Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood

About me & this blog

I love the Lord. I’ve gave my life to him 22 years ago, and  have been spreading His word since I was 16 – as a small group leader in an organization for Christian teens, as a Sunday School teacher, a Good News Club teacher, an apologetics blogger, wherever.

I always believed wives should submit to their husbands, in a way husbands don’t have to. That is the first idea a Bible student probably get on a plain reading of any current translation. It was no big issue for me. I did think women have to be pickier when choosing husbands than vice versa, because of the submission issue. But I planned on working for the Lord and not getting married, so I never thought about it much.

Some time ago, I started listening to people who talked good Christianese and seemed, on the surface, to be serious about Christianity. They had this weird way of seeing Christianity in pink and blue: Christian men should be and do A, B and C (for example, be bold and take initiative), but if women are/ do that, it’s bad. Women ought to be X, Y and Z. They said they supported something called “patriarchy“, but I had no idea then what it meant. They also spoke a lot of so-called “Biblical womanhood.”

I swallowed a few of their ideas because they seemed, at first glance, “Godly.” It was not “Godly”. It was poison. With terrible cramps from this poison, I went to God and asked Him to show me the truth. . He led me to study the Word, to look up the context and even some New Testament Greek. What I found caused me to vomit out all the poison I swallowed there. But it wasn’t just the poison inside the cups that hurt. It was the cups themselves that had very sharp edges, the people claiming to be “Biblical.”

And now I walk around with a message: Biblical womanhood and manhood” is a myth. God does not place women in the small box that some people want to put them in. And patriarchy is idolatry of men. I can defend that view from scripture. I can also show, in some places, how patriocentric views/ Biblical manhood and womanhood views contradict each other, or lead to very un-Christlike behavior in the real world.

(In my studies of what God really say about the genders, I also happened to come to a different conclusion of submission than before. I am very enthusiastic about submission now, and can recommend it to every believer: Wives should submit to their spouses, and husbands should do the same! We should submit to our church leaders – and they should submit to us! But while I can defend my new view on submission, it is not central to my blog. My “submit, how” posts, for example, are something I’d have agreed with as a complementarian too. )

Nonsense, misogeny and idolatry in the name of complementarianism/ patriarchy is my real target. Things like “The Bible say women should stay at home” or “the man should be the home priest “, neither of which is in the Bible, is the kind of thing that drives this blog. If anyone gives hateful drivel like When a husband is abusive, the wife should submit even if she gets killed“, he is to use the words of Jesus, “straining gnats and swallowing camels.

Christ came to “heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives … to set at liberty them that are bruised…” His yoke is easy and his burden light. He doesn’t lock women up in that box. He taught that hearing the word and keeping it is more important than raising great children, and sitting at His feet learning “a better part” for a woman than housekeeping. At least one married woman traveled around with Jesus with no mention where her husband was, and Jesus clearly did not believe in the man-as-provider box, as women looked after him from their own income. Christ doesn’t force men into leadership roles just because they are male, but command them, as anyone else, to serve. I want people, male and female to be all God called them to. Women should not be limited by commandments of men. Men should not be enabled to sinfully Lord it over others. For one thing, the world sees what Christians do and reject the God they see in Christians as unjust. For another, loving the Lord above all mean a willingness to follow Him, to reject your culture’s ways – including “Biblical” manhood and womanhood culture, or patriarchal culture – for the plans He has.

Comments on: "About me & this blog" (16)

  1. Hello! awesome intro, nice to read/meet you :-)

  2. Very interesting viewpoint! It makes me wish I had stumbled upon this sooner, during a time of intense attacks from another christian family, and satan. (This other christian family thought it was the mans job to ‘slap her upside’ if the wife disobeyed the husband.) Your use of scripture brings forth several new points I had yet to consider. Thank you very much for sharing them!!

    • Dreams of Dunamis, do you mean that he believe in hitting his wife, and he calls himself a Christian?
      That is terrible! You may find the discussion under this blog post interesting: http://thecommandmentsofmen.blogspot.com/2010/08/buckle-up-for-these-links.html

      (If I misunderstood, please correct me.)

      • Yes. He does and firmly believes he is.

        His wife, believes she was told by the Holy Spirit, to submit to him, and that then things will go well for their family. And so she does. He is a public school teacher, and all of their many children are schooled at home by his wife. They all seem happy and well-adjusted.

        Our family was beginning to become friends with them, when this topic came up in a painful way.

        At the time I was on much medication for ADD/ADHD, which made it almost impossible to adhere to normal night time sleeping hours. But during one trip up to the mountains, I was able to re-adjust it back a few hours, and I even found I felt so much better, physically. I was excited to share this discovery with them, for I sensed it was of God’s doing.

