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.
For the earliest Christians, part of what made them a target was the inclusivity they showed toward the overlooked and marginalized, which was a subversive aspect of their movement in the largely exclusive Greco-Roman culture they inhabited.
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.
Although evangelical and Canadian histories have tended to under-examine the contributions of women, an emphasis on the example of Phoebe Palmer readily offers a visible standard of Canadian evangelical emancipation.
In The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, Beth Allison Barr shares her personal story of rejecting complementarian views on male headship and female submission.
Christian Egalitarian Leadership takes further steps toward broadening the issues (e.g., it is about more than gender) but also focuses on one essential aspect of the thriving of egalitarianism—leadership.
Abundant canonical, literary, and epigraphical evidence proves women were ordained leaders in the church for centuries. Women who aspire to ordained ministry today can be encouraged by the rich history of women’s ordination.