Yesterday we looked at a blasphemous message preached by a Presbyterian “pastrix,” Rebecca Todd Peters, in which she claims that God lied to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Yes, she accused God of lying, honored Satan (the serpent) as essentially being the “good guy” who told the truth, and elevated Eve as humanity’s hero who whisked in moral agency. But as I said in yesterday’s post, the message somehow manages to get even worse than all that!
Peters now ties all of this blasphemy together into a defense for something heinous—the killing of unborn children in their mothers’ wombs. Reportedly she, as a member of the Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood, the Vice President of the Society of Christian Ethics (now, there’s a misnomer), and a mother who has killed two of her children via abortion, was asked to speak at that “church” in Minnesota “to give a sermon on the virtues of abortion and its biblical justification.”
Yes, you read that correctly. She tied this feminist reading of Genesis 3 into a defense of abortion. Could a “sermon” be more depraved and of the devil?
When we say that we need to trust women to make the critically important decision about whether to continue a pregnancy, it is rooted in a reinterpreted understanding of the story of the garden of Eden that recognizes and affirms the moral agency and wisdom that Eve chose in the garden—for all of us.
So because Eve chose to ignore God’s command, listen to the serpent, and trust in her own wisdom and desires, we should trust women to make the decision of whether or not to kill their own children. Would Peters be willing to apply this to other moral evils? Should we therefore trust women to decide if their toddler should live? Or if they should embezzle from their company or commit adultery? If we just need to “trust women” because they have moral agency and wisdom from Eve’s actions, then why not trust them with any and every moral decision?
The only objective standard for truth is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.
Of course, that simply wouldn’t work—women are sinners, just as men are, and the only objective standard for truth is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, not anyone’s “moral agency” or subjective “wisdom.”
The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord, so what wisdom is in them? (Jeremiah 8:9)
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (James 3:15)
But Peters is right that the only way to make the murder of a defenseless, unborn human being a moral good (instead of the moral evil it is) is to have “a reinterpreted understanding of the story of the garden of Eden” where sin is no longer sin and sinners are no longer sinners. In response to this, consider Scripture:
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
But she’s not done. Peters continues,
The story of Eve is the story of why humanity is able to distinguish between what is right and wrong and it marks this moral agency, this knowledge, as part of what it means to be made in the image of God. Reinterpreting Eve’s actions as the origins of one of humanity’s deepest connections with the divine helps us recognize the importance of respecting and supporting the moral agency of women.
Our ability to distinguish right and wrong is indeed part of what it means to be made in the image of God. But Eve’s actions didn’t usher in God’s image or somehow stamp us with his image. We were already created in God’s image.
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Before sin, before Eve chose her own wisdom, man and woman were already fully made in God’s image. They didn’t just bear part of God’s image—they were fully created as image bearers. And that’s precisely why they could be, and were, held morally accountable for their sin! Humans aren’t like animals (animals are not accountable before God for their actions). We are made in God’s image, and that’s why God could give us a command and we could choose to obey or disobey and suffer the disastrous consequences.
So did God lie to Adam and Eve? Well, consider his command to Adam.
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 surely die. (Genesis 2:17)
After Adam sins, we read,
Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
“You shall not eat of it,”
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3:17–19, emphasis added)
And then Genesis 5:5 says,
Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.
God’s Word was true. Adam ate and Adam died. The same was true of Eve.
Peters would do well to remember—
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5–6)
Lastly, it’s worth considering that without a biblical understanding of sin (which is grounded in a historical Genesis), it’s impossible for Peters to present the gospel to her audience. Within her feminist view of Genesis where Eve brings moral agency and wisdom to the world and sin is nowhere to be seen, how can Peters explain our sin condition and our need for a Savior? And if God lied, God sinned and therefore Jesus can no longer be the perfect, blameless sacrifice, the one without sin, who took our place—suffering God’s judgment as he died on the cross. The gospel immediately falls apart, and all Peters is left with is empty religion that cannot save her or anyone else.
Yes, Genesis really is bad news for women and for men. . . . but you need this bad news in order to understand the good news.
Yes, Genesis really is bad news for women and for men. It shows the utter failure of the first couple to obey their Creator, and the rest of Scripture continues to highlight mankind’s inability to perfectly obey God—but you need this bad news in order to understand the good news. And the good news is oh, so good!
Jesus, the perfect Son of God, came to earth and lived the life of righteousness and obedience that we cannot live. Then he chose to go to the cross and die in our place, taking for us the penalty of death that we deserve because of our sin in Adam and our continued sin. His sacrifice perfectly paid the price for our sin, and now he offers the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness from sin to all—man or woman—who will turn from their sin and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. (John 3:16–21)
And that’s the good news Peters (and everyone!) needs to hear and believe!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.