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Bristol University Christian Union ungags women

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet – 1 Timothy 2:11-12

THIS bit of biblical baloney was most likely at the root of a university Christian union’s recent decision not to allow women to preach at its main meetings.

Such was the outrage after the gagging order was issued that the Bristol University Christian Union (BUCU) did an immediate U-turn and has now said it will allow both sexes to preach at all events.

Last night, according to the Guardian, BUCU put out a statement saying it would now allow women to teach at all its events.

It said:

The executive committee now wish to make clear that we will extend speaker invitations to both women and men, to all BUCU events, without exception. BUCU is utterly committed to reflecting the core biblical truth of the fundamental equality of women and men.

The statement added it was “well known” that Christian churches differed on the question of women’s ministry.

BUCU is not a church, but a student society, so it has never had a formal policy on women’s ministry.

In recent months, the executive committee have been exploring ways in which BUCU can best accommodate members with divergent and strongly held convictions, while expressing our unity as Christian believers.

The university’s students’ union (UBU) launched an investigation after the emergence of an email in which BUCU members were informed that women would not be asked to preach – unless, in the case of a handful of married students, they are accompanied by their husband.

The decision, according to this report:

Represents the latest sign of the growing influence of conservative evangelical teaching, particularly among younger Christians.

The whole “silent women” thing is analysed here from a Christian perspective. Talk about hooks and wriggling worms!

Hat tip: Ivan, BarrieJohn and Agent Cormac

 

47 Responses to “Bristol University Christian Union ungags women”

  1. Brad Welch says:

    It would be good if Christians could admit some things in the bible are just plain wrong. But then they might end up being ex-Christian.

  2. Matt Westwood says:

    Barking mad the lot of them.

  3. AgentCormac says:

    Religion isn’t about all that OT stuff of Ken’s – you know: control, oppression and authoritarianism. Nooooooo! These days it’s all about respect and love and peace and understanding and equality.

    Oh, how I despise christians!

  4. barriejohn says:

    The statement added it was “well known” that Christian churches differed on the question of women’s ministry.

    Why? The Bible (New Testament, not thatsilly, outdated Old Testament nonsense, as AgentCormac says) makes it quite plain: women are to keep silent and learn from their menfolk!

  5. mikespeir says:

    “…the fundamental equality of women and men.”

    Wow. I had it so wrong for so long.

  6. Matt Westwood says:

    If God hadn’t meant women to spend all day by the kitchen sink he wouldn’t have made their feet so short.

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    BUCU is utterly committed to reflecting the core biblical truth of the fundamental equality of women and men.

    Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. – 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

    I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. – 1 Corinthians 11:3

    [Jesus said] Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. – Mark 5:18-19

  8. Lonborghini Funghini says:

    “…the core biblical truth of the fundamental equality of women and men.”

    The lying christian bastards!

  9. Robster says:

    Let’s just make stuff up as we go….

  10. [...] Google Blog Search Source- Christian Headlines [...]

  11. Georgina says:

    @ Robster:
    All religion is ‘made up as we go’, just that some of it gets written down.

  12. barriejohn says:

    Lonborghini: The core biblical truth of the fundamental equality of women and men.

    Like the core biblical truth of the fundamental equality of all men, but let’s not allow a few inconvenient biblical truths to get in the way when we decide what it is that God wants us to believe – after all, he only wrote the book!

  13. [...] Church Ministry Source- Google Blog Search- Womens Ministry BUCU is utterly committed to reflecting the core biblical truth of the fundamental equality of women and men. The statement added it was-well known� that Christian churches differed on the question of women's ministry. [...]

  14. barriejohn says:

    “You turn if you want to…”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/05/bristol-university-christian-union-female-speakers?

    “In recent months, the executive committee have been exploring ways in which BUCU can best accommodate members with divergent and strongly held convictions, while expressing our unity as Christian believers.”

    You can’t, you fucking idiots!

  15. Ken says:

    AgentC.: “Religion isn’t about all that OT stuff of Ken’s – you know: control, oppression and authoritarianism”

    No, I don’t think it is. Which is not to say the OT has nothing to say, but all of us as Gentiles are not under it. But to answer questions posed on another thread that has now disappeared, I don’t claim the OT wasn’t valid in its time, or that the ceremonial laws were not there to be obeyed as though this was some ancient embarrassment we have now grown out of. So if we were under the law, we would have to avoid the mixed fibles and certain foods etc etc.

