Feminine Imperative revisited, the unabridged version

I’m going back to the Beginning on this one; back to Genesis.  Yes, I know we have science now and complex studies of hormones and luteal phases, estrogen, progestin, testosterone balances and things of this nature…but I’m still going back to the Beginning, for therein lies the truth.

In Genesis 1: 26, God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  V. 27 So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.   He commanded them collectively in his blessing to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.  He gave them collectively the responsibility of having dominion over everything upon the earth.

Notice:  He created them in spirit – they are not manifest on the face of the earth yet, as evidenced by Genesis 2:5, wherein it is stated that there was not a man to till the ground. 

In Genesis 2: 7, we see the LORD God formed the man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  He actually manifested the man first.  There is no mention of him forming the woman from any material substance as of yet.

 Notice: God has not yet called man Adam.  He has not “named” him.

He then places the man in the Garden to dress it and keep it. V. 15   He also gives man the third command (after the dominion mandate and mandate to reproduce that was spoken over the yet un-manifest mankind) in v. 17; and immediately following this command, God decides that it is not good that man be alone, and he decides to make a helper for him (not yet called woman). V. 18.

Notice:  Immediately subsequent to his decision to make a helper for man, God “names” man Adam and his name is mentioned for the first time.  

*edit*:  upon re-reading the scripture, I noticed that Adam is named immediately following God’s command to him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; this confirms to me that God is trying to say something about “authority”:  Adam is named subsequent to God’s command about the tree; Eve is named after Adam is given “rule” over her, subsequent to The Fall into sin, as a consequence; a “curse”.    In simple terms, God takes authority over man and names him Adam afterwards; sin enters through woman’s deception, and then God gives Adam authority over woman, and he names her Eve.  Interesting stuff.

God brings every animal and bird to Adam to name, and (I am speculating – so forgive my loose speculation) – God does this for Adam’s benefit, to show him that there isn’t a helper suitable for him amongst God’s created animal and bird kingdom, since God already knows this.

At this point, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; v. 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.   Immediately upon seeing the woman, Adam declares, This is now flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. V. 23

Notice:  Neither God nor Adam has given woman a name yet; only Adam is named. I believe speaks of  God’s knowledge that Adam will eventually take full authority over his wife as a result of their sin, and thus become her earthly authority, as the one in authority is the one who gives the “name” to a creature.

God speaks of them in a marriage relationship immediately in v.24-25 as one flesh and their own distinct family as man and his wife.

We know what happens next, but permit me to put scriptures to it:

In Genesis 3:1, the first mention of the serpent and his nature is mentioned, and immediately he comes to the woman and tempts her to disobey God.  She is well aware of what God’s command of her and her man is, and recites it perfectly to the serpent.  She is wholly accountable for her obedience or disobedience to God, for she is not in any way ignorant of God’s command.  Regardless of how she learned of the command (from God directly, or from her husband, Adam – who clearly knew the command firsthand from God, she is accountable herself.)

We see that the serpent instantly twists the Word of God to suit his needs and his agenda, and also to deceive the woman.  If he was very “subtil” by nature, according to scripture, he knew who the easy target would be.  All he had to do was tell her what was in it for her – her eyes would be opened and she would be as god – knowing good and evil…and she was in!

She ate it, gave some to her husband (who also ate), and their eyes were indeed opened; they experienced shame in their disobedience unto God.  They hid.  V7. They attempted to cover themselves with something other than the glory of God, which had been their covering prior.

God, of course, knows what has just happened, but he calls unto Adam firstThis begins to shed light on more of God’s created order:  Man is accountable for what happens within his family – he must answer to God for these things, even if individual members of his family are independently sinning.  The buck stops with him in God’s economy.   In his sin, Adam gives himself away and condemns himself.  He immediately blames the woman and God (indirectly, for he says it was God that gave him the woman!); the nearest target.  Odd he doesn’t blame the serpent, but woman doesShe knew she was deceived, but she also knew she had sinned.

Interestingly, God punishes the serpent first, then the woman, and lastly, Adam.

In v. 16, God says to the woman that he will greatly multiply her sorrow and her conception; in sorrow shall she bring forth children; also, her desire will be for her husband, and he shall rule over her.  (my bible also says, or that she will be subject to her husband.)  God does not repeat exactly what the offense of her sin was, as he does with Adam  – he simply declares her punishment.  This is interesting because I believe it is clear to God and the woman that she knows what her sin was:  she knew exactly what God had commanded her NOT to do, and she did it anyway (even though she makes a feeble attempt to cast some blame upon the serpent who beguiled her).  There is no need to point out the sin more specifically to her; it is perfectly clear.

In v. 17, God points out that Adam’s sin has been listening to the voice of his wife (rather than to the voice of God), and subsequently he curses the ground, telling Adam that “in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of they life; v. 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

v. 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  Again, it is interesting that God makes a point to specifically mention to Adam that this punishment is befalling him because he listened to his wife, not as in original relationship to his wife, pre-fall.  His life now becomes toiling for his wages to provide – but this wasn’t so before sin entered in.  God was his provision, as well as Woman’s.

 Notice:  NOW, after The Fall into sin, Adam calls his wife Eve; he names her for the first time, as mother of all living.  This speaks to me of his authority over her; the order that God has now clearly set forth because of their new relationship due to the sin.

