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Ain't You a Woman

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A Biblical Approach to Womens' Empowerment

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Ain't You a Woman

  1. 1. Sojourner Truth ™  Abolition ™  Suffrage ™  Legal equality
  2. 2. Sojourner Truth “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?”
  3. 3. Modern Voices We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him. - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. 4. Modern Voices “From every corner of the land: ‘Womankind, arise!’ Political equality and equal rights with men. . . . No more the meek and mild subservients, we; We’re fighting for our rights, militantly. . . .” - “Sister Suffragettes,” in Mary Poppins
  5. 5. Historically Maligned and Abused You are the devil’s gateway; you are the unsealer of that (forbid- den) tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law; you are she who persuaded him who the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man [writing to Christian women concerning their dress] -  Tertullian For the female sex is easily seduced, weak, and without much un- derstanding. The devil seeks to vomit out this disorder through women . . . . We wish to apply masculine reasoning and destroy the folly of these women. [writing about some women who were deifying Magdalene] - Epiphanius
  6. 6. The Feminist Charge ™ Systematically, consistently, maligned, suppressed, ignored, abused and disrespected ™ Systemic disparities in access to wealth, health, status, etc. ™ Men have benefited from, and enforced the unbalanced paradigm
  7. 7. In the Beginning it Was Not So
  8. 8. An Equal Beginning And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. - Genesis 1:26, 27
  9. 9. An Equal Beginning  ‫ם‬ָ‫ד‬ָ‫א‬ (Indefinite) Humanity, male and female
  10. 10. An Equal Beginning  (Adam)  –  ‫ם‬ָ‫ד‬ָ‫א‬     )  -­‐  ‫ם‬‫֔י‬ִ‫ה‬ֹ‫ל‬ֱ‫א‬Elohiym  (   Simultaneously singular and plural
  11. 11. An Equal Beginning ™ Man: adam means humankind, male and female (v. 27) ™ Both sexes made up the image of God in humankind ™ Woman was made of the same stuff of man ™ Both are given dominion over the creation
  12. 12. Pillar I God Made Male and Female Equal in their Nature
  13. 13. Relations Before the Fall ™  Adam was created first (Col 1:15, Num. 18:15) ™  Adam named the animals ™  Adam named the woman ™  The woman’s creation was premised on Adam’s need ™  God cursed the the woman and the Devil personally ™  God cursed the entire creation on account of Adam
  14. 14. Relations Before the Fall ™ Woman is a Helper – ‫ֶר‬‫ז‬ֵ֖‫ע‬ (ezer) ™ A helper, not a maid ™ Ezer os am attribute of God Himself (Exod 18:4, Deut 33:7, Psalm 20:3, 33:20, Daniel 11:34) ™ Meet for him – ֹ‫ו‬ּֽ‫ד‬ְ‫ג‬ֶ‫נ‬ְּ‫כ‬ (kenegedow) – suitable
  15. 15. Biblical Equality ™ Male and female are in the image of God. ™ There is no inferiority in the Godhead. This means: ™ Men and women are created equal
  16. 16. Biblical Equality ™  There is hierarchy in the Godhead through willful subjection. This means: ™  There is hierarchy in humanity ™  Hierarchy is relational & functional ™  Equality is natural, original or ontological ™  There is a distinction of roles in the Godhead. This means: ™  Men and women have different functions ™  They complement each other in function
  17. 17. Relations Before the Fall Adam was crowned as king in Eden. To him was given dominion over every living thing that God had created. The Lord blessed Adam and Eve with intelligence such as he had not given to the animal creation. He made Adam the rightful sovereign over all the works of his hands. ™  RH February 24, 1874, par. 6
  18. 18. Pillar II God Made Male and Female Hierarchical in their Relation
  19. 19. Enter, the Great Subverter How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:12 - 14
  20. 20. Weakening the Nations ™  Satan tried to alter the relational paradigm in Heaven ™  He convinced some angels they did not need God ™  He convinced them they were autonomous ™  He envied Christ’s position ™  He sought to dethrone and replace Christ
  21. 21. Proven Methods Satan was of the highest order of angels; but Christ was above all. He was the commander of all Heaven. He imparted to the angelic family the high commands of his Father. The envy and jealousy of Satan increased…. Although very exalted, he aspires to be equal with God; and unless the Lord gratifies his ambition, determines to rebel, and refuse submission. “…unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus” - SG, Vol 3, pp. 1, 36 But again he was filled with pride in his own glory. His desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged. – PP, p. 37
  22. 22. Proven Methods ™  In the temptation of Adam and Eve, Satan was simply rehashing an old plan ™  He altered the relational paradigm ™  Eve, you are autonomous ™  Eve’s took a unilateral decision ™  You don’t have to listen to Adam, or to God ™  Eve deferred to Satan ™  In deferring to Eve, Adam deferred to Satan ™  And Adam was not deceived. – 1 Timothy 2:14
  23. 23. Proven Methods ™ Satan went after Christ in Heaven, through the angels ™ He went after Adam in Eden, through the woman ™ Adam is a type of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45) ™ The woman was Adam’s helper (or angel)!
