"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

God Calls Patriarchal Headship A Sinful Desire

We live in a day when the basic family unit is disintegrating. Divorces are rampant. Live-in relationships are the norm, and homosexual unions are being recognized by governments. It is right and necessary for the Christian church to both teach and model the Biblical concept of "family" in this age when the Biblical concept of family is seldom understood. However, one of the problems we face as Christians is misinterpreting what God calls the ideal home. There is a growing patriarchal movement among conservative Christian churches, a movement where men are taught that they should have complete "authority" in the home, and that they should "rule" over their wives and children. Many of these conservative Bible-believing Christians who advocate patriarchy honestly believe they are teaching Biblical truth. It is my intention in this post to show that patriarchy is not God's ideal, but rather, patriarchy is the result of God's curse on Adam and Eve. When God's grace appears in the home, patriarchy is expelled.

When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, God pronounced judgment on them in Genesis 3:16-19. God first began with Eve:

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).
Some conservative Bible scholars take the last phrase of v.16 to mean (1). The wife shall have a “sexual desire” for her husband (i.e. “your desire shall be for your husband”), and (2). The husband is to be the head, authority and ruler of the home (i.e. “and he shall rule over you”). These conservative scholars declare that God’s statement in v. 16 is how the husband and wife “should” relate to each other in the home, and how the home ought to be in terms of headship and governance. The man, they say, is to rule over his home; there should be no equality of authority since God established this patriarchal system from the very beginning.

However, other conservative Bible scholars rightly point out that the woman’s “desire” for her husband in Genesis 3:16 is not, at least linguistically and contextually, a sexual desire. One only needs to turn one chapter over to find the same word teshuqah, in Genesis 4:7, where it is also translated “desire." In the context of Genesis 4:7, teshuqah is used to refer to sin’s “desire” to control Cain. Thus, letting the Bible interpret itself, the word “desire” in both both Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 means “a desire to control.”

Likewise, the same Hebrew verb mashal, which means “to rule,” is also used in Genesis 4:7, just as it was in Genesis 3:16. Mashal is used in Genesis 4:7 to describe Cain’s efforts to rule over or dominate the sin that is “crouching at his door.” Again, when you let the Bible interpret itself, mashal is used in both Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 to describe someone who is having to fend off an attack; it carries the idea of warring for control or domination; a battle to see who will be ultimate "ruler."

Using basic principles of interpretation, one comes up with a very simple explanation of the consequence of God's curse on Adam and Eve - a consequence that has infiltrated every home since the beginning of time. Simply put, the woman will desire to dominate or control the man, but the man, perhaps even with superior strength, will fight hard to rule over and dominate the woman. Where the curse is present there is a constant battle for control. This is how things are because of sin, not how things in the home ought to be. The patriarchal societies of the world express the reality of male domination, and in certain western Christian cultures, patriarchy is often said to be ordered by God - as if God designed the home to be this way.

Likewise, in some cultures, such as the Kanu of South America, the women "rule" the home, and the men are the "servants." These women explain their domination of men in the home with the simple phrase - "the gods have made it this way." What both matriarchal and patriachal proponents need to understand, regardless of the culture from which they come, is that any system designed for "domination" or "control" of the other spouse is the result of sin and the curse on sin.

When the God of all grace gets a hold of a man and a woman in a marriage relationship, no longer will there be a fight to see who dominates and controls the other. Rather, there will be mutual submission between husband and wife (i.e. Ephesians 5:21 – “submitting to one another in reverence to Christ”). Mutual submission, with no thought of "control," is God's design for the home. It should be the effort of every Bible-believing church, pastor and teacher to instruct husbands and wives on the sinful nature of any husband or wife seeking to dominate the other spouse.

In fact, I like what Dr. Richard Hess, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Denver Theological Seminary says in his comments on Genesis 3:16. Dr. Hess said all Christians should attempt to pull down any patriarchal (or matriarchal) system of domination and control in the Christian home, and then responds to those who object to any attempt to end patriarchy:

It is no more a sin to end this consequence of the fall than it is to use weed killer to end the promised weeds and thorns in the following verses. No, the emphasis (in Genesis 3:16) is on the terrible effects of sin, and the destruction of a harmonious relationship that once existed. In its place comes a harmful struggle of wills.
I trust that conservative, evangelical churches will continue to proclaim and model God's design for the home. I just pray that we do a good job of understanding the subject ourselves first. Patriarchy is the result of man's sinful desire to control and dominate and should be, by God's grace, avoided at all costs.

In His Grace,


Wade

261 comments:

1 – 200 of 261   Newer›   Newest»
Brent Hobbs said...

There's certainly a lot of truth in what you're saying, Wade. We should excel at demonstrating a love for our wives that is deferential and considerate. However, you don't sound like you are leaving any room for the husband as head of the wife as Christ is head of the church.

The truth is certainly not in male domination but "mutual submission" is not the end of the story either.

Wade Burleson said...

Brent,

There has been a great deal written on the Greek word translated "head." I believe, as do many other conservative Greek scholars who are much wiser than I, that head means source (ie. as in "headwaters").

Therefore, to say Christ is the source of the church as the husband is the source of the wife (literally: she came from his side, and figuratively in many ways), is in no way in conflict with mutual submission.

Blessings,

Wade

Pastor Tommy said...

Again, 'mutual submission' is not the end of the story. I agree the concept of male headship is abused, but does not mean it is not biblical.

Your argument lacks the backing of the whole context of scripture or just the whole context of the passages you cite would suffice to argue against your findings.

Debbie Kaufman said...

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21).

You mean scripture such as this?

Wade Burleson said...

Pastor Tommy,

Maybe. I freely admit I could be wrong.

Maybe not. I freely admit I could be right.

:)

I feel from my own study that my interpretations of the sacred text are consistent with the whole counsel of God.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I wonder if the two shall become one means one in equality and mutual submission.

Tom Kelley said...

Wade,
I would say that I agree with you, but that might sound like I am being self-important to think that it matters whether I agree with you or not. So, instead, I will just say I am glad to know that you agree with me.
-----
Tom

msvoboda said...

Wade,

Although I do disagree with you I am pleased to see you address the issue theologically and not politically. You are a smart man and you are also a man of your word. For that, I am appreciative.

Tom Kelley said...

It's really hard for me to conceive how anybody can disagree with what Wade is saying. I know that Bible believers differ on this point, just as in other matters, but Wade's post is (to me) such a clear and straighforward interpretation of the text in context (both immediate and overall) that the alternative view seems (to me) to be culturally rather than biblically based.
-----
Tom

msvoboda said...

Tom,

That is kind of funny. To claim complementarianism is the culturally based belief and not egalitarianism. You do realize the culture we live in hates complementarianism, right?

Lydia said...

http://godswordtowomen.org/teshuqa_chart.pdf

An interesting history of the translation of Teshuqa

Ancient renderings of teshuqa

http://godswordtowomen.org/lesson%2017.htm

Lydia said...

ms,

The 'culture' always wants power and influence over someone. It is of the flesh. Man elevating himself over others and twisting scripture to make it a command.

That is why your view is cultural and has been for thousands of years. You are teaching others to live out the consequences of sin.

If you are believer, you are not exempt from Eph 5:21 or any of the 'one anothers'.

One Salient Oversight said...

Ephesians 2.10 says that Jesus is the "Head" (kephale) of all "rule and authority" (arche and exousia).

Is Jesus therefore the "source" of the world's "power and authorities" - that is, the evil that controls the world? Or is he their "ruler" - that is, greater than they?

One Salient Oversight said...

Sorry, that's Colossians 2.10

Tom Kelley said...

Matthew,
The issue Wade's post addressed is patriarchy (male domination of women), rather than complementarianism (male/female differences of "role"). But I understand the connection, in that the arguments for patriarchy can also be used by complementarianism.

Human history is full of examples of long-standing cultural biases. One such example is the acceptance for centuries of slavery as part of the God-intended social order. But most Christians today would say that slavery is inconsistent with God's ultimate intent for human relationships. While God acknowledged the existence of slavery and provided regulations intended to limit its most egregious abuses, the practice runs contrary to God's commands to love others and to treat them as we would want to be treated.

Likewise, I believe that the notion that God intended men to dominate (rule over) women (or husbands over wives) is another example of a centuries old (millenniums old, actually) cultural bias, rising out of human sin nature and the curse on original sin. I do not believe that being against patriarchy is a culturally based view any more than I think that being against slavery is a culturally based view. Both are biblical views that stand against very long standing cultural views.
-----
Tom

Bryan Riley said...

Excellent post. In my opinion, spot on. And, now, in Christ, there is no condemnation. No more curse. Redemption through the cross leads to a new way. Praise the Lord.

Cheryl Schatz said...

One Salient Oversight said:

>>Ephesians 2.10 says that Jesus is the "Head" (kephale) of all "rule and authority" (arche and exousia).

Is Jesus therefore the "source" of the world's "power and authorities" - that is, the evil that controls the world? Or is he their "ruler" - that is, greater than they?<<

Jesus is indeed the "source" of all the world's power and authority.

Rom 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

God is not responsible for evil men's hearts but He is the one who is the source of all power and authority.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Great post.

I believe it was Cheryl Schatz that I first heard the true explanation of “desire” in Genesis 3:16.

Since then, I read the NLT copywrite 2004:

“Then he said to the woman…And you will desire to control your husband…”

I believe when the majority of Baptists understand the proper relationship between men and women, “The office of pastor is limited to men” will be removed from the BFM.

Or should I say when 'the powers that be understand'?

Better yet...when 'the powers that be' do God's will. :)

Stephen said...

I am glad to see so many quotes from NT scripture. One error conservatives make is to continue with OT paradigms. Hence, so many "Keep the Ten Commandments" type of bumper stickers, signs, etc.

Wade has done a great service to us by posting his interpretations. Spiritual food for thought and digestion. We need to be Biblical Christians, not cultural Christians. The "man over woman" model is simply a cultural model and is shallow in the face of NT teachings of mutual love and mutual submission. It is easy for a man to attempt to exert dominion over a woman. It is not so easy to "love your wife as Christ loved the church" not because she is not lovable, but because many men are not led by the Spirit, but by inherent sin and cultural bias.

Jon L. Estes said...

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21).

You mean scripture such as this?


Ahhh, lets take this verse in context with the next few, which I believe tell us how this submitting is to be handled in marriage.

1 - Wives placing themselves under the leadership (not dictatorship, the sin which is addressed in wade's blog). v. 22

2 - Husbands lead in love, a love which draws your spouse to God.

But I am glad Wade wrote exactly what his wife told him to write. ;-)

Lydia said...

Complimentarian is a propaganda term. There is nothng complimentary about unequal roles. That is like separate but equal and claiming it is equal.

Comp is really patriarchy with lipstick. That term just sells bettre than 'patriarchy' would.

Where ARE the specific non biological roles in scripture?

Paula said...

sailent,

Also note that "head of" is not identical to "head over". We sometimes mean it that way in English (and sometimes not, such as "head of the river"), but the Greek word for "over" is not there.

Of course no one denies that Jesus has all authority, but the head/body metaphor is always about unity of substance. Note also that it is the ekklesia, not the world, that is the Body, and no one would say Jesus is not the source or originator of that.

Thy Peace said...

It should be the effort of every Bible-believing church, pastor and teacher to instruct husbands and wives on the sinful nature of any husband or wife seeking to dominate the other spouse.

Amen.

Thy Peace said...

All the below links are from VTMBottomLine [Paul Burleson]:

Is Jesus Eternally Subordinate To The Father?.
There is a theological controversy at large in the SBC as well as other parts of the Body of Christ in the present day. Some people are teaching that Jesus is/has been eternally in submission to the Father and is an example of the biblical truth that women are to be submitted to men for now and eternity also. [Verses like 1 Corinhians 11:3 are used to support this.].

Is Jesus Eternally Subordinate To The Father?====== My Two Cents.
Does 1 Cor. 11:3 actually say and mean that Christ is eternally subordinate to God the Father because that's what "head" means? Is the Son's will to be obedient to the Father's will in eternity to come? Is the eternal Father over the eternal Son in eternity future in terms of authority? Some say yes, yes, and yes.

Roger D. Lee said...

This is a good post and will most definitely encourage good discussion. I must take a different reading of the verse at hand.

While mutual submission among the members of the Body is the way we are to live I do not believe this is what Paul is referring to. Please allow me to explain. The full context tells us that we are to be "spirit filled" and this is the last of the admonishments to this way of life. The term used is used 23 times in the Pauline corpus and it carries the same meaning as to "arrange under." Thus the reading would be, "spirit-filled believers are to voluntarily to submit to those in authority.

A second reason for this reading is that when one reads further in the context there is no reciprocal submission required. Case in point, the parents are not to submit to the children, nor are the masters to submit to the slaves.

Paul also spends much time to separate the differing roles of the husband and wife in verses 22-31.

If the role of Christ is reflected in the role of the husband then I can in no way see Christ submitting Himself to the Church.

Food for thought.

Roger D. Lee

Paula said...

"For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."

"If I have washed your feet, so also you should wash one another's feet."

I'd call that Jesus submitting Himself to the church.

Wade Burleson said...

I have a friend that is planting churches in the matriarchal Kanu tribe. He says it is very, very difficult to get the women to understand that they should not rule over the men - almost as difficult as getting men in patriarchal societies to see they should not rule over women.

I believe the sacred text speaks to both forms of sinful desires. Mutual submission, by the grace of God, is the key. In other words, when men see they are called by God to serve their wives and when wives see they are called by God to serve their husbands, you have an incredible harmony, an unconditional love, and the Biblical pattern for the ideal marriage.

I don't know why it is hard for some to see themselves as servants to their spouse rather than seeing themselves as the one who is to be served - except for the fact "sin is crouching at the door."

:)

Paula said...

Wade,

I'm glad you mention this rare instance of female supremacism, because it reminds us that equality is **not** the opposite of male supremacism. Equality is the pivot point or fulcrum, the only view that is against the very idea of supremacy. Yet the vast majority of "complementarians" (loved Lydia's 'patriarchy with lipstick' comment) view egalitarians as holding the opposite view.

So when some try to find "middle ground" between one form of supremacism and the middle (egal.), they will only remain on their own side.

Jon L. Estes said...

wade,

I think there are marriages which are patriarchal and the husband serves his wife. I don't think it would be best to define patriarchal as an ogre over his beat down wife.

Yes, there are homes that way and they are wrong but that would be distorting God's order in the home. Not the man first but Jesus and according to Matthew if we get that right everything else will be added unto us.

50 / 50 doesn't work when a split decision is needing to be responded to. I guess those families could flip a coin or alternate the one who gets to decide.

But, for every man who gives up his servant leadership in the home to be overbearing or overrun... he will answer for his sin.

Paula said...

John,

Please show us where Jesus told any of His followers to be "servant leaders", and qualified it to exclude women from this "role".

Purifier said...

Wade,
My opinion to your story is that what the Bible is saying is that when your joined as a man and woman,if there is conflict or the matter can not be settled then the man has and is the final decision maker concerning whatever is unresolved between the man and woman. It is as a supportive role direction not submissive and the Bible tries to avoid conflict by proclamation of this Biblical statement.

In simple terms, GOD is just being a judge in this matter and laying out a resolution for us to follow so there is no question to authority or resolve. Kind of like a Supreme Court ruling.

Also you say....

"It is right and necessary for the Christian church to both teach and model the Biblical concept of "family" in this age when the Biblical concept of family is seldom understood. However, one of the problems we face as Christians is misinterpreting what God calls the ideal home. There is a growing patriarchal movement among conservative Christian churches, a movement where men are taught that they should have complete "authority" in the home, and that they should "rule" over their wives and children. Many of these conservative Bible-believing Christians who advocate patriarchy honestly believe they are teaching Biblical truth. It is my intention in this post to show that patriarchy is not God's ideal, but rather, patriarchy is the result of God's curse on Adam and Eve. When God's grace appears in the home, patriarchy is expelled."

My question is, when there are so many out there preaching inaccurate teachings of GODS word, how are we to know what is truth and what is counterfeit?

