I Refuse to Believe

I refuse to believe in a God that would cause the Japan earthquake. Or the Haitian earthquake. Or the Indian Ocean tsunami. God weeps with Japan, Haiti and Southeastern Asia.

I refuse to believe in a God that enjoys sending people to a place of torment and punishment. God is the restorer, the renewer, of all things. To be uninvolved in that renewal is the choice to not be.

I refuse to believe that we, as humanity, have any ability whatsoever to discern someone’s eternal future. We do not know what transpires behind the veil between this world and the next.

I refuse to believe that any amount of self-initiated “purity” is enough to cleanse me from sin. It’s not. And never will be. No matter what they tell you (it’s what nearly drove Martin Luther insane).

I refuse to believe, after having a son, that God is ever mad at us (as New Covenant believers). Disappointed? Sure. Mad? Never. I repeat: Never.

I refuse to believe that the Bible is always prescriptive. The Bible chronicles the story of God interacting with his people. Sometimes those people do and say dumb things that need to be avoided, not followed.

I refuse to believe that God does not intend for women to be preachers and teachers. I have met too many gifted, Spirit-filled women who possess the unmistakable preaching/teaching gift to believe that it was not placed there by God himself.

I refuse to believe that God doesn’t want us to think.

What do you refuse to believe?

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32 Responses to “I Refuse to Believe”

  1. Ryan April 12, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Amen.

  2. Rob April 12, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I believe due to sin we live in a fallen world, this world will end and those that accept his redemption get to be with him in the new world. Those that don’t accept his redemption do not. As for what about specific people, I have no idea, only God knows. It is his prerogative to do what he will do. I don’t believe God ever gets mad at his children, he disciplines, but not out of anger. I believe the bible is God’s Word, he uses it to speak to us, to direct us, to shape us into what we were created to be. I believe that God can call anyone to teach, even a donkey. I believe God does want us to think, but understand that our understanding is not his, and we should not lean on ours.

    Awesome thoughts, looking forward to the sharing that will occur here.

  3. Luke Allison April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Justin,

    You’ve basically laid out a theology in opposition to conservative Reformed theology. So what you refuse to believe is traditional theology in favor of progressive evangelical theology? That’s your prerogative but it’s not very deviant. As a matter of fact, tons and tons of young believers are saying the same things. You saying “I refuse to believe in a God who would do these things” is taking a very firm stand, and essentially asserting that anyone who believes these things (which you’ve completely caricatured) could not believe in the same God as you. Not very ecumenical either. How is it that any version of God but the traditional version is wrong? That’s not close-minded how?

    As a matter of fact you’ve just basically restated what the culture already knows: God is an all-loving spirit who isn’t actively involved in physical affairs but really wants us to be nice to each other. God is completely passive in His involvement with us, except in the act of “loving” which could mean a variety of things depending on your background. The primary attribute of God is love, and everything else must be somehow subordinated to that.

    So basically, your post should be called: “I am a progressive evangelical who is really pissed off at neo-Reformed evangelicals and think they’re dead wrong.”

    I refuse to believe that this is the future of Christianity.

  4. Luke Allison April 12, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    And, only moments after posting that, I am convicted for reacting without reading fully what you were trying to say. I repent.

