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Lisa vs. Lifeway

Last month Lisa discovered that Lifeway Christian Bookstores decided to pull a magazine off its shelves and place it behind the counter because the magazine had the picture of 5 women on the cover.  Now, I know what you're thinking; most magazines that are 'behind the counter' have women on the cover...but these women were all fully clothed.  Apparently, the problem was that they were all pastors.  

Lisa, who is by the way a licensed minister, decided one night while we were watching Monday Night Football, that she'd write a letter to Lifeway.  Below is the text of the letter she sent.  So far, she's not yet received a response from the store, but we'll keep you posted. 


September 23, 2008

LifeWay Christian Stores

One LifeWay Plaza

Nashville TN 37234

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been brought up in Southern Baptist churches, was trained in a Southern Baptist seminary, and have served alongside Southern Baptist missionaries overseas and stateside. My roots within the denomination have shaped much of my walk with Christ.   

However, I have to express my sincerest disappointment with your decision to remove Gospel Today magazines from the shelves of all your stores.   While the Southern Baptist Convention may disagree with women being pastors of congregations, removing the publication is an unnecessary censorship of Biblically based Christian literature.   Is it your position that LifeWay must agree with every stance published within the readings on your bookshelves?   I hope your action is not an indication that LifeWay is heading towards further removal of books, magazines, or music that in some way is contrary to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. 

As a result of your decision to remove Gospel Today based on the women pastors featured on the cover, I will no longer be purchasing products from LifeWay Stores.   If an apology is issued to Gospel Today and the publication is returned to the bookshelves, I will, at that time, resume patronizing LifeWay Stores.

Again, it is with great disappointment that I write this letter to you.  


Lisa Watson


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  • Response
    Response: richard goozh
    Watsonopolis - Journal - Lisa vs. Lifeway

Reader Comments (12)

Lisa - That's great. But did you included the picture with the letter? I hope so.

October 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrian in AK

good for you, Lisa.

October 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDelaine Zody

ditto! Good for you! :)

October 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Christoph

You go, girl! =)

October 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Jones

Do they carry Joel Osteen's jun....uh....books?

October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

someone else recently asked me if they carried Joel Osteen. I just did a search to find that they do not. I'm not miffed about that since his theology can hardly be considered orthodox.
i found out the other day that they recently pulled "The Shack" from their shelves as well. Apparently they're reviewing it. I read the book and loved it, understanding that it was a work of fiction. Yes there are sticky theological issues presented in the book. Nonetheless, my faith was challenged, my sin exposed, and my love for God increased. I wonder how much of their "issue" with the book has to do with the fact that God is presented as a woman for much of the story??? Am I beginning to see a pattern here????

October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

fun fact: the publisher of "The Shack" used to pastor a congregation in Visalia, CA...our new home.

another fun fact: if it were not for women like you (lisa, not matthew) and a handful of others, I would not know Jesus like I do today.

October 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichaelyoung

I'm glad you took this action. So many of these organization simply act in fear of the loud, opinionated, and denominationally powerful ones. I came across a blog posting a while back that, while agreeing the conservative stance on women pastoring, was in disagreement with censorship over non-primary theological issues. He made some good points, observing the many books Lifeway carries that disagree with other key Baptist doctrines.

October 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichael

Hi Lisa, i don't have your email address, but wanted to share my blog site with you too, so I'm commenting again with my URL. peace! ;-)

October 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersarah christoph

Hi Lisa this is Marc Marmolejo been thinking about you guys recently seems like the Lord has you putting in work for thats great. I feel like moses trying to oppose pharaoh right now its a long here is my contact information have Matthew e-mail me at you guys take care...Gods love

Marc Marmolejo

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarc Marmolejo

I laughed outloud when I saw your photo. you're great Lisa! :)

October 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkatie taylor

Yes, LifeWay has a list of no no's. There is a list of authors that are on the naughty list. If you go in and they don't have it, they can order it, but if you don't buy it,they have to put it in the back and if they can't sell it will be returned to the vendor. Former Employee.

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen Smith

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