Raise Your Voice: A Bible Study
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The Salvation Army has always held a strong belief in the equality of women, and the ability of women as leaders. Yet some of us don’t know, or are confused by, the reasons behind this belief. But that’s about to change!
Raise Your Voice provides a robust biblical foundation for our belief that women are equal partners with men in both value and status. In a culture where women were shut out of public life, The Salvation Army blazed a trail in 1892 when it affirmed that 'women must be treated as equal with men in all the intellectual and social relationships in life'.
Over the years this radical vision has not always been realised. That's why we want all of The Salvation Army to come together and recapture our original Bible-based belief in gender equity. This is a Bible study about women, but it not just for women. It is for everyone. We need men as well as women to be allies for gender freedom - when we lift up others, we are all lifted up.
We’ve used the term ‘gender equity’ throughout this study: in God's creation story, we are created to be equal and mutually share resources. But … if everyone is given the same or equal resources, it doesn't mean we all have equal outcomes. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the resources and opportunities they need in order to achieve an equal outcome. Equity gives us the building blocks to achieve real equality.
This is a Bible study about women, but it not just for women. It is for everyone. We need men as well as women to be allies for gender freedom.
Ways to use Raise Your Voice
We would love every corps to go through this 7-part series this year. There are so many ways you can use this Bible study:
- Create a group: each read a chapter per week and get together to go through the questions provided
- Run a group: if your people aren't readers, get a leader who can read a chapter per week and then guide the discussions using the questions provided
- Sermon: Use it to inform a sermon series, or an interactive series at your Sunday service
- Create a book club for others who like reading
- Read it yourself - you'll find it fascinating!
Help us promote it
Scroll to the bottom of this page for resources that will help you promote Raise Your Voice in your local area:
- Put it in your email signature
- Use a slide in your Sunday morning notices or on a digital billboard
- Share on social media.
- Print out posters ... and more! See below ...
Introduction, by Commissioner Julie Campbell
Chapter 1: Why Our Women Lead: The Legacy of Catherine Booth, by Major Liz Gainsford
Catherine Booth made a convincing biblical argument for the participation of women in The Salvation Army that we are still proud of today.
Chapter 2: Naked and Afraid: What Really Happened between Adam and Eve?, by Major David Noakes
How God designed men and women for mutual and equitable relationship, which was lost at 'the fall'.
Chapter 3: What was Jesus Doing When He Talked to Women? Part 1: Caught in Adultery … or Caught in Hypocrisy, by Major Christina Tyson
How Jesus challenged power structures that de-valued women.
Chapter 4: What was Jesus Doing When He Talked to Women? Part 2: Rethinking Mary and Martha, by Captain Faye Molen
How Jesus advocated for women to enter the male space of authority and leadership
Chapter 5: Was Paul Sexist? A Radical Remix of the Household Codes, by Ingrid Barratt
How the 'clobber verses' that have been used to keep women subjugated were actually a radical uplifting of those without power.
Chapter 6: Raise Your Voice … or Keep Silent? by Major Ian Gainsford
How to read the difficult passages that seem to tell women to stay silent.
Chapter 7: Clothed and Confident: Our Hope Today, by Captain Missy Ditchburn and Ingrid Barratt
How Jesus affirmed feminine devotion, how that has been sexualised over the centuries, and how we can look to Jesus again to find hope for equity.
 This is the definition used by the United Nations’ ‘International Women’s Day’ campaign, internationalwomansday.com