A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Are the Daughters of Eve Stupid?

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

***

Abuse is the test of our theology.  If our theology does not lead us to render justice and kindness to victims of abuse, and if it does not lead us to an exposure of the evil of the abuser, then our theology is deficient.  It is time to go back to the Scriptures and take another look.

Abusers hiding under the facade of Christianity (and remember, those are the WORST kind of abuser), LOVE to promote the notion that women are inferior to men.  One way they keep this idea going in the church is to remind women that Eve was deceived by the serpent. It was, in the end, a woman who got us into this whole mess of a fallen world.  Adam jumped right onto that bandwagon right off – “it was the woman YOU gave me, Lord.”   Women.  Can’t live with ’em, and can’t live without ’em.  What are we gonna do?  Let’s blame ’em and shame ’em.

Does the Bible teach that women are stupid?  Inferior to men in their very mind and nature?  Well, the Apostle Paul did say –

1 Timothy 2:13-14, For Adam was formed first, then Eve; (14) and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

And yet, he also wrote –

Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

This much we know – at least any genuine Christian knows – God’s Word never contradicts itself.  God’s Word is truth.  And truth always is in agreement.  You can’t have two truths opposed to one another.  Like the biblical doctrines of election and free will – they may appear to be contradictory, but they are not.  The problem lies with us, not with God.

When Paul says that Adam was not deceived, THAT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT TO ADAM’S INTELLIGENCE!  Eve was deceived by the devil.  Adam, having been given a charge by God to rule over the garden and be God’s image bearer, should have KILLED that serpent.  But he didn’t.  When he took the fruit from his wife and ate, he did so knowingly.  God held him to a higher standard.  His sin was greater and it was through Adam that we all fell.  He is the one the devil wanted to get at all along.  Adam was the federal head of our race (Romans 5).

Now, in dealing with Scriptures like this one in 1 Timothy 2, here is what I am learning from my study of the evil nature and schemes of abusers.  We cannot merely teach what a Scripture does say — we must also teach what it does not say.  Let me do that in this case by giving you a recent example.

We love to hear the personal stories of abuse victims who contact us through this blog, or through Anna’s other blogs.  They are heart-breaking, inspiring, and instructive.  One Christian lady told us recently how much she fears being deceived and coming to believe that her husband is an abuser if in fact he is not (he shows every sign of being an abuser).  We understand this.  Christian wives of abusers want to please Christ.  They don’t want to sin.  But they are confused – you all know that.  Abusers confuse.  They generate fog, and it takes quite some time to come out of that deception.  This sister in Christ said –

 I am a woman so I could be deceived like Eve was in the garden.

This is commendable in that you see she truly wants to know the TRUTH.  She doesn’t want to buy into some kind of lie.  She wants a marriage that honors Christ.  She admits she is capable, like all of us, of being deceived.

But is the danger of her deception to be attributed to the fact that she is a woman?  I think we can help her here.  Her statement can help all of us.  If she is deceived (and of course she is to one degree or another), is it BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN?  Isn’t this amazing?  Talk about a trap from the devil!  Yes, victims of abusers are deceived – at least until they come out of that deception. But what is the reason for that deception?  IT IS BECAUSE HER “ADAM” IS DECEIVING HER WITH HIS LIES.   It’s not HER, it’s HIM!  Male survivors of abuse will also tell you how they were under a deception for so long before they saw what was happening to them.  Yes, this sister in Christ could be deceived.  In fact, she is deceived, again, just as every single victim of abuse is deceived until the Lord leads them out of that fog.  But she is deceived because she is married to a deceiver, not because she is a woman.

Let’s take this a step further.  We all know that the conservative, Bible-believing church today is deceived, horribly deceived, about abuse and abusers and their victims.  That is one of the fundamental reasons for this blog and for our book and for all of the efforts you all are involved in to expose this evil in the pews.  Now, who is leading our churches?  Women?  No.  In our churches, men are pastors and elders.  Men are the heads of their wives and children.  We teach this.  We practice this.  And yet, here is this terrible, terrible mess of deception.  Abusers are justified.  Victims are ostracized.  If we could do a survey somehow of the readers of this blog, how do you suppose the breakdown according to gender would come out?  What percentage are women and what percentage are men?  I think you have a general idea of the answer.  Why is  that?  It is because women are awakening to the evil of abuse in much higher numbers than men are.  Hmmmm…. that doesn’t sound like the daughters of Eve are all that stupid.

This article does not even begin to answer or explain all the related issues of the Bible’s teaching on the nature of men and the nature of women.  I haven’t even tried to do that.  But this much we can say with certainty – the Bible does not teach that women are stupid because they are women, nor does it teach that men are wise because they are men.  There are stupid men, and stupid women because we are sinners.  There are evil men, and there are evil women  but not because they are men or women.