We have preaching by many who are "tares" and it is becoming much harder finding "wheat's" in the ministry.

we must purify the church so we can know.........
Purifier

Wade Burleson said...

Purifier and John,

If my wife and I cannot come to an agreement on a major decision, then we do not decide anything.

For example: If my wife cannot agree that it is wise for us to relocate, then we would never make the decision to relocate - and vice-versa.

It is amazing, however, that when two people in marriage appreciate and honor the desires of the other and seek the Lord for wisdom, the Spirit of God does a pretty good job of guiding both.

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

The scriptural teaching on the husband will do to answer your question.

Of course, I know a few women who desire the role of husband.
;-)

Paula said...

John, show me the scripture.

Jon L. Estes said...

[1] If my wife and I cannot come to an agreement on a major decision, then we do not decide anything.

[2] For example: If my wife cannot agree that it is wise for us to relocate, then we would never make the decision to relocate - and vice-versa.

[1] That works if it is a decision that does not have to be made.

[2] There is LIBERTY written all over that response.

From south of VA. --- jle

Paula said...

John,

Specifically as I asked, be sure it's what Jesus taught.

Roger D. Lee said...

Paula,

I agree Jesus did serve and He gave us the example that we should serve. I only said that the text used does not say what we want it to say.

When Jesus served He did only what He could do, "serve as a ransom for many." We can't serve as a ransom for many.

He also washed the feet of the disciples. I agree we are to be servants.

He also says that He has has been all authority (Matthew 28) but the Church cannot claim that we have authority over the Head, Jesus Christ.

My comment was directed toward the passage in question and I do believe the context sets the parameters for the interpretation.

That's all.

So please tell me, where does the Scripture reinforce that parents are to be submissive to the children? :)

Roger D. Lee

Paula said...

Roger D. Lee,

I know many men do not wish to take those words of Jesus as what they mean-- that we all should follow His example of "not so among you"-- but that's what He said. I'm not sure how you took anything I said to mean we should be godlike. Ironically, that is what male supremacists take for husbands and wives in Paul's letter to the Ephesians; they think it means men sanctify and purify their wives.

Jesus alone is the God-Man, so Jesus alone can be both absolute ruler as God and servant as Man. There are no scriptures saying that Jesus told His followers to model His divinity.

My response too was directed toward the passage in question, and cannot be brushed away simply because there is no escaping what Jesus told us to do: serve, not boss like the world

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

Ephesians 5:25. Can a woman fulfill that command?

Daniel said...

I learned something I had never noticed about Ephesians 5:21 from listening to NT lectures by Robert Stein that I downloaded from biblicaltraining.org. "Submitting" is the last in a list of three participles describing how the members of the church should be filled with the Holy Spirit. The other two are "addressing" in v. 19 and "giving thanks" in v. 20. Stein says that because verse 21 is grammatically connected to the previous three verses, it is therefore not referring to the relationship between husbands and wives that Paul goes on to address in verse 22. He says that this point of grammar doesn't prove anything one way or the other about the debates over gender roles, but that it does mean you can't connect verses 21 and 22 the way many people do.

Paula said...

John, I'll be happy to answer other questions after you answer mine. Show me the scriptures I asked for.

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

Who here who is supporting a patriarchal role in families is saying the husband is the boss, like the world?

No one I have read thus far.

Yes, there are some men in the church, universal, who will be "boss" and this is wrong but to surrender the leader role of husband is also wrong.

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

Ephesians 5:25 answers your question.

You don't have to answer mine, it was rhetorical.

Roger D. Lee said...

This passage does not permission for the husband to "be boss" over the wife. The boss mentality is a result of the fall and it becomes abusive.

I am not advocating the slightest interpretation that husbands are given the right to boss over their wives. Nor am I saying the husbands should not serve their wives. Husbands are to serve in the manner Christ has called them to serve. Just like Christ served in the manner He was called. Nor am I saying that that the husband can purify his wife. If one will read the entire text it says the husbands are to nourish and cherish the wife. When I nourish and cherish my wife I serve her in ways no one else can. No one better be serving my wife that way. :) When she respects me she serves me in ways no one can serve me, 5:33.

Roger D. Lee

Paul does not even say the text is totally concerned with the marital relationship. He says his is speaking of Christ and Church. I believe instead of looking at the Church through the lens of the family, we should look at the family through the lens of Christ and the Church.

As far as context, I believe 5:22-6:7 is illustrative of how Spirit-filled people live in the context of the household relationships. It is a continuation of 5:1 that speaks how the believer is to imitate God by walking in love.

Roger D. Lee said...

No one has answered, when are the parents to be submissive to the children? :)

Paula said...

No, John, Jesus is not being quoted in Eph. 5. My question is not rhetorical, so please face it and answer it.

Paula said...

"Who here who is supporting a patriarchal role in families is saying the husband is the boss, like the world?"

Who here said something about "the final say"? Who but a boss has that right, and by the flesh alone?

Roger D. Lee said...

I do believe Christ has the final say in all things, Col. 1:18

Roger

Paula said...

So do I. But men are not Christ.

Purifier said...

In response to your post addressed to me;
Sorry Wade, but I have to agree with John here...

I agree.....

[1] That works IF it is a decision that DOES NOT have to be made.

[2] There is LIBERTY written all over that response.

What I am saying is that when the bottom line is needed, the Man has the final word here on earth and then the recourse's of that decision line up.

The woman does have input, but the man is lead just as Christ is within the Church,...... unless there are those who do believe this simple commandment.

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

Sorry, but to make your position her eon the red letter words won't cut the mustard.

The Bible is God's word, inspired divinely (God Breathed), true from cover to cover in all it says, teaches and speaks to. Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus is from God, as if he said it Himself.

You don't have to agree with me but I will not push all scripture not printed in red as less than from God Himself.

Yet, if you choose to only want to look at the red letters, our discussion on this subject can't go any further.

I had a discussion with someone else on a different forum, this person supports homosexuality and His main argument is that Jesus did not specifically speak against it. That position is lame, at best.

Paula said...

So you believe in male-only "servant leadership" in spite of Jesus never saying such a thing, and instead saying expressly "not so among you". Thank you for finally admitting that this concept is not found in anything Jesus said.

And to clarify, I was not focusing on that as if other scriptures are not inspired, but to get you to realize that since male supremacism always cites Jesus as the model of the "servant leader", then it is extremely significant that nothing of the kind is found in the gospels. That was my point.

Now, from that admission, we can go on to other passages if you're willing.

As for the argument about what Jesus didn't say, I completely agree. Yet I've seen the likes of bible.org use that very argument concerning Jesus' alleged upholding of male supremacy. They argue that because Jesus didn't speak out against patriarchy, then He tacitly approved of it. So I will be watching to see if you use this tactic in the future.

John Fariss said...

Jon and Purifier,

And liberty is bad because. . . ?

BTW, some "decisions" are already made for us--just read what the Word says. My wife and I don't have to decide whether to avoid adultery or polution or drugs and things that desacrate the temple of our bodies. Neither do we have to decide to avoid running red lights or speeding, life and death decisions, or to mutually submit, because they are already made. When I was a uniformed police officer, our department was very strict on us wearing our caps whenever we were outside. I remember one officer saying, "Yeah, but what about if we are chasing someone on foot, and we don't have time to put it on?" The answer was, "How often do you chase someone on foot without knowing before the chase begins that it might happen? THAT is when you put the cap on--when common sense and prudence suggest you might be out of the car." I have found that the same thing happens in a lot of decisions--we have time to make them in consultation with one another, we just don't, because we wait until the chase is on to get prepared for the chase.

John

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

Scripture speaks of male;

1 - responsibiltiy
2 - accountability in the home
3 - not supremacy.

I think we can agree on at least the last of the three thoughts. As for the first two, a husband better take these seriously and be the servant leader over his wife while under his God.

The wife needs to willingly place herself under this order (God's not man's).

Paula said...

Jon,

You keep using the term "servant leader". Define that for me. Please explain how this leader, as opposed to any kind of leadership a woman might have, is still not a boss and does not have the final say. Show me where it says no woman can be a "servant leader".

As for your list, please clarify #1. Do you mean that husbands are responsible for anything beyond loving, serving, and protecting their wives? Exactly what are males responsible for that no females are? I know what those are but I want to know what you think they are.

Paula said...

To clarify "protecting": against the abuses of society, not spiritual deception.

Tim Marsh said...

Pastor Wade,

Thank you for this post.

I think that it would have been stronger if you included Galatians 3:28 in your discussion.

However, I agree that male headship was not God's intention, but a result of the fall. It has taken us years to get girls in school and women the right to vote in this country.

Look at Iran as an example of patriarchal abuse.

Ultimately, I want to ask those who favor this Biblical Manhood and Womanhood movement what your motives are to be "the head over your wife and household."

You show not only a lack of understanding of the trees of scripture, but the entire forest, or big picture of scripture.

Ephesians 5:21-33 is mutual submission at its greatest. Paul hints at differences between the genders understood in his historical context, yet calls for love and submission from both. Christ's example as the example of male headship is not an appeal to Christ's status as Lord, but to his willingness to go to the cross.

I am concerned about the motives behind this Biblical Manhood and Womanhood movement.

I agree with Pastor Wade. If husband and wife cannot agree, then the Lord will reveal his will to both who seek it, if they are sincere. I would never make a major life decision that affects family without making it together with my wife.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Founders Ministries Blog > A long journey in church discipline-Pt. 2.
When I received Steve's email I was overwhelmed with a sense of God's power and grace which certainly appeared to be working to rescue a man who had been living in the far country for over a decade. I wish I could say that I had lived in expectation that one day I would get a phone call or email like that. But too often, to my shame, it is easier to believe in depravity than it is in grace.
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VTMBottomLine > The Ministry.
When Paul Spoke of "this ministry" in 11 Corinthians 4:1 he was speaking of the transforming work of the Spirit in ALL believers as mentioned in 11 Corinthians 3:18. To Paul "the ministry" was not something God called him "to do." Rather it was something that was to reveal what God had done in him by His Grace through the Person of Christ.
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Paul Burleson said...

Someone before me has pointed this out and I'm actually paraphrasing him. [A retired Professor at Wheaton College.]

Show me a verse of scripture that defines the headship of Christ to the church as one relating to authority or leadership. It isn't there.

The New Testament defines the headship ministry of Christ to the church as a servant relationship designed to provide the church with life and growth This headship is never presented as an authority or lordship position.

Eph. 1:22-23. Christ is supremely and universally sovereign, but as head for the church, it is not said that he rules over it. Instead, he provides his body with the fullness of him who fills all in all. He causes the church to grow and flourish.

Eph. 4:15-16. Christ as head provides the body with oneness, cohesion and growth. This is a servant-provider role, not one of rulership.

Eph. 5:23. Christ is head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. His headship to the church is defined as saviorhood which is biblically defined as a servant, self-sacrificing function, not a lordship role.

Col. 1:18. Christ is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead. As its head, Christ is the source of the church's life.

Col. 2:19. Christ is the head from whom the whole body grows because it is nourished by him. He is servant-provider of life and growth to the church.

Obviously, Christ is Lord of all and therefore Lord of the church. But never does the New Testament define Christ's relation to the church as its head in terms of lordship, authority or rulership. As head to the church, Christ is always the servant who gives the church all she needs to become his radiant Bride. So is the husband to his wife (Eph. 5:25-30), within a relationship of mutual submission (v. 21).

The word "head" used figuratively in the English language refers to boss, person in authority, leader. It never has that meaning in New Testament Greek. There are hundreds of references in the New Testament to religious, governmental, civic, familial and military authority figures. Not one of them is ever designated as "head."

Even Christ, as "head" of all rule and authority, remains their original giver of life and fullness (Col. 2:10; 1:16). Similarly, Christ was never called "head" of the church until after his crucifixion, the supreme expression of his servant ministry as the giver of new life.

Whenever Christ is described as "head" to the church, his ministry is that of servant-provider. Similarly, as head to his wife, a husband is a servant-provider of life, of fullness and growth, not one who exercises authority over her.

I found it interesting to say the least.

Lydia said...

"No one has answered, when are the parents to be submissive to the children? :)"

Roger, do you view your adult wife as a child? Many comps do.

Children are to obey their 'parents'

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl Schatz said...

Robert D. Lee asked: >>No one has answered, when are the parents to be submissive to the children? :)<<

One of the ways to practice submission is putting someone else's needs ahead of your own. Has a parent ever submitted his/her own needs beneath the needs of his/her child? Christian submission is not being a door mat but is rather a position of your own power under control for the benefit of another.

Roger D. Lee said...

I thought I was done with this. No, my wife is not my child, neither do I treat her as a child. MY point is that 5:21 is illustrated by the following verses, 5:22-33. I was addressing the idea that the submission in 21 is reciprocal as we interpret many times. If husbands and wives were to be mutually submissive then the same would go for children and parents, slaves and masters. I do not see Paul saying that.

If those who are picking up the thread now please read my responses in full. My issues was with the text used to support the main point of the blog today. Paul's writing to the Philippian church may better speak to "esteeming others higher than we esteem ourselves."

We are to yield to others and place their needs above our own. I do not believe this text what we want it to say. That's all. Please 5:1-21. Our character is to one who loves like God has loved us. Our marital relationship is to reflect that love. As I stated before the theme of this text is not the Family. The theme of the text is Christ, the Church and how the household codes of the first century were to be affected by our relationship with Christ.

As far as one who has lost a spouse, I am sorry.

There is no universal domination present in this text.

Roger D. Lee

Paula said...

R. D. Lee,

I don't know how it's possible to miss the mutuality of the submission in Eph. 5:21-- "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

And there is no verb in 22, which simply says "wives to your own husbands as to the Lord". The emphasis is on wives identifying with their husbands, not on submission to them. The Roman law of the time, "marriage without hand", made women the permanent property of their fathers, such that if a son-in-law displeased a father he could give his daughter to someone else. That both Paul and Peter use the qualifier "own" with advice to wives is significant in this context.

If mutual submission is impossible, as Grudem et al have said, then they contradict Eph. 5:21. Grudem also says submission is **always** to an authority, which leads to the inevitable conclusion that a wife is like a permanent child to her husband.

So again, the issue for you is that vs. 21 cannot be ignored.

Tom Kelley said...

Roger D Lee said...
So please tell me, where does the Scripture reinforce that parents are to be submissive to the children? :)


Short answer: In Ephesians 6:4. :)

This goes to how one understands the biblical concept of submission. If you think of submission as relating only or primarily to one person being ruler or boss over another, then you would not see a parent as ever submitting to their children.

But I believe that submission as taught in Scripture (such as Ephesians 5 & 6) is not about who is in charge but is about setting aside one's own claim to rights and privileges in favor of serving and meeting the needs of another. Thus, when Eph 5:21 says we are to submit to one another, it elaborates with how that submission is to look from both sides of common relationships (husbands/wives, masters/servants, parents/children). The exhortation is for the husband to submit (set aside selfish considerations or "rights", in order to serve) to his wife by loving and serving her like Christ did the church; the wife is to submit to her husband by respecting him and recognizing him as her source, just as Christ is the source of us all. Likewise, parents submit to their children by not exasperating them but training them, and children submit to their parents by obeying and honoring them. And masters submit to their servants by serving rather than threatening them, while slaves submit to their masters by serving sincerely, as if serving Christ, rather than just because they are forced to.

The selfish obsession with “who’s the boss” that permeates our culture and human relationships is a result of fallen human nature, and it is deeply ingrained and can even influence how we view and interpret God’s Word. As a result we (humans) take a passage like Ephesians 5 and, rather than seeing it as a call to humble and selfless servitude, we see it as God’s endorsement of men as ruling over women. But Jesus continues to teach us the more excellent way of sacrificial love and service.

-----
Tom

Paula said...

Tom, excellent remark about people clinging to power. It would seem that the disciples are still arguing over who is the greatest. :-(

Roger D. Lee said...

Paula,

You are correct there is no verb in 22. The verb from v. 21 is implied in verse 22.

I go to the definition of the verb Paul uses, Hupotasso. The definition is to ① to cause to be in a submissive relationship, to subject, to subordinate or the passive in which the verb in 21 is that one is to voluntarily to submit. BDAG

Please do something with the terminology Paul uses. There are other terms Paul could have used.

