"Jesus Feminism" - Pursuing Equality with LOVE

The other day I was waiting for a bus, scrolling absent mindedly through Instagram discovery when I stumbled across this book - "Jesus Feminist" by Sarah Bessey. I was struck and did something my friends and family know I never do - bought it immediately.

I was excited about a book that would confirm everything I believed, a book that would angrily prove that Jesus is a radical feminist and that God never destined humanity to patriarchy... but when I cracked the bright yellow book open a week later Bessey had something else waiting for me.

The proof was all there, the agreement that God destined women for a role just as important as men was evident, but the anger was not.
Instead of hate, Bessey opens the book with this poem by Idelette McVicker

"Let us be women who Love.
Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love. Let us be women who love. Let us be women who make room.
Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace."
The poem continues onto the next few pages, read the full poem here: Let Us Be Women Who Love

I had to take a deep breath and realize that though I pride myself deeply on being someone who is full of love and grace, I've been the opposite with regards to men.

It has been so easy to look back on my own life and see all the lies and empty promises I've been told, to remember the sexual harassment I've faced: the catcalling, groping, a mugging... and resent men, despite the many healthy and supportive relationships I do have, (such as my father, brother, and many others).
It's so easy to look at my life and see hurt, betrayal, pain, and wounds. I can even look at myself and find a way to attribute all of my weaknesses to the men who have passed through my life.
I look at the women around me, some who haven't had loving fathers and brothers, but instead have their own burdens and scars, far greater than my own... and resent men.
It is so easy to look at the world today and see all the horrors that exist, to hear of injustice: the sex trafficking, child marriage, rape, poverty, war... and resent men for the destruction and pain we face.

Although modern secular feminism does not preach the hatred of men, I latched onto it as a way to express my own.
I've kicked and screamed. I've cried. I've convinced people to see the pain I face, the hurt that surrounds of all.
Even now I want to shout and make you hear just how broken our world is, that this is wrong! I want it all to change.. now!!
But now I'm learning that this is not the way to go about it...
I'm realizing that the radical feminism I thought I believed might not be so radical.
Maybe radical feminism is believing the audacious truth that we can only truly heal fissures this deep with Jesus himself.
Bessey writes on page 56:
"The world is failing women, and we, the people of God, know the solution: our beloved Jesus and his Kingdom ways are good news, in every sense of the words."
Maybe radical feminism is realizing that we can't change humanity alone and that we can't change it instantaneously. 
Maybe radical feminism is recognizing the mourning I feel so deeply in my heart is a longing for the world I am destined for. It is a longing for redemption, not through anger or hatred, but through Jesus Christ. 

But please do not misinterpret my joining with Jesus as conceding from feminism or taking a step back from justice. Recognizing gender inequality as one of the greatest negative impacts of the Fall gives the cause for equality validity
Actually let's do that right now. Let's look at patriarchy as an outcome of the Fall; a result of sin and in contrast to God's plan for our lives.
Patriarchy systematically renders useless half of the church population. What a better way to allow Satan's reign on Earth to continue than silence half of the people fighting him? 
"Patriarchy will not allow us to participate in the restorative movement of the Spirit for women and men's intended alliance. Carolyn Custis James wisely observes, 'When half the church holds back-whether by choice or because we have no choice-everybody loses and our mission suffers setbacks.'" -Bessey page 174
And what better way to stop change than to fuel hatred? Aren't we giving him power by preventing women from participating, but we're also giving power by letting our anger at injustice turn to hatred. Instead of fighting the sin we are fighting the sinners

So let's fight the sin. Let's go back to God, return to his word and seek out the truth. Let's put aside all our stereotypes and false teachings and re-evaluate his plan for women. I am sure you will find we too are "dancing warriors," as Sarah Bessey so perfectly puts it, made in the image of a perfect God.

What do we do with that truth? 
"We reject the lies of inequality, we affirm the Spirit, we forgive radically, we advocate for love and demonstrate it by folding laundry, and we live these kingdom ways of shalom prophetically in the world." page 169
The truth that women are just as equal in God's eyes is powerful, because women are powerful and validating us leads to the unfathomable. 

Towards the end of her book, on page 172, Sarah Bessey points out that you don't have to call yourself a feminist to seek justice in the world, but that "until being a Christian is synonymous with doing something about these things, [injustice in the world: sex trafficking, abuse, rape, etc.], you can also call me a feminist." Me too girl. 

Being a Christian should be interchangeable with seeking justice, but until it is, "you can also call me a feminist."

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I'd love to keep writing for a few more hours, but this is already too long. I actually had to delete 1,000 words before posting this. 
If you were at all interested in this, please PLEASE read this book - Jesus Femnist by Sarah Bessey.
Or if you want to talk more about this topic, agreeing or disagreeing, I'll buy you a cup of coffee - let's chat.


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