I knew. I knew they were going to make the announcement. I even knew what the elders were going to say. That’s why it came as a surprise when I started to sob; I hadn’t expected that! Why cry when I already knew? Because there’s something about embodiment. Isn’t that what Jesus taught us when he came in the flesh? Something is known when we are physically present with one another. People become human, not just public targets. Being present with other human beings matters. Being with forms and informs us. Seeing my brothers, hearing their deep male voices declare with gut-level conviction, “Women, we want you. We need you. You make us better.” –  it cut to the core of my image-bearing humanity. They moved over. They made room. They gave up power to empower those without power. If you want to know what “biblical manhood” looks like – here it is.

Mitch Little: Outsider Story from Bent Tree on Vimeo.

After the elders made the announcement, Pastor Pete, one of the best preachers in Dallas, stood up and humbly walked us through the Bible. Yes. The Bible! In spite of one pastor’s accusations that Bent Tree has thrown out the Bible, Pete and the elders stood firmly on the Word of God. Having known Pete and other leaders at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship for decades, I can attest, as can many others, that Bent Tree is a Church deeply committed to Jesus Christ – they are Gospel spreaders and servants of their King Jesus. In their pursuit to hear the Spirit through the written Word, they have decided to move over. I, for one, am so proud of them and stand with them in solidarity. The Church will be more because of them.

Thank you, Bent Tree – you may never fully comprehend what you have done for your sisters. You have moved over. Moving over means larger Kingdom impact… I stand with you.

Grateful,

Dr. Jackie Roese

President of The Marcella Project, Conservative evangelical, Orthodox christian, Believer in the Blessed Alliance, Follower of Jesus Christ, Mother of 3 amazing young adults, and wife to Steve, a rebel with a cause!