(from Keith): I’m Disgusted by How Some “Christians” Talk about Women

by | Sep 21, 2021 | gsr | 85 comments

My husband Keith’s on the blog today!

He got quite fired up recently in some Facebook comments, absolutely dismayed at how some Christians talk about women.

This post is perhaps more fiery than I would normally write, but he really wanted to say this, so I said, “Go for it!”

Sheila Wray Gregoire

I am sick and tired of other people trying to tell me how to be a man.

I am particularly sick and tired of other men telling me that to be a real man I need to be some form of misogynist.

You all know that I hold the view that instead of focusing on being godly men and godly women, we should just focus on being godly.  You also know that I have been upset in the past by the way the church has treated women. But over the last couple of months I have gotten really riled up about people in the church clinging to misogynist views despite the avalanche of evidence about how harmful those views have been and continue to be.

Before I go in to more detail, though, I need to give a trigger warning.

I am going to talk about some misogynist themes & tropes in this post. My intention is to debunk them, but some of the things that have been said are so hideous that I think I need to warn you to brace yourselves before reading further. And to me, the thought that people are saying these things in the name of Christ is more than heartbreaking – – it is absolutely appalling.

A few months ago, I got into a debate with a young man on Matthew Shallenberger’s Facebook page about women teaching in church. I have had these debates for thirty years now, so 99% of what he said didn’t surprise me.

I was not shocked when he “demolished” (sarcasm alert) my argument by explaining that the word “diakonos” (deacon) means a position of authority when applied to a man, but the exact same word means simply “a servant” when applied to a woman like Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2). I was also not shocked to watch the arrogance with which he addressed me when he clearly knew no Biblical Greek or even the context of the verse (SHEILA INTERJECTING HERE–I’m so proud my husband can read the New Testament in Greek!), namely that Paul instructed people to help Phoebe, not the other way around! (By the way if you are seeking good reading about Phoebe the deacon and other women in ministry in the early church, here is a series from Marg Mowczko’s website).

What really struck me was something he said near the end of our conversation. He said that by “simping about women leaders” I was “spitting in the face of Jesus”.

You may have thought he meant simpering. He did not.

“Simp” is a new word that people who believe and practice toxic masculinity use as a pejorative for men like me who (in their eyes) are overly deferential to women. It is an acronym that stands for “Suckers Idolizing Mediocre P**sy”.

Think about that for a second. In one breath he refers to women like that, then in the next breath tells me he speaks for Jesus.

That a person could ever use a term like that and then have the gall to say that I was the one spitting in the face of Jesus is completely incomprehensible to me.

I realize there is debate in the church on the issue of women in leadership, but this is not an argument about Biblical interpretation, this is a clear call for the debasement of women and of any men who would be so pathetic as to actually stand up for them. It is simple misogyny, through and through and it has no place in the body of Christ.

Unfortunately, misogyny is not limited to a few individual trolls on the internet.

Sadly, it has worked itself right through the entire structure up to some of the most popular authors and speakers. Sheila recently wrote a post about the problems with Pastor Mark Gungor’s marriage teaching. He has a whole routine that emphasizes the typical “men are only interested in sex” idea.

And if it were just a comedy sketch, I could let it go. When we are joking around, we use extreme language to get laughs. Unfortunately, he is not just making jokes, he uses those jokes as education. In essence, he is saying “I’m joking, but I’m not joking”. He is saying men are only interested in sex and the implication is clear –that is the way God made them and you wives need to adjust to that.  He even goes so far as to say “if it weren’t for sex, we wouldn’t have anything to do with y’all!”

Now I get the fact that in most marriages, the man has a stronger felt need for sex.

Sheila and I have shared extensively about how I am the higher drive spouse in our relationship (sorry if that’s TMI for some of you). We have even talked about how my felt need for sex made Sheila feel pressured to perform despite suffering from vaginismus at the beginning of our marriage. I have confessed that my strong felt need for sex even caused me to be selfish and uncaring toward Sheila in the first few years of our marriage. I say all that to show I understand how strongly a husband’s felt need for sex with his wife can be.

But I have to tell you, that even at my most selfish, I could not imagine myself ever saying to Sheila, “if it weren’t for sex I wouldn’t have anything to do with you!”

I don’t say this to praise my virtue because I don’t think this mindset should be considered virtuous. It should fall under basic human decency.

Perhaps worse, in the same talk, Pastor Gungor mocks women who would disagree with his idea by making a squeaky irritating voice of a woman saying “sex should be about companionship, fellowship and sharing”, then goes back to his own voice to break it to them: “Girls, if your husband wanted companionship…he would get a golden retriever”.

A pastor should know that God’s design for sex does include companionship, fellowship and sharing as well as physical pleasure. He might believe and even teach that a man or a woman may value each of those aspects differently, but he should not outright ridicule the idea that sex is supposed to be something intimate, personal and sacred. I should not have to pull out the creation account in Genesis 2 to remind a pastor that God did not ordain animals to be man’s companion and women to only be their sex receptacle.

Again, Pastor Gungor is not just doing a stand-up routine, he is teaching this as proper principles for marriage. And it’s appalling.

But historically this kind of teaching has gone completely unchallenged.

And worse still, Sheila gets attacked constantly for being “mean” in calling people out about their sexist and misogynist remarks. She is labelled as being part of “cancel culture”.  This just shows the height from which we have fallen.

A famous man says something hurtful and demeaning to women which goes against Christian virtue and basic human decency and nobody blinks. But then a woman stands up and says “Don’t talk like that!”, suddenly everybody has an opinion about why she should sit down and shut up.

Asking a person to stop saying hurtful things is not cancel culture; it is seeking justice.

Asking a person to take stock of the damage they have done to others is not cancel culture; it is a call to repentance.

