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Ccih 2014-biblical-women-empowerment-lucas-koach-outline

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Lucas Koach, Senior Policy Advisor for Food for the Hungry and an ordained Anglican priest, provides analysis of gender equality in scripture and how to encourage women's empowerment from a Biblical …

Lucas Koach, Senior Policy Advisor for Food for the Hungry and an ordained Anglican priest, provides analysis of gender equality in scripture and how to encourage women's empowerment from a Biblical perspective.

Published in: Health & Medicine

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  • 1. 1 Lucas L. Koach © Food for the Hungry June 21, 2014 CCIH Conference Brief intro to FH and women’s empowerment programing: video (from 5:14 to 8:10) http://www.congo-thefilm.com/ I. Principles of women’s empowerment are intrinsic to every Christian denomination and the gospel itself. In the interest of time I will forego the exposition of a theology of sin, and an apologetic against oppression, abuse, degradation, coercion and focus on the theological principles on women and women’s empowerment which Christians fundamentally agree upon. [Slide 1 Every Christian can agree...] 1. Both Adam and Eve were created in God's image, equal before God as persons (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:18). 2. The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Genesis 3:1-7, 12, 16). 3. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Genesis 1:21-27, 2:18; Galatians 3:28). 4. In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation (Jn. 1:12-13, Ro. 8:14-17). 5. In all of life, Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission–domestic, religious, or civil– ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin (Daniel 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29; I Peter 3:1-2). 6. No man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world (I Corinthians 12:7-21).
  • 2. 2 TRANS: Now, if I was to stop there, I would venture to guess I would get a hearty Amen and we could all call it a day. But I think I would do this this topic of theological rationale for women’s empowerment a disservice. [Slide 2 We must acknowledge distinctives...] If we are honest, we have to sensitively acknowledge, within orthodox Christianity, there are different understandings of the scriptures and church teachings on biblical manhood and womanhood. Including: Distinctive natures of the sexes. (Gen.1:27b, 2:18, 21-24;) Different understandings of the notions of headship and the nature of submission. (ICor. 11:7-9 kephale; ITim. 2:12-14 authenten) Unique roles in the home, roles in the church. While some evangelical and mainline protestant groups have more egalitarian views of the sexes, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and many evangelical and charismatic churches hold to more complementarian understanding of the sexes, especially in the global south where FBOs like ours are working. In 2011 The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life did a global survey of Evangelical Protestant Leaders which documents such tendencies.1 III. To learn more about these distinctives just in the evangelical context alone there is Christians for Biblical Equality (cbeinternational.org) representing an egalitarian perspective; and The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW.org) representing a complementarian one. The good news is these 6 biblical assertions I just went through are formally held to my both egalitarians and complementarians. While there is room to agree to disagree, 1 ...two-thirds (67%) of those from the Global South say a wife must always obey her husband, while 39% of the leaders from the Global North take that position. Leaders from the Global South are nearly twice as likely as those from the Global North to say that all adults have a responsibility to marry and have children (60% vs. 33%). Leaders from the Global South also are more likely to say that men should be the main financial providers and religious leaders in the family (61% in the Global South, 43% in the Global North). Latin American leaders tend to be relatively less conservative on these measures than other leaders from the Global South. However, large majorities of both the Global South leaders (77%) and the Global North leaders (73%) think that women should be allowed to serve as pastors, though leaders from the Middle East-North Africa region are almost evenly split on this question (46% yes, 43% no). In addition, most leaders from both the North and the South reject the idea that “women should stay at home and raise the children in the family.” Leaders in the U.S. are more narrowly divided on this issue; 44% agree that women should stay at home and raise the children, while 53% disagree. By comparison, leaders in Europe oppose this idea by a more than two-to-one margin (28% agree, 69% disagree), and those in the Global South do so as well (31% agree, 64% disagree).
  • 3. 3 there is far more that unifies our biblical theology and witness around women’s rights and empowerment than divides us. IV. [Slide 3 Know your audience...] Understand the local denominations’ and local church’s teaching of the role of women. A. Differentiate cultural norms, taboos, or poorly formed/poorly informed local pastors from formal church or biblical teaching (e.g. subjugation and abuse of women can never be taught from scripture). Since the fall and since the time of Christ, Biblical theology on gender has too often been conflated with and exasperated by sin infected cultural norms, social morays, and poor pastoral education and formation. B. Build trusted relationships with local church leaders. They are the guardians of community morays far more than the local NGO health professional. C. Demonstrate your own reverence for the teachings of Christ and biblical authority and how this informs your community health practice. V. [Slide 4 Demonstrate your service to and support of the local church...] Demonstrate how your programs are compatible with local church teachings and in service to the local church. In areas where the church holds to orthodox, biblical complementarianism we can still demonstrate how our practices and programs serve such a position rather than considering complementarianism incompatible with women’s empowerment. Love you wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). If you wish to be great you must serve. Whoever wants to be first must be a slave of all (Mk. 10:44). Self-emptying (kenosis). Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant (Phil. 2:6-7) A. We see educated women enjoy a greater esteem by their husbands and communities. GBV diminishes. B. Men follow Christ by serving their wives not lording over.
  • 4. 4 C. Empowered women improve household livelihoods and child health. Q&A