I’m afraid of parking garages. When I walk across these dimly lit, empty lots with plenty of places for a lurker to hide I, almost instinctively, hold my keys in my fist ready to defend myself because I know that at any moment a prowler could attack. It is a sad reality, but all too true.
One may argue that treatment of women is not getting better, even as social stigmas surrounding emotional and physical abuse grow. But the reason is not because we are not consumed with gender inequality and feminist ideology.
On the heels of a killing spree by Elliot Rodger at University of California, Santa Barbara that led to the death of four men and two women, the hashtag #YesAllWomen was born. A YouTube video posted by Rodgers shortly before his rampage blamed his rage on the women he felt rejected him.
According to Topsy, the #YesAllWomen campaign was tweeted more than 1.8 million times, mostly by women sharing testimonies of abuse, discrimination and harassment. Such a cultural outcry requires the church to take notice. As followers of the greatest healer and comforter, we must respond with compassion, love and share the hope we ourselves (many women hurt in some form by men) found in Jesus Christ.
The body of Christ is currently working to support women abused by men, as we should. Yet sadly, another Twitter tag, #YesAllBiblicalWomen, is being co-opted by religious feminists and liberal Christians to focus once again on presumed gender inequality in the church.
So out of the ashes of a terrible tragedy motivated by evil, we see tweets like these:
Lot was considered “righteous,” yet he offered his daughters to be raped. They leave out that part in Sunday School. #YesAllBiblicalWomen
— Sarah Evonne (@SarahEvonne) May 27, 2014
Because Jesus trusted me first to proclaim the resurrection and still some churches won't let women preach #YesAllBiblicalWomen
— JoelleColvilleHanson (@PastorJoelle) May 27, 2014
— Sadie (@sadiebrown_) May 27, 2014
Emotional and physical harm against women is real. But resolution will never be found in hasty preconceived notions and finger pointing at men in the church.
Gender inequality and the religious left’s accompanying talking points are not the crux of this heartbreaking tragedy that led to the death of four men, two women and wounding of 13 others. The problem isn’t sexism, it is sin.
Contrary to what some religious feminists or liberal Christians will tell you, the Bible does not prescribe violence against women (this argument is sometimes made in an attempt to prove that Scripture is contradictory and therefore not always applicable to our lives). What Scripture does do is record how our sinful nature has perpetuated the harming of human beings by other human beings.
The vicious cycle of sin has gone round throughout history taking various forms and causing pain and suffering for both women and men. Though it takes different shapes, sin does not discriminate against gender, skin color, religion or geography. Sometimes sin even cloaks itself in Christianity, but it is still sin.
Sin lurks in the depths of us all stirring feelings of control, self-gratification, anger, bitterness and hatred. As Christian women, we know that the eradication of sin does not come in the form of feminist slogans nor man-hating retaliation.
There is only one solution to the problem of sin: Jesus. Through Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection, we are transformed, sanctified and offered aid against future recurrences of sin. For this reason, daily I am thankful.
Remember the words of Romans 7:24-25, which applies to men and women, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”