Recently I was surfing on the Internet and came across an interesting article. It serves as a great example of someone who's thinking and asking interesting questions, but someone who's not thinking clearly.
Let's examine the article to understand the author's thoughts: "If you would like to prove to yourself that God is imaginary," says the author, "here is one easy way to do it: Look for places in the Bible where God is an absurd, unmitigated jerk instead of the 'all-knowing', 'all-loving', 'fully-enlightened' being that he is supposed to be. The utter contradiction proves that God is imaginary." (I'm not sure who wrote this article, but I'm guessing it's a woman, so I'll refer to the author as "she.")
She claims that, "...If you are a woman, the place where God's absurdity becomes completely clear is when you look at God's sexism." She gives examples from 1 Corinthians 11 and 14 and 1 Timothy 2 and Genesis 17 to prove God's sexism. Note her comments on Genesis 17:10-11:
"If you think about it, you will realize that God started this type of sexism at the very beginning of the Bible. In Genesis chapter 17 God says: This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you."
Why is she so upset? "God makes no mention of forming any sort of covenant with women."
She lists several more examples and says,
"There are other, broader examples of misogyny that are readily apparent in the Bible as well:
- Are any of Jesus' disciples women? No.
- Are any of the elders in the book of Revelation women? No.
- Are any of the books of the Bible written by women? No.
In her estimation, "God, it would seem, wants nothing to do with women." And apparently God's non-existence is proved by the fact that, "...Modern human beings totally reject God's sexism."
She says, "We do all of this [put women in charge of organizations, etc.] in direct defiance of God's Law in the Bible because we know God and his 'eternal word' are completely wrong. We know that God is imaginary."
She concludes, "The Bible was not written by an 'all-knowing', 'all-loving', 'fully-enlightened' 'god'. It was written by primitive men who were flagrant sexists."
My primary concern is not so much with the author's topic, God's apparent misogyny, but with her reasoning. She's a non-Christian, and some non-Christians reason well, but she does not.
One mistake she makes is that she has no established system of right and wrong to judge God by. Assume she's right, that God hates women. Who's to say that being absurd or an unmitigated jerk is bad? Who said misogyny is wrong? If she doesn't believe in God, then what system of morality does she use to tell the rest of us what's right and wrong?
Also, her assertion-that modern societies reject God's Law of how women are to live-is absurd itself. Undoubtedly, many societies do reject a system that keeps women from certain roles, but does that rejection disprove God's existence? Does my refusal to stop at red lights mean that laws and judges don't exist? Certainly not.
Her reasoning is also circular-God doesn't exist because God (who doesn't exist) hates women. What if I asserted that her article is absurd and, therefore, her absurdity proves that she, the author, doesn't exist? That's her line of reasoning.
She jumps from one unfounded belief (the God of the Bible is mean) to another belief (God does not exist) without any support. And, to make it more amusing, she claims that the God she doesn't believe in is supposed to be 'all-knowing', 'all-loving', and 'fully-enlightened.' (Why is it that the God atheists don't believe in is always all-knowing, all-loving, and fully enlightened? If I had the faith to disbelieve in God, he wouldn't be the antithesis of anything. He just wouldn't be.)
Her assumption is that she is fully enlightened and, thus, in a position to say that God doesn't exist, because if he did, he would have given women far more freedom in the Bible.
She also confuses the existence of God with the accuracy of the Bible. While I believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible, proving the Bible false would not disprove God's existence.
Furthermore, her assertion-that everyone in a modern society rejects all things that could be interpreted as sexist-is wrong. Many of us who live in modern societies believe women are somewhat restricted in what they can do. (Yet, I suppose she would just dismiss us as primitive.) Her reasoning is still odd. How does one go from "God made a covenant with men" to "he hates women"? Hysterical hyper-feminism, the anti-reason, is the only answer I can come up with. But, perhaps that's because I'm a woman-hater, too. (Does that mean I don't exist now?)
As Christians, let's not be guilty of sloppy thinking-the kind that never takes time to examine underlying assumptions. God has given us a mind, so let's use it to further his truth rather than cloud issues.