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Rev. Johnny Wade Sloan, D.D. has served Hamilton Christian Center  in Cincinnati, Ohio as Senior Pastor since 1987.  He has the heart of a shepherd, loving and leading our congregation into effective ministry.  His life experiences, biblical insights, and evangelistic fervor make him a dynamic speaker.  His administrative gifts and vision for unity have enabled him to mobilize people for common good.  He is a respected, outspoken community leader with compassion for hurting people.  A seasoned pastor with over 35 years of ordained ministry experience, he is a "mentor and friend" to fellow ministers.  He is a father of two sons, both ordained ministers, and grandfather of four grandsons.


by Rev. Johnny Wade Sloan, D.D.

As a boy I heard the phrase "keeping women in their place." Now that is an interesting thought, isn't it?  Many significant religious leaders have spoken, written, and acted to establish the proper place of women in the world and in the church.  Most of those who preached about "putting women in their place" did little to put them there.  In fact, they did much to prevent them from taking their true position in God's kingdom.  Yes, there are proper places for women and it is time to put them there.

Tragically, the religious world has historically oppressed women around the world.  Certainly Islam and other non-Christian religions have clearly oppressed women, just as they have oppressed various ethnic groups.  But, what about Christianity?  Have we been oppressors?  We now realize there could have been no holocaust in Germany or slavery in America without the contradictory voice of "christianity." There has also been unreasonable and unrighteous oppression of women in the "christian" church.  Yes, I have the capitalization right.  The prejudiced and chauvinistic religious systems of the past do not merit the capital C of Christ!

Any sincere student of the New Testament soon realizes Jesus Christ never did or said anything to oppress or limit women.  Knowing the culture of the time it is obvious He did just the opposite and tried in His words and actions to elevate women.  Jesus showed respect to women, even those of seeming low estate such as the woman with the alabaster box or the woman at the well.  The ministry of Christ significantly touched the women and recorded the stories for our example.  It is most noteworthy that the first person to which heaven chose to reveal the resurrection was female.  Furthermore this same person, a female, was the first commissioned by heaven to go and declare the good news of His resurrection.  This speaks powerfully of God's intentions in this dispensation of grace.  However, our "religious christianity" has been slow to empower and encourage women as Christ intended.

Today, the Holy Spirit is preparing us for the "restoration of all things." The Holy Spirit is prompting repentance for the sins of the past.  We have seen a focus on racial reconciliation in recent years.  I sense in my spirit that it is the right time and season for GENDER RECONCILIATION.  Recently I felt the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart that "the closer we get to the end, the more things should become like they were in the beginning." Christ wants us to return to His original creative intentions regarding male and female (Matthew 19:8).  The original "couple" had oneness and equality.  There was no competition, rather completeness in the male and female.  We should look to early Eden, not post-Eden for our model for marriage and for the social relationships of men and women.  Our message of grace should be one of restoring what we lost in the garden. 

We understand the sin of mankind in the Garden of Eden brought consequences and curses into human environment.  One of the effects was the beginning of a gender struggle.  God said the man would "rule over the woman." He told the woman, Thy desire shall be to thy husband." A careful study helps us understand that the sin nature of fallen men would cause them to want to dominate women.  Likewise women would struggle to regain the position they lost in the fall.  The declaration that men would "rule" over women is in the same context as the earth bringing for "thorns and weeds." The attitude of men being "over" women is one of the social "thorns" that remain from the fall of man in Eden.  However, Christ has come to remove the curse.  We must allow His life and love to bring true peace and harmony in the world.  We should not "weed" our vegetable gardens more than we do our social governments.  It is time for gender reconciliation in our world. 

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