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Tim Tebow, male leadership and ‘female’, ‘weak’ church – Baptist News Global


Lately we’ve heard a lot about the “true” biblical manhood against the “feminizationfrom the local church. The church is weak because men are weak, critics say. Blame the decline in church attendance and the decline in Christian values ​​on the weakness of men.

Tim Tebow posted a video saying especially than men we are called to lead, to step in to fill a void, to be protectors. Choose to love others and act on their behalf. But men are abdicating their responsibilities, he warned.

The problem is that it makes us victims.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to fight for me, thank you very much.

Julia Goldie Day

A male senior pastor asked me every year if I needed a woman to accompany me to the retreat of the pastor who was all men except me. My answer has never changed: No. I can protect myself. I also expect you to protect everyone with me. I can even protect other men with my good and faithful choices, my ability to speak the truth, and my core value that every person is precious and created in the image of God.

A former male member of the church really wanted to talk with my husband rather than me about a problem. No, I can very well speak for myself. I can take responsibility for my own life; I believe the gospel compels me to do so.

I continue to be frustrated with these questions and comments that women hear so often in response to their leadership. The rights and leadership of women in our homes, in the church and in our country seem to be in retreat. Or maybe it’s a breaking point, and many women and men and others will reject male power grabbing. Maybe we can learn to follow Jesus, not so-called “wimps” or ideal “masculine” men.

Women held more than half the church with their skillful and often silent unpaid leadership for decades. To illustrate, many times my ministerial salary has been questioned at a business or church committee meeting. The assumption of some was that my leadership should have been unpaid or that it was a boon to the church compared to men’s salaries. I worked many unpaid hours only to hear repeatedly that I was not valued.

I’m done with the adage that I should be grateful to have a ministerial position as a woman.

While Tim Tebow and the other men I cite as examples are seemingly respectful and gentle, they continue to promote a hierarchical system that gives those at the top power over those below them. The argument is that if men follow God’s plan, then they won’t hurt people with less power.

“Anyone on the gender spectrum has the potential to abuse power if given unequal power over other humans.”

But over and over again we see these systems failing to protect those with less power. Sexual and physical abuse, murder, slavery, men are abusing this false power over us that we have given them. I could also argue that anyone on the gender spectrum has the potential to abuse power if given unequal power over other humans. The scriptures show us the dysfunction of hierarchical, patriarchal, and primogeniture systems repeatedly as people, mostly men, seize power.

“Too many Christians think that God cares more about the responsibility of men than the safety of women,” says Sheila Gregoire.

These systems only serve to separate us from each other and create toxic and dangerous environments where everyone is unable to thrive, even men. David Finch says that “the New Testament church is not concerned with whether women should be ‘over’ men or men ‘over’ women. It is a question of completely eliminating the “more”.

We should know by now that the way of Jesus abolishes any type of system — there is a new world order in the kingdom of God. God is continually working to regain what was lost in Eden, bringing us back to God’s original vision, says Carolyn Custis James in Maleström: how Jesus dismantles patriarchy and redefines manhood.

We are all called to struggle, to seek wisdom, to question and to pray about our own journeys of faith. There is no formula. Our agency and our voice are reflected in God’s own image. God gives each of us the gift of power as we co-create with God and others our lives our stories of faith.

If we work together, our power can grow as a blessing to the church. When we accept being taught by women and others with less power, we can grow and learn as we further God’s work in the world. When we do the hard work of listening, learning, and changing, then we live and breathe and have our being in our God who partners with us to help us live a life of love.

A helpful Twitter user pointed out that the universal church has feminine pronouns like the bride of Christ. She’s right, the church is her. What can this tell us?

“Complaints that the church is too weak and feminine are also correct, but not in the way we think.”

Complaints that the church is too weak and feminine are also correct, but not as we think. We are all weak. Blessed are the poor in spirit, says Jesus. If our ideals of power and influence are turned upside down in the kingdom of God, then we can enjoy being weak and God being strong.

Michael Frost offers another helpful tweet in response to criticism of the “weakly feminine” church, writing, “Biblical manhood as modeled by Jesus: be a ‘mama’s boy, stay celibate, wash people’s feet, cry at funerals, hang out with unimportant people, ride a donkey instead of a courier, be a lover not a fighter, carry a cross not a sword.

Custis James puts it like this, “His (Jesus) life is a constant rejection of the pillars of patriarchy. He does not marry or produce sons to sustain the family for another generation. He ends up homeless. He survives thanks to the financial support of women, even asking a Samaritan woman for a glass of water. He recruits followers among ordinary and even marginalized men. His teaching overturns the cultural value system by proclaiming the poor as blessed and teaching “the first shall be last”.

We are clearly called to imitate Christ. And not just men. All people on the gender spectrum who follow Jesus can bear good fruit by following the way of Jesus shown to us in the scriptures. Because we are all called and created by God.

Why would we only need men to protect us? We protect and we serve. Then and only then our love of God and love of neighbor can change the world. This is the call of the gospel.

Let’s abolish these false systems power as an act of love of self, neighbor and God.

I am not a victim. I am a person created by God — capable of so much love and life.

What kind of relationship can we create together?

Julia Goldie Day is ordained by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and lives in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a painter and proud mother of Jasper, Barak and Jillian. Learn more about her website.

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