The last time I checked, justice and repentance were both Christian virtues. And it should make no difference whether it is a man or a woman who is asking for it.

To outright say that women exist only for sex is misogynist. Full stop.

To tell women that the only need your husband really has from you is sex and to imply every other need can be better met somewhere else is not only misogynist, it is degrading to both women and men. An educated person such as a pastor should know that. They should not say such things and if they do, they should stop. In my mind, they should be grateful when a sister in the Lord cares enough to try to get them back on track.

So what does this have to do with this month’s theme of “Marriage on Hard Mode”?

Well, “Pharisee mode” is always “hard mode”.

And all this gender stereotyped garbage (aka Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) coming out of some segments of the church these days can only be described as Pharisaical.

These teachers do not free people to be the men and women God created them to be, but rather they “tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders” and just as Jesus said, “they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them” (Matt 23:4). They focus so much on what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman that they lose the point of what it means to be a Christian. That is the only way that I can explain how a person could claim to follow our Lord and then use a word like “simp” or tell women they only exist for sex.

In my mind, it is precisely like the story in Mark 9:7-13. Jesus chides the Pharisees for setting up rules which make them miss the entire point of what God was commanding. In their devotion to God (the tradition of Corban), they ended up ignoring the commandment of God (Honor you father and your mother).

To me, the way these teachers treat women is exactly analagous. Jesus said “Love your neighbor” and “Do to others what you would have them do to you”. Yet these people use teachings which they claim are from God to justify treating women in terrible ways – certainly “un-neighborly” ways and definitely ways they would never want to be treated. And all the while – just like the Pharisees – they feel like they are serving God while they actually “nullify the word of God by [their] tradition”.

How much easier simply to follow Jesus and try to be like Him rather than following all these man-made rules.

I myself don’t worry about how to be a Christian man. I am a man and I follow Christ, so I trust it will work out.

And this is what the Jesus I follow thought about women

  • The first person to learn He was the messiah was a woman (John 4:26).
  • He had many female followers (Matt 27:55)
  • He had women financially supporting his ministry (Luke 8:3).
  • He praised women for learning spiritual things (Luke 10:42).
  • He lauded women as an example of faith (Mark 12:41-44)
  • He affirmed women in their faith when religious law told them they were unclean before God (Mark 5:34).
  • When he was in agony on the cross, he had concern for the woman who bore him (John 19:26-27).
  • Most telling of all, in a time when women were considered unreliable witnesses in court, He chose to make his first post-resurrection appearances to women alone with no men there to back up their testimony.

Church, can we not just try to be like Jesus?

Instead of a world where we are focused on keeping everyone in their gender-based stereotypic little boxes (with all the accompanying rules & regulations that go along with that), imagine a world where we just focused on the basics – justice, mercy & humility (Micah 6:8), loving God and loving others (Mark 12:30-31) and simply “doing unto others as we would have them do unto us” (Matt 7:12). If we did that, perhaps we would see all these Pharisaical teachings about being a “biblical” man/woman for the nonsense they are when they take us away from these most basic elements of the Christian faith!

I sincerely hope the evangelical church is not doomed to forever keep straining out the gnat of not being “biblical” in our masculinity/femininity while continuing to swallow the camel of misogyny.  

Because regardless of our religious traditions, we should all agree that women are our sisters in Christ, that they are created in the image of God and that reducing them to a body part that is meant for men’s pleasure is not a Christian view. In fact, it’s not even a worldly view. That sort of thinking can only come from the kingdom of darkness. And anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear should know that.

 

 

Why Keith is Disgusted with How Some Christian Men Talk about Women

What do you think? Have you seen what Keith has? How can we change the conversation so this stops happening? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Blog and Podcast Contributor, Co-Author with Sheila of two upcoming marriage books

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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85 Comments

  1. Robert

    Keith, it’s men like you why North American churches and Christianity are dying. You are sending so many to hell with your limp wristed, social justice, evil religion of equality nonsense teaching as Christianity dies around us. The result of your teaching is death, both now and eternal. You’re doing the work of Satan. But I know you feel good as you do it so there is that.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yay! Thank you for this comment for showing us why what Keith wrote is necessary! I always love it when these are the first comments.

      Reply
      • KA

        I was dying, literally- my health was all out of whack and my body was shutting down, due to the abuses from my husband (a pastor hooked on porn and eventually unfaithful) both pre and post divorce, several churches I went through, and 4 years of legal abuse.
        (And, no the porn wasn’t because a lack of sex- it started when he was a teen and we often had sex twice a day or more.)
        All these men who abused me to the point of me just wanting to end my life did so in the name of Christ and justice.

        An infidelity group led me to Sarah McDugal and she led me to you, Shiela, and you’ve led me to so many men on your podcasts and shared posts which have brought me back to life.

        I had concluded that I was worth nothing. I wanted love so very badly, but I had thought that it would never happen- just a fairy tale- because those men had been so awful to me.

        But it has been posts like these and stuff from Bruce Fleming and Andrew Bauman and some of your other guests that have showed me that what those men did to me was not of God.

        Your work here is life giving.

        If that is what those churches are, they need to die, maybe then, something healthy and truly of Jesus can rise in their place.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I’m so glad that you found freedom here! I do believe that God is doing a big work in his church!

          Reply
    • Kay

      Funny, the gender roles and misogyny Keith is railing against here made me suicidal. Only when I rejected them did I find the abundant life Jesus promised.

      But it raises an interesting question. When men claim their belief on women brings life and women say it brings death, who should we listen to in those situations? If women over and over and over again say the church’s misogyny is harmful and toxic, does it just not matter because “that’s what the Bible says?” Do we cling to toxicity over flourishing? Does it not matter if the Bible is used to harm and enslave people?

