Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Feminist Movement & Evangelicalism

It should come as a surprise to most Christians to discover that one of the roots of the feminist movement came directly from Evangelical origin. Most are aware of the Marxist doctrine of equality and its affect on feminism and the breakdown of the family. But it was the great evangelical and holiness revivals of the last two centuries that has completely revolutionized male-female relationships in the 20th century.

Charles Finney
Charles Finney (1792-1875) has been in a place of honor in evangelical Christianity. He is best known for his ministry during the "Second Awakening," and for winning souls to Christ. His influence during this period was enough that he has been called The Father of Modern Revivalism.

Prior to his conversion, Finney was a third-degree Freemason for eight years. He wrote, "I soon found that I was completely converted from Freemasonry to Christ, and that I could have no fellowship with any of the proceedings of the lodge. Its oaths appeared to me to be monstrously profane and barbarous." Finney came to believe that part of his oath as a Master Mason was immoral, and that Masonry was dangerous to civil government. [1]

While Finney was rubbing elbows with the deceived local elites, he adopted many worldly ideas that stuck with him after his conversion - egalitarianism being one of them. Egalitarian doctrine maintains that all persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. The Christian egalitarian view holds that the Bible teaches the fundamental of gender equality, the equality of all racial and ethnic mixes, all economic classes, and all age groups. This is different from the viewpoint of Complimentarianism, which holds that "God has created men and women equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, but different and complimentary in mandated roles - with male headship in the home and in the Church."

Where we are today in the Church is a direct result of the ministry of Charles Finney. As he ministered, one of Finney's objectives was social reform. He has been criticized for his easy believerism, disagreed with the doctrine of original sin, confused the Law with the Gospel, and he believed he had personally achieved sinless perfection. He led the way of liberalism in the Church. Most notably, his revivals had more to do with generating the 19th century feminist movement, than any other single factor. He was already involved with the abolitionist movement, and the "feminist exegesis" grew out of abolitionism. Because of the way he viewed Scripture, Finney encouraged women to come forward and speak and pray in public with the men during his revivals. He founded the "altar call," and critics believe that there are too many emotional decisions made at the altar, as opposed to genuine conversions.

Oberlin College, which was formed by evangelicals (Finney was for a short time the president) was the first co-educational college to grant degrees to women and black Americans. Many of the early graduates of the college went on to become leaders in the feminist cause, such as Lucy Stone. It should be noted that Lucy was a Congregationalist, but later became a Unitarian. [2]

The Methodists and Baptists
By the 1860s, Wesleyan Methodists were ordaining women into the clergy. Even the Baptist minister who founded the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary became an advocate for the complete entrance of women into every political and social privilege obtained by men.

William and Catherine Booth
The Salvation Army was another major Evangelical influence on the feminist movement  in America. Catherine Booth, the co-founder and wife of 33rd degree Mason William Booth, supported the idea of women in ministry. Women in the Salvation Army were given equal standing alongside men. 

William and Catherine Booth - note the Masonic pose of William
Their ministry was to the poor and destitute, but benevolence is not a goal of Freemasonry. Benevolence is a method used to promote goodwill for an organization that has lost its public esteem ,and to enhance the image of Freemasonry — a major arm of the Illuminati and associated organizations. [3] Missions like that of the Booths are a tool to build national Socialism. Although the Bible does say we are to help the poor and needy, it is the Great Commission the Lord has given us to carry out to the world.