Isnt Christianity Demeaning To Women
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Isnt Christianity Demeaning To Women

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This presentations refutes the notion that Christianity is demeaning to women

This presentations refutes the notion that Christianity is demeaning to women

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • Your comments make me wonder if you even went through the presentation? If you did, what did/do you object to? And when you say you think 'it' isn't believable, what is it you're referring to? Christianity? God? Religion? If God, then see my presentations on the rationality of God and Christianity here: http://www.slideshare.net/schumacr/six-steps-step-3a-30-second-proof-for-god and http://www.slideshare.net/schumacr/six-steps-step-3b-three-proofs-for-god.

    Lastly, yep I'm a man. What's your point? It's a logical fallacy to say that a man can't accurately describe something or teach a truth that affects women.
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Isnt Christianity Demeaning To Women Isnt Christianity Demeaning To Women Presentation Transcript

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  • THE QUESTION: The Bible seems to really devalue women and portrays them as inferior to men. How can Christianity be something worth following if it’s so demeaning to women?
  • Study: 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Inspires Women to Leave Churches Tuesday, August 26, 2008 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. —  More than 50,000 women a year have deserted their congregations over the past two decades because they feel church is not relevant to their lives, according to a British academic study — and shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" have played a role in the exodus. The research, published in a new book called "Women and Religion in the West," says TV shows like "Buffy" offer women an appealing message of female empowerment while the old-fashioned attitudes and hierarchies of churches are causing a steep decline in the number of female worshippers. "In short, women are abandoning the church," writes Kristin Aune, a sociologist at the University of Derby. "Because of its focus on female empowerment, young women are attracted by [the pagan religion] Wicca, popularized by the TV series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ "Young women tend to express egalitarian values and dislike the traditionalism and hierarchies they imagine are integral to the church.“ Her research cites an English Church census which found that more than a million women worshippers have left churches since 1989, and that women have been leaving churches at twice the rate of men.
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    • Women are equal to men in nature
      • Gen 1:27 – both created in God’s image
    • Man and woman’s life are viewed equal
      • “ He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:15,17)
      • "If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished." (Exodus 21:28)
    • Women and men are equal in redemptive status
      • "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)
    • Men and women are equal in spiritual gifting (1 Cor. 12:1-10)
      • Philip’s daughters were prophetesses (Acts 21:29)
      • So was Miriam, Isaiah’s wife (Is. 8:3), and Huldah (2 Kings 22:13-20). Priscilla taught Apollos (Acts 18:26)
    • Women are different in function from men
      • Functions do not make one superior or inferior
  • “ Men stand superior to women….But those whose perverseness ye fear, admonish them and remove them into bedchambers and beat them; but if they submit to you then do not seek a way against them” – Sura 4:34 In the spring of 2007, a 19-year old Muslim girl was abducted in Saudi Arabia, taken to a nearby farm, and repeatedly raped by a gang of men who ended up posting part of their crime on the internet. Ultimately, five men were arrested for the crime and received sentences from Islamic judges that ranged from 10 months to five years. However, the same judges also handed down a sentence of 90 lashes for the rape victim who, according to Islamic law, was found guilty of riding in a car with a man who was not her spouse. Unrelated men and women are forbidden from interacting in public in Saudi Arabia, which strictly enforces Islamic Sharia law. The judges told the girl she was “lucky” that she did not also receive jail time for her “crime”. Once home, the girl was then beaten by her younger brother for bringing shame on the family
    • Athenian woman not allowed to leave her house unless she was accompanied by husband or male escort
    • Could not eat with husband and male guests in the house
    • Greek mistresses ( hetaera ) were common and actually had more freedom than the wife
    • Could not speak in public
    • Aristotle “Silence gives grace to woman” (Politics 1.1260a)
    • Greek myth of Pandora’s Box that blamed women for bringing evil into the world
    • Infanticide was much higher for baby girls than boys – one Greek historian says that a female child was “an economic liability, a social burden”
    • Medea in Euripides’ play said “Surely, of all creatures that have life and wit, we women are of all unhappiest” (Medea 231-32)
    • No polygamy though…
    • Romans committed major infanticide on girl babies
    • Women couldn’t be present at meals with husbands and guests
    • Roman law of manus: which placed wife under absolute control of husband along with all her possessions; could not inherit property
    • Husband could divorce his wife if she went out in public without a veil but wife could never divorce the husband
    • Man could execute his married daughter if she committed adultery in his or husband’s house
    • Husband could kill his wife for non-adulterous offense, with consent of an extended family tribunal
    • Women could not speak in court
    • Roman philosopher Seneca saw human anger as a ‘womanish and childish trait’
    • No polygamy though…
    • A woman could not testify in court
    • Men practiced polygamy. Josephus – “It is the ancient practice among us to have many wives at the same time.” (Jewish Antiquities 17.1, 2, 15)
    • Women were not spoken to in public. “He who talks with a woman [in public] brings evil upon himself” (Aboth 1.5)
    • One of the most widely cited rabbinic sayings from the early Mishnaic period that reflects an inferior position of women was included in a threefold daily prayer: “Praised be God that he has not created me a gentile! Praised be God that he has not created me a woman! Praised be God that he has not created me an ignoramus! (Tosephta Berakoth 7:18).