Tom Kelley,

I have never said anything about boss. I do not believe this passage is discussing who is the boss in the family. My comment about the children is speaking to the reciprocity that is alluded to in v. 21.

Each family has a way to behave toward one another. However, the text does not say that the parents are to obey the children as the children are to obey the parents.

Yes, Fathers are not to exacerbate the children.

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POWER. But it does everything to do to setting aside personal agendas and meeting the needs of the other family member for the sake of Christ.

Lydia said...

Roger,

you are right. I was not reading you correctly. I am not sure I understand your last comment in full but I agree that passage is not the family but it is about LOVE.

To all,

What is even more amazing in that passage, as Paul brings down the submit from verse 21, is that he did not write that women were to obey their husbands. That was the civil code.

But to tell all believers to submit to one another with no exceptions made for husbands, elders, etc is quite radical.

But then, the Body is to be made up of Born Again "peculiar" people who do not look like the worldly who are constantly vying for position and influence over others. All believers in the Body are anointed. There are no professional Christians. Elders are spiritually mature. They would never want power over others. Just the truth of the Word to be upheld.

This is the radical love in the Body that led Paul to tell the slave owner to take back his runaway slave, deserving of death according the law, but to treat him like a "Brother in Christ".

I think Patriarchy/comp teaching
hurts men much more than women. It is a huge sin trap for men thinking they are "spiritual leaders" over others. They will tell you it is a huge responsibility but in reality, it is carnal flesh wanting position and elevation over others. Scripture teaches service to others. Not servant leader.

See, being a bond servant was not elevating enough so some enterprising person added 'leader' to make it more palitable.

Just try show them the truth of what Holy Spirit is teaching for the Body and marriage and you are accused of going with culture, being a liberal, feminist, being in rebellion, etc. They rarely want to engage in the content in a deep way.

Many comp women areconstantly manipulating because they do not want their husband to see them as more spiritual so they try and make their views his idea so it won't look like she is usurping his 'role' as leader. I have seen these things too many times. Most comp couples deny this happens and put on the perfect public comp couple face but I have seen it way too often.

Married women do not have 2 masters. They do not have 2 leaders.

They, like men, only have one: Jesus Christ. To say otherwise, is to twist scripture for their own benefit and therefore it becomes a huge sin trap for mem who think higher of themselves than they ought. It is to teach both men and women to LIVE OUT the consequences of Gen 3 as a command of God and that is blasphemous.

Paula said...

Roger, you have still not dealt with v. 21. Does it mean what it clearly says or not? If, as you noted, 22 gets its verb from 21, then how can the submission of wives be different from the submission of ALL believers to each other?

Show me how you "do something" with that. ;-)

Roger D. Lee said...

Continuation of thought:

it is not about power and control. It is about responsibility and accountability. That bears a greater weight.

The desire for power and to lord over others with power is a result of the fall. Nevertheless, we are not immune to it.

I believe in the created differences between man and woman and I appreciate and embrace those differences.

My core beliefs have nothing to do with complimentarian and egalitarian discussions. i can't even define the terms. I do not follow Council of womanhood and Manhood.

Ephesians 6:4 is a key to understanding why we are to live as Paul calls us to, as to Christ.

Our lives are to be lived for the purpose of bringing glory to one who deserves all of our glory.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Roger D. Lee said: >>it is not about power and control. It is about responsibility and accountability. That bears a greater weight.<<

Are you saying that a husband is accountable for his wife? Will he stand before Christ and give an accounting of what she did or didn't do?

Roger D. Lee said...

Paula,

I believe I have addressed v.21. I do not believe it says what we want it to say.

Let's look at the verse:

21 1aand be subject to one another in the 2bfear of Christ.
New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Eph 5:21.

Verse 21 comes at the end of an encouragement on how to live as Spirit-filled believers. The verse is a continuation of the answer of 5:1, that we are to be imitators of God. Paul continues to list 3 ways we are to walk through the chapter.

Believers whose lives have been filled by God’s Spirit will be marked by submission within divinely ordered relationships.
Peter Thomas O'Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 398. (For brevity sake)

The term submission is defined as to arrange under, usually a military term meaning rank. Paul used it I did not.

The term mutual is described as each one submitting as they should.

The reason I question the popular interpretation is that the verse does not fit with in the context as we normally describe mutual submission.

Are we to esteem others higher than ourselves? Yes!!

Are we to serve one another? Yes!!

Are we to see to that the needs of others are met? Yes!!

My point is that each one has a particular way to mutually submit to one another.

Cheryl,

No, the husband is not going to answer for his wife but each one is responsible and accountable to obey the Word of Christ and His commands. That's all. No man/woman debate. just plain obedience to the Word that I did not write but the Word in which I must obey.

Roger D. Lee

Paul then goes on to apply the admonition with 5:22-33.

Roger D. Lee said...

I am going home now. On the way I need to pick up my wife from work so that she does not have to walk 4 miles home. Then I will go home and prepare dinner as she rests from her day at work.

Have a blessed day!

Roger D. lee

Lydia said...

"Verse 21 comes at the end of an encouragement on how to live as Spirit-filled believers. The verse is a continuation of the answer of 5:1, that we are to be imitators of God. Paul continues to list 3 ways we are to walk through the chapter."

Roger, check the original Greek. Submit is NOT in verse 22. It was added by translators to that verse. Verse 22 is a continuation of verse 21.

It really helps to take out chapter breaks and verse numbers and read it in a interlinear.

Paula said...

Believers whose lives have been filled by God’s Spirit will be marked by submission within divinely ordered relationships.

That last part is adding to the text; there is nothing in the text about "divinely ordered relationships". Interpretation is not the same as divine inspiration.

The argument that authority is just another kind of submission is the sort of Orwellian doubletalk I've come to expect from all who keep arguing for male privilege, and that God gave it to you. Paul's emphasis, as I said, is not on underlings obeying rulers but believers in whatever their circumstances treating other believers with deference. Yes, even the privileged ones.

Notice something else there in the Greek: the word used for children and slaves is hupakouo, not hupotasso. Slaves and children had no choice, but wives, as the "co-heirs" (not sub-heirs) Peter called them, have a choice. Thus Paul freed wives from the "bowing to society" that favored men of the time and made them equal adults, fully in control of their own behavior just as any man.

The earlier comment about the forest and the trees is well worth your consideration.

Lydia said...

Tim Marsh, You comment asks the same questions I have been asking... only better.

I am still trying to figure out where authority/submission fits into 'one flesh union'. The marriage relationship intended by God.

The little girl you are holding is blessed to have such a father and will see the great love of mutual submission modeled by her parents.

linda said...

On the one hand, I agree with Pastor Wade that the "patriarchy" is part of the curse, and we live beyond the curse.

But then comes ordering the family, the church, and the society for the benefit of all.

And you know what? It does seem that separate but equal roles just works better. (And just maybe are God ordained and scriptural.)

And no, complementarianism is not patriarchy with lipstick on.

It would seem there is a growing idea that women are perfectly capable of thinking and are equal to men in all respects unless of course they reject feminism and its goals. Then they are just bimbos.

Now tell me, how is that demonstrating Christlikeness or liberation?

Who is really oppressing women--those men with literal understanding of scripture or those women who refuse to let decide for themselves?

I submit to you the Biblical answer is neither the male domination of women NOR the feminist agenda.

Paula said...

Who is really oppressing women--those men with literal understanding of scripture or those women who refuse to let decide for themselves?

I submit to you the Biblical answer is neither the male domination of women NOR the feminist agenda.


What about women with a literal understanding of scripture?

Why is it that only women are ever said to "have an agenda"?

I submit to you that men's interpretations are not authoritative, and that inequality is antithetical to all that Jesus came to do.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Roger D. Lee said: >>each one is responsible and accountable to obey the Word of Christ and His commands.<<

So then we are equally personally responsible to be Christlike. Women too are responsible for following Christ.

Your words here sound like unity in Christ and equal heirs together. Before this your words came across as if men had a special responsibility to be accountable and responsible over others. Am I now understanding you right in that we are all spiritually equal?

Ephesians 5:21 is submission one to another and it is reciprocal. Here are three witnesses:

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament: Expansions and Annotations (Eph 5:21): Syntactic Force: Reciprocal pronoun functioning as Indirect object.

Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.) (DBLG 253):each other, one another; a pronoun which marks reciprocation between two persons or groups

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature: of the reciprocal pron.; dat. ἀλλήλοις; acc. ἀλλήλους (Hom.+; Schwyzer I 446, n. 8) each other, one another, mutually

Cheryl Schatz said...

Oh and I forgot to say to Roger that he is a very good husband in submitting to his wife by considering her needs above his own. Very Christlike in this area.

Tom Kelley said...

Roger D. Lee said...
Each family has a way to behave toward one another. However, the text does not say that the parents are to obey the children as the children are to obey the parents.

Yes, Fathers are not to exacerbate the children.

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POWER. But it does everything to do to setting aside personal agendas and meeting the needs of the other family member for the sake of Christ.


I think that's pretty much the same thing that I said. I was responding to your question about where scripture teaches parents to submit to their children. My response was intended to show that the passage conveys what mutual submission looks like from each side of the relationships.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you are equating "submit" and "obey". My contention is that they are not at all the same thing. Submission is willingly placing the needs of another before your own desires; obedience is a compulsory acquiescence to the authority or power of another. If one person is genuinely and appropriately in authority over another (such as a parent over a child), then obedience is a way for the person under authority to show submission. But in the husband/wife relationship, there is no biblical warrant for saying that one is to be in authority over the other, so neither is told to submit to the other by obeying the other.

-----
Tom

Lydia said...

Linda,

What exactly do you mean by feminist agenda? It really helps to understand definitions of such things. The 'feminist agenda' is used as a false dichotomy in most of these debates.

Do you mean voting rights? Ability to have a bank account? Obtain a loan? Equal pay? Serving on a jury?

That is why I do not understand comments such as this:

"t would seem there is a growing idea that women are perfectly capable of thinking and are equal to men in all respects unless of course they reject feminism and its goals. Then they are just bimbos."

I do not understand what you are getting at here. Can you elaborate?

Paula said...

But in the husband/wife relationship, there is no biblical warrant for saying that one is to be in authority over the other, so neither is told to submit to the other by obeying the other.

Again, the issue is that whatever wives are to do is identical to what all believers are to do, since the two share the same verb.

But I'm glad you agree that submission is not obedience. All of which means that husbands do not have the final say.

Tom Kelley said...

linda said...
I submit to you the Biblical answer is neither the male domination of women NOR the feminist agenda.


How gracious of you to submit! :)

But seriously ... by feminist agenda I assume you mean that of those currently identified as leaders of feminism -- promoting abortion on demand, denigrating women who chose to be wives and mothers rather than choosing a career in the marketplace, using rhetoric that is anti-male, anti-marriage, and promotes female superiority, etc.

That form of contemporary feminism is essentially one that would see the world as a better place if it were ruled by women and not men. In other words, a matriarchical perspective.

So if that's what you mean by feminist agenda, then I agree with you -- the biblical position is neither male domination of women (patriarchy) nor the current feminist philosophy of female domination over men (matriarchy), but it is, as Wade and others have shown, one of mutual submission.

I believe that the biblical view is not any closer to one of those unbiblical perspectives than it is to the other; it stands in complete and vivid contrast to them both.

-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Paula said...
Again, the issue is that whatever wives are to do is identical to what all believers are to do, since the two share the same verb.


Hi, Paula,
I agree. I'm just saying that in Ephesians 5:22-6:9 Paul is providing some practical examples of what mutual submission looks like in various relationships. I think it is no accident that he chose relationships that are usually seen as having a superior and an inferior -- part of the intent being to show that in Christ none is superior to the other, and both sides of the relationships are equally called to submit.

-----
Tom

Paula said...

Sorry for not being clear, Tom. :-)

Just emphasizing a point that seems to get overlooked, that it's impossible for the submission of wives to be different from the submission of all believers.

Rex Ray said...

Did God choose a toe bone or a head bone to make Eve?

He chose one in the middle to walk through life ‘side’ by ‘side’.

BTW Adam from dirt
Eve from developed dirt. :)

Christiane said...

St. Thomas in his "Summa Theologica" (II-II:161:6) wrote about the dangers of being overly-submissive in encouraging the weakness in another who may become overly dominant to the point of sinfulness:

" A too great obsequiousness or abjection of oneself, which would be an excess of humility. This might easily be derogatory to a man's office or holy character; or it might serve only to pamper pride in others, by unworthy flattery, which would occasion their sins of tyranny, arbitrariness, and arrogance.
The virtue of humility may not be practised in any external way which would occasion such vices or acts in others."

COMMENT:
If a wife honors her husband and herself and their union, she will not involve herself in posturing in 'child-like' submissive flattery which might encourage a prideful weakness in her husband that might tempt him to behave in ways that do not honor both of them mutually in their union.

That kind of 'play-acting' on her part is not honorable, or honest. And it certainly is not a good role-model for children to observe.
Better to have both spouses behave honestly and responsibly towards one another, with mutual respect for the dignity of each. And that is just for starters. With that basic decency in place, love and trust can only grow.

A wife who behaves as those she values her dignity as well as the dignity of her husband, stands a better chance of being seen more positively in his eyes. The manner of each spouses' behavior should command the respect of each for the other, and can only strengthen the bond of love that they share together.

Thy Peace said...

Great post and great comments. I learn much from the commentators. Very insightful comments from Lydia, Paula, Cheryl, Tom Kelly, Tim Marsh, Paul Burleson. I read very carefully even the opposing comments and try to understand what they are saying.

God bless you all.

Paula said...

God bless you too, ThyPeace.

Topics like this one are difficult to keep from spiraling out of control, largely because we don't take enough time before responding to avoid jumping to conclusions and talking past each other. The internet has become something like a giant cage match and people "talk" in survival mode.

I feel that the advice Jesus gave to an ancient congregation is now our own:

Just hang on.

happy gram said...

i once saw a list that listed the top 5 needs of women and the top 5 needs of men. the lists, obviously, did not come close to matching. in a joking manner, i made a comment that our needs would be better met if men married men and women married women. each would understand and be willing to meet the others needs. anyway, why would God create men and women with such different needs - needs that are often difficult for the other spouse to understand or meet. then one word came to mind - SACRIFICE - it is a picture of one spouse sacrificing self - selfishness, self interests - to please the other spouse. if both husband and wife SACRIFICE for the other, that is a Christ-like marriage and neither is "head" of the other.

Debbie Kaufman said...

That is kind of funny. To claim complementarianism is the culturally based belief and not egalitarianism. You do realize the culture we live in hates complementarianism, right?

Matt: NO they don't. Men as a whole in society do not like egalitarianism at all. They do not practice it by choice. Most feel that women are not equal in either brains nor in any other way. Any changes in society are a result of women, many of them Christian woman, who stood up for themselves.

If most males had their way it would be as it was before Gloria Steinem.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Look in scripture how Christ Himself treated and regarded women. Even in His ministry. Who did He appear to first?

Debbie Kaufman said...

John Estes: Let's take this verse in it's proper context. It says exactly what it is meant to say. Submit yourselves one to another. Period. And in the original there was no break between 21 and the rest of the passage.

Debbie Kaufman said...

"No one has answered, when are the parents to be submissive to the children? :)"

Roger, do you view your adult wife as a child? Many comps do.

Children are to obey their 'parents'

Lydia you ask a very good question and the response in my opinion should be yes, they view their wives as children.

As for a decision that doesn't need to be made hurriedly. God works through both the husband and the wife. IF the two are not in agreement, wisdom will always say wait regardless the seeming weightiness of the decision.

Lydia said...

I am a bit confused. If head means 'authority over' as some seem to think, then does that mean a wife has 2 heads?

If not, then she has one head which is her husband not Jesus Christ? If Jesus Christ is also her head then does she have to go through the husband and is she serving two masters?

Rex Ray said...

Lydia,
I love your question (Does a wife have two heads?).

You and Debbie Kaufman make quite a team.

My mother always said, “The one that gives in, loves most.”

