Don’t Just Survive, Thrive! (Part 1) Feigned Feminism Friday

What’s the last decision you made completely uninfluenced by others or your circumstances?

Do your circumstances define you and confine you?

If you had total freedom from other’s opinions, your current circumstances and your erroneous beliefs about yourself, what would that look like?

Would you feel freer, act as if you had value? Would you pursue your purpose with vigor instead of fear and trepidation?

What if you walked as if you were truly loved, valued and cherished?

Feigned Feminism Friday

 

Modern feminism tells us women that we can/should have it all. We can have it all and there will be no consequence? That’s just not possible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Basic science. If we have it ALL, we have to maintain it ALL. As Bud, my stepfather used to say, “Something’s got to give.” It’s like those people who want a pool (it’s great), but don’t want to do the work of vacuuming it, keeping the patio clean, testing the water, etc.. Point is, if you have it, you have to maintain it.

Modern women have it all, but according to Dr. Villar, author of Urban Woman Syndrome, we are paying a hefty price. Women or more likely to suffer stress and anxiety these days than men. The stressors in women’s lives are greater than they were in our mother’s time. Whether you work or stay at home (and work), the pressure is greater to ‘have it all together’ in a world that is falling apart. There’s more pressure to look perfect for our social media driven society. There is more stress on being educated and have the perfect career in a new age where women have the option to pursue academics. If you stay at home and homeschool, there is an unwritten rule that your house should be cleaner and you should be more organized and efficient than the rest of the female population!

Are you feeling pressure just reading this? Is it overwhelming? This overwhelming stress or Urban Woman Syndrome drives us to survival mode where we fight, flight or freeze.

We should have it all together, right? As soon as we get one step in the right direction of “I’ve got it all covered”, then circumstances happen that throw us into the pit.

  • Divorce
  • Depression
  • Job Loss
  • Parenting a child with special needs
  • A Move
  • A Job Change
  • A New Baby
  • Health Issues
  • Death of a Loved One

Suddenly, all the great things in our life look gray. Feel gray. I know. I’m preaching to the Guire here. Been there. Done that.

You are not alone, dear one. It’s going to be okay. Really. Can I share three things that have helped me? Three things I need reminded of often? I learned them from John 5, the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda and from Holley Gerth (via her book You’re Going to be Okay).

First of all, do you want to get well? That’s what Jesus asks the man who had laid by the pool for thirty-eight years.

“Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anyone to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in it.”

May I tell you something, friend? There is enough pool water for everyone. The water that Jesus offers means you’ll never thirst. There is no lack in Jesus. The lady next to you at church isn’t taking all the healing. There is enough for you too. Say “yes” to wanting to get well. Take a second right now. Just say, “yes, Jesus”.

Next week, join me for number one!

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Feigned Feminism Friday-How Did Jesus Treat Women?

She stands at the back of the church. She heard the altar call, but she’s not sure she should go forward. She can’t make her feet move. She’s rooted in shame. what if these people knew the truth about me? About the abortion. About the sexual abuse. They would probably throw me out the door. I’m not worth it. I’m not worthy of love. So, she turns and leaves carrying the same burden she walked in with.

Maybe this happened at your church. Maybe mine. Maybe it was you.

Feigned Feminism Friday

Let’s look at how Jesus responded to women instead of how culture has treated them. We can’t hang the character of God on the hook of history. We must study His character by examining His ways, the written accounts of His actions.

Theology + Evidential Method = Truth

Therein we will find Biblical Feminism.

John 8 records the account of the woman caught in adultery.

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Note the conversation between Jesus and the woman.

Jesus-Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?

She- No one, Lord!

Jesus-I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.

Later, after the women left, Jesus addressed the crowd,

You [set yourselves up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). You condemn by external human standards] I do not [set Myself up to judge or to condemn or sentence anyone.

Jesus didn’t judge or condemn her. The scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone her. They caught her in her sin and did not offer kindness or compassion. They only offered condemnation.

Let’s be honest ladies, every movement begins because there is an injustice. We can all agree that women should not be oppressed, neglected, enslaved or abused.