God, in his mercy, covers his children in animal skins (a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God), yet they suffer the full consequence for eating of the Wrong Tree, and they are banished from the Garden forever:  the man was sent forth to till the ground from whence he was taken. V. 23  Man became provider (instead of  God’s provision for both of them in Eden) after the fall, not prior.  Not hard-wiring, ladies and gentlemen.  Not created order.  A result of the fall.  A command of God; he spoke it, and it became so for the man.

Lastly, in Genesis 5: 1-2, again it mentioned that God created of man in the likeness of God; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.  Interestingly, this brings us full circle back to the day of creation before describing the generations of Adam – the day where God created male and female in spirit, blessed them, gave them a command to be fruitful and multiply, and gave them a command to have dominion.  He spoke these things into their spirit before they were even made manifest in the flesh.

Back to the Feminine Imperative:  after praying, and reading, thinking and meditating upon the words of God in Genesis of the creation story, I am now thoroughly unconvinced that the feminine imperative exists as solely a biological construct within women.  Period.

It sounds nice, in a psychological sort of way, to say that “women were just hard-wired to desire to have babies and lots of them and then make sure their babies are well cared for (which automatically means the women themselves must be well cared for).  That’s  where it begins and ends, though, at least for me:  I don’t care what “science” says, or a bazillion studies of lizard-brain biochemistry say – women are not naturally submissive, not naturally desirous of many children (necessarily), not naturally desirous of selflessly raising a brood of little angels for Jesus (or themselves, for that matter!)…etc. ad nauseum.  It appears to me, from poring over my (almost) favorite three chapters of the Holy Bible once more, that women are sinful, selfish, self-absorbed, self-serving, narcissistic, navel-gazing brute beasts – “naturally”.  Period.  This is due to The Fall into sin.  Not a one of us has escaped.  Only Jews and unbelievers believe infants are born sinless!

Now, I agree to a degree with someone on SSM’s site who commented that there isn’t a Feminine Imperative to ensure survival; only a human imperative.  This is just a drive.  Both men and women desire to procreate because both men and woman possess a strong sex drive – and the natural consequence of a strong sex drive is that babies are going to be born (absent contraception).  BUT:  I wouldn’t say that specifically WOMEN necessarily desire to ensure that they have many babies and enough cash to care for them:  this just can’t be true.

This can’t be true for a number of reasons, but primarily, because God is the one who commanded men and women to be fruitful and multiply.  Why would he need to command this if he knew we would just automatically CHOOSE it every time?  God is also the one who told the woman that in sorrow she would bring forth and raise children, and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.  Knowing what he meted out in punishment to her, is he going to assume that she is naturally going to desire to have many, many children (which will mean much sorrow – and not just in physical labor!)?  Is he going to assume that she is naturally going to be “hard-wired” to do what is required to submit to a man, even though he hasn’t even inspired Paul to write Ephesians yet?  Do you see where I’m going with this?  There’s no way that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God is going to dole out an unpleasant punishment as part of woman’s consequence for original sin and then “hard-wire” her to desire just the opposite of what he just spoke over her!  He doesn’t change his mind; he doesn’t lie.  He effectively cursed her with an “unpleasant” family life by any modern woman’s standards, yet we are boldly suggesting that he MADE women to “naturally” desire to pop out a Duggar-sized brood of children and “naturally” desire to be the wife that enjoys the Godly suffering of raising them, under the mere human and fallible leadership of another sinful human being called a man?  (Even if she just wants all the little ones without the man, we don’t see women signing up for this in droves, either.)

I am having a tremendously difficult time with that concept.

 Now, obviously this is getting lengthy and I could go on and on, but the gist is this:  the kind of discussion that is going on at SSM’s and elsewhere has been going on since the first man and woman were before God and the devil in the Garden.  “But it was that woman YOU gave me, God!  She’s to blame!” or “Well, I know what I did, God, but it was that nasty, tricky devil the serpent who made me do it!”…and on it goes ad infinitum.

I’ve read the scores of interesting comments on the Feminine Imperative.  I’ve concluded there is not a Feminine Imperative.  There is a Human Drive to Produce Offspring and it is called a Sex Drive, quite simply.  We have complicated it because we have so many “choices” – our eyes were opened when Adam and the woman ate that fruit and we have too many choices now, and it brings confusion just as God knew it would.  We forget that now we have birth control, and abortion and all kinds of things that are just further evidence of the pure selfishness and sinfulness of women at large (sans rebirth in Christ, of course).  If women were “hard-wired” against all else to ensure the survival of their brood and the care thereof, we wouldn’t have so many women killing their offspring without so much as the bat of a pretty little eyelash.  It’s not that woman WANT lots of children; they end up having a number of children (if they are promiscuous) because their strong sex drive results naturally in children!  That certainly doesn’t mean they want to care for them, or even that they want a good man to care for them.  They may wish to sacrifice them to Molech or kill them in the bathtub.  Who knows.  The nature of women is not to desire to ensure many children and the utmost survival thereof – instead, this is a natural consequence of her active sex life.

The nature of men is not to automatically desire the continuation of his genes:  he may end up with fruitfulness and multiplication inadvertently because he has lots of non-contraceptive sex, but I don’t believe for a minute that all men were “hard-wired” to make lots of babies so some of them would survive.  We have men abandoning their children left and right (sorry guys, there are plenty of men who aren’t like the readers here).  We have an entire black community dominated by women in part because the men have no “hard-wired” desire to care for their offspring.  Further again, why would God Almighty have to command him to be fruitful if he was “all in”  in a natural sense?  I call baloney on that one, too.

