Women’s suffrage never should have happened.
The Women’s Liberation Movement never should have happened.
Feminism should never have become synonymous with a power struggle.
Women should never have fought to vote, for equal chances at jobs and pay or fought their way up the corporate ladder.
Well, let me restate…they never should have had to. Had men not considered women as subservient, weak, incapable and/or less-than, women would never have had to fight for equality or strain to gain equitable rankings in business, government, society or the Church. For that matter, the Church is largely responsible for how women have been kept under men’s totalitarian authority. They have done this because of poor scripture translation, salted with pride and greed.
There is one phrase/idea that was not in the mind of God from the onset of creation…the roles of men and women. In my discussions with my friend, Mike Willingham, he clearly pointed out that it is a matter of gifting/abilities, not roles – which I fully agree with. We are each born with certain gifts and abilities…some are stronger in men and others are stronger in women. This does not denote roles as much as each functioning according to their individual gifts/talents/abilities as well as those particular to each gender, in such a way as is complimentary, uplifting and/or encouraging toward one another as well as others.
The role men want is to be in charge. However, the fact is, men have a charge. We are not put in charge of women, but are given a charge to protect, promote and love our wives, sacrificially, as Christ loves the Church. Women, in general, are not second class, second in command, “weaker” vessels (that’s another one to be covered) or less capable simply because they are women. They are not there just to be barefoot and pregnant, to be left a mess to organize, chief cook, bottle washer and laundry cleaner or to be our silent partners, whether in marriage, the workplace or church. Women do not have to be relegated only to mind the Nursery, Sunday School and women’s ministries, but can also teach the congregation. Men have put women in a place that is largely there to ensure that men will not lose their self-imposed places of alleged authority.
I am ashamed of how so many men have treated women. It all comes under pride, which is the seed which sprouts the chest-pounding, rooster-strutting attitude of men, as they exert some sense of machismo, proving themselves as “real men” by letting their women know who “wears the pants”. This is enforced by legalism, taught by generations of pastors and church leaders, using grossly misinterpreted scripture, bringing certain “laws” of women’s roles and men’s roles among other rules and roles of “clergy vs. laity”.
My friend, Mike, shows God’s idea for man and woman from the beginning, by defining the Hebrew words as well as the context of scripture. I will share portions of an article he wrote, which shows how the male-centric pattern of the Church has been in error. Mike has spent time studying and seeking the Lord’s revelation on these matters. He and I have had many discussions about gender equity, seeking God’s viewpoint and looking for the correct definitions and context of scripture.
Here is the introduction to what my friend Mike is writing in his article, similarly titled as this blog:
Equity or Equality: Why are we getting it wrong?
There is a great inequity that is happening around us. It cries out in the streets, homes, and especially the Church as the word “equality”. This word has a tone of anger at times, desperation at others. This word emerged into our language and culture because of inequity. Equality is simply a demand for equity. Women, is the focus of this article. Fundamentally, historically and statistically, women have been the target of all sorts of abuses by the hands of men. Women have been relegated as subservient, down trodden, brow beaten, misused, abused and considered nothing more than a baby machine, servant and the person who is around only to fulfill a man’s needs.
The fact that I am writing this makes my eyes roll back in my head. I am simply ashamed of men and how all this miasma of putrid waste has proliferated for so long. I am ashamed and I am a man! So how did this all come about? I think in order to understand we need to go to the beginning. Since I am focusing mainly on women and the church, I am going to take you on a journey through the Word. The Word interprets the Word. And since the bible has been misconstrued, taken out of context and used to fulfill man’s agenda’s, then I am going to take the Word in context, throw some Hebrew and Greek, and I am going to share stories from the Bible that show as the voice of God that He did not mean for all of this at all. I will take you through the life of Christ as well and show you how most of His ministry was specially targeted to the restoration of women.
I am going to make sure I show you in all of the Grace of God. I myself need it all the more because given half the chance I would simply write an article so scathing and dripping with vitriol that any man reading this will have no eyebrows left. But, I am not going to do that because I am not a social activist. I am not out to make sweeping changes in The Church. I can’t do that! Why, you ask? Because, after all is said and done, and whoever reads this – I speak to men at this point – you will probably scoff. You will hold on to your traditions and beliefs like a snapping turtle on a finger. And, you are going to continue to treat your wives, your fellow sisters in Christ with the same total disregard and low caste status as before. Let me know how that works out for you. No, scratch that…I don’t want to know. I already do. Good luck with you. I will be sorry to hear about your failed marriages, your failed relationships, the ruin of your witness and the miserable condition of your life. I know this is inevitable because I have seen it time and time again, repeating itself until I have become sick to my stomach. I cannot change you because your machismo and self-righteousness demands you to stand up and be a man!
Good luck with that! So I am not going to apologize if I step on your toes. Wear steel-toed boots, listen with an open heart and open mind and maybe, just maybe, this information, or revelation might save your relationship. This information, if you are a pastor, might even save your church and make it stronger than before. It would be wonderful that some of you men out there reading this, may get the insight you need to save your marriage.
I hope all women who read this will be strengthened, edified, enlightened and encouraged. I am revealing to all a great truth that has been held back through either ignorance or, unfortunately, by choice. That great truth is that God sees women as being of great value. He invested Himself in you and His favor is upon you. Why? Because you are His daughter! So sit back and enjoy the ride!
As I mentioned before, I am going to go to the Word and go all the way back to the beginning to build a case that is immutable and indelible. You may want to not believe it. Your choice. I am out to set women free. If you don’t man. Walk away please! So lets begin.
In Genesis 1:1 it reads “In the beginning God created (made) the heavens and the earth.” Let me shorten this sentence a little so you begin to see God and His Wisdom. “In the beginning God made!” That is five words. Five. In the Hebrew language numbers are very important. They have great significance and we would be amiss if we ignore it. Five in Hebrew is the number of Grace! Isn’t that interesting? The creative energy of God is tied to Grace in these five words. The whole source of our being, our environment, our sustenance and our very existence is wrapped up in those five words. Notice I put in the synonym for create in brackets. We will get to that later. Lets get back to the creation.
God created. He created man in His own Image.
Let’s hold that thought until the next installment.
Mike and I have been discussing these issues for weeks, now. We have each talked about what God has placed on our hearts, shared what we see in scripture and are seeking God’s truth in the matter. Oh, this series will have a third, perhaps a fourth part – maybe a fifth – we’ll see. What we want to do is convey the truth of scripture concerning the place of women in our lives as husbands, Christians, citizens, business people…whatever your stance in this life. We also want to convey encouraging words toward women, as many have been placed in a “role”, rather than treated as fellow disciples and heirs.
Yes, there will be a Part 3.