      I dunno. I follow the fruit. If the result of a belief system is harm, then that belief system has to go. Jesus said over and over again, “Moses said, but I say to you,” always in the reduction of harm. Why should the example Jesus set stop? Whose to say Jesus wouldn’t say today, “Paul said to you, but I say to you…”

      Reply
      • Jo R

        Oh, Kay, you poor, deceived woman!!! Don’t you know that since you ARE merely a woman, you can’t possibly know what goes on in a woman’s head??? OF COURSE if the MEN say something isn’t harmful to women even when an increasing number of women are saying that yes, indeed, it has been and is harmful, then naturally we women must absolutely bow down and defer (there’s that word again!) to what the MEN think. 🙄🙄🙄

        (Note to those who don’t get it: that was pure sarcasm.)

        Reply
    • Kristen

      Thanks for reminding me why I left church in the first place with that generous, loving comment, Robert. I’m sure that men like Keith are NOT the problem, but what do I know? I’m just probably on my way to hell anyway for wanting to be treated with the same basic dignity and respect that I afford other people.

      Reply
    • Phil

      Wow dude – like maybe you aren’t getting the wake up call here. But man are you in for a surprise. If you actually believe that aside from the content of your comment even just the hostility of your comment is anything related to biblical…wow….um we plant seeds here. Glad you dropped by – hope it grows. 🙏

      Reply
    • Exwifeofasexaddict

      Robert, nope, it’s men like you who are destroying the church.

      Reply
    • Boone

      Robert, it must be awful to be as threatened by women as you are.
      I also continue to be amazed that the masculinity of any man that actually dares to treat women as he himself would like to be treated is continually attacked. You seem to have a need to be perceived as tough. To be honest, I’ve never met a fundy that actually was tough. Guys like you strut and crow in your own crowd but when you get out in the real world you’re as lost as a goose. In short, you’re nobody to be attacking Keith.

      Reply
    • Christine

      Seem that you support men oppressed women?

      Reply
    • Bek

      Meanwhile, Keith is the picture of God-honoring masculinity, and you’re the one living in darkness, serving the prince of this world…

      Reply
    • E Richmond

      Robert, I bet you’re the type of person who would attend a meeting to discuss the role of women in the church where no actual women are there. Congratulations on missing out on 50% or more of people’s God given experiences. Also, I was unaware that using our kind words about women would send people to hell. Funny how the Bible left that part out – I thought people went to hell for not trusting in Jesus, but okay.

      Reply
    • PATRICIA

      Oh my! Are you serious? The sexist, backwards, misogynist junk you are spouting is why so many have left the church, not the other way around. No woman wants to be bullied, controlled, treated like a mindless sexbot, or made to feel like she is a lesser being simply because of her gender, and no real man would want to do that to her. It is inhuman. That mindset is not love in any sense of the word and so un Christ-like. If that is what the true Christian church is about, I’ll take a hard pass. Luckily, I know that you are WRONG.

      Reply
      • Jo R

        That’s some mighty fine preaching right there! 👍👍👍

        I particularly liked the “mindless sexbot” phrase, as even good guys seem to easily slip into the “wife = live-in housekeeper + sex provider” mentality (church-approved sex provider, at least 🙄🙄🙄)

        Reply
    • Teesa

      Huh? Ummmmmm……… 🤦🏻‍♀️

      Reply
    • Leona

      Robert, are you an elder or deacon in your church? Because I’ve been around so many Christian leaders like you it hurts my heart.
      Unfortunately for you I’m a strong Christian woman who has taught her sons to respect women as (gasp! ) equals. They even have the audacity to know that some women have gifts, talents, education and skills beyond their own. They’re not superior nor domineering. If the church is dying it sits at the feet of men like you because you have a tremendous need to be a superior human.
      Jesus is superior. Not you.

      Reply
    • Amy

      Robert, Are you truly that threatened that women have a voice or that a man might support that? I feel sorry for you. I am sorry that either someone hurt you so badly that you need to hold fast to this awful view or that you have never had a relationship based on love and respect for BOTH people. Jesus was and is feminist. He deeply cares for women and values the characteristics they are created with. He knows what women “bring to the table” in marriage, relationships, the church. No where in the Bible does it teach that women need to be held under the boot of men. Proverbs 31 comes to mind.
      Second, I do not believe that what Keith expressed is the reason the church is dying. That is multi faceted. However, young women know their value and their strength. The views you have expressed are EXACTLY why they are leaving the church. They can get that load of garbage from work and society in general. Church is supposed to be a place to get fed, a place of rest, a time of refreshment, peace. If they are bombarded by the same hateful and harmful views the world vomits on them everyday, why would they stay at church? Where is their rest, refreshment, peace?
      I pray that your eyes will be opened and that you will find peace. Please realize that women are not your enemies but we are your equal. I applaud Keith and many other men like him for standing up to be true followers of Christ. Amy

      Reply
    • Bonnie

      Keith’s focus is on being Godly. Honoring our Creator God by honoring both men and women, thus humanity.

      Christianity as demonstrated by such venomous comments suggests a legalalistic religion vs a relationship with the living God; our Father through Jesus. Jesus demonsrtated compassion and honour, towards humanity therefore the created world. We know his repeated scathing denunciation of heartless religion.

      Reply
    • Aaron

      Hi Robert,

      Ex-Christian who grew up in Alabama here. You could not be more wrong. Men like him actually bring people into the faith. It was after growing up around abusive, mean-spirited, sexist, homophobic, and violent fanatics like you day in and day out that I left the faith. I can tell you without any shade of doubt that it was people like you, not Keith, who made leaving the faith so much easier. Because back then, your image of Christianity made my disdain for the faith so strong that I would rather burn in Hell for all eternity than to be anything even remotely like you.

      If you’re done looking for a splinter at Keith here, I think there’s a rather large beam that you need removed from your eyes.

