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

Posts tagged ‘submission’

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 obey 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 not 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 less opportunies to learn, and less 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 have knowledge and power (two things Jesus have more of than us). The passage tells husbands to have the other thing Jesus have 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.)

The popularity of “50 Shades of Grey” does not mean women want to be below men

(Note: This article will use slight generalizations like “women are used to…” and “women constantly get messages that…” There are exceptions to almost every rule. (Is there an exception to the rule that there are exceptions to every rule?) You are free to disagree, if you feel that what I say is not generally true.)

Where 50 Shades of Grey is discussed on the Internet, people, both believers and unbelievers, often assume that this book is evidence that women actually want subordination. Gender hierarchy Christians™ then add that the activities in these books pervert “natural”, “God-ordained” female subordination. But, so their narrative goes, the popularity of the books proves that women are created with a desire for subordination. The most infamous example is probably this quote from Doug Wilson, that first appeared on the Internet in an article commenting on 50 SoG:

“Because we have forgotten the biblical concepts of true authority and submission, or more accurately, have rebelled against them, we have created a climate in which caricatures of authority and submission intrude upon our lives with violence.

When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us…we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.

But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies… True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.”

But that conclusion does not fit the facts. (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…)

Do Jesus still submit to the Father?

Some Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood bigwigs claim that Jesus submits to God the father not only during his time on earth, but also in heaven from eternity past until eternity future. They resurrected that old idea, rejected by Athanasius in the 4th century as heresy, because they take 1 Cor 11:3 to mean that wives should always submit to husbands, the way Jesus submits to the Father.
I’m not one of the theological bright sparks that could wax eloquent on the Arian heresy, but here is why I think that Jesus cannot, in heaven, submit to the Father. Correct me if you think I am wrong, and ask me questions if my message is unclear.
In order for submission to happen, the submitting person’s will needs to be different from the will of the not-submitting person. For example (more…)

Submitting to authorities and husbands: Beware of those who change the meaning of words half-way through

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. (more…)

I agree, Mary Kassian

I tend not to quote Mary Kassian approvingly on this blog, but today I will.

Because complementarianism could have unhealthy influences* on relationships, Christians who cannot embrace egalitarianism should be taught to live complementarianism in a way that avoid certain traps. Traps like, for example, wives encouraging selfish (selfishness is sinful) attitudes in husbands by their willingness to comply with whatever his way of thinking in a matter is . And who better to teach that than gender hierarchy supporters (complementarians)?  The people who need this message are not that likely to believe us non-endorsers of gender hierarchy. (more…)

When soft complementarianism is too hard: Part two

(Continued from part one)

Dave’s first defence (“but complementarians actually envision two sidedness”) is inadequate, as they will certainly be willing to teach submission to a wife whose husband is not present in the class, (or present and not doing his part of the “system”) and tell a woman to do her submit part regardless of what the man does. If the complementarian message was that this is only to be done mutually, and no woman should try it alone, the defence would have had merit.

As for the second part, (more…)

Tag Cloud