Evangelical Misogyny and the Spiritual Oppression of Christian Women

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When it comes to women in the Church, author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley reminds us that “there’s no watered down, Barbie doll, ‘pink is for girls’ version of theology that women are to be taught while the real thing – serious Bible study and theology – is reserved for men.”  She points out that some women are doing “Bible art journaling” workshops so that they can learn how to color in their bibles which is “something we usually teach three year olds not to do.”  Teaching women the art of Bible coloring is of course ludicrous.  So why are women coloring the pages of their bibles and neglecting to do an in depth study?  Michelle asks: “When was the last time you heard of a Christian retailer or an average evangelical church holding a workshop – aimed at women – on biblical hermeneutics, Christology, pneumatology, church history, discernment, evangelism, or any other serious biblical topic?”  In many churches, the answer is never.

This piece is not just for women.  Church leaders, listen up!

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bird-in-a-cageWeak women- always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Captives to false teachers. Led astray by their feelings. There is hardly a better way to describe a significant portion – dare I say, the majority – of evangelical women today.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. Satan dresses himself up like a Christian and deceives as many as he can. Women (and men, too) give in to the temptation to seek out false teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. Pastors fail to fight off, and in many cases, welcome with open arms, the false doctrine and false teachers creeping into their churches.  And the false teachers themselves are out to make a fast buck on false doctrine.

And the result of it all is a generation of evangelical women held prisoner by Satan in the gilded cage of biblical illiteracy and feel-good “Christianity.” And most of them don’t even know they’re inmates.

It’s bad enough that evangelical women are largely feeding their souls on the anti-biblical poison churned out by the smorgasbord of divangelistas lining the shelves of most “Christian” bookstores- poison that, at worst, will leave them doomed to an eternity in hell, and, at best, will stunt their growth in Christ. But there’s another insidious aspect of this issue: theololgical misogyny against evangelical women.

The Bible knows nothing of women as second class citizens. Throughout recorded history, God, and his obedient children, have been the ones to regard women as precious and valuable people with a crucial role to play in the Kingdom, the family, and society. God elevates women while the world degrades us.

Perhaps one of the best examples of this is in an often overlooked phrase in 1 Timothy 2:11: “Let a woman learn.” The pastors and elders of the first century church – in the midst of a culture that devalued and disregarded women – were to proactively make sure women learned the gospel and sound doctrine. The Holy Spirit goes on in that passage to explain how first century, as well as twenty-first century, women should conduct themselves in a godly way while we’re learning, but there’s no watered down, Barbie doll, “pink is for girls” version of theology that women are to be taught while the real thing – serious Bible study and theology – is reserved for men.

Yet that’s exactly what modern day evangelicalism and Christian retailing are doing. They’re establishing a subtle theological segregation in the name of marketing and meeting felt needs. How? Here’s just one example:

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This post, from a major Christian retailer, appeared in my Facebook feed recently. They’re holding “Bible art journaling” workshops to teach women how to color in their Bibles- something we usually teach three year olds not to do.

When was the last time you heard of a Christian retailer or an average evangelical church holding a worshop – aimed at women – on biblical hermeneutics, Christology, pneumatology, church history, discernment, evangelism, or any other serious biblical topic?

Never mind how to properly handle and study God’s word, ladies, here’s a coloring book*! It’s insulting to the intelligence, capabilities, and quest for spiritual maturity of Christian women. And it’s sexist, too. Don’t believe me? Think about it:

How many Christian men do you see taking Bible art journaling classes or sharing about it on social media?

Have you ever seen a men’s ministry share a picture like this in order to reassure men of how special and wonderful they are?  Continue reading

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6 Responses to Evangelical Misogyny and the Spiritual Oppression of Christian Women

  1. Sheila Beers September 18, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

    This is an interesting topic. However, how does the author equate the scripture of “Let women learn” with “Let the women keep silent in the churches. If a woman wants to know something, she should ask her husband at home” (to paraphrase the oft-quoted verse)?

  2. nannette September 19, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    Sheila, I must have missed it. I do have a comment about this subject though. Men and women have not been obeying God, period. There are far too many false ‘prophetess’s’ running around. In the New Testament there are only two mentioned. Anna, (Luke 2:36-38),and God called her a prophetess, and then there is Jezebel (Rev. 2:20) in which she called herself a prophetess. I have met many of the Jezebel type, heck I met one in the grocery store and she’s the one who told me she was a prophetess!. And as for men, they don’t read all of 1 Corinthians 14:27-40, the “what” word. Too many men and women are marrying unbelievers, and some get saved after. I was reading J. Vernon McGee and he said 1 Corinthians 14 is speaking about tongues. In our day women lead that movement and also they act like Jezebel. Authority is what God gave the man. Women are not to teach men period. Women should not be separated from men in church, God said, they (man & wife) are “one” flesh. What is it with separate men and separate women’s Bible studies? Who started that? Men are to love their wives. Remember we are to obey God, and love Him first and foremost. And, a note about what she said at the beginning mentioning 1 Tim. 5:13, is true. We have that going on in our town. Only they go house to house speaking in tongues and not one knows what the crazy ladies are saying! Ha!

    • Laura September 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

      You are so right! I thank God for wise women like you!

      • nannette September 19, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

        Laura, thank you. I had another thought though. In the garden when the serpent beguiled Eve (Gen. 3), did he not get her alone? Where was Adam (her head covering- 1 Corinthians 11:5) who could of said, “heh, get away from her you old serpent, you are lying, we must obey God!” Seems as though Satan has not stopped doing it, Re: separate Bible studies for men and women. Get the husbands and wives apart, and let the good times role (literally)! Blessings dear one!

  3. nannette September 24, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    I wanted to apologize if I seemed braggart or high minded, or any other thought that might have entered in. I meant that not at all. I don’t know about you all, but this ends my spiritual warfare on this matter, as I get accused none stop. Blessings!

  4. Lydia December 27, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

    Right! YOU have to pick up your bible and read it from cover to cover and see what God wants you to know, and wow! It is heavy! No pink lace doilies will hold that up! Don’t wait for them to do it for you. You need to do it now, yourself! (and yes, I DO like pink, lace, and doilies…). ( ;
    One thing I noticed too that turns my stomach, is why, why are all the breakfasts for men, and the teas for ladies?! Why I ask; why!??? “Men’s” breakfast? Never ladies breakfast? We are too delicate to eat? Why is it never “men’s” tea? Hmm? Why? Why!?! It’s always “Ladies” tea! Who can live on tea? Maybe if we are good, they will throw us a ginger snap! (Sorry for the rant, but I’ve seen that one too many times!)
    But I definitely notice a difference there, the bible boot camp (if you’re lucky enough to have one at all), is for the males in the camp, the ladies are unbiblically separated into a paper mache camp? And then escorted to the ‘beth moore book study’…