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Friday, December 3, 2010

Simple Church Minute33 --feminism

My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
            In the mid-1800’s, in the days of the company town, some men would work in the factory or mine, get their paycheck, and go to the saloon owned by the company, and proceed to drink and gamble the paycheck back to the company.  This left this man’s wife and children without food and other basic necessities and unprotected from these husbands if drink made them violent.  This was a social problem, but the owners of the companies did not care to see it.  From this injustice came the Anti-Saloon League.  It was said that these women marched on these bars with a Bible in one hand, and an axe in the other.  If the saloon manager wouldn’t be convinced by teaching, he might by civil disobedience.  When I was in public school, that story was not presented as a story about social justice, but of Christians being unreasonable about the right of businesses to serve liquor.
            Just about everything having to do with treating women equally from Jesus’ example through the suffrage movement in the US and Great Britain was led by or heavily supported by believers, although not necessarily by traditional church organizations.  This is a prime example of the followers of Jesus standing against a wrong.  It is also an example of how the true church works best—as an organism, not an organization, without regard to gender, race, income, or status.
            The gospels show Jesus treated men and women as equally, against the social norm.  Joel chapter 2 verses 28 and29 prophesied that the Holy Spirit would come upon both men and women.  Romans 16 verse 1 refers to Phoebe as a leader (which would be a better translation that most translations’ use of either servant or helper), and in verse 7, Junia is referred to by Paul as an apostle.
            The world rewarded men and penalized women for their gender.  The world then saw, but rarely now sees, the church as a new creation.  Jesus and the apostles taught believers to seek God and his gifting, and spiritual responsibility grows out of that organically.
            You can email me at You can find out more about organic church* at or locally at (local website).
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.”  While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better.  I comment on that in blip 94.
An excellent book on this subject is “What’s Right With Feminism” by Elaine Storkey.  To the best of my knowledge, this book is out of print.  Storkey has another book on the subject, “Origins of Difference.”

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