Common objections to women in ministry: God’s design in Genesis

Common objections to women in ministry: God’s design in Genesis

designed on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

What is God’s design in Genesis?

How is it that there are millions of Christians who all look to the same Genesis account yet find themselves with different and contradictory truth claims from the same account?  While many conclude that man was designed in a special way that sets him above the woman with special God-given privileges, there are still many others who conclude that God created both man and woman as equal rulers over creation. We all need to be careful that we don’t just see what we want to see because there is a tendency for each one of us to read our own position into the account. But as Christians, we should desire to value truth above all else for it is God’s design that we want to discover, not mankind’s aberration of God’s design.

As we search diligently in the creation account in Genesis, we look for how God conveyed His design differences to the attention of the first man and woman. Did the man know that he had been designed differently? Did he know that his design gave him special privileges that were withheld from his wife because she did not have the same design? And was it conveyed to Eve that she was not on the same level as Adam?  According to Ray Ortlund, God gave the man a special mission, and a special “call” to accomplish and the woman had a special mission to please him. 

God made Adam first and put him in the Garden with a job to do, a mission to fulfill.  In the heart of every fallen man is the self-doubt that wonders, “Am I man enough to climb this mountain God has called me to?  Can I fulfill my destiny?”  A wise wife will understand that question at the center of her husband’s heart.  And she will spend her life answering it, communicating to him in various ways, “Honey, I believe in your call.  I know you can do this, by God’s power.  Go for it.”  In this way, she will breathe life into her man.

God made Eve from Adam, for Adam, to help him follow the call.  In the heart of every fallen woman is the self-doubt that wonders, “Do I please you?  Am I what you wanted?”  A wise husband will understand that question at the center of his wife’s heart.  And he will spend his life answering it, communicating to her in various ways, “Darling, you are the one I need.  I cherish you.  Let me hold you close.”  In this way, he will breathe life into his wife.

So according to Ortlund, there is one call – for the man alone, but did you notice that he gave no scripture to support his view?  Let’s now view what God Himself has revealed.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

God said that both of them were made in His image. He said that both were designed according to His likeness. Then God reveals that the design is for them to rule.  Would this not be the perfect place for God to say that He made the male to rule and the female to support the man’s rule? Why is it that this alternate design pattern of one that is called and the other who is to please the one who is called, is never mentioned? Why is it that the first mention of God’s design is equality in creation in God’s likeness and an equal design of rulership? Did God make a mistake and forget to show the design difference to the first pair? If we believe the Bible to be God’s inspired, inerrant word, we can be assured that God did not make a mistake. There has been no difference in God’s design for their likeness or in their design that mandates their rule.

The next thing that we notice is that both were designed to rule the fish and the birds and the cattle and the earth as well as everything that creeps on the earth. Now isn’t this odd? If there was a design difference, shouldn’t we see something like a design that keeps a woman to the water world kingdom while the man gets to rule over all three kingdoms – the air and the land and the sea? How come with so many levels of rule that they both get it all? How come there isn’t even a breath of difference between their rule? Those who say that man has a different mission to fill have a lot of explaining to do regarding why God’s design is not different for the woman.  There is no divided kingdom.

The next thing that we notice is the coveted blessing that was held out to the first born is given to both of them:

Genesis 1:28 God blessed them;…

God didn’t hold out the special first born blessing to just the man. Instead, He gave the same special blessing to both:

…and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The blessing involved their fruitfulness on the earth, their freedom to rule and the full extent of their rule. Both of them were given the whole earth to fill and subdue it and rule over every living creature and rule over the land. Where is the difference in design here? There is no difference at all. There is only equality.

Notice another thing that is highly important.  In the issuing of the rule, God doesn’t call out the man to speak to him first as if his calling was special or different than the woman’s calling. God spoke to them both.  Then God gives them the food that they have permission to eat, and God does not divide the two of them into a gatherer and a cook.

Genesis 1: 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

The word “you” is plural in this verse. God speaks to both Adam and Eve and gives them both the mandate to be fruit and plant inspectors as they both need to know which plants have seeds. Again there is no design difference between Adam and Eve regarding their mission or their work.  Note also that God doesn’t give Adam the mandate to teach Eve about which foods they can eat. God gives her His word by Himself. Both are treated as responsible and equally designed rulers.

Now that we observed what God said let’s look to see what Adam said that would define any special design that he may have known that he had.

When Eve was talking to the serpent, did Adam claim that talking to the animals was his part of the rule?  No, Adam did not claim that there was a special animal rule that belonged to him alone because of the way that he was designed.

Did Eve understand that Adam had a special rule that she was to support him in that did not belong to her? No, there is not a single word from Eve to show she believed that Adam had a special rule. Well, what about the “helper” words of God? When God said that it was not good for man to be alone and He would create a helper comparable to him, does the term “helper” mean a lesser rule? Absolutely not. God is called our helper, but He does not have a lesser rule than we do. Eve did not miss out on an equal rule with Adam because she was his helper. In fact, the only way that she could be Adam’s helper is for her to be competent in the work. She is never said to need to wait for Adam’s instructions. She had her instructions from God Himself. She was a co-laborer with Adam.

Many will bring up an objection by saying that Adam’s first creation showed his special position.  The timing of his creation was necessary for Adam since God’s design was that the woman was to be made from his body. How could she be created from his body if she was made at the same time? The fact that God gave them both the first-born blessing should remove any doubt that her creation from his body was meant to signal a secondary rule for the woman and a special first place rule for the man.

With no facts about a unique design of man that makes him the sole ruler or a special design that would include the rule over the woman, it appears that the documented account of the creation of man and woman has been rewritten and retold in such a way as to conform to fallen man’s way.  The question we must ask is why complementarians are allowed to rewrite history?  When the very foundation of the complementarian position is based on a recreated account of the origin of humankind, how is that a faithful way to view truth?

It has been said that changing the historical context changes the way we view the present. This is the power of historical revisionism. The very first attempt at rewriting history came out of the mouth of the serpent. Did God really say…, he asked as he challenged the historical account of God’s words. The rewriting of history was the foundation point for the very first lie. Today we are being told that the woman was not designed to rule but instead she has been designed to support the man in such a way that she does not do what he does. Can we actually change woman’s design by denying that she was created as a ruler and one who would give powerful aid to the man? How did the design of the woman get turned around so that complementarians are being taught that the woman was designed to be ruled by the man? It appears that it is true that if you tell a lie long enough and often enough, people will believe it. But a lie is never changed into the truth by repetition.

The next event that has been subject to historical revision is the fall. The consequence of man’s sin is downplayed in the fall so that the ruling of the man over the woman in Genesis 3 is made to be God’s original design even though God never mentioned it before the fall. History has also been rewritten when the words of God’s warning told to Eve about her husband’s after-sin way of relating to her is reinterpreted as God’s original design, not her husband’s new sin nature. But the truth unravels the revision when we study the context.  For if the context of the fall can be stripped away, then one can argue that God’s original design was weeds, a cursed earth, and the necessary death of mankind.

I feel for my brothers and sisters in Christ who have had their “truth” molded by historical revisionism.  But I would encourage all of us not to forget the lessons of the past.  We are to remember what God has done for us.  God made the woman to rule alongside the man.  When God originally created the man alone, He stated that it was “not good.”  It is “not good” for man to fulfill his rule over creation alone. God made both the man and the woman to rule, and the original rule was to be over God’s world and His animals, not over each other.

I also feel for my dear sisters in Christ who have been taught the revision of the creation account so that they have become afraid to go through the open doors that God has held open for them.  I would like to quote a few words from a Women in Ministry blog from the First Baptist Church, St. Simons Island, Georgia.  This church has recently made a bold move to include women in a position of service in their church. Celeste writes some very thoughtful words about the open doors that God has for women.  I encourage you to read the whole post as I was very touched by it.

 

I see what you’ve done. Now see what I’ve done. I’ve opened a door before you that no one can slam shut. You don’t have much strength; I know that; you used what you had to keep my Word. You didn’t deny me when times were rough. Revelation 3:8 (The Message)

I wonder how many times in our lives we’ve prayed and asked the Lord to just “open a door” for us and told Him all that we would try to do to obey Him and to honor Him as we’d enter through it.

Open doors are a wonderful thing…
and the visual effect for us is very provocative and encouraging.

Then a door opens…
now what?

Indeed…now what?  How will we go through these open doors when we have fallen captive to the lie for so long?  Celeste gives words of advice in the finish of her post.

94 thoughts on “Common objections to women in ministry: God’s design in Genesis

  1. A comprehensive review which should require little commentary. Let me offer my “little”…

    The problem Adam had which required a “helper” was not a domestic one, but a heart and soul one. Eve rescues Adam from his aloneness, a far greater problem than needing someone to tiddy up the garden home while Adam plays king. To presume that Adam had some unique earthly, domestic, ruling mission in which Eve was subordinated under him as assistant, or even worse, servant, completely misses the point of Genesis 2:18.

    I continue to think there is significance in the “guardian” and “helper” designations for Adam and Eve and that significance is reflective of design. That can be argued another day (I am thinking of opening a forum for authors on my blog to offer their views on this topic). The glaring reality of those two “roles”, if hierarchialists want to use that term, is that neither contains an element of authority. In fact, both are positions of sacrificial service!

    Paul reinforces this theme of selflessness in Ephesians 5 and 1 Corinthians 7 when dealing with husbands and wives. I still can’t help but think that Paul’s gender specific instructions in the former, echoed by Peter in 1 Peter 3, are related to design differences. But those differences don’t grant authority! The only time Paul grants authority in marriage – in 1 Corinthians 7 – it is reciprocal, equal, and astonishingly still balanced by selflessness.

  2. ” The glaring reality of those two “roles”, if hierarchialists want to use that term, is that neither contains an element of authority. In fact, both are positions of sacrificial service!”
    “But those differences don’t grant authority! The only time Paul grants authority in marriage – in 1 Corinthians 7 – it is reciprocal, equal, and astonishingly still balanced by selflessness.”
    gengwall,
    Good points as always! I couldn’t agree more.

