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.
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)