Posted in beth moore, biblical womanhood, feminist, ministry, priscilla shirer

The moth-eaten SBC and the women who did it

By Elizabeth Prata

But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah. (Hosea 5:12)

Privately, however, Moore has never cared much for the delicate norms of Christian femininity. ~The Atlantic

I published an essay, part 1 of 3, in 2011, eight years ago as of this date. It was about how the secret feminists laid the groundwork for a later open rebellion. That rebellion has now occurred. They are openly touting egalitarian principles. The takeaway-

  • These rebellious women live for their work, which is usually a corporation, but called a ministry,
  • These women are the main and sustained breadwinners, and the husband supports the wife by adopting the wifely role,
  • These women actively reject rebuke and correction from elder men, thus fulfilling the feminist’s more famous line, ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’

They are feminists.

In my 2011 essay I had focused on how Beth Moore, grandma of the Christian feminists, was Exhibit A in laying a devilish groundwork of feminism in the evangelical church. Worse, she was producing spiritual children to follow in her example, like Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, and Rachel Held Evans, and others.

Back then I called them secret feminists because these women hid their private ambitions from the public, and they used complementarian language even though they privately disbelieved in it. But discerning women and men were not fooled, these women’s lives were forward. The recent Atlantic Monthly interview of Beth Moore (Oct 2018) with the above quote proves their private ambitions were there all along.

At the time, I warned that the groundwork being laid in their feminist ministry and the examples they set would have dire consequences. As God promised the Israelites that He would be a moth to them, it seems that God has used Beth Moore and her spiritual daughters to eat away the garment. Its sturdiness and functonality has rotted. For church leaders and especially the SBC not to have plugged those holes ensured that the complementarian garment would rot. It has.

But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah. (Hosea 5:12)

We can look back and see…where we were and where we’ve ended up, and why.

“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” was the feminist motto of the 1970s. The implication was that women didn’t ‘need’ a man at all.

In 2012 when I wrote about this last, there were a number of popular Bible teachers/preachers who traveled widely, filling arenas, marketing their books, selling their products, and leaving the husband at home to take care of the kids. These women had assumed the lead role in the marriage and are the main breadwinner, and the husband is the helpmeet, usually having set aside his career to work in his wife’s corporation ministry. While these women call what they are doing “ministry,” I call it “feminism”.

This is the new crop of what I called Christian secret feminists- but they aren’t as secret as they were in 2012. They live a feminist life inside of Christianity but call it ministry. They are openly rebelling now.

One woman who has much to answer for about this new role is Beth Moore. She was the one who broke new ground in the Southern Baptist Convention, a most conservative denomination, in how far a woman could go in attaining celebrity status, living for her career and not for her home, and promoting gender role reversals.

She showed us how to be the main and sustained breadwinner of the family. She showed us that she could preach in a church and teach anyone in the world, uncensured. Mrs Moore, while speaking conservative values cloaked in all the right Christianese, has lived a very feminist life. You will see more details on this below.

A spiritual daughter of Mrs Moore in this generation of Christian feminists is Christine Caine. Mrs Caine’s language is less cloaked (more open) in her declarations of what women can or should see as their roles in Christian home and work life. Mrs Caine is an ordained minister and part of Hillsong Church in Australia.

For example, in an interview (now deleted from Youtube) from 2010, Caine reassured Pastor’s wives that despite Caine’s visible usurpation of the traditional husband-wife roles, that their stay-at-home role is still viable:

“Predominantly I might teach a little bit and I step out into what would be the more classic leadership gift, so a lot of people say ‘I’m not that, so therefore I must not have a role to play…'”

It’s no wonder that woman are confused when they see peers taking on the ‘classic leadership gift’. And that is one way they cloak their rebellion in Christianese: it is not a role or a job, it is a ‘gift‘. Ultimately, women would not need reassurance from other women that their biblical role is still viable if they themselves were not setting it aside.

Christine continues in the interview by acknowledging that there are “women who are gentle and loving and nurturing”, and there are other “women who come along side and do a bit more “non-gentle prodding help people go to the next level.” But that in “no way diminishes your role.”

Really? Sure it does. It sets up women to be discontent. By justifying herself in the leadership role as a gift from God (and who can argue with that?) and acknowledging that there are ‘levels’ and women need to get to, but at the same time saying it is important to stay at home and be nurturing…she had completely confused any listener as to the clear guidelines of the notion of what Biblical womanhood is. She says one thing (and not too clearly, either) but does another.

Discernment tip: one way to detect if a person is in the Word is to see if what they say and what they do match up over time. If what they say and what they do are different, run away. Beth Moore is a good example of that, see below.

