If You Are Not Following Paul, Then You Are Not Following Jesus

Whose words have more weight? The words of Jesus Christ or the words of the Apostle Paul? This is the question that many Christian feminists pose to us as Bible believing Christians.  Yesterday Lori Alexander published an interesting article on her Transformed Wife blog entitled “Do Not Be a Red Letter Christian” were she addressed a statement by the Christian feminist Beth Moore which goes as follows:

“No, I was not subtweeting the apostle but I would like to say something here. I believe wholeheartedly that ALL Scripture is inspired by God. Authoritative. Truth. But the persons themselves – Paul and Jesus – are not equals. I know this is hard for some to swallow, but Paul is not our Savior. Paul would be horrified, I believe, by the way he has been deified.”

Lori then pointed out the problem with Beth’s statement:

“This is a very slippery slope, dear women. I know too many people who have begun elevating the words of Jesus in the Bible over Paul’s words and end up walking away from the faith altogether. I know no one who has deified the apostle Paul, do you? I do know that his words are as valuable as Jesus’ words since the Holy Spirit used Paul to write what he wrote (2 Timothy 3:16).”

Lori also pointed out some responses by some Christian teachers to Beth Moore’s statement:

“James White wrote this about Beth’s tweet, “All egalitarians end up diminishing Paul’s authority. It is a necessary step, even if taken in slow, little movements.”
Another man wrote, “Being a ‘red-lettered’ Christian is dangerous. You’re on a path towards liberalism, if you’re not already there yet.”

The last statement is where Lori got her title “Do Not Be a Red Letter Christian”.

The Gospel is the Most Important Doctrine in All the Bible

I have said it many times on this blog.  Believing in and practicing the doctrines of Biblical gender roles will not save you.  This is why on the main menu for this blog right at the top I have a link to my article entitled “What is the Gospel?” and in that article I give the Gospel as follows.

The word “gospel” literally means “good news”.  The Apostle Paul tells us in his epistle to the Roman Christians what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)”

And then I give what we must do to be saved according to the Scriptures:

  1. We must confess that we have sinned against God. (I John 1:9)
  2. We must believe that Christ died and rose again to pay the penalty for our sins. (Romans 10:9 -10)
  3. We must believe that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, the sinless and spotless Son of God. (Philippians 2:5-8)

The Gospel truly is the most important doctrine in the Bible for two reasons.  The first is that it is the only doctrine we must fully understand and fully believe to inherit eternal life.  If we disbelieve any part of the Gospel, we will one day find ourselves in a place called hell.  The second reason that the Gospel is the most important doctrine in the Bible is because only when we have believed and been indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God can we live the life God has called us to live through his power.  We cannot transform ourselves and we cannot live the life he has called us to live in our power – we need him each and ever day of our lives.

However, just because the Gospel is the MOST important doctrine in the Bible does not mean it is the ONLY important doctrine in the Bible.  The Scriptures tell us in 2 Corinthians 5:15 “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”.  We were not saved to live for ourselves and do whatever makes us happy, we were saved to live for Christ!  This then leads us to our next question.

How Do We Live for Christ?

In the Gospel of Luke Christ tells us how we are to live him:

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4 (KJV)

Living for Christ is living by “every word of God”.

This leads us to our next question.

What is the Word of God?

Jesus made the following statement about the Word of God:

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

In the passage above Jesus alludes to the moral law of God found throughout the Old Testament.  Those who think they can throw out the Old Testament will be called least in the kingdom of God, that is what Christ said.

Jesus gave authority and supernatural power to his Apostles to speak and write the very Word of God.

“18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”

Matthew 28:18-19 (KJV)

And he gave the following warning for those who would not hear the words of his Apostles:

“14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

Matthew 10:14-15 (KJV)

The Words of the Prophets, Christ and His Apostles Are All Equal in Authority

In Hebrews 3:3 the Scriptures tell us concerning Christ that “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house” .   And Apostle Paul speaking of Christ in Philippians 2:9 wrote “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name”.

Believing that the words of the Prophet Moses and the Apostle Paul are equal in authority to Jesus’s words is not “deifying” Moses or Paul or placing them above Christ.  It is simply a recognition of the truth that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

To all the Beth Moore Christian feminists out there, while it is true that “Paul and Jesus – are not equals” it is true that the words of Christ and the words of Paul ARE equal.  Why? Because Jesus stated of himself “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) meaning he was God in the flesh.

The Word of God, all of it from Genesis to Revelation is Christ’s Words.  That means Moses’s Words as recorded in the Scriptures are Christ’s Words.  That means the Apostle Paul’s Words as recorded in the Scriptures are Christ’s Words.   So, it is for this reason that every letter in the Bible should be considered a “red letter”.

Babes in Christ Who Don’t Know Paul’s Words

The Bible encourage us to grow in our faith and go further than our just understanding the Gospel and repentance:

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”

1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

Hebrews 6:1-2 (KJV)

We are called to “go unto perfection” which means “completeness”.  In other words, we need to have a complete understanding of God’s will and plan for our lives and then by his power live out that plan.

Some people don’t reject the doctrines of gender roles.  They simply don’t know them because our churches have failed in their duty to teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

And this is the reason God burden me to start this ministry more than five years ago to stand in this gap that most churches have left and he has truly blessed this ministry.  If you would have told me when I started this blog 5 years ago that this blog would reach more than 8 million views, I would not have believed you.

It is so encouraging for me to hear from young Christians for whom God has used this ministry to literally change the course of their lives.  Over the 5 years I have had this ministry, I have seen numerous young women quit college to become home makers as God has intended them to do.  Just last week I had a young woman write me telling me that she had dropped out of college where she had just begun pursuing a degree in law to pursue being a wife and homemaker.  And just in the last week I was so encouraged to hear from a young 17-year-old man who was standing for Biblical gender roles in his church youth group taking other teens through the doctrines of Biblical gender roles as shown in the Bible.

