Feminism

Aimee Semple McPherson: conflicted celebrity evangelist...

Itinerant evangelists have proclaimed the good news in crusades and tent revivals, in fields and stadiums, in tabernacles and classrooms. Over the last 150 years, Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899), Billy Sunday (1862-1935), Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) and Billy Graham (1918-present) have been household names in their eras. Each used different methods and had vastly different personalities, and was able to tap into deep undercurrents of American piety. My intent in this post is not to compare these four, but to consider a recent (1993) and major biography (400+ pages), Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister by Edith Blumhofer .

For much of the 1920s and 1930s, Aimee was front-page news. She was a relentless evangelist, a missionary to China, a megachurch pastor, the founder of a denomination, and a leader in helping to provide for the physical needs of those who fell on hard times during the Great Depression.

Yet her life was full of contradictions. Adored by thousands … 


Ordination in the PCA: the only distinction between men and women...

On Wednesday afternoon at the PCA’s 42nd General Assembly, the Cooperative Ministries Committee presented five critical issues that require study and subsequent recommendations. You might not be surprised to learn that the first has to do with the role of women...

The role of women in the PCA – particularly, giving women a greater voice and more visible roles, while maintaining the denomination’s position on male ordained leadership in governing.

The elders of the PCA approach the definition of their leadership like a defeated husband. He vaguely remembers there are verses in the Bible that talk about his wife’s submission, and femininity, and silence, and gentleness, and busy-ness at home, but he’s married a woman whose father trained her not to submit, not to be feminine, not to be silent, not to be gentle, and not to be busy at home. His heart’s desire is for his wife to be busy at home, but since she can’t have that he’ll figure out the required breadth of argument both to affirm her (and her father's) desires and hold on to some little authority. He’ll begin arguing like an egalitarian when it comes to giftedness: men and women alike have gifts of administration, and teaching, and leadership, and so on and so forth. He'll figure out ways for her to have “a greater voice and more visible roles,” all the while basically satisfied because he will retain one thing that is his own: ordination. She’s happy and he’s happy for a number of reasons: 1) she’s happy, and 2) her father’s happy, and 3) he’s retained some vestige of Biblical distinction by means of ordination. 

What happens if she asks for ordination? What will her poor husband do?


I have had enough of your liturgies, homilies, and sacraments...

[NOTE FROM TB: Please note the apology and change to my comment below. I took an uncalled-for jab at attorneys, and therefore at my dear brother, Dan, below. Fact is, Dan and several other attorneys I know and love are precisely what I was calling for—faithful Christians who live out that precise righteousness spoken of by Isaiah. I praise God for them and their faithful service to many needy and oppressed!]

It's all well and good to say the Christian should not look for the civil magistrate to supplant the preacher of the Gospel in calling men to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We don't need huge books to make that point. It's obvious. And yet I suppose it is precisely those obvious places where scholastics like to sit and ruminate. And if they pull off the supercilious thing well enough, they may be successful in enticing callow young men to listen to their ruminations; or better yet, buy them.

Meanwhile, the real action continues unimpeded. Brothers and sisters in Christ are being forced out of their calling, their work and profession, by civil magistrates, professional societies, professors, teachers, school boards, trade organizations, public monopolies like the AMA and Apple and Google, and state bar associations—all united in their attack upon God's Created Order and Law. It's impossible to miss. Everyone sees it every single day and its fruit of blood and damnation is piled up three feet high and rotting in our nation's public square...


Rachel Held Evans: it's so scary to say "no" to a woman...

[NOTE: Not until after writing this piece and making my comments posted prior to May 22 at 5:21 PM did I realize the author of the piece I'm critiquing, Owen Strachan, serves as Executive Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I'm sure I'd known who he was in the past but it wasn't mentioned on Patheos and I'd forgotten it. I note this because David and I have been critical of CBMW over the years, but this post was written blind to the fact that it was CBMW's spokesman speaking.]

