By Joseph Spurgeon
Titus 1:10-11 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.
Let me begin by getting straight to the point of this article. Aimee Byrd should be silenced. Her pastors, elders, and husband should love her enough to stop her from writing and teaching errors. Christian men need to rise up and tell feminists like her within the church to be quiet.
Now having stated that point, let me back up and provide some context. Who is Aimee Byrd and why am I saying she must be silenced?
With Covid-19, riots, critical race theory, and struggles over shutdown orders, the battles are all around us. And with all the clamor and noise of the heat of those battles, you might have missed another field of the battle that is just as intense: the battle inside conservative churches to overrule millennia of biblical teaching on masculinity and femininity. This is not a new battle though the locale might be new. Feminism has been undermining whole denominations since it has reared its ugly head. For many conservative Christians, we have thought that was all in someone else’s denomination. This was a battle lost in the PCUSA and to be fought in the SBC and PCA. Surely conservative denominations like the OPC had already slayed that feminist beast and were safe. But alas they are not.
To make a long story short, the feminists have risen from within the OPC to challenge biblical manhood and womanhood. Leading the charge is Aimee Byrd. Calling herself the housewife theologian, she has done the dance that all feminists within churches have done. They start out just wanting to teach the women (1) but before you know it they are writing and speaking against ordained officers and pastors. They start off asking questions and end up making charges. The bolder they get the more they disrupt the unity and peace of the church.
In one of her first books, “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” Aimee Byrd claims to be encouraging Christian men and women to see each other as co-heirs in Christ Jesus. This is certainly a worthy goal, but underneath the surface of the book was a hostility towards the God-created differences in men and women downplaying these differences so that men and women could get past them. At the same time, she was very critical of principles aimed at avoiding impropriety, for example, the Billy Graham or Mike Pence Rule (2). In a blog post leading up to the publishing of the book, she criticized this as moral pickpocketing: “So while it may seem safe to impose rules that separate ordinary encounters with the opposite sex, it isn’t the virtue of purity. It is actually over-sexualization, or as Beaty calls it, the sanctified cousin of Weinstein-ian behavior…I see the Pence Rule as pickpocketing purity, stealing unearned virtue at the expense of another’s dignity” (3). Her hatred of the distinctions between men and women leads her to end up encouraging married men and women to spend time alone with those of the opposite sex who are not their spouse. Encouraging one on one time, e.g. sharing a meal with a woman who is not your wife (4), is foolishness that undermines the chastity of Christian women and men. Before this book was ever published, her husband and elders should have intervened to bring Aimee back into the fold.
But unfortunately, her work was promoted, and she grew bolder. Her attacks on biblical sexuality became stronger. Her latest polemical book, called “Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood,” alleges that conservative Christians have been wrong to emphasize the differences in the roles of women and men. She claims that they have adopted cultural definitions and missed the biblical voice of femininity (5). In this Aimee, stepping out of her station, is once again criticizing pastors and elders like John Piper and Doug Wilson while she demonstrates that she has no understanding of natural law (6) or sound biblical exegesis (7). Sadly, the screed was published and is currently among the top sellers on Amazon: number 1 in gender and number 6 in discipleship.
If these errors were limited to the writing of a book it might be one thing, but Mrs. Byrd has bigger intentions. The book comes with a video series to be used in instructing the churches to recover from biblical manhood and womanhood. Furthermore, Mrs. Byrd has recently gone on a hunt to take out those who have dared to disagree with her. She worked to remove an elder from her own church for being a part of a social media group that was critical of her work. Her supporters have put together a website where they have made screenshots from that group. The intention is to shame and remove pastors and elders who opposed her work and discussed it privately (8).
It is not just that Mrs. Byrd is teaching error; it is that she is working to make sure that error is propagated within the OPC, PCA, and other churches that have had some semblance of holding to biblical sexuality. And she is doing this while attempting to take out those who would criticize her work. The saddest part is how she is damaging her own soul while leading others astray and no one has had the courage to stand up to her and tell her no.
This is how feminism infiltrated our culture at large and is destroying our churches. Husbands have refused to do their duty to protect their wives from lies. Husbands have refused to say no to their wives. The early feminists were able to pass a prohibition amendment to the constitution without even having the privilege to vote. Husbands would not say no. Most pastors and elders won’t rebuke them. Instead they think they are being the white knight protecting women while they allow lies to infiltrate their churches, lies that always bring destruction. What denomination, that has allowed feminism to gain a foothold, has stayed strong and healthy? Feminism always brings with it a denial of scripture, denial of nature, and thus a denial of the Fatherhood of God. Look at any denomination or church that is caving on this issue and you will see them caving on everything else.
The Apostle Paul writes to Titus that it is the duty of elders to rebuke false teachers who teach things they ought not to teach. In chapter 2 of Titus, the Apostle exhorts Titus to speak with all authority things that are fitting for sound doctrine. He is to teach and exhort these things. What things?
Things like this: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2: 3-5). Pastors and elders should study this and encourage women like Aimee Byrd to make this their life’s goal.