    “It appears that it is true that if you tell a lie long enough and often enough, people will believe it. But a lie is never changed into the truth by repetition.”
    Cheryl,
    Thankfully! And I, too, feel for my brothers and sisters in Christ who have had the “truth” remolded by revisionism.

  3. Cheryl i would like to respond more here when i get a bit more time since this deals with that ‘question 2’ from way back.

    Speak soon.

    P.s some food for thought until i write back.
    Why is ‘YHWH’ or LORD introduced in chapter 2? Why doesn’t the writer use God’s covenantal name before chapter 2, and namely why is his covenantal name used all throughout Gen 2 and 3 except in the 5 verses dealing with the conversation between the serpent and Eve. Now Cheryl as someone who is big on grammatical issues i would like you to look into this or think why this is the case?

  4. Mark,
    I look forward to you getting back to the questions that have been asked of you.

    As far as God’s name, that isn’t an issue on this blog as it would take us away from the main issues discussed here. I am stretched fairly thin due to my own book writing and also a new DVD project on the sovereignty of God and so I just don’t have extra time to digress onto side issues. Thanks for asking though.

  5. gengwall,
    Good thoughts about needing a helper with a heart and soul and not just a domestic “helper”.

    As far as design, “helper” isn’t a term just for females as we can understand God is the main “helper” in the Scriptures and guardian isn’t just a term for males as women apologists guard the faith too.

    The issues that we all need to struggle through is whether there are spiritual differences between male and female. Along with physical differences and some differences in other areas, I haven’t seen any spiritual differences identified in the Scriptures that would make it a sin for either gender to “do” the spiritual activity. If there is no sin in doing the spiritual things, then there cannot be spiritual differences that require a solid line between us – Solid line as in you “cross the line and you die!”

  6. Call me naive, Cheryl, but I don’t see any spiritual differences between men and women AS A WHOLE either. I stress that because while I know there are spiritual differences among individual people, I’m not so sure that we can place people into broad categories spiritually based soleley on gender. Unless I’ve completely missed something, I’m with you: I’m not sure there’s anything in the Bible that indicates such differences. This begs the question: why do some people insist on creating them?

  7. Alison,
    I think that comps are so used to seeing physical differences that they can easily confuse the physical with the spiritual. I wonder if males were pressured to accept that they were spiritually limited and females were not spiritually limited, that men would never stand for such prejudice. Inwardly women know that we are people made in God’s image in the same way as others who do not share our gender, race or social standing. When we can finally convince men of this the church will be able to move on in a way that it has never moved forward before. This is what I believe.

  8. Hi all,

    I dont think comp theology believes that men and women are different spiritually. Well at least i don’t, nor do i believe that is what is taught in ‘Recovering biblical manhood and womanhood’. After all Gal 3:28 teaches that in Christ none is spiritually more important than another regardless of gender or race.

    However whether or not God gives us seperate roles is another matter, which does not detract from the spritual equality. For example God does not gift or use everybody in the same way but does that mean some are more spiritual than others? After all a good example from the Old Covenant is the restriction of priesthood for the Levites. Distinction of roles does not = spiritual hierarchy. Until this is understood egals and comps will never dialogue properly.

    Comp theology therefore does not make men more spiritual than women just because we believe that men and women have different roles. That notion is a false idea pressed upon it by egalitarians. It is a false description unfortunately.

    Cheryl it is a shame you dont have time to look into the ommission of YHWH in gen 3. It would most definately help you in your understanding of that passage.

  9. Hi Cheryl
    I have been reading your blog over the last week or so and must say that you present an interesting perspective that I have been previously ignorant of. I do have a question regarding your statement:

    ” The blessing involved their fruitfulness on the earth, their freedom to rule and the full extent of their rule. Both of them were given the whole earth to fill and subdue it and rule over every living creature and rule over the land. Where is the difference in design here? There is no difference at all. There is only equality.”

    While I agree entirely that there is complete equality in Gods blessing for the man and the woman alike I think it is taking it too far to say that there is no difference at all. Men and women have different physical roles to play in filling the earth through being fruitful and multiplying. Is it not fair then to say, at the very least, the text is open to men and women also playing different roles in the ruling part of the promise though both equally blessed by God?

  10. Gazza,
    Welcome to my blog!

    You asked is there is not different roles in the ruling part of the promise. Thanks for asking. I went through the text and God gives both equal rulership in each area and since they are both blessed with parenthood the differences between being a father and being a mother must have no affect on the essence of rulership. So while we cannot deny that there is a difference between the physical part of parenthood for a woman than for a man. If there is a difference in rulership I have not seen it. Perhaps you can explain what you see. Thoughts?

  11. Mark,
    You said:

    I dont think comp theology believes that men and women are different spiritually. Well at least i don’t, nor do i believe that is what is taught in ‘Recovering biblical manhood and womanhood’…However whether or not God gives us seperate roles is another matter, which does not detract from the spritual equality.

    No one is arguing that there are differences in physical functions of male and female as no one denies that men don’t have babies and only women do. The issue is what is a spiritual function and we should be able to identify spiritual gifts as spiritual functions. Since you deny that women are able to exercise some spiritual functions per God’s rules, as CBMW also denies that women have the freedom to exercise some spiritual functions, then there must be a spiritual difference that causes the loss of spiritual function. It there is “spiritual roles” that deny a spiritual function to one, then there has to be a spiritual difference. I think that your problem is that you don’t really want to admit what belongs in the spiritual area and what belongs in the physical. Or perhaps you are genuinely confused.

    For example God does not gift or use everybody in the same way but does that mean some are more spiritual than others?

    The issue has never been whether God has the freedom to gift whomever he wants and it is a given that not every one has the same gift. However that is not the issue. The issue is whether God has the freedom to gift a woman and whether the gifted woman has the freedom to function in her gifting with full freedom and full authority to use her gifts for the benefit of the body.

    After all a good example from the Old Covenant is the restriction of priesthood for the Levites.

    The Old Testament priesthood is not a spiritual gift but a physical function limited to a family and in that family to the males who have met the strict requirements. This in no way compares to the issue at hand which is the function of spiritual gifts.

    Distinction of roles does not = spiritual hierarchy.

    God has not identified “roles” that restrict people from using their spiritual gifts so there cannot be hierarchy amongst the spiritual gifts. Mark, I think it would be helpful for you to work at thinking outside the complementarian box.

    Comp theology therefore does not make men more spiritual than women just because we believe that men and women have different roles.

    Comp theology certainly does make men more spiritual than women because it redefines the function of spiritual gifts into a hierarchical ordering defined by gender when God has already set up spiritual gifts as outside of hierarchy and dependent not on roles but upon His gifting.

    That notion is a false idea pressed upon it by egalitarians. It is a false description unfortunately.

    If the “false idea” is coming from egalitarians, then why is it that the complementarians have such a hard time answering Biblical questions without changing the subject? The fact is that complementarians need to respond to where the Bible lists the spiritual gifts as limited by gender when God has defined the limit as His own will alone?

    Cheryl it is a shame you dont have time to look into the ommission of YHWH in gen 3. It would most definately help you in your understanding of that passage.

    Fortunately for me I have a good handle on Genesis 3. Unfortunately for all of us that I am only one person and cannot tackle all subjects and still do a bang up job on the key elements of women in ministry. One day I may be done all that I can do and then I will move on to whatever other area God has pressed onto my heart. But until then, I am sure that God will bring many dear brothers in Christ onto my pathway where I can share many precious Biblical things with them that they have missed. Those who have ears to hear and who have nothing to fear will hear. Those who refuse to hear can be left in the hands of our God who is able to change hearts and make them soft in time. It is God’s business to take the blinders off while it is my job just to do the best I can in sharing the truth.

    I trust that we will have a lot more days of healthy and passionate interaction. Most comps haven’t stuck around here too long due to their frustration that they can’t tear apart our arguments. You may be one in a thousand and I appreciate your participation here!

  12. I see that the focus in this post will be on “spiritual function” and not “physical function”. I gravitate toward the physical end because my focus is on marriage, which leads me down a different, albiet parallel, path when thinking about Genesis. So, I will probably hang back on this one unless there is a drift toward physical activities of daily living that impact us.

    Just a quick word regarding this: “As far as design, “helper” isn’t a term just for females as we can understand God is the main “helper” in the Scriptures and guardian isn’t just a term for males as women apologists guard the faith too”. Of course that is true, and I would never suggest that something was a universal role, function, or designation for either gender. I would no more suggest that women aren’t to love and men aren’t to respect their respective spouses, even though Paul is gender specific with those instructions. What I am curious about, and would like to pursue at a more appropriate time, is if our clear design differences mean anything at all in terms of how we interact with the world and relate to each other. Food for future thought.

  13. “However whether or not God gives us seperate roles is another matter, which does not detract from the spritual equality.”

    That is not true. And it makes no sense. It is exactly the same argument made for seperate but equal. How can we have spiritual equality when I am told by patriarchs that to teach/preach scripture to a man is sinful for a woman. (Some say it is a sin if done in a pulpit only…others say it is a sin if done anytime/anywhere. So at what age does a boy become a man so a women will not accidently sin. And why can’t you guys get on the same page with your Talmud concerning exactly when women teaching/preaching with men in the room is a sin?)

    ” For example God does not gift or use everybody in the same way but does that mean some are more spiritual than others? After all a good example from the Old Covenant is the restriction of priesthood for the Levites. Distinction of roles does not = spiritual hierarchy. Until this is understood egals and comps will never dialogue properly.”

    Cheryl got it right. This was a physical function. No where in the Old Covenant can you find a prohibition against women teaching men. Yet you want me to believe there is one AFTER the Cross in the New Covenant. And besides that, one could not be a Levite priest if one had sores or was deformed, etc.

    What do the Levite Priests have to do with teaching/preaching in the New Covenant? I am very confused how that maps over. Do you consider pastors like Levite Priests?

