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Struggling...

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by Shiningstar89, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. Shiningstar89

    Shiningstar89 New Member

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    Hey all, I honestly don't know where else to turn. I came across a website called biblicalgenderroles.com wherein the blogger basically says men and women have equal value to God, but man is the image bearer of God, while woman only carries half the image of God man has. He even goes so far as to say a husband is not commanded to sexually satisfy his wife because the man wasn't made for the woman. He promotes women having fewer rights, and that a husband has the right to command sex at any point whereas the woman is not allowed to. He believes marriage is the ownership of the wife by the husband. Even the comments on his blogs are incredibly hurtful. Thing is... some of it actually makes a lot of sense if you take into consideration that a woman must submit "in everything" to her husband, as she would to Jesus. Yes, Jesus is supposed to have died for us... but he is still supposed to be God... and the church will never be God. Therefore, man and woman will never be equal. Right?

    I'm really struggling hard with this, and this all may seen silly to some, but it's one of the biggest hold ups to me becoming a Christian. I cannot have a relationship with a God who views me as less than man.

    I'm sorry if this is in the wrong spot, but this is really eating at me :disappointed:
     
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  2. Marc Munday

    Marc Munday Member

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    Hello, I suggest you read the bible and seek what Jesus taught about marriage and who he calls us to be. Men are not superior we are meant to be become one and equal in our relationship/marriage drawing from each others strength to overcome our weaknesses.

    Be very careful seeking the truth from people always seek it from Jesus Christ.
     
  3. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

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    It might be helpful to note that out of the many ancient biblical views on men and women, the Bible doesn’t have that whole feminist girl power boys rule masochist misandrist male vs. female grid that we so often see the world through.

    It’s not a collection of books about racism or sexism or homophobia, they’re just lame intersectional talking points that we have to hear about everyday.

    I’m not meaning to say that’s on your mind either, but, in light of the whole “God who views me as less than a man,” I’m adding that little section up top to say that none of the biblical story is meant to be taken as a personal slight.

    If it helps, I’ve studied the Bible for years and the arguments for women being made in the image of God are strong.

    The difference is that the Bible stresses distinct roles for men and women, none of which are supposed to make men or women inferior to one another.

    I mean, some parts of the Bible might say “man over woman, woman over child” etc, but nobody interprets that to mean children are somehow less valuable than the mother of the house.

    Honestly I have as robust a view of male headship as anyone I know, :tearsofjoy: but no part of that is grounded in an animosity towards women or a desire to view women as lesser than, different than maybe, but not lesser. And that we are, very different I mean.

    I think even more valuable than all that stuff is the fact that God is better than our categories, and if we get really Bible myopic we can talk ourselves out of this wonderful view of life where God is a feature.
     
  4. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    The blogger at biblicalgenderroles.com is wrong.

    There's a lot I could say, but I'll start with this: Many ancient cultures were patriarchal, and we see this patriarchal background in some of the stories in the Bible. Nevertheless, even against this patriarchal background, we see affirmations of women throughout the Scriptures. Genesis 1 says that both men and women are in the image of God. The gospels show Jesus talking with women in ways that contrast with the culturally expected patriarchy; note, for example, the stories of Mary and Martha of Bethany, the woman at the well, and the description in Luke 8 of the group of women who travelled with him and provided for him. St Paul writes that, for Christians, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."

    Your concern about this issue isn't silly at all. Patriarchy is destructive to women, and it violates the rule that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.
     
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  5. Freth

    Freth Seventh-day Adventist

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    To understand the man/woman or husband/wife relationship, we only need to look at how Jesus views His church. The church is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom. There is a mutual loving relationship between the bride and the groom.

    A simpler version of this is our personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus is not demanding our love, He is asking for it of our own free will. Nothing about Christianity is bondage, but instead of freedom of choice. Just as we can choose what man or woman to love, we can choose to love God, because we believe in Him.

    Likewise, if we believe in our significant other and trust them, because of our mutual loving relationship, we have found the harmony that Jesus seeks with His church. And so the overall message of salvation is one of mutual relationship between partners.

    In the book of Genesis, just after creation of woman, it says that man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they will be one flesh. This shows God's design, that we would fulfill each other as equals, not rule over each other.

    Just as we have a choice to believe in and love God or not, we also have a choice as to who we will choose to live our life with. There are still plenty of men out there who will respect you and treat you as an equal.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2021
  6. The Narrow Way

    The Narrow Way Master Herbalist Supporter

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    Hi Shining Star....I'd be depressed too, if that blogger was right! Thank God ~ he is WRONG :). Women are just as valuable to God as are men...we are just different. I feel sorry for that blogger's wife! She has a very selfish, self-centered husband and I'm sure it puts a real cloud over her life.
     
