Rachel Held Evans challenged to male bloggers last week in response to John Piper’s statement at the Desiring God conference that “God has given Christianity a masculine feel”, which she thought was “a strange way to talk about the Bride of Christ.” There is an amazing collection of responses already which is why I love the internet that it can rally so many people together so quickly to oppose harmful teaching. So this is more of a quick rant then a well thought out post (story of my life on here it seems lately).
My wife, also named Rachel, is like Jesus. None of these masculine Christianity guys have ever heard of my wife. Maybe they never will. And that is good. God worked through babies, women, crippled, children, outcasts, prostitutes, rich, poor, men, jews, gentiles and anyone else who He chose and who they haven’t heard of either. God chose nobodies and made them into somebodies and then people wrote about them later in the stories that we read in the Bible. Generally when we read stories about the loud mouthed prideful men in the bible it’s because God’s not giving them what they want or they are doing something awfully inhumane and God steps in to put an end to it. Very rarely does God seem to care about what men conclude about him, or when men try to make something of themselves, or when men continually speak about what a leader is supposed to look like or be (the answer to the question is a humble servant, which they never seem to be able to figure out).
My guess is that with all this oppressive talk God has been ignoring them for quite some time now and they just need to get louder to try and get his attention back. But God isn’t there. God is with women like my wife. My wife right now spends her time meeting with other women who have left abusive loud mouthed men. She interviews them and watches the cycle of oppression. Many of them it starts with oppressive words, ignored needs and the belief that a woman belongs to a man, and that it is a man’s world and that they should give their wives a “masculine feel.” My wife also spends her time teaching students how to take care of old people. She also spends her time constantly making gifts for all her friends around her. She also spends her time visiting sick people in hospitals. She also spends her time with children from our community and takes them on dates. She spends time with the people that Jesus spent time with. So if God gave us a masculine Christianity it is so that men can learn to serve everyone else, not so that he can attract more men into his church, what better way to do that then realize that maybe to be the best kind of Christian, is to get more in touch with our femininity?
Women like my wife, teach me what it looks like to be part of the kingdom of God. Loud mouthed celebrity Christians don’t. So I offer this to bring some balance to Piper modelling his statement and conclusion that he made here.
From looking through the scriptures, and seeing that the Holy Spirit is written in feminine language, the church is called the bride of Christ, women are constantly named and given important roles (in a culture where this was unheard of), man literally needed woman to be completely human, wisdom is also spoken of in feminine language, women were the first to see our Saviour ressurected (thank God they weren’t silent about it), there is no male or female in christ jesus, where women were known leaders in the early church, our Saviour was born (without needing man) to a virgin women, women were named in our Saviour’s genealogy and my wife teaches, models and speaks (boldly) out loud in our church service.
From all this, I conclude that God has given Christianity a feminine feel.
So maybe if you take my word and Piper’s word and put them together, we can conclude that God gave Christianity a Jesus feel incorporating the image of God in every human and stop trying to genderize our faith because the Bible doesn’t, God doesn’t, Jesus doesn’t, Paul doesn’t and neither should we.