You also suggest that Christ has no gender when returning to heaven. After going through various classes this past week addressing ancient Trinitarian heresies, I’m afraid I had to slide this conviction into the same category as said heresies. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man (emphasis on man). If He still has the scars in His hands and side in heaven, how would he no longer possess his masculinity?
Dear Jory Micah,
I want to start this letter by expressing my gratitude for your fiery determination to make this world a better place. Your work as an advocate against sex trafficking and abuse is to be lauded. We need more people in the church standing up against such terrible results of sin in this fallen world. But I also am very concerned about your work in the church and in breaking the so-called glass steeple. This letter is written out of love and concern from a fellow sister-in-Christ, who loves theology and church history (and would like to get advanced degrees in these fields if God wills it and opens doors). I also live in the Pittsburgh area! If you’d like to meet up, I’d be happy to do so!
I read through several months worth of your Facebook page, some of your blog, watched a few of your videos (specifically your most recent video concerning the loss of your job) and read your master’s thesis. I’m very sorry that you lost your job as an adjunct professor. My dream is to teach and I couldn’t imagine losing my dream job. However, I’d like to share some thoughts with you, honest thoughts.
You talk a lot about “breaking the glass steeple.” This very concept is what your master’s thesis is based on: the idea that complementarianism is anti-biblical, suppressive, and even abusive.
This is not necessarily what I have concerns about, though I do not agree with your general position. Let me start off that the concepts of complementarianism and patriarchy, to use the terminology that I read in your work, are much broader than what they appear. Patriarchal structure in the family has thousands of variations in the world and just as many in the church universal and historical. It may be wise to specify what type of complementarianism and patriarchy you are addressing as opposed to painting wide brushstrokes.
Additionally, the egalitarianism that you support is a very new phenomena. I’m by no means a professional historian, I’ll admit, but from what I can tell, the family and gender structure in the history of not just the church but also the world has almost always been (with exceptions) in such a way where men hold the highest leadership and the highest authority. This is not to say women do not lead and do not hold authority, but historically, biologically and scripturally, it is acknowledged that they are weaker (not weak, but weaker), and that men are to hold the highest authoritative positions. This is not simply the so-called “cultural backdrop” of the Bible and of church history, but the case from the Fall, where God tells Eve that her desire shall be for her husband, and he will rule over her.
The basics of historical study demand that we historians study the past through the perspectives of those who lived it. And scripture demands that we study it for what it says as opposed to playing the “you’re putting it out of context” card when someone disagrees with us or looking for proof where there is none. I am afraid, Ms. Micah, that I see more forcing your own 21st century white American perspective on the Bible. I do not deny that there were church mothers and that their work has been severely unacknowledged in the days between then and now. But I cannot agree that the women in the early church had an egalitarian role such as you suggest in your thesis. The early church structure drew a lot of its makeup from the synagogues and from the Old Testament, and also from the teachings of the Apostles (which, in addition, included only men ordained for the position by Jesus directly, as in the Twelve and Paul [one of the qualifications for the selection of Matthias was that he had followed Jesus during our Lord’s tenure here on earth]). In the structure of the synagogues and in the Old Testament, women held many positions (look at Miriam or Anna or Deborah, for example), but they did not occupy the position of priest, rabbi, or such equivalents.