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

Archive for the ‘Favorite Complementarian Passages’ Category

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.”


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…)

Gender hierarchy people do not “take the Bible at face value”

Have you ever heard anybody use something from 1 Peter 3 to to explain what a wife should be or do?unbalanced-scale-left-x

If so, how often have you heard them take this text literally:

3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self…
“Women, your beauty should not lay in outward things. Spend no time on your hair, make-up, or figure, even if your husband wants you to – rather spend time on the inward beauty.” – Hypothetical preacher of this text

By comparison, how often have you heard them take this text literally: (more…)

HEADSHIP Bible: Genesis 2 and 3

tree_of_iaYou know the HEADSHIP (Husbandly & Ecclesiastical Authoritative Dominance, Subverting Her Into her Place) Bible? John Piper and Gavin Peacock just gave us another peek into their Bibles. This time, it is from Genesis 2 and 3.

Genesis 2

…9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of increased authority over another human…

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of increased authority over another human, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”…

Genesis 3

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, having authority over Adam.”

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining authority, she took some and ate it. She kept it away from her husband because she wanted to usurp his authority, but he grabbed and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized the power balance between them was disturbed…


Headship, head coverings, and glory – what was Paul thinking in 1 Cor. 11? (Part 3: How to spot the most important part)

<< Click here for part 2

The chiasm: The best part is in the middle

In the world of Paul, people sometimes used a form of reasoning called a chiasm, where they put the most important part in the middle, with the other points sandwiched around it so that the first point is related to the last, the second to the second last, etc. 1 Cor. 11 contains such a chiasm. (more…)

Headship, head coverings, and glory – what was Paul thinking in 1 Cor. 11? (Part 2: Why this may have been an issue, and one mistake to avoid)

<< Click here for part 1


How the culture(s) of Corinth probably made head coverings a dilemma for women:

I read elsewhere that men had these 2 messages about head wear: Jewish men wore something on their heads when praying as a sign that their sin stands between them and God. The Christian message is about Jesus forgiving sin, nothing standing between us and God, so Christians should not follow their example for headgear under prayer. Male temple prostitutes in Corinth had long hair, and obviously Christians should show their religion is not like those religions. That made it pretty clear what men in that world should have on their heads when going to church: Short hair, no extra head wear. Anything else sent out the wrong message.

Women, on the other hand, allegedly got mixed messages in that multicultural society. One message said women are more respectable covered up. (more…)

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