If You Are Going To Use Scripture

12 Apr

in your articles, make sure it is in existence in the time period you are writing about. Christopher Rollston has written an article for the Huffington Post and you would think that someone with his credentials would know better. His ‘Gender-Based Violence in the Bible, Part I: Jacob’s Daughter Dinah’ found at the following link– — is bad enough with his feminine gender bias but the mistake he makes, which a biblical scholar and expert on certain ancient languages should never commit, makes his work look like a rank amateur wrote it. Here is the quote in question:

Hamor told Dinah’s father to set the “bride-price” (Hebrew: mohar) as high as he wished, and he would pay it (it was customary in this time-period for the groom’s family to pay the bride’s family a “bride-price” as part of the marriage agreement). Hamor’s request is horrific (note the response of Dinah’s brothers in this regard, therefore), but according to the Pentateuch, a rapist could make such a request (Deuteronomy 22:28-29; Exodus 22:16-17). And Dinah’s father Jacob agreed to it, sadly.

The Pentateuch did not exist in Jacob’s time nor did Moses or that Mosaic law. One has to wonder where Mr. Rollston’s head is at when he wrote this piece but it certainly is not looking for the truth. This isn’t the only problem with this article as we see Mr. Rollston use very awkward phrases throughout its content. Phrases like ‘Dinah’s father’, ‘Dinah’s brothers’, Dinah’s maternal grandfather’ and so on. What Mr. Rollston is trying to prove by using such phrasing over and over, when simple names would have sufficed as we already know who her relatives were, is hard to fathom.

Such a twist to writing undermines his purpose as he basically insults the male gender in getting his point across. The last paragraph of that work lists his purpose

Antiquity and the Modern Period. Mary Ellsberg and Lori Heise have noted that although in the recent past (e.g., just a few decades ago) violence against women was not the subject of international attention or concern, it has now “come to be recognized as a legitimate human rights issue and as a significant threat to women’s health and well-being (Researching Violence against Women, World Health Organization, 2005, 5). The fact that there is now much more focus on gender-based violence is such a good thing, so right, so important. Of course, the witness of Scripture (and this is one of the reasons for recounting Dinah’s story here) is that gender-based violence is a very old problem. Someone might retort that there are many problems in the world. Yes, there are. And all of them must be solved. But this article is about gender-based violence against women…and its long history…so let’s focus on eradicating gender-based violence in our time. It’s the right thing to do.

The bold words demonstrate that he knows nothing of the Bible and sin.He thinks that one can just simply eradicate crime, in this case against women, when we know that crime is a spiritual problem not a natural one. Mr. Rollston is asking everyone to stop sinning. The ridiculousness of this request is just astounding given the fact that Mr. Rollston once taught at a Christian university and he should know better.

Then since there are only 2 genders in existence, gender based crimes can only happen to either men or women, so to focus on stopping crime on one gender only is a bit naive at best. For a man of Mr. Rollston’s stature his naivety in this issue is also something to marvel at since he focuses on men doing crimes against women but ignores the fact that women commit crimes against their own gender. They may not rape other women but their crimes against their own gender are as horrific as he claims Harom’s request was.

Why Mr. Rollston called this article, Gender based violence in the Bible we do not know. Mentioning and using the Bible here only makes sense if he wanted to make his article seem sensational and he wanted to get readers.  There is no real point to highlighting a crime against a woman found in the Bible unless you are going to label the crime correctly and then provide the solution. All Mr. Rollston’s article does is cause trouble and raise stumbling-blocks in the hearts of unbelievers or give them more ammunition to attack the Bible, God and believers.

He certainly isn’t telling anyone what they do not already know. Anyone who has read the Bible already has the knowledge that rape happens. It happens in the modern world, it happened in the Middle Ages, It happened in Jesus’ time and as we can see, it happened in Jacob’s time as well. All he is telling us is what is already common knowledge. Women get raped.

But what he isn’t telling us is that rape is a sin and sin happens when people reject Christ and his ways and follow after evil We can punish the crime but only Jesus can remove the sin which caused the crime. If Mr. Rollston wanted an effective article maybe he should have talked about getting to the root of the problem instead of just focusing on one of the symptoms.

His blanket plea to ‘stop gender based crimes’ does not lead anyone to handle the issue with God’s justice, an act that allows offenders to be brought to true repentance, rather it leads to some very unjust acts which do not solve the problem but makes everything worse.We cannot stop crime if we use crime to fight it. Mr. Rollston’s choice of writing styles does not help either. We do not stop crime by insulting the other gender in our articles.

Writing about ‘gender-based crimes’ does not help when one is very biased and that bias is well-known. Mr. Rollston got fired from his Christian University position because of his bias against God and the truth. We suspect that  his bias is the result of the fact that he has daughters and he wants to do something to protect them. He would protect them better if he did not write such inflammatory articles and distort what he is talking about.

Then he would protect them better if he gave real solutions instead of labeling sin as gender-based crimes, a modern politically correct term that does nothing to identify the source of the crime nor provide information in how to stop it from taking place. Mr. Rollston should stop letting his personal feelings influence his writing as his personal feelings are not scripture nor divinely inspired.

With no real biblical solutions all Mr. Rollston has done is waste everybody’s time.

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Posted by on April 12, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, education, faith, family, Justice, leadership, theology


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