    If they were valid for us today, then sinful human nature being what it is you could expect the response ‘no-one is going to tell me what to wear or what not to eat’, just as the biblical restriction on certain ministries for women are considered not worth obeying. Even very small matters have a way of showing human autonomy being asserted.

    People are not ‘equal’ in the sense of the ‘same’. There are differences in strength, intelligence, aptitudes and so on. In one sense you can and should treat everyone equally (e.g. in the OT you must give justice to rich and poor on the same basis), but you cannot pretend differences do not exist.

    “Oh, how I despise christians!” Hmmn, why not post as someone religious on a gay or evolutionist (or whatever) thread, and substitute the word ‘christians’ with ‘gay’ or ‘evolutonist’, and watch the response …. !!

  16. remigius says:

    Ken, why do you keep going on about those bloody mixed fibres?

    Yes we know that Jesus instructed his followers to obey OT law, but you, of all people, should know that Paul told Christians to ignore what Jesus said.

  17. [...] Bristol University Christian Union ungags women (freethinker.co.uk) Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailDiigoMoreRedditPrintStumbleUponDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories: Hermeneutics, theology, women's ordination Tags: 1 Timothy 2:12, Apostle Paul, bible passages, Ephesus, First Epistle to Timothy, New International Version, Social Sciences, timothy Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback [...]

  18. Ken says:

    remegius – that’s just it, I don’t go on about mixed fibres. Atheists keep bringing this up in the mistaken notion is somehow makes modern Christianity look stupid – quoting one verse about the law in Matthew, ignoring its meaning and context, and then ignoring all of the rest of the NT.

    The Gentile/Jewish tension in the early church was resolved by the whole church, not Paul telling Christians to ignore what Jesus said about it. ‘Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ’, who was personally commissioned by the resurrected Jesus to go around the world telling everyone to ignore what Jesus ever said!

  19. remigius says:

    And there you go again, Ken. Do you think you could do just one post without mentioning those bloody mixed fibres?

  20. David Anderson says:

    remigius: How about muesli, can he mention muesli?

  21. remigius says:

    David. That’s up to Barry. I don’t make the rules.

  22. Daz says:

    Ken

    Here’s an oldie but goodie. And, yes, it’s from Matthew:

    Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    If those truly are the actual words of the actual Jesus, why on Earth should we bother with the opinions of the later church, including Paul, if they contradict him?

  23. David Anderson says:

    Sorry remigius, that was a stab at humour that fell by the wayside.

  24. remigius says:

    Yes. Fibre. Breakfast cereal. I laughed.

  25. Ken says:

    “why on Earth should we bother with the opinions of the later church, including Paul, if they contradict him?”

    They don’t.

    And no mention of mixed fibres either.

  26. remigius says:

    Ok then, Ken. If Jesus instructs his followers to obey OT law, and he isn’t later contradicted, why then don’t his followers obey OT law?

  27. Daz says:

    Ken, Ken, Ken, you are contradicting yourself. I quote your own words from up-thread:

    Which is not to say the OT has nothing to say, but all of us as Gentiles are not under it

    Make yer mind up.

  28. Ken says:

    See the context in Matthew’s gospel. The law was given to the Jews, the prophets were sent to the Jews, and the law was valid until all was fullfilled. The text itself doesn’t say Jesus expects his followers to keep the law, if that were the case, then the new testament/covenant would simply be an extension of the mosaic covenant given to the Jews to the rest of the world, meaning Christianity would equal Judaism plus Gentiles. But the church is under a new and better deal.

    Now there is, Daz, some continuity between OT and NT, seen for example in the moral law. Much of the OT isn’t just ‘law’ but history, wisdom, prediction etc.

    This issue might not be important from the theist side (when thinking of adulterated textiles for example), but it is when atheists make claims like NT believers are obligated to carry out the capital punishments under the law of Moses. This is a serious charge, and is not true, neither in theory nor mainstream practice.

    So now you know ….

  29. David Anderson says:

    I have known for a long time that the babble is bollocks, from start to finish.

