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Gamaliel's Desk
Friday, October 08, 2004
 
Pharisee Taliban?

A supposed colleague of mine – a non-Pharisee pastor – sent me a link to a story on NPR’s All Things Considered program today. Before I go any further let me state that National Public Radio should just go ahead and change its name to National Liberal Radio. It is so blatantly anti-conservative that the only way I would have heard this story is to listen to it online. That’s why this “colleague” of mine sent an e-mail link to me. He knows I am too busy listening to Rush Limbaugh to tune in to ATC. The story he wanted me to listen to was titled “Afghan Women Prepare for First Vote in 30 Years” which was mildly interesting but that is not what made me hopping mad. Just take a look at this e-mail he sent me and guess why I am hopping mad.

-----Original Message-----
From: Pastor Sparks [mailto:friend4christ@firstchurch.org]
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2004 6:01 PM
To: Pastor GamalielSubject: Pharisee Taliban?

Hey, Pastor G.

I was listening to NPR on my way home from serving lunch at the homeless shelter downtown this afternoon and a story came on that made me think of you. I had to listen to the repeat broadcast of ATC because I only caught half of the story the first time around and thought they were doing an expose on your church. Ha, ha, just kidding. It turned out to be a report from Afghanistan on women getting the right to vote. If you go to NPR.org and click on All Things Considered for today’s show, you’ll find the piece I was talking about. When you get done, let me know what the difference is between a woman under the Taliban and a woman in a Pharisee church, OK?
LOL
Have a good weekend,
Sparky


I am still seething as I write this column. If any of you managed to hear the story you will see why I am so offended. This “brother” had the temerity to accuse our Pharisee church of relegating women to second class status and treating them just as badly as the Taliban treated women. This is a gross mischaracterization and undermines the high view we take of women and the fact that we put them on a pedestal, rather than treat them as a footstool.

For instance, the Taliban requires women to dress in an extremely demeaning way by keeping them entirely hidden from view and any vestiges of their femininity completely covered. We of the Pharisee church would never do such a thing. Yes, we believe that women should dress modestly but we would never impose extreme fashion requirements on them. The Taliban required women to wear a burkha at all times. We only require women to wear a veil or head covering when they come to church. There are some extreme Christian denominations that impose rigorous headgear for women at all times, but the Pharisee church is nowhere near as stodgy as they are. The Taliban required women to wear extremely limited clothing. Good Pharisee women can dress any way they please as long as they dress modestly in accordance with the Bible and don’t wear that which “pertains to a man.” Godly Pharisee women dress to look like women and take great pleasure in not using gaudiness to draw attention to themselves. They avoid the over-application of cosmetics and jewelry as befits a humble servant of God.

What was most distressing about this story was the rise of women’s suffrage in Afghanistan and the fact that women might consider voting against the wishes of their husbands. Good Pharisee women would never be guilty of “canceling out” their husbands’ votes but would first of all seek the wisdom of their men in all matters political before going to cast their ballots. Some people erroneously think that we are oppressing women by expecting them to consult with their husbands before voting but this is merely prudence. There is a divine order in which God the Father rules over Jesus, Jesus rules the husband, and the husband rules the wife and children as God’s delegated authority. Think of it as an umbrella of authority and women need to be covered by their husbands’ umbrellas. This isn’t my idea. This is God’s plan for families as revealed in the word of God and Bill Gothard seminars, no matter what critics may say. And as the God-appointed ruler of my house, it is my responsibility to make decisions on the big issues of the family: politics, church attendance and family finances to name a few. This is not to say that my wife has no decision making power. She chooses what the kids wear to home school in the morning, what we eat for meals, what day to do the laundry, and other vital matters. It’s just that she leaves the big decisions up to me and I leave the domestic decisions up to her.

Some people, including Pastor Sparks, feel that this view is tyrannical and demeaning to women. What he doesn’t understand is that this Godly order is designed to protect the woman. Just look at the first time women had a chance to make a decision and see what happened. She chose to consign the human race to a fallen condition by eating the forbidden fruit. It is only be God’s grace that He finds Adam to be mostly at fault instead of Eve. With this kind of track record, it is in the woman’s best interest to let the man make all the big, spiritual decisions and let the woman make all the small, fleshly decisions. This divine order of the sexes is really for woman’s own good, even if they are too blind to see it.

Just think about it. Politics can be difficult to understand and confusing. The political dialogue is hard to follow and discernment is a key component required to comprehend what is going on. Why should godly men burden their women unnecessarily with political issues when these women would rather be at home raising their children and caring for the house? We free them up so they are not distracted from the thing they truly love – being a keeper at home. As a godly husband, this is a heavy burden, but it is one I am willing to bear and one that every Pharisee husband should be willing to bear. What kind of husbands would we be if we didn’t provide the necessary guidance to our wives so they would know how to dress, how to vote, how to raise the children and how to spend money? Women are thankful for husbands that have the courage to step in and take charge on these matters.



In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church…
Ephesians 5:28-29 (NIV)

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