Christianity: Empowering or Oppressive?

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MissCris

Guest
#1
At church the other day, the topic was how Christianity has effected women. We were given a lot of statistics on abortion and infanticide and domestic abuse and even murder, and we compared how women are treated in other religions/cultures with how Christianity overall treats/views women.

All of that was interesting, and probably at least mostly accurate- women have certainly had (and still have, in some cultures) very hard lives. It was said during this lesson that the more Christianity spreads through a region, the better women and children are treated.

I have also heard the opinion, however, that Christianity oppresses modern women- that we aren’t treated as equals, that we aren’t free to make decisions for ourselves, that because churches are run by men the women are kept under their thumbs.

I’ll share my own thoughts on this later, but I’m more interested to see what you all think- are there ways Christianity negatively impacts women? Are there positive ways?

(The class this was taught in remained pretty well silent during the discussion portion- so I’m hoping that won’t be the case here. I realize people’s views widely differ on how well off women today are- please be respectful)
 
M

Miri

Guest
#2
It depends on how closely the society concerned, follows the example of Jesus
and the NT, or whether they come up with man made laws based on lack
of knowledge and wrong theology.

Jesus liberated women he came across. He dared speak to the woman of someria.
He allowed a prostitute to touch Him, He taught about agape love. He did not condemn
the woman caught in prostitution. He respected and wanted to take care of His own
mother before He died. He had pity on a woman who bled for years (society would
have shunned her). Women helped in His ministry. Plus many more examples.


Even so called christian societies get it wrong.
 

Blain

The Word Weaver
Aug 28, 2012
17,444
1,840
113
#3
Well I think the main way women are not treated as equal is when it come to authority, in most churches anyone in authority is a man and many people are against women being pastors or a bishop or anything to have to do with authority they usually are left to do sunday school with the kids or be in a support group or prayer group and yes they help with things around the church but authority is rarely ever given to women in the church.

I don't really think Christianity itself is what women are treated like I think really it's more like where we live and the generation we grew up in. Back in the old days of America women weren't even allowed to give a political opinion and slapping one in the face was normal. but for those who know history as time went on the views of women evolved and now women are for the most part seen as equal in fact it's kind of funny if you think about it back in the old days men were the ones with the whip in the marriage and now it's women XD How many men come home freaking out drunk thinking omg my wife is going to kill me and you see this classic image of a wife standing at the front door with her arms crossed and a glare lol
 
N

NoNameMcgee

Guest
#4
"Christianty" itself

like

the belief of the true gospel

is positive to all who believe....

it is good


even if we are beaten and tortured for our beliefs

thats a rain drop of what seems bad

compared to the ocean of what is definitely good that comes from belief in Jesus as our Lord and savior


now..... for man made additions and organized religions....

i guess i havent payed too much attention to how these effect people as a whole (man or women) since they are all so different

but some of the individual .... branches i guess you can call them seem to have specific faults
 
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MissCris

Guest
#5
Well I think the main way women are not treated as equal is when it come to authority, in most churches anyone in authority is a man and many people are against women being pastors or a bishop or anything to have to do with authority they usually are left to do sunday school with the kids or be in a support group or prayer group and yes they help with things around the church but authority is rarely ever given to women in the church.

I don't really think Christianity itself is what women are treated like I think really it's more like where we live and the generation we grew up in. Back in the old days of America women weren't even allowed to give a political opinion and slapping one in the face was normal. but for those who know history as time went on the views of women evolved and now women are for the most part seen as equal in fact it's kind of funny if you think about it back in the old days men were the ones with the whip in the marriage and now it's women XD How many men come home freaking out drunk thinking omg my wife is going to kill me and you see this classic image of a wife standing at the front door with her arms crossed and a glare lol
It’s true that many people see the lack of female authority within the church as inequality- certainly non-Christians would see it that way, but also a surprising number of Christians as well. Not allowing women to have authority- Over men- is Biblically based.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
8,755
805
113
#6
Women were considered chattel in most of the classical world. Christianity reversed that- a change made evident in the medieval era. Women owned land, operated businesses, assumed political power, held important positions in noble courts, etc. Granted, it looked different than what we moderns are accustomed to.

