29 September 2013

Philipp's Daughters: Emancipation

On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. (Acts 21:8-9)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

I may be a woman,
but that does not decide my fate -
for the Spirit of God
has set me free.

No longer bound
to hearth and home,
no longer is marriage
the sole option for me,
no longer my purpose
child-bearing alone -
for the Spirit of God
has chosen me.

I will not be silenced
or voiceless anymore:
I have a message from God.
I will not be second-class,
worthless or ignored:
for I am a daughter of God.
In Him there is no woman,
in Him there is no man,
no servant or free,
no Jew or Greek,
but all one in Christ
and Christ in us.

I may be a woman
but that makes me no less
in the eyes of the Lord.
I may be a woman
but that will not keep me
from preaching His Word
of salvation for all -
for the Spirit of God
is working in me.

_____________________________________________________

[January 2013]

Christianity did a lot for women's rights, actually. If you look at these girls, for instance: they were unmarried (not dependent on a husband), and they were prophetesses (they actually had something important to say and could say it). Something new in a culture where marriage was usually the only option for a woman, and where women had hardly anything to say (or they did, but no one listened)!

In the church, women actually had a chance to participate and a chance to be heard. Because God gives equally of His Spirit to men and to women, and calls both men and women to His service. Something that keeps getting lost a bit in the church (sadly) but that has kept reappearing, e.g. with nuns or women missionaries who were very involved. In fact, in the 19th Century women missionaries had a lot more freedom than the women who stayed at home - being allowed to preach, for instance, and take over leadership roles.

There are Christians who have trouble with "feminism". I think it depends how feminism is defined. I believe that what happened at Pentecost - the Spirit being given to women too and not just men - was a major step in emancipation. God empowers women for His service - not just men. We are equally important, and can be equally involved.

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