  5. Luke Allison April 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Perhaps a more level response: You’ve included a complimentarian viewpoint in a list that includes believing God is responsible for earthquakes.
    Considering the fact that a complimentarian perspective has extremely firm Biblical foundations (which I disagree with but have wrestled with from time to time), and that it would be easy to gather that God is more actively involved in physical affairs than progressive evangelicals give Him credit for, wouldn’t it be wiser to say “I disagree with these theological perspectives”? Instead, this post comes off as very dismissive and emotional (I REFUSE to believe these things!). You and I both know that those neo-Reformed thinkers who have asserted God’s hand of involvement in natural disasters have a far more Biblically informed and nuanced argument than “God kills people” or some such thing.
    I refuse to believe most of the things you’ve posted, but then again very few Christians I know would say they agree with any of those things you’ve posted (outside of the complimentarian issue). My worry is that you’re caricaturing a particular viewpoint and not handling nuance. It’s far too easy to create a straw-man for views that are not our own (Love Wins is a massive straw man burned efficiently and finally for some young believers), rather than to present measured and thoughtful replies to them.
    I could say that your view on inerrancy, for instance, represents a fine liberal tradition going all the way back to Friedrich Schleiermacher, and then proceed to lump you in with Protestant liberal theologians who have torn down the authority of Scripture for hundreds of years. But that would be silly, since your views of inerrancy are obviously more complex than that, much like mine are more complex. And most Christians have a more complex view of inerrancy, they just don’t know that they do. Point me to a popular preacher in the traditional (Reformed, Baptist, etc.) who teaches that all of Scripture is prescriptive, and I’ll eat my words.
    So anyway, that’s all I was thinking. You’ve just witnessed the insanity that is my thought process in three posts. Sorry about that.

  6. Steven Soto April 12, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Friend, truly good post. I see you’ve been wrestling with some things.

    However, we need to be careful, very careful, at picking and choosing what we believe. Sure we all have questions and I believe they can all be answered to a certain extent. But we have to make sure that what we believe is Biblical or not.

    God doesn’t hate anyone. But he hates sin. Because he is Holy and Just, there is condemnation.

    I do also believe that it’s a person’s choice whether or not they are involved in that renewal .. but since God is sovereign, he does know who will be involved and who won’t.

    I don’t believe God caused the earthquake or tsunami either. But did He use it? I believe so. God uses things in are everyday life, no matter who big or small.

    Simple? Yes. But I just wanted to make sure you stay on the right path.
    (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    In Love Brother,

    Steven

  7. A friend not in your shoes April 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Ah, the freedom of expression that must come with no longer being on a church staff…

  8. Tim Viola April 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    What I have been struggling alot with lately is that if you are not Reformed or do not hold Reformed teaching/pastors/theologians as truth in all things, then you are looked at as liberal or no longer orthodox or whatever it maybe. I feel like Reformed is a trend right now that is extremely popular and will simply die back down in a few years.

  9. Luke Allison April 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    “I feel like Reformed is a trend right now that is extremely popular and will simply die back down in a few years.”

    But what does the popularity of neo-Reformed thinking tell you about the needs of the “next Christians”? Tons of young people are attracted to it. Are they all fanatical bigots looking for fights with liberals? Or are they simply young people tired of hearing subjectivist ballyhoo masquerading as teaching? The old adage “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” applies to everybody.

    How is implying that neo-Reformed views of God (caricatures of them at least) are toxic and dangerous any better than implying that progressive evangelical views are weak-wristed and liberal?

    I refuse to believe that my fallen sense of justice can ever fully comprehend God’s perfect justice. So how can I say I refuse to believe God would ever be angry at his people? That’s elevating myself to a seat I cannot occupy. We’ll all disagree at some point, but let’s not pretend we’re taking a higher road of love and grace over and above the mean Reformed folks. The progressive evangelical stance towards the neo-Reformed is every bit as judgmental and mean-spirited.

    • Tim Viola April 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

      I think young people in general are drawn to trends, and I am a young person myself. I just turned 23. I have watched my generation flock from one trend to the next. I hear kids my age throwing out words and trying to read people they have no understanding about. Do I applaud their courage to read deeper thinkers than most people my age? Yes absolutely. But there comes a point where it becomes a pride issue. I think alot of young people have seen the popularity of the Reformed camp or side or whatever you want to call it and flocked to it. So you have people saying they are Reformed or Calvinist and they don’t even have a simple comprehension of what theology or stances are behind that.

      What I am, not implying, but stating is that a lot of the Reformed guys come to the table with an extremely arrogant air about them. And this is led by guys like Driscoll and others. Is their view of God more correct than “progressive evangelicals?” Maybe. But their arrogance is a huge turn off for people like me.

      I think it breaks the heart of God when shake our fists at each other (not saying your doing that, just in general) and scream back and forth “MY VIEW IS RIGHT,” “NO MY VIEW IS RIGHT.” When in all actuality both views of God fall so short of the awesome, creative, loving God of the universe.

