Want to get published by Egalitarians? Here’s How …

Written by Father Bill 5 Comments

Christians for Biblical Equality has issued a call for papers for their Winter 2006 issue of Mutuality.  The theme for this issue will be “worship and equality.”  They announce that they “still need authors” for the following topics:

  • The role of spirituals and freedom songs in the long struggle for ethnic equality and justice in the United States
  • Examples of worship leaders in the Bible, like Miriam and David
  • Examples of worship leaders in Church history, like Hildegaard of Bingen
  • Themes of justice and equality in the Psalms, and how the Psalms have influenced the church’s worship
  • Themes of justice and equality in Mary’s Magnificat
  • Reflections on how worship has influenced your understanding of biblical equality and justice, and vice versa
  • Examples of how worship can be a topic of division, but also a source of unity and healing

 Worship via leaders

It will be fascinating to see how the editors of Mutuality view the intersection of worship and “equality.”  What, I wonder, amounts to “worship and inequality?”  Oh, I know!  That tedious business about women never exercising authority or teaching a man somewhere in one of Paul’s minor epistles.  He was having a bad day, right?  Anyhow – women need to be in those pulpits for our worship to have equality.  I’ll bet that’s what’s on their minds. 

But, returning to those topics for which they have no authors, their requests provide some fascinating insights into how egalitarians evaluate and assess various theological things.  Consider …

“Long struggle” is illuminating, as it is defined as extending (at most) back to 1776, or perhaps a few years earlier.  So, if a struggle has gone on for 230 to 250 years, this is a Long Time for an egalitarian.  It helps to keep this in mind, because the Church has been around for 2,000 years, or, possibly, for up to 3,500  years (assuming a 15th Century BC date for the Exodus and incorporating the entirety of Israel in “the Church”).  That’s 8 to 14 times as long as what egalitarians will call “long” in terms of the calendar.

Why is this helpful to know? 

Well, it suggests that perhaps the Mutuality editors cannot apprehend real antiquity, real historical momentum, as one finds in the entirety of the Church.  If they could apprehend this, they would see how novel, how radically Nouveau Chic their egalitarian values actually are in the historical scheme of things.  After all, men have been heads of their families and churches for about 1900 years, maybe a few decades more than that.  But, does this count for anything in the egalitarian scheme of things historical?


Two hundred plus years is about as much as the folks at CBE can reckon for “long time” stuff.  No wonder they can’t appreciate how really long time the patriarchal values have held forth in Christ’s Church.

But, there’s more here …

Did you know that the Old Testament had “worship leaders?”  And that they included women?  And that the Medieval Church had them too?  And that Hildegaard von Bingen was one of them?  I’ll bet this is news to the elders of the tribes of Israel, and to  Asaph, and to Zechariah, as well as to Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, and Obed-Edom, along with Jeiel, Benaiah, and Jahaziel.  And, I bet it was Really News to Popes Eugene III, Anastasius IV, Adrian IV, and Alexander III, since Hildegaard’s writings and music were confined to her convent until after her death. 

But, whatever. 

We have worship leaders today, and they are almost entirely women, right?  So, of course, the Medieval Church must have had some women worship leaders.  And, so too did Israel’s Temple worship.  Just stands to reason, right?  Whatever we have today must have been back there too, right?

And those themes of justice and equality in Mary’s Magnificat?  Wow!  How fantastic, that here in the 21st Century we’re finally learning about that. 

And, you know what??? These themes were in the Psalms too!  Themes of equality in the Psalms, if you can believe it.  Surely we can find someone to author a paper that lays this all out for us.

Worship a topic of division?  Hey, here’s an idea — how about the equality of Agag and the sheep?  Didn’t the Prophet Samuel hew Agag to pieces before the LORD, kind of like the sheep were hewn into pieces at the altar worship? If that isn’t division in worship, I don’t know what is!

And you know why, of course.  It was because Saul and Agag didn’t wait for Samuel to show up for worship.  They went ahead of him (see?  a-HEAD; not WITH Samuel).  So, that most definitely led to multiple divisions of Agag. 

You know, this egalitarian perspective sheds a whole new light on those otherwise confusing (and, seemingly, patriarchal) books of the Old Testament.  Can you imagine those centuries of misled believers who never heard a word about equality until the editors of Mutuality came along to bless God’s Church?  How horrid it must have been! 

Everyone equally praise the Lord, following those mostly female worship leaders!  Today we have Mutuality and those wonderful papers that will appear in the Winter 2006 edition, once they find people to write them.


  1. SingingOwl   |  Tuesday, 23 January 2007 at 10:25 am

    Your sarcasm is neither edifying nor enlightening, but I am so very glad to know that you will be reading “Mutuality” when it arrives. I hope you find my article interesting reading, though I don’t expect you will give it any credence whatsoever.

