Posts Tagged church

The Invisible Woman – www.ethicsdaily.com

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 4:47 am

'The Invisible Women' | Mitch Carnell, Baptists, Catholics, Women in Ministry, The Invisible Women, Sandra Makowski

Too often, we study the men [in the Bible] and ignore the women, Carnell observes.

“The Invisible Women: Naming and Proclaiming the Forgotten Women in Scripture and Church Law” is a book of great consequence.

Through Sister Sandra Makowski’s superb writing, research and scholarship, the poor treatment of women in the Bible, lectionary and local church is brought to new light.

Of course, Makowski writes from a Catholic perspective, but that does not mean there is no food for the rest of Christianity. As a Baptist, I was surprised by the number of things I did not know.

For example, I have never read a book or heard a sermon on Hagar and yet Makowski’s book helped me to see how Hagar becomes more and more important as international conflicts continue to unfold.

Similarly, I knew almost nothing about Huldah, the prophet who lived during the time of Jeremiah. I have been saturated with knowledge about Jeremiah and his teachings and that is Makowski’s point. Too often, we study the men and ignore the women.

In the beginning of the church, women and men shared equal status and roles. However, as the church became more and more structured it took on the cultural characteristics of the society around it. Women gradually were stricken from the leadership and their voices disregarded.

In the Catholic Church, this pattern continued unchallenged until after Vatican II, where no Catholic women were originally invited.

However, a major shift began that indicated that the laity share equally in being gifted with the Holy Spirit, being called to holiness and being engaged in the mission of the church.

Although women play major roles in the Bible, their importance is mainly marginalized by the male-dominated church, Makowski asserts. When women are mentioned, it is most often in relationship to the male figures.

Jesus reverses this practice; however, the church downplays the extraordinary recognition Jesus gave to women.

The role of women has often been described as the sleeping beauty fairytale. Women are simply to wait until Prince Charming arrives, awakens them and gives meaning to their lives through him.

It would be nice to think that that notion has been put to rest; however, we know that this isn’t true.

The Baptist Faith and Message statement of the Southern Baptist Convention in the year 2000 states, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

Another section states, “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”

As a result, in many Southern Baptist churches, women cannot be deacons or teach men.

One of the major new ideas to me from Makowski’s book is that there were women at the Last Supper. The Scriptures do not restrict the possibility. Yet, in my life in the church this possibility has never been remotely suggested.

At the end of each chapter, Makowski includes a short story that places the reader in a situation and then asks the reader to answer several questions. These questions are very important in helping personalize the impact of what has gone before.

The concluding paragraphs of “The Invisible Women” are powerful.

“If we fail at being our best selves, or if we are not invited to the banquet, that doesn’t mean we give up. It simply means that tomorrow is another day. And tomorrow we try again with God’s grace,” Makowski writes. “It is God who has the final answer, and in the end, it is God who does the inviting. God has already extended the invitation to women and men alike. No one is excluded from the banquet.”

She continues, “Let us remember that it is God who has the last word, and in God we trust because God loves us, God sees us, God calls us by our name. We are God’s beloved – male and female alike. And nothing and no one can take that away. What more is there to say!”

Mitch Carnell is a member of First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of “Our Father: Discovering Family.” His writings can also be found at MitchCarnell.com and ChristianCivility.com.

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Linda Lentz Reviews – Our Father; Discovering Family on Amazon

9781498218733If you have toyed with the idea of what the life of a believer in God might look like, this book is for you. It is a detailed profile of Mitch Carnell’s life, full of adventure, happiness, and sadness from a child to an eighty-year-old. Throughout the book, one is challenged by the sincerity at which Mitch writes and his passion for God and loving everyone. His concern for the status of the Church is demonstrated through fragile relationships he has experienced and problems which exist in most churches today. He demonstrates how a church which went through a break up was saved because of love, communication, and God’s grace. His remedy for this is improved communication in society in general and throughout churches .He states that “working to improve the quality of Christian communication is God’s plan for my life; experiences, education, and career have uniquely prepared me for such a role.”
I found this book very engaging, interesting and reinforcing that God‘s work is never complete on Earth. I highly recommend this book for knowledge and as a biography of the author.His writing is casual,clear and intriguing.
Written by Linda Lentz, August3, 2016.