  24. 24. A Power Struggle Prophesied ™ Genesis 3:16 – A subversion of the relationship Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
  25. 25. A Power Struggle Prophesied …and thy desire shall be to thy husband teshuka-tey-ka ( ‫֔ך‬ֵ‫ת‬ָ‫ק‬ּ‫ו‬ׁ֣‫ש‬ְּ‫ת‬ ) longing, a running after …and he shall rule over thee mashal (‫ׁל‬ַ‫ש‬ָ‫מ‬) to rule, dominate
  26. 26. Subverted Relations ™  Gen 3:16 does not subject the woman to the man relationally; she was already subject. …and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. – Genesis 4:7, KJV “…it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:7, NIV
  27. 27. Subverted Relations ™ The Inter-textual link with 4:7 suggests that: ™ the woman’s desire for her husband is similar to that of sin for Cain ™ Sin desired to overpower, dominate, rule over Cain ™ The woman would desire take Adam’s place as head
  28. 28. Pillar III Satan tried to subvert the relational hierarchy by becoming the single master of both the man and woman
  29. 29. Pillar IV God prophesied that sin would plant in the woman’s heart an attitude of questioning the authority of the man, and dissatisfaction with her position in the relational hierarchy
  30. 30. Part II – Facets of Feminism
  31. 31. Instigating Factors ™  Leaving the Biblical paradigm has led to relational chaos ™  In today’s culture, to rule means: ™  To exert power and authority ™  To dictate ™  To exploit ™  To oppress or suppress ™  To vaunt or display arrogant pride
  32. 32. The Results Live On ™  In today’s culture, to be subject means: ™  To mindlessly obey ™  To have no say ™  To be a slave ™  To allow oneself to be taken advantage of ™  To quietly endure ill treatment ™  To hide in the shadow of another
  33. 33. The Feminist Movement ™  In part a fulfillment of prophecy ™  In part a response to actual oppression
  34. 34. Fulfilling Prophecy “Every woman working to improve her own position in society or that of women in general is bringing about the end of God. All feminists are making the world less and less like the one de- scribed in the Bible and are thus helping to lessen the influence of Christ and Yahweh on humanity . . . ” - Changing of the Gods: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions
  35. 35. Fulfilling Prophecy “God is going to change,” I thought.” We women are going to bring an end to God. As we take positions in government, in medicine, in law, in business, in the arts and, finally, in religion, we will be the end of Him. We will change the world so much that He wont fit in anymore” - Changing of the Gods: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions
  36. 36. Noble Beginnings ™  19th Century to 1970’s feminist aims: ™  Voting rights ™  Equal pay for equal work ™  Employment opportunities ™  Equal education ™  Equality before the law ™  Property rights ™  Equal access to health
  37. 37. Dubious Destinations ™  From 20th Century onwards, the focus shifted: ™  Lesbianism ™  Gender Separatism ™  Gay Marriage ™  Abortion rights ™  Religious authority ™  Gender Homogenization ™  Gender aschematic parenting
  38. 38. Dubious Destinations ™ Separatist Feminism “Only women can give each other a new sense of self, ... We must be available and supportive to one another [and] give our commitment and our love…” “To be a woman who belongs to no man is to be invisible, pathetic, inauthentic, unreal.” “Our energies must flow toward our sisters, not backward toward our oppressors.” — Radicalesbians, in Woman Identified Woman
  39. 39. Dubious Destinations ™  Lesbian Feminism “…lesbianism is posited as a key feminist strategy that enables women to invest their energies in other women, creating new space and dialogue about women's relationships, and typically, limits their dealings with men.” - Hoagland, Sarah Lucia, and Julia Penelope ™  Feminism is the theory; lesbianism is the practice – Ti Grace Atkinson Revolutionary Lesbians: "How to Stop Choking to Death Or: Separatism," 1971, in, "For Lesbians Only: A Separatist Anthology," ed. Hoagland, Sarah Lucia, and Julia Penelope. p. 22-24. Onlywomen Press, 1988.
