Tuesday, October 8, 2013

4 Reasons Radical Feminism and Christianity Can’t Mix

by Chelsen Vicari (@ChelsenVicari) October 8, 2013


Many female leaders in the evangelical church are attempting to convince their young disciples that there is no contradiction in being both a feminist and a Christian. “While the Bible is clear that “in Christ there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3: 28), there is much more to today’s radical feminism than male/female equality. Much of the ideology behind radical feminism is incompatible with the Christian faith.
Prominent evangelical pastor John Ortberg’s daughter, Laura Turner, is one such figure who conveniently ignores the troubling ideology behind much of today’s feminism. In Turner’s Christianity Today op-ed she declares, “Feminism is simply the belief that women are equally as human as men—equal in the eyes of God, equal in image-bearing, equal in ability. (This is why it is possible to be both a feminist and a complementarian…)” Obviously, the Christian faith has no problem with this view of women. But feminism is not “simply” that. Turner ignores important issues that put modern feminism at odds with Christianity:
1. Radical Feminism is a Warped Ideology that Mocks Biblically-Based Theology
Turner is correct that feminism was an admirable movement started in the late 1800’s when a group of heroines including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Susan B. Anthony gathered together seeking basic, natural rights for women. But feminism is no longer “simply” women combating societal prejudices. Feminism has morphed into an ideological agenda that far exceeds bra burning and hairy legs.
It’s 2013 and feminism is not dead. Modern feminists are heralding “new Feminism” or “Third Wave” feminism, which scoffs at any belief system purporting God made male and female with separate, albeit complementary, roles. Go ahead and tell any radical feminist that you are thankful God blessed you with ovaries so that you have the privilege of bearing children. Third wave feminists like Jessica Valenti will remind you that “Whether it’s repro[ductive] rights, violence against women, or just plain old vanilla sexism, most issues affecting women…exist to keep women “in their place.”[1]
2. Radical Feminism Diminishes God’s Value of Women
It’s disturbing to learn that a study found 82 percent of women would prefer to pay for their own dinner on a first date than expect the man to prove he can provide for them. But this trend is indicative of radical feminism’s impact on culture.
The cultural norm today is for women to don power suites and compete with men. Society no longer expects women to be put on a pedestal by men who love and respect them. Sadly, radical feminism calls for women to shed their femininity and act like men in order to climb the success ladder and find fulfillment. For example, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In is a feminist manifesto telling women they need to develop shrewd dominant behavior if they want to compete with their male counterparts. It is only then, according to Sandberg, that women will attain “real” success.
In contrast, Christianity tells women that they are special, unique and deserving of special treatment just because they are children of God, and find their identity in Christ. Christian women do not have to compete with anyone. When they seek God first, and not strive to find fulfillment in competition, they find His peace, wisdom, and providence and truly “have it all.”
3. Radical Feminism Champions a Culture of Death
Turner goes on to write, “Christian feminists can celebrate any sort of feminism that brings more justice and human flourishing to the world…” And yes, Christian women are certainly called to show mercy to the poor and seek justice for sex trafficking victims. But as Ravi Zacharias put it bluntly, “We cannot discuss human rights, when we are denying people the right to live.”
Abortion is a mainstay of modern feminism. Radical feminism’s ongoing battle is for the ability to choose whether an unborn baby lives or dies. This self-centered notion is in direct conflict with Scripture, which tells us God gives life in the womb and cares about the unborn:
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)
4. Radical Feminism Enslaves Women
Despite how “progressive” our culture tells us we are, millions of American women remain in bondage. And it is the so-called “radical feminist” doctrine that has trapped their souls.
Feminism has placed a stigma around motherhood, seeing women who choose “housewife servitude”as unaccomplished and inferior, and often trying to make them feel the same. Feminists such as Cosmopolitan editor and Sixties icon Helen Gurly-Brown called women to reject marriage and enjoy multiple sexual partners. But this lifestyle only leaves women feeling used and ultimately alone, which is probably why Gurly-Brown did not take her own advice! She opted instead for a stable monogamous marriage and was married to her husband, David Brown, for 51 years, until he died in 2010.
Young women — in secular society, and sadly, too often in the church — are taught that feminism is their freedom. Let us never forget that God is the ultimate feminist who offers value far beyond equality. He offers dignity, purpose, hope and everlasting life. If that isn’t freedom, then what is?

[1]Valenti, Jessica, Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters (Berkeley: Seal Press, 2007), 151.

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