Seal the deal

It is just not fair!  Almost every day I think those words.  Sometimes I even tell the Lord that it just isn’t fair.  I doubt that fair is ever mentioned in the Bible.  Lots of things are not fair.  The unfair that I am talking about is how women are treated in church and in the world. 

I am sure there are many reasons women are not equal.  One is certainly that men are larger and stronger than women.  Men are more aggressive, are risk takers, and a host of other characteristics that we see as being male.  

But the main reason that women are not treated fairly stems from our Old Testament heritage.  Women can’t “seal the deal.”

It starts at the birth of the baby.  A little boy baby was circumcised which fulfilled Genesis 17:10: “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.”

Women are not equal because little Jewish girls could not “seal the deal,” and that attitude set the culture in which the Bible was written, and today many little Christian girls are born second class in the 21st century.

Not all Christian girls because some denominations allow women to be equal.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Equality for women in Southern Baptist churches and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Seal the deal

  1. Paula says:

    “Men are more aggressive, are risk takers, and a host of other characteristics that we see as being male.”

    While this may possibly be true as an average, it certainly isn’t a universal fact; there are aggressive, risk-taking, leading, intelligent, and even athletic women, as well as passive, timid, following, unintelligent, and non-athletic men. These exceptions disprove the alleged rule. We “see as being male” that which we decided as a culture to see, and what a coincidence, men get all the ruling, lofty qualities assigned to them.

    As for circumcision, it was a sign of a covenant for the descendants of Abraham, not a sign of superiority of one sex over the other. Why was this sign something that only males could have? Scripture doesn’t say. But we do know that Adam is blamed for sin entering the world, and that the Savior would come from the “seed of the woman”, so there is good reason to lean toward the answer that circumcision reminds us of the privilege of the woman, because Jewish men, in order to be “pure”, had to “sacrifice”.

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  2. EricW says:

    News Flash: The Abrahamic Faiths are patriarchal. 🙂

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  3. spiritualsamurai says:

    It is my prayer for the sake of my daughters and the Kingdom that someday this will change and we can move past the prejudicial perspective and understand that all are equal in Christ.

    I appreciate your blog. Thank you for your commitment.

    Like

  4. Kristen says:

    But the seal of the New Covenant is baptism, not circumcision. And this signals a big change: no longer is the seal of the covenant something only men can have or do.

    I believe this was deliberate, and I believe it’s part of why Paul said, “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is not male and female.” He says that in Galatians– and the main point of Galatians is how circumcision is not part of the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was for one tribe, one culture– and yes, it was patriarchal. The Old Covenant was focused on outward forms; the New Covenant on internal change– and the New Covenant is inclusive of all peoples and cultures– and both sexes.

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    • EricW says:

      But the seal of the New Covenant is baptism, not circumcision. And this signals a big change: no longer is the seal of the covenant something only men can have or do.

      I thought it was [the reception of] the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).

      Or is it both?

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  5. Lynne says:

    I’ve been thinking about the circumcision thing lately and it strikes me that God instituted it as a ‘cut’ against patriarchal power — that it was a command that they yield to Him in the very place that most symbolised their masculine pride. A lot of Ancient Near East religions centred around fertility cults, yet God demands they surrender the flesh to Him. Of course, God’s institution and man’s interpretation are often poles apart, but i think that was part of the original institution.
    Just my (partly developed) thoughts

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  6. KR Wordgazer says:

    I think the Holy Spirit is God’s seal of the covenant towards us, but baptism is ours towards God. Baptism is equated with circumcision in Col. 2:11-12.

    In any event, the point is the same. The New Covenant contains no seal that is performable only by males.

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  7. KR Wordgazer says:

    Lynne– I think your conjecture makes a lot of sense. 🙂

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  8. Paula says:

    I don’t see water baptism as symbolizing anything in the NT; consider 1 Peter 3:21 and 1 Cor. 1:17 where it is downplayed. If water were any kind of “seal” then the Holy Spirit wouldn’t be, but see 2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 1:13 and 4:30. Personally, given all that, I see water baptism as merely the accepted method of the era for identifying oneself with any cause or movement, since it was also used by Jews, other religions, and even secular groups as well as I recall.

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    • EricW says:

      There seems to be a relationship between water baptism and the Spirit and union with/identification with Christ as adopted children, etc., in Galatians 3:1-4:7. The paramount thing seems to be reception of the Spirit by faith. Baptism seems connected with putting on Christ (3:27); I wonder if Paul’s statement in Galatians 2:19 (Greek text), “I have been (or ‘am’) crucified with Christ,” is a reference to baptism as dying with Christ (Romans 6:4ff.)?

      Is baptism unnecessary? Does it effect something? The receipt of the Spirit seems to be the principal mark of regeneration, not getting wet. See, e.g., Acts 10:44ff. Unless, however, Acts 10 was simply a prophetic empowerment by the Spirit as occurred at times in the OT, rather than regeneration by the Spirit who would from then on reside in/with them. (Note that after they spoke in tongues Peter said to baptize them.) This possible understanding may affect the interpretation of Acts 2/Pentecost.

      So, what happened at Pentecost and hence in Acts 10? Did they receive the Spirit in their hearts – Galatians 4:6 – related to regeneration, or was it simply poured out on them for power – Acts 1:4-5?

      And is there a relation between baptism and receiving the Spirit as a seal?

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      • EricW says:

        My last sentence should read “And is there a relationship between baptism and receiving the Spirit as a seal?”

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      • Paula says:

        Since there are instances where water baptism precedes the Spirit and others where it follows, and since Paul and Peter both seemed to view water baptism as largely irrelevant, and since John the Baptist said “I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8), I see scripture as teaching that Spirit “immersion” is what water “immersion” pointed to. And just as the Jewishness of the early church did not fade abruptly but changed over a period of time, so also I see water baptism as a “transitional” practice.

        Notice that I emphasized “water” baptism; I think we need to be careful not to presume it whenever we see “baptism” in the NT.

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  9. Kristen says:

    Well, whatever your views on baptism, the point I wanted to make still stands– circumcision is done away with in the New Covenant, in which any special privilege based on being male or female (or any other characteristic of this world, like race or social status) is done away with.

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  10. EricW says:

    More than you ever wanted to know about Jewish circumcision:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brit_milah

    “metzitzah b’peh” – say, what?!?!

    Like

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