Feminism was birthed through the labor of many women who suffered injustice, including those Jesus spoke to, the woman caught in adultery. We are tempted to ask, where is the man? And I have some other questions, who bursts in the door when two people are having sex? Did they allow her to dress herself? Can you imagine the shame? But, Jesus didn’t shame her. He didn’t heap the law on her head. He treated her with kindness and compassion. He saw her wounded heart.

 That’s God’s character. He looks past the behavior and sees the heart. He saw down into the depths of that woman’s soul. He said, in essence, I see you, I see your shame. I love you. I do not condemn you. Go and live a life worthy of the value you possess.

Women are hurting. They don’t need a new law. They don’t need platitudes or judgment. They need Biblical Feminism that sees the heart, recognizes the shame, the pain and says, Those don’t define or confine you. You are loved. You are valuable .The way you were treated by man or other women is not WHO you are. Those are injustices that happened to you. Jesus offers forgiveness and compassion. He believes that you, dear sister were worth dying for. Go and live a life worthy of the value you possess.

*Just a note, the Christian feminism does not accept domestic abuse or false concepts of marriage. More about this subject in another post!

 

Feigned Feminism Friday

Feminism- the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. (dictionary.com)

Feigned Feminism Friday

Last week I promised to start this reboot with some questions. Let’s start with this one-

Is there a Biblical feminism? By that I mean, are women considered equal in the eyes of Jesus?  Some would say, “no”. Some say we are the lesser, weaker creatures. Remember, I’m not an expert, I don’t know all the answers. I don’t have some fancy letters behind my name. I’m just a Jesus lover, trying to sort all this out.

There seems to be a great deal of misinformation when it comes to gender equality. Could it be that the curse set things askew?

True feminism is a battle against the curse. The curse of satan, ever adamant to destroy the true purpose of women. The curse of the battle, which isn’t against flesh and blood humans, but against principalities and world-rulers of this present darkness (Ephesians 6:12) the enmity between the woman and satan.  Satan twisted the Word and bruises and treads on our heads with his non existent feet, that is, he fills women’s minds with falsehoods, telling us that we are a lesser species, that what we do is not valuable, that we must be like men in order to be powerful. The sad truth is many of us have stopped fighting and we believe the lie that we must be the version of feminism fed to us by cultural elitists of today. Women must remember he is like a small dog, nipping at our heels. We must smash his head with the truth. Feminism began in the garden of Eden.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her [a]Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel.“-Genesis 3:14, 15

As I said in my series last year, what if satan went after the woman because she is powerful? She had the power of influence and in her weakness, she used to it for the wrong purpose. Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Maybe, it’s not are we equal? Maybe it should be, who says we are not equal?

When we’re fighting for a cause, like equality, it’s important to find the root of the inequality. Is it Biblical as many modern feminists say? Unfortunately, the Bible and Christianity in general get a bad rap when it comes to the gender wars. The truth is, the Bible lands on the side of women’s value every time. In the midst of the Roman Empire when lives were considered cheap, Jesus stepped on the scene and did some revolutionary things when it came to women. He talked to the women at the well, the longest recorded conversation with anyone in the Bible. He talked to her, not down to her and she became the first evangelist. Jesus treated women as equals and said of the children, “let the little children come unto me for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Jesus valued all life, children, women, the elderly, the widow. He promoted the social gospel of feeding the poor and caring for those who  could not care for themselves. The early church reflects His character.

“.. But there are other concerns which nearly all Christians, including myself, and nearly the whole women’s movement plainly share.  All of us would call for justice against the oppression of women that takes place in the world today.”-Craig S. Keener- Paul, Women & Wives

Before Jesus came Joel prophesied :

28 And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

29 Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.- Joel 2:29,29

Your daughters shall prophesy. The Holy Spirit will be poured out on maidservants as well as manservants. There is no room for gender wars in the body of Christ. The kingdom of God is for all who will call upon the name of Jesus and be saved. The ground is level at the cross. Acts 2 repeats this prophecy during Pentecost. Women and men are active participants in the early church. There is no distinction between Jew, Greek, male or female, we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). Gender equality was God’s idea, not man’s. So yes, there is a Biblical feminism, in fact, even though the word feminism didn’t enter the scene until many years later, the early Christians practiced the proponents of social justice that we are to continue (but, that’s another post).

