The story of the beginning is one of the most argued about stories of all time. This is partially because it gives answers to two questions we talk about a lot: how did the universe and the things in it come to exist? and what is the role of gender? Another question that has been brought up with that second one more recently is, why can’t there be more than the male and female genders? Not everyone likes the answers they get from this God’s account of things and maybe some people take to much pleasure in lording that over them. However, we are here to talk about what I take away from this first 15 min, in what I agree to be the true beginning of all created things. I say all created things because I don’t want you to be confused with thinking this is where God began as well. It is not! The God Christians believe in is an uncreated God who is, was, and always will be for all of eternity. Trust me I understand that about as much as you do which is not at all. How could I? I am a created being and simply lack any capability to comprehend what it would be like not to be created.
For the first question, the answer is very clear. God created the heavens and the earth over a 6 day period and rested on the 7th day saying that everything He had made was good. Science now tells us this process took around 14 billion years. That is quite the difference. What I am not going to do is tell you that science is wrong. Here it is important to understand two things:
a. time is created by God (Genesis 1:14-15)
b. we are at a different frame of reference than God was when He created the Universe
I can’t really explain that to you in a way that won’t confuse both of us so here is a link to a clip of the Genesiscode movie that came out a few years ago. It isn’t totally accurate and many Christians will not agree with this theory either so it is between you and God what you choose to believe on the matter. This is just what I’ve found most helpful in clearing up some of my own questions. It is a little long but well worth watching.
The second question has an equally simple answer but not one anymore agreed upon than the first. This is mostly because people take the bits and pieces they like to make up a point of view that suits them. In context there a few points I’d like to make that will hopefully clear up a few misconceptions about what Christianity has to say about gender roles.
a) God created man and woman then said that this was good
– before the Fall of Man everything was perfect so if a man and man or a woman and woman was the good thing then it would happened right here at the beginning
– I did not make this rule God did and I’m simply of the belief that the One who created all of us has the right to tell us what relationships are appropriate. However, if you don’t believe that first point, that you were created by God, then the second has no relevance to you.
b) Woman was created second not lesser and/or weaker
c) Man was punished through the work of his hands (being a provider for himself and his family)
d) Woman was punished with difficult childbirth and a longing after her husband who was now to be the head of her household
e) Because, c and d are both punishments apart of the fallen world after Adam and Eve sinned there is no reason to say that God didn’t create the two equal in power to make decisions or that he didn’t give both the ability to work well at any task. He just gave the rights and the duties to different sides. It seems that one of the most likely reasons this rubs us the wrong way is the same reason we felt silly and uncomfortable getting in trouble as a child. We knew we were in the wrong, we enjoyed do the wrong thing, and we still don’t like the consequences
The third question I answered in point a but there is one more thing you should know. Bible believing Christians all say and know that any other gender beyond male and female is wrong. They don’t always proclaim this in a loving or understanding manner. The truth is that when a Christian is classifying something as wrong they are putting it in the same box as sin. So any sin in that person’s life is as equally wrong as living an alternate gender lifestyle. What many of them fail to see is this fact. You are still a human being who is loved by God if you have chosen to live this lifestyle. However, we will also be judged by God for all our choices. Because, God is also holy and just without accepting His mercy of our own free will we will be given the punishment our sin deserves: death. This isn’t the kind of death each of us faces at the end of our lives. It is the eternal kind of death that separates a person from God and all His goodness forever. Someone who lies and never surrenders his life to God will get this punishment, it is the same for all other wrongdoing. I don’t have the right to judge you for your choices because I have made bad ones too. God instead commands me to love you as I do myself. I still don’t support your wrong choice and won’t make it myself so I would encourage you that when you see me doing something wrong respond in the same way: “I love you Liz but you’re in the wrong and I can’t support what you’re doing.”
It is just as important that we encourage each other in doing the right thing. My challenge today for both of us is to catch someone doing the right thing and tell them how much we appreciate them for it!
*the image was provided by wikimedia and was marked for reuse on Google images