    “Comp theology therefore does not make men more spiritual than women just because we believe that men and women have different roles.”

    No, the truth is, your SPIRITUAL roles are unequal. It really is silly to continue to insist otherwise. We all know it. There is are lists over at CBMW on what women can and cannot do. I see few lists for men over there.

    “Cheryl it is a shame you dont have time to look into the ommission of YHWH in gen 3. It would most definately help you in your understanding of that passage.

    For others reading here…I remember a very long comment thread
    about this very subject that went round and round with Mark. I do not remember which thread but it has been addressed. Cheryl recognizes a rabbit trail when she sees one. :o)

  14. Lin,

    Good thoughts! And it was that wascally wabbit trail that is always appealed to when there doesn’t appear to be any answers to the current discussion. Been there done that with JW’s many times and honestly I can do down those rabbit trails if I want, I just choose not to be distracted off of the key issues. When Mark has answered all the key issues, we can decide at that time if there are valuable wabbit holes to spy out and if we all want to go down those holes we shall proceed. Until he has given answers to all of the questions that he has not engaged in, it is my decision that there are no rabbit holes worth following. The key issues are the key issues and they must be dealt with in a clear and straightforward and honest fashion.

  15. Mark – “However whether or not God gives us seperate roles is another matter, which does not detract from the spritual equality.”
    Lin – “That is not true. And it makes no sense. ”

    Unless Mark is looking at the “roles” themselves as not having a bearing on spirituality.

    Mark – do you consider the role of pastor/teacher to be a spiritual one? If you do, then Lin is right: you can not claim there is spiritual equality between the genders and then turn around and say a specific gender can not equally fulfill their spiritual calling. But, if the “job” of pastor/teacher is just an earthly occupation then, discirmination or not, how society fills that occupation has no bearing on spiritual matters. But, of course, I doubt Mark has such a low view of pastor/teacher.

  16. Hi Cheryl
    Re #10 Thanks for your reply. I don’t think that this particular section says anything about a distinction in roles. I guess my question is how can you say
    “Where is the difference in design here? There is no difference at all. There is only equality.”
    When with exactly the same promise the division of mother and father is there. I am not suggesting that this section of text defines roles at all but can not see how it precludes them. Is there something that I am not seeing in the text that deals with these two parts independently?

  17. Gazza,
    Thanks for coming back!

    The issue is whether God designed men and women for a different function that would give them different “roles” or different marching orders. The same function would be the same rule, both are commanded to be fruitful and multiply so that both are equally in the position of parenthood, both rule over the animals on the land, sea and air. All are the same and show no difference that would make man having the “role” of ruler of one area and the woman the ruler of another area. They were designed in this way to have the same function as ruler.

    As far as “role” of mother and father other than the physical differences, God doesn’t define a “role”. What I am getting at is that everything that is given to the man and the woman is given to them both without division. In contrast the very nature of “roles” brings division. The only division that one can get from the passage is that in marriage the man is to be doing the leaving and coming to his wife to cleave to her. But in the area of work and effect of rulership that God gave by design to both, there is no difference at all.

    If I have not answered your question the way you need, can you rephrase it so that I can get a handle on what you are asking from me? Thanks again for participating!

  18. Gazza,
    One thing I forgot. You said:

    Is there something that I am not seeing in the text that deals with these two parts independently?

    This is the point I am trying to make. There is no two parts the are independent by “role” differences. They are dealt with together because they have a design that makes them recipients of the same design for ruler of this world. Does this make sense?

  19. Cheryl,

    Thanks for your reply, and for your thoughts. I have often wondered about God’s design and the impact it has on “roles” assigned to men and women. Your faith is inspiring, and your clarity in articulating it has helped me greatly as I wrestle with what it means to minister as a woman, and what God’s call on my life really is. Thanks again.

  20. Mark,
    You said: Distinction of roles does not = spiritual hierarchy.
    You are right, except that is not what you believe. You believe in distinction of gender roles.
    Distinction of gender roles = spiritual hierarchy.
    You simply confuse distinction of roles with distinction of gender roles.

    Mabel

  21. Mark,
    Correction:
    I should have inserted the qualifier “ministry” in my previous post.
    I meant to say:
    This is correct: Distinction of individual specific ministry role does not = hierarchy
    Your statement “distinction of (ministry)role does not = hierarchy” is ONLY CORRECT when it is NOT GENDER SPECIFIC.

    Mabel

  22. Interesting thoughts from all.

    First it is interesting that Mabel things distinction of roles does not equal spiritual equality, but only distinction of gender roles equals spiritual hierarchy. What sort of reasoning is this? Smells alot like society talking.

    Lin says that comps have a talmud? If this is the case why are there so many varying egal interpretations of passages. I am yet to see a consistent interpretation.

    Cheryl always strays from the physical distinctions to the spiritual. No surprise really because she cant deny physical differences. Problem is, spiritually everyone is different. Now i don’t mean there is a hierarchy, simply that spiritually we are all gifted differently. Some are have a greater understanding of scripture than others. Some are more mature christians while some are more immature. But does any of this= spiritual inequality. Of course it doesn’t. It just means that some are given roles that others aren’t.

    Also Cheryl it is interesting that you post about Genesis but yet tell us that the conversations is about spiritual gifts. What is it that you want to discuss?

    Now it also interesting that all of you want to dismiss the grammar of Gen 3. You label it a rabbit trail, that i am going off topic, but is this not the very passage and topic we are looking at. Let me ask all of you this question…are you teachable? Are you even willing to look at the passages that are difficult for your position? You say i need to answer your tough questions which i have over and over again, but yet you refuse to answer mine and call them rabbit trails? I can only conclude your un-willingness to even attempt to dialogue. It seems that this blog is more interested in slandering other Christians like CBMW and comps rather than discussing scripture.

    To answer gengwell, some roles are spiritual and some are physical. A father for example is a physical one. A pastor is both. Some are given the gift, but they must also physically do the work. They physically have a job to do for the body of Christ. Whether there is a purely ‘spiritual’ only role i’m not so sure. I would need to look more closely at that. But i guess that is why egals are so fixated on dividing the physical and spiritual, to combat comp theology rather applicable truth.

    More on Genesis later

  23. Let me see if I got this right.
    In comp thought, flesh (gender) is what determines spiritual difference in function (pastor, teacher, leader) and if the flesh rather than the spiritual (sonship) is what determines spiritual difference in function then women are not equal spiritualy to men since it is not the spiritual (sonship) which determines their spiritual gifting but rather their flesh.
    Now, if women were gifted based on their sonship, in comp thought, then women could be considered spiritualy equal to men but since their equal sonship is denied based on their flesh, then it is the flesh which determines the spiritual.
    Their are differences in the flesh (men and women) but there are no differences in the spiritual (sonship) and men and women in the flesh and spiritual are equal even though there are differences in the flesh.
    Gifts aren’t given based on the flesh (male or female) but rather given based on sonship. When comp thought denies this, it denies spiritual equality.

  24. Men and women’s physical equality is based on being human and their spiritual equality is based on their sonship. Differences are only seen within their humanity.

  25. To deny women physical equality is to deny their humanity and to deny their spiritual equality is to deny their sonship.

  26. Cheryl always strays from the physical (male female) distinctions to the spiritual (sonship).

    Mark, male, female distinctions of the flesh have absolutley nothing to do with one’s sonship.

    To answer gengwell, some roles are spiritual and some are physical. A father for example is a physical one. A pastor is both.

    Gifts (pastor, teacher, leader) aren’t roles based on gender but gifts given based on sonship (see Galatians). So a pastor “role” is not both physical and spiritual since it is only given based on one’s sonship not one’s gender. The problem then is with comp terminology – use of “roles” and the division of gifts based along gender lines rather than the spiritual. Comp thought makes gifts of the spiritual out to be “roles” therefore out to be “roles” of the flesh since “roles” are determined in comp thought by the flesh (gender). If “gifts” (spiritual) weren’t made into comp “roles” (physical, men lead and women follow) most of the confusion wouldn’t exist.

  27. Dear Cheryl
    Thanks again for your prompt reply – sorry for the delay in my response – I am writing from Australia so I think I am reading your posts while you sleep.

    In #19 you said “in the area of work and effect of rulership that God gave by design to both, there is no difference at all.” and
    In #20 you said “They are dealt with together because they have a design that makes them recipients of the same design for ruler of this world. Does this make sense?”

    I still fail to see how the text defines this interpretation. In post #19 you said
    “What I am getting at is that everything that is given to the man and the woman is given to them both without division.” I agree fully

    but your next sentence “In contrast the very nature of “roles” brings division.”

    Is where I am having trouble keeping up. I know we have mentioned it twice already but parenthood was a task given equally to both but with distinct roles within it. Neither the father or mother is any less of a parent but the father will never carry the child and give birth – that is simply the mothers role. I do not think the fact that they are physical distinctions means they are any less intended by God and so I don’t think that they can be so simply dismissed. The main issue to me is if there are distinct roles in this part of the promise that are not precisely defined in the text (and it would seem that we agree that there are) how can you state so strongly that there are not similar distinctions in rule? Ie Is it not possible that both the man and the women are equally rulers of creation just as they are equally parents with different roles that are not defined in this verse?

    It is the absolute certainty with which you interpret 1:28 that leaves me feeling like I am missing something important.

  28. “Are you even willing to look at the passages that are difficult for your position? You say i need to answer your tough questions which i have over and over again, but yet you refuse to answer mine and call them rabbit trails? I can only conclude your un-willingness to even attempt to dialogue. It seems that this blog is more interested in slandering other Christians like CBMW and comps rather than discussing scripture.”
    Mark,
    Cheeze whizz, where did this come from? We’ve been having a more than willing dialogue for several months. And this dialogue has taken so many rabbit trails already, it’s hard to recall how it first began. So, what’s up with this?

    Please, tell us what anyone said here that is slanderous of CBMW? Direct quotes from some of their materials are posted and commented upon.

    This reminds me just a bit too much of last week when decided to characterize me as “misleading” for not listing all the evidence of both sides of the discussion in each of my comments, when you weren’t doing that yourself.