I may have been all over the place in this post, dear reader and I threw lots of information at you, but I had to start somewhere. Feminism is and elephant and we have to dissect it one part at a time. I will be delving into some of the lives of women in the Bible and practices of the early church in later posts. Please, leave some feedback.

Let me leave you with a bit of my history to encourage you. My daughter is a prophetess. There. I said it. It took me by surprise, this prophesying little girl. This tiny girl would speak boldly things that she couldn’t have known. As a teen, she had a rapport and respect from our Pastor. During worship, she would go up to him and whisper in his ear and then he would give her the mic. Every time. I would cry, shake and she would not. She would boldly say whatever the Holy Spirit put on her heart, words of encouragement, correction or confirmations. She’s grown now and lives in another state, goes to another church. I don’t have to go to bat for her when it comes to her being a female, child prophetess. But I would if I had to. I would for you too, sister. The gifts are for all. They cross all lines of age and gender. Biblical feminism means all participate in the gifts. All are part of the body of Christ.

 

Feigned Feminism Reboot

Russell Moore, author of Adopted for Life, tells a story about meeting an adoptive couple at a conference. They wanted him to see the boy they had adopted from a former Soviet State. Moore knelt down to greet the little one. He had Arab or Persian roots and boasted beautiful olive skin.  Asked if they had any issues in the adoption process the wife answered, “the only problem we had was with the judge. The judge thought there was some mistake that we’d want this child because he’s dark skinned. The judge said no one would want a child like that and that there were plenty of light-skinned babies available. He just couldn’t believe that we would want him…”

When you read this, what sort of emotion did it evoke? Anger? Sadness? Disbelief? It’s a despicable thing to despise a child because of his color. It causes our Mama Bear to rise up in defense of this child. We just know it isn’t right. It can’t be right. It’s what C.S. Lewis talks about in Mere Christianity-

“And what did God do? First of all He left us conscience, the sense of right and wrong and all through history there have been people trying (some of them very hard) to obey it.”

Our conscience, given to us by God, tells us that a judge saying a boy doesn’t has value because he has dark skin is wrong. There have been many people over the years who have tried to obey their conscience. There have been wars fought over color, culture,pride, religion, land, and in the middle of each of these, there are those who worked tirelessly to advance the cause of Christ. By that I mean, live by the conscience and be a light in the darkness.

I want to be a light in that darkness. That’s why I am starting the series Feigned Feminism Fridays again. As a women, my conscience tells me something is not quite right in the church when it comes to feminism. Some women embrace modern feminism wholeheartedly. Some rant and rave against it. But, it is there, it exists. It sits on the shoulders of some great women and some not so great women. Let’s not discount the idea without some research, some digging around using the evidential method.

Feigned Feminism Friday

“When God desires to do “a new thing” (Is. 43:19), He purposely seeks out a few righteous renegades who don’t have a problem breaking the mold! Mold breakers are usually people who don’t care  much about popularity or tradition.” – Beth Moore

If you want to know what is most valuable, look for what is most fought against, what is being battled most vehemently and violently profaned. There is the crux of true feminism, equality. Value. In the eyes of our heavenly Father, equality already exists. In the eyes of this present darkness, it is muddled by the culture and those who have the loudest voices.

In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises. – Galatians 3:28,29

Feminism- the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. (dictionary.com)

Why is the word feigned in the series title?

feigned-simulated or pretended; insincere.

I’ll just be up front. I think the modern feminism is pretend. It’s not true feminism. It’s not true equal rights. If you want to read more about the origins of feminism, start here and work your way through the series.

Are you willing to challenge yourself? Are you ready to step into the pages of history and find out what Biblical feminism is? Do you want to take a stand with me? If so, join me on Fridays. I don’t claim to have all the answers. We probably won’t agree on everything, but that’s okay. I’m not here with a hammer or a gavel. I’m just seeking answers myself. Can we seek them together?