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Founders Ministries Blog > A long journey in church discipline-Pt. 3.
This is the third and final installment of the story of God's grace of restoration through church discipline at Grace Baptist Church. The other parts can be found here (#1) and here (#2).

When I came to serve Grace Baptist Church 23 years ago it was like many contemporary evangelical churches in that it was completely unfamiliar with biblical church discipline. There were many serious problems in the church, some of which called for corrective discipline, but the church was in no shape to administer it. I could have tried to "take the bull by the horns" and forced the issue, but even if I had been successful, the result would not have been church discipline but only pastor discipline--something that does not have the authority of the New Testament behind it.

Jeff said...

Wade,

I commend you for coming to the Word with a blank slate instead of "exegeting" it from a church-cultured presupposition.

Tough to do as a human, long-time Christian, and a person who obviously has a bent toward having some strong personal opinions sometimes (As I can really relate to!), but very necessary in training people to rightly divide the Word of God....

Christiane said...

WE HEAR, WITH OUR HEARTS,
THE ONES THAT WE LOVE:

Sometimes a spouse needs to be honest about who they really are. And they need for their spouse to accept them unconditionally. This has nothing to do with 'control' or 'abuse', but with love.
Being able to see past the faults and idiosyncracies of one's spouse into the fact, that, in spite of everything, you love them, 'warts and all':
this is the greatest gift any spouse can give to the other. Sometimes, 'it ain't easy', but that's the point: the love becomes stronger than the difficulties. And sometimes, this love asks us to share our feelings honestly with our spouses in creative ways that help them to understand our feelings.

A story:
once was a husband who worked in a city and his wife stayed home with their toddler way out in the suburbs.
The husband's friends gathered after work at a local club to 'wait out the traffic' and then drove home to their families. The husband began to do this too, as it seemed quite logical to him.
His wife would cook their meal, put the child to bed, and sit, sometimes looking out the window, anticipating her husband's arrival. But soon, she realized that he came later, and later, and was just a 'little bit' inebriated on arrival home.
She told him this made her feel sad, but he could not see what it was that upset her. So she decided to find a way to share with him what she had felt like, in a way that he would begin to understand.
One evening, she went out shopping and her husband stayed with their child. The mall closed and she went to one of their favorite restaurants where she walked in and ordered a coke at the bar. After an hour or so, she called home.
Her husband said, 'Where are you? Are you okay?
"I'm at Gus and Jon's Italian Villa having a drink", replied his wife, " Don't worry about me, I'll be home in a little while."

She quietly hung up the phone.

An hour later, she arrived at their home. Her husband was pacing up and down the driveway. He was very concerned.
"Why did you do this? Did anyone bother you? I don't understand. You never did anything like this before."
The rest of the story is predictable. The husband decided to stop his 'after hours' routine, and began to come home directly after work. His wife never needed to say anything.
And so it was that her husband had no wish to cause her pain, because a certain honesty about her sadness had been shared with him, but in the way that he
'could understand'.


In the words a very famous writer:

"Be who you are and express what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind."
-Dr. Seuss


Love, L's

Joe Blackmon said...

You know Wade, your claim to be a complimentarian is kinda like someone with a fried chicken leg in one hard, a pork chop in the other, and a mouthfull of bacon saying "I'm a strict vegitarian".

I mean, what would be so hard or so bad about just coming out and saying "Hi, my name is Wade Burleson and I'm an e-gal"?

Lydia said...

Could someone explain to me the difference between Patriarchy and complimentarian?

About the only difference I can find is Sarah Palin as VP. No,for the Pats. Yes,for the comps. (With one caveat: As long as she did not attempt to lead a bible study for her staff which could include males)

Jeff said...

If there is no more curse, why do women still have pain in childbirth.

If all roles are equal, why hasn't God enable men to have babies.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

NYT > Palin to Resign as Governor of Alaska.
Update | 4:59 p.m. Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska announced Friday that she would step down by the end of the month and not seek a second term as governor, fueling speculation that she is seriously weighing whether to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

Paula said...

If there is no more curse, why do women still have pain in childbirth.

For the same reason weeds still grow: the end of the curse is spiritual for the present, and will be physical only when God makes a new heavens and earth.

But as Paul clearly stated, IN CHRIST there is not to be any more division by race, class, or gender. That's scripture. Jesus is the "last Adam" and those who are "in Him" are one.

If all roles are equal, why hasn't God enable men to have babies.

1. Show me "roles" in scripture.
2. Biology is not a "role" to play. Nothing that is an intrinsic part of someone is a "role".
3. God is still not a respecter of persons.
4. God still looks on the inside.

Etc.

Now a question for you, one that's already been asked:

Why would any believer want to "have the preeminence" over another adult believer, even if they thought God gave them the right?

Do you crave preeminence, Jeff? No? Then why do you fight so hard to keep it?

Jeff said...

So at the end of Job it was all spiritual.

DebD said...

Christian husbands are told to (in 5 different scriptures) to agape-love their wives. Agape-love can only happen because of God's flow, so this is obviously only directed to Christian husbands. (Eph 5:25, 5:28a,5:28b-29, 5:33a, Col 3:19)
It would seem to me that agape-loving takes a lifetime and lifestyle -- and if the husband is truly doing this he will never be concerned with whether or not his wife is submitting to him (which in the scriptures the word submit is more similar to "adapt to")
Ways Jesus has shown His agape-love toward us; nourishing and cherishing: listening 1John 5:15, anticipating needs and desires Matt 6:8, supplies needs Phil 4:19, forgives and defends 1`John 2:1-2, understands Heb 2:18, 4:15, comforts us John 16:7, comforts in our afflictions 2 Cor 1:4, helps us John 16:&, protects Rom 8:31, cares Matt 6:26-33,security, rest & peace Matt 11:28-29, trusts Mark 16:15-18, we have confidence that will receive things from Him 1John 3:22, 1John 5:14-15, Luke 11:9
So, if a husband just focuses on doing those things above (just a few of what Jesus did) as he is called to do, how can he possibly think he is supposed to be ruling over his wife.
Why would ANY Christian man want to be a part of the curse over his wife, except that he is living in the flesh?
Why would a Christian man want to think that his wife's desire for him could be bad == Song of Songs 7:10 means "desire" except to try a blame game with her? Yes Gen 4:7 uses "desire" which means yearning, longing, craving (according to Strong's). I would disagree that this means that the woman has a desire OVER her husband.
However, if one is going to look at it that way should make it even easier to accept that Eph 5 includes "submit - adapt to") so that each wife would not try to "take advantage" of her husband who is agape-loving her.
What is puzzling to me is that Ephesians is all ONE letter -- and incl chap 4 on godly living, in love and unity... and does not change direction just because Eph 5:22 came along. "Submit" is NOT in that verse. It is easy to believe that this refers to the premise that Christians WOULD "submit" (adapt) to one another and Paul did not want women "submitting/adapting" to men other than her own husband, which is why he wrote "be unto your husband." The verb tenses are different between how husbands/wives relate and how children/parents relate.
Men are told to live with understanding with his wife. She is not told likewise. He is told to agape love (5 times he is told) and she is to be encouraged to "phileo" love him. BIG difference.
I am thankful to a ministry called www.MinistrytoMarriage.com and www.GodSaveOurChristianMarriage.com along with the books "The Man of Her Dreams/ The Woman of His" and book 2, "Livin' It and Lovin' It" by Joel and Kathy Davisson.
Surely would encourage others to check this out == it brings LIFE to the soul and instruction and exhortation to the husband as well as to the wife, instead of how most pastors and counselors do --- you've heard it I'm sure, "If you'll just pray and submit to him... blah blah blah blah"
May the Holy Spirit bring about Ramah to each of us as we study His Word in its true form (Hebrew & Greek), understanding the intent and context and comparing it with other scriptures INSTEAD of trying to use it for carnal and selfish purposes.... Jesus wants NO person to lord themselves over others.

Jeff said...

Is God concerned when we sin?

DebD said...

Rhema

Paula said...

Jeff:

Do you think nothing changed after the Cross?

Christiane said...

GOD TELLS ABRAHAM TO LISTEN TO SARAH.


“Sarah saw the son who Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham playing. She said to Abraham, ‘Cast out that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.’”(Gen. 21:9-10)

Abraham is none too thrilled. Ishmael, who Sarah can not even bring herself to name, is his son, whom he loves.

But God is clear in his direction to Abraham: “Do not be distressed over the boy or your slave; whatever Sarah tells you, do as she says (sh’ma b’kolah), for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be continued for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him, too, for he is your seed.” (Gen. 21:12-13)



". . . whatever Sarah tells you, do as she says . . . "

So God is telling THE Patriarch of the Old Testament, Abraham, Father of three great world religions, that he is to listen to his wife.
Clearly tells him to listen to his wife. . . and to 'do as she says'



Listening and obeying his wife?
That great Patriarch of Scripture?
On the Authority of God?
YES, YES, and YES again.

What an interesting insight this is, into how God dealt with a 'Patriarch' at a critical moment in the history of the Abrahamic religions. Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Stop Baptist Predators [Christa Brown] > "Christa Brown's saga resonates more... now that I'm a mother".
In the Austin American-Statesman, longtime religion writer Eileen Flynn published an article about my book, This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang. Check it out. Flynn packs an emotional punch. It’s the punch that comes with the primal immediacy and transformational power of motherhood.

Joel and Kathy said...

In the original article, this is stated:


However, other conservative Bible scholars rightly point out that the woman’s “desire” for her husband in Genesis 3:16 is not, at least linguistically and contextually, a sexual desire. One only needs to turn one chapter over to find the same word teshuqah, in Genesis 4:7, where it is also translated “desire." In the context of Genesis 4:7, teshuqah is used to refer to sin’s “desire” to control Cain. Thus, letting the Bible interpret itself, the word “desire” in both both Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 means “a desire to control.”


In most of your article, you are accurate - the patriarchal movement is in error and mutual submission is indeed the key to a Godly marriage that is happy for both husband and wife.

However, let me help you out on the word "desire" in Genesis 3:16. Yes, it is found in Genesis 4. Sin has an INTENSE desire to pull a man or woman down. A man or woman should "rule" over sin and put it under its feet in subjection.

The Hebrew word for desire here though is also found in Song of Solomon 7:10. Therefore, in allowing the scripture to interpret scripture, it is obvious that when the word is used between a man and a woman, it is "an intense romantic reaching out and longing for, or an intense romantic desire to pull the one you desire close to yourself."

You are right that it is not necessarily a sexual desire. Rather, when it is a man toward a woman, it is an intense reaching out and longing for her husband to love her be one flesh with her in unity of heart.

You are also completely right that the curse for the woman is that the man would "rule" over her. This word "rule" in Genesis 3:16 and in the context of the curse is indeed a dictatorial, unGodly rulership.

So, in plain English, this part of Genesis 3:16 would rightly be:

"A woman has an intense romantic desire to pull her husband to herself and this man whom she has this intense desire for will rule over her with an iron fist."

This is indeed a curse for a woman. When she says, "I do" - her heart is just beginning to want/need her husband to love, care for and nurture her - indeed, she needs her husband to love her with an intense love, as Christ loves the church.

The curse is that so many men, shortly after they say "I do" - begin to turn away from their wife and treat them as second class citizens.

Song of Solomon 7:10 says, "I am my beloved's and my beloved's desire is for me."

Again, allowing the bible to interpret the bible, then we must agree that this is a positive, romantic, longing for and reaching out emotion when the word is used in the context of a relationship between a man and a woman.

If we use the VERY OLD and "popular in the sixties and seventies" interpretation of "desire" - then we would have to say in Song of Solomon 7:10,

"I am my beloved's and he wants to usurp control over me."

This would not make sense.

Mutual submission.

Team leadership.

Mutual Respect, Mutual honor.

These are indeed the foundation stones of a Godly and happy marriage.

Joel and Kathy Davisson
Authors of "The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!" www.GodSaveMyMarriage.com

Joel and Kathy said...

Hmm.. here was that quote that was supposed to be at the top of our article:


However, other conservative Bible scholars rightly point out that the woman’s “desire” for her husband in Genesis 3:16 is not, at least linguistically and contextually, a sexual desire. One only needs to turn one chapter over to find the same word teshuqah, in Genesis 4:7, where it is also translated “desire." In the context of Genesis 4:7, teshuqah is used to refer to sin’s “desire” to control Cain. Thus, letting the Bible interpret itself, the word “desire” in both both Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 means “a desire to control.”

Tim Marsh said...

Lydia,

Thank you.

I have made stronger responses to Pastor Wade's previous posts on the topic.

My wife and I do the best we can with this. But, as some one pointed out, would not God reveal his will to both partners when they are praying together about a major decision?

It seems that the Biblical Manhood/Womanhood is at best an attempt to justify the past and at worse is justifying self-serving motives.

I would re-iterate that Galatians 3:28 is a present-time testimony to the fulfillment of God's kingdom in Christ. All are equal in this scenario.

Roles were for fallen humanity and were not God's original design.

I imagine, like with slavery, Paul did not push for this equality to play out immediately as Christianity was still under the suspicion of the Roman empire. However, I am certain that Paul would have urged progress towards the fulfillment of Galatians 3:28 on this side of Heaven.

Robert said...

Anyone notice that the some women are very vocal about this topic.

Carry on ladies and your enablers.


Rob

Tom Kelley said...

Robert said...
Anyone notice that the some women are very vocal about this topic.

Carry on ladies and your enablers.


Rob,
I would be very pleased if I had an opportunity to emable these and all ladies to put into practice all that God has called and gifted them to be. I'd much rather be an enabler of God's grace in a person's life than one who hundered it. Wouldn't you?

-----
Tom

Christiane said...

"THE MAGNA CARTA OF HUMANITY"

"Moreover, Paul's statement in Galatians 3:28 --
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus"
-- has been called "the Magna Carta of humanity."
Because of the Christian's standing in Christ, it is argued, the subordination of women that was (allegedly) caused by the Fall (Gen. 3) has been replaced with total equality of the sexes in Christ."

DebD said...

J. Vernon McGee preached 60 years and also began the Through the Bible radio program.... he preached the entire Bible on the radio during five years (the first time was only 2.5 years and he realized it was too short), later dying at age 84 in his sleep in 1988... All of his "Through the Bible radio sermons" are freely downloadable at:

http://www.thruthebible.org/site/c.irLMKXPGLsF/b.4104233/k.BFE1/MP3_Download_of_5Year_Series.htm

After you click on Ephesians and see the choices from the download:
#49065
Ephesians 5:21 submit does not mean obey -- we are not buck privates -- we are under a Captain of Love -- we don't have to salute one another, but instead "walk in lowliness of mind" just as it says earlier in Ephesians. This is not a command for Paul "beseeches" which is the language of love. Church officers are not to try to "run the church" based on this supposed authority for no one gives them the right (this is not verbatim)

#49066
Ephesians 5:22-24
Submit is not there -- it does not mean to obey -- it is a loving word -- it means to respond to the husband as we do to the Lord "we love because He first loved us" -- husband is NOT top sergeant -- the wife is to respond --- when a man says his wife is not behaving right this means (to McGee) that the man is a failure as a husband --- the woman is the responder -- man is the aggressor. HE proposes to her and she replies... He says "I love you" first, THEN she says it.
Subjection is a sweet term based on LOVE -- McGee believed 75% of fault on side of man --- men should be "knight in shining armor" wife will be his inspiration.... and then relates it to the Song of Solomon (he goes on to describe Matthew Henry and others as being very loving, but their commentaries being very dry on these verses)

The above is an overview of J Vernon McGee's commentaries and not verbatim --- so, please listen to his audio clips --- I loved listening to him long ago, and still do now that I've found this website.

The men who believe they are to be the boss of the family, that patriarchy rules and that church pastoral staff are other believers' bosses, will not however enjoy listening to these audio clips, but hopefully it will cause many to come to repentance. Their wives need to hear the correct interpretations of these scriptures and so will the believers who have been spiritually abused by pastoral staff.

I believe that if a husband is truly "agape-loving" his wife (see below) as the scriptures tell him to do, he will never even consider whether or not she is "submitting" to him like HE thinks she should.