  29. Mark,
    You said:

    First it is interesting that Mabel things distinction of roles does not equal spiritual equality, but only distinction of gender roles equals spiritual hierarchy. What sort of reasoning is this? Smells alot like society talking.

    I don’t think you “got” what Mabel was saying. Perhaps you should be asking more questions to understand what she means. At one point she is talking about worldly society. And yes, the world’s way does “smell” because it is not the sweet fragrance of God’s way.

    You also said:

    Lin says that comps have a talmud? If this is the case why are there so many varying egal interpretations of passages. I am yet to see a consistent interpretation.

    That is because egalitarians don’t have a Talmud. They just know that the comp argument isn’t right and they are trying to understand the hard passages of Paul in the best way that they can without contradiction in the clear passages of Paul.

    Cheryl always strays from the physical distinctions to the spiritual. No surprise really because she cant deny physical differences.

    Why should I deny physical differences? But this blog is not about physical differences but about our spiritual equality in ministry. Does physical differences deny spiritual equality? If it does, then ethic origins would also deny spiritual equality and also our social status (rich or poor) would deny our spiritual equality. But “in Christ” there are no inequalities that would determine restrictions on one gender, or a race of people or our social standing, in the use of our gifts. All are equal in Christ and learning how not to be prejudice against our brothers and sisters in Christ should be an ongoing work of grace in our lives.

    Problem is, spiritually everyone is different. Now i don’t mean there is a hierarchy, simply that spiritually we are all gifted differently. Some are have a greater understanding of scripture than others.

    Different levels of spiritual growth is not being unequal spiritually because we all have the opportunity to grow spiritually and our worth in Christ is equal. The differences that comps determine is that one gender is either not allowed to be gifted with particular gifts or having been gifted, one gender is not allowed to use some of those gifts for the common good. That is the issue of spiritual inequality. One cannot “grow” more spiritual in order to use their gifts in the body of Christ if one is female, as far as the comp teaching goes. There is a barrier regarding spirituality in the camp of the comp. The barrier says that no matter how you grow or how you want to serve the Lord, or how godly you are, certain areas are out of bounds for certain people. These are areas of gifting and/or responsibility.

    Some are more mature christians while some are more immature. But does any of this= spiritual inequality. Of course it doesn’t. It just means that some are given roles that others aren’t.

    Like I said the spiritual inequality comes when one cannot attain a level of spirituality because of their gender. There are no “roles” in the body of Christ, but there is “work” that can be done and one can desire to be competent to protect the flock, for example. This is a good work and one that all may desire to attain. If all of us attained this level of responsibility and maturity, the church would be strong and march forward into battle as the church should. For all to be mature is our goal and we use our gifts to bring others up to a strong level of maturity. We do no hold others back because our “role” might be challenged by those who we don’t think deserve to have a “role” like us. Whether others do hold Christians back or not will be shown in their fruit. We need to all submit to the test. Are we working to create a maturity in all? Or are we protecting a “role” to keep back certain mature Christians from fulfilling a work in the body?

    Answering more of the challenges in my next comment.

  30. “To answer gengwell, some roles are spiritual and some are physical. A father for example is a physical one. A pastor is both. Some are given the gift, but they must also physically do the work. They physically have a job to do for the body of Christ.”
    Mark,
    What part of the physical work of a “pastor” is it that a woman is unable to do?

  31. The main issue to me is if there are distinct roles in this part of the promise that are not precisely defined in the text (and it would seem that we agree that there are) how can you state so strongly that there are not similar distinctions in rule? Ie Is it not possible that both the man and the women are equally rulers of creation just as they are equally parents with different roles that are not defined in this verse?

    Hi Gazza,

    What kind of distinctions in rule over the animals and the whole earth would you have in mind? The text speaks of rule over the animals and the earth, so what kind of distinctions in rule could be possible in your opinion?

  32. Mark,
    You said:

    Also Cheryl it is interesting that you post about Genesis but yet tell us that the conversations is about spiritual gifts. What is it that you want to discuss?

    Well, Mark, I thought I made it clear when I provided a name “God’s design in Genesis” and provided a picture, and then argued that God gave no design difference that would make a woman restricted in her rule or her spiritual ability to represent God or serve God for the benefit of the church. Which part of that isn’t clear to you?

    Now it also interesting that all of you want to dismiss the grammar of Gen 3. You label it a rabbit trail, that i am going off topic, but is this not the very passage and topic we are looking at.

    A passage in scripture can have multiple “layers”. We are discussing the “layer” of design here, not the issue of God’s name and how and when He revealed Himself by different names. That is an issue that is of value but belongs elsewhere. For this blog it is a rabbit trail that takes us off the issue of women’s spiritual equality with men.

    Let me ask all of you this question…are you teachable? Are you even willing to look at the passages that are difficult for your position?

    This blog is all about discussing the hard passages of scripture. I have made it very clear that this blog is an open place to discuss these issues, but if the comp position does not stand up to the test of Scripture in context, then it doesn’t mean that we are not teachable. I would say that we are not gullible.

    You say i need to answer your tough questions which i have over and over again, but yet you refuse to answer mine and call them rabbit trails?

    You actually haven’t answered my questions. You may be answering what you “think” I am claiming, but you are not sticking to the actual question on the text we are discussing. Why you don’t seem to understand the questions is up for debate, but you are certainly not answering the questions I am asking because your answer brings a twisted view of what I believe. If you actually got it correct of what I am asking, you would likely do better in trying to answer. My thought is that you are a skimmer and don’t actually read to understand. I could be wrong on this and there may be another explanation for why you fail to understand the point first before you attempt to refute it.

    I can only conclude your un-willingness to even attempt to dialogue. It seems that this blog is more interested in slandering other Christians like CBMW and comps rather than discussing scripture.

    This is actually what I expect from someone who cannot answer the hard questions but needs a way to bow out. Honestly if you don’t want to discuss this issue any more, you have the right to bow out. But don’t leave saying that I have an unwillingness to dialog. I love to dialog. I just want the dialog to be upfront with properly representing the other person’s viewpoint. Misrepresentations or claims of bad motives never advances godly dialog. That is all I want. Let’s keep this an in-house debate where we can still have love for the other as a brother or sister in Christ.

    As far as CBMW goes, it is fair to discuss their position. A position that is based on truth will survive the test. CBMW continues to promulgate that women are not designed for certain areas of ministry and it is just fine to challenge that without being accused of “slander”. “Slander” is a very strong word and a very strong accusation. Criticism should never be considered slander.

    Slander is:

    a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.

    If what I have said is “malicious”, “false” or “defamatory”, then such statements should be pointed out so that they can be corrected. But if it is criticism that you are labeling as “slander”, then that would be unfair, don’t you think?

    To answer gengwell, some roles are spiritual and some are physical.

    The term “role” is not found of any spiritual work. Physical “roles” are not the issue here unless you can prove from the Scripture that godly service is a physical “role” that is dependent on bodily function. I don’t think that you can do that so let’s just continue to focus on the spiritual.

    A pastor is both. Some are given the gift, but they must also physically do the work.

    The “work” of pastor is only limited physically by those who refuse to be pastored. There is no brawn that is needed to be a pastor and no particular brain function that is dependent on being male or else God couldn’t gift females and He obviously does so at His good pleasure.

    They physically have a job to do for the body of Christ.

    You are confusing the term “physical”. What you mean, I think, is that some pastors are doing the work for pay and their work requires them to get behind the pulpit on Sundays and the pulpit is a symbol of male authority. If I am not understanding you right, perhaps you could say it in a way that others outside of your own though-process can follow.

    Whether there is a purely ’spiritual’ only role i’m not so sure. I would need to look more closely at that.

    Perhaps that would be a good thing to do.

    But i guess that is why egals are so fixated on dividing the physical and spiritual, to combat comp theology rather applicable truth.

    Since you don’t know what is purely spiritual or not, I am not sure that you would qualify to comment on any supposed “fixation” of egals on spiritual gifts for the common good. Don’t you think?

    More on Genesis later

    Great! At least I know then that you haven’t given your final goodbye yet. I look forward to further conversations on Genesis. It is, after all, the foundation of our faith as set forth in the book of beginnings.

    Cheerio for now. I am off to feed my husband a very late supper.

  33. And if there are possible distinctions in rule over the animals and the earth because there are distinctions in multiplying (parenthood -father or mother) then are there distinctions in eating?

    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
    29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

  34. pinklight,
    Interesting inquiry for Gazza. (#37) The one thing I don’t see in the “subdue” command is either the man or the woman being told to “rule” their spouse. 🙂

  35. Hi Pinklight
    I would feel that there are a great many ways in which a task may be shared by two people (or genders) without each exactly mimicking the other. I don’t think that verse 29 really speaks to the idea that the roles are identical. Am I wrong here? I am not yet certain of what I believe the roles may or may not be – just that I feel that some of the assertions that have been made towards uniformity are going beyond what is actually conveyed in the referenced text. Looking only at Gen 1 I don’t think that I could limit what distinctions were possible. Am I missing something here?

  36. Interesting inquiry for Gazza. (#37) The one thing I don’t see in the “subdue” command is either the man or the woman being told to “rule” their spouse.

    🙂

    Oh yeah, the man and the woman were already married. So actualy God gave the husband and wife equal rulership over the animals and the earth and he commanded them to multiply (or be father and mother).

  37. Hi Gazza,

    I would feel that there are a great many ways in which a task may be shared by two people (or genders) without each exactly mimicking the other.

    I agree. Take two brothers for example or two sons – they do the same task but not exactly the same way, but both are males. So this concept you bring up applies to all people, male or female.

    I don’t think that verse 29 really speaks to the idea that the roles are identical. Am I wrong here?

    Are you referring to the verse on food?

    just that I feel that some of the assertions that have been made towards uniformity are going beyond what is actually conveyed in the referenced text.

    What exactly has been said that is beyond what is conveyed in the text?