Tear it apart, readers.  Tear apart my feeble attempt at exegesis of Genesis 1-3, 5.  I am in no way attempting to teach anyone anything, or correct anyone either.  I am just offering up what I have peace with now in my own heart, because the lack of peace about the matter drove me to my little black bible again.  This is what has given me peace:  the Feminine Imperative does not exist.   For as long as there have been women (and men), women (and men) have been selfish, self-seeking people without rebirth in God through Jesus Christ.  This is all I see:  selfish, self-seeking women acting as we should expect unregenerate women to act.  This includes women in the church; the Churchian women who believe they are “saved” but will hear “depart from Me, I never knew you” on judgement day if they don’t get to a place of repentance.  That’s why I write these things; for the sake of the one woman who might wake up because of what I write, if indeed she ever sees it.

The Feminist Imperative (if you wish to call the Feminine Imperative by this name) most definitely exists as a social construct, and we all know who is behind the scenes – he’s been hissing at Woman for all of this time; he’s still busy talking in her ear.

Did you notice that even Adam didn’t blame him?  He went for his wife first – throwing her under the bus.  Maybe we should try something differently…

 

33 thoughts on “Feminine Imperative revisited, the unabridged version


  1. I had really been trying to investigate this topic with an open mind, at least when I started out. I think what I was calling the “feminine imperative” at the end there fits with your “human drive” idea.

    But the more I think about how things concluded, the more I think I fell into manosphere-suck-up-age on Friday afternoon. It happens sometimes, I guess. I appreciated Elspeth’s encouragement. My head is clearing a little. HHG was disappointed in me for backing down and felt that I was kowtowing to other people’s paranoia.

    My biggest issues were this: RT says there was NO lack of an appropriate definition for the FI, but I could go around the comment threads from the past week and copy actual comments spouting FI definitions that are so wildly divergent that they are literally not similar at all. There is a need for a clearer, more widely accepted definition; otherwise it just means whatever anyone wants it to mean in any given moment and it becomes impossible to argue against it. My second issue is that RT specifically states that the FI is amoral and then proceeds to criticize my defining of amoral and immoral aspects of the supposed FI separately. Apparently when he defines the FI as amoral, he is insightful, but when I define it as amoral, I am a tradcon churchian trying to dupe men.

    ste: I agree; I think we were trying to say the same thing toward the end, or at least something very similar. I had to separate myself from your blog and the comments and really ponder the thing: it was bringing me confusion, and I knew that wasn’t of God. I am glad you are feeling more clarity mentally. (smile).

    I cannot comment at length with anything further on differing definitions of “FI” on other people’s sites; all I can say is that we have got to be careful to make sure we have targeted the proper enemy here within the “manosphere” (whether our blogs are a ‘part’ of it or not, as we are primarily writing FOR women). The enemy is not men. We both know that. But neither is the enemy “women” as a whole. I think sometimes a small faction forgets this. The enemy is Satan and he is using women and men as pretty little pawns to cause great division and strife in the society at large. We don’t need to open the door and invite the same spirit of division, strife and contention into a sphere where we are fighting AGAINST the current culture!

    *edit* – SSM, in no way am I suggesting that you personally “opened the door” to the devil, or to anything contentious.

    • They are suffering from confirmation bias. Any criticism is viewed as evidence of the existence of FI, and this is not any way to have a rigorous testing of ideas and is decidedly unscientific as well as intellectually dishonest. Looking from a distance the whole thing is a massive failure. The manosphere may get plenty right, but this one is a non-starter. It’s a classic BBB (Bullshit Baffles Brains) tactic. Furthermore, there is no solution; only complaint and the ‘evil women’ meme.

      • Had Dalrock not seemed sold on the idea of the FI, I doubt I would have even engaged with this topic. I generally respect Dalrock and tend to take all of his ideas very seriously; that is why I decided to investigate the FI. The reaction I got to my little attempt to shine a light on the concept startled me. Once my questioning got to the point where it seemed like I was forming a dissenting opinion, the willingness in the sphere to engage in honest discussion with a goal of mutual understanding ended very quickly. What ensued looks more and more like a move to b-tch-slap me back into place without seriously refuting what I actually wrote.

        Zippy Catholic has an interesting essay up:

        http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/cultural-marxism-in-the-manosphere/

      • What I don’t understand is how people who are supposedly Christians (of course not all of them are) are more concerned with dissecting things in the “manosphere” than delving into Scripture. The “manosphere” may have woken people up, but the idea that we should look there for answers rather than looking at God’s Word is perverse.

        I asked Mary (though I doubt that’s her name) the following question:

        Mary, how do you account for the disparity in punishment for sexual sin in the Laws God gave to Israel? Do you think they are one-sided and unfair, or do you think God understood something which we’ve long forgotten?

        But answer came there none. …Just more maundering on about this “FI” rubbish. Who cares about that?

    • @ song – Yes. Thanks for the reminder on keeping the proper enemy in sight. And I think my original intention was to get clarity on the FI idea. I had not encountered an idea that lacked clarity like that in the sphere before, and I was assuming the problem was with my understanding rather than the concept of the FI. It worries me that something that appears to be a falsehood has run like wildfire even through the Christo-manosphere. It worries me a lot. In all fairness, CL pretty much called it BS early on but she got shamed for saying so.

  2. @Mensch

    This is what I think, too — that before they sinned, they were clothed in God’s glory (“apparelled in celestial light”, to borrow a phrase from Wordsworth). We’re used to thinking of the naked human body, but it’s hard to imagine what a shock it must have been to see it for the first time as we now see it — I think the closest parallel I can think of is how a child first feels on seeing adult nakedness.

