Backdrop of Life: Maleness Sexism or machismo Radical Feminism or feminismo
Elisabeth Elliot Pioneer Missionary Church planter Author Lecturer Maternal Feminist Mother Faithful Wife
Elisabeth Elliot “I don’t want anybody treating me as a ‘person’ [‘chairperson’ or ‘spokesperson’] rather than as a woman. Our sexual differences are the terms of our life, and to obscure them in any way is to weaken the very fabric of life itself.” Elisabeth Elliot Let Me Be A Woman
What does Creation Communicate? Psalms 19:1-4 Romans 1:19-20
Psalms 19:1-4 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Romans 1:19-20 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse[emphasis mine]
Jacques Monod French Biologist 1965 Nobel Prize Medicine Director of Pasteur Institute in Paris Early DNA research
Teleonomy “… one of the fundamental characteristics common to all living beings without exception: that of being objects endowed with a purpose or project, which at the same time they exhibit in their structure and carry out through their performances ….” Jacques Monod Chance and Necessity
Teleonomy [scientific objectivity] “… obliges as to recognize the telenomic character of living organism, to admit that in their structure and performance they act projectively – realize and pursue a purpose [italics mine]. Jacques Monod Chance and Necessity
The Designer “In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her.” Elisabeth Elliot Let Me Be A Woman
Individuality in Creation “The Biblical concept of individuality can be stated succinctly: God has created all things distinct and unique and for a specific purpose. He has given an identity to all parts of His creation, whether material objects, animals, or of human beings.” Dr. K Alan Snyder If the Foundations Are Destroyed
The Physical and the Transcendent Separate the physical from the Transcendent, and the physical loses its meaning!
Different in Function Men and women share the same being, made in the image of God, and at the same time they were made different in function for a purpose.
Does one’s sexuality mean anything? Accidental differences, differences established by chance Incidental differences, differences in “plumbing” Superficial, no connection to the transcendent Transcendental difference
Our Sexuality Means Something “It’s dangerous and destructive to treat sexuality as if it were meaningless. Much of the church, which is being strongly influenced by the world’s ideologies, is ignoring the fact that sexuality means something.” Leanne Payne Crisis In Masculinity
Physical gender distinctions are rooted in the metaphysical!
Humans Stride the Boundaries between Earth and Heaven “ Gender is a reality and a more fundamental reality than sex. Sex is, in fact, merely the adoption to organic life of a fundamental polarity which divides all created beings…. The male and female of organic creatures are rather faint and blurred reflections of masculine and feminine….” C.S. Lewis
The Image of God So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1: 27
Trinitarian Pattern It takes “male and female” to fully reflect the unity of being and diversity of function found in the Trinity.
God Created the Male and Female “the male to call forth, to lead, initiate and rule….” “the physical structure of the female would tell us that woman was made to receive, bear, to be acted upon, to complement, to nourish.” Elisabeth Elliot Let Me Be A Woman
The Trinitarian Order Demands a social order that is: –just - all human beings stand equal before the law –free - all human beings are released to pursue their God given potential and purpose
A person’s worth is determined by What they are – the image of God Whose they are – children of God Not by their function
Because all humans are equal in being they are free –to fulfill the purpose for which they have been created without fear. –to celebrate the incredible diversity of the human family
Questions How are women and men the same? How are men and women different?
Equality in Being All human beings, female and male, manifest the imago Dei All humans have transcendent qualities All are “created equal” and are endowed with certain inalienable rights that include the right to life, liberty, justice, and the pursuit of their God given purpose All are free moral agents, and are responsible for the decisions made in life All humans have responsibility for fulfilling the Cultural Mandate
Diverse in Function All human beings are one of a kind; they are absolutely unique Humans are sexually either male or female. Each has a different role to play in –procreation - the societal mandate –the development mandate
Recognizing Unity and Diversity Pattern in the Trinity Reflected in the Body of Christ (1Cor. 12:12) Reflected in Paul’s writings: –Galatians 3:28 Equal in being –Ephesians 5: 22-33 Diverse in function
Dorothy Sayers “The fundamental thing is that women are more like men than anything else in the world.”
