Are Feminism And Christianity Mutually Exclusive?

Are Feminism And Christianity Mutually Exclusive?

Despite the division that seems omnipotent within the topics of feminism and Christianity, the topics might have more in common than what meets the eye.

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Look, it's no secret that in our area, feminism can be perceived as the second worst f-word by so many people. I mean, we live smack dab in the middle of the Bible belt and are swimming in the vast sea of red that is the state of Missouri.

But recently, it has come to my attention that the definition of what it means to be a Christian has become quite convoluted and complicated. And for a lot of people, this is probably a no brainer but I grew up in a town where you didn't question anything. So when I moved off to a college that is the tiniest blip of blue, my world was rocked in the best way possible.

In our current political climate, it can seem paradoxical to many that one can identify both as an unapologetic feminist and a Christian. Despite what some preach in the pulpit on Sundays, I refuse to believe that in order to follow my savior, I must compromise my deepest moral convictions, many of which have come from becoming a feminist.

I feel like so often, Christians believe that morality can only be religiously based.

I strongly reject that belief because it's divisive and condescending. To be frank, most of the time, I have more in common with my atheist and agnostic friends than I do with most of the Christians that I know. I have many issues with the overall narrative that mainstream Christianity perpetuates both in the media and the White House.

Despite what many people believe, you can be both a feminist and a Christian, and here's why.

The Fundamentals are the Same

Although much of the modern church believes that feminism is leading to the demise in America, I personally believe that my feminism makes me a better Christian. This is because both belief systems are founded on the premise of advocating for others. Feminism is about fighting for the rights of marginalized groups and unapologetically proclaiming equality.

Feminism is about handing the microphone that our privileged lives have granted us with and passing it to our neighbor, who by sheer dumb luck, wasn't afforded that same right. Christianity is about loving people without first inquiring whether or not they are worthy of that love.

Jesus did not question if we were worthy of love. He decided, on the cross, that every single soul that would ever be born into existence was inherently worthy. We are not worthy because we go to church on Sundays, pay our tithe diligently, or any other box that legalistic Christianity demands that we check in order to be deemed good enough.

Jesus decided that we are inherently valuable, intrinsically worthy, and that is enough. And that is the exact belief that feminism holds; that all people should be afforded equality regardless of any label that the world has placed on them; that all people are equal.

Jesus Would Be a Feminist

I truly believe that Jesus would be the posterboard for feminism. Jesus would be waiting, arms open, to his beloved children fleeing their homeland as refugees. Jesus would listen to the survivor of a sexual assault with an open heart and hear her story without a shred of condemnation or shame.

Jesus would proclaim that, yes, black lives do matter; just as much as white lives, blue lives, and brown lives, like his. Jesus would want women to be treated with the equity and respect of our male counterparts. Jesus would fight for a living wage for millions of families across the globe.

Jesus would fight the stigma that disabled people are somehow less than because they are abled differently. Jesus would love his observant, Muslim neighbor just as much as his white, Christian neighbor. Jesus would be absolutely appalled at the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community at the hands of the church.

Jesus would fight to protect our earthly home because only he knows how long we will be here. Jesus would hold the hand of the woman getting an abortion and affirm her valid emotions and meet her with nothing but love. That is the Lord we serve; one of grace and mercy and non-condemnation.

The bottom line is that Jesus would love, and he certainly wouldn't be complacent with injustice so neither should we.

Jesus showed up and showed out, just like feminists

During his brief time on earth, Jesus was a trailblazer; he was the Messiah. Jesus did not adhere to the rules of the religious culture at the time. Many times, Jesus openly defied the church and was ridiculed heavily for doing so.

The Pharisees didn't like Jesus. I see so much behavior of the evangelical church mimicking that of the group that literally persecuted the savior that we claim to love so much a mere two-thousand years ago.

But Jesus knew that the persecution was worth it; he knew that people's lives were worth his discomfort. As a feminist, I know that any discomfort that I feel is worth it.

Conversations about racism, ableism, inclusivity, and sexism are not easy, but they're not supposed to be. As a feminist, and a white, cis-gendered, straight feminist at that, I only get a minuscule percentage of the persecution that Jesus got and that my fellow brothers and sisters still get to this very day.

