On Beth Moore and Complementarianism

let us be “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the sake of t

I find in the writing/blogging world that there are a lot of people with large platforms who write about the same topics but just in their own way. Why should I contribute to the noise? I’m just a lay person, a woman, serving in my local church which I love. That is the perspective from which I write and contribute my own little bit of noise.

This week well-known Bible teacher Beth Moore posted  “A Letter to My Brothers”. I read it in disbelief. I have never experienced that kind of conduct from Christian men and leaders that I’ve been in fellowship with through all my years of being a Christian. I believe the Elders of my church respect and appreciate my thoughts on a subject. I work at another church as Publications Secretary and even there I believe my opinion is valued. I suppose they could be rolling their eyes as I leave or speaking unkindly about me behind closed doors, but I don’t see this behavior. Upon reading her letter I had to ask myself, “Do Christian men and leaders really behave in such a sinful manner?”

Then I read the very humble letter of Thabiti Anyabwile asking forgiveness for his own “patronizing and chauvinist attitude” toward not just Beth Moore but other women in ministry. He confessed that he expressed this wrong attitude in the presence of other men. My eyes were opened to the fact that there are indeed Christian leaders who behave in this way.

I am a complementarian. I believe the Bible teaches this throughout, beginning with the first 3 chapters of Genesis and continuing throughout the New Testament. Women were a part of Jesus’ ministry, working alongside Him, just as some worked alongside Paul. I trust that my church leaders are also complementarians. Complementarianism is the theological view that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, religious leadership, etc. Though we as women may not be able to fill certain positions within the church because of the roles God ordained in His Word, we are still considered equal in value as image bearers of God. An egalitarian, on the other hand, believes there is no gender-based limitations on roles for women within the church. Those are very brief definitions and not the point of this article. If you are interested in learning more about their differences you can visit The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

As a friend shared Thabiti Anyabwile’s response letter on Facebook, she commented: Whether or not you are a Beth Moore follower, let’s voice credit where due. Beth did what many people have done through the ages as believers which is, she suffered and endured. The credit goes to her. She didn’t demand honor or recognition or position or respect. She didn’t ask generations of men to repent for their judgmental treatment of her, nor did she expect any reparations for damage done to her livelihood. That’s the thing I hope the minister saw here, as well. (Used with Permission.)

I believe that was great insight. I also commend Thabiti Anyabwile for his public apology. He could have sent her an email or just repented to the Lord, but he chose to hold himself accountable by making a public stand. I hope other Christian men and leaders, from those with platforms to those in small country churches who have behaved in a same manner, will follow his lead and make apologies to whom they are due.

My daily scroll through social media confirms that we as Christians are divided more than ever on many issues. Sisters, let this not be another cause for division within our churches and with our brothers in Christ. Brothers, build up your sisters in Christ and not tear them down whether in thought or deed. Value our opinions and let us have opportunity to serve in the church in the ways God has ordained. Together, let us be “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the sake of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27 ESV)

A Grandpa Christmas

Sis with Grandpa

Christmas 1979: My Sister and Grandpa

In the mid 70s, when every day was #Shoplocal in our small hometown of Benton, Illinois, Star Best, P.N. Hirsch and Woolworth’s were the stores of choice. Today’s Amazon arrived in the hands of excited children, like me, in the form of a Sears Roebuck or JC Penny catalog. As I lay on my grandpa’s family room floor, the colorful, sleek pages were earmarked with the hope that Santa would deliver my much-desired Mrs. Beasley doll.

My grandpa, a hard-working coal miner, loved Christmas. Each year he gave my mom one hundred dollars to spend on my grandmother at Star Best, an exclusive boutique on the square. My mom and grandmother sat aside a Saturday to drive up to Mt. Vernon and begin their holiday shopping. I was included. If they were going to Woolworth’s Department Store, they were not going without me. I loved walking through the store and seeing all the different items they had. The best part, if I behaved myself, was the grilled cheese and strawberry shake I would get at their restaurant for lunch. Mom and grandma always had to rush their shopping. If we were not back by two in the afternoon, Grandpa would be pacing the floor and looking out the window until we returned.

Packages from Sears and JC Penny arrived in the mail, hidden in closets, to be wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. Finally, Christmas day was here! We each took a turn opening a package. After all the packages were opened, Grandpa would say, with a beaming grin, something like: “Now, I’m sure I saw something in the basement that Santa couldn’t put up here. Let me check.” Up from the basement he would come with a shiny new bike or some other big gift we had asked for. Grandpa also used the department store catalogs to put money in. My sister and I would go page by page to find one-dollar bills, fifty to sometimes one hundred total, hidden in their pages. Grandpa was never very affectionate, but after all the gifts were opened, my sister and I would give him a quick kiss on his shiny balding head. He never made a response, but I think he secretly liked the attention.

We each had stockings with our names on them. My grandpa did the Christmas socks even for the adults. We opened them last. The contained candy, Cracker Jacks and little gifts. My grandpa liked to play jokes. One year he put coal in my sister’s sock. “Were you not a good girl this year?” he asked her. She started crying. Grinning he said, “Wait. Santa made a mistake. Here’s your sock.” He pulled her real sock out from behind a hiding place.

Time changes things. Star Best, P.N. Hirsch and Woolworth’s are gone. Grandpa passed away several years ago. With his passing, Christmas was no longer the same. The beaming smile was no longer seen pulling gifts out of the basement. His laughter as a jokester no longer heard. You see, Christmas was never about the gifts, but about the person, my grandpa, who gave them out with such joy.

From Fear to Faith

         Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

She walked afraid. Each step forward a victory as the powers of darkness raged war around her. Her hand drew back, unprepared for the cold steel handle as she pulled open the door. She stopped as fear gripped her and her feet refused to move. Demons grinned at her hesitation. They knew she wouldn’t go through it. She always made promises to herself but she never kept them. Suddenly she heard the kind, gentle voice of an elderly woman, “Welcome, dear. I haven’t seen you here before. Let me help you find a seat.” She smiled at the older woman. Her voice reminded her of her grandmother. She followed her through the double doors and slipped beside her on a pew. She nervously tugged at her skirt. For the first time in her life she was embarrassed by its shortness. The woman patted her hand and directed her attention to the front of the church.

Listening attentively, her heart took in every word the man of God was preaching. He spoke of rest. A rest only found in Jesus Christ. Her soul was weary. She longed for that rest. But how could this Jesus give her that rest? The man of God spoke of sin. She knew her own sin well enough but he also spoke of Jesus’ love. Love enough to die on a cross for all who would believe…for her if she would believe. How could she believe in this love? No one loved her. Her mom was a drunk and her dad nowhere to be found. Men confessed their love to her but only to use and abuse her later.

A tear slipped from her cheek then another and another. She wiped them in embarrassment. No matter how hard she stuck her nail in her palm, she couldn’t stop the tears. They began to sing “Jesus Paid It All.” She glanced at the woman beside her. She wasn’t singing but her head was bowed and her lips moved rapidly in fervent prayer. She couldn’t take another moment of this agony.

“Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r and thine alone,
Can change the lepers’ spots
and melt the heart of stone.”

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved…” Ephesians 2: 4,5 (ESV)

She walked afraid but to the altar she fearlessly ran.

If you don’t know this love of Jesus, I’d be happy to share more about Him and what He did and is doing in my own heart and life. My email is hiswonderfuldeeds11@gmail.com.