The "Blasphemy Challenge" Reloaded
Some things are not disputed among Christians (in this article I’ll use the term as referring to the truly saved). Those include:
- salvation only by faith in the risen Jesus who is God in the flesh
- only one mediator between God and humans
- all one in Christ Jesus; all parts of one Body with only Jesus as Head
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
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:
- Being between the two extremes; middle; interposed; intervening; intermediate.
- Acting by means, or by an intervening cause or instrument; not direct or immediate; acting or suffering through an intervening agent or condition.
- Gained or effected by a medium or condition.
- To be in the middle, or between two; to intervene.
- 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.
- To effect by mediation or interposition; to bring about as a mediator, instrument, or means; as, to mediate a peace.
- To divide into two equal parts
According to Webster’s Dictionary, intercede/intercessor:
- To pass between; to intervene.
- 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.
- 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:
- 1 Tim. 2:1, 4-6 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people... For there is one God and one mediator between God and human beings, Christ Jesus, himself human
- Heb. 9:15, 12:24 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant... and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
- Rom. 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
- Rom. 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
- Heb. 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
- Heb. 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.
- 1 John. 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
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
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:
A wife’s submission to her husband should parallel the church’s submission to Christ.(Source)
God has placed the husband in the position of responsibility.(Source)
Christian fathers will be built-up and encouraged in their role as spiritual leader of the home.(Source) [Note the insulting disclaimer there:
We ask that these CDs be listened to by men only. We would not want to stir up expectations in a mom’s heart that might not be fulfilled and then be a source of discouragement for her.In other words,
Don’t hold your husband to these principles, but by golly, you’d better hold to the rules he makes for you!Or,
This is restricted to ’boys only’, no girls allowed!Sheesh, what delicate egos!]
The first and golden duty of a Christian wife in the home is SUBMISSION [sic] to her own husband (Eph5:22). This is first demonstrated when on their wedding day she publicly admits to forfeit her fathers name and takes pleasure in being called by her husbands name. She recognizes and accepts him as her God-given head and leader of the newly formed home... If the altar of intercession collapses in the home, he is to be blamed.(Source)
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
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!