Tag Archives: gender

The Indian Women’s Rights Activist Who Became a Pentecostal Before Azusa

Ramabai on an Indian post stamp
Ramabai on an Indian post stamp

One of my favourite Pentecostal saints of all times is Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922), Indian activist, evangelist and holy roller. Over a hundred years before Malala she campaigned for women’s right to education, and she was extremely active in helping the poor and discriminated.

Born in a Brahmite family in what is now the state of Karnataka, she started to study at an early age and learned Sanskrit along with sacred Hinduist texts, astronomy, physiology and more. This was controversial since she lacked a penis, but her father encouraged her as she learned more and more about society, religion and activism.

In 1883 she went to England and taught Sanskrit at an Anglican monastery in Wantage. There she was saved. “I realized,” she later wrote, “after reading the fourth chapter of St. John’s Gospel, that Christ was truly the Divine Saviour he claimed to be, and no one but He could transform and uplift the downtrodden women of India.”

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Biblical #MeToo Stories

What does the Bible have to say about sexual harassment, sexual assault and the #MeToo experiences that are coming to light?  And how might the Bible reveal how the distortion of power can create conditions for a #MeToo culture.

I believe God is a purging our country today and powerful people are being exposed because they have abused their power and have exploited men and women sexually.   Many believe that sexual harassment and assault are primarily about sex and desire and indeed sex has something to do with it but harassment, assault ,abuse and rape are about entitlement, power and about powerful people exploiting the vulnerabilities of others.  Sometimes that power is physical strength but often times that power is from a higher position entailing more social status or the power to offer jobs or take them away.  Sometimes it is the power of an older adult exploiting the inexperience and gullibility of the young. Continue reading Biblical #MeToo Stories

The Toxic Church Culture that Causes Sexual Harassment – #MeToo

by Katarina Viola Hedman.

A couple of years ago I was at a Christian conference. The speaker was a completely ordinary charismatic with a dramatic voice, a suit, some extra pounds and was – of course – a man. Nothing out of the ordinary. This man even made attempts at being funny. And judging by the reaction of the room, he succeeded. Only I couldn’t laugh.

Majority of his jokes were about women. About how little men understand these strange creatures and how awful mothers-in-law are, and so on. Again, no different than what we are exposed to daily. Not just in church. He delivered joke after joke as if the service was his personal little comedy gig. Like men often do. Continue reading The Toxic Church Culture that Causes Sexual Harassment – #MeToo

4 Common Myths About Christian Feminists and Egalitarians

by Faith Totushek.

Frequently Jezebel is a label that many Christian women receive if they believe in the full equality of men and women in the home and church or if they consider themselves Christian Feminists.  Both feminism and egalitarianism are labels that are vastly misunderstood in the church and have had their meanings co opted by opponents who define them as in some sense women who are out for power over men, unwilling to submit to authority, men haters and those who would support abortion.  In reality this is not true.  These are myths.

1.  Are feminists and egalitarians out for power over men?

Often I hear feminists and egalitarians described as those who have a Jezebel Spirit.  The Jezebel Spirit is described as someone who seeks control over passive men who are unable to speak up for themselves and are seduced by women to give over control of their lives.  Such women are considered dangerous to the church and home.  In reality, as women and men develop emotional and spiritual maturity, they begin to have stronger voices and a stronger sense of identity.  This kind of growth leads to an ability to say what one believes and ask for what one needs as well as the ability to differentiate oneself from the self of others.  If an individual does not have a strong sense of self they will often process a request as someone trying to control them.  It has nothing to do with power over and everything to do with asking for what one wants or needs.  Often the Jezebel label is given to any woman who is merely seeking to have a share in decision making or wishes to serve in an area that is most often dominated by men.  To aspire to be a pastor or a leader can bring the label Jezebel to many.

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