to send up the flag for now and see who salutes.
Logged

Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
mamie
Guest

« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2007, 09:28:14 pm »

Ex-shep - bless your sweet heart!! I’m saluting with both hands! I was JUST getting ready to say….

How ironic…as a single, 40 + woman with no children and no involvement (or desire to be involved) in the college ministry…I’m once again invisible - on the very thread of conversation I started…geez….
Logged
mamie
Guest

« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2007, 09:28:27 pm »

Oh, and by the way, I think my invisibility in GC also had to do with my particular gifts and abilities - my gifts lean toward teaching, and discernment. The gifts valued in GC women tend to fall along the mercy and helping line. (If I’m the last woman on earth and you are dying, I won’t take care of you well but I’ll write a heck of a eulogy!).

All I’m saying is that it’s my observation that gifting plays a role in a woman’s satisfaction and fit in many GC churches….along with marital status, age and parent status…
Logged
Genevieve
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 126



« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2007, 09:28:41 pm »

Okay, I have a theory. In GC, men represent leadership, and by leadership, I think they mean visionaries. They look for guys who are going to stand up and *do* something with their lives. They’re active and outward focused; they have plans for how to reach the world.

The man’s vision follows GC’s vision of reaching the world. (Hi, honey, I’m home! Did I mention I signed us up for this church plant?). (See Gene’s Be a Man post for more on GC’s masculinity theology.)

Women, on the other hand, represent submission and motherhood, and by submission, they mean followers. They’re women who are willing to follow their men anywhere without (much) opposition. Ideally, they also want to follow GC’s vision, so it’s not hard for them to follow their men.

In an ideal GC home, there’s only one dream and one person who initiates following that dream. The men initiate; the women agree and enable.

Okay, so what happens when the women have their own dreams or the men aren’t “going hard” after God in GC’s eyes? Guilt, pressure, inadequacy. The men feel emasculated, and the women feel too masculine–even if in a normal society both would be viewed as normal in their gender roles.

Single women are in charge of their own lives like men always are. So single women are ignored, given a circle of influence to act as mothers to others but not much authority. GC hopes the single women will follow a pastor or live the “woman’s life” by being devoted to another family, but they can’t enforce it.

I think this is why whenever the subject of women in the church is brought up, we automatically start talking about married women and submission. Because in GC’s eyes, that’s the only kind of “real” woman.
Logged
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2007, 09:28:53 pm »

Mamie, if you could serve anywhere in a GC church, where would you want to serve and in what capacity?
Logged

Glad to be free.
Genevieve
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 126



« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2007, 09:29:05 pm »

Oh, and I also think this “enabling the man to fulfill the vision” is why female staff members are often doing the administrative work. It’s another way women can do the “inside” stuff so men can focus on the “doing.”
Logged
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2007, 09:29:21 pm »

Mamie said:

“GC has NEVER known what to do with articulate, bright, visionary, dynamic women - except to get them “under a man’s covering” (whatever the heck that means!) as soon as possible! If marriage didn’t happen, the result has been invisibility. I don’t know any better term. We’ve not been spoken harshly to…we’ve just not been spoken to at all - not in any meanignful way. We’ve not been treated badly…we’ve not been treated at all… You get my point.”

I would like to say that even articulate, bright, visionary, dynamic women who ARE married in GC are also ignored for being articulate, bright, visionary, or dynamic.

I personally was constantly teased for silly things like talking to much or liking to shop. Women’s work or being feminine was more of a joke than anything else. If I brought up something that was a good point, my point was ignored and the leader would say, “I didn’t know you were so analytical” and then move on.

So while I agree that single women were ignored… they were and are, married women also were ignored often and if they weren’t it was to keep reminding them of their place. What I found is that when a bright, articulate, visionary woman got married… it was expected that she sublimate all of that and follow her husband’s leadership in everything…. (I am gagging as I write that) becoming more infantile and childlike. That’s what I felt when I went to women’s gatherings. In fact, this may get me in HUGE trouble, but I think that the higher up a woman got (in marriage that is) the more infantile her speech became. It’s true! It’s almost like there was the “gentle and quiet” voice women were to adopt– it was almost like a slow drawl. I am not kidding.

So Mamie, I agree with you… but in GC I probably would have been jealous of your autonomy!
Logged

Glad to be free.
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2007, 09:29:32 pm »

Genevieve I completely agree with all that you have said. GC men ARE the visionaries, the priority setters, the ones who set the agenda. That is sooooo true. And they need women… they need the other 50% of the church for heaven’s sake!

Except for ex-shep’s church… there seems to be a complete disregard for the ideas of women.

I remember a message by a higher up directed towards other male leaders where the leaders says, “We need to protect our girls from the pressures of our leadership roles in the church.”

So unlike other organizations where marriage might get you a place of leadership that gender might not, you actually were no different from any other woman. Quiet, subservient, and submissive. UGH.
Logged

Glad to be free.
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2007, 09:29:45 pm »

Erik’s wife said:

“they could see things in her life that she couldn’t and could make recommendations based on their own experiences and years of wisdom. they showed her her choices in life and let her make her own decisions based on what she felt to be God’s leading. i could give examples if you’re interested.”

I would love to read the examples. That would be great!
Logged

Glad to be free.
mamie
Guest

« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2007, 09:29:57 pm »

Hmmm…good question, Agathalorange (may I call you Aggie?). First of all, I wouldn’t serve in a GC church because of many of the things that have been brought up on this blog. The belief in patriarchy as a God-given structure for the church is, in my opinion, the underlying root of many of the hurtful practices you all have been describing. The disease is much to pervasive for me to tolerate any more.

If I were to find a healthy, vibrant church that believed (and practiced) that the leadership’s role was to fully equip/serve EVERY believer, to serve the poor and needy, and to show Christ’s love to people, whether they “pray the prayer” or are “good disciple material” or not, well then…..

I would love to be involved (because of my gifts, abilities, passions, and experience) in figuring out how to carry out that massive mission. I’m something of a conceptual architect, so I like being given a vision and thinking through how to make it happen. I’m also a good “translator” - God has given me the ability to take difficult concepts and communicate them in ways that make sense to people, both verbally and in writing.

I know those aren’t nice clean job titles in most churches…I’m not a very traditional thinker. I’ll stop there ’cause I don’t want to get too off-topic but maybe I’ve shared enough for you to see why I didn’t fit all that well into traditional GC women’s roles.

Also, I wasn’t “under a man’s covering” so I might go off half-cocked at any moment and who would they rebuke??? (Sorry, sarcasm alert….)
Logged
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2007, 09:30:09 pm »

Ex-shep said:

“I have a question. Where does a single woman fit in the mainstream GC scheme of things? I will explain later. I just want to send up the flag for now and see who salutes.”

Um, call me crazy, but I don’t think she really does fit. But married women didn’t either OTHER than roles (also open to single women) that have to do with teaching Sunday school, nursery, hospitality, and passing the offering plate, oh and singing.
Logged

Glad to be free.
puff of purple smoke
Administrator
Household Name (300+ Posts)
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 598



« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2007, 09:30:28 pm »

Also, I wasn’t “under a man’s covering” so I might go off half-cocked at any moment and who would they rebuke??? (Sorry, sarcasm alert….)

I want to give an example but I probably shouldn’t for privacy reasons. I will just say that yes, I’ve seen this many times. Two people (male and female) do something stupid, and the man gets blamed while the women is looked upon as the victim. This has been explained to me by GC leaders as well, using the logic described in above posts.
Logged
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 962



« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2007, 09:30:38 pm »

“under a man’s covering” bleh.
Logged

Glad to be free.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.1.1