Today’s entry is about a comment made in response to my last post, Does God Have Faith (In Us)? To get the full context of that discussion I would suggest you go back and read my blog and the comments made in response to it before continuing here. Anyway, here is the part of the comment that got the gears turning in my head:
And for what it is worth – I think I only know one and have only known two women in my life that give a hoot about theological arguments or dogma of any sort. Many of those that don’t care put many to shame by their love and ceaseless prayer.
Two responses right off the bat. I don’t think I have met any women in my life who give a hoot about theological arguments or dogma of any sort. And I would agree that many women are great prayer warriors and show selfless love on a level that puts me to shame.
At this point we would do well to consider why women do not care about theology. Now when I talk about theology what I am referring to is biblical exegesis and the study of the great themes and doctrines that flow from studying to show oneself approved as an unashamed workmen, accurately handling the word of truth. Very few women have written and taught theology over the centuries, and I personally do not think sexism is at the root of it, although I think God-ordained gender distinctions do factor in.
Women are smarter than men in many areas. They are great multi-taskers and managers. They seem to be more in touch with their emotions and thus are better than men at listening and empathizing. For this reason they often make decisions based on the apparent practical or pragmatic value of the given choice, rather than based on some black-and-white seemingly abstract principle or concept. Men seem to like to have things laid out in a more cut-and dried linear and logical fashion. Men are much more likely to sit for hours arguing politics, religion, philosophy, etc., than women. I think men are more dogmatic in that once they have made up their mind that a certain idea is either right or wrong, pragmatic relational and emotional issues will usually not influence them to change their minds, although such factors will often cause them to not speak up (as a ploy to avoid drama, fireworks, and loss of the true remedy).
Which takes us clear back to the Garden of Eden. Why do women not care about theology? Because it is not their job or responsibility to care about it. When God put Adam in the garden there was no woman at first. At this time the volume on systematic theology was the shortest book in the world. God had given only one command and one prohibition: Eat whatever you want out of the garden; but do not eat of the one forbidden tree at the center of the garden. The implicit blessing was life and the explicit curse was immediate death. Very black and white, cut and dried, delivered verbally and verbatim. No wiggle room at all.
So when Eve came on the scene the serpent knew better than to approach the man, because he had a solid basis for absolute dogmatism. With the woman he saw an opportunity to undermine the man’s headship and work an angle. He first undermined the authority of God’s word with a flat denial. Then he rationalized that sticking to obedience based on sound theology would undercut her ability to reach her true potential and experience her best life now. Apparently Adam, who it seems had reiterated God’s commands to the woman, stood by passively as the woman got sucked into the devil’s deception. He should have taken a more vocal end even dogmatic role.
Don’t eat that fruit.
God said not to eat it, lest you die?
Did he really say that? I didn’t hear him?
Trust me, he said it.
But this serpent seems like a nice guy.
Trust me, not him. He’s lying.
Don’t you care about what I want?
Not if it means disobeying God’s word.
I thought you loved me.
I do, but I love God more. Don’t eat it.
How can you be so dogmatic? Look at how bright and coloful the fruit is. Look at the pretty shape of it.
No? Just like that? Maybe we should think about it. Talk about it. Pray about it.
Why? God has spoken. NO!
You can’t talk to me that way! You’re not my father. (Takes a bite.) Mmmmm, this is sooooooo good. And look, I’m still alive. Here, you try some… And the rest is history.
Guys, listen up. It is not the job of women to care about sound theology. It is yours. As a husband it is my job to know what God says and to stand by it. If I reneg on this calling as a head of my marriage, I put my wife at great risk, because then she is operating in an area God has not equipped her to fill. God does not want women to assume headship in the home or in the church. Read 1 Timothy 2:11-13 and you will see why God does not want women in the pulpit–his appeal is to creation, not culture. As long as men are men and women are women, God’s pattern of functional male headship will apply. We as men do women a great disservice when we follow the example of Adam and stand by as they try to do what God did not design them to do. We are to be the warriors of the word and do battle with the serpent with the sword of the spirit.
The mess we men have allowed to pile up in the culture and church–shot through with effeminate feel-good teaching based more on self-help and psychobabble than the word of God–will be hard to clean up. But it has to start with truth, clearly articulated and spoken without compromise. Of course it will not be easy to do.
In the meantime what I will do is encourage my wife to do what she does best: function as a loving praying, empathetic wife and mom.
Honey, leave the theology to me, since you don’t really care about it anyway.