I know I promised you a totally different post for today and that will have to wait for next week. Not only have I had a stomach bug (which threw me off track) but I didn’t want to dive right in without a proper invitation. I appreciate thoughts, comments and questions- about feminism, not the stomach bug. ♥

 

The Women’s March

The Welfare Rights building was crowded. I stood on the threshold, fresh from the Catholic school around the corner and looked for my mom. There she was, deep in conversation with a woman, her arm around the her shoulders. The woman wept. There seemed to be a lot of tears shed here. Women, afraid, hopeless came for encouragement, support, and direction. Some of them had been abandoned by men and had multiple children to care for. Another raised her sister’s children while she served a jail term. It was the mid-seventies and Mom was a stark white face to the sea of African American faces full of fear and hopelessness. Mom served these woman because she understood where they came from. Her brand of feminism meant woman should be able to feed and clothe their children when a man left or a woman couldn’t take care of her own. I got to know some of these woman in my after school visits. Those who had gotten help stuck like glue to the center, encouraging, wiping tears, giving bear hugs and helping others navigate the world of jobs and paperwork. This was my mom’s brand of feminism. Reaching out to the broken hearted. Meeting physical and emotional needs.

 

We watched and excerpt of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech in church on Sunday. It was refreshing. With tension running high in our country, women marching all over the world, we needed a refresher, not even a week after his day. It can’t just be a day, it needs to be a way of thinking and a way of life. It’s not a day to tweet one of King’s quotes and then forget about it. We can’t heal as a nation until we are willing to step out of our comfort zone, to pray and create bridges instead of walls.

bridges

“And that is something that I must say to my people who stand on the worn threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not he guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not “seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom” by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” -Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream speech

This nation is full of bitterness and hatred. With  President Trump sworn in, riots and women marching. The tension and anger are palatable. What should the Christian’s response be to this be? Not one of self-righteousness or Bible flinging orgies on social media. What would the response of the great Martin Luther King be? He would oppose physical violence and I’m not talking about the protesters. I’m talking about the body of Christ. It is not our job to tell others who are hurting, who are in need, who feel afraid and threatened by the future that they are wrong. Instead we should be asking, as I have always taught my kids, What can I do to help? Or you journalists or writers, pull out your key questions, Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Ask these. Who are these people? What do they fear? When do they think these freedoms will be removed and how? Why do they feel threatened?

Everybody has a story. Every person that marched or protested has a story. Their lives are just as valuable as anybody else’s. They have a voice that needs heard. Let us not be the ones who say they have no rights, that they don’t matter.

Abortion is wrong, I believe that wholeheartedly. I state that to be clear on my stance. Not everyone marched for Planned Parenthood. Some marched because they have been sexually abused. Some women are rape survivors. Some were just afraid that their rights would be stripped away. Some have been abused and mistreated by men. Some have had abortions and feel a deep shame. Each women who marched has value. Their soul cry needs to be heard from the White House to the church pulpit.

Loving each other as Christ loved us does not mean we condone the sin, it means we love the person. We celebrated the sanctity of human life on Sunday, all the while choosing  which lives matter. That cannot be so.

“God loves everybody-including those who radically disagree with Him. And He expects His followers to do the same.” -Pastor Wayde Wilson

God is a God of justice. He is not deaf to our cries. We must cry out to him for justice. We must be ‘HIs hands and feet. For the widow. For the orphan. For the abused. The neglected. The brokenhearted. The captives to this present darkness.

“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

We Christians don’t need to throw our beliefs at others in order to win them to Christ. We need to hear their heart’s cry. We need to meet them there. If we Christians are persecuted, let it be for righteousness sake, not for yelling matches on social media. Let us stand firm in our convictions and at the same time be ambassadors for Christ.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] [a]and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, … Isaiah 61:1,2

Like my mother in the Welfare rights building, let us preach the Gospel of good tiding to the meek, the poor, the afflicted. Let us, like Christ bind up and heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the physical and spiritual captives.

*More on Christian women and feminism on Friday, join me for Feigned Feminism Friday (it’s back)!

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor and Three Word Wednesday! Join us!

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