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Why God’s Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life’s Meaning

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I am always reading and looking for new information. A couple of weeks ago, I came across this article. The title definitely drew me in. Maybe out of curiosity. It is at the website (and there is a Facebook page too) called Biblical Gender Roles. Sounds quite interesting doesn't it? 

I'm reading along and everything appears honkey dorey. I read through and realized I was a bit detached and had to take another read through. After four or five read throughs (just to make sure I was understanding and processing what I was reading), I was dumbfounded. 

According to the website, the author (or authors as there really are no names attached to the articles) appear to take the position: 
 

  • The Bible apparently makes a distinct difference between the gender roles and that woman was not created after God's image and likeness
  • Women are a weaker vessel because Man is God's image bearer only
  • Women are subjugated to the authority and demands of her husband and has no right of refusal (some articles advocate Biblical right to marital rape



Well, I had to provide a response in three separate articles of my own to address the major problems. 

Oh, what is the article I am referencing? Why God’s Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life’s Meaning

My responses - in three separate essays: 

An LDS Perspective on Why God's Identification as Male is the Key to Understanding Life's Meaning

The first part of this response focused on the context and foundation of the assertion being made, the question that is being addressed and answered, and whether or not the writer has given due diligence in providing an accurate, scriptural response and answer to the question postulated. Along with this, second part of that article briefly introduced some of the main assertions that are cause for questioning and examination and how they falter in meeting true scriptural teaching on the nature of God, masculinity, femininity, and gender roles. The third part explored a more in-depth analysis of the presenting issues derived from the main points of the article itself and how a more appropriate answer is given to the misinformation of the article under review. 

Part Two: An LDS Perspective on Why God's Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life's Meaning

In the second part, it was contended that there is a linguistic issue regarding the Hebrew and Greek languages. Namely, that all languages have masculine, feminine, and neutral aspects. From here, the third part of this article focused on understanding the nature of how the Bible has some symbolism toward a divine and sovereign feminine gender role within the Divine Council and provided evidence as it relates to a Divine council of Heavenly Parents - God, the Father, and Goddess the Mother. The response examined the nature of human gender roles in light of Divine gender roles, and the divine institution of marriage and how this is represented in the symbolism of the New Testament of Jesus Christ, his parable of the ten virgins, and the reference to Christ being the Bridegroom and the Church being the Bride of Christ. 

Part Three: The Work and the Glory of God is to Bring to Pass Man's Eternal Life and Immortality

In this third, and final, essay; the concept of human existence and experience involves answering the initial question - Life's meaning and purpose. The writer of the article: Why God's Identification as Male is Key to Understanding Life Meaning becomes a misnomer in answering the question it sets out to answer. 

After reviewing the initial article (whether from a Christian or Mormon perspective) and then reviewing my responses - what are your thoughts with regard to the nature of creation of man and woman, gender roles, and how do you approach this subject from an apologetic perspective? 

And, how do you identify life meaning and purpose from an apologetic standpoint?

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And people think I give a lot for them to think and write about.

(PS Edit after reading it all): For others who do not want to read my long winded statements...there is a TLDR at the end of my third post.

Haven't read all of what you wrote, but you misquote Genesis, or misunderstand it.  Genesis 1: 27 states

Quote

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The literal reading of this is that the only being created in the image was Man.

A deeper reading would be that man represents the human species and thus both were created in his image.

The taking of grammar of the original would indicate once again that it is merely the Male that was created in his image, and that he created both male and female. 

I find the writer of the original article very articulate in their writing and back up their argument very effectively.  I'd say thus far, with just your first blog, their evidence is more supportive of their conclusion than I have found yours to be....thus far. 

We also have the verses from Moses...but as we have no other language from which it was translated (or to put it better, we do NOT have the document which had another language from which it was translated in order to compare) it is harder to do so with it. 

I would say the original article is more convincing to me thus far than your first blog post has been.  Part of it is that the article is well founded and understands traditional writings on this subject, whereas yours seems to be less targeted and focused. 

This makes understanding exactly what your point is hard to figure out.  Your opening and concluding portions are not good at explaining and defining your arguments (aka...points that you are trying to prove). 

