radical

rejectedstones


Christian Theologies from Other Voices


Dating as a Progressive Christian
Scorpion
lauralareine
Does anybody else find that being a progressive Christian puts you in a dating minefield? As a woman who is Catholic, emergent, feminist, and who works in an environment with a lot of conservative Protestant evangelicals, I find it really difficult.

I am marriage-minded and I take marriage very seriously. I wish to be in a marriage where God is first and I most definitely want to serve my husband. However, I've always viewed my ideal marriage as a partnership where we're on an equal footing. I don't always see the marriages of my Christian friends play out that way. Some of these wives won't do certain things, like wear a particular pair of shoes or go to a movie by themselves, because their husbands won't "let" them. When important family decisions need to be made, they defer to their husband's judgement regardless of whether they agree with it or not. They let their husbands make all the financial decisions. I should add that all of these women seem extremely happy in their marriages, and these husbands are all good men who are devoted to their wives. But when I consider having such a dynamic in my own marriage, I know that my spirit would suffocate. I want to be part of a team, a partnership, and while I want to serve my husband I want to do so out of my own free will. I've been told that makes me selfish, but I'm not sure if panic of the spirit is selfish or merely a self-defense mechanism kicking in.

Dating more conservative Christian men has not really worked out for me either. I inevitably end up in a conversation where I am reminded that my role is to be passive and submit, and that idea causes me so much distress that I always end the relationship.

However, when I try to date secular men I run into the opposite problem. I don't mean to make this sound like an overgeneralization, but in my experience secular men usually want me to sleep with them within two or three dates without any guarantee of a relationship or emotional commitment. They can walk whenever they want, and if I'm upset about that it's because I'm "neurotic" or "needy." Even if a situation like did survive the first few dates, I don't think I could sustain it in the long term without God being at the centre of things.

I've been praying about it a lot, but I have to admit that I'm really struggling with the prospect that I'll never find a husband who shares my theological footing. It doesn't help that I live in a very remote community where my options are quite restricted to begin with.

What are your experiences in this area? How do you go about meeting like-minded people?

Ruth 3
blossom001
susannahclark
Dates for discussion: Sunday 10th April to Thursday 14th April





The Book of Ruth
Chapter 3

3:1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

3:2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshing floor.

3:3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

3:4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

3:5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

3:6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.

3:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

3:8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

3:9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

3:10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

3:11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

3:12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.

3:13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.

3:14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.

3:15 Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

3:16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, How art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.

3:17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.

3:18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Ruth 2: 8-23
little me
catecumen
Ruth 2: 8-23

Dates for discussion: Sun 3rd April- Wed 6th April


Boaz meets Ruth Boaz meets Ruth
Boaz and Ruth, by William Brassey Hole



(KJV)

8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

12The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.

14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:

16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.

20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.

23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.



Ruth


Ruth 2: 1-7 (sorry to be late posting this)
little me
catecumen
Ruth 2: 1-7 ~ Thurs 31st March- Sat 2nd April





Ruth 2 (King James Version)

1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.

5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:

7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

Book on Ruth free on Kindle today
little me
catecumen
The book that I just bought - The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James - is free on Kindle today.

http://amzn.com/B00125MK7I

The free books on Kindle usually don't stay free for very long, so I would strongly recommend that anyone interested snap it up quickly. You don't have to own a Kindle; the Kindle for PC application (also free) will work just fine.

Ruth 1: 11-22
little me
catecumen
Ruth 1: 11-22 ~ Sun 27th March- Wed 30th March

King James Version


Ruth clings to Naomi Ruth clings to Naomi
by William Blake
11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also tonight, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 18 When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. 19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? 20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
Ruth pleads with Naomi Ruth pleads with Naomi
by Harry George Theaker

Resources for reading Ruth (edited)
little me
catecumen
A couple of books worth reading about Ruth:

Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story. Edited by Judith A. Kates and Gail Twersky Reimer. Ballantine Books, New York, 1994.

Ruth: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Bible Series. Edward F. Campbell, Jr. Doubleday, 1975.

Seasons of Friendship: Naomi and Ruth as a Pattern. Marjory Zoet Bankson. Luramedia, 1987.

A Psychological Interpretation of Ruth, Yehezkel Kluger, and Standing in the Sandals of Naomi, Nomi Kluger-Nash. Daimon, 1999.

Edited to add: I just downloaded the e-book of this one: The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Curtis James.

Ruth 1: 1-10
little me
catecumen
Ruth 1: 1-10

(I am posting just the passage, and a public-domain image to illustrate it, as the main entry; my reflections on the passage will be posted under comments.)

Comments and discussion on this section: Wed 23rd March- Sat 26th March

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Naomi Dismisses Her Daughters-in-Law Naomi Dismisses Her Daughters-in-Law
by Adriaen van der Werff



1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

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