Rachel Held Evans committed the kind of painfully protracted performance art that happens when Evangelicalism has utterly lost its sense – of decorum and of how to read scripture – and its publishing houses have become a commercial racket:
Intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans decides to try it for herself, vowing to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year. Pursuing a different virtue each month, Evans learns the hard way that her quest for biblical womanhood requires more than a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4).
It means growing out her hair, making her own clothes, covering her head, obeying her husband, rising before dawn, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church, and even camping out in the front yard during her period.
Evans’ schtick incited Deborah Cruz at The Stir, reportedly secular herself, to indict her for making a mockery of the Bible:
Here’s my issue — isn’t it better to just be honest about your beliefs in the first place? I may not be living biblically, but I am living honestly. I’m not so sure the same can be said for Evans. She appears to be poking fun with her book, though she vehemently denies that she is. But you don’t make a spectacle, write a book, and make videos in a “poking fun” manner if you are taking a challenge seriously.
But Cruz, while right about Evans making a mockery of the Bible, may have inadvertently become a bedfellow (if that term isn’t too evocative) with Evans, says Strange Herring:
Interesting that that’s how the book is being read by some, although Cruz is making the same mistake Evans is. Which is to say, by trying to follow Old Testament precepts only to show them up as unrealistic in 2012, Evans has succeeded in proving absolutely nothing. Like the people who demand that Christians endorse “X” because we no longer stone adulterers or forbid the eating of shellfish — and those things are in the Bible! So it’s all relative!
As if the “New” in “New Testament” really meant “Same Old.”
If you have to “assume” roles — whether you believe them to be biblically based or culturally normative for a 21st century couple — you sure as hell aren’t being you, something is being buried or ignored, and your marriage is doomed, I don’t care what you call it.
Say the Creed, say your prayers, go to work, feed your face, and try and actually enjoy your life together.
Flip the bird to the rest of it.
And stay off the roof.
Is Evans really crazy enough to think that her mocking (or is it merely “playful”?) treatment – of the Bible, of marriage, of sex roles – builds up marriage, which as a married, albeit “feminist” Christian, she presumably supports?
Maybe I should add Judaizing to my list of blows by the 98% to traditional marriage.
(For the record, I’d have seen none of these trendy young websites were I not following the Tweets of MZHemingway.)
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