Whenever I hear someone say, "that wife sure doesn't talk to her husband nice," I know that it is because her husband is not agape-loving her, and is probably emotionally, spiritually, physically or financially abusing his wife. She is simply responding to the way he is already treating her.

May the reading and hearing of the scriptures bring life and joy in every area of your life, especially in marriage.

Chris Ryan said...

I am arriving late to the conversation, but have been away for several days. I have neither time nor inclination to read all the comments (which I normally do before posting) and thus I don't know if this point has been made. But in the first 50 or so comments that I browsed, I thought that this might be helpful.

The Ephesians 5 arguments have been brought up regularly (and rightly so, they are both relevant and in context with the Scripture Wade quotes). But a mentor and friend recently pointed out to me a distinction in the passage which he was struggling to understand. See, the context commands mutual submission of all, and the further defined submission of wife to husband. It also tells children to obey their parents. There are different words used. Therfore, submission cannot be the same as obedience. What then is the difference? I don't know that I have truly discerned it yet, and he and I have not talked again for me to see if he has any new insights. But I thought that it was a salient point worth bringing up when so many of the initial posts were about "the man should still make any final decisions and the wife should follow his lead."

Paula said...

Tom,

It takes a real man to be who he is and stand for what is right, even if his peers may call him a sissy for it. Real men aren't afraid of strong women.

Thanks. :-)

PS to Robert: We don't need any man's permission to follow Jesus.

DebD said...

http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/know/know_09.htm has written the following outline: apparently enablers of women(right, Bob?)

Husbands are to agape love their wives! (wives to philia love the husband)
from: [ExecutableOutlines.com]
THE DEFINITION OF LOVE
A. THE GREEK WORD IS AGAPE...
1. One of four Greek words translated love
a. philia - the love of close friends or brothers
b. storge - the love of family
c. eros - carnal or sexual love
d. agape - love which seeks the highest good of others
1) Not just friends, family, or brethren, but even enemies
- cf. Mt 5:44
2) Thus it is a higher form of love than "brotherly kindness" (love of brothers)
2. It can be said that agape love:
a. Does not depend upon the one being loved as having earned such love
b. Is not an exclusive love (brothers only), but an all-embracing benevolence
c. Is not an uncontrolled reaction of the heart, but a concentrated exercise of will
d. Is a caring love, one which becomes involved in the needs of others
-- Perhaps the simplest definition is the one often given:
"active good will"

B. BEST EXEMPLIFIED BY THE FATHER AND THE SON...
1. God the Father demonstrated agape love
a. His love for sinners is completely undeserved by them - Rom 5:8
b. Naturally, His love is called a "great" love - Ep 2:4-7
2. God the Son demonstrated agape love
a. By laying down His life for us - 1 Jn 3:16
b. There is no "greater" love - Jn 15:13
-- Truly the Father and the Son have exemplified "active good will" towards all!
http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/know/know_09.htm
**************
Nowhere does the scripture say the husband has the right or responsibility to rule to make THE final decision on anything -- they (husband and wife) are ONE

Phillip said...

Responding to the blog title, the Patriarchal system of structure within the familial unit is the worst format in the world, except for any other. It (like the rest of creation) is tainted with sin.

I’m not a male chauvinist, power hungry, yada, yada, yada. I see those monikers thrown out throughout the string. I’ve found that projecting motive is highly speculative, often mistaken and frequently dangerous.

My wife is a very strong, capable woman. She’s been a director on a church staff for years and I highly support and respect her.

Theologically and philosophically, I usually line up with Wade pretty closely. In his post about halfway down, he really hits close to the answer that God intended. When a husband and wife are in sync, when they take the time to listen to each other, to grow together, to love deeply, 98% of the issues and problems being described go away. 90% of the time, my wife and I end up on the same answer. Our belief systems (we go to the same church, read the same Bible, share the same history) are so lined up that we generally come to the same answer. About 4% of the time, after much thought, prayer and discussion, I will either be convinced (or concede if it’s not important to me), 4% of the time, she will concede for the same reasons. And 2% of the time, we just don’t agree.

Wade is very rarely incorrect, but I believe he is when he says that they make no decision. Making no decision is a decision by definition and most of the time, pragmatically as well.

Ultimately, I believe that God gives the man the final vote (or veto). I’ve read all the arguments in the blog. By virtue of the divergence of viewpoints, the issue is obviously ambiguous. When I come to an issue that is ambiguous in the Bible, I take the more straightforward reading, and that is that God assigned to man the final authority in the home and church. Do I feel in some marriage relationships that the woman is the more godly, more capable decision-maker? Absolutely. In my life, God’s Word trumps my feelings. I will be honest that I don’t completely understand it, I simply say, “Thy will be done” and try to carry that out in the best way possible.

I will observe (from the corporate world) that in any organization (familial, church, et al), one person must ultimately be the head. A two-headed organism is a monster. So I guess on that count, I disagree with Wade again (esp in the article that launched the blog).

Finally, most guys haven’t figured this one out yet (sin, again), but if you always look out for your wife’s interest first, communicate that and your decisions clearly, I have found that women (unless they have cravings for power – sin again) will not only follow that model of leadership but appreciate and expect it.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Phillip said: >>Ultimately, I believe that God gives the man the final vote (or veto).<<

The only one who can give the man the final vote is his wife. God never told the man to take away his wife's free will. When a husband and wife cannot come to a mutual decision, it is a good time to come together in prayer for the Lord's decision. For the husband to assume the authority to cast the deciding vote (or veto) alone, and against his wife's will, is a sure sign that he has not yet learned true submission to God.

Phillip said...

Cheryl,

If you carefully diagram the logic of your post, you are saying that the wife has the final, authority of the familial unit (unless the husband does not properly submit to his wife).

There are really only three options here.

One is that no one has the leadership role of the family. That does not work long-term in any organization with more than one person. In the end, you will have anarchy or permanent instability. Humanity is too tainted by sin.

Secondly, the wife is the ultimate authority in the home. I don't care how many hermeneutical acrobatics the most intelligent student of scripture attempts, at the end of the day, you are going to have to impose your will on the text to come to that conclusion. Letting scripture speak for itself doesn’t get you there.

The third option is that the husband is the leader of the home. Whether I (the husband) want this role or not, I can not give scripture an unbiased reading and get out of this responsibility.

Realistically, this (deciding against my wife’s will) has happened twice in 20 years of marriage and only after intense prayer over the issue. While my wife ultimately did not agree, she respected that I had taken significant time with God and her to really seek His will. Reflectively, when I look at their unfolding, we now both agree retrospectively that God blessed those decisions.

John Maxwell once made what I thought was an interesting observation; he said he believed that in any major decision, God needed to let both he and his wife know. Again, that is a man’s opinion. A straight reading of scripture (I’ve studies Greek and Hebrew) does not provide me any basis that I (the husband) am ultimately responsible for what happens in my family. As an observation, I believe that our American ideal of democracy has bleed into almost every facet of life. Scripture just doesn’t condone voting systems. It focuses in on the heart.

Trying to learn and understand, are you married (first husband)? How does your familial decision-making process look like? How does it work? Where does it not work?

Mary R said...

Phillip, two of your comments are quite typical of the defense of patriarchy:

"A two-headed organism is a monster."

Absolutely. A husband and wife are a union of head and body. There's nothing in Eph. 5 (or elsewhere) that assigns a meaning of "final decision maker" or "authority figure over the wife" to "head." The husband is likened to the head to the extent that he and his wife are to be one in Christ. If one is going to insist that "head" must mean "authority over" or "leader" (which the Greek text simply does not support), then the One to Whom that position is given had better be Jesus Christ, or there really will be a monster in the marriage. Why either spouse would wish to knowingly usurp the place that belongs to Christ alone, I can only attribute to sin, which is Wade's premise for this blog entry. I think many Christians have simply been taught that Scripture commands patriarchy in the home and church. The Bible describes plenty of patriarchy, but it never, anywhere, commands, prescribes, or even commends it. It's merely described, and we need to recognize the difference. To liken mutual submission in Christian marriage to a "monster with two heads" is to insult egalitarians and to fundamentally misunderstand mutual submission. No matter how it's denied, the evidence of many Christian couples practicing submission to each other proves that it's not only possible, but a highly effective as a model of Christian marriage.

"When I come to an issue that is ambiguous in the Bible, I take the more straightforward reading, and that is that God assigned to man the final authority in the home and church."

I notice you didn't say just where in Scripture you think such an assignment is given. To overlay that meaning onto a metaphor for marital unity is anything but a straight-forward reading.

I'm always surprised that a unified, mutual approach to decision-making in marriage (and to marriage in general) is considered such a problem to people who haven't ever tried it (or perhaps failed somehow when they tried what they thought was mutual submission). Honestly, just what's so supposedly ungodly about a husband sharing whatever authority society and even the fallen church may grant, with his wife as the one-flesh unity they're supposed to be? Why divide that unity into a human leader and a follower, when Christ is all the leader that either and both of them should ever need for their marriage? A husband is expected to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Christ raises the church to reign WITH him, in the highest of all places at that! Christ, who is God, doesn't seem to have a problem with sharing his seat at the Marriage Supper with His merely human (but sanctified) Bride. How, then, can a merely human husband think that it emulates Christ's love for the church for him to presume to a position of authority over his equally human wife? A husband loses nothing by submitting himself to the Christian sister who is his wife, in obedience to Eph. 5:22. On the contrary, he gains a great deal. He should remember that either way, she submits to him and does so willingly and finds joy in doing so (so long as he isn't so far gone into his supposed "role" as to expect or demand it of her). It's a holy thing to surrender oneself (submit) to one's spouse. It's sad that such a large number of Christian husbands think they're exempt from submitting themselves when it comes to their wives.

Mary R said...

Phillip, you claim that any relationship with more than one person must have a designated leader, is that correct?

If so, then I would challenge you to identify in any other friendship than your marriage, who the leader of the friendship is, and how you work that out. Do you toss the role of "designated leader" back and forth on opposite weeks? Or is one of you by some right of birth or station automatically the friendship leader? Or do you work it out some other way?

I've never found a need for any of my friends or for me to be a leader in our relationships. Likewise, in the closest friendship possible in this life, the idea that there *must* be a designated leader, is not logical. Genuine, mature relationships are not about a leader and a follower. Just because you may not have tried a more unified approach in Christ for your marriage, surely does not mean your limited experience ought to be a model for other Christian couples.

DebD said...

bottom line: usurping authority and power and control over another is NOT "agape-love"== which is what HUSBANDS are supposed to be doing in the marriage relationship... so Christian husbands out there, James 4:17 says "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."

DebD said...

Mark 10: 42
6 Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
43 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
44 whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
45 For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." NASB
********Jesus said this --- if He wants "mutual submission" and "servant-hearts" among His disciples WHY would He NOT want it for us in marriage relationship ?--- (He discusses marriage/divorce earlier in the chapter about hardness of hearts)

Cheryl Schatz said...

Phillip said: >>If you carefully diagram the logic of your post, you are saying that the wife has the final, authority of the familial unit (unless the husband does not properly submit to his wife).<<

I said nothing of the sort. I did not say that a wife is to take authority over her husband's will either. I did say that having a disagreement is an opportunity for both partners to come before the Lord and seek His will patiently.

You said: >>There are really only three options here.

One is that no one has the leadership role of the family. That does not work long-term in any organization with more than one person. In the end, you will have anarchy or permanent instability. Humanity is too tainted by sin.<<

The ONE who has the leadership role is our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the third person in our marriage and the one that has ultimate authority and full knowledge of wise decisions.

The issue is about marriage, not about who is the authority of the family. If husband wife walk in unity as one flesh, they will both have equal authority in the family as they should. In the marriage they are not an authority and an underling. They are one-flesh union. It is the world who has tried to convince us that there must be a leader when there is more than one person. That is the world's way, but it is not God's way in marriage. God never tells the husband to "lead" the wife. He never tells him to take authority over her. And if the husband takes his authority over his wife against her will, he is breaking the command of scripture to love her. It is unloving for a husband or for a wife to force their own will on the other person.

Mary R said...

Your comment prompted a related thought, Cheryl.

If there is too much sin in this world for there to be no "leader" in a Christian marriage, then there's WAY too much sin for the husband (or wife) to presume to be such a "leader." Human beings' weakness when tempted to sin is all the more reason for a couple to reject the worldly institution of patriarchy, by which a man is given even more temptation to sin by misusing his "role" as the "leader" of the marriage. By most patriarchalists'/complementarians' admission, men are no less inherently likely to sin than women are, so there's nothing that makes men better leaders. The difference is that those groups insist on finding license in Scripture for the husband to be designated the leader of the marriage anyway, when it's simply not there.

Tim Marsh said...

True authority is earned by consistent demonstration of one's character. It is never a given because of status.

It was after the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus that the disciples could truly say "Jesus is Lord"

Jon L. Estes said...

True authority is earned by consistent demonstration of one's character. It is never a given because of status.

It was after the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus that the disciples could truly say "Jesus is Lord"


Speaking to your second paragraph, this is a human tendency. Fact of this story is... Jesus was the authority prior to the disciples recognizing such. Since you use Jesus as your example, a good thing, we must understand Jesus was given authority because of who He was, His status (MT 28).

For me to understand your two paragraphs together, Jesus would have had to earn His authority by His consistent demonstration of his character. I just can't grasp that.

2 cents...

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

Does God call women to pastor His church? I am asking because the role of pastoring is very patriarchal.

Paula said...

Does God call women to pastor His church? I am asking because the role of pastoring is very patriarchal.

Neither the word "role" or the verb "pastor" is found in the NT, so I'm not sure what you're asking.

"Pastor" is listed one time in the entire NT, and in a list of spiritual gifts. No list of such gives is given in "pink" and "blue", so no gender is denied any spiritual gift. And gifts are not roles to play but commissions to obey.

But if you mean "Can a woman be the CEO of a Christian club with its business meetings, chain of command, bylaws, etc.", then that's entirely up to the club members. If such clubs want to be run by men, then let them; it's their club.

Either way, I defy any believer to justify wanting authority over other adult believers. After all, Jesus Himself, though God, laid aside privilege and power to serve His bride. Can any of us refuse to lay down whatever privileges we think we may have?

So the question for you, then, is this:

Does God call MEN to "pastor" HIS church? Does God care about patriarchy, such that His silence about it must be taken as approval, and He has started to judge us by the flesh?

Phillip said...

Classic egalitarian arguments. To me the egalitarian/complimentarian issue is not a primary one. I actually would not be persuaded by anything either of you presented and here’s why. While the roles of men and women is not primary, the foundation of them is, and that foundation is the absolute inerrancy and authority of scripture. Try as you may, the Bible’s primary thrust is that the man/husband is ultimately the head of the household and church. Now if that is only reflective of the culture in which the Bible was written and not meant to be applicable to us today, I’m going to go to God in heaven and say, “I tried to apply Your Word to my life as completely and exactly as possible. I’m sorry, that wasn’t very clear at all.”

I’m not comfortable starting down the road of trying to wiggle out of what (sorry, I’m use that word again because it most accurately describes it) is the most straightforward reading of scripture. I’ve seen the homosexual “prove” from scripture that the Bible does not condemn his/her lifestyle (on the grounds that the Bible only forbids male prostitution, man/boy relationships, or no longer applies since the Levitical laws no longer apply.) If you start from a position and back into scripture from it, you can do just about anything. But I believe God should speak to us, not the other way around.

My wife (who is an extremely wise woman) made the comment to me one time that from all her study of scripture as a student and young adult, she understood the roles that the Bible spoke pretty clearly of and in light of that, sought a husband that would love and honor her AND that she would be comfortable under his headship.

If you desire to have an equal headship role in your marital relationship (and are willing to abscond the more orthodox and forthright reading of scripture), make sure you marry someone who is willing to go that direction with you.

Every time two or more people get together in any kind of setting, one is ultimately the leader (whether formalized or acknowledged or not). Scripture certainly seems to operate from this premise. Interestly, in my graduate studies on the topic of corporate leadership (in a secular environment), I came across a lot of recent research that confirms the opening sentence of this paragraph. That’s not intuitive and came as a bit of a surprise to me.