    This is only true where the adults hide themselves from the children in shame, thereby inculcating the children with shame. Modesty is not learned this way and neither is shamelessness learned by children seeing their parents naked.

    • @CL

      This is only true where the adults hide themselves from the children in shame, thereby inculcating the children with shame.

      That’s a bit of a canard, although it is a very popular idea (and certainly beloved amongst ‘progressive parents’, who like walking around the house starkers). People who (for whatever reason) like exposing kids to nudity are really very fond of making this kind of argument (I’m not saying that you yourself are such a sort — but I’ve heard it from the mouth of many a modern). I think we should be wary of it.

      Case in point: I grew up in a non-Christian home (unbelieving father, lapsed mother) where my parents were not ashamed of being part- or fully clothed in front of me, so it wasn’t as though prior to being shown the aforementioned picture I hadn’t seen most of it piece-by-piece anyway. …And my parents didn’t inculcate shame or modesty into me: I had a simple natural inclination to modesty. The picture (which wasn’t particularly explicit) still had power to shock.

      And naked bodies should shock. We’re not farm animals.

      • I don’t even have to contemplate whether nudity is moral or immoral; clothes just tend to be comfortable in my estimation. I wouldn’t want to sit on my couch nude. My @$$ would stick to the leather. And frying bacon naked? Fuggetaboudit!

        ste: now THAT’S my good laugh for the day. Thanks. Frying bacon naked? Not recommended; this is coming from the grand daughter of a hog farmer from East Texas…when I fried bacon naked (and pregnant), I burned my big belly. Scar is still there…lol.

      • Why should naked bodies be shocking? That seems a matter of opinion. The way you word it as “people who like exposing kids to nudity” makes it sound perverted. It’s more a case of not screaming and covering yourself if they see you naked, or not worrying about walking from the shower to the bedroom naked, etc.. That hardly makes one a “farm animal”.

        I think this is mostly a cultural thing, since Europeans tend to be more open in this regard than Americans, who seem to retain a bit of a Victorian sentiment toward nudity. (Not that I’m necessarily saying Europeans are superior, just as an example). Think also of Fins who do sauna; family members see each other naked and I see this as normal and healthy. People used to have to bathe in a tub in the kitchen of a small house; no doubt nudity wasn’t much of an issue for them either.

        I also doubt that Jesus’s fishermen apostles wore their probable only set of clothes to do their fishing in. It’s not about being naked all the time as a rule; there’s still a time and place for it and ‘clothing optional’ in the privacy of one’s home doesn’t seem worth getting one’s knickers in a twist over. (Only the clothed can get twisted knickers).

        My daughters have different personalities and express modesty differently, but it is not as simple as saying one is less comfortable with her body than the other.

      • @CL

        Why should naked bodies be shocking? That seems a matter of opinion. The way you word it as “people who like exposing kids to nudity” makes it sound perverted. It’s more a case of not screaming and covering yourself if they see you naked, or not worrying about walking from the shower to the bedroom naked, etc.. That hardly makes one a “farm animal”.

        First of all, I said nothing about screaming: but my comment has clearly bothered you. I don’t know why.

        Parental nakedness is frowned upon in Scripture. First off, if we’ve got only Adam and Eve and their kids, then why didn’t God tell them what you’ve just told me? Why did He make them aprons? And lest you think it just for physical protection, go and check out what happened when Ham saw his father naked. Scripture is clear that this was sin: Shem and Japheth had the right attitude. Or read the endless warnings in the Law about not “uncovering the nakedness” of a relative. And when Jeremiah preached naked, do you think it was meant to be uncontroversial or unremarkable? And when Christ was crucified naked, was his nakedness inconsequential? The examples in Scripture go on and on…

        You bring unbiblical modern biases (and clearly your own preferences and predilections) to this. We are to think like Hebrews, but you are instead thinking like the Greeks (who celebrated nakedness — just see their art). This attitude is sadly common, and often a backlash against the unbiblical strictures of false religion (e.g. Catholicism), but it is overcompensation. …And I am not American, but British — and where I come from, nudity has become almost commonplace. Shame and modesty are all but destroyed and the results are ugly. There was a “nude bicycle ride” through the centre of my city this year: does this really not disturb you?

      • @CL

        my comment has clearly bothered you

        Since this isn’t true of me, I surmise that it is a projection.

        Well… I write a great long two-part comment all about the original post, and out of it you select one fairly brief aside about nudity, and take off from there. (It really surprised me that anyone would attack that.) What else am I to conclude? Progressives tend to want to coerce Christians into being fine with casual nudity. Indeed I heard recently that San Francisco has passed a law permitting public nudity. Tell me you don’t think that this is seriously wrong. Please.

        And I notice that you haven’t answered any of my points from Scripture. If you read through the whole Bible, and note the references to nakedness, you will have no doubt whatsoever that God regards nakedness as shaming — right from The Fall onwards. It is not regarded as neutral (let alone good) in Scripture. I urge you to reconsider your attitude to nudity and nakedness: you say it “seems a matter of opinion”. Well whose opinion matters? Yours? Or God’s? And if your opinion diverges from Scripture, does that not concern you?