  7. Clay Brook

    Clay Brook New Member

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    Obviously this person is not properly representing scripture. One of the best ways to screen out things that do not EDIFY people in the body of Christ is to start by reading the scriptures. There are differences for men and women that God put in place, but be subserviant is NOT one of them. Not to be too corny, but imagine Jesus saying such things will give you an idea of how off key those types of statements are. Yes there will be some things that call us to be accountable, but the first thing is to be holy unto God. Love God. Love men (that's both genders). Ephesians gives good relational scripture on men and women and other places. Get involved with a church or group or Christian that teaches the Word, without the guilt. We all are guilty, but forgiven in Christ Jesus. Use blueletterbible.org to help you with work searches etc. Listen to prominent mainstream fundamentalist preachers like David Jeremiah, RC Sproul, etc. Joyce Meyers is great for relationship stuff.
     
  8. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

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    You can also see a lot about Christianity not just from isolating the text, but by joining in with Christian worship or through seeing what ordinary Christians push back against.

    You can find anything on the four corners of the internet, but that often translates into a pocket of thought that’s not very relevant in the body of wider believers.

    I endlessly get pushback from Christians for my understanding on women, dating and where a woman’s place is. :holy:

    So although nobody has to agree with my views, the point is that Christianity isn’t simply known by our dry intellectualism or our efforts to read the text, it’s know by the groups shared life together.

    That shared life involves actively resisting views that Christians see as demeaning towards women.
     
  9. Jeffwhosoever

    Jeffwhosoever Faithful Servant Staff Member Assistant Chaplain Angels Team Supporter

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    For goodness sakes, had it not been for Mary we never would have the Lord in the Flesh to save the world from sin! Women and men are both equal in the eyes of the Lord if you read Scripture cover to cover as it's meant to be read and applied. We each have important roles and the two become one flesh in marriage. There is no substitute for a mother's heart!
     
  10. Shiningstar89

    Shiningstar89 New Member

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    Thank you all for taking the time to respond! It means so much.

    I wanted to give a little more backstory as to why this has been on my mind for so long. See, I didn't have the best example of a Christian father. He had his own demons he needed to sort through (thankfully, he finally has), but in the process of getting those sorted, me and my siblings witnessed very traumatizing things. Needless to say, for years, I pushed away from anything Christian, let alone anything about God.

    While still a teenager, however, this immense need to understand the world, the why's, the how's and to understand God began to grow. I researched Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity (and several of the denominations) and they all made sense to one degree or another. But then I delved deeper to try and understand who I was in all this, and who this being we call God was wanting from me. During this time, I got married to the greatest and most patient man, but we are on two totally different ends of the spectrum in what we believe, so we have our fair share of disagreements, but oddly enough, he said that my questioning these things has led him back to the church. He hadn't read the Bible in YEARS, and never all the way through. He simply believed what he was told to believe. He doesn't like to "rock the boat" per se. My questions are endless, though, and incorporate much more than the gender issues, and at first my husband told me I needed to have "faith"... to which my response was, faith is believing in what we can't see; having faith doesn't mean not questioning. At least not to me, anyway. I don't believe God would give us brains and the ability to question without wanting us to actually use them to better understand him. Granted, there are things we maybe aren't meant to know, but even then...

    So this kinda bring me to my original post. It's incredibly difficult to have a relationship with a being -- a creator -- when that same creator doesn't view you as equally as the other half of the human race he created. The blog mentioned in the original post... while most of what the blogger says is incredibly hurtful, I did mention it also makes sense. The reason I say this, and he pointed this out as well, but the Bible doesn't really say the woman is made in the image of God. The Bible says the man is the image and glory of God, and the woman is the glory of man. It also says that God created man in his own image... but different translations of the Bible will say "... in the image of God created he HIM; male and female created he them" OR it will say something along the lines of "... in the image of God created he THEM; male and female created he them." These two translations mean two completely different things. One states that both man and woman are created in God's image, whereas the other states only the man is created in God's image, but God created both male and female. Yes, "man" is often used to mean both male and female, but that's not always true. Sometimes "man" simply means "male". The reason it makes sense (and it hurts that it makes sense) is that it is man who was created first, made directly in the image of God; it is man who is the head of the woman; it is the woman who was created second, last and for man, and it was also woman who sinned first. Yes, the fall was ultimately the man's fault, but why? Because he was the authority and head over woman. God admonishes women to be like Sarah by calling their husbands "lord" and submitting to them "as unto Christ" (ie as though he were Christ and she the church). The reason this interpretation makes so much sense is that from my understanding the whole purpose of marriage is to reflect God and his church, with the man being God and the woman being the church. Like I said, the church and God are not equal in any way. One is the creator and one the created. One is divine and the other human. This is why it hurts so much and why I struggle going through with this fully.

