October is domestic violence awareness month, and domestic violence and abuse is not only rampant among professing Christians but getting worse.
What is domestic abuse? Put simply, domestic abuse is WAR waged against members of one’s immediate family, most especially against spouses, with abusers using a wide array of tactics including psychological and sometimes physical warfare against their victims. Prejudice, blame-shifting, and fallen theology combine to make domestic abuse a difficult issue to resolve among Christians.
Domestic abuse and violence has always taken place among professing Christians, and seems to be getting worse, so much so that Google currently lists over 400,000 entries for the search term “Christian Domestic Violence Seminars.” Addressing the issue has become a popular cause within the Christian community. But all the seminars in the world will not change a thing with regards to domestic abuse and domestic violence until the doctrine of female subordination, which lies at the very heart of the issue, and is what perpetuates it, is dealt with. It is a doctrine of institutionalized discrimination that thrives on an unreasonable fear and hatred of women. It not only perpetuates abuse but also prevents Christians from responding compassionately, Biblically, and effectively to abuse victims.
The causes of emancipation for slaves and equal rights for women have fought common enemies in religion, law, public opinion, and the most implacable and powerful enemies of all in fear and prejudice.
The War Between the States won freedom from slavery for black men and women. But it was years before black men were permitted to exercise their right to vote. The Woman’s Suffrage Movement, which culminated in the 20th century, won the right to vote for all American women—white women that is. Even after laws were passed giving women the right to vote, fear and prejudice continued to dominate in withholding from black women the practice of this most basic right of citizenship.
Now, in the opening years of the 21st Century, for the first time in the history of the United States, the American people have broken all precedent and elected an African American to the presidency. The African American male, though still dealing with racial prejudice, appears to have finally broken free from a cruel caste system based on the color of his skin. Most American women, as well, seem to have largely broken free from a caste system based on gender—most American women that is, except evangelical Christian American women…of any color.
Is it any coincidence that in this historical, precedent breaking era, yet another civil war is very much in progress, not between the states, nor even between the races, but within the Christian Church between the sexes? And what is at stake is not merely a set of theological differences between denominations. Simple doctrinal difficulties are not the culprits in this war; indeed, denominations that have yet to find common ground in many theological areas are lending support to one another in a war which transcends logic and theology. In this war the enemy is not men or women but rather an implacable, prejudice, which has nestled for far too long, and far too comfortably, within the hearts of far too many Christian men and women.
It is a prejudice that defines masculinity and femininity using subjective and unfair stereotypes, forcing men and women into molds God never fashioned for them, obliterating the individuality of all in the process. Only the redeeming love of our Savior can liberate men and women to relate to one another on equal terms without fear or prejudice. The ground is level at the cross. Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us FREE.
Woman this is WAR is available at any bookstore or online book seller. Or visit the following link for more information: