"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A 10 Fold Challenge to Prove Female Subordination

In 2007 I warned the Southern Baptist Convention that we were in the midst of a sexual abuse crisis that needed addressing and correcting. 


Now we are in another crisis. 

Certain Southern Baptists leaders have a deficient, unbiblical view of women. In short, some SBC men believe SBC women should keep silent and submit to male leadership. 

In 2030, this crisis will be over as well. 

It just takes the SBC a little while to correctly interpret the sacred and inerrant text. 

Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian is a biblical scholar who understands what the sacred text teaches about men and women. 

With a hat-tip to my father, Paul Burleson, I present to you Dr. Bilezikian's challenge to prove female subordination to men from the Bible. 
______________________

Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful Key
That shall unclasp and set me free
Clara H. Scott, Hymn

The purpose of this challenge is to prompt Christians to grapple with biblical facts rather than to accept traditional assumptions about female roles. What is at stake is not the role of women as much as the definition of the church as authentic biblical community. Is it possible for a local church to aspire to define itself as biblical community when more than half its constituency is excluded from participating in the most significant aspects of its life?

In the course of history, the church has often lost its way. For instance, during a thousand years, the church forgot something as crucial as the way of salvation and replaced it with methods of salvation by works that never worked. The biblical teaching was finally recovered by the Reformers just a few centuries ago.

Likewise, many present-day Christians believe that, along the way, the church has lost its own definition as community and replaced it with false definitions that reduce it to the status of institution, establishment, hierarchy, corporation and programs. This challenge provides an incentive to help Christians rediscover for themselves the biblical definition of the church as God's community of oneness.

To anyone who might be tempted to think that this challenge is a feminist plot to subvert the traditional church, it should be pointed out that feminism is a quest for equal rights and equal power. A basic premise of this presentation is the exact opposite, the belief that the Bible requires all Christians to pursue relationships of mutual submission and of reciprocal servanthood.

An effective approach to tackle this challenge would be to go through this document one page at a time, to check the references with an open Bible at hand, and to search the Scriptures in order to supply the requested references. The challenge is to let the scriptures speak for themselves and to come away with how you see one of the great needs of the modern church.

1. The Challenge


Cite a text from the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 that enjoins or entitles men to exercise authority or leadership over women, or that designates men as "head" or "spiritual head" over women.

The Facts

There is not a hint, not even a whisper about anything like a hierarchical order existing between man and woman in the creation account of Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. In fact, the exact opposite is clearly taught in these two chapters. Both man and woman were made in God's image (1:26-27) and they both participated in God-assigned ministries without any role distinctions (1:28).

The creation order established oneness, not hierarchy (2:24). The first indication of a hierarchical order between man and woman resulted from the entrance of sin into the world (3:16). The subordination of women to men was not part of God's original design. It resulted from the violation of God's creation order.
The use of the word "helper" for the woman reinforces the relation of non-hierarchical complementarity that existed between the man and the woman prior to the fall (2:18). In the language of the Old Testament, a "helper" is one who rescues others in situations of need. This designation is often attributed to God as our rescuer. The word denotes not domesticity or subordination but competency and superior strength (Ex. 18:4; Deut. 33:26, 29; Psalm 33:20, 70:5, etc.).

According to the text, the woman was instrumental in rescuing the man from being alone and, therefore, from not being yet the community of oneness that God had intended to create with both of them (Gen. 1:27.) As "helper," she pointedly enabled him to become with her the community that God had intended to establish through their union.

The word "helper" is used specifically in this context of God's deliberation to create community (2:18). The biblical text becomes violated when the word "helper" is wrenched away and lifted out of this specific context to be given other meanings that demean women by reducing them to the level of "complements" or docile conveniences created to improve the quality of male life.

In the account of the created order within which every relation of authority is carefully spelled out (1:26, 28; 2:17), there is not the slightest suggestion of a structure of authority existing between the man and the woman. Instead, the explicit evidence provided in those texts describes both as participating cooperatively in reflecting the image, and both fulfilling jointly the tasks of rulership and dominion without the necessity of a structure of hierarchy between them.

2. The Challenge


Cite a text from the Bible that assigns women subordinate status in relation to men because Adam was created before Eve.

The Facts

In the first chapter of Genesis, the sequence of creation moves, in increasing levels of sophistication, from material things to plants, to animals and, finally, to humans. According to chapter two, the process culminates with the creation of the woman. Obviously, chronological primacy was not intended to denote superior rank. No such lesson is drawn within those two chapters from the fact that the man was created before the woman.

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 11, an argument is presented for women to wear a head covering during worship. It is based on the differences in status between men and women that derive from the fact that man was created first (v. 7-10).

But, according to the same text, all those considerations have been decisively swept aside "in the Lord," that is, in the Christian community (v. 11). In the new covenant, both men and women are in a relation of originative interdependence since men must recognize that they owe their existence to women just as the woman was made from man. Only the primacy of God as creator of all has significance since all things come from him, including both men and women (v. 11-12). As a result of this leveling of the ground "in the Lord", a covering is not even required of women since their hair is their covering (v. 15).

The ministry restrictions exceptionally placed on women in 1Timothy, chapter 2 are not based on the creation order. They are drawn from the temptation account. No conclusion is made in the text from the fact that Adam was formed first except for the one lesson that Adam was not deceived but Eve was and she became the first transgressor (v. 13-14).

Adam had been instructed about the prohibition relative to the tree directly from God while Eve was not yet in existence. For this reason, of the two, she was the one less prepared to face the tempter. He was present during the temptation episode but he remained silent (Gen. 3:6). Despite this disadvantage, she boldly engaged the tempter and she became deceived. This illustration from the Genesis temptation story has nothing to do with assigning all women of all times a subordinate status in church life. It was cited in this epistle to make the point that untaught and unqualified individuals should not aspire to teaching functions or to positions of leadership. They should first become quiet learners (1 Tim. 2: 11-12).

3. The Challenge


Cite a text from the Bible that defines the headship of Christ to the church as a relation of authority or of leadership.

