The female and male views of God differ. That’s OK so long as it fits the idea that we are made in his image and then from there seeks to understand how we are different and how those differences are good….but can work insidiously against us. Some of those differences are at the root of why churchianity even exists, and even why it is adrift versus where it once was, creeping by increment closer to the female end of the spectrum. This creep is a result of the female distorted view of God that is part of the female nature, and the male willingness to compromise much in order to please women, which is in our nature. We have a distorted view on what loving our wives means, so we allow God to be distorted.
This was all plain last evening at the small group we attend (I attended solo this week).
We were studying through Galatians and were closing that book out with Chapter 6. There are some teachings about how to rebuke folks and warnings about sanctimony, ego, conceit, etc., as most know. There is a basic yin and yang situation between helping a sinner get back on track, rebuking because the spirit leads you, and being wary of falling into the sin yourself. (I guess that’s three things so yin, yang, and yong) You can imagine how this is picked apart by men and women and which gender wants to stay on what side of the issue.
The woman I have written about before, who disrespects her husband so much, was absolutely animated by the idea that she can rebuke sinners……IF she feels called to do so. To my great pleasure, an ally manifested in another man there who adroitly unpacked the whole context and got the focus back on restoration, grace, and taking care about sanctimony. This is a predictable dialog in churchian groups. Women feel they ARE called to rebuke men, men know that, so, a brave man will diplomatically try and reign the concepts in, closer to truth. He did so.
Later, near the very end, that other guy was making a comment and used the word “relationship”, then corrected himself muttering he dislikes the term, and said “reliance” instead. When that sub-topic had run its course I asked him to please explain his dislike of “relationship” because I was in agreement and was curious about his motive. He said exactly what I would have said. He said it cheapens God, it lowers or even eliminates a sense of accountability, and what comes to mind with that word is someone who is “reasonable”, who we can bring around to our point of view, someone who will take our feelings into consideration and even change their mind once they get where we are coming from. Someone who-understands-and-empathizes.
Suddenly another man, typically quiet, jumped in with his agreement. It was as if he’d never had the chance to speak into this in this way. Some talking-at-once started, and laughter erupted as the new participant’s wife was seen kicking his leg.
The disrespectful woman started. “Well he is Abba father, that is a relationship”, “Jesus calls us friend, that is a relationship”. We tried to explain that, yes, it is, but the imagery evoked by the word does great disservice. Here is the thing, she and every women hearing this KNOWS it does a disservice, but they like the way the word feels, and they want to make a cover story for it so they needn’t let go, needn’t drop it from their Christianese vocabulary.
I said, “The hypotenuse has a relationship to the right angle, and that relationship is fixed, it is spatial, and though the two rely on each other for the relationship to exist, the relationship is ultimately not dynamic in any measurable sense”. We have relationship in that sense to many things. But we cannot say to someone, “today maybe you need to start a personal relationship with Jesus” and have that not seem like, “let’s get you guys together and see what you have in common’. I cannot help but look a little bit intense when I get into this. Not angry, but sort of all joking aside. So, I tried to lighten it up saying i was taking this position because my wife was not there to kick me.
She patted my knee and furrowed her brow saying in an almost pitiful way, “Yea, it’s a peeve of yours, I understand”, thus discrediting the entire conversation, passive aggressively, and causing the hosts wife to signal the evening was over.
My desire is to quit.