      Reply
    • Esther

      @Robert, your wrong! Everything that I heard from Keith is biblical sound and music to most true believer’s ears. Keith shows humility and gives Jesus’s love towards his wife. It’s take great strength (courage), perseverance (endurance), and lots of work (practice) to surrender your self (selfishness and old ways), and give to others who will do the same in return. We are all reaching for the same desires and THRUTH through Jesus (The One who surrenders more than us in everything.) It sounds to me, Robert, you sound afraid of losing something and don’t trust the KING. Maybe, you need to ask the Lord what to give up inorder for him to reveal His Greatest SEX Mysteries. I love picking up Jesus’s bread crumbs (clues) to see His Majestic Painting. And through Sheila and Keith ministry, helps us reveal Jesus’s puzzle pieces of men and women gifts for each other, especially when we deny, cover over, or don’t know our gifts when we have been hurt. Peace be with You, brother. Esther

      Reply
  2. Rachel L.

    So well said, Keith! Thank you for taking the time to address these things when you see them. It is absolutely affirming to everyone to:

    1. See what being an ally to women looks like

    2. Have a respectful man’s perspective on these issues.

    3. A Husband SUPPORTING HIS WIFE.

    I cannot tell you how many of us women have (or HAD) spouses who would not stand with us and support us when we voiced concerns or issues in public. That might mean in a small group, or online, or in the face of his family – many men just get embarrassed that their wife rocked the boat and drew critical attention. Their desire to avoid conflict (and maintain the respect of their peers) overrides their responsibility to stand with their spouse in public moments. It is so refreshing to see a husband doing the opposite.

    *Caveat: I’m talking about justified situations, not someone who just enjoys causing strife.

    But back to your points, you are spot on, my friend. As a single parent getting back into the dating scene, I see this all the time. It’s absolutely appalling. And yet so many women have been taught that this is “healthy”. To me, this is such a red flag! I have you and Sheila to thank for helping have a better understanding of what I personally need in a relationship, and what a healthy one looks like.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you, Rachel! And Keith is VERY passionate about standing up for women, too!

      Reply
    • Jo R

      “Get embarrassed” and “avoid conflict”…

      Wow, our husbands must be twins. And that’s not a good thing. 🙄🙄🙄

      Reply
    • Ann Stewart

      I especially appreciate the sectioin: And this is what the Jesus I follow thought about women. When I wrote PREPARING MY HEART FOR EASTER — it was all about a woman’s journey to the cross. How Jesus changed the lives of women. I read through the gospels just to see Jesus’s interaction with women. Wow. Eye opening. the phrase “the women” is all throughout the four Gospels. They were VERY involved and Jesus appreciated when they sat at His feet and learned. We can ALL learn. Thank you!

      Reply
  3. Phil

    2 weeks ago in church one of my favorite singers in our church stood up in front and gave testimony and yes even instruction. Then SHE sang to us and blasted us out of the pews. After church I approached her and told her of a woman that I know who tried to do the same thing in her church and was chastised and told she could not speak to the church from the front of the church before she directed the choir. I told her how glad I am that I am in a church that recognizes that the word of the lord can come from anybody – even a WOMAN. And guess what it wasn’t a white woman either! Our current Sunday school lesson in our church for the next month is Genesis. There are people in my church who I have identified as believing in the hierarchy. One of them I found out is actually a good friend of mine. ( And there a different levels of that hierarchy belief and practice it seems to me anyway….) he teaches a different class so he will not be subject to my plan….but I have had the discussion with my wife who also teaches with me and even she told me the story of Adam and Eve in the context that Adam wasn’t with her when it happened…It really is amazing to me how distorted the message of the Bible has become even from within the unsuspecting church….I believe we have all fallen victim to this at some point….I/we will be using material from this blog and resources connected to it to deliver the CORRECT message to our class. I actually can’t wait….THANK YOU ALL – KEITH I STAND WITH YOU.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Phil, this is wonderful! I really do hope we get to meet you and Grace one day.

      Reply
      • Phil

        It will happen Sheila – God is waiting for the right moment for us all.

        Reply
  4. Another Drifter at Sea

    Preach! Preach! Preach!!!

    It is so so important to hear men say things. Thank you for being an Ally.

    Curious on your thoughts on actual change though. It feels like the AEC will never change. Even amid mounting sex abuse scandals, an endless plethora of research, and a seemingly mass exodus of people leaving the church. What will it take to change? Beth Allison Barr’s The making of Biblical Womanhood tore me up in so many ways. As a woman, I was so angry. And yet The Gospel Coalition was quick to throw out a bogus response blog to immediately try to negate what her book claims. How about instead of being quick to speak, they could consider being quick to listen and slow to speak. It feels like it will take a literal act of God to change the church. Or is this one of those slow, over time changes? I just feel such a sense of urgency for this change. To protect women. To honor women. To advocate for women as Jesus would.

    Reply
  5. Maria Bernadette

    “I myself don’t worry about how to be a Christian man. I am a man and I follow Christ, so I trust it will work out.” – Keith

    Yes!

    Keith, thank you for speaking out.

    Reply
  6. Phil

    Thank you, Keith! I am a pastor and have run into far too much of what you write about. I have to shake my head at how these kinds of anti-woman arguments are cloaked as “biblical” when they are anything but biblical.

    Reply
    • Christine

      I am glad you are one the pastor stand for the truth.

      Reply
  7. Laura

    Wonderful post Keith!

    It’s so awesome to have a man advocate for women. We need more of that in the church instead of the Pharisaical teachings (or as I like to put it: the cookie-cutter teachings) of biblical manhood and womanhood.

