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

Posts tagged ‘male rule’

What “Biblical” patriarchy think – and why we don’t care what they think of us

Blogger Sunshinemary recently wrote a blog entry that defends Doug Phillips and calls his critics wrong on the topic of authority. But there are simple reasons why their calls to us to “repent” falls on deaf ears: The things they call us to repent for is right and true – not sin – to the best of our knowledge. And they do nothing to challenge our knowledge, to tell us things we do not know and that would change our view of right and wrong.

water off a duck's back

Some messages are like water off a duck’s back to us…

Her words will be in red, and mine in black. People she quotes will be in blue and in quotes.

Submitting to corrupted authority

Easy. We should, as far as is possible for us, not support corruption, or submit to it. Does your boss give bribes to get big government contracts? Never help him with that, but you could still treat him with respect in other areas.

In Modernity reframes all authority as “abuse”, Zippy Catholic writes:

Abuse of authority is pretty pervasive in human societies, because human beings are fallen creatures and we frequently abuse the things over which we are stewards…Liberalism has always used the fallenness of actual human beings in authority as a rhetorical means of attacking authority in general.

rather than expressing outrage at actual abuse and attempting to get actual abuse corrected, distinguishing between legitimate authority/hierarchy and its abuse, authority/hierarchy in general is treated by liberalism as intrinsically abusive.

This nicely explains the gleeful reaction I’ve seen among a segment of rebellious Christian female bloggers to the recent resignation of Doug Phillips from Vision Forum Ministries after revealing that he had an affair with a woman not his wife.

No. We do not hate all authority, we hate usurping authority that is not yours to begin with. A simple example: (more…)

How often does the Bible say men should be the heads of their households?

I will start this blog entry with a complete list of every instance in the Bible where God, or anyone speaking for him, say men should be the heads of their households. Every single time that God instructs men – not a particular man, but Christian men in general – to lead their households, will be on my list. Then I will make a second list: Every instance where God tells men to lead their wives. (Before clicking on “read more” for my complete list, you can try making your own list.) (more…)

Intelligent submission, good leadership, and the problems with hierarchy – some ramblings.

My previous post got me thinking: Leadership is good. Submission is good. So where does the problem with gender hierarchy come in?

“Loving, humble leadership.” “Joyful, intelligent submission.”

It sounds good, does it not? And I agree: There is something good to it.

But everything has a context.

Melissa told her little daughter, Cherise: “You should trust what the doctor say. He knows what is good for your health.”

One day, little Cherise had to go to the doctor She complained of a pain in her side, not far from her tummy.  The doctor said: “We have to take your appendix out.” Little Cherise did not scream or complain at the thought. She submitted to the superior knowledge of the doctor.

Little Cherise grew up. Decades later, she had back problems. She went to another doctor. All the advice he gave seemed to make it worse. He recommended an operation, which she got. After that, her back was even worse. If someone tells her now that she should still trust the doctor, he will be wrong.

This is where complementarianism fails, as I see it.

I believe in humble leadership. Humble leadership say: “I know I am not always right, I know you do not always have to follow me. But in this topic, I know something, and I will share it with you. Follow if you are convinced.”

But complementarian leadership, at its humblest, could only say: “I know I am not always right, but you always have to follow me. Whether you or I know more, follow me.”

Loving leadership say: “I will lead where I can see obstacles my followers cannot, and where I can see opportunities my followers cannot.”

But complementarian leadership, at its most loving, could only say: “I must lead even when my followers see obstacles I cannot, and where they can see opportunities I cannot. Even when they know more, they should not act except when I allow it.” The moment someone say his wife/ the woman in the church could lead where they know more, he is not practicing complementarian leadership any more.

Humble submission say: “You know more, so I submit” or “this is a need to you and only a want to me, so I yield.” “I don’t have to get my way all the time.” (This blogger, you may not believe it, is rather submissive in real life. But I do not want to be so at the cost of wisdom or caring about others.)

Complementarian submission could sometimes say the above. But the wife also has to submit when it means saying: “You know less, but I submit” or “this is a need of me/ our children , but I yield, even if our needs go unmet.” “You can get your way all the time.” It takes a very mature man to not get increasingly self-centered if he can get his way all the time.

Intelligent submission say: “I can see you have studied this, so let us do it your way.” “Your plan sounds more sensible than mine, so we will follow yours.” And then, intelligent submission stop submitting the moment submission seems unwise for reaching the goal. The definition of intelligent submission, as I see it, is to submit only when submission is working towards a good goal. It is not intelligent to give in to, say, a husband who abuses your children, or even to a man who demands his missing socks right now, even though he is going nowhere and you are busy.

Gender hierarchist submission say: “You are male, so let us do it your way.” “Even when your plan do not sound more sensible than mine, we will follow yours.” And gender hierarchy submission keep on submitting when submission seems unwise.

The difference, as I see it, between good and bad leadership and submission, is that good leadership is followed because it has a useful purpose and knows or does what you cannot know/do yourself. Bad leadership is when leadership is to be followed whether it is wise or unwise, productive or counterproductive, good or bad for you. I absolutely believe in the first kind. The second is folly, madness and bondage to follow.

And the difference between complementarian marriage submission and almost all other forms of bad leadership, is that you could usually close your front door and be rid of your employer or your president. With this particular teaching, you cannot close even your bedroom door to it.

No, the Bible did not tell Adam to rule Eve!

This is no new insight. It is a short announcement to any reader of this blog who may have missed it. It is prompted by a million statements like these:

…A husband has a Biblical God-given RIGHT to RULE OVER his wife (Gen. 3:16)… – David J. Stewart, accusing disobedient wives of being the reason for more divorces than spousal abuse

Read Genesis 3:16 and the passage around it again. The words are:

 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, hers;  it will crush your head, and you will strike at his heel.

To the woman he said: I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be toward your husband, and he will rule over you.

To Adam he said: Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you ‘You must not eat of it.’

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow will you eat, until you return to the ground.

The text say “he will rule.” It predicts he is going to do it, now that sin came into the world. It is not:

Satan, I give you the RIGHT to have enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, hers;  it will crush your head, and you have the RIGHT to strike at humanity’s  heel.

Eve, I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your husband has a RIGHT – given by me – to be desired by you, and I gave him the RIGHT to rule over you.

Adam, I give your employers the RIGHT to make your toil painful, so that in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. People have the RIGHT to sow thorns and thistles on your fields, so it will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You have no RIGHT to eat a meal that was not by the sweat of your brow.

Nor is it:

Satan OUGHT TO strike at humanity’s heel.

Woman OUGHT TO have pain in childbearing and easy births OUGHT TO be made more painful, a woman OUGHT TO desire her husband(1) and he OUGHT TO rule over her. This ruling OUGHT TO be one-sided and she should not rule him.

Adam OUGHT TO live on cursed ground and not a piece of fruitful farmland, he OUGHT TO eat through painful toil and therefore choose a hard job that involves physical labor, the field OUGHT TO produce thistles and thorns and it OUGHT TO be sown when it does not come up naturally.  This working OUGHT TO be one-sided and women should never do any tiring work.

It is: These things will happen in a fallen world.

The end.



(1)    For centuries, all Bible translations said things like “Your turning will be to your husband” – implying away from God – and not “Your desire will be for your husband.” The turning was pictured as negative – away from God and towards another.

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