Take Out -Ism Please

That picture is a clip from website I stumbled upon. What angered me was the blatant disregard for the context in which the scripture was written in the first place. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the irony in the whole situation. The site is promoting humanism while offending humans with a disregard for their religious beliefs (Judeo-Christian beliefs weren’t the only ones attacked).

Paul was dealing with a culture of Jews that were just converted to Christianity in its infancy. Judaism has a largely patriarchal mindset and as such, I am certain there were problems with women who once they became Christians had a new understanding of their relationship with God and thus spoke “with authority”.  Theologists have gone back and forth about whether this scripture (I Timothy 2) was applicable just to Paul’s local church or whether it should be applied to every Church. I honestly don’t know the answer, but that is not the point of the post. 

My point is that this site took a single scripture and made out it to mean that Christians are against equality, which is clearly not the case. We are told that in the Kingdom, there is neither “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” in Galatians 3:28 (which also happens to be authored by Paul). Furthermore, there are multiple examples through out scripture were women played a significant role.

Furthermore, they bolded the word “submission” as if it were a bad thing. We all need submission to authority. In fact, my last two supervisors were both female, neither of which I have had a problem with. Submission & authority is built into the human hierarchy. We need it in order to sustain the society we currently live in and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Even if everyone was equal (which they are not: some are poor, some rich, some beautiful, some ugly, some fit, some slobs, etc.) they would still have to submit to someone in order to function in society.

If only we could take the -ism out, I think we (read: Christians) could find some common ground with them. Humanism is open to interpretation, but it is primarily the belief that the focus should be placed on humans and their potential rather than the divine. It has obvious atheistic connotations, all off which I wholeheartedly disagree with. However, there is something   to be said for the fact that we were created in God’s image & with that understanding is that humans are indeed important in the grand scheme of things. I believe all Christians can agree with our humanists brethren in regards to the equality of “certain inalienable rights” especially within the context of social justice.

I somehow always finding myself quoting Justin Martyr, “All truth is borrowed truth.” Their perspective is not unique or new. We would most certainly never advocate the victimization of anyone. However, their philosophy is derived from the value of humans, where as ours is driven from the fact that we were made in God’s image.

Lesson learned: never quote something out of context without noting the irony?

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