The Throne of Eve

or Why Ministers Must Be Men

My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them.
O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.
(Isaiah 3:12)

Doug Wilson has a great little book with the title, Why Ministers Must Be Men. He demonstrates from Scripture that ministers must be not only male but manly, that is, courageous and self-sacrificial, ruling out both misogyny and machismo in the process. I believe we can also find evidence for his case in the very structure of the Bible. The proof boils down to the question, “What is a man in the created order?” That is, what is a man physically, and what is he to be in the very process of things?

The answer is this: A man is a Covenant. He not only has a mission, he is a mission. Men are designed to draw near to God and be “hollowed out” as a safe, holy place, a shelter, for others. This is the case whether a man is married or not. The authority of any man is authority to serve, and it is delegated by God.

Now, some object using the many cases of women in authority found in the Bible: women are queens, prophets, judges and apostles. However, one swift swing of a Bible Matrix cycle cuts these objections to shreds. It shows that these roles for women in the Covenantal order reflect the nature of Woman in the created order. Every kind of authority given to women in the Bible follows, and never precedes, the authority of the man. This is because the authority of the man is first and foremost sacrificial, that is, priestly.

Creation / Sabbath / Light: Call of God to Man (Genesis)
Division / Passover / Waters: Man set apart (on face) (Exodus)
Ascension / Firstfruits / Land, Grain and Fruit: Man exalted as Priest (face up) (Leviticus)
Testing / Pentecost / Governing Lights: Man and Woman as King and Queen (Numbers)
Maturity / Trumpets / Swarms-Armies: Men and Women as Prophets and Prophetesses (Deuteronomy) [1]
Conquest / Atonement / Mediators: Man presents Woman, chaste, to God–High Priest and People (Joshua)
Glorification / Booths / Shekinah: Man and Woman united under God as His representatives, Judge and Judgess (“elohim”), produce offspring (Judges)

There are queens and prophetesses and saintesses and judgesses, but no priestesses. A grain of wheat, the firstfruits, must fall alone into the ground and die. A priest must be raw, elemental, “stoicheic”: a man emptied of all that others might be full. Paul, like Jesus was a single man, emptied out for the apostolic witness. Paul was also given the gift of singleness for the sake of the fullness of the Firstfruits Church. The saints became his glory.

The woman’s authority originates in, and “fills up,” that of the man. She advises him as wisdom–“sophia”–but priestly knowledge always precedes kingly wisdom and prophetic authority. Based on later antitypes, it seems Eve would have been invited by Adam to stand on the neck of the crushed serpent and identify with his victory. And then, most likely, she would have advised him to kill it (Joshua 10:24, Romans 16:20). A woman’s uncanny intuition needs a lawful framework to function effectively or she becomes Jezebel, Athaliah and Sapphira.

Without an Adam on the throne, any female authority will be short-lived, especially in the Church. Patriarchy works just fine when all men are fatherly. The serpent is crushed and the sanctuary is now safe for women and children. But a sanctuary usurped by women and children is no longer safe. When Adam abdicates his priestly role, the very sanctuary becomes a bitter spring, a source of deception that poisons the entire culture.

Forming by the Word is what brings the Filling of the Church and the Future of the World (entering into God’s rest). A Church which rejects male priesthood is easily deceived, becomes effeminate (a parody of glory), and is finally rendered sterile. And the culture under such “ministry” follows in its wake. Fatherhood is deconstructed. We are a nation of widows and orphans under the shelter of the state. Yet, in their need, those women and children rule over us.

The invisible Christ is to be first and foremost made visible in men. Because men have failed in their priestly role, even godly masculinity is eyed with suspicion. The man is removed, and the True God is removed. The mother and child are exalted, rather than cherished, protected and provided for. True Kings, Prophets and Advocates are disempowered, cut down and slandered at every opportunity. The created distinctions that image the authority, integrity and glory of the Triune God are melted down in the name of the Goddess Equality.

“We do not want this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14)

“…in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’” (Revelation 18:7)

[1] This point in the structure is also where I would locate the apostolic witness of Andronicus and Junia. The name can be masculine or feminine. Chrysostom (c. 347–407) refers to this person as a woman. Bauckham suggests that Junia was a transliteration of the Hebrew name Joanna. If this is the case, her authority was an important advisory role sourced in a priesthood of men. Of course, under the New Covenant, all saints are witnesses, reflecting the bridal nature of the Church.

See also Liturgical Man, Liturgical Woman, A Titanic Reality and Sex and the City.

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6 Responses to “The Throne of Eve”

  • jared Says:

    So what do we do with Galatians 3:28? Now that, on account of faith, we are no longer under a “guardian” (i.e. no longer lead by the law/priest), how does that factor in to our view of gender roles today? As the body of Christ we are all “priests”, man and woman alike, are we not? We are equal with regards to rightly dividing the word of truth, or delivering it to the rest of the body? How does union in Christ not blur or outright eliminate much of what you say here?

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Yes, but we are “Nazirite” priests. It’s the priesthood of resurrection, not death. Adam wins the sword, and Eve shares in the sword. Fractals are tricky.

    Within the Holy Place, Adam is the link to the Holy and Eve is the link to the Courts. They are both within the Holy Place as priests, but they have different roles.

    Liturgically, ministers used to face the congregation to speak for God (as Adam), then face the altar to speak for the congregation (as part of Eve). We should pick up that practice again.

  • jared Says:

    Tricky indeed. What do you say to someone who thinks that “derived” is tantamount to “lesser” when it comes to authority and the designated roles of men and women? The schtick is that Jesus supposedly levels the playing field, so to speak, such that anything a man can do a woman can do as well. We are both created in the image of God but man “moreso” than woman? How can that be received as anything other than an insult?

  • Mike Bull Says:

    The context is serving in the Tabernacle. Women, lepers, eunuchs, etc. are all priests. There is certainly an element which prefigures the eternal state (neither male nor female, like the angels) but this verse cannot be taken in isolation. Do we read it in the dissected light of modernism, where every issue is boxed off separately? Or do we read it in the light of the integrated worldview of the Bible and all previous history? If Paul believed this truly, how did it play out in the Church for 1900 years? Paul was obviously not assuming any sort of sexual egalitarianism here, so his context must be something else. The structure of passage seems to put it at “Succession,” which is Adam and Eve together, mediating between heaven and earth as elohim (see blog post above). Her throne is the direct result of his faithfulness toward her. So, whereas modernism says women should be empowered to free them from abuse by men, the Bible says that women should be empowered but by faithful men. In its misguided attempt to free women from abuse by men, feminism has unwittingly freed them instead from being women.

    As far as being lesser, male and female image the “to and fro” of the Trinity. They are different, and there is a flow of authority, but it is the authority of servanthood. Ballroom dancing is a perfect analogy. He leads her, and she submits to his leading. His love and her submission make it beautiful. If he deliberately trips her over, her dancing by herself dressed as a man ain’t pretty.

  • jared Says:

    The last sentence of your first paragraph is exactly what I was thinking. It’s like women don’t understand that being the embodiement of glory is given to them by design. Without their imaging of glory then man’s imaging of the altar is mundane. Though, I suppose it doesn’t help that men don’t understand they’re designed to image an altar which can receive/reflect this glory…

    In Galatians Paul is talking about being heirs according to the promise (succession, as you say) and as the promises go there is no distinction or role that is given preference. We are all recipients of the same faith, of the same grace, even if in different measure. I think this is a good way to combat an egalitarian interpretation of this passage.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Well put.

    Also, Eve’s body, like her authority, was sourced in Adam, and this involved his “death.”