Posts Tagged ‘does Christianity denigrate women?’

Seth_AndrewsIf you haven’t thought it yourself, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard someone say it: women are second-class citizens in Christianity.

That’s certainly the opinion of Seth Andrews, who grew up in a Christian home and is now a leading atheist.

If Seth is right, then you certainly don’t want to give any serious thought to this faith.

So is he right? Rather than enduring the words of an old white guy like me, I’ll offer you the answers of three women who saw this graphic and are happy to explain why they are serious followers of Jesus of Nazareth (who mane people believe is the Son of God).

CHANTELLE OSBORNE: What If I said I didn’t feel belittled by Christianity and the Bible, but empowered? Empowered to redefine femininity from how society and the media too often define women: as sex objects who need to maintain a certain physical appearance to be accepted.

As a Christian, I am empowered to embrace my uniqueness – that God has created me different from men with a unique perspective.

Jesus’ trust and confidence in women was evident during Bible times and still is as Christian women throughout history have sometimes had the courage and conviction to accomplish things that men have not.

DEBBIE FLETCHER: If you look at how Jesus treated women, you will see that far from denigrating them, Jesus defied the prevailing views of the day by noticing, listening to and respecting women.

In the presence of Jesus, women were valued and given a voice. (See two accounts of Jesus’ life, called “Luke” and “John”). Furthermore, through Jesus’ sacrificial death on a Roman cross, men and women were brought together as equals.

An early Christian missionary named Paul wrote a letter to a church and said that because of what Jesus had accomplished through His death and resurrection, the distinction between classes of people had been removed.

“There is now neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote.

In fact, Paul tells men who follow Jesus that they should “go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting”. This is the farthest thing from being denigrated; this is being given a value beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

DORIS FLECK: Early in the Bible, we see that God created man and woman in His image. They are set as equals. Women play prominent roles throughout the Bible and even feature in Jesus’ genealogy, which is unusual because the culture of that time did not look highly on females.

When Jesus was physically on earth, women could not receive an education and had no voice in their marriage. Jewish men were not supposed to talk to a woman in public. If they did, it was considered a shame. But Jesus of Nazareth created controversy by swimming against the stream (for evidence, check out “John”, one of the accounts of His life). He gave great honour to women.

Author Philip Yancey comments, “For women and other oppressed people, Jesus turned upside down the accepted wisdom … Jesus violated the customs of his time in every encounter with women recorded in the four [original-source accounts of His life].”


So there you have it. Does this cause you to rethink your ideas about Christianity? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Bible hates women? 3.14Maybe you’ve heard someone talk along these lines. Maybe you’ve thought it yourself. But it is true?

I could blather on about how Christianity upholds women in a way that its critics simply don’t want to acknowledge. But why listen to me when you can read it from women who publicly acknowledge their faith in Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the son of God)?

I emailed this graphic, originally published on an atheist Internet community, to several women who follow Jesus. Here is a sample of their responses:

Jerri Menges:
God chose a woman to bring the Saviour of man into the world. In the Bible, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, not only because He loved Lazarus, but because He loved Mary and Martha (the sisters of Lazarus). He saw their hurt and He was compassionate for them, too.

In the Bible, I find my true worth: God knows who I am, He loves me just as I am, He even has plans for me, good plans.

Consider this: when God made Adam, He saw that Adam needed a helper, so he made woman (Eve). Man, His crown creation wasn’t complete. He needed a helper.

Margie Stevenson:
Google women of the Bible and read on!  God gave many women important gifts, talents and abilities to work for His good.

In my opinion, a women’s value to Christ is no different than a man’s value, at least not in how much we are valued. God made each of us, loves each of us and created two sexes for a very specific reason.

A woman’s value to Christ is that she complements a man….and therefore, completes the picture of God’s people on earth.  She is a child of God….this fact is the same for men and women, as different as we are.

Amber Anderson Skrabek:
The Bible advises men to appreciate and value their wives:

Proverbs 31:26: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:31: Honour her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise.

Given the time the Bible was written, it is not surprising that there are comparatively few women mentioned. However, there are several examples of strong, Godly women who are highlighted and their inclusion is not accidental.

One needs only to look at the story of Mary Magdalene to see how Jesus valued women.

In Jesus’ time … Jews and Romans saw women as “lesser” beings, but Jesus did not. Mary Magdalene was an early and devoted follower of Christ. She is mentioned several times as a prominent disciple, and she remained faithful to Jesus even as he was crucified.

When Jesus was taken down from the cross, it was Mary and other women, all devoted followers of Christ, who attended to his body. It was these women, and not a man, who were the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.

Again, none of this was accidental. Jesus chose these women to be his witnesses and rewarded their faithfulness.

So what do you think? Male or female, do these words persuade you to rethink your position on Jesus of Nazareth? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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