Too often, Christian writers want to write movie reviews but they are writing for a “Christian” outlet so they try to shoehorn in a message to the church from a particular movie. This is true with a number of The Gospel Coalition’s articles like when they compared Jesus to Bruno from Encanto or sang the praise of the awful Don’t Look Up. The Gospel Coalition wrote a piece on the Barbie movie that takes aim at the church and delivers a very unfair criticism on Christ’s bride.
Jen Oshman writes Christians Should Welcome the Conversations ‘Barbie’ Sparks under the dubious impression that Barbie is setting off a national conversation on ideal gender roles and relations. Yet, while viral breakup stories are out there most of the debate on Barbie seems more centered on whether the movie is good and what the proper interpretation is or should be. Is the movie a feminist anthem or a feminist self own? Oshman overlooks these questions, presenting the movie as more intelligent than it actually is, given its horrendous world building.
Noentheless she asks the question “Why ‘Barbie’ Matters for the Church” and criticizes the church for not being feminist enough.
Of the 40 million people who’ve stopped going to church over the last 25 years, 10 percent say they left specifically because of misogyny. More than one leading Christian denomination in the U.S. is currently embroiled in a scandal of widespread sexism and sexual abuse. Anecdotally, women in ministry across the nation will tell you they struggle to know how to function in the church because they’ve been discipled (inadvertently or not) to see themselves as threats, temptresses, or less than their male counterparts. We feel at once too much and not enough. (It may be therapeutic for one of us to write and share a replica of America Ferrera’s fiery monologue but for women in ministry.)
In Rick Warren fashion she cites a survey of people who left the church to suggest that if the church were less misogynistic the people who left claiming misogyny would somehow not have found a different excuse to have left. This is not how human nature work nor how salvation works either. People love their sin and will leave the church to pursue their hedonism and vanity. There’s no need to use Barbie as an apparatus for self reflection in the church.
Moreover, Oshman promotes the erroneous characterization of churches as a hive of sex abuse when statistically there is no evidence to support this claim.
With all of the “At The Movies” megachurch nonsense, this article reads like The Gospel Coalition flavor of Craig Groeschel’s gimmick. And in TGC fashion they insert liberal talking points in their message.
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