Thoughts on Christianity & Gender Roles
Being a woman can be pretty complicated sometimes.
Then again, I’m friends with men, and they say they’re also getting mixed messages from their culture and churches, telling them how to be Real Men in the latest popular way.
I have to conclude that being a human isn’t easy.
Gender wars and oppression and subversion and silencing and lies and mistrust and and stereotypes and power abuses are rampant into our human history. And they’re woven in Christian history. Some people argue that because they’re traditional, they should stay. But gender limitations don’t belong in the Church we’re building, the Church we’re inviting our children to build.
I don’t see any Good News in the Bible about giving the status quo a new coat of paint and dealing with it.
I don’t see any victory in a Kingdom enforcing injustice on each other and calling it good.
I don’t see any of Jesus’s actions championing cultural norms or gender roles.
I see Jesus starting again and again with the oppressed, the socially useless, the ignored: inconsistent fishermen, chronically ill beggars, hardened tax collectors, doubting men, and suspicious women. And it’s from there, having intentionally made those choices in people, that He sets the world aright. Not because he sanctioned their positions, but because he asked them to step beyond those labels and life-long behaviors into something completely different.
Something that will accelerate peaceful revolution to all areas of society, even in the Church today, if we let it.
Something that excites my heart even two thousand years later:
God’s Spirit is on me;
God has chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free, to announce ‘This is God’s year to act!’ [luke 4, the message]
God has acted! And God is acting! As in right now: in our world, in our cities, in our churches, in our schools, in our hearts, in men and women.
Let’s join in with no limitations and no fear,
trusting that the God who knit us together as individuals is not
interested in stopping us when we get too close to a gender line, but
that our full diversity and equality is a powerful Kingdom.