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 Christianity and Feminism-Are They Compatible?

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Lora
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PostSubject: Christianity and Feminism-Are They Compatible?    Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:42 pm

An interesting article on feminism & Christianity I found at: http://www.forourlordjesuschrist.org/Gateways/feminism.htm

Christianity and Feminism

This page will focus on finding the BIBLICAL role of women in Christianity. I have been studying this subject for almost 10 years with the help of several pastors and theologians from different denominations and backgrounds. I have reached several beliefs, but I am open to rational discussions related to them and am keeping an open mind to the possiblility of change if someone presents a valid Biblical reason for why any of these beliefs are incorrect. Please feel free to e-mail me at the address shown on this page with any of your questions or comments, please include biblical citations for any arguments you may have. Here are my basic beliefs:

To summarize my beliefs before you read the specifics, I believe that men and women were designed by the Lord to complement each other. That while neither gender is automatically “better” than the other, God expects men to lead and women to voluntarily submit (particularly to their husbands).

I believe that women have a specific place in ministry. However, I also believe that as women we are specifically forbidden from positions of authority within ministry.

I do not believe that the expectation that we, as women, choose to submit to our husbands makes us in any way inferior to them or that they have an open right to control us. I also do not believe that God’s expectation for women to submit to their husbands gives the men the right to dominate, neglect or otherwise abuse their wives.

I believe that women are afraid to submit and men are afraid to lead because for many centuries we, as humans, have twisted marital roles and family life into something that God never intended it to be. I firmly believe that God intended for men to lead their wives through loving kindness, not domination or abuse.

Finally, I believe that we, as the church, must recognize, accept and fulfill the duties the Lord expects of us. The church functions much better as a whole when all parts participate. This includes not only that women must not force themselves into roles forbidden to them, but that men MUST fulfill the roles the Lord has chosen for them.

· It is part of God’s order that women are submissive to their husbands, not because men are better, but because the voluntary submission is an example of the humility and worship He expects from us. God expects us to submit to our husbands, but He expects us to willingly do this our of obedience to Him. It is clear that we are to submit freely, by our personal choice, not because our husbands have somehow forced us to do so.


· 1Peter3 commands us that “Wives in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe in the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes, Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”


· While women are expected to be submissive to their husbands, it is not as part of an authoritarian order. A proper woman is capable of being independent when needed, she simply defers when their interests conflict out of her love for God and her husband.


· The open and often tyrannical domination of a marriage by the husband is not a relationship functioning as the Lord intended. God expects the husband to love and cherish his wife. The man is expected to love and care for his wife - not to dominate, humiliate or abuse her as an extension of his wife’s submission (which he has twisted into his domination of the marriage). Men are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves his bride (the church). Christ led the church through “servant leadership”. He led by example and was more than willing to make large sacrifices of himself for the good of the church. Men should lead their wives in the same way.


· 1Peter3 continues: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker parter and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”


· Biblically, there is no basis for a woman serving as a pastor over men. The languages used for the writing of the New Testament (Greek and Aramaic) are very accurate and specific. There is nothing debatable about “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1Timothy 2:12-13)


· The presence of women in prominent roles where men refused to obey God is not license for women today to usurp men’s positions within the body. As a specific example, the main point of the Song of Deborah is not “that she was a woman who was a Judge therefore God calls women just like men”. The point of the Song of Deborah is that Barak refused to obey God when he was commanded to lead the people into victory over the enemy and God chose to use women to humiliate him. (Read ALL of Judges 4-5)


· Women are expected to respect God’s order by remaining silent in service (if she receives a word, it should be initially run past her husband and then on to a pastor, rather than going directly to the pastor). For it is commanded in 1Corinthians34-35 “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”


· There is no basis for the belief that the above points mean that women are expected by God to be trembling little mice, or that they should play no role in church other than as Sunday School teachers and Jell-O mold makers. God grants all of His gifts to women just as He does to men.


· Women like men are expected to fulfill the roles God assigns to them (including visible roles within the church, such as prophesy, evangelism and other ministries). Women are often called to ministry. To deny them the right to operate as God called, is to deny the deity of God Himself. We all are aware that women can pray as well as men. That women can, and do, prophesy, speak in tongues and evangelize.