The Facts

The New Testament defines the headship ministry of Christ to the church as a servant relation designed to provide the church with life and growth. This headship is never presented as an authority or lordship position.

Eph. 1:22-23. Christ is supremely and universally sovereign, but as head for the church, it is not said that he rules over it. Instead, he provides his body with the fullness of him who fills all in all. He causes the church to grow and flourish.
Eph. 4:15-16. Christ as head provides the body with oneness, cohesion and growth. This is a servant-provider role, not one of rulership.
Eph. 5:23. Christ is head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. His headship to the church is defined as saviorhood which is biblically defined as a servant, self-sacrificing function, not a lordship role.
Col. 1:18. Christ is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead. As its head, Christ is the source of the church's life.
Col. 2:19. Christ is the head from whom the whole body grows because it is nourished by him. He is servant-provider of life and growth to the church.

Obviously, Christ is Lord of all and therefore Lord of the church. But never does the New Testament define Christ's relation to the church as its head in terms of lordship, authority or rulership. As head to the church, Christ is always the servant who gives the church all she needs to become his radiant Bride. So is the husband to his wife (Eph. 5:25-30), within a relationship of mutual submission (v. 21).

The word "head" used figuratively in the English language refers to boss, person in authority, leader. It never has that meaning in New Testament Greek. There are hundreds of references in the New Testament to religious, governmental, civic, familial and military authority figures. Not one of them is ever designated as "head."

Even Christ, as "head" of all rule and authority, remains their original giver of life and fullness (Col. 2:10; 1:16). Similarly, Christ was never called "head" of the church until after his crucifixion, the supreme expression of his servant ministry as the giver of new life.
Whenever Christ is described as "head" to the church, his ministry is that of servant-provider. Similarly, as head to his wife, a husband is a servant-provider of life, of fullness and growth, not one who exercises authority over her.

4. The Challenge


Cite a text from the Bible that makes men head over women, or a husband head over his wife.

The Facts

There is no such statement in the Bible. The text in 1 Corinthians 11:3 is often cited as establishing a top-down hierarchy:

God over Christ--- Christ over man--- man over woman.

However, this biblical text must be radically dismembered and its components reshuffled in order to produce such results. The untouched biblical sequence is totally different and it does not present a hierarchical structure:
Christ, head of man--- man, head of woman--- God, head of Christ.
The teaching in this text concerns the concept of "head" as giver of life. In creation, Christ (as the Word, John 1:3) gave life to man; man to woman (as she was taken from him, Gen. 2:21-23); and in the incarnation, God gave life to Christ (Luke 1:35). This understanding of "head" as "provider of life" is consistent with the immediate context which deals with the significance of origination (1 Cor. 11:7-12).

The meaning of "head" as servant-provider of life in this text is also consistent with the headship passage in Ephesians 5:21-33. There, the church is described as being subject to Christ in the reciprocity of servanthood because Christ as head is also servant to the church as its Savior and as the source of its welfare. Saviorhood in the New Testament is not a lordship role but one of self-sacrifice in radical servanthood.

Likewise, the wife is servant to her husband as she submits to him because the husband is servant to her in radical headship as he gives himself up for her as Christ did for the church (v. 25-30).

Both the general concept of headship in the New Testament and this passage of Scripture are infused with the notions of mutual submission (v. 21) and, therefore, of reciprocal servanthood. Such biblical teachings reduce the imposition of hierarchical relations between husbands and wives to irrelevance, if not to abuse in their relationship.

5. The Challenge


Cite a New Testament text according to which men are given unilateral authority over women or are permitted to act as their leaders.

The Facts

Once the fall shattered the God-given oneness between man and woman, they both faced a dysfunctional relationship. The woman was warned that, because of the disruption of the fall, the husband would rule over her (Gen. 3:16). Oneness would turn into abuse. But no mandate was ever given to the man to claim this rulership over the woman.

There is no allowance made in the New Testament or license given for any one believer to wield authority over another adult believer. The pledge exacted from brides in an older wedding ceremony, "Wilt thou obey him...?" had no biblical warrant.

There is no text in Scripture that enjoins wives to obey their husbands. The call is for mutual subjection (Eph. 5:21). Both wives and husbands must relate to each other "in the same way" as slaves submit to their masters (1 Peter 2:18; 3:1, 7 NIV) in order to follow in the steps of Christ, their supreme example (2:21).

The New Testament singularly cites the case of Sarah who obeyed her husband Abraham (1 Peter 3:6). Sarah's case was cited in full knowledge of the fact that Abraham pointedly obeyed his wife just as often as she obeyed him, once even under God's specific command (Gen. 16:2, 6; 21:11-12).

Christians are solemnly forbidden by their Lord to establish among themselves structures of authority similar to the hierarchical systems that prevail in secular society. Those who aspire to attain such positions of leadership must, instead, become servants and slaves of those over whom they wish to wield authority (Matt. 20:25-28).

Leadership is always defined in the New Testament as shared leadership. In church life, leadership is a team function entrusted to a plurality of persons such as elders. These act as servants who have recourse to the exercise of authority only exceptionally when required to do so because of disciplinary or crisis situations and then, only corporately.

In marriage, husbands and wives are bonded in a relationship of non-hierarchical complementarity within which each partner brings to the union his or her leadership gifts in a structure of shared leadership. (For resolving biblically situations of decisional impasses, see Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles, pp. 212-214).

6. The Challenge


Cite a New Testament text that exempts husbands from being mutually submitted to their wives.

The Facts

Male rulership has prevailed since the time of the fall. For Christians, the new covenant in Christ should reverse this situation to the original goodness of the created order, from rulership back to the reciprocity of oneness (Matt. 19:4-5).

Submission to Christ requires of believers that they submit to one another (Eph. 5:21). According to this text, where there is no mutual submission, reverence for Christ is wanting. Because the newness of the Gospel calls for new relationships, a paradigm shift has occurred that requires of Christians, including husbands and wives, to be in mutual subjection.

