Die Frau ordne sich ihrem Mann unter – eine Reflexion

Molly Worthen hat im NY Times Magazin einen längeren Artikel “Housewives of God” geschrieben. Sie portraitiert darin Priscilla Shirer, 35, aus Dallas.

She is an evangelical Bible teacher who makes her living by guiding thousands of women through the study of Scripture in her books, videos and weekend conferences — in which she stresses that in a biblical home and church, the man is the head and the woman must submit. She steers women away from the “feminist activists” who tell women to “do your own thing, make your own decisions and never let a man slow you down,” as she puts it. “Satan will do everything in his power to get us to take the lead in our homes,” she wrote in her book “A Jewel in His Crown: Rediscovering Your Value as a Woman of Excellence.” “He wants to make us resent our husband’s position of authority so that we will begin to usurp it. . . . Women need to pray for God to renew a spirit of submission in their hearts.”

Worthen hat die theologische Argumentation gut erfasst:

Shirer and many conservative Christians believe that the Bible defines gender as a divinely ordained set of desires and duties inherent in each man and woman since the Garden of Eden. Gender is not an act or a choice, but a nonnegotiable gift. To these Christians, the story of Adam and Eve’s creation granted man authority over woman, and they understand the New Testament teachings of Paul and his comrades — in particular, that wives should submit to their husbands — not as cultural relics of the first century but as universal teachings that Christians apply today.

Worthen’s Fazit: Was Priscilla Shearer, Absolvention von Dallas Theological Seminary, auf den Konferenzen erzähle, decke sich nur teilweise mit ihrem Alltag. 

Conservative Bible teachers like Shirer have built a new paradigm for feminine preaching, an ingenious blend of traditional revivalism, modern therapeutic culture and the gabby intimacy of Oprah. This is the biblical-womanhood-industrial complex: a self-conscious alternative to secular feminism that preaches wifely submission while co-opting some feminist ideas to nurture women like Shirer to take the lead, within limits.

Ein lesenswerter Aufsatz. Ich empfehle allerdings auch diese Kritik von Kathleen Nielsen. Sie schreibt:

Biblically minded believers do not in fact interpret the Bible in order to make sense of their lived experience; rather, they read the Bible in order to learn how to live. They shape their experience according to Scripture, not the other way around. The biblical concepts of women’s and men’s equal value before God and differing roles in marriage and the church indeed hold mystery and tension, as we try to live them out in ever-changing contexts.

Who understands the complexities of the way submission and strength intermingle in a woman’s life? Indeed, the biblical call to submission is a call to great strength and discipline of soul, by the grace of God in Christ our Lord. The Bible affirms many such paradoxical couplings.