February 9, 2009

The Christian Life and Women's Issues

As an effect of sin, humans are deeply driven toward autonomy, preferring to live independent of God’s authority instead of within the shelter of his divine sovereignty. This is the temptation to which Eve would surrender. Instead of a life dependent on God, she evaluated on the basis of her self-appointed authority that the fruit of the forbidden tree was beautiful and an acceptable source for knowledge and sustenance. God was no longer necessary in her new view of the world because she chose instead to believe the twisted words of the serpent, that she could “be like God” (Gen 3:5). She quickly dismissed the distinction between herself, the created, and the Creator.

When faced with difficult life circumstances, we are called to submit to God’s wisdom and authority and recognize our own insufficiency. It is true that scripture does not provide explicit answers for each and every situation, so while God’s normative method of self-disclosure is not through audible voice, studying God’s word is necessary to develop a biblical worldview that will enable godly reflection in the absence of obvious solutions. Trusting God in the midst of any degree of crisis is probably one of the the greatest challenges to living the Christian life.

Popular culture argues, on the other hand, that God, if he even exists, is irrelevant to just about everything. Religion, and specifically evangelical Christianity, is regarded as bigoted and narrow-minded, outside the scope of logic and reason. Christian truth claims are viewed as merely private values, but the “promise” of scientific progress and “hope” through human reason—with little room for ethical reflection—are believed to be neutral sources of information, and therefore, the source of truth for everyone. This way of thinking is dominant in the area of women’s issues and is wielding great influence on the lives of women inside and outside of the church.

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RosalieG said...

Thanks for this article.

This quote I also recently read, "A Barna research study has recently reported that 60% of all who attend church are women, and around 25% of those attend church without their husbands" popped into my mind a sentence before you inserted it!

A beef I have is while that statistic is across the church general, I'm sure there are individual churches where the percentage of women to men is much higher - maybe even 80% - 20%. (I was in one in BC that seemed to be that way). My beef is that it is laughable when these same churches have men on staff, and the women are in "volunteer roles", and usually of the "normative" nature, ie. children's ministry, nursery, women's ministry.

A church of 1500 my husband and I were at had staff in many positions but the woman's ministry leader was still volunteer. This church also didn't allow women on the board.

Sarah, how does your message get out when it is a group of men in the helm who dictate what is taught in the church?

On a personal note - the church we are now in is surprisingly full of men, albiet young men - many still single. I hope they don't lose their fervor as their situations change.

Sarah J. Flashing said...

Hi Rosalie! So glad you wrote! LOL about the stat. I'm glad I'm not the only one paying attention to those.

Part of the message I am trying to deliver is to pastors about how women's ministries are set up. Too many are launched by women, set aside by the pastors, and they are off doing their own thing...planning events and creating cliques. Women's ministry has got to find its commitment to developing women not only as women of God who are wives and mothers, but who are thinkers and teachers. So yes, I think addressing the stats and reacting some to the "feminization" of the church with a positive view of the numbers is a message that can reach male leadership...if a few of us talk about it some more.

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