Last week, we learned about the history of feminism as a movement. Today, we’ll be looking at some of the issues argued by feminists. The “pro” and “anti” in this article represent the feminist stance on the subject. Then we will dissect the issues with Scripture. I will not be telling you what to believe, I want to show you what God’s Word says so you can decide for yourself.
1) Pro: Abortion
This includes early, mid, and late-term abortions, as well as contraceptives/birth control pills. Anything that can cause the death of an unborn baby, also known as feticide or infanticide. Murder. The Bible actually does have things to say about feticide.
“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” Exodus 21:22-25
Life for life. There is life in the womb, and any time it is threatened or taken away, God prescribes consequences. I hope to cover this topic in greater detail soon.
2) Anti: Abuse and Violence Against Women
The same Scripture that condemns abortion actually supports this one. Now, women are not the only ones who need protection from violence and abuse. Clearly, even unborn children aren’t exempt from this. But men are called to protect women from harm, not deliver it to them.
Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.” Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” Ruth 2:5-9
3) Pro: Equality of Genders
There are so many Scriptures confirming that God created men and women equal but different, but my favorite by far is found Genesis 2.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:15-24
I love those words: “a helper comparable.” Some might read these verses and say that women are painted to be less than men because it calls her a helper, or because it says she was taken out of man. Not so.
Helper: One who helps, aids, or assists; an assistant; an auxiliary. One that furnishes or administers a remedy. One that supplies with anything wanted (missing).
Comparable: That may be compared; worthy of comparison; being of equal regard; that may be estimated as equal.
It’s there is the definition. Women and men are created equal, and women were created to supply what was missing. Mankind was incomplete without her. There are many other Scriptures supporting this equality (1 Corinthians 11:7-12; 1 Timothy 3:8-11; Titus 2:1-8), but they also point something else out. There are differences. They “may be compared” and “be estimated as equal,” but for two things to be considered “comparable,” they cannot be the same. 1 Timothy 2 shows us the difference.
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. 1 Timothy 2:8-15
It is not the place of women to preach to the church or to teach men. That is for men for their sanctification. Women are sanctified (“saved”) through the bearing and raising of children. Equal yet different in their roles.
4) Pro: Homosexuality
5) Anti: Modesty
According to the culture, the clothes we wear (or don’t wear) are an expression of who we are. Showing skin is “empowering,” and wearing skimpy clothing is “body positivity.” But what does the Bible say?
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 22:5
“...in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
Women are to dress modestly in accordance with their godliness. It is an expression of the inner person. A reflection of our sanctification in Christ. Women are not to dress to look like men, either. Plain and simple.
6) Anti: Patriarchy
Patriarchy is a sore point with feminists, as it puts men in charge of the home, the church, and many aspects of society today. Some people think that patriarchy is the exaltation of men over women in society, but it can’t be, because patriarchy is God’s design just like gender equality. However, as I’ve mentioned before, there are gender differences that God has put in place that give men authority over the home and the church.
To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33
The husband has authority over the wife and the father has authority over the home (Numbers 30). Now, I need to address the elephant in the room. Abuse.
Yes, men abuse their authority at times. The Bible does not condone this behavior. We just read that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Elsewhere we are told to love our neighbor (Luke 10:25-37). Patriarchy is biblical. Abuse is not.
7) Anti: Racism
Again, I have written a study on this subject, but the bottom line is that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
8) Anti: Marriage
Marriage is not a social construct or a human tradition. It is a divine institution that has existed as long as women have.
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:18-24
Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this young woman as a wife.” And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter. Now his sons were with his livestock in the field; so Jacob held his peace until they came. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, a thing which ought not to be done. Genesis 34:1-7
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
In addition, the Bible has things to say about sex outside of marriage. This just scratches the surface (Numbers 20, too).
I hope this study has been helpful to you and maybe shed some light not only on feminism, but also on the authority of God’s Word. Much more could be said on many of these issues, things I wanted to discuss. And maybe at some point we will. But if we will read all of God’s Word and apply it to our lives, seeking to know and be like Him, then there will be no need for social movements. Social movements seek to treat the surface issues, but God through His Word deals with the heart. The Bible tells us that our hearts are desperately wicked and only Christ can redeem a wicked heart.