Tag Archives: misogyny

#ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear trended on Twitter this week

This Tuesday night, Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, started the hashtag #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear and it took off.  Here are my favorites:

This is a drop in the bucket on contributions to this thread.  Definitely checkout the hashtag and scroll through the sobering collection.

Then Christians began redeeming the conversation with the hashtag #ThingsChristianWomenShouldHear:

This is my prayer too:

Amen.


Thanks for visiting The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors.  We are a community of Christians who believe that men and women are equal in the Kingdom and indispensable partners in Kingdom building and restoration.  Follow us hear and on Facebook!

Your Guide to Voting as a Beautiful Kingdom Warrior

If I had to sum up Your Guide to Voting as a Beautiful Kingdom Warrior, I would give you three points to bear in mind:

micah-6-8

This is what the Lord requires of us.  

Yeah, this post is more about how to be a faithful Christ-follower during the Presidential election and less about how to vote.  And I am preaching this post to myself, friends.

Walk Humbly – adj. “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”  As much as any of us may read up on this election and the candidates’ platforms, we cannot have a perfect grasp on the issues and we cannot predict what will happen in the coming presidential term.  We are all handicapped by biases, ignorance, and limited perspectives-not only our own, but also those of our sources and community of influence.  Humbly listen to others, considering them better than yourself (Philippians 2:3).

Love Mercy – n. “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”  Be merciful especially to those who will be casting their ballot differently than you.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  Do not call names.  Do not slander or malign others.  Be slow to anger.  Try to understand their perspective and be charitable, loving and kind.  Hate any speech that is unmerciful.

Act Justly – n. “based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.”  Vote your conscience.  There is much that is broken in our country that needs healing, redemption, and justice.  Consider what is best for the “least of these,” the most marginalized and voiceless members of our society – certainly that includes unborn babies as well as those living in poverty, those caught in the pipeline to prison, those without adequate healthcare, unequal pay, refugees seeking asylum from war, and the list goes on.  There is abounding injustice to dismantle.

I would also add, Do not be afraid.  We have been told over and over that there is much to be afraid of and that the outcome of this election could trigger the End Times.  Enough pandering to fear-mongering!!  Place your trust in Jesus alone and do your best to faithfully follow Him, leaving the rest up to Him.

do-not-be-afraid

This election season has been fraught with controversy and emotion.  It is critical to remember that as Christians, our battle is not with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers (Ephesian 6:12).  We must pray for discernment while maintaining our allegiance to one King only, our Lord Jesus Christ, and His coming Kingdom.  We cannot place our hope in a political candidate or party to save us.  God is making all things new, He is redeeming His creation and has invited us into this redemptive work.  We are to be His ambassadors of peace.  And that starts with loving our neighbors.

As an advocate for gender equality here at The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors, I am going to post links in the footnotes to relevant articles and Tweets from recent days.  I do not want to diminish my point that as Christians, though, we are called to be the hands and feet of God’s love.  Let’s be respectful and kind to others when we are talking politics.

Regardless of our political views, we must remember to walk humbly,
love mercy and act justly.  


Here are some articles I’ve posted to our TBKW FB page:
Petition: A Declaration of American Evangelicals Concerning Donald Trump

Evangelicals Are Supporting a Sexual Predator.  It’s Not the First Time

I Just Had to Explain Trump’s Pussy Comments to My Sons

Many men talk like Donald Trump in private.  And only other men can stop them.

Excellent Tweets responding to Trump’s “locker room banter” about assaulting women:

Around the Web – Posts on Spanking, Domestic Violence, Patriarchy and More

With the departure of summer, “people from away” are slowly filtering out of Maine and life is balancing out once again for those of us whose livelihood is impacted by the tourism industry.  The last four months have been insanely busy for me and Becky.  There hasn’t been the space in our lives to write, but that will change over this fall and winter.  We look forward to getting back in the swing of blogging and vlogging for you!

I promised to share my Imago Dei presentation from our women’s retreat earlier this month, and I will get to that later this week hopefully.  I am always checking in with my favorite blogs and keeping track of important conversations that are happening, so today I want to share some links with you to posts that have had me thinking.  I’m whetting your appetite with a quote from each post, and I hope you are able to read some of these in their entirety.

ON SPANKING

Why Jesus Wants You to Stop Spanking Your Kids – Benjamin Corey (also, you can listen to Ben talk about spanking, domestic violence and ISIS on That God Show: Episode 7)

When one considers the fact that studies overwhelmingly show that spanking is seriously harmful to children, that it damages their brains, lowers their IQ’s, reduces their ability to make good choices, increases their aggression/violence, and leads to a pattern of negative behaviors that simply require more violence on the part of the parent, the scientific evidence against spanking should be clear. When a Christian couples that scientific evidence with the nonviolent teachings of Jesus from the New Testament, along with a warning from Jesus himself that it would be better to be thrown into the sea than to harm a child, there aren’t many arguments left to support the old way of doing things.

