A recent Christianity Today article by Tish Harrison Warren caught my eye. Warren is an ordained minister in the Anglican tradition, and a woman. Christianity Today is more open on female ordination than many other evangelical publications, but Warren’s article points to some major blindspots nonetheless.
By Libby Anne | Love, Joy, Feminism
Warren, you see, is concerned about woman bloggers who operate outside of church authority and yet write about their spiritual journeys publicly for all to see. This is—apparently—a crisis.
The rise of the blogosphere in the early 2000s yielded the genre of the “spiritual blogger.” From the comfort of their living rooms, lay people suddenly became household names, wielding influence over tens of thousands of followers. A new kind of Christian celebrity—and authority—was born: the speaker and author who comes to us (often virtually) as a seemingly autonomous voice, disembedded from any larger institution or ecclesial structure.
Just as the invention of the printing press helped spark the Protestant Reformation and created a crisis of authority, the advent of social media has catalyzed a new crisis in the church.
Yes, that’s right—a crisis.
One thing I appreciate about the internet in general, and the blogosphere in particular, is that it has provided a platform for voices that would otherwise have gone unheard. It means anyone with an internet connection can say their piece, and in a place others can read it.
And that, Warren argues, is a problem. Because it usurps church authority.