        As soon as I did, the man became very self-righteous, and the woman exclaimed “so you CAN do it!”, and then from that point onward, I was ignored and shunned, and treated as if I didn’t really exist. What they did instead, was turn to my husband and said “why don’t you just slap her upside?” My husband didn’t know quite how to handle the issue. All he could say, was “That doesn’t work with my wife.” Then the woman tried to offer some other possible problem solving solutions to my husband, like throwing frozen marbles in the bed, in an effort to get me out of it when he wanted me to. My husband then changed the subject best he could, and we went home shortly after that.

        One good thing did come out of that confrontation though. I spent the next several months, doing an intense study of God’s Word, on the topic of wifely submission. (Though obviously not as intense as yours, for you brought up some good points that I had yet to discover on my own.) I had grown up with an abusive father, so for me, the question of how to, (or perhaps I should say how should,) was of great importance to me.

        (In case you were wondering, we now live up in the mountains, which has improved my health greatly. My meds are also still being adjusted, which is helping me to have a more regular sleep schedule. If you’re wondering how things are between me and my husband now, read: http://dreamsofdunamis.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/this-is-satan-attacking-us/ )

  3. Hi Retha,

    How do I send you an email? I love your blog and look forward to your new posts. Thanks for writing on these important topics.

    In Christ,
    Danielle

  4. After reading more of your blog entries, I wanted to show my appreciation for what your writing does for me. So I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award!
    http://dreamsofdunamis.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/the-versatile-blogger-award/
    Blessings,
    C. Dunamis

  5. (The question part of this comment was un-spammed by blog owner. The insults were deleted.-Bold words added by Retha)
    May I ask a respectful honest question? Well, I will anyway.

    Do you find that exegesis for the sake of edifying gender (yours), and truly expressly for that is a virtuous endeavor? You have a category section about favorite passages and the vast majority, perhaps ALL of them are proof texts to edify women, empower, whatever. I wonder if that is a good thing?
    Would it be a good thing if there were such gender focused Bible commentary about empowering men?

    • I find exegesis that edify a good thing (as long as it is the true meaning), as believers need to be edified. I do not want to do anything solely to edify one gender, but to let God’s kingdom, His good news, come to all. The category you refer to is named “favorite complementarian passages.” These are not proof texts to edify women, but proof texts to keep them below men! Do I endorse proof texting to favor one gender? Not at all! In fact, the point of that section is to speak against using one-gender-favoring proof texts!

      There are lots of gender focused Bible commentary favoring men:
      1) Based on their Bible commentary, many denominations do not allow woman pastors, some not even female deacons, or women serving the communion bread and wine.
      2) Many books on marriage say wives should submit in a way husbands should not.
      3) Leading church figures say women should not take jobs where they will have authority over men, and some, like Paige Patterson, say wives should submit to abuse from their husbands. Even worse, some leaders in the “Christian” patriarchy movement say or imply women should not protect their children against abuse (See my “THAT question” section).
      4) Many religious people live by confessions like the Danvers statement which limit women to certain roles, and the Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy that limit them even more. The latter blows up male authority out of proportion to anything else – out of proportion to the authority of God, the authority of all believers, the authority of wives, government authority… Also out of proportion to the works of Jesus and the spirit, the glory of eternal life, or anything else about Christianity.

      I oppose gender focused Bible commentary “empowering” one gender in a way that is unjust to the other gender and not in context with the big picture of God’s revelation. God, after all, is just, and made both genders in His image to reign the earth.

      And I do not have the sole focus of edifying women.

      My first focus is to glorify Christ. He never said: “By your hierarchies will they know you are my disciples” but “by your love for one another shall they know that you are my disciples. (Joh. 13:35) Love is not to push someone below yourself, to one-sidedly let the one (wife, in the case of patriarchy supporters) do everything in life to obey the whim of the other.

      People who cannot choose the side of a molested girl over her molesting father, because they believe so strongly in hierarchy (for more on that claim, see http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/tag/that-question/), simply know nothing of the love proclaimed by Jesus who said: When you did it not for the least of these, you did it not for me.” (Not that I think all victims in life are female and all or most criminals male, but the point here is showcasing the problems with gender worship.)

      • NorrinRadd said:

        Egalitarianism / Mutuality is not one-sided edification toward women only. It is liberating and uplifting to men to know that we don’t need to feel intimidated by strong, intelligent women. There is no need to feel resentful or emasculated toward a woman in authority at work or church. There is no need at home to micromanage or shoulder all the burdens when one has a full partner rather than a child in an adult body.

      • NorrinRadd said:

        Um… I think I wanted my reply to go to empathologicalism, but got confused by the way the Reply buttons appear and disappear.

        *embarrassed*

  6. I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award at http://growingchristianwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/one-lovely-blog-award/.

  7. Hi Retha,
    Just wanted you to know that I’ve nominated you for another blogging award called the Reader Appreciation Award. (http://dreamsofdunamis.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/reader-appreciation-award/) You truely are a gem worth sharing with others time and time again!
    Peace and blessings to you,
    C. Dunamis

  8. Wow! Had no idea you were out there. Great work! You might enjoy my blog, too.

  9. Femi Okunlola said:

    This perspective is quiet interesting.

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