    On that blog, the blogger posted a question by a woman who asked him that if women weren't made in God's image, why is it wrong to kill them. I thought this was a brilliant question because the value of a human is based on the fact that humans are in God's image, and if women weren't made in God's image, then they have no value. The blogger stated that man is God's image-bearer because man is masculine and made directly in God's image and for God's glory, just as God is masculine. But woman being second and made from and FOR man's glory (not God's) has only a percentage of God's image that man has, but she too is also made in God's image, but indirectly and of a lesser extent because God is NOT feminine (and this is also why, the blogger claims, God is referred to in the masculine and never the feminine).

    This is only the beginning of my reasons for my struggles. I'm almost tempted to learn ancient Greek and Latin just to be able to understand the original language of the Bible because as we all know, things are lost in translation, and the more things are translated, the more things become twisted.

    If anyone can point me to who or what I should be looking into, I'd be so grateful. I do believe in God, and oftentimes at night I lie awake thinking of the vastness of the universe and how small we are in comparison, and I just **know** there's something MORE, so that's not the issue. If I could shut off these questions and just believe, I would! I just can't.
     
  11. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

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    I actually enjoy the questions! I also enjoyed reading your story, @Shiningstar89.

    Let’s see if we can break down some scripture together then.

    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.​

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.​

    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.​

    The image of God concept in that early section of the Bible is totally linked to the dominion of mankind over the wildlife of the earth. It’s not linked to value or love or the worthiness of life, nor the punishment for committing crimes.

    The above image of God is about authority over the earth and the wider role of husbandry, an occupation which even to this day is pronominally occupied by males. That’s part of our different desires as male and females, certain occupations satisfy women more so than they do men, and vice versa. It’s not a societal conditioning thing but rather is part of our hardwiring, it’s what we are largely geared towards. If you’d like some studies on that I’d be happy to share the TLDR version.

    Although I appreciate there are other uses of the image of God concept that are linked to value, like the idea of murder being wrong because man is made in the image of God. Still, to include men in that verse doesn’t mean the text excludes women, just like when Paul teaches Christ died “for him,” he’s not meaning to exclude the rest of the world for whom Jesus died. In literature I believe it’s called “a limited negative.”

    Maybe this line of reasoning and this section of the Bible will help with your worries. There’s a common Christian belief that we are being daily renewed into the image of Christ, so we take on more of His good qualities and as a result people use phrases like “being Christlike,” or even “That’s not very Christian of you” etc.

    Christians tend to believe in a rebirth and renewal into Christ’s image after having had their hearts changed and being “born again.” After that the Spirit of the Lord makes a home in the heart of a believer and they inherit His Spirit, the Kingdom, and even an ever increasing image. Notice woman go through this just as easily as men do, from the book of Acts.

    On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.​

    So consider some points laid out in a more logical way.

    1. Christ is the perfect image of God the Father.

    2. Christians have the indwelling spirit of Christ, and as a result we have the image of God.

    3. Women have this image and conversion experience in the same way that men do.

    I know this is like sneaking the image of God in through the back door here, but there’s no logical reason to deny that woman can cultivate Christ’s qualities as men do.

    Now here’s the non scripture section of the post.

    The strain of thought I kind of sense going through your message goes something like “All of the biblical emphasis is on men.” And it largely is, but I imagine the reason has a lot to do with the brutality of the times. Something woman aren’t suited for.

    The Bronze Age wasn’t about Mac books and universal education for all, it was about brute force, whether that be farming, robbery or war. The fact that so many women are mentioned in the Bible (despite the bend) in brutal old societies towards male gifts is impressive.

    On the subject of brutality, aggression and male gifts. Think about if (God forbid) I invaded your home to burglarise you, pretending you’re an average woman and I’m an average man, my bone density is greater than yours, my testosterone is higher, my muscle fibres more dense, I weight 20% more than you and I’m a fair bit taller too. I hope when it comes time to whoop my ass and send me home to rethink my poor conduct, your husband is the first person down those stairs to face danger at the door.

    That’s a tame situation compared to Romans crucifying people up and down the roads though.

    Even today the vast majority of workplace fatalities are men, that’s because woman (when given options) move far away from areas of danger and physical hardship. So I wouldn’t feel offended or put out if a book on the history of workplace fatalities involved 999 stories about men getting their legs and arms whacked off, and only 1 story about a poor woman who suffered the same terrible fate.

