Satan, the World’s First Feminist

Garden IconAdam did battle with Satan in the Garden Paradise and lost. It was a no-contest, really. By the time round two came around, Eden had been a distant memory and Satan had home-field advantage. The desert wilderness couldn’t have been a more ideal setting to tempt the Second Adam.

And once again, the devil used food as bait. This time it wasn’t the delicious fruit of a tree in Paradise, it was mere bread. But after fasting forty days and forty nights, our Lord was famished. Even stale bread would have tasted like a gourmet meal at this point. The first Adam had every advantage and still succumbed. The Second Adam had the deck stacked against Him, yet emerged victorious.

Now you might say, “Wait a minute. Eve was the one talking with Satan in the Garden. She’s the one who fell for the devil’s lie. She ate first, and Adam was just following her lead.”

And that’s exactly the problem. That’s where Adam failed. Satan assaulted Adam all right, but he was so subtle about doing it that Adam probably didn’t even realize what was happening until it was too late. Moses highlights the devil’s ingenuity, telling us that the serpent was craftier than all the other beasts of the field that the Lord God had made (Genesis 3:1).

Satan doesn’t fight fair. He’s like the mob that way. He wanted to get Adam where it hurt, so he went after his family. God made Adam responsible for Eve’s welfare and put him in charge of Eden, but his mind was someplace else.

Eve was under spiritual assault, and where was Adam? If he wasn’t checking Facebook, playing fantasy football, or passed out on the couch, he must have been standing right there while the whole thing happened, listening to the devil’s false doctrine and saying absolutely nothing about it.

It’s no surprise, then, that God holds Adam accountable. In Adam, all die (1 Cor 15:22). Israel transgressed the covenant, just like Adam (Hosea 6:7). God doesn’t say anything to Eve about where she went wrong. She was the victim of her husband’s neglect. Sin would affect her, of course, but Adam’s the one God calls to task. He says, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’…”

Adam was supposed to listen to God’s voice and uphold His Word. As the head of his household, Adam was the pastor of his house. Ezekiel describes Adam as a priest within a Garden Sanctuary. When God tells the priests and Levites how to do their work, He gives them the same instructions He gave to Adam. The priests were to guard and keep the sanctuary just as Adam was to guard and keep Eden.[i] But Adam let his guard down. He stopped listening to God’s voice, and all creation has been paying the terrible price ever since.

The danger of straying from God’s Word can’t be emphasized enough, especially in a time when God’s Word is usually ignored or met with outright hostility. The lesson we learn from Adam’s sin is simple: no matter how enticing it seems, straying from God’s Word, even in the slightest, will bring nothing but pain and sorrow and death. When you turn away from the Lord of Life, the Lord of Death will be waiting with open arms.

FSPThis is where it gets uncomfortable, because when it comes to certain things, we’ve bought into the devil’s lies wholesale. And like Adam, we might not even realize it until it’s too late. Satan’s still using the same old strategy he’s been using since Eden. He started by cutting Adam out of the picture. Then convincing Eve she’d make a great pastor and should be calling her own shots was a piece of cake. Radical feminism didn’t begin in the 60s. It goes all the way back to Eden, when Satan revealed himself as the movement’s founder.

Thanks to Satan’s deception, Eve was no longer content with the vital and blessed vocation God had given her. Before Eve’s creation, Adam was alone and couldn’t find a suitable helper from among the beasts of the field. As fun as swimming with the dolphins must have been, they didn’t exactly make wife material.

It wouldn’t do to leave man alone. So God said, “I will make a helper fit for him.” God made Eve to be that suitable helper (Genesis 2:18–20), to assist Adam as he cared for God’s creation (Genesis 2:16).

This is how God has ordered His creation. He has placed the burden of headship on man and created woman to help ease that burden. Both the leader and the helper are essential; neither is more important than the other. Paradise wasn’t complete until Eve was created. But as we learned in Eden, when either duty is neglected or men and women exchange their God-given roles, all hell breaks loose.

The deliberate rejection of God’s order is at the heart of all sin. Woman wanted to be like man and man wanted to be like God. Men and women are at their best when we embrace our God-given vocations. St. Paul writes, “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of woman is man; and the head of Christ is God,” (1 Cor. 11:3).

The oppression of women is a terrible thing and is explicitly contrary to God’s will. Adam wasn’t given charge of his wife to dominate her, but to love and care for her, to deny himself and put her needs first, and even, if necessary, to die for her. In short, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. And men themselves are subordinate to Christ.

Radical feminism is about overturning God’s order. Radical feminism says it’s hateful to affirm the way God has designed His creation. God created men and women with equal value and dignity in His eyes.

Radical feminism isn’t really about equality. It’s about suppressing the distinct, God-given gender identities of men and women. Radical feminists look at what men are doing and say women should do that, too. Instead of embracing womanhood, women are held to an unattainable masculine ideal.

