A share of the blame

Dec 4, 2017 by

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The church must take some responsibility for men who violate women. For centuries we have misinterpreted Gen. 3:16-18, which lists four curses: weeds, sorrow in childbirth, man ruling over woman, and a woman believing she needs a man to be a whole person. We pull the weeds and declare childbirth to be a time of joy, but we have said it is normal for a man to rule over a woman and it is normal for a woman to believe she needs a man to be complete. God reversed the curse of male domination in the virgin birth of Jesus. When doing his greatest work in all of history, God did not even use a man (Matt. 1:20). And he recognized a woman’s worth apart from a man (Luke 1:48). We ask violators to repent. Are we willing to repent for our misinterpretation?

Nathan B. Hege
Lititz, Pa.


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  • Walter Bergen

    If “the Church” is to share responsibility for men violating women, then let us also lay at the feet of the feminist movement the unintended consequence that in the process of empowering women to take hold (equal) opportunity we have also made manhood a caricature in our popular culture. And that caricature has by osmosis entered our Church.
    Cultivating in our congregations honor, respect, chivalry, deference for one another, selflessness and a host of other fair and good attributes is the vocation of the redeemed community.
    Last I checked, H. Weinstein hasn’t attended a Mennonite Congregation. He worships at the Temple of Aphrodite-Hollywood.

    • Jane G. Lehman

      Please explain what you mean by caricature. Then please explain how equal opportunity for women caused this caricature. Jane G Lehman

  • Walter Bergen

    explanantion
    ‘made manhood a caricature in modern culture’
    I reference a series of movies with A. Schwarzengger, Vin Diesel et al where men go through superhuman suffering, use violence, and prevail. that caricature. In contrast to, “It’s a Wonderful Life” where the hero is an unassuming, loving community banker.
    explain
    it is as if one opens a window to let fresh air in, and a starling flies in the house and crashes against the invisible patio door—un intended consequences. it is not so much that the emancipation of women caused it, as unintended consequences came along for the ride.
    I would reference M. Pollan in his book “Cooked” where he meditates on what was lost when women left the kitchen and entered the workforce outside the home. It is found in the section on stews where he cooks for his family. The result was that multi-national corporations expanded food processing and sales, and lifestyle diseases went through the roof: again, it is not that emancipation caused this health crisis, it was/is an unintended consequence.
    I do not wish to criticize women or feminism, I simply seek to observe closely both the benefits in our time and the trends and choices that are not so beneficial. There seems to be a negative symbiotic relationship.
    And our theories and ideologies explain away facts as much as they help us align facts to make sense of them.
    Thanks for your query. I receive it with appreciation

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