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Are women treated unfairly in the Bible?

Discussion in 'Congregation-specific Ethics' started by Justmeoverhere, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. AmusingMargaret

    AmusingMargaret Instigator

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    The Biblical reference is Genesis 19, when Lot offered his two virgin daughters up to be gang raped...for the wicked men to "do with them as you will." Don't you think that's corrupt?

    To the best of my knowledge, when the story begins in Genesis 18, God was planning to destroy Sodom and its inhabitants completely, but Abraham interceded (eventually) for the sake of 10, and as we know, the angels did direct Lot, his wife and daughters out of the city before it was destroyed.
     
  2. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid ****CAUTION***** Life is lived in the shape of a ? Supporter

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    Yes, Zoii, you have a good point, and I'm not trying to deprecate any of that. All I'm trying to say is that, in my own growth and understanding as a Christian, I don't let Christians who try to "proof-text" the Bible in their effort to fortify their own simplistic interpretations of the Bible defray me from a full consideration of all that the Bible has to say. I for one will not let anyone try to get that kind of sophistry over on me, and likewise, I don't think any women should have to allow Christian men to contort the Bible in order to maintain a social power grab that God never intended to be implemented.....and I'll say this no matter how many preachers in America continue to preach a simplistic interpretation of singular verses and singular short passages in their effort to 'bowl' over (or abuse) women into a kind of submission that God isn't calling for.

    Even though we all know there is a diversity of interpretations on various bits of the Bible, and even though we all know that we have to extend some grace to other Christians who disagree with us about this or that interpretation, we still don't have to put up with gross mishandling of Scripture, especially one that clearly demotes women. And just like the instance where Satan tried to "proof-text" a point against Jesus, Jesus had some things to say in response ... and we should too, Zoii.

    Here's another point, just because some man "is" a pastor of a church and we can see that he is installed in such a position, we can't always just assume that any specific pastor was ever 'really' called by God anyway. Pastors have to prove themselves worthy on an ongoing basis and there are certain Christian proprieties to uphold, so if we see a pastor preaching what seems to be the Word of God, but STILL failing significantly and consistently in other areas of his (or her) life, and perhaps even grossly exaggerating or distorting the Word of God, then they are disqualified from their position, even if the church won't recognize that.

    Moreover, on a personal level, I can admit to you right now that I had similar misconceptions about my position as husband over my wife--just like many other Christian men do today--when I first got married. And during the first few years of my marriage, I tried to use the usual verses that Christian men use to "put my wife in her place." Not only did all of that misconception of mine cause problems in the marriage, it damaged some of my wife's faith in God.

    Fortunately, God brought into my life a fellow Christian brother who offered me an alternative way to look at the Scriptures, scriptures that I thought I already had right. But through more intensive study, contemplation, and prayer, I realized there was more to the picture in being a Christian husband than what I had previously thought. So, I changed my thinking, and I began to treat my wife as the equal that she is under the face of God; I also came to realize that I had other shortcomings as a husband that I had to work on, and if I had continued to listen to preachers like Jack Schaap, I'm sure that I'd be divorced today instead of still married 23 years later.

    Peace, :cool:
    2PhiloVoid
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  3. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess that's is a good place to start....You must believe the part in the bible about Christ, and going to heaven and such or you wouldn't be a Christian, so how do you decide what part to believe and what part not to believe?

    You should certainly correct me if I'm wrong but it's looking like you don't believe the part you don't like?
     
  4. Justmeoverhere

    Justmeoverhere New Member

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    Belief isn't the problem. I fully believe everything that was written.
     
  5. Monna

    Monna Well-Known Member

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    The Bible portrays life in all its rawness. And there was plenty of mistreatment of women in Bible times - which the Bible shows. It also shows a lot of the reasons.

    I would encourage you to read Kenneth Bailey's Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes in which he has a special section of several chapters on Jesus' revolutionary attitudes and behavour towards women. For some readers getting past his explanation of poetic form in Luke's gospel might be hard, but it's worth it - partly because we find out that many of our interpretations of Jesus parables miss the point that Luke was making - because our literary form is very different from the Jewish one. But there's a lot of wonderful things here to take home about Jesus and women - that men today should pay attention to.
     
  6. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK, I deserve a kick in the pants, I read your post to say not much of a Bible "believer" when it only said not much of a "reader".
     
  7. Justmeoverhere

    Justmeoverhere New Member

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    I love all of these meaningful responses. Thank you everyone, I've read them all.

    I do want to state my husband is not abusive, atleast not physically. I could say emotionally, but have I been any better in my reactions to his treatment of me? Not really.

