A good friend asked me recently on Facebook why some Christian women have to be feminists. “Can’t they just be women of God?” she asked.
Think about that question. We say “men of God” and “women of God” as if everyone knows what that means. But what does it mean to be gendered female or male and a follower of Christ?
For me, feminism is wrapped up in the Kingdom of God and the resurrection of the saints. We don’t know a lot about what life will be like when the Kingdom of God is completed, but we do know a few things:
- Jesus was the first of the resurrected.
- Jesus was resurrected in a real, physical, gendered body. (I.e. Jesus was still a man when he was resurrected.)
So, from this, I conclude that:
- I will be resurrected in a real, physical, gendered body. (I.e. I will still be a woman in the Kingdom of Heaven.)
- I will still relate to the world around me as a woman.
We also know that the Kingdom of God has already been established by Christ. As Christians, we are already part of the Kingdom and we are obligated to live Kingdom lives.
So if I’m a woman and I need to live as part of the Kingdom, my sexuality is very much important. It’s still going to matter. Yes, the Bible says we will not be given in marriage, but it doesn’t say we’re no longer going to be men and women!
So the question is this: How do you believe men and women will work with each other in the Kingdom of God?
If you believe men are still going to be in a unique position of headship, then complimentarianism is the way we should be living. If you believe that God’s punishment of Eve (Gen. 3:16) is overturned because of Christ’s death and resurrection, egalitarianism is what we should live by.
Egalitarianism says that Christ has been victorious over sin and death. Men and women no longer need to adhere to hierarchical roles because we are FREE.
I take living in the Kingdom seriously. I just can’t ignore the fact that I will still have a physical body—in fact, N.T. Wright says our bodies will be more physical, more real than they are now! So for me, role equality is dependant upon one’s theology of the resurrection.
And that is why this conversation matters. Does that make sense? I’ve said before that if someone can convince me that in the Kingdom of God men will still hold a unique position of headship and authority, I will gladly give up egalitarianism. My allegiance is not to a title or ideology, but to Christ. That’s how important this is to me. And yes—that’s an invitation. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head on over to Danielle Vermeer’s blog From Two to One to see what others are posting about why feminism matters.