Lost in the world’s wide range; enjoin’d no aim, Prescrib’d no duty, and assign’d no name.” Richard Savage
We don’t use that word much anymore. It was common enough when I was growing up, and was used to differentiate children born to wedded parents and those who were not. It was frequently used as a cuss word, as J Daniel Kirk used it on his blog when he wrote about the CBE Houston Conference, which you must read.
A Bastard. The Southern Baptist Convention calls me one. Churches that do not recognize women as full daughters call women bastards. Look at what the writer of Hebrews says about bastards:
Hebrews 12:8 – But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (King James Bible)
A bastard is when a father denies his children born to him outside of wedlock. He shows his love for his legal born boys and girls. He neglects the bastard kids. The Hebrews writer tells us that when a father loves all his kids equally – all his girls and all his boys – he treats them all the same way as he treats those legally born.
The father shows that love by disciplining his boys and girls. If the writer of Hebrews was speaking today he would not emphasize disciplining the kids. He would say something like this: “Kids, if your parents don’t feed you, if they don’t educate you, if they don’t nurture you, and if they don’t take you to the doctor when you are sick, if they don’t treat every one of you equally, you are not really a part of the family.”
Exactly. A bastard. That describes how women are treated in the majority of churches surrounding me.
As a grown up girl, I am not treated like the grown up boys who walk into church on Sunday morning. Before I step inside I have to lay down my inheritance. No longer does grace cover me. Oh, my salvation is still sure. They are quick to tell me that. Women are equal in salvation. But that is where it stops.
I am a bastard. I know because my church tells me so.
Hebrews 12:8 – If you aren’t disciplined (treated) like the other children, you aren’t part of the family. (God’s Word translation 1995)
Girls have the necessities (salvation), but not the privileges and the good stuff, and not the responsibilities that the so-called legal kids have. Girls cannot be deacons, girls cannot be preachers. Girls must submit to boys. Girls must be quiet. Girls must not have authority over the boys in the family. Girls are bastards in the church family while the boys are the natural born heirs.
If you are tired of being a bastard in your church, tell them so. Point out Hebrews 12:8 and tell them that this verse gives you equality with the sons because you have the same father, and your father loves you equally.