Women are oppressed by the religion of Christianity
This essay will attempt to explain some of the most important points related to oppression of women in Christianity.
Clearly we can say that women in the old testament for generations waited to see the distinctive child, whose birth well planned before creation began, would bring a change to their life. They sacrificed their own necessity hopping that the promised Saviour would bring them away from suffering. So when the Christ arrived, was everything that women hoped for? Was the world Christmas baby worth to wait for? What would His come mean for women? And how would the promised saviour treat women?
Limitations themselves are always shifting, and so the arguments over teachings and opinion are used as a channel into the progression of a cultural construction which characterize both aspect religious and cultural. Definitely the dogma of submission has alleviated over time ,but for many Christians the long-established tradition , still have some issue; at one side we find those who regards male guidance in marriage as largely symbolic and who consent women to partake in church assembly and leadership .At the other side we find those who clearly underline the diversity between man and women in almost every aspect of life . Jesus himself never label women. A woman’s importance is never determined by her , motherly, domestic or femininity functions, but by her connection with God. On one occasion ; a woman shouted out, ‘Blessed is the woman who gave you birth and look after you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and follow it.
Definitely Jesus in every day talking, dealing, treating and caring of women is not only a perfect example of loving and respectful attitudes toward women. He left behind a delicate statement of who women are and how they should be treated. In the Gospel we find more then twenty episode in witch Jesus interact with women ,and also many of His teachings regards women daily doings ,such as backing bread ,housekeeping, shopping, pregnancy, breast feeding, so He would not disregard women at all. (Rebecca Jones pp116,118.)
Jesus consistently uses women as examples of virtue. He also permits a woman to stay and listen to His teaching “sit by his feet” (Luke 10:39)-place usually taken by disciples. We have to say that Jewish priest or teachers of the law did not permit women disciples; certainly, Jesus followers often did send women out on the preaching missions ( Mark 6:7—13)probably confirmed scandalous from the cultural society of those years ; nonetheless, the ministry of Jesus and his Gospel confirm that women were involved throughout His life .Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna had a major rule in His childhood, amongst the thirty miracles recorded in the Gospel , over ten had focal point on women .They journeyed with Him even out into the wildernesses (cf. Origen,Adv. Cel.3.10), and would participate at most of Jesus teachings and ministry events .Women were present at the fit of the Cross and again the first to the tomb (Mt 28.1) also the first that the angels spoke with at the tomb (Mt 28.5) And of course is coming on earth became possible through the acceptance of a virgin ,Mary was not forced to accept God will ,and yet God became a man thanks to a woman .Then we find the first public miracle of Jesus was through intercession of a woman (His mother) ,which for many Christians ,is the female doorway through whom they familiarise with the divine. A woman that can be looked at , as chief, since she was a compassionate woman, she was a devoted follower, she did put everything she had at risk , and of course a kind-hearted mother, she lost her own son, and for many people a model of a very strong human being, a woman to be admired and to identify with . So clearly Jesus did teach women liberally, and from time to time in Rabbinical manner ( Luke 10.38-42).
His approach were very unique and different from the Jewish traditions. In the Talmud, is stated , there is no knowledge in a woman , it is better that the script of the Law should be on fire, than that they have to be passed to a women .Jesus clearly separate himself from those religious tradition when he talks and teach to women and integrated them ,among his followers.
Then how can we say, that His teachings and ministry brought women to the verge of oppression?
We can prove that sun after Jesus death ,all His teaching started having some changing, immediately, with Saint Paul only few years after, we find the first discrimination about women , Two passages in Paul’s letters appear to disagree with an approval of women in ministry.
First, Paul instruct women to be quiet and keep their questions concerning the faith ,for their husbands at home (1 Corinthians 14:34—36),and then in 1 Timothy 2:11—15, Paul forbade women to instruct or use influence over men ,of course Paul really thought ,that the . husband should be as head of his wife and that she should been submitted to him, So the apostle Paul would not consent a woman to teach or to employ authority over a man. And again we find Paul’s argument about Eve’s deception witch is even more likely to fit this category. So the deception of Eva excludes all women from teaching, and have words of authority in the new born church He claims, that women are more easily mislead than men which are probably considered by Paul far more superior then women ,that is way most likely God created first Adam ,story well reported in the genesis .
