"These people do not know that while Barak trembled, Deborah saved Israel, that Esther delivered from supreme peril the children of God … Is it not to women that our Lord appeared after His Resurrection? Yes, and the men could then blush for not having sought what the women had found." –Jerome, after criticism for dedicating his books to women link
I love blogging. There are so many good thinkers out there and I am thrilled when they choose to come to our blog and share their thoughts with us. I never know which blog post will resonate with out readers. Last week's post The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: If You Can’t Explain It to Me, You’ve Got a Problem garnered over 500 comments which I truly didn't expect. So, I decided to continue on with the discussion.
Courtney Reissig, a Neo-Calvinist and self-styled complementarian, wrote a post for Her.Meneutics called Amen to Women in Politics. As I read the article, it became clear to me that the complementarian position is not clear. This post helps to explain why I believe that position will become less and less influential within the Christian community as whole. It certainly is not supported by the secular society which looks at the Christian community's attempt to explain this the same way they look at that Duggar family getting ready to do a TV show on how to counsel child sex abuse victims.
As insane as it sounds, the couple are said to be pitching a new show that will center on their counseling victims of sexual abuse — like their daughters, Jill and Jessa.
Understanding the history of the development of the doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son during the last century
This is the crux of the matter. If you do not understand what is being pushed here, you will not understand why the notion of comp theology is on the big screen. The real problem lies with what came first-the chicken (female subordination) or the egg (the subordination of Jesus?) In 2006, Ben Witherington wrote a post discussing the historical development of this doctrine during the 20th century. The Eternal Subordination of Christ and of Women.
In the later part of the twentieth century the doctrine of the Trinity captured the attention of theologians more than any other doctrine, and this interest has not waned. At no time in history, since the theologically stormy days of the fourth century, has there been so much discussion on this topic. Books on the Trinity by Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox theologians continue to be published.
The co-equal nature of the Trinity vs. the hierarchical nature of the Trinity.
He says that this interest exhibited itself in a strong affirmation of the co-equal nature of the members of the Trinity which led to an understanding that humans, too, are co-equal in relationship.
it is no surprise to find that some of the best contemporary expositions of the doctrine of the Trinity understand the Trinity as a charter for human liberation and emancipation
However, during this same period, there was an equal push by some evangelicals to perceive the Trinity as a hierarchy.
Paradoxically, in this same thirty-year period in which the co-equality of the divine persons has been powerfully reaffirmed and the implications of this teaching for our human social life recognized, many conservative evangelicals have been moving in the opposite direction. They have argued that the Trinity is ordered hierarchically, with the Father ruling over the Son. The Father is eternally “head over” the Son just as men are permanently “head over” women. In this model of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity, rather than being a charter for emancipation and human liberation, becomes a charter to oppose social change and female liberation.
Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology (1994) is the key to the development of hierarchy.
This was summed up by Wayne Grudem in a book which has profoundly affected evangelical thinking.
This new teaching on the Trinity came to full fruition in 1994 with the publication of W. Grudem’s, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Zondervan, 1994). Two chapters in this book outline his doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son in function and authority. The impact of this book on evangelicals cannot be underestimated. Over 130,000 copies have been sold and the abridged version, Bible Doctrine (ed. J. Purswell; Zondervan, 1999), with exactly the same teaching on the Trinity and women, has sold over 35,000 copies.
However, Witherington disagrees that Grudem's assumptions have a strong basis in history as he suggests.
These words disclose the key issue; that is, the Son is eternally set under the authority of the Father. Grudem insists that this understanding of the Trinity is historic orthodoxy (cf. his latest book, Evangelicals, Feminism, and Biblical Truth [Multnomah, 2004] 405-43). It is, for him, what the creeds and the best of theologians have maintained throughout church history.
This hierarchical understanding of the Trinity has now almost won over the conservative evangelical community. Most evangelicals seem to believe this is what the Bible and “the tradition”—that is, the interpretive tradition—teach. However, I am also an evangelical, but I am convinced the opposite is the truth. The Bible (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:13; etc.) and the interpretative tradition summed up in the creeds and Reformation confessions speaks of a co-equal Trinity where there is no hierarchical ordering.
In Grudem's camp, the subordinated role of women is the battle of our age.
The issue is not really the Trinity at all. What has generated this novel and dangerous doctrine of the Trinity is “a great cause,” the permanent subordination of women. For some evangelicals “the woman question” is the apocalyptic battle of our age.
They are convinced that the Bible gives “headship” (“leadership,” in plain speak) to men. If this principle were abandoned because of cultural change the authority of the Bible would be overthrown and the door would be opened to homosexual marriages, the ordination of practicing homosexuals, and believe it or not, the obliteration of sexual differentiation.
To bolster support for this “great cause” the doctrine of the Trinity has been redefined and reworded to give the weightiest theological support possible to the permanent subordination of women.
Witherington carefully outlines the faulty reasoning.
What has to be noted in all this is the circular nature of this reasoning.
1. A novel theology was first devised to theologically ground the permanent subordination of women based on the argument that men and women are equal yet differentiated by their God-given, unchanging roles; and then
2. the wording and ideas used to develop this novel case for the permanent subordination of women were utilized to develop a novel doctrine of the Trinity that spoke of the Son as equal, yet eternally subordinated in role or function; and then
3. this novel doctrine of the Trinity was quoted to theologically justify and explain the permanent role subordination of women.
If this line of reasoning is correct, then this means that the doctrine of the Trinity has been reformulated in terms of fallen male-female relationships to support what was already believed: women are permanently subordinated to men. Instead of correcting sinful human thinking, the primary doctrine of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Trinity, has become a theological justification for such thinking. In the end, the doctrine of the Trinity, rather than being seen as a charter for human liberation, has become a charter for human oppression.
Ontological versus functional equality
Those in Wayne Grudem's camp do not believe that Jesus is subordinate to the Father in terms of the nature of his existence. He is co-equal in that regard. He is subordinate only in the fact that he is submissive to the Father in his function. In their line of thinking, this makes it OK.
The definition of subordination
It is my opinion that the complementarian crowd mess up in this area. They appear to believe that by merely making Jesus different in function, then the Trinity is still coequal. However, this does not play well in reality. Let's take a look at the definition of subordination. Here is the one from Merriam Webster.
Full Definition of SUBORDINATE
: placed in or occupying a lower class, rank, or position : inferior <a subordinate officer>
: submissive to or controlled by authority
a : of, relating to, or constituting a clause that functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb
Here are some synonyms for subordination.
Inferior, minor secondary, submissive subservient, unequal
Here are antonyms.
First class, important, main, primary
It is obvious that the Subordination of the Son folks came out the gate already behind. Words matter. And these words are particularly difficult to downplay.
CBMW promotes the idea that women will be subordinate to men in eternity.
The following statement would be amusing if it didn't sideline women. It appears that they don't know much about the new creation but they most certainly know that women will be subordinate forever. End of discussion.
There is so much that we cannot yet know about life in the new creation. We can be confident, though, that “God must have some very profound eternal purpose for manhood and womanhood.”52 There is every reason to believe that gender-based distinction of roles will remain. The social fabric of gender-based distinctions of roles was weaved in a pattern that accords with the prelapsarian decree of the Creator. In the new creation, that fabric will not be discarded or destroyed. The stains will be removed and rips mended. The fabric will be cleaned and pressed. But the pattern established in God’s “very good” creation will remain.
Let's call it what it is: eternal female subordination.
I want to give special thanks to TWW reader, Leila, who came up with a better term for complementarianism
Here’s one that’s better because it annoys the heck out of hardcore comps. “Female subordinationist.”
I have no idea why it would annoy the heck out of them because that is precisely what they are proposing if they understand the definition inherent in subordination.
So why promote women in politics?
I am afraid that I do not get female subordinationist, Courtney Reissig's, *rah rah* piece on women in politics. I continue to hope to see a woman in the White House before I go home to eternal subordination to the likes of Wayne Grudem, CJ Mahaney, et al., I believe that the sidelining of women in government, business, and the church has hurt each of those entities as well as out society. Secular society is changing. So is the church. At the same time there has been a full court press to develop doctrines to keep over 50% + of the church from sharing their wisdom and experience with the rest of the church.
Here is what she had to say.
While the numbers of female officials in the US are slowly edging up, their voices have long been rallying for social good and change. Throughout history, women fought for protection from harsh factory conditions. They have defended rights for pregnant women and mothers. They stood alongside men in efforts to abolish the slave trade. Today, they continue their work to bring hope to a society in desperate need of redemption and restoration.
It is not good for the man to be alone, God said (Gen. 2:18). We all benefit from the work and voices of female leaders, who stand alongside men to bring change to a broken world.
However, that change is only for anything that is not involved with the church.
She claims that being a stay at home mother is excellent preparation for being a political leader. However, she shows naivety when she discusses a number of women who have not fulfilled that role in any traditional way.
As a complementarian, some may be surprised that I applaud female leadership in the public sphere. While I believe that leadership in the church rests on qualified, male pastors, I don’t carry that belief into the culture because I don’t think the Bible does. Many fellow complementarians are with me on this point. As women like Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton pursued the presidency in recent elections, evangelicals noted that while Scripture clearly speaks directly to spiritual leadership in the home and church, it does not make the same kind of clear statements on women in governmental leadership. Additionally, many point out the examples of women leading as queens and judges in the Bible.
I should be one of those who get it. I have stayed at home full time.Yet, I am so supportive of those who have not. Each of us are called into different paths.
Reissig pushes Nikki Haley as a model female governor. Yet Haley does not represent Reissig's believe in homemaking. Here is Haley's career path.
Haley worked for FCR Corporation, a waste management and recycling company, before joining her mother’s business, Exotica International, an upscale clothing firm, in 1994. The family business grew to become a multi-million dollar company.
Haley was named to the board of directors of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce in 1998. She was named to the board of directors of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce in 2003. Haley became treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2003 and president in 2004. She chaired the Lexington Gala to raise funds for the local hospital. She also serves on the Lexington Medical Foundation, Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation, West Metro Republican Women, President of the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Chairman for 2006 Friends of Scouting Leadership Division campaign and is a member of the Rotary Club in Lexington.
Now, let's take a look what would happen if a Christian woman of Haley's experience showed up in your average, female subordinationist church. She would not be allowed to teach a Sunday school class on the Christian and politics. Instead, they could have the 29 year old guy who read a book on it teach. Why? Women are not allowed to teach a mixed class. Does that truly make any sense?
As Christian woman participate and lead industry, the military, social welfare programs, participate in think tanks, manage large groups of people, teach courses in psychiatry, psychology, disease prevention, etc., it is going to become more and more difficult to sideline them in church and say "Take care of the 2 year old class while the men make the important decisions for the church."
Everybody except those who believe in the subordination of women get it. Men are the leaders of the church and the experience of women does not make any difference. That makes no sense to most people.
Because I said so
I made a point in explaining to my kids why they could or could not do things. Other mothers would use the "Because I said so" mantra. "Because I said so" does work with intelligent, thoughtful people. Years ago, I discovered a problem in a church which I believe dealt poorly with some boys who were molested. Having some experience in dealing with child abuse, I tried to intervene. The elders rejected our concerns. One elder attempted to blame one of the molested boys, saying that he should have know better.
I have watched those church leaders and others screw up in handling child sex abuse, domestic violence, etc. I am firmly convinced that women on those elder boards would have made a difference. The men were more concerned about their dadblasted *authority* then they show for those who were wounded.
I find it amusing when a group of men come up with theories about the way life is going to be in heaven. Its kind of like John Piper telling us why bridges collapse. They have no proof; merely a set of proof texts and utter trust in their own imagination. Such proof texts sideline 50%+ of the Christian population. What if they are wrong?
So, I look forward to anyone out there who thinks they can explain to me why a woman with a vast amount of experience and sensitivity should sit quietly and listen to some guy who read a book and listened to some sermon.
Compare Eph 5 : 22 with Eph 5 : 31.
From http://bltnotjustasandwich.com/2013/04/05/john-piper-womens-books-keep-men-safe-from-their-direct-authoritative-womanhood/ quoting John Piper on why it’s OK to read a book written by a woman, but not to be taught by one (my emphasis):
This is very strange on so many levels.
1.) How is a person behind a pulpit like a drill sergeant?
2.) Why does a female drill sergeant “do something” to a male soldier that the soldier can’t stand? Is it worse than coming from a male drill sergeant? Will it affect his virility? 😉
3.) A man can’t “flourish” if a woman tells him what to do?
4.) John Piper and his troupe of male wilting flowers should not “be experiencing” the voice of a woman teaching them?
Come on – this is beyond ridiculous!
It’s a big subject and I must away. Let me put it like this: what do you think is going to happen when those pastors you rightly expose on here for covering up or even enabling the long-term abuse of children when they stand before the judgement seat of Christ? Not ‘well done, good and faithful servant’. He will know all of the damage they have failed to prevent, and I think they will him angry at them for this. Or if you prefer he will be severe with them. It will have mattered.
Assuming they really were believers, this is not a judgement as to whether or not they enter the new heavens and earth, but of what they did and what reward they will get or lose. I’m not into hell fire and brimstone, but round here God is portrayed in a way that is far too harmless, for want of a better term.
He can, but I’m convinced he won’t. I’m also convinced he’s baiting us with each re-wording of the same erroneous “headship” belief. Even a grammar-school dropout could have seen the error of this teaching after hundreds of refutes and corrections, UNLESS they didn’t want to see it.
Ken just keeps playing the comp game of “flowery word-changing” in an effort to hide the real agenda behind the flowery words and make it more palatable to women.
I, for one, am shaking the dust off.
The argument is that God gave the command to the Man and not the Woman. God called the Man to account before the Woman even though the Woman sinned first. Paul holds Adam responsible for sin entering the world. Therefore, the Man has more responsibility. As you said, that idea is inferred and then read back into the text.
Yeah, Ken, who wants an assertive woman who is semi-independent and thinks for herself?
Why, if you have one of those, she just might take seriously her relationship with Christ and follow the Bible by refusing to make anyone–including her husband–other than Jesus her intermediary with the Father.
She might warn you when you’re in sin and save your life, like Zipporah did.
She might realize when you’re a complete idiot and yet still try to save you from your folly, like Abigail did .
She might be brave enough to go and stand there by Jesus in His darkest hour when to do so was to court death by torture and when 11 of 12 of His closest so-called allies had abandoned Him.
She might follow Proverbs quite literally and go out and become an entrepreneur who blesses the family not only with home-baked cookies, but with genuine capital.
She might be a real equal in Christ who sharpens your iron.
Nahh, wouldn’t want anything like that.
Law Prof wrote:
I do not portray God as harmless. I portray Him as One who is quite ready to bring great judgment, particularly on those who presume to be capable of teaching the church, but who lead people astray into viciousness like ESS, authoritarianism and eternal male headship. Jesus will return not on a little donkey, but on a white horse with absolute power, and I would not want to be a false teacher such as those you seem to give aid and comfort to, in that day.
But for that matter, Ken, I don’t think your “harmless God” theory is one that prevails here, I think most of us know full good and well that God is anything but a weak, doddering uncle in the John Piper vein.
If you want to say that that submission is not reciprocal because the submission of the Church to Christ is not reciprocal, then you cannot arbitrarily draw your metaphorical line. The submission of the Church to Christ is absolute, so if your model is that submission in marriage is comparable to submission of the Church to Christ, then it is absolute.
The reason you are being called out on the child/slave issue is that you are grounding the non-reciprocity of 5:21 in those references. Without those, there is no ground for the insistence on non-reciprocity, therefore you are putting wives on the same footing as children who are immature and slaves who are deemed socially (and in some instances ontologically) inferior. In addition to that, you are implicitly affirming that the master/slave relationship is affirmed by Paul because you are insisting that the cultural norms which existed at that time can be universalized. And this is precisely the argument that the slavery apologists made, among others.
You are willing to swallow all of that to uphold the idea of “headship” which nowhere exists but is a theologized construct. “Head” at that time was a metaphor for what nourishes or sustains life–air, water, food–and not the power or authority. Some pagan religions taught that the lesser gods came from the head of the greatest god, which carries the notion of “source.”
The fact is that you, like the Female Subordinationists, want to hold on to the idea of kephale meaning “authority” when its meaning at the time did not include “authority over” except in a secondary sense.
Who here is doing that? You want to uphold the very words of God, but you have no problem with Grudem changing them to suit his ideas so that God’s words are made to mean the exact opposite. I do not understand this, as I have said repeatedly. Is the rule that something means whatever it needs to mean in order to get to “headship” of the male? And then that is deemed to be the very words of God after editing by Grudem?
Jesus was scourged, a crown of thorns was place on his head, and he was crucified> His side was riven. He gave up the ghost, and the veil was rent in twain.
Where does this leave husbands????
“Personally, knowing the account is coming, it’s made me revisit the marriage theme so often discussed here to see if I’m getting it right. In my case I fear I may actually not have always done the ‘head’ part of the equation.”
If this is the part that concerns you most about being a Christian husband, maybe you and your wife should discuss “headship, and declare your rightful place as her prophet, priest, and king. From what you say, it appears that you have been sitting back and allowing her to have some form of “semi-independance”.
I have no idea of how this is a response to Dee’s question about respect being the equivalent of subordination. Could you please explain, because I think Dee’s question is an excellent one.
Carole Ryan wrote:
FF Bruce described Galatians 3:28 as “the eye of the New Testament.”
Bruce also wrote “Where the writings of Paul are concerned, however, a reliable rule of thumb is suggested by his passionate emphasis on freedom – true freedom by contrast with spiritual bondage on the one hand and moral licence on the other. Here it is: whatever in Paul’s teaching promotes true freedom is of universal and permanent validity; whatever seems to impose restrictions has regard to local and temporary conditions.” “Women in the Church: A Biblical Survey,” Christian Brethren Review 33 (1982)
I came across this while looking for material to use in challenging a Female Subordinationist (young)elder in our church, who happens also to be a great-nephew of Bruce. He and his fellow elders are intent on forcing through a new church constitution that entrenches “complementarianism” and other NeoCal stuff. If it happens it won’t have been without stiff opposition.
I don’t see how you get this out of what the Deebs are doing in exposing the reality of how churches are mishandling sexual, spiritual, and child abuse in their midst.
Law Prof wrote:
In Israel, during the kingdom years, the kings rode mules during times of peace. During war times, the Kings rode horses. Jesus on a little donkey = the Prince of Peace. When He returns on that white horse, it’s gonna be war!
First of all afawk, Paul wrote this within the Paterfamilias of the Roman empire. The only “source” women had were fathers or husbands for their daily needs for life.
You keep interpreting kephale as some sort of authority word. It is not. There are several clear authority words in Greek the Holy Spirit could have chosen to make it clear he was speaking of hierarchies in that passage. But that passage starts further up about being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, submit is not in vs 22. That was added by translators so the foundation is verse 21. How you have some insight it does not include everyone in the Body comes from where?
Grudem had the same “insight”.
Women are not children. And employees in the 1st century were usually part of the household in the form of apprentice or slave. For a better understanding of how Christ viewed that relationship read Philemon.
The problem you have is verse 21. You have to qualify it because it does not fit your hierarchical paradigm. You would also need archon or exousia to make the above work in context of the NT. Kephale dies not work.
What exactly does the wife have to provide as a “source” besides children in the 1st Century Paterfamilias?
It is not your worry. It is your wife’s and what the Holy Spirit reveals to her and visa versa. Now whether you can live with that freedom is another topic. The fact you don’t live within a 1st Century Paterfamilias makes “source” a bit more complicated since she can be educated and make a living on her own.
Oh my! I think doing evil using the Name of Christ or hiding behind it is chilling. And they should fear hearing: I never knew you.
We are to be about justice not excusing evil because they claim to be saved.
Oops…how did Bridget get in there?
@ Law Prof:
Yes! We are to do this thing called life shoulder to shoulder having each others backs.
I’m a usurper, apparently! 😉
In Epesus, wives were property. They seldom loved by their husbands and were rarely loved by their husbands, as usually they were given in marriage by their pater-fathers for political and/or financial gain. They also worshipped Artimus, and tried to incorporate those beliefs and practices into the church.
Concerning the parent/child, employee/employer relationships: Children grow up and become independant adults in most cases. Employees may be promoted, or they may change jobs. Women, however, are trapped at the bottom of the hierarchical food chain.
I have been wanting to read some of his books. Any suggestions on where to start?
Oops … Typo. I meant to say wives seldom loved their husbands!
You only usurped another woman so you are safe. :o)
The only power women had in Ephesus was the temple cult dealing with fertility. But that was not a “source” as kephale is understood within the context of Ephesians.
I can’t even make it past the rest of your post.
The Bible simply does not support the view that women are only equal partially to men.
I have encountered so many Christians who could recite Ephesians 5:22 to you by memory, but if you were to ask them if they have ever heard of Ephesians 5:21, the very previous verse which says that Christians should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, they’ll say, “oh, no, Paul said that?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten that reaction. And I think that’s important—what certain churches have highlighted.
I have asked so many Christians, “so what’s the largest chapter on marriage in the New Testament” and they’ll say, “oh, Ephesians chapter 5.”
And that’s not correct and I’ll say, “well actually, it’s 1 Corinthians 7.”
And they’ll say, “1 Cor. 7? Well what’s that?” It’s like that chapter doesn’t even exist in their memories.
And I’ll say things like “did you know the word “submit” in Ephesians 5:22 isn’t actually there, it’s inserted by translators carrying over the word from verse 21?”
And of course they’ll say, “no way, well what does Ephesians 5:21 mean?”
And then I’ll ask things like, “so, did you know the only passage in the Bible that says husbands have authority over their wives is the same passage that says wives have authority over their husbands?”
And, I’ll get the deer-in headlights look.
Ah ha moment (warning: I suffered a near-fatal head injury as a teenager, and I have had a stroke):
I’ve often seen military comparisons used in defining/translating the meaning in Eph. 5.
In the military, people can earn promotions, based on their experience and growth both as a person and in knowledge.
Does that mean that women can be promoted, based on the same reasoning? After all, the women of Ephesus were new, uneducated recruits with almost no knowledge.
If so, how many wives “outrank” their husbands these days?
So true, whoop! The entire thing is now irrevalent since you are *only* a woman!
Maybe because Eph 5:22 can be spun to My Personal Benefit and 5:21 can’t?
People can also go through Officer Training School and skip the lower ranks.
For a TROPHY?
And I’m a GUY.
And even I know that.
More like “Even I know it and these preacher-men don’t!”
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
The other Ken we’re talking to in this thread, with his stubborn insistence on seeing the words “head” and “submit” in the same way (as denoting authority, etc) despite having been corrected a billion times over, and with links to more stuff refuting his views…
Reminds me of how most of the Jews back in Jesus’ day refused to see Jesus as the Messiah, because they had preconceived ideas of what the Old Testament meant by ‘Messiah.’
The Jews back then thought Messiah would be a tough warrior guy who would kick Roman booty, they did not or could not see him as the suffering sacrifice.
They were blinded by their culture and personal biases regarding the topic of the Messiah, and so it goes with Gender Complementarian Ken in this thread regarding women and marriage.
The Stuff Fundies Like site is full of Fundy MenaGAWD at least as wide as they are tall.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
A Stepford wife with an etch-a-sketch mind that can be erased and redone at the whim of her “authority”.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
If you watch TV commercials, women’s “favorite” pastime is making themselves prettier, and prettier, and prettier. 🙁
What they got between their legs, of course.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Good on you for knowing more about women than preachers.
I would give you a clapping emoticon, but I don’t see one on the list so I will award you with….
and this guy 😎
I’m seeing another itsy-bitsy part of his anatomy.
(Helps if you have a dirty mind.)
That plus the occasional commercial showing them mopping floors or scrubbing toilets.
Didn’t this Rabbit from Nazareth answer a similar trick question?
1. The Greek word “kephale” in no way what so ever has any meaning of “authority” whatsoever. That was read into the passage and contradicts the Greek meaning.
2. The analogy of Christ to Church and husband to wife is that Christ gave up everything for the church and died for it. And a man is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church and died for it. It is not an authority relationship, but a love and sacrifice relationship. If a man has any authority, he is to lay it down on behalf of serving his wife, even to the point of death on her behalf.
And that is from a man closing to 70 than 65, with a Ph.D. and a J.D., who has studied the scripture extensively on the question of limitations on the service of women in the church. ALL of the verses that suggest that women cannot serve in the church are the result of mistranslation by men who were trying to show that the king (James, in this instance) had a divine right to rule and that a queen was to be subservient to a man and not rule on her own authority. It is anathema to continue to deprive the lost world of whatever witness women can be and God will hold those who act to so deprive the lost of salvation to account for those souls.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I can stop biting that bullet, load into one of my firearms, and make that stuff them boys have between their legs obsolete!
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Yeah, that’d be a productive use for that .22 cal. bullet I keep having to bite because I need to lose 10 pounds!
Okay, I gotta stop thinking about bullets before My words get me in trouble.
But, it’s not my fault.
I wasn’t the one who brought bullets into the conversation.
I’m just a week vessel who is easily deceived.
Officer Training School ……. Is that in Louisville,KY???
Isn’t Al Mohler the Commanding General?
Not that I care. You see, I am quite familiar with the military, so I know that it is impossible for people with missing appendages to meet the physical requirements.
Bookmarking wouldn’t have cut it, then. Screen-shots, now that’s the thing.
I believe the website “Biblical Womanhood” no longer exists (Crystal Paine’s blog. She has a new blog now, I think, called “Money Saving Mom”.
Eternal subordinationism does indeed seem like a novel Trinitarian heresy. The ancient Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches however do view the Son as eternally begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit as eternally proceeding from the Father alone, hence our rejection of the filioque.
One could argue that this model, the antquity of which is undisputed, is inherently patriarchal. For we not only have actual Patriarchs as the heads of our autocephalous churches, but also, for example, at a traditionalist monastery like those of Elder Ephraim in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, a strict order is followed: women wear skirts, sit on the opposote side of the church from laymen, and when leaving the refectory after a meal, the abbott is followed by the elder monks, then the professed monks, then the novices, then any visiting nuns, then the laymen, and then the women. However the women stay in a guesthouse which is rather better equipped according to all descriptions than most of the men’s guesthouse; men and women are not allowed in the guest houses of the opposite sex. This is an ancient model, and one can see canonical legislation enforcing these policies in the early church.
It seems like the Eternal Subordinationists are attempting to reacquire this ancient patriarchal model by introducing the innovation of a hierarchy into the Holy Trinity while at the same rime neglecting to consider the filioque, or double procession, of the Holy Spirit, as that 9th century theological innovation chiefly responsible for the Trinity becoming hierarchical.
Like chimpanzees and humans are equal in many ways?
“Four Ways to Show Your Husband Who’s Boss”
Here is part of the article.
God has established our role as wives as that of a support system and helpmate. Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18 both give us wives our marching orders for marriage. We are to complement (to match and balance, although I’m certain a few genuine compliments for your man would not be unwelcome) our husbands, not to challenge and fight against them. God set the order for our homes with the man as the head, just as Christ is the head of the church. This shouldn’t make you feel inferior, my fellow female, as this is a place of safety. It’s not a role that means we are worth anything less than the man we married—quite the opposite. We certainly aren’t worth more to God than men; we are all of equal importance to Him.
However, God does place a certain value on the woman as He instructs the man to watch over, care for and love her. Proverbs says a noble wife is worth more than rubies to her husband (Prov 3:15). I am blessed to feel that way in my own marriage, which certainly makes it easier for me to submit to my husband as Scripture instructs me to do. Yet, even when our husbands do not seem to treasure us as they should, to treat us as we would like or to make the decisions we think best, it is our responsibility to the Lord to still find ourselves humbly under their headship—me under my husband and you under yours. Unless a husband asks his wife to sin or harms her, the Bible teaches us that a wife should not usurp her husband’s authority. If he makes the wrong decision with the family finances or about a move to another state, the Lord will deal with him. But just as it is not our job to be the “Jr. Holy Spirit,” it is not our job to be “Jr. Husband.”
Here are a few ways to convey to your husband that you happily follow his lead and will try your level best to honor his role in your home:
Do not—ever—challenge or negate something he says in public. Ever. If you disagree with something he says or does, fine. Tell him about it in private. Explain your thoughts on the matter when you are alone. Challenging him in front of others conveys to him and the others that you disrespect him and his judgment and that you are not a united team.
Ask, don’t tell. It’s a simple thing really, and it goes all the way back to second grade when you learned the difference in a declaratory sentence and an interrogative sentence. With just the arrangement of your words and the inflection of your voice you have the ability to strengthen your husband’s confidence as a man and as a leader. Give him the chance to lead and to do well at it. Suggestions and questions will go a long way in your relationship for really minimal effort on your part.
Yield to his final decision. Once you have had a discussion about a decision that needs to be made and both of you have discussed the options, positives, negatives and outcomes, be willing to let his final decision stand. You’ve had your say. But at the end of the day, your husband is the one who will give account to the Lord for your family. If he has to be the one upon whom that burden is laid, let him be the one to have final say over family matters.
Let your attitude reflect respect. Did you realize (I’m sure you did) that we can say one thing with our mouths and mean another in our hearts? You can submit to your husband with lip service but have a heart bitter toward the man and the decisions he makes. If you’re going to commit to obey Christ and submit to your husband’s leadership, let your attitude reflect it. Your attitude will validate or negate your actions and words.
When a watching world starts seeing Christians that keep their marriages together until death and marriages that are characterized by true love, mutual respect and commitment, they’re going to want what we’ve got. Sticking to our God-given roles is so crucial to this. Don’t be fooled into thinking you should be the boss. When you are, you’re playing right into Satan’s hand and being a pawn in his evil army.
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I ran that by one of my neocalvinist church leaders one time, right towards the end, when we had our big blow out and left the church, and his answer? “Uh, that’s only for wives submitting to their husbands, has nothing to do with anyone in the church”. By the way, this was one time I wasn’t nice, didn’t back down, and just wouldn’t take it anymore, I put everything back in both leaders’ faces and slammed all their arguments until they simply had nothing left to do but stammer and stare at each other and say “He’s jus using all his tricky lawyering stuff”. As an aside, I have learned if you ever really set your heels and refuse to back down or be shouted down by invective and bullying, it’s amazing how quickly most of these spiritual bullies will fold–like a Wal-Mart lawn chair).
Law Prof wrote:
You are so right. Most people back down because they cannot stand the thought of being viewed as “mean”. But my contention is that others need to see people standing their ground when it comes to this stuff. And yes, they fold like lawn chairs and then become very passive aggressive in dealing with you if you stay.
Their entire act is based upon being bold about what they teach and not having any two way interaction. Simply put, they are rarely questioned publicly . But once they are, it becomes obvious they are simply parroting what they were taught in seminary or by some guru like Grudem and never questioned.
That is a lot to remember and practice. How about we simply abide in Christ as fellow heirs and seek Holy Spirit guidance in all our relationships? Of course, following the rules takes your eyes off Christ and on man which is what they want.