From what I gather, you disagree with the original article in that you feel that Eve is ALSO made in the image of Deity along with Adam.  At the same time, though you disagree with the idea that Eve is a reflection and to the Glory of Adam, you also see that Adam is the head of the couple due to authority?

Hence, a similar outlook but with the deviation that Eve is also made in the image of Deity.  You have not really posted convincing scriptures (to me) at least thus far to prove this point.  On this subject, the original article seems to be more convincing...and hopefully you have not based your next two blogs on this single point.

I'm off to digest the next two blogs you asked about.

Edited by JohnsonJones
Adding a TLDR PS at the top after reading all of the articles and blogs.

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Ironically you start the second blog with this

Quote

The common problem with proper scripture interpretation is where Christians, and many others, employ a intuitive or feels-right approach to interpretation (Duvall and Hays, 2008). This occurs in two ways: First, people may see a text as something that may be directly applied and, therefore, make attempt at direct application. If there is no direct application, then a person may take a spiritualizating approach to the meaning of the text. Duvall and Hays refer to this as a possible bordering approach to allegorizing the Biblical Text. Another observed phenomenon is mere ignoring of a particular passage and missing the context altogether. 

which thus far is ironic.

I seem to agree with much of what you have written in the second blog, but NOT because of the evidence you have provided.  Once again, I don't find the evidence itself factually convincing, but the "FEELS" of it are convincing me more of it. 

I am more inclined along your way of thinking and feeling it makes logical and consistent sense most likely because it is similar to the same ideas I have thought.  Thus it is more reliant on my spiritualizing the approach as it intuitively feels correct rather than on the strength of your argument in relation to if I were not akin to a similar thought to you.

I think part of it is that you are not so much quoting and recognizing scripture to support you, but scholars and scholarly workmanship.  I feel this weakens your logical argument, while at the same time helps with the intuitive sense for those like me that what you say is logical and makes sense.  There are a few minor things I do not see the same as you (for example, with your Abraham verse you seem to be indicating that it was just the Lord/Son and the heavenly parents when a more common understanding was that it was ALL of those who helped...all the great and noble...etc), but overall, I seem to agree with the blog more because it concludes in a similar pattern to what I would do.

In this, I would say that I would completely agree that Eve is fashioned after a Mother, and Adam the Father...but I'm not sure that the argument would be convincing to one who was not LDS.

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I would disagree with your understanding of the article writer's premise and what others who are non-LDS but traditional conservative hardline evangelical Christians may understand. 

This misunderstanding I think weakens the blogs thus far and also undoes in many ways your concluding blog.

Of course, this is probably because I am viewing from the viewpoint of the general Christian public rather than a Latterday Saint. 

I think that many Modern Latterday Saints would agree with your blogs and writings.  They go right in hand with what many Modern Latterday Saints also feel.

If you were trying to address the main Evangelical hardline conservative Christians, I think your blog does not have enough scriptural evidence to support your statements. 

For those who are more Central or Liberal in their Christianity who may disagree with the original article I do not feel your articles/blogs would win them over either.  You quote many things that Latterday Saints would find agreeable, but not enough from other sources that would sway your general Christian.  I would say most would be more persuaded to the original Author's article than your blog. 

From purely a LDS perspective, I think you expand FAR beyond what the writer of the original article intended to explore.  In going beyond the mark, you ascribe things that he never intended to address from my viewpoint.  In this, I think what he wrote actually meshes very well with what the Church Fathers (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) actually also felt in relation to the relationship between men and women and the Father and Mankind.  Obviously, there were differences, but there was the idea that existed for over a century and a quarter that fell very near to what the writer of the original article wrote. 

AFTER the 1960's a change in the wording started to occur, and we can see much of the results today.  Rather than teaching that the Father is the head at times, this is discarded.  However, traditionally, the viewpoint was very similar to what the author of the original Article wrote.  This is not surprising as this was ALSO what was taught in traditional Christianity and is still taught in Evangelical churches which remain closer to their traditional teachings rather than the more modern approaches of our day.

Your ideas seem to reflect more of the modernism and modern ideas that exist in the Church today.  Much like Polygamy (also a very misogynistic idea as per the world) was held as an ideal to be carried on in the early church, but now is held in great contempt by many (if not most members) today, the same could be applied to the topic/subject that you have addressed in the blogs.

