Friday, 28 March 2014

3 curses of the fall




Thinking about old curses today, looking at the Bible itself. The curses I'm going to talk about are the notorious ones in Genesis chapter 3, entitled 'the fall'.

To Eve, God said "I will make your pains in child bearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." And to Adam God said "Cursed is the ground because of you (...) it will produce thorns and thistles for you and ... you will return to dust from where you came."

We know that these curses were given because of sin and because Adam and Eve chose to know good from bad, and sin from holiness. With that sin has to come punishment, that is death. But praise God- Jesus has redeemed us and makes us holy without having to die first, if only we believe in him. But though (if we love Jesus) we are living under the freedom found in Christ, we still must endure the hardships of this world, this same world where Eve and Adam were placed  in the fall. So we are still living in 'the fall'.

Humans try to make things better in the world, but because of the fall we cannot escape these curses. These curses remind us that this world is not eternal and that one day we will all be set free and reign together as daughters and sons of Christ; co-heirs with him.

So, looking at the 3 curses above, I will get to my point.
The 1st curse- humans try to make toiling on the land easier, correct? New technology is invented to make farming easier and though there are still thorns, we can get rid of them for a time. Farmers can battle against the toil and win, they can produce crops, though of course if nature takes over, the crops fail and things go wrong. But, man tries to combat this.

The 2nd curse is also battled with- childbirth. Doctors and midwives are creating new drugs and new techniques and tools to make it as easy as possible for expectant mothers. Of course some mothers have terrible labouring and we cannot always escape that and thus we can see that the old curse still exists, but in just the same way as the farmers, we try to make it better.

 Now we come to the final curse, the 3rd. The one that will hold most debate and argumenting. The issue of husbands having control, ownership and authority over their wives. If you look around the world you will still find this old curse in place. Some women may tell you that is 'just how it is' or that they think 'it right'.
Why does this curse withstand? Because at the core of human nature is selfishness. And the greed of power and control is seen through every human being, be it a woman or a man. You find us doing this with animals, with nature, with science. We like to be in control.
So, over the many centuries, men have flourished in this 'ownership' over their wives, claiming that it is a natural order of things. Those same people seem to forget that their wives are actually the same specie as them, and that they have the same needs and desires as any of us. It just so happened that men abused the power they had over women until the women began to think that they were different, that they were lesser human beings, etc...

I find it fascinating then, to look at the world around me and at the christians I know and to see them still living under this curse. Why try to throw 2 curses away but keep the 3rd? Is that because only men have been controlling our history? Telling the rest of the population how it should be? Because it suits them? Have they brain-washed so many of us to think it is 'natural' rather than a cultural construction made from sin?

I'm asking each one of you that reads this to be honest, why are so many of us allowing ourselves to be dictated by this curse of sin? Why aren't so many more of us making it better? Making it right?

 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

- Galatians 3:26-28

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




7 comments:

  1. The patriarchy in our civilization is a Western thing. Now, the rest of the world just copied it with colonization and globalization. If you look up matriarchal societies, you will find that many cultures and tribes that existed or some still exist, they are matriarchal. And this is not just in humans, but also in animals. Think about bees, elephants, lions, etc. Thing is, that today's political correctness talks the talk on this and calls for more female leaders and we see results. Problem with this is that the idea of female leaders is being force fed down our throats and we see many times choosing gender over ability with unfortunate results. But yeah over time I expect situation to balance in our interest

    mk

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  2. I think the reason why the third curse still exists is because of the very opposite nature of men and women.

    Men's nature is domineering (whether a man is strong or weak, he'd love to dominate)
    Women's nature is Christ-like.. (Whether a woman is strong or not so strong, she tends to sacrifice at her own expense).. Christ is strong, but instead of being tempted to do marvelous things as the devil tried to urge, he didn't. Instead of simply using force to root out evil, he sacrificed Himself instead through great suffering..

    Men tend to think of strength as something powerfully destructive.
    Women tend to think of strength as something powerfully healing.

    The problem is the difference between men's and women's natures always point to the result that the one who tries to dominate gets on top of the one who thinks it more noble to give.

    So people always find that men succeed in dominating women.
    Of course, in this material world, that's how people see it.
    But those whose hearts dwell more in God's Kingdom than in this mortal world sees it in reverse:
    The more dominating is actually women, because they have the strength to give in, to heal, to always forgive, to be patient, bear sacrifice.