I’m with you. This Stepford wife thing is way too painful and way too ignorant. I would have to be medicated to live like that. I feel much better just listening for that still small voice, that, btw, we’d have to ignore under this teaching!
That biblical womanhood site solidifies my realization of what a shell game it all is (I can’t believe it’s taken so long to articulate to myself, though).
A wife is told her husband is her spiritual head, responsible for her spiritual well-being and ultimately all decisions for the family. The wife’s role is to joyfully submit to his headship and leading (“a wife should not usurp her husband’s authority. If he makes the wrong decision with the family finances or about a move to another state, the Lord will deal with him”).
The husband is therefore the conduit for all guidance from the Holy Spirit (be willing to let his final decision stand. You’ve had your say. But at the end of the day, your husband is the one who will give account to the Lord for your family.) If she feels God is speaking to her in a way different than her husband, she is “usurping his authority”.
If a wife feels spiritual leading is lacking or, worse, he abuses his authority she is told the following:
1) She is not being properly submissive and must do better so he will be encouraged to fulfill his role correctly.
2) She isn’t supposed to expect anything from her husband or rely on him. All her fulfillment is to come from God. But again, she can not listen to or act upon leading or instruction from God that is contrary to her husband’s decisions.
Talk about a recipe for depression!
Nancy2 wrote (quoting biblical womanhood):
“A certain” value? How about God places just as much value on a woman as he does a man?
Biblical womanhood page:
And women who have never married, are divorced or widowed? What of them?
And what of Christian marriages where the husband is physically or verbally abusive? In such marriages, the husband is not keeping the wife safe at all.
Biblical womanhood page:
It appears to me that if God exists (recall I accepted Jesus years ago but have had been dipping one toe in Agnosticism the last couple years), it’s been my experience, and that of others, that God rarely intervenes, even when people pray and beg him for help.
I read a chapter by Christians, one a psychologist, in a book that talked about domestic violence, who told Christian women who are in abusive marriages to stop counting on a miracle deliverance, where God magically changes their abusive husband to a nice guy.
Because it was that author’s experience that many of her female Christian patients kept praying to God, hoping God to instantly or supernaturally turn the husband’s heart from being abusive to being a good guy, but it never happened.
More often than not, these women will have to divorce and leave the husband. God for whatever reason does not intervene in every situation.
God did not magically heal me of some of my problems (such as depression). I had to work thru that stuff for decades, even though I prayed for a healing for years.
Biblical womanhood page:
But the author thinks it’s acceptable for the husband to play the role of Holy Spirit for the wife.
Law Prof wrote:
That is true. I used to be a doormat, was very passive, which actually made me a more tempting target for bullies, from the time I was a kid, to the time I was an adult.
In the past few years, I’ve changed a lot. I no longer put up with bullying behavior from people. I stand up to them, and most of the time, when I do, they apologize and/or back down.
Spiritual bullies oft do this because they are, by nature, outright cowards.
Yeah, baby. Husband say, “Me Tarzan, you Jane. Tarzan prophet, priest, and king!”
As far as a woman praying for her husband to change, that’s a no-go. God gives men free will. He doesn’t jump in and make sock puppets out of them. When it comes to a wife, the husband is righteous, holy, and blessed if he makes a sock puppet out of her!
Single, widowed? Find yo’sef a man, honey. You need someone to protect you, provide for you, clothe you, and daily feed you a portion of God’s word!
As far as healing, I have problems, too. The Apostle Paul had “a thorn in his side.” God told him that He would use that weakness. Don’t give up on God. He’s not the problem. People are the problem. We really have all be given free will. A lot of people abuse that.
I forgot to warn y’all that Hyacinth Bucket (Dorothy Patterson) flashes her literary skills on this website, too! Don’t forget HB said that she just does what Paige tells her to do, even if he’s wrong. He will be held accountable!
I just can’t see Jesus dying on the cross so that half of the population could use this Mohlerky to praise His name.
Note: the definition of Mohlerky is now heretical malarkey.
That’s not honest or nice, Dottie! That’s called being passive aggressive and giving your Paige the rope to hang himself if he is wrong. Submissive, my foot! You are being manipulative!
I just came to a realization reading these comments. If CBMW is right, why in seven hot hells would any reasonably intelligent woman ever get married?
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
I said this before up thread (or on the last thread on gender complementarianism), but I no longer am interested in marrying a conservative Christian guy as I used to be, because a lot of them are into biblical sexism (aka gender complementarianism).
As a matter of fact, at this stage, I think I’d feel safer and more comfortable marrying an atheist (so long as the guy is not abusive or a jerk).
Not all gender comp men are abusive or controlling, but I think a lot of them are.
Or, if not abusive, they hold some very entitled or condescending attitudes towards women, which attracts them to conservative gender comp churches in the first place. So I would not want to marry one now.
The only benefit to marrying in this culture (that is, conservative Christian culture) is that you, as a woman, get status.
The lowest rank in Christian culture are never- married women. (Single men tend to get slightly more respect in churches than the single women, just because they are men.)
I know churches are bad about dealing with child abuse, however, a lot of them at least cater to children in some regards, with numerous programs, ministries, and outreaches for kids and teens, and conservative Christians (the ones who idolize the nuclear family) are constantly harping on the importance of children.
There is nothing for single adult women in churches or Christian culture, no where near the amount of programs, rhetoric, etc., in support of singles (except to lament how horrible it is that secular feminists are supposedly making an impact on Christian single women).
If you walk into a church alone, you will be pretty much ignored.
Walk in with a man on your arm the next week, and watch how all the married Christians suddenly notice you (the formerly single women) and make a beeline to shake your hand and get to know you. So, you do get a little bit of respect or attention if you’re married.
But no, I’m not seeing an upside to being married in a gender complementarian universe; it actually seems like a detriment of sorts, a punishment and hardship for women, since you’re telling the women they are nobodies and only there to be subordinate to a husband, even if said husband is an abuser.
I myself started out from the same egalitarian perspective that is predominantly expressed here, and continue to recoil at things like “Christian Domestoc Discipline.” However on careful analysis of St. Paul, and also on the causes of marital and social breakdown, and also upon witnessing the general enthusiasm of women in strongly patriarchal churches like the Coptic church, the Greek church, the Assyrian church and so on, and the continued belligerence of female clergy in the Anglican Communion and especially within the UMC, I am near a tipping point where I think St. Paul was right to a certain extent to delineate a certain subordination of women with regards to ecclesiastical affairs, although it should be stressed this subordination should be regarded as being in effect only in churches that refard themselves as having a sacramental priesthood, namely the Orthodox, Assyrians and Catholics. If priesthood is not a sacrament, or if it does not exist as in evangelical protestant churches (or rather, a diatinction is not drawn between the sacerdotal priesthood of all believers, and the presbyteriate and episcopate, priest oeiginally being a contraction of presbyter or elder, a word which should never have been used to translate sacerdos or pontiff or any of the other intermediary sacrifical priests of the old pagan faiths), then I see no reason to deny women from posessing it. Except alas we still have Paul aaying women ahould keep quiet in the Church, but this remark never stopped the ancient churches from having female choirs, as early as the fourth century under St. Ephraim the Syrian, if not signifigantly earlier.
What is disturbing here is that this ecclesiastical and spiritual subordination already exists, yet these people are in effect creating a new Trinitarian heresy in order to prop it up, one which incidentally violates the eschatological promise of an end to the gender disparity in the world to come.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
I asked that very question because Female Subordinationism places greater restrictions on married women than single women. The answer is the all-purpose answer: Because God’s plan.
They actually realize that saying that the Man is head of the Woman must be limited to the marriage relationship or they would have to forbid women to enter the workplace in any authoritative “role” where they might “direct” a male. That ship has already sailed, so they can’t say that. But, they will somewhat get around it by saying that single men and single women should “practice” their “roles” in preparation for marriage. So the single women are taught to defer to the single men in the group and the single men are taught to make all the plans for the singles group.
Up until my husband got out of the military and felt driven to find a purpose, a direction through church, we lived in what Russell Moore would call a “same-sex” marriage. My husband considered me to be his equal. When he enrolled in a Bible college, I was demoted. When we finally started going to a marriage counselor in December, he admitted that he considered me to be a “tag-along”. UmmmHmmmm, luggage.
To see the condensed version of my story. google “Emotionally Abandoning Your Spouse for the Sake of Ministry”. Scroll down the comments until you find the comment posted by “Invisiblewife from United States” entry on Nov. 8, 2014. I am the “Invisiblewife”. This entry is under marriagemissions.com. Lots of horror stories there.
There is more to my story, but there is plenty there to give you a wretched idea of what it’s like to be married to a Female Subordinationist.
Careful, Ken. Your doublethink is showing. Around here, that turkey won’t fly. 😉
“Equal in some ways but not all” means “not equal”. Period.
And this goes back the to point the Dee made so well in her previous post — the fact that those with the CBMW cannot agree as to how it should look in practice. To me, this seems to give up their main point (and yours).
If so much is staked upon the proper practice of gender roles (as even you hinted at in previous comments mentioning God’s judgement), then why can’t they spell out what all of the rules are? If the rules aren’t clear, how can a couple know that they’re “doing it right”? Or, to put it the other way around, how can things like “the authority of Scripture” or “the health of the home” be at stake on something that apparently no one can fully define? If a “complementarian” marriage is so airy-fairy that each couple can work out for themselves how they practice it, why not let them have a “mutual” marriage, if that works for them?
And what’s wrong with self-esteem?
What lovely seminary taught him this?
That comment by Moore infuriated me. It was insulting and petty and one of the many reasons I give him very little quarter. Have you ever been around Moore? he is teeny tiny. And I mean tiny. He might weigh 100 lbs soaking wet. And last time I saw him was wearing elevator shoes. I seriously think he has issues about being manly and had to put women in their place to feel “big” with those types of ‘comps are wimps so we need more patriarchy’ comments. He goes for the jugular so deserves no quarter. He is a god to thousands of young men. And he loves being vitriolic.
Ken’s words here reminded me of the character Cliff Clavin, the know-it-all mailman on the sitcom “Cheers”. In one of the older episodes, I remember him pontificating on the mysteries of DNA, and claiming that the traditional notion of women being passive and non-assertive is determined by genetics. To support this claim, Cliff states that DNA stands for “Dames are Not Aggressive”.
Is it just me, or is the CBMW grasping at straws in similar fashion?
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
If a woman’s self-esteem is low enough, she will be a sniveling, submissive, obedient, mousey little serf of a person. Her husband will be, without question, her prophet, preist, and KING.
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
Self esteem has gotten a bad rap because James Dobson, years ago, redefined it as a sort of narcissism and irresponsibility. Now, any independent thinking in certain Christian circles is considered esteeming yourself too much.
I’m not sure if he got that from certain men in the church, the seminary, or if he just lost me in trying to find himself after he retired from the military. Maybe a combination of all of those factors. Who knows?
At any rate, the seminary is Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. The only women on staff are the librarian and the secretary. All classes are taught by men.
@ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
Why do you think they avidly promote young marriage?
He obviously had confused self-esteem with self-centeredness.
Isn’t “dotty” another term for “ditzy”?
IMHO, the same reason you start breaking mules and horses to work and ride while they’re young! Get the bits in their mouths and the saddles on their backs before they are old enough and smart enough to know that it is not natural. Hitch’m to the wagons, crack those whips, and shout, “heyaahhh, mule!”
I’ve never seen Moore in person, but I have heard that he is akin to Zaccheus in stature. If I ever have the opportunity to meet him, I’ll be sure to wear the highest heels I own (I’m 5’6″, 130 lbs). I might strap a hunting knife on my belt, too!
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
And here I thought DNA stood for “Divas Normally Agressive”!
That is terrible. I am so sorry. I hope your husband comes around.
Have you been able to share any Christian books or blogs that push back against the complementarian view, such as http://www.cbeinternational.org ?
Maybe a site like that could help change his mind?
Both my parents are gender comps (my mother passed away a few years ago).
Not that they are/were familiar with that term, but they both believe in a lot of the same traditional gender role stuff that comps push.
My mother told me years ago on a few occasions that my father doesn’t believe that women are as smart or capable as men.
My own mother didn’t feel it was right for women (married or single) to hold positions of power, such as, she did not feel it was right for a woman to be President of the USA.
So, I was brought up with low expectations by both parents.
And my father actually tends to wonder why, even now, why I as an adult have so many problems, or why I lack self esteem to pursue life goals (he also seem mystified by this when I was a teen and in my 20s).
When you raise your daughter to believe she’s not as capable or as smart as a man would be, hello, you’re giving her more hurdles to overcome. (And I was already from the womb a shy, insecure person to start with.)
And Dobson’s not the only one. A few years ago, I was skimming through a book by Richard Ganz called “Psychobabble” (bemoaning the failures of psychology and singing the praises of nouthetic counselling). On one page, he somehow conflates the concept of self-esteem with the hubris of Nebuchadnezzar.
I wonder if Ganz ever tried out for the Olympics. That’s one impressive(?) leap of logic. 😉
To clarify on that, it’s a mixture of both with my dad.
My father sort of, in a way, had high expectations for me and wonders why I have such a hard time in life. Part of the reason was his own parenting and attitudes.
I sensed from childhood he didn’t think girls were as capable as guys, plus, he was a super critical parent.
I never, ever got praise or encouragement from him, only criticism. And even though I brought home straight A report cards, and was a good kid, etc.
If you raise your kid in that kind of environment, you only criticize and never praise, it’s not fair to turn around years later and lament or complain they didn’t turn out so hot. But my dad and a few of my other family members cannot comprehend that.
And hum….”Zaccheus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he!”
(Now we are going to have that tune in our heads all day)
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
I could write a really long post on that alone.
In short, I’ll say I don’t see anything wrong with a person having self esteem and am tired of Christians who make having self esteem out to be an ungodly concept, or as though having healthy self esteem = being arrogant or prideful.
In the past couple of years, I’ve started to experience some self esteem, and I’m emotionally healthier because of it. I also no longer permit myself to be treated like a doormat by verbally abusive family of mine, or other abusive people.
The Christians who knock self esteem need to knock that off.
There’s a Christian radio host who sometimes rails against this sort of thing. He thinks Christians should only regard themselves as lowly, dirty sinners. I don’t see the Bible teaching that, but rather, God loves you enough and values you that he wants to redeem you.
Yes, this!! This exactly. You put it so succinctly and perfectly.
Now that I have a bit of self esteem for the first time in my life, and realize how dangerous it is to be a doormat, I am not willing to enter a marriage to a Christian guy who’s into this male headship (as taught by comps) nonsense, because it would leave me vulnerable to marrying an abuser, and no thanks on that.
Gender complementarian teachings essentially set women up to attract abusive or controlling men, and once they end up in that sort of crummy marriage, comps tell them “you cannot divorce him, sorry, and the church refuses to hold the husband accountable, you are on your own.”
It’s evil. They put women in this situation, or set them up to fall into it, then refuse to help them when or if they are in it. (And then blame them for it, like, “your husband is abusing you because you’re not submissive enough.’)
It’s insult on top of insult in this system.
My dad is a critical, domineering person. He has, at times, been verbally and physically abusive towards my mom. My mom woke some 25 years ago, and filed for divorce.
I am the oldest grandchild on both sides by more than 8 years. I was raised like a farm boy. I spent most of my childhood being my Papaw’s little shadow. My grandparents babysat 3 roughshod boys, and there was no gender discrimination. I held my own with those boys. I fixed fences and broke 3 yearling mule foals to ride! Just to clarify, I also sew, crochet, and do homecanning.
My family raised tobacco until just a few years ago. At the age of 16, I was left as boss over the hired men in the tobacco field, while my dad took half of the men to work the tobacco barn. Some of the hired men were clearly insulted. We had one hired hand who had been driving the trucks when the tobacco wagons had to be moved. But, low and behold, my dad left us in the field with a 3-speed column shift GMC, manual everything, including the choke. None of the men could drive the thing, so the little blonde girl had to take the wheel. The men never lived it down!
I think some of these folks confuse healthy self-esteem with pride.
With a visual image of Russell Moore up a tree burned in our minds???
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
At my former comp church the pastors/elders eschewed worldly “psychology” and other forms of help in favor of nouthetic counseling with horrible results and it was a huge waste of time. The pastors/elders “solution” to dealing with an older woman practicing alcoholic in the church membership who caused countless problems at church, as well as in her own family with her adult children, wasn’t to get her in to treatment for alcoholics but to order church members in to years of meetings with them to try to *patch* things up. It didn’t work and the main issue – her alcoholism – was never dealt with.
I wonder what kind of self-esteem Deborah, Rahab, and Jael had? Not to mention Elijah, Daniel, Nehemiah, Joshua, Joseph, Abraham ……………
Btw, Rahab is my second favorite person in the Bible — Jesus is first!
Pride is misconstrued, too!
Yes. They do not want people to have boundaries in how they are treated or be independent thinkers so they insist it is the sin of pride when you do.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
CBMW or not, the reason that women get married is that their reproductive hormones cloud their brains and they are no longer ‘reasonably intelligent’ in the matter. They will take up with any old thing at that point. So they marry, reproduce, raise the kids, reach menopause, have a huge hormone shift (drop) and their minds clear. At that point the husband is dismayed when his wife suddenly and for no reason that he could see goes slap crazy, or so it appears to him. The biological fact underlying this is that she no longer desperately needs him to help her raise the young, and if nothing more than base line biology has undergirded the arrangement she is a ‘done.’ And so is he. Stay or go, the game is over.
Not true in all cases. I have always been me. My husband is the one with the “hormone” problem. Maybe he felt a bit immaculate do when he retired from the military?
Aarrrggghhhh. Ipad auto-correct. Immaculate should be emasculated!!!
I’m not so sure I completely agree with this. I don’t think it’s applicable to all women.
Though I had wanted marriage badly, I dumped my ex fiance because he was a loser.
I had the sense to dump him, rather than walk into a marriage I knew would be lousy. I didn’t let my heart and desires over-ride my logic and brain in that matter.
Not all women are controlled by hormones, desire for romance, or the ticking bio clock, or “baby rabies,” as it is referred to on Childfree blogs.
Oof, blow to the abdomen, sick feeling to follow. All I can give is hope, some guys aren’t stupid forever.
Like Annanias gave an account DIFFERENTLY from Sapphira?
I did not say all women. The question was why do women marry. You did not choose to marry and so this comment does not apply to you.
And, one who has the “greater responsibility” is usually more important, and, therefore of greater value.
I suggest starting with his book on the work of Jesus. I think it is published in the US under the title “Jesus, Past, Present and Future: The Work of Christ.”
He was at the University of Manchester which meant he was not bound by any institutional doctrinal statement. He attached great store to the freedom he had to pursue the truth wherever it led.
He was part of the Christian (Plymouth) Brethren but his independence of thought was obvious. He did not always follow their general line. For example, also in the article I quoted above, he said this: “Subjugation of woman, in fact, is a symptom of man’s fallen nature.”
On Paul’s writing you could read “Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free” and on early Christianity “The Spreading Flame”.
He was first a classical scholar and later a theologian so he had a far better perspective on Greek and Roman thought than most theologians.
IMO this is the best way which is why I avoid theologians these days and focus on scholars and linguists when it comes to understanding context and the language.
Thanks so much for the info as I kept coming across his name/ quotes in my research.
“Subjugation of woman, in fact, is a symptom of man’s fallen nature.”
Cannot be said enough.
@ William G.:
William, are you in ACNA currently? If so, did you come from TEC? I have left ACNA precisely because it’s going more patriarchal–not what I signed up for.
You seem to imply that all or most women marry due to hormones. I don’t think I agree with that.
Wow, James Dobson HIMSELF criticizing those who have self esteem. Would that be something like Lady Gaga criticizing those who are tacky?
I saw the ambiguity immediately, but didn’t have time to add a clarification (oh for an editor function!!). By ’round here’ I meant the churches in my locality, not TWW. Sorry for the confusion.
I think Flutterhands Piper is pee-his-pants TERRIFIED of women, “muscular” or not.
Any woman who is NOT absolutely under his boot (and therefore not threatening).
I wonder how Piper can sleep at night, period. He sounds like the type who’d be up all night checking his closets and under his bed for Threatening Women.
The problem with comp doctrine is that it has different rules for men and women.
An attitude of disrespect is displeasing. Period. This includes husbands that don’t respect their wives and belittles them openly or covertly. This includes parents who disrespect and belittle their children.
Yes, women need to be respectful of their husbands. But it isn’t a special sin if she disrespects him at the same level that he disrespects her. They are equally guilty.
I’ve linked this here before because respect is sooooooooooo misunderstood, especially by men who think they deserve extra because they are husbands and/or fathers.
Rather than go into the details here, I’ll link this again because of the abuse and misunderstanding concerning respect and what pleases or displeases God.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
As long as they’re not IN his bed …
Given Ken’s line of thinking, it leads me to wonder if there are those out there who believe that all of the slaves who ran away before the Emancipation Proclaimation will be condemned to hell!
I’ve discussed things with Ken before. He’s a decent fellow except for the toxic doctrine that he is devoted to.
I understand that it is what he has been taught and that he truly believes that not following the roles doctrine is the same as not following Jesus.
He’s also bought into the propaganda and witchhuntery that surrounds and supports this doctrine. He assumes that secular feminism is to blame for disrespectful wives. This is evident in his little ‘gender studies’ comment.
What he doesn’t realize is that this doctrine is crumbling under the weight of its own error and lack of foundation. It is NOT being eroded from the outside by secular feminists. They don’t have that kind of power. It’s falling apart because it has been proven over and over that it doesn’t work. It is not the cure-all they make it out to be. And in many cases, this doctrine has actually destroyed relationships and marriages.
But men like Ken, while well-meaning, refuse to accept it and are more interested in blaming the evil feminists rather than letting go of this faulty doctrine.
And that is a sign of idolatry.
That doctrine almost destroyed mine and my husband’s marriage.
I wonder how Ken’s wife would react if she had to walk the path that I’ve been walking!
I don’t see Ken blaming the evil feminists but I do see him desperately clinging to the faulty doctrine as his preference. And I recognize the deflection tactic used by comps in his couching that faulty doctrine in his effort to be obedient to what “Christ Himself said” in the Bible.
He’s been reading here way to long to not see the agenda behind the faulty doctrine unless he’s embracing it willingly. And there’s been a litany of comp words and phrases used like responsibility, obedience, submit, order, and the popular and over-used “head.”
Moore up a tree? Due to being chased by TULIP or another pug, or maybe a Peke nipping at his ankles????? He only attacks those he thinks have no, zero ability to challenge him.
Naw, I’d chase him myself. Grrrr, arf, arf, grrrr! What fun! Wanna help?
Yep. I was raised in a gender comp family, believed in gender comp for years, but saw for myself it’s bunk. I saw it didn’t mesh with how Jesus treated women, etc.
I am right wing, a social conservative and don’t even agree with secular feminists like 99% of the time on like 95% or more of issues. So secular feminism is not what caused me to reject or question gender comp.
I totally agree that Ken is a decent man and, unlike others of like mind, he is not afraid to engage. He does not lob bombs and then run and hide. I also think that he truly believes that this is what the Bible teaches and that “feminism” is responsible for the social chaos around us. I also think that he makes unwarranted associations which color the way he evaluates the arguments being presented. For example, he speaks of his bad experience with Willow Creek in the UK (and maybe in Germany.) Willow Creek is not Female Subordinationist and I think that people may conclude that all non-Complementarian or non-Female Subordinationist churches are liberals who deny the authority of the Bible. It is hard to get past bad experiences.
In short, I think it is possible that Ken is a lot like Gram3 of many years ago and a lot of people I know now. That is, I assumed things because people I trusted taught them and rejected other things because of some of the people who believed those things. At the time, I was unable to see beyond the personalities or doctrinal systems which advocated for mutualism. I could not see past people like the ReImagining Conference. I could not decouple the two issues and did not, at that time, know about conservative mutualists. There is more than one way to get to mutualism, but I did not know that at the time and assumed that the only way to get there was via abandoning the Bible, and I was and am not willing to do that.
Kudos to CBMW for poisoning the well of thinking so thoroughly to the point that much of the conservative church takes a binary approach to this issue: radical and godless feminism or CBMW’s view. All thought is stopped by accusations of desiring to evade God’s word. The possibility that this has been a gross misinterpretation and misapplication of the texts is beyond even considering. I think Ken truly does not understand the implications of some of the things he says and how very wrong he is about the motivations of some of us, and I think he has way too much confidence in people who do not deserve his confidence. I’ve been there, too. Except, unlike Ken, I was obnoxious about it. Imagine that.
And now I am advocating for those who are caught up in or trapped by the system or recovering from the effects of its soul acid. It was easy for me to dismiss the effects because I had a great father and I have a great husband. System works for me, so what’s the problem? But I did not even stop to consider the effects on women who were not so privileged. Shame on me for that. For the women and men harmed by this, please forgive my willful blindness.
Russell Moore started out as a political operative in Mississippi, and he came under the mentorship of another political operative who was formerly a denominational reporter. And now, due to loyal service to said former denominational reporter, he is the Head political operative for the SBC. Power seems to attract his attention.
My mother was in the Eagle Forum and into all those conspiracies people bought into back in the 70’s and 80’s. I will never forget when I came home from college and my mother pointed to the Proctor and Gamble emblem. “You see that,” she said, and further explained, “that is the Moonie Symbol, and I am boycotting Proctor and Gamble. They are owned by the Moonies.” I sort of looked at Mom cross-eyed for a second and thought to myself “really?” I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to upset mother. Years later a baptist preacher verified that it was a bunch of sensationalist falsehood spewed by an IFB pastor. My mom and others ingested it hook, line, and sinker. Now I would never call my mom ditzy. She just reacted to the escalating social changes she didn’t understand, such as the secular women’s movement, gay liberation, abortion, and other issues. She was right on most things, but kind of went over board in other issues, like Proctor and Gamble. My mom was a good woman.
I disagree with Dorothy Patterson and her husband on plenty, particularly in their hypocrisy and their “head in sand view” regarding sexual and physical abuse in church, and their inflexible views towards women, but they probably have some good qualities as people. I think at the end, the Pattersons will have much to answer for. And as much as I disagree with Mrs. Patterson, I don’t believe she is ditzy, It would be interesting to read her graduate thesis which was the basis of her advanced theological degree. I just think it is kind of an anachronism that a homemaker would work on an advanced theology degree, and why? Was she once more egalitarian? Just wondering?
I don’t think any of the women who promote this are ditzy. They are very smart to have figured out what sells to their target market. However, I think that target market is shrinking, and that is why they are getting ever-more outrageous. Women are waking up to the antics of the Female Subordinators, and some men are realizing they are not weaklings like Piper and Grudem and all the other blusterers. FWIW, the biggest promoters of this ideology at my most recent former church are all very bright women. Sometimes being bright came make someone mistake that for wisdom, and sometimes it makes bright people think they have the answers down.
@ Gram3: I hope it isn’t all about a market.
A question. Much is made in comp material of a woman not preaching or teaching a man for fear of her exerting authority over him. How is preaching or teaching exerting authority over someone?
Surely, the listeners should evaluate the message preached or the teaching for themselves and decide whether they agree with the speaker or not? If I think you are talking a load of hogwash I don’t have to accept what you are saying. I can study for myself and see if what you are saying holds true or if there are other viewpoints.
In my professional life, I see male colleages willingly learning from women who are experts in the field. Why should it be any different in the church?
This fear of women appearing to be in authority over men seems ridiculous to me.
Well, if it looks like a market, and they act like it’s a market, then it just might be a market. Human beings are economic creatures. Another way of thinking about this is to imagine what the church would look like if none of these people could make any money from it. I think we would have a totally different landscape because there would not be the same incentives to protect a man or an institution.
Patty in Massachusetts wrote:
No, I was a Methodist who left the UMC for the Orthodox Church. I have moved around a few times and make a point of going to whichever Orthodox church in mynarea has the best liturgics, so I have attended a few jurisdictions amd even dared to cross the dividing line between Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy (being of the view held by most Oriental and many Eastern Orthodox theologians that the two churches share a common faith and ought to be in communion, and indeed due to the war in Syria and Iraq the Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox churches, and the Coptic and Greek Orthodox churches of Alexandria, practically are).
I did not leave the UMC over the ordination of women, although the most unpleasant religious experiences of my childhood occurred under a pompous, overbearing female minister, who was then replaced by an even more pompous and overbearing male minister (interestingly enough, her male replacement would have been equally unable to serve as a priest in the Orthodox Church as those who have divorced and remarried, along with those who have comitted fornication, those who have engaged in an act of sodomy, and those who have killed another human being, for any reason, are disqualified from the Orthodox priesthood, although sometimes former soldiers are ordained and that requirement is waived, but never a remarried priest, or a priest married to a remarried woman). Rather I left due to abusive behavior by the conservative elder of the parish in which I was baptized, combined with persecution from the elder of the adjacent parish where I preferred to worship, who was more of a liturgical traditionalist, who befriended me and then subsequently severed ties when after a few years of attending his church, he learned that I am a traditionalist regarding marriage and sexuality. With no local Methodist parish that remained liturgically or theologically viable, and with all the local Protestant churches showing signs of a dichotomy wherein they either tended to become more liberal but with traditional wprship, or more conservative, but with praise bands, chiliastic apocalyptoc theology and domineering pastors, I went for the emergency exit – I had been fascinated with the Orthodox church since reading about it in a travel guide to Jerusalem and the Holy Land my parents gave me at age 15. So I watched some Orthodox services on YouTube and videos of talks by Fr. John Behr and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and decoded to switch over immediately.
However the Orthodox Church is extremely patriarchal, to the point that my particular church is headed by a man entitled the Patriarch. In the past on this site I have outlined the important administrative role performed by women in the Orthodox Church, but increasingly I no longer care. Because my jurisdiction continues to attract large numbers of female converts and yet, unlike for example the Greek archdiocese, our parishes also have a high birth rate from the ethnic members of our flock. Since every Sunday my church gets packed almost to the rafters on one side with women, and I believe has slightly more regular female attendees than male, despite not even having a female choir, I am now of the view that there is no longer any need to either apologize for or theologize about the extremely patriarchal nature of the Orthodox church (most Orthodox traditions do have female choirs by the way; the church I go to at present happens to be from one that traditionally only has a male choir; my favorite church music however is Russian and Syriac music, both of which do feature female singers). As I see it, Orthodoxy simply preserves the ancient Christian religion, which always was extremely patriarchal, only more respectful of the dignity of women than the civil law of the Roman Empire, hence the theory that the majority of early converts to Christianity were women. For people who dont like the patriarchal approach there are a wide range of other churches to choose from, which realistically are easier for most people anyway, given the rigor of Orthodox fasting, and the length of our services; if one attends all the weekend services at a typical Russian parish, one should exoect to soend three to four hours in church on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and in a Coptic church, up to six hours total. The Ethiopians start their Sunday morning services at 4 AM in the US and in their native land have vigils on patronal feasts that can last for 18 hours…there is no way I myself could endure worship of that intensity.
