By Nneka Okumazie
There are several stories in the Scriptures where the word ‘Man’ is used – descriptively – for humans. But many times, critics of Christianity always say the Bible is biased against women. That is not the case.
The story of creation of man by God, expressed male and female created He them. So ‘Man’ was a general term for humans.
Jesus told a parable of the necessity of ‘men’ to pray, and used a woman as the example of an individual who was resilient in request, or prayer.
There was also a story where a woman was caught in adultery, the man was exempted from similar punishment and she was brought to Jesus. It is probable some of them had expected that Christ would ask that how about the man, and they may have prepared an answer, but the question Christ asked, convicted them of their own sins and they left.
There are clear and enlaced roles for men and women through the Bible. There are different biological possibilities for men and women. There are stories in the Bible of men who really treated women well, and there were some who treated women badly.
There are also stories of women who treated men badly, and some stories of women who treated men great. There are men too who treated other men great and some others badly; same for women-on-women. Individuals always did what they thought they could or what they were influenced to do. There are many stories – in the Scriptures – that were included as a lesson, inspiration and for correction, not as a show of gender.
Christ was in service on earth to both males and females. The laws of the Lord are applicable – regardless of gender. There were several miracles to male and female recipients. Christ did not discriminate. He loved all, and knew that each individual may have varying strengths and weaknesses regardless of gender.
In the Epistles, there were also female disciples. There were some women too who prophesized. Some critics of Christianity have used some of the words of Apostle Paul to say that he discriminated against women, regarding preaching or leadership in church.
The first thing is that in all the churches in the Epistles, there was no record of any of their order of service or program of how their services went. No one knew what sections of service were included and who handled what. So it is possible that Apostle Paul had specific reasons regarding what he mentioned about women – talking in church, but he also knew the Lord can use anyone.
Also, there are specific experiences an individual can have, that can be used to be a blessing to others when shared. If women prophesized or women are disciples, were they also supposed to be quiet in church? Probably not, they are a major pillar for the growth of the church.
The gifts of the spirit can be given to anyone regardless of gender. The fruits of the spirit are requirements in Christianity regardless of gender. Holiness and righteousness are non-negotiable as a follower of Christ Jesus. Women and men are expected to possess those. There are women who are older in faith than other men, and women who are far gifted than countless other men, there is no way they can be subdued.
The scriptures are rife with exceptional women – who made the difference in tough situations. There are wise women, those who built homes and work, and those who saved their families and were examples of faith.
God loved the world, not men. Anyone, including Daddy Freeze and his supporters, can twist different stories in the Scriptures, but the Bible is balanced and there is gender equality.
Women have been a cautionary factor in the lives of many men, curbing their excesses. There are inspiring women, daring women, courageous women and fiercely intelligent women. No matter what the suppression may appear to be, women are interminably vital.
Esther 4:16, “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”
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