Either way, it was really a revolutionary change.
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
6,276
1,962
113
#7
I understand the world and man as created by God to be a place for man to live in with joy and abundance. God gave ways for man to live in this world that would result in that.

Most of our churches and our society scoff at what they call "law". The idea of learning from God instead of how they decide on things simply does not occur to them.

The last time a society tried to learn these laws and live by them was Jewish society in the dark ages. A study of how that worked is amazing. At a time when murder and theft were common it was only from this small society that trustworthy workmen could be hired. The Catholic Church was supposed to lead to a good life and it was a failure. This small group of men who didn't even know Christ kept the idea of God alive in the world.
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
8,655
1,887
113
#8
At church the other day, the topic was how Christianity has effected women. We were given a lot of statistics on abortion and infanticide and domestic abuse and even murder, and we compared how women are treated in other religions/cultures with how Christianity overall treats/views women.

All of that was interesting, and probably at least mostly accurate- women have certainly had (and still have, in some cultures) very hard lives. It was said during this lesson that the more Christianity spreads through a region, the better women and children are treated.

I have also heard the opinion, however, that Christianity oppresses modern women- that we aren’t treated as equals, that we aren’t free to make decisions for ourselves, that because churches are run by men the women are kept under their thumbs.

I’ll share my own thoughts on this later, but I’m more interested to see what you all think- are there ways Christianity negatively impacts women? Are there positive ways?

(The class this was taught in remained pretty well silent during the discussion portion- so I’m hoping that won’t be the case here. I realize people’s views widely differ on how well off women today are- please be respectful)

The Sociopolitical Factors at Work:



Fallen World:

It is true, historically and theological, that in any sphere of life, people in a position to give others a hard time have often done so. We live in a fallen world.


Christianity

However, to get right at today's issue specifically, I don't think it is factually accurate to say, in any general sense, that "modern Christianity" is oppressive to "modern women."
And if modern Christianity is not oppressive to modern women, then it follows that the PEOPLE IN CHARGE of modern Christianity cannot be oppressive to modern women... and... that would cover the evil male patriarchy.



Social/Political Agendas Based in Neo-Marxism


When we look at these kinds of accusations against men, Christianity, and various other groups, what we're dealing with in these accusations are not a factual reality, but rather a political agenda.

There is a social/political movement in our nation which is seeping into everything, and it's all based in theories of "power dynamics", and these are all based in Neo-Marxism. This movement views all relationships in terms of "power dynamics" (who has power and who does not) and it reduces all relationships to the paradigm of "oppressor" and "oppressed". Everyone fits into one of those categories, and all systems, organizations, genders, and ethnicities also fit into one of those categories. Everyone is either the "oppressor", or the "oppressed". This is based on a theory called "Conflict Theory" that first appeared, I think, in the 1930s, and was popularized by some books written 20-30 years ago. Conflict Theory, and all of these "power dynamic" principles arising from it, are all Neo-Marxist.

This is why Christians, men, caucasians, heterosexuals, etc. etc. are all considered, by the left, to be UTTERLY EVIL JUST FOR EXISTING. They use these Neo-Marxist theories to reduce everything to two camps based on power dynamics, the "oppressors" and the "oppressed." And everyone, and everything, has to be one or the other.


Everyone is Oppressed Now, and Angry

If you don't feel like you're an oppressor, then you must be oppressed... and that other guy... well, by definition he must be your oppressor. And this is why everyone is so angry and divided over virtually nothing. I mean, we all have some genuine reasons to be upset about various things, but this "power dynamic" theory can actually create conflict and hostility where there is none. It simply presumes, and imagines, all manner of evil and conflict in everyone and everything.

