Julie Clawson wrote on her Facebook status this past week:
"Why is it always white, middle-class, highly-educated males who argue that dying to the self for the sake of commitment and accountability to a local church despite disagreement, silencing, or abuse is the only way one can be a part of the kingdom of God? And who then say that experience and emotion are not valid ways of knowing so that they do not have to ever listen to such theological voices that challenged the theologies of privilege that support their places of power in the system while silencing others. I don't care if my view is 'Romantic' or birthed from identity politics, when men tell women and minorities that they just need to shut up and submit to abuse for the sake of Jesus I do not see the kingdom of God at work."
This is why there are going to be more women--including women who are pastors, theologians, and therapists at the Sacred Friendship Gathering this year than there will be white men (white men who are leaders). More evangelical women than men see friendship as a healthy path for healthy community and gender reconciliation. White men are vulnerable to continue to emphasize abstract systems designed with one-size-fits all solutions to authority, voice, and leadership.
There are huge challenges when educated white men emphasize the death of self, accountability within a local church as the only way for "real" Christian and spiritual experience and authority. Educated women in the 21st century like Julie get it.