*The term feminism used in this entry is the traditional pursuit of equality- not matriarchy. Not male bashing but the appreciation of male and female equal coexistence. The contemporary definition of feminism is not associated with this article.
A woman was crying. Frustrated to tears. The woman, a passionate lover of Jesus and one who identifies as a feminist, was struggling with issues of gender roles. More specifically she was concerned about what society and the Church have suggested about her abilities or permissions. Jesus saw his beloved daughter’s heartache and he pitied her. Jesus met his daughter, embraced her and invited her into sweet and intimate fellowship with him. Around the corner was a pub where she regularly went to evangelize, early enough in the evening to catch people prior to incoherency.
Jesus said, “it is here that you have shown my love night after night to those who are hurting. Allow me to show my love to you in this sacred place.”
They poured the wine and engaged in discussion. Perplexed as to why Jesus would decree such limitations or social handicaps on women she proceeded to ask him why.
I get it. Some people are into whips, chains and the occasional goat.
But the plot behind 50 Shades of Grey goes far beyond the scandal of domination and submission and into a cancer of devaluing manipulation.
(If you know the basic plot you can skip this paragraph) The plot to 50 Shades is a college girl who interviews a successful young entrepreneur. During the interview process she, having a sheltered background, is intrigued by his charm and mystery. He eventually establishes a relationship (non-romantic) with her with the intent to bring her into his home so he can perform domination and submission methods of sexual intercourse with her (chains, whips, “torture” apparatuses etc). She becomes accustomed to his treatment but ultimately realizes he has no intent for love but only to use her as a victim to his charm and object for his satisfaction.
What’s the problem?
The problem is that millions are finding entertainment in a story of a girl being manipulated and abused by a man who has no desire to pursue her romantically.
Is this how we value our women?
Is this how we train men to be intentional and women to be confident?
It’s funny how we protest this behavior when our friends, sisters, daughters etc. fall victim but we justify and celebrate it when it pleases us.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a Church-bashing episode. I love the Church as a body and as an institution. I’ve long thrown tomatoes at the Church-bashing wagon. But there comes a time where grace must saturate a delivery of concern towards the Bride of Christ.
As Christians we should no doubt be concerned about biblical accuracy. However, too often we see Christians treating other Christians callously once they discover a conflict in their theologies. Somebody comes out and identifies as an egalitarian (gender-role equality in the Church/home setting), someone says they’re a Calvinist or someone shows charitable reason towards old-earth creationism and a slew of fellow believers may identify them as “that Christian” and thus the cold shoulder ensues.
This is disheartening. This is destructive to the body.
Are these issues that big of a deal? As long as the individual is supporting their arguments with scripture and NOT their social agenda then I’m at peace with the fact that they are genuinely convicted that their interpretation reflects the heart of God. With this humble posture I can reasonably assume that these individuals will enthusiastically pursue their roles in the Great Commission.
Remember the Apostle Paul’s instruction for Christ followers to be in the world but not of it? Yea, so do I.
Remember when Jesus mingled with the prostitutes and “sinners” during his ministry on earth? Yup.
But for one psychiatrist any affiliation with a particular field of darkness means condemnation to them.
Liberty University Alumni, Lisa Potts (Class of 2012), recently had the opportunity to perform on MTV’s new series, “Virgin Territory.” The series delivers stories of 18+ year olds who are virgins for a variety of reasons; some haven’t been “lucky enough” while others like Potts intentionally waited until their wedding night. The show is unapologetically themed through an MTV dialect (consider the colorful language and “mature” rhetoric) so given the faith-based message that made its way on the show I find reason to rejoice.
Before I throw Fox News under the bus it should be noted that I’m a Republican, a Christian and I love Chick-Fil-A. I’m a perfect candidate for being a Fox News fan. However, they really spit in my Wheaties with this one.
For Christians, one of the most painful things to witness is a fellow believer investing themselves in a relationship that will inevitably harm their walk with Jesus. I use the term “invest” intentionally because that’s part of what a relationship is about. It’s an investment. It’s an investment of time, spirituality, money, emotion and our hearts. Love is a gamble.
We put our hearts on the line hoping for a greater outcome while all along remaining cognizant of the potential loss.
Originally this was going to be a piece on why Christians shouldn’t date non Christians without a gender bias. But after talking to many friends about this my concern shifted. After seeing the overwhelming opinions that Christian girls are more inclined to date non-Christian guys than visa versa I became very concerned for my beloved sisters.
To me it was just common sense. You don’t pursue holy matrimony with someone who wasn’t concerned about holiness. Dating should point to marriage and marriage should reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church. How can this happen if one isn’t concerned about Christ or His Church?
But there are many reasons why girls have these inclinations.
Girls feel inclined to fix the guy.
Confession: My favorite movie is A Walk To Remember. Everything about that movie is great…except the fact that she missionary dates. I’m not a fan. Neither should you be. But like the story of Jamie and Landon God will work despite disobedience. But still, don’t do it. Part of me just wanted to talk about A Walk To Remember. But I digress…
Ladies, you were created and intended to walk in harmony with a co-heir of grace- not to be his mechanic. It is not your responsibility to fix anyone. Our responsibility to lead others to Christ is not to be intertwined with the pursuit of marriage. Pursuing a romantic relationship with someone in hopes that they will “come around” is very reckless and endangering to your future, their future and the future of your children. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Jesus and sanctifies us. You deserve someone who will point you to Jesus, not pull you away. You deserve someone who will encourage you, lift you up and serve you, not someone who will make you walk alone in grace. Make sure your romancer is the one you’re evangelizing with, not evangelizing to.
