Happy New Year!
A great big THANK YOU to all of our readers and guest writers for supporting us in our second full year of blogging at The Junia Project. This was a challenging year for us personally, but it has been encouraging to see that God continues to move forward the cause of advocacy for women in spite of our limitations! Here are the Top Twenty posts of 2015, but first, a brief personal update.
In May Gail’s husband (who is also Kate’s dad) was diagnosed with a type of cancer that required some intensive treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Treatment finished up THIS WEEK and we are pleased to report that there are no signs of cancer. Thanks to all of you who prayed and encouraged us during this difficult season. God has been very present and we are grateful.
Kate also moved 2 hours away in May, which meant figuring out how to co-manage the blog from a distance. Then in July she got engaged and is getting married THIS WEEKEND. We could not be more pleased about the new guy joining our family! Don’t expect to hear much from us over the next few days, as we will be celebrating and enjoying time with our family.
We have never been more convinced that God is determined that the message of the priesthood of ALL believers be heard. Despite the personal challenges that kept the two of us from writing very much, the blog content kept coming in! Of the Top Twenty posts of 2015, 11 were written by guest writers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
So without further adieu, here they are:
#1 5 Reasons Not to Use Gender-Based Jokes in the Pulpit by Rob Dixon
Recently, a friend mentioned his pastor’s habit of occasionally peppering his sermons with gender-based jokes. You know what I mean, the quips about women shopping, or men hunting, or the woman “wearing the pants” in the marriage, or about blonde women being ditzy and men being emotionally distant. And maybe a million more…If you’re in Christian leadership, and you find yourself with a microphone in hand in front of a room full of people waiting on your every word, do everything you can to avoid using stereotypical gender jokes.
(Rob’s post had over 36,000 views in 2015! This makes it the second most viewed post ever.)
#2 5 Reasons to Stop Using 1 Timothy 2:12 Against Women by Gail Wallace
In spite of the lack of consensus and obvious translation difficulties, many continue to cite portions of 1 Timothy 2 as the foundation for their belief in male only leadership in the church…This old and tired argument stubbornly persists, and readers continue to ask for help responding to it. While you don’t want to pull out a blog post or a book in the middle of a conversation, it is possible to craft a short response to serve as an effective starting point. Here’s what that process looked like for me.
#3 6 Things Egalitarian Marriage is Not by Robin Rhine
I have had many conversations about the egalitarian perspective of marriage with friends, family, and others…I become discouraged when what I share is met by preconceived ideas and the things I say hit the anti-heresy wall and slide to the ground without consideration. I want to clear the air for conversations to come for both others and myself…Egalitarian marriage is not a way of living that’s meant to be feared. It is a way to live that is meant for the Kingdom.
#4 5 Myths of Male Headship by Kate Wallace
Since that conversation I have been on high alert for every mention of “male headship” in Evangelical churches. I have heard it in many different contexts, and every single time it was used to elevate men over women – in the family, in marriage, in the Church. It occurred to me that although Evangelicals are known for diving into scripture and analyzing it word for word, we have failed to do this with “headship” in scripture… This has led to 5 myths about “male headship” that have weeded their way into our theology.
(This post was published on December 16, but has already had over 20,000 views.)
#5 Why We Need More Women Pastors by Karen Winslow
As a kid, I often thought pastors were very lucky. They had the joy of helping people, studying the Bible and culture, and making disciples. But pastor was a word for boys. As a Free Methodist, I affirmed women as pastors, but I did not feel called to pastor a church. I was called to teach Bible and pastor university students. I wished more women would be called to the ministry. But I had the notion that I should not advocate for myself or for women’s ordination—this would be self-promotion.
#6 A Response to John Piper – What Does it Mean to be a Man? by Kate Wallace
John Piper seems to have fallen into the cultural narrative that manhood must be earned. And in order for a man to claim Piper’s supposed “manhood” he must exert authority over women. Because egalitarians don’t believe that men have a natural authority over women, Piper then concludes that egalitarians don’t know the difference between men and women…I wish to address this accusation that egalitarians don’t know what it means to be a man or a woman.
#7 10 Ways Men Can Fight Sexism by Allison Quient
People do not like being called out on sexism. Do it anyway. Whether you asked for it or not, as a man you have power and privilege that women do not. Women should not have to live in a world where they are subjected to harmful stereotyping and demeaning jokes. There is more risk for them if they speak out than there is for you. I know that if I get angry or offended I can be dismissed as emotional…
#8 They Say the Church is “Too Feminine” by Kate Wallace
Do I care that men aren’t going to church? Of course I do! I also care that women are leaving the Church! We should be concerned about everyone in the Church and how we can better minister to and disciple them…Yes we need men in our pews. We also need women in our pulpits, on our elder boards, at the communion tables, on the worship teams, and in our denominational leadership. The Church is “too feminine”? No. I’d say the Church isn’t feminine enough.
#9 What You Need to Know about Bathsheba by Dalaina May
As a woman living in a world that still wants me living a secondary role to men, I am inspired by Bathsheba. She faced tragedy that I cannot even comprehend: rape, the murder of her husband, the stillbirth of her child, and the loss of her home and family for the sake of a man’s lust. Yet she was hardly a victim of her circumstances. Bathsheba embodied the strength of passive resistance that honored her God and changed her world.
#10 Co-Pastoring and Marriage: 5 Things That Helped Us Survive It All by Shawna Songer Gaines
We are two pastors who share one office. So the vision we cast, the care we give, and the oversight we administer is done in unison and partnership. We share all responsibilities that pertain to these ends. We divide up the responsibilities that do not. We don’t always agree on everything and we often make mistakes. I’ll give someone an answer, not knowing that Tim had been asked first and had given a different answer. But we both respect the sharing of one office and in doing so, we are careful to speak with one voice.
Rounding out our Top Twenty:
#11 I Don’t Believe in Men in Ministry by Patrick Oden
#12 6 Great Studies on Women in the Bible for Groups by Gail Wallace
#13 Anatomy of an Egalitarian Wedding Ceremony by Gail Wallace
#14 Walking in Rachel Held Evans’ Shoes by Kate Wallace
#15 50 Shades of Grey and Patriarchy: What Exactly Did We Expect? by Dalaina May
#16 Confusing “Equality” with “Sameness”: A Complementarian Misconception by Bob Edwards
#17 Miss & Carry: Toward a Theology of Unrealized Motherhood by Hannah Helms
#18 My Parents: An Example of Mutual Authority in Marriage by Jory Micah Peterson
#19 I’m the Bomb: A Reflection on Dating by Cara Strickland
#20 Feminist Friday: Origins and The First Wave by Kate Wallace
We are excited for what God has in store for The Junia Project in 2016!
Thanks for being a part of this growing movement – we look forward to hearing from you this year!
Gail and Kate Wallace
Image Credit: Unsplash
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