Recently there have been a series of high-profile allegations and cases of sexual harassment and predation — the latest being Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein.
Many have pointed out these are not isolated incidents. Sexual exploitation, harassment, and assault have become far too common.
Amid this dark culture, it’s important to remember the pagan world to which the gospel was first taken nearly 2,000 years ago. Our friends at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview write,
With the exception of a few highborn women, Roman women were often treated worse than Roman cattle. Even upper-class women were little more than possessions and, when it came to sexuality, they were at their husband’s beck and call and could be disposed of at will.
Slave women, which were a full third of Rome’s female population, could expect beatings and rape. The “fortunate” ones were sold into prostitution. Unwanted girls were left to die of exposure.
Into this world came Christianity, specifically the writings of St. Paul. As [author Sarah] Ruden tells her readers, to call him an “oppressor of women” could “hardly be more wrong.” “Paul’s teachings on sexual purity and marriage were adopted as liberating in the pornographic, sexually exploitive Greco-Roman culture of the time . . .”
The biblical teachings about human dignity, morality, ethics, and sin were counter-cultural at the time. Today they appear to be once more. John Stonestreet notes that “sexually-predatory males didn’t go extinct, but until just recently—and thanks largely to Christian influence—they couldn’t rationalize their predations, either.”
Click here to read Stonestreet’s entire commentary on this subject or listen to it below.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.