    Anytime I heard sermons pertaining to “how a woman (or man) is supposed to be” and it often happened to be an all-or-nothing mindset, I came away with an awful, unsettled feeling in my spirit. Later, I realize that was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. Within these last few months, I have felt an urgency to write a book about my experiences dealing with the submission doctrine and how it harmed me. Well, I find that the more stuff I wrote and the research I have done, I realize that I’m on a path of deconstruction from organized religion. Due to this pandemic and out of concern for my mother’s welfare (I live with her), I haven’t attended church in a year and a half. There’s also other things contributing to this deconstruction process which I won’t go into, so maybe I need to step back a bit and process all this stuff before writing that book.

    A former church I attended has had a class called “Biblical Womanhood” taught by the pastor’s wife and due to this pastor being a male chauvinist, I knew I would never attend that class. My stomach just churns at that phrase “biblical womanhood.” Well, for this pastor’s wife who is not allowed to cut her hair nor wear jeans and just does whatever her husband tells her, why would I want to take her class, unless I want to learn the art of Stockholm Syndrome? Nope, not for me. It’s funny how that church wants to tout “biblical womanhood” but they won’t have a class on biblical manhood. I guess the pastor thinks that the men have it right while the women don’t know how to be “Christian women.” Another sad example of misogyny in the church.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I think it’s that women need to hear the message more so that we stay in line. Absolutely.

      Reply
    • Stefanie S.

      “The Art of Stockholm Syndrome” – well said, Laura! And yes, that doesn’t come “natural”, but is a result of intense “training” (aka manipulation…). Too sad that there are always women who allow themselves to be instrumentalized by the patriarchy!

      Reply
  8. Cassie Torgerson

    Holy, misogyny blasting, guys! That was AMAZING!!! I really want everyone in the whole wide world to read this.

    Thanks, team! 💗🕊✝️

    Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  9. Nathan

    As an opponent of Cancel Culture, I can say with conviction that Sheila, and this site as a whole, is NOT part of it. Calling our hurtful things and asking people to stop saying hurtful things isn’t cancel culture, as long as those things actually are hurtful. And the belief that men are superior to women and that they should always lead and that women should always follow is in fact hurtful and toxic, to both men and women.

    Cancel Culture is trying to shut something down by PRETENDING that it’s hurtful, when in reality it’s just an opinion you don’t agree with. This is NOT what Sheila is all about. I’ll stop now, since I don’t want to get political on this site (I can get that elsewhere).

    And while I don’t personally believe the story of the Garden of Eden and the Serpent, the story is fairly clear that Adam and Eve were both there while the Serpent spoke.

    As for the top post, if believing that men and women are equal is doing Satan’s work and earns me a ticket to hell, well, I don’t really know what to say to that except YIKES!

    Reply
  10. Exwifeofasexaddict

    Hurrah!!! Thank you for saying this. Sadly, many will only hear this from a man, not a woman.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Why would a young person stay in church when it teaches ‘ as gospel’ such misogyny?
      Jesus says to be united with him and he is light and life!
      There is nothing life giving in not valuing women as made in the image of God.
      In dishonouring a woman or man, a person shows who they are by what comes out of their mouths! If a person is spewing poison….

      Reply
  11. Anon

    I find it very interesting that Roberts comment has no scriptural support at all!!! It clearly doesn’t, since he provides no biblical references for his beliefs. Preach on, Keith, preach on! by the way, I am a man writing this comment.

    Reply
    • Nathan

      He COULD quote some scripture out of context, such as the “husband is the head” verse, but we’ve already seen that Paul didn’t mean “head” in the sense of leader, boss, overlord, etc.

      Reply
      • Anon

        And even if it did – being ‘head’ over someone does not mean you are of greater value. A Head of Department is not a more valuable human being than the people he or she supervises. The Boss of a company should treat even his lowest paid employees with respect. Each member of a group of volunteers is equal to the leader. That’s what gets me about the ‘equality is unbiblical’ argument – even if you believe the husband is the leader of the wife, that STILL can’t be used to justify treating women as ‘lesser beings’.

        Reply
      • SAM

        Dig a little deeper and you may find out the origin of headship meant “lead servant”.

        Reply
  12. Laura

    Keith, you’re so spot on! I was yelling, “Amen!” while reading this. It’s such a blessing to know there are others out there who get it. We live in a very conservative part of the country- where finding a church that isn’t misogynistic is nearly impossible. This shouldn’t be!

    Meanwhile, I need to point out that the term “pharisaical” or “pharisee” when used in this manner is considered antisemitic. I realize Christians do it all the time, but we’re all trying our best to be better. Maybe using “legalistic” or “hypocritical” would be better?

    Much love to you all!

    Reply
  13. Bek

    Another home run from Keith!
    Thank you so much for this! I hope men are listening, but even if they’re not, we women need to be encouraged that there are men in the Christian world like Keith that want to edify their sisters, and not tear them down!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      There really are! I married a great one–but honestly, I know LOTS of guys like Keith (including my sons-in-law!). So my message is: if you don’t know guys like Keith, then it may be that you need to get into a different church community.

      Reply
  14. Mara R

    Not gonna lie.

    I thought Robert was just being really sarcastic. His comment is so over-the-top opposite of the Spirit-of-Christ that I thought he was just trying to be funny.

    BTW, does anyone know what the Bible calls the Opposite-of-Christ? Does anybody ever wonder if the misogyny of Robert and his ilk is what the Bible was talking about when they used that term for the Opposite-of-Christ? Or is it just me?

    Reply
    • Nathan

      Based on the specific details of the post, I don’t believe that it’s sarcasm.

      Reply
      • Mara R

        No, I don’t either. That was just my initial impression until Sheila said she let the comment go through as stark evidence of how truly bad this issue is. It’s horrible and unChristian.