    Oddly enough after our last counseling session last week, I went into kind of a dark place, which is not my usual self. My husband heard what the pastor said and told me later that he does not agree with what he said, nor does he expect me to simply ve happy because he comes home.

    As I've been having, let's say issues, with how I perceive the pastor's view of me and my role in life, my husband said he could see me feeling down and that he apologized for not taking care of me as a husband should. I've never had any type of apology from my husband, especially when speaking to emotions.

    So I can see how this situation, which felt awful at the time, has made more progress in my marriage than years of counseling.

    I emailed the pastor with my concerns about women and the Bible, and he answered me, telling me he is praying for me and offered to have me speak to a woman about it. Honestly this ticked me off. It's like he was saying, "women's issues, ugh, go talk to a woman."

    I can't tell you if our marriage will continue to improve or go back to where it was. I don't believe I will see that pastor for counseling again.

    I can tell you before I posted this I was still in that dark place. But I feel better. Not great, but better. I feel like I have some good places to start reading, for sure. I appreciate the book suggestions!
     
  8. Justmeoverhere

    Justmeoverhere New Member

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    No kick in the pants from me! Lol
     
  9. Deadworm

    Deadworm Well-Known Member

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    Don't walk out of the door of your toxic sexist church. That takes too long! Jump out of the window! Then explore biblically more sound mainline denominations that respect women as equals and ordain them. If you do this, your faith will blossom and grow in leaps and bounds. For years, I taught a well-attended college course on Women and Religion. A satisfying response to the troubling issues you raise would require an examination of many biblical texts and cultural factors. I don't want to respond to questions you are not asking. So here are some widely accepted theses about the status of women in the Bible, which I can elaborate in detail if you so request.

    (1) A careful distinction must be made between biblical reports of men behaving badly and texts that might seem to imply divine complicity with sexism.

    (2) Biblical history is characterized by progressive revelation. It takes centuries before God is able to penetrate the fog of patriarchal and other religious biases held by biblical leaders and writers.

    (3) Due to the patriarchal culture in ancient Israel, masculine imagery of God ("Father," "Lord," etc.) is most common in Scripture. But the Bible also contains lots of feminine imagery of God. God was able to pierce the sexist bias of the culture to establish feminine imagery as ultimate symbols of divine power.

    (4) The modern scholarly consensus is that women were actually leaders (even apostles) in the early church. Paul champions this equality against cultural pressure to the contrary and insists that a true Christian cannot discriminate on the basis of gender, race, or social standing. This fact is neglected because of pseudo-Pauline texts like 2 Timothy 2:11-15 and the later interpolation of 14:34-35 into 1 Corinthians (There are at least 5 reasons that estalblish 14:34-25 as an interpolation.)

    (5) Contrary to the practice of cotemporary rabbis, Jesus encouraged female disciples to travel with Him. In fact, the ministry of Jesus and His disciples was financed by successful women (Luke 8:1-3). In fact, the Gospels cite no other specified means of financial support. Jesus' fishermen disciples abandoned that profession to follow Jesus.
     
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  10. Justmeoverhere

    Justmeoverhere New Member

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    That was very good information, thank you!
     
  11. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That pastor just wasn't very well in touch when he made that comment, end of story. So don't take/get too much from what he said, as it deserves so little thought.

    All I can suggest is you read the Bible fully, and try to get it. Some of what you say the bible portrays may sound unfair but really isn't, and some of it? even some of us men think it's unfair to women, but in the end, it's God's ball game.

    Life can be unfair to both men and women in the bible, but one acceptation that particularly sticks out is the "submission" thing.

    I honestly think the only reason for that is someone has to have a final decision in things (like one boss at work, for no other reason but order), and God thought it was a better idea overall, to give it to the man. However that doesn't necessarily mean a man would be the better choice in all situations...again, it was an overall choice.

    I can see a man having enough good sense to turn control over to the woman at times if she is more capable in whatever, or even all or most areas. And as I see it, there would be no wrong in doing so, the choice is after all, up to him. :)

    Maybe easily said by me because I am a man, but I don't think it's all as bad as it can seem, and I do understand how it can seem. But in the end, as I said, it's all up to God, so how can either gender argue against it as Christians?
     
  12. Justmeoverhere

    Justmeoverhere New Member

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    Something you said really struck me here...about the man turning control over to the woman. My husband does this 95% of the time. I'm not a feminist by any means, but he is very, very passive and doesn't want to deal with "stuff". It is alot of the reasons we argue - I want him to take some control, and he wants me to have it. If I don't have it, no one does, and that's scary!

