Women, Injustice, and the Bible: Women-Injustice#1; Justice#12

Women, Injustice, and the Bible: Women-Injustice#1; Justice#12 March 30, 2021

I suspect that most everyone would agree that women face unfair treatment on a global scale. I also suspect that when most men are asked to consider the injustices that women face, they will think of matters such as wage discrimination.

Well, how about if I were to suggest that injustice towards women presents us with some of the greatest issues of injustice in the world?[1]

The fact is: Women are far more impacted by the global practices of sex-selective abortions and infanticide, forced marriages, being sold into sex-trafficking, being denied access to education, and by a global culture that promotes women as subordinate to men and often as objects.

As we will explore over the next several posts, injustices against women are not merely a global issue but are a domestic issue and a church issue.

What is almost equally tragic is the lack of concern among many evangelicals. The conviction of many that the Bible teaches the subordination of women, along with the fear that women’s rights are part of a larger liberal feminist agenda, leads many to minimize and even disregard altogether injustices against women.

A brief word about the Bible and women

Although I will address the Bible and women in future posts, I would like to note here that the very nature of the gospel is to affirm that Christ has come to restore and redeem His creation. One of the results of this restoration is that:

“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” (Gal 3:28).

In other words, as we are about to affirm in the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, the New Creation has begun. After all, Jesus is the “first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Cor 15:20). This means, as I will develop more in future posts, if the resurrection of Christ inaugurates the new creation, and if that new creation is the redemption and restoration of all creation, then should we not begin to implement in the present such features of the new creation?

 

Injustices towards women

I suppose that if we were to ask most men, “what are some of the greatest issues of injustice in the world today?”crimes against women would not make many lists.

Yet, Nicole Kidman claims that injustices against women are “one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.”[2]

The fact that many men do not consider injustices towards women (which we often refer to by means of the softer term: “discrimination”) as serious is symptomatic of the problem.

“So, they are paid less than men. Sure, that is wrong, but there are certainly more pressing issues in this world.”

Actually, I am not sure there are more pressing issues in this world. Allow me to explain.

First, the fact is that any form of injustice is often a slippery slope. Once we allow a “minor” injustice to proceed unchecked, who knows where it may lead?

Second, injustice is injustice. As Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”[3]

This is precisely what the apostle Paul is stating when he affirms: “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it” (1 Cor 12:26). In fact, Paul, as an analysis of 1 Corinthians 11-14 confirms, was talking about the suffering of women and the poor![4]

Third, wage discrimination against women is simply an indicator of an overall conviction that women are lesser than men. This conviction leads to far more significant injustices and even at times has genocidal implications.

 

Evangelicals and injustice towards women

It is somewhat ironic, and maybe tragically ironic, that evangelicals are often known for their opposition to abortion, yet, oddly, many of these same evangelicals are largely ignorant and mostly silent when it comes to injustices against women.

But what if we were to note that globally abortions are far more likely to occur because the child is found to be a girl? Or, that millions more females than males are exposed to death after birth? Or, that females are subject to slavery and sexual abuse at a significantly higher rate than males?

Abortions, infanticide, slavery, and sex-trafficking are indications of a pandemic afflicting hundreds of millions of females around the world.

When we start to recognize that injustices towards women directly affect over half of the world’s population, only then may we begin to realize that gender injustice may well be considered one of the greatest humanitarian issues in the world today?[5]

My goal over the next several posts is hopefully to change your perceptions regarding injustices against women as well as to sound an alarm that this is a serious problem both in the world and in the church. I will address the questions pertaining to the Bible and women as well.

I began this series of posts on justice several months ago by saying, “injustice, maybe I am the problem.” Now I wish to ask you: “injustice, are you a part of the problem?”

 

[1] I intend over the next number of posts to address the issues of women and justice. Then, in future posts, I will circle back to the Bible and gender: (Does the Bible teach that women are to be subordinate to men?)

[2] Cited by Storkey, Scars Across Humanity (p. 4). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition. No source provided.

[3] https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html. Last accessed 9-28-20.

[4] I will address 1 Cor 11-14 in a future post.

[5] The UN lists “Gender Equality” among a list of global justice issues. The list does not place a priority on one over/against another. https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/global-issues-overview/. last accessed 9-30-20.


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