No Chains

Growing up in conservative Christian culture it has taken me over 10 years to shed my fears of what people think to be who I really am. Continue reading No Chains

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Why Rhetoric Matters: The Power of Words to Liberate or Manipulate

It’s hard to explain to people who don’t study rhetoric why it’s important or for that matter what rhetoric is.  A basic definition is that rhetoric is the art of discourse. It is the study of speech. Words are powerful tools. They support ideology, stir passion and anger, and most importantly fuel action. We study the words of the present and the past to learn … Continue reading Why Rhetoric Matters: The Power of Words to Liberate or Manipulate

Debating Biblical Gender Roles Then and Now

It’s easy to believe that the debates about gender roles in evangelical culture are a recent development. Yet, looking through Free Methodist Magazine archives from over a hundred years ago, it’s clear that the debate on Biblical gender roles goes back centuries. Perhaps, I can justify the tension regarding women’s roles the nineteenth and early twentieth century Free Methodist Church somewhat, but I cannot justify … Continue reading Debating Biblical Gender Roles Then and Now

What Makes a Free Methodist Feminist?

I’m re-posting this entry since I now have more readers than I did when I originally posted it. It’s my manifesto for what I believe and what I research. Occasionally I’m asked why I call myself a feminist. Now that my blog is getting a few readers I’m getting this question more often. The concept of a “Free Methodist Feminist” seems like an oxymoron. Yet, … Continue reading What Makes a Free Methodist Feminist?

Fighting for Gender Equality in the 1880s “Free Methodist”

B.T. Roberts, the founder of the Free Methodist Church, served as editor of the denominational magazine The Free Methodist from 1887-1890. During that time period he featured women’s original articles, ministry reports and testimonials. Even prior to the denomination officially buying the magazine at the 1886 General Conference it was not unusual to see women’s writings featured in the publication. However, with Roberts as editor … Continue reading Fighting for Gender Equality in the 1880s “Free Methodist”

Rally the Equality Troops: We have a Rhetorical Battle to Fight

“Gender equality is just twisting and re-interpreting thousands of years of God-defined gender roles because you don’t agree with them.”  I was recently told this by a good, God-fearing individual when my husband and I shared the Wesleyan tradition of gender equality. How do you deal with people who refuse to acknowledge that male-headship is not the only Biblical interpretation of gender roles? As an … Continue reading Rally the Equality Troops: We have a Rhetorical Battle to Fight

Women Still Struggle to Gain Acceptance in Ministry

When I tell other academics that I’m studying the rhetoric of the early Free Methodist movement I get responses such as “Free Methodists? What is a Free Methodist?” or “I’ve never even seen a Free Methodist Church.” I’ll grant that the denomination is small. Currently in North America the Free Methodist Denomination (as of 2007) estimates membership at 74,000, and worldwide there are about 730,000 … Continue reading Women Still Struggle to Gain Acceptance in Ministry

John Wesley’s Arminian Magazine and Lay-Women’s Conversion Narratives

I’m returning to some research that I was writing about earlier in the year – the involvement of Free Methodist women in the temperance movement. My husband has his own blog where the article below is also posted. While his research focuses mostly on the 18th century and mine on the 19th and 20th century, I thought this article does a great job setting up … Continue reading John Wesley’s Arminian Magazine and Lay-Women’s Conversion Narratives

Vision Forum: The Giant of the Christian Patriarchy Movement

While there are numerous organizations I would consider part of the Christian patriarchy movement one of the largest and most disturbing organization is Dough Phillip’s Vision Forum. Vision Forum’s influence is vast in evangelical and fundamentalist culture.  The organization has its own homeschooling curriculum, devotional materials for men and women, homeschooling conferences and the popular San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, which is Phillip’s brainchild. … Continue reading Vision Forum: The Giant of the Christian Patriarchy Movement

TLC and the Fundamentalist Family: A Look at the Quiverfull Movement

I have been waiting a few months for my study to appear in The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture about the TLC show 19 and Counting and the Quiverfull movement. The academic journal is open access, so everyone who reads my blog should be able to pull up this link. It provides a much more comprehensive overview of what the Quiverfull beliefs are and … Continue reading TLC and the Fundamentalist Family: A Look at the Quiverfull Movement