I Am Not Eve; I don’t even like apples, ok well, only the green ones…

I continue to be amazed at the many people who hold Christian women accountable for the sin of Eve in the garden. Earlier this year I was given a workbook at a marriage conference and was shocked to find a full length picture of a woman, arm outstretched, holding an apple. So, fine. Where was the picture of Adam, where was the picture of the serpent? Not depicted, obviously freed from their responsibility in the garden scenario by the creators of the marriage workshop. How many times I have seen and heard this played out, men finding reason to blame women for their own failures, responsibility given to them by the Lord, to love, nurture, protect and guide in all things, the spiritual included; to love them as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it – Ephesians 5:26-27.

Men who are deceived, leaders following after other false leaders, apostles and prophets who have been given the place of the shepherd, will also be excused from their failure, the blame placed on the woman, or their wife who leads them into deception. Why? Because that is what women do. Men apparently have no responsibility for their actions or decisions, but to lay it upon the shoulders of their women. Really guys?

On a more personal note, the last time I approached a pastor on his decision to appoint a women’s minister who followed after Richard Foster and the Emergent Church, to their so called woman’s ministry, resulting in our decision to leave the church (among other things) and after having given him scriptures instructing us in what we were to do in that situation, I was reminded that  – I was a woman – . Wow.

Last night I found a very well written, seven part series on the fall of man, written by Bill Randles, in which part 2 he states:

Responsibility for the fall of man is laid at the feet of Adam, the father of us all, not Eve. Never in all of the revelation of God, is she seen as being primarily the cause of the fall. Adam was the person God called out immediately after the transgression, not Eve. Eve was deceived by the serpent, not Adam. The commission was given to Adam to guard and keep the garden.

Therefore it is interesting that the narrative of the fall centers around the woman. The serpent approached the woman, accused God to her, and presented his arguments to her. We are told in verse 6 that Adam was there with her, but verse six is an account of her inner thoughts which led to the transgression.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.(Genesis 3:6)

Is this not a warning that one of the tell-tale marks of the serpent is to marginalize the man from his God assigned position of primal responsibility?

And

When Adam passively allowed his wife to take the lead in the couple’s dealing with the serpent, by default he  abdicated his high calling to keep and guard the garden of God. He had been given the Word, and the commission to have dominion over the earth, not Eve.

But through the Serpent, Eve became the priest. It was Eve who mediated the serpent’s false “Word”, and she  who “ministered” to Adam the “sacrament”,(ie the forbidden fruit) . Adam perversely took part in the sinful rite which was supposed to “open their eyes” and make them wise, and to become “as gods”.

Personally, I have heard quoted Genesis 3:16 as the base scripture that a woman’s natural desire would be to rule over her husband, usurping his authority, still being under the curse.

Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.

I don’t see the meaning of usurping spiritual authority written in these words. A woman’s desire should be for her husband, to be with him, since she is a part of him, no longer two flesh, but one, created to be that way by God.

The word desire in the Hebrew is teshuwqah which Strong’s identifies the meaning as a stretching out after, longing – desire; and taken from shuq, which is to be in abundance, to overflow.

From my online English dictionary –

desire |dəˈzī(ə)r|
noun
a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen : [with infinitive ] a desire to work in the dirt with your bare hands.
• strong sexual feeling or appetite : they were clinging together in fierce mutual desire.
verb [ trans. ]
strongly wish for or want (something) : he never achieved the status he so desired | [as adj. ] ( desired) it failed to create the desired effect.
• want (someone) sexually : there had been a time, years ago, when he had desired her.
• archaic express a wish to (someone); request or entreat.
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French desir (noun), desirer (verb), from Latin desiderare (see desiderate ).

Also translated as a longing for:

longing |ˈlô ng i ng |
noun
a yearning desire : Miranda felt a wistful longing for the old days | [with infinitive ] a longing to be free | his tale of love and longing.
adjective
having or showing such desire : her longing eyes.
DERIVATIVES
longingly adverb
long 2
verb [ intrans. ]
have a strong wish or desire : she longed for a little more excitement | [with infinitive ] we are longing to see the new baby.
ORIGIN Old English langian [grow long, prolong,] also [dwell in thought, yearn,] of Germanic origin; related to Dutch langen ‘present, offer’ and German langen ‘reach, extend.’

