Indeed, as Heine (1987) contends, the women who were around Jesus and the Twelve--the Gospel of Luke (8:1-3) names three: Mary Magdalene, Johanna, and Susanna--"cared for them with the possessions that they had," clearly a reference of having converted income or property into food and other necessities (60). Heine derides the interpretation of this event by Josef Blank, who maintains that the "care" was simply daily maintenance--cooking, mending, washing. According to Heine, Blank's reasoning is "a good example of the way in which personal interest can turn exegesis into eisegesis" (60-61).
Heine sees significant problems with feminists who propose replacing "Father God" with "Mother God" because of "the destructive experience of their own father" which has caused them to turn away from the church, since this would open up the potential of a corresponding hindrance of a feminine deity because of the "destructive experiences of one's mother" (6-7). Such "methodicide" is Heine's basis for requiring "exact methodological reflection, about the relationship between experience and confession or how the statement "God is Father" is valid (7).
It is unlikely that Christian praxis, as it has evolved to its present state, was intended to prevent women from exercising their spiritual gifts--including that of prophesy, healing, and perhaps performing a miracle or two, if that is the will of God. What has happened, unfortunately, is that elements within the church (across a variety of denominational lines) have used scripture out of context to enhance their own interests. This is no less true of American Christians in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries who used biblical texts to "prove" that God ordained blacks to be slaves (and allowed the Supreme Court to count blacks as fractional beings--not even human!), or of the Roman Catholic Church's belief, which endures to the present day, that women are not permitted to the priesthood only on the b