Hey guys! My friend and fellow seminarian, Vanessa Romas, is an awesome blogger and advocate for the Kingdom. She interviewed me regarding my journey with johnreidblogs.com. Check it out! -JWR
John Wesley Reid is a current student at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary who discusses all genres of topics on his blog, John Wesley Reid: Covered in Grace, Adopted in Royalty. He has received many praises for the fresh perspectives he provides within his posts. Below are a few questions I ask him regarding his blogging experience thus far!
I know that you have been an active blogger for some time! Tell me, what inspired you to begin writing a blog?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. “It’s my heart on paper” as my bio states. Blogging was a fun means of putting my ideas on a forum that many people can access. There’s much more to this answer but it’s more pertinent to the next question. :)
I see you write on fairly controversial issues occurring in the secular, as well as Christian realms, why is that?
Yea, I do tend to choose sensitive topics. The reason for this is because regardless if they’re Christian or secular in nature they will always be something that we, as believers, will entertain. Whether it be something we encounter in the work force, at a school, neighborhood, ministry or we always must be prepared to reflect Christ. 1 Peter 3:15 challenges Christians to always be prepared to have a defense for their faith. That relates to apologetics and theological savvy to a degree but the entire passage instructs Christians to be prepared to serve as kingdom advocates no matter the scenario. That said I try to publish balanced and accurate approaches to these topics.
Another inspiring passage is from Acts chapter 17. The Apostle Paul is provoked by the idols and markings of the city so he approaches the philosophers (religiously ambiguous leaders) and reasons with them. He takes on their issues, discusses it when them and then points it all back to Jesus. That’s my hope with the issues I discuss in my blog.
What is the response to some of the topics you written on thus far?
Oh man…this is going to get ugly. Continue reading here!
My friend’s mother likes my blog. She likes the topics I write on and how I do my best to point it all back to Jesus. I like when parents like my blog. It makes me feel smart or something. But she expressed her disappointment to her daughter when she found out that I consume alcohol- even though it’s within moderation. Is it because her mother is uber conservative? No, it’s because moderate drinking was not part of her husband’s lifestyle. I dug a little deeper with the daughter, Rebecca.
“We could come home from church with dad drunk listening to his oldies music. But then he came and gave his life to Christ when I was 10, but the past 3 years he has turned away from the church and drinks once again.” -Rebecca, 22
I was way convicted.
Not necessarily that I had done anything inherently wrong but rather that I was being irresponsible with my influence in social media. People from so many backgrounds, religions, social beliefs and painful experiences were going to see my page. Then I thought about it…someone who may be healing from a painful experience relating to alcohol may be encouraged by a post on my blog about pursuing holiness…but then they’re going to be linked to my Facebook and see me drinking. Am I drinking in moderation? Yea but a snap shot can’t tell them that. Regardless, alcoholism generally starts in moderation. This could surface some deep pain in their life.
I remember not being able to step foot into a bar for months after I saw a dear Christ-following friend excel down an irresponsible path of alcohol and partying. Just the smell of alcohol surfaced painful memories of when I tried to lead them back to Jesus. But that pain, though severe, is nothing in comparison to the experiences of many others. The more time I spend in ministry the more stories I hear about how alcohol has ruined families, hurt souls and broken relationships.
Total Frat Move published a thoroughly researched article declaring the LAMEST party school in each of the United States (see: Map Of The Lamest Party Schools In The Nation Will Make You Glad You Don’t Go There) Each State boasted the logo of what TFM deamed to be the lamest party school.
There she was in all of her glory. The State of Virginia. And there was that glorious football helmet topped with an eagle waving her flaming feathers. GO FLAMES! GO EAGLES!
If you know anything about Liberty University then it’s no surprise that we took the gold for this contest. But the last part of TFM’s article bothered me. “…that will make you glad you don’t go there.” Really? Because we’re not notorious for throwing keggers and “pissing on the grass while yelling obscenities at a rent-a-cop” we’re lame? Let me assure you, dear readers, that Liberty University, though Christian in faith and unapologetically conservative in political thought, is LESS THAN lame. Just look at our ever increasing numbers.
This topic was recommended by a friend of mine who has been very supportive and encouraging towards my blog. Oh, and she’s a she. Some people said I had no credibility to speak with because I lacked the physical features that are subtly integrated with this topic. Yes, boobs. With that terrible logic I don’t want to hear any ladies complain when a dude adjusts himself because, ladies, you don’t have the extremities that would merit you credible. All that aside, here’s my opinion on women breastfeeding in public.
Icebreaker time: Everyone say boob five times. Boob. Boob. Boob. Boob. Boob.
Why are people so weirded out when they see a woman breastfeeding in public? Is it because they know there’s a boob involved? Guess what, every time you talk to a woman there’s a boob involved. In fact most of the time there are two!
So why do we isolate public breastfeeding to such a nefarious act of women?
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…
If you’ve never read this literary masterpiece by the beloved Dr. Seuss you should check it out. In Seuss’ piece he describes, with childlike vernacular, a society of different people with different preferences and different reasons for those preferences. This issue couldn’t be more similar. Well, I suppose if we were fish it’d be more similar but I digress…
There is no subtle transition into my main content so I’ll just dive in (pun most definitely intended).
Dude types, admit it. When you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed and you see a picture with a girl in a bikini there is a strong temptation to pretend your phone conveniently froze. And when you pass a picture with a girl in a one-piece there is a slight feeling of disappointment. I may be throwing my fellow men under the bus but where there is no transparency there is no growth. And with no growth we will continue to be stuck in this abrasive rut.
Soooo one-piece or two-piece John?