"So let’s have no more nonsense about femininity and masculinity being the key to understanding how to be women and men in Christ, because the Bible doesn’t teach masculine and feminine traits."
One of the the joys of blogging that we didn't anticipate when we launched this forum almost eight years ago is our ever-growing circle of friends. While we knew back then that the internet is a gateway to a vast amount of information, we have been pleasantly surprised to discover that it is also a powerful communication tool. Our once 'obscure blog' has somehow managed to attract followers from around the world. We are exceedingly grateful to our readers and commenters who add so much to the ongoing discussion!
Dee and I have a West Coast friend, Tim Fall, who started his own blog back in 2012. It is humorously named Just One Train Wreck After Another. We have previously featured a couple of Tim's posts, and recently we one of his posts came to our attention that we know our readership will enjoy.
To learn more about Tim Fall, click on the following – What On Earth Is This Blog About?
At the above link, Tim shares the following:
And I hope everyone who visits this blog is reminded of Jesus as they read from post to post here, and that each post is an encouragement in their relationship with God.
Honoring God and encouraging people.
That’s what I’d like this blog to be about.
This week Tim wrote the following posts, which you may also enjoy:
Biblical Femininity Is A Lie (link)
By: Tim Fall
Laura Martin just posted a review of Biblical Femininity, Discovering Clarity and Freedom in God’s Design for Women. She ably discusses the book’s premises, pointing out that its reliance on weak exegeses leads to weakly supported conclusions on the role of women in the kingdom of God.
I think there is another weakness to the book that can influence even those who merely read the title and never look inside. The problem?
There’s no such thing as “Biblical Femininity”.
That’s because the Bible doesn’t say we are created feminine and masculine; it says we are created male and female.
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27.)
Being feminine or masculine is a cultural concept, while being male or female is biological. To oversimplify the biology of sex, if you have two X chromosomes you’re female and if you have an X and a Y chromosome you’re male. Acting feminine or masculine might reflect your gender, but it won’t affect your sex:
What are feminine and masculine traits anyway? Each culture has traits or behaviors it assigns generally to one sex or another, and other cultures in a different place or time can take those same traits and behaviors and assign them to the opposite sex.
The Bible itself shows differences in gender expectations over time and place:
- In Proverbs 31 the woman (who is actually a personification of Godly wisdom) is an entrepreneur in the Israelite community and manages all the household finances and personnel.
- In Paul’s letters and travels to various cities in the Roman Empire (heavily influenced by Greek culture and not at all looking to Jewish history for its guidance) he commended a women who taught a man (Priscilla in Acts 18:24-26, 1 Corinthians 16:9), sent greetings to a woman who was a fellow apostle (Junia in Acts 16:7), and specified that in Ephesus – a city with a centuries-long preexisting matriarchal cult – women in the church should learn about Jesus quietly (1 Timothy 2:11).
- And on returning to Judea, Paul enjoyed the hospitality of an evangelist whose daughters each had the gift of prophecy (Philip and his four daughters in Acts 21:8-9).
So I wonder where anyone thinks the Bible dictates particularly feminine or masculine traits people must adopt today in order to live “Biblically”.
Perhaps they mean this passage:
Greet each other with a kiss of love. (1 Peter 5:14.)
OK men, when you show up at the men’s breakfast next weekend make sure you’ve got plenty of lip balm because you’re going to be smooching … a lot.
Or perhaps they mean this passage:
… a man must not wear women’s clothing. (Deuteronomy 22:5.)
You hear that Scottish men? I don’t care how tough Braveheart was, no more kilts!
And Maori warriors, no more skirts!
And American male judges, no more robes!
But the femininity/masculinity proponents will tell us that those Old and New Testament passages must be understood in their contexts, that what men and women wore in Bible times was culturally informed.
I completely agree.
So let’s have no more nonsense about femininity and masculinity being the key to understanding how to be women and men in Christ, because the Bible doesn’t teach masculine and feminine traits. It doesn’t even tell us how to be Biblical men and women.
Rather, the Bible tells us we are:
… growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. (Ephesians 4:15.)
That’s not feminine and it’s not masculine, but it sure is Biblical.