Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Curses!!

Today I was reading in Genesis, from “The Message”, and it was like I saw something clearly for the first time. Those blasted curses that Adam and Eve brought on themselves by choosing independence instead of relying on God have been following mankind around for thousands of years and despite the life and death of Jesus which was supposedly a redemptive act to end all need for redemptive acts, we still seem to living under them to a large extent. What the heck for? What is redemption if it does not affect the basic consequences of the very act it is said to redeem?

The woman’s curses: Basically, two things were set in motion for her: 1. her relationship with men was changed and 2. she heaped increased pain on herself in childbirth.

It seems that the feminists are the ones who have actually picked up on the detrimental effects of this first curse and are trying to do something about it. The church, well, we have managed to look at our imperfect heritage and a few scriptures which seem to make it okay for men to lord it over women in almost every area, and I have never heard anyone admit that this treatment is actually a curse. In fact, this way of doing things has worked so well for so many years, at least for the guys in charge, that the church generlly takes a stance against feminists (whose views are not perfect on this issue, I will readily admit).

Women were cursed to become men-pleasers and unfortunately we as Christians have disguised this as a sickly sweet version of godly submission when it is not! I am not talking about a loving relationship in which people prefer one another, so don’t misunderstand me. Women have been put under a curse in which their authority and positions and identities and value are always connected to men, when in fact they are to receive their affirmation and worth directly from God. Dependence on men's decisions, how men treat me, how attractive they find me, how many I have conquered, is the worst inferiority complex you can imagine! Who in their right mind really thinks this is a healthy state of affairs?

Okay, let’s take a look at the guys for a minute. The curses were: 1. he would have to work really hard to make a living and 2. he would die.

I was raised in a community where the ability to work hard was positioned next to godliness. This improper elevation of the work ethic has crept into our belief system and substituted itself for faith and a relationship with God. Remember the scenario before all this fruit-eating happened? God gave Adam and Eve the earth to care for and develop and everyday the three of them walked together and hung out. There was no frenzied activity, no overtime, no bonuses for production goals exceeded. There was peace, there was rest, there was genuine enjoyment of the task because it was inseparably intertwined with fellowship with God. In stark contrast to this, we have become people who seek to instil this cursed work ethic because we believe that the results will be exponential - the more you work, the more you will get - but we forget that the curse does not promise anything but a basic existence in return for pain and heavy labour.

If a break in fellowship with God has caused all these nasty curses (and I have not even addressed the pain in childbirth and death issues), then the reversal of their effects is obvious - we must get back into communion with God. That was the whole purpose for Jesus coming and living and dying: to repair the breech between God and man. So why are we still living under the effects of the curse? I don’t know. I suppose we have become so accustomed to our slavery and cursed deformity that we now see certain aspects of it as normal and in that case we need a redemption of our minds as much as anything.

If you met me and my husband, it would appear that you were seeing a submissive woman and a hardworking guy, the perfect Christian couple. But I struggle with indecisiveness and a lack of confidence while my husband works long hours just to provide our basic needs. We are two people tangled in the web of this curse, but I have caught a glimpse of the truth today, and it is said that truth is the road to freedom. I will not stand still on this cursed path any longer. On y va!

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