In all that I still cannot connect the “usurping authority” thing because it simply and clearly is not there. You know how the scripture warns us of other gospels, of another jesus, well, it seems there is another garden scenario as well, another Eve. Lets be careful in how we continue to tell the outcome of this story.

Eve (before she was so named) was created as a helpmeet to her husband Adam, such would be the Godly role for all wives in the future. This is a place of help, just as it implies, not a place of selfish rule or stolen authority, but one to give wise and Godly counsel to him through the various issues and circumstances of their lives together. It is to love him, to honor him and to support him. This role does not imply spiritual authority, but one of submission, she to her husband as to the Lord, and he to her and to the Lord. Submission in that order is most important, one cannot operate without the other.

Wives who are looking to serve their Lord in all that implies, are not looking to control their husbands. It is spiritually impossible. They are looking also to please their husbands, through their own desire and longing for him, expressed in the ways of marriage and in the words “Your desire will be for your husband”.

The second part of verse 16 “he will rule over you” implies the true way of the flesh, manifested in man, which is always to rule over another, very often over woman, or the one who is weaker. God did not create or command one to rule over another in any gender role, but one is to lead in love, the way Jesus lead, in the way of a true servant. So the idea that a husband would rule over his wife, or that a wife would rule over her husband – which is the way often taught, yet not expressed in these words-  is completely out of context of the whole counsel of the bible.

I believe verse 16 was a warning to women and to men in the way their lives together would go, so long as there is not proper submission – authority and love, in the  manner laid out by God. As long as women are considered as sinners, the relationship between the two will be flawed, whether it be in marriage or ministry. Remember, Adam willingly gave over his God-given authority in a passive manner and Eve stepped in. When the natural course of creation is not followed, the unnatural takes over.

Consider so many women who are abused and battered throughout the world, hidden in their homes, some literally cloaked in black, heavy material constantly carrying the burden of the sin of another on their small shoulders. Consider also the same kind of black, heavy, spiritual cloaking done to Christian women over the years and through the misuse of this scripture, demonically twisted and distorted and taught as truth.

(I am aware of many women who seek to rule over their husbands, their churches and ministries in ways not appointed to them by God. They, however, are not the topic of this discussion.)

To conclude and teach women “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you”  is God’s design as part of the curse from the fall, and that she will never be free from the need to control, is nothing short of spiritual abuse and is a lie from the pit of hell. We are not responsible for the sin of Eve, nor for the failure of Adam. We are forgiven and free to serve our Lord as He calls.

When the husband refuses to lead in the spiritual sense, what’s a girl to do? Cling to the One who died for us, who did not count it as loss to give up His place in heaven to die for our sins. His name is Jesus and He counts us a co-heirs with the men He also died for.

I am not Eve, nor are my sisters in Christ- we are free, forgiven, having been washed in the blood, longing for the day when Christ returns, submitted to His will for His purpose, for His glory, willingly laying down our own unfulfilled longings and desires for His. To God be the glory for delivering us from bondage and granting us the leading of the Holy Spirit in comfort, peace and in truth.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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15 thoughts on “I Am Not Eve; I don’t even like apples, ok well, only the green ones…

  1. Funny title! So true! Good posting M’Kayla.

    These hyper-complementarians (or whatever you call them) go waaaay beyond what is written in Scripture setting up all of these traditions of men. Now, there is so much Islamic (comparing the teachings of the 2) tradition being taught, it’s just down right scary. (btw, from my understanding the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womenhood coined the words complementarian vs egalitarian…and then had ‘written the rules’, Danver’s Statement and all)
    I’ve never seen all of this being pushed so hard in the church, since the early ’70s when it’s made it’s big splash into the mainstream – with so many “How to Be a Biblical Man” (my foot) and marriage conferences, teachings everywhere we turn. I’ve never seen it SO authoritarian, I guess is what I’m trying to say – the ‘flavor’ of it is totally anti-woman. I mean after all, you just put out a teaching article..and uh, some man might read it, evil woman!

    Amen, “I am not Eve, nor are my sisters in Christ- we are free, forgiven, having been washed in the blood, longing for the day when Christ returns, submitted to His will for His purpose,….” Last time I read my Bible my husband (or pastor or elder) is not my ‘King Priest’, Jesus is.