      • The remedy to hedonism is not repression, rather it is truth and redemption. The Bible uses euphemisms to convey truths that may be different than the literal. If you are such a literalist, you would not deride the Catholic Church which has the true Body and Blood of our Saviour in the Eucharist (as taught in John 6:53-58). And Mensch seems to be with those that said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

      • @CL

        The remedy to hedonism is not repression, rather it is truth and redemption.

        That sounds very noble. But is it Scriptural? I have made my case above from God’s Word. You have provided no answer from Scripture (I hope that you did go and test what I said, though — you will find that the picture therein is exceedingly clear). Scripture must be our guide, otherwise we are just at the mercy of our feelings or culture, tradition, etc..

        The Bible uses euphemisms to convey truths that may be different than the literal.

        Of course: one must assess each passage individually in its context and with reference to the rest of Scripture.

        If you are such a literalist, you would not deride the Catholic Church which has the true Body and Blood of our Saviour in the Eucharist (as taught in John 6:53-58). And Mensch seems to be with those that said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

        I understand the claims of the Church of Rome — but the doctrine of transubstantiation has far more to do with Aristotle (via Aquinas) than with Scripture. …But let’s suppose that Jesus really was telling His disciples that bread could miraculously become His flesh and wine His blood, and that the ‘true’ church with a ‘valid Apostolic succession’ would administer these sacraments. Would that church look anything like the Church of Rome?

        First, let’s look at Jesus Himself.

        The Creator of the universe came to Earth in the body of a lowly Jewish carpenter. He lived a humble life, spent three years in a teaching ministry, living and working amongst ordinary people, before being unjustly convicted by both the religious and civil authorities and executed in the cruellest fashion. During His ministry Jesus gave grave warnings to His followers to beware of religious leaders who love titles and robes and exalted positions. He said that His followers were not to lord it over one other, and that His Kingdom was not of this earth. His disciples emulated Him, and many laid down their lives for Him. Many were persecuted horribly by the Roman State, the supreme civil authority of the day.

        Now let’s look at the Church of Rome.

        The Pope, as Bishop of Rome, claims to be the supreme head of the church on earth. How does his ministry compare with that of his putative Master?

        In marked contrast to Christ’s modest life, Papal opulence is world-renowned and centuries old. Thrones, robes, crowns, jewellery, lofty titles, pomp and splendour characterise the Papacy, and have done so since its earliest days. How does this practice hold up in the light of Luke 20:45-47? In these verses Jesus characterises perfectly what is seen throughout the ages in the Catholic church — and is still seen today.

        The crimes of the Church of Rome are legion and well-documented. It is no secret that throughout the Middle Ages this false church continued the work of the Roman State (of which it is an outgrowth), slaughtering true believers in Jesus Christ. In my native country, this Church slew people for the crime of owning a Bible in their own language — or even praying in their own tongue. There is no possible way to reconcile this with Jesus’ teachings in Scripture. Jesus would disown such a Church.

        …But God told us that this is exactly what would happen. He revealed to the Apostle John what would emerge after his day. Just as the wife of YHWH in the Old Testament was Israel, the Bride of Christ is His Church. But just as most of Israel ‘played the harlot’ and (with the exception of a godly remnant) turned her back on YHWH, in addition to the Bride of Christ, an impostor would appear, another spiritual harlot.

        John describes a Great Harlot, drunk on the blood of the saints, clad in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and pearls and jewels, holding a golden cup in her hand, and seated on seven hills. She has committed fornication with the kings of the earth — adulterating God’s Way with state power. The Vatican has been involved in political machinations for centuries, directly against the admonition of Jesus, whose Kingdom was not to be furthered through political power-brokering or the sword.

        So would Jesus Christ entrust the care of His flock to such a church? The answer is clearly no.

        I don’t write this to attack you, or because I wish to upset you. I write it because I actually care about what you believe and where you will spend eternity. I myself was for many years a false convert in a mainstream Protestant church, before God in His Grace saved me and I came to believe fully in what Christ taught. It was the best thing that ever happened in my life.

        But don’t merely take my word. Nor the word of the Pope, nor that of the cardinals nor of the priests nor of any human, nor simply accept the traditions of men (which Jesus condemned in characterising the practices of the Pharisees). Please, read your Bible, and do as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11 — test everything against Scripture itself. Make your own Biblical study of the doctrine of the Church of Rome, and see for yourself whether it really is compatible with the teachings of Jesus. For instance, what of the idea of a celibate priesthood, calling priests by the title ‘father’, praying to Mary — all these ideas are totally unscriptural. …And test against Scripture everything that this Church has taught and done throughout the ages.

        I realised, after many years in my old Protestant church, although I loved the history and the ritual and the music and the tradition, that it was totally out of line with what I read in the Bible. …And I decided there and then that if I believed the Bible, then I should look for a church that actually stuck to the Bible. …And if I didn’t believe the Bible, then there really wasn’t any point in going to church at all, and I might as well do something else instead. By God’s Grace, I opted for the former. I so hope that you do, too.

        I pray that you will think about what I’ve said, and that you will turn to God’s Word to find Truth. And I mean that — I am going to pray for you. May God guide you.

      • @CL

        Hey! I went to Uni there!

        Small world! As a postgrad I took a course at the University and then worked there for a short while. I was at Hatfield College (if my memory serves — at least I think that was the name).

        Absolutely amazing Cathedral. I wasn’t a Christian then but it was still awe inspiring.

