Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quoting the Fathers of Complementarianism

I created an album on The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors Facebook page with sexist quote memes from influential theologians, past and present.

The album caption reads:

I made these memes to illustrate the origins of today’s complementarian (i.e. patriarchal) beliefs. Some complementarians simply appear unable to recognize the deeply ingrained sexism of their worldview. Just because they can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there:

Sexism [sek-siz-uh m] noun
1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.

2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.

Ideas. Have. Consequences. Reading the Bible through a patriarchal lens devalues the imago dei (image of God) in women – who were created to share dominion with men (Genesis 1:28) and are gifted by the Holy Spirit to build the Kingdom alongside their brothers (Galatians 3:28).

These quotes are not the sum contribution of these theologians and pastors. Even great minds are only human and are marred by sin and an imperfect cultural bias. Every single human being is wrong about a lot of things, and I am not writing off everything they ever wrote about God and the Bible because I believe they were wrong about women.

However, it is also important to acknowledge that patriarchy stems from the curse and has been harmful to women and to the work of the Church. It is still present in this fallen world and in the Bride of Christ. Thankfully, Jesus is redeeming the fallen nature of the world and cleansing his Church of all impurities. Patriarchy will one day be a stain on the history of the Church rather than a present reality.

Send me more quotes and I will add to this album!

“Complementarian” refers to a theological view that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, and religious leadership. Essentially, the view begets spiritual authority to men and subjugates women. The language (e.g. “complementary,” “equal but different”) can imply a harmless view, but it is inherently abusive to create hierarchy where God intends equality and to bar women from fulfilling their callings and using their gifts (Genesis 1:28, Galatians 3:28, etc.). All image bearers are created to have dominion and all believers have the Holy Spirit. Christ is the head of his Church and we are to submit to one another out of deference for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

Here is a sample of the memes:

Please go to The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors on Facebook to share this album! And comment below if you know of more quotes you would add. Thank you!

Alan Hirsch – Missional Discipleship

alanhirschI had a wild experience this week, meeting a leader in the missional church movement that has been influential in my understanding of living on mission for God’s Kingdom. I had stayed up half the night before church last week, watching Alan Hirsch videos on Youtube, trying to find something I could show during our Sunday School hour to start a discussion on missional discipleship – which requires deconstructing our Christ-against-culture/evangelism/consumerism mindsets and reconstructing a mindset of discipleship through relationship, meeting and loving people where they are, drawing them to Christ through showing up, time and again.

Anyway, I had just had this Alan-Hirsch-binge and a few days later, was face-to-face with him at my job, where he was attending a dinner! “Are you Alan Hirsch?!” I exclaimed, and when he smilingly told me he was, we shook hands and I thanked him for his work. Then I recovered my professionalism and carried on. But it got me thinking that I ought to share his work here with my blog readers. So here is the video I chose for my Sunday School class, and the notes I passed out. You can learn more about Alan Hirsch here.

“Missional Discipleship” 

Discipleship is fundamental to our faith – it is formation in Christ. Missional discipleship incorporates the assimilation of spiritual disciplines (prayer, etc.) but goes beyond to involve ourselves in the eternal purposes of God in this world to redeem it to himself.

Highly transformative missional movements throughout history, with explosive growth and high transformation (the early Church, the Celtic movement, Moravians, Methodists, Pentecostals) have been obsessed with discipleship and disciple-making.

The key to the health, sustainment, extension and renewal of the church is not more evangelism, but more discipleship.

Greek philosopher Epictetus – “It’s impossible to teach a man what he thinks he already knows.”

There’s some unlearning we need to do. We’ve used the Great Commission to mean “we do evangelism.”

Matthew 28:16-20 “All power and authority has been given to me…Go…make disciples of the nations, teaching them to obey all that I’ve commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Where do you hear evangelism here? Evangelism is implied, but it is actually about discipleship.

The way we’ve been doing evangelism feeds consumerism. People are looking for purpose, meaning, significance, belonging, community – the very thing religion offers is being sought in consumption.

You can’t make disciples out of consumers. Jesus said “die,” come to the cross. You can’t take that out of the equation and expect the same results. We must begin with the end in mind – what God intends to achieve in the world. But we must also end with the beginning in mind. It’s all about discipleship, from beginning to end.

