Here are some insights from the book of nature about the subject of the leadership structure in the church and home, that I posted recently in some discussions about women's ordination in regards to what has happened in the Columbia Union Conference. It is my hope that people far and wide will take an honest, heart-felt look into the book of nature, and compare it with Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy, when developing our viewpoints, and seeking to understand truth:
God of Order, Not Confusion
God has done a beautiful thing in creating order and structure in the family and church. We all agree that every organization needs a leader, right? (That's not being discriminatory- unless we believe all leadership is inherently unethical and want society to dissolve into anarchy). So why is it evil to say that God chose men? Not only is the Bible clear from beginning to end that God chose men as leaders, but it is also clear that he has physically equipped them for leadership. Basic common sense tells us that this is the reason why God made men taller, stronger and with naturally louder and more authoritative sounding voices than women. Not only did He do this, but He came to earth Himself and modeled the beautiful humility of servant leadership, so that no man should ever have any excuse to act arrogant and "lord it over" women in the name of Christ- because that would be totally contrary to the spirit of Christ.
I’ve known quite a few men who are shorter than I am, but they weren’t the slightest bit feminine. So, there is no logical reason for God to have made men on average taller than women, since they would have been every bit as masculine as they are now even if they were on average exactly the same height as women, instead of taller. The only logical reason for God to have made this distinction in height would have been that His intention was for it to be a sign of His designation of their leadership. This is a classic example of something that is "as plain as the nose on your face,” so to speak- so plain and so clear that it’s virtually incontrovertible evidence.
The Anatomy of Love
If those obvious manifestations weren't enough to help us understand, consider how God created in the anatomy of the human heart (symbol for love) this exact relationship of male and female- with the right side of the heart being more delicate and smaller, playing an assistive/receiving role, while the left side is stronger and larger and takes the primary role of ministering to the body by pumping blood out to the whole body.
One thing that is so beautiful about the model of the human heart, is that both sides are NEARLY equal. This can be seen all throughout the body in multiple examples- the hands, feet, brain, eyes, etc. are all similar examples, and give us deeper insight into God’s intentions for the relationship between men and women. In all of these cases, the two sides are nearly equal in every way, yet one takes a leadership role and one assists. In the hands, for example, nearly everyone has a slightly weaker, more feminine, delicate hand, and one that is stronger and takes the lead role with the other assisting. My right hand actually looks just slightly masculine and the left more feminine (because of the muscle development related to work). The brain teaches us that God intended for men and women to communicate with each other and reach conclusions together- as we see that the two hemispheres have a huge communication device between them. We see from the eyes that God gives greater depth perception when both perspectives are considered. Anyone who tries to suggest that all decisions should be made by the man without considering carefully his wife’s perspective is trying to create a diseased situation which is more like what happens when someone has a stroke- and one side of the body, brain are completely flaccid and inactive. In the case of a stroke, even that eye on that side of the body is often blind or partially so.
The Body of Christ
We speak of the body of Christ, the example of the heart may be God’s intention to show us what a pastoral ministry team of men and women leadership together (ideally husband and wife) - with the man taking the lead role, and woman assisting, etc. because with both perspectives represented in the pastoral leadership the ministry is more complete. The heart ministers to the body (of Christ) by giving it the life blood- which in this case would be ministering the blood of Christ to each part of His body through the priestly ministry.
These lessons also affirm the beauty and importance of the differences between the two genders, according to God's will.
Teresa, How can you basically say so authoritatively, but merely from opinion without evidence, that God's creating Adam first and allowing him to name the animals had nothing to do with His preferring men as a leader?
If we arguing in this way, we are in danger of putting our own words above God's- which is the very crux of this issue, even more so than the issue of gospel order- it's a matter of whether or not we accept God's authority as expressed in the Bible, or whether we cherish our own opinions and refuse to submit to God.
It is true that God made Eve also to be His companion, but that cannot be surgically removed from the rest of the Bible and used to support a point opposite of what the Bible teaches.
If this is true in the absolute sense that "God plays no favorites," and that the idea of Him having chosen men as leaders is really so terribly unfair, then we must do away with all leadership of any kind because it's unethical and unfair to choose one above the other- so women cannot be leaders either.
But, would feminists want to hear an argument like that? Not too likely- because they are not really arguing for that kind of true equality. What they are arguing for is their own chance to be the top dog.
The idea of women being unwilling to accept the fact that God chosen men as leaders instead of themselves is very likely largely based on self-ambition rather than rational thinking or Christian ideology.
In regard to infanticide, the fact that human beings under the darkness of sin have taken a basically good idea to such extremes cannot be used as evidence that the idea itself is inherently flawed. Again, that would be throwing the baby away with the bath water.
