When women urge their society to consider them as equals they are often labeled “feminist”. I hate that word. It does nothing but create negative feelings inside of me. However, I understand why it has been necessary. In fact, it’s my own fault I have to experience those feelings related to the term; for I have subjected women for thousands of years. Therefore, here is my “manly plea” to the Church.
I don’t understand the problem people have with what the bible says about women. I think what Paul says about men and women is revolutionary. I think Paul would have hated the word “feminist” too. He does strike me as the type. But I think he would understand why it was necessary.
The subjection of women within the Bible reflects the dominant belief of the culture at the time. Paul’s insistence that women stay obedient does not reflect God’s law, but the established cultural axiom of the day. Why would Paul make such a claim if it had nothing to do with God’s will for the churches to whom he was writing? Simply put, to rearrange one’s social structure would draw the attention of the Romans who at the time were persecuting Christians. Paul’s main concern is that Christians should stay modest, humble and obedient to Christ.
The fact that Paul appears to promote the subjection of women was not revolutionary; that was normal. Women had been viewed not much different from property. Even Aristotle compares women to animals. No, this is not revolutionary. What’s revolutionary is when Paul demands that husbands love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Wow. Has that just been completely ignored or what? I am curious, given how men have treated women for the last 2,000 years in the church, how this has been even remotely Christ-like behavior?
Perhaps most interesting is why Paul had to make these statements in the first place. What audacity women must have had during this time; that as a result of becoming a follower of Christ they would feel as though they were free; that they were loved; that they were human.
No, let me submit that it is men who have adorned themselves with the arrogance that accompanies power. In what way have men earned this power? Has it not been handed to him by society? In time periods where power is synonymous with physical strength it is clear why men have been the leaders of society – because they are brutes.
Thank God we live in a world now where the primary capital of our society is intellectual. And thank God we have women who can help us carry that burden. It’s too bad we still don’t let them.
I am sad when I think about the brutal history of men in society. I am sad to think that throughout history schools of philosophy and theology do not have a strong female voice. I am sad because I know my faith would be stronger and my thinking clearer with their voices. I am sad because I know that the state of the church would be better today than it is now.
The true test of men’s arrogance is in thinking they are intellectually superior to women. If Christian men really believed women “complimented” them, then they would understand the need they have for a woman to complete them; instead of being under them. They would understand that their need for women is more than just sex or to be a baby repository.
To my sisters:
My dear sisters in the Lord, it is with a heavy heart that I find the need to apologize for the unimaginable brutality you have faced for thousands of years. Let me assure you that this was not God’s will, it was the will of men. In Christ you have freedom, but we have demonstrated brutality and slavery. In Christ you are loved, but we have only demonstrated lust and objectification. You have worth and value; and that worth and value is not given to you by your husband or anyone else, it is what you have inherited by serving the Lord.
As a Christian man, I urge you to no longer hide behind a veil of shame, but rid yourself of such coverings and experience the freedom and responsibility that comes with being a follower of Jesus. The good news of Christ is that he died for you too.
I urge you with all of my being to understand that God has a will for your life, and that will is not predicated on your marital status or your role within a marriage.
If God has convicted you to preach, teach or lead, then do it. You are failing God and humanity if you consider anything else. To be in denial about the passions that God has placed in your life, and the ministry you feel He has called you to (which is more than just your family), is to deny your womanhood, the sacrifice of Christ, and ultimately your humanity.
You are more than your husband and your identity is in Christ; for there is no one except Christ who stands in the way of knowing God (and that includes your husband).
To my brothers:
You are only half a man if you don’t understand that you are in need of being made complete. And you are ignorant if you think that being complete is something that you can accomplish by simply being a man or being a Christian man.
Please, men of God, I urge you to be humble and understand the sin that has been hidden in your hearts. I urge you to use your strength for good and not evil. I urge you to understand how a Godly woman can make you a better man; not as one to show off and be admired, but as one who completes you.
To all within the Church
I urge you all to take action. To get rid of pharisaical rules about women that do nothing but promote the subjection of other believers. By not doing this, you are not just subjugating women, but you are denying women the right to be fully human; and by doing this you are not only denying the goodness of God, but you are subjugating Christ himself. For in him