      • Luke Allison April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

        “So you have people saying they are Reformed or Calvinist and they don’t even have a simple comprehension of what theology or stances are behind that.”

        Absolutely, and very well said. But, the Reformed camp (Kevin DeYoung at least) have addressed this problem at length.

        “I think it breaks the heart of God when shake our fists at each other (not saying your doing that, just in general) and scream back and forth “MY VIEW IS RIGHT,” “NO MY VIEW IS RIGHT.” When in all actuality both views of God fall so short of the awesome, creative, loving God of the universe.”

        This is probably true, unless of course one of the viewpoints breaks the heart of God, in which case it might be okay to say it’s wrong. Can’t count that potential out completely.

        Anyway, I’m all for staying civil and whatnot, but I’m also for ferociously defending doctrine if it’s edifying to do so. Sometimes it’s not, sometimes it is.

        The main thing we need to commit to , however, is submission to the authority of Christ as revealed in Scripture. I’m not saying we need to stop thinking, of course. I’ve never been accused of moderation there.
        But we have to remember that the Scriptures, if they are truly a divine document, will contradict every culture at some point. To discount offensive notions in the Bible because postmodern people are offended by them is to assume that postmodern people’s opinions will always line up with God’s. Think about that for a second. The same goes for modern people, and every culture in the world. The Bible is supra-cultural. It will offend everybody at some point. We here in the West love notions of forgiveness and turning the other cheek (in theory, at least), but hate the concept of retributive justice and punishment. Go to a more traditional culture in the Middle East, say, and you’ll find the offense flip-flopped.

        Offense is a necessary part of reading the Scriptures. Now, it becomes a less necessary part if we’re fairly convinced that sin is primarily a horizontal issue and not a vertical one, as certain hip pastors have asserted in certain best-selling books recently. And it especially becomes less necessary if we begin asserting that truth is subjective (as opposed to the objective Person of Christ), and that the Scriptures are a man-made mish-mash of errors and contradictions.
        But then of course, we have to ask the question: how does anyone who believes these things submit to the authority of Christ? Does He tell them everything directly? That’s not a very safe position to take.

        How we handle Scripture is the big difference I can see in the future of Christianity. Count me in with the traditionalists.

  10. Curtis April 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Thanks for your thoughtful reflection. Clearly, the Bible is not prescriptive, and we should not view everything in it as a literal model for Christian living. For example, Noah was certainly a man of God and a hero, but we shouldn’t use his behavior after the flood as a prescriptive model of how to live. (Although maybe it is a good model for how God loves us even when we screw up!)

    But while the Bible is not prescriptive, it does have clear themes that can be used as a model for discerning what is right and wrong. Themes of love, inclusion, and forgiveness.

    Some people use the prescriptive interpretation of Scripture for things like excluding women or blacks from church. But other people, over time, have seen that the Bible’s themes of love, inclusion, and forgiveness are more pervasive than isolated instances of exclusion in the Bible, and have concluded that inclusion of women and blacks in church is more consistent with Scripture than the exclusion of these groups would be.

    Discernment of Scripture is a difficult task. But the fact you are asking these questions tells me you are doing the right thing.

    I am encouraged when people say that Bible causes them to ask questions. I believe that is what God expects from us — to read and engage in God’s word (Matt 22:37). I am much more concerned when people tell me that the Bible gives us simple answers!

  11. Graham April 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Great thoughts Justin. I refuse to believe all those things as well. I refuse to stop asking the “why” questions. Why does something have to be the way it is? Why can’t it be different? I think too often people are satisfied with whatever they are fed and never ask “why”.

  12. Connie Wragge April 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    I found this thought of yours so encouraging:

    “I refuse to believe that God does not intend for women to be preachers and teachers. I have met too many gifted, Spirit-filled women who possess the unmistakable preaching/teaching gift to believe that it was not placed there by God himself.”

    ~transition~

    I always accept the opportunity to teach God’s Word wherever that is in the world, but I still get some raised eyebrows whenever I share those experiences here at home.

    Thanks so much.

