My interview today is with Jory Micah, published writer, minister, and activist for gender equality in the Church and world.
1. If you had the power to do one thing to change the world, what would it be?
This is probably not a surprise, but if I had the power to change one thing in the world, I would make it so women and girls are considered equal in worth to men and boys. Many Christians claim that women and girls are “equal in worth, but distinct in role.” The problem with this statement is that what they are really saying is that “women are not equal to men in societal power, opportunities, and God-given spiritual authority.” If we exclude women from certain opportunities to lead or from tables where important decisions are made, then do we really believe that a woman’s voice, body, mind, and soul are really equal to men’s in worth? I don’t think so.
Statistics strongly suggest that when a society or organization include women as equal beings in every way, they grow economically and in overall wellness as a unit. Empowering women and girls as equals around the world would answer many questions we have as humans and provide many solutions to ongoing problems.
Further, I believe it would put a stop (or at least a huge dent) in the sex-trading industry which is the largest slavery system (mostly women and children) that has ever existed. There are girls who are brilliant enough to solve massive problems like cancer, but are not permitted to go to school to further their education, while their brothers are. There are women who have solutions and unmatched passion who can solve the many social injustices of our time, but they are rarely invited to our political and religious “decision making tables.” Making it so women and girls are truly equal in worth would solve many world problems; not just for women and girls, but for every human on the planet.
2. What is your favourite film?
I can’t say that I have a favorite film, because I struggle to watch the same movie more than once. I get bored with something I have already watched, even if I loved the film the first time around. But, I will say this; I love suspense and action movies, especially one’s that are based on historical facts. I love movies that teach me something about the past, like “Braveheart.” I am also a sucker for crime thrillers and even romantic comedies once in a while.
3. What do you perceive to be Christianity’s greatest challenge in the 21st Century?
Well, I can only speak from an American perspective, but I think Christianity here is being hijacked by nationalism, and really has been being hijacked by nationalism for a very long time. Many of our churches and religious leaders are more focused on gaining and maintaining power, privilege and wealth, than they are on replicating the humble ways of Christ. “The Prosperity Gospel” has allowed for this “monster” to grow, and political influence has allowed for it to grow out of control. I think we are in a time, however, that many Christians are speaking up and saying, “hey, what a minute, this looks nothing like Jesus,” and refusing to be part of it. So, I think there is hope. Yes, the American church seems to be dying, but perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps what the American church has become needs to die, so that something more Christ-like can be resurrected.
4. What book/s are you reading at the moment?
5. Who is your hero?
I don’t know that I have a hero these days, but I do have some women I look up to including Brene Brown, Jen Hatmaker, and Glennon Doyle Melton. I would also include my husband, Luke, as someone I greatly admire for loving and supporting me through all of my life’s ups and downs, which have been many!
Jory Micah is a published writer, minister, and activist for gender equality in the Church and world. She holds a master’s degree in Biblical Studies and Church History. Jory wrote her master’s thesis on women in church leadership in the first and second centuries of the early church, using the Bible as her primary source. Jory speaks nationally at church conferences, colleges, and non-profit organizations, offers one on one pastoral counseling online through Skype, and is currently writing her first book, “Breaking the Glass Steeple.” Find out more about Jory Micah at jorymicah.com and follow her on social media @jorymicah.