Misogyny’s War Against Egalitarianism
Every war has its roots; they don’t just pop up suddenly and without warning. If you’ve read some of the material here on the issue of women and the Bible, you know that this war began with God’s putting hostility between Eve and the serpent, between her “seed” and his. Women have been the devil’s object of supreme hatred ever since. We see this played out in the general oppression of women by men in history, even in the Bible.
But when Jesus came, he proclaimed freedom for the imprisoned and healing for the sick. There were no disclaimers about this being only applied to men either. What he did by example, and taught expressly, was to restore women to their rightful status as fully human. But although women and men were made equal, he went even farther to turn the world’s notion of society upside down: the “greatest” were to put themselves on the lowest level, to support and serve the “least”. Think of this as an inverted pyramid, with Jesus as the “cornerstone” that holds up everything else. Greatness in the Kingdom was to be found in a person’s willingness to serve and support, not command and control. No disciples of Jesus were ever to “lord over” each other, and again there was no disclaimer that this only applied to men.
Yet no sooner than the ink dried on the last pages of the New Testament, misogyny overtook the assembly, and it has reigned ever since. Like the rabbis before them, the early “church fathers” pulled no punches in their views of women. Some quotes from a decent article (but painful color scheme!):
- “Rather should the words of the Torah be burned than entrusted to a woman...Whoever teaches his daughter the Torah is like one who teaches her obscenity.” Rabbi Eliezer
- “Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the Devil’s gateway: You are the unsealer of the forbidden tree: You are the first deserter of the divine law: You are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert even the Son of God had to die.” St. Tertullian
- “What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman......I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.” St. Augustine of Hippo
- “As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence.” St. Thomas Aquinas
- “If they [women] become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that’s why they are there.” Martin Luther
- “Woman’s identity cannot consist in being a copy of man, since she is endowed with her own qualities and prerogatives, which give her a particular uniqueness that is always to be fostered and encouraged... To all in our age who offer selfish models for affirming the feminine personality, the luminous and holy figure of the Lord’s Mother shows how only by self-giving and self-forgetfulness towards others is it possible to attain authentic fulfillment of the divine plan for one’s own life.” Pope John Paul II, 1995
- “Most of these feminists are radical, frustrated lesbians, many of them, and man-haters, and failures in their relationships with men, and who have declared war on the male gender. The Biblical condemnation of feminism has to do with its radical philosophy and goals. That’s the bottom line. Jerry Falwell
- ”...God, by creating Adam first (Gen. 2:18; 1 Cor. 11:8) and also by creating woman for man (Gen. 2:18,20,22; 1 Cor. 11:9), has set the gender-based role and responsibility of males in the most basic unit of society (the family) to be that of leader, provider and self-sacrificial protector (also cf. Eph. 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7), and likewise has set the gender-based role and responsibility of females to be that of help and nurture (Gen. 2:18) and life-giving (Gen. 3:20) under male leadership and protection (cf. 1 Peter 3:7)...“ The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood
- ”...make dads the godly leaders [of the family] with the women in submission, raising kids for the glory of God.“ Randall Terry, Operation Rescue
- In the beginning God made man male and female. He made Adam first, and then made Eve from Adam’s rib. This order of creation subordinates wives to their husbands in marriage, and women to men in the church. As an act of submission to their Creator women are commanded to submit to their husbands and to male leadership in the church. Women are not allowed to teach or have authority over men in any formal capacity in the church.” Reformation Fellowship of the East Valley, Mesa, AZ
This sort of material should make every honest believer turn away in disgust. Instead, we have a resurgence of it in the churches. There was no excuse for it any time in history since Jesus came, yet it lives on and prospers. This deplorable mindset is absolutely satanic and obviously the antithesis of everything Jesus and the apostles set forth. They should be ashamed of themselves! But they are proud, arrogant, and intent upon doing to women what the Pharisees did to everyone: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Mt. 23:13) Women in the churches can honestly say along with John, “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.” (3 John 1:9)
Anyone who “loves to be first” is least in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus said so.