#ThingsChristiansNeedToHearAboutWomen

Just over two weeks ago, feminist Christian author Sarah Bessey started a Twitter thread using the tag: #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear. Her aim was to highlight the male privilege that she believes exists within some Christian communities. Since then, many women have also taken to Twitter to share their own experiences with misogyny in the church…

But if the people who have said these things actually opened their Bibles, they’d see that their outlooks on women don’t exactly line up with it. Rather, they’d find that the Bible is filled with proof that God cherishes women just as much as men. Both sexes are equally loved and valued. Here are just a few simple examples I could think of:

1. Men and women were created equally:
In the creation story, it says that God created all of mankind – both men AND women – in his image (reference is Genesis 1:27 – look it up). Being created in God’s image makes men superior to the creations that were not created in God’s image, such as animals and plants – not women. If both sexes were created equally, then surely both sexes must be valued equally.

2. Men and women are valued equally:
Since creation, God’s view of gender has not changed. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile…nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” is a literal sentence in the Bible (reference is Galatians 3:28 – look it up). It proves that to Christ, your nationality, and sex, are not a concern. There is no discrimination. He only cares about how you treat him.

3. Jesus loved women:
This is the real story in Matthew 26:6-13: Just before Jesus was crucified, he praised a woman for her good deed towards him and rebuked the twelve male disciples who tried to shame her (despite living in a culture/era when women were not respected much). He then proclaimed that the woman would go on to be a beautiful example for ALL Christians. It doesn’t really sound like men are superior Christians here, does it?

4. The Bible calls us to praise godly women:
Proverbs 31:30 literally tells people that women who honor God are to be praised, proving God’s desire to see women joyfully acknowledged, encouraged and built-up (by all people – including men). And just before that verse, these women are beautifully described as having admirable strength, confidence, dignity and wisdom.

5. Men AND women are called to do God’s work:
According to every single one of the gospel accounts, women were the very first people to discover Jesus resurrected. Instantly, they understood the situation and boldly undertook the all-important task of being the first to tell other people about it (AKA the task that lead to this slightly massive thing called “Christianity”). It shows that God has given intellect and bold, useable voices to women as well as men.

There’s no bible verse that limits women to the role of “pastor’s wife”. Has nobody read about the just, powerful and ‘gets-things-done’ Judge Deborah? Or the brave, selfless and heroic Queen Esther? Or Lois and Eunice, whose faith was so noticeably sincere, even in the absense of male rolemodels? Rahab? Abigail? Based on these Bible passages, it’s clear that the God of Christianity values women just as much as men. So why are there Tweets about Christians who are clearly against doing the same?

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1 Comment

  1. If both sexes were created equally, then surely both sexes must be valued equally.
    But man was created from the ground, and woman was created from the man’s rib/side – so man has authority over women because they were made differently / at different times / with different roles in which men have authority over women and not the other way ’round.

    There is neither Jew nor Gentile…nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” is a literal sentence in the Bible (reference is Galatians 3:28 – look it up); right, but they say that’s only talking about salvation, anyone can be saved, but men are still men and women are still women even when they’re saved and having a gender comes with a role with specific duties.

    It doesn’t really sound like men are superior Christians here, does it?
    It doesn’t matter, even the worst man is better than the best women because Isaiah 3 says that women leading is a curse, and Deborah was only set up as a leader because there was no man good enough for the job. Fortunately, modern Christianity has so many good men leading that God will never have to call upon a woman to be a curse and lead the men.

    It shows that God has given intellect and bold, useable voices to women as well as men.
    Which women are to use as the help who are subordinate to men who have the role of leadership.

    Of course God values, loves, respects, and cherishes women, he’s God and he does it perfectly. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and his ways are higher than our ways. So he has a perfectly legitimate reason for subordinating women to men which is beyond our understanding.

    (// turns off that way of thinking)

    When you’re born and raised in certain Evangelical spheres, everything the Bible says can have a twisted interpretation that sounds totally logical and correct because that’s what your pastor preaches from the pulpit as solid Biblical teaching and is in accord with your denominational beliefs and traditions. When you question what you’re being taught, you question the very Word of God itself. You wouldn’t believe how many of the Tweets I could nod and say: “Yep, that one happened to me. I heard that message. That one, too. And this other one as well …” The best explanation seems to be that in an effort to be biblical to exacting standards, making ancient rules apply to our modern context, new rules and ideas were written base off of Biblical teachings and were added to to clarify what the Bible originally meant.

    I remember one day a young man was leading a Bible Study on the history of the Bible and the story of it’s composition. I raised my hand for the first time and brought up some brilliant point that blew everybody away. After that lesson, an elderly woman sitting next to me leaned over and said: “You’ve got to marry that young man leading the Bible Study, you’re the only one smart enough to give him a run for his money.” I decided to take the compliment that I was smart as the important part of her comment and ignore the part where she decided for me that I ought to up and get married because all Christians in her circle tend to think of marriage as the cure-all for everything. The thing of it all is, for those who haven’t experienced this darkside of evangelicalism, it’s easy to miss that’s the reality of what’s going on – it’s not exactly as if it’s written down in the Bible, but teachings like “you’re damaged goods if you’re not a virgin when you marry” persist at the off-the-cuff pastor teaching a group level and that’s the source of a great many tweets – not in the Bible, but a part of the evangelical culture.

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