Sunday, March 05, 2017

Does The Revised Common Lectionary Contribute to Today's Gender Confusion?

Followers of this blog should be familiar with the problems Sunday churchgoers face when the only parts of the Bible to which they are exposed are selections from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). Hearing bits and pieces of the scripture every seven days is bad enough, but when the RCL selectively edits out verses that might be confusing, controversial, or too harsh and judgmental for "Sunday ears" the net effect is to create a congregation of "tame" Christians, a group which would never be able to defend itself in the public square.

This Sunday provides another example of the curious (some might say suspicious) way that parts of the Bible get cut. Most pewsitters will hear Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, but they will probably be unaware that Genesis 2.18-25 was dropped.

This is what people will hear today (Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7).
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’ (Genesis 2:15-17)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. (Genesis 3:1-7)
So what did the congregations miss, and why might it be important? They missed the story of the creation of the animals, the creation of woman, and God's intention for the sexes.

Its all in Genesis 2.18-25,

 Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
‘This at last is bone of my bones   and flesh of my flesh;this one shall be called Woman,   for out of Man this one was taken.’ 
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. 
If Sunday church goers miss out on the story of the creation of woman out of man, they might wind up falling for the sexual worldview of the current age which denies God's creative act and denies the purpose of the two sexes.

It is quite possible that the lack of adequate teaching from the Church about God's plan for the sexes is a contributing factor to today's gender confused society.

And the Revised Common Lectionary may shoulder some of the blame.


  1. Pewster,
    I think the OT lesson and the Gospel Lesson go a long way in showing Satan's M.O. When combined with the opening Collect, It is the perfect beginning for the first Sunday in Lent. Christ is the only one who successfully resisted the "Tempter". Our resisting depends on God's help.

  2. His M.O. is well documented but under appreciated. Alternative lifestyles/worldviews are another of Satan's many temptations.