When Black Women Talked About Race and Gender in the Church
White Pastor Dismissed Their Concerns as an ‘Attack’ on the Bible and a Threat to the Church. He Gave Zero Evidence.
I wrote this opinion piece for the Religion News Service a few days ago, after noticing that something was astir in relation to an apparent controversial episode from the @Truth’sTable podcast, hosted by three Black Christian women.
The episode in question is titled “Gender Apartheid” and it provides a rich and dynamic discussion between the three women and their two male guests, who are also Black.
The episode proved popular with a lot of people.
But not everyone appreciated the revealing and realistic discussion.
In fact, one particular drive-by listener, a White pastor, found the contents of the “Gender Apartheid” discussion so appalling that he wanted the participants to face church discipline. He even asked his blog readers to help make that happen.
The strange thing is, though, the pastor did not provide any support for his charges that the Truth’s Table podcast participants, fellow conservative Christians, had committed any wrong. He just didn’t like how they used the word “penis” and was pretty sure they were promoting liberation theology.
I was actually quite surprised that he found zero merit in anything the hosts had to say, considering that they are his sisters in Christ and all.
Anyway, here is a short excerpt of my RNS commentary to get you started:
(After reading it, take a look at Faithfully Magazine, a new publication I created to cover the issues, conversations and events Christians of color say are important to their faith and to their lives).
Three black women leveled with two black men about the challenges they experience in conservative Christian spaces that marginalize women — and a white man’s response was to try to destroy them.
The enlightening discussion, titled “Gender Apartheid” from the “Truth’s Table” podcast, centered on the damage of “extrabiblical confinement of gender roles” in the church. The hosts were St. Louis worship director and activist Michelle Higgins; Christina Edmondson, a dean at Calvin College; and Ekemini Uwan, a Westminster Theological Seminary alumna.
Amid “amens” from listeners who agree that more opportunities need to be made for women to use their gifts in the church, was one very noisy critic, Todd Pruitt, lead pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, Va. Pruitt is also a blogger at Mortification of Spin, hosted by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.