Women as Icons of Christ - Part 4
Okay, in the next chapter of Witt’s book, he looks at Genesis 1-3.
While many complementarians treat men and women as ontologically equally (i.e., in the image of God), they believe that women are created to be functionally subordinate to men.
In response, Witt points out several things:
Eve was created to be Adam’s “companion” not so he can “rule over” her
The fact that Adam was born first does not make him superior because in other ancient Near Eastern creation stories the woman was born first. In other words, sequence never entails authority in creation stories.
The sexual division of labour whereby men work and women care for the home was indeed due to the biological reality of male fitness for hard labour and human give birth and breastfeed. However, the post-industrial world has meant that those biological constraints and less constraining.
Genesis teaches that men and women were equally created in the image of God, were intended by God to be mutual companions to one another, and were equally intended by God to exercise stewardship over creation, and to raise and nurture children. There are certainly “role” differences based in basic biology; only men can be fathers; only women can give birth to and provide breast milk for children. And certainly, these biological differences account for some differences in how men and women will be partners and parents even in a post-industrial age.
Making leadership decisions should be by spiritual discernment - including competency and effectiveness for the task. This process seems apparent in the judge Deborah - being the only woman named who was competent for the task. Forcing or favoring gender equality in every endeavor ignores the obvious and is not spiritual discernment. Believers need not comment about modern feminism for it is an issue for this world and not of the Kingdom of God. However, the Church ought to be the example for the world rather than the other way around.
And no, I'm not a feminist. That word is so plastic it can be made to mean almost anything. I'm a Christian who believes God when he says he is holy and just.