Friday, September 05, 2008

Restart Eve

A new blog! This is my blog restart. "Restart" also refers to my thoughts in this web-log.
I've come head-to-head with Eve. Not myself, but the first female created by Yahweh Elohim.
(Can you tell I'm in seminary now?).

The LCMS denomination I was raised in has a view- let's put it this way- that women shouldn't be all TOO involved in ministry or proclaiming the word of God. Now, I understand where they are coming from and I've often wanted to side with them, takes me off the hook for any ministry responsibility, hey?. However, I can take it no longer. If I am to hold on to this theology, I am to hold onto the idea that I am less in the eyes of God, less worthy, less excitement, less climatic for Him. He won't let such an idea rest in my heart. I have so much to do, I shouldn't even be writing a blog right now. But this is the important stuff in His eyes, the spirit expressing itself bare before Him and others to witness.

I think it's long been believed in our country that man was the climax of God's creation. Hence, female is the tag-along, the extra, the man-servant. From this essential goodness, man can preach the word of God , but women should "remain quiet". Now I could go into theology at this point and I assure you there is no need to quote it to me. I've heard it all. I'm going to basically say that if someone believes such a passage to mean a women is to keep quiet in a church, they need to redo their biblical studies. My husband wrote a whole paper on the truth of that passage if you're so inclined to read it.

But I ask myself, how can it be that God would ask a woman to bare his incarnate Son within her very womb, but that He cannot trust women with his Word outside her womb?
Now, to be fair, I've heard arguments that maybe Eve was the climax of God's creation- well, I've only heard it once. While I don't believe that to be exactly true, it is mind-blowing to try to make that switch. Try it. See if you can see the world with women as the climax and man as the tag-along.

What I'm coming to see if that both man and woman are the climax of God's creation. Eve may have been created second, but only to COMPLETE the image of God that was lacking with just one human. We assume to be made in His "image" means to have testicals and a penis. Other than the incarnation of Jesus, which I will address further down, I don't think it says anything about the Trinity's genitals in Genesis. To be made in His image can mean so many other things.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our
image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
Genesis 1:25-27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

When God did this making of humans in His image , he made them male and female in Genesis 1. The details of that are in chapter 2. There is no differentiation in chapter 1. He made them both. Both together are His image. Adam or Eve alone means no relationship. God is the Triune- a God of three in relationship so tightly knit they are ONE just as He calls those in marriage to be ONE. So Adam alone is the Father without the Son or the Son without the Spirit. That would not be His image.

To be in His image is to take on His functions. As God made the earth and filled it, so he asks Adam and Eve together to multiply and fill it. Again, both are needed for this part of His image.

Because we are so used to viewing God as a MAN, we also forgot to see the feminine that is in the Lord. He longs to gather the people close to His heart. He nutures us, comforts us, sings songs over us, knows the hairs on our head, gives us good MILK to drink from His breast. Woman, too, in her beauty and role reflects major peices of who our God is (granted, I used stereotypes there, but for those who like to create a chasm between male and female, this is where you're coming from).

I also read recently an idea that in the fall in the Garden narrative that Adam did not want to eat the apple or separate Himself from God, but he worried that his wife would've been taken from him for her sin, so he went ahead and joined her. What a cute story of agape sacrificial love. Somehow I see that as crap. It takes Adam off the hook, makes him almost selfless- somehow I think God might have seen this and let Adam's innocence ride. Yet, Adam was responsible, he ate it, and I highly doubt he was thinking of losing his wife at the time- probably more about just pleasing himself.

Finally, I have to say that if we are to separate "mother" from God, because He is male and that is womanly, only "Father" can capture His likeness- my personal experience is a lie. Mothering Claire, seeing her look into my eyes and find her whole world is the closest I have ever come to understanding what true intimacy with God should be like. While children grow to love their earthly fathers, their connection in the first years are mostly with the one who birthed them, the one who God gave the task of nursing them and providing an extra pillow of support on her very chest. God must see mothers reflecting His very image or this world is all a lie.

I need to say that I have no problem addressing God as Father for that is what Jesus tells us to call Him. I do believe, though, the Trinity together gives man and woman together the abiblity to reflect the wholeness of our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer God. There is another issue to be discussed that I can't get to at this time- and I'm still working through it, though Keith has a great explanation on it. It is that (this is that final argument of those who believe woman should not minister) that Jesus came in the form of man. This is VERY true and Im sure he had male genitals. There are MANY reasons for this and good ones. I just want to say at this point that we should at least look at how Jesus treated woman to answer our questions about the abilities and desires of God for woman if we are going to bring the Jesus argument in. I'm going to label his stance on woman very LIBERAL and very PERSONAL for the time He lived in.

It has taken me 25 years to say these ideas with some level of confidence. I do so because it is a long time struggle in my soul coming to the forefront by God's hand. The above is not perfect, it is not of the scholars, but it is a peice of my personal journey at this time. The Lord, as far as I know, has called me to youth ministry. I have to deal with this as a woman.