Men, Women, and The Curse

Adam and Eve in the GardenWith the general feeling that I’m prying open a powder keg with a lit torch in my hand, I want to look at another aspect of the issue of gender relations in the church (And yes, I still lack a good way of referring to that topic). I want to talk about The Curse.

When discussing women’s roles in the church, one often hears a reference to male headship/leadership as merely being a result of what God described in Genesis 3:16. A friend of mine was discussing how churches limit the participation of women, and he said, “They don’t realize they’re just prolonging The Curse.”

A question came to mind. Can you think of any place in the New Testament where this argument is made? That is, can you think of a New Testament writer who described the current (in their day) state of male-female relations as being a result of The Curse? What scriptures would you offer to support such a view?

I’d just as soon we didn’t wander too far afield from this particular question. If you were going to prove the validity of this argument (male leadership began with The Fall and is a consequence of The Curse), what biblical texts would you use? Let’s leave out Genesis 3 for now. What does the rest of Scripture say about this?

Thanks for your input!

8 thoughts on “Men, Women, and The Curse

  1. Keith Brenton

    While you and I don’t agree on the larger issue, I do agree with you on this point.

    If I may go back to Genesis 3, the curse is on the ground, not on Adam; the result is that he will have to work harder. There is also no curse on Eve, but she will endure more pain in childbirth. “The man” and “the woman” are singular here, and it’s assuming a lot to assume that God’s consequences for their disobedience apply to more than Adam and Eve. The consequences of sin for the rest of us are sufficient: especially death.

    Not every woman experiences a pinnacle of pain in childbirth.

    Not every man must tend the earth and find his work more difficult than it would have been in the garden east of Eden.

    I don’t believe God cursed His created children. He cursed the ground. He gave them consequences for sin. Let’s not assume more than the text says.

    So, yes, I have to agree that this is a spurious argument.

  2. Tim Archer Post author

    Thanks Keith!

    It is interesting that “curse” isn’t used as widely as most people assume in Genesis 3. The serpent is cursed. The ground is cursed.

    I’ve taken to calling God’s statements “pronouncements,” since they are more descriptive than maledictory (couldn’t think of a more common word for that adjective).

  3. Jay Crook

    Hey Tim, 1 Tim 2:9-15 implies that the role of women in church goes back to Adam And Eve. Not referring to the curse but in the order of creation and order of sinning. One cannot argue that it was just a cultural issue for that time on the issue of authority, since Paul was using a rational that predated all culture. Verses 9-11 can be argued as being cultural, but at verse 12, Paul indirectly attributes the male/female roles as being established by God by using the word “created.”

  4. nick gill

    After reading a very interesting book called, “Reading the Bible with the Damned,” I started calling God’s Genesis 3 statements “diagnostic” in nature — in much the same way a doctor explains what’s gone wrong in your system, God diagnoses (for Adam and Eve and the Serpent) the effects that their actions will have on their lives.

    I’ll reply more on today’s post :)

  5. silvia

    on my opinion every things has to do with love to things, to people.
    t he differences between womwn and man has to do with prejudice about
    gender,about evolution and maturity on mind.Sometimes necesity turn womwn
    do some jobs that probably only man can do it ,but is hipocrit because the capacity
    is in the person .

  6. Jay Crook

    The great theologian, Elvis Presley, once said:

    “Well a hard headed woman
    A soft hearted man
    Been the cause of trouble
    Ever since the world began
    Oh yeah, ever since the world began
    A hard headed woman been
    A thorn in the side of man
    Adam told to Eve
    Listen here to me
    Don’t you let me catch you
    Messin’ round that apple tree
    Oh yeah, ever since the world began
    A hard headed woman been
    A thorn in the side of man”

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