Christian Leadership Shouldn’t Be A Dude Soup

“God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as king not queen; father not mother. Second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son not daughter; the Father and the Son create man and woman in His image and give them the name man, the name of the male. God appoints all the priests in the Old Testament to be men; the Son of God came into the world to be a man; He chose 12 men to be His apostles; the apostles appointed that the overseers of the Church be men; and when it came to marriage they taught that the husband should be the head. Now, from all of that I conclude that God has given Christianity a masculine feel. And being God, a God of love, He has done that for our maximum flourishing both male and female.”

John Piper

There are a lot of things that could be said about the quote above and many have responded. Rachel Held Evans has been curating some responses over on her blog so if you’d like to read more, click here. Here are a few of my own thoughts….

It’s odd to me that while Christianity in the West on a fairly steady decline, Christian leaders would spend their energy making these kinds of observations and distinctions between gender. But then again, maybe these kinds of observations are the very reason Christianity is on the decline. Either way, I think it’s important to point out few very obvious points.

First, the Christian church needs more good leaders. Second, not all men are good leaders. Third, there are many women in the church that possess fantastic leadership qualities. Fourth, if your response to all this is that it isn’t biblical then show me a jpeg of all the the women in your church wearing head coverings and a youtube clip of every women being completely silent during the worship service and in sunday school while washing the feet of saints. If you don’t have any of that shit (since it’s ALL biblical as well), then I don’t want to hear it anymore.



7 thoughts on “Christian Leadership Shouldn’t Be A Dude Soup

  1. Probably one of the best short moments on that thread (but I’ve only clicked on a few).

    Love and agree with your points, especially in light of the decline. I’ve had the head covering, women silent thing, and why they can serve as missionaries and practically lead an entire nation of people but not shepherd a flock in Ohio explained. Unfortunately, I understand Doc explaining time-travel to Marty McFly much clearer than the complementarian hermeneutic.

    Cool to see you posting on this – see you around.

  2. OK since I think I’m the only conservative that comments on your blog, I’ll bite. A couple things to begin, first it’s disappointing that you didn’t even address the things said by Piper. It seems like if his words are clearly untrue, you should be able to refute them soundly without much effort. Maybe you are leaning on the work of others for this but it would have been nice to see you at least interact with the scriptures and the claims therein.

    Second, I agree with most of your conclusions. We do need more good leaders, not all men are good leaders and there are many fantastic female leaders inside and outside our churches. It’s your last point that makes little sense to me and, I think, is completely self-defeating. And since your friend Tim mentioned the unclear hermeneutics of complimentarians, perhaps we should stay on that topic.

    I am going to make some broader points here based on previous conversations we have had that, I think, play into this one. First, it is my understanding that you believe God to be loving, gracious, merciful, eternal, sacrificial and wrathful (at least towards Calvinists). So, my question is, how do you know these things? How do you *know that God is a loving God and does, in fact, identify himself as love itself? How do you *know that God shows mercy to sinful people? How do you *know that Piper is so egregiously wrong on this matter of complimentarianism? You *know these things because you read them in the Bible. That is our way of knowing anything specific (beyond creation’s general revelation) about the God of Christianity.

    Piper isn’t any different. He *knows that God has made Christianity to have a masculine feel. He *knows that God has revealed himself as Father not Mother, King not Queen and Jesus as Son, not Daughter because it’s in the Bible.

    So when you tell him and by extension all complimentarians that we should do “all this other shit” because thats in the Bible too, why doesn’t the same rule apply to you? If you are accusing him of taking some stuff from scripture and ignoring others, aren’t you doing the very thing? To help with Tim’s confusion of complimentarian hermeneutics, this is our simple rule: everything in the Bible is true and it all matters, so you’d better come up with a consistent way to differentiate what EVERYBODY believes, that some things in the Bible are universal and some are contextual.

    I could add a laundry list of qualifications to this about how we don’t always do it perfectly or articulate our positions winsomely but I hope that’s assumed by all of us for all of us. My main point has little to do with Piper’s actual point (though that might also be a fun discussion), and far more to do with the uneven way that you seemed to hold him accountable to the whole Bible. I feel like this issue has been at the core of most of our conversations.

  3. The reason I don’t apply the same rule to myself is because I don’t read the Bible the same way. Everything in the Bible is not true. But if you believe all of it is true and that all of it matters, I have no beef with that. What I have a issue with is when someone says, “The Bible says x, y, and z about women in the church. X and y are “universal” while z is merely “contextual.” Corinthians 11 is a good example. Men being the head of the wife is universal but another prescription found in the exact same passage (head coverings) is discarded, chalked up to the cultural norms of the day. The same could be said of 1 Timothy. Churches adopt one prescription (women shouldn’t teach over men) while ignoring another (women must be quiet during worship).

    These inconsistencies don’t make sense to me. IMHO, basing strong convictions regarding gender roles on a text that is thousands of years old is a shaky endeavor from the get-go. How is any teaching in the Bible on gender roles not shot through with influence from a culture that believed women were the property of their fathers/husbands?

  4. And for the record, Justin, I’m really glad you post your comments here. Thanks for your pushback. It makes this more interesting and the last thing I want for this place is to be an echochamber of the same views.

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