And this is why it is so important that we as Christians disciple and teach other believers in these important doctrines.  Yes, you can be saved without knowing or believing in the doctrine of Biblical gender roles, but you cannot live a holy life or the life God has called you to live without knowing and incorporating these doctrines into your life decisions.

Blasphemers Who Know What God Spoke Through the Apostle Paul

But some people are not babes in Christ who simply don’t know about the doctrine of Biblical gender roles that was given by the inspiration of God through Paul.  Some are ignorant regarding the concept of the inerrancy the Scriptures, that all the Bible is the Word of God.  Others blaspheme and distort it because they refuse to live by what it says.

The Apostle Peter warned of such ignorant blasphemers in the following passage:

“15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

2 Peter 3:15-16 (KJV) 

And the Apostle Paul also stated that those who reject God’s role for women are blaspheming the Word of God:

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

So yes, based upon the Word of God we must see Beth Moore as an ignorant blasphemer for falsely pitting the words of Christ while he walked this earth against the words Christ which he gave to the Apostle Paul after he ascended to heaven.

Beth Moore stated that “Paul would be horrified” by Christians ascribing the same value to the Word God gave him as the Word Christ spoke while he walked this earth.  Well we know how Paul would feel about this because he told us so in his first letter to the Thessalonians:

 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

Rather than being horrified, he would be thankful.  But you know what Paul would be horrified by? He tells us that in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul would be horrified and ashamed to see Beth Moore standing in a pulpit preaching to men.  He would be ashamed of her teachings telling women they do not have to be under obedience to men in all areas of their lives especially in the church and in the home.

If You Are Not Following Paul, then You are not Following Jesus

Another ignorant, blaspheming feminist blogger wrote that when Lori Alexander warned against the dangers of elevating “the words of Jesus in the Bible over Paul’s words” instead of treating them equally that she was saying “Don’t Follow Jesus, Just Follow Paul”.

Just listen to her ignorance and blasphemy on full display:

“Let that sink in for a moment. Jesus, the figurehead of everything to do with Christianity, a religious named for him. A man that suggested you should be nice to everyone, and hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen and others society sneered at. God in the flesh according to the Bible, part of the Holy Trinity, yet Lori is telling you to ignore his words and rely on the words of someone who never even met Jesus? That is just wacky!”

Jesus is no more “the figurehead” of Christianity than a husband is “the figurehead” of his wife.  He is “the head of the church” as “the husband is the head of the wife” according to Ephesians 5:23. Lori’s warning against “elevating the words of Jesus in the Bible over Paul’s words” said nothing about ignoring Christ’s Words.  She was saying they should be treated equally. It is this ignorant, blaspheming feminist blogger who ignores even the words of Christ when he told us we must listen to the words of his Apostles.

And this feminist blogger displays her ignorance yet again in saying Paul was “someone who never even met Jesus”. Has she not read Acts 9:1-6? Or she is rejecting Luke’s account as well?

She also makes the false statement that Christ and the Apostle Paul had “radically different takes toward women” in the following statement:

Funny how Paul and Jesus have such radically different takes towards women. Jesus talked to women like they were equals, equally valuable in the eyes of God, not walking, cooking, cleaning uteri.”

Really? Did Christ view women as social equals to men? Do you see any women listed among the twelve apostles in the Scripture passage below?

“1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.”

Matthew 10:1-4 (KJV)

And surely if Christ was such a feminist, he would have chosen a woman to replace Judas but he goes and replaces him with the Apostle Paul, another man.

Some feminists point to the story of Mary and Martha below to falsely saying Christ was a feminist:

“38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42 (KJV)

It is true that Jesus did break many social taboos of the Jews by talking with tax collectors and others of lower social classes.  His encouragement for women to sit and hear his words alongside of men most likely would have broken some taboos of the Jews as well.

But the question is this. Did he do anything that was “radically different” than Paul? Did He teach anything that would contradict what Paul would later write under the inspiration of God? The answer is no.

Did he ask Mary to lead the teaching? No. But rather the Scriptures tell us she simply listened and “heard his word”.

Jesus never encouraged women to teach, but rather it was the Apostle Paul which encouraged women to teach other women:

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

Paul even singled out a woman and her husband who had a church in their home:

“3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”

Romans 16:3-5 (KJV)

Does the Apostle Paul sound like some misogynist hater of women and is his approach to women so “radically different” than Christ’s? The answer based on the Bible is no.

Conclusion

The Apostle Paul wrote almost half of the books of the New Testament with his 14 epistles.  To ignore his teachings as the inspired Word of God equal to what is recorded in the Gospels is to have an incomplete and ignorant view of God.

It is patently absurd to say that if Christ did not speak on a topic, that we can ignore clear teachings on that topic found elsewhere in the Bible.  To do such a thing is to tear down the entire inerrancy of the Scriptures.  It is also an inconsistent position for those who hold it.

You cannot say you live only by the words of Christ during his earthly ministry while ignoring the words of the prophets before him or his Apostles after him. In the Gospels Christ said that you must live by the Word of God given through the prophets and the Word of God given through his Apostles together with his Word which then forms the complete Word of God.

As the Apostle Paul said so let us be.

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJV)

America’s Misapplication of the Golden Rule

Jesus Christ said in Luke 6:31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise”.  This statement is often referred to as the “Golden Rule”.  The most common interpretation of this passage that is taught today is “Treat others as you would want to be treated if you were in their situation”. And that is actually a pretty accurate interpretation of what Christ was saying.

Over two and a half centuries since it’s founding, many Americans have used the “Golden Rule” to push their culture and government for new social acceptances and legal protections regarding marriage, gender roles and sexual behavior in America.  Below is a list of some these major changes.

