Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Response to Weekend Fisher

Weekend Fisher commented at length. I couldn't help but respond.

Valuing every human being as fully human and each one equally created in the sight of God is definitely a prized asset. Feminism did fight for this in its first movement when its goals were centered on protecting women and children from the legal and political abuses they were suffering at the time. As I indicated previously, even under the harshest and most tyrannous of rules, bread was buttered and clocks were wound on time. That doesn’t mean feminism offered the best answer to the problems; it merely means feminism “corrected” problems in its own way.

However, in valuing every human as fully human, feminism disregards what God himself says of his creation of humans. Under feminism, humanity assumes a nebulous identity. For feminism, there is a general humanity which is identified as neither male nor female. Distinctions of sexuality are obliterated or deemed non-essential. For God, to be human includes sexual differntiation.

“God created the man (adam) in his own image, in the image of God he created him, that is, male and female” (Ge 1:27). In the Hebrew text there is an athnach at the word “him.” It is like an id est, a pause dividing the sentence into two parts. The athnach makes clear the inner logic of the sentence. It clarifies what God considers humanity. Humanity is man that is male and female. There is no humanity of male or female to the exclusion of the other. There is no generic humanity apart from the concretions of male and female.

God sealed this created design of male and female in marriage, which is the icon of Christ and His Bride the Church (2Co 11:2; Ep 5:22-33). Christ is God’s Son from eternity. God is therefore a Father from before creation. The Lamb, which was slain from the creation of the world, died for his Bride (Rv 13:8). She is created from those things which flow from his side (Jo 19:34; 1Jo 5:6;8).

When Stanton attacked the authority of scripture (its inerracy, infallibility, and efficacy), she did not merely launch a war on the power of words; rather her conflict was with God the Father himself—and by that not merely every male authority figure, but authority itself. The fact that lesbian relationships were tolerated within the feminist movement from the beginning demonstrates how feminism eradicates the differentiation between male and female and neuters humanity. Marriage became the first casualty in feminism. Androgyny was its final destination.

Peter calls women the weaker vessel (1Pe 3:7). This has nothing to do with the amount of faith a woman can have. Of course Eve was deceived. She admitted that (Ge 3:13). And Paul says that’s why women are not to usurp authority over men (1Tim 2:14). Still, that’s not what makes her the weaker vessel, as if women simply can’t believe as well as men because of an inherent flaw. Or, worse yet, according to one feminist lie, as if Jesus hadn’t assumed female flesh when he was incarnated and therefore didn’t die for her sin, also. No, no, no! See my answer here. Women are the weaker vessel because of a simple fact of nature. They are the only ones who can become preciously pregnant with the future, and no others of humanity are able to bear and nurture future generations. Women ought to be protected.

F. Carolyn Graglia, in Domestic Tranquility, writes of women as “precious.” Why? Women bear and nurture future generations. For generations women have been the protected ones of our society for this reason. They are, in truth, the “weaker vessel.” Yet the idea of women as precious in the minds of men and women alike has been nearly destroyed through the feminist cause and worldview. When women began to see themselves as less than precious, as beings who were strong and invincible not desirous of or needing the protection of men, men assumed a more feminized role in society. Women who kill, especially their own growing children inside of them, are hardly seen by men as those needing to be protected. Feminism has confused sexual distinction and differentiation and catechized society into a dogma of androgynous generic humanity.

If women’s weakness referred to their faith, to their believing enough, then what can we say? That Jesus didn’t die for all of their sins, so now more must be added (believing)? That more Jesus, that is more faith, is given to men than to women? Paul says it quite clearly in Galatians: “You are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Ga 3:26-29).

