I’m delighted to publish a guest post today by a member of our high-school apologetics fellowship, Claire Wilkerson.
After reading Chapter 5: “The Role of Women in Christian Growth” of the book The Rise of Christianity by sociologist Rodney Stark, Claire Wilkerson submitted the following essay:
The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark
Chapter 5: The Role of Women in Christian Growth
The Greco-Roman world was the epicenter of the furtherance of the modern world. However, such modernity could not have been reached without the rising Christian Church. And the thing that the furtherance of a society relies on is babies being born. And babies being born relies on women.
What is incredibly fascinating is that Roman society was supposedly favorable and dominant in this era, yet Christian women enjoyed far higher status in their subculture than Greek and Roman women in their respective lives.
The male to female ratio even favored Christian women in contrast to Christian men. The present cultural divide so early in the church shows how Christians are called to be set apart from the ways of this world and fix their eyes on the ruler of their eternities.
Roman society favored male children that could grow up to be soldiers. It was uncommon for Roman families to have more than one daughter. They achieved this by means of infanticide, which Christians obviously did not practice. (Obviously, China did not learn its lesson from Rome.)
That explains why Christianity is still being practiced and the Roman empire fell. You would think that it would be a given that if there are fewer women then there would be fewer babies. Good thing the Christians had Divine foresight on their side to trust that an unjust Roman society would fall by means of their own stupidity.
This is part of why I think it is absurd when the Church is presented as part of the patriarchy. It took the world at large generations to allow women equal roles in society. Christians did it from day one. That’s not to say every church is perfect and that some don’t misinterpret scripture regarding men and women’s roles. But Christianity has endured because Christian women raise families. Christianity will continue to endure because it is true and it is right. Abortion was wrong in the early church and it is wrong now. We endure because our Bible, the truth, and our God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.