 

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Why I Honor the Mill Village Church in Our Father: Discovering Family

Northside Baptist ChurchCotton mills were hot, dusty, noisy places. The men and women who worked in them worked hard with few breaks and with no company provided help.  The amazing thing is that workers who were overworked themselves often helped other workers who had gotten behind.  Somehow they were friends with their bosses. The children of the workers and those of the bosses went to school together, played together, dated each other and went to church together.

Sundays brought everyone together in the mill village church. Workers and bosses went to church together. They sat in the same pews and shared leadership positions. They sang in the choir together. There was no mill talk at church. The services, at least at the ones I knew, were upbeat – not in the sense of today’s contemporary worship style. They were positive and uplifting – no hellfire and damnation. Of course during the 1940s and 1950s there was a strong undergirding of patriotism. God was on our side. Congregational singing of the old hymns was robust.

These are the churches of my youth. These wonderful hard working people supported strong child and youth programs. They turned out anytime children or young people were on the program. They encouraged their children in every way possible. Education was important. They sent their pastors to continuing education training during the summer. Religious faculty members from the surrounding colleges were invited to speak or preach. The church and the school were the centers of everything.

In my book, Our Father: Discovering Family, I pay tribute to these churches. I grew up living between the Baptist church and the Methodist church. I truly didn’t know the differences between them until I arrived at college. I am indebted to Northside Baptist Church for giving me a great foundation and encouraging me to grow as a Christian. Our pastors became family friends and came for Sunday dinner. One, the Rev. J. L. McCluney, visited me when I was a student at Mars Hill College. When I came home on weekends are vacations I was always invited to teach Sunday school classes or called on to lead prayer in the worship service.

Our Father; Discovering Family, is published by Wipf and Stock. It is available at most book stores and at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.

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Influence of the Mill Village Church Cited in Our Father: Discovering Family

Northside Baptist ChurchThe mill village church that played such a vital role in the lives of its members across the piedmont Carolinas has all but disappeared. One of those churches, Northside Baptist Church, and its pastor are singled out for special praise by Mitch Carnell in his new book, Our Father: Discovering Family. Carnell credits the people of Northside and Rev. Roy R. Gowan for laying the foundation and then giving him permission to explore the meaning of his Christian faith. “Mitchell,” Gowan said one day, “God created all of you. That includes your brain. God did not expect you to turn it off when you come to church. God is not put off by your questions.”

Carnell’s book begins at St. Paul’s cathedral in London and then weaves back and forth in the stages of his life. He began writing the book with two simple questions. How did I get to where I am spiritually from where I started? What am I to do with the rest of my life? According to the author, God had a much bigger idea. He wanted me to discover the vastness of his family. I had to stretch the boundaries of my small town background and open my mind and heart to a larger way of thinking.

Dr. Carnell also gives a great deal of credit to his lifelong friend, the Rev. Ansel McGill who retired as pastor of Parisview Baptist Church in Greenville. He also singles out professors at Mars Hill College and Furman University. His late wife, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, questioned all of his assumptions in a loving but forceful manner.

He has now been an active member of First Baptist Church of Charleston for fifty years. He stresses the contributions of its long time pastor, the late John A. Hamrick, to his life. He credits Hamrick and the church’s legendary organist and Minister of Music and Worship, David Redd, for teaching him how to worship.

Our Father; Discovering Family, is available at most book stores, as an ebook from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or the publisher wipfandstock.com. Dr. Carnell is a speaker/consultant in the fields of interpersonal and organizational communication. His website is www.mitchcarnell.com.

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