Mrs Caine’s reassurances use a neat scriptural twist. If objecting to a woman’s taking on home or ministry leadership roles, simply acknowledge that the women feel weak or unsure in them, but get around it by assuring them that all they need to do is have courage to step out and let Jesus work through their weakness, citing 2 Corinthians 12:9 out of context (“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”). That’s how Caine works it.

Discernment tip: Once a women steps out of the biblical role assigned to her by God, reasoning becomes confused, because God is the author of clarity and it’s satan who sows confusion. A discerning person will really listen to what she is saying, listen to how she is saying it, and look at the life she is leading to make a decision on whether this teacher is someone to learn from. Is what she is saying clear and easily confirmed by the Bible, or is it confusing?

In that same interview, Mrs Caine said, “The only way I was able to continue in my role is that my senior pastor’s wife stepped into her role and chose not to be threatened or intimidated because the giftings were different.”

Oh, I get it. Women are now complementarians to each other. It’s the height of irony that unwittingly, Mrs Caine acknowledges that these new ‘roles’ set up discontent. It’s so nice that in her situation at least, the pastor’s wife wasn’t jealous of her fabulous gift. A good portion of the middle of the interview is Caine’s description of how women are to be complementarian of each other in church settings. One takes the wifely nurturing role so that the younger ones coming up can step out, so to speak. That’s not complementarianism, that’s rebellion.

Now, female support between and among ministries is a good thing, and it is biblically commanded. (Titus 2:4) but the description in Titus is for elder women to teach the younger is in their biblically defined helpmeet role, not to be a helpmeet to other women who step out into classic male roles.

Priscilla Shirer is another of these new Christian feminists whose life is more forward than their spiritual mothers.

The NY Times article notes that Mr Shirer spends much of the day negotiating Priscilla’s speaking invitations and her book contracts. In the afternoon it’s often Mr Shirer who collects the boys from school. Back home, Priscilla and Jerry divide chores and child care equally.

“Jerry quit his job to run his wife’s ministry. Priscilla now accepts about 20 out of some 300 speaking invitations each year, and she publishes a stream of Bible studies, workbooks and corresponding DVDs intended for women to read and watch with their girlfriends from church. Jerry does his share of housework and child care so that Priscilla can study and write. He travels with his wife everywhere. Whenever possible, they take their sons along on her speaking trips, but they often deposit the boys with Jerry’s mother.”‘

If you delete the name Shirer and substitute Gloria Steinem, and change ministry to job you have a description of a life that any feminist would be proud of.

By 2019 Beth Moore is one of the elders in this realm. Moore has been “on the ministry circuit” for almost 30 years. Thus, her rebellious example has been long in view for many women who have watched her since they were an impressionable teen. Later comers arriving on the scene such as Priscilla Shirer or Christine Caine have learned from the best of the Christian feminists in Moore.

Meanwhile, despite the Bible’s instruction to women to be gentle, meek, quiet, and industrious, tending to their homes and children, Moore has become culturally confrontationalPolitical. And since my essay was first published in 2011, we have a helpful confirmation of exactly what I had written about back then regarding the man left at home to tend to the kids while the wife wins the bread, but was vigorously denied and refuted by Moore’s followers. As the lengthy article about Moore in an October 2018 article in The Atlantic reveals,

Privately, however, Moore has never cared much for the delicate norms of Christian femininity. Her days are tightly scheduled and obsessively focused on writing. She spends hours alone in an office decorated with a Bible verse written in a swirling font (“I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven,” Luke 7:47). Though she often performs domestic femininity for her audience, in her own life she has balanced motherhood with demanding professional ambitions. She traveled every other weekend while her two daughters were growing up—they told me they ate a lot of takeout. Like other Southern Baptists, Moore considers herself a complementarian

We know she never cared for the Bible’s command to live a quiet life at home. If she did, she would not preach to men. Or leave her children behind. Or obsessively focus on her career. She SAYS she is a complementarian, but she IS a feminist. She always has been.

For example, deliberate misrepresentation:

Beth Moore said to Christianity Today in 2010 that her man demanded a regular home life so she only travels every other Friday and comes right back home the next day.

“We walk the dogs together and eat out together all the time and lie on the floor with pillows and watch TV,” Moore says. “My man demanded attention and he got it, and my man demanded a normal home life and he got it.”

Aww, isn’t that nice. But it’s disingenuous in the extreme. The reality was that Mrs Moore was gone from home at least 20 times per year on her Living Proof tours, which is a lot if you have kids and a husband. Mrs Moore appeared weekly on the Life Today television show, traveled for weeks on book tours, where she expounded on the burning question all women in America are apparently asking, “How can women find validation without a man’s affirmation?” and which her book So Long, Insecurity apparently attempts to answer.