    Looking only at Gen 1 I don’t think that I could limit what distinctions were possible. Am I missing something here?

    Well, what distinctions are possible in your opinion that are not given in the text? The husband and wife were given equal rulership, told to multiply and given permission to eat. They were already husband and wife, and they were commanded to “be father and mother.” What possibilites could exist outside the text? How could the command to multiply limit the distinction of father to mother or husband to wife?

  38. Is where I am having trouble keeping up. I know we have mentioned it twice already but parenthood was a task given equally to both but with distinct roles within it.

    I see problems with this statement, Gazza. In Gen 1, God did give “parenthood” therefore he didn’t give “roles” (father and mother). Rather God commanded they multiply which is not language on “roles”. Being fruitful and increasing was the task given and notice it is not worded in language that would describe “roles” because God is not assigning roles or giving roles as a task. The text just does not in anyway read as “roles” being given. It’s important HOW the text conveys what it does.

  39. How can multiplying or being fruitful and increasing be a role when it cannot be done by the male or female alone?

  40. So since multiplying or being fruitfull and increasing in number cannot be a role since it cannot be done by the male or female alone therefore parenting cannot be a role and if parenting cannot be a role then neither fatherhood or motherhood. 🙂

  41. A role in comp language is something that only the male or female can do. Only a male can be a father, or have the role of a father. And only a female can have the role of a mother, but neither can have the role of “being fruitful” without the other, so God didn’t assign or command parental roles in Genesis 1.

    How come he didn’t command the role of the father? How come he commanded no roles of father or mother in Gen 1? Arn’t these roles (parental roles) integral to the comp position?

  42. If the husband is the “head” of the home, then how come the first husband and wife were the “head” of the entire earth? That both were the head of the whole earth and all the animls, does that sound comp to you?

    ;P

  43. Do we have a contradiction? How can the husband be sole “head” of the home when woman is the “head” of the entire earth?

  44. Gaza,
    You said:

    but your next sentence “In contrast the very nature of “roles” brings division.”
    Is where I am having trouble keeping up. I know we have mentioned it twice already but parenthood was a task given equally to both but with distinct roles within it. Neither the father or mother is any less of a parent but the father will never carry the child and give birth – that is simply the mothers role.

    The carrying of a child in the womb is not a “role” but a function of the woman. There definitely are functional differences because of pregnancy, but the discussion is not on physical function but things that are not physical. Are there “role” differences that are not physically functional areas related to gender i.e. a “cook”? In the marriage who takes the “role” of cook? Does God determine who is the “cook” by designing the woman in such a way that the physical difference makes her the cook? Can we agree that some men love to cook and some women don’t love to cook so that the “role” of cook is not dependent on God’s design but on personal preference?

    I do not think the fact that they are physical distinctions means they are any less intended by God and so I don’t think that they can be so simply dismissed. The main issue to me is if there are distinct roles in this part of the promise that are not precisely defined in the text (and it would seem that we agree that there are) how can you state so strongly that there are not similar distinctions in rule? Ie Is it not possible that both the man and the women are equally rulers of creation just as they are equally parents with different roles that are not defined in this verse?

    Design differences are easy to pick out. For example which gender is designed to breast feed? I think that we can agree that when a baby is born, the baby will not likely survive by sucking on the nipples of the father so there is a design difference in this function.

    However in the issue of “ruler” there isn’t any limitations listed that would deny a woman the ability to command a dog to obey or to rule over the earth. A woman too has the wisdom that makes her a good ruler.

    The reason that I am able to say so strongly that there are no design differences in rule, is that God never limits the rule when He gives them both rule over His creation. When God makes a barrier the limits function, it is clear. There were limits to the foods that they had permission eat. But God gives no limit to the rule of the woman. When God gives rule to both without limits to either, then we can confidently say that the woman has no design that limits her rule in anyway that the man is not limited.

    Ie Is it not possible that both the man and the women are equally rulers of creation just as they are equally parents with different roles that are not defined in this verse?

    It is the absolute certainty with which you interpret 1:28 that leaves me feeling like I am missing something important.

    When you say “equally parents with different roles” we can understand physical differences but what other “role” differences are there? The issues that I am specifically dealing with are issues where there are limitations that are restrictive. I am not saying that men and women do things exactly alike just as not all men do everything exactly alike. I am saying that God does not place restrictions on the rule that would stop a woman from exercising her God-given ability. Without restrictions (whether physical or spiritual) there cannot be a design difference in the command to be a ruler of the world.

    If you can be more specific as to your concern, I can better understand how to answer.

    Let’s take one last look at the verse that you said may include distinct “roles”.

    Genesis 1:28 (NASB95)
    28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

    There is not a single thing in this verse that would “limit” the rule of the woman. She isn’t given part of the animals to rule and if we try to fill in the blanks and limit women because of what we think how God might limit women to restrict them in certain tasks, we are on shaky grounds.

    I appreciate the questions that you asked me. If your questions haven’t been answered in the way you need, I would welcome you to refine the questions so that I can help with my answers.

    Thanks!

  45. #41 Gazza,
    You responded to pinklight,

    I would feel that there are a great many ways in which a task may be shared by two people (or genders) without each exactly mimicking the other. I don’t think that verse 29 really speaks to the idea that the roles are identical. Am I wrong here?

    There are no “roles” identified. There is a work identified and God doesn’t tell them how to “rule” the animals. He just tells them to do it. Is this task to be “shared” as if there is a division needed? Is it necessary that the man says he will take the dogs and she can take the horses? If they agree to do this, they are still “ruling” the animals as God intended, however if the man says to the woman, “You are not allowed to rule the dogs, they are my domain. You rule the pigs over there” then the “rule” has changed from an equal opportunity to one that is restrictive where the “rule” that the man experiences extends past the given rule (that of the animals) to a rule that has not been permitted (the man ruling the woman). God made it clear what they could rule and He never gave permission for either of them to rule each other. When we place the rule over humans into the rule that God originally ordained, we have gone past His permitted rule. Does this make sense?

  46. Gazza,
    You said:

    I am not yet certain of what I believe the roles may or may not be – just that I feel that some of the assertions that have been made towards uniformity are going beyond what is actually conveyed in the referenced text.

    I haven’t said anything about uniformity. What I did say is that God gave equal rule. Equal is not the same as uniformity. Equal is a rule that carries no restrictions. Uniformity means that they must do things exactly the same. I do not believe in uniformity. Each one of us has a personality and individuality that causes us to do things differently but doing things differently would never create an unequal “rule” where one is restricted from some part of ruling.

  47. Hi Pinklight
    Firstly regarding #41 I was actually refereeing to verse 28 not 29 – got my referencing mixed up.
    Re# 42 I fully agree that they both have equal rulership – just as they have equal parts to play in multiplying – but we know for sure that in multiplying each has a different role to play so how is it different when it comes to rulership
    Re #44 You say that God gave the command to multiply or “be fruitful and increase in number” but not parenthood. I fear that we are merely dealing with semantics; I used the term parenthood, although it was not in the text to sum up the process God was anticipating in the command being fruitful and increasing.
    Either way God commanded them to multiply and God clearly created male and female thus creating the requirement for each to fulfil a different role to multiply. Though it cannot be done by either alone each has to do their bit or it won’t happen. It is exactly because multiplying can not be done that each has to fulfil their role to obey the command.
    Re #43
    You ask “What exactly has been said that is beyond what is conveyed in the text?” I feel that Cheryls statement “ Where is the difference in design here? There is no difference at all. There is only equality.” Goes beyond the text as I have explained previously I feel that the text open to the possibility of roles within the equality – I still don’t feel that anyone has pointed out why this is can not be so.

  48. Hi Cheryl
    Thanks again I think I am beginning to put the pieces together – #51 and #52 were particularly helpful.
    I can see that God didn’t tell them how to rule the animals, nor did God say anything that that would limit the womans rule. I also agree that for the man to put anything in place that God did not would be grave indeed. However, I still see a parallel in that God also did not define here how they were to multiply. He did not restrict a man here that he could not carry a child or breastfeed – we know that from elsewhere. It seems that based just on these verses you are saying that there is no room for men and women to have different parts to play in the rule – is this a fair understanding? Or are you saying “I am saying that God does not place restrictions on the rule that would stop a woman from exercising her God-given ability.” –in this verse? (not to necessarily say that God does in any other verse) I am just trying to more fully understand your position. But I have much food for thought.
    I appreciate the time you have taken to be clear in your understanding of scripture Thanks

  49. Hi Gazza,

    Firstly regarding #41 I was actually refereeing to verse 28 not 29 – got my referencing mixed up.
    I don’t think that verse 29 really speaks to the idea that the roles are identical. Am I wrong here?

    Which roles? Please do point them out! I only read commands – be blessed, multiply and eat. Verse 29 doesn’t speak to roles at all.

    Re# 42 I fully agree that they both have equal rulership – just as they have equal parts to play in multiplying – but we know for sure that in multiplying each has a different role to play so how is it different when it comes to rulership

    We know for sure that each has a different function because one was made male and one was made female (v27) so one can naturaly bear children and the other cannot. A woman doesn’t play giving childbirth, it’s just a natural function. It doesn’t logicaly follow that since both were commanded to multiply and one was male and the other female that therefore it is different when it comes to rulership. How is it different when it comes to food?

    Re #44 You say that God gave the command to multiply or “be fruitful and increase in number” but not parenthood. I fear that we are merely dealing with semantics; I used the term parenthood, although it was not in the text to sum up the process God was anticipating in the command being fruitful and increasing.
    Either way God commanded them to multiply and God clearly created male and female thus creating the requirement for each to fulfil a different role to multiply. Though it cannot be done by either alone each has to do their bit or it won’t happen. It is exactly because multiplying can not be done that each has to fulfil their role to obey the command.

    Gazza, in #32 you said “but parenthood was a task given equally to both but with distinct roles within it.” It’s not semantics though to one it could look like semantics. Since God gave a command to multiply rather than parental roles, it cannot be sematics. A command cannot be a role. There is not one mention of “role” in the text. As long as one was made male and the other female they can obey the command to multiply.

