This week, my husband and I discussed my writing on gender and gospel. My husband was honest with me. He is wary of my recent outspokenness. Mainly because of the loaded labeling that comes with speaking up.
It implies more than fits me. I agreed with him. In fact, I listed this reason for staying quiet in Gender and Gospel. I am afraid of what people will say about me. Being outspoken means I’ll be misunderstood, “demonized” and marginalized. We both know that along with the label comes the innuendo.
Using Loaded Labels
I’m starting to hate labels. I understand they are helpful for quick summary. Its convenient to conversation to slap a label so you don’t have to spend time explaining what you mean. But labels can also be fancy name-calling. Labels can be loaded with innuendo, good and bad. I hope to try to expose the loaded innuendo hiding in the label of feminist. I might get slapped with it!
Can Feminism be Biblical?
The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) says no. They are making a stand on gender roles because of …
the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives. (The Danvers Statement)
Not only do they consider feminism un-biblical, they load the term with the following innuendos.
- Innuendo: They are recruiting others.
- Regardless of argument, regardless of sides, we ALL recruit or promote. Promotion is the grandchild of belief. If you really believe it, you’ll promote it. Promotion is neutral and natural.
- Innuendo: They distort or ignore how to have a happy marriage.
- From what I’ve read on both sides, a healthy marriage is the central motivation for both arguments.
- Feminist egalitarians are concerned about abusive situations for the wives and children in “patriarchy,” and how unity in the marriage is achieved through the Spirit’s work.
- Biblical Manhood and Womanhood advocates promote strong marriages through submission and leadership.
- Both strive toward marital harmony… and both achieve it!
- Innuendo: They distort or ignore Scripture.
- We all fail to interpret Scripture correctly. But, Scripture is the basis for both sides. Both are Biblical. They disagree with WHAT the Bible means for us, not that the Bible says it.
- The church is blessed with disagreements. We should not strive for uniformity, but unity. There is room for debate. There is room for agreement. It is how we disagree and agree that shows the world that we love the Father and each other.
- It bothers me when one sides claims to be biblical because it implies any other interpretation isn’t “biblical.” I confess I’ve claimed to be “biblical,” but I don’t think I’ll use that label anymore. Its vague…and loaded.
- Innuendo: They don’t love their wives because they won’t lead her. Are they even redeemed?
- I believe there are redeemed saints on both sides. Please don’t insinuate the good news of redemption hinges on gender interpretations.
- Innuendo: They do not willingly submit. They should apply their intelligence to submission instead of fighting for “equality.” Are they even redeemed?
- This is the innuendo I am most afraid of. “I don’ t want to submit, so I guess I’ll be a feminist egalitarian!” I am afraid of being misjudged in my motives.
I’m frightened of being labeled. I’m frightened of the added innuendos. Especially being thought of as unbiblical and unsubmissive. But, at some point men and women must speak up to address issues that affect their belief despite the label load.