She also spent extended private time for weeks in a cabin by herself in Wyoming to write her book (as stated in the preface to “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things”). She is the President of her own company that in 2011 brought in 4.1 million dollars, with an excess after expenses of 1.3M, stated working hours of 40/week. If you think all she does is lay around on pillows gazing adoringly at her man then all I can say is look at what she does, not what she says.  Beth Moore is a Christian feminist because for years she has lived that way, no matter what she disingenuously told Christianity Today.

It’s no wonder women are confused when they see Beth Moore telling us that you can have a corporate career and still be a Christian woman, if you call it ministry. Or like Christine Caine- just call your career ambitions a gift. (c.f. Joanna Gaines).

Feminists like Moore simply misrepresented her life to interviewers and used acceptable language to fool undiscerning readers. Caine twisted scripture to do it, claiming her rebellion is a gift from God that must be used. RHE used the tactic of saying it was all an accident.

Ms Evans also claimed to be an accidental feminist, writing on her blog, “Most of all, if these critics knew me, they would know that it isn’t feminism that inspires me to advocate gender equality in the Church and in the world; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“God surprised me with this ministry” Priscilla Shirer said, as if the big oops was all out of her hands nor will she be morally and spiritually culpable on the Lord’s day of Judgment. And I can assure you ladies reading this, that despite what Mrs Evans said those years ago, Jesus did not deliver the Gospel by His blood so she could use it to promote a different role for women than He has already ordained.

Do not be fooled by what they say. Look at their life. Paul advised Timothy to guard his doctrine and his life. he meant to live the precepts, not just know them or utter them. The old saying from the 70s, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” was the feminist motto. Now the only difference for today’s Christian secret open feminist is the logo on her purse.

 

Posted in discernment, theology

The past week(s) have been tough but the future looks bright

By Elizabeth Prata

These past couple of weeks have been rough in our corner of the church. Rachel Held Evans’ passing caused so much grief for her followers and her detractors alike. The display of hatred and bitterness of her followers came after, toward anyone daring to speak a word against their prophetess (their words). It was hard to watch.

Then there was Beth Moore’s craven yet politically manipulative comment that she is preaching on Sunday at a church for Mother’s day and followers of THAT false prophetess came out of the woodwork to proclaim their glee in doing the same, even at Southern Baptist Convention churches, whose statement of faith had traditionally rejected this kind of activity.

Then there was Owen Strachan’s piece biblically outlining why a woman preaching the sermon in church is forbidden by God, and Moore’s self-serving rebuttal to it, her rising anger displayed wantonly for all to see, along of course, with her many followers yapping at Stachan’s heels for his daring to speak against their prophetess.

I’ve only mentioned two women but their combined following just on Twitter alone topped one million people. And their blogs, events, book sales have much greater reach than that, sadly. A huge segment of the western Christian world have been impacted in some way by just those two teachers.

So, it’s been turbulent on social media this week. It reminded me of the Riot at Ephesus where the idol Artemis was enshrined in one of the ancient world’s largest temples, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in fact. Paul’s Gospel preaching started to have an impact, and the merchandise sales began to decline. A silversmith named Demetrius made silver shrines of Artemis and brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. He claimed that Paul was “leading the people astray”.

The Riot in Ephesus Acts 19:23-27
23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

Notice that Demetrius twice mentioned his business and twice mentioned the goddess Artemis. But notice the order. He first was concerned about his business, both times. Then he mentioned the goddess and worship.

In any case, the people were gullible and became, as the verse says, “furious.” The Greek word for this fury is ‘thumos’. Strong’s concordance explains:

2372 thymós (from thyō, “rush along, getting heated up, breathing violently,” – properly, passion-driven behavior, i.e. actions emerging out of strong impulses (intense emotion). When thymós (“expressed passion”) is used of people it indicates rage, personal venting of anger.

That rage, that passionate personal wrath, is what we saw from RHE followers, from Beth Moore followers, and Beth Moore herself.

At Ephesus, the people filled the arena and shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

That is stunning. The theater there could hold up to 25,000 spectators. You know how loud it gets when just the school gymnasium at school is filled for a pep rally with a few hundred students, and everyone is stomping on the bleachers. Imagine thousands upon thousands of people creating a ruckus and shouting in unholy fury. It’s also stunning that they did it for two hours. That kind of shouting and rage is difficult to maintain at those intense levels. It seems that satanically inspired fury can be maintained for that length of time with no problem.

I liken the ruckus of social media over Rachel Held Evans’ death and Beth Moore’s tweet as similar to the riot at Ephesus; intense, rage filled, sustained, with the followers of those false teachers claiming that those trying to bring the truth were leading them astray. But at the root of it is money. It always is.

