Words of a Fether

I am the way, the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father except through me. ~Jesus

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The Merry-go-round

At this blog an old, old list of male supremacist scripture twisting is repeated for the umpteenth time. But my focus this time is not on the list itself but the comments on this particular reincarnation of it.

At comment 10 begins some, shall we say, interesting claims. The first is a classic example of ad hominem:

these ten reasons have been cited countless times by Biblical traditionalists over the past 50 years as religious feminism has infected evangelicalism.
Note two assertions: that the people citing (promoting) these “ten reasons” are labeled “traditionalists”, while their opposition is pejoratively labeled “religious feminism”. That is the ad hominem. Then the opposition is described as having “infected” evangelicalism, as if they are on the level of vermin or disease. None of the terms are defined or backed up with any data.

As anyone familiar with the debate over restrictions on women as Christians and wives knows, “feminism” is the most common label (after Jezebel I suppose) applied to anyone who dares to argue that women are fully human and equal participants in the church and the home. Now they try to claim that making half the human race below the other doesn’t make women sub-human or unequal, but that is self-contradictory. This “separate but equal” argument was thoroughly debunked on the topic of slavery in the US. Instead, we egalitarians do not argue for the supremacy of one half the human race over another (regardless of which would be dominant) but for equality, or lack of hierarchy.

Next up is an attempt to misapply a scripture:

… that his flock may be strengthened against the chorus of naysayers who continually parrot Satan’s question: “Has God REALLY said … ?”
The statement cited is made by the serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it questions God’s commands. But in order to apply this scripture to arguments against male supremacism, one first must establish that such arguments are attempting to question or dismiss or change the Bible. This is a false and presumptuous charge at best. What this commenter is attempting to do is to claim that anything but the “plain reading” or surface-skimming of scripture amounts to what is commonly called “hermeneutical gymnastics”, where what the text communicates is hidden or twisted. But this method is never consistently followed; I have yet to see its proponents gouge out their eyes or sever a limb if it causes them to sin, though Jesus stated this “plainly”. Their interpretive method has more to do with their personal preferences as to what is “common sense” than what is contextual.

Context is paramount in comprehending any writing, especially one written in another language, culture, and time. To ignore all this is a true case of “attempting to question or dismiss or change the Bible”, because it turns the Word of God into whatever the reader feels it should be. Ironically, it has been my experience that such people are the ones who “bow to culture” and twist scripture to suit their wishes.

Notice also that anyone who rejects such superficial treatment of scripture is labeled “naysayers”, another ad hominem, and that they “parrot”, though the commenter has just defended his own (spec. Ware’s) practice of repetition.

So the charge that egals deny the Word of God is shown to be false, and in fact can be more accurately applied to the accuser.

Now we come to a most heretical claim:

male headship is, in fact, salvific doctrine. Paul points to male headship as the reason that all in Adam are damned (cf. Romans 5). And, male headship is the reason that all who are in the Second Adam are redeemed (again, Romans 5). Deny male headship and you deny the way the gospel works its redeeming effect on any individual, whether they understand this or not.
The commenter has begun here with a patently false claim: that saving faith must include acceptance of something called “male headship”, another undefined and unsubstantiated term. Scripture never cites this alleged requirement in any passage related to how a person is saved. The apostle John speaks of needing to believe that Jesus came “in the flesh” (1 John 4:2), and the context clearly indicates a rebuttal of the proto-Gnostic heresy that Jesus did not become human at all. But no mention of maleness is found in any passage concerning what one must believe to be saved.

Then the commenter claims Paul was referring to this “male headship” in Rom. 5, but there are no statements that could be construed as “male headship” anywhere in the passage. Many interpret vs. 12 as a teaching about inheritable sin, but the end of that verse clearly refutes such a notion: “because all sinned”. No one denies that “sin entered the world through one man”, Adam, but scripture does not go on to say that sin was passed down genetically, and in fact says the opposite (see also Ezekiel 18). The “inherited sin” view also ignores Rom. 5:14 which speaks not of sin but of death. And that “man” should be used to refer to both Adam and Jesus is simply because both were male; nothing is said about maleness in general. And this view also ignores Rom. 5:18 which says “all” for both condemnation and justification / life. If all are lost because of Adam, then all (emph. ALL) are saved because of Jesus. And if we take the Calvinist spin that “all” means “all without distinction”, then what of the universal depravity of humanity? They paint themselves into a corner here.

So the commenter’s assertion that all who deny his undefined “male headship” (commonly ref. to also as Adam being “federal head”) deny the gospel itself is groundless, and if not heretical, certainly highly disputable. And to risk labeling fellow believers as lost on such a shaky foundation is not a wise thing to do.

The commenter’s next bit is found inside comment 11, which appears to be some kind of glitch in the blog software or something. But he begins with a straw man: that his opponent “complained” about not being Christlike. There was no complaint there, but only an attempt to understand his claims. But, quite ironically, he goes on to dismantle his own foundational assertion that maleness carries an intrinsic spiritual property by citing personal experience within his own family.

