It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s

The Bible’s teachings on when sexual relations may occur between a man and a woman are in direct conflict with the American Sexual Consent ideology that sadly even many Christians believe in. Some Christians are simply ignorant about what the Bible says regarding when sexual relations may occur.  Other Christians actually know what the Bible says about when sexual relations may occur and they choose to ignore such passages or explain them away as being irrelevant for our society.

If you are a Christian who knows what the Bible says about when sexual relations may occur between a man and woman and choose to ignore it or explain it away this article may do little to change your mind.  I pray that you will repent – but it is in God’s hands and not mine.

But my primary focus in this article is to talk to Christians, especially young Christians, who have grown up in Churches that have abandoned the teachings of the Bible.  I hope that when you are exposed to the teachings of God’s Word regarding sexual relations between a man and a woman you will open your heart and mind to what God has to say and let it change your life.

It is interesting to watch the civil war in feminism caused by the MeToo movement play itself out in feminist circles. On one side we have feminists like Christina Cauterucci at Slate.com arguing that MeToo has made “little progress” since its inception and much more needs to be done.  But on the other side we have feminist writers like Daphne Merkin at the New York Times that admit to having “misgivings” about the MeToo movement and its impact on male female relationships and especially on things like flirting and how men and women enter into sexual relationships with one another.

Daphne Merkin makes the following statement in her article entitled “Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.”:

“What happened to women’s agency? That’s what I find myself wondering as I hear story after story of adult women who helplessly acquiesce to sexual demands. I find it especially curious given that a majority of women I know have been in situations in which men have come on to them — at work or otherwise. They have routinely said, “I’m not interested” or “Get your hands off me right now.” And they’ve taken the risk that comes with it.

The fact that such unwelcome advances persist, and often in the office, is, yes, evidence of sexism and the abusive power of the patriarchy. But I don’t believe that scattershot, life-destroying denunciations are the way to upend it. In our current climate, to be accused is to be convicted. Due process is nowhere to be found.

And what exactly are men being accused of? What is the difference between harassment and assault and “inappropriate conduct”? There is a disturbing lack of clarity about the terms being thrown around and a lack of distinction regarding what the spectrum of objectionable behavior really is. Shouldn’t sexual harassment, for instance, imply a degree of hostility? Is kissing someone in affection, however inappropriately, or showing someone a photo of a nude male torso necessarily predatory behavior?

I think this confusion reflects a deeper ambivalence about how we want and expect people to behave. Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy and, frankly, nonconsensual — one person, typically the man, bites the bullet by expressing interest in the other, typically the woman — whether it happens at work or at a bar. Some are now suggesting that come-ons need to be constricted to a repressive degree. Asking for oral consent before proceeding with a sexual advance seems both innately clumsy and retrograde, like going back to the childhood game of “Mother, May I?” We are witnessing the re-moralization of sex, not via the Judeo-Christian ethos but via a legalistic, corporate consensus.”

While Daphne Merkin raises many good points in the above article the point I wanted to zoom in on is her statement that Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy….

And why is expressing sexual interest a “messy” endeavor today? I submit to you the reason for the messiness of expressing sexual interest lies squarely at the feet of the Free Love movement in America that begin in the mid-19th century as a theory that eventually became an American cultural reality in the 1960s’.

The majority of this article will be spent showing how the whole “sexual consent” philosophy in America finds its roots in rebellion against God.  I will also show how it directly conflicts with the Biblical view of how men and women are to enter into sexual relations with one another.  At the end of this article I will show why God’s appointed way for men and women to express sexual interest in one another is not “messy” like methods of showing sexual interest are today. In fact God’s way in this regard is far less complicated.

The Roots of “Sexual Consent” ideology and the Free Love Movement in America

One of the founding fathers of Feminism as well as the Sexual Consent and Free Love ideologies in America was a man named Moses Harman (1830-1910).

William Lemore West penned an article entitled “The Moses Harman Story” for the Kansas Historical Society on Mr. Harman’s life and his accomplishments.

In that article he states of Moses Harman that he “not only denounced all forms of government and religion, but added a new dimension in reform by advocating that women be freed from sexual slavery by abolishing the institution of marriage. Harman did not develop these views until comparatively late in his life.”

West also alludes to Harman’s name change on the publication he would later gain fame for:

“The publication changed title again in 1883. Harman maintained that subscribers objected to the term “Kansas” in the paper’s title because the name was local in character. His subscribers also opposed the term “liberal” since so many newspapers and journals used the term in their titles. For these reasons he changed the publication’s title to Lucifer the Light Bearer (hereafter called Lucifer). The title was selected, stated Harman, because it expressed the paper’s mission. Lucifer, the name given the morning star by the people of the ancient world, served as the symbol of the publication and represented the ushering in of a new day. He declared that freethinkers had sought to redeem and glorify the name Lucifer while theologians cursed him as the prince of the fallen angels. Harman suggested that Lucifer would take on the role of an educator. “The god of the Bible doomed mankind to perpetual ignorance,” wrote Harman, “and [people] would never have known Good from Evil if Lucifer had not told them how to become as wise as the gods themselves.”

West shows us Harman’s defining belief in “equal freedom”:

“”Yes, I believe in Freedom — equal freedom. I want no freedom for myself that all others may not equally enjoy. Freedom that is not equal is not freedom. It is, or may easily become, invasion, and invasion is the denial or the death of freedom. The Spencerian formula — ‘Each has the right to do as he pleases so long as he does not invade the equal right of others,’ tells what freedom means. It is equivalent to saying that liberty, wedded to responsibility for one’s acts, is the true and only basis of good conduct, or of morality.” — From a “Free Man’s Creed,” by Moses Harman. The picture and quotation were copied from the Memorial of Moses Harman.”

West shows Harman’s animosity toward religion and “particularly Christianity”:

“Religion, particularly Christianity, came under heavy verbal attack by Harman. He contended that religion was based on ignorance of nature’s methods and fear of the unseen powers that were supposedly warring over human destiny. Religion was dangerous, declared Harman, because “fear begets hate, and hate results in oppression, war, and bloodshed.” [55] Later he suggested:

Cling not to the cross of a dead god for help in time of trouble, but stand erect like a man and resolutely meet the consequences of your acts, whatever they may be. . . . Every man [and woman] must be his own physician, his own priest, his own god and savior, if he is ever healed, purified, and saved. [56]”

West speaks to Harman’s hatred of the institution of marriage below:

“Harman opposed the institution of marriage because he considered it an unequal yoke. [65] He maintained that marital rights were limited to the rights of the husband, with the wife being but a slave to her master husband. [66] The promises of marriage to “love, obey, and honor,” said Harman, were immoral because there was no reasonable assurance that the two persons would be able to carry out the promises. [67] Love and freedom were supposedly destroyed by marriage. “If love survives marriage,” alleged Harman, “it is not because of it but in spite of it.” [68]”

West presents Harman’s vision of a “rational” family:

“He believed that the abolition of marriage would result in the birth of fewer children since children would be welcomed and cared for by mutual affection. He looked forward to the emergence of a new “rational” family where each member would “drop to his place like stones in an arch when artificial props are removed.” [72] This new family would be under the domination of the mother. [73]”

West shows Harman’s view that women needed financial independence from men:

“On another occasion he stressed that women would never have political independence until they earned enough money to command respect. This was not possible, said Harman, because women spend most of their good years bearing and rearing children. [75]”

David S. D’Amato in his article “Free Love: Moses Harman” for Libertarianism.org writes that Harman’s views formed the basis of a “lexicon” for the values that Americans now hold today:

“Moses Harman was a dauntless and pioneering early voice for feminism, sexual and reproductive freedoms, and free expression. His periodical Lucifer was arguably the most important publication of the free love movement, so important a part of latter nineteenth century American radicalism. Harman’s work anticipates much of a lexicon we now take for granted in the public conversation on women’s rights and family planning.

Fighting censorship and the oppression of women, Harman finds victory today through the strength of his ideas and their legacy, even if he often lost to the forces of reaction and authority in his own time. Harman thus offers a glimmer of hope to libertarians, to a group that looks forward to a freer and more tolerant society, yet realizes that it likely waits far off, beyond the horizon. For while Harman was widely considered an insane old crank in his lifetime, he is vindicated in the present.

 

Moses Harman And the Invention of Marital Rape

Wendy McElroy wrote an article for Foxnews.com entitled “Spousal Rape Case Sparks Old Debate” arguing against the historical marital rape exception that has existed in Western law until recent decades. In this article she alludes to who was responsible for first nationwide discussion of the possibility of marital rape:

“Western jurisprudence has a long tradition of absolving husbands from the possibility of rape. The first significant discussion in America of forced sex within marriage being categorized as rape, and of the need for a legal remedy, may well have been “The Markland Letter,” which was published in 1887 in a Kansas newspaper.

The letter read, “About a year ago F——— gave birth to a baby, and was severely torn by the instruments in incompetent hands. She has gone through three operations and all failed…last night when her husband came down, forced himself into her bed, and the stitches were torn from her healing flesh, leaving her in worse condition than ever...

The Markland letter became nationally notorious largely because its graphic description of violence left little doubt that the husband was a rapist despite the law.”

 

The “Kansas newspaper” she alludes to was Moses Harman’s “Lucifer the Light Bearer”.

Merril D. Smith in her book “Sex Without Consent: Rape and Sexual Coercion in America” gives us some more detail on the Markland letter:

“A good example is provided by Dr. W.G. Markland who sent Moses Harman, the editor of Lucifer, Light Bearer a letter from a close female friend which described the experiences of a woman who had recently given birth. Because of the incompetence of her attending physicians she suffered lacerations and subsequently endured several painful operations to correct her condition. While she was recuperating from her latest experience under the surgeon’s knife, Markland reported, her husband “forced himself into her bed and the stitches were torn from her healing flesh, leaving her in a worse condition than ever.” Incensed by this behavior, Markland was even more irate that the wife had no legal recourse to punish her attacker. “Will you point to a law that will punish this brute?” he rhetorically asked is reader. “If a man stabs his wife to death with a knife,” he continued, “does not the law hold him for murder?” But if he “murders her with his penis, what does the law do?”” – page 214

And from this letter from Dr. Markland published in Harman’s Lucifer the Light Bearer publication a national debate was started about the possibility of marital rape. Harman would quickly receive many letters from others that would claim there was an epidemic of women across America dying as a result for forced sex from their husbands.  Merril D. Smith concedes that there were many who doubted the accounts and many who believed the Free Lovers contention that “thousands” of these events were happening across the nation were exaggerations:

“Throughout the nineteenth century critics of the Free Lovers were quick to deny their claims of the prevalence of marital sexual abuse in the Victorian bedroom. In 1854, for example, Adin Ballou Argued that these sexual radicals “are prone to exaggerate the evils of dual marriage. They seem to think the best half of their battle is won, if they can only make these evils appear sufficiently dreadful. Accordingly, they harp incessantly on this string.” As part of their project to eliminate marriage, the Free Lovers clearly had a stake in publicizing these incidents of abuse.  They did not, however, make them up.” – page 218

The problem with the Markland Letter case was not with its condemnation of the husband’s behavior. I think the vast majority of Christians would agree both then and now that what he did to his wife was wrong.

As a Bible believing Christian and a firm believer in God’s institution of marriage and a husband’ sexual rights to his wife’s body I can easily show that God condemned the behavior of the husband in the Markland Letter based on the Biblical principle that husbands are to care for the needs of their wife’s bodies as they do their own.

“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

Would the advocates of the false proposition of marital rape agree with us as Bible believing Christians that what the husband in the Markland Letter did was physical abuse even to the point of possibly endangering his wife’s life? Of course, they would.

But from a Biblical perspective it is absolutely impossible for a man to rape his wife because a man can only rape a woman he is not married to.  

In other words, from a Biblical perspective forced sex within the confines of marriage is not and cannot ever be classified as rape, but only forced sex outside of the confines of marriage can rightly be considered rape.

Also I need to point out something very important for Christians to understand about rape.  The world says rape is immoral because it violates a woman’s consent to sexual relations but the Bible shows us rape is wrong because it violates God’s consent for a man to have sexual relations with a woman.  God only consents to a man having sexual relations with a woman if he has entered into a covenant of marriage with her and then he may have sex with her “at all times” as Proverbs 5:19 commands.

However, Ephesians 5:28-29’s command for men to care for the needs of their wife’s body is a Biblical caveat to Proverbs 5:19’s exhortation for men to sexually satisfy themselves with their wife’s body at all times.   

While we as Christians should reject the false construct of marital rape we should certainly recognize the possibility of a husband physically abusing his wife and this Markland Letter case shows the husband did just that.  A woman’s genitals need time to heal after giving birth.  Even if the surgery was for something different than complications after child birth – if a husband forces himself on his wife with complete disregard for the damage it may cause her after surgery this is a clear violation of the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle that he is to care for the welfare of his wife’s body.

The truth is that free love advocates and feminists had (and still have today) a more insidious agenda.  They did not want to simply condemn physical abuses which occurred in this marriage situation or others.  They wanted to condemn the entire concept of Christian marriage itself with the husband as the head of the wife as an abusive relational construct and they wanted to eliminate traditional marriage from American society.

Now that we have shown the evil roots and true agenda of the Free Love and Sexual Consent ideologies we will now look at the fruit of these wicked movements in the form of modern “Sexual Consent” teachings.

The Biblical View of Sex Vs the Sexual Consent Ideology

Planned Parenthood has an article on their website entitled “Sexual Consent” which I think is a good representation of the tenets of modern Sexual Consent Ideology.  Below I will take several of those tenets they list and compare these tenets to what the Bible says about sexual relations between men and women.

Marriage is in Agreement to Sexual Activity

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Sexual consent is an agreement to participate in a sexual activity” but the Bible says Marriage IS an agreement to participate in a sexual activity:

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.”

I Corinthians 7:3 (KJV)

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.”

