The Mighty vs Courageous

“I just listened to Doug’s (Philips) message “Manly Friendships” and was inspired and challenged.” Thus says Stephen Kendrick about his movie that churches are taking busloads of members to.  “Courageous” is a message of true fatherhood, according to him. Doug Philips is the person behind Vision Forum, and a moving force behind patriarchy.  You can order his book about grown daughters returning home to the rule of their fathers in  “The Return of the Daughters” in the Vision Forum 2012 catalogue and get an idea of what he thinks fathers should be.

That in itself is enough to send me fleeing from anything praiseworthy about the movie.  My church took people to see it and yours might have, too.  How many of those unsuspecting families knew that there is a deep, dark message hidden inside that movie.  The message of Patriarchy.

Enough of that.

Now the Mighty Macs is a different story.  This one I encourage you to make haste to see.  It is about a Catholic girls’ college basketball team. 

This movie should be an inspiration to our team that is trying to bring Biblical equality to our churches.  We can learn a lot from this Coach.  Following are some of her inspiring comments that I hope you rally around.

  • “They have been told for so long that they can’t have it, that they cannot imagine winning it.”
  • “Fight for it.”
  • “Run, that you may win!”
  • “People win because of what is in their hearts.”
  • “Dreams are for everybody.”
  • “Join with others who are committed to what you believe in.”
  • “Be a team player.”
  • “Help the helpers.”
  • “It ain’t easy, sister.”
  • “We will win because we have something that they cannot see.”

Will you join me as we seek to win this game so that women will be equal in church and in the home?  Will you join other women as we put our hearts and heads together and become a team that helps each other as we work toward this goal?


About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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26 Responses to The Mighty vs Courageous

  1. Mara says:

    The Mighty Macs looks soooo good.
    I am so glad to have an alternative to courageous.
    My daughter is in eighth grade and she LOVES playing basketball. She plays center, can jump up and touch the back board of the basket in their gym and she gets the jump ball nearly every time.
    I gotta find this movie and take her to see it.


    • You will both love it! It is based on a true story and takes place in 1971 and you are going to see some male headship rearing its head at the beginning of the movie. Excellent movie for young girl atheletes and for older women who have joined this fight for women’s equality.


  2. kbonikowsky says:

    I cringed a little when I read the Resolution from the film. I thought, “Another vow?” I’m cynical of the religious tendency to emphasize oaths. But ultimately, I hope it inspires men to be its title: Courageous. A few more courageous fathers (and mothers), who are unafraid of public opinion and determined to live as Christ did in love, is a good thing. I hesitate to criticize Christian-themed films that go mainstream, since there are so few that can pull it off successfully. It is hard to make a good movie, and I’d love to see more tackle spirituality from a Christian viewpoint.


    • We all want good husbands and good fathers for our children, so they touched on a theme that is at the heart of all families. I haven’t seen the movie and don’t know that the Resolution is about – another vow? My hope is that the movie can be a good thing. But my belief is that the source of the thought comes from patriarchy, which is not a good thing. Thanks for the comment.


      • kbonikowsky says:

        A printed copy is available for purchase at your local Christian store and on-line! BONUS: Free book and wrist band too!


      • Oh, my gosh! We have just gone backwards and churches are falling for this. Women, beware! This movie and Resolution Book is all about male headship.


      • Michelle says:

        Ugh. I read as much of the sample pages on the website as I was wiling to put myself through today. It’s the same as all the rest–paraphrase of one sentence follows:

        Husbands, you don’t know how your wife and children are suffering from the vacuum caused by the lack of your leadership and direction.

        Once I became a feminist, I started to not trust the message when the boys/guys/men were given a different message then the girls/gals/women. I always figured that the differences in messages had little value save to promote the culture’s dominant hierarchy that claims masculine is better than feminine. Since I’ve become christian, I see that same thing playing out in christian culture in the US, only I’ve come to also understand that the promotion of hierarchy between the sexes causes discord and disharmony: Sexism by “complementarianism”, “Christian patriarchy”, or any other name is antithetical to the Gospel.

        Your men, our men, will be stronger once they recognize the equality of the person who is challenging them. Who happens to be female. Once they recognize her equality, they must at least consider taking her seriously, and what she is *saying* seriously, and develop some relational skills (which, as we were made in the image of God, most of us do have–both sexes). If men can just ignore the opinions of, at some point, their mom, and then their wife, how do they ever develop a spine? If they’re never challenged in their own home? Or don’t recognize the challenges, since a woman is not their equal. It amounts to the same thing/outcome. This kind of thing makes men weaker, and all the books and all the pledges and all the support groups men can create (and have created for decades at least) cannot take care of this problem: This problem is why Christ died. Not the only reason, but certainly it is sin.


      • How very astute! Do you mind if I use your last paragraph in my next post “Their Strength is their weakness?”