As an immensely privileged person, it is my job to create and promote equality; not because it is easy but because it is vital to the fabric of our democracy. And if that's not Jesus's whole message than I don't know what is.

The evangelical church has caused so much division, animosity, and pure hatred not just in America, but around the world. And it breaks my heart when people tell me that I am the only liberal Christian that they have met. I ask myself, "What have we done, as a Church, to get it so wrong?".

How long will Christians continue to stand on raised pedestals, casting stones at "the other" until they realize just what atrocities they've become? Jesus's message was simple, "Love the Lord with all of your heart and love your neighbor as yourself".

So my message, as a Christian and as a feminist, is simple too. I want to be loved, every day in my community. I want to embrace the brokenhearted and the hurting and give nothing but love, unconditional, Christ-like love. Jesus would be an activist, an ally, and an advocate, and so am I.

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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I'm A Christian Girl And I AM a Feminist, Because Everyone Is Equal In The Eyes Of God

If you were waiting for me to post a picture of me in front of an Olive Garden you've come to the wrong place.

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Recently, I saw an article here on Odyssey that has been swirling around on twitter titled, "I'm a Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend for Women to Be Equals."

As a Christian Girl who IS a feminist, I have a critique for this article.

I'm all for freedom of speech and people having their own opinions, but the argument that this woman makes needs to be challenged. She asked for Feminists to back up their arguments and I have delivered.

Let me give you some background into my own religious story. I grew up in a very religious family, my dad is even a pastor of his own church, so you could say that I am relatively well versed when it comes to the Bible and Christian Beliefs. Not once was I told that I could never do anything a man couldn't. I had every capability of doing anything a man could, and I'm grateful that I was raised to have my own autonomy. That being said, I also grew up watching my Christian, feminist, single mother be the head of OUR household, and NOT submit to a husband. That did not make her evil, nor did it make her sinful in the eyes of God. She was my provider during this time and I wholeheartedly believe God intended me to grow up this way.

You can say I'm biased, but let's take a closer look into what arguments were made.

God Made Man First

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While this is true, God did make man before woman, God also recognizes that Adam needed a HELPER. Not a servant, not a sandwich maker, not a sex slave. A HELPER. "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." (Genesis 2.18 NKJV) Another key thing to note here is that comparable is written. Meaning that women are equal enough to be compared to men, they are parallel, different yes, but equal in importance just the same.

We Are to Submit to our Husbands

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I don't know how many of you know this, but not everybody has a husband. That's just a fact of life. However, something you might find interesting is that submit has two definitions. The first is the kind where we are under the authority of someone, and the other being subject to a particular process, treatment, or condition. Perhaps this is God telling us to let go of fears and EMOTIONALLY give yourself and your love to someone. As it is later stated in Ephesians 5 (NOT Proverbs BTW.) Husbands are meant to love their wives in return. (Also why aren't we calling out the men who left single mothers behind and not loving them?)

"Proverbs 31 Woman"

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What does this even mean, and why is it relevant? Proverbs 31 is about a prophecy the mother of King Lemuel, who we don't even know to be quite honest, had laid out for him. Not ONCE did Jesus utter these words, and why should it be up for interpretation as this book was not made by Jesus himself.

Women and Men are not equal in God's Eyes

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First of all, how do we know? Second of all, I could have 5lbs of apples and I could have 5lbs of pears, and I would still have an EQUAL amount of each. Different things with different features that appeal to different people, but I still have an equal amount of each. Equality does not mean that we don't acknowledge differences, but rather we allow each other the same opportunities because when it comes down to it, we are all human beings, and for me personally, we are all children of God.

I love my church, I love God, and I love others just as I was taught. That does not mean it's my job to judge people, nor does it mean I need to shove my beliefs in their face. I also do not have to accept what each church tells me, the Bible has many different translations and is up for interpretation, who are we to decide which is the correct one? My faith does not restrict me from being my own individual, and trivial interpretations do not stop me from standing with and caring for my fellow women who are raped, molested, slut-shamed, sold, murdered, harassed, oppressed, beaten, and married off as children every day. Being a feminist is recognizing that women have the same fundamental rights as men, and are equal in the eyes of the law. Being a feminist is looking out for my fellow women. It is me loving my neighbor as I would love myself, next to loving God with my whole self.

To non-feminists and those that are, you are loved despite your differences. You are loved equally. Just like men and women should be.

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