The Gospel, Culture, and Women
I love lofty ideas. I’m a visionary and not particularly practical. I like to think broader and bigger, then surround myself with people who know more than I do and have strengths I don’t have to make it happen.
When I say I want to spend the rest of my days, “raising up women around the globe”, I mean it. And by God’s grace we will. (Doesn’t that sound terrific?)
Then you begin.
You head out and into different cultures, and you discover through people’s words and works that women are low on the totem pole. I’m talking about people who say they’re Christians. The new pattern (the gospel) is laid over an old pattern (the culture).
You face the reality of cultural norms, moorings and strongholds that fly in the face of the gospel.
What do you do with that?
First of all, if the Good News – that God loves us and wants to be in a life-giving relationship with us, so sent Jesus to remove all barriers to that relationship - is true, it’s true everywhere. It’s true for all. It supersedes culture.
For example, when I hear of believers beating or belittling their wives and I have the opportunity to speak into that, I’m not telling them to stop just because it goes against my American cultural norms or laws or democratic justice system. It goes against JESUS. It goes against the gospel!
But oh, it’s tough.
What do you do when beating your wife or hating your enemy is so entrenched in a culture?
The gospel must transform culture.
The apostle Paul was up against this in the first century: “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2.
Cultural transformation begins with personal transformation. You, dear one, must be transformed. Especially if you’re a leader. Especially if you’re a male leader. Those who study organization and cultural change state that nations don’t transform. People do.
I'm real because God is so real
Your Calling For Today
Read one of the gospels. Take as much time as you need. Then take note of every encounter Jesus has with women. What do you notice?