A few days ago, the nation witnessed major cities hosting what is being called a women’s march. In a moment of humility, I must admit that I have a tendency to post highly controversial things across my social media accounts. I recognize that I ought not to be seen as quarrelsome; this is something I truly do not want to have as a piece of my identity. This is something I struggle with particularly because it’s most often fueled by a sincere righteous anger for God being misrepresented and mocked. There is no greater way to offend me.
I tried very hard to resist saying anything, but I couldn’t help it. On my Facebook wall I wrote:
“I, honestly, have no idea what this event is even about. Demanding basic human rights? Which ones do we not have? But whatever. Cool. That’s fine. But what I really find disheartening is the number of proclaimed Christians actively participating. What the heck are you doing??? I hope not being conformed to the world. I hope not being deceived, carried away, or tossed to and fro like a Spiritual infant by the philosophies and elemental spirits of this world.”
This post ended up with 58 “reactions” and nearly 200 comments (as well as a block from a “friend” and a few personal messages).
Maybe these people didn’t understand what I was saying. Recently someone shared a post by Sarah Bessey titled, On being a Christian and being a feminist… and belonging nowhere. This is how I knew beyond a doubt that these people (the individual who shared this being among my commenters) absolutely have no idea what I was saying. I want to take a moment to explain and I’d like to do it alongside Miss Bessey’s post.
Let me just start with the title of her article: “…and belonging nowhere.” First of all, I find it sorrowfully concerning that this Sarah gal neglects passages about unity in Christ. Chiefly, “Christian feminists” neglect identity in Christ. This isn’t just the problem feminists have. This is a problem with any social activist movement Christians are jumping on. We belong, alright. We should feel at home in the arms of Christ.
Sarah starts with this: “Jesus made a feminist out of me.”
No, he didn’t. You did.
Jesus Christ gave Peter a new name, not so he would be identified as something cooler, but to forsake that which he was and instead represent what he had become, in Christ. Peter, the rock on which God would build His Church. Saul dusted off his Jewish name when he determined to pursue the Gentiles in advancing the gospel and took his Latin name, Paul. Matthew did not go by Tax Collector. Thomas and Bartholomew did not go by Fishermen. Luke did not go by Doctor. These disciples, on the contrary, forsook their occupational identities and swapped them for full-time servanthood to Jesus Christ.
The term “Christian” was historically coined as something to mock “little Christs.” Let’s stick to Christian, or disciple, or servant, co-heir, daughter of the King, consecrated… shall I go on? But feminist? I don’t think that’s one of our God-given identities. Surely, one of this world’s.
Sarah clearly has beef with those who voted for Donald Trump who she calls “racist, sexist, xenophobic, protectionist, a serial philanderer, and corrupt.” I’ve noticed Christians love to, in the name of disunity, accuse other Christians of being judgmental. I find it curious that they will pluck verses from their context and use them as ammunition against their fellow brothers and sisters when many of these verses actually applied largely to judging non-believers (Trump).
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (Luke 6:37).
We cannot judge those outside our flock. They’re already condemned! We have a responsibility to rightly judge those within the flock.
Those who have truly been regenerated and also voted for Trump are not advocates of the sins Trump has committed. I will tell you now, I voted for Trump. This doesn’t mean I promote his actions. There were two names on my ballot. As a Christian, I went with the individual that had room for God in any of his policies and that’s the end of that story. There is room for a family unit as God designed. There is room for advocacy of life as God designed. There is an inclination toward government being what it ought to be: a sword protecting people against evil – not a source for handouts (funny, this should be the Church’s responsibility). Also… I like Nicholas Cage. And those who associate Christianity with the violent actions of the Ku Klux Klan or Crusaders (Roman Catholics) are grossly misinformed to believe these were regenerate, bible-believing, Christians.
I will agree with Sarah on this: “There are things Christians do that I find wrong and embarrassing and unholy and counter to the Gospel.” For me, her article is one of them, though I believe this was unintentional.
“There are things feminists do that I find wrong and embarrassing and unholy and counter to the cause.” Absolutely. I agree.
But this one… this one really gets me. Sarah write, “I’m not an apologist for Christianity. I’m not an apologist for feminism. I don’t feel fully at home in either label as they are understood by most of our society these days.” 1 Peter 3:15 says,
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
The common definition of apologetics is: “reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.” Sounds like we are COMMANDED to be apologists for Christianity. Furthermore, the Christian label is guaranteed to be misunderstood by our society. It’s not just a guarantee, it’s a promise (Luke 14:25-33; Matthew 10:17-27). That’s sort of the cost of discipleship you’re supposed to consider before calling yourself a Christian… taking up your cross, dying to yourself daily, and following Christ.
Sarah writes that most people live somewhere in between these labels. In regards to the identity of Christendom, living somewhere in between is called being lukewarm or an apostate and God spits that out of his mouth in disgust (Revelation 3:16).
Sarah does another thing throughout her post. It’s a pattern that she artistically utilizes which, as a writer, I can appreciate. She essentially juxtaposes feminism and Christianity. “There is so much good that Christianity has done and is doing and will do. And it’s fair to say the same thing about feminism.” Let’s just briefly mention that we ought not to even be comparing the two as if they are equals. One is the identity we have clung to, and one is a social movement. They’re not the same.
Immediately after, she writes: “All truth is God’s truth. I think we can rejoice for any human flourishing, no matter who claims credit.” So, is all truth God’s truth, or whoever claims it? Frankly, I’m tired of people claiming their own personal truths as if there isn’t an objective, absolute truth out there. She was right the first time. It’s all God’s truth. He sets the standards here. Secondly, it very much matters who claims it. Our very existence and all we do and all that God Sovereignly orchestrates in this world (like the presidency of Donald Trump) are for His glory!