  13. Erik Ullestad April 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I refuse to believe that God sent a tornado to destroy the steeple of an ELCA church building in Minneapolis during the 2009 Churchwide Assembly as a way of saying that openly gay people can’t be pastors.

    • Luke Allison April 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      Why?

      • Curtis April 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

        You can make up an argument to believe anything you want if you think every church steeple struck by a tornado is a clear message from God.

        Can we get past that coincidence and get on with the discussion?

        • Luke Allison April 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

          I don’t disagree with you. But all these “I refuse to believe” statements only breed one thing: arrogant and blind trust in our feelings.

          I was tempted to put something like “I refuse to believe that you’re still angry about that”, but instead I’d just like to know “why?”.

          Also bear in mind, however, that the viewpoint that God has nothing to do with natural disasters has a lot of problems with it as well. Namely: who says? My 21st century ideals? My notion of what I would do if I were God?

          Scripture never comes out and says: God is involved in natural disasters in this way”, but it certainly doesn’t come out and say “God has completely withdrawn His hand from those things either. We’re left having to make some inferences either way. But isn’t saying “I refuse to believe in this kind of God” essentially saying that anyone who does believe in that kind of God is dead wrong and needs to be sort of removed from the conversation?

          Near as I can tell, the average 21st century young evangelical pretty much agrees with Oprah and Lady GaGa when it comes to worldview and meta-narrative.

          • Tim Viola April 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

            “Near as I can tell, the average 21st century young evangelical pretty much agrees with Oprah and Lady GaGa when it comes to worldview and meta-narrative.”

            How many young evangelical’s have you spoken to? If all young evangelicals feel this way then the American Church’s only hope is in the Reformed camp then? I think that is a GROSS overexaggeration of things. What about pastors like Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble. Do you feel like all of these pastors are preaching a false gospel? Or that they pretty much agree with Oprah and Lady GaGa?

          • Luke Allison April 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

            “What about pastors like Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble. Do you feel like all of these pastors are preaching a false gospel? Or that they pretty much agree with Oprah and Lady GaGa?”

            Have you watched The Elephant Room videos yet? Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, and Greg Laurie have one-on-one discussions with Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, and David Platt. Really really interesting and edifying to the body.

            I have no problem with Furtick or Noble’s teaching whatsoever. I’m probably less of a Sun-Stand-Still guy than most (I grew up in an extremely charismatic setting), and I may not be totally on board with their methodology, but they’re very innovative preachers who love the Word and aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo.

            I’m not a huge Driscoll fan, but we can’t ignore the fact that he’s reaching tons of young people in a city that was supposedly unreachable unless you completely throw out all the offensive aspects of Christianity. Which is why the liberal protestant church is such a FORCE right now.
            I really like Chandler, however, as he represents a very interesting mix (Reformed, Missional, and Charismatic) of framework for being Church.

            My favorite teacher of the Reformed strain would be Tim Keller, hands down.

            So, I guess my answer to your question would be, No, I think.

  14. Giovanni April 13, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    I refuse to believe that God sends us trials and pain to make us better and/or grow. He already knows if we will succeed or fail. We already know that we fail without Him. We don’t need a “better” salvation.

    • Luke Allison April 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      What is this particular refusal to believe based on? The Scriptures? Your experiences? An intuition? Feelings?

      The danger of a post like this is that it assumes that our personal moral convictions will always lead us down the right path.

      It’s kind of like any of us being upset at the thought that someone we perceive to be a pretty nice, caring person potentially is going to Hell for not saying “the prayer”. We say: who are we to judge? That’s very true.
      Presumably, any Jew who didn’t apply the blood of a lamb to His doorpost would have received the same judgment that the Egyptians did. When judgment comes, it’s not the quality or quantity of your faith that matters, it’s the fact that the faith is there.

      But the logic of this thought has to be applied to our idea of who goes to heaven as well. Saying “This person will be in heaven because they were sincere and caring” assumes perfect knowledge of their heart, something that we all believe only God possesses. So doesn’t assuming someone’s purity or goodness put us in God’s seat just as much as assuming someone’s wickedness and damnation? Either way is arrogant, presumptuous, and rebellious.

