Lifeway Christian Resources has informed Rachel Held Evans that her new book entitled ” A Year of Biblical Womanhood” and subtitled “How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting On a Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master”, will not be stocked at Lifeway Christian Bookstores.
I came across this story of all places, on a blog called the friendly atheist. In his story, he was using this story to try to prove that Christians are intolerant. So I started digging deeper into this story before posting it on this blog. As most of you know, I try to take a big tent policy on this website. We have contributing authors from many different backgrounds. I also like to pride myself in helping Christian bloggers of all stripes to accomplish the will of God in their lives and with their blogs. This time I am going to have to take exception to what Rachel Held Evans has and is doing and put all the facts on the table.
The Problem With Rachel Held Evan’s Book.
Rachel is an admitted egalitarian. In layman’s terms, that means she believes that men and women are equal to the point that there is no role differences between the sexes. This is in contrast to complementarianism which believes that men and women are equal but have different complementary roles to play with one another.
So for Rachel to write a book about living like a biblical woman to prove that complementarianism is wrong, is in fact, hypocritical. Rachel practiced the typical pharisaical practice that outward conformity leads to inward change rather than the biblical principle of an inward change leads to an outward change. Just because Rachel decided to act like a goof ball and wear a covering on her head, and call her husband master, proved nothing.
The whole premise then of Rachel’s book is based on a falsehood. Thus any self respecting Christian bookstore would be within it’s rights to decide not to carry the book.
However the story doesn’t stop there. If it did, I would not feel that even talking about this issue was worth the data storage space on this blog. But you see, Ms. Evans, decided to use wording in her book for shock value. She has carved out a niche for herself in the Christian blogging community by talking about and addressing shocking issues and taking unconventional stands. On the surface, I don’t have a problem with that. I am not afraid to tackle controversial subjects or even talk plainly. However in this situation Ms. Evans decided to use the term “vagina” in such a way that was obviously used for shock value alone. Here is exactly what she said.
I signed my first abstinence pledge when I was just fifteen. I’d been invited by some friends to a fall youth rally at the First Baptist Church, and in the fellowship hall one night, the youth leader passed around neon blue and pink postcards that included a form letter to God promising to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. We had only a few minutes to add our signatures, and all my friends were signing theirs, so I used the back of my metal chair to scribble my name across the dotted line before marching to the front of the room to pin my promise to God and to my vagina onto a giant corkboard for all to see. The youth leader said he planned to hang the corkboard in the hallway outside the sanctuary so that parents could marvel at the seventy-five abstinence pledges he’d collected that night. It was a pretty cheap way to treat both our bodies and God, come to think of it.
I find it pretty cheap to talk about her womanhood in this manner today. (I can’t believe I am talking about Rachel Held Evan’s Vagina!) Do you see what I mean? It was just used to shock people in order to make a so called point. It is not sin or even an untouchable subject to talk about human sex organs, but used in this manner it sure is crude.
Did Rachel Held Evans know that this paragraph was a problem before publishing her book?
This is where the story gets sad. She absolutely knew that this paragraph might cause her to lose distribution points for her book. Her editor warned her that this paragraph might have this effect as she documents on her blog with this post.
My editor noted that it would be tough to get this particular reference to “vagina” through the Christian bookstore gatekeepers, so we took it out and replaced it with…sigh… “privates.” (I know, I know.)
After she wrote this post she found plenty of people to tickle her ears and tell her to “not give in to such silliness”. She decided to keep the original wording and it is not silly now and Ms. Evans is crying foul as is evidenced by this post on her blog.
Since a lot of you have asked, (and in the spirit of Banned Books Week,) I thought I’d let you know that I recently received word that Lifeway has decided not to carry A Year of Biblical Womanhood in stores, presumably in the wake of the “vagina” controversy over the summer.
Banned book week? Give me a break. No business is required to carry a book that is disingenuous at best with the false pretense and crude at worst.
What is the result of her lack of discretion?
Well for one thing, she loses the opportunity to spread her message to those that want to listen to it. To me, as someone who values communicating into people’s lives, that is a huge loss.
She loses the financial reward that comes from all of her hard work.
She looks like someone who doesn’t know how to take sound advice.
She looks like someone who is more concerned with what she thinks is right instead of being concerned with how many hear her message.
But hey, she gets the opportunity to whine about book banning and how she is so mistreated. I guess that is worth it huh?
Oh, and more fodder was provided to the friendly atheist.
I wonder what her husband’s advice was to her?
Sorry Rachel, she who lives by controversy, shall die by controversy.
Rolling my eyes,
This article was first published on my website Taber's Truths