“The feminist and diabolical spirit has invaded every major Christian movement. Their goal is to place women right beside men in administration, decisions of doctrine, and practice, and superintendent responsibilities. They would rather the church cease to exist than to fail their goal, and, in fact, the church will cease to be a part of Christ’s body if they succeed.”
Pastor Joseph Chambers, 1996
These words, written by a contemporary pastor, are a declaration of war against women and echo the sentiments of many evangelical leaders.
Where is the proof that those who support practical equality between the sexes “would rather the church cease to exist than to fail their goal?” Chamber’s words reveal a morbid fear of female influence and a prejudicial view of women that is often displayed within evangelical and fundamental Christian fellowships.
That same fear and prejudice doomed millions of Africans to perpetual slavery in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Slaveholders believed emancipation of slaves would result in the end of peaceful civilization as they knew it. Angelina Grimkè refuted this bigoted theory with facts.
When women resorted to public forums in efforts to end slavery, they found their hands tied for no other reason than the fact that they were female. During those years, women were severely criticized and socially penalized for breaking from prescribed roles in making public efforts to effect immediate emancipation for slaves. They could not help but realize that they, themselves, were bound as tightly into a caste system based on gender as slaves were bound in a caste system based on color. Thus, the American “Woman’s Rights” movement was born. 
The two causes, freedom for slaves and equal rights for women, seemed to converge almost immediately. Although abolition of slavery was not the first humanitarian cause that highlighted the need for women’s rights, there is little doubt the American Woman’s Rights movement was a direct result of women’s participation in the efforts of the American Anti-Slavery Society which eventually experienced a split over the woman issue.
In England, the Woman’s Rights issue ran a parallel course with the slavery issue as well. In fact, in every major movement on behalf of human rights, the issue of women’s rights presented itself, but the slavery issue appears to have been the catalyst for propelling women’s rights into a full-fledged movement in the United States.
The causes of emancipation for slaves, subsequent civil rights for people of color, and the emancipation of and equal rights for women, have fought common enemies in religion, law, public opinion, and in the most implacable and powerful enemies of all, fear and prejudice.
It took years of abolitionist agitation and finally a devastating war to win freedom for American slaves. It took even longer for black men to gain the right to vote. Even after laws were passed giving them this right, fear and prejudice continued to dominate and withheld from them the practice of it.
The Woman’s Suffrage Movement, which culminated in the 19th Amendment, ostensibly won the right to vote for all American women. But even after the 19th Amendment was passed, black women (and men) still had to fight for their right to cast a vote.
Now, in the opening years of the twenty-first Century, for the first time in the history of the United States, the American people broke all precedent and elected an African American to the presidency. The African American male appears to have finally broken free from a cruel caste system based on the color of his skin. In many ways, American women also seem to have largely broken free from a caste system based on their sex—all except many Christian American women…of any color.
Is it any coincidence, then, that in this historical, precedent breaking era, yet another civil war is very much in progress? This war rages within the Christian community...and is between the sexes.
What is at stake is not merely a set of theological differences between denominations. No, simple doctrinal differences are not the culprits in this war; indeed, denominations that have yet to find much common ground in theological areas lend support to one another in a war which transcends both logic and theology. In this war, the enemy is not men or women, as the case may seem, but rather a demonically inspired, implacable prejudice, which is demonstrated through the attitudes and actions of those it operates through—whether male or female—and which has nestled for far too long, and far too comfortably, within the hearts of far too many.This prejudice defines masculinity and femininity using subjective and unfair stereotypes, forcing men and women into molds God never fashioned for them, obliterating the individuality of all in the process. This narrow model for gender roles, the success of which hinges entirely on the subordination of women, is not found in scripture and is not mandated by God. In some cases, it may produce orderly families, even happy families, but as it is based on hierarchy and not love, it is more often responsible for untold suffering.
There is little doubt that, as a whole, husbands and fathers need to show more interest in the daily lives of their families. But is it true that, primarily, that interest should take the form of presiding over the family as ruler rather than lovingly involving themselves in the many different, legitimate, aspects of being a husband and father?
How many Christian men are under tremendous pressure to assert themselves as “heads of their households” but are at a complete loss as to how to implement the concept? Indeed, how many are not even interested in implementing the concept, and are made to feel like utter failures as a result?
How many loving husbands and fathers are derogatorily labeled as passive, called wimps, and are made to feel like less than men because they rightly consider their wives equal to themselves in every way?
The good news is that the ground is level at the cross. And that level does not apply only to spiritual experience. It extends to practical application as well. Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. The redeeming love of our Savior can liberate men and women to relate to one another, as the equals they are, without fear or prejudice.
