Initially, my limitation on understanding the essence of equality was due to ill-information and genuinely, I didn’t want to stand for beliefs that conflicted with God’s word.
As a matter of urgency, we need to acknowledge that equality comes with a myriad of benefits including the possibility of seeing immense growth and development in the body of Christ.
Equality is not a struggle for power from men neither is it about ensuring that one (gender) wears the superiority badge but it is a conscious effort to align our personhood with our values and gifting as expressed in our work without limitations.
So does the Bible support equality? Absolutely.
Galatians 3:28 is a popular reference for equality. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Reconciling who we are with how God sees us is a sure way to identify as his. It’s better to respond to how God sees you and live it than otherwise. God sees us as a united people, not one above the other. In his eyes, he doesn’t recognise the need to validate you based on your tribe, your status or your gender. We are all very valuable to him.
In fact, Genesis never makes mention of superiority or leadership of any kind unless inferences are made which in itself changes the information being put across.
It is true that both men and women are different but the differences does not and should not translate into how we respond to our calling or which kind of tasks we should or should not take. Our differences transcends beyond roles, although complementary.
Complementary role is mostly biological. It doesn’t mean one becomes “head” and the other “a neck”. It doesn’t mean that one becomes a vision bearer and the other just lives to ensure that the vision is supported.
Although, the woman according to the creation story was created second, there is nowhere in the bible that automatically makes her assume a certain subordinate role neither is there emphasis on the need for her to be a follower but a co-partner or as Christ says, co-heir.
The man and woman (male and female), the embodiment and emblem of God were created to dominate the earth, subdue it and live fulfilled. (Genesis 1:27) God’s original plan thus, doesn’t consider the dominance of one. (However, the dominance of one was a curse which Christ came to deliver us from)
There’s never a case where God chooses women over men or men over women. God chooses who he wants and when he wants to. If God didn’t want to call women to become Apostles, Prophets, Head Pastors, Preachers, etc, he wouldn’t give women these gifts like he does men.
It is false theology to assume that God cannot call women for certain roles, tasks or purposes.
We don’t only limit ourselves when we try to put each other in a box, we also prevent the church from benefitting from the gifts of both men and women.
We place a huge burden on men who may not have been called to be who or what we expect them to be. It is also tragedy to deny women the chance to use their gifts. In all, the church looses.
When we discover our gifts, they become beneficial to us and our community. When we use our strengths, others in the body of Christ make up for our weaknesses.
(It took a journey to get me to this point. I had to read thoroughly, research and ask questions. Believing that the man and woman are equal isn’t a blank statement just to promote women but a conscious desire to break all kinds of limitations that prevents women from becoming who they are or who they would want to be in Christ Jesus.)