Exodus 21:10 (KJV)

Before You Can Be Sexual With Someone You Must Marry Them

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Before being sexual with someone, you need to know if they want to be sexual with you too” but the Bible says before being sexual with someone you need to be married to them first:

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

The Only Sexual Consent Required in Marriage is Consent to NOT have Sex

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Both people must agree to sex — every single time — for it to be consensual.” But the Bible says both people within a covenant of marriage must agree to NOT have sex.  Yes, sir and Yes mam you read that right.  The only mutual agreement regarding sex the Bible speaks to is the cessation of sex for short periods of mutually agreed time and then the couple is admonished to come back together in sexual union again:

“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

I Corinthians 7:5 (KJV)

A Man Has God’s Consent to Have Sex with His Wife at All Times

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Without consent, sexual activity (including oral sex, genital touching, and vaginal or anal penetration) is sexual assault or rape” but the Bible says God has given a man his consent to have sex with his wife “at all times” regardless of her consent:

“18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)

Sex in Marriage is a Duty, NOT a Choice

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol” but the Bible says sexual relations within marriage are a duty that the spouses have towards each other, not a choice (Exodus 21:10, I Corinthians 7:3).

Wives are to Sexually Submit to Their Husbands in Everything

Sexual Consent Ideology says “When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do” but the Bible commands wives to be in subjection to their husbands in everything:

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

The only exception to “every thing” is Acts 5:24’s exception that “We ought to obey God rather than man”.  That means if a woman’s husband asks her to participate in a threesome with another man she can rightly refuse his request because that would be a sin against God.  If, however he as her husband asks her to manually stimulate him, perform oral sex on him or have intercourse or other types of sexual activity with him this would fall under Ephesians 5:24’s “every thing” clause.

The Implicit Sexual Consent of the Marriage Covenant is Non-reversible

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed” but God says sexual consent which is given in the marriage covenant is NOT reversible but rather is a lifelong commitment:

“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”

Romans 7:2 (KJV)

You Don’t Get the Final Say Over Your Body, God Does

Sexual Consent Ideology says “You get the final say over what happens with your body” but God says your body belongs to him and in marriage he has given your body to your spouse for their sexual use:

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Psalm 24:1 (KJV)

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

1 Corinthians 6:19 (KJV)

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

I Corinthians 7:4 (KJV)

The entire American concept of “It’s my body I can do what I want with it” flies directly in the face of a central tenet of Biblical Christianity that the world and all of us who live in it or have ever lived belong to God.  This false philosophy of bodily autonomy was a foundational building block of the Sexual Revolution and also formed the basis of heinous so called “abortion rights”.

I am fine with God having authority over my life and body, but no man is going to tell me what to do!

Many Christian women have this attitude toward male headship in marriage and they refuse to see the utter contradiction such an attitude is with the clear teachings of the Scriptures.

It is absolutely true that the Bible says “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17) and there is no doubt in my mind that the spirit of the Lord was present at the founding of the United States of America.

On June 28, 1813 America’s second president John Adams wrote these words in a letter to America’s third president Thomas Jefferson:

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294.

As we previously pointed out, one of the general principles of Christianity is that we are not our own and that God has authority over our person and our bodies (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 6:19).   But many Christians reject the fact that God as our owner can and does delegate authority over us to other human beings.

Yes – God has made us free, both men and women, but we are warned not to use our freedom to serve our own selfish and sinful desires:

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

Galatians 5:13 (KJV)

God has not freed us so that we can serve our own selfish desires, but he has freed us to serve him. King David spoke of the relationship between the freedom God wants his people to have and the service to his law:

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

Psalm 119:45 (KJV)

What this means is – we are free to serve God and live our lives within the bounds of his law. Moses Harman’s ideology that “Freedom that is not equal is not freedom” does not match up with the Biblical teaching of what freedom actually is.  Sadly a lot of American Christians over the last century or so have bought into Harman’s false philosophy that everyone must have equal rights or they are being treated as less than human or in an unjust manner.

The Bible actually teaches that there are several classes of people to whom God gives different rights.  The slave class was the lowest social class and contrary to assertions otherwise God did give slaves rights(Exodus 20:10, Exodus 21:26-28, Job 31:13-15 & Colossians 4:1) .

The Bible teaches that slaves were to be taken care of and treated justly and fairly by their masters.  It tells masters that just as they came from their mother’s womb, so too did their slaves reminding them to treat them as fellow human beings. The Bible condemned masters who killed their slaves and if they seriously injured their slaves they were required by God to grant freedom to those slaves.

So in this way the slave class of the Bible actually formulates basic human rights under God’s law.  Every social class above the slave class has these same rights and then more rights. Other Biblical social classes include indentured male and female servants, children, slave wives(concubines), free wives and finally free men.  Free men had the most rights of any social class under God’s order.

Even in the New Testament slaves are still commanded to obey their masters and the Apostle Paul even returned a runaway slave(Philemon 1:10-18). Wives are still commanded to submit to their husbands(Ephesians 5:22-24) and children are still commanded to obey their parents(Ephesians 6:1-3) clearly proving that these social classes remain as part of God’s order.

The point is that the Bible in direct contradiction to Moses Harman and the modern American philosophy that “Freedom that is not equal is not freedom” shows us that freedom is not in fact based in equality.

God calls slaves “freedmen” in the sense that they were spiritually free but yet he told them to accept their earthly position as slaves while if they could be free to take that opportunity.

“20 Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. 22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.”

I Corinthians 7:20-24 (NASB)

For more on what the Bible actually says about slavery see my article “Why Christians should not be ashamed of slavery in the Bible“.

But in the context of the discussion of this article – men and women do not have the same rights and freedoms under God’s law yet they are both considered to be free.  God does not base our human value on our equal rights and freedoms with one another – but instead he bases it on the fact that we were created for his honor and glory and our value comes from fulfilling the role he has given us to play.

Isn’t it Selfish For a Man to Have Sex With His Wife When She is Not in The Mood?

Now some Christians at this point may be asking “Even though men and women have different rights under God’s law, isn’t it a selfish desire for a man to want sex with his wife when she tells him she is not in the mood?”  One of the most popular articles I ever wrote on the blog addresses that topic and it is entitled “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?” I hope you will take the time to read it with an open heart and an open mind. The answer I show from the Scriptures in that article is NO it is not selfish for a man to desire sex with his wife when she is not in the mood.

The Giving and Taking of Women in Marriage

Now I will demonstrate from the Scriptures that God’s law regarding a woman’s consent to sexual activity does not resolve around her choice, but rather it is based in God’s consent and the consent of the men whom he has placed in authority over women.

We start with the fact that God has granted ownership to a father over his daughter. Under God’s law, a father could sell his daughter as an indentured servant (Exodus 21:7-11) with the possibility that his daughter could become a wife to the man or a son of the man she was sold to.

In fact, in the Scriptures there is a consistent teaching that women are GIVEN in marriage (mostly by their fathers) and TAKEN in marriage by their husbands.

God commanded men to take wives for themselves and to give their daughters in marriage and take wives for their sons as well:

Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

Jesus recognizing this principle of men taking women in marriage and women being given in marriage stated:

“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

Matthew 22:30 (KJV)

So yes ladies – that cute tradition of a father walking his daughter down the isle and giving his daughter away in marriage is not just tradition – it is by the command of God and has been practiced in one form or another since the beginning of creation.

Now that we have shown the ownership of the father over his daughter we will now discuss the ownership of a husband over his wife.

The sad fact is many Christians in American society refuse to accept that the Bible is crystal clear in its language that marriage is in fact a transfer of ownership of a daughter from her father to her husband.

The Hebrew Word ‘baal’ meaning “owner/master” in noun form or “to be owned” in verb form is often used when referring to a woman’s husband and it is always used when speaking of marriage occurring between a man and woman. While there are many Old Testament examples that prove this the follow passage from the book of Deuteronomy demonstrates the noun and verb uses of ‘baal’ and the ownership of a husband over his wife:

“If a man be found lying with a woman married [‘baal’ verb “owned by”] to an husband[‘baal’ noun “owner”], then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)

Ephesians 5:22-31 clearly states that God created marriage to be a model of the relationship of God to his people with man representing God and woman representing the people of God. In the Old Testament this was pictured in God’s marriage to Israel and in the New Testament this is pictured in Christ’s relationship to his Church.

The fact is that even in Christ’s relationship to his Church it is clear that he “purchased” his bride (Acts 20:28) as all other husbands had since the beginning of creation.

Many Christian feminists while proudly claiming that men should follow Ephesians 5:25’s admonition for husbands to love their wives AS Christ loved the Church then in the same breath deny what the verses in front of it just said that the husband is the head of the wife AS Christ is the head of the Church and that wives are to submit to their husbands AS the Church submits to Christ.   Ladies – you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You can’t take one part of what God says about his design for marriage in Ephesians chapter 5 while rejecting the other parts of it.  You take it all or you reject it all.

A Biblical Case Study in Sexual Consent

In the book of Exodus, we find a very interesting case study into the mind of God regarding the issue of sexual consent.

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

In verse 16 we are told that if a man entices a virgin (literally he seduces her) into having sexual relations with him we are told he has an obligation to make her his wife which would require him to enter into a covenant of marriage with her.  But then in verse 17 we read that God allows the father to “utterly refuse to give her unto him”.

When you look closely these two verses handle two different situations.  The first verse covers “Casanovas” or what we today would call “players”.  The second verse covers the “forbidden love” scenario.

God Condemns the Scheming Ways of Casanovas and Players

When the Bible commanded that the man must make the woman he enticed into extramarital relations his wife this was civil punishment and restitution that had to be made for his breaking of God’s moral law. This covers the Casanova who tries to have that “one-night stand” with a woman.  This covers the playboy who thinks he can seduce women into having sex with him outside of a covenant of marriage.

So, in this first scenario the man had no intention of marrying the woman – he just wanted to get some and he may have used all kinds of emotional trickery on the woman to convince her into having sex with him.  He may even have told her he loved her and wanted to ask her father’s hand in marriage.  He just wants a “taste” of the goods and then he will ask her father – or so he told her.

The next day after she naively gives herself to him he acts as if it never happened leaving her with the loss of her virginity and ruining her for other men.   This is the situation God was meaning to address by forcing the man to marry the woman he had just enticed.

Most men and women would call this first man I have just described a pig.  We would all be equally disgusted by his deceitful actions toward these young virgins while at the same time we must recognize these women also sinned by allowing him to entice them into sexual relations outside of a marriage covenant.

God Also Condemns Forbidden Love

But in verse 17 we see another scenario God is addressing.   This is a scenario that has played out in many “romance” stories over the years. Perhaps a daughter comes to her father and tells him of a cute young man that she wishes for him to arrange marriage for her to.  Her father refuses.  His reason might be character issues with the man or it might simply be economic issues.   The father may have told his daughter that he had a few other men in mind that were wealthier and could care for her better than this man she is attracted to.  Perhaps her marriage to one of these other men will provide a political or business alliance that will benefit her father. She tells her father “but I am not attracted to any of those men and I love this other man”.

Her father puts his foot down and tells his daughter “Enough! You are not marrying that man and I will hear no more of it.  I will let you know which of these other men I have chosen for you shortly.”  So, the daughter decides to take things into her own hands.  She decides she will go and have sex with the man she loves (lusts after) believing her father will be forced to give her to him in marriage.  Perhaps this man who also wants her for his wife has planted the idea in her head that her father will give her to him rather than refuse and risk her never marrying.

So, she comes to the man whom her father has refused and gives herself to the man who has so desperately wanted her.  At this point in the story most women and even a lot of men – Christian men and women would be rooting for the poor girl as she should have been able to chose the man she wanted right? WRONG.  The young virgin woman had absolutely NO right under God’s law to consent to sexual relations with that man. This entire scheme would be wicked before God.

This is why God grants father’s the right of refusal even if a man entices their daughter into sexual relations which means she has freely given herself to him (she was not forced).  This part of God’s law would work as deterrent to women who thought they could control their own sexuality or control what man they would marry.

This law taught women “If you give yourself to a man outside of lawfully approved marriage by your father – you might end up an old maid that never marries”.  So, a woman would be faced with this scenario – “Do I want to risk my father saying no because I sinned against him and God and risk being single the rest of my life or will I simply follow my father’s wishes and marry a man I am not attracted to but at least I will not be alone and I will have a husband and children?”

Men Can Make Women’s Virginity Precious Again

The sad commentary on our time is that a woman’s virginity is no longer the precious commodity to our culture that God declared it to be in the Scriptures.  Women have no fear that losing their virginity could relegate them to a lonely life with no marriage and no children as the women in the Bible feared.

We as Christians and especially young men and have allowed this to occur.  In the same way we men allowed feminism to rise we gave up the preciousness of a woman’s virginity by dating women who are not virgins.  Imagine if every Christian man made a commitment that he would never date or marry a woman who was not virgin unless her virginity was lost under these conditions:

  1. It was lost to her husband who died.
  2. It was lost to her husband from whom she was divorced (and she was the innocent party).
  3. It was lost because she was raped.

Would this not motivate young women to greatly guard their sexual purity? And yes, I know what all the egalitarians are saying – “what about the men?” Could these same rules be applied to men in order to promote sexual purity among young men as well? I think the answer is yes with the caveat that under Biblical law men may not be virgins when they marry a woman because they can have more than one wife.  But that is part of a larger discussion on polygamy which I have had elsewhere.  Another caveat in applying this to men is that as we have discussed in regard to young virgins living in their father’s home it is not the daughter that sets criteria for potential spouses but the father.

And just to be clear on this passage from Exodus – the man being forced to marry the woman he enticed to have sex with him and also the payment of the bride price even if the father refused were part of the civil laws of Israel.  These were restitutions that had to be made for breaking God’s moral law in either of the two scenarios we just described.

That’s just the Old Testament!

There are many Christians right now that have completely tuned out everything I have just written with the following thought in their head:

“Well that is just Old Testament and we as Christians are no longer under the Old Testament so Christian fathers have no right over their daughters sexual or marriage choices! Do you still stone people for adultery and do you still eat pork? If you don’t do these things then don’t talk to me about fathers control over their daughter’s decisions with their own bodies and their own lives. These decisions are between women and God.”

If you actually want to understand how the Bible works and the difference between the moral, ceremonial and civil laws of Israel and the fact that the Jesus Christ himself asserted the moral laws of the Old Testament I encourage you to read these articles I have written on the subject.

What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?

Conclusion

The sad commentary on our time is that David S. D’Amato is absolutely right that our society has almost completely embraced the ideologies of Moses Harman with the big exception of his anarchist views. Feminists and Free Lovers actually went the opposite way on government and used the power of government to impose their views on American society.

Harman’s views of Christianity, men and women, gender roles and marriage which were considered “insane” a little more than a century ago are now “taken for granted” as truths that may no longer be questioned.

In the beginning of this article I alluded to Daphne Merkin’s statement in her New York Times article that “Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy…” in our modern American culture and I said I would explain at the end of this article why God’s appointed method of men and women expressing sexual interest is not messy at all but actually it is very easy when we do things his way.

Previously I alluded to several important passages of the Scriptures that directly speak to sex in marriage and they are Exodus 21:10, Proverbs 5:18-19, I Corinthians 7:2-5 and Ephesians 5:22-24.

Proverbs 5:18-19 teaches that a husband is commanded by God to sexually satisfy himself with his wife’s body at all times. Exodus 21:10 teaches that a husband has an obligation to provide his wife sexual access to his body.  I Corinthians 7:2-5 teaches that in marriage sex is both a right and responsibility for both the husband and the wife. Ephesians 5:22-24 teaches that wives are to submit to their husbands in everything and that includes their husband’s sexual preferences as long as he does not ask them to engage in sinful sexual acts (I gave the example a husband asking his wife to have sex with another man as an example of a sinful sexual request).

I also talked about God’s process for how men and women are to enter into sexual relations.  I showed how God only consents to a man and woman having sexual relations in the covenant of marriage.  I also showed God’s process for men and women entering into marriage after which they are allowed and are in fact commanded to have sexual relations with one another.

In modern America men have to flirt with women, flatter women or otherwise try and romance them to even have a chance of having having sex with them.  It is actually a very risky proposition for men and in the advent of the MeToo era it is even riskier as it might cost you your job. It truly is a “messy” process as Daphne Merkin calls it.

But in God’s design men did not have to flirt with women, flatter women or romance them to get them to have sex with them but rather they purchased the women they desired as Christ purchased his Church in Acts 20:28.

This was the process under normal conditions.  A man went to the woman’s father and expressed his interest in his daughter.  If he agreed to give his daughter to the man the man would return and present the bride price at which time the father would give his daughter to the man and he would then consummate the marriage by taking her sexually as his wife. From that point on he would take his wife sexually anytime he pleased and the wife would also have sexual access to his body as well.

A little note on the bride price.  While a man did not literally have to die to purchase his wife as Christ did to acquire his Church many men often had to save a half a years wages to purchase a wife.  That could take them several years to save. The Bible tells us of Jacob that he purchased Rachel by giving sevens years of labor to her father:

And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.”

Genesis 29:20 (KJV)

The Bible tells us that Rachel was a beautiful woman and her sister was something other than “beautiful and well favoured”.

Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

Genesis 29:17 (KJV)

The Hebrew phrase that is translated as “beautiful and well favoured” in the KJV is not as literal to Hebrew text.  In the Hebrew it it reads yâpheh[beautiful,lovely,fair] tô’ar [form, figure, shape] yâpheh[beautiful,lovely,fair] mar’eh[sight, vision, appearance].  So when we take this phrase together it said Rachel had “a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at”.  In modern terms we would say “Rachel had a hot body and was easy on the eyes”.

So apparently Rachel was so hot that Jacob served not one year or two years but seven years to purchase her as his wife!

But as we can see with God’s method of men and women entering into sexual relations with one another there is no mess, no fuss and no games. Some might argue that there was in fact a game that was played by Laban when he tricked Jacob into taking Leah as his wife first.  But that was a false contract and was sin before God. Regardless though Jacob being a noble man still kept Leah as his wife.

The point is it is a lot less complicated than what Daphne Merkin described as the MeToo movement’s goal of sex as “the childhood game of “Mother, May I?”.

What that means in practical terms is since I married my wife I can come touch her sexually any time I want.  If I want to come up behind her in the kitchen and cup her breasts in my hands as she washes the dishes I can do that.  I don’t have to ask her permission to do so.  If I want to slide my hands down her thighs and touch her groin area I don’t have to ask her permission to do so. If I want to slap her on the rear end as I walk by her, again I don’t have to ask her permission to do so. And finally, if I want to initiate sexual relations with her I don’t have to ask her permission before doing so.

In the same way if my wife wants to come by and grab my groin she has every right to do so as my wife.  If she wants to come by and slap me on the rear end she has every right to do so.   If while I am sleeping in the morning my wife decides to get on top of me and start having sex with me she has every right to do so as God has given her sexual access to my body.

Now we also understand that there is a Biblical caveat to our sexual access to our spouse’s body in that we are to care for the wellbeing of our spouse (Ephesians 5:28-29).  That means as Christians we can rightly condemn the actions of the husband who forces himself on his wife after surgery or child birth and thus endangers her by do so but at the same time we can uphold a husband’s right to have sex with his wife even if she may simply not be in the mood.

My point is if we enter into sexual relations following God’s design there is absolutely no chance of sexual harassment ever happening.  It is impossible for me to grope my wife (because she belongs to me) or for her to grope me (because God has given her sexual access to my body).  There is no messiness to sex in marriage when we remove the world’s evil ideas about sexual consent.

It is only when we bring the tenets of sexual consent ideology into sexual relations in marriage that sexual initiation then becomes “messy”.  If a husband has his hand slapped away by his wife she is sinfully making sexual initiation “messy” for her husband and sadly many women do that today.  If a husband would rather look at porn and masturbate than have sex when his wife reaches for him that makes sexual initiation “messy” for his wife.

And finally, on this topic of sexual consent – I have demonstrated here with conclusive proof that both in their origins and their agendas that the Sexual Consent and Free Love movements were founded in evil philosophies that were directly opposed to the God of the Bible and God’s institution of marriage.

God does not consent to two men or two women having sexual relations with one another even if they have given their “free” and “enthusiastic” consent to one another.

God does not give his consent to a man and woman having sexual relations with one another because they have both freely and enthusiastically given consent to one another.

God ONLY gives his consent to a man and woman having sexual relations when they have lawfully entered into a marriage covenant according the Scriptures.  Once a man and woman have entered into the covenant of marriage, not only does God consent to them having sexual relations but he commands it.

As Christians we would agree with the MeToo movement that men should not be making unwanted sexual advances in the work place or implying that their female coworkers or subordinates need to perform sexual acts to get promotions or keep their jobs.

But while we agree with MeToo that these actions by men are wrong – we very much disagree as to WHY these actions are wrong.  MeToo following the false Sexual Consent ideology says these unwanted sexual advances are wrong because they violate a woman’s consent.  For MeToo – if the woman expressed clear consent to having sexual relations with a coworker or even her boss then there is no wrong committed by the man in responding to her.

However, for us as Bible believing Christians a man making unwanted sexual advances toward a woman he is not married to whether in the workplace or elsewhere is wrong not because it violates the woman’s consent, but because it violates God’s consent to him having sexual relations with that woman.

We can all agree that physical abuse does occur in some marriages even if we might debate what actually constitutes physical abuse. Also as Christians we can agree that Ephesians 5:28-29 condemns husbands physically abusing their wives.  But as Christians we may never classify any physical abuse in marriage as rape because the false construct of marital rape implies that a wife may reject her husband’s sexual advances.

The Scriptures show that a woman may only resist a man’s sexual advances if she is not married to him and in the case of the man not being married to her she is required to resist his advances. That is why from a Biblical perspective a woman’s consent to sexual relations is really an oxymoron. Before marriage she has no choice but to say NO and after marriage she has no choice but to say YES.

It is not the woman’s consent that matters, it is Gods.

 

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Why Christians Should Be Proud Sexists

This last Thanksgiving I was visiting with my in-laws.  During that visit I made this statement to my sister-in-law “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist!” Why would I say such a thing? Isn’t being a sexist inconsistent with Christian values?

Before I explain why I made that statement in front of many family members let me first give a little background on my wife and her family. My mother and father in-law are really good salt of the earth people who are kind and generous. Truly they have treated me far better than my first wife’s parents ever did and I actually get along with them very well.  They really do not look for confrontation and for the most part try to stay out of my marriage to their daughter.

And just for those Christian’s and others who are concerned about the phrase I just used “first wife” – I divorced her for a specific type of fornication which was adultery and God allows this(see Matthew 19:9 and also my article “If We Treated Divorce Like Killing” for an exhaustive study on Biblical divorce).

In regard to my in-laws, as kind and as loving as my mother and father in-law are – they are feminists. Don’t get me wrong, they are not drooling at the mouth, man-hating feminists and they would not even call themselves feminists. They certainly would never march in a feminist parade. My in-laws just believe in equality for men and women, partnership marriage and my mother in-law told me she taught her daughters to and I quote “be independent and not need a man”. Their father worked in a factory but he wanted better for his daughters and he encouraged them to get a higher education and have successful careers like their mother who was an accountant.

My wife and her sister are actually on different sides of their parents on this issue.  My wife’s sister is more feministic than her parents and my wife is less feministic than her parents.  My wife will at least tell people she believes in male headship in the home and she tries to a certain degree to fight her own feminist tendencies.  But it is extremely difficult for my wife because of the combination that she is very intelligent, strong willed and she was raised by parents who instilled feminist principles in her. So there are days when she full on gives into the dark side and goes full blown feminist on me.  Those are the days when she says “you can’t tell me what to do – you are not my father”.  Other days I can tell she is truly trying and waging a war against the dark side in her that she knows in her heart conflicts with the Bible and what God wants for her.

On the other hand, my wife’s sister is a completely different story. She fully embraces her dark side (aka feminist tendencies).  Her sister is also a Christian and is actually very involved in her church. She believes in partnership marriage and that her husband does not have any more say in the marriage than she does. For a very brief time when she was on the verge of her second divorce she tried to embrace submission in order to save that marriage.  But in the end the marriage still died and he divorced her.

In the beginning of her third marriage she was very submissive to her husband, but about a year or so into that marriage she returned to her old ways and fully embraced her feminist attitudes of the past.  My sister-in-law believes in the Christian feminist doctrine of “mutual submission” between a husband and wife.  One of her favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 5:21 which states “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” She uses that verse to try and explain away the next three verses in Ephesians chapter five.

Now if you are wondering how I – Mr. Biblical Gender Roles himself, ended up marrying into a feminist family that is a longer story for another day.  To that end I will just say this.  There is an old saying that “You learn more from your mistakes than from your successes” and that is especially true when it comes to choosing who you marry. And yes it was a mistake that I chose to marry into a feminist family.

But God used my mistake for his glory.  Let’s say I had never married into a feminist family and had a feminist wife.  What if I married into a traditional, conservative Christian family and found a woman that completely embraced Biblical gender roles? What if I had little conflicts with her because our world values just meshed up? If that had happened then this site probably would have never existed.

But God used my mistake as the inspiration for this site that I started back in April of 2014. And that mistake I made of marrying a feminist woman raised in a feminist household lead to this ministry reaching over 3 million people who have made more than 5 million views on this site by the end of 2017.

So with all that said as a background on my in-laws here is why I made the statement “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist!”

We were sitting around the family room as we usually do after we eat dinner together for the holiday. We usually just make small talk about how all the family members are doing and generally avoid political or religious topics as my in-laws are not very religious people and they don’t normally discuss politics.  But every now and then my sister-in-law who is a bit feisty will say something or I might make a joke about something. We both know where we stand on things.

So my sister-in-law brings a situation to my attention.  Her husband was not there because he had to work. She asked me about a disagreement she and her husband had about their kids.  He has a son from a previous marriage that is 17 and she has two daughters from her second marriage that are 14 and 16. I won’t go into the details here but I will just summarize it by saying she thought he was not protective enough of his son and allowed him too much freedom. I told her I agreed with her husband and that I allowed my sons at that age to have almost full freedom except for my four rules.  No girls in their bedrooms, no drugs and no drinking in my house or on my property and if they drove one of my vehicles in an intoxicated state I would ask for the keys and they would not drive it again.

I also added that my sister in-law needed to support her husband even if she disagreed with him.

So she turned it on me. She said “will you do the same with your daughter who will soon be turning 16?” I told her “no I will not” to which she replied “That is not fair! You can’t treat your daughters differently than your sons” and then her 14 year old daughter replied “that is sexist!”  So here we have a room with my sister-in-law, my mother and father-in-law and my five children along with my wife and I – and I have just been called on the carpet by my sister-in-law and her 14 year old daughter.

My response was “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist! I fully believe that women need added protection from their fathers until they are married to their husbands. Sons when they become men don’t need the protection of their fathers but daughters do.”

My sister-in-law’s only response was “Well admitting it is the first step.” What she meant was that she thought I was admitting to doing something wrong. Many Christians would say no Christian should say what I said and that no Christian should be proud to be a sexist.  In this article we will explore if such a condemnation of sexism matches up with the Bible.

The Birth of “Sexism”

For 2000 years Christians were proud of their Holy Scriptures that are commonly referred to as the Bible. But about 150 years ago Christians began to start apologizing for things in the Bible.  It began with Christians apologizing for the Bible allowing and regulating the practice of slavery. Eventually with the rise of feminism which was built off the abolitionist movement Christians began to apologize for the “unfair” treatment of women by the Bible.

In the 1960’s during the rise of Second Wave Feminism a new word was coined.  This new word, “sexism”, was as actually built using the fight against racism as a model.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “Sexism” as:

“1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women

2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

Now some may contend that sexism always existed – it just did not receive an official label until the mid-1960’s.  But we need to realize that along with this new label “Sexism” came a new set of morals not previously recognized in human history.

Is Discrimination Always Wrong?

