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Posts Tagged ‘Galatians 3:28’

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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Open DoorThe headline said ‘Extremism’s appeal for Canadian radicals’. That didn’t sway me to read the article in the National Post, one of Canada’s major newspapers. But what did intrigue me was the one-word “subhead”: ‘Superiority’.

A police officer, trying to figure out what was turning some young Canadians into violence-supporting radical Islamists, did extensive interviews with seven young Toronto men (six of them born in Canada) who fit the bill.

After the interviews, the officer came to the conclusion that they were deeply troubled men who, the reporter wrote, “found, in extremism, a reason to feel superior. In their minds, the had joined an exclusive fraternity that knew the truth. They weren’t losers after all; they were better than everyone else.”

Two things strike me about this:

1. The contrast of being a “loser” and feeling “superior”. Our culture loves nothing more than to constantly rank the value of people. It’s one of the main reasons that I decided to take my own radical turn and declare myself a follower of Jesus Christ.

Jesus followers know that we are neither losers nor superior. The evidence for this can be found in the Bible, in a section called ‘Galations’: “There is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.

This may not be important to many people, but I need that reminder for those times when I see someone do or say something stupid. That’s when the Bible reminds me that I, too, do and say stupid things. The key difference is that, as a follower of Jesus, I welcome Him into my life to make me more like Him. And He never did or said a single stupid thing.

2. Can there be a more obnoxious word in our dictionary than “exclusive”? It comes from the word “exclude” and when it comes to thinking about my brothers and sisters in the human race, I have trouble understanding what possible good can come from excluding anyone.

Now you might be thinking “Well, you Christians think you’re in an exclusive club, that only YOU get to go to Heaven.”

To that I write that yes, when I’m done with this life, I have a certainty about where I’m going and I feel sure that I’ll see other followers of Jesus there. My confidence comes from a section of the Bible simply called ‘John’: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost, but have eternal life.

But exclusive? Not on your life. There is no lock on the doors to Christianity. In fact, there are no doors at all. The way is wide open to anyone who wants to enter.

That openness is why I’ve written this essay – to invite YOU to enter and have your life changed for the better – now and for eternity – by Jesus. Will you accept the invitation? Yes or no, post your response below and let’s have a conversation.

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