I originally wrote this post in May 2011. It was a very short post intended to call attention to a flaw in the Complementarian argument that men should lead in the home and church because man was created before woman. They argue that chronological order indicates authority, that priority indicates hierarchy. For the post update, I kept things short, but added a few more thoughts to clarify my argument better.
Complementarian theology teaches that God established male authority in the home and church at creation, because God created the man before the woman. Does chronological creation order indicate authority? Let’s take a look at the order of things, then!
Light and darkness were created on Day 1, with the heavenly bodies given governance over light and darkness on Day 4. Day 2 and 3 bring water, sky, dry ground and vegetation. Day 5 brings all the living things that fill the spaces created on Days 2 and 3. Day 6 is for the living creatures filling the earth, animals and humans. Humans are given governance over all the things filling the spaces created on Day 2 and 3: the flying creatures, the swimming creatures and the crawling creatures.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26
Humans were created after the rest of creation. If we follow the “logic” that chronology establishes authority, it is not the first thing created that has authority, but the last. In fact, this principle could be argued from a general thematic viewpoint in all of Scripture. Jacob was the last born of Isaac, yet he was greater than Esau, the firstborn. Joseph was the last born of all his brothers, yet he is given authority over them. The tribe of Benjamin was the smallest and youngest of the 12 tribes, and yet the first ruler of all Israel, King Saul, came from the last born. Gideon was the youngest of the youngest of the youngest and the last of the least and yet he was chosen as judge over Israel. David was the last son, yet he rose to have authority over all his older brothers. Jacob himself stated this principle in Genesis 48:19.
…the younger shall be greater than the older. Genesis 48:19
I could bolster this “last born is given authority over the first born” principle with Jesus’ words.
So the last shall be first, and the first last… Matthew 20:16
Whoever wants to be first, must be a slave to all. Mark 10:44
According to the chronological creation order, woman was the final creation. She was last born. If we are going to use chronological principles, the one that is used throughout Israel’s history and even carried into Jesus’ words for the Kingdom of God, is contradictory to the primogeniture way of the world. The Last has primacy over the First.
Women Rule! 🙂