Should Christians seek Social Justice? – Equality between Genders

Our Guest

Mrs. Bolatito Oke is the Coordinator of Lagos Province 1 Junior Church, the Redeemed Christian Church of God. She is also into teenagers and children ministry and also works with the youth and parents.

 

The Interview

Temitayo Teniola: Good Day Ma, my name is Teniola, and I am from Peculiar Ministers. We thank you for honouring our invite.

Temitayo Teniola: We will be talking about “Should Christian seek Social Justice? Looking closely at equality between genders”.

Bolatito Oke: You’re welcome

Temitayo Teniola: Social Justice has been one of the upfront situation and very essential topics that people ponder on very often. Ma, kindly tell us what you understand Social Justice to be?

Bolatito Oke: Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between individual and society as measured by the distribution of wealth, opportunities, for social priviledges. It is based on the concept of human rights and equality.

Temitayo Teniola: Hmm…Thank you. Ma, what should be the attitude of Christians to Social Justice?

Bolatito Oke: Here, we need to first know what Christianity is all about.

Christianity is about the gospel of goodnews meant to reconcile men to God and to bring about transformation that shapens our behaviour, priority, values and relationship. Justice in it’s simplest form is to set things right. As believers our sense of justice is imparted to us by God through His Word.

Temitayo Teniola: Very well right Ma.

Bolatito Oke: As believers Isaiah 1:17 tells us to, “learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow”. This is God’s commandment.

Temitayo Teniola: Thank you Very much Ma. Is there a difference between Biblical Justice and Social Justice?

Bolatito Oke: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Bolatito Oke: Yes, there is a difference.

Temitayo Teniola: Thank you ma, kindly explain further.

Bolatito Oke: Social justice is subjective because it involves matter that only address specific groups. It deals with the affairs of this life such as social, economic and political matters. Biblical justice is to bring salvation which leads to individuals fulfilling their God given roles (Destiny). Assuming inequalities are by product of sin and can never be remedied as long as we dwell on a fallen world.

Temitayo Teniola: There has been significant focus on social justice within the Christian world over the past few years.

What is the biblical call to justice?

Bolatito Oke: Biblical call to justice can be seen in the above passages and the great commission (Matthew 28:20). We are to evangelize and disciple others through the Word of God. Looking at the life of the disciples, through the biblical justice, they were able to solve problems of inequality through their ministry. At a point in time they sold all they had to give to others. Jesus Christ defending the adulterous woman was another biblical justice, as people were condemning her. Jesus was after her soul and not the sin she committed.

Presently we have group of people in the Church today who are doing the same. We have group picking up area boys and turning their lives around through the gospel. Such as Habitation of Hope in R.C.C.G. We have some private homes where the vulnerables in the society are experiencing the transforming power of God, where the society and our government has no plan for them.

Temitayo Teniola: Thank you for your insightful reply Ma. What do you understand by gender equality?

Bolatito Oke: In the 18th century the believers went about to rescue the female children thrown away by the Romans and took good care of them. When they saw the transformation, they stopped the act and accepted that female children can also be useful.

Mary Slessor came all the way to Calabar to stop the killing of twins not by fighting the government but by saving those children and they saw these twins begin to live to fulfil destiny.

Temitayo Teniola: But why are female children regarded as less valuable?

Bolatito Oke: I think because of some biblical misinterpretations that men are the head; women are weaker vessels; and women created out of men and created to be “helpers”. Hence, men looked at it that they are second class citizen and such will not have much value as they desire. Which is part of the depraved and sinful nature of men.

God created male and female and has given them different, yet complementary strengths and roles to fill within the family, Church and society at large. By God’s grace Deborah in the Bible despite the fact that it was Barak that was leading the victory came through a woman God ordained.

Esther was a queen in the palace, yet brought deliverance to her generation. The past generation has been deceived but now in Christ we have an identity different from the world structure and order.

Temitayo Teniola: Ma, you quoted Isaiah 1 vs 17, in which the Bible tells us to seek justice, does it also pertain to gender equality?

Bolatito Oke: This is not about equally but giving us information about group of people that needs help.

Galatians 3:28 tells us that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”.

Temitayo Teniola: Should Christian join in the feminism movement?

