Thursday, March 5, 2009

second-rate????

Yesterday I was talking with a friend of mine who teaches at a local Christian high school. She was telling me about her Spiritual Life Group (like a small group at school) and a discussion they had. The group is all girls, of which I would be fairly certain most grew up in Bible-believing churches. The group has a 'question box' where anyone can put a question in, and they periodically draw a question from the box and discuss it. The question that came out yesterday was along the lines of "are women created equal?" Now, the discussion centered around, not just are women equal in 'function' but are they equal in 'value'. My friend sort of took the question a little farther and asked the girls if they thought they were created equally in God's image.

I was greatly saddened to hear what the prevailing opinion among these young Christian women was. They basically said they felt that no, they must not be, because Adam was created first, and Eve only from Adam, and only as a 'helper'. They assumed that men carried 'more' of the image of God because they are allowed to be pastors and leaders in the church and women aren't. They guessed that must be because women get too 'bi-polar' in their emotions. They figured that because God refers to himself in the masculine in scripture that women must just be a little 'less'. What a heartbreaking disservice the church has done to women throughout the ages!

While I can respect differing stances on the 'women in leadership' issue, I am left wondering how we can right the wrongly ingrained beliefs these young ladies have, and countless other women in the church, about the value of their own personhood. I know not all of my readers would agree with the position I personally hold on the topic of women leading in the church, however, I cannot imagine they would be fine with Christian girls holding an opinion of themselves as 'second-rate' in God's eyes! So I would love to have a flood of comments from people - who both agree and disagree with me - with your thoughts on how an issue such as this can be addressed.

3 comments:

Laura said...

Well, since I am that friend, I will say a bit about how I'm going to address it: I'm going to start in genesis and talk about how male and female are created in His image... and then I am going to ask them to read a couple of verses that use that word "helper" (as in "a helper corresponding to him" in Genesis 2- ezer-hebrew) to better understand that it doesn't mean "a subordinate" in any other bible passages. No better place to start than Genesis to understand God's original plan.

I was floored when I saw that they really questioned if they were even created in God's image as much as men were.

And Jess, this is totally off topic- but I picked up salmon for you at Aldi's today.

zz said...

This is really sad that girls feel second rate. I used to blame the church for perpetuating the lie, until I decided the blame should be set squarely back on the father of lies, Satan himself. He has certainly won again in diverting blame onto God by using God's people to lie going. While I do agree that the Bible is clear on men leading the church as a whole, I think the emotional reasons are not primary. They factor in, but I've met plenty of mooody male leaders in my day as well. The church needs to preach louder and longer about the beautiful meaning of "helper," because I, for one, have not fully grasped that it's as important as a leadership position. The thing I cling to is "God knows best" regardless whether I understand or agree w/ Him. I just think it's sad that our young girls are growing up "breathing the air of feminism," as I once heard, because I grew up w/ plenty of it in my day. In fact, it must've come right on down through me despite my attempts to squash it, because one of my children has said on more than one occasion, "Mom, what have YOU done to pay back all that money you wasted on college? Stayed at home? If it weren't for Dad, you would't have anything!" I don't say that to slight my son, but to point out that somewhere along the lines, he has equated the work of women to be inferior because it doesn't pay or doesn't pay well. That's one of the strongest messages I heard from about 7th grade on up.

zz said...

I meant "to keep the lie going."