Anyway, this explains the irrational behavior, anger, and almost religious fervor of the social justice warriors, along with all parties they ally with. All this stuff comes from the same pot of soup... Neo-Marixist Conflict Theory emerging in the form of Social Power Dynamics.
 
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Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
8,755
805
113
#9
Careful. They'll call you a darling of the Alt-Right, libertarian conspiracy theorist, and proponent of gentrification.

The Sociopolitical Factors at Work:



Fallen World:

It is true, historically and theological, that in any sphere of life, people in a position to give others a hard time have often done so. We live in a fallen world.


Christianity

However, to get right at today's issue specifically, I don't think it is factually accurate to say, in any general sense, that "modern Christianity" is oppressive to "modern women."
And if modern Christianity is not oppressive to modern women, then it follows that the PEOPLE IN CHARGE of modern Christianity cannot be oppressive to modern women... and... that would cover the evil male patriarchy.



Social/Political Agendas Based in Neo-Marxism


When we look at these kinds of accusations against Christianity, men, and other groups, what we're dealing with in these accusations are not a factual reality, but rather a political agenda.

There is a social/political movement in our nation which is seeping into everything, and it's all based in theories of "power dynamics", and these are all based in Neo-Marxism. This movement views all relationships in terms of "power dynamics" (who has power and who does not) and it reduces all relationships to the paradigm of "oppressor" and "oppressed". Everyone fits into one of those categories, and all systems, organizations, genders, and ethnicities also fit into one of those categories. Everyone is either the "oppressor", or the "oppressed". This is based on a theory called "Conflict Theory" that first appeared, I think, in the 1930s, and was popularized by some books written 20-30 years ago. Conflict Theory, and all of these "power dynamic" principles arising from it, are all Neo-Marxist.

This is why Christians, men, caucasians, heterosexuals, etc. etc. are all considered, by the left, to be UTTERLY EVIL JUST FOR EXISTING. They use these Neo-Marxist theories to reduce everything to two camps based on power dynamics, the "oppressors" and the "oppressed." And everyone, and everything, has to be one or the other.


Everyone is Oppressed Now, and Angry

If you don't feel like you're an oppressor, then you must be oppressed... and that other guy... well, by definition he must be your oppressor. And this is why everyone is so angry and divided over virtually nothing. I mean, we all have some genuine reasons to be upset about various things, but this "power dynamic" theory can actually create conflict and hostility where there is none. It simply presumes, and imagines, all manner of evil and conflict in everyone and everything.

Anyway, this explains the irrational behavior, anger, and almost religious fervor of the social justice warriors, along with all parties they ally with. All this stuff comes from the same pot of soup... Neo-Marixist Conflict Theory emerging in the form of Social Power Dynamics.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
8,755
805
113
#10
Speaking of which, I never understood whats wrong with getting gentrified. I'd like some of that. Mixed with affluenza.
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
8,655
1,887
113
#11
Careful. They'll call you a darling of the Alt-Right, libertarian conspiracy theorist, and proponent of gentrification.

For real.


Sometimes (not often) I write some little thing I think comes out ok.
And I look at it and think, "Yeah, I think that actually came out ok."

But I'm pretty sure that the same time I'm looking at it thinking it's pretty ok,
everyone else is looking at it wondering if I'm an alien with 2 heads.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
8,755
805
113
#12
I find you fair and reasonable almost everytime.

But consider the source :p

For real.


Sometimes (not often) I write some little thing I think comes out ok.
And I look at it and think, "Yeah, I think that actually came out ok."

But I'm pretty sure that the same time I'm looking at it thinking it's pretty ok,
everyone else is looking at it wondering if I'm an alien with 2 heads.
 
U

Ugly

Guest
#14
I think Christianity in terms of the actual gospel is quite freeing for women. And men. It establishes definitions and boundaries for each. Individuals, male and female, may not always like those boundaries, but the gospel isn't made to satisfy our opinions.
It seems the biggest negative towards women and Christianity isn't from the true teachings, but those who misuse the bible for selfish reasons and using it to mistreat women.
 

