Book of the Month: Gender Roles

I particularly like how the book of this month has been helpful in helping me reconcile my identities as a Christian and a feminist. This was also one of the books my friends got me! Aren't I lucky?

Of the many things I struggled with as a Christian, the one that shook me to my core and made me extremely uncomfortable was the [wrong] message that God created me (as a woman) to be inferior. That God created me simply to be “under the covering of a man”. I didn’t understand. And more recently, this became a prevalent notion. Even beyond gender imbalances and inequality in our secular society; I find that in the church and Christian communities, respected people of God keep claiming the woman has no say; that the woman was only created for the purpose of the man; that the woman is not allow to lead or preach in the church; that the woman is meant to submit; and that the man is the head. Of course, variants of these are somewhat true. Most are blatantly wrong.  It was everywhere, and so I begun my own personal research and I prayed hard to God to help me understand. I wanted to know God for myself (for one), but I also wanted the know the truth about the place of a woman. The thing with God is he really does answer prayers.

Most of what Taffi Dollar wrote in this book, I already knew. Because I found it in the word myself. I am glad someone with such authority wrote it though, and that more and more we are having this conversation.  I quit waiting for other people to tell me what the bible says and dug in myself.  And I found out about Deborah. I found out about Phoebe, Priscilla.  I  read about Mary, Martha; I read about Jesus's reverence for women. I saw how Peter called us equals; I saw where Paul declared no division, but only equals among followers of Christ; I saw Paul acknowledge strong women who contributed, strengthened, and LED the mission of spreading the gospel. Don't worry, this book touches on most of these. One of my favorite bible stories is in Numbers 27:  Zelophehad had just died, and only male sons were allowed to inherit properties of their fathers. Unfortunately for Zelophehad's children, they were all girls. So they went to Moses, Eleazer, the leaders, and the whole assembly to complain.  You can read the continuation of that story in the last paragraph here. But what God did through Moses in that instance was counter-culture. Because honestly, as this book  explains at length, and as the Bible reveals, Jesus was very counter-culture.

I heard that an author wrote a book saying if you are a feminist, you are not ready to get married. In that case I will never be ready. From the beginning of time, people have twisted the word of God for their own personal reasons. It's not surprising though. When a system benefits the oppressor, he does everything in his power to maintain status quo. Hell, American leaders used the Bible to justify the inhumane act of separating little babies from their parents. Centuries ago, people used the Bible to justify slavery. This book demystifies all that nonsense: in simple and plain words she shows what exactly Jesus said. I particularly love her analogy of the creation of Eve, and how the Greek version of the Bible refers to woman (Eve) and God with the same term, ezer. Is God then inferior? So much to say, so little the time. So read this book for a better understanding of who you are in Jesus, and read the Bible and do your own research yourself! It would suck to live your entire life thinking you are inferior to men or to your husband, or that you are so useless that God couldn't even muster up the energy to create you for a unique purpose, and that all he could do was serve you up to a man. Hell no.

I want to say, I stand by what I said in this post: I don't wander into people's marriages and what you do with your marriage is ultimately up to you. But in this society where you and I live, I will be damned if I accept that one man is superior to me because of the XY chromosomes. I am after all, wonderfully and fearfully made. I am the daughter of the most high God. Don't test me, please. 



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