Since the creation of mankind women were in fact discriminated against.  But here is a truth that every Christian must realize – discrimination is not always wrong.  To discriminate against someone is to treat someone differently based on certain demographic characteristics.

For instance we don’t allow people put in prison to vote.  That is a form of discrimination.  We don’t allow children to vote and we allow parents to make decisions for their minor children.  This another form of discrimination (age discrimination). We also only give welfare assistance to people who make under a certain amount of money – if you make over that amount you won’t get assistance.  That is discrimination on the basis of how much you money you earn. There are many college scholarships that are only available to you if you are an African American – that again is a form of discrimination based on race.

The point is, we as a society have made judgements as to what types of discrimination are moral and just and what types of discrimination are immoral and unjust.  The question for us as Christians is – does the Bible agree with American standards of what is just and or unjust discrimination?

Is Stereotyping Always Wrong?

Stereotypes are another example of something that is not always wrong. Stereotyping is simply recognizing patterns of human behavior or social norms. If you were to open a small market store in the middle of a Hispanic neighborhood than it would be silly for you not to have in stock food that Hispanics typically eat. If you were to open your store in a predominantly Chinese area it would be equally silly for you to not stock up on foods that Chinese people typically eat.  In fact in the business world – if you do not stereotype your customer base you will go out of business.

The New Anti-Sexist Movement Was Used to Condemn Historic Social Norms

This new “Anti-Sexist” movement contended that that women could no longer be seen as house keepers and mothers.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s it was extremely common for employers to choose men over women for open positions. The reasoning went that men were providers to families and women belonged in the home.  Only if there were no men contending for a position and it needed to be filled would a woman have any chance of getting that position. Even then some positions would be closed to women no matter what.

But under these newly defined social morals of Second Wave Feminism, if a business chose to hire men over women that was now classified as an immoral form of discrimination and labeled with the new term “sexist” or “sexual discrimination”.  In the same way if a person was to contend that a woman’s place was in the home as it had been since the beginning of human civilization – this would be called immoral stereotyping.

The New Feminist Formula –> Sexism = Misogyny

So if you felt as the vast majority of people up to that point had felt that women did not belong in politics, the military or most other occupations outside the home you were now labeled with this new term “Sexist”.  And the term “Sexist” was equated to “Misogynist” which means “a hater of women”.

It really was a masterful PR campaign by feminist groups.  If you dared to believe in the historic views of the roles of men and women in society you were now labeled a hater of women.

This tied into the larger egalitarian movement.  If you believed any class of human beings should rightly have any less rights or privileges than another you were now a “hater” of that group of people.  You were “dehumanizing” that group of people. This thought pattern of the 1960’s would eventually lead us to open immigration policies and to legalizing gay marriage and criminalizing any form of discrimination against homosexual and transgender people because to be human is to have equal rights and opportunities with all other humans.

Christians Who Are Ashamed of Their Own Bible

It is very common for Christians today to apologize for the Bible treating men and women differently because to do so is now considered “sexist”.  The most common way people make “apology tours” for the Bible is to say something like “God did not condone everything in the Bible”.   Others say “God just went along with the cultural customs of the times even though he did not really approve of things like patriarchy, slavery, polygamy or genocide”.

While it is true that God did not condone everything that occurred in the Bible whatever he gave commands to do or to allow he did in fact CONDONE.  God does not command or allow sin in his law.  Not Ever. The real truth that so many Christians run from and cower at is that God did in fact command or allow patriarchy (Genesis 3:16, Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6), slavery (Leviticus 25:39-46), polygamy (Exodus 21:10-11, II Samuel 12:8) and genocide (Deuteronomy 20:16–18, I Samuel 15:2-3).  I encourage you to read each of the passages I just listed to confirm what I have just said.

And on this subject of sexism, God does in fact make statements and commands in the Bible through his Prophets and Apostles that are considered today to be the very definition of “sexist”.

10 Sexist Biblical Statements or Commands

1. Only Men are Made in God’s Image, Not Women

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

2. Women Were Made for Men, Not Men for Women

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

3. Women Were Executed for Lying about the Loss of their Virginity, Men were Not

“20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 (KJV)

4. Women Ruling a Nation Are No Better than Children Ruling a Nation

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)

5. Wives Are Regarded as the Property of Their Husbands

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

6. Women Are Commanded to Submit to Their Husbands

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

7. Women Can Have their Decisions Overridden by their Fathers and Husbands

“5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her…

8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.”

Numbers 30:5 & 8(KJV)

8. Women are Called Weaker Than Men

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

9. Women Are Forbidden From Teaching Men or Taking Authority Over Men

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

1 Timothy 2:12 (KJV)

10. A Woman’s Place Is in The Home

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

The Choice Every Christian Is Faced With

If this is the first time you as a Christian have read these Scripture passages showing that God did in fact commanded or allow things like patriarchy, slavery, polygamy and genocide and also the 10 passages where God made sexist statements and commands your head is probably spinning.

You are faced with a moral dilemma.

You must either condemn God or condemn the American culture you have been raised in.  Before you make your decision I highly recommend you read Job chapters 38 to 40.  These three chapters are some of the most humbling chapters in all the Bible.  Simply put, they put us as human beings in our place.

In Job chapter 40 God says this to Job:

“1 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, 2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. 5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Job 40:1-8 (KJV)

Before you make your decision let me try to help give a little relief in that decision process.

On the subject of slavery, God only allowed slavery under a particular set of circumstances and it was not based on viewing one race as subservient to all races as the slavery of Africans in the Americas was.  For more on this huge topic of slavery see my previous article “Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible”.

Also on the subject of genocide I want you to think about this more.  In the book of Joshua we read:

“17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent…

21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”

Joshua 6:17 & 21 (KJV)

Literally God commanded through Joshua that every man, woman and child was to be killed in that city with the exception of Rahab and her family who helped the Israelite spies.  This was a command to commit genocide against these people.

But before we so quickly condemn the Israelite people and God for his commands to them let us remember that the United States dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima for the good of the American nation.  The United States indiscriminately killed over 75,000 people at Nagasaki and over 150,000 people at Hiroshima.  This included men, women and children.  This included pregnant women and infants.

During war sometimes it is necessary to utterly wipe out those in an enemy territory but like slavery this is a much larger discussion for a separate article that I will write in the future (justified war and its tactics).

But this still leaves things like patriarchy, polygamy and sexism which God commanded in the case of patriarchy and sexism and then polygamy which he allowed. For those who may be able to swallow patriarchy but not polygamy I encourage you to read my previous article “Was polygamy a sin in the Old Testament that God overlooked?”  I will give you a sneak preview of that with the conclusion I show in that article based on the Scriptures.  Polygamy was NOT a sin God overlooked – God cannot overlook sin nor can he allow for it.  So those Christians who condemn polygamy as allowed in the Bible are assaulting the righteousness and justice of God in order to appease their own hatred of the practice of polygamy.

Conclusion

The Bible shows us that feminism’s assertion that Sexism = Misogyny is false.

The Bible shows that God honored women like Sara (Hebrews 11:11) and Rahab (Hebrews 11:31) and that he used women as Prophetesses like Deborah and Hulda in his service. But none of these women challenged his design and order that women were made for men and that God called only men to be Priests in the Old Testament and then Bishops and Pastors in the New Testament.

The fact is Jesus was sexist in how he chose his twelve disciples.  If a modern Christian feminist were following Jesus around back then they would have said “he had twelve slots to fill and he could not find one woman to fill any of those slots! What a sexist!”

God was even a sexist in finding Judas’s replacement. He chose another man (Matthias) to replace Judas as the twelfth disciple (Acts 1:16-26) to which the Christian feminist would say “come on God – you had an opportunity to correct your sexist hiring practices and you went and did it again!”

The truth is that God tells us to honor our mothers (Exodus 20:12).  God tells us to honor our wives (I Peter 3:7).  But what really throws of “Sexism” propaganda pushers is that God actually calls men to honor their wives for their weakness in comparison to men! This means we don’t mock or belittle women for being weaker, softer and gentler than us as men but instead we honor them for it.  We honor women, not for trying to compete with men, but for humbly assuming the supporting role God has given them in his creation as wives and mothers. We honor widows and other women who choose to serve in the church in ways which do not conflict with his rules for men and women in the Church (I Timothy 5:3).

Should we as Christians be ashamed of the fact that God tells us he made men to be his image bearers and women to be help meets to his image bearers by being in subjection to them? Should we be ashamed of the fact that God says a woman’s place is in the home bearing children, caring for them and caring for the needs of her home?

Jesus Christ made this statement that should send shivers up the spines of those who seek to apologize for the Bible’s Sexist treatment of women:

“38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:38 (KJV)

Now many Christians will immediately respond – “Well Jesus was not speaking in any of those 10 Scriptures you quoted so he was not talking about being ashamed of those words!”

Well my feminist Christian friends let me educate you on some other things that Christ said.

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

Jesus Christ is the very Word of God (John 1:1).  He spoke his Word through his Prophets before him and he spoke his Word through his Apostles after him.  That is why Paul could make the following statement given to him by God:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

The Scriptures are clear on this matter. The Bible teaches us that it is not misogyny(hatred of women) to be a sexist and it shows us that God is in fact a sexist while at the same time loving the women he created.  If we are ashamed of the Bible teaching sexism then we are ashamed of God himself who authored every word of the Bible.  And if we are ashamed of God he will be ashamed of us at his coming. This is why as I said to my in-laws during a thanksgiving family get together that “I am a proud sexist”.

I am a proud sexist because I am proud of my God and his Word.

And on a closing side note – God used that discussion for me to have an opening to share the truth of God’s Word with my 14 year old niece.  She came to my house during the break between Christmas and New Years to spend time with my wife (her aunt). She and I get along well and we joke with each other all the time.  Despite what occurred earlier during thanksgiving my niece does have a lot of respect for me and she knows that I know the Bible very well.

She made another joke while she was at my house when talking to my wife and she said something like “that’s just because Uncle Larry is a sexist”.  I was able to take that opportunity and to talk with her.  I explained to her that when I said that earlier I meant it and it was not a joke to me.  I explained to her that being a sexist from a Biblical perspective means believing that men and women should be treated differently because men and women have different roles to play in God’s design.  I was able to have a quick Bible study with her where I took her through Genesis 1, Genesis 2, I Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5.  I opened a world to her that she never knew existed.  She had never heard why God created men and women and why God created marriage.  She had never heard that God created women for men or that God created marriage to be a picture of the relationship of God to his people.

It was a lot for her to take in and her first response was the typical response you would expect from a 14 year old girl raised by a feminist mother – “but that’s not fair! Why would God do that? Men are not perfect like Christ and they will abuse their power over women.”  She added “plus women are usually smarter than men”.

This is what our children have been raised with.  A society that teaches them God is unfair to women, men abuse women and women are smarter than men and women should be in charge of the home.

This is spiritual war we must wage for the hearts and minds of our young people.

“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)

Are Gender Roles a Distraction From the Gospel?

Should we stop teaching Biblical commandments regarding gender roles? Is the teaching of Biblical gender roles a distraction to spreading the Gospel and bringing people to Christ?

This is what a lot of Christians today believe.  In fact I personally know many preachers today who say they stand on the Word of God yet they take this approach that “teaching what the Bible says on gender roles distracts from reaching people for Christ”.

Some of these men are firm believers in Biblical inerrancy.  They would even be considered “conservative” in many aspects of their life and ministry.  They will preach on many subjects including the church, giving and general holy living topics. They don’t believe that preaching “thou shalt not bear false witness” or “thou shalt not covet” are distractions to the Gospel. But to them teaching women that God says Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing is a distraction from the Gospel.

Recently I received an email from a man calling himself Mike.  I believe his email is a very good representation of what I have actually heard from Christian ministers today even if he is not a minister. This issue needs to be addressed as we challenge our culture (sadly even our Christian culture) with the truth of God’s Word.

With that said below is Mike’s email.

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be. Your site and others like it simply muddies the waters.

If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged”, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities. When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.

I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?

My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter. We MUST focus on that. I have a brother I can’t even help understand Gods existence. Believe me when I say I understand my flaws. You should be helping your readers to understand yours.

Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith. Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you? This is precisely why we must get people believing FIRST, then LET God do his work within them. Remember that the “Judge not” statement literally covers all of scripture. I’m curious as to how or even if you will respond. I won’t hold my breath, but MY belief in God told me this needed to be said.

Respectfully Yours. Mike”

 

What follows is my response to several key statements Mike makes on this issue.  I think this will truly help to clarify these assertions that are so commonly made today by many Christians in our culture regarding the teaching of Biblical gender roles.

Shouldn’t the Gospel Be Our Number One Priority?

Mike’s Statement:

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be.”

I very much believe that as believers in Christ our first priority should be reaching people with the Gospel of Christ.

Christ said this before his ascension:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – Matthew 28:19 (KJV)

If I teach someone about Biblical gender roles and they implement that in their marriage but they have not placed their faith and trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior their following of Biblical gender roles won’t benefit them in the eternal sense.  They will die and go to hell as all those who do not take Christ as their savior will do.

It is only when they place their faith and trust in Christ that their following of Biblical gender roles will have value not only in this world, but also in the world to come when they receive their reward for the race they have run in this life.

Do you have to believe in Biblical gender roles to be saved?

Mike’s Statement:

“I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?”

Being baptized does not save us. Being part of a particular Christian denomination like Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran or Methodist does not save us and believing in and practicing Biblical gender roles does not save us.

This is what the Bible says saves us:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” – John 1:11 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)

“9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

It is believing in our heart that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, that he died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day for our redemption that saves us.  If we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we become children of God and have passed from death to life.

Isn’t it wrong to judge others for not following Biblical gender roles?

Mike’s Statement:

“If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged“, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?”

Mike is displaying the common misinterpretation of the principle of not judging people.  Let’s see what Christ actually said about judging.

