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Real men have the ability to listen to the voice of women and realize that, just maybe, more feminine leadership (and less misogyny in the name of God) is exactly what the world needs. Brian Tome you are right that history (albeit incorrectly) portrays men as disproportionately more important; but you and I both know the history books have been disproportionally written by men. My life’s work, after growing up with such misogyny disguised as gospel, has led me to pursue original intent of the gospels in order to find a faith to save me from that old “faith” that really wasn’t even faith at all. One of the first people to hear the gospel of Jesus was a eunuch (which, by your definition, is probably not the manliest of men); see Acts 8:26ff. It’s also not exactly good support for why the church should be going after macho bros. Even the gospels you accept as the modern Bible were co-opted by Constantine in order to assimilate a subversive gospel into a national religion that was palatable and acceptable to men, and of course to keep men in power. The gospel that Jesus taught was very dangerous to the empire and the dominant voice, so the only choice the Roman Empire had was to essentially “neuter it” with man talk, ironically. A gospel that says there is no master or servant, no male or female is pretty dangerous to systems of power and control. How can you say that being sacrificial is a feminine characteristic while at the same time saying Jesus made the greatest sacrifice of all by SUBMITTING to the cross and torture? It doesn’t seem like “putting away your sword” or “turning the other cheek” are very manly things to do (by the way, I’ve heard your sermons on those passages in which clips from the movie 300 were used to paint a picture of “real men,” and the Bible passages were used extremely out of context to purport a violent way of being Christian, which of course misses the whole point. I would be happy to explain to you the context if you’re interested. That was one of many Crossroads services I walked out on, after trying so hard time and again to be a part of the congregation. I don’t want to hear things like “all the disciples were male,” because again we have to acknowledge that the gospels were radically transformed and edited by Constantine. Furthermore, as scholars such as Harold Bloom point out, the historical context of the text has to be considered, and of course in that day Jesus was recapitulating and subverting all of the systems of power including education systems that valued only men and not women. If one opens their eyes and is willing to see what is really going on in the scriptures, there are hints everywhere that Jesus was directly working against the systems of power of his day, that he valued and spent time with women; even controversial women that the religious leaders of his day would not even look at. If I were in the position of power that you are in, I would be asking myself very carefully right now whether you might be blindly accepting and perpetuating pharisaical ideas that Jesus was trying to undo more than two thousand years ago. In fact, most scholars agree that when Jesus said he was leaving so that a spirit greater than he could come, it was hinting at a feminine spirit (yes, the Holy Spirit was considered a feminine entity rabbinically until Constantine changed all the pronouns to male). The book of Job ends with Job going through the fire and realizing how important his daughters were. The spirit in creation is alluded to as a hen hovering over her eggs, and the word to describe her relationship to the trinity, perichoresis, is a dance that portrays a unity unlike the fighting that all of those years of patriarchal history has gotten us. In fact, after thousands of years of male dominance that has led to nothing but wars and the raping and pillaging of everything, not to mention a creation that we have destroyed instead of stewarded, why not give women a chance to lead and see what happens? What is there to be afraid of? Growing up in male dominated western Christianity, I never heard anything that was actually “good news” except maybe to powerful males. As I have spent my life trying to find a spirituality to save me from the dominant message of patriarchal history, I have been fortunate to to finally hear lots of good news, but it has always come from the mouth of women or even gay Christian leaders. As you know, when Jesus showed up in a world dominated by male power, they killed him because he was way to loving, forgiving, and accepting; Not very “man-like” by pharasaical (and presumably, your) standards. My hunch is if he came back today he would not be “manly” enough to get to be on stage at Crossroads.

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