Since the practical expression of subjection is servanthood, this means that both husbands and wives are servants to each other. But perhaps in order to overcome the ruler legacy that men have inherited from the fall, it is additionally specified that Christian men must also love their wives to the point of Christ-like self-sacrifice for their sakes (v. 25-30).

For this precise reason, in the only New Testament text where the word "authority" is used (in verb form) to describe husband and wife relations, husbands are not exempt from coming under the authority of their wives. A Christian wife has exactly the same authority rights over her husband as a husband has over his wife (1 Cor. 7:4).

In this text, the Scriptures teach specifically that a husband has no authority over his own body but that his wife does. (Interestingly, the NIV has considerably softened its translation of this challenging statement). In fact, decisions that affect their marital relationship may not be made unilaterally by either husband or wife (v. 5). They require the agreement of both parties. They both have equal say in the matter since either of the two may veto the proposed course of action.

Thus the New Testament requires that, beginning with the most personal expression of conjugal life, the one that emblemizes par excellence the union of man and woman, relationships be controlled jointly and that decisions be made by consensus with the involvement of both partners on a basis of equality. This call to mutual subjection and to joint participation in the exercise of authority strikes at the very foundation of any authority claim of husbands over wives. 

7. The Challenge


Cite a biblical text according to which men are favored over women in the distribution of spiritual gifts, including those that qualify believers for ministries of leadership.

The Facts

In the garden, Adam and Eve were jointly entrusted with the dual responsibility of populating the earth and managing the environment (Gen. 1:28). The two mandates were committed to both of them without any role differentiations on the basis of gender. In order to fulfill this command, the man and the woman must have brought their best abilities to the accomplishment of both tasks in a relationship of equal partnership, best defined as non-hierarchical complementarity.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter gave the inaugural speech that marked the beginning of the life of the church universal. The very first statement he made concerned the consequences of the new availability of the Holy Spirit to all believers. The outpouring of the Spirit promoted both men and women without differentiation to the ministry of prophecy (Acts 2:16-18), a function that was regarded as one of the highest ministries in the life of the church (1 Cor. 12:28).

Consistently, the New Testament declares that all the members of local churches are endowed with spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:7-12) without any mention of women being excluded from such ministry roles.

Furthermore, the text teaches that no individual has the right to excuse oneself (v. 14-16) and that no one has the right to exclude someone else from doing ministry (v. 20-22).

On such premises, all may prophesy (14:31), and both men and women may lead in worship through prayer and the spoken word (11:4-5) such as the four women who prophesied in the church of Caesarea (Acts 21:9).

In this light, it is evident that the statement in 1 Corinthians 14:33-36 forbidding women to speak in church has nothing to do with women exercising their spiritual gifts. In this passage, the Apostle was dealing with a different issue that did not concern the exercise of spiritual gifts. He was actually opposing, by quoting their words derisively, abusive church leaders who were intent on excluding women from active participation in the life of the church. (For a commentary on this passage, see Bilezikian, Community 101, pp. 86-89.)

8. The Challenge


Cite a biblical text that exclusively disqualifies women from exercising church leadership ministries.

The Facts

The one passage that is ultimately adduced to claim that the New Testament prohibits women to teach or to have authority over men is found in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. However, the same section of Scriptures imposes similarly restrictive leadership and ministry prohibitions on men. According to it, a man's family status provides the indispensable credential for his ability to lead the church (3:4-5, 12). The only men who may aspire to positions of church leadership, which include the ministries of teaching and managing the affairs of the church, must be married ("husbands of one wife"), and have children who are submissive and respectful, and who are believers (Titus 1:6). According to this text, ability to manage family provides indispensable proof of ability to manage the local church.

Such requirements disqualify from service not only women, but also all men who are single; all men married but childless; all men married but who have only one child; all men married but who have children too young to profess faith; all men married but who have one unbelieving child or children; all men married and whose children are believers but not submissive; all men married and whose children are believers and submissive but not respectful.

These exceptionally harsh and restrictive requirements are all the more amazing since the New Testament favors singleness for both men and women as preferred status to do ministry (Matt. 19:11-12, 1 Cor. 7:25-35), and since the New Testament emphatically requires the total utilization of all available spiritual gifts in the ministries of the church, regardless of marital status or gender.

Of course, the Scriptures provide an explanation for those apparent contradictions. The singularly restrictive structure of ministry prescribed in 1 Timothy and Titus was established as a remedial measure for churches that had fallen into a state of terminal crisis. Its underlying principle of restricting ministry in sick or immature churches to few leaders of proven managerial competency is relevant today to churches that find themselves in similarly extreme situations. However, the prevailing New Testament model of full participation of the total constituency in the ministries of the local church applies to healthy churches (See Bilezikian, Community 101, pp. 82-128).

It should be sternly noted that, for the sake of biblical consistency and integrity of practice, churches that insist on keeping women out of ministries of leadership on the basis of the prohibitions of 1 Timothy 2, thereby make themselves accountable to keep also men out of the very same positions on the basis of the similarly restrictive provisions stipulated in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and listed above.

9. The Challenge


Cite a biblical text that prohibits the ordination of women to church ministry positions.

The Facts

The evidence indicates that women were entrusted with the ministry of the Word in New Testament churches. There were female prophets (Acts 2:17-19; 21:9), female teachers (Acts 18:26; Titus 2:3), female church leaders (Rom. 16:1, 3-5; Phil. 4:3; Col. 4:15), and even a female apostle by the name of Junia (Rom. 16:7).

There is no text in the Bible forbidding women to be ordained because, according to the New Testament, all believers without exception are ordained by God to do ministry on the basis of their spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:7, 11; 14:31; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:11, 1 Peter 4:10-11). In fact, those very ministries that are traditionally viewed as requiring "ordination" carry only a supportive role according to the New Testament (Eph. 4:11) while the executive part of the ministry, the works of service that build up the body of Christ, belongs to the "non-ordained" people of the congregation (v. 12).

