Biblical perspective on the treatment of women in light of #metoo
(For more on the story of our guest, Amy, see Episode 829: "What Happens When Life Gets Broken?") The world has changed on every level and in every way. As those things which were hidden and covered up in our society are being revealed we begin to see aspects of our social order in a different light. The very new social media cry of #metoo is a classic example of this. Never before has it been made so public, that so many men have taken advantage of so many women and the deep suffering many of these women continue to carry. This social conversation has prompted vital healing as well. Now some questions. Where does Christianity fall in the spectrum of these events? Many say the Bible promotes the disrespect and abuse of women – would that make Bible-believing Christians supporters of evil? With the good this movement brings, are there any dangers that come with it? What should we as Christians do?
Looking at what has been revealed through the #metoo movement, we see obvious tragic events and trends. Too many men (especially in positions of authority) seem to think it is just fine to objectify, harass and abuse women as part of their routine behavior. Well, it is not acceptable, it is not okay upon occasion and it is not even tolerable as part of some imagined “gray area” of judgment. The outcry against these things is needed and welcome. Nothing will ever change unless the agents of change are plainly recognized as credible catalysts for establishing better thinking and respectable behavior.
As Christians, we need to address the issues of this world through the eyes of biblical understanding and approaching #metoo is no different. Many would say the Bible is "anti-woman" and therefore should not be a credible source on these matters. To counter this perspective, let’s touch on Jesus' own behavior regarding the treatment of women. The biblical fact is that he treated women with equal respect to men. One quick example is his conversation with a Samaritan woman by a well in John 4:7-26. First, Jesus spoke to a woman who was a stranger and this was not common. Second, this woman he conversed with was a Samaritan, a social outcast. Others would have avoided her, but Jesus did not. Third, he spoke to her regarding spiritual truths. Jesus told her he was the Messiah! To this point, that was a truth he had not yet spoken to anyone! Jesus deeply respected women in the same way as he respected men, and as Christians we are obligated to do the same.
So is the #metoo movement a bandwagon we should be jumping on? That's a big question that requires a big answer, so please check out our July 30, 2018 podcast, “Is the Bible Behind the Times on #MeToo?” We discuss subtle behavioral patterns that can bring men down a road of inappropriateness, as well as what the "women not being over men" theme in the New Testament is all about. We also deal with the necessary cautions Christians should have in place with social media movements, including this one.
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