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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (10/22/19)

October 22, 2019

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to [email protected] with the subject “News Roundup.”


Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

How Baptists and Catholics Together Helped Save Thousands of Florida Marriages, Christianity Today (W. Bradford Wilcox and Alysse Elhage)

“In 2017, something unprecedented took place in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville Baptist Association and local Catholic Diocese joined forces to co-sponsor a large marriage education and enrichment program for the Duval County area. What inspired local Catholics and evangelicals to come together was a privately funded community campaign to strengthen marriage. Over a three-year period, an organization called the Culture of Freedom Initiative (COFI) worked with about 50 Protestant and Catholic churches and over 40 local nonprofits to reach roughly 50,000 adults in Jacksonville.”

The Crossing’s pastor explains his sermon on gender, Columbia Missourian (Keith Simon)

“We aren’t a church that’s against people. We are a church that’s for Jesus. And Jesus believed gender is deeper than a social construct. Gender is rooted in God’s design, and our lives work best when we live in line with that design.”

Albert Mohler Offers 10 Points on Complementarianism in the SBC, (Denny Burk)

“Earlier today, Albert Mohler delivered a timely and needed chapel message on complementarianism. It is a message that is timely not only for our seminary community but also for our entire denomination—the Southern Baptist Convention. In the last half of the message, Mohler offers ten points on complementarianism in our denominational life.”

‘No Obvious Answer’: How Christian Colleges Are Responding to LGBTQ Regulations, The Gospel Coalition (Sarah Eeekhoff Zylstra)

“Some are championing Fairness for All, legislation put forward by the CCCU and other faith groups before Trump was elected. Modeled on Utah state law, the legislation would protect religious liberties for institutions while offering civil rights to LGBTQ people. Not everyone agrees Fairness for All is the best way forward. Dockery is concerned the bill ‘trades an unalienable right to religious liberty and makes it a privilege granted by Congress or certain groups within society.’ According to Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore, protecting SOGI in something like Fairness for All ‘would have harmful unintended consequences and make the situation worse in this country, both in terms of religious freedom and in terms of finding ways for Americans who disagree to work together for the common good.'”

‘Please leave’: why the Sydney archbishop’s same-sex marriage message has Anglicans rattled, The Guardian (Andrew West)

“For a man renowned for his civility, the language was blunt. During his annual speech to the Anglican Church’s Sydney synod, Archbishop Glenn Davies told supporters of same-sex marriage to ‘please leave us’. ‘My own view is that if people wish to change the doctrine of our church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views,’ he said. But do not ruin the Anglican Church by abandoning the plain teaching of scripture.'”

I’m gay, married, and not leaving my church, The Guardian (Joel Hollier)

“My husband and I rock up every Sunday to church. Sure, we are barred from preaching, we are excluded from all meaningful leadership positions, and I have lost count of the number of times we have been made to feel deeply ashamed of our very presence. But this week we, along with our strongest allies, have finally been asked to leave, and by none other than our own archbishop, Glenn Davies. Why? Because we are those who have found deep beauty in the blessing of gay and lesbian marriages and we long for others to share in this joy.”

Accusing SBC of ‘caving,’ John MacArthur says of Beth Moore: ‘Go home,’ Religion News Service (Bob Smietana)

“Evangelical pastor John MacArthur, speaking at a celebration of his 50th year in pulpit ministry this week, weighed in on an ongoing debate in the Southern Baptist Convention over women preachers, claiming the nation’s largest Protestant denomination has lost faith in the authority of the Bible. He claimed the SBC had taken a ‘headlong plunge’ toward allowing women preachers at its annual meeting this summer. That, he said, was a sign the denomination no longer believed in biblical authority.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Reading Chick-fil-A outlet to close in LGBT rights tow, BBC News

“A US fast-food chain will cease trading at its first UK outlet amid a row over donations to anti-LGBT groups. Gay rights campaigners called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A, which opened its first branch at The Oracle shopping center in Reading on 10 October. A spokeswoman for the center said ‘the right thing to do’ was to not extend the restaurant’s lease beyond the ‘six-month pilot period’.”

A Church Service Inspired by Beyoncé, No Halo Required, The New York Times (Bill Friskics-Warren)

“The Beyoncé Mass explores how issues of race and gender impact the lives, voices and bodies of black women. (It’s not, however, about worshiping Beyoncé.)”

Christian school governor suspended for questioning LGBT content, Premier (Heather Preston)

“A 74 year old Christian governor has been suspended after questioning the rights of parents to be consulted on the introduction of a Pride month and LGBT books into the school library. Maureen Griffith, who has served as a governor at Alperton Community School, North London, since the 1990s received a booklet ahead of an upcoming governors meeting outlining plans by new staff members to introduce genre-specific reading lists for LGBTQ+ Pride Month for the following school year.”