The practice of ordaining select people to hold positions of authority in churches should be viewed as an ecclesiastical tradition rather than as a biblical prescription. Thus, Paul and Barnabas were already among the recognized prophets and teachers of the church in Antioch when they received the laying on of hands, not to make them prophets or teachers but to commission them for a short-term sub-ministry (Acts 13: 1-3). It was their recognized spiritual gifts as prophet/teacher that had validated their ministry, not the subsequent laying on of hands.

This New Testament practice of the laying on of hands can hardly be associated with the current practice of ordination since Timothy received it twice, one at the hand of elders (1 Tim. 4:14), then from Paul himself (2 Tim. 1:6). In both cases, the purpose was the impartation of a spiritual gift, not the recognition of the ministry deriving from it as is the case with ordination as currently practiced (see Bilezikian, Community 101, pp. 155-161).

Since the institution of ordination is traditional rather than biblically prescribed, there can be no valid objection raised on scriptural grounds to women being ordained. According to the New Testament, all believers, without exception, are ordained by God to do ministry on the basis of their spiritual gifts.

10. The Challenge


Cite a biblical text according to which the differences between manhood and womanhood warrant hierarchical relations between Christian men and women.

The Facts

The organization of the Christian community is never described as a gender-based hierarchy in the Scriptures. To the contrary, it is the doctrine of the community of oneness that sets the norm (Matt. 19:4-6; John 17:11, 20-23; Acts 4:32; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 4:4-6; etc.).

The practical implementation of this oneness is summarized in Galatians 3:28: racial distinctions (Jew/Greek), class distinctions (slave/free), and the gender distinction (male/female) are declared to have become irrelevant to the functioning of Christian communities. The compelling mandate for this radical restructuring of community is given as: "for you are all one in Christ."
Proponents of female subordination often insist that this oneness, which transcends race, class and gender differences, is limited to the inclusion of new believers in the community through justification and baptism (Gal. 3:24-27, 28; 1 Cor. 12:13). However, Scripture prohibits limiting the principle of non-discrimination taught throughout the New Testament merely to entrance of converts into the community.

The New Testament emphatically declares that the same oneness, which transcends differences of race, class and gender as a condition for entering the church, is also the driving force that energizes the constituency of the local church into the performance of its ministries. This oneness pertains to the functional life of the body (Rom. 12:4-5). The same oneness sustains the corporate use of all the spiritual gifts invested in it by the Spirit for the performance of the ministries of the local body (1 Cor. 12:11-12; Eph. 4:4-8, 11).

Oneness is always defined in the New Testament as the basis for participation of all in the ministries of the local church. Oneness and ministry are inseparably linked in the biblical text. Therefore, the declaration according to which there is no male or female because we are all one in Christ is a ringing mandate for all to participate in church ministry functions without raising the gender difference as grounds for discrimination.
"The Scripture absolutely forbids racial, class and gender discrimination by reason of the oneness of the church as a body. This oneness is consistently defined in the New Testament as full participation of the total constituency in the ministries of the church. This and other teachings of Scripture rule out gender-based hierarchy as a structure for biblical oneness."

38 comments:

Victorious said...

I have had Dr. Gilbert Bilezkian's "challenge" bookmarked for years and refer to it often. Thank you for posting it as I have found it to be truly challenging to those who insist scripture clearly makes women subordinate. Not so....:)

Victorious said...

Forgot to extend my thanks to Paul Burleson as well!

Donna L. said...

Whoa.

Christiane said...

Mutual service and self-giving, "either to other", bonds husband and wife in a unity of two persons made in the image of God.

" A human being, whether male or female, is a person, and therefore, "the only creature on earth which God willed for its own sake"; and at the same time this unique and unrepeatable creature "cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of self".32 Here begins the relationship of "communion" in which the "unity of the two" and the personal dignity of both man and woman find expression. Therefore when we read in the biblical description the words addressed to the woman: "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" (Gen 3:16), WE DISCOVER A BREAK AND A CONSTANT THREAT PRECISELY IN REGARD
TO THE 'UNITY OF THE TWO' WHICH CORRESPONDS TO THE DIGNITY OF THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD IN BOTH OF THEM.
But this threat is more serious for the woman, since domination takes the place of "being a sincere gift" and therefore living "for" the other: "he shall rule over you".

This "domination" indicates the disturbance and loss of the stability of that fundamental equality which the man and the woman possess in the "unity of the two": and this is especially to the disadvantage of the woman, whereas only the equality resulting from their dignity as persons can give to their mutual relationship the character of an authentic "communio personarum".

While the violation of this equality, which is both a gift and a right deriving from God the Creator, involves an element to the disadvantage of the woman, at the same time it also diminishes the true dignity of the man.

But this threat is more serious for the woman, since domination takes the place of "being a sincere gift" and therefore living "for" the other: "he shall rule over you". This "domination" indicates the disturbance and loss of the stability of that fundamental equality which the man and the woman possess in the "unity of the two": and this is especially to the disadvantage of the woman, whereas only the equality resulting from their dignity as persons can give to their mutual relationship the character of an authentic "communio personarum". While the violation of this equality, which is both a gift and a right deriving from God the Creator, involves an element to the disadvantage of the woman, at the same time it also diminishes the true dignity of the man.

("Mulieris Dignitatem", John Paul II)

Rex Ray said...

First of all, the devil was on the earth before Adam and Eve. Right? Jesus said: “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening.” (Luke 10:18 NLT)

Anyone got an idea why Satan got himself thrown out of heaven? I believe it was because:

“…what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:4-5 NLT)

“Don’t you realize that we will judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2 NLT)

Can you imagine the rage Satan felt? He rebelled against God saying, ‘I’m the top angel! No one is going to be higher than me!’

Why does Satan hate Christians so much? Because we took his place.

Paul wrote, “…Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14 NLT) So, when the Bible quotes what the serpent said, it’s not a serpent but Satan disguised as a serpent.

Wade, you mentioned Adam was with Eve in Genesis 3:6. “…she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it too.” (NLT)

Adam must not have believed God, or he would have yelled, “Don’t eat it or you’ll die!”