On the other hand, pattern from church account cannot resolve the matter; we should establish our position from Scripture. since the current discussion is to be found especially about Paul’s teaching, so we should examine his letters and come to a true conclusion .
Paul received both the Judaic traditions and Jesus’ understanding as God’s Word, we have to analyse women’s ministry and position on those basis.
The ancient close by Eastern world, of which Israel was a fraction, was a man’s territory . Since God gave the blessing to Israel in a particular culture, nevertheless, the fact suggest that the society itself was holy. The way of life included divorce, polygamy, slavery , and many of other way we now identify as unholy. The obedience of the wife to the husband would go without problem as the centre of a social cultural environment in which was founded the family order. Without doubt The first Christians were blamed of starting a new ideology revolutionizing what for century was the rule and tradition, so probably Paul required to give a message and show that Christians were not anarchists. Regarding Paul himself, we should answer the above suppositions saying ; Are those the teaching of a man with problems? or Paul was simply a misogynist ?perhaps he was amongst those who would not permit woman to teach or to employ authority over a man because he could not stand the idea of it ?.But if we look at Paul’s background we can understand that he was a Pharisee ,so a man educated an grown according to Jewish rules and traditions, were relations between men and women were subjected to the lows .for example If a man would only lay a hand on a woman in the wrong time of the month he could get ritually impure himself, or ,along with every day prayers performed by Jewish men were some phrase such as ; Blessed Thou hart , o God because you did not created me a woman.
So Paul grew up in a certain way of concerning women, and some of the comments he makes about women are definitely according to the law which he grow up with and those supposition could be easily be ascribed to his own background. Definitely with Paul women were complete constituent of the ministry, fully involved in the life of the new church ,and in need of his advice, support , amendment, and spiritual help as the men. For example in the baptismal formula used by Paul in Galatians 3:27-8: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We could look at different aspect ,for instance ,Paul mostly depended on women to help him in his teaching, and he shows that trough words of gratitude to them in his letters, by name he refers to – Phoebe, a deaconess, who “has been a helper of many and of myself as well” (Romans 16:2), Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians who, he says, “laboured side by side with me in the gospel.” If he really despised marriage, would he have spoken so warmly and repeatedly of the couple Prisca and Aquila, whom he referred to as “my fellow workers in Christ Jesus who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I, but also all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks.” (Romans 16:3-4)
So is clearly showed that ,not only women are not the inferior gender when it comes to creation, but also in Christ’s church. Galatians 3:28 says.So in both, creation and church they are equally important .And no were we will find in the holy scripture, a phrase stating that women were inferior then man Genesis “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” Starting from the very begin ,we will find out that creation without women would have been terribly different , in the genesis ; The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. So immediately we find that the woman was necessary to improve the situation . She was in Gods plan ,deliberately created to be a co-worker with the Adam. The method of creation of Eve occupied a full involvement of the nature–she was formed from the same substance ( essentially and numerically) as the man, So the Woman was part of the original plan , was created at same image of God, was sovereign above the creation, with the man , was blessed by God, was given joint- accountability by God ,and was commanded rule and fill the earth with the man .If we take a look at historical passages to Christianity amazingly we will find a well-built picture of the women:They were essential to make the creation “good” (Gen 1.26-28)
They shared joint liability with man to co-rule/fill the earth. (Gen 1.26-2)
And more then fifty other episode in which women were prime part of God’s plan . regardless of the men status in ancient Israelite cultural society God occasionally called women as influential leader . When Josiah required to hear the word of God , he did send Hilkiah the cleric and others to someone who was certainly one of the main important prophet of his day: Huldah ( Kings 22:12—20). Deborah was a prophetess and a judge (Judges 4). She assumed a position of great influence in Israel . She was also amongst the few judges of whom the Bible reports no disappointment (Judges 4,5).
The issue of a woman’s function in Christianity is a serious alarm for today’s church. It is vital , in view of the fact that our necessity for the spiritual gifts of all the members that God has call to serve His Church. The alarm, nevertheless, is extending further than the Church itself progressively more ,year by year , and consequently material theorist attack Christianity as not in favour of women and as a result inappropriate to the modern world. So where democracy is established, and religion has separated from politics , some changing are needed ,and for sure some changing are taking place
Rebecca Jones, 2007- Does Christianity squash women ?
published by Broadman and Holman,2005 -pp 116,118
Biblical resource .