There can be no doubt about the tense political climate in the United States in recent years. This is particularly so this year given this is a presidential election year. The divide on social issues continues to widen and many people are increasingly bold in the expression of their views. What I find troubling are the statements from some about things that are contained in the Bible without any reference to Scripture supporting their assertions about women, slavery, homosexuality, etc. I recently saw a statement on Facebook that the teachings of the Bible cannot be moral unless one also accepts God’s endorsement of slavery. That suggestion is simply preposterous!
Theologians have been debating the meaning of Scripture for centuries. This debate will continue but it is a debate that centers on specific Scriptures and the various differing interpretations used to arrive at the understanding of those Scriptures. This is in contrast to the generalizations used by some people trying to score political points with a given constituency. But what does the Bible actually say about these and other issues?
In the coming weeks, I will be writing on some of these issues and attempt to present the biblical view as I understand it. I will provide specific references to Scripture and admit that, at times, a given passage may have more than one possible understanding. That, however, is a place from which a reasoned discussion can begin. Rather than making blanket statements with little or no basis on biblical truth, the Bible itself will be our guide.
As a starting point, I would like to take a look at what the Bible has to say about men and women. I often hear and read statements from people about how the Bible advocates poor treatment of women. Nothing could be further from the truth! Scripture in no way implies the subordination or inferiority or women. In fact, the Bible teaches that husbands and wives are heirs together of the grace of life and are mutually responsible to each other (Gen. 21:12; 1 Cor. 7:3-5; Eph. 5:21; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
What about kids? The Bible teaches that both parents are to exercise leadership in raising their children (Ex. 20:12; Lev. 19:3; Deut. 6:6-9, 21:18-21, 27:16; Prov. 1:8, 6:20; Eph. 6:1-4; Col. 3:20; 2 Tim. 1:5; Luke 2:51). Children do best when they are raised by a loving father and mother according to research that is actually based on a probability sample (kind of a big deal for scientific research!). Mom and dad need to be engaged in raising their children!
Joint heirs together. Mutually responsible to each other. Raising children together. I could easily go on! That sure doesn’t sound like a low view of women to me unless of course on is assuming a low view of men as well. The notion that the Bible teaches anything other than mutual love and respect of women is simply untrue.