The lesson here in looking to that passage of scripture in Acts is that we should never doubt the intense love people have for their idols and the lengths to which they will go to protect and defend them. Never underestimate the power that greed has over those who teach falsely, for their motivation is money. (2 Peter 2:3). Don’t miscalculate the wrath that those in the cottage industries surrounding the idol and financially benefiting from the idol will go to preserve their income. Always remember that those who follow false teachers, false gods, and idols will say that anyone bringing the truth is actually lying and leading the people astray.

It’s been an upsetting week, many people doing and saying unpalatable things. I don’t know the Lord’s reason for ordaining RHE’s number of days to end at 13,505 or why He is allowing Beth Moore to continue polluting the church and blaspheming His name into her 60th year. His will be done. The good news is that we have glory to look forward to. We will sing and worship in truth and unity, with not one blot, not one jot, not one tittle of falsity anywhere. No false teachers will skulk in any corner, no false prophetess will lead anyone astray, and no merchandising of the people will ever happen. Glory will be sparkling pure, clean, and wholesome.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:1-7)

glory

Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: RHE, divine order, false humility, book sale! more

By Elizabeth Prata

We are winding down the last school days of the year. The kids finish at our school here in the south on Tuesday, May 21 at noon, and the teachers exit the building for the final time in the 2018-19 school year on that following Friday. It’s a tiring but exciting time. We love the summer break, and we need it. We love to see the remarkable growth of the children from when they first entered our grade. We will miss them. It’s a poignant moment when they give us our last hugs and say goodbye. They’re not “ours” any more, but have moved on to bigger challenges, after the rest they deserve and family time over the summer.

I wish our growth in sanctification could be as evident as the kids’ growth in school. I wish there were benchmark tests we could take to externally mark our progress. I wish we could get a report card to let us know how we’re doing. Growth in our education in the Lord is more hidden, but if one compares our words and deeds to the Bible, then our progress is more easily seen. The Bible is our report card, and our progress can be compared by looking at where we were a year ago.

Are we gentler and more humble? That’s an A+. Are we more sacrificial and giving? That’s an A+ Are we able to control our tongue, offer wise counsel, retain more of His word? That’s an A+

Well you get the idea. Christianity is an upwardly mobile endeavor, both spiritually and someday, physically. Keep learning and growing, friends, as I also pray I am doing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you’re not over-saturated with the Rachel Held Evans news of her death and influence, I found these essays to be thoughtful and helpful in putting the whole thing in context. One of the charges made to even the sensitively written essays and obituaries was that no one should “speak ill of the dead” and/or that it was “too soon” to write anything negative about her. These essays deal with these issues.

How should Christians respond to the death of Rachel Held Evans?

Rachel Held Evans denied the God of the Bible and, instead, created a god in her own image – a god that allowed her to exist comfortably alongside those who worship the sexual revolution. Out of all the tragedies surrounding her death, the most tragic thing is that all evidence points to the reality that Rachel Held Evans entered eternity under the wrath of God.

Should we stop calling Rachel Held Evans a false teacher?

At the same time, we must not pretend that her teachings honored the Lord.  Both Denny Burk and Allen Nelson IV have documented the serious errors in her theology, and I strongly urge you to read their articles.  Rachel Held Evans espoused a liberal theology that strips the Bible of its authority, thereby putting her followers in danger of becoming false converts.

RIP RHE

Over the weekend, Rachel Held Evans’ followers have been thanking her, in memoriam, for encouraging them to be gay, feminist, a woman pastor, to worship a female version of God, to not feel guilty about voting for a woman’s right to choose abortion, to celebrate doubt, and to cut essential doctrines out of the Christian faith. What she taught in life, she’s being celebrated for in death. And yet we who know the truth are expected to remain silent about the danger they are in? We’re supposed to hide our light under a bushel until—when, exactly?

This essay isn’t particularly about RHE specifically but its recent publication after her death and resulting reactions speaks to the state of Christian civil (uncivil) dialog that I found helpful.

Have you seen them?  There is a new kind of Pharisee today. Things like social media have paved the way for them. And they are not rare or quiet. Here is a partial profile of the new Pharisees:

Blaspheming St. Rachel Held Evans

Just so we’re clear: if you believe that it’s morally wrong for people to respond to the death of RHE by tearing into her legacy viciously, then I agree with you. There may be a time for doing that, but four or five days after she is dead is not that time. It’s a matter of respect. But if you believe that there is no morally acceptable way to write critically about her legacy so soon after her passing, well, we’ve got a problem.

