This post is in response to “My Brush with Feminism” by Rebekah Merkle which can be found HERE.
Rebekah, I first want to say that you are funny. I laughed out loud once while reading your post. Ok, twice. The whole time I was reading your post I was admittedly thinking that if you had been born in my home with my dad, I think you would be a feminist too.
If I would have been born in your home, maybe I would have been a complementarian. I am certain I would have been pretty bad at it, but seems like girls who are loved by their daddies try to follow in their father’s footsteps as best as they can.
Truth be told, my dad never directly taught me to be a feminist, but he did teach me that it was OK to be human.
You write this about evangelical feminists: “On the one hand, they want to be hard edged modern women, all pant suits and nun chucks, but then again, what they really want to be is tender and empathetic, cherishing and tenderly petting the hurt feelings of everyone everywhere.”
I guess you have us all figured out because I absolutely agree with you. I want to be both tough and tender because that is how my Jesus lived out His life. I want to wear blue jeans and girly dresses. I want to wear boots and high heels. I want to drink wine and beer. I want to eat with my hands and my fork. I want to be a lover and a scrapper. I want be both a leader and a follower. I want to attend tea parties and shoot stuff too (nothing living of course). I want to be me. I don’t think the mix of tough and tender is a “feminist attribute;” but rather, a “human attribute.”
I am guessing we grew up in similar home atmosphere. I too sat at the table and talked “the things of God” with my minister father. I too have a strong dad who taught me what sort of man to look for – a “non-chump,” if you will. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but as a Christian feminist, I do submit to my husband, Luke. The difference between my husband and your husband (I am assuming) is that Luke mutually submits to me, we lead each other, sometimes he has the final say, and sometimes I have the final say.
There are some areas in which Luke leads me because he is better gifted than me in those areas, not because he was born a male. Likewise, there are some areas in which I lead Luke because I am better gifted than he is in those areas, not because I am a female.
We function as a team and we co-lead. I am unaware if you have actually ever studied the Greek word “Kephale,” (head), but there is very little evidence that it means “authority over.” I am sure you will appeal to Wayne Grudem’s research to try and prove me wrong, but his research was blown out of the water by Richard Cervin (who is neither egalitarian or complementarian). There are simply not enough ancient texts to prove that “kephale” means “authority over.”
You seem like a bright woman and I am not at all trying to be condescending towards you, but your post was difficult to follow. You accuse evangelical feminists of being angry and/or rebellious towards men and therefore our motivation for fighting against patriarchy, but it seems to me that you are the one blaming men.
You wrote, “Men. Men who are chumps. Let us be frank – that’s the real problem here. If we want to dig in and get down to first causes, this is where the problem lies. There are lots of chumpish men of course, and each is chumpish in his own way . . .”
The problem is not men, Rebekah. Half my following is made up of men who fully support gender equality in the Church. The problem is that complementarianism is misinterpreting the Bible and limiting half the Church from fulfilling their callings. How would you feel if the Church (men or women) told you that it was against God’s Will for you to create a line of children’s clothing or be a high school teacher?
There are thousands upon thousands of women who sense a strong calling from the Lord to preach, teach, and lead both men and women and complementarian theology is standing in our way.
It is quite audacious for you, your father, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Matt Chandler and whoever else to say that those of us who sense a ministerial calling are mishearing Jesus. Is it possible that it is your camp that is mishearing Jesus and wrongly interpreting God’s Word?
If my camp is right, more men and women hear the Gospel and the teachings of Christ, as more females pursue their callings to lead adults in the Church. If your camp is wrong, you all have effectively slowed down the spreading of God’s Word by only permitting women to minister to other women and children.
I recently received an email from a missionary in China who stated that 75% of those leading China’s thriving house church movement are women. My honest prayer is that complementarian doctrine does not creep its way into China as this movement continually quenches the Holy Spirit’s workings.
Rebekah, I appreciate your cheeky way of expressing yourself, but your post was quite far from the truth and evangelical feminists everywhere are rising up to take back what the complementarian camp has stolen from us. If you want to fight against us, you are going to have to do better than sarcasm and name calling. I do love you as my sister in Christ and my honest prayer is that one day you and your family will become great advocates for gender equality in both worth and authority – using love, truth and justice as your weapons.
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