    Those strengths are not actually seen as strength in the material world, and they may actually be perceived as weakness compared to men's stubborn will, unrelenting mind, and even destructive might,---but the strength of women are the true strength because they are the qualities shown by Christ!

    Could anyone in heaven really think that stubborn will, unrelenting mind, destructive might, and other domineering abilities as strength?? No. In heaven, women's qualities, the nature of women, are the ones which are perceived as strengths.

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    1. I'd like to know if that's the consensus here. Is it good that a man can serve a women, but offensive to suggest a woman can serve a man?

      They both seem good to me.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Maybe someone else can help.

    I'd like to know if that's the consensus here. Is it good that a man can serve a women, but offensive to suggest a woman can serve a man?

    I'm actually really interested in the topic (despite my impulsive mocking a comment ago). I have my own bias and traditions and whatnot but I'm definitely willing to take an honest examination into the issue with someone willing to do the same. I've never thought of woman being under men as part of the curse of sin, so I appreciate that point from the author. But it seems like there's two sides to this: a wife being under her husband and woman as a whole being under men as a whole. The curse only addresses husbands and wives. Should we also assume that woman as a whole being under men as a whole is part of the same curse? Because to me they seem like very different arguments.

    That's two questions. Love to hear what the author has to say, or anyone else.

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    1. sorry for the tardy reply! It's not offensive to serve one another at all, on the contrary, Jesus said ' I came to serve so that you can learn to do the same.' We should love and respect one another, gender shouldn't come into it. Serving is indeed a beautiful thing, I think people are confusing being subordinate with serving.

      If we are talking about relationships between men and women, where the woman is constantly serving and is the only one serving than it is wrong, it should be a mutual action made out of love, shared by both partners. The part that goes wrong is when women are constantly made to be the model of subordination, abuse, manipulation and just thought of as slaves, as second class people- this is the curse I am talking about, when men abuse the power they have over women.

      In lots of cultures around the world people don't think twice about the roles men and women have, but when one of them wants to change that role, no one should stop them. I think any one being 'under' any one is harmful any way, we should all be equal - and in an ideal utopia it would be perfect- heaven. But in this world we won't stop trying to get women equal with men, to be treated the same, to have the same opportunities, and for the harmful stereotypes to be dropped.

      Hope that's a little clearer now.

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  5. I kinda disagree with the opinion God specifically cursed Adam & Eve, instead it was the effects of Original Sin ('contracted' not 'committed') that resulted in this. God clearly stated his punishment “the moment you eat…you shall die” (Genesis 2:17) ~ not an execution but the death of Man's relationship with God. Original sin resulted in the harmonious relationship between the man and the woman being broken; firstly, they realized their nakedness and were ashamed (3:7); they hid from God (3:8); they argued and blamed each other (3:9-13), and this ends in subjection of Eve to her husband (3:16). This subjection does not represent God’s purpose, but is the effect of sin. To seek to perpetuate such subjection in the name of the Bible is surely a travesty. I would like to further add to your third point:

    In the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, the husband has a special God-given authority over the family.

    Remember that the relationship between the spouses is mystical in nature, as the following passage clearly explains:

    Quote:
    "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

    Thus we speak of Christ as the Bridegroom (husband) and of the Church (or, also, of each of our souls) as the Bride (wife), mystically speaking.

    Only under this standpoint, and noticing how much Christ the Bridegroom did for His Bride, we can understand this authority, which is meant to lead and protect (rule), but never to humiliate or diminish.

    St. Paul begins clearly by expressing the mystery of agape love: "submit to one another".

    Then he goes ahead addressing the wives:

    Quote from Ephesians 5:22-24:
    Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body [...] Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    We can clearly see the connection Christ-Husband, Church-Wife.

    Now St. Paul addresses the husbands:

    Quote from Ephesians 5:25:
    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy [...] husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies [...] After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church [...] each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself

    Jesus actually fulfilled this role as He became the living Bridegroom and Head of the Church. Husbands and wives are called, today more than ever, to reflect the supernatural order and to demonstrate by their intense agape love what is meant to be a good husband and what is meant to be a good wife, in a world of darkness that is desperately trying to destroy the family and the sacrament of Matrimony.

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