Every so often I come across articles like this that argue that the church is becoming feminized! Oh the horror! We need to make it more masculine is the refrain.
Here’s the problem with this – it becomes a battle of the sexes. It becomes focused on the differences between the sexes and ends up being a no-win argument in which people get ticked off and start pointing fingers at one another for why the church is in decline.
I just don’t see how this helps.
Is Christianity, at it core, masculine or feminine? My radical answer is both and neither.
Where do I draw this from? There are lots of places I could point to in the bible. There’s Jesus describing God like a mothering hen. There’s Paul talking about putting on the armor of God. The list goes on and on.
But here’s the verse that matters for this discussion as far as I’m concerned. It’s Paul’s letter to the Galatians (3:28) in which he writes: “In Christ there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Christianity is radical in the sense that it isn’t about moving a religion towards one sex or the other. Rather, it’s about a radical inclusiveness that has no problems with both sexes as they are. Christianity sees the sexes as a part of our deeper identity – God’s children. That’s our primary identity. That’s who we are.