    Re #43
    You ask “What exactly has been said that is beyond what is conveyed in the text?” I feel that Cheryls statement “ Where is the difference in design here? There is no difference at all. There is only equality.” Goes beyond the text as I have explained previously I feel that the text open to the possibility of roles within the equality – I still don’t feel that anyone has pointed out why this is can not be so.

    How come if what Cheryl said goes beyond the text then you are the one asking about possibilities that are not in the text, roles that the text doesn’t say a word on, and not able to answer her question on where the difference in design is? seems to me that you are projecting onto what Cheryl said/asked what you yourself are trying to do.

  50. However, I still see a parallel in that God also did not define here how they were to multiply. He did not restrict a man here that he could not carry a child or breastfeed – we know that from elsewhere.

    Hi again Gazza,
    He did restrict the man’s function in verse 27 because he made them male and female. So we know this restriction from the context.

  51. But again, it’s a restriction of function not role that is, being male restricts one from having children.

  52. Gazza #54,
    You said:

    However, I still see a parallel in that God also did not define here how they were to multiply. He did not restrict a man here that he could not carry a child or breastfeed – we know that from elsewhere.

    While it is true that God did not define how they were to multiply, he created restrictions by the way He made them male and female. All of us seem to be able to accept that as I don’t hear protests from females because they cannot impregnate their husbands or protest from men that they cannot become pregnant and this is discrimination. These restrictions are the physical part of our gender yet the restrictions are for both equally. It isn’t just the woman who is restricted, it is the man also. But in gender restrictions regarding God’s rule, the complementarian way is to assign restriction to one gender alone.

    So in the assignment of blessing and rulership, God gave both equal ability to rule without defining exactly how they must rule, but neither defining any restrictions on their ability to rule. In the assignment to be fruitful and multiply, both were given the ability to be fruitful and multiply and both were restricted to their gender based ability.

    However in rulership, there are no gender based restrictions that are inherent in rulership. Just as spiritual gifts have no restrictions because teaching and serving are not withheld from one gender.

    It seems that based just on these verses you are saying that there is no room for men and women to have different parts to play in the rule – is this a fair understanding? Or are you saying “I am saying that God does not place restrictions on the rule that would stop a woman from exercising her God-given ability.” –in this verse? (not to necessarily say that God does in any other verse) I am just trying to more fully understand your position.

    It is the latter. What I believe is that God creates a purpose and task for mankind and He allows us the joy of finding our place within that task. One person may find their joy in ruling through specializing in one area. Another person may take the big picture and do a little of everything to live out their rule. That is setting our own function within the rule that God has given mankind.

    But when one person defines and sets up another person’s boundaries for whatever reason, and the result is that they set restrictions for another person, they have stepped outside of what God has given them permission to do. Whenever we are gifted and enabled by God but another human sets himself/herself up as an intermediator between ourselves and God and thus rules us and restricts us, we suffer. But when we set our own boundaries because of our individual gifts and likes, we are happy in service.

    Thanks again I think I am beginning to put the pieces together – #51 and #52 were particularly helpful…I appreciate the time you have taken to be clear in your understanding of scripture Thanks

    Thank you so much for that word of thanks. It is such a joy to be able to help in any way that I can and to be thanked for that is a double blessing.

  53. I also wish to thank all the Aussie’s from down under who visit my blog and who have felt comfortable enough to comment. I think that having people from different locations and different cultures participate here is a real blessing. When people see things differently than I do it gives us all an opportunity to think outside the box. That is a real privilege.

  54. Kay,
    You said regarding one of Mark’s statements:

    This reminds me just a bit too much of last week when decided to characterize me as “misleading” for not listing all the evidence of both sides of the discussion in each of my comments, when you weren’t doing that yourself.

    I agree that this is something that we all need to watch out for. It takes a lot of work to understand each other and then to work on our differences from that position of understanding. But if we attribute bad motives to the other person, communication can become difficult. Let’s just all remember to treat the opposition with Christian dignity and respect and give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things that we cannot know (the attitude of the heart and motive) since we are not God.

    Thanks again all for helping to keep this blog lively and respectful. I rarely have to moderate comments to remove offensive matter. That must mean that I have a very special bunch of God-lovers who visit and I am quite blessed by that!

  55. “Lin says that comps have a talmud? If this is the case why are there so many varying egal interpretations of passages. I am yet to see a consistent interpretation.”

    We “discuss” interpretations. However, we do not have masses of articles defining roles, rules, etc for the genders FROM those interpretations.

    Each one just brings more questions. Some comps/pats think women cannot teach men at all. Some think they can but not if they are standing on a stage or behind a pulpit. Some think women on a video is ok but not in person. But no one has yet, to my knowledge, said at what age a boy becomes a man so some poor women will not accidently sin by teaching him.

    Those Talmudic rules.

    Piper even says that women should be careful about giving men directions. he says it would be ok for her to design traffic patterns because she is not directing men. But it is NOT ok for her directly to instruct men on driving, etc.

    There is even an article over at CBMW that suggests men will have authority over women in HEAVEN! I kid you not. This is about as Mormonistic as one can get. (And wishful thinking :o)

    Those Talmudic rules are the ones I am speaking of and like the REAL Talmud have NOTHING to do with scripture. I can remember being exhausted trying to keep up with all of it. So glad to have found freedom from their oral law in Christ!

  56. CBWM: in their own words-
    Albert Mohler describes himself on his own profile page:
    the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S”.
    “a blue-ribbon panel” member
    “writes a popular blog”
    “Widely sought as a columnist and commentator”

  57. Mark at #8 wrote: “I dont think comp theology believes that men and women are different spiritually.”

    Then why does one gender need an earthly spiritual leader and the other doesn’t. If one says it is because of “design,” it seems to me that would suggest “design differences”. Therefore, what is the innate difference in females relative to males that predisposes them for the necessity of a male spiritual leader? I think this is in line with Cheryl’s question about design.

  58. “If one says it is because of “design,” it seems to me that would suggest “design differences”. Therefore, what is the innate difference in females relative to males that predisposes them for the necessity of a male spiritual leader?”
    sm,
    Yes, if her qualifying difference is defined by males because they possess the “authority” to define, they ought to be able to tell us what that is, right?

  59. Yes, if her qualifying difference is defined by males because they possess the “authority” to define, they ought to be able to tell us what that is, right?

    Now that’s funny!!

  60. Kay,

    Yes, if her qualifying difference is defined by males because they possess the “authority” to define, they ought to be able to tell us what that is, right?

    That is a hoot!

  61. Ok, this will be slightly rambling, but I’ve thought about this a lot and wanted to share it and get some feedback.

    First off, “male privilege.” Something just doesn’t sit right. From my experience (that is more female “submission” veiling as manipulation and domination), men don’t seemed privileged at all. Ok, maybe they get to be the “leaders”, but how hard is it to have that kind of authority and maintain a true Christian walk? Knowing myself, it would be a HUGE burden to have this prophet, priest, king, mentality thrown on top of my desire for control. I know my love of a controlled, orderly environment would lead me down the path of dictatorship. The thought of what would happen makes me sick.

    It just seems like believing in husband authority puts unnecessary weight on both spouses, that it almost drives the couple apart rather than growing them together. God gave us friendship. Marriage should be the closest friendship, yet there seems to be this unhealthy focus on 2 minor traits that are rather dangerous. Leadership can turn to domination and submission to domination. It just seems to be playing with fire and catering to our sin nature to not have two people equally weighted, balancing each other out in the relationship.

    And honestly, I can be the most submissive wife the world has ever seen, and still be a downright awful person to live with. Being submissive does not mean I am truly loving, nor that I am patient. I can be submissive and respectful to the nth degree without every truly loving my husband or engaging him as a human being.

    A good man who is aware of his own brokenness may not be thrilled by these responsibilities. This normally healthy man MAY then resort to controlling behaviors (which he will likely detest subconsciously) to compensate for the fact that he knows there is no possible way to live up to the high standard set. Even worse, he will have to face God for his behavior.

    Within the marital relationship, if extra power is put on the husband, the extra responsibility should follow. But with all the forms of submission being thrown around, it makes it hard for the husband to have an appropriate counterweight in his wife. So in the name of “headship” or “leadership” a normally good husband may start tilting towards the side of dominating, while a normally good wife, in the name of “submission”, may start withdrawing or yielding unhealthily to the husband.

    I hope I care enough about my husband’s immortal soul that I will not allow him to be drawn into unwise or unhealthy territory, regardless of submission. I hope he does the same for me.

  62. “So in the name of “headship” or “leadership” a normally good husband may start tilting towards the side of dominating, while a normally good wife, in the name of “submission”, may start withdrawing or yielding unhealthily to the husband. ”

    Nicole,
    Good comments! I can relate to the quote above. My husband and I were already 15 years into our “mutually submitting” marriage, when we spent about a year and half in a comp/patri. church. The teaching on marriage began to influence our relationship – and not for the better. It was not helping either one of us mature in Christ and it was ruining the “one flesh” unity and close friendship we had always enjoyed. We had to leave, even though it meant leaving many of our friends and fellow homeschoolers. That was about 13 years ago and we have no regrets – in fact our relationship has continued to grow stronger.
    We don’t regret the experience we had seeing inside comp/patrio circles because it made us realise the blessing of our relationship that is built on mutual submission. It also helped us understand the comp/patrio teachings from the inside and gave us a first hand look at marriages and families trying to live under it.
    Paradigms that are built on “differences” rather than things shared encourages “separation,” not unity.
    Yes, men and women have differences, but “equality is not the same as uniformity.” It’s not impossible to appreciate both our differences and commonalities at the same time. And I totally agree that having equal authority is the foundation for both to develop as mature Christians.

  63. Nicole,
    Another thing most troubling to us is the practice in that comp/patrio church (as well as many others) of the fathers choosing spouses for their adult children. We’ve seen some terribly sad ramifications among our friend’s. I don’t think even Mark our Aussie comp. brother would want his father choosing his wife for him. (?)
    When asked, my husband and I were willing to give frank opinions about people our children dated, but in no way would want to bear the responsibility of making a lifetime commitment for our children. No way!