    • Selected Old Testament Facts:
    • Women could be a Nazirite (Num. 6:2); greatest spiritual vow
    • Women had inheritance rights (Num. 36:1-12)
        • A woman led Israel: Deborah (Judges 4:4-7)
        • Joel said that in the latter days, “your sons and daughters will prophesy…Even on my male and female servants” (Joel 2:28,29)
        • And of course, the Proverbs 31 woman who has her own servants, rises early and goes to bed late due to all her activities, is a successful entrepreneur (real estate investor, spins off profits into other businesses such as vineyards, produces her own clothing and accessories for sale,), a philanthropist, has married well (husband sitting at the gate – a mark of citywide leadership), and is respected by her children. Her life is such that she “Smiles at the future”.
  • The line of God is the Seed of the Woman (not man)… Two Lines Believers adopted into Unbelievers remain Seed of the Woman Seed of the Serpent
  • Selected New Testament Facts: Jesus and the woman of Samaria: " There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” … Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”… "At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman…” (John 4:7-10, 27)
    • In Luke 15, Jesus likens God to a woman, something no other male teacher/rabbi would have ever done (woman and lost coin)
    • Women were granted the privilege of being the first eyewitnesses of the resurrection (the most important event in all of human history)
    • After the legalization of Christianity in AD 313, the Emperor Valentinian I repealed the thousand-year old patria potestas ; the pagan husband had lost the power of life and death over his family, including his wife
    • “ The conversion of the Roman world to Christianity [brought] a great change in woman’s status.” J. Balsdon, Roman Women: Their History and Habits
    • In Greece and Rome, a husband could divorce his wife at any time; it was not uncommon for a man to have had 30 marriages
    • Jesus spoke of monogamy (Luke 14:26), as did Paul (1 Tim 3:1-2); not polygamy
    • In stark contrast to easy divorce, Jesus and Paul taught marriage was life-long:
      • "He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way." (Matthew 19:8)
      • "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,…So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;" (Ephesians 5:25,28)
      • "But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife." (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
    • Hindu custom in India of suttee (or sati ): widow burning
    • Hindu saying: “If her husband is happy, she should be happy; if he is sad, she should be sad; and if he is dead, she should also die.”
    • If the widow resisted, she would often be put there by force by her own sons
    • If the widow managed to escape, she became a complete outcast; only allowed one meal per day
    • To make matters worse, the practice of child brides factored in. Girls 12 of age or so were given to older men of grandfather age to be their wife. As these old men died, the young girls died too (in their teens), with some being buried alive
    • Jesus had compassion on Widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-15)
    • Chided Pharisees for taking advantage of widows (Mark 12:40)
    • Commended widow of two mites (Luke 21:2-3)
    • Widows fed by the Church (Acts 6:1)
    • Paul urged his readers to honor widows (1 Tim 5:3-4)
    • James says pure religion is looking after widows (James 1:27)
    • Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, wrote to Polycarp “Let not the widows be neglected. Be thou, after the Lord, their protector and friend.”
    • Women not traditionally well-schooled (if at all) in ancient Greece and Rome
    • Women were not thought worthy to be taught the Hebrew Law with one rabbi stating, “Let the words of the Law [Torah] be burned rather than committed to a woman…If a man teaches his daughter the Law, it is as though he taught her lechery”
    • Christianity, by contrast, shows Jesus teaching Mary and Martha – (Luke 10:38-42); Mary violated the cultural mores but so did Jesus, and He commended Mary
    • Jesus taught Martha the words only taught once in all 4 gospels:"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies," (John 11:25)
    • Jesus evidently had women disciples; Luke 8:1-3:" Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.”