Then are you willing to accept the whole authority of her writings? We cannot just pick out a statement here and there and ignore the rest if we really believe she is a prophet. She plainly taught that the husband is the head of the family and church, as I quoted earlier.
I also wanted to mention here, that I really appreciate your thoughts shared above. Thanks for that, Joe.
I challenge anyone to find where our Creator has a gender.
A Gender obviously relates to whether our Creator is male or female.
Some of you my think it is obvious, due to the pronoun "He" uses in the texts, but our Creator also has feminine characteristics, and is described as the "many breasted one".
El Shaddai means the many-breasted one; the All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty. Found 48 times in the OT, 31 times in Job.
Close Gen. 17:1, 2 31:29 49:24–25 Prov. 3:27 Micah 2:1 Isa. 60:15–16 66:10-13 Ruth 1:20, 21. Since another source
Close says we find El Shaddai but 7 times in the Bible, perhaps the difference is using this noun in conjunction with El. The name suggests strength and power. This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child.
He might have feminine characteristics but that does not make Him female..since He is called Father...He, Him..I think Father says it all. Jesus came to earth and went home as a male...the Holy Spirit is referred to as He....have you seen people with female characteristics yet are male? I have. Have you seen male people with characteristics but are female?
Why would Jesus call God Father if He was genderless or female.
I do not understand how so many people can come up with so many ideas contrary to everything we know...
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
- Psalm 103:13
God calls Jesus Son...
In response to the statement you wrote "I challenge anyone to find where our Creator has a gender,"
All who believe that Christ has come in the flesh and returned to heaven, taking His earthly body with him- can know without a doubt that our creator is male.
Is God Male?
By Kyle Pope
The Kansas City Star, in their weekend “Faith” section posed this question to a denominational preacher and a Jewish rabbi, “Should we refer to God as he, she or it, and why?” Although the two writers approached the question from different angles they both reached about the same conclusion. They suggested that it doesn’t really matter which pronoun one “chooses” because the Bible uses female and male metaphors to describe attributes of God. It seems to me that the whole issue reflects some fundamental problems which were ignored.
I. Human Gender. When God created human beings as well as animals he made them “male and female” (Genesis 1:27; 5:2; 6:19). These distinctions are essential for earthly reproduction. What determines whether one is male or female is a matter of physiology, chemistry and anatomy. In most creatures, if the creature has male organs, and an X and a Y chromosome it is a male. If the creature has female organs and two X chromosomes it is a female.
The Bible does not teach that God reproduces, has a mate or gender distinctive reproductive organs or chromosomes. God is spirit (John 4:24). Never the less the Bible does use masculine names and pronouns to refer to God. Yet, just as the descriptions of God and Jesus as “Father” and “Son” reflect something different than the human reproductive relationship, any description of gender must be understood in a different sense than earthly concepts of gender.
II. Bible Names for Bible Things. What is strange is the fact that both authors treated this issue as a matter of human choice. A world which imagines that it can choose its own worship, doctrine and behavior imagines that it can choose to characterize God as it sees fit. The real question is how does God refer to Himself? Genesis 1:27 is the earliest passage where this question is addressed in relation to earthly gender. The text reads - “So God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27, NKJV). Several elements of the this text are important. First, the name “God” is translated from the Hebrew word elohim. Hebrew, like most languages distinguishes nouns as either grammatically masculine or feminine. The name elohim is masculine. Next, we should note the verb “created.” Unlike English, Hebrew verbs have forms that not only communicate person (i.e. first person – “I,” second person – “you,” or third person – “he, she or it”) but also gender (i.e. if the “you” is male or female, or if the third person is masculine “he” or feminine “she”). In this text the verb translated “created” is the Hebrew word yivrah, the masculine singular form, meaning literally “he created.” Finally, we note the phrase “His [own] image.” Hebrew communicates the pronoun “His” with a suffix attached to the end of the noun “image.” In this case the pronoun is the third person masculine “He.”
If we are to refer to God as He refers to Himself we must speak in the masculine. Anything else is not a matter of “choice” but change.
III. Biblical Distinctions. It is clear that both men and women are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but it is also clear that the Bible teaches that there is some sense in which there is a distinction in the nature of this likeness (or reflected glory) as it pertains to man and woman.
In Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians he is forced to address the problem that some in Corinth were having honoring gender roles in Christ. Some of the women in Corinth seem to have been rejecting a custom widely practiced in that day as a sign of submission to male authority - the wearing of a head covering. To remedy this Paul appeals to creation itself. The apostle writes through the Holy Spirit, “For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.” (I Corinthians 11:7-9).
