Freedom in Christ doesn’t put women in a pen

Don’t look at the fence! Don’t go to the fence.

God put that fence there to give woman freedom, so says Mary Kassian in her interview “Boundaries are for your freedom.”  Mary Kassian is one of the founders of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and helped write the definition of complementarian.

That is the silliest bunch of religious nonsense that I have ever heard.  When does a fence give women freedom?  If a fence gives women freedom, then why don’t the men want it? They are out there, loose and unbound. Don’t they know the dangers that lurk on the outside?

Kassian tells us that there is a massive field where we have the freedom to run, to minister, and to be who God created women to be.  The rolling hills and the green pasture are for our pleasure. There is so much we can do in this lovely field, that we are not to think about those things that we cannot do. However, this beautiful field that she describes has only women running through the meadow.

I am not sure what Kassian does with Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Of course it does go on to say “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.” Well, truthfully that doesn’t apply to women, but the statement as a whole does apply to women. If we take on a part of the law, then we must take on the whole law.

Can’t do that. Even she can’t, and she won’t.  Does she keep a kosher kitchen while she is tiptoeing through the tulips? Was she unclean after her children were born? Does she keep a “book of days?” Did she ritually clean herself every month? Did she go to her pastor with her dirty linen if she was unsure if she was clean?

Thank God for Jesus! He freed us from that.  He removed the boundary.  Men put back a homemade gate, and if we can’t see through that, then we need to open our eyes.

They want to keep us in a pen. Boundaries is just another word for ‘pen.’ If you think complementarians have destroyed our freedom that Christ gave us, will you speak up?  Will you join us in working for equality?

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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13 Responses to Freedom in Christ doesn’t put women in a pen

  1. pnissila says:

    It seems to me that if men believe they must sequester themselves from women preachers and teachers because of some inherent evil in women operating in those callings in front of them, then they (men) are the ones fencing themselves off from the length, depth, and breadth of all that Christ has for them. Unless they got all the teaching/preaching from women they needed for a lifetime before “the magical moment a boy turns into a man”.

    How extremely frustrating it must be for complementarians to note that the first Gospel ever preached was by a woman, fresh from the Garden, Easter morning. The most important sermon of all time. The sermon that heralded a new era of Grace, the absolute foundation of the reason we believe, to whit: “He is Risen!” I wonder if they ponder the justice of the cross visa a vis that event?
    Glad to be free,


    • That Easter morning preaching has become so familiar to us that it is just a story like Winnie the Pooh. We focus on what we want to focus on in that story. We read it and try to put meaning into it on Easter morning. But what we focus on is Jesus’ resurrection, which is a good thing to focus on, but is not the whole story. The whole story includes including women in spreading this good news. As I have been studying the Scriptures deeper in the rewrite of my book “Dethroning Male Headship,” I have found that we have often missed the meaning of a particular scripture. > Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:11:19 +0000 > To: >


  2. pnissila says:

    Close to my heart is a certain “poetic poignancy,” you might say, about the story and how it wraps around to the tragedy in Eden. If I may, here are my thoughts on that:


  3. pnissila says:

    You’re welcome. And I just viewed the entire Kassian video interview. Just saying: while complementarians are mucking about in the pasture, to ride Kassian’s metaphor, trying to figure out how complementarianism plays out at church and in the home, who gets to do what when, where, why, and how, WHAT WORK OF THE KINGDOM GOES UNDONE! We all need be about the Father’s business, as the Holy Spirit assigns, without continually worrying about how close to someone’s “fence” we get. And, even more time-consuming and frustrating for people playing this game, according to Kassian the exact “dimensions” and “placement” of the fences seem to vary per church and per household. (At least when angels are dancing on the head of a pin, to pull in another metaphor, we know the general size of that pin head.)

    So grateful for the freedom in Christ Jesus Who, because He “fenced Himself in,” so to speak (the only “restriction” that matters), in human flesh and hung in our stead on that cross, has redeemed us from the law of sin and death–so that believers can be one in Him, “whether Jew, Greek, slave, free, male–or female.”


  4. krwordgazer says:

    Phyllis is so right. Even if there were “freedom” within the boundaries of the fence, the boundaries change with each and every church you go to. How can there be any “freedom” when just walking into a different church makes the pen arbitrarily grow or shrink depending on the opinions of the leaders?


    • You are so right. Those boundaries depend upon what each church, or pastor, decides they will be. We went to BBC, and the woman children’s director and woman development director welcomed the guests to the worship service. When that pastor retired, the very next month, they had a husband and wife team do it, and from that time until we threw up our hands and left, only men or combo could do it.

      > Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 18:57:01 +0000 > To: >


  5. Don Johnson says:

    What Kassian is trying to do is sell books. In order to do that she needs to come up with a different take that others have said before.

    Boundaries are intended to be for safety, this is correct. For example, a fence on a highway helps you from driving a car over the edge where there is a decline. Without the fence, the road is a lot more dangerous. So the principle is a good one, it is her application that is wrong. And here she needs to fudge a lot, since different comps teach different things being allowed or disallowed. So a woman should just not worry her “silly little head” about what she CAN’T do, after all, there is so much she CAN do, whatever it is her comp church teaches. And when a woman self-limits herself due to this teaching there are no added external stresses put on the comp structure, just internal (and therefore hidden) ones.


  6. Mabel says:

    Well said, Donald. Amen.


  7. gold price says:

    The Bible views women and men as equally responsible before God for their sin. However, the church has followed the world into viewing women as innocent victims with their “mistakes” being due to such things as a bad husband, abuse as a child, or chemical imbalance. A typical illustration of this error is seen in an article by Mary Kassian in the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Newsletter (CBMW).


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