The Orthodox Church does actively oppress its members I think in an almost cult like way, but in a manner that is ultimately therapeutic, and that includes female members. The theology of the church basically involves conquering all the passions, including pride, which involves smashing the egos of everyone in attendance, which is accomplished primarily liturgically (although also through the sacrament of confession in some cases); someone like me who has bought into it cannot help but be brought low by reading the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, or the Ladder of Divine Ascent, or in Lent listening to the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, an incredibly long hymn sung iver the course of several days which illustrates what a disgusting sinner you are. For women this approach, being rooted in what one might call the ancient mode of life, likewise involves utterly smashing the ego so that women are called to lives of chastity or maternity, with extreme modesty; women usually wear skirts to church and are required in most parishes to wear scarves or other coverings over their hair. Since we continue to get female converts this is apparently not a major stumbling block. I do believe salvation is available to Christians outside the Orthodox Church, but I think the Orthodox Church has some value by virtue of the continuing persecution it endures and the catharsis this causes.
It is ridiculous, but they think that women somehow displease God when we speak his word. It has nothing to do with the content of what we say or teach. I think they are offended by women’s voices so they assume God is, too. When I held that belief, I assumed that God had drawn lines, too. It wasn’t until a series of events topped off by a ridiculous SS class that I looked into it. My experiences enabled me to consider that I had been wrong. Most men, however, do not have any incentive to change the system.
There is an undercurrent of blaming the evil feminists though he is smart enough/respectful enough to not phrase it that way.
If one reads the writings of the monastic fathers and the hesychasts, for example, in the Philokalia, or the Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus, self esteem is treated as a horrible vice to be utterly crushed, especially among monastics, with tears of repentance. To obtain greater knowledge of God, it is viewed as imperative that one completely eliminate pride and any sense of self-worth.
However, two things must be considered in light of that: firstly, these ancient books were written primarily for an audience of younger male monastics who were still learning the ascetic life, and were only later adopted as spiritual guides by the laity of the Eastern churches, and secondly, the extreme self contempt that they encourage is to be accompanied in equal measure with an extreme love of God and with that a love of every other human being, because all humans, male and female, carry the divine image and thus iconographically represent God (for this reason, the Eastern Orthodox Church forbids cremation and will nit perform a funeral for anyone who voluntarily elects to be cremated).
So for a husband or the males of a parish to force the Patriatic teachings on self esteem on their wives, in order to subjugate them, is a dreadful perversion of these ancient teachings. If a couple wants to live according to the ancient Christian precepts, they must equally crush their own egos and live for the sake of their spouse, practicing more or less complete and mutual self abnegation, and indeed even vying with each other to see which can attaint to greater depths of self abasement. In this manner they can realistically hope to rid each other of pride, avoid any marital fights, since both husband and wife, viewing themselves as the worst of sinners and their spouse and children as images of God Himself, will not dare to start a fight or an argument. But this only works if it is mutual; forcibly imposing this form of ascetic self-humiliation on women while lording it over them is utterly perverse, and I believe from what I have read that such behavior could well lead to the husband procuring for himself actual damnation. Since no one is perfect and since anyone who attempts such a mode of life will come up short, this also underscores the need for continual repentance stressed by the early Church fathers.
Its actually a much more stressful and oppressive faith than for example Lutheranism. If we actually take all lf the demands that Christ makes in the Gospel as literal commandments, Chrisrianity does in fact become at first glance a dark and frightening religion, which is more rhan I think most Protestants in our society can bear, which is why I pray for their salvation and trust that God will have mercy on them regardless. However for those who choose to literally interpret the commands made in the Gospel and the epistles, the Gospel is still good news, in so far as before the Gospel, the prevailing eschatological worldview was that after death, we would at best exist as mere shades in the underworld, an existence of unending misery, whereas after the Gospel, resurrection unto life eternal through deification or theosis was made available not just to the Jews but to everyone; this everlasting life however did come with a pricetag, that bwing the ego, which is why for example St. Paul vigorously disclaims any responsibility for his evangelical accomplshments with “Not I, but Christ in me.” Indeed, his harshness on himself and especially the contempt he shows for his pre Christian life as Saul I think show the correct lack of self esteem a Christian ought to manifest. Christians should be identifiable, of both sexes, by maintaining a meek, humble, dejected, restrained and unassuming appearance; if we look like this we become paradoxically more beautiful, in my opinion.
@ Gram3: Then the new mainline Protestants (evangelicals and their moderate fundamentalist partners) have a problem. If doctrinal beliefs are based on what sells, we have a modern analogy to the money changers in God’s Temple. They are compromising belief based on economics. They accuse egalitarians of compromising with secular society, but they are doing the same that they are accusing in a sense to moneyed interests. I have heard the jokes about tithe screaming preachers who invite Mormons to speak at their Sunday services and buy personal jets and expensive homes and equate money with Gods approval. Of course they could approve of Mormonism because ESS might head the way of a whole new sister religion to Mormonism. I am not in either the mainline evangelical or IFB camp. I may sound like a fundamentalist though, and deplore the term fundamentalist, but something isn’t right with the moneyed interests who are in control. They claim to believe in the inerrant Word, yet they are twisting Scripture to serve their own interests. I, a little person, am accusing mainline Evangelicals, moderate fundamentalist and the IFB of corruption and false teaching. Shame on me!
And where is the love? So sorry for my rant
On the bright side, CBMW doesn’t seem to be getting as much in the way of donations that it used to.
Deb and Dee did a post about it several months back. I don’t know if their financial situation has improved since they did that post.
Here’s the post where it was discussed:
I see the Bible teaches each person is accountable for his or her own actions, not that husbands are accountable for wives etc.
Also, what you are promoting is codependency for women and the Bible condemns codependency for both genders. In some portions of the text, codependency is referred to as “the fear of man.”
God does not want women being passive or subjecting themselves or their life choices to another person, including a spouse.
Your view – which is codependency for women – not only set women up to attract controlling, selfish or abusive men, but it also strips women of their agency and infantilizes them.
God wants all adult women, married or no, to be responsible for themselves, their actions, their mistakes and not rely on other people.
God wants women to look to him for leadership, not a husband or male Christian.
BTW, I’m a right winger and never took “gender studies” courses, nor do I agree with secular leftist feminists on a majority of topics.
I was brought up gender comp and rejected it because I finally saw that gender comp conflicts with various passages and messages in the Bible.
The two are not mutually exclusive, as you are proposing:
A woman can respect her husband -AND- be assertive.
Asking women to be passive equals being in an unhealthy relationship, because rather than state plainly what she wants from her husband or openly stating complaints she has about the marriage-
She will drop hints or act out in a passive-aggressive relationship, such as slamming cabinet doors when angry, or with-holding sex, but claiming ‘Oh no, nothing is wrong, dear,’ when the husband says “what are you angry about.”
Also, women want and like to be respected too.
It’s wrong and incorrect for gender comp Christians to keep dividing everything up by gender as in the stereotype: “women want love, men want respect.”
I find that view disrespectful. I consider gender comp to be disrespectful to both men and women.
I don’t know if Ken will ever accept or understand this.
We reject compism because it’s wrong.
Not because we are rebelling against God, Jesus, the creation order etc. Not because of the influence of radical feminists. Not because we don’t honor the Scriptures.
We reject it because it is a wrong interpretation of the Word that leads to legalism, bondage, pharisee-ism and places stumbling blocks in front of people who would enter the Kingdom of heaven.
It causes little ones to fall and puffs up the proud.
We are done with the impurity and toxicity of compism and prefer the pure milk of the Gospel and the Living Waters that Jesus gives.
Compism is doing way more to damage Christian relationship than secular feminism could ever accomplish on its own.
I do think you’re on to something there.
Even if you put the profit-making part of it aside, gender comps are guilty of being influenced by secular culture on different levels.
They take a secular American cultural era (the 1950s) and filter the Bible thru that, where they assume people should marry by the time they are 25, have X number of children, the wife should stay at home and be June Cleaver.
Then, they are grossly preoccupied with advocating the gender comp stuff because they are in a culture war, where they are opposed to abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.
(I’m a social conservative too, so it’s not that I’m opposed to their stances on some of those topics, but I don’t think bashing people over the head with gender comp beliefs is the way to solve anything.)
Just an example: the new NIV controversy several years ago. IMO that was all about money. The fact is that the Female Subordinationsists and their publishing house, Crossway, needed to flame that version to protect their new ESV product line. They did that by totally mischaracterizing the gender-inclusive language of the new NIV and made it sound like goddess worship was being introduced. The hysteria was itself hysterical to watch. Does anyone seriously think that the NIV editorial board has gone liberal? But to secure their market share within the conservative church (and that is their niche) they needed to eliminate the new NIV and attempt to erode confidence in the NIV brand which had become quite popular in evangelicalism.
Some people still think it was about maintaining textual purity. They were very effectively targeted and sold by the narrative being pushed by the Gospel Glitterati. And it is no accident that so many young bloggers were/are associated with Crossway or its allies. TgC is a “partner” with Crossway. How coincidental is it that so much of TgC content is either reviews or other promotion of Crossway products and/or authors? I don’t believe in coincidences when intention makes much more sense.
I would be interested in how much income CBMW receives through services or subsidies such as providing office space and equipment and paying staff salaries via other institutions like SBTS. It is a way of hiding how much money they are really taking in. For example, 9Marks supports every word that proceeds from the mouth of CBMW. No one outside of upper management in 9Marks knows how much 9Marks takes in because 9Marks, the last I heard, does not file a 990 but hides behind the CHBC exemption. Every dime that 9Marks spends that re-states the CBMW talking points is a dime that CBMW does not need to raise. Actually it is more than a dime, but you get the idea. There is a system of mutual promotion where all benefit from the efforts of others because they are all selling basically the same product: female subordination and male rule. They are like the pro-slavery people after the Civil War. Most reasonable people saw the error and moved on. Not so with these folks because they have built their entire careers on female subordination and ESS. To the extent that any one of them is harmed, the entire enterprise is harmed, and that is why there is such furious defense of people like Mahaney and Chandler and such studied ignorance of Mark Who? They really do not know when the next Driscoll will be exposed or when the next Karen Hinckley will speak out. Meanwhile, more and more females are studying theology and allied fields, and bright young men are studying right alongside them. The long-term outlook for CBMW is not bright, and that is why people like Owen BHLH use such strident war language. They are smiling while under siege, and they know it.
Exactly. Well said.
That was not totally correct. No one knows how much the Big Guys at 9Marks make. I have not investigated the degree to which 9Marks discloses the details of its income and its expenses, but perhaps some others have more information about that or other similar organizations.
There are many things Dobson has promoted with which I disagree; however, he was a proponent, not opponent, of building self-esteem . He wrote a book about it called “Hide and Seek.” The people saying the self-esteem movement led to narcissism are contemporary secular psychologists who have noted that the movement wherein “everyone gets a trophy” has led to a sense of entitlement and not given kids some of the realistic feedback and the chance to handle it that they need in the real world. Now psychologists are saying that praise of kids should not be of the “What a great artist you are” for instance, but for “how hard you worked on that painting.” ie praise effort not achievement. I am not trying to start a debate; just saying that Dobson is not responsible for kicking the self-esteem movement, but for promoting it.
This sounds remarkably like the crack pots of the King James Version Only crowd.
The KJOs believe that NIV and other translation/ version groups intentionally introduce heresies and mistranslations into the NIV (or other versions) to erode biblical truths.
Most of the guys who like to read the ESV would probably snicker and mock the KJVO view, but their hysterics over GI (gender inclusive) versions is the same brand of crazy and paranoia, IMO, and mean to poison the well so Christians won’t even consider the issue or reading a GI Bible.
There are times when being assertive is being loving and respectful.
If a husband is about to do something that will cost him, his wife, and his family dearly, is it respectful for the wife to sit back and let him screw everything up? Or should the wife conform to those “Four Ways to Show your Husband Who’s Boss” to the detriment of the entire family, as well as the detriment of her respect for her husband?
“Unless a husband asks his wife to sin or harms her, the Bible teaches us that a wife should not usurp her husband’s authority. If he makes the wrong decision with family finances or about a move to another state, the Lord will deal with him.”
Would it be respectful for a wife to sit back while a husband makes decisions that will cost the family a roof over its head?? Will the Lord “deal with him” by having local authorities take custody of the children? Where is the “respect” in a situation like that”
@ Abi Miah:
That is true, I have seen secular culture express alarm over self esteem, but that same alarm also occurs in some avenues of Christianity too.
Some Christians do equate “self esteem” with pride or being arrogant. Some of them will substitute goofy phrases such as “Christ esteem,” which doesn’t really mean much to me.
How can they think that women’s voices displease God? He inspired Miriam, Deborah and Hannah, and Mary and Elizabeth, and let’s not leave out the Daughters of Jerusalem and the Beloved in Song of Songs.
I love to hear women take part in services whether they read, pray, sing, make announcements or even give the sermon. We need perspective from everyone not just one gender. But I’m preaching to the choir here.
Think how Abigail corrected her worthless husband’s actions and made apologies for him. Or when Abraham was resistant to Sarah’s directions, the Lord told him to do whatever she told him to do.
Because they think, or say they think, that God ordained for females not to exercise authority over males, therefore a female teaching males is an offense to God. They make up all kinds of rules that God freely broke, like primogeniture, and then say that proves what they are setting out to prove. Male “headship” which means male priority. I don’t think they are overly concerned with what the Bible tells us that God thinks. They are offended by women’s voices, so therefore God must be offended by women’s voices.
Abi Miah wrote:
I totally agree with that. Khan Academy has some great stuff on this issue concerning kids and learning. One of my biggest pet peeves with public school is all the time and focus on those kids who disrupt for attention and don’t want to attempt to perform. (yes, I realize there are reasons but that should not be the sole focus over kids who put forth effort) The education system has been focused on them to the detriment of kids who put forth effort. And so we tend to have more and more of them each year as it gets attention. That might be changing but am not sure.
I am currently attending a slightly conservative liturgical church. I think this subject is getting to me. This week, as the women read the Scripture and assisted with thee collection, I almost stood up and applauded. I gave the female collector the thumb’s up signal. I don’t think she knew what I was doing but she smiled anyway!
And for John Piper, several of them were quite cute and there was no question that they appeared quit female!
By the way, in case you were wondering, Ive been to a Russian Orthodox parish where all of the lections except the Gospel were done by the female choir leader on Holy Saturday, which is fourteen lessons, thirteen from the Old Testament and one epistle, if memory serves, some of which were sung (the song of the three children in the furnace, Ode VII in the Book of Odes, also known I believe as Benedicte Omni Opera in Latin), and at this same parish the collection boxes (there were four cardboard boxes modified for collecting money for the parish, the poor, a missionary fund, and some other charitable fund) were also carried by women. Women can also lead a Typika service and read the gospel at it if there isnt a priest available. In fact, basically, women can do everything that happens in the Narthex, Nave, and Solea (the space just outside of the iconostasis) except read the Gospel if a priest or deacon is serving (if a deacon is serving, the deacon reads it, whereas if there is no deacon, the priest reads it, with less ceremony; this requires a full deacon and not a subdeacon or altar boy and full deacons are unfortunately somewhat rare; sometimes a concelebrating priest will vest as a deacon).
There are some in the Orthodox Church who support the ordination of women, but I am opposed to it because aside from being a change (and the beauty of Orthodoxy is the unchanging nature of it), it would also cause a schism. There are however churches that serve the Byzantine liturgy that ordain women, such as the Georgian Evangelical Baptist Church, some ECUSA parishes which have recently adopted it, either entirely or using the minimal framework of “Rite IIi” (the Order for the Ministratiom of Holy Communion you find in the 1979 after the Rite I and Rite II Eucharist, which unlike the former, is just a template, prpviding for a few essentials in terms of the words of institution and the words said by the priest to the communicant), and also I believe the Ukranian Lutheran Church, which uses a modified form of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with references to the liturgy as a sacrifice, intercessory prayers ro saints and other things that Protestants tend to dislike, removed. There is also St. Gregory of Nyassa Episcopal Church in San Francisco whoch draws heavily on the liturgies of all the Eastern Churches; they are very creative. There are also a very large number of independent churches in Los Angeles and other major cities that basically exist to provide the Eastern liturgy but with women priests (and also often with an ECUSA approach to human sexuality).
I just wish people would respect the ancient traditions within Orthodoxy and not try to change the Orthodox Church but instead, if they find the fact that we are Patriarchal to the point of having Patriarchs, and having women follow men out of the refectories at our monasteries after dinner and supper, if this is a turn off, to simply join a different church, and there are churches where the same services we use more or less are used, but you have female clergy. But a lot of women like the Orthodox Church and join by themselves and are opposed to changes in the rules regarding the male priesthood. I myself am not opposed to female ministers in denominations that lack a sacramental priesthood since the Orthodox in fact have female ministers.* As bad as the female Methodist minister who ran my parish from around 1994-1998 was, she did not traumatize my mother when my grandfather died. Also, one of the first criticisms I read of the debased practice known as “Christian Domestic Discipline” came from an Orthodox priest, and the theology of the Eternal Subordination of the Som being advocated here in an attempt to subjugate women I believe was recently declared heretical by a respected Orthodox blogger; if links are required I can dig them up.
*By Miniater I am of course referring to sacred ministers such as the female singers, readers and nuns of the Orthodod church; Orthodox nuns by virtue of their consecration outrank male laity in terms of dignity, so at a monastery the pecking order is the abbott followed by the monks, any visiting nuns, the male pilgrims and the female pilgrims, and lastly, the catechumens and then the non Orthodox. Also the abbesses of convents do have a blessing to perform a number of tasks normally reserved to priests or deacons. mWe used to have deaconesses also, whose main function liturgically was to go down into the water with female converts, as in the early church, everyone was baptized in the nude, in the matter of a Jewish mikvah or ritual bath, with baptismal robes being a later innovation.
There is another problem. As the schism between Calvin and Non Calvin doctrines grow, the ONLY uniting doctrinal issue (for them) is comp.
Some real money is made with speaking fees. but what is rarely measured are the perks that have a big influence on lifestyle when it comes to travel, vacations, housing expenses, eating out, etc. People have no idea how much of this is gratis for celebrity Christians
Ken, “assertive” can be good as can independence. She might be changing your Depends one day and need to know how to do many of things you were doing before as her “source”. This is not the 1st Century. You make women sound like children who go off to college and learn in women’s studies how to hate men—so they start hating men. The women in your scenarios are presented as extremely immature.
The idea of “respecting” her husband in the way you characterize it puts the definition of such on the husband and not on basic Christian virtues of behavior. AS if the man is speaking for God in the interpretation. That is another place comp doctrine becomes a huge problem. I advise men to stop trying to be the Holy Spirit for women/wives when it comes to the “terror verses” aimed at the 1st Century woman in the 1st Century body of Christ. And visa versa because comp doctrine teaches women to be horrible manipulators instead of who they were created to be in Christ.
Well, I am not a fan of Willow Creek at all even though they are not as comp as when they started out. They have been one of the earlier money making seeker mega machines. The Willow Creek Assoc made a fortune selling complete sermon packages incuding video/drama skits, etc. No study or Holy Spirit required.
It is extremely disrespectful. I am a man, and of course I want love. And frankly, I’m not Tony Soprano. I don’t want “respect”. I want to be respectable – to have the virtue and character that should be respected. Whether a person recognizes that is on them.
Wait a second. Your church has usherettes? How much of a love offering does it cost to be issued an official Usherette title, with all rights and privileges conferred thereupon.
I ask myself that question about those churches.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
All of which would have to be purchased with after-tax (and after-tithe!) dollars if the pewpeons wanted to enjoy those. There are all kinds of freebies like babysitting, lessons for the kids, help around the house, etc. by people who either just want to bless their pastor’s family or those who want to curry favor. Regardless, the freebie perks are huge for some pastors I know.
I find your comment rude, disrespectful, and irrelevant. Not to mention untrue.
Sounds like a low-key Jesus Juke or another variation on “Just like fill-in-the-blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”
Neither of the above are a good sign.
Stick a shiv in the competition a la Amway vs “Satanic(TM)” Procter & Gamble, huh?
@ William G.:
For the sake of argument, let’s say the Orthodox Church is wrong about female ordination. That would mean that tradition trumps everything. And it means that avoiding schism is a higher priority than recognizing the equal status of women in the church. What, in your estimation would justify schism (to use your term)? How much injustice due to bad doctrine is acceptable to avoid schism, and where are the lines where schism might be necessary? Is denying the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the priesthood under the New Covenant not sufficient ground to separate, if indeed the Holy Spirit recognizes both male and female with his spiritual gifts. I can’t find any evidence in the Bible where the gifts are allocated by gender, so it would have to be a matter purely of tradition which was formed within a cultural context of patriarchy. Put another way, church practice and tradition is determined by sinful human traditions. In your opinion, is outward and organizational unity the highest good if, in fact, church tradition has got this woman thing totally wrong, just like it has other things?
I happen to agree with you that forcing the issue on a congregation is wrong. Just as wrong, in fact, as forcing women into a subordinate status. The right thing is for all people to honor what the Holy Spirit has gifted people to do and to honor the King as the one who rules his church rather than intermediaries who are governed by tradition. That’s my opinion.
That is a really odious belief.
The same Holy Spirit who resides in men resides in women. They are inadvertently insulting the third member of the Trinity with their sexist views.
Submission, Calvinism and Chauvinism in the Dictionary
True story. I know someone who really needed a good used car and knew about a mega church pastor who used a members leasing company to deal with his car stuff. He had originally planned to have the company ready the car for his son but decided it was not big enough for him. So he told me to tell this person to go and get it for ____ price he had been quoted for his son which is rock bottom for such a car.
I went with this person to get it and the leasing folks were furious. They regaled us with how much work they had done on the car for the mega church pastors son –including all sorts of things like top of the line new tires, etc.
After the rant, my friend just said, I think Jesus Christ is thrilled because there is no way I could ever afford to do that and I desperately need a low priced car to get to work.
So were the leasing company trying to curry favor with the mega pastor and giving his special favors? You bet. Hee Hee. God works in mysterious ways.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Some Christians term it in a different way, but I have heard or seen “Christ esteem.”
Some Christians phrase it differently, like, “your identity in Christ.”
I just find phrases like those rather ambiguous and am not completely sure what Christians mean when they use them.
I can take a stab at it and guess what they mean by it – to a point, I think I know what they mean, but I find those phrases hokey or too vague to be of much use.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
I didn’t know that was the source of the P&G satanic panic. I do remember Amway being a big thing among some Christians, but haven’t heard much lately about them. Same thing with Mary Kay. I guess certain churches, like SGM, learned the MLM lesson well.
When I taught at public high schools, coaches would demand that I give certain do-nothing football/basketball players passing grades so that they would meet the criteria to play in the next big game. No way would I give someone who did absolutely nothing a 6-week 70% average for sweeping the classroom floor 2 days before the game!!!
Love is something that is freely given. Respect is something that must be earned.
Why do these comp/pat males have to play “roles” to feel like real men!
Without woman there would be no man since God has seen fit to propagate the human race through the womb of a woman. Likewise, without man there would not be woman since the seed of the man is needed to propagate the human race. BOTH NEED EACH OTHER.
Condescension! As if women don’t carry highlighters with them.
How many men do you know that carry highlighter with them???
And there ya go. In Comp/Pat world, men don’t have to work by the sweat of their brow, but women ABSOLUTELY MUST be keepers of the home.
Interesting article that references Sovereign Grace and the Nate Morales trial. It is from an ex-christian perspective:
Thank you, Gram. Excellent observation. You have given me much to think about.
Nancy, good point!
An Attorney wrote:
Well, John Knox would have agreed with King James, when he wrote, “First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.”
Ken these are the very words of God in Leviticus 20:10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.” So based on your interpretation of Scripture this should still be done.
And these are the very words of God as well.
Drink water no longer, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake, and for your frequent infirmities. (no more water for us….)
If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. (no more restaurants)
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments (no more gold jewelry, no pearl necklaces, can’t have braids)
Greet one another with a holy kiss. (don’t try to get away with a handshake…)
Context…context…context! We must also understand the author’s intent and how it would be understood by those hearing the message.
Because they are small and insecure on the inside and rather than healing the broken places within themselves they feel compelled to make women smaller for their own comfort and to protect themselves.
Missed this. Have to touch on it.
No, these are the very words of Paul in Ephesians who had a revelation of Who Jesus Christ. In Ephesians Paul was and was trying to pass that understanding onto the Church of Ephesus. Paul was trying to make the very words of Jesus (The direct and actual words of God in red) found in Matthew 20:25-28 comprehensible to a culture steeped in hierarchy, patriarchy, and misogyny.
Yes, Paul was speaking on God’s behalf to the Ephesians. So he represents God’s heart on the matter making Ephesians part of the Word of God. But you have to understand that taking it out of the context of the culture that it was written to and taking out of the context of the rest of counsel of Scripture does not a good doctrine make. Taking it out of context as you do turns it into something that does NOT represent the heart of God, thereby making it null and void and NOT the word of God.
“Had a revelation of Who Jesus Christ was.” Sorry.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
Hmmm. Well I certainly do not mind being rude and disrespectful and in fact I think that this is perfectly appropriate on occasion. However, let me add this. In attributing biological drives to the motivation to marry I am not alone nor did I make that up. If one googles the question as to why women marry one finds quite a list of reasons, most of which I consider to be ill advised and just short of pathetic. These are mixed with lists of biological reasons including the ‘female time clock’ and also sex and also the desire to make a home, which constitute biological nesting for our species. I do not find it pathetic to be a biological entity who responds to biological drives, only within the limits of one’s religious beliefs of course. In fact, I think that these biological drives are god-given and healthy. And as to attributing much middle aged angst to hormone problems, that is a given in medical thinking, and a multimillion dollar aspect of the pharmaceutical industry.
Some of the other reasons frequently listed and frequently seen include but are not limited to: everybody in her circle is doing it, money, status, family and societal pressures, or the comp reasoning that says she needs an overseer–that sort of thing is what I think is degrading and pathetic for women. As to ‘romance’ it depends. If a woman has a life script which includes marriage, and she finds somebody she respects and, yes, desires, then romance can come into play and can be a good thing. But the ‘romance’ of the bad boy that she runs off with while confusing the excitement of adventure with the excitement of love, that is the dark side of romance.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
It’s the combination of the word self with the word esteem. When the expression is more or less a synonym of self-love. The antidote to it is
Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others (some versions: esteem others) better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
If you mean self-respect, and treating others with due respect, them I’m with you 100%. This is not the same thing though.
“The law and the prophets were in force until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urged to enter it”.
Not all women marry due to the biological clock, hormones, etc.
You may not have said “all” women, but your comments are never the less being applied to a broad category of people whom you refer to as “women.”
As a matter of fact, more and more women are either opting out of marriage these days, or delaying age of first marriage until their 30s or older, while some want to be married but cannot find a partner. These things are also true for many NonChristian women.
Among the Christian talking heads, they are shaming and screaming at young Christians to marry young because some of the talking heads have finally caught on to the fact that marriage is not happening, which panics them, for various reasons.
So rather than all these women running out and marrying due to hormones and so on, as you have advocated, there’s actually a shift in culture where a lot of women are either intentionally or unintentionally not marrying and/or not having children.
If I am not mistaken, I don’t think Dr. FP was asking in general “why do women marry,” but IIRC, (I’m too lazy to find his initial post on this page), he was dancing around in particular about this:
“Why would any Christian woman marry a gender complementarian man, or into a complementarian church, knowing how oppressive, condescending, and sexist such men and churches tend to be”
Or, to put it another way, gender comps expect any woman of any background (atheist or whatever) to show nothing but complete obedience to a husband (they think this is God’s intent for marriage or married women), so why would any woman knowingly want to walk into a marriage with the mindset that she is going to be a doormat to a spouse, because this is rife for setting her up to be used or abused.
And that is a different question from a more general inquiry of, “Why do some women marry.”
There is also a male biological clock.
Studies have come out in the last number of years that show that men’s sperm gets worse and worse in quality as they reach and surpass 40, and they (older men) tend to father babies who have Down’s Syndrome and other issues.
Men Have Biological Clocks, Too
Go to google and type or paste in the phrase “Male Biological Clock” and a billion more blog posts, news articles, and studies on that topic turn up.
Also, as a woman who is getting into middle age or will be in several years time – I’m sorry but this idea that I’m a ball of hormones and in angst does sound a little sexist and insulting.
It’s like accusing younger women of being catty b’s because they are supposedly undergoing PMS all the time.
Just because some studies or stereotypes chalk female anger up to P.M.S. does not mean it is so. It’s a way of discounting legitimate (not hormone driven) female anger.
I don’t feel particularly angsty or hormonal.
No, that is not so.
Having self esteem is not the same as narcissism or arrogance, but you’re making it out to be so.
I have developed self esteem in the last few years, and I’m ten times happier and mentally healthier as a result.
I also realized other conservative Christian concepts are flawed and kept me in bondage, including, but not limited to, gender complementarianism, the idea that one should only use prayer/Bible to treat depression, etc.
Once I realized all that stuff (and other things) are wrong, I’ve been more at peace in some ways. Life became less of a struggle.
You have a very flawed understanding of self esteem. I think you’d benefit from some books by Christian psychiatrists Cloud and Townsend.
But you are still picking and choosing which portions of the OT and NT you think are binding today.
Someone else quoted NT bits at you that most Christians today don’t follow… why are those portions ignored by Christians, yet gender comps want to uphold certain other NT passages as being timeless and for everyone?
If I read you all (gram3 and lydia and now you) correctly about the culture at Ephesus, that is to say if I understand what each of you is saying, it appears that you all do not agree on just what exactly was the culture at Ephesus which requires us to discount what Paul was saying and/or what the application of it might be. You characterized the Ephesian culture as ” a culture steeped in hierarchy, patriarchy, and misogyny.” I believe that gram3 and Lydia are emphasizing just the opposite, that the cult of Artemis was a culture of goddess worship including the idea that the female was created (born) first and that Paul was specifically addressing the too much emphasis on women apparently, not the too little emphasis. They seem to have said that he offered the alternative understanding that the male was created first but that the presumed importance of this was tempered with much else of what he said about the new life in Christ.
So I am confused. I am under the impression that you are all saying that what Paul wrote to the Ephesians, and to Timothy as part of that, should not apply to our culture today, but the arguments as to what exactly it was about Ephesus that would uphold that conclusion seem to vary.
Here is a thing that bothers me about the arguments from culture. Perhaps you can resolve this. Everything in the NT was at a time and in places that had very different cultures from ours. If we make some blanket argument that something addressed to issues in a different culture cannot apply to us, or to any culture except the originally targeted group, then that eliminates the entire NT right along with the entire OT. That’s absurd? Not really, since there are those who say that the statements of Jesus which he made before his death/resurrection were all directed at Jews and therefore do not apply to us. Somebody who comments here, I think, has held this view and perhaps would like to further comment–I may have misunderstood.