Bolatito Oke: Absolutely no, because the purpose of Feminism is outside the Gospel. Most feminist end up frustrated and unfulfilled because the cause is selfish and contrary to God’s Word.

Bolatito Oke: By the way, my Project in the university was on feminism.

Temitayo Teniola: WOW😁…

Bolatito Oke: Most of the books recommended by my supervisor did not go in line with the scripture but I managed.

Writers like Buchi Emechta, encouraging adultery “Joy of Motherhood” another author also encouraging adultery and condemning real process of Motherhood.

An average career woman is a feminist competing with men and when the job is over they have no home or family to come back to because they neglected all while struggling for career and eventually they are at the loosing end.

Temitayo Teniola: Alright Ma.

Temitayo Teniola: 1 Corinthians 14:34 says, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says”. 35 “And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church”.

This Bible text talks about women not speaking in church.. Does this mean that women are not equal to men?

Bolatito Oke: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. In this passage, Apostle Paul was addressing the Corinth women to correct a wrong attitude among them. It’s not about preaching.

The answer is in verse 35 where he says ” Let them ask their own husbands at home _____” definitely they must have been confrontational in the Church so they should go and learn at home from their husbands. In Philippians 4:3 “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life”.

This passage is talking about women that worked with Paul. Definitely Paul had female disciples that worked with him. At Pentecost, women received the Holy Spirit and such cannot sit down but to make impact. The woman, Jesus met at the well became an evangelist and won many souls to the kingdom. Benny Hinn, one of the great preachers of this age, was a disciple of the great evangelist Katherine Kurman.

The four daughters of Philip in the Bible had the gifts of Prophesy and nobody stopped them. If women are to be silent, then how would they be able to make use of the gifts of God upon their lives (Acts 21:8-9). I want to believe that the Corinth women were also operating social justice by trying to compete with men when they are to be help mate. God will help us.

Temitayo Teniola: Thank you. Just to ask Ma, Is Gender Equality a concern to men?

Bolatito Oke: It is very unfortunate that men are not concerned about this because they have the understanding. But unfortunately women at times are threatened and at times they want to be recognised.

An average man is always considerate and makes a good boss/leader in any organization and if you ask women who they prefer as their boss, majority prefer men. That does not mean women cannot be good as leaders but as many as would submit to God they can influence their generation like Esther. Esther submitted to the king as her husband and head; and she could control a whole nation. God will help us.

Temitayo Teniola: Hmm, Is there a difference between gender equality and discrimination?

Bolatito Oke: Gender equality requires equal enjoyment by women and men of socially-valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards. Where gender inequality exists, it is generally women who are excluded or disadvantaged in relation to decision-making and access to economic and social resources. Gender equality does not mean that men and women become the same.

Discrimination is defined as distinguishing differences between things or treating someone as inferior based on their race, sex, national origin, age or other characteristics.

From the above definitions, the two are not the same because discrimination tends towards hatred, but gender equality is not about hatred but I would say it is about diplomacy.

Temitayo Teniola: How should we react to gender equality in our everyday lives?

Bolatito Oke: By God’s grace, you are a child of God and God has a plan for you and a place for you to influence, if you will allow Him to guide you. Hamman with his position in the palace was judged by Esther. See him bowing down to Esther shows indirectly that Esther was in control without forcing issues.

Temitayo Teniola: Lastly Should we seek justice for gender equality?

Bolatito Oke: Absolutely no. By God’s grace I’ve been working with men in almost all my endeavors but in most cases the men have always been dazed at how God has been helping me and most of the time they cannot afford not to involve me in any decision making matter. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honour” (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Temitayo Teniola: Thank you very much Ma.

Bolatito Oke: You are welcome. Thanks for the opportunity. God bless you and reward your labour of love in Jesus name.

Temitayo Teniola: Wow!!! We have come to the end of this powerful interview. Honestly. I don’t want it to end, but it just has to and I have learnt a whole lot. You have really dealt with each questions carefully with God’s wisdom. I really appreciate your insight. Thank you very much Mummy. On behalf of Peculiar Ministers we say thank you wholeheartedly and more anointing Ma.

Love from we all at Peculiar Ministers.😊😊😊

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