“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

When Christ made his famous statement of “Judge not, that ye be not judged” he explained in the verses that follow the type of judging he was talking about.  He was talking about hypocritical judging.  That means if you are doing the same thing or worse you have no business telling someone they are wrong.  Fix your own house before your try to fix other’s houses.

Christ later actually COMMANDS us to judge in the passage below.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24 (KJV)

Paul later tells us not judge one another on disputable matters:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:1-4 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul says we as Christians should not judge one another when it comes to disputable matters.  This has to do with personal applications of the Scriptures to our daily lives. For instance one person may feel they have the freedom to drink alcohol and another person may not because they were raised by alcoholics or have a fear they may succumb to alcoholism.  The one who drinks should not judge the one who does not believe they can drink and the one who does not drink should not judge the person who takes advantage of his freedom to drink.

There may even be some differences with how one husband applies the Biblical principles of male headship with his wife and how another applies it with his.  For instance one man may allow his wife to writing out the checks for the bills and another man may never allow his wife to see the bank account or check book. This is an example of a personal application the principle of male headship in marriage.

The point is on the subject of judging – we are actually commanded to judge by Jesus Christ himself.  We are simply commanded to do it in a righteous way.  It is not hypocritical judging or even judging on disputable matters to preach what God clearly says in his word about the distinct roles for which he made men and women and what he says about marriage.  If we compare God’s Word to what Christians and non-Christians alike say that directly contradicts with clear statements of the Scriptures that is not wrong judging, that is in fact righteous judging.

How can we as flawed humans presume to interpret the Bible for others?

Mike’s Statement:

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities.”

I am well aware of my own person flaws and my sin nature. I encourage people here regularly to follow the psalmist’s words:

“23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)

And yes we as human beings can never fully understand the mind of God as the Scriptures say:

“15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” – I Corinthians 2:15-16 (KJV)

We can never fully understand God’s mind or his thoughts.  However we can understand through Christ and the Holy Spirit what God has revealed about himself through his Word.  And we are not responsible for what God has not revealed but only what he has shown us in his Word.

Christ called on us as flawed human beings to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) as I pointed out to you earlier. God calls on us to submit to flawed human beings in government (I Peter 2:13-14). And God even calls on women to submit to flawed husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6).

The men who gave us God’s word were flawed as well as the men who preached it after them. The difference was that Paul and the other Apostles and Prophets who gave us the Scriptures while being flawed sinners received perfect revelation from God.  He was one of the few men in the history of the world that God chose for this great privilege.   This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

But  God actually has given the gifts and offices of Pastor and Teacher to help people interpret the Word of God:

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”- Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

What we see here is God talking about gifts he has given for the edifying of the body of Christ. God has personally given me the gift of being a teacher and I have tried in my own imperfect way as he has given me grace to exercise that gift over the years. Whether it was when I taught Sunday school classes or other groups I was exercising my spiritual gift “for the edifying of the body of Christ”.

In fact Paul warns the young Pastor Timothy not to neglect his spiritual gift:

“14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” – 1 Timothy 4:14 (KJV)

God does not want me to stop preaching his Word or teaching the interpretation of the Scriptures.  He placed this gift in me for the edification of the body of Christ as he has done with many imperfect and sinful men for thousands of years.  Do I claim that all my interpretations and applications of the Scriptures are infallible? Of course not.  Only Christ and his Prophets and Apostles were infallible as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

But God wants me in my own imperfect way to exercise the gift he has given me and other men with similar gifts to do the same until we all reach heaven where we will be perfectly unified in our understanding as we are in the presence of God himself.

Does Anyone Have the Right to Correct or Rebuke Other’s Bible Interpretations?

Mike’s Statement:

“When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.”

Did Paul say this to a young Pastor named Timothy – “Timothy you are a flawed and sinful man and unlike me you have not received the authority and inspiration from God to write his Scriptures. Therefore, you cannot preach any interpretation of the Bible or correct or rebuke anyone else’s interpretations of the Bible.  Let everyone decide for themselves what God’s Word teaches.”

The answer is NO.  The Apostle Paul told this young Pastor just the opposite!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)

Does “Faith Alone” Mean We Must Only Preach the Gospel and Nothing Else?

Mike’s Statement:

“My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter.”

It is absolutely true that faith alone saves as the Scriptures state:

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

But as Martin Luther famously said “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”  The Scriptures tell us this regarding the life changing power of true faith:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

So as we can see Martin Luther’s statement that the faith that saves is never alone perfectly aligns with the Scriptural view of salvation.

But what you are contending when you said “Faith alone” is that the only doctrine we should teach is that of the Gospel.  This is false.  Let me take you back to the great commission Christ gave and this time I will add his follow up statement:

“19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

Christ told us to preach the Gospel as well as well as  teach people everything he commanded.

And what was one of his commands?

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

Every word of the Bible sir comes from the mouth of God. We are to live by every word – not just those words concerning the Gospel and God gives us preachers and teachers of the Word to help us to understand all of God’s Word, not just the Gospel.

If God Canceled Some of His Laws Does That Mean He Canceled All of Them?

Mike’s Statement:
“Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you?

This is a classic argument that liberal Christians and even non-Christians make to write off parts of or even the entire Bible.  Sadly I have even seen some Christians who claim to believe in Biblical inerrancy write off the entire Old Testament based on this false argument.

No I don’t follow the food instructions that God gave to Israel as a theocracy.  Here are the reasons why:

On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” – Acts 10:9-15 (KJV)

“1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary… 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” – Hebrews 9:1 & 10 (KJV)

The Old Testament contains three types of laws – Moral, Ceremonial and Civil.  The Ceremonial laws were for Israel as theocracy to worship God and make sacrifices – it also included dietary  and other cleanliness laws.  The Civil laws dealt with the punishment or restitution that was to be made for breaking God’s moral law under the theocracy of Israel.

When Christ ushered in the New Covenant with his death, burial and resurrection he did away with the first covenant including the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel. Now only the moral law of the Old Testament and all of the laws in the New Testament are binding on us as Christians.  Therefore as a Christian living under the New Covenant, I do not have to follow the dietary laws anymore.

But Biblical gender roles WERE part of the moral law of God in the Old Testament and they were even strengthen and further explained in the New Testament as I will show in the final section of this article.  So yes it is completely consistent for me to preach and teach that Christians must follow God’s gender rules and design for man and woman yet we no longer have to follow the dietary rules or other ceremonial rules and we are no longer under the civil penalties and restitutions mandated in the Old Testament.

Are Biblical Gender Roles an Unimportant Distraction From Gospel?

Mike’s Statement:
“Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith.”

Contrary to your assertion the teaching of Biblical gender roles is even MORE important when men and women are not treating each other as God has commanded them treat one another.  The Biblical doctrines of gender roles are critical to us living the lives God has called us to live.

Christ did not just die to save us from hell but rather he died so that we would live for him:

“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV)

While we are not saved by works, Christ calls us to live for him.  How can we say we are trying to live for him when refuse to follow the purpose for which he designed each gender?

God says he made man to image him and doing so bring him glory and he made woman for man to help him in his duty to image God:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

God says that he made marriage to be a model of the relationship between God and his people:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

Conclusion

To Mike and all those Christian teachers and preachers that refuse to teach the doctrines of Biblical gender roles to your people – you are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. You are not preaching the whole counsel of God when you preach only the Gospel.

I have never said here or elsewhere that if people reject the doctrines of Biblical gender roles that they are unsaved or not going to heaven.  We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone apart from works and not by following Biblical gender roles. But Christ did not save us so we could just live for ourselves anyway we want – he saved us so we could live for him in this life.

While we will not lose our salvation for refusing to follow the doctrines of Biblical gender roles and other doctrines concerning holy living we will in fact lose our reward for doing so.  If we do not run the race of this Christian life lawfully we will lose our reward in heaven as the Scriptures tell us:

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” – 2 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

“24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (KJV)

“11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

Finally, even besides the consequences in the next life(loss of rewards) we will and are seeing the consequences of not following Biblical gender roles both as individuals and as a society in general in this life.  Since Second Wave Feminism arose in the 1960’s divorce rates have skyrocketed in our country.  While they leveled off at around 50% which is still a horrible number, the only reason they did so was because more couples just decided to live together outside a covenant of marriage.

The point is the idea of a man and woman living together for life in the covenant of marriage is becoming less and less common in our society since we as a culture left the practice of Biblical gender roles.   Marriages today are now “feelings centered” and specifically “woman centered”.  “Happy Wife Happy Life” is just another way of saying “Your wife is the boss just do whatever she says”.  And what has been the result of men allowing their wives to take over for decades – the destruction of the family unit.

Do Christian Values Cause Sexual Harassment?

With the revelations of famous men acting badly toward women and the rise of the MeToo# movement we are having a national conversation about the causes of sexual harassment.  Some have made a startling accusation that it is the “toxic” system of Christian values which is at the root of this evil behavior. The sad part is many Christians in America have been so indoctrinated by feminism that they would not even recognize that Christian values are being attacked.

In an article he wrote for Inc.com entitled Yes, We Can Defeat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Here Are 6 Powerful Ways to Do It Marcel Schwantes says the fight against sexual harassment is “about deconstructing false values embedded in toxic systemic thinking”:

“Both men and women of good conscience are fearlessly acknowledging the elephant in the room — the disturbing, age-old trend of men in power taking advantage of their status to prey on women (and other men) working below them.

Therefore, the fight is just as much about deconstructing false values embedded in toxic systemic thinking, and the thinking of sick minds. In the BBC article, Eden King exposes a root cause of sexual harassment: “A belief that women are inferior to men, the belief that men should have power over women,” and, she adds, a belief that “men should be aggressors and women should be gatekeepers.” The process of shifting mindsets doesn’t start in training rooms. King says it should begin in the earliest days of childhood education and development.”

Do Christians believe in “toxic” and “false” values that lead to sexual harassment?

Eden King lists these 4 values that she believes are false and Marcel Schwantes calls “toxic” ways of thinking that actually lead to the sexual harassment of women:

  1. “A belief that women are inferior to men”
  2. “the belief that men should have power over women”
  3. “men should be aggressors”
  4. “women should be gatekeepers”

So let’s now examine each of these beliefs as to their whether they are true or false and whether they lead to sexual harassment or actually would help to prevent it.

“A belief that women are inferior to men”

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

Women are equal to men in their humanity as we all have the blood of Adam (both men and women).  But women are not equal to men in strength and many other attributes. Women were designed to be weaker than men so that they would need men as mankind needs God.  Believing women are inferior to men does not mean we do not honor women.  But as the Scriptures tell us we give honor to women as the weaker vessels God designed them to be.

So, this first supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  This means this value that has been held by civilizations even without the Bible for thousands of years is actually a TRUE value and a righteous value. Accepting this truth has not lead most men to prey on women, but rather it leads men to protect women.

“the belief that men should have power over women”

“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God…

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

I Corinthians 11:3 & 10 (KJV)

The Bible tells that God’s order in this world is God the father is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man and man is the head of woman and that woman should have a sign of authority or a sign that there is a power over her head which is man.

Again, this second supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  This means this value that has been held by civilizations even without the Bible for thousands of years is actually a TRUE value and a righteous value. Accepting this truth has not lead most men to prey on women, but rather it leads men to desire to lead women.

“men should be aggressors”

“Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight”

Psalm 144:1 (KJV)

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; 12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

This third supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that God has made men aggressive by nature.  Man’s aggressive nature when it is used for sinful purposes can cause great destruction and evil.  But when man channels his aggressive nature toward godly purposes this helps him to accomplish great things – including taking a wife.

Accepting this truth that men are aggressors or initiators in life is not something that should cause men to harass women or otherwise act badly toward them.  Instead this truth that men are aggressors should lead men to channel their aggression into their work so they can be successful in their business endeavors to be able to provide a home for a future wife. It should also cause them to aggressively seek out a godly woman who wants to fulfill her God given purpose as a wife and mother.

“women should be gatekeepers”

“20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

Deuteronomy 22:20-22 (KJV)

Finally, this fourth supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that God has in fact assigned the role of gatekeeper to women regarding their sexual purity. In the Scriptures if a woman lost her virginity before marriage it could relegate her to a life of celibacy and if she hid the loss of her virginity it could cost her life.

While we are no longer under the civil penalties of the Old Testament law – the moral law remains.  God has given women a serious and lifelong task to protect their bodies and keep them only for their future or current husbands.  Her husband is the only one that she may and in fact must allow through the gate to access the pleasures of her body.

Accepting this truth that women are tasked by God to be gatekeepers of their sexual purity does not excuse men from acting badly toward woman. But this is why God created woman’s sexual nature to be so different than man’s. Men are designed by God to be primarily physically driven toward sex and only secondarily relationally driven.  Because of this a man can very easily have sex with a woman regardless of their relational status.  But God in his perfect design of woman for man created her with a relational    sexual nature that causes her to only desire to give herself to one man and one man only – her husband.  She is literally built with a self-protection mechanism that protects her for her man.

Conclusion

I could not agree more with Marcel Schwantes that returning to values would help to greatly reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.  However, I completely disagree with him as to what values we need to return to.  The values he and Eden King calls “false” and places as the root of the evils of sexual harassment are in fact the values that could greatly reduce the sexual harassment of women if we as a society returned them.

The “values” Schwantes and King believe we should return to do not find their basis in the Word of God, but rather in Second Wave Feminism and the Sexual Revolution which brought us these destructive changes to society:

  1. Women leaving their gatekeeper role and engaging in extramarital sex
  2. Women seeking higher education while delaying marriage
  3. Women putting off having children even after marriage
  4. Women having financial independence from men
  5. Women rebelling against their subordinate role in marriage and society

The truth is, it is not Biblical values that have lead us to the sexual harassment crisis our culture finds itself in today, but rather it is the values of Second Wave Feminism and the Sexual Revolution which are the true root of the problem.

If We Treated Divorce Like Killing

If we treated divorce like we do killing there would be far less occurrences of it.  But on the other hand, if we treated divorce like we do killing we would be far more understanding of legitimate reasons when it is justified.

