Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

“It’s the feel of a great, majestic God who is by His redeeming work in Christ inclining men to humble Christ-exalting initiatives and inclining women to come alongside those men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.” – John Piper

Okay, to recap: Men, so say Piper, should not merely lead in a way someone else may have led before, but come up with “humble Christ-exalting initiatives.” The man who comes up with this “Christ-exalting initiative” can have no “joyful support” or “intelligent helpfulness” from another man, but only from women.

And since there is, in his view, such a clear difference between the helping people (leaders have male genitals, helpers do not.) and the lead person, nobody could ever start by following and get groomed for leadership. And no male leader could ever take a break, or go on holiday, because none of those who usually follow him could take the lead in his absence.

In real life, one leader could actually lead a lot of people. In almost any project, more followers than leaders is required. If men should not take the role of follower, if it the church indirectly call a following male – one who participate in a project without leading – unmasculine, there will be room for very few men in church.

And what about the church outsider, the unconverted man or backslider who comes back to God? Should he start leading the day of his conversion? On the one hand, that could damage the body of Christ with very immature leadership.

On the other hand, this man could come back to church and not start leading right away – and hear (indirectly) that he is a woman for not leading. But the church simply have no place for him to lead. He may disappear from church again, rather than having no purpose, or “acting like a woman” and support other men’s initiatives.

When “leader” and “follower” is set in stone, the church moves very slowly.

When “leader” and “follower” is set in stone, the church moves very slowly

Comments on: "Do “men should lead, women should follow” keep men out of church?" (9)

  1. This post is excellent. Excellent. I know of a lifelong Christian…in approximately “middle age” who married a man who had only very recently come to faith in Christ. And she played a part in that. She did not “lead” him, because that, IMO, is the part the Holy Spirit plays, but she played a part in his conversion, but now that they are married, she has pledged (vowed, actually) to *follow* him.

    It’s sad, and scary, and you articulate some of the problems with the system very well. Maybe see if other blogs are interested in having you guest post this, so that it would have a wider readership!


  2. Although I do NOT mean to imply that longtime Christians do not have anything to learn from those who have recently come to Christ. Ideally we would learn from one another…


  3. Thank you for your positive comment. I really don’t know if anything I say should appear on more blogs, and if so, what. (I am not an objective judge of my own work.)

    If you know other blogs that you want to recommend this – or anything else here- to, you’re welcome.
    If anyone want to repost this blog’s material for a reason mainly about getting out a message, its fine with me. I prefer that the repost is accompanied by a link back to this blog.


  4. It is obvious to me that Piper has concocted his mouthful of phrases very carefully. This is part of the concern for his masculinism, it has added complexity in wording things correctly. Everyone cannot just be a human following Christ, they have to play their gender roles also, or else God is supposedly displeased.


  5. So according to John P, God’s REDEEMING work in Christ is to incline men & women to perpetuate sexism!? Sexism was already alive and well before Christ atoned for our sins. Though I suppose that John is trying to declare that God was restoring men to HUMBLE leading and women to JOYFUL following.

    But he is encouraging idolatry of men over encouraging all believers to follow Christ. I don’t think that his initiative is humbly exalting Christ.


  6. I agree with Sonet, not only it is to continue with sexist attitudes but that is idolatry of men and men centered religion. not Christ centered religion!


  7. If you are looking for answers to “Why are there fewer men than women in church, I have three posts on the topic, giving three different theories. The other 2 are:


  8. Bishop Camper said:

    I like and in part agree with what is said here, but in the case of the bride who decided to follow her husband after they recently married and after his recent conversion, this is Biblical in every area, what would turn out to be sad is if the conversion of the husband was not real, or if the wife’s faith was not that strong to begin with, in either case, then there is a problem. I believe the real reason there are fewer men is because there are fewer God ordained leaders running the Church today! The Gospel has been so watered down over the last 1000 years that there is no longer a clear distinction between leaders and followers anymore because we have allowed man to ordain instead of God!! This is the real issue.


  9. Bishop, I opined the distinction between leaders and followers is too clear, and that makes it hard to be a functional body of Christ.

    As for the woman following her husband, I believe Christians (male or female, single or married) should follow God – and love spouses as self if married.


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