Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Grid Blog for Int'l Women's Day

I've always been hesitant to speak out regarding gender equality. Much of what I've seen regarding feminism has been about striving for power, which has no appeal to me. When I first heard about this grid blog, I didn't pay much attention to it because I wasn't planning on participating.

Fortunately, most of my life I've been allowed the privilege of expressing myself and functioning within my giftings without having to battle gender stereotypes. My thanks to parents who raised me with the mentality that I can be whatever I want to be and to a husband who embraces both my strengths and my weaknesses.

Today, I was convicted to participate in this grid blog because of the issues of injustice and oppression. These are hot-button issues for me, whether they are expressed as sexism, racism, or other forms of domination and abuse.

I began addressing this topic of exclusion and dominance in my post entitled Pecking Order. In that post, I said:

"The kingdom of God is a social order that is based on love and mutual submission. Jesus calls us to see things differently than the rest of the world. He calls us to buck the trend of our push and shove world."

Within the church, we cannot turn away from addressing issues of power, exclusion, dominance, and abuse. Leaders should be held accountable for their use of power and influence.

So rather than being a silent witness to this kind of injustice in the church, I will add my voice to others today who want to bring light to the issue.

Will it matter? Will it make a difference?

The truth is that we(women) have no voice with those who most need to hear this message.

Quoting from Rachelle's blog today:

"When a woman is told she has to limit her potential so a man can realize his--that's injustice.

When God-given gifts of leadership are denied because of someone's gender--that's injustice.

When men are told they must carry all the authority and all the responsibility for family and organizational decisions--that's injustice.

When women are threatened verbally and treated as inferior--that's injustice.

And God wants justice--oceans of it. Fairness--rivers of it."


Pam Hogeweide said...

Amen. Grace, I'm so glad you hopped into the grid-block. I had meant to forward you the announcement a couple of weeks ago...glad you heard about it anyway!

Just today I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Well behaved women rarely make history".

For most of my Christian adult life I have considered the question of women having spiritual authority over men purely a theological position. Though I have believed for many years that women are called to be leaders as much as men are I have been passive about it, not wanting to be divisive or, um, bitchy about it. Because of a recent conversation I had with a woman pastor last month my perspective has changed. Thank God people didn't settle on American slavery being a "theological issue" and let it go.

I was talking to my husband about this recently. This is not an urgent topic to him and quite honestly he was a bit nervous that I'm going to launch into a campaign of activism (actually, I might). We talked it out, at times a bit heated, and then he asked, "What is it you want? What are you after? More women and less men to lead?"

No, no that's not it, I assured him. It's not about genders competing for power and control, but it's about freedom to be and do what God has called you to, no matter your gender. It's a mindset I'd like to see changed. For instance, a church we recently left had some elders leave. NO big deal, elders come and go, right? But the mindset is such that the leaders consider filling these positions with men, not women, only men candidates are considered. This mindset I would like to see changed in evangelical America, so that when elders and pastors are needed both women and men are considered, based on the Holy Spirit callignthem out, rather than gender disqualifying women altogether.

I believe that men and women are meant to serve and lead side by side. I believe in mutual submission, a yielding to one another in an attitude of humility and love; I believe in marital partnership, where a woman's voice and desires are not any less than her husband's.

I don't really know how to be an activist in this except to talk about it and write about it.

I'm glad you are blogging about this Grace. There is much more to say...

Debbie said...

Can you explain what a grid-block is?

grace said...

I think I understand what you are saying. It sounds like many aren't ready yet to see this as injustice. That doesn't ring very true however, when it is those in the dominant position deciding that it isn't injustice.

For me, the gender issues is only one aspect of abuse of power within the church that I would like to see addressed.

At some point we will have to learn to separate power from leadership. That is part of the upside down nature of the kingdom.

I'm not really sure. I tried to follow the instructions by using the given title for my post and linking back to Rachelle's site. However, my link didn't make it onto the list, so I'm not sure I'm even in the gridblog. My understanding is that it is a group of blogposts all on the same theme.

Debbie said...

Ohh Okay that sounds like fun

Pam Hogeweide said...

your link is there eg