        Yes — the cathedral’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the wall in the north transept was a large sign politely informing visitors that the cathedral cost £38,000 per week to run. (And that was a decade ago, now.) It was things like that — and all the ecclesiastical paraphernalia (croziers, copes, mitres, orphreys and so on) — which made me start to wonder just what Jesus thought of these majestic buildings. He never asked us to build them. …Or palaces for the clergy.

        On most Sunday mornings our congregation was little more than it had been in the nonconformist church I attended in my home town. …But the church in the square (whose name I can’t remember) was much more evangelical and always absolutely packed. I never went to that one though, as I didn’t like the music! But then I wasn’t truly a Christian, and so music and history and architecture and culture and ritual and tradition — not to mention organ recitals (which were absolutely wonderful at the Cathedral) — were the sorts of things which took the place of a zeal for God’s Word, and a love of and desire to be with others who felt similarly. Of course I thought I was a Christian: I prayed a great deal, was personally rather pious, pretty much knew the liturgy, and was keen to do good works — but I didn’t know The Lord, and so all of this was truly in vain. Scripture is the way to know Him (particularly the Old Testament, oddly enough — which I always neglected in favour of the Gospels), and until He saved me, I had no real desire to read it; and when I did read it, it was always an effort for me rather than an adventure and a joy. I thank and praise Him that He changed all that.

        I still miss that lovely little city.

        …Blooming cold, though, eh? ;)

    • Mensch, I appreciate your response. I am not upset in the least and you’ve given me some things to think about. I certainly don’t claim to know everything, but am always seeking (in my own haphazard way) God’s will. And my God guide you too! Shalom.

      • I’m relieved to hear that I didn’t upset you, and of course neither of us knows everything — but God’s Word contains the most important things of all for us to know. I can’t recommend enough making a serious study of it, particularly where it touches church doctrine and tradition (I still do that with the churches I attend, since I realised that when one stands before God, one cannot do what Adam did and blame someone else for unscriptural beliefs and practices — whether they be a pastor, priest, denomination, etc.). In Revelation there are churches which God Himself exhorts believers to leave: we alone are responsible for the choice of where we go and what we believe.

        And there are such good tools for Bible study online, now. The ones I use most often are Bible Gateway, Biblos and The Blue Letter Bible. If I’m studying a verse seriously (i.e. if it impinges seriously on a point of doctrine), I always seek to read it in several different translations, and then to have a look at the Hebrew or Greek beneath it. And you don’t have to be a linguist, since there are so many helps to assist you. I find that I get so excited about discovering things in Scripture. I used to think The Bible was a dessicated old tome of half-remembered writings. But now I know that it is what it claims to be — God’s living Word.

        I was happy to hear that you’ll think about what I’ve said. Please know that I’m not gunning for Catholics — my problem is that Catholicism is against Christ’s teachings; I have no vendetta against Catholic men and women. I want to help them to see what God helped me to see. And I do remember what it was like to be part of a centuries-old tradition (for a time, my church was Durham Cathedral), and thinking that “they can’t all be wrong”. Lastly, I’m aware that had Jesus Himself spoken to you about this, He’d have done so far more adroitly (and no doubt more lovingly) than I have. My shortcomings are no doubt apparent to you — but please don’t let these prevent you from seeking Truth prayerfully in God’s Word. I don’t matter: your walk with God does.

        May He guide you and your husband. …And us all.

        Shalom.

      • for a time, my church was Durham Cathedral

        Hey! I went to Uni there! Absolutely amazing Cathedral. I wasn’t a Christian then but it was still awe inspiring. I still miss that lovely little city.

      • …Aw, nuts — I’ve replied to your remark about Durham, CL, but I posted it here under a different comment. I’m half-asleep this evening…

      • I was at Hatfield College

        Well now that really is a coincidence! What year? (I was ’96-’99). Durham isn’t nearly as cold as Toronto, but it being further north it sure gets dark early in the winter.

        made me start to wonder just what Jesus thought of these majestic buildings

        I look at that as inspired rather than worrying about opulence. It is beautiful, and if there’s one thing the world needs it’s beauty and to be shown the beauty of Christianity. I like Orthodox churches for the same reason – like walking into a Bible. Plain churches have their charm, but I just like the ornate and all the detail. I think in a way especially for poorer people (which would include me by first world standards), it is somewhere uplifting to spend some time. Some modern churches are just depressing. And yes, the bass pipes on that organ are enormous. I wish I’d gone in there more than I did.

      • @CL

        I was at Hatfield College

        Well now that really is a coincidence! What year? (I was ’96-’99).

        I was there in 2002. (Though not as an undergraduate — I’d guess I’m about five years your senior if you were 18 in ’96.) I remember that I had a lovely room, overlooking the quad. My memories of the college have faded somewhat, but I can still hear the swifts doing their chattering circuits around the close and the peal of the bells up the hill. (I also remember that for a time I was put up in the postgraduate digs over in Parson’s Field or Parson’s Green or Parson’s Lane or something like that.) One thing which I’ll never forget about my spell at Hatfield was the chaplain — he’s probably long gone, since he was an old boy ten years ago. His name was Theo (aptly enough), and he was something of an eccentric. I really took to him, but I realise now that what he was trying to say to me in our conversations was that he didn’t actually believe the Bible! Of course I was too lost to grasp this.

        made me start to wonder just what Jesus thought of these majestic buildings

        I look at that as inspired rather than worrying about opulence. It is beautiful, and if there’s one thing the world needs it’s beauty and to be shown the beauty of Christianity.

