The church cannot be silent…J. LEE GRADY


The church cannot be silent while the world addresses the worst social injustice of our times.

Several months ago a street vendor named Rosa Elvira Cely placed a desperate call to Colombia’s national emergency number on her cellphone. “I’m in the national park,” she said. “They are raping me! They are raping me!”

Police in Bogotá couldn’t respond fast enough. When they found Rosa she was unconscious and barely breathing. She had stab wounds in her back, she had been raped and beaten, and a jagged piece of wood had been shoved into her vagina. Official reports said the 35-year-old single mother, who had been studying to finish high school, had been impaled.

She died on May 28, and 1,000 Colombians gathered in the park where she was attacked to decry the horrific violence against women that has become a national trend. They carried signs that said, “NI UNA MAS!” (“Not one more!”).

I traveled to Colombia this week to add my voice to this chorus, and to remind the Colombian people—especially its women—that Christians from other parts of the world are praying with them for an end to this bloodshed. I told women in the city of Santa Marta yesterday that the gospel of Jesus Christ offers the best answer to the degradation of women that occurs worldwide.

Last year alone, 51,000 women in Colombia were victims of rape or sexual assault, and similar rates can be found in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. But the problem of machismo, the harsh male superiority that characterizes much of Latin America, is not just a Latin American problem. The oppression of women is a global phenomenon. Consider these facts:

  • Between one quarter and one half of all women in the world have been abused by their intimate partners. From 40 to 70 percent of all female murder victims worldwide are killed by an intimate partner. (In the United States, where domestic cruelty is illegal and police protection is available, one fourth of women have suffered some form of domestic violence.)
  • Cruelty to women is rampant in the Middle East, where women are forced to veil themselves, forbidden to drive and banned from walking alone. In Pakistan, angry husbands are known to throw acid in their wives’ faces—causing permanent disfigurement. In Syria, Jordan and Iran, women who dare to disagree with their husbands become victims of “honor killings.”
  • In many parts of the world girls are denied education because they are viewed as inferior. There were 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals last year in Afghanistan, all attributed to Taliban extremists who oppose the education of girls.
  • Mistreatment of women is widespread in Africa, where widows are legally displaced by their families and left with no protection. Hundreds of thousands of girls in Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Malawi and other nations are butchered sexually in a barbaric practice known as female genital mutilation. And in South Africa, girls as young as 12 are sold as “wives” to older men who have the AIDS virus. (The men believe that having sex with a virgin will cure them of the disease.)
  • Injustice against women is horribly cruel in Asia, where millions of girls are aborted or abandoned at birth because of their gender. If they are fortunate enough to survive their earliest years, they can become child brides at the age of 9 or 10. Millions of girls in Asian countries, some as young as 6, are illegally trafficked all over the world. The price for their sexual favors can be as low as 50 cents.

I recently met New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who is the co-author of the best-selling bookHalf the Sky. He investigated the largely unreported phenomenon of gender injustice and concluded that it is the most crucial social issue of our day.

Kristoff believes that just as slavery was the key social justice issue of the 1800s, and freedom from tyrannical government was the overarching issue of the 1900s, justice for women and girls will become a primary focus in this century. I agree, but I wonder: Will the church sit back and watch secular activists address this cause, or will we enter the fray?

We have a Savior who cares about the pain of women. Jesus ministered in a male-dominant culture in which women were marginalized, demoralized, abused, denied rights, and judged as guilty before they could be proven innocent. Yet He defended women from their accusers, healed them, empowered them, invited them to become His disciples, and allowed them to be the first to announce the good news of His resurrection.

Jesus was the ultimate champion for women’s rights. We cannot truly reflect His heart or carry His message unless we follow His example.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. He is the author of 10 Lies the Church Tells Women25 Tough Questions About Women and the Church, and Fearless Daughters of the Bible.

http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/fire-in-my-bones/15796-why-we-must-confront-the-global-abuse-of-women#readmore

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About mamaheartfilled

I am a mother of eight wonderfully challenging children and nine grandkids, of whom I am very proud. I am also a bi-vocational ordained evangelical minister, and a Christian Counselor. I received my B.S. degree in 2004, studying primarily in the areas of Psychology, with minors in Religion and English. I received my Masters Degree in 2009 in Psychological Counseling with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. I have endeavored to paraphrase the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, for the last ten years or so and am working on a final edit, now. It is my hope that it will be of some use in the great commission of Christ. My ministry is primarily geared toward victims of sexual and domestic violence, including victims of childhood sexual abuse, whether currently or in the past. Since I have personally experienced the healing hand of God in overcoming many of the life issues that Christians may face, I feel qualified and compelled to discuss them in a truthful and open manner, as God’s word tells us that “We shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free.” God has brought me through such diverse tribulations as sexual, physical, and mental abuse, being a victim of a drunk driving accident, spousal pornography addiction, adultery, divorce, remarriage, a very brief, though unjust, incarceration, and having experienced multiple miscarriages and various other trials. I have been asked to leave two Southern Baptist Churches, due to my being a female, ordained as a minister, and fired from a SBC sponsored Christian School (mostly white) for speaking out against racial prejudice in the Family of God. Through God’s merciful forgiveness of my own sins and inadequacies and God’s grace given to me to forgive those who have been a stumbling block to me, I have overcome many of these adversities. God’s word tells us that “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to the purposes of God." Since I have this hope, I believe that God has blessed me with the ability to confront and relate these issues to the Christian community around the world. I hope to be able to use my personal experiences as a ministry of God’s grace and in the comforting of the people of God with the truth of God's mercy. I claim II Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 as my calling, which states: “Blessed be God, the Origin of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Origin of mercies, and the God of comfort; who comforts us in all our troubles, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, by the comfort we ourselves have been given by God.” As I have received the gift of God’s healing, I hope to be able to bring the peace beyond understanding to others with the message of God’s mercy and grace. My love for the Sovereign Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, along with my passion for writing has drawn me to explore these commonly experienced crisis issues from the perspective of my own experience in the hope that I may bring an empathetic and compassionate insight to God’s people. I am now a published author and have several books in publication, including my autobiography, "A Little Redneck Theology." The views expressed in my writings are strictly my own insights, acquired from personal experience and diligent study of the related topics and God’s word concerning them. Though I am an ordained minister, my views should not be considered authoritative. I believe that the Christian community’s ultimate authority is the guidance of the human heart by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
This entry was posted in Adult Victims of CSA, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Christian Women, Christianity, Domestic Violence, End Times, Health and Safety, Marriage and Family, Ministers, Sexual Assault, sexuality, Women in Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

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