Whose authority – Part 1 of 3

This is the first in this series of authority.  Plans are that on Friday, February 25, I will discuss this series in a radio blog with Jocelyn Andersen.  I will be her guest for her first radio blog, which will of course, deal with women’s equality. When I know the URL, I will post it.  The time will be 10:00 to 10:30 Central Standard Time.

In the past few weeks, authority has come into question in governments around the world.  First Egypt, and then other predominantly Muslim countries began having demonstrations to overturn the ruling authority.

Believe it or not, much of the authority problems stems directly with how a country will treat its women.

When Iran was overthrown in 1979, women were the first to feel the effects as they had to conform to restrictive dress codes which meant covering their heads and bodies, and education and work opportunities became strictly limited.

The Houston Chronicle article “Egypt’s women hope equality emerges from Tahrir Square” quotes an Eqyptian who said, “Islam respected the role of women before any other culture. Before Islam women were bought and sold. But men and women are not equal. A woman is a weak creature. She cannot bear arms.” (A belief that many complementarians here in the U.S. hold today.)

His wife, carrying an Egyptian flag and wearing a black niqab covering her face with only small slits for her eyes, spoke up… Their 15 year old daughter, her face and hands the only parts of her body visible from her enveloping black garments, interrupted “…Women will play an important role in society after participating in the revolution of January 25th.”

In Yemen, a young woman sat at her computer, planning the next youth demonstration for freedom. Next to her are photos of her idols: Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. In a nation where women are considered second-class citizens, she is determined to produce a nonviolent, Egypt-style revolution. She is a 32 year old mother of three and is helping to shatter perceptions of women in this conservative society.  (the Houston Chronicle “Young woman’s voice spreads to call for uprising in Yemen Feb 18, 2011).

In Pakistan, “Women in Pakistan facing hard choices” (the Houston Chronicle, December 27, 2010).  A young woman is working at McDonalds and brings home all her money to help feed the family.  Her brother eats the food she helps provide, and then stole her uniform, slapped her face, and threatened to break her legs if he saw her outside the home.  “We are a society in transition. Men in Pakistan haven’t changed, and they’re not changing as fast as our women. The majority of the people here believe in the traditional interpretation of Islam, and they get very upset because religious leaders tell them it’s not proper for women to go out, and to work and to serve strange men.”

The outcome lies in the future, but we do know that men will seek to destroy this show of bravery by their women.  No matter what kind of government they choose, they will seek to keep their women covered from head to toe, shutting their minds and their mouths. They have authority. Abuse of authority is rampant, and women suffer.

Jesus encountered men’s love of authority in Luke 9:46 “And an argument arose among them as to which of them might be the greatest.”  After Jesus set them straight about who can be called “great,” they again sought to abuse their authority.  Continue down to verse 54 “…Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”  Even the disciples felt their power and were willing to cause destruction upon people.

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matt. 28:18)

God created men and women, not to have authority one over the other, but for both to submit to His authority over us.  His authority will be just, whereas we cannot trust mankind to this kind of power over others, and particularly we cannot trust them when it comes to authority over women, as history bears out.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Submission, Whose Authority and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Whose authority – Part 1 of 3

  1. I’m looking forward to hearing the podcast!

    Like

  2. ”’God created men and women, not to have authority one over the other, but for both to submit to His authority over us. His authority will be just, whereas we cannot trust mankind to this kind of power over others, and particularly we cannot trust them when it comes to authority over women, as history bears out.”’

    Amen to that!

    Like

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