  40. 40. Dubious Destinations We can start, even in modest ways, to disrupt the male economy. Lesbian Separatists and Radical feminists have already begun, by refusing to be with men, or to cater to their needs, desires, and whims in our personal/political lives. Although heterosexual women can also contribute to this disruption, through sabotage, it is unlikely they will place themselves and other women above male priorities. Lesbian Separatists can do much more… We can be very creative in our methods of disruption. - C. Maira. Lesbian Ethics, Vol. 4, Nov 1, 1990.
  41. 41. Really? Get Rid of Men? “More than 72 percent of children in the African- American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues.” - Don Lemon, CNN Anchor Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. - David Blankenhorn, Author, Fatherless America
  42. 42. Really? Get Rid of Men? ™  Dramatically increased rates of depression and anxiety ™  32 times the average rate of incarceration ™  Decreased education levels and increased drop-out rates: ™  Consistently lower average income levels: ™  Lower job security: ™  Increased rates of divorce and relationship issues: ™  Substantially increased rates of substance abuse: and Increases in social and mental behavioural issues: ™  Same for emotionally absent fathers and absent moms
  43. 43. Pillar V Unbiblical Women’s Empowerment Continues Satan’s Plan of Weakening the Nation of Humanity
  44. 44. Part III – Biblical Female Empowerment
  45. 45. Remaining Biblical ™  “and the head of the woman is the man;” - 1 Cor 11:3 ™  "For the husband is the head of the wife, …so let the wives be [subject] to their own husbands in every thing.” - Eph 5:23, 24 ™  In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. - 1 Pet 3:1, NLT ™  Urge the younger women to love their husbands and children… to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. – Tit 2:3 – 5
  46. 46. Remaining Biblical The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God. It is the duty of the wife to yield her wishes and will to her husband. Both should be yielding, but the word of God gives preference to the judgment of the husband. And it will not detract from the dignity of the wife to yield to him whom she has chosen to be her counselor, adviser, and protector. The husband should maintain his position in his family with all meekness, yet with decision. - Testimonies, vol. 1, p 307
  47. 47. True Women’s Empowerment Esther Lydia Deborah
  48. 48. The Bible grants women’s rights to: ™  Economic empowerment – Lydia: wealthy trader, church financier ™  Business ™  Spiritual Gifts - Joel 2:28, Acts 2:16 – 18 ™  Education – Deut. 6:7, Luke 40:41, 42 ™  Property – Daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27) ™  Health – Proverbs 31:17 ™  Respect – Prov 20:20, Exod 20:12 ™  Devotion and service – Anna, Deborah, prophetess ™  Appropriate church leadership - Priscilla: teacher, church leader ™  National leadership – Esther, Deborah: national hero
  49. 49. Reading Deeper: Mashal ™  To Rule (mashal) means: ™  To protect ™  To comfort ™  To care 2 Sam 23:3; Prov 17:2; Isa 40:lO; 63:19; Zech 6:13 ™  Genesis 1:16: ™  The sun rules the day – brightens it ™  The moon rules the night – lightens its darkness
  50. 50. Subjection, not Subjugation ™ To be subject (hupostasso) means: ™ To respond to the husband’s care graciously ™ To take initiative in doing right (1 Peter 3:1) ™ To cooperate productively (Acts 18:26) ™ To defer to the husband’s judgment (1 Tim 2:12)
  51. 51. Biblical Empowerment ™ Three words for power in the NT: ™ κρατος – strength, endurance ™ Εχουσια – Authority ™ Δυναμισ – Ability or capacity ™ All apply to both sexes
  52. 52. Finally ™  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Gal 6:2 ™  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. – Ephesians 5:17 ™  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. – Eph 5:21 ™  And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve. – Isaiah 14:3
  53. 53. Ain’t You a Woman? Yes you are! Thank You

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