My esteemed sister, Kamilla Ludwig, directed my attention to a long Patheos post critical of Rachel Held Evans's naming God "Herself." The post has many helpful things. Do read it, but as you read you will not be able to help noticing the post's endless handwringing. The author's discomfort at saying anything negative about someone else is the ethos of the piece that almost gags the critique itself. We get the feeling the author did his writing in the breakfast nook while being berated by his mother over in the kitchen. She kept saying to her naughty son, "A gentleman never hurts a lady. Bad boy! Judge not lest ye be judged. Bad boy! Love always expects the best. Bad boy! Very very bad boy!"

Then, the author ends his essay with a footnote titled, "Brief excursus on the term 'heresy' and 'God as woman' language." Here is the text of the footnote, resplendent in its pomo timidity, self-doubt, and...


Amish romances...

Half the mass-market paperbacks sold today are romance novels, and I'll bet you didn't know that “Romance novels are feminist documents written almost exclusively by women, for women, and are concerned with women: their relations in family, love and marriage, their place in society and the world, and their dreams for the future.”

H. W. Crocker's little book, Robert E. Lee on Leadership, is excellent. In it Crocker records this excerpt from a letter Lee wrote his wife...


"A profound relative lack..."

Under the subheading "Books," Google News has this headline:

Literature Still Urgently Needs More Non-White, Non-Male Heroes 

And here's their leadoff text: "As Vanessa Veselka wrote in The American Reader, there is a profound relative lack of female road narratives in the Western literary tradition. This absence hurt her..."

Whatever happened to...


PCA's Philadelphia Presbytery overtures General Assembly to study women elders...

From the blog of Pastor Andrew Dionne of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spartansburg, South Carolina:

No need for a study committee...

It’s said that progressives will revisit settled issues until they become unsettled. The Philadelphia Presbytery is using such tactics, hoping to revisit the settled Biblical polity regarding the sex (the Philadelphia Presbytery shows her slip by using the word “gender”) of elders. They desire to find some wiggle room for candidates for ordination who “may come forward who understand Scripture to allow women to be ordained to the office of elder.”


Tim Keller: hundreds of sermons, but no repentance...

A longtime pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) sent me an e-mail with an excerpt from a Yelp review of Tim Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Going over there, I read all the reviews and here are some interesting excerpts...


Adam first, then Eve...

For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man... (1Corinthians 11:8)

God had a purpose in creating Adam first and His purpose is not complicated.

Creating Eve second established order between the sexes. Man is the glory of God and woman is the glory of man. Man is to be responsible and woman is to help man. 

Sadly, we're so contaminated by our culture of rebellion that we turn into weasels...


Complementarians trying to defeat feminism through compromise...

This from Baylyblog correspondent, Fr. Bill Mouser:

* * *

I am encouraged by a recent expansion of Breitbart.com from where ever it is headquartered (California?) to include new centers of guerrilla journalism in Texas and London. The head of their London outfit is a fellow named James Dillingpole whose work I always enjoyed and took courage from when he was writing columns for The Telegraph.

What I want to share with you is his explanation for taking the headship of the Breitbart news organization in London.I encourage you to read it...


Yes, Ms. Feminist; God does command older women to teach younger women to "be domestic"...

Today, a man sent an e-mail linking to a feminist heretic (you do know that's what they are, don't you?) dissing the Apostle Paul's command that older women of the church teach younger women this core curriculum:

  1. to love their husbands
  2. to love their children.
  3. to be sensible.
  4. to be pure (RSV "chaste").
  5. to be workers at home (RSV "domestic").
  6. to be kind.
  7. to be subject (RSV "submissive") to their husbands.

Ms. Heretic lampooned the words of Scripture, albeit in the mouths of self-styled "complementarians." (It wouldn't do to lampoon the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Apostle Paul.) It takes no imagination to come up with the scoffing and ridicule she trotted out in her post. To an old warhorse, this feminist making a living off Evangelical simpletons is immodest, indiscrete, vain, deceptive, dangerous, and thus very boring. And the great tragedy of it is that I have it on good authority that her father is godly. How his heart must break over his precious daughter's rebellion against the Father Almighty!