LDS Church says proposed ‘conversion’ ban would silence therapists, but its motives are under fire, The Salt Lake Tribune (Bethany Rodgers)

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pressuring state regulators to punt a proposed ban on “conversion therapy” for minors back to Utah lawmakers, or change it so that therapists can keep counseling young clients about putting religious convictions over sexual identity.”

Eastern Lancaster County School District approves plan for gender-neutral locker rooms, WGAL News 8 (Brian Roche)

“The Eastern Lancaster County School District is moving forward with a renovation project to create nongender specific locker rooms at its high school. On Monday night, board members unanimously approved the $2.4 million plan for Garden Spot High School. The design includes four zones with a total of 76 private showers and 48 private changing areas.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

A New Way to Understand Men and Women in Christ? A Review of Rachel Green Miller’s Beyond Authority and Submission, CBMW (Steven Wedgeworth)

“Rachel Green Miller’s Beyond Authority and Submission: Women and Men in Marriage, Church, and Society (P&R Publishing, 2019) represents a growing new voice in what might be called post-complementarian literature. In it, Miller affirms the biblical teaching of male-only ordination in the church and the husband’s leadership in the family, but she seeks to correct what she considers an intrusion of unbiblical and even pagan assumptions into the traditional Reformed and Evangelical discourse.”

Faith-Based Show ‘Vindication’ Displays Realities of Sexual Abuse, Christianity Today (Josh M. Shepherd)

“In a time when the American church is grappling with a steady flow of sexual abuse allegations, the co-star of a new faith-based TV show says she relied heavily on personal experience and her faith to approach the topic with gravitas. Independently produced Amazon Prime crime drama series Vindication premiered late this summer and revolves around skeptical police investigator Gary Travis, portrayed by Breaking Bad alum Todd Terry.”

Why It’s Easier to Accept David as a Murderer than a Rapist, Christianity Today (Kyle Worley)

“Christians have always recognized David’s brokenness to an extent, particularly his pursuit of Bathsheba, which has typically been considered (and decried as) adultery. Lately, there has been quite the debate over what exactly happened between David and Bathsheba, and whether it should be characterized as rape. This is not a new conversation, which is always important to remember in our age of hot takes. Denny Burk, Boyce College professor and president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, points to a journal article by Alexander Abasili that addressed this question in detail in 2011, years before the scrutiny of the #MeToo movement.”

No, Men Don’t Need To Be More Like Women, The Federalist (Melissa Langsam Braunstein)

“At the risk of stating the obvious, not all men are jerks. Many are quite wonderful. But what incentive (beyond internal discipline) do men have to behave admirably if women dismiss them as undifferentiated oafs lacking emotional intelligence? And if we agree that it’s condescending, and even harmful, to tell women to be more like men, why would we turn around and tell men to be more like the stereotypical woman, as this essay does?”

Fertility, Faith, and a Secular America?, The Gospel Coalition (Philip Jenkins)

“This past year, fertility rates in the United States fell to a historic low, with the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) standing at 1.7 (that statistic refers to the number of children a typical woman will bear during her lifetime)…Such a precipitous fertility drop has sweeping implications, especially as it has occurred in such a short period—just in the past decade or so—and recent changes have attracted intense attention from economists, planners, and politicians. As yet, however, observers of U.S. religion have shown little concern or interest—which is curious since, worldwide, a move to very low fertility has been an excellent predictor of secularization and the decline of institutional religion.”

What Jesus Says About Sexuality in a #MeToo Age, The Gospel Coalition (Sam Allberry)

“The rise of the #MeToo movement gives us an opportunity to commend the sexual ethics Jesus gave to us. Our culture hasn’t always agreed with Jesus that what we do with (or to) someone sexually is not just physical. A physical violation of someone is wicked and damaging enough; a sexual violation often leaves even deeper wounds. Sexual injury is not the same thing as a grazed knee. Our sexuality gets to the very heart of our personhood. It’s why Jesus is so protective of it.”

Why the mother who started gender-reveal parties regrets them, The Guardian (Rebecca Schiller)

“Celebrating the discovery of your unborn baby’s sex has been coopted by people with repressive, polarised ideas, says the woman who began the trend.”

Why on Earth Do Complementarian Men Want to Die for Their Wives?, Thought Life (Owen Strachan)

“It’s one of the most shocking realities in all the Bible: men of God are called to emulate Jesus Christ and gladly lay their lives down for their wives. We husbands boggle at this call. We are to love our wife ‘as Christ loved the church’ (Eph. 5:25)? This is preposterous. It’s too much for us. It’s too great for us. It’s beyond us. Yet this is precisely what the apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians 5:25–28.”

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