I shared the following thoughts on social media and they resonated with some people. So I’m sharing it here too. I wrote the following after hearing flawed assumptions countless times about what Christian egalitarians or mutualists believe.
I often hear the assertion that egalitarian women, like myself, want to be like men, or we want to do men’s jobs, or we want to be equal to men. But these ideas aren’t quite right.
I don’t want to be like a man; I love being a woman.
I don’t want to do a man’s job; I want to do my job.
I don’t even want to be equal to men, as such.
I don’t see egalitarianism so much as women being equal to men in terms of status, privileges, responsibilities, and opportunities; I see it primarily as people being equal as human beings (Genesis 1:26–28).
I don’t aspire to be like a man in any way. Moreover, at least some of the status, privileges, responsibilities, and opportunities that our culture and churches have assigned to only or mostly men, especially in the past, have been unhealthy and unChristlike.
Men as the norm or benchmark for humanity has certainly been part of our culture for centuries and it has affected our language and customs. But this patriarchal bent is not a Christian value and shouldn’t be part of our culture in our Christian communities.
In Christ, men do not set the standard. Jesus has done that, and we are all his siblings.
Sometimes, the Christian message of equality in the New Testament is missed because of male-centred language and customs that were part of the first-century patriarchal culture. But the message is there. (See here, for example.)
We need to lose the idea that men are the benchmark for humanity within and outside of the church, a benchmark being “a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared.”
There’s more I can say about this, but I’m keeping it short for now: overall, men are not the benchmark for humanity, especially for us who are in Christ.
Also, in case my words I misunderstood, I love and appreciate my brothers and the men in my life.
Excerpt from “Jesus washing Peter’s Feet” (1852–1856) by Ford Madox Brown (Wikimedia)
Podcast on Ephesians 5
I recently spoke with James Pruch about Ephesians 5 and Paul’s intention for marriage. We spoke about keywords such as “love,” “head,” and “submit” and about the chapter’s structure. Our hour-long conversation is on the Everyday Disciples podcast, here.
And I spoke with Lynn Cohick on her podcast Alabaster Jar about my experience as girl and grown woman seeking to serve God, here.
The Status of Christian Women, in a Nutshell
Galatian 3:28: Our Identity in Christ and in the Church
The Means of Ministry: Grace, Gifts, Faith … Gender?
Jesus’ Teaching on Leadership and Community in Matthew’s Gospel
The Biblical Basis of Egalitarianism in 500 Words
My Perspective of Christian Egalitarianism
How Christian Egalitarians Understand “Equality”
Manhood and Masculinity in the ESV
Are men physically superior to women?