The Church and Love vs. Pride (with Kyle Howard): Paradox Podcast Episode 68
Kyle Howard joins us to talk about the church’s ongoing identity crisis in America as politics and faith collide.
Jordan: Twitter direct messages should become their own app because I want dms without having to look at my timeline.
Matthias: Education should be far more hands-on and DIY than it is. We should also abolish group projects because they are evil.
Kyle: DC makes better films based on comic books than Marvel because they are actually faithful to the original stories.
“The American church is at an identity crisis.”
Kyle analyzes the evolution of the American church as it became tied to political ideology and contrasts white evangelical culture with black evangelical culture. White Americans sometimes have difficulty grasping that they have a culture at all, sometimes thinking that what they do is “normal” and everything else is “other.” Matthias talks about the split among church communities.
The church’s white femininity problem
We talk about a piece Kyle wrote earlier this year on the evangelical view of femininity. Churches often portray the ideal godly woman in a way that fits into a certain view of white femininity but leaves many women out of the picture. Young men are encouraged to pursue women who are quiet, docile, demure and southern belle-esque, and women who don’t fit that stereotype are made to feel less feminine and godly. We discuss how the church can offer a more inclusive view of complementarity – the special distinctions between men and women as designed by God.
Not the “Bathsheba scandal”
Inspired by Kyle’s recent tweet, we talk about how Mike and Karen Pence’s marital rules were dragged into the spotlight again after horrifying allegations about Harvey Weinstein were recently reported. Weinstein was known throughout Hollywood as an accused rapist and habitual sexual predator, and some people tried to tie his alleged crimes to Pence’s rule for not spending time alone with women other than his wife.
Do not call a means of propriety a means of sexual assault prevention. This normalizes sexual assault, objectifies women, blames victims!!!
— Kyle J. Howard (@KyleJamesHoward) October 12, 2017
Jordan untangles some of the pieces in this discussion, pointing out that Pence’s own self-instated rule for staying faithful to his wife in the world of politics was a personal decision we should respect – but it would not magically make someone like Weinstein a good person.
Kyle ties the discussion to the church’s misconception of what healthy interactions between men and women should look like, saying that “in pursuit of purity, women are objectified.” Ultimately, Christians should see each other as brothers and sisters, and men of the church should not automatically see their sisters in Christ as temptresses, treating them with fear instead of with love.