20 Ways America Has Applied the “Golden Rule” to Gender Roles and Sex Over Two Centuries

  1. As men, we should want women to have the right to own property, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
  2. As men, we should want women to be able to divorce their husbands in the same way and for the same reasons that men divorce their wives because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
  3. As men, we should want women to have the same custody rights to their children in divorce as men do, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
  4. As men, we should want women to have the right to alimony and child support as they divorce their husbands, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
  5. As fathers, we should never try to control or pressure our daughters in regard to their love lives, what men they see or what men they seek to marry because if we were in their shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
  6. As men, we should want women to vote, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
  7. As men, we should not want women excluded from any careers, because if we were in their shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
  8. As Christian men, we should want Christian women to be able to hold any position in the church that a man can hold including that of being a Pastor, because if we were in their shoes this is what we would want.
  9. As men, we should not want women forbidden from having abortions, because if we were in their shoes, we would want the right to have an abortion.
  10. As husbands, we should not try to control our wife’s behavior by telling her whether she can work outside the home or not because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
  11. As husbands, we should not try to control what friends our wife has or talks to because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
  12. As husbands we should not try to control our wife’s behavior by telling her how much money she can spend on various items because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
  13. As husbands, we should not try to control what church our wife attends because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
  14. As husbands, we should not try to pressure our wife in any way to have sex if she is not in the mood or she tells us “no” because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
  15. As men, we should not look at women as objects of potential visual and physical sexual pleasure because if we were women we would not want to be looked at in this way.
  16. As men, we should not seek out women as wives so we can take sexual pleasure in their bodies, so they can bear our children, care for our children and keep our homes while we go and make our mark on the world in our careers. Because after all, if we were women we would not want to be pursued by men for these reasons. But rather as men, we should want women to have the same career opportunities we do and we should want wives strictly for human companionship and as equal partners that we can share our lives with and not as “sex objects”, “breeding machines”, “nannies”, “cooks” and “maids”.
  17. As husbands, we should not enjoy the sight of or think of any other woman other than our wives in a sexual manner because if we were women, we would not want our husbands enjoying the sight or thought of any other woman but us.
  18. As heterosexual people, we should want homosexual people to be made to feel comfortable actively their lives as homosexuals and we should want them to have the right to marry just as we heterosexuals do. Because after all, if we were homosexuals that is how we would want to be treated.
  19. As cisgender people, we should want transgender people to be made to feel comfortable being transgender and not as if they have a mental disorder. Because after all, if we were transgender, that is how we would want to be treated.
  20. As cisgender heterosexual Christians, we would should want homosexual and transgender persons to be able to join our churches as members and even lead our congregations as clergy.

 

I have made an effort in the list above to try and put the changes in chronological order.  In the beginning of the list you will note women’s rights changes in regard to property and divorce rights which occurred from the mid-19th century up to the beginning of the 20th century. These rights were fought for by women and granted to them before their crowning achievement of Woman’s Suffrage in 1920.  Also note that just before talking about women voting I talk about women not wanting to be under their father’s authority for marriage.  This started in the late 19th century with the advent of the new practice of “dating” which encouraged women to reject their father’s authority over them in seeking a husband.

Then of course as the list progresses, we see the new changes that Second Wave Feminism brought us in regard to telling men what they should want women and marriage for. And finally, we see the changes that have occurred over the last decade regarding the treatment of LGBTQ persons.

As we look at the list above there is a key word, we must take notice of.  And that key word is “want”.

Anyone seeking to apply Christ’s statement in Luke 6:31, otherwise known as the “Golden Rule”, must take into account what God says we should want.  Failure to do this will cause the gross misapplication we have seen of the “Golden Rule” in America over the past two centuries.

In the Gospel of Matthew we read an extended version of the “Golden Rule”:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:12 (KJV)

What was Christ saying here? He was saying that the entire foundation of the “Golden Rule” is the Word of God, the Bible.  And what is the foundation of all moral truth in the Bible?  The answer is given to us by Christ later in the Gospel of Matthew:

“36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.  39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 22:36-40 (KJV)

So, the greatest command is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, our soul and our mind.  And the second one, to love our neighbor as our self, is built upon the first.  Christ was quoting two commands from the Law of Moses.

The first is found in the book of Deuteronomy:

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Deuteronomy 6:5 (KJV)

The second is found in the book of Leviticus:

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 19:18 (KJV)

Now here comes the million-dollar question. How do we as Bible believing Christians know if we are loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves by God’s definition?  The answer is given to us near the end of the New Testament in the following Scripture passage:

“2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1 John 5:2 (KJV)

The definition of loving God, loving our neighbors and following Christ’s “Golden Rule” is all premised upon one simple truth.

That we are keeping God’s commands in all we do.  That we love what he loves.  That we hate what he hates.  That we want for ourselves what he wants for us.

This Scriptural truth I have just mentioned runs directly contrary to the vast majority of American teaching both outside and sadly even inside most Christian churches today.  We no longer want to adjust our wants and desires to what God wants us to want.  But instead we are trying to transpose on to God our wants and desires.  Today we actually have churches teaching that God is a feminist and that he is pro-LGBTQ.

The Scriptures actually warn of this time coming and at the same time they command for those of us who are faithful to God’s Word to call out this wickedness:

“2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)

We Must Change Our Wants to What God Wants for Us

David wrote by the inspiration of God what should be the desire of every man and woman who seeks to please God with their lives and show their love for him:

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”

Psalm 86:11 (KJV)

“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”

Psalm 119:10 (KJV)

So now we must tackle the question of what God wants for men and women which should determine what men and women want for themselves.

Should Women Want Equal Rights with Men?

While Genesis 9:6 tells us that men and women are both made in the image of God, we find in 1 Corinthians 11:7 that only man “is the image and glory of God:  but the woman is the glory of the man”.  And later in that same passage in I Corinthians 11:9 we read “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he gives us God purpose and design in marriage:

“23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:23-29 (KJV)

In 1 Corinthians 14:35 the Apostle Paul further elaborated on the husband’s duty to be his wife’s spiritual authority and teacher:

“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

1 Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

And the Apostle Peter gave the following exhortation to women:

“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

God created marriage as picture of the relationship between himself and his people.  God is pictured as husband to Israel in the Old Testament and Christ is pictured as a husband to his Church in the New Testament.  Men as husbands picture God in leading, teaching, correcting, rebuking, providing for and protecting their wives as Christ does his church.  Women as wives picture the people of God in their submission to, service to and dependence upon their husbands for their spiritual leading and teaching as well as their physical provision and protection.

Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that women should have no want or desire for equality with men and that they instead should want to be under the authority of men in all areas of their lives whether it is civil government, the church or in their marriage.

Should Daughters Want to Be Free of Their Father’s Authority Before They Are Married?

The Scriptures give us the following commands regarding a father’s authority over his daughter:

“2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.

5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.”

Numbers 30:2-5 (KJV)

“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

There is a reason that we have fathers walk their daughters down the aisle and then we have the traditional statement at weddings “who gives this woman to be wed” and before modern times it was not “her mother and I” but rather it was her father alone saying “I do”.

This tradition is actually firmly rooted in the Word of God as is shown in the passages above.  In God’s design fathers give or refuse their daughters for marriage and men take women in marriage with the permission of the woman’s father.

Now there are of course exceptions to this rule when women are widows like in the story of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 3:8-9).  Also, the Bible makes an exception for this rule of having the father’s permission when men take wives as the spoils of war as seen in Deuteronomy 21:11-14.

Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that a daughter should want to be under her father’s authority before marriage and she should want his direction and blessing for marriage.

Should people want to be LGBTQ or live the LGBTQ lifestyle?

The Scriptures have the following things to say in regard to LGBTQ persons:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

Leviticus 20:13 (KJV)

“26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)

Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that no person should want to be made comfortable being any part of LGBTQ.  But rather such persons should be ashamed of such desires.

Should Men Want Women for Sex, Having Children and Caring for their Homes?

The Scriptures give the following exhortations to young women:

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

And the Scriptures gives the following exhortation to men:

“18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)

Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that men should indeed desire to marry young women for sexual pleasure, for them to bear children and for them to guide and keep their homes.

Conclusion

I have shown here conclusive proof from the Bible that in order to properly apply the “Golden Rule” Christ gave that we must take into account what God wants us to want and what he wants others to want.

For instance, often times as parents we will find that our children do not want to do the things they should want to do.  They should want to do their homework and get good grades.  But sometimes they simply do not want to do their homework.

Now if we were to put ourselves in their shoes at their age, we may have felt the same way.   But does that mean we should let them not do their homework? Of course not.  Their want is WRONG. It is not what God wants them to want.

In the same way men are not breaking Christ’s “Golden Rule” by wanting women as wives for sexual pleasure, for them to bear children and for them to guide and keep their homes.  And men are not wrong for wanting to lead, teach and mold their wives as they see fit according to the Word of God.

A man is no more wrong for wanting to control and guide his wife’s actions than a parent is for wanting to control and guide their child’s actions.

Some may say “but women are not children” and that is a very true and Biblical statement.  But it is equally true and Biblical to state that women are not men either.  In other words, children are not equal with women, but also women are not equal with men.

It is modern society that has invented two new social classes, Adults and Minors.  But God’s design has three social classes, Men, Women and Children.

And finally, on the topic of LGBTQ persons and how the “Golden Rule” applies to them.   Clearly no LGBTQ person should be “proud” of their sinful desires, but rather they should be ashamed of them and seek help to overcome such wicked desires.

Christians are not breaking Christ’s “Golden Rule” in refusing to make LGBTQ persons comfortable in their wicked desires nor in refusing to allow them to become members of or clergy in churches.

Secular Liberals are absolutely right about one thing that many Christians refuse to accept.  There is absolutely an “intersectionality” between women’s rights and LGBTQ  rights.   LGBTQ rights are a direct result of the Women’s Right’s Movements of the mid 19th Century. This is a reality that Bible believing Christians must face and address in their churches.

So what is the “Golden Rule” when understood in the entire context of the Bible?

We should do unto others as God would desire us to want done to ourselves if we were in their position.

Does the Bible Say It is Ok to Murder Women?

“Genesis 9:6 says it is wrong to shed man’s blood because God made man in his image.  But 1 Corinthians 11:7 says only males are the image of God.  Does that mean the Bible is saying it is ok to murder women?”. This was a question I recently received from a reader calling himself Jacob.

Below is Jacobs’s complete email.

“BGR,

I have read what I think are all of your writings on the image of God in man.  I was hoping you could help clarify some things the Bible says about the image of God.

I was always taught growing up in church that Genesis 9:6 teaches us the very foundation for the value of all human life (both men and women) comes from the fact that they are made in the image of God.

Genesis 9:6 says it is wrong to shed man’s blood because God made man in his image.  But 1 Corinthians 11:7 says only males are the image of God.  Does that mean the Bible is saying it is ok to murder women? Please do not misunderstand me.  This is not a trick question.  I do not believe it is ok to kill women but I am very confused by what seems to be a contradiction between Genesis 9:6 and 1 Corinthians 11:7.

James 3:9 has a similar statement to Genesis 9:6 but instead of it talking about murder, it talks about not cursing men because they are made after the “similitude of God”.  So, the same rhetorical question would apply, since only men are made in the image of God is ok to curse women?

What about when it says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 “Christ who is the image of God” and in Hebrews 1:3 that Christ is “the express image of his person”?  What is the difference between Christ being the image of God and the express image of his person and man being the image of God?

Thank you for your time.

Jacob”

I am actually very grateful for Jacob’s email because I have been meaning to write on Genesis 9:6 and how it harmonizes with I Corinthians 11:7 and this pushed me to finally write on this subject.

What is God teaching us in Genesis 9:6?

Genesis 9:6 teaches us that mankind, both male and female, were made in the image of God.  This is where the value of human life begins and why God commanded the death penalty for those who shed man’s blood.

Some of my readers may be confused that I have just stated that men and women were both made in the image of God because I have previously stated in many of my articles that Genesis 1:27 does NOT show that both men and women were made in the image of God.  And I still stand by that interpretation.