The Left and Right Ditches on the Issue of Divorce

Often times on moral issues the truth of God’s Word lies in the middle of two extreme camps and there is certainly no exception to this principle on the morality of divorce.  On the left side we have Christians who teach and believe that a Christian couple may divorce for any reason.  If they have simply “fallen out love” or don’t have anything in common anymore they are told they can divorce.  But on the right side we have those Christians who condemn all cases of divorce as a sin against God no matter how grave the circumstances may be.

But if both sides of this debate were to treat divorce as they do killing I believe they would both realize the truth of what the Bible says about divorce falls in the middle of these two extremes.  Both sides are wrong.

Three Things That Divorce and Killing Have in Common

The first thing that divorce and killing have in common is that they both end something. Killing ends a human life and divorce ends the one flesh relationship that is marriage between a man and a woman.

The second thing divorce and killing both have in common is that God allows both under certain circumstances because of the entrance of sin into his creation.  In this way we can rightly say that there is such a thing as justified killing and justified divorce.

Biblical allowances for divorce simultaneously allow for divorce while placing restrictions on when it may occur.

Interestingly those who fall into the left and right ditches on the issue of divorce both have a common fatal flaw in their positions in that they BOTH ignore the Biblical allowances for divorce.  On the left side of the ditch we Christians saying the allowances in the Bible for divorce are not restrictive but simply examples of reasons.  On the right side of the ditch we have Christians feverishly trying to explain away any allowances for divorce so as to condemn all cases of divorce.

The third thing that divorce and killing have in common is that in the Bible both are spoken of using general statements with no exceptions and then exceptions are given in other passages.

General Statements on Divorce and Killing

The Bible makes both absolute and general statements about various moral issues.

An example of an absolute moral statement is found here:

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

There is no exception to the fact that there is one God and one mediator between God and man – the man Christ Jesus. Muhammad was not another mediator between God and man and neither was Buddha – only Christ is.

But then we have general statements of moral truth in regard to killing and divorce.

A lot of people think that the 6th commandment “Thou shalt not kill” in Exodus 20:13 is a general or absolute condemnation of all killing.  Christian pacifists have generally viewed it as an absolute command while most other Christians have seen it as a general condemnation of killing.

But actually again on this passage both sides are wrong and unfortunately this is one of the few places where the KJV actually gets this translation wrong as well.  The Hebrew word in Exodus 20:13 that is translated as “kill” is the word “Ratsach”.  “Ratsach” specifically refers to a wrongful killing.  In most cases it refers to murders, but in some cases it refers to man slayers. In either case though – the death was not justified whether it was intentional or un-intentional.

So the newer translations today like the NASB and others are correct in translating the 6th commandment as “You shall not murder.”

But the Bible uses another word for that is for killing in general and this encompasses all killing whether justified or unjustified this is the word “Nakah”.  Below is a general statement condemning “Nakah”:

“And he that killeth[Nakah] any man shall surely be put to death.”

Leviticus 24:17 (KJV)

So while it is absolutely true that the 6th commandment only condemns wrongfully killing someone, God’s command Leviticus 24:17 is a more general condemnation of killing and does not place any qualifications on the type of killing it is condemning.

This then brings us to a critical point that many Christian scholars and teachers and even laypersons have made on the moral issue of divorce.  There have been over the centuries and there still are many Christians today who say that Christ’s statement on divorce below was absolute statement regarding divorce and not a general statement:

“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

Luke 16:18 (KJV)

John Piper is an example of a popular evangelical teacher who teaches that Luke 16:18 was an absolute statement by Christ on divorce rather than a general statement condemning divorce. In his article entitled “Divorce & Remarriage: A Position Paper” Piper writes:

“All of my adult life, until I was faced with the necessity of dealing with divorce and remarriage in the pastoral context, I held the prevailing Protestant view that remarriage after divorce was Biblically sanctioned in cases where divorce had resulted from desertion or persistent adultery. Only when I was compelled, some years ago, in teaching through the gospel of Luke, to deal with Jesus’ absolute statement in Luke 16:18 did I begin to question that inherited position…

Luke 16:18 calls all remarriage after divorce adultery… This verse shows that Jesus does not recognize divorce as terminating a marriage in God’s sight.”

But Piper and all other Christians who regard Luke 16:18 as an absolute condemnation of divorce and/or remarriage are inconsistent when we know in 95% percent of cases they would regard Leviticus 24:17 as only a general condemnation of killing even though it lacks any qualifiers.

In other words – if you are going to say the based on Luke 16:18 that Christ is condemning all instances of divorce and remarriage then you must rightly say Leviticus 24:17 is condemning all instances of killing. The fact is it just as absurd to say that all instance of divorce and remarriage are condemned by God as it is to say that all instances of killing are condemned by God.  The Bible clearly shows allowances for both divorce and remarriage as well as killing.

First let us quickly look at God’s allowance justified killing:

“2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten[Nakah] that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”

Exodus 22:2-3 (KJV)

In the passage above we see that a man rightly justified in defending himself and his family.  This passage has been almost universally recognized by Jewish and Christian scholars as a Biblical right to self-defense even to the point of killing another person.

“Now go and smite[Nakah] Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

1 Samuel 15:3 (KJV)

The passage above was God’s command to King Saul through the Prophet Samuel. This is a very difficult passage that many Christian Pastors and teachers run from today because it offends our modern western sense of morality – specifically the killing of women and children.  It is absolutely clear that God order the genocide of the Amalekite people.

But these were evil and wicked nations and God wanted the evil wiped from land.  That is why he commanded even the animals to be killed. He wanted nothing left of the Amalekites.

There was another reason that God ordered genocide in many cases. The reason is rebellion.  If the Israelites were to leave alive even children of the Amalekites they may one day grow up to find out that their parents and people were the original owners of that land and they may form new Amalekite ethnic groups that would one day rebel against Israel from within their own borders.

So while it might seem like the nice thing to do to allow an Amalekite child to live, it would not seem so nice when that child became a man and had a knife to your throat.

It is interesting to note that because King Saul allowed some of the Amalekites to live one of their descendants, a man named Haman in the book of Esther, would later plot the genocide of the Jewish people through tricking King Xerxes into ordering their death.

But the topic of justified genocide (and there is such a topic) is a larger and more complicated one that we will leave for another article. Even if most people have a problem with justified genocide, most Christians do not have a problem with justified self-defense either of an individual or of a nation.  In other words Christians recognize that Leviticus 24:17 was only a general condemnation of killing and not an absolute condemnation of killing.

So for the same reasons that we as Christians recognize killing is only generally condemned in the Scriptures and not absolutely condemned in the Scriptures  we must also recognize that divorce and remarriage are only generally condemned in the Scriptures and not absolutely condemned.

In other words there is such a thing as just and righteous killing and there is such a thing as just and righteous divorce and remarriage.

Did Christ Reject Moses’s Commands on Divorce?

The foundational flaw of those who believe there is no allowance for divorce or remarriage is that they take Christ’s words on divorce and then utterly throw out Moses words on divorce and then they explain away Paul’s words on the subject after Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension.

In other words they see what looks to be allowances for divorce in Moses’s law and also in the writings of the Apostle Paul but since they have decided that Christ wiped out all allowances for divorce they must set out to cancel out these “supposed allowances”.

In the following two statements from John Piper he actually contends that Jesus Christ nullified the moral law of God given through Moses on divorce.

In his article “Tragically Widening the Grounds of Legitimate Divorce” Piper writes:

“…Jesus did in fact reject, for his disciples, what Moses commanded (Mark 10:5) or permitted (Matthew 19:8) in Deuteronomy 24:1.”

And again in his article “Divorce & Remarriage: A Position Paper” Piper writes:

“In both Matthew and Mark the Pharisees come to Jesus and test him by asking him whether it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife. They evidently have in mind the passage in Deuteronomy 24:1 which simply describes divorce as a fact rather than giving any legislation in favor of it. They wonder how Jesus will take a position with regard to this passage.”

Jesus rejected what Moses commanded? Such an assertion is an affront to the entire concept of Biblical inerrancy which I know Piper states he believes in on multiple occasions.  The Bible tells us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). This means the commands Moses wrote were given to him directly by God – by Jesus Christ himself.

Christ could no more reject Moses moral law than he could reject his own teachings.

It is true that God can change his laws and set aside certain laws as he did in the New Testament era.  We know that God set aside the ceremonial and civil laws he gave to Israel as a theocracy because he had divorced Israel and put an end to the theocracy of Israel (Hebrews 7:12, Hebrews 8:13, Hebrews 9:1-15).  But God’s moral law given to Moses is upheld for the Church and parts of it are restated several times in the New Testament.

Christ gave a warning that should send chills up the spine of Christian teachers like John Piper who say Jesus rejected Moses moral law on divorce:

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

What “law” was Jesus speaking to? He was speaking to the moral laws found in the Old Testament (including but not limited to Moses’s moral laws).

And notice something else that John Piper snuck in when he said “Deuteronomy 24:1 which simply describes divorce as a fact rather than giving any legislation in favor of it”. No Pastor Piper, Deuteronomy 24:1 is not simply a recognition of the reality of divorce occurring, but it is in fact commands from God regulating the process of divorce.  Jesus himself called Moses words on divorce a “command” and “precept” (law).

So modern translations that attempt to translate Deuteronomy 24:1 as simply a recognition of the fact of divorce rather than commands on divorce have utterly ignored Christ’s divine commentary on Deuteronomy 24:1 which unequivocally calls it a command regarding divorce.

My point in this section of “How to find out for what reasons God allows divorce” is that in looking at the subject of divorce we cannot throw out the Old Testament and only look at the New.  To do so is to be in direct violation of Christ’s warning in Matthew 5:17-19 against setting aside the moral laws of the Old Testament.

With this principle in mind, we will look at what the entire Bible has to say on the subject of divorce. We will look at what Christ said through his prophets before his incarnation, what he said during his earthly time here, and what Christ said through his Apostles after his ascension.

The Progressive Revelation of God on the Subject of Divorce

When we talk about the “progressive revelation” of the Scriptures we mean that God slowly over many centuries revealed his truths and his plans for mankind. In modern times we are privileged to have the final and complete revelation of God as found in the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament.

There are many subjects in the Bible where God progressively revealed his truths.  Often times when we think of progressive revelation we think of prophesies concerning the coming of the Messiah or the sacrifices which pictured Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to pay for the sins of mankind.

But another area of progressive revelation in the Scriptures that I often talk about on this blog is in the doctrine of Biblical gender roles.  In Genesis chapters 1 and 2 we see parts of the reasons that God created male and female human beings but later through the Old Testament and especially into the New Testament we see the full purposes for which God designed man, woman and marriage.

I have written on divorce several times before and at the end of this article I will supply references to my earlier writings on the topic.  In this article I want take a different approach.  I am going to approach this using a “commentary” method where I will simply list the Biblical reference and then comment on the key teachings about divorce that are found in it.

However, for those who have already read my other articles on divorce there will be some new material here that I have not previously talked about in other divorce articles I have written.

So with that being said below is a table with Biblical references in the order in which they are given in the Bible.  Alongside each reference I note key teachings on divorce as it progressively unfolds in the Bible.

Scripture Passage Progressive Truth of God that is Taught Regarding Divorce
Exodus 21:10-11 The first allowance for divorce in the Bible.

It is specifically given to women.  A man could take a second wife but he still had to provide his first wife with food, clothing and sex.  If he failed to provide these three things she was allowed to be divorced from him (freed from him).

Leviticus 21:10-13 High Priests are forbidden from marrying divorced women.
Leviticus 22:13 Divorced women are allowed back into their father’s house and to be provided for by their father.
Numbers 30:9 The vows of divorced women our binding on them.  No man can cancel them out (as is the case with young women still living with their fathers or women who had husbands).
Deuteronomy 22:13-19 First mention of a prohibition of divorce in the Bible.

A man who falsely accuses his new wife of not having been a virgin on their wedding day is forbidden from ever divorcing her.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 Second prohibition of divorce in the Bible.

A man who rapes a woman is required to pay her father the bride price for her and marry her and he may not divorce her for the remainder of her days. When we understand this passage in light of Exodus 22:17 we can see that the father has the right to take the bride price and yet utterly refuse to give his daughter to the man that wrongfully takes her.

While it may seem cruel to our modern sensibilities to even entertain the idea that a woman could be forced to marry her rapist if her father consents the fact is she would be ruined for all other men.  She would never have children unless she married this man and for most women that thought alone would be worse than marrying their rapist.

Deuteronomy 24:1 The first allowance and regulation regarding men divorcing their wives.

This passage first alludes to the fact of a husband taking and marrying a woman.  The word for “married” in the Hebrew literally means “to own” so he becomes her owner by marrying her. It says that if he as her owner finds some uncleanliness (literally indecent behavior) in her he may write her a letter of divorce and send her out of his house.

Deuteronomy 24:2 This verse allows for a divorced woman sent out of her husband’s house to go and be another man’s wife. Some of have tried to say this is just a statement of fact and not an allowance for a divorced woman to remarry.  But the fact is neither in this passage nor in any part of the Law of Moses do we find a prohibition toward men marrying divorced woman(except for the High Priest) so Moses’s mentioning of it without a hint of condemnation is an allowance for the remarriage of women sent away by their former husbands in divorce.
Deuteronomy 24:3-4 Once his divorced wife has remarried another man – the former husband may never again take his divorced wife to be his wife again.  It is interesting to note that in the Hebrew it is literally rendered as “her first owner” or “her former owner”. This means he was no longer her owner.  This also confirms that when a man divorces his wife he relinquishes all ownership over her thus terminating their marriage in the eyes of God.

Some have tried to take the word “defiled” to mean that the divorced woman did something wrong in remarrying.  But the word “defiled” in this context simply means once she remarries she is “off limits” to her former husband.  Again there is absolutely no indication here from Moses’s words that either the divorced woman sinned or the man that married her sinned by their marriage to one another.

