Part 2. Men are not born to be gods

If someone told you that human males are born to be gods, you would brand that person as a heretic, or perhaps a Mormon. Yet that is what is being taught by some professors in Southern Baptist (SBC) affiliated seminaries. Any pastor or seminary that uses Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism as their guide teaches this.

This misogynous book was published in 1991 and was, and still is, sponsored by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It continues to be a best-seller. The 482 page book is a collection of male headship writings and teachings of various Christians. John Piper and Wayne Grudem edited this book and it is therefore assumed that they agree with its teachings, for why would anybody put something in a book that they do not agree with? And why would anyone use such a book to teach others unless they, too, believe it?

We will use their own words to see how they express this belief that men are gods, and that women are inferior to these human male gods. In order to elevate themselves, they must first oppress females. They do that with their claim that women want to be men. This is evidenced all through their Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood book. Others have taken up their mantra that women want to be men, as we can see in the email I received.

I don’t even know where to begin! By saying the things you say, you are instantly breaking Gods commands for women. How can you, a poor sinner, decide what the scripture means? It’s very simple if you read the words that are written, and not what you WANT to think it says. God’s words are non-negotiable and are to be lived every single day. I know we all sin, but by saying that His words/commands are WRONG…I can only pray you will see the true word of God and repent. Women are NOT equal to men, or they would BE men. You are mad at God because he did not make you a man (a comment on my blog).

We will examine the ramifications of what this means to women. And we will show you how these men believe that they are gods. There is only one God in heaven, so they cannot all be God, but they teach that all men are created to be man-gods on earth. When all women must submit to all men, the result is that it creates a man-god on earth. We know it by the name of patriarchy, or male headship.

For some time I have been struggling with the teaching that God chose males to be rulers over women. I could not understand how any Christian group or pastor can teach that women can give birth to a boy-child who they believe is inherently greater than the mother is. But I had a problem with this because every time I would think, “A woman cannot give birth to a being superior to herself,” I would come up with Mary who gave birth to Jesus, who was the son of God.

Yes, she could do it, but that is the exception and women cannot give birth to a greater being than she herself, can she? A human boy baby is believed by complementarians to have spiritual leadership imbued within his being, simply because he was born male.

You will be surprised as I was to learn that complementarians are actually teaching that women – you and I – are giving birth to god-men on earth. These little boy-babies we birth are divine because how else can a baby become divine except by birth? Little girl babies are not thought to be divine, nor in the line-up with God, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and Husbands.

Adam, who was in God’s image, passed the divine image (albeit flawed by sin) on to his son Seth. The divine image resided in the individuals Adam and Seth. (MALE-FEMALE EQUALITY AND MALE HEADSHIP GENESIS 1-3 by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., page 89 of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood).

Here we have Adam passing along his divinity through his seed to a son, Seth. According to complementarians, a woman in the image of God reflects an incomplete image, as she does not have spiritual or physical leadership over others.

We can see Ortlund’s reasoning in one of two ways: 1) Only Seth had the divine image and the other sons of Adam did not, and divinity would have been lost; or he meant 2) Adam passed his divine image to Seth and then to all his sons (which is the way you must see it in order for males to have headship over females).

According to Ortlund, as each male had sons, those sons became imbued with divinity. Thus they became little man-gods, which they teach is still being passed on through to sons in the 21st Century. Ortlund does not say that divinity was passed on through daughters, even though he does claim that men and women are both in the image of God. Was not Eve, too, in God’s image and wouldn’t Eve have passed that divinity to her sons and daughters, if divinity could be passed through humans? We are in the 21st century here, but down through the ages, people have thought that kings and emperors, and other leaders, had divinity on earth. It startles us when we realize our own pastors are teaching this.

Genesis 5:1 says “…When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them ‘man.'” That scripture goes on to say that Adam had a son in his likeness, in his own image, so this is apparently where Ortlund feels he can exclude women. But then the statement is made that Adam had other sons and daughters and no mention is made of those sons having the divine image, so Ortlund is choosing to see what he wants to see in order to confirm his beliefs.

John Piper, who helped Wayne Grudem edit and publish the book with Ortlund’s article referenced, has a website called Desiring God. However, Piper’s words and teachings show that his actual intent is to convince Christians that men are God on earth. That is what male headship means – that human males are to have authority over all women, not just their wives, but over ALL women.

Instead of Desiring God, as John Piper and Wayne Grudem would have you believe through their premier misogynistic work Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem; Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991), these seminary professors, pastors, preachers, Christian leaders, and Piper and Grudem themselves, are desiring to BE God.

excerpt from my book Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood.

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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