Gaining A Biblical Understanding of How God Perceives Men and Women

Hiya!

We’re back with the guest post series. You can catch up with the genesis of the whole series by following this link Here. Over to Margaret now, the guest on the blog.

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Greetings! I think all of us are ready for the pandemic to be over. We need to be able to experience freedom of movement and community.  Did you ever think about God creating community and valuing it? That is why we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God wants a close love relationship with us, too. So often we don’t even consider how much God wants to be close to us in spiritual intimacy. It relates to our discussion about our perception of God as our heavenly Father. This means He is the patriarch.

Please know as I have said before that I am sharing from my Christian Worldview perspective as requested.  Thank you for opening your hearts and minds, hearing my perspective on this subject.  The scripture below speaks to my heart about my perspective.

“Live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6).

Secular feminism is opposed to the Bible. The Bible is opposed to secular feminism. (See earlier article about the History of Feminism). The good news is God created women to be far more special, significant, stronger, and fulfilled than women today who would put their secular feminist views above God’s Word. Feminism is linked to secular humanism, which puts humans on the throne instead of God. When we discuss the term patriarchy, it is important to look at God’s original order before the fall.

As Christian women, it is our duty to align ourselves to God’s Word. The design to align the Bible to our lives by redefining or challenging it to meet our human desires is rebellion against God. This is akin to the original sin in the Garden of Eden. “Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1)

We have discovered in the earlier article that God loves men and women equally and values them equally. The Bible is an account of real-life situations including the good that honors Him, the bad that is evil and the shockingly horrible evil. This is what makes the Bible so relevant. It doesn’t leave out the bad stuff in the world. Yes, even today there are cultures around the world that do not treat women like Jesus does.  Human rights organizations such as International Justice Mission provides lots of information regarding these issues and how to help. One thing we all see that each person is unique and significant no matter what their educational level is, their family background, their skin color, or tribe.  Also, how we are treated by men in our families may impact our filters for good or bad. Abuse is real but it is pure evil and not from God.

Throughout the Old and New Testament there are examples of women who were powerful influencers, leaders, businesswomen, influencers of kings, along with evil women who were deceived, worshiped idols of pride and intellect, had no discernment,  participated in child sacrifice and were part of ungodly cults. What we should discern is who were the godly women? Why are they role models even though some of them were not perfect? That is a great thing about God. He knows our weaknesses and can still use us in amazing ways.

To set the stage for what we are examining let’s look at the distinctions between patriarchy and patriarch as a beginning. The first is a definition from the secular perspective not necessarily from the Biblical definition before the Fall of Man. The second definition explains the role of a patriarch as in Biblical times making reference to Abraham.

Definition of patriarchy:

1) social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line broadl : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power. 2)  a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy. Example of use: For 20 years the country was ruled as a patriarchy.

Example of non-biblical patriarchal system: brother seizing property away from wife and kids of deceased sibling.

More objective definition for patriarch is https://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/patriarch

Definition of patriarch:

1a) one of the scriptural fathers of the human race or of the Hebrew people Abraham was a patriarch of the Israelites. 1b) a man who is father or founder Example: The newspaper patriarch celebrated his 90th birthday. c(1) the oldest member or representative of a group the cypress … is the patriarch of native trees, going back to the time of the dinosaur — Amer. Guide Series: Texas c(2) a venerable old man a whiskered patriarch, spry for his age— Frank Sullivan. d) a man who is head of a patriarchy

I see things from how God initially planned things to work during creation before sin entered the world. For additional information you can read about the topic from different viewpoints at this link below.

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/2016/03/zuc408010.shtml

The history and culture of different regions is discussed in several stories to provide background for us.  Also, there are some strong women in the Bible who were highly esteemed.

As we set the stage for the discussion of patriarchy as Christians, we first ask 5 questions about our starting point as believers in Jesus.  To make sense out of complicated world-view topics, we first need to identify our beliefs. This starting point is influenced by our history, family role models, religious beliefs, educational influences, the media, and our peers. It requires an honest evaluation of the factors that influence us because they impact all our filters when discussing a topic. Are we willing to be open minded to being challenged about our current beliefs?

Do we believe the Bible is foundational and true? If so, let us examine how it guides us. I make the choice to see things through this Biblical filter because I find it trustworthy. We have choices about what we believe and how it impacts our lives.

The Bible is pro-God and intended to illustrate order as He intended.  God created man from dust first and then created a companion from him, she was named by whom she came out of – that is the name of ‘woman’. The Bible puts forth for those made in His image a love letter with what will be profitable and bring forth peace and joy for all made in His image.