    But when I think of it like my husband handing control over to me as you put it, it just makes me feel better and it...sounds better.

    Don't get me wrong, he needs to lead in some capacity. Obviously me leading isn't working, and I prefer not to. But to help him because he thinks highly of me? Never even crossed my mind. Life changing stuff right there.

    Where were all of you 10 years ago? Ha!
     
  13. FoundInGrace

    FoundInGrace God's sparrow

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    I look at how Jesus interacts with women.
    He shows much compassion and care.
     
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  14. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You're right, and I was thinking that is true as I wrote the last post, but sometimes it doesn't happen.

    Not as dedicated a Christian as I should be, and dumb as a rock on certain matters? :D
     
  15. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    I'd like to see your biblical data that lead you to that conclusion.

    'I am inclined to disagree' is subjective and provides no objective biblical support.

    Oz
     
  16. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    When I say "I am inclined to disagree" it means that my conclusion is not iron-clad. If I consider a wide variety of Biblical events, I think that there are some which fall into one category and others that fall into the other, with the ones representing women not being treated unfairly seeming to be the more prevalent.

    Certainly, deciding what is "unfair" is likely to be hard to decide; it's not like being asked if more women than men are killed or something like that.
     
  17. DivineD

    DivineD New Member

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    From my reading of the Scripture and especially how Jesus treated women. Those verses that want women to be submissive, to shut up in church and to ask questions to their husbands at home, to wear head coverings, to not have any authority over men or have positions of authority in churches, I believe is just regulations made by men and not from God.

    Am I saying that those verses aren't God's Word? yes I am, because Jesus even explained on the law having to do with divorce that from the beginning God never intended for anyone to divorce but permitted Moses to write divorce certifications, because men were stubborn.

    During Jesus' time it was a strange thing even for men to communicate with women in public, which is why the disciples were shocked when Jesus was talking with the women at the well. But did Jesus care about these man-made notions and fears? No.
    Not only that, but Jesus even traveled together with women in His group.
    When Jesus resurrected, the first person He revealed Himself to was a women who He than sent as a messenger to His disciples about His resurrection.

    Women found being untreated fairly in the Bible is something I see that is the fault of men and not God's Will. People can condemn me for being blasphemous, but this is what I believe that God has revealed to me. Because there are a lot of women I seen who save souls and serve God splendidly, even in positions of authority and sometimes a lot better than someone who is male. As Jesus said I judge people by their fruits.

    Just wanted to share this with you to broaden your perspective on this subject.
     
  18. Beaker

    Beaker Junior Member

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    Maybe you see all this because it was the woman who succumbed to the devil's lure to sin and who gave the forbidden fruit to Adam. For THIS reason also, mothers endure some harsh labour pains.
     
  19. derpytia

    derpytia Compassion. Supporter

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    I've done my reading (still am doing my reading) and as far as the Bible goes, I've always always found that if a woman is treated unfairly because of her gender then it is usually by a man. But it is NEVER from God. I have not found a single spot in the Bible where God/Jesus treats a woman poorly or unfairly. God does not delight in our suffering by any means. I think He gets extremely sad when He sees that we are suffering. But he asks that we have patience and to bring all our troubles to Him and trust that He will leads us to the best resolution.

    Perhaps your marriage counselor should remember that woman is told to submit to her husband as to the Lord but that man is told to love their wives as themselves...
     
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  20. minique

    minique Newbie

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    I completely understand where you are coming from with this. I’ve been there myself. Here’s what I learned after studying women in the Bible:

    Throughout history countless men have viewed and treated women as inferior. However, the way that men very often treat (or mistreat) women DOES NOT reflect God’s design or will for his beloved daughters. Therefore, when you read about the mistreatment of women in the Bible, please don’t assume that God is pleased with that behavior or endorses it. Much of what we read about in the Bible is a result of the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden. As a result of the fall, man’s view and treatment of women got distorted.

