Reba caught her employee stealing, and fired her. The ex-employee took her to the CCMA, a South African court for labour disputes. “What?”, bellowed the judge. “You fired her for stealing R3 000? Why, there are people a lot worse of off than you! I would respect you if you stood up for victims of the Antwerp Diamond Center robbery! Or the Schiphol Airport Heist! Or the Central bank of Iraq robbery! Read the rest of this entry »
Should feminists speak up in a country which is nr. 45 (or nr. 15, or whatever) in the world for women’s equality?
This well-researched scholarly book makes the case for women in ministry, by explaining what the Bible says of women, their service to God, and their leadership. It covers Read the rest of this entry »
This is a meme on the “creation order” argument. You are welcome to share it on social media if you want. Read the rest of this entry »
Some time ago, I mentioned to a woman that I am worried about a certain (complementarian) message that she gave to the Sunday school children. Before you accuse me of meddling in things that are none of my business, please know that (a) I was also involved with Sunday School in that congregation at the time, and (b) what she taught was not in the handbook and (c) the writings of theologians from our church tradition speak against her message.
Instead of hearing what my worries are, she became defensive: Read the rest of this entry »
In a previous post, I said I’m writing from a Christian Radical Feminist view. This may baffle or shock you: Does “radical” mean I hate men? Does it mean I will plant bombs in my women-favouring extremism? Not at all! “Radical” in radical feminism has to do with the word “root”: We look at the roots of patriarchy and sexism.
“It seems that feminism is more important to you than Jesus.”
“Why do you blog on egalitarianism? Why not blog on Jesus instead?”
But the question is stranger than it sounds: Nobody actually only talks about Jesus, all aspects of Jesus, and nothing else.
Your practical service to the world may lie in being a truck driver, a school teacher, or a computer technician. You may need to write vehicle logbooks, report cards, or job cards without the word “Jesus” on them. Marriage counsellors will talk more of communication and the right attitude towards one particular human than about the life of Jesus.
Why be an architect or an admin clerk, a fisher or a farmer, a loving mother or a legal advisor, a ditch digger or drama teacher, if the world needs Jesus more than buildings, sorted paperwork, food, human care, legal advice, ditches or acting? Because following Jesus does not mean doing nothing except sitting with Jesus and talking to him, but making Jesus and His work your motivation behind every thing you do, being salt and light in the power of Jesus.
As such, if I preach feminism (equality between men and women, freedom from male oppression), I only need to show the world that the freedom and equality I preach is from God. If it is, then promoting this is being salt and light. It is bringing the truth and love of God to a broken world. Christians close to me may tell me God is calling me to other things (too?), but as for the rest:
Rom 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall.
Do not tell us Christian egalitarians to talk only of Jesus. This is our way of being salt and light.
Note: The picture is a painting by Bernie Rosage, found on Internet. Text and frame by blog owner.
Salvation is a BIG, multi-faceted, all-including, relational story (with some social justice and revolution included)
I have heard evangelicals say that Christians should focus on the gospel – other concerns should be forgotten for the sake of the gospel. Others say the church should focus on both the gospel message and Christian actions like feeding the hungry, helping the abused, etc.
What if the gospel looks different from what we have been taught? If they are both right about a single-minded gospel focus, and about helping those who need it? What if the gospel actually includes, among others, feeding the hungry and helping the abused?
1) God made you perfect
2) You sinned – it messed up your relationship with God and you should be punished.
3) Jesus was punished in your place
4) Accept Jesus so you won’t be punished, but go to heaven instead.
I don’t disagree with any word in that. But the fallen nature of man don’t just mean that I do wrong in God’s eyes, and need to be forgiven.
It also means that others are doing wrong against me, and I need a God who promises to dry every tear.
It means that I do wrong against others, and I need a God that can change me from the inside.
It means that the earth is full of pain and problems – illness, natural disasters, human error, even when no direct sin is involved, and the earth is waiting for salvation too.
As such, I propose a gospel that looks more like this:
God had a whole creation to relate to, but it seems only one class of being – humanity – could love God back.
2) Instead of “you sinned – it messed up your relationship with God” “Everyone sinned. It messed up everything.”
It also messed up relationships between each other: Your sin influences your relationships, and other people’s sin against you influences your relationships – firstly relationships with the person whom you sinned against/ who sinned against you, and indirectly messing with other relationships.
Other people’s sin against you causes you pain and tears. Your sin against others causes them pain and tears. (Divorce, arguments, unfaithfulness, back-stabbing, rape, murder, assault…)
Sin (both of others and yourself) damages even your relationship with yourself. It could lead to self-hate and self-harming, suicide, or simply no desire to take care of the self.
Sin indirectly causes even the planet to be cursed. (“Thorns and thistles”, droughts and floods, ilness, pollution…)
Then, God stepped in, in the form of Jesus, to solve the problem which causes so much unhappiness.
Your relationship with God? You can be forgiven. Your relationship with others? Jesus can make you new, and them new, so you and them can stop hurting one another. Jesus can heal your pain and hate and self-hate.
Even our planet itself is eager to see the revealing of the children of God. (Rom 8:19)
“Let your will come on earth as in heaven” is about God – and us working with God – solving not only the sin problem but all the tears and brokenness caused by it.
4) Accept Jesus, because his plan is good and right and saves from the effects of sin, creating a world where God (who is the Good, the Wise, who is Love personified) is in all. (1 Cor 15:28)
> To proclaim that his kingdom should come on earth (Lk 10:9 & 11:2) and within us.(Lk 17:20-21)
> To set an example of the kind of life we should live. (Heb 12:3; 1 Jn 2:6)
> To make right our relationship with Him. (Eph 2:18; Col 1:21)
> To make people new from the inside, so they can participate in His justice, mercy, and healing.(2 Cor 5:17; Col 3:10)
> To beat death – to die and come back to live Himself, to beat Satan by that. (Heb 2:14-15; 1Jn 3:8b)
> To make the whole earth new. (Rom 8:19, Col 1:20)
> To wipe every tear, to bring healing. (Lk 4:18; Rev 21:4)
There are certainly some more, but this is enough to get the picture that the gospel has real-world implications:
If God wants and enables you – with the forgiveness and healing of Jesus – to live right and bring healing, it means you will help those who were treated badly. The gospel tells you how to treat the hungry, the marginalized, the person who is bossed around because she is a woman, the poor person who needs medical help, the environment, the immigrant, the criminal who needs a second chance, the person who never had a first chance. It tells you how to think about racism, sexism and ableism.
Pure religion is “helping widows and orphans and keeping pure” (Jas 1:27), in the power of Christ. Social justice is not an add-on after you got the gospel right: It is part of the gospel. The gospel is not only about repairing your relationship with God, but also repairing relationship between yourself and others, people and the earth, other people to one another and God. It is about establishing God’s kingdom of justice and mercy on earth, as it is in heaven.
It is being plugged in to the God who is justice and love and truth – with the justice and love and truth overflowing to others and to the world. Conversion is not saying a rote prayer, but aligning your will and plans with the One who is bringing this great kingdom.