  30. remigius says:

    But Ken, that verse about following the OT law and prophets comes from the sermon on’t mount. He was addressing gentiles in Galilee, not jews in Judea!

    He was saying that God’s laws (ie his laws cos he’s his own father/son, apparently) should apply to everyone, not just the jews.

  31. remigius says:

    He even goes on to say (matt 5:19) that you should ignore anyone who teaches otherwise, eg Paul!

  32. Daz says:

    But Ken, those instructions which you claim we’re being petty for mentioning—not mixing fabrics, not eating shellfish and so on—they’re laws, commandments, instructions. They’re not history, wisdom or prediction. So, oh wise one, pray tell us just how you decide which bits are superseded by Christian teaching and which ones aren’t. By what method do you discern the one from the other?

    Oh, and where in your book does Jesus or God say that gentiles don’t need to follow mosaic law?

  33. remigius says:

    Yeah, and your bible refers to them as commandments; which implies they must be followed. If they were called ambiguous suggestions then you may have a point.

  34. remigius says:

    ‘Oh, and where in your book does Jesus or God say that gentiles don’t need to follow mosaic law?’

    Didn’t John the Baptist give Herod Antipasto a bollocking for marrying Phil’s missus, saying it was against mosaic law, even though ol’ Antipasto was a gentile?

  35. remigius says:

    Ken, are you really suggesting that by having one law for one group of people, and another law for others, that God has double standards?

  36. barriejohn says:

    Every time I look at this site these days I seem to see the same argument going between the same people. Any chance of moving things on?

  37. remigius says:

    ‘Any chance of moving things on?’

    Nope!

  38. Ken says:

    Well at the risk of moving things back, Daz, you should try reading e.g. Acts 15 (plus 10 and 11) for info about the Gentiles and the law of Moses. The rituals in the law have been fullfilled (past tense). The moral law – murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, etc still apply, that is, those laws that show you how to love your neighbour as yourself.

    The NT church has no special robed priesthood, no altars and sacrifices, no food laws or circumcision. I’ll grant you though that if you only go by the religious ritual of the RCC’s, you could be forgiven for wondering if this aspect of the OT law does still apply.

    I saw a link to a story about the Church of Scotland church having to leave their denomination over the gay issue, and in the comments someone wrote (after the inevitable ‘they are all bigots’ comment) how stupid the laws are these people have to keep, with sundry quotes from the Mosaic law – including one about slaves of course. This atheist only shows he doesn’t know the bible, has made no effort to find out the defining beliefs of those he is so sure are wrong, and is unwilling to be sceptical about his own scepticism.

    As long as atheists keep up this fallacy, I don’t see why a Christian shouldn’t (if they can be bothered) keep pointing out they need to do their homework, and above all, think for themselves and not take sundry internet sites on faith!

  39. Stephen Mynett says:

    Ken, you are like all other apologists, you interpret the bible the way you want. In short, the bible is a collection of writings put together by a variety of people and used however a particular brand of church wants to.
    We dont need to do our homework, you need to grow up and stop believing fairy stories.
    I have read enough of your drivel on these forums to realise that polite conversation and logic is a waste of time with you.

  40. Matt Westwood says:

    @Ken: I have something I want to understand, and you might be able to help me with.

    Clearly the Bible is a source work of some importance to the various Christian (and other) belief systems. Equally clearly, different subsets of the Christian philosophical community place different emphasis on various passages therefrom, including the dismissal of certain passages as not relevant.

    My question is: how do you decide which parts of the bible are relevant (either personally or communally)?

    It appears to me that the answer seems to be: whatever “feels right”, or “socially appropriate” to any particular person of the Christian faith. If this is so, then how does “enlightened Christianity” differ from humanism? The latter is based on a knowledge of right and wrong based on what is socially appropriate, letting the morals of the society in which one lives guide one’s moral commpass. To a humanist, this guidance is a good thing – to a religious person, such an attitude is a bad thing because it leaves them feeling “adrift” in the sea of humanity rather than moored on the rock of the moral certainty of what it says in the Book.

