Written by Ami Rougé (theamijournal.com)
John 20 :
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
In my Bible readings, I have always found compassion, mercy and intense love from Jesus. Yet a number of Christian women around me suffer from the Jesus that many movements present to them. One is likely to confuse him with a Pharisee. He is so tough. One day, I had a doubt about the loving eyes of the Jesus that I met when I was still a Muslim as a result of all forms of deformed pictures of his that I have come across over the years. I said to myself, “You must have missed something, they may have reasons to be misogynistic, it must be somewhere hidden in the Word, you need to read between the lines”. I then started a side reading so as to give some credit to all the Christians (men and women) who have no regard for femininity. This disregard for women is not unconnected with the overestimation of manhood. It goes to the extent of robbing the womanhood of the humble mandates that the Lord has granted them. And then, while reading the scriptures, something suddenly crossed my mind. I was not supposed to find my answer or inspiration in a simple sentence of Mary Magdalene. I’m borrowing from her, on behalf of all my sisters who have been sacrificed on the altar of the cult of masculinity.
Dear brother, if applicable
Some balance before
I am far from being a feminist. I refuse to understand this Bible quote “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” of Galatians 3 : 28 as a foundation of gender equality to the point of claiming parity between men and women beyond the limitations found in the Gospel. I have no intention to follow the sisters who compete with men on activities that have been considered from time immemorial as the exclusive preserve of men: the teaching of doctrine, the pastoral ministry, thunderous anointing, stripping miracles, chasing celebrity, ostentatious display of material wealth…I watch with suspicion the ‘glamorization’ raging inside the churches and I am far from envying the pastors’ wives who claim the status, the treatment, and naming of ‘first ladies’ like Melania Trump.
If Paul could hear you
However, I’m shaken when I hear all the ecclesiastical fantasies you mold for me. I can do nothing else but sigh: “They have taken my Lord away…and I don’t know where they have put him.” …Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
The multiple phantasms you attribute to God remind me of Paul’s words in Colossians 2: 18-23. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Why have you never received divine visions to rescue all your sisters and their children who are facing persecutions from the World and being abused by priests, pastors, husbands, brothers, and fathers? Fortunately, the justice of the World takes care of us from time to time. Because of you, many are about to think that God is a fashion industry mogul who is only interested in adjusting the make-up, and lengthening the skirts of the daughters of Eve. Oh ! I forgot, hair extensions also prevent him from sleeping! Come on!To stop the dressmakers who attempt to peel me, dress code guardians, including you, have resolved to have me covered with the strangle.Holy program: an apparent elbow? I immediately feel the sword of your mouth. A knee that for a few seconds refuses to be tamed by a piece of cloth! Your eyes become lightning and and your voice thunder. I cannot breastfeed my baby nearby unless you make me feel guilty and show me the cell provided for this purpose. Is breastfeeding not the most natural thing?
Paradoxically, you also try to relieve me physically, spiritually and materially.
Is a lip balm not thin enough? I look like a prostitute, right? A hoop earring? I give glory to the ‘siren of the waters.’ And verses are thrown at me like stones. If you look at me lustfully because of a mere nail polish, uh, is it not you who need spiritual help?
You tell me that trying to beautify myself is a sin and that I should let nature take its course. Then, I wonder why your beard has not yet reached your chest.
When I quote a verse in my testimony ‘Beware sister, you taught the Word, you do not have the right to do so’. Yes, it’s going that far! I’ve read that nonsense. Is my life experience worth anything without the seal of the divine Word?
Under your wind
I am looking forward to the day when there will be an end to my being tossed here and there by the waves and being blown about by every wind of doctrine which you bring. Why can’t you come to an agreement with your brothers to give me a single and truthful interpretation of each verse? For one verse, you open the door to a thousand interpretations. This is how you all guarantee the veracity of the Word of God. Nothing to feel superior about. One of you is wrong? No. I know, it’s not you, it’s he! If only you could stay in your corner, I could see more clearly and pretend to have found my place. Hell? No. Here you are, pointing your finger at me, judging the way your brother taught me to live the Word. If and only if your goal was really my repentance or my salvation, I could listen, or even let myself be transformed. Alas, I can see it in your face. I can hear it in your tone: your desire is to expose and humble me to guarantee the power of your masculinity…so you could reign forever… You know that I am weak and that only a very few will get involved to defend me.
Despite all these, if I could let my children die by giving you all the sweat of my brow, to indulge all your material whims, you would not say no. No, on my money you will never spit.
When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus after his resurrection, she did not recognize him because he rose with a glorified body. As for me, I do not recognize the Jesus you preach about and show because you have deformed his body. His lips curse, his hands reject, his eyes judge, his belly is full of banknotes. Isaiah 53 : 2 says about the external appearance of the Lord. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Well done ! You raised this verse to its paroxysm.
There is such a Gap between your teachings and the One you pretend to lead me to. Where is He in your eyes? Where is He in your words? Where is He in your actions? If he has disappeared from your teachings, then tell me where you have hidden my Lord, and I will go and find Him… myself.
Ami Rougé for theamijournal.com