“There is no room for the subjugation or devaluing of anyone in God’s
Kingdom. . . “
The following is an excerpt from my newly released book; Barbarians in the Kingdom
I C O N T E N D T H A T Barbarism is a state of mind, one
the kingdom needs—as long as it is a state of mind that is subject to
Christ. As we saw earlier, the name barbarian was originally a term
used to designate a group of people: those unconquered and uncivilized
tribes living north of the mighty Roman empire. In later centuries those
now “civilized” barbarians would reassign this term to reference the
Norsemen who would pour out of the north, taking what they wanted
and answering to no one. We now know them as Vikings. The sword
and the battle ax was their law—at least in regard to the world outside
of their own communities.
Within their villages and clans they did live by a code of conduct, a
strict and honorable code of conduct that honored and protected women
and children and ensured that all could live in security and that they
each had a voice. Within this codified culture, as in nearly all barbarian
cultures, the women had an equal voice and were respected. Many of
them fought alongside the men in battle and some even led men in
battle; hence the venerated shield maidens—a misnomer, as according
to the Norse sagas they did much more than hold shields and bat their
eyes; they led warriors from the front.
The lower class?
It’s really a notion that comes along with civilization, advanced learning,
and religious regulations, that the women should be subjugated and
diminished to a lower class of citizen. We saw that in ancient Israel—a
very patriarchal culture—and in our own country’s not-so-ancient
history. Until just a few generations ago, women couldn’t even vote, and
if they chose to work outside of the house their options were few as they
were relegated to being nurses, teachers, waitresses, or secretaries. We
now see that religious expression of female subjugation to the extreme
in much of Islam where, under Sharia law, women are little more than
God has an answer to that: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there
is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all
one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28 NKJV).
Paul reiterates this to the Colossians: “ . . . and have put on the
new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him
who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor
uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and
in all” (Col. 3:10–11 NKJV).
There is no room for the subjugation or devaluing of anyone in God’s
kingdom, and again we see the barbarian put on an equal footing with
the “oh so philosophical” Greek and the spiritual and meticulously pious
Jew. Everyone—man, woman, slave, and free—is equal in the kingdom
of God among those who put their hope in Christ. So again I ask the question.
Why do we strive to emulate the “Greek” and the “Jew”—the
sophisticated and the religious?—“Let’s debate and argue theology until
we don’t even remember what the debate is about anymore, and let’s
see how many more rules and rituals we can cram into our written, and
unwritten, personal books of do’s and don’ts until we get so caught up
in the doing, so hung up in the nuances of our theological bents, that
we forget what the purpose of it all was in the first place.”— that we
can no longer see the forest for the trees.
According to this scripture, there is no advantage to being one over
the other, for our identity is now in Christ. The woman should not strive
and desire to be like the man. The Greek should not try to become the
Jew; the barbarian should not try to emulate—to try to act like someone
they are not—as though we must fit into a certain mold; “I must be
sophisticated and highly educated like the Greek. I have to be a shining
example of religious perfection like the God-fearing Jew—always seeking.”
The point is, be who you are! That’s what this is saying.
If you are of the barbarian persuasion—then be the barbarian! That
is the simplicity of purpose. You cannot spend your life trying to be
someone you are not. If you commit yourself to Christ as a barbarian
and he welcomes you into his arms of love, then be the best barbarian
for Christ that you can be. He loved and called you for who you are. It’s
hard enough to keep the flesh at bay and try to keep the Spirit prevalent
in our hearts—we don’t need to make it all but impossible by trying to
be someone we are not. Playing yourself in the drama of life is much
simpler than playing someone else—someone you wish you were, or
were told you must be.