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Thread: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

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    Senior Member Kevin Timpe's Avatar

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    "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    A few years back when I was teaching at NNU, I remember a graduating senior female ministry major asking the following question: "What should I say if I'm interviewing at a church and they ask me if I'm a feminist?" My reply: "You should say 'of course I am, and you should be too.'" Perhaps not the most prudent advice, even if the embedded claim is true.

    I continue to be puzzled by the resistance to feminism from evangelical circles.

    One of my new colleagues just posted this at Patheos. I wish I'd had this to give my student (and many others) while at NNU.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxious...bout-feminism/

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    Senior Member Jim Franklin's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Take that Dana Garvey and your depiction of the "church lady."

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Timpe View Post
    A few years back when I was teaching at NNU, I remember a graduating senior female ministry major asking the following question: "What should I say if I'm interviewing at a church and they ask me if I'm a feminist?" My reply: "You should say 'of course I am, and you should be too.'" Perhaps not the most prudent advice, even if the embedded claim is true.

    I continue to be puzzled by the resistance to feminism from evangelical circles.

    One of my new colleagues just posted this at Patheos. I wish I'd had this to give my student (and many others) while at NNU.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxious...bout-feminism/
    Dismayed, yes. Puzzled, no.

    Given that a literalist reading of the Bible appears to prescribe gender roles that were commonplace in the ancient world and mostly unchallenged in the biblical witness, it's not at all surprising that today's fundamentalists and theological conservatives find plenty to hate about all varieties of contemporary feminism.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis
    Thanks Diane Likens - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Kevin Timpe's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Yeah, the kind of literalist reading of the Scriptures puzzles me too.

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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Timpe View Post
    A few years back when I was teaching at NNU, I remember a graduating senior female ministry major asking the following question: "What should I say if I'm interviewing at a church and they ask me if I'm a feminist?" My reply: "You should say 'of course I am, and you should be too.'" Perhaps not the most prudent advice, even if the embedded claim is true.

    I continue to be puzzled by the resistance to feminism from evangelical circles.

    One of my new colleagues just posted this at Patheos. I wish I'd had this to give my student (and many others) while at NNU.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxious...bout-feminism/
    If she was smart, that would not be her reply. She should reply, "that is a very loaded word. Tell me what you mean when you say the word, and I will answer." We have to know that is a loaded word, and there needs to be some unpacking done before we answer.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

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    Senior Member Lucas Finch's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    I've long been an advocate of women in all roles. Most women that I know are more capable than me at, well, just about everything. To try to offer some perspective, though . . .

    For those of us who were raised and still live in conservative settings, the word "feminism" carries some baggage with it. It is unfortunate and inaccurate baggage, and yet it is very real to those people. The word "feminist" conjures up mental images of man-hating, angry women. I have since learned that those mental images are far from what feminism represents, but it takes a lot of work to convince people of that. Generally, in my setting, though I embrace the ideals of feminism, it is more helpful to not embrace that language and to rather focus on what accurate feminism looks like when carried out. (In my sermon on the Second Sunday of Easter a few weeks ago, I spent time explaining to my church's congregation why the COTN affirms women in all roles of leadership. Surprisingly, I did not get any pushback, and I got quite a few "Amens".)

    Personally, I also tend to avoid associating myself with most -isms, -ians, and -ists. I usually don't even consider myself a "Christian" but rather call myself a "Christ-follower". But I wholeheartedly embrace what feminism stands for, and have, on occasion, said that I am basically a feminist, even if I do not like to take those sort of titles for myself.
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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Finch View Post
    I've long been an advocate of women in all roles. Most women that I know are more capable than me at, well, just about everything. To try to offer some perspective, though . . .

    For those of us who were raised and still live in conservative settings, the word "feminism" carries some baggage with it. It is unfortunate and inaccurate baggage, and yet it is very real to those people. The word "feminist" conjures up mental images of man-hating, angry women. I have since learned that those mental images are far from what feminism represents, but it takes a lot of work to convince people of that. Generally, in my setting, though I embrace the ideals of feminism, it is more helpful to not embrace that language and to rather focus on what accurate feminism looks like when carried out. (In my sermon on the Second Sunday of Easter a few weeks ago, I spent time explaining to my church's congregation why the COTN affirms women in all roles of leadership. Surprisingly, I did not get any pushback, and I got quite a few "Amens".)

    Personally, I also tend to avoid associating myself with most -isms, -ians, and -ists. I usually don't even consider myself a "Christian" but rather call myself a "Christ-follower". But I wholeheartedly embrace what feminism stands for, and have, on occasion, said that I am basically a feminist, even if I do not like to take those sort of titles for myself.
    I tend to advise that in the absence of clear definition they take the opportunity to define it themselves. I would have them answer, If by feminist you mean man hating political activist then no absolutely not. If you mean that women should have equal opportunities as men, be paid the same for the same job and be leaders and pastors in the church, as is our Nazarene stance, then I suppose I am that sort of feminist, but then so is the Church of the Nazarene.

    If that answer blows them up then they need to go to another district anyway.
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    Host Theology Forum David Graham's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    I have a good relationship with a female Minister on our Presbytery who used to be our State Moderator. She's really a devout, personable well balanced woman.... who says that she is a feminist. No worries, I could warm to that type of "feminism".

    But I've also met another type of feminist too, the man attacking, humourless, win at all cost type of feminist and I'm not enamored with these at all. And yes they are ugly.... and I'm not talking about outward appearance either. Their ugliness stems from the bitterness with in.

    Of course there are a lot of men who "push" particular types of theological barrows too who fit into the same ugly category. I really think its all about how moderate people are in their particular positions. If you push things too far with the "rightness" of your cause without considering the opinions and feelings of others, then you actually diminish your case and push others away from you.
    Thanks John Kennedy, Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Kevin Timpe's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Yes, that's closer to the (better than my) advice she got from Diane.

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    Senior Member Kevin Timpe's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Quote Originally Posted by David Graham View Post
    But I've also met another type of [Christian] too, the [world] attacking, humourless, win at all cost type of [Christian] and I'm not enamored with these at all. And yes they are ugly.... and I'm not talking about outward appearance either. Their ugliness stems from the bitterness with in.
    Yeah, me too. Which is what I don't align myself with the label at all.
    Thanks David Graham - "thanks" for this post

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    Host Theology Forum David Graham's Avatar

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    Re: "10 Things [Many] Christians Get Wrong About Feminism"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Timpe View Post
    Yeah, me too. Which is what I don't align myself with the label at all.
    Sure that too..... which was precisely my point about being more "moderate" and thus still remaining as a part of the "human race" as "amicable type" people.

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