I love you, therefore I hit you…er, SPANK you. {How Christians conflate love with violence} – Elizabeth Esther

Now, let’s talk about “hostile attribution bias.” This means you live your life expecting people to be mean to you. UM. WHOA. Hi, self. My ingrained response to the world is that people are mean and scary and out to get me. I am constantly surprised when people love me–and I have to repress the urge to be suspicious when they are kind.

Here’s my default thought process: What do they want from me? Why are they being nice? They must have an ulterior motive! Don’t they know I’m a bad person? I can’t trust them! BLOCK THEM OUT.

The hardest thing for me to do is receive love. There, I said it. I have a huge fear of intimacy because I just don’t trust people. This is my trauma wound.

I can’t go back and change my past. But I can change my future. I don’t have to perpetuate the cycle of violence. I can do something different. You can, too. Our children deserve it.

In which I talk about spanking – Sarah Bessey (she lists great resources for further reading)

The short list of why I don’t spank

  1. Personally, I believe it’s morally wrong to strike a child. Also, it isn’t Biblical.
  2. Hitting teaches hitting as a solution.
  3. It creates an adversarial relationship between parents and children – Us vs. Them.
  4. It can easily lead to abuse.
  5. It doesn’t work over the long term.
  6. It promotes anger or gives place to anger in both the parent and the child.
  7. It doesn’t teach inner discipline.
  8. It creates a behavioural response out of fear instead of love.

ON GENDER EQUALITY IN THE CHURCH

women, men & church: what hurts, what helps – Kathy Escobar (here are her “what helps,” but you should really read the whole post and consider “what hurts.”)

Here are some tangible and practical “best practices” that can help us move toward greater equality in the church:

  • Friendship. This is a core practice that opens doors to equality. We’ve got to find ways to practice being true friends together.
  • Be intentional about inviting, including, empowering, and releasing women into all levels of leadership. It won’t drop out of the sky so needs to be clear and strong message–“we need you, we want you, and here’s how we can make this happen.
  • Pay properly and equally. Period. Figure it out.
  • Avoid gender-biased comments (on both sides) about looks, athleticism, feelings, and other stereotypical ways of viewing both sexes.
  • Create intentional and brave conversations about gender in our communities–places to share, evaluate, process, adopt new practices together.
  • Ask at every table of leadership: how can we make room, make this table more balanced, who’s missing?
  • Recognize the realities of childbearing and honor it completely. That means keeping positions open, building flexible schedules, re-thinking the plans for advancement in churches & ministries.
  • The older generation of both men and women mentoring, supporting, encouraging, calling-out the younger generation of female leaders. Not just women supporting women but men and women supporting men and women.
  • Consider how to support women practically and tangibly through seminary and then ministry related to childcare help, books, mentorship, and financial support.
  • Start naming the elephant in the room before certain meetings and planning sessions get started–“We know women haven’t had an equal voice in this before. How can we shift that dynamic in here right now so everyone is heard?
  • Conference organizers and local have a solid and clear list of female speakers to draw from and use them; intentionally work toward balance.
  • Men showing up for gender equality conversations as much as women do (I added this one).

Women Like Me Are Abused Worldwide.  Here’s Why. – Anne Graham Lotz

If you doubt that sin is the root of the discrimination of women, look at Jesus. He was raised in a religious culture where people were taught that women, at the very least, were much less then men. As a rabbi (as his disciples called him), he should have discriminated against women as every other man did. But there was a significant difference between Jesus and everyone else. He had no sin in his heart.

As a result, we see him. . .

honoring women as he did when Mary anointed him with oil during a dinner in Simon’s home,

singling women out for praise as he did the widow who placed her “mite” in the temple treasury,

caring for women as he did the desperately ill woman who reached out to touch the hem of his garment,

protecting women as he did the one caught in adultery who was in danger of being stoned to death,

giving women new purpose and elevated status as he did the ones who were the first to encounter him after his resurrection and were commissioned by him to go tell the men what they had seen and experienced.

The New Wine of the Kingdom: Equality in the Church – Brian Wiele

You drink what the host is pouring… but unfortunately, within a short period of time after the New Testament era, church leadership rudely refused to drink what the host had poured, and declared, just as Jesus had predicted, that the old wine of patriarchal dominance would serve the church just fine.

Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical Protestant – the majority of the distinctive church families have continued to trot out their preferred vintage – sometimes with new labels on it like complementarian – and then audaciously decreed it to be the blend that Jesus preferred and recommended. They control the cellar, and their hierarchical vintage is thus the only one poured. As a result, anyone advocating that the church drink of the new spirit of equality is at best considered suspicious and liberal, and at worst divisive and heretical.

I’m convinced that Jesus poured a new wine – men and women, both created in his image – into new wineskins, a Trinitarian model of shared leadership.  Throw whatever labels you like at me, the refreshing blend of gender equality will continue to be served in my congregation. I’m drinking what was poured for me in order to honor the one who poured it, Jesus Christ.

ON MISOGYNY, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PATRIARCHY

Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward – Rachel Held Evans (read Rachel’s fantastic elaboration on these 6 ways forward:)

1.  We must educate Christians about abuse, bullying, and misuse of power in church settings.
2. We must value and preserve accountability.
3.   We must take misogyny and homophobia seriously.
4.  We must measure “success” by fruit of the Spirit, not numbers.
5.   We must protect people over reputations.
6.  We must treat our pastors and church leaders as human beings–flawed, complex, and beloved by God.

The Spin of Patriarchy – a podcast with Aimee Byrd and Rachel Miller (with links to related posts).  They discuss these questions:

On the surface, Patriarchy families may look very harmless and even attractive. Everyone wears a smile, they tend to have a quiverfull of obedient children that they homeschool, and they present to you a formula for success. But what exactly does the husband and father’s “authority” entail? Should a husband be a mediator for the family, acting as a priest between them and the Lord? Is a college education wasted on daughters, because they are being raised to be homemakers? What’s the deal with stay-at-home daughters? Can women work outside of the home, alongside other men? What happens if you don’t have a happy disposition that reflects positively on your father or husband? Is a woman’s worth tied to the number of children she has? Do you believe that women are always prone to rebellion and satanic deceit and therefore need to be directed into submission? Is it a sin to educate your child through a different avenue than homeschool? And how does this all play out politically?

Why I Won’t Watch #RayRice – Angela Denker

Biblical traditionalists often forget to mention that the language of submission in the Bible is grounded in mutuality. For each instruction to women, Paul has an instruction to men as well. Relationship—love–is meant to be sacrificing, loving, and kind. Violence, vengeance, of any kind is condemned from the Old Testament to the New. Vengeance is mine, says the LORD.

Jesus himself says this, in his first sermon: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me … to proclaim liberty to the captives … to set the oppressed free,” (Luke 4:18-19, quoting Isaiah).

Jesus died so that no person might lose her personhood. So that no one would be controlled, manipulated, and abused. The love Jesus practiced and preached was a love that lifted up those who were brought low; a love that set people free from the roles society gave them and left them identified by an eternal life, an eternal light that could never be extinguished.

Domestic violence puts out that light. As Janay Rice-Palmer crumples to the ground in that video, she is reduced to something less than human.


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Did Kirk Cameron say that husbands have authority over the life of their wives?

I was browsing Netflix a couple weeks ago, looking for something to watch while I did bookwork, when I noticed Kirk Cameron’s 2013 film, “Unstoppable,” in which he addresses the problem of pain and suffering and how you can reconcile that with the idea of a loving and good God.  Out of curiosity, I hit play.

I’m not writing this post to critique the movie, but I do want to address Kirk Cameron’s comments about husbands and wives as he is sharing the Creation story.  I find his remarks problematic, and I would like to do my part to make sure there is something on the internet pointing this out.

Kirk sets up the movie with a heart-wrenching story about friends of his who lost their ten year old son to cancer after years of pain and grueling treatments.  A couple weeks before he died, the young boy asked his dad if he could fix him.  Holy cow, I’m crying again just thinking about this poor family.  I can’t bear it.

So Kirk asks the question, Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?  And he begins to answer this question by going to the beginning of pain and suffering (the Fall), first describing the creation of Adam and Eve and the perfection of their life in the Garden.  Here is a short video in which Kirk explains why he goes back to the Garden of Eden in this film:

Around twelve minutes into “Unstoppable”, he is describing how God created man from dust and then he says,

Adam, he’s made of the earth (that’s what Adam means, it means dirt), and he’s not like any of the other creatures.  Not only is he made in the image of God, he is given authority to rule over every other creature.  He’s given privilege and authority to name every other living creature.  When you have authority to name something, that means you have authority over their life. 

