Fischer: Jesus Doesn’t Like Women in Charge

Fischer: Jesus Doesn’t Like Women in Charge October 18, 2012

Bryan Fischer gave another of his famous rants against the “spirit of feminism” in the church that has led Christians astray and made them think that women could actually have leadership positions in society. And it’s because Jesus said so, so you can take it up with him. So Michele Bachmann should resign immediately, right? Right?


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  • Jesus seems to have had several women prominently among his disciples. Most notable was Mary Magdalene, who was ranked as an apostle and evangelist in early traditions. It was actually Paul who had the gynophobia:

    “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” – 1 Corinthians 14:34-36

    “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:22-24

    “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – I Timothy 2:11-14

    I know they are terribly sexist, but I have these passages memorized for when a woman preacher starts sassing me about my lack of belief. Hey, if the Bible is inerrant, then they should remain silent and not presume to reach beyond their gender, correct?

  • Gregory, didn’t we learn yesterday that those parts must just be allegorical then? Sorry that your heathen mind cannot comprehend the complexity behind the allegory! 🙂

  • Ellie

    That Fischer is a misogynist and a bigot is not a surprise. That he ignores…oh…say…Deborah, is also not a surprise. His Biblical exegesis is on the same level as his bravery (castigating military heroes while never having worn the uniform of his country).

  • CJO

    Mary Magdalene, who was ranked as an apostle and evangelist in early traditions.

    In medieval traditions, she was regarded as “apostle to the apostles” as a recognition of her role in bringing the news of the empty tomb to the twe- er, eleven remaining male disciples of the gospels. But she was not generally regarded as an apostle in the early church (there’s little evidence any such person existed for one thing). The title “evangelist” is reserved for the four (anonymous) authors of the canonical gospels, named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by tradition.

    It was actually Paul who had the gynophobia

    None of those passages were likely written by Paul (the name given by tradition and convention to the person who authored the core of what are called the genuine Paulines). The passage from 1Cor 14 is probably a proto-orthodox interpolation dating to the mid-2nd c. Marcionite controversy. Ephesians in its entirety is what’s called “deutero-Pauline”: written after the Paulines in his name by later members of the churches he founded. The Pastorals, including 1Tim, are later (2nd c.) psuedepigraphical texts, again written in Paul’s name, but bearing little resemblance to what we can reconstruct of the views of the 1st c. Pauline churches.

    Which is all somewhat beside the point, I realize. No question these are early expressions of Christian misogyny, and they’re canonical, whatever the results of modern textual criticism. But it appears to me that Paul, himself, may have been somewhat more inclusive than those who came after, trading on his name.

  • busterggi

    Just because Jesus preferred sleeping with twelve men instead of any women doesn’t mean Jesus didn’t like women.

    He just didn’t like them ‘that’ way.

  • raven

    Episcopalians Elect First Woman to Head U.S. Church – PBS…/episcopal_06-19.html

    19 Jun 2006 – Bishops at the U.S. Episcopal Church’s governing General Convention meeting narrowly voted Katharine Jefferts Schori in as the new head of …

    The head of the US Episcopal church for the last 6 years has been Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

    I’m sure Fischer has nightmares about that.

    Oddly enough, Bishop Schori also has a science Ph.D. in oceanography. She is a three-fer in Fischer’s warped world, a female leader, a Fake Xian, and a scientist.

  • @CJO #4 – While Mary Magdalene was not actually described as an apostle and evangelist in mainstream writings until the 10th century, she was treated as one in orthodox writings as early as the 2nd century. She had a prominent place among gnostics — the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary, and the Pistis Sophia, to name the better known examples — but there are enough mentions of her importance in orthodox sources to illustrate that her Gnostic importance did not spring magically out of thin air. The notion that she was a prostitute and penitent is purely a medieval invention of the Western Church; in the East, she has always been portrayed as a chaste, proper and very wealthy woman who funded Jesus’ ministry.

    While “evangelist”, as a theological title, is reserved to the purported writers of the four canonical Gospels, it does have a more general use (it is Greek for “one who proclaims good news.”) There many stories, from a number of Christian and quasi-Christian traditions, which hold that Mary Magdalene preached and wrote, using her wealth, social status and family connections to bring Christianity to the ancient world’s rich and powerful. One of her earliest iconographies (since at least the 4th century) has her holding or otherwise depicted with a red egg, a reference to a miracle that supposedly happened while preaching to Emperor Tiberius at a banquet with Rome’s elite.

    Whether the man known as the Apostle Paul actually wrote the original letters that the Christian canon attribute to him is irrelevant: my point was to illustrate that Fischer is either lying or is willfully ignorant of his own scriptures (I’d buy either explanation) when he blames it all on Jesus.

  • Michael Heath

    B. Fischer’s recognition that the church must be bigoted towards women is mainstream evangelical thought. The real crux is how far this bigotry should be extended beyond the communal life of the church, e.g., the home, the workplace, and the public square.

    From Mr. Fischer’s primary presumption, that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, his point is in fact an excellent dispasstionate argument where I suspect he’s correctly observing that his opposition within the church is incoherent in its rebuttal of his argument. A rebuttal requires avoidance or denial of the very biblical premise underlying this biblical edict against women. Which is that women are fundamentally incapable of leading men because they’re more flawed where no room is provided in the Bible for the two sets to overlap in their moral goodness or general competency. So those inerrantist Christians who argue that bigotry within Christianity should extend only to the church and not to the public square avoid and deny the very premises asserted to deny women an equal place in the church.

    I think the objectively moral conclusion here is obvious, that adherence to biblical edicts demands denying the reality of how men and women compare on the relevant attributes. It also demands slavish fealty to the relevant passages demanding bigotry from all Christians against adult females. Bigotry which we already predominately observe amongst those conservative churches who don’t allow women the same equal rights males enjoy.

  • slc1

    It must truly gall Fischer that women now outnumber men in colleges and the the majority of individuals training to be physicians are now women.

  • eric

    The guy told his disciples to give away all they owned, abandon their families, and walk around preaching and surviving on charity. He said chastity was the best option, and marriage was only what you did if you couldn’t handle chastity. He made statements about the world ending in his lifetime.

    In one way, then, Fischer is right. Jesus probably didn’t want women in leadership positions in society – because he thought human society was going to end in the near future, and he wanted everyone – women included – to abandon it.

  • thalwen

    This is what happens when you don’t put the Bible in historical context. The letter in Ephesians was written to people in a very patriarchal Roman society where a man could kill his wife and children at his discretion because they were property. Where slaves could be treated in any way the master wanted to treat them. If you want to sell your religion or to make any changes in that society, you aren’t going to start by writing a letter to tell them to free the slaves, treat their wives equally, etc. If you take it in historical context, the letter fits perfectly into that society.

    Jesus never taught female submission, he never said anything about women being barred from leadership and teaching. Yet these supposed followers of Jesus latch on to ancient Roman culture instead.

    But by all means, let Fischer keep talking. Every misogynistic, racist, homophobic thing that spews out of his mouth is another nail in the fundamentalists’ coffin.

  • typecaster

    He said chastity was the best option, and marriage was only what you did if you couldn’t handle chastity.

    No, that’s Paul who said that it was better to marry than to burn. The sayings commonly attributed to Yeshua don’t speak much about sexual issues, and at least some of the apostles were supposed to have wives. At least, Paul mentions that several of them (including Peter) traveled with their wives, and that fact really seemed to put his panties in a twist.

  • cry4turtles

    It’s all about free access to the vagina without worrying about the attached female. Win-win for teh menz.