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Posts Tagged ‘are women second class citizens in Christianity?’

Seth_AndrewsIf you haven’t thought it yourself, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard someone say it: women are second-class citizens in Christianity.

That’s certainly the opinion of Seth Andrews, who grew up in a Christian home and is now a leading atheist.

If Seth is right, then you certainly don’t want to give any serious thought to this faith.

So is he right? Rather than enduring the words of an old white guy like me, I’ll offer you the answers of three women who saw the graphic that inspired this essay and are happy to explain why they are serious followers of Jesus Christ.

CHANTELLE OSBORNE: What If I said I didn’t feel belittled by Christianity and the Bible, but empowered? Empowered to redefine femininity from how society and the media too often define women: as sex objects who need to maintain a certain physical appearance to be accepted.

As a Christian, I am empowered to embrace my uniqueness – that God has created me different from men with a unique perspective.

Jesus’ trust and confidence in women was evident during Bible times and still is as Christian women throughout history have sometimes had the courage and conviction to accomplish things that men have not.

DEBBIE FLETCHER: If you look at how Jesus treated women, you will see that far from denigrating them, Jesus defied the prevailing views of the day by noticing, listening to and respecting women.

In the presence of Jesus, women were valued and given a voice. (See two accounts of Jesus’ life, called “Luke” and “John”). Furthermore, through Jesus’ sacrificial death on a Roman cross, men and women were brought together as equals.

In the Bible, an early Christian missionary named Paul wrote a letter to a church and said that because of what Jesus had accomplished through His death and resurrection, the distinction between classes of people had been removed.

“There is now neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote.

In fact, Paul tells Christian men that they should “go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting”. This is the farthest thing from being denigrated; this is being given a value beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

DORIS FLECK: Early in the Bible, we see that God created man and woman in His image. They are set as equals. Women play prominent roles throughout the Bible and even feature in Jesus’ genealogy, which is unusual because the culture of that time did not look highly on females.

When Jesus was physically on earth, women could not receive an education and had no voice in their marriage. Jewish men were not supposed to talk to a woman in public. If they did, it was considered a shame. But Jesus of Nazareth created controversy by swimming against the stream (for evidence, check out “John”, one of the accounts of His life). He gave great honour to women.

Author Philip Yancey comments, “For women and other oppressed people, Jesus turned upside down the accepted wisdom … Jesus violated the customs of his time in every encounter with women recorded in the four [Bible accounts of His life].”

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So there you have it. Does this cause you to rethink your ideas about Christianity? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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