        Reply
  15. Maria Bernadette

    Are men leaving the pews in protest of priests and pastors teaching equality? Or are they leaving because of the priests and pastors who insist that real Christianity says you must fit into a very insulting caricature of what it means to be a man?

    Places that teach toxic versions of masculinity have more men than women, but the preaching could still be driving men away. Just at a lesser rate than women are fleeing those pews.

    Reply
    • Nathan

      My guess is that more men are leaving due to the toxic “man is the master” belief than the equality belief

      Reply
    • Wild Honey

      There’s also a middle road of “I don’t like the preaching of a narrow view of what masculinity is, but no church is perfect and I like other things about this church, so I’ll stick around because it doesn’t really effect me all that directly.”

      This seems to be the attitude of my father (an egalitarian who’s attended soft complemetarian churches) and my father-in-law (a soft complementarian attending soft complementarian churches), both of whom are married to don’t-rock-the-church-boat women.

      It also used to be the attitude of my husband. Fortunately, he married a let’s-poke-a-stick-in-the-bush-and-rattle-it-around-to-see-if-anything-comes-out type of woman. (I just like to get any potential deal-breakers out of the way early before we commit to a church.)

      We left a couple churches in a hurry when he saw the outsized response my respectful and reasonable questions provoked.

      And to echo a comment someone else has made, may I observe how incredibly sexy it is to see your husband stand up for you in public (when you merit it, of course)?

      Reply
  16. Rachel

    Keith, I’m so thankful you’re my brother. Thank you for every word.

    Reply
  17. R

    Thank you, Keith!!!

    Robert, you prove Keith’s point. I’m truly sorry you feel so badly inside.

    Reply
  18. Jane Eyre

    Lovely, Keith.

    When in doubt, I think about Judgement Day. When looking upon the terrifying face of our Lord and Creator, what do I want to say when asked to make an account of myself? I don’t want to be left stammering “But I genuinely thought you made the group I belong to more special than another group,” right before being cast into the flames of hell.

    How can these people be comfortable with the idea of looking into His face and repeating what they say on earth to torment women? If you wouldn’t say it to God, don’t say it from the pulpit.

    Reply
  19. Lynne Sleiman

    Going to read this to my husband because he will love it! He always points out Keiths expressions when we watch the podcast together. The wonderful “done with that” look towards these problems. We need more men speaking out against misogyny!

    Reply
  20. Scott

    Thank you Keith. Been following Sheila for years now and I am with you. I am so over and done with “biblical” manhood. Let us put the swords, helmet and war talk aside and choose to love God and love our neighbor (that call has no gender basis or bias). Grace and peace to you.

    Reply
  21. EOF

    Thank you so much, Keith! I hope people start to wake up. All of this patriarchal, misogynistic, and abusive teachings NEED to be pulled away from Jesus. He never promoted any of that.

    But because his followers promote it, I spent well over a decade in a marriage that left me wanting to end my life. I believed that because God hated divorce (a scripture that was actually meant to protect women) and that since there had been no adultery, my only way out of an unbearably painful marriage was death.

    It took at least a couple years of reading Shiela’s blog for me to finally see the light:

    I have actual value, and God doesn’t want to see me suffer to the point of wishing death upon myself.

    Sadly, even after seeing the truth it took me at least that much time for it to sink in, for me to believe it deep down.

    Sheila and Keith, keep spreading the message so that others like me can believe the TRUTH.

    God loves women, not just men. Patriarchy makes women feel hated and despised, an object to be used and nothing more.

    I always wondered why God gave me dreams, desires, beliefs, and hopes only to have them be crushed by my husband who I had to obey or I wasn’t obeying God. What was the point? Why have those aspirations?

    Because God put them there! It isn’t man’s job to demolish them or my self-esteem.

    Reply
    • Anonymous305

      So heartbreaking that you went through that ☹️☹️‼️

      “God hates divorce” isn’t even a correct translation. https://youtu.be/swy65LUIdg0

      I sarcastically say that God didn’t hate divorce until 1611, but seriously, he never did.

      Reply
  22. Samantha

    I’ve read all of Sheila’s L&R posts but when I actually read the book, I was SHOCKED at how he talked about women – “doe” “sweet little thing” “tender.” It’s gross and creepy, especially when he’s talking about a woman probably half his age.

    Reply
  23. Lisa M

    Great post Keith!

    Reply
  24. CMT

    Love it Keith! Frankly it’s too bad that it is so refreshing to hear this perspective from a man.

    Also, regarding the first comment from “Robert,” he is so on the nose that I wonder if he is trolling you. I think the team should review some of the comments responding to him. Your policy does state that comments that “attack another person” aren’t allowed, and a few of them are very negative against him personally (he’s scared of women, following the devil, destroying the church,etc). While what he is saying is despicable, it would not be a good look to ban personal attacks but then allow them against people who disagree with you. If he is trolling, he is likely trying to get this reaction.

    Reply
  25. Robert

    I’ll address the two issues if you’ll post them. First, personal. Ive been married to one woman for a decade and half. We are the happiest couple we know. Our kids know Christ. She would describe me and tells me weekly I’m the “best husband in the world.” On a professional level I deal with women daily. I don’t have a bad relationship with a single woman I can think of. And yes I’m the most patriarchal man I know. But patriarchal to me doesn’t mean treating women badly- but serving, protecting and leading them.

    But here is the important part. Tell me one period in history that has not been patriarchal where the church has grown? Just one. As North American Christianity has gotten away from patriarchy- church has suffered in any metric you want to put to it (percentage of Christians in society at any age level), society and family as suffered greatly. Less people are following Christ daily.

    And it’s really boils down to a handful of things. First, the Bible is clear on the issue. The Old Testament is clearly without hesitation patriarchal. In the New Testament four times wives are taught to be submissive and even to obey their husbands and women are taught to not teach. So every time someone teaches different to suite what they like people simply do not trust the Bible. Jesus becomes someone He actually was and is not. That keeps people from believing.

