Last Friday, American speaker and author Ed Stetzer published an article in Christianity Today, calling out misogyny in the church. His article comes in response to degrading and inappropriate comments made by Christian leaders about women in the church.
In a Facebook group called Geneva Commons, leaders from two Presbyterian denominations discussed Christian author and speaker Aimee Byrd.
The following comments were made: “I wish her husband loved her enough to tell her to shut up” and “Why can’t these women just take their shoes off and make us some sandwiches?”
One of the denominations has since apologized, saying it was “greatly concerned about the overtly misogynistic tone leveled at women authors.” Unfortunately, the comments reveal a much deeper issue regarding how female leaders are viewed within the church.
In Stetzer’s article titled “Complementarians in Closed Rooms,” he addressed the “locker room talk” that occurs more often than many realize. He said all Christians have a part in calling out misogyny in the church.
“We are often quick to get defensive whenever anyone challenges our views. But we rarely spend the same amount of time addressing behaviors that are deeply hurtful to our sisters and dishonoring to Christ.”
Stetzer offered two suggestions on how church leaders can eradicate misogyny in our churches. He urged proper responses and possible solutions.
Stetzer says men need to show courage, not cowardice. “First Corinthians 16:13 mentions manly courage,” he said. The NIV translates the word as “courageous,” while the ESV says, “act like men.”
Rather than “own” the disparaging comments made in the Facebook group, Stetzer says many have deleted their comments or made their accounts private.
“Some of these complementarians need to have the courage to live out the phrase they have thrown around — to act like men,” he said.
Stetzer believes speaking up is a Christian’s duty. Calling out injustice against others is biblical. It’s something that cannot be ignored. He encouraged men to “step up” and “speak out” when they hear or see misogynistic behavior.
“Men, let’s make it inconceivable that anyone in our contexts would make backroom comments about women’s appearance and inappropriate humor in general. Let’s not be afraid of our social status to the point that we don’t speak up.”