For a number of years, Christianity Today featured the column “Eutychus and his kin”. The columns were noted for their ironic approach to issues of the day. Of course, irony is at the same time conveying some basic truth to the issue being treated, but allowing the reader to filter that truth out of the irony.
With that in mind, and with a specific column included in this post, I think back to the fall of humanity, and ask how the event fits in with the Jesus’ “Golden Rule.” You may be saying, what possible relationship can there be between the fall of humanity and the Golden Rule.
Let me frame it as follows: Eve should have been doing to and for Adam as she wanted him to do to and for her. (You may say that is anachronistic; Jesus had not taught Adam and Eve anything at that point. True, but Adam and Eve were still sinless and in no need of moral injunctions.) In any case, when Eve convinced Adam to disobey God, she was exercising power over him. Eve’s punishment for that sin was that Adam would exercise power over her. In other words, God treated her according to the principle of the Golden Rule. Eve did unto Adam “as she would have him do unto her” and that is just what happened to Eve. Was she really the stronger of the two genders originally? Is she still the stronger in terms of innateness?
You can keep those questions in mind as your read the following piece (which is already over 25 years old), asking yourself if it is more than mere irony. The following piece is by Eutychus, entitled “Divine Help for the Weaker Sex” (Christianity Today, Sept 6, 1985.)
Last night around 2 am, I experienced a flash of insight: The prominence of males in the church has actually been God’s affirmative action program! Our society provides ramps for the handicapped and affirmative actions for the disadvantaged. Only now, after millenniums of church history, can we see the necessity of giving the weaker sex – males – an advantage in the church.
In recent years, the evidence has been rolling in: women not only live longer and can withstand more pain, but on the average they are more social, more verbal, and more skilled with people.
It starts early. Check any first grade and see who’s ahead verbally. In kindergarten, boys go “Bang, bang, ack, ack, ack, zoom, zoom!” Girls speak.
All the charts show men catching up in high school or college. But not in the church. Men may make better abstract theologians, but women are consistently “more religious. A leading church consultant has said, “In denominations that ordain women, male pastors are scared to death. They know women can run circles round them: they can preach better, listen better, pastor better. Over the next 20 years, just watch – women pastors will become the key leaders in those denominations.”
Evidently God knew a strict meritocracy would result in males being upstaged. He must now look with much amusement at the paradox of men not realizing that it is the wheelchair ramp of affirmative action that put them up there behind the pulpit.