Sisters, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask: The Daughters of Zelophehad and Women in the Church

I’ll admit it: I never noticed the Daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah—until my friend Elyse pointed them out to me. But, now that I’ve seen them, they are some of my favorite women in the Bible. They hold out valuable lessons for the church today. Continue reading “Sisters, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask: The Daughters of Zelophehad and Women in the Church”

The Carol Danvers Statement: A Marvel of Biblical Womanhood

My ten-year-old daughter recently returned from her first overseas church trip. She spent the week in a new culture, trying new foods, and serving the children of friends. Before she left, I gave her a bracelet that reads “Be Brave.” We talked the week before about brave women in the Bible, such as Miriam, Deborah, and Priscilla. We read their stories and learned about how God put them in positions to serve others, gifting them with the courage, strength, and wisdom for the task at hand.

Since she returned last week, our family schedule has prevented me from getting to spend extended time with her and hear about her trip. I decided a daddy-daughter outing was in order.

So, on Monday afternoon, we set out to see Captain Marvel, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), notable for being Marvel Studios’ first superhero film with a female lead.

Naturally, I wondered what message the film would send my daughter about what it means to be a woman. Would Captain Marvel be Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, only with a cape and superpowers? Would Carol Danvers be a snarling feminist, out to erase and flatten all distinctions between men and women? Or would my daughter see a woman who stewards her gifts, strength, and opportunities to help others, to do good, and to inspire those around her?

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I am no expert in the MCU or superhero movies by any stretch of the imagination. I entered this film almost entirely ignorant of the Captain Marvel character and her backstory. So, what did I find?

****SPOILER ALERT****

WARNING: The following portions of this article may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk. Continue reading “The Carol Danvers Statement: A Marvel of Biblical Womanhood”

An Open Letter to Rachael Denhollander on #SBCtoo

Dear Rachael,

This past week, the Houston Chronicle published a three-part series on sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention.

In response, you asked: “Pastors, where were you? When we were pleading for you to speak up against your peers or the leaders your support props up, where were you?”

I want (and need) to answer your question. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Rachael Denhollander on #SBCtoo”

Suspecting Gillette: The Best the Church Can Get?

Gillette recently released a commercial, “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be,” addressing the #MeToo movement.

It calls men to something better than misogyny, bullying, sexual harassment, and the objectifying of women. It encourages men to use their strength and influence to protect the weak, to treat other human beings with dignity and value, and to hold one another accountable. It admits that not all men are bullies and misogynists, and it praises the virtuous acts of those doing the right things.

Nevertheless, the ad has generated a conflicted response from the public.

I hadn’t seen the ad. I wouldn’t have except the social media uproar prodding me to what all the to-do was about. I watched it. I loved it. (I love it with one exception: Gillette products are used to prevent beard growth, which is an abomination.)

I understand there are various reasons that people take issue with it: It attacks masculinity in general. It conflates “toxic masculinity” with all masculinity. It stereotypes all men.

I don’t see those things in the ad. I won’t address them.

There is one criticism that I want to address—namely, that Gilette is being opportunistic, seeking to build a customer base and make a quick buck by pandering to the social issues of the day. In other words, they are acting with insincere motives.

That criticism—insofar as it results in an unwillingness to praise the ad—doesn’t sit well with me. Continue reading “Suspecting Gillette: The Best the Church Can Get?”