Okay, so I am asking you to resolve what appear to be disagreements between you three, and I am also asking you to articulate a general argument as to why something said within the context of a different culture would necessarily need to be rejected in toto as even potentially applicable in other cultures.
My position, by way of disclosure, is that an understanding of the culture of the original target audience would be important in establishing an understanding of the writings of scripture but that blanket rejection based solely on the culture of the original target audience, without considering other issues, would be excessive. In other words, just as not all of it is applicable to here and now even so not all of it needs to be summarily dismissed as not for us. It is more complicated than that.
There are those, who totally reject scripture for reasons including errors, and cultural contexts, and linguistic issues, and variations between manuscripts and at an emotional level because scripture did not furnish the with answers they needed or wanted. I get that. (Been reading Bart Ehrman.) At the opposite extreme is Chicago style inerrancy. I get that also. (Was exposed to that as a child.) I am neither, which is one reason that I am trying to understand how you all conclude what you conclude while there are others who look at the same information and come to other conclusions.
Can you please provide some examples which support your claim about single men getting more respect just because they are men.
So you think that you can completely ignore one aspect of what I said while zeroing in on another and that I won’t notice?
The point is, what Jesus said written in red should not be ignored.
HOWEVER this is exactly what you and Ken do when pushing the words of Paul to the neglect of the words of Jesus.
Jesus is the bedrock that the apostles and prophets build their foundation on.
Compism builds it’s house on the sands of the traditions of men ignoring completely what Jesus said.
I’m not ignoring what Paul says. I’m lining it up with what Jesus said using Jesus as the bedrock. Paul is not setting up a household order. He’s speaking to the already established order and bringing Jesus into it. He is bringing Matthew 20 into the Greco-Roman household that included husbands, wives, children, and slaves. And he does so beautifully. I’m not ignoring what Paul is saying. I’m not throwing it away. Me not interpreting it the way tradition demands is not throwing anything away. I’m understanding it, seeing it for what it is as it sets on the Bed Rock of Jesus Christ. I’m reconciling what appears to be a contradiction in scripture.
Also, that attitude of submission that Paul instructs the Ephesians to engage in still applies today to everyone. Ephesians 5:21.
You, however, completely ignore the words of Jesus and any influence it might have on what Paul says. And you make Matthew 20 and Ephesians 5 contradict. You take the words of Paul alone and place it on a foundation of sand. You place it on the foundation of the traditions of men and make Matthew 20 null and void by your traditions and interpretation of Ephesians 5.
Mark 7:7 ‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.
There is no footnote in Matthew 20 saying that what Jesus said didn’t apply to male/female, husband/wife relationships. This has been added by tradition.
So, if you are going to try to accuse me of throwing away scripture, you are going to have to do a way better job than this.
Christian self-esteem is realizing that we are new creatures in Christ and that we are greatly loved and have great personal dignity due to being created in God’s image. It is *also* not thinking more highly of ourselves than we should and esteeming others more than ourselves. That is a great reason why Female Subordinationism is contrary to both the Bible and the Gospel. Males are esteeming themselves as more valuable and possessing more agency than females while teaching that females are *by nature* easily deceived and desire to usurp the place of their husbands. Females within this system are taught to esteem themselves as less than daughters of the King. We are not greater than the sons, but we are not lesser, either. To forfeit what God has given me and put the gifting of the Holy Spirit up on the shelf dishonors God who both gave the gifts and redeemed me and adopted me. To deny my personal agency is to deny part of the image of God, and that further dishonors him. All so that some males can feel more valuable while accusing females who want to be properly esteemed of being “feminists” who want to take over. It is just as wrong to under-value a person as to over-value a person.
Webster’s College Dictionary definition>>>>>
self-esteem: self-respect. Period. The end. That’s all it says.
The Greek culture, as a whole, was patriarchal and misogynistic. The Ephesian Artemis cult elevated the importance of women, especially virgins, and denigrated motherhood. At the same time, Ephesus was a huge port city with variety of cultures, just like most port cities.
I am not advocating that we toss out what the Bible says but rather that we seek to understand what the authors intended to convey that is timeless and universal. The fact is that people of all viewpoints recognize that the gender clobber verses are difficult to synthesize with the rest of the Bible. So, you get people who are stuck on 1 Timothy 2:15 because we know from the rest of the Bible that people are not saved by giving birth, and we are not saved by works of any kind if we are sola fide. Nevertheless, that verse is integrally connected grammatically to the clobber verses of 2:11-12 which are taken in their “plain sense” while 2:15 is plainly *not* taken in its plain sense. A reasonable interpreter without an agenda would stop right there and work through the issues carefully.
The “appeal to the order of Creation” argument is not grounded in the actual Creation accounts since female subordination does not occur there. So, what some people think it is “plainly” saying is nowhere found in the rest of the Bible. Further, the “women are more easily deceived” argument doesn’t work with Paul’s reference in 2 Corinthians to the entire church there being vulnerable to deception just as Eve was deceived. In that instance, at the very least, Paul views Eve as an example of someone who was deceived which led to ruin.
So, the question is, how do we synthesize all of this material so that it makes the most sense without resorting to special pleading or begging the question or reading our presuppositions into the texts or using two different hermeneutics on verses that are joined grammatically? How do we make sense out of the weird instructions to women to have babies which some have taken as a command for women? Most of us are pretty sure that is not a universal command, so what does it mean?
Given the nature of the Ephesian Artemis Virgin Warrior Woman cult and the fact that Paul indicates at the beginning of the letter that his concern is about false teaching and deception, I think that the verses that seem weird to us make sense in light of the beliefs of the indigenous religion at Ephesus which match up exactly with the “weird” instructions that Paul gave. Women, don’t bring your warrior woman attitude into the church. Don’t spread the false teaching from house to house. Learn before you seize control of the mic. Go ahead and have babies–that’s a good thing, not a bad thing as the Artemis cult taught. Women are not wiser, like Artemis, than men. Women are not superior to men even though Artemis was deemed superior to Apollo because she was born first and midwifed his birth (and the flip side is that males do not have priority because the Man was created first, either.) The woman teaching this false doctrine before she had learned would, nevertheless, be saved (just like everyone else) through The Childbearing which was promised to the first Woman who was deceived. Those deceived women, just like everyone else, will be saved if they persevere in the faith.
Reading Paul’s instructions through that lens does not force artificial interpretations or require hermeneutical gymnastics. It simply recognizes that he was addressing the syncretism of the indigenous religion with the true faith of Christianity. That is a problem which the Christian faith has always faced. So, it is not necessary to say that Paul was a misogynist because, when viewed through the circumstances he was likely addressing at Ephesus, he was not making universal statements about women nor was he making universal proscriptions on their teaching of males. He was addressing local problems.
The principles which are universal which can be extracted from the pastoral instructions include not teaching before you have learned, not taking authority which has not been granted or recognized, being aware of the false teaching and rejecting it while living a life conformed to Christ’s image, which was Paul’s point in Ephesians.
The primary problem, IMO, is that we are not treating culture appropriately. It is vital to understand the culture (including language) into which the instructions were given so that we do not misunderstand and then misapply in our own culture what the Bible is teaching. If someone holds to a conservative view of the nature of the Bible, that person should want to understand the Bible in such a way that the entire canon is consistent because God is consistent. Obviously, if one does not take that view of the Bible, total consistency is not necessary. The problem for “conservatives” who take a pick-and-choose hermeneutical approach or who liberally employ eisegesis when it is convenient is that they have, in effect, made themselves the authors or editors of the Bible. And that, in principle, is no different than the approach taken by “liberals.” If “liberals” did what the “conservatives” do, the “conservatives” would be apoplectic. But somehow, when “conservatives” do it, it is OK. I’m saying that a conservative who seeks to conserve the integrity of the Biblical revelation (integrity meaning internal consistency given the presupposition of inerrancy of the originals) would not engage in this kind of misuse of the texts. And that is why I focus my attention on the “conservatives” who are actually nothing of the kind with respect to the texts themselves. They wish to conserve the status quo which benefits them.
Men are more valued than women in gender comp churches regardless of marital status.
Even outside of churches, in secular culture, men do not get nearly as much pressure to marry and be parents as women do, and this is sure true of most conservative denominations.
Christians view never- married, infertile, or CF women as being failures, as not having fulfilled their “greatest role” in life, which is supposedly to have kids.
Men don’t get that sort of pressure from churches, because owning ovaries is considered an obligation to produce and carry babies.
Men have more avenues to serve and lead in churches, though married ones usually get top preference.
This stuff is based on my personal experiences of attending churches, reading numerous Christian blogs, books, magazines over the years, reading anecdotes by other singles on other blogs, in books, etc.
Single men have it bad in Christian churches, but single women have it a tad worse than the men because in gender comp churches,
Men > (greater than) women
I would not make that kind of argument. Rather I would say that a blanket “application” to all cultures of the “application” given to a specific culture is an error in interpretation of the Bible. Tossing out a particular interpretation/application is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be a very good thing if the interpretation/application has been wrong, even if it has been wrong for a very long time and has become part of Tradition. That is exactly what tripped up some of the Jews at the time of Jesus. They had a particular view of the nature of God which did not include a Triune possibility. Many of them missed their Messiah because he claimed to be one with the Father and claimed to exist before Abraham. For the Jews who believed, tossing out the traditional unquestioned understanding was a very good thing. Same with the Southern Protestant churches and slavery. Until lots of people died in a war, most Christians did not question the idea that one class of people were ordained by God to rule over another class of people. For their own good, of course. Benevolent, servant-rulership. It was still very wrong.
Oh, I agree with what all you said.
When I say I have developed self esteem in the last few years, I hope I did not give the impression I think I am better than or more important than other people (because I don’t think I am better than, or more important than everyone).
In my Christian upbringing, I was often exposed to the opposite idea, that I am a piece of dirt.
(And some Christians, in some traditions, like to harp on the “we are all lowly sinners, dirty lowly worms who don’t deserve God or grace” view, even when talking to people who already know Jesus.)
Sometimes, the messages I got (implied or out right) about having low value was based on non-gender specific teaching that everyone got, and at other times, it was implied in gender complementarian teachings, that women are not as valued or good as men.
I’ve read “Boundaries: When to Say Yes; When to Say No to take Control of Your life.”
It’s proven invaluable for me.
I think your last paragraph there explains why I get so hung up on some of you folks’ reasoning. I do not hold the view of scripture which the people you call conservative hold, and it seems totally reasonable to me to tolerate some apparent inconsistencies and more than reasonable to have some authorities other than scripture get into interpretation and application, like for instance tradition and the church. I think that I have not grasped the real extent of how that difference affects a whole lot of things. Like, the idea of picking and choosing what applies or does not apply. That has looked to me like what you all have been doing, using the cultural background argument as a way to do that, while all the time denying that this is what is happening. Actually, though, that may be a misperception on my part. If one says that such and thus is not really what the bible was saying/meaning in the first place then it would not be picking and choosing. So when you and I arrive at similar conclusions from entirely different viewpoints, that would make sense. I think I have misjudged your thinking on this matter, and I think that I can see where you are coming from.
Then too this argument about Ephesus, for me, sounds a lot like the argument as to why we must all be cessationists because after all that was Corinth (there) and the apostles were still alive (then) and this on the other hand is here and now. That argument was big in the day-perhaps still is. So when people come along and start saying that was then and there and this is now and here I start to break out in hives trying to process the arguments. Because I start to think that this also is not Jerusalem of then or Rome of then and where does it stop? And whatever was happening on Patmos that may have had an impact on John’s understanding of his vision, that was then and there. That approach has its uses, but an be subject to excesses, IMO. Your arguments about Ephesus sound substantive however.
Gram, thanks. The core issue then would be what is the bible and how to approach it, and that affects the entire arguments from then on. I missed that aspect of it while getting entangled in what comes after that. But when you said “Obviously, if one does not take that view of the Bible, total consistency is not necessary.” I thought-that is it. That is the missing link. Alright then, I feel better with some answers. I love your comments here; keep up the good work, and thanks for the reply.
I was typing and did not see this until I posted the comment. Not ignoring this.
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
Not untrue at all. I think that biological hard wiring can be shown to have a great deal to do with human sexuality. It’s the drive to do the deed that keeps the race (human) alive. If it were no more pleasurable and sought after than getting the wheat and barley crop in, why do it?
In my church,
*Single women may: sing in the choir, work in the kitchen, and give brief testimonies from their pew seats
*Single men may: sing in the choir, work in the kitchen, lead in prayer, preach from the pulpit, give their testimonies at length from the pulpit, teach classes, serve as ushers, serve as greeters …..
An Attorney wrote:
This is demonstrably false. I’ll give you an example from Ephesians:
…far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.
This is the same combination of the submit (put under) and head words as found in chapter 5. I think you could hardly argue the idea of authority in the word head is not the primary idea here. The alternative idea of ‘origin’ or ‘source of nourishment’ just doesn’t make sense in this context. The principalities and powers and spiritual forces of wickness in the heavenly places needed to be overcome, not nourished! So I don’t think the original audience would have understood it this way.
Another occurance of head is
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.
Arguably there is a mixture of head as in direction and the head as in giving nourishment here, so I don’t think the idea of nourishment is wholly absent from the word. But when used opposite submit, it means what it has traditionally been thought to believe when the word is used metaphorically. You cannot simply substitute source for head in Eph 5, it doesn’t make sense. The husband is not a river. And it doesn’t get rid of the wife’s submission if there is a felt need to get rid of this.
I have in my time read a fair amount about this controversy, and frankly feel a bit jaded about it. Endless claim and counter-claim, sometimes quite partisan. I’ve never learnt Greek and the Internet is no substitute. One thing I am sure of is that head in Eph 5 does not mean ‘Lord it over’ let alone subjugate, and when I think of that chapter I primarily think of the oneness, cherish and nourish element virtually to the exclusion of an authority relationship. The word head in this chapter is intended for blessing, it is for building up and not tearing down.
I’m not against changing the traditional translation if new information requires it, but not if this is to create a target text in line with what the modern customer wants. That’s not something translators should ever do!
However, it is much more difficult for men to enter the kingdom of God, because:
“… Christ through his apostle is asking more of the husband here than the wife ….” , and, “… The wife will give account if, rather than ‘submit’, she was assertive or semi-independant ….”
All a woman must do to enter the kingdom is accept Christ as her savior and be a mindless, obedient, subservient species with respect to her husband – much like the relationship between a dog and its master.
A man however, not only has to answer for his own behavior, but also the behavior of his dog. If the dog is not submissive and obedient, the man must pay for the damage that results from his not having command of his dog.
I appreciate that comment.
You and many others use the word ‘comp’ for the view you disagree with. I would recognise 3 shades of opinion on what egalitarian means:
Gram3 type, will argue from the text of the bible. I certainly have more in common with her than your outright patriarch.
Those who take their egalitarianism as a given from the secular culture around them and use it as a grid to interpret the bible
Rachel Held Evans’ type egalitarianism, where from what I have read of her, she has an axe to grind against evangelicalism and sometimes actively sides with the enemies of the faith. (If you don’t agree, fine.)
I reckon there are similar distinctions within the so-called comp community, and this kind of generic labelling can be as inaccurate as the label ‘charismatic’ can be. There is a clear difference between the UK and the US on this issue imo.
Just thought of these pages…
These pages may address aspects of your comments:
10 Ways Male Privilege Shows Up In the Church
Is Marriage a Ministry Qualification
From another page at that site:
1. Recognize the implied status of married men in the church
My wife tell me that on her seminary campus she often sees masculine language on ads for pastors and other church jobs.
Almost exclusively, these churches wanted married men—not single. I will be seeking ordination upon graduation (probably alongside my wife, and I know that I am much more likely to be hired if I am married.
Women are barred from leadership positions in comp churches, period – but some amount of respect is bestowed on married mothers. Single / childfree women never get that respect.
Yes, they have some good material.
Having healthy boundaries is something that applies to both genders, but gender complementarianism presses and pressures women to lack boundaries and be codependent (to neglect their own needs, feelings, and safety, and usually at that to please a man (husband)).
My own mother believed that being a doormat (tied in with gender complementarian views of women) was necessary to being a good Christian woman.
Having healthy boundaries (which is one basis of self esteem) is not an unbiblical concept.
Ken should probably read some of those books -they are chalk full of biblical verses to back up the claims made by the authors.
I prefer secular books on these topics myself. They tend to get straight to the point. I find the constant references to Bible verses somewhat distracting myself.
But I recommend the Cloud and Townsend books because they are Christians, and Christians like Ken seem reluctant to trust or read material by Non-Christian psychiatrists or authors, even though they all pretty much agree on the same points.
Hmm, I think you must have a different definition of self-esteem than most of us.
Muff Potter wrote:
Someone up thread was tying biology to women only, however, not “why do people have sex.”
The original question was basically “why do Christian women marry gender comp men knowing what sexist pigs those men are.’
Where upon another commentator basically responded (and I agreed with Dr. F that this is sexist and simplistic):
“Women marry because they are irrational air heads and ditz balls whose hormones make them nuts and illogical, plus they are desperate to make a kid, they are too enamored with desire and romance novels, so they marry the first loser who comes along. Women are idiots at marriage and love; it’s science and biology and hormones!!”
That was how that person’s reasoning came across to me and Dr. F, even though that person may not have intended it to sound that way.
And I replied that my hormones and desires did not control me in my relationship. I ditched my loser ex because he was a loser. I used my brain to call the wedding off. My desire for marriage did not trump my intellect and reasoning.
I have no problem with you disagreeing with me whatsoever. But this really isn’t the way to do it.
Both of which are out-of-balance, just in opposite directions.
“The Devil sends sins in matched opposing pairs, so that in fleeing one we embrace the other.”
— either C.S.Lewis or G.K.Chesterton
The fact that “Self-Esteem(TM)” was THE psychobabble fad in education for 10-20 years doesn’t help. Only confuses the issue further.
Cloud and Townsend also have a book entitled “Boudaries in Marriage”.
Thanks, Nancy! The one I mentioned covers chapters on boundaries with family, friend, spouse, children, employment associates and yourself. Not being married, a whole book on the topic doesn’t seem beneficial for me.
As are these: “”If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30″If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30.
Hopefully…since eyes and right hands tend to be useful.
I think that is true, and that is why I state that inerrancy is a presupposition which I have based on my understanding of what the nature of the Bible is. Lots of people mistake that view with the inerrancy of any particular interpretation. I also agree that people can get to the same conclusion via very different routes, and this is a big problem with the issue we are discussing. The route is confused with the destination.
The Female Subordinationists say that mutualism is invalid because Female Subordinationism was rejected first by the “liberals.” So therefore mutualism is false. That is very sloppy reasoning, but there it is in a nutshell. If someone analyzes things that way, there is no way that you can get them to even think about the actual issue which is whether something is actually true.
The abolitionsists came to their conclusions via different routes including reading the Bible’s Big Picture while secular abolitionists got there via the ideas of secular egalitarianism. The Christian slavery apologists said that, therefore, the abolitionist position was a godless one which would lead to social chaos. No one would defend that position today, with the possible exception of Doug Wilson and some of his buddies. Not one of the mainstream Female Subordinationists would defend slavery on those grounds, but that is precisely what they are doing with their sacred doctrine of male priority. I suspect it will not take 200 years to figure out they are full of themselves and some hot air rather than the Spirit of Christ.
Another way of looking at problem passages is to ask whether a position leads to an absurd result. That is why most mainstream Female Subordinationists do not think that 1 Corinthians 14 is an absolute and universal proscription on female speech in the church assembly. However they take the view that female authoritative speech is forbidden when directed at males. Let’s imagine a male false teacher came into an assembly where there were women who knew the Bible very well. Under Female Subordinationism, for those women to correct that male false teacher by refuting his false teaching publicly would be a sin. It would be more righteous, under their system, for the women to defer to the male false teacher and keep their silence. Perhaps they might be permitted to ask their husbands to refute the false male teacher.
This is an absurd result of consistently adhering to their absolute system. Better for a false male teacher to go unrefuted than to be corrected by a female! The huge point they are ignoring is the instruction for all believers, male and female, to grow into maturity so that we are all capable of refuting false teaching which originates from either males or females. They have their blinders on, and that is why they are swallowing the camel while screeching about a gnat in their soup.
Good observation, Daisy! When Mr. Tree says, “I love you, Mrs. Tree”, he is not thrilled when I respond, “I respect you, Mr. Tree.”
I was just saying that the book exists.
Please pardon the complete quote. I tried to only select the portion I wanted (Daisy’s own words about women and men both wanting love and respect) but I missed a necessary step.
I think this is the most insightful thing I have read in days, maybe weeks.
Oh…ok, Nancy. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
You’re basically asking for examples of a “given”…similar to “please provide some examples where the sun did not rise in the East this morning”. Perhaps it would be better for you to provide some examples within the modern evangelical church where single and married women are afforded as much respect as single men…if that is your position.
I don’t think that applies to anyone here, or to most egals.
I am a former gender comp who rejected gender comp based upon rereading the Bible and seeing that the Bible does not support gender comp, and by seeing that gender comps often read secular cultural ideas and sexist back into the biblical text.
I don’t agree with RHE on a lot of things, but on this one point, I have to say;
I don’t think this is a fair way of stating things.
Gender comp is nothing but secular sexism with biblical jargon sprinkled upon it.
So you can’t complain about former evangelical women who have an ax to grind against comp (it’s unfair to do this), or blame them – especially if YOU were the victim.
Comp hurts men and women, but in some ways, it harms women the most, so you are not as harmed by it as women are. Men get more freedoms and privileges under comp than women. You sound largely unsympathetic about this.
Comp is used to oppress women, Ken.
It’s not biblical or godly at all.
You’d have an ax to grind against it as well, if it was being used to keep you as a permanent second class citizen in the church.
In response to “please provide some examples in which single men are given more respect than women just because they are men”, I will list some instances in my own church. You might think of these instances as showing “preference” rather than demonstrating “respect”, but I’m thinking of it in terms of the Jesus Christ/ the Holy Spirit being “no respecter of persons”.
For a Sunday morning worship service, you may (or may not) see a woman sing in the small worship team or play a musical instrument. There will be plenty of men of various ages every Sunday. You may (or may not) hear a woman give an announcement about a women’s ministry event or a children’s ministry event. You may (or may not) hear a woman or girl read the focal scripture passage of the day’s sermon.
You will definitely hear a man preach. On the days when our pastor is away, you will hear a male guest minister or a fill-in male member of the congregation, usually an elder. Only men are elders.
You will definitely hear a male lead the music and song portion of the morning. One thing I liked about this small non-denom church when we first began attending twelve years ago was that there were a couple of women who had regular turns leading. This hasn’t happened in maybe ten years and neither of those women still attend.
You will hear a man give the welcome greeting. A man will offer all the prayers that are voiced. A man will give the day’s announcements. (See above for the occasional exception.) A man will be stationed at each door to hand out bulletins and greet people as they arrive–I have heard it said that “women can be greeters” but I just have never seen it.
A man will give the remarks before communion and offering. Never a woman. There is a rotating slate of a wide variety of men, not just elders, and some are good at it and others are not as good. But they are given opportunity if they want it.
A man or boy may read the scripture passage, or if long, a husband and wife may both read in turn. (See above–sometimes only a woman or girl will read.)
Far and away, the most obvious demonstration of greater respect being shown to males (or “preference” if you wish) happens during the passing of the communion plates and the offering plates. There is a very large slate of men and boys who rotate passing the plates. Almost every man and every boy who is 6th or 7th grade or above gets invited to be a plate passer. One of the things I liked about this church when we first began visiting 12 years ago was that women and girls were on the rotating plate-passer schedule. I was glad to see whole families taking a turn; as long as the kids were old enough to responsibly handle the plates, it mattered not if they were boys or girls. This changed about 10 years ago and it is now only boys and men.
All of this means that sometimes you will see a woman or girl participate in the worship service. There will be Sundays in which no women or girls will have a part. It also means that every Sunday, many boys and men are visibly participating.
Are males, whatever their age, respected more than females? These are the observable facts of any given Sunday morning worship service at my church. Draw your own conclusions.
It appears to me that the totem pole of power and privilege in many conservative churches goes something like this:
1. Married Men.
2. Single Men.
3. Married Women.
4. Single Women.
I might concede to swapping out # 2 with # 3, depending on how much marriage idolatry is placed above sexism in whatever given church is under consideration. But single women are at the lowest rung.
Exactly. The text should not be changed to suit modern tastes, like Grudem’s or the Female Subordinationists. Translators should never, ever tamper with the meaning of the text, thereby violating the trust of people who do not know the languages. I appreciate what you said about kephale where you did not make the mistake of reducing its semantic range to “authority over.” I think you are, however, missing the overall point out of an abundance of caution regarding feminism.
Is it not equally likely that the Female Subordinationists are taking female subordination as a given from the church tradition and using it as a grid to interpret the Bible? I’m guessing you would say no, but on what basis? There were “egalitarian” challenges to the dominant patriarchal culture of the church well before modern 2nd wave feminism. They didn’t have an axe to grind against evangelicalism. The only axe I have to grind against evangelicalism is first, its unseriousness and, second, its abandonment of the actual texts in pursuit of legalistic extra-biblical burdens to tie up on the backs of both men and women. I don’t care what RHE thinks any more than I care what Wayne Grudem or John Piper thinks. I care about what the Holy Spirit inspired and what Jesus exemplified.
There. Fixed it for you.
Yeah, divorced men and adolescent boys need to go somewhere between #4 and # 7!!!
Or, as I’ve seen (andcould barely believe), allowing a woman to get up and speak (preach), at some length and with a lot of insight, and THEN putting an “elder” at the pulpit immediately after she finished speaking. Said “leader” completely destroyed the impact of what the woman said by going on and on and ON, restating *her* message in a way that negated her and what she had said.
I still cannot believe the insecurity, as well as the gall, behind that little coup. It was one of the most infuriating things i have ever come across in any kind of church, in any service or meeting.
“Source” in the sense of origin is not the only meaning. We know that the Greeks regarded the head as the source of all that is necessary to sustain life, including air, water, and food. In a patriarchal culture, the “head” provided all that was necessary for the woman to live. Without a social “head” a woman had no respectable means to support herself. The one doing the providing also happened to be the “authority over” the woman, but both the authority and the woman’s inability to support herself respectably were due to the overarching patriarchal culture. And the patriarchal culture which created those realities for all women was not ordained by God. It is the product of sinful humans, and in particular, sinful male humans who wish to subjugate their women. Again, it is totally unnecessary to have absolute authority over a woman in order to provide for her, protect her, and be a servant to her in every way imaginable. The provision and protection is what is proffered as the reason for the “authority over” but that is a ruse.
Given that as well as the literary context of provision and nurturing and loving which you have cited, it is more likely than not that the meaning that should attach to “head” in this context is “provider or protector” and not “authority over” or “director.” It is not sufficient to say that, since Christ is the absolute authority over the church that the husband is the absolute authority over his wife. As I said above, to which you did not respond, if you like that metaphor and want to press “head” into that mold, then you need to accept the implications of making the metaphor mean what you say it means, namely that a wife has an absolute duty to be submissive to an abusive husband. Or she must submit even if she believes that her husband is leading her to sin, because she has no independent agency. There is no way for the Holy Spirit to speak to her or for her husband to benefit from her insight under the System. Because he determines, as her absolute authority, what constitutes sin or abuse. No amount of dancing around that reality changes what the system entails.
I’m saying that Ephesians 4 precedes Ephesians 5 and 5:21 precedes 5:22ff. If you want to change the *plain” meaning of 5:21–all believers are to have a submissive spirit toward all other believers–and you want to do that via an inference from a metaphor which is different from the way the metaphor was used in chapter 4, then there needs to be some good exegetical reason for taking that step. And if you want to ground that non-reciprocity of a submissive spirit in the nature of the master/slave or parent/child relationship, then you are going to need to explain how a husband wife relationship is at all like either of those other relationships.
I think you are not understanding the gravity of what you are actually saying about the status of wives and women and are projecting your goodwill toward women and your heart to do good to women onto the System itself. A rational woman would be foolish to agree to a System which denies her fundamental personhood. You may recoil against that sentiment due to a reaction against “feminism.” But that is the essence of what you are supporting.
For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 1Cor. 11:12
LOL, thank you. Your version may be more accurate.
I do, btw, think that conservative Christianity treats single men very shabby and horrible.
However, because there is so much more pressure on women to marry and above all to have babies (men don’t get the same amount of pressure to do this usually), women who stay single (or who divorce) and who never have kids are at the lowest of the low in the pecking order in churches.
That aspect combined with the gender comp nonsense, which is sexist, puts little to no value on women but in particular women who are unmarried and childless or childfree.
Women are really only valued in most of these churches if they 1. marry / 2. have a child, 3. are absolutely subordinate to the husband in point 1.
Your post reminds me of something similar, but my memory on it is so foggy. I can’t remember where I read it.
Some married Christian lady wrote a book with her husband, I think (or maybe she wrote it alone?). It was something about Christianity.
A church that really liked her book asked her and her husband to read parts of the book aloud and opine about it from the pulpit one Sunday, during a church service.
As the plans went on for this couple to appear, the church started to panic, thinking it would be against the Bible to allow the married lady to stand at the pulpit and read from a book she wrote or to comment on it in a Sunday service.
So the church wanted her husband to do all the talking/reading during the service, have her in a back room out of sight, and like relay any comments she may have out to her husband (like over an ear piece or mic or what not), so he could repeat what she said from the back room to the congregation in the main room.
It was something like that. It was so unnecessarily convoluted and stupid.
It would have been ten times easier for this church to just allow the lady herself to stand there and comment or read portions from her own book to the audience, but in the name of biblical gender roles and stuff, the church said ‘Nope’ to that and wanted her husband to be her “mouth piece”.
So stupid. I think the lady ended up declining their invitation, IIRC? I wish I could remember where I saw or read this.
That is fine and a point with which I agree, no one should interpret the Bible or any ancient book through a modern grid or one not consistent with the cultural context of the text itself.
Therefore, in the interests of consistency, I sincerely hope that you have absolutely nothing to do with any church that has a head pastor who leads, even one backed by a team of elders, because that also is taken as a given from the secular culture, and has no basis whatsoever in the New Testament.
Additionally, I sincerely hope that the next time your church leaders (plural leaders, as in older people generally acknowledged by the group to be stand up people, known in the Bible as “elders”, not the head pastor, because again, I sincerely hope that you are a person who is consistent in applying the scriptures literally and not interpolating modern cultural paradigms into them, such as the distinctly unbiblical and deleterious head pastor/CEO-model I cited in my previous post) exhort your church to tithe, I assume that you will upbraid them for introducing a completely unbiblical concept (in light of the NT) into the church.