In OTHER news:

A good one from TableTalk Magazine I found helpful in clarifying an issue I’ve long had with responses to encouragement.

False Humility

“Thank you so much for taking time to bring me dinner while I’m sick. I’ve noticed that you have a selfless, others-focused life, and I’m so grateful to be a beneficiary of that grace in you.”
“Well, glory to God!”
I see these sorts of exchanges often. Someone writes or speaks a word of encouragement, specifically pointing out God’s goodness in the life of a friend. The recipient of the kind message, perhaps not knowing how to respond, deflects the encouragement with a statement such as “Glory to God.”
Of course, it’s important and right to consistently acknowledge the Lord and not to take credit and glory for the gifts that God has provided or the opportunities you have, but it’s another thing to deflect all encouragement so that we appear humble.

Run, do not walk to this sale! I checked the prices of all the offered books and they are deep markdowns even from comparing to Amazon WITH a Wikibuy coupon. I happen to know that if you spend $50 or more, you will receive free standard shipping, within Continental USA. It is a limited stock and when they are gone, they’re gone.

Godly Women
Banner of Truth Trust’s sale on books about Godly women.

Women preaching seems to be all the rage these days. Own Strachen has a few thoughts about that.

Divine Order in a Chaotic Age: On Women Preaching

Our culture today does not embrace divine order in either scriptural form or natural form. Our culture is anti-order. Think of what Christopher Hitchens once wrote: “We atheists do not require any priests, or any hierarchy above them, to police our doctrine.” In Hitchens’ mind, the greatest evil is not the priest, but hierarchy–another word for divine order.

The Pyromaniacs have some thoughts on Thinking Like a Slave. It’s timely for me, I was surprised a few weeks back when I posted that Christians must regularly attend church, I received several vociferous replies that I was quite wrong. Dan Phillips here explains/rebuts/destroys the very reasons I received that are often given as justifications for failing to worship corporately. In other words, he nailed it.

Combined with the essay above regarding the rebellion of the ‘saved’ Christian against a divine order & hierarchy, it’s a nice bookend piece. Here’s Dan-

But no. I can roll them all together, and deal with them all in one. Every one of these excuses, though presented in great deal and with great conviction, shares the very same fatal flaw. Every one of them views the Christian life as a process of negotiation.

A good article on why music is becoming increasingly derivative and less creative

The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality)

Besides the decline of music literacy and participation, there has also been a decline in the quality of music which has been proven scientifically by Joan Serra, a postdoctoral scholar at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona. Joan and his colleagues looked at 500,000 pieces of music between 1955-2010, running songs through a complex set of algorithms examining three aspects of those songs:

The advent of drones makes aerial photography easier to produce for anyone without a pilot’s license and a plane. This series from My Modern Met depicts our connection with water. Beautiful photos

Stunning Aerial Photos Reveal the Natural Human Connection with Water

From the ocean, lakes, and rivers to hot baths and swimming pools, people are drawn to all types of water. For many, these bodies of water are cool, warm, comforting sanctuaries. Even from the early days of humanity, people sought out large expanses of water for survival, but also because it simply feels good to be in and around it.

These really ARE the Best Black Bean Burgers You’ve Ever Had. The secret is to briefly bake the black beans first, drying them out a bit. I am making these this weekend. Along with some yellow rice and an avocado it will be a delicious Saturday lunch!

I have been enjoying Netflix’s old BBC show Dad’s Army. A comedy about the WWII Home Guard. Clean and actually funny as well as heartwarming.

Enjoy your weekend!

flower.jpg

Posted in Obituary, theology

Rachel Held Evans, author, blogger, has died

By Elizabeth Prata

rhe
Rachel Held Evans, age 37, has died.

Columnist, author, mother of two, Evans had been in a medically induced coma since April 19, 2019. According to updates provided by her husband of 16 years, Dan, during treatment for an infection Rachel began exhibiting unexpected symptoms. Doctors found that her brain was experiencing constant seizures. The coma was induced in order to calm the seizures. On April 30th Dan wrote that the neurology team at the 3rd hospital they admitted Rachel to were now attempting to wean Rachel off of the coma medication without the seizures restarting, as there were complications that could occur if she was kept in a coma for too long. On May 2, 2019, Rachel experienced a sudden swelling of the brain that was not survivable. Rachel never regained consciousness.

Evans died early Saturday morning, May 4, 2019.

Evans was influential not only in the Christian world but in the secular world, too, for her liberal views of Christianity. Her openness about her personal doubt in the faith, her acceptance of homosexuality, her feminism, her promotion of gender egalitarianism, her waffling stance on abortion, and rage against an evangelical machine resonated with many.

