Why Jesus would march

why-jesus-would-march

WOW. Scrolling through social media today, I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster. First of all, I am a woman (so clearly I am pro-women) secondly, I’m a Christian. I’ve never felt the two worlds collide so much…but I’m not incredibly surprised.

Our country has made huge strides in women’s rights. We’ve proven that women can work just as hard and climb just as far as men can in nearly any field. Women flock to the US for these rights.

It’s awesome.

I’m freaking proud of America and how far we’ve come.

Yet, as a Christian nation, one filled with evangelical believers, I find that we have a long way to go in the area of honoring women.

Oh boy, Anna is about to go all feminist on us. Shut her down, right now. Good Lawrdy, she’s become one of those marching, sign-holding liberals.

Smile. We’re on the same side. I promise.

(I’m grinning a bit because, that’s just one of the problems. We’ve been taught there are two sides on this issue and God-forbid we choose the wrong side. But, listen. There’s no them versus us. There are no sides to be chosen. We are all in the same people group. All of us are God’s sons and daughters. Period)

I love all of the feminist marchers.

I love all who didn’t march.

HEAR ME. I LOVE YOU ALL.

SO DOES JESUS.

Although I may not agree with EVERY reason behind each person’s personal reason for marching or how it may have been funded, there is still GOOD in women’s movements.

A whole lotta good.

Especially as a Christian woman.

When I look at most churches in American Western culture…my stomach sinks a bit. Because, we have a long way to go.

I’ve lived it.

I’ve grown up in it.

And equality for women is not the norm.

Yes, women can work in churches…very easily as the kid’s director, nursery worker or secretary. But, as one of the lead pastors? Well, you better hope there isn’t a man up for the same job, and you better not be divorced or (God-forbid) be unmarried.

And, if you do land that position, be very careful of how you dress…we can’t have you up there causing men to stumble (don’t even get me started. It’s ridiculous).

Now, there are churches who are bravely embracing women pastors, even ones who are single. I worked at one and it was awesome. But, as a whole, we have a mountain ahead of us.

(I feel like I may be ruffling feathers?? Am I?? It’s not my intent, although some of our conservative Christian feathers may need a little ruffling…Jesus had a knack for stirring up all kinds of controversy in this department. It’s one of the reasons I like him so much) 🙂

When I look at Jesus and see the way most churches/Christian behave, THERE ARE SO MANY QUESTIONS. LIKE SO MANY. (Not gonna go there. Not today)

But, I have to ask why?? Why is this such an issue still inside of the American church?

I believe the answer is wrapped up in one verse. Yes, ONE VERSE. A verse that has been used very much out of context, but none the less is used over and over on this issue.

All of us ladies know it.

Here ya go:

And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body…(Eph 5:22-23 NAS)

This passage has put a lot of weight on women. A LOT. It has been used to control, manipulate and silence women in a way God never intended.

But, out of “submission”,

Women stay in abusive relationships.

Women allow abuse towards their children.

Women who are qualified to lead, stay silent in the background.

Women don’t speak out for fear of being unsubmissive.

Women don’t follow the calling on their life.

Women stay silent. They stay in the background. They stay unknown. They stay in their “place”.

None of this looks like Jesus.

NONE OF IT.

Not every Christian woman falls into this category. But, friends, it happens. It happens a lot more than people realize.

I have personal experience here.

It’s ugly and it’s real.

What was meant to be a wonderful illustration of Christ and the church, has been misused as a tool to instill fear, control and insert pre-supposed gender roles.

I’m no theologian, but hear me out.

*I didn’t reference a translation that used the word “submit” in this passage, but most translations do.

Ironically, the word “submit” doesn’t even appear in the older, better manuscripts. They came to use that word from the previous verse where Paul’s calls for mutual submission (like with all believers, not just inside of marriage). This entire passage of Ephesians sets the tone with a call to mutual submission: Submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ.

So, submission was meant as mutual submission.

That was the context.

Then, we get to the whole head part.

Many people read the word “head” and interpret it as “leader” or “authority”. Yet “head” rarely had the metaphorical meaning of authority in Ancient Greek. Paul used the head and body metaphor as a picture of unity. He uses the example to encourage husbands to love their wives just as much as themselves, by referencing the unity between Jesus and the Church.