    • "Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.” Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”" (Mark 3:31-35; cf. Matt. 12:46-50) . In Middle Eastern culture, it would have been quite offensive to point to a male-only crowd of disciples and use female imagery to describe them. Therefore the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Jesus, a Jewish rabbi, was teaching women which, as already had been mentioned, was not practiced and looked down upon by other male religious leaders.
    • Women following Him at the cross: "There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem." (Mark 15:40-41)
    • The most ardent display of female devotion to Jesus is found in Mark 15:40-47;7 and 16:1-11. In chapter 15, women are clearly identified as having followed and ministered to Jesus and boldly stand near His cross.
    • Paul singles out Apphia as a leader in a house church (Philemon 2)
    • Paul calls out Nympha who had a church in her house (Col. 4:15)
    • Paul records that Priscilla and Aquila (she is always mentioned first); had house church (1 Cor. 16:19)
    • Paul calls Priscilla a “fellow worker” (Rom 16:3)
    • In Romans 16:1-2, Paul calls Phoebe a deacon/deaconess (diakonos). The term is used in the masculine form, so ‘deacon’ is a good rendering
    • Commentators believe that Phoebe took the letter to the Romans from Corinth a distance of 400 miles. The early church father Origen (not woman friendly) saw her having apostolic authority
    • Paul says in Philippians 4:2-3 that Euodia and Syntyche are “fellow workers”
    • It was estimated that the early church was about 60% female. Celsus, the 2nd century pagan critic of Christianity mocked it saying it was a faith that attracted women (Origen, Origen against Celsus )
    • Christian women refused to honor the Roman gods of their husbands; Tertullian writing in the early third century, describes the anger of such Roman husbands whose wives became Christians
    • Speaks to women not obeying their husbands in everything; God came first.
    • Historian W. Lecky says “In the ages of persecution female figures occupy many of the foremost places and ranks of martyrdom.”
    • Leopold Zscharnack says “Christendom dare not forget that it was primarily the female sex that for the greater part brought about its rapid growth. It was the evangelistic zeal of women in the early years of the church, and later, which won the weak and the mighty.”
    • Clement of Alexandria
      • Taught every woman should blush because she is a woman
    • Augustine
      • Thought a woman’s image was inferior to a man’s (On the Trinity, 12.10)
    • Thomas Aquinas
      • Thought image of God was different in man than woman (Summa 1a, 93.5)
    • Steps to Interpretation:
    • Understand the functional hierarchy of the Trinity
    • Understand the Fall and its effects
    • Understand the historical, cultural, and permanent nature of the verses
  • Father Son Spirit Is not Is not Is not God God The personal, infinite and Triune God is one God comprised of three distinct Persons who are of the same essence, but different from one Another, with all being involved in a loving relationship. The Father sent the Son (John 5:23, 5:36-37, 6:44, more…), the Father and Son sent/give the Spirit (John 3:34, John 14:16, John 15:26,1 Pet. 1:12 ). All members of the Trinity are equal in essence, but they differ in function/authority and submission
  • "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate…."And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband , And he will rule over you .” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife , and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life." (Genesis 3:15-17)
    • First time man followed woman’s spiritual leading
    • Part of woman’s curse was for her to be ruled over
        • “ desire” – cf. Gen. 4:7. Allen Ross – “the story portrays a characteristics of human nature – the woman at her worst would be a nemesis to the man, and the man at his worst would dominate the woman.”
        • Situation corrupted by sin, but still God’s design
  • " Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman." (1 Corinthians 7:1)
    • Paul responding to one of two questions put to him by the Corinthians
    • Early church father Origen first to show that Paul is quoting their statement back to them (ESV version does this; The Message: “Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations?”)
