Monday, October 14, 2013

I am (pretty sure I am) a Jesus Feminist

In the last year I have become a reformed Southern Baptist.  I love my local church. I agree with most of it's doctrines and teachings.  But the tension in my own life has not gone away as I still wrestle with questions on marriage and ministry and roles and submission.  Sarah Bessey is one of my favorite bloggers. I don't agree with everything she says, but I love the way I see her heart in her words. And I am looking forward to reading her book this November to see if it eases any of the tension I feel on the topic of feminism and the Church.

Jesus Feminist definition

I struggle with the idea of labeling myself, but when I read her definition I found myself thinking, that is me.

  • I am a Reformed Southern Baptist with Pentecostal tendencies.
  • I am a stay-at-home mom who knows without a doubt that this is my calling for this season.
  • I am the one who heard too many times the phrase "femi-nazi" on my dad's radio.
  • I am the girl who vowed in the '90s to vote for Hillary Clinton someday, but who as an adult realized my political beliefs are pretty much polar opposite to Hillary's.
  • I am tired of hearing I read too much into Galatians 3:28.
  • I am weary of loud people - men or women -  demanding things under the name of Christ - when Christ came as a humble servant never demanding anything.
  • I respect my church's beliefs on women in ministry even if I do not personally agree with them. I choose to be a part of my local church because of so many other things I do agree with there and because of their heart for the Gospel.
  • I believe in my friends who are called into ministry - who are gifted to preach and teach and serve - and who happen to be female.
  • I am raising two boys to not believe men or women are better than each other - to believe that we are equal and that when we follow Christ it is not about us any more. 
  • I struggle with the belief some have that women can't lead in the church but they can lead in other places.
  • I am scared to use the word feminist because of all of the negative things it conjurs up in my mind.
  • I'm still learning after eight years what Christ wants for my marriage - and how that really doesn't have to be given a label one way or another.
  • I am encouraged by my complementarian friends who are showing me it is not the stereotype I thought it was.
  • I will always believe in the importance of having a parent stay-at-home with the kids, even if that opinion is unpopular and some of my closest friends disagree with it.
  • I am learning that being a Jesus feminist doesn't have to be about politics or bad theology - it is feminism that is "shaped and informed by one's faith in Jesus Christ."
  • I honestly admit that my views on this could (and probably will) continue to change in one way or another as I grow older and grow in my faith.
  • I am Amanda, and I am (pretty sure) that I am a Jesus Feminist.


  1. Bless your heart (and I don't mean that in the Southern, condescending way). Ok, I am so thankful. so. thankful. that I don't feel called to do anything that would get the other S. Baptists is my life all in a tizz. I see a lot of myself in this post: also S. Baptist, also not sure about everything, there. Bullet point 6: AMEN. Me, too. Have mercy. So. tired. xo

    1. Thanks, Brandee. The phrase "feminist" terrifies me really. The phrase Jesus Feminist terrifies me not as much. I think I just wanted to put this out there because I don't fit into labels or boxes - but I believe Sarah's definition leaves room for me and my values/beliefs. I have wrestled with this for a couple of decades now - and I don't expect that to stop any time soon. But I'm tired of feeling bad from "either side" (and from within my own little voice) for who I am, what I think, and why I think it.

  2. *Reformed* Southern Baptist is still an anomaly in my circles (although you and I are not geographically far apart), and I am one, too. My parents still don't believe me that there is a reformed resurgence in the Baptists, and they reject reformed theology wholeheartedly. It's good we don't fit neatly into all the categories that supposedly go together; just means we're using our brains instead of being herded like sheep.

    1. Until this year I think I thought all SBC were "reformed." I thought all Baptists believed in the little bit I knew about reformed theology (which admittedly was not a lot). It has been great to learn more about theology - in a former life I was a teacher and I am therefore a curriculum nerd - theology is basically religious curriculum and therefore I love learning about the differences and similarities. I

  3. That's the beauty of how Sarah Bessey defines Jesus feminism...there is room at the table for ALL of us! :)

    1. Yes - I really appreciated her simple (and room-y) definition.
      I also really liked Rachel Held Evans blog today on her complementarian questions. I don't agree with her very much (or read her very much any more) BUT I found myself saying, "That is exactly what I think/ask/want to know!"

  4. Love this, Amanda. And yes to the complexity and tensions here. There is no straw man, is there? So good.

  5. I love your openness to new ideas about God's love and work in the world! I've found that very few people are willing to let new perspectives challenge their preconceptions but I am grateful for this post and your spirit. Grace and Peace to you!


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me.