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Dave - coming out as a Feminist

Hi, I’m David and I am a feminist. This title might have confused you. How can a man be a feminist right? Wrong.

People have a warped views of feminist thinking its a group of crazy woman who hate men. Here is the real definition: “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.”

Gender inequality saddens me. I am currently in Rwanda and I was travelling on a public bus on my way back from a place called Butare with two of my friends. On the way home at the side of the road we saw a man and a woman fighting. The man throwing some vicious blows. I felt so angry and outraged seeing this. A man overpowering and laying down dominance and superiority over his wife, in what world is this ok?

The sad answer to that is this one, sadly even the church play a part. What do I mean by that? Well one of the biggest divisions in the church today is the role women are allowed to play within it. The sad thing is that this action is just as bad as that man beating up his wife. See the principles are the same or very similar. We oppress woman, we lay down dominance over them that they can do the easier tasks, they aren’t able to do the other things that men can do. This then causes culture that men are superior. This has been happening for years, it’s not just part of today’s culture but it goes all the way back to the time of Jesus and beyond.

The good news is that Jesus affirmed woman many times, he invited Mary to sit with male disciples to study and converse. (Luke 10:38-42) He broke social expectations when he sat at a well with a Samaritan woman and extended love and acceptance. (John 4:4-26) He broke rabbinical laws when a woman who was bleeding touched him.(Matthew 9:20-22) Paul also makes a massive statement in Galatians 3:28 that in Christ, the religious hierarchy that differentiates men and woman has been abolished. This is amazing isn’t it?

The sad thing is, I hear 1 Timothy 2:11-15 so much, people use this to debate that woman shouldn’t be teachers or preachers in church. What? So why did Jesus do all he did if his plan all along was for woman to be quiet? This way of thinking is a prime example of taking scripture out of context, also it is dehumanising our sisters in Christ. Why would we want to miss out on half of the amazing gifts God has given to us?

The Bible is full of powerful women, prophets, leaders, disciples. There are books written about women. We trust women as doctors, pilots, scientists, social-workers but not as pastors or church leaders? What is wrong with us?

— Dave Paterson —

Women are in the centre of the gospels, they are some of the first evangelists to proclaim the resurrection and are some of the most significant disciples. (Luke 8:1-3) They were the ones who remained at the cross when all the men left. What’s also known is in the early church women rose to key leadership positions. Again the Bible is packed to the brim about women and how God wanted them as equals! Why do we as a church miss this?

Where do you stand on this? Maybe go back to God and ask him to share his heart with you on this issue, see what he has to say. I have a feeling you may look at the Bible differently if you allow God to share his heart on this issue but only if you truly allow him. Galatians 3 v 28 'There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'

This blog was originally posted by Dave Paterson on his own blog site here and is reproduced here with his kind permission.

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