by Bill Shereos, Senior Pastor
A number of Islamic women but not all wear traditional Berkas. One reason for the custom is that it is thought women may be snare to men by being the source of sexual temptation. Covering women is thought to be a way to protect men from the lure of lust and ensure sexual purity. I’ve heard many people from the West including many Christians criticize this as an unfair treatment of women. This may indeed be the case. Yet, recently I heard Carl Medearis, a Christian believer who has spent a great deal of time in Islamic countries point out the paradox of our criticism. Before I mention what this paradox is, let me quote from the Sermon on the Mount, a text we will be studying shortly on Sunday morning. Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you’ll be able to see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
While I am not a proponent of Berkas for Christian women it is ironic that this criticism comes from those of us who live in the U.S. It is our country, a country most Muslims regard as “Christian” that produces much if not most of the world’s pornography. Does it not seem strange that a culture, which promotes the uncovering of women, criticizes those cultures in which women are covered? Which practice degrades a woman more? The recent success of Fifty Shades of Grey at the box office gives evidence that the “Christian” West accepts what is clearly unacceptable, the sadomasochistic treatment of women. Perhaps it is time that we take the plank out of our own eye before trying to remove the speck from our brother’s eye.
Join us for the 10am service of worship on Sunday, March 8, when Del Shimandle, Pastoral Fellow for Outreach Ministries, speaks from Matthew 5:27-30 “The Way Of Jesus Regarding Sexual Purity.”