Can a woman be a feminist and a Christian at the same time? Can she hold to the principles and ideals taught by feminist groups and follow Christ? These questions came to mind as a friend of mine asked me the biblical basis on talking to a feminist. So I decided to look at feminist websites and see what principles they hold to and how they compare to Scripture.
First, we need to define and clear up what it means to be a feminist. According to one website I visited, they said as a feminist, they believe in complete equality between men and women. They claim women and men are equal on all levels and that women should have the same rights as men. At face value I would agree, but if we look into this deeper, we find some areas that are conflictory with the principles of Christianity.
Before I get into that, I would like to say there are areas that feminist groups are fighting for that I agree with. They are fighting to free women from slavery and sex trafficking. They are fighting for long prison sentences for convicted criminals who have caused women to be victims of rape. They fight for equal pay in employment. All these things are good. However, there are also a number of other initiatives that they fight for, and sometimes they fight for these harder than the others.
According to various feminist groups, they fight for women to have the right to an abortion. They fight for gay, lesbian and transsexual rights. So the question with this remains. Can someone be a feminist and be a Christian or are they in a moral dilemma? To answer this, let’s look at what a Christian is.
In the early 1st Century, the Jews who followed Jesus were called Christians. Why? Simply, they were known to follow what Jesus Christ taught. However, this term, ‘Christian’ has become a loose fitting jacket that can be worn by anyone and everyone. Unfortunately, this simply cannot be the case. To be a Christian, we must not just say we are, we must live like one.
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands.” – 1 John 5:1-3a (NIV)
As we look into our own lives, we must ask ourselves, are we changed because of Christ or do we continue to live the same old life we know? For someone to call themselves a Christian they first have to love others. Once we start to love others, we are to then carry out His commands. So what are His commands?
Jesus’ first command was this, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength.” In fact, He called this the greatest of all commandments. When we love God with our entire being, He changes us. We no longer desire to do the sinful acts we once did. We desire to be changed by Him and share that with others.
The second command Jesus gave was to love others our neighbors as we love ourselves. Who did Jesus hang out with? He was accused of eating with prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners. He wasn’t accused of eating with the rich and famous. It was those in need, He was most concerned about. We to are to love others as Jesus loved. We are to see others as people, made in the image of God, for the purposes of God. So how does this coincide with the view of feminism?
Let’s go back to the ideals and principles that seem to be contradictory. Can a feminist agree with Scripture regarding abortion rights? According to feminist websites, a woman’s body is her own and she can decide what to do with it. According to Scripture, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bough at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
As can be seen, our bodies are not our own. In the same way, a man’s body (eyes especially) are not his own and neither is a woman’s body her own. Both the man and woman belong to God as He created both. Don’t believe me? In Genesis, God created man. Once He created man he observed how man was alone and felt lonely. This was the first instance where God said His creation was not good. He then took a rib from the man and made woman. This was God’s way of loving us so much that He felt it was important for men and women to come together. “For this reason (Adam’s reaction to Eve), a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24
So what about the life inside her body? “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ – Jeremiah 1:4-5. We see the same idea in the Psalms and Job. Throughout Scripture, we see that both men and women have been known by God and are formed by His hand. Simply put, life starts at conception. Science and Scripture prove this.
As we have seen, if a woman is a Christian, then how can she hold to the immoral principles of feminism? How can one justify calling themselves a child of God, yet do not hold to the most simple principles Scripture has to offer? And if we say that we are Christians, yet don’t believe the Scripture is God’s Word, then logically, we cannot call ourselves Christians as Christ is the center of Scripture. I hope you can see the moral dilemma that is caused by conflicting ideals.
God bless and encourage someone today.