How bad is the Bible for women?

50 Questions
Guy Harrison

Women no goodThe chapter (’Is Christianity Good for Women?’ ) in Guy Harrison’s book,1 discusses the terrible treatment women get in the Bible. For example,

# 1. The curse on the woman (because of her disobedience to God, Genesis 3:16), “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’”

  • He doesn’t mention that the male, Adam, got an even stiffer ‘sentence,’ ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food….’ 2  It is not as if all the burden is on the woman and the man can gaily sit in the sun and enjoy himself.

# 2. The wife should submit to her husband.

  • What about the command to the man, ‘Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them?’ 3 It is not as if the husband can selfishly do as he likes. He has to care for and love his wife.
  • Both male and female are made in God’s image. They are made of the same ‘materials.’ Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh….’ 4  According to God’s design there will not be male and female in heaven. The citizens there will be like angels. 5  So God cannot give preference to males to the detriment of females, though He assigns them different roles (see the curse when both were disobedient: the male will be the breadwinner and the female will reproduce).

# 3. The role of women in the church.  A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.’ 6 The idea is promoted that God is unfair to women, shut them up and cannot care less about them. It is not true.

  • Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave those instructions to Timothy, because there was a problem with false teachers with wrong doctrine in Ephesus. Some of the women were the primary advocates and promoters of the heretical teaching which upset the accepted patterns of congregational and home life. Paul wanted to rectify the situation.
  • So Paul’s restrictive words must be understood within the context where false teaching was the issue. This is the exception. It cannot be applied as the norm in the Church, although it has been done throughout the ages. 7  That, however, is not God’s fault, but man’s disobedience and in many cases, plain jealousy because some women are gifted.
  • In other places Paul talks about women in prominent positions in church life, like Phoebe, Priscilla,  Junias, Euodia and Syntyche. 9 In Judges 4 we read about Deborah the judge. Today there are international women preachers like Joyce Meyer and I am sure most men are pleased with her ministry (otherwise there would be no men in her audiences).

People do bad things because of sin (disobedience to God’s Word). For example, sin causes men in the Church to abuse women. That, however, does not mean that Scripture is wrong. People’s exegesis might be wrong and then it leads to the false charge that God allows women to be abused. It is rubbish. God loves women as well as men. Both genders are made in His image.

References

  1. G Harrison, 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian, Prometheus Books, 2013, kindle location 1809 – 1862 of 5739
  2. Genesis 3:17-19
  3. Colossians 3:25
  4. Genesis 2:23
  5. Matthew 22:23-30
  6. 1 Timothy 2:11
  7. WC Kaiser et al, Hard Sayings of the Bible, InterVarsity Press, 1996, p 665-667
  8. Romans 16:1,3,7
  9. Philippians 4:2-9

Why do Christians do bad things?

One of the questions Guy Harrison asks is,1 Why do the ‘Christians’ do such horrible things (which atheists Bad Christians copy

50 Questions

presumably never do)?  To reframe it a bit and make it more understandable, if I claim that I am a multimillionaire, does that mean I am one?  I doubt. Nobody will believe me, unless I can furnish proof. Which of course I can’t.

 

The same applies to some ‘Christians.’ Claiming something doesn’t necessarily make it true. Jesus said it is not enough to praise and worship Him, sit in church and be busy ‘with the Lord’s business.’  He asked, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?'” 2

 

Jesus gave two commands that are very pertinent to the question, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.’ This means, among other things, that we should be like Jesus who gave His life for others.

 

Jesus’ second guideline is, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 4  This means that you will not harm others.  A person who follows these two commands will not hurt others or do bad things like steal, murder, et cetera.

 

This should answer why Christians do bad things? They were not followers of Christ in the first place. Out of expediency, political power, or plain deceit, they claimed to be ‘Christians,’ but they were not. Jesus will separate Christians at His second coming, ‘The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.’

 

Till then we have to accept that there will be people who claim to be Christians but do bad things. Many of us have had some bad experience at the hands of some of them. God will sort it out. We just have to be sure we have forgiven them and pray for them.

 

Real Christians are taught to forgive and not to retaliate. Could it be that somewhere, somehow one of these ‘brothers,’ or ‘sisters’ have done you a bad turn? Have you forgiven? We had to learn through bitter experience the only way to keep one’s sanity and health is to do just that, forgive.

 

References

  1. Kindle location 1177-1235 of 5739
  2. Luke 6:46
  3. Matthew 22:37
  4. Matthew 22:39
  5. Matthew 13:41

Why don’t they read their Book?

Guy Harrison asks the question: ‘Why don’t they read their Book?’ He explains that the Bible is the Bible study

50 Questions

most important book of all time for Christians, but very few of them take the time to read it from cover to cover.

 

We cannot deny that he is right.

  • Survey after survey shows that people who believe their lives are formed by the Bible, know very little about it. According to George Barna, the level of Bible reading in the United States is an embarrassment and a crisis among people who profess faith in Jesus. Christians are Biblically illiterate.
  • The trend is that the younger people are, the less they understand the Christian faith. It is true. The Biblical illiteracy among youth who are supposed to be churched and know the doctrines of the Bible, is very low. The problem is that they are the target of atheists. No matter how friendly atheists purport to be, we should understand that they have an agenda. It is to turn people from faith in God to become committed atheists.
  • Guy intimates it: atheists confront youth with issues about the Bible, like the murder of babies, tips on how to be a good slave and an even better slave owner, or the execution of homosexuals. Christians generally cannot answer these accusations. Worse yet, young people are often persuaded that God is a moral monster or a Cosmic Tyrant and that the Bible condones unspeakable atrocities. They have never been taught that there are answers, perfectly logical, reasonable answers.
  • The average Christian, and especially the youth, probably don’t realise that the questions from atheists are ‘loaded.’ They have been designed to mislead. One example that Guy mentions is the rape of female captives. Now, anybody who knows the Bible, will immediately put a question mark over it. Can God allow the rape of virgins, when He forbids it in the covenant He had with the Israelites (see ‘2 Reasons that God do
    es not condone rape’)?

 

To conclude. We cannot deny Guy’s claim that Christians generally don’t read the Bible. Yet we live in a time that it is becoming very important to know the Bible. It is not only to retain our own faith, but also to help our children, who will eventually venture outside the protective environment of their homes. They need to, ‘Be self-controlled and alert. [Their] enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 2 Unfortunately, many are slain. We need to answer the questions, so that the youth know the answers.

 

The next blog is: How to read the Book.

 

References

  1. Kindle location 1100 – 1165 of 5739
  2. 2 Peter 5:8
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