    • Michelle says:

      I would be likely to criticize christian movies that make it to the mainstream, if I watched them, because most of them contain hierarchical complementarian messages. If i’d accidentally seen one of them when I was not christian, it would have just sent me on my merry way believing what I’d believed most of my life: ALL christians are sexist.

      I don’t see how a bad christian movie could be better than none at all.


      • kbonikowsky says:

        I understand where you are coming from… but I don’t believe getting gender issues right (according to whomever’s opinion) hinders the gospel. I’m speaking from ignorance because I haven’t seen the film. We couldn’t get a sitter when it was out around here. But just like I spoke up when comps were knocking The Blind Side because she was a mouthy, leading wife…saying it took away from the Christian message…I must be honest with this movie even though I don’t agree with the “deep undercurrent” message of Patriarchy. Perhaps I’ll think differently when I see it. (I did like Soul Surfer which was made by the same film company.) Hopefully they presented the gospel of grace through faith…which we can all hang our hats on.


      • Mara says:

        For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that Courageous wasn’t all that bad.

        However, neither was Promise Keepers. But recently, I have come to believe Promise Keepers put a wedge between my husband and I and was part of the downfall of our marriage. I’m still married, but not because of Promise Keeper, rather IN SPITE OF PROMISE KEEPERS.
        Courageous starts people down the wrong path. Once headed in that direction and swallowing the comp doctrine, it may take a very long time for them to realize that it is not the help they need but a poison.


  3. Kristen says:

    That Resolution is a recipe for dysfunction. One of the things I learned as an adult child of alcoholics, was that the need/desire to take responsibility for the actions of others is the very nature of codependency. Parents must take legal responsibility for their minor children– but their goal should be to raise the children to take responsibility for themselves; and husbands should NOT take responsibility for their adult wives.


  4. Michelle says:

    Oy…when I said “your men, our men” above, and please note, Shirley, that the phrase does appear in the paragraph you are quite welcome to use, I am not trying to indicate ownership. What I’m saying applies to all males.


  5. Michelle says:

    “I understand where you are coming from… but I don’t believe getting gender issues right (according to whomever’s opinion) hinders the gospel. ”

    Do you mean, getting gender issues wrong?

    For many years I was unwilling to consider Christ, and therefore the Gospel of Christ, because I believed that sexism was wrong, and that christians had sexist beliefs: that sexism was intrinsic to christianity. Christians who said their beliefs (that I recognized as sexist, but they did not) were godly. I’d say that’s a hindrance.


  6. Michelle says:

    Re: Promise Keepers
    To me, groups like this aren’t any better than any other group. In fact, in ways, Promise Keepers, Wellspring Group, etc. are worse: They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing. They sound innocuous–beneficial, even–but what they sell is the “improvement” of men, men keeping promises, men sharing their feelings, men being responsible, men being better husbands and fathers. So long as their wife knows and keeps her proper place: less than. Under his authority.

    It is indeed poison, and it irritates me that they hide behind euphemistic language like “leadership”…Wouldn’t it be much easier to fight this type of thing (nowadays) if it were like I hear things used to be? When some churches just outright said that women, as created by God, were inferior to men? And even hierarchical complementarians recognize that there’s something wrong with the quiverfull movement: They just refuse to see their beliefs lie on the same continuum, and the only right thing to do is to leave the continuum to follow Christ. I am NOT questioning anyone’s salvation or sincerity of practice. Not meaning to, anyway.


    • Anne says:

      ‘It is indeed poison, and it irritates me that they hide behind euphemistic language like “leadership”’ – Michelle

      Agreed. They use appealing language in some places, but in others they contradict themselves with other messages. I had a look at the ‘Man’s Role’ article on CBMW and I could see the attraction for a woman as it emphasised the husband putting her needs first and NOT getting her to do whatever he says. The thing is, they put that responsibility on the wife in another article. “Men, don’t control your wife and tell them what to do. Wives, let your husband tell you what to do and obey it.” (For the record, when I read CMBW stuff I feel sick to my stomach, my heart breaks a little and I actually wanted to cry once. I’m strongly convinced that was a Holy Spirit reaction, a red alert for spiritually toxic, Satan-inspired material).

      And I do believe there are demonic spirits behind movements like the Danvers Statement, Vision Forum, Quiverfull etc. Satan loves to twist and hide behind scripture – he gets his wicked way while critics blame God and Christianity instead of him. There is no love behind these movements, and they ignore SO MUCH ELSE in the Bible with their doctrine. The fact that the Danvers Statement group went to what used to be Salem, of Salem Witch Trials fame, and in doing so went to a COMPLETELY different state than that of their headquarters, gives me suspicion. Why go all that way and to that particular town? I’ve had some teaching in the past on the behaviour of malicious spirits and here’s the thing: they’re repetitive. They get the people suckered in to their power to do the same things over and over, and it keeps going until someone prays and breaks the cycle. There’s a patriarchal, misogynistic spirit preying on churches and some pastors and it must be stopped. The first thing to do is expose it (sometimes when they’re found out they leave right away, because without their veil the jig is up).