    I wonder who the worship leaders will be in Heaven? Do you think we will need any? Will they have gender?

    It will be good when the day arrives when God’s family can worship the Kind of Kings together with our kudos and brickbats left behind.

  2. Fr. Bill   |  Tuesday, 23 January 2007 at 10:49 am

    Hello, Singing Owl,

    I suppose it depends on what you call “credence.” I would likely give your article credence insofar as I’d expect others to be confirmed in the egalitarian deceit. In other words, I’d give it the same credence I’d give Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto.

    As to worship leaders in heaven, the Bible shows us this already. You didn’t notice?

    Did John’s report of what he saw in heaven escape your attention? Did you miss the point that the worship in the Old Testament Tabernacle, and later in the Temple, were expressly copies of what Moses saw in heaven?

    Tell me, Singing Owl, whose worship looks more like these found in the Bible’s report of heavenly worship — yours? Or the catholics (note the small “c”)? Can you find anything in those reports of heavenly worship that resemble those doo-dah wooop-dee-woop ladies crooning into their phallic mikes, swaying their shapely tushes, flashing a good six inches of thigh and a winking belly button at the enthralled masses below?

    I’ll bet the men in those throngs get a lot of really spiritual thoughts from that spectacle! And you know what? That very modern, very up to date, very contemporary way of worship actually has points of contact — sexual ones at that! — with worship reported in the Old Testament. Except it was what the Prophets reported about the worship in the temples of Astarte, or what the Apostles preached against in Ephesus and Corinth, stuff that went on at the temples of Aphrodite, the Many Breasted One. There’s nothing new under the sun, and the eroticized, female-led worship of supposedly evangelical churches still has a ways to go before it fully emulates the world to which it pitches its worship.

    Yes, the Bible’s reports on heavenly worship indicate there are worship leaders. And, it shows us that they are masculine, not feminine, just like God taught his people to worship, and as they have been worshiping until the last 50 years or so.

  3. SingingOwl   |  Thursday, 25 January 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Wow. That has to rank among the most insulting replies I have ever read. “Whose worship…yours or the catholics…” and then you proceed to describe a very distressing spectacle indeed. I would run for the exit if I was in a situation such as you describe. Are you implying that “my” worship is like that? I hope I have misunderstood.

    Just for what it is worth to mention, the worship leader at “my” church is male. He doesn’t shake his tush and neither do any of the women who may sing or play an instrument on a given Sunday. We have guidelines for dress, and flashing thighs and belly buttons are not in evidence.

    John’s reports on heavenly worship don’t seem to indicate that it is of supreme importance that someone male lead the throng. The emphasis is on God and the glorious Lamb/King, not on who is “up front.”

  4. Fr. Bill   |  Friday, 26 January 2007 at 8:21 am

    “Are you implying that ‘my’ worship is like that? I hope I have misunderstood.”

    Yes, you have misunderstood. And, it is good to hear that the “distressing spectacle” is not a feature of the worship at your church, except for the fact that it is lead by a woman. Singing Owl, as spectacle, this counts far more than acres of exposed thigh or legions of shaking tushes and winking belly buttons. And, no, it makes no difference that what you call the “worship leader” is a man. Unless you use the word “pastor” very differently than what I’ve heard from everyone else in the Assemblies I know, you are your congregation’s chief shepherd, its chief elder, teaching and exercising authority over all the men (including the worship leader) in your flock, and all in disobedience to Apostolic command.

    If you have not encountered the distressing spectacles I’ve described, you ought to get out more. Maybe Wisconsin is enough in the sticks that you haven’t had much chance to see this.

    But, I doubt this (about Wisconsin, that is). Another Wisconsinite I’ve heard from on this describes the distressing spectacle pretty well. If you’d like a more extensive discussion on this topic from the same site, you can check the links out here..

    As far as your assessment of the Bible’s scenes of heavenly worship, I am not surprised at all that the evidence in them for the importance of male leadership escapes your notice. One cannot teach those whose ears cannot hear, or whose eyes cannot see. Perhaps Paul’s express statement that men are the glory of God, and that this fact affects the details of worship in the assembled church would make a difference?

    Nawww. Egalitariains are very well practiced in discounting anything in Paul they don’t like.

  5. SingingOwl   |  Friday, 26 January 2007 at 10:35 am

    Yes, Fr. Bill, I am the pastor, but I don’t tell the worship leader to sing “romantic songs.” Actually, I have been encouraging him to sing more hymns.

    Sadly, I have seen “worship” which was not edifying. I did not say I had never seen it, but I don’t think the problem was that women were on the platform. The men were as distracting as the women, and I don’t mean in any sort of erotic way.

    But I think we will stop here, since my words have the same value as Mein Kamph.

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