“I would very much like to see some discussion on the history of gender relations, particularly why male supremacist sentiments are so rife in Genesis and Biblical narrative generally.”
Your ‘reply’ could take up to 6,000 years to reply to. In fact it has taken at least that amount of time for the God Family of Heaven to reply to the ‘divorce’ between men and women that was a consequence of both Eve and Adam ‘buying’ the serpent’s lies and ‘divorcing’ their hearts from their Creators. So, recognizing that there are Spectrum editors, and begging their patience, I’ll dive in and begin by agreeing with your first sentence. I, too, would like to hear “. . . some discussion on the history of gender relations . . . .”
However, I believe you are missing the best parts of the ‘Biblical narrative’ if you don’t move on past Genesis and mere ‘gender’ to Isaiah, Malachi . . .
and the New Testament.
I’d compare ‘the fall’ of mankind, described in Genesis, to a common mistake, and its results, made by so many careless tourists at the Sleeping Bear Dunes near my home. The National Park Service Finally had to put up signs warning them not to descend the high, steep, lakeshore bluffs to reach the beautiful, enticing waters of Lake Michigan, hundreds of feet below. You see many tourists have no grasp of how very difficult it is to climb back up the steep, loose, sand and gravel slope when taking one step up may mean sliding two steps down, all under the hot sun. Rescues are rather expensive, but must often be done to return people to their cars at the top.
So, in the Biblical narrative describing the ‘rescue’ of the ‘hearts’ of a whole ‘genetic’ race. It is not reasonable to limit our understanding of the ‘rescue’ to merely the beginning of the emergency, right ? In the end, the rescue is complete. So why not move on in that direction to the writings of Paul, and John ?
And while we are at it, why not acknowledge that God’s ‘Word’ was originally only recorded in ‘Nature’, and it was not ‘translated’ as ‘scripture’ has repeatedly been. ‘Sola scriptura’ as it has been inflicted on human minds and ‘hearts’, is in fact a half-blind, partial ‘truth’ divorced from the whole ‘Word of God’ as expressed in both the Plan of Creation AND of Redemption (true science AND true religion united, despite Descartes). . . and Malachi says God hates divorce, because of its effect on the ‘offspring’, the children. We are to be ‘born again’, as children of God, are we not ? Then why should we limit ourselves ‘solely’ to ‘scriptura’ for learning Their truth ?
Nonetheless, beginning with John’s written account of the night meeting of Jesus with Nicodemus, we begin to see the slow, tedious rescue of the ‘heart’ of ‘a teacher of Israel’, by the publicly visible activities (such as cleansing the Temple) of Jesus who told him of a ‘new birth’ that he should have understood from the only ‘Old Testament’ scriptures Nicodemus had. Really ? ! The ‘Gospel’ of ‘new birth’ in the ‘O.T.’ ? Where ? !
Well, for one, the book of Isaiah ends, describing :
“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Isaiah 66:7-8 (This is NOT describing a Cesarean Section.)
So, clearly, there is a genderless, non-genetic ‘birth’ made possible by the events of that ‘New Testament’ which Gospel Prophets such as Isaiah and Malachi predicted.
The very manly Pharisee, Saul, after being humbled in heart to a ‘baby’ at the gate of Damascus, spent the rest of his life pleading with his own male-biased race to understand their own ‘Old Testament’ scriptures and ‘types’ as they were intended to be understood – as mere steps toward the ultimate ‘rescue’ from a long fall, Not the ultimate safe goal. As evidence that Saul no longer saw his domineering ‘gender’, or ‘Jewish’ ‘genetic’ structure as anything worthwhile, he changed his own name to little ‘Paul’. Thereafter you hear him pleading with people to understand the mystery of the ‘Godly’ new birth caused by simply beholding Jesus as the ‘mirror image’ of the ‘Father’, even though Jesus was born of a very humble, yet ‘fallen’-human ‘woman’, genetically-speaking, DNA-speaking. And, argued Paul :
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28-29
Was Paul addressing only Jews ?
. . . only males ? . . . only Christians ?
Were there female Jews ? . . . female Christians ?
Is there a ‘circumcision’ that is still needed by all human ‘hearts’ – not merely that other trouble-maker – regardless of ‘DNA’ programming ?
Yes, to the last question. This is that same mysterious, non-genetic, genderless ‘new birth’ and/or ‘circumcision of the heart’ described by Jesus to Nicodemus and by Isaiah to Old Testament ‘Israel’ regarding the real, ‘heart’-circumcising, ‘heart’-‘teaching’ purpose of their revered ‘Mt. Zion’, ‘Mt. Moriah’, and ‘Jerusalem’
( ‘Teacher of at-one/Peace’ . . . with God and mankind).
But, because SDA pulpits have too largely, artificially, elevated ‘sola scriptura’ over the original ‘Word of God’ in Creation since Dr. Kellogg’s ‘panentheism’, they have not only missed, but have effectively ridiculed, the most up-to-date evidence now made recently available by non-SDA brain scientists using hi-tech imaging tools . . . evidence which directly links both the form AND the function of ancient Jerusalem’s hills and valleys to the form and functions of the ‘gyri’ and ‘sulci’ of the ‘cortices’ of the ‘inner man’ ‘heart’ of the brain of every woman, man and child .
