I tip-toe here. I tip-toe because I know how loud a group of angry women can roar and that is not at all what I am after. Truly, I do not wish to offend. If you are already offended, please just press the little x button at the top right of your screen.
For the rest of you, I want to peel back the spiritual layers of the feminist movement and explore the possibility that it has greatly affected one of the Bible’s most famous female figures: the Bride of Messiah.
Let’s start with definitions. What is a feminist? Google defines a feminist as “a person who supports feminism.” Brilliant. Ok, let’s try another. What is feminism?
Merriam Webster Dictionary lays it out nicely:
1. The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
2. Organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.
I like the second definition, depending on the specific “right and interest” at hand. Certainly the right to kill is a bit horrific and does not qualify, but horrific rights aside, I can understand a group of people who would like to see males and females treated fairly. When I think of other world cultures and religions, I can definitely see a need. Women should not be considered property, or be mistreated or ignored.
Women should be cherished.
Women should be honored and loved.
Women should have a voice. We have good qualities and beautiful strengths that fill a needed role in society.
Women are a crucial part of creation. We have been given the honor and responsibility to bring forth life.
I could go on and on… women are wonderful and should be treated as such.
That being said, I am not a feminist.
I am not a masculinist either. Those words are odd to me. Like I said, I am all about those things I just listed. I like to use the title “Believer” to convey that message. Anyone who believes in Jesus and the entirety of the Bible will probably have similar beliefs on how women and men should be treated- with love! After all, it does say,
“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
That’s a popular verse.
Now for an unpopular verse.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything… ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be come one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33
Submission. Respect. The concept of authority. Am I making anyone cringe? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to. I am actually not even trying to jump into the waters of marriage in this post. I am here only because this is the analogy that God uses again and again throughout the Bible. We, His people are His bride, His wife.
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord… for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness… as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10
“as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5
“for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright…” Revelation 19:7-8
Marriage is important to God. He has created it and established it. He uses it to reflect the beautiful relationship of love and faithfulness that He has with His people.
And it is suffering. Marriages are suffering and dying, or just not happening all together. Women are not cherished, men are not respected, and neither party is giving or receiving the love that God had in mind for their closest relationship. (Note that I do not mean to group all marriages together. Obviously this is only a guess of mine as to what takes place in most marriages that bring more harm than good to those involved.)
Ironically at the same time, women are (at face value) gaining momentum. They are demanding equality in power, equality in pay, and equality in muscle mass, and I don’t doubt that they will get what they ask for if they haven’t gotten it already. (*In some cases equality in pay makes sense. In other cases it doesn’t. I would be worth far less than my husband in his line of work. It would make sense, in fact it would be fair, if the company pays him what he is worth according to what he can benefit the company, and me what I am worth. I do understand that there are other situations.)
Feminism is going above and beyond the original mantra. To be honest, I don’t know if they really want equality anymore. As Beyoncé so eloquently puts it,
“Who run the world? Girls.
Who run the world? Girls. (repeat those two lines about twenty times)
… My persuasion can build a nation. Endless power, the love we can devour. You’ll do anything for me.”
All the while, there is a massive sign in back of her that says “FEMINIST.”
I feel this is an accurate description of feminism today, at least in America. It is about power and toppling over traditional authority and according to Beyoncé, the position of running the world. The world. Girls run the world.
Now let’s honestly consider: is this the position of the Bride of Christ? Does she too believe she runs this world, or at least this spiritual world? To review, feminism is defined as the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Are the church and Jesus equal in these areas?
In thought, I’m sure many would say, “No! Of course not!”
But our actions may say something else. For instance, consider the parts of the Bible that talk about submission. Do you obey His commands in this area? Or do you cut these pages out of your life? Do you cut anything else out of the Bible? If you have the authority to cut out what you would like to, a nice “veto” power so to speak, who ultimately has authority in your life? You or God? You do. You have obtained political (or governing) equality with God.
Do you believe yourself capable of obtaining salvation through a life perfectly lived? After all, you’re a powerful woman, you Bride you. You can make it on your own, provide for yourself. You don’t need a Man. You can pay your own debt because you deserve to earn the same righteous standing. Economic (provision) equality with God.
Although the social standings of God and people are vastly different, the actions of people seem to point toward the idea that they are on equal playing fields. His teachings are up for debate, His definitions can be changed. This can only be the result of a people who are looking to the religion as their spiritual reality. The church is visible, the songs are sing-able, and the system is tangible. Do we forget that our God is living? That He is actually real? Does that make anyone tremble? Our God is not far off. He is close at hand, and despite our construed ideas, He holds all power and authority. He is also overflowing in love.
He is our Husband. He loves us beyond comprehension. Let’s love Him. As He advised for the position of the wife, let’s respect Him. Feminism has no place in our marriage. Beyoncé, I’m sorry, girls do not run the world. Some day we will all stand before the One who does.