“So God created man [Hebrew “adam”] in his own image, in the image of God created he him [Hebrew eth haa-‘adam”]; male and female created he them.”

Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

The Hebrew word “adam” can mean “man”, “mankind”, “men” or it can particularly refer to a certain man and sometimes Adam, the first man.  To understand the correct meaning of adam we must always look to the surrounding context in which it is used.

In the case of Genesis 1:27, when it says “God created adam in his image” this could have meant “mankind” if there were no qualifiers in the verse to indicate otherwise.  But there is a qualifier which is “eth haa-‘adam” which literally means “this same man” and is translated by the KJV as “he him”.  This means God was talking specifically about Adam.

The most literal rendering of Genesis 1:27 is as follows:

“So God created Adam in his own image, in the image of God created he this same man; male and female created he them.”

The phrase that follows “male and female created he them” does not indicate that woman was created in the image of God, it simply states that just as man was created by God, so too woman was created by God.

However, Genesis 9:6 is different than Genesis 1:27.  Genesis 9:6 is speaking of something which applies to all human beings and that subject is murder.  And it uses no qualifiers for handling the murder of women differently than that of men.  So, when Genesis 9:6 tells us the reason murder is wrong is because man was created in the image of God, we can rightly understand that “adam” in the Hebrew in this context is referring to “mankind” which includes both men and women.

And on the subject of killing, Genesis 9:6 is not talking about any killing of man by man, because God actually commands men to kill men at certain times as is seen in this very passage.  It is talking about unjustified killing.

And who determines if the taking of a human being’s life is justified or not? It is God.

The Bible shows us three major categories of justified killing where the person who does the killing is not considered sinning in the sight of God.  Exodus 22:2 shows us the God given right of self-defense.   Psalms 144:1 shows us that God teaches men how to fight and wage war in defense of their nations which is another God given right.  Numbers 35:27 teaches us that those who have the authority to execute the death penalty for various moral crimes God deems worthy of death are not held guilty for the blood they shed.

This is why abortion is considered an unjustified killing from a Biblical perspective but execution of a murderer on death row is considered a justified and righteous act.  The doctor who sheds the blood of the innocent child within the womb is held guilty by God because God does not allow the killing of someone simply because their life presents an inconvenience to their mother. However, the executioner who pulls the switch to kill the murderer is held righteous before God because God ordains this as part of his justice.

Understanding the Image of God in Christ, Man and Woman

Anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time will know that I heavily teach on the forgotten and unpopular Bible doctrine that man was created to be the image bearer of God and woman was not.  But some misunderstand this to mean that I am saying the Bible says women are not human or are less human than men.  And nothing could be further from the truth.  My prayer is that after reading what I show here from the Scriptures that you will understand that the life of a woman has equal value in the sight of God with that of a man.  All human life has equal value to God.

But we must teach another truth at the same.  While all human life, both males and females, has equal value to God this does not mean men and women were made for the same purpose. In this article I will demonstrate that these two truths stand side by side and they do not contradict.

Below is a table which will help to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between what the Bible says about the image of God in Christ, man and woman.

 

Male & Female Human Beings Male Human Beings Christ
Genesis 9:6 (KJV) I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV) Hebrews 1:3 (KJV)
“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: FOR IN THE IMAGE OF GOD MADE HE MAN.” “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD: but the woman is the glory of the man.” “Who being the brightness of his glory, and THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS PERSON, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”

 

As we mentioned previously, Genesis 9:6 shows us that the value of human life begins with the fact that all human beings, both men and women, were made in the image of God.  But then we read in 1 Corinthians 11:7 that the man (literally “the male” in the original Greek) is the image and glory of God but the woman is the glory of the man.  Finally, we read in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus Christ in relation to God is “the express image of his person”.

So how do these three passages in the table above harmonize?  To answer this, I want to show you another illustration below:

In the table above are a list of characteristics.  Some align with God, while others align with man and still others align with women.  There is a highlighted characteristic type that intersects God, man and woman.  These characteristics of self-awareness, speech, creativity, morality and emotions are what separate man and woman from the animals and they reflect God’s image in all of us.  These common characteristics that are common to both God, man and woman are rightly called “Human”.

It is in this way that all human beings are equal in their humanity and all human beings bear the image of God.  It is because of these characteristics of God in all of us that all human life has value and it is why murder is wrong.

There are many Christians who would take offense at the table above and they teach and believe that God’s nature is only seen in the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics. Still others will maintain that some women can be aggressive, competitive and strong while some men can be cooperative and weak.

But this is why I very carefully used the word “characteristic” in the illustration above. The word “characteristic” can be used as both a noun and an adjective.   When used as a noun a “characteristic” describes something that is a distinguishing trait or something that is an integral part of something or someone.  When used as adjective it refers to something that is typical of something or someone.

I am using “characteristic” in both senses of the word in the illustration above.  While there are times that God can act in feminine ways this is not typical or characteristic of God’s behavior.  God’s behavior throughout the Scriptures is more typified by the masculine characteristics shown above and it is why God is always referred to in his person in the masculine sense throughout the Scriptures.

But now let’s go back to another question this raises.  How are man and woman both made in the image of God, yet man is the image bearer of God in a way woman is not?

To answer this question let’s look at Christ.  As we showed in the above table, the Scriptures tell us of Christ regarding his relation to God that he is “the express image of his person”.  And in Colossians 2:9 we read of Christ “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”.  These passages are teaching us that Christ is the image of God in that he has all the characteristics of God because he is God.

Now let’s compare the image of God in Christ to the image of God in man. Does man have the image of God in him to the same degree that Christ does? The answer is no.  Man does not have any of God’s deity characteristics.

And now we can answer the central question of this article.  Does woman have the image of God in her to the same degree that man does? The answer according the Scriptures is no.  And this is why we read in the Scriptures that both men and women are MADE IN the image of God, yet it is only of men and Christ that we read that they are THE image of God.

Why Did God Make Woman Different Than Himself and Man?

As we can see while women share their common human characteristics with both God and men, they also have characteristics that are not typical of God or man.  Why did not God make women with these traits that are uncharacteristic of himself or man?

