Evangelical women

October 12, 2017

Evangelical Women in Public Policy and Public Witness

I don’t know about you, but when I walk down the Christian living aisle at my local Barnes & Noble, besides the Priscilla Shirer devotions, most of the female Evangelical authors do not represent me.

On one shelf are more traditional Evangelical women who cocoon themselves in generic self-help topics and self-focused jargon that shies away from addressing our wayward world. Rarely do they acknowledge real assaults on Christian women like Baronelle Stutzman, a Southern Baptist 72-year old grandmother who was recently punished by the Washington Supreme Court for operating her small business consistently with her faith. Nor do they consider the beautiful example of our Christian sisters facing horrific persecution for the faith. These voices often fail to write, “This is what American Christians should be doing…”

On the other shelves are progressive Evangelical and post-Evangelical women advocating liberal social political policies as the only way to show Christian compassion and charity. Even though they stray from traditional Christian teaching, these women are offering their own answers to pressing culture issues.

Take for example popular author Jen Hatmaker. She’s a major Evangelical Christian speaker, reality-TV personality, and author of several books and Bible studies. A hailstorm of media publicity praised Hatmaker’s recent embrace of same-sex relationships and marriage. To put Hatmaker’s influence into perspective, she has 123,000 Twitter followers and nearly 700,000 Facebook fans. Most are Evangelical women.

Not all young Evangelical women follow popular figures within the Evangelical Left, but they are no less immune to their nice-sounding Christianese and distorted use of Scripture.

Perhaps you’ve noticed some in your church are starting to affirm same-sex marriage as “loving.” Or you’ve noticed some Christian thinkers placing scare quotes around the term “religious freedom” and referring to a “Christian persecution complex.” And maybe you’re unsure of why Christians support Israel or pro-life legislation.

Because where are the conservative Evangelical women thoughtfully addressing cultural issues grounded in Scripture?

In 1 Peter 3:15, the Apostle Peter instructed his listeners to “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

The Institute on Religion & Democracy hopes to aid young rising leaders among Evangelical women in Washington, D.C. as they “make a defense” of Gospel truths in the public square. That’s why on November 2, we’re hosting our first-ever training event targeting Evangelical women in their 20s and 30s. The gathering will equip rising leaders in advocacy, ministry, and policy on how to address major hot-button cultural issues with clarity and thoughtfulness grounded in Scripture. For more information or to RSVP for our “Evangelical Women in Public Policy and Pubic Witness” panel discussion, please click here.


12 Responses to Evangelical Women in Public Policy and Public Witness

  1. Mike says:

    Wonderful idea. Will it be live streamed? And next time give more notice (maybe you did) so those who are further away, in school, at work, etc, are able to make arrangements to go.

  2. Katelyn Beaty says:

    This post rests on the false premise that Christian women with conservative views are not writing books, and that the only ones who are are women with progressive/liberal views. Here are 15 women with orthodox, biblically grounded views who are writing books today:

    Hannah Anderson
    Ann Voskamp
    Sharon Hodde Miller
    Tish Harrison Warren
    Jen Pollock Michel
    Jen Wilkin
    Christine Caine
    Karen Swallow Prior
    Julie Roys
    Trillia Newbell
    Amena Brown
    Jennie Allen
    Gina Dalfonzo
    Dorcas Cheng-Tozun
    Rebekah Lyons

    No, these women aren’t culture warring in the way that IRD would probably like them to, but they are offering fellow Christians rich and biblically grounded material that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    • Art says:

      Thank you for the comment and the recommendations. Are any of the listed authors publishing material that addresses the matter that the IRD event is going to promote?

    • Chelsen Vicari says:

      Thank you, Katelyn. I appreciate so many of these women and their voices. It wasn’t my intent to implicitly dismiss them. Only to point out their books/messages aren’t always found in mainstream culture’s bookshops. But really my overall point is there seems to be two polarizing tones largely when it comes to well-known Christian women authors: self-help jargon on the Religious Right and emotivism on the Religious Left. Thank you for your comment!

  3. Jj says:

    If you think that all of those 15 women arebiblicslly grounded, you need to reset your discernment meter.

