About six months ago a group of people committed to do ‘what they could, with what they had, where they were’ to address gender inequality and hierarchy in the Church, something that contradicts Christ’s command that “it will not be so among you” in Matthew 20:26. As a part of that commitment, juniaproject.com was launched. Thank you for being wonderful participants of this new and growing online community! It is amazing to see what God has done in such a short time. Here are some highlights from our first month in the online space:
Website Launch August 27
We coordinated our website launch with the “Submission Synchroblog” event sponsored by Rachel Held Evans, submitting (no pun intended!) two original posts: Submission and the Creation Account and Submission – A Personal Story.
- Christian and Feminist? Together we began to take back the “F” word, with several writers sharing their views on feminism: How I Became a Christian Feminist, Why I am Womanist and Feminist, The Declaration of Sentiments. This will be an ongoing process, since the term needs to be redefined and defused in Christian circles.
- Theology of Women We started unpacking some scriptural and theological support for the full inclusion of women as equal partners in the home and the church: Lost in Translation, Meet Condescending Bible Translation Guy, Were the Disciples Unschooled, Ordinary Men?
- Personal Stories Several writers shared personal stories about how the church’s views of women impact our daily experience: Gender Hierarchy isn’t the Reason I Left, but…, Living Between the Mommy Wars, No Middle Ground for Women in the Church, Hyphenating My Last Name – Deal Breaker?, and A Place for All Women in the Church?
Expanding our Horizons
One of our goals is to introduce you to other people who are writing and think about biblical equality. So we were pleased that you made use of the Resources page (293 clicks) and headed over to Christians for Biblical Equality (108 clicks) and Marg Mowczko‘s excellent repository of articles (89 clicks). Amazon had another 100 clicks – would love to hear if you bought anything! We hope these resources and the links included in each post help to give you a sense of just how much support there is in the evangelical world for the egalitarian perspective. (And please let us know if there are people and resources we could include.)
We also enjoyed promoting the “Act Like Men? Broadening the Conversation about Men and Women in the Church” conference held last week in Ontario, Canada. This was the brainchild of a group of pastors who wanted to share a more egalitarian perspective than what will be heard at Mark Driscoll’s upcoming conference to be held in the same area. As one organizer said “We suggest that the Christian life is less about leading and more about how we serve one another”. Pastor Kevin Makins of Eucharist Church shared this on Facebook after the event: “A little over 200 people joined us tonight. Insane. Clearly we are hungry for more conversation around gender, inclusion, justice, and mutual submission. ‘Act Like Men? Round 2‘ anybody?” (If there is an event coming up in your area that directly addresses biblical equality, sent us a note through the Contact page and we’ll see how we might help promote it.)
Top 5 Posts in the Last 30 Days
- 5 Things I Wish Male Egalitarian Pastors Would Do (3800 views!)
- Let My People Go: The Impact of Patriarchy in the Church
- I am a Woman
- Submission and the Creation Account
- Lost in Translation, Part 1 and Part 2
Some Favorite Comments from Readers
“I faced a lot of opposition to my calling recently because I’m a woman pastor and many don’t accept it in my area; your poem was a real balm on my heart today, thank you so much for this! God bless you!” Nancy
“I have found the study of the original Greek and Hebrew so very important and helpful. Thank you so much for drawing attention to these translation issues as they have helped me so much in my walk with Christ. I used to think God would explain these confusing gender passages in heaven, but I am so happy that he chose to show me sooner.” Kd
“Wouldn’t it be interesting to go the other way as well, to read all of the verses — for both men and women — with the word ‘helping’ instead of ‘ruling’? The bishops in 1 Tim 3 would be chosen because they are ‘helping’ at home. ‘Because how can a man take care of the church of God if he cannot help his own home?’ Indeed.” cd
“I am indebted here to my oldest daughter who, at 18 (21 years ago), held my feet to the fire and told me exactly how it made her feel to see only men serve the Lord’s supper. She will not take communion where women are excluded from serving the bread and the cup. I will no longer lead a communion service where only men are allowed to serve.” Lamar
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, ‘When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.’ My teacher Roberta Hestenes asked, ‘And when He calls a woman, does He bid her to make cookies?’ What a terrible message these bibles are sending to young girls! I run a faith based non-profit in south central Los Angeles. You don’t see many ‘princesses’ going into that sort of work.” Dawn
“Something that stood out to me was the ‘waging war on half the church’ line. While yes, it’s definitely half the church that’s being oppressed, it’s the entire church that’s suffering because of those teachings. Many men (and women) are taught that men are distinctly better than women and women were created simply for childbirth and to be our helpers. … How can someone possibly see teachings like these as truth after reading the entire Bible, having a relationship with Christ, and hey, I don’t know, ever meeting a woman?” Ben
A Tie for “Best Online Discussion”
One of our favorite things is engaging in conversation with you. These two posts prompted some great dialogue:
Little Princesses and Mighty Warriors (30 comments) There were strong feelings about gender-specific marketing, especially to children and in particular, these “Princess” and “Warrior” Bibles. Loved this comment:
“Well, some girls are princesses, but some girls are warrior princesses and they should get a bible, too.” LA
5 Things I Wish All Male Egalitarian Pastors Would Do and More Things We Wish Male Egalitarian Pastors Would Do (30 +17 comments) We appreciated the input of several pastors in this very practical discussion!
We are very grateful to the accomplished team of contributors who joined us to make these conversations so rich and diverse: Khristi Adams, Marianne Akslen Mandujano, Harriet Reed Congdon, Bob Evans, Jody Fernando, Meredith Anne Miller, Wes Molebash, and Heather Penny.
Thanks for your support and encouragement in this new venture. Please send us your feedback on topics and what you would like to see in this space. And be sure to let us know how can we pray for you!
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