Be the Change You Want to See in the World

Kathy Escobar – wrote a post recently about how much influence the church has in our culture.  that resonates for me –

when it comes to church, i firmly believe that the “best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.”  at the same time, i think it’s sometimes worth calling out its inconsistencies when it comes to the so-contrary-to-the-non-oppressive-ways-of-Jesus as a reminder and to gain resolve & clarity on why we feel so passionate about change.

yes, i recognize “the church” is a flawed system made up of imperfect human beings.

it also has an incredible ability to influence people…when it comes to issues of equality and inequality, this means a helluva lot of people are being influenced to believe in complementarian theology and practice.  so many sit in the pews and nod their head when they hear about biblical manhood & womanhood and how men just need to step up and be the head of their households and women just need to support them properly…

Working on “Resignation of Eve” has put me in the middle of this conversation in a way I haven’t been for a while – maybe since the 1970s and 1980s. It seems like my awareness is up and I am bumping into examples of gender bias “everywhere”. For me, it seems like things have gotten worse in the church in the past 10 years as it relates to gender equality.

I love this quote of Margaret Meade’s, “every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.”

Both men and women have been put into a box. Limitations and expectations have been put on both genders. It doesn’t seem to matter to the church or our culture whether that role fits the individual or not. People are being punished for being who God made them to be.

I would have thought the Church would be leading the way in inviting people to use their God-given gifts and talents as “God calls them to serve,” not as “man” calls them to serve.

And one last thing, people disparage feminists.  Let’s be clear about the definition of feminism is:

“Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.[1][2] In addition, feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.”

By that definition, I am proud to say I am a feminist.  I am not asking for “more than” only equal.


Be the Change You Want to See in the World — 1 Comment

  1. I so appreciate the sentiment here, and I don’t think this is what you meant by “be the change,” but I am exhausted at trying to be anybody else’s change.

    My church recently “took a stand” on women’s roles in leadership, and is doing a video “Bible” study based upon the movie Courageous. I had to leave.

    I’m done. I tried to be the change for 2 years. I thought I was friends with the men in leadership, that I was a key leader myself. These decisions were made behind closed doors, and although I was a public egalitarian and good friend of the pastor, no one told me or asked me or any other women in the church, other than the wives of the men involved (who will be the new Elder Board).

    This same cycle happened at the church I attended in the last place I lived – dynamic church, explosive growth, pseudo-non-denominational (you didn’t find out there was a denomination until you got in pretty deep), lots of young people. A couple of years later, sermons about marriage and man/womanhood followed by a “stance” excluding women from leadership.

    You can’t be the change when no one wants you or listens to you. The patriarchal model is an “against” stance, there’s no space for disagreement.

    I’m starting to think that this is the battle churches choose to fight to have something to fight The Culture about.

    Our culture is not feminist. Our culture is Kardashians and Twilight and internet porn – women are objects, we are worthless and helpless without a man, it does not matter if we are smart, as long as we are pretty and “sweet.” Our culture is misogynist. Let’s stand against that culture, not the made-up one of fanged feminists.

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