Isaiah 50:1 The Prophet Isaiah says that God divorced Israel for her “transgressions” against him.
Jeremiah 3:8 The Prophet Jeremiah says God divorced Israel for her adultery against their marriage thus specifying the “transgressions” formerly alluded to by Isaiah.
Jeremiah 3:20 The first condemnation of wrongful separation of a wife from her husband.

Under Biblical law and by Jewish custom women could not initiate divorce with their husbands. While in Exodus 21:10-11 God allowed women to be free from husbands who failed to provide them with food, clothing and sex some women even though they could not have lawful divorce would leave their husbands for reasons other than what God allows.

Hosea 2:2 Through the Prophet Hosea, God again references the adultery that Israel had committed against him for which he divorced her but here he says after his divorce of Israel that he is no longer her husband nor is she is wife. This passage deals a fatal blow to the false teaching that if a man divorces his wife she is still married to him in the eyes of God.
Hosea 2:19-20 God will betroth Israel again one day and that marriage will be an everlasting one that will never end. Again this indicates that when a husband sends his wife away in divorce the marriage is in fact terminated in the eyes of God.  The only way it can be restored is for the husband to once against enter into a new covenant of marriage with his wife whom he formerly divorced.
Malachi 2:11-16 The first condemnation of husbands divorcing their wives in the Bible.

God says he hates divorce. But if you look in the verses before he says he hates divorce he speaks to what kind of divorce he hates. He describes Israelite men who so desired to marry pagan women that they “treacherously” divorced their first Jewish wives in order to take their new pagan wives.

Since we know that previously in Exodus 21:10-11 as well other Old Testament passages that God allowed men to take more than one wife we know that these men did not have to divorce their first wives to take a second wife.  They could have taken a second Jewish wife while still providing for their first wife and there would have been no sin.  Their sins were twofold.  Number one they were taking pagan wives which was forbidden.  Secondly they were compounding their sin of taking pagan wives by divorcing their Jewish wives to make their pagan wives happy.

Matthew 5:31-32 First mention of divorce in the New Testament.

Christ applies the designation of adultery to situations that it had never previously been applied to.  In the Old Testament adultery had only been spoken of in one of two ways.  The first and most literal sense of adultery in the Old Testament referred to married women having sex with men not their husbands. Ezekiel 16:38 uses the most literal translation of the Hebrew word for adultery with the phrase “women that break wedlock”.  Ezekiel 16:38 is also a good example of the second use of adultery in the Old Testament referring to Israel’s spiritual adultery against God by worshiping false gods.

How does a man cause his wife to commit adultery by wrongly divorcing her?

he causeth her to commit adultery – Christ is building on Malachi chapter 2’s discussion of men treacherously divorcing their wives.  He is saying when a man wrongly divorces his wife in order to make a second wife happy he causes his first to break her wedlock with him when she should not have had to.  She has not sinned – he is the one that send her away but regardless her wedlock with him is now broken.

How does a man commit adultery by marrying a divorced woman?

whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery – Christ builds on Jeremiah 3:20.  The divorced woman here is not the same woman that has been wrongly divorced by her husband in the first part of verse 32. Under Roman law and custom women could divorce their husbands so Christ expands Jeremiah’s condemnation of treacherous separation by a woman from her husband to treacherous divorce by a woman from her husband.

We know that a wife who departs from (or divorces her husband) is called unmarried later in I Corinthians 7:10-11.  So the man who marries the woman who has wrongly divorced her husband is not committing adultery with her because she is still married to her first husband but rather he is committing adultery with her because God has placed her off limits to all men but her former husband.

So at this point in the Scriptures we see adultery used to describe several situations:

1. Ezekiel 16:32 – When a woman takes strangers instead of her husband this is a form of adultery and it is the most literal and original meaning of the word.

2. Ezekiel 16:32 – Also applies adultery to Israel in the spiritual sense of her idolatry.  So adultery is given an even wider definition of unfaithfulness.

3. Mathew 5:32a – Applies adultery to a situation where a husband wrongly divorces his wife forcing his innocent wife to break wedlock with him.

4. Mathew 5:32b – Applies adultery to a situation where a man marries a woman that has treacherously(Jeremiah 3:20) divorced her husband.  While she is no longer married to her first husband, she is declared off limits to all other men but him because she wrongly left him.

In a way this putting a wife who has divorced her husband wrongly off limits to all men but him is similar to the concept of Deuteronomy 24:2-4 placing a wife sent away in divorce off limits to her first husband if she remarries.

These two situations are the only two types of remarriage forbidden in the Bible.

What does the the exception clause mean?

The exception clause refers to this phrase “saving for the cause of fornication”. Fornication refers to all forms of sexual immorality including premarital sex, prostitution and adultery and sexual defrauding of one’s spouse.  So God was saying if a man’s wife committed a sexual sin against him most likely in the form of adultery or sexual defraudment he could justly divorce her.  This is a gender specific command as most commands in marriage are and it only applies to men.  He was not allowing women to divorce their husbands for fornication.

In conclusion Christ is simply amplifying the teachings of Jeremiah and Malachi on the topic of treacherous divorce. Nowhere in his wording does he set aside the law he gave through Moses allowing divorce by both men and women for certain reasons.

Matthew 19:3-9 The largest discussion of divorce by Christ.

The key to understanding the enter passage is found in question by the Pharisees that started it – Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Here Christ is being asked to answer the question of what is uncleanliness from Deuteronomy 24:1. Some Jews thought it meant “for every cause” while others thought it was only for serious sexually related sins.  Christ settles the argument in verse 9 where he says “except it be for fornication”.  So Christ was opposing “every cause” divorce for men.  He was saying a wife had to commit some type of sexual immorality for her husband to lawfully divorce her.

Again nowhere in this passage does Christ set aside or nullify the commands he gave Moses regarding divorce but rather he clarifies why God allowed divorce through Moses and that was because of the sinful hardness of hearts that are in both men and women.

An interesting difference between this passage and Christ’s previous statement on divorce from Matthew 5:31-32 is that this time he says the man commits adultery by divorcing his wife and marrying another woman.

In my note on Matthew 5:31-32 I described 4 different scenarios that are described as adultery.  Matthew 19:9’s declaration that the husband who wrongly divorces his wife is committing adultery is the 5th definition of adultery.

As we previously explained this was not an absolute condemnation of all divorce and remarriage by men toward their wives but was simply addressing the Malachi 2 scenario of men treacherously divorcing their wives. When a man does this he commits the new form of adultery Christ first mention in Matthew 5 and which is to wrongly break wedlock.

Again we see the reference to the man marrying the divorced woman committing adultery.  See my discussion of what that is referring to back in my notes on Matthew 5:31-32.

Mark 10:2-12 Pretty much a smaller rehash of Matthew 19:3-9.

It leaves out details that Matthew gives for the most part but adds a few he does not.  Matthew calls Moses’s law on divorce an allowance while Mark calls it a “command” and “precept”.  None of these are contradictory because Moses’s words on divorce are in fact all these things – a command, a precept (law) and an allowance by God.

Another interesting part is it refers directly to a woman divorcing her husband.  Again this is not a condemnation of all divorce for women because Exodus 21:10-11 clearly allows women to be divorced from husbands who fail to provide them food, clothing and sex.  Instead it is pointing back to Jeremiah 3:20’s condemnation of women who treacherously depart from their husbands. It is talking about wrongful divorce and remarriage for women – not all divorce and remarriage for women.

Luke 16:18 The shortest statement by Christ in all the Gospels on the subject of divorce.

Surprisingly this shortest statement is the one that John Piper and many Christian teachers have built their entire theology of divorce on.  Then they have to cram in or explain away the rest of the Bible that does not fit with their beliefs based on this passage.

Luke 16:18 is no more an absolute statement on divorce than Leviticus 24:17 is an absolute statement on killing.

Instead based on the entirety of the Scriptures, we understand Luke 16:18 is a general statement on divorce and remarriage in the same way that Leviticus 24:17 is a general statement on the subject of killing.  We know from looking at the entirety of the Bible that not all killing is sinful and in the same way we know from looking at the entirety of the Bible that not all divorce and remarriage is sinful either.

Romans 7:2-3 A general statement of truth regarding the fact that under normal circumstances a wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives and she can only marry another man after he dies. If she treacherously departs from him (Jeremiah 3:20) and marries another man she is rightly called an adulteress.

But some wrongly take this statement to cancel out Exodus 21:10-11 which frees a woman from a man who fails to provide for her. They also ignore the fact that passages like Deuteronomy 24:2-4, Hosea 2:2 and I Corinthians 7:10-11 show that divorce does in fact terminate a marriage in God’s eyes whether it was done for lawful or unlawful reasons.

This means in the case of divorce a woman is no longer consider in the eyes of God to be her former husbands wife.  Remarriage for her is only considered adultery if she treacherously(unlawfully) departed from her first husband.

I Corinthians 7:10-11 Paul begins by building on what Christ said in the Gospels on divorce but he states it in a slight different way adding some detail that Christ did not. Contrary to what many have thought of this passage it is NOT speaking of separation.  It is speaking of divorce.

The way we know this is by Paul’s use of the word “unmarried” in referring to the woman who departs from her husband.  This literally is the same word used for single women and it literally means “unmarried” in the original language of the New Testament.

The term “unmarried” here is also another fatal blow to those who hold the position that wrongly divorced persons are still married to their previous spouses.  The Biblical witness directly contradicts this false teaching.

We know from Exodus 21:10-11 that this is not an absolute restriction on wives’ divorcing their husbands but only a general statement.   Only if a wife treacherously divorces her husband for reasons God does not all then  she must remain unmarried and she is off limits to every other man except her former husband and she may reconcile to him if he will have her back.

I Corinthians 7:12-15 This section starts off with a very important statement that has been twisted and maligned by some and totally misunderstood by others.  Paul says But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.  Was he saying everything that came after this was his opinion? Of course not. His only opinion in this entire chapter was his opinion that celibacy was better than marriage if one had the gift of celibacy.  Nothing else in this chapter was his opinion but it was in fact the divine word of God. But even his opinion on celibacy was allowed and authorized by God to be in the Bible.

What is also important about Paul’s introductory statement in verse 12 is that he entering into progressive revelation.  He is revealing more truths from God on marriage and divorce that neither the prophets nor Christ before him spoke on.

This is why our understanding of divorce will be incomplete if we think Christ had the final word on the subject when he walked this earth.  Christ did have the final word on the subject but through his servant Paul after his ascension.This passage tells us that if we become a Christian and our unbelieving spouse wants to stay then we should stay with them and not divorce them simply because they are not a believer.  We should try to win them to Christ if they want to stay.  But if they want to depart then let them depart and the Christian man or woman are not bound to their unbelieving spouse who has left them.  The marriage can justly be terminated under such circumstances.

It is interesting to note that the English word “depart” which occurs twice in I Corinthians 7:15 is a translation of the Greek word Chorizo which is the same word that Christ uses as a synonym for divorce when he says “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder[Chorizo]”(Matthew 19:6). This word in most cases does literally mean “to depart” and is used that way in other Biblical passages.  But it can be speaking to divorce as well.

Also there is no Biblical reason to believe this does not apply to all marriage situations where one spouse leaves the other even if both are professing Christians.

So in summary the Apostle Paul is saying under the divine inspiration of God that if your spouse abandons and or divorces you then you are not bound to them anymore.  Whether they have divorced you, or you divorce them for abandonment you are no longer bound to them in marriage.  And this is one area that equally applies to both men and women in marriage.

1 Timothy 3:2 Pastors must be the husband of one wife – this is a reference to divorce and not polygamy. It literally can be rendered “the husband of his first wife”.  See note on I Timothy 5:9 that proves this.
1 Timothy 3:12 Deacons must also not be divorced (see note on I Timothy 3:2 and I Timothy 5:9).
1 Timothy 5:9 In the same way that Pastor was to be “the husband of one wife” in I Timothy 3:2, as widows who is comes into the service and provision of the church must have been “the wife of one man”.
Titus 1:6 A restatement of I Timothy 3:2 on Pastors not being divorced.

 

Summary of Biblical Reasons for Divorce

Based on all the passages Scripture passages listed above we can see that God does not allow divorce form just any reason and that he places specific restrictions on divorce.  These restrictions are in fact gender specific – something that is often overlooked.  Below are the specific reasons that a man and then a woman can get divorced under God’s law.

God allows a man to divorce his wife for these reasons

If she claims to be a virgin before marriage and he finds out she has in fact had sex with other men before marriage (she has engaged in pre-marital sex with other men).

If she has sex with other men after they are married (adultery)

If she refuses to have regular sexual relations with her husband (sexual defraudment).

If she abandons him.

God allows a woman to divorce her husband for these reasons

If he fails to provide her with food and clothing (shelter is implied with clothing).

If he refuses to have regular sexual relations with her (sexual defraudment).

If he abandons her.

Are All Remarriages Forbidden According to the Bible?

God gives us this very important command:

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV)

Those on the far left side of the divorce issue are diminishing or taking away the restrictions God places on divorce in teaching they can divorce “for every cause” as some of the Jewish leaders taught.  But those on the far right side of divorce either add to God’s word by saying all remarriage is forbidden or some restrict all remarriage only for women.

Contrary to the teachings of John Piper and others Biblical divorce is not just a permanent form of separation where the couple remain married in God’s eyes for the remainder of their lives and they are forbidden from remarriage.

Exodus 21:10-11 simultaneously proves two important points.  First it proves that the concept of “remarriage” does not apply to men (except in one instance) because men are allowed to marry additional wives.

Remarriage primarily applies to women because as Deuteronomy 24:1 states when a man takes a woman and marries her he owns her.  Marriage in the Hebrew was a man taking ownership of a woman as his wife.  So whether her husband divorces her or he dies the next marriage she enters into is a “remarriage” because she was formerly owned by another man.

Deuteronomy 24:2 says of a divorced woman that “she may go and be another man’s wife”.  Moses could have taken this opportunity to condemn this action but he did not. Instead he gave regulations working with this situation if the divorced woman did indeed choose to be another man’s wife.