I’m not sure that is pertinent to the topic at hand, but it does contradict the opinion of a previous post. I do know that I’ve been in a work environment where I worked for two bosses (hierarchally equal) and while it may work in theory and they both want it to work, there will come a time when it doesn’t.

I suspect from your posts, that you have pragmatically taken the leadership role in your family. It’s never discussed; but by strength of your personality and your desire for headship, I would bet my first born that you have de facto taken the leadership role in your marriage.

p.s. You dodged my question. How is that working for you?

Paula said...

Try as you may, the Bible’s primary thrust is that the man/husband is ultimately the head of the household and church.

You mistake your interpretations as scripture, so it is you who "try as you may" to lord over others in spite of the examples of Jesus and Paul.

Now if that is only reflective of the culture in which the Bible was written and not meant to be applicable to us today...

No, it's only reflective of your interpretation. Your interpretation is not divine or infallible.

the most straightforward reading of scripture

Ah yes, the "plain reading", which is never applied consistently but only used when needed to prop up pride in the flesh.

If you desire to have an equal headship role in your marital relationship...

If you desire to have preeminence over another adult believer, then be sure you are married to someone who has also cut out those passages of scripture from their Bible that command you not to do so.

I do know that I’ve been in a work environment where I worked for two bosses (hierarchally equal) and while it may work in theory and they both want it to work, there will come a time when it doesn’t.

Exactly. Which is why women can't have two bosses either.

Women believers are fully-grown adults, having the same Holy Spirit as men. We are not perpetual children, secretaries ("help meet" in Hebrew means "strong ally, partner"), or anything else below men, being of the same "flesh and bone". We need no man's permission for anything, no man's approval, no man's mystical, magical "covering", and certainly no man's desire to rule over us. We are "Someone else's servant", and it is to Him alone we answer.

Christiane said...

"SHOCK" THERAPY

Sometimes men 'don't get it' that the 'message' is more important than the 'messenger'; that the 'canticle song' women sing is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is not 'of the flesh'.

If God used a woman to bring Christ into the world, and God used a woman to announce the Resurrection to men, maybe we should not 'belittle' the importance of women in our Christianity.

Maybe God intends for women to play MAJOR roles among us as He Himself has appointed them already to positions of high honor.

And do we not know from Our Lord that those among us who are to 'lead', must be servants to the rest? And some say women should not 'pastor' because it is a 'leadership role'? No. Pastoring, by Christ's Example, is a 'servant role'. And women are most definitely gifted to serve.


And that thing about 'the Spirit within us' singing?
Here is a story that was witnessed and reported and recorded about a Song from the Spirit who dwelt within a woman who was martyred for the Faith:

"the story of the abuse of an evangelical woman missionary at the hands of soldiers.

This is from a book by Kathleen Norris: Ms. Norris quotes from an account by Mark Danner of a massacre that occurred in El Salvador in 1981. I will spare the grim part of the violation of these women:

"this girl had sung hymns, strange evangelical songs, and she had kept right on singing, even after they had done . . . . . and (they) shot her in the chest. She had lain there on La Cruz with the blood flowing from her chest, and had kept on singing -- a bit weaker than before, but still singing. And the soldiers, stupified, watched and pointed. Then they had grown tired of the game and shot her again, and she sang still, and THEIR WONDER BEGAN TO TURN T0 FEAR until finally they had unleashed their machetes and hacked through her neck. And at last the singing stopped. "

What does it take to stop the Song that is within? When it comes from a Source not of this world?

I am not going to apologize for the graphic recounting of the martyrdom of the missionary.

The fact that this missionary was a woman did not matter to those soldiers whose 'wonder turned to fear'.

That "strange evangelical singing" was what they feared. And its Source? The soldiers knew.
Do we?

Love, L's

"If a woman cannot sing the Song that is within her,
something in her dies forever,

what remains? an obedient child-like shell that contains only the memory of a Distant Melody."

Love, L's

Lydia said...

"I will observe (from the corporate world) that in any organization (familial, church, et al), one person must ultimately be the head. A two-headed organism is a monster."

Since when is a Christian marriage like the world? Since when is the Body of Christ to emulate the world's structures? Jesus Christ is our source and our authority...in both. IF we are truly saved.


But Phillip, What you are suggesting with your definition is that a Christian wife has 2 heads. If not, then your view means you believe the husband is a layer between her and Christ. A sort of earthly priest just for her. And I keep in mind what you said about humanity and evil.

"Ultimately, I believe that God gives the man the final vote (or veto)."

Chapter and verse, please. I can understand why you have that interpretation. It elevates you over another. It is a sin trap, friend.

Phillip said...

I agree with those who say that women are indwelt with the same Holy Spirit and men (have never come across any one who did not). I agree that women should play major roles in both marriage and the church. My wife regularly broadcasts the resurrected Christ, has given birth to and taught three God-fearing children (as much as they can understand at their age). As much if not more than I. Quite frankly, I’ve never counted but I highly suspect that my wife makes more decisions in our family than I do.

Lydia, you are correct, the marriage relationship is like any other. A previous poster was venturing into friendship relationships, et al, and I join in that diversion. You are right, I should not have done that. They are different.

I have intentionally avoided throwing scripture around because we both have the same scripture and both seem well-versed in what it says. If you insist, let me give you two.

I Corinthians 11:3 says, "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”

Yes, Christ and Paul set the example for us (agreeing with an earlier post). They lead with humility and an orientation toward others. But have no doubt that they ultimately made the call (“vetoed”, not a great word, but sort of works) when it was the appropriate time. Christ had the authority to command the rocks to cry out, the storm to subside, and the demonic to retreat. That doesn’t mean he went around bullying around creation, but let’s us know that ultimately, he was given that level of authority.

I Peter 3:1-7. 1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

The passage starts addressing women married to unbelievers (how much more should a wife behave such if their husband is a co-heir with Christ) and then fans out to include a general discussion including believers (reference Abraham).

Now we have two choices. One is to acknowledge (I didn’t say like or agree with), and obey the teaching of scripture..quite frankly, there are times I would prefer just to have my wife lead the family and bear that primary responsibility…or we can claim no one knows what it “really” says, and live contrary to the prima facie reading. I choose to do the former. And for one of the posters to say that position entails “sin” (and publicly teaches that to others) you are way out of line (but from looking at other posts, you are comfortable being in that position).

We obviously are not going to convince each other that we are correct. That is why there are different bodies of believers and with different doctrines.

Paula said...

I Corinthians 11:3 says, "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”

Look at the context: Paul is about to discuss a question from the Corinthians about head coverings. He assigns the authority for that decision to the women-- not to the church or to husbands. So Paul is using the common Greek metaphor to introduce a discussion about the literal head.

When you read into the word "head" the modern English meaning of "boss" (even though not even English always has that meaning), you ignore both the immediate context of literal head coverings and the fact that the Greeks never used it for "boss". Instead, the meaning "source" is more accurate.

And look at the order Paul chose. If he is speaking of a chain of command, why put God last? And why say "God" instead of "the Father"? Paul is emphasizing origination, not command.

But have no doubt that they ultimately made the call (“vetoed”, not a great word, but sort of works) when it was the appropriate time. Christ had the authority to command the rocks to cry out, ...

Christ never stopped being God. Could any mere man make commands to nature? Don't forget that Jesus is the ONLY God/Man in existence, so as not to confuse what He did that was human and what was divine. As for the apostles like Paul and Peter, do you think anyone else has had "authority"? It is "the teachings of the apostles" that the early church devoted itself to, and I see no conferring of authority to anyone else. In other words, no one after them has had "authority OVER". Did Paul ever confer his level of authority to anyone? Could they have written scripture, as he did?

As for 1 Peter, please see my blog post Here.

... obey the teaching of scripture...

I agree. The question is why you think your interpretations are obvious even though so many fellow believers disagree.

But again, the question for you is this: Even if you are convinced that God gave you privilege strictly on the basis of the flesh, why do you not lay down that privilege as Jesus and Paul and other examples in scripture did? That same Peter you quoted also said not to "lord over but be examples". Does that not apply to men?

Tim Marsh said...

Jon,

We can begin with deductive approaches to theology and foundational claims, which are important: Jesus' pre-existence, same ousia with the Father, etc.

However, beginning from a human perspective (which we all are) and taking the perspective that we are recipients of theological revelation, given to us in the form of NARRATIVE, not Propositional Truth (I use caps for emphasis, not to yell, sorry) we must proceed with how the gospel narratives reveal the Lordship of Christ. As Hebrews puts it: Jesus was perfected by suffering.

Too, God revealed himself to Israel through actions, not through propositional truth claims. He was God because He delivered them. Israel worshipped not through a creation of an image to represent him, but through a relationship mediated through their founding story. Law and narrative are interwoven to reveal the character of God.

My point is that Jesus arose in the time of many would be Messiahs that claimed authority based upon identity and status. It was the fruits of Jesus life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension that "confirmed" the identity of Christ.

Acts 2:36 (Claim of lordship follows the narrative presented in Peter's sermon)

Phil. 2:5-11 (Claim of lordship follows narrative of suffering and exaltation)

Rev. 5(Vision of Jesus Lordship is recognized following the vision of his work in creation)

I have no problem with "absolute truth" that Jesus is Lord, but that his suffering, death and resurrection were necessary to reveal his character so that human beings would freely, without coercion, recognize that glory.

We follow Christ because of the fruits of His character, because we want to, not because we have to and are coerced to do so.

But that goes entirely against the thrust of Reformation Theology, doesn't it? :)

Tim Marsh said...

Philip,

It is the Bible that indicates the "roles" are a result of the fall, not the original design.

We are to live in light of Galatians 3:28, as people "in Christ" not as people still under the curse of the fall.

To all complementarians: How do you interpret Galatians 3:28?

Do we return to slavery, to class systems, and to separation of races? That is the same logic that says women should be subordinate to their husbands.

Tim Marsh said...

Jon,

By the way, I checked out your blog and I think that you have a wonderful idea and ministry with it.

I am sure that you will disagree with me theologically, but I think that your ideas are needed desperately.

Jon L. Estes said...

We follow Christ because of the fruits of His character, because we want to, not because we have to and are coerced to do so.

To a point we do (and that would be a sub-point).

I follow Christ primarily because I understand and know Him to be the very Son of God, Savior and Lord. It has nothing to do with coercion or having to but all because I get to.

I made this decision long before I comprehended the fruits of His character or depth of His love. I did not wait to verify all the things scripture taught about Jesus before masking a decision, I made it by faith when that was all I had to lean upon. A faith he gave me.

But that's me and my 2 cents.

Jon L. Estes said...

Tim,

Thanks for reading the blog, I hope you were speaking to the one on wounded ministers. I wish I knew how to better reach the multitude of wounded men who have been battered by the sheep the lead.

And, we might only be separated by semantics instead of deep theology.

2 cents...

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

I'm sorry, i thought most here would understand the term and role of pastor (bishop / elder) as mentioned in scripture (Timothy and Titus). My bad.

I do wonder though since God was not into the patriarchal thing, why did He not use a woman to write any portion of scripture.

The Pauline epistles are not written by a woman named Pauline. ;-)

Paula said...

Jon,

Who wrote Hebrews? Ruth? Esther? How many women authors should you expect, given the patriarchal ***culture*** that has been the norm? Does God instantly overturn human frailties or work around and through them? How many men would have preserved the scriptures if they knew the authors were sometimes females, God-breathed or not? Why do you reject slavery even though God never outlawed it, but you cling to male supremacy?

Please show me where Paul ever called anyone a "pastor" or "elder" or "bishop", as in a title. Paul called Timothy an evangelist, but never a "pastor".

Jon, you're only throwing around the standard male supremacist proof texts and fallacies. If you really want to face what scripture says about hierarchy, whether between classes or genders, and you can't afford the $1 download charge at Scrbd, I'll email you a free PDF of my book Nicolaitan: Power and Control in Christianity. It is a careful, detailed walk through scriptures from Genesis to Jude, rather than the "sound bite" approach used in blog comments.

And one more time: Why would you want to cling to preeminence, even if you still think God doles it out on the basis of the flesh?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Jon L. Estes wrote: >>I do wonder though since God was not into the patriarchal thing, why did He not use a woman to write any portion of scripture. <<

Let me ask you several questions:

1. Who wrote the book of Jeremiah?
2. Who wrote the book of Jonah?
3. Who wrote the book of Isaiah?

It is my understanding that it was Jeremiah, Jonah and Isaiah just as all the Prophets wrote their books named after their name.

Now tell me:
4. Who wrote the book of Esther?
5. Who wrote the book of Ruth?
6. Who wrote the book of Hebrews?

As far as the book of Hebrews goes, no one knows for sure. Now tell me how you know so confidently that God did not use a woman to write any portion of scripture? Is it your presupposition, or is it evidence that God did not "use a woman to write any portion of scripture"?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Oh my, Paula and I must have written the same book :) as we both posted the same answer at the same time.

Paula said...

;-)

Bryan Riley said...

Jon L. Estes,

Who did or didn't write scripture has no impact on this discussion, but we don't know who wrote Hebrews, and perhaps that is because it was a woman. Moreover, there are many scriptures that were composed by women, such as Miriam's song or Mary's song, or even the words of Solomon's bride. Those were divinely inspired words. God worked through a woman.

Jon L. Estes said...

Cheryl,

Yeah, maybe God used a woman but did not want anyone to know. ;-)

To answer the question I originally asked, it can be answered...

It seems we can not attribute, therefor should not attribute, any of the book of the Bible to have been authored by a woman.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Jon L. Estes wrote: >>To answer the question I originally asked, it can be answered...

It seems we can not attribute, therefor should not attribute, any of the book of the Bible to have been authored by a woman.<<

That wasn't what you originally said. You said: >>...why did He not use a woman to write any portion of scripture.<<

I am saying that you cannot say that God did not use a woman to write any portion of scripture. In fact Bryan Riley has proved that God used women to write portions of scripture. I think you need to rethink your prejudice.

With this kind of prejudice that was common during the patriarchal times that the scriptures were written in, it appears that God was very wise not to append a woman's name onto any book as the direct author. However reason tells us that a book with a female name with details that only the female would have experienced, is likely the work of her own hands. No male author has claimed to author these books.

Praise God for His wisdom!

Paula said...

It seems we can not attribute, therefor should not attribute, any of the book of the Bible to have been authored by a woman.

The point you missed is that you can't rule it out. And did God not want anyone to know He is a Trinity? He never said so. Did He not want us to do away with slavery? There is no clear injunction to do so.

Are you ever going to explain why you want so badly to cling to privilege?

Cheryl Schatz said...

By the way, I signed a contract to publish my first book and God-willing the manuscript will be done by year end. Since I will be putting my name on the book and since I will be discussing theology and the hard passages of scripture on women in ministry, does God forbid men to read my book?

Lydia said...

"I'm sorry, i thought most here would understand the term and role of pastor (bishop / elder) as mentioned in scripture (Timothy and Titus). My bad."

Jon, Perhaps you could list for us all the names of the pastors/elders for each Church Epistle in the NT.

Phillip said...

God does use women powerfully in His kingdom everyday. Praise God. My mother is an empowered woman who, though she is approaching her 80’s, continues to proclaim His goodness and saving grace to all. Women are a vital part of the kingdom of God, as important as men.

I Cor also answers the straw man/woman issue that women are only to follow Christ and by having to follow Christ and their husbands, they are following two leaders. From the level of writing and thinking that you exhibit, I suspect, you don’t even buy that one.


The whole context of I Corinthians is that men and women are not exactly the same. Paul knows this is going to be an instruction that will not go over well with those who personally agree with him and ends the section with the words: 16But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

“Other practice” at your peril.

Did Paul ever confer his level of authority over anyone?

All the time. You have to look no further than the passage we were just looking at. IF ANY ONE IS INCLINED TO BE CONTENTIOUS, WE HAVE NO OTHER PRACTICE, NOR HAVE THE CHURCHES OF GOD.

Paul never had “authority OVER” He did, you’re just not getting it.

Yes, The Bible indicates that there were roles before the fall. God said he would make a “helpmate” for Adam. Here comes the hermeneutical gymnastics team to try show that “helpmate” is not a role.