    Looking forward to further posts!

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  2. Was wondering how you felt about this issue. 🙂 I grew up Baptist but it was the kind of Baptist where as long as the woman wasn’t the senior pastor – everything was cool. In fact we had a female worship/education minister. Then I spent 30 some years in the charismatic world where women are given at least some freedom. For example, I was an associate pastor at two different churches – one AOG and the other Foursquare. At both, although I had the title, I was never paid as a full time minister. I got $25/week for gas while the male associate pastors got a salary and housing allowance.

    Fast forward to 2008 – the Lakeland revival convinced me that something was terribly wrong with the charismatic world. I needed to step back and reclaim the simple truths of the bible. Coming back to the non-charismatic world I’m pretty happy with most teachings except for cessationism (I believe the gifts are still for today but are for the most part not practiced in a godly way) and the way conservative evangelicals treat women.

    Now, before you burn me at the stake or call me a Jezebel, I don’t believe in women lording it over men NOR do I believe in men lording it over women. Wives should submit to husbands but no where does it say for all women to submit to all men. I’m cool with a man as senior pastor and the women on staff operating under his authority but I see no reason why a woman can’t teach as long as she is not usurping authority. I’m not in agreement with the Council on Women Should Be in the Kitchen and Nursery Only.

    I love the movie Yentl – and when the bookseller came through town crying “Scripture books for men, picture books for women” I cringed – and still do.

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  3. I’ve been wondering about these issues myself, especially considering I’m still trying to break into the local newspaper where I’ve been having to address issues that local pastors have been bringing up.
    I just finished a “dear editor” letter regarding an origins argument that a local pastor brought up. I’ve struggled w/ whether I’m out of bounds by addressing some unbiblical things he brought up. Not sure it will even be published —–considering I may be “showing up” this guy w/ biblical backup for my stance—–but that’s not exactly my intent.
    Not to say my motives are always pure, but I am trying so hard to get the attention of local pastors by going this route and slipping in biblical refutes of the Word of Faith movement. For instance, I brought up that rather than trying to superstitiously “speak things into existence” and communicate w/ the dead on Halloween—-we can hand out Bible tracts and communicate the gospel. Get my drift. I know it’s a little sneaky, but hey —Jesus said to be wise as a serpent—-innocent as a dove!

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  4. http://billrandles.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-ray-of-hope-genesis-3-pt-8/

    First of all however, it is significant to note that the answer is said to come through the woman, and not through Adam. The woman indeed was deceived by the serpent, however she is never made responsible for the fall by the LORD. Remember that Adam was there “with her” when she took the fruit.

    He was the one who was given the commission by God. He was the one who had received the word directly from God, he stood there listening to that Word misrepresented and twisted and did nothing about it! To Adam was vouchsafed the entire human race, when he fell, we fell, for all of us were “in Adam” and not “in Eve”.

    Thus Adam’s sin is of vastly greater consequences.

    Through the Woman would come a seed, who would undo the damage. In childbearing the human race shall be saved, for a child will come, through the woman exclusively, and not through the man, who would be able to reverse the curse! Hallelujah!

    No wonder we sing the carol with such gladness , wonder and with tears streaming down our faces,
    O little town of Bethlehem,
    How still we see thee lie!
    Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
    The silent stars go by;
    Yet in thy dark streets shineth
    The everlasting Light;
    The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are met in thee tonight.

    How silently, how silently,
    The wondrous gift is given!
    So God imparts to human hearts
    The blessings of his heaven.
    No ear may hear his coming,
    But in this world of sin,
    Where meek souls will receive him, still
    the dear Christ enters in…

    But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,(Galatians 4:4)

    For unto us a child is born and unto us a son is given…(Isaiah 9:6)

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  5. The only women Ministers in Spiritual authority over men in religious contexts existed solely among the pagans, especially in their faiths which worshipped goddesses. If you ever study the pagan religions which surrounded Israel in the Old Testament, you will find that this is true. In many cases, the priestesses were the Spiritual authority.

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    • Sugel, Just to apologize for the delay. Not sure why, but your comment was in the spam folder.

      I agree, but we aren’t talking so much about authority over one or the other. In Christ there is no male or female. Wives are called to submit, but to a loving, God fearing husband who has submitted to the headship of Christ, who gives himself for his wife in the same way Christ has for the church. It is a vivid picture. Instead, we find teaching aside from the bible that would have women treated more like the Muslim belief than the Christian.

