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Changing the Mindset

On May 27, 2006

Recently there was a blog post regarding preferential treatment given to men, even by those who espouse egalitarian beliefs. How can this happen ?

It is very evident that the cultural mindset over such a long time is deeper than many first imagined and so it is no wonder than it keeps resurfacing in the most unlikely places. It occurs to me that something that has taken hundreds of years to become entrenched will not go away just by careful exegesis and teaching. Attitudes will change in the same way they developed - very slowly and with repeated statements and demonstrated truth. We need to find ways of "speaking the truth in love" to those who have differing beliefs about gender issues and use opportunities as they occur to encourage a better way to speak and act in company with women and men.

For myself, I know that I often don't take issue with things which are said for two reasons. Either it seems as though I am defending myself or I don't want to spoil the great fellowship we have with friends by pointing out something they've said which perpetuates the sterotypes. Perhaps we need to move away from personal hurt and see it as a slight on the very character of God and then we may feel more freedom to confront people who unwittingly make distinction between women and men followers of Jesus. However we do it, it will probably be a long process which will bear fruit later. One example is a recent opportunity I have had to "Australianise" a series of parenting books which have been written from a complementarian perspective. While doing this I was able to change words such as "man's nature" to "human nature" and sometimes include the word "parents" instead of the continual reference to "mum (read mom)" as though mothers are always the primary care-givers. I won't be around to see what difference this will make to the thousands who read this material, but hopefully it will permeate their thinking and have a lasting result. Some of us will have to be content with "picking out the stones" to prepare the ground for the good seed of biblical truth to take root.

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