Last night as a friend and I were discussing gender inequality and women’s role in the church, I was accused of being hostile. Being called hostile might be the best way to find out how horrible that word really is. The synonyms make me shudder and are not words I want to reflect.
From Thesaurus.com: adverse, alien, argumentative, bellicose, belligerent, bitter, contentious, contrary, hateful, inhospitable, malevolent, militant, nasty, opposed….and the list goes on.
In all honesty I am not interested in most arguments. I rarely get riled about politics. I’m hard to ruffle with regard to my veganism. I actually don’t get too wrapped around the axle, as they say, about religion in general.
But when you start messing with things I do care about…I get passionate and am not easily intimidated into giving up ground. I feel this way about the children I love in particular and children who are mistreated in general. I feel this way about people who try to make others feel bad for seeking mental help. I feel this way about the homeless. And I feel this way about gender inequality and the denial of female gifting in the church.
But is it hostility?
Is it hostile to study the bible extensively on a topic and find that there is room for another viewpoint and be frustrated when others, who have studied it less, dismiss your thoughts and ideas?
Is it hostile to express your frustration about having an nontraditional gifting and the knowledge that you are unlikely to ever be “allowed” to utilize those gifts in a church setting because the traditions that the church continues to uphold as biblical apparently trump the leading of God the Holy Spirit?
Is it hostile to be bewildered when you pour your heart out to a friend and they answer you vehemently with “What if your wrong?” ?
Is it hostile to be totally unsurprised by the fact that yet another man is convinced that while you might have some special gifts you MUST be mistaken about how God wants you to use them because it doesn’t fit the tiny little box of structure that was put into place by Rome a few centuries after the church was established in Acts 2?
Is it hostile to be continually confounded that 1 Corinthians 14:34 somehow WINS in a war with Galatians 3:28 and Romans 16:1? Or that the importance of Acts 2:38 is weighted more heavily against Acts 2:17-18?
Is it hostile to have it assumed that since I am a single woman of 35 the problem is that I don’t like men and am a feminist? (PS–I like men…I can give you a list and some references if you need them. haha!)
Is it hostile to be nonplussed when I hear man after man tell me a story of a how a marriage fell apart because a women lost sight of her role of service and sought to be educated, use her gifts, or struggled for a position of equality?
Well…if so…I’m hostile.
And for the record…I believe that the cross of Jesus and the salvation granted me gives me the RIGHT to speak up when I see injustice. I believe his humility in going to the cross to be treated with the worlds most unjust punishment COMPELS me to speak on behalf of his name when it is being misused to keep people “in their place.” I believe that I have all the authority I need to have an opinion and a STRONG one at that on things that I have read, studied, and researched…even if I don’t have a penis.
Ok..I admit…that last little bit might have been hostile.
To make matters worse I said “Penis” and “Little” in the same sentence…that’s REALLY hostile to a lot of men. 😉
PS…In the moment I apologized to my friend for his feeling I was being hostile. But in the light of morning I feel a little less apologetic. I don’t think my passion was hostile. I hope he can see that and if not I’m still sorry if I was making him uncomfortable. 🙂
Calling someone hostile is an easy way to excuse yourself from seeking anything rational in their argument; thus you may now proceed to dismissal, pity, or war. Though I will take hostile over hysterical any day. Someone calls me hysterical, they are sure to see hostility.
I love the quote you used, so apt.