All Authors: Paige Lovell, TJ Jan, Conner Gardner
In Genesis 3:16 God says to Eve, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
This command from God created a subordinate role for women that has remained steady throughout history, even past the time of Jesus.
For too long we have used this passage as a prescription for the way women should be treated in society.
But in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection we should read it as a description for how it was before Jesus’ time.
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, “I did not come to abolish to law but to fulfill it.”
In many ways Jesus fulfilled the laws by reconciling the mistakes of the past, present and future, so humans would not have to endure the consequences of their sins.
Jesus brought the ultimate reconciliation between God and humanity.
Jesus’ reconciliation has been applied to break racial boundaries and to develop cultural acceptance.
We do not disagree with how Jesus’ sacrifice creates reconciliation in these areas. However, our primary concern in writing this is to argue that the reconciliation extends to gender as well.
Too many Christian churches and church leaders believe women are inferior in the home because of Genesis 3:16.
They also use passages in other places in scripture to support women being inferior in other places in society.
Women have been in these roles so long that climbing out from under the thumb of power of men is difficult because of the longevity of these practices. Scripture “support” makes the climb exponentially more difficult.
If Jesus brought reconstruction and reconciliation to all humanity, then he brought reconciliation to the gender inequality that women experience. We cannot pick and choose where we want Jesus’ reconciliation, if we want the work Jesus did, we must let it apply universally.
Women have been minimized for the benefit of men in control by using the written word, but that can no longer be an excuse for inequality because we know Jesus reconciled that dynamic.
After Pentecost, Jesus left us with the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the Spirit we are bound together as one Church, and in the Church of Christ all people of every gender are to be set free of oppression from the dominant gender.
Men must no longer subjugate women in the Body of Christ.
With every act that balances the power of men and women we become more like the intended Body of Christ.
This column is composed by the gender group in THEOLOGY 4100: Biblical Ethics: How Shall We Then Live?