So when men abuse power and violate women, men and children, we do the same cruel calculation. Is what this male leader has to offer worth more than the integrity of our witness to Christ, influence, and the money we are making? Sadly, for many churches, the answer is YES.
As a Satanist, I have a very hard time separating this tradition of abuse from the very fabric of Abrahamic religions, precisely because of the toxic behavior first shown by both God and Adam in The Fall in Genesis. It’s hard to read that story and not come away thinking that God is abusive and particularly cruel toward women, and that it was Adam who initiated the tradition of hiding behind women, not Abraham, when it comes to accepting the consequences of one’s actions.
If we zoom out and investigate the Bible as a product of history, whose source was a patriarchal culture, then it comes as no surprise that only about 8% of the named characters are women and they are frequently cast as objects for men (see Eve’s origin story, for example) or serve simply as means to an end for men (Abishag, for example). From Genesis to Revelation, women are subordinate to men, subject to the abuses and whims of men. If this material represents the central basis for someone’s morality and beliefs about reality, should we really be shocked if they have a misogynistic, toxic outlook?
Don’t get me wrong. I am glad you are calling this out for what it is, but I am skeptical because I do not see a path from accepting Scripture, misogynistic and archaic as it is, as both a moral compass and a factual guide to reality to a world free from toxic masculinity. If Christians can pull that off, more power to them, but I’ll believe it when I see it.