There are guidelines for men and there are guidelines for women. 

There are allegories to the order which mimic the order that exists between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

There are warnings and admonitions to both male and female should they disobey. 

Here is one example which cautions men on how to treat their wives otherwise their prayers will not be heard from GOD:

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7

In this scripture the phase “weaker vessel” means like a fine piece of china of great value but breaks if mistreated.

Women are guided to be wise women. She is to be a woman who is filled with grace and honor, respectful, trustworthy, a wife, mother, and business woman: in real estate, or as a merchant, a designer, creative and the one who places order in her home and makes sure that all that is needed for the well-being for her family is acquired. (Proverbs 31) 

Several women in scripture were wealthy. These women (Lydia, Phoebe, Junia, Julia, see https://margmowczko.com/wealthy-women-roman-world-and-church/) were some of the ones who supported the first church. This church was filled with a blending of cultures and Messianic Jews (Jews who followed the Messiah – Jesus Christ) and gentiles who also believed in Jesus Christ.

To explain the why behind this question, we need to go back to God’s original plan. In Genesis Adam and Eve shared equally and lived in harmony. However, when they sinned everything changed. We are their heirs and even today live with the consequences.

Contrary to many feminists, the root problem of humanity is not male authority, or authority itself; the problem is human sin, which affects the way in which both men and women relate to each other. In Christ, we can be set free once again to live out God’s design for us according to which he created us male and female from the very beginning. As Spirit-filled followers of Christ, we can partner in mission for God in love and unity, for God’s greater glory and for our own good. (Excerpt from God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey, By Andreas J. Köstenberger, Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger)

Carol Meyers, a professor of religion at Duke University, chronicles how the labeling of the Old Testament teaching on gender roles in ancient Israel as “patriarchy” has fallen on hard times in various fields of scholarship. Thus, Meyers states a critical mass of leading evangelical and non-evangelical scholarship concurs that patriarchy in the modern sense of the term does not adequately reflect the role of the father in ancient times. How and why not? The bottom line is that even feminists are starting to realize that characterizing the Old Testament teaching on gender roles in terms of patriarchy is misleading and inaccurate. Using the notion of patriarchy as a foil for a feminist critique of the biblical teaching ultimately fails because of its underlying false definition of patriarchy. Rather than engaging this strawman argument where Old Testament “patriarchy” is used as a red herring, we should be more precise in our description and definitions of terms related to the Old Testament teaching on gender roles.

(Excerpt from “Does the Bible Reflect a Patriarchal Bias?” By Andreas J. Köstenberger, Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger) If not patriarchal, what would you call it? I think it was patriarchal but not in a negative way.

Historically the label adds to the Bible something that is not consistent. Whether you are a man or a woman you are created by God. He has a plan and a future for you and values you greatly. Your significance is known by God and if you choose to know this you will seek God. As you do, He will show you the skills He has placed in you uniquely.  He will present opportunities to use these skills and when you do, you will honor God. We all have choices… Believe the world and think of ourselves as victims apart from God which is a conscious choice.  Or we can be conquerors and put God on the throne. When we do, we choose to see things as God sees them. 

In my opinion, what we believe about ourselves as men or women determines the actions and attitudes we have in life. If we allow feminist doctrine which focuses on anti-patriarchy to turn us against men in general, then our actions will follow our thoughts. If we are around women who have had bad experiences with a few men and think all men are bad, they will influence us. Some hurting women I know who follow the feminist movement had absent fathers or men who betrayed them. As a result, they have difficulty seeing God as a kind, loving father. 

They prefer to take control and worship the movement instead of God. It is sad because God loves them and wants the best for them. However, due to evil, irresponsible men have clouded their thinking and Satan has used these thoughts to turn them away from God. Deception is a dangerous weapon of Satan. Many do not see it in the beginning until they are fully manipulated in their minds. By this time Satan has turned them from God by tempting them and creating doubt in their minds.  If you allow the negative perspective of feminist anti-patriarchy, it may impact your own ability to have a positive relationship with a man according to God’s design.

God wants the best for us all, but He does give us choices. We can be influenced for good or evil. The choice of who we believe is on the throne of our lives makes a huge difference on our long-time joy in life. We can choose God, the world or self to be our guiding force. What will you choose?

Margaret Noblin, The Rock Outreach-US 501c3/The Rock kingdom LTD-Uganda NGO. Email me at writertex@gmail.com

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