"Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act..."
~ John 8:4 (NKJV)
Perhaps being a woman makes me both less inclined to draw attention to the power femininity holds over men, and more sensitive to how often the blame for sin is laid at the feet of vulnerable women.
Consider the Bible's many examples of the latter:
• Judah demands that Tamar be burned for pregnancy by harlotry, though he is the man guilty of hiring her (Genesis 38)
• The numerous warnings against the "evil / immoral / adulterous woman," "seductress," and "harlot" contained in Proverbs, a book largely composed by Solomon, the son of a man who committed adultery with Solomon's mother
• The above example from John, when Pharisees present to Jesus the woman caught in the very act of adultery, though the man they also caught is mysteriously absent
• Paul's observation that "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression." (1 Timothy 2:14)
Do you detect the irony in that last verse? There is no honor in lack of discernment which permits any person to be deceived. But if Adam was not deceived, how much greater is his dishonor for sinning with full knowledge?
"But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."
~ Matthew 5:32 (NKJV)
Jesus turns the tables on the Pharisees who drag the adulterous woman to Him for stoning. He does so again in the above passage from Matthew, when He points out a reality of patriarchal culture: a woman divorced by her husband remained largely dependent on men for support, and had little choice but adultery or harlotry. Jesus says men cause such adultery with their divorce.
The pendulum has now swung the other way in a society that pounces on the shortcomings and outright abuses of men, and gives an understanding nod to the sins of women. The fundamental church counters with its generally pharisaical or patriarchal view.
Except in a court of law, the blame game doesn't produce a winner.
... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ...
~ Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
God doesn't play the blame game. He merely convicts each of us of sin where we have yet to see it.
And then He points to the cross and to His Son, offering His Holy Spirit's power to overcome.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
~ Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
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Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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