‘Sexism’ – A new word coined for the 21st c.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”- 1 Corinthians 11:9.
“the LORD has created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man”-Jeremiah31:22.
‘The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit’ does not include a mother or a daughter. And if one believes Yeshua to be God, then God is a Jewish male, on earth as well as resurrected in heaven, with no female counterpart other than his “bride”- the body of the faithful. Of course, the idea of God being our Father is not as depicted by Michelangelo as an old man with a long white beard, for Yeshua told us for our edification and understanding that “God is spirit” and, “a spirit does not have flesh and bones”(John 4:24; Luke 24:39). If God is depicted as Father who is the initiator of all that is, then the matter that He created may be termed as the mother- “mother earth”- for from it He formed all things including the man. But it is written that the woman was created from the man as his helper (ezer k’negdo).
The New Testament therefore describes a spiritual chain of command thus, “But I would have you know that the head of every man is Messiah, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Messiah is God” and, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Messiah is the head of the congregation, His body” (Ephesians 5:22-24). “Therefore as the church is subject to Messiah: so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things” (1 Cor. 14:34). “Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak but to be subject, as also the law saith” and, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it behoves in the Lord” (Col. 3:18).
But with the advent of the modern movement which is called Feminism, the above biblical directives have been declared outdated, retrograde, irrelevant, and obsolete as many in both church and synagogue have been swept into a paradigm undreamed of when they were written. Many modernists have taken the scriptures written by the same pen as the above writings, “There is neither male nor female in the Messiah” and applied it well outside its intended context, which speaks of equal access to God for all in the Messiah, now applying roles meant for millennia in the faith for men, and appointed women to those same roles (Galatians 3:28;Colossians 3:11). The same scriptures include “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free in Messiah” as well, but then goes on to describe the different roles of men and women, Jews and non-Jews, slave and free.
By very small increments over time women have now become pastors and preachers and leaders of congregations, obliterating such directives as “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy2). Some modern Messianic congregations, even in Jerusalem, have now invited women to publicly read the Torah in their Shabbat services, reducing the role of men, and the integrity of sound religious tradition.
The Feminism that has affected the world, blurring the distinctions between male and female, turning to a grey sludge of uniformity what is intended as a harmony of differences, has now absorbed into many churches and synagogues, which is a compromise with the world and its ever shifting values. This phenomenon has perhaps come about due to men not taking the responsibility designated them at home and house of worship. When one step is taken in a wrong direction, the next will surely be yet further in the wrong direction, until one finds oneself after time lost in a very shadowy swamp of error (easier to get into than out of). History is dynamic and always changing, therefore it behooves us to stand on the rock of values and principles that are unchanging and permanent, rather than compromising with a churning world in flux and decline.
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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.