I’ve been settled on this issue for some time. Complementarians and egalitarians are never going to see eye-to-eye on the issue of women’s roles in the church—not until the day we stand before the Lord, and then we probably won’t even care—yet I’m proud to call many egalitarians “friend” despite this disagreement.
This week, Laura Ortberg Turner added more to this discussion on “the reins of power” in the church with her reflections on the church’s rejection of feminism. In The Christian F-Word: Letting Go of Our Outdated Fear of Feminism, she writes
The church needs feminism because at its core, feminism affirms to us what our faith teaches us about male and female in God’s Kingdom and what Jesus himself preached throughout the New Testament.
Feminism is simply the belief that women are equally as human as men—equal in the eyes of God, equal in image-bearing, equal in ability.
Gloria Steinem said that once. “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” But Steinem knew there was more to it. I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t be taking advice from the same woman who also said “A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after” and “We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.” Continue reading
As theologians, apologists, cultural analysts or what have you, we quickly identify the frailty of charges of intolerance when they occur. The outcry to abstain from any semblance of judgmentalism has turned into a collective whine. Discrediting their arguments has become routine and even kind of irritating as sometimes we are left to wonder how many times it needs to be said, your cry for tolerance rests in your intolerance.
Until you remember real lives are involved, until you recognize that there is nothing new under the sun and good ideas and bad ones will repeat themselves til the end if time. So we persist.
If you have teenage kids—and if you actually talk to them—you’ll discover that these lackluster, intellectual heresies are alive and well, not only in the classroom, but in the hallways and lunch rooms in schools everywhere. While refuting some of these arguments has become old hat to many of us, engaging charges of intolerance is an every day battle for the Millenials who choose to take a stand for truth among their peers. We know that our teens need to be trained to recognize the ideas that oppose their faith, but with this knowledge needs to be developed the courage, confidence, and love to confront the hopelessness of the philosophy that declares all things are good. Continue reading
Many years ago we were talking about the rights of pharmacists to refuse to carry or dispense contraceptives. In 2012, a federal appeals court in Chicago sided with two men who claimed dispensing “the morning after pill” violated their religious beliefs.
But apparently there are limitations to rights of conscience, and while the courts are beginning to side with pharmacists, our bakeries are in need of legal representation in a similar way.
I wasn’t shocked by the recent story that Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in Gresham, Oregon, was forced to shut down as a result of protests, boycotts and, yes, death threats. Their crime? Choosing not to bake wedding cakes for gay weddings. And now, they are under investigation to determine if they are discriminating against lesbians.
It isn’t an ideal situation. Being in business for myself, I can tell you that Christians don’t take these decisions lightly. As a web developer and graphic artist, I straddle the line between an opportunity to connect and potentially do ministry with those who aren’t exactly of like mind and needing to refuse and opportunity because in doing so I might compromise the values that guide my entire life. I don’t want to be the reason someone has been influenced to follow a path that leads to destruction, and sometimes that might mean turning down certain jobs.
There are no lines that separate our work life from our spiritual life. In fact, how we participate in culture should be informed by our ultimate beliefs, unless we willingly accept the label hypocrite. In a sense, we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t.
I offer no solutions, no fancy philosophical fixes to this cultural conundrum we are in. I just want to encourage Christians to continue to stand firm in their convictions. Despite the accusations of hate or homophobia or whatever else is lobbed against us, it is demanded of each of us to continue to align ourselves with the text of scripture and know how to love our enemy while emphatically saying no, whatever the consequence might be. Sweet Cakes by Melissa is an example of how Christians in business run the risk of pouring their lives into their work–their art!–and having it taken from them by a culture of political correctness. This isn’t something that we can change, but adapting isn’t an option either.