Monday, November 10, 2008

proof texting

Maybe that's not quite accurate, since I tend to think of proof texting in a negative light. But I was thinking this morning that it's quite indicative of the modern church when women across the country and across generations think of themselves as Titus 2 women, when it's just a few verses.

Here's Titus 2:3-5 from The Message

Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior.

Those are great words. I don't disagree with them at all. But if you google "Titus 2" you will find entire groups based on these verses. As I read further in my Bible this morning I really like the next chapter of the book.

Titus 3:1-11

1-2Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God's people should be bighearted and courteous.
3-8It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.

8-11I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone. Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere. Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. It's obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God. By persisting in divisiveness he cuts himself off.

That is much broader. It's not just about women, it's about the church as a whole, people who call themselves followers of Jesus. Maybe my problem with the Titus 2 thing is for women who don't feel that staying home with their kids, homeschooling the kids, cooking all from scratch, sewing and knitting handmade gifts...well what if that's not something you feel good about? Are you less spiritual? Do you love God less? Is it OK that we feel sending our kids to public school links us to our community in a bigger way? And I LOVE to cook and bake, but what if a woman is just really not good at it? I have a few friends where the husband does the cooking. Is that bad? Then again, in those families the mom is working, so maybe that's the root of the evil there?

I'm probably opening myself up to tons of criticism for what I don't fully understand, but I really struggle with putting people of faith in a box based on a few verses in the Bible. What happens when we don't all fit into the same box?

No comments: