Aimee Byrd

Inside the word. Outside the box.

Seven years ago, I published my first book. In the process of writing it, I started a simple WordPress blog to test out my thoughts. When I first published that blog, it was a scary experience. No one knew who I was. I’m not an academic and I don’t work for the church. Who am I to write a blog and why should anyone care? I am a laywoman who saw a dearth in theological investment and contribution for women in the church.

That’s why I wrote my book. That’s why I started my little blog. I knew that I needed to put my writing out there if I wanted to get published. Much of my blogging speaks to why it matters to know the true God and what hinders our growth in this in our own church culture. I hoped that there were other like-minded thinkers who would join in a conversation with me. It was such a pleasure to find all kinds of interaction from men, women, laypeople, church officers, and academics.

The very first podcast interview I ever did in my life was for Mortification of Spin. That developed into me being asked to cohost with Carl Trueman and Todd Pruitt, and later my blog joined with the Mortification of Spin for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. We have had a lot of fun together and I have met many wonderful people who have sharpened my thinking over this time.

One of them is Scot McKnight. I am thankful that he invited me to share an update about my working relationship with the Alliance over on his Jesus Creed blog. My writing has aimed to examine the scriptures with the help of our confessions as we continue to see how the church is continually in need of reforming. This has dovetailed well with the mission of the Alliance. However, after the publication of my last book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a blog was posted on their website asking me to answer nine questions by a group of concerned, unnamed people. I responded, expressing my confusion at the nature of the post, nevertheless answering the first question and saying I was not sure that I would answer the rest. I then received an email from the chairman of the Board imploring me to answer these same questions for the Board of Directors. I do not know who is on this Board.

After seeking counsel, I declined to answer the specific questions, directing them instead to my book itself. I replied that some of these questions are addressed in my book already. And while I expect and welcome disagreement with some interpretations and applications in it, my book is in line with the confessions in which my Orthodox Presbyterian Church subscribes. Others of the questions seemed to misrepresent my writing, suggesting I was saying things that I wasn’t. Additionally, my book does not aim to answer all of the questions that were asked. It is not about church leadership or marriage. It is not meant to be an end all book on all matters of gender. There are many other books that aim to answer those questions.

My book is about discipleship for laymen and laywomen in the church. My aim was to ask serious questions about how men and women are identified and discipled in the church and to call Christians and Christian leadership to examine this against Scripture. My aim was to offer another voice, alongside other voices, as we look at scripture and life together. 

During this time, I was informed by our producer that she was notified not to book new recordings at this time and that they will be airing reruns of the Mortification of Spin. Then I noticed that they’ve discontinued my credentials to log in to post blog articles. While no reference was made to my future participation in the podcast, I later received an email from the Director in which they thanked me for the work I contributed for them and said that they “will strive to be gracious upon my exit.”  Technically, ACE has related to me as an independent contractor.  That’s all I really know.

It does make me go back to those first questions I had when going more public in writing a blog and my first book. Do I still want to do this? And who in the world am I to be writing and speaking anyway? The opportunities I’ve been given in speaking, podcasting, and writing in different venues as I explore what it means to be a disciple of Christ in his church have expanded my insight into the blessings of Christ and the challenges his people face. This matters to me. So, for now I continue to write. But in the back of my mind I’m wondering if opening that modern day speakeasy I’ve been talking about may be easier. In the meantime, I am going back to my independent blogging days here.

36 thoughts on “Byrd’s New Nest

  1. janetlynnem says:

    Aimee, I am glad you have a new nest in the blogging world, and I will be sure to read what you have to say. I’m a bit taken aback that they will “strive to be gracious upon your exit”…as in, they fired you? Keep on keeping on. I’m going to buy the rest of your books. I only have a copy of “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” but I want to support you, plus I love what you write.

    Like

  2. Dan says:

    I am glad to discover your work. I look forward to reading your book. I was in a Pentecostal denomination for 30 years. Historically they had always ordained women but had not lifted them up in leadership roles. When I pastored small churches I made certain we had leadership representing men and women and then made sure a woman on my staff made her way into key leadership roles within our district.

    I have now moved to the ACNA for a myriad of reasons, but when I began the transfer process for ordination, I made two things clear to the diocese: I will be a voice for women in ordination and I will be a voice for racial justice.

    Thank you for speaking up. Thank you for blogging. I hope you land a podcast soon as well. (I’d be thrilled to interview you on my podcast if you’re willing.)

    Thank you for your voice.

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  3. Thanks for pressing on!

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  4. Laura says:

    I’m sorry for the unfair and nasty treatment you have received Aimee. Thanks for keeping on.

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  5. JennY says:

    I only wish I was as eloquent as you in explaining what I believe and see in Scripture. When I read your writings, I’m like “yes, that’s summarizes what I believe”.

    Thank you for your work in this and, honestly, your kind spirit when faced with so much “anonymous” criticism, or being “quietly let go and locked out” without any explanation.
    As my mom always said, “Actions speak louder than words”. Their actions speak poorly of them.

    I look forward to reading more of your writings and I’m going to buy your most recent book right now!

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  6. Greg Hahn says:

    It is breathtakingly sad that they have responded as they have. May the Lord heal their brokenness. But it could go without saying that your voice is having an impact, or else they never would have resorted to such tactics. May God enlarge your borders.

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  7. Erin ortega says:

    Amy, you know my husband Marcos Ortega.

    After your recent book came out, myself and 3 other women decided to do a book club study with it, since this is a topic we all have a vested interest in.

    We have made it through the first three chapters and can I just tell you, the conversations have been deep. The 4 of us differ on our spectrum of comp to egal and this book has given us the words and thoughts to have lively discussions that keep us thinking and pondering in between our zoom meetings.
    You are doing such good work and I am so sorry you have been treated this way.
    Please continue to write, continue to challenge, continue to push. Not for those who don’t appreciate it but for those like myself and my book club group who’s theology will be forever changed by your words.

    Praying for you and your family as you navigate what the future holds.

    Erin Ortega

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jess says:

    Amy,

    I am truly sorry you have been treated like this. It only furthers my suspicion that the “establishment” is uncomfortable with the concerns you address and it is easier to shut you down rather than continue the dialogue.

    I just read your latest book and heard you on the Worthy podcast. You don’t know me, but you have been a blessing and encouragement to me. I am definitely subscribing to your new blog because I care about what you have to say!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Karen Terrazas says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Just further evidence that something is wrong and something needs to change. I found you book to be very insightful and it produced a lot of good conversation between my husband and I. Keep up the good work.

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  10. David Drury says:

    FWIW you gained a new fan and reader in me today. Sorry your writing has cost you something. You have that in common with the greatest writers now!

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  11. Laura says:

    Praying for you Aimee! I agree with Greg above, your voice is having an impact, or else they never would have resorted to such tactics. I have followed your blog here on wordpress, and look forward to seeing you in my wordpress feed.

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  12. Tiffany says:

    Keep pressing on. God hasn’t given us a spirit, but power, love and sound mind.

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  13. Tony Lee Ross Jr. says:

    Best of luck to you, Aimee!

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  14. Cath says:

    My copy of Recovering finally arrived yesterday (I preordered it aeons ago!) and it’s excellent. Please don’t stop writing. It’s just a bunch of men having ontologically superior hysterics. You have a very valuable voice (for women, and for women-and-men) in this murky debate.

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  15. skrizo says:

    Hey, Aimee! Congratulations on your new book! It’s always exciting to see one’s thoughts in an actual tangible form instead of just freewheeling ideas that cause insomnia, 🙂 And yes, you’re right, it’s a lonely work. I wrote “Recovering From Un-Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Patriarchy” five years ago and I can’t say I’ve made a lot of friends because of it. People just don’t want to hear the truth, they want half-truths that make them feel comfortable enough to keep on accepting the lies. But on the other hand, if we did this work because we wanted to be praised, we wouldn’t have chosen it. And your blog isn’t “little”; it’s a great work that furthers the Kingdom of God, so be proud of it. We all are.

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  16. Daniel Rust says:

    Aimee,

    I am listener of MoS and a big fan. Your mind and wit, along with Todd and Carl’s, have helped shape my own thinking. I am so sorry for how you have been treated at arm’s length… As your brother in Christ, I will pray your church family would move toward you and your family with love and choose to support you, just as ACE should have done. Your questions and insights are worth deep, biblical reflection and conversation. Thank you for your contributions. Please keep going! 🙂

    “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Ps 55:22).

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  17. Kellene Elley says:

    Aimee,
    Thank you for starting the dialogue and making us think!! Take a break if you need to. You’ve been a “Joan of Arc” of this time in church history. You’ve earned a rest. I look forward to see what the Lord will do in all this. Hugs!!

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  18. Super upset about this. I hold to a complementarian view and can’t for the life of me figure out how a bunch of nameless directors think it’s okay to send a bunch of un-owned questions from faceless people do this! And Todd and Carl should be ashamed. MOS should be renamed Revivification of Spin.

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    1. Graham says:

      There is a possibility that Carl and Todd cannot say much because their denominations are considering disciplinary action against members of the GC blog. I don’t know either man; I don’t listen to the podcast and I’ve only read a little Trueman. But if Aimee is prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, I reckon we should too.
      This situation is a horrible mess. I don’t know why denominations do not have social media policies for their employees. Once you take up a church office, your denomination is judged when you speak in public. And a forum of 500- 1000 members is not private. You could not speak to that number of people in a hall and then claim it was a private meeting afterwards!

