I know Dave did not want to be a spiritual bully over me. I know he did not want to step into my boat and take over my steering part of our togetherness to resolve a conflict. I know he did not intend to objectify me.
Male aggression in resolving conflicts, male privilege over intimate relationships, privileged biblicism, patriarchy—these are all privileged communal dynamics in the evangelical world. There is nothing like mutual pleasure, mutual empowerment, mutual discernment within cross-gender friendships that threatens those dynamics.
That’s what I learned in 2009.
I did not have the language for it then, but now looking back on it, at least part of my spiritual wrestling match with Dave for four plus months in 2009 spilling over into 2010 was over his privileged biblicism over me.
It was not the way of Jesus.
Mutual pleasure, mutual empowerment, mutual discernment within the practice of Jesus-centered cross-gender friendship can call for deeper human caring, connection, and fullness. When cross-gender friendships cross over the private-public domain of male-centered Christendom it disrupts and unnerves social order in the big boat of togetherness.
Let's continue into our next part in this series I am doing on David Fitch's new book, Faithful Presence, shall we?