By Elizabeth Prata
AIMEE BYRD is a woman that has been in spiritual decline for a few years. At least, public evidence of a decline has been observed for a few years, the inward decline was probably a lot longer. Her 2020 book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: How the Church Needs to Rediscover Her Purpose was a huge red flag.
‘There are significant problems with Byrd’s interpretation of the important passages about biblical manhood and womanhood, passages she does not even address in the book. Worse, the entire thrust of Byrd’s book is in the direction of feminism”, as this reviewer (and many others!) noted.
A month after her book was published, her long-time broadcast/podcast partner, Reformation 21, announced they had dropped her from the podcast.
The negative reviews, the pleas to return to orthodox Christianity, or at least graciously defend views, (Reformation 21: “We do not always expect to agree with their views even after explanation. But when they can’t or won’t provide clarification, we must part ways”) are significant markers for a person to take stock.
Aimee Byrd didn’t.
I’ve noticed the past few weeks, some leading ‘Christian’ teachers, who, when they are called out for a public sin, write coy and charming posts refuting the obvious. But in many cases, their followers believe the smooth speech:
For such people are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. (Romans 16:18).
Beth Moore wrote one recently, on Twitter. She did not fool the discerning, but Beth’s excuse essay did fool her followers. Also last month, Aimee Byrd wrote her own excuses essay. Aimee has been preaching sermons to women and men. This is error, according to 1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Timothy 2:11-14, 1 Corinthians 14:34.
I have written about Aimee before, here, in an essay titled Markers on the way-station of downgrade: Exhibit A, Aimee Byrd. Today I will do the same with Aimee as I did with Beth: post excerpts from her excuses-essay and refute her errors point by point. Aimee is well aware of her decline, because people have told her about it. And because Aimee thought about it and write about it. Yet if there had been an appropriate introspection or a glimmer of hope of repentance, Aimee rejected it. She (tragically) asks “Am I moving further from the truth?” but refutes the premise. She says no.
Here is Aimee Byrd, from her essay Am I Moving Further From the Truth? Her words are in italics, my translation of her excuses is in regular print.
Despite the accusations, I didn’t have an ambition to preach. I just wanted to have some conversations with the preacher. Because I was so moved by the gospel. And what that meant for reality and life.
I preach because I love the Lord so much! So it’s OK.
I wanted in—where it mattered.
Preaching is where it’s at. Never mind the Lord gave women a variety of roles and ministries. They don’t matter.
Into the beautiful. Into the magic of it all. Oh, the questions I had! Who else shared in these inquiries? And this draw into the invitation? I didn’t see myself as a leader, but merely a responder.
It was an accident! It simply happened! I’m only accidentally preaching!
But in responding, over and over again—and in asking those inquiries (oh, the curiosity and wonder!)—I found myself an oddity.
Do not be surprised when people object to rebellious women who get busy usurping men. Rebellion creates a negative response.
The gospel response seemed to be different for women. Every time I thought myself to be penetrating into the conversation, I learned I was but a prop.
She felt like a prop because she was inserting herself into realms the Lord did not set aside for her. If she had used the gifts the Spirit actually gave her, or worked in ministries that women are supposed to, she would have flourished.
I am way outside my comfort zone now. I know that accepting these invitations also invites the vitriol. The I told you so’s, with the ever-so-indulging explanations of how evil I am. Or the more subtle suggestions of moral decline. Who can bear this public shaming? And the distancing and betrayal of precious friends, even? How humiliating. It’s way easier to say no.
Here, Aimee claims she will persevere in her sin, kicking against the goads, because she wants to be where the magic is. For people such as this, fulfilling personal desire is all that matters. Submission to the Lord’s desires seems not to occur to them. Submission is a foreign word, even a nasty word. Public or private calls to repentance have no effect on women such as that. Her forehead is as flint. She does not even know how to blush. She will continue preaching, and worse, she will coopt the Lord into her sin, claiming He started it.
Each time it messes with my sense of self. Being hated and shamed and encouraged and loved at the same time. In the church.
Shaming is part of church discipline. Shame is a lost emotion. Shame is also part of Christian life. We are ashamed of our sin! We are ashamed when we do not honor the Lord! In 1 Corinthians 14:35 we read that is it shameful for a woman to speak in church. The word is defined not only shameful, but sordid. Sordid as in almost pornographic. Base. Dishonorable.
The Lord considers a woman speaking in church and usurping men is SO dishonorable it’s actually sordid.
I linked to her essay above, and it’s really quite tragic to see a heart hardened to sin in real time. To actually see a woman go away from the flock, kicking at goads as she drifts. The cliff is just ahead, and she does not heed calls to avoid it. I find this tragic, and I also understand that God receives glory even in these situations.
What I find interesting in the here and now, is that these women have embedded themselves into platforms where they can write and publish simpering blog essays coyly excusing their sin. The blogosphere has been both a blessing and a curse. it allows for propagation of the beauties of Christ, but it also allows for satan to use it to his own advantage in propagating evil, falsity, flattery (and see this essay to understand just how evil flattery is).
Sadly, many people take these women at face value, and accept their excuses without thinking through what these women rebels are actually saying.
Jesus holds sin in greatest disdain. He hates it. God is morally perfect.
Psalm 5:5 in KJV says, The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
NASB says, The boastful will not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do injustice.
ESV says, The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.
We have forgotten how MUCH God hates sin. He will not stand for it. The frog has been in the slowly heating water in the US for so long, that when you call out sin like false teaching people won’t listen. “What about the poor teacher you’re attacking?’ is a common reply.
I say, what about Jesus that the false teacher is attacking? There IS a head of the Church, a High Priest, ministering and growing His church, which is filled with falsity, evil, tares, and wrongdoers. What about HIM? What about the sheep these women attack?
I’m writing this to deliberately counter these attempts at normalizing sin. It is becoming constant that women preach and teach and insert themselves into roles God did not ordain. And the more it is unremarked, uncorrected, unresolved, the more that the unwary will see it as normal.
My request to you is, when you read about a female leader who has been called out because of a problem with their lifestyle or their doctrine, and then if the leader then writes an essay addressing the issue, think. Think and decide of the woman is really addressing the issue or if she is using her platform to cover the issue.
We saw this in male form with Rick Warren’s speech at the Southern Baptist Convention. He said his remarks were a “love letter” to the Convention, but it was really a sinful rationalization for his sin of ordaining women. A diversion tactic.
Kathy Keller, Tim Keller’s wife, also did the same a few years ago. She wrote an essay claiming to share lessons from 30 years in ministry, but it was simply a corrupt attempt to absolve herself of her sins. A diversion tactic.
And it is the same with Beth Moore’s tweet thread and Aimee Byrd’s essay. They are diversion tactics. They say “Squirrel! and point over there, and their followers look over there and are bewitched.
Don’t fall for it. Be discerning. Think.