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

Could this be the awaited saviour? BETHLEHEM, JUDEA: Local shepherds claim that angels appeared to them and told them to go and see a newborn baby boy, who will grow up to be the messiah. “At first we were shocked at the sight” said one of them. “I mean, have you ever seen anything like that?” “But,” tells another, “the angel told us not to fear. ‘Said it is good news of great joy for all!” “Then, suddenly, I just saw light and angels everywhere” added another sheep herder. “The whole sky lit up with them.” One of the group, who want to remain anonymous, claimed to our journalist in private that the child did not live up to the hype: Compared to the remarkable announcement, he complained, the sight of a baby in a manger was quite an ordinary, humble experience – the advertisement was bigger than the product, in his opinion. “But my colleagues will boo me if I say it out loud.”

Mark 10 43 whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Ph 2 Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

What a wondrous and incomprehensible statement: God – the maker of the universe, the all-powerfull and omnipotent sovereign – became a human baby. Frail. Vulnerable. Knowing nothing. He became the lowest of the low, the servant of us all, “nothing to look at.”(Isa 53:2) And how is even that fact abused! “But Jesus was male” say the male supremacists. “That proves that God prefer maleness, that men belong at the top of the hierarchal food chain.” What a misunderstanding of the gospel! The Son gave up all privilege, humbled himself, and took on “the very nature of a servant”. If God became female, it would have given some credibility to the hierarchal view of the patriarchy supporters. It may have implied that being a woman is by default a servant position, a state of lowness, more so than being male is. With God the Father being called Father (male), and the humbled, God-human representative coming down as a female, it may have been the ultimate patriarchal statement. “God is called He, so God is male” was a reasonable, if imperfect, argument in Old Testament times. (A God that is spirit has no biological qualities of either male or female.) I could even see why proud men would try to use it as an excuse to be in charge.

Superficially, it may look like the case for male supremacy doubled when Jesus was born. But it did not. Our creator is a “He” ( describes Himself as carrying Israel in the womb, giving birth and nursing His people- e.g. Isaiah 46:3-4, while never describing himself as physically male). The humbled servant of us all was male – male in every physical way.

Jesus being male drew a strikethrough line right through male privilege, not an emphasis line below it.

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Comments on: "Why did God not become a woman?" (14)

  1. Very interesting, Retha! 😀

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  2. I like the way you think. Great points.

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  3. “Jesus being male drew a strikethrough line right through male privilege, not an emphasis line below it.”

    What a great way to summarize it!

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  4. Wow. I have never thought of it this way! A female would not have been seen as lowering herself to become a servant.

    Thank you for posting this. Merry Christmas!

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  5. Victorious said:

    Thanks for a very interesting perspective! Merry Christmas to you!

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  6. Well done. Loved it!

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  7. Retha, your post has inspired me to modify my post entitled “Is God Male or Masculine?”.

    I’ve added:

    It is important to note that while Jesus is a man, his “male-ness” is never emphasised in the New Testament. For instance in Philippians 2:7; 1 Timothy 2:5 and 1 Cor 15:47, the Greek word translated as “man” (anthropōs) actually means a “person” or a “human being”. Jesus became our saviour and mediator primarily because he became human, not because he became a male human.

    . . . if the second person of the Trinity had come as a woman and willingly lowered and sacrificed herself in the same way as Jesus had, the full implication of that humiliation and sacrifice, and the profound example it provided, could well have been lost, especially for men (Php 2:7-8 cf Eph 5:25). This is because it is more usual for a woman to be humble and servile than it is for a man.

    As it is, Jesus’ example of humility and self-sacrifice, and his counter-cultural teaching on leadership has been poorly understood and demonstrated in the church.

    http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/is-god-male-or-masculine/

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  8. Thank you for the kind comments. It’s a big pleasure, Marg, that you could use this idea.

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  9. 😀 (BTW would you mind changing “anthropōs” to “anthrōpos” in my last comment. I made a mistake.)

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  10. I always thought that the reason Jesus was male was not because God preferred men, but because if he had been a woman he would have been completely ignored in those days. Perhaps even stoned or cast out on the grounds of blasphemy, or ‘having a demon in him’ as the Pharisees once said.

    Jesus is supposed to be an example for every follower, male or female, that we all submit to each other regardless of gender. To the patriarchs he should be an example of male submission in this way, submission even to women (after all Jesus sacrificed himself for women too). Yet the patriarchs who twist the Gospel choose to ignore that part, and instead blow trumpets on how the Son of God was male, therefore men are more important than women. They’re completely missing what Jesus really stood for. Unfortunately what they’re displaying is not humility, but pride.

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    • About your second paragraph, Anne, absolutely: He submitted and sacrificed for women too.

      I heard the “nobody would have listened to woman, she would not have been safe” before, and could never quite get it. (My brain is not neurotypical. In layman’s terms, it mean someone smart with the title of Dr. agree with me and my family that my head don’t work like most heads. Perhaps that is why I don’t get it.)
      Anyway, this is how I see it: I could believe that of anybody else, but this is JESUS we are talking about. He could get listened to, being from a group nobody listens to. (“Could anything good come from Nazareth?” they asked.) He could survive when people try killing him – they tried killing him as a baby, they later wanted to kill him and he avoided some areas because of it.

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  11. I’ve often thought it was interesting that the only recorded verbal interchange in which Jesus ceded victory was with a woman (Mark 7:25-30, Matthew 15:22-28). I know , he didn’t *really* cede victory.

    Anyhow, just found your blog and I think it’s awesome. It’s been a while now, but I can no longer imagine living as though Christ couldn’t speak authoritative words of truth through my wife.

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  12. […] and the holy spirit are spirit, and have neither male nor female bodies. Jesus was male, but if you understand what Jesus came to earth to be, that won’t support any claims of male supremacy.) * that the man (not woman) is the image and […]

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