Our cloistered discussions about God’s purposes for women and the resulting infighting that ensues among us leave women elsewhere in the world scratching their heads. Blinded by the insulation of prosperity, we are at risk of transmitting a message as irrelevant and unworkable as Marie Antoinette’s solution for the starving masses: “Let them eat cake!”—a message that when sanctioned as “biblical” is cruelly beyond the reach of those with less.
We need a global conversation about the Bible’s message for women because a global conversation safeguards us from proclaiming a prosperity gospel for women that works for some (at least for a time) and is utterly crushing to vast numbers of women in our own culture and elsewhere in the world. The Bible’s message for women doesn’t depend on ideal circumstances, but applies fully to those who live in the brutal outskirts of society where poverty engulfs, education is nonexistent, women’s bodies are ravaged, and lives are in constant peril simply because they are female.
Global thinking raises deeper questions and sends us in search of answers that are expansive and dynamic enough to frame every woman’s life from birth to death. Within this wider global context, we will discover—for their sakes and for ours—the true strength of God’s message for women. Here we will unlock the gospel’s potency to bring wholeness and purpose to a trampled and discarded life. This is where we will plumb the depths of God’s love for his daughters and see for ourselves that no life is ever beyond the reach of the gospel’s restorative powers, no matter how a woman’s story plays out. Until we go global, we can never be sure of our questions, much less the answers we affirm.
~Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women (Carolyn Curtis James)