Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

Posts tagged ‘gender equality’

A Biblical, logical argument for evangelical feminism

Premise 1: Jesus wants God’s kingdom to come on earth as in heaven. (Mat 6:9-10)

Premise 2: Even complementarians admit that before God (in heaven), men and women (more…)

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Does your church or community really believe in male-female equality? (For both supporters and opponents of gender roles, and even atheists)

scales-man-woman-11783392Egalitarians believe men and women are equals before God. Complementarians believe they are equal but have different roles. The majority of secularists in the Western world will say they believe men and women are equally worthy as people, but they would not add the “before God” part. If you want to see if your community really believe this, there is a simple test you can do: (more…)

“men and women both reflect God’s image, but in different ways”

… But, interestingly, I think this is where the complementarian view actually has something very interesting to say. On

couple reflected in a mirror

couple reflected in a mirror

complementarianism, men and women both reflect God’s image, but in different ways, ways in which neither gender can do on their own. I think that actually provides a unique dignity to each gender and gives both gender reasons to affirm, delight in and stand in awe of the role the other gender has in reflecting God’s image while affirming their ontological equality. – A complementarian Facebook commenter

Firstly, egalitarians also believe that both genders reflect God, that every man and woman – even more so if they are Christians – reflect God in different ways that one person or one gender cannot do alone. As such, giving men and women that dignity is not uniquely complementarian. But – do complementarians actually, like egalitarians, provide that equal dignity to both genders?

Both complementarians and egalitarians affirm that men and women complement each other. Two thing differentiate us:

  1. Complementarians believe that God places certain restrictions (“thou should NOT”) on women but not on men. They do not agree on what these restrictions are, but they include things like preaching, being elders or deacons, working outside the home, leadership roles at work or in politics, etc.
  2. Complementarians believe in some degree of male/husband lead and female/ wife following.

These 2 ideas are the main, or arguably (more…)

Jesus, fighter for women’s rights?

According to Timothy Kieswetter*, a South African writer on intimacy and Christian living, this is a radical text:

Matt 5:28 “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”.

But it is not radical in the way you think. (more…)

Update: JOY responded, JUIG did not

The new issue of JUIG and JOY are on the magazine racks. JOY contains the short letter I send them, with a link to this post. JUIG, the Afrikaans sister, do not contain my letter, or anything of the sort, at all.

JOY contains three letters on the matter:

>   A letter from “Minister Kenneth Emmanuel sr.” , complaining about their “underhanded feminist tactics” and how even their article photo next to the “gender hierarchy in the home” article puts the woman in the centre. According to him, he can see JOY want to put women in the centre. He attack JOY management for being all white too, although the article was written by, according to him, a black person. (Huh? Errol Naidoo is not black, neither am I – I wrote the letter Errol responded to.) He then say: “If you do not repent … you will have a lot of blood on your hands on the day of Judgment.”

JOY responds to him by saying they do not have a feminist agenda, and some of the things he quoted in his letter – prior to it being shortened for the magazine – was my words, not those of the JOY article writer.

(I actually agree with the title-loving Minister Kenneth Emmanuel sr. about one thing: To put one gender at the centre, and marginalize another, is something that should be repented before God. It is sin to twist the Bible to suppress others. Speaking of blood on people’s hands, a sense of entitlement whereby some men believe they have the divine right to rule their wives, contributes to domestic violence.)

>   Ted and Jessica Farrish wrote an intelligent letter in which they say “Genesis is not clear that men were to lead.” They rightly call patriarchy idolatry, mention that patriarchal teachings have been responsible for the death of at least two children (I seem to recall a warning about blood and hands and judgment day, from another commenter just before the Farrish couple?), and explain the meaning of head/ kephale, and mutual submission.

JOY responds to them by saying JOY appreciates their thoughts, does not advocate for patriarchy, and “we hope that our readers took away the Biblical truths we were explaining in this instance.”

(I am glad that they are against patriarchy. And I plead with JOY/ JUIG: If they are against patriarchy, they should please, please educate themselves on what ideas, promoted in JOY, comes from patriarchy – and stop promoting those. )

>   The third is a short letter by me: Head, as in “the man is head of the woman”, does not mean leader. The letter then links to my article.

JOY did not answer me.

The Afrikaans sister magazine do not have anything on the matter, although I sent my letter to them too. How will their Afrikaans readers know that women are not supposed to just accept suppression under the name of male headship?

I know that some Internet friends of mine wrote letters to JOY concerning the matter too. I did not ask them. I only linked them to the JOY article, and told of my frustrations. (Up until now,) their letters appeared neither in the magazine nor on the letter page on their website.

Please, fellow Christians, help us get the message out: God does not want one gender at the centre, and the other marginalized. The very passage that is most often twisted to get hierarchy, starts with “everyone should submit” and ends with “God is no respecter of persons.”

Symbol 2: How do I see the egalitarian message?

I’ve been thinking about how to picture equality, and I see now the mathematical equal sign should certainly not be included. Here is another picture of how I see it. (Actually, I see it with realistic man and woman shaped shadow images in my mind, not these symbol-like simplifications. That would make the cross higher too, as men and women are taller. But this is what I can draw quickly.)

The ground at the feet of the cross is level.

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