Paul doesn’t mention authority or leadership once in this passage. Male leadership or a gender hierarchy is not being taught here.

The message that should be highlighted is the message of Christ and the church’s unity. Not a gender defining role.

But, it has been. And still is.

But at the end of the day, I sit down with my favorite.  (Did I mention Jesus is my favorite? Like favorite guy bestie in the entire universe?? Yeah, he’s amazing)

I look to him as the example to be followed. And, he sets the bar pretty high…

  • He defended an adulterous woman (like she was about to be put to death for her crime of adultery. CRAZY)
  • He looked a Samaratan woman in the eye and talked to her as an equal (He was a Jew. That wasn’t done. Like at all)
  • He honored a woman and treated her as an apostle (yup. Mary Magdaline)
  • He chose an unmarried woman to be his mother (the virgin Mary. NOT society standards)
  • He entrusted two women with the message of his resurrection. (He could have revealed it to his male disciples, but he didn’t. He chose to trust women with the message)

Jesus had clear standards when it came to women.

HE LOVED THEM.

CHERISHED THEM.

FOUGHT FOR THEM.

DEFENDED THEM.

CLAIMED THEM.

TREATED THEM EQUALLY.

He viewed women just as capable, valuable and necessary as men in a culture that was loudly opposing.

As Jesus followers, we have no option but to defend, honor, protect and support women as equals. And I believe this should not just be in the workplace, voting booths or marching down the streets of major cities.

This should start with men and women in Jesus loving homes, in churches and in organizations that claim to know Him.

Jesus was never gender focused. He was and continues to be heart focused. He looks at character, integrity, motive and story-line. He always has. We as the church cannot afford to do anything less.

So, whether you marched in the streets for women’s rights or not, ALL Jesus followers should be marching for women to be seen, heard, honored and highly respected. Our churches need them. Our world needs them. Our homes need them.

Marching on,

Anna

26 thoughts on “Why Jesus would march

    • Women marched for many different reasons. One of them may have been the right to choose how to treat their own bodies, but many of us were there for other reasons.

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  1. Women marching for equal rights is one thing, but your post belies the reality that this march was funded by abortion advocates that specifically excluded pro-life women from their roster of partners. I can’t support a march that supports abortion. As a Christian and as a woman I know abortion is anti-woman and anti-God’s-gift of life because it separates woman from one of the main things that makes a woman her beautiful self, creating and nurturing a life.

    This is not to shame or hurt anyone’s feelings who may have had an abortion or an experience with it. Jesus loves you know matter what and nothing can change that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this post Anna. I believe that Jesus would have marched. Each person there had a reason why they marched. It is not our right to judge someone who had an abortion. Everyone has a story and a reason. It’s not our story or reason. It’s our story to love everyone and encourage everyone. I am sure there were pro life women there and I am sure there were pro choice women there. We can’t go back 100 years. As women we have come too far.

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  3. Excellent!
    My wife once said to me that God put the wrong ones in charge. I decided that it was time to challenge the idea of men being “in charge”. Did a seven part series a few years ago in my blog. Please, if you would, check them out and give me input. I will apologize in advance for some overdue editing on a few of them, as my friend’s input got wordy, but I trust the points still stand. Posts are titled Equality or Equity, if you are interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this! I literally just had a conversation with someone today and we asked the question, “if Jesus was here would He have marched?” We sort of landed at no, but because he would have loved both the people marching and those who didn’t. Being hateful even when we have been shown hate or ignorance or abuse isn’t the best response. Loving people and striving for unity is.

