Update: Mr. Sumrell wrote back in a letter published in today's (5/30) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His letter follows:
"To all of my critics, so-called professing Christians, feminazis and all-around smart alecks--in general, the blind leading the blind--I stand by what I have written. Women began to get out of their places with the granting of the vote, and like Eve, walked out on their own. They got the vote, took men's jobs, quit being female and they ought to repent and come back to God and follow his word.
The mess this country is in is also man's fault. There are sissifed men preachers who will not preach the old-time gospel--all of the word instead of a weak social gospel. I know their weak church or organization would likely kick them out if they did.
Micah was a man of God who had to stand alone. God showed him the truth. Four hundred false prophets jumped up and down all in one accord against what Micah had said, but they turned out to be wrong. So it is with my critics.
Though I'm hated and ridiculed for my words, I stand by them. We all, men and women, will answer to a holy God someday.
This letter appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on April 25, 2012. I wrote the letter below it in response.
In response to David Sumrell’s letter of 4-25, nowhere in the Bible does God ordain women as “housewives.” In fact, Deborah was a high-ranking Israelite leader and judge (Judges 4:4-5). Lydia was an entrepreneur (Acts 16:14). The Proverbs 31 woman, who is regarded by scripture as the ideal wife, was also involved in entrepreneurial endeavors (v. 24), as well as real estate development (v. 16). And in the book of Esther, it was Esther’s voice and political clout that saved the Jewish people. Yes, we women can be homemakers. (Not “housewives.” We are not married to our houses.) We can derive great joy from raising our children and creating healthy homes for them. But we can also earn degrees, build careers, make advancements that contribute to the betterment of society, lobby for peace and protection for our families, and be strong and effective leaders. Why some men find this threatening is beyond me. If Mr. Sumrell has ever stopped being terrified of women long enough to have women in his life, I sincerely hope they have other men in their lives who encourage, support, and honor the gifts they have beyond pushing a mop. They will certainly never get that from him. Deana Nall Bryant