      So right now we have a ton of young subjectivist evangelicals saying “We can’t say who’s going to Hell, but we sure as hell can say who’s going to Heaven: everybody I want to be there.”

      That’s not the way anything in reality works, so why would it work for ultimate realities? Our feelings mean NOTHING.

      • Tim Viola April 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

        “So right now we have a ton of young subjectivist evangelicals saying ‘We can’t say who’s going to Hell, but we sure as hell can say who’s going to Heaven: everybody I want to be there.'”

        You sure have an issue with young evangelicals. But here’s where I’m confused. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines evangelical as:

        “Of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels. Emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual.”

        Which part of that do you not agree with or does the Reformed camp not agree with?

        • Luke Allison April 14, 2011 at 8:55 am #

          “You sure have an issue with young evangelicals”

          Because I am one of them. But I don’t have an issue with young evangelicals, so much as I have an issue with subjectivism. That’s why it’s ridiculous to compare a young figurehead like Rob Bell to C.S. Lewis: one presents subjectivity as a virtue, the other wrote whole books defending objectiviy.
          It’s more than the difference between postmodern and modern epistemology, it’s a fundamental difference on what it means to have an authoritative Scripture.
          To me, having a post like this: I refuse to believe! and then listing off a bunch of “really bad” things, doesn’t encourage deep thoughts about Christianity. It encourages emotional responses. It’s not exceptionally pastorally wise. My generation already believes that their feelings can somehow change reality. Should the Church be encouraging that thought?

          “Which part of that do you not agree with or does the Reformed camp not agree with?”

          See, I’m not part of the Reformed camp. I just don’t think they’re the bad guy. And, I recognize that a huge portion of young evangelicals are drawn to a more conservative interpretation of Scripture, precisely because their worlds lack objectivity of any sort. So it disturbs me when I see young Christians lashing out at a high view of God’s sovereignty, seemingly because they really don’t want it to be true.

          I agree with the definition of Evangelical, but what do you say to those “Evangelicals” who refuse to even define the Gospel? Or who want to take any sense of atonement out of the death of Christ? I know many people around my age (30) who have completely shunned those concepts because they just can’t believe them. Are they still evangelicals?

          • Tim Viola April 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

            The people who I see taking objection to the Reformed camp and their views (including me) are not taking objection to their view of God but taking objection to them shaking their fist at any other viewpoint and tossing the word “heretic” around like it’s nothing. That is the issue I have. I would like to think I have a high view of the sovereignty of God, I have seen that aspect of God’s nature play out in my own life. What I refuse to do is sit here and scream that I know exactly how God moves, acts, and operates in every area of life. I don’t think we were ever meant to know that. Much about God is still and will always be a mystery.

          • Tim Viola April 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

            “I agree with the definition of Evangelical, but what do you say to those “Evangelicals” who refuse to even define the Gospel? Or who want to take any sense of atonement out of the death of Christ? I know many people around my age (30) who have completely shunned those concepts because they just can’t believe them. Are they still evangelicals?”

            In response to this I would simply say that why does it matter what THEY say they are. People are defined by their actions, not by their words. I can say over and over again that I am a generous person, but if I never give am I really generous? Should people say, “Gosh, generous people are so greedy” because I am greedy or should they say “He’s not generous” Calling out all evangelicals as progressive or walking away from orthodoxy because you feel a few well known people are wrestling with tradition and views that are a little bit unorthodox is unfair in my opinion.

          • Luke Allison April 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

            Tim,

            “What I refuse to do is sit here and scream that I know exactly how God moves, acts, and operates in every area of life. I don’t think we were ever meant to know that. Much about God is still and will always be a mystery.”

            I completely agree with you.

            “Calling out all evangelicals as progressive or walking away from orthodoxy because you feel a few well known people are wrestling with tradition and views that are a little bit unorthodox is unfair in my opinion.”

            I’m not really doing that. I’ve even self-identified as an evangelical. I’m just trying to use a term that best sums up the current crop of “young non-traditional believers”.

