Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Theology

Although I am a Christian and have been for a few years now, I am still a seeker in some aspects of my faith, and I think that it will probably be that way until death takes me out of this world. Sarah Bessey in her book new book "Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women", says on page 56 that "really, theology is simply what we think about God and then living that truth out in our right-now life." This definition of theology really resonated with me especially because of several conversations I have had lately about my value and worth in the eyes of God. It's something I've always struggled with, occasionally I come across something that gives me an epiphany but then life happens and I am left believing that I have no value or worth to God, or at the very least that others are more valuable or worthwhile to him that I am. 

So I have some questions, and I'm asking them as a seeker. I had a discussion just yesterday with somebody about my value and worth in the eyes of God. He asked me if I really believed that I had less worth and value to God than other people and I said yes, I really believe that. He then asked me what evidence I had that some people had less value and worth than others, and I cited the Old Testament. I know that the Old Testament isn't how we live today, and that we are New Testament Christians living in the Kingdom of God. However, when it comes to my thoughts about God, what I see in the Old Testament is a God who seems to hate women. God says that if a man rapes a virgin, he has to marry her. A woman has to marry her rapist and doesn't have a choice because she is just property? That's obvious that God values men above women. God designs women to have a period every month and then decides that he hates it and it is unclean and she is unclean for over a week, how is that showing value to a woman? In the Old Testament, women are bought and sold. And while I understand that I am a New Testament Christian, and I can handle Jesus and his views of women, God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three in one and so God is Jesus too and God appears to hate women. Please know I am not making definitive statements here, this is simply how it feels, this is how my mind has framed the argument that some of us have less value to God, even on the basis of gender alone. It seems like God supports inequality and yet Jesus preaches equality. 

The guy who asked me these questions, I think he is probably right when he says, similar to what Sarah Bessey said which I quoted at the start of this article, he said something along the lines of my view of God shapes my view of myself. I have never really thought about it like that before. 

So here is me asking for help. Asking those of you who believe that we are all valuable and precious to God, despite gender etc, to state what you believe about it and why and give me the relevant Scriptures. Anyone who would like to help out, please do so. 

1 comment:

  1. In several of my religion classes at college, including Women in Judaism, which studied the Old Testament, have portrayed women as property belonging first to their fathers and then to their husbands. The Women in Judaism class gave the most enlightening read of some of the Old Testament, but that may have been influenced by the teacher's perspective, so I'll save that for another time. Frequently though, after reading the passages and so-called "rules" regarding femininity in the Old Testament our teacher would remind us that God himself did not sit down and scribe these words onto papyrus. The Old Testament is a piece of divinely inspired literature, according to some, which means that God inspired men to write it. Men, being fallible and having a limited understanding of women's biological processes and a woman's worth back then, wrote down what God inspired them to write, but with their own spin on it. The men are the ones who regulated women as property and deemed her "unclean" when she was on her menses because they did not understand the biological process and that it was a perfectly natural part of life. There's actually a rule in Judaism that Orthodox Jews, I believe, still follow and that is that the women, after their menses is over, must bathe in a mikvah (a holy pool) and recite prayers while in the water so that she may be made clean again and can touch her husband once more.

    ReplyDelete