NotmebutHim

Senior Member
May 17, 2015
2,468
1,142
113
#15
Some, especially those steeped in feminism, will assert that Christianity is hopelessly patriarchal and oppressive toward women. On the other hand, some say that it (or more accurately "Churchianity") is hopelessly gynocentric. That is, "Churchianity" bends over backwards to cater to women's wants and desires and tries to not upset them or make them uncomfortable.

I've mentioned this man before on other threads, but there is a Christian blogger named Dalrock who has discussed at length "Churchianity" and it's attendant gynocentrism.

https://dalrock.wordpress.com/

One way to test this is to compare (most) sermons on Mother's Day to those on Father's Day.
 
M

MissCris

Guest
#16
There’s been some really good posts on this so far :)

One of the most heartbreaking things I hear women say is how “free” they are that they can have an abortion. Quite apart from the act itself and the loss of a life (which is horrifying enough on its own), it’s awful to see how blind people are without Christ. So many of the things that many women claim make them free or empowered are the very things holding them captive, the things that are Actually oppressive.

Without Christ, people can’t understand that they are enslaved; they keep clamoring to find what will make them feel good, what will give them power, what will raise them above others, what will make them happy...and they literally poison themselves with sin in their efforts and then say religion is backwards.

And they don’t have a choice. For all the “freedom to choose” going around, they can’t understand that they aren’t choosing- they don’t have the option to Not sin because they don’t. know. Christ.

Christ freed us. Christians don’t have to keep repeating the same old sins, over and over again. We still sin, but we have the option of repentance.

True Christianity absolutely empowers. Following Christ and obeying God and truly loving one another is the epitome of freedom and empowerment.

I have a very liberal, feminist friend I’ve known since kindergarten. Growing up together, I’ve watched her go through a lot of misery- drugs, drinking, STDs, abuse. She’ll get on her feet for a while but before long she falls right back into the cycle. She mocks Christianity and has told me she’s disappointed that I’m still a Christian because she always thought I was smarter than that, better than that.

Yet...the strong Christian women I know live full, peaceful lives, Choosing to serve the Lord and often choosing to reach out to and help women like my friend who think Christian women are oppressed idiots. There are women in my church who have turned to God from backgrounds like that of my friend- they have no reservations about sharing with anyone how Christ freed them. There is nothing weak, stupid, or oppressed about them.


I had intended to go a totally different direction with this...but...this post kinda took on a life of its own.
 
S

susi

Guest
#17
I agree MissCris. Sometimes our enemy is ourselves for not submitting to God's Word.
Sure, there's been abuse but we must let God take care of that. We must fear the Lord and do our part.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
19,220
5,146
113
#18
The response to the title is quite simple.

It all depends on the Christianity, is it with God or without God?

Also, it is imperative in being true to keep always in mind, we are not
empowered, we are graced to serve.
 
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Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
16,197
7,985
113
#19
I have also heard the opinion, however, that Christianity oppresses modern women...
Bible Christianity liberates Christian women to be free to live as women under Christ.

That also means that everything about the roles of men and women in the home and in the local church is to be taken as divine instructions and commandments.

There is no gender neutrality in Scripture, but within the Body of Christ, God makes no distinctions on the basis of gender, or ethnicity, or anything else.
 

dpdaniel

Junior Member
Jun 30, 2013
28
29
13
#20
Christianity is an individual building his /her relationship with their Maker after accepting the truth by faith. The coming together of such people is fellowship and in a structured setup called the church or the body of Christ. The whole idea of reconciliation is for the individual to glorify their Maker and God from a foundation of Love. Unfortunately, for many, they get into the body of Christ the church, have no connection with the Word, have a mind of their own, and speak out without the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This is where debates take place and endless talks happen.

The blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to unite and be able to see and appreciate one another"s views in the body of Christ in love. Anything that hurts the body of Christ will hurt each member who has the in-dwelling Spirit.

So when we discuss, let it not be with our knowledge and earthly wisdom for it will have no spiritual end.