I think he believed Satan when he said, “God knows that your eyes will be open as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5 NLT)

I think Adam wanted to be like God and didn’t stop Eve from eating the fruit, and when she didn’t die, he ate it.

Can anyone guess why Eve’s eyes were not “open” until Adam ate the fruit?

Wade, you wrote: “According to the text, the woman was instrumental in rescuing the man from being alone…”

A person can be alone in a crowd of people. She was more than a helper.

I’m sure you know many who’ve helped you, but how many became a companion?

More than a helper, they were companions the rest of their lives.

RB Kuter said...

Wade, your points regarding the manner in which all followers of Jesus Christ are to behave having selfless, serving, gracious, loving, nurturing hearts are well taken.

I take your word for there being men who say that men are superior to women because God created Adam before Eve, even though I do not personally know any. The same goes for anyone saying that God made Eve subservient to Adam due to God's making her as a "helper". One would think that it would be obvious that is a distortion of God's gracious accommodation of providing the woman as a companion and equal mate for Adam.

But you seem to continually avoid the POST-sin structure of God's created order following His judgment announcement in Chapter 3. EVERYTHING changed in terms of the PRE-sin order being turned upside down. God announced that the man and woman would now have to deal with conditions not formerly present including the manner in which they would relate to each other. God did announce that, for whatever reason, the woman would now function with a desire (outstretching for, longing for, however you choose to translate that Hebrew term) for the man. She would experience birth pains. The man would have dominion, govern, be the leader, over the woman. Again, however you choose to translate that Hebrew word, but that is indeed the basic meaning.

God also announced judgment upon nature/the agro-structure of the planet as it having problems; pestilence, thorns, resistant to the work of man to bring forth fruit from it, etc.

None of those judgment conditions will cease until King Jesus reverts them back to that Chapter 1,2 state.

But you seem to continue to reject God's positioning of man in the role as leader over the woman saying, if I may paraphrase, "Being leader, the head does not mean having authority, and leadership."
What in the world IS a leader? If the leader is not acknowledged as being the leader, then nobody follows. There is chaos, anarchy, confusion and no advancement is made.

You challenge us by saying: "Cite a text from the Bible that defines the headship of Christ to the Church as a relation of authority or of leadership."
and: "This headship is never presented as an authority of lordship position."

That is amazing to me! I was taken aback at your position that Jesus is anything BUT the authority, leader, head, of the church and each individual in it. Did Jesus not say, "ALL AUTHORITY is given unto me"??
Did Ephesians 1: 20-22 not explicitly say regarding King Jesus: "seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. 22 And He put ALL things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over ALL things to the church"??
My goodness! How much authority, leadership, does the Bible have to say Jesus has before it becomes apparent that He is indeed KING, MASTER, LORD with ALL authority!?!

But it seems that this reality of Jesus being King and God intending man to be the leader of the family is being denied because of HOW Jesus chooses and models "authority, leadership" and how it is to be used and for what aim it is to be used. His authority does not diminish simply because the King chooses to practice love, is totally devoted to the nurturing and well-being of His people/the Church. His position as the undisputed leader of the church and each individual in it is commanded to be acknowledged even though His desire is for His people to flourish and thrive. Just because the King has demonstrated that He places the well-being, security and salvation of His people above His own convenience, even at the cost of sacrificing Himself, does nothing but increase His merit as being King, Master, sovereign, and Lord.

Christiane said...

The paradox of seeing the great Kyrios, the Lord of all the Cosmos, kneel down and wash our feet, and this doesn't makes 'sense', does it? Not in our world. We don't understand now. But we will.

Ken F said...

"EVERYTHING changed in terms of the PRE-sin order being turned upside down. God announced that the man and woman would now have to deal with conditions not formerly present including the manner in which they would relate to each other."

Hi RB,
You might be reading more into that text than what is there. That text describes the garden as different from the rest of the earth. It does not say that both the garden and the earth instantaneously changed at the fall. Rather, Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden into the real world. It looks more like the real world was like this all along. Their new reality was not a changed creation, but rather a living in that creation outside the protection of the garden.

Victorious said...

RB Kuter said

The man would have dominion, govern, be the leader, over the woman.

Once again I must ask you where you find a scripture where God commands this of men.

The Gen. 3 passages to Adam and Eve were not commands but they were being forewarned of the conditions outside the garden. You cannot command a woman to have pain whether she wants to or not. In fact, you can't command her to even get pregnant. You can't command a man that he must sweat and eat plants of the field and only involve himself in the area of agriculture.

These are negative, adverse conditions that He, Himself, changed over the course of time.

"Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." Gen 9:3

They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven..Gen. 11:4

"Is not this the carpenter's son? Matt. 13:55

These were warnings of conditions that were never meant to exist forever.




 

RB Kuter said...

Ken says, "You might be reading more into that text than what is there. That text describes the garden as different from the rest of the earth."

God says, "10 And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good."

No, sounds to me like someone else is getting their information from some other source.

Ray said...

In Genesis 2 it is Adam, not God, who names Eve. This follows the narrative of Adam naming all the animals whom God has placed under his care and authority. So Gordon Wenham in his commentary (WBC) writes, "though they are equal in nature, that man names woman indicates that she is expected to be subordinate to him, an important presupposition of the ensuing narrative in 3:17." I believe Wenham's analysis is correct with respect to the ANE audience. Having heard that Adam, not God, named the woman, it would imply subordination. Had God, rather than Adam, named the woman, it would have communicated a functional equality.

John Walton whose work on ANE thought is essential for any serious bible study, concurs that Adam's naming of the animals was an exercise of authority in the ANE and the same vocabulary is used in 3:20. Although a different vocabulary is used in 2:23, which may open the door for a different interpretation, it does indicate that the woman will be recognized on the basis of her relationship to man.

I believe if we take the thought-world of the ANE serious and understand Genesis within that worldview, there is more than a "hint" of subordination.

RB Kuter said...

Victorious says, "Once again I must ask you where you find a scripture where God commands this of men." and "These are negative, adverse conditions that He, Himself, changed over the course of time."

