A Christian Perspective of Women

Christianity sprang up in the context of Judaism and in a way Jesus was a protester and reformer of this ancient religion called Judaism. By being a Jew Jesus always took steps to expand the boundaries of Judaism by creating space for various categories in the society. Among these categories, Jesus was often concerned about the oppressed, the marginalized and the alienated people in his community.

In the preview of this broader philosophy, Jesus was concerned about the plight of women where they did not have many rights as human beings. In that society, women had to depend on men for their existence. Women were not even allowed to discuss or study religious matters. By discussing theological issues with Martha and Mary Jesus opened to gate for women to get actively involved in theological matters.

According to St. Luke’s gospel in the Bible Jesus had women disciples who followed him. When that woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus by asking the sinless person to cast the first stone he directed the crowd to have a fresh look at the sins of that woman. This was necessary in that society as men often put the blame of many things on women. By healing the women with an issue of blood Jesus showed how some women were oppressed in that society because of the social stigmas of that era.

This attitude of Jesus initiated a process of redemption for women to get involved in the activities of society as human beings created in the image of God. With this background in the early church, Women had a special place where they got actively involved in the affairs of the church. With this revival, early leaders of the church such as St. Paul had to face cultural issues which raised some ethical concerns. For instance, some women started coming to worship without covering their heads which was not accepted in that society.

In a society where women were not allowed to get involved in theological matters when some women became very loud in church gatherings, St. Paul had to warn them. When St. Paul wrote epistles to churches he had to give practical instructions to maintain order in their gatherings. This shows that St. Paul was not against women but was concerned about the practical issues to sustain the future of the church.

However, throughout the 20 centuries of the existence of the Christian church the process of liberation of women initiated by Jesus has been going forward as an ongoing and a growing process. Today many churches have accepted women ministers where the women are involved in a holistic ministry.

Although in principle women have been given equal rights with men still some societies and some human beings are finding it difficult to accept women as equal partners with men. Therefore it is human and Christian to take every step to accept all women as equal partners with men in the society.