The Pen

40 harmful effects of Christianity #3 – Women Treated Like Second-Class Citizens

This entry is part 3 of 32 in the series 40 Harmful Effects of Christianity

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:23

This post is the third in a series that addresses a list of “40 harmful effects of Christianitythat originated on the American Atheists Facebook page and has since made its way around the internet. In this post, I examine the following “harmful effect” from the list:

Harmful Effect #3: Women treated like second-class citizens based on religious teachings.

Like many of the “harmful effects” on this list, harmful effect #3 seems to be a general observation about world religion and culture that is not at all specific to Christianity. Quite frankly, the idea that women are second-class citizen is antithetical to Christianity. As Paul communicated to the Galatians, the church is one body (of equals) united in Christ Jesus. This idea flew in the face of the social conventions of the time; modern atheistic secular humanists would do well to keep this point of history in mind.

After considering Paul’s words to the Galatians, if there is yet any doubt in the mind of the critic of Christianity that women are considered “second-class” within Christ’s church, he should refer to Paul’s admonishment to the husbands in the church at Ephesus :

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

According to the Apostle Paul, husbands are to put the welfare of their wives before their own. After reading a statement like this, I can think of no assertion more absurd than “women are treated like second-class citizens based on religious teachings.”

Finally, there is yet another teaching of Paul that demands attention in light of the criticism that has been leveled. On the subject of sexual relations, Paul writes the following to the men and woman of the Corinthian church:

The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

A woman in ancient Roman culture, according to the Apostle Paul, has a property in the body of her husband. How could such a person in the culture of antiquity, in any culture, be considered a second-class citizen? 

When considered against the biblical text, harmful effect #3 holds absolutely no water; the critic of Christianity would do well to consult the bible before leveling his critiques. The Christian would do well to read the bible and act upon its teachings. This criticism came from somewhere and it wasn’t the Bible. Perhaps, self-proclaimed “Christians” were witnessed treating women disrespectfully in defiance of, not in accordance with, the clear teachings of scripture.

Let all Christians walk by the Spirit, and in doing so, provide a biblical Christian example to the lost of world of how women should be treated.

In my next post in this series, I’ll address the following:

Harmful Effect #4: Children growing up to hate and fear science and scientists, because science disproves their parents’ religion – leading to appalling scientific illiteracy.

[Contributed by Seth Dunn]

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.


Series Navigation<< 40 harmful effects of Christianity #2 – Vilification of Homosexuality40 harmful effects of Christianity #4 – Children Growing Up To Hate Science >>

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant