Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh: PART 2

In almost all societies of which history and anthropology have record, this has been the case. The male of nearly every society has ruled over the female, often to the point of holding her life in his hands. This is not just sexual desire,. It is the natural affinity of the female for the male, often including even the nurturing tendency of womankind. It is strong enough that often men can--and do--manipulate women unfairly by taking advantage of it in many ways, both petty and important.

Some Christians have used this verse to justify the exclusion of women from significant participation in the life of the church. But the church is a society of the redeemed. The church should model the Orders of Creation and Redemption, not of the Fall. In creation, female and male are formed equally in the image of God. In Christ, the Redeemer and Lord of the church, there is neither male nor female. In the church, the body and bride of Christ, that should be the basis of polity and practice.

So, my question is, has the church, men in the church, men who profess to know and follow Jesus Christ, are we living in the Order of the Fall or in the Order of Redemption?

It is what living a Christian life is all about, living and acting out the Order of Redemption. It is imperative for Christian men to start holding their wives up as equal partners, as two come together as one flesh. Not oppressing them or holding them down as someone to meet your every selfish desire or submit to your selfish demands. I may be getting a little heated about this, but I can not fathom for the life of me how a Christian can look at the example of Christ, the love of God, the Orders of Creation and Redemption, the kingdom coming, and have any inclination that they have the right to hold an oppressive power over another human being, especially the one who knows you better then anyone.

It is about time that Christian men raise up and start acting out the Order of Redemption in every are of our lives, especially in the most important of all human relationships, that between a husband and wife.

Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh: PART 1

NOTE: Blogger was acting wierd and wouldn't let my post the whole thing at once, so you get this one in two parts.

My pastor (and friend) Josh let me borrow this: "Ezer Cenegdo: A Power Like Him, Facing Him as Equal" written by Nazarene Theological Seminary Professor Joseph E. Coleson. What an amazing read. I wanted to share a part of it that particularly peeked my interest. (emphasis added)

Genesis 3:16b: He Shall Rule over You
To the woman He said: "_________________
Also, to your man shall be your desire,
But he shall rule over you."

God's statement here to the woman (and then to the man) have more the character of predictions that of judgments. Now that sin had entered the world, the order of the world had been changed. But these changes introduced by sin were not (and are not) the arbitrary judgments of God; rather they were (and are) the inevitable consequences of choosing separation from God.

We may even see in these changes God's arrangement of things in the best way possible, now that sin had come into the world. At the least, we should not regard the new state of affairs that God outlined here as permanent and unalterable throughout eternity. God already had announced the promise of redemption through the Seed of the woman (3:15). According to Paul (Romans 8:18-25), all creation ultimately will share in this redemption, begun already in the Christian through the work of Christ.

The woman had sinned first; God showed her the consequences of her sin first. God's second pronouncement usually has been taken as God's command--or at least as God's permission--for man to dominate woman. Given God's original intention as seen in the Order if Creation, given God's ultimate intention as seen in the Order of Redemption, God's command is precisely what this cannot be. If it is God's permission, it is so only in the most remote sense, in the same way that God usually does not actively prevent any person from committing any evil. In the end, men who take selfish advantage of women will come under God's judgment.

God simply was saying to the woman, "You will desire a lover, you will get a master. The man will take advantage of your desire and bend it to his own ends." The woman, in giving the fruit of the tree to her husband, had bent him to her desire. Now her desire constantly would be bent toward him, even when it was to her disadvantage. Her desire would be so strong towards her husband that it would give him the leverage to rule over her.