Response to the Danvers Statement

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The following was presented by Jocelyn Andersen at the Seneca Falls 2 Christian Women’s Rights Convention held in Orlando, Florida on July 24, 2010

Our Response to the Rationale based on the Danvers Statement and Our

We have been moved in our purpose by the following contemporary developments
which we observe with deep concern:

1. We are concerned about the widespread uncertainty and confusion within our
churches regarding the divinely mandated equality between men and women
and the inordinate attention given to the deeply harmful and prejudicial
concepts of Biblical masculinity and Biblical femininity as perpetuated by the
council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood;

2. The tragic effects of this confusion in overturning the balance of perfect
equality of men and women, within the church and marriage, is inestimable
with men and boys assuming the posture of lords of creation, while girls and
women fall prey to an unscriptural inferiority;

3. We are concerned about the increasing promotion given to male dominance
along with accompanying distortions and/or neglect of the functional equality
portrayed in Scripture between redeemed husbands and wives;

4. We are concerned about the widespread ambivalence regarding the value of
women except in regards to what is perceived as their “roles” as “vocational”
homemakers and other ministries historically performed by women.

5. We are concerned about the spurious charges that equality between the sexes
leads to addiction to pornography and radical lifestyle/worldview changes in
favor of homosexuality or lesbianism, which it does not.

6. We are convinced that the prevalence of abuse in within Christian families is a
direct result of patriocentric theology;

7. We are concerned about the growing number of churches enforcing rigid roles
for men and women that do not conform to Biblical teaching but backfire in
perpetuating the oppression of women and in hindering and crippling men in
their efforts at being biblically faithful witnesses;

8. We are concerned about the increasing prevalence and acceptance of
hermeneutical oddities such as the trinity marriage paradigm based on the
heretical Arian doctrine of an inferior Jesus.

9. These hermeneutical oddities pose a threat to Biblical authority as the clarity of
Scripture is jeopardized and the accessibility of its meaning to ordinary people,
is withdrawn into the restricted realm of Hebrew and Greek “scholars” who
attempt with “scholarship” to refute that in Christ there is neither male nor
female Jew not Greek slave nor free but that all are one.

10. And behind all this, is the apparent accommodation of leaders within the
evangelical church to the spirit of male dominance at the expense of biblical

We Affirm the Following, Based on our Understanding of Biblical Teachings:

1. Both man and woman were created in God's image and are equal before God
in every way both in theory and in practical function and application.

2. Distinctions in “masculine” and “feminine” roles are man-made ordinances and
were not ordained by God as part of any “created order.”

3. The man’s headship in marriage was not established by God before the Fall, nor
later as a result of sin. The doctrine of male “headship” does not exist in

4. The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women,
the most significant being the universal dominance of males over females as
both prophecy and all history attest.

     o In the home, the husband's loving, humble, companionship tends to be
replaced by domination or, if he cannot be in charge, by passivity, and if a
wife does not joyfully submit to male domination, she is accused of
usurping his supposed authority.

     o In the church, sin inclines both women and men toward a worldly love of
power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines such women
as are called to the ministry to view such calls as gender inappropriate and
to rebel against the legitimate call of God in accepting limitations imposed
upon them by the unbiblical injunctions of men.

     o As women, we assume full responsibility for our own neglect of the use of
our spiritual gifts in ignoring the call, the responsibility, and the authority
to carry out whatever ministry God has called us to do.

5. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high
value and dignity which God attached to the work and words of godly men and
women. The New Testament affirms the overriding principle that all
individuals, whether male or female must work out their own salvation with fear
and trembling. The patriarchal and racial hierarchy evident in parts of the Old
Testament, which is exclusively prophetic and applicable to the Old Covenant
Nation of Israel only, is lifted completely, in the New Testament from both Jew
and Gentile by the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. There are no longer any
legitimate hierarchies involved in race or gender.

6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.
o In the family, husbands should forsake harshness and the selfish idea that
they are mandated by God to rule their families and, instead, to grow in
love for their wives; wives should forsake blind submission to the false
doctrine of male headship. Wives and husbands should grow in love for
each other preferring the other before themselves.

7. In the church, There are no governing and teaching roles restricted to men
only. Redemption in Christ gives both men and women equal share in the
blessings of salvation as well as in governing and teaching roles within the

8. In all of life, and in every situation, domestic or otherwise, Christ is the supreme
authority and guide for both men and women. Men are not mandated by God
to replace the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christian women.

9. In the church, both men and women should repent of gender prejudice and
respond obediently to a heartfelt sense of call to ministry. Obedience to God
should never be set aside in favor of submission to traditions of men.
Commands to abstain from obeying the Holy Spirit in regards to ministry gifts
and callings are blasphemous and heretical. Biblical teaching—not traditions of
men—should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of
God's will.

10. With half the world's population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism;
with countless people in those societies who have never heard the gospel; with
the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy,
ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no
man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word
and deed can be excused for ignoring a heartfelt call to the ministry. Gender
will not be excused in the day of reckoning for neglecting to fulfill any ministry
to which we are called by God. With all authority, for the glory of Christ and the
good of this fallen world. We should obey God and not man in all things.

11. We are convinced that a denial or neglect of obedience to the Word of God,
and to the Spirit of God, in regards to the authoritative function of women, ,as
well as men, in the home, church, and society will lead to increasingly
destructive consequences within our families, churches, and the culture at large.

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