  4. Marie says:

    I’m a 56 year old and while I understand the need for young Evangelical women to have scriptually based training on cultural issues, women my age need this as well. In general Evangelical women are scripturally illiterate and just follow the latest “popular” teacher with little to no concern for whether or not what’s being taught is scripturally sound. For example, some of the women listed in a previous comment have taught things that are not in line with orthodox Christianity or scripturally sound teaching. (Christine Caine and Ann Voskamp in particular). Are we as Christian women even seeking to be discerning or are we lazily hoping the weekly video Bible studies we mindlessly attend still somehow impart Truth? The fact of the matter is, words of life only come from the Giver of life and Truth and they are only found in His Word.

  5. Janice Fisher says:

    As anyone that studies Prophecy knows, at the end of time there will be a falling away of Christians, into beliefs that are totally unchristian. As illustrated here. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin that results in a person going to hell forever. But, to gain a larger audience, some professing Christians, trying to appeal to a larger crowd [ thus, more money ] deliberately cover over certain sins to keep their large crowds, and, more money.

  6. Nina says:

    Ann Voskamp is not a biblically sound teacher. The famous women (Moore, Shryer, Joyce Myer) are so admired by women that they refuse to hear anything said that is contrary to their teaching and they get very aggressive in their defense. I think it’s great to help younger women about correct doctrine and be confident to stand and contend for the faith.

  7. Marie says:

    I’m a 56 year old and while I understand the need for young Evangelical women to have scriptually based training on cultural issues, women my age need this as well. In general Evangelical women are scripturally illiterate and just follow the latest “popular” teacher with little to no concern for whether or not what’s being taught is scripturally sound. For example, some of the women listed in a previous comment have taught things that are not in line with orthodox Christianity or scripturally sound teaching. (Christine Caine and Ann Voskamp in particular). Are we as Christian women even seeking to be discerning or are we lazily hoping the weekly video Bible studies we mindlessly attend will somehow impart Truth? The fact of the matter is, words of life only come from the Giver of life and Truth and they are only found in His Word.

  8. With all due respect to Chelsen, I must sadly disagree about Priscilla Shirer, who is mentioned in the above article. Priscilla is a danger to Christian women as well, she promotes Contemplative Meditation and claims she HEARS God speak to her. Discerning the Drift Ministry recently exposed Shirer’s Spiritual Formation leanings on our local radio program. Now, as to the list given in the above comment, please note, several of the women listed as orthodox, biblically grounded are NOT!. Christine Caine, Ann Voskamp and Jennie Allen just to name the 3 I am most familiar with. Unfortunately, Biblical contextually sound women teachers/authors are in the minority within the Christian church today, making the need to be diligent in knowing who/what we follow and promote even more dire! As time goes on the Christian church becomes more and more unhealthy due to heresies, brought in by men and women, covertly flying under the banner of Christianity. The church can not be promoters of Biblical truth to the lost and dying world while simultaneously promoting false pseudo-Christianity. We must get our house in order!
    Addie K. Miller
    Discerning the Drift Ministry

  9. Anne says:

    I subscribe to several Christian publisher newsletters and find it discouraging that every women’s “bible study” they promote is self-help, psychological or focused on dealing with worldly problems. So few are concerned with evangelism, bringing Christ to a fallen world, or becoming a better-educated Christian. I love IRD’s idea and hope you consider online training so that more women can participate.

  10. Some of us evangelical women are culture warriors in our own communities, where the rubber hits the road and are choosing not to invest precious time writing books and all the attendant time consumed in marketing them and traveling all over promoting…..I teach, counsel, mentor, disciple, and advocate for women in crisis due to mental health/substance abuse issues, human trafficking, aging out of foster care, and more….local communities must have recovery-oriented systems of care with continuums of care that offer support for several years, especially when children are involved, too. We evangelical women are busy bringing the principles and presence of Christ to local communities’ problem-solving strategy sessions through coalitions, task forces, and new ministries of compassion partnering with agencies, churches, etc. Christianity is a lived faith…..in the every day places.

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