Natalie Collins: Is Christianity Really Egalitarian?

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Enjoy the podcast:

Here’s where you can find Natalie:

Natalie Collins

We had a fabulous conversation that could have easily gone a third hour. After the recording was done, it almost did. And while there are many nooks and crannies of the conversation to investigate further, I believe the theology is the central part. After all, this is a topic about how Christians do and should view women’s roles. If the theology fails, so does the argument.

I did try to be philosophically generous and argue against the best version of Natalie’s position. But at the end of the day, the best version of her position still does not hold up to any theological test one can apply. Natalie was willing to acknowledge that one would be hard-pressed to get her position from a plain reading of the text. She is not an egalitarian because she read it in the bible. She has a deeper reason that I cannot attack:

Direct Revelation

Late in the podcast, Natalie said that she did not initially want to marry her current husband of 11 years. It was literally a matter of divine intervention. God told her to marry the person that is now her husband. I didn’t pursue the idea. I wish there had been more time. When I went back and listened to the program, I realized that she had hinted at this type of direct revelation once or twice earlier in the show.

Natalie does not get her theology primarily from scripture, but from her direct revelation of who Jesus is. I suspect there is nothing the bible could say that would put her off her lunch because she would just run it through the filter of her personal experience of who Jesus is and what he is all about.

We talked a little about the Old Testament test of wifely fidelity. You can read the details of the ritual in Numbers 5 starting at around verse 11. It is one of the worst, most backward superstitious rituals in the bible. It is a nasty piece of work. I just want to point out that I am not the one who brought it up.

Natalie was able to find a way to redeem that passage in her mind when run through the filter of her direct revelation of Jesus. If that passage can be Jesus-washed, any of the can. This is the same tachnique she uses for getting past the strong biblical evidence that women are in fact not equal to men. For her, it just doesn’t matter what those passages say, Jesus trumps them all.

Now how do I argue against a direct revelation from god? I can’t. Natalie’s position is completely and safely unfalsifiable. I could try to point out biblically that this is not how god works. But it wouldn’t matter because god would just tell her that she is right and I am wrong.

I can only say that if god is really speaking to her and giving her the truth on things that the rest of the church has to study and debate, then everyone is obligated to just be quiet and listen to her.

Natalie was a delight before, during, and after the show. I sincerely hope we get to talk again sometime this summer or fall.

David Johnson



9 thoughts on “Natalie Collins: Is Christianity Really Egalitarian?

  1. Good conversation, thanks to all for having it.

    I found a common thread frustrating throughout the podcast. When instances of Christian individuals doing good things was discussed, she would ascribe it “up” to Christianity as a whole. But anytime a Christian doing bad things (even including patron saint Paul) it was not similarly ascribed. So it felt like the whole time we’re weren’t going to nail down exactly what is responsibility of individuals and what role Christianity as whole plays in people’s behavior.

    I’d welcome the chance to listen to a second conversation, hope Natalie comes back on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great conversation and thanks to Natalie for coming on.

    I too wanted to push back on the divine revelation mentioned in the show. Namely why can’t we all have one? Why are some not afforded such a thing despite prayer as they unwillingly leave the faith?

    Why does God say ‘marry this guy’ but remains negligently silent when he doesn’t say ‘DON’T marry this guy’ .

    Incidnet, I’d bet most Christians think God has rubber stamped or divinely told them to marry the person they marry. You’d be a fool not to have consulted God on the issue. Yet Christian divorce rates are similar to secular ones. And if the distinguishing criteria to a real divine revelation is ‘well, you *know* because your really *know*’ what are we to make of exers who say they had this same certainty but then lost it?

    Natalie if you’re hanging around, I’d love to hear your take.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. PS. Also, concretely, what in the heck IS this experience of Jesus? Is it mental? emotional? physical? all 3 ? It gets a pass, but it’s really just christianese that makes sense to believers but no one really defines it or fleshes it out? I thought I had some experience of Jesus but in hindsight it was just my Christian indoctrinitation that made me appreciate the ‘Jesus is love’ part. And if I tried really really hard I could muster up the idea I should be v v grateful for this. Though this incessant thankfulness did seem somewhat a burden. Guess I’m just inherently unappreciative? I just could never shake the idea that it seemed over the top that if you make kids, you deserve never ending adoration and praise for the mere act of loving them. )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. .

    .”what in the heck IS this experience of Jesus? Is it mental? emotional? physical? all 3?” I don’t dismiss these lifechanging subjective experiences. They are common throughout all time and all cultures. What frustrates me immensely is when one religious group takes ‘ownership’ of them. So if I could have followed up with Natalie I would have liked to ask how do you know it was the ‘Christian’ God you are experiencing Natalie. And why would a moral God want you to overvalue your personal connection with him and undervalue those of say a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Native Spiritualist, or say Nancy Abrahms? Nancy is the wife of Joel Primack which is only to say she clearly values our present day Scientific ‘story,’

    Love and Light


    1. That too, but I mostly just want to know *what* the heck it is? Christians regularly say they’ve had a transformative experience of Jesus. What do you mean? When you try to pin them down on it, the language starts to get vague….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. .

        .Of course there are just the ‘powerful warm fuzzies’ some people get from a church setting…. or going to a fabulous concert…or watching a glorious sunset with someone you love…. or even getting high on shrooms etc etc etc. But to presuppose we can just dismiss all ‘spiritual experiences’ as a dopamine rush and ignore them, is ridiculous. Clearly these personal experiences can change people’s whole belief systems or reinforce them…as Justin B and Natalie and even Dale seem to be saying.

        So yes, I would like to know why Natalie repeatedly kept saying she experienced the CHRISTIAN GOD. What does that even mean?

        I hope she comes back on, but as neither Andrew or dandbj give a hoot about subjective experiences it would like be a fruitless conversation.

        Wherase as a Subjective Idealist myself, this all fits perfectly.
        Believe something strongly enough, and you will experience a reflection of that belief in you life. That equally applies to anyone who believes strongly in Scientific Materialism. That is all they will experience then, no ‘woo’ for them. lol

        Love and Light

        ps Natalie may check in here as I gave her a heads up. Doesn’t mean anyone needs to pull their punches. Natalie is one tough cookie… 🍪….imo.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I want to clarify my position of female, genital mutilation: It is worse than circumcision in every way. The two are not comparable. I shouldn’t have brought up circumcision in that context. I was wrong.

    That said, I believe all body manipulation of a child in the name of religion is awful, and should be made illegal in civilized nations. But one is definitely worse than the other. I’m sorry I conflated the two.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. .

    . Thank you for your clarification David.

    I understand that at no point should God (real or fictitious) be a factor in such decisions. Bodily autonomy is critical to creating a moral society, and so I fully appreciate that men have the right to speak loudly and clearly on their views about male circumcision. However female genital mutilation is a vile heinous act with absolutely no rational or moral justification. To equate one ….with the other… not helping further the debate on either or these important issues.

    So again, thank you.

    Love and Light


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