The ‘F’ word

[This is part of a series of sorts on topics that all seem scary to me. I think they are confusing and hard and complicated. Enjoy. :) ]

Feminism is not simple.

Feminists, (despite what some people might have you believe), are not all wild women who want to take over the world.

Oh, and btw, those who hold tightly to complementarian theology, (despite what some people might have you believe), are not all misogynistic or obsessed with keeping women ‘in their place’.

Scripture is clear: men and women are equal. (Genesis 1:27, 1 Cor 11:11-12…)

I think there is work to be done in helping the world, and even the Church, catch up on male and female equality.

I know a girl who was raped a few weeks ago, and she believes that it is her fault because she had been drinking.

I lead women who frequently wrestle with submitting to me because they aren’t really sure that women can be as competent as men.

Every time I cry in front of a man, I have to gospel myself through my fear that I have sabotaged my usefulness and become a burden.

I think many of us still struggle to embrace the deep truths that men and women are equal in value and worth. There is much empowering to be done.

Scripture is clear: men and women are not the same. (Ephesians 5, Genesis 2…)

They have different parts to play in this glorious script laid out before us.

I know that it doesn’t fit in our culture to believe that different roles doesn’t equal different values, but I have to trust God, that He’s not kidding when He says that we’re equal and that He’s not kidding when He says He made us for different functions.

He did – after all – make us in His image.

His image – after all – is made up of three different persons who are all absolutely equal.

The Spirit has a role to play, the Son has His part, and they both submit to the father.

I hope I would die for the truth that God is three persons; each unique in role and function.

I hope I would die for my belief that the Spirit, Father & Son are equal in value – in essence and worth.

And this is why I am willing to grasp the seemingly inconsistent words of my father: equal; different.

I am spending my life to demonstrate who God is to this world around me. I believe that is my function. I believe it is the function of this whole world: to display the truth of our complex and glorious God. So, even though it is confusing, I will hold fast to my belief that men and women are equal, and yet distinct. I will take my lead on our roles from the places the Scripture is explicit.

God forbid I distort that image of God because I am grasping for sameness under the guise of fighting for equality.

Comments

  1. Brandi McFerran says:

    Fabs- Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I just discovered your blog, but I’ve been reading through some of your posts and find it really refreshing and theologically sound- yay! This post describes the tension between feminism and Christianity perfectly: faithful living for women in a subculture that can often be discriminatory towards either egalitarians or complementarians. I’m fresh out of college and still learning how to engage my fellow Christians in respectful discussion. Do you think it’s possible to be a feminist and a Christian? Sometimes it’s hard to explain to my Christian brothers that I truly am following Christ as a feminist, but it’s such a loaded topic that as soon as they hear the words “feminism” or “gender inequality,” they turn deaf. Sometimes I struggle with my beliefs, even though I know they are God-inspired, because I worry that being vocal when I see injustice (i.e. rape culture, shaming, derision towards female pastors) will cause others to perceive me as being less competent or unfaithful. I feel like the danger of feminism is that it can become an idol or religion all of its own, but I sincerely believe that the message of feminism- equality- has a prophetic edge that Christians today in our culture would be wise to consider. How might you address some of these issues? Anyway, I’m all over the place. Thanks for listening!

    • fabsharford says:

      Brandi! Great thoughts/questions. With all these kinds of issues there is work to be done on both sides. Our culture is changing fast. I have NO idea what it looks like to address these issues without being misunderstood. I just know that I’m going to wrap my arms around His word and hold on as tight as I can. I love your heart. Thanks for sharing.

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