In the kingdom of God, women are not to be viewed or treated as property, and the “emancipation” of one part of society must not mean the subjugation of another. This story, properly understood, emphasises the equality of men and women in God’s sight, the love of God, the power of the kingdom, and the qualities of resurrection life.
Dorothy Lee’s work on ministering women displays exemplary research and is especially well written. It has affirmed and expanded many of my views; it has also challenged me and sparked my thinking. I will return to her work repeatedly.
In a time when women in the West and certain other countries are standing up for their rights, especially through the MeToo movement, I am reminded of one courageous Congolese woman who stood up against sexual exploitation of women in school and saw God answer her prayer to be involved in pastoral ministry.
Genesis 1:26–27 clearly teaches that both man and woman are created in God’s image. Women and men are therefore fully equal as human beings. There are other important Scripture texts that imply women’s fundamental equality. But this passage indicates the root of that equality.
The Bible is full of vivid maternal descriptions of God, yet many of us are still uncomfortable using maternal language to talk about God or to God. Reclaiming God’s feminine attributes helps us grow closer to God.
We in the church have the responsibility to lead the charge in revolutionizing our misuse of gendered language. We have the clearest picture of how gender relations should be. We have the power to change the narrative.