Sunday, June 19, 2005


i must confess, i have a great aversion to jocks.

my husband will tell you, i stop during a meal and ask, were you a jock? then eye our friends until they answer (holding my breath for the shock of a yes).

fortunately none have slipped in unawares (except my husband, but i love him).

but i am on the look out now.

i am realizing a similar aversion to scholars. not secular scholars (they don't bother me. i've noticed a very different/tolerant/winsomeness about the secular scholars i've studied under), but theologians. they are the jocks of the church to me. and i dislike them greatly(i'm trying to sin not). [NOTE: not all of them, i do know a few who are easy as sunday morning and i praise God for them and their words of correction and wisdom to me.]

when a woman (or a man for that matter) sits in a Bible study and says,
i'm not qualified to teach

i want to scream.

that particular exchange took place just a few weeks ago and i came home and went straight to my garden and watered, for about an hour, while i wept and prayed.

my frustration was the us and them of laypeople and theologians.

i don't like theologians taking the Bible captive and making women (or men) say things like i heard.

God is our heavenly Father. to be unable to communicate with Him, unable to convey His truths to others is essentially what i heard in that statement "i can't teach the Bible."

when i heard it i said,
the Bible was written for ignorant men

i have told my dear pastor friend repeatedly,
i am willing to BE that ignorant man
(i hope it means a bridge between the theologians and laymen)

it occurred to me today as i was vacuuming, the Bible was written BY ignorant men. fishermen, tax collectors. of course some theologian will tell me every jot and tiddle about the disciples and you know what, sadly, i don't really care.

i just want to know God. i don't want to know how old Peter was on the day he penned his letter. i don't want to know what he looked like, or what his favorite color was (i'm sure one of them has that figured out). interesting facts all, but none of them change my life or matter at all in my journey. i'm not a short bald man (so paul's ugliness matters not).

i don't want to know every nuance of the greek and hebrew, because the Spirit will lead me (and you) into all truth.

no scholar has a corner on the market of truth.

a man who cannot read or write can know God more intimately with more theological accuracy than a scholar (in my opinion).

but the one upsmanship in the church of who knows what, who can dialogue with whom about the subtleties of the Word (whose to say those are the Keys of the Kingdom? whose to say for certain any of their theologizing amounts to a hill of beans in God's take on things?). WHATEVER HAPPENED to the servant-leader. the warrior-king? i see a lot more pencil pushing than shepherding from my vantage point. a lot more strategizing and fraternizing than battling for the children of God.

you cannot say to me that because i don't know a dead language, or can't trace a word back to its origin that i can't get to God. no one can keep my from Him. not my lack of knowledge, not my lack of degrees. not nothing nohow never (that's a quad! and i stuck the landing).

so i'm tired of this separation between the scholars in chruch and the rest of us. there is no division in Christ Jesus. i'm glad you have your degrees and read difficult books which put me to sleep, but you're no better off in God's eyes, than i (or me).


(no jocks or theologians were hurt in the writing of this piece--intentionally that is).


Deborah said...

Well, if you met my brother, who was once a jock, you would love him. And some theologians--well--if they are operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit to ferret out those Greek and Hebrew meanings and all that---power to them!

While you'll never find me poring over original texts, I sure love to pick the brains of those who do.

I'm glad someone has bothered to do it.

Not everyone in the Body of Christ is an eye, or an ear, or a hand.

That's the beauty of it, IMHO

jon said...

have you ever read smith wigglesworth's bio?

Elizabeth J. Mills said...

I see a scale. On one side you have the knowledge of God, on the other you have relationship with God. I think I'll take relationship WITH over knowledge OF Him any day.

siouxsiepoet said...

hi jon and elizabeth!
yes liz, i see a scale too.

and jon, i read wigglesworth when i was young, so long ago i probably need to reread it again. those heroes of the faith that inspire me unto good works. yes. i need ot reread him.

siouxsiepoet said...

a friend writes me this:
In line with your Jocks blog comes this wisdom from John Howard Yoder from his book, "The Priestly Kingdom":

"That theology should only be taught by theologians, that catechesis and confession must be reserved to the duly ordained, and that decisions about the exercise of power need primarily to be made by the people who legitimately hold that power, are elements of the previously prevailing moral wisdom which it is not merely permissible but imperative to doubt. This doubt is expressed classically in the New Testament, which says that all of God's people should be kings, or priests, or prophets, or charismatics. Any reservation of the responsibility for moral discernment to a specialist must be challenged, especially if that specialist is understood to hold authority partly because he is one of a category of persons seperated from the life-situations of people making moral choices."