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more extrabiblical blogging

So Rachel Held Evans blogged a response to Kathy Keller and others who are criticizing her work. Wait, you’re a writer? You publish stuff? You are popular? And you balk at people critizing you? Haha. get used to it baby. It’s only just begun. If you want to voice an opinion, you must equally want to hear others’ opinions. It’s a rule. It’s broken often, but it doesn’t negate the existence of the true human clause of equal opportunity.

And speaking of equal opportunity, I’m loving the debate on womanhood. We go through phases of men men men manly men who do things like Promise Keepers and we collectively think, oh God, the men are organizing now.

Don’t get me wrong. Please please don’t get me wrong here. I believe in the order of things. I do. If you HAVE to write it out a woman submits to her husband. That is the way of it. That is the bottom line. But the right kind of man doesn’t let it get to the bottom line. And the right kind of woman has married a man whose bottom line she will ALWAYS WITHOUT A DOUBT NOT BATTING AN EYELASH agree to. If you didn’t marry that man, then, well, you work that out now or you are sinning. That’s my opinion. You are welcome to now voice yours.

All that said, the dialogue is interesting and great. I think though we, surprise surprise, get quickly away from the real issues. we get caught up in the list of dos and donts. We start the discussion with who’s in charge instead of who is the servant. We are all the servants, the slaves to Jesus, who is a good and faithful master who humbled himself even to DEATH on a cross. And so now you are actually questioning whether or not you want to submit to a man who is supposed to love you LIKE THAT? Aren’t we all seeking for the man who would die for us? Don’t we want the guy who is assured and confident and studies and knows where he stands in Christ so that – and get this part for sure – he LOVES like Christ loves and HUMBLES himself to the point of death for you? That his every request of you is FOR YOUR GOOD, for your benefit, for your health, for your right standing with your God and King?

Now your husband isn’t perfect. If you were expecting him to be, again, you’re sinning. How can you possibly expect him to always make the right decision? Do YOU always? Um no. But with that in mind, your stage is lighted by Grace. Your stage is to present your argument to him in love and kindness, also for HIS GOOD, for his benefit, to learn how to appeal to him in humility and truth, and seasoned with grace. Your job is to be the one to steer him toward the Gospel, to earn his TRUST, to gain his acceptance as a WISE and STABLE partner, to be trusted with his money, his goals, his dreams, his pursuits, his secrets, his very life.

What does it mean to be a biblical woman is a question one book, which is not the bible, will not answer. But any book that takes on a life of its own and doesn’t turn everyone in droves to the Bible is wrong. It starts out wrong. What RHE tried to do (and caveat is that I still haven’t read it but I do mean to) was to take the parts of the Bible that specifically address women and create an image of biblical womanhood. And she started out with the rules. And as we know, any one who truly deeply knows the True Gospel, you start out with the rules and you end up broken. But when you start out with the premise, the truth of what was and is and is to come before time was time and long after time stops, you build your foundation on Love – God’s Love, the only Love worth having and the only Love that will truly be able to tell you who you are. He set up rules out of Love. Why would you live by rules of another country when you don’t live in that country? Why would you live under the rules of another school when you don’t go to that school? Why would you listen only to some man who isn’t your husband who you pledged your life and soul and mind and body to til death do you part? Why would you love anyone else than the one God gave you and why would you base your identity on these rules that aren’t for you? And anyone who is looking to this book for reasons why they should subvert their husbands’ authority is in for some big trouble.

I didn’t agree with everything Kathy Keller said for the record. I could go and list those things but I won’t. Read it yourself. In my first post on this issue I highly stressed, and will continue to do so, that we tend to look to PEOPLE to get answer much more often than we should. People do help. They can any way. They can also misguide, through no conscious fault of their own. But how we even know they are misdirected is a mystery if you aren’t in scripture and in prayer for yourself, understanding the heart and mind of God, no matter how difficult and complex and personally offensive it is to you. The Christian life is not easy. being like Christ is not easy. Being loving and good and faithful and humble and striving is freaking HARD. Let me, o Lord, always strive. Let my husband always strive. Let my children always strive. Oh for grace to love You more.

Here’s my last post on the issues…

Here is RHE’s blog.

this made me lol…


2 thoughts on “more extrabiblical blogging

  1. I encountered RHE’s blog some time ago and found some of her work interesting and some of it simply infuriating–most notably what seems to be a willful misunderstanding and therefore misrepresentation of complementarianism.
    However, in looking through her writing about marriage (leaving church roles aside for the moment) and reading through many, many comments from readers, the thing that struck me was the preoccupation with seeing how much a woman should feel free to pursue her own self-fulfillment and how old rules do or don’t apply and little interest in exploring how Christ’s command to serve each other applies to a woman in her marriage. Just like the question of how far one can go physically with one’s boyfriend before marriage misses the point of holiness and helping each other to follow Christ entirely, the question of how much and in what way women are or aren’t obligated to submit to their own husbands misses the point. If you are following Christ, why wouldn’t you long to serve your spouse, love them sacrificially, put their own interests above your own? Can we safely trust God with the result, even if that means that you might not see how you will be able to do the kind of work that you want in the time that you want? If you have a Godly spouse, then you could hope that they would want to follow Christ in a similar way. Under those circumstances, the practicalities of working out your shared life will naturally be highly dependent on the two people involved. I consider myself to submit to my marriage but in practice that means endless (sometimes months long) discussions until we are in sufficient agreement that each of us don’t feel unloving or unloved–but that’s us.
    To be fair, I’m reacting a lot more to what I have read on her blog than the book itself which I have also yet to read. I understood her point that following some rules to the strict letter was a device to spark conversation rather than either to mock the Bible and it obviously works to do that. What will be interesting to see is if she uses that jumping off point to explore the heart of what the rule or guideline was and how that fits into how one can love and care for one’s husband out of reverence for Christ. If she is just using it to further her argument that women should be able to do whatever they want and their husbands and the church need to get out of their way, then–yawn. No one is free to do that.

    1. AMEN SISTER!!! Well stated. thanks for posting! It always feel to me like people are looking for reasons to not “do what they’re told” – like children. It takes maturity and wisdom to take a step back and see the reasons for the commands. As Paul said, “follow me as I follow Jesus.” when we are all striving to be like Christ, how can we go wrong. Thanks again for posting. great thoughts!!

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