posted on September 20, 2012 at 4:02 am
Can Christians be “liberated” women?
When dealing with questions like this, it’s important we first define the key word or words within our question. What does it mean to be “liberated”?
I looked up the definition in three separate sources – the Oxford Reference Dictionary, Dictionary.com and the New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition. “Liberated” is the past tense of the word “liberate” and where we get the word “liberty” from. The Oxford Reference Dictionary and Dictionary.com both define “liberate” this way:
To set free; to free a geographical area or nation from an enemy occupation, foreign control or oppressive government; to free a group or individual from social or economic constraints (rules) or discrimination, especially arising from traditional gender roles or bias.
As I mentioned, “liberated” is past tense. Let’s reword the question a bit now that we know liberated means “set free” from something. So, “can Christians be women who have been ‘set free’?” Well, we can’t answer a question about Christian women from a purely worldly view, so this is how the New Bible Dictionary defines “liberty”:
The biblical idea of liberty has its background in the thought of imprisonment or slavery. When the Bible speaks of liberty, a prior bondage or incarceration is always implied. Liberty means the happy state of having been released from servitude for a life of enjoyment and satisfaction that was not possible before (pp. 684-5).
Both definitions indicate being set free from something, but the biblical definition means set free from prison or bondage, whereas the worldly definition indicates being set free from anything we find oppressive.
In our time in history, women (with the exception of a few countries) have the right to vote, own property, hold jobs and choose who we want to marry; we decide where we want to go, what we want to do and what we want to say.
So I have to ask the question: From what do we need to be “liberated”?
The world defines freedom or liberty as the right to do and say whatever we want. The Bible has direct response to that:
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve on another (Galatians 5:13).
So what does the Bible say about being “liberated” from bondage?
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification (receiving the holiness of Christ), and the outcome, eternal life (Romans 6:22).
At the core of each person’s life is one decision: Be a slave of sin and a sinful world, which the Bible says leads to death (Romans 6:23), or be a slave of God, which leads to eternal life. When we surrender our lives to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we’re actually agreeing to give up doing things our way (worldly freedom) and agreeing to live our lives according to God’s will (God’s freedom).
Worldly freedom is all about my pleasure right now and God’s freedom is about what’s in our best interest and becoming who God always intended us to be with the added benefit of eternal life.
PI girls, what do you think–can Christians be liberated women? What type of liberty will you choose, the world’s or God’s?
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).