Advent Love – birth of the human rights activist

Love is plastered all over many church’s websites. But for most, it is like looking for love in all the wrong places.  Jesus came into the world that was having a problem with love, and we still have not fully understood what love means.

In particular, Christian women are still held to a rigid law of submission to all males. December 6, 2015, Southern Baptist pastor Dr. Ashley Ray preached a particularly offensive sermon in which he blamed all of society’s ills on women whose only desire is to live out the equality we were given by God our Creator. He called it ‘feminist rebellion.’  In this sermon he quoted the party line, the same old diatribe that women are far too familiar with.

Where was love in this belittling and hateful sermon? This pastor did not quote Jesus because Jesus did not speak of – nor did Jesus indicate – male supremacy such as this pastor preached. There was no love in this sermon. He has closed his mind to the pro-feminist actions of Christ. Feminists do not want to harm or deny men any position, but male headship leaders choose to hammer women.

The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 has led many pastors astray with this theology of male headship, and in doing so, they have forgotten the Jesus who was born into a world of rules and laws. They have forgotten that Jesus came to call humans to a better way of life – to love God and to love others. Not only in word, but in how we treat each other.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-34)

Bob Edwards, author of Let My People Go, reminds us that Jesus is concerned with human rights, which includes the human rights of women, and we must be, too.

“I don’t discuss prejudice against women in the church as “one of those theological issues we just have to agree to disagree on.” I would not have “agreed to disagree on slavery.” I do not agree to disagree on racism. I will not politely agree to disagree on the devaluation and subjugation of all women by men in the name of God. It’s an injustice that grieves the Holy Spirit and must be addressed as such. The Bible is full of excellent examples of men and women who love people AND tell them to repent of unjust practices. Jesus, for example, confronted the religious leaders of his day for confusing the will of God with the traditions of men. I think we should do likewise.” – Bob Edwards

Jesus came to free us from the rigmarole that man had bound God with. Jesus told us to love God with all our heart, and to love our fellow-man. When love is the motivator, our worship of God, and helping our fellow-man, will take on a different meaning. We will feed the hungry, help the poor, heal the sick, treat others as we want to be treated, and give the Good News to everyone.

However, instead of being like Jesus, we still desire to enforce laws for Christians, especially laws about what women can and cannot do, and I wonder if Jesus would have turned his eyes upon us.

The true meaning of Christmas is the freedom that Jesus gave us. Yet Christian leaders today want to withhold that freedom for women. They have forgotten that Christianity is about human rights.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”(John 15:12)

This Christmas, will you remember the birth of the greatest human rights activist? Will you open your heart to loving women as equals, and not as someone who was created to submit to all males?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

I dare you!

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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2 Responses to Advent Love – birth of the human rights activist

  1. pnissila says:

    Hi, Shirley. Good post :). I read the article you linked about Ashley Ray. He likely doesn’t see the irony of demanding respect from women while denying women respect in return, as equals in Christ Jesus. I’m glad Jesus didn’t teach that.

    Have a wonderful New Year!


    • Thanks. How do you respond to a man like Dr Ashley Ray? Nothing you can say will change his mind. So this is what I wrote the pastor.

      I got a real kick out of your sermon! Whoa, Boy! You really let us have it. But I have a problem. I can’t find where Jesus backs up what you say. I mean, Ashley, we’re Christians, so Jesus must have said what you said, but I can’t find it.

      He had to have said something like this:

      “Ok, fellas. You husbands will be my representatives after I am gone. Make sure you preach this.

      I mean, look, I know I gave the girls the wrong impression by telling them stuff such as me being the real Messiah, and letting Mary sit down with all the men while I taught, and telling that gentile woman that I was to be the savior of the gentiles, too, was a slip of the tongue. I don’t know what happened at the tomb. For some reason, I couldn’t resist playing a trick on Mary. You know me, I really meant to tell all you guys these things first.”

      But just forget about all that. Get your wives under control. This way when the Spirit comes, you will be part of the Trinity, uh… I mean, Quartet – Father, Son, Spirit, Husbands.”

      And I wished him a Merry Christmas.

      I wish you a happy New Year! I am determined to make 2016 very meaningful for women’s equality.


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