These are the last of my Texas Wildflower pictures. Today I'm hoping for some good pictures from the Danville Fourth of July Parade.
I left my last post with some pondering. I have pondered and prayed as I have read God's word in the Bible. Now I feel I can share what I've learned. These things I have learned are not things I've learned over night, or even over a few days. Since living in Virginia, which was about 10 years ago now, I have been living each day in faith, carefully listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance as I have read and applied God's word to my life. I do not think the issue I have struggled with is only my struggle. I do know that the answer I have learned is the answer that God has given me.
If you disagree with me, we can agree to disagree. I am comfortable doing that with issues that are matters of tradition in the Church. I have struggled with this issue because for me, it is a scritpural issue. Some have called this issue, "non-essential to salvation". While I agree that what I feel about this issue will not make one bit of difference to my salvation; bottom line is that in scripture this issue is a visible issue, God and Jesus both had a lot to say about it. If Jesus cared about this issue, it is essential.
The issue is the position of women in God's kingdom and Church.
I believe with all my heart that God gifted women specifically for His body. The gifts that God has given to all people are to be used to build His body, the church, until His return.
My line of reasoning looks like this:
1. Genesis 1:27 God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male AND female he created them.
Just as Adam was created in the image of God, bearing His qualities, His character, so God also created Eve. There is no subordination here.
2. Genesis 2:20b-22 But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with the flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Even as Adam was created first, completely with God's image; woman was created for Adam from that which was already established as God's image. She was created for Adam because he found no completion of himself, no suitable helper, in all of the animal kingdom. In Genesis 2:18-25 God said that it was not ideal for man to be alone, so he wanted to make a helper for him. Before doing so, God brings all the created things to Adam for his inspection and naming of them. As Adam was looking over all the animals, studying them, naming them, I'm positive he noticed that none were like him. God knew this too, so he created woman.
Of course points 1 and 2 occur before the fall, or before Adam and Eve disobey God so completely that they are banished from His kingdom forever. Because of the sin of Adam and Eve the perfect union between God and the first couple was ruined. Because Adam and Eve both chose disobedience rather than an intimate relationship with God, they were given exactly what they wanted. Some have said that because Eve caused the sin, women are discredited in God's eyes. I believe that is only looking at half of the issue. Genesis 2:16-17 God gives the command, which is ultimately broken, to Adam before Eve even exists. If Adam, as a man, was so superior to Eve, why did he let her get away with even a conversation with the serpent? If Adam, as the head of woman, was her leader and guide, why did he not instruct her in the error of her ways when she first desired the fruit of the forbidden tree? If Eve were truly the "bigger sinner" why were all three parties involved in the fall punished? The serpent was cursed, the woman was given increased pain in childbirth, and the man was commanded to a lifetime of sweat and toil.
According to Genesis 3:15 because sin entered the world through both Adam and Eve, we have all been living in an upside down world where the Creator of all things, the giver of life, and the serpent will be continually at battle.
This is the world we live in, male and female. We have chosen to make ourselves gods instead of following the one true God.
In the Old Testament we read again and again of the struggle of man who chooses his own way rather than God's way and the consequences of that choice. Even as the children of Israel were rescued from the land of Egypt by God because He loved them and heard their cries; they would ultimately turn away from Him again to their own false gods.
Today we are still struggling with fallen nature. We do not desire the things of God. We live with false government, false relationships, false sense of "good". All this is because we have chosen our own way.
Praise God that in His great love for His children, He has had a plan all along! Because of God's son, Jesus, humanity can again be restored to its correct place. But, this restoration can only be given through the shed blood of Jesus.
Tomorrow I'll share the rest of my reasoning.
Enjoy the 4th of July!