This all comes down to God’s purpose in creation.  Why did God give us the characteristics of our common humanity? The reason is different for men than for women.  God gave men their human characteristics along with their masculine characteristics for the purpose of imaging God and bringing him glory. God wanted to create a being that would be like him in every way except for his deity characteristics so that he could watch that being demonstrate his characteristics and thereby bring him glory.

But in order for that being, man, to fulfill his created purpose God needed to create another being.  He needed to create a being of a similar nature which could provide companionship.  But this being would also have to be created in a way that they would need the leadership, provision and protection of man.  So, God created woman as “the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7) for man so that he could fulfill his created purpose to image God.

Conclusion

Here is the summary of what the Scriptures teach about the image of God in man and woman and the differences between the two.

While male human beings do not have all the characteristics of God in that they lack God’s deity characteristics there is nothing that is characteristic of male human beings that is not also characteristic of God.  The same cannot be said for female human beings.  There are many traits that are characteristic of female human beings that are not characteristic of God.

And this is why we can rightly say based upon the Scriptures that our value as human beings, both men and woman, comes from the fact that we were both made in the image of God in our shared human characteristics yet men in their masculine characteristics are the image of God in a way that women are not.

Why God’s Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life’s Meaning

Is the only reason God is identified in the Bible by masculine titles such as Father, Husband, Son and King and not also as Mother, Wife, Daughter and Queen because of the “misogynist” and “patriarchal” times the Bible was written in? Many non-Christians and sadly even professing Christians today would have us belief this.

On the other hand, we have Bible believing conservative Christians who tell us that “Everything created in woman that sets her off from man comes from God and reflects something of him… God is not male and God is not female… And yet God’s self-chosen titles matter”. So, these Bible believing Christians are basically saying God is not masculine or feminine and they don’t understand why he chooses masculine titles or even why he established male headship, just that he did and we must accept it. It is a mystery to them as to why God consistently reveals himself in the masculine sense.

What if I were to tell you that God’s Identification as male in the Bible is not because of the “misogynist” and “patriarchal” times the Bible was written in nor is it a mystery we must just accept. What if I were to tell you that understanding why God identifies as male can actually answer the greatest question any man or woman could ask and that is “Why am I here?

Recently I received an email from one of my readers asking me to tackle this issue. She told me she had people throwing verses at her that seemed to present God in a feminine sense. The people who gave her these verses claimed these passages proved God was both male and female – or that God split the attributes of his nature into male and female human beings so only together do man and woman represent the nature of God.

While writing a response to her concerns I decided to look into a few other conservative Christian sites to see their response to this issue in comparison to my own. I found an article written by Tony Reinke on DesiringGod.org called “Our Mother Who Art In Heaven?”. In this article he was reviewing “The Shack” movie which came out in 2017.

I decided that I would answer this reader’s question by reviewing this “review”. The reason is that while Reinke was right in some of his condemnation of the gender fluid portrayal of God the father in “The Shack” the problem is he really did not go far enough in his explanation of why it was wrong. In fact he and John Piper are both wrong in their position on the nature of God as it relates to gender.

So, I think this will more than answer this reader’s questions and show that even in conservative Bible believing circles there is unfortunately a great degree of ignorance regarding the nature of God.

Reinke starts out his review with the following synopsis of “The Shack”:

“With the recent launch of The Shack movie, we are reminded of a whole mix of theological questions raised by the novel, and the problems of projecting the divine onto a screen. One of the lead characters in the book, for example, is a woman named Papa, who plays the role of God the Father, and her character reignites questions over divine identity and gender language.

I am neither male nor female,” Papa self-discloses in the novel, “even though both genders are derived from my nature. If I choose to appear to you as a man or woman, it’s because I love you. For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”

So now let’s look at Reinke’s response to the issue of God’s nature in relation to gender. He starts off quoting the Words of Christ and then John Piper:

“It’s worth saying from the outset, in the words of Jesus, “God is spirit” (John 4:24). God is not a sexual being, nor is he a biological male. He is spirit. “From eternity,” says John Piper, “God has not had a physical body and, therefore, he doesn’t have male features: facial hair, musculature, male genitals, no Y chromosome, no male hormones. Male is a biological word, and God is not a biological being” (Ask Pastor John, episode 294).”

And here is the first mistake in theology which comes from John Piper and then is repeated by Tony Reinke. Male is not just a “biological word”. Male, in the sense of male human beings, describes a set of both physical and psychological characteristics that are common to men. Here is a list of psychological differences between the typical man and the typical woman:

  1. Men are systemizers and women are empathizers.
  2. Men are logical and duty driven and women are emotional and feelings driven.
  3. Men are physical and women are relational.
  4. Men are competitive and women are cooperative.
  5. Men are aggressive and women are gentle.

I could go on with many more comparisons, but the fact is there is more to male and female than just genitalia and chromosomes. And before the transgender and gender fluid folks say “ya that right!” let me help you here. In Genesis 1:27, the Scriptures tell us “male and female created he them” and God makes the following declaration in the book of Deuteronomy:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

What that means practically speaking is if you are born in a male “vessel” as the Bible refers to our bodies, then you are required by God to dress and act like a male. If you are born in a female vessel then are you are required by God to dress and act like a female.

In other words, being cisgender is not just “a privilege” as some call it today, but is in fact the command of God.

So, in this case, both sides are wrong. I know for sure that Reinke and Piper both oppose transgenderism but they are wrong in limiting male to simply a biological term. Male describes both biology and nature.

Reinke then goes on to list 26 passages where he says “God’s character and actions are revealed by feminine imagery”.

Let’s take a look at a few of these passages that he mentions:
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Isaiah. 66:13 (KJV)
“I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.”
Isaiah 42:14 (KJV)
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”
Isaiah 49:15

What do all these passages have in common? They are metaphors for behavior, not titles for God. And Reinke acknowledges this when he states “But even taken together, the evidence does not warrant us praying to “our Mother who art in heaven” and then he gives his “three compelling reasons” why.

