Matthew 5:28 proves men should also be held accountable
Once the subject of rape comes up, people are quick to blame the woman but this Bible verse says otherwise.
When and if we have to discuss, it has become the norm for the victim, usually a woman, to be held responsible.
This is the definition of victim blaming, a huge proponent of the rape culture, a custom that allows women to be taught how to not get raped, instead of raising men not to rape at all.
As such, whenever a rape story comes up, the reaction usually goes like this, “Why did she go there? Who sent her to follow him? Why did she wear that gown?” e.t.c. with every few or none talking about the rapist.
Sadly, this culture is not just within our society, and around the World, it has seeped into religion. In the case of religion, churches push this mentality by preaching a zillion sermons on modesty for women.
This sermons are usually focused on the woman covering up so that she does not cause the man to sin. Yet no sermon is preached to men on how to be modest in their hearts and how they should never rape a woman, no matter what.
Thankfully, there is a bible verse that says otherwise. Matthew 5:27-28 says,“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
I do not claim to know exactly what Jesus Christ meant but clearly, anyone can see that the man is told not to look at the woman lustfully regardless of what she has on.
Christ did not say 'don't look at a woman lustfully except she is drunk, dressed scantily or in your house.' He simply said don't look.
So, how come we always accuse the woman for tempting the man to rape her? Clearly, this verse lays the responsibility on him by asking him not look lustfully at a woman. So men should be held accountable if they take advantage of someone, right?
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As long as we continue to heap the entire blame on women, we leave men off the hook.
With this attitude, we are telling the male folk that it is okay not to learn self-control, not to learn to see women as more than just sex objects, also they learn not to take responsibility for their actions.
We are also teaching women to be ashamed of the bodies since it is a bad thing that draws negative attention that could likely result in rape.
Sheila Wray Gregoire, Christian Post Op-Ed Contributor, voices my exact sentiments in her article titled: 'Can Christians Talk About Modesty Without Shaming Women?'
She writes, “When we frame modesty this way, we inadvertently say (even without meaning to):
Women’s bodies are dangerous. They can cause other people to sin, and so they must be covered up.
Men are unable to handle their lusts without women’s help. Women are responsible if men lust.
Men have a super-high sex drive and are visually stimulated, while women have virtually no sex drive and are responsible for keeping men’s under control.”
Doesn't it sound ridiculous that men are not expected to control so women have to do the job for them? It makes no sense.
Ultimately, we have to do better as a church. We have to talk about rape and how we teach both women AND men to avoid it.
When we discuss modesty in the church, it should be because it is what God wants for both genders.
We have to stop blaming women, teach both sexes how to remove the focus from ourselves, and our perverted minds to what God says is right (see 1 Corinthians 6:19–20).
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