Radical feminism has given us women pastors and sex change operations. It considers pregnancy a disease and regards unborn children as parasites. It says pornography empowers women, and is now threatening to force women into combat by making them register for the selective service.

Women aren’t supposed to be able to do everything men can do, and men aren’t supposed to be able to do everything women can do. The notion that we aren’t equal if we can’t do the same things is a satanic lie.

cutcaster-801044379-Woman-in-uniform-sea-captain-with-rifle-isolated-on-white-backg-small-300x432A friend of mine recently wrote,

“Ask your grandfathers why there were no women with them in the trenches, and you’ll find this was because they actually loved their wives, sisters, and daughters, and wanted to keep them safe, not that those patriarchal creeps wanted to hog all the PTSD, bullet wounds, dismemberments, and gravestones for themselves. Don’t believe those who have so little regard for the men who died on foreign soil so their wives and sisters and daughters could live at home…”

“Equality looks like men and women finding equal peace in the distinct roles God has given them. Equality looks like men providing for their families, protecting them, loving their wives, and in so doing, teaching their sons how to treat women and teaching their daughters how men ought to treat them. Equality looks like women nurturing the ones they love, respecting their husbands, nursing their children, and comforting their friends as only they can. In times of warfare, equality looks like men carrying the cross of risking their lives to defend the families of their nation while women carry the cross of preserving the kind of families that make our nation worth defending.”[ii]

Satan delights in overturning God’s order. He loves it when the relationships between men and women break down. He loves it when pastors, like Adam, remain silent in the face of error. He loves it when Christians, like Eve, stop listening to God’s voice and start doing things their own way.

Thanks be to God that our Lord always listened to God’s voice and never did things His own way. Satan tempted Him again and again to act against God’s will. Everything Satan said contained an element of truth and sounded perfectly reasonable. He even quoted bible verses to make it sound good.

But our Lord saw right through Satan’s lies, no matter how cleverly he disguised them. Our Lord remained faithful even when it wasn’t popular or politically correct. He knew God’s will is always best, even when it hurts. Jesus didn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped. He accepted the role God had given to Him and was obedient and submissive, even to the point of death.

In this way, Christ has begun restoring order to His creation. On Maundy Thursday, Jesus turned the tables on the devil and tempted him with the cross. It was an offer the devil couldn’t refuse and he had Judas meeting with the chief priests before you could say “Adam.”

But by dying, Christ has broken the power of the devil and overturned those chaotic forces that disrupt God’s will, especially death. The stranglehold death had on humanity has been broken by Jesus’ resurrection.

As a baptized child of God, you share equally in Christ’s life, male and female alike. Christ speaks His Word into upside-down world, exposing the devil’s lies for what they are and forgiving you for those times when you’ve been carried away by them. He welcomes you to His Table along with those who’ve sinned against you and those you’ve sinned against so that we, who are many, might be one Body—each member doing its part, working together in love and harmony according to God’s holy will, to the praise and glory of His Name.

Soli Deo Gloria

+Rev. Eric Andersen
St. Matthew 4:1–11; Genesis 3:1–21; Hebrews 4:14–16
Invocabit, 2016: Satan, the World’s First Feminist
Zion, Summit
Immanuel, Hodgkins
Around the Word Bible Studies

[i] cf. Ezekiel 28:11–19. Genesis 2:15 uses the verbs עבד and שׁמר to describe Adam’s work. These two verbs are frequently paired in reference to the duties of the priests and Levites (cf. Numbers 2–3; 18:1–7).

[ii] Hans Fiene, “Women Don’t Need to Get Drafted to be Equal with Men,” (http://thefederalist.com/2016/02/11/women-dont-need-to-get-drafted-to-be-equal-with-men/)


Comments

Satan, the World’s First Feminist — 6 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting.Addresses exactly why I defer..probably at the rate of every 10 minutes or so..at times…to men in their proper role…and I trust that if no one else..my shepherd Jesus to my father with the power of the holy spirit..Will take care of me..however.. I myself am trained..I’m a nurse..to help in many different ways in times of great emergency..thank you for your post.

  2. >where was Adam?… he must have been standing right there.<

    Does the text support this statement? The Hebrew here doesn't imply location, does it? Isn't it just as likely that he was fulfilling his vocation of tending the garden and Eve gave him the fruit to eat when he returned home from work? That appears to be the traditional understanding of this text as I read Luther, Leupold and others.

    I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks, Clint

  3. @Rev. Clint K. Poppe #3

    Clint,

    In the sermon, I meant to highlight the two options, not make an assertion. Either Adam was off doing something else (as men tend to do; e.g., checking Facebook, watching football, etc.), or else he was with Eve while the whole thing was happening. The way you’ve quoted me actually changes what I said from a conditional statement (“If Adam wasn’t [doing something else], then he must have been standing right there”) into an assertion (“where was Adam?… he must have been standing right there.”)

