Thursday, August 11, 2011

Deleting the story

In an almost unpredented move, Don Miller has deleted two posts and issued an apology for what he wrote about men and women. I am impressed. Today he wrote,
If anything I said personally offended you, will you accept my deepest and most sincere apology?
This is the sequence from my viewpoint. Don Miller wrote two posts on how to live a good love story, part one for girls and part two for guys. The gist of his posts, still available in cache, are that guys initiate, write the story, make it happen, and are responsible. Girls have a story happen to them.

Rachel Held Evans responded here and here. Then Don deleted his posts and wrote and explanation with apology.

The dicussion on Rachel's blog is about how to have a disagreement in an appropriate way. The message that I am getting is that sexism is such an integral part of the way people interact that those who say and write these things are not intending to hurt women, but they are simply not aware of the affect of what they are writing.

I am truly pleased that Don Miller took down his posts. I have no idea what he will write in the future about men and women. It is truly wrong to talk about men as those who make things happen and women as those to whom things happen. That is not Christianity, and we need to make people aware of how wrong it is to talk this way.

But we need to learn not to demonize those who do talk this way. They are mislead by the overwhelming sexist atmosphere in the Christian community which devalues the intitiative and responsibility that women take every day of their lives.

Thanks to Don Miller for deleting his posts. Thanks to Rachel Held Evans for her honest portrayal of women as actors and agents.

Another Rachel responds to Miller's post with these words,

Interestingly, I have always dated “good Christian men.” I’ve kept myself above board in all aspects in my relationships with them. But if I’m honest, I have never been treated worse than I have in those relationships. For some reason, whether it be expectations, pressure or nerves, it seems like I leave each relationship feeling ugly, worthless and stupid. One relationship in particular left me feeling like a whore. And I don’t use that term lightly. For more than a year after it ended, I felt like a whore. And would you believe I didn’t even kiss that guy? In the three months we were together, we never even kissed. He believed it was important to wait a year before going down that road. But his words cut me deep, and it took years to repair that wound.

I write this only because Mr. Miller’s blog stirred up some of the same physiological reactions I had in that three month relationship. No matter how “pure” I was…it wasn’t enough. I needed to tone down my personality. I needed to change my humor. I, who doesn’t wear revealing clothing because I don’t want imaginations to run wild, needed to cover up even more. But ladies…please hear this…that isn’t love. That isn’t grace. That isn’t mercy. That isn’t God.

So, I ask that you throw that blog out the window. Sure, chase after the good things, the righteous things, the holy things. And when it comes to love, look for a man who forgives. Who extends grace when it seems like there is none to be offered. Who gives mercy when you’re certain you’re unworthy. And hold yourself to the same standard. Look for opportunities to offer forgiveness, grace, mercy and understanding. THAT is God. THAT is good. And THAT, my sweet friends, is what a great love story is.


Gran said...

Making people aware of how wrong it is to talk this way without demonizing those who do is a bit like a tightrope walk for me.

Seeing the very damaging effects of Christian sexism up close and personally, I struggle with remaining gracious toward anyone propagating it. Thanks for the much needed reminder.

Don Miller, if you're reading here, 'thank you' for deleting.

Gem said...

I had removed his blog from my reader after those two posts, so thanks for letting me know he deleted those.

As a reader who NOT "offended" but concerned about this young man and his future marriage, I'm not too impressed with the "apology". He doesn't renounce any of the sexist marriage killing doctrine which his deleted blogs reflected; he put the blogs in a file for "editing".

My teenage and adult children have been very influenced by Don Miller and after reading his ideas in those blogs, the prospect of his writing a book on relationships scares me!

tim bulkeley said...

I didn't read Don's posts, but I'm glad he took them down. The trouble is those who preach that manly men initiate and womanly women respond sort of tripe have a ready market. In a world slowly changing, but in a few generations only (which is fast for cultural change), men are left rudderless. In Grandad's time "everyone" knew how a man should behave. But now if I hold a door open for a woman I risk being accused of sexism (I'm old enough that my dad taught me that was what a gentleman did).

This uncertainty doesn't condone sexist attitudes, but I think it helps explain why there is such a ready market for this Christian manliness craze.

Rod said...

Wow! At least Miller had the humility to take done the posts and issue an apology. We'll never get that from the Gospel Coalition.