All this as introduction to two things below: first, my response to the brother who forwarded the feminist's attack upon Titus 2:1-5; and second, my sermon notes used to preach on this text. May God use both to keep us from the very seductive idols of our culture.

Please pray for me.

And now...


Leadership is male: Women as trustees over Christian colleges...

With the collapse of Evangelical theology and the consequent unfaithfulness of Evangelical churches and institutions, many churches and fellowships of churches are starting their own colleges and seminaries. Readers of this blog will be familiar with New St. Andrews College, Bethlehem College and Seminary,  Clearnote Pastors College (site down just now for redesign), Reformed Evangelical Pastors College, and Athanasius College. There are many, many more. 

One question these new institutions must address as they set up their governance structures is the same question older colleges and seminaries have had to wrestle with: Should we have women serving on our school's top governing board?

As I have corresponded with a number of leaders of these colleges...


WOE, WOE—WHOA!

Somehow I got on the e-mail list of New York City's Union Theological Seminary. This just arrived in my queue. The lecturer is not Tim Keller's wife, although she may also be a proponent of "planetary conviviality" and there's no denying she and her husband are nuts about "thriving."

Having just reached my sixtieth birthday, I can really dig "mystical unknowing," especially when it's combined with "material indeterminacy."

And "ontological interdependence;" isn't that just another way of saying "male and female He created them?"

 


Feminists who claim to be daughters of Calvin, Bullinger, and Knox...

Check out this post opposing what the author refers to as "Biblical patriarchy." It's written by a complementarian woman who styles herself "a daughter of the Reformation." With respect to the matter of God's Creation Order of sexuality, though, Ms. Miller is no daughter of the Reformation.

Her arguments are a combination of error, straw men, and straightforward repudiation of the Biblical doctrine of sexuality taught by Protestant church fathers through the centuries, starting with Luther, Calvin, and Knox, and continuing unbroken down through the centuries until a very few years ago.

First, the error: the post's author, Rachel Miller, quotes a Phoenix Seminary prof saying Don Bloesch was a complementarian. Don was not.

Don and his wife, Brenda, were good friends. One night my wife and I joined two Roman Catholic sisters...


Inoffensive "Bibles" bear toxic fruit...

London's Mail Online reports: "Parents and godparents no longer have to ‘repent sins’ and ‘reject the devil’ during christenings after the Church of England rewrote the solemn ceremony. The new wording is designed to be easier to understand... In the original version, the vicar asks: ‘Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?’ Prompting the reply: ‘I reject them.’ They then ask: ‘Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?’, with the answer: ‘I repent of them.’ 

But under the divisive reforms, backed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and already being practised in 1,000 parishes, parents and godparents are asked to ‘reject evil, and all its many forms, and all its empty promises’ – with no mention of the devil or sin. The new text ...also drops the word ‘submit’ in the phrase ‘Do you submit to Christ as Lord?’ because it is thought to have become ‘problematical’, especially among women who object to the idea of submission."

Yes, yes; "the new wording is designed to be easier to understand." Reading this news piece reminded me of the corruption of the text of Scripture in our new Bible versions. Reformed Evangelicals justified it too with the claim they were making Scripture "easier to understand." But it's all bunk. The problem our new Bibles are designed to address is not readers' lack of understanding, but the text's offensiveness. And if we're honest, we'll admit we've only begun our quest to render God's word innocuous.

Why stop with the removal of words like "Jews," "old wives tales," "man," "brothers," and "effeminate" when words like "devil," "rebellion," "sin," "submit," and "repent" remain in the text? And why do we have such little faith in the understanding of simple Christians. It was not always that way.

Starting in the seventeenth century, the Protestant, Reformed Christians of New England had one of the highest...