Similarities Made from the same DNA - Eve was made from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2:22-23) One Blood (Acts 17:26): And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
In the Biblical Story In Creation – Imago Dei (Genesis 1:26-27) In the Fall – Equally sinners (Genesis 2:7; Romans 3:23) In Redemption – Equal recipients of grace (Galatians 3:28) At the Consummation – Raised to the same glory
Both Represent God Vice regents/ Stewards of Creation (Genesis 1:26 -27) God gave both the responsibility for the Creation Mandate: –the social mandate (Genesis 1:28) –the developmental mandate (Genesis 1:28)
Two Types of Dissimilarities Individual human uniqueness Sexual distinctions based on design!
Beautifully and Wonderfully Made 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16
You Are One of a Kind! While each human being has in common a physical body and internal capital, the manifestation of these mark an absolutely unique individual. External characteristics present to the world a one of a kind human being.
Unique External Characteristics of Humans Body build: height and weight Skin: complexion and color Hair: texture and color Eyes: shape and color Nose: shape and length Gender: female or male Voice Fingerprints DNA Gestures and Mannerisms
Unique Internal Characteristics of Humans To think To feel To choose To create Natural giftings Spiritual giftings
Gender Distinction Reflected in Design and Purpose
Biological Basis for Gender- Specific Behavior “Indeed, as we survey the biology of mammals and humans in particular, we find sex-related differences in all of the organ system, including the brain and nervous system.” Dr. Gregg Johnson Prof. Biology Bethel University
Built Different for a Purpose “We can all recite the mantra that we are 99 percent identical …, but the reality is that the genetic differences between males and females absolutely dwarf all other differences in the human genome.” Dr. David C. Page Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Non-nervous System Physiology “Males, on average, have denser, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments, which allow for heavier work. Difference in metabolism and muscular ability likely give males a push in the more energetic direction.” “Women have a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat that acts as insulation and energy reserve. Consequently, they can withstand cold better and have better energy supply for activities requiring extraordinary endurance.”
Peripheral Nervous System “… women, on average have a more acute sense of touch…. Females, likewise, have a more acute sense of hearing, smell, and taste. It has been argued that females are generally more perceptive and aware of context. … Such a system would give women an advantage in child care and social interaction.”
“The thresholds to set off responses in the limbic system differ between males and females.”
Limbic System “Maternal aggression, …female responding to impending danger or harm to their offspring …. This response … is particularly strong during lactation …. It may also facilitate maternal instincts and bonding. This may explain why mothers are often more protective and aggressive in intervening on a child’s behalf than fathers. The baby’s cries trigger involuntary responses in the mother such as oxytocin secretion, nipple erection, and pupil dialation. There are no such responses in males, and male bonding is likely a learned response.”
Two Ways of Knowing Intuition and Reason Art and Science The fount of each is in the Creator Himself Both forms are needed to fully represent the image of God.
Corresponding Biology Gray Matter Used for information processing Rational processing i.e., math and sciences Men 6.5 x more gray matter than women White Matter Used for networking of processing centers Integrating and assimilating information Women 10 x more white matter than men
Two Ways of Knowing Male Scientific Knowledge Objective Externalization Focus on the facts Female Artistic Knowledge Subjective Internalization Focus on meaning
Our Differences Attract “From the beginning God designed our sexuality so that it reflects unity and differences and beauty all at the same time. As husband and wife, we are most attracted to the parts of each other that are the most different. Our deepest unity – physical and emotional and spiritual unity – comes at the point where we are most different.” Wayne Grudem Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood
Ethnological Differences “Anthropologists find similar kinds of universal sex-specific behaviors among human cultures. Of two hundred fifty cultures studied, males dominate in almost all. Males are almost always the rule makers, hunters, builders, fashioners of weapons, workers in metal, wood, or stone.
Ethnological Differences Women are primary care givers and most involved in child rearing. They are more often involved in making pottery, baskets, clothes, blankets, etc. They gather food, preserve and prepare food, obtain and carry firewood and water. They collect and grind grain.” Dr. Gregg Johnson The Biological Basis for Gender-Specific Behavior
Write Your Signature on the Universe The distinctions manifest in the fundamental principle of individuality are glorious in that they establish the absolute uniqueness of each individual, for the one of its kind role to be played in the unfolding of God’s eternal purposes.