    • Corinthians were doing a 180 from their former carnal practices and saying they should fully abstain from any relations
        • Would not be teaching against marriage as he condemns those who forbid marriage in 1 Tim. 4:1-3
        • Paul says in view of the present “distress” it would be better to be single. 10 years after this letter, Nero severely persecuted Christians
        • Jesus did teach that there are those who make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:12); marriage is not mandatory
  • "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved…" (1 Corinthians 11:3-5)
    • Functional hierarchy as found in Trinity
        • Understand cultural background; veils used in that day for women. The woman put the regular shawl over her head, and this covering symbolized her submission and purity. For the Christian women in the church to appear in public without the covering, let alone to pray and share the Word, was both daring and blasphemous. Corinthian women were evidently flexing their new found freedom in excess
    • Principle is that a woman should show respect for her husband in whatever cultural setting she finds herself
    • In 1 Tim. 2:9-10, Paul repeats commands for woman’s external appearance and does not include head coverings
    • An identifying mark of temple prostitutes was their shaved head; Paul asking for the ladies to not be linked to them (e.g. tattoos in the Old Testament)
    • Principle behind all of this is what’s key – not the practice of the particular culture
    • Long hair for women can be in place “instead of “ a head covering
  • "The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church." (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
    • Cannot mean women can’t speak in church because Paul already gave instructions for women on how to prophesy and pray in the church (1 Cor. 11:5;13)
        • This text found in the “corrective” texts of 1 Cor.; certain abuses were occurring and Paul was correcting matters of disorder and confusion in public worship - how to speak in tongues and prophesy with distinct instructions for others on when to keep “silent” during these practices. The direct context is speaking in tongues
        • Many commentators believe that women were either disrupting a church service with questions or exercising the tongues gift in a manner that was disorderly
        • What were unmarried women to do? Likely counsel with the elders
        • Law being appealed to is likely Gen. 3:16
        • Some think Paul is quoting back to them a flawed position as the KJV and ASV begin vs. 36 with “What?” (single letter participle)
  • " Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24; cf. Col. 3:18, Titus 2:5, 1 Pet. 3:1)
        • Paul does not address single women, widows, or the general relationship between men and women in these passages; they concern the Christian family
        • Previous verses (vs. 21) make it clear that we are to be subject to one another . In ancient culture, only the subordinate ones were given instruction; here, all are given Godly mandates. Children are told to respect both parents, not just the man.
        • Paul does not instruct the husband to tell his wife to submit; she is called to do so on her own
    • Appeal again to the nature of God and the functional order found in the Trinity
        • Christ was/is subject to the Father but is not inferior to Him; He simply holds a different office
        • Men commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church (sacrificially), which was a huge cultural earthquake for men back then
        • Peter specifically says a husband’s prayers will be hindered if they do not show honor to their wives (1 Pet. 3:7)
        • The New Testament redefines ‘headship’ in light of the way Christ is the head Servant of the Church
  • "A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
        • Context and setting is one of false teachings in the church. Some (Kaiser, etc.) say the instruction deals only with false teaching, but that interpretation seems implausible: "As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines…For some men , straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion," (1 Timothy 1:3,6; “women” not included. Different Greek word used in 2:1,4)
        • Receiving instruction is a positive thing as most women back in the first century were not instructed or educated well in spiritual matters. Imperative form implies they should be taught
    • Submissiveness likely refers to the elders of the church who were the guardians of doctrinal purity
        • Based on the order of creation, so not just cultural (1 Tim. 2:13-14); may also flow from Adam being spiritually lead by Eve
        • Seems to mean what it says – women are not to be instructional teachers/pastors in the congregation over men; the elders who are/were men were to lead. Other forms of teaching are fine (Acts 18:26, Tit. 2:3-4)
        • "It is generally assumed that Paul is the author of a Christianity of female subordination. But more recent studies have shown that the historical Paul in fact continued most of the assumptions and practices of early charismatic, inclusive Christianity. Indeed, most of the New Testament evidence that women functioned as local leaders, as well as traveling evangelists, is to be found in the Pauline letters. Paul addresses almost an equal number of women along with men (sixteen women and eighteen men) in his greetings to Church leaders in Romans 16. He mentions two women, Euodia and Syntche, as having preached the gospel "with Barnabas and me" in Philippians 4:2-3. He addresses a woman name Junia by the title of "apostle," and constantly refers to the husband and wife team, Priscilla and Aquila, as "Church leaders," usually naming Priscilla first. He also speaks of the prominent woman Phoebe by the title of both "deacon" and "prostasis" or leader, of her community.”
        • - Rosemary Reuther (a very outspoken feminist
        • theologian) who is drawing upon Elizabeth Fiorenza
        • (a very outspoken feminist theologian). Neither
        • conservative by any means.
  • Women (and men) may walk away from Christianity because they think (wrongly) it de-values women. But, consider: When a woman walks away from Christianity, she's embracing something else whether she externally acknowledges it or not. And if she leaves Christianity / God and embraces atheism, she - while leaving Christianity because she says she's not valued - has just embraced a worldview that values nothing. Matter, time, and chance don't produce inalienable human rights and dignity; only the strong survive in naturalism and evolution.
        • Christianity, far from being demeaning to women, elevated women’s status and unveiled the truth about women: they are created in the image of God and equal with men in terms of dignity, worth, ability, and redemptive status. In keeping with the nature of God, there is an order and functional hierarchy in the family and Church, where men and women do have different ‘offices’, but there is nothing inferior about the role women play.
  •