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  5. Anna, your posts are such a joy to read and I’m thrilled every time I get an email with a new one. I truly think your “feather ruffling” is something that needs to be done more often in the Christian community. It’s beautiful to know how much God loves and honors women, and I think it is up to us to extend that message to the women who feel let down and mistreated by this world. For that same reason I do have to disagree though that Jesus would have participated in these particular marches. The way God loves women and created them to be is not being portrayed in these marches that glorify the worldy perspective on how a woman should be. Jesus wants us to love and respect ourselves just as much as he loves and respects us, and that doesn’t come in the form of sexual liberation, pride, and other sins that modern day feminists so clearly boast. I believe that rather than marching alongside these women and rallying for their rights to disrespect themselves, He would be advocating for women in ways that He knows would bring healing and life to us. To me, these marches brought together groups of women under the false pretense that they are victims with no other hope for freedom than worldy liberation. Jesus would be bringing together women and letting them know that they are victorious, and loved, and His.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Abigail, I really appreciate your thoughtful and well-expressed response. As someone who is still conflicted on the topic, do you mind if I ask you a few questions? I agree that God would more likely be unifying and cherishing women in ways less worldly than a political march. With that in mind, I’m still unsure about the false pretense you say women were marching under. I suppose I’m asking: Although we know that as humans, sinners, and women our only freedom is found in an eternity with Jesus, is it not worth it to protest for an earthly future that is kinder and more celebratory of women like Jesus would’ve been? I don’t have an answer here, I’m just curious to see what you think!

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      • Hey Camille! I totally think working towards a future that is kinder towards women, and all people for that matter, is a worthwhile cause. I believe that Jesus wants us to be treated, and to treat others, in a way that replicates how He loves and treats us. That being said, unfair treatment of women, or anyone else, should most definitely be opposed and stopped. In my opinion, the way to move towards this future is by upholding biblical truths & values in our lives, and working to instill them in society. My problem with “The Women’s March” was that it was very vulgar in all of its signs and speeches, and it wasn’t inclusive of all women as Jesus would’ve been. They didn’t want women with beliefs unlike their own marching alongside them, and therefore made it more about forcing political views, instead of empowering women. As Christians, we should be absorbing the pain of those hurting and fiercely opposing any mistreatment of anyone. Regardless of political or religious beliefs. So, yes, it is absolutely worth it to protest and advocate for a kinder and more celebratory world, because that goes hand in hand with us finding our freedom through Jesus. Our life here on Earth should be spent being like Jesus in all ways possible, and I truly believe that by living like Him, and showing others that love, we can make a kinder world for all. Hope this helps answer your question! 🙂

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  6. What do you make of 1 Timothy 2:11-14? It does seem to suggest here that men are to have these sorts of authority positions in the church. I was having a similar conversation with my husband not two days ago. We realized that, as far as we can think of, there is nowhere in the Bible that it tells of how leadership and authority should work in the WORKPLACE. There is the verse you mentioned about marriage (I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation; I need to think more on it), and there is the section I mentioned (and one other, I think) that specifically talks in the context of the church. But as far as we could think of, it doesn’t say anywhere that women can’t be in the workplace or serve in leadership there. Your post gave me a lot to think about. Not sure I entirely agree, but I haven’t before heard all of these perspectives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kaitlyn,

      I would just like to interject, when speaking of not “permitting” there are many scholars that agree the greek word used was circumstantial rather than in unequivocal. I would highly consider reading this blog (don’t know the author but there are some really good points as to context) and then deciding for yourself whether you think that one verse describing women to not teach was a circumstantial situation or is supposed to be applied to everyone, across cultures and centuries. http://reknew.org/2007/12/women-in-ministry/
      Much love,
      Melody

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  7. I was ready to “shut you down” when I first started reading your post. LOL. I was thinking, “Oh man, I’m going to have to stop following Anna.” 😦 (Yes, that’s how I feel about these marches.) I just want to say that I agree with everything Abigail so eloquently says above – especially, “I believe that rather than marching alongside these women and rallying for their rights to disrespect themselves, He would be advocating for women in ways that He knows would bring healing and life to us.” And, I believe this is what you are saying in your post, and for that reason, I love and appreciate everything you said. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you missed a Bible verse about the possibility of women as pastors: 1 Tim 2:12. I do not believe women should ever preach/teach men UNLESS there are no men equipped or willing to do so. There are plenty of other leadership roles for women in the church, but being the pastor isn’t one.

