A balanced approach to feminism in the church: Imago Dei

David Bennett, North Central Senior. Photo by Ericka Sura.

David Bennett, North Central Senior. Photo by Ericka Sura.

A topic that is often discussed at North Central is the issue of equality for women. Often times this leads people to believe in a philosophy called feminism. Feminism is the belief that women should be equal in all respects to men and be treated fairly. Unfortunately, as excellent as feminism initially sounds, it fails to be something that Christians should subscribe to.

Feminism in some of its elements is incompatible with Christian theology. Some elements are positive, but others simply cannot mix with Christian theology. When feminism works towards abortion rights, we cannot, as Christians, show support. When feminism works for the changing of a biblical view of marriage, we as Christians should not show our support. When feminism diminishes the value of males or any other group, we should not display support.  We should not support feminism when it tries to re-interpret scripture. We should not support feminism when its actions diminish God’s glory or harm the Christian Gospel.

However, when feminism works towards showing the value all of people, or providing fundamental God-given human rights,  these are instances when a Christian can and should show support. We can support elements of feminism but not the whole.  If embracing feminism as a whole is not something a Christian should do, how then should a Christian show support for women?

I would propose that instead of turning to the philosophy of feminism, that we fully embrace the Biblical theology of Imago Dei. Imago Dei proclaims that we are all made in the image of God and as such have equal value as creations of God. The Bible also shows us that an element of the Kingdom of God is the restoration and reconciliation of all things.

We as people of the Kingdom should work to bring about the rule and reign of God upon the earth. Part of bringing the Kingdom is to make sure that all people are seen and treated as image bearers of God. The Bible already contains the solution to inequality and injustice: the people of God working to bring restoration of God’s plan, reconciliation of things, and redemption of those who will be saved.

As the people of God, let us seek to view and treat everyone with their true value as image bearers of God. This is done by our speech, actions and attitudes towards others, male and female. This is done by working towards equality when we see injustice.

It is also done by advocating for people and showing them the love of Christ, simply because they are God’s creations. It will take effort for us to truly see others as image bearers of God, but is necessary and worth it because of the Biblical mandate to treat others the way we want to be treated.

Let us work to see the reconciliation, restoration, and redemption of the earth in all areas as the Kingdom of God establishes its rule and reign upon the earth. Let us also faithfully live out a theology of Imago Dei in everything that we do and say.

About the author: Northerner Staff