Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Men and women have obvious...differences"

In response to my post on March 30, “On the dignity of women”, bloggers exchanged some very interesting ideas. For example, Anon wrote, “But didn't Paul say 'there is neither slave nor free, Greek nor Jew, Woman nor Man but all are one in Christ Jesus' so how exactly does one's gender make a difference?” I greatly appreciate the answers of two of our female bloggers:

1) Kelly: This passage (from Gal 3:28) does not remove the fact that men and women have obvious physical, psychological, and social differences. The physical differences are the most obvious, but there is also overwhelming evidence that shows us that the male mind is created and operates differently than the female mind.

Why would any one not want to enjoy God's very unique creation of men and women? Our unique female and male natures do not negate equality. I would like to add a little personal experience here:

I was raised with three brothers (no sisters). My best friend was raised in house of all girls & she is now raising all sons. I am raising a son and 2 daughters. There is absolutely NO denying that God created male and female persons VERY differently. This is not stereotyping either. I am blessed with many friends raising boys & girls. We have hilarious conversations about the differences in them.

2) Mindy: (Gal 3:28) is true, and I understand how one could infer, based on this, that to St. Paul gender is meaningless, but that's not in keeping with his later writings about what each gender should do and even wear in church. St. Paul is saying that there is one Christ, and we all reach God through him, so these differences become unimportant. He isn’t saying there is “sameness” between the sexes.

Additional questions came from an Anon: “Why would a loving God teach some of the things taught in the OT about women? The church doesn't currently support these same teachings- in fact, Jesus even condemned some of them. Did the writers of the OT just get God's word wrong, or were these actually God's teachings?”

Anon, this reminds me of the question (Mt 19) the Jewish leaders asked Jesus about why divorce was legal under the Old Law. Jesus responded by saying that it was because of their hardness of hearts that Moses allowed divorce, “but from the beginning it was not so” (v.8). As with divorce, the mistreatment of women in the OT was a result of the hardness of heart of man. In other words, it was a result of the sinful nature of man, and not God’s design. God allowed it, as He allows all evil. As you indicated, God himself has condemned it in Christ and the Church continues His teaching.

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