Some pastors want women to keep silent and in the background

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

David Hayward talks about how a megachurch pastor views “women’s place.”
David Hayward, on his Naked Pastor blog on Patheos, once again uses one of his cartoon drawings to call attention to something that troubles him about certain misguided expressions of Christianity.  This time he shows how some big-name, big-church pastors insist on very restrictive roles for women.  According to such ministers, a woman should aspire to be a wife and mother under her husband’s headship as her major calling in life. Hayward describes a book on fatherhood written by one such pastor, Mark Driscoll, pastor of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.  Hayward writes: “Often misogynistic ideologies are cloaked in confusing and subtle language. Not so with Driscoll. He is very clear. Men rule. Women submit. Children obey. Then he provides the verses supporting it. . . . It is so heavily male chauvinist that it sounded like another planet where women either do not exist or are effectively silenced like chattels.”  The influence of Driscoll and similar pastors is widespread and their churches appear to be growing rapidly at the same time that many other churches are losing members. David Hayward has some suggestions for women in such churches who find it easier to simply keep silent about their oppression, thereby avoiding stirring things up and risking conflict by speaking out for change.  Related: Here is a 2009 New York Times article about Mark Driscoll and his approach to preaching and pastoring.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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