Opinions on faith and life

The "Blasphemy Challenge" Reloaded

2008-01-08

Some things are not disputed among Christians (in this article I’ll use the term as referring to the truly saved). Those include:

Yet in spite of such affirmations, most Christians do not build consistently on this foundation. For example, they do put human mediators between some people and God. But first we must define mediator and intercessor, since those who practice this belief deny it in principle because they do not distinguish between the two.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, mediate/mediator:

  1. Being between the two extremes; middle; interposed; intervening; intermediate.
  2. Acting by means, or by an intervening cause or instrument; not direct or immediate; acting or suffering through an intervening agent or condition.
  3. Gained or effected by a medium or condition.
  4. To be in the middle, or between two; to intervene.
  5. To interpose between parties, as the equal friend of each, esp. for the purpose of effecting a reconciliation or agreement; as, to mediate between nations.
  6. To effect by mediation or interposition; to bring about as a mediator, instrument, or means; as, to mediate a peace.
  7. To divide into two equal parts

According to Webster’s Dictionary, intercede/intercessor:

  1. To pass between; to intervene.
  2. To act between parties with a view to reconcile differences; to make intercession; to beg or plead in behalf of another; to mediate; - usually followed by with and for or on behalf of; as, I will intercede with him for you.
  3. To be, to come, or to pass, between; to separate

Does Jesus only act as a mediator between God and humans concerning salvation? Are there other mediators? What is the difference between a mediator and an intercessor? Now let’s turn to scripture for more information:

Although the dictionary meanings seem to intertwine between mediate and intercede, the Bible seems to define mediate as relating to the covenant between God and man, whereas intercede can be done with non-legal issues, such as imploring God for mercy or asking for help. So in the Biblical sense Jesus alone acts as the mediator of the new Covenant between God and people, while others, including the Holy Spirit, can intercede for people to be given help or mercy from God.

In the light of that, can any believer stand between God and another believer as a mediator? Absolutely not! That position is filled forever by Jesus alone. So there can be no issue of authority or covering between any two believers, but only asking for God’s help or mercy on another person’s behalf. Any believer can pray for any other believer, and we are even expressly commanded to do so (Eph. 6:18 and many others). But to mediate on spiritual matters is the exclusive domain of the Lord Jesus. Any who try to fill that role are usurping God’s authority and committing blasphemy because they try to stand in the place of Jesus (see John 10:33). So anyone who says every believer must be under the covering of some other believer is advocating blasphemy.

And not only is it blasphemy for a priest or pastor to cover another believer, it is equally blasphemous for any Christian husband to claim covering or priesthood over his wife. He can and should intercede, as should she for him, but there is no hierarchy between them, especially in any spiritual sense. Claiming spiritual superiority or preeminence is claiming to mediate, not intercede, and this mediation is the teaching of those who promote male supremacy:

Likewise, it is blasphemous for all male Christians to assert superiority of any kind over all female Christians. For example, in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Grudem and Piper are guilty of blatant eisegesis in the statement, After all, if any of us modern people were to create a world, placing at its apex our highest creature in the dual modality of man and woman, would we use the name of only one sex as a generic term for both? They very mistakenly teach that the English word man (which still can mean either males or all humanity) only refers to males in the original meaning of the Hebrew in Genesis. Then this new definition is imposed upon the scriptures to claim that the reference to both male and female as man must give preeminence to males. They try to keep the undeniable fact that both male and female are made in the image of God while also claiming only males truly image God, calling the word man an obvious hint (?!). On such pathetic scholarship is based the superiority of males.

In these two areas, marriage and the church, we see the blasphemy of lording over being promoted as orthodoxy, as the divine will, purpose, and design of God. But the Bible itself says, Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20). We could now add, who put superiority for equality, and submission for domination. What the male supremacists call paradox is in fact the hopeless contradiction between the Bible’s clear declarations of the equality of all believers and their own concocted notions of supremacy and preeminence. What those who promote clergy/laity class distinctions think is God’s divine sanction is only their own lust for power and control over the people.

Let’s stop hiding behind euphemisms and call this sort of self-serving pride what it is: Blasphemy!