by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXIII

March, 1944

Number 8

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

"And she brought forth a son, a male," Un. 12:5.  Is this a redundant statement - "a son, a male" - or is it necessary to state it that way?  If I should say, "I saw an animal, a tiger," everyone would know that I mean to convey the thought that not al animals are tigers.  Could it be that the above expression of scripture is intended to give us the thought that not all sons are males? It seems so to me.  

Now, don't be too sure that this is nonsensical.  In ordinary generation all sons are males, but I find that the word "son" is used in the scripture many times, as a figure of speech.  Literally, a son is a male offspring of human parents, generated and born in the usual way.  But what about being sons of God?  Are we His sons through the same kind of process that makes literal sons?  Certainly not!  

There are creatures called sons of God, who became so trough creation.  These are the spirit beings mentioned in Ps. 82.  Christ is His Son, both by creation, Col. 1:16, and by generation in a woman, Luke 1:35.  But we are no sons in either of these senses.  It is only in a figure of speech that we are called sons.  And in the employment of figure, our literal sex is not taken into consideration.  In the ecclesia or ecclesias to which the Ephesian epistle was written, there were certainly females, as well as males, for in chapter 5 Paul gives instructions to wives and husbands.  Yet, in chapter 1, they are called sons of God. The figure does not even denote relationship to God, so much as it denotes maturity and dignity.  In Gal. 4:3-7, it is used in contrast with minority and slavery.  Paul says, "Thus also we, when we were minors, were enslaved under the elements of the world.  Now when the full time came, God delegates His Son, come of a woman, come under law.  that He should be reclaiming those under law, that we may be getting the place of a son.  Now, being that you are sons, God delegates the spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba!  Father!  So that you are no longer a slave, but a son.  Now if a son, an enjoyer also of God's allotment through Christ."  Are we sons in the same sense that Christ is?  No; He came of a woman.  We came into this position, not of a woman.  It is only in a figure that we are said to be sons.  Literally we are yet sons and daughters of our parents, while we are figuratively sons of God.  

As products of this eon, we have one character; as products of the resurrection we will have another.  So in Luke 20:25-26, people who belong to this eon are called sons of this eon.  This is said of both men and women.  It is said of those who are marrying, and of those who are given in marriage.  Men marry; women are given in marriage.  Figuratively, both are called sons of this eon.  So "son sometimes denotes character, without distinguishing the sexes.  In resurrection, those same people will be called sons of God and sons of the resurrection.  Literally, they are not either.  They are sons and daughters of their human parents.  

There were women in the Ecclesia at Thessalonica, Acts 17:4.  Yet Paul writes to the ecclesia later, and calls them brethren, I Thess. 4:13.  The term, "brethren" is used of both sexes, in Paul's writing.  Or is it a fact that he was writing to the men, alone, when he have out the glorious news of the Lord descending into the air, and their being snatched away to meet Him?  Chapter 1:1, says he was writing to the ecclesia—not merely to the males in it.  In 2:1, the brethren are aware of Paul's suffering and outrages.  Are not the women aware of it also?  In 2:9, the brethren remember his toil and labor.  Have the women forgotten it?  In 4:1, the brethren are asked to walk in a way that is pleasing to God.  Should not the women walk in that way, also?  I cannot escape the conclusion that, like sons, brethren is used of both sexes, unless there is occasion to distinguish them.  And there is certainly no occasion, when saying the things that Paul was saying in this epistle.  

If "brethren" always means men, and if "sons" always mean males, then what about Gal. 4:19, where Paul says, "Little children mine, with whom I am travailing again, until Christ be formed in you?"  Had Paul turned out to be a woman?  Had he borne children?  And was he doing the unheard of thing—travailing again, to bear the same children a second time?  No; these "little children" were the brethren of verse 28, the sons of 4: 5, 7.  Literally, they had, at one time, been little children of their human parents; they were now sons and daughters of these same parents.  But figuratively they were Paul's little children; figuratively he was travailing  with them again; figuratively they were his brethren; figuratively they were sons of God.  

In Christ there is "no male and female," Gal. 28.  Why should there be?  In heaven there will be no need for sex, since propagation of the race belongs to earth.  Christ is a male, and, while on earth, had a body like other men.  But in glory His body has been transfigured.  Not merely transformed, mind you!  If it had not been transfigured, there would be no need to transfigure our body, to conform to His body glorious, Phil. 3:21.  Our body of humiliation is already like His body of humiliation.  Strictly speaking, this is true of men, only.  But He has a different figure now, and if men can be transfigured to accord with His body glorious, there is no reason why this should not be true of women, also.  There is no position of glory that a man may occupy in heaven, that may not also be occupied by woman.  

However, in the Lord, or in service on earth, the sexes are distinguished.  The man is the head of the woman, I Cor. 11:3.  She is his glory, verse 7.  This was the arrangement in creation, and the order should be recognized in the ecclesia.  For this reason, Paul does not allow a woman to teach, or to domineer over a man, I Tim. 2:12.  That she is not debarred from teaching some others, is evident from Titus 2:3.  But it is a dishonor to the God of creation, for a woman to reach and rule men.  Wives are to be subject to their own husbands.  Husbands are to be loving their wives, as their own bodies.  When this is done by the husband, the devout wife finds it a pleasure to carry out her part.  It is not irksome.  

In the days when speaking in different languages was sometimes done in the ecclesia, the women were the hush, I Cor. 14.  In the present time, women are the principal jabberers, when the "unknown tongue" is spoken.  The gift of tongues has ceased, since maturity has come, I Cor. 13, but many women do not seem to think so.  Really, speaking in tongues in Paul's day, was speaking in different languages of men; now, "the unknown tongue" is the proper designation, for even the jabberers do not know what it means.  

None of the regulations concerning woman, as given by God in His word, means that woman is inferior to man.  Hers is merely a different role.  

She is a proper help for man.  This is what is meant by "help meet."  She was created because of man.  She finds, not only her proper place, but her chief joy, in serving man, or helping him.  Those who want to domineer over man are abnormal.  The great majority of women are normal.  They want to stay in their place.  And they do it, to a greater extent than does man.  

Man loves to be called the "lord of creation."  Yet he will let out a wail to the effect that if there were no bad women he would be better.  There was never a "bad woman," but who went bad in close company with a man.  The only thing worse than a bad woman, is a bad man.  He is the aggressor, she, the passive actor.  I have never believed in, or condoned, the double standard of morals fro the sexes.  

But, back to the original thought.  In Christ, there is no male or female.  Both men and women are members of His body.  Neither shall be as they are now, when they are in the glory.  The body of the woman, no less than that of the man, shall be TRANSFIGURED, to accord with the glorious body of Christ.  And when this is done, it is an earnest of what Christ will do for all, in due time.  The eons will come to a consummation, when propagation of the race will have come to an end, and there will no longer be any need for the different sexes. 

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