This is all followed by another non sequitur: that “Christ’s maleness is a requisite for His saving you”. His paragraphs leading up to that claim negate it. But the statement following, also unrelated to the premises, is rank heresy:

Eve fell under condemnation— not because she sinned, but because she was in Adam. Death came to Eve, not because she sinned, but because Adam sinned. And, Paul teaches us in Romans 5, you and I will die one day for the same reason Eve died.
Scripture tells us that God said “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die.” (Gen. 2:17, 3:3) There is nothing in Genesis to support the commenter’s claim that Eve died because of Adam. In fact, what we see is that Eve was confronted separately and directly by God, and her answer was true, without any attempt to pass blame to God as Adam did. And what about the promised Seed which would come ONLY through Eve? What does this say about Adam’s sin as opposed to Eve’s? Why would a woman’s seed alone be suitable to produce the savior? Also note in Gen. 3 that while Adam and the serpent are told by God, “Because of you” or “Because you have done this”, Eve is not. And it was the ground, not Adam or Eve, that was cursed because of Adam (who alone came from that ground).

The commenter has imposed his interpretation of Rom. 5 onto Genesis and thus read into the text that which God did not say, putting words into His mouth. He also has ignored Paul’s many clear statements about the gospel (e.g. Acts 16:29-31, 1 Cor. 15:1-4), none of which hint at maleness as a necessary component of saving faith.

Next comment:

The Jehovah’s Witnesses try the same thing when they protest that the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible…
The commenter has made a faulty inference here. The concept of the Trinity is clearly taught in both Testaments, as I’ve written elsewhere (see my booklet at Scribd). But the concept of “male headship” is not taught in scripture as a divine mandate, and is expressly rejected in the NT (Mt. 20:25-28, Gal. 3:28, Eph. 5:21); in fact, ALL hierarchical rule is rejected.

Now to what I would classify as the mother of all non sequiturs:

Jesus Christ is a human male. Jesus Christ is God. I think you’ll affirm both of these, right?

If so, then in the person of Christ we have human male flesh elevated to Godhood.

P1 - Jesus Christ is a human male P2 - Jesus Christ is God C - Human male flesh was therefore elevated to Godhood.

The conclusion does not follow from the premises. It was never “human flesh” that went to heaven (1 Cor. 15:47-50), and no scripture ever elevates anything to Godhood. Jesus was divine in eternity past and returned to his equality with God after His ascension (John 1:1-2, 13:3, Phil. 2:5-11). 1 Cor. 15:49 clearly states that “so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man”, and there is no fine print excluding women from this promise. The commenter’s claim here is identical to that of the cults which elevates men into gods, and is therefore blasphemy.

The commenter goes on to repeat (dare I say “parrot”?) his earlier interpretation of what being “in” someone means, ignoring context and figures of speech. But then he does what I already referred to on the matter of inconsistency, claming that male supremacy, even to the point of being elevated to Godhood, is somehow not a claim to male preeminence. I would be most interested in his definition of preeminence, and then see how it would fit in scriptures such as 3 John 1:9.

Finally, we will examine the commenter’s reference to something called “anthropological modalism” by an S. M. Hutchens, who defines it as one “who effaces the critical distinctions between man and woman by making the sexes into functions or modes of existence of the ”human.“” Yet if male and female are not “modes” of the human, then one of them must not be human at all— and it doesn’t take a PhD to figure out which of the two groups that might be. It also shows a fundamental misunderstanding of theological modalism, which teaches that God is simply taking on “roles” when He uses terms like Father, Son, and Spirit. So Mr. Hutchens has inadvertently proved that the teaching of “roles” is the modalist heresy, and that is what the male supremacist doctrine of “the eternal subordination of the Son” is all about.

The commenter then denies having done any name calling, while expressing agreement with Hutchens’ self-incrimination. He also tries to divide Christ Himself into “human” and “male human”, a completely groundless assertion.

I’m sure more comments will follow, but what has been covered to this point should be sufficient for the intelligent reader to make an assessment of the various claims. Sadly, this sort of fallacious and blasphemous teaching is growing in popularity as proud men sense they are losing their iron grip on the controls of Christendumb. They love the position of importance and to think themselves “first in line” with God. But their teachings are indistinguishable from those of any given religion in the world, such as Islam or Mormonism, which regard women as empty shells whose only purpose in this life (and the next, in most cases) is to serve the cravings of male flesh.

This is NOT what Jesus or the NT writers taught, and this truth needs to be shouted from the rooftops on behalf of all the women who are running from this phallus-worshiping “gospel” in droves. Eternal subservience is the opposite of what Jesus came to do: free the prisoners and give justice to the oppressed.

Posted 2009-09-02 under salvation, community, salvation, faith, God, community, behavior, relationships, roles, religion, control, male supremacism