Tolkien and Bilbo: a little Christmas gift to you and yours...

My family loves me, so they put up with my idiosyncrasies. One was the subject of several jocular comments during our early Christmas celebration several days ago. Our good readers know how I drone on about Christians confessing our faith by not giving up the name "man" for our race.

I'll cop to it. When Christians employ "human," "humankind," and "person" in place of "man," I get facial tics. Pagans bashing in the chest of English usage to conform to their homogenized world of androgynous beings doesn't bother me at all. But when Christians do it, I wonder where they DO choose to confess their faith? If language doesn't matter, why did God say "let there be light?" He didn't need to.

And why do we bother naming our sons and daughters? Why do we call God "Father," and why did He name our race "adam?"

Here's a little Christmas gift for y'all. A Christian brother forwarded a link to this crowd-sourced lament about Tolkien making Bilbo a boy. Trying to be helpful, they provide links to machines that reverse the oppressive patriarchy of historic English. So I tried to explain...


Your tax and missions dollars at work...

Vice President Joe Biden and our new ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, have been tag-teaming Tokyo, hectoring the Japanese over their national failure to push mothers out of their homes and into office cubicles and factories. Joltin Joe and his pretty sidekick say Japanese women need to stop caring for elderly family members and children and begin to do something constructive that will show up in Japan's gross domestic product. Something like programming a robot instead of teaching a child. Something like feeding hundreds of adults in a cafeteria instead of their children in their own kitchen.

This is what our tax dollars pay for: American women who despise femininity and motherhood moving to foreign countries where they work to pollute those nations with our most contagious disease...


F.F. Bruce: A conservative liberal or a liberal conservative?

A Review of Tim Grass, F.F. Bruce: A Life (2011). 

Evangelical historians have chronicled “the Evangelical resurgence in Biblical Studies” during the twentieth century, and in that history F.F. Bruce played a central role. Several of the really good things from that “resurgence,” as well as some of the not-so-good things, go back to him. This biography speaks to these issues, but gently; probably too gently because, after all, who wants to violate the rules of collegiality and criticize a fellow scholar who is so congenial?

Bruce wrote a “sort of” autobiography in 1980 entitled, In Retrospect: Remembrance of Things Past. Unfortunately, it’s not a very personal book and this new biography tells me that others had the same complaint. Yet in that work, Bruce tells us he has always found it difficult to write or speak publicly about the things ...


Why Evangelical and Reformed gnostics hate Doug Wilson, RCJR, and Doug Phillips...

One longtime friend of Baylyblog commented under Pastor Wegener's post, "What's up with the Aquilla report...". First quoting another's criticism of Doug Phillips, Ross followed with his own question:

//Maybe because Doug Phillips was a legalist who majored in minors and encouraged people to live by an increasingly strict set of man made rules?//

With an eye to the reputation Bill Gothard got for himself, is this comment about Doug and the Vision Forum ministry a fair one? (I don't know, honest).

To which I respond:

Ross, the other thing worth saying about Doug Phillips, RCJR, and Doug Wilson—the three patriarchalists that female feminists claiming to be Christians live to gossip about and spit on—is that, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

But let's change this slightly: in the land of blind Reformed Evangelicals, the one-eyed man is a monster. Evangelicals, Reformed or otherwise, hate any man who has faith, particularly when that faith is demonstrated in the most earthy and organic matters of sexual body parts and what we do or don't do with them.

Because Reformed Evangelicals are gnostic, we refuse to be pinned down with anything except words—and even those confessional words have no visible content...


What's up with the Aquila Report...

Once upon a time, I used to check the Aquila Report, daily, to see what was up in the Reformed World. But now, something has changed over there and I'll check it no more.

You could almost hear the squeals of delight when Doug Phillips issued his apology for his moral failure. Several articles have been posted saying, “I told you so—that’s what you get with patriarchy.” All that was missing were emoticons of shaking heads, clucking sounds, and "meows"....