On Tuesday this week we mark 100 years since some British women were first guaranteed the right to vote. The Representation of the People Act was adopted in February 1918, eventually paving the way for universal women’s suffrage in this country.
We want to celebrate the many ways that women have made a vital contribution to the political life of our country. We regret that in the past the good teaching of the Bible about men and women has sometimes been used as an excuse for domination, exploitation and abuse.
We recognise, too, that in the church the good teaching of the Bible about being made male and female, equal, and in the image of God – but made different and with distinct roles – has sometimes been applied lazily in the church and woman have not been able to develop and use the gifts and opportunities God has given them.
We do not want to define masculinity or femininity along the lines of some historical models that have no basis in the Bible, but are rather a social construct.
But we also see that feminism is tainted by the Fall; it has set up a destructive rivalry between men and women. Feminism is essentially tied to the wagons of individualism and sexual freedom, and not to the creation paradigm as recorded for us in Genesis 1 and 2. So it will eventually break apart and overturn God’s good order and bring disharmony.
We want to affirm that the differences between men and women make possible the closest bond between the sexes. We should not pit one against the other, but rather we celebrate that they are complementary and completed by each other.