Complementaries in closed areas The trade

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"Locker room conversation," President Trump called his Access Hollywood hot mic recording. His defense lawyers came quickly to help and said that such talks take place when the boys are alone.

Well, I've never heard such a conversation in a locker room, but I've heard more than one dismissive conversation about a female manager in complementary environments.

Complementaries in closed rooms too often show their misogyny, not just their theology.

Geneva Commons

Yesterday, many saw what some elders of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) and Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) said about Aimee Byrd, commenting on their appearance, face, sexuality, and relationship with their husband in a Facebook group Geneva Commons.

These are quotes from some screenshots that Byrd linked / posted and that were published by a private Facebook group, allegedly including some officers in their Orthodox Presbyterian denomination:

"I wish her husband had loved her enough to tell her to shut up."

"They become hates of people for using up their sex capital."

"Why can't these women just take off their shoes and make us some sandwiches!?!"

The comments are pretty impressive, but also revealing.

Beth Moore

This incident reminded me of an online interaction between Beth Moore and Thabiti Anyabwile. In 2018, Beth published an open letter bravely asking her brothers in Christ to oppose inappropriate treatment of women.

If you haven't read it, you should.

In A Letter to My Brothers, Beth wrote about the often uncomfortable and uncomfortable reality of being a woman who wrote Bible studies in a world of complementary men. But she observed something deeper than having to refer to general partners and evangelicals:

I faced one of the most demoralizing insights of my adult life: Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disregard for women among many of these men. It was just an excuse. Sin was the reason. Impiety.

After sharing real examples from her own experience, she appealed:

I ask that you simply have no tolerance for misogyny and rejection of women in your spheres of influence. I ask you for your conscious and clearly communicated influence on the imitation of Christ in his attitude and in his actions towards women.

The same day, Thabiti responded by apologizing for words spoken behind closed doors about Beth Moore. Thabiti partially said:

I was in rooms where your name was mentioned in a derogatory tone. And instead of asking some basic questions (how do you know about them, do you have any evidence to point us to and so on), I said and did nothing. I was no different from Saul, who stood and held clothes while Stephen was stoned.

Although I was not in the rooms he mentions, I know the rooms Thabiti is talking about and I warned Beth Moore who said these words.

Complementarism, misogyny

Let me be clear, I'm not trying to talk about egalitarianism and complementarism in this short article. Both Beth Moore and Aimee Byrd served in complementary denominations and presented their cases in this context to their brothers and sisters. They can describe and define their own views well – I don't have to do that for them. However, I have just ordered Byrd's recovery from biblical masculinity and femininity: how the Church must rediscover its purpose to learn more about its approach.

However, both situations show that the Venn diagram of reformed, complementary and misogynistic people has a fairly significant overlap that some people with character – men and women together – have to address in these movements.

This affects at least the OPC and the PCA and, according to my exact and personal observations, many rooms in the SBC.

Let me be clear now. We often become defensive quickly when someone questions our views. But we rarely spend the same time addressing behaviors that deeply harm our sisters and dishonor Christ.

My friend Amy Whitfield put it like this on an SBC panel:

The discussion about complementarism is very different from any other theological debate because everything about it is incredibly personal. The way this debate is conducted has a direct impact on the way we are treated.

If these discussions lead to derogatory comments about women, we have to call it what it is.

This is misogyny.

What now?

It's easy to get upset, and that's actually a reasonable answer. But we also need an answer and some possible solutions. Beth Moore has already given some in her open letter, but let me tell you something more that is addressed to some of the men involved.

First, some men have to behave like men in complementarism.

Male courage is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 16:13, translated in different ways, but certainly used today. It literally means to have male courage, and some translations (like the NIV) just translate it as "brave", while others (ESV) say "act like men".

This is the courage that is needed right now, as the light was shown on the Geneva Commons Facebook page. However, some of these men whom Aimee Byrd called out have deleted or privatized their accounts. There is a better way – to regret the courage.

In other words, some of these general partners must have the courage to live the sentence they threw around – to behave like men.

Second, where were the other people who were in this room with Thabiti?

I hope you called Beth Moore. Some additional people have to call Aimee Byrd today.

Third, we men have a responsibility to intervene and speak when we see inappropriate behavior or speech about women.

This is not just a complementary matter; It is a Christian matter and it is a Christian responsibility – which means that this is also my responsibility.

Men, let's make it unimaginable that anyone in our context makes backroom comments about the looks of women and inappropriate humor in general. Let us not be afraid of our social status until we stop speaking.

Courageous and clear

The OPC and PCA have some work to do as the truth has cast the uncomfortable light. But it's not just there. It's in too many places. How many women would feel more confident in their faith if they were treated as sisters in Christ instead of being insulted because of their gender?

We can do better. We must. And today is a good day to deal with misogyny courageously and clearly.

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