In honor of our JULY 4th day of celebration, I thought I’d share a snippet from one of my Masters research papers, entitled, “Voices for the Voiceless.” The research was near and dear to my heart for two reasons:
- We must bring awareness and give all we have to end human slavery and support those working on the frontlines. Both of these highlighted organizations, who are fighting tirelessly, need us RIGHT NOW. Please consider a FREEDOM DAY donation of any amount: $5-$5000! Both are in great need right now and can use anything we can give. Night Light International needs us to host jewelry parties or buy jewelry! If you need any help or information on doing this, you can contact me, email@example.com! Recently I had the idea to create a business card with just my name and email and website link, so that when women comment on my Night Light Jewelry or Thai Totes/Itsera purses/etc, I can quickly direct them to both ministries. It has been a great, easy tool for bringing awareness.
- As a professional speaker/author/counselor, it is my passion to help women, all over the world, find true freedom in Christ. By bringing awareness to Satan’s oppressive tactics and schemes, women can release debilitating emotional and spiritual oppression and become whole. I know firsthand the power of this oppression and am in the midst of finding this true freedom in Christ.
Voices for the Voiceless
In a day and age of considerable accomplishment, astounding telecommunication, and abounding progress, a deeply disturbing, dark-natured beast of oppression lurks. Slavery, a supposed creature of the past, continues to hold a vast population of women around the world under a tyrannical, foreboding grip of spiritual, emotional, and physical oppression, specifically women trapped in sexual exploitation, due to impoverished conditions, gender inequality or social class. It seems that time has stood still, begging answers to why slavery still exists in a free and modern world. Authors Jensen and Otoo-Oyortey (as quoted in Parrott and Cummings, 2006, p. 4) note, “Millions consider violence against women normative because it is so deeply embedded within history and culture.” Yet, within the annals of Biblical history, both the Old and the New Testament lay the recorded historical accounts of God’s design for woman and Jesus’ ministry toward women. Here, hope unfolds through the unlocking of ministerial patterns, the releasing of truth, and the establishing of principles that enable women today to serve as a voice for the thousands of voiceless women still bound in oppression.
Oppression, derived from the Hebrew, lachats, means “to squeeze, press” (www.blueletterbible.com). Since before time began, the heavy hand of oppression, which is rooted in pride, can be traced waging an arm wrestling match with the mighty hand of Truth. As recorded in Isaiah 14:12 (New International Version), Lucifer, the bright shining star of heavenly cherubs, pressed to be bigger and better than God. No longer satisfied with his station in heaven, he desired for himself and his legion of cherubs more. More power. More might. More position. It is recorded that he says “in his heart” (Isaiah 14:13-14):
I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God.
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.
At the core of this initial declaration of emancipation from the one true God is a desire for supremacy, power, and ultimately, control. The writing prophet, Ezekiel, records a veiled reference to Satan in Ezekiel 28: 11-15 (King James Version),
granting more information and insight as to how and why Lucifer, or Satan, fell
privy to the sin of pride:
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom,
and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;
every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond,
the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle,
and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;
thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created,
till iniquity was found in thee (King James Version).
Iniquity, or ‘evel in its Hebrew translation, refers to “injustice” (www.blueletterbible.com). Is it perhaps, here at this juncture, that the seeds of injustice (in the context of this research) expressed in oppression, entered the fabric of our universe? Clearly, Ezekiel affirms Satan’s presence in the Garden of Eden, where it is recorded he first tempted God’s first two children, specifically targeting and addressing first, the woman (Genesis 3:1-7). Here in the Garden of Eden, a place of creative perfection, several questions arise:
- Isn’t it interesting, even perplexing, that Satan, disguised as a beguiling, bewitching serpent, coaxes the woman to forego obeying the directives of his previous Sovereign, God the Almighty, knowing full well the ramifications of such disobedience and self-will?
- Is it at this particular moment, in the history of mankind, that an inroad to controlling and oppressing centuries of vulnerable women enters the realm of life in this world? A battle of wills ensues.
- Can we surmise that at this same particular moment, Elohim, God the Creator, isn’t taken by surprise and therefore sets into motion a stream of mighty men and women who, throughout centuries to come, will blaze with courage and tenacity to defeat this oppressive beast? To become a voice for the voiceless? To restore pride and dignity to the oppressed?
Mere supposition, but seemingly validated in the annals of Biblical history. Certainly it was not God’s design to oppress the woman he so carefully crafted for his beloved Adam. In contrast, he offered both Adam and Eve complete freedom to enjoy His created world, as evidenced in Genesis 2:18-25, which records the creation of both man and woman, concluding in verse 25, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” One flesh signifying complete physical, spiritual, and emotional unity. This expression of the divine order of God—man, then woman (the helpmeet)—designed to fully depict unity. Duality, not dominance.
It isn’t until Eve succumbs to the temptation of the Oppressor that God speaks his directive, “Because you have done this:
I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you (Genesis 3:16).
God’s directive to Eve is not a curse, but a necessary correction. Biblical feminists rile at this suggested “male dominance” or “patriarchal system.” Dr. Julie Kelso, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bond University writes, “For many contemporary feminists, the Bible evokes a backward thinking, patriarchally defined body of literature and a social, political and economic ideological framework that has historically been used to maintain and perpetuate the oppression of women” (Kelso, 2007, p. 4). Philosopher Jerome Gellman adds, “The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis, chs. 2-3, has historically been taken to endorse male normativity, especially in sexuality. There have been some exceptions, in medieval times in particular, which had little impact over time. Adam is the normative sexual being to whom Eve is subordinate. This, in turn, has helped shape gender attitudes for the Western religious tradition” (2006, p. 320). Christian apologist and writer, G. K. Chesterton responds to this viewpoint:
The Fall is a view of life. It is not only the only enlightening, but the
only encouraging view of life. It holds, as against the only real alternative
philosophies, those of the Buddhist or the Pessimist or the Promothean,
that we have misused a good world, and not merely been entrapped in
a bad one. It refers evil back to the wrong use of the will, and thus declares
that it can eventually be righted by the right use of the will (Collins, 2010, p. 158).
Chesterton points to the reality of the serpent’s tempting of Eve. He goes in for the kill with the woman, not the man. Knowingly, the tempter comes when Adam is absent from the scene. In Judeo-Christian tradition, Adam serves as Eve’s “covering” or “protector.” Does he somehow smell the scent of emotional vulnerability and therefore seize this moment to slither in and pierce the Divine order set in place by God himself? (Genesis 2:24).
Vulnerable, derived from the Latin root, vulnerare, means to wound. Dictionary.com defines this state of vulnerability as leaving someone “exposed or open to emotional or physical danger or harm; easily persuadable or liable to give in to temptation” (www.dictionary.com). C. John Collins adds, “One of the major effects of that corruption was social: Adam against Eve, Cain against Abel, Lamech the bigamist against everyone. One effect of redemption is to heal these ancient breaches, and one purpose of the Mosaic Law was to make possible a just social system in one people, as an invitation for the rest of the peoples to come to know the one true God” (Deut. 4:5-8) (2010, p. 156-157).
If interested (smile), I’ll post the remainder of my studies over the next few days.
Perhaps sometime today, on this national day of celebrating freedom, you can think about areas in your own life where Satan has tried to “squeeze or press” the life out of you. Today is your emancipation day. Loosen his grip by falling before Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. He is YOUR Deliverer.