The Greek text orders the pairs in Christ this way: ouvde ouvde ouk kai.. That is “neither… nor… not... and.” We can ask ourselves an SAT question. Why does Paul order these pairs like this? Does it make a difference? The answer lies in the context of the letter to the Galatians. Paul has not concerned himself with male and female issues at all; rather, he has addressed Jew/Greek and slave/free matters. These are artificial barriers God imposed on mankind in order to bring about his plan of salvation. Now that salvation has come to mankind, Paul is preaching the Gospel of freedom to all people. “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’” (Ga 3:7-8). Sons of Abraham are all nations who come to Jesus Christ by faith, male and female alike.

So when considering what Paul writes of those who are in Christ as the sons of Abraham, he must be put in context to what he has said previously. His primary concern is Gentile issues, not male and female matters. It is as if he tossed male and female in as an afterthought, although that can hardly be the case as he was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Still what is of importance is that all who are baptized into Christ are one in him, for he is one Person.

Paul says those who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. They are in him. They are one Person in him. Therefore, there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female. There is only Christ. One Lord, one Faith, One Baptism—one Church. By Baptism we are made Abraham’s offspring, that is, inheritors of the Kingdom of God. As inheritors in Christ’s image, male and female alike—regardless of sexual differentiation in Christ—are clothed in Christ and are therefore sons of God (Ga 4:6; Ro 8:14).

Paul does not say sexual differentiations are of no importance in the same way political and social distinctions are of no consequence to Christ. He is not here saying that the concretions of male humanity and female humanity have been overcome in Christ. In another place he speaks clearly of how sin entered the world through one man, Adam, and the gift of life by the one man Jesus Christ (Ro 5:12-21). Now in the same way Paul is again speaking of Christ. All humanity came from Adam and from him came Eve and through them their offspring. They were created in the image of God as man that is male and female, not to be independent of each other, but together and in union. Their marriage is an icon of Christ and his Bride. Adam was created in the form that the Son of God would one day incarnate as Husband of that Bride. Marriage brings together in one flesh what once was one in Adam—although Adam was “not good” alone (Ge 2:18).

Some consider God’s statement “he shall rule over you” (Ge 3:16) to be a curse put onto woman. Let’s consider it another way. The Hebrew word in question is mashal. The next time we see it God is speaking to Cain, telling him to control his anger against Abel (Ge 4:7). Sin desires him, but he must master it. If Cain does not control his anger, he will do even greater harm than only to himself. Living within the Law is living in Christ, for he kept the Law perfectly for us. So even after Christ’s death and resurrection the Law applies to us, even though it does not condemn us (Ro 6-7).

The woman had admitted that she was deceived, and sin had ruled her (Ge 3:13). We must read the text in context. Adam, instead of admitting his guilt, blamed God for his sin. “The woman whom you gave to me…” (Ge 3:12). He was not merely asking for a divorce from his wife, but for God’s death. The penalty for eating of the Tree was death. If it was another’s fault and not his own, then Adam would live. Someone had to die. Adam did not want it to be himself. He blamed God for the woman he gave him, so he expected God to take the blame for his sin.

God took the blame for Adam’s sin, and laid it all on his Son so that through him all men were set free (Ro 5:15). Likewise, in Adam all mankind fell (Ro 5:12). Still, as her husband, Adam was the woman’s head (1Co 11:3), just as Christ is the head of the church (Ep 5:23). When God places the woman under her husband’s rule, he is putting her back into his care. He is not to be free of her, but is her protector; she is not free from him, but submits to him as her lord, just as Sarah later would serve as an example (1Pe 3:6). God said that it would be through a woman his Seed would come, the one who would crush the serpent’s head. Adam recognized God’s grace in this. He changed the name of his wife to Eve, which means “Mother of all living” (Ge 3:20).

This recognition of the concrete distinctions of male and female and their unique created roles and functions as male and female is lost in feminism. Feminism recognizes a generic humanity without distinction of maleness or femaleness—a blurring of sexual roles. This neutering of humanity began first with the neutering of the authority of scripture. It extends to the manner in which it regards all authority, especially in the family.

Enough sitting for now.

No comments: