Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Women tempting men

Found a fascinating blog post written by Carolyn James about men and women called The devil's Gateway. Thought I would throw it up here to see what you thought about it.

". . . you are the devil's gateway. . . you are she who persuaded him, whom the devil did not dare attack. . . . Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on your sex, lives on in this age; the guilt, necessarily, lives on too."
—Tertullian

The view of woman as "temptress" has early roots and is alive and well today both in the wider culture (see links below) and sadly also in Christian circles.

I was a speaker at a gathering of pastors who were interested in doing a better job of utilizing women's gifts. The first question asked during the open forum afterwards stunned me, "If we work with women, won't we be tempted?"

What followed was not a candid discussion about the heart and where is the real problem when there is a moral failure (as in as what goes on behind closed doors when a man is alone with his computer), but a laundry list of precautions to safeguard oneself from moral hazards when working or dealing with women.

Women find this kind of thinking offensive, and rightly so. This low view of women conflicts with the Bible's high redemptive view of us. What strikes me as I think about this, however, is that this negative view of women also reflects badly on men as testosterone driven, morally weak, and unable to control themselves. This is not to say that our sex-saturated culture doesn't create serious problems for everyone. But it is one thing to think wisely about modesty and conduct and quite another to view women as seductresses.

So here are my questions:

First, are men also outraged by the temptress view of women—because of what it implies about them? And second, is it possible to hold a low view of women without degrading men?

Your thoughts?

2 comments:

Pastor Michael said...

Temptress implies an effort at seduction. I don't think this is the way most bad relationships get started.

I think you have it right in saying "it is one thing to think wisely about modesty and conduct and quite another to view women as seductresses."

To think that just because both parties are believers they won't succumb to an emotional attachment and/or a sexual relationship would be hopelessly naive.

Ben said...

Michael I agree.
I think there is an element in the church that believes that modesty means that women should not dress beautifully.