he or she

I do not yet know the sex, but I refer to my unborn baby using the male pronoun anyway. This sometimes confuses people… I guess it is time to explain why I do not employ politically-correct gender-inclusive language… (first of all, I can’t call the baby “it”—I’m not carrying a wad of playdoh, I’m carrying a human life.)

I grew up in the twentieth century, just like you (or most of you)—I learned full well what is supposed to be “proper” when addressing both sexes. And I am, after all, a woman; I suppose I should therefore be particularly offended when someone says man or mankind instead of humankind. or he instead of the cumbersome he or she or the grammatically awkward they. But I’m not at all offended, and here’s why.

I think something valuable is lost with gender-inclusive language…

I must give credit to Dr. Wayne Grudem who greatly influenced my opinions on this subject in his book, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. Dr. Grudem reminds us that Adam was created first. God gave Adam a direct command to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 2:17). This is before Eve even existed. (112)

God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Adam gave his suitable helper a title and called her “woman” because she came out of man (Gen 2:23). And He also named her (Gen 3:20). In calling her woman and naming her Eve, Adam exercised authority over her his wife. Eve did not name Adam, God did. And Adam, as the head of his wife, named Eve. This is all before the fall, before sin perverted everything.

God appointed Adam as the head. Adam (not Eve) is our covenant representative in the garden. Both Adam and Eve sinned against God, but ALL of mankind fell with Adam’s sin.

I find it interesting, that the curse God gives to Eve is one that cannot be immediately directed on man (although to a limited extent men do, in patient support, persevere with their wives). But the curse given to Adam, is one which women also commonly suffer. This used to bother me. But it makes sense when you remember that Adam is the representative for all mankind. Eve cannot represent all of mankind, neither does her curse directly effect all of mankind. Both man and woman have responsibility in the Fall, but on account of Adam’s sin we ALL are cursed. We ALL are spiritually dead.

Grudem points to the parallels in Scripture which teach that we are likewise saved by one man, Jesus Christ, who was our representative on the cross. On account of Christ’s righteousness, we (men and women alike) are made blameless in the sight of the Lord.  The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:19, (112)

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (esv, italics mine)

In my mind, the use of gender-inclusive language really dilutes the significance of our representation in Adam and in Christ. And that’s too bad.

The male pronoun can and does properly cover both sexes whereas the female pronoun cannot. Society at large today may strongly disagree. I know I am a very small minority on this, even among Christians and especially among women. I probably just put my bare neck on the slaughtering block. That’s okay…I’m not really interested in pursuing popular ideals, I’m more interested in pursuing Truth.


10 Responses to “he or she”

  1. 1 andy
    17 December 2008 at 9:54 pm

    You’re sexist.

  2. 17 December 2008 at 10:22 pm

    HAHA! Heidi your funny!

    How about saying “My Baby” or “The Baby”. This post makes me laugh as you and Andy and your decided oddities always do 🙂 It is a delightful trait you guys have.

    We kinda have that too, just in different ways.

    Blessings, and I’m so happy for both of you!


  3. 18 December 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I think you should invent a new pronoun. That would be fantastic!

    • 6 rostock
      18 December 2008 at 10:29 pm

      If I did that I would just be adding to gender-inclusive drivel. It wouldn’t make any sense for me to do that, in light of what I wrote above.

  4. 19 December 2008 at 2:56 am

    One thought on this. Yes Gender inclusiveness is drivel, but is to focus on opposing such a thing with white hot concentration, isn’t it almost as crazy? 😀 My point is that people are so retarded when they get all in a twist about being PC they seem to have lost their grip on reality. I heard that some Anglican Churches in England have now done the gender neutralizing of some Carols and it is pathetic. The Lord WAS a man (Historical fact) and as you pointed out mankind covers everyone and has for… well… probably forever until now in some rather ridiculous folks minds. I’m waiting for them to sing “Round yon PERSON… PARENT and child”!

    Anyway, to make a statement such as “People are retarded with their gender neutralizing” is one thing, but then to focus on something that really should be ignored like a child throwing a tantrum (just wait it is heading your way) to get attention isn’t worth your time. Your brain has bigger fish to fry 🙂 FRY AWAY!


  5. 8 andy
    19 December 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Well the problem isn’t being PC or NOT being PC. The issue is BIBLICAL LANGUAGE and the reasoning behind WHY the masculine pronoun is used to represent the human race. Heidi’s issue isn’t w/ the secular society who is doing this, its a beef within the Church of God. It IS worth combating. Its a perversion of the Scriptures and its worth our efforts. One reason why Heidi spends time studying gender issues and things like this is because she comes from a tradition that has perverted it. She has watched her friends go through “seminaries” coming out of them calling God “Holy Mother” and crap like that. They say things like “the King James English affected how we use pronouns now” or “the patriarical society has always led Biblical interpretation of the Greek and Hebrew into being man-centric”.

    I say, “Glory be to God that a sect of people who PRIDE themselves on simplicity (aka-ignorance) are finally going to set the Church right and teach us how to read and interpret the Scriptures!” Praise be to the Holy Mother and her daughter Jesus Christ!

    Heidi I hope I didn’t put words in your mouth by the way.

  6. 9 Justin
    17 April 2009 at 5:39 pm

    That was awesome.

    And your blog makes me want to start mine up again!

  7. 10 rostock
    19 April 2009 at 9:02 pm

    You should…and let me know when you do.

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