Since her first book, “Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions”, was published in 2010, Rachel had begun accumulating a massive following on her website, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram; about a quarter of a million followers as of this month.

Her next book two years later was even more popular, making it to the NY Times’ Best Seller list. Titled, “A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master”, Rachel had decided to follow every Old Testament command for living as a wife/woman and wrote about it. Two other books followed, in 2015 and in 2018, as well as speaking engagements and broadcast interviews. Her recently established GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses rapidly exceeded the targeted amount of $70,000, raising $111,810 in just 11 days and rose even more after her death was announced. Rachel was popular.

Rachel’s supporters were many but so were her detractors. Espousing a liberalism that many (including me) understood to be beyond the bounds of God’s actual word, many feared for Rachel’s soul as much as we feared her influence.

Open Letters were written, rebukes were proffered, counseling was given. Sadly, as it appears to occur with most people who drift from the Word of God, she only entrenched herself further into aberrant views, drifting away from the Rock.

Her supporters are vociferous about Rachel’s goodness and her necessary and righteous theology. As this tragedy was agonizingly drawn out for her family over these last two weeks it adds to the upheaval as usually occurs when a public figure lingers tantalizingly in the twilight between life and death.

Oftentimes we are not given an opportunity to pray so well and so long for a person’s soul. Death comes suddenly in many cases, unexpectedly. For Rachel, many who were praying, including me, were praying for a physical and a spiritual awakening. Having looked so long into the deepness of the dark abyss, these two weeks were a time to publicly ponder eternity with or without a Holy God, much to many people’s discomfort.

The death of someone who lived the life of an apostate is sobering, never joyful to anyone who knows the truth of judgment for those outside the Lord. Though there are many who teach falsely in the world, some who anger me, some who puzzle me, there are some, like Rachel, that the Lord inexplicably put on my heart as if she was a close family member wandering from the fold. I cried real tears when I wrote my Open Letter to her 6 years ago, I cried real tears in Mid-April when I learned she was in dire medical condition, and I cried sorrowful grief-ridden tears over her death when I learned of it this morning.

I prayed that Rachel Held Evans, at some point, had repented. I know not of her final state, but here is a warning to her followers, as one pastor who wrote (not directly of Rachel’s death but in general):

The world’s favorite Christian is an apostate Christian; but that love is a suicidal love (Matthew 5:13-16).

May these two weeks have been a sobering time for people who cling to a theology that is of Rachel Held Evans and not of God, and had heeded the warnings of myself and many others who took a moment to warn in love. May that be the good that comes out of this tragedy.

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Christian feminism coming home to roost: Retrospective from 6 years ago

Today in evangelical circles we are dealing with an unthinkable situation: serious discussions of the possibility of a female President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and it’s Beth Moore of all people. I don’t think it will actually happen, but the trail has been blazed. The tweets have been sent. News articles have been written. The discussions have been significant. The possibility has been raised and not rejected. Next time the discussions will go further. That is the nature of sin.

We are reading news articles like this:
The Case for Electing Beth Moore President of the SBC

and seeing tweets like this:

russell moore

And we wonder, how did we get here? Slowly, incrementally, just as all sin happens. Sin has been tolerated, and once the camel has his nose under the tent, soon he enters fully.

Back in 2012 I wrote about how this creeping feminism would affect and harm the greater body. I said that the constant scenes of forward living women preaching and teaching men, being CEO of their own corporations ministries, globe-trotting, leaving children at home, and living lives that in the secular world are be called feminist, will come to roost.

Well, it has.

What you read below is an edited re-post of what I wrote in 2012. I pray that God has mercy on the young women who see the Christian feminists and become confused as to their roles. I pray that He is forbearing and patient a while longer, so the Bible teachers who live these Christian feminist lives would come to repentance. I pray He has mercy on the husbands who allow it. God did give the metaphorical Jezebel time to repent, and her daughters too, in Revelation 2 letter to the church at Thyatira. But He also threatened to strike her and her followers dead if they did not, and to repay those who tolerated her according to their deeds. Sin of whatever nature is serious, as when it is in the form of tolerating a false prophetess!

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There are some celebrity woman Bible teachers today who say that they live a life of biblical womanhood but their lives show something different- and it’s equal to the secular feminists. Let’s take a look at what the new Christian feminism is.

“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” was the feminist motto of the 1970s. The implication was that women didn’t ‘need’ a man at all.

Readers of the blog already know that I am not a fan of feminism. I wrote an essay called “The Eternal Discontent of Feminists“, in which I looked at the hypocritical standard secular feminists themselves apply to other women who are perceived as not doing feminism right. That, more than anything, lets us know that feminism is not about equal rights for women, it is about satan’s sowing of discontent among women and causing a division away from the Godly roles He has set up.

