Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

According to Wayne Grudem, male headship have been part of God’s plan from creation.

In ‘Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood’, he claims that there are 10 reasons to believe in male headship before the fall. But are those reasons really there? Or, does he read them into the text because he wants to see it? Is leadership in the Bible blue, or is he wearing blue glasses which make it look that way? Over the next three blog entries, I will discuss his 10 reasons for believing in male leadership before the fall.

I will use blue and a quotation paragraph for Grudem’s words, and pink and a quotation paragraph for words which I wrote to show a different way of (mis)using the same Bible facts. The reason for quotation marks around the pink words is to show they are not my opinion – I use them to show that the same things Grudem uses to allege male lead, or similar things, could be used in a completely opposite manner too. Hierarchy is in the eye of the beholder, not the true meaning of the text.

1. The order:

Ten Reasons Showing Male Headship in Marriage Before the Fall

1. The order: Adam was created first, then Eve (…Gen. 2:7 and Gen. 2:18-23)… Paul … bases his argument for different roles in the assembled New Testament church on the fact that Adam was created prior to Eve. (1 Tim. 2:12-13). According to Scripture itself, then, the fact that Adam was created first and then Eve has implications not just for Adam and Eve themselves, but for the relationships between men and women generally throughout time, including the church age.

Reading the same text with pink glasses

First God made non-living things like the sun and moon, then things that at least resemble God in the fact of being alive, like plants. Then fish and birds, which start to have some degree of consciousness, then higher animals, then man, then women, the crown of creation. Scripture itself shows that God often prefer younger siblings over older ones – Abel over Cain, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Judah, David over his brothers. Jesus Himself- the last Adam – is bigger than the first Adam. Scripture even testifies that the last shall be first. (Mat. 20:16) The fact that Eve was created after Adam has implications not just for Adam and Eve themselves, but for the relationships between men and women generally throughout time, including the church age.

Stripping away the biases

Adam was made first, but that does not necessarily make him the leader. Plenty of Bible material turns first-last hierarchies on its head, These include many Old Testament stories in which the oldest brother is almost habitually not the one God chose, and the repeated message of Jesus that many of the last shall be first (Mat. 19:30; 20:16; Mark 9:35; 10:31; Luke. 13:30).

1 Tim 2:12-13’s message, in the context of the letter to Timothy, is:
“Do not worry about endless genealogies (1:4 – To permanently ban a certain group from teaching because the first member of the group was born after the first member of the other group is endlessly worrying about genealogies)… I, Paul, could be a preacher now (1:12) because I sinned while misled (1:13), and am not misled any more… I, Paul, do not currently allow a (particular?) woman to teach, or to dominate/ do violence against a (particular) man, because Adam was made first, and Eve was misled.”
Read the rest of this entry »


This blog has several articles refuting or exploring the implications of the complementarian idea that husbands represent Jesus and wives the church, and for that reason women should unilaterally submit. If you want to explore the idea, here are the links. Read the rest of this entry »

“The ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory. That is, it exists to display God. Now we see how: Marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to his redeemed people, the church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display. (25).” – John Piper

If said so before, but I will say it again: Marriage cannot be “patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to his redeemed people.” Look at that second little word: “after.” To be “after” something, the other thing needs to be “before.”

When was the first marriage? In the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve. When did Christ’s covenant relationship with his redeemed people, the church, start to exist? Read the rest of this entry »

There is a statement that makes feminists of all stripes cringe. Call it false testimony, call it the straw man fallacy, call it begging the question, the point still remain: This is not an accurate representation of feminism. Whether we talk of first wave, second wave or third wave, whether we talk of Christian egalitarianism, radical feminism or liberal feminism, this pervasive lie never becomes the truth. Sadly, many of those who propagate this lie are Christians: Read the rest of this entry »

I have argued before that the Nashville Statement, seemingly about gay and transgender people, is actually a stealth way to make evangelicals sign on sexist values. Here is another piece of evidence.

The CBMW web page currently start with the Nashville statement right beside their Danvers statement on Biblical™ Manhood and Womanhood. These are the first and biggest things you see on the web page of an organization which exist to promote gender roles:

Almost at the top of the list of initial signatories, and one of the main endorsers, is Russell Moore. In a 2007 interview i, Moore said:

“… most of the people in our churches are in same-sex marriages right now, they just don’t realize it. Because you have people who have marriages in which we do not have male headship, you do not have male protection…”

According to Moore, to let go of male headship in marriage is to embrace same-sex marriage. As such, any statement about gays in the Nashville statement is also read, by Moore at least, as anti-egalitarian. And if all Christians are supposed to agree with them (Article 10 of the Nashville Statement), all Christians have to agree to stand for male headship in marriage.

i “Feminism in your Church and Home with Russell Moore, Randy Stinson, and C.J. Mahaney” – 9 Marks podcast 2007


At first glance, I thought it had nothing to do with my work. “The Nashville Statement: A Coalition for Human Sexuality” is a document about LGBT issues. And while those issues are important and relevant in Christianity, they are not what this blog is about. But it comes from the Council of “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” (CBMW), which exists to promote sexism as a religious requirement for Christians1. Then I looked at it a second time.

The Nashville statement is insidious. It purports to be about gay and transgender issues. But, between the lines, it assumes and promotes sexism.

To make it even worse, it has not a single Bible text, making the meaning even more vague. (For example, suppose someone said: “Man and woman were created to be different – Gen. 1:27″. I would understand it differently from if he said “Man and woman were created to be different – Eph. 5:22″. The latter takes a text out of the “all believers should submit to one another – Eph. 5:21” and “God shows no favouritism – Eph. 6:9” context to promote sexism.)

Sexism and gender roles is a the central tenet of CBMW. Read the rest of this entry »

I just encountered an absurd new definition of egalitarianism. I do not know what group teaches it, but I do know members of that group will read my blog and completely misunderstand it. A commenter on this blog claimed:

“…egalitarianism places women’s equality and worth on our ability to function sexually and socially as males. The term to function sexually-socially here should be treated as a whole-not two separate entities.
Let me explain using simple biology: male sexuality itself is free from pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and raising children and this biological reality has always enabled men to be the ones to go outside of the home and have a career-even if it is plowing [sic] the fields. Once our society changed its primary desire of child raising for a desire for sensuality and materialism then the males ability to exchange child free sexual pleasure which allowed them to have a career and earn money was highly desired by both sexes. Therefore, a woman needs to absolutely sterilize herself during her childbearing years once she is sexually active in order to gain and have the same equality and functionality of a male which liberates her from children and the home.”

There are several strange assumptions in that quote:

Assumption 1: Being free from childbirth, pregnancy, and raising children is acting like men.
Read the rest of this entry »

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