Jesus isn’t a misogynist; neither should we be

Happy International Women’s Day!

21 years ago today, I remember exhorting an audience at my prep school that the Bible advocates for treating men and women equally. That the rampant paternalistic misogyny in the world is one of the boldest proofs of the Fall talked about in Genesis. (Eve wasn’t to blame; Adam was. He stayed silent.)

As I see it, women are such a threat to the evil one, he keeps up an incessant attack on them in a vain attempt to keep them under his thumb. But they keep overcoming!

Jesus isn’t misogynistic

Jesus didn’t attack women, demean them, or try to keep them down. Despite His culture, he treated women with as much respect as men. He had a habit of lifting them up. He was a Jewish rabbi that had women disciples.

The first apostles were even women. (Matthew 28) An apostle is defined as one who has seen the risen Jesus and tells others about Him. Peter and the boys quickly took credit, but it was women who were the first “sent ones.”

Jesus still isn’t misogynistic. I want to be a man like Jesus.

Oddly, just last week I got an irate review on one of my books because I almost exclusively used “she” and “her” in talking about a donor prospect. The guy was really ticked. “Your book is way out of wack (sic) with reality…it’s poorly written with your constant referral to She (sic) as if Men (sic) don’t do this. I guess your secretary must be handling things while you promote your special skills.”

Shocking. Even with the bad grammar, we see this attitude all over. I figure we’ve used “he,” “his,” and “men” to describe all people for enough millennia, it’s now time to use “she” and “her.”

Equality is biblical; misogyny is evil

For those of us who follow Jesus, it has to go. Check out Galatians 3:25-28.

Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Can’t get much clearer than that.

Raise a glass

So today, I raise a glass to all of you with the two X chromosomes. Thank you for making our world a much better place. We’ve come along way in equality. Let’s celebrate that.

But we still have a long way to go. For those of us in the USA, let’s recommit to the ideal that “all [people] are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” (modification mine).

Love & War: a new book on marriage from John & Stasi Eldredge

Love & War is the latest book from John and Stasi Eldredge. From the authors that brought us Wild at Heart, Captivating, and Epic, comes a book specifically on marriage. So when WaterBrook Multnomah offered to send me a book to reivew, I jumped at the opportunity!

I just got the book but right from the introduction, you get vintage Eldredge take on life. Stasi narrates a wedding ceremony John is officiating. I wish my ceremony had been like this! I love this quote from John:

Daniel and Megan, you are about to abandon yourselves to each other, throw caution to the wind, forsake independence, isolation, and all others. You will vow to each other you undying love. Before you do, we must call this what it is–this is perfect madness.

So true!

The chapters are:

Introduction: It Can Be Done

  1. Remembering What We Wanted
  2. Love and War
  3. A Perfect Storm
  4. The Greatest Gift You Can Give
  5. More Than Just Roommates
  6. How to Have a Really Good Fight
  7. A Shared Adventure
  8. Back-to-Back with Swords Drawn
  9. The Little Foxes
  10. When Storms Descend
  11. The Chapter on Sex
  12. Learning to Love

Epilogue
Appendix: Prayers

The prayers alone make this book a tremendous asset!

I love how the Eldredges remind us of the great adventure we’re on. That’s why we resonate with the great stories and movies of risk and adventure and friendship.

This book helps re-orient the perspectives of married couples. Marriage is a fight, but it’s also a bold adventure. The Eldredges are terrific guides on the journey.

Almost time for our worship night!

I can’t wait for our 7 p.m. worship and ministry time tonight!

By “ministry” we mean laid-back, non-hyped prayer for each other. One person gets prayed for by many. Lots of the prayer is listening to God, asking Him to bring His Kingdom to the person’s life, and see what we sense He might be saying. Then we take the big risk of saying, “I could be way off but…blah blah blah. Does that mean anything?”

We always give the person we’re praying for the respect of telling us we’re way off. They are, after all, a very important part of the prayer team!

Huh. I’d just intended to post about tonight. But now I’ve gone and done a little teaching. Wow.

Any way, check out the details on the Facebook VCW event page.

And feel free to come. We’re going to have a great time!

Magic Eraser Prayers

Magic EraserThis morning I found myself praying defensive prayers. “God protect us.” “God please war on our behalf.” Stuff like that.

Good stuff. Don’t get me wrong. God needs to be fighting our battles if anything is going to happen.

But defensive-only prayers remind me of the holiness I see of the religious in Jesus’ time. Their holiness was a fragile commodity, one easily broken.

They couldn’t touch certain people or eat certain food or do certain things. If they did, the “holiness” would be shattered and they’d have to start over.

In this world-view, evil seems stronger. It easily taints the holy ones of God. It is so strong, it could passively make you unclean. You get slimed by going into the “wrong” places or being around the “wrong” people.

Defensive only lifestyle leads too building bigger walls for us to hide behind. “Christian” music. “Christian” books. “Christian” movies. It doesn’t matter whether they’re of inferior quality. At least they’re “safe.”

Not so with Jesus.

Jesus hung out with all the wrong people in many of the wrong places. Jesus talked to prostitutes, touched lepers, he even touched the dead!

Rather than shattering his holiness, he made them whole. His Life was so robust, it imparted Life to others.

He was like a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. No stain was too strong for him. He came in and left people and places cleaner than he’d found them.

That’s how I want to be. If I truly believe He’s living me, transforming me into His image, than I too am filled with this infectious Life.

So, in addition to defensive prayers, I’m committing to pray Magic Eraser prayers too.

Free Audio Books

ChristianAudio.com has a great offer for Thanksgiving: go to their site and choose one of 10 books for free.

I got a 6+ hour set of lectures from James Bryan Smith and Dallas Willard on Living in the Kingdom of God. I just love the work of Renovare and am thrilled to have this for free!

Check it out for yourself at: ChristianAudio.com.