Yes, after the fall the roles were tainted. Genesis 3 spends a lot of time differentiating the roles. They exist. God said so.

How do I interpret Galatians 3:28? Here’s how I interpret Gal 3:26-29: For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

Same guys who wrote Timothy, Corinthians, et. al. Don’t see anywhere in there that he negates or contradicts all his other writings regarding the roles we are responsible for in the kingdom.

I agree; the fact that all or at least most of scripture was written by men was again, more a cultural phenomenon than theological. Could scripture’s instructions regarding authority in the church and the headship of the husband be entirely cultural? I can’t rule that out. There is no evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt – as indicated by the 140 or so entries in this blog- one way or the other. Taking a preponderance of the evidence of the whole of scripture and not wanting to undermine scripture by starting to dismiss major parts of it because of cultural irrelevancy, I personally live my life what it most clearly says.

As much as I would like to have women pastors in the church and sometimes even have my wife be the head of our home, attempts to lift out individual verses with tertiary relation to the topic (Gal 3:28) or spin word meanings to come out where you want will not convince. I remain under the Lordship of Christ and the scriptures.

Lydia said...

God lead the Isrealites out of Egypt in a visible way. They still rejected Him. Therefore the Law. Then they beg for a King and God is angry because they have rejected Him as their King.

But now, in the NC, we have those who think God purposely put another human layer between Jesus Christ and a married woman. No matter about the temple veil being torn in two. And that all believers have anointing and are part of the Holy Priesthood. God's truth can only come to men by men.

Those who are specially anointed by due male body parts interpret submit as obey. They interpret head as authority over and have set up for themselves an earthly priesthood of preeminance and call it servant leadership.

One can twist it all they want, but they want wives who are perpetual children and whose spiritual growth could easily be stunted in such a system. They claim otherwise and will tell you how smart and capable their wives are. But the truth is they want a child who follows them and not Christ alone.

Driscoll (and many others) teache that this system is because women are more easily deceived. But this makes no sense as they allow their easily deceived wives to teach their kids who will believe anything.

It also makes no sense they would allow women to teach other women scripture because other women will also be easily deceived by the female teacher who is also easily deceived.

Therefore, it is only logical they would allow women to teach men whom they claim are NOT more easily deceived.

But even this so called belief of women being more easily deceived makes no sense for men to be in authority. Because the converse must be true.

It would have to mean that men are universally more prone to sin willfully and on purpose like Adam.

So, you have the "willful sinner on purpose" teaching the easily deceived.

And you have the "willful sinner on purpose" demanding authority over the more easily deceived.

But Paul was a bondservant of Christ. And we are to be, too.

Lydia said...

Phillip, I would recommend Cheryl's exegesis of 1 Corin 11. I hope you will be open to learn from a woman who had done great research and exegesis on this passage.

For example, when you quote verse 16, you have missed the whole ponit of the entire passage. Paul is saying the Body of Christ has no practice for headcoverings. Women are free to choose. But had many things to consider if uncovering.

You might want to check an interlinear because in verse 10, "symbol of" is not in the original. It was ADDED by translators.

Paul is actually telling them that women have authority over their own heads. Obviously this was too much for the translators to swallow. But Paul gives a reason: Because of the Angels. Check 1 Corin 6 for why that is significant.

1 Corin 11 is used by many to not only have supremacy over women but many use it to prove ESS. All this is quite ironic since it is simply about whether as believers in Christ women should cover or not in worship.

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

To what privilege am I clinging?

I am clinging to Christ and His Word just because we disagree does not mean I am clinging to privilege.

But such an accusation might help you make your point to those like minded. Oh well.

I have not interest in changing your mind, it is not my place or role.

Thanks for the dialog.

Jon L. Estes said...

You might want to check an interlinear because in verse 10, "symbol of" is not in the original. It was ADDED by translators

Where can I get a copy of those originals?

Lydia said...

http://mmoutreach.org/wim.htm

Phillip, here is a link to Cheryl's DVD. On it she does an indepth teaching on 1 Corin 11 (and other passages)

She welcomes anyone to prove any errors in her exegesis.

Jon L. Estes said...

Jon, Perhaps you could list for us all the names of the pastors/elders for each Church Epistle in the NT.

Don't need names to affirm scripture, it stands by itself without them.

But, if you want to share all the names of the women who served as an elder or bishop, I'd be interested in looking them over.

Phillip said...

Lydia, I have no idea where you are coming up with the concept that I as the husband am trying to get between Christ and my wife. I try to the best of my ability to help her draw closer to Him and she does the same to me. If you have had a bad example of how a godly husband should lead, I am sorry. Unfortunately, there are many of them out there. That does not dismiss scripture, but it does make its carrying out significantly more difficult.

I do not consider myself pre-imminent. I do not consider my wife to be child in any way. I do not want my wife to not follow Christ in any way. If you knew me or my wife, you would realize how far off base your pre-conceived notions are. She has been in levels of leadership (some very high) in large institutions; she can more than hold her own. If you saw who you are trying to call a child, you would retract your accusation in shame. You are busy running around setting up straw men.

Do I understand exactly what scripture means when it says that women are more easily deceived? I do not. Either Scripture is wrong or I don’t see the full and complete picture. I believe the first and confess to the second. I am a bondservant of Christ. I am His slave, called to love and lead my wife as he loved and led the church. It is a high undertaking and pray constantly for His wisdom and strength to carry that out.

Paula said...

From the level of writing and thinking that you exhibit, I suspect, you don’t even buy that one. 

The whole context of I Corinthians is that men and women are not exactly the same.
How you can turn "follow Christ and husband" into "one leader" I don't know, but it isn't logically possible. And as for fallacies, you gave a nice straw man yourself: nobody has said men and women are exactly alike. You err greatly in presuming that difference can only be determined by hierarchy.

IF ANY ONE IS INCLINED TO BE CONTENTIOUS, WE HAVE NO OTHER PRACTICE, NOR HAVE THE CHURCHES OF GOD.

Where is authority there? Is not Paul saying "nobody has this custom" (of head coverings)?
God said he would make a “helpmate” for Adam. Here comes the hermeneutical gymnastics team to try show that “helpmate” is not a role.

Nice attitude. But you ignore the meaning of the Hebrew ezer kenegdo. Look it up sometime. You'll find it used also of God.

Don’t see anywhere in there that he negates or contradicts all his other writings regarding the roles we are responsible for in the kingdom.

But you do see that a specific instruction to a group can override and contradict all the general "one anothers" that are not in dispute. Convenient.

I personally live my life what it most clearly says.
"What it most clearly says" is the point under debate.

attempts to lift out individual verses with tertiary relation to the topic (Gal 3:28) or spin word meanings to come out where you want will not convince. I remain under the Lordship of Christ and the scriptures.

I agree, and wish you'd come to grips with your bias and deliberate dismissal of all the scriptures that speak of "not so among you", "treat others as better than yourself", "do to others as you would have them do to you", etc. etc. etc. Your own spinning and twisting of scripture is no better than that allegedly done by others.

I too remain under the Lordship of Christ and the scripture. "Judge for yourselves whether we should obey men rather than God!"

Paula said...

Jon,

Are you actually dismissing ALL the copies of Greek manuscripts simply because they are not the originals??? Wow.

Are you afraid to look at the ms. we do have? Show us the Greek words meaning "a symbol of", and explain how the authority can belong to anyone but the woman, given the grammatical ending.

Paula said...

To what privilege am I clinging?

I am clinging to Christ and His Word just because we disagree does not mean I am clinging to privilege.

But such an accusation might help you make your point to those like minded. Oh well.


It's the privilege you think you have by virtue of your reproductive organs alone. You presume that God gave you this. You cling to it by arguing vigorously to keep it. You say you're only following scripture, but in fact you're only following your interpretation.

It's fine to have a personal conviction, but doesn't it seem odd to you that God would give you a privilege based on the flesh alone, in violation of the example of Jesus who laid privilege down for us all? Shouldn't that be a red flag that your interpretation may not be right?

Oh well.

Thy Peace said...

"By the way, I signed a contract to publish my first book and God-willing the manuscript will be done by year end. Since I will be putting my name on the book and since I will be discussing theology and the hard passages of scripture on women in ministry, does God forbid men to read my book?".

God bless you Cheryl. I will definitely buy your book and read it too :)

I have no problems learning scripture and it's interpretations from any one. Either male or female. The only requirement I have is they be clear in their teaching. As far as Pastors, I do not see any obstacles for women being Pastors. Since they are being asked to be servants, to me, it does not concern me if they are male or female. I have learned over the years equally from both men and women, and I am better off because of it.

I must confess, when I first came across these teachings of man being head of the wife, I could not digest it. It disturbed me quite a bit.

When I discovered Pastor Wade's blog and from there Cheryl's blog and then Paula's blog, it was a breath of fresh air.

I truly do not desire to be head over anyone, especially a mate. I like the idea of equals. Pastor Wade's reasoning on how their decisions are made at his house makes lot of sense to me.

But clearly, there are people who prefer male headship. I do not oppose them. I wish them God's blessings. I only request they do not force their views on others who do not share their views or reasonings, as they I am sure bristle at the thought that others are forcing their views on them.

For people who wish equality, it is an uphill battle while convincing others to let them be and not be punished as a result.

Examples: Sheri Klouda. I would like to give other examples, but that will inflame this debate into directions I do not wish it to go.

So to the fighters, reasoners, scripture interpreters and researchers: Thank you.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Jon L. Estes said: >>Where can I get a copy of those originals?<<

I am certain that Jon already knows where to see the copies of the Greek manuscripts but for those who don't they can go to http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1co11.pdf to see that in verse 10 the words "symbol of" are not there in the original Greek.

Lydia,
Thanks for the plug for my work on 1 Corinthians 11. I have been told by many pastors that it is the best work on this passage that they have ever seen. A small portion of the section on 1 Corinthians 11 is on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C33wUR9zcBg It is an important issue about the meaning of the head covering and why Christian men were not to wear the covering.

Cheryl Schatz said...

It looks like the online interlinear address was cut off. The last part of the web address should be:
1co11.pdf

Paula said...

Thanks for all your kind words, ThyPeace.

I too have great difficulty resolving inequality with the teachings of Jesus and the NT writers. They speak continually of brother/sister, not parent/child; of a body, not a chain; of us being one, not two. To "have the final say" is to be preeminent, and that God would base such a thing on the flesh is so out of kilter with the totality of scripture I cannot fathom its motivation.

Authority is the last thing any sinner needs. We all need more of the humility and acceptance as equals that you display.

Cheryl Schatz said...

By the way I was asked by someone about my own marriage and the decision making method. We have it pretty well down-pat after 37 years of marriage. We do things together. When one person is not in favor, we see this as an opportunity for discussion and prayer. We trust God and know that He can change the heart and mind of our spouse if there is a roadblock. Since I am a naturally submissive person by nature, I am pleased to set aside my own comfort to give my husband what he desires. Since my husband has been practicing the biblical way of sacrificial giving to me, he is also pleased to give me what I need. Together we serve one another and we have a very happy and fulfilled marriage where no one takes authority over the will of the other. At the beginning of our marriage when we were both complementarians who believed the teaching that the husband is responsible to make the decisions even against his wife's will, we were both miserable in those "roles". The loving servant way has allowed us to walk in a one-flesh unity with our faces firmly towards following the example of Jesus.

Phillip said...

I do not deliberately “dismiss” the scripture.

You cannot be the judge of whether or not I “lord it over” my wife. You don’t even know me. Only she (or someone with extremely close proximity and access) could begin to make that judgment. She would snicker at the innuendo. We are in very close agreement to what the Bible “really” says.

I try to treat others better than I treat myself at every juncture. Anyone who personally knows me will tell you the same. Maybe that’s why our marriage works so well. It does not abscond me from the responsibility of leading. Being a leader does not mean that I always do exactly what every one else wants me to do (my board and staff would love that :). It means that every decision I make looks out for their best interest in mind, not my own. That often means that I sacrifice. That often might mean a delayed gratification. That doesn’t mean that I carry out my wife’s orders verbatim.

I pray that one day you will get to experience the joy and peace of a husband who lifts you up, who brings you nearer to Christ, and who looks out for your interest first. I believe that your militant striving for headship would dissipate and His peace would flow through you.

Paula said...

It does not abscond me from the responsibility of leading.

Where does scripture call a husband his wife's leader? We have already discussed the meaning of "head" in Greek.

I believe that your militant striving for headship would dissipate and His peace would flow through you.

I see now you're giving me the same thing you accuse me of giving you: insult. You don't know me either, so it is not right for you to do that which you tell me not to do.

Let me write this in caps so you don't miss it:
I DO NOT STRIVE FOR "HEADSHIP". Understand? I'm "striving" for EQUALITY, not some "boss-ship". How have you missed that? And to call it "militant" only shows how you do in fact crave preeminence; your protestations to the contrary are ringing hollow. Is it "militant" to disagree with you? How is that not a conceited attitude?

Thy Peace said...

I am making all the links active in this discussion.

Lydia said...
http://godswordtowomen.org/teshuqa_chart.pdf.

An interesting history of the translation of Teshuqa

Ancient renderings of teshuqa

http://godswordtowomen.org/lesson%2017.htm.
-----------------------------------
DebD said...
J. Vernon McGee preached 60 years and also began the Through the Bible radio program.... he preached the entire Bible on the radio during five years (the first time was only 2.5 years and he realized it was too short), later dying at age 84 in his sleep in 1988... All of his "Through the Bible radio sermons" are freely downloadable at:

http://www.thruthebible.org/site/c.irLMKXPGLsF/b.4104233/k.BFE1/MP3_Download_of_5Year_Series.htm.
-----------------------------------
DebD said...
http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/know/know_09.htm, has written the following outline: apparently enablers of women(right, Bob?)
-----------------------------------
Lydia said...
http://mmoutreach.org/wim.htm.

Phillip, here is a link to Cheryl's DVD. On it she does an indepth teaching on 1 Corin 11 (and other passages)

She welcomes anyone to prove any errors in her exegesis.
-----------------------------------
Cheryl Schatz said...
Jon L. Estes said: >>Where can I get a copy of those originals?<<

I am certain that Jon already knows where to see the copies of the Greek manuscripts but for those who don't they can go to http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1co11.pdf, to see that in verse 10 the words "symbol of" are not there in the original Greek.

Lydia,
Thanks for the plug for my work on 1 Corinthians 11. I have been told by many pastors that it is the best work on this passage that they have ever seen. A small portion of the section on 1 Corinthians 11 is on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C33wUR9zcBg. It is an important issue about the meaning of the head covering and why Christian men were not to wear the covering
.
-----------------------------------
Cheryl Schatz's blog: Women In Ministry.

Paula Fether's blog: Wordsof a Fether.

Cindy Kunsman's blog: Under Much Grace.
-----------------------------------

Chris Ryan said...

Paula,

I did look it up. I thought I would strengthen your argument a bit from it. Whenever the "ezer kenegdo" is used positively, it is always used of God. Whenever it is used negatively, it speaks of the help of a human being towards another. Therefore, unless the word is used deragatorily (sp?) in Genesis 2, God speaks of woman as a "help mate" as a manifestation of His *divine* help. It has nothing at all to do with one is there to help and the other to lead.

Paula said...

Thanks, Chris, and good point.

Got a question then: what are the references of the negative uses, and does the negativity come from the context?

Another point would be that if Eve were created by God as deceivable, then she would be unqualified to be anyone's ezer. Just a thought.

Phillip said...

Thanks for the links. I don’t know these teachers/people from Adam or Eve. The Bible tells us that there are many false teachers among us. Based on some of the interaction of the participants of this blog, I certainly have cause to be leery. Much of the energies consumed to make a verse try say something it had no intention of communicating (in the English or the Greek) are enough reason to tread with caution. I’ll stick to those I know who are approaching scripture with a sincere heart to hear His message, rather than have a fleshly epistemology (or do my own research). Not saying all of them do; I’m saying it is much, much more difficult to discern.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Phillip,

>>I’ll stick to those I know who are approaching scripture with a sincere heart to hear His message, rather than have a fleshly epistemology (or do my own research). Not saying all of them do; I’m saying it is much, much more difficult to discern.<<

But isn't it the hierarchical teaching that men are the ones responsible for correcting the errors? If men don't pay attention and diligently correct the errors, but just let the women teachers alone, then how will that help out the rest of the church? Just asking.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Thanks for fixing the links, Thy Peace! Much appreciated.

