I honestly thought about not saying anything about this, but I felt I owed it to my long-time readers to do so.
I had a website (A Woman’s Freedom in Christ) where I put all my research about women in the church from the past fifteen years or so. It was the place where I was thinking out loud and sharing what I was studying. I shared my struggles with various topics related to women in the church, using my gifts, raising a daughter, responded to current happenings in the church, etc. If you are familiar with the site, what I’m about to say will make sense. If you aren’t familiar with it, this might all seem kind of vague. I’m not trying to be evasive. Just guarded in what I say.
I took it down for good and won’t be putting it back up. Partially it was due to the fact that a lot of the posts were dated and new people who found the site wouldn’t have the proper context for what I had written in the past. The posts made sense at the time given events that were happening in real time, but less and less as time went on. Without proper context, I was uncomfortable with some of the things I had written. If I were to write them today, I would write them differently. I was not willing to rewrite the site to keep it current because I really don’t want to write about those topics any longer. I’ve moved on.
Part of the reason I don’t want to write about those topics any longer is because I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable with some of the rhetoric I hear coming from some of those who profess Christ and write about women in the church. I especially find the sweeping anti-male rhetoric coming from some who call themselves Christian feminists absolutely abhorrent and blatantly unbiblical. I deliberately distanced myself from the Christian feminist movement because I did not agree with them on many things. However, I felt increasingly uncomfortable having a site up that even looked like I might lean in that direction.
I never felt completely comfortable falling into one camp or the other which I think was obvious to anyone who read that site. I could never make that final leap completely into the egalitarian camp. I kind of forced myself to pick a side in order to express what came closest to what I believed and understood from the Scriptures because I wanted to control the label I had, not have one assigned to me that was incorrect. Because of some people I was interacting with online and some of the traffic my site was getting, I felt compelled to lay out what I thought before someone else labeled me. But I never felt like I was there 100% because I am very complementarian in some of my views, but not in the way that concept was hijacked by people with an agenda. Anyway, over the past year or so I’ve become really uncomfortable with what I’ve seen and read and heard to the point that I simply needed to walk away from the entire thing. (Update: I later wrote Why I’m Not a Christian Feminist and What I Am.)
What’s really interesting is that it wasn’t an argument from the Scriptures that ultimately pushed me to take it all down. It was a discussion between Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia (of all people) that I watched online. I have always believed and have experienced so many times that God works in interesting ways and will reach us just where we are.
I’m sure I’ve said just enough to confuse and maybe offend people who don’t know the entire back story. But I think the people who have known me for thirteen plus years online and have thought about these topics with me will understand what I’m saying. I wrote this post for you because I didn’t want to just erase it all and pretend it never happened. That’s not my style. I value people too much to do that.
I completely understand why you’re taking down your women in ministry site. I read it off and on as you posted items. In the hyperpolarization we have right now, it would be hard to post something like that.
Yes, it’s nearly impossible to have a cordial discussion with people about complicated topics. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode over the things people are offended by.
Yesterday Wendy’s (the restaurant) tweeted out “Might need a Scott Frosty to ice down the beating Nebraska is taking.” Their coach’s last name is Frost. Nebraska was getting annihilated by Michigan. It was a funny and clever tweet. So many people were offended. I’m just sitting here shaking my head still.
It’s really sad where we are as a culture and where the church is in so many ways. It’s especially challenging for those among us who are wired by God to be strongly oriented toward truth seeking. It’s all about the feels right now and truth be damned (as well as the people trying to find it).
To be fair for the Wendy’s tweet, their account is known for tweets like that, so to some extent I think they do it to get reactions. Their account regularly gets featured in posts with titles saying “Wendy’s twitter just had the sickest burn!”
I’m with you on frustration for the state of the church and how it’s all the feels. I get frustrated with modern worship songs that are all emotions and how God makes you feel.
I’m not familiar with their history, but I still think it’s a funny tweet. I imagine they could do something similar to my own school. I simply don’t get the outrage over something so minor.
Oh my….I had recently caught your blog about conservative biblical egalitarian journey and was looking forward to learning more. I understand your becoming uncomfortable with being used by others!! As a maturing in my faith woman I am “finally” digging into what I grew up being taught and what God actually wants us to know. If you have any suggestions about others writings/blogs I would be very appreciative.
If you want an in-depth, scholarly but accessible look at the topic of women in the Bible then I would recommend Marg’s blog. She has a lot of amazing content.
Wade Burleson also has a lot of good info on women in the church from a more conservative egalitarian view.
It’s hard to know who else to recommend because so many of them are moving in the feminist and #metoo direction where cultural aspects seem to overtake the commitment to the Scriptures. But if I think of anyone else, I will add another comment. I’m kind of wiped out tonight so I’m not thinking the best. LOL!
Very appreciative of the recommendations….