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

Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Titus 2:3-5 – not as sexist as you may think

 

Two weeks ago, I reached a small milestone: The ripe old age of 45. When I was 10, I thought 45 is old! Then again, it was older than my parents were at the time. Maybe 45 qualifies me as an “older woman”, maybe it does not.

Lady interviewing someone for a survey

From Getty Images

However, I think it is finally time to teach a text in which the Bible calls older women to teach (urge, in this particular translation) younger ones:

3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. – Titus 2:3-5

What this passage does not teach:

Many women were taught an interpretation of this text which is not in there, so we will start with what it does not say. For that, compare these two quotes, and then see if you agree with me which one is like verse 4 : (more…)

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Male headship before the fall: God’s message, or human perversion of Scripture? Part 2

<<Continued from Part 1

4. …God named the human race “Man,” not “Woman.”… (Gen. 5:1-2):

 

In the Hebrew text, the word … ’ådåm… is by no means a gender-neutral term… (Genesis 2:5,7, 8, 15, 16, 18, 19 (twice), 20 (twice, 22, 23, 25; 3:8, 9, 12, 17, 20, 21; 4:1, 25; 5:1)…

It does give a hint of male leadership, which God suggested in choosing this name….

Reading the same text with pink glasses

(To understand this argument, we have to know that people give meanings to words,things they understand when they hear it. An aggressive atheist, when hearing the word ‘God’, may hear: “That fictional character who is blamed for a lot of Old Testament deaths and the Crusades.” Another person, from a religious home, may think: “The One who is angry with all my sin and wants to punish me.” The problem is not the word “God”, but how people understand it.)

God named the human race “Man.” Then, the male sinfully appropriated the name for himself, calling the woman by other names. By the time Genesis was written, this sinful way of thinking about the term ’ådåm was established to such a degree that, writing in Hebrew, God used the word ’ådåm in two ways: The way God intended (for the whole race) and the meaning that sinful men gave the word: As a word for males.

On the other hand, the female was named “life causer”. (The meaning of Eve.) This gives a hint of female leadership: We die in Adam, but get life in Eve.

Stripping away the biases (more…)

Male headship before the fall: God’s message, or human perversion of Scripture? Part 1

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.”
(more…)

Putting the (church) cart before the (wedding) horse

“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? (more…)

Creation order meme: Who should listen to who?

This is a meme on the “creation order” argument. You are welcome to share it on social media if you want. (more…)

Dear Mrs. Noah…

noahs-wife

Dear Mrs. Noah, what have you thought

when your husband built a big ship on a message from God?

Did you think he was crazy, or strange or silly

to make an ark on dry land – for a big flood? Really?

 

Did God speak to you too, and tell you what He will do? (more…)

How (not) to preach about rape

“As a child, I my father told me that bees make honey from flowers, but spiders make poison from those same flowers. We can do the same with how we handle the Bible.”

Rev. Rethie van Niekerk, paraphrased.

It is a memory I buried for more than a quarter of a century. (more…)

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