Masculine Christianity sees women only as wives and mothers, only as sexualized objects

The other day, I posted on the words of John Piper who called Christianity masculine. Tim GombisRachel Held Evans, JDR Kirk, and Scott McKnight have since done so as well.

1. A masculine ministry believes that it is more fitting that men take the lash of criticism that must come in a public ministry, than to unnecessarily expose women to this assault.

2. A masculine ministry seizes on full-orbed, biblical doctrine with a view to teaching it to the church and pressing it with courage into the lives of the people.

3. A masculine ministry brings out the more rugged aspects of the Christian life and presses them on the conscience of the church with a demeanor that accords with their proportion in Scripture.

4. A masculine ministry takes up heavy and painful realities in the Bible, and puts them forward to those who may not want to hear them.

5. A masculine ministry heralds the truth of Scripture, with urgency and forcefulness and penetrating conviction, to the world and in the regular worship services of the church.

6. A masculine ministry welcomes the challenges and costs of strong, courageous leadership without complaint or self-pity with a view to putting in place principles and structures and plans and people to carry a whole church into joyful fruitfulness.

7. A masculine ministry publicly and privately advocates for the vital and manifold ministries of women in the life and mission of the church.

8. A masculine ministry models for the church the protection, nourishing, and cherishing of a wife and children as part of the high calling of leadership.

There is so many things wrong here. For one, where are the validity of women as women and not as a wife or mother? I mean, sure, there is the denial of the aspect of Wisdom in the Divine, something I’ve covered before. And yes, I named my daughter after Jesus… Sophia.

Further, there is the notion that a non-masculine ministry will not uphold Scripture and conviction (point 5). Really? Ignoring the fact that Piper believes he is right on these matters, how would a more feminine Christianity (anyone find it ironic that Israel and the Church have been called the Bride of YHWH/Christ, meaning that it should be by nature feminine?) not do those things? Further, I guess women couldn’t preach that people are depraved (point 4) because they would be too busy teaching Grace. This makes women seem weak, misinformed and only good for being a wife and a mother, which, of course, seems to involve predominantly sex. Odd that Mark Driscoll teaches so much about sex, ain’t it? While some will take issue with the idea of an God who is Male-and-Female, I note the role of Wisdom and Logos in the Divine as well as Genesis 1 and that particular passage in Galatians.

I have two daughters and a son and all will be valued in Church, in the Body of Christ, in the Bride of Christ for what they do, not for the body parts they were born with.

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Post By Joel Watts (9,934 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, working on the use of Deuteronomy in the Fourth Gospel. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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5 thoughts on Masculine Christianity sees women only as wives and mothers, only as sexualized objects

  1. 2. A masculine ministry seizes on full-orbed, biblical doctrine with a view to teaching it to the church and pressing it with courage into the lives of the people.

    3. A masculine ministry brings out the more rugged aspects of the Christian life and presses them on the conscience of the church with a demeanor that accords with their proportion in Scripture.

    4. A masculine ministry takes up heavy and painful realities in the Bible, and puts them forward to those who may not want to hear them.

    5. A masculine ministry heralds the truth of Scripture, with urgency and forcefulness and penetrating conviction, to the world and in the regular worship services of the church.

    6. A masculine ministry welcomes the challenges and costs of strong, courageous leadership without complaint or self-pity with a view to putting in place principles and structures and plans and people to carry a whole church into joyful fruitfulness.

    Is it just me, or are these virtues he lists not so much masculine virtues as they are prophetic virtues? They’re only “masculine” virtues because he calls them as such. Biblically speaking, the office of prophet was open both to men and to women. Ergo, 3/4 of his list does not describe a male-only ministry; it describes a ministry to which, historically, both men and women have been called, and which, historically, both men and women have done well.

    • Cory, I would agree with you, but Piper adds Gender to those things on purpose. Otherwise, take Gender out, and bam, great stuff

      • Exactly. None of the things he mentions in 2-6 are bad; in fact, drop out the word “masculine,” and that’s what a biblical ministry would look like.

        On the one hand, kudos to him for following his convictions all the way to their full logical extension. But on the other hand, in his zeal to follow what he sees as the biblical, prophetic pattern for ministry, he has actually ignored quite a bit about what the Bible says on the subject.

  2. Sigh! I only just noticed you posted on this. Sigh!

    I enjoyed Pipers book desiring God, but I have come to realise I have read it within a different framework of understanding to which he actually wrote it.

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