So we encourage this sister in Christ with this – the mere fact that you have come to the point of being able to write to us, to read things like this blog, to observe the things that you are observing about your husband and what he is doing to  you – tells us that you are anything but a foolish, silly, easily-deceived woman.  It tells us that Christ is showing you His truth and giving you His wisdom, and He is at work even now to bring you into freedom from your bondage to a cruel-taskmaster.

11 Comments

  1. joepote01

    I can tell you that I have proven myself very capable of being deceived…and proven God very capable of revealing His truth!

    I can also tell you that some of the wisest, most discerning, people I have had the privilege of knowing are women.

    BTW, like you, Jeff, I have always read that passage in 1 Timothy 2 as an indictment against Adam for knowingly choosing sin…not as praise for seeing thru the deception.

  2. This is just a thought– but I have always wondered if the deception of Eve was as much about her tenderness and kindness. She couldn’t conceive of the fact that this beautiful serpent had ulterior motives– that he would lie to her and wish her to die. (So when she saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom. . . she thought maybe she got it wrong? Confusion– the first case recorded.)

    Now what does *that* sound like?

    Remember, Eve was perfect, just like Adam. The difference was in her gender– she was the gentle nurturer who would carry the little ones inside and tend and care for them with her own body.

    Maybe she wasn’t deceived so much in the way we think of it today but just in wanting to always think the best of others.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yes, I think you are right on here Ida Mae. She was perfect and sinless. It was no random thing that Satan chose to approach her first, but it could not have been because she was stupid or deficient in any way. This was pre-Fall. The serpent could well have chosen to use her own goodness and kindness against her. And isn’t that exactly what happens today with Satan’s contemporary representatives. Women who are abused love their children. If they are Christians, they love Christ. They love their abuser! And the sociopathic, conscienceless mindset of an evil person uses that love and kindness against their victim. MEN SHOULD BE LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST THE SERPENT TODAY BY BEING THE LEADERS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ABUSE, ESPECIALLY IN THE CHURCH. But for the most part, Christian men are standing off to the side and letting women deal with the snake.

  3. “I am a woman so I could be deceived like Eve was in the garden.”
    That statement is so sadly typical of many Christian victims of domestic abuse, and I don’t blame them for making it, because they’v been duped by sections of conservative Christian church that have taught that women are more gullible, more easily deceived, more silly, in fact let’s be blunt, more Stupid and Ditsy and (well let’s get real!) more dumb and more naughty than men are. So (they say) women can’t trust themselves, can’t trust their perceptions, can’t trust their interpretations of the Bible, can’t trust their gut feelings, their hearts, their… well… anything. That women are just plain defective, have too many screws loose, have wild emotions and so can never see straight.

    What a wide road for abusers to drive their heavyweight trucks through!

    Fact: men are often stupid, ditsy, silly, deceived, emotional, gullible, dumb and deceived as well.

    I agree with both the comments that Ida Mae and Jeff have written above.
    It seems to me like the serpent played on Eve’s good intentions and she thought she was doing something beneficent by taking, eating and sharing that fruit.

    It’s always interested me that the text isn’t specific about whether Adam was present when the serpent was spinning his line. So we can’t be sure whether Adam actually heard every word of the spin-doctor, or whether he was off-stage-left so to speak, and Eve offered him the fruit later, without him having heard the direct lies from the serpent’s mouth. Commentators can read it either way, and no one can be sure. (Some claim to be certain that Adam was present, and others claim he wasn’t; both claims seem to me to be going beyond what Scripture tells us).

    The fact is, the Scripture isn’t definitive about whether Adam was present or not during that transaction. But Adam’s ready response in taking and eating the fruit sure shows a man who didn’t think, a man who was foolish, a man who did not take his responsibilities seriously. And when he turns around and blames both God and Eve for the disaster, he shows himself to be a man who wouldn’t shoulder his proper responsibilities. A man who, if he lived in this day and age, would rather sit on the couch with the remote in his hand, pontificating during the ad breaks, but never lifting a finger to help solve the problems.

  4. I let a bit of my jaundice leak out in my comment above (tch tch!).
    So let me add another more thoughtful and perhaps more challenging comment:

    Jeff, you use the term “federal head” (“Adam was the federal head of our race”). It’s been a while since I was reading stuff from the particular stream of conservative Christianity that uses the expression “federal head”, so I’m not completely on top of the debate or the jargon. But, is it wise to use a term (“federal head”) which does not occur in the Bible?

    I have the feeling that this term “federal head” carries a load of meanings and resonances which may be triggering, or at least confusing, for many victim-survivors.
    I’d like to hear what others think about this.

    Maybe Jeff you can explain more closely what you mean? I think it may be important to distinguish what YOU mean from what that term connotes for many people.

