Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"Weaker Vessel"

Last week, we addressed the growing controversy surrounding the clear need for gender-specific bathrooms. The title of our post was “Men, Honor the Weaker Vessel.” The reference to “Weaker Vessel” was later attributed to the passage in the Bible from 1 Peter 3:7, “husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” As you can imagine, a reference to women being a weaker vessel garnered more attention than the central point of the article. But, should referring to women as “weaker vessels” be received as offensive?

The quick answer is absolutely not. The passage and our post are pointing to the obvious fact that women are generally weaker physically than men. If you can’t see this obvious fact, then you are choosing deficiency over reality. This is not saying that women are weaker spiritually, mentally, or emotionally. This is saying that generally their bodies are weaker than men’s. But, this exaggerated outrage over the reference is a gift as it gives us Exhibit A in the case against selective outrage.

First, a vessel is not the person. Our body, be it male or female, is but a vessel - a vehicle of sorts. The body or vehicle temporarily houses the soul inside. And, it is the soul that completes our identity. And, when it comes to the soul, there is no such verse in the Bible as far as gender-based weakness or strength. That is because at the measure of the soul, who we really are, men and women are entirely equal. A woman is not defined or spiritually limited by the vehicle in which her soul is transported. But, she certainly is physically limited – more on that later.

Of course, it comes as no surprise that those who attempt to define people by strictly the physical would also limit the definition of woman to ignore the spiritual. However, in doing so, these are the true assaults and lessening of women’s identities. It is God who defines women as so much more than their bodies, and so much more than the limitations of their DNA. As Christians we know that women of God, just like men of God, are equal temples of God’s Holy Spirit – equal to men’s. The physical temple is weaker, but not its occupant. And, it is the occupant that defines the temple, not the temple’s infrastructure. Even the Old Testament Israelites worshiped God in a “Tent of Meeting” or “Tabernacle.” And, while larger and more elaborate structures were later built in which to worship God, God showed more glory through the lesser structure of a tent than He ever did in our most elaborate structures.

In addition, as Christians, we know that having a weaker temple is actually a blessing over having a stronger temple. This is precisely why in 2 Corinthians 12:10 God said, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The weaker the person who submits to God, the stronger they become over the physically stronger person who relies less upon Godly submission. By this measure it is men who should be tempted to be offended by being implied as the stronger vessel (that is if you believe in being offended). Men are tempted more often to miss out on a more complete dependence upon God.

But, women are not the only ones who are physically transported in weaker vessels. Likewise, our children are weaker vessels, and in many cases weaker than women’s vessels. Does that make children any less important than men? Of course that is not the case. In fact, by almost every honorable measure of decent society women and children are to be valued above men. That is why our motto is “women and children first.” The weakness of their vessels makes them no less important. But, the fact that an equally important bearer of God’s image is being physically transported in a weaker vessel requires more valued attention. That is precisely why 1 Peter 3:7 cites weakness as the reason for such vessels to be honored by stronger vessels. God calls us all to honor weakness, not glorify physical strength.

Now, let’s turn our attentions to woman’s physical limitations. The fact is that women are generally physically limited as compared to men. On average, they can’t lift as much weight as men. They can’t run as fast as men. They can’t overpower men. This is why virtually all rape is man-on-woman. Think about it. The fact that our spiritual equal, and other half of God’s personal attributes, resides in a weaker frame commands our honor and protection at all cost. The reason men were given stronger frames was precisely to protect women and children – those of weaker frames from those bent on evil. When we don’t rise up to this duty, we are less than men. As we stated last week, when we do not live up to the command to protect her, like men who “identify as women”, we are men in vain. And, when we reduce women to something less than royal bearers of God’s spiritual image, God is greatly displeased.

If women are to be insulted by this fabricated bathroom controversy, it is those arguing for unisex bathrooms who should be viewed as the most insulting. Do women really want to have their privacy violated by non-transgender male predators? Can a man who genuinely claims to identify as a woman truly understand the travails that a women of weaker frame endures? Can such a man begin to know what a monthly menstrual cycle feels like and how it affects daily living? Can such a man understand the closeness of death afforded by childbirth? Is it not an insult to women that Caitlyn Jenner (a.k.a. Bruce) wins an award for “Woman of the Year”? Can someone born with male DNA ever truly claim to identify as a woman if he is incapable of even beginning to know the slightest thing about actually being a woman? Feeling and acting feminine does not a woman make. After being married to my wife for 28 years and watching her birth three children, nurse them, wean them and rear them, I could never have a clue of what it means to be a woman (neither can a transgender with male DNA). And, my wife likewise can never understand what it is like to be a man. Coming to the delusional epiphany that a man identifies as a woman is the most insulting position to women who truly have to endure all of the above. For example, will a woman object to a man joining a female boxing match shortly after identifying as a woman? Think about it. No, as Christians, we honor women to the utmost – more so than this world ever has or ever will. Men of God value women more than we value self.

Speaking of the world, in this present argument, there is blatant incoherence. Isn’t it the utmost of ignorance to actually ignore genetics? After the world has preached to us relentlessly to uphold science as god, they choose to ignore the very thing they worship. There is no facet of science that stands behind the left on this issue. Why do you think that science continues to search for the elusive (probably non-existent) “gay gene”? That is because they wish to reduce all of us to genetics – that is except for those who wish to one day choose to identify as something they are not. Then, apparently, it is okay to ignore genetics. Well, if someone is born gay (genetics), isn’t a man who falsely identifies as a woman born a man? While we can't find a "gay gene" we found the male and female genes a long time ago. The incoherence is astounding.

In conclusion, women are to be honored by and above men because they are God's spiritual image temporarily housed in a weaker vessel. From a strict Darwinian view, to oppose any part of that notion is suicidal lunacy.

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