For many reasons, feminism and the question of true Biblical feminity has been on my mind. A recent post by Dan over at Life on Wings touching on this issue has got me thinking even more, so I'm finally taking the plunge and putting some of my thoughts out here. Feel free to engage me openly and even be hostile if you like.
Hmmm. I'm about to set out into stormy seas. Being a woman, I will always be suspected--whether in conversation or how I behave (or what I write here haha), there will always be a man thinking that I'm a feminist. That dirty hateful word. It's almost the worst insult I can think of, aside from 'woman'. I hate the fact that I am afraid to say what I really think, or to disagree with a man, especially my husband, on anything at all--afraid of being judged as 'one of those women'. Of course, this fear doesn't stop me from saying what I think.
I wanted to open the discussion on whether we think male cheuvenism is really dead or not in the subculture of complimentarian Christianity, and is feminism a major threat to the church. I am still a complimentarian, but I would like to begin really believing that women are equal, not below, men. I realize that bringing up this topic will tempt some people to question whether I'm a feminist. That's my point I guess. How did we get to this place where we are always looking for feminists? Are they really our greatest enemies or could it be that feminists are people too? I'm not sure these labels are helping us love people.
It worries me that the conservative church has focused so much energy toward fighting those outside of themselves. With all the attention focused on feminists and homosexuals, are we perhaps missing some even more dangerous problems within our own camp, such as legalism, self-righteousness, and pride? I'm asking these questions honestly to myself, and I'm becoming ashamed at how easily I've judged people I don't even know without having true compassion. I'm certainly not advocating ignoring what Scripture says about these areas, but maybe it's time to look at our own hearts and see if there's anything besides knowledge in there, like love.
I don't honestly believe that feminism is close to being the most dangerous issue the church is facing today (though it's certainly a problem in some segments of the western church). I appreciate Wayne Grudem's reluctance to label it as one of the biggest issues faced by today's church in a recent interview with Adrian Warnock. Feminism is a response (yes, a sinful response) to the lack of love and grace in the church. (I think if we want to destroy and prevent sinful feminism in the church, then we might begin by teaching men to love and respect women.) I think the greatest threat to the church is pharisaical arrogance and legalism.
Where are the great men of God rising up to speak out against this? Well, there are a few that I know of, and definately some that I don't know of. Men like Terry Virgo (see his book God's Lavish Grace or any of his sermons on grace) and Rob Rufus ( I highly recommend his 5 part sermon series The Grace Hating Spirit,see 2004 series). But I'm praying for many many more. Maybe the loudest message the world should be hearing from us is that 'Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst'