Just who is your neighbor?


I want to thank you all for your active participation this past week.  We had 70 comments to one post. It was exciting to watch all you jump in and respond to a reader.  And to those of you who were reading, and not commenting, thank you for reading.  We can learn from each other, and we can build each other up with sound teaching and reasoning, and the scriptures.  We can also have fun while doing it. 

And now for a blog from my most loyal supporter and encourager, my husband, Don Taylor.

Guest blogger, Don Taylor

“secundum autem simile est huic diliges proximum tuum sicut te ipsum.”

And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

This verse has lain in the Latin Bible for centuries. From what history tells us, it was mostly ignored.  Or was it a question of who is my neighbor?  Do men think of their wives and daughters as being their neighbors? No, I don’t think so. Their reasoning is that they are part of their household so that means they are not neighbors.

But didn’t Jesus’ statement that loving your neighbor as thyself mean that all humanity was your neighbor? Even your family members?

Would a preacher in a Southern Baptist Church want to be treated the way he treats his wife or daughter? That is, when he tells them they cannot pastor a church. If the male pastor was told that he was too short, too bald or too ugly, he could protest that he was born that way and it is unfair to judge his abilities on the basis of something he cannot change.

A woman cannot change her gender; she was born that way. Is it fair to treat her differently on the basis of her gender? Women have been treated as property of men for most of recorded history.  That is not very neighborly. Doesn’t a father still “give away” his daughter at her wedding?

On the whole, men have not treated women as neighbors. The second most important commandment still lies there unheeded.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Don's View, Jesus and women, Marriage and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Just who is your neighbor?

  1. chaidrinkingfool says:

    Thank you for this.


  2. Kristen says:

    The world (and unfortunately the church) have through most of history thought of wives and daughters not as people, but as possessions. But Jesus treated them as people, much to the astonishment of the surrounding culture. High time we started following Him and His words. Good call, Don.


    • Thank you for your comment.
      Jesus widened the meaning of neighbor to a much greater breadth with the Good Samaritan parable. The religious establisment of the time had kept it confined to fellow male jews at the most. Certainly not to gentiles or women.
      The religious establishment of today, Southern Baptist for example, want to keep the concept of treating others as you would want to be treated narrowed to exclude women. I am saying that excluding women from full participation in their churches is not very neighborly.


  3. Mara says:

    Don, I love it when you contribute to this blog.


  4. chaidrinkingfool says:

    I’ve been around a couple recently with whom it is so obvious that the husband does not consider the wife to be his neighbor. Understanding marriage as hierarchal between husband and wife negates, in practice, so many general commands.

    So much scripture that we understand the meaning of is partially negated when the husband needs to make sure he keeps his wife in line and over the years, he never develops empathy. And when the wife needs to make sure she appears, at least, to stay in line and fails to develop other skills.

    And of course this system perpetuates itself. What a mess.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.