Beth Moore Throws the Book at Evangelical Misogyny

misogyny is showing

Yesterday, highly regarded Christian Evangelical women’s ministry leader Beth Moore published a message on her blog–one that’s been a long time coming. There are many excellent sections of it, ranging from clear, heartfelt appreciation for the GOOD men who have nothing to apologize for to an unwavering commitment to calling a spade*coughSINcough* a spade*coughSIN*; but for me, at least, the best part is where she makes the vital connection between the #MeToo/#ChurchToo movement and some deep-rooted tenants of fundamentalist/conservative Christian theology abundantly clear. I’ve been searching for the words to do this for some time, and I couldn’t be more grateful to Ms. Moore for sounding them from the rooftops.

Thank you, Beth. It means more than you know.

Follow this link to “A Letter to My Brothers” for the full piece. Here are the highlights that struck me the most (emphases added):

“I lack adequate words for my gratitude to God for the pastors and male staff members in my local churches for six decades who have shown me such love, support, grace, respect, opportunity and often out right favor. They alongside key leaders at LifeWay and numerous brothers elsewhere have no place in a larger picture I’m about to paint for you. They have brought me joy and kept me from derailing into cynicism and chronic discouragement amid the more challenging dynamics.”

Beth Moore - Living Proof Ministries

“I accepted the peculiarities accompanying female leadership in a conservative Christian world because I chose to believe that, whether or not some of the actions and attitudes seemed godly to me, they were rooted in deep convictions based on passages from 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14.

“Then early October 2016 surfaced attitudes among some key Christian leaders that smacked of misogyny, objectification and astonishing disesteem of women and it spread like wildfire. It was just the beginning.

“I came face to face with one of the most demoralizing realizations of my adult life: Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disrespect of women among many of these men. It was only the excuse. Sin was the reason. Ungodliness.”

“This is where I cry foul and not for my own sake. Most of my life is behind me. I do so for sake of my gender, for the sake of our sisters in Christ and for the sake of other female leaders who will be faced with similar challenges. I do so for the sake of my brothers because Christlikeness is at stake and many of you are in positions to foster Christlikeness in your sons and in the men under your influence. The dignity with which Christ treated women in the Gospels is fiercely beautiful and it was not conditional upon their understanding their place.”

(And finally, the big kicker for me:)

“These examples may seem fairly benign in light of recent scandals of sexual abuse and assault coming to light but the attitudes are growing from the same dangerously malignant root. Many women have experienced horrific abuses within the power structures of our Christian world. Being any part of shaping misogynistic attitudes, whether or not they result in criminal behaviors, is sinful and harmful and produces terrible fruit.”

Amen. Say it again, Beth. Say it always–and let none of us ever say anything less.

–GM

 

4 thoughts on “Beth Moore Throws the Book at Evangelical Misogyny

  1. Kassidy Hernandez

    This is awesome, when I was younger I did a bible study called the bad girls of the Bible and it was so eye opening, you’re right, God will use anyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To the degree that Christian churches are focused on administrative minutia, that is the degree to which—s a group—they do not reflect Christ. Of course women should be given equal opportunity to assume administrative roles, even pastorship,within Christianity, but it’s sad that the church is, even then, a reflection of this society where women will NEVER be equal. Why? Because any career—for most women—carries the additional demands, the inescapable demands, of motherhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “To the degree that Christian churches are focused on administrative minutia, that is the degree to which—s a group—they do not reflect Christ.” I couldn’t have said it better, Vern! Thank you so much for weighing in. Always love hearing from you. I personally am still wavering right on the edge of the women-as-pastors issue, given that I was raised as a very fundy evangelical, but I am FAR more sympathetic to the cries of misogyny in the church now than I’ve ever been before–and I certainly do think that drives a big part of men’s refusal to let women do much at all. And I think that’s completely wrong.

      You’re right, though, parenting is something nearly all moms can’t and won’t shrug off for the sake of career–even though men do it all the time. The refusal (or sheer incapacity) among men (at large) to be a completely equal parent contributes to the inequality experienced by women in the public sphere. But then, perhaps it’s also fair to point out that women’s refusal to wholly and completely involve men in every aspect of raising children because the women can often “do it better/faster” naturally makes the playing field unequal for men on the home front. I’ve seen both sides of this–and definitely contributed my share of bigotry to the latter. So I feel a look at the whole picture is somewhat warranted. 🙂 Of course, neither side has any legitimate reason to hamstring the other–and eliminating the tendency to do it is a worthy cause all round.

      Like

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