Feminism has encroached into Christianity. I think most people are still slumbering because I haven’t seen a hue and cry against it. Granted, it is subtle, especially in the women who claim to be evangelical in words but actually live a feminist life.

Source

There are now a number of popular Bible teachers/preachers who travel widely, filling arenas, marketing their books, selling their products, and leaving the husband at home to take care of the kids. These women have assumed the lead role in the marriage and are the main breadwinner, and/or the husband is the helpmeet, usually having set aside his career to work in his wife’s corporation ministry. While these women call what they are doing “ministry,” I call it “feminism”.

As with so much in evangelical Christianity, the waters are increasingly muddied on what should be clear. What is biblical womanhood? In today’s world is it the Bible preaching, sometimes ordained woman, traveling cross country, her husband at home helping with the kids, often having quit his job to help his famous wife perform her ministry?

Or it is a woman with a terribly flawed view of the Bible who sits in a tent when she has per period as a practice for what it was like to be a woman of the Bible for one year?

Or it is a new feminist who is open to women being ordained, to preaching, and/or to acceptance of gays into leadership positions while touting the rising up of women from subjugated roles?

There is something in between. It’s women who claim to be submitted Christian wives who just happen to teach the Bible but really are feminists living a life Gloria Steinem would envy. They are a new crop of what I’ll call Christian secret feminists. They live a feminist life inside of Christianity but call it ministry.

One woman who has much to answer for about this new role is Beth Moore. She was the one who broke new ground in how far a woman could go in attaining celebrity status, in workplace and homelife gender reversals, in being the main and sustained breadwinner of the family, and pr/teaching in a church and in the world. Mrs Moore, while speaking conservative values cloaked in all the right Christianese, lives a very forward life. You will see more details on this below.

A spiritual daughter of Mrs Moore in this generation of new Christian secret feminists is Christine Caine. Mrs Caine’s language is less cloaked in her declarations of what women can or should see as their roles in Christian home and work life. Mrs Caine is an ordained minister and part of Hillsong Church in Australia.

For example, in an interview reassuring Pastor’s wives that despite Caine’s visible usurpation of the traditional husband-wife roles, that their stay-at-home role is still viable: “Predominantly I might teach a little bit and I step out into what would be the more classic leadership gift, so a lot of people say ‘I’m not that, so therefore I must not have a role to play…'”

It is no wonder that woman are confused when they see leaders or peers taking on the ‘classic leadership gift’. And that is one way they cloak their rebellion in Christianese: it is not a role or a job, it is a ‘gift’.

Christine continues in the interview by acknowledging that there are “women who are gentle and loving and nurturing”, and there are other “women who come along side and do a bit more “non-gentle prodding help people go to the next level.” But that in “no way diminishes your role.”

Really? Sure it does. It sets up women to be discontent. By justifying herself in the leadership role as a gift from God (and who can argue with that?) and acknowledging that there are ‘levels’ and women need to get to, but at the same time saying it is important to stay at home and be nurturing…she has completely confused any listener as to the clear guidelines of the notion of what Biblical womanhood is. She says one thing (and not too clearly, either) and does another.

Jennie Allen is founder of of If:Gathering and one of the youngest of the feminist-living ladies on this list. IF is a tax exempt corporation, and shows founder Jennie as President and CEO, working 40/hours week, with husband Zac as board chair working 10 hours week. Allen is quoted in Christianity Today article as saying, “We’ve been slow to step into our giftedness or strengths. For a long time, that wasn’t an option,” said Allen.”

Discernment tip: one way to detect if a person is in the Word is to see if what they say and what they do match up over time. If what they say and what they do are different, run away.

Mrs Caine’s reassurances use a neat scriptural twist. The way satan works with any woman’s objection to women taking on home or ministry leadership roles is to acknowledge that the women feel weak or unsure in them, but to get around it by assuring them that all they need to do is have courage to step out and let Jesus work through their weakness, citing 2 Corinthians 12:9. Or simply as Jennie Allen encourages, ‘just do it because the time is now’.

In that same interview, Mrs Caine said, “The only way I was able to continue in my role is that my senior pastor’s wife stepped into her role and chose not to be threatened or intimidated because the giftings were different.”

Oh, I get it. Women are now complementarians to each other. It’s the height of irony that again, unwittingly, Mrs Caine acknowledges that these new ‘roles’ set up discontent and that she is glad that in her situation at least, the pastor’s wife wasn’t jealous of her fabulous gift of leadership. A good portion of the middle of the interview is Caine’s description of how women are to be complementarian of each other in church settings. One takes the wifely nurturing role so that the younger ones coming up can step out, so to speak.

