May 12, 2015

We're All Feminists Now

Every year on Mother's Day, congregants are treated to sermons extolling the virtues of womanhood.

On Father's Day, those same churchgoers will most likely hear their pastors browbeat all the men in the congregation for being lousy fathers and husbands and failing to live up to their role as spiritual leaders. They probably heard some of this during the Mother's Day sermon as well. In between uplifting illustrations about the joys and sorrows of motherhood, the pastor will make sure he scolds all the men who are too lazy to show up for church (never mind the fact that this doesn't apply to any of the men in attendance because they are, after all, in attendance).

Are women inherently more virtuous than men? Of course not. Why, then, have I never heard a Mother's Day sermon about the common sins and failings of mothers? I know of at least one pastor who, when given the opportunity to do just that, lost his nerve. He was preaching verse-by-verse through a book of the Bible and the passage which fell on Mother's Day would have allowed him the perfect opportunity to call the women in the congregation to repent of a sin quite common among female church members. Instead, he took a break from his expository series to preach a typical Mother's Day sermon, taking time out from lifting up the mothers in the congregation only to hector the men (again, never mind the fact that the real offenders weren't even present).

If men are no more sinful than women, then why have I never heard a Father's Day sermon in which godly fathers are lifted up and encouraged rather than mercilessly demoralized and emasculated? If pastors want to cultivate a culture of godly manhood within their congregations, perhaps they should find a better strategy than nagging.

Most Evangelicals don't even question this practice. They just assume that women ought to be exalted while men ought to be called to repentance. It seems that the contemporary brand of feminism (the belief that women are not merely equal to men but are inherently superior to them) has infiltrated the church. This kind of thinking may make for a mildly-entertaining television sitcom, but it has no place in Christ's church.

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