A commentary about the “Me Too” and “Church Too” twitter trends, which highlighted sexual harassment against women by men.
The author here basically says in a much shorter format what I said in an older post comparing Christian Gender Complementarianism to Codependency:
by Carolyn Custis James
….But without investigating and addressing the sources of the problem, our efforts will fall short and the epidemic will persist.
In good conscience, we cannot adequately address this epidemic without exploring causative factors that increase female vulnerability and allow for such violations against women to occur in the first place. Otherwise, we are fighting a losing battle. We must take preventative action too.
Those Ubiquitous S-Words
Rachel Simmons, author of Enough As She Is, put her finger on a major contributing factor when she wrote,
Women have been taught, by every cultural force imaginable, that we must be ‘nice’ and quiet’ and ‘polite,’ that we must protect others’ feelings before our own. That we are there for other’s pleasure.
The same kind of social messaging for women intensifies in the church, reinforced by the claim that the Bible supports it.
We are not taught to be strong and courageous (even though that is the Apostle Paul’s message for us). We aren’t urged to develop the kind of backbone needed in awkward situations with the opposite sex. We aren’t conditioned to be decisive and proactive.
Instead, “silence” and “submission” are all too often the church’s watchwords for women and girls. When it comes to messages targeting women and girls in the church, we hear more about these two words than anything else, and both put us at risk.
These S-words cultivate and spiritualize passivity, dependency, self-doubt, and deference to men as a woman’s godly first response. Yes, both words appear in the Bible and both appear with reference to women. Yet both words take on deeper, more radical meaning when Jesus’ gospel redefines them.
The so-called “silencing of women” becomes a distortion when interpreted as a ban on the female voice. It ignores other biblical texts that validate the female voice as an indispensible source of theological instruction for all believers.
How anemic would Christian theology be without the theological voices of Hagar, Deborah, Hannah, or Mary of Nazareth? The strongest affirmation of the female voice came from Jesus who charged his female disciples with proclaiming his resurrection and rebuked his male disciples for refusing to believe them.
Submission in the Bible is a universal call to all believers—both male and female—that ultimately points to Jesus. His brand of submission isn’t an event. It is a lifestyle of sacrifice…