Apologetics – Why Does God Oppress Women?
Welcome back and God bless you. In my studies on apologetics, I came across an evangelist who wrote that he has encountered a person that said the Bible is harmful and oppressive to women. Have you ever heard someone say, “the Bible is responsible for all the abuse and inequity and inequality of women today. It justifies the harmful treatment and oppression of women.”?
When evangelizing to strangers, the responses are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. We could encounter people of different religions, those of postmodernism, new age thinkers, non-believers, and people who are “experts” of the Bible yet haven’t read a page. The latter are a little easier, in my opinion, to apply apologetics. I say this because you can use Scripture.
Today, we are going to look at a response from a skeptic who we may discern as being a feminist that has a misinterpreted view of the Bible. Before we begin, I want to clarify that I have absolutely zero issues with feminists. Not only am I a man of color, I also have two daughters of my own. I agree with the equal rights of all people. Plus, it’s biblical.
(Skeptic) “So, if He is a loving God, then why does He condone oppression of women?”
(Christian) “Well ma’am, I am so sorry you feel that way. Can you please tell me where you got that information from that will cause you to feel this way about God’s holy Scriptures? Or is it just something you were taught?”
(Skeptic) “I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
(Christian) “Excuse me ma’am. I have a mother and am very interested in hearing more about your view on the Bible. It sounds quite interesting.”
(Skeptic) “Well, alright, sure. How about where it says not to allow a woman to speak in church and the strict rules on how we are to dress?!”
(Christian) “I’m familiar with the passages in Scripture that mentions that. If you give me just a few minutes of your precious time, I will try to clarify the things you mentioned and show you that God loves woman the same as He loves men, and actually created man and woman to be equal.”
(Skeptic) “Wow! Now I’m interested.”
(Christian) “Awesome! Referring to your statement, it was the Apostle Paul who said those things. If one was to actually pay attention to each word said, one would see that the Apostle Paul said “he” wouldn’t allow, and “he” would have women dress a certain way. You must understand who Paul’s audience was and the time-period. When Paul was saying these things, He was talking to Gentiles, non-Jewish people, who had recently become believers of Christ. These people used to practice paganism, temple prostitution, and all sorts of sexual immorality within their temples during worship and teachings of their gods. So, after they converted, many of their old habits where seeping into what we know today as the church. Many of the women in attendance, during “service” were women of the night and dressed very provocatively. During the services, majority of them sat further away from the speaker than the men and when they could not hear they would shout in response asking what was being said. Paul had to come in and set some strict rules, for their sake. Jewish men and women did not act this way in their temples nor did followers of the Way.”
(Skeptic) “Hmm, that’s very interesting. I did not know that.”
(Christian) “Have you heard of Debra? She was a judge over the entire nation of God’s people…women and men. Judges were appointed by God Himself and governed His people before He agreed to give the Israelites an earthly king. Debra was so revered that the most powerful general of her time refused to go to battle against a certain enemy unless she went with him. She went, received the glory from battle, and had songs written of her victory and heroism. Additionally, the New Testament speaks of an incident that involved a woman caught in the act of adultery with a married man. A mob of Jewish leaders and other men drug the woman out into the street with the intentions of stoning her to death, without the man she was with. Their intentions were to stone her to death according to their law. When they brought her in front of Jesus, to see what He has to say about the matter, He did not condemn her. Instead, Jesus said that those without sin could cast the 1st stone. One by one, the men dropped their stones and walked away. He embraced her, forgave her, told her to sin no more, and she left without harm. Does that sound like the Bible condones the oppression or harming of women?”
(Skeptic) “No, it does not. Wow, I had no idea.”
(Christian) “There are many stories like that throughout the Bible. If you’re interested, I can share more and I would like to suggest that you read the Bible for yourself to see these wonderful acts done by our God and Savior, who promotes love and equality.”
From here, the door may be open to continue your presentation of the Gospel. If lead by the Holy Spirit, toss the net out. Tailor it a little more towards the individual by using words such as equality, love, and forgiveness.
Nowhere in Scripture can we find that God created males (a man) to rule over the Earth by himself and that women, along with all the animals that were created by God, are lesser beings and are to be subdued by the male (a man).
“So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God, He created them; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground (Genesis 1:27-28 [NLT]).”
May our loving God and Savior use you as a beacon of hope and love, being witnesses of His grace and love. May He bless you as you share with others the truths of Him. Amen – Kevin