        That is exactly how I used to think. In fact, I remember after we’d wandered around another ancient British cathedral, a non-believing friend of mine complaining of the immense wealth of the church and the poverty of the peasantry. The argument I made was pretty much the same as yours: that entering these amazing sanctuaries lifted the souls and minds of those who lived in mediaeval squalor. But again, I now see that my argument did not comport with Christ’s own position.

        When the disciples are marvelling at the Temple (which was like nothing on earth — even the Romans were amazed at it), Jesus stunned them by saying that it would be destroyed so utterly that no stone would be left on another. …And this building was more holy than any cathedral. Indeed it was unique. Yet God was prepared to raze it to the ground. And its destruction came to pass exactly as Jesus foretold — the Temple mount was effectively wiped clean.

        Some modern churches are just depressing.

        That used to bother me a lot! …And I’m still not keen on the bulk of modern architecture — it’s really not that much more effort to create a beautiful building than an ugly one.

        …And yet Jesus gave us no instructions to go out and build churches. His church is made from living stones — people. And there’s nothing in the epistles about erecting buildings in which to worship: believers met wherever happened to be convenient. The more I read Scripture, the more I find that its emphases are nothing like those of the church.

        On an unrelated subject…

        I really like your avatar photograph: did you choose that, or did your husband? I think it’s beautiful.

  3. I know we have science now and complex studies of hormones and luteal phases, estrogen, progestin, testosterone balances and things of this nature…but I’m still going back to the Beginning, for therein lies the truth.

    Wonderful! How I wish that all Christians would do the same…

    Notice: He created them in spirit – they are not manifest on the face of the earth yet, as evidenced by Genesis 2:5, wherein it is stated that there was not a man to till the ground.

    That’s an interesting observation, and one I’d not heard before. It’s amazing how even familiar passages keep yielding new ideas, despite one’s having read them many times.

    Notice: God has not yet called man Adam. He has not “named” him.

    The ‘naming’ of Adam (in verse 20) is a sort-of artefact of the translation. The Hebrew word אדם, transliterated ‘adam, is the Hebrew word for ‘man’ — so in the original, the word ‘Adam’ appears several times before verse 20 (i.e. anywhere where the English translation uses the word ‘man’ — e.g. Genesis 1:26,27…). Thus Adam is man, and man is Adam…

    God brings every animal and bird to Adam to name, and (I am speculating – so forgive my loose speculation) – God does this for Adam’s benefit, to show him that there isn’t a helper suitable for him amongst God’s created animal and bird kingdom, since God already knows this.

    Yes, that sounds very reasonable to me. (In fact, I’ve a feeling I’ve heard someone else making the same point: I believe it was Anne Graham Lotz — perhaps it’s something women tend to spot in this passage more readily than do men).

    she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man

    A little linguistic note again, here: one cannot see it in the English translation, but the word ‘Man’ here is a totally different word. It is not אדם (‘adam), but איש (‘iysh). The word translated as ‘Woman’ is אשה (‘ishshah) — here the English does actually reflect linguistically what is going on in the Hebrew. These two terms (‘iysh and ‘ishshah) are often used in Scripture in contexts which describe relationship between male and female — in verse 24, for example — which is not surprising, since the words themselves are clearly etymologically related. (This is not a hard-and-fast rule, though, since in verse 25, it’s ‘adam and ‘ishshah, but there are many verses where ‘iysh and ‘ishshah appear together in this manner — e.g. Genesis 3:6, 3:16, and even in Genesis 7:2.)

    Now it’s lunchtime, so I’ll post this and come back…

    • Continuing…

      In Genesis 3:1, the first mention of the serpent and his nature … immediately he comes to the woman and tempts her to disobey God.

      Yes — I touched on this in a comment on another of your posts.

      She is well aware of what God’s command of her and her man is, and recites it perfectly to the serpent.

      She actually adds a bit to what God said to Adam: “neither shall you touch it”. I’m not sure what quite to make of this — whether it was her addition, or whether Adam added the prohibition himself, in relating God’s commandment to Eve.

      She is wholly accountable for her obedience or disobedience to God, for she is not in any way ignorant of God’s command. Regardless of how she learned of the command (from God directly, or from her husband, Adam – who clearly knew the command firsthand from God, she is accountable herself.)

      Bravo! I’ve heard so many pastors teaching through the end of 1 Timothy 2 and twisting verse 14 to say that since Eve was deceived and Adam was not, Adam was effectively to blame for Eve’s sin! Of course they do it as a sop to the women in their congregations, most of whom will have absorbed much poison from the culture: some pastors are eager White Knights, but others simply want to be able to get out of the church without being stripped and tarred by the Tuesday Morning Ladies’ Bible Study. Paul teaches clearly in 1 Timothy 2:14 that Eve transgressed. (Romans 5:12-19 is sometimes invoked to argue otherwise, but in that passage, Paul is developing his case using Adam as the “federal head” not only of mankind, but also of Creation itself: a fallen head, through whom death entered the world and reigned.)

      If he was very “subtil” by nature, according to scripture, he knew who the easy target would be. All he had to do was tell her what was in it for her – her eyes would be opened and she would be as god – knowing good and evil…and she was in!

      Yes: in picking the “weaker vessel” he successfully brought down the stronger also. I sometimes wonder whether he realised that Adam was so taken with his perfect counterpart that were she to be led astray, Adam would throw in his lot with her, in defiance of God’s commandment to him (in other words, that Adam had sinfully begun to idolise Eve).

