Bible Stories that had Me Shook

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I’m trying to remember what inspired me to write this blog post. I think it was a Youtube video.

As always, I’ve been contemplating my spiritual life, and in particular, my Christian past.

At the height of my religious devotion, I thought of my self as an avid reader of the Bible. I had memorized portions of the New Testament. I committed many verses to memory. I could find those obscure passages of obscure doctrines to prove obscure religious theories.

But there were some passages I just could not–for the life of me–make sense of. They still haunt me.

I’m not trying to be funny or melodramatic. It’s just that these passages called me to question God’s goodness and character. Though at the time, I couldn’t bring myself to admit that I doubted God’s character and nature. I just suppressed the doubts, like many do, and trusted that God was indeed all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present. Every event, every atrocity, and every injustice occurred with his full knowledge and consent; they all folded into the grand scheme of His ultimate purpose and plan for humanity.

Does God Value Women?

Much has been debated about women’s place in religion. It’s no secret that women have had a checkered past in many religious systems. What is a woman’s place in the world? What is her purpose? Who is she to man, and who is she to God?

A common Christian evangelical thought today is that Jesus and Christianity elevated the status of women from men’s property to more or less equal participants in the Kingdom of God. Christianity gave women dignity, honor, and a  distinctive role in the Christian economy.

But if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, shouldn’t his views on women also be consistent?

This is such a huge issue to unpack, and there’s no way I can analyze this issue in one blog post. I simply want to zero in on three Biblical stories that made me question whether or not this God actually cares about women the way contemporary Christians like to assert.

Lot Offers his Daughters up for Rape

This brings me to the story of Lot and his daughters.

In the book of Genesis, chapter 18, God sends three angelic messengers to the cities of Sodom and  Gomorrah to find Lot/Abram.  They are bringing a message that the city is due for demolition because of the amount of sinful behavior committed by its citizens, namely the sexual sin of sodomy, and all other acts of debauchery and licentiousness.

Sounds like total and utter chaos, right? Sounds like a constant, round-the-clock orgy taking place, and God is not pleased.

But the sex acts of the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah are not what I want to focus on.

Rather I’d like to focus on how Lot viewed the dignity and well-being of his daughters in the midst of such a debauched society.

[insert verse]

When the three angels came to Lot, he welcomed them and protected them in his house while a pack of vicious, rabid Sodomites banged on his door threatening to have their way with the angelic visitors.  Think of a zombie apocalypse taking place, but instead of brain-devouring zombies, this variety is sex-crazed and delirious.  Besides, who wouldn’t want angelic booty?

[insert verse]

Without much thought, hesitation, or any hint of parental affection, Lot, in a panic, tells the sex-crazed crowd that they cannot have the angelic visitors. Because they came from God and are not to be touched.

[insert verse]

But he generously offers up his daughters to the

People are going to say, “Well, Lot offered up his daughters, not God. Lot is at fault, not God. In the end, the two daughters were spared.” But God considered Lot a “righteous” man, did he not? Is it righteous to throw your defenseless daughters to the wolves? It just shows he didn’t give a shit about them to start.

A Man Offers up His Wife/Concubine to be Raped and Murdered and then Dismembers Her Body