    Secondly, if men lead, women follow. It just doesn’t work in reverse- anywhere for but a limited and short period of time. Things start falling apart pretty quickly. The death blow to a church is a female pastor. You can start the count on the clock on its doors closing.

    You want the church to not lose ground and souls to the enemy?- patriarchy works.

    How many female disciples did Christ have? How many times are females mentioned in the New Testament- you have to hang your hat on obscure references of Juanita, Priscilla and Phoebe which are barely mentioned and the strength of the arguement is her name was mentioned first! Jesus was the Son of God. He could have done anything He wanted. And yet He didn’t have female disciples. He did not change the patriarchy of His Day. He treated women kindly yes. He spoke to them yes. But He was still patriarchal. You know most of these men who you rail against daily would treat women the same way Christ did if the women today acted the same way they did in Christ’s day. They are battling feminism- the worst killer of souls in world history. Worse than communism, socialism and tyranny combined. And that is why while your teaching and fight feels good it does far more harm than good and is literally sending souls to hell. Women think about feelings now but that doesn’t build families, society or church- not the building but church. The hands and feet that bring Christ to others. Your teaching is short sighted and it kills because of that.

    Patriarchy can be abused like anything can be abused. Well done Christ like patriarchy gets results. Results for everyone, including women. But you’ll never see what you consider loving -kind and gentle teaching on the subject- until you see women doing their roles better. You cannot year after year meet rebellion with kind and meek words.

    For the record, I think men are not doing Christlike patriarchy any better than women are doing Christlike submissiveness. But the answer is not to teach women to rebel against Gods ways for men to better do Gods ways. Both need to repent, forgive and start walking with the Lord and do their part.

    Reply
    • Keith

      Robert,
      All I can say is this. My article was about not treating women badly and your first response was to a say that I was sending people to hell and to attack me personally. That tells me a lot more about what you think patriarchy means than this second comment.

      Reply
    • Jo R

      Your conclusion that patriarchy works and is best and is presumably even God’s will is based on the Bible’s simple reporting that throughout history, human society has generally been patriarchal.

      Why does simple observation make patriarchy prescriptive (i.e., required and even demanded) rather than merely descriptive (how fallen human beings, and in this case, men, have largely chosen to behave since, being generally physically stronger, they can simply impose their will on women)?

      As for your other observations about church growth and women pastors, correlation is not causation. There are PLENTY of other things going on both in the church and in society generally that tend away from Christian faith.

      And since the Bible was written in fully patriarchal societies (in the Roman empire, a husband could apparently kill his wife with complete legal impunity, for crying out loud), then any prominent women would naturally receive only minimum mentions, and ordinary women would likely not be mentioned at all. After all, we’re talking about changing hearts and minds, and there’s a lot of inertia in the centuries and millennia of “Well, this is the way things have always been” thinking. It makes sense, therefore, that women are not featured 50-50 with men. At the same time, given how patriarchal even New Testament times were, the fact that so many women ARE mentioned, and that so many of them played key roles, cannot be simply dismissed as trivial.

      I’m glad you seem to be a good guy and can see some nuance as to patriarchy not meaning that women are dismissed and even abused. But too many men just take the patriarchy ball and run with it, destroying women spiritually, emotionally, physically, and even sexually, because in too many men’s minds, only men count, so women should sit down and shut up.

      Reply
      • CMT

        Second this, Jo. Well said.

        Maybe Robert’s not a troll after all.

        One thing he said that I want to respond to was this:

        “ Tell me one period in history that has not been patriarchal where the church has grown? Just one. ”

        I think you mean a period when the church wasn’t exclusively male-led? Because we really don’t have any period of recorded history when society has not been at least partly patriarchal.

        How about the first century? Women were leaders of house churches (Lydia, Chloe), deacons (Phoebe), apostles (Junia) and teachers/workers for the gospel (Prisca, possibly Euodia and Syntyche, and others). There were women deacons and teachers in the patristic era too, but we tend not to know much about them as we do the men because women had fewer opportunities to get an education. So they didn’t sit around writing long treatises and letters like the early church fathers did. The church spread through the whole Mediterranean and beyond in the first few centuries AD. Seems like a good track record of growth to me.

        One other thing: the contention that Jesus didn’t have women disciples just doesn’t make sense. What were Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Salome, and the rest? They followed Jesus, supported his ministry, and in Mary of Bethany’s case, is specifically mentioned sitting at Jesus’ feet- a reference to the traditional posture of a rabbinical student.

        Beth Allison Barr writes in The Making of Biblical Womanhood that “patriarchy is the background of the Bible, not the message of the Bible.” (I think she’s quoting someone else but I don’t have the book handy to check). People who argue that “patriarchy works” are really saying that “accommodating the dominant cultural paradigm works.” Well, to a point it does, if by “work” you mean it keeps people comfortable and avoids conflict. But the church is called to build the kingdom of God. We can do better than “patriarchy works.”

        Reply
      • Jo R

        Well said, yourself, CMT!! Totally agree.

        Especially liked “if by ‘work’ you mean it keeps people comfortable and avoids conflict.”

        Reply
      • Jane Eyre

        Great point. There are numerous Biblical passages that give instructions on how to treat slaves, but no serious person thinks that means Jesus wants slavery. The patriarchy is the exact same thing.

        Reply
    • Anon

      Robert, thank you for explaining your views on patriarchy. However, what you say here is very different from your original comment, which ran “You are sending so many to hell with your limp wristed, social justice, evil religion of equality nonsense teaching”.

      I read many verses in the Bible that can be interpreted as giving men leadership roles in church, although others interpret those verses differently. But I do not see ONE verse in the Bible that advocates ignoring injustice or treating women as inferior to men. Yet you say that Keith is sending people to hell by his ‘social justice’ and ‘equality nonsense’ teaching.