      Graham

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      1. Hi Graham – yes there could be that. Though I will be speaking to Todd about it as he has contacted me privately and publicly. My observation though is that the MOS podcast was most effective when it was calling out the likes of MacDonald and Driscoll for their behaviours, yet the ACE seems to harbour within its ranks men who do not even sound like they are born of the Spirit. One of the standard lines, championed often by the lads on MOS, was that the creedal nature of the movement, and the church disciplinary process meant that there were safeguards against the Driscoll types. Yet even as they said that they were battling those within their own movement who thumbed their nose at that. I think that commensurate with the platform you have, is your response. And a private, sotto voce response in this setting has only made it worse. Some basic social media training indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Laura says:

        I’m very interested about what Todd will say to you. Thanks for your blog about this Stephen. If I was in WA I’d come to your church based on your standing up for Aimee! (Even if I’m not personally complementarian anymore)

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Clarke Morledge says:

    Ok. Let me get this straight. Aimee Byrd believes that only qualified men should serve as elders/overseers in a church (not women). She affirms the basic complementarian principle of husbands serving as heads of their families. But Aimee is booted off of the Alliance for not being complementarian enough?? What am I missing here??

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  20. The way you’ve been treated is so rude and not very Christian. I will be unfollowing the podcast and the blog

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  21. Sarah says:

    Hi Aimee,
    You have been a huge blessing and encouragement to me, particularly in validating my place as a woman in the family of God and helping me see both the freedom and the weight of the challenge to be the kind of necessary ally he made us to be. I hope you keep writing – you have such important things to say.
    Sarah 🙂

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  22. I discovered you through the MOS podcast which was a refreshing change (or so I thought) from the oppressive patriarchal environment I’ve known. I enjoyed hearing the three of you discuss current issues as well as deep theological ones, always with what seemed to be a mutual respect for one another. When I learned of your latest book, I asked to help launch it and realized how necessary and important your voice is to the Church. To say I’m disappointed in how the Alliance and your MOS co-hosts have handled this is an understatement. I plan to purchase each of your books and continue to point people to your work. Don’t lose heart, sister. Thank you for faithfully pointing us to Jesus.

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  23. joepote01 says:

    Aimee, I don’t even know what to say.

    I feel your pain.

    I don’t claim to know all you are experiencing, but have experienced enough rejection, myself, for simply expressing a different perspective, to have some level of understanding.

    I feel your pain.

    I appreciate your perspective.

    I celebrate your voice.

    I am thankful to have met you and hope to become better acquainted in the future.

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  24. Michelle says:

    Your voice is so needed in this conversation. I am so sorry how you have been treated. I am grateful you are continuing your work through this blog. It is needed in the church today. Keep writing – I will keep reading! 🙂

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  25. danjbrennan says:

    Aimee, Glad to see you here. I am sorry for the ongoing struggles. I admire your distinctive voice–and your ongoing desire to walk the path that God has called you to. Prayers for you.

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  26. Simone Richardson says:

    it makes me feel sick that this has happened to you. Maranatha.

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  27. T.L.S.E says:

    Dear Aimee,
    I am sorry to see all this happening. As an African Presbyterian, I have unfortunately imbibed uncritically resources from the USA especially from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and have admired from afar the solidarity of NAPARC in terms of maintaining orthodoxy. It seems however in several quarters that orthopraxy has been sacrificed on the altars of Mammon among others and as you put it, there remains the question of who picks up the tab.
    I am also astounded that the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals would shoot itself in the foot in such a dramatic way. It seems there are other agendas involved that have nothing to do with their name. I have noticed especially, less, and less the input of Lutherans over the years in ACE. Now they speak of ‘fostering a Reformed awakening’ which is telling. Maybe the conservative Lutheran insistence on justification by faith alone and two kingdoms theology is antithetical to the motives of people sympathetic to the social agendas of the Federal Vision theonomists? This is just a thought.

    In Christ,
    T.L.S.E.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Cynthia W. says:

    Best wishes, Aimee. I loved your new book, and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

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  29. kelty says:

    I am so very sorry to hear of all of this. Mortification of Spin is one of my favorite podcasts. I don’t always agree with you Aimee but I’ve learned a lot from you. You ask the best interview questions! I have been encouraged by your call and example for women to do theological and intellectual heavy lifting and not accept the fluff. I’m just so sorry for what you have endured and for what sounds like the end of Mortification of Spin.
    Sincerely,
    Kelty

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    1. Peggy Wiley says:

      I’m really surprised that they caved over at MoS.

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  30. Andrew Barshinger says:

    Aimee, I found your new place when I heard you were removed from the MOS podcast. I’m sorry to hear that. My wife and I enjoyed your insight and personality in the conversation. She has also benefited from your teaching at a ladies retreat a few years back. I admire your firmness without bitterness. May the Lord continue to use your gifts. We are praying for you.

    Like

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