Daily Devotion Tuesday, 24 October 2023

Tuesday, 24 October 2023
  I am still a Christian despite sexism.

Galatians 3: 27-28

As many of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  


I am still a Christian despite sexism.  Although I have to admit, sometimes it’s been a struggle.   

When, as a Baptist minister, I discovered feminism, I became more and more aware of the patriarchal theology and exclusive language of Christianity.  I began to wonder whether I could still call myself a Christian, worshipping a male God, believing salvation came through a male Saviour, and inspired by a Spirit who might – just occasionally! – be described as female.   Add to this my growing awareness of my lesbian sexuality, and the Church’s homophobic attitude, and I wondered whether I would leave Church behind altogether.  But eventually I found a home and a ministry within the United Reformed Church. 

But my argument was always with the Church, not with God.  One of the passages that sustained me was this couple of verses from Galatians.  Paul often has a bad press, constrained by the prejudices of his time, but here his words sum up a conviction that is at the heart of my Christian faith – that in Christ all are one, loved and accepted by God.  It speaks to me first of all of my acceptance as a woman, but also, by implication, as a lesbian – and challenges all forms of exclusion, whether on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, (dis)ability, class, or culture.   

Paul had to come to terms with the inclusion of Gentiles within the promises of God, overcoming the limitations of his upbringing and tradition.  But in these words he reaches beyond all human limitations and barriers, to a vision in which all are equally precious in God’s eyes, without distinction or exclusion– in Christ all are onel.  Despite sexism, the exclusive language, and the patriarchal theology which still persist in parts of the Church I am a feminist because my Christian faith affirms me as a woman made in the image of God.   


Hospitable God,
thank you for your loving welcome
which embraces all without distinction. 
Forgive us when we put up barriers to your grace
and exclude those whom you call your own. 
Set us free from fear and prejudice 
to live as your beloved people,
made in your image. Amen.

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