Looking Forward: Living in Redeemed Relationships by Ken Fong

CBE Conference LA 2015
Plenary 2: “Looking Forward:  Living in Redeemed Relationships”  by Rev. Ken Fong

Rev. Fong gave a powerful message interweaving an illustration of the  binding of women’s feet in China as a lesson in “learned helplessness” which was perpetuated by mothers to their daughters. The binding of feet was seen as a means to find favor with a man, because it meant the girl had a subserFong Plenaryvient spirit, since she was willing to suffer in silence for filial piety. Emperors attempted to have this practice outlawed within the 1000 years of its practice, but the tradition continued because mothers wanted their daughters to be deemed “suitable brides”. It was finally eradicated with the introduction of the outside (western) perspective, which deemed the custom barbaric.

This “learned helplessness” is similar to Christian women who choose to be helpless by letting men speak for them, make decisions for them, etc, (because, yes, there are Christian women who will defend the role as the subservient one), because they think that is the way things ought to be. We can eradicate this pervasive way of thinking by introducing a new perspective.

Rev. Fong poses it like this… “The curse [of man ruling over woman – Gen. 3:16] is not what God originally intended for the relationship between women and men. Why do you keep emphasizing what happened in the curse?”

2 Cor. 5:14-15 is the perspective that could change the inequality.

Why keep living according to the curse when we all can live according to the cross and resurrection?

He also touched on Gen. 2 and the process of Adam realizing his aloneness and the wonder of seeing someone like him. The word often translated “helper suitable to him” is ezer knegdo in Hebrew, and it is better translated “a strength equal to him”.

Lastly, if such a deeply held evil as foot-binding could see a demise because of the introduction of an outside perspective, we can be encouraged that one day, men and women can live redeemed lives together in Christ!

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