Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

Can you see the word that changes its meaning in this Martha Peace quote? Try to spot it:

Question  asked to Martha Peace: I know the Bible teaches women to be submissive to their husbands, but what about a wife whose husband screams, cusses, and hits her?

Answer from Martha Peace: The Bible clearly teaches that wife is to submit herself to the authority of her husband (Ephesians 5:22; Titus 2:5; Colossians 3:18; I Peter 3:1). The Greek word for “be submissive to” is hupotasso. It is a military term that means to be ranked under in military order. Hupotasso in no way implies that the wife is inferior, but it does clearly mean that she has a different role. Her role has been given to her by God… the Lord expects us to be faithful to obey in the small things as well as the large. So, wives are to be submissive to their husbands with one exception – if he asks her to sin. In a case such as her husband asking her to sin, she would then have to obey God (who is the higher authority)… A wife whose husband is sinning should appeal to her husband. And if he does not repent, she should tell him what he is doing is not right (based on Scripture if he is a Christian). Either way, she would give a gentle, loving reproof (Galatians 6:1)… If he is a Christian, she should follow the steps of church discipline in Matthew 18:15-18 and if necessary call the police based on Romans 13:1. If he is an unbeliever, the church has no authority over him, but, of course, the police and courts do.

Peace reminds us of texts that say wives should submit (hupotasso). She applies that as a performance command to wives:  Submit/ obey/ be submissive, whether he is right or not, whenever he does not ask you to sin. The submission command is not, in her teaching, also part of what the husband and all believers should do under Eph. 5:21, as she calls it a “different role” – not the man’s role.

She also reminds us of Romans 13:1: Christians should submit (hupotasso) to authorities. She apply that as  “you should tell authorities of your problem, and the authorities should help you!” Why the difference? Why is submission to husbands all about obeying them in everything large and small, and submission to authorities about telling them of a problem and they have to work on solving it?

Where would she get her ideas from? Methinks it’s from a man-centered (man as in adult male, not as in human) church. And these men interpret “Christians, submit to authorities” as “the authorities owe us.” And these men she listens to interpret “wives, submit to husbands” as “the wives owe us.” This has nothing to do with good scripture exegesis, but with  personal selfishness.

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Comments on: "Submitting to authorities and husbands: Beware of those who change the meaning of words half-way through" (10)

  1. Sorry to be so off topic, but this is the latest Christian gender role babble, and I really wanted to share it with you. This is more ambiguous than the usual strictly defined literature. However, I almost found it laughable. Being male means “remembering what’s important and doing it.” Wow – didn’t know that.

    http://community.focusonthefamily.com/b/boundless/archive/2013/07/22/revisiting-the-biblical-gender-discussion.aspx

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  2. Wow. There is so much nonsense out there, that without dependence on God. none of us can know when to respond and when to just leave it.

    So every woman who has good priorities (knows what is important) and acts on them is acting like a man?

    Not that they insult just women there: To suggest that only women should be “open to receive” would make men miss out on good things. If an “invitational style of relating” is only for women, a man cannot even invite a woman to come on a date with him.

    And I would say the two has a huge overlap: God said the most important things is to love Him with your heart soul, mind and strength and loving others as yourself. If you do those important things, you will be open to receive from God and people, and your relational style most likely will invite people to come closer.

    So where is the gender role?

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    • There was zero reference to Scripture in that piece, so I’m not taking it seriously. Babbling about what’s “Biblical” without actually quoting the Bible (properly, not in that half-sentence way some pastors do to cut out the bits they don’t want) won’t get my respect for an article.

      On the Mary Pierce quote, isn’t she forgetting that submitting to sin is a sin itself? Allowing evil to continue is certainly not a Biblical command. But these guys see it as “allowing sin to continue against anyone except yourself” is a sin. If you’re a wife. Husband is allowed to stand up against his spouse to ‘reclaim his authority’ but a wife can’t stand up to her husband to reclaim her very personhood. All in all I call BS because this doesn’t in any way, reflect the nature of God. No pastor can say “God loves you” to a battered wife in one breath and then “He wants you to submit to abuse to fulfil your role” in another. It just doesn’t click for me.

