Are Christian Women Bloggers a Crisis for the Church?

I debated before writing this. For one thing, the answer is so obvious to me that blogging about it seemed a waste of time. For another, if people didn’t already know about the series Christianity Today was doing, I wasn’t sure I wanted to draw attention to it. Nonchristians already view Christians as less tolerant of women in authority, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to give them more reason to dislike Christians, and by extension (sadly) Christ.

But after seeing the reaction to Christianity Today’s series on Christian women bloggers and who’s in charge of them, I couldn’t keep quiet. Thankfully, I did see many replies on Twitter defending women’s right to blog without someone with a degree in theology checking in on them, but many people, including women, agreed with the first essay in the series which implied that women should be held accountable by their denomination—that there needed to be some sort of guidelines for these rogue Christian bloggers.

The essayist threw in a quick statement that men were to be held accountable, too, but let’s face it. Christianity Today’s Twitter headline said “especially women,” and the only blogger mentioned by name was Jen Hatmaker. I guess she got too popular and then made a statement that did not please the powers that think they be.

Crisis! Crisis! Who’s in charge of Jen? Who will control the blogosphere, they wonder. Well, I have three thoughts about all this.

1. If there’s a crisis in the church, I would argue that it might be something like how to help refugees or who is in charge of well-known pastors who shill for sexist, racist politicians.

2. If bloggers are a crisis, there is no way for the church to hold bloggers accountable even if it wanted to. Sorry!

3. If you have a problem with a blogger’s theology, you can blog about why they’re wrong. The blogosphere patrols itself. Get with the times.

Christianity Today had the gall to use the hashtag #AmplifyWomen, which came out of the women’s march. They may be amplifying women writers, but the first one they amplified in their series had a clear message—that women should only be amplified if they are saying what they are “supposed to” say.

If the women in the New Testament’d had the technology, they’d have been blogging their fingers off. “He’s alive! I saw him!” And good gracious, I hope Peter wouldn’t have said, “I know I just denied knowing him, but let me see that before you hit publish.”

I’d like to say that I won’t even read the other articles in the series, but I’ll probably get swept up in it. Someone needs to hold them accountable, after all.

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7 thoughts on “Are Christian Women Bloggers a Crisis for the Church?

  1. Pingback: What’s it all for? – Culture Contemplation

  2. As a Christian woman and writer/blogger, I was actually convicted and encouraged by the CT post. I did not agree with every nuance, nor do I agree with the doctrine of the author. But I 100% agree that we need to be more intentional about our theology before we step onto a “platform” of our own building. We need to be intentional about seeking God for His leading before we build such a platform; in fact we should be asking HIM to build any platform He wants us to mount to speak. I find it interesting as a women who wrestles with women’s issues, that so many of the dissenting opinion pieces are filled with hurt, sarcasm, and biting tones that overshadow biblical truth-speaking. If we are defensive and offended by reminders to seek accountability, that’s usually a sign that we need that very accountability. We have seen far too many women (and men, for that matter) build their own platforms but, lacking accountability and biblical correctness, lead others away from the very God we love.

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    • I appreciate your point of view. In fact, several years ago I might have written the same kind of thing. But
      1) I AM hurt, and that is a legitimate hurt that God understands.
      2) If people who have the kind of accountability you’re talking about still have doctrinal problems, what was the point of the accountability?
      3) I had several trusted, long-time Christians read my book “Seeking First His Kingdom: 61 days of worry-free devotions” before self publishing it. If you can find a problem with the theology, please tell me. (It’s free on my blog. I’m not trying to make money off His Word.)
      4) I would rather read biting tones than the fake sincerity, platitudes, and sometimes messages in direct opposition to the Word that I see on a regular basis from big name pastors.
      5) I am not trying to build a Christian platform. I write what I feel based on my sincere relationship with God, and whoever reads it, reads it.
      6) Even if the call for accountability is legitimate (and I don’t think it is) the fact that it specifically called out women is a travesty, and is also the kind of thing that leads others away from God. Maybe I’ll reach a different audience than you. I will never be popular with mainstream Christians, and that is okay with me.

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    • Oh, I forgot one thing in my reply. Many of the responses like yours that I’ve seen online have a similar strawman argument, and that is the idea that not wanting church governance watching over our writing means that we don’t seek God and His leading and are not intentional about our theology.

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