Looking for some great reads? Here are my suggestions:
Carolyn Custis James of The Whitby Forum wrote “Dropping F-Bombs,” her critique of the critique that the Church has been feminized.
Women cannot be who God created us to be as ezer-warriors if we do not cultivate strength, decisiveness, and a readiness for action. And frankly, men will be stunted if they are duped into thinking their manhood is compromised if they are loving, sensitive, and gentle, or if they cry.
“Feminized” and “feminization” may not be four-letter words. But these F-bombs need to be dropped from this discussion nonetheless!
President of CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality), Dr. Mimi Haddad wrote “Egalitarians and Complementarians: One Gosepl, Two Worldviews.”
Egalitarians and complementarians share much in common. We adore Jesus and serve him passionately. We are committed to justice as a biblical ideal. And, we’re both devoted to Scripture as God-inspired. Though we both long to see the world embrace the gospel, we promote two distinct worldviews. What is our difference? Male-only authority. Is it God’s design or is it a result of sin? We are divided by worldviews that we believe reflect the moral teachings of God and our purposes in this world. And, our differing views have enormous consequences….
….If male authority is part of God’s design, we would expect to see society flourish where patriarchy holds sway. Is this the case?
Not at all. In what constitutes the largest human holocaust in history, two hundred million girls are missing from the world, primarily in places where patriarchy is most rampant. The face of poverty, abuse, disease, malnutrition, illiteracy, and hunger is mostly female. Not surprisingly, the international think tank, The Millennium Project, which tackles humanity’s most challenging problems, recognizes gender equality and empowering women (in other words, dismantling patriarchy) as “essential for addressing the global challenges facing humanity.” Patriarchy does not advance God’s justice, but is an injustice that must be overcome.
Dismantling patriarchy will require a worldview that perceives male rule as a result of sin; it distorts the nature of men and women as equals and their intended purpose to use their gifts with shared authority. Justice and the gospel are furthered when superiority and dominance are challenged by human equality—a biblical ideal.
Bob Edwards wrote, “Confusing Sexism with ‘the Gospel.” Edwards quotes Complementarian leaders Mark Driscoll, David Murrow, John Piper and Owen Strachan on their views on women. Frankly, what they say about women is disturbing and offensive.
In summary, what are the messages regarding men and women that are being shared by these participants in “Together 4 the Gospel”?
–Men are hierarchical,
-Men need sex; it is the cornerstone of their psyche,
-The future of the church depends on male leadership.
–Women are not fit to be leaders,
-Women are more gullible than men,
-Women are obligated to perform oral sex on their husbands as an act of Christian service,
-Women are obligated to perform oral sex on non-believing husbands to win them to Christ,
-If wives do not provide enough sex, husbands will inevitably sin,
-A woman’s role is comparable to that of a “helpful animal,”
-Women are not able to share authority with men because of their “characteristic weaknesses,”
-To “be a woman” is to help men become leaders, as God allegedly intends.
Many words come to mind as I reflect on these messages. “Gospel” isn’t one of them.
Morgan Lee on the Christian Post wrote, “Could Christians Opposed to Immigration Reform be Helping Sex Traffickers?”
“A lot of us evangelicals care about human trafficking, but a lot of us don’t realize how much trafficking is tied to immigration,” Yang told The Christian Post on Tuesday. “I would say that a broken immigration system is a trafficker’s best friend, because traffickers abuse the fact that there’s immigrants here without legal status and they underpay them or they enslave them or they abuse them.”
Ben Corey wrote these two gems: “5 Ways We Could Probably Be Better Christians,” and “5 Ways You Can Spot a Jesus Follower.” Please click the links to read his full posts. In short:
To be a better Christian, he says:
1. We might want to dial down the arrogance.
2. We’d do well to start assuming the best in each other.
3. We could refrain from attempting to apply scripture to the lives of others we don’t actually know or have relationships with.
4. We could actively look for ways to reconcile “all things” to God.
5. We could spend more time getting to know the “other”.
Corey’s helpful key to spotting a Jesus Follower,
1. A Jesus follower likes to talk about him, but they do it in such a way that it causes you to want to know more, not less.
2. A Jesus follower embraces enemy love.
3. A Jesus follower is the one who is full of compassion for outsiders and the weak.
4. A Jesus follower is the one who is quickest to show others mercy.
5. A Jesus follower is the one who, when they describe what God is like, describe Jesus.
There are a couple new videos from Sarah Bessey (author of Jesus Feminist) on The Work of the People. These are all sooooo good. They’re all short excerpts from a longer interview, in which she talks about loss, God’s love, leaning into pain, etc. Cannot recommend them enough. Could be great resources for your church, Bible study group, etc. as well.
Christena Cleveland wrote this excellent piece: “Dismantling the white male industrial complex”
The truth is that the battle for justice won’t be won when white men finally join the fight. The battle was already won on the cross. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is at hand. It’s here. It’s happening. It’s already been set in motion. We’re inevitably moving toward a world that reflects the prophetic reality of the resurrection. Justice will be done. All things will be made new. And Jesus graciously invites all of us to partner with him in that movement. We all can play a crucial role. But let’s never forget that Jesus is the secret weapon. Jesus has already determined the outcome of this battle and he will use whoever is willing to accomplish his plan. The Kingdom of God is at hand, whether white men participate or not…
…Turn toward the oppressed –If we’re following Jesus’ Spirit, it will lead us to prioritize the needs and perspective of the oppressed over the needs and perspective of the privileged. The white male industrial complex keeps people’s eyes on white men, but any victory that Jesus leads will significantly involve the oppressed. As such, the Christian reconciler’s eyes should follow Jesus’ gaze to the oppressed – and all social justice efforts should be focused on the oppressed, should benefit the oppressed, and should empower the oppressed.
And Christena Cleveland also wrote this excellent piece: “Tone Deaf Leadership: 3 reasons Christian leaders should especially listen to the oppressed voices”
I’ll say it again: within the family of God, members of oppressed groups shouldn’t have to mount a social justice campaign in order to make their voices heard. In all of these cases, the privileged leaders eventually gave in, but not before initially resisting constructive criticism from oppressed voices and digging in their heels. When the PR storm increased, they reluctantly listened, and finally acquiesced. When the process of listening follows this pattern, the marginalized voices may “win” particular battles, but they remain dishonored and relegated to the foot of the table of the family of God.
Her 3 reasons:
1. You’re leading in an unequal world and Church, and you have a responsibility to fight against inequality.
2. Jesus prioritized feedback from marginalized voices over privileged voices.
3. You desperately need the perspective of the oppressed.
That should keep you busy for awhile. Until next time, peace!
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