      I would really encourage you to reread the many passages in the Bible that call on Christians to fight against injustice, and also those that speak of women as being equals to men. And Paul referred to Euodia and Syntyche as ‘beloved fellow workers’ – even when he was rebuking them for falling out, he still spoke of them as equals, not inferiors.

      Reply
    • Jane Eyre

      Hahahahhaha.

      That was a joke, right? “But patriarchal to me doesn’t mean treating women badly- but serving, protecting and leading them.” Women are by definition adults. If your life system requires you to treat grown-ass adults like children, you are not the “logical” and “rational” one.

      Reply
    • Jo R

      “until you see women doing their roles better”: I don’t know what planet you live on, but the typical woman basically completely buries her entire identity first in her husband, then her children. She does so for decades, being taken complete advantage of by first her husband, then her children, because that’s what the church teaches is her role. Her entire identity is wrapped up in her genitalia, first for her husband, then for her children. Most women give and give until they just don’t have anything left to give. So exactly how are they supposed to do better if they live first through their vaginas, then through their uteruses?

      “They are battling feminism- the worst killer of souls in world history. Worse than communism…” You are totally kidding here, right? Communism physically killed some hundred million people in the twentieth century alone. And the lives those people lived before they were killed weren’t exactly rainbows and unicorns. I was in Moscow in the early nineties. It wasn’t LIKE a third-world country; it WAS a third-world country. Have you heard what’s happening to the church specifically and people generally in China? Again, not exactly rainbows and unicorns.

      And to carry on what Jane Eyre said, whom exactly are patriarchalists protecting all us women from? From what you’ve said, I think I mainly need to be protected from men who think the way you do.

      (imagine a southern accent and breathy voice here) How did I ever manage to earn a hard science degree without men leading me and protecting me from all that horrible homework and those oh-so-hard tests??? (flops onto the couch almost fainting)

      Reply
      • Anonymous305

        The implication is that unsubmissive women prevent anyone from believing in Christ. While I concede that controlling, disrespectful women would be a deterrent, so would controlling, disrespectful men, at least for me. I’d be deterred by a bossy, rude anyone!!

        Reply
  26. Michelle

    Thank you for saying this, Keith! I’m glad people like you are speaking up.

    And thank you for saying this. I feel like we all, male or female, need this reminder on a daily basis:
    “I myself don’t worry about how to be a Christian man. I am a man and I follow Christ, so I trust it will work out.”

    Reply
  27. Marius

    Thank you, Keith!
    I have been a pastor for 30 years, and I often wonder whether we shouldn’t replace the ‘Christian’ Church with some other form of Christ-following community. Because much of the church we have is hateful, misogynistic, unjust, cultish, and living the very antithesis of what Jesus preached.

    Thank you, you and Sheila are a rare example of what a Christ-following couple should look like.

    Reply
  28. Mel

    Love this, Keith, thank you so much for speaking out. I just finished reading “Jesus and John Wayne” (which I heard about from the Podcast) and what happened here in the comment section highlights my biggest take away from the book: bad things happen when we confuse the definition of “The Gospel” with other side issues of theology, and especially if we fuse them together. This is nothing new (see the books of Galatians!) yet it is still going on today.

    (Quickest definition of “the Gospel” I can give: “what God provides.”
    1. God – He made the world. That makes Him the authority.
    2. Man – we are born with a problem: born as enemies of God! We are sinners, and deserve eternal death.
    3. Jesus – God provides redemption through His Son, who lived perfectly fulfilling the Law, died a substitutionary death, and rose again and ascended, proving His payment was perfect and acceptable to God.
    4. New Life – God makes any person a member of His family who confesses their need for Jesus’s perfect sacrifice to be applied to their credit. Belonging to Jesus causes drastic changes to the behavior of every person who believes! We live out of gratitude enjoying God and obeying Him.)

    Just like Robert’s comment shows, so often someone will try to talk about a legitimate problem with Christian behavior (here misogyny) and they are met with “You are messing up the Gospel,”/”You are a heretic.” No, actually we’re trying to talk about a logical effect of believing the Gospel and living like we do: here, treating women as PEOPLE! We aren’t fusing that to the Gospel! They are separate but related issues, and replying “this teaching is sending people to hell” shows that a person is misunderstanding what the Gospel is.

    Over and over when reading “Jesus and John Wayne,” I would read of times in American history where there were such and such social problems, church problems, or culture problems. My heart was like, “Oh what a great opportunity for Christians to step in and tell the Gospel and live in light of believing the Gospel!” But NO, over and over through the last 50-100 years, prominant Christians inserted into those opportunities SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE GOSPEL! (Namely “biblical manhood,” gender roles, Christian nationalism, etc) ARGH! (Can you tell this gets me riled up?)

    Thank you, Keith, for writing in light of the Truth!

    Reply
    • Pauline

      Well done Keith. Fortunately l have not come across this way of thinking in all the churches I have been involved in. I was rather surprised that this way of thinking was still out there. Obviously your message needs to be heard. How can they even think God will let them get away with that kind of thinking.

      Reply
  29. Bonnie

    Wow! Is this Mungor guy married? If so, how does his wife feel? What does that say about their relationship? Does he have daughters? Anyone able to comment accurately on this?

    Uttering such things, should disqualifying him from teaching on marriage and being a pastor.

    And it would be easier and cheaper to have a Golden Retriever and buy some kind of “receptacle”.

    Reply
  30. PETER

    ‘Simp’ seems to describe the vast majority of male Christian leaders. The remainder are at the opposite extreme.

    Reply
  31. Eva

    It’s so refreshing to hear a man express this view. God bless you, Sir!

    Reply

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