Sunday, 10 December 2006

Is the Bible sexist? 3

Part 1: In the beginning, they were equal in dignity in God's image.
Part 2: Perverted rebels - why we are sexist & object to sexism.
The Bible gives the only explanation for sexism and reason for our objecting to it - we're both from God, but we're perverted rebels. But

The Bible not only explains out sexism, it judges our sexism.
The trouble with trying to claim that the Bible’s sexist is that it turns the accusation back on us. You who claim that we’re equal in dignity – yes, we are – but you say that while cleverly manipulating the men in your project group so you can get one up on them. You say male chauvinism is wrong and that the Bible’s sexist; while you pressure your girlfriend into having sex. You say the Bible is anti-women while you spend between lectures with your girlfriends alternately slagging off men or ogling male stars like they’re meat rather than people. You claim to judge sexism but you do exactly the same thing!

You may not like what the Bible says, because it says we owe God honour and thanks, and points out how perverted we are; but it’s laughable to try to take the moral high ground and say the Bible’s sexist. The Bible judges our sexism – because God cares about his image, about us who bear it, and he takes our distortion, power abuse, manipulation, sexist jokes – he takes it all very seriously. God’s word explains and judges our sexism and God will judge sexism when Jesus comes back to make a new creation in which we’ll have perfect dignity restored in perfectly harmonious relationships, respecting each others roles and goodness from God.

Now all I’ve said from the Bible has been quite negative of us.
We thought we’d take the Bible to court and instead we find it’s the court order
of the judge, declaring us guilty of sexual perversion in our very core
attitudes and thoughts, and pronouncing the judgement.
So now let me tell you of the only non-sexist, unperverted person who ever lived: Jesus. As we all do, the leaders in his culture had a distorted view of the dignity and roles of men & women – they even said that a leader or teacher shouldn’t speak to a woman in the street: even his wife! Jesus rejected that distortion.
  • He initiated conversation with a woman and proceeded to tell her that he is the Messiah – something the Bible records that his male disciples didn’t understand till later!
  • He’s financially supported by some prominent female followers
  • He welcomes women to listen to his teaching like a disciple – when it was assumed that only men could understand God-stuff
  • When he rises from the dead, he arranges for women to be the first witnesses, the ones who tell the (still rather confused) male disciples
Jesus didn’t treat women in the perverted sexist way of his culture or of ours – he treated them as equal in dignity and different in role, as his Father had designed.

So how is that good news? Great, so maybe one man wasn’t sexist. But that one man, not declared guilty by God’s word, was judged anyway. Not for his perverted attitudes, his sexism because he had none, but for our perversion, our sexism. And to anyone who asks to be counted in him, he gives new life – life to be transformed from our sexism, selfishness, greed, shame, corruption, rebellion, to be like Jesus: loving and respecting God and each other.

The Bible is not sexist: rather, it explains our sexism, judges our sexism, and reveals the only answer to our sexism.

Now, I haven’t covered the particulars – I’ve given us the broad sweeps so that now you’ll know a bit more of the context in which to ask questions! But before I take questions [leave a blog comment if you want], I’d like to challenge you – don’t drink in assumptions about the Bible and dismiss it: read it and see. Because sexism, perverting God’s design in us, and judgement, is much too serious to dismiss on the basis of prejudice!

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