Biblical Gender Roles

This is the first time I have done this, and I do not intend to make it into a habit. Recently, I found a delightful little website; https://biblicalgenderroles.com/. Before you continue with my article,  dear reader, I invite you to cast your eyes over the website above as a whole and have a little look into the particular article that will be the subject of my writing; https://biblicalgenderroles.com/the-10-commandments-of-christian-marriage/. Before I begin, I wish to make you aware that I am not a Christian. However, I am agnostic and  – perhaps more importantly – I am a person. 

I completely support the writer of the aforementioned blog (who gives his name as a Larry Solomon)  in the utilisation of his right to freedom of speech (which I dare say he would be quick of the mark to tell me is the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution). I hope he will understand that in criticising his, in many cases, dubious interpretation of the Bible and highly selective quotations, I do not intend to rob him of his right to say or write or express whatever he wants to. I simply wish to question what he says, challenge his interpretations, and draw attention to the fact that if this man had been of Islamic faith, it is likely his blog would have been removed as ‘terrorist propaganda’. However, I do not believe what Solomon has written is of a terrorist nature what so ever.

I wish to wield my right to freedom of expression to speak against what I feel are highly problematic articles and hope that Solomon will afford me this privilege (I have written to the email address his website provides many times and his responses haven’t been forthcoming – I am still waiting on them). I am unable to find his personal faith denomination, making it somewhat more challenging for me to directly comment on a lot of what he says as I can’t find any denomination specific versions of the Scriptures he may have been working from, nor figures he may have gathered his unusual interpretations from. 

The first quotation from his blog I wish to challenge directly is; “Wives – Submit to your husband. “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians  5:24″. I fail to see how his headline “Wives- Submit to your husband.” is a reasonable interpretation of his Scripture quote. If Solomon responds to this article, which I doubt he will, I dare say his first jibe will be that I have admitted I am not a Christian and therefore cannot understand the Bible to the same degree he does. However, I argue that my faith isn’t relevant to my comprehension of the text, similarly to the fact I can understand Wuthering Heights without being from Yorkshire and my ability to look into Dracula, without being a vampire. It seems to me that the quote is more likely referring to the need for a mutual relationship between husband and wife biblically, as the church is mutually connected to Christ. 

A little further down, another interpretation troubles me; “Wives – Ravish your husband with your sexual love, and give your body freely to your husband whenever he needs sex. “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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 7:3-4″. Since when did benevolence become akin to sex? I believe one of the characteristics of God is omnibenevolence, and I don’t believe anywhere in the Bible does it say that God has sex with the world. I also note that Solomon selects to link the quote he has taken as being related to wives, even though the quotes appear to suggest that sex is a right of a husband from his wife – likewise is it a right of the wife from her husband. However, Solomon seems to skeet over that part. 

I see huge issues with his closing assertion: “If we would only follow these commands of God regarding marriage – divorce would be eradicated and we would have a more peaceful and prosperous society.” He doesn’t even seem to bother carefully selecting a Scripture quote to prove. I wish to remind him at this point of the things he hasn’t mentioned in the Bible that keenly link to Christian marriage such as the notion that God is on the side of the oppressed as suggested in Psalm 56. Interestingly, the word ‘abuse’ does not feature anywhere in the Bible, but the notion of ‘oppression’ does. I wish to remind Solomon that marriages break up due to oppression, which doesn’t feature anywhere in his article. 

While I appreciate that Solomon had a purpose in writing his article, I feel it’s highly biased and does not take into consideration any opposing arguments from the Scriptures. He simply wishes to pretend those less helpful sections do not exist. I’m sure Solomon would have a response to this assertion of mine (though he may feel it isn’t worth his time as I’m female – a gender he demonstrates a keen hatred of throughout his blog, if it helps him, I invite him to pretend my boyfriend has written this). I invite Solomon to respond to this publicly on his blog, and I will be more than happy to answer any queries he may have. I await his response keenly, though I doubt it will be forthcoming. 

NOTE: I DO NOT SEEK TO OFFER ANY DEEP INTERPRETATION PERSONALLY ON THE BIBLE AS I DO NOT FEEL IT IS MY PLACE. ANY ASSERTIONS OR INFORMATION I HAVE INCLUDED HAVE COME FROM ALTERNATIVE SOURCES WHICH I WILL LIST BELOW.

Bibliography: 

https://www.saferresource.org.au/the_bible_on_domestic_family_violence

https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/bullbiblrese.25.4.0519

https://www.openbible.info/topics/domestic_violence_and_abuse

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