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Feminism and Related Issues

Of Salt Losing Its Savor...
By Mrs. Chancey
Nov 10, 2008 - 10:40:40 PM

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It's been an interesting year, and Christians have a lot of thinking to do in light of the recent election and the events leading up to it. Well-known feminist Katha Pollitt had this to say in her op-ed piece in The Nation on November 6:

[Sarah] Palin's presence on the Republican ticket forced family-values conservatives to give public support to working mothers, equal marriages, pregnant teens and their much-maligned parents. ... No one said she was neglecting her husband or failing to be appropriately submissive to him. No one blamed her for 17-year-old Bristol's out-of-wedlock pregnancy or hard-partying high-school-dropout boyfriend. No one even wondered out loud why Bristol wasn't getting married before the baby arrived. All these things have officially morphed from sins to "challenges," just part of normal family life. No matter how strategic this newfound broadmindedness is, it will not be easy to row away from it. Thanks to Sarah, ladies, we can do just about anything we want as long as we don't have an abortion. (Emphasis mine.) [1]

This is a sober wake-up call to all of us. Christians, this is how the world perceives our witness. Christ said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men" (Matt. 5:13). We've essentially announced to the world that we've been feminists all along. Again, from Katha Pollitt:

The love [Palin] got from Republican women, including very conservative, traditional women, shows that what I like to call the feminism of everyday life is taking hold across the spectrum. That old frilly-doormat model of femininity is gone: even women who stay home and attend churches that bar women from the clergy thrill to the idea of women being all that they can be and taking their rightful place in the public realm. Like everyone else, they want respect and power, and now, finally, thanks to the women's movement they despise, they may actually get some. [2]

Do we want "respect and power," or do we want to die to self and live for Christ? "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again" (2 Cor. 5:14-15 NKJV).

I've been that woman striving for respect and power and demanding my "rights" and the recognition I thought I deserved. I insisted on my "rightful place" just as Pollitt describes. So I understand the appeal of the siren song of "power." Yet God graciously broke the spell of that song fourteen years ago and showed me that I had traded the joys of home for the husks in the proverbial pig pen. Like the prodigal, when I came to my senses , I would have been happy to be accepted as a slave in the house of my father. But God gave more -- He gave a royal welcome, wiped away the tears of bitterness, and replaced my tattered garments of self-righteousness with a robe bought with a price I could not pay.

This is our Gospel story. Will we tell it through the lives we live? Will we let God work through these vessels of clay to display His treasure (2 Cor. 4:7), or will we continue to strive after the glittery external trappings of wordly power and honor? The choice is ours, and it's not going to be an easy path. But it never has been. We die to live. We put ourselves last. We serve instead of demanding to be served. This is our calling in Christ. It's not a calling for "perfect" people, because there are none. I ought to know; I have to get up and look in the mirror of the Word every day, and it shows me that, truly, "in my flesh nothing good dwells" (Rom. 7:18 NKJV).

The Gospel gives us hope precisely because it is accomplished through brokenness. We are all of us broken, therefore we can glory in our weaknesses because Christ gets the glory for any good we accomplish (2 Cor. 12:9-10). May God help us to live this truth before a watching world. This is our hope. This is our joy. God give us the grace to live it. [3]

Notes:

[1] Pollitt, Katha, "Sayonara, Sarah." The Nation, November 6, 2008.
[2] Ibid
[3] For a wonderful piece about the incredible life-changing effects when Christians live their faith, see "Charity and Compassion: Christianity Is Good for Culture."


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