Letters From The Mailbox: Part One

As a way of encouraging in-depth responses among readers of my blog, I would like to start a new occasional type of entry called “Letters From The Mailbox.”  At times I get comments that are too lengthy for me to reply to on the comments themselves and that I think are worth exploring in a larger sphere.  Also, writing things out helps me organize my own mind, and sometimes one has to write a bit before one knows how one wants to tackle a given subject.  So it is with today’s letter.  A few days ago I received a very lengthy series of serious questions from a reader about my sermon from several years ago about being kings and priests [1].  The comment reads as follows:

***

“Does this apply equally to both men and women? So my question is has God purposed woman to be kings and priests in the Age to come at all, and if so to what extent? What kind of opportunities do woman have in learning, developing and practising the spiritual gifts necessary to one day become the Lord’s kings/priests when in this life woman are to take care of the welfare of their family, being consigned to the domestic sphere ‘primarily’. Are we then led to believe that this foreshadows males of this age having more duties/rewards/authority (given ten cities as opposed to one or two) above females in the New Heavens and New Earth in a similar manner to how men have been given authority over woman in this Age? Or does the woman receive her reward by virtue of their husband’s/father’s standing with the Lord? So sharing the reward/inheritance with the male who was authority over her during her earthly incarnation? What if the woman has no husband and the father is a non-believer and she was stuck taking care of her siblings and parents all her life?

This is a question I’ve been wrestling with for years, studying the Word to examine biblical gender roles and reading articles online to get a better perspective.

It is clear that men are a specific role in this age which woman should not compete with men over. God more often than not is represented as masculine, angels as well. 144 000 male virgins are set aside as the firstfruits during the end times. Again the Torah was given to and even addresses males, not females. Woman was created for man, not the other way around; woman was created from the man, not the other way around either; man was created first, and the woman was fashioned as a helper for man); and man exemplifies Christ in the Christ-Church marriage, meaning again the man has authority over the woman. I don’t intend to belittle the feminine gender because man is not independent of woman, but I’m trying to point out how God views genders differently. On this point, nowhere does God allow polyandry but polgyny is allowed (according to the hardness of men’s hearts some contest, but even Jesus and God the Father are shown through analogies/allegories as being betrothed or married to more than one ‘woman’). I respect this because these are the decrees of the Lord, and yes, woman in the 21st century have more leeway and opportunity to work outside of the home, but then what of ancient Jewish woman? And what of the future epoch? Will woman be assessed according to how well they raised children? How good of an assistant they were to the man?

I seek to learn the Truth however hard it may be to accept. Please, if you could, write an article addressing the Lord’s place for woman in the New Heavens and New Earth, even during the millennium — if of course you believe that Jesus will rule in earthly Jerusalem before all things are made new.

I’ve been searching and there aren’t many articles addressing this issue. I also trust that you (Nathanal Bright) revere the Word of the Lord.

But if anyone else can respond (in-depth) to this comment I’d appreciate that too!”
***
These questions are all linked to the question of the role of women in the Bible.  Before I comment on that matter, though, I would like to point out that my name is Nathan Albright, although I can understand how it might be a bit ambiguous for those who do not come from an English-speaking country and who are not aware of how people tend to be named.  That being said, I would like to comment on the overall theme and give some indication of how I plan on responding to this lengthy series of posts.  I feel somewhat uncomfortable in being compelled to comment frequently on gender issues.  Those who know me personally can attest to my being generally a gentle and kind person who enjoys friendly female company in public but who is particularly awkward in matters of the heart.  I have no sisters, have never been married, and have no children of my own, and so I find it somewhat unusual that someone as nearly stereotypically an early middle-aged bachelor as I am is continually reading books directed at women and commenting on various matters of gender because I do not consider myself the most appropriate person for that sort of role, however fond I am of women and however much I respect what they have to say.  That said, this series of questions would require a host of posts to answer in detail, which I propose to do.
Taking these in order, here are the the topics of the posts I propose to write to answer these questions:

Mysteries Of The Bible:  What The Bible Says About Women In The World To Come
The Messiah Is A One Woman Man
Representation In The Assembly Of Ancient Israel

In looking at these posts I think that the first one would be a long post, and possibly more than one part, but that many of the questions relate to the question of the extent which contemporary gender roles as defined in scripture are to be carried on into the world to come–whether we are speaking about the Millennium or the New Heavens and New Earth.  I will tip my hand a bit and say the answer is–not much, if at all.  It does deserve a longer and fuller answer, though, based on scripture.  The other matters which do not relate to this have to do with questions as to the extent to which polygyny represents a model of the marriage plans of the Messiah/Jesus Christ/Yeshua, which is itself worthy of a post on its own given its complex nature, and the question of whether the virtual representation of women within the assembly of ancient Israel has anything to say to contemporary believers.  I do not know how long these posts will take me to write, but I expect that they will give even more reasons for people to ask me questions that relate to gender issues of the Bible.
Regards,

Nathan Albright
Edge Induced Cohesion

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Biblical History, Christianity, History, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Letters From The Mailbox: Part One

  1. Pingback: A Response To The Note Left On My Windshield By An Anonymous Coworker | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Liveblogging Jane Austen: Part Three | Edge Induced Cohesion

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