Playing footsie with our adversaries

Posted By on May 6, 2010

I once observed, in an allusion to a more famous saying, that one cannot play footsie with the religious feminists and hope to retain all of one’s toes. There is good reason for that, because one finds at the heart of religious feminism the seductive lies of heresy. Let’s face it, we’ve all known the charm, the pull, the glamour of heresy. Evil is attractive; it is alluring or one would never fall for it. It is the sugary coating on the cyanide pill. Just enough truth to make it look right to the unsuspecting and even those who think themselves too knowing to be taken in, too expert to fall for the deception. But this is how evil extends its reign, by those who think they can cooperate with it and control it.Here I use the term “glamour” in its older sense. The word formerly referred to a magic charm effecting the eye, making something appear different from what it really is. Glamour is more than mere style and apparently effortless grace. The aptly named Grace Kelly was the epitome of this meaning of the term. Though glamour is always about illusion, in the sense I am using it, it appeals to a much deeper deception. In this deeper sense, glamour steers a middle course between transparency and opacity, it is translucent, inviting in just enough light to seem familiar and engage the subject’s imagination. [1] Evil must operate in this manner because it is derivative. It cannot create anything de novo.

This is how religious feminism, under the cover of Evangelical engagement, operates. It derives its power of persuasion, in large part, from the complicity of Complementarians who think they can, as I have observed, play footsie with the religious feminists and yet retain all their toes. They are able to let just enough light in to appear orthodox, even in a minimally Evangelical sense. The religious feminists have an odd way of combining the sort of logic Chesterton would have called “morbid” with facile, nonsequiturish responses. But these self-styled Egalitarians present us with a pretty, sugar-coated vision of equality–of how men and women can live in perfect peace and harmony if we’d just forget about all that headship folderol. If we’d just forget about the universal witness of orthodox Christianity through nearly two millennia, then we could see how good and right they are. But once that pill is swallowed . . .

Now I must be a bit personal. I was on the inside track at CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality), I worked their booth at conferences and CBE president, Mimi Haddad, asked me to move to Minneapolis and join the staff. When CBE briefly had a message board, I was the moderator.  I had embraced their message and even went to the extent of giving a paper in support of their position at the Evangelical Theological Society Conference.  I succumbed to the illusion of control over the evil. Yet, having come out of religious feminism, I have been supremely guilty of thinking I can engage them and not come away missing a toe or two. In my case, it is particularly dangerous, having something of the whiff of Lot’s wife casting her eyes back to Sodom, as a wise friend recently suggested (and risked my ire by doing so, God bless him for his courage to confront me). The problem is, I know the taste of the cyanide under that sugary coating and yet, having been rescued from its death-grip, I was guilty of thinking I could engage it and thereby rescue others.

It wasn’t until two things happened that I realized the danger, though I must admit I had been warned before. First, that same dear friend is the one who first put that old concept of glamour before me. I started doing a little internet digging and boy, oh boy, did I get a great whack to the back of the head.

But second, I also came to recognize how my own rescue was effected. When I was at my most annoying religious feminist worst, it wasn’t orthodox men who came over to the religious feminist sites I inhabited and engaged me there (although a few made occasional forays to those places). It was when I stepped onto Christ’s turf –when I engaged those who were teaching orthodox sexuality on their own turf–that my rescue began. One of those dear brothers recognized something in me I would have denied and, along with one or two others, began praying for my rescue.

And, for that, I will be eternally grateful.


[1] “The Power to Persuade,”Virginia Postrel in Weekly Standard 3/29/10.

This article originally appeared on my blog at

About The Author

Kamilla is a former religious feminist, rescued by the grace of God and the prayers of dear brothers in Christ. She holds an MA in Philosophy of Religion from Denver Seminary where she was introduced to "Egalitarianism" (which she thinks is more appropriately called religious feminism). While she blogs and gathers the courage to write a book about her journey out of religious feminism she earns her keep as a Medical Technologist in the laboratory of a large teaching hospital in the Denver area. She shares a house with her mother, a dog and a cat.


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