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  3. I find it interesting that in the “afterlife,” people are essentially supposed to be genderless in some way, more or less (and I correct?), so I wonder what the hell (no pun intended) people are doing obsessing with men being dominant and women being submissive. Honestly? I think this is the devil’s work, the whole thing about trying to keep women down, and it is the devil’s ploy to keep MEN from becoming more spiritual. Also, the devil said he would be in enmity against the woman from the beginning, so this explains why women are always being attacked and put down. (The devil doesn’t get any CAPS in his name from me btw, because he is a royal turd. We should honestly laugh at him for being such an idiot.)

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    • It is indeed a plot to keep humanity in sin’s throes. Male dominance and female submission is what was described in Genesis as what sin-stained life would be like between the two genders, certainly not a prescription on how to treat each other. Jesus came to break the ‘curse’ (I know it wasn’t technically a curse but I can’t think of a more appropriate noun), why are people putting it back on themselves and saying it is holy?

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  4. anonymous said:

    I love your blog, but was confused by the names….wasn’t sure who Mary Pierce is? and then there was a long excerpt from a book by Martha Peace. You mention Pierce at the beginning and end of the blog but don’t give any background.

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  5. The police and the government (at least here in America,) have become more of satan than of God. So submitting to them might not always be God’s will. Why don’t these theorists ever try to apply the other tools the Lord has given His children? WHAT ABOUT SPIRITUAL WARFARE??? (http://dreamsofdunamis.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/who-would-i-be-submitting-to/)

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  6. Anonymous said:

    I find Martha’s advice problematic on many counts.

    “A wife whose husband is sinning should appeal to her husband. And if he does not repent, she should tell him what he is doing is not right (based on Scripture if he is a Christian).”

    This is not possible in an abusive relationship. She is exposing herself to danger. He has no intention of listening to her because he considers himself entitled to control her and he does not consider her opinions, especially if they imply that he is wrong, important. No domestic violence service would ever give that sort of advice. Women have been endangered doing that.

    “Either way, she would give a gentle, loving reproof (Galatians 6:1). If he does not repent, her further course would depend on whether he is a Christian or not.”

    Most of the time, he would have brainwashed her into believing that he is a Christian when he does not bear the fruit of repentance. He would also be parading as a Christian in church and it would not occur to her that he is not. After all, if he has said the sinner’s prayer and attends church, perhaps even a Bible Study, then is he not a Christian? Not really, but it would rarely occur to an abused Christian that her husband may not be a Christian.

    “If he is a Christian, she should follow the steps of church discipline in Matthew 18:15-18 and if necessary call the police based on Romans 13:1.”

    I haven’t heard of a church who has followed Matthew 18 in addressing a marriage where a husband is abusive. Most likely, the church leadership will listen to those parties and not realize that in abusive relationships, this is not recommended as the abusive party will not give an accurate account of reality and instead manipulate the church into vilifying the abused. The abused wife will not be empowered enough to dare to call the police, particularly if he has threatened her or gathered his allies (e.g. friends or church elders) to persuade her not to call the police.

    “If he is an unbeliever, the church has no authority over him, but, of course, the police and courts do”

    This is also not always practical. Some police departments are educated about violence, but others are not. Many times, they are fooled too. Those who have been specially educated will normally take action and at the same time, prioritize the abused person’ safety.

    The best course of action for a Christian wife who finds herself having to submit to sin is to draw boundaries by firstly determining in herself that she owns her thoughts and actions and doesn’t need to accept her husband’s way of thinking. Then she needs to find assistance from places that are qualified to help. This may not include her local church. This is so essential as getting the wrong advice will result in harm, if not outright death.

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