The un-civil rights of Christians

Today in church, I felt like I was the “N” word. I am a woman. I don’t live in the First Century, but what happened then still rules my church culture today.

My soul cried out. Tears came to my eyes. I wanted to kick, scream and throw something.

All because of a skit of the woman at the well, where the presenter said, “Jews did not speak to women alone.” Alone out in public, a woman was not to be spoken to.

Go to bed with a woman, get her with child, eat the meals she cooks, tell her how wonderful she is, and then allow every man and male child to treat her as if she does not exist.

Use her. Unwrap yourself before her. And then clothe her from head to toe and silence her mouth.

Why? Why did Jews treat women that way? Women were their wives, their daughters and their mothers. Yet they felt they had a superiority that allowed this awful behavior before women.

Jesus showed them a new way. A way where women could be spoken to in public. A way where women could learn and spread the gospel like the woman at the well.

What have we learned? What has the Civil Rights Movement or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 taught us? You would have thought that it forced by law the respect of all people. But it did not.

You see, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 exempted churches and religious organizations from treating black people and women with basic human kindness. In particular, it exempted churches from mistreating women by limiting what they could and could not do in church.

Truth be told, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should never have been necessary. But it was because men made those laws that treated black men and women disgracefully. We needed a Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it was men who made the laws that treated women disgracefully.

Today the church badly needs a Christian Civil Rights Act. But don’t hold your breath. As long as Christians think they can continue to keep women from preaching and in submission to all males, they will do so.

Are you ready to speak out? Are you ready for the Christian part of Christianity?

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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6 Responses to The un-civil rights of Christians

  1. Pingback: The un-civil rights of Christians | Katie and Martin's Blog on the Lutheran Church in Australia

  2. krwordgazer says:

    The reason women were treated like this in the Ancient Near East was that it was an honor-shame society: that is, everything was based on your outward behavior appeared to the community. The way to keep your sexual honor was to have not the slightest appearance of interaction with the opposite sex in public. Men did not speak to women, not even their own wives, in public because women were considered to belong only in the private sphere of the home and farm. Yes, it was terrible treatment, and yes, I think they justified it with the idea that women were inferior. But I thought you might be interested to know the reasoning in that day and time, which still continues in many Middle Eastern cultures today.


    • I didn’t know that and thank you very much for telling me about the honor-shame society. Right now I am reading a book about Chinese girls in 1938 and how their families considered girls and women to be worthless (except when it came to bed and breeding). It seems that we in the 21st century ought to know better. But I just read in the Baptist standard about churches choosing to give Certificates of Covenant Marriages to couples instead of a marriage license (the pastor signs the Covenant, but does not sign the legal marriage license). We all know where that will go. “Wives are to submit graciously to their husbands” is the next step in order to have this ‘perfect’ Biblical marriage, which is actually a cultural marriage.

      Sometimes I just want to kick and scream! How do we wake women up? Any ideas, anybody?


  3. krwordgazer says:

    Sprry; that should have read, “your outward behavior AS IT appeared to the community.”


  4. Laura says:

    “Jews did not speak to women alone.”

    Note the subtle sexism. “Jews” were men. “Jewish women” would have been a nonsense … except to Jesus, who referred to a woman he healed as a daughter of Abraham. You don’t see this anywhere else in the Bible, OT or NT.


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