Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Lot of Women: The Problem with Judgement

If you regard the scriptures objectively, and I hope you can, you will probably reach the point where you have to question certain things. You don't have to nail notices to church doors any more but it's still possible to cause a stir by asking questions which challenge fundamentally basic and accepted beliefs and dogmas. You may love or loathe the challenge but if you are looking in from without, you can make up your own mind without judgement, which is what this post is chiefly about.

My Revelation

This article assumes that you can adopt an open mind about God or whatever you feel represents God in the scheme of your belief. I found that the more I studied the scriptures, the more I was led to question the reasons why certain things happened, always with the understanding that I was looking at the situation with modern and educated eyes. I found myself looking at the "judgement" aspect of the bible and making the earth-shattering discovery that if there is a God at all, he would never ever judge anyone.

The Sodom and Gomorrah Story

I could choose any part of any of the books from the old and new testaments but I've found Genesis a rich tapestry from which arguments may be drawn. In particular, the story of Lot's wife has intrigued me as an example of how women have been devalued like coins of the realm. But before Lot's wife became the salt of the earth, there was the small matter of Lot's daughters.

Lot showed hospitality to two men (angels) at the gate but some men of Sodom came demanding to "know" the angels (meaning they wanted to have sex with them). Lot refused. So far, so good. But then amazingly he told the Sodomites that they could have his two daughters instead! "Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man..." (Gen 19:8 ) Excuse me! Stand up the modern father who would willingly sacrifice his virgin daughters to complete strangers for the sake of other complete strangers. Would the girls have had any say in the matter? I think not.

The Wife with No Name

The bible does not tell us the name of Lot's wife, which is interesting because names are of paramount importance. Names represent an identity. No name - no identity. Then Noname, as I shall call her, sealed her fate by looking back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and you know the rest. The point is that she was judged. What was her crime? What kind of justice was that? Why should Noname die along with all the inhabitants of these towns? It's all down to this thing called judgement.

Judgement is Flawed

My research has led me to the conclusion that a nation or community can only evolve, spiritually or otherwise, if they treat their women-folk fairly and as equals. If you can think of such a nation or community, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you. It would be wrong to think that we, in the West, can pat ourselves on the back whilst looking eastward. That would amount to judgement.

God judged no one, least of all Noname. God didn't judge the people of Sodom and Gomorrah either. They judged themselves and found themselves guilty. In so doing they brought about their own destruction. It is possible that Noname felt guilty about what was happening and judged herself. Man is the only judge, and over the millennia he has turned it into an art form - but flawed. Flawed because judgement cannot be anything else. If we could only learn to love ourselves, and therefore others, we would not need to judge at all. And the world would be a happier place.


JayPeeFreely said...

I wondered about that too...Noname that is.

So how's your holiday shaping up?

Richard Webb said...

Hi Jason

By "holiday" I take it you mean Thanksgiving which we don't have on this side of the pond, but it sounds like a good idea.

Glad you like the article. You're probably my only reader. Anything about religion or the bible has danger written all over it. So I suppose I'm living dangerously.


fmtv1 said...

I use to question it. All the time. I had to find the reasons, the facts, the truth. Then with death in my family and other circumstances that let's say "woke me up." I just decided to beleive again. You know like the innocent kid to went to bible study all those years back.

HEY GREAT BLOG!! Keep up the good work.

Richard Webb said...

Hi fmtv1

Many thanks for your comments which are so encouraging. If you need any further clarification of anything I've said, don't hesitate to write in.