Friday, June 03, 2005

False Feminism

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this kind of thing. (ht: Best of the Web) The New Testament rewritten with Christ as a woman and the Godhead referred to as female.

The publisher, LBI Institute, has released this new Bible entitled: "Judith Christ of Nazareth, The Gospels of the Bible, Corrected to Reflect that Christ Was a Woman, Extracted from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."

I am not disturbed so much at the stupidity of the idea, but note the word corrected in the blurb. As if historical documents now conclude that Jesus was a woman, never mind theological implications or the notion that God has a gender. However, in his Incarnation, Jesus patently did have a gender - MALE. Sorry, fragile egos of my liberal sisters.

This a false feminism and one I utterly reject. It is the feminism described by CS Lewis in That Hideous Strength, rejecting the male simply because it's male. Madeline L'Engle notes it also in her Austin family series, her wise maternal character admonishes her daughters to reject false feminism also. Pride in gender and it's inherent roles does not mean refuting the other gender's role and place. That is the same thinking that keeps women behind the veil in the Middle East or gives credence to the thought that too much education would ruin a woman's mind.

The Bible does not trample women. They are not portrayed as second class. The Bible is full of comparisions and allusions to the feminine aspect of God, there for the reading. Genesis 1: 26-27 says:
Then God said, "Let us make man(kind) in our image, in our likeness, let them rule over the fish of the sean and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth , over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man(kind) in his own image,
In the image of God he created him,
male and female he created them." (NIV)
The Godhead is likened to a woman in Luke 15:8-9. Even Paul's much maligned passage about women's roles in church has this to say:
In the Lord however, woman is not independent of man, nor man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. I Corinthians 11:11-12
These statements occur right after his admonishments of how women should behave. The point of the whole passage is this: everyone should be focused on God in church. If someone is being disruptive they need to be under authority of someone. In ancient Corinth, that authority was a man. Again, simply a reflection of what was and not a whipping post for an outraged false feminism.

Back to CS Lewis. In Perelandra, Lewis writes a truth: gender is only the animal extention of masculine and feminine. God encompasses both masculine and feminine, to rewrite historical fact to exclude the masculine to redress a wrong that has not been comitted is not a work of serious scholarship. You want to translate the Bible in a way that highlights the feminine aspect of God - go right ahead, but a silly hack job that promotes a falsity will not empower women.

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