Equality…or Equity? Part One

Church, we gotta get this right.

As a young boy in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I remember hearing about equal rights and women’s liberation.  Women wanted to work jobs in fields dominated by men and they wanted equal pay for equal work, among other rights.  They wanted to manage, lead corporations and make other choices without permission or approval of men.  Many women still seek these rights today, although much has changed in 40-plus years.

I completely agree with equality in such senses.  If you have the skill, you should have the job.  If you do the job, you should get the pay.  No sweat.  I don’t believe in preference based upon race or gender, but I do believe in equality.  However, I would like to see more equity in certain areas.

Part of the definition of equity, according to Merriam-Webster, is freedom from bias or favoritism.  So, when I speak of equity here, I speak of doing away with the “old boy’s club” attitude.

The Differences Are Equitable, Together

Men and women…are different.  Alright, this is no big revelation.  The differences, however, have been abused and mishandled (mostly) by men.  Men of the Church need to realize how women have been short-changed.

It is the position in the Church that men are “in charge”.  Fueled by pride and greed, many scriptures have been misinterpreted and abused.  It has become longstanding and infectious, as we see in government and some cultures where men are “in charge”, holding the first and final word on nearly all matters.  The Church is largely “male-centric”, as men have taken charge, justifying their alleged authority with misinterpreted, out of context scriptures.

In Part Two, I will share information from a good friend who has studied, having examined these things from a Biblical standpoint.  In a nutshell, the Bible does not support the male-centric system we seem to embrace, but it can be proven that women have a greater role than what is seen in the Church.

We need equity in leadership.  It is wrong for there to be a panel of all men running the show (whatever that “show” may be) any more than we need a panel of all women.  What we do need is the influence of both.  This would be in the Church, business or government.  Especially the Church, as far as I can see.  It is not equality we need, but equity.  We need the balanced gifts and views of men and women.

Equality would say that if there is a panel of twelve people, there should be six men and six women.  Equity is more about justice and balance, doing away with bias and preference.  So, let’s try a scenario…a panel of leaders is discussing the budget of the company.  Each of the men are discussing the bottom line, cost savings, profit margins and such.  But, a woman asks about the employees and if they will remain employed or be able to get their annual raises.  The men now take another look at the numbers and consider the woman’s point of view.  The men approach it from a knowledge standpoint while the women balance it from a grace standpoint.

What Man and Woman Are Created To Be

Women are born with grace as an attribute.  Here is some discussion I had with my friend, whose information I will share in Part Two of this topic.  He explained the Hebrew for man and woman and the letters that make up each of those words:

“ISH (Man) is Aleph Yud Shin
ISHA (Woman) is Aleph Shin Hai.  

Both have Aleph which means sacrifice, man has Yud meaning hand, and Shin means the revelation of God in this life. Woman has Aleph, then Shin and last Hai which means Grace.”

There will be more detail and better description in the next post, but here we see that Man is made up of sacrifice, hand and revelation of God.  Woman is made up of sacrifice, revelation of  God and grace.  We share Aleph and Shin, or sacrifice and revelation.  But, only Woman has the grace.  Man has the hand which follows the knowledge of God’s purposes.

Are Men the Boss?

Here is another excerpt, as we discussed the idea of husbands being the head of the wives…

“Head is used in context with the same sacrificial Head that is described as Christ. The headship is merely Chief of Security and Comfort and Welfare…not BOSS.”

Men of the Church, we have a responsibility toward women and not the authority over women.  Men do not hold the first and last word simply because we are men.  Man and woman together as the image of God…the revelation of God…can reveal God’s will, word and reveal His image.  This is not because they are equal, but because together there is equity.  Together, they show knowledge of God’s purposes and grace.  The two must work together or there will be inequity.

Two different hammers have equal value, they are not equal in their use and function.  A framing hammer is for driving large nails into framing lumber, while a ball peen hammer is used for striking or shaping metal.  People, likewise, are each different in talent, gifting, attributes, abilities, etc.  Men and women have an equitable fit which occurs in the recognition and honoring of each other’s talents, gifts, attributes and abilities.

Men lord over one another and especially over women.  In the Church, this really has to stop.  It is well past the time that we stop interpreting scriptures to justify our own desires, benefits and advantages.  We need to stop controlling our little universes, excluding the able leadership, input, wisdom or teaching of women.  We need to recognize, exalt and embrace one another’s differences, seeing how they compliment in order to make a more complete picture.

Part Two should be coming some time next week.  Personally, I look forward to it.

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2 thoughts on “Equality…or Equity? Part One

  1. I think worldly ideas of power and authority are at the root of a lot of this. When push comes top shove, I believe God has appointed men to leadership, at least at home. A body with two heads doesn’t work very well. But it is SERVANT leadership–sacrificial and empowering to those who are led. The world sees leadership in terms of power, privilege and perks. That is what has infected the church, and what makes it so hard for people outside the church to understand the Bible’s teaching on this issue.

    • 2btrue says:

      The breakdown in the second post will, to some degree, shatter the long held concepts of male leadership. You are right…leadership is about empowering others, while serving them. Too often, leadership has been about empowering the leaders and requiring subservience of those being led.

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