Let us see if you are consistent, or if you are simply dismissive–are you must admit you sometimes unfortunately are–of a different viewpoint proposed by a bona fide Christian.
Are you telling me Ken does that? I have not gone over his posts with a great deal of care, but if he does not think all believers have not only a suggestion but a clear mandate to submit one to another, whether they be man, woman, whatever, then I am not certain I even want to waste time trying to reason with him. One who rejects 5:21 is generally pretty far down the path of destruction.
@ Law Prof:
Check some of his earlier posts in this thread…
DID rise…of course. Otherwise it makes no sense.
Ken, History shows us that patriarchal cultures were the norm in both pagan culture and even historical Christianity until not long ago in terms of history. We see the evil beginnings of Patriarchy right after the Fall in Genesis. I fear you read the OT and the NT proof texts with a prescriptive lens instead of a descriptive/cultural one.
We have not even defined egalitarian (I prefer mutualism) or “feminism”. Would women voting be considered egalitarian and bad as “secular”?
Law Prof wrote:
Like Grudem, he does not believe verse 5:21 applies to everyone in the Body of Christ. Even though it has been pointed out that further up, the topic is being filled with the Holy Spirit. He also mentioned “employees and children” as not being equals. This is the typical comp/pat argument but Philemon takes care of the “employee” part not to mention Paul advocating that slaves seek freedom if they can. And, we all know that women are not children even though that is the result of that interpretation. I do think Paul understands that most have basic common sense when it comes to children, no?
Great points. I would add some other very interesting research reqarding “Kephale” and interpreted as Head because it does mean a literal head as on your shoulders.
In the 1st Century the heart was considered the place were thinking occured and decisions were made. this makes total sense when we read the “heart” passages. About 100 years after Paul, the physician Galen made the discovery with animals that the “head” controls limbs and other body processes so the head was telling the limbs what to do. After that, thinking slowly started to change. This really helps when interpreting the “heart” passages, too. The “head” was considered the source for the body to operate as in eating, drinking, etc. It was sort of a catch all for provision for another person. It does not seem to be considered the “source” for thinking, decision making.
Ken, the worst thing we can do is start with the culture around us as a guide to interpret scripture. That is exactly what the entire comp/pat movement has done.
We can, however, seek to understand 1st Century cultural context. That is a total game changer because juxtaposing the proof texts against that culture shows just how radical Christianity was in freeing women out of patriarchal bondage within the Body. They were to be different than the surrounding patriarchal culture. They were aghast Jesus was traveling around the region with married and unmarried women.
The exact same arguments you put forth were used to keep women from the vote and earlier to keep slavery in place. Surely you can see that?
Then sadly, I do not care to waste my time with a fool such as Ken.
Law Prof wrote:
And I’ve already signed off on Grudem years ago. Anyone who does not think we ought not to all submit one to another in a Body of Believers is an extraordinarily dangerous knave, one who fits the very definition of divisive, inasmuch as they want to hack up the Body of Christ into greater and lesser pieces, much like they hack up the Trinity into greater and lesser pieces and, being the cowards they are, hide behind code words such as “ontological”. As they are divisive, we are to have nothing to do with them. That’s putting it crisply.
A monstrous lie.
Oddly enough, in one of his books C.S. Lewis criticizes the appeal to “self-respect” to keep young people from sinning. Here, he means the attempt to paint sinful behaviour as being beneath our dignity — in other words, an appeal to pride.
This just goes to show how much depends on the meanings we attach to terms. In that spirit… When I say “self-esteem” I mean the attitude of believing that I am precious and worthy, and that nothing will ever change that. “Self-esteem” means simply trusting in my own self-worth, no matter what I accomplish (or fail to accomplish), what my circumstances are, or what anyone says about me.
Daisy has already told us all how valuable this concept has been to her well-being (assuming she defines is as I do). It also supported and sustained me through the experience of cruelty from my peers in my youth. It was mostly something I learned through Mr. Rogers and other kids shows on TV, rather than through the Bible; my upbringing wasn’t very religious. At the same time, I find that this notion of self-esteem is consistent with Christianity, and the immense value that we have in the eyes of God.
I think that an understanding of our own self-worth is an essential part of self-protection — protecting ourselves from domineering, totalitarian types. More specifically, I think that women need self-esteem in order to protect themselves from domineering and hurtful men.
@ Law Prof:
I think that what you have said may not have been exactly well thought out if you mean the body of Christ as a whole. Firstly, did you really mean that double negative in sentence 2? I am assuming that it is a typo for the sake of what I am about to say. If by “body of believers” you meant the entire church, as opposed to only conservative evangelicalism, then there is something here that needs mentioned.
In my local church and in my denomination in general (episcopal) we are much more inclusive than the denom in which I was raised (baptist). Speaking about my local church, and within that context, there are people sitting on our pews that would be made to feel unwelcome elsewhere. For this we have been criticized and bedamned by the ‘conservatives’ in evangelical churches–this is common knowledge.
This inclusivity may be in behavior or social status or opinion. Example: we had a middle aged homosexual male couple who attended and participated and whom folks thought it was a good thing that we were good with their presence, until one of them was found dead and the other was arrested for murder. This happens. These were not the only people we have whose lifestyle most people do not understand enough to know when and how to ‘submit’ to them and when to be really cautious. So friendly but cautious prevails. Another kind of example: We partner with a Moravian missions project in a section of town where one might not want to drive alone at night, and the children from that group go to summer camp with our kids. We furnish that as part of what we do there. Our youth frequently go there as a supervised group to help with the feeding program. We believe in doing this, but we would not forget that there can be problems that arise from this approach. Are we all (they and us) the church? I think so. Does that mean that all caution can be thrown to the wind regarding the larger social atmosphere they are dealing with? It does not.
Similarly in the area of ideas. We have a category of people called “baptized episcopalians” who have never been confirmed and some of whom have never familiarized themselves with anything that resembles any knowledge of christianity beyond ‘y’all come’ and ‘here is how we do it.’ We are hierarchical with a wide swath of freedom of conscience. Father S has said that he is good with freedom of conscience unless it gets to be actual heresy and there the lines are drawn. We do not as individuals ‘submit’ to somebody’s ideas when they are seriously out of line to the point of looking like actual heresy. Nobody is subjected to ridicule. We do not treat people they way some are treated by some commenters here at TWW, but we do not agree with or encourage really aberrant ideas. And no, they would not be chosen as group leaders (equivalent to SS teachers in baptistville) but would be and are welcome into the social structure of the church. And yes I know that episcopalians are divided on this (think that nut case Spong) but I am talking about my local church and how we do church.
So, back to your comment. As to who submits to whom and how that plays out: it depends on what the word ‘submit’ means. And yes, I know that you and most people here probably do not approve of how we do, or of our understanding of scripture or understanding of what ‘the church’ is and so on and so forth. Nor probably would many here approve of how we see the role of the church in the current culture of our nation at this time. That is not point I am laboring to make. I am saying that the ‘body of believers’ should not (ought not/ must not) take ‘submit’ to mean submit to the teachings of false prophets or submit to the general opinion in our culture that one idea is just as good as any other idea or submit to the current religious idea that just everybody should be trusted just because they prayed the sinners prayer (or the denominational equivalent.)
If this makes me a fool as you have called Ken, great. Back in my youth we were all trying to be ‘fools for Christ’, that was the actual terminology that was used. The catholics had their ‘saints’ and we had our ‘fools for Christ.” I never attained that level of commitment because I was always getting hung up on reasons and vocabulary and such, but perhaps before I die I can yet become a fool for Christ. I intend to keep on trying.
I am reading these threads and “isn’t it great we all don’t believe the same on this topic,” is my thought? I don’t know how one’s views on this topic can’t be influenced by the broader culture, either as a reaction against the broader culture or accommodation. Now the church is supposed to not be of this world, so a reaction against the broader culture is more acceptable. Abolitionism and egalitarianism were really a response against the broader culture when slavery the right for woman were curtailed, even to the point of not being able to own property. I would submit that complementarianism may also be a response to broader excesses of the broader
Culture. So I am a fence sitter in some ways. I want to do the right thing, and this is why I like reading the various opinions here.
Law Prof wrote:
It is important that Christians are not only ever seen to be disagreeing with each other.
Pastors/elders are not in any sense a head in the church. I regard them as foremen, there to keep the apprentices in order and teach them the job. However, they are not the manager, the overall responsibility is Higher Up. Their authority does not rest in themselves, but in the fact they are ‘those who speak the Word of God’ to the church.
Frankly, I think you have a bit of nerve to be so critical when you don’t ‘care to waste your time’ on what I say.
Read what I say first, and then call me a fool …
There is a difference between Christian egalitarianism and secular feminism.
I also find it complicated. However, comp is not necessarily ‘right’ just because it opposes excesses in the secular culture. Between two opinions, A and B, one does not say that A is wrong and therefore B is correct. Because, both A and B could be wrong. They can’t both be right but they could both be wrong. Personally I find some value in both approaches but no value at all in the excesses of either approach.
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
@ Law Prof:
First of all, we are all aware that all of the passages in the Bible where Paul speaks of women “submitting” are in letters that Paul sent to certain churches where heresy was a huge problem, mostly the church at Ephesus.
Ken’s words indicate that he believes there is a God ordained pecking order, with women at the very bottom. He said, “… what Christ is actually commanding …” Nowhere have I found in the Pauline passages concerning women + submit, have I found words to the effect “God commands”. I have found the words, “I suffer not” and “I do not permit”. I, first person, meaning Paul himself. I have also found the words, “as also saith the law”. To what law is Paul referring? The Mosaic law, the local law??? Jesus’ death shed us of the Mosaic law, and I see no other command concerning the subjugation of women in God’s laws.
Ephesians. 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” One defn of “submit” is “to defer to another’s judgement or opinion”. That defn makes more sense here than the defn “to yield authority”. Given that very few women were educated in the time of Paul and women were almost completely dependent on men, it would also make sense that the defn “to defer to another’s judgement or opinion” would carry over into verses 22 and 23.
I Thess. 5:19 “Quench not the spirit.” I guess that verse doesn’t apply to women in the comp/pat churches.
In Ephesians there is actually no command to submit to one another. “Submitting” in verse 21, the mutual one, is not a command but an illustration of what life in the Spirit looks like. There is room for wisdom because it is not, in the text, an absolute command or any kind of command. I believe that a person who strives to imitate Christ will have the attitude which was in Christ, namely submitting himself for the benefit of others. That isn’t the same thing as being a doormat or accepting every single thing about a person. The Female Subordinationists have made it into a non-reciprocal command, but that is not what the text itself says, either grammatically or in the context of the letter itself.
That is an important point. We are part of our culture. But we are also citizens of the Kingdom, and we need to make our evaluation of our culture accordingly. Neither reacting against or accommodating culture should be our goal nor should either be virtuous in itself. As you said, sometimes the broader culture was correct and the church was wrong and sometimes the church was right and the culture was wrong. We need to look at each issue apart from whether culture or the church says it is good, IMO.
This phenomenon is called “baby rabies.” I’m aware of many women who skip the marriage part and choose to become “single mothers” and live off of government support. The government has become the surrogate father.
I think this issue is covered (both behavioral and doctrinal) in several places but most clearly in 1 Tim. Some are deceived out of ignorance and some decieve on purpose. The latter are to be avoided. The former given mercy and taught correctly.
It certainly does not suggest that women in general have the problems by dent of being born female. It is also interesting how John addresses the Diotrephes problem. There are many indications we should not divorce behavior from belief over a long period.
The submission passage in Ephesians really starts with being filled with the Holy Spirit and what that would result in. Creeps, authoritarians and such love to use this passage for their own benefit. No Holy Spirit required.
A big problem for us is our church face. We don’t really know people we sit next to.
Murder is a pretty big deal whether it is homosexual couple or hetersexual couple, IMO.
And there are many men who are happy to father children and have the government support them. It isn’t a gender problem so much as it is a virtue or character problem. And now, because such behavior is considered acceptable, it has become a societal problem. Irresponsibility has become mainstream in lots of ways, and this is just one of them. To cite a non-gender trivial example, kids today are not expected to bring their own pencils to class, for pete’s sake. Parents are not expected to ensure that the kids are supplied. We used to have to go to the school store to buy our supplies if we did not have them or borrow from another kid. The teacher was not expected to be the parent and supply the kids’ needs.
People do things, including marrying, for all sorts of reasons. If someone wants something badly enough or wants to believe something badly enough, that person will disregard other considerations that might influence the decision in the other direction. That’s just plain old cognitive dissonance.
Where are the willing “sperm donors”? It is interesting how such thinking is so ingrained. When they trotted out the woman caught in adultery, they did not know include her partner.
Gram has it right. There is a huge character and responsibility problem. Not a gender issue. It is just obvious with the female so she bears the brunt of blame.
I said earlier that the husband/wife relationship is a ‘pale reflection’ of the Christ/Church relationship. The wife’s submission is ‘to the Lord’, so this is the safely check to ensure that she is not required to obey, certainly not to sin. And the husband himself is under authority of his head, and you know how this head has told the husband to bahave!
You can’t press the marriage analogy here too far, which I take to be common sense. You will reply that not all Christians have common sense, which is sadly true. You can get echoes of the shepherding/discipleship error here, where men (and it ususally is men) try to play God under the guise of ‘delegated authority’, a phrase missing from my bible.
I try not to use the word ‘authority’ in Eph 5 since the bible doesn’t, but the word head does contain this concept as an element of the meaning of the word head.
There have been some other interesting comments here, but I’m pushed for time at the moment.
No-one who is posting here is arguing for subjugation. Indeed I have specifically said more than once that submission is not subjugation. Can you really not get this into your noddle?
And what of all the men who choose to simply “sow their seed” in multiple “gardens”, then shirk the responsibilities?
Are the single mothers the only ones at fault here?
This is strange. When do the appentinces graduate?
But many do that without the special title and pay. It is unwuse to put that job into the hands of one person.
I got another kick out of this when thinking of Mohler elevating so many 28 year olds to the Foreman position teaching the 60 year old apprentices. It has been a disaster. Another reason why mutuality is so important not just with gender but age.
Why? Her summarization of your gender comp views is pretty accurate: the husband is the master, the wife is the dog in the marital relationship. The wife takes orders and commands from the husband the way a dog would from a master/owner.
You’ve already said up thread you don’t think the Bible teaches two-way submission, only one way, that the wife must submit to the man, but not vice versa (though the Bible does not teach one way submission).
In spite of the fact also your view on that is lording authority over another person, and Jesus said believers are not to lord authority, or seek authority, over each another.
This is true even among Christian places of employment.
A woman gets pregnant by her boyfriend, both of whom work at the Christian workplace, but the employer fires the woman and keeps the man.
In cases of divorce, same thing: the woman gets fired, the Christian employer keeps the man.
I’ve seen several examples of this sort of thing where the Christians penalize the woman but not the man. I’ll see if I can find you a link to at least one. I think this is one:
Teri James, Pregnant Woman Allegedly Fired For Premarital Sex, Sues Christian School
Daisy, I take it another way. I think Ken is OK with authoritarianism as long as the authority is benevolent. But it just does not work that way.
I think that is right, and he sees Female Subordinationism through the lens of his own benevolent instincts. The problem is getting behind that to look at whether the institution is itself good. There were kings who did good things, but is absolute monarchy therefore a good thing? I think not.
Probably. I thinnk it was on this thread though I have given links about how damaging Benevolent Sexism is and can be.
Sexism done with a smiley face and with good intentions is still sexism, it’s still wrong, and it still limits women.
Women Are Kind And Men Are Strong: How Benevolent Sexism Hurts Us All
Ken, here are a few things you’ve written on this thread:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil…..”
“This means the wife will give account if, rather than ‘submit’, she was assertive or semi-independent …”
“… but at the end of the age hubby will have to give an account differently from his wife, he carries the greater responsibility.”
These comments lead me to believe that you think husbands will be held responsible for their wives before the Bema Seat of Judgement. And that wives will be judged against for using their brains instead of being like original Stepford Wives.
“That said, if and when women are being treated by churches as third class citizens, I would not make light of that, and I certainly hope I haven’t upset anybody.”
You wouldn’t make light of women being treated as “third class citizens”, but it’s just fine to treat us as second class citizens???
“I agree with that, but I don’t agee that submit to one another means everyone to everyone. It can mean this, but it can also mean some out of a particular group are to submit to some others in the group.
Wherever the verb translated to submit is used, the person or institution being submitted to has no corresponding duty to submit in return ………”
So, do you believe the Apostle Paul isn’t talking about fellowship and working together to achieve a common goal, but a top-down hierarchial chain of command?
“… they are ‘those who speak the Word of God’ to the church.”
What does that mean?????
“It’s a comforting thought that there will be no blogging or discussions about this in the new heavens and the new earth, as every single one of us will finally have been straightened out on the subject, and all and any restraints currently imposed upon us because we live in a fallen world will have been removed!”
Why are those restrains imposed on us now, when we are supposed to be striving to live “Christ-like”?????
Perhaps Ken is OK with authoritarianism as long as he is one of those in authority!
Law Prof wrote:
Spot on, LawProf!
Law Prof wrote:
Actually, it’s pretty clear when you see the context of the whole chapter. Paul is advocating the types of behaviors appropriate for believers:
We should be:
* redeeming (the time) v.16
* being filled (with the spirit) v.18
* speaking (in psalms, hymns) v.19
* singing & making melody v.19
* giving thanks (to God) v.20
* submitting (to one another) v.21
And we shouldn’t see “submit” in verse 22 because it’s just not there. 🙂
Worse than this, Nancy. Wives will be judged for daring to believe they have the Holy Spirit indwelling them to teach and guide them in all things.
I have never paid any attention to the scripture in Greek texts but you all keep talking about it so I thought I would look something up. Big mistake. I find that there are several Greek texts which I could find on line and they are different from each other. Some use a form of hupotasso in verse 22 just as a form of it is used in verse 21 and some do not. How do you all decide which Greek text is the more correct?
Believe me, this is all new to me. This is not a trick. If you or any of the Greek students here can help me-for sure you all know more about it than I do.
Yup. Woman was the first animal God commanded man to subdue and dominate!
Nancy, I’m certainly not a student of Greek, but using E-Sword, I have access to at least 10 Bible translations and 7-8 commentaries. I only use the NASB but use the others for comparison. The NASB puts words that have been “added” by the translators in italics so you know they were not in the original or oldest manuscripts. So Ephesians 5:22 shows the word “submit” in italics which means it has to be derived from verse 21.
Also, that is verified in several commentaries such as in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:
The oldest manuscripts omit “submit yourselves”; supplying it from Eph_5:21, “Ye wives (submitting yourselves) unto your own husbands.”
The word is in italics in the NASB, The Revised Version, and the 1898 Young’s Literal Translation of the versions I have on E-Sword for reference.
Hope that helps a bit.
Yes it does. Thanks.
My apologies for not addressing the right name with my answer…. 🙁
Lexicons can be a problem too. That is why over the years i came to trust the resesrch of scholars and linguists over theologians.
In my experience in the comp world this is typical. I cannot count the times a comp/ Pat has told me I have a problem with it because I have not seen it done right. How they would know this is curious.
But still, it never occurs to them to question the system that elevates them. I often think King George had the same thoughts when it came to people questioning that system. :o)
I think there is something wrong with their gender system if all ducks must be lined up in a row and the stars must align in harmony to work.
Reminds me of this:
John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy
A man has to be perfect like Jesus in order for complementarianism to work as it should, and this is a factoid even admitted to by complementarians themselves.
But nobody is perfect like Jesus, certainly not 24 hours a day seven days a week.
If we were all perfect like Jesus, people would have no need to assign “roles”. Ergo, there would be no complementariansim !
Firstly, I haven’t been ignoring you upthread in your comments, I just don’t have time to answer everyone about everything on this perennial theme.
The summarization of my ‘comp’ views was 100% inaccurate. Permit me to explain with an old chestnut:
Tables have four legs
Dogs have four legs.
Therefore, a dog is a table.
In the context of Ephesians 5:
Wifely submission is one direction
Slave/servant obedience is one direction.
Therefore, a wife is a slave.
It just doesn’t follow does it, and perhaps you can see why I was a bit gobsmacked that anyone could take it like that.
The argument over whether ‘one another’ means ‘mutual’ or ‘some to some’ in a group in v 21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ is answered in the very next verse Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord (the RSV curiously omits the word own). Wives are not told to submit to their own husbands and mutually to eveyone else’s.
It doesn’t go on to say ‘Husbands submit to your wives in the Lord’, and presumably ‘in everything’. ‘For the wife is (also) the head of the husband as the church is (also) the head of Christ’ … which is where you would end up if one another meant mutual in v 21, that is, in the context of Eph 5.
This passage is not all the NT has to say on marriage, nor does it imply let alone command that a man under no circumstances should do something his wife asks. It is possible to try to build a superstructure over this passage that it will not support, in the form of legalistic lists of just who does what.
A lot of marriages I’ve known in my time seem to work this all out naturally and without agonising over it. The problems occur when things go wrong, either an authoritarian or neglecting husband, or a controlling wife. You can’t surely tell me you have never met such a wife in churches you have been in, with a passive, cowed husband in tow? And, in my experience, sometimes red hot on how a wife should submit to her husband to boot.
Finally, for now, talking of agonising, I think very many Christians of both views, and particularly those at the extreme ends of the two sides to this very badly need to lighten up about it. Cultivate an attitude of not getting hung up about it. The extremes it seems to me are mutually reacting against each other, and getting at what the text means has taken second place to defending positions and winning an argument.
Just to add to what the others have said, when the church started having liturgical readings, it started the wives and husbands passage at verse 22 of Ephesians 5. Since this sentence doesn’t have a verb, as it is assumed from the previous sentence, the verb submit started being added to make v 22 a complete sentence. These later manuscripts therefore differed from the earliest ones.
It is instructive to read the parallel passage in Colossians, which duplicates a fair amount of Ephesians in a condensed form. It reads:
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
It’s not whether submit is a command, it’s what it meant then, and what exactly it means now that’s the difficult bit afaic.
Liturgy? We can blame it on liturgy? Good grief. Now I can get far more emotionally involved about the issues involved in liturgy than I can get about other people’s marriages.
Personally I think that v22 means the same thing with or without hupotasso. But I do not have any academic level of instruction in Koine (the little I had being basically confusing) and I just have to take other people’s word for it. Also I think that the kind of male dominance which still lingers in some social strata here in the south is inexcusable either by scripture or by common sense. And I think that either bullying or manipulation in the constant struggle over power is a sad thing. In other words, I can easily alienate everybody on both sides of any argument. It is a good thing that I have had years to adjust to that fact.
Ken, Paul, being a Pharisee, student of Gamaliel, of the tribe of Benjamin, and a citizen of Rome…he would be fully aware of the horrid treatment of women throughout history. He was fully aware of the prevalence of husbands putting their wives out for any cause and the necessity of implementing the Writ of Divorce for the welfare of those wives. He, himself, acknowledged that the wife had the authority over her husband’s body in the intimacy of the marital union. He wrote over 50 “one-another” behaviors of believers that reflect their mutual love and respect for one another. He warned that no one should think more highly of himself and to give preference to one another in honor. He encouraged the Galatians that the ethnic and gender barriers were of no importance.
Knowing what Paul knew and encouraged in his letters, what do you think he meant in Colossians 3:18?
Except that is not how I reasoned my response to you. You are grounding your non-reciprocity of the submitting in the master/slave and parent/child relationships because those relationships are non-reciprocal. Then you take that and apply it back to the husband and wife relationship and say that, therefore, the husband/wife relationship cannot be reciprocal. And from that, you reason back that 5:21 does not apply universally.
What you don’t seem to understand about what we are saying is that there are reasons why Paul would tell a slave to exhibit Christ’s spirit by submitting to his master. Those reasons do not apply to a wife. There is a reason Paul would tell a child to submit to his/her parents. A wife is not a child, either.
You are also ignoring the context of the entire book which precedes the non-imperative word “submitting,” and that context and topic is living life in the Spirit and what that looks like. It is not a list of rules of behavior. It is describing the kinds of behavior which will be typical of a believer.
Do you disagree that an attitude of deference should characterize a man’s behavior toward his wife just as Christ deferred to the good of his church just as the wife should have an attitude of deference toward her husband who is providing everything she needs to live, including respectability in that society? IMO you are missing the big picture in order to preserve some notion of male priority and denial of female agency. You say that mutualists are throwing out the text, but you are ignoring the context of the rest of what Paul is saying. Isn’t that “throwing out the text?”
I do not appreciate the dismissiveness of the “perennial theme” description. If you don’t want to discuss it, don’t discuss it. In your opinion, should everyone just drop this topic and ignore that women and men are being taught that females are second-tier in God’s design? That the Holy Spirit does not gift women like he does men? That a woman’s thoughts and actions must always be supervised by an adult male? That the Eternal Son is being boxed in as merely a servant?
You have not responded to my question about a woman’s absolute duty to obey since the Church has an absolute duty to obey Christ. If you are grounding the wifely obedience interpretation of the Christ/Church metaphor there, then you need to explain why the obedience is limited.
I doubt that you would feel this way if you were the one being placed in a subordinate status simply because you are male, and if they put you there by misusing or misunderstanding the text, you would not try to refute that but just accept things the way they are?
Paul also heralded freedom from yokes of authority. He advocated for freedom on behalf of Onesimus. He was aware of the prophecy of Joel that the Holy Spirit would fall on both women and men. He knew of the fulfillment on the 120 in the upper room and spoke of the gifts bestowed on both genders and encouraged their use in their assemblies.
Nowhere did he or any other OT or NT author command authority over women or wives. The NT was a covenant of love and caring for each person regardless of age, status, gender, or ethnicity.
We should be shouting Hallelujah! (instead of searching for loopholes…as some do)
1 Thessalonians 5:26: “Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.”
That command is repeated in Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, and 1 Peter 5:14.
So, the next time you see one of your brothers in Christ, pucker up, baby, pucker up. If you take these verses in the same context and with the same seriousness as those verses on wifely submission, then you know that Christ commands it! Not once, not , twice, but FIVE TIMES!!!
And the topic which precedes that portion is about how we are to think which will flow through into our actions. If you want to make those instructions into affirmations of the existing social structure where there was a master of the household with a wife/wives and children and slaves, then that entails affirming the validity of one human owning another human. I don’t think you want to do that, even though rejecting the validity of slavery means “picking and choosing” with the texts.
An alternative which rejects the validity of slavery is to interpret Paul as speaking the new realities of the Kingdom into the existing social structures and teaching people how to live within both the new Kingdom realities of the Already while also living in the fallen reality of the Not Yet.
I think I speak for most women who see the truth about this erroneous teaching, we must NOT give up defending the biblical position of women. We struggle for truth not for ourselves, but for our daughters, granddaughters, and those who come after.
Call me a feminist if you will, but I’m mighty thankful for the feminists of the past for the many privileges women have today that were previously denied them based on their gender alone. Women can now excel in politics, education, medicine, etc. mostly because of the labor of women who cared enough to prove their worth and oppose sexism.
I’ve asked countless times for various men to show the verse(s) in the OT where God ordained this hierarchy and this male rule. If it is not there, then the 1 Timothy universal ban on women having authority vanishes, too. And Paul’s submitting/submit instructions don’t have quite the same oomph. Or Paul is making up new rules and new structures which God did not ordain. Not one of these men has ever produced the magic ordination of male authority by God. There is plenty of sinful human male authority, but nothing from God about it.
Yes! I am so thankful for the brave and determined women and men who fought for my rights as a human being. I’m thankful they kept on while being accused of all manner of things, including upsetting God’s order. See Dabney on this, because he totally understood that the “God’s Order” argument must include both women and slaves. After all, Paul commanded slaves to submit.
This.Is.It. They are making laws where God did not give a law for such in the OT. They make a NEW LAW for the New Covenant where there is no new law given by Jesus Christ on this topic.
They are taking descriptors in the OT and making them into prescriptions. The same for the NT without taking cultural context into consideration. Then they propagate the idea that men do not submit to others in the Body of Christ or they (Grudem does this) qualify it that married men are off the submit hook and those with man given titles are off the submit hook.
This fits nicely with the institutionalization of the Body of Christ. A great way to bring the pecking order in. But it is nothing of Christ. It goes against Jesus’ own words in several places about not lording it over or wanting to be first.
Don’t they ever ask themselves why they are so quick to promote the idea that Jesus Christ and Paul could be so far apart in thinking?
If the way that I seem to hear being said about women in that culture is true and accurate, then the status of wife has been portrayed as similar in some respects to that of a slave and in some respects to that of a child. Could not own property, provide a good living for herself, did not take the children with her at divorce, may have been in an arranged marriage, had lower status in the secular culture, no or few job skills and so on. If this is correct, then some degree of analogy can be made. More to the point, perhaps a wife’s best option is to try to keep her husband happy if indeed he is her ‘source’ of what she and perhaps her children if any need to survive.
I just don’t see Paul as some misogynist, but he may very well have been using common sense in some of this stuff. But not a fanatical ideology intoxicated weirdo. For example, he did not tell people to divorce their unbelieving spouse if the spouse wanted to stay in the marriage, even while he did say that there was no need to try to force them to stay if they wanted to go. Saying how do you know if you will be able to save them, or words to that effect. So I am thinking that it was not all about religion in everything that he said. There was perhaps some practical reason for his divorce thinking in this matter. And he may have had some practical reasons in the comment to wives which is the issue currently under discussion.
Thank you for including men because without them the 19th Amendment would never have existed and then passed. I think of men like my grandfather who worked along my grandmother for women’s rights. And my dad who hired women and blacks at the same pay as white men during WW2 with a lot of pushback from the unions!
This is exactly what some scholars say. It goes along with living at peace as the goal was not to overturn the social order but to live a better and different way within the Body of Christ. Be a light to the world in how they love one another. To advise any “submission” (which was voluntary) for such a low caste person would have been a step up in that world and somewhat radical. Women really had so few rights. Reading the Roman household codes gives us a better idea of the Paterfamilias most of them lived within including some Jews who often took on certain characteristics of their occupiers.
It is hard to grasp this looking back at that culture as enlightened people with individual civil rights.
Great way to put it.
There is another problem here. Jesus Christ told us we could not serve two masters. Does this not apply in marriage? The way the submission verses are proof texted by these people puts a sort of mediator between a wife and Jesus Christ. Surely they can see this is totally against the meaning of the Cross/resurrection?
I think it is another reason we are seeing so much of a focus on the “local church” and “lone ranger” Christians from certain quarters these days. There are certain groups that cannot tolerate that believers have not only freedom in Christ but can be independent thinkers who go directly to Jesus Christ guided by the Holy Spirit. This cuts them out and makes them, often, a moot point.
The way is mutuality. If only they could put aside
Your comment has not added any value to the discussion. I did not mention or try to assign “fault” to the situation. I attempted to point out the situation, aka baby rabies, is not unusual and is addressed by generous programs designed to help the single mother. But, instead of helping, the availability of such programs may very well exacerbate the situation.
