Feminism and ChristianityDoes Christianity promote feminism? Because in the Bible it says that women should look up to men and let them be the head of the body. However, modern feminism seems to...

Feminism and Christianity

Does Christianity promote feminism? Because in the Bible it says that women should look up to men and let them be the head of the body. However, modern feminism seems to challenge this view. What do you guys think?

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the first two post may have misread the question - or maybe it is me. I understand the question to ask whether Christianity can lead to feminism, even if there are passage that speak of male headship. This is possible in my opinion. There are verses that do not speak of order, but equality as well. For example, Galatians 3:28 speaks about something radical, namely that there is no man or women, Jew or Greek, free or slave in Christ. In other words, this verse is erasing the boundaries of society. Gender, race and economics are all addressed. This was a radical departure in the ancient world of Paul and if one thinks about this today, it is also very radical. Now can this lead to a type of feminism? Sure, especially if one make this the key verse and the lens to interpret the rest of the bible.

mcalnan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Southern Baptists, in the name of the Lord, demand a wife graciously submit to the leadership of the husband. Other denominations are not as blatant in their gender roles, nor as emphatic. In fact, some denominations urge mutual submission between husband and wife. However, that is likely a progressive approach, or more likely a play on words, due to the negative connotation of the word "submit" as meaning oppress. Though some argue the Bible also commands the husband to care for and respect his wife, it also commands the husband to lead. If either spouse were to abdicate or usurp their appointed roles, it is considered a sin. Thus, strict interpretations of the Bible do seem to be in conflict with the modern feminist agenda.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As the second post says, more fundamentalist Christians who take the Bible literally definitely do not promote feminism.  In addition, such religions as Roman Catholicism and Mormonism do not treat women equally in terms of allowing them to be priests.  So in that sense, it does not promote feminism.  However, you can argue that the emphasis on the equality of all people before God can be used to promote a feminist viewpoint.  It is worth noting that countries that have been historically Christian generally have better records on womens rights than other countries.  This might imply that Christianity and feminism are not mutually incompatible.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think this is really a matter of religious view. The Bible does state that women should serve their men but it really depends on what viewpoint we are taking. If the Bible is taken literally, then no, I do not think that the Bible supports feminism.

Again, I really believe that viewpoints will vary according to religious affiliation.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
It's more cultural than religious. Strict interpretations of the Bible are not going to be feminist, since it dates from a culture that saw women as subservient to men. Some even claim that since Eve took the bite from the poisonous apple, all of mankind's problems can be traced to women, which is about as anti-feminist as you can get.
rapotts | Student

Maybe the question should be whether feminism is consistent with God's word.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 God says, " 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."

There is no higher standard for the treatment of one's wife than God's standard. God calls men to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Christ died for the church (all of us). He endured the weight of the sin of the world and immense suffering for us. Men are called to love their wives by this standard.

Women are called to submit to their husbands as a demonstration of their submittal to Christ's lordship in their lives. It has nothing to do with their husband. It simply shows their relationship with the Lord through their marriage.

When husbands love their wives and wives submit to their husbands, powerful, wonderful, and amazing things happen in marriage. God designed it that way.