Ladies, whether you call yourselves Christians, Messianic or Hebrew Roots – I’d like a moment of your time. Or, if you prefer to watch this in video, click here. I posted this a few days ago in response to some changes that God is working in my life – things that I want to share with you. The resulting fruit in my life has been amazing, but you would have to understand what life was like on the inside of me in order for me to explain the magnitude of what God is doing.
My name is Tyler Dawn Rosenquist, and I am a teacher of the Ancient Near Eastern and First Century context of Scripture – usually I come before you talking about that, but not today.
Ladies, we have an online witness problem that is bringing shame to our God and His Messiah Yeshua, more commonly known as Jesus. As any woman knows – it is women and not men who are the true civilizing influence of any society. Apart from the salvation of God through His Messiah, His commandments and the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, there is no greater civilizing force than women. What we allow to happen, will happen, whatever we participate in, will become the norm. Men throughout history have looked to the wisdom of women in order to know what limits they should place on themselves socially – we are their mothers and their wives, their sisters and the guardians over their sons and daughters. Men who make all the women in their home unhappy are not going to thrive.
But there is a problem, in our pursuit of unbiblical strength – in our relentless aggression, we have forgotten what it means to be truly strong women. We have forgotten how to control the public discourse through our steady wisdom. Instead, we have gone onto social media and have acted not like the best of men, but like the worst of them. Every day I see women aggressively arguing, picking fights, acting in a degrading and insulting manner not only towards other women but also towards men. I even see women standing by as others are brutalized right in front of them. Such things should not be.
Ladies, we have always held the moral high ground. We have historically set the tone of any conversation we were witness to –as long as we acted like ladies and demanded to be treated as such. A woman who acts wisely and demands dignity for both herself and others generally gets it – as long as many women stand together. We have the power to do something amazing – something that only the women in the Body of Messiah can do. We can diminish the shameful behavior going on in the online Body of believers, the behavior that doesn’t make either ourselves or the believing men look any different than the world we claim to be set apart from.
There are many wounded, hurting people on facebook – but where are the healers? They have been ejected from the building – the conversations over doctrine have become so insulting and so shameful that they are held at a distance.
Believing men who are not fully submitted to God are always going to behave as aggressively as we allow them to behave. If we behave badly, then they will behave worse. If we allow them to walk onto our social media walls and deprive others of their dignity, then they will never change. If we don’t act like strong, dignified women, then they will treat us exactly the way they think we deserve to be treated – and as we can see from what is going on online, in many cases that is very bad indeed.
Ladies, there are more female believers than male – especially online. We have the power to protect and elevate the online witness of our King, through changing our own behavior and changing what we will and will not tolerate. Right now it is very bad, as anyone can see.
To be a woman is to be strong – if anyone has seen me teaching online with my four male co-teachers, you know I am not some weakling. I am bold and I am strong – but my boldness and strength does not come through fruitless, divisive, insulting arguments. My dignity does not come from degrading others. My loudest witness comes from what I do and do not tolerate in myself and others. Years ago, when God started overhauling my character, I stopped picking fights, I stopped humiliating people online who I thought were wrong, I stopped tolerating bullying, manipulation and fighting on my social media page. I demanded to be treated with the same level of respect I was extending to others and adopted a zero tolerance policy towards divisive people and towards those who wanted to come on my page and slander others – especially those who would slander our Savior, or Christians, or Jews.
Ladies – we can’t lord authority over men, and we should not go after them on social media – I have seen women who go after men and they look like shrieking harpies. Truth is, we don’t have to. If we cut off access to our walls and groups to divisive men and women, if we refuse to tolerate their behavior, if we give them a warning or two and then deny them access to our walls – then wall by wall we will eliminate their outlets for bringing shame to our King.
I have seen it in the transformation of people on my own facebook wall – as we demand that people start maturing, they will and those who don’t can go and bring shame to God somewhere else. We need, with the unique social strength of woman, to change the online culture.
We are called in Gal 5:22-23 to good mature fruit – fruit that to the first century readers of Paul would have looked womanish and wimpy. God does not call us to weakness ladies, He calls us to strength. The Spirit empowers, and evidently the Spirit empowers us towards behavior that is less male than female.
Love – we must treat each other loyally as covenant partners, laying down our lives for each other and refusing to tolerate anyone heaping up abuses on our social media pages
Joy – we must rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, this has always been a great feminine strength
Peace – we cannot go around picking fights, and then go howling about being persecuted when someone hits us back
Patience – as mothers, we have had to learn that people need the time and space to grow and mature. We need to lovingly discipline others, with mercy and at the appropriate time – while still having a firm hand.
Kindness – we must be encouragers, giving dignity instead of stealing it away for ourselves
Goodness – we must never fail to be good examples
Faithfulness – we must be worthy of trust, we must be willing to admit fault and to apologize. If we have offended publicly, we must humble ourselves and apologize publicly
Gentleness – we must never think that we have license to exercise our flesh in insults and call it love or to turn our heads and allow anyone to be brutalized on our social media walls.
Self-Control – The game of correction police has got to end. If our whole days are spent looking for people to correct, then we are products of flesh and not re-creations of Spirit. It isn’t about us. In the same way, we have to stop promoting ourselves as bastions of perfection.
Ladies – we have control over our own walls, like we have control over what goes on in our own living rooms. There are far more of us ladies than are males. We have power – power over what kinds of teachers we allow to speak to us, power over the words that we speak and type, power to choose life over death, power over the way people are treated on our walls.
It’s time to act like ladies, and to demand – within our personal sphere of control – that people act like ladies and gentlemen. It’s time to remember that we are women, it’s time to show men what a Bride looks like. It’s time to refuse authority to anyone who would make our King look bad. No one does that on my wall, and I stay off of walls where people are allowed to act that way. Let’s starve them out, let’s model and demand better behavior – for the sake of our King and His hurting children, who need to lay down their burdens and be healed, but cannot find a safe place to do so.
Ladies, this can’t start with the men because this is not how they are powerful. There are too many people who are hurting from abusive fathers and abusive pastors. Let’s stop trying to be like men – it really isn’t a fruitful or worthy pursuit. We are called to this – it’s time for a revolution.