Paula said...

I’ll stick to those I know who are approaching scripture with a sincere heart

How do you know their hearts?

to hear His message, rather than have a fleshly epistemology

How do you know it's His message, and that it isn't a "fleshly epistemology"?

(or do my own research).

Like the Bereans?

Not saying all of them do; I’m saying it is much, much more difficult to discern.

Why should discernment be easy? Why is it harder to discern people you don't know than people that are popular?

Jon L. Estes said...

I am certain that Jon already knows where to see the copies of the Greek manuscripts but for those who don't they can go to http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1co11.pdf to see that in verse 10 the words

Oh, you are moving from original documents to copies of the manuscripts.

Now where do I find the original documents, not some later copies? Just wanting to stay true to your comment.

Paula said...

Oh, you are moving from original documents to copies of the manuscripts.

Read my earlier comment.

You know very well what was meant. And unless you are prepared to dismiss all the Greek manuscripts and all translations, then you must face the ms. we have and answer the question.

And you already know the answer: those words are not there in the Greek, and by the "principle" given earlier about female authors of Bible books, you have to assume they were never in the originals.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Jon L. Estes said:>>Now where do I find the original documents, not some later copies? Just wanting to stay true to your comment.<<

My previous words were: "I am certain that Jon already knows where to see the copies of the Greek manuscripts..."

Your refusing to answer the questions posed to you and what appears to be making fun at the expense of the gift that God has preserved for us with the copies of the original manuscripts is neither helpful nor is it honorable. I would think that if you held the truth yourself, that you would do better than that. Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that the one who holds the truth has an obligation to correct those that he believes to be in error. When Adam knew the truth in the garden (because Adam was not deceived 1 Timothy 2:14), yet he did not use the knowledge he had to benefit the one who was deceived, God took that very seriously. God considered that failure as a treacherous act (Hosea 6:7)

I believe that as Christians we have an obligation to give an answer for the hope that is within us and to do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15) I trust that each one of us strive to fulfill the law of love towards one other as Christ has commanded us.

Blessings,
Cheryl

Tom Kelley said...

Oh, come on, Jon. It's obvious that when Lydia said "in the original" she meant "in the orignal Greek language" not "in the original author's manuscript" -- she was poining to a Greek interlinear; no reference was made to the autographs. If you really didn't realize that (and you weren't just trying to obfuscate the issues being discussed), then you should be able to see it now, after the clarificdations provided. The root word for "patronizing" and "patriarchical" are the same.

-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Philip,
It is commendable that you desire to follow Scripture to the best of your understanding. Please consider that that you are calling "the plain reading" or "primary thrust" of the Bible may be a result of a bias that arises out of human fallenness and centuries of cultural conditioning.

I see no one here trying to deny the Bible's obvious teachings or dismiss its teachings as only relevant to a different culture. As Paula said, the point under debate is what the Bible clearly says.

I was where you are in my understanding of Scripture not long ago, but the women commenting here and other godly teachers have shown me more clearly what the Bible is saying (much as Pricilla and her husband instructed Apollos about Christ). You would do well to listen with an open heart and mind, rather than dismissing their teachings out of hand.

To me, the overriding issue here, whether we are talking about a husband having "authority" over a wife, or a pastor having "authority" over a congregation, is that seeking or clinging to "authority" is antithetical to the spirit of Christ and the "primary thrust" of Scripture and the gospel.
-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
Your comment at Sat Jul 04, 04:52:00 PM 2009 was spot on. I l loved the final paragraph!

-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Debbie, Lydia, Cheryl, Paula, Christiane, Deb, Mary, and others,
Thank you for teaching and contending for the truth of Scripture. You’re all making a difference.

-----
Tom

Cheryl Schatz said...

Wow, Tom, what a wonderful word of encouragement to us all! Praise God!!!

Paula said...

Yes, thanks Tom! :-D

You have no idea how much mileage we can get out of the tiniest crumb of encouragement. We're not used to that. God bless!

Lydia said...

I pray that one day you will get to experience the joy and peace of a husband who lifts you up, who brings you nearer to Christ, and who looks out for your interest first. I believe that your militant striving for headship would dissipate and His peace would flow through you.

Sat Jul 04, 04:46:00 PM 2009

Well friends, this is what it always boils down to. If a woman believes the scriptures are teaching mutual submission then it has to be there is some hurt, rebellion or horrible husband behind it.

(If a man believes in mutual submission, then usually he is considered a sissy in comp circles)

This is the refuge of the desperate who refuse to debate the interpretations. Sorry, Phillip, but that is true. It is an old tactic and quite worn out. I am a bit embarassed for you

What you write above and in other comments about the women here just wanting headship is nothing but a political tactic.

And couple that tactic with the teaching on the chain of being (authority) in church governance and you have a recipe for a cult. And few people following Christ but a mere man.

I saw this tactic used ALL THE TIME in comp seminars and sermons to scare folks from even considering mutual submission as taught in the passage in Eph 5, and all the one anothers in scripture.

I pray that someday you will see your wife as an adult who can make hard decisions without you. (Because you may not be there someday to make them for her. Yes, we know how smart she is but you still do not seem to trust her with hard decisions all by herself)

See how that works?


Jon, You knew what I meant, but nice try to divert the discussion.

DebD said...

Philip, it is obvious you do not really care what the intent of scripture is as long as you can exercise authority over someone else.

The following is from:
The Victor Bible Background Commentary, New Testament by Lawrence O Richards

1Corinthians 11:3 “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”
p.394
Despite the efforts of some to impose hierarchical implications, Paul is clearly NOT using “head” in a superior/subordinate sens.e Head, kephale, was not generally used in Greek literature in the sense of “chief” or “highest in rank.” Although the Hebrew word is ro’sh did carry this sense, the translators of the Septuagint almost never use kephale to translate ro’sh when “ruler” is intended, although they did use kephale if the physical “head” were intended. Paul’s first-century readers would have understood his metaphor to indicate “source of life” rather than “ruler” or “superior vs. inferior.”
Why does Paul begin this way, and what is he saying? Soon Paul will deal with the specific problem, which has to do with head coverings. But before he does, Paul wants to constructct a framework for his remarks. That framework is at once theological, historical and relational. Christ is the source of man’s life (John 1:4) Adam (ho aner, “the man”) is the source from which woman was formed. God Himself is the source from which the incarnate Christ came. What we do, then, reflects on the source from which we spring, to its honor or dishonor.
From time to time we hear someone argue from this passage that men, the “head,” are superior and women are inferior, so women must obey men. But how is Christ inferior to the Father, who is His “head?” From eternity Father, Son and Holy Spirit existed as One God, coequals although with different roles in carrying out the plan of salvation. We might much more logically argue for the equality of men and women from this verse than for woman’s subordination. In fact, Paul does exactly this in stressing the interdependence of the sexes in 11:11-12.
Yes, the roles of men and women do differ: in the family, in society, and in the church. But role differentiation must not be distorted to suggest superiority/inferiority. And Paul’s use of “head” here must not be taken to support a hierarchical view of male/female relations in home or church.

p. 396
But the woman is the glory of man (11:7)
Paul develops his original argument. God is the source of male/female differences (11:7-9) The differences is not demeaning, for “woman is the glory of man.”
This phrase helps us see that in saying woman was created “for” man Paul is NOT saying woman was created for man to dominate, or for man to have authority over. Instead, Paul is saying that woman, coming from man, completes man, and with man makes the human race a realizable possibility. The excellencies of the female reflects credit on the male, from whose rib she was formed as his partner and equal.

“For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head (11:10)”
Paul now drives his argument home. The authority exousia, Paul speaks of is not some supposed authority of the man over the woman, as some have taught. Instead it is the new freedom -- the authority, the right -- that women as women have within the church to pray and prophesy. By proudly dressing their hair as women, these Corinthians will demonstrate to men and angels that women are not second-class citizens and do not have to deny their feminine nature to win equality. It is as women that Paul wants these Corinthians to take their place beside, rather than beneath, the men of the congregation, as equal partners and equal participants in the worship of God."

Lydia said...

Thanks for the links. I don’t know these teachers/people from Adam or Eve. The Bible tells us that there are many false teachers among us. Based on some of the interaction of the participants of this blog, I certainly have cause to be leery. Much of the energies consumed to make a verse try say something it had no intention of communicating (in the English or the Greek) are enough reason to tread with caution. I’ll stick to those I know who are approaching scripture with a sincere heart to hear His message, rather than have a fleshly epistemology (or do my own research). Not saying all of them do; I’m saying it is much, much more difficult to discern.

Sat Jul 04, 05:31:00 PM 2009

Phillip, you have hit on something that is important for all believers. To study on their own. The Holy Spirit is the BEST teacher. Those of us in the true Body were never meant to sit under one guy week in and week for our spiritual food. We simply cannot grow spiritually doing that. If we are true believers then we have the anointing and are part of the Holy Priesthood. The Holy Spirit illuminates truth to us as we pray and study. Each true believer is gifted for the Body.

I used to have my favorite preachers, too. Those I trusted. And I was very wrong. Now, I test everything because there are tons of false teachers out there. One way I recognize them is if they try and make a non salvic issue a primary one. Like a 'role'

That is a huge red flag.

And if they are striving for preeminance and want to argue for their position, it is also a red flag. A true elder would have calloused knees, humility and would care for my soul. Not their position.

If you think I took Cheryl's word for her exegesis, you would be wrong. I tested every word. I even checked her sources.

Christianity started as a Relationship then moved into Greece where it became a philosophy; moved into Rome where it became a government institution; then onto Europe where it became a culture; and then to America, where it has become an business enterprise.

The true Body is an organism not an organization. Jesus Christ is the authority of the Body. If true believers are in the Body, it works to have Jesus Christ as the authority because the Holy Spirit is indwelling in each believer. And spiritual unity exists.

If not, they need a CEO and a human chain of command. And they will seek out those who can teach them leadership tactics.

But, we are to seek to be a servant to others and a bondservant to Christ.

Mary R said...

Phillip, you've made so many incorrect assumptions about egalitarians and our beliefs and practices that one hardly knows where to begin to set you straight. Besides, it doesn't appear that you are particularly interested in giving up those incorrect assumptions in favor of the truth.

I noticed you've answered very few of the questions put to you. I can imagine it's frustrating to have to admit that it's more about your feelings and assumptions than about what Scripture actually says. That's OK. I know it took me awhile to set such things aside and be willing to align myself to Scripture's teachings, rather than my dearly-held, incorrect interpretations of Scripture in some pet areas (male privilege among them; it's SOOO much easier to simply enable a man to wield positional power that God doesn't grant him).

I'd still REALLY like to know how you and your friends (other than your wife) decide who the designated leader of your friendships will be. Maybe they're two-headed "monstrous" friendships. ;)

Jon L. Estes said...

Phillip,

Thanks for your comments. Though you will be belittled for holding to these truths, stay strong.

Hebrews 13:17 tells us that there are people who are over us, have rule, authority over us. Some will say... "Not so!" but to do so denies scripture.

Titus 3:9

believer333 said...

This may have been said already. There are too many comments for me to read through.

Teshuqua does NOT mean 'desire to dominate'. In 4:7, the subject is sin who desires to have Cain. The things that sin desires are sinful. So whatever sin wants to do with Cain, we know are going to be sinful things. Eve who God forewarns that she will desire Adam (God does not command individuals to sin), is not sinful in the totality of her nature the same way Sin is, nor any more so than Adam. The Scripture does not say that Eve desired "to have" Adam, only that she would desire him.

There are a range of meanings for the word teshuqua just like all words including: turning, lusting, desiring, and more. One thing it does not mean is "desire to dominate". What the object of the desire is must be supplied in the rest of the sentence and context.

Also, the meaning of mashal is a harsh domination. This would be necessary to ward off evil. This is not necessary and not good to demonstrate between people.

I think that if these things are taken into consideration, one might see that God was simply forewarning Eve (He was not speaking to Adam) that because of the sin they just participated in, their future relationship would now become strained.

believer333 said...

"Patriarchy is the result of man's sinful desire to control and dominate and should be, by God's grace, avoided at all costs."

On this I fully agree.

While there are spiritual ministries in the Body of Christ demonstrating a leadership of nurturing, exhortations, preaching and teaching God's truths to us through their examples, this is quite different from the concept of patriarchal harsh rule, which desires to control and limit, exalting the few to the primary benefit of the few.

Thy Peace said...

In today's sermon, Pastor Wade gives explicit reasons for his stepping away from SBC politics. If you watch the video, it's titled "His Commands Are My Delight", Part 22 of series, July 05, 2009 (1 Jn. 4:20-5:5). The sermon notes are not still up as of this writing. But they should be posted here, as sermon # 22.

Today's sermon on the video is from 27:30 to 54:08. Pastor Wade's remarks on his stepping back from SBC politics is from 48:54 to 51:00.

I would encourage you to listen to the whole sermon. Also relevant to this discussion is sermon #18, "Testing of the Spirits (1 Jn. 4:1-6), May 17, 2009.

DebD said...

You DO recall, Jon, that Hebrews 13 comes after Hebrews 1-12 which are all about the salvation that the Lord brings, listening to His voice, that no one can take this honor for themselves (it is all from God), Jesus is now our High Priest, trusting He will never leave us, the shedding of Jesus’ Blood, examples of those who’ve gone before us living in faith, the importance of discipline by the Father, etc then about brotherly love, and that the Lord is my helper (same word used in Genesis for woman, the helpmeet (not helpmate).


The Victor Bible Background Commentary, New Testament by Dr. Lawrence O Richards

Pg. 569 re: Hebrews 13
vs. 7 “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith”
The Greek word here is the present participle of the verb hegeomai. This is a very general term, and does not distinguish position, as would “elder” or “bishop” or “apostle.” We only know that these leaders spoke the word of God to the Hebrews, either at first, or recently. The “outcome of their way of life” is probably not, as some suggest, martyrdom. The outcome is rather the Christian character that faith’s way of life produces.
This word for “leader” is used three times in this short chapter. Herein, v 17, and in v 24. Verse 17 is particularly important - and often misunderstood. Church Leadership (Zondervan) (page 140) discusses this verse in depth:
The Book of Hebrews first exhorts believers, “Remember you leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (13:7). Shortly after, the writer says, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority” (v17). It would seem that here we have a clear-cut case of the very kind of authority that this chapter (13) suggests spiritual leaders must reject. Here is a demand for obedience. Leaders seem to have at least some right to control. And here is a reference to an “authority” that leaders have.

But let’s look more closely at this verse. In the original the phrase reads, “Peithesthe tois hegoumenois hymon kai kypeikete. Each word here is significant and conveys a much different message from its English equivalent.
Peithesthe is from peitho, which literally means “let yourselves be persuaded, or convinced.” A fair translation would be, “Be open to the persuasion of your leaders.”
Tois hegoumenois hymon is translated “your leaders.” It is a term used of rulers and princes, but the original word means “to lead, or guide.” Here we see the spiritual leader in the church as one who has traveled along the road toward godliness and, as a valid model, is able to point out that way to others.
Hypeikete is the single word translated by the English phrase, “submit to their authority.” The word is at times so translated. Originally, however, it was used, as in classical Greek, to describe soft and yielding substances. The root idea is not “give in” but “be disposed to yielding.”
The whole instruction, therefore, focuses on the attitude that members of the body are to maintain toward their leaders. We can paraphrase the instruction and so capture the underlying thought of the verse as it would have been understood by a Greek reader of the NT: “In your relationship with those who are your leaders and guides to godliness, be sure you maintain a yielding disposition, and remain open to their persuasion.” The passage goes on, “For they keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Be responsive to them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
With this insight, the whole tone of obey changes. The authority” of the leaders is seen not to be some right to control, but only a right to influence the choices “of brothers and sisters over whom the leader keeps watch. Page 140

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