            In regard to Reformed people calling those who don’t agree with them heretics, that’s not really true either. They give a lot more theological leeway than people give them credit for. Rob Bell is not a heretic, but BW3 and Scot McKnight (neither Reformed nor particularly conservative in every aspect) have both pointed out his potentialy misleading and sloppy exegesis.

            But you also sort of help make my point: the language you use in describing these types of people is that they’re “wrestling” with unorthodox and non-traditional viewpoints. I say they’re just embracing the cultural assumptions that they’ve grown up with (Nice people go to heaven, God is a universal all-loving spirit, sin is primarily public action against other people, the earth, or whatever pet cause I feel is important, etc.) and tacking a Christian worldview over them because they want to have their cake and eat it too. That won’t be a popular viewpoint. But it’s not any more judgmental than asserting that Reformed people arbitrarily call out heresy on anybody who disagrees with them. That’s not true.

            I have a hunch that you and I agree more than you might think about some things. I do have a few pet peeves, however, that I almost never am able to resist commenting about. One of them is the measuring of feelings over and against the authority of Scripture, the other is atonement-related stuff.

  15. Mark Louderback April 13, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    You refuse to believe these things. Ok…why?

    Is it because of what you read in Scripture? Because you have been convicted by what it says?

    Or is it simply because of what you yourself think and feel? Because of what you think things ought to be?

    Martin Luther could not be comforted because the theology he had learned was wrong. He looked down into the teaching and saw it was an abyss. There was no comfort there. He blinked, stepped back, and found that the Word did *not* teach what he himself believed.

    That was his comfort and that was what allowed him to confidently say “Here I stand. I can do anything else.”

    What strength do you have to stand where you are? If these are just your beliefs, then what is different from someone else saying “Well, I believe otherwise”? You believe that; he believes this.

    No…I think God calls us to follow Him and trust in Him even if what He says doesn’t agree with what we think. I think *that* is the hard part of following God.

  16. Brandon Cox April 13, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    I refuse to believe that I can just refuse to believe something and therefore it won’t be so. I also refuse to believe that I should refuse to believe anything affirmed by God’s inerrant word. So I refuse to allow my refusal to be the authority – that’s rebellion.

    I don’t always understand God’s truth, but I respect it far more than my own opinions and evaluations of it.

    • Brandon Cox April 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

      I’m replying to myself (and to Justin) to let me (and you) know that after re-reading my own comment, I don’t think it captured my feeling in the moment. Didn’t mean to sound so abrupt. And I don’t necessarily disagree with your beliefs… or refusal to not believe in these beliefs… or your disbelief in the beliefs of others and their unbelief about your refusal to disbelieve something…

      What the heck was I saying?

      Oh, just that we should refuse to believe only those things that are clearly untrue from Scripture.

      For example, I don’t think God wants earthquakes to happen to people. I don’t think he joys in it or delights in it at all. In fact, I think God’s heart breaks for every single victim affected by natural disasters of any kind.

      At the same time, I don’t think I’d say I don’t believe “that God would cause the earthquake.” God is still God, even of nature. I don’t think we can know for sure what God’s intentions are in any natural event, either caused or allowed. What I do know, based on Jesus’ statements about a similar occasion, that every time a natural disaster occurs, we are all to be reminded that God can bring judgment through such events and that we should repent in ourselves rather than pointing the finger and assuming He is judging others.

      Make sense? It doesn’t to me. Perhaps it will to you. You’re so… Wise.

  17. Brooklyn Cravens April 14, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    I refuse to base my beliefs on anything other than Scripture. I refuse to have anything but Jesus as my center.

    Some of your statements are a bit troubling, Justin. Remember that we humans don’t deserve anything good, so if God decided to throw us all in hell that would be completely fine as far as we deserve.

    You may point to some Scriptures as evidence that God’s desires say otherwise (which I’d agree with you), but then I’d say your egalitarian viewpoint contradicts the complementarianism laid out in 1 Timothy. I think women are allowed to speak and teach, just not be pastors of a congregation.

    In any event, tread wisely when making bold statements about what is all right and not all right to believe, Mr. Wise.