After God makes Eve, Kirk goes on to say,

So now, man is no longer alone.  He has his woman, and the two of them are beautifully, perfectly designed to compliment one another.  They have become one flesh.  Adam says, “This is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.  She shall be called woman.”  He names her.
 

And then God gives them The Assignment, The Great Mission.  And that is, to be fruitful, multiply, have lots and lots of babies, fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule it, take dominion over all of God’s creation.

Adam had one job, and it was to tend and keep the Garden.  In other words, to cultivate and guard.  To beautify and  protect.  Well, if I said that to you, “Guard this.  Protect what has been entrusted to you,” the obvious question is, “From what?”  And this is the worst part of the story up to this point.

Adam is in the Garden, with his wife, the most precious thing in the Garden.  He is to be protecting her, beautifying her, doing his job.  And a serpent enters the Garden.  This is exactly what Adam should have been watching for.  He should have smelled him a mile away and ran to him and crushed his head the second he saw him.  Especially after he saw what he was doing to his wife!  This is the ultimate breakdown of a man’s responsibility.  This is a story of a man throwing his wife under the bus and using her as a guinea pig in the human experiment.  Remember, God had said to Adam, “the day you eat of this fruit, you will surely die.” (emphasis mine)

First of all, Kirk is not “shooting from the hip.”  The script has been carefully crafted and he is performing it, even though the effect is to seem off-handed and natural.  So when he gives special attention to clarify that naming something is in effect having authority over their life, and then breezes past the statement, “Adam named Eve,” the message is very loud and clear that Adam had authority over Eve’s life.

Did he?  Really?

Kirk Cameron is clearly understanding the Creation narrative through a complementarian/patriarchal lens, and is reading inherent roles into the text that simply aren’t there.  He believes there is an implicit authority given to men to rule over animals and women that is signified through the act of naming.  However, as Kirk states after Eve’s creation, God gives them both authority over the animals, although Eve was not there for their naming.  And the truth is, God named both the man and the woman Adam (human-being in Hebrew), and never told Adam to name his wife.

When God created mankind, he created them in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female and blessed them.  And he named them “Mankind” [adam] when they were created.  Gen. 5:1b-2.

God did not create a hierarchy of authority at Creation.  Adam and Eve are both given the same directive from God: “And that is, to be fruitful, multiply, have lots and lots of babies, fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule it, take dominion over all of God’s creation” (Kirk’s paraphrase of Genesis 1:28).  Kirk describes Adam’s “responsibilities” as “one job…to tend and keep the Garden.  In other words, to cultivate and guard.  To beautify and  protect.”  And then he extends those descriptions to Adam’s responsibility to Eve, “He is to be protecting her, beautifying her, doing his job.”  But that isn’t coming from the Bible.  That is coming from a complementarian patriarchal reading-into of the text.  God created Eve as Adam’s ezer-kenegdo (“strength-corresponding to” rather than the traditional mistranslation of “helper suitable to”) and gave both of them the authority to rule over creation, sans gender-specific roles.

In Marg Mowzcko’s article, A Suitable Helper, she says,

The whole purpose of the Creation of Eve narrative in Genesis 2:21-24 is to emphasise the equality of husband and wife.  To read it any other way is to miss the point and distort its meaning! . . . When Adam looked at his new partner he exclaimed that she was “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone”!  A profound expression of equality.  There is no hierarchy here! But to further emphasise the point, verse 24 says that when a husband and wife join in marriage they become one flesh – a point which Jesus also highlighted (Matthew 19:4-5, Mark 10:6-7).  Men and women together are made in God’s image.  God’s ideal at creation was that the husband and wife be completely equal and rule over nature together (Genesis 1:26-28).  Complete gender equality is the Godly ideal we should be aiming for.

I could say so much more from watching Kirk’s film, but the concept of Adam having inherent authority over the animals and Eve because of naming them was a striking error that needed correction.

Blessings to you as you have dominion over Creation today! – and I would hope you do that by making the world a better place, reconciling things to the beauty and perfection of God’s original design.  Carry on, warriors!


Marg Mowzcko just posted this excellent article yesterday, relating directly to this issue of gender roles as understood from the Creation narrative: Kenegdo: Is the woman in Genesis 2 subordinate, suitable, or similar to the man?

I would also highly recommend this article by Bob Edwards: Must women keep silent?  1 Corinthians 14 – The Apostle Paul and the traditions of men.  He discusses how proponents of male-authority point to the pre-Fall Genesis account to support their views.

Don’t forget to “Like” our FB page if you haven’t done so already!  We post lots of articles pertinent to empowering women to find their callings as ezer-kenegdos alongside their brothers in Christ, and to raise awareness of areas where redemption work is needed.