05 July 2008

Taxonomy, Order in the Kingdom

I got up fairly early this morning and took my dogs out into the backyard. I did some weed pulling and they did some romping. It is amazing to see how much energy my new pup has. She has two speeds, full out and knocked out. Chet the Wonder Dog, my faithful companion of the last 11 years, just watches her as she bounces and spins around him. All the while she is taunting him with the toys she steals from him. It seems youth is wasted on the young in all species.

Speaking of species....two years ago my best friend, who still lives in California, sent me plants for my garden. Among the varieties she sent was scarlet bee balm. It is a perennial here and is quickly overtaking my garden. That's OK with me, I like it. Today as I was waging war on squash bugs, I was treated to half a dozen hummingbird moths sipping nectar from the bee balm. The plants are sizable enough that the hummingbird moths, hummingbirds, honeybees and bumble bees all got to eat their fill without fighting. I watched them long enough to marvel at the order and organization with which our God has created all we have.

I took college biology during summer with a young friend of mine, Jenny. A semester course with a lab all condensed into 6 weeks. Jenny was born to be a teacher so we would go to class and hear the lectures and then she would teach me what she learned. It was great fun and made learning easy. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. I still remember, you did good, Jenny!

Order. God is very economical. He does everything for a reason and is merciful enough to let us discover those reasons while we investigate our surroundings. I watched the insects long enough to get a bit of a sunburn and do some reflecting on some lectures I downloaded and listened to yesterday. They were all on the topic of complementarian vs. egalitarian theology.

One of the good things about getting older is the wisdom to know when you are being rebellious coupled with the lack of energy you have to sustain a tantrum of any magnitude. I confess it. I am rebellious. I hate the idea that God restricts my function by virtue of my gender. It's not that I want to be a pastor, it's that I don't want anyone telling me I can't be a pastor. If I am going to be honest and write this at the most transparent level, I went looking for material that would sway me into being egalitarian. Being egalitarian would allow me to hang on to my rebellion and be justified in kicking at the goads. If I could buy the egalitarian argument, I could also ignore some of the blatant pride I am exhibiting regarding my achievements and abilities as a weaker vessel. Call me Kreskin but I sense a pattern developing. The more I focus on myself, the more I want to be egalitarian. Conversely, the more I focus on God and his order in creation, the more I realize that the complementarian position is the biblical position.

I have always had difficulty with this. I have never been good at what I assume it means being feminine. I have never been ribbons and lace, or pink gingham. It always seemed to me that those lace wearing, soft spoken women weren't very bright. That was the only logical answer to that vacuous smile and submission thing they had going on! Yes, I know it is a perfectly ugly thing to say, but I am going for honesty here. I want to expose my pride and ignorance for the folly and sin they are. I want to chronicle my journey with the hope that there are other women out there who, like me, are kicking at the goads.

I read a scathing criticism of a lecture given by Dr. Bruce Ware on this topic. Of all the reading and listening I have done before, I was unfamiliar with Dr. Ware. I surfed the net to find an mp3 to listen for myself. You see, I was certain after reading the criticisms of Dr. Ware that I had finally found my way out. Never mind all the other scholarly work I had read. I was banking on the criticism of Ware being true. Instead, after listening to him, I have never been so firmly seated in the complementarian position. Keeping with the gut level honesty, I don't know whether to be relieved or cry. I plan on blogging more about on the topic as I think it is vitally important. Besides, it touches the areas I am focusing on now; discipline and service. It will take discipline for me to ferret through my presuppositions on what it means to be feminine.

Meanwhile, if you want to listen to the mp3 of Dr. Ware, you can find it here along with many other resources.

Proverbs14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands. (NAS)

1 comment:

UpOnTheHill said...

You're still my favorite student! That was one of the best classes I ever took, and as I remember we aced it big time!

I remember some other things from that summer class: your freezing cold air conditioner and quizzing you from under a blanket on the couch with Chet tucked beside me on a 105 degree day, our worm that smiled upside down (I'm still not sure what I did wrong there), our fetal pig who we so lovingly took apart, peanut butter cups from Wal-Mart, and this sweet, smart, really good looking guy you kept trying to get me to spend time with . . . what was his name again? Was it Chris Something or other??