    But if, as I pointed out above, the relevance of specific passages of the Book is to a certain extent arbitrary and driven by the current status of societal mores, then, I reiterate, how does it then (apart from a belief, irrational to a rationalist, in an undetected supernational consciousness) differ from humanism?

  41. Angela_K says:

    @barriejohn. “Every time I look at this site these days I seem to see the same argument going between the same people. Any chance of moving things on?”

    I agree. Scientists and Atheists learn from discussion and the presentation of new evidence to adjust their theories and point of view. Whereas the religious ignore any new data and refer back to their religious texts, playing these like some type of trump card.

    In trying to debate with the religious, we just go around and around saying the same things because the religious are incapable of admitting their religious texts and belief systems are wrong.

  42. Ken says:

    “how do you decide which parts of the bible are relevant (either personally or communally)?”

    You have to study it carefully, and as far as possible let it interpret itself. You also have to attempt not to impose your pre-conceived ideas onto it.

    “humanism …. is based on a knowledge of right and wrong based on what is socially appropriate, letting the morals of the society in which one lives guide one’s moral commpass”

    How does society know what what is appropriate, i.e. what is right and what is wrong? If a society (and they have existed) thought there was nothing wrong with adults having sex with young children, and legalised it, would that make it a morally right thing to do?

    Angela_K – try to look at it from a theist perspective. You are constantly told that your beliefs are nonsense and you are a deluded fool, but those telling you all too often haven’t bothered to find out what those beliefs really are, and frequently tend to caricature them (sky fairy etc.). More than that, they seem absolutely certain they are right. That leads me to think that their unbelief is an act of the will, they don’t want to believe, rather than anything to do with evidence or logic.

  43. barriejohn says:

    Angela_K: My thoughts entirely, and as an ex-fundamentalist myself I think that I have a better idea than most of the futility of engaging with these people. The are not, like the rest of us, seeking the truth, as they think they have it. Their sole objective is to convert everyone to their own point of view, as they “know” that they are right, either instinctively or as a result of “divine revelation”. Reason doesn’t come into it, and is seen as downright dangerous. Responding to their stupidity only encourages the buggers, I’m afraid!

  44. barriejohn says:

    For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.

    (I Corinthians 1:18-29)

    Do you really think that you’re going to get anywhere arguing wiht that sort of mentality?

  45. Matt Westwood says:

    “You have to study it carefully, and as far as possible let it interpret itself. You also have to attempt not to impose your pre-conceived ideas onto it.”

    Like I suggested then, it’s making a personal value judgment on which bits you feel are right.

    Problems I have with this:
    a) “Let it interpret itself”. Interpret it? It’s already in a language I understand.
    b) “You also have to attempt not to impose your pre-conceived ideas onto it.” So, with your mind a blank non-judgmental slate, you read: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” for example. Without invoking one’s belief that capital punishment, how does one treat this as not a good line for today?

    Can you pick a couple of examples of passages in the bible and explain how you let them interpret itself without imposing your preconceived ideas? Can you do this first with a passage which you, personally, agree with as a good instruction to follow, and also for a passage which you personally have trouble with on taking it at face value? I need to understand what you mean.

  46. Ken says:

    Matt – I doubt if you are really that interested, but I’ll give you a brief answer anyway seeing as you asked!

    “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18)

    Context: to whom was it addressed? (The ancient Jews) Did it apply to anyone else? (No, not the surrounding Gentile nations.)
    ‘Witch’ is a strange word – modern versions have sorceress. What original Hebrew word does this translate, and is there a modern equivalent? (The drug/occult world comes to mind.) What other biblical passages deal with the same or similar topics so as to get a balanced overall view?

    Is this a moral law that could continue under the new covenant (NT) and is the penalty still valid? It wouldn’t apply anyway to Gentile church converts, but the parallel with homosexuality shows the death penalty was not applied as the church had repentent homosexuals in its midst even whilst it was still a mixed Jewish/Gentile set up.

    This is nothing to do with ‘feelings’ – indeed, atheism is emotion-driven much of the time. As long as atheists make assertions – about slavery is another good example – without bothering to find out the overall picture as above, they simply show their ignorance. Fair enough if the bible bores them, but then they shouldn’t comment on it, and very definitely shouldn’t take a verse like that and say ‘the bible tells you to go around murdering ….’.