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

Archive for the ‘Favorite Complementarian Passages’ Category

Headship, head coverings, and glory – what was Paul thinking in 1 Cor. 11? (Part 3: How to spot the most important part)

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The chiasm: The best part is in the middle

In the world of Paul, people sometimes used a form of reasoning called a chiasm, where they put the most important part in the middle, with the other points sandwiched around it so that the first point is related to the last, the second to the second last, etc. 1 Cor. 11 contains such a chiasm. (more…)

Headship, head coverings, and glory – what was Paul thinking in 1 Cor. 11? (Part 2: Why this may have been an issue, and one mistake to avoid)

<< Click here for part 1

 

How the culture(s) of Corinth probably made head coverings a dilemma for women:

I read elsewhere that men had these 2 messages about head wear: Jewish men wore something on their heads when praying as a sign that their sin stands between them and God. The Christian message is about Jesus forgiving sin, nothing standing between us and God, so Christians should not follow their example for headgear under prayer. Male temple prostitutes in Corinth had long hair, and obviously, Christians should show their religion is not like those religions. That made it pretty clear what men in that world should have on their heads when going to church: Short hair, no extra headwear. Anything else sent out the wrong message.

Women, on the other hand, allegedly got mixed messages in that multicultural society. One message said women are more respectable covered up. (more…)

I do ask my husband!

Some people disagree with me on the topics of this blog. When that happens, some of them tell me I should ask my husband to teach me about these matters. They base this on their understanding of 1 Cor. 14:35: (more…)

Perhaps this is what “submitting as to Christ” means

How would “Submit(ting) to one another” (Eph 5:21) look in real life? Should pastor Jim and elder Pete and saved 10-year old Eric obey Sunday School teacher Jane, while Sunday school teacher Jane obey pastor Jim, and Pete and Eric too, while Pete also obeys Jim and Eric and they obey him, while Eric and pastor Jim obey one another? And what if Pete and Jane give conflicting messages – who should pastor Jim submit to then?

It is obvious that submitting, in Bible language, does not mean obeying everything that other people say. Submission is for all believers towards one another, and all believers cannot obey all others. It could not mean putting the other one in a hierarchy where he has the right to lord it over you, because Jesus said that those who want to be great in his kingdom has to be servants, and his followers should not be like the worldly kings who “exercise authority”.

As such, submitting as to Christ (Eph 5:22) simply cannot mean “obeying every order as you obey the orders of Christ.” If it did, Paul would have contradicted both Jesus, and his own train of thought, in Eph 5.

Here is what I think it could mean.

What submission to Jesus is like:

Jesus came to earth as a human, and people (some of them, at least), submitted and followed him when they saw that Jesus

a) is superior in power and wisdom

and

b) had their best interest at heart/ loved them and gave His life to save them.

What male/ female relations in the ANE was like:

In the world the New Testament was written to, women had fewer opportunities to learn, and fewer opportunities to earn money, than men. Men married at about age 25 to 30 after they were established financially, women as teens. As such, men were richer and knew more than their wives.

What submitting as to Christ would mean, to such a wife:

When your husband knows better and asks something out of love, co-operate. It is sensible to co-operate with love, wisdom and power, and foolish to go against it.

After such a statement to wives, the passage seems to be written from the assumption that the husband already has knowledge and power (two things Jesus have more of than us). The passage tells husbands to have the other thing Jesus has in abundance, love. The husband should love his wife as much as his own body, that places her needs as highly as those of himself.

The start of submitting to Christ is seeing what Christ is. The start of submitting as to Christ should then be seeing Christ in who she is asked to submit to.

(In today’s Western world, of course, the situation is not as unequal, and women are as likely as men to have more knowledge and not that unlikely to have power or money. Which means that husbands, too, will often be wise to submit as to Christ.)

Why Biblical Womanhood theology is even worse news for single women than for married women

Biblical™ Womanhood theology, if consistently applied, is worse news for widowed women, divorced women, not-married(-yet) women, and girls of all ages, than it is for married women.

The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood does not officially say women should live with male relatives, not go to college, not work outside the home, and not be independent. But they are – I will motivate my accusation just now – on a road that logically leads towards these views. I will quote some Biblical™ Patriarchy supporters, which openly expresses the logical conclusion of the CBMW view:

1) “And does it really make economic sense to invest tens of thousands of dollars for a woman to get an advanced education (often having to go into debt to finance that education) that she will NOT use if she accepts that her highest calling is to be a wife and mother?” – Brian Abshire, quoted from now-deleted material at the Vision Forum ministries website.

2) Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner believe parents should not raise daughters who are going to compete with men in the marketplace,” but should train their daughters to be “a woman who will be a helpmeet to a man so he can compete in the marketplace.” They speak out against female independence.* (more…)

What Abraham, Sarah and 1 Peter 3 teaches us about gender roles

Abraham and Sarah

Sarah and Abraham

(Guest post by LaCigol. Guest posts are not necessarily the opinion of the blog owner)

God changed the name of Abraham’s wife from Sarai (contentious) to Sarah (female ruler). You may have a pink-ruffled-dress Disney-ish idea of what “princess” means, but it is the female of the word used for leaders and influential people. From that, we can see that God, right from the time of the covenant with Abraham, did not want men to see women as “contentious” when the two disagreed – He wanted believing men to affirm the leadership of their wives.

Meanwhile, God changed the name of the father of believers from “Abram”(exalted father) to “Abraham” (father of many), to indicate that Christian manhood is about nurturing and raising a family, not about standing “exalted” as fathers. From Gen 21:12 we can also see that it was His pattern for believing husbands to be obedient. (more…)

“Wives (submit) to husbands” – could this be what Paul meant?

 

This blog post is not a teaching, but a question. Feel free to comment if you have an idea what the answer is.

 

“Eph. 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, (submit yourselves) to your own husbands as to the Lord.”

 

All believers should submit (mutually) to one another (which proves that submission is not about being lower in an authority hierarchy). And wives should do it (submit? submit mutually) to their own husbands.

I wonder if Paul could have meant: (more…)

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