Sweet Sarah then talks about the first wave of feminists. I’d like to point out that these women actually didn’t have the right to vote. They actually had legitimate rights withheld from them. The women of today have every single fundamental human right that every other human in this nation has. We are not denied a single one! Voddie Baucham once said something that really struck me. He was talking about practicers of homosexuality fighting for the right to get married. He essentially said, listen… they have the right to get married. They have it! They just don’t want to exercise that right the way it’s available. He used a funny example. It’s much like pacifists demanding that the federal government create an entire military system for pacifists. They can join the military. They just don’t want to. Women, we are not denied a single constitutional right. Case closed.
“Yep, I get upset by people who I think are an embarrassment to the Gospel. I feel angry. I feel like they are doing damage to our witness in the world. I feel ignored and marginalized. I feel like they don’t know Jesus, not really. I feel like the Church is missing it – missing out on all the ways the very people whom they fear or exclude or deride or judge are often the very people with whom Jesus would be spending all of his time.”
Are we still talking about women? This does however prompt me to address another popular verse ripped from context but commonly (and improperly) used.
“Jesus hung out with sinners!” Yes. He dined with worst of them. He went right up to the prostitute and said, “You go girl!” then held up a picket sign that read: “Women should do whatever they want with their bodies!” He went to the local pub with drunkards and said, “Bartender… hit me! I’m with my pal here. Put his drink on my tab, good sir.” Um… preposterous. You know what he said to them? “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” And you know what, my dear professors of ‘love’ and ‘don’t judge?’… THAT is the most loving thing we can do!!! Tolerance is not love. Often, it is encouraging people to stay comfy in their sins and continue to stiff arm God. This is like a mother placing her child’s hand on the stove for them because that’s what they want to do. Even if the child may not understand, a loving mother will swat that hand away and discipline them lest they hurt themselves severely. Maybe permanently.
I’ll just let Piper deal with the universialism in such statements implying that we will somehow bring all things into perfect unity by our humanistic and social activism efforts: Click Here.
“And then there are people within the Church who think I don’t belong. They see me as the embarrassment to the Gospel. I make them feel angry. They think I’m doing damage to our witness in the world. They are pretty sure I don’t know Jesus, not really.
I have felt that way about feminism at times, too. I’m embarrassed by it, angered by it, damaged by it, ignored and marginalized. I feel like they don’t know feminism, not really, because it’s supposed to be big and generous and inclusive and welcoming.”
The implication in juxtaposing these two parallels in feminism and Christianity is that Christianity must also be some time of movement marked by inclusion and welcoming. The body of believers that comprise the Church is not one of inclusion and making all feel welcome. It is for believers. God has sent the wedding invitation and we welcome those who attend the banquet. It is not our duty to be some sort of “safe space” or safe haven for all.
Sarah write: “Yet I choose to be a feminist in the way that I believe Jesus would be a feminist. The ways of the Kingdom of God stand in direct contrast to the ways of the world and our culture. (Sadly, our churches can sometimes resemble our culture instead of Jesus – witness our fascination with militarism, entertainment cults of celebrity, power, materialism, and patriarchal culture and so on.)”
Jesus would not be a feminist. We have equal dignity before God and yes, unique roles that were deliberately and perfectly designed that way. I will also say this: If it grieves you to see our Churches resembling culture, why are you a feminist??? The feminist movement is fully bred by our culture!
“We can prophecy a better world with our very words and actions.” God is Sovereign. We don’t dictate what happens. He uses Whom He will, when He Wills, how He Wills, and is not thwarted by us.
“This is how we will be known: by our love.” Amen. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
I’m through referring to Sarah’s post. I apologize in advance if Sarah ever reads this and feels I am being harsh. But this is my bottom line: Being a Christian feminist is not a thing. Your identity is in Christ. You are either a child of God or child of Satan. There’s no free, individualistic realm in between. In a society obsessed with individuality, this must be devastating to hear. You are free from sin and a slave to the kindest Master, or you are a slave to your own desires. You are heavenly minded, or you are Earthly minded.
The feminist movement is a self-exalting, obsession with being recognized as something exceptionally special – at least in today’s society, since we’re not actually fighting for any rights being denied. God calls us to humility, minimizing ourselves, and exalting God – making HIS name great.
Bottom line with the women’s march: No matter how much you try to guise it as a unifying event… fact: pro-life feminists were discouraged to attend; the agenda of the feminist movement and women’s march in general was largely saturated with “pro-choice” which is a sugar coated way to say, pro-murder; and Christian friend, it grieves me to hear you were a part of it. You may have been advocating for something else, but you attached yourself to something associated with these things God HATES. Proverbs 6 says,
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
I know what your’e thinking, “You’re sowing discord among brothers.” No, friend. The discord came with false doctrine and terrible theology. May I be judging rightly.
I truly believe my Christian friends mean well. I love them deeply, but it breaks my heart to see them so deceived. Many of them claim opinions, like the entire post I just referred to throughout my post, that are based almost entirely on emotion and what they discern to be wise by their own thoughts. They’re neglecting to consult with the Creator of everything via His Word – studied and not Googled for the sake of argument.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
“From where, then, does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
It is hidden from the eyes of all living
and concealed from the birds of the air.
Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’
“God understands the way to it, and he knows its place.
For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure, when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder, then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out. And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”