Friday, November 22, 2013

My Response to Emergent Church Guru, Tony Jones


I think we have to choose our battles carefully and not confront every expression of hypocrisy. However, some are so egregious that they must be addressed for the good and unity of the church – something you say you care about. However, you charged:

  • Those who continue misogynistic [women hating] practices [by maintaining any role distinctions] in the church are not being faithful to the Bible or the Spirit of Christ, they are perpetuating retrograde and archaic beliefs and are doing great violence to women and men and the cause of Christ.

Indeed, Scripture teaches much about the essential equality of male and female (Gen. 1:26-27; Gal. 3:28) and the mutuality of husband and wife (1 Cor. 7:1-10; Eph. 5:22-30). However, your insinuation that the church is “not being faithful to the Bible or the Spirit of Christ” in terms of maintaining role distinctions is Scripturally insupportable. Here are some verses you might consider:

  • 1 Cor. 11:3 I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (Note that even though Christ subordinates Himself to the Father, this doesn’t imply any inferiority. Likewise, the wife subordinating herself to her husband is in no way demeaning. In fact, the greatest shall be least!)

  • 1 Tim. 2:11-14: A woman should learn in quietness [of spirit] and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (Note that this role distinction was not relative to the churches of Paul’s day but to the creation order and the Fall! Also 1 Cor. 14:34-38)

Jesus Himself appointed no women among His 12! Will you also charge Jesus with misogyny?

Is the Bible’s teaching on role distinctions injurious to women as you charge? I don’t think so! Instead, it dignifies them (1 Peter 3:7). If you choose to disagree and claim that there must not be any role distinctions among people – child/parent, subordinate/supervisor – that all role-distinctions are demeaning, then you must prove this!

You claim to be concerned about Scripture, but you show no respect for it. You claim to be concerned about the welfare of the church, but you consistently tear down the “Bride of Christ” with your charges.

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