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Topics: Men, Women

Listening to Beth Moore’s Open Letter

May 3, 2018

Beth Moore recently published an open letter that male leaders in evangelical churches ought to pay attention to—especially those who claim to be in the complementarian camp. We need to read it, process it, and repent of the ways we have contributed to the climate she describes.

In particular, the story Moore tells about her encounter with an unnamed theologian should have our attention. In it, she relays the extremely disappointing way a theologian whom she respected responded to her upon their first meeting:

“‘You are better looking than _________________________________.’ He didn’t leave it blank. He filled it in with the name of another woman Bible teacher.”

This superficial and crass response to Moore is, frankly, demeaning, and it is the sort of interaction that continues to drive a wedge between men and women in the church. Not only is this kind of reaction intolerable among many pagans, it is disobedient to Scripture. In 1 Timothy 5, Paul could not be more clear about this:

“[E]ncourage . . . older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”

Can anyone imagine a situation where “sizing up” one’s mother or sister would be appropriate? Of course not, which is exactly Paul’s point.

The equality of man and woman, created in the image of God, is fundamental to the Bible’s teaching on manhood and womanhood. And insofar as we have undermined this equality, as Moore expands on in her article, we must repent. Far from being a text we shy away from, Galatians 3:28 should be an indispensable plank in the complementarian platform: there is neither male nor female when it comes to worth in the kingdom. And as man, woman, husband, wife, father, mother, son, or daughter, we are co-heirs in Christ (cf. Rom 8:17; 1 Pet 3:7).

May God be pleased to use Moore’s letter to further purify His church.

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