In his first point Reinke states:

“in Scripture we find many masculine titles for God: Lord, Father, King, Judge, Savior, Ruler, Warrior, Shepherd, Husband, and even a handful of metaphorical masculine titles like Rock, Fortress, and Shield. While feminine titles for God — Queen, Lady, Mother, and Daughter — are never used.”

And this is a point I have made several times on this blog. Every title for God in the Bible is a masculine title and never ever feminine title.

His second point is in my opinion is quite silly. He tries to show that with the incarnation of Christ in “biological maleness” that there is a “sharp drop-off with the feminine metaphors for God”. He seems to be saying God became more male after Christ took on a male biological form.

I mean no disrespect to Reinke but this argument really is foolishness. The Trinity did not become more masculine because Christ took on a biological form, but rather Christ took on the form of a man because God ALWAYS had a masculine nature as we will show here in this article.

Now that I have been so hard on Reinke for his second point, I will give him some credit on his third point. For his third point as to why we should not refer to God as “Our Mother in Heaven” he states:

“Third, as theologian John Frame points out, it is not uncommon to see in Scripture feminine imagery intentionally applied to men (as in 2 Samuel 17:8). This makes sense to us, as we often speak of the feminine side of men today, meaning that men can (and should) display qualities often associated with women, like gentleness.

The apostle Paul’s anguish over the growth of his churches was for him like the pain of birthing a child (Galatians 4:19). And Paul’s apostolic gentleness was something like the kindness and patience of a nursing mother (1 Thessalonians 2:7). Obviously, Paul’s maleness is never brought into question by these female metaphors.”

That is a fantastic point about the Apostle Paul comparing himself to a mother in his behavior several times.

The point here is that just because I, the Apostle Paul or God himself uses a metaphor invoking the behavior of a woman does not mean we are saying we are both male and female. It has nothing to do with our identity as men.

But even on his third point Reinke makes this statement that needs correction – “we often speak of the feminine side of men today, meaning that men can (and should) display qualities often associated with women, like gentleness”. While I am not against men being gentle when a situation warrants it – one of the worst parts of our modern society is the teaching that men should be more like women. And sadly, this is even taught in many of our churches today.

Reinke concludes his review with the following statement from John Piper on this subject:

““Everything created in woman that sets her off from man comes from God and reflects something of him,” stresses Piper. “Woman was not modeled after some other god. There is no other god. She was modeled after God. When the Bible says she and he were created in the image of God, it means she is also made after the model of her Creator. So, it is important to say that in his essential divine being, not referring to his incarnate union with humanity, but in his essential, divine essence, God is not male and God is not female. Maleness and femaleness are God’s creation, as biological bearers of masculinity and femininity, both of which are rooted in God” (Ask Pastor John, episode 294).”

There are many false statements made here by Piper and repeated by Reinke. But before I show why they are false I need to show you a passage of Scripture that is not mentioned in this review:
“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

The word “man” in I Corinthians 11:7 is a translation of the Greek word “Aner” which literally means “male human being” while woman is a translation of the word “gune” which literally means “female human being”. Throughout the New Testament aner is translated as “man, men or husband” depending on the context it is used in and gune is translated as “woman, women or wife” depending on the context it is used in.

What this passage is saying is that the male human being is the image and glory of God, but the female human being is the glory of the man. It is a clear comparison and contrasting statement.

In fact, the passage above gives the very reason for which God created man and woman. He created man to image him and thereby bring him glory and he created woman to be the glory of man. The Old Testament tells us that God created the woman for the man as a helper (Genesis 2:18) and it also tells us that a woman is to be her husband’s “crown” or glory (Proverbs 12:4). The New Testament goes further into man’s imaging duties telling us that “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). All of these Scriptures passages and many more confirm for us why God refers to himself in the masculine sense in the Scriptures. It is because the masculine human being is the one who is his image bearer.

John Piper even blatantly denies what I Corinthians 11:7 so clearly states for us in another article he wrote specifically on I Corinthians 11 entitled “Creation, Culture, and Corinthian Prophetesses”.

In that article Piper states:

“Verse 7 tells why a man should not have a sign of authority on his head: “He is the image and glory of God’ but woman is the glory of man.” This is parallel to verse 3 (NAS): “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman.”
These verses do not necessarily imply that Christ is not woman’s head nor that she is not the image and glory of God. Paul’s point is that man was created by God through Christ and woman was created by God through Christ through man. The point is not to lessen the intimacy of her relation to Christ (she is receiving prophetic revelation!), but to clarify and establish her relation to man.

Man is God’s glory in that he came from God through Christ without coming through woman, and so is to reflect Christ’s true nature as his divine head. Woman is man’s glory in that she came from God through Christ through man, and so is to reflect man’s true nature as her human head.”

Is there anything in this passage that states “Man is God’s glory in that he came from God through Christ without coming through woman”? Absolutely not. These verses do not just “imply” that “she is not the image and glory of God”, they EXPLICILTY state it!

This is why I always chuckle when people act like John Piper is this big traditional gender roles guy. He is NOT. Yes, he teaches male headship, but like most complementarians today he does not teach the REASON for male headship.

God did not just flip a coin and put men in charge of women. He put men in charge of women because the male human being “is the image and glory of God”. And because Piper and most Christian teachers refuse to acknowledge this truth that is staring them in the face – they cannot fully understand the purpose in why God placed men over women.

Now let’s return to the final statement by Piper that Reinke uses in his conclusion. I will take several key statements comparing them with the Scriptures:

Piper states:

“Everything created in woman that sets her off from man comes from God and reflects something of him”

This is FALSE. There is not one Scripture passage that says everything that sets a woman apart from man reflects something of God’s nature. In fact, in I Corinthians 11:9 we are told this truth:
“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

That means that everything that “sets her off from man” was created in her FOR MAN, not to further reveal the nature of God.

Piper states:

“Woman was not modeled after some other god. There is no other god. She was modeled after God.”

