Lately, a great amount of attention has been given to feminism and the movement. For me, I can attest to having had my issues with what I’ve seen it become and how it has evolved over the years. Recent messages titled Jesus: The Founder of the Women’s Liberation Movement, by Kris Vallotton as well as conversations with many others in the faith, especially millennials who have truly grasped a wealth of grace and wisdom, have caused me to think more wholly about the redemptive capacity that is within the feminist movement.
With that in mind, I began reading Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, written by Sarah Bessey. One of the things she points out, which I actually learned in my own recent studies in modern Christianity is that the “Feminist Movement” actually originated from within the Church, as women began to find their own liberty that caused them to start Bible studies in their homes. Those Bible studies launched revivals and gave them platforms that traditionally were not afforded them in the church. Yet, it catapulted many of these women to a place where women outside of the Church saw their acceptance as equals in ministry and it inspired other women to see themselves greater and worthy of their own liberation.
One of the most substantial things that Sarah points out for the reader is that much like Christianity, feminism has splintered into various sects or degrees of doctrinal beliefs, which you don’t have to subscribe to all of them to consider yourself as feminist or else reject all of it simply because there are things which you don’t ascribe to.
Something that I can appreciate about Sarah Bessey’s book is that it is very readable, filled with humor and chock full of “sass” as a friend of mine also commented. This book is inspiring, hopeful, visionary and challenging for men and women to be better towards one another as God’s creation and joint heirs of the mission to be fruitful, flourishing, and redeeming creation.
What I appreciate about Sarah’s pursuit to present her thoughts on feminism as she sees it in the Bible, it’s that she doesn’t present it in such a way that she is pridefully saying “this is it,” “this is all that there is to know and understand about the subject and my way is the right way to think about it.” Instead, she presents this as a way to truly challenge a deeper dialog within the reader to seek the truth that is found in scripture and to begin the greater dialog within one’s own dealings in the culture in which we find ourselves.
I would challenge everyone to read this, if for no other reason than to broaden the view of feminism and let it be the catalyst for creating the needed dialog of the place of women in society and seeing women as the co-laborer of restoration of all things and bringing glory to God’s story! I believe that pastors, leaders, and people from every walk of life can consider the ideas that are within the pages of Sarah’s book, it will begin to shift culture in a way that #MeToo will take on a whole new meaning; where all are valued.
QUESTION: What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Feminist?” How does it shape your daily interactions?