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Women and the Word.

The bible is sexist. Christianity is for men only. The Church is against women.

All lies that without truly knowing Jesus seem all too real. After all, Eve was the sinner. Of the twelve disciples, not one was a woman. And wives should submit to their husbands. If you believe this, I certainly cannot blame you. I, too, have struggled with this. But I am here to tell you the truth. Christianity, neither is nor was not every will be against women. It’s just not. And let me tell you why.

First, though, I have to tell you a little bit about Jesus and His promise for us. Jesus died for sinners.  He paid our ransom before we were born and He pays it again and again every day that we live. While we were still against Him, while we spit on His fave and kicked Him, He suffered a gruesome, humiliating death for the slight off chance that we might love Him back. His death freed us from a slavery to our sin and a binding to our shame.

This was a universal act of love. A universal act of grace.

When Jesus died on the cross, drawing His last breath, He didn’t say I am doing this for upper-middle class, white, heterosexual males. No. And if you believe that He did, trust me, you don’t know Jesus. He died for every human being on this planet. For everyone created in His image. Black. White. Male. Female. Straight. Gay. Able-bodied. Disabled. Rich. Poor. All of us.

His promise is the same for you, a woman, as it is for a man. It does not change based on our gender.

Scattered throughout the bible is evidence that God loves no type of person more. Romans 2:11 tells us that God does not favor one over the other. James 2:9 claims that partiality is a sin.

But what about verses like “I also want modern women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety” (1 Timothy 2:9) or “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission” (1 Timothy 2:11).  Sounds pretty sexist, right? Right. But friends, please, please remember that these words are not from Jesus. These are the words from Paul, an imperfect human, decades after Jesus’ death, in a time even more sexist than today. This is not Jesus. This is man. Men do things and say things that are not true. Jesus does not. Men can be swayed by society, cracking under the pressure to conform. Jesus cannot.

The same goes for the church, as an institution. There is no doubt that certain sects of institutionalized religion has sexist aspects. But again, remember that these rules and regulations are not biblical. There are not made by God. They are made by man.

I am a feminist because I am a Christian. I am a feminist because I follow a God who loves, honors, and cherishes women. Who came down as a human and suffered the most brutal death imaginable because He loves each son and each daughter so greatly. My Jesus befriended the prostitute (Luke 7: 36-39). My Jesus touched the leper (Matthew 8:1-3). My Jesus chose a former terrorist to spread the Gospel (Acts 9:1-19). My Jesus said that when we love and serve refugees, we are loving and serving Him (Matthew 25:44-45). My Jesus reached out to those would were hated and loved them (1 John 2:9-11). My Jesus opened His temple to “those of all nations” (Mark 11:17). My Jesus spent His time with outcasts (Mark 2:17). My Jesus preached the Gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18). My Jesus, the King of the world, took on the role of the lowest of lows and washed feet (John 13:4-8). My Jesus sat down and listened to women when no one else dared (Luke 10:39).

That is why I am a feminist. Because I am the daughter of a King who loves controversially, loves radically, and loves universally.

 words by Kate Payne and photo by Sarah Mohan

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Hi there! I’m a sophomore at Saint Louis University with a love for design, soy lattes and the Lord. My passion is reaching out to women and girls through my words to share the good news of God’s scandalous grace.

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