“This phenomenon is called “baby rabies.” I’m aware of many women who skip the marriage part and choose to become “single mothers” and live off of government support. The government has become the surrogate father.”
No made no mention of men here. I too, am aware of many women who become single mothers and live off of government support.
I am also aware of many biological fathers who choose not to accept responsibility and support the children they fathered. Either you don’t know any of those, or you failed to mention anything about that knowledge.
You Greek people tell me where I might be mistaken in what I am about to say.
If in v 21 people are told to ‘submit’ to each other and if v 22 in the oldest manuscripts has no verb-is a sentence fragment-then it seems to me that an understanding of this oddity is that v 22 is a mere continuation/application of v 21 and is therefore using the verb from v 22, which makes v 22 say ‘submit.’
But wait, if this is so, and since it is obvious to one and all that v 21 does not mean that people are all under the thumb of everybody else, or that people must get one of their buddies to act as a mediator between them and God, or that everybody has the right to try to micromanage everybody else’s life, or that everybody is responsible to God for everybody else’s behavior, that is to say that ‘submit’ in v 21 does not mean that, then one would have to say that the understood verb ‘submit’ in v 22 could not mean that since it would be the very same verb to be understood in the sentence fragment.
So even if v 22 is using the verb in 21, ‘submit’, it could not possibly mean what the comps make it out to mean based on the verb itself. Then to come along and reference Christ and the church-where does it say that Christ relates to the church in the way that comps advise husbands to act with wives? But that is a different aspect of the issue; right now I am talking about verbs and sentence fragments.
Personally, I think the argument against ‘submit’ as being what the comps say it means is stronger in the absence of the verb in 22 than with it.
Except, maybe one could in Greek change the meaning of some assumed verb while never substituting some other verb to take its place. This is where my ignorance of their communication style shows. So what do you all think?
This is a problem as you have said. But there are also a segment of women who deliberately have babies without being married and who are in a financial position to support those children. A few of the high school teachers in the school where my daughter teaches are in this category. We have not one culture but several in this country and the attitude toward biological single mothering differs somewhat from group to group. It is not just the poor who do this.
There are also single women (and men) who adopt. And there are divorced moms (and some dads) with physical custody of the kids. With the number of kids in single parent homes it is important to differentiate among these categories for the purposes of accuracy. My divorced with kids daughter and the kids have moved in with me. We are financially adequate and represent no threat to society.
So what do you propose as a solution Joe2? Should the government withhold funds from such women and children? Of course we will also need to hold trials of some kind to find out the motives of every single mother on government funds. If a mother is guilty of having baby rabies (a term I find offensive in the worst way BTW) we then withhold funds — so that the innocent parties (the children) go without the basics for life.
I do believe that men were the absolute master of their households in Greek culture, and everyone else ranked below the male head of household who was also the provider of everything and the social representative of the rest of the household. I also believe that Paul was giving very practical advice but also giving timeless instruction about what a person who is in Christ should look like. I don’t quarrel with submission at all. I do take issue with the claim that it is not intended to be reciprocal among adults within the assembly. Unless we want to say that slaves could not be in leadership in the assembly. The problem that the Female Subordinationists have is that they want to have things both ways. Females are equal but submission/respect/deference is never reciprocal. They can’t get there with any logical consistency without saying that slavery is being affirmed by Paul.
Speaking of government entitlement programs, when I was watching the HBO series “The Weight of the Nation” (about the nation’s growing health problems due to obesity), I was surprised (I guess I shouldn’t have been) that the US government is subsidizing the corn and soy crops of billion dollar agri businesses, thus creating artificially low prices for soy and corn to be fed to cattle, cheap fast food prices, and high fructose corn syrup and other stuff in all kinds of snack foods. The series is available on youtube.
Okrapod, some focus on the Chiastic structure of Ephesians which is typical of communication of that time. I hope I explain this right because it is very counter intuitive for us. The focus point or main point is often in the middle of a passage. Check this out:
It is also imperative we remember that these are letters with no punctuation, chapter breaks or verses. I know that sounds patronizing but we do get a different sense when we read them without such things.
I have studied Eph until I am blue in the face. There are other chiastic examples out there but one theme remains is when we do focus on that communication style the focus of the passage changes. In the example provided for Eph builds to a “list of ethical actions” and “watch carefully as everything is exposed by light”.
Look at the chiasm from Eph 2
A(2:11-13) 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. (2:13)
B(2:14-16) 2:14 he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh,(2:14)” (ἓν)
B'(2:17-18) 2:18 for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (2:18) (ἑνὶ)
A'(2:19-22) 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, (2:19)
A: To become near. B: To become one.
When reading these passages we cannot ignore the larger theme of each letter.
What you have pointed out is one instance of the way that the Female Subordinationists equivocate on language. The idea Paul is conveying, in context, is that the way we relate to one another in the Kingdom or the Father’s household is radically different. Under the Greek laws, people of a certain status had the right to demand absolute obedience. But under the Kingdom Law of Christ, we are all to have the same attitude that Christ showed. And that is a willingness to put others first, to be deferential to our brothers and sisters, and to love one another. That is the big idea that the Female Subordinationists miss, and the ones who make lots of money off of selling this product know that quite well.
The word “submitting” is not an imperative but rather one in a string of descriptors of Christian behavior and attitudes. It has been made into an imperative. Like “pray without ceasing” does not mean literally praying out loud continuously. It means having an attitude oriented toward God and seeking him in everything.
Fair question. I think it is easier to say it does not mean, and the top of my list would be obey.
I’m not sure I can easily justify this, but the submission here is primarily a matter of heart attitude. Although this is a command, paradoxically it must be voluntary on the wife’s part. It’s certainly not enforcable by the husband. Husband and wife are mutually dependent on each other, but not necessarily in the same ways. I think God has placed some responsibilities on the husband that flow from the word head – the love cherish and nourish elements – and the wife must make sure she does not undermine him in this. If husbands are to be responsible, and there are plenty of European Christian women who lament the lack of this these days, then he has got to grow up, and sometimes the wife may have to back off to let him. Both parties have got to stop thinking in terms of ‘rights’.
I’m not sure there is very much more to it than this. I did once say semi-jokingly that Eph 5 means ‘a husband is obligated to lay down his life for his wife, and she is obligated to let him’. As a kind of rule of thumb, I think there is a great deal of truth in that.
Either you and/or Lydia have brought up the fact that you can’t do Eph 5 without being filled with the Holy Spirit, and many of the problems associated with the mis-use of these passages arise amongst evangelicals who in practice barely know the Holy Spirit has been given (Acts 19 type believers!). My own introduction to it was from charismatic evangelicals who started taking it seriously; the rest were either indifferent, or in open rebellion against any idea of ‘submitting’.
My apologies if this is too lame an answer.
I should have also added that I don’t think that marriage is exempted from the attitudes we should demonstrate toward others in the assembly. I think those attitudes should be even greater toward those who bless us. Which is part of having a thankful attitude, IMO. It is about our minds and hearts, not about rules and roles.
Okrapod, I’m not of the opinion that one needs to be a Greek scholar to arrive at an understanding of any scripture. I do think a general understanding of the use of metaphors, similes, contrasts, types, parallels, etc. helps. The general rules of exegesis do not allow for arriving at doctrine based solely on one word or even one phrase. To give one example of the misuse of a passage to arrive at an erroneous conclusion is imo that of Romans 5. These few verses are used by comps as proof that Adam is a “federal head” and thereby using Adam’s position to bolter their belief that Genesis gives Adam some authority and Roman’s verifies that. They take the words, “Adam is a type” to mean he is similar to Christ in that they are both “firsts” and see that as a positive.
In reality, Romans 5 contrasts Adam to Christ. Conveniently overlooked and ignored is that Adam is a “negative” first in contrast to Christ’s “positive” first.
So the truth is that there is nothing positive about Adam anywhere in scripture. He is said to be a transgressor, disobedient, covering his transgression and hiding iniquity in his bosom. But obviously intentionally, comps have identified with the “federal headship” of Adam and made it a positive entitlement.
Sorry for the detour, but it requires diligent and comprehensive study to challenge some of the errors of comps particularly since they have been so engrained into their belief system they are difficult to deprogram their adherents.
So…one word or one verse cannot be used to determine comprehensive doctrine especially if they contradict other words or verses. In cases where contradiction is found, we must admit we’ve got something wrong somewhere and continue to challenge.
I think we also need to consider to whom the Pauline and Petrine epistles are addressed, and the social status of women at the time the epistles were written.
They communicated differently than we do and that causes a lot of misunderstanding especially with metaphors and main points. Just look at how far so many take the sheep/shepherd metaphor. To ridiculous interpretations often forgetting the pastor is also a sheep.
Yet, as believers, we are all priests in the Holy Priesthood. We have no earthly mediators. We are all heirs of gifting and the promises. We are all “sons”.
Yes! Jesus will be the first perfect human. What Adam (human) was supposed to be like.
I know it’s off topic, but this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Thanks for the mention of the HBO film. Will have to look it up. It does sometimes feel like there’s a conspiracy to keep people fat, sick, and tranquilized with sugar and carb-heavy stuff.
I wonder if there’s a parallel in spiritual abuse? I think of all the sin-sick people sitting in the pews, being reminded how sinful and depraved they are every week. (The confession of sin in our former church’s liturgy was always so depressing.)
The submitting done earlier in Ephesians instructs all Christians to submit to all other Christians.
The word “submit” in regards to wives to husbands is not even in the original Greek, it was carried over by Bible translators from the previous verse, which advises mutual submission.
Jesus said you are not to lord authority over other people, but you keep advocating for this position (and at that seemingly based on incorrect understanding of Ephesians, and who knows what other passages), that husbands are in fact to lord authority over their wives.
Even if done “lovingly” or “nicely,” holding authority over is still holding authority over.
It’s still sexism.
The Bible does not support sexism, Ken, even if it’s done with what is assumed to be the best of intentions by the one holding to it.
Your view ends up treating adult women as though they are incompetent little children with no agency of their own. The Bible does not support that view. Jesus certainly did not treat women in that manner.
yes, you don’t hear “go and sin no more” very much because most think that is impossible. I acknowledge our corrupted bodies in a corrupted earth but I do not think that extends to our being unable to “sin no more”. I also agree it is a process of maturing and striving and that sanctification is a process.
When I was a kid we often heard about the Holy Spirit and our responsibility to seek guidance and live out the resurrection of new life and as a new creation. We don’t hear that a lot anymore. Now such things are called shallow moral lessons and the appeal to virtue and character is just about gone. I partially blame the focus on the teaching of Penal substitutionary Atonement. The difference from that and the Ransom or Christus Victor approach is deeper than we might think.
PSA seems to keep us stuck at the cross without the hope of being a new creation in Christ. Just my thoughts because this bothers me quite a bit.
Here is the link: http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/films
(Forks Over Knives is also good to watch.)
Which brings up an issue I think we all talked about before, slavery and the NT. The question about what did Paul think and say about slavery is thin ice. Tricky business. I read John MacArthur’s book ‘Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ.’ I would assume that some or many of the neo-cals and comps have read this. I don’t remember all the details other than he is saying that there are mistranslations in the NT in always using the word ‘servant’ instead of the word ‘slave’ in various instances, that we are all slaves of Christ, and that here is what the original writers would have understood that to mean. It has been a long time and I have forgotten the details. However, I would not assume that everybody thinks that Paul was any committed abolitionist in his day. Not everybody thinks that.
From what I recall hearing, Forks over Knives promotes vegetarianism. I’ve got nothing against those who want to be vegan or vegetarian, unless they have an agenda to force everyone to eat that way. I was vegetarian for a few years, but food sensitivities and auto-immune issues have made me follow paleo/primal principles for the last three years. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but it certainly has freed me of severe joint pain, and that is such a relief.
This is a point I have raised with Ken several times over in this thread, and he (unless I overlooked it) fails to acknowledge it.
Gender comp is one of several things that screwed up my life badly.
(And I was brought up under the Southern Baptist, “feel good” friendly warm and fuzzy variety of gender comp that Ken seems to be advocating. I was not brought up under a “defective” variety.)
Gender complementarianism (and a few other things) held me back in life, created several problems for me that should have been totally unnecessary.
It’s very easy for the person (ie, a male, Ken) who benefits from female subservience to think it’s no biggie. Just move along, nothing to see here.
Completely blind and insensitive to how it impacts women.
Huh, that’s true. I remember years ago, talking/hearing about being a new creation in Christ and being empowered to resist sin, but in our reformed church the emphasis seemed to be more on how miserable and unworthy we were, how much we sinned over the past week, and thank god our sins were covered by Christ’s sacrifice. It’s part of that whole depressing, discouraging, heart-sickening emphasis on how everybody deserves destruction but god is gracious enough to save some… a few… a handful… a remnant… an Elect of some kind or other.
Of course, everyone else was created for the express purpose of being destroyed, or plunged into endless, eternal suffering. Lovely thought.
And I forgot the most important part — god did it for his glory! Woohoo!
Glad you found something that works for you and have found a way to reduce pain. I agree with what you said. I have modified my diet somewhat but believe in everything in moderation.
Here is my last statement regarding the Ephesians and the whole business. I finally read the intro to the book in my new bible and guess what “The best and earliest manuscripts lack the words ‘at Ephesus’ in 1:1. Therefore some scholars offered the suggestion that it was originally intended for many churches, not just the one at Ephesus.” Then they go on to talk about how “doubts have arisen” as to whether it was written by Paul himself but more likely somebody of the Pauline school in about 100 CE.
If we are going to accept the earliest manuscripts as determinative in not containing ‘submit’ in 5: 22 and say that is significant then on principle would we not accept the earliest manuscripts as not showing ‘at Ephesus’ if earliest manuscripts are accepted as the more accurate. Or we could just accept the conclusions of people over the centuries, but I don’t see how we could do both.
I am done with agonizing over the difficulties of Ephesians, or wherever it was and whoever wrote it. Thank goodness because it was going to negatively impact my life and I have enough problems as it is. I thank you people for your help, but I am not going down this particular road.
‘It’s good to be the king’
I first brought that term up higher up thread, in passing, in that it is a phrase that is often used on child free forums.
I actually don’t see it as being terribly insulting, but denoting the few women who do chuck all rationality out the window and make poor or desperate choices because they are so eager to have a baby.
How so? It’s a body part? If I look up all the places where “head” is used in scripture, almost all of them are either referring to a literal body part or to origin/source. I do believe the first usage of the word to imply authority can over 1,000 years after the Bible was written.
For example, the same word is used when it talks about Jesus being the cornerstone. He is the “head” stone. A corenerstone is the first stone laid which guides all other stones. The idea of “authority” makes no sense in this case, where as the idea of source or origin does.
Just because “head” means “authority” in our culture, doesn’t mean it did in first Century Ephesus.
I hear ya. It is why I now focus on the larger themes in scripture and Praise God for His promised Holy Spirit.
They left a few things out.
John 3:16-17. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
The woman to whom Jesus said, Go and sin no more”, Jesus also said, “Neither do I condemn thee.”
I wonder about this myself and wonder how is it supposed to free anyone, or give them hope?
There are a few TV preachers and Christian pod-casters who think people needed to be reminded constantly of what great big sinners they are.
They are always directed to the cross, not the empty tomb.
If another preacher says anything positive about believers (such as, “you are a victor / over comer in Christ” – and there are verses that say that sort of thing in the Bible), these guys perceive such comments as being un-biblical, misleading people, sending them to Hell, prideful, arrogant, etc.
It’s like they think the only true form of Christianity is one in which people are told 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, what scummy loser dirt balls they are. I don’t get it.
I had low self esteem from my youth until about 2 – 3 whatever years ago, and I used to have a hard time accepting that God could or would love me, or that God would love me as much as other people.
I sure as heck did not need to be told week in and out that I am a horrible, nasty, sinner who God reluctantly saved. That just made me feel worse.
By the way, in regards to your post (which I agree with, and I just did a post saying something similar above), I find it kind of sad-funny.
The Gospel is supposed to be “Good News.”
But the Christians who want you to point back to what a horrible sinner you are – point you back to the cross rather than to the empty tomb, and that you’re a new creature in Christ, etc – make the Gospel into the “Bad News” or “Depressing News.” It’s kind of funny in a way.
@ Jeff S:
Exactly Jeff. If “authority” in any form was part of the message in Eph there are clear words in Greek to communicate that. Such as the one used in 1 corin 7. Same for 1 Tim 3 where authenteo is translated as authority over. Even Calvin translated it as domineer and the mysoginist Chrysostem wrote that a husband should not authenteo his wife. Still, they persist in reading authority in for themselves when it comes to adult women in the Body.
I don’t think Paul was an abolitionist in the sense that we understand it. And many people discriminate between chattel slavery and indentured servitude. I think Paul was reaching beyond all of those categories, and that is what Philemon was about. Paul did not order Philemon to release Onesimus but he did instruct him to receive him as a brother. That has a slightly sentimental feel to modern ears, but I think it was very near unthinkable in the first century. I wonder if the folks then even had a way to think about that. This will get me into trouble, no doubt, but if Paul had commanded that Christians immediately release all their slaves, would their condition have been better than if they remained in the household under the protection of the master of the household? Or would they have been released with nowhere to go and no resources?
It is a little more complicated than that, and I think that Paul took the right approach *under those circumstances* by instructing both of them regarding their real relative status while encouraging both of them to regard themselves as part of the New Creation while also recognizing the very real circumstances that prevailed at that time. Therefore, I think it is a mistake to say that Paul was either an abolitionist or that he affirmed slavery. I think he was saying something far more transforming than that and was addressing heart issues which have real world implications.
That’s why the law of Moses gave them a choice. They could be held as slaves for a period of 6 yrs. and then given a choice to stay or go. Ex. 21
IIRC the Greek slaves were not at all like we imagine slaves. They were very well educated and most often used to tutor the children of the Romans. I could be wrong, but that’s my memory.
I think I can agree with most of this, or at least most of it in some respects. The “command” to submit, IMO, is of the same kind as the command to be conformed to Christ’s image. Certainly it is voluntary, but that is the essence of being a Christian, IMO. The real nub of the issue is not whether a husband and wife have responsibilities that may look different and, in the case of childbearing certainly *are* different, but whether or not one has a duty to yield or defer to the other that the other does *not* have simply because the other is male. The usual accusation thrown out by the Female Subordinationists is that without authority or submission there can be no distinction between the sexes. That is how *they* frame the issue, but that is not what we are really talking about.
At a very practical level, let’s say that a husband and wife decide jointly that they will have a family. This entails a woman laying down her life toward that mutual goal. Not so much in the modern West, but nevertheless that is the reality throughout human history. Similarly, a man working in a Welsh coal mine or a West Virginia coal mine, was laying down his life to bring home the sustenance for his family. I picked that just because it illustrates a dangerous occupation. At the same time, he is submitting what he has garnered by essentially trading part of his life to other persons, his wife and children, rather than spending that on himself. That is how submission and “giving up your life” can be two sides of the same coin.
By making the heart attitude which lies behind “submission” and “laying down your life” secondary to prescribed roles, we are missing the point of it. A relationship becomes, by nature, transactional. I trade what I have for what I want. And that is not the nature of a healthy relationship.
And, further, it totally disregards as unimportant the personhood of unmarried women and unmarried men because to whom are they submitting and for whom are they laying down their lives? I think they are more than chopped liver potted plants, yet their “roles” are defined within the marriage/childbearing box, so we get ridiculous elaborate charades going on so that everyone is certain that no one is transgressing any role distinctions. They are so busy judging the roles that they miss the greater point of loving and serving one another. Mutually.
I think that a man who lords it over his wife or a woman who undermines her husband is not being like Christ. At all. Regardless of roles or no roles or submission or no submission. It is about whether we are imitating Christ and growing up into *his* headship.
only a few had such privileged lives, really. most did manual labor – or were worked to death in quarries and mines, as oarsmen on galleys, etc. all were subject to sexual assault.
they were chattel.
I was referring to what goes on among single adults in the Female Subordinationist churches I’ve observed. They are actually instructed to observe the submission/authority roles with respect to one another as they would if they were married, sort of like practice. The single girls submit to the “servant-leadership” of the males and the single males exercise a form of headship over the single women. Not only is it artificial and fake, but it creates anxiety between and among them.
I think there were different types of slavery, such as men who were captured in battle, etc. I’m don’t know more that I’ve heard others say, and I’ve not studied on it because, IMO, it doesn’t affect how I see Paul either way. I think he was theological by pointing people to the New Creation and the Kingdom, but he was also pastoral and practical and wanted people to have the best lives possible and exhibit their “in Christness” while still in the Old Fallen Creation.
Jeff S wrote:
Or the Queen, too. We have few of those in YRR-land along with some non-Disney princesses. Or ladies-in-waiting. I need one of our British folks to properly categorize the female Female Subordinationists.
I knew of a woman who was so shell shocked by the word submit being used on her that if she saw it anywhere she’d have an internal melt down and would not be able to proceed without a lot of positive self-encouragement. For example, “Please submit your application on line,” would send her into a tailspin.
These Ephesians verses (and other like verses) have been so inflated out of proportion that there are people who don’t even know what the rest of Ephesians is about.
My advice to women coming out of groups who have ridiculously inflated Ephesians 5 is to stop reading Ephesians 5. Read Ephesians chapters 1-4. For many of these women, it would take the rest of their lives for chapters 1-4 to ever catch up to the level that men have turned chapter 5 into.
So really, I feel way too much has been made of Ephesians 5 and am glad when anyone moves onto other parts of the Bible.
When I get into it with people, I get into it with the ones that want to continually inflate Ephesians 5 far and beyond the original intent. The words in that chapter are not commands. They are not ‘God’s divine order for the family’. They are Paul’s writings to the Ephesians that we can glean good things from if men weren’t so dang intent on making hierarchies out of them.
So it’s no skin off my nose that you have the wisdom to move on and not get bogged down by that chapter and all the legalism surrounding it.
That is the truth. It is as if the letter starts with verse 22. I got into a circular conversation about 5:22 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 with some folks who should have know way better (and I mean in person, not Ken or anyone else at TWW, just to clarify.) They could not ground any of what they were saying. They did not want to discuss anything that either came before or came after the clobber verses. It was truly amazing. I asked about the magical Male Authority verse in Genesis, and they refused to even engage the question! After some time considering how bizarre it all was, I realized that, for those folks, the other verses simply do not matter. They have done what they say Jefferson did with his Bible. I still shake my head over a few of those conversations.
LOL! That’s just what they are…clobber verses! Thanks for the laugh!
Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed seems appropriate to this conversation on Roman household codes and slavery: a tiny seed, so small it cannot be seen grows and finally provides shelter and homes for the birds of the air. At first, Christian ideals of all being one in and before Christ would not materially affect society on a large scale but given time eventually William Wilberforce would find his bill against slavery voted into law and Harriet Beecher Stowe would find an audience receptive to ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.’
They miss so much.
They need to start at the beginning.
But they don’t want to because it kicks the legs out from under the hierarchy idol that they intently worship:
Ephesians 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption AS SONS through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
We are all adopted as sons, both men and women, which includes the inheritances given to sons. Yes, the caps are mine. How many women know about their adoption as sons?
It is a crime against the church that everybody knows about 5:22 yet very few know about 1:3-5. And those pushing Ephesians 5 to the exclusion of all else are criminals.
And this, I believe, points back to the Father’s blessing over the Man and the Woman in Genesis 1:26-28. Which, not coincidentally, is not among their favorite verses due not only to the Blessing but also to the fact that the Dominion Mandate is not differentiated into “roles.” They prefer to go right to chapter 2 where it is somewhat easier to read hierarchy into the actual text. They are about as conservative as my ice cream appetite.
Which I would be fine with me, Ken, if it weren’t for groups like the CBMW and individuals like Driscoll and his enablers. They are filling the heads of young and impressionable Christians with unChristlike (and often inconsistent) notions of how men and women “must” relate to each other in the faith. Because “just so much, like everything, is at stake”. And as Gram3 has pointed out, it goes beyond spouses or engaged couples; even single Christians are starting to shackle themselves with untenable and nonsensical rules, because the Gospel Glitterati have made them insecure and anxious about not fulfilling their “God-ordained roles”.
It’s good that you remind us that Ephesians 5 is not the be-all-and-end-all of our faith. But I wonder if any complementarians have given the top dogs at CBMW the same reminder. That would be helpful. I know we’ve kept you busy here (and that you have a life of your own), but have you ever dropped a line to Grudem or Piper, telling them to give their heads a shake, or a dunk in a bucket of ice water? If no one in the complementarian camp has, then those of us who disagree will have to keep speaking out. At the very least, we need to keep them from monopolizing the mic, and let young believers know that it’s possible to be obedient to God without toeing CBMW’s party line.
I wonder whether this a symptom of Grudem and his gang at CBMW being so inconsistent among themselves (as Dee pointed out in a previous article). One big dog offers one set of rules, the next says something different, and the poor young folk have no idea whom to listen to — and “the Holy Spirit within them” is not presented to them as a valid option. So they dream up the most extreme expression of gender roles that they possibly can, hoping that such scrupulosity will protect them from offending God or transgressing the gender boundaries. Boundaries they can’t see hope to see, because no one (least of all the “experts” at CBMW) has clearly defined them.
Scrupulosity conflated with holiness. Just like the Pharisees. God help those poor kids.
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
Assuming for the sake of argument that it is possible to come up with a consistent and comprehensive set of rules and roles, the anxiety stems from “am I doing this enough or the right way” as well as comparisons among the women regarding who is more submissive and deferential to the males and among the men regarding who is exhibiting the greatest “leadership” or initiative. In our most recent ex-church, there were a few off-the-wall KrazyKomps, the great majority who were very firmly convinced and evangelistic but not rabid about it, and a very few who were willing to test the possibility of questioning the whole System. None of them were secure that they were doing it well enough.
I did know of one man and one woman who maintained a platonic friendship of equals, but neither of them was interested in marrying anyone for one reason or another. IMO those two exemplified what a single man and a single woman in the church should look like. They both served well and in the background, and this entire System just is/was not an issue for them, despite the best efforts of “leadership” to make it one. I think that is because they are both established professionals who mostly just ignore the craziness. That works until you become a victim of the System or someone you care about becomes a victim.
Anxiety increases demand for the thing that is imagined to reduce uncertainty. And that, in a nutshell, is what all legalistic systems produce: anxiety with a “remedy” for the fear and uncertainty. And it repeats in an endless loop of fear rather than rest in the completed love which casts out fear.
I don’t think this will work on any singles past the age of 30, certainly not over 35 / 40.
The older you get, and more life experience, the more unbiblical you realize this stuff is, and ridiculous, too.
I can see the 20 somethings being too naive to know any better and buying into this stuff.
I sometimes see their blogs admonishing young Christian teen girls or 20 something women to do some of this stuff you’ve mentioned here.
I roll my eyes at it, sometimes feel sorry for anyone who takes it to heart.
Not only that, but what if the anxiety carries the risk of compounding for each successive generation? Kids grow up in the System, but see their parents’ mistakes and foibles, and conclude that “Mom and Dad didn’t ‘do it right'”. So the sons and/or daughters come up with even more rules to reduce their anxiety, which only makes the anxiety worse for them and for their children.
At least, I see this as a potential vicious cycle brought on by CBMW’s fruitcakery. I realize they haven’t been around that long, but perhaps others have seen the System bear this kind of fruit between generations. (I’m glad that Joshua Harris, at least, seems to be finding his way out of it, or has taken steps that might lead him out.)
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
I think that what subsequent generations conclude is the problem with their parents’ approach will determine whether they decide to double down or bail on the System. Some of the people I know who are rabid about this had chaotic family lives and they are desperately looking for something that “works” to eliminate the chaos. Others I know had perfectly reasonable family lives with intact marriages between the parents but the kids decided to “do it better” than the parents who are perceived to have a “lukewarm” faith. I don’t know if what I’ve seen is representative.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
I have read some fascinating blog articles by (now adult) children who had all of the homeschooling, doctrine, comp doctrine, Bible verses, songs, etc. taught to them and they all rebelled against all of it and want nothing to do with it. I think that’s fascinating.
I shared this over on the SSB this morning I thought you might get a laugh out of it. I think this would be a perfect anthem for the CBMW. The song is from ‘the Muppet’s Most Wanted’:
I watched the ‘Muppet’s Most Wanted’ last night – the song ‘I’m Number One’, I believe, describes the men’s role in complementarianism, beautifully.
‘I’m number one,
You’re number two
I believe in equality
As long as you get less than me!
You may think that you’re smarter,
But I’m smarter-er than you!
I’m number one!
You’re number two!
You’re lucky to be number two
Not number three!
I can see by the look in your eye
You want to get the bigger piece of the pie
One day, you’ll get your chance
But in the meantime, you’ve got to dance monkey dance!’
Mara said, “We are all adopted as sons, both men and women”
So, why are women treated like redheaded step-sons that are just part of the bargain?
Gram3 Said, “Assuming for the sake of argument that it is possible to come up with a consistent and comprehensive set of rules and roles, the anxiety stems from “am I doing this enough or the right way” as well as comparisons among the women regarding who is more submissive and deferential to the males and among the men regarding who is exhibiting the greatest “leadership” or initiative.”
Female Subordinationists want so many of us to spend our lives pretending to be something that we are not. Yet none of them know what we are supposed to pretend to be!
I’ve had problems with Eph. 5, etc, for a long time, obviously. Paul compares Christ and the church to marriage. He says that husbands are to love their wives like Christ loves the church. He says nothing about Christ submitting to the church, while Christ performed the ultimate act of submission by laying down his life for any and all of us who chose to accept him as our Savior. Paul says that a wife is to submit to and respect her husband, but he says nothing of love. In relation to Christ and the church, shouldn’t the church love Christ??? Paul says nothing of a husband respecting a wife, but how could Jesus lay down his life for us if he has no respect for us?
If the Pauline letters were meant for all people for all times, why did he seem to leave so much out?
I’ll go with “Pauline school” on this, Colossians, and a few others. Not sure how the literary style looks in Greek, but in English, both Ephesians and Colosdians have an entirely different feel, both per structure and style, to Galatians, Romans and both epistles to the Corinthians.
Authorship was regarded very differently in the ancient world. I don’t think any of this is important per what’s being said per se, but it certainly is helpful background and reasoned scholarship.
Here is what I see and to how it may be important. The issue has been raised that if ‘Paul’ said thus and such in Corinthians and if ‘Paul’ then said something which sounds different in Ephesians then ‘Paul’ is contradicting himself and somehow a way exists to reconcile the two. One of those ways to reconcile this disparity and explain real or apparent differences is if actually it was not ‘Paul’ both times and in fact one writing was not only somebody else (of the Pauline school) but also it was written at a later time when the circumstances had changed and the church had expanded and had some different issues which were being addressed.