Husbands need to study Numbers chapter 30. In this chapter dealing with the law on oaths and vows, a woman is placed under the authority of first her father and then, when married, her husband. If she makes an oath or takes a vow, it is his responsibility to oversee it. Verse 13 says “Every vow and every binding oath to humble herself, her husband may confirm it or her husband may annul it.” It goes on to say if the husband knows of his wife’s vow or oath and doesn’t speak out then he is giving his approval to it. Given that the Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 2 that it was the woman who was deceived and that the apostle Peter says that women are the weaker sex, the husband has a responsibility to protect his wife even from her own rash words.
Now, the context of the passage in Numbers is the taking of oaths and vows but the principle is broader. A wife is under the authority of her husband and a husband has the responsibility to make sure that what his wife is doing is sound. A husband that allows his wife to teach error and does not speak up is giving approval to that false teaching. He also is not protecting his wife. He is showing her no love.
Men, if you love your wives you need to make sure you protect them from false teaching. Make sure you oversee what teaching they are bringing in. It is clear from whom she quotes in her writings that Aimee Byrd has been soaking in a ton of egalitarian and feminist teaching (9). Her husband should have said no and protected her from this false teaching. Men, if you love your wives you will protect their souls. You will not allow them to go about as teachers teaching falsehoods and leading others astray. You will speak up and make your objections known. Doing so might just save her from doing damage to her own soul.
The men of the OPC, PCA, and SBC need to grow a backbone. Pastors need to protect the women under their charge from false teaching like that coming from Aimee Byrd. Pastors need to protect those under their charge who might be tempted to become another Aimee Byrd. This only happens when you are willing to do your duty to rebuke false teaching.
In conclusion, let me as a duly ordained pastor and officer in the church of the living God, with all love for the glory of God, the honor of scripture, and the souls of women, say to Aimee Byrd:
Stop what you are doing. Stop seeking to be a teacher in the church. Stop seeking to divide the church with your false teaching. Stop trying to tear down pastors and elders who are opposing your nonsense. Stop dishonoring the fathers in the faith throughout church history. Stop promoting feminism whether first wave or last wave. Stop playing the victim. Stop and be Quiet. Go live a quiet life. Love and submit to your husband. Love your children. And be a keeper at home.
To her husband: Love your wife enough to tell her to shut up.
- This is not an attack on women’s bible studies or women teaching women. Though I would argue that this should be done under the care, protection, and direction of the elder body.
- The rule named after Billy Graham or Mike Pence is simply a principle of not putting oneself in compromising situations alone with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse. Aimee Byrd not only condemns this principle as unwise but seems to condemn it as sinful. See quote.
- “When we sit with our brothers and sisters in Christ for a meal, we rehearse for our eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth. Having lunch shouldn’t feel like a challenge to marital fidelity. Eating together is a platonic practice intended to bring joy to our friendships. Table talk is not the same as pillow talk, so let’s not treat it that way.” (pg 191, Why Can’t We Be Friends)
- “As we’ve been taught to focus on aiming for biblical manhood and womanhood, we have missed the bigger picture of Christlikeness to which we are called. And we have lost aim of what the church is for: preparing us for eternal communion with the triune God. We have taken discipleship out of the church, further separating God’s people by culturally constructed gender paradigms” (pg 26, Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood).
- Aimee Byrd tweeted that this whopper criticizing natural theology for racism: “As a friend of mine lamented to me, as long as you have this kind of natural theology, you cannot overcome racism, misogyny, or patriarchy. And yet, this is the argument being used against my book–natural theology and ontological superiority.” https://twitter.com/aimeebyrdhwt/status/1268553491305373701?s=21&fbclid=IwAR1jdDxcg2g0LqFzsnM4TPumijCVXLlem9wNxymRTUL1hdNsE5iDgllaUgQ
- For example, 1 Corinthians 14:34 says “The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.” Aimee calls the traditional interpretation, that women are not to speak in worship, a Biblicist reading and says, “In fact, a Biblicist reading of 1 Corinthians 14:34 can be pretty scary for women to read” (pg 193, Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) She also says that 1 Corinthians 11 and 14 “actually reveal the efforts to include the women’s voice and contribution, even in the worship service.” (pg 193, Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)
- One of the screenshots was of me saying to the men of that group that her husband ought to love her enough to tell her to shut up. I stand by that statement as you can tell from this article.
- Her latest book centers around a yellow wallpaper motif from a well known feminist work. “”As an emancipated woman living in the twenty-first century, why am I so fixated on this yellow wallpaper? Why have I titled the introduction to my book “The Church’s Yellow Wallpaper”? Am I saying that we are no better than the 1800’s? Surely we are. Or are we? I see the yellow wallpaper as a result of the fall. And that is something that we will always have to peel back. Like John and Jane, we want to do what is right but often get sucked into cultural stereotypes that confine us without our even noticing it.” (pg 18, Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)
Joseph Spurgeon is Pastor/Church Planter, Sovereign King Church.