CategoryGender Ethics

Say No to the Australian Christian Lobby’s Latest Campaign of Fear

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Popping up regularly in my facebook feed is a campaign by the Australian Christian Lobby titled “You won’t Believe Labor’s Latest Attack on Parent’s Rights”. This is what the ACL campaign page says: The party’s National Secretary has released a consultation draft of the platform and it contains some radical, extreme material.   Hidden on page 183 (clause 83), we can see the party is seeking...

What the church needs more than freedom of religion

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Freedom of religion, conscience and speech are at the heart of a free society. They protect us from an ideological totalitarianism which demands everyone believe, speak and act in the same way. The price of any of us enjoying these freedoms is that we respect the freedom of others to believe things we find unreasonable, to hold morals we find objectionable, and to say things we find offensive...

The Violent Elephant in the Room

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By global standards, Australia is not a particularly violent society. We don’t fear bombs dropping from the sky, nor do we have a government that employs violence to suppress the population. We do of course, have pockets of illegitimate state sanctioned violence (eg offshore detention centres), but overall, the State in Australia is relatively benign. We sit at the lower end of rates of...

Moving the Immovable Force. The Unchanged Sexism in the Christian Churches.

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I entered theological college in 1987. It was a time of ferment and upheaval among Evangelicals in the industrialised world as a growing number of scholars and leaders challenged the biblical basis for the traditional gender roles that operated within the church. Just months before I sat in my first class, IVP, one of Evangelicalism’s leading publishing houses, released Women, Authority And...

I don’t want to be a “real man”.

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There was a great article about Tim Winton in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine recently.  Winton was just 5 years old when his  father was badly injured in a motor vehicle accident. After he came home from hospital Winton’s father required many weeks of intensive assistance  and emotional support. Tim’s mother, who suddenly became the family breadwinner, as well...

Genesis & Gender roles. Are we all asking too much of the texts?

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The Bible’s creation stories are key texts in shaping Christian views of gender and sexuality. To some they represent a manifesto for the equality of men and women across all areas of life, while for others they speak of a creation order in which men and women share equal worth but leadership belongs to men. It is typically assumed that because the Genesis texts describe the world prior to the...

On the shaming of Bathsheba

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One of the most famous stories in the Bible is King David’s sexual abuse of Bathsheba. The account is rather brief. David, who has a demonstrated propensity for violence, is walking on the roof of the palace when he sees a woman undergoing a bathing ritual required by the law. David is consumed with lust. He makes inquiries to determine who the woman is, then sends a servant to bring her to...

It is not about my view of sexual morality.

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The marriage equality debate is underway and I find that the no case is being most zealously prosecuted by the evangelical wing of the church. This also happens to be the part of the church I belong to. Sometimes the ways of this group of believers thrills me, sometimes inspires me, sometimes infuriates me and and sometimes disappoints me (and I no doubt do the same to some of my evangelical...

The Meaning of Marriage

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What does marriage mean? The debate over marriage equality has forced us to ask this question. It is a good question to ask. In a 2011 article for the Sydney Anglicans website, which was later abbreviated to appear on the Drum website, Anglican Rector Michael Jensen argued that to recognise same-sex relationships as marriage would fundamentally change the meaning of marriage. Marriage, he argued...

Julia Baird, Complementarian Theology, Domestic Violence & the Church

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Journalist Julia Baird has conducted research on domestic violence in the church that is being released as a series of reports on the ABC. It has already sparked intense discussion and people are getting defensive. Surely this is a moment for deep introspection, a time for us to talk about the culture of our churches, and not to make this just another stage in the Complementarian v Egalitarian...