Thank God for those who protect a woman’s call! “I’m not sure I can continue as a leader in this church.” So exhausted from lack of sleep, and reeling from the many personal life changes swirling around me, I could not believe those words had escaped from my mouth. Seated directly across from my former […]
We love the Egalitarian blogging community and to show our love this Valentines Day, we want to offer you all FREE PRINTABLE valentines! But we know that you, our Junia Project readers, don’t want just any ordinary valentines. So we collaborated with the incredibly talented Honey, I love You Print Shop to bring you something really […]
When I teach about the Trinity in my introductory theology class, the topic of God and gender often comes up. “Is God male?” Let’s think about that.
The Bible often refers to God with masculine personal pronouns. Following this, Christians usually say “He,” “Him, “His,” and “Himself,” when referring to God. Trinitarian language is predominately masculine (“Father” and “Son”) though “Holy Spirit” is more elusive. Many popular Christian books celebrate the more masculine qualities of God (especially books for men and books on ‘leadership’): God is a hero, a conqueror, a warrior, a triumphant king, and so forth.
Even so, I would be extremely hesitant about saying that God IS male; in fact, I would push further to argue that such a notion applied to God, absolutely and without qualification, is both false and misleading.
I was a freshman in college and I believed that I needed to take the backseat of Christianity.
I was headed to Columbia, Missouri with some peers to do homeless ministry. People were piling into cars, and it came down to who was getting shot gun. Without a fight, I took the backseat. I told one of my peers: “I will take the back seat, I guess I am going to have to get used to this submission thing.” Defeated, I quietly slid into the back seat.
Learning to be an advocate for women is difficult when you have to unlearn years of a complementarian mentality, male privilege and the effect of centuries of patriarchy.
But I believe this is what we are called to pursue.
This has been my journey. Sometimes I think it has been difficult, but what is more difficult is seeing how women are being oppressed. Every man needs to face the messiness of what it means to be egalitarian, regardless of how uncomfortable or challenging it may be.
While at times I identify myself as egalitarian, sometimes it is more useful to say I’m a recovering sexist/complementarian/patriarchist. This reminds me I’m always on a journey in pursuing equality – not only because it means liberation for women from oppressive structures, but also because it means liberation for me.
So here I share a few things I have learned in my journey about being an advocate for women.
This post is a Top 3 Winner for The Junia Project’s 2017 blog contest. “It was an American supermodel who first showed me an egalitarian view of the Bible. Kathy Ireland shared with me in an interview about her first modeling trip overseas when she was 18, when her loneliness led her to read the Bible her mom had slipped into her suitcase, and how Jesus’ love, honor, and care for women led her to God.”
In 2015, a few months before my wedding, I wrote a blog for the Junia Project titled, 6 Things Egalitarian Marriage is Not. At that point, I had only a theological and biblical understanding of egalitarian marriage. Today, Ryan and I are just just shy of our 2 year anniversary, and I’ve got some egalitarian newlywed experience to offer as a sequel. Two different, individual people coming together to live as one flesh, come to find, is a process! It’s all too easy to live in the world of “me, myself, and I” when it comes to feelings, thoughts, opinions, and decisions. I continue to learn what it means to be “us”, and that what I do always has a direct effect on my husband. With that said, these are the relational dynamics that I’ve found to reveal whether or not an egalitarian marriage is underway.
“I’m looking for book recommendations that are egalitarian friendly and address the subjects of manhood and masculinity. I can’t find anything and our men’s ministry leaders are asking me. Please help!! Thank you!!” B.
An interesting thing happened on the way to writing this post. Since I am not a man, I asked eight men for book suggestions and got back ZERO recommendations. Not because they don’t care about the topic, but because 1) they were not aware of any resources on this, or 2) because there has not been much interest in studying “biblical manhood” in their circles. ALL of them told me they were very interested in anything we could find! It is encouraging that manhood and masculinity are not “hot topics” in church circles that support the shared leadership of men and women in ministry and socials contexts. But there is still a need to provide resources for churches that push back against the harmful “authentic manhood” rhetoric that is popular in some Christian circles today. Here are three books that would work well for individual or group study and are written from an egalitarian perspective.
Sometimes I find it amusing that our churches of today seem to be more anti-women than the Bible is. We doubt women’s ability to preach truth, when the first person to share the gospel – He is risen! – was a woman. We question the idea of women in leadership, when once upon a time […]
On the third Wednesday of each month I set up camp in a conference room at the hospital where I work. I set out water bottles, a tray of cookies, and boxes of tissue. I post signs throughout the hallway, and then sit down and wait. As the clock nears 6:00 pm they start to arrive – the surviving spouses of the hospice patients I have served. Sometimes they smile when they see me, other times they make it through the door just barely, a bewildered and tired look in their eyes.
It seems odd that I, a 29 year old with less than 5 years of marriage under my belt, would be tasked with running a support group for bereaved spouses. In reality I do very little to ease the burden of grief. I give group members permission to talk about their loved ones and their loss. I sit and bear witness; sometimes I have to tell myself to stay and be present, and other times I am captivated and drink in their stories.
The latter was the case with a man who attended my group in March. He was old enough to be my parent and then some, but by far the youngest person in the group. He was also the most reserved.
It’s wedding season! Today Katie Manning shares some creative ways she and her husband, Jon, applied their egalitarian values to the engagement and wedding experience. At the end of the post is a link to our free resource for planning an egalitarian wedding ceremony. Here’s Katie: As my husband and I approach our 12th wedding anniversary, and as we’re attending another round of friends’ weddings this summer, I find myself thinking again about the many ways “traditional” engagements and weddings in the U.S. still rely on symbols and rituals that portray women as property to be exchanged between men.
So to celebrate our anniversary, here are some things that worked for Jon and I when we wanted our engagement and wedding to reflect our egalitarian relationship. THE PROPOSALS – The final “s” in this heading is not a typo. Jon and I had been dating for over two years and knew we wanted to get married. I decided to propose. He needed a new Bible, so I got him one as a Valentine’s Day gift, and inside I placed a homemade bookmark that said some lovely things and concluded, “Will you marry me?” His face was beaming.
In today’s post Patrick Franklin presents egalitarian theology in a nutshell. He writes, “In order to understand difficult passages of Scripture, including the parts of Scripture that seemingly place limitations on the full equality of women in the church and in the home, it’s helpful to consider the “big picture” message of the Bible with respect to the equality of men and women. The following 10 points offer a quick summary of what I understand to be the teaching of Scripture, interpreted in the light of tradition, reason, and experience of God.”
1. Genesis 1–2 teaches that men and women were created to be equal. Both men and women were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–28) and both were included in the vocational mandate to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and rule over all that God has made…
In a recent Christians for Biblical Equality blog post, Kevin Giles showed how people used the Bible to justify slavery in a way that is similar to the justification of gender-based hierarchy. In the 19th century United States, pro-slavery theologians made a comprehensive biblical case for the rightness of slavery. Based on a flat reading of […]
Ephesians 5:21-33 is often cited as a proof text to endorse male leadership in the home.
In this text, wives are instructed to submit to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Pretty clear, right?
Well, perhaps not. As with the other passages, we need to consider the broader context to discern what’s going on.
The most important thing to notice is that the relationship between husbands and wives is not the main theme that Paul is addressing.
I was recently asked to summarize why I support women in church leadership in thirty seconds or less. This was my response… Deborah leading Israel (Judges 4) Huldah interpreting the law for the nation (2 Kings 22 & 2 Chronicles 34) Esther saving God’s people from genocide (Book of Esther) Miriam leading worship (Exodus 15) […]