· It is part of God’s desire that women devote themselves primarily to their role as wife and mother and that outside activities are secondary to this.


· The sexual revolution, abortion and birth control have combined to reduce the sanctity and importance of the role of women as mothers and also to reduce the importance of the role of the father beyond conception.


· God expects us to live by His standards and not those of the world around us.


· The writings of Paul while written to specific churches are meant to serve as guidelines for all churches to protect against spreading heresies and to emphasize the importance of Christians distinguishing their behavior from that of the world around them.


· You cannot remove the writings of Paul from the Bible.


· You can not write off the restriction of women within the church as the rantings of Paul. That women are submissive is throughout the Bible, beginning in Genesis (where Eve was created to complete Adam and serve as his helpmeet). Even in the New Testament, Paul is not the only author that require women to be submissive. Peter actually wrote the strictest requirements for women’s behavior.


· God has not changed. He does not change. We are the ones that change. What God expected of us when the Bible was written is what he expects of us today and what he will expect of our great great grandchildren two hundred years in the future.


· Because God does not change, it is impossible to “grow” or “evolve” to a point where we are exempt from the commands of the New Testament.


· Men are expected to love their wives, not to submit to them.


· That men have chosen to abdicate their leadership roles within the church is as much a sin as women’s choosing without the Lord’s guidance to usurp men’s roles. God from the beginning told men that they were supposed to lead the family and that they were supposed to hold the authority roles in the church. I firmly believe that if men were to realize their sin and begin to lovingly take their proper place again, there would be less room for the sins of “religious feminism”.


· There is a particular scripture frequently quoted by feminists as backing their position: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28). This use of this scripture points out the dangers of quoting scriptures out of context. Even a cursory, superficial reading of the full chapter reveals that what is being discussed is access to salvation, not the right to hold office in the church or the status of particular groups within church, family or society.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity and Feminism-Are They Compatible?    Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:50 pm

This was all very well put and is something about the bible that has always given me pause as in my church and many others there are female leaders, pastors and such. When I ask the more knowledgeable on the matter it gets chalked up as cultural difference between now and then. To me this has not satisfied my concerns. Now to be be clear I believe men and woman to be equal in most ways and each have some superior qualities over the other gender. God made us complementary for a reason. I mean the events in the bible took place thousands of years before our society and if we are gonna dismiss one thing as cultural why not another. It's a slippery slope to me. I would love to hear others views in this matter.

P.S. As for the last paragraph...beware...many scriptures are taken out of context. That's why we all need to get intimate with the WORD.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity and Feminism-Are They Compatible?    Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:29 am

Once, I was sitting in class during my undergraduate days and a discussion about the equality of men and women came about. Normally, I keep pretty quiet in class, but my professor was a huge feminist, so I couldn't help myself. She claimed men and women were the same in every way. I intimated that men and women were equal but different. The entire class, especially the men, were vigorously nodding their heads in agreement with me as the professor proceeded to try to argue why I was wrong. College can be very frustrating for a Christian unless they're attending a Christian school. I stopped bothering with professors' crazy ideas after that, focused on the curriculum, and ignored the rest, because if you are a conservative Christian, there's no way you're going to change their minds.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity and Feminism-Are They Compatible?    Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:32 am

Agreed, but it is still something I would like to be able to credibly and confidently be able to answer. If I was a skeptic I would rip that hole apart.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity and Feminism-Are They Compatible?    Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:02 am

I want to encourage every single Christian to read the book "Why not women?" written by Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton.
This book answered my most sincere plight to the Holy Spirit to give me the wisdom that I need in this matter. I read this book and cried. I had a lifelong struggle against my calling, but now I am free to serve the Lord as equel with men who have the same calling. My dream is to write my own book on this topic.
This is a quote from the book "Why not women?":
"Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross (of Jesus). They had never known a man like this Man-there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them as "The women, God help us!" or "The ladies, God bless them!"; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously;who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything "funny" about women's nature."
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity and Feminism-Are They Compatible?    Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:53 pm

I'll have to add that one to my list.

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