As I sit in devastated helplessness over the atrocities occurring in Aleppo, I think, what can I possibly do to help? Beyond giving to organizations I believe in (like The Compassion Collective), I am convinced more than ever that the fight to end oppression of the vulnerable and disenfranchised is where it is at.
And how can the Church specifically address this? Let’s start with our own disenfranchised–women, who experience varying degrees of oppression depending on their particular churches, but oppression none the less. Being side-lined from using their spiritual gifts and working alongside their brothers in Kingdom building is oppression.
And who benefits from this? I don’t think anyone actually benefits. There are some men who hold inordinate power and influence (check out Malestrom, below, to see how many men are downtrodden by patriarchy), who would experience loss if they were made to share these things, to quiet their own voices to allow room for others’. But it is really to their benefit as well to be humbled and to become a servant, just as Jesus Christ was humbled even to death.
There is intersection of issues to consider as well. People of color are disenfranchised in Evangelical institutions of influence and power. Low-income people are viewed negatively in our Western, wealthy society. Finding our way out of patriarchal, racist and classist systems that sideline Kingdom warriors will involve a massive shift in the way that Christians view theological issues of authority, dominion, headship, and submission. Christians have historically led the charge in freeing others from oppression – for instance, early abolitionists and suffragists were Christians. Let us pick up our mantle of freeing others once again, and pray that the ripples spread throughout the world to ensure the abundant life of all humankind.
And so, I offer you a Christmas shopping list for the Christians in your family, church staff, close friends, anyone who you buy a gift. Using your voice and purchasing power to spread Egalitarian Kingdom values is money well-spent.
The links to purchase each book is in the caption. In no particular order: