Feminism is, unfortunately, the proverbial fly in the soup that is the church. When you see it, it spoils the whole batch, and it sickens you to your stomach. Part of the problem is that no one really sees it for what it really is, so no one really points it out as an issue. I am reminded of this whenever I have a conversation with my wife in which her opposition to something is “because your a man”. A good example would be if I were to make the statement “I don’t think it’s a sin for a man to look at a beautiful woman and think she is beautiful, even if she is in a bathing suit, or even naked.” (referencing, perhaps, art). Her response would be “well of course you would think that, because your a man.”. Feminism has attempted to make men and women equal by saying there are no differences between the two except those imposed by society. If society can delete those differences then true equality can be reached. This same sentiment seems to be rampant amongst the church, as both men and women seek to delete the differences between the two sexes put in place by God.
Christianity is a patriarchal venture, of that there is no doubt. God is our father, Jesus is his son. God gave man dominion over the earth. He made woman for man, and gave man authority over woman (his wife). He says man should not be put under the authority of a woman and the majority of figures He uses to accomplish His work in the bible are men (with some exceptions, of course, but when you make the rules, you can make the exceptions as well).
Modern Christian men and women work hard to eliminate the differences in the sexes by marching out feminist mantra without even recognizing it. Case in point: my wife. Without realizing it she is attempting to negate men and women by building on the idea that men and women have no difference in the eyes of God. Though the bible does say that:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
but this refers to the kingdom of heaven, as the bible makes clear distinctions between male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free while on the earth. The conversation I had with my wife shown above doesn’t really explain well how this works, but another one of our conversations does – the conversation on male headship. It typically looks like this:
- I believe that when the bible says that women are to submit to their husbands in EVERYTHING, it means EVERYTHING. From big decisions to small, from buying a car to what color to paint the walls: EVERYTHING means EVERYTHING.
- My wife believes Paul (who wrote the instruction for wives to submit to their husbands) hated women and that EVERYTHING does not mean EVERYTHING.
- I tell her that her belief does not coincide with scripture.
- She responds: “Of course you think that, your a man.”
The implication, of course, is that me, being a man, would benefit from MY interpretation of scripture (a literal interpretation) so naturally I would say that MY interpretation (which is not an interpretation at all, but a literal reading) is correct. In her mind it has nothing to do with the fact that I am reading THE EXACT WORDS FROM THE SCRIPTURE. Unfortunately a lot of Christian men would tell me the same thing, or give me some excuse as to why any scriptures placing men above women are no longer relevant. By doing this they are doing twofold damage. Not only are the disregarding the word of God, but they are essentially dropping their responsibility of authority. If we look into the word, we can see how God views those who shirk their authority:
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
We see here in these verses a servant who was given responsibility and authority over the money his master had given him. Rather than use that authority as he was supposed to he squandered it and took the easy road by burying what he had been given, thus ditching his responsibility and the authority given him. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather hear “well done, good and faithful servant’ rather than “you wicked, lazy servant!”.
What then is the solution? How do we combat the rising tide of feminism in the church when those who are supposed to be fighting it don’t even see it! Even if it were exposed, these men and women would likely have you thrown out on your ear before believing that the word says what it means, and doesn’t need an ‘interpretation’. They get indignant at any mention of women being subject to men in ALL things. An interesting little story to go with that is this:
I was recently at a Tuesday night men’s group and we were discussing Abram and Sarai and their travels through Egypt. Now our group isn’t very big, maybe six to eight guys, but there is one guy who I am slightly familiar with, who is very quiet. I have spoken to him before during his very first visit to the men’s group (I had actually not been visiting the group for quite some time. This was, maybe, my second or third visit since returning, but my first time seeing him again in over a year or so) and I know him to be a somewhat meek person.
Anyhow, as we were talking we, naturally, arrived at the part of the book where Abram tells his wife to lie and tell everyone she is his sister so he doesn’t get killed. The pharaoh of Egypt takes a fancy to her and takes off with her to become his bride. He gives Abram a bunch of gifts (likely to pay for Sarai, as he thought she was Abrams sister) and is very likely on the way to marrying her when the Lord inflicts him and his household with ‘serious disease’. It doesn’t say how the pharaoh finds out, but word gets out that Sarai is Abrams wife and pharaoh, naturally, gets bent out of shape and tells Abram to get his things and get out of dodge.
During our discussion on this I had mentioned that during the entire story we never hear anything about Sarai spilling the beans on her husband (though now that I think about it, it may have been her that eventually told the pharaoh, but it doesn’t say for sure). She goes along with his plan in obedience even to the point that they pharaoh had paid her dowry and NOWHERE DOES IT SAY SHE SPOKE A WORD. Being held up in the new testament as a example of faith and obedience I stated that she did as her husband had told her, likely relying on her faith in God to resolve the situation, but still maintaining her obedience to her husband as she should.
Well the quite guy couldn’t handle that. Despite having not said a single word the entire evening beyond ‘hi’ he immediately spoke up in her defense, stating that there was no way he could see a woman behaving like that.
Now before we could go further the group leader moved us on to the next set of verses, but I tell this story as an example of the reactions received from people in the church when you even hint at a woman being THAT submissive and obedient to her husband.
I guess it depends on what your definition of EVERYTHING is. Everything being everything, or everything being everything EXCEPT that.
“Yes,” the pastor replied, “and it looks like it’s doing the backstroke.”