Friday, April 27, 2018

Cosby, Gender Equality, and the Kingdom of God

This Los Angeles Times timeline shows that for fifty years Bill Cosby lived a lifestyle of repeated and continuous sexual assault of women he drugged. He got away with it because he was successful and made lots of money for other people. (Money often buys silence over moral wrongs in this imperfect world!)

But, as theologian Ed Stetzer points out, it wasn’t until a man, Hannibal Buress, in a video that went viral, said that Cosby was guilty of rape, that criminal investigations moved forward. 
It’s a commentary on how a male-dominated society has for too long taken the testimony of women less seriously than that of men. 

By the way, this also shows how different Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God are from the norms of most earthly societies and institutions: In the first-century Judean world in which Jesus was born, crucified, and raised from the dead, the testimony of women was deemed unreliable and so, inadmissible in disputes. But Jesus chose women to be the first witnesses and preachers of His Easter victory over sin and death! Jesus believed that the testimony of women was at least as credible as that of men; our society has rarely taken this attitude.

The New Testament teaches that in Christ, there isn’t male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile

I wish that society held men and women in the same equal regard as Jesus, God the Son, does. 

Maybe today’s Cosby verdict says that some in our society are ready to change. If we will trust in the God we meet in Christ, in His will, and in His sovereignty, maybe, finally, things will change for the better. 

Maybe, we’ll collectively turn from the world’s sin and turn instead to the life God only gives through Christ (John 14:6; John 3:16-18; John 10:30) and we will start to see one another as Christ sees all of us, as cherished children of God, each one to be loved and respected equally.

[I'm the pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]

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