Enter 50 Women Every Christian Should Know.
As I read this book, I was reminded of the women who surrounded Jesus and how their faith is documented in the Gospels. And 'though some of these women in #50Women & the Gospels lived long ago, I was also reminded that we are not separate and isolated cases. We are one in Christ and for that we are connected. For "there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:28, 29).
This is our history, my history, as women, as Christians. Despite where we fall on doctrines or theologies, these women stood up for what they believed. This is not about the 5-points of Calvinism or the tenets of one doctrine over another. Instead, this about the appreciation of the trials and tribulations of those who went before us. They believed what they believed, and they were persecuted for it. How can we not learn from history? These #50Women stood by their convictions, even when they struggled for their faith.
If there's one thing we can learn, it'd be--standing for our faith isn't easy. As I read about these women, I found that courage and faith comes from the most unlikely of sources. And if it came from these, then it still comes today. This also reveals that we are still, in the present day and age, surrounded by unlikely sources, even among our peers, friends, or communities.
From #50Women, two women's lives stayed with me the most and they shared the same name too, Anne.
Anne Askew (1521-1546) was a daughter of a knighted member of Parliament whose wealthy family afforded her a leisurely life. But her strong believes in Protestant reform and Jesus as her only salvation, kept her from enjoying such wealth. Parts of her history that intrigued me most were these quotes from Michelle's book 50 Women Every Christian Should Know:
After stating, on trial, that she was able to learn about God, through scriptures and that she believed as the scripture informed her. "She angered her prosecutors when she challenged them to find any dishonesty in her, claiming that there were many who claimed to read and know Scripture but who did not live out Jesus' teachings as well as she did."
Anne defended her right to discuss scriptures. But "her male interrogators, who included the Bishop of London and other powerful state and church officials, charged that Anne blatantly disregarded Saint Paul's proclamation that women should remain silent in the churches." (And yet, she continued to proclaim the simple gospel of Jesus to the courts.)
"She emphatically denied the charge of heresy and declared that she would confess her sins not to a priest but to God directly, fully confident that she would be forgiven."
Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) married her childhood friend, had many children, and took care of her mother-in-law. Plus she was a midwife. But it was the gospel of grace that saved her. Her family moved to Boston just to hear more about this Gospel which was far less confined then her English religion. She discovered the revelation of scripture through the Holy Spirit. But this is also what got her in trouble. Anne's "theology suggested that one could receive the word of God directly from the Holy Spirit, an idea that the colonial leaders found not only threatening but also heretical."
This eventually lead to her being put on trial. In one of the court sessions, "as she went on to cite how the Holy Spirit was revealed to her through verses in Isaiah and Daniel, Anne gathered steam, concluding her testimonial with this emphatic declaration: 'Therefore, take heed how you proceed against me, for you have no power over my body. Neither can you do me harm, for I am in the hands of the eternal Jehovah my Savior. I am at his appointment.'"
***I'd love for you to have one of these books for your library. It is a great resource! Leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner on Sunday, Sept 21st.
***Also, Michelle Derusha is giving away some gifts as well. So make the rounds by clicking on her name.
Shared at Michelle's #50Women book launching post. Yay!