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Rebecca Lemke is an author and blogger who writes about her struggle to live as a woman of God in a godless society. I was struck by an article she wrote titled, “Feminism tried to steal my femininity.”
In it she says, “Feminism, not the patriarchy, was what tried to steal my choices and my femininity.” She included the following quote as an accurate summary of her thoughts on feminism:
“I think there is a fundamental understanding that lies at the root of feminism. This has impacted women of all ages, but I think it has especially impacted these young girls. This sense that freedom is the ability to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and that the earlier I can experience this total freedom, the better. But we know that freedom is the ability to do what you ought to do, to do the good, to choose the good.” — Coleen Carrol Campbell (emphasis added)
Jesus Christ told his disciples, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 32) What a beautiful concept! The truth will set you free. The truth doesn't restrict and burden God's people. It liberates them to live the way God intended. The truth about femininity is that God has designed women in a wonderful way and he wants them to pursue the high calling He has given them. If a woman will repent of her sin and trust that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save her then she will be saved (Acts 2: 38). If a Christian woman will commit her life to Christ, then she will seek to live the way God intended her to live.
The Bible explains that the essence of femininity is to receive what God has given. God created Eve to be a helpmate for Adam (Genesis 2: 18). She was to receive this calling and purpose and find great fulfillment in pursuing her calling as a servant of God by helping her husband in his unique purpose and calling. Unfortunately, Eve wanted to have more than God gave and so she fell into sin and took what had not been given to her.
Mary, on the other hand, is a positive example of femininity in the Bible. When Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, she responded the way God intended. She said, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”(Luke 1: 38) Her reply is the essence of femininity. She was ready to receive what God had given her, and she flourished as a result.
Elizabeth Elliot paints a picture of femininity in a chapter entitled “The Essence of Femininity.” She writes, “Think of a bride. She surrenders her independence, her name, her destiny, her will, herself to the bridegroom in marriage. This is a public ceremony, before God and witnesses. Then, in the marriage chamber, she surrenders her body, her priceless gift of virginity, all that has been hidden. As a mother she makes a new surrender — it is her life for the life of the child. This is most profoundly what women were made for, married or single (and the special vocation of the virgin is to surrender herself for service to the Lord and for the life of the world).”
— Taken from Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (1991).
Feminism is at odds with the calling that God revealed for women in His word. The Oxford Leaners Dictionary defines feminism as “the belief and aim that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men; the struggle to achieve this aim.”
Bell Hooks wrote that “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” The last word of Hooks' definition reveals how much modern feminism has been influenced by critical theory, which is a philosophy that divides the world into the oppressed and the oppressor.
According to feminism, men are the oppressors and women are the oppressed. And any God who describes a purpose and roles for women that do not fit with the feminists ideals of equality is thus also considered to be oppressive. This makes the feminist ideology incompatible with Scripture. As Elisabeth Elliot writes, “The feminist theology of Christians (I cannot call it “Christian feminist theology”) is a Procrustean bed on which doctrine and the plain facts of human nature and history, not to mention the Bible itself, are arbitrarily stretched or chopped off to fit.”
Feminism steals from women the beautiful design of femininity that God intended for them to pursue. Instead of rebelling against God’s wonderful design, women can discover the beauty that comes from how God intended both men and women to live.
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