A liberal theologian was hit with backlash online after suggesting that Christmas — the time of year when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world — is actually about feminist empowerment.
United Church of Christ Rev. Jes Kast posted on Twitter this week: "Christmas season is about God choosing a woman to lead a revolution of re-organizing the structures of societal power by her leadership, tenderness, and faith."
Christmas season is about God choosing a woman to lead a revolution of re-organizing the structures of societal pow… https://t.co/Ye5irBtyf5— Rev. Jes Kast (@Rev. Jes Kast) 1606835939.0
When one commenter asked, "Not about her son, then?"
Kast responded by saying, "Read Luke 1. It begins with the 'yes' from Mary. Without her, there would be no savior. It begins with Mary and the Holy Spirit."
Another user replied to Kast's post, saying, "Apparently gender-identity politics > Scripture."
Kast again shot back, saying, "Read Scripture. This is Luke 1. I hope people take the Bible seriously this Christmas."
It's true that Mary's obedience and faith were integral in bringing about the historical birth of Jesus, which is why Mary has been celebrated by Christians since the dawn of the church. But Kast seems to want to make God's decision to use Mary greater than his cosmic plan to redeem sinners.
One needs only to start in Luke 1 and continue reading to discover this to be the primary point of the Jesus' birth.
BlazeTV host Steve Deace summed up the situation, suggesting that lies like the one Kast is believing are why Jesus needed to come to earth.
Christmas is about God sending His Son to graciously bring Heaven to us, when we couldn't get to Him because we cho… https://t.co/Ug4UZkKZVJ— Steve Deace (@Steve Deace) 1607003684.0
While several other commenters poked fun at Kast and joked sarcastically, one user chimed in on a more sober note, writing, "In all seriousness, readers, this is a dangerous blasphemy on the sovereignty of God and the singularity of Christ as Savior. Even Mary called herself the servant of the Lord."
While Kast's theological assertion caused a stir on social media, it is not necessarily a surprise given her denominational affiliation. Kast is a pastor for the United Church of Christ, a progressive mainline denomination that has embraced a number of beliefs and practices outside of mainstream Christianity.
According to the 2011 statement from a denomination spokesman, the church has committed to "using inclusive and expansive imagery for God" and thus "no longer use exclusively male language to refer to God."
The denomination's Twitter bio reads: "United in Spirit and inspired by God's grace, we accept all, love all, and seek justice for all. We are the United Church of Christ."
In a follow-up post on Twitter, Kast rebuked those who criticized her original post, arguing the "vitriol provoked ... illustrates a pervasive lack of respect of opinions and bodies of women."
Mary needed to say "yes" before Jesus could be born. Gospel of Luke tells us this. The vitriol provoked by this res… https://t.co/YDGw0woJoa— Rev. Jes Kast (@Rev. Jes Kast) 1606920009.0