Mary Daly, 1928-2010

in her own words:

“Women of the world unite!
Stand up and fight!
Say our own names!
Go up in flames!”

Feminists ought to remember that last sentence. That, sadly, is her end. I say sadly, because I don’t wish that fate on anyone. The very YHWH–the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob–the very God that Daly dismissed for His patriarchy, has some very hard promises aimed at those who reject Him. She rejected Jesus on account of her rejection of patriarchy. Ergo, she short-shrifted the only One who could offer deliverance to her, among a humanity scarred with the sin that manifested itself in many abuses she decried.

Al Mohler of Southern Seminary, commenting on her work, offers this:

In the end, Mary Daly will be remembered for the radical lesbian feminist that she was. She must be given credit for her honesty in accusing theological liberals of lacking the courage of their convictions. As she saw it, they were clinging to the furniture of Christianity long after rejecting its central beliefs. She saw the entire structure as hopelessly patriarchal and called for a complete break with Christianity and theism.

In the largest sense, she was undoubtedly right in arguing that the logic of radical feminism is diametrically opposed to the truth claims of Christianity. She was, as she claimed, taking ideological feminism to its logical conclusion.

While I would agree with Mohler’s assessment, I would also caution him of another phenomenon that exists among his ranks: that of the Christian, affirming intellectually the precepts of Scripture, embracing the mindset of the feminists. They are the ones who end up behind the pulpits, in the theology departments of otherwise conservative seminaries, in the editorial departments of the denominational publishing houses, and in other positions of denominational leadership.

Yes, Al, I’m talking about your beloved Southern Baptist Convention.

12 thoughts on “Mary Daly, 1928-2010

  1. I’m pretty sure Al knows all about it Amir…….. As a Presbyterian, I live in a deeply poisoned tradition as well, and one would have to be blind not to see it. Within our conservative broad tradition (to pardon a pun) We have things like the EPC, which try to claim adherence to the inerancy of Scripture, and yet ordain women to Eldership positions. We have “women pastors” standing behing pulpits at New Wineskins convocations pounding their Bibles saying “we just have to get back to the Word of God!……..” We have the PCA OPENLY DEBATING ordaining women to the deaconate in these times and conditions. Its like living in a world created by mixing “1984” with “The Twilight Zone”.

  2. Mrs LJ: It may well be; my point simply was that in the very FLAGSHIP denomination of biblical orthodoxy in this nation, it was allowed to come to an actual discussion- that simply shouldn’t have happened in times like these. The aid and comfort that gave to the spirit of feminism is likely incalculabe……….

  3. @Rev. Russ Westbrook
    To the best of my knowledge it is dead. I think there was enough of a backlash that they have decided to not revisit the issue any time soon. I think if it gets revisited, there will be even more of an uproar.

  4. Rev. Westbrook,

    I just saw your post yesterday, that you are no longer in Iowa. I’m sorry to hear that, I was going to look you up the next time I was over Sheldon way.

    Where are you now?

    Why not leave the PCA? There are some independent fundamental Bible believing churches out there looking for men of integrity who consider Scripture their final authority for faith and practice. Find one of them.

  5. The PCA is itself a splinter group from the PCUSA when it became too liberal. Believe it or not, the question they split over was whether or not ordained pastors needed to believe in the deity of Christ. The PCUSA believed that it wasn’t that important for seminary students. My own experience with the OPC and PCA showed me that they had very firm scriptural foundations. It saddens me if they have indeed fallen that far in such a short time.

  6. @Professor Hale
    . . . since I am, on paper, still a member of a PCA church . . .

    They haven’t fallen that far. The issue – as best as I understand from the layperson position – is no longer being discussed. The report that we had from last year’s General Assembly was that the issue was not brought up (again). It seems like I remember a collective sigh of relief when our congregation was updated on the events of last year’s General Assembly.

    The church I was a part of (a PCA one), would definitely be to the far right of the PCA. We are EXTREMELY conservative. A few years ago, they started having “Deacon Assistants”. This is a men only thing. (Actually, they just go down the member’s roster alphabetically. “Johns Adams” and “Michael Allen” one week. “Mark Bird” and “Jeff Blount” the next.)

    However, the church I came to know Christ in would be more to the left of the PCA and they are still very conservative. There are certain things they would disagree about with the church I just came from, but by and large they are in agreement. Which is why they are both PCA congregations.

    The PCA has it’s share of intellectuals. It is because of this, that issues get brought up from time to time. However, when it brought up before General Assembly in 2008 a big mistake was made. The paper that was presented, was kind of thrown in at the last minute (like the fiasco of the Health Care bill). It was quite lengthy and those attending General Assembly – and were going to vote on the issue – had very little time to read it and think through the issues.

    Fortunately, nothing was able to get voted on and it is was decided that another committee would be formed and the issue would be revisited next year (2009). It seems that whatever took place during 2008-2009, it was agreed that the issue was no longer up for discussion.

    Oh, and one thing to note, the PCA defines “deacon” and the role of it differently than the vast majority of churches. Or at least they differ greatly from the vast majority of Baptist churches. The office of “deacon” is (1) Not as a spiritual overseer, (2) Not an ordained office. Deacons look over the physical needs of the church (building maintenance, finances, long-term building plans, etc.), (3) Has no authority over members. Deacons have authority over the church budget and physical needs of the building. If members are having financial difficulty, they are referred to a deacon for financial counseling. The pastor and/or an elder would be taking care of the spiritual/emotional issues.

    It’s in this vein – deacon not having any spiritual authority – that the idea of females being allowed to be deacons was discussed. The bigger idea that had so many up in arms about it was opening the door to other issues concerning females in office. Many saw the potential for female deacons to be a slippery slope to female pastors.

  7. We are EXTREMELY conservative.

    HA! It is so easy to follow the liberal playbook when we describe ourselves. It is in the very nature of the meaning of the word “conservative” that excludes “extreme”. It used to be, only communists would twist words to mean whatever they wanted and came up with things like “extremist” means bad so extremist conservative is very bad.

    Also like religious fundamentalist. By definition, everyone who takes their religion seriously IS a fundamentalist. So as long as you have a religion but don’t really care what it is or how it practices, then you can avoid the label “fundamentalist”.

    I believe the Nicene Creed, a fundamental statement of Christian beliefs, I am therefore a fundamentalist. By the same logic, why would anyone in any religion reject the fundamental teachings and practices of that religion? What would be the point? You like coffee hour on Wednesday nights, but don’t like all that “preachy stuff” and “praying”?

  8. I understand the role of Deacon, having once been one in the PCA (before I was excommunicated). At one of our meetings, we discussed the thorny issue of alcohol consumption and weather a deacon could consume or if alcohol was a disqualification. We decided that deacons could enjoy an occasional beer or glass of wine, but that elders, being in a leadership role, could not have any at all.

    Then we agreed that that was probably why Baptist churches did not have elders.

  9. Farmer Tom: I’m an Orthodox Presbyterian pastor now. I serve an OPC church outside of Evansville IA. I appreciate the offer to defect from Presbyterian ranks, but I’m afraid I’m simply fully Reformed at heart. Thanks though…..

    Professor Hale: I’ve never been in a Presbyterian context where drinking was forbidden. Are you sure you weren’t occupied by a band of Wesleyan paratroopers in stolen uniforms? :>P

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