 A Palace for the AntiChrist, New Leaf Press, Green Forest, AR., 1996
 “I can prove the safety of immediate Emancipation by history. In St. Domingo in 1793 six hundred thousand slaves were set free in a white population of forty two thousand…cultivation prospered, every day produced tangible fruits of its progress…all continued quietly until in 1802, France determined to reduce these liberated slaves again to bondage. It was at this time that all those dreadful scenes of cruelty occurred, which we so often hear unjustly spoken of. In Qaudaloape, eighty-five thousand slaves were freed in a white population of thirteen thousand. The same prosperous effects followed manumission there.” Angelina Emily Grimkè, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
 The early women’s rights movement was called “Woman’s Rights.”
 “We will illustrate our position by the division of the American anti-Slavery Society, which took place in the city of New York, May 12th, 1841. The anti-slavery enterprise has furnished a high school of morals, where not only the rights of the slaves are taught, but the moral standing of the whole human family is investigated. The reason assigned by the seceders for the division was what is technically called the ‘woman’s rights question.’” Elizabeth Wilson, A Scriptural View of women’s Rights AND DUTIES, Pennsylvania, 1849
 Segregation (Jim Crow) laws made it difficult if not almost impossible for most African-Americans to practice many of their constitutional rights before the mid-twentieth century.
 A few courageous black women cast their votes anyway. Mary McLeod Bethune voted in every election from the first year the Nineteenth Amendment passed until her death at age 79. Bethune’s faith was strong in the God who could make a way out of no way. Her faith was rewarded. God raised her from illiteracy in the cotton fields of South Carolina to become Advisor to a President and friend of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She was the first African-American woman to start a four year college and the first African-American (male or female) to hold a federal office. Mary McLeod Bethune was a committed Christian woman who advocated equality for all, regardless of color or sex. We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses….
 “If the wife does not fulfill her responsibility, it is almost impossible for the husband to fulfill his.” Prince, Derek, Husbands & Fathers, Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 2000
 The divorce rate among Christians is not less than that of non-Christians, and studies have shown that abuse rates are higher among those who hold stereotypical gender roles, whether Christians or not. Some family counselors, such as, Barrington H. Brennen, claim that Christian teaching produces abusive behavior in husbands. Also see, Gender Role Attitudes, Religion, and Spirituality as Predictors of Domestic Violence Attitudes in White College Students, Journal of College Student Development, Mar/Apr 2004, by Berkel, LaVerne A, Vandiver, Beverly J, Bahner, Angela D
|Buy the Book|
Traditional interpretations of scripture have adversely effected understanding of the Bible, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel, by forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders or deacons. This book chronicles the history of the women's rights movements (there have been more than one), as well as the role of church leadership in suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within those movements.
Through complementarianism (the male-leadership movement), many of the same arguments used to support institutionalized of slavery, are still used today in support of institutionalized female subordination to male headship. This book documents parallels and identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. It is a one-of-a-kind resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender [in]equality from a historical and Christian perspective.
The work traces history of women’s rights, much further back than usual, to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. Valuable historical insights, that are rarely included in Christian literature, are in this book along with rare glimpses into Christian initiatives in the various movements for women’s rights.
This book refutes complementarianism [also called complementarity], which teaches that all men and women are born into a caste system that follows them from the moment they exit the womb throughout all eternity. Men are alleged to be born into the leadership caste and women into the “follower” caste.
Complementarian doctrine suppresses the autonomy of adult Christian women and has been embraced, with few exceptions,
by virtually every Christian denomination...despite unmistakable parallels between complementarian dogma [and the adverse effects of the paradigm on men, women, and children] and that of institutionalized slavery in previous centuries [caveat: lots of Black History, in this book, up through the Civil Rights Movement].
Th quotes well-known evangelical pastors who compare Christian marriage to a war of dominance between wives and husbands, a war they claim that husbands must win (hence, the book title).
Gender-biased-English-translation-theology, along with male-centered Bible commentary and translation practices, are used in forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders and deacons in most churches. This hinders the work of the gospel. In most churches where women are not forbidden to preach, they are told to submit to their husbands at home. Gender-biased-English-translation-theology has interfered with understanding the scriptures, pitted men and women against each other, and eroded the happiness of women and men.
The book provides rare insights into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s autonomy that have been excluded from Christian literature. They bring a new perspective, along with freedom and hope for both men and women. The doctrine of female submission to male headship in the church and home, is refuted by the scriptures which support equality between women and men. Woman this is WAR! is a treasure-trove of information on gender equality from biblical and historical perspectives.
Buy the Book online, or better yet, call your local bookstore [or library] and ask them to get a copy for you!
*For some reason Amazon sometimes says the book takes 1-2 months to ship. But it does not. You can order from Amazon and the book will arrive within 2-7 days.
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