But even without Deuteronomy 24:2, the burden is not on us to prove that God allows remarriage.  The burden is to prove that God does NOT allow remarriage.

The Bible is clear from Deuteronomy 24:4, Hosea 2:2 and I Corinthians 7:10-11 that divorce does in fact terminate a marriage in God’s eyes whether it was done for lawful or unlawful reasons.

There are only two types of “remarriage” that are forbidden in the Bible.  The first is found in Deuteronomy 24:3-4 where God forbids men from remarrying their wives whom they have divorced if they marry another man. The second type of remarriage that is forbidden is if a woman treacherously departs from her husband (leaves or divorces him for reasons other than Exodus 21:10-11 allows) she is forbidden from remarriage to any other man except her former husband whom she wrongly left.

She is off limits to all other men even though she is unmarried and if another man marries this unmarried woman who wrongly left her first husband then he is guilty of another form of adultery Christ describes in the Gospels.

The False “Innocent Spouse” Doctrine of Divorce

The entire teaching of an “innocent spouse” being confined to a life of celibacy because of the sin of their former spouse finds no basis whatsoever in the teachings of the Bible.

This false teaching is based on a failure to understand that the Bible teaches divorce DOES in fact terminate marriage in God’s eyes (whether it is for just reasons or sinful reasons) and it is also a failure to understand that Christ gave us another definition of adultery when it is used in the context of divorce and remarriage which is the wrongful breaking of wedlock either by a husband or a wife.  He equated adultery to the treacherous act of a man divorcing his wife for unjust reasons to marry another wife and a wife divorcing her husband for unjust reasons to marry another man.

Confining a person who has justly divorced their spouse or who has been wrongly divorced by their spouse to a life a celibacy is like throwing someone in prison because they killed someone in self-defense.

What About Divorce for Physical Abuse?

While the Bible does not speak specifically to the issue of divorce for physical abuse I cannot imagine that God views a woman who has had her jaw broken and teeth knocked out by her husband and divorces him as a wife who “treacherously departeth from her husband”(Jeremiah 3:20).

But the truth is the Bible does not speak specifically to every issue of life – sometimes we must look to broader principles of the Scriptures when the Bible is silent on a specific case.  I believe this passage below gives us such a principle that could relate to physical abuse in marriage:

“26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.”

Exodus 21:26-27 (KJV)

If a man was required to free his slave or indentured servant if he caused serious physical harm by knocking out their tooth how can we think that a wife had less rights than a slave or indentured servant? The fact is in the Scriptures basic human rights are demonstrated in the rights of slaves and indentured servants.  All of these rights bubble up to those who had more rights like wives and free men.

So I don’t think it is a stretch or adding to the Scriptures to say a woman could divorce her husband for causing her great physical bodily harm.

Conclusion

Generally speaking most occurrences of divorce and killing are done for sinful reasons that God does not allow and these are the divorces and killings that God hates.  But we can see when we examine the Scriptures as a whole understanding the principle of progressive revelation that God no more condemns all divorce than he condemns all killing.

God does not hate it when a man justly divorces his wife for adultery any more than he hates it when a man kills to defend his family.  He hates that they were put in those positions to have to do those things – but he holds no ill will against the victims in these cases.

God only condemns two types of remarriage – the first is that a man may not remarry his wife whom he divorced if she marries another man.  The second is a woman who unjustly divorces her husband for reasons God does not allow is forbidden from remarriage to any other man but the husband she wrongly left.

Finally, the teaching that those who have been the innocent victims of wrongful divorce by their spouse or have been forced to divorce their spouse for just cause are relegated to a life of celibacy by God finds no basis in the Word of God.

Below are previous articles I wrote on divorce.

Why Does God Allow Divorce?
Does God Allow Divorce for Adultery?
Does God Allow a Woman to Divorce Her Husband for Failure to Provide?
Does God Allow Divorce for Abuse?
Does God allow divorce for spousal abandonment?
Martin Luther on Divorce for Sexual Denial
8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal
4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

Is it wrong to judge a Pedophile?

Does the Bible forbid us as Christians from feeling “a burst of rage” when we hear about cases of pedophiles molesting, raping or killing children? Are we putting ourselves in the “Judge’s seat” when we feel such special anger and rage toward people who would do such things to children?

A Christian blogger calling herself “SeriouslyServing” answers both of these questions with a firm “YES”.  In her view Christians are forbidden from feeling a burst of rage or anger or feeling any differently toward cases of child molestation than any other sin.

In her post “Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile” SeriouslyServing writes:

“Every time a news story breaks about a new case of child sexual abuse or a child porn user, a slew of people rush to the comments section to declare their thoughts about the criminal.

“Scum of the earth…”

“Bring back the death penalty…”

“Let him stay with the general population in prison, see how he likes that…”

In one sense, I can relate. Nothing sickens me more than the thought of people hurting and abusing children, especially since I’ve had kids of my own. At times, I’ve read details of these horrific cases and felt a burst of rage, and contemplated what justice might look like for that person.

So we put ourselves firmly in the seat of Judge, and we mete out what we would consider Justice. I have to laugh at the incongruity here, given one of the maxims of our day is “don’t judge”…

“Don’t judge” – unless the person you’re judging is a paedophile.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s someone who is clearly way worse than you.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s publicly acceptable to do so.”

To be clear, SeriouslyServing, is admitting she has struggled with reacting to the actions of pedophiles differently than any other sin.  The rest of the article is her telling herself and us why she thinks she was wrong for feeling that way and why we should feel wrong as well.

And just a note – the different spelling of “Paedophile” has to do with the fact that SeriouslyServing is using the British spelling of the word.  The American spelling is “pedophile” so that is what I am using.

SeriouslyServing bases her premise that we are wrong to feel a burst of rage or any differently about what pedophiles do to children on this passage from the Gospel of Luke:

“9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 (KJV)

SeriouslyServing has completely misinterpreted the meaning of Christ’s parable that we have just read.  The emphasis was not on judging sin, but on a person, being self-righteous.

Christ said this in another part of the Gospels:

“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Mark 2:17 (KJV)

Jesus was saying here that unless we see ourselves as sinners in need of the great physician which is Christ we cannot be saved.  This is the same message Christ was giving in Luke 18:9-14.  The Pharisee who thanked God “that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” was showing God he did not see himself as a sinner before God.  He thought his good outweighed any bad he did and that his works made him righteous before God.

Luke 18:9-14 is actually a beautiful picture of what it takes for us to be saved.  I have used it many times in sharing the Gospel.  We cannot look at the good we do or compare ourselves to others and think because we do more good than some others that we are saved.  We cannot think that because we don’t do certain things others do that we are saved.  Each us must do what the Publican did and pray “God be merciful to me a sinner”.  This is the only way we can be saved.

Does God view all sins of equally?

Is it wrong for us to feel a special rage toward those who harm children or should we have no burst of rage or anger toward such sins and regard them as no different than someone getting a speeding ticket?

It is absolutely true that all sin condemns us to hell.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

Romans 5:12 (KJV)

Whether we sin little, or sin much the smallest sin will condemn us to hell.  But just because all sin equally condemns us to hell – this does not make all sin equally heinous before God.  The Scriptures show that God views some sins as more heinous than others.

When the Jews said that Jesus did his miracles by the power of Satan he said:

“31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

Matthew 12:31-32 (KJV)

So, as we can see ascribing the miracles of God to Satan is something especially heinous to God and is set apart from other sins.

Jesus in speaking to Pilate said:

“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

John 19:11 (KJV)

Christ was saying if Pilate sentenced him to death that would be a sin against God in that he would be sentencing an innocent man to death.  But the “greater sin” was committed by the Jewish leaders who handed him over to Pilate for death.  They were rejecting Christ as their Messiah and calling Jesus who was the sinless son of God a sinner worthy of death.  Theirs was truly the greater sin.

Again, in the New Testament Paul has a warning for those who are teachers of God’s Word:

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

James 3:1 (KJV)

If a person sins because they have been wrongly taught that it is ok to do something they will still be judged by God.  But God judges the teachers who taught others to do such things with a greater condemnation than those who simply followed the wrong teaching.

Here we see God specially targets sexual sin:

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

So, as we can see from the Scriptures – all sins condemn us to hell but not all sins are judged equally by God. Some sins receive a greater condemnation than others.

Is it wrong to judge?

But what about judging? Doesn’t the Bible say we should never judge others sin?

A lot of Christians and non-Christians alike misunderstand what Christ said about judging below:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

If you look at the passage in its context Christ is condemning hypocritical judging, not all judging.  If we are doing the same things or worse things than what someone else is doing we have no business passing judgement on what they have done.

Besides hypocritical judging there is one other type of judging the Bible condemns as seen in the passage below:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

Romans 14:1-2 (KJV)

We are not to pass judgement on our brothers regarding disputable matters.  There are some things in which we must seek the Lord’s will for personal decisions in our lives.  As Christians we may come to different conclusions on some matters and we must do what we believe is right before the Lord based on searching the Scriptures and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

So, as we have shown from the Scriptures God condemns two types of judging – hypocritical judging and judging on disputable matters or matters of conscience.

But we are in fact commanded to judge righteously as opposed to judging hypocritically or in matters of conscience as seen in the Scriptures below:

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Leviticus 19:15 (KJV)

“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Proverbs 31:9 (KJV)

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

John 7:24 (KJV)

Too many Christians and non-Christians alike believe that no one can say anything against their sin. They say “the Bible says judge not lest ye be judged!” But they are absolutely wrong in their assertions of what the Bible says.  The Bible tells us not judge unjustly.  It tells us not to judge hypocritically.  It tells us not judge in matters of conscience.  But where God speaks clearly and we are not guilty of such things ourselves we are commanded by God to “in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor”.

This means that Christians can and must speak out against things like murder (including the murder of the unborn) rape and fornication including one of the most wicked and heinous forms of fornication which is child molestation.

Is it always wrong to get angry?

Like in the matter of judging, many Christians and non-Christians alike believe the Bible condemns all forms of anger or hatred based on passages like this one below:

“43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)

Was Christ condemning all forms of anger or hatred? The answer is no.  We can see from Christ himself that he acted in anger:

“13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

John 2:13–17 (KJV)

Like judging, not all anger is according to the Scriptures.   The New Testament tells there is a righteous form of anger:

“26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV)

If we look back to the Old Testament we can understand what kind of anger is actually righteous in God’s sight:

“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Psalm 97:10 (KJV)

“21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”

Psalm 139:21-22 (KJV)

 

Many good men who had righteous anger toward wicked things that happen in our world have allowed their righteous anger to be turned into sinful bitterness and this is something we should always guard against in our lives as Christians.

However, there is a zeal, an anger or hatred for evil that is in fact righteous before God.  Christ demonstrated such righteous anger when he put a whip together and drove the money changers out of the temple.

So, if Christ was not condemning all forms of hatred in Matthew 5:43-45 what was he condemning? To find the answer to this question we must look to another of Christ’s statements later in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

Matthew 24:9 (KJV)

Christ was saying that if we are hated for being Christians we would should use that as a way to minister toward our spiritual enemies. We should love those who hate us for being Christians and show them the love of Christ.  But this was not a condemnation of us being angry at evil or hating evil acts against innocents.

Christ had a special hatred for those who would harm children

In the same way that Christ had a zeal for those would abuse his father’s house he also had a righteous hatred toward those who would harm children:

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18:1-6 (KJV)

Several times in the Gospels Christ told his disciples that in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven they needed to become as little children.  He was using children as a symbol of innocence.  Children are trusting.  Child place their dependence on others for their provision and protection.  Only if we humble ourselves as a child seeing ourselves in need of God’s forgiveness and grace can we be saved.

Christ then gives a stern warning against those who would offend (or harm or lead astray) one of these “little ones”.  He says it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the see than to commit wickedness against one of these “little ones”.

This warning has multiple applications of course.  In its most literal sense as Christ holds a child in his arms he is talking about those who would commit wickedness against the innocence of a child. But he is also using this in the spiritual sense of those false teachers who would come along and lead believers astray with false doctrines.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated from the Scriptures some very important principles.

Luke 18:9-14 rather than being a condemnation of us being angered by the wickedness that others do is a condemnation of having a self-righteous attitude toward God in the matter of salvation.  We can only be saved when we see ourselves as wicked sinners and we must not think because we don’t do certain things or do certain things that this provides the justification for our salvation.

While Romans 5:12 shows us that all men have sinned and all sin equally condemns men to hell, other passages like John 19:11 and James 3:1 show us that there are in fact greater and lesser sins in God’s eyes.

On the subject of judging in the Scriptures we read that we are actually commanded to judge righteously (Leviticus 19:15 & John 7:24) while at the same time we are forbidden from judging from a place of hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5) or from judging other Christians in matters of conscious (Romans 14:1-2).

The Bible actually commands us to be angry at sin and hate evil acts (Ephesians 4:26-27, Psalm 97:10, Psalm 139:21-22).  Jesus Christ acted in zealous and righteous anger in whipping the money changers and driving them from the temple (John 2:13–17).  The Bible warns us against allowing our righteous anger to turn into bitterness.  Christ commands us to show love toward those who hate us for his name’s sake.

Finally, we showed that Christ did single out those who would commit wicked acts against the innocence of children.

So, we can rightly say using the principles that Christ laid out that it would be better for a man to have a large stone hung around his neck than for him to commit wicked acts against the innocence of a child.

It is absolutely true that God offers forgiveness, mercy and grace towards sinners including murders, rapists and yes even pedophiles. But God also commands us to judge from a righteous position these heinous acts.  Just because God offers forgiveness and grace does not mean he is not filled with anger and hatred toward such acts and he commands us to be “Be ye angry, and sin not”.

There is a reason that social workers, police officers and soldiers feel “a burst of rage” and a different kind of hatred when they find children having been abused, molested, raped or murdered. There is a reason that even the hardest of criminals feel this way toward pedophiles.  It is because children are one of God’s greatest symbols of innocence and when their innocence is violated in these heinous ways it should evoke a righteous anger and hatred in all of us, if it doesn’t that is the problem.