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  9. I think you have misunderstood the biblical definition of submit which is: not to usurp another’s authority.
    It says nothing about allowing abuse, keeping your mouth shut, not trying to better yourself or teaching. God has gifted ALL Christians and he requires us to use those gifts and not squander them. That being said, I would have a great deal of trouble buying into anything Gloria Steinem says. Bettering ourselves as women should not come with the requirement of beating men down. That’s not Christ’s love. The fact that anti-abortion advocates were not allowed to march goes against the grain in a big way. If it was for women’s rights then why were some EXCLUDED. That’s no better than abuse. It’s certainly not loving.

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  10. Thank you Anna. Your blog, in general, is like a breath of fresh air!! It is such a relief to hear a Christian voice that is more focused on love than judgment. My heart is full of joy and gratitude that you see the love and the inspiration and the revolutionary spirit that went into the Women’s March. So many of my beautiful friends were there, and they made wonderful connections with others full of hope and fire like themselves. I’m grateful every day for their light and pray to keep my heart focused on that gratitude rather than anger at those whose remarks – even in this thread – denigrate their beauty as people or the purity and passion of their work (and my own). Thank you for your continued willingness to step into your heart and see the beauty in others . . . who are tired of being seen as “others.” You inspire me to keep extending patience and compassion. I left Christianity a long time ago, for many reasons that I won’t go into here, though I suspect after having read your posts you understand a few of them! I’ve since been initiated into a shamanic path . . . as a psychic and energy healer, it was never about getting away from Spirit for me. Though our semantics are different, our spiritual understanding is very similar. Love and blessings to you. Keep shining your Light!

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  11. Anna, Jesus would NOT have marched. He would have stood on the sidelines, wept, and prayed, but He would not have marched & showed agreement. Read their Guiding Vision & Definition of Principles – the PDF, not the truncated version they’re putting out there.
    Roles in the body of Christ and within the church are clear. Sin, suffering, and pain has distorted so much. Christ would never ask anyone to stay in an abusive relationship out of submission – anyone who encourages this or preaches this is dead wrong.
    You have the filter/perspective of a certain painful past and that colors everything. I get that, because my pain influences my perceptions too. You asked why is this still an issue within the church today? It’s because of sin. We’re a sinful lot, and when the brokenness of sin creeps in, it causes all kinds of divisions. The only way to stop it is to measure everything against the right plumb line. That’s God’s Word. Not what seems right, or what our culture says is right, or what feels good, but by what God, through His Holy, divinely inspired written word says. And sometimes that will be painful, it’ll be counter-cultural, and it’ll pinch a bit. So check these out: Gen 3:16, 1Cor 11:3, Eph 5:22-33, Col 3:18-21, 1 Tim 2:11-14, & 1Cor 11:8-9. God is a God of order & balance. He has established order within the family & the church. His word is clear. Our roles are different. Not better than one another. Just different. I married my husband, promising to obey. It stuck a little, but I coughed it out. I’m strong-willed, and all that. It’s been almost 18 years, and I love him like I never thought possible. God’s way of doing it really works. Our roles are really different. When you let culture dictate the shots, it gets messed. When you let God call the shots, it’s the best.

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  12. Though I disagree with your conclusion that Jesus would’ve marched due to some of the unity principles at the march being in direct conflict from his teachings, I loved this post. You especially did a great job describing how Christ valued women and had them play important roles in his ministry. I think as Christian women, trying to figure out how to respond to our current culture is challenging because while Christ compels us to ensure all humans are treated with their God-given dignity, there are aspects of modern feminism that don’t align with the Christian worldview. I actually wrote about this a few weeks back on my blog (https://stumblingtowardsainthood.com/2017/01/12/catholicism-and-feminism/).

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  13. My wife and I and toddler just marched in the Los Angeles woman’s march a few weeks ago. I carried our son and my wife carried the sign “Love Trumps Hate.” I was nervous about going. I felt a little guilty being the same gender as others who have been so hurtful and oppressive toward women. But I’m so glad I went. It was wonderful to see so many women celebrating each other and to see men who were supporting the women in their life. I stumbled across your blog via the WordPress reader and I’m glad I did. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts! http://www.sacredbadgeofcourage.com/

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  14. I really enjoyes this post. I know that Jesus is in those who believe and if you were at that March Jesus would have definetly been with you. lets hope all those marched have a honest and rightful heart. The holy spirit is our advocate and he shines light through the darkness of this world! great post.

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