    If we land on the side of the conversation where the Bible is a true story, one that doesn’t pull its punches, then the focus being on war, blood, guts and maleness makes total sense.

    Even still all of the blood and guts OT stuff makes the most sense when we see Jesus and His image as our means of overcoming the gruff.
     
  12. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

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    If it makes any of the ladies feel better I always argue that God issued the Genesis curses in order of the responsibility carried, so He cursed the serpent first, Eve second and Adam last.

    I’m all for equality and won’t open doors for the ladies if they insist, I’ll hold them closed instead so y’all earn it when you push through. :tearsofjoy:

    Adam first passes the buck to Eve, Eve passes it off to the serpent and the serpent has ran out of people to blame at this point in the convo. :snake::redapple: God doesn’t let him talk anymore, or if he does talk God felt we have no need to hear him. Then God goes backwards and gets the responsible parties in that order.

    So there’s no backdoor male headship argument where I let people use to carpet bomb Adam. :boom:

    I hope you don’t feel offended though on behalf of women, in some wider way. Although people can misuse the garden or the order of creation to bash women, that really says more about their state of heart than it does about Gods feelings towards women.

    Gods loving, hypothetically, as the greatest conceivable being, having all those great qualities, He cares more about women and men than we care about ourselves.
     
  13. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    My advise is to ignore this blogger. He (likely a he) is terrible ignorant of the Bible and the mind of God. The Bible says that men and women are equal before God. Jesus above all honored women. The ones who first saw him were women. Women were among his discplies. WOmen were prophets in the NT. One woman, at least, was a judge in Israel. The foremothers of JEsus are mentioned by name. Women's rights are protected in the Bible although different. That blogger should be ignored big time.
     
  14. Shiningstar89

    Shiningstar89 New Member

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    Good morning all!!
    Hope all is well.

    It's been incredibly busy in my life lately, so my sincere apologies for not responding sooner.

    Recently, I had a bit of a revelation, one could say, regarding my original question and struggles with the blog I'd found, and my value/worth as a woman in God's eyes. The guy had posted a response to a user on his blog in regards to a post he had about Song of Solomon basically reading as a commandment for men to "take" sexual pleasure from their wives, but that nowhere in the Bible did it ever say (according to him) that the husband is to sexually satisfy his wife. All this time, most of what the blogger posted made complete sense, which is why it hurt so much because his interpretation totally left woman without any autonomy, made solely to fully please her husband in every way he desired (the blogger even said a woman is to submit to anal sex, even if she doesn't want it/doesn't believe it's right, because the Bible says nothing against it, and fulfilling her husband's every desire is one of the sole reasons woman was created). I reread that post the blogger made about S.O.S., and the way it's always come across to me is God saying to BE satisfied with/ravished by the spouse we are given, not necessarily to TAKE from/use them, if that makes any sense. And the more I reread that post, the more it dawned on me -- when man was created, it was God who saw it was not good for him to be alone; nowhere does it say the man was lonely or that he wanted a companion. It was all God. Then when woman was created, God put man into a deep sleep; he had literally zero say in how woman was to look or act, etc. Again, it was all God, and it was man who was to accept this being in all the ways God created her. The more I dwelled on this, the more I realized, God never gave man, even as man is the head of woman, any right to dictate how a woman is to act or dress or simply "be". The man can lead the woman as he should, but he has no right to control her the way the blogger interprets God's word. That's when I completely realized that when God created woman, she automatically had great value in His eyes because it was HE who saw it was not good for man to be alone, it wasn't man who was wanting a toy to use.

    So I say this with great sincerity - thank you all for your help. I broke down in tears when this realization came over me because this is the biggest area that has caused me not to delve deeper into Christianity. I simply could not push myself to accept a God who made me as a woman only to be at the beck and call of another human being, with no value and no autonomy of my own. Silliest part of all of this is that it was as simple as going back to the creation story. Yes, woman was created for man, but for God's reasons, not man's, and that's all I needed.

    So again, thank you!
     
  15. 1watchman

    1watchman Overseer Supporter

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    Stay in close to the Lord Jesus daily as your best Friend, and you will do well. He cares! Other voices are often just opinions and guessing. Read the four Gospels in the New Testament and the Epistles, and you will see what God is saying to you for life. He loves each of us, though many souls don't want Him ---sad! Be sure you understand John 3; John 14; Romans 8 for God's care daily.
     
  16. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

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    so what does the bible say about a woman's role? (maybe start with 1 cor 7: Bible Gateway passage: 1 Corinthians 7 - Easy-to-Read Version )

    If you don't know why turn to any website to find these answers when you can source them yourself. I get maybe using the internet to help you research but do not seek out commentary over god's own word.
     
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