Why I’m (Functionally) Egalitarian

Yesterday, I stumbled across an interesting post on the Gospel Coalition Voices blog. In it was the following quote by Russell Moore, dean of Theology at the Southern Baptist Seminary:

What I fear is that we have many people in evangelicalism who can check off “complementarian” on a box but who really aren’t living out complementarian lives. Sometimes I fear we have marriages that are functionally egalitarian, because they are within the structure of the larger society. If all we are doing is saying “male headship” and “wives submit to your husbands,” but we’re not really defining what that looks like . . . in this kind of culture, when those things are being challenged, then it’s simply going to go away.

I hate to break it to Dr. Moore, but…duh! Because when you practice the kind of complementarianism outlined by the Bible, that’s what you get: something functionally egalitarian. Continue reading

Don’t be Fooled: Our Culture is Lying to Us

Image from seniorplanet.org

A few years ago, I watched a powerful documentary entitled America the Beautiful. In it, filmmaker Darryl Roberts explores America’s obsession with physical beauty–to the point where even 8-year-old girls are succumbing to bulimia. But the thing I found most intriguing about the film was Roberts’ own confession of how cultural standards of beauty affected him as a young man: He broke up with a charming, intelligent, beautiful woman whom he loved very much just because she didn’t look like the models he saw in magazines. Only years later–after his dynamite lady had married someone else–did Roberts realize he was chasing an impossible fantasy.

About three years ago, I started following the blog of a woman in Colorado. She and her husband had been married for about 13 years, and their sex life was starting to feel a little stale. They decided to try an open marriage to spice things up. (She started the blog to document the experience.) Within six months, her husband left her for a serious relationship with another woman, throwing the lives of their 3 school-age boys into turmoil. Betrayed and desperate for some genuine affection, the woman sought it in the casual hookups she made during her open marriage. This only wounded her further, as the men expected only one thing from their relationship: sex.

Every day, our culture bombards us with a variety of messages: Continue reading

A Hard Teaching: Promoting our Culture of Violence

It’s easy for modern Christians to think that Jesus was popular. After all, four men chose to record his life in detail. His followers today number in the millions. Many people have chosen martyrdom rather than deny him. But the scriptures indicate that Jesus was a bit more controversial than we like to admit. Certain groups of people were constantly looking to ensnare and kill him. And some of his teachings sent his followers fleeing in the opposite direction.

Take his position on divorce, for example. Before Jesus arrived on the scene, men could divorce their wives for any reason: loss of youth, infertility, sub par cooking skills, and even boredom. As a test, the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” Jesus responded: Continue reading

Fundamentalist Hilarity: The Feminization of Worship

I came across a new concept in fundamentalism recently: the feminization of worship. Being a woman, my first thought upon seeing the phrase was, What on earth could this possibly refer to? In my mind, saying there are masculine and feminine ways of worshiping God is like saying there are masculine and feminine ways of building a doghouse. All worship is the same. Isn’t it?

Well, I thought so. So I decided to look into it. Here’s what I found:

Your worship service and church community might be effeminate if . . .

– Your music and sermons almost never contain references to judgment, wrath, battles, enemies, Hell, the devil, or apostasy.

– Your music minister is more concerned that the choir trills their r’s correctly than that they fill the sanctuary with loud sounds of battle.

– One of the ministerial staff has taken to wearing a clerical collar and a powder pink shirt, and no one on the session has the courage to tell him that he looks like a thirteen-year-old boy with rosy cheeks, as painted by Norman Rockwell.

– The worship team gravitates toward “Jesus is my girlfriend” songs, and their facial expressions while up front are those of guys in the backseats of their cars, having just gotten to second base with their actual girlfriends.

– The sermons rarely deal with sin or, if they do, they deal with sins found outside the sanctuary, preferably those of secularists in Hollywood somewhere.

– The church does not practice church discipline, and not because everybody in the church is behaving. They won’t practice it because the elders are misbehaving. Continue reading