      I also think that if going through a woman (à la Genesis 3:1) is a common line of attack for Satan, then Genesis 3:6 is his general blueprint for tempting people in general. Look at the tree: it was (a) good for food; (b) pleasant to the eyes; and (c) to be desired to make one wise. Now look at 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

      Satan, “the god of this world”, used the same tactics with Eve as he now does with us. They work: why on earth would he change them?! He even tried to use exactly the same approach on Jesus — on God Himself! — as one can see in reading Luke 4. But whereas Adam failed this test, Jesus kicked it into touch.

      They hid. V7. They attempted to cover themselves with something other than the glory of God, which had been their covering prior.

      This is what I think, too — that before they sinned, they were clothed in God’s glory (“apparelled in celestial light”, to borrow a phrase from Wordsworth). We’re used to thinking of the naked human body, but it’s hard to imagine what a shock it must have been to see it for the first time as we now see it — I think the closest parallel I can think of is how a child first feels on seeing adult nakedness.

      I can remember how I felt when, as a little boy, some older boys came up to me laughing and showed me a picture of a naked woman. They pointed to her crotch and said to me, “Do you know what that is?”. I mumbled something like, “it’s a woman’s winkie”, and ran away. I was sort-of in shock (my own fairly new, hairless little body didn’t bear much resemblance to what I saw, and the picture haunted me for a long time — I can still remember the woman’s wanton smile, over three decades on). …And I think that Adam and Eve must have felt something akin to this on being exposed to their own nakedness and to each other’s.

      God, of course, knows what has just happened, but he calls unto Adam first. …. The buck stops with him in God’s economy. In his sin, Adam gives himself away and condemns himself. He immediately blames the woman and God (indirectly, for he says it was God that gave him the woman!); the nearest target.

      Yes. And whenever I read that passage I groan. First blaming the woman for his own disobedience, and then effectively blaming God for blessing him with a wife. When you’re in a hole, stop digging…

      Interestingly, God punishes the serpent first, then the woman, and lastly, Adam.

      Yes, I hadn’t spotted that. …Reflecting the sequence in which the rebellion occurred — first in Satan, then in Eve, and finally in Adam.

      she knew exactly what God had commanded her NOT to do, and she did it anyway (even though she makes a feeble attempt to cast some blame upon the serpent who beguiled her).

      In v. 17, God points out that Adam’s sin has been listening to the voice of his wife (rather than to the voice of God)

      Quite. Two more points which are also prone to being fiddled around with these days.

      the man was sent forth to till the ground from whence he was taken

      Another little linguistic point: in the original Hebrew, the word for ‘man is אדם (‘adam), as mentioned. The word for ‘ground’ is אדמה (‘adamah). So again, the very words themselves reflect exactly what God did (‘adam came from the ‘adamah).

      I don’t care what “science” says, or a bazillion studies of lizard-brain biochemistry say … It appears to me, from poring over my (almost) favorite three chapters of the Holy Bible once more, that women are sinful, selfish, self-absorbed, self-serving, narcissistic, navel-gazing brute beasts – “naturally”. Period. This is due to The Fall into sin. Not a one of us has escaped.

      Amen to that! Attributing the worst, most selfish instincts of men and women to our putative descent from reptiles is wrong-headed for Christians, since it is just not Biblical.

      Did you notice that even Adam didn’t blame him? He went for his wife first – throwing her under the bus. Maybe we should try something differently…

      Yes, love turned to resentment pretty darn quick, didn’t it? …And indeed, I’m sure Satan’s pretty happy with the sex-war. But God shows us the way out of it — if only we’d listen…

      • Yes — I touched on this in a comment on another of your posts.

        She is well aware of what God’s command of her and her man is, and recites it perfectly to the serpent.

        She actually adds a bit to what God said to Adam: “neither shall you touch it”. I’m not sure what quite to make of this — whether it was her addition, or whether Adam added the prohibition himself, in relating God’s commandment to Eve.


  4. Thank God someone is not falling for this mass delusion via sophistry. Stand your ground; you are so far one of maybe three (I’m being generous) voices of reason on this ridiculous circle jerk. Disappointing to see so many fall for it.

    • CL: Something was bothering me terribly, though I almost bought it as plausible based upon a model of past society; i.e., maybe it exists, because in Patriarchal society it was beneficial, etc. Baloney. It’s every man for himself and it always has been, since the beginning of time outside of Eden. Only truly redeemed people behave in ways consistent with their possession of God’s Spirit within them – only truly redeemed people desire what God desires inherently or even seek to attempt to align their desires with what God desires. The Feminist Imperative, if we must call it that, seeks to destroy every desire that should be present in a Spirit-filled human being, and it is being used of Satan PRECISELY the way he used it in the Garden: he’s not creative – he’s predictable more often than not, if we are careful to look out for him. This is why it appears he is being successful in Christian churches – the women are so terribly deceived and have carried men into deception with them, as men are still listening to the wrong voice, even with written warning from God about what will happen! Geesh. No wonder he calls us sheep.

      • It is totally the work of Satan and I’m surprised at how few are seeing it for what it is. It’s honestly disconcerting to me to watch it unfold. People are so easily misled and we always need to check ourselves. It’s not that I think I’m immune, but it takes effort at times – as you say, you almost bought it yourself. A lot of things seem plausible that upon closer inspection are actually hollow, although I tend to intuit first and examine second. Of course it helps immeasurably to have someone else to discuss it with!

        Could you shoot us an email? I’d like to share some thoughts on this with you if you’d like. 7man.cl [at] gmail

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s