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  6. I have to share this…..I can usually brush this stuff off, but I’m learning that when I can’t, God is working in me to teach me more. This was posted in a group and by a person that truly believes that the downfall and the deception today in the church is because of women being pastor’s and in “high ranking leadership positions.” Some of his words …..This was just posted along with his comments :

    ” I hope all will take the time to listen to this. The truth about Radical Feminism and how it has influenced the church and the culture.”
    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-99/Feminisms-Radical-Agenda

    First let me clarify I do believe that the feminist movement is evil and John MacArthur does an excellent job of bringing that across. I also want to say that Johnny Mac also covers Eph. 5 well…..of course there is a ” but” to this.

    I cannot count the times that I have heard sermons on Eph. 5 i.e. husbands and wives authority and submission and it is all centered around the wives and their understanding or lack of in what they are suppose to be, do etc.; However I can’t remember one sermon where the husband was the main topic and focal point. Yes many sermons have pointed out the authority role and that it certainly shouldn’t be abused. John MacArthur does a good job here also but quickly gets back to the wives. Enough said about that.

    He goes on to say the even women in the church today are confused about their roles because of this attack by radical feminism. It has so brain washed our culture that even church leaders and church members have believed the lies and that many immature and untaught Christians go have been duped.

    My concern about this statement is, if women in the church have become confused about their roles, then where were their husbands, not to mention the male leadership of the church when the confusion started? MacArthur says some awesome things about the husbands authority
    Authority : responsibility to provide, protect, shelter, nourish, cherish .
    “she submits because he submits his authority to her greatest needs, she submits to this type of loving authority”….. I whole heartely agree, who wouldn’t.
    So what were these husbands and pastor’s doing all these centuries?? Really?

    But this is not my greatest concern about this sermon. This is, John MacArthur makes this statement about 39 minutes in.

    “Eve liberated herself from Adam’s authority, plunging the whole human race into sin; wanted to operate independently without the leadership of her husband. That precisely is what Satan wanted and that’s when it all got cranked up.”

    That’s not what my Bible says. It says that she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise. “…..if she wanted to be liberated from the authority of her husband, then why would she even offer it to Adam?

    John MacArthur, like so many others I have heard, has in a few sentences squarely placed the entire fall squarely on Eve’s shoulders. Interesting to note that “their” eyes weren’t opened until Adam ate. So the question begs to be asked ….What if Adam hadn’t ate? Eve didn’t trick him, neither did Satan, Adam was not deceived. Why didn’t he simple tell Eve to drop the apple we’ll go together and talk to God about this?

    I believe that sermon such as this with these types of statements promote and create a dividing line between the husband and wife. She goes home from listening to a sermon like this feeling like crap, condemnation for being born a woman and therefore the reason for sin entering the entire human race. The husband has one or both reactions to a sermon like this….thinking whew! Dodge the bullet on that one, glad I’m not to blame and or, his concept of the initial message of authority “responsibility to provide, protect, shelter, nourish, cherish .
    “she submits because he submits his authority to her greatest needs”, has been altered to where he now feel the need to exercise more control , be demanding and condescending, after all it is her fault the preacher said so.

    I also didn’t see in my Bible where this was Satan plan to trick Eve into wanting to liberate herself from her husband…..REALLY? That was Satan’s plan then what was Adam’s eating of the fruit for Satan….just a bonus?? So much more could be said about this. But I truly believe that more harm than good comes from these types of messages, rather than pull the two who have become one flesh together. Thanks for letting me rant.

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    • She goes home from listening to a sermon like this feeling like crap, condemnation for being born a woman and therefore the reason for sin entering the entire human race.

      I call that situation spiritual abuse. Very good “rant” full of insight. I agree with you. JM needs to be called out on this, as do the rest. I am more than weary of women being blamed for all that is wrong. If Christian women are confused all they need to do is rely on the Holy Spirit and the word to guide them. Why isn’t brought out? Instead and again women are treated as tho they are stupid and not every bit as forgiven as men. Wow.

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  7. Pingback: John MacArthur and His Dangerous Ideas About Women. | m'kayla's korner

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