The following article by Mr. Brennan also discusses the sexist, ridiculous, anti-singles, ineffective, Billy Graham Rule (aka the “Mike Pence” rule):
…Three weeks ago, virtually any red-blooded American egalitarian would have ascribed so much “power” to what they thought was a “healthy” egalitarian model led by Hybels [Hybels is now in trouble for allegedly acting inappropriately towards women who worked with him at his church].
Now we know, with all this stuff coming out—there was a lot of psychological social sexist ministry happening under his leadership that was happening underneath the surface egalitarianism.
… One of the biggest reasons we are here is that Willow Creek egalitarianism never took a woman’s intimate personal power in friendship, seriously.
… Before #MeToo, both complementarians and egalitarians paid lip service to women’s intimate personal power in non-romantic relationships.
…Both have profoundly emphasized male detachment, male separation, male dominance as healthy (when men don’t give women a full yes or a full no in considering the Billy Graham rule, men are still in control).
Said in another way, neither movement has paid serious attention to healthy intimate interdependent relationships with no one else around. The focus and stress on the communal nature of gifts–a gift based egalitarianism–was sufficient.
… The Willow Creek model has always produced opposite-sex friends. Don’t misunderstand me. For many years, Nancy Beach and Bill Hybels were “friends.”
But, it is clear now, that she was also “under” him. Under his leadership. Under his charisma. Under his Willow Creek empire. And there were no egalitarian bloggers with platform or books ever challenging that male privilege.
… There is no egalitarian theology of spiritual friendship between the sexes offered by progressive evangelicals or conservative evangelicals.
…. Although the therapeutic dyad is not an egalitarian intimate friendship, it has many striking parallels. A number of female psychotherapists identify the overlaps in this book. A veteran psychologist has also examined the parallels, here [book for sale on Amazon’s site: “The Therapy Relationship: A Special Kind of Friendship 1st Edition”].
It is a common, everyday experience in major American cities: a woman’s personal presence modeling intimate power with a male client.
Whatever one thinks about the therapeutic culture, it cannot be denied it has opened the door wide open to the what, when, why, where, and how for women’s intimate power when no one else is looking.
…The opposite of a woman’s powerlessness is not ecclesial power. It includes that. But a woman—baptized and indwelt by the Holy Spirit—her personal power to love others deeply cannot be solely confined to either ecclesial or marital power.
Christian tradition (including skeptical egalitarian male theologians) has never celebrated, affirmed, validated, and feasted a woman’s authentic intimate power in cross-gender friendships.
Read the remainder of Mr. Brennan’s post here