In case you’re not active on Twitter, I’ll tell you that tweets have been flying for a few months regarding a woman’s place and value in the gospel, and in our current society. Some of the most abashing comments come from mature, well-known leaders in the Christian community.
I’ve addressed this on Twitter and in past blog posts. Beth Moore has addressed this on Twitter several times, but today she took the time to post an open letter on the Living Proof Ministries blog.
Beth noticed a year and a half ago what many other men and women in Christian ministry were reading: “Then early October 2016 surfaced attitudes among some key Christian leaders that smacked of misogyny, objectification and astonishing disesteem of women and it spread like wildfire. It was just the beginning. I came face to face with one of the most demoralizing realizations of my adult life: Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disrespect of women among many of these men. It was only the excuse. Sin was the reason. Ungodliness.”
Beth opens her letter siting the reasons for speaking on the subject; a subject she planned not to speak about until she was on her death-bed. Be sure to click the link below to read her full article.
“This is where I cry foul and not for my own sake. Most of my life is behind me. I do so for sake of my gender, for the sake of our sisters in Christ and for the sake of other female leaders who will be faced with similar challenges. I do so for the sake of my brothers because Christlikeness is at stake and many of you are in positions to foster Christlikeness in your sons and in the men under your influence. The dignity with which Christ treated women in the Gospels is fiercely beautiful and it was not conditional upon their understanding their place.”
Beth continues on, telling about an encounter with a giant in the faith. This is a scenario sisters-in-Christ face day in and day out from some Christian brothers; married ones none-the-less. I’ve lost track of the times brothers didn’t keep eye contact with me because their eyes were busy looking my every curve up and down. Enough! We aren’t blind or naive; we know what you’re doing.
“About a year ago I had an opportunity to meet a theologian I’d long respected. I’d read virtually every book he’d written. I’d looked so forward to getting to share a meal with him and talk theology. The instant I met him, he looked me up and down, smiled approvingly and said, “You are better looking than _________________________________.” He didn’t leave it blank. He filled it in with the name of another woman Bible teacher.
We are not out to destroy men, take their place, or treat them like objects. They are not second class citizens, but neither are we. No one is! Beth agrees:
“I think I can speak for many of us when I say we are neither interested in reducing or seducing our brothers.”
Back to Twitter: It isn’t full of anti-woman rhetoric only. There are many men interjecting support, hope, words of affirmation and healing, and statements and questions of accountability to those who do not show the heart of Jesus to God’s daughters. Thank you!
Beth has also noticed: “The irony is that many of the men who will give consideration to my concerns do not possess a whit of the misogyny coming under the spotlight. For all the times you’ve spoken up on our behalf and for the compassion you’ve shown in response to “Me too,” please know you have won our love and gratitude and respect.”
Finally Beth ends with asking for, “forgiveness both from my sisters and my brothers. My acquiescence and silence made me complicit in perpetuating an atmosphere in which a damaging relational dynamic has flourished. I want to be a good sister to both genders. Every paragraph in this letter is toward that goal.”
Please take the time to read Beth’s complete letter: A Letter to My Brothers
2 thoughts on “Beth Moore on misogyny, objectification and astonishing disesteem of women”
Wow – I did not know this is going on – and partly because I stay out of this mainstream Christian circle – but for those who are in it like Beth / well
good for her for speaking up. My prayers are with her and with all who are trying to make a difference (like you are with this post).