"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Doesn’t religion treat women terribly?

Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Under: Apologetics


One of the many reasons that I love Jesus is his radical approach to women. At a time when women were treated as possessions and had virtually no voice in public life, Jesus unequivocally saw women as equal in worth and value to men.

Luke 7: 36 - 50 records the account of Jesus eating at a Pharisee's house when a prostitute weeps over his feet, kisses them and pours perfume on them in an intimate gesture of devotion. It's hard to describe how shocked and horrified the Pharisee (an upright religious person) was. He thought that if Jesus knew who this woman was, he'd be appalled. Of course, Jesus knew exactly who she was and he used her example of extravagant worship to chastise the Pharisee for his hypocrisy whilst he sent the woman away with his blessing.

There are lots of other accounts of Jesus' interactions with women. I love this one where he talks to a Samaritan woman who has come to the well in the middle of the day because she's so ashamed of her wayward lifestyle and wants to avoid the local gossips. Jews weren't supposed to mix with Samaritans, and men of good reputation shouldn't be anywhere near women like her, and yet her encounter with Jesus changes her life... 

Another time, the Pharisees have dragged a woman who has been caught in adultery in front of Jesus demanding that she be stoned to death (interesting to note that there's no sign of the man). Jesus' response is to challenge them that the person who is without sin can cast the first stone. Sheepishly, they put down their stones and slope away one by one until only Jesus is left with the woman. He says to her ““Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”” John 8:10-11 NIV

Interestingly, the first witnesses at the tomb are women and they are entrusted with conveying the news of Jesus' resurrection (the very heart of the Christian message) to the disciples - and this at a time when a woman's testimony wasn't even valid in court!

The Bible teaches about the intrinsic worth and value of every human being, whatever their gender, social status, nationality, ability, intelligence and so on.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 NIV

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NIV

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

Individual Christians and churches may differ when defining the scope of men's and women's roles within the church and family, but all would agree that we are of equal spiritual worth to God and that he delights in us equally.

Further reading 

Websites

Jesus’ Extraordinary Treatment of Women (Franciscan Media)
Resources for women in ministry (Evangelical Alliance)
Are men and women equal in God’s eyes? (Got Questions)

Books

Is God Good for Women? by Michelle Guinness
Split Image by Anne Atkins
The Gender Agenda by Lis Goddard
Created or Constructed? by Elaine Storkey

(Linking does not imply endorsement)

In : Apologetics 


Tags: apologetics women jesus feminism 

Tags

"loving god' commandment relationship 40th activity acts addiction adoption aesop agapé android animation anxiety apologetics app apps argument aroma atheism audio ben folds bible bible characters bible narrative bible study bible trading cards big picture birthday blog body of christ book book review books busyness celebration celibacy celtic change charity chart child children christ christendom christmas chronicles church church history climate change coastguard colouring comedy commentary communications communion community compassion conference consumerism contemplation context conversation coronavirus covenant covid-19 creation creation care creativity cross crucifixtion cryptic culture cwtch daily prayer data day of the lord debate devotional diagram dictionary digital disagreement disciples discipleship discussion documentary easter ecclesiastes education elder brother emotion enemies environment environmentalism ethics evangelism event evidence ezekiel fable facebook fair trade faith faitheism father fear feast feeling fellowship feminism fiction film fireseeds flesh flourishing food foodbank free freedom freshers fun fundraiser funny galatians game gay gay wedding genealogies generosity gifts giving god god's presence good good news gospel gospreflection grace gratitude great commission green growth guitar hagar health heart heaven history hoarding holy biscuit holy spirit home homosexuality hope hopelessness hospitality house hub humanism humour hymn identity in individualism infographics inheritance insurance interviews ios jesus joel joke jonah joseph justice kindness kingdom kingdom of god law leaflet lectio divina legacy lennox lesbian levite lgbtq liberty library literal literature liturgy living out lockdown lord’s love magazine map mark mark's materialism maturity meal meditation meditations memory mental health ministry mission missionaries moody moral morality move murray music nation new year newcomers news non-fiction north east old testament online outreach palm sunday parable passover pentecost persecution perspective philosophy photo photography piano picture this thought podcast poem poetry political correctness pool night possessions post-christendom poverty power praise prayer prayer requests preaching presentation presents priest princess anne priorities prodigal son productivity project prophecy provision psalm publicity puzzle questions quiz quotes reading rebellion redemption reference reflection relationship relationships relativism religion remembrance repentance rescue resource resources rest resurrection retreat review reviews riches right and wrong royalty rules rush sabbath sacrifice same-sex attraction sarah scholarship science screens scripture scripture engagement secularism seed self esteem sermon sermon on the mount sex sharing faith shopping showcase significance silence simplicity sin slavery smell social social action social media society software solitude song songs sonship soularium speaking spiritual gifts spirituality sproul spurgeon stations of the cross stats stewardship stone story stott student student life students study suffering supper support support discovery talk tech technology temple tft thank you thanksgiving theology time tools top trumps trading cards training transformation translation treasure treasure hunt trivia true freedom trust unity update value video vine visual walk war wealth website websites wesley witnessing women words world worldview worry worship worth writing wrong wycliffe ywam

Living Out is registered UK Charity no. 1165572
The Baptist Union is Charity no. 249635