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Feminism and faith: An open letter to Ravi Zacharias

Dear Ravi,

I have questions Ravi … so many questions. Gender has become a big topic on social media these days. In my final year in the university, my lecturer made feminism look like a cause worth fighting for. She didn’t appear to hate men as I thought all feminist did. In fact she went on to tell us that women are often the ‘agents of patriarchy’.I started taking gender seriously because of the way she presented the topic. Oh and that was when I realized how much sexism is ingrained in most of us (if not all).

How knowledgeable must I be about feminism to be qualified to express my thoughts on the topic? How many mainstream feminist ideologies must I agree with before I can confidently say I identify with the movement? My inner cry these past few weeks has been “THE CHURCH DESERVES A ‘RAVI ZACHARIAS’ ON THE ISSUE OF FEMINISM”.

At least I know I DO! Christians need sound teaching from scripture on God’s view on gender. When I listen to you, I have the feeling that ‘Christian’ automatically means ‘Apologist’. We need someone to bring us come to the realization that ‘Christian’ automatically means ‘feminist’ too. Jesus stood up for the rights of an adulterous woman while squatting – that is an example worth emulating.

Honestly, I don’t agree with some mainstream feminist ideologies. However, this shouldn’t deter me from standing and defending the ideologies I believe in. Especially when it comes to marriage, I find myself disagreeing with most of the things the global feminist icons put out there. They often attack the definition of roles in the Bible for husbands and wives. I feel they do so in a very biased manner.

Usually this criticism is done in light of a scenario where the man is abusing his position as the head and the woman is this angelic submissive wife. You don’t criticize anything based on its abuse. Ravi, don’t you think they need to understand the definition of ‘headship’ in marriage from the Bible’s point of view? In the Bible husbands are expected to love their wives like Christ loved the church.

The love Christ had for the church cost him his life (before his resurrection). He told his wife that she would have to pick up her cross and follow himif her desire was to see their relationship flourish. Before his wife could fell a tree and carve out a cross, Jesus went ahead and took his cross and died on it. How many kings would give a command and carry it out just to show their subjects how it is done? This is the sort of relationship God expects husbands to have with their wives.

The way Jesus treated women is so admirable. One would almost think he had a thing for whores (excuse me to say). But it was all on purpose to tell us that he respects women despite what society thinks of them. How he turned the entire city of Samaria upside down in one day with a sinful woman is remarkable. Not once did he judge her because she had been divorced multiple times and was at that time sleeping with someone she wasn’t married to. He didn’t judge Mary Magdalene either. When he resurrected he revealed himself to women.  The resurrection is the foundation of the gospel. Why didn’t he reveal himself to his disciples? In those days, a woman’s word carried little or no weight at all in court, yet Jesus put the good news of his resurrection in the mouth of women first.

Men must respect women like Jesus did but husbands must love and honor their wives like he loved the church. There is no greater compliment one can ever credit into the account of womanhood than this.

People think Christian standards prevent women from chasing their dreams after marriage. I guess they hold this assertion because they are ignorant of the financially independent woman in Prov. 31. In verse 16 it says ‘she considereth a field, and buyeth it …’.Did somebody say the Bible has relegated women to the kitchen? Qualities of the ideal husband are also stated in the New Testament.In Ephesians 5 the Bible says that ‘He that loves his wife loves himself’.

1 Timothy 5:8 says that any man who does not provide for his family has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. Need I state that such a man is hell-bound if he doesn’t change his ways? 1Peter 3:7 also suggests that a husband who doesn’t honor his wife would have his prayers hindered.

The reason why I said Christians need a ‘Ravi’ on the issue of feminism is that the views of some renowned feminists are highly unbiblical. Would a Christian have to choose between being a Christian and a Feminist? Certainly not! The movement indeed deserves a loud voice from the church. Martin Luther King fought in the Civil Rights movement in America with such dedication that today, when his name is mentioned, people don’t even remember he was a Reverend Minister.

People will never care about your message unless they realize how much you care about their plight. If women are becoming highly sensitive to sexism, then the church must address it too. Isn’t it, Ravi?

Two people don’t necessarily have to agree on methods to be active in the same movement. Martin Luther King and Malcom X at a point didn’t agree on methods but that didn’t deter each of them from fighting for the rights of black people. I often criticize some feminists for their style of activism. It doesn’t mean I am against the movement.

The story of the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27) is one story in the Bible that should inspire feminists to choose the path of peaceful activism. These 5 ladies faced Moses, Eleazar the High Priest and the entire congregation of Israel (600,000 + people) to demand what was rightfully theirs.

These 5 are probably the first feminists in human history and they got it right.Their method is worth emulating I say.

I have been asking God to give Christians a ‘Ravi’ on the issue of feminism to sort of … save the day. In fact, that person should be me and every other inquisitive Christian reading this letter which isn’t addressed to them. There are men-haters masquerading social media platforms as feminists. I hope people pay them no mind at all. Misandry and feminism are not the same.

To Christians (Feminists) no matter how passionate you are about the movement don’t let it take the place of your faith. One is a movement, the other is your worldview – the latter must fuel the former.

Till we meet in person, bye!

Eli Sabblah.

 

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