Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood

sullivan_man_upI have heard variations of this question more than once, usually from guys who have very misogynous views. But this is IMO a worthy question: Why should men “man up” and women should not “woman up?” To quote one of the askers in his own words:

Men have tons of programs in the church to “Man up!” Either they are stupid or women are more moral, which one is it?

I answered him this way:

Your “man up” question is actually a good one. There are men’s programs in the church, and even more women’s programs1.

But men are asked to step up, and women to not usurp, to step down, to encourage men to lead. No, men are not stupider, nor are women more moral. The point is that people with a men-should-lead view see, when men and women are equally wise and equally involved in decision making, men who should step up and women who should step down. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine that you were part of a church that really took Luke 9:46-48 to heart.

46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” – Luke 9

In this church, the highest priority is children’s church, training Sunday School teachers for children, getting children involved, training parents in how to treat children, speaking to children, and making sermons child-friendly. In fact, single adults and the aged feel neglected at your imagined church, because everything is done for the children!

Would your church, by agreeing children are important and acting by it, be obeying Jesus’ message in this passage?

No. Because Read the rest of this entry »

(Note: This article will use slight generalizations like “women are used to…” and “women constantly get messages that…” There are exceptions to almost every rule. (Is there an exception to the rule that there are exceptions to every rule?) You are free to disagree, if you feel that what I say is not generally true.)


There is an assumption about women that is commonly made where 50 Shades of Grey is discussed on the Internet: People, both believers and unbelievers, claim that this book is evidence that women actually want subordination. Gender hierarchy Christians™ then add that the activities in these books pervert “natural”, “God-ordained” female subordination. But, so their narrative goes, the popularity of the books proves that women are created with a desire for subordination. The most infamous example is probably this quote from Doug Wilson, that first appeared on the Internet in an article commenting on 50 SoG:

“Because we have forgotten the biblical concepts of true authority and submission, or more accurately, have rebelled against them, we have created a climate in which caricatures of authority and submission intrude upon our lives with violence.

When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us…we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.

But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies… True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.”

But that conclusion does not fit the facts. Read the rest of this entry »

Biblical™ Womanhood theology, if consistently applied, is worse news for widowed women, divorced women, not-married(-yet) women, and girls of all ages, than it is for married women.

The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood does not officially say women should live with male relatives, not go to college, not work outside the home, and not be independent. But they are – I will motivate my accusation just now – on a road towards the views, by Biblical™ Patriarchy supporters, that I will quote here*:

And does it really make economic sense to invest tens of thousands of dollars for a woman to get an advanced education (often having to go into debt to finance that education) that she will NOT use if she accepts that her highest calling is to be a wife and mother?” – Brian Abshire, quoted from now-deleted material at the Vision Forum ministries website.

Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner believe parents should not raise daughters who are going to compete with men in the marketplace,” but should train their daughters to be “a woman who will be a helpmeet to a man so he can compete in the marketplace.” They speak out against female independence.* Read the rest of this entry »

A complementarian asked me recently:

Just out of curiosity, do you think there is any significance in the fact that God is called a Father, or that Jesus was a man, or that his disciples were men? Or are these just incidental, the reflections of an outdated patriarchical (sic) culture? It’s a little off-topic from our present convo but it might be relevant or at least worth considering. I’ve known people who have a really hard time using the word “Father” to describe God or thinking of God as having any sort of gender. I think those people have sadly been influenced by radical feminist ideology…


The implication, of course, is that by not agreeing with him on a certain topic related to gender issues (we were talking about gender accuracy/ neutrality in Bible translations), I do not understand the significance of God’s alleged maleness.

Perhaps the best way to answer is with a counter-question: Read the rest of this entry »

Today, please do a little thought exercise with me. For the sake of argument, we will concede the complementarian view that head means leader in Eph 5:23.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

With head meaning leader, the husband will be the leader in the way Jesus is the leader. How is Jesus the leader of the church? Read the rest of this entry »

Abraham and Sarah

Sarah and Abraham

(Guest post by LaCigol. Guest posts are not necessarily the opinion of the blog owner)

God changed the name of Abraham’s wife from Sarai (contentious) to Sarah (female ruler). You may have a pink-ruffled-dress Disneyfied idea of what “princess” means, but it is the female of the word used for leaders and influencial people. From that, we can see that God, right from the time of the covenant with Abraham, did not want men to see women as “contentious” when the two disagreed – He wanted believing men to affirm the leadership of their wives.

Meanwhile, he changed the name of the father of believers from “Abram”(exalted father) to “Abraham” (father of many), to indicate that Christian manhood is about nurturing and raising a family, not about standing “exalted” as fathers. From Gen 21:12 we can also see that it was His pattern for believing husbands to be obedient. Read the rest of this entry »

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