Sorry if I did not respond to your having asked where I found Scripture saying that God commands this of men. I honestly was not aware you had asked.

You also wrote: "You cannot command a woman to have pain whether she wants to or not. In fact, you can't command her to even get pregnant. You can't command a man that he must sweat and eat plants of the field and only involve himself in the area of agriculture."

You know, Victorious, again, I "think" we may be misunderstanding each other, to a degree at least. You say, "The Gen. 3 passages to Adam and Eve were not commands but they were being forewarned of the conditions outside the garden."

I TOTALLY agree with that. If I somehow misrepresented my thoughts to lead you to think I was suggesting that God commanded "man" or "woman" to "behave" in that manner, I apologize. Indeed, as you say, the woman would not be commanded to have pain or the man to sweat and only farm for a living and not to raise sheep and goats and cows.

What in the world did I write that caused you to conclude that I was proposing that God said men could only be farmers and not shepherds or carpenters or practice other trades? Where in the world did you get that impression from my writing?

On the other hand, you wrote, "These were warnings of conditions that were never meant to exist forever.", which leads me to "think" that you are proposing that those judgment conditions which God proclaimed, like the serpent crawling on his belly, the earth being afflicted with imperfections like thorns and thistles, like physical death, like the woman having pain whenever she gave birth to a child, like the man having to exert energy and work hard against adverse conditions to render produce (or livestock, or completed house), were somehow temporal and might somehow change prior to Christ returning to change those conditions. They will not change until God takes action to change them. Mankind cannot change them.

Rex Ray said...

Ray,

One Ray is responding to another Ray upon hearing:

“Having heard that Adam, not God, named the woman, it would imply subordination. Had God, rather than Adam, named the woman, it would have communicated a functional equality.”

I’ll ask, which or the two should be subordinate; the one made from dirt or the one made from refined dirt?

It’s like this, I let people know that I wear the pants in the family but my wife tells me which ones to put on. :)

Victorious said...

RB Kuter said....

On the other hand, you wrote, "These were warnings of conditions that were never meant to exist forever.", which leads me to "think" that you are proposing that those judgment conditions which God proclaimed, like the serpent crawling on his belly, the earth being afflicted with imperfections like thorns and thistles, like physical death, like the woman having pain whenever she gave birth to a child, like the man having to exert energy and work hard against adverse conditions to render produce (or livestock, or completed house), were somehow temporal and might somehow change prior to Christ returning to change those conditions. They will not change until God takes action to change them. Mankind cannot change them.

In Wade's other post, I clarified why the conditions you are labeling "judgments" are not judgments but rather fore-warnings. The word "judgment" is found in the KJV 406 times in the OT and 403 times in the NASB. Here is one verse and the Hebrew meaning follows:

Deut. 12:1  "These are the statutes and the judgments (H4941) which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. 
Here is the Hebrew meaning:

H4941

mishpâṭ

From H8199; properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (particularly) divine law, individual or collectively), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty

Therefore, I'm seeing your use of the word "judgments" as a judicial command/formal decree which would then apply to the verses in Gen. 3. If that's the application, then yes, the man must only work in the fields, only eat plants/bread, must sweat and the land must produce thorns and thistles. The woman must stretch out toward her husband, and must endure sorrow/pain in childbirth and these will remain throughout history.

If these verses are judicial commands, the ones commanded to Adam must apply to all men. The ones commanded to Eve will apply only to those women who choose to marry.

continues in the next comment

Victorious said...

RB Kuter, you said..

What in the world did I write that caused you to conclude that I was proposing that God said men could only be farmers and not shepherds or carpenters or practice other trades? Where in the world did you get that impression from my writing?

Again, as above, if you conclude these verses are indeed "judgments" they must be followed and/or obeyed as decreed by God's words to both the man and the woman.

If, however, you remember my comment in Wade's "Headship" post, I maintained that:

In other words, God has given us all the wisdom, motivation, education, and purpose to advance beyond those things to arrive at a better, more just, less cumbersome, more productive lives. The advancements made over the years in the Bible are amazing; i.e. from tent dwellings to houses; implements of bronze and iron; Noah's ark & Solomon's Temple. From Sages copying manuscripts by hand to Paul's handwritten letters to the printing press to computers, etc. From advancements in engineering, education, medicine, transportation, etc. to Federal & Civil laws in government for the protection of the innocent and punishment for law breakers. We have laws that prohibit slavery, discrimination, intoxication, and polygamy for example. The one aspect of God's warnings we cling to and justify is that of male rule over female even though Jesus told us this should not be so with us.

All of that is to say, that should those verses in Genesis 3 actually be "judgements," we would still be encumbered unnecessarily by pain, sorrow, the intrusion of thorns and thistles in our gardens, sweat, archaic agricultural implements, and probably still be wearing animal skins for clothing.


I mentioned above that while the negative, adverse conditions may still exist, we have found solutions? to overcome those difficult conditions throughout history. So those problems could not have been solved had they been "judgments."

My conclusion is that God warned Adam and Eve that there would be negative, sorrowful, adverse conditions outside of the garden, but place no prohibitions against the noted advancements to overcome them.

So while Eve would reach out to Adam and Adam would rule over her, they were not commands or judgments. And finally for those who use this passage to justify man/husband authority over his wife, God forgot to command Adam to do so.

Ken F said...

Hi RB,
I don't know why you used that verse to describe the garden because it has nothing to do with the garden. The applicable verses are:
Gen 2:8 "The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed."
and Gen 3:23 "therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden."

These verses show that the garden was a specific location that did not encompass the whole earth. The bible does not say much about how different it was inside vs outside, but it makes it sound like getting kicked out was some kind of punishment. The fact that the garden was different opens the possibility that things like thorns and thistles existed before the fall (but the bible does not actually say when thorns and thistles were created, so one cannot be dogmatic about it in one way or the other).

What was the point you were trying to make with the passage you quoted?

Ken F said...

"In Genesis 2 it is Adam, not God, who names Eve. This follows the narrative of Adam naming all the animals whom God has placed under his care and authority."