In this text Paul appeals to the sequence of creation (i.e. man was created first) and then the means of creation (i.e. woman from man’s rib) to suggest a distinction between God’s likeness and glory to man and to woman. In the context man is the glory of God and woman is the glory of man.
This does not suggest any devaluation of women, it is simply a matter of sequence, relationship and authority. However, it does suggest a distinction that cannot be ignored without disregarding a portion of Scripture.
IV. Modern Gender Wars. It is little wonder that a generation that seeks to make women act like men and men act like women would seek to entangle God in the same gender wars that so plague our world. Does this question really stem from a desire to characterize God accurately, or does it come from the politically correct tendency towards feminism? It seems to me that many in our world are simply uncomfortable with accepting what the Bible teaches about creation, male and female roles and God’s hand in both.
If Scripture refers to God in the masculine does this insult woman? Of course not! God is the Creator of both sexes. If man was created first, and woman was created from man, does God love woman less? Of course not! Jesus died for both men and women. If God has established different roles of authority and responsibility for men and women is God abusing women? Of course not! It is no more an abuse of women that they are not given the role of headship in the home (Ephesians 5:22,23) than it is abusing men that they are not given the ability to bear children (Genesis 3:16).
A great reference for those interested iin studying the position of women in the scripture can be found on this site:
GOD'S WORD TO WOMEN
100 Bible Studies On Woman's Place in the Divine Economy
This passage that you mentioned from 1 Corinthians 11:7 is so interesting, I believe there’s more to it than meets the eye, that it can shed a great deal of light in helping us to understand even more reasons for the special differences God made between men and women:
“…(Man) is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.”
Though it doesn’t actually repeat the full description of “image and glory,” in regards to women, but it seems to imply that by the way it’s worded. Consider the potential meaning if it were fully written out;
“…(Man) is the image and glory of God, but woman is (the image and) glory of man.”
Perhaps this is referring to the church as the bride of Christ- that women symbolize humanity, and men symbolize divinity (Christ).
In my studies of this verse, I’ve begun to realize that it seems women even carry in their bodies elements that typify humanity, while men carry in their bodies elements that typify Christ (I’ll explain more below).
So this could be another extremely important reason why men are exalted more in stature and bearing, because they represent Christ, and why women are more humble in stature and bearing, because they represent humanity, (humanity in relation to Christ, that is, as the bride of Christ).
Consider this in relation to multiple verses throughout the Bible which give us insight into the relationship of Christ to the church. Starting with Isaiah 64:8 “We are the clay, and You our potter, And all we are the work of Your hand.”
Perhaps this is the reason why a woman’s shape is somewhat like that of a beautiful vase! Women literally look like something that could have been made on a potters wheel...
…because we are the “image and glory of man” i.e. symbolize or typify humanity, which was literally formed out of clay by God’s hands.
Then, there’s also the story of Ruth where we learn that marriage as an institution and symbol somehow represents the process of redemption/salvation, - In this story filled with Messianic symbolism (with Boaz representing Christ), Christ’s redeeming his bride was done by the act of marrying her.
Interesting also that the word “atonement,” as in Christ’s atonement as our high priest, also suggests the marriage relationship “at-one-ment,” the process of husband and wife becoming one, and represents Christ redeeming and becoming one with His bride as part of the salvation and redemption process. There's so much more, these are just a few examples of how this applies.
I believe these are some of the reasons why we can’t just mess with the things God has done and try to determine things according to our own opinions, popular vote or what we think matters/doesn’t matter in regards to the roles God has established, because God has also created these things to represent eternal truth’s and bound it all up with very rich symbolism that relates to (and helps us understand better) the story of redemption.
That gives even more light to the significance of what we are really doing when we reject the idea of God-ordained male authority. When God's own people raise the cry of feminism, “we will not have this man to rule over us!” might they also be rejecting the Savior himself, who is represented in the bodily form of men, and ordained by God as the priest of the home and church as Christ’s representative?
I believe this issue could be very key in end time events, especially in relation to God’s judgment on His church as faithful or unfaithful in His eyes, as the judgment may now soon pass to the living (“arise and measure the temple and the altar and those who worship there” Rev 11:1)- in much the same way that the Sabbath serves as a marker for faithfulness to the commandments of God. Because it serves as a MARKER for whether or not we ultimately accept the authority of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, or reject it in order to establish our own opinions.
If we don't think this matter is important in God's eyes, we may be reasoning as Eve did, that such a small matter as eating a piece of fruit shouldn't cause her any loss of fellowship with God and man,- but it was huge in God's eyes because in doing so, she rejected the authority and express instructions of God himself.
I was thinking. Doesn't it say somewhere about the men or the church taking care of the widows, unmarried woman etc? I am not sure where to find the verse perhaps someone else does?