  64. I think parents have a valuable role to play in the choice of spouse by their children. Parents are not “in looooove” with the potential mate and subject to the subjective, emotional, irrational ramifications of that infatuation. That isn’t to say that parents should chooce their children’s mates. But many a marriage disaster could be avoided if children would listen more carefully to their parent’s wisdom and advice.

  65. gengwall,
    I’m basically right there with you on that. And that is how we counseled our children.
    However, what I was referring to is the practice of fathers making the choice for their children and walking them down the aisle as soon as legally possible. The teenagers are bowled over and infatuated with whole idea and have been indoctrinated/brainwashed/choose your term into believing it’s God’s best way.
    The terrible ramifications I was referring to, aside from the divorces, was the suicide of our daughter’s good friend at the age of 27. Because she had been taught that divorce for any reason other than adultery was a sin, after 10 years in her desperation saw no other way out. To describe the devastation of that on her father and mother would take me all day here. As well, on my daughter and all we who loved her. Tears come to my eyes at the thought and it’s been almost five years now.
    What I am talking about are well intentioned fathers and mothers, by default, who really believed it was their God given place of authority to make these choices – the problem is that such a paradigm, where the males/fathers have the “tie breaker” ulimate decision maker setup is that in reality males can be wrong and there is no one else with equal authority to counter balance that.

  66. Let me add that besides the teenagers being bowled over and infatuated with whole idea and have been indoctrinated/brainwashed/choose your term into believing it’s God’s best way, if a young woman was to resist the “spiritual” leadership of her father then she is told she is being “unsubmissive” – it’s a no win situation.
    That is why I’m so passionate about mutual submission for all with no “male trump card.”

  67. I’m with you Kay, except – is this really a big problem? I know of no teenage girls being railroaded into marriage by their fathers unless that father’s name is Tevye or they live in a compound in Eldorado Texas.

  68. gengwall,
    I’m glad you’ve never encountered this – it’s painful to witness. Is it a really big problem? I would imagine if this was happening to people you knew personally, it would be. I’m sure you would agree that every single life is important. It is big to me and all those personally envolved. In my view, one life lost was one too many. And, although there is no association at all with the Eldorado group you mentioned, the people I refer to do live in my home state, Texas. (Living in another state at the moment) Perhaps things are just different where you have lived or are living.

  69. gengwall,
    Rereading what you wrote and what I just wrote and realizing it came out sounding as though I thought you(personally) didn’t care or think it was a big enough problem to be a concern – that’s not the way I intended it to sound. Sorry about that. 🙁

  70. “I’m with you Kay, except – is this really a big problem? I know of no teenage girls being railroaded into marriage by their fathers unless that father’s name is Tevye or they live in a compound in Eldorado Texas.”

    It is a big problem in patriarchal circles. And we are just now coming into the first generation this is happening to on a large scale. Voddie Baucham teaches this! As does Doug Phillips of Vision Forum and many other ministry types big into hard comp/patriarchy.

    These girls are to stay home (all are homeschooled), not attend college and cannot date. They must serve their fathers until the father finds a proper mate for them. We are talking about 19-22 year olds!

    Have you not heard of the Quiverfull movement or “No Longer Quivering” for those who are leaving the movement?

  71. Lin,
    I’m all too familiar with Doug Phillips of Vision Forum in San Antonio. Are you familiar with Jonathan Lindvall? He is very influential among my homeschooling friends also. His betrothal/courtship teaching is very popular and his teaching is somewhat like Bill Gothard on steroids.

  72. Cheryl,

    I have an extensive critique of this post which i would like to post if thats ok. I have done this to not only show where i feel you are weak in your argument and plainly wrong, but also as a lead in to why i believe the bible teaches that Eve was a sinner banished from the garden (question 2).

    Let me know

  73. Mark,
    You can email it to me if you would like, or you can post it here piece by piece.

    I have just finished our ministry’s accounting. The balance sheet actually balances, hurray! On to different things next week and I will try to catch up. Its hard to do two things at once when you are working with numbers. My eyes are crossed, my mind is tired but I have a balanced balance sheet, praise the Lord!

  74. Kay and Lin,

    To be clear, and I think Kay realized this, I do not question that this is a big problem to the person it happens to. What I am wondering about is if it is a big problem in society. In other words, does it happen to large numbers of people? I doubt it does, regardless of what wing-nuts teach it. But in terms of the few it does happen to, I would agree it is huge.

  75. Cheryl,

    As i prepare the question 2 answer, can you confirm some things for me about your view so that i dont assume the wrong thing. I have tried to remember things you have said previously.
    1. The definate article of 3:22-24 excludes Eve?
    2. Eve was decieved but Adam sinned wilfully. Therefore they have different sin natures
    3. Eve was not a threat to the tree of life
    4. Eve did leave the garden, but not becasue she was banished. She left becasue of her ‘desire for her husband’ (Gen 3:16)
    5. Gen 3:1-5. Eve is quoting what God told her. That is, she was given the prohibition by herself from God, therefore she has not misquoted God and Adam did not pass on the prohibition.

    Thanks and correct anything where it is not what you believe the bible teaches.

  76. Mark,
    Boy you Aussies sure take a long time to prepare simple questions. Having a hard time? I think it is a good thing when complementarians are willing to address some of the difficult questions against their position. For after all, the correct position will be able to stand the hard questions and the challenges. At least that is what I believe. I hope you believe the same.

    1. The definate article of 3:22-24 excludes Eve?

    The context is clear that “the Adam” from chapter 3 is the one man Adam. Only one Adam had the earth cursed on his behalf.

    2. Eve was decieved but Adam sinned wilfully. Therefore they have different sin natures

    The first sentence is Biblical. The second is not. The Bible attributes only one man from bringing the sin nature into the world. There is no mention of “different” sin natures inherited by mankind. I don’t know where you got that from.

    3. Eve was not a threat to the tree of life

    The world was not cursed on Eve’s behalf because of what she did. Paul clearly says that she was deceived. Once her eyes were opened she was no longer under deception. Since she didn’t sin in outright rebellion, what reason would we have that she would act in outright rebellion once her eyes were opened to the truth? I see no evidence of any rebellion against God. Do you?

    4. Eve did leave the garden, but not becasue she was banished. She left becasue of her ‘desire for her husband’ (Gen 3:16)

    God only blamed one man for bringing sin into the world and only one man had the earth cursed because of his actions. There is no evidence at all that God believed that a formerly deceived woman was a threat to the tree of life and that was the only reason that He kicked Adam out of the garden. Since Eve was not a threat the only reason we have regarding why she left is God’s words to her about what would transpire in the future. As far as I can see God gave a true prophesy and His word did indeed come true. Do you see God as giving false information regarding Eve’s future? I don’t and I highly doubt that you do, so what evidence do you have regarding why Eve left the garden? I would be happy to verify the evidence you come up with.

    5. Gen 3:1-5. Eve is quoting what God told her. That is, she was given the prohibition by herself from God, therefore she has not misquoted God and Adam did not pass on the prohibition.

    Eve’s testimony before she sinned is that God said this…and she gave a direct quote. There is no evidence that Eve lied nor is there any evidence that she misquoted God. Lastly there is no evidence in the grammar that Eve was giving a quote from God via Adam. With a direct quote the “you” (plural) would have had to be “we”. Since I believe that God inspired the Bible without error, I have no problem believing that God’s word is true and that God didn’t have to correct Eve since she didn’t lie or distort the truth.

    The truth is worth testing. And the distorted version of Genesis that we have all been told for so many years is worth challenging for truth is worth its weight in gold.

  77. You were a bit unclear with a few things and didn’t really answer yes or no to whether what i said is what you believe. I am only asking so that i don’t misrepresent your view in my answer-fair enough.

    1. So you do believe that quote ‘the man’ is ONLY refering to Adam and that it is not refering to Eve in the banishment. Yes or No

    2. I am understanding that you only believe in the one sin nature (from Adam). Sin is attributed to Adam, and therefore Eve did not have a different sin nature to Adam. Yes or No

    3. This was quite clear that you DO believe that Eve was not a threat to the tree of life- even as a sinner. Thanks

    4. Again it was clear that you believe 3:16 is propheticaly fulfilled by Eve ‘following’ Adam out of the garden. You therefore reject she was banished. Thanks

    5. Again i understand that you believe that this quote of Eve’s was a direct revelation to her seperate to the one given to Adam in Gen 2. Thanks. One last thing- was this quote that Eve gave, given to her ONLY or to her and Adam in your opinion?

    Sorry for the slow answer. I have to try and talk here only after i complete my other work. Also i want to try and give a comprehensive answer so that i am not continually told that i am avoiding questions. I’m sure you understand

  78. So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

    May I make a quick note? 🙂

    Only Adam was taken from the ground, not the woman. The woman was taken from the man.

  79. I agree Pinklight, therefore the question is manyfold…

    1. Is the reference to ‘the man’ (in the banishment narrative) to include Eve aswell, regardless of whether one sees Adam as the head or not.

    2. Was Eve (now in her sinful nature) able to listen to God’s command and therefore not eat from the tree of life, or did she need to be banished aswell (i.e was she a threat or not). What does the bible say about sin and about the heart? Are we able to obey God as sinful people, therefore was Eve even able to obey God as a sinful person?

    3. What is the true meaning of Eve’s desire for her husband? Is that really the reason she was not in the garden by chapter 4?

    Anyway these and more questions i deal with as i try and prepare a suitable answer.

