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Jesus Feminist

On September 18, 2013

My first allegiance isn’t to feminism. My first allegiance is to Jesus and his kingdom.

Following Jesus changes my feminism, not the other way around.

I choose to be a feminist in the way that Jesus would be a feminist.

Often, the ways of the kingdom of God stand in direct contrast to the ways of the world and our culture. Sadly, our churches can resemble our culture instead of Jesus. And I’m not talking about things like electric guitars—rather, the church’s fascination with militaristic, entertainment-oriented, power-hungry, materialistic, patriarchal culture, and so on.

When I decided to become a disciple of Jesus, it meant that I wanted to live my right-now life the way that I believed Jesus would do it. That has led me to many changes in my politics and activism and opinions, how I live out my faith, my mothering, my engagement with the church and community, and all points between.

Because I follow Jesus, I want to see God’s redemptive movement for women arch towards justice. And God’s kingdom tastes like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. My life should still bear the fruit of the Spirit.

I don’t get a free pass on discipleship because I’m a woman or a feminist or for any other reason. I still have to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. When I chose to follow Jesus, it meant I chose to apprentice myself to his way of life and living in the world.

If we want to live counter-culturally as disciples, we have to live our lives, seek mercy, and do justice counter-culturally as well.It’s tempting to want to employ the same tactics, arguments, or methods that have been used on us or others, but that is a temptation we must resist. I don’t believe that silencing and shaming and other tactics of the world will really bring about God’s redemptive movement for women. We are to be gentle as doves and cunning as serpents.

God is light, there is no darkness to him, so when we participate in the life of Christ now, we are marked as the bringers of light. The apostle John wrote, “Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived (1 John 2:6 The Message).

And a follower of Jesus is marked by joy. A follower of Jesus forgives seventy times seven. A follower of Jesus seeks to serve others. A follower of Jesus turns the other cheek. There are hundreds of ways that Jesus subverts our world’s systems and that can be hard to embrace: we want a seat at the table and a share of the power. Maybe it’s because we don’t really trust that the living water and broken bread will be enough for us. Maybe it’s because we don’t trust God’s faithfulness. Maybe it’s because we’re afraid or angry or hurt or broken. Maybe it’s because we are still learning how to turn our swords into ploughshares.

To the world, it’s foolish to choose peace instead of war. It’s foolish to forgive. It’s foolish to be kind. It’s foolish to hope. It’s foolish to offer grace and conversation. It’s foolish to care for your weaker brothers or sisters, let alone change your own behavior to accommodate them. It’s foolish to live without legalism and “clear boundaries” that apply to everyone.

Foolish things will confound the “wise” of our world.

And when a feminist chooses to eschew the tactics of the world that are often used against women—silencing, shaming, name-calling, belittling, ganging up, and so on—we are being foolish in the ways of a disciple. We are living prophetically into the kingdom of God. How would Jesus be a feminist? How would Jesus do justice and seek mercy and walk humbly on behalf of his global daughters?

We can prophesy a better world with our very words and actions.

To read the complete article, visit Sarah’s blog

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