    Instead of focusing on MEN and the ways in which men mistreated women throughout the Bible, I want to draw your attention to some examples of how God (our father) affirmed women, blessed women, used women for his glory and to edify the church.
    • God blessed the midwives and gave them children of their own because they feared God and refused to obey the king's evil command to kill the newborn Hebrew boys. They were pro-lifers. Exodus 1:15-20
    • Jochebed hid Moses for three months when he was born. She refused to drown her son in the river like the king ordered. Jochebed and her husband are listed in the Hebrew hall of faith.
      Exodus 2:1-10, Hebrews 11:23
    • Zipporah saved her husband's life when the Lord was about to kill him. Exodus 4:24
    • Rahab was a prostitute. She hid the Israeli spies and refused to hand them over to her government's officials. She made a bargain with the Israeli spies that would preserve her life and the lives of her family members. She gave the Israeli spies instructions about where and how to escape. She is part of Jesus' family tree. Her name is listed in the Hebrew hall of faith.
      Joshua 2:1, 3, 6:17-25, Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31 James 2:25
    • God used a woman to save the Jews from annihilation. God could have just used men, but God allowed a woman to play a very important role in the protection of the jewish nation. To this day, Jews still gather to commemorate Purim, which celebrates the bravery of Esther.
    • In the Bible, prophets were spokesmen for God. They spoke in God’s name and by God’s authority. God gave some women the authority to speak in his name: Huldah was a prophet. King Josiah sought her help via royal messengers because he wanted her to tell him what God had to say about the discovery of a very important book. 2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22
    • Deborah is unique. She was a judge and prophet in Israel. She worked in a position (judge) that had been held by men. The Israelis came to her court, so she could decide their disputes. God used Deborah as a prophet and judge. Judges chapters 4&5
    • The Wise Woman of Abel was a skilled negotiator. She took initiative and negotiated a deal with the commander of the Israeli army that saved her city from destruction. She was a woman of influence. The people in her community followed her advice concerning the negotiation.
      2 Samuel 20:16-22
    • The Queen of Sheba traveled from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. The pursuit of wisdom was very important to her. Jesus publicly acknowledged the Queen of Sheba's pursuit and appreciation for wisdom. During her lifetime, she sought the wisest person she knew - Solomon. However, when Jesus came to earth, he was greater than Solomon, but many of the people who encountered him failed to appreciate Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Kings 10:1-13, 2 Chronicles 9:1-12, Matthew 12:42
    • Jehosheba stole Joash away from the rest of the king's children, who were about to be killed. She hid him from the murderous Athaliah for 6 years. Jehosheba risked her life in order to help preserve “The Seed Royal,” for had Joash also perished the line of Judah would have been extinct.
      2 Kings 11:2, 2 Chronicles 22:11
    • Sheerah built the cities of Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah. 1 Chronicles 7:24
    • God blessed the barren Hannah with a son. Her son, Samuel, grew up to be a great prophet of God. 1 Samuel 1; 2:1, 21
    • Mary the Mother of Jesus - Matthew 1; 2; 12:46; Luke 1; 2 John 2:1-11; 19:25; Acts 1:14
    • Jesus commended the Canaanite mother for her great faith, and healed her demon-possessed daughter. Matthew 15:21-28.
    • Women also traveled with Jesus and the 12 disciples as they toured the cities and villages of Galilee. Some of those women provided financial support for Jesus and his disciples. Luke 8:1-3
    • Anna was a prophet. She had been a widow for many years. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. She was one of the 1st witnesses for Christ. Luke 2:36-38
    • Lydia is the first person in the Bible to have been saved in Europe. The 1st convert on Biblical record saved in Europe was a woman. That’s powerful. God could have reserved that record for a man, but he didn’t. Lydia also helped Paul and Silas plant the 1st church in Europe. Acts 16;12-15, 40 Philippians 1:1-10
    • Dorcas was brought back to life after being dead, so she could continue doing good works.
      Acts 9:36
    • The apostle Paul trusted Phoebe and commended her for helping many people. She was a deacon in the church of Cenchrea. Romans 16:1-2
    • Priscilla was a tent maker. She co-labored with her husband. She and her husband took Bible teacher Apollos aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. She and her husband allowed others to meet in their home for church service. Acts 18:2,18, 26 Romans 16:3, 1 Corinthians 16:19
    • Rufus' mother had been a mother to the Apostle Paul, too. She wasn't his biological mother, but she evidently showed him motherly kindness. Romans 16:13
    • Timothy's grandma Lois and mom Eunice were Christians, and they (the women) trained Timothy to have faith in God. Acts 16:1, 2 Timothy 1:5
    Throughout the Bible, God blessed women and used them in incredible ways for his glorify and to edify their communities. The way God views and treats women is entirely different from the way in which countless men have mistreated women throughout history. I prayed and asked God to open up my spiritual eyes and allow me to see the various ways in which God loved, blessed and affirmed women throughout scripture, and HE continues to do that. It’s a learning process.

    Suggested reading:
    Women in the Bible by John Trigilio and Kenneth Brighenti
    Is the Bible Good for Women by Wendy Alsup
    The Gospel Centered Woman by Wendy Alsup
    Blog: Practical Theology for Women by Wendy Alsup
    Table of Contents - All the Women of the Bible - Bible Gateway
     
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