  80. 1. Is the reference to ‘the man’ (in the banishment narrative) to include Eve aswell, regardless of whether one sees Adam as the head or not.

    a. The reference is to “the human” and the pronouns are singular throughout. Eve is not a “him” and is never refered to as “the human” throughout the account, but Adam always is.

    b. Adam sinned out of blatant rebellion knowing what he was doing. Eve was deceived into sinning.

    c. The person who was driven out is singular and was made from the ground which could only be Adam.

    d. Adam continued in rebellion when approached by God and blamed God and the woman whereas the woman came out of her deception and did not continue in her state of deception. This makes only Adam a threat to the tree because he alone continued in his rebellion.

    e. there is no evidence in the text that Eve was banished from the garden.

    2. Was Eve (now in her sinful nature) able to listen to God’s command and therefore not eat from the tree of life, or did she need to be banished aswell (i.e was she a threat or not). What does the bible say about sin and about the heart? Are we able to obey God as sinful people, therefore was Eve even able to obey God as a sinful person?

    a) She did not have the same sinful nature that Adam had out of rebellion sinning knowing what he was doing and she was not Adam’s offspring therefore she did not inheret any sinful nature from Adam – sinner or not, this is the fact. She would have to be deceived again into eating from the tree. But since she already came out of her deception there’s no reason to think that she would fall for the serpent’s trickery again, while Adam on the other hand stayed in his state of rebellion.

    b) What the bible says about sin and the heart pertains to Adam’s offspring of which Eve is not.
    c) The text only shows that adam was a threat to the tree and therefore God knew that she would have been able to obey by not eating from the tree of life.

    3. What is the true meaning of Eve’s desire for her husband? Is that really the reason she was not in the garden by chapter 4?

    It’s the only information we have given in the text to go off of, so it had to be the reason why she left. There is nothing else the text offers to draw conclusions from.

    Thanks for the questions!

  81. Hi All

    I am not clear on why Eve being deceived into sinning makes such a big difference. While Paul writes about being forgiven because he was deceived Eve here is still punished for her sin – pain in childbirth etc – Why would she be punished if she was forgiven?

  82. Hi Gazza,

    Eve isn’t being punished. She is the only one who doesn’t get a reprimand from God. Notice God says to the serpent “because you did this..” and the same to the man. There are curses that go forth because of the acts of the serpent and the man but not for the woman. This one requires a close attention to the wording and the grammar of the Hebrew. I’ll probably do a post about this one in the future, but my DVD set has a section on it too that is helpful.

  83. Hi Cheryl

    If you are going to post in more depth on this in future I won’t press you too hard now but it has always seemed to me that “”I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” was a punishment. If not how is it fair that someone innocent suffers directly from the hand of God? This is not the just God that I am familiar with, what am I missing here?

  84. It has been a long day for me, but I am going to try to answer as much as I can before I head for bed.

    Mark,
    You said:

    I have no problem saying that God was in control of what Adam said and knew what he said.

    Who said that God “was in control” of what Adam said? There is nothing in the text that says God whispered to Adam about what to say. I think the passage speaks for itself when Adam exclaims “at last!” and describes this amazing creature in front of him as his “flesh and bone”. He spoke with his own reasoning while acknowledging what God had done with His unique creation.

    Sorry if I already commented on this one, but I can’t remember where I left off.

    You said:

    How can you assume that I am saying God had nothing to do with what Eve’s identity when the words you quote me on say the opposite. OF course God knew Eve before Adam did. The text simply shows that it was also God’s plan for the man to name the woman. I wonder with some of your comments Cheryl.

    The text does not say that it was God’s plan for the man to name the woman. I really wonder which version of the Bible that you are reading. Your claims are not in any of the Bible versions that I have access to.

    You seem to be throwing ‘identity’ around a lot now. If you have changed your opinion of what you said about verse 22 just admit it. We are on the same page that God’s plan existed before any human- just don’t ignore the way God uses human instruments to fulfil his purposes.

    I haven’t changed at all. I just want to pay attention to the text so that I am not deceived by false interpretations. I don’t ignore when God uses human instruments. I just don’t want to add in an inter-mediator where there is none.

    Yes, lets do that and not say God called her woman before the man which is clearly not in the text.

    The text clearly says that God created her as a woman. If you disagree then please show me what she was created as if not the woman who was taken from Adam’s flesh. I cannot ignore God’s identifying her as woman even though you don’t seem to have a problem with ignoring this fact.

    This is interesting! You want to support your view with the idea about prophetic naming and the like, yet you try and ignore the Hebrew culture in which naming was authoritative, but apparently this is a nuance.

    Listen, here is the deal – we don’t have to guess what the meaning is when God clearly states the facts. Who gave Adam authority over the animals? Since God says that He gave this authority to the male and the female, we don’t have to guess about authority given. It is stated clearly and directly. But who gave the woman authority over the man? Well we could speculate and say that if the woman gave the fruit to the man, this must mean that she has authority over him.

    The problem with this kind of speculation is that authority cannot be taken without it being directly given no matter what the culture said. This is an issue of God. He is Sovereign and no one has the right to have any kind of authority unless He gives it.

    Romans 13:1 (ESV)
    Submission to the Authorities
    13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

    John 19:11 (ESV)
    11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

    Matthew 28:18 (NASB)
    18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

    If authority has to be granted, then please show me how Adam got an authority over his wife without it being given to him? While God gave Adam and Eve authority over the animals and authority over the earth, He never gave Eve authority over Adam or Adam authority over Eve. If you believe differently then the burden of proof is on you. Show the verse that says that God granted Adam authority over his wife.

  85. Gazza,
    You asked:

    If you are going to post in more depth on this in future I won’t press you too hard now but it has always seemed to me that “”I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” was a punishment. If not how is it fair that someone innocent suffers directly from the hand of God? This is not the just God that I am familiar with, what am I missing here?

    There is a way to understand the text with the exact words used that can help us to understand what God was doing to the woman and why it was not a punishment. Your questions are very worthwhile questions and deserve a whole post to address them. I will try to get to it either next post of the one after that. I think you will find the information thought-provoking.

  86. pinklight,

    You said:

    If Adam had not spoken at the sight of her, she still would have been exactly what 1:22 says she was – a woman. She still would have been what God created – a woman. Adam’s recognition doesn’t change a thing and if he hadn’t said a word, that still wouldn’t have changed a thing because she was already identified in 1:22.

    You are exactly right! God’s identification of the woman was all that was really needed. God already showed that He created her from Adam’s flesh and bone and that she was called woman. There is nothing that is added by Adam’s words except for the fact that he accepted her as his own. Other than that we know nothing more about the woman then we did in verse 22.

    You are constantly helping us to keep sharp on the text. Good going!

  87. Mark #83,
    You asked:

    1. So you do believe that quote ‘the man’ is ONLY refering to Adam and that it is not refering to Eve in the banishment.

    Yes. Only Adam sinned deliberately, only Adam brought sin into the world and only Adam was made from the ground so it could only be “the Adam” the one man who was driven out of the garden to work the ground that he was made from. Is that clear enough?

    2. I am understanding that you only believe in the one sin nature (from Adam). Sin is attributed to Adam, and therefore Eve did not have a different sin nature to Adam.

    This is worded rather awkwardly. The Bible never says that Eve had a sin nature and we know that Eve did not bring sin into the world and none of her descendants inherited a sin nature from her. They all inherited the sin nature from Adam. The sin nature is the nature of rebellion. Eve did not have that. If you disagree you will have to show me from the Scriptures your proof.

    3. This was quite clear that you DO believe that Eve was not a threat to the tree of life- even as a sinner. Thanks

    Eve is not called “a sinner” but she did sin. She fell into sin through deception. She did not have a nature of rebellion and she could not have inherited that nature from Adam since she was created before he sinned. There is no evidence that Eve would have deliberately rebelled against God after Adam fell.

    4. Again it was clear that you believe 3:16 is propheticaly fulfilled by Eve ‘following’ Adam out of the garden. You therefore reject she was banished. Thanks

    I am saying that Eve was not banished from the garden as she was not in rebellion. God gave a prophesy to Eve in Genesis 3:16. This prophesy can be helpful to understand why Eve left the garden. Is this helpful?

    5. Again i understand that you believe that this quote of Eve’s was a direct revelation to her seperate to the one given to Adam in Gen 2. Thanks. One last thing- was this quote that Eve gave, given to her ONLY or to her and Adam in your opinion?

    God spoke to Adam directly when there was only Adam and God. There was also a time that the woman was alone with God. There is no doubt that He spoke to her then. However it appears that the words that the woman quoted to the serpent were a prohibition given to both of them because the direct quote uses the plural form not the singular.

    Sorry for the slow answer. I have to try and talk here only after i complete my other work.

    Ditto. I am often awol for long periods of time too so I fully understand the term “busy”. I am hoping that things will settle down for me because I have a book to write and right now I don’t have time to work on that project.

    Also i want to try and give a comprehensive answer so that i am not continually told that i am avoiding questions. I’m sure you understand

    Great! I have met too many complementarians who practiced being evasive, so I will take you at your word that you are going to try hard not to be seen as avoiding the questions. Also it is very commnendable that you are trying hard to understand so that you don’t misrepresent my point of view.

  88. Gazza said:

    “While Paul writes about being forgiven because he was deceived Eve here is still punished for her sin – pain in childbirth etc -]

    If I may… The prophetic words of God in Genesis 3 to the man and woman were not punishments. That the woman would have pain in childbirth does not preclude the use of an anesthetic to ease or eliminate the pain. The announcement that the man would toil by the sweat of his brow does not preclude a choice to work in an air-conditioned environment today nor are men required to only eat herbs. And we would be prohibited from using mulch or any type of weed killer to fight the thorns and thistles.

    God is telling them, prior to ushering them out of the garden, the adverse conditions that will exist outside the garden. That includes the words to Eve about Adam and his carnal desire to rule over her. With the advance of technology, medicine, science, and God’s providing meat rather than herbs in Genesis 9, most of these adverse, sorrowful conditions have been overcome. All but two…the desire of husbands to rule over their wives and the last enemy which Jesus will overcome – death.

    If they were commands, they would not affect single women nor those who choose not to marry. So again, these are God’s forewarning to Adam and Eve about the dire, adverse conditions that await them. And no words against overcoming these difficulties.

    Hope this helps….

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