Confronted with the breakdown of the traditional family, we as Christians wonder how to minister to people in non-traditional family structures, and we also wonder what standards we should uphold in our own families.
Before the nineteenth century, a Chinese woman’s life was wrapped around three men: father, husband, and son. When missionaries brought the gospel to China, the destiny of Chinese women began to change.
Hidden behind much patriarchal thinking is a pervasive patrilineal worldview. The belief that the family line is a male line and that males own and inherit the resources, has colored nearly all our cultures in the past and still accounts for much oppression and sidelining of women. Beulah will speak from her experience in south Asian culture, recognizing that, within families, women often become the perpetrators of discrimination against females. Does that happen to some extent near all of us? The Bible culture too is patrilineal. How shall we view that?
Cleansing the Bible of counter-cultural female roles not only masculinizes history, it also deprives women of a broader picture of how God has and might use women and their gifts in church, home, and society.
Catherine Kroeger, the founding president of CBE, stated, “although women had made forays into the field of biblical interpretation, it was to be Katharine Bushnell who would bring out the heavy artillery.”
One aspect in the life of the eighteenth-century Moravian Church has gone almost unnoticed, even among modern Moravians: the fact that women shared many of the pastoral responsibilities within the church, wrote spiritual autobiographies, received ordination, and even engaged in preaching