    Or is this a new post and a new topic that would best be dealt with on the comp/egal page of your blog?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Hmmm… I hadn’t thought of this term triggering things. So maybe you have a point here. What I mean by federal is “representative of the whole.” Like the federal government that represents (supposedly:) the whole nation as opposed to a state or local government. Theologians use this term to describe the Scripture’s teaching that there have been two Adams — the first Adam in Eden, and the second and last Adam, Christ. Both Adams represented a people. The first Adam represented all humanity, with the sad results called the curse. The second Adam, Christ, represents the new humanity — the church. Just as in the first Adam we all sinned and died, so also in the second Adam we all are made alive by His obedience. Each Adam federally represents each of the people God has given to them. The pertinent Scriptures are Romans 5:12-21 in which Paul compares and contrasts the one man, Adam, with the one Man, Jesus Christ. Then again in 1 Cor 15,

      1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

      This is how Christ’s merits are imputed to the sinner. Through faith, His righteousness becomes our righteousness and our sin is laid upon Him. It is the same dynamic that worked in the fall through the first Adam, only in Christ it works to our justification.

      Federal, then, is an attempt to describe what Scripture teaches in this respect. That it is “in Christ” that we are joined to Him so that His death becomes our death, His resurrection our resurrection, His obedience of the Law our obedience and so on (Romans 6). Perhaps another term for this would be better, but you will run across “federal” pretty often in studying theology.

      As far as any idea that Adam being the representative head of humanity therefore supporting the idea that a woman is totally under the headship of her husband no matter how evil he is and she must therefore obey him, that would be a completely unjustified and wicked notion that only a narcissistic, evil man would try to argue. But perhaps they have and do! Maybe that is your concern here, and if so it is a valid one for us to consider. This headship only applies to two men – the first Adam, and the last Adam (Christ). When Christ redeems us, we are transferred from death in Adam to the realm of life in Christ. But there are only two Adams. No other man has ever or will ever function in such a capacity. It is totally erroneous and unscriptural therefore, for anyone to try to argue that because the first Adam was the representative head of the race, that the individual man is the head of his wife in that same way. But then, we can almost hear the abuser’s wheels turning in this regard, right?

      I will try to stick to scriptural terms more diligently. Good catch, Barbara.

      • thanks Jeff. That makes it clear.
        I’ll be interested to see if anyone else comments on the term “federal head” and what it connotes for them.
        Bless you and all who are reading this blog.

  5. Last time I checked, Genesis 3:6 said that “Adam was with her.” I think the decision to eat was a joint one!

    • It interests me how Eve ate the fruit only after being talked into it, whilst Adam took it out of her hand and bit without hesitation. Is it possible he had been lusting after the fruit for a while and was waiting for his chance? He was indeed with Eve as the snake was talking to her, yet didn’t say a word to combat the serpent’s lies. What was he thinking?

      Of course Eve isn’t completely innocent. She did agree to eat the fruit instead of sticking to her guns and obeying God. She listened to the snake, believed its word over God’s, and desired the knowledge that it said she would get. Still, she was certainly deceived, especially since she didn’t have the truth to start with – she thought that merely touching the tree would cause her to die, which wasn’t what God said. We don’t know how she got this wrong information, maybe she remembered wrong or Adam didn’t tell her right. We don’t know. As much as Eve is responsible for letting herself slip, I think that she deserves less stick than Adam is deserving of. Satan is, after all, a convincing liar.

      Adam on the other hand, did nothing to protect his wife from lies or sin. HE let her slip too. He knew what was going on and went with it anyway. Of course we can’t be sure if it was pre-meditated or anything, or if he was rebelling against God on a sudden whim and didn’t care what happened to Eve as long as he got that juicy juicy fruit. Whatever his motives, he was guilty of the sins of neglect, rebellion (he wanted his way over God’s, regardless of the consequences), and then lying to God’s face about what happened. “It was the woman,” he says, “she made me do it.”

      I’m sorry if I’m being too strong on painting Adam as ‘the bad guy’. Both of them did sin, but it’s not that hard to tell that his sin was worse. Yet for two thousand years, churches have continued preaching Adam’s lie: that Eve did it, that she was the cause of the Fall simply because she was the first one to bite.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Maybe not quite for 2,000 years – the Apostle Paul got it right when he said Adam sinned intentionally, as you note. But that aside, at the very, very minimum, Adam was at least as equally as guilty as Eve. And ultimately, Adam was the bad guy – it is in him and his sin that the entire human race fell. Fortunately for us, God in His mercy sent us a new Adam who perfectly obeyed the Law of God. You are correct in your statement though that Eve, and women in general, have been viewed even among Christians as foolish and gullible.

Trackbacks

  1. Are the Daughters of Eve Stupid? – by Jeff Crippen (via A Cry For Justice) | At the end of myself…at the feet of Jesus: Domestic Abuse and the Christian

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