Hi Ray,
This is a case where the Sesame Street standard is useful: "One of these things is not like the other." Notice that the bible does not say anything about God wanting to see what Adam would name Eve. He simply presented her to Adam, which is different from what he did with the animals. Adam seemed to name her on his own, pre-fall. So even before the fall we see Adam going down a path that God did not command.

Ray said...

If Adam went down a path that God did not command "pre-fall," then that would be sin and that is where the Fall would begin. The point that I think Wenham and Walton are making is that the original audience would have understood the authorial intent of the passage to imply subordination.

Bob Cleveland said...

Ken F: In Genesis 2:22, preceding Adam's referral to Eve's womanhood, Scripture says "God made a woman from the rib...". Seems to me that God called her woman, first.

Ken F said...

Hi Ray,
My main point in this is it is very tempting to read more into the text than what is there. While it is possible that God wanted Adam to name Eve, the text does not say this. All is says is that Adam named Eve. It could very well be something Adam did on his own without approval. We simply don't know. To argue that women should be in submission to men based on how Adam named Eve is an argument from silence that could be dead wrong.

RB Kuter said...

Brother Ken, my intentions in using the verse saying that God created the entire earth and then said, "it was good" were to show that originally it was all the world, not just "the garden of Eden" that was "good". Then, following sin, the world was cursed, as it remains today.

I think you had mentioned that you thought that Eden was good and outside Eden was afflicted and I took it to mean that you were saying the outside world was not good prior to sin. Then, I thought you were proposing, after sin, God sent Adam out into the bad world.

Probably neither here nor there, but that's my attempt to explain why I used that verse.

Christiane said...

In the 1800's the population grew in Ireland because of the abundance of potatoes which became a staple of the diet there;
but then something happened, a kind of 'curse' if you will, and a mold came that rotted the potatoes in the ground. But the 'curse' was not to destroy the 'self-giving' goodness of the people who loved one another, no.

The people starved. And died by the thousands during the famine. But even in that hell, there were signs of how Christian marriage was lived out among those who suffered and perished. Here is one couple's story:

https://youtu.be/4VagsCgLgVc

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Back to the saddest words and probably the most ignored words in the Bible.

“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16 KJ)

“The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them.” (2 Timothy 4:16 NLT)

Will anyone try to explain what Paul was talking about?

Ken F said...

Hi RB,
Thanks for the clarification. You seem to have read more into what I wrote than what I actually wrote. I wrote that something was different about the garden from the rest of creation, but I did not state that the rest of creation was not good. It boils down to what God meant when he called creation good. There is nothing in Genesis to indicated that thistles, thorns, and carnivorous activity are not good. In fact, in the book of Job, God points to carnivorous animals as examples of the goodness of creation. And we now know that carnivores are necessary to maintain the health of herbivore populations, which makes carnivorous activity good.

An important point to consider is God's declarations of creation as good, very good, and not good. Something about Adam was not good, even before the fall. How could God gave created something that was not good? Or is there more going on than we assume?

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

I tried your link, but without sound, I didn’t get much. A “curse” on the ground is why my twin brother has dialysis three times a week and his legs are paralyzed.

Google states:
“Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) is a disease caused by a fungus, Coccidioides, which lives in the soil of relatively arid regions (southwest U.S.); its incidence is increasing. People are infected by inhaling dust contaminated with Coccidioides; the fungus is not transmitted from person to person.”

Natives are immured to this fungus that is under the ground, but if this fungus gets in the air and breathed by ‘newcomers’ they get Valley fever.

A doctor overdosed my brother on medicine in curing his valley fever which ruined his kidneys.


Ken F,

You’re pretty ‘savvy’ on Scripture, how about giving (2 Timothy 4:16) a shot?

Ken F said...

Hi Rex,
I've not given that passage much thought except to think that it reflects Paul's Mediterranean culture. Most cultures in the Mediterranean today communicate very expressively, with waving hands, loud voices, emotional expression, and hyperbole.

Victorious said...

Bob Cleveland said

In Genesis 2:22, preceding Adam's referral to Eve's womanhood, Scripture says "God made a woman from the rib.

Actually, the Bible says God took one of Adam's sides (or one part of Adam's being), out of which He "builded" her. The word interpreted "rib" by most translators is found in 32 verses throughout the OT and always translated "side or chamber." Hence, Adam's proclamation that Eve is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

You may be interested in reading Katherine Bushnell's explanation of the origin of the "fable of the rib here: http://godswordtowomen.org/lesson%205.htm
and particularly Paragraphs 41, 42, and 43 where she explains rabbinical lore.

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

“Flesh of my flesh”. Never thought of that before. I figured with no clothes, his first word would have been, WOW!

Have you thought much about 2 Timothy 4:16?

Bob Cleveland said...

Victorious: God said "woman" in that verse, too, before Adam called her woman.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rex Ray: Can't say that I have.

Christiane said...

Hey, REX RAY,

I forget you don't have sound on your computer. Sorry.

Here's the actual poem by the Irish poet Eavan Boland, but warning, it's VERY IRISH.


"Quarantine

In the worst hour of the worst season
of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking — they were both walking — north.

She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.

In the morning they were both found dead.
Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins of a whole history.
But her feet were held against his breastbone.
The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.

Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.
There is no place here for the inexact
praise of the easy graces and sensuality of the body.
There is only time for this merciless inventory:

Their death together in the winter of 1847.
Also what they suffered. How they lived.
And what there is between a man and woman.
And in which darkness it can best be proved."
(Eavan Boland)

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

I’ll bet you recognized Paul saying: “I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge” was the same prayer he heard Stephen pray as Paul watched the coats of the men that killed Stephen.

Stephen’s prayer probably haunted Paul and was one of the reasons why Paul said he was the chief of sinners.

God knew who Paul referred to, but most Christians don’t.

Susanna Krizo said...

@RB Kuter

You wrote, "That is amazing to me! I was taken aback at your position that Jesus is anything BUT the authority, leader, head, of the church and each individual in it. Did Jesus not say, "ALL AUTHORITY is given unto me"??"

