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, I stand by this term. I am a feminist.  While there are definitely some feminists who distance themselves from organized religion and view organized religion as just another way to enforce patriarchy, I don’t see … Continue reading What Makes a Free Methodist Feminist?

A Glance at Women in Ministry in the Free Methodist Denomination

Over the past year as I’ve studied the rhetorical arguments against women in church leadership positions, I’ve noticed that not much has changed over the years. When the Free Methodist denomination was founded B.T. Roberts faced opposition to ordaining women.  He faced so much opposition that he didn’t encourage the new denomination to “officially” appoint women to senior leadership positions for fear it would divide a new, but fragile denomination. As the denomination strengthened and grew women became increasingly important to furthering the denomination’s growth and spreading Christianity. Yet, while women have been officially ordained as pastors for decades (since … Continue reading A Glance at Women in Ministry in the Free Methodist Denomination

Caught between a rock and a hard place: The Christian feminist’s dilemma

Two years ago, soon after our second wedding anniversary, my husband Andrew and I stood in the church sanctuary taking to friends after the service about our anniversary plans. “So, when are you going to have kids?” a friend asked me. I stood there dumbfounded wondering why everyone kept asking me this question. Both Andrew and I were finishing our masters degrees with plans to pursue doctorate degrees in the next year. “Um, not anytime soon,” I replied. Yet, even after answering the family planning question two years ago. I am repeatedly asked every year, around our anniversary, when we … Continue reading Caught between a rock and a hard place: The Christian feminist’s dilemma

Gender Norms in Christian Co-Cultures Part III

Cultural Influences Pearce and Cronen (1980) note that culture influences the individual actions of its members. There is a pronounced relationship between the writings of the Eldredges, Pride and Dobson and how members of various co-culture groups take those writings and apply them to their own relationships. The structure and influence of the Christian publishing market allows the writings of authors from various Christian co-cultures to exert great influence over Biblical interpretation, family life, and the self-worth of the Christian individual. The financial motivations of the Christian publishers mean that more progressive views, like Roberts, are not considered marketable and … Continue reading Gender Norms in Christian Co-Cultures Part III

Gender Norms in Christian Culture Part II

Middle of the Road Gender stereotyping is prevalent in both Christian and non-Christian pop psychology books, however when these stereotypes are viewed in relation to the dominant Christian discourse favoring the patriarchy, then the stereotypes can become tools to reinforce the dominant ideology. Perhaps one of the most influential Christian writers who bridges evangelical and fundamentalist cultures is Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family ministries, whose numerous books on parenting, marriage and family life have sold millions of copies (Focus on the Family, 2010). Dobson, like the Eldredge’s, uses subtle rhetorical devices to reinforce male-headship. In his … Continue reading Gender Norms in Christian Culture Part II