One billion rising

Women dancing

One billion women around the world dancing and making a point. What’s not to like? And what’s the point?

Some shameful statistics

According to One Billion Rising, one in three women worldwide will be raped or beaten in their lifetime. I don’t know accurate that statistic is, but any such statistic is intolerable. It is especially shameful for me as a man, because almost all the violence on women is perpetrated by men.

People trafficking is a major problem. Statistics are difficult to estimate, but it is likely that millions of women and girls are trafficked into forced labour each year, with perhaps a million being forced in to prostitution or otherwise sexually abused (see United Nations and Stop the Traffik).

One billion rising

One Billion Rising is a global movement to raise awareness and combat of the abuse of women. February 15th was a day of “Strike, Dance, Rise”, and you can find videos of dancing in support of OBR all over the internet. Here are a few:

Obe billion rising logo

Where do christians fit in?

Jesus said (Luke 4:18-21) that he came to bring freedom for the oppressed. And christians have often responded to that call. In the first few centuries after Jesus, the christians were known in the Roman Empire for their care of women, unwanted children and the sick. Christians have opposed slavery, apartheid, war and inhumanity. The work has continued to this day in the programs of medical help and economic justice in third world countries.

But there is an unfortunate darker side to Christendom, when ‘christians’ have ignored the teachings of Jesus and participated in crusades, oppression of women, gay hate crimes, slavery, racism and war.

We should be leading the way on ending, as much as possible, abuse and oppression of women. And joining in, if we can dance, with those who are working for freedom for women.

But …..

Christians are commonly seen as playing a part in the oppression of women by holding to a strict literal interpretation of a few Biblical passages that limit the role of women and can entrench male domination. I, and many others believe the Holy Spirit is leading his people into new freedoms for women, but I recognise that many christians are not of the same view.

But above all else, we must be people of grace. If some of us feel compelled to continue a more patriarchal approach, they need to find a way to do it with extreme grace. And if they can’t do it with extreme grace, then something has to give, and it cannot be grace! Those who, like me, believe in the new freedoms in the Spirit for women, must somehow try to make up for those who do not.

So I say, more power to One Billion Rising!

Photo Credit: Harald Berenfänger via Compfight cc

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6 thoughts on “One billion rising

  1. Laura says:

    Great post Unklee! Women are often turned off of Christianity because they see it as anti-women. And, sadly, too often they are right in their perception…especially among evangelicalism. Such a contrast with how Jesus treated women. If you read through the Gospels with a focus on women, it is really quite amazing and startling to note how Jesus interacted with them – especially considering the patriarchal culture of the ancient near east. The church should be leading the way for women, and instead, as a whole, the church is far behind.

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  2. Tim says:

    The stats on oppression of women are horrifying, unklee. As for the role of the church, I think the Holy Spirit is leading us not to a new freedoms, but into enjoying the freedom God has offered all along, His people should be embracing that, of course, not hindering it.

    Good job shedding light on this today.

    Tim

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  3. unkleE says:

    Yes I think God did intend it all along. But I also think that God’s revelation is progressive, and he has always given us only what we can deal with at the time. So I think God’s universal truth of the equality of the sexes remained somewhat muted until the world was ready for it – which I believe is now. Thanks for your comment.

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