Summary: A look into the role of women in Christianity and some answers to questions raised by The Da Vinci Code.
Decoding the Past
“Women and Christianity”
May 14, 2006
Introduction: Happy Mothers Day! I am so glad that you chose to spend the morning in worship with us today. Today we want to look at the topic of “Women and Christianity.” As we discussed last week, the book and movie “The DaVinci Code” has caused quite a stir in our culture. It has also given rise a many questions regarding the reliability of scripture, the deity of Christ and the role of women in Christianity. Today being Mothers Day it seems appropriate for us to deal with the issue of women and Christianity.
It is a very common argument from those who want to distort the truth that Christianity is opposed to women. It has been an argument that has been passed down from many secular leaders of women’s movements and has been a recurring theme in many of the social conversations of the day. There are some major keys that need to be developed and understood in order for us to have a comprehensive approach to this subject.
I. God’s View of Women
Linda Hartz Rump in an article in Christianity Today (3/05/2004) notes that scripture gives us three clear pictures of God’s view of women.
Picture Number 1: Creation
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh she shall be called ’woman,’ for she was taken out of man. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:21-24 (NIV)
God created both male and female.
When God saw his creation, he was pleased.
After woman was created and presented to the first man, they were charged to rule over the earth together.
It took both the man and the woman to complete one another.
Picture Number 2: Disobedience
In Genesis 3 we find that both the man and the woman were guilty of disobedience before God. They both did the one thing God had told them not to do.
As a result, both the man and the woman were removed from Gods presence.
“So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” Genesis 3:23 (NIV)
What happened to Adam and Eve in the physical realm was passed to each of us in the spiritual realm.
Picture Number 3: Forgiveness
God took the initiative to bring each of us back into right relationship with him through Jesus Christ.
“But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them. All those who believe this are reborn!--not a physical rebirth resulting from human passion or plan--but from the will of God.” John 1:12-13 (Living Bible)
The grace and mercy of God is available to everyone.
There are three things that are true of all of us, male and female:
1) We were all created by God for His pleasure.
2) We all have chosen to disobey His plan for us.
3) We all have the opportunity to receive His forgiveness.
II. The Women in Jesus Life
We find there are many references to women being involved in the everyday life and ministry of Jesus. Some of his closest companions that scripture talks about were women.
“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” Luke 8:1-3 (NIV)
These women were following Jesus and the disciples and were heavily involved in supporting Jesus’ earthly ministry. Who are these women and what do we know about them?
Mary Magdalene: A close follower of Jesus.
Scripture never tells us that she was a prostitute. It simply tells us that Jesus cast out seven demons from her. Seven in scripture is a number of completion. The implication in this case is that Mary was completely filled with demons until her encounter with Jesus.
Now, this subject raises many questions being raised by “The DaVinci Code.” The most important question and the one that is at the center of the book is Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?