Why Beth Moore is right on the ‘disparity between the way we value men and women’

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The Southern Baptist Convention began its annual meeting yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama. According to its president, the denomination faces “a defining moment” that will shape the church for generations to come. In focusing on the crisis of sexual abuse, Dr. J. D. Greear stated, “This is not a distraction from the mission. Protecting God’s children is the mission of the church.”

In response, messengers approved last night an amendment making it explicit that an individual church can be expelled from the denomination if it mishandles or covers up sexual abuse cases. They also established a special committee to evaluate such claims against churches.

Speaking the previous evening at a panel discussion on this issue, well-known author and speaker Beth Moore stated: “One of my great concerns is, abuse happens anywhere humanity happens. What I want so much for us to reckon with honestly is our culture makes us vulnerable because there is a disparity between the way we value men and women.”

Why does this disparity exist in our culture today?

Two poisonous roots

One root cause is the endemic scourge of prejudice that plagues humanity.

I define prejudice as the temptation for people who feel inferior to devalue others based on unchanging factors such as skin color and gender. The sentiment, stated or unstated, runs like this: “I may be less successful than you, but I’ll always be white and you’ll always be black (or brown, or female, etc.).”

A second root cause is sexual lust. When men see women as bodies rather than human beings, they objectify and degrade their humanity.

Sexual lust and prejudice against women lead to their commercialization as a means to other ends. For example, the pressure on women to have abortions objectifies their bodies, ignores their emotions, and kills their unborn children. The exploitation of women’s bodies to sell products, the plague…

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