I, of course, did not think this all up by my little ole self, it is a common idea in biblical understanding. Just how accurate it may be nobody knows for sure, but it has some good reasoning behind it based on writing style and use of the language and issues addressed and evidences from early manuscripts and cultural understandings etc-or so say the people who research this sort of thing.
I am more comfortable with this idea than with some ways in which scripture has to be apparently manipulated to solve the evidence of apparent contradictions, mostly because (believe it or not) I think I have a ‘high view’ of scripture and (gasp) I think that this approach is probably some gold standard of real conservatism, that is to say stick-to-the-evidence. Evidence trumps adherence to some ideology. This approach seems to me to have enough evidence to be tenable and does not require speculation as to what ‘Paul’ may have been thinking at the time.
But then, as I have said before, I like Paul. Paul the person. I think he was scary smart, certainly had to have had PTSD and perhaps what we would call ADHD. He had a huge feel for realities and looked a lot of stuff square in the eye regardless of how hard it may have been to do so or how much difficulty he may have had trying to explain it. He admitted mistakes and he fought for his place in the sun and demanded that others respect his claim to apostleship. He wrote the manual on courage, and at the end he faced what he thought would be martyrdom without flinching. He is a great example of one way (not the only way) to follow Jesus in the face of huge difficulties.
I don’t want to try to second guess him because I am not that smart and would no doubt be in error were I to try to do so. So yes, one reason I gravitate to the ideas that I do about scripture is personal and stems from by own biases about scripture and from my own personality. We all have biases. I have little patience for anybody who says they themselves do not have biases (as I think some ideologues seem to believe) but that is another issue.
Let me try to cover some of the various things you have said.
There is a mutual/reciprocal relationship between Christians. I’ll say this at the risk of being accused of being inconsistent with what I said earlier and therefore confused! ‘Have this mind which was in Christ Jesus’ …. You know what I mean.
Now you probably think my insistence that Eph 5 is not mutual in the context of that passage is being nitpicking. You’ll have to blame Gram3 for that, as I re-read the passage in her honour! I hadn’t seen it as clearly before. I used to think v 21 was reciprocal, and v 22 a specific example of this.
Now I am sure you would agree there is command to love God and your neighbour. It’s both OT and NT and Jesus himself added to it by commanding his disciples to love one another. That being the case, why is there a specific command for husbands to love their wives? Isn’t that redundant? Couldn’t you take that as a given?
I would suggest that the general command to love has to be lived out by the husband in a marriage in a particular way. It’s a marriage, a unity of two people, a marriage is not a mini-church. There is no reciprocal command to the wife in this instance. He has got to try to imitate the love of Christ to the church in a way that God does not expect her to.
The submission (not subservience) of the wife is something unique to a marriage relationship. It’s much closer than any other relationship in the church. Incidentally, being subject to one another if applied in the general church setting is never thought to be demeaning or of an inferior to superior, then neither is it in marriage.
The mistake, it seems to me, is that if God made male and female in his image and treats them equally, which I believe he does, that necessarily means they must in all circumstances have the same roles (if I may use that word!). Wife/husband or mother/father or son/daughter are not interchangable words. And I think there are complementary differences that go beyond just the physical. Variety, not uniformity. Part of God’s design.
It’s also possible to over-spiritualise this. A wife is particularly vulnerable and needs ‘looking after’ during pregnancy and after giving birth. That is when hubby more than ever needs to sacrifice time and energy and be the provider. Yet for both it is for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health as the case may be at any one time.
I don’t think God wants us to follow the society around into a kind of gender-confused, unisex amorphous mass; a crooked and perverse generation. The tendency in the UK has been for a section of the population to regard having children as second rate to a career, and there are large numbers of fatherless children growing up where the men, thinking women are now ‘equal’ and can stand on their own two feet, are abdicating responsibility and going from relationship to relationship. The State often picks up the tab for this. The UK and the US vie with each other to be at the bottom of the league of industrialised countries in having a happy family life.
Surely the church can do better than follow this.
So wives don’t have to love their husbands? We can assume they do, because it’s consistent with the rest of the Bible.
Here is what we know for sure: Paul told husbands to love their wives. What we can directly infer: some men were struggling with this and not doing it. What we cannot infer: that men have a special and unique calling to love their wives or that wives have a gender amplified need to be loved. Telling one group of people they need to do something implies they weren’t doing it, not that they have a special calling to do it.
I don’t think anyone is arguing that husband and wife have the same roles. Everyone agrees that there was never a man born who could better give birth to a baby than a woman. Men and women are different. They have different, complementary roles.
But when you talk about subordination, THAT is the issue. Not this business about roles. A permanent hierarchy based on a person’s being (not her circumstances or gifting) is not a ROLE and it creates a power differential that is inherently denying the equality of that person.
You can be subordinate by equal because of gifting (I’m better at this than you, so it makes sense that I take the lead here) or because of a situation (you are my boss, so I will do as you say), but those are different than saying the the subordination is tied to your very nature.
The moment you say “you in your being must submit to my leadership, regardless of gifting” you are creating an inequality. Would you EVER say that a black person must always follow a white person, and they can still be equals? Just different roles? No one would accept that (well, not today anyway).
Do you know what the culture says about men and women? The culture says that women must dress for men, serve men, and generally are less empowered than men. That a few voices stand up and try to gain equality for women does not mean the culture treats them equally. Watch any commercial, or movie, or read any novel and you will see that women still mainly exist to fulfill the needs of men.
If you want to know what following the culture looks like, then keep women in submission to men. It’s what they’ve been doing for thousands of years in lock step with what the world says about how men and women relate.
Most of the gender-specific commands in the Bible are not exclusive to the other gender. Remember the Ten Commandments and “you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife”? It may shock some, but yes, this also originally applied to women not coveting their neighbor’s husbands—even though that specific command is absent from the Decalogue (and to my knowledge, the entire OT). The same principle applies throughout the Bible. In 1 Timothy 2:9, women are commanded to “adorn themselves in modest apparel.” There is no parallel command specifically for men. Does this mean men are “off the hook” and can dress how they please? Of course not. In Titus 2:3-5, older women are told to teach younger women to “love their children.” There is no parallel command for older men and younger men. Does this mean these men are “off the hook” for loving their children? Of course not. In Colossians 3:21 (and Eph. 6:4), fathers are told to not “provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” There is no parallel command for mothers. Does this mean it is okay for mothers to provoke their children? Of course not.
And yet, when we get to Ephesians 5 and wives are told to submit to their husbands, we’re supposed to believe that this can’t apply to husbands submitting to their wives. (Go figure). Why?—especially since “it’s okay” that wives “love” their husbands (the supposedly universally, distinctively masculine mandate)? For those not entrenched in patriarchalism, the hermeneutical double standard is obvious.
Because the (wrong) men have been in charge for way too long.
@ Jeff S:
Because some.people.want.to.turn what Paul said into the 11th, 12th, 13, (etc.) commandments.
It’s as if the men and women who hold to complementariansim don’t know that this (patriarchal societies) is exactly what the secular world has been steeped in since the beginning of time.
Not since the beginning of time, but since the Fall. Patriarchy is a result of the Fall. Apparently, a lot of people believe that Jesus did nothing to change the tide.
Can you show me the language of “command” in that passage? Sometimes we are so immersed in a certain position we don’t stop to think about what we have been taught and blindly accept it.
Have you ever tried to explain this not using the word “role”? being pregnant is not a “role”. It is real life. A function of gender.
Now, what are the “spiritual differences” innate between husband and wife?
I’d like to know as well. I’ve never seen them stated in scripture.
What you are describing is a spiritual problem of lacking character and virtue. You are making it a gender problem. Jeff has it right about women being objectified throughout history. One of being good for sex, breeding and doing work below men like housework but also working in fields. Why weren’t those perverse generations? Why wasn’t the 1st Century when this was written a perverse generation that arranged marriages between very young “girls” and older men who were to live with children/slaves in another part of the home with no rights?
It is not really different from you complaining that slaves have gotten out of their “role” in society because of that passage. After all, it is a “command”. So outlawing slavery must have been the wrong thing to do.
I’m not understanding this, and really it is probably me. You were advocating that submission in marriage is not mutual, like in the church, but now you are saying that submission in marriage is like submission in the church which is mutual. The reason that mutual submission is not demeaning is because it is mutual and is done just like all the other “one anothers.” Out of love for Christ, not because we are born in a certain class of humans.
What **role** should a wife play if her husband is disabled due to illness, an accident, or as a result of war?
What **role** should a wife play when she has been widowed, as I was?
What **role** should a wife play when the husband is a soldier who is away more than he is at home, as I was for 13 years?
#1 Rule. Always interpret Paul through a Jesus filter. If Paul sounds opposite to Jesus’ words or actions, then there is some misunderstanding somewhere. Usually it means we are reading into it what is not there.
We do not live in the 1st Century nor were we in the Ephesian church, therefore we do not communicate or live like them. We do not have the luxury of a two way conversation. They do communicate differently than we do. I do not see many men insisting that “greet one another with a Holy Kiss” is a command for all time. Funny how that works. Obviously it is cultural.
We do know that “submit” is a step up from “obey” because in reality wives were considered chattel property in most cases. But we also see “submit” in there for men which is conveniently left out by most pastors.
Again, this is 1st Century understanding which is not always lockstep either. Wealthy Roman/Greek women had more options within the household codes. Lydia and Phoebe would have been some of the exceptions to the chattle property rules.
What we really should be asking is why focus on the terror proof texts for women instead of all the one anothers? Because the terror proof texts for women can be used to elevate themselves over others using some clever wording about commands and responsibility. And sadly, many women like having no spiritual responsibility. They should beware they are not Sapphira. Jesus Christ sees right through it.
This brings me to another question. Who is my model for living out my salvation since my Savior came as a male? And it is imperative with you that gender accounts for so much within the sanctification paradigm with “roles”. Am I, a female, able to strive to be Christlike since Christ came as a male?
One more thought. As I was having this discussion with my pastor, he kept saying “I think your problem is with the word ‘submission'” and I’d say, “No, my problem is with ‘hierarchy'”. I had to say this THREE TIMES before he stopped and said “wait, I don’t think I understand what you are saying. I’ll have to think about this”.
He assumes that “submission” is the problem word, and it all flows from there. That some Christians find a problem with following others for the sake of peace and harmony. But this isn’t the issue. What he failed to understand in that conversation (though now that he’s finally heard me is going to take time considering- he actually paused for about 30 seconds in the conversation after I re-iterated the third time, and followed with saying he would need some more time to think about it) is that establishing a hierarchy of authority based on gender creates a power imbalance that harms women.
“Hierarchy” is the problem. That’s the real issue, and why all this talk about “different roles” is a smokescreen. I can agree with complementarians all day long, until they inject “hierarchy” into the mix. That’s when problems arise.
Jeff S wrote:
But, as you note, they think submission is the issue and that is the word they keep using. What they are really advocating between husband and wife is hierarchy but they are using the word submission (a biblical word for sure) and they are using it for the wife alone in the marriage relationship.
Changing the word will make no difference if they don’t understand the mutuality of the word submission.
Jeff S wrote:
But submission IS the problem word for these men. Because they refuse to accept where they are suppose to submit. They assume women have trouble submitting when in fact it’s the men who have trouble with it.
Most egals I know believe in submission per Ephesians 5:21.
It’s hierachalists who reject submission for themselves all the while handing it out freely to others. Then they blame the others for having trouble with the word.
There is an article on godswordtowomen.org?submission.htm. Here is part of it that I copied and pasted. There is quite a bit more on the treatment and posititions of women during the time of Paul.
****Submission is a term that has been greatly misused within the church world. It is a term that has been used to elevate one person over another, particularly in reference to men as they relate to women. In order to understand the term and its application in scripture, we must first get a proper definition of the word and then place the term in its proper setting and context.
According to Dr. Katherine Bushnell, the noun “subjection” is not found (in classical Greek), outside of the New Testament.(1) This term, therefore, was coined to describe relationships peculiar to believers. Upon careful analysis, we can see that the true sense of the word describes the Christian grace of voluntarily yielding one’s preferences to another. Traditional principles are not involved, nor is the assertion of one’s individual rights.
Schleusner’s Greek-Latin Lexicon to the Septuagint declares that the verb form, “to submit,” does not always convey the thought of servile subjection. For example, Jesus, as a boy, was subject to His parents, yet we know that He did not even consult them when He was “about His Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49,51). From this account, one can clearly see that to be in submission is volitional and open to one’s individual discernment.
Finally, submission does not mean “to obey.” The Greek word for “obey/obedience” is hupakoe, which means to listen to or to harken to. Submission (hupotasso) means to get under and lift up, or to put in order. It does not mean obedience. Gundry well defines this equalizing principle as a sort of voluntary raising everyone else to your own personal level of importance and worthiness.(2) It is interesting to note that other languages further reinforce this concept. For example, Kluane Spake, writes, “The German translation of that word, sich unterstellen, means to place oneself at a disposition of another.” It can also be a military term referring to the equal sharing of tasks, to support, to fulfill one’s part of the assignment.” (3) ****
There has been an undercurrent here of submission implying inferiority. I’m sure I could find exmaples, don’t have time. some refuse to countenance the idea outright.
If there is a general command to submit to one another, and there is resolute insistence this is the meaning of v 21, it cannot be demeaning. Humbling yes, but nothing to do with hierarchy or inferiority.
So it follows that wifely submission it not demeaning in v 22. Submission is not demeaming period, whether it is one way or not.
The husband-wife relationship described in Eph 5 does not come naturally to us, because if it did there would be no need for the chapter.
Incidentally, you took exception to my calling this a ‘perennial theme’ earlier on. All I meant was I’m sure this will still be being discussed, as will predestination …, long after we are pushing up daisies!
I do just occasionally get a bit paranoid I’m perceived to be posting just to be contrary. After all, it’s usually me against all comers. I have, however, found it useful to check what I think against those who disagree.
This is useful personally at home, but also needed I’m afraid because I have to consider if I could, with the views I have and assuming they are correct, fit in again with our local church. A matter of conscience. Where Eph 5 and 1 Tim 2 have been ignored or denied, in my experience without exception certain things follow in the wake of this. But I don’t want to go off at a tangent or change the subject.
I don’t have a ton of time right now to read your whole post, I just skimmed and saw this line.
Gender comp creates gender confusion in its own way, at least among people who are already Christians.
Gender comp put all men into one box and says they must be one way, puts all women into another box, says all biblical women must be like “thus and so.”
Gender comp makes no room for differences among individuals.
The Bible does not teach that all men must be tough, assertive, enjoy drinking beer, watching NFL, and watching NASCAR, nor does the Bible teach that God designed all men to be manly he-man football lovers, yet this is how American gender comps present manhood.
Comps usually portray biblical womanhood as being a 1950s June Cleaver (‘Leave it to Beaver’ TV show mother) caricature, someone who likes wearing high heels and skirts all day and baking cookies.
I am a tom boyish woman. I prefer wearing sneakers with jeans, not heels with skirts.
There is nothing unbiblical about being tom boyish. I don’t feel confused about my gender just because I don’t agree with or live by gender comp definitions of “womanhood.”
Gender comp makes no room for women such as myself who don’t wear heels all day, who don’t want to bake cookies, and who are Bat Man fans (I never liked Disney Princesses).
Secondly, being rigid on gender roles via gender comp has done nothing to halt the spread of the popularity (for lack of a better term) of things like transgenderism in secular culture.
A lot of the traits gender comps assume to be “biblical gender roles” are actually social constructs they read back into the Bible
The Bible does not teach that all women are or should be wimpy, sweet, passive, quiet little, meek doves who should want to knit scarves all day, wear lip stick, watch soap operas, and run after other stereotypical womanly pursuits.
Gender comp is not going to clear up any so-called gender confusion and has already failed in the USA.
We have stuff over here like Bruce Jenner transitioning into Caitlyn, and it’s become pretty main stream.
I agree that Paul is fascinating, and even though he comes across as hard-headed and difficult at times, i have a feeling that he was warm and generous in person. As to who wrote what, i hear you, although i am less invested in trying to figure it out than a lot of people.
Jeff S wrote:
Exactly. I find it funny that gender complementarians think they are being “counter cultural” by insisting that women submit to men… when most cultures the world over have been forcing women to submit to men since the dawn of time.
There is nothing new nor counter-cultural to gender complementarianism.
Gender comp is nothing but good old fashioned sexism with Bible verses sprinkled on top of it to try to justify it.
All of the gender comps that I know have had poor to non-existent relationships with their fathers. (There may be an exception to this rule, so far I have never seen it.)
This. A million times this.
This is also true a million times over.
@ Jeff S:
Jeff – bravo! It’s nice to see a man make this kind of comment (and you’re just the kind of person who *does* see things clearly).
All that to say that your advocacy and insights are very much appreciated.
Now if only Ken could actuslly experience for himself what most all women confront all.the.time. That might make a difference for him, but short of that… [crickets]
This is what life is like for the Kens of the world:
10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Man
I wonder if Ken believes that it does not come naturally for a woman to love her husband or her children. Otherwise, why would there be a need for Titus 2:4???
Thanks Numo. I see things “kind of” clearly 🙂
Like everyone else, I’m certainly a product of this culture, and I see misogyny in myself more than I’d like. I ask my wife often how different things I say or do make her feel- she’s my best helper in try to understand and repent of that kind sin.
If you recall, when I first came to this site a few years ago, I was a hesitant complementarian, but an introspective one. Listening to women (especially those who comment on “A Cry For Justice”) forced me to reconsider and dive a lot deeper.
@ Jeff S:
See, that’s the thing – you actually listen, ask question, and reevaluate. It’s been evident in your post over the past several years.
Which is why your comment rated a “bravo” from me. 🙂
Jeff S wrote:
Yes, that and rigid gender “roles” and ESS. The problem is, just as you said, with a static hierarchy based solely on gender. No one who desires to be like Christ can be against submission. But when it is only one-way, then Christ-like one-anothering is not what we are talking about.
You may not see mandatory, one-way, static submission as demeaning, but it is. It is a privileged exemption from submission for the male in a marriage, at least, if not in society at large. It may be impossible for you to see this due to your reaction against the extremes you have seen, but think about whether or not there is any other class of humans whom you would say must unilaterally submit in all circumstances to another class, and only because they are members of that class. You would not, I trust, say that about another ethnicity or nationality. But it is somehow OK to make submission one-way in marriage.
I have asked you before what is the limiting principle if the submission of a wife to her husband is grounded in the absolute submission of the Church to Christ? If Ephesians is using that metaphor as a metaphor for authority, then the authority referenced must be absolute. How do you reason around that other than making the metaphor mean whatever you want it to mean. Which is exactly what you say that mutualists are doing.
No one, and certainly not I, is saying that anyone should deny or ignore any part of the Bible. But the authority of the Bible does not hinge on any particular interpretation, even if it is Grudem’s or Piper’s.
If “feminism” and female insubordination is the reason for the sin in society, what is responsible for the rampant sin in cultures and times where females were absolutely subjugated?
Followup: Which particular aspect of feminism has caused the chaos in society? To what point in history should we return so that everything will be OK? Women not being able to go to school? Vote? Hold property? Pursue a profession? Which one was the tipping point for our culture, and why is the woman to blame for the chaos in culture?
“The husband-wife relationship described in Eph 5 does not come naturally to us, because if it did there would be no need for the chapter.”
So Ken, Am I to assume your marriage was arranged for you? Perhaps you were older and she much much younger? I can understand why “love” would not come naturally in that scenario. Perhaps to please your family you had to marry a “Leah” over a Rachel or something? Perhaps she dreamed of someone else but family and traditions had the last word in the matter.
Just look at ISIS. They completely subjugate women, and they are blood-thirsty people who decapitate non-converts, strap bombs on to children, and so on.
And homosexuality and pedophilia were not uncommon in very patriarchal societies. Something Ken should think about. Recently some were shocked to find quite a bit of evidence of this with the Taliban!
Gram3 wrote (quoting Ken):
Sorry I didn’t catch all of Ken’s posts on previous pages.
One-way submission is most definitely demeaning. He’s asking women to be slaves to men, or like dogs to masters, as someone else said on the last page.
The Bible calls for mutual submission of all believers to one another, including husbands to wives, first of all, but it’s easy for the person who wants to subjugate another person (Ken in this case) to be just peachy keen and fine with it.
I watched a Christian program tonight that talked about marriage.
Even though I take it that most of the talking heads on the stage were complementarian, they said women need to break off any dating relationship where the man tries to control them, because it’s only going to get worse after marriage.
What Ken is advocating with all this talk about submission and so on, is for husbands to have complete control over their wives, and the wives are supposed to find this perfectly dandy.
If you read books and blogs about dating and marital abuse, you will find that wanting to control, or men insisting that it’s okay for men to control women, is most often as cited as the Number One Red Flag women need to be aware of, and run from any man they date who insists on controlling her, her life, her choices, or whatever else about her.
A lot of men who are controlling (what Ken is describing as female submission) often escalates into verbal and/or physical abuse in marriage, (or farther into the relationship, if it stays at the dating level).
I would advise any un-married woman not to stay in any relationship (and certainly avoid marriage!) to any man who thinks is is godly, normal, and/or beneficial to you, to society, or for marriage in general, for a husband to control his wife.
Controllers (men who demand female submission) are often entitled, abusive, and selfish.
You (un-married women reading this) do have needs, and there’s nothing wrong with having needs and expecting to get them met (by say, a spouse, if you go on to marry).
A controller (abuser) is only interested in what he wants and when he wants it.
The husband who thinks it is fine to control a woman will never meet your needs and will likely beat you silly, or verbally abuse you, if you speak up on your own behalf and ask for respect.
He’ll never love you the way you want to be loved, he will never be considerate of your feelings.
Ken is pushing for male dominance and control over women, and these are exactly some of the traits that dating books warn women to stay away from.
Never, ever date or marry a man who thinks you should be in full, one-way submission to him. You may end up with a physical or emotional abuser if you go out with that kind of guy or marry one.
Excellent points about controlling, abusive men in dating (and marriage). And besides getting a woman in trouble, once the children and other generations arrive they will also have to contend with the sick dynamics.
I agree that controlling behavior by either person is a huge red flag, among others. Someone I care about has experienced this hyper-controlling behavior which actually morphed into something worse. I have also seen control-freakery behavior by females toward their husbands. So the control-freakery or demanding behavior is something that both genders engage in.
In any case, I do not believe there is any evidence at all that Ken advocates anything of the sort. I disagree greatly with what he thinks about subordination and one-way submission, but I don’t see Doug Wilson’s face when I read his comments. The problem is that other men do not have the good motives that Ken does, if I am reading him correctly, and this System does not discourage controlling or entitled behavior beyond either dismissal of the possibility or minimization of it.
Love and respect that is mutual and Christ-like does preclude abuse or manipulation or entitlement or control-freakery. But you cannot capture that in a System or market it in a conference, a book, or a curriculum.
Ken himself may be a nice guy. I did not mean to imply that he or all gender comps are abusers.
I’m talking about the beliefs and how they have the potential to lead to abuse, or how men who are already abusers are drawn to a system that makes it easier for them to abuse a woman.
Even if Ken himself is not an abuser (I don’t think he is), these views about women, marriage, roles, etc, are often times at the root or involved in marriages (or dating relationships) where the guy abuses the woman.
He’s still advocating for male control of women, and as I’ve seen over and over in articles about dating and domestic violence, that is a huge red flag, that women should break things off with a guy who has this mindset.
If I date a guy who’s into this mindset that men can and should dominate women, I have no way of knowing if he’s going to be an abuser or not – I don’t want to take a chance he may be an abuser. I also don’t think I’d want to invest months to test the guy out and see if he’s OK.
I’m in my 40s now. Time flies by quicker. I don’t have time to waste on every guy I date.
I don’t think Ken appreciates either what you and I discussed the other day on this thread or the last one.
That these gender comp views (in the USA at least) are totally turning women off to men… so rather than date and marry conservative Christian (gender comp) men, women are choosing to stay single or date Non-Christian guys, or liberal Christian guys.
Ken seems to think that the only way society can be saved is if Christian ladies marry a gender comp Christian man and submit to him, but more and more women are passing this sort of thing up.
His views are actually turning some women off to marriage, rather than encouraging them to pair up with a gender comp guy.
I totally agree. The problem with Female Subordinationism is that the bad guys can hide in plain sight until it is too late. I would never encourage a woman to marry a man who believes he has a divine right to rule over her or that God says that the husband is designed by God to be the ruler in the marriage. Even if it doesn’t come to rank abuse, the very idea that she is a lesser person in the partnership is soul-crushing if she thinks about it. I don’t think many women do think about it who are in the System, actually. Because what is a woman who is already married to a man who believes this going to do? If she says something, then everyone will think *she* is the problem. That’s what the System says. A man reacts either with passivity or abuse to a woman’s failure to properly submit. It is a double-bind trap for women. And for men.
I think there is also a subset of women who bought into the system, arranged their lives around it, and find that when the nest is empty they wonder why they feel so empty. They don’t have a real partnership with their husbands, so now what? They can either re-think the system they bought into or they can double down on defending it. I think there is actually quite a lot of this kind of thing going on with well-educated women whose kids are getting older.
Ken, I believe, is blessedly inconsistent with the system he believes. I think he is a good man with good intentions who genuinely cares about people. But I also think he does not get what the problem really is.
There is one other reaction — completely ignoring the wife. I know, because I’ve lived it.
Thank you for mentioning that aspect, and I’m so sorry you have lived that. It follows from the System teaching that the purpose for which God created the Woman was to assist the Man. God did not create her so that she could image God except derivatively. The end purpose of Man is to glorify God, and the end purpose of Woman is to help him do that. It robs her of her dignity of being created equally in God’s image and being created to image God just as directly as the Man. It is very man-centered and not God-centered.
Why not have each person approach the front of the church (what is typically the altar area in many churches) to partake of Communion? This is how it is done in the Orthodox Church, as well as many other Protestant churches.
This is true in the Eastern Orthodox Church even today. Our parish recently had a study on the heart in which it was stressed that God is primarily concerned with the heart over the mind. It is the center of our being, and can be compared to the rudder of a ship.
Well, Gram, here’s a fella that thinks a man’s wife is his property and in essence he owns her. I’d love to see you comment on his blog.
Yes, that is the impression I get.
Ken seems woefully ignorant of the dangers with gender complementarian beliefs.
I just remembered that on the many “Red Flags” lists I’ve seen for abusers, other than wanting to control a woman, another big one is a strong belief in traditional gender roles by the abuser (who is usually male).
If you search for a phrase such as “domestic violence traditional gender roles,” you can find a lot of pages about this.
Back when I was looking up pages about domestic violence (I was not even particularly looking into gender related matters in regards to DV), I kept seeing, in the bulleted lists of common traits of male abusers of females, “adheres to or believes in traditional gender roles.”
A lot of men who beat up women (according to the pages I’ve seen on this), believe women should be controlled by the husband, she should stay at home, raise children, and pursue other stereotypical feminine activities.
This page also gets into this topic some more:
A Deadly Formula for Violence
Uh huh. The blog owner says he is a white male in his early forties, divorced and remarried with children from a previous marriage. He prefers to remain anonymous. I immediately thought ‘of course you are and of course you do.’ I could have guessed that without checking out the ‘about me’ part.
He also has limited reading comprehension, not totally absent but limited.
That sort of happened to me in the engagement I was in.
My fiance never physically abused me, but he was so self absorbed, he expected me to cater to him, take an interest in his career, bolster him and coddle his wounded ego when he experienced set backs in life or career, etc.
Yet, this ex of mine never asked me how I was doing, never gave me support when I was down, he did not cheer me on.
The rare times I tried to talk about my career or interests or problems, he would act totally bored and then resume talking about himself.
So, in a manner of speaking, I was ignored in that relationship. I tried my hardest to be the supportive fiance and meet his needs, but none of that was returned.
I got tired of doing all the giving, he did the taking, and I never got my needs met by him. It was a very one-sided relationship.
I want to barf when I see the Kens of the world who think relationships are supposed to be one sided like this, with the woman doing all the supporting and giving and the man exploiting her and giving nothing back.
(The nim rod I was engaged to also drained me financially – wanted me to pay his rent etc, which I did occasionally – but wouldn’t help me pay my bills.)
Oh no. Is this the same guy who blogs that men are owed sex by their wives no matter what, and posts like that? He is a total misogynist and a screw ball.
Post Script on that. I forgot to mention:
I never heard my ex fiance self-identify as a Gender Complementarian, but he did say on several occasions that he’s a Christian.
I do think he probably ascribed to views similar to gender comp, based on things he said and did while we were dating for a few years.
While we were engaged, he would start bossing me around.
He would say things such as, “And when we get married, you will do thus and so, and I forbid you to blah blah blah, and we will NOT have a marriage where you da da da da da …..”
– and tell me how our marriage was going to be.
I got no “say so” in this, he would just stand there, and declare things at me like that, not question me or ask me my thoughts, etc, and mind you, we were just engaged at this point, not even married!
His view and habit of just dictating orders and conditions at me like that (about how I was to be, how our marriage was going to go, etc) was one red flag of a million that put me off to marrying him.
This is something for the old ladies in the church to teach the younger ones. They need to be ‘kind and affectionate’ towards their husbands and children; and it is the old biddies who are to train then in being submissive and sensible. This is the big check on submissive being misused: it’s not the pastor’s/husband’s job to teach this.
The husband is commanded to love, the agape love that is an act of the will, that seeks the best for the other person.
I think if you hadn’t dumped this guy, things would have escalated to physical abuse!
What a mess. Nobody should have to live with that. I am sorry that happened to you.
Somehow I think that reasoning from the scriptures would not work with him. Same for logical reasoning. And somehow, despite the title of the site, I doubt that there is much of the Bible in what he says.
And he, along with many decent people in the comp system, just chalk the abuse up to, “They are doing it wrong”. There is nothing wrong with the system. It’s the people in the system that misrepresent the system and screw it up.
This easy cop out keeps them from having to see the actual flaws in the system.
Or he would have checked out into his own world. They do not get the oneness part but get stuck on the distinction between male and female and the priority of the male. I must say, however, that there are selfish women in marriages, too. They think it is one-way. IMO the great thing about the mutualism of both pursuing the “in Christ” life is that it does not give either party an excuse for checking out or dominating.
True on selfish women. I’ve known a couple of women who’ve ran their husbands into the ground financially and left after the 2nd or 3rd bankruptcy.
I don’t really have a system. I really do think there is a considerable cultural difference here. There is no patriarchy either here in Germany or in the UK. There are not two extremes reacting to each other. As a generalisation; women’s ordination can still generate strong feelings.
The answer to abuse is not non-use (which is what egalitarianism as espoused here seems to me to be doing) but right use. There’s plenty of room for discussing how this works out in practice, no-one gets it right all of the time. A complementarian view of marriage in the UK is probably more the house-church scene and other conservative churches. As an institution, the Church of England now has female clergy and presents a feminised version of Christianity. The stereotype of an Anglican vicar is that of a bit of an old woman – not entirely without reason! I believe the ratio of men to women in the churches is something like 2 to 5. Men, and particularly young men, are missing, and the church is taking on the appearance of being a lifeboat – for women and children. There are historical reasons for this as well.