Now, female support between and among ministries is a good thing, and it is biblically commanded. (Titus 2:4) but the description in Titus is for elder women to teach the younger is in their biblically defined helpmeet role, not to be a helpmeet to other women who usurp into classic male roles. It is another twist of using the Bible to justify what is not proper.

Priscilla Shirer is another of these new Christian secret feminists whose life is more forward than their spiritual mothers. I’ve posted this before but it bears repeating:

This NY Times article notes that “Priscilla Shirer’s marriage appears to be just the sort of enlightened partnership that would make feminists cheer.”

The article describes what makes the liberal and secular newspaper and their readership, cheer. Mr Shirer, who quit his job to serve his wife’s organization ministry,  spends much of the day negotiating Priscilla’s speaking invitations and her book contracts. In the afternoon it’s often Mr Shirer who collects the boys from school. Back home, Priscilla and Jerry divide chores and child care equally.

“Jerry quit his job to run his wife’s ministry. Priscilla now accepts about 20 out of some 300 speaking invitations each year, and she publishes a stream of Bible studies, workbooks and corresponding DVDs intended for women to read and watch with their girlfriends from church. Jerry does his share of housework and child care so that Priscilla can study and write. He travels with his wife everywhere. Whenever possible, they take their sons along on her speaking trips, but they often deposit the boys with Jerry’s mother,”‘ states the article.

If you delete the name Priscilla Shirer and substitute Gloria Steinem, and change the word ministry to job you have a description of a life that any feminist would be proud of.

By now Beth Moore is one of the elders in this realm. Moore has been “on the ministry circuit” for 15 years. Thus, her rebellious example has been long in view for many women who have watched her since they were an impressionable teen. So is Sheryl Brady and Joyce Meyer. Those women were the trailblazers for women in male leadership ministry. Newcomers arriving on the scene such as Priscilla Shirer or Christine Caine, and the younger Rachel Held Evans and Jennie Allen, have learned from the best of the Christian secret feminists. For example:

Beth Moore said to Christianity Today in 2010 that her man demanded a regular home life so she only travels every other Friday and comes right back home the next day.

“We walk the dogs together and eat out together all the time and lie on the floor with pillows and watch TV,” Moore says. “My man demanded attention and he got it, and my man demanded a normal home life and he got it.”

Aww, isn’t that nice. But it’s disingenuous in the extreme. The reality is that Mrs Moore is not only gone from home at least 20 times per year on her Living Proof tours, which is a lot if you have kids and a husband. Mrs Moore appears weekly on the Life Today television show, travels for weeks on book tours, where she expounds on the burning question all women in America are apparently asking, “How can women find validation without a man’s affirmation?” and which her book So Long, Insecurity apparently attempts to answer.

She also spends extended private time for weeks in a cabin by herself in Wyoming to write (as stated in the preface to “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things”). She is the President of her own company that in 2011 brought in 4.1 million dollars, with an excess after expenses of 1.3M, stated working hours of 40/week. If you think all she does is lay around on pillows gazing adoringly at her man then all I can say is look at what she does, not what she says.  Beth Moore is a Christian secret feminist because for years she has lived that way, no matter what blather she tells Christianity Today.

It is no wonder women are confused when they see Beth Moore telling us that you can have it all, and still be a Christian woman, if you call it ministry. Enjoli.

Rachel Held Evans “is one of the better known Christian writers in mainline and progressive circles these days. Her new book examines what it would mean to live life as a woman according to the Biblical laws for a year. It’s in the vein of books like AJ Jacobs’ “The Year of Living Biblically” and other “human guinea pig” projects. The book is funny, thoughtful and empowering for women seeking to understand where they fit within a faith that has largely been controlled by men for centuries” writes Patheos.

Ms Evans says she is an accidental feminist, writing on her blog, “Most of all, if these critics knew me, they would know that it isn’t feminism that inspires me to advocate gender equality in the Church and in the world; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

That seems to be another approach to justifying Christian feminism, “it was an accident”, or “God surprised me with this ministry” as Priscilla Shirer says, as if stating that since it was all out of their hands they are not nor will be morally and spiritually culpable on the Lord’s day of Judgment. I can assure Mrs Evans that Jesus did not deliver the Gospel by His blood so she could use it to promote a different role for women than He has already ordained.

We have looked at some of today’s most popular Christian secret and open feminists, the old guard and the new pups coming up. I offered you some examples from their own statements of how their lives in reality more match the secular world’s view of a strong feminist woman rather than the biblical helpmeet.

The old saying from the 70s, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” was the feminist motto. Now the only difference for today’s Christian secret feminist is the logo on her purse.

Christian feminists part 2
Christian feminists Part 3