      Remember gals, our fight is not of flesh and blood but of spirits.


      • Mara says:

        Anne: “For the record, when I read CMBW stuff I feel sick to my stomach, my heart breaks a little and I actually wanted to cry once.”

        You have a stronger stomach than me. I can’t even go over there and read. I can’t keep my lunch down when I get anywhere near their B.S.


  7. kbonikowsky says:

    History is full of those ready to condemn another as “smelling of sulfer” because of differing beliefs…even though all involved claimed Jesus as Lord. Can we, who find the gospel of grace so freeing to women, show that same grace (undeserved favor) to those who would steal it from us? Jesus was full of grace and truth. The two are not at odds.
    Returning to my main point about the film. I am a filmmaker, or at least I was in my past life. Knowing the vast undertaking it requires to put a film-worthy piece together, I am loath to nit-pick.


    • Mara says:

      When I debate over this, I work very hard to try to keep it about the doctrine being wrong rather than the supporters of the wrong doctrine being evil.

      However, there does come a time when one has to take the gloves off.
      It’s not all the time and in every circumstance by any stretch, so those who feel the need to be involved in this debate must remember, “Shrewd as serpents, harmless as doves.”

      Even so, there does come a time when the gloves need to be taken off.
      Jesus did so with the money changers in the temple, when He confronted them and their thievery. He was very strong telling them that they had turned His house from a house of prayer into a den of thieves.

      The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. When people come at us with a doctrine of thievery, we do them no favors by pretending it isn’t thievery or by shielding them from the truth that their thievery lines up with someone other than the Giver of life.

      Even so, you are right, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers.”
      We must remember who our enemy really is and caution those under the enemy’s spell that they should flee like a bird from the snare of the fowler.


    • Michelle says:

      Yes, so many times the people who believe in hierarchical complementarianism are in pain. They’re in pain and seek out someone like the Wellspring Group because they sound good and seem helpful. And it seems that they may indeed do some good, in terms of getting men (who may already have been accustomed to the idea that they don’t have or shouldn’t express emotions) to feel and express emotions. To their families, in particular.

      And of course the men and the women who are in a church that tells them that the stereotypes are the way God made them (not worded that way, of course), and that men are created to lead and women to follow. And the women are stifling themselves, and the men may be stifling themselves, as well–just stifling the stuff they’ve been taught is “feminine” (rather than human). So there is a lot of pain there. But they believe that this system is what God wants–the preacher, the elders, the deacons, the people in the pew. They sincerely believe it. And the idea is that if they just worked the system more *perfectly*, they would not be in so much pain.

      I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a woman and have married, raised children, and now have grandchildren, and be considering that maybe I did not have to live my whole life as a follower of a man other than Christ. It must be frightening to the point of overwhelming, and to some the idea may be repulsive.

      At the same time, I attended a church like this for years. I was too afraid to say anything, to even *question* the hierarchical complementarian interpretation of scripture there for 2-3 years, save in a hushed tone among friends. It was so accepted, taught some, and so much a part of the culture there that it seemed to be one of the unquestionable doctrines. I spent years silenced. When I did finally speak, I didn’t raise up a chorus of questioners, rather, I received quiet “Thank you”‘s in the hall from women I knew and women with whom I was barely acquainted. We all work in different ways: Each of us is needed. My strong language does not mean I am not aware of humanity, and of pain.

      I am VERY frustrated by the apparent willingness to turn off one’s brain once someone hears that something is “biblical”. That settles it, it cannot be questioned. People who are quite intelligent outside the church are willing to accept something that makes no logical sense whatsoever–not even in the economy of God, love your enemy kind of way–because they’ve been told “It’s biblical”. And then they look at the scripture and can see it only in that one way, and are reluctant to consider that there might be a different, valid way to understand it.


    • Michelle says:

      I am not a filmmaker. We will disagree on this.
      If I want to go see a film containing gender stereotypes, I can go see almost any so-called romantic comedy.

      Probably *the* biggest letdown for me, coming into a church, was the way that…When I accepted Christ (which happened a bit later in life for me, though I was raised in a Christian family), my world seemed so much bigger! Because when Christ is for you…

      But as I started going to church, and learning about the rules, my life suddenly shrank again. I was particularly disappointed by the mirroring of the gender stereotypes that I fought so hard against in the culture at large (Why should the world not benefit from a woman with a gift for engineering? And why should the world not benefit from a man who would make a great nurse? was my thinking…).

      Even *worse*, the church tells people that God made us this way! What an insult to creation, the idea that we are so simple that you can tell nearly everything about each of us by discovering whether we are male or female. God’s creation is far, far more complex than that. The system of hierarchical complementarianism not only makes women less than man, but also makes both woman and men, less than fully human. Which is why it is not a nit.


  8. Mara says:

    Finally saw “The Mighty Macs” last night.

    As you said Shirley, it was awesome.


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