The oppression of women spans centuries and borders. In virtually every country and culture in the world, women have less-than-equal status to men and they are often relegated to subservient and submissive roles. Women suffer from domestic violence, job barriers, lack of control over their bodies, and fewer options for healthcare. They often do not have a voice in matters as broad as politics or as narrow as what happens within their own families.
Though limitations on women in institutional leadership continue, Holiness and Pentecostal women continue to carry out evangelistic ministries using the venues of revival and camp meetings as well as women’s conferences and conventions.
Could it be that the complementarian notion of “biblical womanhood” (especially the claim that women’s distinct personhood makes no room for women as teachers and leaders of men) is a recent, Western perspective?
As one might expect, much of the research in the area of wife abuse has been done by feminists, some of whom themselves have been victims of wife beating. They speak with an understandable bitterness and anger toward a society so insensitive that it only publicly acknowledged the plight of battered women decades after having established laws to prohibit the abuse of animals. And often they have given up on the hope that change will come through social institutions such as the church. Rather than seeing the church as part of the solution to the abuse of women, they almost unanimously perceive the church as a big part of the problem.
Adults in your church, small group, or other Christian organization are silently suffering the tragic consequences of having been sexually abused as children or youth. Why aren't they coming forward for help? Their reluctance may be related to wounds given by the faithful—religious people they trusted, who said things like "well, it wasn't rape" or "it's been thirty years—why is this such a big deal?" Such responses from people with religious authority deepen victims' need to shrink into anxiety, depression, and self-degradation. This book offers you the tools needed to undertake caring ministry to adults suffering in the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse. Once you understand the scientific research on such topics as trauma memory, consequences of abuse, and forgiveness, you will appreciate how caring collaboration can create hope and healing. In these pages every reader will find helpful content that will take you from feeling out of your depth to knowing you are empowered to be an effective companion in God's transforming work in the lives of survivors of abuse.
My journey towards egalitarianism began with a search for two things: practicality and consistency. I struggled to reconcile them in the biblical interpretation process, and often felt that one was at odds with the other, particularly in 1 Corinthians 14.