This was meant to be a blog solely for my book reviews, I told myself about two years ago. I wanted to read books, review them online and then reach for my next read on my TBR pile. After all, I was a reader and that’s where my heart lay.
But then came the tv show reviews. And then came recipes. And now I feel like although this is a blog that I do mostly dedicate to my increasingly large reading pile, I do feel myself writing about other things that I am passionate about, like certain tv shows that pull on my heart strings and certain recipes that made me want to reach for forth and fifth portions. And so I feel like I need to write about an issue that I don’t feel like I can be silent about any longer.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a practicing and passionate Christian. But before I scare any readers off, I also should say that I am also a passionate liberal and feminist. In fact, when talking about a certain – let’s say delicate topic of gender equality at church – I fall squarely in the category of being an Egalitarian. If you’ve never heard of Egalitarianism, read this great article here which easily sums it up. But basically, it’s the belief that there are no assigned “roles” for men and women at church which are assigned by gender, but rather that our gifts and roles are given to us as a gift by the Spirit with no discrimination as to whether we are male or female.
And let me tell you, it is an absolutely beautiful truth that opened by eyes up about a year ago. It perfectly harmonizes with Scripture – yes, even those really horrible “sexist” passages (that aren’t actually at all sexist if you take into account the history, culture, context and language that they are all written in) and is actually better in sync with the grace and freedom-filled message that Jesus brought us than some of the watered-down patriarchal sour juice that certain traditional churches want to serve us as “the Truth” while all it does is hurts people – women and men.
Now I’m not here to argue hermeneutics, doctrine or Scripture. In fact, there are a bunch of fantastic websites that have great resources that dig right into the Greek language and perfectly summarize the historical context that made certain biblical writers write about certain issues. Here is a list of them if you want some in-depth studies:
And here’s the deal: No matter how you want to twist your words or how you want to sugarcoat them. No matter how often you emphasize the equality between men and women before God, as soon as you insert a universal hierarchy based solely on what gender you are born with, there automatically isn’t any equality in worth anymore, no matter how you try and turn it. That isn’t joy. Even if you find yourself in position where you are called for and love filling that traditional role God has given you, if it isn’t based on God’s plan for you personally, based on your strengths, weaknesses, passions, desires and gifts but on some crude hierarchy that is forced on you, then that isn’t freedom anymore.
“You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-24975A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the people.” (Luke 2:10, ESV)
“These things I have spoken to you, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26699A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>that my joy may be in you, and that <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26699B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>your joy may be full.” (John 15:11, ESV)
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-28282B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>of righteousness and <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-28282C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17, ESV)
God’s promises clearly include a state of joy (not happiness, which is different). And if you would take a good look around you, it’s easy to see that the complementarian teaching does not bring joy to each and every person. And like I said above, I’m not talking about a temporary state of unhappiness that is characterized by a rebellious heart or a temporary sadness that is caused by certain circumstances that God allows, but an actual absence of joy and peace. And to me, that clearly shows that complementarianism is not God’s true Will for women.