    So I actually didn’t come down on either side. The only reason I even speculated at all was because it gave me the opportunity to highlight that error can be made on both sides (later on I draw applications to each; e.g., pastors remaining silent in the face of false doctrine, men relying on women to defend them in combat.) If I were to try and answer that question, I lean toward him being there on the basis of what verse 6 says (“she gave to her husband who was with her”). Though it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that he was completely oblivious to the whole thing.

    The idea that Adam was being completely faithful could only be true if his tending & keeping responsibilities Gen 2:15) were limited to the 2nd Table of the Law. I’m inclined to think that’s not the case, as I read Genesis 2:16 as a commentary on 2:15 (that is to say, Adam was to tend and keep the Garden, first of all, by keeping God’s Word). There’s also the correlation Scripture makes between Adam’s work to the duties of the priests & Levites and Ezekiel 28’s priestly portrayal of Adam (see footnote 1). Add to that the fact that Scripture ultimately holds Adam accountable (“in Adam all die,” etc.), and I’m inclined to understand Eve being just as much a victim of Adam’s neglect as she was a victim of Satan’s temptation. Even if Adam were “faithfully” tending the Garden (e.g., he was off mowing the lawn or whatever), I’d see this as a case of workaholism, that he became so engrossed in one thing that he began neglecting other responsibilities.

  4. Pastor Andersen,

    Thank you for your response.

    I do not think speculation on this text is necessary or particularly helpful. If we speculate on the silence of Adam or the whereabouts of Adam then we could end up with a fall before the Fall (as you seem to imply) and if that were the case then Scripture would certainly have told us that Adam sinned first. We have a clear Word in 1 Timothy 2:14 that tells us the first sin belonged to Eve.

    Adam is the head of the household, and the passages that refer to him as the originator of sin, Romans 5:14 and 1 Corinthians 15:22, make that clear, even though his wife sinned first and then tempted him to sin. The “Fall” is often referred to as a unit, but there is a clear progression in the action (1 Timothy 2). On this progression Luther states:

    “This, too, is an argument: God gave him the command directly, but to the woman through the man. He presses this idea, that Satan did not attack Adam. Therefore Adam was not deceived by the serpent. Yet this is a very simple statement. The serpent did not deceive Adam, because it did not tempt him by speaking with him. Therefore Paul is correct in saying that Adam was deceived not by the serpent but by the woman. He believed that this sin was an insignificant matter, not realizing that, if he fell, he was falling away from the command, from God, even from life. This he was not considering. He did not have that knowledge of good and evil. That is, he persevered in his dominion over the serpent, which did not attack him but rather attacked the weaker vessel. Therefore, etc. He has written quite carefully how cleverly Satan treated the fearless person and attacked the weak one, just as he does today. But the woman was deceived and became a transgressor, that is, she became the cause of transgression. There are three arguments here: (1) that Adam was formed [first]; (2) that he was not deceived; (3) it was not he but the woman who brought on transgression. Paul uses the argument which we have in Genesis (3:16): “Because you have done this, you will be under the man. In punishment for your sin and transgression, you must be subject to the man and suffer the pains of childbirth.” Thus that ordinance of God continues to stand as a memorial of that transgression which by her fault entered into the world.” LW 28:278-9.

    I am not a Hebrew scholar and must defer to experts on the specifics of the text. The prepositional phrase “‘immah” (with her) is often rendered as a clause (and simply omitted in many English translations) and “is first found at this point, strongly suggests that at the outset, when the temptation began, Adam was not with Eve but only had joined her at this time.” (Leupold, Genesis, 153)

    So, where was Adam? I don’t know because the Scripture doesn’t tell me. One thing I can be sure of, he was not sinning in his absence.

    Thanks for the discussion!

    In Christ, Clint

  5. @Rev. Clint K. Poppe #5

    Good thoughts! I absolutely agree with 1 Tim. 2:4 that it was Eve, and not Adam, who was deceived by the serpent. But I don’t think this text requires us to follow a strict chronology, since it is only concerned with the guilt of Eve and not Adam’s. For his guilt, we go to Romans 5 & 1 Cor. 15, which, as you say, identify Adam as the “originator of sin,” who failed to do what God had instructed him (Genesis 2:15-17), a command which was given even before the creation of Eve. There may be doubt as to the question of Adam’s precise location when Eve sinned, but there can be no doubt that Scripture ultimately holds him accountable for the Fall.

    As to the fall before a fall idea, our Lord Himself says that the origin of sin is in the heart (Matt. 15:18; Mark 7:21), not the external act.

    I don’t find the omission of עִמָּהּ in English translations at all persuasive, or Leupold’s speculation, especially since this prepositional phrase doesn’t indicate movement or motion, but rather presence. Moses doesn’t tell us Adam “joined her”, but that he was “with her.”

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