You seem to forget the Great Commission, Matt 29:18-20, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus shared his authority with the church, which was only fitting since we are his body, his hands and his feet; if we don't move, neither does he.

The idea that Jesus has all authortity and therefore every man has authority over his wife according to Eph 5 and women are prohibited from teaching in the church according to to 1 Tim 2 is easily flipped by the Great Commandment: Jesus commissioned the church to do the teaching, and since the woman is likened to the church in Eph 5, all of our teachers should be women, especially in the home.

Susanna Krizo said...

@RB Kuter

You failed to mention also that the Father gave all power and authority to the Son due to his willingness to give his life for humankind (Matt 11:27, Phil 2:9). This indicates they shared the power before the Incarnation. It's also worth to note that the great teacher of the church is the Holy Spirit, who knows the mind of God (1 Cor 2:11). The Trinity works in perfect harmony, but for the sake of redemption, the Father has given all power to the Son until all things are brought back to the beginning (Eph 1, "kephale" in Greek, the same word we translate as "head"). His authority is about bringing all things to their original form, before sin invaded and death entered. Thus he is called the "firstborn" among the siblings, all of us being children of God (Eph 1). The authority has less to do with ordering the church around; it has everything to do with conquering the enemy - sin and death (1 Cor 15:57), and therefore it has to do with the resurrection. Christ has the power to bring us back to life; that is what his authority is about and why Eph 5 talks about Christ as the Savior, who died to give us life. He became "the beginning" of the church, i.e. he went before us, so that all of us could find new life through his body (Heb 10:20), by becoming his Body (1 Cor 12, Eph 4).

As the Body, the church disperses the knowledge of truth through teachers for the growth and wellbeing of the church (Eph 4). And it is here that we find the true meaning of the word "head." The "head" joins all the parts of the body into a perfect unity. The hand cannot say to the foot "I don't need you" (1 Cor 12), because every part is needed to create a body. The head cannot say, "Be silent!" to the mouth, the mouth being an integral part of itself. In the same vein, the husband cannot say, "Be silent!" to the wife; the wife being an integral part of their union. And although it may look as if the head rules over the body, if one part hurts, every part hurts. The head cannot command the body to heal itself; the body has needs and the head ignores those needs to its own peril. Yet, the metaphor isn't meant to be a perfect replica of the human body, the ancients having no idea how the human body truly works. It talks about the unity that exists between Christ and the church, a unity that is as organic as humans themselves; a unity that is kept together through love, respect, and mutual submission that recognizes the intrinsical worth of all humans as created in the Image of God. If the "head" was willing to die, so should the "body" when called to give it's life for the truth. There is no room for a hiearchy in a body, only selfless love, expressed through servanthood.

Susanna Krizo said...

Then there is also the question why Paul used the gender neutral "anthropos" in

2 Tim 2:2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

if he didn't think women should teach.

History shows women have taught in the church and held the position of a bishop.

"Ute E. Eisen describes two inscriptions within the mosaics of the chapel of St. Zeno which mention episcopa Theodora, the mother of Pope Paschal I (817-824). Her husband, Bonosus, did not possess a sacerdotal title and therefore episcopa does not refer to a bishop’s wife. In a picture she is depicted with a rectangular halo, which was used for persons of high rank, such as bishops; saints were depicted with round halos. Over the halo, the word episcopa is inscribed. The attempts to interpret the mosaic have created an array of suggestions. Some have made it an honorary title for the mother of the pope, who was seen as taking the position of a wife by her son’s side. Others have made her into an abbess, although an abbess was never called episcopa, the title “abbess’ being well known. And yet others have tried to claim an interpolation, which is farfetched since the inscription is found twice, in different locations. No one has suggested that Theodora could have been a bishop, for women just are not supposed to be bishops in the church; instead the title episcopa is frequently omitted in the verbal reproductions of the inscription." (When Dogmas Die")

The disappearance of deaconesses from the Catholic Church coincides with the creation of the two-fold subjection of Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. Until then the church had readily recognized deaconesses as seen in the writing of John Chrysostom, the bishop of Constantinople, whose church had numerous deaconesses.

"Chrysostom stated without ambiguity that the phrase "mias guinakos andra" [1 Tim 3] referred also to women deacons, not wives of deacons.

'Some have thought that this is said of women generally, but it is not so, for why should he introduce anything about women to interfere with his subject? He is speaking of those who hold the rank of Deaconesses. “Let the Deacons be husbands of one wife.” This must be understood therefore to relate to Deaconesses. For that order is necessary and useful and honorable in the Church. Observe how he requires the same virtue from the Deacons, as from the Bishops, for though they were not of equal rank, they must equally be blameless; equally pure.'"

This comment by Chrysostom brings us to the question of "one woman man," the phrase that is most commonly used to exclude women from leadership in the church. It is found in 1 Tim 3:3 in the masculine form (mias guinakos andra) and in 1 Tim 5:9 in the feminine form (henoos andros gunee). Greek, as we know, was (and is) an androcentric language. Both men and women were included in masculine language ("brothers" include both men and women), but feminine language can only include women ("sisters" include only women). The phrase "one woman man" and "one man woman" was a Greek way to say "faithful." In the masculine it includes both men and women, in the feminine only women are included. Hence, both men and women are included in 1 Tim 3 and it's especially clear since the text begins with the words "If ANYONE desires the position of a bishop." If this wasn't true, Paul wouldn't have told Timothy to entrust the teaching position to PEOPLE who were trustworthy and reliable, and able to teach others. Teaching is a spiritual gift and the Spirit gives spiritual gifts as the Spirit pleases (1 Cor 12); gender isn't one of the considerations.

RB Kuter said...
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RB Kuter said...
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RB Kuter said...

Susanna, I attempted twice to respond to your comments and both times saw that my frustration and sense of being offended at what you were proposing that I had said were coming through. So I deleted both of those responses. In instances like this where no productive dialogue is possible, better to move along rather than continuing in order to not offend my Lord.