The Modern feeling would agree very much with what you wrote in regards to Latterday Saints.  They tend to be more conservative (but not he most conservative in regards to traditional Christianity) in their approach and I can see with your usage of scholars and LDS prophets that, at least (as I noted) intuitively your discussion is VERY convincing.

As I suppose your main audience would be a modern LDS culture, I suppose it is successful.

I do not feel it would convince anyone else.

 

PS: So that's it in a nutshell.  Took me a while to get through the article and your blogs.  Hopefully it's feedback you were looking for and commentary on it.  I tried to give that to you.  I think a TLDR thought would be...

TLDR

I agree with much of what you wrote but that's probably because I'm LDS and it conjoins with somethings I already feel.  It should be agreeable with many LDS who are in Modern LDS culture.  It may not be agreeable to those who are more traditional LDS (read much older LDS in some ways).  I do not feel there is enough non-LDS scriptural evidence to convince anyone else to your views/opinion whether they agree with the original article or not.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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15 hours ago, SeattleTruthSeeker said:

I am always reading and looking for new information. A couple of weeks ago, I came across this article. The title definitely drew me in. Maybe out of curiosity. It is at the website (and there is a Facebook page too) called Biblical Gender Roles. Sounds quite interesting doesn't it? 

I'm reading along and everything appears honkey dorey. I read through and realized I was a bit detached and had to take another read through. After four or five read throughs (just to make sure I was understanding and processing what I was reading), I was dumbfounded. 

According to the website, the author (or authors as there really are no names attached to the articles) appear to take the position: 
 

  • The Bible apparently makes a distinct difference between the gender roles and that woman was not created after God's image and likeness
  • Women are a weaker vessel because Man is God's image bearer only
  • Women are subjugated to the authority and demands of her husband and has no right of refusal (some articles advocate Biblical right to marital rape



Well, I had to provide a response in three separate articles of my own to address the major problems. 

Oh, what is the article I am referencing? Why God’s Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life’s Meaning

My responses - in three separate essays: 

An LDS Perspective on Why God's Identification as Male is the Key to Understanding Life's Meaning

The first part of this response focused on the context and foundation of the assertion being made, the question that is being addressed and answered, and whether or not the writer has given due diligence in providing an accurate, scriptural response and answer to the question postulated. Along with this, second part of that article briefly introduced some of the main assertions that are cause for questioning and examination and how they falter in meeting true scriptural teaching on the nature of God, masculinity, femininity, and gender roles. The third part explored a more in-depth analysis of the presenting issues derived from the main points of the article itself and how a more appropriate answer is given to the misinformation of the article under review. 

Part Two: An LDS Perspective on Why God's Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life's Meaning

In the second part, it was contended that there is a linguistic issue regarding the Hebrew and Greek languages. Namely, that all languages have masculine, feminine, and neutral aspects. From here, the third part of this article focused on understanding the nature of how the Bible has some symbolism toward a divine and sovereign feminine gender role within the Divine Council and provided evidence as it relates to a Divine council of Heavenly Parents - God, the Father, and Goddess the Mother. The response examined the nature of human gender roles in light of Divine gender roles, and the divine institution of marriage and how this is represented in the symbolism of the New Testament of Jesus Christ, his parable of the ten virgins, and the reference to Christ being the Bridegroom and the Church being the Bride of Christ. 

Part Three: The Work and the Glory of God is to Bring to Pass Man's Eternal Life and Immortality

In this third, and final, essay; the concept of human existence and experience involves answering the initial question - Life's meaning and purpose. The writer of the article: Why God's Identification as Male is Key to Understanding Life Meaning becomes a misnomer in answering the question it sets out to answer. 

After reviewing the initial article (whether from a Christian or Mormon perspective) and then reviewing my responses - what are your thoughts with regard to the nature of creation of man and woman, gender roles, and how do you approach this subject from an apologetic perspective? 

And, how do you identify life meaning and purpose from an apologetic standpoint?

I am wondering if you could have saved yourself considerable time and effort, and provided a more authoritative response, by simply posting the The Family: A Proclamation to the Word, which surprisingly, and as best I could tell, you didn't cite in any of your articles.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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