When were the disciples born again? Right up front? In the middle? Towards the end? The Johannine Pentecost (John 20:19-23)? Jesus has a whole lot of pre-conversion disciples. That’s what we should do! Don’t focus on the evangelism part, focus on discipleship. Somewhere along the line will come the born again experience – that comes from God. That’s Jesus’ business.

First draw out the image of God (Image Dei) and then the image of Christ (Imago Christi). Once you’re born again, you’re reformed into the image of Jesus.

Definition: The answer is Jesus.

I believe in substitutionary atonement achieved by Christ on the cross. But it’s not simply that. “It’s Jesus in my heart…but there’s no agenda in my life beyond that.”

Incarnation————————————————————————————————Cross
The exemplary life of Jesus, his life and teachings, the role he played –
This is the agenda of discipleship!

Ignoring the life of Jesus is a reduction of the Gospel that damages our capacity to be disciples. The cross is where Jesus is my Savior. The rest is where he is my Lord. It is a heresy to divide the person and work of Jesus.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – “Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ. Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship. And Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”

C.S. Lewis “It is easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects—education, building, missions, holding services …the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It says in the Bible that the whole universe was made for Christ, and that everything is to be gathered in him. That is what it is all about.”


Thank you for visiting TBKW! We are on Facebook too – where we post links daily from around the web on the topic of gender in the Church and world. Subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post or resource we share here!

Emily Joy – Thank God I’m a Virgin

Here is a powerful spoken word poem by Emily Joy, reflecting on the idolatry of purity culture. The Youtube byline says, “‘Thank God I’m a Virgin’ is an exploration of the logical consequences of a Christian purity culture that places undue emphasis on the status of one’s virginity, especially female virginity, over against one’s character and heart. It seeks to correct and indict those who would set themselves up as judge of who is in and who is out of the kingdom and community of God on the basis of their sexuality.”

From the upcoming album, “All Prodigal Daughters and Sons”

Get this single on iTunes here: https://goo.gl/DBLzDs

Get this single on Amazon here: http://goo.gl/iRY3BF

Lyrics:
Well thank God I’m a virgin!
Or he probably wouldn’t want me.
I thought as I listened silently
While he told me
That he just couldn’t be with someone
Who had been with someone else,
Which is like 90% of adults by the age of 25,
So your already limited pool is shrinking very quickly,
But don’t let me discourage you.
Carry on.
Tell me how you saved yourself.
How you saved up enough points with God
To buy an unspoiled bride
And you will not settle for less.
Tell me about her white dress,
How it will “mean something.”
Tell me what it means.
Tell me what it’s like to have nothing you regret,
To have made it through life unscathed
By either bliss or pain.
What does that feel like?
Is it very lonely?
Or does it just feel safe,
Like keeping your cocoon heart all wrapped up and tucked away
Hoping to God someday it becomes a butterfly
Before it dies from the frost.
I hope whoever she is,
She meets all your expectations.
I hope enough of her heart is intact
For you to feel like the wait was worth it.
I hope she never knows you wouldn’t have wanted her
If she wasn’t a virgin.
Cause everybody knows a girl is only as valuable
As the men who haven’t touched her.
Only as desirable as the experiences she hasn’t had.
But baby, when you get to her,
She better know what to do in bed.
She better satisfy your wildest pornographic fantasies,
Know all the right ways to move
Body parts she has never had the chance to use.
Cause God would never fail you, right?
You waited on his timing, now he owes you.
Anything less is not the bill of goods they sold you.
So I hope it works out for you.
I really do.
But if it doesn’t, just remember what I told you.
That a heart cannot be divided into pieces
And given away till there is nothing left.
That the greatest gift you can give
Has nothing to do with your flesh.
That love is really just grace.
That a lifetime of avoidance
Does not prepare one for a lifetime of joy and pain.
That “virgin” is not a sexual preference,
Nor is it your birthright.
Baby, your insecurity is showing.
She chose you.
What more do you want?


Thanks for visiting The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors – a place for redemptive dialogue about gender roles in the Church and world, and the plight of women due to sanctified patriarchy. Every human, as a divine image bearer, was designed for dignity and dominion in the care of God’s creation. We all submit and defer to one another, and love one another, avoiding hierarchy for the sake of the Kingdom. Believing in equality for women in the Church is not man-hating, it is restoring God’s intent for how we will live in the Kingdom of God.

If this is not how your church taught gender roles, visit our Fav Links page (at the top of this page) for lots of resources, and explore our archives for more information.

Find us on Facebook for daily links from around the web, and subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post! God bless!