Can you imagine a sculpture of Christ above the high altar of an Anglican cathedral where he is now portrayed as a woman? Or where prayers are offered to our father-mother in heaven?
If men are ever to come back to the church (humanly-speaking), then there must be more for them there than they can get at the pub, sports club, or by joining the Masons. A church simnply following a gender-confused society isn’t going to be of much help here. There needs to be the freedom to rediscover exactly what God does intend for men and for women without politically correct preconditions. We have the maker’s instructions. I’m not doom and gloom, but family life in the UK is in many ways and in many areas in a broken and fractured state – more than it used to be. Not universally so, but all too often. The church really ought to do better than to reflect this, and I particularly have divorce in mind.
Sorry for the digression! I just stood back for a while from nitpicking over Greek verbs, and thought beyond all of this there really is a great deal at stake.
But I haven’t lost my sense of humour (despite it being 39.1 °C or 102.38 °F here).
Still waiting as of 10:54 this morning.
Amen. And not just when people are trying to checkout or dominate, but when they are weary and tired.
(Never mind, I’ll just try it again a different way)
And he, along with many decent people in the comp system, just chalk the abuse up to, “They are doing it wrong”. In their mind there is nothing wrong with the system. It’s the people in the system that misrepresent the system and mess it up.
This easy cop out keeps them from having to see the actual flaws in the system.
I am sorry to hear that about the Church of England. Over here the churches aligned in one way or the other with the Anglican Communion have lots of things to disagree about-like everything under the sun, but being ‘feminized’ and having old-lady-like pastors is not one of the problems. Not around here and not by a long shot.
I haven’t seen that here, though it does sound like the Re-imagining Conference which was, IMO, heretical and shocking. I think God transcends male and female. But Jesus of Nazareth was incarnated as a male. This should not be controversial, and women who downplay that are as culpable as the Grudems and Pipers who disparage women.
Perhaps you could explain what you mean by a “feminized” church. Is the freedom that women have gained to blame for men abandoning the church? What is it that the men are missing at church that they get at the pub or club? Is there something about males that makes them unable to be under the teaching of a woman? If so, is that the fault of the woman or the male who has a problem? The rationale for the Driscolls/Acts29/Baptist21 over here was to appeal to young males. How is that any different from Willow Creek’s appeal to upper-middle-class suburbanites? Isn’t pragmatism pragmatism and appeals to a particular psychographic to be avoided if the church is to look like the body of Christ? Or is it just females we can afford to ignore?
In short, it sounds like you are woman-blaming while not putting the responsibility on the men who have abandoned the church. Women are leaving the Female Subordinationist churches along with the men who are not afraid of women but who rather like being companions and partners with women and enjoying our gifts.
I must say I do not like your reference to the Church of England and old women. I don’t know exactly what you mean, but the notion that all older women are crones is a tiresome one. Sort of like the dirty old man notion.
Oh, and that limiting principle thing. What keeps the submission required of the woman from being absolute if she is the church and the husband is Christ?
I think i would defer to others on the supposed state of the CofE. I know membership and attendance have been declining in many parishes, but by no means all. And that stereotype of vicars isn’t new – you can easily find it in 19th c. novels.
It reminds me of MD’s nasty charactetization of Cofae clergy as “men in dresses,” actally.
And no matter how Ken spins it, he is actually saying the same things that Church for Men and similar have been spouting off about for the past decade. (Google “church for men” and see for yourself.)
Yes, there are many cultural differences, but it seems like a certain UK crew are perpetuating the same old same old that’s been in vogue over here since the 80s. Ken, i know you dislike it when i point this out, but ISTM that it must be so, given the way you word things plus your harsh comments about all kinds of people (from divorced folks to LGBT people to CofE clergy to the Lord alone knows who all else).
There have historically been many gay men in the CofE clergy, albeit (mostly) celibate. I think Ken is drawing on stereotypes that have been around since the mid-19th c., perhaps even earlier.
Slightly dotty vicars are a staple of many books and plays, but that’s not what Ken is talking about.
Try googling “church of england feminization” and boy, are there a lot of unpleasant post and commentary under that heading!
I think it’s partly because the CofE *finally* installed its 1st female bishop a fe2 month ago, over the irate protests by many other bishops, clergy and laypeople. The Episcopal Church was light years ahead of the CofE in tjis, to the point where former Archbihop of Caterbury, Rowan Williams, asked former TEC presiding bishop Kathetine Jefferts Schori to *not* wear her miter at a major conference held in the UK. i liked Williams, but the sheer pettiness of the clergy who were up in arms about both her attendance and her office is just mind-boggling. (Fwiw, i am not a fangirl by any means, but the lack of respect is… no.words.)
Apologies for profuse typos!
I don’t think I agree with that here in the UK Ken. There’s plenty of complementarianism, which is at best soft patriarchy. There is still plenty of discrimination against women, in many arenas. You’re not seeing it, as it doesn’t apply to you.
This is why I sometimes post a link to this:
John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy
Complementarianism is a system.
The gender complementarianism you believe in causes additional “gender confusion” and is based on secular beliefs about women from culture read back into the Bible.
As for churches having more women than men
The “Feminization” of the Church
Well, Driscoll brought beer into his church. I’m sure it helped the numbers to explode before the whole darn thing imploded.
Well, I suppose that some men are attracted to secret societies the exclude women and stroke their ego. The problem with that is that it encourages men to think more highly of themselves than they ought.
I have made that point ten times over with Ken on this thread, I guess he didn’t see it.
There is some site or book started in the UK, I believe, called Everyday Sexism, where women can e-mail in their examples of well, everyday sexism. Ken doesn’t see it because he’s not a woman.
I think “EveryDay Sexism” has a blog, Facebook page, etc.
I also said Ken is like the guy in this video, so of course he’s oblivious to the nonsense women put up with in society:
10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Man
I think Driscoll held up UFC fighters for a time. Does that count?
Again (as Dee pointed out so well previously) this seems to give up your main point, Ken. If there’s “plenty of room” for couples to negotiate how complementarianism works, then why is there no room (in your view) for mutual submission in marriage? Some commenting here have such marriages, and they seem to make it work. Why should anyone look down on that?
And if it’s supposed to be reassuring that “no-one gets it right all of the time”, then why all the rhetoric from the CBMW? “The Gospel™ is at stake! Out witness is at stake!! Society is at stake!!! The sky is falling!!!! Help us, Lord!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!”
You’re nowhere near that level, but I detect hints of the same attitude, such as when you say that “certain things follow in the wake” of ignoring certain interpretations of certain verses. Vague and shadowy, yet portentous.
From where I sit, if complementarians have the freedom to figure out how to live out their roles, and to make mistakes doing so, then the rest of us have the freedom to live without those roles.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
*High Five* to Serving Kids in Japan.
Most excellent points.
(Rest of your post was excellent too, I just didn’t want to copy the whole thing.)
So if the intelligent, self-assured and assertive women (and the men who admire them) stop going to church instead, that’s OK with you? I can’t see many of these Christians drinking the comp Kool-Aid.
Correction: There must be something other than what they can get at a pub, sports club or the Masons. If church is simply a replacement for these social activities, then it’s no longer part of the Kingdom of God.
Many have pointed out already how Driscoll, all too often, told these young pups exactly what they wanted to hear, and that drew them in like flies. And yet, behold how long it lasted (or, rather, didn’t last).
Rather than tell young men what they want to hear, the church needs to tell all people what they need to hear: That Jesus loves men and women of all personality types — loves us enough to die for us, in fact; places immense value on each one of us; has created and blessed everything in us (apart from our sins); and loves none of us more, or less, than anyone else. Preach and practice that, and hopefully men of all kinds will start coming back.
Thanks, Daisy! I appreciate your insights, too (along with those of Gram3, Lydia, Mara and many other of my sisters).
The CofE has had more women getting ordained than men for a number of years now. And those elderly women in thd pews are likely sans husbands because they are widows.
Of course, this will be dpun (aagain). We are all posting in vain, i think. : (
I think that Ken may be making a good point from time to time. If church is just about the men, then this makes a mockery of christianity. Ken did not say that but lots of commenters here seem to be saying that. It is valid to say this. But if Ken is correct and if it get to be just about women and children it does the same thing, a deformed version of christianity is created. The church cannot be ‘just about’ any group to the exclusion of the needs of other folks.
And let me say, at the risk of offending… church cannot be just about any one aspect of the faith while omitting the rest. Jesus loves me this I know is true, but there is also Jesus calls me to a life of self denial and risk. Jesus respected women and loved the children is true, but also Jesus gathered up a disparate group of men and sent them out on a dangerous mission is true. You see where I am going with this. We are all in this together with a broad spectrum of things that are true and we need to deal with it all.
This comment brought to you by a little old lady who does not ‘do’ little old lady church such as Ken seems to be saying the church of england is doing in the UK.
This is absolutely true if the organized churches are supposed to look like the Body of Christ. The question to ask is why do they not? If men have left and women have stayed, then why is that? If a woman can learn from a man, why cannot men learn from women, provided at all times that the women (and the men) are otherwise qualified? I suspect that Ken sees the questions differently because he sees femaleness as a fundamental disqualification. Therefore, the men leaving the church is due to their offense at learning from a woman.
That said, I can imagine women acting like jerks if they are in a position of relative power. Yes, even in the church.
We know power creates “jerks” because we see them in many churches today. And they are male jerks. I wouldn’t be opposed to give women an opportunity to prove they won’t misuse their power and become jerkettes. 🙂
Who here has said church should only be about women and children?
I know I’ve never said that, nor do I feel that way.
Asking to be treated like an equal is not the same thing as saying “church should be only about me and my kind”
Like how the church ignores or belittles adult singles to preach and cater to married couples all the time. I am not saying church should be ONLY about adult singles but adult singles should get “equal time” and “equal consideration”
I can’t understand why some folks consider a group asking for equal treatment (because they are being discriminated against) is the same as asking to be placed in the Number One position.
Asking to be treated as an equal is not the same thing as reverse discrimination or asking to hose over other groups.
For a focused look at episcopal church issues I recommend a Wiki article about the ‘episcopal diocese of south carolina.’ I am thinking that there may be more issues going on in UK that Ken is being cautious in talking about.
But and also, at ‘my’ church when the small and stagnant episcopal church decided to remedy that problem of stagnation there was a little old ladies issue which they had to deal with. They did deal with it, firmly I hear, and they have now built a thriving church. In the meantime,the methodist church of which I am still technically a member has resisted all change and let the place survive the way the aging few seem to want while the aging few won’t move over or move on. The district superintendent and the bishop have had to intervene, it got that bad. So, problems certainly can exist which do not necessarily fit neatly into some pattern. And both men and women can be part of the problems.
Read the first paragraph of my comment again. You have turned what I said completely backwards. I was talking about what Ken said and he said that in UK the church has become basically a lifeboat for women and children with the men pretty much gone.
Unless you are Ken in UK there is no way to think that I have accused you of anything.
Be that as it may, it does seem, from rather cursory Googling, that Quiverfull and related full-tilt patriarchy is gaining adherents in the UK.
I do not think Ken is so much diplomatically avoiding issues in the CofE as he is (quite possibly) disapproving of women being ordained and thus inherently against some of the gains women have made in what used to be very close, boys’ club hierarchy, as well as in pastoral ministry. Nor is Ken CofE, so…
I want to repeat something that I didn’t state as clearly as I could have yesterday: I am no Jefferts Schori fangirl, although, being Lutheran, I am watching from the sidelines, rather than being in the thick of things in TEC.
New term to share:
Brad, a poster over at Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board, came up with a new term for this contempt for women in NeoCal/comp churches:”Shehad” (sounds like Jihad but is the “war on women in hyper patriarchal cultures).
I apologize if I misunderstood your post.
It sounded to me as though you were saying something like “maybe Ken has a good point here.” And I was disagreeing with Ken’s point as conveyed in your post.
If I got anything wrong, I apologize.
Sometimes it takes shock words like that to make a point.
Good job whoever coined it. It isn’t that far off though I fear because it is so inflammatory that people might miss the point. Of course the other side uses the term feminazi for any feminist thing they don’t like even though it was coined to describe very pro-abortion feminists (not pro-choice, pro-abortion. Yes there is a difference).
That is discouraging. I hope it does not consume an entire generation there like it has done here. Some families are into the 2nd generation here, though I think the bloom is definitely off the rose here.
I would like to propose an alternative hypothesis for the exodus of men from the church. Since this is happening where males are usually behind the pulpit, the phenomenon cannot be written off solely to females in the pulpit.
My alternative hypothesis is that men are looking at the *men* behind the pulpit and are seeing men that they pew-men know very well could not survive in the real world. I think that the male pew-peons don’t feel any connection to the life of the “pastor” who has generally never held a job in the real world and been subject to reality in the same way that the men have. I think it is a function of the increasingly professionalized and academically-oriented clergy class and the disconnect that creates. For women who have moved into the real world and been successful, these guys look exceedingly weak as well. Maybe the real answer is a bi-vocational ministry or at least a ministry where the ministers have worked real jobs and supported their families by being productive.
This very point was brought up in a book about why people are leaving churches.
The author had a chapter where she talked about how out of tune preachers are. She thinks if they had to work regular jobs in an office like everyone else, they’d be more understanding of what their congregants go through.
One minor example she gives of how out of touch many preachers are, is that a lot of preachers are not available for meetings at times when their congregants can meet.
Most of their pew sitters work from 9 to 5 and can’t make it to the preacher’s regular church times for appointments.
Exactly. The problem of fewer men attending church in the US happened while men were leading them.
Can you imagine Piper having to report to a lesbian boss?
And yet somehow they are still well able to blame women and coin such phrases as ‘the feminization of the church’. They also use other derogatory terms having to do with the female anatomy using street slang.
Just like Adam blaming Eve all over again.
A link to consider on this topic.
I won’t link Wilson’s blog directly cause he’s a…. not nice guy. Er, a devout Shehadist.
…or the men who are there are “chick-ified” as Mark Driscoll would say. 🙁
It is very sad that one of the worst insults some men can think to hurl at other men is to call them a woman, or some form of it.
I dunno – most mainlines and all liturgical churches have clergy that fit into the “clergy class” description, and although some of yhem *do* look donw on the “laity,” they (mostly) do what i believe is real pastoral work: visiting the sick, baptizing/marrying/burying congregants, providing some counseling but most definitely referring people to professionals when needed, and do on. And “doing” the liturgy, whivh is literally Z (as our Catholic friends say) “the work of the people.”
Showboating from a pulpit or stage is *not* part of real padtoral work. Neither is a big ego, or running from conference to conference, or treating church like it’s a burger joint franchis instead of a group of real people with talent, as well as needs.
But… the anger about “femjnization” in the Church of England is most definitely related to the growing number of women priedts and seminary students. The CofE has only bern ordaining women since 1994, and only just consecrated a woman as bishop, for the very 1st time. Like you, i don’t think women are any better – or worse – than men, and am sure that the wrong mpeople in certain positions might wreak havoc, regwrdless of gender. But the “no gurlz aloud” treehouse, seekrit club girlz KEEP OUT mentality has got to change.
Driscoll has ‘daddy issues’ (these abusive pastors always have an abusive or non-existent relationship with their father in their backgrounds). Driscoll doesn’t know how to be a man.
ROFL! Now you’ve done it! Piper can’t even take roadside driving directions from a woman, let alone a woman boss!
That’s why he always needs to protest his masculinity. If he felt safe in his masculinity, he wouldn’t feel the perpetual need to proclaim his manliness.
I find men like him ridiculous!
I can’t see Piper having to report to anyone but Piper. To whom is Piper accountable? He can spout the most ridiculous things and people will adamantly defend him as if he were God himself. I believe Piper has arranged his world in such a way that he does not have to submit to anyone’s authority other than the laws which are punishable.
But he is very keen on women submitting to men.
Again, it is men like Piper and Driscoll who have issues with submission. They can’t do it. But they feel qualified to tell others how to do it.
One who is very muscular, too. He has issues with women who are cut. 🙂
I’m not a psychologist, but I wonder if the issue is that they feel weak as persons and therefore need to assert power over other people. And people who similarly feel weak are drawn to the theology, thereby bolstering the confidence of people like Piper and Driscoll. Why else would they feel this obsessive need to assert their authority and preach that others should assert their power over others? And why would they ignore the abuses of power done by their own like-minded fellows? Someone with a robust sense of self (chastened by the Holy Spirit) would not be so aggressive about their own power, as if they need to prove it. And someone who is fearful would not have the confidence to speak out against the abuses of power. What I have not figured out is why such effeminate men are held up as paragons of masculinity. Or why men who preach a masculine doctrine would have such a feminine manner. I really do think they are afraid of women or are afraid that they cannot keep a woman’s devotion without it being grounded in duty to God’s Order. It is so sad on many counts.
I remember seeing Mark Driscoll brag about how he showed up at (wife) Grace’s college dorm to tell the other men to leave her alone and that she was his. I thought…wow, scary.
Did you hear the interview Justin Brierly of Unbelievable Radio had with Driscoll several years back where Driscoll went on a rant about the feminization of England churches? I guess Driscoll did not do his homework because Brierly pointed out his wife was a vicar. It was a classic moment. Driscoll was speechless.
I wonder if Mark Driscoll and John Piper have little big man complexes: it makes them feel like alpha males to put down women, or to control women? I have brought this up in past and someone who knows Piper responded that Piper is just a nervous wreck. I believe Mark Driscoll and John Piper are short in stature. Just wondering if this is part of their attitudes?
Oh my, is this the Saudi morals police?
It is a very strong indication of potential abuse, by, in this case, a man.
You are right.
I’m thinking: stalker.
Yep. I told Europeans that Driscoll did not represent my Christianity. He was an embarrassment.
I’ve mentioned this before on my blog.
I also thought, “RED FLAG. CONTROLLING. STALKER. CREEPY!!”
(All Caps for expressiveness, I’m not shouting at anyone)
I have a female friend who was in a situation like the Julia Robert’s character in “Sleeping with an Enemy.” There really are men like the character who played Julia Robert’s husband in this movie. I feel sorry for Grace if she is an abused woman. We may never know — there are women trapped in abusive marriages who are afraid to leave an abusive husband, and sometimes they are so controlled, they are hampered even if they want to leave an abusive marriage. These abusive marriages exist. Sometimes we don’t hear about them until years later. An example is the Jack Hyles marriage.
Yes, Daisy, your all caps are appropriate. And of course he controls all of her emails and phone calls, etc.
That’s why victims need to plan their escapes very carefully with no announcements. That’s why it’s good to go to a domestic violence group and get expert help, have a second cell phone, money hidden, documents, keys, etc.
I google back in 2011 to see how tall Driscoll was. 5’10” was the only answer I could find.
I was wondering because I did a series in April 2011 on small men in high places and he was one of them.
I am very glad to hear this. It must mean you have got your head screwed on … 🙂
Trouble is, Daisy, you never seem to get beyond the word ‘submission’ whereas I do. The submission is ocassioned by the husband being ‘head’, but the complement of submission is the sacrificial love, expressed in the cherishing and nourishing. This is the antidote to controlling husbands. Submission is the antidote to manipulating wives. If submission in Eph 5 when applied to marriage is mutual, is the headship mutual? Where is your verse to say that?
The apostle Peter says the complement of submission by the wife is being considerate and honouring by the husband. Both are joint heirs of the grace of life. All should have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind.
Now some of what you say rings bells. I spent more time than I should reading around Willow Creek years ago, as it affected to some extent whether we could attend our local church. (I initially thought their seeker-sensitive approach a good one. The intention is good.) One of the aspects of Willow Creek that disturbed me in particular was the incorporation of secular psychology into their programme. Messrs Cloud and Townsend come to mind. It’s along time ago now, but if memory serves me correct, they were into setting boundaries and avoiding co-dependency. This is inimical to a Christian marriage. ‘Self-control’ does not mean taking control of your life in the sense of maintaining personal autonomy, and imo marriage itself is a union that produces two people who are co-dependent. So yes, I do believe there are many elements within marriage that are mutual! Both parties depend on each other, are the ‘other half’ of the whole, and marriage is a specific example of a general truth.
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.
In the context of 1 Cor 11, this verse is a corrective against any husband or man who thinks the word ‘head’ means he should think of himself as being a tad more important in the scheme of things than his wife.
Now I have no problem with Cloud and Townsend or anyone else trying to prevent abuse in a marriage. But if a husband and wife sensibly work out together what Eph 5 means, carrying it out will make both a subserviant, doormat wife and a lording it, bullying husband an utter impossibility. Can’t happen. It would be better to do that than try to work out exactly what the word co-dependent means: three psychologists, four opinions on that one. Building on shifting sands rather than the rock.
This man is deranged. I am not a psychologist, but he has some form of mental illness. He is a cult leader. Now he is going to Pheonix. Yes it might be fertile ground for a cult. After all, Steven Anderson is there. This is scary stuff. I don’t see a happy ending here.
Rather than only ever respond to others, let me repeat the gist of things I said ages ago on other related threads.
I believe in principle that all ministries in the church are open to men and women alike. This depends on the gifts God gives and the inclinations of the person asking for them. There were some, such as Apostle (capital A) and Prophet that are no longer relevant to the church today except in the form of apostolic doctrine, the NT.
The whole ‘role of women’ issue was one we had to deal with in a house-church (so-called) a rather long time ago. I don’t think my understanding of the issue has changed very much in the meantime. And I’ve certainly been exposed to other ways of viewing this.
The intention was to provide scope for everyone to contribute in one way or another. The only limit on this was leadership of the church, and the ‘office’ or ministry of teacher, obviously based on 1 Tim 2 and 3. As far as teaching went, we saw no problem with husband and wife teaching (‘the way of God more accurately’), nor a word of instruction during the meeting if someone had one to share (when you come together, each one has …), nor the older women the younger ones. We tried very hard not to put any limitations on anyone where it was clear that God had not.
In practice, for one reason or another, we never really got there with this – the old ‘man at the front’ mentality is difficult to shift. But there was greater participation than you would usually get in a more traditional outfit, and church life is more than what happens at official meetings. The women didn’t always seem to take advantage of the freedom they had to contribute, but I also don’t remember the whole ‘gender roles’ thing being so controversial. There were some older, mature Christians around with their feet firmly on the ground when it came to this.
But this is where I can feel at home in a church. Plenty of participation across the board, plus obedience to 1 Tim 2 & 3. This combination of criteria is almost impossible to find these days – well at least in my locality. I even agree with Bill Hybels (you did read that correctly!) on one thing: ‘churches that see a restriction on women’s ministry should at least make sure they are contributing in every other aspect of church life’.
The antidote to *all* forms of toxic behavior between and among people is mutual love and respect, and that, IMO, is why Paul leads with that in 5:21. There is no mutual “headship” in the Bible because there is no sense in which the woman was the head of a man. Except in the verse from 1 Corinthians which you cited, but in that case, the “head” would mean origin as in “the man comes from the woman.”
When you synthesize *all* of the relevant scriptures and put Paul’s instructions into their historical context and then derive the universal meaning and only then apply that meaning to all times, you get to mutualism.
The problem with your interpretation is that a good outcome depends upon everyone applying your interpretation the way that you do. That is precisely the reason I did not question this doctrine for a very long time. I had a good and nurturing and loving and sacrificial father and now a husband. But when you implicitly define “head” as being “authority over” and create a hierarchy, you are allowing for your system to be hijacked by non-benevolent people. Mutualism precludes this possibility.
If a husband becomes disabled and the wife becomes the sole provider and carer, is the husband still the “head” in your system? I say that it does not matter who is the “head” because “head” is not an office with an incumbent who is male. “Head” is a *description* and not a *prescription.* Loving, submitting, honoring, nurturing, caring, self-sacrificing and deferring are all descriptive of good people and are prescriptive for all who would imitate Christ.
Back to the question: If the metaphor of Christ/Church is about relative authority, what is the limiting principle for male authority in marriage? Who defines what sinful use of authority is? Does the husband determine, as a judge like Christ, when the wife is being unsubmissive to him?
If, however, the metaphor is about an attitude and the actions which flow from that attitude *which may look different in different contexts* then those questions are not a problem.
What is the limiting principle to the husband’s authority?
No, you don’t.
You’ve already said that submission is one-way, with wife to husband, despite the fact the Bible teaches that husband/wife submission is a two-way street.
You also regard married ladies as being infants who need to be led by a spouse, or, as someone mentioned above, married women are, in your thinking, dogs, and their spouses are their owners/masters.
Your views are not biblical. You are reading cultural/secular stereotypes into the text.
Your gender role views foster and/or perpetuate spousal abuse.
The Bible covers codependency and condemns it, e.g., referred to in the biblical text as “fear of man” and “let your yes be yes, your no be no.”
(Go grab and read the book “Boundaries” by Christians Cloud and Townsend for a deeper explanation of what codependency is.)
You ask women to say “Yes” when they want to say “No,” and to place their husband (and the husband’s views/needs/wants) before God’s -that is the outworking of gender complementarians. Those are just a few of the traits of codependency.
Should I ever marry, I have zero intention of “submitting” to my husband as the term is taught and defined by gender comps (ie, the male has all authority in marriage).
Your system on gender cannot work. See:
John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy
I have answered this before, but it seems to have got lost in the mists of time …
The parallel of Christ and the church and husband/wife is analagous, which by definition means there is an element of disanalogy. The limit on the husband’s headship is I think determined by common sense, that a husband is obviously flawed and imperfect. Marriage is a ‘pale reflection’ of the real thing.
The word head defines the reason for the submission, it is not a granting of power as though it read ‘for the husband has authority over the wife (and he should make sure he exercises it and she recognises it)’.
The husband is himself under the authority of Christ, who has told him and everyone else not to lord it over people.
I’ve not seen this idea of headship particularly being abused in people I have known over the years in churches, but I have seen and experienced the wrong use of authority by church leaders baased on dubious authority structures.
I give up, Ken. Your patriarchal Western interpretation of “head” is the only way you can to prop up your interpretation. You bought into the benevolent dictator model of Eph 5 which misses the whole point of mutuality/one anothers.
You cannot accept there was an original audience and real cultural context for which it was written. Instead, that does not fit your paradigm so you make today’s culture the real problem with the passage, which frankly, is becoming somewhat insulting. You do not think verse 21 applies to the Body of Christ in general. I personally do not buy into the idea that benevolent dictators are seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. :o)
You do realize know we have heard the same over and over from comp/pats for many years, right? And some of us have done tons of research on a matter because it actually affects our functioning in the Body of Christ and goes to our identity as Born Again believers and co heirs.
So I am not sure what is left to discuss?
That is just it. The husband decides in such a system even if he says he “inquires of his wife”. He operates as a sort of mini Christ in the pecking order relationship. It is a horrible sin trap for men.
Men serve God; women serve men.
Women can not be led by God because they mst be led by men.
Top down heirchy/food chain with women on the bottom.
Men answer to God. Women answer to men.
I don’t buy this. Neither does my husband. I wonder what Ken’s wife believes?
I don’t know what you mean by the text giving a reason for the submission (one-way by the wife) or how your limiting principle is less arbitrary than what I think you would say is the mutualist view of the analogy itself. You are assuming that disanalogy because, of course, it is true that the husband is not perfect. That truth does not make the disanalogy true, however. It could also be argued that the husband’s rule is absolute (or conversely the wife’s submission is absolute) while still also saying that the husband is imperfect. In fact, that is exactly what the patriarchalists do argue. Their argument is that, as long as the wife is submissive, that God will protect her from her husband’s decisions or actions. A position which is ridiculous on its fact both theologically and practically.
If you are going to maintain the position that “head” means “authority over” rather than provider, nurturer, and source of life–the meaning which Ephesians 4 gives “head”–then you need to accept that the husband’s authority or the wife’s submission is absolute. Or you will have to find the limiting principle in the text. I think a safer option is to go with Paul’s specification in Ephesians 4 of what he means by “head” and also with Paul’s admonition that *all* submit to *all* in the household of the Father. The brothers do not have authority over the sisters.
I also think, as a practical matter, that you may want to think through some scenarios regarding your daughters and whether you really want to put them into that situation where a guy might get it into his head that he is the Head of his wife.
I agree that we are all under the absolute authority of Christ. I do not think that Christ’s authority over women who are in Christ must be mediated through their husbands, however.
And yet, commonsense is so lacking in so many instances. It is downright impossible when you are dealing with brain and personality disorders.
Commonsense works for you, because as far as I can tell, you have it.
If all men and women everywhere had commonsense, then your take on Ephesians 5 works. But the world doesn’t run that way. That’s why your take on Ephesians 5 doesn’t work for large portions of the church population.
The position is ridiculous on its *face* and not its fact, whatever that means.
The only thing Ken is debating is the “degree” of authority a husband has over his wife and how it is implemented. You can dress it up as “benevolent serving” but it is still lipstick on the pig because the focus is authority and that is antithetical to Jesus Christ and how He wants us to operate as believers.
I have often compared all the variations of comp doctrine to the Talmud/Mishna. I mean you all need such a law book once you delve into how this has to work out within the role system. You might need a whole volume on common sense.
And this “common sense” automatically assigns a race or a sex as being the authority over another race or sex.
So, how is that common sense?
Exactly. I would be interesting to make a list of the flowery words used to make the same assumed entitlement sound more appealing.
I think that is true as a practical matter. I think that Ken and others like myself of years ago are blind to the true nature of the System because the implementations of the System have been relatively mild. In my case, it was only after I got a good look at a bad implementation that the spell was broken and I could at last take a look at whether or not the System was consistent with what the Bible reveals. Prior to that, I could not look at any of the arguments proffered by those liberal Bible-hating antinomian rebellious egalitarian feminists. It was impossible, in my view, for their arguments to have any validity at all. This, in all my wisdom, I decided before actually examining the textual evidence.
After the EvidenceWhichCouldNotBeIgnored broke that spell, I found to my amazement and utter disbelief that I had been wrong about what the Bible Plainly Teaches. That is why I give much applause to the Gospel Glitterait for the effectiveness of their marketing strategy to first demonize the opposing position by poisoning the well with accusations of abandoning the authority of the Bible or rebelling against God’s Good and Beautiful Design.
Another layer of protection from the truth was that I was what would be called a soft Complementarian. I didn’t face the root issue which is hierarchy because my dad and my husband have never asserted that. It was a non-issue until it became an unavoidable issue. I would very much like for the Kens of this world to be able to avoid having to deal with the same kind of unavoidable issue.
This (please see link below in my post) will happen to his daughters…
Just because it doesn’t happen in Ken’s marriage personally doesn’t mean it’s not happening in other marriages, because it is happening
(Ken should begin visiting blogs by Christian women who had to divorce their controlling or physically abusive gender complementarian