Posted by: JennyRain | May 16, 2009

Women and God

This morning I found myself rotating around Acts 16 – more specifically – the progression of Acts 16. How Acts 16 is layed out – a big picture perspective. And how Acts 16 preaches from inside the lines of the text.

Acts 16 is that pivotal chapter where the Apostle Paul has been blocked by the Holy Spirit from going to other locales such as Bithynia and Asia and in the middle of the night, he receives the vision to go into Macedonia. Paul immediately obeys the call and lands first in Philippi – the leading city of the district of Macedonia (a Roman colony).

On the Sabbath day – while in Philippi – the most holy of days for Jews and Christians, that day that is set apart for worship, the scriptures say that


On this Sabbath day, we [Paul and Silas] went outside the gate to the riverside where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. 

 

It was during that conversation that the Lord “opened the heart” of Lydia and she responded to the Lord and became a believer. Lydia, a woman, was the first convert in all of Europe. Lydia, a woman, later became such a strong supporter of Paul’s ministry that it is said that she financially undergirded the movement of the gospel and enabled Paul’s ministry to be continuously mobile. Wow!

 


Women and the Empty Tomb of Christ

Always looking for parallels and consistencies in the biblical text, my mind gravitated toward the story in Luke of the women who were the “first to arrive” at the tomb (Lk. 24; Jn. 20). It was the women who had come to tend to Christ’s body, and it was the women who were the first to see that he had risen.

This is encouraging to me, a woman who seeks to see how God interacts with His creation. I do not know why, in these two cases, God chose women to reveal Himself to first, it is simply enough that I can read the biblical witness and enjoy the fact that He did.

Women and Aslan

Finally, I am reminded of the movie scene in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by CS Lewis. This book is seen as a metaphorical narrative of the gospel story, with Aslan representing the figure of God.

In the movie, after Aslan has been slain by the White Witch and is laying on the stone altar, it is the women who have stayed behind to grieve and to tend to Aslan’s wounds. It is also the women who are the first to see Aslan resurrected. And it is the women who Aslan, once resurrected, requests to “walk with” him rather than rushing directly back into battle with the men.

It is beautiful, to me, that God reveals Himself first (in many cases) to women. That He shares His ability to give “new life” with women – especially in cultures that so significantly devalue women. It is redemptive, to me, that the apostle Paul embraced this life-giving character of the Living God because we see him following directly in Christ’s footsteps and sharing the gospel in Europe first with Lydia, a woman. I am also encouraged by the metaphorical Christ shown in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by Aslan the Lion. I am encouraged to see that even scholar and storyteller CS Lewis gave viewers a glimpse of God’s heart for women in his movie.

I do not know all of the details or theology of what it means to be a woman in God’s Kingdom, but I know this one thing. God values women of whom I am one, and for that, I am very thankful.

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Responses

  1. Thank you for this post, it has been a blessing to read! The best part is, there is still far more to be discovered in the garden word. Yes, even God created the female to be equal to the male and the traditional male garden word is the most misinterpreted word of holy scripture.

    I am author of the book, “The Real Skinny on Eve, A Short but Comprehensive Guide on the Real Identity of Sisters in the Church of Jesus Christ.” I obediently sought to live as a subjugated wife for over ten years, it is not of God. At my worst point, when ready to walk even completely away from my God, he opened up this garden word to me and he took a word I used to hate see coming and showed me just how marvelous it was as he really created!

    Ask your leadership to explain Genesis 2:23 (they can’t), that a man called an “Adam” by God, in an effort to hide his true dark identity before a newly arrived female, changed his name to “Man” and likewise also rebelliously rejected the true righteous identity and name of “Eve” as life-giver for the female, selfishly even arrogantly calling her “Woman” instead. You speak of being misogynistic, Adam was a serious head case, but the church won’t tell you that because the male pulpit has to make him perfect.

    The person an “Adam” sought to impersonate in Genesis 2:23 is a “man” according to the Hebrew, that one first called an “Adam” (and especially by even the foreknowledge of God) simply cannot be. Don’t forget to remind them also that it was God who called him an “Adam” by Genesis 2:19 and he, acting as though an exclamation point, called him this yet again in Genesis 3:9 after the lie of Adam in Genesis 2:23 (“Adam” is a name meaning to be made ashamed, a hypocrite, a mean man of low degree, and not also according to the Hebrew even a man who qualified as a “husband” to the garden “Eve.” And this all true due to choices made by a free-will thinking man only). God never addressed him as “Man,” it is in fact an improperly applied gender term confusingly introduced by a man called an “Adam” by God who was blindly seeking to steal that which God would have freely given had he only sought God first and not a higher place of position and power. The garden is drama and it is just too good to make up, you have got to get the Hebrew.

    If the garden according to the Hebrew proved the man to be righteous, the traditional male pulpit would be all over it, but the thing is, it doesn’t. A stubborn, arrogant Adam doesn’t even make the right confession. This is why, and it is the only reason why this man was punished, it had nothing to do with having a greater level of garden authority (he didn’t even arrive earlier into the garden due to greater authority, it was more like a need to be on the little yellow school bus, I say with much love), he simply alone had un-confessed sin before God. The female confessed in Genesis 3:13 and it was honored by God, hence her name “Eve” as life-giver and title as “mother of all living” (a name and title, though withheld by a selfish Adam in 2:23, that was given even according to the foreknowledge of God).

    For everything the tradition of man has taught, this word will teach you better, and you will see a straight path to God, not be instead consumed with crooked female heartache!

    Consider my book, “The Real Skinny on Eve” available on Amazon.com and BookSurge.com. If we learn how to ask the right questions of our leaders we can begin rightly putting even them on notice and bring change, and even change to the glory of God! I love God and I love the Church but I can’t live the lie and neither does he desire any of us too.

    Peace and love.


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