This very special MALE & FEMALE thread celebrates Heaven’s original blueprint for both the male and the female genders.
An African Cardinal Speaks
I believe this Cardinal, Robert Sarah, brings a beautiful moral clarity to many of the topics discussed here at Wolf’s Q Treehouse, but let’s to focus on the gender issue for a moment.
Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, says that the spiritual crisis that currently blights “the whole world” has its roots in Europe, because Europe has rejected God:
“Western people are convinced that receiving is contrary to the dignity of human persons. But civilised man is fundamentally an heir, he receives a history, a culture, a language, a name, a family. This is what distinguishes him from the barbarian. To refuse to be inscribed within a network of dependence, heritage, and filiation condemns us to go back naked into the jungle of a competitive economy left to its own devices. Because he refuses to acknowledge himself as an heir, man is condemned to the hell of liberal globalisation.”
Cardinal Sarah links this idea of the rejection of humanity’s inheritance to another that he says is at the root of current malaise: the rejection, in the West, of the idea of fatherhood.
The two rejections, he explains, are intimately bound up with our rejection of God.
“From Him we receive our nature as man and woman. This is intolerable to modern minds. Gender ideology is a Luciferian refusal to receive a sexual nature from God. Thus some rebel against God and pointlessly mutilate themselves in order to change their sex. But in reality they do not fundamentally change anything of their structure as man or woman. The West refuses to receive, and will accept only what it constructs for itself.”
He continues: “Because it is a gift from God, human nature itself becomes unbearable for western man… This revolt is spiritual at root. It is the revolt of Satan against the gift of grace.”— Excerpt, Interview of Cardinal Robert Sarah, The Tablet
We ignore the gift of grace found in gender differences to our great loss.
However, I’d like to redirect our attention to something else about the Divine blueprint. There are two versions of the creation story in the book of Genesis. The first is more like a requirements specification, the second is more like an elaboration process.
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. 23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’”
24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. — Genesis 2:18-25
Have you ever considered that Wolf’s famous BOTH logic applies to God? In the first reference the term human beings (Hebrew ’ādām) is the generic term for humankind and does not imply gender. In the blueprint, humankind is created in the image of God, BOTH male and female. To truly defend and honor gender, we must first respect this reality. There is the biology AND the spirituality.
John Eldredge’s writing have captured the power of celebrating the qualities of gender for the most recent generation. And recently a theologian has pointed out that section in that corresponds to the governmental portion of the Mosaic law in the Ten Commandments is, “honor your father AND your mother.” Talk about revolutionary. There have been patriarchal cultures and matriarchal cultures, but a culture of honor for BOTH???
What if we’ve been duped into looking at the wrong thing (again). What if true leadership and authority and inner peace flow out of embracing the partnership of two very powerful and very different genders, BOTH made in the image of God?
To be honest, I’m just scratching the surface of what feels like an intense and very deep reality here. I don’t think I’m even close to where we need to be on this. There is something here that we must understand in order to prevail in the culture/spiritual war we are dealing with. But it seems this needs to be put out there for discussion.