Expressing Faith Through Fashion: Choice, Legalism or Both?

In many Christian traditions such as the Mennonites,  Quakers, Amish and various holiness movements dress was an outward expression of faith. However, there was and continues to be a fine line between an individual embracing dress as a form of religious expression and being forced to dress a certain way as a form of legalism. Playing with the Free Methodist history of dress in the late nineteenth and early 2oth century, I’ll explore some of these tensions in a multi-part series. Free Methodist women, especially those who chose to preach and teach publicly  faced numerous barriers to acceptance- not least among them their attire, … Continue reading Expressing Faith Through Fashion: Choice, Legalism or Both?

The Conclusion of “Why?” by Mariet Hardy Freeland

The summing up is this. The design of God in the Gospel dispensation is the full restoration of woman to her original place as described in Genesis 1:26-28. God created woman because he saw it was not good for man to be alone – “a help meet for him.” Her place was by his side, not as a troublesome appendage, a mere toy or a cipher, neither as lord over him, but as a unit of equal value with himself. She lost her place in the transgression, but received the promise of final deliverance through her seed, which is Christ, … Continue reading The Conclusion of “Why?” by Mariet Hardy Freeland

“Why?” Mariet Hardy Freeland’s Defense of Women’s Ordination Part 1

by Mariet Hardy Freeland Editors note: Pay attention to how she crafts a defense of ordination that is both logical and spiritual. It is soundly grounded in Scripture and written using numerous examples to make her rhetorical points. Why should woman be ordained? or, in other words, why should woman be granted the full endorsement of the church upon her call to work for God and souls? To ordain, ecclesiastically, is to set apart for a special purpose or work. It is but the endorsement of the church of those already chosen of God for special service. In all Methodist … Continue reading “Why?” Mariet Hardy Freeland’s Defense of Women’s Ordination Part 1

Mariet Hardy Freeland: A Trailblazer for Women’s Preaching and Public Speaking

I’m beginning an exploration of the life and ministry of Mariet Hardy Freeland. While Clara Wetherald and Ida Gage were influential in the debates on ordaining women, Mariet helped pave the way for later evangelists like Wetherald and Gage. Biographical information is taken from the book Mariet Hardy Freeland: A Faithful Witness by Emma Freeland Shay. Mariet Hardy Freeland was a trailblazer for women evangelists in the Free Methodist Church. Born in New York in 1829, she was the youngest of 10 children.  While there is a vast archive of Mariet’s original writings (which I still need to dig into), … Continue reading Mariet Hardy Freeland: A Trailblazer for Women’s Preaching and Public Speaking