Now it is both Biblically and Scientifically clear that the ‘new birth’ involves brain/nerve-programming, not DNA/’flesh’-programming . And, this is how every ‘Christian’ is ‘born again’ as a genderless, ‘Child of God’, ‘in Christ’:
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 KJV
What Courtney Ray, the human being, has experienced in the ‘heart’ of her brain --and that which makes her a Godly pastor – has almost nothing to do with DNA/‘gender’(other than the DNA in the nerves being programmed in her brain tissue) but almost everything to do with that ‘heart’ of her ‘plastic’ brain being reprogrammed ‘by beholding’ Jesus, thereby allowing that ‘Jerusalem’ deep in her brain to be ‘reborn’ in a ‘New’ character, in a ‘New’ motive, in the image of ‘Our Father which art in Heaven’ – though, now, she ‘sees’ ‘through a glass darkly’, but then, ‘face to face’.
If SDA ‘women’ are ever to ‘win’ the freedom from SDA ‘men’ to serve God in ‘Their’ church, ‘Their’ way . . . then they will have to dust off ‘Their’ first ‘Word’ of Creation and show the ‘men’ of the SDA church the scientific evidence now emerging from that untranslated ‘Word’ of Creation. Evidence that neither Paul, nor Ellen, nor Jones, nor Waggoner . . . had available to them in their struggles to move ‘ the church’ forward toward the ultimate rescue in ‘the New Jerusalem’ described in ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’, a rescue merely introduced in ‘Genesis’.
These new science discoveries also prove that we SDAs have not yet exhausted the ‘study of the sanctuary’ until we study and recognize that the ‘most holy’ of the ‘True Living Temple’, which God’s Holy Spirit desires to inhabit, is hidden deep in the ‘heart’ of each conscious human being, and that this arrangement is in no way ‘pan-entheism’, but the Holy Spirit of ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ That ‘True Living Temple’ is where the ‘e-motivations’ of ‘love–hate’, ‘trust–distrust’, ‘pride–humility’, ‘guilt–at-tone-ment’ . . . ‘the pain of social exclusion’, and the ‘mirror neurons’ which enabled Courtney Ray to be changed into the heart-character of Christ simply ‘by beholding’ – just as the snake-bitten Israelites beheld the brass serpent representing Christ, ‘made to be sin’, for us.
Just as Paul taught the Galatians, ‘Jerusalem’ – whether ‘above’ or ‘below’ – is yet another allegorical ‘type’ to add to the long list SDAs have not yet fully-grasped.
Only when SDA women can show SDA men that both need to cast aside their partiality to DNA/ ‘flesh’ and mere ‘gender’ at the foot of the cross – where the ‘son of man’ AND the ‘Son of God’ died of that mysterious ‘inner man’ ‘broken heart, caused by mental anguish’ (DA 772) . . . death of ‘exclusion’, not ‘inclusion’, from both humanity and Divinity – will they , like little Paul, truly be ordained of God – not merely of men --to preach His Good News to ALL, regardless of their mere DNA !
To begin your mutual victory with a wrongly-male-dominated SDA church, SDA women, I would recommend reading a book written by a mother and her son – Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee – titled, The Body Has A Mind Of Its Own. Read especially chapter 9 on ‘Mirror Neurons’, and chapter 10 on ‘The Heart of the Mandala’ – the ‘insula’ or ‘island’ of the inner brain first published upon by Johannes Christian Reil just as the Great Advent Movement was about to be ‘born’ (and stop cold in its tracks at ‘. . . and the Faith of Jesus’).
Then, if the Spectrum editors will allow it, also watch the attached video of a lecture given by one of the leading brain anatomists now publishing their ‘paradigm-changing’ discoveries in the Scandinavian region where Rene Descartes died regretting having limited his ‘15 minutes of fame’ to promoting mind-body ‘dualism’ and neglecting ‘heart’ – a very SDA problem, still, today !
Spectrum Editors :
I’m sorry I’ve ‘ranted’ along this line of ‘tangential theology’ for so long, as some of your more educated readers have complained of me in the past. My only defense is that after 6,000 years of Biblical history God, ‘Themselves’, have still not succeeded in being understood clearly, even by Their ‘own people’ in this regard :
The source of the ‘computer virus’ of ‘sin’, and of ‘second death’, is not to be found in the ‘DNA/hardware’ of human flesh, but in the programmable, and removable, redeemable, ‘plastic’ ‘software’ of those human ‘hearts’ which are found primarily in ‘the place of the skull’, not merely within the ribcage. (Tho’ those 2 ‘hearts’ have been discovered to be very closely linked, especially regarding ‘empathy’ – ‘in feeling’, like being found ‘in Christ’.) If you could see all of the evidence I’ve seen regarding the relevance of this new ‘science’ information to current and past crises in the SDA ‘religion’, I believe you would publish articles on it, yourselves, doing much better than I can. You have my email address if you have an interest. DH