Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Gender and Spirituality

The commonly held view that women are by nature “more spiritual” than men is debatable, at least, scripturally speaking. This is the idea that women are more “spiritual” because their emotional nature tends to render them more open to “spiritual things,” “realms,” and the like. Perhaps. But this raises the more important question – Just what do we mean by the term “spiritual”?

Alone Dawn - Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash
[Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash]

Paul gives us a definitive answer in his first letter to the Corinthians. The “
spiritually minded” man understands that God achieved victory over sin, Satan, and death through a crucified Messiah. Moreover, the proclamation of “Christ crucified is His power and wisdom.”

The “powers and principalities” that supposedly dwell in the invisible, timeless, and immaterial “spirit realm” of popular preaching did not understand this; otherwise, they would not have crucified Jesus. It seems that it takes more than freedom from time and physicality to comprehend God’s ways.

And His victory was achieved within this visible and physical “natural” world that is governed by time, and through a very human messiah who died a genuine human death as an “enemy” of the Roman State.

That historical event and what God did in it contradicts the popular assumption that “spirit” and the “natural world” are inherently incompatible. In short, if you do not understand that “Christ crucified is God’s power and wisdom” and live accordingly, you are NOT spiritual, and gender has little or nothing to do with it.


No doubt, some individuals due to their emotional state are more susceptible to influences from the “spirit world,” real or imagined, and this includes some men as well as many women. But just because someone hears disembodied voices or has seen visions since he or she was a child does not make him or her “spiritual.”

For that matter, all “spirit beings,” whether angels, demons, principalities, etc., were created by God. They are NOT eternal. They all had a beginning. In Genesis, God created all things, the “heavens,” plural, and the earth, and He did so by His Spirit, including the physical aspects of the universe and time itself. And at the end of the creation process, He labeled all of it, “Very Good.” Our problem is NOT our corporeal nature or the restrictions of time, but sin and its consequences.

No doubt, angels are mighty and glorious creatures, but they are just that – creatures. Moreover, they were created to serve the HUMAN heirs of salvation, namely, men and women redeemed by the self-sacrificial death of the man, Jesus of Nazareth.

My point is that we need to shed the false Gnostic and pagan notion that nonphysical, timeless, invisible, and disembodied existence, creatures, and “realms” are superior to the lowly EMBODIED beings of the “natural world” simply because they are invisible, not governed by time, or disembodied.

And let us not forget that we interact and communicate with God, who certainly is spirit and beyond the restrictions of time, through our physical bodies whenever we sing, pray, worship, prophesy, and testify in this “natural” world.

And foundational to Christian hope is the future bodily resurrection of the saints. Our new bodies may be dominated by the Spirit, nevertheless, they will be immortal BODIES, and our goal is life in the “new heavens and new earth."

What determines if any individual is “spiritual” is not his or her ability to peer into the “spirit realm,” communicate with angels, scream the loudest of all at demons, or travel to the “third heaven.” And again, gender has nothing to do with it.

If we want to find a truly spiritual person, look for the man or woman who understands that God’s power and wisdom are found in the “crucified messiah,” Jesus, one who lives a cruciform life in this present physical and time-bound world.