This is what is called a strawman argument. Who said woman was modeled after some other god? The false argument Piper is pushing is woman must be modeled after a god, and therefore since we know there is only one God then woman must be equally modeled after God in the same way man is.
The fact is that woman is NOT modeled after God or man while she does share common attributes with man whom she was taken from and therefore God as well because man was made in the image of God.

I used to say in error “Man is the image of God, and woman is the image of man” but I realized that statement is also theologically incorrect. The Bible never states that woman is the image of God nor does it state she is the image of man. She shares a common human nature with man but she is not his image as her nature is still very different.

Woman was given her core human traits like self-awareness, creativity, the ability to feel emotions, the ability to appreciate beauty and the ability to learn to make her a “help meet” (Genesis 2:18) for man. Man was given these same core human traits and then addition traits of increased strength, competitiveness, aggressiveness and many other traits we understand as masculine for a different purpose.

Man was given his masculine human nature to image God and thereby bring him glory. Woman was given her feminine nature not to be God’s image bearer, but instead to be a HELP to his image bearer. This is the truth of the Word of God.

Piper states:

“When the Bible says she and he were created in the image of God, it means she is also made after the model of her Creator.”

This is FALSE. No passage of the Bible says “she and he were created in the image of God”. Piper like many Christian teachers attempts to build this false argument on the following verse from Genesis:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

Does that passage say God created “she and he” or “male and female” in his image? It does not. It states two different things. First, it states that God created “him”, not “them” in his image. Secondly it states that he made “them” – male and female. Nothing here states that the female was made in his image as well. Many of tried to argue that the Hebrew word for man here “adam” means “mankind” and sometimes it does. But not when it is used with speech about a particular man. The Hebrew translated as “he him” literally means “this same man” and it is speaking of particularly of Adam the man.

We then learn from the Apostle Paul giving us divine commentary that it is all male human beings “aner” that are “the image and glory of God”. Mr. Reinke and Mr. Piper need only to accept the clear and explicit teaching of I Corinthians 11:7.

Piper states:

“So, it is important to say that in his essential divine being, not referring to his incarnate union with humanity, but in his essential, divine essence, God is not male and God is not female.”

Again, the statement that “God is not male and God is not female” directly contradicts the reading of I Corinthians 11:7 which Piper chooses to explain away and ignore:
“For a MAN (“aner” – the male human being”) indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he IS the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”
I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

If the male human being is “the image and glory of God” then we can we rightly say God IS male in the sense that the Trinity is imaged in the masculine human nature. Now does that mean God is biologically male? Yes and No. Christ is the God man, but God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are spirit as the Bible tells us:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24 (KJV)

Conclusion

God using feminine metaphors to picture his behavior or feelings no more makes him female in his nature than the Apostle Paul using female metaphors for his behavior made him female in his.

There is no conflict in saying that God is spirit and yet God has always possessed a masculine nature even before the incarnation of Christ. God did not become more masculine after Christ took on the form of a man, but rather Christ took on the form of a man because God was always masculine.

To women reading this. The truth that you were made for man and not to image God does not mean God loves you any less than man. The lie you are taught in America and Western civilization is that equality equals humanity.

We are told that if we embrace the truth of God’s Word that woman was not made in God’s image then we are saying women are less human than men, and less valuable to God. This is false. God loves men and women equally and men and women are equally saved by Christ and can both become part of the body of Christ as the Scriptures tell us:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

The male and female, like marriage itself, is for this world and this time as the Scriptures tell us:
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
Matthew 22:30 (KJV)

But in this world and in this life, God has made “male and female”. If we are born in a male vessel than our life’s mission is to be the image bearer of God. We are to display his masculine attributes throughout our life. If we are born in a woman’s vessel, then we are called to find and dedicate our life to serving a person in a male vessel in marriage. This service of the female vessel to the male vessel was designed by God to picture the relationship between himself and his people.

And what I have just described answers the most important question that we as human beings can ever ask and that is “Why I am here?“. If we not only accept that God identifies as male, but accept why he identifies as male then we as men and woman, can know the meaning of life. But if we do as so much of the world today does and reject the fact that God identifies as male and why he identifies as male then we reject our very purpose for being here.

Shellfish, Mixed Fabrics And Slavery – Oh My!

This is the second part of my YouTube series entitled “A Defense of Living Biblically”.  In this next part I take on an statement by Rachel Oates that is a very common attack by atheists and sadly even some Christians asserting that we cannot really follow the Bible.  These attacks have even been used in some television shows over the years including the new television series “Living Biblically”.  This video is also available as an mp3 audio download in my audio section here.

After watching this video I suggest reading these articles that I have previously written on methods for properly interpreting the Bible:

How to Correctly Interpret the Bible

What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?

Also on the controversial topic of slavery that I covered in this video please see the article below that I previously wrote on that subject:

Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Ashamed Of Slavery In The Bible 

Do Christians cherry pick the Bible?

If I had a dime for every person who writes me accusing me of “cherry picking” what verses I like from the Bible while leaving those out that I don’t like I would be a wealthy man. The attacks are usually more centered on the use of the Old Testament than on the New Testament.

I hear attacks like this all the time:

“You Christians say the Bible says adult women have to obey to their fathers and husbands but your Bible says you have to stone your children for disobeying and stone women for adultery too.  Do you do all those things as well?”

“You Christians say the Bible says the care of the home and the children falls on the woman but it also says you can’t eat shell fish too.  You just cherry pick what you want and leave what you don’t want to follow!”

I could go on but you get the point.

I believe in taking a very systematic approach to the Scriptures. If we do anything less than we could make the Bible say just about anything we wanted it to say.  So I have spent several weeks writing a three part series on how I approach the Scriptures to help my readers understand my philosophy and methods of interpreting the Scriptures.

With that said you please read these three posts in the order they are listed.  I hope this will help my readers better understand the Word of God.

Part 1 – How to correctly interpret the Bible

Part 2 – What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

Part 3- What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?